Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Robots are the future

I've spent years lusting after a Roomba (and a Scooba) because who wouldn't? I mean come on, it's a robot that hoovers the floors for you! A robot doing housework - dudes, that that is the future right there. Unfortunately I also share my life with some 7 million cats, a clumsy dog that weighs in/around 14 stone and a hairy dirt shedding mop that comes back from the groomer three times a year resembling a cocker spaniel and I just couldn't justify spending that much money on something they might kill.. I know, hard life.

Happily, I got a secondhand Roomba recently (it needed a little bit of work but we're a technically able household) and couldn't pass up the opportunity to test it in the House of Cats. Not being stupid I have it confined to the study/kitchen when I'm not home to keep it safe from the Horde and Roomba has been living with us for a couple of weeks now.

Things I Have Learned About Life With A Roomba:
  • No matter where I am in relation to it in a room as soon as I step backwards it's there, ready to trip me up
  • It takes a while to housetrain but once it figures out the rules it's pretty good at not eating the rug
  • It has an unerring sense for stuff it's not supposed to have and is over within seconds if I drop something
  • It has no respect for Him Inside and attempts to charge out past him as soon as he opens a door
  • The cats are fascinated and want to sit on it
Honestly, it's kinda like living with a better behaved MooDog but without the mess, huge food bills and on call vet.

Speaking of which, I went into the kitchen earlier and found Roomba sitting forlornly in the middle of the floor with a flashing red light that looked suspiciously like the handbrake warning light on the car. Of course, I immediately panicked and went straight to Google but wasn't having much luck (though I was able to confirm that Roombas don't have handbrakes). In desperation I hit the clean button to see if it'd restart and discovered the single best thing about robot hoovers. They tell you what's wrong! (that should be a feature in cars, why isn't it?)

Turns out there's a dust filter thing too and I hadn't cleaned it. Oops. 4 minutes later and Roomba was back making inappropriate overtures to Him Inside's guitar and getting lost under the chairs.

I'm in love. Time to research the wireless models and the Scooba methinks :-)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Random YouTube moments

Bohemian Rhapsody - by old computers. Deadly :-)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Daffodil Day

Plant a Daff, support the Irish Cancer Society

Plant a ‘Daff’ to show your support for people touched by cancer, in the Garden of Hope. The goal is to plant 25,000 ‘Daffs’ online this year to represent the number of people who will be diagnosed with cancer in 2009.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Weekend plans

Bad news for anyone going to see Prince on the 16th:

Dear OH is away in Germany beating people up that weekend (and being bet up in return) for fun so I'm planning some quality time with the hounds :-)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Spayweek Ireland is on from the 25th to 31st May.

This year, as well as promoting spaying/neutering, they're producing a pack for schools to try to get the message out to the next generation. The statistics are fairly sobering - 16,546 dogs were put down in pounds across Ireland in 2005. Most of those dogs were healthy - their only crime was that they were no longer wanted :( A lot of these dogs were "pedigree" too, it's not just the crossbreeds that suffer. Spaying and neutering will help cut down on the number of unwanted animals as well as the obvious health benefits.

Separating Fact from Fiction

According to Spay Week Ireland organiser Pete Wedderburn, it’s important to separate fact from fiction when it comes to considering spaying or neutering your pet.

The Facts

* Ireland destroys dogs at a rate ten times higher than the UK. An average of 317 dogs were destroyed every week in Irish pounds in 2005, nearly all of them healthy.
* No official figures are available for the number of abandoned cats that die in Ireland but anecdotal evidence strongly suggests the figure is even higher.
* These numbers would be cut dramatically if more owners would spay or neuter their pets
* Spaying or neutering is good for your pet’s health. The risk of cancer plummets, they’re less likely to be aggressive and they live longer as a result.

The Fiction

* MYTH: Spayed or neutered pets get lazy and fat. FACT: Proper diet and exercise keeps them healthy and fit.
* MYTH: Female cats and dogs should have at least one litter. FACT: They are perfectly healthy and fulfilled without reproducing.
* MYTH: Neutering changes a pet’s personality FACT: Your pet will remain as loving as ever.


Spay Week Ireland: Visit:
DogsTrust and VICAS are also still doing subsidised neutering for those on means tested social welfare benefits at a greatly reduced fee of €14. More info can be found on the spayweekireand site.

It's important that cats are neutered too - there are far too many unwanted cats and kittens out there. Our household has one pedigree cat and five rescued cats and I can tell you that that one pedigree devil has caused more trouble, cost more money and generally been a bigger pain than all 5 of the rescues put together!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Modern technological wonders

I have a Blackberry for work. A Pearl 8100 to be exact, a nice enough phone all told. It's small enough to carry around, allows me to access my email anywhere and has a lovely web browser for those evenings spent stuck in stationary traffic on the M50 north. The battery life is fairly ok and you can spend hours customising it until it practically runs your life. It does have one flaw though. Receiving calls...

When I pickup a call I have to count to 4 before the person on the other end can hear me. I can hear them perfectly for these 4 long seconds and, without checking caller ID, I can tell quickly if they've called me before. Someone who's been introduced to the idiosyncrasies of my Blackberry will be quietly counting to 4 before speaking while everyone else is saying "hello... hello? Is anyone there?..."

It is a fairly major flaw in a device that is primarily marketed as a phone though isn't it?

Monday, March 31, 2008

Meet the canine Horde

This is a "meet my hounds" post. Myself and a friend loaded up the collective horde a couple of weeks ago and took the hounds for a walk in Dun a Ri - a little forest park about a 10 minute drive from the house. She has two terriers and I have the three terrors so we were well matched.

While we were out I took some pictures of the hounds while my friend held the leads (I did try putting them in a sit and stay but as soon as I tried to get their attention they'd get up, ruining the picture). That's Loki (4 year old border collie) on the left and Budda (8 year old cocker spaniel x) on the right. I love this picture of the two of them - they had an absolute ball that day and I think it shows :-)

I didn't manage to get as decent a picture of the Yama Moo (3 year old Great Dane) unfortunately but here's one of her tied to a bench while the others were getting their photo taken.

She enjoys fusses so she wasn't that bothered by being stopped every few minutes by people who wanted to comment on "just how big she is" (at the small end for breed standard!) and to wonder how much she eats (a fair bit).

They slept well that night :-)