Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Of Pigs and Printers

by Christie Kelley

Technology is my friend…except when it’s not. It’s great when technology works properly and everything goes smooth. Unfortunately, Saturday wasn’t one of those days.

I seem to have an issue with printers. When I need them the most, something always seems to go terribly wrong.

I used to have my office in an open area of my old house where my boys would run through while playing or annoying each other. One of the many things would they do is fling rubber bands at each other from across the room. More than once, I found a rubber band in the paper tray blocking the paper from feeding correctly.

I’m currently in the middle of revisions for my fifth book, which I believe is now titled, ONE NIGHT SCANDAL. So on Saturday when I went to print out the book one more time, the printer wouldn’t feed the paper correctly. Hmm, the boys have seemingly outgrown the fine art of flinging of rubber bands at each other, so my first thought was the darn thing was broken.

I did my usually tech support thing, took the paper out, looked inside the paper feed and found nothing. I pulled out the can of air and sprayed it in the paper feed. Then, of course, I tried to print again. Once again, the paper jammed. More than a little frustrated, I did a little more in the name of research. I unplugged it and turned it upside down just in case something had fallen into it.

As I did this, I noticed something peculiar on my desk. I usually have three small “lucky” pigs sitting on my desk near my printer. Only today, instead of standing up and looking lucky, they were laying on their sides and horror of horrors—there were only two pigs!

Suddenly I remembered that my cat, Misha had been “playing” with them lately. And by playing, I mean picking them up in her mouth and carrying them to the floor. I glanced around and didn’t notice a pig on the floor. Where could little pig number three be?

I quickly grabbed a flashlight and peered inside my printer. What did I see? A little pink pig leg stuck down deep inside the feeder! One unlucky pig must have been picked up and dropped inside the printer by my cat! After a little pounding, the little pig came out. And yes, my printer started working again!!

So does anyone else have any funny technology stories? If not, how about a good pet story. I’m sure we all have one or two of those to share.


barb said...

looks like he is back again

Donna MacMeans said...

Barb - you snatched him from me. And it's a good thing! I have a headcold which I suspect is compliments of the RWA convention or the plane trip home, and I'm thinking chicken soup is in order. In my dazed state, it could very well be rooster soup. So I'm sure he's best at your place.

Donna MacMeans said...

My sympathies with your printer woes, Christy. Don't those things always happen when you're in a hurry or desperate need? Something you think will take a minute or two ends up taking a half hour or more. I can relate.

All my technology woes are of my own doing. I suppose life would be simpler if I just read those boring manuals that come with cameras, scanners, printers, computers... but I don't. So I tend to screw things up. C'est la vie!

Killer the snail hasn't been up to any neat tricks lately, just uprooting plants in the fishbowl. So no cute animal tricks to share. I think I need some new animals around here. Need to work on the dh on that score.

barb said...

Poor GR will get jet lag coming backwards and forward or does he teleport like Harry Potter???? he may even get a cold with going from warm to cold weather.
Sorry Donna to snatch him from you and that you have a head cold.... hope you feel better soon.

Hi Christie... hope everything goes well with your new book.... I was installing a printer for a friend and following the instructions, the last thing you had to do was put the ink cartridge in... when I opened the printer ... the hole where the ink had to go was too big and I thought something was missing ... told her she would have to take the printer back.... then I turned it on and out came the case for the ink LOL... it then worked....

Helen said...

Again Barbara he likes it at your place LOL and yes Donna I do hope you feel better soon.

LOL at the teleporting Barb

Christie another book YAY and I always have problems with my printer although it is not pets that do things to it but grandschildren LOL they are always dropping things down the back or I run out of ink because they draw with paint on the PC then they have to print it and show me don't you love them.

Have Fun

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Isn't it always the way Christy that when you need it most, it fails you. It was time to print out my son's report and mine decided it wasn't going to work anymore. It wouldn't even turn on, no green light anywhere. I unplugged and replugged the power supply at the printer along with the supply from the computer itself. Nothing. Crap, I started checking my balance at the bank, okay son, I guess we have to get a new printer, I went to change clothes and as I walked by in to the desk happened to glance down and lo and behold, the sill thing was plugged in to the wall. Whew! I would have really been upset if I had bought a new printer and the other one just hadn't been plugged in.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Oh, and to make matters worse? I was the one that hand unplugged it to plug in the sweeper. I was in a hurry and forgot to replug it when I finished sweeping.

Enid Wilson said...

Should I say poor printer or poor little piggie?

Really Angelic

Dianna Love said...

Ah, Christy, I used to think I hated computers above all inanimate things, but printers may be one point higher. My husband still has the printer he got when we moved in our current home just over 10 years ago. Me, on the other hand? I've gone through at least four.

Everything can be just peachy then I decide to print something and it starts going through some kind of configuring gyration (as if anything had changed after printing on it an hour before?) that sounds like a spaceship taking off. Or it decides to print one page halfway on two sheets...or it picks up 3 sheets together or it prints an additional unrequested copy.

The thing lives to annoy me. ;) It brings out violent tendencies in me - I want to drop it from an overpass and watch a tractor trailer run over it. ;)

Bet your cat is watching with a smile, already thinking of the next place you'll find piggie. Hope the printer issues on your end mean great things for that book. :)

Christie Kelley said...

Congrats on the GR, Barb! And yes, we have perfected the ability to teleport in the lair so the GR doesn't mind the travel. He did arrive there in one piece, right?

I laughed at your printer story. My printer loads the ink the same way. Every now and then, I'll open the top and the ink cartridge won't pop into the middle so I can change it. These things are weird.

Christie Kelley said...

Donna, sorry you have a cold. I heard a lot of people saying they were either sick or got sick after the conference.

And yes, you do need a pet. Pets are very therapeutic. They reduce stress, blood pressure and help people live longer. Except of course when they are the ones causing the stress.

Christie Kelley said...

LOL, Helen! Like I said, I pulled two rubber bands out of my printer on two different occasions due to my kids.

I should have several years before I have to worry about grandkids using my ink or putting rubber bands down my printer.

Christie Kelley said...

Hi Diana, I used to work in technology so my first thought always is: Is it plugged in?

But seriously, your story sounds like something I'd do.

barb said...

Yes Christie he arrived safely.... he is in the warm having a night cap as it is almost bedtime

Christie Kelley said...

Enid, I'd have to say, poor little piggy. The printer survived the ordeal just fine. Not so much for the pig. He lost part of his snout.

Christie Kelley said...

Dianna, I put the pigs behind a glass door on my credenza. They should be safe unless she learns to open it, which really wouldn't surprise me.

As I finished reading my revisions last night, I discovered a total of 9 blank pages that came out with the book, spread out through mostly the back half. So, I totally understand your printer frustrations.

Christie Kelley said...

Barb, don't give him more than one nightcap. It can get ugly if you do.

Susan Sey said...

Oh, Christie--a pig in the printer? Really?

My printer's up nice & high, which prevents my kids from fooling around with it.

On the other hand, when there's a paper jam, I have no choice but to stand up on my swivelly office chair & peer inside. It's a pratfall waiting to happen.

I only pray it happens when nobody's around to witness it.

Christie Kelley said...

Seriously, Susan, a pig in the printer. My 13 yr old and I were laughing hysterically when the poor little thing finally dislodged.

Yeah, I don't do high things so I wouldn't be able to have my printer out of reach. I would stand on the chair and then fall off it and break a bone.

Nancy said...

Barb, congrats on the rooster!

Christie, I love that line about technology being your friend except when it's not, but I have no funny stories like the pig (hard to believe that would fit in there, which just goes to show . . .). Most of my tech stories are unprintable, alas.

Just yesterday I tried to download a document from my university email, which is Outlook, which assumes a two-button mouse, which a Mac does not have (and, imho, no computer needs). The instructions for a single-button mouse did not work. So I guess that document will have to wait until I have access to my campus office later this week.

Then there's the whole .docx issue. PCs running the newer versions of Windows or Word or whatever makes these choices save as .docx. Older PCs (such as part-time faculty receive) cannot open these documents. This is always a source of joy during the semester.

Anyway, I'm glad you found your pig and your printer survived.

The dh once used the computer and printer (and did not cover the printer afterward) in a room where we were having work done on the sheetrock. Over his assurances that it would be fine, I took the printer in to the shop, where they assured me using it without having it cleaned would, thanks to the fine grit that had gotten into it during sanding, have ruined the drum.

Typewriters never had these problems.

jo robertson said...

LOL, Christie. I thought you were going to say your cat swallowed the piggy!

I always hate with I fiddle and mess with something, trying to get it to work. Then my son walks in unplugs the machine, plugs it back in, and it works! Now, by all that is logical, WHY does that work?

jo robertson said...

Oooh, Donna, that's a scary threat -- rooster soup! Take care of him today, Barb, glad he's back with you.

I just read an article on Yahoo about freshmen entering college and their unfamiliarity with contraptions and concepts that our generation assumes everyone knows/understands.

Phones with cords, 8 track, beta tapes, and strangely enough (I thought) the inability to write in cursive.


Christie Kelley said...

Nancy, I know a lot of people who have MAC vs PC issues. There is a solution for your .docx issue on PCs only. Microsoft does have a download that lets users of older versions of Word open .docx files. But I've been told it doesn't work on a MAC.

And you're right, typewriters never had these problems. However, being the bad speller that I am, I'm so thankful for Word :)

Christie Kelley said...

LOL, Jo! I have the same question with the remote control for all the TV units. Why can't I figure it out but my 13 yr old just presses buttons and every thing works fine for him.

And please don't get me going on kids inability to read cursive. It drives me nuts! The only time my boys write in cursive is if they have to sign a document (or the back of a check). When did teachers stop teaching and writing in cursive?

Nancy said...

Jo and Christie, the boy's cursive is terrible. He prints. His dad has the same issue. I suspect the availability of computers and keyboards at an early age hampers the development of cursive in kids now, but the dh has no such excuse.

Nancy said...

Christie, I can't add anything to my PC at the university, but that's good to know.

I happen to be a good speller. In the days before computers, I used to say the dh married me so he wouldn't have to look up spellings. Now I say he did it so he wouldn't have to learn Spellcheck.

Joan said...

Poor little Piggy...

There's a SONG in that....

I had to cover Cricket's eyes as I read the post though...don't want her getting any ideas. I have a piggy, a penguin, and various Beanie babies....

As to technology the other night, I thought my cable TV had gone out. The TV was popping and hissing. Phone and internet were all ok. Discovered Miss Cricket had stepped on a button on the remote control...on the table...where she ISN'T suppose to go!

Christie Kelley said...

Nancy, computers are only one reason why kids don't write in cursive. My 18 yr old was taught cursive in 3rd grade. But it was never required after that. So he always printed.

Christie Kelley said...

Joanie, too funny about Cricket with the remote. I had something like that happen with another cat years ago. I was home alone and taking a dish into the kitchen when all of the sudden the volume on the TV started getting louder and louder. I ran back into the room to discover my cat nonchalantly sitting on the couch with her paw on the volume button of the remote.

Nancy said...

Joan, do cats really pay attention to where they are and are not supposed to go?

Sarah Simas said...

LOL I guess this is a case where violence and technology were good bedfellows! ;) I'm glad you got our printer working!

My woes aren't necessarily from PC technology. I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing and dumped a tupperware of shredded roast leftovers (that was anybody's guess as how old it was!) in the sink instead of the trash. I wasn't about to fish the greasy mess out of the watery bog and opted to 'run it down' the garbage disposal.

*sigh* It clogged. Now, I have stinky icky water stewing in the sink until hubs can come home and figure out what happened....Lucky me.

Christie Kelley said...

Nancy, I'll answer that...NO! Cats do what they want. No matter how much you think you've trained them not to get on something, they'll still try if they get in a mood.

Christie Kelley said...

Oh Sarah, I'll take printer woes over stinky food woes any day. I have a very sensitive nose and can't stand certain smells. Good luck!

Joan said...

Joan, do cats really pay attention to where they are and are not supposed to go?

In my alternate reality they do!!!

ONLY because of the stress of my week long trip did she decide to get on the dining room table. And ONLY because my brother plopped her into my bathtub while I was gone does she jump in then.

It's my reality and coupled with a canister of Clorox wipes, I'm content to believe it.

Nancy said...

Oh, Sarah, I'm so sorry about your icky mess. How gross.

Nancy said...

Christie and Joan--even dogs push their limits, but it's harder for a retriever to jump on the dining room table than it is for a cat.

Sarah Simas said...

Thanks, Christie and Nancy!

I've been using the other side of the sink and SHEESH! I definitely appreciate having a basin with divions. I'd be up a creek if I only had the one!

LOL I'm sure I'm bound for a lecture from my handy man-aka Hubby, but I think having to smell the dirty water is punishment enough. *grins* I doubt he'll agree since he's the one who has to unplug it! ;)

Nancy said...

Sarah, I know it isn't much comfort, but clogged is better than burned out. Good luck with it!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I am LOL over your little piggie clogging up the printer! And I can see you cat sitting nearby with a smug expression. :-)

I'm afraid my pet story isn't nearly as funny. But The Belle had to be run to the vet for an emergency exam after chewing and swallowing the ear pieces off a pair of reading glasses. (sigh) Why she would think they were tasty to eat BOTH sides is a mystery known only to small fuzzy dogs.


Christie Kelley said...

AC, my cat always a smug look on her face.

I hope your doggy was okay. I have no idea why cats and dogs like to eat things they have no business getting into.

jo robertson said...

Christie said, "When did teachers stop teaching and writing in cursive?"

They do all that in the lower grades, but I suspect it falls by the way in high school b/c so many young teachers don't write cursive. The point of cursive is supposed to be that it's quicker and less straining to the hand and fingers than printing, but notice in movies and on TV how many actors hold their pens in a really weird grip -- no wonder they gave cursive up!!

Used to be -- waaaaayyy back in the day -- that teaching the pen's grip went along with (and was as important as) the shaping of the letters.

And with texting and keyboarding how much real writing do kids do nowadays? Maybe the thank-yous their moms make them write LOL?

Pat Cochran said...

I've just been catching up on the
blogs I have missed recently due
to my other calling: volunteerism.
I had to laugh with much amusement
at the thought of your "pig in the
printer" problem. Never did find
the answer to my printer problem.
It just would "hiccup" somewhere
along the line, ruining whatever I
was printing. Had to hijack Honey's
printer to finish my assignment!
Next task: buy a new printer!!

Pat Cochran