the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: Roomba

Short Tales of the Weekend

1) The Tale of our Cellular Service


About two years ago, my mobile service was ATT. The service was pretty bad. At some point, ATT were bought out by Cingular. Although Cingular seemed more organized, Sophia and I were stuck on the old “ATT” plan and Cingular treated us as second class citizens. Their customer service was rude to us on the phone, saying that we weren’t “real” Cingular customers. Eventually, we settled in with Cingular and their spotty service in Redondo Beach, and we were finally accepted as “real” Cingular customers.

On Saturday, we found out Cingular was merged with ATT and the company would be now called ATT again. WTF???????

2) The Tale of the Roomba


Sophia is always complaining that I’m trying to get female readers to love me for my sensitive side, but here’s an example where my sensitivity went too far:

My mother-in-law’s Roomba wasn’t working well, so on Saturday, I brought it home to clean. Sophia decided to test it on our living room floor. She put on the power and then followed the Roomba around as it did its job. There is something addictive about watching the robot as it curves in-and-out under the couch and the chairs. As the Roomba headed for the patio door, it got stuck on the little shag rug we keep in front of the patio in order to wipe our feet. The Roomba kept trying to release itself. It would move forward for a second, bump its head on the glass door, then move back to repeat the same action again and again. Sophia stood there, watching, waiting for it to unravel itself.

It was too much for a sensitive soul like myself.

“Sophia, take him off,” I cried, “He’s HURTING himself!”

3) The Tale of the Car Trunk


Last night, Sophia and I took a walk along the beach. On the way back home, we passed a parked BMW. I noticed that the trunk was slightly ajar, as if the owner didn’t slam it closed hard enough.

“Should I close it for them?” I asked Sophia.

“Sure,” she said. “It’ll prevent people from stealing something.”

Two or three blocks later, I noticed an uncomfortable look on Sophia’s face.

“What is it?” I asked.

“You know, maybe the owner was beaten up and THROWN into the trunk, and now we just suffocated him.”

“You watch WAY TOO MUCH TV,” I said at the time, but I had nightmares all night about the Sopranos.

4) The Tale of the Nice Blogger


Fitena of C’est La Vie send me these beautiful little gifts from Mauritius!

Thank you, Fitena. You are so sweet. One day, I would love to come visit you in person.  I saw on the package that you sent it on December 20th, bu I didn’t receive it until yesterday, February 3rd!  Let’s hear it for the Mauritius and U.S. Postal Services!

5) The Tale of the Super Bowl

Sophia is over at a Super Bowl Party. I’m blogging. Do I have to make believe I care? But I hope Chicago wins for Kevin’s sake. You know someone is a crazed fan when they change their header photo to their favorite team.

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: The Photo Shoot

Roomba: The Life of the Party


I hate to promote a product when I don’t get it for free, but Sophia and I got her mother, Fanya,  a Roomba for her birthday.  If you don’t know what a Roomba is, it is an automatic vacuuming robot.  You turn it on, it moves all over the room or the house vacuuming, and then it returns to its charging base when done, and even chirps a little "song." 

Last night was the birthday party at Fanya’s apartment for  family members and friends.  Tons of Russian food and drink were consumed, toasts raised, even a video of a famous Russian opera singer was watched.  But it was the Roomba that stole the show.  Most of the guests had never seen such a curious machine.  Actually, I had never seen a Roomba myself.  

When you first turn it on, you expect it to go back and forth in straight lines, vacuuming in an organized manner.  Instead it seems to just go randomly around the room, maneuvering under sofas, bumping into furniture along the way, reading the room and figuring out the lay of the land.  Because the Roomba travels around in such an unpredictable manner, it takes on the qualities of a awkward pet, like a lovable little puppy. 

Last night, as the Roomba roamed around the living room,  everyone started following behind it, as if a Conga line was forming.  The line only dispersed when the Roomba suddenly changed "his" mind and started cleaning in another direction.  Everyone laughed as the Roomba repeatedly knocked against the bedroom door until "he" finally pushed it open and went in to clean inside.  Fanya even started calling the robot from the kitchen, telling it in Russian to "Come over here and clean the kitchen floor."  And you know what — eventually, it did.

Roomba was the life of the party — and he didn’t even touch the vodka.

I’m not the only one in love with a Roomba.   This father uses a Roomba to get his kids to go to sleep.  This blogger even made a movie about his Roomba.

Does the Roomba actually vacuum well?  I have no idea.  But I think I might just get one to keep me company at night.

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