New Dads, Buy a Robot Vacuum!




I used to be neat and tidy most of the time, until hurricane Gabriel was born on December 17, 2011.  My first born son only weighed 5 lbs. and 5 ounces.  However, like any hurricane, he first started off as a slight breeze and later bloomed into something much more destructive.  When he started to cruise and nibble on snacks, he became my worst nightmare. As a clueless stay at home dad, I was overwhelmed with cleaning everything all day and night.  The washing machine and dryer was constantly running, I was vacuuming all the time, washing bottles, and cleaning up vomit, poop, and pee from the carpet, couch, and bed.  If you think not sleeping for a day or two can drive you nuts, try to imagine not sleeping for a few years.

And then one day, I stopped cleaning.  I regained my sanity for a brief period, but then my wife would come home from work and get perturbed.  Our cozy home, was now a dump.  A place we didn’t want to spend our time.  After a few weeks, my wife asked me to clean up the place.  She basically said that the place stunk and she wondered what I did all day.  I argued that I’m doing what’s best for Gabriel and that I don’t have time to clean up after him all the time.  I think I might have said, “If you just leave it there long enough, it’ll become invisible.”  It was true, his mess eventually became invisible to me.

I sort of liked that my son’s left over cereal was all over the place so that he could eat up his own mess whenever he became hungry.  But my wife did have a point when she said that “it wasn’t a good thing” that he was eating food off the floor.  By the time our second son, William, started cruising and snacking, we still didn’t have a solution.  Our place became twice as dirty, and I would only vacuum when it got really, really bad. Until one day, on craigslist, someone was selling a used Roomba 560 for $20.  The ad said it didn’t work, but that didn’t stop me from thinking I could fix it.

“The Roomba will save us,” I thought.  So, I picked it up, examined it, and decided to buy a new battery for $20 and what do you know?! It worked.  I set it to vacuum every day at 8:00 am.  Our home wasn’t immaculate clean, but it was clean enough.  Considering how much time and effort we’ve saved over the years, the Roomba is worth its weight in gold.  Now it’s been several years, and I haven’t vacuumed since.  New Dads, you should get a robot vacuum.






Review of the Brondell S1000


Finish this sentence, “once you go _______, you never go back.”

It’s true!  Once you go BIDET, you never go back.  In the United States, you can go through your entire life and never encounter a bidet.  Heck, I never encountered a bidet until I moved to Japan in my 30s.  And even then, I avoided them when I could until one day, I was forced to face my fears.  At first, it was a little intimidating considering all the buttons labeled in kanji, the mechanical sounds, and the stainless steel wand that jets out to shoot water on you.  Oh, and let us not forget that there is water running through a toilet seat that is also plugged into an outlet (yes, an outlet is required for the Brondell S1000)!  Once I got over my fear of the unknown, I pushed a button labeled in Japanese, and seconds later, was pleasantly surprised.  After that beautiful experience, I was sold.

Since then, I have used hundreds of different washlets (what the Japanese call a bidet) while I lived in Japan.  At home, I’m the proud owner of two Japanese washlets (Panasonic DL-WH60 and the DL-WE60).   For a mid-priced washlet (as of Dec 10, 2017, $450 on amazon.  For a limited time, $299 at Costco, then $499) you get a decent amount of premiere features that are found on the best industry brands (Toto and Panasonic).  And for that reason, I picked one up from Costco for $299.

The washlet was completely installed in about 20 minutes.  I’m not a plumber.  I’ve installed two washlets prior to this one, and the first two were installed without the ability to read the instructions, which were written in Japanese.  The Brondell S1000 was installed on an American Standard Elongated Champion without a hitch.

When you’ve had your bum on the best the planet has to offer, you really don’t want second best.  The things that were immediately noticeable in comparison to my Japanese washlets were:

  1. The seat and water temperature does not warm as fast.  This is not a big deal if you live in a warm climate.
  2. The seat and water temperature do not get as hot.  I’ve come to enjoy the maximum hot setting on my washlets, but some might find it uncomfortable.  Not a big deal, but it’s there if I want it.
  3. The adjustable warm air dryer performs just as well as the expensive models (if you intend to dry your bum only using the air dryer, hell will freeze over before it dries).
  4. The air deodorizer is not as effective as I’m used to,
  5. The wash spray seemed noisier than I am used to,
  6. The width adjustment on the wash spray was just as good, if not better.

THE BOTTOM LINE: The Brondell S1000 is a steal at $299, and a good value at $450.  In a household of 5, there have been no complaints.  My wife said, “it’s good.”  My 4 year old son said “it’s warm.” And the only thing my 5 year old son asked was “how do you open the lid?”  It seems like a silly question, but our Japanese washlets will lift the lid when you trip a sensor and then close automatically.  But, for less than half the price of our Japanese washlets and with most of our favorite features we will keep it.







Last night, my 5 year old son says to me “Dad, something’s wrong with the TV.”  I’m thinking, my little man just doesn’t know how to use it.  All this technology is probably overwhelming for him.   An hour later, and apparently I’m also overwhelmed with the technology because I could not get rid of that annoying fireworks screensaver that repeatedly interrupted my son’s Rescue Bots show every few minutes!

So, like most people, I googled for a solution to my brand spanking new LG OLED65B6P, instead of reading the TV manual, because who has time for that right?!  REMINDER TO SELF – READ THE MANUAL!

“Disable screensaver…” I couldn’t find an option for this.

“Disable energy mode…”

“Disable power mode…”

“Update firmware…”  I updated to the latest available (version 05.30.03).

Did any of that work? NO.

And then, EUREKA!  It occurred to me that I have not been allowing my TV to do its “clear noise” dance when prompted.  So I went to SETTINGS > PICTURE > OLED PANEL SETTINGS > CLEAR PICTURE NOISE > START NOW.  Your TV will turn off and turn back on when it’s done. If you turn your TV on before it’s complete, you’ll have to start over.   PROBLEM SOLVED!