Steps of Sustainability

My five-step plan for world domination a worldwide utopia:

  1. Move to New South Wales, where they are going to have an election sooner than Victoria. There, I will amass enough popularity that I will be put in a position of power. This is essential, as I will need to have worldwide influence within a few years.
  2. Ensure that my business is known as the most sustainable in Australia. It’s good PR, and people will be willing to support me for my incredible efforts to save the environment and build a utopia. Make sure that the results of our commercial energy monitoring are made public, which will build goodwill with the population.
  3. Run for Premier of New South Wales. Most importantly, win. This will likely be in 2022. I need to build up plenty of support and align myself with a party before then, ensuring my victory when the election comes. Once the victory is mine, I shall enact laws requiring businesses to become completely sustainable within one month, otherwise, they shall be severely punished.
  4. Become Prime Minister of Australia. Whether by revealing the scandals of everyone in front of me or by winning a legitimate election, it doesn’t really matter. Run a platform of professional commercial energy management being done across the entire country, so that we become the cleanest, most powerful nation on Earth.
  5. Claim world domination. This is by far the easiest step, as I will have so many supporters at this point that they will be an unstoppable force. Other countries will have to join my new empire or be completely destroyed. Conquer Asia first for the reinforcement bonus at the start of each turn, like in a game of Chance. The plus two troop bonus from Australia is handy, but if we want to make the entire world run on sustainable solar energy, we’ll need a bigger force. From there, just sweep through the other countries until we live in a complete utopia ruled by yours truly.

Running calluses

I run religiously in the morning at least three times a week and on weekend evenings. I think I’m becoming addicted to it. It was so hard to get started. I couldn’t even run around my block without getting puffed out but now I can easily tackle 10km. Building up this stamina wasn’t an easy process. I had to start off by slowly running and power-walking whenever I was exhausted. Week by week I found I was gradually walking less and jogging more. Once jogging around the block felt effortless, I then added another block. Then slowly I added more and more and that’s how I’ve grown to become the runner I am today.

While running has many health benefits, it definitely also has many downsides. I have suffered from numerous rolled ankles and the odd shin splint, which can be so painful. When these injuries happen you can sadly expect to be out of action for days, if not weeks. Then there’s a whole period of readjusting to running again where your stamina isn’t quite what it was before you had the time off. My most recent injury, although it hardly constitutes an injury, is developing on my feet. I’m in need of treatment for corns and calluses. From all the running, my feet have rubbed against my runners and caused painful friction blisters on my toes. These corns and calluses aren’t like a regular blister though. They’re quite hard. Over time the pain does cease but I do not like how they make my feet look. These corns are making my toes look really lumpy and oddly shaped. It’s just not very appealing to look at, especially when I want to wear sandals.

Perhaps there’s a Melbourne orthotics shop I can visit that sells better-designed runners that will provide more comfort for my feet and stop friction. Even if they don’t sell running shoes, they might sell some special insoles or bandages that I can use to reduce the friction when I run. I’m sure whoever is working there will have some advice.

Tinted Band Battle

I never thought I’d enter a battle of the bands’ competition, especially since I don’t play any instruments. I mean, I’ve always wanted to learn to play the guitar or the drums, but I just never had the drive to actually do it.

Given I don’t play music, most people would probably think it was a stupid idea to enter the battle of the bands in order to impress a girl. I’m sure that this is totally going to work, though. My best friend Robert and I ordered these cool t-shirts online that have our band name (even though we don’t actually have a band): Frosted Window Tinting Friends. I’m aware that this is possibly the worst band name ever, but we picked it super late at night and weren’t really thinking. We’re stuck with it now, so whatever.

Anyway, I figure it can’t be that hard to learn an instrument. Robert and I will just practise the guitar together until it looks like we know what we are doing. We’ll play that single by Concept Artists about office tinting close to Melbourne. At least our band name will make some sort of sense that way. And yes, I’m aware that Concept Artists aren’t really that big anymore, ever since the band had all that drama, but hopefully, people are in the mood for a throwback.

Now, I know that it’s going to be basically impossible to learn an instrument well enough in a single day, which is why we’re only practising to look like we can play. We’ll have the original song play through the speakers, and hopefully, everyone just thinks we’re a really good cover band. That’s right, we’re going to be lip-syncing. It’s genius! Nobody will even realise, we’ll win first prize and I’ll get to go on a hot date with the girl of my dreams. At the end of the day, I’ll have only Concept Artists to thank for recording such an awesome single about window tinting.

Little Guy’s Agent

I like to consider myself a hero to small people. Like, the literal small people. I’m a buyer’s advocate, you see, and I have marketed my business around helping people who look like they aren’t old enough to buy a home do exactly that. After all, it’s not their fault that they have the face of a child when they are actually a fully grown adult. Why should they not be able to buy a home?

My story begins when I was just a junior buyer’s advocate. Melbourne was a crazy place at the time, back in the 90s. I was working for this big agency, taking my lunch break on a warm summer’s day. I saw someone enter through the front door, looking like three little boys stacked on top of each other in a trench coat. I knew better, though, because nobody would be stupid enough to actually try that. Therefore, it stood to reason that they were not actually three kids in a trench coat, but merely a fully grown adult who just looked oddly suspicious.

So, you can imagine my horror when the receptionist calls over the boss, and he tells this, unfortunately, suspicious man to get lost because he isn’t old enough to buy a house. I thought my boss was a buyer’s advocate in the Kew area that treated everyone fairly. It turns out that was wrong. Like, did he just assume that person’s age? 

He was just a judgemental monster, so I quit right then and there, swearing to start my own buyer’s advocacy that stood up for people like Mr Business, my unfortunate friend and first-ever client. I can’t even describe the pride that went through me when he bought his house. I shook his hand, which because of his birth deformities looks and feels like a broom, and told him to enjoy the rest of his life.

I’ve been standing up for the adults who look more like children ever since. It’s a really rewarding job, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

The Black Rock

So, I’ve got a random question for you, dear reader. Totally random. Definitely has nothing to do with what happened to me yesterday. Anyway, so what would you think if you knew someone who looked like a scorched black walking skeleton with the power to control the earth itself? Because I definitely think I’d want to be that guy’s friend. Sure, he might look like a complete monstrosity that would commit acts so terrible that they can’t be mentioned here, but I’m sure he would be a good guy.

Like, I know this is all hypothetical, but imagine this guy, this man, this poor man, who was just going about his business. Imagine he walks into his bathroom one morning and just feels the urge to call a bathroom design business within Melbourne because he feels that a renovation is in order. But as he turns to leave the room, he notices that one of the tiles is out of place. He moves it aside and sees a dark stone pulsing with energy. Curious, he shrugs his shoulders and touches the rock. Suddenly the earth beneath him gives way and a sinkhole opens up beneath his house.

You’d feel sorry for that guy, right? You’d want to be his friend still? I definitely would. Sounds like he’s had a rough day or two and could use some support. All he wanted was some bathroom renovations. He didn’t ask to be turned into a strange creature. He didn’t ask to get weird powers he can’t control. He didn’t ask to look like a Bionic Cool or something. 

Alright, I’ll level with you guys. It’s me. I’ve been turned into this horror. I’m feeling really vulnerable right now, so if you have it in you to leave some positive comments, I’d really appreciate it. For now, I think I’m going to just make myself a cup of tea and hope nothing else breaks around me. That said, I’m not sure I even can drink tea anymore.

– Earth Man Tyrone

Fortune Competition Results!

Recently I posted about a competition being held on this website, where the winners would receive a free fortune, valued at $500 dollars each. We had over six thousand people submit their entries, telling us all about their future ambitions and goals. Today I’m proud to announce the winners and publicly post their fortunes here. Without further ado, let’s get started. Congratulations to Charlie, our first winner.

Charlie, you told us all about how you were looking for new options to liven up your office space and increase the morale of your team, as they continue to sell hotcakes like… well, hotcakes. We’ve consulted the stars and found that the answer to your question is in commercial office design. Around Melbourne, that’s the hottest thing at the moment. Given that your star sign is Virgo, we feel strongly that you should use a bright and pink theme for your office. Have a pancake party every day!

Our second winner is Derek from New York. Derek’s family is having some issues, so he wanted us to do a tea-leaf reading, revealing the pathway forward. Uh oh! Looks like there’s great woe ahead for Derek and there’s nothing he can do to help the situation. That’s a real shame.

Congratulations to Rex, our third and final winner. Rex works in Melbourne. Office fitouts are his jam, he says. Well, isn’t that a great coincidence! Rex wanted to know where he could find a client for his business. As it turns out, we don’t have to do any psychic consultations at all. Rex, meet Charlie. Charlie, meet Rex. Charlie needs someone to make her office space nicer. Rex needs a client for office design and fitouts. It’s a perfect match! I can’t believe we’ve done it again.

Thank you to everyone who submitted their entries for this competition. We had a truly wonderful time running it. A big congratulations to our three winners, Charlie, Derek and Rex!

Playing Terra Area

The other day I bought a new game on Smoke, the best marketplace for video games online. They’re always having these great sales, so I bought the 2D explorer game Terra Area. It’s a bit like Craft a Mine but with more to do. I hesitated to buy it for a long time because I honestly wasn’t sold on it, but when it’s on sale for fifty cents, how could I say no?

And I’ve got to say, I made a real mistake waiting this long to buy it. The first thing the game asked me to do was name my world. I live in Tasmania, so I wrote the first thing I thought of: Hobart. Maybe that’s a bad name for a fantasy video game world, but I don’t think it matters. Then I made my character and got into the game.

When my world was completely loaded, I was given my first mission: find the man who can complete a transmission repair. Hobart needs a working transmission in order to make any real progress, apparently. It wasn’t the kind of mission I was expecting. In fact, I’m not even sure what a transmission is in this sense. Maybe it transmits radio signals to outer space? My hope, though, is that by finding the transmission repairman, I’ll be able to get a working car and travel around the 2D sandbox world of Hobart faster. That would be pretty cool.

So I set out on my quest, armed with only a brass dagger and a set of leaf armour. For in-game days I walked across the world, seeking the repairman. I travelled through desert, tundra and jungle to find him. Eventually I came to an ancient ruin and found a man who offered auto electrical repairs across Hobart. He also said that if I build him a house, he’ll move into it, meaning I won’t have to travel so far to talk to him again. That’s pretty cool!

Of course, I didn’t have any money, so I couldn’t pay for his transmission repair service at the time. I walked back to the middle of Hobart and started building houses for my NPCs. Now I just have to get some money and I’ll be on my way to beating the Sun King boss!

Zebraman’s Laundry Panic

I can do this. I can totally do this, right? There’s no need to panic. Sure, I’m trapped in a room with twenty-four hours to create the perfect laundry design. Sure, I cheated on the last challenge and have no idea what I’m doing. But I can get out of this. I have to. I’m Jack Zebraman. You’ve probably heard of me because I am very famous. Famous people don’t get put in situations like this. I’ve got to be like the protagonist of Black and White and find a way out of this.

Oh man, why couldn’t they have just asked me to do a kitchen installation instead? I could have done that. Okay, just breathe, Jack. You’ve got this. Don’t panic. You’re a movie star. You can do literally anything you set your mind to. No, you don’t know the first thing about making a laundry, and it’s true that it was probably a mistake to go on Next Top Office, but you can do this. I know you can because you’re Jack Zebraman.

I think I’m feeling a bit better now. I suppose it’s time to sit down at my desk and get to work. At least I don’t have to physically build the laundry. I just have to design it. I would have preferred to create the a kitchen design concept, Melbourne style, but that’s all right. It’s probably not even that different. Yeah, just put the sink in a different position, add a few driers and washing machines where the dishwasher, refrigerator and oven would be and you’re done. See, how easy was that?

Now that you’ve got the idea in your head, it’s time to draw it out. Never mind the fact that your high school art teacher called your drawings a crime against blind people. It’s been years since then. You’ve improved. Just put the phone down and stop typing up a blog post to put on the internet later. There’s work to be done.

Frankie’s Plan

For the first challenge on Australia’s Next Top Office, we’ve been asked to start outside by building a glass balustrade for our balconies. It certainly wasn’t what I was expecting, but I’m up for any trial they can throw at me! I want the kids back in my class to view this show and see that their awesome teacher, Ms Frankie, can do anything. And that means they can achieve anything they want to as well!

I’ve been doing a lot of research before the actual challenge period begins. I’m sure the other contestants were smart enough to do that as well. These days you can learn pretty much anything on the internet. So I’ve watched plenty of videos on glass repair and balustrade installation. I think I have a pretty good idea of what to do now. The competition is fierce, though. I’ll have to play this strategically if I want to win. Not just this specific game, but the whole show in general. If I race ahead and show that I’m a real threat, I’ll be putting a target on my back. It might be worth throwing the challenge altogether so that nobody expects much from me going forward. I’ll still try, though. Maybe I just won’t try my absolute hardest.

The good thing about all this research is that I could become a glass balustrade specialist, Melbourne having plenty of glass-filled offices, if I ever wanted to leave my teaching career. At the very least I’ll be able to teach my glass all about it. They’re sure to love the new material. It’s certainly better than studying mathematics or anything else that’s actually on the curriculum. How boring! Schools don’t do enough to prepare students for the real world, which is why I teach them about taxes, plumbing and everything in between. 

Okay, I need to stop reminiscing about my job and focus on the task ahead. Let’s do this thing, but not too well! Let’s do an adequate job of making a glass balustrade and finish in third place!

Mechanic Recommendation

Have you been watching Australia’s Next Top Office season two? It’s the biggest cultural item at the moment. The show is on Not Flicks, Australia’s biggest streaming service for everything that isn’t a movie. The competition is fierce (apparently one of the contestants was liquified before the show even started), and the prize one that’s well worth fighting for. Six people have travelled to Sweden, Victoria to build corporate offices from scratch. It’s compelling viewing, although I wouldn’t have thought so a week ago.

You see, I only just got into it. I thought the show sounded kind of dumb, possibly even too absurd to be real. But the other day I was getting a car service at an auto electrician local to Milperra. I was talking to the mechanic, and he mentioned that the show was really good, so I decided to check out the highlights on MyVideo. I’ve been hooked ever since. That night I binged season one and the episodes of season two that have come out. It’s seriously good stuff.

I should have known this show would be good if a mechanic liked it. There have been studies to show that mechanics have the best taste in popular culture out of any type of worker. That means if you aren’t sure whether to watch, read or play something, all you have to do is go onto social media and ask ‘is there a mechanic near me who likes Planet of Crafting Wars?’ If the answer is yes then it’s probably worth checking out.

So, what do I hope will happen in the remaining episodes of ANTO? At the moment I’m hoping Jack Zebraman wins, even though he’s cheated on a couple of the contests. He just seems like a pretty cool dude, and besides, he is very famous, so you’ve probably heard of him. Then again, the Glass Smashing Bandit and Space Wizard make a pretty good duo, so I wouldn’t mind seeing them take home the prize.