It sucks but it doesn't suck!

I spend 20 minutes of every day face down on the ground. I tell you this to provide some context for my blog post today. If you know my dad, you’ll need no further explanation. For those that don’t: I’ve inherited his horrible back. Sure, I’ve slipped a disc now and then, or over-extended myself helping someone move. I’m not talking about accidents. I’m talking about a daily, persistently troublesome back. The only treatment for which is a routine of stretches and strengthening exercises. Most of them done on the ground.

Now that you understand my relationship with the floor, perhaps you can appreciate how much its sucked for me that we haven’t had a vacuum in over 8 months.

Our trusty Hoover died as we were packing up the apartment in New York, and it didn’t make any sense to run out and buy a new one. Since our residences were temporary for most of the year, it didn’t make any sense to buy a new one then either. We got by borrowing one from some friends when the situation got dire enough.

When we moved into our house, we were delighted to find that it had central vac… then disappointed to learn that the previous residence has never bought the hose or head to go with it. There’s a handy slot in the kitchen that you can pop up and sweep dirt into it, but otherwise, they’d never bothered using their central vac.

We looked into getting the necessary equipment, but with all the costs of moving, it just didn’t get priority. We went out and bought a $50 piece of crap that couldn’t suck up dirt if you picked it up and held it in front of the hose.

Then the car sold, and while most of the profit went to paying off this summer’s repairs, there was a little bit of money left over to buy the necessary pieces to make our central vac useful. We had to settle for the bottom-of-the-line equipment — both the hose and the head are unpowered — because the proper gear would have cost more than $500. So when we finally got word that it had arrived, I was a little nervous that it wasn’t going to work well.

nutone_air_turboImagine my delight then, after daily putting my face in cookie crumbs, cheerio bits, cat food chunks, saw dust, and other tiny but annoying bits of detritus scattered around the house, to feel and hear all of it being finally sucked up the hose. The unpowered equipment uses the vacuum pressure to create a turbine which spins the beaters. The result is both powerful and virtually silent. The hose and head are light and easy to carry — the powered stuff is not. It takes a few more passes to clean the more stubborn dirt, but its massively convenient and totally functional.

And it only adds to the coolness of our house to having a working central vac. On top of that, last night I got the TV wall-mounted on the articulating arm. It floats like a window to the universe in my newly renovated TV cabinet, pointing where ever you happen to be sitting.

Anyway, my back hurts now, from the vaccuuming and the TV-lifting, so I think I’m going to go nap in my incredibly cool, and now incredibly clean, basement…

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