Affinity Publish Print on IngramSpark

Some starting tips when I next set up a document in Affinity Publisher for Ingram Spark.

  • The first page in an Ingram Book prints on right side.

  • Inside the front cover, there's one heavy paper page before that, blank on both sides.

  • In Affinity, you can an organize as spreads, but printer wants non-facing pages.

  • If organizing as spreads, unless the first page is on its own (on the right, outside a full spread), the inner and outer margin of the page will be backward from how it's printed (inner will really be outside when printed).

  • If organized as spreads, I can change to export to pages at export time. Choose All Pages instead of All Spreads

Here's to a single digital proof and a successful print!

My First Literal Bug

I just had my first bug. Thank goodness it wasn't fatal to my program.

Where did bugs come from? Apparently Thomas Edison named a technical error a bug. In 1947, Grace Hopper found a moth in her computer, creating an error because it was blocking an electrical contact.

Now, in the cold of winter, a little spider has tried to make it into the warmth of my integrated circuits. Thankfully it only made it onto the keyboard. When I opened up the lid, "a bug!" It was a fatal bug, or at least a dead bug. Ms. Hopper and I are now bug mates.

Have Taste

Taste leads to design.

The better a coper you are, the less good a programming designer you are. Because the whole art of designing a programming language is in partly being physically ill in using some programming language that you decide is ugly.

Alan Kay

Such Was the Man

To the greatest American who ever lived.

First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen, he was second to none in the humble and endearing scenes of private life: Pious, just humane, temperate, and sincere; uniform, dignified, and commanding, his example was as edifying to all around him as were the effects of that example lasting.

His last scene comported with the whole tenor of his life. Although in extreme pain, not a sigh, not a groan escaped him; and with undisturbed serenity he closed his well spent life. Such was the man America has lost. Such was the man for whom our nation mourns.

Representative Henry Lee, previously a Major General under Washington, delivering Washington's eulogy in 1799.

A Printer Travesty

HP locks its printers down so you can't use generic ink cartridges at a better price. It's a travesty! I despise this practice.

From a recent printer model's description:

Includes HP+ for up to 12 free months of Instant Ink and an extended 2-year HP warranty. This printer is intended to work only with cartridges that have new or reused HP electronic circuitry, and it uses dynamic security measures to block cartridges using modified or non-HP circuitry. Periodic firmware updates will maintain the effectiveness of these measures and block cartridges that previously worked. Reused HP electronic circuitry enables the use of reused, remanufactured, and refilled cartridges.

At least they're saying it out loud. I have had mixed results with generic cartridges in an HP printer for several years. But HP printer business models seem to be getting worse in other ways too. Ink subscriptions that lock your printer remotely when lapsed. Give me a break.

I just bought an Epson Ecotank. (My HP Officejet 8610 stopped working. There's apparently a "problem with the ink system". Hehe, yeah...) Here's hoping that the consumer-friendly idea of squirting ink into a bottle for your printer can't be ruined by some greedy businessman working toward this year's bonus-unlocking KPIs.

Update: 20 Jan 2024

HP just sounds worse and worse... CEO Enrique Lores:

When we identify cartridges that are violating our IP, we stop the printers from work\[ing\].

Every time a customer buys a printer, it's an investment for us. We are investing in that customer, and if that customer doesn't print enough or doesn't use our supplies, it's a bad investment.

This is a mindset that does not care about the customer. It cares about the bottom line. These guys and so many subscription model businesses these days. Infuriating.

In the linked interview, he talks like he's looking out for the customer; like HP remotely disabling your printer is better than you gumming up your printer with bad ink or installing a virus through a cartridge! No way! Let the customer have some autonomy and responsibility to buy bad ink! And take the stupid chips out of your cartridges and remove the attack vector for viruses. You can't put computer viruses in ink!

It's not better that you hold the printer hostage until the customer pays up to buy your overpriced ink.

Update: 3 Mar 2024

HP is taking it to the next level: Now you rent your printer on the HP all-in plan. Sick.

$7/mo for 20 pages printed a month. $36/mo for 700 pages. Pay for higher plans to get better printers. Never.

No People

Every step that forwarded the founding of the United States shows the hand of God:

No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.

And so it shall only continue to prosper as we depend upon His favor:

...the benign Parent of the Human Race in humble supplication that, since He has been pleased to favor the American people with opportunities for deliberating in perfect tranquility, and dispositions for deciding with unparalleled unanimity on a form of go vernment for the security of their union and the advancement of their happiness, so His divine blessing may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations, and the wise measures on which the success of this Government must depend.

George Washington, upon his first inaguration as President of the United States


We reach goals among diverse parties through compromise.

Compromise remained the word of the day. And what is compromise but agreeing at times to vote against one's desires in order to reach a higher goal? Those who would define freedom as the right to cling to every precious principle dear to one's heart could not form a nation -- especially not this one. The key was to decide together which principles were sacred and -- no small detail -- would make the nation governable.

Brett Baier, remarking on the Constitutional Convention

God Governs

I feel the same way. The upstart colonies would not have prevailed against Britain without divine help.

The longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth -- that God governs on the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?

Benjamin Franklin, proposing a practice of prayer during the Constitutional Convention, as opinions became fiercer and the convention flirted with disbanding

Receive My Service

'Receive my service, if you will!' 'Gladly will I take it,' said the king; and laying his long old hands upon the brown hair of the hobbit, he blessed him. 'Rise now, Meriadoc, esquire of Rohan of the house of Meduseld! Take your sword and bear it unto good fortune!'


Wishes Come True

And when Sam heard that he laughed aloud for sheer delight, and he stood up and cried: 'O great glory and splendour! And all my wishes have come true!' And then he wept. And all the host laughed and wept, and in the midst of their merriment and tears the clear voice of the minstrel rose like silver and gold, and all men were hushed. And he sang to them, now in the Elven-tongue, now in the speech of the West, until their hearts, wounded with sweet words, overflowed, and their joy was like swords, and they passed in thought out to regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness.


Rode West

'Long years in the space of days it seems since I rode west; but never will I lean on a staff again. If the war is lost, what good will be my hiding in the hills? And if it is won, what grief will it be, even if I fall, spending my last strength?


The Host of Rohan

With that he seized a great horn from Guthlaf his banner-bearer, and he blew such a blast upon it that it burst asunder. And straightway all the horns in the host were lifted up in music, and the blowing of the horns of Rohan in that hour was like a storm upon the plain and a thunder in the mountains. Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor! Suddenly the king cried to Snowmane and the horse sprange away. Behind him his banner blew in the wind, white horse upon a field of green, but he outpaced it. After him thundered the knights of his house but he was ever before them. Eomer rote there, the white horsetail on his helm floating in his speed, and the front of the first eored roared like a breaker foaming to the shore, but Theoden could not be overtaken. Fey he seemed, or the battle-fury of his fathers ran like new fire in his veins, and he was borne up on Snowmane like a gold of old, even as Orome the Great in the battle of the Valar when the world was young. His golden shield was uncovered, and lo! it shone like an image of the Sun, and the grass flamed into green about the white feet of his steed. For morning came, morning and a wind from the sea; and darkness was removed, and the hosts of Mordor wailed, and terror took them, and they fled, and died, and the hoofs of wrath rode over them. And then all the host of Rohan burst into song , and they sang as they slew, for the joy of battle was on them, and the sound of their singing that was fair and terrible came even to the City.


Very Brink

As I have begun, so I will go on. We come now to the very brink, where hope and despair are akin. To waver is to fall.


Dawn is Ever The Hope

Aragorn looked at the pale stars, and at the moon, now sloping behind the western hills that enclosed the valley. "This is a night as long as years. Yet dawn is ever the hope of men."


Old Tales and Songs

The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo: adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of sport, as you might say. But that's not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually... I expected they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn't.


War Must Be

War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which I defend: the city of the Men of Númenor; and I would have her loved for her memory, her ancientry, her beauty, and her present wisdom. Not feared, save as men may fear the dignity of a man, old and wise.


Agree with Me

I hope you agree with me, that we might get on a great deal better than we do, and might be infinitely more agreeable company than we are.

Charles Dickens, The Battle of Life

Long it had Been Beautiful

A strong place and wonderful was Isengard, and long it had been beautiful; and there great lords had dwelt, the wardens of Gondor upon the West, and wise men that watched the stars. But Saruman had slowly shaped it to his shifting purposes, and made it better, as he though, being deceived -- for all those arts and subtle devices, for which he forsook his former wisdom, and which fondly he imagined were his own, came but from Mordor;


This I Know

'As for myself,' said Eomer, 'I have little knowledge of these deep matters; But I need it not. This I know, and it is enough, that as my friend Aragorn succoured me and my people, so I will aid him when he calls. I will go.'


A Great Shadow Departed

At last he gasped: 'Gandalf! I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself. Is everything sad going to come untrue? What's happened to the world?' 'A great Shadow has departed,' said Gandalf, and then he laughed, and the sound was like music, or like water in a parched land; and as he listened the thought came to Sam that he had not heard laughter, the pure sound of merriment, for days upon days without count. It fell upon his ears like the echo of all the joys he had ever known. But he himself burst into tears. Then, as a sweet rain will pass down a wind of spring and the sun will shine out the clearer, his tears ceased, and his laughter welled up, and laughing he sprang from his bed.


As For Me

'As for me,' said Imrahil, 'the Lord Aragorn I hold to be my liege-lord, whether he claim it or no. His wish is to me a command. I will go also.'


Will Hardened in Him

But even as hope died in Sam, or seemed to die, it was turned to a new strength. Sam's plain hobbit-face grew stern, almost grim, as the will hardened in him and he felt through all his limbs a thrill, as if he was turning into some creature of stone and steel that neither despair nor weariness nor endless barren miles could subdue.


Only Joy

And there was Frodo, pale and worn, and yet himself again; and in his eyes there was peace now, neither strain of will, nor madness, nor any fear. His burden was taken away. There was the dear master of the sweet days in the Shire. 'Master!' cried Sam, and fell upon his knees. In all that ruin of the world for the moment he felt only joy, great joy. The burden was gone. His master had been saved; he was himself again, he was free.


Not Be Sheathed

'If this be jest, then it is too bitter for laughter. Nay, it is the last move in a great jeopardy, and for one side or the other it will bring the end of the game.' Then he drew Andúril and held it up glittering in the sun. 'You shall not be sheathed again until the last battle is fought,' he said.


Stirred Our Souls

Thy Spirit, Lord, has stirred our souls,And by its inward shining glowWe see anew our sacred goalsAnd feel thy nearness here below.No burning bush near SinaiCould show thy presence, Lord, more nigh.

Frank I. Kooyman

Not Allowed

'We're not allowed to,' said Robin. 'If I hear not allowed much oftener,' said Sam, 'I'm going to get angry.' 'Can't say as I'd be sorry to see it,' said Robin lowering his voice. 'If we all got angry together something might be done.'


Unbent and Unafraid

And now the king sat upon his white horse, glimmering in the half-light. Proud and tall he seemed, though the hair that flowed beneath his high helm was like snow; and many marvelled at him and took heart to see him unbent and unafraid.


The King Came

And with that shout the king came. His horse was white as snow, golden was his shield, and his spear was long. Light sprang in the sky. Night departed. So King Théoden rode from Helm's Gate and clove his path to the great Dike.


Dream Made True

Aragorn looked at them, and there was pity in his eyes rather than wrath; for these were young men from Rohan, from Westfold far away or husbandmen from Lossarnach, and to them Morder had been from childhood a name of evil, and yet unreal, a legend that had no part in their simple life; and now they walked like men in a hideous dream made true, and they understood not this war nor why fate should lead them to such a pass.


A Passing Thing

Far above the Ephel Dúath in the West the night-sky was still dim and pale. There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach. His song in the Tower had been defiance rather than hope; for then he was thinking of himself. Now, for a moment, his own fate, and even his master's, ceased to trouble him.


They Cannot Conquer Forever

The eyes were hollow and the carven beard was broken, but about the high stern forehead there was a coronal of silver and gold. A trailing plant with flowers like small white stars had bound itself across the brows as if in reverence for the fallen king, 'They cannot conquer for ever!' said Frodo. And then suddenly the brief glimpse was gone. The Sun dipped and vanished, and as if at the shuttering of a lamp, black night fell.


Not Yet Despair

'Night comes. The very warmth of my blood seems stolen away...' Then suddenly Pippin looked up and saw that the sun was still shining and the banners still streaming in the breeze. He shook himself... 'No, my heart will not yet despair... We may stand, if only on one leg.'


Every Good Tree

Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.

Jesus Christ, Matthew 7:17

For a Fleeting Moment

For a fleeting moment, they would have thought that they beheld an old weary hobbit, shrunken by the years that had carried him far beyond his time, beyond friends and kin, and the fields and streams of youth, an old starved pitiable thing.


Founded on a Creed

America is the only nation in the world that is founded on a creed. That creed is set forth with dogmatic and even theological lucidity in the Declaration of Independence;

G.K. Chesterton, What I Saw in America

Merry Christmas, Bedford Falls!



On December 5 and 20, fum, fum, fum!

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

  Fum \Fum\, v. i.
     To play upon a fiddle. [Obs.]
     [1913 Webster]

           Follow me, and fum as you go.            --B. Jonson.
     [1913 Webster]

From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) [jargon]:


      [XEROX PARC] At PARC, often the third of the standard {metasyntactic
      variable}s (after {foo} and {bar}). Competes with {baz}, which is more
      common outside PARC.


Am I awake a world of miracles?

Let others complain that the age is wicked; my complaint is that it is wretched; for it lacks passion.


Madness does not come by breaking out, but by giving in; by settling down in some dirty, little, self-repeating circle of ideas; by being tamed.

Innocent Smith, in Manalive by G.K. Chesterton

If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God

1 Corinthians 3:18-19

What was wonderful about childhood is that anything in it was a wonder. It was not merely a world full of miracles; it was a miraculous world.

G.K. Chesterton

Men are that they might have joy

2 Nephi 2:25

The whole order of things is as outrageous as any miracle which could presume to violate it.

G.K. Chesterton

All things denote there is a God

Alma 30:44

What a great reminder. I am to be awake to the glories around me. All is animated by the love and wisdom of God. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ enables my rejoicing in the reality that nothing is to be held back. All that the Father hath, He offers. What a gift! What an existence! What a future potential!

Inspired by Living in a World of Declawed Souls

Interpretation of History

How we interpret history determines how we interpret life.

The interpretation that one makes of history determines to a large degree the direction of one's life. No one can escape history, and no one can avoid interpretation.

William H. Amstrong, in "Study is Hard Work"

Options for Our Country

The options today as they ever were, observed by Washington.

It appears to me there is an option still left to the United States of America; that is in their choice and depends upon their conduct, whether they will be respectable and prosperous or contemptible and miserable as a nation.

George Washington

Make Myself Any Clearer

Sweet swirlin onion rings...

It reminds me of a French Canadian... Tennis racket stuck to the back of a... Bubbling out of my sister's... Brazilian Donkey. I don't think I can make myself any clearer.

Fred, Rocketman movie

It's Perfect

Bugs? Impossible!

Fred: A glitch? No, that's not possible. I programmed it myself. It's perfect.

Mars team: Not exactly. Your program keeps miscalculating our orbital entry trajectories. Here's the data.

Fred: Well there's the problem. Gary's been running his hone and transfer equations to include gravitational effect, bearing as the inverse cube of the distance.

Mars team: I'm a decorated astronaut. I don't make those kind of mistakes!

Fred: Well, now wait a minute. I'll show you. I'll add to the same calculations, using what we like to call "the right way"...

Fred, Rocketman movie

Printing a Christmas Card

Scenario: Create digital composition with photo and text, print as a photo at Walmart for about $0.15/card. Get the print back from Walmart and run the photo through a home printer to put text on the back and make it a card.

Consider: It's fun to make things by yourself. There are challenges to solve. $.15/photo vs. $.55/ea. for a front/back Christmas postcard at Walmart. $0.35/ea difference isn't much to have them handle a good piece of this process. There goes the fun... and the challenges... and the growth. Wait, that $.35 is mine! And the experience!

Problem 1: First print after changing to 4x6 paper orientation, printed with card top on right side of input paper. Afterward, showed the 4x6 in landscape preview, text still fitting. It printed the card top on the left hand side of the paper for the rest of the time.

Solution: Pay attention to print preview orientation. If portrait, prints top on right side. If landscape, prints top on left side. Feed photo into printer accordingly.

Problem 2: Too much ink. It smears. It's too heavy, gets blurry.

Solution: Use Courier New, as lightest font. Use Printer Media - Glossy Paper. Use Printer Quality - Best.

Problem 3: When printing the back of the card, the last little bit will shift the card in the printer, smearing and offset-printing the last few columns of text.

Solution: Make the right-hand margin bigger (about 2 in total) so that it's not trying to print that close to that edge of the paper.

Final fun suggestion: Use mail merge and print the names and addresses of your Christmas correspondents on the envelopes. Fun and efficient.

Self Governance

I'm grateful for the ideals of self government. Our Creator has endowed each of us with the desire to be free, as so we should be. Free to serve Him.

"The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite"

Thomas Jefferson

Streaming is Not for Families

It's hard to find something to watch online with your kids.


  • Prime - only 3% of content is TV-G or TV-PG

  • Netflix - 62% originals are TV-MA

Ratings across platforms

Wading through muck to find a diamond in the rough... is rough stuff!

See the Families Need Not Subscribe report from 2023.

Sure, there are niche alternatives. More essentially, there are way better life options than streaming shows with the kiddos.

Family streaming is mostly a loss, but not one felt too keenly. Definitely recoverable.

Carl Sandberg's Definition of Mathematics

I thought this was a playful take on the glories and furies of mathematics:

Arithmetic is where the answer is right and everything is nice and you can look out of the window and see the blue sky -- or the answer is wrong and you have to start all over and try again and see how it comes out this time.

By Carl Sandberg, from "Study is Hard Work", by William H. Armstrong, page 111

Moral Obligation in Writing

Here's a refreshing bit about the moral reasons to excel in writing.

To write well, you must think correctly. You cannot hope to write clearly unless you first have clearly in mind what you are going to write. Before you attempt to write anything, even the answer to the simplest question on a daily quiz, you must have something to say. Not all students are gifted with equal creative ability, but all are responsible in a very real way; it is indeed a moral obligation to carry out certain practices of intent and honesty. These may be called the basic obligations of all students toward written work, and the are three in number: (1) All are obligated to study sufficiently in order to have a working knowledge of the subject before beginning to write. (2) All are equally obligated to use all the skill they posseses to convert this information into an interesting, coherent piece of writing. (3) All are obligated (and the seriousness of this obligation touches the very character of the student) to never try to pass off thoughtless, boring, and sloppily executed written work merely to get by.

From "Study is Hard Work" by William H. Armstrong, pg. 79

Ah, what clarity of standard and purpose! We and our students need more of this kind of talk.

My son and I are reading this, and he can't stop smiling about how much I'm nodding my head and exclaiming, "Yes!"

Now that your mind is elevated to such ideals, hopefully this blog will not be an utter disappointment.

It's About Life

This site has historically been a dev blog. And it'll continue to be so, now with more life.

Once I interviewed a man for a dev job. I asked him what side projects he had been working on. He said, "There's more to life than code, you guys." He's right, of course. I still love a nice side project (see this addition to the site). And I love life! There's so much more to life than code.