Saturday, December 24, 2011

Fun with printers

Pulled the little-used printer out of the cupboard today to print some DVDs to discover that the third printer in a row has died due to print head blockage.


After some bad language and stomping about I realised that if I only got a shot away with the infrequency that the printer does I would probably have a blockage too, and got on with it.


Note:  running print head cleans until you go an interesting shade of purple in the face will NOT fix this.  The problem is that the heads dry up from lack of use and moisture, similar to the concept of a dry-as-a-nun’s-nasty.  Drastic measures are called for.


Fixing consists of putting the print head in the cart change position, then pulling the power, leaving all the interlocks undone.  You then pull all the carts leaving you with a blocked but accesible print head.  At this stage you may optionally fantasize about pulling the bastard out and ultrasonically cleaning it in a distilled water bath, but a good peer at the ribbon cables solves that fairly quickly.  Not going there.


Plan 2:  fold up a lump of paper towel and put in the bottom of the printer, inside the head slide rails.  Hold in position with a pen and slide the head back over it.  Now assemble a syringe body and a bit of fish tank tubing, plus a glass of about 5% meths and the rest distilled water.  Charge the syringe, purge bubbles, set the tubing on the head nozzle that pierces the ink tank and gently squeeze the syringe to push the solution through the head, thus dissolving any crap blocking the nozzles.  Repeat for all SIX nozzles, about 1cc each.  Slide the head back across and discard the paper towel, not making multi-coloured drips on a man’s carpets.


Piss off for about half an hour, or a beer, whichever seems appropriate.


Repeat same trick.  This time, get a few bits of paper towel and soak up any objectionable puddles in the ink tank bay too, and generally anything you don’t like the look of.


Replace ink carts, close lid, and repower the printer.  Run the print head cleaning cycle about 6 times to get the demin water out of the heads, it’s not worth the hair tearing not to do so.    Then run a nozzle check and dump a few full page test prints in whatever colour is still recalcitrant.


Result:  printer produces all colours normally, for about half an hour’s swearing and about $1 of el cheapo eBay ink to recharge the head reservoirs.  Beats $155 for a new printer.  I shall have to keep this one’s electronic hormones adjusted with a more frequent run in the future.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A morning in court

Just got back from a morning in court at VCAT (Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal).


The real estate agent from our old rental has been trying to stitch us up with claims against the bond for things like cracked windows (that were already bloody well cracked when we moved in), pest control etc.  I told ‘em to go jump or I’d see them in court.  They took me to court.  Fair enough.  Interesting place (Moorabbin Justice Centre), a mix of professional staff, members of the public on civil and minor criminal business, and an absolutely amazing set of low lives I'd more normally associate with Noble Park train station.


The magistrate was a tough old bird rather reminiscent of Judge Judy, and churned through 6 cases before mine, all REAs making claims against delinquent or eloped tenants.  She was a lot easier with the one member of the public who turned up for his case though, the professionals were definitely expected to have their act together.


When she asked me to swear myself in, I recited the oath of affirmation from memory, which got me a peer over the glasses.  I explained I was a Justice of the Peace and had thus long since memorised it, and I think I head a quiet groan from the REA at the other table.


Point 1 – cracked windows.


REA did his little song and dance and sat down.  I got up and pointed out that there was no mention of the condition of the windows in question one way or the other in the entry inspection report, and the photos were useless – too grainy to see anything, and were taken with the venetian blinds down at the time too!.  Here’s my nice, full colour, full screen closeups of the windows in question showing they were cracked at the time of occupancy, all that’s happened is the cracks have grown over time.  Here’s more photos of half a dozen other windows in the house with the exact same problem, all caused by the rotten putty allowing water entry which rusts the frames out so they swell and crack the glass.  In a moment of pure glory, the magistrate observes yes, just like that one – and points at a window in the court with temperature-related cracking.  Indeed your honour, exactly like that.


I then pointed out that the windows and progressive cracking had been discussed several times at inspections during the tenancy, none of which the REA had documented, and the beak then directed a four-letter stare at the REA for not bringing that person along to the hearing as well.


Result – claim dismissed, respondent has produced much better evidence and documentation than the claimant, who doesn’t have a leg to stand on.



Point 2 – alleged flea infestation.


REA claims fleas found at premises by new tenants only a week after entry, must have been caused by our cats, flea control quotes and invoices etc etc.


I point out that:

•             We had one flea problem two years ago that the cats got from a kennel, which was treated and eliminated.

•             The cats get treated monthly for fleas because we don’t want them in the place either, and I’d rather prevent than deal with it afterwards.

•             Every single adjoining property has pets and some of them roam onto the property.

•             We actually vacated the property a week prior to handover, so it’s 2 weeks, not 1 – rather a long time for something the size of a pinhead to go unfed.

•             The house was professionally exit cleaned and the carpets steam cleaned which would have eliminated any fleas.

•             Nothing was noted on the exit inspection.

•             The cats have been living inside for two months in the new hours with no fleas, they more often than not sleep in our walk in wardrobe.  If they were fleas, we’d notice.  I also doubt the fleas elected to stay at the old postcode.

•             If the landlord believed the fleas were due to the cats, why did he initially offer to go halves on the cost?  Or is that a way of getting me to fund a pest control for the house to deal with the spider and termite issues it has?  No your honour, I don’t see that in the documentation the REA has supplied either.  Here’s a copy of the e-mail I just happen to have handy.  Another quiet groan from the REA's table.

•             I've gotten fleas from the seat and carpet on a Jetstar plane before from whatever filthy hippie was there before me, and while I'm not disputing the prescence of the fleas, I do dispute that they had anything to do with our tenancy.


Result – REA told to GTFO, it might be a convenient solution for them to blame the fleas on me, but that doesn’t make it the fact.  REA also given a serve from the bench about being so used to just turning up and getting what they want that when a respondent turns up and represents their point of view properly, and backs it with evidence and a reasonable explanation of events, they had better lift their game if they expect to get anywhere.



Outcome – VCAT order issued discharging all claims by the claimant, and costs awarded to the claimant.  Respondent currently enjoying a celebratory glass of shiraz.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


This tupperware container of chicken has been sitting on top of the fridge in my work lunch since Thursday.  And it can continue to sit there as far as I'm concerned, because I'm certainly not touching the thing.

I also see in the news of the day that the moron OWS protesters in New York are now on a hunger strike because the mean, nasty city council and police won't let them camp in the middle of the fucking street and prevent normal people from going about their business.

As far as I'm concerned it's an excellent idea, as long as they go and do it quietly somewhere.  I bet they make it 24 hours before they want a nice, hot, grande sugar-free, non-fat, vanilla soy, double shot, decaf, no foam, extra hot, peppermint white chocolate mocha with extra syrup from Starbucks.