Sunday, August 26, 2007

Epson CX5400 printing blank pages

Like some others, I've had trouble with an Epson CX5400's printing blank pages. We had some problems with this printer before, but they were always taken care of without hardware repair. But this time, we had a real problem of some kind.

So I found the above site, which led me to the Dura-Brite ink information page; this in turn pointed me to some disassembly instructions. When I looked at these, I said, golly, do I really have to remove the scanner part, the front housing, the middle housing, etc., to get to the print head?

Basically, yes. This guy (who has clearer photos) says so too. Now if you follow the above disassembly instructions, you want to remove the scanner unit, the upper and middle housings, but do not actually remove the printer head. Paradoxically you should push the carriage lock lever forward and slide the print head left (step#4). The puzzling part is that, if you just turned off the printer "normally", then the cartridge-holders will be stuck on the far right of the printer (as you face the printer), and the carriage-lock lever will be to the LEFT of the cartridge-holder/print-head thingie.

Now that I know that, the photo here (figure 4-37) makes sense to me, but until then, I was totally puzzled. It was not only because I'm dyslexic (or dysphotic) but also because I had the wrong mental map of what was going on.

The other thing that happened here is that there was a rogue piece of paper stuck on the right-hand side of the Carriage Unit. I suspect that this stray piece of paper might have had something to do with ink misbehavior, but I don't know for sure.

Well, I just wanted to write that stuff down before putting the printer all the way back together. Here's hoping it all works.

(half an hour later)
Well, it didn't. Not sure what's next.

Time to buy a new printer :^(

Friday, August 24, 2007

What do I want from God?

We were discussing this last night in our home group, where our church is encouraging us to "take up permanent residence in a life of love" (from 1 John 4 in The Message (Peterson)). We agreed that we would like to live more of our lives more aware of God. I read something this morning along those lines and wanted to share that with you.
The Spirit may bring that jolt of Recognition to the most ordinary things: a baby's grin, snow falling on a frozen lake, a field of lavender in the morning dew, a worship ritual that unexpectedly becomes more than ritual. Suddenly we see these momentary pleasures as gifts from a God who is worthy of praise.
That word "Recognition" with a capital R is credited to Dorothy Sayers. I have also been thinking about Mailis’s study#36 in Luke and the greatness of God's love, which I wrote a little about the other day.

To take up permanent residence in a life of love. Sounds good to me, and the good news is that the Spirit of God wants to help us. How cool is that?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Glad to be alive, and a few thoughts about evangelism

I thought I'd jot down a few reasons I'm glad to be alive today.
  • 7:16 I started getting my bike out, 7:29 I had my bike locked up at the Caltrain station -- ooops, my watch is ahead; make that 7:12 and 7:25 -- in plenty of time to make my train.
  • I'm already forgiven, and I have the promise of someday being perfected.
  • A solid house with roof, walls, locking windows and doors.
  • A loving wife and family to return to tonight.
  • A new bike seat -- received for my birthday, or was it Christmas last year? -- my first in 25? years. Much nicer than the old one (which wasn't uncomfortable, but it was starting to tear).
  • An empty 4-seater on the train.
  • An good job with people I enjoy, that pays well and offers challenges and opportunities to learn and grow.
  • Fellowship at a church where the Bible is taught.
  • A working DVD player so we could watch Casino Royale (the 21st century version) last night.
  • An 18-year-old(?), 20” television set, lest we waste too much time watching it.
  • Opportunities (the latest was on Sunday) to talk with people who want to know more about Jesus.
  • Terrific Bible study guides from
    • The Gates of Paradise opened (See study #36 in Luke from the above)
  • A chance to submit a paper to ICSE 2008, and the hope of visiting Germany next year
Well, that's about 15 minutes’ worth, anyway.

I had a few thoughts on evangelism -- triggered, of course, by experience. A young couple came to our church, and they somehow got in touch with one of our pastors, who I'll call "U". They were from Japan; knowing that we had lived nearly six years there, "U" told us about them; we've met with them twice. At our first meeting, we found out that they were interested in learning more about God, Jesus, the Bible, what Christians believe, and so on. We also learned that they enjoyed the teaching at our church, but sometimes couldn't quite follow the sermons -- especially from one of our pastors, who speaks veryveryfast.

We sent them a pointer to the church's website, where MP3 versions of the sermons, and usually transcripts, can be downloaded. This is very cool for people with limited-speed English listening capability, because they can listen repeatedly to all or part of it, or read the text. At our second meeting, we went through the aforementioned study#36 in Luke, which stimulated a great discussion -- and not only on the study's topics.

One piece of good news from the study was that, though one of the robbers had (humanly speaking) ruined his life, yet in the last few hours of his life he found forgiveness. "Remember me," he asked Jesus, "when you come into your kingdom."

Can you imagine the joy that filled his heart when Jesus replied to him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in Paradise"? How wonderful would that have been? And it's even better for those of us who can meet Jesus months or years before the end, because we can follow him and serve him and enjoy his presence and help here on earth for more than just a few hours.

Yet another reason it's good to be alive, and good to know Jesus.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

No Two Alike, by Harris

I've been working on a paper for ICSE 2008 lately. Since I've never done a conference paper before, I feel a little (or more than a little) anxious about style, format, etc. So it's been a while since I've posted here.

Lately I've been reading the subject book, No Two Alike, and mentioned something at our home-group the other night.

Rich talked about how children grow to become more like their parents -- which is true, if "parents" means "biological parents." The studies seem to show:
  • twins raised together are no more similar than twins raised apart
  • siblings raised together are no more different than siblings raised apart
  • unrelated adopted children raised in the same home turn out no more similar than two people picked randomly off the street
Now by "similar" and "different" here they mean as adults, and in particular " measured by psychological tests." Those tests include all sorts of things: tendency to laugh, introversion, etc. They do not, however, include things like what mechanical skills, recipes, languages, or card games they know.

Do parents matter? Of course they do -- but just not in the way many of us like to think. Is that so bad? Think of it this way -- as Harris put it in The Nurture Assumption (1998): who will your husband or wife be after being married to you for 20, 30, 50 years? Do you influence what his/her personality will be like then? No? But that doesn't mean you should neglect, ignore, or abuse them! The same applies to your kids -- you may not be able to change the results that would appear on psychological tests 20,30,50 years hence, but you want them to be your friends -- as you want your spouse to be a good friend -- don't you?

One more thing that psychological tests don't measure, besides what they know: it's who they know. Do they know Jesus? Have they found forgiveness for their sins? Is their eternal destiny secure? As parents, we can't guarantee anything, but we can introduce our kids to Someone they need to know. And that's more important than personality, budgeting skills, or even car repair skills.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Don't waste your time

Ray wasn't sure if he wanted to meet with these church people. He was a mentor to the pastor of our church in Japan and had come a long ways to see him, so when these others wanted to talk, Ray asked a few questions. Were they doing things while seeking improvements in the church, or did they just want to complain? Once he figured out that they were just complaining, he told them he was reserving his time for people actually doing things to advance the kingdom of God.

That all happened maybe ten years ago, but it came to mind when we heard a sermon a couple of weeks ago on Nehemiah -- particularly this passage:
When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it -- though up to that time I had not set the doors in the gates -- Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: "Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono."

But they were scheming to harm me; so I sent messengers to them with this reply: "I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?" Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer.

Nehemiah 6.1-4
The point our pastor made from this passage was this: Don't waste time trying to placate people who will not be placated.

Recently I've talked with people who are unhappy about certain things at our church. Was I wasting my time? I don't think so, because:
  • they're doing things to advance the kingdom of God -- they are not whiners; and
  • they're seeking solutions, not looking for things to complain about.
So it occurs to me that there are two kinds of mistakes we can make in these situations. The first class of mistakes, which both Nehemiah and "Ray" avoided, is to treat whiners as though they're really seeking solutions. I think people with the "priest" personality might tend to err in this direction.
If I haven't mentioned this before, a priest talks about men to God; a prophet talks about God to men.
The second class of mistake would of course be to treat kingdom laborers having suggestions as though they were merely whiners. I suspect those with the more prophetic kind of personality would tend to err in this direction.

So my prayer for today is: Lord, help me to be like Nehemiah by working for you, by avoiding whiners and enemies, and by working together with laborers seeking solutions. And give me wisdom and humility to see the difference (between whiners and laborers).

posted 2006-08-15. Revised 2007-08-25 with some helpful hints from the lovely Carol

Friday, August 10, 2007


The other night, the lovely Carol couldn't sleep. No, I didn't sing to her, but instead I said something like this:
O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You know my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O Lord.
You hem me in, behind and before,
you have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me;
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"
even the darkness will not be dark to you.
The night will shine like the day
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the bowels of the earth
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious toward me are your thoughts, O Lord --
how vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake you are still with me.
...(I left out the less peaceful bits here)...
Search me, O Lord, and know my heart.
Test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me
and lead me in the way everlasting.
(most of) Psalm 139, NIV
She was still awake, so then I gave her something from Ephesians 1, or maybe it was Colossians 1. I don't remember whether she was asleep by the end of that (I tried to say it in a monotone) but what I am sure of is that I passed out myself shortly after that -- if I even finished saying it.