Law-Bot, Make Me a Will

legal will lawyersIn the future, so they say, there will be no need for making a will. Usually, our discussions at the Futurist Club are purely speculative, but this time we were treated to some cold, hard science. Bryce is taking a robotics elective, and he came up with an idea for a robot that can delegate a person’s possessions after they die in a fair way. There are always so many people fighting over that sort of thing, with Melbourne legal will lawyers having to be the mediators, and Bryce thinks this robot could provide the answer. If his robot could provide efficient prediction of when these strange lightning storms are going to hit, I’d be even more grateful, but…never mind.

Opinions were mixed, of course. Bryce generally DOES think everything can be solved with robots, and a certain number of us tend to agree with him. I’m a bit more skeptical, if only because I went to the reading of a will not too long ago, where I was left my Great Uncle Pat’s beloved canoe, The Windy Willow. Little did I know, Aunt Olga had been eyeing that canoe for years, and things sort of escalated until she attacked me with her keys and I ended up with a scar above my left eye.

What I’m really saying is that matters of law are something terrible complicated for your average robot, and perhaps even the advanced robots of today. You’ve got lawyers and attorneys who spend years in school just so they can learn this stuff and apply it with a little bit of human sensitivity, so you’re essentially making a mockery of their efforts to say that you can spend a semester programming a robot that can do their entire job.

Besides, applying law is more than just complex. It’s complex in a uniquely human way, where you have to be a human to really GET it. Best leave that to a property law expert in MelbourneI’m not trying to be robot-ist, or anything (that’s one of the worst things you can be at this club), I’m just stating a fact. 

-Myles

Interesting Windows, Interesting Building

decorate window tintsI’ve always loved the idea of living in a converted church. I mean, it’s not so nice for whoever had to vacate the church, but…hey, maybe they found a big modern building because the congregation became too big. And they left the old, traditional church building, and now I live here! I think it’s the uniqueness of the building that really appeals to me. You can live in some square apartment, or a rectangular house, OR you can live somewhere there’s a huge room for conversion into anything you like, with high ceilings and plenty of history.

And glass. I LOVE the idea of living somewhere that has stained glass. That’s rare nowadays, but there are companies in Melbourne doing decorative window glass, which is very similar. It’s the modern equivalent, you might say. Not that i want to plaster the main room in my home with some kind of circular mural depicting my wonderful exploits…in fact, I’d be happy with just keeping whatever happens to be there in the first place. Stained glass is always so nice, and it filters the light so nicely.

I’m thinking the main hall will be converted into a semi-multi-level room, so the roof stops halfway and there’s sort of an alcove. What goes up there? A bar area, bedroom…or just storage. Depends on the layout of my home in general. There are going to be a lot of decisions to make, and that’s if I even manage to find an old church building for sale.

And if there’s no stained glass, will I get some of my own? I guess if they have the window space for it, I could maybe look into getting some frosted window glass, or something similar. If I’m buying an unconventional space to make a home, I might as well go the whole hog. No sense in being shy when you’re living in a chapel. Only if it’s the right chapel, though…

-Mercy

Overachieving, for Science and Profit

trigger point dry needling courseOverachiever. I cannot believe they had the gall to call me an overachiever. We’re MED students. The whole reason we’re doing this course in the first place is because we’re overachievers, and we wanted to do a job that has long hours, complicated work and plenty of pay at the end. You know…the stuff that overachievers get.

Just because I’m doing a few extracurricular activities doesn’t mean that I’ve flown way off the handle and I’m trying to become some sort of super doctor. That acupuncture course was just because I was curious. Advanced CPR techniques are practically mandatory. Matching blood types with personality…okay, that was a bit out there, but the short course on identifying early signs of lyme disease was totally vital to my well-being, and everyone’s well-being.

And now I have the nerve- oh, the nerve– to book myself into a trigger point dry needling course, because I just think it would give me a more well-rounded medical education if I investigated all avenues of making someone fit and healthy. Does that make me a bad person? Or even a bad future physician? All my med friends are reacting like I’ve signed up for a course in summoning the power of healing crystals via ancient Arthurian spell chanting, which is terribly closed-minded of them. I got a lot out of the acupuncture course, and dare I say, I had quite the keen hand for it, so I’m hoping dry needling is going to be another speciality. It’s going to be big in a few years, and I’ll have the head-start, leaving all my other doctor friends in the dust as they scramble to clamber on the bandwagon.

Well, shame on them for not realising it sooner. There are still dry needling courses scheduled for Melbourne with spaces, but they’re filling up fast. Maybe they’ll get past their view of me as a teacher’s pet and see the light. Or maybe they’ll just get some kind of sporting injury that current medical science is powerless to correct. And then I’ll humiliate their narrow-mindedness by dry needling the heck out of those injuries.

-Rhonda

Consider the Coconut…for the Kitchen

custom designed kitchenSometimes I consider the coconut, and how people around the world think about their homes very differently. Like, that’s just a thought that crosses my mind a lot. Probably because I have a really long commute, so I use…let’s say 50% of my phone charge looking at memes. The battery steadily drains during the day, and then I leave work and I only have like 10% left, and that’s for emergencies, or if I get tagged in a really spicy meme, so I have to conserve it.

Work is really strict about us charging our devices, so basically I end up every single home commute staring out the window and thinking about stuff.

Like coconuts. And homes, which are sometimes made of coconuts, because you can make everything with coconuts. So let’s say you live in Hawaii, and even though it’s now a modern and industrialized society, you happen to live in that one semi-Amish community that likes to live like it’s 1565. Sort of. They still clearly have modern amenities like a custom designed kitchen, because there are people who come into your thatched hut to do that sort of thing. It’s a very modern, progressive Amish community. Take the good bits of the modern world, like renovations and such. And of course, it’s all just coconuts, because there’s not too much to work with and you already had the floor laid with a rather attractive palm leaf pattern. Plus, coconuts on the floor of the kitchen is just silly. You’d be trying to make traditional soup and roast lamb on a spit, and you’d be tripping over coconuts every time you went everywhere.

No, I’m thinking these kitchen makeovers would have stuff like…custom-made coconut sinks. Coconut hangers, for the hanging of things. And that’s about it, because I don’t design kitchens for a living and I’m not made of ideas. I mean, I think there are kitchen renovations in Moorabbin. They’d be the ones to ask. Probably not many coconuts used in kitchens around here though, just saying.

-Marla

The Girls With Hair of Steel

South Melbourne hairdresserI’m seriously considering taking a hair course, just for my daughters. Oh, I’ll do it…don’t you think I won’t. It’s not my fault they ended up getting the Enderby genes (NOT my side of the family, thank you very much) and now they’ve both been cursed to grow up with hair like metal wire. The one mercy is that it looks lovely once it’s brushed, but that process can take up to an hour, and that’s not including washing time with a special shampoo that is rather cruelly named ‘Guantanamo Frizz’.

Oh, ha ha, funny copywriting people.

I think as they get older, we’ll need to take them to the salon more and more for all kinds of things, so I’ll probably save money in the long run. Well, maybe. I’m sure there’s a reliable South Melbourne hairdressing place just around the corner with a lax policy towards standing orders and regular customers. And if you knew my Raya and Charlotte, then you’d think they were already known to the hairdressers of Melbourne anyway. Those girls with the nice red hair that also happens to be strong enough to use as a garrote. I suppose they could always put that talent to use if they want to become lady assassins.

So, my choice is to take a hair course and learn to untangle these stubborn tresses, or find a hairdresser somewhere who’ll take pity and give us some pity rates. There’s no official ‘hair untangling’ service listed in most windows, so maybe it’s not as expensive as I’m thinking? Maybe they just whip out the special, heavy-duty brush that all salons have lying around, run it through a few times, use some of their training to work out the kinks and do it in a quarter of the time. I don’t know if I have the dexterity for something like that. Maybe it really is a job for Melbourne’s hair salons and their untangling expertise. OR…I could convince Raya and Charlotte that pixie-cuts are totally in.

-Debbie

The Power Rangers Learn About Play Center Safety

indoor play centre in PerthIt’s not every day that you see an episode of ‘Power Rangers’ that takes place entirely indoors, but sometimes to save on funds you need to do an episode with a bit of cabin fever.

Well, it’s a show for kids, so less cabin fever and more…’cabin slightly higher temperature than usual’. You know, everything kept child-friendly. As one of the few adult fans who realises the true appeal at the heart of Power Rangers, the educational drama that depicts some park rangers with powerful quads trying to make the world better place.

This week the rangers were hiking through Perth- as one does- and they found themselves trapped in an indoor play centre near Perth by a freak hailstorm, as are common in that part of the world. The hail was predicted to fall for hours, so the rangers decided to put on an educational show for all the children in the place, as they often do. Then they realised that inside a play centre and not outside, a lot of their survival skills don’t really apply. They couldn’t build a fire, because it was indoors. They couldn’t teach how to responsibly get rid of waste, because it was inside (and there were facilities for that anyway).

That was when the evil Pita Repulsive (that’s the villain, a woman who sadistically tries to convince people to bring pita bread on camping trips, thus causing them to consume bad carbs and produce environmentally-unfriendly rubbish) arrived on the scene and tried to convert all the kids to her evil ways.

But as it turns out, this was also a birthday party venue, Perth’s finest, meaning that there was cake and finger food to go around and no one was forced to eat any pita bread. Even though they were forced inside the play centre by the weather, everyone had a jolly good time, and the day was saved. Hooray!

Even adults can learn from this wise wisdom.

-Howard

That Gardening Smell

driveway rock toppingRavioli, ravioli, give me the fresh cannoli.

That’s what I keep telling Mum, but she always pulls them right out of the oven, so all the delicious smells waft all over the house, and then smacks my hands when I try to take them. They’re for the family, she says. I have to wait until everyone arrives, AND we’ve had the first course. What a tyrant.

The smell of freshly-made cannoli is one of my favourite things as well, alongside mown grass and vanilla-scented candles. In fact, I just like gardening in general. The Hawthornes next door are having some landscaping work done, mostly driveway toppings. Berwick has quite a racket going on for that stuff, so I often pass by places having their hedges trimmed, or fresh concrete laid for a driveway…and oh boy, it’s great. The Hawthornes don’t actually know it, but sometimes I just like to sit on the other side of our front fence and inhale the wonderful smell of gardening and industry. You know how some people are really visual, so they go to art galleries, and some people are aural, so they go to music concerts? I’m like that, but with smell. Nothing weird, I just really like nice scents, sort of like everyone likes the scent of a candle, except I seek them out instead. There’s nothing quite like the smell of crushed rock in the morning. And I will literally go down to the garden centre and drink in the scent of all the garden products. That place is just SO rife with goodness. Building supplies are similar…although it’s really the smell of the garden that has the edge.

This may sound a little bit weird, but really, it’s just pleasant. Maybe I should’ve been a garden landscaper or some such thing. Then I could drive along every day to somewhere like Cranbourne, garden pavers being my target. I’ll load up my ute with stone pavers, lay them down somewhere, turn up the earth, and be surrounded by the lovely scents of garden work every day. Then I wouldn’t even give a second thought to stupid old cannoli.

-Lui

Lemurs With a Taste for Metal?

roof racks and barsLemurs!

Just…lemurs, everywhere. I don’t even particularly like taking jobs in Keymore; never have. Creepy place. Everyone smiles like they know something you don’t, and too much stuff happens there, like it’s a weird magnet. Thought things would be better when they replaced the old mansion with the school, but now the school has shut down.

Still, the lemur sanctuary sounded like fun. It’s on the edge of the town as well, so it doesn’t seem to have been sucked in by all the weird, even though a lemur sanctuary is pretty weird in and of itself. Well, not until I was servicing the heating and a few of them escaped, getting into my ute and just clean chewing through the roof racks and bars. The folks there were almost too apologetic, so that was nice. Still…wow. Those racks were made of solid aluminium. What exactly are they feeding those lemurs, that it takes them less than half an hour to bit their way through solid metal? Are the visitors even safe??

No one has been bitten yet, they say. And they’re paying for me to have new roof racks and bars fitted, plus some extra under tray draws for my trouble. So that’s fine; the people running it seem like good people. I’m just thinking about what it would’ve been like to watch a handful of escaped lemurs climb on top of my ute and just gnaw their way through one of the toughest things on it. Like it was a challenge.

I was lucky that I wasn’t using them that day, AND that I’d brought in my toolbox to fix the heating, or they might’ve gotten inside. The people there said that the lemurs like to steal things, and then also chew them. So that’d be my gas bottle holders or aluminium accessories being used as chew toys, and I’m pretty attached to them. They need someone to fix the enclosures…preferably with titanium and bullet-proof glass.

-Jamal

A Holiday is All in the Mind

custom design wallpaperThey always say, if you can’t go on holiday, bring the holiday to you. I was reading the latest issue of Miser Monthly, and they advised having a ‘Home-Liday’, which is where you take a general break, do home-related things and don’t have to travel anywhere. It was, in fact, their number 1 tip for saving money in 2018, and it was quite the revelation. Why bow to societal pressure and GO somewhere? I just had my first home holiday, and it was great.

Of course, I did spend a little bit of money…on wallpaper. I just don’t have a massive imagination you see. I can’t just stay at home and slip into holiday mode, so I invested in some custom design printed wallpaper for the spare room. That was a stroke of genius on my part, since usually, I have no reason to actually go into the spare room. Thus, sitting in there with my tropical wallpaper for an hour each morning on my holiday, in a room that you might say was vaguely unfamiliar, just meditating on beach-related things? It was the perfect thing to get me in the groove. New environment, new habits…it was just like being on holiday, except at home. And I’ve been meaning to transform the spare room in some way. Mum always says when she visits that the walls are too bland. Now they’re plastered with the image of Hawaii. Maybe. Somewhere tropical and nice.

Oh, and of course I made extra sure not to do anything normal. I got up later, had different, more elaborate things for breakfast, and every single day I went on a day-trip to somewhere in Melbourne where I wouldn’t usually go. You know…those places you never actually visit until someone from out of town comes to stay, and then you wonder why you never went to that ladder museum, or lemur sanctuary.

Honestly, I feel as refreshed as if I’d been at the Gold Coast for a week, and for a fraction of the price. The designer wallpaper was the catalyst, of course. Couldn’t have gotten in the right frame of mind without it, and it was a worthy enough investment. Especially when I could’ve been splashing out on plane tickets and hotels and overpriced beach coffee.

-Maurice

Meals on…Boards?

anchor winch repair MelbourneI’m starting to think that ready-meals targeted towards people who live on boats is a bad investment. The only reason I even went for this idea in the first place is because I know a couple, they just move into a house-boat and they said it’s a nightmare trying to cook healthy meals every night. My mind immediately sprung to them living in one of those little fishing boats with a little hut in the middle. So enough room for MAYBE a blow-up bed, and they just kept their clothes in boxes around the rest of the boat, hoping every day that it didn’t rain.

Then they had me over and it turns out that a house-boat is literally…a boat on a house. That’s generally what it means in Melbourne. Outboard motor services are around for when you want to take your HOUSE and move it a bit. That sounds absolutely mad. Why isn’t everyone jumping on this whole ‘house with an outboard motor’ idea??

Also, my friends were actually talking about how work stops them from getting back at the same times, which means that it’s always one person cooking for themselves and they’re not sure how to make it work. So…right. I mean, that’s fine. I do now have ten-thousand ready-meals, targeted at people who traverse the high seas and don’t have the ability to cook. They’re mostly made from dried vegetables and a special type of plant found in Albajeria that can be seasoned to taste like anything, almost. Basically, you just scoop a bit of saltwater into it and the meal cooks itself.

I wonder if anyone will still go for it? Melbourne marine anchor winches and such are pretty booming. People are on the ocean all the time, so perhaps they need some of my saltwater vittles. I could still be onto something! Just…not something for anyone with an actual kitchen.

-Kyle