So mushroom slime killed our printer. Stupid, right? Leaving a plastic bag of 'shrooms on the printer while we tried (and failed) to identify them? Yep.
It was a good printer, a Brother black-and-white laser I picked up at an estate sale for $20. C. is going to try to fix it, but it seems pretty dead.
So today, in an eerie reenactment of my working career, we arose at 7 and drove sleepily into town on wet roads. Not to go to work, but to buy another printer. Now, normal people would probably go to Best Buy or Staples or Target. But that's not how we roll. We went to another estate sale, where we bought two. Probably paid $5 each for them. There are, of course, certain risks in buying used computer gear. No warranty. Might not get all the cables. The pretty printer box might just be full of seashells, or Avon bottles. The printer might not be Mac-compatible. The ink cartridges could be empty (and new ones cost $10 or more each).
The last time we bought a new printer we paid $35 (OK, it was crappy), and we ran it until the ink was gone. Then I couldn't stand to put $50 in new cartridges into a crap printer. I'm cheap like that.
But we lucked out today and one of them, an HP PSC1410v, is Mac-compatible, full of ink, and equipped with all required cables. I just printed a perfect Paypal label.
The other printer? Well... we came away without the power cable. Maybe we'll find one at the next sale. Don't laugh – we'll probably be awash in HP printer parts at the next three sales.
We also got a beautiful camera tripod, some pipe, 200 blank DVD-Rs, a cool phone, rechargeable batteries, book lights, a spiffy postal scale, a bunch of drill bits, a couple of hideous Hawai'ian shirts... and scads of other stuff.
It was fun, too. About 80 times more fun than Best Buy.