Vacuuming Really Sucks!

The other day, I had a rare block of about four hours of uninterrupted time. How better to spend it than to clean the house? Why would I want to sit out by our beautiful pool reading the latest book club selection? Because I was fighting a battle with the festering animal hair, the hairballs were winning! So first I cleaned the bathrooms, then dusted, and moved on to the vacuuming. Of course this involves picking up all of the shoes, toys, etc that are left on the floor prior to actually vacuuming. I was going so fast that I was actually beginning to drip sweat. Maybe the pool wasn't such a bad idea after all.....

It was time to vacuum my daughter's room. I had moved all of the shoes and toys and was doing an extra thorough job around the hamper when I caught sight of her hot pink feather boa being swept into the tube!!! I immediately shut off the machine to attempt to retrieve the boa. I turned the machine upside down to rule out that the boa was not entangled in the roller device. Nope, not there. I opened it up and removed the bag. Although there were a few spare pink feathers in there, the entire entity was amiss. Where could it have gone, I wondered? I was really determined to get the remainder of the house sanitized during my rare opportunity, so I dragged that machine into the kitchen, got out the screwdriver and took it all apart only to reveal nothing! I attempted to "snake" it with a bent coat hanger, but came up with nothing. I put it back together again, turned it on, and noted that it wasn't sucking efficiently. What a literal drag!

I was just about to give up, and was even laughing at myself, when I decided to check in the tube itself. Of course it was in there! I had wasted 40 minutes dissecting the vacuum cleaner, when the damn boa was in the easiest place for retrieval! I pulled it out, and it was none the worse for the wear, and I finished up the job.

I thought it was comical that I had gone to so much trouble when such an easy solution should have come to mind first. But I have found that the easiest solutions aren't always the first ones tried in my life. Sometimes I just have to go about it all wrong, before I do the right thing. It's all part of the process I guess.

I mentioned the ordeal to my kids, and before I could even finish, my oldest son, the one who is usually delegated the toilsome task of vacuuming, blurted out, "I'll bet it was still in the hose!" Of course he was correct. He's a pretty logical guy. It all made perfect sense to him. I guess he's had some trial and error experiences with the vacuum as well, since he usually doesn't take as much time as I do in the pre-vacuuming phase. He's broken vacuum belts on bead string, and now knows how to replace them. Bead strings and vacuum belts that is.

His fascination with vacuums goes way back. One time when he was about three we were in Best Buy, and he was admiring the new bagless vacuum with the see through front panel, and he winsomely said, " I am gong to buy one of these as soon as I have enough money...." I am glad to report that he never bought a vacuum. Just computer and iPod gadgets.

So, besides the intermittent hot pink feather boas, i'll bet you're wondering just what exactly most of us are vacuuming, eh? Well, I did a bit of research just to quell your curiosity. According to the Cyber Space Vacuum Cleaner Museum , it is composed of, "about 75-80 percent dead human skin cells. We mortals slough off millions of skin cells daily and this shedded material makes up the disproportionate portion of “vacuum cleaner” dirt. The rest of it is hair, animal dander, dust mites (another whole scary thing to think about); and the smallest portions being pollen, dirt, sand and earth tracked or blown in from outdoors."

On that lovely note, I am going to wish all of you a lovely Fourth of July, stay safe, have fun, and hopefully, I will have something better to write about next month! But one last thought. If a "vacuum" is a space empty of matter, why do we have to clean it? They really should have named it a vacuum maintainer, or something along those lines. Maybe that's why we now have names like "Eureka, Hoover, and Dirt Devil.".

The Vacuum Cleaner: a Potted History

1860-1900 Crude bellows operated machines and unsuccessful experiments with suction sweepers.

1901 Hubert Cecil Booth invents the first successful vacuum cleaner - it is the size of a milk float, manned by four to six people
Royal Mail College
1907 James Murray Spangler invents the first domestic single-operator upright vacuum cleaner.

1908 William Henry Hoover produces the first commercial bag-on-a-stick upright vacuum cleaners in Ohio, USA.

1912 First Hoovers imported to Britain.

1912-15 Axel Wenner-Gren in Sweden collaborates with Lux to produce the first cylinder cleaner - Lux 1 (later Electrolux).

1919 Hoover cleaners manufactured in the UK for the first time. The 'beater bar' is added to establish the well-remembered slogan 'It beats as it sweeps as it cleans.'

1926 Booth's British Vacuum Cleaner & Engineering Company brand all their domestic vacuum cleaners under the famous 'Goblin' trade name.

1935 US industrial designer, Henry Dreyfuss transforms the Hoover 150 encasing the components in a 'modern' streamlined housing. Hoover 'Junior' model 370 introduced.

1955 Re-usable paper bags first introduced.

1956 Hoover introduce the space-age 'Constellation' cleaner, 'like a hovercraft it floated on a cushion of air.'

1970 Hoover introduce carpet care control with the height adjuster on upright cleaners.

1981 Introduction of the Sensotronic cleaner using microprocessor control for power suction and carpet grooming in a single machine.

1983 Automatic flex rewind introduced.
James Dyson intoduces the 'Cyclon' model 1000 cleaner, the first bagless dual cyclone machine.

1986 Dyson's 'G-Force' cleaner in lavender and pink goes on sale in Japan at £1200 per machine

1993 Dyson Dual Cyclone DC01 upright goes on sale in Britain.

1995 Dyson Dual Cyclone DC02 cylinder version introduced.

1996 Dyson's DC02 becomes Britain's second best-selling vacuum cleaner, outsold only by the DC01.

1999 Lifetime filters in bagless cleaners.

2000 Dual Cyclone v. Triple Vortex controversy.

2001 Prototype robotic cleaners for domestic use.


<>*Fad: Something that goes into one era and out the other.
*Did you hear about the self help group for compulsive talkers?
It's called On & On Anon.
*Shouting at your children to get cooperation is about the same as steering your car using the horn...same results.
*The best advice regarding raising your children is to really enjoy them while they are still on your side.
*Cleaning house with the children at home is a lot like  shoveling snow during a blizzard.
*What a life.  When I was a kid I asked my dad if I could go ice
<>skating. He told me to wait until it gets warmer. 
*There are only two things that your child is absolutely willing to
share: Communicable Diseases and their mother's age.
*When I joined the military it was illegal to be homosexual, then it
became optional. I'm getting out before it becomes mandatory.
Remember, old folks are worth a fortune, with silver in their hair, gold
in their teeth, stones in their kidneys, lead in their feet, and gas in
their stomachs.
What a life!  The preacher came to visit me the other day. He said, at
my age, I should be thinking about "the hereafter." I told him,  "Oh, I
do, all the time!  No matter where I am ... in the parlor, upstairs, in
the kitchen or down in the basement ... I ask myself, 

July 3, 2006
Next Post date August 7, 2006
Muslim Toilet (Remind me never to visit!)


The secret to success in any human endeavor is total concentration.

-Kurt Vonnegut


Nothing can be more useful to you than a determination not to be hurried.

-Henry David Thoreau


It is never too late to be what you might have been.

-George Eliot


Seek the good in everyone, and reveal it, bring it forth.

- Nahman of Bratslav, "Likute Moharan"


Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.

-E.M. Forster


Eventually we will find (mostly in retrospect, of course) that we can be very grateful to those people who have made life most difficult for us.

-Ayya Khema, "When the Iron Eagle Flies"


The highest peace is the peace between opposites.

- Rebbe Nachman of Breslov


There has never been an age that did not applaud the past and lament the present.

-Lillian Eichler Watson


Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back into the same box.

-Italian Proverb


Lives based on having are less free than lives based on doing or being.

-E.Y. Harburg


We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.

-Anais Nin (submitted by Rajaa)


The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation.

-Corrie Ten Boom


Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life. Laughing at someone else's can shorten it.

-Cullen Hightower


For I desire kindness, not sacrifice.

- Hosea 6:6, speaking in the name of God


It's never too late to start doing what is right.

-Charles Swindoll


The heart, like the grape, is prone to delivering its harvest in the same moment it appears to be crushed.

-Roger Houseden (submitted by jrnorwood)


Learn perfectly all that you learn, and
Thereafter keep your conduct worthy of that learning.

-Tirukkural 40: 391


A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.

-Hugh Downs


Daily Christian Wisdom

The best gifts to give:
To your friend, loyalty;
To your enemy, forgiveness;
To your boss, service;
To a child, a good example;
To your parents, gratitude and devotion;
To your mate, love and faithfulness;
To all men and women, charity.

-Oren Arnold

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