...the laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised."
Thomas Jefferson.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


A while ago we bought a Roomba. Do you know what a Roomba is? It's one of those robot vacuums that runs about the house, vacuuming. When we first got it, most people thought it was a silly thing to buy but then they saw it and the opinions seemed to shift. It actually does what the advertising says it does. It is harmless if it rolls over feet, it reverses when it meets an obstacle, it knows not to fall down stairways or steps, it returns to it's 'base' when it feels it's done (due to not finding anything to collect). I should point out it doesn't actually vacuum, it seems to sweep the stuff up on hard surfaces and there is a roller and a brush for carpets. There is tons (nevermind) of very fine dust in the viewable chamber when it's time to clean it.

We, and everyone who sees it, from 70 year old in-laws to 15 year old friends of Max's, started out fascinated by 'him'. Yes we call him him. We also ask each other "where is Roomba" or "does Roomba need cleaning" almost like you would with another home-dweller. Everyone watches him to see if he has a pattern (yes he does but don't ask me to explain it) and to see if he will fall down or mess up somehow. Mixed up in there is the surprise (!) that the thing does what it said it would.

About the cleaning, I know that some would find it a pain and leave it to sit there dirty, resulting in no vacuuming happening, but we honestly don't mind. I say we because husband and son have both been known to ask after him and then do the duty. You empty the removable chamber and clear the hair out of the brush and at the ends of the brush and the roller. It's just dry dirt, nothing remotely gross (or my guys would definitely not be touching it). I sometimes run it twice in one day, between charges, on the first floor and once upstairs. Usually not so often but like today, I haven't run it for a few days so depending on how dirty he is after the first run I might decide to run him again. Some may laugh at us but we are quite pleased with him. Oh, one complaint, he's pretty loud if he's right in the room while you are watching tv. He comes with two 'walls', contraptions you set to tell him not to go there; because he thinks it's a wall it works. I would recommend him.

"Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.” - Plato

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