Wednesday, December 31, 2008

While I Can Think About It...

The curtains are still drawn, forcing the sunlight to play only by the windows, and not so much into the house. Distant chatter of birds is coming from outside, obviously excited about something. Indoors, air in the house is defined per room, whether or not the aircon is on - the air in this particular room has decided to be a bit humid, because I have not set it free today. The morning is thankfully silent from the various bangs and whoops of reluctant firecrackers of the previous night, and the wisps of a dangdut stage somewhere. My brain refuses to sleep in although my body is protesting that decision, and thus energies are spent on things that do not involve the body much, lest it protest again. My phone and Blackberry alternately try to get my attention due to the multitude of messages of new year wishes received, but somehow I can't find the energy to reply them all, one by one, let alone send off my own new year wishes. The bookshelf looks more inviting - many books have not been born out of their plastic wrapping but are already eager to be read. The stack of DVDs do not look so happy and thus removed from plain sight into a storage drawer elsewhere; because sometimes too much choice makes you bored with the whole thing. But maybe all will come later - my eyes have one the argument and the brain will succumb to its wishes for more rest.

Today is a good day to be lazy, because the rest of the year has been reserved for hard work, whether I like it or not.

So, Happy New Year, folks!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Bedanya Jauh Ya...

"Bebas Parkir" sama "Parkir Bebas".
Jauh kan? Coba kata 'parkir' diisi kata benda lain...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Good Morning

Coinciding with the coming release of their DVD of them Live at the JAva Jazz Festival 2008, RAN has released a new single titled 'Selamat Pagi'. There will be a special, autographed exclusive DVD package with RAN goodies inside available only online at JJF's website. I'm not sure if the purchase page is up yet but it should be around soon.

The video is simple, but I like it - you don't need slo-mo and crane-operated cameras to make a video work.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Roy Suryo Melaporkan Ahmad Dhani Ke Polisi

Yep, you read the title right.
Gara-garanya, menurut pakar telematika tersebut, Ahmad Dhani melanggar undang-undang tahun sekian tentang penggunaan bendera, karena dalam videoklip Dewa 19 ada satu adegan logo Dewa 19 dengan latar bendera merah putih. Harusnya bendera merah putih nggak boleh ada tambahan sulaman, coretan atau tanda lain, berdasarkan undang-undang tersebut. Bapak Roy Suryo bahkan bawa barang bukti berupa videoklip.

Nah, gue punya pertanyaan nih.
kenapa Ahmad Dhani doang yang dilaporkan? Kan Dewa 19 ada 5 orang tuh.
terus, bukannya labelnya, EMI Music, yang bertanggung jawab atas produksi video?
dan, emang pertama kali bendera merah putih dipakai sebagai latar sesuatu? pasti udah banyak pelanggaran yang lain dong, nggak mau dilaporin juga?
Katanya ini bentuk tanggung jawab sebagai warga negara - ok deeeh.

Kok menurut gue banyak hal yang lebih penting yang bisa diurusin ya? Kalau memang pakar telematika, coba pikirin gimana caranya lebih banyak orang melek internet. Mungkin masyarakat butuh lebih banyak daripada sekedar klarifikasi keaslian foto porno artis.

Gue merasa tanggung jawab gue sebagai warga negara yang baik adalah membangun negara, minimal dari sekitar kita. Minimal mencerdaskan masyarakat, bukan memperbodoh. Telematika itu ilmu yang cukup luas dan aplikatif kan.

Oh, kalau gue nulis gini bisa kena tuntutan pencemaran nama baik ya? Nggak mencemarkan nama baik kok - cuma mempertanyakan tindakan orang. Boleh dong.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

What Do You Think?

How would you feel if suddenly you know how someone really thinks about you after years of thinking otherwise? And apparently it's far worse than you ever imagined.

Wouldn't you feel... worthless?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I Wonder What Else Can't Be Seen And Thus Not A Problem

Remember this post?

The MUI has mentioned that they will not deem yoga 'haram' for Muslims in Indonesia. MUI leaders have said that 'if Malaysia enacts it, it doesn't mean we have to enact it', and that 'Indonesia does not have to enact it since Indian influence is weaker in Indonesia compared to Malaysia. They add 'There are only Indian influences in dangdut, nothing more' for effect.

Why isn't a ban needed? They say, no Muslims do it here. If there are, it can't be seen, so it's not a problem.

Okay man.

Pemerintah Ingin Melacak Penderita HIV/AIDS dengan menanam RFID

Pemerintah Papua sedang mempersiapkan sebuah peraturan daerah yang akan menanam microchip ke dalam tubuh para penderita HIV/AIDS.

Katanya, supaya dapat melacak kelakuan pengidap HIV/AIDS yang 'agresif' yang dalam artian ini 'selalu mencari hubungan seks', dan 'ini untuk menghargai hak asasi orang yang sehat/belum mengidap AIDS'.

Memang katanya ini bagian dari kumpulan perda yang lebih besar... tapi.... emangnya ternak ya? Ternak di Indonesia aja belum ditanam RFID.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Isn't It Sad

In this article, our Marines, the front line of defense of our country, are using weapons as old as the Marines themselves - with a lot of the transport vehicles, air support equipment and so on produced in the USSR in the 1960s.

Also, a majority of the budget for the Navy goes out to payrolls, thus limiting the amount of actual money they can spend for acquiring new equipment. I'm not going to question the payroll - if needed, the armed forces (and the police) should really, really get better pay. But isn't it sad that our armed forces can't buy new toys, in the century where unmanned combat is projected to rise?

Oh well, I guess the money is going somewhere else. I hope it's something like education or civil services, not bailing out big companies.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Feeling's Not Mutual

We, Sas and me, are a bit sad, but over nothing significant, actually. It's just a feeling we have. What should we feel if people you feel are close to you, apparently do not feel the same way about you? Don't think we did anything wrong, and we have never been less supportive.

I shouldn't even be thinking this, it's not that important. But what are we if not defined by the people we love?

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Morning After

One more great, yet popularly underrated band from Indonesia, coming from Malang. I really, really recommend getting the album. And get the original, kids, don't get a pirated one. Really.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I'm Glad

My ego is hurt a bit because apparently my previous post did not rouse many people into thought or action - but I'm glad that at the same time, the victory of Barack Obama has instilled hope for a better world in many people, myself included. 

As it is a joint effort, as I pointed out in my previous post, I shouldn't be worrying about my ego so much, should I?

One man (or woman) CAN make a difference. The more people there are to make a difference, the larger the change felt.

The future of our nation depends on YOU.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

So Obama Wins, Yeay - A Blog Post Not About Obama

Despite the sarcasm of the title, personally I am thrilled that Americans went out and voted for significant change, busting through layers of apathy and complacency. It will be an interesting 4 years ahead for the US, and I do think he's the right man for the job.

But how does it affect us, I ask again?

Reading through Obama's victory speech, it seemed to me that the general problems afflicting the US are almost the same around the world, including Indonesia. But how do we deal with it?

A lot of us take for granted - young and old - that Indonesia was founded with the blood and tears of the 1945 generation. We did not have it handed to us on a gold platter, we did not inherit just about anything from our former colonizers, save for a few buildings, but we pushed on and kept it real, and now, 60 plus years later, Indonesia is the country with the world's largest Muslim population but uniquely not a Muslim state (and will stay that way if I can help it), the largest producer of various produce in the world, and many other things that we should be proud of but I do not know because of my ignorance.

Referring back to the speech - I realise that many things that Obama tries to rouse in the average American, seems fitting to be roused in your average Indonesian as well. It's about time for Indonesia to feel a new wave of patriotism - ask yourself, do you love your country? I think many would say, the country has done nothing for you but make life harder. Shall I remind you of JFK's favorite quote is?

Do we even remember our country's history? Did you know that the Republic of Indonesia only received international recognition in 1949, and not after the Proclamation of Independence? So after 1945, we still had to fight for 4 long years, fighting off the Dutch and various insurgent groups until we were truly a sovereign nation.

We are all so engulfed with our daily lives, problems, bills, enemies, sinetrons - that we forgot why it is all for. Our politicians are so concerned with pornography that they do not think about welfare. Political parties sprout up right and left, differing ever so slightly in ideologies - and in egos, as well - while the average man on the street can't even tell them apart and doesn't care. And then there's people like me who just babble on and on via blogs and other chatter, but do not do anything about it. The bus driver who breaks traffic laws here and there, because he just doesn't give a damn - nobody else does, and we have no hope of it changing. 

We have become a nation of complaining and apathy. 

Ask yourself again, do you care? I think I care. And I want to do something about it beyond just blogging about it. I urge every one of you - whoever reads this blog - to write something on their blog about nationalism, patriotism, Indonesia, or... well, you get the idea. Make our voices heard - if not through the ballot box, then at least let it be through the internet. Find out who you should vote for president next year - I know who I'm voting for, and the campaign hasn't really started yet.

The US is lucky to find one person in Barack Obama that seems to inspire millions - I really think Indonesia lacks this one figure. But that shouldn't stop change in Indonesia, should it? If each and every one of us just starts caring, and throw away the apathy that held tight to us all these years, I am sure we can make our own change. 

Forget caring about the politics - we still have a few months until we really have to vote. But start caring about each other. Really. It sounds simple but is, in fact, difficult. Difficult for those of us born in a time where events speed by, money is always less than you need, and the more aggresive of us just simply push for advantage whatever the cost - like the melamin-laced milk in China. 

Would melamin found in milk ever be found if the factories producing it cared more for people's well being, instead of profits? What about the people who cooked stale meat and sold it? Oh, how about those fake eggs made from chemicals? And here's the kicker - what about the people who skimmed off other people's money to buy their 4th house?

Now, do you know how a simple smile from a stranger can help somebody's day? How being nice and curteous can affect people positively? How thinking about we can help you along much faster than thinking about me? And it doesn't stop with people - declining to use the plastic bag every now and then to purchase something small, which can actually fit in your bag, can make a big difference; as long as enough people do it all over the years. If you like shoes, make sure your older, never-worn-again shoes go to some charity, or even your housemaid. 

I CARE! I care because I believe every word I write while writing this blog post. I am hoping I am not in the minority here. I care enough to write something about it, which you should be feeling too. I know I'm not alone, but so many of us are born into apathy - come on, let's go, let's kill that fucker together.

Let's override the self-interested jerks ruling the politics and make our own voice - for knowing a problem is the first step to overcome it. Look at the big picture guys! I really think pornography is the least of our problems - we know it, so let's do something about it. 

I don't want to talk anymore about the stupid porn bill; let's leave it at that. The bill itself demonstrates how out of touch the people who claim to be our representatives are, with actual reality. We know what reality is - at the least, we know what reality is for us and the people around us, so let's just work on that area. We're not highly-funded political people so let's start small. It will be enough, let's not go over our heads. Care more for those around you, and with time, effort, and 200 million people later, our country will be better, with or without ridiculous politics. But it starts with you.

Believe me, the more you write about this the more liberated you feel, so I encourage you to start writing, now! 

We have to fight our own apathy. NOW. We have to start to CARE.

Yes, we can. And yes, we care.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Midnight Thought

No matter how hard you try to do good, somehow you are always judged by what you have done wrong.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Less Yoga Makes You Less Flexible

Malaysia's National Fatwa Council, something like the MUI here in Indonesia, has ruled that Muslims will be barred from practising and spreading yoga.

Through its intentions, even the much-debated Anti-Porn Bill has logic in it. The fatwa to be issues above shows how arcane the rules can be.

The fear is that those who practice yoga may deviate from Muslim teachings. Seeing that yoga comes from Hindu roots, that must be what they are talking about, because I can't figure out why. Never mind the proven benefits for health, how widespread yoga is around the world, in various countries of faith, or how general yoga has become that the Hindu part almost has no relevance.

I'm sure the kyais feel that nowadays, many Muslims are not good practitioners of their faith, and thus they try to create fences to keep everybody in line and return to the true path of Islam. But wouldn't it be better to inspire rather than repress? Why isn't there anybody showing us how to live as proper Muslims in the 21st century? Surely being a good Muslim has more to it than wearing a headscarf and Friday prayer.

And it certainly doesn't have anything to do with doing yoga or not.

Best Of Both Worlds

Every now and then, when the contents of my wallet allow it, I and Saski like to go out and eat sushi at Sushi Nobu. And whenever I'm there, this is what I always order:



This is the Kalimantan Roll... well, what's left of it. I'm not too sure of the exact ingredients, but I'm pretty sure it's fish, some vegetables, and the total kicker: chilli. The small ones, the cabe rawit ones, that usually burn off your tounge but leaves you wanting more. Dip the roll into wasabi-filled soya sauce, and you'll know that torture for your tounge has never been so exquisite!
If you like spicy food, try it out! I always order this, and almost never any other dish.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Your Dollar Is A Tight Collar

Many Jakartans invest their money in foreign exchange, keeping up with the conversion rates and economy news that might affect one sort of currency compared to another. There are stories where forex investors made it big - the story of the Indonesian who became a billionaire because of investing in the Iraqi dinar pre-invasion - but many times, there are so many factors that affect the value of a currency that it can't be measured. Hence, investing in forex is often like gambling - you know what the safe bets are, but you might get a bigger windfall if you invest in the more exotic bets. Even more comparisons to gambling arise when results of a day's work are almost the same, whether you did painstaking research or just threw some money in and sat back while the market rolls.

These guys are no doubt making good money with the US dollar rising and rising compared to the rupiah - at our expense - while the economy slows due to various businesses tying themselves up to the US dollar value, which is surprisingly still considered a stable standard (which it isn't anymore). Businesses the country over are expecting lower sales of their products, i.e. electronics which are usually based on the market's US dollar value. In the meantime, it is becoming more expensive to export products overseas, as rates for shipping, handling and customs are pegged to the US dollar as well.

The current scarcity of the US dollar - and thus partly the reason for its rising price - is also indirectly caused by the US economic recession; where individuals and companies are scrambling to get any dollar they can get to revive the economy. It's strange when the people in the US financial institutions screw up, the rest of the world ultimately winds up paying the price. The perceived stability of the US dollar - and the seemingly endless supply of it - was a big lie, proven by the fact that the US banks seemed to lose billions of dollars, just like that. So now they want their real dollars back.

So instead of us strangling ourselves worrying about somebody else's currency, why don't we just worry about our own Rupiah? Here are simple things you can do:

  • always buy domestic products. Your money spent should go back to Indonesians, not some overseas investor
  • stop forex trading - it just makes matters worse. Start investing in local stock or a local company. Yep, you heard me.
  • try to avoid buying stuff that is pegged to the US dollar. I know that sometimes it can't be avoided, but try to limit it all the same. The stores/companies that put dollar prices on their products transfer the risk of exchange rate differences to the customer.
  • take a holiday - in Indonesia. Spend your well-earned Rupiah on local hotels, restaurants and so on. Don't spend all your money overseas unless you don't have a choice.
  • Save money. If you save money in the bank, the banks stay healthy and keep the Rupiah flowing properly.

Saving the country means you have to do something as well, and these are a few things that are very simple and can be done by anybody. Let's forget about the politicians battling it out for votes and make the change ourselves

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Day Indonesia Changed

Earlier today, the Parliement finally passed the controversial and much-hyped Antipornography Bill. Apparently the government thinks that this is an important step compared to fixing the economy or improving education.

Today our country changed - for the worse. And this is just the first step.

For those already playing with thoughts of going off to another, perhaps more reasonable country, let me urge you this - we must not let them win. We must fight, not with weapons or armies, but words, thoughts, knowledge, and communities. The fight for our nation is here.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Belated Post: Why This Darn Blog Is Still Around After 4 Years

So the friends at @jtug urged me to write about why blogging is important - to me, to anyone else for that matter, who knows.

I started this blog on the first day of my 'new' life - new job, recently single, totally new outlook in life, and ready to take on the various rituals that lead to maturity. Don't know if I have reached maturity yet, but it sure has been a hell of a ride for the past 4 years.

The title of the blog was once appropriately named 'A New Leaf', but in the process it changed to 'Positivity' to get rid of my depressive vibes. From this fact alone, you can see that blogging for me is a form of therapy - what I write is something in my mind at that moment (and in the mood of writing it), and sharing it with everybody without being too detailed on personal issues. The focus was to express the ambient feelings in my head and heart without burdening everybody with depressive or boring details on what I had for lunch or something.

Writing regularly has surely had its share of changes to my life - because it is a good moment to reflect. Not just what I have done (or not done), but what apparently is OK for public domain to devour and what isn't. Ultimately, it's what you don't say that says a lot about yourself also.

During my writing I found that I write much better in English - not gloating, just a fact - so the dominant language remained that. And through the blog, I have found many friends, and rediscovered old friends also... and I have also found my passion for writing! Some people talk about themselves, some people talk about others, some people talk about their hobbies... but I talk about whatever comes to mind - which apparently is more to social commentary, and how we can make the world a better place. I'm not saying I know better, but I do like to share my thoughts and see how the world sees it.

Plis Deh Jakarta! is a collaborative blog with a friend to look at Jakarta's lighter side, while also getting the social commentaries into readers in a way that isn't force-fed (like the government-sponsored TV ads) or pretentious (like the tobacco-supported PSAs); but just by encouraging people to look at something from a different perspective. This is where I write (or picture blog) more often lately - my therapy writing days are [almost] over.

But I will stay blogging, as it is the easiest way for me to share thoughts in the long form (and not bore people at the dinner table), in conjunction with sporadic use of Twitter and Plurk (and Facebook, of course). Who cares if blogging is so 2004.

Friday, October 24, 2008

4 Years And Still Going Strong... Sort Of

I sort of missed this blog's anniversary, as it came on October 1st, which this year is Lebaran. Usually I write some sort of flashback or imaginary future post... but for the first part of this post, let's see what went right and what went wrong:

I am writing this while I am waiting for my plane to take me back home. I always try to get to the airport early, but the airline I'm taking always manages to delay their flight by an hour at least. At least the airport has free wifi, so I've been browsing and chatting the hour away (and of course, writing this post), stuff I wouldn't be able to do on an average working day.

Well I definitely didn't do any travelling this month. And I don't think I ever have time to lounge around at the airport and do some blogging.

I really want to get back home soon because my wife is coming close to her delivery date; it's such a strange feeling! I can't describe it; a mix of anticipation and anxiety, excitement with a tad of fear that I'll screw things up. Oh well, I guess that's how all fathers-to-be would feel. Looking forward, I just hope I'm not too old to play basketball or something with my son when he's older (and I start greying hair). But something tells me that it's a girl; I've always wanted a daugther, being a man who loves women, hehe... but my wife insists that it's a boy. Well, whether it will be a boy or a girl, I'm pretty sure my enamour with gadgets will definitely pass on :D. God knows, the house is filled with stuff to play with...

My wife isn't even pregnant yet, unless she isn't telling me something :P
But the house is definitely filled with various gadgets, although never as many as I'd like :D

Work is terrible, as always, but terrible in a sort of good way. The workloads and deadlines never end, but that's always good for a small company. Growth has levelled off a bit in Indonesia, but we're anticipating that with a few more tricks up our sleeve, and my parent company has asked us to assist forming similar companies in the other territories. Consulting comes with a price, of course, and it's a bit ironic that my own parent company is now my client in other countries. So... I think we have some comfortable targets to reach for 2009.

These days, what job isn't terrible? But the context seems to insinuate that I am not working at my current company, or work on a consulting basis for my current company. Well... no such luck. This is my 4th year with this company, with huge targets to reach in 2009.

It's unfortunate that I had to cut my Lebaran holiday short for this trip, although it was only for a few days, but business is business, and not everything can be done on weekdays. We hammered most of the details over the weekend (over good food, of course) and this morning we spat out all the emails and communications needed to get the ball rolling, so the local guys can run it from there. I just miss my wife a lot; and as trying as the days have been during her pregnancy, at the end of the day I swallow my pride and hold her hand; and when she smiles back and holds my hand tighter, all becomes right with the world. I had time to shop here but I refrained myself from buying unecessary baby stuff, as the accumulation of whim purchases is already overwhelming, haha... but I'm sure I can justify some of the purchases to my wife :D.

These days I never, ever, cut my holiday short for work. :D

Oh, there's the call for the plane. I'll SMS my wife on the plane and call the office driver to confirm picking me up at the airport...

Well, you still can't make calls or send SMSes on a plane right now... although it may become reality some time in the future...

So second part of this post is for a bit of reflection...

For every year we grow, we change into something, which could be the same, but could also be a little different. Over the years I have learnt that work isn't everything, but if you want to fill your life with work, make sure it's something you love. There is never enough money so make do - at some point you'd have to let go of worldly belongings anyway. Compromise is your greatest negotiation asset. And... patience really is a virtue.

So here's to the 4th year of this blog, and the 4th year at a company that never gets boring.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Maybe Because Watching Porn Makes People Too Lazy To Do Anything Else

While the controversy around the proposed pornography bill still burns fires in the MPR/DPR building, the esteemed representative body said that they will make allowances for tourists to wear bikinis at certain resorts; to make sure the tourism industry 'is not affected'.

A few things come to mind:
  • The government will be willing to discriminate between foreign and domestic tourists in the name of anti-pornography. It's ok for Sue to wear a bikini but totally wrong for Jamilah.
  • Why are the buggers talking about bikinis on bule when they should be talking about the law's relevance?
  • How do they expect to control foreign vs. local tourists? Maybe the public can help since they are allowed to 'directly involve' themselves in the bill's enforcement.
  • It's also OK, apparently, for Sue to wear provocative clothing and do acts that incite sexual lust, but totally wrong for Jamilah. I guess this provision is here so the government can legally import Russian prostitutes.
  • I really don't know why the DPR is going over and over about this when there are many, many more dire problems at hand.

Throw the bill in the trash and do something useful guys, like work on how to raise the level of welfare? I don't see any colleration between the abolishment of porn to common welfare.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

PT Bis Ugal-ugalan

Did you know?

Ada beberapa fakta yang mungkin semua orang tau, tapi belum tentu tau bahwa berhubungan:
- Koperasi adalah sebuah badan usaha berbadan hukum, yang terdiri dari kumpulan orang-orang yang bekerja sama demi kesejahteraan bersama (definisi yang detil baca di sini)
- semua anggota wajib membayar iuran anggota koperasi
- pengambilan keputusan terbesar dilakukan pada rapat anggota tahunan
- hampir semua badan usaha yang menaungi perusahaan-perusahaan angkutan umum swasta, berbentuk koperasi
- semua perusahaan angkutan umum swasta yang berbentuk koperasi, beranggotakan individu atau kelompok yang memiliki modal berbentuk kendaraan
- supir angkutan umum adalah pegawai yang bertugas mengumpulkan setoran pada pemilik kendaraan, yang nantinya akan menyetorkan iuran anggota kepada koperasi
- izin penggunaan trayek didapatkan dari pemerintah setempat dengan antara lain memenuhi syarat dan menyetor sejumlah uang (syaratnya tidak jelas apa)

Hasil dari perpaduan fakta ini adalah:
- tidak ada pertanggungjawaban (accountability) atas tindakan supir karena mereka bukan anggota koperasi
- perusahaan koperasi tidak bertanggung jawab atas pemeliharaan kendaraan-kendaraannya (ini tapi tergantung juga ke AD/ART koperasi, tapi kita lihat aja kenyataannya)
- tidak ada service level assurance untuk penumpang, bahkan penumpang tidak diperlakukan secara layak, karena memang dalam struktur perusahaan tidak ada tuntutan untuk pelayanan yang baik pada penumpang
- tujuan perusahaan adalah memastikan setoran dari masing-masing anggota sesuai target supaya pembelian trayek periode berikutnya dapat dilakukan

Maka dari itu, para supir-supir angkutan umum kerjaannya ngebut, tidak menghiraukan peraturan lalu lintas, tidak menghiraukan keselamatan, karena satu-satunya cara dia tetap bekerja besok adalah mencapai setoran.

Mungkinkah akan lebih baik kalau perusahaan berbidang usaha angkutan umum diberi syarat 1)harus berbentuk PT, bukan koperasi dan 2)harus menyetujui sebuah service level assurance?

Katanya sih kalau Jakarta mau lebih baik, dan nggak macet melulu, kuncinya di pembangunan jaringan angkutan umum yang lebih baik. Ketimbang bikin-bikin yang baru lagi, benerin yang udah aja, gimana?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Aktifkan RBT Krayola!

Untuk pengguna Indosat:
Ketik SET[spasi]0612637 kirim ke 808 untuk berlangganan bulanan
Biaya Rp 7000/lagu, biaya berlangganan Rp 5500/bulan, belum termasuk PPN
Ketik MG[spasi]0612637 kirim ke 808 untuk berlangganan mingguan
Biaya Rp 2500/lagu/7 hari, belum termasuk biaya SMS Rp 400 + PPN

Untuk pengguna XL:
Ketik 10504424 kirim ke 1818
Biaya Rp 7000/lagu, biaya berlangganan Rp 5500/bulan, belum termasuk PPN

Kunjungi website kami di http://www.krayola.info
Jangan lupa dengerin terus Nubuzz di Prambors FM kota Anda!

original post: http://tinyurl.com/5pfbtx

Vote For Krayola!

Guys, kita minta dukungan dong, supaya lagu kita 'Langkah' bisa masuk ke kompilasi Nubuzz 1.2!

Caranya gampang:
Ketik 
NBKode Kota[spasi]LANGKAH[spasi]Nama Kamu[spasi]Umur Kamu
kirim ke 9123

Contoh:
Ketik NB1[spasi]LANGKAH[spasi]ERIZ[spasi]15 kirim ke 9123

Ini list kode kotanya:
NB1 - JAKARTA
NB2 - SEMARANG
NB3 - YOGYA
NB4 - MAKASSAR
NB5 - SOLO
NB6 - MEDAN
NB7 - BANDUNG
NB8 - SURABAYA

Ayo bantu dukung ya! Krayola bukan apa2 tanpa fans dan pendukungnya!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Unending Bitterness And Continuous Entropy

Something's not right - some things are never right, and yet they remain the way they are. Again and again, the claim to enforce democracy just does the opposite - the needs and interests of the few outweigh the needs and interests of the masses.

Jakarta floods and thousands are displaced as an indirect result of a real estate dispute.
Employees are pushed to the limit to bring results for the company for the same paycheck every month, for shareholders who need their stock price stable or rising.
The development of alternative energy resources is hindered by people who are addicted to the petrodollar - even though everybody knows that oil supplies are quickly diminishing.
Global companies push for constant growth and profit regardless if it is sustainable or not - at the expense of gullible consumers and overworked, underpaid employees.
Today, a pay TV company arubtly cut its broadcasts indefinitely, without prior notice to their subscribers.
Politics take center stage, instead of welfare.
Strike that - money making takes center stage, instead of welfare.

People are not happy anymore. Today, the average guy - Joe The Plumber, so to speak - thinks about surviving until the end of the month, when he hopefully gets his next paycheck. Happiness is sold, with fries on the side, a new dress, a pair of sneakers, some sort of electronic device, or 2 hours in a dark room with many others watching pictures on a big screen. And as it is sold, the happiness quickly runs out once the perceived value spent diminishes.

I'm not suprised that many people choose to find spiritual means to grab that happiness - unfortunately, happiness by that avenue is sold as well (not all, though). Every one has a different set of expectations, though, so it is not the answer for everybody. 

That guy beside you in the traffic jam with horns blaring thinks he is not happy, although he does not realize it. 
The fast food cashier who snubs you when you are ordering doesn't hate you, she hates herself.
The boss yelling at you for unacheived targets doesn't hate you, he's thinking his bosses hate him and is letting off steam.
The street urchin singing at the roadside is frustated that he doesn't have anything to eat today.
The mother of 3 ramming in to you at the mall is simply overwhelmed by her kids' continuous demands for ... everything.
The motorcycle driver cutting lanes actually hates riding a motorcycle but can't afford a car and takes out his envy and frustration on the road.
and so on...

One of the strongest drives inside a human is the urge to better him/herself, to want more...
More is not necessarily better, mind you - and the most important question is more WHAT? 

I think the answer is 'more appreciation' and 'more tolerance' and definitely not 'more money' ... what about you?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Auto 2000 - Lack Of Service And Courtesy

So, as you might know, the Avanza has sustained some injuries over the months since we acquired it. There was the small crash with a gold Innova, and then there was the 'invisible' bench that I ran over. The left rear view mirror has been hit by motorcycles several times, to the point where part of the cover kept falling off and finally strategically fell under the wheels (thankfully the mirror has not received any abuse so far). And to top that off, last night when preparing to pay for parking when leaving from Soulnation, the power window button broke when it was in auto, thus rolling the window all the way down, leaving myself exposed to the elements. The drive home left me breathing exhaust fumes, and I had to avoid the dodgier intersections of Jakarta. It was definitely time for a visit to the repairman.

Like a good Astra customer, I looked up the nearest Auto 2000 garage and settled on the one at T.B Simatupang. We arrived there at 3 pm, a good hour before closing time. There was supposedly a queue number machine, but it could not be seen anywhere, and after watching some other people, apparently the machine was outside. Yes, logical.
So we went back in and sat down, and there was only one CS guy making inane chatter with a customer, and a few other guys doing God knows what, carrying bundles of documents with them, seemingly waiting for another CS. When finally we got a chance to talk to this one CS guy - the only one there out of the 10 CS consoles - and after 15 minutes of waiting, the guy simply said 'we're about to be closed soon, so we can't accept any new customers today'. All said with a stupid smirk.
Flashback to May this year - we went to the same Auto 2000 office to ask about a new Avanza, where the sales rep said that the price and the interest are subject to change even after we made our downpayment, and the new car will only be available in October. Somehow this didn't strike me as a good deal, although I'm guessing this is standard in the auto industry - and the sales rep had this 'I don't need you, you need me' snobbish air about him - probably thinking that he doesn't need to waste time with customers since they come anyway. I might be overreacting, but there are a million ways to treat people, and that guy chose to be snobbish.

Back to this afternoon - we left Auto 2000 without a problem solved and another bad impression - and trundled on to Dutamas Fatmawati where we got the rear view mirrors and power window fixed in 30 minutes.

Seriously, what is wrong ya? My Dad also had a bad experience with Auto 2000. Back when he was still using the Corona, there was trouble starting the engine, but not so much, so Dad took the Corona there with the expectation that service will be good, the parts complete, the repairmen knowledgeable. The Corona came out having even more trouble starting up and having a certain component removed - Dad became angry. Why would the car run worse after servicing? So he told the Auto 2000 guys that he's not paying one cent and he wants the Corona returned to its original state.

So Auto 2000 - better appreciate your customers better. Today's Avanza owners might become tomorrow's Camry owners, if they stay loyal to the Toyota brand, that is.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Souled Out

Last night I went to Soulnation festival, because the office opened a booth and the main sponsor was a client. Watched some shows, and even caught Akon's first song on his show, which I didn't watch further as it was already approaching midnight and I was already too damn sleepy to care.

My thoughts on the festival? JFP have done it again; although the crowd wasn't as packed as you would see at Java Jazz Festival - the other big event run by JFP, if you don't know - I think that for a first-of-its-kind event, the turnout was good, the lineup of booth partners was interesting (there was only 1 empty booth), the sponsors got strong branding, and the music was good. There was even a small tent/room where kids could come and DJ or breakdance - something very interesting to put in the show's program. And yes, I mean kids - I think 80% of the visitors were high school students, complete with hip hop attire. The rest of the people there were either media, part of the commitee, sponsors, or simply a client who got free tickets.

It got me feeling old. Oh well.

The complete ripoff was not the show itself - it was the parking! The kids guarding cars outside the venue - and inside the Senayan sports area - asked for IDR 20.000!!! That's on top of the IDR 3.000 per car that is paid at the entrance of the complex. And if you go there by taxi, good luck finding one going home, which will probably cost you more.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Why You Should Care Who Becomes The Next US President

Well.. .actually, you shouldn't. I don't. The US Presidential race, including the debates, has become a fascination equal to watching a soccer game or anticipating who gets kicked out of American Idol. Yes folks, the US Presidential race is the ultimate reality show!

Why is this? Let's say right now you're rooting for Barack Obama, who knows how nice it is to drink a Teh Botol Sosro in the day's searing heat. Let's also say he wins the election in November. Then what? We go back to our daily lives and nothing ever changes, because what we should care about is who runs our country. 

Then again, the majority of people who run this country don't care about us, so why should we?

Anyway. The networks airing the US Presidential debate received record ratings - as to be expected for a semi or grand final soccer match. And that's probably the only way it touches us. I'd still buy a jersey from my favorite soccer team (not that I like soccer, but this is conjecture...), but would I buy an Obama t-shirt? probably, but not because I support, but more because he just seems way cooler than McCain, who resorted to truth-twisting TVCs to attack Obama, whereas the geek in me liked the comprehensive yet inspirational TVCs put out by Obama. Again, those of my knowledge.

By election time, people will be talking about the electoral vote count and so on just like people tracking the wins and losses of a basketball team. And that's as far as we care about it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Who Would Joe The Plumber Be In Indonesia?

Asep si tukang tempe bacem
Ferri si tukang tambel ban
Jujuk si tukang jamu
Enci nyang jaga toko kelontong
Bob tukang jual pulsa elektronik
Minah penjual ayam pecel
Meymey tukang nyewain baju pengantin
Odoy si supir taksi
Gatot si tukang DVD bajakan
Arif si tukang mebel
Robert si makelar paspor/SIM
Joni si pelukis gagal yang sekarang nulis puisi

Kalo Joe The Plumber disebut-sebut melulu di kampanye presiden AS, mereka di atas disebut-sebut di kampanye presiden Indonesia gak ya?

I'll Send You My Portfolio

Apple just announced their new series of Macbooks and Macbook Pros. I'm not too inclined to the MBP as I most likely will not use one for professional work... but damn, I want the new Macbook. The looks are a matter of taste, but the features are awesome... and I really want one.
So, anyone need any translation or design work? I'll definitely find the time to do it... on the weekends. I figure if I do simple design work every weekend for Rp 1 million per project, I'd have enough money to buy it in... hm, 4 months. 

So I'd have no life and no rest but have a brand new MacBook! So, interested in helping me with my quest? :D

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Are You Annoyed By The Ambiquity Of 'Thing' In This Post? :D

So... the thing that has been taking up a lot of my spare time for the past month or so, is finally finished. Done. Over with. And I'm pretty sure it doesn't need revising.
This morning after SMSing the person I did the thing for... taking care of what she owes back to me because of this thing. A few minutes later, she called, saying she miscalculated in what she owes, and needs to get back to me.

Ah well. Worst case scenario, the thing done will not be returned with an equal favor. But not everything's about taking and giving equally, is it? I can't even be upset about it, because there's nothing I can do...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Krayola on Prambors!

I was in a long meeting just now, but Eriz kept calling, and I finally picked up the phone. She said "HEY LISTEN NOW TO PRAMBORS! THEY'RE PLAYING OUR SONG!!" (yes, she yelled a bit but she's always loud).

So I left the room for a bit, turned on the radio and managed to hear the final licks of Krayola's song titled 'Langkah'. 

I'm smiling and I don't care about work today... I'll care about it tomorrow, haha :D

The Older You Get...

Time is such a relative thing, as Einstein once postulated. To keep things short, he explained that time for a person standing still and time for a person on a moving object is different, relative to the speed the person moving is. The faster he is, the bigger the difference.

Somehow, the older we get, the less time we have. Not in the way if you are a certain age, then you only have a certain number of years left to live... but well..

Let's put it this way. On this day, 4 years ago, I had time to blog every day, perhaps because this blog was new (which I will discuss in another post). On this day, 10 years ago, I was still a clueless freshman convincing himself he can draw properly (and utterly failing), but still spending the entire day drawing, then fooling around afterwards with friends.

Fast forward to today. I have to plan my weekends in advance, the job takes more than 8 hours a day (not including travel time), and my spare time is divided between additional projects, family time, cleaning up the house and all its related chores, and so on. Some people say I'm very organized, but how wrong they are - my work schedules are always a mess, especially with the varying activities and meetings (and thus my dependency on a scheduling device like the Blackberry).

I'm not complaining, but somehow my time is being sucked up somewhere - I used to have all the time in the world...

Monday, October 6, 2008

It's Not That We're Not Grateful, But...

I happened to get some parcels from some clients, as is the tradition in Idul Fitri, which are usually filled with food, tableware or anything else under the sun presentable as a gift in line with the festivities.
One parcel was filled with food, and a good 45 minutes was spent with Pitty in taking it apart (as it was addressed to both of us) - all the food packages were either tied together with multiple layers of sticky tape, or with generous amounts of glue; the kind used with a glue gun and effectively becomes plastic when dry. Kind of OK.
I brought home the second parcel as it was tableware - and the geniuses that put together the parcel used a glue gun to stick the plates together. Yes. A glue gun. Saski spent a good hour taking apart the parcel last night and praised the intelligence of the parcel maker for using a glue gun for tableware, especially for a couple of plates we still can't seperate.
The other parcel I got was also afflicted the same way, so the CD that came with it still has the blobs of glue attached to it. Luckily the other objects were easier to seperate from the blobs of glue.

I am very grateful that some clients thought of me enough to send me parcels, wherever they got the parcels - but I am seriously questioning the parcel makers, are you thinking with your head? After the incidents some years ago with parcels containing expired food products, you'd think they'd pay a little more attention to the contents. I know what I'm bitching about is non-essential, but seriously, if people put more thought in what they do, the world would be a much, much better place, and I'd have less to bitch about.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Merdeka!

I see on TV that Pakistan only has 3 months' worth of money left.
The news of melamin showing up in Chinese milk products shows how desperate the companies are for better margins (and more money).
I read about middle-class Californians living in their cars in Santa Barbara, because they lost their homes.
America is digging its own hole with the $700 billion bank bailout.
Japan's government is a mess while their economy is also hurt by the goings-on in America - and they posted a rare trade deficit.
Russia is pissing off everybody, to no apparent reason.

For all its faults, Indonesia doesn't seem so bad anymore.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Habib Riziek, My New Hero

You may wonder "eh, am I reading the title right?"
Yes folks, in one weird way, Habib Riziek is my new hero. For a very specific reason.

I don't agree with him on generally everything else, but for this, cheers to you mate. Somebody finally put the questions circulating in blogs and gossip circles into mainstream media.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Pornografi Apa?

[translated from the previous post, to help push an issue - I think we all should write our opinions on this issue.]

Kadang-kadang menarik untuk membaca artikel dari website berita asing yang membahas kejadiaj-kejadian di Indonesia – seperti disahkannya RUU Pornografi. Yang tersirat dari artikel tersebut adalah wartawan yang menulisnya sedang geleng-geleng kepala dan berkata, ‘ tujuannya apa sih?’

 

Gue harus agak setuju – pornografi memang tidak dimaksudkan untuk konsumsi masal, dan perlu ada usaha untuk menghindari materi tersebut diakses anak-anak di bawah umur. Untuk orang dewasa, ini lebih ke persoalan kontrol diri dan pendirikan – dan media yang bertanggung jawab. Bukannya sebuah undang-undang justru menjaga ini? Kita bahkan gak bisa mengatur motor-motor di jalanan, tapi masa kita mau mengatur baju yang dipakai orang, yang adalah pasal terabsurd dari undang-undang ini? Bukannya mencari cara untuk dapat mengayomi semua orang, malahan melarang semuanya; lebih tidak merepotkan. Gue nggak bilang pornografi itu bener – dan gue ga mau jadi orang munafik juga – tapi kan bisa diatur dengan lebih baik, ketimbang  dianggap seolah-olah usus buntu terinfeksi.

 

Itu kayak ngomong bahwa ‘karena gue nggak bisa mengendalikan nafsu gue, elu perlu berhenti berpakaian seksi atau berbuat yang membangkitkan nafsu’. Sama aja dengan spanduk-spanduk yang gue pernah liat yang mengatakan ‘untuk yang berpuasa, selamat berpuasa. Untuk yang tidak berpuasa, hargailah yang sedang berpuasa’ – yang menurut gue egois dan hanya berpikir dari satu sisi aja. Kapan dong kita sebagai Muslim menghargai orang lain? Konon katanya kita nggak bisa mengucapkan Selamat Natal. Gue nggak melihat alasan kenapa kita harus berpikir kita lebih baik dari orang lain – terutama karena kasus-kasus seperti ini justru menunjukkan sebaliknya.

 

Lagi-lagi orang-orang yang seharusnya lebih tahu dari kita, dan lebih pintar dari kita – seperti temen-temen di DPR/MPR – telah menunjukkan sebaliknya. Kancah politik malah memperbodoh bangsa – dan undang-undang pornografi adalah sebuah gerakan politis, dan bukan moral, yang membuatnya sesuatu yang bodoh – dan di saat moral harusnya mengenai pengertian, politik memaksa moral menjadi isu polisi pikiran.

 

Gimana caranya kita mau keluar dari lubang dan bergabung dengan masyarakat dunia, kalau politisi kita malah menarik kita makin dalam? 

Friday, September 19, 2008

What Porn?

It's sometimes interesting to read an article from a foreign news website commenting on current events in Indonesia - such as the so-called 'porn law' coming to effect. You can't see it written, but I'm pretty sure the journalists writing this article are shaking their heads and saying, 'what on earth do these guys want to accomplish?'

I must sort of agree - pornography by far is not suited for mass consumption, and there must be efforts to stop underage children to access that material. For adults, I think it's a matter of self-control and education - and a responsible media, too. Shouldn't a law be guaranteeing this? Hell, we can't even regulate motorcycles, must we try to regulate what people wear, part of the most ridiculous clauses in the bill? Instead of finding ways to be all-inclusive, just ban everything, I guess; much, much simpler. I'm not saying pornography is right - and I don't want to be a hypocrite either - but it can be managed better, rather than just treating it as an infected appendix.

It's kind of like saying 'since I can't control my sexual urges, you have to stop wearing sexy clothes or do acts that might increase sexual desire'. It's similar to banners I have seen saying 'for those who fast, happy fasting! for those who don't fast, respect the ones who do' - which is a bit selfish and one-sided. When will be the time that us Muslims respect others, then? We can't even say Merry Christmas, the rumor goes. I really don't see why we should think we are better than other people because of our religion - especially when cases like these show that we definitely aren't. 

Time and time again the people who are supposed to know better than us, and the people that are supposed to be smarter than us - like the good friends in the Parliament - have shown otherwise. Politics are dumbing us down - and this pornography bill is an inherently political move, not a moral one, which makes it stupid - and where morality is supposed to be about understanding, politics have ensured that morality is about the thought police.

How on earth are we going to get ourselves out of the hole and into world-class society if our aspiring politicians are dragging us in deeper?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

It Is Only A Wordly Desire.... Yet There Is Desire

Apple has introduced a new series of iPod nano and iPod touch. The iPod touch most notably features an external speaker, and the iPod nano is the 'slimmest iPod ever' with a larger screen (you watch movies on it sideways).
And they are making a big deal of a new software feature called Genius, which basically matches up your playlist with what is the most suitable - we'll see about that.

Something about the Apple marketing machine just makes people simply want.

Attention Moonlighters

For those of you who have a second job or do something on the side, beware, even prime ministers get fired for moonlighting.
It's also proof of the sad state of affairs in Thailand - politics resorting to appearances on cooking shows to bring down an opponent.... what's next, voting for your president through a cook-a-thon?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Crash Into Me

Saturday night. I was doing about 70 km/h on Gatot Subroto with Saski, on the way to Semanggi to meet Sacha - we and a couple of friends got together for a sort of post-wedding party, as we were Sacha's wedding committee, making sure everything went ahead as planned on her special day.

Entering the Semanggi area from the direction of Slipi, we were nearing the ramp off down to Sudirman, where I planned to go straight and make the turn to Plaza Semanggi ahead when suddenly a gold-coloured Innova cut us off at high speed and crashed his rear to the right of our front end. It was so fast that I didn't have time to brake, so a small collision was unavoidable. Luckily it was more of a brush, and so when the Innova continued its turn down to Sudirman, I took chase and flashed my lights to him several times before he finally stopped in front of GKBI.

When he stopped and got out, he was already bowing apologies while checking his car. I stopped the car right behind him, and almost punched his lights out. I might of did so as well if the person didn't have the tact to know that he was the one in the wrong. I yelled at him for a few minutes, before asking his responsibility for this matter. He said I should follow him to his office to sort things out... which is in Tanjung Priuk. Too jacked up with adrenaline to think straight, I gave him my card (which he said his office will call me on Monday) and told him this should be a lesson - what if the crash was worse? How would he live with it?

To this minute nobody has called. Insurance can cover the damage to the car, but not to my temper.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Torn

This weekend, I am helping out a good friend at her marriage reception... and at the same time, there is a big family gathering; even my brother has come down from Tokyo.

Help out one or the other? It tears me up... even when I already had made the decision...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

We'll Miss Your Music

LeRoi Moore, the critically-acclaimed saxophonist for my favorite band, Dave Matthews Band, has just recently passed away.

We'll miss you and your music, man.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

63 Years Down The Drain... Really?

Today we celebrate our beloved country's independence, which has been 'independent' for the last 63 years. Why the quote marks on 'independent'? If we are truly independent, then why are our billboards and TVs filled with ads from overseas brands? Why are almost all of our most important industries controlled by foreign interests? And nobody cares - the state of the country it is in right now shows that.

But really, after 63 years, do we have anything to show for it? Yes. We have our country, our nation, our flag, our culture and our language - something a lot of other people don't really have.

We need to show that we are worthy of it - we need to earn our place in this hard-fought country. We may even have to fight our countrymen whose self-interest goes above the greater good - the 21st century 'war' - but fight we will.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Monday, July 28, 2008

On Leave

To avoid my brain frying, I am taking this whole week off. Whole. Week. Off.

with nothing in particular to do... that's the point! So if I don't pick up the phone, yeah well... the phone is on leave as well, so it doesn't fry out either :D

Thursday, July 10, 2008

It's Time To Take A Stand

It stops here and now. I have no idea what I'm doing or what I'm going to do; I might as well discuss it with several friends and colleagues, but I'm pretty sure that IT HAS TO STOP.

Nothing is worth burning my brains out over.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Promises We Can't Keep

Has the following ever happened to you?

A project is done between bosses, and a brief is handed down to us lowly executives. The promise also includes off-site support from another office. The actual support is key to the deal...
Yet the support can't be delivered, but you take the shit from the client, since you can't deliver.
Manage the client, they say.
I say, if I want to manage a client well, I better make damn well sure my side has done all the promises.
So now, I can't deliver on a promise I didn't make.
Is it my fault?

Ref-ID.com

Finally I found some time this weekend to finish a long overdue project; the website for REF Basketball Clothing, Co. Screencap is below. Tell me what you think!



Sunday, June 29, 2008

Our New "Pet"

The only plant growing in a pot in our house is actually placed outside, because we thought that we were pretty bad at the green thumb thing. So we placed it outside, near the water waste pipe from the upstairs air conditioner.
The past few months, a frog has dug in and made it his (or her?) home, well at least, bed for the daytime naps (since he/she goes off somewhere during the night). We named the frog Zuma, and claimed it as our pet, although we really don't feed it anything. I think you can figure out what one of our favorite computer games are.
Any tips on what to feed a frog?

Krayola @ Wapres

Here are a couple of pictures of our gig at Warung Apresiasi, Bulungan. Eriz forgot the chords in the middle of 2 songs, hahahaha.. but it was OK.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Birthday Giftlist

Because my dear friend Meong made a birthday giftlist on her MP blog, I was sort of inspired to make my own. But, ladies and gentlemen, the list is fictitious. I'ts not real. The least bizarre item on the list is very expensive... but read on, you'll see how bizarre the list really is.

1. Sony Ericsson P1i. Upgrade on my M600i...
2. Asus EEE PC. Gadget-boy toy.
3. 3G iPhone of course....
4. my old car! but in better shape. with a Mac installed to monitor car status, GPS maps, and so on.
5. the sudden disappearance of termites from my house, followed by a sudden automatic repair and reinforcement of the wood frames.
6. one of those Honda robots to help around the house. Just keep it charged and it'll be happy; no need to worry about giving it a phone allowance.
7. an airship company that I can convert into an alternative mass-rapid transport service, so I don't have to drive 2 hours to the office.
8. media server for the house. Since we have so many audio and video files on our computers at home it's eating up the virtual memory space.
9. one of those Honda robots to do house security, so the kids from the nearby village stop stealing lightbulbs.
10. free airline tickets to Bali for me and Saski, every year. Oh don't forget the free hotel vouchers.
11. a tandem bike. So I can ride a bike and persuade Saski to ride it with me. So very Soeharto, yes?
12. a new Macbook hahaha
... the list is seemingly endless.

So what do I actually want for my birthday?
A happy surprise will do ;)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Krayola @ Jakarta Fair 2008

We got out first gig after a very long time at the Jakarta Fair 2008, at Kopi Kapal Api's booth. Here are the pics!

If you can't see the slideshow, here's the link.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Goodbye And Thanks, Ario

Before you read into the title too much - "Ario" is the name given by my friends for my former beloved Toyota Corona 2000 (c. 1978). At one point in college, my friends started to call the car 'Ario' since they found striking similarities with the car and its owner. Someone mentioned it was the car was 'huge but nimble'. I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

The Corona was bought by my Dad not long after we moved back from Sydney in 1988, when I was still in 4th grade. I gave a portion of my savings to buy it. There was a point in time when Mom picked me up after school in the car. When we moved to Bogor, the car was my Dad's main mode of transport to the office, about 45 minutes away, until the office gave him an office car to use. When that happened, the Corona stayed home and I was in charge of warming it up every afternoon. My first taste of the wheel.

By the time I could drive, my parents let me use the car for after school activities (which was mostly cramming courses because it was the only way my parents could get me to study). Well, that and then some :) I think a lot of people grew up in high school around the car - if you had a set of wheels, you were cool! But then again, my friends drove their Mercedes to school.

When I went back to Bandung for college, I didn't bring the car along as Bandung was a very public-transport friendly place (note the term was). The car joined me eventually because I had to go back and forth between Bandung and Bogor for my research, and was a big help in all those late night dinners and midnite matinees :D. I held on to the car until graduation, when it got me to and from my first workplace in Bandung.

When I finally moved to Jakarta in 2003, I wasn't inclined to drive a car in the traffic-ingested streets of Jakarta, and chose public transport, which led me to move out of my parent's house in Serpong and move closer to my office in Jakarta Selatan. The car didn't come with me and Dad didn't have the time or energy to maintain it, so I persuaded Dad to sell the Corona and get a newer car. Dad finally sold it to an office friend and got a 2003 Kijang. I said goodbye, thinking that I would never see the car again.

Fast forward to 2006 - taking cabs everyday to and from Saskia's house was starting to burn holes in my pocket, so I started seriously considering on buying a car. The thought was actually from a year earlier, when I was considering on getting a VW Beetle (good price, easy repair and spare parts), but I didn't go as far as looking at cars yet. One day Dad called and saw the Corona - the previous owner put up a For Sale sign on the car! "Do you want to buy it?" Dad asked. I said "I'm interested, since it's an old car that I actually know what the kinks are, so as long as the car has aircon, I'll take it!" Sure enough, the previous owner installed an aircon so I borrowed some money from Dad and bought the car. In the process of bringing the car to good condition, I invested in a new aircon system, some new tires, a new battery and alternator, suspension servicing and so on. Let's just say, if the car wasn't so hungry for gas, I think I'd still be using it.

The recent price hike forced me and Saskia to decide to let go of the car and buy a used Avanza. We considered on lending the car to a friend instead of selling, but ultimately decided against it. Taking care of an old car like the Corona takes a certain patience and perseverence, and it would be selfish to burden that on others just because we didn't want to sell the car. So that led to today.

We sold the car to the son of my parent's friend, married and recently started work, strapped of cash and wanting an alternative to borrowing their parent's car or taking their baby on the motorcycle. The price we sold the car was below market value (as it is a collector's item), and he bought the car in installments (not cash). Saskia and I thought that these guys really need the car more than we do and we didn't mind being paid in installments, as long as good ol' 'Ario' can be of help to someone else. So we waved goodbye to 'Ario' this afternoon... I feel so sad, but I'm glad that the car is now in a position to help someone else, and not sit in some collector's garage and eat dust.

So long, old buddy. Keep helping those in need, like you helped me and my family - and hope to see you again!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Spread Firefox!

I think I speak for many people that have had their online experiences transformed by Firefox. Support Firefox 3 by pledging to download on the launch day! Here's the link:
http://www.spreadfirefox.com/en-US/worldrecord/

(By the way, I use Flock now...)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Only For You

This is the 2nd single from the current youth sensation, RAN. In my personal view, the video fits the core demographic that RAN speaks to: screaming teen girls! I'm not a screaming teen girl, but the song is cool.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Power Of Opinion, Yours And Mine

It's amazing when, in this day and age, when we can access any information we want from anywhere we want (well we're almost there...), people remain ignorant and full of hatred?
In the ideal utopian society, all information would be shared for a better common understanding; yet with all the information systems available since the dawn of modern times (marked by the writing of history), humans remain seperated by race, geograhpy, intelligence, religion, culture, hobbies, favorite color and so on.
It's one thing to disagree on a favorite song; and it's another thing to disagree on religious principles. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and is also entitled to respect the right of opinion of others.

Somehow, people remember the former than the latter better. Still OK, somewhat; some people just don't care what other people think.

But when anarchy steps in, when violence steps in... that is where the line crosses.

I don't care whether if someone is right or wrong; in my view the ultimate truth will never reveal itself to us as it is divine knowledge -- but somehow may people of the earth think they know better and continue to torture those who do not think alike: in Abu Gharib, in Nepal, in Myanmar, and in Jakarta, to name a few places.

It's one thing to have an opinion - it's another thing to maim or kill someone for believing something else.

So here's my opinion: FPI can rot in hell for all I care. You'd think a "leading" Muslim organization would give a positive example for other Muslims... well, they don't, and they give us shame.

What's your opinion?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Rising Price Of Life

There are a lot of arguments going on about the recently-raised price of gas.

One is, the global price of crude oil itself has risen, and as a processed-oil exporter (not importer), the price just went up for us as well. So if we want to remove a lot of pain from the country's budget, the subsidies for gas must be partly lifted. So now we feel the pain.

The other is, raising the price of gas is not the problem in itself, but it is the perceived psychological impact on everything else - rising prices of everything, the less-to-dos doing worse because of it, and so on. The working wisdom is that if gas prices go up, everything else goes up, in a time where everyone wants everything cheap or free. An article indicated that the price of gas in Indonesia went up 37 times in the past 42 years. Yeah well... a lot happens in 42 years... not to mention that gas prices at other countries go up or down regularly, like any other commodity.

I agree that raising gas prices is a drastic measure for a country like ours, but it does not mean that we have to go off and burn tyres and make a general mess of things. Civil disobedience can only get you so far, and crosses lines to anarchy very easily. Why do the thousands of people protesting do not offer an alternative solution? If asked this they expect that the government should be the smarter one to figure things out. Well, aren't they?

The new gas price hurts me and hurts us all but I do not find fault with it - the biggest mistake of the government is lack of foresight. Public transport is still a mess, there are no local developments whatsoever on alternative energy sources (despite all the noise about 'blue energy' in the press) and electric or hybrid cars - although very logical for Jakarta and other cities - aren't even sold anywhere. Well you do hear ads here and there yet people still love their gas-guzzling cars and motorcycles and wouldn't make a bold first step to an alternative.

We are all spoilt and corrupt, and it is time to change it; we can't expect the government to change things for us. Stop protesting and start changing.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

THIS IS SO COOL!!

Remember the decades-old dream of flying to school or work with your own personal jetpack?
Read the article here.... I don't even think I have to elaborate much on this!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Getting Older, Growing Up

+: sorry, but after much discussion with my significant other, I can't take the decision you want me to
me: well, it's your decision, it's your life... just to state the fact, I think your significant other doesn't know what he's talking about
+: yes I argued all night but I promised to respect our joint decision
me: ok. I think you made the wrong decision but I will bless whatever you decide :) and I'll prove your significant other wrong!

Part of growing up is letting go, and letting your friends make their own decisions. We have to make sure they are informed decisions, but at the end of the day, it's their life. Anyway, I could be wrong about what I think, right? We may love our friends dearly, but we have to acknowledge that we are not responsible for them - they are.

So good luck... because you'll need it ;)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Plis Deh Jakarta!

Wanna read anecdotes about Jakarta? Or maybe share your own, funny, cynical or even sarcastic story about everyday life in the Big City? Try visit www.plis-deh.com, I think the stories are as sarcastic as the times today.
It's actually an old blog but the writers decided to relaunch it under their own domain name.

Not to be confused with www.plisdeh.com... which is totally different. You can check it out if you like, he he...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I Miss The Old Days

I occasionally miss the old days - back then, everyone from the office (former and current) could still get together and do something after work: catch a movie, go out to dinner, go for some bowling or pool, and so on. Lunch was always a great break from work because we could releive a little bit of the stress from work. There was also a time where we'd go to the gym early in the morning and go to the office together.
Occasionally we would also get together on the weekend to do something also; and we'd still spend time talking to each other at the office, through SMS or phone, chat and so on.

And more importantly, we could leave work behind at the office and live a little.

Now, I go home late, get less excersize and and sleep all through the weekend.
Call me a cynic, but I really do miss the old days, sometimes.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Beware Of Blistering-Fast Internet Speeds!

Below is the Speedtest of my newly-acquired IM2 Prepaid package:



It's fast and comparable with its' postpaid counterpart. I am fulfilling my promise to promote the IM2 Prepaid pack to my friends at IM2, with a small note: If you're using the connection a lot, you'd be using up your initial allowance of bandwidth if you're not careful - it's that fast! I'd recommend staying away from video or image-heavy sites if you want to keep your internet spending from being fantastically expensive.

Sometimes Being Sick Is Necessary

Ever had one of those days when you're completely overwhelmed with your daily routines? When you are just yearning for a day off from work, whether or not there's permission?
In these days, where companies grudgingly give you a token's worth of leave allocation, instead of actually rewarding their employees, off days are a premium and can only be used for something really, really worthwhile. Same goes for salaries; there are many cases where the company finally coughs up a raise for a certain employee at the brink of said employee leaving to another company. Employees, in the corporate world, are costs rather than assets, and when a global company needs to maintain its stock price, one of the tried-and-true methods is 'streamlining' or cutting staff.
I can't say that this mindset is wrong as companies, being companies, need to think about their future livelihood, but it doesn't say much for average Joe whiling away in his cubicle trying to make his next target.

The workforce is much more competitive, as is business, in a day where economies are starting to collapse. If one of the largest banks in America can collapse, so can the average Joe with too much to do.

So here I am, at home, typing this blog post because I still can't sleep, trying to chase away a mild fever which has me feeling a bit weak today. Fortunately, the mind is also not strong enough to think about work, so I'm giving my head an unfortunate, but necessary rest, as tomorrow is another long day with many tasks ahead.

So hopefully I can say 'I'm glad to be sick today' and be karma-free from that statement!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Appraisal Time Sucks

Especially when you have nothing good to say. If your subordinate sucks at his/her job, what does that say about you?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Speedtest: AXIS 3G

Just tested last night and this morning... If you're in the 3G coverage of AXIS, the new operator, these are the speeds you can expect to get for data connection:



I'd say it's not too bad... although I have read in the mailing lists that the connection tends to lag after connected; something wrong with the ISP gateway rather than our connection to the network. In my case, so far so good.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

When Things Get A Little Out Of Hand...

When things get a little out of hand, words are said that aren't proper, misunderstandings occur, and tempers fume. But as I have always said, it's better to say the things that hurt now rather than keep it all in, because it will all go out anyway in one big bang.

I'm sorry dear...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

In Reaction To The Sad Times Today

It is sad that the Indonesian government, with all good intentions, take drastic measures as to forcing ISPs to shut down access to YouTube, and in extension sites like Multiply, MySpace and Rapidshare all because of one movie (Fitna) and the ramblings of a pseudo-expert. I hence ask friends in the blogosphere to sign the below petition:

Tolak Roy Suryo

It might be futile, but it's a stand we all should make.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Open Survey About Gadgets, Please Read!

Guys, help me out here.
We live in a comparatively technological world now, where almost everybody in urban areas use handphones, use the internet, send SMSes like there's no tomorrow, and more or less use technology to help us in our daily activities.

But do you think you are making the most of what your phone can do? Are you using the right PDA? Do you wonder on what's the best deal for a mobile internet connection? Are you confused on which iPod to get?

The objective of this small survey is to get an idea on how much we use modern technology as a part of our everyday lives, and the extent of the use.

Do you have any of these gadget-related questions? Let me know by posting a comment on this post.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Just While We're In The Geek Moment

This is the speedtest result of my previous internet connection, Indosat M2. Really fast but limited by quota. Am thinking of moving to a prepaid package...


Better Internet Connection

Admitting that a good internet connection at home is important for a wholesome life is as much as admitting that you're a total geek. Well, I'm a geek and proud of it (why not be proud of it?) and with that I'll show off my internet speed at home, courtesy of Fastnet.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I'm Pissed Of Now... Finally

From the first day you met me, you were full of disregard and underestimation towards me - somehow, that lasts until now, although perhaps in a different way. Is it because your ego can't accept that maybe, just maybe, we're actually equals?
If it's a pissing contest, I concede, I was never any better at you, just different. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. We all, however, have our egos as well.
Funny thing is - you don't like it when people underestimate you... but do you see how you're treating me? And all I have ever done is stand by what I think is right, and help. Including helping you. Yet you keep patronizing me.
Why does everybody have to follow what you think? There's no right or wrong, man, there's just choices. Your choices and way of thinking do not necessarily apply to somebody else - so don't judge everyone else because they don't agree with you.

I have never broken a promise to support, and I have always offered support. What have you done? Twist words around and around. Stop and think, and look at what you're doing! The big picture doesn't stop at you.

Now, after almost 10 years, i'm finally pissed off, really pissed off. You reap what you sow. If you think I'm treating you like shit, well, try asking yourself, are you treating me like shit?? Try analyzing yourself for once, instead of praising yourself all the time.

It's not about what is owed in return, but it's about principle - mutual support. I don't see that, I don't feel that. Not in the 10 years past, and not now. So full of yourself, eh?

So when it comes to reminding of obligations, you just breeze it off and talk about what you want from me. Take, take, take... with no appreciation whatsoever. I'm not one to bask in appreciation, adoration from others, but well, there's a limit, right? Is it normal? Is it human? Try picturing this happening to you.

Let me give you some business advice: try to see what you and your client can achieve together, and you reap your rewards and gain a loyal client through it. Don't just think what the client can do for you.

Hopefully you know who you are if you're reading this. This is a warning. Come 14th March, things will change.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Finally, The House Is Almost Done

As I promised, here are the pictures of the Cinere house. It's still a work-in-progress, but it's home!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Creating A New Life

well, it's a step anyway. Early this month I and Sas decided it would be best to house-sit my brother's empty house at Cinere (which is about 25 km from central Jakarta) and start saving up to eventually buy a new house of our own. I estimate it will take us about 2-3 years for us to collect enough savings (and accumulate all the furniture needed for the house), considering that we do not pay out any rent at the Cinere house (thanks, Ari).

The house itself has been empty for quite some time after the previous tenants did not continue their lease, and since it's pretty far off from the white collar districts, it was a bit hard to get new tenants. My parents and my brother provided us the option of staying there (and taking care of the house) rather than we go off and lease out a house. Leasing a house closer to the central business district is pretty expensive, so although we would spend more on gas, we would definitely be able to manage other costs better.

Now, the question is, is my ancient Corona 2000 going to survive the daily traffic jams (2+ hours each way)? We'll just have to see.

We'll post some pictures of the house (and our layout) after we're done; officially, we'll be living there starting February 1.