Snotty Printers & Key Fob Batteries

I'm sure you can tell from the title this post is going to be RIVETING. Strap yourselves in, definitely.

I woke up this morning at 6:30 to go cut some potatoes, brown some meat, and assemble a crockpot stew for tonight. (I KNOW, I hear how dumb that is now) I had a long long list of heavy, not fun, anxiety riddled things to do. Mostly making appointments & stuff, I could have stayed in my pajamas all day and made the stressy calls. After the girls left for school I sat on my couch with a bowl of oatmeal in total paralyzing misery, folks. The day loomed before me, and it was blacker than black. The last time I called one of the scheduling ladies, it was just terrible bad, I-don't-want-to-help-you-at-all kind of deal. And I'm making all of these calls in the very distant hope that Husband does not have to have a huge, gigantic, very bad, no good surgery with a long recovery time and possible side effects, OH IT IS BAD. So yeah. I was not feeling it today.

I stepped into the water of accomplishment with a call to make a dental appointment for myself. To get all the cavities filled- dental anxieties, ahoy! And IT HAPPENED. I scheduled the appointment and I got to hang up the phone. It should sound more monumental that it does.

I suppose I should explain that all this background Husband anxiety/fear keeps me at a crazy threshold setting that is just below a certain line. That line being unadulterated lunatic who doesn't belong in functioning society. So I'm just peeping below that line, and any small amount of success or failure will rocket me past that line- and it goes into tense territory.

So here I am with this small success of making a dental appointment, and I decide to make the other call with the not-so-pleasant scheduler. I leave a message and hang up. Another small success! (now I get to mope in misery waiting for her to call back so I can explain TRUST ME, I DO NOT NEED A REFERRAL, I HAVE THE MRI FILMS IN MY HANDS, RIGHT NOW)

A little heady from those triumphs I decide that NOW is the time to buy and print shipping labels for a few boxes of fun. Christmas presents, CDPs, and just sending things I HAD TO BUY to someone I really enjoy.

The printer is failing hardcore at the onset. It barely moves, it's acting like a half-dead beached whale. (I apologize for THAT image, but it's accurate) Remember that thin crazy line that I'm flirting with? BAM, we're over it. The printer doesn't work, so I get to feel All Of The Problems in one panic-fueled rage/panic attack. WHAT DOES ONE DO WITHOUT A PRINTER?! I'm yelling. I'm thinking about that scene from Office Space that involves a printer, a vacant lot, and a baseball bat. I'm going through the "troubleshooting" nonsense. I'm aligning cartridges! I'm running "cleaning cycles!" I am CURSING.

Eventually, I figure out that the problem is the ink cartridge itself. I buy a HP60, as instructed by the user manual, and those have worked fine. Last time I was purchasing ink, all the store had was the HP60 XL.

See figure a: 

The "XL" is double the price and that little circle proclaims "3x more pages!" So I assume that it is compatible with my printer, which it is not. It takes me an hour to recognize the printer type (a letter + 4 digits that is impossible to memorize for off-hand reference in the aisles of Target) is not listed on the box of the XL.


I've already paid for the shipping and set up a pickup request, so these labels need to HAPPEN. There's actual monies at stake, here. (there's also the Husband-related fear that our income might abruptly hit zero at any given time, so MONIES = IMPORTANTE right now) 

I feverishly pack up Little Man and my sweaty self to the office supply store and notice something ridiculous. The exact same boxes labeled HP60 arbitrarily do/do not have my exact printer model on the box. THERE IS NO WAY TO DISCERN which will work and which won't unless I have my printer model number written down. (which, thankfully I do) 

But still. Isn't that a bizarre system, HEWLETT PACKARD? Wouldn't it be correct to assume that all inks bearing a certain number would work for the machines that need that same number? WHY, HP? WHY? 

The story continues. On the way home, (not actually sure this new cartridge is going to work, but pretty pleased that the end of this saga is near) I get flush again with ACCOMPLISHMENT; it feels so nice. Let's knock down some more walls. 

My car unlocker/clicky thing has stopped working. It started maybe unlocking/locking the car if I pushed it 15 times, but maybe not even then. And now it works NONE. I've been having to manually lock the door WITH A KEY for a week now, and it grates on the last nerve I have. I've been purposefully taking Husband's car because his clickety thing works. 


Wow, this is turning into a real page-scroller, I'm sorry. Long story short; Have you ever looked at your key fob thing and noticed a lack of any "here, the battery goes here" indications? At least for my make/model of car, the clicker fob thing is a gigantic nightmare. I had to look it up online, in the aisles of an autoparts store to even come close to an idea of how to change out the battery. (future self who needs to change the battery again, I hope you never exist, but here is the information about how to change a Mazda Key Fob Battery, be warned you will need a tiny screwdriver, go to a Radio Shack and have them help you) 

As it turns out, Mazda designed this key fob to be like Fort Knox, you need a screwdriver, too much brevity than I can muster, and even then there are secret latches, hidden compartments, it all feels like a convoluted rubik's cube. The Radio Shack lady broke off a non-essential plastic nub, and it was I who was able to figure out the riddle and we changed the battery. 

BUT IT KEEPS GOING! I head home, so perfectly pleased with myself for all the stuff I'm checking off my list. I feel like I could have been so high on illegal substances to replicate the experience. I am simply frothing with achievement, mixed with a sprinkling of white hot rage for HP and Mazda for giving me such hurdles. 

I am driving up the driveway and notice a box on my doorstop. Curious. I don't remember any late-night-Amazon-orders. (although I have two currently in the queue) But I need to get inside and PRINT THE DANG LABELS ALREADY. I fetch the box and stop dead in my tracks when I see the return address. It is the friend whom I've been printing a label for to send her fun goodies. 

I weep openly in the driveway. Soggy, wet, happy tears. Releasing a lot of tension tears. It was a gosh-darned beautiful moment. And before I forget. While driving I had Siri make a note for this very post that starts "My story illustrates the power of small victories." That's just perfect right there. The power of small victories, they are mighty. 

I feel like I should thank you, anyone and everyone in the ether who has thought of me/us or sent us good thoughts/wishes, (or boxes full of exciting CDP stuff!) even those of you who don't know what's going on. I totally feel them. At this moment I feel so aware of the positive energy being sent my way. I'm crying right now, as a matter of fact. This might be my new thing: crying at all times. Even if no one reads this, it feels good to write it out; To acknowledge the wonderful and the tragic alike. Thank you everyone for giving me this space.


  1. I could NOT be happier that the box got to you today. Honestly. Tear open as many as you need to and know you're loved and thought of. So, so, sooooo happy that it could help you! (And excited/hopeful that it all is good stuff!)

  2. I LOVE THIS! Tender mercy, indeed ;-)