Recently, we (the Western World) had a wintertime holiday season (take your pick of celebrations and spiritual affiliations) that traditionally includes the exchanging of gifts. Which presents a bit of a challenge during that gift, buying / wrapping / giving time of the year. We (Lisa and I), being the combination of two adult households, squeezed into half a house (900 feet ^2), have few unmet needs and even less room for non-essentials. Which means, for instance, no more furniture or superfluous kitchen appliances.
One morning, at the fire station, I was leafing through newspaper advertisement inserts (which I RARELY do), thinking about the gift dilemma, when destiny brought me to a page in the Target flyer. "Buy one, get two Roombas." Cue parting clouds, shaft of heavenly light, and choir of angels (or whatever - it's just a metaphor).
I've been thinking about getting a robot vacuum cleaner ever since I first heard about the Roomba. On one hand, my wife, Lisa, is a practical lass, and it's hard to sell her on gratuitous technology. I had to exert considerable charm to get a microwave in the kitchen (but now it's indispensable). But, on the other hand, what a perfect application for the domestic robot: a mindless dirty task. A robot doesn't get bored, have anything better to do, or argue. How can a gift that promises to clean the house and actually do the work not be appreciated? And I'd get two, one to use, and one to hack.
Dirty Gertie bumbling about the multipurpose room.