Friends who fish together…

My great uncle Rodney is doing pretty well for his age. He had his 80th birthday last week, and we celebrated this with a small family outing on his new boat, which he expertly steered along the coastline while downing imported ginger ale. I hope I’m as full of life as he is when I get to that age.

The new ride was a gift from Rodney’s lifelong friend, Tony, who happens to be a bit of a nerd for plate aluminium boat fabrication. Once upon a time, Tony was into building boats from scratch; now, his eyesight not being what it used to be and welding no longer his strong suit, he pays other people for their services in this field. He did do a bunch of the fitting out himself though.

So it’s a pretty extravagant birthday present, for sure. But when you get to that age (and have as much cash to throw around as Tony and Rodney do), it’s not that big of a deal – especially when you consider how long they’ve been mates, boating and fishing together. The two of them could talk bait boards and bow rails for hours on end, then switch to analysing their relationships and dreams for hours more.

Tony didn’t get to come out on the boat for Rodney’s birthday party, though, because he’d hurt his ankle tripping over a random cat while on his way to buy snapper racks in Melbourne the day before. Knowing him, he was probably talking its ear off about custom stainless steel accessories. I think Rodney was probably a bit miffed that Tony had managed to hurt himself the day before his birthday, but didn’t show it too much.

Perhaps bonding over marine fabrication is one of the keys to long-lasting friendship and good health into your 80s. If it is, I’ll sign up right now. Just point me to the fishing rod holders – I don’t know what they look like, so I’ll need some help.

Cirque Du Ute

I might not look like your average tradesman, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have the most utilitarian work vehicle on the block. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself as I wait for my new custom ute canopy to be finished. Finally, I’m going to have a place for the mats that’s separate from the juggling knives.

My job, in case you’re wondering, consists of running a travelling circus. Yes, you heard me, and yes, that is a real job. Instead of packing everything down into a rickety old caravan convoy, I move it from A to B in a van. At least, I did until I learned that I could have an aluminium tool box built onto a ute tray, along with drawer systems, hatches, fold-out surfaces and lighting, all to my specifications. Now I’m determined to own the coolest aluminium ute tray and canopy in Melbourne – or at least the best suited to my very particular purposes.

As it happens, though, my purposes aren’t all that particular. You’d think that running a circus would have virtually nothing in common with being an electrician or a landscaper, and you’d be right – except when it comes what’s needed in a work vehicle. Or so I assume, judging by the fact that I was able to have all my needs met without the guy I spoke to batting an eyelid.

I’m accustomed to having eyelids batted in my direction, to be honest. I think I’m considered the local fruitcake, on account of some of the things that I’ve routinely loaded out of the van in the past. The cool thing about the service body set up is that it makes for secure storage – the tool box central locking and security system looks pretty solid, compared to the van. So maybe I’ll be able to get away with not unloading three bullwhips, a novelty canon and a PA system at 3am.

From my perspective, my job is just as normal as that of the bricklayer next door. He stacks bricks, and I stack humans – up to ten at a time, I’ll have you know.

A Great Dream, Regarding Law

I had the greatest dream of my LIFE last night. And while they say that you only dream for an average of about 30 seconds, I have to object here. This one clearly went for half an hour or more; there were even boring parts in between the exciting stuff! Thus proving that it was a great and complete dream.

I’m pretty sure real life is now infecting my sleep life, hence why real-life elements kept creeping into my dream scenario. Like, I’ve seen enough property law firms in Melbourne in the last few weeks to last a lifetime, so naturally, property law is something I’m thinking about before I go to bed. Thus, my dream included a complex scenario in which mankind had been devastated by a meteor strike, causing us to become secluded in our own little enclaves. My particular tribe lived in the desert, but with such a small population, we obviously had no property lawyers to sort out our land disputes. So I was chosen to cross the wasteland to the green fields beyond, where it was rumoured that a property law firm was still operating, although this meant crossing the great bridge and forging my way through the dangerous Ice Forest, infested with vacuum cleaner salespeople, and also maybe demons? I don’t remember. I DO remember that I made it through to the safehouse at the end, where there was a barbecue waiting for me, except I was so hungry that I started eating a whole load of chocolate biscuits. Of course, that spoiled my dinner.

I’m really hoping there’s a ‘dream sequel’ to this one, because I never did find those property lawyers to settle our land dispute, and the people of the desert tribe are counting on me. I mean, ideally I can look for property law solicitors available in Melbourne, get their contact details and memorise them…then hope it works when I go back into the dream. I don’t know if this post-apocalyptic world has phone signal, but it’s at least a start.


Hair Removal, for the Little Ones?

I’m all for old literature, but I still seriously doubt some of these life lessons that our children are being taught. Like, if your parents die and you get basically sold into slavery to a terrible stepdad and two awful brothers, you shouldn’t do anything to improve your situation. Oh no, you definitely need to just wait it out and some magical godfather will appear and use his magical Mafioso powers (also a lot of money and drugs) to make your life all better.

Like, as a dad, I have to think about the things my girls will learn. They’re already impressionable enough to look at their older cousins and want to imitate them. Just yesterday Molly came to me and said that her cousin Sarah just went to a beauty clinic in Melbourne, laser hair removal is their speciality. Molly wanted silky smooth legs for her birthday. Just for a bit of context, Molly is thirteen. No thirteen-year-old without a serious medical condition needs laser hair removal, even if it is the best around. I don’t even think Molly knows what it means- I’m guessing she views it as a kind of haircut, but with lasers- but Sarah is getting it, so it’s great. Whatever Sarah and Erin do, my own girls must also…do.

I won’t pretend to understand beauty treatments. If Sarah and Erin want to look glam for the school formal by getting eyebrow tattooing, that’s their business and I’m sure my sister has already gone through the whole parenting shtick where she agonizes over it being okay. Hopefully she sets a strong precedent that I can use when Molly and Siobhan get a bit older. But for now, I think we just have to be careful about what our children imitate. Eyebrow tattooing probably isn’t recommended for children under ten. And I don’t know of any laser hair removal clinic in Bendigo anyway. No doubt they’ll know all about them once the grow up and start using the internet.


I Offer Myself for Profit and Relaxation

 Yes, I like bean enchiladas. AND ice cream that freezes my brain.

Nope…don’t have more than six children though. Man, these wanted ads where they post things that people need are just not as lucrative as you’d think. I’d love to be paid for the privilege of people sticking needles into me or whatever, but they all need such specific test subjects that I don’t qualify for a single one.

I thought being the test person for a dry needling course coming to Sydney would be a pretty sweet deal, given how much you see it around the place. And yet…no. It’s not a paid position. Still, at least it’ll give me an evening of quiet contemplation while people learn how to…well, stick needles in me, funnily enough, but this is in a much more relaxing way, is what I’m saying. The needles don’t have anything IN them, is what I’m saying. Nothing but pure, trigger-point goodness, that is. Or so I hope; it IS a course where people will be learning, which means they won’t know going in, which means that they might make mistakes, given that mistakes are the best way to learn…

Hmm, yeah. There could be a few prods and pains involved. Though I guess if I was bothered about pains, I wouldn’t be answering job ads that say ‘TEST SUBJECTS REQUIRED, PAIN AND DISCOMFORT GUARANTEED, TIME WELL-COMPENSATED’. Turned out that you needed to be both pregnant and a natural redhead for that one, and I tick only one such box.

Well, a dry needling course will be a time for reflection, especially since I won’t be learning. My only job is to lie very, very still. I can use that time to rethink my life choices, and maybe the prospect of getting a real job instead of just temp positions that cause pain and discomfort. Though hopefully it’s a really GOOD dry needling course, so good that people are already professionals after they move from dummy to real human trials.


Christmas is a Time For Safe Lopping

Ahh, Christmas in the Jacoby household. It sure is a nightmare.

Now, you might be saying that Christmas was only a couple of months ago. What could I be talking about? Oh no, we’re not talking about December Christmas. This is Christmas in July, a totally different celebration altogether. And what’s that, you say? It’s got to be months and months away? No, the preparations start now, for this most joyous pain-in-the-butt. It’s all about tradition, and tradition needs a proper windup.

We’ve already started practising the Christmas in July carols, and now it’s time for the traditional selection of the Christmas in July tree. The only thing I ask this year is that we call in the professionals. Tree removal companies in Melbourne operate at ALL times of year, up to and including Christmas in July. And this Christmas was enough of a near-miss that I don’t feel comfortable going out there with several unqualified family members and chopping down some massive thing.

Cousin Maybell was the one who found last year’s. It was a huge fir, big enough to hang all the Jacob family traditional decorations. Ironically, it was also Cousin Maybell who almost got her head clocked in when Cousins Herb and Samson hacked away at the thing for hours with their blunt axes and couldn’t tell which was it was falling.

Tree fellers, that’s all I ask. Some professional tree lopping people, so that Christmas in July isn’t ruined by a death in the Jacob family. I’ll call them! I look up all the tree removal arborists for hire in Melbourne, and they can lop down our tree. And hey, maybe the trunk won’t be totally crooked this year, either, because last year Cousin Daryl had to climb to the top to put up the traditional Jacob family star, and he ended up bringing down the entire thing on top of the outhouse while Grandma Ruth was inside.

-Forrest Jacoby Jr.

Our buyers advocate saved my hair. And my money.

I’m still rocking a full crop and we are homeowners. Credit to my favourite new person, our buyers advocate. Melbourne, you never run out of ways to make me love you.  

We’re not what you’d call stressy people. In fact, most stress just makes us want to shut down and sleep. I know for a fact there are worse ways to deal with stress. My mum used to clean. My sister used to argue. I’d just dive under the covers and hope that when I woke it’d all be over. If I had a dollar for all the times I went to bed with a  worried face and woke up to great news, I’d have more than twenty five bucks…

I was expecting to do quite a lot of snoozing when we bought our new place. I’d been told to steel myself, and to make sure the appropriate supports were in place. I’d seen my sister go to pieces over a sale and she made me promise to  contact a Melbourne buyers advocate, a guy she’d been told about through her girlfriend who just bought a house.

So I did.

I’ve never enlisted the help of a professional to do anything really, apart from the normal stuff like…do my taxes, fill a molar or stick me with my travel shots. Buying a house put me in touch with people I’d normally not meet- and I had no idea how much I’d like them- I have since found out  it’s impossible to have anything but deep seated gratitude and appreciation for someone who just found you your forever home…

The second we met, I realised that we’d be looked after. People often complain about the integrity of agents and people in the property industry, but I like to think I’m a great judge of character and I definitely felt a sense of genuine support when we decided which house we wanted.

 I’m more than happy that the purchase is done and dusted, but honestly? If you’re buying, get an advocate, and sleep in. that’s my advice.

I beat an injury that almost derailed my career. With AIR.

I’d been a competitive tennis player for almost four years when I almost destroyed my knee function. This is how I first found out about why so many athletes rely on hyperbaric chambers for recovery.  I’ll spare you the quease-making details, but I thought I was done for the second I realised I was badly injured. I remember thinking very clearly that there was probably no chance I’d ever run or pivot on my knee again. Fast forward a few months down the track and I’m playing again, and now have my own portable hyperbaric chambers. Melbourne came up with the goods and it was worth every single cent.

I’d spoken to many medical professionals about maximising my chances of p.laying again, and for the most part, I was met with less than optimistic responses. I’d heard of people with the same injury who were not encouraged to return to their field, pitch or course, and were devastated by the prognosis of their injury- for someone who loves tennis, I guess I felt compelled to try absolutely every single thing available to me to get me back on the court again. At all costs. I went looking for cures that weren’t offered as part of every recovery.

I fell into research around hyperbaric chambers and how they can assist an athlete to return to prior health at a faster rate.

While I knew it would take time, I also knew if I could be healed, I wanted it to be as soon as possible.

I was sold from the first session. I emerged from the chamber after treatment feeling deeply ravenous, and also tired, as though I’d really been through something. I  have been injured many times before and noted that my injury seemed to feel better the next day.

Four months later and I have invested in my very own portable hyperbaric chamber. It’s been a serious investment that I don’t take lightly, but then again, it should be taken with extreme seriousness- this chamber has given me the best chance I had for making a full recovery.

My Own Personal Catwalk

I wish people would just hurry up and automate houses already. Feels like we’ve had the technology for years and years now, but people are really dragging their feet about implementing it, much like flying cars and the ability to teleport to other planets for the purposes of tourism. Right now it’s just for really rich folks, but soon it’s going to be everywhere…

So they say, but ‘soon’ isn’t soon enough! I just cannot WAIT to be driving home- or letting my car drive me home- and I can just casually mention that i want the oven preheated to 280. Not that it’ll really matter, because the oven will be preparing dinner for me.

Of course, there’s my ultimate dream, and it involves nice little splash of fine designer LED lighting. See, I’ve always wanted to get dolled up in an evening gown, set up the lighting on my stairs so that it reacts to my presence in a sequential spotlight style, and then parade around my various corridors as if I’m a catwalk model. We all have our vices and desires, so I’ll thank you not to judge me for mine. Besides, as dreams go, it’s pretty tame. I just want some swish designer LED lighting to make me feel like I’m being adored and photographed by thousands, if not millions of people. There would also be strategically placed LED lights around the corridors that would flash whenever I strike a pose, to create that paparazzi feeling, and to perhaps help me to imagine that I’ll be on the cover of some glamorous magazine.

I tell you what: LED lighting is going places. If you want to buy residential LED lighting, Melbourne is the hip and experimental place to be at the moment. And when everything is automated, the lights will respond to our every whim. No matter WHAT you want them to do. I’ll fulfil my catwalk dream yet!

-Kat W.

Understanding Energy Storage

What is energy storage all about?

I came to Melbourne on a spiritual retreat to do yoga, meditate on the energies of the universe and look at crazy artwork to see what it says about me and my role in the cosmic ballet. And here’s a giant battery.

I guess Melbourne had to be known for something, especially after all this weird stuff in the last few years. Perth has that heating grid stuff, Brisbane now has the cleanest roads in the world, officially, and Adelaide is now the place where you go for air con. For some reason. And Melbourne has a big battery, I guess, I don’t even, for real. Apparently it’s all part of a massive industrial energy storage scheme to make energy consumption more efficient. This battery is just the first of many, and soon there are going to be loads of big batteries everywhere with people pedaling and generating power for the good of all.

I told my guru about it, and he said not to get distracted, because power generation was in the realm of normies. I should focus on generating my own spiritual energy. But then we had a seminar where we went out and lay on the grass and had to think for a solid hour about how mankind is ruining the planet, and how we were responsible for stopping the devastation. Then we had smoothies made from broccoli and hemp, it was kinda gross.

But, if mankind is wrecking the planet, isn’t energy storage and energy monitoring a really good thing? It’s helping to maybe, NOT wreck the planet. Making us more responsible. And it’s weird that we had a session where we had to prove that we hated technology by taking out our phones and smashing them, but we also booked the conference…online…

I’m not a total convert to this whole commercial energy monitoring scheme, but I’m sensing something really fishy. And it’s not the clownfish the guru keeps in tiny tanks embedded in his shoes.