Rats and Cats and Spiders, Oh My



A cat!

That last one isn’t so bad, but he keeps coming around and yowling at the door, and I suspect that my daughter keeps feeding it milk, hence why it seems to think it’s getting a feed. I’m not calling in the Sorrento pest control for one annoying cat. I’m pretty sure they’d then turn around and call the RSPCA because of my extreme hatred towards cats, which isn’t a thing, by the way. I’m perfectly fond of them, when they’re not yowling at my door. But the rats and spiders? They need to go. Nothing personal, but I don’t like either, and there’s some kind of infestation afoot. Rats in the loft, which is really bad because it’s where we keep the heirlooms. You know, family stuff. Ornaments, priceless paintings, ancient artifacts and the Christmas decorations. I went up to get them today, because it’s almost December, and I found that the box of baubles just smelled something awful. Surprise…rats had been there, and business had been conducted therein. So now we have to buy new baubles, and if there’s one thing I hate, it’s wasting money where no money should have been wasted.

And then there’s the garden shed, the most terrifying of all the terrifying house problem things. Even more than the cat. There’s an entire colony of small spiders spinning their webs inside, so much so that I can get rid of it and a few minutes later they’ll be spinning again. The spiders have made the shed their very own, and I don’t like it. The shed is my special place. It’s where I ruminate on life and stink about the future of superhero television. It’s a an important place, just for me, and it has been commandeered by horrible critters. Now THIS is a problem for pest control. Rosebud, specifically; I might have already rung the Sorrento people to inquire about the cat thing, and now they think I’m weird. I don’t want them knowing what I look like as well.


Posted in Pests

The Not-So-Secret Brotherhood of the Ocean

It is finally my time. I have been initiated into the secret brotherhood of the ocean, sworn protectors of the darkest secrets, those who build in the shadows, work-people of great renown.

It’s actually a lot more casual than I was expecting. Like…marine welding by Melbourne experts is some of the most serious business. We have techniques that aren’t used anywhere else in the world. Upon learning those techniques, I expected to be sworn to secrecy in a candlelit ceremony, as well as sworn in via a legal document that says I’m not allowed to sell those secrets to other countries lest I lose my citizenship and be sent away in disgraceful exile.

And then I finally get this welding apprenticeship, and everyone’s really chill about it. They’re telling me how to do the job, showing me the ropes, how to weld correctly and safely, and I’m here glancing over my shoulder and wondering if anyone is listening in. You just never know; foreign spies could be just around the corner. In our break-rooms. In positions of leadership. I could BE a foreign spy, sent on a sleeper mission with my memory erased so I gather information without knowing it. And yet, I was taught in a wide-open area and no one really tried to make a secret out of…anything. Apparently this brotherhood of the ocean business was just an in-joke that I happened to hear when I went in for the interview, and actually, the secret ways of welding, snapper racks and plate alloy boats are totally public.

Of course…I’m not THAT stupid. I know that this is all a test, to see if I blab this info around. I’ll show them I can be trusted, that i can defend the marine welding secrets of Melbourne with my life. And then we’ll get to the REAL secret ceremonies and such. I just know it.

Posted in Boating

What’s With Feet?

Humans are a weird species. Not only do we have ultra complicated feet, with loads of tiny bits and moving parts, but we’ve gone and come up with a whole array of oddly-shaped paraphernalia that exists solely (pun intended) to support foot health? I, for one, didn’t realise that there so many invisible attackers waiting to have a go at my feet.

First, there are treatments for tinea – all manner of foot sprays, creams and powders designed to deal with fungi that turn up between your toes. Then there are antifungal socks that prevent it from setting up shop in the first place. There are other socks that stimulate healthy circulation of blood to the feet, and still others that apply compression – it seems these are for use in conditions such as varicose veins and diabetes, and for flying. That last bit brings me back to my initial thought – humans are weird. What else is there to say about a species that can make itself fly, but it’s feet struggle to come along for the ride? It’s just lucky that we’ve got a knack for dreaming up specialised socks.

As if that wasn’t enough, there’s a whole school of various pads and splints fitted to different parts of the foot, to deal with other unwanted guests in the foot department, such as corns, callouses and bunions. Arch support insoles are yet another kettle of fish – these can be customised by a foot care specialist based on individual assessment.

At some point in my life, as much as I work to keep at bay microbial colonies, sports injuries, attacks from stiff new shoes and general wear and tear down there (no, not there… down on the ground), I’m bound to meet with a situation that requires me to sort out some issue with my foot health, and invest in some foot care products. Cheltenham has a foot care specialist that stocks many of the curious items described above.

Posted in podiatry

Entertaining A Toddler For Dummies

Today I woke to a long string of frazzled texts from my sister. Anticlimactically enough, it was just that her babysitter had fallen through and she needed to twist my arm to look after Charlie for the day. You’d think someone with a three year old would have a list of reserve babysitters on hand, wouldn’t you? Anyhow, that’s how I’ve managed to find myself where I am now – glued to my car seat by the snoring toddler on my lap.

Even after I’d finally gotten a coffee into me, I honestly didn’t know what I was going to do to entertain this kid for the whole day. I ended up consulting my good friend, the internet, for recommendations on wholesome activities for young children – ideally, ones that will tire them out. A strong suggestion was to try one of the indoor play centres in Sydney. It sounded good to me, as the put-upon aunty in dire need of another coffee and to catch up on some work.

Turns out, these places are pretty much the business. Instead of worrying about Charlie falling off and/or destroying my antique bookshelf, I can leave her to clamber on some purpose-built play equipment that she can’t pull down on top of her. And instead of having to track her every move at the park, I can let her run riot in a controlled space to which she’s confined by an ID wristband and staff who know how to handle kids better than I do.  

I’ll definately be looking for other indoor play venues for kids around Sydney – you know, for next time sis has a childcare freak-out like she did this morning. My only problem now is that, between my carrying Charlie to the car and sitting down with her across my lap to check my emails, she’s managed to pass out soundly. I don’t want to wake her up, because there’s still four hours to go before she gets picked up. Shh…

Posted in indoor play centre

The Snip Snip Bandits


I’m continually in awe over how Week of Our Lives keeps us guessing, in so many ways that you can’t even guess. The guesswork is strong, especially from my fellow fans on the forum, but clearly our guesswork isn’t strong enough. And their use of practical effects is just sublime, doing so much with so little. Of course, we’re aware that WOOL is on a very low budget, so they have to do what they can with what they’ve got, you know?

Today’s episode was a doozy, since they had to film in a hair salon in St James Place, outside of the usual setting of Realsville. Nandi was doing her internship with a prestigious hair company that owns the whole place, but as it turns out, she went to the wrong salon on her first day of work, and Nandi didn’t even notice because she has a selective colour-blindness and it caused her to misread the logo. This salon wasn’t a salon at all, but instead a secret group of bandits who trained in the fine arts of scissor robbery. They were…the Snip Snip Bandits.

So that was already pretty exciting, but elsewhere in the city, Fergus was going for a special haircut for his audition to join that touring Swedish metal band, Turtle Explosion Symphony. They were scheduled to play at the No-Sense Arena, one of Melbourne’s most prestigious, but their bass guitarist had an unfortunate staircase-wedding-cake incident and was out of commission. Fergus visited a number of salons to see if he could match that iconic Turtle Explosion Symphony look, which eventually led to him a split personality because the hairstyles were THAT good that they made him feel like he was looking at different people in the mirror.

All I can say is that I want to find that hairdresser from Melbourne who did the hair style work for this episode, because wow, they were stunning. I can’t wait to see what happens next!


Posted in Hair

Build-a-Boat, Hooray…

Were I not being sponsored for this, I’d probably just be sitting on the sofa right now. And that’s great and all, motivating me beyond the normal ken of duty or whatever, but I wasn’t actually aware that a Road-Trip-Triathlon was THIS much work. That’s a road trip in three parts, by the way. I already had a bike lying around in the garage, so no problem there. But I’ve had to learn all this stuff about cars, just so I can fix up an old hunk of junk and make them my vehicle of choice. And then there’s the boat. I don’t even want to talk about the boat.

Actually, I will talk about the boat, because I’ve got two days to get it done. It’s just a small number, mostly for fishing. I’ve had to make some friends among Melbourne’s outboard motor repair companies, and not so THEY can fix it for me because that would be breaking the rules. Good news is that I can probably get a job fixing and servicing outboard motors after this, because I’m basically an expert. You may not have heard. I’m pro now.

Just getting a boat that was in bad enough repair for it to be used for the challenge was enough of a headache. The motor had to be non-functional, and the committee wasn’t too pleased that it still had all of its planks in-tact. I guess they really wanted a fixer-upper, kind of like the car and (by default) the bike. But I’ve been working really hard every day to get it competition ready, and I’ve pretty much HAD to because I have to give regular updates on my backer page. Just fitted the anchor winch, whatever that is! The motor is repaired, look at me motoring around! And they’re all sitting on the sofa, probably. NOT learning about outboard motor servicing. Well…if I survive this, I’ll at least have learned a few things.

Posted in Boating

A Place For You to be You

They say some people have a ‘showbiz persona’. Well, technically everyone in showbiz has one, because it’s just the most efficient way to market yourself. Oh hey, it’s the funny guy with the funny voice! Oh hey, it’s the grumpy guy with the deep voice. Stuff like that. But then I think it goes a bit further than that; I think everyone has one, if they have a role the needs them to act a certain way.

Hey, I’m guilty. When I’m running the café I’m probably a bit different to home. I try to keep it genuine, but sometimes when you’ve had a bad day, it gets harder to smile when someone orders a weak-triple-strength soy mocha with cream on the top but no chocolate. Light. Hold the froth. More like hold me back.

That’s just the service industry. I get all kinds in here, and it’s nice to see them relax a bit. Lots of high-end properties around here, so this is sort of a hub for Melbourne’s buyers advocates, actors and the occasional politician. And I like that they get to be themselves a bit, even when they just come to drink coffee or read a book. Like, take a buyers advocate. High-end service professionals, but still. You need to have a professional face for that sort of job, while still keeping things genuine and friendly. It’s a knife-edge balance, and it can be pretty exhausting. I can tell you just from my job, if you’re not a naturally friendly person, you’re going to find it pretty hard day after day to keep a professional air, and no one wants to take home buying advice from someone who snaps and grumps all the time.

Of course, that’s just life. It’s rare that anyone is just allowed to be themselves. But I don’t know…something about coffee and a comfy chair lets people open up a bit. Which is great, because I wouldn’t usually use the service of Melbourne property advocates (bit too high end) but they give great snippets of advice in their down-time.

Posted in Housing

We Need More Cinematic Nihilism

Movies these days are all about positive messages. And that’s really nice and all, but what happened to the good old days of nihilism in cinema? I remember when you used to go along and watch a film, and it’d have a horribly sad ending but it really would make you think. People just don’t think enough nowadays.

The one exception I’ve seen recently was the new DuMesque film, ‘Knife Hopper 4920’. It was set way in the future, where mankind has almost run out of energy and even to do something as simple as boil and egg, you had to get on an exercise bike and pedal for half an hour or so. Everyone was very healthy, but they were also unhappy because they were being forced to exercise.

I feel like we’re heading in this direction today, with our callous attitude towards commercial energy monitoring solutions. It’s all fun and games until we run out of coal and we realise we should’ve been making more wind farms. The only fun and games after that will be the ones without power, like that one game where you roll a hoop down the road and keep it moving with a stick. Boring, I tell you. The world will be a boring place. And even though this film didn’t have a hunky-dory ending, it was still a cautionary tale on our energy monitoring habits. I guess you could say that we need MORE energy monitoring, lest we become complacent. Also, energy storage. In the movie, all the energy storage available was destroyed in a mass farm animal revolt in 3025, meaning that the human race had to rely on batteries. Batteries are terrible, in case you hadn’t noticed. They always run out when you need them most and you can’t tell from the outside if they’re already used up. Just…just the worst. This is why we must strive to improve our commercial energy storage, lest our society fall into chaos and strife. And that’s why film is truly an important medium for communicating the tough messages. Provided they’re not all about believing in yourself, and such tripe.


Posted in Energy

We Need Oxygen Therapy…for Health Reasons

I’m not sure people understand: we NEED all of this oxygen. It’s very important for our continued well-being. For as you see, every member of the esteemed Taylor-Fitzroy-Michaelis family is born with a fault, probably the only one we have. It’s like an acute form of asthma, but quite different, more chronic. Previously we were frail, if strong in mind, hence why we have been allowed to amass our great fortune. But now that oxygen therapy has come into our lives, we are able to live more fully than we have done in the past.

I just thought I would clear that up. The reason we spend so much time in our oxygen chambers is to so with our health, and not, as the rumours so disgustingly state, because we are partially dark beings of the night. Dark beings of the night have no need for oxygen, you fools. Dark beings of the night do not provide their employees with free private healthcare, in order to allay their suspicions!

In any case, the oxygen therapy does the job quite well. I haven’t felt quite so invigorated in many years; feels like I could dance all night after playing lacrosse well into the day. I told Harold that we should be investing in oxygen therapy, since we run out of energy so quickly. Honestly, I think that’s the reason we have to hire so many staff, definitely. They just get weary of catering to our lack of energy, and our habit of being unreachable at the strangest times while we conduct our business. And Harold said that Melbourne’s hyperbaric treatments just weren’t quite up to scratch for our needs. But I think he’s certainly been won over. We have them in our private hospital, and they are all extremely necessary, and for the record, they are definitely for oxygen and nothing else. Our health, you see. Our health is very…unhealthy. So sad. Pity us, despite our great riches and superiority.

Posted in Health

It’s all about the Ice skating lessons

I know this girl. She’s a rich girl, and she goes too far because she knows it doesn’t matter anyway. She can just rely on her old man’s money. Her old man’s money!

Yeah, what a thing. Always breezing into work like she owns the place, even though with her work ethic she’ll never own a thing unless it’s given to her on a silver platter. No, Regina, you can’t just buy more breaks. That’s not really how life works. Why is she even employed anyway?

Things came to a head at the annual work Christmas party, where we ate plenty of junk food and went ice skating afterward, always a fun combination. Regina insisted that she knew how to ice skate, she’d had an instructor since she was 14 and it wouldn’t be a problem except she hurt her ankle. Well, that’s just really unfortunate, right? Except later in the night she apparently completely forgot that she made that excuse (and she never even tried a limp), then decided she’d get out there on the ice skating rink anyway. All that wine probably helped with the process, except for the part when she tried to skate in a basic straight line and smacked into the wall. Might have even broke a nail, which I wouldn’t be too surprised about because those things are enormous and she files them all the time. So that happened, she fell over a few more times, got her perfect hair all mussed up and then blamed it on the wine. Okay Regina, sure, that was the problem.

I just can’t quite believe a human like her really exists. Everything is someone else’s fault, you know how it is…and all her problems can be evaporated with money. Still, when she’s being insufferable around the office, we usually just bring up ice skating. These people can’t stand humiliation. All that money can’t make you forget your lies, Regina. What would your ice skating instructor think? Probably nothing, because he doesn’t exist.

Posted in ice skating