January 31, 2010

Between the good band and the great band

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:17 am by qballkubal

For me, there are two types of band: the good one and the great one. The good band (you might call it music group or singer or whatever the available terms you have) has the ability to create an extraordinary music (even if they stay in the mainstream), has its own identity and characteristics in its works, and of course, it must possess the ability to drawn its audience to a novel experience when they listen to the music.

Alongside with the above facts, great band also possesses the similar traits as I’ve mentioned above. What differs them from common-ordinary- good band lies in the test at a live concert. As we all know, tech gizmos have helped musicians to create a better sound with a better quality than what they have done in the 60’s (although I must say, the vintage sound quality of any recordings from that era has its own sensation that I couldn’t get from today’s music albums). You can create almost any types of sound and manipulate (or perhaps re-engineered for a polite term) with all of them.

Yet, you could tell the difference between these two types of band when they perform in the live concert. However good and sophisticated the sound system is, the one who sings at mediocre level will just stay in their mediocrity. The astounding and superb voice that you hear in you iTunes would differ dramatically.I bet that those who rely themselves with such technology would get a cold feet when they have to perform live. On the other hand, we as the audiences would have a disappointing feeling and we might throw our burgers and sodas to them.

Another thing. When I was driving on my way home from work, one DJ from Hard Rock FM explained that great band has a different vision about their interest in music.What they do is based on their perception of music and songs as art rather than as objects of what they could earn from them. In other words, they don’t see musician just as another type of job. Moreover, unlike common-and-ordinary band, they create music and songs that can last longer in the market.

I think some of you would agree with me: We are tired of mass-produced and fabricated songs. What we want is the true music in which it could move our heart and create a difference in our own society. We need a band who could put their songs in our lifetime play-list.

Picture of Third Eye Blind (my all-time favorite band) from idolator.

December 9, 2008

The racing thoughts….

Posted in Just chattering... at 12:34 pm by qballkubal


This happens sometimes, although not quite often. It is the time when I feel like I am being thrown back into the same starting point, at the same circle in my life. If you think this is what they called a reborn soul, then you’re wrong. In this state somehow I feel numb, like I have done everything and don’t know what to do anymore.

It might sound simple, but I just can’t get it out of my mind. I become anxious, nervous, and feel like my mind is about to explode at any moment.  I guess being perfectionist and an obsessive compulsive could bring more harm rather than good.

What do I do to calm myself down? Listening to the jazz could be one of the remedy. Yet, I realize that I need a solitude place. An isolated place. Where all I can hear is nothing but myself.

Perhaps, that’s the reason why I like mountains rather than sea. And that’s the reason why I like mosque when it’s empty rather than filled with people in Friday. In that mosque, I feel like I can feel His presence, His existence, and His mighty being. The vast and empty space was like filled with Him. and when I can get through that moment, I feel somewhat relaxed. The burdens in my shoulder were like being pulled away. And I get my clarity in my mind again.

Phew, I guess what I need is a holiday where I can go hiking the mountain and find a small-isolated mosque inside it.

Picture from Laurie Assadi.

November 8, 2008

To (un)freeze the time

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:43 am by qballkubal


My friend once told me that when she moved here for the first time, she felt as if her time was frozen. She felt that her life was suddenly stopped. In other words, she felt numb at that time. I didn’t realize about her feeling back then, for I didn’t think such state of mind would ever exist.

I was totally wrong.

Now I realize that I am trapped into the same conundrum, when my own time is frozen. If I think about it once more, I would realize that my friend is more fortunate than me. She realized that she had a problem and was trying her best to fix it. Me? I just stubbornly deny it again and again.

Until I was totally tired.

Tired of the same negative thoughts, tired of the same feeling of anxiety. I somehow become aware that there is something wrong with me, more in my soul rather than my body.

Hehehe, don’t get me wrong here. I am not typing another whinny complain about life nor desperate statement. I just found the true clarity in my head (actually, I had several chances to get the same clarity, only that I was too stubborn to take more attention to it). Now, I will try to fix myself. Hope this time I can get over with all unnecessary thoughts.

Picture from pigofhappiness.

August 7, 2008

Finding the right people for the job

Posted in Why is it like that? at 4:52 am by qballkubal

Phew! It feels like months since my last post in here. This long absence makes me wonder: Of all the issues, news, ideas which might float all the time in this world, why am I still find it difficult to pick just one of them and write something out of it? Anyway, today I feel the urge to write again in this blog. Not because merely for the sake of keeping this blog updated. The mood has just come on to me. Perhaps, my recent work which involves in writing has induced me to write in the blog as well.

I am now working on a one year-project in human resource at my campus. The goal is to build a model for succession planning for academic manager selection in higher education institution. Although human resource is not my main interest, I realize that there are more than just hiring and interviewing people in the HRD. Now I know why a one year-training (in the so-called management trainee or business apprentice program) is a common practice in many companies. Recent research suggests that it takes around 12 months-sometimes it can be prolong in year term- for the employee to adapt and become productive. What’s more, to groom the employee for higher level position really needs a long time and there is the uncertainty of failure.

Why am I suddenly jabbering about this? Ever since I was in college, a lot of my friends and seniors complained about the long-term training in job. We used to hear from our seniors who had graduated and worked at the entry level about their long and painful road to become permanent employees. With our lack of experience and knowledge (plus the idealism of a college student) we easily took the account at the company of being so irresponsible and taking the candidates for granted. What we didn’t know at that time was the fact that finding the right people at the right number and at the right time can be so frustated for the HRD people. I remembered my friend’s opinion when we discussed about the difficulty of finding a decent job today:

We can’t blame the economy and its element as the main culprit in unemployment. From my point of view, I believe there are abundant jobs out there waiting to be filled in. I don’t know the number for sure, but I believe it can reduce the number of unemployment significantly, providing they all filled in. The problem is finding the right people to fill in the position. Out of one thousand candidates for one thousand positions, there is a chance that none of them will be fit in for the position either because of lack of competency or not enough experience. You see,it is not always the fault of the economy. Sometimes we have to take the responsibilty for not being prepared for ourselves to fill in the job with additional skills other than just academic skills.

Alongside with the issue above, retaining and grooming the right people once they are able to be found by the HRD people could be more pain in the ass. To ensure that they will become valuable assets for the organization is a very challenging and never ending jobs.


Krandoff, A. Succession Planning in a Fast-Changing World. Journal of Management Decision 34/2 pp.30-34


June 14, 2008


Posted in Readinglights at 8:29 am by qballkubal

“Does anyone have an idea of what we might be doing in Heaven?”

One girl answered, “RELAXING, like on vacation.”

A boy answered, ” Snowmobiling.”

Another boy answered, ” Football.”

Craig, apparently, gave this answer, “Drawing.”

As if the teacher was struck dumb by the answer Craig gave to her, she explained with a faint smile that the new live in Heaven will be devoted to praising and worshiping God: bowing to him; singing Him Songs; and exclaiming His name for all eternity; we will have a beautiful voice in heaven so that we can sing to him for every moment we have there.

Unsatisfied by her answer Craig continued to say, almost barely followed what the teacher were trying to explain to her, “…..draw His CREATION…like trees and stuff…”

The teacher gave him the last explanation, “But Craig….He’s already drawn it for us.”

As I’ve finished reading Blankets, a graphic novel by Craig Thompson, I believe the conversation above was the turning point of Craig’s faith in Christianity. He was obviously unsatisfied with that explanation. Why we are not allowed to draw His creation as an expression of admiration? Why would He only allow us to sing, bow, and praise for Him in the heaven for eternity?

Unfortunately, I am not a Christian. Thus, I don’t have the right to judge anything that is related to this issue. However, I can give you a brief review about the book itself. The story followed the fortune of remarkable character of the author, in the search of the faith in Christian. Ever since a child, Craig had been trying to understand Christian. At first, he believed that this was his way of life and his passion: to be able to understand the Bible and apply it in everyday life. Yet, as he grew up, he found that there were too many things that did not fit with the Bible. He also found that the Bible itself could not give him the answer to his doubts in this life, especially when it clashed with his other passion in life: drawing.

I’m not a fan of graphic novel and yet, I find that Blankets gives me the same thrill with novel. Craig is able to give every meaning in his drawing. You can see the intense feeling and emotional shock in his drawing. In addition, his drawing can give us the same feeling that he had at that time: guiltiness, confusion, fear, and a feeling of fed up to the back teeth. Perhaps, this book can give us another perception about why some people choose to change the religion, why some people choose to be agnostics, and why some people choose to be atheists.

I suddenly remembered a conversation with my friend recently. He said to me:

“I think the whole point of us to believe in our own religion is because we are used to it. Ever since we were born, we are forced to have faith in the same religion of our parents. And perhaps, we have stayed too long in the comfort zone that we will almost agree that changing the religion is an act of heresy.”

I was not offended by his statement. Yet, I was questioned myself, ” Does this mean that actually any religion might have the same value of truth towards the God? If we were raised as a person without religion in the first place, what would we think about all the religions in this world? Would we see all of them as the same, thus there is no point of fighting?” Perhaps in that way we could bring more peace in some parts of the world which have shattered and devastated by the war in faith.

Picture from topshelfcomix.

Sekali Peristiwa di Banten Selatan

Posted in Readinglights at 7:27 am by qballkubal

“Dimana-mana aku selalu dengar: Yang benar juga akhirnya yang menang. Itu benar; Benar sekali. Tapi kapan? Kebenaran tidak datang dari langit, dia mesti diperjuangkan untuk menjadi benar…..”

-Pramoedya Ananta Toer-

Satu kata yang dapat menggambarkan keseluruhan karya-karya Pramoedya Ananta Toer: humanis. Hampir semua karya Pram selalu menaruh berat pada masalah kemanusiaan dan keadilan. Baginya, pribadi yang memiliki nilai- nilai sejati adalah rakyat jelata.

Berlatar belakang daerah Banten pada tahun 1957, dimana pemerintah Indonesia kewalahan menghadapi musuh dari NICA dan pemberontakan Darul Islam. Karyanya kali ini merupakan hasil survei dan investigasi Pram sendiri di daerah tersebut. Hasil investigasi Pram mengungkapkan sebuah kisah tentang keberanian rakyat jelata dalam melawan penindasan dan tirani; pentingnya nilai gotong- royong dalam masyarakat dan bahwa itu bukanlah hanya sebuah konsep atau pelajaran sekolah dasar belaka.

“…..kita memasuki dunia yang sama sekali baru, dunia manusia, Nyonya, yang isinya penuh dengan binatang buas berkulit orang. Kulitnya saja kulit orang, tapi adatnya, tingkahlakunya, semua sama dengan binatang buas. Barangsiapa lengah, dikunyahnya. Barangsiapa lena, diterkamnya…”

Pram selalu bisa membuat metafor sifat-sifat manusia ke dalam personifikasi hewan. Always salute to him and his nationalism!

May 25, 2008

Worm attacked the Friendster

Posted in Why is it like that? at 12:30 pm by qballkubal

Gw sebenernya udah pernah mengalami masalah ini beberapa minggu yang lalu. Cuman, berhubung bukan masalah yang cukup besar dan gak terlalu berpengaruh dengan account Friendster gw jadinya gak gw pikirin lebih lanjut. Sampe hari ini gw melihat account FS temen gw dan masalah itu muncul lagi. Jadi penasaran juga akhirnya.

Diantara anda pengguna FS, sebagian pasti dibuat pusing dengan keanehan FS yang seolah-olah menghilangkan halaman FS anda atau teman anda dan menggantinya dengan tulisan “Saviour of the Soul” lengkap dengan smiley yang (seharusnya) imut di pojok kanan bawah. Itu bukanlah gangguan atau error dari admin FS-nya, melainkan dari serangan worm yang nge-deface halaman FS tersebut. Untungnya, ini bukan serangan dari hacker yang pro, cuman nerd amatiran yang nampak pengen eksis.

Cara untuk mengatasi masalah ini juga gak rumit, cukup ikuti langkah berikut (from Yahoo!Answer):

Goto My Profile -> Edit Profile -> Customise -> Scroll down to Add Media.

Delete this script:

#x3c;script defer type=’text/javascript’ src=’http://www.cebusale.biz/community/i…


At times the script may take different forms. Simply delete everything and you can always add in your bgmusics or whatever later.


1. Go to your “Media Box” (Edit profile -> Customize, near the bottom). Get rid of all the crap there.

2. Go back to “Home” (not your profile) and click “Post Shoutout”, and delete it.

Mudah kan? Kayanya worm ini memiliki feature self-infected dan beberapa ter-attached dengan feature tambahan dalam media box FS. So, hati- hati saat akan mengaktifkan feature ini dan pastikan gak ada script aneh yang ikut nyempil disitu.

May 24, 2008

Reading Lights Cafe and Bookstore

Posted in Just chattering... at 5:00 pm by qballkubal

Pas liburan di Bandung Juni 2007 yang lalu, gw sempet ngunjungin toko buku yang sekaligus merangkap cofee corner ini. Soal kostum dan penampilan sepertinya gak perlu ditanya, soalnya gw belom mandi dan masi pake t-shirt malem sebelumnya, hehehe. Secara baru nginep bareng Ibnu, Maya and cowonya, serta ama Puti di PPR Dago atas (It was a great night with them, by the way!)

Reading Lights and Cofee Corner yang ada di jalan Siliwangi 16 ini menurut gw lebih cozy dibandingkan ama Potluck, dengan interior yang lebih mirip ruang tamu dan ruang baca daripada toko buku. Disini lo bisa nyari novel bekas yang harganya udah pasti lebih murah daripada yang baru. Keunikan lain dari tempat ini adalah lo bisa menjual kembali novel yang lo beli. Pilihan novelnya memang gak banyak, tapi kalo lo beruntung lo bisa menemukan novel yang cukup tua and seru buat di baca. Gw malah nemuin novel tahun 1976 dengan hardcover yang berdebu and kertasnya udah berwarna coklat tua.

The coffee is also great! Gw suka ama caramel latte-nya yang disajikan dengan kue jahe.


Posted in Readinglights at 4:27 pm by qballkubal

The room was empty and quite, save for the towering pillars and arches and high ceiling that made it looked vast and endless. No doors attached. I was there and tried not to look conspicuous, for I was the only person there save for two janitors and their mobs and buckets. The air seemed to lay still. The waned light of sun thrust gently amidst it. The surrounding objects seemed to respect the quiet and calm atmosphere, made this place of great holiness feel more attractive than usual. I was in the mosque. My campus mosque, to be exact.

I used to enter this place on Friday, when there is no excuse to avoid sitting in there and praying. It felt different when I was in there on Tuesday, though. It’s like God appeared himself on Tuesday rather than on Friday. Nonetheless, I was doing nothing except praying, save for reading the novel instead of the Holy Quran. It might be inappropriate, but I couldn’t help myself to use the chance to delve into my deepest mind. I was like inhaled all the words in the book, in the slowest possible pace, bit by bit of their meanings. I remained there for about two hours, almost being heedless about the late hour and the approaching night. People can be skeptical and cynical about my rather impolite behavior, although I believed that at that time I felt as if I’ve gathered little knowledge that I was looking for. A clarity.

The name of the book is After Dark, written by Haruki Murakami. Being one of the most influential Japanese writer in this age, Murakami is renowned for his surrealist style (literary). Never he hadn’t used metaphor to depict the story undergone by the character inside the book. Anyone who reads it will get stunned for sure. He is able to create fantasy inside the reality, reality inside the fantasy. These layers and depths of the story is always fascinating.

Still portraying about life and its complexity in Tokyo, the book tells us about the life of Mari Asai and Eri Asai, two sisters with distinct characters. Somehow, Eri had been sleeping for the past two months, a deep sleep. On the other hand, Mari had a trouble sleeping, forced her to spent the night outside her home. Tokyo in its after midnight appeared to be asymmetrically different. As if it has been made by two different creator, Tokyo in the after dark is filled with different people, different life, different stranger. On that night, something was happened in Eri’s sleep, something odd, something peculiar.

As I’ve mentioned before, there is a layer on the story, one linked through another. Between Takahashi and Mari; Shirakawa and the Chinese prostitute and the Chinese big man; between Mari and the Chinese prostitute and Kaoru; Kaoru and the Chinese big man; they were linked each other within the night. It is very interesting to note that Murakami can create a story where we, as the audience, somehow can involve indirectly in the story as if we can touch the character by our hands. You will get thrilled until the end of the story.

Mosque picture from travelblog.

May 18, 2008

Trojan attacked!

Posted in Uncategorized, Why is it like that? at 4:59 am by qballkubal

The creators of virus and trojan have been hinting on the growth of movie streaming and video uploading site recently. They spot these sites as new places to prove that they have genius in making us miserable by having our computer infected. My notebook got infected two weeks ago, when I was streaming one video. Apparently, there was a notification window suggested that the video is best viewed with blabla codec.msc. There I was, so foolishly and heedlessly agreed to download the codec. It was peculiar though, for in a split second the codec has successfully downloaded. I believe that my mind was not on the right place at that time, because without any hesitation I double clicked the suspicious file. What happened next was really shocked me to death. My wallpaper changed suddenly into bright blue (not blue screen though) with quite big yellow head box stated:

Warning! your computer has been infected by virus/spyware!

Please install an antivirus!

Damn! I was in the middle of finishing my last paper for this semester and suddenly my notebook was lagged because of the trojan. Apparently, this new trojan was able to use more than 70 percent of my CPU and RAM in less than one minute after it has successfully penetrated my notebook. To tell you the truth, I was really panicked. I ran the newest AVG 8 (free version) for more than three hours and the trojan was still there. After spending some time searching for any information, I found out that this trojan was recognized as trojan zlob. AVG 8 (free) can detect and remove them but somehow some of the trojans (yup, more than one. I think they could also cloned themselves once they were inside the system) could not removed and stay hacking the system.

I almost gave up and threw away the notebook to the trash, when my friend suggested me to try Kaspersky 7. He said it works even better than AVG Pro 8. It turned out he was right! With less time required to perform complete system scan than AVG 8 (Free), Kaspersky 7 was able to identify all the trojan and swept them away.

Only one problem remained, since the trojan was also smart enough to disable my windows task manager (the ctrl-alt-del feature) I had to fix it manually. It was fortunate that I still remembered how to access the registry editor, for I had been troubled before by a virus with the similar ability. Here is the way to access registry editor and enable the windows task manager (for XP) again (from amahdy):

-Open the windows registry [Run, type “regedit” then press enter]

-Open “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\” (HKCU is HKEY_CURRENT_USER)

-If there isn’t a subkey called “System” then you don’t have any configured administrative operation on the system section … ok let’s open the “gpedit.msc” again and disable the “Remove Task Manger” option … after a refresh you’ll be able to see this subkey “System” and contains a DWORD value called “DisableTaskMgr” , and its value is set to “0” …

-Actually the value “DisableTaskMgr” should not exists if “Remove Task Manger” is set to “Not Configured” … or if it has a value so “0” means “Disabled” and “1” means “Enabled” .

Make sure you don’t touch anything that you are not familiar with, for some registry entries are related to the core activity of the Windows.

Phew! What a day, spending about more than eight hours to figure out and fix the trouble. However, in the end I had to uninstall Kaspersky 7 since it crashed with Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary 2 (CALD 2). Apparently, it could not recognized the database in CALD 2 and thus, labeled it as a virus (every dictionary program under the SECURE-ROM database will experience the same problem with Kaspersky 7 as CALD 2 had).

Picture from istockphoto.

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