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A quote I just thought about

Between Insanity and Persistence lays something called Discernment

Facebook acting weird?

Is it just my internet connection or has Facebook been acting weird today? Throughout the day I’m met with errors when trying to load pages from Facebook. Sometimes it loads, and sometimes it just fails.

Are Indonesian FBers really that influential such that a bomb in Jakarta could bring the mighty Facebook to its knees? :)

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Explosions in Jakarta – Mega Kuningan / Marriot – Ritz

It seems there has been some explosions in the Mega Kuningan area in Jakarta. The newspapers have been saying Marriot/Ritz Carlton. Haven’t seen any detailed news yet. Not sure if these are terrorist attack bombs or pranksters.

Something’s weird about these bombs. Professionals would’ve picked a better time when there were lots of crowds. Why bomb in the morning when there are only a few people around? Maybe someone has something against Manchester United instead? (Note: Manchester United is sending a team over to play an Indonesian team within the next few days, and would’ve been staying at the Ritz)

Update:
- Looks like real bombs. First one happened at the Ritz, blowing up 2nd fl and parts of the 3rd.
- 2nd one blew up near Sailendra in Marriot, not sure about the extent of this one.
- Coverage has been focused on Ritz.
- President SBY has visit the location to see the extent of the damage.

Update 2:
- It seems the Marriot bomb happened first, followed by the Ritz.
- The explosion at the Ritz was more explosive and damaging, hence the coverage bias.

Update 3:
- President SBY was scheduled to visit the location, but has cancelled the plans and will hold a press conference instead.
- There have been 4-6 casualties, and many more injured. (Including foreigners)
- The President Director of Holcim Indonesia has been killed in the explosion.

Update 4:
- Another bomb seemingly has exploded near the Muara Angke tol gate (TVOne – unconfirmed by others yet, Twitter is full of this news)
- MU possibly cancelling it’s trip to Indonesia.

Update 5:
- The explosion near Muara Angke was not a bomb, it was just a car fire [Link]

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So quiet

It’s been so quiet here I thought I’d start blogging again now and then.

Thoughts for today:

- Go Federer!!! Fed-Ex has been playing as well as anybody in Wimbledon. I guess championship no. 15 is in his sights and nothing stopping him in trying to get it. We’ll see if Tommy Haas or Andy (Murray/Roddick) has anything to say about that. Judging from his focus and flawless play so far, it’ll be 15 and counting by Sunday.

- If you haven’t seen it, check out some of my wife’s jewelry creations at http://www.JulieRochili.com .

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RIP – ASUS A8Jm (useless Indonesian police)

I thought I’d finally vent my frustration here about this incident 2 months ago (March 17th to be exact).

My wife picked me up from work, and we decided to go have dinner. After dinner we went to Puri Indah Mal, and parked near where we usually
park. Since I usually drive myself, and that night was picked up by my wife instead, I didn’t remember to carry my laptop bag with me and left
it on the rear seat. We got there around 8.15PM and went to Ace Hardware to get some stuff. When we got back at around 8.50PM (around
40 minutes later), my wife found out that the rear window of her car has been smashed to pieces, and my laptop stolen.

Of course, for some reason, the security patrols who usually are there in abundance, weren’t there at the time of incident. I had to walk for 5 minutes to find the closest security guard, who proceeded to call more of his friends. To make a long story short, the parking lot was monitored by Secure Parking, who outsourced their guards to some group called Sigap, and neither of which could explain nor would be held responsible for what happened.

The loss of my laptop and broken car window wasn’t really my main source of frustration (I know I was reckless in leaving valuable stuff there). But how things proceeded were the mind boggling ones. Here’s what happened:
- I tried to get CCTV recordings from the security, who said that the guy who could access the files already went home, and it had to be done the next day since they had to get a manager in. (Hello, this happened in the last 30 minutes, if you can catch the person’s face, it’d be easier to catch them sooner).
- An entire squadron of security guards, Secure Parking people and others just stood around, with nobody knowing how to proceed and what’s the next step. My wife had to call her brother who had some connections with the police before anything got sorted out.
- After the police came, they started looking around, and nobody was allowed to touch the car because they thought fingerprints of the thief
might still be there.
- The parking attendant had the number of the car next to us, which was the main suspect according to the police.
- At nearly midnight, the car was at the police station, some police officer went to get the CCTV recordings, and up until then I sensed no
urgency from ANYBODY, not even the police. It’s as if, it’s just a regular occurrence and they needed the money they were sure to get from
us for helping us by showing up at the crime scene. And that part about not touching the car, well that didn’t help because nobody dusted for
fingerprints or did any kind of forensic stuff whatsoever on the car.
- The next day, we find out that the CCTV camera actually caught the burglar on tape (turned out to be the car parked next to us).
- They even tried to charge me for parking during my way out with my wife’s car and broken window (I had the ticket signed by the head attendant, reading “Parking Free”). I had to talk to this guy, and explain to him that “the damn window of my car is broken, my laptop is stolen, my ticket says free parking, and you still want to charge me for parking ??!#@?$?”.

Well, imagine this happening in Canada: – burglar’s face caught on camera and – plate number recorded by attendant so the
police know it, and no arrests made, no communications from the police, and nothing whatsoever from the Secure Parking nor mall people?
Pretty unthinkable even for the dumbest of authorities wouldn’t you think? But here in Indonesia, that’s apparently just the norm.

I’m pretty much over the laptop lost part, but the idiocy, inefficiency and mind-bogglingly useless police force, parking attendants (might as well change the name to “Insecure Parking”) and security guards still remains a pain in the butt for me. My guess, and what many people have told me, is that the police, guards and those people at the parking lot are pretty much involved with the thieves and robbers anyway, and won’t bother arresting one of their own kind if they get some sort of bribe. I’ve talked to some tenants at Puri Indah Mall, and I’ve been told also that stolen laptops are a quite common occurrence there, more so than any other mall. Just another day in corrupt country where police and thief are one and the same.

Sweeth tooth

Man, for some reason I walked into a convenience store just after lunch and had this craving for all sweet things (weird, considering I like everything salty).

So what did I do? I ended up buying a pack of Kopiko’s (coffee candy for those of you Indonesian-culture challenged :)), a small Kit-Kat White and Chupa-Chups.

The Kit Kat was the first to go, and one of the Chupa-Chups is melting slowly in my mouth right now. Talk about sugar craving.

Return of me

Wow, it’s been almost 7 months since my last post. Quite a few things have happened since then. Here’s a minor update on that:

  • The kids seem to have adjusted fine to Indonesia, except that sometimes they get sick from the pollution and food. Although recently, their immune system seems to have kicked in and so don’t get sick as often.
  • I’m helping out a friend of mine with his IT projects. A couple of them are on the go with a few more on the horizon, so got some income right now. We’ll see what happens next year. I’m not really interested in finding a job in Indonesia because I wanted to do something on my own and due to this next reason:
  • Traffic jams !!!. Everybody already knows how bad Jakarta’s traffic is, but you really have to experience it yourself to appreciate the madness of it all. Imagine traffic at 9 PM on a Sunday; and that’s just the mild case. Try going out anywhere between working hours until 9 PM on a work day, and you’re pretty much guaranteed a 2 hour trip to and 2 hour back from anywhere.
  • I actually lost weight here :). Been working out and running the treadmill every other day for the last few months and dropped like 8 kg’s. The last 2 weeks have been no workout week because of the projects that I’m working on. But I’m trying to continue this pattern for the near future.

Will try posting more regularly from now on. Don’t know if anybody’s still reading, but oh well, just a place to pour my thoughts.

Impressive Getaways / Impress International

I’m sick and tired of these guys bugging me all the time, and even sending an email through a newbie lawyer trying to intimidate me with a SLAPP. Even though they claim Barrick vs Lopehandia applies to this situation, I don’t think they have any ground. And even if they somehow win, a company like Barrick only got $75,000 in damages, so [tag]Impress International[/tag] / [tag]Impressive Getaways[/tag] should probably only win a small fraction of that.

If any of you legally trained readers care to give me differing advice, then I’m open to suggestion, but since I’m overseas, and they’re in Canada, and if they sue and I’m not present then they can win by default, I think I’m just gonna let this rest right here.

Thank you Starbucks :)

About a year ago, I wrote this post about a particular incident of great customer service from [tag]Starbucks[/tag]. A few months after that, I was contacted by Dr. [tag]Joseph Michelli[/tag], who was at that moment writing a book about the company. He wanted to use my experience in a particular chapter of his book.

To make the story short, my entry was used in Dr. Michelli’s book, and he sent me an advanced copy of his book called [tag]The Starbucks Experience[/tag] along with a Starbucks gift certificate. Just wanted to convey my gratitude to both Dr. Michelli and Starbucks through this post.

[eminimall products="coffee, starbucks"]

Mute button on people?

Is there a way to put a mute button on people ala the movie “Click” where Adam Sandler could just mute the sound of anybody he chooses?

My oldest son would be one good candidate for that button :). He just can’t stop talking, from the moment he wakes up till he falls back asleep, there’s hardly any one minute of silence. Can you imagine having to listen to someone talking all day all the time, and in lots of cases, it’s whining/bugging us for something? Trying to be patient just doesn’t work after a few years of this, and I”m just stumped on what to do right now. If someone could invent that mute button, it’d be greatly appreciated :)

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