My new $175 paperweight.
My new $175 paperweight.

My old high school buddy, Cas, has been staying with us this past week or so and, as a thank you for hosting him, he bought me a new wireless printer.  I told him he didn’t have to do it, that I was perfectly happy with my old, dependable plug and print, but he insisted it was time to move on.  Think of all the time I’d save printing from anywhere in the house with just the push of a button.  Despite my protests, he bought me an HP 6600 series, just like he has at home.  And, after setting it up, we were good to go!  All I had to do was print a test page from my laptop and I would finally enter the 21st century.  I selected print and –

Nothing.  I waited.  A little onscreen window informed me that the printer was busy and that it would attempt to reconnect in another five seconds.  Busy?  Doing what?  It was just sitting there!  Five seconds later, the little onscreen window informed me that the printer was still busy, but that it would attempt to reconnect in another ten seconds. Then, thirty seconds.  “Make sure to add the new printer to your computer,”Cas advised.  Silly me.  Of course!  I went into my printer settings, input the IP address for the new printer, hit print and –

Nothing.  I waited.  The little onscreen window informed that the printer was busy and that it would attempt to reconnect in another five seconds.  “Here,”said Cas handing me the software disc that came with the printer.  “Install the driver.”  So I slid the disc into my Mac, clicked the little install icon and –

Nothing.  Another little window popped up, informing me that the HP software was not compatible with my Mac (he’s Baptist, she’s Southern Methodist) and that the installer required MAC OS X version 10.6 or later.  “No problem,”I said.  “I’ll just hit the old “Software Update” option on my Mac and then, it’ll be smooooooooth sailing.  So I hit the software update and –

Nothing.  My software is, apparently, up to date.  “You need to go online and download the driver from the HP site,”Cas suggested.  So I went to the HP site, downloaded the Mac version of the driver for the 6600 series.  I got rid of my old, potentially confusing printer settings. My laptop detected the new printer.  Bingo!  I hit print and –

Nothing.  I went back to my printer settings and added the new IP address.  Hit print.

Nothing.  My new printer was, apparently, unable to connect…but perfectly willing to retry in 5, 10, and 30 seconds increments.  Worse still, an annoying pop-up window started to appear, unprompted, to inform me that the “Application HP Device Monitor Quit Unexpectedly”, offering me the choice to “Quit”, “Report”, or “Relaunch”.  Okay, I thought, and clicked “Quit”.  Seconds later, the warning popped up once again.  Again, I hit “Quit” and, seconds later, it reappeared.  I clicked “Relaunch”.  The window reappeared within seconds.  I settled on “Report”.  And still the window reappeared.  No matter what I clicked, it just kept reappearing, annoyingly persistent as an ad for Hangover III.  “Maybe you need to reboot,”suggested Cas.

Ah, reboot – the last refuge of the weak, the desperate, and the technologically inept.  I was all three, so who was I to argue?  Within seconds of rebooting my laptop, the window popped up once again. Exasperated, I turned things over to our resident all-around expert, google, and was promptly directed to a forum where I was offered instructions on uninstalling the HP software.  Which I did.

While I’d love to admit my incompetence and tell you I’m back at “square one”, the truth is that, having wiped my original printer settings and unable to find the set-up disc for my old printer, I’m actually worse off now than when I began.  So what can I do now if I need something printed?

That’s right.  Absolutely nothing.


May I direct your attention to my sidebar to the right of this text.  It’s chock full of interesting goodies like…

A handy search option that allows you to  seek out specific subjects I’ve covered in past blog entries like “Atlantis”, “SG-1”, and “Crispy prawn head recipe”.

A drop down Archives section allows you peruse past entries by month.  Look!  December 27th!  My Snow Monkeys are world champs!

A section dedicated to our Supermovie of the Week Club gives you a rundown of the superhero-themed movies up for review and discussion in the next few weeks.  Looks like the Green Lantern is up next, with this blog’s resident film critic, Cookie Monster, weighing in with his review on Monday, May 27th.

The Stuff I’ve Worked On section lets you know the projects I’ve worked on the last ten years or so.  I hope to add one or two (maybe more!) to this section before year’s end.

Consult my Watching window to find out what I’m currently viewing. At the moment, I’m halfway through the second season of Girls.

Consult my Recently Watched window to find out what I’ve just finished viewing – most recently, the second season of Downton Abbey. Damn, I can’t believe how much I love this show.  I was planning to jump on a couple of other shows before moving on to Downton Abbey’s third season (I figured it would make the looong wait for season four more bearable), but I’ve been suffering withdrawal pangs and fear I won’t be able to hold out past the weekend.  Wonderful characters, especially Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess.  I ♥ Violet Crawley.

A little further down you can check out what I’m Currently Reading.  At present, I’m doubling up on true crime.

And, below that, you can peruse my list of Recently Read titles.  A lot of true crime in there as well in addition to David Sedaris’s latest and the terrific first book of a new-to-me fantasy trilogy: Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Apprentice.  Great stuff.  I’ll be ordering the next two books.

And, finally, a list of Categories.  Want to read through all of my Fantasty Football-related entries?  No problem.  Just click on the Fantasy Football.


Kathode writes: “Did your mom really tear your exercise book in half?!? (Or were you taking poetic license in writing that?) Was she THAT angry at you for quitting, or was the book-tear merely a clever dramatic show intended to guilt you into keeping on with your piano lessons? Have you discussed this with your mother since you’ve become an adult, to get her side of the story? Does she even remember this incident? I am fascinated with this story. I want to know more.”

Answer: Oh, she did tear it in half.  And cried.  And made my sister cry.  When I asked her about the incident years ago, she drew a blank.

dasndanger writes: “So, can you play the piano?”

Answer: Yes, I’m able to play all five songs I happen to remember from back in the day.

Ponytail writes: “How is Bubba’s paw healing?”

Answer: Bubba is back to his old lazy, anxiety-prone, walk-loving self. Thanks for asking!


luis811 writes: “Can you get the recipe for Cas workout Shake?????”

Answer: Mixed frozen berries, fresh pineapple, banana, pomegranate juice, cranberry juice, one lime (rind and all), toasted oats, greek yogurt.

JeffW writes: “We made the Sancocho a couple of days ago and we enjoyed it…very gumbo like. Did you try the Gouda grilled cheese with it? It made for a nice “soup” and sandwich combo.”

Airelle writes: “Joe forgot to ask, are you packed for a trip to LA?”

Answer: Not yet.  Paul and I should be making plans early next week.

Answer: I had the sancocho with cheddar and havarti grilled cheese (and steak and chicken and avocado and caramelized onions) sandwiches.


Today’s entry is dedicated to Bethany!

37 thoughts on “May 22, 2013: Ah, the marvels of modern technology! Sidebar! Mailbag!

  1. That sandwich looks delicious!

    So sorry about your printer problem. It was nice of your friend, Cas, though. I don’t much about Mac’s, so instead of advice, I’ll just wish you luck!

  2. We have an old saying in IT, “if in doubt, reboot”, but I guess that didn’t help you a lot. Also, I’ve found that going to the Internet for computer troubleshooting is, as strange as it may seem, usually pointless. You get 20 people posting with the same problem and no one seems to have a solution.

    Anyway, are you sure the printer itself is working correctly? Are you able to actually connect it with a USB connection to see if it will work that way? I’ve usually found with the Mac that the OS will download the driver and configure itself for a direct connected printer with very little trouble.

    That “grilled cheese” sandwich looks amazing. And filling!

  3. Your sidebar is very nice, Joe. It completely exonerates you for failing at printer drivers.

    I have an account and it’s a formatting nightmare. (Not for blogging, for learning the toggles and cogs of the workings behind WordPress. I’m not winning at that.)

  4. Joe, I agree with gforce. Try hooking it up directly and see if you can get it to work that way. And your sandwich looks really good. But isn’t steak and chicken a bit excessive? Especially with soup containing shrimp and sausage?

    @Jennifer: Tell Bethany I hope the surgery goes well and that she has a speedy recovery!

    @Deni: I’m glad you are getting better. No cast. The fracture is “non-displaced” so no brace (or surgery) is needed. Just a lovely, stylish black sling for now and physical therapy later.

  5. On WordPress mobile site, sidebar items appear at bottom under comments.

    Our policy is to call “ComputerNerdz” if the consumer setup instructions don’t achieve desired results.

  6. @ Deni – Get better soon! Don’t monkey around if you get any worse, or if it drags on and on. I did that once and ended up with PUHmonia. 😛

    @ Sparrowhawk – I hear Todd’s good at hands-on therapy…



  7. Joe-

    Love new side bar! Fast and easy!

    On the subject of Green Lantern Id love to chime in on this next week. I worked on the film as consultant for prop and costume and did most the flight gear for Ryan and Blake. I was on set for better part of 6 months and can offer some insight most will not have on this film. Also I can email you some behind scenes pics if you like to post them? I do not think I can post pics here. Please email me if you like some shots and I can post some replies for everyone once you are done!

  8. Love your sidebar. Actually, it’s endless entertainment when I have nothing else to do and waiting on you to post…I surf around your blog. I noticed you still get comments on certain entries long after the original post. Last we saw you might have had 50 comments on a particular post date (usually the Stargate related ones), but now some are like up to 150+ comments. Interesting.

    I would have made Cas sit down and work with the printer while I sit on the floor playing with the dogs. Call me when it’s fixed… But I’m not too bright with computer problems.

    I understand Akemi was video taping you making your cheese sandwich. I wonder if she has posted it yet? I’ll have to check out her blog. Her videos are great!

    @ Bethany – Good luck girl! You’ll do fine and feel much better afterwards. A lady at my church had her gallbladder out on a Friday and was back in church on Sunday!

  9. “Answer: Oh, she did tear it in half. And cried. And made my sister cry. When I asked her about the incident years ago, she drew a blank.”

    Yep. Sounds like a classic guilt-trip-mom-ploy.

    Definition of “Ploy” – a tactic intended to embarrass or frustrate an opponent. 😆

  10. ah yes… “CYBER-HELL”!! – don’tcha love it?!
    seriously. *I-MISS-DOS*!!

  11. Ahhhhhhh, HP. They make nice printers but their software sucks! Couple that with Mac OS X and you’re in a world of pain.

    As gforce suggested, try plugging into the printer directly to make sure the printer and your computer are actually working together. Then it just narrows it down to a wireless issue.

    Make sure the printer is correctly connected to your wireless network. I assume if it has an IP address then it has connected but it’s possible it just has a default address that bears no relation to your actual network. You would need to select your wireless network’s ID from a list on the printer’s screen and, I would expect, enter your network’s password.

    Try opening a Terminal (Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal) and see if you can ping the printer’s IP by typing into the Terminal window:

    ping your.printer’s.ip.address

    Use Ctrl-C to stop the ping command.

    If you can ping it then it’s on the network and you should be able to print to it.

  12. What version of Mac OSX are you using actually? The software update only works within a major version, say 10.5, 10.6, etc. To see what you’re running, go up to the little apple symbol in the upper left and select “About this Mac”. If you are running 10.5 or earlier, you’re running very old version! Did you download the HP driver that goes with 10.5 or whatever you have?

    To upgrade to the latest, 10.8, you have to go to the on-line Apple store and buy it for $20. Software Update will never get there.

    Of course upgrading to 10.8 could cause other compatibility problems, especially if you’re relying on Rosetta to run old Power-PC apps. I can’t remember when that went away but maybe 10.6.

    You probably figured all that out and just left it out for reasons of “humor” but thought I’d throw it in there. You def. need a wireless printer! You NEED it! 🙂

  13. Joe – Which version of the Mac OS are you using? Hopefully atleast 10.7 or 10.8 …

  14. @ Akemi
    is imperative a couple of photos of yours truly & cas trying make the printer work. 😆

  15. Joe, I hear ya about the tech stuff. Have been on the phone for several hours the past year over computer issues. You are not alone!

    Jennifer — I live in Indianapolis & am familiar with downtown. Contact me if you want someone to wait with you in the waiting room while Bethany is in surgery. *E-mail Joe, and he’ll give you my cell number.* (Joe, I’ll be sending the number to you for Jennifer.) You can reach him at

  16. And a Big Thanks to Cas for his smoothie recipe! I’m gathering the ingredients.

  17. sorry if this is a double post…

    Was out running errands today with mom (who doesn’t drive), and my brakes went out. 😯 There was just enough power left in them to limp slowly home. Whew! Dad had some brake fluid, which was nearly gone. Tested the brakes again. Uh oh… Yep, a leak in the brake line. After spending $500 in repairs this spring. Owie. 🙁 My mechanic is taking the weekend off, so I’m without wheels for the holiday. Sigh… At least we got home safe!

    In happier news, saw the Jackie Robinson movie, “42” again for the second time last night. Powerful story, simply told, by writer/director Brian Helgeland. He didn’t scrimp on the details, so it was painful to watch at times. Not to worry. There were lots of sports zingers in the dialogue for comic relief. Overall, it was very inspiring to see the struggle and victory, and Jackie’s (Chadwick Boseman) unique partnership with the crusty and charismatic Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford). A *great* movie all around, even if you’re not a baseball fan.

  18. for the love of Beckett: So glad you are ok!!!! I hope you can get your car fixed first thing Tuesday.

    Deni, Sparrow_hawk & Bethany: I hope you three ladies are feeling better today?

  19. Joe, for your upcoming LA visit (and maybe move):,0,4041745.story?track=lat-JGold101-Text%20Ad-Membership-Homepage-ArtSpot

    The LA Times’ food critic, Jonathan Gold, has just put together a “101 Best Restaurants” guide. You have to subscribe to the LA Times website to access the full 101 restaurant reviews, but the top 20 are listed on the link above, and clicking each name takes you to the full review of that restaurant.

    I think his list is overly skewed to the West Side (West Hollywood/Beverly Hills/Santa Monica/Brentwood/Westwood, but you’d probably end up living there anyway if you moved. I don’t see you putting up with the 30+ temperatures in the Valley or Pasadena, being the Canadian boy that you are.

    But I have to say, you should really look into the Beachwood Canyon area, or Los Feliz. Both are walkable (especially Beachwood Village, where the little market and local restaurants are really only frequented by residents of the canyon), near the fun, funky little restaurants on Franklin, and neither is populated by the annoyingly pretentious types you find so often in those other parts of town (i.e., the West Side). Best thing about the top of Beachwood Canyon (where Beachwood, the road, dead-ends): you’re right next to the horse/hiking trails of the mountains that bisect the LA Basin, separating the San Fernando Valley from the rest of the city. A great place to walk with the puppies! And I would guess the houses there are less expensive than West Side houses, but I don’t know that for sure.

    Just my 2 cents. (I miss LA a lot and during the long, rainy, long, cold, and long Vancouver winter, I wish I were still there. So I’m living vicariously through you.)

  20. @for the love of Beckett: I’m glad you’re okay. That’s pretty scary.

    @Tam: Doing okay, thanks! I over-romped a little today (short driving errands with my daughter) and gave myself a migraine.

  21. Joe, have you gotten to the Dungeons & Dragons episode of Community yet? For me, that’s the best episode of the entire run of the show, BY FAR.

  22. 1. II love HP printers, but then again, I have a PC…

    2. @ ftloB – Glad you’re okay! I’ve had similar scares, and it’s not fun. Neither is having to put out that kind of dough for repairs. 😛

    3. @ majorsal – Nope, haven’t read them. If it’s not written by Joey & Co., it’s not canon, but just fan fiction…and I don’t read fan fiction. 😉 I’m really funny about reading stuff not written by the creators who first introduced me to a tv or movie character – probably why I could never get into Star Trek novels.

    4. @ Sparrowhawk – Over…romped? 😯 It didn’t have anything to do with Todd, did it?

    5. The only thing I over-did today was buying about $70 worth of plants. I really need to start growing things from seed. 😛

    6. @ Joey, a.k.a. The Blogfather – Will you ever treat us to a video of you tickling the ivories? Or Akemi? Either will work. 😀

    7. Speaking of tickling, are you ticklish? I am very much so – Mr. Das not quite as sensitive, but I can get in a good pit-tickle now and then. Once I did his pit and his ‘arm jerk’ reaction was to elbow me in the teeth – quite accidentally. I went to the dentist to make sure he didn’t break a tooth, and to this day I think the dentist didn’t buy my true story, but thinks that Mr. Das punched me in the mouth. 😛


  23. I thought Robin Hobbs Assassins Apprentice series was really great. The rest of her books are also good, but I think this series is my favourite of hers.

  24. I sympathize with your problem. Remember my computer that took 2 weeks to get fixed in March? Well apparently all is not well with my computer. After $400 you would think there would be no issues, but now it’s telling us we aren’t using genuine Windows 7 software. All attempts to fix the problem have not worked. As such, it will not update. Because it will not update, Norton’s antivirus is having a field day. So now I have to figure out a good time (maybe this week) to take it to Geek Squad and see if they can fix the issues the other people did not because frankly I will never trust my computer with those people again. I did have a breach into my credit card less than a week after those people misplaced my old hard drive (the woman who worked there). I doubt the online linens purchase of $700 or more was made by the men there. The woman is the one who conveniently found it when the guys could not locate it when they swear they had just seen it. Just the tip of the mess with them. So I’ll have to pay another $300 to Geek Squad to fix the present issues. I told Jeff we could have bought a new computer for not too much more when all is said and done. I really do hate technology. But it was thoughtful of Cas to try to do something nice for being a great host. Next time, perhaps dinner at your favorite restaurant would be a better idea.

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