Wednesday, December 31, 2003

100 Ways Not To Celebrate A New Year's Eve

#32: Beating drums for 72 hours straight.

A 27 year-old guy named Kunto Hartono's trying to enter himself into the Guinness Book of Records for the Longest Drumbeating Ever. And he's doing it from 29th December 2003 to 1st January 2004.

Indonesians are so into making entries in Guinness Book. Among things, we've made the Largest Amount of Fried Rice Ever Cooked. And the Largest Amount of Colenak Ever Made. We're a nation of attention-deficit problematic people, trying to yell at the world, "Look! Look! We can do THIS and THIS! I bet you couldn't! We're cool, huh?" If world was a big school, Indonesia would've been the kid that everyone tried not to notice. Because we were trying too hard.

Not that I don't appreciate Kunto's sheer determination. I've tried my hands on drumming. It took only thirty minutes to make the aching pain last all day long. But that only proves that humans are capable of many things when they really make an effort. Which all of us already knew. But maybe, too many people just forgot about that.

Okay, on to the list. What's worse than #32 is actually spending the whole night...
#31: Watching a guy hitting drums for 72 hours straight.

Two guys watching TV about the Guinness event.
TV: (drum drum drum drum drum)
A: Whoa.
B: You can say that again.
A: Whoa.

--several hours later--

A: Is he still at it?
B: Lemme check.
TV: (drum drum drum drum)
B: Oh, yeah. He is.
A: Cool.
B: Yeah.

--yet several hours later---

TV: (drum drum drum drum drum)
B: Isn't he bored?
A: Well, I'm bored.
B: Wanna do something exciting?
A: Sure, what?
B: Let's go to Kuningan and watch the drum guy!
A: Cool!

Typo Of The Week

A friend of mine got a birthday well-wishing that included, "Live long and proper." It would've been a great bumper sticker if there was an additional: "--a neat Vulcan."

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Pulitzer Prize Alert

This photographer deserves a Pulitzer Prize just for the sake of being able to capture "MTQ"(*1) and "PSK"(*2) in the same picture. (Thanks to my partner in life.)

*1: "MTQ" is a competition of reading Qur'an.
*2: "PSK" is the euphemism for "whores."

Care for more euphemism? Knock yourself out.

The World's A Sitcom

Reading this recipe made me wonder. If we consider a flat stomach (or washboard abs, if you will) a great thing. How come we keep coming up with new recipes for low-protein, high-carbohydrate, or even fatty foods?

If there were more advanced civilization out there, no wonder they didn't try to contact us. They would've just observed us quietly, placing us under the Real Live Comedy Channel.

Monday, December 29, 2003

The Big Difference

From here, we can learn that in Canada:

  • A thief stole an SUV and got caught because a tiny mistake. He tried to sell it to the original owner for $50.
  • A man successfully robbed a gas station. Unfortunately, the robber dropped his wallet, which contained his ID.
  • A guy, trying to impersonate a cop, put on a flashing redlight on his car. He stopped a passing car, only to find the driver was an off-duty cop. He got arrested instantly.
  • An old woman failed her fifth drivers test... by plunging backwards into a nearby river.
This shows that there's a BIG difference between Canada and Indonesia: Here, the old woman would've still got her driver's license.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Deadly Threats Update

What could be worse than a threat of swarming mosquito bites? Our local polls discover:

  • Showering blood-sucking leeches - 12%
  • Being married to Kris Dayanti - 10%
  • Swarming Tata Dado and Silver Boys hickies - 78%
For those who ask, "What's Tata Dado and Silver Boys?" Trust me. You don't wanna know.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Confessions Of A Schoolburner... an old Kompas (a nationwide newspaper) article (in Bahasa) about two GAM arsonists (Samsul and Zulkifli), who were caught in North Aceh. Below are some lines (worth quoting) of the interview.

Question (Q): Why did they (GAM) order you to burn down schools?
Samsul (S): He told us, so that all Acehnese people would be stupid.


Q: Were you paid to set fire to schools?
S: Yes. Rp 200.000 each. But even then we were fooled, [there was] no payment...


Q: Why did you burn down schools?
Zulkifli (Z): If not, they'd torture us.

Q: How would they torture you?
Z: We were told to undress. Our hands were tied from behind. [Then] We were forced to stand besides the rivulet, bitten by mosquitos. Here are the scars, Sir, all wounds (Zulkifli showed his hands which were full of mosquito bites and heavy scratching marks). [There are] also some here in the back (Zulkifli showed his back, which had a similar condition).
The Fool Says:
The article should've been named Confessions of two Dangerous Minds. Because in my book, one of the most dangerous minds of all, is one who let others do the thinking. Even, under severe threat of deadly mosquito bites.

On a lighter note, Deadly Mosquito Bites sound like a good title for an Indonesian horror movies.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

The Horror, The Horror!

You can learn a lot about a certain culture from its movies. Here's what a guy thinks about Indonesia, after watching some of our classic horror movies.

Worth quoting:

"She now is Sundelbolong… the ghost with a hole"

(Thanks to Andi Saptono)

Monday, December 22, 2003

Superstitions Update

Okay, so horses are both lucky and great medicine ingredients.

Key quote:
"5. To get rid of worms, eat a single horse hair with bread and butter."

Shows that even worms have standards.

Finding [My] Name-O

Turns out, I'm quite popular in Russia. Although not in the way that I prefer.

Key quote:
"ISMAN has close relations with... MISIS-ISMAN Research and Educational SHS Center, Moscow"

Missus Isman? What would they name the Biological and Agricultural Byproduct center? BABY-ISMAN?

Have You Ever Wondered... Tank could read the data streams and know what's going on in the Matrix?

Maybe because the data display goes something like this.
(Download the file, unzip, and open it in a browser.)

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Two Words That Separate Worlds

I talked to a couple of friends on yahoo messenger. Both are young executives. One, is a Japanese.

Me: I'm working overtime this Sunday night.
Japanese friend: Oh. Me too.
Another, is an Indonesian.
Me: I'm working overtime this Sunday night.
Indonesian friend: Oh. Poor you.
Different worlds.

Redundant Headline Of The Month

Watch Out [for] 2004 General Election Political Terror! (in Bahasa)

On a lighter note, "General Election Political Terror" sounds like a warning sign that pops up on your MS Windows OS.

General Election Political Terror!
This operating system has noticed
that you have too much political will
for your own good.

Be smart. And let the party does the
thinking for you. Your vote matters
(for our success).

| Vote Us |-----------| Vote Us again |

Friday, December 19, 2003

Outside The (Comment) Box

A black outfit complete with a mask and heavy breathing sound mufflers: $229

A Jedi lightsaber (used): free (killed the owner)

Refurbished Death Star: $1.45 quadrazillion

World Domination: Priceless

--Ads Addict
About Outside the (Comment) Box:

In here, I'll post anything that's worth recycling from the--guess what--comment box. Credits go to the writer, of course.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Togel Or Not Togel, That Is The Question

Any sort of gambling is forbidden in Indonesia. But of course, that never stops people. One common gambling practice is togel. You bet your money in a two-digit or four-digit number, and get the jackpot if it comes up. Larger stakes involve more couple of digits. And it's very popular among the middle to lower economy class.

Does the law enforcement allow that? Theoretically, no. Although that doesn't have much to say in both reality and the court of law.

"You're accused of robbery of Fina Gunawan's possessions," said the Judge. "How do you plead?"

"Well, theoretically," replied the defendant. "I could've been coming home at night, tired from work, but she locked me outside of the house. So okay, I got the message. I'd find my own place to stay. But I didn't have cash. So I broke in, got something and got out."

"Interesting theory," responded the Judge. "But Fina is not your wife. So it wasn't your home. And you have a court order to stay at least 1 km away from her."

"Theoretically, she could've," the defendant insisted. "If she just said yes to the 995th times I proposed."

Back to gambling. You can't stop gambling only by forbidding it. Because it provides something of need: Hope. Some people are buying hope through gambling. Others are buying entertainment. It's against the law? Well, my friend, to some of them that just adds the excitement.

Talking Myths

Speaking about superstitions, some of them never stop me from wondering. For one, if horseshoes are supposed to be lucky, then domesticated horses should be the luckiest creatures on earth. They have four of them!

But tell me, have you ever seen headlines such as "Betsy the Horse wins Lottery!"? I haven't. And if they're so lucky, why there's only ONE winner on a horse race? Isn't losing a bad luck?

And what's this about a rabbit's foot being lucky? I mean, the creature whose foot being carried around in your pocket isn't so lucky, is it?

Monday, December 15, 2003

The Fool's Dictionary On "Satire"


a. An essay about pushing depressed people off bridges to lower suicide frequencies.
b. Jonathan Swift.
c. This.

How To Become A Blog Sellout #27

Use a blogchalk.

Never underestimate how low bloggers would go, when it comes to indexing their sites on the search engines. Like utilizing meta tags. Repetiting specific keywords. Or putting some specific sentences on their blogs.

This is my new blogchalk:
Indonesia, West Java, Bandung, Sukaluyu, Indonesian, English, Isman, Male, 26-30, Storytelling, Comedy. :)

Friday, December 12, 2003

How To Avoid Conviction #34

Shoot the judge with sleeping darts.

London Free Press Headline:
Judge Fell Asleep, New Trial Ordered

Get Rich Quick! #937

Sell these machines in Indonesia.

(From IDG News Service, 11/12/03)
The new computerized voting terminals registered more than 140,000 votes for the Boone County, Indiana, election. There's just one slight problem: Boone County has fewer than 19,000 eligible voters, and only 5,352 of them actually voted. Sounds like Indonesian General Election to me.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Weight Training Revelation

There are two kinds of men in the gym. Those who piss in their showers. And those who lie.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Romance Tips #1145

Here's your chance to say, "Eat your hearts out!" to your spouse. And getting away with it.

Brain Tickler: Usernames And Passwords

What are the usernames and passwords you remember most?

My all time just-for-grins favorite is the pair belonged to my friend, Ferro Armando.
Username: Ferro_ganteng (*1)
Password: Setuju (*2)

Among my class (which was choke full of hackers), his user account was the safest from any tampering. Because, even though we knew what his password was, we couldn't force ourselves to type it. (*3)

(*1): Bahasa for "Ferro [is] handsome."
(*2): Bahasa for "[I] agree."
(*3): Unless necessary to prevent a nuclear war.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Business At The Speed Of--Duh, What Was It Again?

My office held a talkshow about IT for youngsters. Much like explaining how cool the Ice Age is to a bunch of prehistoric humans. "IT's fun! Embrace IT! Or else join the dinosaurs to become fuel."

The thing is, even the Chinese government takes IT seriously. By 2010, they estimate about 60% population will have internet access. Although 80% of them won't have electricity to power the computer. But seriously, 60% of more than a trillion people (assuming nobody opt to join the dinosaurs) will be accessing the net. That could mean hundreds of millions potential customers for the online marketers. Not to mention more targets for Nigerian scammers.

IT, as well as technology, has been greatly affecting human lives for the last century. Take remote control, for example. Combined with cable TV, no other devices could render a man with an IQ of 200 to a thumbpress-happy drone with the intelligence of lettuce.

The point is, Indonesia is far behind the IT bandwagon. If America leads with a 75% access caravan, and China follows with a 10% bike, Indonesia is trying to find her other shoe. Because we haven't even reached 1% yet.

To dramatically improve our internet access, we, as a nation have two choices:
1) Leave it to the government, maybe they'll come up with a plan like China.

HAHA! Just kidding. We already know our government's hopeless. So, either
1) Do our part in educating the society. Or,
2) Invade Singapore.

With this talkshow, we're opting for number one. But only because our soldiers are too busy shopping in Singapore.

Friday, November 07, 2003

Second-Hand Item Of The Millenium

Might need a little patchwork, but is a great investment for potential world-dominators.

Key quote: "Shipping is not applicable"

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Punctuality Update

My friend Alex said that the situation in India is worse. "Being late a day or two to attend a wedding is quite... normal," he said.

Maybe because the wedding itself takes forever to finish.

When I was a kid, everytime I read R.A. Kosasih story telling about a wedding ceremony that lasted for seven days and nights, I got all excited. "Aww, too bad that never happened, here," was my actual response.

Now I know better.

I mean, a wedding ceremony for seven days and seven nights! Imagine that happening next door. What can you do if you need to catch some winks? "Uhm, sorry, I'll have to work tomorrow morning, so could you just turn it down a little?"

"But of course!" says the host. He'll then turn to the dancing guests (all of them), and clap for attention. "Ladies and gentlemen, I regret to inform you that from now, dancing will commence with bare feet."

"Can I use Nike Air?" asks a guest.

"No. Too many squeaks. We don't wanna disturb anyone."

The audience complies, and the dance continues.

With louder music.

Punctuality Is... the lochness monster. Most people don't believe it actually exist. And if we insist on the contrary, they'll politely suggest us to get a life.

Just finished speeding through empty Bandung roads at 5:50 AM, only to find my co-workers missing out their 6 AM appointments so successful, if there were tribes that worshipped the God of Time, they'd have been the Shamans of Tardiness.

"The trouble with being punctual is that nobody's there to appreciate it."
-- Franklin Jones

"I am a believer in punctuality though it makes me very lonely."
-- E. V. Verrall

"Laugh and the world laughs with you, be prompt and you dine alone."
-- Gerald Barzan

Conspiracy Theory Update

If you happen to drive around Bandung, and your car starts to wiggle around like it was powered by an Ab-Hoolahooperizer2000, don't be alarmed!

You'll probably notice that the roads have developed more holes than swiss cheese. And you're bugged by this feeling that the number of holes are growing. Guess what? You're right!

Ever since the local government started the new bypass project, these holes mysteriously appeared. And as the bypass construction advances, the current roads keep getting less. It's as if --analogically speaking--somebody just move the roads to somewhere else.

Wouldn't it be convenient for the government that if this keeps on, by the time the bypass is finished, there will be no roads left? What can we, drivers, use then?

Why, you silly. The bypass, of course. With a fee. Which goes to the government's pocket.

Coincidence, or great marketing strategy? You decide.

Every Enlightenment Has Its Price

Although it's good and all to gain new understanding about things, but alas! Not without a cost. Now, I'll never be able to tread on any water puddles around Jogja, or anywhere else with horses abound, lightly.

There's no such thing as free enlightenment.

To The Unexpecting, Enlightenment Cometh

The journey to Jogja has opened my eyes about life. In particular, horses.

It was a usual evening walk on Malioboro, when suddenly, this horse nodded its head and bodily fluid started --and I'm not exaggerating--gushing out. "BURRRRRSSSSSSSSSSSSSST," was exactly what it sounded like. Only longer.

The event took about thirty seconds. To which I responded calmly with an open jaw. "Whoaaaaaa!" These horses make water hydrants look like drained water guns.

No wonder we hardly read any news about wild fire in Jogja. I imagine a scene when a cigarette burn turns ugly. "FI~~RE!" shouts someone. And the others will exclaim, "GET THE HORSES!"

Friday, February 21, 2003

Let's Talk About Quantification

What do I mean by "quantification"? This, my friend, is a good example:

Scholarship blabla
- IPK > 3.0

Let's face it, we were raised from baby by measuring achievements. It was still all fun being a baby. Everything was an achievement. "Look! He smiles!" "Look, he cries." "Oh, look, now he poops on your new shirt!"

We grew a bit more and achievements shifted into physical thing. "My darling weighs 10 kilos already," says a proud mother. "Oh really," responded another.
"Mine weighs 11." And we were introduced to the very first thing that once led to bloodbaths in the Collosseum: competition.

It matters a little to the mother if her baby looked like a big fat panda dressed for Mardi Gras, as long as the little cutie weighs more than the other 460 millions babies in the world. Hell, the baby could be so heavy it caused the Titanic to sink, and the mother would still be proud. "That's my baby who sunk the Titanic! She weighted 120 tons!"

Yes, we were raised to compete. We were taught to recognize our worth by comparing how we measure in the social standards to the others. "My two-year
old kid could memorize the names of all nations on earth! He's a genius!" a father would brag. "My one-year old could do integral calculation!"
The farther he can do and the younger he is, he becomes more "genius".

"My baby can recite a dictionary!"
"What baby? You're still pregnant."
"See! She's also a ventriloquist!"

Then we got acquainted with The Official Institution of Determining People's Worth: school. ABC&123 are elementary and integral calculations are high school to
college level. We got grades, and probably an IQ score. Your Intellegent Quotient. Good. Now we know how we fare, intellegently. We used to find out by slapping post-it notes behind someone's back that says, "I'm an idiot."

But then some official institutions figured they only need to educate people of their standards. So they slapped a number on the entrance, which is later called "requirement". Theoretically, requirement works like the height bar on the entrance of a roller coaster. "You have to be THIS high to ride." But some people that were born short must resort to riding merry-go-round education for the rest of their lives. And even if you can join the roller coaster ride, there's no seatbelt. Anybody not hanging onto the rules will be out before they can spell "gravity".

But that's not enough, some people came up with EQ, Emotional Quotient. Then SQ, Spiritual Quotient. And believe it, or not, somebody is actually trying to
sell the concept of Sexual Quotient. Look, I'd really love to see the women measuring process. But do we really need to find out how intelligent we are when it comes to sexual thing? I mean, wouldn't it be rather unfair for guys? In normal condition measurement, a guy could score really high then a babe walks by and BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!, the score monitor goes flat.

But I guess some guys would just love to embrace the concept. Why? Because it'd make a great pick up line. "Hello, there, beautiful. How's your Sexual Quotient these days? Not good? Oh, we should do something about that, shouldn't we?"

Because the whole point of measuring, which is to acknowledge growth, is abused way too often. Instead of recognizing growth and be content with it, we compare the measurements to justify our self-worths. It doesn't work that way. I mean, Olympics are cool because it occurs only once in four years. But the way we compare to each other, is like spending all our days competing in javelin throws. We don't even know why we are supposed to throw spears if we're going to take them back and do it all over again. All we know is that some numbers'll come up, showing how far we threw compared to others. And that'd be enough reason for glory or despair.

I like sleeping better. But do we ever compare how much we sleep? Nooo... on the contrary, we compare how _little_ we sleep.

The world's a funny place. I wonder how high it measures in the universe?