Joseph Said



I finally did it!

I finally fixed my Roomba.

The Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner had become quieter. Its softer noise made us suspicious, so we conducted a paper test. The Roomba failed. Then I removed the collector, got down on the floor, and confirmed that the brushes weren’t turning. Bummer.

That was months ago. I began looking into repairing it, but then, I thought, maybe I should buy a new one. They were on special at Costco and seemed pretty damn attractive. The display models lacked the scratches and wear and tear plaguing my current beloved Roomba. The new ones had that great new Roomba smell, too.

I read reviews and comparisons, checked prices, and thought, and thought. Eventually, I decided the old one probably only has a couple thousand miles on it and deserved to be fixed. Besides, it now felt like part of the family. I reminisced about the time that poor sick Lady had decided she’d piss on the Roomba, and how you just need to pick it up to send Quinn through the pet door with a sonic boom. I wrestled with what I do with it if I got rid of it. Taking it to the Goodwill seemed wrong. I refused to even think of the landfill.

The parts, a new enhanced cleaning head (I don’t know how it was enhanced), purchased for $49 with free shipping, arrived yesterday. Three minutes later, the Roomba was repaired and making its rounds again.¬† The weird thing was that iRobot had sent new screws with the replacement part. I used them, which meant I had four perfectly good screws left over.

Perfectly good.

I’m like a compulsive scavenger. Whenever I have left over screws, nuts, bolts, or hardware, I add them to my collection. It’s a fine collection, begun when I first moved out when I was eighteen. At first, I integrated left over screws with others in my various drawers and containers. Then I began keeping them separate, with little notes. The notes had their original planned use and the date. That way, see —

I don’t know what was planned there. It was just an idea. What I’d realized was that most of the screws, bolts, nuts, and fasteners were too unique to be used elsewhere. Most of the time when a fastener was required, I’d go through the collection, testing their viability, conclude that what I have doesn’t work, and go buy new ones.

Having recognized this, I threw the four Roomba screws away. It required a lot of grit, opening the trash can, putting my hand with the screws over it, letting the screws go, and closing the lid. It took a lot of grit, and just five minutes, but I did it. I kept my eyes closed, though. I couldn’t bear to watch.

So that’s it. My days of being screwed are over.

Now, what do I do with the old, un-enhanced Roomba cleaning head? I could just trash it, I suppose, but I think I can make some room on a shelf. Because you never know when it might come in handy, right?


Kitty-go-round (catfinition) – a pick-up game cats play that involves running in and out of doors in patterns developed as the game proceeds. Scoring involves quantum mechanics that only cats understand. One begun, the game is played until any humans present lose become impatient or lose their temper over the game.

In us: “The clowder began playing kitty-go-round just as Michael began watching¬†Lost In Space.¬†Rushing in the pet door in the bedroom, they dashed through the living room, and hurried to another door. When one was let out, another came in. The game ended after just four minutes, when Michael said, “Enough.” All the cats then sat down and gave Michael sullen looks that accused him of spoiling their fun.”

Saturday’s Theme Music

It’s a Stevie Ray Vaughn Saturday. He’s one of those performers that I can say, I’ve never heard something that he performed that I didn’t like. His heart and soul were heard in his sound, no matter the venue or song. No matter what he performed, it seemed so electric and amazing, it seemed like he channeled a higher power.

Here’s SRV and Double Trouble with “Cold Shot”, live, 1985.


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