Sunday, January 18, 2015

Throwing Away My Printer


No, I wasn't angry with my printer. I loved it. The two of us had gone through eleven years of wedded bliss. But I'm a pack-rat, and with the advent of HGTV the DIY Network, where I can find ways to use all the trash/treasure I have around the house, I can't ever move or die. There's just too much stuff for me recycle into something fantastic.

I'd been working on a novel that was due July 1st. I finished it and sent it off to my editor. Then yesterday I decided to clean up my office. It's amazing the amount of things that collect on the floor when you're writing, not to mention I was also sleeping there since we had no central air and I'd installed a window air conditioning unit in that room.






Jerome Library


Anyway, I folded up all the blankets creating my pallet when the heating and cooling company got the air working. Then I started on the other stuff. I threw out old papers, magazines I'll never read again, mail I'd answered, old cards and thank you notes, I emptied a box of supplies putting them on shelves and filling the box with manuscript papers to send to the Library of Popular Culture at Bowling Green University in Ohio. At that point I unearth my printer.


It had been sitting, broken, on the floor for six months blocking the closet and forcing me to lean over it to reach my printing and promotional supplies. I got a new printer at the beginning of the year and this old one I just couldn't make myself get rid of. I told myself I was going to fix it (liar). It was an HP Laserjet III. When I bought it, it was state of the art, cost $1,000.00 and worked like a horse. Many letters, articles, and books flowed through the mechanisms that were unknown and invisible to me as to how they worked. My first published novel came off that printer. It moved with me to two houses. And I had a brand new cartridge just waiting to begin printing up to 5,000 additional pages, but a decision had to be made.


                               My hardworking LaserJet III                                                           My new HP Color Sphere


It was trash night. Friday. I decided, pumping my fist in the air, I was going to throw it out. I took a final look at it and left the room. The printer must have weighed 50 pounds. I couldn't lift it and carry it all the way from my upstairs office to the garage where the huge trash bin was. My son even said it was way too heavy when he brought it down for me and dumped it.


I don't know why it is that we feel the equipment we've bought and used for years past its useful life has the same worth as it did when we bought it. But I did. To me I was throwing a $1,000.00 in the trash. And it hurt.



The next morning, as I went out to retrieve the trash bin and return it to the garage, I knew the printer was well and truly gone. But on the floor in my office, sunk into the carpeting, is the footprint it left me as a reminder.

I won't spend too much time lamenting on the loss of the printer.  I have another book to write, but before that, it's time to READ.  And when I read, I can block out all other thoughts.





That's all for now.  And remember, keep reading.






14 comments:

  1. Nice post. My laser printer is sitting behind me, more dead than alive. Maybe now I'll be able to force myself to take it away. Maybe. :-)

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  2. I've got one of those HP laser printers too that I refuse to throw away even though it's not printing properly at present. Like yours, that printer has churned out thousands of pages and I can't stand to see it go. It looks so stately sitting atop my office room desk. Your post just might inspire me to toss it, especially since I'm the proud owner of at least two or three other perfectly capable printers. But they don't make things like they used to. Should I just have it fixed? Sheesh!!

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    1. You may not be able to get parts to have it fixed. Unfortunately we live in a throw away society.

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  3. Shirley, I have an all-in-one HP that my husband bought to print color as my work-horse printer is only black and white. But last year the color stopped printing. I bought new ink, cleaned the wires like recommended---nothing. And here it sits in my office. I've been out and looked at new color printers, but there are so many it boggles my mind. We have a place in town that refurbishes computers and printers for youth who can't afford them, so when my kids come to visit in February I've decided one of them can carry it downstairs and off to the refurbisher. Then I'll have to get a new one. But I want a smaller, more compact one this time. I'm impressed you have put order to your office.

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  4. I'm still staring at that first sentence in the 2nd paragraph, unable to get past the fact you turned in a book 5 months before it was due. WOW. I want to be you when I grow up. lol Congrats on finishing your book and letting go of the printer. I have a computer I haven't been able to let go of yet.

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    1. I had computers too that it took a long while to dump. My library allows kids to open them up and see how they work, so I donated them. I even enjoyed seeing the kids play with them.

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  5. I bought new innards for my brother printer rather than chuck it. We've been through several toner cartridges a year for nearly 10 years, but apparently there was a counter that I reached where it was either toss it or buy new guts (I've forgotten what it was exactly, but I'd googled it and decided $40 was worth a risk). I don't look forward to it dying the next time.

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  6. I work in a 5 x 5 office, so I have no problem throwing away things that don't work. I'm heartless in that way, otherwise I'll fall over it and the old bones are getting fragile. Congratulations on the early delivery of the book. And that's my style, too, post deadline - clean up, then read, read, read.

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  7. Congratulations on submitting your book early, very nice! I too hung on to my Laser Jet III for a long time before I finally trashed it. I knew I would never be capable of fixing it, but I suppose I hoped for miracle.

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  8. I have a whole computer sitting on the floor. I just know there's a book in its archives that I've forgotten to transfer, Or one in an original state that I'll need again

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  9. I too had a Laserjet III. I loved it. But then it stopped working. I finally donated it to a recycle place. And, yes, it was very heavy! Don't have a laser now, just inkjet. Maybe someday I'll get another one.

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  10. Isn't it funny how, to a writer, a printer can hold so many memories? I bought an HP printer similar to your new one and love it. And I need to clean out my office too, but I like to shred things and my shredder just broke :(.

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  11. I feel your pain. My laser jet printer was purchased in 1990 and even though it doesn't work, I can't beard to see it go to the dump.

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  12. A lot of people could relate to you on this. It’s really hard to throw away something that has served and been with you for a long time. To think that your old printer lasted for about eleven years! Throwing it away must’ve been very tough for you. But then, everything must come to an end. It might be gone for good, but it will certainly be missed. Thanks for sharing!

    Stasia Snellgrove @ ALB Image

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