Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Reckoning...

Nearly two years ago when Alan and I came to America, we bought this cheap-ass HP printer at Staples, just to have something to use immediately, with every intention of buying a real one once we got settled.

Then he was gone, and replacing it dropped way down on my to-do list even though it has been a constant struggle with nothing but problems.  It would stop working for no reason, usually just when I needed to copy or print something important, and the whole device would have to be reloaded.  The scanner was always hit or miss, and the cord didn't fit properly into the WiFi port, so would arbritarily fall out, meaning the shelving unit had to be pulled away from the wall without unplugging everything else, stretching fingers into the three-inch gap to retrieve the fallen cord--of course, many scraped and bleeding knuckles have occurred over the months.

To add to my aggravation, the damn thing's been acting out even more than usual lately, to the point that over the past few weeks, I've finally begun to actively research a replacement.

So.  The Reckoning.

A month or so ago I was reading one of my Daily Fix blogs, I think it was Robbie's, though I'm not positive.  The point is that there were comments made about sending/receiving postcards, and a person (was it Chantel?) mentioned she belonged to this internet postcard site, Postcrossing.  I was intrigued.  I'm almost always the traveller and postcard sender; I thought how fun it would be to receive them for a change.  Long story short.  I joined, and began sending cards all over the world.  Totally entertaining.

Last week I got my first one.  It is an absolutely beautiful card from a woman in the Netherlands, though the postcard is from a photo she took whilst vacationing in Greece.  It's gorgeous, and very cool that she made her own postcard!  (I would scan it to show you, but...well...keep reading).

When I got my next postcard, from the Czech Republic, I started thinking about making my own cards as well.  I have some great photos after all, and with a little research and a few trips to Staples, I found the right card stock, found a perfect postcard template on the Avery website, and had scoured through my photos, finding six that I thought would be worth trying out as cards.

I get everything set up, do the test copies, things look good, so I try to print the first card.  Oh, and let me say, the postcard stock is not cheap--as opposed to my printer--so I don't want any mistakes.  Uh huh.

The printer jams with the paper half in, half out.  I end up ripping the sheet into bits to get it out of the frigging printer (ka ching, ka ching).  Put in regular paper to make sure all systems are still functioning, then carefully, by hand, one sheet only, I make a second attempt.  The paper jams, this time because the cord has fallen out.  Pull out the shelving unit, scrape my knuckles, swear and make threats to throw the printer out the window if it doesn't shape up. Get everything reconnected, but while doing the fix, the ink cartridge has smeared all over the glossy cover sheet...another one ruined.  The third try the paper is almost through, and I can see how cool my cards are going to look...and the paper jams.

Have you ever had a moment when--in total frustration--you've wanted to throw a computer or printer or some other malfunctioning piece of crap out the window?  When I worked at the publishing company in Seattle, we would often imagine all kinds of creative ways to terminate our computers with extreme prejudice.  Nowadays, generally speaking, things seem to run a bit better and until this blasted printer, I haven't had that maniacal urge to destroy anything in a long while.

Until yesterday.

I yanked the cords out of the back, grabbed the thing and stomped downstairs.  I had one tiny second to reconsider, perhaps recover my sanity, but no, not after nearly two years of toil and trouble with this compellingly flawed bit of equipment.  I lifted it over my head and hurled it with all my might down the driveway.


It was, without doubt, one of the most rewarding and satisfying things I've ever done.  The thrill as it hit the pavement, shattering, parts rolling and plastic cracking...oh, man.  I will relive that moment forever. 

I stared at the carnage.  Then I laughed.  Loudly, gleefully, with total, wild abandon.  And wow, what a rush.  I'm thinking everyone should try this, at least once.  It does amazing things for your mental health.


  1. I am, of course, reminded of the film Office Space...

  2. For just a moment there, I was the star of that movie. It was such a great feeling to get rid of that total POS.