I am tempted by the Roomba, the first mass market robotic vacuum. There are others (some available only in Europe) that are no doubt fancier, sturdier, smarter -- but this is the only one even remotely within my price range (and that only because I have a store credit from returning a well-intentioned relative's gift that I couldn't use).

In favor:
  1. It's a robot. I mean, come on. Of course, I think it was on the Death Star where they had those cute little vac bots, but still. It's a robot. In the first half of my lifetime (just barely). At Target.
  2. We have two active dogs (sometimes 3 since we babysit my would-be father-in-law's* dog frequently) and a yard that has, um, a lot of dirt where more fastidious folks would have grass. We do have a fair amount of grass, don't get me wrong. But where the rotten deck was ripped out is basically just dirt. Dogs go outside; dogs come inside; much sandy dirt on the floor, no matter how much I sweep.
  3. I Swif frequently. But unless I do it every day, then it also means getting out the dustpan and broom to pick up the piles of hair and sand.
  4. I don't really enjoy vacuuming and tend to put it off. So having a little robot to do it while I'm cooking or, even, reading, would be great.

  1. I don't know anyone personally who has one. So it might suck (by not sucking, as it were). User comments on Amazon and Epinions seem generally more positive than not, but everyone has different tolerance for ease of use, efficiency, etc.
  2. Maybe I should wait a couple of years until the really good new robots come out.
  3. The dogs might freak out about it. Especially since apparently people are treating Roombas like pets. None of us are ready for a new member of the pack, even if s/he spends much of the day recharging. (actually, that does sound kind of like the dogs: sleep...charge outside barking at squirrel...sleep...)
  4. If I have the robot to vacuum the floors, what will I do when I need to procrastinate when I'm writing?

*"would-be father-in-law" -- that is, he would be my father-in-law if my gf and I were allowed to marry. The discussion of the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment started today in the Senate. I know some people think this is just about party politics, and that it can't actually pass, even in the Senate. But it feels like a hostile cultural moment to me.