Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Headline of The Week

Mendiknas: Diknas Cianjur Harus Selesaikan Pesta Seks Pelajar

It was supposed to mean "Ministry of Education: Cianjur's Educational Office Has to Settle the Students' Sex Party [Case]."

However, in Bahasa it can also mean "...Cianjur's Educational Office Has to Finish the Student's Sex Party."


The Obsessive Compulsive Action Figure.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

So Long and Thank You for the Note

This morning I received a brochure from MSA Kargo, a local shipping company. Exercising great customer-oriented skills, they slipped a thank you note in front of the brochure that said

Trust is your
and it's our

From the
honest heart,
we say
Thank You for
your trust.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank YOU for the cheerfulness your brochure brought for the rest of this day.


...of which companies all around the world should be using instead. For instance,
Roses are red,
violets are blue.

You know what's so great?
My way to thank you.
Of course you can do better than that. Just fire away in the comment box!


My blogging self had been comatose because I was unable to compose a blog entry under fifteen minutes (an ability which I need to master these days).

  1. Chilli is spicy,
    sugar is sweet

    Thanks for making us busy,
    your business is a treat.

    --Garry Arif

  2. As the King said "Avast!"
    knights scorned the bayou
    My rhymin' ain't no more pretty
    than Milli Vanilli

    This whole thing was just
    intended to thank you
    But spewing out poetry
    feels so silly.

    --Ads Addict

  3. mouse feels like blueband(tm)
    keyboard is black in pain

    its nice to have you as a client
    please come back again


  4. thank you is a nice touch
    but i really don't want to try too much


Friday, July 08, 2005

Make Better Use of Your Office Hours

Vote for The 2005 World Stupidity Awards.


Especially if you're a crossdressing man trying to pass an exam as his sister.

Worth quoting:

"...security were especially suspicious of the applicant’s breasts that were of 'incomparable proportions'.1 They thought that cheat notes could be hidden inside her clothing. However, it turned out that the breasts were fake."
I used to suspect the same thing of Pamela Anderson's.

1: For a side note, "Incomparable Proportions" is a good drama series title.


...a venus fly trap urinal.


...in Indonesia. Lines have been forming in major towns' gas stations. Some people claimed to line up to 2.5 hours, just to get three litres of gasoline.

So-called experts (including from the government) have come up with several solutions, of which we can categorize into two:
  1. Highly probable, such as go back in time, breed and kill more dinosaurs, so million years later (which is now) there would be more fuel deposits; or
  2. Improbable, such as making Indonesians cutting power usage efficiently.
    Oh, come on. We're talking about a society that invents the term "wallpaper TV". In our dictionary, "efficient power" would consist only two words: "See unlimited".
On the positive side, the government has learnt a few lessons and stop applying "efficient countermeasures", which usually involves officially declaring that "We're okay. Nothing bad will happen!" thereby, a mass hysteria will be triggered and more people will line up at gas stations to help deplete the local fuel deposit.

In the meantime, we should probably seek other means ourselves. Such as...


...which only needs 25 watts (equivalent to less than two gallens of petrol) to travel 25,000 miles. However it boasts a top speed of--drum rolls, please!--30 mph.

No problem. The average speed of cars in Jakarta during rush hours is about five miles per hour, anyway. Ten mph on highways. And two mph when police officers take over the traffic control.

The design, however, looks as if it was made for tiny weenie hobbits with flexible necks. The photo's caption should say, "Kart racer Jack Dex, 13, will be meeting his masseur after this."

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Attention, All Law-Abiding Citizens!

This is an official message from the government (and I'm not kidding): Hide Drug!

(Thanks to rika.)

Quick to Judge, Slow to Ask

Since my company often works together with the government, a number of friends have asked me for tips on dealing with civil servants. I usually reply by telling the stories of Sudi, a coworker.

Sudi is an IT technician, and because of that, he's met government people from various positions. Years ago, an executive of a particular Ministry asked him to enable an internet access into the 21st floor's meeting room. Sudi said that it would require a lot of efforts, since the main server's down on the first floor.

"I don't care how you do it," said the executive. "I'm bad at technology. Just make it happen."

Sudi practically punctured holes and dragged cables all the way from the first floor. After reaching the meeting room, later that night, he asked the executive, "So what is it for, anyway?"

He answered, "Tomorrow, there will be some important guests coming into this meeting hall."


"I want to play them some local MP3 songs."

"Uhm, Sir," said one of his subordinates. "But that doesn't require internet access."

"See," the executive bellowed. "I told you that I'm bad at technology!"

Another day, Sudi got to plug a new ethernet card into the Minister's computer. After he was done, the minister switched on his PC. The power light turned on. But the monitor was dead.

"What is this? How can the new card kill my monitor?" asked the Minister.

"Well, Sir... it's because..."

"We paid great money for these cards. If they damage our computers this would be a great loss! How can this be?"


"Maybe what?"

"Maybe because I haven't plugged the [monitor's] cable power?"

The message is simple: when facing people who are quick to judge and slow to ask, we find it very helpful (for ourselves) to just be the opposite. Be quick to ask and slow to judge.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Glamorous and Romantic Redefined

I once participated in holding a supposedly "glamour and romantic" event called "Shibuya Party" in Bandung. The event organizer was a local radio station and this party was the culmination of their successful Japanese pop culture-themed campaign1. It was huge; they transformed Kampung Daun2 (literally, Kampung=Village, Daun=Leaf) into Kampung-with-City-Lights-and-Big-LCD-Screen Daun; they invited celebrities; and they jampacked the whole site with combination of attractions that could've only existed in Picasso's world (picture a disco hall next to paper-fishing pond3).

However, when I asked them what would they hand out as souvenirs to their guests, they answered--and I'm not kidding--"Pencils."

"What?" was my most intelligible response.

"It's this thing you use to write by--"

"I know what a pencil is," I retorted. "Why did you guys choose pencils?"

"Because they're useful."

I mumbled, "So are toilet papers." And they're actually more expensive than those darn pencils. I mean, this was an event that claimed to be "glamorous and romantic." I could picture the romantic scene right now.

Girl: Look how beautiful the night sky is.
Guy: Yes, it's even prettier if you point at it with this pencil.
Girl: Oh, my God, you're right. I'm so glad they handed us these useful pencils.
Guy: I can't agree more.
Girl: I could even pick my nose without anyone noticing.
Guy: I was thinking the same thing. *turns to the girl*
Girl: *turns to the guy, and let him embrace her while fireworks are lit in the sky* You know, at romantic times like this, I just want to ask one thing from you.
Guy: Please do, my dear.
Girl: Was that the pencil I just felt, or do I have to slap you?
1: Despite the fact that, for the entire month, they'd been spelling "Japanese" as "Japanesse."
2: A fancy restaurant featuring artificially-constructed stalls and environment to resemble--but not quite like--a natural village spot. The menu's price range is definitely unnatural.
3: A typical Japanese festival stand, where you pay money to get a chance at catching as many goldfish as you can, with a small fishing net made out of thin paper. I suspect the Japanese name for this attraction may also be translated as "fishing for suckers."

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Do You Mean the Street, or the War Hero?

Many cities in Java name their streets over war heroes'. Jalan (literally mean: street) Sudirman1 or Jalan Diponegoro2, for instance. I find little uses of this convention. I mean, unless it helps us in finding our ways through town, it doesn't do anything but confuse people in different cities. To honor the heroes? How can we honor them if the streets are becoming more popular than the heroes' deeds? Nowadays, many people know by heart what buildings are located at Jalan Sudirman Jakarta. But these same people would think hard before answering what battles the General won.

It'd be a different story if the streets' names actually related to actual history.

A: Okay, where's this Jalan Sentot Prawirodirjo?
B: Wait, there's Jalan Diponegoro! We're going down this road now.
A: So?
B: Sentot Prawirodirjo was Prince Diponegoro's right hand man!
A: Ah, I see. So we turn right...here! There it is!
That way, at least there's a reason for students to learn history. To avoid getting lost. And it's easy to study for tests. Just drive around town.

1: A famous general in the War of Independence against the Dutch Agression
2: A Javanese prince who fought against the Dutch Occupation during 1825-1830 AD


We should make a word for "remembering that we forgot something, but we don't know what it is."

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Name Card of the Day

I guess that makes me a "blogging fool", then.

(Huge thanks to Rangga.)


I noticed my old template's been acting funny on some recent browsers. On Mozilla, the posts show up at the bottom of the screen. On IE, it has more white space than Kompas (our national newspaper). And running on Opera, it suddenly accesses the Indonesian Super Secret and Deeply Hush-hush Online Missile Launching Site and targets Jakarta.

I changed to this template for your convenient (and to avoid prison).

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Our Indonesian TV Lesson of the Day

"Any display of violence and wanton destruction is justifiable if it has a moral message."

I concluded this after watching a sinetron (an abbreviation that means "electronic cinema") called "Bidadari" ("Angel"). In that particular episode, the young female antagonist1 just knocked a guy unconscious. She then dragged his body, leaving a trail of blood from his head. The scene freezed. The word "bersambung" ("to be continued") appeared.

And then, suddenly there was a red screen with words of the day, literally saying: "Everyone has a potential to do good and evil. It's the strength of your heart that protects you from committing evil." This was on primetime TV.

I'd like to see a children show like that.

It'd start with a father saying to his boy, "Don't play with knives while I'm around."

"Okay," the kid nodded nod with a smile.

Only seconds after the dad left, the boy grabbed a chair, stood on it, and took hold one of the ginsu knife.

Suddenly, the door swung open, kicked by Freddy Krueger. He snarled at the terrified kid. And then sliced the boy apart like cheese. Accompanied by chilling wails, blood splurted on every corner of the room.

Then the screen went red and showed the text, "Everyone has a potential to be a maniac. It's the strength of your heart that protects you from being a cheesy horror movie antagonist."

That would be something.


1: You can recognize one by his/her shouting the word "murder" or "kill" at least five times on each episode.

Friday, June 03, 2005


[In the now-defunct comment box] Dudi wrote:

"Spidey's promise of giving the infinite pleasure might have been aroused (excuse the pun) after meeting this certain superdude named--really, I'm serious--Dr. Bong."
Somehow, after taking a look at how Dr. Bong looks like, I doubt he'll make a good guitar player with a golden ball as a left hand. But I guess Dudi was referring to something else.


Today's Fortune Cookie: One shalt not vainly utter "I believe in you" after buying a pair of panties with GPS sensors for one's spouse.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Step Over, Batman and Superman Cologne!

And make way for...

...Spiderman Guitar!

Notice the hand gesture.

Spidey is an old-school, heavy metal guitar king!

If that still doesn't wow you, check out what it promises:

One can't help wondering...

...and worrying.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Here They Come to Save the...


Superheroes and cologne. I guess every crimefighter needs one (save for Swamp Thing). Because, whether we admit it or not, we attribute bad smell as evil.

I'm waiting for the day when DC or Marvel creates a superhero[ine] that doesn't have any other incredible powers, except secreting sweat that smells like cologne. People will fall over her feet. And this time, her power won't endanger her private life. On the way to a first date, she can sweep some crooks, come running to the restaurant, and smell wonderful. She can bottle up some of it, label it--you guessed it--"Sweat", and sell it off for a living.

Now that is super.

Thursday, May 26, 2005


...Pac-Man Hats!

Bow down to the geekiness power of C-3PO Underoos!


If one happens to win a dream date with Carmen Electra through e-Bay bidding, one should make sure the money is well spent; namely, on D-day, wear the C-3PO Underoos!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Blogging Postmorterm

This blog had been out of commission because my office recently moved into a new place where, apparently, the common way to access the web is by petting spiders.

The good news is, I can name my "web browser", "Ed".

"Hi, Ed." "Good morning, Ed." "What is this link doing in your bookmark, Ed, you naughty, hairy, li'l y--YEOW!"



"When sending bomb-threat mails, don't send it with multiple addresses. Especially if one of them contains your full name".

(Thanks to Elfan).

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

This Week's "Most Honest Business Name" Award...

...can be seen here.


"Flaunt your old-school geekiness. Preorder your Pac-man Hat today!"


Is "old-school geekiness" redundant? Or a good name for a teen movie?

Monday, April 18, 2005

She Beat up the Burglar with...



...made this game, deserves to be hit with a gnome.

Friday, April 15, 2005

This is...

...why I don't like going to Dunia Fantasi (literally, "Fantasy World"). I believe the place was built under the notion that everybody shares the same "fantasy" as Nero. You wait in lines for hours under the bright sun, just to go through a two-minute session, which ends up throwing out your lunch. This complex drives its visitors to imagine everything going down in flames.

(Via Boing Boing.)

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

If Art Museums Insist That Their Visitors Shouldn't Touch the Exhibits...

...they should've displayed Gum Blondes. These brainchildren of Jason Kronewald look like this one.

And were made entirely from chewed gums. Which gives an entire new meaning to the phrase "the kind of art you can chew."


I once read an article that stated that we shouldn't be wary of cockroaches making appearances around the house. "[Which] signifies that you have such a clean house, the cockroaches have difficulties in finding food, [so] they need to get out in the open," said the so-called expert.

Let's assume, for the sake of having no argument, that he's right. His statement still doesn't explain why the cockroaches in my house are getting out in the open and and hanging out on my soap. I'm not kidding. They just crawl into my bathroom, get on top a new bar of soap, and stay there.

I can only think of two possibilities:
  1. These are reformed cockroaches, which realize that "Hey, we're not picking up any chick this way. So why don't we try washing up, paint our bodies black and white, then tuck the antennaes so they look like ties."
  2. Soaps contain elements that are either bad for their health or just smell bad. And that's why a bar of soap is the perfect party tools for cockroaches. I bet one of them is saying to another right now, "Got a drag?" "No, but I know a perfect bathroom that got one." "Great, let's round the boys!"
Whatever the reason--just call me roachist--I'm NOT sharing my soap with a roach.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Shake Your Belly if You Have a Happy Marriage

So I met an old friend of mine. He noticed my newly-gained lovehandles and commented--as you've probably guessed--, "I see married life agrees with you."

I don't understand how developing extra fat signifies a happy marriage. But many people do.

I bet somewhere, a bodybuilder's wife is currently addressing her husband. "Dear," she sighed. "You know, we've been happily married for some time, now."

"Yeah, so?" responded the husband, watching his reflection flexing his abs.

"Why don't you start acting like other happy couples?" she demanded. "Forget the diet, get yourself a fat belly, and lose the muscle!"

Friday, April 01, 2005

My Life in Two Days

Two days ago, a woman greeted me, "Man! Hey, wassup?"

I was shocked. Not because she jumped at me or anything. Not because she was beautiful. But because she was beautiful and I didn't remember her. No, I didn't just forget her name, I didn't even recognize her. Even as we spoke, and she displayed a great knowledge about me, I couldn't help thinking, "Who is this woman who seems to know me well?"

After some heated discussions about, intentionally, nonpersonal subjects ("I believe Ketoprak should be named our national food"), we parted. I got her name, yet I still couldn't remember her.

It bugs me when I forget about a beautiful/ugly person. There are three kinds of faces: ugly, average, and striking (handsome or beautiful). The first and the last are easy to remember. But you can forget an average-looking person easily. Put that in mind the next time someone from your past forgets about you. You shouldn't get offended. Take it as a way of her saying, "You're not ugly."

Anyway, at the time, it made me doubt myself. "Am I that old?" "Or maybe she was an ugly-duckling turning into a swan?" "Oh, I get it! This is a prank and I'm on TV."

This disturbed me so much that I talked about it with my partner. "...because she was beautiful!" I exclaimed.

And she suddenly shifted her position.

This was the moment I could hear alarm ringing in my head. Wrong move, buddy. Little people inside my mind ran away in terrors, while the Captain shouted, "Prepare for impact!"

But she only sat there and heard me finish talking. And nothing happened. I couldn't believe my luck. I'm married to a woman who's actually okay with that. Mars-Venus crapus. She even gave me a surprise present this morning. A little package wrapped in dashing red paper. She must've slid it in my bag after breakfast. How nice of her! I'm planning to open it after I finish typing this. I can hear some kind of ticking from inside, though. Sounds like a clock. Or mayb

Monday, March 21, 2005

When Robots Start Rapping

Advance Media Inc. and Kokoro Co. Ltd, designed a humanlike female robot for the 2005 World Expo in Aichi, Japan. In the event--according to We Make Money, Not Art--robots will greet guests, entertain children, and perform rap music.

Quoted from the Nedo site about the female robot, which is called "Actroid":

When communicating with a guest, ACTROID responds with natural gestures such eye movement and smiling.

This is the natural gesture to say "I cost THIS much!"


Andi Saptono pointed out that there are other robots listed in the Nedo site. For instance, the PaPeRo, a childcare robot that "can learn contents to increase the knowledge of children and enhance their academic achievement."

Andi wasn't sure whether he should feel "awed or freaked out."

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Love Your Baby!

Always use poisonless spoons


...our government.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Scientific Proof that Those Who Designed...

...James Bond's nemeses are kids.

Worth quoting:

(on Dartman)

Pjalne: Yeah, you've gotta love the bad guys for their sense of poetic symmetry. And their taste in headgear. I'm pretty sure I saw Naomi Campbell wearing that same dart hat on the catwalk.

RoG: Wait, I can throw darts at Naomi Campbell? Where do I sign up?

Friday, March 04, 2005

Someone Asked Me...

"Have you ever found a news headline which sounds like a new hit single for Snoop Dogg?"


Thursday, March 03, 2005

Today's Office Productivity Application

Petals around the rose.

(Thanks to Andi Saptono.)


...how other people (including Bill Gates) tried to solve the puzzle (no spoiler).

Worth quoting:

"Is the answer eight?"

"No, it's two."

"Oh hell!"

"No, that's the answer in another game."

  1. "In the near future, this paper might come from kangaroo dung."

  2. "This lime juice reminds me of the new cancer cure concocted from cow urine."

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Things Not to Say to...

...a naked man wielding a sword.

  1. "Are you compensating for something?"

  2. "When we said 'cover yourself' we referred to clothing."

  3. "If you really need to borrow a shirt, you could've asked politely."

  4. "The guys who stole your clothes went that-away!"

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Things on Potential Mother-In-Law's Kitchen Table That Make You Sweat

  1. A homicidal-endorsing knife rest

  2. A mechanical fly trap that burps

Sounds Like a Potential...

...major MTV Production film.

A couple of Cornwall students plan to spend their summer breaking as many stupid US laws as possible.

Worth quoting:

[Richard Smith] is attempting to negotiate a book deal, which could help pay any fines he incurs.



Wanted: A 100-word essay on why you'd like to fire a cannon to blash the writer Hunter S. Thompson's remains heavenward.


...is more suitable for a flick with its major role played by Rob Schneider.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Caption Writing Madness #4

  1. You know you have too many people in your party when...

  2. This wasn't what Paula had in mind when she told her kids to "recycle stuff"

  3. Bad Method to Get a Urine Sample #17


  5. Sign of Bachelorship #5: You develop an efficient solution for everything
    (Thanks to meta)

For those who missed it, see the previous entry: "Watch The King."

Have No Fear...

...The Indiana Elvis is here!

Worth quoting:

There’s gold in them there hills! "Not to worry Ma'am, Elvis is just here to help."

UPDATE: Indiana Elvis might want to consider a debut in romance novels.

(Thanks to Boing Boing.)


Yesterday, Fremantle Indonesia held the the second season of Indonesian Idol at Sabuga, Bandung. It's unbelievable how thousands of people are willing to line for hours to get humiliated.

Meanwhile, only separated by 500 meters, my IT consulting office had a blackout. No power, no internet connection, not even a computer access. After two hours, suddenly we already formed a line for Indonesian Idle.


Russian Scientists Develop Tablet to Prolong Drunkeness.


Russian Craftsman Makes Edible Book out of Cookies.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Sounds Like an 80's Dance-Pop Group

Watch out, Pet Shop Boys, meet...

...The Baby Wipes Warmer!


The Happy Toilets.


Yes, just like Indonesians "care" about environment.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

All You Wanted to Know About Food Safety But Were Too Afraid To Ask...

...an online, automated response named Karen.

For your conveniences, I've asked them for you. And no, I'm not kidding. These are actual answers by the lovely, virtual Karen.

Question (Q): Can drinking milk too much affect how I look on my friendster's snapshot?
Karen's Answer (A): I believe you asked a question about a dairy product. I can answer all of the questions below about dairy products (note: link omitted).

Q: If my spouse orders a large pan of pizza for herself, is it safe to remind her about her weight?
A: Are you asking about food thermometers or other cooking equipment? Try asking one of the questions below (note: link omitted).

Q: Well, she can be either one, but even I don't think it's safe
A: I'm sorry, I don't understand your question. Please check your spelling, or reword your question, and try again.

Q: Is it safe to french kiss while eating ice cream?
A: The Random House College Dictionary defines food as any nourishing substance that is eaten or otherwise taken into the body to sustain life, provide energy,or promote growth.

Q: Is it safe to eat you, Karen?
A: Chill out.

Q: You mean I can eat you with an ice cream?
A: Stop that.

Q: Don't you think that you'll be getting a lot less unrelated questions if you were redesigned as, say, "Ask Ralph"?
A: vReps are Web Self-Service Interaction Managers that emulate the best of live call center service representatives on the Web.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I Knew It!

Hello Kitty is an alien.


...when it comes to fighting off alien threats, we already have an effective countermeasure force.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

People've Been Asking Me...

"Is there any internet literature worth printing and hung on the wall?"


Worth quoting:

No need to make a big kerfuffle.
But yes, I ate my iPod shuffle...

Monday, February 07, 2005

You Know It's A Slow Week...

...when a blogger posts his article from ancient times.

(Originally published at the now-defunct bentoelmild.com on December 2000)

Nighttime, loud music, and lots of flashy lights. Yes, nothing like a weekend road trip to Bandung. Most cars heading toward a highway gate have horse-powered machines capable of going through a 100-meter distance in less than 6 seconds. But they take two hundred times longer instead. Five hundred, if any police officers actually try to control the traffic.

You try to turn down the Limp Bizkit on your set, only to realize that you're playing Carlos Santana. The wailing beat is actually coming from inside the crimson red sedan on your right, with the driver cranking up the volume as if he was listening from Bali. In short response, one of the many Kijangs on your left starts playing Dewa on the same decibel level. What's a guy got to do but put up bravado into crescendo? You pump up the volume. And before long, every car in the line joins in the ear-bashing crew. Everyone would make so much noise that a UFO responding to the broadcast from SETI would take it as a non-existence sign of any intelligent life form on Earth. It would instantly fly back home.

You won't be having the similar freedom though as you're stuck in the fashion and speed of ant marches. Until finally the highway gate guy (all the girls have already quitted three years ago for hearing the Xon-Ce joke all the time) is close enough to hand you a dirty piece of plastic. Just be glad you're not a hypochondriac because there'd be at least two or three more highways in your route.

Okay, a long winding road with far less car density is finally ahead of you. Naturally, you'd be tempted to go crazy at the pedal. You do have to make up the loss time. And of course that'd help you miss the sign that says: "(put large numbers here) people were killed in highway accident." Ignorance is bliss.

Unfortunately, your car probably doesn't agree. Neither do the people who know that reckless driving or over speeding are not always the reasons behind highway accidents. A dysfunctional component of your car could also lead you there. And I'm not talking about the stereo system or air conditioner. Although you might as well cancel the trip if either one goes down.
Without proper air conditioning, you'll be forced to inhale fumes packed with carbon monoxide and extra lead on the side. One research said that heavy exposure to these fumes could lower someone's IQ. So either you pass out before halfway, or survive and become a good politician.

And without a working stereo system, you'd find yourself dependent on your traveling companion(s) to make it through. Finding friends that could liven up the atmosphere for more than four hours straight is extremely difficult, unless they're drunk. Then again, you wouldn't want some cheerful drunken companions, unless you're sober and it's their car. And if you're a loner, you're one Winchester away from blowing up other cars with a shotgun.

No, I'm talking about tires and brakes.

After the high Ford Explorer rollover cases exposed on August 2000 that reported over a hundred deaths, many people (mostly Americans) were worried to their toes for potential tread separation problem on tires. Meanwhile on the other side of the world, us Indonesians were too busy making prank calls and bomb threats to BEJ, foreign embassies, and other public places.

Don't get tired out of pressure
Firstly, high percentages of highway accidents involve rollovers. And second, under inflated tires flex too much and build up heat, which could cause blowouts and tread separation, where the tread peels away from the body of the tire. Having either one at high speed could lead to rollovers.

So instead of just checking whether you have more beverages to soak yourself in a carbonated bath, check your tire pressure as well before departure. Initially, you're going to need a tire gauge. Trying to determine the pressure by kicking the tires is hardly hard science. That only shows which part of your body does the thinking.

How much pressure do you need? Well, auto safety experts strongly suggest that you follow the numbers (normally in Lb/W2) recommended by the carmakers. They usually post it on a metal plaque on the driver's side door pillar, or the owner's manual. But who are we kidding? Indonesians don't read manuals. That's why we blow up so many American-made machines trying to plug them in for 220 volts.

Anyway, checking the pressure monthly is also recommended, as there's a narrow margin for tire pressure safety, which is four or five Lb/W2. Don't get any lower than that margin. There's no virtue in having a mild tire.

Tires are also weakened by the stress of heavy loads, such as towing a trailer, or your backseat-driving boss. Especially if you're speeding for long periods over 105 km/h, which is a common practice in Cikampek or Padalarang Highway. Primarily because drivers who want to respond to the call of nature find that the nearest toilets are kilometers away. The heat caused by this stress could lead to blowout, or pants wetting. You may need an additional five Lb/W2 to make sure your tires hold up, and go easy on your drinks.

Keep in mind that most tires usually last about 65,000 kilometers. Stay alert of a muffled thumping noise or a shimmy feel in your steering wheel when driving at highway speeds. The noise could indicate tire tread problems. Or remind you of sex. The shimmy itself may either mean your wheels are out of alignment, which could cause tires to wear prematurely, or you still couldn't get thoughts of sex out of your mind. It's prudent to have a mechanic check your alignment every 8,000 to 11,000 kilometers. And to every 1,000 to 1,500 shimmies that are not related to wheels alignment, seek professional help.

Put a stop at brakes risks
You shouldn't brush off the potential danger of seemingly strange noises. If you hear a squeal when you hit disk brakes, it could mean the pads in disk brakes need replacement. Or you just scored one rat on a road kill. If you hear a grinding noise with drum brakes as you're doing the brake test, it probably means that the shoes in drum brakes need to be replaced. If the car pulls to the right or left when you brake hard, that's also a trouble sign. Even if you're into bull riding.

Many of the cars equipped with an anti-lock braking system (ABS) do a computerized self-diagnostics as soon as you start the car. Which is why watching the brakes' dashboard warning light is also important. If the light goes out after about two seconds, the system is working properly. If the light stays on, it indicates a potential trouble. But don't depend on this technology too much. Parts could wear out unexpectedly and introduce high risk without warning.

If you happen to hit the brakes hard at the speed of 80km/h, a good brakes would stop the car within 300 meters, says Bud Stanley, partner in Advanced Driver Training in Nashua, N.H., which teaches accident-avoidance skills.

An anti-lock brakes would give a pulsating feel in the pedal when you hit it hard and you just need to hold it down. But remember that if you have traditional brakes without an automatic anti-lock assist, you'll need to pump the pedal to keep the wheels from locking.

If your car passes more than 300 meters, it means you have a slim chance stopping your car fast enough in an accident or a rough weather. Bud recommends taking up this test every six months. Unfortunately, this won't come up as a good excuse to avoid a speeding ticket. Not in Indonesia, anyway, where so-called trials and fine-payment are done at the spot.

Maneuver yourself out of trouble
For Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) such as Cheerokes or Monteros, the high center gravity makes them more prone to rollovers. Bud Stanley, who has also investigated the causes of rollover accidents, develops this following technique to help SUV owners prevent their cars from rolling over: If you need to swerve suddenly to avoid a crash, don't turn the wheel immediately. It may be your natural instinct, but it significantly increases your chance of a rollover. Instead, hit the brakes first. Wait until the vehicle settles on the front wheels and then turn the steering wheel. This will stabilize the vehicle.

And lastly, do not underestimate the power of seat belts. Three out of five people killed in traffic accidents would have lived had they been wearing their seat belts, according to estimates by American federal safety regulators.

The other two weren't driving.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


...The Yahoo Baby was a hoax.


Thank God someone's finally made it simple to understand.

(Thanks to J-Walk Blog.)


...at Santa Barbara Festival.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Road Is A Free-For-All Arena

If this driver were an Indonesian taking a driver's license test, [s]he would've still passed.


...magnesium phosphorous chloride!

(Thanks to Yudi.)

Monday, January 31, 2005

Never Underestimate...

...the resourcefulness of a man in life-threatening crisis, when beers are involved.


A one-metre crocodile joined swimmers in a Darwin's public pool.

Worth quoting:

Mr Smith says swimmers were not in much danger.
(Insert "buaya darat"(1) joke here.)


(1): Buaya=crocodile, darat=land, combined being the Indonesian term for "lounge lizards".

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Barberian Rules

I think it's about time I talk about deeper and more profound topics. Namely, Indonesian men and haircut. This is a sensitive issue because a lot of hidden ethics are in play. And there's no written guide for the average Budi (Joe in English).

The first and foremost rule is: Never discuss another man's hairdo openly. Leave the "Hey, nice haircut. Where did you get it?" chit chat to women. Traditional men will only say such if it's an insult. "Nice haircut. Where did you get it? The woodshack?"

"What happened to you?" (with a mock-up expression) is acceptable. "Moonlighting as a scarecrow, Di?" is normal among friends. Other times you may get, "Lemme guess, your barber's a direct descendant of Picasso."

Second, never trade barbershop information. Don't ask, don't tell. Unless you have a problem with your barber. So, by asking, you're publicly admitting that you have a problem. Which is as challenging for traditional Indonesian men as gnawing their own legs off. Women are free from these restrictions. They can share their haircare safehavens to the whole world.

And third, when you enter a barbershop, NEVER chicken out. Not even when there are signs of trouble, such as:

  1. Showcasing hairdo samples from the days when Michael Jackson was black.
  2. Displaying pictures of Mr. T or Telly Savalas.
  3. You notice blood stains on the white cloth the barber covers you with.
  4. The next guy in line was praying. Hard.
  5. The barber wears a pair of sunglasses.
  6. And he searches his tools by feeling around the entire table.
  7. Especially if his tools include a medical kit.
Exit is only acceptable in cases of long queue or the presence of more important tasks, such as defending the world from alien attacks or attending the needs of your spouse.

If, and only if, you don't like the haircut, then you can complain. Because by then, you'll have a problem. You can choose to ask other men for advice. Or gnaw your own legs.

Those are the rules. Or should I say "were." Because along came metrosexual men. And chaos ensues.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Things You Won't Find On eBay

(Literally, "For Sale: Goddess")

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Do Men Always Oogle At Women's Breasts?

Of course not. Other times, we advocate them.

Worth quoting:

Johnsson - who wears a pink badge that reads, "I support breast equality"


There's been drought of updates because of my recent visit to good ol' Jakarta, who's been suffering from heavy rains. National newspapers've been featuring the flood for days as the government officially declared the Capital in Red Alert. However, on the same paper, a reporter interviewed a local, and he said, "No worries, [the flood is] not two-meter high yet."

My country, drought or flood.


A friend reminded me to look at the bright side: "At least no reporter's been asking questions like, 'Will this [flood] affect your New Year Celebration?'"

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Thursday, January 13, 2005

That Real, Huh?

A company named WowWee (no, I'm not kidding) displayed their prototype humanoid robot called "Robosapien V2." The creator, Art Janis, said that Robosapien is a "real robot" and it was designed to mimick human behavior.

Worth quoting:

"If you left a beer on the floor, with the camera in its hand, it would bend down and pick it up," said Mr Janis.
Human behavior all right.


"No problem. Just lemme see your writings."


...naming your baby according to where you first met your spouse like this couple, then stay the hell out of this city.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Monday, January 10, 2005

Die-Hard Advertising Case #1

I found this sign on the way to Ciamis, a small town on the eastern side of West Java Province.

Literal Translation Guide:
Ayam Bakar = roast chicken
Rumah makan taman = Garden restaurant
While "Pringsewu" is the name of the establishment.

So what's so special about the sign? Here's the complete snapshot.

(This roast chicken'd better be that good.)

Sunday, January 09, 2005

The Conclusion...

...of The Cool War!

Concerning vonEbenhaum and Lei's concern about the warning labels, yes... Indonesia wins a point in the Cool War.

Why? Because

  1. Indonesian companies don't try to protect their consumers with labels that underestimate their intelligence.
  2. As a matter of fact, these companies don't try to protect their consumers at all.
So come visit Indonesia! The land where you CAN use the toilet brush for personal hygiene. Plus the government that doesn't give a care in the world if you choke yourself to death while doing it.

So, the current standing is--drum rolls please (harmful if swallowed)--America 194, and Indonesia 194.

We have a TIE! And the deadline's up.

So be it. After a year of rigorous research, I officially conclude that neither country is cooler than the other. Which isn't a really good cause for celebration, either way. Because for all the points, we can replace the word "cool" with "stupid". But at least Indonesians and Americans won't fumble around finding out which one comes first: boiling the potatoes or mashing them?

Oh, no. We'll laugh at the silliness of the question and say, "You have to boil them first?"

Friday, January 07, 2005

Forget The Movies!

A friend of mine, whom I'd refer only with his initials: D.U.D.I S.U.M.A.R.Y.O.N.O., wrote this mail regarding the entry about Indonesian movies.

"...The idea that one's culture is reflected in its movies is hogwash! Preposterous! The only reliable source of culture is the same one that people turn to, in finding good ol' conventional wisdom: warning labels."
I can't argue with that.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

The "What The Hell Is It?" Quiz #2

Below are instructions quoted from a certain site.

  1. Dress her up. Cheer or yell, do whatever you like to enjoy the moment with your family.

  2. After you are enough with your joy, take a photo! Take some poses and leave her some cute photos!

  3. Remove her clothes and give her a hub, say "Thank you!"
What do you think this site is about? The REAL answer will be on this weekend update.

  1. " '...give her a hub?' I have to say a geeky IT gadget stuff for the socially-challenged."
    --The Amazing Flyswatter

  2. "A futuristico-robotic blow up doll."

  3. "Spending Quality Time with The Osbournes"
    --Ads Addict



As insinuated by vonEbenhaum, it's a site about--and I quote--"Tailor for Cats," maintained by a (surprise!) Japanese-based company.

(Check out the previous quiz here.)

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Anybody Ever Wondered...

...whatever happened to Vannila Ice?

(In this parody of the Matrix, Vannila Ice starred as "Rap superstar turned small time chemist and drug dealer." Should be natural for him.)


I wonder what these say about us.

(Thanks to Yudi.)

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

It's 2005...

...And nothing sums it up better than this banner in Bandung.

Which is either a misprint or a New Year's resolution for the sight-impaired.


I decided to separate future posts about my book, "Bertanya atau Mati!" (BaM!) into a blog of their own. Since the humor book targets Indonesian readers while this blog is mostly read by international visitors, this separation is long overdue. I've also moved older posts related to BaM into the blog.

You can visit it at http://bertanyaataumati.blogspot.com.