Friday, June 29, 2007

I'm Close...

...too bad close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

After not being able to locate Scanner Dude last Sunday (a bad day), I found out he'd been working on my scans and had a stack for me on Monday (a good day). So, I'm frantically going through them, cloning out any remaining bits of dust and retarded pixels, and placing them into the Quark layouts so Scanner Dude can do a few test proofs. I wasn't holding out much hope for some of the color - especially Marc Bolan - because they didn't look that great on my monitor. But Scanner Dude said they looked good on his and they would proof well. Okay.

Got them back on Tuesday (a bad day) and the black and whites looked great, while the color sucked ass, just as I thought they would. Scanner Dude couldn't figure it out. Maybe it's your slides...after all, they are kinda old. "Well," I respond, "they look just fine on my inexpensive Epson flatbed so I don't see why you can't get them to look great on your ultraexpensive drum scanner." Not one to back down from a challenge, Scanner Dude says not to worry, he's going to figure it out.

Also on Tuesday, or maybe it was Wednesday (making it two bad days in a row) - yes, it was Wednesday, Scanner Dude sends over more scans, including re-dos of my troublesome Keith Knudsen color shots. Guess what? They suck ass, even worse than Marc Bolan. I call Scanner Dude and tell him. He doesn't know why they suck on my monitor because, again, they look fine on his. I told him I put his scan next my scan and his is so bad, I might have to use mine if he can't fix it.

Here's a portion of his and mine so you understand what I'm talking about:

Scanner Dude's scan

My scan

So, I email him my scan and let him know he's a loser if he can't at least make his as good as mine, and it better be better.

I also decide on Wednesday (let's call it Black Wednesday) it's time to call the Printer Dudette and let her know that I'm not going to be there with my files on Monday as I had planned. Although it's not the end of the world, and it probably won't delay the delivery of the book (October '07, folks) the call was really tough to make because in all my years of advertising this is the first time I have missed a deadline. And that pisses me off. Not to mention having to redo the placement of the scans over and over again.

On Thursday Scanner Dude calls and says he figured it out and that he ran a test proof of the Keith Knudsen photo to prove it. He came running over with that and more scans last night. He was right - the new scan looked good, even though the color hadn't been balanced yet. What had gone wrong, you ask? The monitor he had been working on had a calibration problem, so when he put the scans on it they looked too hot - cartoony, he said - and he balanced them until they looked right...on his monitor. Aaarrrggghhh! Guess I've been overworking him.

Now, we are more or less back on track and I'm being over-optimistic in setting a new lofty goal-slash-deadline of Thursday. I really shouldn't write that down because chances are I won't make that one either. There's so much time-consuming work left to do. For example, I'm utilizing a lot of film strips in the design so I can present more photos without the layout looking yearbookish. But when Scanner Dude spins the strips, since they're negs the image has to invert, making the sprockets black. Which means I have to retouch them back to white and also clone out the lubricant they use that coagulates on the edges of the strip. For a five frame strip, it take an hour plus change.


And to add to the pile, I re-read one of the text bits and it sucked - I'm not telling which one because I don't want anyone searching it out to see if it still sucks - now I have one more reader going through all the text and being brutally honest with his 'suck meter' as well as catching more typos that three of us missed. So, I have a little rewriting to do, not to mention I still have finished the last two musicians and the last two dedications.

I think it's time to start a betting pool and see if somebody can nail the date and time I'm ready to go to the printers - meaning when the last approved proof is spit out of Scanner Dude's proof printer. Think of it like a baby pool. And the winner (closest to the date and time) gets a free book (FOB Los Angeles - meaning you have to pay the postage if you live outside of L.A.).

I had no intention of turning this post into a contest, but what the heck. And there's no way I can put the fix in, because I don't have a clue when this baby is going to be delivered. Although I can say I'm getting tired of being pregnant, so a scheduled C-section isn't out of the question.

Place your guess in the comments section of this post. No need to divulge your contact info...I will announce the winner when it happens and the winner can email me. One entry per person by noon on July 4th. In the meantime, I will not update my progress, so there will be no point to waiting until the last minute to enter. As a matter of fact, your best guess might be taken by someone else if you don't enter early.

Good luck!


timo said...

My guess is friday 1 pm. I know I have failed to sent you a picture of the happiest poster owner, I try to do it as soon as I´ve got my bad days choked..

"I used to have some little bad days, and I kept them in a little box, and one day I threw them out into the yard. Oh it´s just a couple little innocent bad days.. Well we had a big rain. I don´t know what is was growing in, but I think we used to put egg shells out there and coffee grounds too. ...Don´t plant your bad days, they grow into weeks, weeks grow into months and before you know it, you got yourself a bad year. Take it from me, choke those little bad days, choke em down to nothing. Their your days, choke em!" -Tom Waits

peg said...

Thursday, 3:00 p.m. Pacific time

You can do it!!! Cheerin' for ya!!

Brett said...

I was goona suggst that the scanning issues were related to a badly calibrated monitor (either on his side or yours), but it seems like that's not been resolved. Also, I'm not sure if it's still a huge issue, but back in the day I can recal having all sorts of issues where clients did work on a PC which then was dropped into a Mac for final layout and pre-press-- a lot of PC folks would do photo work using a totally different 'gamma" setting, resulting in photos coming in way too dark or way too hot.

But enough geek festery.

My bet for "final put to bed, totally approved and ready to run" time is 2:24 AM, Tuesday 3 July.

Book it.

Chesher Cat said...

Timo: Great TW quote, and I look forward to your picture. Not that I don't want you to win, but I hope and pray I'm done before Friday.

Peg: Thanks for the cheers. They really help around three in the morning.

Brett: The scanning problem has been resolved and the photos are looking great. Thanks goodness, like me, Scanner Dude wants the work to be perfect so he's willing to stick with it and go the extra mile. From your keyboard to God's ears on your Tuesday, 2:24am...that would make me very happy. And, how was your tropical vacation?

Brett said...

The trip was great fun and loaded with all sorts of cool moments I'll eventually getting around to reffing one way or another on the blog (a brief sort of overview is already up... pimp pimp).

Today is a gray drizzly soul-sucking sort of day here. It makes the Caribbean seem slightly more than a million miles away.

pEG said...


Time's running out. Visioning you sitting back in your chair 'cause all the work is DONE!!!

Chesher Cat said...

I wish.