December 31, 2008

Pictures of the old buildings in Bandung

Inspired by Toni's recent trip to Bandung, I went to Bandung a day after Christmas and took several shots of the art deco heritage there. I was not really satisfied with the results but I don't like to keep them too long in my archives too. All photos were taken by Canon 450D & Tamron 17-50mm/f2.8 lens.

Happy New Year everyone! May it be happy and healthy, since it seems unlikely to be wealthy for many of us...

December 8, 2008

Sorry, long time no post!

Hello's been a long time since I posted here. I have a lot going on this week. Just got back from a week expo (annual expo) in Jakarta, still feeling tired esp. with bad migraine that hits me all day from yesterday :( Today I try to catch up on everything possible: emails, paperworks, follow-ups etc...To all my blogging friends who have been visiting and leaving comments here, I will make it up to you soon! promise...

November 26, 2008

Recipe for an accident

Last weekend I hopped on a busway from Pulomas to Harmoni when half way through the driver (female driver) received a text message. I was quite worried when she started to read the incoming messages but became even more concerned when she started replying whilst driving one handed. She then called the person who probably sent her the text message and was having an animated discussion while having her other hand off the wheel. As if that was not enough she also speeds and honked constantly at everyone (esp. at the U-turn). Personally I find it annoying to see people using cell phones whilst driving. Whether you use the hand held or hands free device makes no difference. It is not holding the phones which is the problem, it's the loss of concentration which occurs while talking on a phone. I have truly been disgruntled by what I saw. In Jakarta we have many dangerous drivers to begin with on our streets. We have people who are given driver licenses who really should not have a license. I don't know how many times I read the number of accidents involving motorists/pedestrians along Jakarta’s busway as reported by the Jakarta Post below. Yeah...busway is quick and cheap..but dangerous too!! The picture above was taken by my cellphone from my seat.

Busway accident takes another toll
Indah Setiawati , The Jakarta Post | Thu, 08/14/2008 5:04 PM | Jakarta

Jakarta's famous urban transportation system Busway takes another toll on Thursday with one of its busses running over a 31-year old woman crossing the street at Jl. Otista Raya, Jatinegara, East Jakarta.

The city police reported that the woman was instantly killed during the incident and that the body was later taken to state-owned Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital.

"Accidents often happen at Busway's corridors," said City Police Accident Division chief Comr. Herman Ruswandi said and added that investigators were still studying the result from
field examination.

According to records gathered by The Jakarta Post, since its first inception in January 2004, at least there have been 28 street accidents involving Busway busses, killing 16 and many more were wounded. JP~

Motorist killed in busway lane
Sat, 06/14/2008 11:07 AM | City

JAKARTA: A motorcyclist was killed by a Transjakarta bus on Jl. Latuharhari in South Jakarta on Friday morning when she tried to cross a busway lane.

The City Police traffic management center reported Sri Wahyuni, from Ngawi, East Java, hit the Transjakarta bus on Corridor VI at a high speed as it was making a turn.

South Jakarta Police are currently investigating the case. -JP

November 19, 2008

Wednesday randomness

First off, thanks to everyone for visiting and leaving comments on my blog although I very rarely update them. So here is a posting for the sake of posting :

1. Do you consider yourself a leader or a follower?

2. Are you a morning person or a night owl?

3. Out of the two, would you rather be able to predict things before they happened or be able to read minds whenever you wanted to?

4. Do you believe dreams are your imagination running wild as you sleep, your subconscious showing you what’s really on your mind or something else entirely?

5. Would you rather be late to the party, or the first person to arrive? Why?

6. Have you ever honestly peed in the pool?

7. At what age did your mom or dad give you "the talk" about sex?

8. Have you ever eaten something at the grocery store while you were shopping, prior to buying it?

9. If you could have any 3 materialistic things in this world without paying a single cent for any of them, what would they be?

10. Would you rather be 3 inches taller, or 3 inches shorter than you already are?

Please share your answers, thank you :)

November 14, 2008

Random questions of the week

It's a weekend thing, let me begin:
1. Is politic a regular subject of discussion between you and your circle of family or friends? Do you enjoy political discourse?

2. Finish this line:
Politics isn't about big money or power games, it's about...

3. When you finally find a misplaced item is it always in the last place you look, or do you continue searching even after you find the item?

4. What gets you out of bed in the morning?

5. Who was your favorite Bond, James Bond?

I look forward to reading what you have to say.

November 11, 2008

Of photography, family matter and motorcycle theft

Whoa...two weeks after my last post! I used to update my blog often...but I'm so lazy these days. The problem is that I found another hobby. Of late I have become addicted to Flickr. Photography is my drug of choice. I've met some great talented people through flickr and am inspired everyday to become a better photographer. I used to have a blogging withdrawal but now I cannot put the camera down even when I go out for a cup of coffee. I'm keeping my eye on whatever pops up in or around Jakarta. Whenever I see things of my interests I always think about composition, angles, lighting, back ground etc. Hate to admit but that’s the honest truth. I don't know if this has something to do with my easily bored, yet easily intrigued traits.

Anyhow, getting back to my blog...not too much happening the last two weeks except some minor family problem. I wonder if it is a character issue or just a misunderstanding. I couldn’t see the fuss about the whole big sis/lil sis thing but both parties want me to be there and heard their side of stories. Lamenting bad language is normally not a big issue within my family, they’re always so colorful: ‘Jesus, Mary, Mother of Joseph and all the angels’ and all that stuff!'...but sometimes it’s the reaction to the swear, and not the swear itself, that causes the problem. Well, I’m not much of a role model in fact I have a mouth as foul as Gordon Ramsay. Added to that I chose not take side to either one of them as they are both my sisters. Long story short, after my visit everything was back to normal again.

The only thing that still made my big sis upset was her motorcycle was stolen right inside of her house. It was a new Yamaha about one year old after the purchase. Her husband parked it next to his old Kijang and the gate was padlocked. When they woke up in the morning, the gate was wide open and the motorcycle has gone. Motorcycle theft is on the rise. The level of theft has reached worrying level, you're lucky if they do not harm you. The ease of stealing a motorbike is astounding as often it only means lifting a bike into the back of van and driving off. Having security guards in your neigborhood does not guarantee that the motorcycles would be safe from thieves.

October 28, 2008

I don't hate myself..well..maybe just a little!

I've been tagged by Rima to list 10 things I hate about me. And in light of the fact that I have no idea what to write today, I shall oblige her :) So let's see...

1. Procrastination. I have tried so much to make this change, and yet, I still procrastinate all the time.

2. I get bored very easily so what I like today I might dislike it tomorrow.

3. I'm not sure if I'm indecisive or not.

4. I can care so much about other people, I tend to forget about myself.

5. I am kind with people that I shouldn't be kind with, because I see the goodness in everybody, even if I then realize they only take things for granted from me.

6. I hate to admit when I’m wrong.

7. My hair is simply unmanageable. Everyday I have to attempt to contain it in a bun, and I hate it.

8. I hate that I have big hips so I can never get jeans that fit right without trying them out first.

9. I hate that I'm a little afraid of crossing the streets in Jakarta, I often envision myself getting run down by the crazy motorists here.

10. I'm a model example of inconsistency. I'm intrigued to try to be a vegetarian at some point, but I can't see giving up the culinary joys for a lifetime.

I tag whoever would like to share a bit of their negative side :)

October 21, 2008

More coffee, smaller boobs???

Hmmmmm...long time no blogging. That's right, it's me. I’ve been a bit tardy on my blog posts again. Of late, I seemed to get a blog constipation or something. Anyway, there was an interesting health report from the British Journal of Cancer that revealed coffee can shrink women's breasts! Here are the actual excerpts:

Coffee can make women's breasts smaller: Swedish study
Published: 16 Oct 08 18:45 CET

Women who drink a lot of coffee may see their breasts become more petite, according to the results of a new Swedish study.

Around half of all women possess a gene shown to link breast size to coffee intake.

"Drinking coffee can have a major effect on breast size," said Helena Jernström, a lecturer in experimental oncology at Lund University.

But while a regular brew appears to have a somewhat deflationary aspect, there is also one very positive effect in that coffee reduces the risk of breast cancer.

Woman with an average weight but big breasts and a high number of mammary glands run an above average risk of developing breast cancer.

Previous studies have shown that women can reduce this risk by drinking at least three cups of coffee a day.

Jernström wanted to know if there was a further correlation: If drinking coffee and breast size were both connected to the risk of developing breast cancer, could there also be a link between coffee and cup size?

Studies carried out on almost 270 women showed that there was indeed a clear connection between coffee and smaller breasts. The results of Jernström's findings have been published in the British Journal of Cancer.

My thoughts on this? The good side, the research showed drinking at least three cups of coffee a day reduces cancer risk. But I was wondering does it apply for man boobs too? Simon Cowell and former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, for example...they both have a well defined man boobs (saw the pics on British gossip online mags). Does that mean they are tea drinkers and some of the women who want to have smaller breasts must drink more coffee???

What do you think about this research? Have your say on whether or not you believe the hype.

October 15, 2008

Do you miss your hometown?

I was born in a small town in Bandar Lampung, south of Sumatra. It is a place where everyone knows everyone. A place I hated as a kid but appreciate as an adult. We didn't have relatives there because both families from mom and dad side lived in Bogor and Jakarta. My parents migrated there shortly after they got married. Me and my siblings were all born in Lampung. I lived there for about 15 years, then in Yogyakarta (3 years), Bandung (10 years) and Jakarta (14 years). When both my parents still alive, I would always go back there. Most of my trips home then were by bus, then by ferry, and bus again. It took almost 10 hours to reach home. After dad passed away in 1988 and mom moved to Bogor to stay in my eldest sis house in 2003, I never visit again. My last trip there was last year on November for mom's funeral.

One thing that most of us all have in common is that we come from somewhere. You love to hear people talk about their hometowns. What’s good about it, what’s bad about it, what they miss, etc... But thinking back I have never really been sure where my home town is. I never thought I belonged there anymore. I appreciate the memories I have of my hometown but I am better off getting out of there. Jakarta is my hometown now.

What do you miss most from your hometown? If you still live there, will you ever leave? Do your childhood friends still live in your hometown ?

October 13, 2008

Question time again!

It's random question time again. Here is another round :)

1. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?

2. Did you have any nickname when you were a little kid? If you did, what was it and why did they call you that?

3. What is your favorite scents?

4. Do you generally think before you act, or act before you think?

5. What have you been seriously addicted to lately?

As usual feel free to answer every question, thank you everyone!

October 10, 2008

Real men love curves?

When I look at this curvaceous Fanta bottle, I looked at the mirror and realized that I am by no means skinny, but by no means am I curvy. I am just fit and healthy and have muscles to prove it...LOL! Having a body like JLo, Kim Kardhasian or Salma Hayek, is definitely a dream of every woman. They have a prominent hips, an actual butt, with the ample but not over-sized breasts. But unfortunately nature didn't create us with cookie cutter bodies. Some girls are born to be curvy and some are born to be slim and slender. Some women suit being slim and others curvy, its just how we're all made I guess. I think we all have to love our body how it is, curvy, slender or skinny. After all beauty on the inside is what counts not the outside. Having said that staying in shape is a whole lot better than being out of shape. The best thing to do is just work out on a daily basis, eat right, and stick to it. Once you get into a routine it should be much easier, and you will see the benefits of your hard work.

Now the questions am going to ask you is :
Are you happy with your body shape? Are you careful about what you eat? Do you take any vitamin/mineral supplements?

Have a great weekend everyone!

October 8, 2008

For the love of Nescafe mugs

I have been collecting Nescafe coffee mugs since I first saw them in the super market last year. It's a buy NESCAFÉ 2in1 free red mug (on pack of 30 sachets). I like the mugs because they have this lovely, bright, and cheerful red color and the size is rather small compared to the usual coffee mugs. This (to me) makes them more appealing. So far I have 6 mugs and am looking to add more to my collection.

I started drinking coffee again one month after my surgery. Now that everything looks OK (no more endo recurrence), I only drink one per day and then water the rest of the day. Not in the morning, not first thing though, usually about 10.00 or 11.00am just as my energy levels are beginning to slide. So, how much coffee do you drink in a day? do you collect mugs from your favorite coffee shop or certain brand like me?

October 7, 2008

Happy Tuesday from Suneo!

If there is one spot of sun spilling onto the floor, a cat will find it and soak it up.- Joan Asper McIntosh

I wasn't much of a cat lover before taking Suneo from the street and adopted him last year. There was a brief, pet-less gap between Fatso’s death (my dog) and Suneo's (the cat) appearance. And by brief, I mean less than a year. Fatso had been a part of my life for about 11 years. When my dog passed away, I had a really hard time getting over it. I wasn't necessarily ready for another pets, but my domestic helper found the sweetest cat ever born, and I named him Suneo! Suneo was the first cat I ever named. He was named after a character in Japanese manga series, Doraemon. It has taken me some time to get to the point of being friends with the kitty. After a while of having Suneo around me, I notice he has "Fatso" ways like following me around, he comes to his name and he likes playing fetch and sometimes sitting in front of the door watching the world go by just like Fatso did. My 9 years old niece, Van, believed Fatso lives in Suneo body.

Anyway I found this on my email and thought I would like to share it with you all. Are you a cat person or a dog person? Here is a list of traits for each and which one are you? I think I have a wonderful mix of both...LOL!

Cat owners tend to be...
* Introverted, self-conscious, shy, secretive, sensitive.
* Interested in quieter pursuits like reading, watching movies and videos, music, etc.
* Are homebodies or prefer quiet places.
* Like their creature comforts and although they expect people to notice them, they tend not to boast, preferring to draw attention to themselves in less direct ways.
* Have a small circle of close friends rather than a larger group.

Dog owners tend to be...
* Extroverted, eager, unembarrassed, open.
* Interested in sports, adventuring, exploring, and outdoor pursuits.
* Like to be busy and go out a lot, like loud places like parties.
* They tease and pick on each other in a friendly way, and like talking and boasting about their accomplishments.
* Have a large circle of friends and acquaintances and they make friends easily.

October 4, 2008

Questions of the week

It's an every-other Saturday thing...and yes, you are invited to answer the questions. Sound easy? Oh, of course it does. Now, allow me to start:

1. What saying, that your parents/grand parents have said to you when younger, still sticks in your mind? do you find yourself now using this saying?

2. You and your sweetheart are boarding a plane for a dream vacation, one of you gets bumped to first class, who's going, you or your loved one?

3. Do you keep a pair of driving shoes in your car so that you do not scuff the heels of your good shoes?

4. Talking of getting older, does ageing bother you?

5. What cheers you up when you are sad?

October 2, 2008

Lazy me

It's been 2 weeks since my last post. I keep telling myself I will make an effort to blog more often, I will write more regularly, I'm going to update it later in the evening, tomorrow, then another tomorrow until two weeks pass by and when I check my calendar it's October already! Granted, it takes effort. Blogging takes discipline, not only to type words on a screen, but to communicate with the readers and to stick with it. But it's always easier to say it than do it...LOL!

Today I decided to say hi to whoever dropping by my place. To all my Muslim friends, I am wishing everyone Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, mohon maaf lahir dan batin! Hope you enjoy the warmth of the Lebaran spirit as you visit friends and relatives. And here is the Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti that I made last night. It was fairly easy to make, not too sweet, crisp, and you can enjoy them alone or as a treat with coffee or tea. I would most definitely recommend this recipe to anybody who likes biscotti.

September 19, 2008

Say it with flowers

I like all flowers in general because all of them have captivating beauty, but I don't grow them. I don't mind with the dirt and the worms but I am really horrible at taking care of plants. I think I don't have much of a green thumb if you know what I mean. To me all flowers are beautiful whether they grow in the gardens, meadows, prairies, in open fields or along roads. One of the advantage of living in a tropical climate like Indonesia is the availability of beautiful flowers all year around. My favorite flowers are daisies, gerbera daisies and frangipani. The other flowers I love are orchids, sunflowers, lilies, hibiscus, magnolia and tulips (but we don't have them here). Here is some interesting reading that reveals your favorite flower says a lot about you. So, what's your favorite flower/s?
If you like this flower, then tradition is very important to you and you have a down to earth attitude. You have loyal and trusted friends and you surround yourself with loved ones who seek your guidance. You would make a great sage in ancient times, or an excellent leader currently.

You pay attention to details and see the things most people do not. You are a natural at taking in everything about life and are happy to be alive. You are also a very optimistic person.

The best career for you would be anything where you deal with people. Due to your upbeat attitude, working in a hospital could help brighten the days of those people around you.

You are often bored with the mundane and enjoy vitality and creativity. You go with inspiration and thrive in jobs where you are your own boss.

If you are doing something with artistry, writing or anything else creative, then you are happiest. The nine to five job atmosphere is something that is completely wrong for you and your creative personality.

People are drawn to you because you make them feel better about themselves through your nurturing ways. You would make a great therapist and you feel at ease when dealing with everyone else's troubles.

You are a very caring person. Other jobs that would work well for you are a guidance counselor or anything where people need your personal views on their lives.

You are a friend who gets the first call when news happens within your circle of friends. You are very social and busy, but you crave alone time and at times you feel shy around others.

For women, you are looking to bring the best out in your husband or boyfriend. Due to your outgoing personality, anything in customer service would work well for you.

Change is good for you and you are always thinking of ways to improve everyone's lives, including your own. Deep down, you are content with what you have, despite your need for a changing atmosphere.

You would enjoy traveling so try and find a career that takes that into account. Being stuck in the same position for years will drive you nuts.

September 15, 2008

Gladys & Snowy, a strange couple ...

I read that cats don't usually bother chickens when they bump into each other because chickens are about their size. But I'd never seen cats make friends with chickens either. My cat, Suneo, was sort of scared of everything that he's not familiar with. I was wondering what would be his reaction if he has to share a place with a chicken like Gladys, esp. knowing that his favorite treat is steamed chicken breast fillets? Here is a heart-warming story of an unlikely friendship from the Dailymail :

Best of friends: Lonely chicken Gladys finds her soulmate...Snowy the farmhouse cat
By Daily Mail Reporter

It's an unlikely partnering, but a lonely chicken has struck up an extraordinary friendship with a cat.

In another life, Snowy the cat would surely be chasing chicken Gladys round the farm they both live on.

But against all the odds, the pair have become firm friends - even lavishing affection on each other.

The incredible friendship blossomed just over two months ago when a fox killed 13 chicks - leaving Gladys as the only survivor.

Alone and in need of a friend, Gladys was brought into the farmhouse by her owners to keep her safe. And it was here her beautiful friendship with Snowy began.

Now the two pals are inseparable at the farm in MIddleton, near Leiston in Suffolk, and Snowy even puts her paw around the chicken to comfort her.

Owner Jane Etheridge says one of her bantam hens hatched 14 chicks - including Gladys - but after just two days a fox attack left just three of the chicks alive and a pile of feathers.

Two of the chicks later died but Gladys survived and was brought into the farmhouse where she was fed breadcrumbs to build her strength.

It was here Gladys was befriended by 10-year-old Snowy, and the cat would even wash the fragile bird as well as affectionately rub up against her.

Mrs Etheridge, a 69-year-old pony breeder who is married to Albert, 70, said: 'Gladys would not have survived outside, she would have died, so we kept her inside where she was warm.

'Snowy cleaned her and washed her. Gladys is now about two-and-a-half months old and is our pet.

'She still comes into the house to play.
'She comes in and bounces up and down in front of Snowy and he just stands there and takes it and puts his paw around her.

'They are the best of friends, very much so, and when she first started going out she would not go unless they went together.

'He is a very strange cat and was actually feral when we got him, completely wild. But now he is all too human and a real softie. He sits on my lap, rolls over and puts his paw out on the chair.

'They are a strange couple but we love them both very much.'

September 13, 2008

Pork Adobo, flavor of the Philippines

I notice from my feed stats a lot of people come here looking for recipes. I see most of them looking for martabak manis, perkedel jagung & tahu isi, prol tapai singkong. I guess I will have to make a food blog in the future. Cooking has been my passion right since my teen days. My late mother taught me the basics of cooking and baking. She fed eight children, and I think it took a lot of effort to satisfy everyone's palate.

Anyway I made Pork Adobo this morning and they turned out perfectly - very tender and juicy. Adobo is a very popular dish in the Philippines, indeed it is considered a national dish. It is easy to make and requires just a handful of ingredients ... garlic, vinegar, bay leaves, peppercorn, soy sauce (I use kecap asin and kecap manis), and I also added mushrooms and star anise to give more flavor to the pork. The other variation of adobo that I have not tried is frying them to crispy. I might do it if I can find a good pork belly next time. This dish is served with steamed rice.

September 9, 2008

Questions of the week

Because I was not in the mood to write when I wrote this post, I will leave you with the following questions. Please feel free to tag yourself or leave your answers in the comment section :)

1. What kind of water do you drink? Bottled water, tap water? How much water do you drink in a day? If you’re not drinking water, what are you drinking?

2. Are you an urban dweller, a suburbanite, or a country person? Are you happy where you live now? What do you like the most? The least?

3. Do you know how many shoes you own? Have you, or would you, risk injury for a great pair of shoes? Have you ever hid a shoe purchase from your significant other?

September 8, 2008

Quotes of Note ... Good Karma

I received this in my e-mail and thought I would share it with you all.

Instructions for Life from the Dalai Lama

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.

3. Follow the three R's:
Respect for self,
Respect for others and
Responsibility for all your actions.

4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great relationship.

7. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

8. Spend some time alone every day.

9. Open arms to change, but don't let go of your values.

10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

11. Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.

12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.

14. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.

15. Be gentle with the earth.

16. Once a year, go some place you've never been before.

17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

19. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

September 3, 2008

The world revolves around ... Suneo

Suneo is a busy body cat. When I prepared a set up to take the strawberry picture, he jumped up on the desk. He loves to know what is going on and what I am doing, he has to see/smell everything that is new to him like sniffing the strawberries. In this picture he fell asleep after getting bored seeing me taking different angle of the strawberry pictures...hehehe!

September 2, 2008

How to stay fit at every age

Everyday I wake up at 5:15am and go out for my morning walk at 5:30am sharp. As you know it isn't easy rising at such an early hour but I forced myself to do a 40 minutes power walk every morning. Otherwise I feel I cheated my body and mind. I am addicted to exercise but I don't want to join any gyms and have to pay an exorbitant fee for being a member. I’m a firm believer in exercising and staying in shape, I just don’t see the need to pay an arm and a leg for it. Walking is the cheapest exercise, just set goals to how much you feel you must reach and try to accomplish that. I also do sit up, some aerobic movements,and weight lifting with a 1 kg dumb-bell each to get my muscle toned. I think we all know it does take a lot of work to stay fit and in shape, but it can be done with determination.

Below is an interesting article from the Daily Mail about the kind of exercise you should do based on your age. If you have not exercised for a while, schedule your time and go for it. Happy exercising!

You're never too young to start and never too old to feel the benefits: How to keep FIT at every age
By Peta Bee

AGE: 18-30
This is the easiest age to maintain a healthy weight because your metabolic rate is at its most efficient, burning more calories both at rest and during physical activity.

However, a failure to be active can result in a steady weight gain that is more difficult to lose as you get older. Bone density peaks between the ages of 25-35 and muscle mass is at its highest around 25, which means you should find it easier at this age than any other to stay toned and lean.

HOW MUCH: At least 30 minutes of moderate activity five or more days a week, according to the government's chief medical officer.

But that is a minimum to stay healthy. Ideally, you should try to include at least three one-hour sessions of aerobic activity (which makes your heart and lungs work harder) a week.

You should also include a couple of weight-bearing and flexibility workouts to maintain bone density. Weight bearing involves moving your body on a surface, such as when running, power-walking or in an aerobics class; this puts stress on your bones and tendons helping build their strength.

Activities such as rowing, swimming and cycling are not weight-bearing forms of exercise.

TYPE OF EXERCISE: Good forms of aerobic activity include running, swimming, brisk walking and cycling. For flexibility, try Pilates or yoga.

Short of time? Try skipping, which works the cardiovascular system, strengthens bones and muscles and burns up to 110 calories in just ten minutes. Build up to as fast a pace as you can.

AGE: 30-40
If you are inactive you lose muscle mass at a rate of one to two per cent a year from around 30 onwards and need, on average, 125 calories less per day at 35 than you did when you were 25.

Both sexes produce less growth hormone from the pituitary gland during this decade, which further contributes to muscle and bone deterioration.

Wear and tear on the joints is more pronounced, and recovery time from injury takes longer.

HOW MUCH: A combined weekly total of two to four hours of weight and strength training. This can involve weight training at the gym or improvising at home with resistance aids such as stretchy bands, lifting cans of beans - even digging the garden. Plus one hour of stretching and flexibility a week (such as yoga).

TYPE OF EXERCISE: 'A combination of weight training and aerobic activity is not only the best way to stay slim, but also to increase bone density and strength,' says Louise Sutton, principal lecturer in health and exercise science at Leeds Metropolitan University.

Try an indoor boxercise class or outdoor circuit - classes such as British Military Fitness are held in many UK parks. Or make up your own exercise circuit using park benches, trees and footpaths as your equipment.

AGE: 40-50
Bones are deteriorating faster than they are forming - women lose one per cent of bone mass a year from now until the menopause. In women, the menopause is likely to occur during the late 40s to early 50s, and consequent hormonal changes can cause weight gain of up to a pound a year until the menopause is over.

Hormonal changes at around the age of 50 - testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone (or DHEA, a hormone that helps to control metabolism and energy use) begin to decline - make keeping slim more difficult. Regular exercise routine helps to slow these changes.

HOW MUCH: A combined weekly total of two to four hours of weight or strength training and cardiovascular activity. One hour of stretching and flexibility a week.

TYPE OF EXERCISE: Aerobic exercise is vital for burning fat - try power walking. Invest in a pedometer and work up to 16,000 steps a day, trying to walk as fast as possible. If your joints are starting to get painful, switch to non-weight-bearing aerobic activities, such as swimming or cycling.

However, weight training is vital. Studies have shown that doing high intensity weight lifting (i.e. lifting 70 per cent of the maximum weight you think you can manage) a couple of times a week can offset the loss of muscle mass during this decade.

If you belong to a gym, ask an instructor to devise a progressive weights programme. At home, invest in a set of mini-weights or improvise with bottles filled with sand or water.

AGE: 50-60
Beyond the age of 50, muscle mass is lost at a rate of one fifth of a pound a year. This loss affects both sexes but is more pronounced in men, who often experience a much sharper decline in strength. Often the muscle lost is replaced by fat, hence the dreaded middle-age spread.

Female fat distribution changes after the menopause often causing women to become an 'apple' shape as weight shifts to the waistline. This signals that someone has more visceral fat (around the organs), the type that promotes heart disease and inhibits glucose tolerance.

To check whether you are at risk, place a tape measure around your middle. A measurement of more than 80cm (32in) for women and over 94cm (37in) for men means you are at increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. Over 88cm (35in) for women and 102cm (40in) for men puts you at the highest risk of these conditions.

HOW MUCH: A combined weekly total of two to four hours of strength or weight training and cardiovascular activity. One hour of stretching and flexibility a week.

TYPE OF EXERCISE: Sports that challenge your speed and endurance, such as badminton, tennis and football, provide all the elements of fitness you need to address in one session.

Lunges (preferably with hand weights) and leg lifts in the weight room are great for strengthening the quadriceps muscles in the thigh, helping avoid joint injuries and osteoarthritis.

'As you get older, you lose water content from the body's structures, including cartilage that protects the joints,' says Claire Small of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists. 'Tissues become weaker, which means injuries happen more easily.'

Osteoarthritis, a degenerative condition caused when the cartilage protecting joints gradually wears away leaving bones to scrape directly against one another, is more common from age 60 onwards.

August 27, 2008


I’m taking a break for a while, still working on various things before I start writing again. Hope to be back soon.

August 19, 2008

Salad everyday

It's not hard to eat fresh salad everyday, especially when your favorite fruits are in season. Mangoes are in cheap abundance at this time of year. My favorite is Mangga Gedong Gincu. Not only they taste great but they make a pretty colorful salad too. For my evening meals, most of my carbs come from fruits and veggies. Typically my salad consists of lettuce/celery/blanched brocoli, tomatoes, cucumber, and mango/avocado/strawberry. It is served with olive oil (EVOO) and lemon salad dressing. It is very easy to make. Just mix all ingredients (crushed garlic, EVOO, pepper and salt, lemon juice) into a container with secure-able lid, shake vigorously until olive oil and lemon juice blend into one. After about 1 or 2 minutes of shaking, spread over any salad greens or a combo of veggies and fruits like mine!

August 18, 2008

Football addiction can be hard on a relationship

All English Premiere League addicts pay attention! Watching live football could be ruining your relationship. Don’t believe me? Then believe the case of a guy who now finds himself single due purely to football addiction. Do you believe sport is as real an addiction as anything out there today? I'd rather have my significant other addicted to football/car racing rather than addicted to porn, drinking or smoking. And I am not the type of person who needs to be accompanied 24/7. There are times when I like to do things on my own to, its called having space. What would you do in this situation? Would you leave your boyfriend/husband for his football addiction?

'Are Villa more important than our marriage? It's over': Wife dumps football fan husband with banner above main road

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 6:41 PM on 15th August 2008

The new Premiership season is barely underway but it seems one relationship has already crumbled under the strain.

One angry wife, no doubt tired of being placed behind the game, unfurled a banner above a busy main road asking her husband if his team was more important than her.

Apart from their first names, it is not known who the couple are, but judging by the tone of the banner the relationship is clearly over.

The 3 ft by 3 ft banner had the unfortunate message 'Jack, are the Villa really more important than our marriage? It's over, Jess' daubed over it in black paint.

The banner, situated on a busy commuter route near West Bromwich was seen by thousands of motorists who traveled along the route at rush hour seeming to refer to Jack's alliance to Aston Villa, who play their first Premiership game on Sunday.

Paul Brennan, a passing Aston Villa fan, said:'I love the Villa, but I always try and keep the Mrs sweet as well.

'This is a cruel way to break the news to him though, I don't know who they are or who has done what, but this is a certainly a harsh way today it.

'I hope it's not still there on match day - because they'll be thousands of people on the way to the game that will see it and most of them will be Albion fans around here so I'm sure they'll get a great laugh from it.'

One van driver, a West Bromwich Albion fan, added "You shouldn't make a man pick between his woman and his football team.

'I don't care who she is but he is better off without her - that's for sure.

'Most people around here are Albion fans so I wonder if she's a disgruntled Baggies supporter.'

August 14, 2008

Do you smell that?

Davidoff Cool Water

I have been busy getting the stock inventory done these past few days hence the lack of updates. Thanks to Therry who have reminded me to update my blog :)

I don’t know if it is just me or what but I have an uber sensitive nose, so I get headaches if I'm exposed to overwhelming odors for too long. There are some smells that I love such as - freshly cut grass, clean bed sheets, freshly baked bread and cakes, cooking aromas, coffee, fried onions, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, lavender, lemon grass, vanilla, pandan leaves to name a few.

Now, the smells that I detest in random order are gasoline/diesel emissions, durian, cigarette smoke, newly painted wall, those air fresheners for cars, stinky feet and stinky socks. What about you??? Name as many or as few smells as you love and hate! Thanks!

August 12, 2008

Playing with my new lens

One of the benefits of using DSLR Camera is being able to create the blur effect. I especially enjoy the effects colors have on each other and how they interact with the light and the background. I will share with you the following pics and hope you enjoy them.
Aromatherapy Oils from Eka Bali HomeSpa
Telor cicak camilan jaman doeloe

August 10, 2008

Three Women, One Man, and a Camera

The above title just to describe another kopdar (meeting offline) moment today at the Four Season's hotel. I had the privilege of meeting Anita and Ecky for the second time. Anita looks flawless as usual with her color-coordinated outfit match perfectly with her shoes and accessories. Ecky, the sexy gal from the blogosphere looks so fresh in orange color sundress . Toni, the photographer, armed with his camera and clear sky is having fun taking many great close up pics of Anita, we're joking that soon she'll be modelling for Gap Indonesia!

We chatted by the pool about camera, food, and current events. One of them is Anita shocking experience with an arrogant motorist who was so furious when the taxi that Anita and Stuart took, cut into the lane of the idiot's car (it is common here in Indonesia). Soon when the taxi reached at certain point, the snob motorist pulled out the gun to scare the taxi driver off. But thanked God the taxi driver chose to ignore the provocation. This story reminded me with a similar incident that created a headline just a couple of weeks ago where a certain idiot from govt. institution threatened another motorist with a gun on a busy road. Now gun possession is not a status symbol for criminals only but a number of irresponsible people misuse and abuse them too.

About an hour later Ecky showed up and soon Toni was busy with his camera again. All-natural girl Ecky is a natural in front of the camera. And Toni is a wizard behind it.

August 6, 2008

Toni si Toekang Potret

For the second time in a month I had the great pleasure of meeting Toni, a bloggy friend from Toni Wahid's Blog. The plan was Toni and I would head to the camera store (again!). Right, I was looking to buy a Canon 50mm/f1.4 lens for my EOS 450D, and at the same time would like to return the lens that he lent me. Toni knows a great deal about photography and can recommend shops where the staffs are helpful and knowledgeable, able answering both basic and advanced questions.

I've known Toni for a good while from blog-hopping several months ago. His passion for design and photography, combined with his love for the outdoors allows him a unique capacity for visual adventure storytelling. I’ve read dozens of his blog entries talking about gender equality and human development, traveling tips, his passion for photography and sharing his experiences. Aside from photography his other passions include coffee, wine and cooking.

Toni works at the American clothing chains. He is currently manages and develops the company’s community affairs and corporate social responsibility strategy (CSR). He has traveled extensively throughout Asia and North America, with a special interest in Women and Children issues and to help communities deal with the crisis. I once read, success can change people, so can money. With all of the achievement he has had today, he would have every reason to think highly of himself, but he remains humble and grounded. He is the same in person as he is on his blog. The best example of humility,professionalism and integrity. Being success did not change anything in his personality and life style, and this is what makes him so special.

Right from the start we found each other talked easily like an old friends. I don’t know if it is the fact that we’re both talkers, or just that we had a lot to say, but the conversation was constant and really fun. We discussed a lot about women issues, Indonesian literatures, street foods and old buildings in Bandung, I just kept hoping that I wouldn’t make a complete fool of myself, or spill the coffee on my shirt, LOL! I also learned a lot of tips and tricks about photography, although am a bit on the slow side when it comes to practice it. But thanks to Toni, my camera really feels like a part of me now. Everything is becoming second nature and I couldn't be happier! It’s so nice to be acquainted with someone who is so humble and down to earth but it’s even better having him as a friend. If you want to talk and learn about photography, Toni is where you go. Thanks for your friendship, Toni.

**The building sketch was drawn by Toni's daughter as you can see on Toni's flickr.

August 4, 2008

What's your blood type

There is a popular belief in Japan that a person's ABO blood type or ketsueki-gata is predictive of their personality, temperament, and compatibility with others, similar to the Western world's astrology. Each blood type has a personality profile as described below :

Type A:
While outwardly calm, they have such high standards (perfectionists) that they tend to be balls of nerves on the inside. Type A’s are the most artistic of the blood groups. They can be shy, are conscientious, trustworthy, and sensitive.

Best Traits: Conservative, introverted, reserved, patient and punctual. Perfectionists.

Worst Traits: Obsessive, stubborn, self conscious and uptight.

Famous As: George H. W. Bush, O.J. Simpson,Adolf Hitler, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon.

Blood type A’s tend to have more sensitive constitutions. Too much stress weakens their immunity more quickly than other blood types. Low stomach acid is common among blood type A’s even from birth, so special care should be taken when eating animal proteins.

Type B:
Goal oriented and strong minded, type B’s will start a task and continue it until completed, and completed well. Type B’s are the individualists of the blood group categories and find their own way in life.

Best Traits: Creative, passionate, animal loving, optimistic, flexible and individualistic.

Worst Traits: Forgetful, irresponsible, and self-centered.

Famous Bs: Akira Kurosawa, Jack Nicholson, Luciano Pavarotti, Tom Selleck, Mia Farrow, Paul McCartney, Leonardo DiCaprio.

Blood type B individuals tend to be balanced: thoughtful like A’s and yet ambitious like O’s. They are empathetic, easily understanding others’ points of view, yet often hesitating to challenge or confront. Chameleon-like and flexible, they make good friends.

Type AB:
Type AB’s are the split personalities of the blood groups. They can be both outgoing and shy, confident and timid. While responsible, too much responsibility will cause a problem. They are trustworthy and like to help others.

Best Traits: Cool, controlled, rational, introverted and empathic.

Worst Traits: Aloof, critical, indecisive and unforgiving.

Famous ABs: John F. Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Mick Jagger, Thomas Edison.

Blood Type AB - Tend to be very charming and popular. They don’t sweat the small stuff and can be seen as spiritual and even at times a bit “flaky”. Only about 2 - 5% of the population are blood type AB. There is never a dull moment in a AB’s life, so if you find one for a friend, consider yourself lucky! Youll enjoy some exciting times together! But like blood type A’s, AB’s react to stress poorly. They are stronger and more active than type A’s, but need to pay attention to stress levels so that they don’t compromise their immunity.

Type O:
Type O’s are outgoing, and very social. They are initiators, although they don’t always finish what they start. Creative and popular, they love to be the center of attention and appear very self confident.

Best Traits: Ambitious, athletic, robust and self-confident. Natural leaders.

Worst Traits: Arrogant, vain, insensitive and ruthless.

Famous Os: Al Capone, Gerald Ford, Mikhail Gorbachev, John Gotti, Queen Elizabeth II, John Lennon, Paul Newman, Elvis Presley, Ronald Reagan.

Blood Type O - Tend to be loners or leaders and are intuitive, focused, self-reliant and daring. They handle stress better than other blood types and have strong immune systems, a well developed physique and a physically active nature. Blood type O’s tend to have sluggish blood flow and feel better with vigorous exercise for about an hour each day.

What's your blood type? Do you believe that blood types can tell what a person's personality is?

August 2, 2008

Which one do you like?

Suneo taken with Canon Telephoto zoom lens EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS
Suneo taken with Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

July 31, 2008

Everyday stranger

It is a fact that most people live in the city don't talk to strangers, they keep to themselves and when a stranger does try to talk to them, their radar goes up, and they wonder what this stranger is after. But if you go within small towns, you see people are the complete opposite. They are more friendly, with a smile on their face, greeting strangers.

My sister who lives and works in Singapore leaving home at the same time every day. She gets to the MRT station at the same train each morning, every day, would most likely meet with pretty much the same people going to the same direction. For years, she would probably sit on the train with the same person but they never exchanged pleasantries, no eye contact, no head nod, no hello.

On the other hand, I'm a pretty social person. I can easily talk to everybody, the postman, the girl at the news stand, the jamu vendor, the girl in the small kiosk who sells instant noodles, teh botol, etc, the patient at the doctor's waiting room ... but it was never anything other than a brief chats. When I had my dog, Fatso, I would walk him regularly each morning. By doing this have made me new friends who also own dogs. We often bump into each other around the same time so we could chat, and our dogs could run and play together.

Inter personal communications have long been replaced with electronic communications such as cell phones, email, IM etc. Our living is full of these close encounters where we never make contact in person. We may know from the television or the internet about what's happening thousands of miles away, day and night. But do you know who is the person you see each day on the way to work or the person who lives next door to you?

**Image stolen from flickr**

July 29, 2008

Me and the love for batik

If you happen to walk down any road in the capital city of Jakarta or other places like Bandung, Surabaya and Yogyakarta, chances are you will find a lot of women wearing batik which range from sundress to formal office wear. At the same time, we can even find many girls dressed in batik tops and jeans. Back then, the youngsters almost always associated batik as a traditional attires that were worn by the elderly (moms, aunts, uncles) at wedding parties. But now there are so many relaxing, younger, and cute designs available from tank tops, baby dolls to beautiful coats you can choose.

At home after work, I always wear batik daster (a casual dress worn by many Indonesian women) because it's just so comfortable. I also have a quite number of batik collections from kain panjang (batik fabric), table clothes, cushion covers to knicks knacks like batik wooden statues. I bought them at various crafts expo here in Jakarta. In the self portrait above I wore a Bali batik sundress. A gift sent by my dear friend, Eka from Pernik Unik in Bali.