Guidance from the I Ching, the Book of Changes: Perseverance furthers. One thing I’ve gotten a lot of practice with over the years is perseverance. I do hope it furthers—gets me where I need to go. So far it has seemed to, although there are times (like now) when I can’t imagine how.
A friend called yesterday to ask whether the silence on the blog meant I’d resolved my computer problems and was working away steadily and productively on the book.
At least, "no" to resolved problems, "no" to doing new things on the book, instead of still fiddling with workarounds. Oddly it feels productive to fix something I’ve fixed before and this time to have the solution stick (so far). As of today, some of that is happening. I’m grateful.
Backtracking. . . .
Last Tuesday, I spent 1.5 hours on the phone with a thoughtful and helpful tech support person. I think this was the fourth person I’d talked with, and he was the best yet. We ended up uploading my file, which misbehaved on his machine as well as mine. That was useful information, but in the end he was stumped about why. He said he would need to consult with some other folks and would get back to me.
On Thursday, I called and reached another tech support person who offered to e-mail him with a request for a status update.
Late Friday afternoon, I called and reached yet another tech support person. I have all these people’s names, and they have both my e-mail and my phone. That information is confirmed at the beginning of each call. They can get back in touch with me, but I take pot luck when I call and haven’t been able to figure out how to reach somebody I’ve talked with before, although I’ve asked.
This new person was convinced that he could solve my problem, and ran me through the hoops I’ve already gone through over the past nine weeks of intensive work with this company’s tech support. He finally asked me to upload the file in the interchange format, which is supposed to work to clean out problems (I’d used it with the previous file, but then opened and converted to a regular format before uploading; this time we skipped that step). Just before the upload finished, the phone system cut me off from the voice contact. The upload completed. I have no way to reach the tech person. He has two ways to reach me. I have not heard back from him.
In the course of the conversation, he had said that if this was a problem with one of their fonts they would have a team on the problem because they’d know a job would be held up by the malfunction. I pointed out that my whole business was being held up by this malfunction, but he was better at posing questions than listening to the answers and better at making pronouncements than hearing the person on the other end of the line.
I haven’t heard back from anybody. None of these people has yet been able to help me fix the problem with the file, although they have experienced it for themselves. If I hadn’t paid for this assistance, I would feel better about its lack of success.
Have I stopped work on my project because it can’t be fixed by the experts, either consultants or those trained by the company that produced the product? No. I can’t just say "Oh, well," and answer the next tech support call, forgetting about the one that got dropped off the line. It’s my life and livelihood that are at stake. (The tech support people probably enjoy luxuries like regular paychecks. Maybe even a few benefits.)
So what can I try next, working on my own?
I downloaded a 30-day trial of the newest version of the software, to which I have not upgraded because I never upgrade in the middle of a major project. The same problems occurred in the new edition, plus a few new ones that I spent some time trying to fix before I went back to my existing edition. I’d like to try out the new edition further, but my 30-day clock is ticking away and I probably won’t have time to get back to it.
What else can I try to fix problems the so-called pros can’t unravel?
So that’s the question I’m working on.
And here, for sanity:
Work related to the book I’m writing, not the one I’m doing layout and production on (between, and in spite of, computer errors):
- Raw wool. Best locks selected for photogenic qualities.
- Washed wool. Ditto.
- Clean wool, not as neat. Locks a bit hard to distinguish despite extreme care during washing. The locks in 2 came out of this batch; I just chose them carefully.
- Sample of wool with vegetable matter.
- A bit of hand-combed fiber with residual vegetable matter. By selecting locks carefully, I was able to get cleaner combed fiber that spun up beautifully, so I didn’t use this bit. The locks were jumbled enough that I just lashed them onto the combs as best I could and then went at it. Two-row Viking combs.
- But first I carded a few rolags and spun a sample skein. It was okay.
- Then I spun a bit of the combed fiber but didn’t get enough twist into it.
- So I started again with more twist.
The end result is still a little light on the twist and heavy on the irregularities, but it feels (and smells) wonderful. It required no calls to tech support. And if I had enough of this yarn, I could make something that would keep someone as warm as a hug.
Unfortunately, all I can spin right now is samples. I need to keep going on lots of things that have deadlines.
This is my current knitting-for-fun. I’ve done several re-starts of samples with this wool, and the current iteration looks like it’s for real. The same friend who called to check in gifted me with this Socks That Rock yarn in a color called Rook-y, part of the Raven clan of colorways.
It’s Merino. There is no way I’m putting Merino on my feet. Socks made of Merino do not last very long in my part of the universe, even when there is enough compensating twist in the yarn that the two legs of each stockinette stitch are different sizes.
For most people, I’m sure that twist quantity would give enough strength to the yarn for socks. I need to use something sturdier than Merino in any case.
So I have something else in mind. I love the colors in this yarn. In reality they’re a bit darker than in my photos (and lighter than in the photos on the Blue Moon site). There’s not much point in putting much texture into the fabric because of the darkness, so I’m sticking to mostly stockinette with a couple of columns of lace that I’ll enjoy knitting. They’ll also slightly modify the way the finished item fits, assuming it works as I think it might. . . .
Which brings me back to the computer.
I am attempting to resolve undetermined and mystifying technical problems within the book file without rebuilding the file from scratch. That would be a horrendous amount of work (I’ve already done it once on this project), yet if I import elements from the existing file they might bring along the unknown glitch-producing elements.
So I’m working backwards from the file I have, revamping styles to eliminate the ones that are known offenders, and the like. I have also replaced a perfectly good and functioning font by purchasing the only other font that I can find that will do the same thing. InDesign cannot locate the original font, even when it is installed directly in
the Control Panel. It previously worked, does not test out as corrupted, and has been tried with and without font management in place; with, it shows up unexpectedly to override paragraph style; without, InDesign can’t "see" it. I’ve tried several other workarounds for that problem that have not been effective. The new font appears right now to be okay.
And on I go. Trusting that it will all come out okay, and that simple (although thoughtful) perseverance will, indeed, produce good results. Including income.
Almost totally off-topic, here is a post about working Australian shepherds and "perseverance furthers."
And another note about Aussies, while we’re digressing.
A friend lost her Aussie three weeks ago today—the same day our long-lived cat departed from this plane of existence. Yesterday, this friend opened the back of her car to show me something that she thought might lift my spirits. She revealed a wee male Aussie, probably ten weeks old. It was "too soon" to replace her sweet dog just gone, but a variety of people and events conspired to put the fellow in her keeping without the requirement of waiting in line for a pup from this particular breeder, which is the norm. She’ll be training him for search and rescue. He’s already been tested for both temperament and aptitude for the work, and passed with flying colors. His coat is deep, solid red (not merle) and white. He’s cute and loving and, I can say with certainty, cuddles well. He’s found just the right home. He’ll be adored and kept mentally and physically active. Sometimes life works out just right.