No More Conspiracy for Me

TV antenna installationWell…me and the site had some good times. Kevin’s Konspiracies was fun while it lasted, and I’m especially happy with how I twisted the title so that it was alliterative; probably one of my more clever moments. At my peak I was getting thousands of hits a day; people LOVED what I had to offer. But I’m older and wiser now. It’s time to stop all the madness.

I’ve just grown up, I guess. I’m no longer the paranoid young man who saw conspiracy everywhere I looked. I still remember the thing that made me found the site in the first place: when I started to suspect that television signals were actually fake, and that every TV antenna in Melbourne was actually broadcasting a signal that was controlling people’s brains. I was pretty sure that second part was true, because I saw people voting for the wrong political party in elections and I knew for sure that the only reason they’d do that was because of mind control. I mean, increased funding for schools? Where was the money going to come from? People weren’t thinking straight, and it was because they all had TV antenna sticking off their homes!

Despite some great comments and user engagement, the well ran dry on that particular investigation pretty quickly. I tried harassing a bunch of TV antenna repair people, but they seemed pretty nonplussed; just people trying to do their jobs rather than shady government agents. That was only what set the ball rolling, however. Nanites hidden in café vanilla slices, exploding smartphones, rain not actually being rain but a special type of acid that kills brain cells and makes you more susceptible to TV advertising…gosh, I was stupid.

So, the site is down. For good this time. Now I have to find a load of people who do antennas in Melbourne and draft some very sincere apologies.


Not just for the home

commercial energy batteryI was talking with my brother last night and I just can’t believe how widespread solar energy is becoming. I remember the days when it was still considered a crazy idea that was reserved just for hippies and the like, but nowadays it seems like everyone is getting on board. It’s no longer just this niche of society that’s interested in it, solar has been accepted into the mainstream consciousness and it seems like now everyone is taking measures to help the environment.

For example, my brother was telling me that, in addition to having a couple of solar panels on the roof at home, the company he works for has recently invested in them. I know this may be a little naive of me, but I didn’t even realise there were companies that offered commercial solar energy for businesses. I guess that’s probably because all the advertising you see are aimed at people like you and me, the regular Joe on the street who can put some panels up on their house. But just because we don’t see it, doesn’t mean commercial solar isn’t a thing.

If you think about it, solar actually makes tons of sense for businesses. Offices would use a lot of energy during the day with all their computers and office equipment. Having a well thought out energy plan or maybe even a form of commercial energy storage could be a major advantage economically. I mean, everyone’s heard the stories of people who can actually make money through having a couple of solar panels, just reducing that electricity bill by a little bit every month would be really nice. And then, at the same time, they would be reducing their carbon footprint. It’s a bit of a win-win – do something good for the environment and save money at the same time. It almost sounds too good to be true.

It’s Tough Being the Responsible One

Melbourne emergency plumberMoney pits: I can tell you them all, and I’m only twenty. I moved out of home at eighteen to go to uni, immediately became the main bill-payer/dishwasher/cleaner of our house, because no one else wanted the responsibility. Obviously I needed a car since uni was a 25-minute drive away, so that came along with all the hassle.

All in all, I’ve concluded that most things have the dual purpose of doing what they say on the tin, but also costing you money. Nothing in life is free…and it’s something to keep in mind even in my early twenties. Now I’m in another house, but I’ll always be the responsible one. Greg just broke the shower, probably because he was using it as a mic and got a little bit enthusiastic, so here I am looking up plumbers in Melbourne to help us out. Because it’s my job to fix Greg’s problems, right?

I just paid the water bill, and then Greg goes and brings this plumbing crisis on us all. Water all over the floor, no one can take a shower and we don’t have a bath so that’s not an option either. I had to wash my face with a sponge this morning and that was as good as it got. Greg can’t fix his own mess, since he had to go to work and he works like twelve-hour shifts, but the worst part was that the duties immediately fell to me. Yep, good old reliable me. No arguments over who’d be looking for the plumber; I was even more obvious than the obvious choice.

I’ve let everyone become complacent, clearly. If I left, the other three guys would barely be able to tie their own shoelaces, let alone look around Melbourne for emergency plumbing services. See, this is why I wish we had a landlord. Regular inspections, and services when you need them. As it stands, it’s basically just me.


Snapper Rack Wisdom

custom snapper racksIf the plate alloy boat is too big for your stainless steel snapper rack, it is not yours. No, wait, the other way round.

That’s a good wisdom. One of the best wisdoms, in fact, and something my father used to tell me back when we went on fishing trips in my youth. If only I’d listened, I might not have become an accidental pirate. But that is a story…for right now, here we go.

Now, I love me some fishing. Never had too much time and money to spend on it, but whenever I could I’d gather a bunch of mates and we’d go out on some lake somewhere and have a relaxing time. Just shooting the breeze, not even caring if we caught anything you know? I have a bit of DIY know-how, so once I managed to scrounge for a plate aluminium boat (hey, got to splash on your passions!), I made my own fishing rod holders and welded them on. All good stuff. Finally I managed to get a four-day weekend to myself, and I invited Dave over for a trip. He managed to pry himself away from the missus and we made our way down to the docks, where my boat was waiting.

Or…so I thought. It was really foggy that day, so we chucked our stuff in the boat and set off. I DID think at the time that it was handling really well despite not being able to see much of what was in front of us. It was cold, but we were wrapped up and didn’t care, so we motored down to one of our favourite fishing holes and had a good time as the day warmed up. Well, the warmth got rid of the fog, and I realised…this was not my boat. The snapper racks gleamed like they were top of the range. The motor was brand new and really powerful. This was a plate alloy boat, but…a really good one. I was a pirate.

We had to sneak back to the docks, avoid all the policemen milling about and hide the thing down the jetty before jumping in the car and doing a burnout. So embarrassing…but one to tell the grandkids. That snapper rack was just too big.


Seven Property Advocates??

Melbourne based property advocatesOH. MY. DOUBLE GOSH-NESS.

I didn’t think anything could top that mid-season finale. And then the mid-season premiere came out, and wowzers, it’s the biggest doozy that you ever did see. The writers of Week of Our Lives are geniuses, pure and simple. It’s the only way they could possibly keep me so hooked and invested, the ONLY WAY.

Alright, so I need to toss in my predictions, because I’ll feel so smart if I get them all right. So Jamilla has inherited millions from her property tycoon stepfather, and she has her sights set on the Malone family beach villa. She’s so serious that she’s brought in no fewer than seven Melbourne property advocates to help her make the final decision, and they’ve checked out the villa to her personal requirements. Thing is, the Malone family have owned that villa for five generations! It’s a prime piece of real estate and really special to them, because back in season thirty-seven they turned it into a fort and made rudimentary catapults and trebuchets to ward off the money-grubbing land developers who wanted to raze the place and turn it into a theme park for feminists.

‘The Battle of Malone Hill’, they called it. And now they’ve had to watch as the property advocates have combed over the place, declaring that it’s fit to buy. Jamila doesn’t look like she’s letting up, because she holds a deep belief that she’s part mermaid after visiting that druid in Albajeria and she wants to make the beach house a base of operations to establish her ocean kingdom. The only hope is Allan, who owes the Malone family a favour after they bailed him out of that whole ‘duck pole dancing’ incident, and he’s handsome enough to woo Jamilla away from her dreams of conquest. What will happen? Will Melbourne’s property advocates feel a bit cheesed off at their services being required then rejected? Will Johnny overcome his addiction to melted marshmallow fluff in time to run for mayor? SO MUCH GOING ON.


Unstable Dancing in a Ball Pit

indoor play centreI’m acting, and getting paid for it. I don’t care that it’s low-budget, I don’t care that it’s only a miniseries and I DON’T care that I have to portray a put-upon young mother. I got myself a job, and I’m going to do it so well that it’ll be the crowning piece of my highlight reel.

We just wrapped up on our first day of shooting, and I’m totally exhausted but running on joyful adrenaline. Sure, my ‘makeup’ is actually just designed to make me look tired, put-upon and at the end of my rope, but have you seen the Oscars? They give them out like candy to actors who destroy themselves for fame. And yep, I DO look pretty terrible, so I think this is going to look pretty great in the future when I show it to guys in suits who make dreams come true.

So, this scene. A lot of singing and dancing, and a lot of travel time since it was at some indoor play centre in Jandakot. Where even IS Jandakot? After the plane landed, I had to hitch a lift in the truck carrying all the filming equipment and there was a set of boom mics blocking most of my window, so I have no idea how we got there. Could’ve been Aruba for all I know, but I was glad to get out of there and onto the set. All the people who worked there were really nice, even though they had to give us a full safety demonstration. I suppose dancing in a ball pit is pretty dangerous, and difficult for the record. I went to a dance academy and we never covered how to dance in such a weird environment, so I was sort of making it up as I went along. Still, our choreographer seemed to really like the performance; the appearance of us struggling “really added to the realism.” That’s what playing Sandra is all about, you see…because she’s a new mother struggling to balance her entire life, and sometimes she doesn’t  know if she’s coming or going, or dancing around on a climbing frame singing a song about how exhausted she is and how everyone keeps trying to give her well-meaning-yet-conflicting advice.

We’re back tomorrow in Jandakot, birthday party venue primed and ready. Man, this schedule…if it keeps up I won’t even be needing makeup to look exhausted.


I Guess I Own a Boat Now

Melbourne anchor winchI’ve never owned a boat before. Now, all of a sudden I do, and I’ve come to realise that there’s a bit more to it than just pushing it out into the water, rowing for a bit and then tying it to the docks once you’re done. There was something about a sail? Anyway, this is a proper big thing with a motor and a cabin, so it’s way beyond my ability to keep running.

There was this uncle I had back in Albajeria, one I’d never met but heard about quite a bit. Apparently he was pretty pleased that I’d gone on to be a nurse when the rest of my siblings wanted to be businesspeople and make money. The downside? I’m frantically searching for outboard motor servicing in Melbourne somewhere, and I haven’t a clue where to start. Well, apart from the coastal areas, the docks, marinas and places where you’d find boats.

Uncle Byrav must have had a sense of humour, since he rewarded me for not chasing after money…with a massive investment that needs a whole lot of money. I was given an upkeep allowance, but boats are just a bit more complex than cars. I have to get a sailing license, proper gear, keep up with maintenance, pay for a place to keep it once it’s sailed over from Albajeria and probably more things. The list goes on, and on, and on, and I’ve never owned a boat so I just wouldn’t know most of it.

Will the allowance be enough for Melbourne’s anchor winch expenses? Doesn’t matter at this stage. What actually matters is that I don’t know if I’ll even have time to sail. There’s a kid on the way, work keeps me snowed under and I don’t know that many people into sailing. So yeah, great gift, Uncle Byrav. Maybe I’ll just sell it once it gets here. See what you think of that.


Bugs Just Want New Experiences

Berwick pest controlSo I just saw a movie about giant bugs from outer space that came to our planet to drink all of our salt water, and the brave humans who repelled them with massive cans of bug spray. You know when something straddles the line between serious and spoof? It gets really confusing around Halloween when all these cheesy, intentionally B-Movie movies come out and you’re left wondering what the heck you just watched.

Like, so many questions. Why do the bugs want to drink our salt water? Is it such a bad thing that we let them have a little bit of it? The planet is mostly covered in the stuff, I don’t think there’s a shortage. And why big cans of bug spray, when missiles would probably get the job done? ‘All in all, I think it gave me a new appreciation for people who do pest control. Berwick companies are kept busy this time of year, what with all the damp wood and falling leaves. Bugs get in the house, in the shed, in the…wherever. Though those are normal sized ones, so I really don’t know what all the fuss is about. Like, I saw what those giant bugs did in that scene where all the people were sat around the big conference table and the world leaders were trying to reason with the bug queen. She seemed really interested in the offer of a 2-for-1 deal on saltwater mixed with some delicious Earth-made Wensleydale. I guess they’d travelled a really long way from the reaches of deep space, and they wanted to sample a bit of the cuisine. You know, like you do if you go to Bali, or Beijing. But then things broke down when one of the delegates squashed a spider running across the desk. Bummer.

So yeah, I guess it’s a lesson to all pest control experts in Dromana and wherever. If you don’t get the results you want, remember the distance from the tree at the back of the garden to someone’s house is a great journey, and maybe they just want a bit of the local cuisine. Which is sometimes the food in the cupboards, and sometimes, like…the actual house itself.


The Ultimate Aluminium Treehouse

mobile aluminium platformsTreehouses are nice, but I didn’t want the kids to have anything too ordinary. Maybe I’m just a competitive parent, but I couldn’t stand the thought of them having a few bits of wood tied together by string up in a tree. It’s unsafe, for one thing. And I’ll tell you another; it’s not much of a ‘fort’.

That’s what a treehouse is supposed to be, in my opinion. We always grew up with one in the back garden way out in the country, made of wood, and while it was alright for a time, I got bored quickly. It just didn’t feel like a hidey-hole. More like just another room in the house, with windows big enough for Mum to see what we were doing at all times.

So I’ve gone industrial. Piles of aluminium trestle ladders now fill our back garden, because I’m going to build a fortress that would make supervillains jealous. I’ve even done the calculations, and with the weight I’ll be hefting up there, the oak should be able to support it. In fact, it would support double, and kids certainly don’t weigh anything near that amount. They can have as many friends as they like up there and my engineering skills will make sure it stays. I guess it’s just a really good tree for the project, as well.

Also, I’ve got some really sturdy aluminium ladders and platforms that should get the job done nicely. I’m not about to go for the cheap option; this is as much for me as it is for the kids, so I made some investments! Hopefully they’ll be able to enjoy this tree fortress for years to come, while I can sit in the garden and admire what I’ve built. It’ll be made of aluminium platforms, so a bit hodgepodge, but…I can work with it. We’re going for substance, not style.


Finding your niche in makeup

Brisbane makeup coursesI believe everyone should find their niche. It brings great fulfilment in life. Forget about being bored and lonely, everyone should meet the people that they really truly get along with and share interests with. Life is all about having fun anyway

I found my niche in the most unlikely of places. I started dating this girl that I thought I had nothing in common with. I just met her at a bar one night and thought she was cute so I started talking to her. Then after a few minutes of mediocre conversation, I realised she was actually smoking hot. She also had a unique style and makeup mad skills. I asked her about that and she told me she had taken a few makeup courses in Brisbane in her twenties but had decided it wasn’t for her. We started seeing each other. Still, she wasn’t perfect for me as we had little in common but we did have chemistry in the bedroom so we had an extended fling. One day, we had a bit too much fun and she sprained her wrist on her right hand. I had to do pretty much everything for her, including apply her make up.

When i started, I was a bit shaking and she scolded me a lot for getting liquid eyeliner all over her face. But  I started getting the hang of it. I wasn’t as good as her (it’s hard to apply makeup to someone else!) but I found myself enjoying it. I was also getting creative, and although my technique was clumsy, she liked my instinct for colour and style.

That’s when I started looking into beauty courses around Brisbane for myself. I know, it’s a little uncouth for a man to get into a traditionally female industry. But as soon as I started the course, I knew I’d found my place in the world. The girls and I hit it off immediately. We were chatting at like a hundred miles an hour and going out for drinks after every class. That’s why I recommend everyone find their niche