I still can’t stop laughing. Partly because of AVPM (see previous post), but mostly because of Roomba.
Roomba is the robot vacuum cleaner I mentioned yesterday. When I quoted it yesterday as saying, “I’m stuck. Please place me on an even surface,” I was totally making that up (I think I mentioned somewhere in one of my earliest posts that not everything you read in this blog is 100% true and accurate). What it actually said was, “Error: 1; Put Roomba in a new location and press, ‘Clean.’ ” (It was only in English today – I guess Raquel changed the settings.) That’s not nearly as good as what I made up yesterday, but I LOVE the fact that it refers to itself in the third person as Roomba.
Roomba buzzes into action at 10am – he’s on a schedule – and bumbles his way around the house in a completely retarded fashion. When he speaks, his voice is robotized and female, but I still think of him as a ‘he.’ Sometimes he spins in circles, sometimes he goes in straight lines. When he hits something, he adjusts his position – turning either a little or a lot in either direction (I don’t know how he decides these things – usually he makes silly choices) – and continues. Sometimes when he’s going in a straight line, he’ll turn around for no reason at all. There’s no pattern to his progress. He goes over the same area a zillion times and completely misses others. He got stuck in the study room, pushing around a plastic bag of Christmas decorations that he found under the bed, for 20 minutes. When he finally got out, I closed the door behind him, otherwise he would have gone straight back in again.
Every now and then he stops and says, “Error: 2; Open Roomba’s brush cage and clean the brushes.” You’d think he’d know how to clean his own brushes, but no. Every fifteen minutes I had to delve into Roomba’s nether regions and pull the matted chunks of dog hair from his bristles. I guess that will get less necessary as time goes on. As it stands, the house hasn’t been vacuumed in weeks. If Roomba keeps going every day, he should get to a point where he can go at least a couple of days without needing his brushes cleaned.
When Roomba started, I had just gone into the kitchen to get breakfast (late starts = good days). By the time Roomba had finished, I had eaten breakfast, had a shower, swept my room and the stairs, sorted half of my notes, written a couple of hundred words, listened to an entire CD’s worth of music and cleaned his brushes 7 times. And put him in a new location twice when he got stuck. At 20 to one in the afternoon, he returned, wearily blinking his little lights, to his dock. It took him 2 hours and forty minutes to do a job I could have done (better) in 20 minutes (one of the reasons I think of him as a ‘he’).
But SO entertaining! Okay, ‘simple pleasures for simple minds,’ yes, I loved watching him! He was just so silly! There was absolutely no reason for him to do half the things he did – and he’s a ROBOT, who’s programmed to do ONE THING – to vacuum! Hilarious. While I was watching I thought how much more useful it would be if he came with a CD or some kind of chip so that you could input the measurements of the areas you want cleaned and the placement of furniture legs and stuff. Roomba got stuck underneath one of the armchairs in the lounge for 4 minutes. Yes, I timed.
He did a complete perimeter clean of the kitchen but completely ignored the middle. He actually went over the doorway area between the hallway and the living room about fifty times. The last time, he dropped crumbs.
Alright this was supposed to be a short blog post. I’ll leave you with this: Roomba rhymes with Zumba. In my tired mind, that is highly amusing. And although Roomba is fun, Zumba is WAY funner! (Yes, that’s a word)
Oh, and Roomba drives the dogs INSANE. So insane they decided to play hide and seek with the washing I had drying on airers in the garage. Grrrr.