Sunday, September 19, 2010


Fall is here and with it the 6:30 AM screaming matches over when a High School Senior should print something required for that day have arrived.

It's a peeve of mine (not a pet peeve, just a peeve) as I spent 4 years with oldest son printing some highly required document moments before the bus arrived. These episodes would always end with the help-desk (me) performing some heroic last minute act to save the day.

Thursday morning as I was shaving, I heard the distinctive sound of the printer over the wall and screamed something like "Really? we are printing now?". It was a 89 page power point, in full color, highest resolution slowly spewing forth from the printer and spilling out onto the floor.

By the time that Youngest Son had realized that he was not printing 6 slides per page as intended, he had already printed a forest's worth. Screaming ensued. The print was canceled. It was not pretty. He recycled the paper and I helped configure what printer driver configuration had gone amuck (by looming over his shoulder and pacing in my underwear) and he started printing again only to find he was printing on the previously printed side. This left one side that looked like a Jackson Pollock painting and the other pristine and virginal. His ride came. Nothing was accomplished except some trees died in vain.

On Tuesday I helped the Chancellor pick up a "Teddy Bear X-Ray" Machine for Saturday's Community event at her Hospital. We brought it home and tested it finding that the little light in in the "X-Ray" machine didn't come on when the push button was pressed. I assumed it was because the 9-volt battery needed replacement and made a note to find one.

This of course means I did nothing until Friday night.

I happened to be in Target anyway and picked up a battery, replaced it and still the "X-Ray" machine was dark. I took the whole thing apart only to find that the "X-Ray" had no bulb. No problem, I'll fix it Saturday morning.

Saturday came and McGiever swung into action. I found a spare brake lamp for the minivan, bent a few tabs back on it and connected it to the X-Ray/Science Fair project and pressed the hand held push button. It worked. Now I had to make it tough enough for transport.  That is how I ended up splicing wire, cutting heat shrink tubing and soldering at 10 minutes before The Chancellor had to leave like someone defusing a bomb before the timer ticked to all zeros. 

The Chancellor spoke up during all this and said this reminded her of something. Something like "don't wait to the last minute to print something" something.

Gee I wonder where he gets it. In the end the X-Ray machine was used in broad daylight and the stupid thing didn't need a light because you couldn't see it anyway.

1 comment:

suburbanstories said...

yes they did see the light! they thought it was real those little kids.