Tag Archives: Australia

Key Balls And Chains


I’ve acquired quite a few key chains in the last 10 years or so.

Most of them were presents from friends or students who went on holidays: Saipan, New Zealand, Australia, other places in Japan, and Hawaii seem to be popular destinations for Japanese people for some reason.

I’ve bought a few as keepsakes from places I’ve visited: the “No Stress” one from Morro de São Paulo, Brazil supposedly floats, while the real piranha one would fall apart if you stuck it in your pocket, but it’s cool anyway.

Others just seem to have appeared magically with bottles of whiskey.

For me, the only problem with having so many keychains is … I don’t use keychains.

My keys are in the top left of the photo.


note: I should open a keychainstore.

double note: people seem to give me a lot of gloves as well, … but never those cool doctor ones.

triple note: the only person I know with an authentic keychain is Mr. Pettit.


Today #155

Today I read that Cindy Lauper was on tour in Japan when the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear reactor stuff was happening … and she just kept on touring for another week. She goes to the head of the class.

Once Again Yet Another Still More Too Much Time


Stock Features

Tall people have built in ladders.



Having a urinal at home would be cool.
Having 2 side by side would just be creepy.


People Who Fly

…should have fragile stickers … not their luggage.


A Cylinderella Story

Do chambermaids clean guns?



If Antarctica became a country I bet Australians wouldn’t mention that “down under” stuff any more.



What are all these people doing “rumor milling around“?



Living vicarelessly through others sounds almost dangerous!



Standing out in a crowd of one seems easier than blending in to a crowd of one.
… or does that even make sense?


I Don’t Know

If you don’t have an opinion are you “nopinionated“?


Vicious Crop Circles

I guess being the cream of the crop is really good … unless we’re talking about corn.
… I don’t like that creamed corn stuff.


Re: Fractions

When it comes to needing glasses, it’s more 50/50 than 20/20.
… but they both mean 100% for some reason.


It Dependages

Some people’s arms and legs are pretty extreme … or possibly pretty extremities …  if they have 2 or 3 good looking ones.



When a political party wins by a wide margin it’s a “landslide“. Why isn’t a very narrow margin victory called a “falling rock“?


The Perfect Solution

If you have an ice cream headache you should take ice cream aspirin.


The Ends Are Fraying

I abhor, detest, despise, and loath people who describe everything in absolute extremes.



I don’t care if I shop in different clothing stores. I’m an indifferent clothing shopper maybe.


Ruining On My Parade

A lot of people are on the roads to ruins … Machu Picchu and Ankor Wat seem quite popular.


note: here are the other ones. You can probably figure out what order they go in.

Yet Another “Still More Too Much Time”

Another Still More Too Much Time

Still More Too Much Time

Still Too Much Time

Too Much Time


double note: I probably could have written more in this series, but Twitter is a good toilet for depositing and flushing these things usually recently up until now at the moment.


notes to myself #120

What you do and who you are are not really related … but I think we are.

Accepting Charges

this is not a phone


I bought a “Collect Calling Card”.


note: I’m ringtone deaf.

double note: a collect calling card would have saved Mr. Floyd a lot of trouble dealing with that operator.


notes to myself #28

When the car breaks down on a dirt road in Australia”s Kakadu National Park have patience; a mechanic will be by shortly to solve the problem. The alternative costs a lot of money.

Road Music


Travelling from Melbourne to Perth straight involves an awful lot of driving.

When I did this 12 years ago, 3 out of the 4 people in the van took turns behind the wheel: the 4th was not to be trusted.

The only benefit as driver was that you were in control of the music.

I was looking forward to my first driving shift, as the van’s owner and his friend had played Deep Purple for 12 hours non-stop.

Once securely in the driver’s seat I examined the tape selection:

12 Deep Purple cassettes!

I should have saw that coming.

note: no one ever fell asleep driving.


Filthy Phil


I travelled straight from Melbourne to Perth with 2 carnival workers returning to work, and Filthy Phil a backpacker on his way home to Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.

Filthy Phil was young, grubby, and a bit suspect; even the carnies could sense it.

Approaching Western Australia there was an agricultural quarantine checkpoint.

The officer asked us if we had any fruits or vegetables; we said no.

The officer eyed Filthy Phil suspiciously and asked again.

After a moments hesitation, Filthy Phil reached into his backpack and pulled out a small dirty potato.

Driving away we asked, “Why’d you have a potato in your backpack?

Just in case I got hungry” he replied.


note: above photo is not Filthy Phil.


Dead Man Sandals


I’m amazed at how many single shoes I see lying on the sides of the road.

Usually they are running shoes. I haven’t seen any pumps, gumboots or sandals.

My first thought is usually that someone must have been hit by a car, but I don’t think there are that many people getting hit by cars. And the police would probably pick up any shoes as evidence anyway.

Are people throwing shoes out of their car windows?

In Australia myself and a few others were in a National Park following a river that cut through a canyon. We walked beside the river where we could and swam certain sections where we couldn’t walk.

We found a sandal on a rock, and about 30 minutes later we found its partner. My friend picked up both and wore them for the rest of his Australia trip. He probably still has them. They were nice sandals.

We called them his Dead Man Sandals.

Supposedly somewhere in Africa an Aid Agency was distributing clothing and shoes. The local people wore the clothes, but they didn’t wear the shoes.

They thought the shoes must have been from dead people, as no one would just give away such nice shoes. 

The Depressed Kangaroo


Before Johnny 23 hit the dead pig, I had my own incident.

see Johnny 23 Can’t Drive  


3 of us left Alice Springs, turned right at 3 Ways, and were making good time on our way to Cairns.
About 9pm we stopped at a service area, filled our tank, and had a hot meal in the restaurant populated by long haul truckers.
On the way out the door everyone stopped eating and stared at us.
“Mind the roos”, advised the waitress.

We smiled, nodded, and left.
It felt like a scene out of American Werewolf in London.

I got behind the wheel. We were all laughing because we had yet to see a kangaroo on the drive from Alice Springs.

10 minutes down the road, the area was crawling with kangaroos: hundreds of them!
I slowed down for a few kilometres, and then gradually accelerated until we were barreling along at a steady 90 km/h.
Everything was fine until I noticed something in my peripheral vision flying towards the car from 15 meters away.

The kangaroo landed directly in front of the station wagon.

I ran over it convincingly.

I stopped the car, banned myself to the backseat, and waited for the others to come back from inspecting my handy work.

To this day, I still believe the kangaroo committed suicide.

Johnny 23 Can’t Drive


Winding our way down into Cairns, Australia, my friend and I were too tired to drive. We’d driven from Alice Springs straight.

We let Johnny 23 drive. We’d never let him drive before. It wasn’t that we didn’t trust him, it was more … yeah, we didn’t trust him.

We added the number after his name because he had slept with 23 women in his 3 months in Australia.
The movie ConAir was big at the time.

When we first met him, he was only Johnny 16.

He had a shaved head, face piercings, could do a few magic tricks, and played 6 songs on his crappy guitar. He didn’t drink or do drugs.
So while the rest of us were drinking and doing drunken things, he was impressing women with his 6 songs and magic trickery.

I was co-piloting the stationwagon and saw something in our lane up ahead.
“Something’s in the road Johnny”, I warned.
It was big and not moving.
“Drive around it Johnny”, I advised.
Maybe it was a bag of garbage that fell off of a truck.
“Turn the wheel Johnny”, I shouted.
He veered 2 inches to the right.
“Turn the wheel more”, I screamed.

He ran over the unidentified object with 2 tires and almost took both axels off the car.
He stopped: we got out to check for damage to the car and to see what he’d hit.
Blood covered the left side of the stationwagon.

He’d hit a wild pig.
To be more specific, he’d hit an already dead wild pig.

He’d killed a dead pig.

He was banished to the backseat forever with no protest.

Hot Hot Hot

I love hot weather: summer means t-shirts and shorts, BBQs, turning brown, and visits to the beach.
The hottest place I’ve been is Perth, Australia during a heatwave: 45 degrees Celcius (113 fahrenheit).
I sat on a shaded patio at a hostel with a few others. Between sips of beer, we took turns saying things like:

“It’s hot.”
“Man, it’s hot.”
“It’s so hot.”

Really hot weather affects speech, I guess.

My friend was working in a metal warehouse Australianizing Eastern European jeep things: attaching roo bars, adjusting suspensions, and bolting beer holders on to the dashboards.

He roasted in that warehouse.

Someone put a dial on the wall and labelled it air-conditioner.

Every 15 minutes someone would shout, ” Can you turn up the air-con, it’s getting a bit warm in here”.
Someone would walk over and turn up the dial.

Those guys had a pretty good sense of humor that day; and heat stroke.

I hope at the end of the day they turned the air-con off.
It’s not good to waste energy.

Driving Games

I like driving.
Sometimes there is nothing better than hopping in my van and putting a big stretch of road between me and my city.
If I’m with someone, I play punch buggy.
If you see a volkswagen beetle before the other person, you punch them in the arm.
There aren’t many old beetles in Japan, so it’s pretty boring.
I try to hold my breath going through tunnels. This is mildly entertaining. There is a 11km tunnel I have to drive through sometimes, which I don’t have much success with.
I try to lift my feet off the ground while going over bridges, but bridges seem to be getting longer. And the people behind me seem to get annoyed with my rapid deceleration.
My father started me on this activity. He used to tell me there were trolls under the bridge and if I didn’t lift my feet, they would grab me and pull me under the bridge.
I can’t remember what they were going to do with me though.
A Japanese friend says his kids play a game: If they can see 5 beetles, they become extremely happy. If they see a black one, they have to start counting over again. If they see a black cat parcel delivery van, they become extremely sad.
I’m not sure why.
I think something was lost in the translation.
The best driving distraction I have enjoyed was while driving around Australia. Myself and a friend kept a tally of road kill. Our notepad had the following categories: kangaroos, emus, sheep, cows, possum, wombats, pigs, bird of flight, and unclassifiable.
Those road trains don’t stop for man or beast!