House of Zombies

I was shocked to discover that Forgotten Springs has a thriving undead community, so long as you use the word ‘thriving’ very loosely. All of the ghouls, zombies and skeletons live in a dungeon on the edge of town, sharing a cramped space that is often invaded by trespassers. I travelled into the dungeon to interview one of the zombie leaders, Smasher.

“It’s tough being a zombie. Honestly, I’d probably rather just not be undead at all. You can’t eat anything, you can’t sleep, and your fingers are constantly falling off. Not to mention all of the adventurers who think they can just waltz in here (sometimes literally waltzing), swing their swords about and take all of our possessions. They have some serious nerve. Of course, we always try to defend ourselves, which perpetuates this idea that we are violent monsters.”

For a short while, Smasher and I discuss the idea of moving out of town and buying their own houses. When Smasher points out that nobody would sell a house to a zombie, I suggest visiting some property advocates near Melbourne. They could help buy property anonymously so that nobody can discriminate against the undead.

“It’s an interesting idea. One which I have considered before, admittedly. I once visited what was considered the best buyer’s advocate Armadale has to offer, but I decided to not go through with the idea. Even if I got my dream house, people would still discriminate against the undead. At least here we are a known quantity. Sure, it sucks having to deal with the intrusive adventurers, but we will manage. The buyer’s advocates were brilliant, though. They really sold the idea to me, but in the end, I had to make a choice, and I chose to stick with what I know.”

I feel bad that there isn’t anything I can do for this undead community, so I discuss with Smasher the idea of installing some traps in the dungeon. He thinks that’s a brilliant idea, and we get to work.

Foot Pods

I’ve got this great new idea that I just can’t keep to myself. I know I probably should keep it to myself, rather than handing it out for free to strangers on the internet, but that’s not the kind of person I am. This is too good to keep bottled up in a patent office, at least until I iron out the details. Then I’ll be on a one-way trip to riches, unless one of my readers gets in first. I trust you, though.

So, without further ado, here’s the idea: foot pods. What is a foot pod, you ask? Well, dear reader, it’s a new and improved alternative to the humble shoe. By hovering just off the ground, it reduces wear and tear on the feet and ankles while offering unparalleled arch support. It’s like wearing a pair of custom orthotics without any discomfort – just weightless, responsive support perfectly matched to each micro-movement of your feet. It’s like walking on a cloud!

I know you’re probably wondering how the hovering mechanism works. Well, like I said, there are some fine details to be ironed out, and that would be one of them. I’m sure it can be done with quantum magnets or something. What I want you to focus on is the main point: with this technology, shoes will be a thing of the past, a relic of a bygone era, a very long dark age in the history of functional attire.

The next question is how I’m going to transform this vision into reality. I think the first step will be getting the right backing. If I can get some of the top podiatrists within Melbourne on board, that’ll be a great start. All I need is their recommendation. So, if you’re keen on this idea and would like to see it come to fruition, you can help by bringing it up with your local foot specialist.

Walking Everywhere

As a young woman who doesn’t have her drivers license, I do a lot of walking. I live in the city so I don’t need my license, and I genuinely really enjoy walking. The only problem is that because I spend so much time walking around (I average 40,000 steps per day), my feet often really really hurt. It’s gotten to the point where I think I may need orthotics. Around Cheltenham, which is on my train line to the city, there’s a podiatry centre that always stands out to me for some reason. I’m the type of person to trust my gut so I might check ti out.

My first ever foot appointment is next week. I’ll admit I’m a little nervous that there are deeper problems than just my need for orthotics. I’m obviously no foot expert, but I know that something doesn’t feel right. The issue is, if something is wrong with my feet and I have to stay off them, I’m not going to be able to get anywhere. When you rely on walking as your major mode of transportation, it puts a very big spanner in the works if you can no longer walk anymore.

I really hope that the foot specialist has some good ideas about what I can do to keep my feet in good condition. I don’t want to ruin my feet, but I also don’t want to drive. I know that by going to a foot specialist that I’m putting myself in the best position to have the healthiest feet possible. I hope to walk places for the rest of my life and so I really hope I can get on top of my foot pain as soon as possible.

I love living a healthy lifestyle, which includes reducing my carbon emissions, looking after my body and looking after my feet.

Reverse Tinting

Is there such a thing as a reverse tinted window? I mean ones that prevent you from seeing outside, rather than stopping others from seeing in. That would be nice since there’s this really hideous water tower just outside my office at work, and I can’t stand to look at it anymore. I can’t have the window removed (I’ve asked, the boss said no) so maybe we could just get it tinted really dark.

I should probably do some research into it, calling up all the commercial tinting businesses around Melbourne to see if they can do such a service. It’s probably something that the whole office would want to get, since the views around here really aren’t that nice. I don’t know why someone thought it would be a good idea to put an office building here. It really defies logic.

Hopefully both sides of the window could be tinted because it would be quite awkward if someone came up to our building and just looked through the windows, and we had no idea they were doing it! Good thing I thought of that, otherwise we might have gotten one-sided tinting without realising the implications.

That’s the sort of office this is. Just a lot of random people doing random things without thinking about the consequences. I guess that’s why they put the building in such a random spot. Well, I think getting commercial window tinting near Melbourne would change a few things around here. It would show everyone that I am serious about my position, and maybe that would make them be serious too.

I do enjoy the randomness of working here, though. Yesterday I went to print something and found out that Jim had connected twenty party poppers to the printer, which went off and got in my coffee. Good one, Jim! 

Yeah, things sure have been a little weird ever since that Mitchel Scarn came around.

Bathroom Consultation

It’s been a strange day for designing an office bathroom, particularly since we don’t even have a roof on this building yet (nor a foundation, for that matter). Since it’s now winter, the rains are really starting to come down. I’ve been standing with Space Wizard, trying to work out the best tiles to put around the bathroom mirror, all while a tempest threatens to uproot my office and send it flying across Sweden, Victoria. It’s crazy, but the producers of Australia’s Next Top Office insist it makes for great television.

Space Wizard and I are having a bit of a disagreement on the whole tile issue. Ultimately I will have the last say in the matter, since he is stuck in a water bottle, having been liquified by Archerak. Basically Space Wizard has gained an odd affinity toward the colour pink since arriving on Earth. Not any pink, but bright, hot pink. He thinks it’s an awesome colour. Given that we’re designing the men’s bathroom at the moment, I’m not sure it’s the best choice. Now, I’m quite a modern guy. I smash glass windows across Melbourne because I want the world to change for the better. But that would be a little too feminine even for me. I know it’s not necessarily the opinion of all bathroom designers, but I think social politics and change should be kept out of the bathroom.

If I want to get top points on this challenge, I’ll need to make the best bathroom anybody has ever seen. We can’t be tiling the walls with hot pink. I thought Space Wizard would love the idea of a dark blue appearance since it’s a bit like outer space, but he’s really set on this hot pink colour. I don’t know what to do. Maybe I should call a bathroom renovations business. Melbourne has at least one of those, surely. If they agree with Space Wizard, I’ll do his idea, even if it does hurt my eyes.

That’s what being a good design partner is all about. If you can’t agree on something, see what other people think. Then when they inevitably agree with your point of view, you use that as a way to win the argument. And that’s why we’re going to win this competition; because we’re the best.

– Glass Smashing Bandit

The Glass Office

I just started my own business! We will be open for business in early 2020. It’s a digital tech company and our aim is to be publicly listed by 2025. The company has been in the planning stage for the past five years. We have consulted absolutely everyone. We’ve poached the best tech people from all the top companies around Melbourne, and we’re almost completely ready. 

We’re at the final stage before we open – designing a collaborative office space! We are planning to flexi-desk, so we don’t need to create offices as such, but we want to have a range of semi-private areas for employees to get together and brainstorm whenever they like. To be consistent with the collaborative vibe that we want our office to embody, we have been considering office partition installation, where the walls are glass. Our thinking here is that this way, everyone in the office will be aware of any meetings going on and can join if they wish. The benefit of this is that everyone will feel a part of the company, and that there are no secrets or office politics. 

Even cooler, we could use the glass as a white board! That’s four walls of brainstorming that we’ve got. The ten-year-old in me also really likes the idea of being able to write on the walls…

We are currently on the search for the right glazier. Melbourne is full of talented individuals, so I’m sure we won’t be hard-pressed to find someone. I genuinely believe the person we choose will play a very fundamental role in the initial success of our company, because a team that can work together properly is a successful team. Once we get our office set up, we are all systems go. I am so excited for the final touches that will help make this company into a giant success.Once it is a success I’m going to buy the building above us, and put in a grand glass balustrade. Melbourne will never be the same.


Here’s to the future!


I’m No Hoon

Sometimes, the classic cartoon shows are the best. Petty Car Dealer Sailor Hoon was something I watched every single weekday morning when I was growing up, and this was long before I even knew about animation. I just thought it was an amazing new cartoon, in a style so foreign and wonderful, about groundbreaking new concepts that my young mind could barely comprehend. It was all of that, and so much more, and you never forget your first cartoon binge.

I was even part of a street racing club for a little while when I finished school, although it was less of the illegal street racing and more like… we just set a point on a map and we had to all get there: legally, slowly and carefully. That was how I ended up in need of my first car breakdown repair. Brunswick streets were less chaotic back then, but I was new to driving and the concept terrified me. Still, I was determined to be like Sailor Hoon (without all the illegal stuff) so I pretend I was into it. At one point I was turning right onto a semi-busy street and I thought the right was clear, and it was NOT clear, and someone clipped my wheel as I went past and I skidded into a postbox. This was my Dad’s car so I was freaking out, and that’s how I went to got my car towed. Also, I never drove again.

I learned a valuable lesson that day: your heroes are called that for a reason. Sailor Hoon is an exceptional character, so skilled and compassionate, but skirting the edge of the law with her hoon driving and addiction to a cutesy, made-up brand of instant noodles. I could admire her without wanting to BE her.

I also learned that if you ever need tyre repair in Preston after some idiot blows your hubcap clean off, there are some very nice people who’ll help you out. I assume there are, anyway. I take the bus everywhere nowadays.


The Tachometer

The Mazda 3, seriously? The Mazda 3. How could the Mazda 3 be the one to get the hose? The main guy on the show is an absolute madman. He had a choice to go on a cross-country trip with two cars, and one of them was an X-Trail, so obviously they had a GREAT time, but then this idiot goes and choose to give the hose to the Mazda. Some people just don’t know cars and it drives me insane. Uh, yeah, like, that Mazda is really going to make you happy next time you decide to go off-road in the country.

Gosh, The Tachometer really gets me worked up, and it’s the first bit of reality TV I’ve ever wanted to engage with. Now every time I book my car in for a service with a mechanic near me in Bentleigh, or I fill up with petrol, or when I book my car in for another service because I put diesel in instead of petrol and it needs repairs, I think of that main guy and all the bad car dating decisions he’s making. I wouldn’t even need any auto repairs if it weren’t for the show, because I was thinking about it when I crashed, and all the mistakes that I wouldn’t make if I was the guy, and then suddenly the engine is whining and the car is rolling to a halt and that reminds me, I need to get some recommendations for panel beating places because when I filled up with the wrong fuel and skidded to a halt, a guy went into the back of me. Rude!

Anyway, The Tachometer is a terrible, addictive show and I wish I didn’t love it as much as I did, especially with all the AI business. If it was just a guy taking cars on dates I’d understand, but it’s all ‘talking’ and ‘feelings’ and ‘the car protests when you take it in to get car servicing near Bentleigh.  You have to rip off its wheels and it cries and screams in pain and the whole thing is televised, even the part where it gets rejected by its human and taken to the junkyard.’

It’s a great distraction, though, I’ll give it that.


Quiet in Summer

Summer is…quiet. Most of the extremes are, if you stop to think about it. You’ve got that sweet spot in the middle, from mild weather to hot weather, where people spend time outside. Then if it snows, that absorbs the sound to make everything muffled. And if it’s super hot, so much so that people stay indoors under the air con, then that makes it quiet outside as well.

Of course, everyone has efficient air conditioning in Brisbane, so on a 40-degree day when the humidity is through the roof, everyone flops down inside, or stays hunkered in their cool offices. I suppose I have air con to thank in those circumstances, because I both love to be alone and also don’t mind heat. At all. I mean, I’m not a mutant, or a camel; I can’t trek through the desert with nothing to sustain me or anything stupid like that. But I can walk around in the sun for a bit and it doesn’t bother me. Even if it’s humid to a stupid degree I don’t mind sitting on a bench in the shade.

I guess this is counterbalanced by me hating the cold like it’s a plague, so if I ever DID get an office job instead of being able to do my work outside, I’d come in every day wrapped in scarves and gloves. Like, you don’t even know…people in Brisbane crank their air con up so high it’s like they’re trying to create a white Christmas, inside. Last year I had to make regular trips to the sauna that was the back laundry to survive the family Christmas without contracting hypothermia (which is how you get hypothermia in the first place, so…).

But the outside is mine. I’m ALL for getting the best air conditioning repair Brisbane has to offer. They’ve been doing their thing for a good while longer. Bring on global warming, all of that. I can take it. The air conditioner is up to the challenge.

Cool Repairs, Mandy

I’m not that cool, especially since I had kids and started to slowly take on all the positive and negative traits that I saw in my own Mum when I was growing up. But I suppose I am pretty cool since the TV room is air conditioned. And it’s all been cooling stations and grids on Week of Our Lives, as Realsville has been hit by a sudden spate of extreme summer weather. Personally, I thought they were gearing up for a mandatory beach episode- they have one every year- but they must be combining it with the Christmas special, because this week it was all about Mandy and her training with evaporative cooling services. Canberra has never appeared on the show before, because they can’t really afford to film there I guess, but now we saw Mandy’s high-flying life interning at the Canberra Cooling Authority, the office that sits right next to Parliament House and controls all the cooling and air conditioning services in Canberra (although also, the rest of the country).

Now Mandy is back, and she’s  exhausted from all these people asking her to come and look at their air con units and fix them to “How they do things up in Canberra town?”

Mandy finally snapped and said that she’d look at the Weiss family’s cooling unit tomorrow, but she’s been away and doesn’t know that the Weiss family are secretly cannibals, and they all play their trombones far too loud on school nights. Now they feel slighted, and they are planning a trombone reckoning on Mandy’s home until she agrees to come and fix their air con unit. Except THEY don’t know that while she was learning the secrets of air conditioning repairs, she secretly took lessons in cool-jitsu, the martial art taught only to air conditioning professionals to defend themselves from angry, hot and bothered clients who become rowdy.

A reckoning is coming…but to whom?