Wednesday, May 14, 2008


The Great Tea Spilling Episode, in which my STUPID STUPID RAT CREATURES (If you haven't read Jeff Smith's Bone Comics/graphic novels, you had just better go do so) spilled tea, with honey (teach me to cheat, I generally have Stevia) ALL over my laptop at the Spooky House, has had some interesting repercussions.

(quite a sentence, that, I'm rather proud..)

My DELETE, ENTER and QUESTION MARK keys no longer work. And when one spells as badly as I do, and goes as many places as I do, and asks as many questions as I do, they are a necessary part of the keyboard. I don't know what perhaps HALF of the keys actually do, there are a lot of them I could bid farewell to with no regrets, but why those??

And what do I do now? Should I wait for Dan Guy to come out in June? (he has promised computer help while he is here, in exchange for Rock.) Can he fix it? (I'd drop him an e-mail, but I have not much else to blog about and anyway, this is more fun) Do I call Apple and send the thing to them? Should I kill the cats? Is this even fixable? I can't simply sit here , going thru life, unable to delete, enter or ask questions...

My work computer is fine, so I have that, but quite a bit of work gets done at night.

Today is New Queen Kitty Day! The Birdchick is on her way with her, and we will be splitting the old hive, and trying to convince several hundred old bees that the new place and New Queen is far superior to the old.

Last night was Dog School. He was NOT a Canine Good Citizen. His test is next week, at which point we will learn he is repeating the class.

JL1 and JL2 are getting curious. If I open the door to their room, and sit in the doorway, JL2 will come out, and start eating and LOOKING. Venus and Mim will come to the door and LOOK, tho neither group seems to want to be any closer.

Yes, this is what I do for entertainment in the evenings. Especially since I can't enter, delete or question.

Love and Questions,


At 9:08 AM , OpenID notshakespeare said...

Personally, I'd put the keyboard in the dishwasher. I remember your boss tried something like that recently.

At 9:48 AM , OpenID pantagruel said...

Yes, this is totally fixable, but you must be brave and adventurous. ;)

In my time spent being the IT monkey for my department full of artists (they lit two keyboards on fire and impressed the hell out of Apple), I discovered that sugary drinks are the worst to spill. Since it's a laptop, it's going to be interesting prying all the keys off the keyboard to clean the honey out. If you feel very brave, here's a visual how-to:

Once you get the keyboard off, soak it in warm soapy water, and gently pry off the stuck keys, and try to dig out the honeyed-tea residue. Once it's washed, rinse it really well. And then dry it like water is lethal to it. Bust out a blow-dryer. About when you think it is dry, give it another 30 minutes under the blow-dryer. Once it is utterly and completely dry, then you can hook it back up to the laptop, and reassemble. Ta-da!

If you do not feel brave, wait for DanGuy and bribe him to do it, or if I ever come paint the mural, I will be happy to do it.

What I'd do in the short term is hook up another USB external keyboard to the laptop -- a new, non-Apple-made, but Apple-compatible USB keyboard will run you about $20. Or, if you have a stray old one sitting around, use that. I use an external keyboard plugged into my PowerBook all the time, because it's easier for me to clean off the oil paint and charcoal smudges from a keyboard, not the laptop keys.

Let me know if you have questions or need help. ;)

At 9:57 AM , OpenID pantagruel said...

How totally vexing that the URL got cut off.

At 10:06 AM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

Pantagruel has said everything I was going to say. My only contribution, then, is to offer her link as a link.

If you don't want to send it in to Apple (or take it to the nearest Apple store), an external USB keyboard is easiest.

I mutter about the STUPID STUPID RAT CREATURES at work sometimes. Is it any wonder they look at me funny?

At 10:07 AM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

I like the idea of waiting for Dan Guy and getting an external keyboard. Very clever.

Me doing it myself would have as much success as me performing open heart surgery myself.

Very exciting day here! I go to hold an Oriole! Pictures tomorrow! Or even later tonight if this external keyboard works...

At 10:24 AM , Blogger Aleta said...

I am very jealous that you are out on this really truly beautiful day playing in the natural world. Birds and bees and such.

External keyboard! Brilliant solution!

Did you get my email with the contact for laser pointer donation stuff?

I can't wait to see the photo of you with an oriole! How cool is that!

At 10:44 AM , OpenID pantagruel said...

Thanks, Dan Guy -- writing from my iPhone leaves a lot to be desired. :)

At 11:10 AM , Blogger Rubius said...

I know the horror of a tea-covered keyboard... I once spilled iced-tea all over my PC keyboard. I decided that (although I knew a new one would only set me back $15 or so) I would take it apart piece by piece and fix it if possible (of course it wasn't a laptop so this was much easier than it would be for you). My 'ALT', 'Control', and 'shift' keys were effected if I remember right (they were stuck down making the keyboard absolutely useless). It meant that all e-mails I sent around that time were copied and pasted from text I could find sitting around on the web.

It was VERY educational and kinda fun... I took it apart... cleaned up the sticky mess and put it together again... to discover that I didn't do it right. Then I took it apart again and put it together with the chips in a slightly different configuration... and to my eternal delight... IT WORKED!!!!

As an aside... there are foster kitties at my work this week!!!! a mom and a litter of 7 black little beauties. I WILL be spending time with kitties on my lunch hour. YEAH!!! I like kitties... and I feel like Bubbles when I write that (uh oh.. maybe I just gave a little TOO much info. hehe

At 11:39 AM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

Failing all, you could always read some books or tell the kitties some stories...

I often spray my keyboard with tea (I give out "first snort of the day" prizesto my friend over at LJ) but since I drink it neat, I only have to wait for it to dry.

At 11:49 AM , Blogger Rubius said...

As regards socializing with reluctant kitties... since you are dealing with JL1 and JL2 I thought I would share this... I have a friend who has a spooky kitty.. so spooky that if you didn't know she had 2 cats you would NEVER guess. His name is Spooky (big leap there) and he was just as skittish when he was a kitten because he came from a bad place. He is still pretty spooky but he is getting better (and I am proud to say he does love me) but when she first got him he wouldn't let anyone near him and hated being petted, touched, or held. My friend's solution was to catch him and pet him and pet him and pet him ... until he liked it and the purring started. This did work to socialize him when he discovered that he actually liked to be pet. Now once he knows you he doesn't let you stop petting him. I don't know if the situation is at all similar but maybe... if this process of feeding and chatting and LOOKing doesn't work you could try forced enjoyment of petting/socializing. Catnip might help.

At 11:57 AM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

The little rascals can break into your cupboard again and spread catnip all over the floor for a big feline psychedelic fest.

At 12:13 PM , OpenID mistressmousey said...

Heh, this laptop I'm typing on right now was a gift from a friend of mine. It took me weeks to get it because between the time she said it was mine and the time she got it to me, she had spilled coffee all over the keyboard and had to take it in to have it cleaned/repaired.

And yes, "stupid stupid (insert beastie name here) creatures!" is one of MANY reasons to read Bone, though it's probably my favourite. And you can always tell a kindred spirit immediately upon shouting it if they understand you. :)

Have fun beeing.

And I've tried to read to my beasties - only the baby seems interested. Perhaps I should try something in Japanese or Latvian? ;)

At 12:19 PM , Blogger Rubius said...

Do you speak Latvian MistressMousey???

coolness... I am 1/2 Latvian and my mom speaks it a little ... but I don't.

Wish I could speak the language.. and the culture... and especially the anime

At 12:39 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

I don't know that she does speak Latvian, but she collects Stardust in every language, and I just sent her a Latvian version.

Someone else told me about the holding and petting , I might try that, we'll see. JL2 is coming out now.

I am going to get the external keyboard. Would one from a regular IMAC work with my Mac Powerbook? Or do I need a special one.

I want an IPhone.

Ok, back to the Bees! More to come...

At 12:55 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

And oh, nice links guys, but again No Thank you! There are some skills I know I do not have.

Aleta, no I didn't , can you send it again?

At 1:00 PM , Blogger Rubius said...

she mentioned that she sent it to the paulandlorraine address. did you check there?

oohhh fluffy bundles of black curious kittenhood... I WANT THEM!!!!!!!

At 1:13 PM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

I have a tiny bundle of fluff in cream colour. With blue eyes.
You want it?

At 1:22 PM , Blogger Aleta said...

I just resent it -- again to the paulandlorraine address.

At 1:44 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Not me. No more fluff for the Spooky House. It has all the fluff it can handle.

Aleta, can you try ? Many thanks! Paul and Lorraine seems to be weird...It may be coming to my laptop, but not here. I know, weird.

At 1:47 PM , Blogger Aleta said...

Just sent it to that address. Let me know if you get it!

At 2:46 PM , Blogger Martyn Drake said...

An iMac keyboard should work just fine with a Powerbook. As should just about any USB keyboard - modern versions of OS X should let you configure the keybaord to be more Mac-like.

Given it's a Powerbook, I doubt Apple would touch it in store (Macbooks and Macbook Pros are no trouble - they usually can change them there and then - providing liquid has not gotten onto the underlying motherboard components!).

If it can't be easily repaired - isn't this a good time to buy a new Macbook Pro with all the trimmings?

In future, you may want to invest in one of those clear keyboard anti-spill protector (although what they're like to type on is anybody's guess).

At 3:11 PM , Blogger Kitty Cat said...

"in exchange for rock!" for ROCK? i mean, what kind of boarding home are you running??
and Danth, you seem so innocent...who knew what hides under the bonnet....

and yes yes yes to iPhones.
let's get 'em!
I WANT AN iPHONE...sung to the tune of "Dadddy, i WANT an oompha loompha!"

At 3:23 PM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

My career as an evil genius began quite unexpectedly, even to me, on my first day of high school. As we conducted first day of class preliminaries in Computer Programming I, I was surprised to find myself pretending to be completely ignorant of all things technical. So consistent and believable was my charade, that three months later when I was busted for hacking the first time the teacher assured the administration that I was too dim to have done any of the things of which I was accused and that some other criminal mastermind must have commandeered my account for those nefarious purposes. I played along, claiming to have used the password "1234". By the third time I was busted for hacking, having stolen the passwords for 70% of the school with a trojan, she realized her error.

Moral of the story: it's always the ones you least suspect.

There was no fourth time. I learned from my mistakes and got better. I used to use the teacher's passsword ("sandybeach") in class just to watch her eyes narrow, wondering if it was just a coincidence.

At 3:23 PM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

I want an iPhone too. AN EVIL IPHONE!!

At 3:24 PM , Blogger Rubius said...

I type on them clear thingies.. they are okay... but they always seem so dirty to me.... because they are clear every bit of dirt sticks to them

At 3:32 PM , Blogger Hera said...

not so long ago I spilled a cup of coffee - with baileys in it on my laptop.. not good - very sticky! :) but the apple man (who also later featured in the 'feels so good' music video as the man with the bow tie) said it was fixable but with no guarantee that the sugar would not slowly kill the computer after that..
so thanks to insurance :) I got a new one :) (and I did get the old one fixed later.. but it is slowly dying..)
(Gary is his name, he has been so lovely and helpful)

At 3:39 PM , Blogger Adri said...

Ah-- I wouldn't try force-cuddling JL1 & 2 just yet-- it's been just over a week, right? It seems to me they're making quite good progress, especially with other cats in the house.


Re: the keyboard. I am awful to laptop keyboards. They get full of (cough) cat hair, and then I try to pry the keys up which works perfectly for about 97% of the keys. Sadly, the last 3% collapse and are unfixable. Repeated attempts of this maneuver have taught me that a) Dell support will send someone to my home or workplace within 3 days to fix it, b) the keyboard is a swappable part.

If you still have AppleCare/support-- I'd definitely call Apple and find out if there is a similar solution for your Mac. It takes the repair guys about 15 minutes.

If you don't have the support-- agree with those who suggest a usb keyboard, though it's a bit clunky!

At 3:59 PM , Blogger EmilyLady said...

I post all of my blog entries from libraries. At home, I have brothers talking and hitting and screaming. At the library, it is peaceful and no one cares is looking over my shoulder (I hope. I mean, I don't usually check). Libraries have Internet access, usually high-speed.

I haven't read the Bone books. I'll remember to pick one up and take a look, if you say they are good.


At 4:14 PM , Blogger LaM said...

Thanks Martyn. Actually, I think it IS a Macbook not a Powerbook. Do I need to do anything to make it see the external keyboard or just plug it in?

I want a new Macbook Pro. And an evil Iphone ( tho I don't think I can use the Iphone out here in the country)

If worse come to worse, I can take one of my old Imacs over there. It doesn't really need to do anything but internet, text edit, and photos. And music.

The ROCK, Miss Kitty, will be me on stage, he is coming for the SHOWS. Well, actually some sort of Evil Genius Computer Conference, but after that, he wants to ROCK.

Dan Guy, you slay me! I am still laughing. There is no doubt a LOT you can help me with...

Hera, that vid is beyond way cool!

And yes, everyone must read Bone. It will make you happy.

At 5:04 PM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

Merely plugging it in should be sufficient.

I *do* want to ROCK. And very much looking forward to it, yes.

At 5:29 PM , Blogger ivenotime said...

and here i thought Dan was going to build cairns. sigh. gee, be gone for a day and have a million posts to read! busy! i too want an iphone, and a macbook pro - my daughter has one and i am mightily jealous. i have a powerbook whose keys are breaking off. so far my right arrow is off, and the left one is going. Dan, wish i went to high school with you - funny! you will have a great time in june, lucky one (how to date oneself: when i went to high school, we had manual typewriters....)Lorraine, best of luck with kitties! progress! and hope the bee-ing went well.

At 6:12 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

I hate these cats.

But the new keyoboard works. Blog later tonight.

My poor bloody arms.

At 8:32 PM , OpenID pantagruel said...

Dan Guy, that's awesome. ;) Evil genius computer conferences are also awesome; just be sure to pass out the Evil Overlord Rules to the attendees.

Hera -- cool video!

Lorraine -- glad it worked, and yes, iPhones are also awesome. Except for trying to type HTML in; it wreaks havoc with the predictive text.

At 10:15 PM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

Riiight. *Adds that Bone thing on the to read list*


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