Roombas and Bitcoin

Two things happened this week that really made me feel my age, and surprisingly neither involved my back hurting.

That’s because my back always hurts now, so I can’t really count this as a new thing. It’s just a thing that happens when you start to close in on 50. It’s just part of the deal, like worrying about how my lawn looks and wondering if I should get my cholesterol checked.

No, I am referring to, as you probably guess, cryptocurrency and Roomba replacement parts.

What, that wasn’t your guess?

So first on cryptocurrency. I have to admit that I simply do not understand it, and I am OK with that. I have a neighbor who is much younger than me and is a computer programmer. He has tried his best to explain it to me, but I think it’s akin to if I were to try to explain trigonometry to my dog. No matter how much Maddux the Stoic wants to know about cosine, he’s just never going to get it.

And don’t get wrong. I’m not one of these Luddites who resists change as it sweeps upon us. I’m not sitting in my horse buggy refusing to drive a car. I’ve just decided that this thing is either going to happen or not, and if it does, it will sweep me up and I will be assimilated accordingly. It was the same thing with smartphones. I was never for or against them when the talk about iPhones came out. I just decided that when it was something I had no choice but to part of, I’d shrug and just get on board.

But I can’t wrap my head around the whole bitcoin thing. Plus, once new wave things such as this start to become a mainstream media story, I figure there is no point in my trying to get in on the game as an early win. The early win was long gone by the time I learned about it. It was similar to the GameStop craziness that happened a while back. If you are getting in on the action because you learned about it from Lester Holt on NBC Nightly News, you’re too late to the game.

And that brings us to my ridiculous excitement over receiving replacement Roomba parts. Our Roomba, named Sallie, needed a few brush replacements. Sallie had been shelved for a few weeks because she needed these parts to be her best Roomba self. (Apparently, stray fishing line on the living room floor does a number on a Roomba’s hardware.)

When the package arrived, I opened it while I was the only human in the house. I saw the replacement brushes and said, out loud,, “YAY! THE BRUSHES ARE HERE! MADDUX!!!! SALLIE!!!!!”

I am confident Maddux and Sallie were both as excited as I was.  

In installed the new brush, and set Sallie off to do her thing in the kitchen. I am pleased to report that she cleaned like a champ, and, I am pretty sure, even gave me a little wink and nod as she was cruising the floor with her new brushes.

So that’s where I am in life. Confused by technology, and excited about a replacement part for a cleaning device. I am sure 20-year-old me would have shaken his head at who I have become. But I’m OK with it. I’m just going to go with it. I will celebrate my new Roomba parts. And I will let the younger, smarter folks figure out cryptocurrency. Who knows. Maybe one day, I will be fully assimilated, and buy my next Roomba replacement parts with some bitcoin.

Mike Gibbons was born and raised in Aiken, S.C. A graduate of the University of Alabama, you can e-mail him at or follow him on Twitter @StandardMike.


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