Fighting Family

Sometimes I really want to find another job. You wouldn’t expect to hear me say that, I know. How could the host of Australia’s uber-popular Family Fight not like his job? The thing is, you guys only see the good stuff. The very best of what we film. You get to see the epic, edge-of-your-seat moments when one family needs to get an answer right to avoid the caged tournament against the other family’s pet bear. It’s entertaining viewing, but what you don’t see is the thousands of episodes we film where absolutely nothing interesting happens.

Sorry, we just had a bad day on set, so I need to rant a little. Let me tell you a bit about an episode that is never going to be aired. We had the Smith family and the McGills against them. If I had a dollar for every Smith family we had on this show, I’d be a rich man. Anyway, everything started going wrong with the first round. We were going through the motions. We asked one hundred people this question, blah, blah, blah. The question was “Where might you find glass balustrades for Melbourne homes?”

Immediately Perry Smith slapped his buzzer and shouted his answer. “The moon!” Right then, I knew it was going to be a long night. The moon? You’d find a glass balustrade for use in Melbourne on the moon? This Perry guy was not too bright. Even if he meant Moon Land, the amusement park in Melbourne, that’s a terrible answer. What a dangerous place to put glass balustrades.

The next answer wasn’t much better. Teresa McGill had a shot next, and she said, “Wherever you get glass replacements. Melbourne homeowners should be excited!”

I actually wanted to hide when she uttered those words. Have you ever even watched Family Fight? That is never going to be an answer on the show. So yeah, that’s what I have to go through that you at home don’t get to see. The only consolation was that neither family guessed any answers right, so we had to go to Sudden Death, and thankfully there were no survivors. We only resort to Sudden Death in a desperate attempt to make the episode watchable, but let’s be honest, nothing could save this dumpster fire.

Posted in Glass | Leave a comment

Two Men, Waiting

‘Woah, is that new?’ Stu asked, sidling up to my ute, fingers hooked into his toolbelt.

         ‘Sure is,’ I said, adjusting my own belt. ‘Right off the lot!’

         ‘No way,’ Stu whistled, stepping back to admire the car. ‘How much did that cost ya?’

         ‘Too much, according to the missus,’ I joked, and he cracked up.

         ‘Struth,’ he chuckled, wiping a tear from his eye.

         The building site was beginning to clear for the day, other tradies in high-vis filtering out and getting into their own respective utes.

         ‘So, uh,’ Stu said, a little too loudly, ‘what’s that, a standard ute tray?’

         ‘Uh, nah,’ I replied, flicking my eyes around nervously, ‘it’s actually from a place that does custom ute trays in the Melbourne CBD.’

         ‘Oh, uh… nice,’ he replied, stretching out an arm to lean awkwardly against the canopy, but pulling back once his skin touched the hot metal.

         The ute next to us in the unofficial parking lot revved to life and peeled away, kicking up a cloud of dust that hung in the air. We started to cough, avoiding eye contact. Stu waved a hand in front of his face to clear the dirt, then noticed a light film of it had appeared on my ute canopy. He reached out to brush it off, and retracted his hand straight away.

         ‘Still hot?’ I asked.

         ‘What the hell is that, steel?’ he whispered, sucked his palm to cool it down.

         ‘Just an aluminium ute canopy,’ I said, nodding at the last few tradies wandering to their cars. ‘Completely standard custom feature.’

         We stood in the silence for a couple more minutes, until we looked around and–

         ‘We’re alone?’

         ‘Thank god,’ Stu muttered, as I threw open my back door and pulled out two camping chairs.

Stu was already busy dragging out the tray table hidden in the ute bed and setting up two teacups next to his thermos. I brought out a plate of scones that my wife had made and set them next to the tea.

         ‘So,’ Stu said, as soon as we got settled. ‘Could you believe what Mike was wearing today?’

Posted in aluminium | Leave a comment

VEEC Spokesperson

It’s been three years now since my boss made the transition from nuclear energy to solar energy. It was such a great decision. I remember vaguely mentioning at the time that he wouldn’t want to be one of those businesses that got left behind because it would look bad to our clients and consumers. I think that’s what got him over the edge. Even though he’s a stingy guy, he doesn’t want to be left behind. He’s too competitive.

It’s safe to say that the transition to a commercial 100kW solar system was the best decision my boss has made. He’s so happy with the decision that he even promoted me to a managerial position a couple of years ago. I was just trying to create a work environment that I could be proud to work in, and not only did I get that, but I also got a promotion. And the best outcome of this entire situation is that the company I work for is now doing its bit to help save the planet. How incredible. 

I would really like to start making a difference in other businesses too. Maybe I could start a freelance business as a Victorian VEEC spokesperson. I could go around to other businesses in Victoria and inform them about VEEC and how it is designed to help businesses who want to install large solar systems in their factories. I’m here to save the planet but by framing it the way I framed it to my boss.

People of power aren’t necessarily evil, but they care more about themselves compared to the planet or others. It’s the way it goes. You don’t get into a position of financial power by putting others first. However, with these government incentives, I think there is a really good chance that big businesses will take solar panels on board. 

Hopefully one day my dream becomes a reality.

Posted in Energy | Leave a comment

Solar System Park

I’ve been looking into buying my own solar system. No, not the kind that gives me solar energy for my house or business, silly! I’m in the market for an actual solar system in space! I see it as an investment, as solar systems are going pretty cheap at the moment. This is because we have no way to actually reach a solar system, so it’s basically worthless right now. But I figure that within the next decade or two, we’ll have the means to travel across the cosmos, and I can create my ultimate solar system: the Water Park System. That’s right, it will be a massive planetary solar system water park that people will travel to from light years away. Imagine a water slide but in zero gravity! That would be so awesome.

My dream all starts with finding a business offering commercial solar systems. I may have to search quite deep on the internet, but I’m sure I’ll find a seller eventually. Everyone is going crazy for cryptocurrencies these days, but solar systems are where the real money is. You’d be crazy to pass up this incredible opportunity. As long as I make sure that my solar PPAs are in order, I won’t have anything to worry about. Now, for those who aren’t experienced in the world of intergalactic solar, you might think I’m referring to solar power purchasing agreements, but in actual fact, I am talking about solar planetary planning authorisation. I have to get the proper authority to plan out such a big water park in a solar system, but I doubt it will be a problem. 

So, get hyped for the Water Park System, opening sometime in the next century. If I’m not around to open it, my descendants will be. I’ll make sure this gets off the ground and into space, even if I’m managing the system as a ghost!

Posted in Energy | Leave a comment

Custom Kitchen Robot

Today we are talking all about the kitchen design of the world’s most lovable robot, who Pixel Studios made an animated movie about: Wallet. Wallet is a very special trash-compacting robot that can see the future. That’s how they made the movie. They checked his data files and saw how the history of humanity is going to play out, only to discover a touching love story about two robots in space! We’ve managed to get Wallet as a contestant on That Renovation Rules, so let’s find out a bit about what the lovable guy is building for his kitchen renovation. I wonder why he’s even renovating a kitchen. Robots don’t eat food! Oh, and by the way, Wallet’s response is being translated by our Boop-to-Speech program!

As a robot, it is true that I do not eat food. Instead, I eat oil of any kind. Yummy, delicious oil. Give me all the oil and I will be one happy robot. The other thing that keeps me sustained is human happiness. I love to eat human happiness. One thing that makes humans very happy is custom kitchens, which is why I am designing a custom kitchen. This kitchen that is customised for all human needs will make humans very happy, which I will then eat. I will eat human happiness. Human happiness is the only thing better for Wallet than oil. I live off human happiness. This will be the best kitchen design throughout the Melbourne area, which will draw all the humans in and make them happy.

Well, that was quite the translation. Not to worry, folks. I’m sure that Wallet doesn’t actually consume human emotions like some sort of crazy robot. Certainly, it was just a metaphor about how his purpose is to make people happy. How would a rusty bucket of bolts even take emotions from somebody? It just sounds impossible. Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing what this custom kitchen will end up looking like!

Posted in Renovations | Leave a comment

Apology Flowers

I think my boyfriend may be onto me. He’s gone from acting sad and upset about a week ago to suspicious and on edge now. I thought my change in attitude would reassure him, but maybe I’ve let on too soon that I think our relationship is going to be fine. I never would have thought that would be a problem, if I’m being completely honest. 

I think maybe if I hadn’t read his blog without his permission then I wouldn’t be feeling so guilty. If I hadn’t read his blog then I would have just asked him honestly what is wrong and asked what I could do to help. But I can’t ask him because I’m scared of what he’ll say. What if he asks me point-blank whether or not I looked at his blog? I don’t know if I’d be able to lie straight to his face, but maybe his reaction wouldn’t be that bad because the blog post was really positive and saved our relationship. 

God, I hope the flowers I ordered for him arrive soon. I got him the best ground cover roses in Australia. Surely that’s enough for him to forget his suspicions and just be happy that our relationship isn’t on the rocks anymore. When I told him about how I was feeling, I told him because I wanted us to work on it, not just break up. So I hope that he doesn’t want to break up with me now, even though he has no proof of my indiscretions. I love him. I actually am worried about our relationship now. 

Oh, wow! I just got a knock on the door. I was filled with dread momentarily when I thought it was my boyfriend potentially coming over to break up with me. But it was actually the mailman. Apparently, my boyfriend bought me some salad vegetable seeds online as soon as we had our initial conversation. 

I’m going to call him and thank him profusely for the gift. Hopefully, that’s all I need to do to get myself back in the good books. 

Posted in Garden | Leave a comment

Stuck in sandals

This is going to sound so embarrassing but I have to tell the story to someone! Ordinarily, I could tell a friend or my family but my boyfriend will kill me. So instead, I will tell random folks on the internet. Basically, my boyfriend seems to be having a lot of silly ailments at the moment. Ridiculous injuries, tiredness, back aches, stomach aches, the works! His most recent ailment is ingrown toenails. Cheltenham has a specialist that is waiting to see him but at the moment there aren’t any available bookings and his ingrown toenail isn’t severe enough to warrant an emergency appointment. The sad part about it all is that he is in an awful amount of pain. The hilarious thing is that he can’t wear shoes as his foot is swollen and sore so now he has to walk around everywhere in open toe sandals. We had to go to a really fancy restaurant the other evening for my father’s birthday and I remember the host giving him a very thorough look from head to toe and questioning my boyfriend’s choice of shoes. The host looked so disgusted, it was hilarious. It was even more hilarious looking at my boyfriend dressed in a formal suit with sandals on.

I’m hoping there are podiatry appointments available near me so we can book him an appointment with a specialist sooner rather than later. Then he can stop embarrassing me by wearing sandals everywhere we go. He met my grandparents the other week for the first time and they thought he was some bum who refused to wear proper shoes in the middle of winter. That’s when I explained to them that he was only wearing those shoes because of his foot injury. They were a bit more understanding, slightly. But hey, Croatian grandparents can be stubborn!

Posted in podiatry | Leave a comment

No Longer Homeless

Just as the title of my blog post says, I’m no longer homeless! I mean, I don’t technically have a house in the literal sense, as in, secure shelter with electricity, plumbing and heat, but I do have a waterproof tarp!

How does owning a waterproof tarp count as no longer being homeless, I hear you ask? Well, I also came into some luck and was able to install sturdy aluminium ute canopies on the back of an old ute that I found in a junkyard. The ute looks like it’s about sixty years old and is covered in rust, but the ute canopy is shiny and new! Seriously, the canopy is so clean that it doubles as a mirror. I’m so resourceful. 

I’m so happy with my waterproof tarp and new ute canopy. It’s the best accommodation I’ve had in a long time. I also have a sleeping bag which just makes the ute canopy so warm and toasty at night. I know it’s no castle or whatever, but the ute canopy and tarp are my home now, and I’m going to treat my home like gold.  

Once I’ve saved up enough money doing my job selling an Australian not-for-profit magazine, I think I’m going to invest in ute trays. In the Melbourne CBD, there are a lot of companies that install ute trays, but I’m going to go to the one that offers the most amount of space for the best price.

I’m obviously not made of money at the moment, and so it’s important that I make economically viable decisions in small increments. It’s my dream to get back to the lifestyle I had when I was a child. Before I became a person experiencing homelessness, I lived in a big house with my parents. I made some decisions that my parents didn’t agree with and they kicked me out, but I’d rather live in my perfect tarp canopy combination than under their roof where they don’t accept me. 

Here’s to another good sleep tonight!

Posted in aluminium | Leave a comment

Husband’s surprise ute

My husband works so hard every day to support this family. I really admire him for it. He drives all around our city in a dodgy little ute helping others with their plumbing. It’s not the most glamorous job, and he’s not exactly raking in the millions, but seeing him be so committed to giving us a good life is absolutely heartwarming. I’ve been looking for a long time to find a way to pay him back but have been at a loss how to do so I’m buying him a ute with a half canopy. It’s not that he’s expecting me to pay him back either. He does all this out of the goodness of his heart and the love he has for me and our two boys. Well, finally I think I found a way I can show my appreciation. Yesterday I received a letter saying I had been given some inheritance from a deceased aunt. I remember this aunty really well. She didn’t really have any close family and no one would speak to her much. She was that tad strange. I’d always make time for her as I thought that she might be lonely. She recently passed away and unbeknownst to me, she left me a decent inheritance. I was not expecting it and I think it would be a good deed if I used some of that money to make another person happy. I can’t think of anyone more deserving than my husband. 

I’ve secretly gone and had a word with a couple of his workmates to get their opinions on what makes a good ute and store recommendations to buy ute canopies. Melbourne is a place that can have wild weather from time to time so I think it is important that I find something that is durable. I did find one ute, however, that I think he will love. It’s really sleek looking and almost screams luxury as opposed to tradie. Every day he comes home from work I’m filled with a cheesy grin as I try to not blurt out my plans.

Posted in aluminium | Leave a comment

Landscape gardener life

I became a landscape gardener about nine years ago after retiring. I guess I am quite old to still be in the workforce but the truth is that I don’t know what else I’ll be doing. One thing I find about aging is that those who let themselves get older and do nothing, seem to age the quickest. I believe you need to keep active to stay young and healthy. Granted, I don’t do as much heavy lifting as a younger landscape gardener would and I only take on jobs that are quite small, but it still gets me out of the house doing something. It’s also extra money that I can use to treat myself without having to rely on my pension. I’ve also developed a small network of clients who regularly hire me to take care of basic gardening tasks such as watering, trimming, pruning, and mowing. My favourite clients are the ones who hired me to plant their garden, and then hire me weekly to tend to their garden. It feels like I’m helping them raise a child. 

I always buy the best hybrid tea roses on the internet. I find this a lot less time consuming than visiting a nursery or a florist. I place my order, I can see exactly what the site has in stock, and I’ll receive it days later without having to do a whole heap of run around. Plus, if a client asks me to plant a specific flower there’s no empty promise. I can usually check online and instantly know whether that seed is in stock or not.

Rose plants tend to be my most requested seeds and most clients seem to struggle with knowing how to care for thornless roses. This actually works in my favour as it keeps me in a job, it keeps me outside, and it keeps me doing the thing I love doing most. The only time things are a bit of a struggle is when it’s winter and raining. It can be hard to appropriately time my appointments.

Posted in Garden | Leave a comment