I Did It

Well, I did it! No, not that! Get your minds out of the gutter. Jean is up North, but even if she was here it wouldn’t make a difference. No, I mean….

It’s time for me to fly back up North for Thanksgiving. I had thought about asking Bobby Butane to give me a ride to the Orlando airport, so I didn’t have to pay to park the car. You know me…not cheap, but thrifty. Anyway, when I checked, it was 2 hours and 5 minutes there, and the same back. Brother Bob hasn’t been perfect in his life, but he hasn’t been that bad, so I couldn’t ask him to do that. Besides, the cost of gas would have been more than the parking fee.

So I got on the internet and made reservations to park in one of the “off site” parking lots in Orlando. In order to take advantage of the internet offer, I had to print a copy of the reservation confirmation, so they can scan it when we leave the lot on Monday. The place we rented in Highlands Ridge has a computer and printer, but I have my laptop ‘cuz it has all my files and, most importantly, Quicken, so I know where the checkbook is at all times. The printer is a Lexmark Z43 and it has a parallel cable that hooks it up to the computer. My computer doesn’t have a parallel port, so I couldn’t use it.

This morning I went to Wal-Mart (you can get everything at Wal-Mart) to get a “parallel to USB cable converter”. Now I’m no computer geek, but I’m not a computer special needs case either. I had looked on the internet and they are available. They didn’t have any, and didn’t know where to tell me to find one. I went back to the house, called a neighbor, and asked if I could send the parking confirmation e-mail to her, and would she print it off for me? She said yes, I did, and she did. Problem solved. But wait…when I got back to our place, the e-mail from Delta came that said “Time To Check In and Print Your Boarding Passes”. Well, I couldn’t ask Karen to print something else for me, and she had told me about an OfficeMax next to the Winn Dixie grocery store and a Radio Shack at the mall.

I went to the Office Max, and they said they didn’t have a converter cable, but did have something that might work. I looked at it, and it was just what I was looking for. It was expensive, but cheaper than a printer, so I bought it. The package had been opened and brought back by someone who had bought the wrong thing, but that didn’t make any difference to me. I brought it home and hooked it up to my computer. Usually the computer loads an install program, but not much happened. I went through the process of adding the printer to my computer, but when it came to the drivers, the computer said, “…it didn’t have any…check with the manufacturer”. So I did. Apparently Lexmark doesn’t service the Lexmark Z43 on Windows 7. I had told the guy at OfficeMax that the cable was exactly what I needed and chuckled at the guy who brought it back, unable to use it.

My dilemma was to take it back and look like an idiot, or keep it and lose the money. You guessed it. I took it back. I just happened to be looking at printers while I was waiting for the return, and they had a cheap printer on sale for only $10 more than the cable I was bringing back. So, I bought one. We’ll be coming back down here each year and can leave it at Mom’s over the summer (Mothers don’t mind doing things like that for their kids, unlike Fathers who would say, “Why can’t you haul that thing back and forth with you. We don’t have the room and I don’t want to be stumbling over that crap all summer”). The guy asked if I had everything I needed and I said yes. So I brought it back to Highlands Ridge. I followed the instructions and, when it got to the part that said, “…attach the printer cable to the printer and your computer…”, I realized that the printer cable didn’t come in the box with the printer.

So, it was back to the store for a printer cable. Those little buggers aren’t cheap. Luckily, I had a different salesman each time so I didn’t have to “eat crow”, at least out loud. I had driven into town so many times, I had to stop for gas so I could make it to the airport tomorrow. The gas at the station next to Publix and Winn Dixie was $2.89 and I know it was $2.79 at a Race Track up in Avon Park, so I came back the long way and filled up. I came back to the rental, hooked up the printer with my brand new printer cable, and printed off two boarding passes (just in case I lose one).

So back to the title of the e-mail. A couple of days ago I was whining about being bored. Well, I took a job that should have taken one trip to the store and 20 minutes to hook it up, and made it last all day. Luckily I’m retired.

Just (Tired So I Think I’ll Take A Nap) Jack

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