The Great Musical Pioneers

Lorne hotelNo one said pioneering a new form of music was going to be easy. But then, all the great inventors in history were scoffed at, right before they went on the change the world and thus rub it all in the faces of the people who’d been mocking them.

That’s what I’m hoping to do with our new band: Smooth Skull Melody. It’s a daring hybrid of screamo, jazz and neo-classical, with hints of alternative rock. SSM is going to be recognised as a daring experiment in the future, and one that started a melodic revolution. But for now…we’re just giving free shows on the beach. And getting kicked out.

Our band formed in Lorne, where accommodation is plentiful and perfect for holiday-goers. With such a diverse crowd from all around the place, it seemed like the perfect place to do a bit of busking, get a feel for the crowd and even spread the word all over the country, if people wanted to buy our CDs. There are plenty of buskers in Lorne; it’s all part of the holiday charm. People don’t usually set up a full band, though…and even though there are only three of us, it’s a lot of equipment. A full drum kit, for one thing. Amps for our guitars and cellos. And that trombone is pretty heavy, all things considered.

Still, we’ve secured our spot as part of Lorne’s entertainment. People coming to visit the Great Ocean Road and staying in nice hotels have their experience expanded by our avant garde music! Until the local police tell us to turn it down or get out.

See, this is what I mean about people not understanding. If I’d booked a Lorne hotel, I’d be HAPPY to be treated to an amazing musical experience while I stroll along the beach. This must be exactly how Galileo felt.

-Jupe

One Day, All Shall Be Part of My Kingdom

property advocateEvery year I end up at this housing conference, and every year I end up humiliated. Not in any major public way, but…it’s enough. I keep telling people that I’m going to ascend to a position of great importance, then it never actually happens. Still here. Doing the same job. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a secretary, but I conveniently keep bumping into the same people. Claire Jones from Brisbane, who now owns her own real estate firm. Good for you, Claire.

Alistair Johns, who I think has something to do with buyers advocates in Melbourne. I can’t say for sure what he does, only that it sounds terribly important and involves bumping elbows with all the housing superstars. I mean, let’s be honest: buyers advocates have the cushiest jobs that I can think of. Not that it’s easy or anything, but it IS nice to find the dream home for you clients. Oh, you need to find a really nice home? Just let me walk around some premium properties, see what I can find. If it were me I’d spend my days lounging around luxury homes pretending I was rich. You get all personal with the clients, get some walking and travelling in…man, that’d be GREAT.

And here’s me. Still just…being a lowly secretary. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a secretary, and I don’t think I’m too bad at it. 90 WPM, the highest rate of typing in the office. I can give you the low-down on the property ladder anywhere within a thirty kilometre radius of here. I do my research, basically. One day I’ll come to the conference and wear a big, shiny badge that says what I do..and that will be something important. Maybe I’ll be an estate agent team leader. Wouldn’t mind being a property advocate. Melbourne could always use more of those, right?

-Chip

The best heating for the tenants

gas heating CanberraEverything I do, I do for my tenants. Everything I say, I say with the tenants in mind, and now my livelihood, and everything I care about, is tied up in this building manager job. My job is to keep them happy but right now, the apartments are too cold.

They have been freezing for a few days now and there has been little I could do about it now that I’m no longer in charge of the central heating repairs anymore. Our maintenance guy Tim wanted to take over the servicing and so he was placed in charge of that.

When Tim quit it meant nobody was taking care of the gas heating. Canberra can get ridiculously cold in the dead of Winter, especially in the mornings. I’m not entirely sure what broke the camel’s back so to speak, but I’m pretty sure that overuse of the heating may have been partly to blame. I heard that the fish tank in the lobby had a layer of ice on top this morning.

It’s been monstrously cold these last few weeks, and moving from place to place has not been kind to the tenants, nor to the heaters installed in the apartments. They have been overdue for a service for a while now, it was just a matter of time before they started to breakdown.

It’s tough out there without a warm room to come home to, which is why everyone has been yelling at me to get their heating fixed. I like to think I’m friends with all my neighbours but how quickly the claws come out when things don’t go to plan. It’s not as if I personally went to each of their apartment and took away their heat!  It’s not even technically my job anymore to fix things, but there is nobody else.

I better get in touch with the heating services and repairs company, Canberra is getting any warmer any time soon. In the meantime, I’ll make sure everyone has enough blankets and stuff.

Addicted to the Idiot Box

TV antenna MelbourneI’m not really one for documentaries, but they can interest me on the odd occasion. Maybe it’s a med-student thing. I see something about gross medical procedures and I’m all like ‘sign me up!’. It’s basically studying, yeah?

This one wasn’t anywhere near the levels of grossness that I’ve seen in the past, but it was so hair-raising that I just had to give it a go. It was a docu-drama, actually. It was called Shame of Groans, and it was all about the effects on your body if you force yourself to go into work while you were feeling ill. Lots of people do it because they’re workaholics, and it really takes a toll after a while.

Thing is…my TV signal is out. I’ve scoured Melbourne for antenna repair because I NEED to find out what happens, and my housemate said that I can just look it up on the internet but they clearly don’t understand. I may be a millennial, but I’m old-fashioned. There’s a scintillating thrill to watching something as it comes out, at the time of airing, at the same time as everyone else who’s doing the same thing. I can imagine this is how people felt in the fifties, when television was new and everyone rushed home at the end of work to watch something politically-incorrect, because that’s all that was on TV at the time. It’s a thrill. Yep, maybe I was born in the wrong generation or something.

Stupid docu-drama, getting me hooked. At this point I’ll end up binge-watching it online, breaking all my principles, not getting any sleep and going into uni feeling terrible. And then I shall have the shame of groans. But it’s not going to happen, if I find myself a decent TV antenna in Melbourne. I like the show, but I don’t want to be a part of it, if you know what I mean.

-Simon

Window Repairs on Standby for a Few Years

aluminium window repairBaby’s first broken window. We should probably take a proud-parent picture and add it to the album, but I don’t think Sarah would approve since it gave her the fright of her life. On the plus side of it all, we now know two things: first that Oscar is going to one day represent Australia in the shotput event- seriously, one good fling from his high chair and his cup went straight through the kitchen window-  and also that he takes after his father.

I had the record for broken windows back when we used to live in Christmas Hills, and so far as I know it’s never been broken. I didn’t start quite as young as Oscar, but back when I was about two I chucked my Dad’s British Bulldog statue right through the window in the garage. No one in Christmas Hills did window repair; Melbourne people had to be called in, and it was a bit of a drive for them. Some people don’t count that one since I was still too young to understand the concept of a window and why being able to see through it doesn’t mean objects will just pass through unimpeded. That’s a lie, though. I was a wily child with a craving for destruction, and those were just my humble beginnings.

They tend to all blur together, but I do remember that my next conquest was the banana factory at the other end of the park. Aiden Curry told us all that it was secretly a government facility where they experimented on aliens and sometimes kids if they could get away with it, and I couldn’t let that one slide. Best throw of my life, an overripe pear right through one of the top windows. Got in big trouble for that one.

That one really set me off, and after then it was a steady chain of impulsive decisions ending in calling the window replacement people, who got to know my parents and gave us discounts in the end. Still…record holder.

Speaking of which, we need some of the ol’ Melbourne aluminium window repair for us. If Oscar is that much like me, it won’t be the last time.

-Wesley

Sally Sure Does Get Up to a Lot

LED lighting for businessEverything has to be educational nowadays, clearly. We used to read vapid novels about kids learning to be friends and climbing fences and getting scraped knees, but now even the younger reader stuff is teaching them how the voting system works. I picked up a book my niece was reading, and the title was Sally and the Very Corrupt Civil Servant. It was all about a seven-year-old girl uncovering and exposing a major case of embezzlement in the criminal justice system. Gee, and here’s me having read the old Looking After Babies Club books back when I was younger, and being totally absorbed with the characters getting into petty fights and trying cigarettes behind the bike sheds.

You need some sort of degree to write these things, nowadays. This is only one is a huge series of Sally’s misadventures, with the final page of this one promising that Sally would return in Sally and the Investigation into the Environmental Sustainability of Commercial LED Lighting. Found that one on my niece’s shelf as well, and all purveyors of LED lighting will be happy to know that LED lighting comes off better than you’d expect. Sally initially thinks that it might be at the centre of an international terrorist plot to pollute the water supply and control the citizens by way of LED-induced mind control, but she later discovers that energy-saver bulbs are actually to blame, having been modified by the Illuminati to make people want to buy their off-brand toilet paper. In the end, it was all a money-making scam.

And then there’s this weird finale where Sally (who is, as I have mentioned, seven years old) goes and infiltrates the lair of the Illuminati with an agent from the commercial LED sector, because I guess commercial LED is really serious business. Maybe it’s just because I’m not a child, but I’m really confused about the message they’re putting forward here…

-Dalia

Title transfers are the step to property swaps

title transfers MelbourneInvestors in Melbourne have engaged in a real-life game of Monopoly, with a record number of property swaps occurring in the past months.

Investors owning multiple titles across different buildings are engaged in a swap so that they may hold properties in just one building.

It is an unusual way of doing property transfers, Melbourne conveyancer Sharon Strauss said.

“Usually we only facilitate property transfers where money has exchanged hands, so it is quite unprecedented that we have clients wishing to swap one property for another similarly-valued property,” she said.

There have been several instances of property swaps in the past month, an occurrence which is usually unheard of.

Investors Margaret Jones, who previously owned three apartments, and Joe Nguyen, who previously owned two apartments, have swapped their properties for mutual benefit.

Jones exchanged two small apartments for one of Nguyen’s luxury apartments, which is in the same building as her other existing apartment.

“It is so much easier having all of your investments in the one place,” said Jones.

“Now I have more say in what happens in my building, rather than owning properties all over the place and having little power in the body corporate of the developments.”

Nguyen offers similar reasons for opting to swap his properties.

“I like being able to keep an eye on my investment apartments, which is not hard to do when they are all in the same building,” he said.

The swaps have allowed investors to save on the costs of selling their properties.

For these investors, it is as simple as organising for a title transfer to securely transfer ownership of the properties. Usually when selling a property, the title transfer is the final step in a long list of tasks.

Investors seeking a property swap arrangement are advised to be vigilant to avoid scammers. It is essential to organise the title transfer through a reputable conveyancing company, particularly for those inexperienced in property law.

Only the Safest Platforms

aluminium ladderPeople just love to see the safety inspector coming. I think it might be because I perform a vital role in the community, preventing on-the-job accidents. Sure, I have to close down worksites and businesses sometimes, and it can be a painful process at first. And then I comfort myself by thinking about how they’ll eventually come to appreciate my services. I’m the one getting them out of a dangerous situation! This is the actual best job ever. So rewarding.

It gets a bit frustrating when I see people making the same mistakes over and over, however. For example, it seems like no one is able to properly set up mobile aluminium scaffolding, which is a huge problem for the people standing on it. I’ve always found planks and trestles and such to be very intuitive, which is why I find it inexplicable when people get them totally wrong. It’s not very tough at all, especially considering that these things have to be moved from one place to another on a regular basis.

It gets worse. Sometimes I’ll come across a worksite and they’ll be using some sort of knockoff metal for their platforms. No, it actually gets worse than even THAT. Some folks try to cut corners as much as possible be making their own ladder platforms, and it’s invariably a mess. Rickety wooden platforms without so much as a single safety check carried out, making my heart skip a beat and my blood start to boil. Obviously I have to come down on such things harshly, as it’s my entire job to do so.

If you’re on a worksite, there’s no excuse for improper platforming. There are even places for aluminium platforms in Melbourne, so no excuses! I can only do my job to the best of my ability…

Get help with that Gum Tree!

tree removal MelbourneI’ve seen a lot of things in my time as a home gardener. I’ve seen roses blooming in the dead of winter, all because a guy spent 14 hours a day in his greenhouse looking after them. I’ve seen a lady who let her garden grow so thick they had to call in an arborists to hack their way through with specialised equipment, only to find a wombat nest inside her shed. I’ve heard of a fellow who can rip up tree stumps with his bare hands and knock down old trees with a single blow.

All these years, and I can still be surprised. Now, I have plenty of arborists in Melbourne I can recommend if the situation is right. Sometimes things cross over from a gardener’s concern to that of a tree lopper, and often people simply can’t tell the difference. A tree will fall down in their garden, or they need some branches lopped off a huge oak tree, and then I have to explain to them that bulb planting and bonsai pruning are more my forte.

This time? I was called in because someone needed some pruning done. I get to the house, a huge place on the outskirts of the city, and they lead me right to the bottom of the garden, which took a fair while. The ‘pruning’ was that of a gum tree, fully-grown and with roots that were disturbing the local flower beds. I just had to look at the thing for a few moments to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. Do people not understand how pervasive gumtree roots are, after all this time? That’s gardening 101: if there’s a gumtree messing up your flowerbed, you move the flowerbed. That’s about your only option, besides paying for tree removal people or just moving house because those things are tough.

More importantly, they’re not for me. Gardeners do not deal with the mother of all tree removal. Melbourne has professionals for this who will be happy to drive all that way for a job they can actually perform.

A House Near the Shipyard

aluminium plate boatI’ve wanted a house by the sea all my life, ever since we lived right out in the middle of Alice Springs and it took us the better part of a week to hike there. Honestly, a beach holiday as an eleven-year-old is just ruined by the fact that our parents refused to drive us there and sent us off into the wilderness as a test of our character. I’ve often thought that gave us trauma, but my brother and I often managed to hitchhike a lot of the way and stay in homeless shelters along the way, so it’s no big deal.

Anyway, now I’ve moved to Melbourne and the first thing I did was get me a place right near the beach! And wow…it’s noisy. So amazingly noisy. I know a lot of trade goes on at the beach, people visit it for holidays, the docks are still full of activity, but…didn’t expect quite this much. I go to the local cafe and even there, everyone’s having chats about plate alloy boats like there’s some sort of approved conversation list for people near the sea. I feel like I’m committing some kind of felony by mentioning how people do things further inland.

Oh, and don’t even get me STARTED on the dock situation. For real, marine fabrication is one of the loudest things ever. I know we need the services of boats to do all sorts of important, economy-related things, but I feel like I should’ve listened to the estate agent when they said you can hear the shipyard from here. You really can hear it. Ah well…I’m used to sleeping rough when our parents used to lock us out of the house and make us scavenge a living in the back garden to teach us life lessons. I even made my own fishing rod holder out of bark and a rod out of  a fallen branch so I could catch the family goldfish right out of the pond, after which my brother cooked it up over our campfire. Oh, that could be a conversation topic for my new community! I think I repressed that memory…

-Y. B.