Sunday, January 27, 2013

FTT Wildly Off-Topic: In Which I Geek Out For A Vacuum Cleaner

Attack, My Beast, Attack
This one's going as far away from sports as I can go, folks. You've been warned.

Six months ago, we got a puppy. Milo is now 9 months old, about 35 to 40 pounds, and has been a wonderful addition to the family. Housebreaking accidents have been as infrequent as you could hope for, and he picked that up right away. He's great with the kids, can play in a variety of ways and while he's far from perfect on obedience issues, I wouldn't trade him for another pooch on the planet.

Eight years ago, we got a cat. Boris was a feral kitten that was born under my eldest's pre-school, and while I'm far from a cat guy, he's a reasonable enough beast. He doesn't miss the litter even if you don't keep on it as much as you should, isn't too insistent on being petted, and puts up with the other animals and kids very well.

There's just one problem with Boris and Milo. They both have long hairs, and they both shed. Like, well, mad.

Now, the Shooter House has hardwood floors for the most part, at least on the first and second floors, where the bedrooms, kitchen, living room and main bathroom are. So cleaning up the clouds of hair is mostly a broom experience, and doesn't take up that much time... but then there's the couple of area rugs that are upstairs, and the mostly carpeted basement that contains my cave.

My mother-in-law gave us a vacuum a few years ago, a Dyson Ball unit that was a fine gift. On the downstairs carpet, it's done what it could on the pet hair, but hasn't quite been up to the task. And on the rugs upstairs, it would take out some stuff, but leave a thick coating of hair that would require a manual attack afterward, for the better part of an hour. Really not a good hour, that.

Since the dog is going to be with us for another 12 to 15 years, God willing, and the cat for a good long while besides, I've known for a while that we were going to have to upgrade the vac. Which happened today, now that I knew I had secured some funds that I wasn't counting on.

So what I did was take a rug with me to a local store, having not touched it for a couple of weeks. And in short order, we found the monster pictured above, having watched it strip the supplied rug damn near clean... on one freaking pass. It's called a Simplicity Synergy, and no, I'm not being paid to shill for it.

There's something about having an outstanding tool in your hands; it makes you never want to use anything less. And that's what this thing is. It's got not just one engine, but two, to make sure it never gets outdrawn. It's got sensor lights on it so that you go over that not really clean patch a second time. It's got copious amounts of metal -- real, honest, actual metal -- all over, because this thing is built to last for a decade or more, and actually might, since it was made (gasp!) in America..

Having said that, it's not for everyone. I paid more for this thing than I have a couple of different (terrible, monstrous, horrible, way back in the day) cars. It's not terribly light, because, well, it's got two freaking motors in it and is basically a tank. It's loud enough that Milo is afraid of it (he has no fear of the Dyson).

But after years of whipping around a unit that just couldn't get the job done? I'm in love. It sounds downright *angry* at full power, like the crap that it's removing from the carpet is beneath its dignity, or personally offended it. Hairs come off the ground and into the bag, without getting stuck in the rollers. I had to fight off the Shooter Wife to use it when I brought it home. The rugs have never looked better. And I get back some of the worst hours of my month.

So what's not to love, really?

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