Time for a ROAD TRIP

Finally, I’ve saved up enough for my holiday. Always wanted to go on a road trip, so I’ve been working towards it for a while. Turns out there are a few more things to think about than just having a car and a couple of friends. Petrol is expensive, planning is a huge hassle, and even if you want to take the free-spirited approach and just take things as they come, there are still things you have to do to make sure you don’t end up stranded in the middle of the outback. I know going on a holiday in the outdoors means that you have to sleep rough sometimes, but…not THAT rough.

I’ll ask my car servicing guy. Never gotten one of those before, which is, uh…that’s bad. I don’t even know if there are South Yarra car servicing places near me, so I guess I’ll have to find out. Before my road trip ambitions, all my car journeys were short and basic. Just to work and back, to food shopping and back, to football practice and back, and that last one is a fifteen minute walk away so that’s pretty shameful overall. But now, I want to take my car on a long drive across country, so it needs a really good servicing. Maybe repairs, because I haven’t really kept it in good condition. Maybe a whole new car? New car, we’ll see. It’s only a one-litre thing with three doors, and I’m thinking that’s not the best combination for driving around Australia. It even protests quite a bit just with me taking it on the freeway, especially if I have a passenger or two.

Is this a bad idea? I’m starting to think it might be, but I need a professional opinion. I’ll have a drive and a think, maybe see if there are garages nearby that can do my car servicing. Glen Iris is close to where I work, and I’ve heard good things about mechanics in the area. If they warn against my driving holiday…I guess there’s always a bus trip. That’s like a road trip except someone else does the driving.

-August

Sending a Few Panes Into the Universe

glass replacementI guess I really did grow up to live the dream. That’s what life is all about, right? Regardless, it’s pretty cool.

Today is our very first day in the lab with funding. This could be a job of many years, but I think I’m allowed to be a little bit excited here at the very beginning. I’ve always loved sci-fi, anything with spaceships, but I always got annoyed whenever I read articles written by buzzkills destroying all the sci-fi tropes. ‘Time travel isn’t possible’, ‘faster-than-light is a pipe dream’, ‘space isn’t actually that colourful’, all written to suck the enjoyment out of life.

The glass thing got me the worst. ‘No spaceships could ever have any glass viewing windows, because blah, blah…’

That was the last straw. How do YOU know what commercial glazing will be like in the future? How incredibly arrogant can you get, saying right now that something isn’t possible just because it hasn’t been discovered. Glazier techniques are getting better all the time. And hey, we made reinforced glass for planes, and I bet loads of people said THAT wasn’t possible.

I finally started applying for a grant to attempt to create glass that would withstand space travel. Finally got a bunch of commercial glazier companies here in Melbourne and around the world interested in my work, and then I decided to crowd fund. Should’ve know there were more sci-fi people like me who wanted to make the dream a reality.

So here we are, fully-funded and ready to work with a bunch of residential and commercial glaziers to make the strongest glass known to man, strong enough to withstand FTL travel speeds and more. We need all the expertise we can get, from people who do glass repair all the way to actual rocket scientists, but our cause is getting worldwide attention. I reckon we’ve got a good chance. And pretty soon, glass replacement companies will be working on spaceships, for your viewing pleasure while traversing the cosmos.

Wallpaper, to the Stars!

self adhesive wallpaperWallpaper will soon be one of humanity’s greatest assets, and that’s because it’s one of the things that makes us unique as a species.

We had a whole discussion at the club tonight, even though mankind taking its place in the galactic community is basically a given at this point and the only thing to discuss is the timeline of when it’s going to happen. I’m guessing 2082, because I’m a cautious optimist. But anyway, you’ve got a whole intergalactic community pointing their space telescopes at Earth, asking…what do they have to offer? Glass is nice, and very novel, but do they have anything else?

And I do firmly believe that wallpaper will be the thing we have to offer. Right here in Melbourne, digital wallpaper is experiencing a resurgence like never before. Everyone wants easy-to-apply wallpaper in tropical patterns, floral patterns, cute animal patterns, quadratic equation patterns…I myself just upgraded my entrance hall so that the wall is plastered with an image of an exploding neutron star. But have you ever seen alien worlds and vessels on TV? It’s all chrome. Chrome, or silver. They have no concept of decorative wallpaper, because once you become a space-faring civilisation, you sacrifice the ability to think creatively in a way that would allow you to put wallpaper on your spaceships. So, from the very moment we make first contact and the alien races come on board our spaceships, they’re going to be utterly bowled over by our wallpaper exploits. It’ll be just like on TV when a human enters and alien spaceship and they’re awestruck by the technology, except it’ll be in reverse, with aliens awestruck by our wallpaper.

Obviously it’ll have to be some sort of wallpaper that displays the bounties of Earth, so either tropical or floral wallpaper should be the standard for all spaceships. Just…palm trees and roses everywhere. It’ll make space travel a lot less tedious as well.

-Buck

I’ll Take Someone Else’s Hair, No Problems

hair salon MelbourneSo, they can do pretty good hair transplants now. I saw this video on Visage-Tome of some guys having it done: you just apply it with some glue, and there you go. Gone today, hair tomorrow. They’re pretty expensive and only last for a few months, but still…I’m gonna say it’s worth it, if you can afford the treatment. For one thing, the hair doesn’t grow; it’s not your hair, after all. So you’re already saving money on hairdresser trips, and the hair looks pretty sturdy so you might even save money on product as well. That stuff really adds up, you know.

Anyway, something to note for the future, because some people in my family have lost their hair, and I’m always on the lookout for…thinning, in certain areas. Just hoping that one skips a generation. And I’ll say it: I’m pretty fond of my hair. I’ll go along to a hair salon open for appointments in Melbourne somewhere and gladly shell out a few bucks every six weeks if it means keeping it.

There are some guys who look really good without hair, sure. Vin Diesel. Bruce Willis. Various people with the right face shape, and also the ability to trim a goatee properly. Me? I’m not one of those people. If I went bald, I’d end up looking like some skinny loser. All the goodness has gone to the hair area, so I can’t really grow proper facial hair to make up for the shiny top. Nah…I can’t pull that off. I even hate it when I tell the hairdresser the wrong number and it gets sliced too short; feels like a part of me has been sliced away. Not too far from the truth, I guess.

Alright, so there’s a little bit of vanity there, but it’s okay to be proud of what you have. I don’t have much, but I do have thick, healthy hair. All the people say so in the hair salons. South Melbourne has a hair industry that knows me; I’m the thick, luscious hair guy. Without that, what am I? Nothing. All I have left is my ability to pop and lock, and that’s a lot more situational than a good hairstyle.

Darren

Office Culture Done Right…?

office designersYou know in my country, the word for office translates as ‘place of dull progress’. Yeah, there’s not a huge office culture there, even though we still HAVE them. They’re pretty much a necessity if you want things to get done, and by ‘things’ I mean the efficient running of the country and businesses in general.

Still, I think my country does them a lot better, especially with the office revolution of the 1960s. Offices were a relatively new concept at the time, at least in the Western sense, so people got all up in arms about having to wear ties and sit in cubicles. Too much of a change, I guess. So there was a dramatic fusion of both Western and Eastern cultures, and now the whole thing work much better. Casual offices, plenty of incense, no dress code…if I were an office design professional in Melbourne, I’d take notes. Nah, not really…although I have seen quite a few sweeping changes in Melbourne as of late when it comes to office culture. The whole thing is becoming a lot more chilled, nowadays it’s pretty common to see office fitouts, Sydney office buildings seem to have them every day. The best fitouts transform the space into…well. not your average office. I also like that some offices accept dogs there now. Of course, in my country, it’s been that way from the start. You’d never dare to tell anyone they couldn’t bring their dog, or cat, or monkey, or parrot, or mantis shrimp to work with them; it’d be as bad as bad-mouthing the light goddess herself. I like to think things are getting better in Melbourne and Australia, at the very least. I bet there are even office design people in Melbourne who design dog-friendly spaces, or at least they can optimize the space for animals. Whatever you need, really. Just need to add some incense and everyone lounging around on rectangular bean-bags while typing on their laptops, and it’s basically just like home.

-Vera

May I Interest Our Investors in Pet Diagnosis?

vet clinic BaysideReport: not much luck. These reports are getting pretty boring, to be honest, seeing as they’re all the same thing. We’ve been given a sizeable grant from Lawrence Corp to create an x-ray machine that can diagnose a host of different illnesses, right down to the common cold, but at the moment it’s…well, not looking great.

We’ve had SOME success, but it’s mostly been pretty minor. With a half-an-hour scan, our machine can tell if a person is alive or dead, which is…you know, useful in niche circumstances. Oh, and Petra brought in her wire-haired fox terrier, who had a minor case of the sniffles. For some reason, the machine was able to diagnose it within thirty seconds, and correctly as well! So I guess what we’ve made is potentially going to revolutionise the field of animal health. I think there’s a whole vet clinic near Bayside who might be interested in some trial runs…if we can get it to work properly, with safety tests and everything. I don’t want someone putting their poodle in here, only to have it walk out with its fur all fallen off.

Still, it’s interesting that the machine was so quick. We all just dismissed it, because it’s not our task, but now I’m wondering if L-Corp could actually make something out of a pet diagnosis machine. Even if it’s just a small one that people can have in their homes, to tell when their pet is poorly and needs to be taken to the vet. I’m not saying we’re going to totally replace vets, or anything. I mean, it’s one clinical trial, that wasn’t even supposed to work.

But work it did. Perhaps I’ll get onto the bosses, see if this is something that might interest them. It’s not like the pet market is lacking; I’m pretty sure it’s still a multi-billion-dollar industry. And if there’s one more dog in a Moorabbin animal hospital a bit sooner, being treated for kennel cough, then it’s worth it.

-Alexander

My Hair Has Special Requirements…

hair salon South MelbourneUsually, I’d only get my hair done at ONE place: Guru Lacrima’s Emporium of Well-Being and Crystal Rejuvenation. Not many people know of it, but Guru Lacrima actually offers a comprehensive hair-care service that includes a cut, shaping and bathing in essential, home-made oils. The fusion of trance music and traditional Nepalese ox cries is just a lovely added bonus! I always walk out of the salon feeling energised and centred. 

But now, I need to look further afield for my hair treatments. I went to get myself a booking (you can’t call, because Guru Lacrima has sworn off electronic communication), and I found the whole place closed. Apparently Guru Lacrima has been admitted to hospital with a severe case of okra poisoning. I didn’t even know that was a thing. As a result I’ve decided to cut okra out of my diet altogether. 

So while THAT’S happening…does anybody know about any good hair salons near South Melbourne? Surely there must be a few who fit my criteria. Not that I’m super-uptight about my hair or anything, I just think that when you’re having something removed from yourself like that, the vibe needs to be right. Cannot stand the thought of a hair salon being like a factory, where people walk in and have their own, personal, private head-hair removed one-by-one…dispassionately. Just don’t really like the thought of it. It is perhaps the one place in the world where the music fades from my mind, replaced with anxiety about the locks vanishing from my head.

See, at Guru Lacrima’s the removal of hair was like a symphony. Snip, snip, chop, chop, bathe, bathe, massage, massage, UEEEEEEEEERGH (that was the ox cry). If I’m going to a hair salon in Melbourne, I just think that it needs to have a certain vibe of relaxation. Some music, friendly folk, perhaps some scattered conversation about crystals or the benefits of Malaysian ceremonial chanting being fused with Latin soft rock. I can even bring the essential oils and hair spices myself…

-Deirdre

Werewolves, Clowns and Windy Hair

hair appointments MelbourneIf I had to name my number one fear, it would probably be…werewolves. I know how that sounds but stick with me here. Werewolves are the were-worst. The thing that freaks me out most is that fact that they could be anyone, and you wouldn’t even know. They could be that dark-haired hot guy. Or that other dark-haired hot guy. Or that hot guy with long dark hair! One minute you’ve got a hot guy, and then BAM. Werewolf.

Number two is spiders combined with clowns to create spider-clowns, who can do whatever a spider-clown does. And then…I guess it’d be that recurring dream where I have to give a keynote speech to a group of entomologists on beetle migration cycles, and then I get up there and my hair is a mess, and all the entomologists laugh at me.

There’s a backstory to that one as well! So I sometimes make hair appointments in the Melbourne CBD, even though places tend to be a little bit more pricey right in the city center. Between work and uni, I barely have any time, so this is just how it has to be. Hairdressing on the go! But one time I went to have my hair done and it was a really windy day, so I was all like ‘sure, whatever, I ain’t afraid of no wind’, and I chose a hairstyle with my hair kind of…’up’. Like, not a beehive, but getting there. This was the night of the gala, so I needed to look a bit special. Then I walked out in the wind and BAM. Hair all over the place, scattering to the winds, in tattered pieces just like my life choices. So I had to go to the gala looking like a glam rock star, which wasn’t as good as it sounds.

And so, that’s why all the entomologists are laughing at my terrible hair. Because it happened once in real life. Nowadays when I make a hair salon booking in Melbourne, I check the weather. Then I check for werewolves and spider-clowns, and then nothing to fear.

-Daphne

Glaziers Win the Day

glazier MelbourneAnd all of Australia rejoiced. I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t see it myself; I’d have said it was staged. But there was something about the way The Great Australian Trade-Off was shot that just made the whole thing look so genuine, so when Ryan took the crown, there was hardly a voice to be found saying that the judges let the fan favourite win. He won that competition fair and square.

Naturally, it was a mammoth challenge for the final week. They had to take a half-completed skyscraper and make it ready for three companies to move in: Ryan had the bottom ten floors, Kelsey had the next ten, and Garrett finished things off. Obviously, this was big stuff if you happened to be a glazier available in Melbourne, because it was one of those big glass skyscrapers and they needed so much glass. Half the challenge was won on the basis of which glaziers they picked, how they treated their workers and what sort of glass they chose.

Naturally, as everyone expected, Kelsey went for the budget option, because she thought the glass on the outside was just a covering, whilst all the important stuff was on the inside. Garrett went in the opposite direction, hiring a fleet of glaziers and even springing for some glass balustrading for the stairs in between floors. He likes his themes, Garrett, and he chose glass for this one.

That just left Ryan, who did what he does best: he talked to people, did his research, really listened to the advice of his elders and went with what the glaziers thought would be best.

The result, after the businesses moved in and spent three weeks evaluating the work: Kelsey’s people were boiling because she went for budget glass, and her floors were deemed unsafe, while Garrett blew his entire budget on elaborate glass sculptures.

Ryan’s just roared to victory, since he was able to get good quality stuff for less, and he even hired some glass balustrading people to put in a centrepiece on the ground floor, instead of going all out. Cost-effective, efficient, smart and actually just a really nice guy. Clearly, Australia’s Greatest Tradesperson.

-D.L.

Build Your Own Boat (or not)

marine welding MelbourneI could make my own boat, if I really wanted to. Now that I’m working less hours I need a way to fill my time. I know building a boat in your back garden is sort of a retired thing to do, but there’s no harm in getting in early on this stuff.

I mean, I basically grew up in Melbourne’s stainless steel marine welding industry, even if I never actually did any of it myself. My Dad was mad on his boats, and all his work buddies were either making bait boards or snapper racks or, ya know, making the frames of massive cruise ships. I used to get dragged along on fishing trips…or rather, I let myself get dragged along because I knew if I stayed Mum would give me a list of jobs a mile long, and I’d rather be bored on a fishing trip than busy and industrious. Getting stuff done? Nobody has time for that foolishness.

So yeah, I’ve heard all the talk. I know how to fix a fishing rod holder. I know the best way to reel in a really big trout. And I guess if I ever wanted to do a bit of marine welding- dabble, if you will- I have the perfect place to start. Though one thing I would need is the space. I could just stick it in the back garden, but then it’d rain, and the wood would get all…you know. Whatever it is that wood does when it rains. The metal might rust…nah, can’t just leave my boat-in-progress outside to rot. People I’ve seen on TV always seem to have a basement, but those are in short supply around here. Maybe I should dig a basement, and THEN make a boat.

Yep, perfect. I’ll be able to fill even more time. And while I’m at it, I might as well just build my own home, because that’s clearly where this is heading.

I don’t know that stuff. But I do know the basics of a plate alloy boat, and fishing rod holders, and…trout physics. Maybe I should just go fishing instead. It’d seriously be a lot less effort.

-Jace