Thursday, June 25, 2009


I remember moving to Germany when I was 18. For the first few weeks my life was in a state of flux, it was exciting but I craved routine, lo and behold it came in time.

Same thing when I came here. Now I have a routine I need to mix things up a bit.

What I have been thinking of doing is break my routine up by adding a new routine for a week.

So a few weeks ago I blogged every day for 7 days.

The week after that I messaged a new person on this dating website everyday (not too successful).

I am looking for a new routine for next week. Perhaps starting work at 7:30 as I used to in Dublin (but there I had to wake up before 6, here I could wake up at 7:25 and still get into work on time ; )).

Any suggestions for routine busting routines are welcome! : )

Shutdown and Standby in OS X

I have been looking for ways to put OS X to sleep and switch it off on a timer.

I am a fan of listening to radio while I go asleep, but not that keen on having it on throughout the night.

I couldn't find a decent app to do the job, but surprise surprise the classic Unix commands are in OS X.

So, you want to shutdown the computer in 60 minutes?


shutdown -h +60

into the terminal.

Want to put it to sleep in 30 minutes?


shutdown -s +30

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Adopt a Cat

(In Jakarta)

I am a Feminist

OK, just wanted put the "I am a Feminist" thing out there up front.

But... there's always a but... let me say something about women and work (in response to Delvi).

Women often get paid less and are discriminated against when hired.

Why is this?

Many societies are male dominated and men bring their prejudices to the table when it comes to hiring women.

There is another reason though. Women are statutorily given time off when they are pregnant and are more likely to choose to leave their careers and bring their kids up.

These are good things.

However it makes women more expensive to hire. If I hire a woman there is a chance I will have to pay for her pregnancy leave, and a chance that after investing time in training her up she will leave my company. This is costly, and it has an impact on hiring and compensation decisions.

You can argue how much of an impact such considerations have, but there is undoubtedly an impact.

Some European countries have tried to mitigate this difference by allowing men the same statutory time off as women, allowing them maternity leave. This goes some way to even things up, however men generally opt to take less time off than women, and women are still more likely to leave their careers to bring up their kids.

Also, such laws end up making men more expensive to hire and therefore can contribute to higher unemployment.

There's a lot of scope to reduce sexism in the workplace, but some decisions are due to hard coded social mores rather than outright prejudice.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Word from Tehran

(via the Beeb)

I was part of the protest in Valiasr Square. When we got there, there were riot police and plain clothes guards shooting at people, I could see that people had been shot and were on the ground. There were also water cannons. We decided to head towards Azadi Square, and there were guards on motorbikes and attacking people with batons.

There were thousands of people out on the streets the police were using tear gas - the whole experience was terrifying. Towhid (Unity) Square looked like a battle ground.

There were lots of female protestors - I saw a guard attack one women and then she went back up to him and grabbed him by the collar and said 'why are you doing this? Are you not an Iranian?' - he was totally disarmed and didn't know what to do but her actions stopped him.

There were no ambulances around - people were helping each other - helping the wounded - taking them to safety away from further attacks.
Siavash, Tehran, Iran

Plain clothes guards were carrying batons, and some riot police were blocking protesters from entering the square. The guards used tear gas to push the crowds back. This battle went on for about an hour with the protestors moving forwards then back. The crowd was dispersed when about 50 or 60 guards on motorcycles drove into the crowd dispersing them completely. There were about a thousand or so people there, mostly young people. I left shortly after.
Siamak, Tehran

My friends told me that in front of Sattar Khan Street, forces were telling people on megaphones: go away before the basijis attack you. My friends are saying many of the people in Enghelab Square are holding copies of the Koran, and are chanting. People are running away through side streets but these forces who are well armed are waiting for them there too. The street is filled with smoke, and the local underground station (Darvaze Dowlat) is also full of soldiers, and they are chasing after defenceless people. There are helicopters from Enghelab Square to Azadi Square.

Today is a different day. I and my friends may never return home. We want the world to at least picture our being killed on streets to help democracy in iran and save the world. Pray for us.
Farshid, Tehran, Iran

Today we tried to join the protestors in Azadi and Enghelab square, but every route that we tried was blocked by the police. The plain clothed forces are all Sepah (revolutionary guards), as most of them have the Sepah badge on their clothes. In Sattar Khan I saw with my own eyes two ordinary 40-year-old women being beaten severely with electric batons, for nothing but raising their voice in protest.
Ehsan, Tehran

I am around Enghelab Square now. There is plenty of Basijiis armed with batons and steel cables standing at the beginning and end of each of the surrounding streets. Their numbers are high. Plenty of them are gathered in Amir Abad street, and I see lots of people going towards Enghelab Street. Ahmad - Tehran

Thousands of police men have gathered and closed all streets that ends main squares. But people have gathered to go to the areas.Ali, Tehran

We set out around 3pm to go to Enghelab Square, but from four different directions our way was blocked. There were riot polices and plain clothed basijis with batons and vans and water cannons blocking the way. From 4pm the crowds started to gather and grow larger. The crowds went towards Azadi Square with their hands in the air in a sign of victory but they were silent. Police blocked the crowds and then started attacking them first with batons then with guns, the crowds stated running away and there were lots of women screaming, it was very frightening.Anon, Tehran

Anti-riot police are hiding in an elementary school building in Jamalzadeh street, they came out, beat up people and dragged them into the building, it's getting nastier as it goes on. Protestors are not afraid at all, they get beaten, they disperse and come together in larger group in a minute. People have learnt lots of tricks during last week and came up with much guts today. Helicopters can be seen all over the sky and I can see smoke rising from different parts of the central part. They beat people up brutally not knowing that they get more and more angry and used-to such behaviour!
Mania, Tehran, Iran

We will continue to protest and we have several reasons to do so. First because we demand our rights. Second because were not afraid. Third - we will not be fooled. And fourth - in this way, the true face of this regime will be revealed to the whole world.
Iman, Iran

Thursday, June 18, 2009

iPhone 3G S

I will get one tomorrow, and the best thing is that I am not typing this in my sleeping bag outside of the Soho Apple store.

No, I have hired a homeless bloke to sleep out side for me, and wait in line. I am sure to be the first iPhone 3G S owner in New York! : ) My only worry is that someone buys my homeless bloke off or he goes and takes a piss at some inopportune moment and my place gets taken.

The problem with the new iPhone will look exactly like e.v.e.r.y. other bloody iPhone ever made. How can I show off? Apple you change iPods every year, forcing hipsters to upgrade accordingly. What's the point in buying the latest and greatest iPhone if I cannot show it off?

Any ideas how I can make sure everyone knows I have the new iPhone? Use the video feature non-stop? Make use of the compass to tell people which way is north? Use the "voice control" feature to dictate snotty text messages to my homies? MMS my blog with pictures of me picking my nose?

My dad's 3 year old phone has all of those features, plus a built in torch. Hopefully a torch will be included in the iPhone 3G T, due out next year; then followed by the iPod Torch. Genius.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I have been reading about people who are not going to vote in the up coming Indonesian presidential election, they are going to be 'Golput'.

They are effing idiots!

I kinda understand how rotten to the core Indonesian politicians are. Indonesia is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, even ignoring that, Indonesian politicians tend to be some of the biggest dicks in the world.

I would also want to have very little to do with any Indonesian politician, let alone vote for one.

Consider the recent Iranian presidential elections however. Each of the candidates were hand picked by the supreme leader, Ali Khameni. From all accounts Ali Khameni is a pretty conservative, hard line bloke (Ahmadinejad is his right hand guy).

Each of the candidates he chose follow his general policies; they only differ in shades of shadiness.

Yet, the more reform minded, liberal leaning people have sided with Mousavi and swept him to power (unfortunately a coup has stopped him from actually taking power). I doubt Mousavi is a reformist himself (he has enough blood on his hands while he was president back in the 80s).

It seems now though, that the people have given him his manifesto, rather than the other way around. It also sends out a message to other people in power what they need to do to appeal to the Iranian people.

Indonesian politicians might be greedy, but they are not dumb, you have to send them message they will understand at the ballot box. You have to make them compete for this and future votes.

If each presidential candidate is corrupt vote for the least corrupt; if each is a war criminal (I still think there's more to SBY btw!) vote for the one that has ordered fewer rapes, mass murders and torture sessions; if each is a selfish megalomaniac vote for the least selfish megalomaniac.

Voting is one of the few ways you have to change things for the better in your country.

Golputs want things to stay the same or are fucking idiots. Don't be an eejit.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

German Graffiti in Dublin

The Be Erhard poster reminded me of a piece of graffiti outside a building site in Dublin.

It was in German, saying something like, "Germany doesn't allow Eastern Europeans work there, Ireland shouldn't either".


Ok enough complaining about German related stuff. I loved my time there, it's a fantastic place to go to college : )

Be Erhard!

Saw this poster just off Wall Street the other day.

I suppose it's some kinda publicity stunt for some sorta German lobby group.

In any case, my first reaction was how effing arrogant for a German group to tell American how to solve the financial crisis (btdubs, Germany hasn't been a Wirtschaftswunder for about 20 or 30 years!). I thought the same a few years back when Americans used to come to Europe and proclaim how American economic policies were the way forward.

The reality is we're all groping in the dark, there are few clearly better ways to improve everybody's welfare.


Lebanon's Hezbollah lost their election, Ahmadinajad probably lost the Iranian election too, but it sounds like the Iranian election was rigged.

I wonder how much Obama's recent speech and general Mr. Nice Guy policy has influenced the atmosphere in the Middle East. His approach makes the US less part of the problem and sharpens the focus on the US's traditional opponents in the Middle East.

The question now is, what do you do when an election has been robbed. Do you continue the pillow talk with the Iranian regime? Having made his keynote speech in Cairo, Obama showed that he is comfortable dealing with autocratic regimes when he feels it necessary.

Does he stay the course with Ahmadinajad showing a realpolitik pragmatism? Whatever the US government does, it will be interesting to see how the fallout in Iran evolves.

I feel for people over there, it looks like they are caught between a rock and a hard place.

New Glasses

New glasses. What do you think? They cost an arm and a leg but I think they were worth it!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

East Timor's Lost Children

My Sis

Hello again.

I walked home from Alphabet City tonight.

It must've taken an hour or more to get all the way down to the financial district where I live.

Most of the way, I was walking through China town. My favourite part of the city. Restaurants and other miscellanea open 24 hours a day even in the most deserted parts of China town. Nice to think that you can order crab live from the tank, that will be served fresher than you are after a night out.

My sister Skyped me today. She broke up with her boyfriend of 3 years. At times she broke into tears, she was telling me that she stayed the same but asked why wasn't he the same.

Having a little experience of break ups myself, I suggested a few things, trying the be the best big brother I could be. I am not sure whether it will be of any help, I am not sure how helpful words are when dealing with one of the most painful events you can go through.

Between you and me though, in truth I look up to my small sister (a whole 9 years younger than me). She's a very together, tough, smart and genuinely nice girl (niceness is too often underrated); I am sure this break up will only maker her tougher, smarter and a better person in the long term. In the mean time I feel her pain.

My brains are swimming through beer. Night.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Agony Aunt

It is Friday night. I am drunk.

Unfortunately the new iPhones are not available yet, otherwise I would be tapping up this post while holding up a bar somewhere in deepest darkest Manhattan.

Not to worry. Luckily I came home in fact, to sort out the love lives of the women in my life.

My roomie got a random phone call from an ex colleague asking her out. She did not know what to do, I picked up her phone and told him that I would gladly meet him at a local gay bar.

I wonder if he is there now. Do not worry, I am not in the least bit tempted! : )

Then a pal (pretty cute to boot!) hailing from Jakarta asked me what she should do about her cheating boyfriend. After much humming and hawing I booked her on a flight over here next week.

I am the best relationship problem solver I know, quick to the point, no beating about the bush with me. So much so, that I have decided to start an agony aunt feature on my blog, shoot me some emails about your relationships and I shall fix you up quick sharp (in the strictest confidence of course).

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Falling down Indonesia's social ladder

Excellent article.


So now that I am on this dating website, I received and sent 2 or 3 messages over the last few days to a miss vh...

Now nothing! (for ~24 hours)

The rejection is killing me, I am very bad at rejection, but I suppose that's the whim and weft of life. Keeps things interesting. George Clooney must be bored out of his tree.

She's still pals with my flatmate, but ultimately, REJECTION. Gah!

Anyhow, this is my rejection anthem, I played it repeatedly during a rather painful breakup a few years back.

Enjoy! (in a kinda masochistic way, obviously)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Straight to Hell

Mother of two Prita Mulyasari gets sent to the klinck for complaing about the care she received in hospital.

She went in with dengue fever and the hospital treated her for mumps. Then she writes to a mailing list about her experiences, then gets put in the slammer.

Btw, extra points for anyone who knows which recent pop song samples the Clash song Straight to Hell : )

Insouciant Qualities

[These daily posts are getting tough]

Ok, do you think describing some Indonesian slum kids as having an "insouciant quality" sounds kinda pompous?

Well I wrote that somewhere last night. Strange how inconsistent people can be; sometimes I am pompous; sometimes a liar; sometimes an arrogant so and so; sometimes a great listener and sometimes pretty effin smart.

Suppose you gotta accept the good with the bad. I least I have Willy Mason's "If The Ocean Gets Rough" to help me through.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


I read today that criticism shows that people still care (lack of criticism means they've given up on you).

Boss, I know you read this, the lack of criticism lately is fine by me! : )

Dating Website

It's official. I have joined a dating website.

I had sworn that I never would join a dating website (cos they're sort of daggy I suppose) but in a trademark Mr-Burns-style-change-of-heart (and cos of one of my roomie's best pals) I signed up.

Why the hell why not, eh? Thing is, I am not sure what to do on there... chatting up girls through websites sounds kinda awkward, ah well, suppose can't hurt to give it a shot. Tips appreciated! : )

Monday, June 01, 2009

Free Coldplay Album

Coldplay have a free live album on their site click here to download.


Over the weekend I heard a theory that the more you write, articulate and verbalise things the better you become at understanding yourself.

I find thinking about myself pretty abhorrent (its a minefield) but there is something about the process of writing in general. I suppose it secures ephemeral ideas, nails them down in black and white, whatever worth that is.

This week I will endeavour to write a post a day.