Dallas Wayne

Dallas Wayne
Snapped by my buddy Winker in Austin a few years ago, here I am mugging it up with XM Outlaw Country host Dallas Wayne backstage somewhere on 6th.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Making House-Cleaning History: Uncle Russ Buys a New Vacuum

I'm not the kind of guy who brags about doing a few chores around the house. But, my doing almost anything in the vein of housekeeping is an alert-the-media event. Frequent readers (and you two know who you are) of this blog are all too familiar with my distaste for dusting, sweeping and scouring. As long as my feet don't stick to the kitchen floor, I am pretty much at peace with things.

I have discovered over the years, however, that I am more prone to take care of chores for which I have the proper tools. I am much less likely to remove an electric switch face plate when touching up the paint in a room if I have to use the end of a butter knife to remove the screws. But, give me a flat-head screw driver and I'm all over it. Things like that.

My Greenville house is small by most standards. Depending on whom you talk to or which Greenville County web site you consult, it is between 1,000 and 1,300 square feet crammed into three levels. It's more vertical then horizontal. The flooring is carpet and real hardwood with some linoleum tossed in for good measure. If you ever had the energy or motivation to measure it all out, I think you would discover it's roughly 50/50 between carpet and hard surfaces.

The structure's diminutive size and my notorious lack of motivation notwithstanding, I do like to occasionally vacuum the floors. My go-to weapon for this epic waste of my time was a Hoover upright vacuum that I am convinced was manufactured when its namesake was in the White House. Actually, it's sufficiently modern that it has a filter and dirt catcher as opposed to a bag, but that's little consolation when I have to wrestle its 25 pounds up and down the stairs.

Although it does an acceptable job of sucking particles out of the carpet, it mostly just blows bits and pieces of refuse from one corner of the hard-floor rooms to the other, much as a leaf blower chases leaves and such from your sidewalk into the street or on to a neighbor's lawn.

“Dream big,” I always say; so, for the past year or so, I have been surfing the web looking at vacuum cleaners. I like the idea of sweeping the floor with a machine from the mind of an English inventor – love those hand dryers in some public restrooms – but I can;t see my way clear to spend $400 on an appliance that I will barely use. Consequently, a Dyson never made my wish list. No, I've been searching on the cheap.

I liked what I read about Shark vacuums. Receiving rave reviews from a variety of sources, they average less than half the cost of most Dyson vacuums. Less than half works for me.

My most recent monthly book of sale items from Costco featured a Shark Rocket for $30 off Costco's already comparatively low price of $159. Now or never, I concluded.

The first day of the sale was Sunday, November 1. Ideal timing, I thought. When you live in the buckle of the Bible Belt, the best time to shop is Sunday morning. Even Costco is relatively empty. Yes, I admit, rather than going to church, I headed to Costco. That this was also the first day of changing the clock, which no one bothered alerting me to, and I arrived at Costco an hour before it opened, didn't deter me. Nope. I was on a mission. I amused myself for that hour wandering the aisles of a nearby grocery store.

Arriving back at Costco at the appointed 10 a.m. opening, I breezed in grabbing a 50-gallon drum of Virginia Peanuts and the box containing my target Shark Rocket. I was the first person in the check-out line. I located my items, checked out and was back in my car in less than five minutes. Had I been at a Costco in South Florida, simply finding a parking spot would have required 15 minutes.

Arriving home, I quickly assembled my new toy. Weighing less than 10 pounds, I wielded it like a fencing foil. Light, maneuverable, and remarkably powerful, I attacked first the hardwood and then some carpet. Before it was all over with, I had vacuumed the entire house and scared the bejeebers out of the cat.

I installed the Shark's wall holder on the wall of my downstairs coat closet and hung it up. I trust it will be there in 60 or so days when I decide to vacuum again.


  1. Getting a new vacuum can really be a challenge. Your experience is quite interesting though. I'm glad that the Shark actually worked out for you. I've been trying to find a deal like that in my area, I'm looking for a good vacuum for my garage area. Guess I'll have to visit my Costco next Sunday morning.

    1. I highly recommend the Rocket. Light and easy to use, it almost makes vacuuming fun....almost.