October 17th, 2003

eLouai

Vacuum Recommendations Request

weather: heavy rain
outside: 15°C
mood: curious
music: Joan Sutherland, Jane Berbie - Lakmé, Flower Duet (Delibes)
Our old Kenmore canister vacuum is looking like there are more days behind it than ahead.


We have a Beam® Central Vacuum System built into the house, but it's a big pain in the ass. Not to mention, it's more of a partial status symbol than a practical household tool. These things have to be built into the walling of the house and sealed in behind the drywall, with only the sockets where the hoses plug in (they look like electrical outlets with a round flap covering a hole). Most people wouldn't have it unless they were building a new home anyway or gutting the whole house entirely. And they're not cheap.

It's way cool to show off at the housewarming party ("Watch! Watch! I just plug the hose into the wall!"). It feels practical for about the first year. Then you realize the hose is long and unwieldy. You spend most of your time managing the hose, twisting it to the length you need, then twirling it back when you're done.

And may all the known Deities of the Universe and their aides help you if you ever get anything stuck in it.

If you're thinking of introducing the kids to chores, then you really don't want this. It's not easy to handle for a person who doesn't have the height, upper body strength, superior hand-eye coordination, PhD-level experiential understanding of plastics, inertia and centrifugal forces. I've lost count of the number of knicks I put in the walls of my parent's house from twisting and twirling the hose. It's very hard to control and it can suddenly whip off in some unexpected direction.

I just want to clean the crap off my floors, thank you. We've just been using the old cylinder vacuum and it's worked fine. We have both carpet, tile and marble floors... some linoleum(?), but not much.

So, what type (category or brand/model) of vacuum do you have? Are you happy with it?

I thought a Wet/Dry Vac would be useful for an all-around housie-cleanie thing, but can you really use the same machine to suck up spaghetti with sauce, then vacuum loose dirt off your carpets? Is it easy to clean? Is it light weight?

Should I get a lighter stick vacuum for the kitchen and another upright for the carpets?

Finance

Out of my way, I just swallowed a grumpy pill.

weather: raining
outside: 15°C
mood: jaded/cynical
I'm violating personal policy here and I'm planning for the weekend. *hoof*... I haven't done that much Linear Optimization for a weekend in a while. Huh, I'm spending most of my weekend in one mall or another.

Speaking of malls, some time ago, I heard about a "Guy's Daycare" where your guy can go while you shop. It's based on the setup for children, there are video games and things to keep the dudes occupied. I find the cranium density of some humans just boggling. It's called EB and the Food Court.

Anyway, there's just a lot of stuff I just have to accomplish this weekend because there are only two more weekends in October before Work throws me a huge ass deadline on the 31st. But then, I take a week off for holidays in the first week of November.

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I get extra money starting this pay period, which is half a happy thing. It was a whole happy thing, up until I realized that it was really entirely my money to begin with. I've finally contributed up to the maximum allowable for all the deduction things. Like the "GOVT PEN", wherein I give my Government $50 every month as long as I still have a brain wave pattern and when I turn 65, they give me a pen.

Yes, yes, I know it's my stupid pension plan. But the way the legislation is heading, I'll be lucky to get a writing stick of any kind from them. And that's only if they haven't pushed out the Retirement Age to 100 by then.

Nonetheless, they upped the maximum contribution this year... <bitterness>at least for ME because, y'know, they have to support the Welfare Scammers somehow</bitterness>. So, instead of hitting the cap back in mid-July like I used to, I've been contributing up until the end of September.

*          *          *

I still haven't figured out why my bank balance keeps creeping upwards. I'm not double-counting credit card charges. If I were, I think the difference would be much more pronounced. I thought it might be an annual expense that I did the monthly calculation for and my account balance would creep upwards over the year until I paid it. But that thing has been paid and my balance is still higher than I expect.

Yeah, here's me having the opposite problem as everyone else again. Everyone else is trying to figure out why their bank balances are lower than they expect and I have too much money. Not that that's an issue in and of itself. It just makes me think that there's something I've totally forgotten about and, now, don't have enough to cover.