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A Teaching Moment

A Teaching Moment

March 31, 2008

Yesterday I was thinking that my keyboard looked particularly dusty. You know all around and under the keys. The last time I popped a key off to clean I broke it. And the time before that I put them back on in the wrong order, which wasn’t so bad if I didn’t look at my keyboard while I was typing. But, ooops, I do not know how to type in any other method than the patented hunt and peck.

So I had a better idea. I would vacuum my keyboard.

All was going well for the first few seconds, until the Mighty Dyson sucked the keys right off.

And that was why I found myself sitting on my kitchen floor going through the dust and debris in the cannister that I had collected from my floors and rugs at 2am.

Posted by Chris @ 11:11 pm  

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  1. Tina says:

    Oh my goodness! Ha…I guess you need to find a new method for cleaning your keyboard!

    BEWARE! The Mighty Dyson!

  2. Ashley says:

    Chris… you need a can of compressed air … they work WONDERS… or, if you want to pop off the keys, take a picture of your keyboard first, to use as a reference later (because i’ve put them back wrong before too)

  3. Dana V. says:

    Pantyhose over the vacuum attachment. Works for vacuuming out your junk drawers too, not that I would EVER do that, it’s just one of those things I read in Heloise.

  4. kalisah says:

    oh no fun!

    Next time, try stretching an old panty hose across the mouth of the hose. Assuming you were using a hose and not running the vaccum OVER your keyboard.

  5. beth says:

    The only thing a dustbuster or shop vac is good for is vacumming your scalp. It is a scalp massage. Try it..it feels great. My whole office now does it. And good note to self…no cleaning the keyboard. That is absolutely something I’d do.

  6. Jes says:

    That reminds me….can you give an update on how the whole not buying any extras is going? Have you noticed a difference regarding all the stuff in your house? Finances? What have you noticed you would be buying if you weren’t going without?

    Interested in doing the same around here…


    Chris says: I write about that on my other blog, A Year Off And update sporadically over there.

  7. Gwen says:

    My husband did the same thing with the laptop we had before. Unfortunately the keys he sucked up broke. :)

  8. Dani says:

    I sell Dysons. I can’t WAIT to tell my customers this one! :)

  9. Lisa says:

    2 in the morning! I love it………I’m not the only one up in the middle of the night……….That is good information to have! Keeps me sane ;) I have two keys off of my powerbook as we speak………from the same exact thing! Crumbies under the keys!

  10. Nikolaj says:

    Oh man! I’m sorry, but I find it really humorous.
    Still I don’t know if I would laugh if that would happen to me at 2 AM.
    But I’m the kind of person that would actually do such things too.

  11. meredith says:

    You are so funny :)

  12. Kal says:

    *narrowed eyes at beth*
    I think I trust you on the scalp massage thing….
    I think.

  13. Sarah says:

    How I smiled when I read your post. This is the sort of thing that usually happens to me. Keyboards and I have a fairly fractious relationship! (I usually wear them out)

  14. peepnroosmom says:


  15. Ladybug Crossing says:

    ROTFL!! I can absolutely see that happening to me!!

  16. suburbancorrespondent says:

    Wow. I think I would have paid one of the kids to find them.

  17. Javamom says:


    My Miele sucks pretty good too, what with all the doghair and reno dust…

  18. Jennifer says:

    I’ll remember that the next time I want to clean my keyboard. On a similar note….Once when I was vacuuming the corners in my bathroom with the hose attachment I got a bit too close to the TP. I now know a vacuum can suck up a whole roll of paper in less than two seconds.

    Chris says: Hahahaha!

  19. Katie says:

    Moral of the story: Just don’t clean. (And I am lazy.)

  20. Rachel says:

    This is why I’m a lifelong fan of your blog. (Ever since you posted that video of your daughter screaming at everyone singing her Happy Birthday.)

    You make me laugh.

  21. catnip says:

    Good thing it’s a cannister - can you imagine having to cut open a vacuum bag to retrieve them?! Get thee to a office supply store and buy a can of air and pipe cleaners! They are necessities for laptop owners.

  22. SoMo says:

    I love my Dyson, too, but it wasn’t meant for eveything. You need to try the teeny tiny vacuums they make just for the computer keyboard.

    Although, I do like the effect the Dyson has on tiny toys that been requested to be put away several times, but are still on the floor. I don’t search for those. You get a warning shot and then it is every man, woman and Barbie shoe for themselves.

  23. Leeann says:

    You just crack me up!!

    BTW, made your carrot cake last night. LOVE IT. SOOOOOOO good!


  24. Elena J says:

    LOL!!!! That’s too funny!

    At least you know your Dyson is working.

  25. Kim says:

    LOL! I’m lazy, I just let it be dirty. Sometimes I run a Swiffer duster over it, but that’s about it. I say if it’s really so dirty it’s bothering you, it’s time to just buy a new one!

  26. CathyC says:

    Oh Chris. I give you advice because I know you want it. Buy a few spare keyboards (4 or 5) and stash them in your butler’s pantry (what are you using it for anyway?). That way, next time you decide to kill your current keyboard (yes, I do believe you are an expert at that) you will have backup! I know. You don’t have to thank me.

  27. Mrs. F says:

    Bwahahaha. Nice!

  28. Tracy D says:

    LOL LOL LOL That is so something i would do. Mental note… do not vacuum the keyboard! LOL

  29. Shannon says:

    You really just hunt and peck?? With all the blogs that you have? I always imagined you must be some sort of speed demon typer.

  30. mandi says:

    That is hilarious! Sounds like something I would try, glad you did it first!

  31. Dawn says:

    This would make a hilarious commercial for Dyson…

  32. Kathleen says:

    2am? That must be your secret to getting it all done :)

  33. Donna says:

    My god, that was funny — only partially because our ShopVac sucked a short piece of baseboard off the wall yesterday and then attacked my pant hems!

  34. elizabeth says:

    THat is hilarious, as I can relate. Only I have not been fortunate enough to talk my dh into buying a Dyson (though he test drove it many times :P) I have taken every key off my keyboard manually - to clean it, and then promptly forgot where they all went. It was horrible. Now I just clunk the dern thing upside down on my desk and hope most of the dust/crumbs/boogers (not mine!) come loose…

  35. Daisy says:

    Um, well, how to say this…they make data vacs. You can buy them at offic supply stores. They don’t vacuum your data, just your dust.
    Oh, well, but then I wouldn’t have a chance to laugh so hard right now!

  36. Flea says:

    Oh how horrid! I’m so glad I read this, before taking my Dyson to the laptop keyboard.

  37. jessica says:

    LOL. Twice. OMG. You are pretty funny.
    I have never thought to vacuum my keyboard, and I am glad you tried it for me :)

    (came here via the wsj article)

  38. Eve B. says:

    Hee! Hilarious.

    I dropped a crumb on my keyboard the other day, so I tipped it upside-down to try to get the crumb out. So much debris fell out that my keyboard drawer looked like the slicing counter at Panera Bread at the end of the day.