Author: admin

Changing the game with toolboxes

ute toolbox MelbourneThe sprites in my game are up to something. I never should have given them the power of aluminium accessories. You remember how I introduced different materials with their characteristic features? At the time I was pleased that the tradespeople of my RPG game have started up their own guild. It is more of a union at this point.

The tradespeople are refusing to work, basically. I intended to create a more self-sufficient and industrious society by gifting them with materials of varying properties, but I am not sure this is progress. I was hoping they would build up their city, creating functional places to work, live and play. Instead, they have fashioned their materials into tools of protest.

Their massive utility vehicles, which I thought would be perfect for transporting materials to building sites, are being used to block off entire sections of the city. Who knew they would work out a way to haul equipment in the ute toolbox. Melbourne has had it’s own issues with unions; it rarely works out well for the people of the city.

The tradespeople are now demanding more pay and better conditions. They want their a two-day weekend instead of a single day of rest, which I thought was quite generous. Do they not understand that if they do not build, they will have nowhere to rest on their days of leisure? There is something wrong with the logic of this game world, perhaps I should add something to their water to reduce dissent and increase their thinking prowess.

I am not sure what to do at this point. I have been contemplating changing the code so that they no longer have access to vehicles with roof racks and bars, but even I cannot anticipate the effect this would have on their fledgling society. Something must be done, but what? They need my intervention, and I cannot exactly put them on pause while I deliberate over the best course of action. From my perspective, there is no good way to deal with this; hopefully I can find a solution which causes the least amount of disruption to the game.

Finally, the Office Gets Some Inspiration

motivational business speakerWell, we made it in the end. Somehow.

I’m not really…well, not really the most motivated person around. I became the boss because the old one couldn’t take the pressure of motivating people any more, and the office has just been coasting along ever since. Nobody leaves, nobody gets hired, and we get the job done adequately enough so we’re all just still here. There’s no discipline, no real drive to be any better. And yeah, a lot of that is on me, being the boss and all! Even my PA spends most of her time reading trashy romance novels and only half-heartedly trying to hide it. I can see her reading, right now, from my office. It’s a bit unsettling, those facial expressions she makes.

But I finally managed it! We’ve got a motivational business speaker coming into the office, and I barely had to lift a finger! So I was out for coffee with a friend on the weekend, and I told him my plight. I tend to tell this friend a lot, mostly because he works in an office building where stuff actually gets done and I like to live vicariously through his experience. Anyway, I was bemoaning how no one ever does anything, and how we’ve been meaning to get in an inspirational speaker for months but no one can be bothered to actually get on it.

And then he just looks at me and says that he’ll do it. Five minutes on the phone, and he glared at me the entire time, like he’s finally got sick of all my complaining. Honestly, I totally understand that reaction. But hey, it worked! We’ve finally got someone in to talk to the office about inspirational office things, and I didn’t have to DO anything. It’s really the only way this could’ve happened.

So I guess that’s the ultimate problem solve: moan to your friends, and they’ll sort out all your issues. Wait, that sounds terrible. Never mind, I’m sure a session with an esteemed Australia conference speaker will sort us out. I’m hoping, anyway…


Christmas Shopping for a Home…

Hoo boy, Christmas shopping. That amazing love-hate activity that makes me feel both joy and immense stress. It’s the time of year when everyone is expected to act all different, because just because we celebrate something on one specific day, it means we have to spend the preceding month both showing goodwill towards our fellow man and ALSO getting stressed about buying stuff.

Okay, that was a bit of a rant. I do love me some Christmas, but I don’t love dealing with Ryan’s in-laws. They’ve got a bit of money, so they can’t see why we’re renting instead of buying and it’s impossible to explain to them why we’re holding off. Oh, but they’re a bit older, so they know EVERYTHING.

Ryan even said something about them getting us (for Christmas!!) a buyers advocate. Melbourne is ripe for home-buying at the moment, says Stephen! Thanks, dad-in-law. That’s not really our problem with the whole thing, but I think by getting us a buyers advocate they’re going to force our hand. Like, ‘here’s a person whose job it is to find you a nice house! Because we think that’s what you need to be happy, even though you’ve repeatedly said otherwise! And it’s Christmas, so it’s not like you’re going to say NO!’

I keep telling Ryan to talk to them, but he’s such a coward when it comes to his mother. A real matriarch, is Marie, and she knows it. I’m not the domineering type, so we don’t butt heads as much as you’d think. Mostly I just roll my eyes behind her back when she comes in and tries to take care of the kids or shoves me out of kitchen, but this time I feel like it really IS time to put my foot down. Refusing a gift is tough, but I hope they don’t take it the wrong way.

The day may come when we search out Melbourne for property advocacy of our own, but not this Christmas. This Christmas, I’ll be happy with some socks. Or maybe a calendar.


Distracted By Ladder Platforms, Totally

aluminium work platformsRemind me to never click on links sent by Clara. I really didn’t need to watch Babe I’m Gonna Sip Your Cup again. It’s basically the worst internet prank of all time…no idea what Ricky Ghastly thinks of his innocent song being abused in such a way.

Oh, Clara. You’re such an office prankster, thinking you’re so clever all the time…when actually, you’re the reason none of us are getting any work done. I know she’s all buddy-buddy with the boss, which is why she wasn’t totally and utterly fired for the incident last week. Client needs to source some aluminum work platforms from Australia somewhere. I think Sydney? Doesn’t matter. We were told that was what the client needed, so we snapped to it. Clara says she’ll take the task of organisng the mobile work platforms in the Monday meeting, which I thought was odd at the time. Clara doesn’t volunteer for anything, ever, because she’s a slacker who just wants to make the office experience ‘fun for everyone’, which is what she said the first time I confronted her about all this. It’s all lies. All lies, Clara. I see through you like a person reads the first trick in a book.

That wasn’t right. But you get it.

So we have Clara, now all interested in aluminium platforms and the joy they bring. I was suspicious, so I decided to do a bit of shadowing that day. Surprise, surprise, Clara didn’t care about aluminium platforms at all! She was actually just wanting to chat up a guy from the company, sitting there with her beautiful eyelashes fluttering, fingers twirling around the phone cord except when she was tucking her hair behind her ear in that adorable way that she does that makes me so…

Yes, anyway. It ended up being ME ordering the planks and trestles, because Clara just can’t do her job. I just watch her constantly, sitting at her desk, doing her nails, looking gorgeous…why does she have to be so gorgeous? Some of us are trying to work around here!


Waiting for the Termite Verdict

Frankston termite inspectionsIs it bad that I hope my work building falls down? Not that I HATE my job or anything, but we just got a week off and I couldn’t be more chuffed. No one’s hurt, the building is getting renovated from that drafty mess that it used to be and the boss is really sad but he’ll get over it. It’s not like I’m hoping that the Frankston pest control people fail or anything.

Not at all. Nope.

Maybe a little bit. Hey, pest control people do a good job, but they’re not miracle workers! It happened with my Uncle Seb’s place: infected with termites for months, and he just thought that it’d sort itself out. No problem, right? Then part of his roof caved in and he knew he’d made a big mistake. It was too late to save his cabin, so it basically became kindling.

I don’t really know how we all missed it, to be honest. The place was all wood panelling from the 70s, really cheap stuff that let in the cold wind and heated up in summer like nothing else. You’d think someone would’ve seen a little termite head poking through and thought…hmm, should probably say something about that. Apparently they’re sneakier than I thought, because the problem was pretty serious by the time we all got kicked out to make room for the exterminators.

So yeah, week off work! And maybe, if they decided it’s too much, we’ll be moving to a new building. That’s what the company needs, anyway: a big shakeup to cure all the droning monotony down here in sleepy Frankston. The termite control people must be finishing up soon…guess I’ll see what they say. Crossing my fingers for a complete collapse, though…for the good of the company!


What Went Down in the Play Centre

childrens play centre You guys, it happened again, I’m SO triggered this time, seriously. For one thing, they just swept the whole fishmonger thing under the rug and pulled the ‘evil twin’ schtick. Ugh, even I saw that coming. I (yes, ME) was on the verge of quitting Week of Our Lives for a few weeks until they managed to sort out the tangle, but then they dropped a bombshell at the end of the premiere. Mm, I just have to keep watching!

So, they had the party at the kids birthday party venue, Croydon’s finest, which I thought was weird because WOOL takes place in a fictional town. I guess Realsville just doesn’t have its own play centre. What do Croydon’s actual play centres feel about a fictionalised version of themselves being represented on screen? Maybe they got filming permission and actually shot it on location, but then some crazy drama went down in there. It’s not like that’d make people want to use a birthday party venue for their children. Hmm, maybe there’s a lawsuit in the works. Or maybe in the next episode they all go BACK to the play centre and iron out their differences and everyone has a good romp in the ball pit and all is indeed well.

Yeah, so, anyway…Hiro was sweeping the floors once the place had closed, because that’s his job, when he was approached by a shadowy figure. As literally the only foreign person in Realsville I’ve always wanted Hiro to get his own storyline, and sure enough, this is it. The cloaked figure was…his long lost uncle! Who in their native Japan is the emperor of a massive empire of indoor play centres! Croydon was a test for the company in Australia, with Hiro sent in as a sleeper agent without even knowing.

Will Hiro take up his destiny to entertain children across Australia? Will Hannah ever reconcile with the fact that her mother was turned into a seagull by an ancient curse? What’s up with Anita growing back her severed limb? And what do the Croydon indoor play centres actually think of this in real life?

I have to keep watching. I just…ugh, HAVE to.


Don’t Weld at Home…

fishing rod holdersI’ve just had an AWFUL idea for a book, so bad it’s just SO good. It’s 2016, people love a bit of satire that’s actually just disguised failure. What’s the law? Godwin’s? Maybe. Questions for later.

My idea was Welds Gone Wrong, with amateur welders in their garages taking on all kinds of giant projects that really require a professional. Then they take pictures of how much they failed, send them in and people think we’ve compiled this hilarious fail compilation, when actually…um, no, that’s exactly what we’ve done. I couldn’t sworn there was satire in my original pitch somewhere…

Um, anyway, I think there are companies that do marine welding in Melbourne that could partner with us, so we could have an ‘idiot at home’ page contrasting a ‘professional on the job’ page. Yeah, that’s the way we do it. Welding gone wrong, except when it goes right. Out of all the DIY tasks, I feel like welding is one of the few that you should never just pick up and give a try. That’s real fire right there, hot enough to melt metal (that’s what it does), and not something to just play around with. That people use blowtorches for cooking still astounds me. Oh, we can include cooking in the book! Here’s how MY terrible meringue became utterly terrible after I applied a cooking blowtorch, and here’s a smiling, perfect-toothed professional chef with their amazing baking creation. Blowtorches for cooking, phew…

Yep, it’s a solid plan alright. I just need to get down to the docks and see how the marine welders do their thing, so that we can start spreading the word for pictures and stories of people doing it badly. We can leave out the injuries, perhaps, but there should be plenty of material without any of that. Welding can just go do very wrong, I’m surprised that no one has yet thought of this. Like, ‘here’s my fishing rod holder that I really should’ve had professionally made, because now all it’s good for is being a museum exhibit in an exhibition of charred metal!’. That sort of thing.


Bacon, Dog Walking and Proper Technique

My 25th is coming up, and all I really want is a statue of myself made of bacon. I’m willing to concede that it may only be half my actual size, but I’m not a really big person so it’s not a big ask, personally, that’s what I personally believe. Bacon is an extremely malleable meat, basically paper in the form of a delicious culinary treat. There’s a great rap song in there, somewhere, oh yeah.

Man, I’ll be taking Jalopy for a long walk the day after my party though! Got to walk off all that bacon. In fact, it’s my firm belief that my border collie is the sole reason I’m not a giant fat lump, because she needs two good walks a day, and we’re talking hills. Dang, I could be a walker of dogs. A person who walks dogs, for a profession. What do we call that here in Melbourne? Dog walker, that’s it. I could be a top class dog walker, what with how far Jalopy needs to run before she’s satisfied, and I’ve worked off all that bacon.

Well, I say ‘satisfied’, but that’s more of a relative term. My active collie has only ever been tired out once, and that was when I took her to international Collie Day at the botanical gardens. 9:30 in the morning to 6pm in the evening she played with other dogs, while most of us just sat there drinking coffee and swapping stories about our little bundles of energy. She slept the whole way home, and then I had the audacity to ask her if she wanted a walk this evening. In a historical moment, she looked at me through half-closed eyes and went back to sleep. Not today, thanks!

Alright, maybe tiring a collie out is a dog walker requirement. Like, it’s what they ask you at the official Melbourne Dog Walking board of important people. Yes, your gait looks good, but…have you tired out a collie? You have? Oh, well, hired!


Three Types of Corporate Functions Made Fun with Ice Skating

function rooms MelbourneGetting your team out of the office is a great way to build motivation and togetherness. The trouble is organising an event that is going to elicit enthusiastic grins rather than yawns and eye-rolls. For companies looking for places to hire function rooms, Melbourne has ice skating rinks that provide a unique experience for your team. Here are three different ways to do corporate functions that are fun and won’t put your staff to sleep. Take your team out for a day of activities at an ice skating rink and see their motivation and confidence soar. Even if your team don’t know how to ice skate, their experiences while learning to skate build self-esteem and bring them closer together. Organised activities such as bumper balls, obstacle courses and ice hockey get your team thinking in new ways and benefiting from the competitive environment. These activities are as fun and rewarding for adults as they are for the kids.

Take your staff to a training day at an ice skating rink for a unique and memorable experience. Staff benefit from being in a new environment during training days, because it gives them a sense of enthusiasm and openness. Whether you want to hold your activities on or off the ice, ice skating rinks prove you the option of utilising a function room without skating, and simply enjoying the special backdrop of the rink. What better way to spend your Christmas party than at a skating rink surrounded by ice. Escape from Melbourne’s sweltering summer weather and seek refuge in the cool enclave of the ice skating rink. Here you’ll get a taste of what it’s like to enjoy a ‘white Christmas’ while enjoying your end of year celebrations with your staff, showing your appreciation for their hard work and rewarding their efforts with a memorable time.

Styling to get top dollar

Melbourne interior stylistSelling our home has been a bit of a nightmare, and I’m willing to admit it’s mostly my fault. We’re finally downsizing, twenty years after the children have moved out and all have families of their own. Harold and I have talked about it for yonks, but it wasn’t until I caught him trying to drive his mobility scooter up the stairs that we decided that perhaps we needed a nice, one-floor bungalow type place with minimal garden space to look after. We’ve even got our eye on a nice little place on the edge of Keymore, owned by Deirdre Dawes. She’s clinging to life right now, the old sausage, but once she throws in the towel we’ll be right on the place in a flash.

The thing about Harold and me is that between the two of us, we tend to forget most things. With the small fortune we’re getting from this massive place compared to where we’re moving, we thought we’d splash out a bit and look around Melbourne for an property staging stylist, just to give the place a bit of a kick. We haven’t done much decorating, and we want to fetch a nice price for it so the grandkids can go to college without having to worry about the government slashing their funds. So we got a stylist to make the place look a little bit grander, dusting the windows and maybe replacing the door handles with some even nicer door handles. It was MY idea, I’ll add, which is why it quickly became embarrassing that I forgot who this person in my home was and told them they can clamp up and take their opinions on my own home somewhere else. Maybe it was simple forgetfulness, or perhaps I’m more house-proud than I thought, but I’ve chased three interior home styling designers from Melbourne out of the house this way and I think we’ve earned ourselves a black mark in the industry. Oh, I just get so worked up if they tell me the grandfather clock should be moved to the hallway, or that the stained glass in the kitchen makes the place look dark. It’s my place, I’ll do what I want! Then Harold tells me that we hired these people specifically to alter the house and make it more appealing. That’s what home staging is all about. Perhaps next time we get one of them in, I’ll go for a long walk..