I, Roomba


A fortuitous and formidable gadget showed up on our doorstop yesterday: a Roomba. (What can I say? It’s the Jarrett House. Gadgets have a way of finding their way here.) This particular Roomba was a Roomba Red, the entry level model, but I’m not complaining. It charged all day today, and tonight while we ate dinner it vacuumed our bedroom. With the door closed we couldn’t hear it, but it is a little noisy as it cleans the hall at the top of the stairs. Next time we’ll wait until we go out before we do that part.

The dogs seem quietly curious about it. Jefferson got up off the sofa, walked to the foot of the stairs, and looked up for about ten seconds. Now he’s happily ignoring it.

And the results? Well, the bedroom smells much less dusty—and the vast quantities of dustbunnies that I emptied out of the dust chamber suggest that it’s done a pretty good job. I’ll take a look at the other rooms later, but the fact that I’m not having to get up to deal with much of anything (other than removing the hall rug while it sweeps) tells me that we may finally have licked our bedroom dust problem—which has collided with our “no time for housework” problem too many times.

Friday Random 10: Power Out

Or, more precisely, Power Back On. I’m in my office now, but was working from home this morning because of a power failure that took down our entire building. (Apparently an air conditioner overloaded.) But they fixed it and it’s back to business.

So without further ado, this Random 10, in which the first two tunes are combined greater in length than the next 8:

  1. Branford Marsalis Quartet, “Countronious Rex” (Contemporary Jazz)
  2. Anthony Braxton, “Cherokee” (9 Standards: Quartet, 1993)
  3. The Charlatans UK, “A Time for Living” (Help)
  4. Bobby Bare, “Everybody’s Talkin’” (The Moon was Blue)
  5. Vic Gammon, “He That Buys Land” (The Tale of Ale)
  6. Sufjan Stevens, “Chicago” (Illinoise)
  7. Beth Orton, “Conceived” (Comfort of Strangers)
  8. Billy Joe Shaver, “Georgia on a Fast Train” (The Third Annual Oxford American Music Issue 1999)
  9. Woody Allen, “Summing Up” (Standup Comic)
  10. Funkadelic, “I Wanna Know If It’s Good to You (Alt. Version)” (Free Your Mind…And Your Ass Will Follow)

Gas leak?

—Oh yes. We had noticed a gas smell near our next-door neighbor’s house, and they don’t have a gas hookup so we figured it must have been a leak in the main. So Sunday afternoon the crew from Keyspan was out there digging. They found a stub that would have been used to connect our neighbors, but which hadn’t been touched in sixty years and was corroded. They also, unfortunately, found a water main that crossed right over it. Needless to say our new neighbors spent the night with friends while Keyspan and the water company fixed the problem.

Then Keyspan came next door. There had been no detectable gas when they probed our lawn—and a good thing too, since we depend on gas for hot water, cooking and, later this year, heat—but our neighbor across the street showed signs of a subsurface leak. So they had to check the integrity of the main. Of course, that ran in the street right in front of our house, so there were big holes in front of our yard for a few days while they worked on the problem.

My favorite one, though, was coming home late Wednesday night to a big hole in front of our driveway with two cones in it. I had to drive over my neighbor’s lawn to get in my driveway. I called and bitched, and they never did come by to put a steel plate over it, but they patched it yesterday afternoon.

They also did us what they supposed was a favor: having scooped out the loose sandy fill (comprised of years of road sand and salt build up) in front of our curb to dig, they replaced it afterwards. Unfortunately they chose to use topsoil instead. So now we’ll have a guaranteed mudhole plus lots of weeds.

Sigh. At least there’s no more gas leak.

Catching a breath

Friday morning, and the power is out at my office building (like, in the whole building. That’s a new one.) so I’m working from home and breathing in. It’s been a busy, crazy, nutty week, as they all seem to be recently.

I neglected to mention on Monday that I traveled to Chicago for one day for the IQPC Software Asset Management conference (if you attended the Monday workshops, and a few did, I was playing the role of our Marketing Communications Director who for some strange reason was listed as the speaker for Session C instead of me. Odd). It was a relatively easy travel day—I caught earlier flights than my scheduled one twice and made it home by 10 pm instead of midnight—but it still took a lot out of me.

A lot of the rest of the week, non-work-wise, was spent dealing with errands and distractions. For instance: Wednesday I drove to Walpole to pick up a dishwasher that will go in our new kitchen. Yesterday I was at the doctor’s office. And all week long I was calling and griping at Keyspan about the way they’ve dug up our street. (See next post for details.)

And today the power is out in our office and I’m breathing a little easy rather than fighting the morning commute. It’s nice to have a positive disruption in one’s schedule for a change.