Bring Out Yer Dead (Trees)

We finally bought a property! It’s in the perfect forest-edge location and has all the right zoning for the type of build we have in mind. It does have a couple of drawbacks, though, that need to be dealt with before we can get started. For starters, the main point of vehicle entry is blocked by a huge dead tree. Seriously, this thing is a monster – by far the biggest trunk of any tree on the property and, yes, it’s still standing.

It’s definitely dead, according to my dad, who’s a retired horticulturist. It very much looks that way as well. Most of the branches have fallen off, there’s no green in sight and the trunk has gone a fair way in the direction of rotting out. Add to that the fact that it’s blocking the property’s critical entry and exit point, and it seems there’s no other option than to have the remains removed. We had this done once in Perth, but I don’t know of any tree removal companies for Melbourne suburbs yet.

Come to think of it, we should probably have an arborist assess the tree situation on this property in general. There are quite a lot of trees on it, and most of them aren’t small. It would be good to map out if any of them are likely to interfere – or, rather, to be interfered with – by our building, either now or down the track. I’m sure whichever tree removalists we recruit will be up for doing some trimming while they’re at it. Feed me your Melbourne tree trimming and pruning recommendations.

I suppose this is the thing about living in a tree-dense area – you actually have to think about how the beautifully established trees (and the dead ones) on your new property are going to affect your safety. I mean, there are bushfires to think about as well. But it’s worth dealing with this to wake up surrounded by these tall friends.

Sport, Without That Cumbersome Gravity

The time-honoured profession of sport must be preserved; that much is extremely clear. To lose such an art would be a tragedy. The long-range communications team is still working on broadcasting signals from the Earth to the Moon, so that we can watch the grand final, but our glorious leader recently suggested that it may not be necessary. Our glorious new kingdom will soon have its OWN grand final, and we won’t need anything from the planet below. Still, we shall see, and it is something to build up to.

For now, I must organise the procuring of sports items, with netting being a top-tier item. And I’ll tell you why! It’s because of the moon. Specifically, the fact that we want to organise zero-gravity events, and obviously some quality sports netting is required to stop the ball from going straight into the cosmos. We’re going to rig the netting so that it forms a perfect dome of sorts, thus making it so that we can play sports on the surface of the moon and add an extra dynamic experience never before seen on Earth. Sports nets are going to be essential if this is going to work. In fact, it would be impossible to replicate this is any other environment. This will be the first of many things that our new kingdom will do far better than the one we left behind. The planned list is (preferably in this order) democracy, coffee, sport, cybernetic augmentation, keeping bananas from going brown, figuring out why hitting your funny bone makes your arm feel so weird, tracksuits that don’t look tacky and truffles. We shall grow such truffles, they shall be admired throughout the galaxy. But first I need to source some quality cricket netting. It NEEDS to be quality; the alternative is a single good swing sending a precious resource into deep space. I wonder if we can get make cricket nets made out of a Kevlar weave.

-Tyzon

Boat-Wreck Television, Seriously

Sooner or later, the people on this show are going to have to complete a task with actual lives at stake. Like, they’ll get them to take on the jobs of window-cleaners for a skyscraper, and two candidates will die in the attempt and ‘Jack of All Trades’ is going to be cancelled right there and then.

But until that happy day, I’m stuck watching this thing under duress because my GF loves it and wants to turn every night it’s on into an event. Whatever…at least they were working on boats in this episode, which is my own area of expertise. I love a good bit of boat tinkering, which made it all the more cringe-inducing when people fluffed it up. I KNOW people in the Melbourne outboard motor servicing industry. Some of them might even have been there, watching this happen. Probably the worst thing was when Moira thought she could just chuck away the whole engine and start again from scratch, putting an engine into a rowboat that was about six-times too powerful for the model. Like…wow, just THINK. Even if you know nothing about the subject matter, you should know that the motor is far too big for the boat. It practically sank the thing as she was trying to install it.

And then Giles! Man, GILES, I would give him a slap across the face if he tried to suggest that he could service my boat. No technical expertise, but he talks like he’s some kind of mechanical genius who knows boating inside and out. At least he shut up after he accidentally dropped the anchor winch into the sea.

These people…I just…honestly, I’m glad there was a professional there who knew outboard motor repair. Melbourne’s reputation hasn’t been damaged by the show. And the worst thing? I have to keep watching. I’m invested in these stupid people and their stupid lives, and there’s no getting free.

-Jon

Such a Mysterious Theft…

Sometimes I like to look out my windows and think…where did they go? I have a medium-sized television, my purse was sitting out on the side as you walk in the door and then there were a smattering of heirlooms and expensive-looking things around the place. So why did I wake up to find all of my windows damaged?

So far as I can tell, there are only a few options. First is that there’s a mysterious window bandit, disturbed in the head and compelled to constantly sneak around Melbourne, stealing windows. Second is that there’s a great window crisis, and people have become desperate enough to steal panes while people sleep.

My work DOES bring me into contact with some folks in Melbourne who own window replacement companies. I mean, I guess I could probably give them a buzz and ask about the situation. I’m just so…taken aback. I awoke this morning to the feeling of a soft breeze on my face. Sounds lovely, but when I sat up in bed, my eyes were drawn to the window. In my hazy, fuzzy mind, I crossed over to the hole in the wall and tentatively stuck my hand through it. No glass. In fact, most of the glass was missing from my home.

You’ll understand if I had to sit down for a little while to try to comprehend why this would even happen, let alone HOW. And now of course I’m going to need a lot of windows, which I suppose I can claim on insurance since they were part of the house. Will they even believe me, though? I feel like I need to actually call someone in Melbourne, timber window replacement are not easy to do properly. I need to get a professional over and get them seen to. Write me a note.

‘I am in the window industry. Can confirm, all of this person’s windows have gone missing. It is very silly and mysterious, but definitely real.’

-Vanessa

Clueless With A Kitten

My kitten, Marice, is getting towards being due for some immunisation shots. At least, I think he is. I don’t actually know how old he is, you see, because I adopted him from a puddle on the side of the road. That was about four weeks ago. He wasn’t newborn at that time, so it’s hard to say for sure how long he’s been around for. I’m also not at all sure of the precise timeline for kitten development.

To be honest, I don’t know much about anything related to having a cat around. All things considered, I’d do well to check in on the subject with at my local vet. Moorabbin must have at least one of those on the go… but seriously, I wouldn’t know. I haven’t had a pet before, unless you count that one time when there was a colony of mice living behind my bookcase and I didn’t have the heart to evict them.

I guess I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for animals in sticky situations. Perhaps the reason I haven’t gone to visit a vet yet is my concern about being judged for taking in a stray kitten without know the first thing about how to look after it. I realise that this is probably irrational, but I can’t help it.

It’s important that I do it soon, though. The other thing I want to ask the vet about is what the story is with desexing cats. Bayside council has made it so that newly registered cats have to be desexed; at least, that’s what my housemate told me. Actually, wait… do I need to register Maurice as well? There’s so much hoop-jumping involved in helping a kitty out!

Alright. I suppose this isn’t going to be all sleepy snuggles and playing tug-of-war with old socks, like I imagined. But I’m happy to do it all for Maurice. He’s worth more than all the money I could ever spend on vet bills!

My Multicultural Palace

One of the major benefits of travelling, aside from the perma-holiday that it is at its core, is coming home with a global knowledge of architecture and building. I decided to build my own house, a lofty goal I know. I bought a cheap plot of land just outside of Melbourne and drew up the plans for my globally inspired dream house complete with a large swimming pool reminiscent of the old bathing pools in Italy. Unfortunately modern building regulations often dampen my dream of sprawling spiral staircases and open aired extensive swimming pools. It looks like I’ll spend my week perusing swimming pool fences, Melbourne apparently has some great options for ways to spruce up pool security and safety. The majority of my friends wanted me to go with glass pool fencing but I wanted to avoid the modern look. The company I was speaking to were fantastic and had an amazing range of pool fencing options so I could really fit it to the look I was going for.

The mosaic tiles on the pool floor would make the entire area look rather delicate and quaint so I felt massive slabs of frameless glass surrounding them would be a little too contradictory for the overall image. I settled on semi frameless pool fencing, Melbourne city isn’t too far from where I am based currently so I was able to co-ordinate everything first hand. The company sent out a pool fencing expert who conducted a free site inspection to come up with a quote. I wish all my building problems were this easily solved. Once the pool fencing goes in I have to go see a man about some fireproof walls. When I told the girls about my decision to go with semi frameless pool fencing they found it hilarious and bought me a pair of semi frameless glasses in an attempt to mock my construction choices.

Prepare for your big day, by getting the pool fences ready

If you and your family want to ensure that your big day goes as smoothly as possible it’s better to have everything planned well in advance. It seems like common sense but trust me when I tell you that most people tend to forget something major  when planning their wedding.

Many times this will mean the catering, the venue and other essentials get overlooked. Always have a checklist that is kept up to date as talks get marked off. If you are having a wedding at home, then safety issues are also important. It’s highly important to make sure that all of your guests, especially children we, are as safe as possible during the wedding, and if you’re wedding is in the backyard, you need to ensure it meets all standards. This is particularly important if you have a pool in your yard.

This point is crucial if you have a pool on your Melbourne property, install a pool fence that meets currently safety standards. This couldn’t be more important when you have a heap of guests mingling in your garden. It’s easy for little ones to get lost in the crowd and forgotten.

This should be dealt with months in advance of the big day. it’s still important to pick out a dress, a suit, and the flowers, but without proper safety equipment that can prevent unwanted access to the pool, you will face much bigger problems.

This can be achieved relatively cheaply and easily with a replacement pool fence, installed by leading experts. Choosing the pool fence is one of the most important aspects, as it also has to match the theme of the wedding, to ensure it’s both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Aluminium pool fences in Melbourne are a popular choice, as they can go with most weddings, and offer a huge amount of safety against neighbour’s children and small dogs whose owners invite them to weddings of their friends. By installing a new pool fence, you can rest assured that your wedding will go as smoothly as possible, and as safely as possible.

Air Conditioning, and…Other Stuff

People die when they are killed, and things explode when they are set on fire.

Video games have taught me many things, but what they CAN’T teach is the taste of cinnamon crunch. Also, air conditioning. All my mates think you can play some game and get really good at air conditioning repair, Canberra residents need some sterner stuff. Used to know a guy who went to fix the air con in Parliament House. He didn’t do it right, because he was running his own business and thought that because he was his own boss, he could do whatever he wanted. Show up late, take four hours to do one little thing…boom. They weren’t happy. And you know what they did next? They got rid of him…permanently…

No, they didn’t. But his business flopped and I’m pretty sure he now lives with his Mum, selling water coolers. Water coolers are fine, but it’s not air con repair. When you fix someone’s air conditioning, you get the look. That look of gratitude. That look that says ‘me and my family, if I have a family, will now survive the summer because of what you have done’. I kind of imagine that’s what it feels like to be a bodyguard jumping in front of a bullet, or like a medieval knight who gallantly rides in on a horse and saves his lord from an ambush of scoundrels. Doesn’t happen every day. Or, like, THAT doesn’t happen every day, but if you do air conditioning services and repairs, then it could happen for you, every day. Constant reinforcement that you’re in the right job, doing good, sowing good things wherever you go, even if that’s Parliament House. They’re making big decisions there. They need Canberra’s finest air conditioning to help them along. Personally, I’d hate the idea of trying to make laws that influence our nation whilst having the sweat rolling down my back. Gross. I can see why people love the air con repair guys so much.

-Louis

Catch-ups and Needles

I finally got around to grabbing a coffee with the crew after my Pilates class this morning. I never seem to have time for that these days, so it was good to catch up on what everyone’s been up to. Shamita, the physiotherapist, told me she hadn’t been at the early morning class for a while – she’s been away doing a bunch of upskilling lately, with a view to opening her own physio practice.

As a massage therapist, I was pretty interested in hearing about this. Shamita said that just last weekend, she’d done a trigger point dry needling course in Sydney. I’d heard of this before – a couple of my colleagues are pretty into it – but I’m not all that familiar with the ins and outs of it. Shamita said she hadn’t been either, prior to doing the course, but now she’s feeling confident to administer the treatment.

I was surprised to hear that dry needling could be picked up over one weekend – I’d expected it to be a lengthier process than that. Shamita did mention, though, that you pretty much need to be trained as a physiotherapist in order to sign up for the course, so I suppose it kind of makes sense that it could be done in such a short span of time.

Anyway, it sounds like dry needling uses a technique that’s kind of similar to acupuncture in terms of the type of needles that are used. Shamita stressed to me, though, that it’s not the same as acupuncture  – it works on trigger points rather than energy meridians. This was interesting for me to hear, because although I have some clients who are all about their regular acupuncture sessions, I have others who are really cynical about it. I probably have more clients of the latter persuasion, which has kept me from investigating dry needling more deeply than I have.

Now I’m thinking that I should have more of poke around into the subject. I wonder what the go is with dry needling training in the Melbourne area? Maybe it’s time for me to invest in some upskilling.

Junkmobile Needs Servicing

My brother, Sergei, is basking in the glow of owning his first car after buying a third-hand van from a mate of a mate a couple of months ago. At least, that was the case until this morning, when the actual reality of car ownership hit home. The junk bucket stopped working somewhere out near Mitcham while Sergei was on his way to have a surf.

This came as a surprise to precisely nobody, except for young S, who had been blithely turning a blind eye to the less desirable features of the van’s condition – I’m talking rampant rust and its disinclination to start. Honestly, I don’t even know how this thing has a roadworthy certificate.

Fortunately for Sergei, there are plenty of car mechanics in Ringwood, and he was able to have the issue taken care of with a minimum of fuss. The problem is that he’s now totally maxed out his bank account – he hadn’t anticipated this brand of expense, and didn’t have much in the way of savings tucked away for the cause.

In my opinion (that of the wise/smug older brother), budgeting for emergency car services is something he needs to come to grips with, especially if he insists on getting around in a van that’s coming apart at the seams. If he doesn’t do this, he’s going to expect me to help him out every time something like this happens, which – let’s be real – is going to be pretty regularly.

Besides that, what’s he going to do when his mobile pile of junk needs urgently fixed closer to home? I mean, in Ringwood, brake and clutch repairs, brake pad replacements and things of that nature can be arranged pretty easily, but who knows what the deal is out where he lives in Nar Nar Goon? I’m sure he’ll figure it all out in his own good time, by which point he’ll probably have upgraded to a vehicle that’s a tad more reliable.