Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas, in case I don’t post tomorrow!

As one might infer, we ate a bunch of pasties last week – lunch and breakfast for me every day, except for Tuesday, when I went with a co-worker (as opposed to a cow-irker) to a meeting in Springfield. Should have taken a pasty, the McRib clone at our HQ building was eminently forgettable.

On the printing front, I finished up the snow maiden holiday cards on Saturday:

Blue & Gray Holiday Card.jpg

 The “Happy Holidays” text is in my 18-point Parsons, on the inside of the card.

Doing these, we discovered an issue with cheap cardstock. Using Neenah Pape 110# Astrobright stock (which I think I previously mentioned is much thinner than French Paper Co. 110# Smart White cardstock), we get bleed-through of ink. It doesn’t show up right away, and didn’t photograph very well, but it is there.

Not being one to delay holiday preparations, I distributed some of the cards around the office, which is very de-populated, today.

Ron’s also been printing, he’s made calling cards for Xaplet Major, and proof prints of our various fonts.

Last night I sorted out another of the pied fonts. IIRC that leaves one that will probably get sorted, and the big pile of at least two itty-bitty (guessing 6-point) fonts that may not ever get sorted.

I think I mentioned previously that we want/need a bigger font for cards, etc., than the Parsons. Well, on eBay the other day I discovered someone selling new sets of Uhlen Rundotisch:



I have lust. Its fancy, without being too fancy over-the-top. But we weren’t sure about the size – was 30-pt going to be too big.

Sunday morning, we had a knock-down drag-out fight with Adobe InDesign Creative Cloud (yes, we went with the CC subscription model about a year ago, because it was about the only way to upgrade one or more pieces of the software suite to get upgrades we wanted.), and dis-satisfaction with Adobe’s on-line chat support (you need real tech support, call back on a weekday), I gave up and printed out some sample text in Pages, Apples word processor:


 As you can read from the text on white paper, it isn’t Uhlen Rundgotisch, but it is close enough for the purpose. My test electronic font has slightly fancier capitals and LC zed, but they’re clearly related.

The initial thought was that 30-point would be too big for calling cards. The blue paper is cut to modern business card size (2″ x 3.5″). Yeah, you can use it on cards, you just aren’t going to put a lot else on there. Also, Victorian calling cards varied in size. The pink paper is a quarter-sheet (5.5″ x 4.25″), which is the size of the Christmas cards I’ve done. 30-pt is a nice size for that. I think I’m going to buy it Friday. And also spaces, because it doesn’t come with any.

Uhlans are/were cavalry, originally Polish, usually armed with lances. That style of typeface is often referred to as “gothic”, and the bits of German I have floating around my head are gotisch=gothic and rund=round, so I think Uhlen Rundgotisch could be translated as Polish Round Gothic. Because I’m geeky in that strange way.

Do you detect a hint of 1930-40’s Germany in that font? Yeah, me too. And in poking around, I discovered that the Germany had a whole “Antiqua-Fraktur dispute” in the 19th and 20th Centuries, which the Nazis decided by fiat. Yes, as I said, I’m a word nerd. But in any case, it isn’t the poor font’s fault, and it isn’t as, um, loaded as a swastika. If you can feel sorry for a symbol, there’s a prime candidate. Kipling used to use it on his bookplates and it was on the covers of many of his books, but that ended with the rise of National Socialism.

Which reminds me, Robin is taking German next semester. Should be interesting, I had two years in high school, Ron had some in college. So maybe we’ll all (re-) learn. I can fairly quickly get to the point where I can can read German again, with a little help from a dictionary, but other than very basic stuff, my spoken is hopeless. But I watch movies with spoken German (usually WWII movies) and it always bugs me because I feel like I *should* be able to understand it.

Moving on to food-ish things, I made a batch of scotch eggs (baked) for lunch on Sunday, which we finished off for breakfast yesterday.

Dinner tonight is potato sausage and mashed rutabaga (an Ohman family Christmas Eve tradition), and tomorrow we’re having beef tenderloin. And probably mashed potatoes, because its Christmas, dammit, I’m having spuds.

Need to stop at PetWhatever on the way home tonight, hopefully they’ll be open, and get something for the dogs. I don’t love them enough to share the good beef, and I don’t think we have any more shank bones in the freezer.

Ron and Robin are home today. I wanted to take half or all of today off, but I ended up taking time off to deal with the car instead. But I think I earned some comp time going to Springfield last week (we didn’t get back to the office until 8 pm), so I might take part of New Year’s Eve off. Or not, since Ron has to work, too. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they get turned loose early anyway. So I’m waffling.

Anyhow, Ron did finally get InDesign working on Sunday. Keeping our fingers crossed that it really is fixed-fixed, and not just temporary good behavior.

On Saturday he made sure all the blocks we’ve bought were in his spreadsheet (got a bunch in the mail Friday evening), and numbered them all. We tried test-printing some of the larger ones, which led us to the conclusion that we need stronger roller springs on my press and/or to do some other adjustments.

Saturday morning, before we were started playing with letterpress, we went out shopping for woodworking. Robin is making us some trays to store wood furniture and borders, and some for himself for miniatures. We were debating how to do the joints in the sides. We weren’t sure the nice (and expensive) router bit that would do thin finger joints would work in our current router table, and a new table to use with the router that the bit would fit in was out of the budget, so we decided to go with a simpler joint, which I think he’s cutting today.

Robin found lumber to rip down for the sides in the stash, so all we had to buy were brads, a brad driver, and masonite for the bottoms. Ron and Robin cut the bottoms Sunday, and Robin cut the sides (many sides) yesterday.  I was thinking of paying Robin in enough lumber to build his trays, but since he found the lumber for the sides, looks like it’ll be cash or credit at the Bank of Mom.

Robin put the Christmas tree up Saturday morning, which led to a trip to Ace for lights. Apparently we got rid of the lights last year. That actually worked out fine, as all Christmas stuff was 40% off, and they still had plenty of strings of white LED lights. Robin also got some trees (meant for train layout/lighted village setups) for miniature wargaming, since he’s fine with flocked pine-ish things.

Last week, maybe a week and a half ago, I finished my mostly-black socks that I did the gusset increases and heels twice on. They’re still too tight. I’m not sure if I’m keeping them or giving them as Christmas presents to somebody with slightly smaller feet. Started another pair in Socks That Rock Mediumweight, this time I’m doing a less fussy/fitted foot, and using a basic toe-up gusset/heel, that fits fine in STR lightweight in my red/flame socks. I’m about ready to turn the heels on those, but realized that I should have been working on Christmas knitting instead.

Friday night or Saturday morning I started a pair of mittens for somebody for Christmas. I’ve finished the cuffs and am about halfway up the palms (working cuff-up this time). No pictures yet. Hopefully I can finish them tomorrow. I also dug out the wave mittens I made earlier this year, and I just got my brother and sister’s addresses.

Yeah, I’m a little slow on that whole Christmas-prep thing.

Staying home tomorrow, since I only have the one day off, and traffic, dogs, possibly weather, and too many years of going too many places on Christmas day, yadda yadda yadda. Not sure if we’ll be knitting, printing, something else, or a little of everything.