I think I’ll try defying gravity

The birds had better not pack THIS ONE full of ficus berries.

Okay you can stop reminding us about the broken roof cam …

This thing is a fun sort of puzzle to figure out how to climb. The answer is..... ow my arms are on fire

Inkjet Priming and Cleaning

And now, on the Very Secret Life of Machines….

Here’s a look at a very curious mystery on a Brother MFC-J435W. On this printer the ink cartridges are loaded at the front panel and a set of small (silicone?) hoses carry the ink to the print heads.


This is what they’re supposed to look like. The printer was brought to my desk after a new set of cartridges were loaded and it only printed black. I didn’t get a photo of it but the ink lines were totally empty…??!!

Ink everywhere but not a drop to print

So how do you prime the lines? Well, Brother thought of that. The rubber cap that seals the printhead when not in use is connected to a vacuum pump.


The cap and squeegee blade used to wipe the head are visible at the end.

Triggering the clean cycle over and over finally primed the lines and the color output slowly returned.


So I’ll answer this mystery: What does an inkjet cleaning cycle do? Well, first off, the printhead periodically moves to an ink toilet off to the side and wastes some ink to keep the ink in the passages fresh. This is audible as a soft high pitched (about 5000 Hz usually) tone.

The ink toilet.

Second, a squeegee is moved into the printhead’s path and it’s wiped clean of any dried or accumulated ink. This is typically done during print jobs as well and can be heard as one or more clicks.

Third, during manually initiated cleaning or priming cycles or after installing new cartridges or printheads, the printer uses the big suck to prime the ink feed system.

This vacuum pump isn’t present in all printers. Generally if your printer uses cartridges where the printhead’s changed along with the cartridge, it isn’t present or needed, and if your printer has permanent heads (Epson) or uses tubes like this one, a priming pump is used.

Long ago NeXT made inkjet printers that even had vacuum switches so it could confirm when the ink was primed and fix it if not. Most ain’t that fancy.

So if your printer drops a color, look for these clear tubes – they shouldn’t be!! If the vacuum pump isn’t doing its job, make the printer move its head then cut the power while it’s uncapped. Clean the cap/vacuum with a wet paper towel or cotton swabs. The ink will stain fabric and skin. You were warned. Power back up and see if it’s happier.

Only major gotcha here– repriming the color ink lines consumed a full cartridge!

Oh well– not MY printer…

Before cleaning the Big Suck.

The kind of thing you don’t expect to happen. Twice.

Second time finding lost shoes in the newsroom….


At least this time it’s a pair. It kinda makes sense


In that “oh, that’s just the Bermuda Triangle in force” way

Well that was easy


Store management was unable to figure out   it even happened in the first place, but it was determined that my short exile from Walmart was the result of computer error and resolved itself.

I’m still just way too amused it ever happened.

Picture related. Somewhat. FX. actually it should be FS now for F Schneider.

Okay whose corn flakes did I piss in

I’m banned from Walmart??

I tried to make a purchase there using my credit card. The machine would get to where it asked me to sign then said “unable to process transaction” and a message printed to the cashier. She called over a manager who informed me that the a note that came up in the point of sale system reflects that I’m banned from their stores nationwide.

He added that there was no information filled out in the system indicating why, and that he felt that was in error and, though he couldn’t override it preventing me from using any payment card in my name, he politely let me check out for part of my items in cash before I left.

That’s…… Special. I’ve never even heard of anything this bizarre.

No, this is in no way related to my having quietly taken a photo of that hazardous exit door.

I’m quite confused but not entirely even mad.

Picture of unrelated fail.

Panic exit is right…

No you won’t have any issues with people running out this door with your merchandise! The steel armored cables to the delayed panic exit lock control system will neatly land on and lasso the would be thief.


No guarantees made of safety or fitness for any purpose whatsoever. Fnord. Fnord fnord fnord fnord sloth fnord fnord made in china fnord fnord not a typewriter fnord fnord potato fnord fnord

Morning Poo

It’s comically clear there’s no love given to those radio morning shows anymore…

As of this morning, the Elvis Duran show is banter on how they’re not prepared to do any of their typical features, Paul and Young Ron are talking about how old and decrepit they have become, and I can’t even find anyone else’s shows on the air behind the 10 minute commercial sets.

What an amazing age to broadcast in.

Brown trout.


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