My Day On

In being really good at everything, I’ve discovered that most people are quite lazy. When you know somebody who can get a job done with little effort, why do it yourself or pay someone to do it for you? Why not give your friend a call and guilt-trip him into helping? Sure, no harm done the first time, but you’re not the only one seeking my help. I haven’t had a holiday in years because I’ve always got all these errands to run.

For example, the other day I was going for a walk to my favourite cafe, ready for a nice day where I could finally relax. That was when I bumped into Alex, an old acquaintance from high school. He looked at me and perked up, then said, “Hey, you’re that guy from school who could administer medicine and help better than the school nurses, right?” Of course, here I am knowing exactly where this is going. I tend not to argue these days. I just go along with it to save myself the time.

Alex explained how he had been wounded while playing extreme paintball and the cut along his upper arm was taking a while to heal. He wanted me to have a look at it and see what I could do. Fair enough, I suppose, but why couldn’t he simply contact a business that provides portable hyperbaric chambers within Melbourne instead? That would be perfect for healing a stubborn wound, with the increased amount of oxygen going to the blood. I even suggested as much to him, but he said he was happy for me to take a look at it instead. Well good for him! It’s not like I had anywhere to go or anything to do. I don’t have a life of my own to live or anything.

I get it. To him, he was only asking for a few minutes of my time. But it all adds up. At the cafe, I was asked to fix the lighting and redesign the table arrangement. And suddenly my day off is gone. Thanks, everyone.

Banana Fix

I’m often mistaken for someone who knows how to fix cars. I can only assume that people draw this conclusion from my general appearance because I’m not sure what else they’d be going on, although I have to say I don’t know what aspect of my look they’re zoning in on. It’s true that I have a penchant for overalls, which I suppose could be mistaken for work wear, and I have this particular hat that I’ll accept has a sort of mechanic-y feel about it. At the end of the day, though, my outfits look nothing like what an actual mechanic would wear to work.

Still, I find myself having to constantly fend off inquiries as to whether I’m an auto mechanic. Within the Bentleigh area, in particular, get asked on a regular basis about car issues, and highly specific ones at that. A common one is whether I can do a car air con regas. I assume this is because it’s a relatively minor job, so people think they might be able to get it done for free if they just get chatting with a random person who looks like a mechanic. Weird.

It’s gotten to the point where I can’t help but mess with these presumptuous and opportunistic enquirers. I’ve taken to going along with the whole thing and giving them advice that’s completely made-up. For example, let’s say I’m asked about auto electrical services. Bentleigh locals are pretty big on this one, so I’ve had plenty of practice in responding to it. I’ve got this story about south east Melbourne being at the centre of a magnetic field that causes disturbances to car electrical systems and batteries.

The only thing to be done about it, according to me, is to fill your car with bananas – the more bananas the better. This handy trick is all the more effective if you let them go rotten. Any other mechanic in the area will tell you the same thing, I say. It’s a bit cheeky, I know. But that’s what you get when you don’t pay for professional advice.

Can’t Find Focus

Being good at everything is really annoying. One of the things I’ve found most frustrating is how I’m capable of doing a lot of stuff but I don’t have a qualification so technically I have no legal right to do the work. Just the other day I got a massive fine for attempting to renovate my bathroom because apparently you need to have a builder’s license. That can take years of study to get, so because of the legalities, I have to pay someone else to do it. Even though I could have done it on my own!

I had a similar problem trying to install a 100 kw system for my business. After a few hours on the internet, I felt like I had a really solid grasp on what is required but it turns out that I’m not allowed to do it. What’s next? I’m not allowed to build with those little bricks that kids like to play with because I haven’t had the proper training? It’s ridiculous. I’m only putting my own life at risk by doing the work so it shouldn’t matter how dangerous the task is. I reserve the right to put my own health at risk, thank you very much. If I want to set up solar panels and commercial energy storage for Melbourne businesses I should be able to do it.

That’s why I don’t really like being a jack of all trades. I’d rather just have talent with one skill and become a master of it. I could be the world’s best electrician or painter but I can’t commit to one thing. Honestly, it’s kind of depressing. I feel the pull toward all these different projects. I have to be doing something different every day otherwise I start going crazy. One day I’ll get the world record for fastest time beating a certain video game and the next I’ll be sick of gaming. So I’ll move onto electrical work, then running Goblins and Grottos campaigns. I just wish I could pick one thing and stick with it!

Sad at Everything

You know, being good at everything isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, at first it’s great. You’re a jack of all trades, basically a walking Mary Sue. Got issues with your plumbing? Great, you can fix it yourself. Bored and want a book to read? Just write one! When your gifts are kept private it’s great.

It’s when people realise that you’re good at literally anything that the trouble starts. My life these days is basically just giving favours. I had a friend call me last night and ask if I could help him with some glass repair. What was I supposed to say? “Nah, don’t really feel like it, Todd.” So I spent my night helping him repair a glass balustrade for free. There’s this incredibly heavy weight upon me to help everybody who asks.

Every few days I get a call from my mother, asking me to fix her shower. If I suggest she get a plumber, she kindly points out that she would have to pay a plumber. Apparently I’m only good for free labour, so you know, life’s just swell. Then there’s my brother, needing me to make his sandwiches, because I “just make them better”. Give me a break. Todd, can’t you just get a professional who fixes glass balustrades near the Melbourne CBD? I live like two hours away.

There are other downsides to being good at everything. Video games, for example, aren’t that fun for me. There’s no challenge. I boot up Spinning Bandicoot That Looks More Like a Fox and get the Iridium Relics (which most people don’t even know about) on my first attempt. I play Shout of Obligation on the hardest difficulty and don’t die once. I don’t even take damage!

Point is, if you’re bad at something, you should be grateful. What I wouldn’t give to be awful at just one thing in my life.

The Ocean Blue

Obviously, this whole situation of people moving the the great ocean blue suits me just fine. I’m not precious about my domain, because there’s enough ocean to go around. It’s just nice that everyone is finally returning to the place humans are best suited for, instead of this foolish dry land nonsense. Dry land is overrated. Not even once.

To be honest, while our family mostly fares ABOVE the sea, I’m alright with everyone suddenly heading underneath it. They’ll still need to get around the place, so they’ll need things like outboard motor servicing and that’s where the industry thrives. No doubt they’ll want to visit their treasures and attractions on the mainland, feel the ground beneath their feet every now and then, so they’ll all need boats, and this will become a true, boat-faring civilisation. Or at least, everyone will use boats to get around instead of cars, our mortal enemy, and an extremely inefficient method of transportation when it comes to the sea. They can all rust on land, so far as we care…a forgotten relic of the time when mankind thought that they were creatures of the accursed dry land.

V8 supercars are sort of interesting, though. I like the funny noise they make.

Of course, with the advent of all these outboard motors that need servicing and companies that deal with anchor winch repairs popping up, there will be a new age of piracy along with it. Inevitably, my family will return to their old ways of thieving and plundering. We can’t help it; it’s just in our blood.

But won’t that make things FUN? Just so terribly fun. The ocean is wonderful, but it can be a bit boring sometimes, and being set upon by pirates really livens up your day.

-Jacob

My Perfect Manor

Life would be so much easier if we were back in the 1700s. You didn’t need to worry about getting on the property ladder, or saving up for years for the deposit on a tiny apartment in the city centre without so much as a supermarket nearby. No, you were either born into poverty- so you were born and died in the same house- or you were born into the aristocracy, and you inherited a mansion. There were no middle-sized homes, did you know? Yep, just hovels and mansions. Hovels and mansions, all over the dang place. I’ve only ever seen period dramas, but I’m pretty sure that was the way of things.

Then someone came up with the idea of BUYING homes, and suddenly everything got complicated. Now I have our financial planner asking us if we’ve considered the services of a buyers advocate. Specialists in Melbourne just have no end, it would seem. I had to stroke my chin and pretend I knew what that was while making a mental note to google it when we got home. Apparently they help you look for high-end property, which sounds great because I don’t think finding a home has ever been as hard as it right here and now, in 2018. Melbourne. Australia. Earth.

This is why we had a financial planner in the first place: so that we could get through this stuff, paperwork and all. Now I guess we need a buyers advocate because the thought of pounding the pavement, looking at homes and trying to pretend that we know exactly what we like and do not like, is not one that appeals to me. Certain people just exist in the world to take the pressure off. Electricians, estate agents, pet sitters, gardeners…and now, I guess, buyers advocates. Melbourne home buyers better prepare, because we’re here, we have no clue what we want and what we’re doing, and we’re stressed about it. Hide your desk mints; I eat when I’m stressed.

-Jacinta

Solar Energy is Pretty Absorbing

commercial solar MelbourneThis solar energy thing was really what I needed in the end. Man, I’d forgotten what it was like to actually have something to DO, you know? And the fact that it’s something really intricate definitely helps.

So everyone knows about this whole commercial solar power trend sweeping the nation, or so it would seem. I’ve spent so long cooped up in here that I couldn’t even tell you a single movie that came out in the last year, but I DO know about solar energy. The family over the road just had a few panels installed on the roof, and they seem to be enjoying it. Well, as much as you can in this weather, anyway. The stuff I’ve been instructed to research is actual commercial solar available in Melbourne, so we’re talking potential fields of panels to provide large-scale operations with power. That’s the vision for the future, anyway: massive plains of solar panels to provide power to entire cities. Maybe a few wind turbines dotted here and there…I’ll ask. Regardless, I need to figure out exactly how this stuff works so I can replicate it for the mission in the future. Whenever that may be. And as I expected, solar panels aren’t as simple as they look. It’s not just…flat panel, absorbs the sunlight, stores it in a bottle. The panels themselves are multi-layered and actually pretty hard to create, hence why you’re not going to have them installed on your home or business with a handful of pocket change. I’m not complaining, though; in fact, I’m really enjoying the project. At this point, I’m thinking I can start to develop my own, rudimentary version with the right tools and materials, although not quite to an industrial standard. And after that I have to look into industrial LED lighting for sale in Melbourne and see what i can find out there. Having multiple projects lined up feels pretty good, actually…

-Mack

Suddenly, Clearing Out the Shed

pest control MorningtonSuddenly, I feel this weird urge to go scuba diving. I cannot tell you why- maybe I saw it somewhere and it just nestled in my brain. I don’t remember watching or reading anything even vaguely connected to the subject, so maybe it was a dream. I just had some kind of super-HD, yet forgotten dream in which I went scuba diving and had a great time, I guess.

Actually, this has been happening a lot recently. Got a strange urge the other day to make sushi, which was a lot easier. I just went to the supermarket and got all the ingredients, simple as that. And then I had an actual dream where I was in a termite nest and I was fighting off hordes of the local residents. That’s what made me call the Mornington termite inspection people to sort out the shed.

I guess I could’ve done it myself- getting rid of termites isn’t as hard as all that- but that’s just the last few weeks all over. I’m too listless to actually focus on something like that. Not overly fond of bugs, either.

I don’t think there ended up being too many termites, but I did get the chance to look into the state of the shed and it’s not great. One of the things I’ve actually managed to motivate myself to do- sushi creation aside- is clear up the shed. New coat of paint, holes in the walls fixed, secret under-floor passageway properly hidden. It’s been a refreshing bit of DIY, all things considered; maybe I should get termites more often.

Or not. I should check for any signs that they got in the house, probably. Or maybe I could open up the walls and take a look for ants. Honestly, I’m spending my time in the weirdest ways. I should just call the Mornington pest control folks and spend my time more wisely.

-Mack

That Homeowner Dream

property advocatesBeen looking at homes a lot, recently. Not sure why, since it’s not like I’m moving any time soon, but I do like to think about what it would be like if I had that much time left. Been living the normal life for so long that I guess I’ve started to crave it. And then you’ve got owning your own home, which is like…the normal life: extreme edition. It’s the most normal thing you can possibly do…or rather, it used to be. I guess it’s harder for young people nowadays. Not for me, but I’m me, so there’s that.

To think that there are people whose main job is to help people find and buy houses. Like, a whole industry around houses. There’s been a lot of talk about property advocates based in Melbourne recently. I guess it’s an up and coming thing that people want. Don’t understand it too well myself, but maybe it’s just my generation. We all think we can find everything in the world on the internet without having to hire anyone to do it for us.

Maybe it’s a good thing that people like property advocates exist. The internet is great for searching, but what about if you need that personal touch? You won’t get that from browsing a few photos. Talking to a person who knows what they’re doing is something young people think we can do without a lot of the time.

Of course, you could always just go out and pound the pavement, but it’s not for everyone. Maybe just for people living the normal life. If you want the extreme upgrade, I guess you look around Melbourne for top buyers advocates to help you out with that million-dollar property. If that’s your thing. Guess I’ll just have to wonder for the rest of my life what all of that would really be like.

-Mack

Climbing the Walls, Literally

mobile aluminium scaffoldingHard work pays off, or so they say. It’s a nice thought.

Man, I’m getting so bored just hanging out here, I almost wish I was back at work with Sandra boring into the back of my head with her eyes. Actually, strike that…I’m really enjoying that not being a part of my life anymore. She’s probably having a great time in that office without me, while I’m here, so bored I’m climbing up the walls. In fact, I’m seriously considering starting a course in climbing walls, because it’d at least be something to do.

When you’re ordering a set of mobile aluminium scaffolding JUST for the challenge of setting it up, that’s when things are reaching some sort of critical point. Truthfully, I’ve kinda enjoyed setting up the whole scaffolding project. Assembled it in the back garden, had a bit of a climb, ate my sandwiches up there and then…dismantled it and went for a speed run. No, really. The first thing I did after the mobile scaffolding was dismantled was put it right back together again. I managed to beat my time, but you’d expect that after I’ve done it once. It took several more rounds but after 5 hours I had the process worked out.

And once I am the undisputed lord of mobile platforms…I don’t know. I’ll probably donate it to some tradesperson around here who can make use of it. It’s pretty good quality, and that stuff isn’t…well, it’s not cheap. Money won’t matter to me so much, pretty soon. Meanwhile, some tradesperson in Melbourne somewhere can go on and climb ladders, do paint jobs, fix roofing…or whatever people actually use this for. I saw a bit of it at the office, but only from the outside.

Doesn’t matter. Aluminium work platforms can be ticked off the list then. What can I become the undisputed master of next? Pot plants, maybe. I hear they can be quite entertaining.

-Mack