Tim Hofmann – Cartoons, Coffee, Consulting

Tim Hofmann draws bad cartoons, roasts coffee beans, and consults small businesses at Clutterbomb, these are his good things.

Good things to read.

Walden, Henry David Thoreau.  I treat this book like scripture (except I actually read it.) His ideas on housing, education and work will be revelatory to anyone stuck in a modern rut.

Modern communication is terse. Reading Thoreau reminds me that a thought can be a big, craggy thing one has to hold on to with both hands and support with one’s chest to manage. Compare one paragraph of Thoreau to a day’s worth of your twitter feed and try not to feel doomed.

I copy passages out of Walden to practice my cursive handwriting. I read Walden when my striving muscle is exhausted. This book is awesome.

The Black Swan, Nassim Taleb.  Taleb is another non-conventional thinker. He takes common human psychological traits and explains why (and how) we repeatedly set ourselves up for disaster. This is another guy with really big thoughts. I’d recommend his latest, Antifragile, but it’s sitting on my shelf unread. Read the Black Swan and you’ll understand why Taleb would be OK with that.

Choose Yourself!, James Altucher.  Altucher reminds me a lot of Thoreau. His advice flies in the face of conventional wisdom, but he’s easier to read than Thoreau. His blog is fantastic for anyone who is struggling with work, business or life in general- I found him in 2010 and he helped me get up off the floor and turn my life around.

Good things to watch.

Eyelids, it’s great to spend time away from screens. It’s even better to spend (awake) time with your eyes closed. I never look at any kind of glowing screen when I’m in bed. Can’t sleep? Fine. Close your eyes and think.

Ren and Stimpy.  I watch this with my 3-year-old daughter. It’s brilliant and bizarre. If she can get through this stuff and internalize it as normal, nothing in real life will EVER faze her.

TV on Netflix.  No Commercials. ‘Nuff said.

Good things to use.

Pilot Metropolitan,  I’m a Fountain Pen Geek. The Metro is an outrageous value- a super-smooth writing pen that ships with a refillable converter for using bottled ink. I’ve paid 10X for pens I use less frequently. It’s a great intro to fountain pens for the curious.

Rhodia Paper, High Performance Paper. If your fountain pen is a racecar, Rhodia is the track.

Aerobie Aeropress.  Simple to use, this thing makes amazing coffee. It’s super quick and cleanup is a snap. It’s the anti Keurig.

Talk with Tim about fountain pens on Twitter, @manoeuver.

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