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

Decompression Sickness is No Good

hyperbaric medicineOkay, so, fun fact for everyone. Decompression sickness isn’t fun. In fact, out of all the things that exist, including playing tennis, baking cakes, walking a dog, walking five dogs and fighting in World War II…it’s in the middle, but definitely towards the bad end. Man, just imagine all the times when people were only first scuba diving and they had no idea this thing existed. All those cases of the bends, and they probably thought it was due to diving too deep and getting some sort of weird ocean brain sickness.

People nowadays really have excuse for it, which is why I feel pretty stupid. Just like ‘hey, I’m done, winch me back up double time!’ None of us were professionals, so…here I am! Luckily, hyperbaric medicine in Melbourne is taking off pretty much right now. Never really liked the idea before. Bit claustrophobic, not entirely into medicine that isn’t a man in a white coat writing on a clipboard and clearly telling you what’s going on before there’s a needle in your arm full of delicious, 100% peer-proven science. Apparently white coats aren’t a thing anymore, so…that’s disappointing. Stock photos really do have a lot to answer for.

But in the same vein, I’m having my opinion changed of hyperbaric oxygen chambers. I mean, this is their main function after all. Decompression sickness is their main jam, totally proven and good for what ails you, if what ails is decompression sickness. Which it is. I’m just counting myself fortunate that these chambers are still around in Melbourne. Someone could’ve just said ‘stuff it, nobody gets the bends any more, let’s chuck them out’. And then I’d be stuffed. Probably walking around with a head full of air for the rest of my life. So thank goodness some people thought Melbourne’s hyperbaric chamber scene needed to be enlivened. As it turns out, I’m very grateful.

GOLF. IN. SPACE.

indoor cricket netsFor a long time, people have played with the idea of ‘moon golf’. Obviously in low gravity, golf as a sport can be greatly expanded from its current limitations. Now, our moon colony IS going to have artificial gravity generators, but in the future I can see some scope for creating sport domes with differing levels of gravity, for the entertainment of our moon citizens. Just imagine boxing taking place in zero gravity. Golf, where a single weak swing can send the ball careening into orbit (which would be some kind of foul…maybe we’ll work on that). In any case, like with practically everything ever, we shall be refining and perfecting in our glorious moon society.

Of course, we’ll need all of Earth’s sporting industries. Sports netting will be even more important than ever, lest someone nudge a football, or tap a baseball in the wrong direction. We don’t want them slamming into the dome or hitting any of the spectators. See, everyone is making plans for planting food, governing the new population, childbirth (more complex than you’d think in zero-G), maintaining order and of course founding temples to worship our glorious leaders. But there needs to be more people thinking about the day-to-day details. The hairdressers, the bakeries, the multimedia entertainment, and possibly nightclubs. Jury is out on that one. But sports netting? I don’t think anyone has brought it up as of yet. Not only will the desire for sport continue as healthily as ever, I think it will be even more necessary. We need to maintain muscle mass and get plenty of exercise. People who make indoor cricket nets and tennis nets and even other more obscure kinds- football, for example- will be extremely necessary. After all, every time a football escapes into orbit, procuring a new one might be quite a difficult task, even one requiring a trip to Earth.  Better to preserve resources by making safety nets for our sporting entertainment.

-Tye

Too Many Hairdryers

industrial energy storageIt’s weird how small things remind you of things from way back. Like…smell. What’s with smell and memory? Just the other day I smelt a pie and suddenly I was frozen in place by a flashback to Christmas 1992. The infamous year of the Chicken Pie Dinner.

Maybe it’s just imprinted in my memory because it tore our family apart. Yeah, that’s got to be it.

Not always smell, though. We had a seminar at work today and it was all about commercial energy storage. Apparently people have been using their hairdryers too much. Who knew? Anyway, I’m not completely up on the methods of industrial energy storage in Melbourne, but I couldn’t stop thinking about ‘Green with Energy’. Anyone remember that? This was back in the days when green power and solar energy were still getting big, and they made this really weird cartoon about it. Bit of early propaganda aimed at children, basically.

The animation was horrible and the voice acting sounds like it was performed by amateurs, but there was a charm to the whole affair. There’s also the fact that it WORKED. Like, I still remember all these random facts about solar energy, years later. I can even tell you all about the benefits and downsides to wind power, as well as what commercial energy storage looked like in the eighties. Seems like things have come a long way since then, as you’d expect. People LOVE them, the thought of some green energy, so I wouldn’t be too surprised if they brought the show back for a new generation. They could add a talking electric car and tell everyone about green power. More than ever we need positive role models for children to promote energy responsibility and an end to reliance on fossil fuels.

I mean, commercial energy storage for Melbourne businesses is certainly looking a lot flashier. Enough for all those hairdryers.

Lover of Trees. Hunter of Elk.

tree removal MelbourneAs a natural outdoors-man it didn’t phase me at all when Emma asked me to deal with the overgrown Oak tree at the back of the garden. I’ve dealt with my fare share of hard wood over the years. I’d have to dust off the old chain saw but I’ve been looking for an excuse to get the old girl up and running again. I recently spruced up the motor and got some fresh oil on the chain and she’s good to go. It’s important to trust your chainsaw and understand its rhythm otherwise it could be you that ends up cut in half instead of the tree. When Emma how I handling my saw she immediately told me get in a professional tree arborist. Melbourne wasn’t ready for me to lose my arm she said. She thinks she can scare me out of this but no simple tree stand in my way.

Not after the things I’ve seen. Before I cut the old oak up I wanted to get to know it a little better and understand its natural weak spots to use against it. I spent a lot of time at the back of the garden, I made small marks where I would attempt the cut and blocked out the area in which it would fall. Once Emma saw the preparation I put into the tree removal she got on board with the project. I might even buy her a chainsaw at this rate. I woke up on Sunday and the light was brilliant, that golden hue that is only possible in spring was upon us and what better way to spend the day than with some tree pruning. Melbourne just looks so good in that light and I wanted desperately to see the mighty oak slice right through it. Hard hats on, chainsaw in hand, the time was nigh. The oak came falling down perfectly on the roof of the garage. Emma screaming from the sidelines pretending she never doubted me.

Not the Best Job in the World?

aluminium toolboxI was really happy to get my job, even though it’s pretty basic stuff. I mean, not EVERYONE gets an apprenticeship two days after finishing their plumbing course, so I thought I was getting a pretty good deal. Mostly.

Right?

I’m having doubts. Actually, I’ve been having doubts for a while, but I’ve kept brushing it off, because no one else is complaining, right? But then we went to a barbecue for all the local tradespeople in the area, and they were all showing up with…stuff. Stuff we didn’t have. Utes, for one thing; my boss packs all our equipment into an old Toyota Corolla and makes us carry the equipment on our laps. Theirs were actual utes, with under tray draws and service bodies and all the good stuff. So that was already weird, but then the guys started to talk about their jobs and I begin to realise that maybe…just MAYBE, we had it a bit rougher. The other day we had to deal with a deep excavation problem; a pipe had gotten blocked due to rust on the inside. First off, we had to dig the hole using shovels. So THAT took most of the day. Then, I had to dig out the pipe and replace it…upside down, with the boss holding onto my ankles. Apparently there are more appropriate tools for that sort of thing. And like, other people get paid on time with electronic banking. They don’t wait for three weeks and get the wrong amount in two-dollar coins.

And apparently in Melbourne, aluminium toolboxes are pretty standard. As in, people carry their tools inside the toolboxes, instead of having to make multiple trips back and forth from the car carrying them in our arms while the boss tells us to hurry up.

So, yeah. I’m starting to think I’m not getting the dream experience. Maybe a character-building experience, but I know which one I’d prefer, and it doesn’t involve trying to a replace a pipe while dangling upside down in a dirty hole.

-Angus

Darn Youths, Ruining My Platforms

planks and trestlesKeep your stupid comments in your pocket!

Gah, the human race makes me so mad. All I’m doing is trying to submit my expertise to an online database of experts, and nitpicking nitwits are always coming in and ruining my answers. Fifteen years I spent as a builder, and these YOUNG people think they can outdo my own knowledge. It frustrates me, their foolish comments.

It’s just the internet; shouldn’t bother me this much. The internet is full of twits who are constantly trying to make people think they know what they’re talking about. I mean, who would even think that wooden platforms are superior to aluminium work platforms? Some person said that wooden platforms were ‘retro’, and actually lasted longer than aluminium platforms if you took care of them.

“They don’t rust!” he said, like an idiot. Yes, that’s because they decay and get mould instead. Thing is, his little squad of millennial followers all chimed in like trained monkeys, saying that ‘yeah, they’d heard that before’ and ‘yeah, sometimes the old ways really are the best!’ and ‘yeah, this old guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about’.

How dare they defile this exchange of knowledge, not only with their lies and inexperience, but their sickening overconfidence. I was around when Melbourne transitioned from wooden platforms to aluminium ones. These young people were still in kindergarten when I was setting up planks and trestles, wrestling with bailey ladders.

And they think they can tell ME what the old ways were, and if they were better? Those comments need to go RIGHT back into their pockets, and stay there. If only I knew how to actually develop a strong base of followers, so I could benefit from those sweet, sweet upvotes. Apparently, giving solid advice with competent grammar just isn’t enough.

-Denzel

Renovation: Top Priority

bathroom renovatorsThe first thing I did when we got into this office is look around Melbourne for bathroom renovations. Oh, I wasn’t about to work in here with THAT in the next room, believe you me. I liked the general feel of the office, despite the fact that it was slightly threadbare, but the bathroom? Not good enough. Nowhere close to good enough.

Some people might not have standards quite at my level, but I’m used to dealing with a toilet that DOESN’T have 90% rust coating the inside. I want a sink that actually looks clean rather than bits of it flaking off. And wallpaper is nice. Not much to ask, is it? Exposed brick can be rustic, but if you walked into this bathroom you’d know exactly what I mean. This was exposed brick because no one could be bothered to do anything about it. The icing on this sad cake is that you could hear everything from the other side of the wall, which is…mortifying. Cough gently, and the people working on the other side could hear it, let alone any louder noises. You know the ones.

So that was the very first thing I dealt with. I had a bit left in the budget for that sort of thing, and I didn’t even hesitate. Bathroom renovation don’t sound like the most necessary thing, but I feel like a lot of offices neglect that sort of thing at their peril. People have to use the bathroom. If it’s an awful place, the workplace morale plummets. I even did a bit of research around these offices; asked the PI place next door, and the online marketing place in front of us. Both had nice bathrooms. So at least I had some renovators of bathrooms in Melbourne to call upon, who I KNEW would do a good job. At the very least, the walls needed more padding. A LOT more padding.

-Jin