Planned Obsolescence

Today’s appliances and gadgets have a tendency to work … until they don’t. The sad part is they tend to go south just when you need old reliable. It doesn’t matter if it’s a  toaster or the four wheel monster in the garage. Or, in my case, my printer.

Since retiring, the printer doesn’t get a lot of use. I use it to print envelopes, maybe occasional bookmarks, to send postcards to my family and … well, that’s about it. Most of my correspondence is done electronically.

I knew something was up a couple or three weeks ago when the colors lost sharpness and developed a decided streaking pattern. I attributed it to low ink, so I ordered fresh ink from the manufacturer. Big mistake. It took about 10 days to get it delivered to the netherlands (mid Maine, not the country). I should have just drove to the store but I was too lazy to drive the 12 miles and, well, it was Walmart.

At any rate, I loaded the magenta and cyan cartridges {yeah, I had the exclamation point on the ink level bar} and fully expected it to work. Surprise! There was no black. The ink bar indicated it was about three-quarters full but since I had the extra cartridge, I put in a new one. Still no black. I ran the diagnostics {nozzle test and clean heads}. Still no black. I printed a mostly black page. The colors were vibrant, but still no black.

So today I retired the Epson and bought a new printer.

The Epson doesn’t owe me anything. It went with me on my nearly nine month, 7,000 mile zig zag journey across the country to visit all five kids and their families in five states — Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Kentucky, and South Carolina. The last 84 days of the adventure was pretty much sequestered in Bowling Green, KY, thanks to the pandemic. At least once a week — on Fridays when I print the postcards — the Epson would vacate its spot on the back seat floor of the SUV and into whatever child’s house I was visiting. And she trudged through the crisp fall, snowy winter, and hot and humid spring until she could be permanently placed on my desk.

She made have lost a few external plastic parts during the mobile phase, but just hummed along responding to each of my commands. A few weeks ago — right about the time of the ink fiasco — I noticed a few skips in her beat, a change in her printing cadence, a wheeze here, a cough there. So I decided to put her out to pasture. Since I have a tendency not to throw things away — that’s another story — she’ll sit on a shelf in the closet. Hey. You never know. Some day I might need something printed that doesn’t require any black ink.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: We can’t go wrong with joy.

About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
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