Sunday, April 18, 2010

The trials - and joys - of life

I'm not sure, but I'd be willing to bet that we all have 'that certain appliance' that gives us fits. The one appliance that drives us crazy and we have to replace more than all others combined.
With me, it's vacuum cleaners. I don't know why it is, but they don't see to like me and quit me more than any other electrical appliance. I think in the past 35 some odd years that I grew up and moved out of my mommy and daddy's house, I've had at least 10 of the suckers. My latest purchase was about a month ago.

When I came home with it and had my son Brent, the one who is displacing my library, put it together, because if it was up to me to put together it would still be in the box, and as I vacuumed for the first time using it, it was like I had new carpet. Since the old one - that only lasted 4 years - gave up it's life, my carpet was looking pretty bad.

I tried vacuuming the other day during my once a week cleaning and damned it the power header bar thing or more commonly known as the 'rotating brush' wouldn't turn.

Now I've had that happen to me before when loose threads got sucked up and then that horrid burning smell. But when I unplugged it and turned it upside down, none of them had got sucked in and no nasty smell. But I turned it on and off, took it apart as far as I felt comfortable doing and still no beating header bars. I put the little one on - the little one for upholstery cleaning, and it worked fine. But do you know how long it would take to vacuum the living room and hall carpet using the little upholstery vacuum thing? More time than I was willing to spend that's for sure!

When Brent came over the other day, I had him look at it; figuring I could blame him since he was the one to put it together in the first time. Being a dutiful son whose main goal in life is to be a good son, yet drive his mama crazy at the same time, he spent a good hour trying to figure it out and came to the conclusion that the 'rotating brush' wasn't supposed to 'rotate'. But that didn't make sense to me as I was pretty sure it was busy whirling before. And one reason why he drives me bonkers. Added to that was the fact that it wasn't sucking anything up.

But today I just couldn't stand the carpet anymore. It was covered in little bits of stuff and it was FLAT. I suppose I could have got down on my knees and pick up the little bits by hand, but the carpet would still be flat.

So I got it out again, sat down in front of it ready to do battle and studied it for a while. During this pre-battle warm up I noticed there was a foot pedal that you push depending on if you are vacuuming a carpeted floor or a non carpeted floor. Now I had kind of noticed that before and was dutifully pushing with my foot and nothing seemed to happen. But this time I pushed it down harder with my hand. And low and behold something moved.

With my breath held in excitement and my fingers crossed for luck, I turned it on and......voila! The 'rotating brush' was madly rotating around and as I started pushing the vacuum, STUFF WAS BEING VACUUMED UP!! I quite happily vacuumed the living room - twice! And now I can see foot prints again 'cause it's no longer flat and I don't have anymore little dark specs .
It's amazing sometimes how the oddest things can make up happy.

What I really want to get though, is one of those round vacuums that vacuum while you're away. I love the thought of it freaking out the cats - specially Destructo Cat. I'd love to get back at her! Maybe when this one bites the dust. And it will - I know that, I'll see about getting one.


~ames~ said...

I hate vacuum cleaners too! But our house has a central vac. Love it...but still don't use it often enough. LOL

Glad you "fixed" your new vacuum. :P

Magdalen said...

I have actually killed -- in cold blood -- a vacuum cleaner. I tried to plead self-defense, but my husband wasn't buying. So I pleaded temporary insanity.

They let me out of the asylum on day passes now, and I'm feeling much better, thanks.

Lori said...

Oh Kristy, I have the exact same luck with vacuums and all those things in that family.

My last shampooer actually burst into flames. I was rather freaked out by that.

The last vacuum I bought was a few months ago and it's already stopped working once. Like you I spent A LOT of time and finally it's working again.

My next vacuum I want to look like George Clooney.

azteclady said...

Oh Kristie, how you make me laugh!

And boy, do I know exactly what you mean--about vacuum cleaners and sons whose purpose in life is to drive their mothers crazy ;-)

Congrats on a clean and fluffy carpet!

Susanna Kearsley said...

Of course, if you DO get a Roomba robot vacuum cleaner, it might have Unexpectedly Interesting side effects:

Leslie said...

I've had pretty good luck with vacuums, it's toaster ovens that I go through fast but I use mine a lot.

I do like that Roomba you have pictured. The color goes with my family room. Is that a good enough reason to get one? :)

Bev(QB) said...

Vacuum Cleaners are the wussy weaklings of the appliance world. Mr. QB vacuums every single day when he gets home from work. It's his Zen time and he must do it even if there's no need. But we get a new vacuum about once a year, sometimes more. We've tried expensive, top of the line vacuums, we've tried cheap, craptastic vacuums, and we've tried everything in between. But the longest we've gone is, IIRC, 15 months. And then the search begins again.

Brandy said...

We've been through at least ten vacuums in the last 5 years. A few months ago I decided to try one of the more expensive ones so we bought an Oreck at TARGET! (Go figure!) I lurve my new vacuum it makes our horrible carpet look nice and with 2 kids a hubs and eight cats that's not easy. It did seem to stop sucking once, two weeks ago. Turns out teenage daughter vacuumed her room and didn't pay attention and sucked up a balled up piece of paper. I fixed it and we're good to go! Btw, all the vacuums that have died on us were the bagless. HATE those, the filters become clogged and emptying seems to always empty dust and whatnot into the air. Bleh.
Good luck with your new vacuum!

orannia said...

My theory is - years ago manufacturers used to make things to last...then they realized that would drive them out of business, so they make things that don't last as well. A good example is hot water cylinders. I replaced the one in the house late last year - it is the original hot water cylinder, installed when the house was built ~40 years ago. There is no way the new one will last 40 years.

Oh, and the appliance that drives me nuts is the waste disposal. I'm so careful about what I put down it but it still packs a sad every so often.

Round vacuum cleaners? Interesting... How do they do corners?

Kristie (J) said...

Ames - with the amount I've spent on buying vacuum cleaners, it probably would be cheaper just to have a central vac installed - but not before I get a Roomba *g*.

Magdalen - obviously your husband doesn't have as intimate a relationship with the vacuum as you do - otherwise he would have assisted you in "The Vacuum Murder"

Lori - it went up in FLAMES???? LOL - you got me beat :-)
And what would even better would be to HAVE George Clooney do the vacuuming!

AL: It just looks so nice and fresh now!! It had been about a month since the last time I vacuumed and the vacuum worked!! Of course this was all after my other son made a surprise visit - with his girlfriend yesterday. They got to see the sad, FLAT carpet - covered with stuff.

Susanna - I've seen that one before - it's funny isn't it. This is what I have in mind for Destructo Cat
heh heh heh

Leslie - See!!! We do have our appliances. Mine used to be can openers but I got them back when I got a hand held one. Only then the bad luck switched to vacuum cleaners. And they're a lot more expensive to replace. *sigh*

Bev - LOL - a husband who LIKES vacuuming - that's amazing. And since he's the one who does it, you don't get the blame when it gives up the vacuum ghost - double score!!

Brandy - My last two have been the bagless kind. I had 'issues' with the kind that had bags. The bags were forever bursting on me - perhaps if I had changed them more often. And also there were the number of times I'd forget to write down the right kind, get what I thought were the right ones, only to discover they didn't fit.

Orannia - I have a freezer in the basement that's 50 years old and still running fine. Mind you I'm sure it's a real energy sucker, but I know if I were to replace it, the new one would NOT last that long.
And I don't know how the roomba's do on corners, but the thought of an appliance busily vacuuming while I'm at work and then putting itself away when it's done is very appealing. Not to mention the mind games it might play with Destructo Cat. That's an incentive all of it's own on this cat I have a love/hate relationship with.

nath said...

We have central vacuum at home which is pretty good :D Well at least, it must be because I don't take care of it LOL. Only problem though is I don't know why but my room gets soooooo dusty ^_^;

I'm glad you figured out the vacuum... and LOL, you vacuumed twice!! Lucky for you, your living room is small.

Hmmm, I'd love the round vacuum... but for you? It might freak out Destructo Cat for a while, but i'm sure one day, you'll come back home and see that the victor is the cat :P