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Tuesday, March 4, 2003

The truth is I'm not so much pleased with myself as simply relieved. The new printer Suzanne and I gave Mom yesterday is now a fully functioning machine. I guess it is, anyway. What I do know is that it'll print a document without spilling ink or shredding paper. That's a start.

What's important is that Mom is happy with it, so far at least. I'm still waiting for the call that tells me it exploded, or worse. It couldn't possibly have been that easy. All I did was download the driver and turn on the printer. Et voilą. Somehow it's doing everything we ask it to do. I don't know how or why, and I'm not inclined to pursue the matter.

It's sort of like my car. I've had it back for four whole days and no parts have fallen out of the engine. Although I'm still a little nervous, I'm getting more confident as days go by without any new tragedies. I'm still checking the coolant level daily, but if it hasn't gone down when I look at it tomorrow, I'm going to relax and assume the best.

We're probably not out of the woods with the printer, though. I can't get the onscreen user's guide to display. Either it wasn't part of the download, or something else is interfering. I'm way out of my element at this point, and it might be that Mom will have to do without the Help feature. If she's like me, she hardly ever uses it with any of her programs anyway.

Besides, the printer prints, and that's all she asks of it. When it stops doing what we bought it to do, that's the time to panic and run around with our hands waving madly in the air. Until then, let's just pretend we've done something really, really smart and keep patting ourselves on the back.


Clouds, straight up.

Like you, I was wondering if the user's guide is available on the website. What you find there is the same Perfectly Useless Manual (they call it a "reference guide") that came in the box. It answers no questions; it simply refers you to the user's guide. The one I can't get to work. I didn't realize at first that I was looking at the Perfectly Useless Manual when I was searching online this afternoon. I didn't realize it, in fact, until I'd printed a copy, planning on presenting it to Mom and accepting another round of her thanks.

Then I saw what it was, and I felt used. Used and semi-Useless. Ah well, nobody's Perfect.

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Working my way through the films of Douglas Sirk, I found his most successful box office hit in my mailbox today. Imitation of Life (1959) is a real old-fashioned Fanny Hurst tearjerker about mothers and daughters. It has a lot to say about whether accepting who you are means you can't follow your dream. I'm not sure it answers the question, but it has a lot to say.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Better Than Beets
"You can only hit the snooze bar so many times before it says, 'Forget this. You're on your own, amigo. Why do you even set the alarm if you're not going to get up?' Then it turns itself off and we both go back to sleep."

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Walking by the river
And running like a blue streak
Through the fields of streams and meadows
Laughing all the way