Plumbers Are Impressive

The first session went well. This week has flown by which is why I haven’t been able to update you until now. It’s Friday afternoon and we have our second informal plumbing group lesson tomorrow. I thought I’d be updating you on the sessions each Monday but the week really got away from me. So on the eve of our next session, I’ll tell you about our last one.

To put it simply, we got our hands very dirty. I always knew it would be a difficult job to do, but I really have to take my hat off to the professional drain plumbers in Melbourne. I’m just your average joe with absolutely no experience in being a plumber, but even if I had the experience I think it would be a pretty difficult feat. 

By the end of the eight-hour session, the majority of us had got the hang of how to do a sewer replacement. Even though we have had a bit of practice doing sewer replacements now, I’ve decided that there’s no way I’d ever do one myself. It’s just too big a job and I have literally no professional experience. All my friends agreed that this would be the case.

Seeing as we started with the big guns, we’ve decided to try some more basic things for tomorrow’s session. I proposed that we go around the nearby streets and see if we spot any blocked drains. Brighton and nearby suburbs apparently have a lot of them because of the stormwater. We’re going to see if we can identify them and then unblock them ourselves. We’re not sure how easy this will be, but at least we’re giving it a go and will be doing good deeds for some of the locals. At the very least, it’ll be a fun day hanging out with my mates in the warm winter sun. 

Here’s hoping it goes well!

Hair Clogged Drains

Our shower has been the bane of our existence for a long time now. I live in a shared apartment with four other people and we only have one bathroom, which causes a lot of problems as you could imagine.

Three of my housemates are girls with really long hair. Now, I’m no stranger to living with girls. I lived with my mum and sister for twenty-five years, so I know that long hair can cause blocked drains. Close to Brighton, it’s common practice now to (apologies in advance for saying this), put the hair that has been shed on the shower door to then put in the bin later. That way it doesn’t go down the drain and block it. However, I live in the Melbourne CBD now and apparently, that’s not how they do things here. Our shower drains have clogged three times now – and I’ve only been living here for six months…

I tried to have an intervention with my female housemates. I sat them down and told them what my mum and sister do, and how it saved us a lot of money over the years. They said that it was disgusting and certainly not something that they would ever do. I told them it was more disgusting having goo come up through our drains whilst I was showering, but they said that can easily be fixed with a drain replacement. In the Melbourne CBD, it costs an arm and a leg to get a drain repair, or replacement or whatever. I don’t want to have to do this more than once in my lease, because simply, none of us can afford it.

I probably should have thought about what it would be like to live with three girls with long hair. I just assumed that they’d do that thing that all girls do, but apparently not. It’s causing problems, that’s for sure.

Daughter’s Small Feet

My daughter has such tiny little perfect feet, just like me. As you would’ve read in my other blogs, I am really passionate about looking after my feet and keeping them healthy and clean. I think it’s something that everyone should do, but after a couple of in-depth conversations with my expert foot specialist, I realised that most people don’t take foot care as seriously as I do.

When I had my daughter just over eleven months ago now, I vowed that her feet would remain soft and perfect forever. She has the tiniest little toes. It’s truly adorable. I vowed that she would never get any common foot condition. She won’t experience the pain of ingrown toenails, her skin won’t get hard and she won’t get corns and callouses. I’m disgusted at the thought of these things happening to her, but I have to imagine them to ensure that it never becomes a reality. 

I know that kids these days are more likely to experience developmental problems, although I’m not sure why. That’s why I’ve also vowed that if I need to source children’s orthotics in the Cheltenham area in the future then I will. There’s no shame in wearing orthotics as long as her feet are clean and well looked after. In fact, wearing orthotics is one of the best ways to ensure her feet are looked after.

My daughter is crawling now and soon she’ll be able to walk. She’ll need strong, well looked after feet to ensure they can take her wherever she wants to go. She’s going to be a little adventurous child and I’m so excited to see what she does with her life. I’m also excited to see how perfect her feet remain for the rest of her life. 

Okay, I best be off now. I’ve got to bathe my daughter before she goes to sleep. I’m bathing her in this nice oil that makes her skin, including her feet, very soft.

Parent Obsessed Car

I recently bought a car that I love. It’s quite new and has all the fancy gadgets that people want in a car, like touch screen capabilities, cameras, cruise control, the lot. Everyone is really impressed with me because I saved up enough money to buy this awesome car even though I only work part-time. Not many people can say they own a car at my age, especially one that’s so new and fancy.

The only problem with my car is that my parents love it. They want to drive it everywhere, to the point where I don’t even get to drive my own car anymore. They just keep driving away with it and making me pay for the petrol even though they’re the people driving it! They said that it’s payback for all the years that they drove me around and I used their petrol.

They even made me take my car to the expert mechanic close to Hobart to get it repaired when one of them broke it! I don’t know what exactly they broke or how, and neither of them would admit who did it, but I’m angry. Surely I don’t have to pay for them to use my car and then damage it! I need to take a stand. 

I think it’s getting to the point where I might have to move out. My parents are just taking advantage of my awesome car, and they don’t really care that I’ve asked them to stop. I overheard them talking in the kitchen yesterday morning about selling their cars and just using mine full time. Surely that’s not allowed. 

When I went and got my car fixed, I ranted to the mechanic who did my transmission repair in Hobart. Apparently what my parents are doing isn’t uncommon. He said there was some name in car psychology for it, but I’ve forgotten what that is now. All I know is that I need to get my parents help, or I’ll never get to drive my car again. 

Glass Home?

I always thought that my dream house would have a lot of stone. Stone walls, stone floors, stone statues everywhere. I’ve always loved stone buildings, so naturally, I thought one would be for me. The last couple of years, though, I’ve had the honour of renting out a house made entirely out of stone. It has been a bit like living in a castle. Throughout this time, I’ve come to a startling conclusion: stone sucks. Why would anybody want to live in a building made of stone? It gets so cold during the winter. Whatever you do, never live in a stone house. It’s a terrible idea. Listen to my warning, or I promise you’ll regret it.

So, my new thing is glass houses. Yes, I know the saying about people in glass houses. Throw stones in a glass house and you’ll likely be calling up a business for commercial glazing more often than not. With a glass house, you’d need a bit more than your standard residential glazing, so commercial it would have to be. Anyway, I just think it would be really cool to live in a home where there are plenty of glass balustrades, glass ceilings and even glass walls. I’d have it on top of a big hill, overlooking a beautiful valley in the east, so I can watch the sunrise over it. That would be truly magnificent. 

Alternatively, I could see a glass house working in a frozen tundra, perhaps near a mountain lake. Of course, there’s no beating glass balustrades in the Melbourne area, and we don’t have any frozen mountain lakes here, so that’s a bit of a problem. But I’m sure I could make it work. Maybe I could get some glass balustrades imported from Melbourne to whatever cold place I go to. Possibly somewhere in Scandinavia. That would be pretty cool. Oh, I wasn’t even meaning to make a pun there, but I guess it would be cool in both senses of the word. You know, because cool means cold… I’m sure you get it. 

Driving a manual

I’m not a huge fan of manual cars. In fact, I never have been. The only reason I drive a manual car is that when I first started driving ten years ago my dad insisted that I learn on a manual as he felt it would make me a better driver and I’d be in more control. I’m not sure how much it helped. The upside of it is I have more options when it comes to purchasing a car, but I do find I tend to take preference to purchase automatic cars. I find them much easier to drive and a lot less stressful. I understand why some people prefer manuals but when you’re already concentrating on driving safely and watching out for hazards I don’t see how being concerned about an extra pedal and keeping one hand off the steering wheel is helping you be a better driver. If anything, I’d say it’s too much multitasking.

For the last few months, I’ve been driving my dad’s old car but I’m starting to notice signs of brake and clutch failure. While driving the other day I noticed a very strange squealing and rumbling noise when applying pressure to the clutch. It also felt like the clutch pedal was sticking, which made it really difficult to change gears with ease. Then there was an incident earlier this morning when I was driving to work that felt like I had a momentary loss of acceleration and that my clutch was slipping.

I’ve decided to not drive this car for a few days and will take it to be looked at by a mechanic. Milperra has a mechanic that is not too far away. I’m hoping that this issue won’t be too costly and will be easy for the mechanic to sort out. This is another reason I’m not a fan of manual cars, it’s another thing that can go wrong.

Painting Cars

I love to paint strange pictures. It’s my favourite hobby. I’ve been painting ever since I was old enough to hold a brush (arguably even earlier, if you count painting with food), and it has been my biggest passion ever since. I love to paint pictures of people doing their professions. Lately, I’ve been working on an artwork depicting a local mechanic, as he labours away underneath a fancy car. I drew the sketch as the mechanic performed brake repair, with his permission, of course. I have done a lot of similar paintings in my time, but this one may just be my favourite yet. That said, I usually think that about all the paintings I do.

Last year’s painting of the llama farmer was my favourite when I made it. I’d never painted a llama before, or a farmer, so it was the perfect combination. Then there was the painting of the clerk in a bookstore with flying books around her, a few years ago. I thought that was the best painting I’d ever done. But it is different this time. I could have chosen to paint the mechanic doing anything other than brake repair, but this has a special meaning to it. Why choose that over, let’s say, performing a logbook service? Close to Adelaide, there were plenty of mechanics willing to be painted, but I chose this one because he’s willing to do the grunt work and get dirty himself. The brakes are the one thing protecting drivers and passengers from a certain demise on the road, so this painting symbolises how mechanics save lives with their tireless, thankless work.

After this, I’m going to move onto a dream-inspired artwork, titled ‘Dreamcatcher’. I’ve had this one planned for quite a while, and I’m sure it’s going to become my best painting ever. Just like this one is. First, I need to focus on finishing ‘Life Saver’, my current best-ever painting. 

Car Boat Hybrid

Trent was a regular guy living a regular life, doing normal, boring things every day. The most interesting thing in his life was that he sometimes liked to go out on the river in his rowboat, singing the old nursery rhyme about rowing your boat while he rowed his boat. Trent was an odd fellow. One of the more frustrating things in his life was getting his boat out of his vehicle, once he got to the river. His boat was heavy and awkward. And then Trent had a brilliant idea. An idea so brilliant that it would be put in the book ‘Brilliant Ideas of Brilliance’. What if he was to invent a car that was also a rowboat? Trent immediately went to work, finding a reliable mechanic near Queanbeyan who could help bring his genius idea to life. Many people laughed at Trent when he told them of his plans, but oh, he would get the last laugh indeed.

In order to ensure that his idea would work, Trent built a prototype out of yarn. He spent many days making it, cutting yarn up and putting it together in the world’s first car-boat. Once it was done, he filled up his bathtub and let the invention out on the water. It floated! His idea really would work! Trent was so excited that he immediately began working on the real car-boat. Unfortunately, he was a bit delayed, because, in his excitement, Trent had an accident on the road and had to wait for a damaged car repair, before he could get all the pieces he needed.

It would be a car-boat that would drive along the highest mountains, on the steepest roads, and then transition seamlessly into the water. It would be one of the greatest inventions of all time. When everybody else saw how clever it was, they’d be asking him for one. Trent didn’t intend to share or sell his invention, though. No. It was his forever. With an engine that would work like a charm for boats and cars, and all the spare tyres he could possibly need, Trent was ready to give it a try.

Unfortunately, Trent was never seen again, so we don’t know whether it worked. However, it wouldn’t take a genius to guess that it didn’t.

Boats and Cars?

Rowing boats? How am I supposed to write about rowing boats? And somehow I’ve got to combine it with car servicing? That’s ridiculous. They are two completely different forms of transportation. If Jen Randall (my boss) had asked me to write about logbook servicing or auto electrical work combined with something about car repair shops, I could totally do that. Somehow, I managed to write a few hundred words about chickens and renovations, but that was almost the end of me. I’m getting really sick of this randomly generated storytelling thing that we’ve started doing at my job. What happened to the good old days, where I could just write about whatever I wanted? Admittedly, the random generation idea was mine, because I was running out of ideas after several hundred stories, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it!

Honestly, I’d rather be writing about nuts and bolts than rowing boats. I just find rowing so boring. I don’t know anything about it, so I can’t write about it, let alone find a way to connect it to a piece about a workshop offering car service close to Adelaide. I guess I’ll just have to ramble on about cars, boats and maybe some bolts until I hit my allotted word count. If I’m feeling particularly uninspired, maybe I’ll also throw in some random words about cats and mice being friends. That’s what Kathy drew out of the random story hat. Why can’t I write about a cat and a mouse who are best friends, on their way to get their engine serviced? I feel like that would be a pretty interesting story. Certainly, more interesting than a story about a guy who wants to go out rowing but can’t because his car is broken, so he is unable to get out to the water. How uninspired!

Anyway, I should probably get onto it. I’ve been procrastinating on social media all afternoon, but I think I’ve just seen one picture of bananas that are made to look like ducks too many.

Behind Glass Windows

I won’t be going into detail about my business or business operations as they are highly confidential. However, what I can tell you is that we are in the business of protecting the good guys and outing the bad guys, that’s all I can say. To do this though, we need an office space that is private and won’t reveal who is on the premises to anyone that isn’t supposed to know.

Everyone we deal with we and everything we do is confidential, which is why we need commercial glass tinting. Melbourne office workers seem to think that tinting is considered normal. After all, we don’t need people snooping around trying to check out what we do. We want to appear to the outside world as if we’re a normal business with normal day-to-day operations, which is why ensuring that all the windows and glass walls in the building are tinted. 

I’ve been given the tough task of finding a business that does commercial tinting. It’s a big responsibility because we will have to let this business inside our office, and they will see things that we don’t want them to see. It’s one of those situations where if there’s no pain there’s no gain, and in this case installing commercial decorative glass is the pain and complete privacy is the gain. 

I will not tell any of you what my job title is, but my role involves some detective work. That’s why they’ve listed me as the main person for the job. I need to make sure that the glass tinters meet all our requirements or they will not be able to step into our building. If I make the wrong call and think the tinters are trustworthy when they are not, then I will be at fault and could potentially ruin our entire operation and lose my job in the process. Luckily I get paid a lot of money to make these tough calls.