Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Jokes that cross cultural boundaries

Apparently it is difficult to make jokes in two culture at the same time. Here's the situation. I am giving presentation in Indonesia but the language is in English. The audience is a mix of Indonesians and non-Indonesians, who don't speak Bahasa Indonesia. The majority of the audience is Indonesians. Now, the question is should I make Indonesians jokes or English jokes? They are different.

I watch stand-up commedy on TV when I have the time. There's not that many stand-up commedy (commedians) in Indonesia. Usually I watch them on Tonight's Show with Jay Leno. Sometimes he commedians as the guest. Most of their jokes are American jokes. Sometimes I don't understand the joke because they are so tight to events that happened in the US (which I don't know - I don't watch CNN that often), or to characteristics of places and people in certain region in the US.

Any suggestion of jokes that cross cultural boundaries? (Gotta be in English though.) Commedian handbook?

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Re-designing blog and stuff

Finally, I made a change of my blog at blogsome (rahard.blogsome.com). I took the time to customize its CSS to make it closer to slashdot. Apparently, CSS is fun and addictive! And, darn..., Blogsome is so cool. It's going to take a good portion of my time. I have just realized that it is so configurable. I wish I can do the same thing with this. (I know I can, it's just time that I don't have right now.)

I've got things to do right now. A lot of preparation for my next gig; presentations and becoming a presenter in English! It's going to be a challenge, but I am game for it. Bring 'em on.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Something better comes along

Have you ever had a situation where you have decided to do something and then something better comes along? For example, you decided to buy a notebook (or a car, house, whatever). After you bought the notebook then a newer and better notebook (which cost the same or even cheaper) is available. You hate yourself.

I have had many occasions in which I have decided to make a "gig" (presentation, training, workshop, teaching, etc.) on a certain date. Then, a better offer (bigger audience, better pay, bigger impact) comes along on exactly the same time. What to do? I have made a committment. Well, I have no option but to decline the latter offer. I hate myself for that, but promise is a promise. I just have to do the best gig ever!

This is also a common theme in a song. Boy meets girl. (They think) they fall in love. They make committment to each other. Then, the boy meets another girl (or the girl meets another boy). She or he is better (prettier, more handsome, funnier, more understanding, richer, all the good things). It is too late. They regret it for the rest of their lives. (Song fades away ...)

Have you had this experience?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

My feeling ...

Want to know how I feel today? Have a look at this:
http://budi.efx2.com/view/45746/Churning-Graduate-Students/

... typing in this rocking chair ...
... i am feeling great ...

What to get something done? Do it yourself

Have you ever noticed that if you want to get something done, you have to do it yourself? I don't know whether this is just me or it is a common thing. (Pointers? Hints?)

There are some small things that could be done. Many times I think that these things could be done by my students, workers, peers, fellows, employees, but nooo... I have to do them myself. For example, I still have to manage and maintain mailinglists myself. (Add subscribers, remove bounced subscribers manually, modify and configure systems and so on.) I still have to tinker with operating systems and applications. Another example, I still have to design and edit some web sites for community services. This things actually could be done by my students.

(BTW, there are other examples that are not IT related. There are other things such as community services, business deals, academic experiments, and so on. You get the idea.)

It is not that I don't want to delegate tasks. I did and still do delegate things. But, they are just not get done. Maybe it's because:
  1. They don't know how to do it. For example, my instruction is not clear enough. The solution is to give a better (and detailed) instructions. But to give detailed instruction or explanation takes more effort that do it yourself. Or, plain simple, they really don't know how to do it. In this case, a simple search and learn how to do it will solve the problem.
  2. They don't know how important that is. This is a lack of vision. Well, not everybody has a clear vision. You cannot blame them for this.
  3. They don't want to do it. This is a problem. They know that it is important and know how to deal with it, but they just don't want to do it. Lazy! I don't know a cure for lazyness. The most frequently used excuse is "I'm busy." Well, I am too, but I still can do it. Why can't you? It's just plain lazyness. (Or maybe they just don't know how to organize time?)
  4. Anything else?
Because of all of the above, in many cases I have to do things myself. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy doing the things that I've been doing, but I just thought that those things could be done by other people. They could and should get the credits for doing them.

So, let's get busy.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

On Successful People and Companies - the DNA of my companies

Do you believe in coincidence?

Here's the deal. In a few hours I was confronted with stories of successful people and companies. First, I was wandering around in a bookstore while waiting for my kids. I found this interesting book about Oprah Winfrey written by Amelita Lusia. I was intrigue by this book because it is not a translation. It is written by an Indonesian. Here's Oprah, an American black woman. What's her relation to us (Indonesian)? I don't know. But I know this, many Indonesians know who Oprah is. She's an amazing successful person! I am not an avid the Oprah Winfrey Show, but whenever I watch it, it is superb. The thing is ... her success was an an instant. It was not an accident. It was hard work.

The second thing. I arrived at home and turned on the TV. It was about Simon Cowell. Yes, that American Idol notorius judge. Again, this is about sucessful person (and TV show). I didn't know how it started, but now I know. Again, the same theme emerges, success requires hard work and intuition.

The third thing (while I am typing this) is about Starbucks. Yes, that coffee that I am addicted to. (No Starbucks bad jokes, please.) To me Starbucks is not just a product, it is something else. I could find "better" coffee, but they just good coffee. Just a product. The same thing emerges from the show; hardwork, intuition, perseverence (spell?), and obsessions.

Why I am interested in this? Well, that's because I want to make my companies successful. They are not just companies, but they have to be something special. I want to build them to last. I am obsessed with my companies (and what they do). I am trying to search for the DNA of my companies.

As for myself, I like to think that I am successful. I heard that! Don't laugh ...

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Result of PersonalDNA test

Well, it's time to take a test again. This time I took PersonalDNA test. The result is I am an

Encouraging Idealist.

Unfortunately, blogger does not allow javascript embedded into my posting. Click here instead to see my complete result.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Story about Books

One book on the table.
Read me, she says.
I'll give you surprises you'll never find elsewhere.

Ten books. Stacked on top of each other.
They don't really care whether you read them or not.
One of them whispers.
Please, don't read me.
I am ashamed of what's written inside of me.

These books are just part of a quota that must be met.
Publishers must publish books.
If good writers don't come along,
they just publish whatever they can lay their hands on.
It's your fault!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

UNIX is Music?

unix-house-of-musicWe all know that UNIX is an Operating System, but UNIX is also Music? Don't believe me? Have a look at the picture on the left.

This picture was taken Mei 2006 at Grand Preanger Hotel, Bandung. Apparently their fun place is called "UNiX's: The House of Music". Whoa. That is new and news to me. This place was used to be called something else (I forgot).

I have not had a chance to enter this house of music. Don't know if I ever be. The name is interesting, though. I wonder if they serve "login:"? ha ha ha. Maybe the menu is in command line?