Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Hooking Me Up

It's a sign of what I'm going to call maturity that I no longer like to accumulate things. I was never one to go into debt for crap, but I'll admit to buying crap whenever I thought my life could use a little sparkle. If I saw something I wanted, even for a nanosecond, I was usually able to work up a reason I needed it. That is why I own an egg separator in which the whites drip out of ceramic nostrils. It's taking up space in the cupboard and now I find myself wanting the space more than the item. I'm giving stuff away like a suicidal person. Used to be, the fact that I don't have a full set of matching plates would be enough to justify a new set. Now, as long as everyone at the table has something to dump the potatoes on, I'm good.

Big Dave, Old Dave, and Vivi. 
I do have two things I would love to replace. One is my coffeemaker and the other is my printer. The printer is squawky. Semicolons will scare the ink right out of it. Lately it's been pooping out test pages every time I turn it on. I have to fluff up every piece of paper before it will suck it in, and the last time I opened up the back to officiate over a paper jam, I busted it. This means when I print a document with numerous pages, I have to fluff each individual page, jump to the back to hold the piece of plastic on until it feeds, and then pop back to the front to fluff again. I really hate the idea of ditching yet another piece of plastic in a world with way too much of the stuff, especially since I am still able to print documents (plus the bonus test page). But on a wild hair, I did. I hate shopping, so I just picked out something on special online. It was Chinese-worker-wages cheap and shipping was free. Two days later a box thudded onto the front porch. I re-straightened our hanging pictures and had a look. My!

We lugged the huge box into the kitchen and peeled it open, assuming it would be mostly packaging, but it wasn't. It squatted in the middle of the room and said Boo-yah. I'm getting used to having appliances that are smarter than me, but I don't want one that could beat me up. I folded the cardboard back over it and slid it toward the wall. Not till the next day did I feel up to looking at the instructions. Number One was to check to see if it was there, and after that things fell apart. We needed whole different cords depending on whether we planned to scrapulate with it or just use it for making thermocules. Different directions applied if we wanted to operate it remotely from Jupiter or spring it into action by barking at it. I gently put the manual away and left the thing in its original plastic wrapper in case I needed to smother it in the middle of the night. Because I had an ace up my sleeve. We had young friends coming to visit in another two days.

And then they came, Big Dave and Vivi! Their skin was taut, not flapping, their brains were firm, not spongy, and both were full of the easy good nature that we have come to associate with young people, because we are not their parents. Big Dave had not been in the house five minutes before he prodded the box with a toe and said "new printer?" as though he did not know the meaning of fear, and a day later, he had the thing corralled on our desk with all the cords spanked together, and Vivi took over to make the introductions with our computer. "There you go," she said, "we have unfriended Hewlett Packard, and now we're in a relationship with Brother," and, if you don't think about it too hard, that is a wonderful thing.

Dave and Vivi need a coffeemaker, and I'm going to give them mine. That will give me an excellent reason to buy a new one. The old one works just fine, but it came in Almond, to match the refrigerator we once had. That means it is now the color of old men's teeth. It's pretty obvious by now, twenty years in, that I'm not going to keep the thing clean, so I want a new one. Black.

61 comments:

  1. What a sweat couple! Young, cute, bright, and, yes, fearless. And the more mature couple is pretty good, too.

    Trading a coffee maker for a set-up printer that actually works with your computer? Well done, you. (Better than paying a king's ransom, which is probably what you really owe them.)

    And have you got the black coffee maker yet?

    Blessings and Bear hugs.

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    1. I should probably mention that I haven't actually tried to print anything with this printer yet. And the kids are going away today (sob).

      Got the coffeemaker. It'll take some getting used to, but I cherish it for its blackness.

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    2. If they're leaving today, best you try it promptly.

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  2. OH...! I really *needed* a printer that could scrapulate! If you could have got it to me by 1800GMT I could have taken it as luggage...
    Oh well, at least you can now use it.

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    1. I worry that once I understand about scrapulating and combobulation, I will discover that I can no longer live without it.

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  3. I have a Bunn Pour-O-Matic that I like, it was about $100. It has a reservoir of hot water, so it makes coffee very fast. But I have a friend who got a new one about the same time who said she had leaky messes.

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    1. My new pot leaks a little, but then so do I.

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  4. After a lifetime of collecting "stuff," I moved from a house to an apartment and was forced to begin a minimalist lifestyle. Four years later I'm still getting rid of "stuff." Some things I miss terribly - books, but there was no room for the seven tall bookshelves - but in general I have found the process strangely liberating. Now I buy nothing unless it's really, really needed and even then I very often go without because I don't have the funds. Funny, I seem to be able to survive quite well without "it."

    Having young folks around with quick minds and abilities beyond our comprehension is always worth an almond colored coffee pot. A win-win situation.

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    1. Even recently, I found something I'd completely forgotten I had, and thought, hey--this is neat! But I got rid of it anyway on the theory that if I hadn't missed it, it probably isn't as vital as it might appear.

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  5. When I moved to the Pacific Northwest from Colorado, I got rid of all kinds of appliances that I have not missed in the least. Strange that I once thought I couldn't live without a Cuisinart and only used it twice.

    That printer does look industrial grade. But does it scrapulate?

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    1. I still have no idea what it does. I'm just glad, for the moment, that it is plugged into the wall so it can't wander in the night.

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  6. I'm still trying to lose enough stuff to fit into/on my Honda Fit. If truly homeless people can fit their stuff into a shopping car, surly this should be an easy job.

    But you are right - free really means you don't keep anything you don't use regularly. And what a great feeling it is to get out from under the burden of stuff.

    I think would be successful if my field guides were all available for my Wildfire.

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    1. Remember when you would ask a cherished relative what he or she wanted for a birthday present and the old fart/bat said "oh, nothing" and you simply COULD NOT understand it? Now I understand it.

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  7. Oh Brother, you're troubles are just beginning. Wait until you have to replace an ink cartridge.

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    1. And I was having such a nice morning.

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  8. These young people! I swear they spent their time in utero reading tech manuals!

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    1. You'd think that would make childbirth a lot easier, wouldn't you?

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  9. Okay, that egg separator is priceless. It's a rare kitchen gadget that can make me laugh and gag at the same time.

    I'm in the same boat with my desktop printer. I have to hand-feed each sheet, and even then it sometimes doesn't want to play. But I paid $700 for it back in the early 90s. And its print quality is still excellent...

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    1. If I'd paid $700, I'd keep using it even if I had to type the sheets myself and pretend they came out of the printer.

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    2. You have a TYPEWRITER??!! ;^)

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    3. Ohhh that's the problem. Man. I remember thinking if I could ever afford an IBM Selectric my troubles would be over. Say what you will about all these other appliances, but word processing on a computer kicks ass.

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  10. The egg separator. I must have. Where, dear one, did you find such a gem? (my e-mail is on my profile, puh-leease let me help clear your clutter by naming your price!) lol

    I'm all about barter & trade, just landed some pastels and paints from the neighbor's yard sale for a stiff bloody mary--now that was a deal!

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    1. I have a moose one, too. Technically they're Dave's or I'd send you one in a heartbeat. I might anyway.

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  11. Most of my friends and I seem to have arrived at that time of life where we only buy things we really need, or need to replace. It's what separates the old Hippies from the young Yuppies who buy their McMansions to house their acquisitions and still can't fit their cars into the garage. The KISS Principle always applies; especially when it comes to the ridiculously over-written manuals that come with scrapulating printers these days! Elaine M.

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    1. We old hippies, most of us, spent plenty of money back in the day. Once we didn't have a war to go to and discovered moolah, we liked it just fine and abandoned our non-materialistic principles.

      You know, my new Mobile Cellular Telephone came with just about no instructions at all. It assumed I just knew.

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  12. both were full of the easy good nature that we have come to associate with young people, because we are not their parents

    Hee!

    See, the trouble with printers is that they interface with reality, which is fussy and persnickety. Once you cut loose entirely, things work much better. Speaking of which, you're supposed to send me a virtual copy of something. (Supply your own nouns. We've risen above them. It's part of that cutting loose we're talking about.)

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    1. It would be hard to put into words how much I like this comment. Then again, everything is getting hard to put into words. I'll get right on it...at some point.

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  13. Nothing makes me feel older than not being able to fix the computer, or the printer, or program the VCR or the DVD or whatever the heck we aren't watching movies on these days. But I will gladly admit my stupidity in order to get my son to fix everything, just because it's so freaking much SIMPLER!

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    1. That whole childbirth thing was totally worth it, as it turns out. Who would have guessed?

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  14. "...I'll admit to buying crap whenever I thought my life could use a little sparkle. If I saw something I wanted, even for a nanosecond, I was usually able to work up a reason I needed it."

    I'm this way with books and gourmet treats. A new book on Big Oil? A cool gardening book on soil flora? Cerignola olives? Pomegranate wine? Gimme!

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    1. No, cerignola olives themselves. Yum!

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  15. So what does it mean when it is my child who is the minimalist and it is I who has all of the crapola? She and fiance are currently moving across half of a continent in a Jetta with the two of them, a large dog and the smallest U-haul that is made. All that they own. Whilst we, her father and I, are regularly complaining that we need to clear out all of the junk in this house. Of course a good portion of said junk was inherited from our parents, grandparents, and yes, children! What does one do with closets full of other people's junk? Oh, btw, I agree, that snotty egg separator has to go.....

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    1. Thing is, that egg separator works really well.

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  16. Basic rule of coffee maker purchase -- buy a cheapo at Walmart. A couple of times we bought expensive ones, and their corprses still sit in the garage awaiting that long promised trip to the landfill. But with the cheapos, if they quit, they quit with no harm done. Ironically the cheap ones usually last longer.

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    1. Oh but that so conflicts with one of my other basic rules--never to set a sanctified foot in the monster economy-destroying lowest-wage-in-the-universe capitalistic villain that is Walmart. Otherwise, good advice.

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    2. Anywhere but Walmart. Thanks for saying that Murr.

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    3. Anywhere but Walmart. Thanks for saying that Murr.

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  17. I'm pretty techno proficient (couldn't spell savvy) for an old geezette. But I do have one huge complaint. It seems the more complex the technology the more likely the ONLY manual is Online. I hate that.

    I had a similar egg separator. The real question is why we did we think we needed any kind of egg separator?

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  18. It's all part of the marketing plan! You think you're watching a TV program, but your mind is being overwritten with the thought that you can buy happiness...in the form of an egg-separator!

    And now this stuff is so hard to part with. Who has a day to consider all those things that came in happy bags, never to depart?

    What's worse, all my friends are giving it away, too, so it's here to stay.

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    1. That's where the younger friends come in handy (again).

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  19. Your printer looks like the new version of my Brother Laser Copier-Printer-Scanner-But NO Fax - maybe 5 yrs old - that I like a lot. Wishing you the best. Just remember that I know the secret password that gets it to accept a non-Brother toner without telling you toner is low forever. I'm sure we can arrive at a mutually agreeable trade of info -- or stuff.

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  20. I actually love the egg separator because it makes me laugh! I'd keep it out someplace so people would ask me what it was. LOL!

    I am lost without my son and DIL helping me out with all these things. My old printer finally drove me crazy, too (was about 11 years old, and my son picked me up this new fancy wireless thing. They set it up, but I have a Mac and it kept forgetting how to talk to my laptop for some reason. I gave up and finally pull out a cord whenever I need to use it and it works just fine. Drives them nuts, so I don't tell them--LOL! My old one was an as is floor model and the scanner never worked. I've had this new one for over a year--maybe two--and have never figured out how to work the scanner--LOL! Maybe this winter. You need never bookmark me for techie knowledge. Ever. ;)

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    1. Gee, Rita, I'd already put you in my folder of helpful people based on your comment, and now I have to find the big virtual eraser and hope the cord is long enough to reach the screen.

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  21. Why do you separate eggs, other than from the hen?
    Children have always been brought into this world for a reason. Originally it was to work in the fields and then look after you in your old age. Now it is to do all our technical stuff.
    Since the technical stuff can be done by OPC (other people's children) not having any of your own is much more feasible than it was 100 years ago. As you know.

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    1. The beauty part is, if you get them when they're all growed up, they have no negative memories of you. As far as they're concerned, you're sweet as pie.

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  22. When I separate eggs, I just carefully pour them from half shell to half shell till most of the white is in the bowl. Then I put the yolk in another bowl, and THROW AWAY the shells. (Custards, meringues, angel food cake, pound cake. It takes thought to keep the cooking balanced.)

    I'm at the stage of life where I can barely find my butt with both hands. I don't need another doodad to have to hunt for, clean up, and put away when I'm done. I put a beeper on my car keys, but then I lost the thingy that makes it tweet. I CAN walk to the store, though, so I won't starve. Just hope I don't lock myself out of the house . . .

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    1. That's how I do eggs too. Because I never remember I have (two) egg separators. They really work well. You could dump six eggs in there and boom there's your whites. Have I ever used one except to gross out guests? No I have not.

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    2. But I bet it works just great for grossing out the guests!

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  23. I once had a young friend write up the instructions for how to turn on my TV and Netflix using the two remotes and the WII controller. The document is pretty clear.

    He named the document on my computer "TV for Tards".

    Works for me.

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    1. Nice of him to name it something you're going to remember.

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  24. I LOVE the egg seperator! I use eggs a lot and I would probably be giggling to myself in the kitchen evey time. My hubby would think I was goign bonkers! LOL I have one suggestion to everyone about the shells of the egg. They are great for roses! Seems the calcium in the shell helps the roses!! So Mine go into the earth around each one! That is total recycling! They also are good for cleaning blades of a garbage disposal, but I really like roses.

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    1. I changed my mind! THIS is my new favorite comment!! I especially like the last sentence. Words for living!

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  25. When my computer crashed in the classroom I ever called for the school tech guy to come to the rescue. On the average it took him 3 weeks. I offer the project for "extra credit" to my 8th graders. Half the class volunteers and invariably one of them fixed it... :)

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    1. That, my dear, is pure genius on a stick.

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  26. Want. That. Egg. Separator.

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  27. If I wasn't inundated with Too Much Stuff myself, I'd offer to trade my pencil sharpener in the form of a nose for your egg separator. But it's quite small in comparison and fits nicely into a back corner of a drawer in my studio.

    Coincidentally, I was recently browsing through one of my first cookbooks (which came in the form of cunieform tablets) and, in the section on what tools you'd need to set up a kitchen, they cautioned you to chose carefully so you wouldn't be inundated with Too Much Stuff. Guess I missed that part.

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    1. If I get one more kitchen doo-dad, we will not be able to open the doo-dad drawer.

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