Garden report, computer ?, and ah, nice fiber

This morning there’s fall in the air. It’s time for a garden-such-as-it-is report.

Last week I noticed that we are not the only creatures who enjoy our plants in pots. This beastie darted in and out brazenly. Usually the squirrels taunt the dogs by racing along the tops of the fences, out of reach. Squirrels in our neighborhood tend to be well fed. My next-door neighbor took early retirement about ten years ago in order to spend his days throwing them peanuts.

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The most satisfying plant that we have been tending has been the Sun Sugar tomato. We’ve had a small handful of fruits daily. As the summer has progressed, they have tasted better and better. The ones in this photo aren’t fully ripe. We’ve already plucked and eaten everything that was. But a couple of those guys in the back are close. We’re trying not to hover too close and block the sunlight.

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Second best has been the Husky Red. It’s yielded ten or twelve nice tomatoes that have tasted great, and lots more are in the offing, weather permitting.

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The Cherokee Purple has been teaching us a lot. First, we have only had a few tomatoes and we’ve had to trim the bad parts out of those. The fruits that are on the plant now and almost ripe all have serious splits in them. I don’t know enough about tomatoes to know what causes splits, but I’m guessing irregular growth patterns due to rain/sun quantities. They taste just fine.

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There are a gratifying number of fruits on the vine that have not split and may, or may not, have time to ripen before we lose this year’s growing season.

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We’ve made several batches of pesto and one of basil-tomato hummus from the standard basil.

And the Thai basil matured into a small but gorgeous plant. We need to use its leaves!

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We’ve been pinching the flowers, but they’re just so pretty against the green. . . .

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Computer

This morning I spent another 1.5 hours on the phone with Adobe tech support.

The good news is that I’m not hallucinating. The support guy ran through options with me, quickly ticking off ideas that I’d thought of and tried, and then had me transfer the book file to his desk via FTP. I ran it through an interchange export/import maneuver first; that process is intended to clean out file glitches.

When it arrived on his desk, the file misbehaved for him just as it’s been misbehaving for me. Fixing the InDesign problems will not solve all my computer problems, or maybe it will, but at the very least we know some of my problems are InDesign-related and are independent of my computer. His primary comment, repeatedly, was, "WEIRD."

So that was good. I think. It’s not just me. If I’m crazy, it’s not with regard to seeing computer problems that don’t exist.

I told him that I may have messed something up in the style specs, but if I did (1) I couldn’t find the problem and (2) I’d be both embarrassed (for overlooking it) and grateful, because I could get my work done again. I said the gratitude would definitely outweigh the embarrassment.

We both tested options on our separate desktops, comparing notes on the phone line about what was happening (same results on both systems), until he declared himself stumped and in need of a consultation with some other folks. He’s supposed to call me back.

So I shifted computers for a while. I figured out half of what I need to know to get the laptop (running Fedora) to recognize the new wireless modem. The laptop now appears to "see" the wireless network. However, I have at least one of the settings entered wrong (I don’t know which) and can’t get the connection to activate yet.

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While waiting for the file to transfer on FTP, I combed a bit of wool. It’s so satisfying to comb wool. You start. You finish. It’s pretty. It’s absolutely a dream to spin.

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While doing this I just have to focus on the wool and resist the temptation to fall on my combs sword over the computer problems. In any case, falling on one’s sword is supposed to be connected to atonement for wrongdoing. I can’t figure out what I might have done wrong in this situation. Other than risk everything I’ve worked for in my life to build an independent business that depends on computers.

I’m glad the whole problem rests at least temporarily in Adobe’s hands, and I do hope they call back with a solution. Soon.

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Meanwhile I plan to take a short, restorative nap (late to bed, early to rise). I’ll nap with the phone next to me in case of a tech-support callback. Then I can work on some of the illustrations, on which progress has been delayed by the technology-wrangling. As long as Photoshop and Illustrator don’t crash (they have been crashing, too).

Nap.

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8 Responses

  1. The garden looks great! We can’t skip another year. I really miss it (even though I was gone for all of July).

  2. Oy. Honey. I wish I could reach through the screen and give you a hug. Good thing you are knitting, spinning, gardening,combing, and doing all sorts of other restorative activities. I actually joined you in the nap escape this afternoon. I was seized by exhaustion (proofreading, it is exhausting) and an hour later? I woke up. I’m so sorry to hear about this computer nonsense. It sounds like it could ruin one’s how life outlook. I’m also even sorrier that I didn’t read your blog for a few days so I didn’t post a nice note sooner. I’m also really glad Donna lives closer by, so she can take you out to eat. I’m close to hopping on an airplane so I can take you out myself! Good luck. I hope it gets better.

  3. OK, that was ..”I woke up. Ooops.” and “ruin one’s WHOLE life outlook.” I guess I am still pretty tired!

  4. Half the battle is getting a support person to SEE an intermittent problem. So you should be making progress!

    We realized earlier this summer that one of my dogs has been stealing tomatoes off my plants. Bad dog!

  5. Wow. Thank goodness for physical things like tomatoes and wool.

    I thought that losing 3+ weeks of knitting (must rip a stranded-knitting bag intended for an Interweave Knits advertisement, because of a huge mistake) and a non-syncing palm pilot (actually it syncs but not with Outlook) were a problem. I would say my problems just plain do not count. No problems at all, not me.

    I had the great pleasure of un-installing Word2007 this weekend. And installing Word2003 instead, which makes me more than happy.

    I understand a lot of what you are going through, though I’ve never worked with font management at all… styles based on styles based on styles I understand, and things that change without me telling them to have happened to me. But not in InDesign.

    I am on your team, though I’m virtually useless. Except for good vibes I can’t help at all.

    Enjoy those tomatoes and that yarn you made.

    Lynn

  6. Yes, nap! Naps are good! I’m a firm believer in them. Though I’m not at all envious of these problems you’ve been having (I’d be a nervous wreck by now and incapable of making any sense), I AM envious of mid-week, mid-day, nap-taking!

    Enjoy and may the Goddess of Computers and InDesign especially, resolve all your techie issues. Or at least, may that tech support guy figure it out!

    Sending good warm vibes halfway cross the country to you….

  7. OMG. I cannot believe the magnitude of problems you’re having. I’ve been through the technology wringer with computers myself, but usually that was at work, where there were tons of engineers to help, and other computers to move to while they figured out what was wrong. I guess this wouldn’t help you either, since it’s the file, not the computer, causing the problem.

    Hang in there, and take the time to pet a dog. Pet therapy gets me through the tough days.

  8. Gorgeous, sweet homegrown tomatoes aside, computer troubles like yours would have me digging out my entrails with my double points. The horror. The horror.

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