Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Suck It Up

This is an absolutely riveting story about a vacuum cleaner.

That is a joke.

It is a story about vacuum cleaner, but it is not riveting.

I guess it's also about ridiculous irritation at the way things are made today.

I know you're on the edge of your seat.

 I bought this vacuum 6 years ago:

Well, that's not a very good picture, but it's a Simplicity "Jack."

I loved it.

I am so lucky to have a houseful of hardwood floors and just a rug or two so I definitely need a canister vac.

LOVED my Jack.

Except ... it broke.  

A lot.

First a wheel came off.  (Warranty.  Yea!)

Then another wheel.  (No warranty.  Boo!)

Bought a new wheel.

Then the push down start button thingee broke.

My human Jack fixed that.

Isn't that awesome?

He put a real switch on it.

I really, really loved that. 

Then the hose started breaking.

Duct tape.

Tons and tons and tons of duct tape because it kept breaking.

But then the hose wouldn't bend as easily.

Bought a new hose.

Then the cord started getting really hot.

Then the cord started unraveling.

Electrical tape.

Cord still hot.

Made me nervous-ish.

Then this ...

Do you know what that little thingee is?

It's the top thingee for for the plug.

I mean, come on.


I really think a vacuum should last more than 6 years.

I do vacuum a lot.

OK, some, but still.

It's not like I live in a mansion or have heavy carpeting.

I really, really dislike this about appliances and crap today.

We paid a lot for a front-loading washer that died after 6 years too because the ball freaking bearings wore out and NO ONE, I mean NO ONE, would replace them plus the cost to replace them was as much as a new one.

This sucks.

My blender, my lovely orange blender (that I cannot find a picture of) broke the first time we tried to blend some ice in it.  (That was Jack, for the record, not me.)  

Guess what?  NO, you cannot buy new blades for it.  You have to buy the whole effing glass jar with the blades connected to it.  And it was sooooo freaking expensive!


All of them.

Rat bastards.

UGH!  Such a throw away society we live in and it makes me insane in the membrane.

And even though I could still keep buying parts for the vacuum, it costs a fortune!  I've almost paid for that damn vacuum twice!


So I bought another one.


I did.

I bought a Jack knock-off.

I figure if it's gonna fall apart in 6 years, it might as well be cheap.

And, I feel guilty for buying a new one!

How's that for 21st century bullshit? 

We kept the other one for parts and for Jackdaddy and  Finn to tinker with.

And don't you go telling me how you still have your grandmother's Kirby because I am really miffed already, Missy.

I am going to write the Simplicity people too because I think we should all say something.

I'll be nice, but I want them to know that I'm bummed and that they should try harder and shit.

That's good:  Try Harder and Shit.

You could take that a couple of ways.

Oh lordy, now I've got the giggles.

If you want some real blogging to read this morning after this disappointing post, here's a few links for you:













  1. I can't say enough good things about the Miele flamingo that I bought 20 years ago! I loved it then. I love it now. Long's vacuum shop on S. Congress sells 'em and repairs 'em. The only thing that's gone wrong with mine in all this time is a switch. He replaced it and threw in a new hose (mine was taped because Morgan accidently put a hole in it. ) for free--$65. That vacuum cleaner has been worth every penny of its $400+ price tag. As Mr. Long says, "You get what you pay for. And it you buy cheap you're just growing the landfill."

    1. Well, but the Jack was $300!!! That's not even remotely cheap, to me.

      I also bought a Dyson in the mix some years ago and hated it!

      I thought about the Miel, but the $300 Jack and the uber-expensive blender got me to thinking that maybe cost doesn't really count so much anymore.

      Maybe I just need something Euro!

  2. Okay. I have four vacuums: A 1947 Kirby with all of the attachments and the manual, a used 1970's metal Eureka upright, a used metal upright Hoover (1960's), a metal round Hoover canister from the 1960's, and a piece-of-crap 8 y/o upright Hoover made of plastic. Guess which one has broken the most? Guess which one has never broken? The plastic Hoover actually melts synthetic carpet if you leave it on in one place for more than 30 seconds. I also bought my daughter some fancy vaccuum two years ago. It now has a short and turns itself on, when plugged in, whenever it feels like it.

    Nope, they don't make 'em like they used to.

  3. Hubby found a Shark on the curb a few years ago, and it still sucks...really great. He never ever would have stopped for anything on anyone's curb, but I kept coming home with cool stuff, so then he started looking too. ;-) Anyhoo, I see your canister box is supremely dented on a few corners, as if it's been dropped really hard. I bought a mini-fridge at HD with smushed in corners and I get the thing home, unpack it, put it in my trailer...and it didn't work. Ugh. So beware of major dents like that...just sayin'.

    1. So far it works fine, but we'll see. I don't have high hopes for ANY of it, really.

      My shark worked for about 6 years and then died too. boo hoo.

  4. PS. What 'reader' do you use to track the blogs you follow? I used to use Google Reader for some stupid reason they got rid of it.

    1. You know, I don't use anything. I just go manually every day. I wish there was a better way. I think that's why people like Twitter so much. You can see everyone you follow all right there in a row and then link to blog posts from there.

  5. O boy do I know what you are talkin' about. We have lived here for only four and one half years and they had to replace l. My washer 2. My stove 3. My dishwasher twice. Is that stupid? I think so. Nobody fixes anything anymore. Broken? Get a New One!! I hate that. Does it pay to get the most expensive appliance? Maybe .. I know they get the cheapest stuff they can find and are replacing stuff all all all the time. That seems penny-wise and pound-foolish.
    ms mdd

    1. Yep.

      I mean, that's my beef. My washer, dishwasher, blender and vacuum were all relatively expensive and they STILL break and SUCK. So I'm not sure if cost is really the issue anymore.

  6. My friend Harry Galewsky says "A bargain is a bargain but cheap is cheap."
    I do know what you mean. I have already had a thingee on my dishwasher replaced (less than a year after it was installed), the battery in the smoke alarm went out after three months and the weather stripping under my kitchen door has already come loose. I have stuffed it back in the runner and put white adhesive tape on it.Birds in the fireplace because the man forgot to put up the bird baffle. Don't get me started on auto repairs on a new car.
    I do have a great vacuum, though. I bought it in 1983. It is a small canister by Eureka called a Mightey Mite. (Please, vacuum God, don't let me put a jinx on it.)

  7. Same here with my car.

    I've had the same problem looked at FOUR times and they keep doing shit and NOT fixing it.

    FINALLY, the last time, the guy said he just did not know and that he was sorry but maybe try googling it!! hahahah. I had to laugh.

    Don't get me started on that damn washing machine. NEVER again with the front loader!

  8. I want a Miele. I borrowed one from a friend to clean the Austin house last year - I wanted to marry it. Man it sucked. Light, easy to carry around and only ONE pass would get what you needed. love.

    1. I just called my vacuum store and they don't carry it. The only one in town is that one Lynell was talking about. I might go scope it, but dammit if I pay that much and it breaks like the Jack...grrrrrr.

      I like the good suck. ; )

  9. We have two Meile vacuums. The first one is well over ten years old. It came with Monty from his previous marriage. The wheels on it wore flat and still no problems. Oh, and the wheels were replaceable. The whole line is designed to have replaceable parts so you don't have to pitch the whole thing if something breaks. Wonderful, wonderful vacuum, but pricey.

    Start saving your nickels and dimes and when that one breaks in six years you can get a fancy Meile. There is a place in Cedar Park that I went to owned by a cute, elderly couple that sells them. Barron's I think.

    1. OK, I'm leaning towards buying a Miele.

      Only problem is that I don't have the money this month and I have to have a vacuum so, dammit, I guess I'll keep this cheapie until I can get the Miele.


  10. Wow! Who knew? All these comments about vacs! There's always Consumer Reports...if I'm going to pay for anything over $50.00 I check CR ratings. But even better, ask the repair shop guys, or gals, they know what breaks and what lasts. I wish I had my Mom's old Electrolux, it had these cool metal runners and was kind of sparkly! Laura from LB. Oh, and speaking of clean, we got rain yesterday, glorious rain that hasn't been to the OC in over four months. Today is sparkly and shining.

    1. RAIN!!! oh, glorious rain.

      None here. Can you send yours?

      Yes, you are so right about CR. I looked at a bunch of stuff and they all said Dyson or Miele. I bought 2 Dysons because I could get them at my store. Hated them both.

      Looking like I need a Miele.

  11. You know, I have friends who are always telling me "buy right and you buy once" but I'm just not buyin' it. It's all luck! I once bought a clothes dryer for $25 that lasted me five years (cloth diaper years, which are each like 7 regular years). My $50 lawnmower lasted 9 years. You might try finding an old canister vac at an estate sale. I know lots of older folks who still have theirs.

    1. YES! What I need is an old one, but I don't have time to find one! I should have been doing this all along. ARG.

      And I could kick myself for selling my old washer that was ugly and gross and worked like a HORSE. Never again will I whine about looks when something works great.

      Blech to me.

  12. so, you dissed my dirt devil and told me to get the jack, and i ALMOST did it. glad you posted this before i shelled out my laundry quarters. not having major appliances (clothes washer, dryer, dishwasher) isn't so bad, really. i get all of my laundry done in two hours if i go to the laundromat once every 7-10 days. it's great for people watching, and it has also broken me of the habit of getting dressed out of the clothes dryer/living out of the laundry basket.
    the next time i visit my parents maybe i'll pick up their old kirby. my "job" growing up was waxing and buffing the parquet floors in the den. oh, and polishing the silver. i loved that buffer attachment. and i'm still pretty fond of the smell of silver polish.

    1. Dude, I KNOW Pete would buy you a Miele!!!

      I only recommended my Jack because I LOVE it .. other than the breaking, you know. Heeee.

      You and I both love broken men so it's a perfect fit, right? OMG. hahahahaha

      When I move to my self-sustaining compound, YOU are coming with me. To polish the silver and BAKE.

  13. I hear ya. Making things that break is a sure way to keep us buying new things. I'm currently hating on our toaster, which burns my toast every single damn morning. I feel like I'm in some kind of constant battle with it. When I remember to manually pop it before it burns, it feels like some kind of huge triumph. I have been known to do a victory dance in the kitchen, which is saying something when said dance happens before 6:30 am.

    Thanks for the shout-out. Will try to do you proud this week. :-)

    1. Well, you know, that is the issue. I really believe that "they" make shit so that we have to keep buying and I'm just crazed over it!!!

      If cost made the difference, that would be one thing, but all of these things - my washer, blender, vacuum, dishwasher - not cheap! Maybe not THE best, but definitely not cheap.

      Now I will say that the reviews on the blender were awful, so that's my fault because it was ORANGE, but the rest of the reviews - well they were SO mixed!! Who can tell?!?!

  14. I am so with you on this! We built a new house and have been living here for just 2 years this week. When we moved in, we got all new appliances (not that we threw any away, but we left it all in our city apartment, which we have rented). Anyhoo, in two years, the hot water heater has busted 4 times (OK, once because of lightening, but still...), the new 1000 euro (yikes!) fridge had water drip into and freeze the motor, and the washing machine (made by Siemens, same as the fridge, which says a lot for the company) had to have the entire electrical panel replaced. And those modern lightbulbs that are supposed to last 8-10 years? I've replaced 4 already.

    These companies just don't take pride in what they make anymore.

    1. RIGH!?!? I have replaced the long-life light bulbs TOO!! And rechargeable batteries? uh, they only recharge so many times and then blech.

      Siemens is "supposed" to be good too.


  15. This one would be great for you:


    1. OK, I'm gonna start looking on CL and saving so I can get this.

      THANKS, Nell for all the help!

  16. Man, this sucks. Ha ha ha ha. My mama said, "Planned obsolescence." In my opinion, the Dustbuster is the neatest thing since sliced bread. Quick & easy, you don't have to "get out the vacuum cleaner" for messes that are too big (or too small) for a broom and dustpan. Or to suck up the crud the dustpan leaves behind.

    On the washer/dryer topic, I have always craved one of those stacking kinds: washer on the bottom, dryer on the top, for sheer space-saving. Then I can also have a utility sink in my laundry room and maybe even a little counter space? They're not cheap, but I think the next thing I get (after rain gutters, new siding, garage doors) will be this.

  17. I also love my portable dirt devil with attachments. That thing really sucks it up! Good luck Michelie!

    And the blog just gets better all the time. Moving forward in time, thanks for posting the slaw recipe!

  18. This is the best post about a vacuum cleaner I have ever read. And I almost exclusively read posts about about vacuum cleaners. I even have a group on bloglovin' dedicated to them. Broken ones are my favorite.


All the action is here in the comments. You want some action, don't you?