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

Air Conditioning: The coolest cats on the planet

Air conditioners, and indeed all refrigeration units, work in basically the same way. They all make use of a type of physics known as thermodynamics, which, spelt out means, the way that heat moves. Thermodynamics is involved in many fields of science and engineering and helps us to understand more about the macroscopic world, as well as the chemical bonds that hold molecules together. Now if we can just apply this when we get our air conditioners serviced in Melbourne, am I right?… Is this thing on?

Anyway, air conditioners take advantage of thermodynamics to create hotter or colder rooms. The basic principle involves taking the heat from one room (living room, bedroom, car interior) and taking it to another (generally outdoors), thus making the first room colder. Here we go, diving into the fun filled world of science, once again.

An air conditioner is made up of only a few core components, that all of them share, and help to drive the heat from one place to another. Heat pumps transfer heat energy from colder places to warmer places, which goes against the natural order of heat, which usually goes from hot to cold. Extra energy is needed to accomplish this feat, which is where this loophole in thermodynamics comes in. Have I lost you yet? I hope you think twice next time you get upset about your broken air conditioning in your Melbourne home.  

Science aside: Latent heat is the release of absorption of heat energy during processes that don’t change temperature. This isn’t normally the case, because normally heat energy only moves when there is a change in temperature. The classic condition of latent heat is a phase change i.e. going from one state of matter to another. In the case of air cons, we are taking what’s called a “refrigerant” and changing it from a liquid to a gas, and then back again. Another note is that the boiling points of materials changes depending on the pressure of it’s environment. Low pressure means that it can escape these bonds easier and therefore boils at low temperature. The opposite is true for high pressure, therefore high boiling point.

Refrigerants get pumped into low pressure areas, (at the inside section) which means that it then boils right away. This phase change absorbs latent heat from surroundings (the living room). The gaseous refrigerant moves through a compressor to get to high pressure by the time it reaches the outside area. This high pressure reverses the phase change, making it go back to a liquid and release all the latent heat energy it absorbed. This is released into the outside environment, thus creating a flow of cold to hot form inside to outside. Boom, SCIENCE!

Posted in air conditioning

Without Trucks, Coffee and Scaffolding, Australia Stops

‘Without trucks, Australia stops’.

Well, I guess. I’ve never looked into the statistic regarding how accurate that is, but I’m forced to conclude that it’s pretty much a thing. Imagine all those steel girders, gigantic logs, horses, bags of seed and whatever else being transported in little courier vans, or on the back of motorbikes. Loading a massive steel girder onto a motorbike defeats the entire purpose of being a motorbike, which is to weave in and out of traffic and generally be a nuisance without taking up enough road-space for people to make campaigns against you.

Trucks are big, everyone sees them. But what else would stop Australia? Baristas, almost certainly. That one is so obvious you could almost go without mentioning it. No coffee, and we all drop like flies. Sewers, as well. Aluminium work platforms, for another. That’s about as subtle as it gets. “Oh, we’ll just use wooden work platforms, they’re just as good!” But no! A lot of building materials nowadays are heavy enough that simple wood just won’t cut it any more.

Okay….it might not be to do with how heavy they are. Let’s just say work platforms in general. They hold people up, let them work up high, make it so painters can reach those hard-to-see places and just generally make building a large building possible. No more scaffolding, no more construction. Well, not large-scale construction, anyway. You could still get away with building things that were MAYBE two stories tall, but that’s as far as you’d get. Even the ancient Egyptians used scaffolding for their own purposes, making the pyramids and the Sphinx and all that. So without scaffolding, we wouldn’t even have the greatest wonders of the world! They didn’t have trucks back then, I might add. How interesting.

So mobile scaffolding certainly predates most of the stuff we ‘need’. Goes WAY back…except maybe for doctors. Farmers, as well…people have got to eat, after all.

-Clarence

Posted in Construction

Dry Needling is Fine, But What If…

So I was reading this comic recently about a guy who gains super-powers by activating chakras in his body. He’s like…a martial artist, but he goes through a special ritual to get abilities beyond that of a mortal man. The ritual is like acupuncture, but…not. It’s a forbidden form of acupuncture invented by warrior monks, and he’s the only non-monk to ever use it because if used outside the monastery, it opens the heart to darkness.

And now there are posters and ads everywhere about dry needling courses in New Zealand, and I’m all like…it’s happening.

It’s not happening, of course, but when I hear about an alternate form of needling that isn’t acupuncture, with some serious health benefits, and it sounds exactly like my favourite comic ever, then I have to wonder. Sounds like someone has released this great secret into the world, and now everyone’s onto it. So weird. Still, people only say good things about dry needling, so I guess it’s not the coming of doomsday as it is in the comic. No super-powers, unfortunately, but it is supposed to help sporting injuries and strains to heal faster. Not a sporting person myself, but that sounds pretty good to me.

In the comic, you could give the treatment to yourself; it’s how the guy is able to work alone, except when he’s teaming up with other heroes, or there’s a massive crisis, or when he’s part of some street-level team. You can’t do that with dry needling, which is a good idea because that’s the way the monks did it to stop each other from going rogue and succumbing to the evil forces. So…the fact that all the dry needling courses I can see have people doing the needling FOR you is pretty good. You know, just in case people start getting super-powers. Just in case. I can hope, right?

-Leo

Posted in Health

Cosmetic Treatments, Yay or Nay?

No one said the life of an activist would be easy, but I am one of the blessed few to take up that burden. People in internet comment sections are wrong about 96% of the time; did you know that? The ignorant masses, going about their day and demanding such things as FACTS, when feeling are of equal importance. That’s because they’re things we feel. It falls to tireless folks such as myself to gently jump into debates mid-way, immediately showing our aggression to establish dominance and then proceeding to shout them down with any means necessary until they realise how wrong they are.

Ugh…I’m such a good person.

Now for today’s debate: cats.

No, wait. Laser hair removal. Ballarat has more and more places popping up, and everyone seems to want to get their hair lasered off. I love it, personally. See, even though I believe traditional standards of beauty are totally wrong and mankind has been getting it wrong for centuries and everyone should just look however they like and no one can judge anyone else and telling people that they should change anything about themselves is tantamount to murder…laser hair removal is great. Because I want it! And if I want it, then it’s fine. You should be able to do whatever you want. Still, there are some IDIOTS online who think that modern beauty treatments should be taken off the market, because they promote unhealthy standards and don’t give people equality of opportunity to be beautiful. And even though my activist career has always made me totally sure of what I’m fighting for, this time I’m a bit stumped. Should eyebrow tattooing and laser hair removal and anti wrinkle treatments be available to all? Or do they make an uneven playing field, because not everyone can get them, and anything that’s different is BAD? I need to know pronto, because I have a free slot on Saturday and a need to know if I’m getting dermal fillers in Bendigo, or standing outside one with a picket sign. Decisions, decisions…

-Patrika

Posted in Beauty

Can’t Wait to Hammer Those Nails

Jumping from renting to buying is very slightly daunting. I don’t mind admitting that much! I’ve had such a lovely experience with my three rental houses, as well! In the first, I lived with my sister. We were both very busy, so we never got in each other’s ways. And yet, we still found time for fun stuff; movie nights, and the like. Then I moved in with some friends, and a family friend owned the place so he was super chilled about rent. And then after that it was just me. No unwashed dishes, no clothes left on the floor, bathroom all to myself…it was great.

Fortunately I’m in a better financial position than most to be doing this kind of thing. I’ve actually been looking for a Melbourne buyers advocate to walk me through the process, because I’m flying solo here and I don’t want to do the wrong thing. This isn’t like a rental, where you can move in and be out in a year (or six months!) without a fuss. Well…there are still a lot of forms to sign. Last time I had to sign every single page of a 27-page document, which took me a good ten minutes. Ten awkward minutes of sitting in silence, signing the same thing. The estate agents must be used to it, though.

So I’m guessing if I go and buy a home, I can expect a lot more of the same. Maybe it’ll be a fifty page document…but maybe not, because all of the house will be mine. No clauses about not replacing light bulbs or asking permission for bringing pets into the house, or hammering nails into the wall. My buyers advocate will find me a place, I’ll look over it, it’ll be wonderful and then I can hammer in as many nails as I like. Hang as many pictures as I please.

At least, I think that’s how property advocates in Melbourne work…I’m about to do my research on the matter. And a LOT of other matters.

-Penny

 

Posted in Housing

I Am a Proto-Human, Probably

I know it sounds crazy, but…I really like sleeping in the heat. Maybe my body temperature is slightly lower than everyone else’s, who knows? I just know that right now, with the daily average below 20, I have trouble sleeping. Once the nights heat up, the humidity goes through the roof and most people start tossing and turning, I sleep like an infant. I’m the opposite of most folks.

And look, during the day I’m just like the rest of you mortals. In the summer I dash from one air conditioned building to another just trying to keep cool. I really do appreciate Sydney’s air conditioning services, and how it’s practically ubiquitous come the summer. And during the day I’ll be smashing down the refrigerated watermelon with the rest of them. Come the night? I just sleep like a baby.

Honestly, I should go and get it checked out, because I could be a new and interesting specimen. Like some kind of proto-human whose body temperature stays the same at night. Because it’s not supposed to work like that; you get cooler at night, hence why people sleep under covers. There’s a bit of sleep science for you, but it doesn’t seem to work for me. My body remains at a constant amount of degrees, which makes sleeping in the summer easy, but sleeping in the winter harder. Maybe I just need to get a really thick blanket in the winter, to make up for the discrepancy. Or, like…a less thick blanket? Hang on…yeah, a less thick one.

At least I’m not in need of nightly air conditioning. Sydney can be cool during the day, and that’s by far enough for me. I do need to look into this science business though. I quite like the idea of being a new stage of humanity who doesn’t need as much blanket thickness as usual.

-Morris

Posted in Air Con

Virtual Pest Control, and Family Woes

If I was going to get square eyes, then I’d already have them, because I spent way too much time looking at screens. But that’s the thing when you’re trying to raise a family full of Arts. That’s short for ‘Artificials’, by the way…it’s a game where you can order the lives of a family of computer-generated people. Most of my friends just stick their Arts in a pool then delete the ladder so they can watch them die, but I take things much more seriously.

I’ve been tending to the lives of my virtual family for six years now, and things are going great. Juniper just got a promotion at her job, so she now oversees all the pest control in Mornington. That is…the virtual Mornington. I’ve been able to name the neighbourhoods, so I’ve basically just turned it into a virtual version of where I live, pest control agents and all. Juniper has a habit of getting stressed, so I’m worried that this much responsibility is going to be too much for her. There’s also the issue of Greg, who lost his job last week. Not only is his wife doing so much better than him, but he has it firmly in his head that he doesn’t want a termite inspection job, because he thinks working with family only leads to disaster. So his emotional state is pretty poor, and the fact that Jordan is failing pretty much everything at school is stressing EVERYONE out.

I’d really like Greg to swallow his pride and take a job doing termite inspections in Mornington, if only for a little while, but I don’t know if I’m able to convince him. At least I was able to afford the talking toilet with my in-game currency. It’s really become a pillar of emotional support for the whole family.

Posted in Pests

The incredible timber retaining walls

I have some great news to share. As I’ve said before, I’m back living at home with my parents after my wife decided she needed some time apart. The great news isn’t related to that, she still will not return my calls but I am hopeful. We have a wonderful guest staying at the house this week, a friend of my parents by the name of Madden. Wonderful name if I do say so myself. He is from overseas. He pronounces words differently to how I’ve been taught to say them. He does have a strong accent that is hard to understand sometimes but I like it. He puts emphasis on the second syllable a lot of times when he shouldn’t. He is a fascinating guy, and is helping us to organise the garden landscaping for the backyard. I think it’s his way of thanking my parents for giving him a place to stay while he’s in the country. He is quite the artist and has a real eye for landscape garden design. My father was blown away by his sketches of the timber retaining walls, Melbourne North has never seen anything like this. They’re curves in such a unique way, and the paint colours are inspired.

He is a regular green thumb, the guy frequents plant nurseries all the time. He is a great man and I’m happy to report that I am fast becoming best friends with him. I don’t think it’s weird for grown men to get best friends in their later years.

Now that the design is finished, in a few days we’ll be starting the landscape gardening. Melbourne North has been really hot lately so I hope it cools down for planting day. The gardening crew will be here for three days because the project is fairly massive. It’s exciting in a way, to watch as the backyard transforms into something amazing. I’m going to do my best to be helpful during the planting. I don’t know where I would be without the support of my parents.

Posted in garden landscaping

Distracted by the beautiful garden

You have to believe me, I didn’t know what had happened until we left the house. I know you won’t believe me but it really is the truth. As soon as we left I asked Jimmy where you had all gone last night and he told me about the garden and the jacuzzi and it just didn’t seem right. Anyway, obviously if I had known earlier I would have intervened. I was just so distracted by the hostas, the flower arrangements in general were really consuming my attention because I wanted it to be perfect for you. The only thing I was thinking was lillies vs. roses, ornamental trees vs. native shrubs; my mind was completely distracted. It sounds like an excuse but it isn’t, I am just trying to paint the picture of the weekend so you can maybe see how I might have missed what was going on. As Jimmy was telling me about what happened I realised that while you were arguing I was busy watering the hosta blazing saddles on the other side of the marquee. I didn’t hear any of it, the hostas were way over and the irrigation was on because I was trying to get more moisture into the lillies so it was really loud. 

Regardless of where I was or more importantly where I wasn’t, I am really sorry for how it all worked out. I should have picked up on it sooner and now it is too late. Please call me and we can talk through all of this. I have some really really beautiful pictures of the plants and flowers that I think you would enjoy and I would love to show you. I will be ordering some more hostas online and some other summer flowering bulbs to go along with the next event and I am going to do everything in my power to make sure you are there. Please don’t let this be the last time we correspond.

Posted in gardens