The White Rock

It’s getting really cold in here. Did I turn the air conditioner on without realising it? The temperature feels like it has been dropping ever since I found that glowing white rock in the freezer. Now it’s so, so cold. I think my fingertips are about to fall off.

Oh no, I just looked at my hands and it seems I don’t actually have fingertips. All I have are bones, except they’re not bones. They’re just plastic. What is going on?

If my house is turning into an ice rink or a winter wonderland, is there much point in going through designs for the kitchen replacement I’ve been planning? That is why I came on the computer in the first place, I think. I can’t really remember anymore, honestly. All I know is that my flesh is gone and I now have a gold crown on my head with a ruby in it. Oh my goodness, am I turning into the Snow King from that cartoon, Quest Time?

Who is the Snow King? I don’t remember anymore. It seems I used to know of him, but that memory has slipped away as the room freezes over and my body starts to actually adjust.

What happened to me? My daughter wanted an ice cream from the freezer, didn’t she? I went into the kitchen and thought that I really needed to hire some kitchen designers near Melbourne to help me out, to make the place feel fresh again. And then I opened the freezer, and I saw the white rock inside. I touched it, and that’s all I can remember.

Why am I writing this? Why am I sitting at this computer? I feel like I should be doing something. Something like using my new ice powers to build an ice fortress. Maybe like the one in Cold, about the princess who gets ice powers. My daughter will love that.

Now, what was I talking about, again? Oh, that’s right, renovations. Yes, I wanted to get some renovations for my kitchen, didn’t I?

– Cold Karen

Family Fight!

Sometimes I really want to find another job. You wouldn’t expect to hear me say that, I know. How could the host of Australia’s uber-popular Family Fight not like his job? The thing is, you guys only see the good stuff. The very best of what we film. You get to see the epic, edge-of-your-seat moments when one family needs to get an answer right to avoid the caged tournament against the other family’s pet bear. It’s entertaining viewing, but what you don’t see is the thousands of episodes we film where absolutely nothing interesting happens.

Sorry, we just had a bad day on set, so I need to rant a little. Let me tell you a bit about an episode that is never going to be aired. We had the Smith family and the McGills against them. If I had a dollar for every Smith family we had on this show, I’d be a rich man. Anyway, everything started going wrong with the first round. We were going through the motions. We asked one hundred people this question, blah, blah, blah. The question was “Where might you find glass balustrades for Melbourne homes?”

Immediately Perry Smith slapped his buzzer and shouted his answer. “The moon!” Right then, I knew it was going to be a long night. The moon? You’d find a glass balustrade for use in Melbourne on the moon? This Perry guy was not too bright. Even if he meant Moon Land, the amusement park in Melbourne, that’s a terrible answer. What a dangerous place to put glass balustrades.

The next answer wasn’t much better. Teresa McGill had a shot next, and she said, “Wherever you get glass replacement.” I actually wanted to die when she uttered those words. Have you ever even watched Family Fight? That is never going to be an answer on the show. So yeah, that’s what I have to go through that you at home don’t get to see. The only consolation was that neither family guessed any answers right, so we had to go to Sudden Death, and thankfully there were no survivors. We only resort to Sudden Death in a desperate attempt to make the episode watchable, but let’s be honest, nothing could save this dumpster fire.

Next Top Ruin

Space Wizard and I immediately flew back to Sweden, Victoria, where Australia’s Next Top Office was being filmed. As we got a view from the air, however, we did not see the artificial town we had left behind. Instead, all we saw was a smouldering ruin.

“Who could have done this?” I asked as we approached the ground. “I bet it was Archerak, that evil creature.”

Space Wizard seemed somewhat pale, in spite of his naturally-purple complexion. We touched the solid ground and began walking through the ruins. Whoever had destroyed this place was incredibly powerful. What did they have against commercial design for the Melbourne area? How were we supposed to build the greatest ever offices without the set?

Sweden was lifeless. Not a soul, whether human or otherwise, reared its head. As we walked through the rubble, an idea struck me. “Let’s go to the director’s building,” I said. “Maybe we can check the security tapes.”

We made our way there, avoiding the large chunks of rock along the ground. Space Wizard was completely silent as I pushed through the debris to reach the production team’s street. The director’s building wasn’t too far away, and soon enough we were shoving open the doors to get inside.

On the second floor was a room with dozens of television screens, many of which had been broken. There, I assumed, the crew had been watching us complete challenges, building up to the grand finale, where we would eventually do a total office interior fitout. Melbourne fans of the show would have gone crazy for it. Now, unfortunately, they’ll never know who would have won ANTO season two.

I found the security footage and rewound back to several hours before. In the sky I spotted a man shooting lasers from his eyes, destroying the town of Sweden. I zoomed in and enhanced it twice. As the picture became clearer, a chill raced along my back. It couldn’t be.

I turned around and looked at Space Wizard. “It was you?”

Too Many Cooks…

I’m thinking the mission has too many mechanics. And I’m not just saying that because I already have a solid role in our new Lunar Kingdom, but it’s true: every single person who’s even hinted that they’ve worked on cars has been given a spot because of their mechanical expertise, and because of all the moon rovers we’ll be needing to get around.

Let’s all just put things in neutral for a second…we NEED people on the ground. What would happen if all of companies that offer car servicing near Bendigo suddenly up and left to the moon? Not only would the people of Bendigo not have anyone to fix their cars and provide servicing, but they wouldn’t be able to hear the word of the moon. Folks need to stay here, to spread the good news, point people to the moon and say “that’s where the new Lunar Kingdom will be. You can’t go there; no one but the elite can. But I’ll tell you all about it, and you can look. Won’t that be lovely?”

And of course, we need some very good mechanics. All sorts of moon-related mechanic work to do up there, so quality is going to be necessary. Imagine what’ll happen if there’s a head-on collision and the low gravity makes people fly hundreds of feet into the air and then land in a crater? Such unique situations, and we need people equipped to deal with them. And the air conditioning! Think of the radiation from the sun, and then tell me we don’t need skilled, experts in aircon regassing. Bendigo may be slightly depleted when we launch, especially if we take advantage of their robust space programme. But I’m okay with that. Because I’m going to the moon, and I have other stuff to worry about, sorry.

Don’t Play With Ovens…

The newest internet sensation hit: tea parties inside ovens. I’m not making this up, sadly, although one small caveat is that the ovens are never actually on. The ‘Oven Tea Party’ trend is taking the internet by storm and it’s just the worst. I first heard about it on the news last night and now people are posing Visage-Tome videos of it everywhere, and I just want to throw down my phone and yell that they shouldn’t be finding commercial ovens, climbing inside and pretending that they’re having a tea party. Oven are for cooking, and people climbing around inside them- some of them with shoes on- is a serious health risk. It goes against all hygiene rules, for one thing. I don’t want to go to a restaurant where people have been inside the oven, taking photos and having too much of a good time with a piece of serious equipment.

Teenagers will do anything. Remember the Tea Tray Challenge? That one where people had to slide down some stairs on a tea tray and film it, and then people got injured because they chose absolutely massive flights of stairs but no one really cared. Now it’s happening all over again. And remember when the Tea Tray Challenge mutated and people were sliding down all sorts of inclines, on all sorts of impractical things? Now people are abusing OTHER pieces of commercial kitchen equipment. Someone posted a picture of their child sitting in a commercial wok burner having a tea party with their teddy bears; again, super unhygienic. There was that girl with the charcoal grill, the blatant misuse of the pasta maker, and I just can’t stand it anymore. Slide down stairs all you like, but this is food and sanitation we’re talking about here. Commercial kitchen equipment is not a toy! Viral trends really ARE just the worst…I dread whatever comes next.

Why Not Decorative Glass

Is it at all possible to get frosted window glass for your car? I know that’s incredibly dangerous and blocks your view of the road entirely, and thus will probably turn your entire vehicle into a massive paperweight by all road standards and laws, but…wow, what a paperweight! I shouldn’t be so obsessed with looking different, but everyone has cars, so…I need to stand out.

I already got decorative window glass for my desk at work. Everyone else has a normal desk, and I just had to get one made of glass, decorative window glass no less. I tried to make the office absolutely fabulous, but the boss said that my habit of decorating everything made the place look unprofessional. Maybe that’s why the put my desk at the very back, so none of the visitors will see it.

In short, life is hard for an auteur such as myself. I see something as simple as window glass and I want to make it look even more wonderful. That’s why I’ve decorated all of my binders with stickers, and I spent four hours the other day getting my desktop background just perfect. Thought I had it with a picture of the Bavarian Alps surrounded by all my desktop icons in the shape of a beautiful Japanese manji, but then I saw this gorgeous shot of the National University, and I suddenly thought ‘why can’t my icons be arranged in an octopus shape, to honour the creature’s great intelligence and strength?’, and that took a while.

Oh, you know what’s gorgeous? Office glass tinting. So chic, so IN, so very functional to keep the sun out in the summer months. I’m going to work to make it happen. If I can’t get pineapples stuck all over the place, I can at least do this.


Kids and Orthotics

Wow, children sure have a lot going on. Is this a new thing? Maybe my memory is just fuzzy about my own childhood, but I remember mostly just living through the whole thing without incident. Like, maybe I pulled a girl’s hair once? There was a sports day at some stage, because I lost the egg and spoon race and I threw the egg at the boy who won and he got egg all over his face. That was a good day.

Otherwise, I got nothing much of anything. And then I babysit my niece and it’s like wow, cylinders. Cylinders firing. She has way more going on than me. The last thing her Mum said was asking me to head around the corner after school so we could get some children’s orthotics fitted in Cheltenham. Wasn’t sure I heard that correctly, but yeah. Lydia does indeed need orthotics, for children, because she’s on the school sprinting team at the age of seven. They train three times a week, which is good because she goes to an advanced maths class on Tuesdays and Thursdays and we’d hate for anything to clash.

At the age of seven. Professionally-fitted orthotics, from a reputable podiatrist; just thought I’d make that very clear. At first I thought this was one of those proud parent things. You know, with the parents thinking their child was a little prodigy and pushing them into all this stuff, and the child goes along with it because their Mum said so or whatever. But Min and Rob are so chilled, and when I asked they said that Lydia chose all this stuff by herself.

In fact, the whole reason she needs custom orthotics fitted in a Cheltenham clinic is because she goes out to the field behind the house every day to train and her shoes were getting old. So…children are now bionic little androids with infinite energy and drive. Truly, the new generation will be surpassing this one. Suppose that’s fine.

Adults Just Want to Have Fun as Well

Great, so first I miss out on Doctor Muller, the greatest alternative medical specialist the world has ever known, and now I’m told that I’m too old for a play centre birthday party. When did society’s ageism get so disgustingly pronounced that a grown man of 26 cannot be allowed onto climbing frames that are built for far, far younger people? I just want to climb! I want to dive in a ball pit and relive my youth!

This is Class-A discrimination, and I don’t even know if discrimination as classes, but if it is, it’s class A. It does NOT help that the birthday party venues in Bundoora are just so darn enticing. I had to take my niece to one the other day because my brother and my sister-in-law just had to come down with a bout of armadillo flu…and okay, that was harsh. We may have eradicated armadillo flu deaths almost entirely since the dawn of the 21st century, but it’s still a major killer in third-world countries.

But they got the flu, I took Hattie to this awesome birthday party venue, and what did I do? I sat there making small talk with the parents, and not even the good kind of small talk. Because apparently it’d be ‘weird’ if I went and dived down the elephant slide headfirst alongside all the other party goers.

Class-A. I’m going to go home today and research if that’s a real thing, and after that, I’m going to find a birthday party venue that has climbing frames that can support the weight of a fully-grown man, because I have need to be met, and those needs involve climbing frames and pretending that I’m a space pirate explorer.

And if I did manage to hire out a kids party venue near Bundoora, it’d be an adults-only party, for safety and all that. But…oh. Wait, does that make ME ageist? What have I become…?


How Hairdressing Split a Community


Now THAT is what I call a slam-bang quarter-season finale! I thought they’d nailed it in season sixty-seven when Marlene returned from her quest to save the quokka population from an evil oil baron who wanted to build a supermarket over their only remaining sacred burial ground, but THIS was even better!

Got to admit, I didn’t see Velma coming out with that business plan of hers. We’ve known for years that Velma is totally obsessed with her looks, ever since she had that psychotic breakdown where she tried to destroy ever mirror in the entire town because she thought that her reflections were talking trash behind her back. Now she’s visited a hair salon in the middle of Melbourne and seen how much more professional they are than in Realsville, she’s on a one-woman-crusade to establish a fine hair salon of a Melbourne standard, right there in town.

Of course, Judith runs the only salon in town, and she only knows how to do about six types of hair, four of which went out of style in the sixties. Still, Judith is approaching her 96th birthday, so everyone has just been humouring her and traveling elsewhere for their real hair salon needs. This new plan of Velma’s is a direct challenge to Judith’s monopoly, so the two are now at loggerheads, and old grudges are coming out of the woodwork. Judith is now trapped in an immersive flashback to 1962, when she was watching the South Melbourne hairdressing guild setting up and putting her family’s artisan home hair salon out of business, even though it was actually down to her father’s alcoholism and her mother’s obsession with experimental mousse.

So THAT’S all happening. Now there are two mobs converging in the streets, with torches and everything. All over one little hair salon. Weird, that…

Our Energy-Laden Utopia

Interesting times tonight at the Futurist Club, as we had an extra-long meeting on energy storage. And energy storage really gets me fired up! You see, it’s long been a dream of mine to live in an unlimited energy society, and I have boundless optimism that we’re not too far off. I’m talking about a society in which nobody ever has to charge their phone, because gigantic energy pillars loom over every major city and wirelessly charge every single gadget with raining power from the ionosphere. Think about that for a moment. No more low-power warnings; in fact, we won’t even have little percentage things telling us how much power we have left, because they’ll be pointless. No more power outlets. Just unlimited energy.

Personally, I think Melbourne comes closer to the dream than anything else. Our prowess in commercial battery storage is second to none, as evidenced by the Power Project in the city centre. Those are the gigantic commercial energy storage devices, shaped and designed like giant batteries. They were a collaboration between some electrical engineering students and graphic design students…in case you didn’t already know. That’s why they look so great, but also have practical use. Anyone can jump on one of the exercise bikes surrounding the batteries and give it some juice, and anyone can just walk up and charge their phone.

It’s a taste of the future, I’m telling you. Before the energy pillars become our main source of power, I think we’ll be starting with commercial energy storage solutions that are similar, but scaled-down. So…pillars on street corners, where you can just hold your phone up to them for a minute and it’s fully charged. Free for the good of all! And that’s why I believe that industrial energy monitoring and storage is going to be what creates our new, Utopian society. Once you solve the problem of energy and it’s free and unlimited, wars and poverty will basically cease. It’s all about the volts, I’m telling you.