Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Little Printer that Could...

As I blog today my ancient HP 5L printer is plugging away printing off a hard copy of my latest work in progress. ‘Homer,’ the name I gave my HP printer, came over on the Mayflower. His page per minute count is only marginally better than chiseling on a stone tablet, he’s missing a part here and there--thankfully non-essential ones--doesn’t care at all for Times New Roman font (I’m not a huge fan either) and refuses to let anything but 22 pound or heavier paper run through him without jamming unless I stroke his plastic casing and tell him what a strong, awesome workhorse of a printer he is as I manually feed the paper through. I constantly assure Homer I’m amazed at his stamina and endurance. Considering my experience with all things electronic or mechanical, the fact that Homer has survived this long is a testament to his creator’s mastery.

I can’t tell you how many VCRs, DVD players, televisions, computers, routers, vacuum cleaners, electric pencils sharpeners, can openers, blenders, toasters, and other assorted appliances I’ve gone through. Put anything electrical, mechanical, or designed to perform a specific function within my sphere of influence, stand back and wait for the implosion.

Now mowing season is almost upon us. Last year I bought an extra push mower just to make sure I’d have one that started. So what happens? I can’t get either one of them to start. The other day I sent out an SOS to my big brother.

“My mower won’t start,” I explained on the phone.

“Which one?” he asked.

“Both,” I responded.

“Did you check the gas?” he asked. (He must have taken lessons from Deadly Deleon’s electrician here.)

“Uh, roger that,” I said.

“Did you choke it?”

“Choke it? Hell. Yes. I wanted to strangle the mother,” I responded.

“No, the choke switch. Did you push it?”

“Only about a dozen times,” I said. I heard a loud sigh on the other end.

“I’ll be over,” my brother said.

So yesterday he stopped by to pick up the mowers.

“One of them doesn’t have gas in it,” I said. “I drained it out for the winter,” I lied. The truth was it had simply run out of gas at the end of the mowing season.

“Did you replace it with an additive to keep the gas line from freezing?” he asked and I frowned.

“You’re supposed to do that?” I asked.

H e shook his head.

“You should just have someone mow your yard,” my brother said.

“I do. I have three teenagers,” I told him. “But none of them can get the mowers to start either.”

We loaded the mowers into his pickup.

“No hurry,” I told him. “Just whenever you get to it. The grass isn’t that long. Yet.”

As he left my son came running out to the back yard.

“Mom, the washer is making a real weird noise,” he told me.

“Of course it is,” I replied.

“And the light in the bathroom is going all psycho.”


“And the wireless connection isn’t working.”

“So what else is new?”

A day in the life of Bullet Hole Bacus.

I walked back to my office and blew Homer a kiss.

Know what? As long as Homer, the little printer that could, cranks out pages, all is right with my world.

So, any appliance or electronic devise you’d swear the gremlins love having a field day with? Any chronic appliance issues that just won’t give up the ghost? Any major consumer complaints you’d like to share? If so, complain away!

~Bullet Hole Bacus~


Terri Osburn said...

Things stop working on me all the time. Prime example: Saturday night about 8 I had my phone plugged into my car charger. No problem. Same night about midnight, nothing. The charger just stopped working. I know it's not the phone because the house charger works. *sigh* Oh well, I'm buying a new phone tonight anyway.

And don't you hate when weird stuff happens on your car and as soon as you take it to the mechanic, it stops doing it? You can swear up and down it was making that funny noise but it will NEVER make it when the mechanic drives it. Stupid car.

Hope your brother gets the mowers working. And hope all that other stuff in the house clears up too. :)

Jana DeLeon said...

Oh heavens, Kathy! I've been thinking we were related somehow and now I'm certain of it. I've gone through 3 pvr's from Dish Network this week alone and STILL don't have tv. Now apparently my satellite is out too. Mind you this was all brand new equipment!

Then my laptop went out last Friday so I had to buy a new one on Saturday - which I will be talking about next Monday. :)

Unknown said...

Yes our TV is about to go now! We have black lines across it for about 5 min. until it warms up then it works fine.
Don't let me get started on our water heater. It has been out more then it works every sense we bought it. We call Whirlpool they keep sending new parts. It has been a piece of junk sense day one. We are not the only ones having problems its the whole country. All I have to say if you ever need to replace your water heater DO NOT buy Whirlpool. Right now we have replaced everything on it and it still shuts down about once a month just to keep up on our toes. You go to take a bath no hot water. Like I said don't get me started.

Kathy Bacus said...

Oh. My. Gosh. That car thing happens to me all the time, Terrio. I'll hear this bizarre noise, drive it straight to the repair guy, and by the time I get there, the rattle-whine-whistle has stopped. It bugs the heck out of me.

Friday we had a thunderstorm and I lost all the stored IP information on my router. I HATE to be without internet and email! I feel like I'm back in the stone age with Fred and Wilma.

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

Geez Louise, Jana. Now I know we're related. Three pvrs and one lap top in one week! That's insane!

I even have trouble when I take a vehicle in for an oil change. Several years ago I took my Jimmy in for servicing and when I went to pick it up, I started it and it sounded like a 747 revving up for take off. I pulled the car into the service bay and popped the hood. Come to find out, a mehanic had left a rag under the hood and it got sucked into the intake.

The experience has put me off ever having surgery. My luck, I'd be one of those patients who'd have a sponge left inside them.

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

Man, Virginia, that sounds so frustrating. And if there's one thing I hate to do without (besides my internet and email, of course) it's HOT WATER! I've heard a lot of people rave about tankless water systems and wondered how they worked. Since I moved here, I haven't had a speck of trouble with the hot water heater, thank goodness.

~Bullet Hole knocking on wood here~

Keri Ford said...

My desk-top computer is a littl survivor. I've had it for about nine years and it STILL works. It's getting a bit slow...but still does what I need it to. It's main function: to encourage the hubby to that computer instead of trying to hog my laptop.

Washer/Dryer, nother story. In five years, I'm on my second washer and it already needed a new part. Its future isn't looking too hot. Also on my second dryer. So far so good, but I won't be surprised when it goes ka-pooey. Why can't cheap stuff not work for me?

Keri Ford said...

Rattling cars reminded me of something:

Well before I was born and my mom was a teenager, she came home from school and found my grandma in the yard. A sheet was spread over the grass and car parts were EVERYWHERE. Grandma took the whole dash out, I'm talking steering wheel and all sunbathed on that sheet while she searched for the source of that rattle. She put everything back together, it all work, and guess what? The darn rattle was GONE. I don't think she ever had another problem again!

Kathy Bacus said...

LOL, Keri! Your grandmother sounds like Wonder Woman! I am the worst when it comes to figuring out how to put things back together--or together in the first place.

On the washer/dryer front, when I moved to my present home there was already a washer and dryer here. I had an extra set I decided to put downstairs in the extra laundry room. Good thing as the dryer shelled out on me last year. Fortunately, I was able to bring up the one from downstairs and use it.

~Bullet Hole~

Anonymous said...

Geez. I couldn't think of anything we'd had trouble with lately, then suddenly our "good" cordless phone's batteries suddenly died. Of course, we haven't changed them before and we've had the phone for several years, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. But the timing was certainly funny. *g*

Kathy Bacus said...

Your cordless phone story reminded me of one of my own, Tori. I bought a new cordless phone a year ago, brought it home, and within a few months, the number display started to disappear. At present, you can only see the bottom half of the numbers.

I am so jinxed!

~Bullet Hole~

catslady said...

You picked a good subject lol. Just last week our hot water tank went - it's our 4th one. This is the best part - the warantee is up in 6 years and I bet you can guess how old it was - I swear they have timers installed for the exact time! Over $500 for such a boring but dire necessity.

Kathy Bacus said...

Isn't that the way it always goes, Catslady? I think you're right. There's some voodoo thing going on that lets an appliance know when it's out of warranty. Man, I had no idea hot water heaters were so expensive!

And there are many things I can do without, but hot water? Not one of 'em.

~Bullet Hole knocking on wood again~

Jenyfer Matthews said...

Remember when things used to be built to last?? I swear I remember having the same hair drying for something like twelve years before it died and now it seems like I need to get a new one every other year.

Nosirree, they don't build things the way they used to...

Jenyfer Matthews said...

BTW, I have an HP 3-in-1 printer that isn't that old and have had to feed the paper sheet by sheet practically from the beginning.

Kathy Bacus said...

You're right about the way things used to be made. My folks still have the same refrigerator they bought when they built their house in the late seventies.

And I forgot to add hairdryers and curling irons to my list. I've been through a goodly amount of those items, too.

~Bullet Hole~

Janice Seagraves said...

Last year my radiator blew as soon as I glared at a homeless man I KNEW was going to ask for a hand out.

Instant karma anyone?

The next person that asked me for money I gave him a ten spot!