Sunday, May 30, 2004

Magnetic Poetry Man Strikes Again!

My partner and I bought this mini-sized magnetic poetry set months ago, for something to do during writer's blockitis.

For you who hasn't heard the term before, a magnetic poetry set contains words printed on thin slabs of magnet.

So you just put them together on something made of iron or steel. Like a pencil box, your refrigerator door, or some mother-in-laws.

A close up of the picture above shows the great piece I normally contribute to our literacy world.

The Irony Of Things #2

"...A life that is clean, a heart that is true, And doing your best, that's success."

--Clifford Olson, the 1995 North American Open Poetry Contest's semifinalist.
Disqualified after the jury found out that in 1982 he was convicted of killing eleven chidren.

A local brand has just entered itself in the history of advertising by putting up a TV ad tagline that says: "Better than Best."

Saturday, May 29, 2004

The Irony Of Things

According to "Strange Foods" by Jerry Hopkins, in 1996, a few naturalists made an interesting pitch to enviromentalist: arguing that the most effective way to guarantee the survival of threatened species would be to eat them.

Once there was market for these beasts as food, they suggested, people would start breeding these endangered species instead of killing them. So they would be like cows, pigs, oysters, and M&Ms.


Written in an Australian motorcycle manual:

Warning: Do not drink the battery acid. It doesn't taste good and will hurt you. Also do not bite the tyres, especially while the bike is moving.

Our lawyers made us put these warnings in.

Friday, May 28, 2004

For Whom The Bell Tolls

Apparently, they're going to make a movie out of Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys. The screenplay and directing would be carried out by Jeff Arch, the writer of "Sleepless in Seattle."

Worth quoting:

Dave told Jeff he must be thinking of a different book; the GUIDE TO GUYS had no characters and no story, and that most of the movies Dave had seen in his life tended to have those things. When Jeff assured Dave that this was the book he meant, Dave said he was crazy. Jeff said he knew he was crazy but there was still a good movie in the book. By then Dave had to go to the bathroom, so he said all right.


The last Google searches that led to this blog:

- intellect highway enda
- mosquitos bites isman
- "return to sender" "post office" "dead person"

The last two, in particular, are somehow creepy.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

The Indonesian Tourism Way

You can tell you're in a tourist trap by the number and variety of people who approach you after hanging around for some time.

One hour at Bandung's train station:
- Newspaper sellers: 2 times.
- Shoe polishers: 8 times.
- Religious book sellers: 3 times.

One hour at Jogjakarta's Malioboro:
- People offering becak rides:17 times.
- People offering becak rides and bakpia: 11 times.
- People offering delman rides: 8 times.
- Street merchants: 58 times.

If the dictionary defined a term called "offline spamming." Indonesia would've been a good example.


In one local reality show where they auditioned for the "Next Indonesian Supermodel", the first test was a height measurement. Every participants have to either be at least 170 cm high, or go home. During one of the interviews, a candidate said, "I've just failed the measurement test for the fourth times. But I'm going to try it again in five minutes. Who knows?"

Yeah. Who knows she'll develop brain cells.

Monday, May 24, 2004

The Joy Of Reading Food Labels

The label on a local brand of honey writes:

- Bitter honey
The same manufacturer also produces instant coffee called "Brillian," which puts up a label that says, "Made by UFO technology".

Somehow this invokes an image of aliens beaming down to earth, then extend their greetings (in monotonous voice), "We come in peace. We bring coffee."

(Thanks to Arga Aridarma.)


Although raindrop is commonly depicted as having the shape of a teardrop, modern photography shows that the actual shape is more like a hamburger bun.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

He Should Take That As A Hint For His Next Visit To The Barber

According to "Too Cold to Hatch a Dinosaur" by Barbara Seuling, a man standing on a boulder in Ontario was struck by lightning. The boulder splitted into several pieces, but the man merely lost his hair.

Which would've been a good spot for a wig advertisement.

We see Good Ol' Jim standing on a boulder.

Most people were given a healthy, natural hair since born...


After the flash, Good Ol' Jim is as hairless as a baby, standing over a cracked boulder. His clothes in tatter.

...until nature, takes it back.

Product logo showing.

Don-Me Wig, Your natural hair substitute.


The Australians named hurricanes after unpopular politicians.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Out Of The (Comment) Box

Today we're putting up good questions from the comment boxes. And we'll attempt to answer it as best as ants tango. To start, here's a rewritten question from donna.

Q: Do Amazons on Xena use bows and arrows as their main weapons? I mean, if their right breasts have to be removed in order to use the weapons effectively...
A: No. Amazons on Xena use sommersaults and annoying battle cries as their main weapons.

While serenity posed this one, we're going to make up all the rest.

Q: Regarding the voice-activated credit card, do you still have to swipe it?
A: Yes. And it will activate the battery-powered voice reminder, saying "Say your password now." Let's just hope the reminder won't say it three times.

Q: Is there any potential for the voice-activated card's future development?
A: Well, we believe Beepcard shouldn't stop at voice. If the card also recognize actions, it could as well be the perfect solution against frauds. For instance, if you record yourself doing an impersonation of Village People's YMCA, your card would be safe. And you'll save a lot of money as well, because you'll think twice before using the card in public places.

Q: Why do you suddenly refer yourself as "we"?
A: We don't know. But we're sure it sounds pompous. Take Napoleon.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Today's Quotation

"...Well, I forgot where I put the memory."
--Dino Turino Setiawan


Some time ago, a client inquired about our project development. He questioned why haven't we made the database three-level deep.

"We'd have done so if that was necessary, Mr. [name of client]. But you specifically requested us to follow [name of his other project]'s rule," I replied. "It only has two levels."

The client laughed. "It appears that you haven't been in touch with it. [name of his other project] has been upgraded, you see?"

I was skeptic, but kept my silence. The reason is, the client actually forgot that we were the ones that developed his other project. Which is why I'm sure it consist of only two levels and is not that easy to be "upgraded." Whatever "upgraded" means.

"See," he said. Opening the [name of his other projet] application on his laptop, and clicking on a menu. "This is level one."

I just nodded.

He clicked a submenu leading deeper, "This is level two..." And the application just stops there. No deeper links. Even if you click on any objects on that application, it won't bring you anywhere save the previous entry or Home.
Disturbing pause.
"So I think," the client said calmly. "We just need to build a link here that goes deeper."

"I see," responded I in a similar manner, even though what I really wanted to do was jumping onto the table and shout, "WHO DA MAN, NOW? WHO DA MAN?"

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Watch Out! Here Comes The Mighty Pizza Hunter

For a time now, I've been getting on "The Warrior Diet." One of the main reasons is because the name sounds cool. If there's another method called "The Nuclear Thermoblast Diet" I might consider changing.

The Warrior Diet's a method devised by a guy named Ori after studying the behavior of ancient hunters. He observed that hunters at those times ate and drank a lot. If there were an open position for hunters, the ad would say:

If you:
- Hunt animals
- Eat a lot
- Drink a lot
See Jim the Bartender
Yet these hunters retained their lean, muscular bodies. Considering that at those times computer touchup wasn't yet devised, Ori figured there's gotta be something behind this.

So he investigated their eating habits. This proved to be difficult, because most of those hunters died hundreds of years ago. So he resorted to research instead. Apparently hunters started the day with a light meal before going hunting ("Waiter! Light meal, please"). Then during the hunt, they ate jerky, dried fruits, or roots, only to keep their energy filled (and of course, no animals would want to come closer to a person--no matter how camouflaged he is--whose stomach growls all the time).

Only after a successful hunt, a hunter then proceeded to have a feast. He'd skin the prey, dry them, and prepare the fire. At this point, some of them started browsing for barbeque recipes.

Sometimes they failed in their hunt, yet their vigor remained, which didn't resemble a modern human's behavior when [s]he misses a mealtime. I have a friend to whom I've always wanted to give an Oscar everytime he wails and complains that he's going to miss lunch (at 10:30 AM) because of a deadline ("My ulcer, it's screaming...")

"So that's why they're lean!" you probably thought. Not entirely correct. Indeed, hunters kept their body lean because on average, they only ate ONE big meal a day. But also because the body's undernutritious during the day, on the evening it was ready to absorp the big meal. This circle is similar to Islam's way of fasting, Ori noted, but The Warrior Diet constitutes drinking a lot of water and eating tiny portions during the day.

In short, survive the day hunting, and reward your body with a feast at night. Another reason why I chose this diet is because on the book, Ori wrote, and I quote, "Go Hunt a Pizza!"(1)


Written on a menu brochure of a food court in Bandung, under the Juices&Punches:
Grave Juice
(Thanks to my partner, The Semantic Hunter)

1: The theme song would go something like this...
He~~re comes
The Mighty Pizza Hunter
He'll always
crave during the day

Feast comes
At night when peace has gather'd
But it all stops
when he has to pay

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

The Indonesian Friendster Moment

I read a testimonial for a married guy. His friend (a girl) said some praises (as usual) and ended it with--and I quote--"...Testi me back!!"

Monday, May 17, 2004

Things That Make You Go Ugh! #2

According to the Dictionary of Greek Mythology, the word "Amazon" literally means "without breasts."(1) At a very young age, the female of the tribe's right breasts were amputated. This enabled them to wield bows without hampering.(2)


A company called Beepcard(3) is currently developing a voice-activated credit card. This article believes it will be a vital weapon against credit card frauds. Maybe so.

But what it will more likely be is one thing: annoyance. Because:
1) It's three times thicker than an average credit card. ("Is that your voice-activated credit card or should I schedule another appointment for a hemorrhoid specialist?")
2) It's powered by battery that can run out. ("And going, and go...go... i... .n...prppprprprppprppprppp.")
3) You have to speak your password OUT LOUD as close as possible to the way you originally recorded it. ("My mother wears army boots! No. My FATHER wears bikinis! Doh!")


- Show me the money!
- (while donning a mask) Hand over your money quietly.
- This is a voice-activated credit card. This is a voice-activated credit card. This is a voice-activated credit card.
- Without breast!


1: "Without Breast" is a good title for an Indonesian feminist novel.

2: Which prolly led to their beliefs that the thing that'd help them score better with guys is a sharp arrow pointed to the head.

3: Actual company name. I didn't censor the company name because it says another four letter word. Although maybe that's where the name came from.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Television's Little Lessons #2

Hello, kids! Welcome back to Television's Little Lesson, where you can find wisdom from TV, which is as useful as a freezing air conditioner in Alaska. Today's topic is Stress Management. Here's what you do:

When the going gets tough, and the tension around you reaches its climax... just blank out for five minutes and start the commercials! It'll allow your mind to take a break and piss out its negative energy in a bad taste.

The keys are: Timing and Placement


Evil Boss #1: What kind of a report is this!?
You: Uhm, the kind that ticks someone off?
Evil Boss #1: FOR GOOD REASON! And I'll tell you why...

Commercial starts.
(movie trailer voice over) When the world faces its greatest danger...
When the people are desperate for a hero...
One man, has to take a stand.
Facing all odds,
And turning the table upside down, until...
one Boss....
...will demand that this man writes down the report in threefolds.

Keanu Reeves....
Morgan Fairchild...
Nicolas Cage...
They won't be in this movie.

But you....
[insert your name here]

Commercial ends.

Evil Boss #1::....and that's about it! Do you understand?'
You: Yes.
Friar: Do you [put your name here if your sexual preference fits] take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?
You: Uhm... err....
Friar: Well?
Groom-to-be: Honey?
Audience: Come on! Say it!

Commercial starts.
(dancing around) I like pistachiooo! It's unlike your moustachiooooooooo!
It's crunchy, it's yummy! And the end is not so pointy!
That's why I love pistachiooooooooooo!

Commercial ends.

Robber: Hand over your money or I'll blow your head off!
You: But I---
Robber: Try something funny and YOU'RE DEAD!

Commercial starts.
(movie trailer voice over) One man. One robber. One chance of survival. Who is going to---BANG!


Until 1905, Coca cola, which was marketed as a tonic, contained extracts of cocaine as well as the caffeine-rich kola nut.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Great For The Colorblind

On the same day when we bought the --gulp-- baby stuff, we found this interesting restaurant menu offer.

(Steam & barbeque Satay)

Vegetables, meat, chicken, shrimp, squid, various fishballs

Rp 500,- green
Rp 1.000,- blue
Rp. 2.000,- orange
Green, blue, and orange seafood? No wonder my partner got sick.

(Thanks to my partner.)

Monday, May 10, 2004

Baby Stuff Cont'd

So my partner and I went out yesterday evening to--God help us all--buy more baby stuff. And we keep bumping into this baby apparel brand called "Lusty Bunny." Maybe it's a hit for parents who want their children to become either Kylie Minogue or Robbie Williams.

And we found a set of diaper pins branded "Pang pang" that proudly said, "Non toxic." This kinda alarmed us. Does this mean that there are toxic pins out there? For what? Baby amazons? "Hand over your mother or ELSE...!"

I imagine we're just days away from newspaper headlines saying "Lusty Bunny Boy Robs Bank with Toxic Pins."

Friday, May 07, 2004

Go Ahead, Telemarketers

Make your call.

Worth quoting:

(For credit card offers)
Say "Can I use the card to pay my crack dealer?"

(To make them worry)
In the middle of the pitch say "Sshhhh!" and wisper like your scared "I think they're home." When he/she asks who, tell 'em, "The people who live here," then hang up abruptly.

Ask them what they think would happen if you put a frog in a blender. Later, tell them they were wrong.


A coworker said to me one day, "I wonder what do European expats feel after living in Indonesia for a while..."

The next day, the office bathroom finished its reconstruction. The floor gets 30cm thicker. And now we have to pee by spreading our legs, since the urinals are too short.

Some enlightenment that is.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Post-Pregnancy Gung-Ho

A female friend of mine's a mother of a year-old boy. She used to be quite reserved. She held herself from trying dangerous stuff. Now she almost takes anything head on, by comparing it to childbirth.

Female Friend: Rafting? Why not? I've gone through labor.
and another time
Female Friend: Bungee jumping? Bring it on. I've survived childbirth.
I noticed she's not the only one. At least two of my friends developed the same attitude. Maybe this is why pregnancy leave is quite long. I mean, some jobs can't afford having their personnels having more bravado than what they can chew. Take bomb disposal.
Bomb Disposal Personnel#1: Holy...
Bomb Disposal Personnel#2: It's a nuclear bomb!
Bomb Disposal Personnel#1: I think we should return first to--
Female Civilian: No problem, lemme at it.
Bomb Disposal Personnel#1: Who the hell are you?
Female Civilian: Look! I've gone through childbirth twice. This is not--