Saturday, June 04, 2005

Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Suck

We're shopping for a new vacuum right now. Our 13-year-old Oreck has already had one servicing a couple of years ago, and we don't want to sink more money into it. Plus the canister vac that came with it had a bag failure a month or so ago (my fault - I let it get overloaded), and now the insides of it look like a fragmentation grenade went off in there. It's seriously busted up. As great as our Roomba is, you need a real vac for heavy-duty cleaning, corners, stairs, and spot work.

So we're pretty much decided on a new one. A month or so ago, I borrowed the January Consumer Reports from my folks - it had vacuum reviews galore. We know we want another upright. So that's all I've looked at. Here's the dilemma. The top-rated vac is a Hoover - the WindTunnel Self-Propelled Ultra. I'd buy the bagless version if I bought it. It can be had for around $300. So I went to Amazon to look further at it and read reviews.

It's thoroughly hated by almost everyone - though it cleans well, it's apparently unreliable as all-get-out. Average rating - two stars. Second on the list is the Eureka Boss Smart Ultra 4870. It's only $140 (and their CR Best Buy), but it's not self-propelled. Which means that I'd have to do 100% of the vacuuming. I'd rather share. It also gets mixed reviews on Amazon.

I won't buy Kenmore after the fiasco with the TV a year or so ago (see old posts for details - basically I had to haul a 36", 250lb TV to the local Sears and then back again after they decided not to let us exchange it). The high-rated Kirby costs $1330 - for that, I'd buy a used Segway instead. The only other vacuums high-rated on the list are another Oreck and the Dyson DC07.

I don't want the Oreck, especially since it's $700. And I really don't want a separate canister vac anymore. This leaves Dyson, and I'd probably go with the newer DC14 model. But here's the dichotomy. CR thought the DC07 was discernibly worse than the Hoover and Eureka. But, if you go on Amazon, you'll see testimony after testimony as to how wonderful the Dysons are. So, just by real-world consumer ratings, I should buy the Dyson. It's just a little tough to justify a spendy kind of vacuum like that, plus they're the latest yuppie thing so I'm turned off by that, too. Grumble.

Now that I just wasted 5 paragraphs on vacuum talk, on to reality. Jane's on her way to Portland right now for a trade show (she said she'd wave on her way through Newburyport, Woodge). She'll be home pretty late. I've got David today, and we've got a birthday party to go to at noon. And the week was absolutely nutty - several new clients and a scad of billable time in only a 4-day week. Next week is like that, too. Time is starting to become a commodity that I'm short of.

A good problem indeed.

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