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Doublebunny holiday cards for 2014 by Sou MacMillan

I can tell it all in one sentence: upgrade the hardware.

Really, it was that simple. And, really, yes, it did cost money. But because the cost of more ink v. the cost of a new printer, which comes with some ink, and a scanner, to boot, made the difference negligible, I’m just not down that much from the starting line. My beloved Canoscan no longer sits to my right, and Our Man Cub has inherited my old printer, because to replace the scanner, I decided to go with a printer/scanner combo that also prints on dvds.*

And then I pushed buttons and tweaked settings for, like, three days until the scanner did what I wanted it to do. I still have a little bit of foolery to commit in order to print discs in a program other than the one that came with the printer,** but printing to paper is doing quite well (settings matter, sister!) In fact, I like it enough that I’ll be printing the Doublebunny holiday cards in-house this year.

So all’s well in the office today, and the paper being pushed is pretty paper. The engine can, friends. The engine can.

***

*Yes! I can make dvds now! Turns out that, well, you pretty much get what you pay for with this stuff. It was a shame that the free program that came with 7 won’t burn the disc, but, on the other hand, it’s also pretty wonderful to work with a program that has options. I chose Nero Video in the end, and it made a rather lovely product, relatively in budget, even.
**One bit of disappointment with Nero is that its label maker program does not print right. I’m hoping it’s a setting – I have some screwing around to do.

This is ridiculous. I have better machine juju than this. I am a fairly up-to-date, tech-savvy woman with a pretty good well of patience and the willingness to troubleshoot. I’m a child of the 70s who grew up with squealing, non-digital modems and those terrible Atari flat keyboards. I started learning back with BASIC on TRS80 stuff, and I have a solid decade or so under my belt of screwing around with external zip drives on some Macintosh business, and I can make an outdated version of Pagemaker stand up and sing. I have ProTools experience. I have been using a PC for over 15 years with a better-than-good success rate. I know how to use a soldering iron. I’m telling you, I have a looooong history with sussing out bugs and getting up to my elbows in workarounds and solutions. Also, I am priveledged to have Our Man Cub’s deep reserve of current computer know-how at my disposal. It SHOULD NOT BE SO DIFFICULT TO BURN A DAMNED DVD, Y’ALL.

Early on in the open submission period for Rabbit Heart 2014, I started to get these emails – submitters wanted to know what I recommended for burning a dvd that would work in the regular teevee-ready dvd player and didn’t cost an arm and a leg. I had No Idea. Seriously, sister, I was clueless about the degree of difficulty involved. When I got these emails, I told the senders not to worry, and just send me an MP4 file, and that I’d take care of it from there. Probably the smartest thing I did through the whole festival, as it turns out. Midway through the judging, when swapping out dvds turned into a tedious process,* I turned all the videos into MP4s anyway and stuffed them on a thumb drive. And then I stopped thinking about it.

But the current project on my desk is making Rabbit Heart 2014 dvds. And I want them to be beautiful. I also don’t want to spend more money on software to make them than they will generate in dvd sales.

So I started with the software that comes with Windows 7. The design looks lovely, and I got really excited about it – I picked a front menu template that even has these sweet bunnies on it! It looks great! I can assure you that, but I can’t prove it, because it won’t burn. At 99% the dvd drive pops open and vomits up a blank disc.** The burner literally Can’t Even.

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Update from the office: I am stunned. Absolutely stunned. Kneeling in the middle of a valley of chaos, attempting to coax our most reluctant cat out from under the sofa

The office is a wreck. Every carefully stacked pile has been toppled. We will have to replace a carpet. Houseplants have been de-potted and there is dirt in every crevice. Gunther is under the sofa growling and moaning something like no-no-no-no-no, and it roughly translates into I’m Never Ever Coming Out From This Safe Place Ever Again. #catladyproblems

HO Tanager has been here.

It’s not so much HO – really, I’m sure she’s a very nice person – but that she stormed the office to drop off promo material* and a copy of her new book,** and apparently it was Bring Your Badger to Work Day, and no one notified me in advance. Did you know that badgers bark? And did you know, also, that cats do not appreciate badgers?

A badger! She has a badger – on a leash! Or, rather, she had a badger on a leash. Well, technically, the badger stayed on the leash, but the leash did not stay in her hand, and #omigod, sweet #motherofgawd, this office will never be the same.

Needless to say, I won’t be heading into Cambridge tonight, as I’ll be piecing the place back together. #truestory But you can catch up with her at the Cantab tonight, as I hear she’s going to see Cheryl Maddalena perform. #youarewelcome

HO has left for time being. Right now, I think I’m just going to pour more coffee on it.  #soblessed

***

*Please note, Doublebunny Press is not her publisher.
**Autograph Penis. Actually quite good. Did you miss 2011 Nats in Cambridge? It’s all right here, in living, vivid color.

todays

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