In Texas we’re entering that time of year when the mercury regularly reaches the upper stratosphere and the humidity is completely unbearable. Summer (officially) is right around the corner and already we’ve hit the 100 degree mark in Dallas several times. I’d hate to be a weatherman this time of year since your entire routine on the nightly news would be, “Warm tonight, low 80’s, hot tomorrow, high near or above 100.” How many times does the poor guy (or girl) get stopped on the street of Anytown, TX. this time of year and asked if we’re going to get some rain or a cool front anytime soon? And how many times does he have to say, “This is Texas – wait a minute and the weather will change…except during summer.”
And now is the time of year that the yard is finally kicking into high gear. The grass is growing, the flowers are blooming, the ground cover is covering but of course the problem with all of this is that all of these things have upkeep and care involved. If I lived (as my brother does) in Las Vegas I would guess my front yard would be a nice plot of rocks or pebbles or sand with some cactus and other sharp weather-hardy plants there. Not great for the kids but able to survive even the worst heat wave or atomic test. But this isn’t Vegas, it’s Dallas, where we do actually get rain sometimes during the summer, and that means that the grass is still growing, the flowers are still blooming and the ground cover is still covering.
Yard work in that kind of weather is hard, especially without a self-propelled lawnmower, which I don’t have. Yard work for me has always been one of those things that I have to do – I’m the man, I must care for the yard even if I don’t care for the yard, which I don’t, because the only time that mowing the yard is not a risk to your well-being around these parts is in early spring. So about every weekend I’ll go out to the shed, pull out the weed eater and the lawnmower and the blower and drag all of them back to the front yard and then run the weed eater and then the mower and then the blower and by that time I’m completely burning up and ready to lay down and die right there in the front yard. If only Hudson from Aliens had been right. 1
But we’re living in the freaking 21st Century, a time of jet packs and flying cars and nanotechnology and Ubuntu and cool stuff like that. Robots these days are still pretty primitive, at least on the consumer side. We don’t have cool robots yet like R2-D2 or C-3P0 or even HAL. You’ve got that stupid Robosapien and that weird talking Fairy Dora and the even creepier looking Alive Elvis. I saw Alive Elvis at Macy’s before Christmas and he was going for $250. After Christmas? $50. Nobody wants a creepy singing/talking Elvis yet.
There are two robots that I could live with right now. The Roomba and the Robomow. Two robots that do things that no one wants to do – vacuum and mow the yard. As you can tell, I could learn to love the Roomba, but man what I wouldn’t give for a Robomow. Being able to just sit up on the porch with the kids and the wife having breakfast on a warm summer morning while that wonderful little robot mows the yard for me. Sure, he doesn’t do weed eating or blowing the excess grass away, but if I didn’t have to mow would I even care? Probably not.
So come on Skynet, materialize from the minds of 21st Century Man. Give me a Robomow and I would gladly let your Terminators rule o’er me. At least in the summer when you robots don’t care if it’s hot.