Calling Dr. Freud



I can’t get my fax machine to work and everyone with a chronic condition knows that you must have a fax machine because physicians can’t email anything because of HIPPA. I think HIPPA was written to benefit psychiatrists because I’ll be needing one by the end of the day.

Alexander has a pre-op appointment today. We’re going ahead with surgery #4 for strabismus. I’d hoped that we’d be able to do it in December of 2012 but for a variety of reasons it really needs to happen now. None of the reasons are particularly interesting.

So once again I’m at UCLA hat in hand and begging for a cancellation appointment for my son.

In order to be put on the schedule Alexander must first have a pre operative physical exam from his pediatrician. This is mostly for the anesthesiologists.

I’ve known for the past few weeks that Alexander needed another surgery but it took me until Friday to act on it. I called the office at UCLA and requested Alexander be put on the cancellation list. The folks at UCLA told me they’d fax forms over and I explained that the fax machine was not on and that I wouldn’t be home Friday to turn it on so we agreed on a Monday fax.

This morning they sent the documents over via fax and I didn’t have it set up quite right. I adjusted the settings, called the office and asked them to resend it. They resent the forms and the first four pages are great, the next twelve are blank. My all in one was out of ink. Of course.

So I call to have them try for a third time but no one is answering the phones at just 11.30. I’m pretty sure they take lunch at noon so the lines must be jammed. I ask the service to please fax them a note and ask them to fax me and the doctor’s office directly. They don’t like sending faxes directly to the pediatricians because they get lost she explains and I try to not scream or cry.

I’m picking my son up from school early today to bring him to a doctor’s appointment, he doesn’t know why he’s having it. I didn’t want to ruin his weekend but I did ask him on Friday how he felt about his eyes. I asked him if he wanted to fix them because it’s a close call as to whether or not they need fixing. Medically it’s undeniable but if he wants to learn to live with it I’d be open to that, or at least I think I would be.

I’m back in the world of medical nonsense where gifted surgeons are surrounded by blithering idiots led by a team of lawyers who won’t allow them to simply email me a blank document because someone told them that someone might sue.

All because I ran out of ink.

Canon PIXMA MX870 Printer Review


This is your basic All In One Printer, Copier, Scanner, and Fax. Sort of.

This printer replaced an All In One that my mother bought be when I was pregnant with Alexander. Alexander will be NINE this month. The printer I’m replacing was approximately the size of a Ford Fiesta, and not quite as cute. Also, it had finally broken.

The MX870 has been a good family printer. The quality of printing is very good. Jane likes using photo paper and printing directly from her SD card (there is a slot), and Alexander prefers the wireless so that we can print baseball stats right from his computer. We have several PCs, and as many Macs in the house, both work seamlessly with the wireless network (which took about two minutes to set up). Since one of the computers is very old I was surprised to have no issues. The print quality is good enough for school projects (yes they have summer homework), and I imagine for most small businesses this would be more than adequate, but this is not a photo printer.

So basically it prints nicely, in the two months I’ve had it we have not been able to run it out of ink (but school is not in session so that’s not entirely fair), and there’s a Fax component.

Let me tell you why a fax machine matters. If you have health care forms the only way to submit them to many of the insurers is via fax. Yes. I know. They are a plodding industry that deserves to go the way of the dinosaurs and simply fall into a swamp. But we have them, so we have fax machines, and I’ve used this one quite a bit. It’s good, but there are two places you can put the telephone cord in, and I chose the wrong one, and my home phone was off the hook for three days. I thought the phone was broken, and I have to tell you, I really enjoyed the silence.

What makes the PIXMA MX870 different (in the most wonderful way) is the duplex scan feature. This is the easiest scan that I’ve ever done. Let me just show you a video I made:

And we ended up with this (converting from PDF to jpeg was impossible FYI). You can click on the images to enlarge them and see the quality for yourself. The greyish sheet is a photocopy of a photocopy of a ditto. If you remember what a ditto machine is, congratulations, you are also 40.

To be very clear (Mom and Dad this is mostly for you), I have already bought Alexander the Seat Belt Belt and the Calculator watch. If either if you buy my child a puppy I will check myself into a mental hospital and you will have to take care of my family for 72 hours, and quite possibly 90 days. I have good insurance, and I swear to all that is holy I will call it a vacation. NO PUPPIES.

Or you can see it in PDF format

As the school year approaches I imagine the MX870 could get quite a workout. You know how the kids call each other when they’ve forgotten schoolwork? Quick easy scanning on both sides of the paper at once.

The quality is high enough that this should be a very attractive device for eBay sellers. If you’ve ever tried to sell a comic book or a baseball card you know that a good scanner is key. Warning: The two sided scanning feature will NOT work on anything but paper, you do NOT want to be feeding your collectibles through the tray.

MSRP is $199, but it’s available at Amazon for $129.

*Disclosure: Canon lent me this device for review purposes.