8 July 2005
I guess things go wrong in waves. Sometimes I feel like Joe Btfsplk. It's probably a good thing that the puppies didn't come, given the up and down nature of their health.
It's never the big things; it's always the little things.
Walt was going to take the car in for an oil change, but when he went to get in the car he had a flat tire, so first he had to go buy a new tire and then the oil change. Better now than next week, when he's gone.
Then the dishwasher decided it didn't want to run. I was torn about having someone come to look at it, or just leaving it and using the thing as a dish drainer. Then suddenly it started working. Go figure.
My beloved printer, which I've had for years, also seems to finally be giving up the ghost. It's been printing "light" for weeks, but I chalked it up to the cartridge starting to go out. Finally it ran through a whole document and gave me only white paper, so I put in a new cartridge. The resulting "print" was only marginally better than I'd been getting, so I cleaned the print heads several times. That seemed to make it worse.
There was no getting out of it, the printer, which has done such yeoman duty for so many years, was on its last legs. I could, of course, try to get it fixed, but it would probably cost more to fix it than it would in these disposable hardware years, when printers can be had for a pittance, relatively speaking.
I do not do "change" easily. There was a time when getting some brand new piece of equipment would set my little heart to going pitter pat, but no more. I'm tired of the learning curve. I just want the things I have to continue to work until I die.
Part of that, of course, is that in order to install a new printer I will have to do a lot of crawling around on the floor, which for most people isn't such a big deal, but which for me involves such contortions that I am not at all looking forward to it.
What printer to get? I went to Epinions.com and checked out some reviews and user comments. I found that most of the new Epsons were getting 4 stars (out of 5), with some good points and some bad points. Then I checked Canon (since my brother-in-law sells Canons, though not home printers--the big guys for big offices). The Canon Pixma iP3000 seemed to get the best ratings around, even better than its more expensive counterparts. It also prints 22 pages per minute for black and white pages. And it only cost about $100.
I called Office Max here in Davis, but they didn't sell that model, only the iP4000 ($150) and iP6000 ($180). I checked Epinions on both of those, and both, while getting good ratings overall, didn't seem to get as high a rating as the iP3000, so I called Staples, in nearby Woodland, and they did have that model. I figured it was worth the 20 mile drive to buy that one.
Not only was it only $99, but it also has a $20 rebate, so the total cost is really only $79. Of course I haven't priced ink and don't know how long a cartridge will last, but since I don't do a lot of color printing, I don't expect that I'm going to be replacing the color cartridges that often and the black cartridge is $15 (which is cheaper than the cartridge I've been using on the Epson, though I don't know how it compares as far as pages per dollar).
I sat here for a long time looking at the box, not really wanting to start the set-up procedure. I finally opened the box and the directions seemed to be pretty simple to follow, but it still involved getting down on the floor and untangling all of those dusty cords. Well, at least I would have to clean off the layers of dust under the printer.
Getting down on the floor is such a project. For one thing, my desk chair is too big to wheel out of the office, so I just have to push it to the back, where it rests up against the file cabinet at my back, and where it gives me just barely enough room to squeeze my body to the floor, and then there are all the body parts I have to be careful on the way down and on the way back up--injured knee, broken toe, etc., etc. I also have to watch out for the hard plastic pad that Sheila has been chewing up, which leaves surprising little sharp edges that you hit without realizing it.
I tried to maximize the single trip downward, by making sure that I had the proper cords marked and could unplug the old printer and remove the cord that attached it to the computer in one trip, during which time I managed to turn off the computer.
I checked out all the parts of the new printer and discovered that it connected to the computer with a USB 2.0 cord. Only that wasn't included in the box. I drove to Office Max in Davis and discovered--guess what?--they had the ip3000 after all, and I had driven all the way to Woodland for nothing.
I got the cord and went outside and got in the car, which I noted I'd left unlocked. I started to put the key in the ignition when I saw that there was a note that said "onions" on the floor of the passenger side.
Hmmm...I didn't remember putting that there. It was also resting up against a kleenex box. Had someone stopped by and left me a message? And why onions? Walt certainly would not have left that message (he hates onions).
That was when I discovered I was not in our car, but in an identical car which was parked next to it, also unlocked.
Came home and began to set up the printer, which involved getting back down on the floor again to plug it in, which I managed to do this time without unplugging the computer. The instructions were clear for getting it set up, but I still managed to screw up. I went to open the first ink cartridge and, thinking it was wrapped in hard plastic, I got the scissors and snipped...not realizing I was snipping off the thing that held it into place in the printer. Sigh. I will have to go back and get a replacement cartridge, I fear.
But by the end of the day, the printer was set up and running again. I had even figured out how to print envelopes on this printer and I was back in business.
Of course that means that I now
have no excuse not to transcribe.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Isn't it nice to be that relaxed?