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Tech Review: Eureka Optima Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Emery

Vacuum cleaners have been around for a long time. Eureka has been one of the most popular brands almost since day one. The new Eureka Optima has all the quality and convenience of all the other Eureka uprights with a few extra advantages. It is smaller than most other uprights, but just as powerful. It is light weight and easy to maneuver. The round handle seems a little strange at first, but it’s easy to get used to.

The Eureka Optima doesn’t use bags. Have you ever been unable to vacuum because you were out of bags and the stores were closed? It can’t happen with the Eureka Optima. The wind tunnel pulls all the dirt, dust and particles into a clear plastic container that is easy to empty. The added advantage of having a receptacle instead of a bag is that if something gets sucked up that shouldn’t have been, jewelry or small change, for example, it is much easier to locate and retrieve that fighting your way through a dust cloud as you pour the paper vacuum bag out.

This fine little appliance also has a hose for all those places the rest of the upright won’t go. Convenience and power are the best reasons to buy a Eureka Optima. However there are other reasons as well. For example, it comes in a box for easier transport when you purchase it. It is simple to assemble. You can’t beat the price. The Eureka Optima sells at Wal Mart for under fifty dollars! Imagine, a vacuum with so many advantages at such a low price!

The Eureka Optima vacuum comes with a fourteen page instruction booklet, printed in both English and Spanish. Simple directions for assembly and instructions for maintenance are combined with warnings of how to use the Eureka Optima safely. For example, the booklet says not to vacuum up and flammable materials, use caution when vacuuming stairs, and check the cord every time you use it to be sure it isn’t damaged. There is also a section in the booklet about troubleshooting your Eureka Optima vacuum. It explains how to reset the brush roll, how to remove clogs, and how to clean the filter.

As with most appliances, the Eureka Optima comes with a limited warranty. Any damage that is caused by damaged or defective parts at the time of purchase is covered. If damage is caused in the normal use of the machine, however, Eureka cannot be held accountable. So, try to be as careful as possible and pay attention to maintenance.

I bought a Eureka Optima for my wife for Christmas this year. She used it to clean up after we took down the Christmas tree and was delighted with how quickly the job was done. The hose did a great job on the window sills and inside the couch and chairs as well. It gets into places the dust collects and cleans it right up. Our daughter has a Eureka Optima, too, and bigger messes to tackle. She has a dog, two cats, and two children that leave messes everywhere (not to mention hair by the truck load!) Her Eureka Optima needs the filter cleaned a little more often than ours will, but she uses hers every day and has never had a problem with it.

She Couldn’t Shake the Previous Nights Dream

Emery

She still couldn’t shake the previous nights dream. With everything going on in her life, the one negative was the miserable condo association and the horrible condition of her condo. Both her lakeside decks had been torn up for over 18 months due to rotten beams and joist. Prior to that, the entry deck had been torn up for 18 months as a result of a rotten beam. The only reason it finally got fixed is that she had advanced the Board of the Condo Association over $5000 to fix it. The county Assessor had reduced the evaluation of her condo by $200,000 over the past 3 years due to deferred maintenance on the exterior.

She was beginning to think the problem was hers. A sense of insecurity fell over her and try as she might, she was losing her own spirituality. There was a feeling of doom every time she came home. What would the next miserable email, phone call or letter bring? Maybe she should move to another location but where? She loved the view of the lake and the trees and the wonderful friends she had made.  

Then, she decided to go into town for a party with an organization she belonged to. When she arrived, there was an instant feeling of belonging, being appreciated. She was warmly greeted with lots of hugs and smiles. She felt better. The evening was full of fun and by the time she arrived home, she was thinking she was just fine. The problems were not about her but about a bunch of middle management men who never received the authority they thought they deserved in business. Condo Boards are magnets for power hungry, overblown egos. A successful, attractive woman owning the largest condo was a threat to their egos.

Checking her email there were greetings from around the world. People she had met through her travels. People she really enjoyed and respected. Being with them gave her a sense of accomplishment. They respected her. There were messages about recent events she had attended with international dignitaries and government officials.

Getting ready for bed she was reminded the wall of her bedroom, her sanctuary, and inner sanctum was all that divided her from the Board member responsible for all the problems with her condo. She shivered and said a little prayer asking for right and equitable solutions to the problems with her condo association.

The summer night was cool and a soft breeze came through the open door. As she drifted off there was the soft hum of a boat somewhere on the lake.

Around 3AM she was awakened by the nightly ringing of the door bell. Was it real or was it a dream? She didn’t know, but she was startled. She had been dreaming of being with friends. In her dream she was riding on the lake road with friends and as they passed her condo project, one of her friends pointed out the condos were shabby, the grounds were overgrown, there were foreclosure signs at the entry and three or four For Sale signs. Another friend said, “I’m so glad you got out of there. What a terrible mess that place is and it just gets worse and worse. What an eye sore on this beautiful lake.” Then, the ringing of the door bell.

She heated some water for tea then turned on the computer. She found the local MLS listings and made notes on the 5 or 6 properties in the immediate area within her budget. By 6AM she was showered and headed out the door with her list of properties. By 9AM she was back at the computer making appointments to see two of the properties.

The image of her condo project in her dream would not go away. It was an omen. A message. A sign to get out. The voice inside repeated, ‘Take your lumps and get out now.’

By noon she was in the house she knew would be hers. It needed work but it felt secure. The back deck actually had an ancient cedar tree growing through the floor giving the feeling of a tree house. There was a year-round stream flowing at the edge of the property. Sitting quietly, she heard the soothing concert from the bubbling stream and the birds in the forest. She felt a sense of peace and serenity in this place. It was a 40 year old, well built vacation home with a sturdy concrete foundation. It was priced right and with a little juggling it would be the perfect winter project and come next summer, it would be HOME!

God is listening. God does answer prayer. God speaks to us in a variety of ways. We just have to ask, listen and take responsibility.

Review: Dyson DC17 Absolute Animal Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Emery

We have a large family – two parents, one child, 3 god-children who visit all the time, four cats, two dogs and a frog. My daughter has asthma and while the frog presents no problem the four indoor cats do. I did a lot of research for an upright vacuum cleaner that would be able to keep the cat hair out of the house as well as dust and dirt. I shopped and tried out different brands but the best that I found was the Dyson DC17 Absolute Animal Upright. It is certified asthma and allergy friendly according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. The system has a sealed design so that it picks up the dirt but only expels clean air back into the house. The bagless system with HEPA filtration and Dyson’s Root Cyclone technology made this a must for our house.

I was amazed at how clean my house looked after I used this vacuum. I had thought that my old vacuum was doing a good job but once I used the Dyson DC17 I saw the difference this machine can make. The Dyson DC17 captures 99% of dust particles as small as .3 microns and with the Level 3 Root Cyclone™ technology the system has continuous strong suction power. There is an extra motor in the power head to get the deepest dirt from carpets and furniture. The Quick-draw Telescope Reach™ wand allows you to have 16 feet of extended reach and is easy as pressing a button (it extends just by pressing the button and I love this feature). I use this wand to clean the tops of my curtains, the corners of my ceilings and any hard to reach area. Emptying the dirt is very easy and sanitary with the Clear Bin™ canister. A simple push-button trigger allows for quick, hygienic emptying so that you never come in contact with the dirt.

My system cost $550 but I have found this model now online for as low as $375 so it pays to do a little browsing online before purchasing. My Dyson came equipped with the 12-amp motor, a lifetime HEPA filter, has a 35-foot cord length, a 51-foot maximum reach, has auto carpet height adjustment, a mini turbine head, a low reach floor tool, the carpet care kit and crevice tool as well as the dusting nozzle amp; upholstery tool. All of this and a manufacturer’s 5-year limited warranty made my purchase very satisfying.

I have not had any trouble with my machine. I did find it a little difficult in the beginning because it was bigger than my other vacuum but after about a week I was running this machine all over my house and cleaning places that had not seen a vacuum in ages. I highly recommend this machine not only to homes that have pets but to anyone who appreciates a clean home and loves convenience.

Review – Hawthorn Suites at the Victorian Resort in Galveston, TX

Emery

The Hawthorn Suites is located at the Victorian Condo Resort on Seawall Blvd in Galveston, TX. My husband and I wanted a quick weekend getaway at the beach. But, with 2 small children our hotel choices were limited. We needed something with at least one separate bedroom, a kitchen, and a dining room table and all on the seawall. After 2 days of searching every single hotel on Seawall Blvd, I found the Hawthorne Suites. It seemed to have everything we needed and had tons more to offer as well.

The Hawthorn Suites is easy to find off of Seawall BLVD and 61st Street next to the Super Wal-mart. Upon entering the circle drive toward the entrance, the hotel appears to be reminisce of the east coast cap cod style homes and hotels from the 1900’s. At first glance I was extremely impressed and thrilled at the location and the exterior of the hotel. The lobby was not up to date and was small and reminded me of an old motel lobby area. The front desk employees were extremely nice and helpful. Very pleasant to talk to and helped with any questions. The hotel had been overbooked and sold out for the weekend. We were greatly surprised that they so graciously upgraded our room from a one bedroom to a two bedroom at no additional charge.

The room was pleasantly surprising. After seeing the lobby I wasn’t sure what to expect. There was a small foyer that lead to a very large kitchen and huge living/dining area. The kitchen was well equipped with a small refrigerator, stove top, sink, and dishwasher. There was also tons of cabinets stocked with cups, plates, dishes, and silverware along with plenty of counter space. Coffee maker with coffee and cleaning supplies also came in the kitchen. There was a large sleeper sofa, side chair, coffee table and armoire with a large TV that completed the living room area and a nice size kitchen table and 4 chairs set in the corner made a great place to eat breakfast. The balcony door was right off the living room and had a great view of the gulf. The oversized balcony had a small table and two chairs to enjoy the gulf breezes.

The two bedrooms in our condo were very spacious. There was actually a 3rd kids room off the front foyer. It was small but had bunkbeds and a small dresser. There would be perfect for kids. Since we were traveling with 2 small kids, the room was perfect size to house one of the 2 portable cribs. Plus, it gave our youngest son privacy during naps and bedtime. The secondary bedroom had a queen size bed, flat screen TV, dresser, ceiling fan and a view of the family pool. The master bedroom had a queen size bed as well and a flat screen TV. Huge dresser, large closet, and bay windows that overlooked the gulf of Mexico completed the room. Each bedroom had its own bathroom with an extra door from the 2nd bathroom to the living room.

The room supplied all the same amenities you would find in another hotel room such as tolietries and essentials. Towels, pillows, and extra blankets. The hotel also featured 2 huge swimming pools. A family pool complete with zero depth entry features a water drop mushroom, a floating alligator, water cannon bubbling jets to tickle your toes and an adult pool with a rock waterfall and surrounded by trees. The hotel also has 2 hot tubs, 2 picnic areas, and a fish cleaning station, tennis courts and a fitness center. The Hawthorn has cruise parking, a full hot breakfast buffet complete with waffles, eggs, sausage and more.

The Hawthorn Suites is just steps away from the sandy beach and warm gulf waters. Many restaurants and stores surround the hotel. It is in a great location. This hotel was perfect for our family. Each of our 2 boys had their own room and we had our privacy as well. Our night didn’t have to end at 8pm when it was lights out for the kids. We both agreed that when we return to Galveston, this was our hotel of choice. Perfect in every way. I could not say enough nice things about this hotel. Now, the hotel was undergoing some major renovation and restoration at the time of our stay. Even with this going on, we never encountered any problems with our room, the service, the food, or anything. The best part about the trip was sitting on our private balcony that overlooked the gulf after the boys were sleeping and enjoying the quiet and listening to the ocean waves. We had an awesome time.

Product Review of the Eureka Altima Turbo Bagless Vacuum Cleaner

Emery

I love my pineapple hued Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner. I bought my Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner at Wal-Mart for a very reasonable $79.88 before tax. It was neither the cheapest nor the most expensive bagless upright vacuum cleaner in the store. After comparing it to the other bagless vacuum cleaners on display, the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner seemed like the most logical purchase. Moreover, its Good Housekeeping seal of approval along with Wal-Mart’s generous 90-day return policy made it a no brainer when deciding to bring it home and to give it a spin. On my return home, this is what I found.

1. The Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum with HEPA filter sucks up dust and dirt like no one’s business.

At 12 amps, this is a powerful machine. My husband and I marveled at the dust balls, hair and dirt that were collected after the first few sweeps over our carpeted living room floor. There is something immensely satisfying about seeing the dust and debris accumulate in its clear plastic canister.
Its HEPA filtration system, also, makes it an ideal vacuum for the allergy sufferer.

Furthermore, the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner has five adjustable settings for floor and carpet height. With one pass over our vinyl flooring in the kitchen, bathroom and entryway, it has made sweeping with a broom a thing of the past.

2. The Eureka Altima Turbo bagless upright vacuum has cool accessories that make cleaning easier and fun.

The telescopic self-cleaning duster is a hoot. It is tucked into the narrow, clear canister on the side of the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum. You just twist the handle that sticks out of the canister and pull it out for use. The handle of the duster can extend out to 3 feet for high reach dusting. After use, stick the duster back into its canister and turn on the vacuum. When you pull the plastic lever located beneath the duster canister, dust is sucked right out of the duster and into the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum. This suction action also “charges” the duster with electrostatic electricity making it a virtual dust magnet for your next cleaning. Is that cool or what?

The Power Paw with Riser Visor is another nifty accessory that is included with the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner. This little attachment flips up and down for horizontal and vertical cleaning of stairs and upholstery. However, as much as I love my Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum, I have to admit that this 25 pound machine makes it too heavy and cumbersome to ergonomically clean a flight of stairs (Isn’t that why they invented the Dust Buster?). However, the Power Paw worked great cleaning the sides and seats of my upholstered sofa, ottoman and chairs.

The extra long crevice tool and wand is another great accessory of the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner. It’s ideal for cleaning baseboards, corners and any narrow, hard to reach area such as between the refrigerator and wall.

The upholstery and dusting brush can be attached to the extra long crevice tool and wand for cleaning your more stubborn dusty areas that need to be vacuumed. I’ve used the upholstery and dusting brush on our computer keyboards, baseboards, fans and even the coils on the back of the refrigerator.

3. The Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner is a streamlined machine that makes cleaning quicker and more efficient.

All of the above accessories and attachments have their own separate compartments located on the vacuum cleaner itself eliminating unnecessary trips to the utility closet for different attachments and brushes.

Instead of unwinding a cord for operation, an easy cord release allows the user to quickly plug in the vacuum for use.

4. The scuff resistant furniture guard on the front and sides of the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless upright vacuum cleaner prevents damage and unslightly marks to your home and its contents.

This light gray rubber guard allows you to get amazingly close to the baseboards without any damage or scuff marks to the molding.

5. The Eureka Altima Turbo bagless upright vacuum cleaner’s no touch bagless system and non-pleated filter system makes it easier to clean.

To get rid of the dirt and debris that has accumulated in the plastic canister of the bagless vacuum, all one has to do is push a plastic slider to the right at the bottom of the canister, take it out and dump its content into a trash can.

Moreover, the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner has a flat surfaced, one-piece spongy filter that is more easily cleaned than its pleated counterparts. You can use warm water and mild soap when necessary to clean it, or you can just thump it a few times to get rid of the excess lint. The filter should be air dried before putting it back in its place.

There are only a few changes that I would like to see made to the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner. It would be great if it were a few pounds lighter and had a one and a half inch higher handle and a two foot extension hose that could be stretched up to 4 feet for cleaning drapes and cobwebs at the corner of ceilings. However, the accessories included in this bagless vacuum cleaner along with its powerful cleaning ability makes this bagless upright a truly exceptional deal. If you are searching for an all around, powerful bagless vacuum cleaner with a lot of bells and whistles without the bells and whistles price, you will be very happy with the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner.

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