Saturday, May 26, 2007

A quick plug

Thanks for buying our cards at Red Fox Books in Glens Falls. And thanks to Susan for for carrying us.

Gravity Sucks

As Dan mentioned previously, there's been tons o' fun in the press maintenance department. For instance, today I adjusted the platen on our press, a task which filled me with trepidation, largely because all of the reading I've done on the matter is made up of phrases such as: "Adjusting the platen should be done VERY RARELY," or "Platen adjustments are best left to experienced pressmen," or "Why in holy hell are you attempting to adjust the platen yourself, you dumb [idiot]?"

It turns out that adjusting the platen is indeed a tricky procedure, but let's face it: it's not rocket science. It's basically some nuts that you turn with a wrench. Whoopee!

Much more difficult was moving the press from a broken down pallet on to wooden skids. When we bought the press, it was screwed on to a rickety wooden pallet. This made it easy to move with a pallet jack, but was unsuited as a long-term base for the 900 pound press. The slats eventually cracked and the poor ol' press developed a serious list to one side. Not good. So with the help of my father, some 2x4's, patio paving blocks, a car jack, and some steel u-bolts, we successfully lifted the press off the pallet and got it on to skids. We took pictures at every step to document the process:

Just that quick and easy.

Is meeting with your accountant covered by the Geneva Convention?

We have an accountant. She looks like my Aunt Sara and is very friendly and competent and I'm totally confident that if I follow her advice it will be unlikely I'll do any time for tax fraud.

But, boy, can she talk.

The company she works for has a service for small-potatoes businesses like ours, where they will teach you to use accounting software at home. Then, once a month, or quarter, or whatever you decide, they will stand over your shoulder and make sure you're not screwing it up.

It's a great service that's going to save us a bundle this year, when we could really use the money on things like a new computer and X-rays for the dogs*.

But I'm not a math guy. Never have been. I'm one of those math phobics, and I get hives when it's time to divvy up the bill at a restaurant. I haven't taken a math course since trigonometry in 1992, and poor, patient Mrs. Cihocki never understood why I just didn't do my homework (it frightened me).

Of course, her karmic vindication is I have been elected to be our company's bookkeeper.

Yesterday I had an appointment to get everything set up. The accountant told me to "be ready to sit here for a couple hours." I was going to get a total immersion course in Quickbooks Pro, and it was going to take some time.

I blocked out 2 hours in my schedule.

Can you say, 4 hours? After the third hour I was just calculating in my head how much I would owe her for this session. She gets $60 an hour for this training service, which is pretty reasonable.

Then I started thinking, that's a dollar a minute. Oh, God. There goes another dollar. Wow, I wonder if she'll be done 9 dollars from now.

Soon everything she said lost all meaning. All I heard was "Then you want to select the feature in the drop-down menu dollar dollar, dollar-dollars dollar dollar dollar."

As I stumbled into the parking lot, sorely in need of a sandwich and a nap, I felt like I had just been abducted by aliens: a little disoriented and time was elastic.

We have another appointment next week, and before I go I think I'm going to send a note to Amnesty International apprising them of my location in case I turn up missing.

*This time it was Maddy. She ate something in the back yard that gave her gas so loud I at first thought a 1988 Volvo sedan was outside our house with a flooded engine. She was drooling and puking, just enough to where the vet said, "Yeah, bring her in." Nothing on the X-Rays. She's fine now. I guess she thought we just had $162 too much in our checking account this week. Good dog.

A month (!)

Last post, April 22. Yeah, see I keep meaning to be more conscientious about that. But what's Kate's problem? She can post to this thing too, and as I have grudgingly admitted in the past, she is funnier than me.

So it's been a busy month.

We've filled one invitation order and are at work on two more, and we've just started getting inquiries for fall and spring weddings.

We've also continued working with Trampoline Design, a very cool firm right here in Glens Falls.

This weekend it's adjusting the platen on our C&P Old Style, and then printing, assuming we don't break the press. Coming up: a thrilling tale of how we moved the press from a rickety platform to more solid footing. And by "we" I mean Kate and her dad. I got a free pass on that one because I went to a wedding in bear country.