Behind the Blog: Gizmodo's Tahoe Office Away from Home

Behind the Blog: Gizmodo's Tahoe Office Away from Home

Sonia Zjawinski
Mar 12, 2009

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We've seen the San Francisco home of Gizmodo's editorial director. Now we take a look at his home away from home. Being the crafty dude that he is, Brian teamed up with three friends to split the rent of a winter pad in Lake Tahoe from December through April. "I do it because I love the snow as much as work, and I'm undoubtedly more productive when I'm exercising regularly," Brian tells Unplggd. "Can't say I have an equivalent activity to snow shoeing in SF and I'm not much of a gym rat." Granted this is no vacation home. Brian tries to work just as hard in the powder as he does in the sun of SF. To do so he had to bring up quite a few gizmos to make sure he didn't hit any roadblocks. After the jump we find out how he makes this work...

How often do you go up to Tahoe? I'm there most of the time I don't have to travel for work. The internet is fast, and somehow, its easier to get up early and work later in Tahoe and yet stay focused on the job while getting exercise in.

Have you had any work hiccups while up there -- internet outages at inopportune times, phone issues, dog and snow procrastination? None so far, and I have back up internet with me, a Sprint 3G data card I plug into my laptop. If there's a problem with that, I can go downtown (5 miles away) for back up internet at a cafe. The dogs don't like the cold so much, so walks are shorter. Sometimes I have to shovel out visitors who get stuck coming up the big hill to the house. Procrastination comes the other way around. It's still hard to tear myself away from the computer. Twice, I've missed work trips on account of snow storms, but that's a rare thing.

Does the Gizmodo team come up there and work with you? None yet, but some will be coming by for our reader meetup in Tahoe in April. Should be fun!

It looks like you have a ton of stuff to review up there. Do you guys review more up in Tahoe? Or is it just that there are more people in the space that it looks like there's more doo dads? I think I've got a few waterproof cameras and slow motion cameras, walkie talkies, etc. The gadgets you need in winter/outdoor activities are a lot different than then stuff you might need in an urban environment.

It seems like this is proof positive that working from home truly is the best deal. Would you agree? I would say that I am lucky it works out as well as it does and that I have friends who can also work from up there. Maybe I'll start a cabin comprised purely of writers who work from home.

Obviously with a rental there is only so much modification you can do to a space. What have you done here to help make working and living a more cohesive and sane environment? The garage's second car spot was filled with lawn furniture and boxes. The owners and realtors didn't advertise fairly here. To make room for a second car -- important during snow storms, so the car stay uncovered, and the driveway can be plowed fully -- we distributed furniture inside the house. Usually, for extra seating. But we also used a few of the mesh chairs as drying racks above the central heating vent for snow soaked snow clothing, and I've turned the piano into a place to set up the Xbox. There's also a laundry room we've set up as a boot drying area (with an electric dryer/heater).

What are your must-haves when you're working up in tahoe (both living things and gizmos)? There are three critical things I've brought along. Wi-Fi, Xbox and a hot pot set up for easy meals right off the stove top.

Thanks Brian!

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