I got a Robot for Christmas!

There’s a robot now, roaming inside our house. You read it right. A robot. No, it’s not as technically advanced like the NASA Mars Rover, but it does explore the expanse of our whole floor. Nor it is an alien robot, like the Transformers that can disguise like an everyday machinery, but it does do household chore.

Meet Flori (a.k.a. taga-linis ng floor), my new iRobot, Roomba Model 560, vacuum cleaning robot. It cleans our floor by itself and then goes back to its dock when it’s done. It even has a feature that it can be programmed to clean our floor on schedule, up to 7 times per week. Maybe they should add a feature that it would play some music too, instead of the hum-drum noise it emits, while it is vacuuming.

Flori cleaning our floor

After many years of wishing that “somebody” can takeover the mundane chore of cleaning the floor, which is my designated task since I was a boy (using bunot and floor wax) and that I carried over to this day (see previous blog here), finally my wish came true. I am really happy that I got this gift under my Christmas tree. I am not saying though that the manual labor of cleaning the floor has not given me any satisfaction. Or maybe it doesn’t, but it certainly builds character.

Yes, it may be a little slow, as Flori takes about 20 minutes to clean one room that I can do in under 10 minutes, but I am not complaining at all. She can take her sweet time. And me? I can use that 10 minutes in doing something else – like blogging. She may not be as good in cleaning the corners and nooks, or under the furnitures, and other hard to reach spots, but then again, I don’t mind that at all. As long as she does not run amok and take over our house like an out-of-control runaway machine, just like the plot of so many robot or intelligent machine movies, I am content.

Now if “somebody” could also clear the snow in my driveway for me, that would be really cool (I mean hot….or warm, as I would not be freezing my ears doing it, you know what I mean). Is it too early to make a wish list for next Christmas? A fully automated, industrial grade, robotic snowblower is definitely in my list. A GPS-guided, fully automated, self-propelled, robotic lawnmower would be delightful too.

Santa? Santa? Are you listening?

Floor Manager

I have been a floor manager all my life. My job description of being the floor manager, is the one in charge of keeping the floor clean and shiny in our household.

When I was growing up in Manila, my primary house chore was waxing and scrubbing our floor with “bunot” (coconut husk). We do have a house helper, who was really a distant relative whom we were helping financially, so our parents would not leave every work to her, instead we were expected to do some of the house work. Besides, looking back now, making us share the work instilled in me the right attitude for work, even though how humble the task may be.

Every weekend, I would be on my knees on the floor, applying the red gooey floor wax with a cloth. I still remember its distinctive scent. After the wax had dried, I would be “dancing and swinging” with my one foot on the “bunot”, scrubbing the wood floor. It was satisfying to see that our floor was clean and shiny after my “dance”. For me, it was ¬†after all, my dance floor. I may not know how to dance the tango, or the El Bimbo, or do the Moonwalk, but I was a virtuoso in the “bunot” dance.

bunot

More than three decades later, some things have changed, but some have remain…….

I now have a title of M.D. to my name, but I kept the title of Floor Manager. We also don’t have a house helper, so me, and my wife and kids share all the house work. There’s nothing lowly in cleaning floors, at least I can claim that I own the floor I am scrubbing.

Before you think that it is such a laborious job cleaning the floor, it is actually not. Our hardwood floor has a coated finish, so it is low maintenance. I just vacuum (while listening to my i-pod) it every week, and mop with special cleaner, maybe once a month. It is always shiny, without the need of applying wax, and there is no need to polish it by my “bunot” dance. I really have nothing to complain about.

Maybe soon my son will inherit my title of floor manager. Or maybe I’ll just get an iRobot Roomba (vacuum cleaning robot). I think I like that idea.

Roomba (robotic vacuum cleaner)