Lighting the way with LED signs

LED signage MelbourneI want to go ahead with this signage idea, even without checking out the ROI. I am the worst economics lecturer ever, because I can’t even follow my own rules. One should always check out the ROI before making a business purchase. You can’t be impulsive, every expensive needs to be justified or you’re wasting money. I never really like to wait that long, especially on idea like this. When I really want something, a voice in my head keeps telling me to do it, but my reason is saying, hold on a minute, let’s just think this through. That brain has saved me from many a bad decision. I just wish I could see reason when I wanted the start that emu farm. No one wants to see an emu, and I know that for sure now.

My brain is telling me to wait and not do anything about the signage without seeing where it will lead, and if the ROI is worth it. I have a good feeling about it though, but we’ll see what my business partner has to say about it. He’s much less impulsive than I am, although I’m sure he’ll be on board with my stylish signage idea. I’m getting a friend to crunch the numbers on this thing and find out if it’s a good idea to go with the business signage. Melbourne already has a lot of signs but a memorable one will most certainly draw a crowd. I need this business to be a success, I’ve put my entire saving into this venture and I can’t afford for it to fail. I don’t want to be living at home again with my elderly parents.


I’ve just had a call. The numbers check out and now I will be making a move on the signwriting. They will certainly be able to help me with all the LED signage. Melbourne is a fantastic city to run a business because it’s so rich in culture.  

Antennas: Not to Blame for Insomnia

antennasI’m always restless when I’m trying to sleep…and even if I tire myself out completely before going to bed, nothing changes. It’s just toss, turn, toss, turn, rinse, repeat until I just want to yell into my pillow at the injustice of it all. I just have too many thoughts going on in my mind, is all. At least, I think that’s all. I’ve been browsing the web, going through different theories for why some people have trouble falling asleep.

One recently-debunked idea is that it’s digital antennas. Installation in Melbourne has gone up since people realised that they can fast-track programming from the US. I’m more of a streaming person myself, and it’s so easy nowadays…but anyway, I was deep in the Insomnia forums when I discovered a user theory that digital antennas affected our brainwaves. He theorised that since it was such a powerful form of broadcasting, it actually interfered with the electrical signals in our brain and made it hard to sleep because there was so much programing running through our minds, all the time. ALL the time. I looked out my window, and sure enough, my neighbours had a digital antenna installed right on the same level as my room! I was paranoid about signals playing around with my brain for weeks.

It’s all nonsense, of course. Our brain’s electrical signals can’t be stuffed up so easily, since…well, they’re how we do anything. If that was the case, then every time we walked past an antenna we’d start walking funny and slapping ourselves or whatever. Nope, looks like I won’t have to file a complaints with the antenna specialists in Melbourne because they’re stopping me from sleeping! Turns out my mind is just more active at night. Man, I wish I was one of those people who could just switch off their brains and get a good night’s sleep…


Hotted up boats

bow railPeople talk about hotted up cars in the suburbs of Melbourne. Like people get their subwoofers and get the suspension rigged for the bounce effect. They get sleek paint jobs and put novelty dice in the windows. But where I come from, people get their boats “hotted up”.

This is basically the same culture just transferred to the rural areas where fishing is a bigger thing. It’s still a show of pride and often times a kind of a hobby that people spend hours on. It’s much more than just getting marine fabrications like snapper racks, which are useful but not necessarily aesthetic. People really go all-out up here, in the small towns outside of Melbourne.

I’m giving my boat a sweet paint job, with pearly white and silver stripes. She’s a beauty. I’ve got my marine fabrication made out of aluminium which looks great against the white and silver paint. I’m also going to paint over the bow rail so that it matches the hull of the boat. Don’t even get me started, talking about my boat is a fetish.

My mate Blair, she’s got the sweetest boat in our town. I’m secretly trying to rival her to be honest but I know I’ll never live up to it. She thinks outside the square when it comes to these things. I mean, she’s even got a slide out fitted to pack full of stubbies. Now that’s a boat to go fishing on! Nothing like cracking open a cold one with your rod in hand, or cruising along looking for a good spot to throw the lines out. But although fishing is a joy, it still doesn’t compare to the work that we out into our boats to get them looking nice.

My son’s obsession broke our washing machine

washing machine repairsI don’t know what’s up with my little boy. He certainly is shaping up to be an eccentric character. He’s not slow or anything, he’s intelligent and he doesn’t seem to exhibit any signs of autism, he just has some peculiarities. Nevertheless, I worry about him. I mean, how could one little boy’s strange fascination lead to the need for washing machine repairs? Sydney psychologists will perhaps never know.

Among his many quirks and foibles, Jessie collects things. I don’t mean like comic books or racing cars which are typical little boy collections, but other things like rocks. The first time I noticed it was when I was doing the laundry, stuck my hand into his pocket to check if there was any rubbish or tissue paper inside, when I discovered bits of gravel and tan bark. I mean, it would be fair enough if the rocks were interesting, like semiprecious stones or bits of curious geology, but he just seems to pick up little pieces of hard rock that have no aesthetic value.

I should have handled it better. I was surprised after discovering the rocks and I said, ‘Don’t put dirty rocks in your pockets, Jessie!’It wasn’t until later that evening, while reflecting on the incident that I realised I should have been more compassionate and asked him why. Why are you pocketing these rocks? What are they for? Perhaps he’s getting bullied at school and carries them around for protection. Or perhaps he tripped and a few pieces made their way into his pocket. It’s easy to make mistakes as a parent, I can only hope that I learn from my mistakes.

Well, the rock collecting continued and when I forgot to remove them from his trousers they caused the washing machine to breakdown. The Sydney Westinghouse repairs company came around and sorted out my machine, so it’s not like the rocks were a big deal. Now I’m going to have to figure out a tactful way of dealing with his other obsessions, like the collection of loose matches under his bed and the clippings of human body parts hidden in his draw. Nothing that a little motherly compassion can’t make sense of.

Repairs for rustic appliances

oven repairs SydneyWhen we bought our house it came with some appliances, and it’s no wonder they were left behind – they must be the first dishwasher and oven ever built. They were functioning when we moved in, but just barely. The oven could only be lit by holding down the gas button and reaching in with a lighter to set it off. It would make a fire-burst sound like a mini explosion and then crackle away like a furnace. I often found myself wondering if it might leave us vulnerable to gas leaks. Then the dishwasher, you basically had to prop it closed with a fork wedged between the machine and the tiles.

I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner but we eventually called oven repairs. Sydney has a lot of new properties which we should have chosen instead of worrying about all of this stuff. But I couldn’t resist the charm of an old house.

The property is a townhouse that must have undergone renovations in the fifties. The design and layout are all reminiscent of that era, and I can’t imagine how many housewives much have gone nuts in the place. Nevertheless, it looks really cute. The kitchen is white and baby blue, and the appliances look like they’re taken out of a retro magazine. When we finally got the repairs guy in to do our oven and dishwasher repairs, Sydney housing prices took a little dive, and we were kind of disappointed that we didn’t take advantage of that opportunity. But since getting the appliances fixed they’re working really well now. This way we don’t have to buy new ones and the retro charm adds a certain value to our home. It really is a heritage piece this place. I’m just hoping that the roof and windows hold out so we don’t have to spend an arm and leg fixing them too.

The importance of name tags in schools

school badgesPart of what impelled me to pursue a career in education was my vivid memories of childhood. Both the good and the bad aspects have stuck with me throughout my life, inspiring me to become a principal. I wanted to watch the kids grow, and also try to contribute a positive influence. Anyway, so I recently discovered how to incorporate name tags into my school and the benefits of doing so.

Starting out in new school can be pretty daunting for the year sevens. I gave all of my staff name tags of just their first names to bring down that hierarchy which creates a barrier between teachers and students. Teachers shouldn’t be the “boss”of the students, teachers aren’t there as superiors to dictate what the kids to do, nor to force-feed the kids information they don’t want to learn. I believe that teachers are there to facilitate learning, as equals, but having an expertise in a particular topic that the students can gain from. I think more principles should use school badges in Australia.

The first thing that happened when I introduced this new policy was that the kids’ attitudes totally changed. It was like they were no longer treated as disenfranchised inferiors to be pushed around by the rulers of the society. Instead, the kids smiled, used their teachers’ first names which was a bit weird and humorous to them at first, but it really worked to break down that wall between them. Now that the students feel that they’re treated more as equals, there’s less resentment and hostility towards the teachers, and more openness to questioning and learning which is what school should be all about.

This experiment worked to great success in my school but I wonder if it has broader ramifications across society, and if corporate name badges in Australia would have a similar effect. Instead of having all these hierarchical structures in society, we can start by eliminating stultifying titles and refer to each other as equals.

Badges, a man(ager’s) best friend

name tagsWho’d have thought that your work life would be improved with the use of name tags? Since I got this brilliant idea, my life has been ten times easier. Not only has my job itself become less stressful but the productivity around here has truly peaked. These days, I recommend every boss introduce name tags into their business, no matter how big or small.

I manage a chain of shops in Australia. In each shop we’ve only got a few people working at any given time, so I didn’t think the name tag thing was necessary. The people who work together get to know each other pretty quick, and it’s just retail, not banking, so it’s not like the customers really need to know my employees names. It turns, out I couldn’t have been more wrong about name tags. Australia has companies that can deliver as soon as the whim strikes you.

So here’s why name tags were such a good idea. I like to drive between my shops and check up on the employees to see how they’re doing. I usually hire younger staff for obvious reasons: they cost less and are more likely to work in this industry. Now, I’m not too bad at remembering people’s names, but these young kids are always changing their hair colour, getting piercing and whatnot to totally transform their appearance every blooming week. Now with name tags, it’s good that I don’t have to embarrass myself anymore or come off as heartless inhuman upper management.

I ended up getting magnetic name badges. Australian companies can also custom make them with your business logo and all that. The tags also came in handy when it came to complaints and my employees slacking off. I got a few phone calls here and there where the customer was like, ‘I don’t know his name but he was the guy in the blue shirt’ – Now that my kids have name tags, I can find out exactly who’s been messing around on the job or disrespecting my valuable customers.