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Paying Attention

Some days are diamonds, some days are stones.
Sometimes the hard times won’t leave me alone.
Sometimes a cold wind blows a chill in my bones.
Some days are diamonds, some days are stones.
John Denver

I bought a beuatiful Lexmark 3 in 1 laser printer. I was thrilled with the quality of my printed projects. I loved being able to easily scan items. I tried the fax out. It worked great. I will probably never use it again.

My wonderful new machine created many magical projects, then the ink ran out. I went to buy new cartridges. I found them easily enough. I reached for the color cartridge and my gaze settled on the price tag. My entire body froze. My breath suspended in my throat. I know I was screaming but not a sound emerged from my body.

I looked at the price tag for the black ink. It was slightly less daunting. I quickly calculated. If I sold one kidney, I could probably afford to purchase both cartridges.

I picked up the cartridges and put them in my basket. It may have been my imagination, but I thought I felt my purse shudder. I couldn’t stop to console it, I had groceries to return to their shelves.

Here I have to explain that I ran to the store to buy cartridges because my machine quit printing in the middle of a big project which was due in just a couple of hours. I got home, changed the cartridges and resumed printing. All went well.

Then about a week later, I needed to print another project. The black ink cartridge began acting up. I barely made it through the project in time to meet my deadline.

Disgusted, I took the cartridge out, checked for damage and replaced it. I ordered the software program to clean the heads. Cleaning did not work. The black ink cartridge had developed a severe stutter. I contacted Lexmark customer service. They told me to change the cartridge and see if that would clear up the problem. They also suggested I send them the defective cartridge, and after examining it they would send me a replacement.

Well, a couple of weeks passed and I hadn’t bothered to get a new cartridge. Why would I want to spend another kidney on something that might not work? Finally yesterday, thinking of lesson plans, I decided I’d best get the machine in working order. I opened the storage drawer on my desk and reached for the instruction manual for the cartridge number. There, on top of the manual, rested the brand new black cartridge, still sealed in its box.

I am happy to report that the machine is now operating at full capasity. The owner, however, is somewhat deficent.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. Once again I enjoyed reading about your daily disasters.

    I think that price is an issue with replacement cartridges no matter what kind of printer you have. They’re all priced much higher than they should be. Refilling them is easy and cheaper, but my new printer won’t allow me to do that. It won’t recognize that it’s been refilled and refuses to print. Guess that’s another way to force you to buy the cartridges. Dirty little buggers those printer companies are.

  2. Bazza, was that supposed to be encouraging? LOL

    Charlie, I may not be the Lone Idiot, but I often feel like it.

    Rob, just for you I will keep having disasters — but let’s not make them daily, hmmm? They are just a bit too stressful.

  3. we have literally found it cheaper to go to Wal-Mart and buy a 25 dollar printer than it is to buy replacement cartridges for the old one! Archie’s dad has two brand new printers in boxes for that very reason…

  4. LOL I’m so sorry! I promise I’m only laughing this hard because of the WAY you tell the story. I’m glad it all worked out though, especially right before school. 🙂

  5. hee hee- i know what you mean. $50 bucks for 2 for my hp. i use them until the printer smacks me around and refuses to go on. 🙂

  6. ROFLMAO!!! Waaaaaaay to GO Quill! That is such a ME thing to do! You just made my day by letting me know I’m NOT the only one! LOL!

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