CAT | Gadgets


Two months ago we achieved the dream of replacing our 14 year old carpet. It was one of the best days of my life. I am not joking in that statement in any way. It truly was one of the best days in my life. Sure the payments are new, but oh man just come over and make carpet angels with me. It is just so amazingly awesome. 14 years with that dead blue crap that was so matted. It is just so so so so darn great to have decent carpet.

Our old Dyson DC9 did not enjoy the new carpet. Sure it picked up the livestock hair, but we had to struggle with it to get it to just pick up little things like Thunky’s shredded cardboard from his scratcher.


I had been reading some Reddit posts from a guy who is a vac specialist and he had great advice.

*Dollar for dollar, a bagged vacuum, when compared to a bagless, will always:
1) Perform better (Actual quality of cleaning).
2) Be in service for much longer.
3) Cost less to repair and maintain (Often including consumables).
4) Filter your air better.

Virtually every vacuum professional in the business chooses a bagged vacuum for their homes, because we know what quality is.


Types of vacs:
1) Generally, canister vacs are quieter and more versatile than uprights are. They offer better filtration, long lifespans, and ease of use. They handle bare floors best, and work with rugs and carpets, as well.
2) Upright vacuums are used mostly for homes that are entirely carpeted. Many have very powerful motors, great accessories, and are available in a couple of different motor styles. Nothing cleans shag carpeting like the right upright.
3) Bagless vacs are available in a few different styles. They rely on filters and a variety of aerodynamic methods to separate the dirt from the air. In general, these machines do not clean or filter as well as bagged vacuums. They suffer from a loss of suction, and tend to clog repeatedly, if the filters are not cleaned or replaced often.
4) Bagged vacuums use a disposable bag to collect debris, which acts as your primary filter, before the air reaches the motor, and is replaced when you fill it. Because this first filter is changed, regularly, bagged vacuums tend to provide stronger, more consistent suction.

My last, best piece of advice is to approach a vacuum, like any appliance; Budget for the best one you can get. Buy one with idea you will maintain it, and use it for many years. And, for the love of Dog, do not buy from late-night infomercials or door-to-door salesmen! Stay out of the big-box stores, and visit your local professional who actually knows what they’re talking about.

After weeks and weeks of research I decided on the Riccar brand. They are SOLID AS HELL and made in America. Made in St Louis MO mofos.

I hit a couple vac shops looking for the Riccar, and ended up getting soured on the used car sales approach and Riccar off brand they were pushing. “Similar, but cheaper” “I can give it to you for***$” It was lame and I did not feel like I would trust buying from them. Then I stumbled into Husker Sew and Vac.

I had looked up who sold Riccar vacs on their website and it said only Husker Sew and Vac in Lincoln. I had just picked up some bird seed across the street and dropped in to check the Riccar’s out for just a second.

The team there is simply awesome. I mentioned I had done a bunch of research and they let me play with a Riccar. Zero pressure they explained the differences between the two I was looking at and made it clear I would be completely fine with the lower end one. And they were selling them at an insane discount below MSRP. DONE


That is a metal beater brush with replaceable brushes and hella bearinged. They claim it will not collect hair on the roller, but I got a bit of Theresa hair near the bearings after a whole afternoon of vacuuming, but not on the brushes. I pretty much filled the bag on the 4 rooms. The thick dust I can see in the bag blows me away. It is so much more powerful and just grabs everything so simply. I even stress tested it a couple times by rolling over strings and a dump of cat scratched cardboard bits and it got them all on the push before the pull.

It is truly a piece of amazing quality that does its intended job so well. The brushes spin no matter what. The hose does not reach as far as the Dyson, the cord is shorter, but it so out performs the Dyson I am sort of shocked. Never knew a vacuum could be so awesome.

Huge shout out to Husker Sew and Vac for being so great to work with. I felt I was treated like a friend instead of a customer. Family run business that rules.

I bought some plasti dip spray and plan on pimping it out with a flat matte black like a sports car.



new shoes = new Lace Anchor install


It only takes one Lace Anchor kit per pair of shoes.


I love love . I got in on their first kickstarter and bought enough to last a lifetime, but will buy again if needed. They work great for shoes you are willing to slip on instead of tie.

Picked up a new pair of Skechers and put the lace anchors on right away and am now getting them to where I want them. I have never had a single problem with them and never have to tie my shoes. Give them a try.



picked up a Nest learning thermostat


The Nest was our Xmax gift to each other. It is a nifty little gadget. They say it should pay for itself in under 2 years. It learns what you like and knows when you are away to cut down on heating and cooling costs. I can monitor it from my phone or a web browser.



17x17x17 cube



this ingress thing is getting out of hand


Seriously, out of my hand and on the bike. Also it has become a completely obsession. Theresa had to lay down the rules once again.
* I have to go to work
* I have to eat
* And I have to keep paying my share of the bills

The Koomus BikeGo phone Mount Holder made a huge difference. The thing is perfect. I ended up riding over 20 miles last weekend around my area playing ingress. Almost a level 8.



take that grass


Sharpened up the mower blade. Lets mulch sometime

We are really enjoying the Amazon Fire TV. I assume you know it is basically a very decent android tablet you plug into your TV. Just thought I would share pros and cons.

* The thing is powerful. Quad core processor, 2GB RAM, and dedicated GPU. It was a big step up from our ROKU 2 and it can handle anything we throw at it. It it basically a very decent android tablet you plug into your TV.
* Games play great, but the remote is hard to use. Should be better with the game pad. They are on backorder currently.
* Many of the apps are ported Google TV apps. I am so happy to have a real youtube app.
* You can multitask. Play a song on pandora while playing a game
* Voice search works very well for searching Amazon content. The OS is basically being inside the amazon streaming store and you can use apps.
* optical audio out made it possible for us to use it. Right now we cannot get audio from HDMI. It is a nice feature.

* No Google Music yet. Google Music requires Google Play Services which doesn’t function correctly yet.
* No PBS channel, but content can be found. They do have the Smithsonian channel though.
* voice search does not work in apps

The Amazon Fire TV is great on day one and should get better as more apps and updates are released. It fits in well with the streaming device family we have going on. Each has their place, and the Fire TV gets the prime living room location.

UNL Today article

Rack, who is U.S. principal investigator for the environmental surveys that were conducted as part of the international ANDRILL Coulman High project, had left the site just prior to the discovery. He was listening by radio when he heard the report from the robot deployment team — engineers Bob Zook, Paul Mahecek and Dustin Carroll — who began shouting as they saw the anemones, which appeared to glow in the camera’s light. “They had found a whole new ecosystem that no one had ever seen before,” Rack said. “What started out as a engineering test of the remotely operated vehicle during its first deployment through a thick ice shelf turned into a significant and exciting biological discovery.” In addition to the anemones, the scientists saw fish that routinely swam upside down, the ice shelf serving as the floor of their undersea world. They also saw polychaete worms, amphipods and a creature they dubbed “the eggroll,” a 4-inch-long, 1-inch-diameter, neutrally buoyant cylinder that seemed to swim using appendages at both ends of its body. It was observed bumping along the field of sea anemones under the ice and hanging on to them at times.

I know a guy who found a new species. This has some roots in Lincoln because of UNL working with ANDRILL. My buddy Bob was living in Lincoln this past summer working on the SCINI remote operated subs that go under the ice in Antarctica since the UNL team was working on the hot water drill.

It just so happened that my other Antarctica buddy Nick had worked with Bob and they met up here in Lincoln. Nick brought Bob over to the BorKade and we hit it off great. Bob is just a darn cool guy. Heck even his voice grabs your attention. He had fun playing the machines and was very interested in my rockets. He even came out to a THOR launch with me and he had a blast interacting with the other folks with much more complicated rockets filled with gadgets. It was just a great day and I had so many questions about the project he works on. They drill a hole through the ice of Antarctica and then send a remote controlled submarine down the hole. That is why it is shaped like a long tube.

Congrats on your discovery Bob :)

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