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

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