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Breaking and Fixing and Learning and Teaching - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Breaking and Fixing and Learning and Teaching

I got home from my Thursday workday, spent entirely on the road, with just two tasks: refile a document online which I'd forgotten to put my notary stamp on, and give Zoey a mani-pedi.  Neither got completed as planned.  I printed out the document again from my home printer, re- notarized it, scanned it in and re-filed it, but when I went to print the e-file confirmation notice, I got the dreaded blank page out of the printer and simulataneous fail messages on both the printer's display and the laptop's monitor. The printhead, she was not well.  Googling the error message led to a 12-step recovery program. I got through about half of them that night, the easy ones- turn the printer off and on, unplug it for a bit, re-seat the four cartridges (all of which I replaced exactly two weeks before), make sure I'm using genuine non-counterfeit HP cartridges (duh), but I got stuck on step 6 (this is part 5 of step 6)-

Ain't no stinkin latch handle on this printer.   So I gave up until today on that process- because a full, fun day awaited yesterday.  I also failed at getting Zoey's claws clipped, since our clipper also decided to shit the bed.  She looked incredibly relieved once she realized she was in my lap just to be in my lap, and purred her brains out while I cursed the gods who were breaking all my things.


Weeks ago, I signed up for an all-day seminar yesterday. I don't need to report my continuing ed credits for almost two more years, but I had a certificate comping me for a full-day program through the provider I teach for every year or so, and it expired at the end of February, so I picked the best seminar I could find and committed to getting seven of my 24 biennial credits out of the way.

It was in the same downtown hotel as the last one I'd spoken at just about a year before (hence the expiry date), and was about as dishwater-dull.  I did learn one thing from it that everyone should know: a New York appellate case from a month ago has significantly expanded the right of trial lawyers to trawl a litigant's Facebook and similar posts, even ones that are under privacy settings like "friends only," without the trawler having to limit the request to things specifically related to the case.   I also got to do my usual online bitching during the seminar, once they actually surrendered the wifi password to us; it amazes me that a continuing ed provider can charge people (other than me) $350 a seat to sit in a room for eight hours and not anticipate that they might have a need to check their email or a website in that whole time.

Fortunately, my phone and email were not on fire for most of the day, and not all that much arrived in either office in my absence.  I got home around the same time as Eleanor, after picking up a new claw clipper for You Know Who, and we started watching Shape of Water last night, but didn't get all that far after both of us had had pretty long weeks- so that got us to today, and to the events of the nation and the solution to the printing problem.


The many March For Our Lives events today were inspiring and encouraging.  You really get the sense that these kids get it, and will, in time, outnumber and outshout the nutjobs who think all problems in this world can be solved with bigger firepower.  My comment on it just now on The Face:

Wayne LaPierre must be choking on his Metamucil today.

A generation from now, the NRA will be about as relevant to America as a lobbying force as the German-American Bund was in the 50s and the Tobacco Institute is today.

The Greatest Generation couldn't do this. We couldn't, either. But our snowflake, participation-trophy kids did, and are doing, and will do.

Thank you.



I was determined to do Not Much today, and largely succeeded at it, but by this afternoon I decided to try to finish the attempt to fix the printer.  As I'd discovered two nights before, the reality of this printer was not as described in the official online instructions. Fortunately, I found a Youtube video  that revealed how you really do it:

(1) Remove six screws on the top of the platen with a non-standard screwdriver (which, blessedly, Eleanor- aka "Tooltime"- has in our kitchen desk drawer with multiple heads);

(2) Remove a seventh which they make you remove from the bottom of the thing after you've removed the first six AND defeated the stop on the lid that keeps it from flying back 180 degrees;

(3) Pull off the front cover of the printer which snaps in, hopefully not breaking any of the snaps;

(4) Now remove the final three screws holding the platen down to get access to the printhead (so far, I've gotten them all out and saved and bagged all but the upside-down one, which has gone to Jesus);

(5) Disengage the printhead from the carriage by using a pliers to remove the two springs connecting it to the frame, both of which are guaranteed to do what springs do and go SPRINNNNGGGG!, disengaging from both the printhead and the frame (and both of which I caught and bagged).

Now the gizmo pulls free, and you can clean it- if you've got a water cannon. It immediately became clear what had caused the problem: black ink was pooled on, around and under this thing, from an obviously defective cartridge.  It took a half dozen wipes to get it down to mere stickiness, and multiple scrubs to get the rest off my hands.  I then realized that I wasn't going to get this puppy back together again even if doing so would successfully overcome the error code, so I boxed the whole thing up (using the much bigger box from the barbecue we bought earlier in the month) and hauled it back to Office Depmax, which advertises YO, WE FIX THINGS!

Um, well. Soon as Christine the Manager saw it, she asterisked that: we don't fix printers.  Because circuit boards and ribbon cables and impossible instruction manuals are so different for printers than they are for the PC's they're attached to.

I took a second tack: look, you sold me a cartridge which wrecked this thing, so if you're not responsible, isn't HP?  That led to a Zootopia DMV sloth-like effort to get me an HP contact to complain to.  While she was doing that, though, a New Idea took shape.  I headed over to their printer section and found a perfectly serviceable new printer in a box- Epson, not HP- which cost less than the four now-dead ink cartridges I'd bought two weeks before.  Since the come-with cartridges last about 20 pages apiece, I also picked out a four-pack of the full set of replacement Epson inks, for slightly less than I'd dropped on HP ink on the 7th, and made her the proposal: take back your defective cartridges, and I'll buy this new stuff and leave you alone.  Net cost to me: about 80 bucks for a printer that will work and for ink that will likely last me a year.


Tomorrow, I will install everything. I still have the dead HP machine, less the cartridges I sold back, which I can still ask a guru to try to put back together to use as a backup in one office or another.

I also got around to breaking in the new clipper on Zoey's claws. She spent most of the day basking in the sunshine on the rug in front of our dining room back door,  but I finally got her disarmed.


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1 comment or Leave a comment
weebleswobble From: weebleswobble Date: March 25th, 2018 04:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
printers can be incredibly frustrating. I gave up on cartridge printers and am very happy with my toner cartridge. though its only black ink instead of color. glad they took back their faulty cartridges and good luck getting the new one up and running. i enjoyed your description of catching springs and bagging screws.
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