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      Tuesday, March 01, 2016

03:17 PM - 03/01/2016

The topic: This makes me NUTS!!!

Brian needs more stamps and I've got one I want for myself ("Please hand stamp" for the cards I make and send in the mail.)

But I'm having problems getting the print heads to properly clean. And one of my problems is with the black. All colors print out great in the nozzle check (there are eight colors in my printer), but when it comes to the checkerboard black on black thing, it's not doing the complete checkerboard, many of the solid black spaces aren't being colored in. And I'm pretty sure this is the reason that I'm not getting the stamp negative black area solid enough. If too much light shines through, it borks the stamp. I did three sheets of test negatives the other day and wasn't happy with the result. Back to the printer, doing what I could to get the nozzles working the way they should.

Since there are admonishments to not run more than two cleaning cycles in a row (because of waste ink, which isn't a problem since all waste ink is fed through tubes to containers outside of the printer, not the print pad at the bottom of the printer), I've decided to just print stuff out.

I'm in the process of printing out all of the PDF instructions for my SVG files.

What a blast. So much fun. And what really sucks is I've found I'm reprinting the files I've already printed.


But with any luck, doing this will help fix that checkerboard thing and I'll be able to print decent negatives and not waste the polymer for the stamps.

mrs. crankypants
08:12 PM - 03/01/2016

The topic: Switched Brian’s life insurance company

Finally got everything squared away. Farmer's wasn't doing squat with the money and we want to make sure there's enough to pay off the house should anything (God forbid) happen to Brian.

It was the type of insurance that money accrues and we get interest on it, but the interest was pretty sad. There's a much better deal with the new company. But if Brian dies, that money is lost, the only thing I'll get is the actual life insurance. So, Brian can't die. And in ten years (I think that's it), he can pull all of that money out. Cool.

Farmer's automatically took payment from our bank account. The new company is doing the same. I was checking our bank account yesterday and holy crap! They took the payment out FOUR TIMES! Luckily, there was money in there to cover that, but I called our agent and he checked it out today. We should get our money back in ten days. Ten days. The reason I had all of that money in the bank was to pay the overdraft from a couple of months ago when we needed it for the mortgage payment. Now, we'll be getting hit with interest since there isn't enough in there to pay it off in full.

Brian's gonna mention this to the agent (he'll be seeing him later this week). We'll need to be reimbursed for that. It wasn't our bad, it was their's.


      Wednesday, March 02, 2016

02:46 PM - 03/02/2016

The topic: One of the drawbacks

Of using older equipment that the manufacturer would rather you put out to pasture and spend money on something brand new, is the lack of support for the old equipment.

One of my unsupported pieces of equipment is my Epson R1900 printer. The one with we've modified with the continuous ink system and ink waste receptacles (tubes from the machine to bottles outside of the printer that I dump as they become full; running a print head clean cycle uses ink and the ink has to go somewhere; before the receptacles were installed, the ink just dumped into an unreplaceable pad in the bottom of the machine). The printer has an internal counter that counts the amount of ink that it thinks your machine has used, based on your usage. Once it reaches 100%, the machine won't work. Used to be, Epson had a counter reset utility on its website.

No longer. Was I SOOL?

Fortunately, I did find a site that has a program that will reset this amount. It comes with a trial usage key that will reset the count back to 90%, then if you want, you can buy a key to reset it all the way back to zero. The more keys you buy (just a set of numbers) the cheaper they are. Each key can only be used once. This morning, I bought five keys. I should be set for a couple of years. 

I'd hate to have to get a new printer, I like the one I have.


      Thursday, March 03, 2016

09:54 AM - 03/03/2016

The topic: Finally got those stamps made

Took most of the morning getting the printer heads cleaned yesterday (took a lot of ink, my waste bottles were empty Sunday morning, I've emptied them twice since then, it's crazy).

Then I tried printing out new negatives. This film is about $2.25 a sheet, so it's hard to do test prints, it gets expensive. But I can get eight stamps out of one piece of film and if we were to buy them, they'd be at least twelve dollars each. I used five sheets of film getting these stamps made. And I learned something.

I should really run the head check once a day to keep the printer heads lubed and free flowing. (Thinks back on the last three days of tests and wasted ink and wasted paper and hours and hours of time when I could have been doing something way more fun than sitting here waiting for the multiple printer head cleaning processes to finally be successful.)

When the film manufacturer's website gives suggestions for printer settings for different printers, follow those before trying something different. Like if it says use the default settings, USE THE DAMNED DEFAULT SETTINGS before mucking around with alternate settings. That might have saved some of this film that ended up in the trash.


Stamps made yesterday evening and they turned out nicely. Brian needs to cut the acrylic and I'll glue the stamps to the acrylic and add the wooden thread spool to the top for the handle.

I'm in my happy place.


      Tuesday, March 08, 2016

09:02 AM - 03/08/2016

The topic: Wow, was that food poisoning?

Ish. Last Saturday we went to CostCo. We were in dire need of kibble and some other things. As well as something we really couldn't afford, but it's so pretty!  We don't spend much on house stuff anymore, so I guess it's okay. We really need something for the patio. Don't know how Brian is going to hook it to the electrical, we want to put it on the table on the patio (there's a hole in the middle for an umbrella).

I grabbed a small sample of queso. As much as I love Mexican food, I have heard the word queso, knew it was some sort of cheese, but didn't know if I'd ever actually tasted it. The sample wasn't as big as the tip of my little finger. It was pretty small. Tasted like nothing. The texture reminded me of ricotta cheese. No big deal.

We finished our shopping and left the building. We're about a half mile from CostCo when Brian said "damn it, I forgot my mom's stamps".  He said she really needed them (but he never put them on the list...lists are very important for a reason - in this house, going off of your memory isn't the best idea for shopping). I told him to turn around and go back and get them, he declined, saying he'd go Sunday. I came up with an option to go home, put what we'd bought away, go back to CostCo, get the stamps, go to dinner (it was too late to cook anything) and then home. We went to Janet's Cafe for dinner. I was so hungry my belly hurt.

At least, I thought it was hunger.

I had a Cobb salad. I had wanted to eat light, but there was nothing light about this salad. Lettuce, tomato, avocado, bacon crumbles, bleu cheese crumbles, a hard boiled egg, red onion, black olives, grilled chicken...it was yooge! I ate half and got a box for what was left. It would be a great Sunday lunch. Brian had the senior turkey dinner.

When we got in the car and started home, my pants started to feel really tight around my stomach. I unbuckled my belt. It got worse. I unbuttoned the top button and unzipped the pants. When we got home, I could hardly wait to get them off. I put on sweatpants. They cut into my mid-section. This was not good. Not good at all. Neither was the rest of the night.

Cramps. Vomiting. Diarrhea. More cramps. Sunday, I stayed on the sofa. I used my old tablet to look online for what would be good (and gentle) to eat. I had soda crackers and water, but I was kind of hungry. Bananas. Rice. Applesauce. Toast. We had rice (which I didn't feel up to making) and bread. And a toaster. Brian was more than happy to go to the grocery store and get applesauce and bananas. In the early evening, I felt good enough to make some chicken noodle soup. One can, half a can of added water and I ate half of it, Brian ate the rest. I wasn't running to the bathroom, but my guts were still pretty painful. It was hard to walk upright. Had a fairly good night's rest Sunday and yesterday morning I was feeling much better. I made breakfast (just toast and eggs) and ate lightly for the remainder of the day. Cream of chicken soup for dinner last night.

Today, I feel human again.

Brian thinks it was the queso. I'm not sure. I just don't want to go through that ever again.


09:38 AM - 03/08/2016

The topic: A few years back

I made an adorable little thank you card. I didn't send it, because it was much smaller than I'd anticipated (really, who looks at dimensions?) It had an envelope and everything.

Well, I decided to send it in another envelope, so the post office wouldn't puke it back at me. And I couldn't find it. It should have been in one of the storage folders where I keep in progress or finished projects. It wasn't. I went through each one at least four times (there are four). No card. I checked in the extra room (no reason it would be in there, but I had to look.) No card. I spent hours looking for that card.

So, I figured I'd get out my kit catalog to check the name. You know, the one I wrote about last July. And what did I see inside one of those little storage files in the front? A smallish envelope. I took it out, opened it. My lost card! Yay!

I need to take photos of it and post them. It's so cute.

      Wednesday, March 09, 2016

09:48 AM - 03/09/2016

The topic: I want to

Set up a drop down menu for this weblog where the different categories and the entries are listed out seperately (for me when I'm looking for something I remember posting, but can't find). I found a free plug-in that would do this yesterday.

But I don't want to do it. I don't feel the urge to edit code right now.


I have so stinking much to do, but I can't get started doing any of it.

I have combed my hair. There is that.


      Thursday, March 10, 2016

12:40 PM - 03/10/2016

The topic: About my printer

Back in the beginning of 2009, I got a new printer, an Epson R1900. I got it because I wanted a wider format printer.  It prints 13" wide. They have wider formats, but this was perfect for my needs. Printing transfers for shirts.

It has eight different cartridges. And that gets expensive when you're printing a lot of stuff. I usually bought the off-brand cartridges, but it could still get spendy.

About two and a half years ago, I became aware of the continuous ink system (CIS). And I was very interested. When I found that this system would work with my printer, I ordered one from CISInks.com.  There were two types of ink available, pigment and dye. I went with the dye ink after finding out that the images could be just as vibrant on the transfers, it all came down to settings.

Besides the instructions that came with the system, I also watched some videos. Here is one that was very helpful. Part of the system installed in the video is different than mine, but the actual installation of the cartridge pack is the same.

Brian had to help me get the lid off of the old cartridge system, it broke, but I really don't need it any more. I doubt I'd ever go back to the individual cartridges. He also cut part of the top of the printer out so that the tube/ribbon wouldn't be affected when the lid was closed. Clicking on any of these pictures will take you to a bigger photo in my family album; clicking on that picture will open a larger photo.




Then there was the ink waste. When the printer prints, there is excess ink. When the heads are cleaned during maintenance, when you change a cartridge, there is excess ink. This ink normally is dumped into a waste pad at the bottom of the printer. It builds up over time and will kill the printer. I had no idea about this, but when I originally blogged about this, a comment was left, alerting me to the potential for major printer damage and how to prevent it. I ended up getting a waste ink system at RepublicInks.com. I needed Brian's help drilling the holes for the tubes, I was able to do all of the other modifications myself and it's worked nicely ever since.


Size difference in the tanks against the cartridge. The ink to fill the tank is $5.99 for 100ml. That fills a tank more than once.
There is another problem that comes with this printer. Because of the waste ink dump to that pad in the bottom, over time, that pad will get full and the machine will no longer work. The printer has an internal counter that thinks it knows when saturation has been reached by the number of pages printed.  With the dump tanks, there's no longer the problem of saturation, but the printer doesn't know where the ink is going, it just keeps counting. Epson used to have a utility on their website that would set the counter to zero, but they no longer support it. Fortunately, there is a website that has a counter reset program. The download is free, a trial reset will give you a 10% reduction in the counter, buying a key will allow you to reset the counter to zero.
I really think this system is a great system. The only drawback I've had is of my own making. If I don't regularly do the maintenance, say, turn it on every couple of days, the printer heads start to get a little clogged. Running the cleaning cycle uses a lot of ink, but the time it takes bothers me more than the ink waste. Remember the problems I had a couple of weeks ago when I tried to print the negatives for my stampmaker. After doing all of that cleaning and printing (all of the PDF instruction pages for my kits, close to five hundred pages of high quality printing), the last nozzle check I had was perfect. And this is when I found that counter reset utility.
So, what can I do with a CIS? Well, print my own cardstock, for one thing. The darker colors aren't as vibrant as manufactured stock, but the lighter prints turn out nicely. I used paper I'd printed in the Christmas cards I sent out last year. I also used my own paper in the haunted mansion I made for one of my besties:
And the box I made to "wrap" it in.

Then there's the special gift bag I made to carry a special afghan.
And these adorable little one piece boxes.  This paper design is one I made. I had a cardstock stack (pad of preprinted cardstock) and I really liked one of the patterns, but used all but one sheet. When I looked for it online, it appeared it had been discontinued. So, I made my own. Took me hours..... I made multiples of this pattern printing on both sides of the paper. One side I set the printer to a little lighter color. I really like how it turned out.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I'll help you as much as I can.


      Friday, March 11, 2016

08:15 AM - 03/11/2016

The topic: I love this so much my heart could just burst….


      Tuesday, March 22, 2016

08:24 AM - 03/22/2016

The topic: Good morning!

All is fine here, a little cool, spring has sprung. I caught Ron Howard eating his first bird of this season yesterday morning. Damn it.

Last week, Brian wasn't having a great time. Thursday, I suggested going to see a movie, to get him out of the house and away from work. He agreed. I checked the local listings and we decided on Deadpool. Due to time and work constraints, we didn't go until Sunday morning.

Due to not getting up at six (because time change, hate it, hate it, hate it - my internal clock doesn't reset this quickly anymore), we didn't have breakfast here at home, shared a foot long flatbread breakfast sandwich at Subway.

Then we went to see the movie.

We loved it! Not a movie for children. At all. No way, no how. I know, I know, "super hero" and all, but this is not a movie for kids. A lot of graphic violence, there was a nekkid sex scene, and a ton of risque jokes. Like I said we loved this movie. It was good for Brian because of the humor. It was nice to hear him laughing and not worrying about work for a couple of hours.

mrs. crankypants
10:14 AM - 03/22/2016

The topic: Making breakfast yesterday morning

I got an unpleasant surprise. I didn't feel like doing a big breakfast, we didn't have any bread for toast (well, rye bread, but that doesn't make me squeal with enthusiasm) so I decided to go with frozen waffles and fried eggs.

What I do is melt some Smart Balance in a cup to pour over the toaster cooked waffles and I also heat up syrup. First thing was the Smart Balance blew up in the microwave. Nice. Real nice. Easy clean up, but it's just one of those things, yanno? While these were heating, I started to melt the unsalted butter in the pan for the eggs and popped the waffles into the toaster.  The toaster is old. It's our second one in thirty years of marriage. But it works, so hey, no biggie.

Except yesterday morning, only one side worked. Really? I usually toast the waffles twice, once to defrost and warm them up, then to brown them (remember, this is an old toaster). Le sigh. I pushed that darned button down multiple times, but it just wouldn't stick. Great. Time for toaster #3.

Finally got breakfast done and I mentioned the toaster problem to Brian. "Yeah, I noticed that when I made those sandwiches last week, that it wasn't working". Seriously? The toaster dies and you don't think to mention it to me? I wasted five minutes pushing that lever down (yeah, okay, I know that's a lot, but I believed I could make it work through shear force of will - I couldn't).  When he took his mom shopping yesterday he looked at the toasters at Target.  "I'm not paying fifty-five dollars for a toaster!" he said excitedly when he was telling me about it.

I checked Amazon, he said "what about Walmart?" I checked Walmart, found a toaster for $29.00 with great reviews, then went over to Amazon and looked for the same model. Yay, same price, no shipping! It will be here tomorrow.

      Wednesday, March 23, 2016

02:28 PM - 03/23/2016

The topic: When you’re trying to give your husband

The stinkeye when he says something you disagree with (like how many times a week on average he makes breakfast and the answer is most certainly not two as he claims, but less than that) and the image of a huge state of-the art research vessel, one that costs millions and millions of dollars to build, pops into your head and you see the name of the ship on its hull, the R.R.S. Boaty McBoatface, all hopes of retaining that stinkeye are gone in a gale of laughter.

Damn you, mind....


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lisaviolet is sixty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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