The President's Message

*My Vacuum Cleaner Is All Better Now

Years ago I bought a canister type vacuum cleaner from Sears.  It came with a few attachments that snap into place on the top of the canister, and is a nice vacuum cleaner that has served me well over the years.  Oh, it has a 20 foot retractable cord too.  You just pull the cord out, do your thing, then push the button on top and it retracts back in.  Pretty darn slick.

A couple months ago I got a hankerin’ to do some vacuuming.  Normally when that feeling comes over me I lie down and take a nap, and when I awake the feeling is gone, but his time I was determined to suck up the fir needles and leaves and grit that I tracked into the house.  So I grabbed my trusty vacuum cleaner and started pulling the cord and it pulled out about 4 feet and stopped. 

The cord was stuck, it wouldn’t extend and it wouldn’t retract.  Apparently the retractability feature of the retractable cord mechanism went wonky and stopped retracting, and un-retracting, thus disabling the cords ability to be retractable, which was a really very nice feature of this vacuum cleaner.  So my vacuum cleaner with the retractable cord was now just a vacuum cleaner, with a short piece of cord hanging out of its butt.  This wasn’t good, because you can’t do much with a 4 foot cord on your vacuum cleaner.  Fortunately, I have several 3 foot extension cords, custom cut by my hedge trimmer, so I daisy-chained a couple together which gave me a 10 foot cord.  I could work with that. 

Then one day it was raining kittens and puppies outside and I was stuck in the house, so I decided to disassemble my vacuum cleaner and fix the cords lack of retractability.  That was easier said than done as I saw no visible screws to separate the top half from the bottom half.  I started prying at the seam along the middle and managed to get the front-end popped up but could not figure out where to pry to pop the back end apart.  Not wanting to break anything, as this vacuum still worked well and I did not want to buy a new one, I treaded lightly and eventually admitted defeat.  I had no choice but to begrudgingly plop down in front of the computer and Google up some guidance on how to open this thing up.  

I also decided to look up the cord reel and get that ordered and on its way.  I went to SearsPartsDirect.com and using the model number found an exploded view of the canister, and #18 on the schematic is what I needed.  I scrolled down to find #18 in the list of parts and add it to the cart, and there it was, part #4150223 with a note by it that read, “The manufacturer no longer makes this part, and there's no substitute part.”  What kind of nonsense is that?  This vacuum cleaner isn’t that old, and I can’t get parts?  I searched for “4150223 cord reel” and found nothing helpful. 

A bit frustrated now, and resolved to the possibility that I might have to purchase a new vacuum cleaner so now didn’t really care if I broke this one, I grabbed the cord and gave it a quick jerk.  Nothing.  Then I gave it a much harder yank, and it moved a couple inches.  I then pushed the retract button and it sucked in a couple inches, so I yanked it hard again and it freed up and came all the way out, and retracted all the way back in too.  Woohoo!  I fixed it!  I’m a genius.

I was happy now, but I also wondered why the salesman at Sears did not tell me that if I needed parts for this vacuum cleaner in the future, that they would not be available?  I think that is an important piece of information that he should have disclosed back when I bought his vacuum cleaner.  I don’t know if I would have done anything different at the time, but at least it would not have come as a shock to learn 28 years later I could not order a replacement cord reel.    

Obligatory Metropolitan content:

Many times I have used this vacuum cleaner to vacuum the carpets in my Metropolitan, and it works very well.  Actually, I have used this to vacuum the carpets in all my cars over the past 28 years, and it worked very well in all of them.  And now that the cord retracts again, it appears I will be using it to vacuum future cars that I haven’t even purchased yet!  Yippee!

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Not much in the world of Metropolitans has been happening lately, but we do have an event coming up on Saturday, March 6.  Jeff and Jan Rich are hosting a Mystery Tour on that day.  The drive will be two-lane roads and last about an hour.  You must contact Jeff for the specifics of this tour.  MetroManic sent an email on Thursday, March 25 with Jeff’s contact information.  Check your Inbox for that email, or your Spam or Junk folder.  I hope to attend in a Brand X, as my Met is still undergoing expensive extensive maintenance. 

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We had a good turnout at the February Club Meeting on Zoom, we had 20 people.  A few members admitted occasionally losing track of the days and ultimately missing the meetings, and asked to be reminded the morning of the meetings.  I agreed to do that and have put the pieces in place to make that happen, starting on March 7. 

On the first Sunday of the month, I will be sending an email in the morning to all PNMOC members, reminding them of the meeting at 1:00 that day.  I will also include the meeting information so you can easily join the Zoom meeting right from that email.  The email will be coming from address president@pnmoc.org and will show as from “PNMOC President” in your Inbox.  If you do not see an email from “PNMOC President” on the morning of March 7, look in your Spam or Junk folder.  If it is there, add the address president@pnmoc.org to your safe senders list, or to your Contacts, that will white list that address and allow future mail and reminders from that address to be delivered to your Inbox. 

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Stay safe and healthy my friends, and I hope to see you on March 7th.

Gary Roberts

360-701-1051 (cell)

president@pnmoc.org

Posted : March 8th, 2021
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