Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Back from Minneapolis

I spent the weekend at a literary conference in Minneapolis. It's a city with a real sense of itself — the sort of identity a place has when it's the cultural center of the state. Beautiful parks, lots of agricultural and industrial history, everyone talking about the arts — and about religion, but not in a conservative sense. And you definitely get the feeling that people appreciate warm weather, which they were having.

It was good to get home — at an appalling hour — Sunday night. It had rained, so the tomatoes were doing well. Monday morning Garibaldi, the orange tom cat, was waiting on the back porch to be fed. He had a cut on his nose — always some new evidence of a fight.

After he ate, he came over and sniffed my hand, which I viewed as real progress. But I haven't seen him since then, and am now pretty sure that something out there (coyotes? a car? another cat?) got him. Or maybe someone captured him and took him to be neutered.

In a hour or so I'm picking up Smokey — my cat who lives with a neighbor seven blocks north — and taking him in for his annual vet visit. Another feline mystery.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Slobs on the web

As you know, I'm among the first to rush to the ramparts to defend web content writers from the accusation that we have lower standards for writing than our print colleagues.

Having spent this past week involved in a print project, I may need to stand down.

I was given the text taken from a non-profit's website and asked to lay out the text into a simple print brochure. (Using Apple's delightful page layout application, Pages.)

I sent the completed layout to the non-profit, expecting some comments back such as "more illustrations," "larger headlines," or "Can you make the columns shorter?" but got instead several dozen corrections to punctuation and capitalization and a number of complete rewrites of paragraphs.

"But," I pointed out to the person serving as the liaison for this work, "All those punctuation and capitalization problems, plus the sloppy writing and incorrect information, are on their website and have been there for the whole world to see for months."

He peered out from around the filing cabinet where he had taken shelter.

"Er, can you just make the changes?" he said.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Happy blogiversary

Friday was the 6th anniversary of The Mysterious Traveler Sets Out.

I celebrated by taking delivery of my new iMac (my third iMac in the past eight or nine years). I still haven't had time to open the box and set the thing up, so that's on the list for tomorrow. Setting it up, of course, takes about 10 minutes. It's deciding which apps to risk bring over with the data and which to reinstall from scratch that's tricky.

I intend to consult Adam Engst's ebook Take Control of Buying a Mac, which covers things like "How should I connecct my old and new Macs so I can transfer files?" and "What should I do about iTunes authorization when moving to a new Mac?"