Television…of the FUTURE

There seemed to be some disagreement at the club tonight over whether television- in its current form- would exist in the future. Of course, there’s no doubt as to whether television would exist at all…certain shows just seem like they’re never, ever going away. Even if the end happens, I think Week of Our Lives will still be making episodes. Even if there’s some sort of cataclysm, there will still be fan petitions to finish the final season of ‘Fantasy’. It’s bad enough that they’re making people wait until 2019 to see it.

But there was some prevailing thought that people would have satellite technology inserted into their brains, thus allowing them to control any television set with their minds. So right now in Melbourne, antenna installation is you basic, standard ‘stick it on the side of the house’ affair. Or sometimes on the roof. It’s the best way we currently have to do things, but you have to admit, not quite as efficient as the antenna being inside your brain, allowing you instant access to a massive library of programming. In fact, with the right modifications, you could probably just project television before your very eyes instead of needing an actual television. That’s what it’s going to look like on public transport in the future, i suppose. People just sitting up straight, staring glassy-eyed into the middle-distance, because they’re catching up on the latest episodes of Week of Our Lives on their eye-screens. Of course, that means ads before your eyes as well…which is pretty inevitable. Hopefully you can skip them by thinking very hard.

So, looks like TV antenna repair specialists will have to innovate into what’s basically neurosurgery, but plenty of industries change over time, so they’ll be fine. And TV on demand, before one’s eyes, will be massive anyway. TV is never going out of fashion, ever, so we might as well get used to waking up to it playing on our eyeballs.




The Net Bandit Strikes Again

In the last week before our soccer finals, our tiny country team was dealt a massive blow. There had been a spate of thefts across the shire from sports clubs.  From what we’ve heard, thieves were breaking in overnight and pinching soccer goal nets. Sports netting can be expensive and clearly, someone didn’t want to pay for it.

Though it had been raised with the local council that we should invest in CCTV to protect the courts from vandalism, we’d never been funded, and had no way to find out who had our soccer netting. Beyond this, there was no way to tell how to get them back in time for the finals.

If we wanted a chance in the finals, we needed to find a way to get soccer goal nets for the field.  Rural finals were taking place everywhere, and with every court engaged, the only way to win was to find a replacement.

When we first found out, the general consensus was that it was just too late- we’d have to cancel, forfeit and let the other team take the cup.We had put a call out on social media for help.

We talked to the local radio station about how the soccer nets had been relatively new, and in great condition, but that we needed a replacements as long as they were usable. For three whole days and with only 72 hours left until the finals, nobody seemed to have a solution.

It’s not like anyone had any sports nets that they could simply give away. We were the underdogs in a game that we already looked like we would lose. The team were all but convinced that the cup wouldn’t belong to us this year- but just as everyone was about to give up hope, we received a call from a local sports retailer who supplied nets to the city. Thankfully they had been tagged in our post online about the sports netting being stolen and an anonymous donation had been made to replace our nets, brand new and free of charge. It now up to us to win the day and come home victorious.

Improving your home with wallpaper

People tend to think of renovations as being purely functional, or that it’s mostly expensive exterior upgrades. Things like adding another bedroom, expanding the bathroom, that sort of thing. The real truth is that form matters just the same as function, and both are important to you and your home.

For quick and easy way to spruce up your home, you might want to consider upgrading your walls. if you want to care about the form of your home, then you should seriously consider going with a high quality, and long-lasting wallpaper, or mosaic design, to add that special something to the interior of your home. It’s a fast and relatively inexpensive way to bring new life to an otherwise dull area of your home.

Wallpaper is hardly a new concept, as the original wallpapers were used pre-Victorian era, but modern 21st century technologies have allowed people and companies to create such intricate and beautiful designs that it begs belief, when you see it in full creation, that it was anything but what it is now, that it was simply a blank wall and some disconnected colours.

Modern wall covering and removable wallpaper are a huge step up from previous incarnations of interior design. If you are seriously considering going down that route, talk to your local wallpaper experts about all the new and exciting options. Let me tell you, wallpaper has a come long way since your grandparents. A great thing about wallpaper is their versatility of expression. There is so much that you can say with wallpaper that you simply can’t say anywhere else.

I myself decided to go down the wall coverings route, and we have loved every minute of it. I’m an artist by trade, and to see some of my designs come to life in bold prints on my walls is a dream come true. It’s simply incredible what you can achieve with a little imagination. I came with a brilliant rainbow brick wallpaper pattern to brighten up a rather drab kitchen wall in our newly renovated home. As such, my family are more than proud to have my designs on the wall for everyone to see.

Wherever I Go, the Sugar Follows

There aren’t many people who’d move house based upon an addiction to chocolate, but you don’t know what it’s like. I don’t know why I keep buying it, and I don’t know why I keep eating it after I’ve bought it, but that’s the way it is. I’m caught in a cycle of destruction.

That is, I USED to be. I specifically chose a place where the kitchen window is positioned directly in front of a busy shopping street. I’ve taken down the curtains- because who needs curtains in the kitchen anyway?- and now the fridge and cupboards are in full view of everyone. If I want something unhealthy, I have to go and grab it in front of everyone. Sounds awful, and it IS awful. I haven’t touched chocolate since I got here.

Of course, my brain is grasping for sugar hits in other ways. I had to go into the conveyancing office to sort out my vendors statement, and I ended up by myself for a few minutes in an office with a bowl of breath mints. I took one, hoping it’d be the kind that are far too strong to have multiple at once, but no. They were your garden-variety chewy mints, so very satisfying to eat and perfect for shoving into your mouth.

I tried to resist. But then, my brain plays the most nefarious tricks. ‘This is a property document! You need a sugary jolt so you can look over this vendors statement and make sure everything is okay! Take the mints, take them now, or your property documents may not be in order!!’

I ate all the mints, obviously. And I’d go around to every single of the best conveyancers Melbourne has to offer, to eat their mints, because I have a serious problem. So, the next step is to lock myself in the apartment, only have food delivered, and have my receipts sent to Mum so she can pinpoint anything unhealthy. I’ll detox. But a bit of chocolate might help me look over this vendors statement, because it’s quite important to my financial future NO. Have some self-control, Alex, for heaven’s sake.


Guide to Windows in Melbourne

Melbourne is a lovely multicultural city, and this is reflected in the hodgepodge of architecture you will find. Those interested in architecture, and especially the architecture of windows, will find much to see in the many suburbs of Melbourne. If, like me, you are an enthusiast of sash windows, Melbourne is certainly the place to go.

I have extensive photographs of many of the different windows found in Melbourne. Over the years, I have made three trips there to look at the beautiful building designs. I am even planning to go again within the next two years, though perhaps this time without my wife, as she is not much of a window buff herself. She tolerates my hobby, and has been very supportive by accompanying me on my many trips, but she seems to become ever more irritated with every window fact I tell her.

Looking at various window designs in a big city is a skilled art. I have heard of others in the window appreciation community getting into trouble with the law. Some people think that window enthusiasts are trying to look inside the windows!

My recommendation to those who love window design is to choose public buildings. Private homes are just too risky, in my opinion, even though they often have the most interesting windows. Those who love sash windows can try going to display homes, or to houses open for inspection, to see their favourite designs. While it is a little dishonest to pose as a buyer, there is really no harm done at the end of the day. Remember to always be careful when you are indulging in your hobby, nobody wants to deal with window replacements. Melbourne also has some of the most beautiful stained glass windows in the country. Be ready for an enthusiastic day of window gazing if you’re ever in town.

Just remember to be careful! I have heard of some unruly members of the community actually breaking windows by accident. If you look with your eyes instead of with your hands or with a rock (to probe the strength of the window, of course), you will be in the clear.

The Easter Bunny Arrived Late

My brother Stanley surprised me this morning by announcing that he’d acquired a rabbit. Who’d have thought? I’m sure I have no recollection of Stan ever expressing the slightest bit of interest in any such thing. Then again, he’s always been predisposed to sudden flashes of inspiration, and I guess that’s what happened here. The rabbit’s name is Buster.

Naturally, I had few questions. What do rabbits eat? How do they behave? Are they playful? What’s at pet rabbit’s usual lifespan? All these questions and more, it turned out, were shared with me by Stan, but that’s wasn’t stopping him. He immediately jumped on the internet and reeled off a bunch of facts about rabbits, gleaned from a combination of discussion boards and the website of a random veterinary surgery in Bayside.

For starters, he told me, rabbits are herbivores – well, I could have told him that much. All kinds of plant matter makes up their natural diet, which can be simulated with a mix of vegetables and hay. Stan threw in that Buster seems particularly fond of leafy greens.

Next, Stan read out that rabbits are quite smart and enjoy logic-based toys involving things like boxes, parcels, draws and tubes, with food as a motivator. This was news to me, and made me begin to feel a fondness for Buster (beyond the obvious appeal of his adorable furry noggin). They also have particular behaviours that aren’t shared by cats and dogs, most of them with absurdly cute names like ‘binkying’ and ‘nose bonking’.  

Starting to warm to the idea of a pet bunny, I asked Stan what the go is with pet desexing requirements in Bayside, specifically as they pertain to rabbits. That was where he got a bit stumped and said he’d need to ring to the council to find out.  

He was pretty tight-lipped, too, about where he acquired Buster from. I’m not sure why he wouldn’t tell me. Who really knows with Stan? Fortunately, I do know that commitment is one of his strong suits, so Buster should be in for a pretty good life. 

Heating your home: style vs function

I have travelled all over the world designing people’s homes. It is a real privilege being asked to create the space in which people want to spend their lives. From their most intimate moments to their most public ones, the home is the stage on which life is set. I’d like to discuss a recent job I took in Melbourne, Australia. A lively, successful young couple asked me to assist in designing their dream home in the beautiful setting of Melbourne. There is one constant I have noticed in all my work across Australia and that is Australia’s obsession with cooling and heating. With temperatures ranging from over 40 degrees to nearly freezing, it is essential to any home to have both cooling and gas heating in Melbourne. Between wallpaper exhibitions and vintage furniture shopping I found the time to pull some strings with my connections in the air conditioning world in Melbourne.

In order to not compromise on style I like to take an integrated approach when it comes to providing functional elements to the home such as central heating. Vents can overcome the issue of a large bulky unit however some of the latest cooling units from the bigger brands can be an art piece in themselves. The risk of using an overly fancy system is that when it breaks it can be hard to find a repair company. Luckily I happen to know the best heating service Melbourne has to offer. They happen to service all major brands which is a big plus. It is this very reason that it is important to consult a professional when designing your home. Those small tips on functionality and efficiency that escape the mind of non industry insider can be crucial to enjoying all aspects of your home. In countries like Australia it can be difficult to manage the highs of summer with the lows of winter, as well as equipping your house with the latest tech in cooling and heating I also recommend equipping your wardrobe with the latest parka and goose feather duvet.

Over-Achieving Neighbour

My neighbour, Jamie always seems so together. She seems to have it all going on – not only does she manage to earn a living illustrating pulp fantasy-genre book covers, she’s also halfway through a PhD in fine arts. To top it off, she competes in triathlons in her spare time. I’ve never imagined that she could be feeling the pressure, even though it makes total sense now that I think about it.

Not that it’s any of my business, but her gossipy sister told me this morning that Jamie has been receiving psychiatric treatment in Mornington on a regular basis for several years. I’m not sure of the nature of the condition at hand, but apparently it’s a chronic mental illness of some kind and requires medication. I probably could have found out more details if I’d wanted to, given how much the sister seemed to be enjoying reeling off this rather personal information, but I didn’t care to pry.

Of more interest to me is the realisation that successful high achievers can have problems too. It’s really not surprising to me that someone as creatively prolific as Jamie might also be prone to high anxiety or something. Or maybe her thing is entirely unrelated to what she does in life. Who knows?

I remember seeing a psychologist as a kid. It was when my family relocated to Melbourne from Alice Springs, and my folks were concerned about me adjusting to city life. I didn’t especially see the point of it at the time but, in retrospect, I’m glad to have been provided with some solid psychological support. On the Mornington Peninsula, where I now spend most of my time, it’s pretty easy to get access to services of this nature, and I’m aware that that’s not the case everywhere in the world. In fact, I imagine it’s most limited in the places where it’s most needed.

Long story short, Jamie seems to be managing her condition pretty well, and I’m glad she’s got a good mental health care plan going on.


No Lights in the Gym = Dangerous

So, according to my calculations, including the protein bar, the shake, the chicken, the tuna, then the eggs and the shake again…that’s, uh…

SO much protein. Like, all the protein. Man, I’m gonna be so buff tomorrow. That’s definitely how fitness works!

Can’t afford to slack off, even though life is just constantly shoving stuff in my way. There’s only nine months left until we hit summer again, so that’s all the time I have to fight that flab and get beach body ready. And I really mean what I said about life, because everything is conspiring to stop me from reaching my goal. Today at my shoddy old gym, the lights went off for the third time this week. Like, get your act together, Power-Up Gym! Get some commercial lighting solutions in there, pronto!

Of course, I tried not to let that stop me. There aren’t any windows, so the place was almost completely pitch black. But I was in the middle of a set, and a bit of darkness isn’t going to make me stop. I went onto finish that set, then felt my way to the kettlebells and just started swinging away like a champ. Clocked a guy on the head, but fortunately I was only using my warm-up weight and he didn’t know who it was. Just dropped the kettlebell (on my left little toe) and felt my way to the left extension machine. The perfect crime. No one ever suspects the leg extension guy.

But seriously, lighting. When people are lifting really heavy stuff, I think some really powerful lighting is in order, and lighting that works. Get some residential energy storage if you have to; we need it more than most other folks do! The lights go out at the hospital…big deal. They’re all just lying there anyway. But I won’t have stupid, old, faulty lighting wrecking my leg day.


The Monster of the Badminton World

Now, I really have to ask myself…how much do I want the grand prize trophy? Badminton has been pretty important to me up until now, but on the other hand, I got into badminton because I thought it’d be less competitive. You know, a sport with such a light little thing that you hit with feathery little rackets, and it flies up and comes right down like a fairy. Everyone has a great time in Badminton, right? It’s like tennis, but exclusively for people who don’t want to get involved in all of that racket-smashing silliness. And less grunting. WAY less grunting.

So that didn’t turn out. Not since I met Samantha and had her as my badminton partner. She’s so competitive, it’s even starting to affect ME. I only learned later that she was kicked out of her last club for savaging the tennis netting every single time she lost, along with her racket and any other racket she could find. Samantha said she took anger management classes with a guru, but they didn’t help in the end. She had one final tennis match where the lost on a tiebreaker, and she was so enraged that she grabbed a lighter from a guy watching and set the tennis nets on fire. Hence…why she was kicked out.

Of course, I found out all of this, as well as her previous nickname (‘The Monster’) after she became my badminton partner. We did pretty well in the early season as well, which was probably why I never saw her unbridled apoplexy until the finals when we lost in a close game against her former tennis rival.

All I can say is that I have now seen attacks against sports netting that I never want to see again, and now I have to find myself a sport even calmer and less threatening that badminton. But WHAT? I don’t think there is one! Though I could just pick one that doesn’t have a net and hope that ‘The Monster’ doesn’t follow me…