Blocked Office Drains

I’ve just bought a new office space for my business. We’re expanding which is fantastic but I couldn’t afford both a large space and a space with high quality fixtures, fittings and plumbing.  So I opted for a large space so that I can fit all my new employees into the building. I do have the option to let them work remotely, but I’d prefer to make sure they are actually doing the work.

Upon my first inspection of the new building, it became clear that I probably shouldn’t have chosen against high quality plumbing. Because of this decision, I’ve had to pay for a drain repair. Around Melbourne, most offices have a standard of quality that must be adhered to, and unfortunately, my plumbing wasn’t up to scratch. It was a costly decision on my part.

I’ve done my due diligence and fixed all the plumbing issues in the building. My employees will have to deal with subpar fixtures and fittings until the next financial year, but at least the plumbing and drains are all good. I could only imagine their faces on the first day if they walked into the new office, only to be faced with the fact that the blocked drains need fixing. Northcote is an expensive part of Melbourne and so my employees expect to be looked after. I definitely want to look after them, I just wish that I hadn’t sacrificed the plumbing for a large space when I originally purchased the building. 

Now that all the changes have been made, I’m ready for my employees to return from remote work. It’ll be good to see them all again after so many months working from home. It gave me time to upgrade our office space, which I hope we get many years out of. Here’s to the future!

One last thing, if you’re like me and looking to buy a new building please learn from my mistakes and save yourself some money.

Posted in Drains

Renovating Storm

Moving down to Melbourne was a good idea. I’m happy to admit that now that everything’s been moved into into the house and the stress has started to wear off – I’m actually starting to feel quite relaxed.

Be assured that I’m planning to milk that state for all it’s worth while it’s available, given that Jerome officially has his sights set on a designer kitchen renovationto be carried out over summer. That’s sure to be yet another cause for rising cortisol levels. If I can help it, though, it won’t be anything near as hectic as this move has been.

In light of that, I’m thinking I should probably start getting involved in throwing around renovation concepts now, before Jerome spearheads the mission by recruiting some random to do the job (as is his wont). What we need is a certified kitchen designer, not a well-meaning DIY enthusiast Jerome got chatting to at the bust stop.

I’m going to do my research and hunt down the very best company for kitchen renovations. Melbourne readers, do you have anyone to recommend? Basically, I want someone who’ll not only get the design right, including all the features we need (kitchen storage solutions are my main area of interest) but also install the new kitchen with precision. I definitely don’t want a repeat of that cabinetry situation a few years back.

It’s lucky that it’s just the kitchen that needs work. Overall, the interior design and construction of the house is pretty darned good, considering what we paid for it. Honestly, we could get away with leaving the kitchen as is – that’s if Jerome was willing to slightly lower his ‘home entertaining’ standards and accept slightly less style than he’s accustomed to.

Look, I’m actually happy that Jerome has such high standards. It means our house is consistently on point. I just wish he’d take a breather every now again with the whole home makeover thing.

Posted in Renovations

Surprise Parcel

I just got an unexpected parcel in the mail. I couldn’t tell who it was from, and I still don’t know. I kind of wish I’d thought to make an unboxing video before I opened it, because it was quite a surprise and I reckon my reaction would have been quite amusing.

So, what was inside? I’ll tell you. It’s a… well, I don’t know what to call it, actually. It’s a sort of soft, padded ottoman, but small – about the size of a four-slice toaster. It’s covered in brown velour, and has a pouch that looks like it’s meant for your feet to go in. There’s also a cable to plug it into a power point. I’m guessing it’s some kind of electric foot massager, possibly with a warming function, that you can wear on your feet while on the couch.

Who would have sent me such a thing, though? I did ask a few people about recommendations for podiatry services, Cheltenham being pretty new to me, but I ended up finding a clinic without too much hassle. It wasn’t like I was banging on and on about it, but maybe someone took my foot care enquiries as a cue to send me this weird piece of paraphernalia.

Why isn’t it in a box, though? At least, not the original box. It almost makes me think that someone’s regifted it. My sister, perhaps? I guess she could be playing a prank on me. But what if it was some well-meaning acquaintance, passing on their used foot massager? Nice gesture, but what if they have fungal nails, unbeknownst to them? What if they know they have toenail fungus, and they’ve sent me this out of spite?

What am I supposed to think here? Should I give this thing a spin, or promptly dispose of it? It would help if there was some clue on the packaging, any clue as to the sender’s identity, but there’s nothing to speak of.

Maybe I can just give it a little try, with socks on.

Posted in podiatry

Mother Please

My mum is such a drag. She literally has no concept of what’s cool these days, and she keeps trying to force her fashion sense on me. Like you can even call it fashion – I mean, when was the last time she went on Splice? We’re talking about someone who still reads print magazines – it’s so old-school, but not in an ironic way.

She says that this whole vintage shopping thing is a phase, but it’s not. The 90s will never die because they’re so lit. Mum was supposedly around for that decade – as far as I can see, the best one ever – but I can’t see any evidence of that. I mean, she’s not lit. She doesn’t even think bucket hats are cool. Bucket hats. They’re, like, the ultimate look, but she can’t see it. I guess if you were there the first time around, it might be harder to fully appreciate the reboot, but come on. We all know that the reboot is 110% cooler than the actual thing.

Speaking of boots, she tried to get me to try some on the other day – not 18-holes or anything, just some boring black leather ones that she said were ‘classic’ and ‘timeless’. She also wanted me to get this matching leather slouch bag. Buy it for me if you want, mum, but there’s no way I’m going to wear that stuff anywhere, except maybe to a funeral. She actually expects me to wear this stuff to school; can you believe it?

Finally, we were able to compromise on a brown leather slouch bag that I thought was kind of Courtney Love meets Kate Moss at Woodstock circa 1997. I didn’t even want her to buy me anything, but she wouldn’t shut up about it. Well, there was one thing I kind of actually wanted, which was a clear plastic bum bag that glows pink under blacklight. But she was all, “When are you going to be under black-lights? Are you sneaking out to go clubbing? Blah blah blah.” Mum, as if. Who even uses the word ‘clubbing’?

 

Posted in Fashion

Van-tastic

Surf’s up! Just joking – I’ve got a metric ton of work to do. But if I had my druthers, surfing is what would be going down today. At least I can pretend, with my newly refurbished vintage van. The turquoise paint job came out much better than I’d bargained for, and it’s getting quite a lot of attention around town.

Don’t even get me started on the excellent job on the engine, which is working beautifully now. I thought it would be difficult to find a Brighton auto service centre that could deal with the old clunker, and I did have to do a bit of poking around to find a willing mechanic, but it wasn’t as big a deal as I’d been expecting.

All that remains now is some tweaks to the electrical systems, including the installation of some interior lighting in the van body. I’m happy to hear any recommendations for auto electrical services. Brighton friends, please pass on your contacts. The interior in general is a work in progress – the carpet definitely needs a reboot, as do the inbuilt storage units.

I got this old van from a mate’s dad who no longer wanted to deal with the upkeep. He said he was happy for me to take it off his hands if it meant ‘she’ could make regular trips to the beach. Well, unfortunately, my work at the moment is prohibiting that, but at least I can get around like like a beach bum, with my surfboard mounted lovingly on the roof. That’ll have to do for the time being.

I never thought I’d get to own a vehicle like this since going into law, although I always secretly wished I could. Well, it turns out I can – life has a funny way of manifesting just this sort of whimsical desire. Now I just need to manifest time to actually go surfing.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

No Electrical Mishaps

Not many clients. I’m kind of bored.

I’m starting to think that what everyone said about starting up a specialised, niche business was true: it rarely works out, at least not for a really long time. But I figured that with so many electricians around, then treatment specifically for electrical damage would at least be getting some traction. Like…you’ve got a qualified electrician in Cheltenham working with some power lines, there’s a mishap, and wow, oh no, they need a doctor with VERY specific knowledge on how to treat electrical injuries! And they’d bring them to me, or call me out, and I’d use my expertise to save lives and be a respected member of the community, all of that stuff, ya know.

But ever since they brought in those new safety regulations, people just get shocked less. It’s all rubber gloves and mandatory checks. You have to fit your ute with special shock protectors, and there’s people going on TV with electricity-proof overalls that make you glow like a superhero, and people just…well, this is going to sound weird, but they’re just not getting injured like they used to be. Maybe the fact that I see a couple of clients a week is actually good, because electricians are doing the right thing. I just thought I’d found my niche, but everyone remains thoroughly un-electrocuted, and that’s great, but I’m bored.

Maybe I need a NEW niche, one that doesn’t rely on commercial electricians doing dangerous jobs. It’s a good thing that my office is empty, sort of like it’d be a great thing if a place where people go to quit smoking was packed with repentant smokers. Definitely in line for a new line of work, is me. Like…treating people with injuries inflicted while taking dangerous selfies instead. But my clientele wouldn’t be the best in the world. They’d always be babbling about their next party. Ugh, no.

Posted in Electrical

New Australian Cooling

I know everyone is doing air conditioning, but I don’t care. I can just pretend that I didn’t know, and besides, I can just be better than everyone else. There are just so many ancient civilisations who rose and fell in hot climates, so it’s fun to play around with the idea that air conditioning could’ve turned everything around.

Okay…after two minutes of research, I’ve found something that no one is going to focus on: New Australia. No, seriously, that’s real. A guy made his own little Australia in Paraguay, intending it to be this communist utopia where no one drank alcohol and I guess they all just got along like no humans do, ever.

It didn’t go well, which is not exactly a surprise. Maybe you’d get a different outcome if you imported an air conditioning specialist. Brisbane has the best air con services, so maybe one from there. Paraguay has a tropical climate, which is something a few settlers from cooler climes would not be used to, at all. No wonder they couldn’t settle in such a place; they’d all be hot, bothered and tired, which is a terrible basis for a socialist utopia.

But insert some really good quality cooling services, and who knows? Maybe New Australia eventually could’ve become as big as standard Australia, or bigger. They could’ve outgrown Paraguay (kind of rude to just set up a nation in the middle of one that already exists) and made their own island out of discarded polystyrene or something, and New Australia could’ve been the centre of air conditioning innovation across the globe. Instead of all these amazing air conditioning services from Brisbane, there could’ve been air conditioning flowing out of NEW Brisbane. New Sydney and New Melbourne would still squabble over who’s the most important, though…some things don’t change, even if the names are switched around a little.

-Riya

Posted in Air Con

Time for Changes!

Phew…that was an excellent holiday; really refreshing! I was a bit suspicious when I won an all-expenses paid trip to Venice with the kids, especially because this is exactly the type of things that the shape-shifting Emperor would do to lure me into an unprotected spot so he can send his minions into the house to reclaim his foul brood in their sealed egg prisons.

But then I remembered, I did enter the competition for cutest toddler picture in the Trumpeting Moon. Duh! Totally baby brain.

Anyway, I had a bit of time away from things to think, and I think I’m going to start saving up for some major bathroom and kitchen renovations. The side-business is going well, and I’m just sitting on my savings, plus every time I walk into the kitchen I always think the same thing: it’s outdated, and the cooker just doesn’t work like it used to. Personally, I blame this on the fact that chimera liver takes over three hours of simmering until it releases its toxin and can be safely turned into a talisman of vigilance, but I reckon I could cut that down by at least half an hour with a really good electrical stove like I had back in the old place.

The bathroom may have to be put on the back-burner, but it’s badly in need of a makeover. It’s all pale yellow tiles, and the floor to the shower is all cracked and chipped. Also, the tiles are this weird red colour that doesn’t fit with everything else. It’s like the place is covered in mustard and ketchup.

I’m through just ignoring it: it’s time for a change. It IS important that I’m proud of my living space, and my kids are going to inherit this place someday…maybe. That at least warrants a bit of research around a bathroom reno in Melbourne.

Oh, and my scorpions neither bred, nor did they eat each other while we were away. I knew I trained them well!

Posted in Renovations

Immune to Stress

I’m not sure how I ended up being, out of four kids, the one who ended up in the big-shot job. I was always the most carefree of the bunch, and the most lax about schoolwork and the like. To be honest, I never even gave that much thought to having a career. And yet, here I am, a hedge fund manager, while my siblings are… well, doing other stuff. Who has time to take note?

You could say that I’m the most equipped to deal with stress, whether in the workplace or elsewhere. As I recall, Belinda would cry at the drop of a hat during the uni exam period, and Henry couldn’t hack the pressure of footy team tryouts, despite being naturally good at the sport. Terrence would get annoyed with anyone in authority telling him what to do; in fact, I think he still does. As for me, I was always able to identify when I was stressed and apply a few simple techniques to relieve it.

I didn’t realise this until recently, but apparently not everyone is born knowing how to do that. In fact, people actually go to stress management lessons. Melbourne is home to a number of companies that offer training in this field. I had no idea! It was a surprise to me that many people find it difficult to navigate stressors in their workplaces, despite working in an undeniably stressful environment myself.

What alerted me to this gap in my knowledge was someone coming to my office to deliver a workplace stress management workshop. Everyone agreed that it was really helpful, which I was skeptical about until I started seeing marked improvements in the wellbeing of my colleagues. One of them even told me that she had managed to get rid of her chronic insomnia by applying some of the techniques, which had seemed really basic to me.

I suppose it’s good for me as well, as far as being better able to relate to other people at work who might not be as resilient as me to the negative effects of stress.

Posted in stress management

Maintain Cabin Temperature

It’s funny and sad and stupid how you care less about stuff as you get old. I mean…stuff. The stuff that used to make you happy. You care a lot as an adult, but about serious garbage like taxes and dying alone. I want to get as excited about my birthday as I did when I was eight. I want to watch the latest Space Conflicts movie and not think about how they’ve totally screwed up the trilogy and how my childhood films are being retroactively tainted by this filth.

See, it’s all cynicism. And I mean it when I say retroactively tainted, because I tried to watch the first Space Conflicts trilogy and I found myself thinking about grown-up things, like if their ships had air con. Thanks to the Canberra Cooling Authority, air conditioning services near Canberra are basically instant. Well…within a reasonable length of time, but still pretty quick. Time was when no one in this street had air con and we all just used to go outside as kids, play in the shade of a big tree until the sun went down. Now, thanks to a huge drive and some sort of government program to make Canberra the “coolest place in Australia!” air con has just taken off. We’ve got it, obviously. All our friends have it.

But what about Juke AirPlodder in his K-Wing spaceship? Like, it’s only a tiny little space in there, so you’d think air con wouldn’t be hard to install. But space and weight are premiums on spacecraft, so maybe it’d literally just be maintaining cabin temperature like on an aeroplane. Space is way colder than Canberra. Heating and cooling are a very different game when you have to jump from one side of the galaxy to the next.

Come to think of it, thinking about this has been fun, in a weird, grown-up way.

-Owen

Posted in Air Con