My First Worldest Problem Ever

As I was sitting in the coffee shop in Westlake Center drawing Absinthe, my handheld keyboard started acting wonky. Probably because it ran out of power. It’s impossible to tell if it’s out of battery because Windows doesn’t show the power level of Bluetooth devices like my Mac does, but experience has taught me this is usually why it misbehaves.

I looked in my bag and had, as I feared, left the USB cable to recharge it at home.

This is the most first world problem I have ever had in my life. I have to stop drawing my goofy pornographic comic because the chord keyboard I use along with the tablet computer I draw on is out of power.

(I’m downtown, and could maybe find a cable – but I’d have to get a USB 3/2 adapter as well and just, ugh, too much stuff, easier to pop home and grab it.)

an account of a week and a half

Sunday, Jan 29: Protest.

Tuesday, Jan 31: Hung with friends, watching them buy supplies for their Physical Art Doings at the art store. Impulsively buy cool mirror with dragon on it. Seriously it is fucking rad, it's circular and has the dragon splaying across it, dividing it into a ying/yang sort of pattern.

Thursday, Feb 2: finally unbox cool mirror. Contemplate places to put it. Come to vague decision, don't feel like nailing anything up. Leave on floor in foyer.

Friday, Feb 3: the inner Magician vaguely wonders if it's really a good idea to leave this mirror right at the door, reflecting the energies being filtered by the big picture of the semi-divine version of my dragonsona that's hanging on the inside of the door. Other things like “hanging with girlfriend” and “buying some magic chocolate with high THC and CBD content because my throat hurts when I smoke and there is no way I'm doing the Trump regime sober” distract me from this. There are ten little chocolates in the bag; I will go through them over the next few days.

There is pretty much no point in the rest of this journal entry where I am not at least a little high, until the last day.

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automation is good

So I was thinking about my mistake with missing a page out of the Rita 2 book and how to NEVER MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE AGAIN. I mean obviously I am now going to make sure to do multiple passes over my proofs, and get at least one set of eyes on them to make sanity checks for things like “there seems to be a page missing”. But the actual mistake was that I was manually editing a long list of files by hand:

Teczetherca Thur Uenu Chousun:Users:egypt:Documents:gfx:working: rita:books:2:working files:With Spot:105.ai,
Teczetherca Thur Uenu Chousun:Users:egypt:Documents:gfx:working: rita:books:2:working files:With Spot:106.ai,
Teczetherca Thur Uenu Chousun:Users:egypt:Documents:gfx:working: rita:books:2:working files:With Spot:107.ai,
Teczetherca Thur Uenu Chousun:Users:egypt:Documents:gfx:working: rita:books:2:working files:With Spot:108.ai,
Teczetherca Thur Uenu Chousun:Users:egypt:Documents:gfx:working: rita:books:2:working files:With Spot:110.ai,
Teczetherca Thur Uenu Chousun:Users:egypt:Documents:gfx:working: rita:books:2:working files:With Spot:111.ai,
Teczetherca Thur Uenu Chousun:Users:egypt:Documents:gfx:working: rita:books:2:working files:With Spot:112.ai,

I mean, can you¬†tell at a glance that 109.ai is missing? Would you even bother to check? Making this list is a tedious thing that requires executing the same simple steps over and over without error. In other words, it’s the kind of thing that humans are really terrible at, and that computers are really good at.

Or in pictures and words…

99 of Cups: Recursion Singing "99 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall" is a long and tedious task. Maybe it'd be better to automate it!

99 of Cups: Recursion
Singing “99 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall” is a long and tedious task. Maybe it’d be better to automate it!

So I took my own advice and wrote a little Applescript to do this for the next book, then bundled it up into a tiny application and stuck it in the directory where all my working files for the books live. NEVER AGAIN WILL I MAKE THIS FILE BY HAND.

I mean it’s still possible for me to put the wrong files in there, but that’s a part of the process where I actually have my brain¬†online, you know?

Here it is if you happen to want it. It pops up a file requestor to choose a directory, then outputs a CSV file with the full path to each file – exactly what InDesign wants when you use the Data Merge panel to build a book from a template.