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A Fishy New Hobby

My sister, Francine, has recently gotten into fishing. She moved out near the coast about a year back, and since then she’s steadily developed something of a passion for local seafood. Seemingly, one thing has led to another and now she’s literally knee-deep in catching her own fish.

She told me yesterday over beers that the next step is getting a boat. I nearly choked on my lemon wedge when she said that, since Francine has never even owned a car. Going one further, she wants to have the boat in question custom made. You’d think that marine welding and fabrication services in Melbourne, of all places, would be a fairly niche thing to come by, but Francine already has a list of possible candidates for the job. I can tell that she’s serious about this.

It’s vaguely interesting hearing her go on about fishing equipment and boat accessories, purely because my level of knowledge in this area is next to zilch. I mean, when she started up on the subject of custom stainless steel snapper racks, I thought she was talking about some sort of shelving unit for fish (actually, snapper racks are for holding fishing rods, Francine will have you know).

I have to say, I’m impressed with Francine’s growing expertise, or at least her ability to create the illusion of having it. It’s probably not very generous of me to second-guess her, really – she made a mean fish taco situation happen on the barbie with goods she’d caught herself. It’s only when she gets to blathering on about bait boards and bow rails that I start to wonder if she’s making things up, but a quick definition check on my phone generally comes through with a result concerning some steel accessories for fishing boats.

Plate alloy fabrication is the next aspect of the whole shebang that Francine plans to look into, she tells me. She’s plotting to have an alloy hull constructed to her specifications and fit it out herself, with the help of a friendly couple she met down at the beach. Whatever floats your boat!

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Felix Knight, Space Attorney

It’s pretty unusual for a Japanime company to make a show based on an older game, one that people have forgotten a little bit. I guess Dinky Dai-Animation isn’t your average company as I feel they have proved many times over. The old Felix Knight games still maintain their popularity in modern-day internet meme culture, so maybe that’s what sparked this idea.

Ahh, great memes. Highest scone.

Anyway, they’ve brought back Felix Knight as a wizened practitioner of business law, office in Melbourne (and sometimes in space, but they dropped that after the first couple of games) with no direction in his life. I’ve only seen up to episode three, because I had to go to a stupid family reunion in Mildura this weekend and their Wi-Fi was just trash (plus Mum kept making me come down and talk to my grandparents), but I love how they’ve captured and contrasted the legend of Felix Knight with lack of purpose in life. He’s now Melbourne’s very best business lawyer. People come from all around to hear his advice, they flock to his speaking appointments, and fangirls stop him in the street so he can write his catch-phrase- ABJECTION!- on their arms.

But where do you go when you reach the top of the mountain? The series is a slow burn- at least 20% of the first three episodes have been Felix standing at the top of his business lawyer firm skyscraper, staring out the window of his office and giving long mental dialogues on his motivations (or lack of). The only time he’s stepped into a courtroom has been the cliffhanger of episode three, where he learns that a rival property law firm within Melbourne has taken on a major client. We don’t know the name of the client, but the forums are all saying it’s someone from Felix’s mysterious past. What else would cause him to suit up and take the stand again??

Man, I’m hooked on this one. Totally great, 9/10.


Posted in Law
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Dry needling for What Ails Me

I woke up today with a persistent pain in my lower left back. It’s not really all that serious…not so far, anyway. But i always knew all this was coming from the moment I turned 30. It’s just that age, so they say. Everything starts to break down, and in a few years I’ll just be a mess of aches and pains like everyone else. And it’ll be all I can talk about at parties, although an upside is that I can replace the typical ‘good thanks’ response with ‘not so bad, just aching a bit’, or some sort of variant.

I suppose it’ll be worse in the early days, right now when I haven’t had a thousand and one conversations where fellow aged people have given me a load of tips and tricks to cope. But soon…soon, I will know. I’ll start carrying brochures for a nearby dry needling course in New Zealand, so that everyone can go along and have the tools to combat pains and aches and strang cricks in places you never knew you had. That’s enough material to last for an entire party, or possibly one full session of coffee with a friend, although we may need to allocate time to talk about the government. And when I say ‘talk about the government’ then I do of course mean that we’ll spend the entire time complaining. You get to my age and you just have to complain about everything, from aches to parliament. Not about pain-relieving methods like dry needling though, since they’re what takes the pain away. And I’m only 30 now. Give it a few years and trigger point dry needling courses will have evolved to the point where complaints about pain will have been cut down by…ooh, maybe 40%? I don’t want to be too optimistic about the future, because when you get to my age, you lose a lot of optimism. Those positive thoughts are for the youth. Ah, to be young again…


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How 100% Oxygen kept my Dad going

I’ve seen my Dad make some left of center choices over the years. Heading to Melbourne for hyperbaric oxygen therapy certainly stands out . For example, there was the season he decided he didn’t hate the beach and took up kite-surfing. When I say took up, I mean he bought all the gear and never used it after he realised he was a liability on the water. It’s certainly not that he isn’t athletic enough- Dad can run rings round most of my friends, in their early thirties- he’s sixty five now and quite fit despite ongoing back injuries that he picked up as a labourer. These strange interests also included hanging upside down from the door jamb in a pair of ankle braces, strapping tiny magnets to his knees and lower back to ’equalise pain’ and even drinking vinegar dregs and fermented sauerkraut juice to take the shine off what was ‘definitely not arthritis’, according to Dad, who almost certainly would be arthritis. He’s been a bricklayer for nearly thirty years.

Back to the strange interests though. He recently invested in his very own portable hyperbaric chamber. If you’ve never heard of one before, you can’t be blamed, before I saw how much of a difference it made to Dad, I wouldn’t have known what one does. His best mate at work told him about it, they both went and had three sessions each, and from that week onward, Dad was sold. The sessions made his pain bearable. He could sleep better, sit better, and eat better. The only explanation for it was that Dad, who was determined to never retire. He loves working, really and I honestly believe he is one of those people that truly loves their job. His mates all say that Dad whistles and laughs through the day, never has a sour word to say about anyone. People who can’t wait to retire aren’t that happy. I’ve seen what makes him miserable though, and that’s not being able to work.

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Guess I’ll Get Away by Climbing Trees

No one leaves this place. It’s like…Melbourne’s official place of dead-ends. Everyone just gets a job in the local cafe, or the clearance warehouse, or at the school. You don’t leave; you just become a part of the furniture.

Pretty sure I’d like to break that curse, once I’m finished school. Or if I can’t move out for practical reasons, I’ll at least get a job that lets me move around. Something outdoors, where I get to do something with real results that I can see. Maybe I could go into demolition? Ah, but you’d need a lot of training to make sure you’re not totally wrecking the place. Maybe I could go for being an arborist instead. Or do some pruning.

I bet Melbourne based tree pruning companies at least get to travel around the place, pruning and trimming wherever they’re called. They don’t get stuck in one little corner, going to the same places, doing the same jobs over and over. In fact, by definition, tree removal has to be doing different stuff. What, are you going to be called back to the same spot thirty years later because the tree has grown again? That’s just good business, getting repeat customers. Plus you’re golden, because you’ve definitely forgotten what that place looks like in the last thirty years.

So I guess it’s my goal to pick up an arborist job, or something in trimming, or…what else lets you do the job and leave? Construction might not be so bad. Build a building, then off you go to build another building somewhere else.

Ugh, but even the builders around here just take local projects, like they’ve been locked in by a forcefield. Only the tree trimmers can break the curse and get away from it all. For that is the power of tree removal. Ormond residents take note,  if you want to explore new suburbs become an arborist. 

So either that, or I have to learn how to blow up buildings for fun and profit, really fast.


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Replacing the old rugby nets

Two replacement crowns and several harsh words later, I’m thinking we need new sports netting. Which is, you know, just what I’ve been saying for about three years or so.

The nets we have right now date back to World War II, but since we’re in a picturesque town in the Dandenongs, everything MUST remain the same. The seats must be the same, the sports equipment must be the same, the rugby nets, ALL the same Think of the heritage! Think of the history! What would visitors say if they came to have scones in the tearoom and saw that there was something *new* in town. Well, we’d be the laughingstock for miles around.

The traditionalists here absolutely do my head in sometimes. You’d think our history stretched back to the ancient Roman Empire, with our sports netting a prized heirloom that contains the soul of our very town. No, it was hastily cobbled together over half a century ago, and now there are far better sports netting alternatives available. Even now, after the prestigious annual rugby game- attended by all the town’s residents under pain of shame and disdain- has seen a ball blasted through a gap in the old netting and straight into the lovely Mrs Abery’s face, people are still refusing to see the truth. Mrs Abery’s teeth are probably still lying where they fell, and still people refuse to entertain the possibility of changing the rugby nets.

Perhaps it’s time for drastic action. Maybe some local vandals- who no one will ever see as they slip into the night- will sneak in at night, set fire to the nets, maybe break a few squash rackets to make it believable and vanish. Oh, what a shame. We’ll need new nets! Well, their time had come, so sad, a bit of history lost.

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Solar Dave wants to Save!

My cousins have had the farm since my uncle passed on, and I’ve got to tell you, tradition will be the end of them. It’s a dairy farm, a pretty big one outside Melbourne, and they keep getting hit by the ongoing milk war and even worse, the crazy expenses of running a dairy. I knew he wanted to find out more about how to keep energy costs down in the industry.  With the price of power continuing to rise, it’s not wonder the poor guy is desperate for a lower cost solution. 

He made a trip into town last week and asked about the company I called in to have my workshop fitted out with commercial LED lighting. Melbourne tends to eat Dave alive so he didn’t hang around and was keen to get home- although that could possibly have been because he was keen to get the ball rolling on some serious savings. Dave pretty much did the same thing as me and fell off his chair when he found out that LED lighting can save up to 80% on a bill and that LED lights have a 1% failure rate.

He’s hardworking guy when it comes to traditional business, but if ever you’ve seen someone who hates considerable change, Dave would outdo him. I think he has been wearing the same gumboots since his feet stopped growing as a teenager. I had to explain to Dave how easy the transition had been for me. This made me realise that most people avoid changes like this because they seem too good to be true- I guess people assume that there’s a huge catch.

Dave has made an appointment with the guys I had fit the shop out by.

I’m not going to say much until he does, because knowing Dave, he will want to completely get the hang of a new system before he says anything about it. Can’t wait to get the low down from him though- it’ll be great to have something to talk to him about that isn’t about the milk wars.

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My cousin will never drive my car again…

This morning at the lights, I had a real shock. I thought my brakes were going to fail. This was the beginning of a realisation that my cousin Tyler is absolutely a jerk.

I loaned my wagon to him while I went overseas. I got it back yesterday and I am really wondering what he’s been up to, considering I nearly sailed through a red.

Ok. So it appears I missed some vital signs. I should’ve realised that the tank on empty and the stink of stale fried chicken (found two empty take away bags under the passenger seat) were signs I needed to do a thorough examination.

It feels like I need a brake replacement. Ringwood has an abundance of places I could go, but there’s a workshop I know that has a great reputation so I’m not worried about finding a mechanic I can trust. Straight to the mechanic from work on my lunch break. There’s a great workshop in Ringwood that  services all cars. By great, I mean trustworthy, unlike my cousin, Tyler.

But seriously, what’s my car been put through over the last six weeks? I probably should’ve known better than to loan my car to someone who is glued to video games and has a countdown app for Nascar on his phone.

My cousin isn’t a terrible person but I’m having a hard time not thinking of ways to torture him when I realise the tread on my tires looks pretty grim. I have a feeling the reason he was in such a hurry to get moving when I came round to pick up my ride this morning. I’d thought he was just stretched for time.

I tried his number on my break to see if he’d fess up to anything or let me know what else to expect, but he wouldn’t answer. I booked in with the mechanic and thought of ways to casually drop into conversation with my Aunt, Tylers Mum, that he’s up for quite a bit of coin for obliterating my wheels. So what’s appropriate punishment for this gormless rev-head? Need some ideas!

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Property transfers? Section 32? Cooling Off Rules? You don’t scare me

In hindsight it was obvious, but at the time I had no idea. If I’d only known that step one was finding someone to translate all my questions about property conveyancing. Melbourne had been our home for almost eleven years and it was time to leave, but I hadn’t expected to feel so spun out.

The administration was craziness.  I’d left it up to my partner when the first home we purchased was sold to us- but now, it had been left up to me and I had no idea what I was doing. To be completely truthful, I didn’t  understand conveyancing at all. While I thought It was mandatory, I was surprised to learn that it was only a recommended service. And when I found out what a property conveyancer does, I couldn’t believe that some people actually go without their assistance.

First off, I’m not a law-minded person. As transfers are all about the laws regarding selling and buying homes, I knew I had to outsource right away. I found an amazing property transfer specialist in Melbourne who walked me through all the benefits and possible problems, explained the whole Section 32 thing- and helped me navigate uncharted territory with banks and agents.

I absolutely could not have done without her help.

The information my conveyancer broke down for me made everything manageable and I know that the control I gained from understanding what was happening at every stage during the sale of our home helped me remain calm and focused for my family as we planned around the sale and our interstate move. I’m feeling completely ambitious now, as though all the loose ends have been tied off and we can move on with certainty in the next phase of our lives. I know it’s not a feeling everyone is lucky to have after the sale of a house, but I feel certain that finding a great conveyancer has quite a lot to do with that.

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Heroic Conveyancing Academy: Thousand Year Land Sale Darkness Blade of Promised Destiny

I sure do love Japanese anime. In case any of you casuals aren’t aware, that’s a beautiful, superior form of animation from the greatest and most culturally-enlightened nation in the world…Japan. Man, those people just do everything right. I wish I’d been born there, but the best I can do is identify as half Japanese (my soul half).

I think my favourite part of anime is where they take a completely mundane or everyday subject- like golf, or food shopping- and turn them into a phantasmagorical adventure. As a matter of fact, ‘Ultimate Perfect Golf Hero’ is one of my faves. I like how the protagonist can activate a super mode that lowers his par, makes his club swings 60% more accurate and causes him to levitate off the ground while glowing.

My new addiction: ‘Heroic Conveyancing Academy!’

They’ve even taken property conveyancing and made it AMAZING. This one concerns a young conveyancer from Caulfield. That is, anime Caulfield, which was almost destroyed by a monster in 1975, and has now been rebuilt as a neo-metropolis where one in every ten-thousand people are born with an innate conveyancing gift. Anyway, he wins a scholarship to an elite conveyancing academy in Tokyo, where he quickly meets a group of quirky friends, gains three diverse love interests on his first day and is completely incompetent at everything, except when he activates the mysterious power inside of him that makes him one of the most powerful and efficient conveyancers in the series.

I mean, if I was a property conveyancing lawyer in real life, doing property conveyancing and stuff, I’d be really happy that my profession is being portrayed in a positive light. I think this one has a lot of Western appeal, particularly since it’s about conveyancing around Mentone and surrounding suburbs. Almost where I live! And there’s nothing better than the place where I live ALMOST being represented in a masterfully-crafted anime. Sugoi!!