High Speed garage

Who even knew that Realsville had a massive Formula One track right outside? This town is just full of surprises, just like when it was suddenly revealed that it had a beach (which would make it a coastal town) and also a large theme park and sports stadium and television industry and I think there’s a mysterious warehouse on the outskirts of town that’s large enough for several mansions all stacked on top of each other, but they haven’t mentioned it in a while.

Anyway, everyone with a passing interest in cars is revving up for the Realsville Derby, but Malachi has a secret advantage. He’s been interning in garages for car servicing, Glen Iris especially because that’s where the hospital is that cares for his sister is (she’s in a coma from the Christmas beetle invasion of 2014), but he’s picked up secrets from all of the auto service garages in the area. That allowed him to use coma-hypnosis on his sister to condition her to be the perfect shadow assassin when she wakes up, so she can avenge their whole family, but also he’s now, like super good at repairing cars.

He’s going to get a job at the F1 stadium and help his other brother achieve victory in the Realsville Derby, humiliating the Danson family publicly before he sets his sister on them by night. This car servicing expertise will also help to mend Malachi’s relationship with his brother, after the RC car destruction incident when they were both children, for which there has never been any forgiveness. These high-speed vehicles will mend that rift…that terrible Christmas rift, the worst kind.

I always tingle a bit when a service appears on the show that I’ve used. Next time I make a booking for a service , I’ll be thinking…Malachi was here. He serviced cars while thinking of both revenge and forgiveness. Squee!


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Hot Desk Stress

Who on earth came up with the concept of job interviews? Probably someone with an uncommon gift for for spur-of-the-moment self-promotion and a knack for judging dress codes.

As for the rest of us, we’ve inherited the task of having to manufacture these qualities for 20 minutes at a time while navigating the complexities of contemporary office spaces – you know, wondering if those ripped jeans-clad idlers hanging out near reception are just some randoms, or if that’s a floating task-specific workspace that doubles as a power napping area.

But then, this is typical of Melbourne. Office design trends come and go almost as quickly as the 96 tram, but there seems to be something of an abiding interest in flexible, open plan workspaces that facilitate collaboration. I mean, maybe this isn’t just a Melbourne thing, but as far as this country goes, I’d be willing to bet that most innovations in commercial interiors originate here.

So, what’s the latest in designer office fitouts, Melbourne design buffs? Have we moved on from hot desks yet? For the record, I’ve always found those to be pretty stressful. You’re never quite sure if you’re going to nab the one near the window, which adds just a tiny sliver of additional stress to your day. I suppose if all the desks were by a window, that’d be a different story.

On that point, I’m guessing green views and indoor plantings are still are still a thing, or at least I think they should be. That’s one interior design trend I can get behind, and not just on an aesthetic level. Organic greenery just makes me feel good, and if I can have it constantly in my peripheral vision, all the better for my performance on the job.

Obviously, I do understand the purpose of job interviews, and I don’t really have a better alternative to suggest. I guess I’m just expressing the fact that I don’t feel naturally adept in that arena.

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Tailored Solution

We’ve got this new concept for the shop, and I’m not sure how it’s going to go. It was Edgar’s idea. In short, we have our garment showroom up front, and a workshop up the back, with a glass wall dividing the two. The idea is that customers can see our tailors at work and connect this vision of handcrafted bespoke-ness to our wares.

It’s a good idea in theory. I’m just concerned about keeping the workshop looking presentable – it tends to get pretty messy in there, especially at peak times. Do we really want customers to be able to see clean through the glass partition to the takeaway boxes and dirty coffee cups piling up amidst the mounds of disorganised papers and fabric offcuts?

One option I have in mind is going for a frosted glass effect – you know, that etched sort of look. Maybe we could use something like that to give a semi-obscured peep into the work process without giving away all our secrets, particularly the less glamorous ones such as Nadia’s penchant for chips or Simon’s incessant stress-vaping.

It sounds kind of expensive, but I vaguely recall Simon mentioning something about adhesive films that go on glass for precisely this purpose. Maybe that’d be the most cost-effective way of doing it. I have a feeling that it’s offered by commercial glass tinting services. Have you done anything like this? Do you have any suggestions or recommendations?

Edgar’s not one to be argued with. I mean, I argue with him plenty, but he’s not going to take no for an answer on this ‘peep into the workshop’ idea, so I feeling like a frosted partition is a pretty decent middle ground. We’ll get the privacy we need (or, at least, should probably have if we want to stay in business) and Edgar gets his public parade of craftsmanship.

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Kitchen Stuff Please

Start a catering company, they said. It will be fun, they said. You like to cook, I said.

That last one is true, I guess. But as soon as something becomes your job instead of your hobby, you’d better prepare for the whole concept to come crashing down a few pegs in your mind. It’s like moving into an apartment with your best friend, and it’s all sunshine and roses for the first few days because you’re total besties and now you can be together all the time! But then towels are left on the floor, rent is late, dishes are unwashed, someone keeps missing their turn on the roster to clean the toilet and good grief, Samantha, if you block the dishwasher one more time I’m going to shove a dish rag in your face while you sleep! Then put the dishwasher on the pots and pans cycle.

I need a commercial wok burner. That’s the current worry, because I have 200 people to feed on Saturday, they want a Chinese feast and my pitiful little two-person burner just isn’t going to cut it. Commercial grade goods are something I’ve been in dire need of for a while, but the catering business has exploded so suddenly that I just can’t keep up with the massive demand. Can’t stand the thought of refusing jobs that I’m pretty sure I can do myself, but it’s really going to bite me at some stage, and this might be it. Maybe I could borrow a commercial wok burner? And this imaginary person could also let me use their commercial steamer, because 700 dumplings aren’t going to steam themselves; certainly not in the fun-size steamer I have in the van.

And the van…hoo boy. It was fine for small gatherings, but I don’t even think it could take a commercial oven before it loses the ability to go up hills. There’s a ‘bitten off more than I can chew’ pun to be made here, except there’s really nothing funny about the situation.


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Renovate the Kitchen? Okay, Sure…

The landlord came today and said that the kitchen was in a really good condition. He also said that he was really surprised that it was looking so shiny and new, especially considering that we’re a bunch of uni students.

I didn’t want to tell him that we don’t really…uh, we don’t USE the kitchen. Sometimes we use the microwave to heat up pizza and other leftover stuff, but that’s pretty much it. We get chips and stuff when we want them, and since Gazza discovered breakfast bars we haven’t even had to use bowls for cereal. Just grab a bar and you’re out of bed and ready in five minutes. Sleep is awesome, man.

So now he says that we’re getting some serious kitchen renovations all up in here, and he said that we can’t go in the kitchen for a few days while it’s all being done. Like…okay. We can just take pizza into the lounge like we usually do, I’ll keep the chips in my room, or we can buy our own chips…uh…anything else? Oh yeah, gotta keep the beer cold. Maybe we can get a mini-fridge and keep it in the lounge? Actually, why don’t we do that ALL the time?? It’s where we take the beers anyway.

Even if we get a bit old kitchen makeover, I’m not sure if we’ll use any of the stuff. Maybe we could request a few things? Like, it’d be nice if there was some sort of oven that heats up at the press of a button to the same temperature every time. Then we could stash the pizza in there when one of us is late back from uni, so it won’t get cold. And maybe a bigger fridge, because sometimes we have too much beer and it doesn’t all fit in.

I dunno what goes on when you get modern kitchen design. Maybe robots or something. But if it’s not to do with takeaway or keeping alcohol cold, I’m pretty sure we don’t be bothered. At least it’ll be clean.


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Game Design Office, Still an Office

Turns out that working in a game development studio is pretty much your average 9-5…with games. Not games during work, mind you. That would be seriously cutting down on productivity time. No, we just do stuff to do with games, and it doesn’t really seem to affect the way business is done all that much. A lot of people here are younger, which makes sense…and I guess I’m just doing grunt work. Still, I thought the vibe of one of Melbourne’s very few game design studio offices would be a little bit more energized.

Guess I just have to work my way to the top and change all that, because hoo boy, I’ve been planning this since I was five years old and my parents got me a Mega Pluto System. I wonder if there are businesses that offer office fitout near Sydney that would be able to take something as wacky as what’s in my head and make it a reality? I bet most office designers get calls for a lot of the same stuff, not that they necessarily WANT to be doing the same thing over and over again. “Yeah, could you make it open plan? White walls are fine. Some sort of neutral carpet; light blue, maybe. No, dark blue, definitely. And maybe have a few slightly alternative lights hanging from the ceiling that no one will notice after the first week. Thanks.”

Whereas if I was in control here, I’d make this a REAL video game office. Like, consoles on pedestals to show how far we’ve come. Screens everywhere with games just active, so anyone can jam on them and get their working mojo back. And the wall graphics…well, there would be wall graphics. That, and so much more. I bet if I found an office renovations and fitout company right here in the middle of Sydney and asked them for that, they’d appreciate the unique challenge. That’s what all offices should be anyway: representative of their type of business. And fun. Because games are fun.


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Winter Is Coming

Barb and I went camping in the mountains on the weekend – the first time we’ve been all year. Personally, I love being outdoors at this time of year, when the cold weather is just starting to creep in. Barb’s a bit more bothered, but we sorted her out with a pocket hand-warming device and some huge hand-knitted socks courtesy of my mother.

Coming back into Melbourne, though, got me thinking about the oncoming winter months – specifically, those mornings that make you want to put your day clothes on over your pyjamas to avoid the chill. Here in the city, that cold factor isn’t even mitigated by breathtaking views of frosty alpine slopes.

That line of thought brought me to the vague recollection that we’re due for a heater service. Melbourne winters are much easier to tolerate with a working heater of some description. Ideally, I’d love to have a fireplace, but we’re still a ways off from being able to install one, so for the moment it’s gas.

It’s not like I feel a need to have the heating on constantly – there are plenty of other ways to keep warm, as we’re currently attempting to teach the kids. Not that teenagers are much interested in rugging up in grandma’s blankets when it’s so easy to hit a switch on the wall. That’s a benefit of a wood-burning fireplace, actually: it would make them work a bit harder for their heat, and maybe consider their energy consumption in a bit more depth. 

But at the end of the day, ducted gas heating close to Melbourne in winter is something I really appreciate having access to. I don’t plan to leave it to chance as to whether our system’s in good working order, like I did last year. That was a mistake, let me tell you. When it finally conked out, it just so happened to be the coldest day of the year.

Blankets and bottomless cups of hot lemon tea are so important for wintertime comfort, but it’s nice to have a heating system to fall back on.

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How Do You Revive an Office Culture?

Got to say, I’m not really impressed by Polo: A Space Conflicts Tale. I get that everyone wanted a definitive origin story for Dan Polo, the galaxy’s most notorious space polo player (space polo is like regular polo, except they use massive spaceships instead of horses, and they wield gigantic laser bats to smack planets around). And it’s nice seeing how Dan got his name (because he plays polo) and how he meets all of his friends, but the whole thing just felt generic.

Generic is something I don’t really need any more of in my life, and if you saw my office, you’d understand. The place looks like the start of some 80s movie about a guy who feels trapped in mediocrity. Pretty sure the last time the boss got on the phone to find the best office designers Melbourne companies can trust, it was the seventies. Back then everything was covered in a haze of smoke and you could make it all as drab and lifeless as possible. Now we live in the enlightened era where smoking in an office building is utterly unthinkable, so…drab, lifeless office for all to see!

Even if there was some kind of office fitout whirlwind over the weekend and I came in to find that the walls were purple and all the cubicles and spinning chairs had been replaced by open-plan beanbags, I’m not convinced that the people here would fit the space. They’re all a little bit older than I am, a lot more world-weary, and no one even gets my pop culture references. I’m not even going to bother asking if anyone has seen Polo, because I know none of them have. And I guess asking a bunch of generic people if they’ve seen a generic movie is a recipe for boredom anyway.

I could be wrong, though. Someone could win a competition, getting us the best office designers operating in Melbourne to come and glam up the place, thus causing everyone to suddenly wake up and realise that life is beautiful and what-not. But I have my doubts.


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All Elbows and Knees

So… I have golfer’s elbow, apparently. At least, my physio suspects as much. It’s bizarre because I’ve never played golf in my life. If anything, I should have tennis elbow, given that I play tennis on the regular. But it seems that this affliction is not limited to golfers.

It’s actually called medial epicondylitis, if you want to be technical (or less sport-specific) about it. From what I can tell, it basically just means inflammation on the inside of the elbow, where the forearm tendon attaches to a bony thing called the medial epicondyle. It’s kind of like tennis elbow but flipped around to the other side of your arm. Fun galore.

One of my tennis buddies has been telling me for ages that I should stop clenching my fingers when I grip the racquet, but I keep writing her remarks off as pedantry. Oops! I’m going to have to lay off the tennis for a bit, so I’ll have plenty of time to revise the formal aspects of racquet grip between appointments for my shoulder pain with my myotherapist. Cheltenham area locals: who’s your go-to? I’m getting tired of heading way out west to see my old faithful; it’s time to find a clinic in this neck of the woods to look after what ails me.

My brother is always going on about his mate, a professional footballer, being magically cured of injuries by his sports physio. Sandringham is a tiny bit out of my way, but I could probably manage it if the results are really that good. I mean, I know there’s no magic cure for sports injuries, but a good physical therapist can go a long way towards making it seem that way.

On another note, I sometimes think you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t when it comes to physical exercise. Either you’ve got a sore back from being too sedentary, or you find yourself with golfer’s elbow from playing tennis. Where’s the middle ground? Maybe it’s swimming.

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Cars for a New, More Elegant Age

Now that we’ve all received the wonderful news that the moon will soon be terraformed, we should really start thinking about the various things we’re going to be needing when can walk tat verdant surface. Oh, there’s still a bit of holdout from the grump sorts who can’t accept that we’re going to be confined to domes for the rest of our existence, but they are just terribly short-sighted. How can we bear to gaze out at the lunar surface, gorgeous as it is, and NOT be able to walk upon it, except in bulky suits? This was always meant to be.

Of course, my mechanical skills were vital before when servicing the moon buggies, but I’ll be even more vital when it comes to building actual roads, and the fantastic future cars that will be driving upon them. As everyone should already know, I did my work experience at an auto mechanic. Ringwood was a different place fifteen years ago. My work experience lasted a whole four-and-a-half days. In that short week- shorter than usual because we finished early on Friday- I absorbed everything I could, and I’ve re-visited all of that information multiple times over the years. When Brother Whitley needed help replacing his tires, who stepped up? It was me! When Sister Alberta was hearing some strange noises in her Corolla, who recommended that she should take it into the mechanic, so that they could have a good look at it and sort out the problem! Multiple people, me included!

To design and service the moon cars, driving upon those moon roads…surely, my destiny is this. I’ve been working an office job for ten years, always dreaming of tire replacement, brake servicing and the occasional RACV insepction. Ringwood might have been a good place before me, but now my future is among the stars, the master of lunar travel. Surely, this is a fuller and richer destiny than any upon the Earth!


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