Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

The printer toner dilemma

When is it time to replace the toner? Toner's expensive, so I feel like I never want to do it too soon, because then I'm wasting toner. On the other hand, printing unreadably light pages isn't really very helpful. But when there's one area of the page that's getting poor coverage, when is it bad enough that it's time to address it? Is it when you find yourself changing the margins in Word to 2.5" on the right side, so there just won't be any words there to print? Is it when you use the printer for stuff you're going to just read and throw away but for "real things" like exams you have to go to the library? Is it when you've tried shaking the toner cartridge but nothing is helping? Is it when you start looking for toner coupons on the Internet, as if such a thing exists? Is it when you start seeing if a new printer costs more or less than the $70 replacement toner cartridge?

This was originally going to be a post called "Things I wish I didn't have to keep replacing," but making the list made me realize how many things we replace all the time, and it wasn't very funny. I mean, I wish I didn't have to keep replacing laundry detergent. But that's not funny. It just is.

I wish I didn't have to keep replacing the dryer sheets, actually. Because the laundry detergent is important enough that it's worth the trip out to get some more. You clearly can't do laundry without detergent. But dryer sheets -- are they really necessary? Do they really do anything, or has Bounce created a non-existent industry and convinced us all that without adryer sheet our clothes will stick to themselves and smell like -- gasp! -- we dried them inside, in a machine, instead of hanging outside on a clothesline. Maybe it's the nature of city living, but the only time I saw clothes drying outside was when I was a summer camp counselor. Clothes dried outside, or, more often, they went from wet to damp, and stayed damp, for weeks. And didn't seem to smell all that fresh, but part of that may have been that a fair number of the clothes drying were the bathing trunks that the campers were wearing in the lake, and who knows what they were doing in the lake, and whether that ought to smell fresh or not. So I'm skeptical of dryer sheets.

I'm also skeptical of anything that promises a "streak-free shine" or that claims to remove "any stain on Earth." Usually "any stain on Earth" doesn't include Earth itself, like muddy water or sleet or the other stuff that ends up getting on your pants in the winter in Boston no matter how hard you try to avoid it or how careful you are about wearing the pants you don't mind getting dirty whenever it's just rained or snowed or sleeted.

Finally, I'm skeptical of Tums. I don't really know why. I've only consumed perhaps a half-dozen Tums in my life, but I can't imagine how something that tastes so inert, so innocent, so non-functioning -- it doesn't fizz or burn or seem to have any life in it whatsoever -- can do anything at all besides pass right through one's system. At least things that are in capsule or pill form you have to swallow whole, and that makes me think something is inside that's just too powerful for the mouth, and must be saved until it reaches somewhere deeper in the system. But Tums, you just chew -- and... magic? I don't know. I don't even really know what it claims to do. But I'm skeptical.

I'm also skeptical of the Chinatown bus from NY to Boston, and whether the one I'm signed up for at 10:00 tonight is really going to exist, because it's the last bus of the night, and how many people could really be signed up for it, to make it worth running? But I'll report on that one tomorrow. Class tomorrow! Class! Class! I'm actually looking forward to class, because it has been a long, long week. Long. Week. Long. And I just finished doing laundry. And my clothes smell fresh as springtime. Thanks, dryer sheets.