Category: General Blog

“Today you…. tomorrow me.”

rhoner – 2011

Just about every time I see someone I stop. I kind of got out of the habit in the last couple of years, moved to a big city and all that, my girlfriend wasn’t too stoked on the practice. Then some shit happened to me that changed me and I am back to offering rides habitually. If you would indulge me, it is long story and has almost nothing to do with hitch hiking other than happening on a road.

This past year I have had 3 instances of car trouble. A blow out on a freeway, a bunch of blown fuses and an out of gas situation. All of them were while driving other people’s cars which, for some reason, makes it worse on an emotional level. It makes it worse on a practical level as well, what with the fact that I carry things like a jack and extra fuses in my car, and know enough not to park, facing downhill, on a steep incline with less than a gallon of fuel.

Anyway, each of these times this shit happened I was DISGUSTED with how people would not bother to help me. I spent hours on the side of the freeway waiting, watching roadside assistance vehicles blow past me, for AAA to show. The 4 gas stations I asked for a gas can at told me that they couldn’t loan them out “for my safety” but I could buy a really shitty 1-gallon one with no cap for $15. It was enough, each time, to make you say shit like “this country is going to hell in a handbasket.”

But you know who came to my rescue all three times? Immigrants. Mexican immigrants. None of them spoke a lick of the language. But one of those dudes had a profound affect on me.

He was the guy that stopped to help me with a blow out with his whole family of 6 in tow. I was on the side of the road for close to 4 hours. Big jeep, blown rear tire, had a spare but no jack. I had signs in the windows of the car, big signs that said NEED A JACK and offered money. No dice. Right as I am about to give up and just hitch out there a van pulls over and dude bounds out. He sizes the situation up and calls for his youngest daughter who speaks english. He conveys through her that he has a jack but it is too small for the Jeep so we will need to brace it. He produces a saw from the van and cuts a log out of a downed tree on the side of the road. We rolled it over, put his jack on top, and bam, in business. I start taking the wheel off and, if you can believe it, I broke his tire iron. It was one of those collapsible ones and I wasn’t careful and I snapped the head I needed clean off. Fuck.

No worries, he runs to the van, gives it to his wife and she is gone in a flash, down the road to buy a tire iron. She is back in 15 minutes, we finish the job with a little sweat and cussing (stupid log was starting to give), and I am a very happy man. We are both filthy and sweaty. The wife produces a large water jug for us to wash our hands in. I tried to put a 20 in the man’s hand but he wouldn’t take it so I instead gave it to his wife as quietly as I could. I thanked them up one side and down the other. I asked the little girl where they lived, thinking maybe I could send them a gift for being so awesome. She says they live in Mexico. They are here so mommy and daddy can pick peaches for the next few weeks. After that they are going to pick cherries then go back home. She asks if I have had lunch and when I told her no she gave me a tamale from their cooler, the best fucking tamale I have ever had.

So, to clarify, a family that is undoubtedly poorer than you, me, and just about everyone else on that stretch of road, working on a seasonal basis where time is money, took an hour or two out of their day to help some strange dude on the side of the road when people in tow trucks were just passing me by. Wow…

But we aren’t done yet. I thank them again and walk back to my car and open the foil on the tamale cause I am starving at this point and what do I find inside? My fucking $20 bill! I whirl around and run up to the van and the guy rolls his window down. He sees the $20 in my hand and just shaking his head no like he won’t take it. All I can think to say is “Por Favor, Por Favor, Por Favor” with my hands out. Dude just smiles, shakes his head and, with what looked like great concentration, tried his hardest to speak to me in English:

“Today you…. tomorrow me.”

Rolled up his window, drove away, his daughter waving to me in the rear view. I sat in my car eating the best fucking tamale of all time and I just cried. Like a little girl. It has been a rough year and nothing has broke my way. This was so out of left field I just couldn’t deal.

In the 5 months since I have changed a couple of tires, given a few rides to gas stations and, once, went 50 miles out of my way to get a girl to an airport. I won’t accept money. Every time I tell them the same thing when we are through:

“Today you…. tomorrow me.”

tl;dr: long rambling story about how the kindness of strangers, particularly folks from south of the border, forced me to be more helpful on the road and in life in general. I am sure it won’t be as meaningful to anyone else but it was seriously the highlight of my 2010.

**edit: To the OP, sorry to jack your thread, this has nothing to do with Hitch Hiking. I sort of thought I could just get this off my chest, enjoy the catharsis and watch the story languish at the bottom of the page. Glad people like hearing the tale and I hope it moves you to be more helpful in your day to day. **

Peppermint Butler Tattoo

American Traditional style Peppermint Butler Tattoo from Adventure Time

peppermint Butler Tattoo adventure Time American Traditional style

They say the first tattoo you get has a year of planning behind it , 5,000 different meanings and thought put into it, and then 2nd..3rd…etc – just – I like this thing’s look, add it to the collection!

Added some boldness to Pep-Butt – shorter limbs, 5 candy stripes and some yellow glowing eyes n__n

Also the alchemy symbols for Jupiter and Saturn

Horror music playlists for board games

Playing a horror RPG game like warewolf, blood on the clocktower, mysterium, pandemic – copy/clone some of these horror mood playlists:

Fountain Pen Series, Classics

Personally, I’d group fountain pens into 4 series-es, with some famous/ classic pens in each as follows:

  • Entry level $30 – $60 – Steel nibs, plastic body
    • Lamy Safari
    • Twisbi Echo
  • Mid-tier $100 – $300 – Gold nibs
    • Pilot VP
    • Lamy 2000
    • Pelikan M800
    • Rotring 600 (steel, discontinued)
  • Expensive pens $400 – $1,000 – Larger size
    • Montblanc 149
    • Visconti Homosapiens
    • Pelikan M1000
    • Conid
    • Graf von Faber-Castell Classic
  • Super-Luxury Extra Something Level – $1,500+ – Limited edition, rare
    • Omas Arco
    • Visconti Divina Proporzione
    • Montblanc Hemmingway
    • Namiki / Nakaya Urushi

For inks, I’d say the most famous is Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-peki.

It’s blue, so will be the most mainstream, because people can use it daily even for business writing – it’s a generic standard blue – nice and bright with good shading – many many people seem to love it a lot. Then maybe Sailor Jentle Yama-dori – sheening turquoise. 

For non-standard, Iroshizuku Yama-budo, Noodler’s Apache Sunset/ Golden Brown/ Black Swan in Australian Roses

Minimalist wallet

For years (2010-2015) I used a Moleskine wallet as my daily wallet and diary, but being inspired by Zen Habits, I have made it minimal, with only the needed things, and since 99% of the diary was unused at any one time, I don’t think I’m missing anything ~



What’s included:

Calendar/ reference material/ to do list card
Bank card
Driver’s license
Transport card
The previous two wrapped in bank notes
Work key


My MOLESKINE ® GTD implementation

Over the last week or so, I’ve read the book “GTD/ Getting Things Done: art of stress free Productivity” and have been taking notes, and making an implementation of it.

I saw some people’s versions of GTD, but found one really valuable suggestion saying that the 1st step is to READ THE BOOK – not just copy someone elses implementation.
2nd step – no really.. read the book…

I found it really inspiring, and i guess each person will naturally make their own methods, but its a strong foundation.

The sections I have are:

  • Intro, checklists, notes to self, ongoing tasks, weekly activities, daily morning timetable
  • Project List
  • Waiting for others
  • Someday/ maybe
  • Next Actions (with the different contexts, HQ, To call, To buy, Errands, People)
  • Project information

I got the inverted tab idea from This lifehacker entry

So a week into setting everything up, after collecting everything in my house, parents house, cupboard, shelves, draws etc. – I threw out about 3 storage boxes of stuff, recycled another 3, and have one box to donate to an op shop or give away.

Then I collected:

  • 4 projects (9 or more business related projects)
  • 5 things waiting for others
  • 13 Someday/ Maybe items
  • 36 Next actions
  • And a few pages of project info

And am ready for anything life can throw at me ~ mind is clear, I can focus on completing those things, and can relax and forget about it all when I’m not working, because it’s all secure in the system.

So this is the System:

  • Inbox: My MOLESKINE ® Wallet, eMail inbox
  • Project list, project details, waiting for, someday/ maybe, ongoing, next actions: MOLESKINE ® GTD Book
  • Non actionable things need to consider in the future, to do in the future, events: Google Calendar
  • Important things that need to be done on a certain day/ time: MOLESKINE ® Wallet (diary)
  • Document/Info archive for reference: Google Docs

Rotring New Newton 2005 not actually series 600 top screw cap fell off

I just took my pen out of my pocket this morning, and the screw cap which is on the bottom of the pen just came clean off, with no way to screw it on again (it usually acts in a screwing motion, but it moves an inner tube which connects to the large plastic nib+ink+case section of the pen.

There was a slight panic, but nothing looked like it had cracked in half – it is all metal and solid. (I want to use these pens forever – and I’m guessing the first thing that will disintegrate will be the clipping action of the caps… )

It was hard to see what to do – and for the first time I saw the long silver tube which is usually on the inside of the main part of the pen, but this is how I fixed it:

  1. Remove the sections: cap, nib, metal tube, main body of pen, little screw nobule which is usually on the top.
  2. place the silver inner tube into the body, and then slip the little twist cap onto the end of it
     ~ The way it is held in place is that it is wedged into it, and then the whole mechanism rotates freely inside the body of the pen.
  3. put the body of the pen, screw-cap facing down, onto a table, then use a solid long object to apply small, steadily growing amounts of pressure onto the edge of the silver inner tube down into the screw cap – thereby wedging the two into one.
     ~ I was just a bit paranoid of damaging or warping the inner tube, so I didn’t want to just push it down by adding a lot of pressure to one point – so I was working my way around the circumference. 
     ~ When it is wedged together a small amount, you can lift the pen up, and test to see your progress by observing the gap between the screw cap, and small silver section it connects to. The two should be flush together with no gap.

Here is a video of the type of pen I am talking about:


Sedetary lifestyle – Sitting all day at your office based place of work

Sitting all day is unnatural, but more and more people are doing it – with technology and transport doing everything for us, endless entertainment, and so forth

“Sitting increases risk of death up to 40%”

“Sitting 6+ hours per day makes you up to 40% likelier to die within 15 years than someone who sits less than 3. Even if you exercise.”

  • Twice the rate of cardiovascular disease 
  • Electrical activity in leg muscles shuts off
  • 1 calorie burned per minute only
  • Fat break down enzymes drop 90%
  • Good cholesterol drops 20%
  • Insulin effectiveness drops 24% after 24 hours
  • Metabolism slows 25-50%
  • Blood sugar rises
  • Mood decreases, pain grows, productivity goes down

What to do about it?


Fountain Pens on Australian Carry On Luggage

I have recently once again fallen in love with fountain pens, both for calligraphy, and for their smooth beautiful writing and ink colours. 
I’m taking a domestic flight and was worried about customs – they have strict liquid standards (though my pens only have a 1ml capacity) – but I’m thinking… if the pen was filled with poison, it would be the perfect weapon **stab stab* but at least on JetStar, mid 2014, it should be ok.
Gabriel: at 15:07:15 
Hello, how can I help you with your Jetstar booking?
you: at 15:07:27 
Hello, I am taking a domestic flight in 2 weeks, and I want to know if I can take 3 fountain pens in my hand luggage~
Gabriel: at 15:08:13 
Hi there! Let me check that for you. One moment please.
Gabriel: at 15:09:17 
Thank you for waiting!
Gabriel: at 15:09:46 
Yes, you may bring fountain pens as carry-on baggage.
you: at 15:10:04 
Ok ~ thank you ~ ~

Just take note: 

Planes usually only pressurise the cabin at 6,000 feet or so, so while the plane is taking off – the air pressure drops quickly – fountain pens can leak, since the air in the ink capsule is trying to get out, and the easiest way out is through the nib.
You should take these precautions:
  • If you use glass bottles of ink with a converter – fill the pen up full before leaving, so there will be less air in the converter
  • Keep the pens nib up for a few hours before take off, if possible, so that the ink can make its way out of the nib – you can keep it in a shirt pocket or small pocket of a hand luggage bag
  • Keep it in a zip-lock bag, just in case it leaks, and in case the people working in customs demand that any liquids are sealed in a bag
  • When opening it for the first time after ascent – open it above something on which it is ok to get ink

Travelling to Japan

There is a common misconception that Japan and especially Tokyo is expensive, but food, entrance tickets and general expenses can be cheaper than Sydney Australia.Some things that I would recommend to everyone: Going to Japan, getting a JR Pass for unlimited travel between cities on bullet trains (since bullet trains can be as expensive as domestic flights) 

Some things that I would recommend to everyone going to Japan: get a JR Pass for unlimited travel between cities on bullet trains (since bullet trains can be as expensive as domestic flights) – this way you can see a lot in 7 or 14 days.

Recommended sights

    • Spring – Cherry blossom Sakura viewing
    • Autumn – Red maple leaves 
    • Winter – Japan is one of the most highly rated places in the world for their abundance of powder snow – thanks to the freezing Russian air being pushed into Japan’s humid mountain rangesTokyo in summer can be very hot and humid
  • Tokyo
    • Go to Harajuku bridge on a Sunday (just up the road from the JR station on the Yamanote line) – lots of crazy cosplaying people and buskers further down in the park.
    • Go to the Shinjuku Metropolitan Building for a sky-high view of Tokyo for free
  • Osaka
    • Dotonbori famous city centre street
  • Kyoto
    • See the famous shrines and temples including Kinkakuji, the golden pavilion 
  • Nara
    • See the great Buddha, traditional wooden shop lined streets and parks
  • Hiroshima
    • The Atomic Bomb Museum, Genbaku Dome Remains and Peace Memorial
    • Take a JR-pass Ferry to Miyajima to see the floating red gate shrine deer