Coffee heat rising

General Business Frustrations

So this was an aggravating day of general business frustration. (Notice how skillfully, not to say clunkily, I include the title’s main words — yea, verily: all the words — for the pointless benefit of Google’s search engines? Thank you, oh, thank you, dear Lord Google, for improving our writing style and making us all sound like talking bots.)

High on today’s list of tasks to accomplish was to post the writing tome’s body copy and cover copy to the printer’s website and order up a set of page proofs. This chore, I expected, would occupy an hour, maybe at the outside two hours.


It consumed the entire frigging day! Started on that around 10 a.m., having returned from this morning’s bidness meeting (does Google’s search-bot perceive “bidness” as a synonym for “business”?) and having completed a few chores so small they don’t rank high enough to get on the Whiteboard List, I loaded up the PoD guy’s site and began the rather simple task of uploading content.

1. Convert the Wyrd file to PDF (already done) and upload the file to the order page.

2. Go through the file for one last proofread.

3. Fix the few remaining issues.

4. Convert the Wyrd file again to PDF and re-upload the PDF.

5. Go through the file for one last, last proofread.

6.Convert the Wyrd file again to PDF and re-upload the PDF. Shirk the duty of proofing it again.

7. Upload a PDF (or is it a JPEG??) of the wrap-around cover. Make minor adjustments in size and position.

8. Submit; pay money.

9. Order one (1) set of page proofs.

Does this look hard?

Well, no. It doesn’t LOOK hard. And I don’t suppose it would be hard, if things went according to plan.

1. Go through the file for one last proofread…

Discover that in a paragraph urging readers to be sure to hire a copyeditor before inflicting their golden words upon the world, the word “your” appears as “you r.”

Far more annoying, several diagrams that came across just fine from Wyrd into the PDFs have somehow corrupted. Three of the five graphics are fucking trashed.

Fix the typo and a couple of other small issues. Then try to figure out what’s wrong with the artwork. After several re-conversions to PDF and then several hours spent rebuilding the (damned complicated!) diagrams, there is no way on God’s green earth I can figure out why the images are corrupted and what I can do to fix them. The new, upgraded versions come across even MORE distorted than the originals.

2. Giving up on this effort, along about three in the afternoon I decide at least to upload the cover.

Can’t remember whether they require a PDF (think so) or a JPEG (which of course would make sense). Upload a PDF. Result: a wide white border all around the painfully, tediously constructed, elaborate wrap-around cover.

Try uploading a JPEG. Result: nothing.

Wrestle with the PDF. Can NOT get the uploaded image to quit appearing inside a wide white border.

Screw with this several times but have no luck.

Decide to try re-uploading the content PDF, in hopes that maybe refreshing that page will let it upload the rebuilt images.

No luck.

It was after 5:00 by the time I decided to give up wrangling this stuff. But along about then, as I was closing out of the PoD outfit’s page, I noticed the cover had mysteriously uploaded, as if on its own or by mental telepathy, in such a way as to look almost normal.

Must be Cox’s wondrously expensive new modem/router is SO DAMN SLOW that it takes not seconds, not minutes, but large fractions of an  hour to complete a transaction.

So that was a bit of a frustration.

This morning’s business breakfast in lovely mid-town Scottsdale was a bit of a frustration, too.

You know, I’ve never much cared for First Watch, not since the first bloom of the business faded. So it was not with much joy that I greeted news that our meetin’ place of lo! these many years, a dowdy Good Egg, was to be consumed by the not-much-less dowdy First Watch. Trepidation, indeed, you might say: not joy.

And those trepidations have proven prophetic. The new management has decided serving up a weekly breakfast to a group of 12 does not meet their definition of profitability. So they’ve been pressuring us to move on for quite some time. First thing they did was move our meeting table (which occupied a part of a semi-private back room) and stuff us into uncomfortable bench seating. Then they took our favorite waitress away and gave us airheads in her place. They changed the menu, but as one would expect, it’s no better than any other lovely American breakfast menu: oversalted, oversugared, and overgreased.


While I was sick, the group tentatively tried out a Denny’s, a store whose location would add another two miles to my already annoying drive into the blinding early a.m. glare.

Really, I do not like Denny’s. I haven’t been back to Denny’s in years, not since the time that they served me a cup of coffee in a mug with some woman’s bright red lipstick print stuck to the rim. When I asked for a clean cup, they refused to give me one!!!!!

So I do not relish meeting at Denny’s.

But it probably doesn’t matter, because I rarely order anything at the Good Egg/First Watch. Eggs make me vomit instantly, and overall I don’t care for foods that are mushy and sweet or that are oversalted. That pretty much lets out…

Bacon & eggs
Ham and eggs
Oatmeal as served in US restaurants
Gooey sugary yogurt “parfaits”
Pancakes made of undercooked commercial mix and topped with gooey sticky stuff
Cottage fries drenched in salt
And…you name it.

Their coffee’s so bad it’s undrinkable So that leaves one with…well…a glass of water.

Today’s service was so bad and the seating so uncomfortable that we decided enough was enough. We planned to meet at Denny’s next week.

This of course entailed my tracking down Denny’s management and confirming that our band of merry robbers could meet there next week, making a reservation, and sending out a notice to the membership. And that elicited a suggestion from the Boss Man that really, really despite my peevishness I should let First Watch let we would not be there next week.

That is because he is a nice man and I am not a nice woman. I personally feel that their not even bothering to have set up our table this morning is a perfectly fine reason not to bother to inform them that we will not be there next Thursday.

And therein lies the difference between a gentleman and the Wicked Bitch of the West…

Discussed the e-book with Wonder E-book Fomatter. The elaborate graphics have him pulling out what little remains of his hair, too. Not only do the images make him crazy (he’s actually got those down pat), he hates loathes and despises footnotes, which generate layer on layer on layer of extra work for him. He tortured himself by counting the damn things, leading him to point out — four or five times — that I’ve inserted 88 notes in the thing. I suggested he simply substitute links; this elicited a lengthy disquisition on what a PITA that is.

Life is a PITA.

It is now after dark. I haven’t walked the dogs. Yea verily, I haven’t walked the dogs in many days. They grow frustrated; I grow fat.

Oh well. Things could be worse. Our honored Clown in Chief could, for example, launch us into an open war with Syria, for example….

That oughta up his approval rating amongst the ones born every day…



6 thoughts on “General Business Frustrations”

  1. I’m not a fan of Denny’s either. The food’s not great, the seats are worn and uncomfortable and the atmosphere’s just not welcoming. It seems that the location of a Denny’s doesn’t matter, they are all pretty crappy.
    As for Big Orange ordering a strike at Syria, well, won’t that piss off his buddy/admirer Putin? How do you say wtf in Russian?

    • Sometimes the comments at the Washington Post are more insightful than the reporting. Someone named George remarks, “I’m far from convinced the gas attacks were Assad… There really hasn’t been time to investigate, and many other sources, with feet on the ground, claim it was the insurgents we support and pay for, who carried out the attack… Great Smoke Screen to divert attention from Russian investigations, and with a giant stockpile of cruise missiles, not being used, it cost less than a long weekend at Mar-a-Lago”

      Huh. Something to that…

      Denny’s is a classic cookie-cutter chain. It’s modeled on the great old roadside coffeeshops they put out of business. Anybody here old enough to remember those? Mom and Pop greasy spoons with decent coffee, real pancakes, halfway edible hamburgers, serious patty melts, milkshakes made of real milk and real ice cream, and a staff of bodacious waitresses?

      Why people eat in these chain restaurants escapes me. Noplace else left, I guess.

  2. Might I suggest Bob Evans? “Back in the day” when I hawked signage I represented the firm at two “Leads Clubs” which were basically how you describe your organization. We went to several places but Bob Evans always seemed to be welcoming and professional. And the food was good. I’m with ya on Denny’s….they are a “price point” eatery and are catering to the “price sensitive consumer”….I mean all you can eat pancakes for $4…Who does that?
    As for Syria….I have for some time found the world situation as a whole troubling. Long before Mr. Trump, our Nation and others have invaded other countries without a declaration of war. We fly armed drones over sovereign countries and destroy assets and population in the name of “freedom”. When did this become OK?
    My thought is the bombing of Syria was a message to Syria AND North Korea. It is my understanding that 60 missiles were deployed in a very limited area within seconds of each other. I believe the term “shock and awl” applies. The folks in North Korea might want to take note. This President is not afraid to pull the trigger WHILE entertaining the Chinese Leader. . . .

  3. We don’t seem to have a Bob Evans here.

    The Syria thing has some ulterior motive, that’s for sure. Personally, I don’t believe Trump is smart enough or, more to the point, un-self-motivated enough to think something like this through clearly. Bush, that idiot, dragged us into a disastrous decades-long war in the Middle East for which there still is no end in sight. This strategy — to the extent that there is a strategy at all — makes that worse.

    Expect to see retaliation on US soil, no doubt perpetrated by organized ISIS and al-Qaeda terrorists. Stay out of large malls, away from large gatherings — especially prominent ones like the Super Bowl or the Fiesta Bowl or big concerts — away from heavily attended public holiday events like fireworks displays, and out of megachurches full of the Christian faithful. I think I wouldn’t go into a large office building — especially if it were a government building, but in general any large skyscrapers — or ride on heavily traveled public transport — nor into places where a lot of tourists gather.

    Consider, too, that our thousands of chemical treatment plants, which include water treatment plants, pose the risk of potentially catastrophic consequences from fairly minor attacks ( All it would take, for example, to gas everyone in my neighborhood and all the neighborhoods nearby and the gigantic megamall up on the freeway would be to run a small airplane into the water treatment plant about a mile or two from here. Chlorine is just as bad for your health as whatever the bastards used in Syria.

    Yesterday the Bozo threw gasoline on a blazing fire. Not so hard to see why clowns are scary, eh?

  4. I have mixed emotions about the Middle East….Back in the 1st Gulf War everybody was complaining that George Sr. didn’t go far enough…that he should have went all the way to Bagdad. I have a cousin who was over there in the thick of it and said all the “hype” about the Iraqi fighting force was fiction. He said that he saw first hand when the shots were being fired Iraqi’s turned and fled throwing their arms down. That despite being proclaimed “battle hardened troops” fresh from 10 years of war. Then in the second Gulf War George II went right to Bagdad and the critics said he did that wrong….So who was right. Like it or not Your/Our President “drew a line in the sand” and unlike Obama backed it up. And a side note…..Dear Cousin said he has seen and heard “toma-hawk” missiles from afar….He said to have 60 go off in that tight of an area within seconds of each other had to seem like the end of the world. In addition, I would think the “rebels” would not be angry with the US … this attack was against the Assad regime…their sworn enemy…

    • There’s surely something to all that. IMHO there’s a good case to be made that if we were going to invade the Middle East, we should have seriously invaded and taken the place over.

      There’s also a case that we should have considered what happened to the Russians when they invaded Afghanistan and tried to grasp exactly why that happened, so that we would avoid miring ourselves in the same kind of mess.

      Here’s an interesting article: You have to get past the annoyingly slanted language to reach the point, but the point is well taken: What are we gonna do next?

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