Gnome Plumbing Management

Plumbing in Gnome town is no joke. The kind of stuff I see in sewers and drains here is quite unbelievable. Probably the strangest thing I’ve ever encountered was when I went to a young gnome wizard’s house, who said he was having troubles with his bathtub. When I went into the bathroom, I was shocked to discover that there was no bath—just a drain! The young wizard then explained that he had accidentally shrunk his bathtub and gotten it stuck down the drain, which was what he needed help with. Now that’s something you don’t see outside of the Magical Region of Victoria, which both Gnome Town and Magical Gardens are part of.

We get weird requests all the time, so I’m starting to think my boss should be looking into some trade job management software, honestly. Every day, we go to work and he’s struggling to give us all the right assignments. Today I was like “bro, just get some software to take care of this stuff”, but he insists that he can handle it. He definitely can’t handle it, but he’s a stubborn old gnome. Forman O’Gorman believes that he could stop a building from falling over with his mind if he thinks hard enough, so he’s never going to admit that he can’t take care of some job assignments. I’ll keep trying, though. If anyone knows of a business offering plumbing job management software in the Melbourne area, please tell me about it. I don’t think I can take much more of this chaos.

So, before I wrap up, do you want to know about another crazy job I once had? I need a break from ranting about job management programs. Basically, I once went to this guy’s house to clean his drains. He was being pretty coy about what had caused the issue, so I used my drain camera to figure it out. Turns out that his familiar, a small blob cube, had crawled down the drain and gotten stuck there! I guess the guy was too embarrassed about losing his familiar to admit it.

Anyway, I’m out!

– Draino

Switching From Accounting

Okay, so I’ve been having a big think about what I could do if I were to change my career, and I think I’ve finally settled on something I like. If I decide to stop being an accountant, I’m going to go to the Supervillain Training Academy and become a scientist. Now, I know what you’re thinking. A scientist? It seems like everybody is a scientist these days. Frankly, though, I don’t care. I love the thought of being a  scientist who tries to take over the world. The alternative is that I stay on this path in life and become something like an outsourced CFO. I know that works for my dad, but I really think it’s just not for me. I can be more in this life. I can be an evil scientist. I’m going to be an evil scientist. There’s nothing you can do to stop me!

When I think about the idea of having a nemesis—some goody-two-shoes superhero—I get really excited. How awesome would it be to have epic battles that are constantly appearing on the news? He would win some, I would almost win others. We’d have a great rivalry and ultimately really respect each other deep down. Doesn’t that sound cool? Cooler than being a small business tax accountant in the Melbourne area, at least. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love doing taxes as much as the next person. I love managing payroll systems and making sure that my coworkers get paid. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. But deep inside, I know that I would be happier as a scientist. I think I just have to be true to myself and go for it, even if others think I’ll be ruining my life. If I end up behind bars for a scheme, at least I will have lived my free years to the fullest. 

Stanley’s Video Parable

Good morning, Stanley. Are you ready for another day of pushing your button?

“What? Who said that? Are you a ghost?”

I am not a ghost, Stanley. I am your narrator. Right now, you are sitting in your chair, ready for another simple day at work. It’s a simple job you have, pressing a single button over and over again, but it carries a great deal of weight. For without pressing that button, a local video production company, near Melbourne, would cease to exist.

“Wait, nobody ever told me that. Are you sure, Mr Ghost? They just told me to press this button without giving me a reason but promised to pay me really well to do it. Then again, my salary was never made clear, and I’m yet to see a paycheck even though I’ve been working here for five years. Maybe I shouldn’t press the button today. Who cares if the random local 2D animation company can’t produce videos? I don’t! I’m not pressing it!”

Stanley pushed the button, as he had done every day before then.

“No, I didn’t!”

Yes, you did.

“Listen here, Mr Ghost, I don’t know what kind of sick game you’re playing, but it makes no difference to me whether videos get made or not. Does my job help with post-production services? Does it help this company with creating particle effects? I have no idea because nobody has ever told me. So, until I get a paycheck and some more information, I am not doing anything.”

Stanley continued pushing the same button over and over again, as he was contractually obligated to do. He most certainly did not get up, leave his cubicle and begin exploring the abandoned office, wondering what had happened to everyone. No, indeed it was just a regular day at the office, filled with regular people. Nothing out of the ordinary was going on at all.

“You’re weird. I’m out of here.”

And so, Stanley pushed the button once more.

Back problems

I’d say that I first started noticing a decline in my mobility ten years ago. It was a very subtle decline that I suspected was normal. Over the last two years, however, I have noticed that this decline was becoming rapid. I tend to now have very sore knees and a stiff lower back, day in and day out. I’ve even had to retire from work. This job involved a lot of standing at cash registers, and it probably contributed to the fatigue in my legs. Now that my back and knee pain is so excruciating I had to quit my job. I guess at my age it’s not untypical to retire now. I wish it was only my work life that was affected. This pain is really affecting all aspects of my life. For example, the other day I was trying to get into the bath and I couldn’t. I just couldn’t lift my leg high enough to ease myself into the tub. I basically had to let myself fall in. This was a really depressing day when I realised this was the case. I felt old and useless. My daughter recommended that I look into an easy step bathtub conversion as that’s what her husband’s parents have recently had installed. Basically, the conversion involves cutting in a point of easy access into the bathroom so I can walk into the tub rather than having to struggle while lifting my legs. 

I do think this bathtub modification is a good idea and definitely a path I need to go down. For the moment, I absolutely dread bath time because I know I will spend ten minutes trying to safely get into the bath, and ten minutes trying to get myself out. At present, I’m also causing a lot of strain for myself trying to do these movements. There are a few bath modification specialists in the Sydney CBD which I plan to speak to this week to get a quote. The cost of the installation is the least of my worries though as I know this is something I need.

Timber Kennel Build

So I’ve been to the hardware store! I’ve purchased all the tools and material that I’ll need to build a kennel for my dogs, and I’m ready to go. First thing tomorrow I’m going to put my protective goggles on, get out my chainsaw and start building. 

I’m very grateful for the guys at the hardware store not far from Bentleigh. They were seriously so helpful. They looked at both my kennel designs carefully and chose one that fits in with what I want and the shape of my yard perfectly. They also took into account my lack of building skills and suggested the one that they think will be easier to build. Guess which one they chose? The one with the two individual kennels connected by a balcony and stairs! I’m so excited.

The building is going well. It’s definitely not easy, especially with my great Dane picking up planks of wood and running away with them like they’re sticks. He’s so big and funny. The planks of wood are literally bigger than my chihuahua. It’s funny to be reminded of how different my dogs actually are. No wonder people love them so much and find the pair so funny. That’s how I feel about them too.

For a bit there during the build, I thought I was going to run out of high-quality building supplies. Cheltenham has plenty of places to buy timber and supplies so I wasn’t too worried, but I’m glad the guys at the hardware store thought about my design correctly and gave me exactly what I needed. They gave me no more, no less. 

The kennels have now been built and they look awesome. I’ve spent the afternoon showing my dogs which kennel belongs to them and where to sleep, but I don’t think they’re taking any notice of it. My great Dane is currently trying to squeeze into my chihuahua’s kennel.

Tooth Brushing Fan

I’m the biggest fan of brushing my teeth! I absolutely love it. I love how fresh I feel after I brush. When I brush my teeth it seriously feels like I’ve washed away all my sins. It doesn’t matter if I’ve vomited from drinking too much, or eaten the worst food in the world that day, if I brush my teeth afterwards then I’m in the clear.

I also like brushing my teeth because my parents spent so much money on my orthodontic treatment when I was a teenager, that looking after them feels like the right thing to do.

But yeah, there really is no downside to brushing my teeth. I brush my teeth at least three times a day. That’s after every meal, and then if I leave the house I brush my teeth too. Sometimes I brush my teeth upwards of six times a day. And I feel absolutely fantastic every single time.

Anyway, got to go! I’ll upload this post even though it’s unfinished and finish it off next time I log on. Chat soon everyone.

Oh, wow. I was logged out for twenty-four hours and I now have thirty comments on this blog post. That’s up there with the most amount of comments I’ve ever received. At first, I was really excited, but now I’m stressed. What do you mean there’s such a thing as brushing my teeth too much? I swear the dentist near Bayside told me that I needed to brush my teeth more. Now that I think about it, maybe they said that when I was just brushing my teeth in the morning.  

Apparently, I can make my gums recede by brushing my teeth too much. Is that actually true? I love my teeth. I don’t want to have ugly gums. That would do the opposite of making my mouth feel fresh.

Keeping teeth nice

 

This might be quite embarrassing to say but I used to be a child actor. I was known as a ‘triple threat’. Basically, a triple threat is someone who can sing, dance and act. I did a lot of musical theatre and TV ads. As I got older I stopped with the acting as it evolved from something I was proud of, to something that was embarrassing. I’d say a big part of that was due to school bullies. I remember there being quite a few years in school where I was appearing in many TV ads and catalogues. The other kids found this hilarious and would always poke fun at me. Without even realising I found myself slowly quitting all the acting and modelling jobs. I’ve asked my parents about it and they said that I started to lose interest and that they didn’t want to force me to do something that I don’t feel comfortable with. Now that I’m in my 20s I’ve decided to give modelling and acting another crack. I think I take more pride in my appearance than most males. For example, I regularly make visits to the local Bayside dental specialists near me.

 

As an actor, I like to ensure that everything about my appearance is in top form. I eat well, hardly drink, and I don’t smoke. I exercise each morning and do my best to get at least eight hours of sleep each night. I still have a few friends who make fun of me for being an actor, but when you’re nearing thirty the words do bother you a lot less. Unlike them, I’m also in a much better physical and healthy condition because I have the motivation to look after myself. I don’t see them being committed to strict eating habits or having regular preventative dentistry visits. In fact, whenever something happens to their teeth they just don’t care at all. I like to think that putting all this effort in will not only benefit my career but also benefit my health as I age.

 

Pool House Door Replacement

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Thirty years ago I met my now-husband and moved across the country for him. We only knew each other for a year before I decided to pick up my life to be with him, and I’ve never looked back. I love my family just as much as I love my husband, but I followed the possibility of true love and I’m really glad I did. I now live in Melbourne and the rest of my family live in Perth. My family comes to visit twice a year.

When my family visit they tend to stay for a month or so at a time, which we are all really happy about. However, seeing as we’re all grown adults we are all aware of the fact that we need our own space. When my husband and I built our house twenty-odd years ago, we decided to build a fully self contained pool house to go along with our house. That way my family could visit and live in their own space, and we could have our own too. It was a genius idea. 

As with everything over time, wear and tear happens. Our pool house is in the need of a few repairs including a door replacement. Melbourne homes are built by the best, but after more than twenty years, it makes sense that parts of our house and pool house need fixing. My husband and I are going to get everything in the house repaired before my family comes over next month. We both want my family to be as comfortable as possible when staying with us, especially because they’ve gone to the effort to travel over three thousand kilometres to be with us.  

Whilst we’re at it, we’re also going to get a sliding windows replacement in the main house, which is our home. We can afford it and we enjoy the finer things in life, so we are upgrading our current windows to stunning sliding ones. 

Plumbing Puzzles

Have you heard of that new escape room in the city? My friends and I are going this weekend, and I think it’s going to be a heap of fun. I’ll admit, I was sceptical when I first heard that it was plumbing themed, but Joe has talked me into giving it a chance. Apparently, plumbing can actually be a really exciting topic, and Joe thinks it’s a great idea for an escape room theme. So, I’ve changed my attitude and am really looking forward to it now. Hopefully it’s as good as Joe expects!

Of course, Joe knows all about plumbing, being a professional plumber himself. He claims to have fixed all the blocked drains around Thornbury, which is quite the achievement! On the other hand, that does mean that he finds plumbing more interesting than most other people, so that could be why he thinks this escape room will be so interesting. I’m willing to give it a proper chance, though, even if we do have to drag the rest of our friends there.

Joe originally wanted to go to this escape room with just the two of us, but I thought it made more sense to bring a whole group. More brains mean that we’ll get through the escape room easier. They can be really difficult, and you only get an hour to complete them, so it’s better to have more people, in my opinion. I would have been happy to go just with Joe, but at what cost? How much of the escape room would we have made it through alone?

Anyway, I need to brush up on my knowledge of plumbing before this weekend. Where can you get drain camera inspections? Melbourne, of course! That’s one of my flashcards, helping me get the knowledge needed to pass this puzzle room’s many tests. We’re going to finish this escape room. I’ll make sure of that. If we don’t, we’ll have to come back again next weekend to try a second time.

 

– Jane

Long Driving Retreat

My favourite thing to do in summer is to take a really long drive out to small towns I’ve never been to before, sleep next to the ocean, check out a couple of antique shops, then head home to catch up on the real world. It generally adds up to around three or four days of solid driving. Most of my friends don’t get it at all, but I enjoy the dedicated time to myself, and my house doesn’t have aircon… seems like a no-brainer to me.

Anyway, today I’m on my way back to a town that has been on my list of places to visit for along time and, low and behold, my car is failing. Please tell there is a highly recommended mechanic in Mornington. It’s beginning to dawn on me pretty seriously that the remainder of the drive is going to be far from enjoyable if I don’t get my car fixed, stat.

I’m guessing that the Mornington Peninsula is the closest area likely to have someone who can help me out on short notice. I’m generally pretty good at making small tweaks to the van on the road, but the air con is one thing I’ve never been any good at dealing with. It helps that I tend to get the thing professionally serviced on the regular, although I did cop out on my last scheduled check-up at the mechanics. In my defence, my registration was due and I had to go to the dentist that month, so give me a break.

I suppose I could use this as an opportunity to get a general car service. Mornington is a nice area to spend an afternoon while I wait right? Surely I can occupy myself there for a day while I wait for the van to get sussed out. I could find a cool cafe for lunch and then take a nice walk along the beach. If it’s nice I  could even book a hotel room and spend a weekend in Mornington enjoying the sea air. It seems extravagant, but when was the last time I did that?