Nov 29, 2009

Where would YOU look for a letter opener?

I got the handy dandy letter opener you see above from one of the conferences I attended a long time ago.  It's been a good little opener for many years.  A few months ago, it disappeared on us.  We searched and searched, but could not find our bill-opening gizmo no matter where we looked. 

Fast forward to Sunday night.  Shan asked me to help print out an oversized mailing label.  That went without a hitch because the labels we have that are 4x6 are inkjet-only.  So, into the Lexmark it went, and after a trial (and error) run, I inserted a new label with the correct orientation and *poof* we were good to go!

She then asked if I would print out a regular label with a return address on it.  No problem, right? I inserted the laser labels into our HP 1012, set up a standard 8169 Avery label and prepared to print.  Since that requires the paper to go into the manual feeder, I loaded the label, pressed the green "GO" button and watched the paper go into the printer.  There was a very distinct "CLUNK" as something inside the laser printer gave way.  When the label came out (yes, it did come out), it was way off center vertically.  I copied the text to a new position and printed a new label.  Or tried to print a new label.  The printer would not take the manual feed!  What the heck?

Oh, you know where I am going with this, but come along for the ride anyway, would you?

I printed the label through the "regular" paper tray and it worked fine.  Once I was done with the task at hand, it was time to start troubleshooting.  I removed the paper tray and looked inside the printer from the front.  I didn't see anything out of the ordinary.  I moved some things around, and tried to print again.  No luck.  It still wouldn't take the manual feed.  I pulled the printer out from its little cubby hole on the desk and opened it up.  Everything looked good.  I reached in, removed the toner cartridge, and there it was - our little letter opener.  I stuck my fingers in to get it, but it was wedged in there pretty well.  I tried to use a pen to dislodge it, but that was only making things worse, and I knew that if I kept going on this route, I'd be buying a new laser printer.  No thanks.  That is *not* on my Christmas list this year!

I got two butter knives from the kitchen.  Oh, I know what you're thinking.  Yes, I turned off AND unplugged the printer before using my makeshift tweezer-tongs anywhere near the electronic device! 

Now, it is usually about here that I talk about how easy it was to remove the object from the place it wasn't supposed to be in the first place.  Yeah, not so much this time.  I struggled to get the opener into a position that would let me extract it from the printer.  In case you weren't aware, there is not a lot of room inside one of these desktop laser printers, and what room there is does not accomodate foreign objects without a fight.  It also does not release said object without one either.  After a bit of experimentation, I decided that I could push down on the manual feed tray, forcing the opener to pop out of it's place, then pull the opener through the same tray opening I was pushing down on. 

I was half right.  The opener did pop out of its place.  But, instead of falling into place, it wedged itself into a weird angular position that I then had to fight to get it out of.  But, I did manage to eventually free the thing from that position and then slide it out of the manual feed opening. 

You may remember not long ago, I posted about geting baseball card plactics sleeves stuck in and melted onto the innards of the printer.... You may also recall my advice to keep ALL objects AWAY from your printer's openings...  We see how well (and how long) I listen to my own advice.

By the way, the printer still works just fine - manual feed and all.  It has nothing to do with me.  That is all about the Lord above smacking me in the head and giving me a bit of that "life experience" I seem to be lacking (since I seem to get so much of it).

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