About me

Friday, November 25, 2011

Vacuum cleaners

Okay, the first is not a vacuum cleaner. I lived in a studio at the time, and there was no need for a vacuum. A carpet sweeper was quite sufficient. It's minor price was also a major attraction as I was living off my good looks at the time.
Of course, that studio had, maybe, 10 square feet of exposed carpet. Nonetheless, the little sweeper served its purpose quite well. It still would, were I to use it. The sad thing is that it does not fit my hands very well, and using it is such the chore.

Then, I moved to the penthouse. Two bedrooms and a living room. Same bath and microscopic kitchen. It seemed reasonable, then, to upgrade the carpet cleaner.
For $20, I bought a vacuum. Bagless. It was sufficient to remove the lumps, which is about what the carpet sweeper did. I'm not sure it was an improvement, but it's what I had.

However, the Bissell was no good at vacuuming odd places like the ceiling or the curtains. Not to worry, I just let the odd places go fallow. The bugs had free reign, at least for a while.

Then last Wednesday, at a Target sale that was leading up to Black Friday, I got this. I also got to call customer service when I didn't assemble it correctly, but all they wanted me to do was get another one from Target. Can you see me traipsing back to Target on Black Friday? After calling the number twice, I took the thing apart, and found that I had not screwn the one screw straight. Me? Not screwing straight? Whodathunkit?
So, a real vacuum cleaner. Now, I just need a cat to chase. As you might expect, there was a little accumulation of dirt in the carpet. Click here to see what came out during the first pass. Not to worry, that much more came out in the second pass. I suspect this end of the building will rise as I continue to remove dust and dirt from the apartment.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Clothes dryers

Pay no attention to the Clear modem in the background. It's the best I can get here until TWC decides to do better. There's also the collection of dead ladybugs on the window sill. I'm told some consider it lucky for the ladybugs to appear inside, but it's quite lethal for the critters. They quickly die of dehydration. Maybe I should set up a water bar for vicious beasties. Yes, vicious. Have you ever seen them eat?

You can also ignore whatever reflection of me there is in the window. What brought us here are the drying racks.
So why do I have racks when the laundry room has perfectly good dryers that run for a dollar?

First, it is not to save money. I will need some seven months to make back the expense of the racks, and given how flimsy the two traditional zigzag racks are, I'll probably be buying more directly after I stumble near one. I bought these at Target because that was the only place where I could find them. The tree is an afterthought. I grew tired of hanging shirts, pants and towels on door knobs. It came from Kmart. Yes, I know I said Kmart was dead to me, and that's true if the box is open. However, Kmart is in my back yard and very convenient. It seems reasonable to be a careful shopper and avoid the drive across town.

Second, I did not get the racks to be green, no matter how much I do love the green peep at work who regales me with tales of not using a dryer and how many hurricanes she personally prevents by not using the electricity.

Third, the racks are not here to make my clothes last longer, no matter how much I do love the Canadian who regaled me with stories of how long his clothes last. He doesn't get that I shop at Goodwill, and those shirts cost $3.50. I can have 20 more for the price of the shirt he will wear to work today. Maybe more.

Fourth, I do not dry the clothes in the house to make the air more humid, though I do like the odor of drying clothes, and that is likely a side effect of the increased humidity, especially in the winter. I could put out a pot of water to make the air humid. Or get some plants

I bought the racks to make life simpler. When I use the dryer in the laundry room, it runs for about an hour, and I have to hang around for that hour, and there's the rub. That little bit of structure gets in my way. The time needed to put the clothes on the racks is about the same as going down to move the clothes to the dryer. The time to fold off the racks is about the same as to fold out of the dryer. The difference is that the drying happens asynchronously with the rest of whatever I'm doing, and it's, usually, simpler to fit the unscheduled activity into the day as time arises.

Yeah, I hate a schedule.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Broom and dust pan

I know. It's just completely unexpected that a man such as me would have need of a broom, except to ride, much less the dust pan, but I spent good American money in the discount bargain bin to get both. The pan even came with a small brush. I suppose I'm supposed to throw that at the neighbors when they're loud.
My grandfather would have stepped across the road to the empty field of sand, gathered some broom straw, which you might call sedge, and fashioned a broom. He did that often, and my grandmother used them daily. I saw such brooms for sale at the State Fair. I didn't check the price, but it probably would have hurt my feelings.

People even swept their yards with broom straw brooms back in the day. That generation had no time for a lawn as grass was a thing to be despised, hated, and destroyed. It was only my parents' generation that started cultivating in the yard the very thing they fought in the field. I am convinced the only reason people started keeping lawns was to provide the extra chores to people like me. As you know, there was just not enough work on a tobacco farm then to keep the boys busy. They had to invent more.

Oh yes, the dirt. That's not mine. I borrowed it from the neighbor to make the picture look more realistic.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Wine cooler

Yes, I have, or had, a wine cooler.
A Koolatron.

It served very well for several years, but last summer while I was on a road trip, lightning appears to have hit.It probably killed my old TV also.

This is a sad moment. Lily and Josh gave me the cooler for a Christmas present back when I'm pretty sure they had to get creative to make the purchase because they were underage for such, technically, at the time. Now, why the Great State of North Carolina would apply drinking requirements to cooler purchases is a mystery to me. Of course, I don't get how people can be drafted for military service before being old enough to purchase a beer. Perhaps I'm slow that way.

I've spent the last few weeks poking at it, thinking I might be able to get it going again, but alas, it's a no go. All good things must end, I suppose. The corner of the table looks bare now.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Orange peeler

A very long time ago, I aborted a graduate program in Physics at Wake Forest in the first year. I was in the wrong place and I was there at the wrong time. Besides, the one faculty member I wanted to study under was an insufferable ass. The other prayed a lot.

So I left to find fame and fortune at Lee County Senior High School as a math teacher. My first year was spent teaching math to students who had demonstrated an ability to fail at math, even if they thought they were bound for college. In the Algebra 1A class, one of my students gave me an orange peeler.
This was 30 years ago, and her orange peeler was far more substantial than this one that I bought at the outlet mall. Her's was half again as long, appropriately orange, and sturdy. I carried it for years. However, somewhere in all the moving, I lost it, and that made me sad because she was a good student in that she did her job. OK, she made the only A in the class, but she earned it; she didn't buy it.

So it was with some joy that I found this one at the mall. I nabbed several because they cost like 99 cents, and passed them out at work to the psycho peeps. To spread my joy, you see. However, I doubt they'll remember their's as fondly as I remember mine.