Saturday, November 27, 2010

Living With Dogs

Years ago, I heard the announcer on the Westminster Dog Show comment, "Around our house, dog hair is considered a condiment." I laughed, because it is so true -- when you have double-coated critters who shed all the time, and who blow their coats a couple times a year, the dust bunnies prowl the halls in packs. 

Yesterday, I had a keyboard malfunction. Actually, it was a variation of the Pepsi Syndrome -- from the old  SNL sketch about the guys who spilled a Pepsi on a keyboard at the nuclear power plant and set the klaxons hooting. We were out of drinking glasses -- all in the dishwasher after Thanksgiving -- so I had my water in a coffee cup and managed to slosh it onto my computer's keyboard.


Quickly, I flipped the board over and shook it, and got some of the water out, but not enough. I didn't get any hissing or sparks, not enough juice for that, but the circuit boards got wet enough so half the keys didn't work and I got that buzzing, clicking repeat. More, I managed to pull the chord hard enough to unplug something and the board went totally dead.

Okay, okay, fine. I need instructions in how to operate a wheelbarrow, and probably it would dry out, but the wires weren't going to re-connect themselves, so I reached for the screwdriver.

Long as I was going to take it apart, I figured I might as well pull the keys off and clean under them, too.

So, armed with tweezers, cotton swabs, alcohol, some Dust Off canned air -- well, it's not just air, but compressed gases that include #1-1-difluroethane, a refrigerant, so you don't want to be breathing it and risking death and all -- I went into anal retentive mode and took apart, cleaned, and dried out the sucker. 

Works fine now, as you can see, but I got enough dog hair out of it to make a rat terrier. Amazing. I can see how a computer tower with a cooling fan would gather hair and dust, but I never saw any dog hair land on the keyboard, so how it worked its way underneath the keys? 

It's like how the car seatbelt buckle sometimes gets twisted. You know, the insert somehow winds up facing the wrong way, and it's an absolute bitch to saw it up and down the strap and get it turned back around. If it takes that much effort, how did it somehow spontaneously get reversed in the first place?

Never a dull moment. 


Joshkie said...

Gremlins with the help of small dimensional portals. My best guess.

ian sadler said...

Hey Steve,

Thats a pretty funky keyboard, what's it like to type with (once you get past the split keyboard issues)

Steve Perry said...

I --

Easiest keyboard I ever used. I did a longer post about it a couple years back --

I was having some RSI issues with my hands and started looking for ways to alleviate it. The Kinesis Advantage did the trick. All the function keys you use the most -- space, backspace, delete, enter, page up or down are under your thumbs, and with it sitting my thighs, I can take most of the stress off my arms and fingers. 

Programmable keys, so you can tweak those even more. 

They even make a model with a foot switch that allows you to key everything with one hand, if that's all you have. 

Spendy, but way cheaper than hand surgery, which I had to have to release a bad tenosynovitis. 

I was told it would take a while to adjust to it; it took me about thirty seconds. Typing on a standard keyboard now is almost beyond me.

Ed said...

Ballou's "undercut the dogs" plan finally has been found out before total clogging of keyboard achieved.

Dan Gambiera said...

Papillon has been gone for a year. We're still finding her dustbunnies.

Stan said...

Having had long haired cats and double-coat, Akitas, animal hair is a never-ending nemesis...but you kind of get used to it.
It's when you have to have a cable-company tech check or replace part of the system that you're suddenly reminded, "Oh, yeah, the computer and desk did NOT come with fur coats!"