Proudly a New Breed of Clown

kids party venue SydneySomeone called me an ‘amateur clown’ recently. I suppose that sums it up pretty well. Always knew that styling myself as a birthday clown would be off-putting to some, but the title has been in my family for generations, so I wasn’t about to let it go. Besides, it’s all about the service. Word-of-mouth, reviews…that’s what it’s all about nowadays! That, and knowing your audience and community. I wouldn’t last long in the profession if I hadn’t mapped out each and every kids party venue in the Sydney area and made a mental note of travel times, facilities, equipment…it’s a lot more stress than you’d think, honestly. Yes, being a clown has homework. Sad, but there you go. When it comes to bringing happiness to children, you have to put in the work.

Oh, and of course it’s all about the educational content nowadays. Can’t just blow up a balloon, turn it into a dog and call it a day. Nope! Got to blow up a balloon, turn it into a dog and get the kids to tell you the various parts of the body. “Do humans have a tail? Why do dogs have a tail? How can you tell that a dog is happy by looking at the tail?”

Parents love that kind of thing. In fact, you can teach anyone of any age anything with balloons. I’m working on twisting a balloon into a double-helix and then trying to sell the idea to universities. Jury is out on that one, but mostly, when I’m at a kids birthday party venue, parents are okay with the ‘label the animals’ thing.

Oh, and my sister very specifically said that being a clown ‘isn’t going to get me any dates’. Well, bet she feels stupid now, since I totally did. All signs point to this being the right career choice thus far. In fact, I just got my first interstate booking for an indoor play centre in Jandakot. It would take me over forty hours to drive there, so…um, can’t make it, unfortunately. Still, nice to know I have an interstate reputation.

-Maddie

There’s a Lawyer for Every Occasion

Melbourne property lawyersAnother rainy day, and in the middle of summer! I’ve half a mind to write a strongly-worded letter to the council and complain. It will contain many very large and important-sounding words, all typed in capitals to express my anger. I’ve known for quite some time that the local council is the one who control the weather, of course. They try to hide it, but I went to a seminar a few years ago where a very trustworthy man with a lovely voice explained it all. Oh, there’s nothing wrong with them manipulating the climate, but they could be a bit more up-front, and they might have the decency to hold off on the rain in summer.

I wonder if anyone ever managed to sue them for that sort of thing? Mind you, there’s a legal procedure for everything nowadays. All around Melbourne, reputable business lawyers with years of experience will be at your door in a jiffy to explain how you can take your lawnmower to court for conking out when it chews up some gravel, or how you can take your sister to the high court for eating the last slice of delicious cheesecake. And good, I say! It’s about time the legal system opened itself up to a bit of variety.

It makes shows like Judge Rudy a lot more interesting when it’s not just petty thefts that are solved in four minutes, so they can get the next schmuck on for a bit of amusing screen-time. The only legal matters in which I’ve ever been embroiled have been the disputes over the will, and even then it was because both Mum and Dad had the absolute worst handwriting you’ve ever seen. It took two months, fifteen family members and Melbourne’s most experienced property lawyer to figure out that they were leaving my brother ‘the shed at the end of the road’ and not ‘Ted that we turned into a toad’.

Golly..I DID find it all a bit boring at the time. Perhaps I’ll stick with the strongly-worded letter and see what that gets done.

-Dorothy

Dinosaurs, but Also Glass

Melbourne glazierEveryone knows that there are three gifts that are greater than anything else money can buy: gift cards (because they’re essentially money in a prettier form), dinosaur eggs (because they currently do not exist, not any more) and glass staircases. That last one DID surprise me, but actually, I can see the logic. Imagine descending the staircase on Christmas morning, only to find that instead of dull old wooden balustrades, they’ve been changed to glass. Simply magical.

I was convinced of this list by a billboard, which are almost always correct, and now I’m on a crusade to see if I can combine all three into the perfect gift. So that would involve a gift card, for some quality residential glazing…but also, dinosaur eggs. That’s the difficult part, because dinosaurs have very little to do with elegant glass structures or window repair. The only thing I’m coming up with is that you could get glass with carved images of dinosaurs, or perhaps stained glass depicting the triassic period. But then, they’re not dinosaur eggs, which is difficult to acquire. SOme may say impossible. There certainly isn’t anything about installing lovely glass balustrades in your home or business that would make the reality of dinosaur eggs any more real, unless you’re very dedicated so you went to the factory where they make panes of glass to inspect exactly where your product is coming from and you travel to that distant land where panes of glass are made and residential glaziers are trained, and that just happens to be the place where you find a dinosaur egg, on a hunt…that you purchased using a gift card.

Well, that’s all sorted. Now I have created the perfect gift. Need to find myself a quality glazier in Melbourne, then politely explain to them that I’d like to pick out my own pane of glass. For…scientific reasons.

-C.Z.Y.

 

For Flat Hair to…Fab Hair?

best hairdressers MelbourneCutting my own hair worked for the last sixteen years. I guess it’s pretty uncommon to go thirty years without going to a hairdresser’s, but I guess at some point I just started to get a bit self-conscious. Maybe I just wanted to see how they’d do. Well, I’m definitely impressed.

I work around the Melbourne CBD, and the hairdressers around the place are plentiful. I’ve half a mind to get around to all of them and find one that really fits what I’m looking for. I don’t know what I’m looking for, honestly. Don’t have enough experience, and for the last few years my singular haircut has been ‘flat, relatively even’.

So…this is going to be quite the journey. My very first haircut has left me with this strange-yet-alluring do with shorter sides and a rather long fringe. I have no idea how to maintain it, but I have it right now and it looks okay. Next, I think I’d like to try for one of those spiky numbers. You know the ones: everything else is relatively flat, while the fringe surges upwards like a mighty tidal wave. All the Korean pop stars have it, when they don’t have that 80s quiff that seems to be making a comeback. Alright, note to self…get onto that quiff. That do is going places.

I feel alive, I really do. I went to work straight after getting my haircut the other day, and I was getting compliments from all directions. People just weren’t used to seeing me with anything other than a flat and dull look…and now I understand everyone gushing over people who get new hairstyles. It’s such a good feeling that you do it to other people in the hopes that they’ll do it to you. I just never knew how much of an impact having a swish hairstyle can have on your life!

Next target is a hairdresser in David Jones. I’m think the 80s quiff, or…maybe a layered look with feathering on the outside. I have no idea, to be honest. I’m just googling this stuff.

The Net Fiasco, but it’s in China

soccer nettingAlright, I should probably jot down a few of my thoughts after the trip. Or type a few of my thoughts…same thing, really. I actually enjoyed China a lot more than I thought I would, which sounds terrible, but I was mostly worried about the language barrier. First time I’ve ever been to a country where they don’t primarily speak English, and I was freaking out over getting lost and literally not being able to talk to anyone.

Not much problem there. Turns out the average Chinese person’s English is a LOT better than my Chinese, especially since I still don’t know the Chinese word for ‘sports netting‘ and I really should by now.

Yeah, so we had a bit of an incident. They had this amazing sports center at the school, much better than ours. But at one point we were warming up and some of the netting came down. Our coach told us to go to the storage cupboard and get a replacement, but we might’ve taken a wrong turning. Instead of a cupboard filled with sports netting, we were instead led on a merry chase around the building with a bunch of people on the way misunderstanding what we were after. We couldn’t read any of the signs, of course, and the building is absolutely massive. Eventually we found a cupboard with supplies and just grabbed the first bit of netting we could find in what I can only describe as weariness. And then we took it back, only to discover that we’d grabbed soccer nets and they weren’t nearly big enough. At that point we pretty much just gave up. The coach just laughed.

We had to have ONE lost in translation moment, even if it was less to do with language and more to do with net types. Also, signage. Their sports center has to be at least four times as big as ours.

-Jerry

Gloriously Tinted Moon Silos

home window tintingOur prayers as of late have revealed many things. First off: avocados are soon to experience a slight drop in price, although lattes will be slightly more expensive, thus balancing the scales. America’s president will make a speech, and some people will be very happy while some are angry.

Been having THAT dream a lot. It’s getting pretty boring.

Finally, we have all had the same dream, one of our glorious moon colony. Our time is soon! Although like many, I wonder how much my Earth skills will be contributing. I am an expert in windows, and thus I have much work to complete in terms of our vessels And our moon buildings. But then there is my hobby of home window tinting. Melbourne professionals are a source of fascination for me, and were my time on Earth longer, I would have liked to join them. I wonder…will tinted windows be useful on the moon? Certainly there will be those who wish to have more privacy in their moon silos than most. And then there are the members of the inner council, who have many secretive meetings. Perhaps they would like some tinting on the windows of their secret chambers, so that no moon spies can read their lips through the glass and find out all their moon secrets. Their great and wonderful moon secrets.

Surely, there will be room for some sort of window tinting. I think it is a good thing, and in time, our moon society will have need of many good things that we have imported from Earth. From now, I’ll continue to learn from all the residential window tinting experts in Melbourne, while we design our colony spaceships. And our silos. And then I’ll definitely need to make it to the meeting on Wednesday night, because people need my glass expertise for the agricultural biodomes…

Educating Myself…On Lighting

commercial LED lightingAs loyal as I am to the glorious PC master race, I have to admit that playing Over-Botch is much more fun on console. The controls are more responsive, and of course the graphics are way better.

I just…had to get that out somewhere. You have no idea how HARD it is to maintain an air of superiority, all the time. It’s gotten to the point where all my friends have stopped playing Over-Botch, which is frankly a tragedy because I was about twenty minutes away from the commercial LED lighting achievement. I was LEARNING things. Video games can now teach us to be better people! For example, did you know that energy-saver bulbs were actually advertised to be 60% more efficient than they were, at first? It was a major scandal that hit the lighting industry hard, and it was all caused my someone hitting the wrong key in an email to the copywriters. For about six months, energy-saver bulbs were flying off the shelves, the kings of the commercial lighting sector, and all because people believed that they were 600% more efficient than all their competitors (while offering 80% of the light). Of course, it was more like 60%. Actually pretty good, but it was a dire time as people lost interest and trust in energy-saving bulbs.

Nowadays things have recovered pretty well, mostly because designer lighting has taken influences from Italian and Spanish designers, and people are much more inclined to buy lights if they look nice.

So there. I figure that if I’m going to play an educational game, I might as well do it with the greatest graphics and controls possible. That’s probably why my competitive Melbourne designer lighting solutions rating is so much better than theirs, even if they don’t want to admit it. This could get me a job, one day. A job designing lights, or perhaps telling people that their home would sell even better if they installed a chandelier. I always knew I was on the right side of history.

-Alastair

Lighting, Dreadlocks, STYLE

Melbourne designer lightingOkay, so as it turns out…setting up a business MIGHT be a little but more work than I was anticipating. I made a checklist and everything! And so many things have popped up that were NOT on the checklist! It’s almost as if I shouldn’t have bothered with the checklist in the first place.

I’ve seen so many chic little cafes in the CBD, and I thought I could replicate their success. All you need is a coffee machine (preferably a massive one from the 1970s), a barista with dreadlocks, another barista with loads of tattoos and then a few home-style recipes (with avocado) that I can serve on trendy wooden chopping boards. And maybe some garnish.

Everything else is just window dressing, or so I thought. Now my cafe mentor is telling me to research designer lighting in Melbourne, because the commercial lighting sector can make or break a new business. Designer lighting wasn’t even ON the list for some weird reason! Maybe I need a new list, one with spaces at the bottom so that I can add new things.

Bah, no time! I have to focus on the nitty-gritty, like proper lighting, apparently. I guess now that I think about it, whenever I’ve walked into one of those nice little cafes, there’s always been a nice lighting design. Even in places like Barstucks, there’s always a softness to the lighting that invites people to stay. Maybe sometimes to do with the warm tones helps with this too. I should spend less time on comfy, chic seating options and more time on this. Or perhaps it’s time to do another trawl of every cafe decent cafe in Melbourne. Commercial lighting solutions are a bigger industry than I thought. More important than the barista with dreadlocks?

No…surely not. Nobody will take my cafe seriously if they walk in and the person making their cafe has normal, practical hair.

-Owen

Finding the right solution

commercial solarThere’s something I’ve been looking into for a long time, and I’m getting extremely ready to commit, but the problem is, I still haven’t found the right solar energy company to go with. You see, I run a small business and we’ve made a commitment to our staff and our community that we’re going to employ more environmentally friendly measures. So far, we’ve introduced rigorous recycling policies and installed a filter in our tap to so that we no longer have to purchase bottled water, but I feel like we’re ready to take the next step and take much more drastic action. I’ve been looking into things, and from everything I’ve seen it seems like the next big step would be to install some form of commercial solar. Melbourne has a whole host of different solar companies, and so the trick will be to find someone I can trust working with.

That’s where the trouble lies. Even though I know how amazing solar can be for businesses in the long run, even for a company that’s on the smaller end of things like mine. I still have the lingering feeling that a lot of these companies are not being truthful. I want to be sure that the company I chose is genuinely looking out for my interests, not just trying to get a quick sale. I don’t want a band aid measure that makes me feel like my business is doing the “green” thing, but isn’t creating real change. I want long term, sustainable commercial solar solutions.

That’s the main reason I’m taking my time. It’s not that I’m unsure to go solar, I know how I want to do things and the kind of impact I want to leave on the world. I need to know that I’m working with a solar company that understands my vision. If that means waiting, then I’m happy to wait.

The Mansion’s Energy Needs

commercial battery storageAs my father always used to say: “Never smile at the help. It makes them entitled. Pay them for their work, and that’s appreciation enough.”

He was a wise man. However, as the times have changed, so must we. I still never smile at the help because it does indeed make them entitled; I’ve seen it at parties in other households. However, we’ve also had to move with the times, leading to my energy policy. Obviously the mansion uses quite a substantial amount of energy, given the many rooms, facilities, barns, cinema complexes, indoor and outdoor pools, digital libraries, sporting halls and artificial ski slopes. Only two of those, although I’ve been meaning to have another installed next to lake number seven. I’ve been seriously looking into commercial battery storage, so as to properly cater to our energy needs. Obviously I have solar panels installed discretely over the non-visible parts of the roof, and most other properties in the vicinity. There’s also the solar panel field over next to the croquet arena. Which provides most of our energy needs.

I was concerned about the wastage, however, hence why I’ve been looking into energy storage. Energy is money, and money is time, and time is money, and energy is time, which means that it needs to be saved. I’m not one to waste time or money, so I’m keen to get maximum benefit out of the mansion’s solar energy program. I didn’t get where I was by allowing money to go to waste! I mostly got where I was by being born into a rich and prestigious family and being given every opportunity to succeed in life, but also, I know how to not let a good thing to go to waste. I have my top people researching Melbourne commercial battery storage, first for personal usage…and if it works out, then maybe I’ll just buy the industry.

-Percival