Tuesday, March 4, 2014

TeslaCon, Program Book, and other Tangential Natter

TeslaCon - Ish

Nothing from TeslaCon, so this morning I went looking for a contact e-mail address to try to get confirmation that the vendor application was received. The options are . . . not encouraging: Facebook, and the Eventbrite "contact the organizer" form from the tickets section of the TeslaCon website. I used the on-line form, which once again did not echo to the e-mail address it required, sigh. 

Here's a hint to event organizers: Don't rely on web forms. Supply an e-mail address.  Yes, that means you're going to get some spam. The most I've ever gotten from the e-mail contact on otternecessities.com is one or two in a single day. Most of the time I get one or two per week, if that.  Enable spam filters, deal with it, and quit frustrating your attendees/vendors/panelists/whatevers.

The City of Lockport I forget if that's far south Cook Co. or actually into Will Co.) has a Summer Arts Series, this year the theme is "The Visionaries", aka Steampunk, and they're looking for vendors for the "Celebration Weekend".  Unfortunately, the Celebration Weekend is July 25-27th. One week before MuseCon. Insert rantlet here. Woe. Found that by looking at the Steampunk Chicago website, which I found looking for contact information for TeslaCon. 

Other Natter, Mostly Letterpress

 I think it was Sunday that Ron got the hardware installed for the new Elfa shelving in the dining room. Now I need to get him or Robin to cut down the shelves, so I can attack the disaster area. 

On the letterpress front, we sorted some type last night - we'd gotten Ron some more Cloister Black, a couple/few weeks ago I got a set of figures to add to my 18-point Parsons and another set of 24-point Parsons figures, and finally a set of @ symbols in various sizes. I sorted out the 18-pt Parson and the @s, made labels, and updated my type spreadsheet, and Ron did the Cloister Black and put away new blocks, demonstrating that we need another set of the small flat-file drawers, we've filled the first two.

Ron's working on some MuseCon business cards for Xap, which he can finish now that we have the @s. We also need to work on printing Otter Necessities business card coasters, and printing proofs of the new type we got in the big red cabinet, which will help in identifying what they are. 

Program Book

The Long Grim Slog of Doom wasn't too bad. I worked on it Friday night, and pretty much all Saturday. I got the last major piece (attendee list) by midday Saturday. Using the powers of intelligent importing from a spreadsheet, find-and-replace, and clever "paragraph" (clump of text) formatting rules that InDesign has, formatting the attendee list (12 pages or so) was fairly quick and painless. So by Saturday dinnertime I declared the book almost-but-not-quite-totally-done, and sent a PDF out for review. 

Not surprisingly, there were corrections to make. Most were easy/relatively minor: mis-spelled names, etc., but somehow a handful of speaker bios (about a paragraph each) had fallen out of the document. I remember formatting at least one (my boss!), so I have no clue what happened. Fitting those back in wasn't trivial, but it wasn't too hard. I finished making corrections by about 10 am, then ran away from home (ie: went with Ron and Robin to Cabela's, to get Robin a new pair of boots), and generally ignored the book for most of the day.

Sunday evening Ron and I went through the book one more time and poked at some word/line breaks, then I exported a press-quality PDF to send to the printer. I uploaded it Monday morning (somewhere in the last paragraph or two I'd sent off another PDF for review, IIRC), supplied web PDFs for on-line use, and then went off to work. The finished page count was 82 pages, plus front cover, which is my longest book yet, and done in the shortest time frame.  

I didn't do as much re-writing and proofreading as I usually do, but the text that I got was more consistent than I usually get. I'm sure there's at least a couple typos that will LEAP off the page at me once I see a hard copy, but that's normal. Very little ranting at the computer. Yes, I'm willing to do this one again. The conference chair has asked for suggestions for next year, which I've been pondering. 

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