When one changes jobs, there are usually many things that change besides just the job at hand: email, phone number, parking space, domain name, DNS server, Remote Web Workplace access.

I recently changed jobs, for the better. My old job was fun, but not very challenging. It was only part-time, which left lots of time for Neverwinter Nights 2 and Civilization III (and Neopets, I am ashamed to say), but it hadn’t challenged me in quite a while. My new job started challenging me right away. And that is good, but I am not really interested in talking about my job, but about my new office.

My husband has worked where he is now since 1998. His office is about 15′ x 15′, and he shares is with 3 other people, cubicle style. My office is about 12′ x 15′ and I am blissfully alone, except for my plants. I have a pothos (those things are impossible to kill), a Peace lily (looking a little rough from the cold air transfer and the long Christmas holiday), and I have a USB egg. USB Egg

An egg, you say? Well, it isn’t really an egg. It is a greenhouse that is USB-powered. It has a small plant light (that is what the USB takes care of). It came with artificial soil-like product and seeds. The base has an area for the “soil,” with a well below it to hold spare water. The front is clear acrylic (so I can see my plants), and the light is attached to a lift-able arm, so I can adjust the amount of air that comes in and that also adjusts the humidity inside as well. The back is solid white plastic. GreenHouse kit

So, what is the downside, you ask. Yes, there is a downside. While the egg comes with software (and the as says it helps you to track the growth and monitor when it needs water), that isn’t exactly true. The software creates a calendar that the owner can customize (with the name of the plant, for example: Marigold), and then the owner can record the growth manually in the calendar (perhaps the plant is 1 inch tall today). Then, if I water it today, I can record that too. Then, by viewing the calendar, I can REMEMBER when I last watered, and DECIDE whether or not to water again.

When Bill bought this, he envisioned that the USB not only powered the light, but that there were sensors that monitored the humidity and the water content in the soil like product and would ALERT me to the conditions inside the egg. No such luck. So, while it is geeky, it isn’t as geeky as it truly could have been.

Today, being the first day back after the New Year’s holiday, I was pleased to see tiny sprouts reaching their tiny leaves toward the sun….I mean growlight. That is the one thing my office doesn’t have, a window, so no real sunshine. But with this greenhouse, and with the growlight that I have carefully tied with ribbon to the bottom of a nearby shelf, I have adequate light for all my plants. Meanwhile, my husband only has printed pictures of nature to gaze upon. Ah, the differences between working for the private sector and working for Uncle Sam.