Have you asked Hoover?

“Lad, Dyson can’t play ball.”

My 20-month old grandson (AKA The Blur, because the active lad is “faster than a D-SLR” camera) loves vacuums.  A great deal.  The first time we ever saw him sit still for half an hour was when I first showed him some vacuum vids on You Tube.  Any mess of crumbs on the floor is promptly declared a “Me’h!” and requires attention with his push-sweeper. (No, piles of toy pieces strewn across the floor do not merit such attention.  This is a child, after all.)

A trip to Target should include 15 minutes at the end to browse their selection. “Vacuum! Vacuum! Vacuum!”

“You want to look at vacuums?”

“Pe’e? Pe’e? Vacuum! Vacuum! Vacuum!”

“Okay lad. Here, I’ll pick you up so you can see them better. This is a black Oreck, and that’s a red Dirt Devil, and a red Bissell.  The Eureka upright is yellow.  Here’s a grey Hoover canister, and an orange Dyson.”  Hey, everything’s a teaching opportunity, right?

The shrimp toast at our favorite Chinese restaurant was great, and so was their vacuum. We haven’t gotten to the “must see the potty everywhere we go” stage; we’re still stuck at the “must see the vacuum everywhere we go” stage — too bad not every restaurant accommodates the kid’s fascination. Not even the guy at the local vacuum shop quite understands it, although he did mention there was another boy who wanted to have his birthday party there.  Mum isn’t sure if the fact that there are You Tube vids of child vacuum collectors out there is reassuring or not. But taking a [clean, unused] vacuum attachment tool to crib with your teddy bear and blanket, well, that is odd.

Meanwhile:

“Lad, Dyson can’t play ball,” I tell my grandson.  At which point the boy picked up the tennis-size rubber ball and bounced it off the “Dyson Sphere”* of our Dyson DC25, and went chasing after it, to fetch and bounce again.

Vacuums can too, play ball!  I stand corrected.  I bet Hoover the canister vac will play ball, too.

~#~

If you too, have a vacuum enthusiast in your life, here are some You Tube vids that are popular at our house:

WALL*E and the vacuum [animation]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpHDrNc-44U&feature=related

All Dysons Ever Made
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7aezOZCEuA&feature=fvwrel

Welcome to Vacuum Land, the site for the Vacuum Cleaner Collector’s Club www.vacuumland.org

19 month old Liisa vacuums
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZ915JEgC74&feature=related

Inventing the Dyson ball
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pPlYR6Hql8

Vacuum collector 5 year old Aiden Atkins
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvk5eoz_PrE

Vacuum collector 10 year old Gregory Evans
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXnrXw1WvvA&feature=related

Vacuum collector 12 year old Kyle Krichbaum
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5wn7St3A14&feature=related

THERE’S A VACUUM CLEANER MUSEUM!

Vacuum Cleaner Museum – PART 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrH3JiugdYA

Vacuum Cleaner Museum – PART 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TDOuaG1jU8

Vacuum Cleaner Museum – First vacuum
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-WmsfI8HG0

* The Dyson has a central ball wheel that allows for easier steering. Have I mentioned that the lad’s papa is a big Star Trek fan?  We’re a geeky bunch, for sure.

 

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Science Rules!

One of my favorite blogs has another great one:

http://thisisindexed.com/2011/02/damn-science/

AD/HD Gaslight

Where is my grocery cart?

I’m pretty sure I left it down by the front end of the frozen aisles.

It’s not there.  Nor did someone move it out of the way behind the [rarely used] Register 1.

Huh.  Where is my cart?  Now I’m traipsing around for my trolley.

I’m not grocery shopping, when I stay in close proximity to my market merchandise.  This is my working wagon, a cart with my rubbish bag and duster, my list and notes, my repair tape and of course, the things I need to shelve.

With my ADHD brain set to Random and taxed by tiredness, yet trying to keep several tasks current on my mental “desktop”, it’s certainly not impossible for me to lose track of a thing to fetch or to put away, or the next task I’d set myself to do.  Generally my recursive tracks through the store are sufficient for me to come across either the item or the section of shelves that I need to “face” (straighten up).

Sometimes my mental perambulations cross back over a previous line of thought, and the same mental note will thus occur to me again.

It’s inefficient to be sure, but eventually everything gets done.  I try to streamline my process progress by keeping a running list of Things To Do. The list is also great at the end of my shift, for when I leave a note to my boss telling what usual things I’d done, and also what extra tasks I had tended. Plus, there is the external randomness that happens all night long: periodic calls to cashier during a sudden influx of customers*, and sporadic customer queries that result in my taking them to the item location.

And then — oh bother!  Where DID I park my cart?

Because of course, if it’s a Truck day, I’m stocking dozens of cases of candy or baby formula or soap, then the cart stays put in the aisle. I remove each case of new stock to set, and then return the flattened cardboard to the cart.

That’s fine.  But other days there is no Truck of new stock to set, and I am simply filling in various shelves with Back Stock (B/S, not to be confused with BS).

And right now I can’t find my cart. I try to “retrace my steps”, which more resembles surveying the aisles I usually frequent, because nothing this evening was particularly memorable to imprint itself on my memory.  All too often, my memory is topical, not sequential.

No, it’s not around anywhere; which discounts the “distracted by sequential customer queries” process that results in me being far from my original departure point.

Another hypothesis is that since it’s neither in the usual aisles, nor by Register 1, maybe someone decided to take it to the back stock room.

I pace to the back room, thankfully uninterrupted by a customer, whose query would have restarted this whole recursive process all over again.

Hmn … there’s my cart and equipment, but not the case I was going to stock.  I guess one of the managers decided to do something with it.  Maybe it was one of those new items for which we do not yet have a shelf tag, and they needed to enter the item into the inventory system. Thank goodness; mystery solved.

So I wheel down to the stock bay where the B/S bird seed and dog chews are kept, to fetch more cases.  After loading my cart again, I realize that it’s time to take my Break — some food and water would probably help the whole tired brain thing.  And if I leave a full cart, no one is likely to unintentionally “gaslight” me by changing my surroundings and leaving me to wonder if I’ve lost track of my stuff or my mind altogether.

* Why “everyone” wants to check out at once — no matter when they came in — is one of the mysteries of retail.

Bread and beauty

“If, of thy mortal goods, thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store two loaves
alone to thee are left,
Sell one & from the dole,
Buy Hyacinths to feed the soul”

– Muslihuddin Sadi,
13th Century Persian Poet

Under pressure

(We keep our dish soap on the counter, in a small pump bottle to meter out doses, and to use less counter space.)

So I go into the kitchen to catch up on some dishwashing, and find a small puddle of goo on the counter.  “Is the barometric pressure dropping?” I ask the family as I sponge it up, and proceed to do my washing-up.

“It’s supposed to snow on Sunday,” answers my son-in-law.

Well, that explains a lot. Firstly, the reason the soap has drooled onto the counter is because the barometric pressure outside the bottle is now lower than inside the bottle. (I filled and re-sealed it a couple days ago.) The fluid seeps out because fluids go from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure.*

Out of typical insatiable curiosity (“More input!”), I then check out my local weather data site. This explains the second question. No wonder I have a headache; the barometric pressure has dropped about 15 millibars in the past day, from the general maxima down to the general minima.  Barometric pressure hoo-hahs are one of my headache/migraine triggers.

Sometimes I wish I lived on the space station, where the air pressure is kept constant.  (Besides, I could grow my veggies, herbs and flowers without all the dang pests.)

* AKA “Why do we have to learn this stuff?”  Well, now you know — no one squeezed dish soap onto the counter and left a mess; it happened because of natural forces.