How much is a Vacuum Cleaner Worth?

A few weeks after I wrote about my vacuum cleaner losing suction and how I fixed it, my vacuum cleaner bit the dust. The manufacturer was not to be cheated out of the expected life span of their product. The vacuum’s time to be replaced had come.

Plastic being plastic, one crucial piece of the vacuum cleaner suffered the same stress most hard plastic suffers. A plastic piece snapped off, rendering the vacuum useless for anything except when using the wand. Not very practical….

After doing some research, it became obvious there were only two real choices, irrespective of brands. The first option was to buy an expensive replacement. The second option was to buy the cheapest acceptable vacuum cleaner I could find, and most people liked.

Buying a reasonably expensive vacuum cleaner had many pluses. It would clean well. It would work as expected. It would not break or wear out quickly. Finally, I would feel I made a good purchase. These are powerful pluses for something that rarely gets a thought after it is purchased, unless it is being used.

Of course, buying a reasonably expensive vacuum cleaner means tying up a lot of money into something that in this reality at least, brings little satisfaction. Vacuum cleaners are not like prized, high dollar Cars that are washed, waxed and shown off. Vacuums get taken out of storage, used and put away until the next time.

On the other hand, a well rated vacuum cleaner could be had for about one-fifth the price of the more expensive vacuum cleaner. Just like the more expensive vacuum cleaner models, people were happy with how it cleaned, how it held up, and generally how it functioned. What more is needed?

Here is where the economy of money comes in to play. In my experience, no matter how much I had paid for a vacuum cleaner in the past, they would last between five and six years before starting to break. If they didn’t outright break, they started doing their job in a less than stellar fashion. Sort of like my old vacuum losing vacuum.

When this five year fall apart stage happens, there are really only two options. Either purchase over priced replacement parts which fix one thing, but do not prevent other parts from breaking, or go shopping for a new expensive purchase that really doesn’t add to the initial value. An old vacuum is in essence an old vacuum. No one brags about a vacuum cleaner in general conversation.

How much really needs to be spent on one?

If I were to buy a cheap acceptable vacuum cleaner there was another set of possibilities. I would pay about one-fifth the price. At this price, I could buy five vacuums in five or six years, and still be below the price range of a more expensive vacuum cleaner.

I would feel better about spending less than $100.00 for a vacuum that is only thought about when it’s taken out to be used. Once again vacuum cleaners are not conversation makers or breakers.

The money I would save was worth more to me than having a more expensive vacuum. For the $400.00 or more price difference, I would have that extra money to spend somewhere else immediately and that feels better. If, or when the cheap vacuum breaks, replacing it with another cheap vacuum isn’t a deal breaker. I would not lose sleep over the cost of replacement.

I bought the cheaper vacuum. I am guessing, I will get at least two years out of it, before it needs replacing. In that time line, I will be $200.00 – $300.00 ahead dollar wise. The only downsides are I do not see it advertised with angelic voices humming, and the wand flex tube is a little shorter. For the price difference, I can live with those minor problems.

Not everything is this cut and dried when it comes to spending money. Sometimes spending more money initially brings more long term satisfaction. I think a good way to look at how much needs to be spent on a product is how it impacts my life. It is more important my vehicle is operating, then the carpet goes two extra days without being vacuumed.

It’s All in The Cloud, and Maybe Statistical Databases

Two years ago, I bought into the fantasy of Chromebooks. They were going to take over the computing world. I went (almost) all out, lots of memory, folds into a tablet. Thinking about the good things coming down the pipeline, it would be a great investment.

My Chromebook was going to replace one of my Desktops which were beginning to show their age. Just a few more programs or applications, some with local storage, and I would be all set. Two years later and this bubble has burst. I have a very expensive limited laptop or an overloaded tablet, depending on your view.

Apps missing local storage is the problem for me. Everything goes to the Cloud. I ask, what exactly is the Cloud? Why is my data safe, and why does every business and program want to store in the Cloud?

The Cloud is probably the same as one of my local hard drives, only tens of thousands of people are saving their files on it too. It is managed by thousands of people, some brilliant, some not so much. All prone to human error.

As with Application or game, nothing is for free. Buy a game and if you fail to spend money buying things for it, some algorithm(s) will filter you out, and is going to kick in and kill you off in one form or another.

Cloud Storage doesn’t always mean safe and secret storage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is the Cloud any different? Why are all these mega Companies so willing to keep my personal secrets, my family photos, my password listing, my favorite collections text files. I am of the opinion, just like paid game apps, nothing is for free?

It must cost a lot of money keeping thousands if not tens of thousands of programmers working on keeping data in the Cloud is millions of users can put their stuff in the cloud? This money is not coming from a Cloud Company’s good will. Cloud Storage, Cloud Computing, anything Cloud is a Business. Business needs to make a profit to survive.

Sure, I can manage local storage, but it’s not as simple and painless as Cloud storage. Why is this? Because someone has access to our files, our personal information, and someone is studying us using our data for profit. Nothing is free.

I use my overpriced Chromebook for basic things. I have an email account on the Cloud. I have some documents on the Cloud. I play my few basic games. I do not have anything sensitive, private, or important on my Chromebook, or in the Cloud.

With all that being said, the Cloud is not a guarantee of data safety and security. Hundreds of people around the world are trying to hack Cloud storage somewhere, every day and night. No one hosting free Cloud storage guarantees your pics, documents, and other files will still safely be there tomorrow.

And back to my biggest issue with the Cloud, “If you don’t want anyone to know, don’t write it down.” Sometimes we have to write it down. We don’t have to send it to the Cloud though, encrypted or not. Do you know anything about your Cloud Storage? Who really runs it, what happens to your files? Apple’s recent Siri problem is a good example. Siri listens while you _______?

I think someday the Cloud will burst, and if we wish to have Cloud storage, we will pay real money for it. The data being sucked out of the pictures and files stored in the Cloud, will be the same types of information stored in the Cloud a decade from now. People are people, and we haven’t changed much in the last x thousand years.

In the meantime, I have an overpriced tablet with an attached keyboard.

Fear TV -> Fear Based Life -> No Life

Over the millennia we have been risk takers and adventurers. Today, we’re a people of fear. We live in fear, thrive on fear. We fear our neighbors, all strangers, and most of the people we know and work with.

Fear is a vital part of our ability to survive. Lacking fear can lead to a quick demise. The problem with fear mongering, and fear television, is our brains do not separate fact from fantasy. It’s all the same to our brain. Eventually it becomes how we see the world.

Fear sells. Fear gets ratings. Fear generates conversation. Fear makes the news. Fear keeps oppressive governments in business. Fear is real, and we are tuned into fear.

Scrolling through the offerings on my television this morning, I became aware just how entrenched we are in fear. Here is an overview of Fear that was available at 11:00 today:

Ever Wonder why your world is so scary?

“The Predator, Dead Man on Campus, Flirting With Disaster, Warning Sign, Stakeout, 16 Shots, The Others, Jeepers Creepers 2, Fallen, Psycho: The Shocking Truth, Psycho Brother In Law, Reeker, Fatal Attraction, Paranormal Lockdown, Air Warriors, Codes and Conspiracies, Homicide City, Monster Quest, NCIS.”

Full nineteen different channels of Fear Television. And many of these just for this hour. Several are repeated through the day, and into the week. I imagine that by 11:00 AM, one has had their fill of talking heads, the weather, and politics. Fear is all that is left.

Sure bad things happen, people die in horrible ways. These instances are the exception and not the rule. Talking to your neighbor does not make them a psychopath. Smiling and saying hello to someone at a store your frequent does not turn that person into a stalker intent on homicide.

Living a fear based life, is not living, it is existing. Quit saturating yourself in fear, and start saturating yourself in life. The more people you meet and become friends with, the safer you are, the safer your neighborhood, the safer your city. Save your fear for real possibilities, not every day life.

Dirty Dishes Dilemma – Solved

Following what I thought I read as the advice on the Dish-washing Detergent Package, I was dropping the packet on the bottom of the bottom of the dishwasher.

After washing the dishes, the dishes looked worse than they did when they went in. Streaked and in some cases greasy. Glasses and silverware were coated with a white film.

After asking others about how their products worked, they all said, wonderful. I asked how many packets they used, and most said one. One said one packet in the closable detergent container. Problem solved.

I am sure no one has ever done this except myself, but thought I would mention it, if your dishwasher is performing a little less stellar than you would like. Problem solved.

Place the packet in the detergent dispenser, not on the base of the washer.

Sodosadoblog on Twitter

Twitter is a great forum for my posting those thoughts which I think are important. Since I started Twitter using the name: sodosadoblog in April, I don’t have many of these thoughts posted. I thought I would share some of them as food for thought? For me, Twitter gives me a place to post thinking way outside my already too many topics blog.

I hope my few serious Twitter posts help people to think more about important issues rather than than the daily fluff we are inundated with and inclined to think important.

I have an ex Boss who performs Missionary Work in third world countries. He tells me it would take the average American about half a day in any of the places he has been to before realizing how distorted thinking is about life in America, and life in general.

Great platform for concise thoughts of the moment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sodosadoblog@

Jun 24

Born into a broken #Family, surrounded by #Violence, #Drugs, #Alcohol, no #Job, substandard #Housing, little #Education. When someone wants more, we #Arrest, #Incarcerate and #Murder them via the #Police. We think this is #Justice.

sodosadoblog@

Jun 23

Whether you love, hate, or are a part of the #LGBT community, it is time to change your focus from the bedroom, to what #LGBT people are doing for your community. Bees, Ants, Termites, Monkeys, and other species all have highly productive non producing community members.

sodosadoblog@

Jun 22

At least 360,000 Union Soldiers died in the Civil war. I think this number represents 360K actions of #Reparations2020 for #Slaveryreparations in America. A few $ compared to a sacrificed life. I think any debt has been paid has been more than paid in Solder’s blood.

sodosadoblog@

Jun 12

Without thinking about it, say, “Thank You”, meaningfully to spiteful #comments, #opinion, and unrequested #advice,]. Watch the speaker immediately become speechless. Keep doing it and your world improves.

sodosadoblog@

Jun 5

If you feel it is right to deny #Illegal #Immigrants entry into the U.S., and you are against #Women getting an #abortion, it is time to look deep into your #Soul, and see why you are so conflicted.

sodosadoblog@

Apr 17

Anti-#abortions? Open your eyes. Feed and cloth the #Homeless, #adopt a family or child, be a #Foster parent. We have enough #Dictators. You may have a #biblical obligation to help people, not to meddle in their most personal business. It’s between themselves and God, not you.

DYI Bird-Bath and Effortless Hummingbird Feeder Cleaning

Not a lot to this post, unless you like Birds. Especially Birds in your yard. I learned my enjoyment of birds from my Father. When I was young, he worked much of the week. One of the first things he did when getting home was fill his bird feeder with seed.

On a side note, my Father’s Bird Feeder was an upside down car hub cap on top of a galvanized pipe, stuck into the ground. The birds never seemed to mind. He also expanded into making Wren houses, raising Pheasants, Homing Pigeons (which flew back to their previous owner without fail), Chickens and Turkeys.

My Father’s Bird-Bath was the same. A second hub cap attached to a galvanized pipe, stuck into the ground. When I lived on my own, and took in (one at a time) stray cats which spent my out of town time outside, neighborhood sparrows were well fed on leftover bread. This kept a large bird population for the Cat to dine on when I wasn’t home. Lazy animal husbandry in action.

I’m now on my third Bird-Bath in one year. It hasn’t been a good time for Bird-Baths in my back yard. The first Bird-Bath broke in half. The second, laying on the ground in pieces in the bottom of the photograph, I thought was broken by wind. The third one, on the bottom left was knocked off the second night it was used. There have been sightings of Raccoon and Bobcat in the neighborhood this spring, so these may be the culprit knocking the baths down due to their weight. This is odd, because I am at least two miles from any wild areas.

I went to a second hand store looking for a cheap plastic something that would work as a bird bath and not break if knocked down. I found the current plastic ‘skylight’ Bird-Bath for $1.99.

I had my doubts it would work, as it doesn’t hold a lot of water and needs filling almost daily during these hot summer days. The skylight would fall off the pedestal in the slightest breeze, which was also a problem. Fortunately, I found the big piece of lava rock that is now sitting in the middle of the Bird-Bath. I fill the clay bath on the ground daily too.

The big piece of lava rock, displaced half the water holding ability, but the skylight hasn’t ‘fallen’ off. Considering the total cost of two dollars and change, I choose not to complain about the need for daily filling.

Bird-Baths do not need to be expensive. $1.99 for this incarnation!

Whet I do find fascinating about this most recent version of a Bird-Bath, is the number of Birds that show up and drink out of it! I have become spoiled over the years by Sparrows, Finches, Hawks, Robbins and Doves showing up throughout the day. With this newest Bird-Bath incarnation, the numbers of birds have increased four-fold!

I am not complaining, but rather, I am confused about why, when I had ‘real’ (and expensive) bird baths, the birds came hesitantly. Even with a sprinkler in the bath. Yet this cheap piece of oddly shaped plastic with a rock in the middle, really draws the birds in.

Bird related, I came up with an idea for my Hummingbird feeders, of which I have two. Instead of scrubbing the mold and slime out of them every three days when I put out a clean feeder, I came up with a no fuss solution. I empty the used feeder, rinse it, and place it in a covered bucket of bleach water.

After three days in bleach water, all the feeders need is a good rinse before use, to ensure the bleach water is rinsed off. I use 1/2 cup bleach per gallon of water. Being covered stops evaporation, so I will have enough solution for the rest of the season.

The Hummingbirds too are more prevalent now, and I am not scrubbing Hummingbird feeders in the kitchen sink, which makes my wife happy. If I forget to pull in a feeder after three days, I don’t have mold building up in the top of the feeder.

That’s it for this post, a bird loving bath, and no scrub Hummingbird feeders. Give my ideas a try, and let me know how they work for you.

DYI Bagless Canister Vacuum Air Leak Fix

I have what is becoming an old bag-less vacuum that was losing suction and cleaning power due to poor canister mating with the main vacuum body. It was obvious the leaks were coming from the airway connection areas as I could feel the air blowing out through the connections.

After looking for a seal that would be simple, hold, and is cheap, I decided to use pieces of Heavy Duty Duck (formally called Duct) Tape from my closet. I cut approximately 1/4″ inch strips off the tape and applied it around the mouth of the canister airway connections. Some sides of the connections took more tape than the other sides. Go slow and do not overdo the tape layer, or it may cause a worse air leak than the tape fixes.

I spent about fifteen minutes taping the airway connection areas. Most of this time went to the tape sticking to the scissors. Vacuum has improved 100%, and remains strong. If in the future, the vacuum starts to lose vacuum, it is simple to identify the leak areas and add tape.

DYI fix your vacuum's air leaks

Simple DYI vacuum repair hack

DYI fix your vacuum's air leaks

Simple DYI vacuum repair hack

Perhaps I used maybe three inches total, so if you don’t have any tape, I am sure you can ask someone if you can have a few inches of their tape. The beater brush is still worn out, but I don’t have a cheap fix for that. All in all, I spent ten minutes and ten cents making a large improvement to an old vacuum. Save yourself money and try a simple fix first.

 

Dryer Balls, Verses Dryer Sheets, or Unsightly Static Cling

First there was drying clothes on a clothesline. To dry clothes on a clothesline, the weather had to be accommodating. Clothes don’t dry well in rain or excessive cold. Women of the day wanted an easier way to dry clothes. It was little fun having a clothes line; it was less fun having drying clothes hanging all over the house due to local weather conditions

Clothes became dry, but clothes were often stiff, and uniform drying was an issue. Clothes dried this way were not a lot of fun to wear, especially if the water was hard. Eventually came the Clothes Dryer. This modern marvel was to be the answer to everyones hopes for an easy way to dry clothes in any weather.

Fast forward to today, and dryer sheets are the bane of clothes drying. They are expensive, really serve only on purpose, and end up everywhere there are clothes. Some claim there are uses for used dryer sheets, but how many uses compared to how many loads of clothes dried in a time period? They end up everywhere, even at work or school, in someones sleeve or pant-leg.

Dryer Sheets were a miracle product, but there time is at end.

Now there are dryer balls. Wool balls that promised to eliminate all the problems with dryer sheets, with none of the hassle. I decided it was time to move on and try them. I bought a package of four and dropped them in the dryer.

Some weeks later, they get mixed reviews. I think they do a pretty good job on most occasions but others in the house are not so easily impressed. I hear dryer balls do not take the wrinkles out of some pan seams. Some part of the dryer load has static while the rest does not.

I think this may be eliminated by using one more dryer ball, or perhaps I should have bought a more expensive set. I bought mine on the lower end of the price line.

I enjoy not having dryer sheets showing up at the most inopportune times because I forget I didn’t see it when folding my clothes. I do not have a problem with seam wrinkles, and secretly suspect they were there all along. I’m not sure about cost per load yet, as it has only been a short period of time. Going forward, for me at least, the cost per chasing dryer sheets around is much higher than any small failings the dryer balls have. SO even if the price per load is higher in the long run, dryer balls far outweigh dryer sheets in the cost of convenience.

And The Fight Goes On…And On

I’ve been around a few years now and seen and done some things. Today many young people think grass roots activism is something new to their generation. Thinking about this, at least in my generation, Social Activism has been around for a long time, spanning many, many generations. You can’t know what you don’t know.

I remember birth control or, “The Pill”. No one considered out of the gate that for the first time in history, Women will have control over their reproductive system. What the adults around me thought, and perhaps some still do, is only, “Dirty Women”, want the pill. Dirty in this perspective was not referring to the lack of hygiene.

DDT, the pesticide was sweeping its way around the world, touted as the greatest thing since sliced bread. Initially a few groups of people saw it for what it was, the greatest poison ever unleashed. It wasn’t until California Condors were almost extinct, that the rest of the country got on board. It was looking grim for several years, and some species still have not recovered from DDT.

Women’s Liberation! Following in the footsteps of, “The Pill”, Women’s Liberation swept the country. From control over their bodies, Women wanted control of their destiny. Women were once again demanding their right to equality. This time very loudly. The most common symbol of the time were ‘bras’ going up in literal flames in public happenings; meeker women showed their support by leaving their bras at home. What scandal that was!

Equal Rights. Who did those people think they were? Don’t they know their place? This was an all too common sentiment around the country. Thankfully the Hippies and those of this generation changed opinion, and changed the country a little, the fight unfortunately still continues for Racial Equality.

Social Change is momentary, the poison doesn’t get vanquished. Keep fighting for what’s right.

Three Huggers. People who saw the value in ancient and modern forests, and wanted to put an end too deforestation and destroyed habitat. They were out there in front of the Logging Companies, ringing trees with their bodies, and driving spikes into trees to destroy chain and other saws, should an attempt be made to harvest them.

Viet Nam War and Government Disobedience. Up until this period, too many people ignorantly put their trust in Government, like so many people do today. They relinquished their civil liberties because they foolishly thought the Government knew best, and would protect them and keep them safe.

It took a horrible war in a far off land to wake people and open their eyes. Mostly Sons who were slated for the draft and their Mothers. Followed shortly by returning War Veterans who saw the senselessness of what was being done first hand.

These activists and protestors changed how we felt about war and the killing of our finest young men in war. It was all too easy before for old men to send young men off to be killed and maimed in war. At least we stopped the draft.

Then I became married and the world moved on around me. Movements came and movements went. Protests and protestors were viewed under different light depending on the year. Being a Father and Husband, I had to focus on family, and let the world take care of itself. I made a mistake.

The ozone layer problem came and went, as I did my small part, while others gave it the fight it deserved. In less than a year, most of the world understood the problem, and came up with a fix. End of the world diverted for real this time.

Now we have a Global Warming, and are slowly becoming aware of what we have done and are doing to our planet. Once again, old men are only interested in money, and care little about the lives of their Grandchildren, as if having money makes destroying the world all right.

My point to all this, is this. Many of the issues and problems of today, I thought were resolved in turn as I grew up. The problem is old habits and old thinking diminish slower than we grow up and grow old. Scared selfish people will never go away, and they will revert every good we do if not prevented from doing so.

Keep fighting, but don’t fight wearing rose colored glasses. What seems like winning the war of a very important cause today, will prove to be a minor skirmish in and ongoing campaign, as the years roll by you. You can’t slow down and rest on your achievements. Your victories will be challenged all through your life and you will find, you’re never done.

Customize Products You Use – Life Hack

I get really excited thinking about idea! It started sometime last month. I was making chicken and rice soup for dinner. As the soup was almost done, I was thinking how nice I can add ingredients and spices to have the soup taste exactly as I want.

Most of the meal I cook taste exactly as I want, but the I never thought past cooking. About a week later, I was making myself some coffee. I had two bags of coffee I enjoyed and would switch off coffees every other day. French Roast today and Colombian Coffee tomorrow. This is when I had a flash of an idea.

You too can remix your coffee, shampoo and lotion for the results you want!

If I enjoy both of these coffees separately, what would happen if I combined them? So I did. I made myself coffee using both a mix of both coffees. The result was coffee much closer to what I wanted in my perfect cup of customized coffee!

A few days later while in the shower, the next customize idea arrived. I have this organic scalp condition. I got it from rinsing off many years ago in a lake in full algae bloom. I know it is organic as it would almost go away, and then over a few days it would be back with a vengeance, breaking out all over my scalp.

Last month’s outbreak was particularly bad. I use two different shampoos to control it. One is a medicated shampoo and the other a Tea Tree Oil shampoo. Both work, but not well enough to ‘cure’ my scalp problem. In desperation, I went to the Internet to find a shampoo recipe I could make at home that would do what I wanted. As I read different recipes, noting the most popular ingredients two things became apparent.

I could make a homemade shampoo for half of what it costs off the shelf. I could not find ingredients in small quantities or cheaply. The cost of the ingredients to start making cheap shampoo were expensive en mass and bulky. It was also questionable if the ingredients had a long enough shelf life to be useful.

I decided for a few days to mix both my shampoos and try them out. It worked so well, I combined them in a fifty-fifty mix. It has been three weeks now and my scalp problem has been solved. Gone is my repeating cycle of recession and outbreak.

I am not sure what I will customize next. Maybe body wash or skin lotion. Without thinking about it before, I already use mixed laundry soap and simple home cleaners, which give better results for a lot less money. For example, a little de-greasing dish soap and a little bleach turn cheap laundry soap into a world class product. The same idea applies to floor cleaning. A little cheap cleaner with a little de-greasing dish soap makes the kitchen floor cleaner for less than buying a brand name product.

Possibilities are there to make your own custom mix for your needs. If business can mix ingredients five-hundred gallons at a time, I know I can make my custom mix at home combining a few cheap products into my world class product.

One caveat, read and heed labels! When it comes to combining cleaning products, use care in what you mix. Some common cleaners and ingredients sitting in your kitchen and laundry room when mixed can have disastrous results.

Mix discreet ingredients with cleaners only after searching the Internet for compatibility and then only in a very small quantity. The last thing you want is to burn your hair off, bleach all your laundry white, melt your flooring, create toxic gas or a dangerous chemical reaction next to your face.

Do not attempt to mix Toilet Bowl Cleaners! Some Toilet Bowl Cleaners if mixed with other products will cause toxic gas or other very serious chemical reactions! Do not attempt to mix them. Read labels.

Combining lotions and shampoos are one thing, cleaners of any type should be only mixed with extreme caution after determining if they can be combined. Read all labels and precautions. Stick to skin soap, shampoo, and lotion and you should be okay. A trip to the emergency room for chemical burns definitely offsets all benefits gained from experimenting.