Friday, August 29, 2008

My Lucky Sweater

lucky sweater

While clearing old clothes for donation, I found this Popeye family sweater. It used to be my favorite sweater when I was in University. I considered it my lucky sweater and I always wore it during exams. I believed that wearing it would get me good marks. HAHAHA.

I also used to have a lucky bath towel that I used during exam week. I remember, one day my sister used that towel and then washed it during an exam week and I was so mad because of it. She tried to apologize by singing “Please forgive me for washing your kelincimu” (my towel has a picture of rabbit on it).

Although I knew that wearing the sweater and towel would not do me any good if I didn’t study for the exam, they helped me to create a favorable state of mind. Believing that I was lucky was more important than the sweater or the towel itself. It’s the belief that creates the reality.

What do you believe? How do your beliefs shape your reality right now?

"Whether you believe you can, or you can't, you are right" - Henry Ford

Learn and Grow!

Monday, August 25, 2008

To Go or Not To Go, To Do or Not To Do, To Be or Not to Be


When I was in Jakarta last week, I saw this traffic light. The red light and the green light are on at the same time. What would you do if something like that happens? My friend and I decided to see what other people were doing, and followed the crowd.

This small incident makes me think about decision making in life. How often do you follow the crowd instead of making your own decision? When you are faced with a choice, or even a dilemma, do you make your own choice or do you just follow what most people do?

Sometimes we are afraid to make mistake and to face the consequences of our mistake. We want to minimize the risk by following conventional wisdom or following the wisdom of the crowd. Although we know that the crowd is not always right, we often take the easy way instead of the right way. It seems that making a mistake on our own feels worse than making mistake together.

I remember an incident when I was still in primary school. When we forgot to bring our notes or textbook, the teachers often punished us together. I was nervous, afraid of being punished when I forgot my book, especially when I was the only one who didn’t bring it. When I knew there were other students, I felt relieved. Sometimes I even felt happy because we would be “punished” (ehem having fun outside the classroom) together. 

I believe this world needs more people who make decision by themselves and not just follow the crowd. The greatest invention, discovery and legend is made by people who are not afraid to stand alone, to blaze a new trail and to do the right thing in spite of all opposition. I want to be one…Do you?

To be or not to be? It is your decision.

To do or not to do? Weigh the alternatives and make your decision!

Learn and Grow!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Photo – Antique Dentist Chair & Equipment

old dentist chair

My cousins and I went to my grandfather sister-in-law’s house to visit. Her late husband used to be a famous dentist in Solo. This is a photo of his dentist chair and equipment. It’s an antique.

Comparing this antique dentist equipment and the latest in its field, we can really see how far the technology has evolved. Amazing!

Learn and Grow!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Candi Sukuh (Sukuh Temple), Central Java, Indonesia

Candi Sukuh 1

This is Candi Sukuh at dusk.

Candi Sukuh 2

The main temple area of Candi Sukuh


The relief at Candi Sukuh

I visited Candi Sukuh or Sukuh Temple with my cousins who came to visit Indonesia. Candi Sukuh is located near Tawangmangu, a mountain resort in Central Java, Indonesia.

The first time I visited Candi Sukuh was when I was in primary school. My parents took me there when they used to bike a lot. I didn’t remember much about the temple because I was more interested in the surrounding scenery that was so beautiful.

This time while visiting with my cousins, we had a guide to help us understand more about the temple. It is very interesting because this temple has lots of sexual references but they are disguised by symbols. There is another temple in the area called Candi Cetho where the sexual references are displayed in full.

If you want to know more about it, please come and visit these two temples. Please get a guide to learn more about the site.

Learn and Grow!

Friday, August 08, 2008

What Is Your Spending Weakness?


What is your spending weakness? For me, it is books. I usually find it hard to go into a bookstore without buying a book. I have two rooms just to keep my book collection. The bookcases that you see above are already full although I have already arranged two rows of books per rack.

I realize that I splurge on books and sometimes I buy  because I am afraid that I will not be able to find it again when I need it. Now I do not worry so much because of Amazon.

In the last few months, I’ve cut back my spending on books and I only buy books that I really want to read straight away. I also start to read those books that I have bought but not read yet.

I think we all have our own spending weakness. As you can see in the photo below, my sister’s weakness is clothes.


Some other things that I can think of:

  • DVDs, CDs
  • Soft toys
  • Shoes, bags, accessories
  • Fridge magnets and other souvenirs

What about you?

Learn and Grow!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Be Optimistic and Be Prepared

During my junior high school’s reunion, Alfa  and I were in charge of making the audio visual of the SMP PL Bintang Laut 50-year history and had it up and running on the giant screen. We have prepared a power point presentation with animation and music. I even rendered the power point presentation into MPEG and AVI because I didn’t know whose computer would be used to play the video clip. 

It took me days to prepare the power point presentation. It was not as easy as I thought because I needed to choose the right soundtrack and made sure that the length and timing were perfect. Since I used power point instead of movie maker, I had to preview the slide presentation from the beginning not just from current slide to make sure that the soundtrack matched the slide transition. Rendering into MPEG also took around 10-15 minutes and sometimes I had to do it three or four times until I got it right.

On the first day of reunion, there was supposed to be a teleconference after the video clip. The person in charge of the teleconference said that he was ready and he has tried it in the morning. Since he said that he was ready for teleconference, I assumed the computer would be ready and I could use the computer to play the audio visual.

At noon while I was perfecting the audio visual, I decided to burn the movie into playable DVD. I just wanted to be prepared if anything unexpected happened.

When I arrived there in the afternoon, I found that the cable for the LCD projector was RCA cable and not VGA. If I wanted to use VGA cable, there was no sound cable near the projector. It was a dilemma, picture without sound or sound without picture. Fortunately the person in charge of the video brought a DVD player and the plug for RCA cable, I also had burned the video clip into playable DVD, so at the end the show was a success.

What did I learn from this experience?

  1. Be positive and optimistic, but be prepared for any eventualities.
  2. Always have a back up plan
  3. Do not assume anything – especially if the person in charge is not reliable nor responsible
  4. Coordination is very important to make an event successful

Learn and Grow!

SMP PL Bintang Laut 50th Anniversary Reunion

This is the multimedia presentation that Alfa and I made to be shown at my junior high school’s reunion. It is less than 10 minutes, but it took us more than three days to make this. I am proud of myself being able to whip up something like this because I’ve stretched myself both intellectually and emotionally doing it. I am also glad that the reunion was successful and I could contribute to it.