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My keyboard is spotlessly clean

...and so is the one in the rubbish bin

     
12:51 pm on May 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Einstein once said ďnever commit to memory what you can look upĒ.

Or words to that effect. Iím fairly sure it was Einstein. I have it on file here somewhere.

Einstein or not, when I first heard the quote it struck me as an eminently sensible idea. I mean, whether or not you ascribe to the idea that the human brain has finite capacity (and Iím not sure I do, though my ex-husband is the closest thing youíll ever get to imperical evidence), it makes a still makes reasonable sense not to spend a lot of time and energy memorising tidbits of knowledge you will rarely call on.

I think perhaps though, I have taken Einsteinís rule a little too much to heart. There are certain tidbits of knowledge that you really *should* remember... however rarely you may call on them. For example:

> I was allergic to shellfish last year, I am allergic to shellfish this year, and I will be allergic to shellfish next year.
> Objects in the rear view mirror are closer than they appear.
> Never ask if this {fill in the gap} makes my butt look big... if I have to ask, it does.... Ďjust put the hanger back and step awaaaaay from the rack, deejay, and no-oneís feelings will get hurtí.
> Some plastics have lower melting points than others.
> Striped clothes are not me and never will be.
ōCoffee, keyboards and snortingly-funny WebmasterWorld posts do not mix.

Obviously some of these, while crucial to me, are irrelevant to anyone else. Some have relevance to a wider audience. That last one for example. Let me say it again:

Coffee, keyboards and snortingly-funny WebmasterWorld posts *do not* mix.

You see, since moving house a month ago Iíve fallen into a quite nice Saturday morning routine... a key part of which is logging on around 10 am with a cup of coffee and catching up on the overnight posts. Now I donít actually drink coffee, except for this one lovely cup a week, so this is a treat and a ritual.

..............*pausing for the readership to pick themselves up off the floor and calm their hearts at the idea of only one coffee a week*.....................

The chirping of modem in one ear and low grumbling of the Krups espresso machine in the other... I swear itís starting to elicit a Pavlovian response in me.... itís like foreplay for geeks.

So anyway.. Iím sitting, Iím sipping, Iím savouring.... appropriately enough, I ended up in the coffee cup thread.

a smile here, a chuckle there, a chortle in between.. a guffaw at DaveNís Ďadmissioní to having stolen mivoxís mug (I just knew someone was going to)... a snicker and Ďooooí at mivoxís ominous reply... a titter at Nickís Mr Tickle mug-inspired slinking.......

and then pixel_juice had to bloody speak up... mid-sip I might add.

Err, yes Nick...<coughs>. Very nice :)

Cough indeed.

More like <abortedswallow - closedmouthlaughandcough - snortcoffeeoutnose - leanforwardoverkeyboard - slopcoffeecupeverywhere - gasp>

Oh bloody marvellous. Just flippin lovely.

Understand that I take my coffee very strong, very milky and very sweet. The spoon doesnít quite stand up in the cup, but it may dissolve if not removed quickly enough. My coffee was the runner-up in adhesives when Post-Its were being developed... perpetually sticky stuff yíknow. Suffice to say this is no watery concoction that can be easily shaken out of a keyboard or dabbed away with a tissue.

Still, no big deal really. Iíve cleaned plenty of keyboards in my time. Five minutes later itís unplugged, keys popped off and soaking in warm water with dishwashing liquid. and Iím attacking the base of the keyboard with cotton ear buds and warm water. The cleaning was long overdue anyway, so Iím not too phased... stitch in time, penny saved, pip pip ay what old chap and all that rubbish.

Most of the coffeeís coming away alright... but I have a cat... longhair of course... and I have just found out where a good part of that two pounds of fur that she moulted last spring ended up. Oh, and the place I moved from recently had a dog too. Lest I forget the poor darling, he has contributed a few locks of hair as a reminder.

Time for the vacuum cleaner. Done this plenty of times too... remove the head and wave the vacuum hose a few inches above the keyboard... zzzzzip! All hair/fur gone. Works like a charm. Unfortunately it completely escaped me that I bought a new vacuum cleaner just a month ago. The old one was way past its use by date. My old vacuum cleanerís engine was to suck as.... as... well, for lack of a better comparison and to avoid unnecessary s@xual references... as half a cabbage leaf is to a fart. My *new* vacuum cleaner, on the other hand, is a baked bean entree, vindaloo curry main, cucumber side dish and 3 pints of lager. I mean this thing could.... well, you can imagine, Iím sure.

So OK, Iím waving vacuum hose.... and oh, bugger me! You know those little round rubber things inside the keyboard? The bits that get depressed by the keys when you press them? Three of the little blighters just shot up into the vacuum.

Sonobaditch!

Growlscowlprowl around and find an old newspaper... empty vacuum bag (full, of course) and pick through to find rubber bits. If youíve never actually opened up your keyboard and seen these bits... theyíre about the size of my fingernail (of course youíve never seen my fingernail either.. yours will do), surprisingly soft, clear rubber... and they turn the colour of whatever dust they are coated in, effectively rendering them invisible in a pile of vacuum bag contents. Thereís no way round it but to rub through the entire contents between my fingers to find them. *BLECH*

Recovered, washed, dried.. and now Iím stuck with opening up the damn keyboard body to put them back in. Well hell, if Iím going that far I may as well remove the sensor sheet thingy and actually wash to keyboard case itself... so I did. Only took two goes to put it back together again... marginally pleased with myself at that.

In the meantime, the keys have been lying on a towel, hopefully drying in the sunlight from the window. Nearly. Not quite. Droplets of water here and there. Itís autumn in New Zealand at the moment and just not warm enough for this.

Thatís ok. I have a mouse. I donít need a keyboard to read posts. I can log on and just have a bit of a read at WebmasterWorld while I give those keys another half hour or so to finish drying. So I did. For five minutes. Until a box popped up on my screen telling me that it couldnít locate the keyboard on my machine.

Well I knew that. Itís in 109 pieces on the floor beside me.

My vocalisations to that effect didnít seem to satisfy the machine though, and it crashed forthwith.

ďwhere are we going and why are we in this handbasket?Ē

Itís been a couple of hours since the spill now.... a lot longer than I anticipated this taking... Iím still tasting coffee in my nose, but it is now accompanied by a fine layer of vacuum cleaner dust (itís just ridiculous that when you sneeze to clear your nose, you must first inhale a mighty breath thereby dragging in 10 times the amount of dust that tickled your nose and made you want to sneeze in the first place).

Right. Enough of this nonsense. Iím not going to chance the keys in the oven, as Iím still getting used to this one... it runs a bit hot and the last thing I want is melted keys. How embarrassing would that be!

ďI cooked my keyboard on the weekendĒ
ďoh? power surge?Ē
ďno no, roasting dish.. 150 degrees celsiusĒ.

Ha. Iím far to smart for that thank you very bloody much. Out comes the hairdryer.

So I grab about 10 keys at a time and toss them into a glass bowl and wave my hairdryer round at them... making the keys skitter round and cleverly evaporating any leftover water. Tip the ten out on a fresh towel, grab another handful and repeat. Bewdiful.

Tipping the third or fourth batch out onto the towel, one of the larger keys caught my eye. I picked it up and noted that the bottom edge of the key of it wasnít cut in a straight line... it was wobbly... huh... shoddy workmanship there. Hadnít noticed any other irregulars up to this point though, so didnít worry much.

Next batch.. crikey dick... thereís another one. Errr... hang on... sure enough... I was cooking the keys with my flippin hairdryer. It wasnít even that hot!

Thing Worth Remembering No 2:

ōSome plastics have lower melting points than others.

I realise I am chanting ďpixel_juice, Pixel_Juice, PIXEL_JUICE!Ē under my breath... though I look nothing like a gothic teenage Winona Ryder, and cannot remember more than ten words of the banana boat song, let alone levitate while singing it.

But I digress. Iím prone to that. I also regress occasionally, but thatís another story.

ahem. yes. well.

I had a quick hunt through the dried keys for the enter key. Now I *KNOW* that key was fine, because I actually dried that one on its own, and it was perfectly *FINE*. Well itís not now. Itís bent like a bloody banana. The damn thing has warped after I put it down. I know itís futile, but I try to fit it to the keyboard anyway. It might fit.

Pigs might fly too.

Did I mention that Iím 3/4 Scottish? The penny-pinching gene is the only excuse I can offer for actually thinking to myself Ďthereís another enter key... if that oneís alright then I can probably live without that one for a whileí.... and trying to fit another half dozen keys to the board. As it was, about half of them were also warped, so it just wasnít a happening thing.

So anyways to make a long story... err.. well.. longer... I went and bought a new keyboard at Kmart. This was after, of course, the 15 minute search for my wallet, which I didnít find and therefore concluded that I had left it at work... which I had... of course.

Itís now past midnight here. Iíve achieved nothing today except a science lesson, spending $35 and this post.

I should be asleep, but I was feeling a bit cheated out of my coffee from this morning... so about two hours ago I made a fresh brew. I really should start wearing a watch. Or get a clock in this room. Or look at the bottom right corner of my screen occasionally. Double strength, extra sweet coffee after 10 pm is not a good idea. If anyone would like to swing by and scrape me off the ceiling, thereís a spatula in the kitchen.

So there you have it. Consider this a cautionary tale and take what you will from it, but remember:

> Some plastics have lower melting points than others.
> Coffee, keyboards and snortingly-funny WebmasterWorld posts do not mi

[edited by: mivox at 7:37 pm (utc) on May 5, 2003]
[edit reason] fixed side-scroll [/edit]

1:05 pm on May 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Amen.

lawman

1:33 pm on May 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Thank you deejay, I've been totally delighted sharing my morning coffee with you.
7:31 pm on May 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The chirping of modem in one ear and low grumbling of the Krups espresso machine in the other... I swear itís starting to elicit a Pavlovian response in me.... itís like foreplay for geeks.

Which is why I firmly believe it should be a daily ritual... :)

But after that ordeal, maybe you should work your way up to higher frequency slowly. ;) (Or keep spare keyboards on hand!)

(...as for my poor mug, I won't believe it until I see photos of it in DaveN's hands...)

9:49 am on May 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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*LOL* Oh my... I can't believe you guys actually made it through this ramble! Thank you!

You wouldn't believe it... but the very next morning, like about 8 hours after this post was made... I logged on again and the whole damn machine froze... shut off and turn on again, nothing... and nothing the next 30 times I tried it that day too. Either motherboard or power supply or something.

About $500 in repairs to a 3 year old machine *BLECh*

Decided I just couldn't go that, but I managed to get a *great* deal on a new box that's about 10x better than the old one. ...and the absolute best part... my old hard drive survived, so I've not lost any work.

Lesson: bitch about a $35 keyboard and karma will come kick you in the butt and cost you $1,000 the very next day.

9:59 am on May 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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a daily ritual...

*laugh* I'd definitely have to work up to it!... although at least I've got a few spare parts handy now.

10:00 am on May 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>>Coffee, keyboards and snortingly-funny WebmasterWorld posts *do not* mix.

You can tell I do not work in an office, for me

red wine, keyboards and snortingly-funny WebmasterWorld posts *do not* mix. Makes much more mess!

10:26 am on May 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Deejay you've just brightened up an otherwise very ordinary tuesday morning. :)
10:37 am on May 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Could have been worse - it might have been my keyboard!...;)

R.

6:35 pm on May 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Lesson: bitch about a $35 keyboard and karma will come kick you in the butt and cost you $1,000 the very next day.

I was really sad when Apple started up with USB keyboards... I've probably got a dozen or more old ADB 'boards sitting around my house, but I can't use them as a spare for any of my new machines.

I figure I'd be covered on the keyboard-karma angle for decades otherwise.

(Unless I can get an ADB-to-USB adapter for them... hmmm...)