Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Perils of operating a publishing company at home

There have been a number of "Homes Using Wood Stoves" articles
in February
2008, and the drawbacks to burning wood for heat
were prominently mentioned in the articles. For example, pollution
from wood stoves and wood boilers. There is another drawback to
burning wood not mentioned in any articles.

I've operated Southfarm Press from our home since about 1987.
We had maintained a separate office before that in downtown
Middletown, Connecticut. My wife and I burned four cords
a year
in a Vermont Casting stove for 11 years until my shoulders gave out
from
all of that splitting wood.

One day, my wife and I, both being in publishing, had this
happen.
At her Weekly Reader office, in a meeting, somebody entered the
room while the meeting
was in progress and exclaimed, "I smell
Hickory Farms." My wife said that
the smell was coming from her.

Across town I was in another meeting with printers.
Someone
entered the room and exclaimed, "Wait a minute. I smell fire."

And I replied no, that was me. We laughed about it that night.
When you burn constantly
inside your house, it gets into your
clothes, drapes etc. But it was worth it. Our oil furnace
was off for
those 11 years, we got lots of exercise and the kids loved the
warmth and stacking the four cords outside each year.

Another peril in operating our publishing business at home was
our cat, Kitty. Note the creative name. It seemed every time I
was on the phone on a business call, the cat would start to throw
up, noisily. I would then begin praying they couldn't hear it on
the other side of the line. One publishing customer wound up
publishing a picture of me and Kitty in their journal. Maybe
they did hear her. --Copyright 2008 by Walter Haan,
www.war-books.com

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