Tight Drain Competition

Wow! What a turn of events. I’m Sue Ridge and I’m here with my co-host Shannon Gardiner. About forty minutes ago we placed our bets on either Darren and Heath to take out the trophy for Melbourne’s Annual Drain Unblocking Competition, but it’s beginning to look like neither of them are going to make it through the first stage. For those of you that don’t know, dealing with a blocked sewer in the Melbourne CBD takes a lot of skill and isn’t as simple as just unclogging it and moving on. By the looks of it, our favourites Darren and Heath didn’t realise that.

You’re too right, Sue. After messing around a bit at the start and copying other contestants, they’ve gone and started plunging the blocked drains like madmen. It’s starting to look pretty clear that they’re not up to the same standard as the rest of the contestants. I’m not allowed to say that I’m disappointed on air so I won’t, but off-air it’s a different story. 

Come on, Shannon. Saying that is just the same as saying it on air. Get a grip and start commentating like a professional.

Sorry, Sue. I’m really impressed with how George is performing. He’s putting on a clinic compared to everyone else. If I didn’t know the rules of the competition, which state that you cannot enter if you are a professional drain plumber, I’d guess that he was one! That’s a real compliment to him. The way he’s handling all the gunk that’s coming out of the blocked sewer is extremely impressive. I think it’s time he quit his day job!

You know what Shannon if he wins the competition like it’s looking like he will, he probably can quit his day job. The prize money is hundreds of thousands of dollars – part of me wishes I was out there competing against the men. 

Unfortunately, that’s against the rules, Sue! Join us after the break as we find out the winner. Oh, I can hardly contain myself!

Where’s the Tinter?

Can anybody tell me where I can get good window tinting around Melbourne? I’ve searched everywhere and I can’t find anybody who knows where I could find this service. See, I used to know where I could get tinting. I know I did, because the windows of my old house are tinted, and I specifically remember having that done. But that was years ago, and I haven’t needed any tinting since then, so I can’t remember who I got to do it, or where I found them.

In my search for a window tinter (is that what they are even called?), I first went to my boss. The windows of our office are tinted, so surely he would know. But then, as I walked into the building, I realised that the windows weren’t tinted at all. No, all we had was a thin layer of black cellophane, which simply made it appear tinted. Mr Krane is such a cheapskate that he wouldn’t even pay for real commercial window tinting! So, I figured that there was no real point in asking him about window tinting. 

Next, I tried going to my scientific friend, Sandra. I really thought she could help me out, but no, all she did was give me a long scientific explanation as to how window tinting works. I didn’t even think it was that complicated before. She really overwhelmed me, though, so I had to get out of there. My best friend Pat wasn’t any help, either, since he doesn’t have a job and practically lives under a rock. Desperate, I started asking random people around town, only for nobody to have the information I was seeking.

Frustrated, I looked up at the sky and shouted, “Doesn’t anybody know where I can get office tinting around the Melbourne CBD!” Immediately, thunder struck and a ghostly figure descended from the clouds.

This ghost guy started telling me about how he used to love tinting windows in his life. He showed me all of the cars he had worked on before he tragically passed away. When I managed to get a word in, I asked if he could use his ghostly magic to tint my house. He laughed and said that he only knows how to tint car windows.

So, I guess I’m doomed to never have my house windows tinted.

– Sergei

Speaker Bathroom Remodel

Something that has been severely lacking for me in my home is music. When my wife and I built the house we didn’t think to incorporate any sort of speakers or surround sound, and so we can only listen to music privately through our headphones. I feel like this has been at the detriment of our relationship, because we really like spending time together and dancing with music.

My wife and I have discussed it and we’re going to do a bathroom remodel so that we can add speakers into the ceiling of our bathroom. That way we can have the music playing whilst we’re using our double shower, and can really enjoy getting ready for work or events each morning. It goes without saying that music makes everything better. We’re more cheerful when we’re listening to music together, so I’m really glad that we’ve agreed to do this. 

Since we’ve agreed on remodelling our bathroom, we’ve been in discussions about bathroom design. Melbourne, the city we live in, has plenty of open homes available for bathroom inspiration. We’ve made sure to only visit bathrooms that have incorporated speakers into their bathroom design, so that we know exactly which style we like and where the speakers are best positioned. 

I’m really looking forward to having music in our house again. A home without music can barely be classed as a home. Music brings joy, laughter and friendship to any environment, and our bathroom is the perfect place for music to be. I can’t wait to have a dance party in the bathroom with my wife. We have such good times together that this will just add another ten years of good memories to our fantastic relationship.

In two weeks we are going to present our design ideas to the bathroom designer. I hope the designer likes what they see, or is able to offer us some suggestions.

Valentine’s Day Proposal

It’s Valentine’s Day coming up and I’m planning on surprising my girlfriend with a beautiful flower display. She’s the love of my life, the apple of my eye. I want to be with her forever and on Valentine’s Day I’m going to propose. I first asked her to be my girlfriend on Valentine’s Day a couple of years ago and so it will be great symbolisation for me to ask her to be my wife on Valentine’s Day too.

When my girlfriend arrives home she will be blown away by the stunning arch walkway of climbing roses that is just outside our front door. The walkway cost upwards of a thousand dollars, but the whole proposal needs to be perfect, and that means distracting her with beautiful flowers. 

Once she walks inside the house she will be confronted by hundreds of thornless roses lining either side of the rug that goes right down our hallway. Once she gets to the end of the hallway, feeling completely overwhelmed and in love, that’s where the real surprise will come in. All our friends and family will be waiting in the living room, and she’ll be surprised once again. And then, it’ll be the greatest surprise of all. I’ll get down on one knee in the middle of all our friends and family and ask her to be my wife.

I’m getting teary just thinking about it. This is only a week away and once I ask her, our lives are going to change forever. I know that we’re young but this is something that we’re both ready for and starting a family while we’re in our prime is something that I think we both want. 

I’m going to spend the next week planting seeds (pun intended) with my girlfriend so that she knows that something big is coming up. She would never expect that I’m going to propose, though. 

Devastating Flower Choice

My girlfriend said no to my marriage proposal. I’m a combination of devastated, angry and embarrassed. She’s supposed to be the love of my life. I’m supposed to be the love of her life. I just don’t know what I did wrong. She humiliated me in front of all our friends and family, in the house that we both live in. She didn’t even say yes in front of everyone else and then reject me in private – she just flat out rejected me. This could be the end of us if I’m being honest.

What I don’t understand is what went wrong. Was it the flowers? Would she have agreed to marry me if I’d put the best hybrid tea roses around the arch and our house instead? When I asked her that she choked up and said I have no sense of what’s appropriate. She said I couldn’t be further off base if I tried. I’m at a loss here. Why would she date me if she didn’t want to marry me? This is just terrible.

I’m going to stay at my friend’s house for the next couple of days until we both calm down. I couldn’t possibly sleep in the same bed as her in my state. I’d probably start crying in my sleep and embarrass myself even further. I think I’ve just going to find some ground cover roses and bury myself in them. I just want to hide from the world for the rest of my life.

I’m not sure what’s going to happen to our relationship now. She mumbled something in between her tears about going to Europe for a couple of years. So I guess we’ll be going to Europe. Hopefully, in Europe, she’ll realise how much she wants to marry me. I’m so embarrassed. I’m not going to propose again for at least six months. My heart can’t take another rejection. 

Maintain your cooling system

There is nothing quite like switching on your heating on the first day of winter, expecting some relief from the frigid air, only to find that your heating system has gone kaput. Hopefully you will not have to call for air conditioning repairs in Melbourne ever again, as you master proper maintenance and care of your heating system.

All heaters are different, and you should consult the manual to your heating system, if you have one. Many ducted heating systems have filters which can easily be changed with a little know how. Exactly how to do this varies greatly by manufacturer. Maintenance of ducts is an often overlooked part of housework, particularly during the milder months in which you are not using your ducted heating/cooling system. Removing dust from ducts is essential, in most cases this can be done easily using a vacuum cleaner. You should be able to remove the grates for a more thorough clean.

A yearly service will help your ducted heating to function at its most efficient, and will mean parts are replaced as they near their end of life. Leaving the parts until they fail can potentially create flow-on effects to other parts of the system, so it is best to be ahead of your maintenance schedule. Contact a repair and servicing professional who is well versed in your brand of ducted heating, and have your unit serviced ahead of each winter. The service technician will also be able to replace or empty the unit’s filters, for those who have not bothered to clear out filters regularly.

Now you know how to best service your air conditioner. Melbourne can hit some extremely high temperatures in the middle of Summer so be sure to check on any elderly neighbours. Remember, prevention is always better than cure, so be sure to keep your system free of dust and to arrange for regular servicing.

The Great Expanse

My new house has an unnecessarily large laundry room. It’s definitely intended to be a laundry – you can tell by the way the cabinets are designed. There’s a space for a washing machine and a mounted attachment point for a dryer, and a deep metal sink next to a bench with a built-in ironing board. It’s clearly been designated for this purpose.

So why on earth is it so big? It’s almost as big as the living room. It makes me wonder what the previous owner was doing in here. I mean, surely the room was originally intended for something else, and they repurposed it as a laundry. Maybe they were a keen sewer – I’ve heard of people having their sewing machine set up in the laundry, which has always struck me as weird since laundries tend to be so small and pokey.

The exception to that is ones that have been totally redone. I guess people must hire laundry designers or something. I suppose it’s not that different to renovating your kitchen or bathroom, although who spends that much time in their laundry? That said, having a big, airy laundry as opposed to a cramped little afterthought of a room could make all the difference.

This brings me to what I should do with this space. I can imagine it being a nice sunroom, or perhaps a rumpus room for the grandkids, but those uses would preclude it from also being a laundry (in my view, anyway). If I leave it as-is, I’ll have to think of something laundering-adjacent to do with the space.

The question is, do I take up sewing, or move the laundry to another spot and use this space for something else? The latter would mean getting the best laundry renovations. Melbourne has to offer. That should be achievable right? Like I said, it seems to be a thing now. But do I want to be that person, who can’t just accept the laundry their house comes with?

I guess it comes down to how you want to use your space, which is going to be different for every person and may not make sense to anyone else.

Guest Post: GSB

It’s your boy, the Glass Smashing Bandit, back from a short holiday and ready to compete on the second season of Australia’s Next Top Office. I’ll be wearing a mask the whole time to add a sense of mystery to the show, which has been approved by the producers. When I pitched it to them, they fell in love with the idea.

I know what you’re wondering. Why would the Glass Smashing Bandit agree to go on a reality show for three months, designing offices instead of smashing glass, as his name suggests? The thing is, to design the best offices I’m going to be smashing windows and fitting new ones. Sounds like my kind of thing, no? I get to raise some awareness for my cause and Not Flicks gets people tuning in just in case my mask slips off and they see my face. It’s a win-win.

Believe it or not, I actually did a few uni subjects in commercial office design concepts. Melbourne universities will let you study anything. That was before I got into glass smashing and working for Channel 17, obviously. Even started my own business before deciding I liked breaking glass more.

I should be honest, though. There is a lot of heat on me at the moment, so I definitely have an ulterior motive for proving that I could perform the best Melbourne office interior fitouts, if I wanted to. Those detectives, Schlock Homes and Jon Whatson are pretty close on my trail. It wouldn’t hurt to get away to an island somewhere and design the best offices I can. And if I win, all previous crimes are pardoned. That’s just a bonus because as soon as the show is over I’ll go back to smashing glass. It’s what I love, after all.

I don’t know if any of the others have made their code word obvious, but I’ll give you mine for free. Just messing with you. Nobody will know my code word.

Chaos Controller

I love my job. Every day I get on the train and head into the Melbourne CBD, where I get to spend ten minutes taking an elevator to the 617th floor of a building nobody knows about because it’s invisible. There I get to work on the best video game nobody has ever played, and yet at the same time, everyone is always playing it.

That’s right, I’m working on the video game of Life. You’re playing it right now and so am I. I get to control the actions of a million people, choosing how their day will play out and what they will do. Maybe I’m controlling you right now. Twenty-five of us work on the Australian server, but there are a lot more servers across the globe. We’re just a small part of the international player-base.

I know it sounds crazy, almost like something out of the Matrices movies, but give it some serious thought. Have you ever done something like go to get an auto service, but as soon as you get there you forget what was wrong with your car? That’s because the action has been cancelled by the player. Now there’s no need to be afraid. We take good care of you guys. When was the last time anything seriously bad happened in Australia? The American servers, on the other hand, have some serious issues. I’m glad I wasn’t assigned to work over there. I know Australia isn’t perfect, but it’s a breeze to run in comparison.

My favourite character to control is Premier Norris. The other day I made him go to a Milperra auto mechanic and ask to buy some dice for his Grottos and Goblins roleplaying game! They don’t sell dice at a mechanic’s workshop, so he left feeling like a bit of a moron. The character is such a loose cannon, but he gets results. Those results happen to be making everyone in Victoria angry, but that’s exactly what I want. Chaos is much more fun than making people go about their day normally. I just don’t want too much chaos, because that would be hard to deal with.

Psychic Glazing

How hard could it be to install a glass balustrade? I’ve played a glazier in three films, or maybe it was four, and it seems pretty simple. Admittedly the only movie where I actually had any scenes working as a glazier was Psychic Glazing, about a Melbourne glazier who realises he has telekinesis. So, my actual experience with balustrade installation is limited to doing it via magical mind powers similar to the push from Space Battles. I’ve just got to tap into my inner ESP somehow. Maybe if I concentrate really hard on it?

Hmm, I don’t think that’s going to work. Come on Jack, what do you know about glass replacement? There’s an old saying about it, isn’t there? If the glass ain’t broke don’t fix it? Where there’s smoke there’s glass? No, that’s not right. Huh, this is turning out to be a real problem. I guess I’ll just have to use my obscene amounts of cash to hire professional glaziers to do this for me. Is it in the spirit of the competition? No, not at all. Is it strictly against the rules? Yes, yes it is. Is it a bad idea to admit that I’m going to cheat on the Next Top Model blog series? Also yes, but I won’t let that stop me.

I mean, they didn’t seriously expect me, Jack Zebraman, to install a balustrade on my own, did they? In case they didn’t know, I am very famous. Famous people are notoriously lazy. I’m certainly no exception. I’ll admit that. There are, perhaps, some things in my life that I should work on. Maybe one of them is not getting other people to do my glass balustrades fittings. Melbourne makes it so easy to do that, but I suppose refraining is possible. But I can’t do this on my own! I’ve been conditioned by years in the film and television industry to get things for free with minimal effort on my part. You could say it’s my right to cheat in this challenge.

Well, I’m glad that’s sorted. Now I can keep watching East Planet instead of doing the work. That’s a relief!