Tuesday, December 26, 2006


This year's gadget
Thanks for all the Merry Chistmasses you left for us in comments and e-mail.  Ours was great because we were all together, and when you fought with Teddy at San Juan Hill you don't take that for granted.  Since the weather was accommodating we were able to observe our traditional 5K family run on Christmas morning. It's not a race, but at the end I always break into a sprint so I can "win" (and I did win), but this year RO got cute and tried to out sprint me, so I tripped him.  Haven't had to do that for several years.  Anyway he had some abrasions that had to be tended too before gift opening.  We went to midnight mass, and that was actually a great time.  They had a full brass section to accompany the choir, and our million dollar pipe organ.  The music was so real, it sounded like the best Dolby Sound you've ever heard.

Christmas is of course a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus, or if you're Jewish, the birth of Joe and Mary's son who could have been a doctor, but didn't get into medical school.  It's also, at least in our house, a time to buy Mother Superior a gift she didn't ask for, doesn't want, and probably won't work, but might.  This year it was the Roomba.

Replay video | Share video | Watch more videos

The reviews I read on it were mixed.  Half said it didn't work; the others (probably writ by the product's inventor) said it was wonderful.   Per usual, I did not read the reviews until after I bought it.  I did see it on HSN (Home Shopping Network); they said it was great, and it did appear that way. The idea is that the Roomba vacuum cleaner will use robotic logic to traverse every nook and cranny of a room,  leaving it clean as a whistle. After an hour or two,  it will return to its docking station  and recharge itself.  If you have the optional programmer, it will leave again at a selected time, and do it all over again.  I can dispel one criticism right now - it does work.  Reagan the Wonder Dog does not shed, but if we still had Boomer the German Shepherd, all that hair on the white rug wouldn't be there to sour certain people, initials MS, on that breed.

The video  amplifies the sound  Roomba makes.   In actual practice it sounds more like those RC cars  your  kids get for Christmas  .. it's there, but not nerve grating.  By contrast, the Hoover Wind Tunnel vacuum we use sounds like a 747 on takeoff (I'm not kidding - I wear my shooting  ear muffs when that thing is running  - - not a joke). 

Since we knew company was coming,  you know (if you're married) that the floors and rugs were spic and span, yet (above) you can see the produce from the first run after I read the directions.  Of course it was after all the festivities, but still.  That green stuff is the rug pad that Greeper's dog Boss likes to chew on, so it has some capacity for large items, even though it's only about 5" high.  It didn't tangle on the carpet fringe, nor get stuck anywhere else.  At times it looks like it's met its match, going all silent, but then, like  Marines charging through the Muslim lines, it  gets through.

So, it works, but that does not win the Schlong seal of approval.  It has to keep working until I feel it's returned the investment, which is maybe two years.  I'll keep you informed.  Vrooom, vroom. 


marcm said...

"Our son, a carpenter? Oy."... Hope you had a blessed day Mr. & Mrs. Schlong and family.

Anonymous said...

This post alone says you had a great Christmas and well deserved spirits lift. 'Don't know if we'd like yet another small creature roaming our house, but it looks like fun for awhile. :) Juice


sooooooooo cool...

the great thing about technology, men love the gadgets, and we continue to turn the tools into toys.

women are forced to believe we are trying to make work light for all, being all too kind, but really we want to take the thing apart to find out how it works.

great gift...

hoping you and yours had the finest.

_Jon said...

"Marines charging through the Muslim lines"


nice forecasting....


Alear said...

Check this terribly boring video, Rodg:


Wii controlled robots. I've had the roomba for coupla years now, the maintenance is more than on your average vacuum cleaner. I do like it's tenacity tho. And it doesn't ever go down the stairs, gotta like that.

This is far more amusing, even cleans up after itself:


Jack Hamilton said...

We have had a Roomba for a year and love the darn thing. Our house is all one floor and low carpeting so it really works well on that and the kitchen and bathrooms as well.

Anonymous said...

Do you have a dog or cat, Jack? I'm tempted to get one for the entertainment value of watching it chase the critters around-- They aren't smart enough to know it's not really after them.


Peggy U said...

I know a robotics professor who has one of these, and she likes it! I don't know how long she has had it, but will ask her when I see her next time. I can't imagine it would have much power, but I think it would work for hardwood floors and vinyl. Would definitely freak out the cats!

Rodger Schlong said...

It does an amazing job on rugs. The Wind Tunnel vacuum is pretty powerful, yet after using it, the Romba sucked up plenty of embedded dirt in the same area. The dogs here have not freaked out - don't even bark at it, but do steer clear.

Post a Comment

Just type your name and post as anonymous if you don't have a Blogger profile.