Indestructible Glass is Totally Possible

glass balustradesWell, I’m back from Egypt, and I’m totally broke. Not only that, but my girlfriend has been seeing another guy. Oh and the institute has said that our research was a waste of time and they aren’t going to give us any more funding. I’m now living in the garage since Mum and Dad turned my room into a gym. A gym I have not seen them use once, I might add.

It was a really simple premise, as well! We just wanted to assemble a crack team of scientists from around the world to create glass that was totally indestructible.

It’s really one of the scourges of modern life that we have to put up with glass shattering. Glass nowadays can be extremely tough, which is why you get things like glass balustrades and that platform up at the top of the Eureka Tower where you can stand on glass and feel like you’re about to fall.

Still, your average, everyday glass breaks. It’s 2018; why are we still tolerating everyday items breaking apart when sufficient force is applied? Surely by now we should have come up with a way to make glass impervious to cracking. Glaziers shouldn’t have to deal with the stress of holding massive pieces of glass, knowing that the errant banana peel could ruin their day and cost them thousands in damages. Or worse…children on skateboards. Every glazier must live in fear of them, zipping around the streets with their poor depth perception, totally unaware of large glass objects.

So yeah, glass that cannot break. Currently, it does not exist, and things may just be staying that way. But I know that I can unlock the secret if I try hard enough, and we’re also given an extra three-million dollars in funding, and maybe if top rated glaziers in Melbourne came together in a massive picketing campaign to end broken glass. I don’t ask for much…

-Dean, PhD.

Pebbles for Our Departed Pets

crushed rocks BerwickI don’t like crushed rock. It’s coarse, rough…irritating…and it gets everywhere. But that’s what we’ve chosen for our landscaping project, so that’s what we’re getting.

I mean, it’s not like we’ll be rolling around in the crushed rock like it’s sand on a seashore, either. It’s supposed to look nice in the garden, right where we buried our family of hamsters. There’s  no use establishing a family pet cemetery if it’s just going to be boring old soil, which is why we’re trying to spice things up a bit. And in our family, we really do love our pets, hence why we’re trying to make their resting place peaceful and serene.

I was thinking about Hopkins while I was driving down to Cranbourne. Crushed rock and other such materials were on my shopping list. He was a good rabbit, and he deserves a nice place to rest, right next to Rum-kin, Bumpkin and Machiavelli, the most sadistic rabbit we ever owned. We gave him a special resting place, using pebbles instead of the customary rock formations. As much as we loved him, he will always be the devil rabbit.

Of course, with Hopkin’s grave being put in, we may have to encroach on the hamster section. I don’t think Figgy would really mind, to be honest. He wasn’t too fond of resting anywhere. Very nervous, plenty of excited energy, and he vanished on adventures pretty much every single day. That’s why we gave him a grave of crushed rock, instead of…you know, the custom.

There’s no beating the custom, though. All the turtles got it, the cordoned-off cat section had some premium stuff. We had to go all the way to Berwick for garden supplies for that one. But Jumbo was our tenth cat, so we thought it was time for something really special after he passed away. All our animals were special, mind you. Which reminds me that we need to be on the hunt for another one to take up the torch.

-O

Glass Balustrades, But Also..Slides

quality glass balustradesI had a lot of stupid ideas when I was a kid, mainly because I wanted to be an inventor and I was obsessed with coming up with the next big ‘thing’ that would revolutionise the world. ‘Course, I hadn’t a clue what that actually meant. I actually thought that a machine that turned people into teddy bears was going to make our world a better place, and I’ll I’d have to do was submit that idea to the government in exchange for my own private island and a boatload of cash.

So yeah, hindsight. Big time. Not everything was absolutely terrible, though. If I do say so myself, I even had a few ideas that might work, in niche situations. I used to look at high quality glass balustrading in Melbourne and wonder what it’d be like if you could pull a lever at the top and turn the whole thing into slippery slide of glass. So it’d be like having an instant helter-skelter. Of course, it’d have sensors to tell when a person is standing on it, so it’s not just a really expensive machine for pranks that might leave a person in the hospital. Ah, no. My seven-year-old self had thought of everything.

Don’t really know what it was about glass balustrading that made me feel that it needed to convert into an instant slide, for sliding fun times, but I probably just thought ‘vertical surface + slippery glass = instant innovation’.

Makes me wonder what else I could pull out of my memory that stands a chance of being a real thing. They weren’t all useless instant teddy bear machines. I think at one point I created a jet-pack that works via pedalling which then turns the turbines, boosting you into the air. You can’t tell me that’s not a cool idea.

Ah, well…maybe the world isn’t ready for my genius. But I can’t help it: every single time I see a well-crafted glass balustrade, I’ll just have to think of how great it would be if it converted into a slide. I’m sure they’ll be everywhere by 2025, I expect.

-Drey

Shoulder’s Great, What a Classic…

hyperbaric therapyI’m not a great fan of RPGs, but I did like a bit of ‘Shoulder’s Great’, the epic quest to find a cure for a mysterious plague sweeping the land of Melbourne. A terrible plague…that gave people aching joints. So macabre and dark. I remember it was the first major RPG produced by an Australian company that became famous worldwide, and also paved the way for a lot of gaming innovation.

Nowadays, even medical professionals look back at the game as being advanced for its time. It was all about aches and pains, with the quest based around fighting metaphorical manifestations of stiffness and soreness, and also breathing problems like asthma. But you don’t get it; it was a trendsetter. Today you can make bookings for hyperbaric therapy in Melbourne, right now, with no fuss. Got a breathing problem? Oxygen therapy, all available just roll up. Whereas in ‘Shoulder’s Great’ you get to fight a DRAGON inspired by common breathing problems, specifically a tough boss by the name of Wheezy, aided by his wyvern buddy, Chokey.

I still remember the day I reached level 65 and learned the ultimate mage spell, ‘Hyperbaric Harmony’. It gave my entire party a 60% chance of shrugging off breathing problems entirely for a whole thirty seconds, and also boosted their mana inhalation by 6 breaths per minute. I was usually a supporting role, helping people to get back on their feet and continue to fight by easing their aches and pains, not to mention helping them breathe easier.

So it really is kinda like hyperbaric medicine today, easing the pain of living with a lung condition and other such ailments. I’ve heard you can even get a portable hyperbaric oxygen chamber in Melbourne, wild. I do wonder if the persistent cultural presence of ‘Shoulder’s Great’ helped to create the oxygen therapy industry as it is today. I guess we’ll never know…just like I’ll never know what lay beyond the final dungeon, because my teammates were idiots and we never completed it.

-Michael

Flu or Stress, Which is Worse?

Psychologist MorningtonSo apparently, Melbourne is currently being ravaged by the dreaded Flu. It’s not fatal, and mostly it just causes a runny nose the likes of which you’ve never seen before along with a general feeling of doom and gloom, but still…I’m staying indoors. Nope, no thank you, none of that foolishness.  I have work to do, cats to feed, laundry to complete.

And I’m all the way out here on the Mornington Peninsula as well; hate to think about what it’s like travelling into the centre of Melbourne every day on the train, knowing anyone could be carrying the dreaded lurgy. I’m enough of a hypochondriac as it is, thank you. I already get checkups every season, jabs when I don’t need them and I’ve even booked myself in for a few sessions with a psychologist. In the Mornington Peninsula,  a place of wonder and peace and goodness, people take their mental health seriously. Actually, everyone does that, but especially here. But beware! Danger lurks everywhere!

I feel fine, but who really knows? I had a bad dream the other day that I had to give a presentation on the three forms of heat transference, and I know nothing about science. I showed up in front of an audience of 5000 people, all waiting to hear how heat transfers, only to realise that I was wearing banana-yellow business attire, and all my notes had been chewed by a sloth.

That’s got to mean something. Pretty sure I’m repressing memories from my childhood, and the sloth represents my inability to move on from that 39 I received in my theatre studies VCS class. Seeing a psychiatrist really would just put my mind at ease about this stuff, along with maybe some medication. Maybe. If I need it. Up to them. I’m just glad they have psychiatrists and psychologists in Mornington at all. People here are so relaxed, you’d think you’d have to go into Melbourne, stress-ville itself. No thank you…I don’t need the flu.

-Leanor

Jolene, Talkin’ ‘Bout Her Kids Just ‘Cause She Can

play centre BayswaterOh man. There’s ONE person in this little group of ours who’s giving me the most grief, at least recently.

And that…is Jolene. Jolene! Jolene, Jolene…won’t someone smack her with a frying pan?

Jolene just has to have her fingers in everything, and it’s not just Golf Expo stuff. I like to give the other girls advice about their kids- because we all know I run the tightest ship out of all of ’em- and the Jolene comes steaming in with her great and mighty wisdom. Oh, she knows a GREAT kids birthday party venue, near Bentleigh East, great food, lovely service, keeps the kids entertained for hours. Takes them there all the time, so she says.

I get it, Jolene. You think you’re mother of the year, but you’re just cuttin’ corners everywhere. My kids love good play centre, sure, but not ALL the time. It’s like giving them cookies all the time. It’s a sometimes treat, for when they’ve been good. But that’s Jolene all over…has these ideas that kids don’t need any discipline, and you should let them do whatever they want, WHENEVER they want. I’m just glad there aren’t more crazies like her. Can you imagine if I let Bazel do whatever he wanted? He’d be climbing the walls and setting fire to chandeliers.

See, that’s where a kid’s play centre really comes in handy. When you think your kids need a bit of exercise, you can let them loose and they’ll tire themselves out. While you wait, as well! In fact, the safe indoor play centre in Bayswater used to be my salvation when the kids were a bit younger and the hubby was out all day winning the bacon. Kids went all over the place, I got a bit of a sit down, and I only had to intervene when Bazel (and Leoniqua, funnily enough) started to see if they could set fire to the plastic elephants.

They couldn’t, but that was still a disaster waiting to happen.

-Shamique

Business Law, For Fun and Failure

business lawyers MelbourneWhat IS it about reality TV that just hooks you in? I had no intention of watching the latest season of ‘The Fermentist’, but I watched episode three with Maggie while she was around and suddenly I’m stuck watching the whole, silly series, about silly people doing the silliest of things. I was *invested* as well. What was I even thinking?

Probably the same thing as I’m thinking now, because I’m properly into ‘Jack of All Trades’. To be fair, a few of my friend are business lawyers in Melbourne and they said that they MIGHT be appearing in the episode, so it wasn’t like I was watching the latest episode for no reason. They weren’t in it, by the way, and yet I did indeed sit through 53 minutes of complete amateurs trying to be lawyers and failing utterly.

The one saving grace was that they couldn’t actually have them involved in a legal case…for legal reasons. So actually, it was all a lot of mock-ups. No one was short-changed in the lawyer department. Still, the challenges were set up to be as real as possible. Leroy apparently took on the role of resident antagonist in this episode, since he went on the attack during that property law case and got kicked out of the courtroom. I knew there was a bit of that in him from the start; you can just tell from the look of a person sometimes. Probably why he was on the show in the first place. And then you’ve got Angelina trying to swallow an entire legal textbook overnight and just regurgitating what she thought she knew, but garbling the lot of it when it came to defending her ‘client’ in court. Thank heavens there was actual Melbourne based property lawyers there to look after them, otherwise it would’ve been a total word soup. Lady Salt really gave them a chewing out after the challenge was complete, which was SO gratifying because of…

Oh, I’m an addict, I really am.

-Veronica

Tinting, For Fun and Deceit

window frosted

Confession time: I don’t actually have weak retinas. It’s just such an easy lie, you know? Nobody can walk up to me and say ‘John, you do NOT have weak retinas, you lying liar’. I mean, who’d do that? That’d be rude. Instead, they have to accept everything I say, which means that I get to wear sunglasses all the time. They’re pretty tame in terms of blocking UV, and they sort of look like they could be prescription, which just helps with the ruse. But the main thing is that they hide my eyes and make me feel powerful. I know, it’s dumb. But it’s a crutch. I feel great when I’m wearing them, and utterly degenerate when I’m not. There’s no balance, and it’s terrible.

It’s starting to spread to other areas of my life, because of course I need residential window tinting done on my apartment. What if I’m looking through my window and I make eye contact with a person? Cringe to the max indeed. It’s not about spying, I swear, but it does certainly help with my whole thing about not wanting to be seen…doing anything.  I can look out of my tinted windows and feel a sense of total privacy. I’m not doing anything weird…I just don’t want people to see me doing even the most mundane stuff. What if I put out some laundry and people down in the street start judging me for it? Like, my technique might be off. Or I might be watching TV and they’re in the middle of an important errand and they judge me for my laziness. Awful, the very thought of it.

This way, I hold all the power. I’d love to drive around the streets and cafes and shops in a little buggy with a tinted dome, but that might be going a little bit too far. Maybe. Hence the sunglasses, and the great deception. Although now that I’ve come up with the idea of the buggy, it’s sounding grand. I wonder if frosting glass services could whip me up something. Frosted glass is sort of like tinting, but…the stylish version.

-Lance

Spooky Lighting for the Spook-tacular Event

residential LED lightingThis year’s Spooktacular Spook-fest was a spooktacular success! Halloween in Australia is still gaining some traction, sure, but events like this really help. It took two days, but we managed to completely convert the secondary wing of the school into a haunted house, and people really went for it! Probably helped that we based the whole thing around that show everyone likes, Stranger Danger. That one from the 80s. Don’t actually like it myself…but everyone else is properly into it, so it worked out just fine.

I think the lighting was our strongest aspect. I had James researching residential LED lighting all around Melbourne for weeks beforehand, both where to get the quality stuff and how to use it effectively, though you’d hope he already knew. He’s the one who wants to do special effects on film. And on-film is just real life, but in front of a camera. I mean that the lighting came off really well. So, the people started off in the entrance hall, all very brightly lit and not at all indicative of what they were in for. Then they went on a magical mystery tour of the world of Stranger Danger, where they were being hunted by a mysterious monster all through the process. This all ended in a claustrophobic segment, wherein they were hunted by multiple creatures- played by our very talented actors and dressed up in some great outfits from the costume department- and the lights went all blinky-blinky. I never actually went through the maze myself, but I did experience a sort of dry run. The blinking lights were very disorienting.

It’s true what James said: lighting truly is key to everything. We’re lucky Melbourne’s residential LED lighting is so prevalent, because we honestly didn’t leave enough time to actually gather enough of it. Lessons for next time. Which we need to start thinking about now, if we want to top this year’s show…

The Cut-Throat World of Cafe Ownership

Lorne beachesYou don’t get into the cafe game for the fame and the glory.

It’s not about the adoring regulars, or even the satisfaction of crafting the perfect brew.

No…the cafe game is all about power, manipulation and clawing your way to the top of the food chain. You need to be cut-throat, ruthless, and sometimes even barbaric. It’s not for the faint-hearted.

That’s why i set up shop by the beach, famously the toughest cafe market out there. I relish the challenge. I don’t mind getting my hands dirty.

Obviously, a working knowledge of the best accommodation in Lorne works wonders. You can’t be in such an intense business without knowing about the ebb and flow of potential customers in your town, and hotels come with a few other perks. You can sometimes get a bit of sneaky advertising in if you get talking with the guests. Give them some directions, tell them about the local attractions and then slip in that you run a cafe, with a few discounts for some very special guests. They’re like putty in your hands. Also, it pays to see if you can get a taste of what the hotel is serving in the dining room. The food is often great- no point in competing with that- but if the hotel serves better coffee than you, then you’d better step up your game.

After that, it’s a simple matter of making your place look so chic it’s like you transplanted a photograph right off Instant-Gram. Chic coming out of your EARS. Much more chic than your average Lorne hotel with a great view

After that, you just have to come out on top of the weekly Lorne cafe owner backstreet brawls, and you’re on your way to greatness.

-Nell