The dog ate my homework and other excuses

Stubbs_DogI was meaning to do a giveaway of the paperback version of Lord Langdon’s Kiss today, but well, for that, I’d have to have the paperback ready.

I am grateful for the patience of my fans who prefer paperback, because I had originally advertised a date of April 20th. That was madness, considering I was visiting in-laws over spring break. Since getting back, I’ve been trying to catch up with household stuff, college financial aid paperwork (my oldest made her choice about a week before the May 1st deadline) and church lady (minus the hairnet) activities. Plus, I volunteered to help judge the Royal Ascot, a contest run by the Beau Monde, RWA’s Regency special interest chapter.

Nonetheless, I was on track to proofread this week…unLLK_Page_Prooftil my two year old printer died, amid screams from daughters needing to print homework. This is the second printer I have bought and installed in the past four years. How come the 25 year old TV that used to be in my apartment when I was single is still working, but printers last 2 years or less? I know, it’s planned obsolescence (not even talking about the highway robbery that is involved in the selling of replacement print cartridges). Anyway, I have splashed out a little more money on a laser printer this time, in the hope that reports are true and it will last longer and need less frequent toner cartridge replacements. Because I’d rather be writing!

Anyway, I finished proofing yesterday, but it hasn’t gone live yet, so the giveaway will happen in a few weeks.

So how do you feel about gadgets and appliances? Are you like those people in the commercials who throw their old stuff out the window so they can get shiny new stuff with added features? Or are you a curmudgeon like me who wants things to just keep doing what they’re doing and gets grumpy when they don’t?


About Elena Greene

Elena Greene grew up reading anything she could lay her hands on, including her mother's Georgette Heyer novels. She also enjoyed writing but decided to pursue a more practical career in software engineering. Fate intervened when she was sent on a three year international assignment to England, where she was inspired to start writing romances set in the Regency. Her books have won the National Readers' Choice Award, the Desert Rose Golden Quill and the Colorado Romance Writers' Award of Excellence. Her Super Regency, LADY DEARING'S MASQUERADE, won RT Book Club's award for Best Regency Romance of 2005 and made the Kindle Top 100 list in 2011. When not writing, Elena enjoys swimming, cooking, meditation, playing the piano, volunteer work and craft projects. She lives in upstate New York with her two daughters and more yarn, wire and beads than she would like to admit.
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10 Responses to The dog ate my homework and other excuses

  1. Isobel Carr says:

    Considering I have a stove from the 1920s …

    I’m not an early adopter. I don’t want new TVs, or printers, or laptops all the time. I *do* like upgrading my phone though, but that’s because before the two year contract is up, the new phones really do have new features I want.

    • Elena Greene says:

      Cool about the 1920s stove–and I bet you use it well, too!

      From an ecological standpoint, having to replace most items bothers me. Cell phones are a little different as one can resell or donate them.

  2. Peggy says:

    My printer is always out of ink or not printing at times it’s a pain in the butt

    • Elena Greene says:

      Exactly. And even though I always TRY to have replacement cartridges around, we seem to run out of ink at the worst time–when a major school project is due, that sort of thing. It’s the Murphy’s Law of Printers.

  3. I know exactly what you mean. The closet in my spare bedroom is the printer graveyard. I have an old Brother MFC 6800. It is ancient. It only prints in black and white and the only place I can find the cartridges is on Amazon, but you cannot kill it! My latest color printer is an all in one laser and it has worked longer than several of my others. (Knock wood.)

    My refrigerator was made in 1957. It is older than I am and only a few inches taller, but it works! The only downside is the little silver box of a freezer doesn’t hold much.

    I don’t have a flat screen television because the non flat television I have still works just fine.

    I’m afraid I am one of those people who buys an appliance and doesn’t replace it until it keels over dead. LOL

    • Elena Greene says:

      We had a fridge that was nearly 20 years old. The old, crusty (but clever) repair guy said to try to nurse it along as much as possible because the new ones don’t last.

  4. HJ says:

    My understanding is that this type of equipment is made with much less robust (and therefore less expensive) components than they were 20 years ago and more. The equipment which has survived from the early days will keep on working for ages, whereas things are made today on the basis that they will not last, but are much cheaper to buy. I think this is partly because the speed of innovation is ever-increasing, so that we wouldn’t actually want things to last too long when they are being superseded by newer models with better features, energy consumption, etc., and partly because these days more people like new things rather than things that last.

    That said, I think that a new printer ought to last more than two years, unless it has been used so much that its use is not really “domestic”. I was able to buy a good all-in-one printer, copier and scanner for very little from a charity, and I plan to keep doing so on the basis that it’s a form of recycling and that it will hurt me less when it finally breaks down! But the cost of print cartridges is scandalous. I find that giving them a good shake can eke out more pages, as does (in an emergency) heating them gently with a hairdryer. I also use a “fast draft” setting for everything except “best”.

    • Elena Greene says:

      Those sound like good tips, HJ. This time I’ve invested a bit more in a laser printer, hoping that in the long run, it will cost less in money and writing time.

  5. I hate inkjet printers and I hate Planned Obsolescence. I think old things have a certain charm about them, and wish things lasted longer than they do. (That reminds me; I need to replace my fridge soon.)

    I fear that my iPod, which is about seven years old, is going to expire, which is a shame. I love it, as its features suit my needs perfectly. I have no need to upgrade. If I’m lucky, it’ll be one of those early ones they built to last, and I won’t have to worry.

    Did I mention I hated inkjet printers? Laser printers are so much nicer and cost-effective.

    • Elena Greene says:

      I’m hoping to become a laser printer convert, too. I also hope it arrives soon. There’s some paperwork I need to handle and although I like libraries, it’s still a pain to go there to make copies.

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