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invest your time – In Time February 2, 2012

Posted by lumierre9 in chit-chat.
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imagine a world where the real life begins at the age of 25 and technically you are given one year lifetime but you can obtain additional time if you work for it or if you come from a rich family. literally time is money and you do transactions with your time. but the more you spend, the shorter your life will be. the poor are struggling, working very hard to get every single minute to keep alive, while the rich become immortal with a huge amount of time they have.

now imagine if you are in that kind of world. if you are one of the poor, how will you use every single minute of your life? or if you are one the rich, will you keep all the time for yourself or will you share it with others?

even in this real world, we admit that time is valuable, which is why people can say that “time is money”. many people always wants to have more than 24 hours in a day. we think that if we have more time then we can do more things. but if we really had more time, would we really use it optimally? or would we just take it for granted, think that time is not that valuable anymore since we have too much of it?

as in the movie, there are always people who need “time”, they need us to give our time for them. it reminds me of someone said “if you want to invest something, invest your time on people, because it is eternal.” you may only give one minute of your time to help someone, but for that person that moment might be so precious that he/she won’t ever forget it.

take a moment for yourself, see on how you spend every single time of your life. are you keeping all of your time just for yourself just to do your stuffs? did you ever stop for a while from your busyness to see around you if there is someone is in need of time and give that small part of time that you have? did you ever have someone asking a bit of your time but you just said that you are too busy?

no matter how much work you have, how busy you are, i think you must’ve had at least some small amount of “free” time. try to invest that small part on people around you, your family, your friend. even if it’s just to send a short message, saying hi to people you haven’t met for some time, that small investment of yours might make their days better…

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gratefulness January 31, 2012

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source: http://www.ted.com/talks/louie_schwartzberg_nature_beauty_gratitude.html

you think this is just another day in your life
it’s not just another day
it’s the one day that is given to you today
it’s given to you
it’s a gift
it’s the only gift that you have right now
and the only appropriate response is gratefulness

if you do nothing else but to cultivate that response
to the great gift that this unique day is
if you learn to respond as if it were the first day in your life and the very last day
then you would have spent this day very well

begin by opening your eyes and be surprised that you have eyes you can open
that incredible array of colors that is constantly offered to us for pure enjoyment

look at the sky
we so rarely look at the sky
we so rarely know how different it is from moment to moment basically
how it is coming and going
we just think of the weather
and if not the weather we don’t think of all the many nuances in weather
we just think of good weather and bad weather
this day right now
as unique weather
maybe a kind that will never exactly that form come again
the formation of clouds in the sky
never be the same that it’s right now
open your eyes
look at that

look at the faces of people whom you meet
each one has a incredible story behind their face
a story that you could never fully fathom
not only their own story but the story of their ancestors
we all go back so far
and in this present moment
on this day
all the people you meet
all that life from generations and from many places all over the world
flows together and meets you here
like a life-giving water
if you only open your heart and drink

open your heart to incredible gifts that civilization gives to us
you flip a switch and there is electric light
you turn a faucet and there is warm water and cold water and drinkable water
it’s a gift that millions and millions in the world will never experience

these are just a few of an enormous number of gifts to which we can open your heart
so i wish you that you will open your heart to all these blessings
and let them flows through you
that everyone you will meet on this day will be blessed by you
just by your eyes, by your smile, by your touch
just by your presence
let the gratefulness overflow into blessing all around you
then it will really be a good day

don’t lose your faith! – Moneyball January 6, 2012

Posted by lumierre9 in movies, values of life.
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Billy Beane is a former baseball player who chose the baseball career over entering Stanford University with a scholarship after being scouted and offered a contract by a famous baseball club. however, his career didn’t go as smooth as he thought and finally he decided to take the path of being a General Manager (GM) of Oakland A’s baseball club. the club is struggling to win the championship with their very limited budget because in the world of baseball, rich teams rules. they can buy any players they want with the money they have, while poor teams can only try to survive with what they have.

his decision to take a brave step to build the team based on the players’ statistics, inspired by an economics graduate whom he hired as his assistant, was strongly opposed by everyone in the team, who still have a hold on the “classic” way of seeing a player based on intuition or outer looks. not giving up, he tried all he can to prove his method until finally he brought the team to break the record of winning the most game consecutively and everyone starts to acknowledge it.

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. -Hebrews 11:1 [NLT]

i think what Billy did is the same with what we call faith. we hope for something, we believe in something, although actually we still don’t know what will happen, but we still keep it. people might think we are foolish to believe something that is unseen, or can’t be proved, or can’t be explained logically. but if we know what we believe in, just have the confidence and don’t mind what people say or think about us. we might not be able to prove or explain it at the moment, but there will be the time when everything is made clear, so don’t lose your faith!

another point mentioned in the movie is another decision that Billy made in the end of the story. a very difficult choice between money and his dream. his final choice might not look good for other people, but he still keeps walking through his decision and not regretting it.

in our life, we might encounter many difficult choices like that. just follow our heart to make that decision, and whatever it is, and however it would turn out to be, don’t regret that decision. but of course, involve God also in making the decision and keep believing that God will do His part in it.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. -Romans 8:28 [NLT]

2012 wishes and targets January 5, 2012

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another routine in this blog for new year, putting up targets for the year…some are still a continuation from previous year(s) which are still not achieved, hopefully it can be fulfilled this year…these are my main wishes and targets of this year, there are some others that are undisclosed…

1. finish my master’s degree well, including finishing these 2 papers and thesis i’m writing right now and doing well in the presentations…actually my professor asked me to write another paper for an international conference and i don’t really care anymore, but well, if i really have to write it, hopefully it will go smoothly and can get accepted (would be better if i can go to the conference as well)…
2. hope that there will be no problem when moving to osaka…wish i can find a good apartment (without any noisy neighbour :p), quite spacious room with reasonably cheap rent, also everything will go well for moving out my things there…
3. start working, will have to do things excellently…learn a lot of things…hopefully there won’t be so many overtime working…
4. improve my japanese skill more and more…try to read more japanese text everyday…hopefully i get good result on my N1 exam last december…
5. still want to learn iOS programming, hopefully i have enough time and motivation to do it…also want to gain more programming skills…
6. want to learn new languages…maybe relearn french again, chinese or korean…
7. again, need to do more sports or exercise…hopefully even after start working i can still have time to do it…
8. again, want to use my time more effectively…this will be affecting whether or not i will achieve the previous ones…
9. travel to okinawa and kyushu as i’ve always been wanting to…

今年も頑張りましょう〜!!

time goes by – the year of 2011 January 4, 2012

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passing another year, it might always be the best time to count the blessings we have received throughout the year. even though things are not always going smoothly as we expected, i still believe that things happen for a purpose. from human being’s point of view, maybe they don’t look so good, but if we can have faith that they are parts of God’s plan for us, we can always learn to be thankful for everything…

looking back to my goals of the year, only a few are somewhat achieved:
1. finally i got a job in a good company and as i’ve been wanting for, to work in japan for several years and then go back to indonesia…not really the “ideal” job that i expected before, but i’m still thankful for it…
2. my research just got “significant” thing by the end of the year so i couldn’t make it to any conference last year…still need to continue some more by this month, but at least my professor is already “a bit satisfied”…
3. i could barely read any book…i get bored easily when i read books so i couldn’t finish any book i started reading…
4. i think last year i spent too much money on lots of things, travelling and buying stuffs so in the end i couldn’t save money…
5. the job hunting process improved my japanese skill quite significantly, by writing the entry sheets and having interviews in japanese with my limited japanese…still need to improve it more though…oh yeah, i passed the JLPT N2 early last year…hopefully the N1 result will be good also…
6. related to no.3, i tried to learn the iOS programming but i just stopped after only a while…
7. maybe my skill in photography improved a bit, but maybe still not enough to be a photo stock contributor…didn’t spend enough time to take pictures either…
8. after going to hokkaido, i visited osaka-kobe-hiroshima again for the second time after the earthquake…couldn’t make it to okinawa on summer, but i went to shirakawago and nagano on winter holiday…
9. still difficult to change this bad habit…just recently when i started writing papers and thesis i could stay working for long time…
10. i couldn’t make it to do exercise regularly…i was just going swimming when i felt like to, sometimes could go twice a week, sometimes just once, and sometimes not going up to several months…well, maybe something is better than nothing…

maybe the biggest thing that happened during the year, also for most people in japan i guess, was the tohoku huge earthquake and tsunami…for me personally, since that time my leg was injured, it was quite depressing that i can’t do things, even i didn’t know if i should be afraid or not…thankfully some friends were helping me out…another positive thing from it is that the job hunting period for most companies were extended, so i got more time to find a job and to learn more, although it was actually already kinda late anyway…

there are also several lessons God tried to teach me through unpleasant experiences…i just tried to be faithful toward everything He wants me to do…

well, overall, last year felt passing so quickly…i feel like still wanting to do a lot of things during the year but so soon it already ended…all i can do is again being thankful to God for everything, for the things i’ve achieved, for the new job i will start this year, for new friends i made, and for every life lessons i had…

If you have faith, anything is possible. Anything at all. September 28, 2011

Posted by lumierre9 in inspiration, movies.
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first time I heard about Bethany Hamilton was when I read Nick Vujicic’s book. she is a surfer that lost one of her arm caused by a shark attack, but she didn’t lose hope and continue surfing. she wrote a book called “Soul Surfer” about her struggle after she lost her arm and how she overcome it. i haven’t read the book (but planning to buy it soon) but a while ago i watched the movie that was released earlier this year with the same title as the book. as a movie maybe it’s not as good as other movies, but her life story is really inspiring. (i wonder if they would ever make a move about Nick as well)

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” says the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future. ” -Jeremiah 29:11-

after the accident, Bethany recalled this verse and started questioning God. she asked her church youth leader, “Sarah, how can this be God’s plan for me?” and Sarah just said “I don’t understand. I don’t know why terrible things happen to us sometimes. But I have to believe that something good is going to come out of this.”

she couldn’t accept it at first but after a while she tried to get back in the water. however her poor performance on a competition discouraged her and she decided to quit surfing. after going to a mission trip to help tsunami victims in thailand she got her motivation back to surf again.

a reporter asked Bethany a question after she almost won a regional championship, “I just wanted to ask you if you could go back to that day and not have gone surfing, would you do it?” and this is her answer:

I wouldn’t change what happened to me, because then I wouldn’t have this chance in front of all of you. This chance to embrace more people than I ever could have with two arms. I was born to surf. This is why I wake up
at the crack of dawn every day. This is why I endure belly rashes, reef cuts, muscles so tired they feel like noodles. And I’ve learned that life is a lot like surfing. When you get caught in the impact zone, you need to get right back up because you never know what’s over the next wave.
And if you have faith, anything is possible.
Anything at all.

somehow it’s related to the sermon at church last sunday by ps.Brenden Brown from Hillsong Church Australia about being strong and courageous. when Joshua was in a tough situation and God appointed him to become a leader, God told him to be strong and courageous up to four times. He wants to make us sure that He is with us no matter what the condition is. He has a great plan for us and by being strong and courageous people can see God who lives in us.

getting a job in Japan August 25, 2011

Posted by lumierre9 in useful information.
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after 8 months since i made a move to find a job in Japan, after getting through lots of interviews with lots of rejections, after getting cynical response from my supervisor, finally i got one. it’s not the one i want the most, but still have to be thankful for it. i need to trust Him that this is the best job He has prepared for me.

i admit that finding a job, or what they call as shuukatsu (就活/就職活動),  for freshgraduate is so complicated. students start their shuukatsu activities from 1.5 years before their graduation. this is what makes it different from other countries where students start looking for a job after graduation, or at most one or two months before graduation.
the process generally follows this order:

  1. setsumeikai (説明会) or explanatory meeting by each companies where we can get informations about the company, the selection process, etc. it can also be replaced by job seminars or job fairs.
  2. entry sheet. this is the first part of the selection where we should fill some application forms called entry sheet that has a lot of questions, beside personal informations, such as motivations for choosing the company (志望動機), self-appeal (自己PR), experience during school time (part-time job, extracurricular activities, etc), and also some special questions that is different for each companies. some companies also have pre-entry that precedes this process.
  3. aptitude test (適性検査). the most common one is based on SPI test, which contains language related test (japanese!!), mathematics, and personality. some companies have their own kind of tests, and some provide the test in english which is good for international students like me (unfortunately only a few companies have it). some have the test online (and some work only on Windows >__<), some have it done in a special test center, and some in their own companies.
  4. interviews. there are a lot of interviews during the process. normally at least 3, but it could be more. and the form of the interview also varies. there are group interview, group discussion, group work, and individual interview.
  5. naitei/job offer (内定). this is the part where we can finally take a breath after those long tiring process, getting an informal offer for passing the whole selection process. after it is accepted, we only need to wait for the formal acceptance that is usually conducted on October.

during the shuukatsu time, students will get very busy with all these things, since generally each students applies for a lot of companies at once. it is a tough process for the japanese students themselves, and for international students, it is more difficult. learning from my experience, some advices i can give, the things you need to prepare for finding a job in japan:

  1. brush-up your japanese skill. it doesn’t have to be that good. at least if you can speak in daily conversation, generally it is enough to get a job. but since everything will be done in japanese, get prepared and get used to it. you will learn a lot during the process, getting used to write and read in japanese for the entrysheet, listening and speaking in setsumeikai and interviews, like what i experienced, but i would be a lot better if you are prepared beforehand, especially if you’ve been in japan only for less than 3 years and always use english in daily life (like me).
  2. collect a lot of informations. the process usually starts from 3 semesters before graduating. if you graduates on april 2013, start from october this year! most of big companies, especially foreign companies (gaishikei/外資系), start their recruitment early. usually there are a lot of job seminars on this period. you can also join some job information websites like rikunavi or mynavi to get more informations. i started quite late and i didn’t have enough information so i felt that it was very tough for me.
  3. know what you want to do, SPECIFICALLY. maybe this is the most important thing. you can pass all the entrysheet, but during the interview, this thing will be one main factor that can fail you. maybe this is the most difficult thing for me because i couldn’t really say what i really want to do in specific. for me, as long as i can have a job in a field that i like, that’s enough. any kind of task is okay for me. but for the companies, it is not enough. so, decide something that you want to do, find more informations, and say it explicitly.

stay strong by faith May 11, 2011

Posted by lumierre9 in life lessons, share the truth.
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it’s been exactly two months since the Great Tohoku Earthquake that devastated north eastern part of Japan with big tsunami and nuclear crisis following the 9.0 magnitude earthquake. it was the biggest earthquake ever recorded in Japan. even the tremor is felt quite strong in Tokyo which is located about 300 km from the epicenter. the tsunami destroyed everything around the coastal area, wiped away cars and houses, brought them level to the ground. the cooling system in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant was crippled by the wave that caused radioactive materials released to the atmosphere.

the disaster was huge enough to bring fear to people even in Tokyo. so many people, especially foreigners, fled away, some to the west, and not a few, back to their countries. immigration offices and airports were packed with people who were trying to get out of the country. many nations through their embassies in Japan strongly urged their citizens residing in Japan to go back, and even the embassies themselves were trying to relocate to other cities other than Tokyo.

some people got depressed and traumatized. a labmate from C country cried after the big long earthquake. even a friend of my friend from T country whom I just met a few days after the disaster greeted me saying “hi. nice to meet you. you might die tomorrow.”

i myself didn’t worry so much. i got a bit panicked after the first big shock since it was very long and i realized it wasn’t just a common quake, and at that time my leg was injured so if something worse happened i might be in trouble. but after a while observing the situations, although the shocks still didn’t stop, seeing my neighbors weren’t in panic as well, i believed that everything would be okay.

the interesting thing is, while many of my friends got calls from their families, forcing them to go back home, my family didn’t. my mom was travelling abroad with my grandma at that time so she couldn’t contact me. my dad just texted me, asking about the condition, and just told me to keep praying. last week i went to my aunt’s house and we had some chats about the earthquake. she said that after the quake she still went on shopping, and when she informed my grandma, the answer she got was only “oh i see”. she realized that our family is so calm toward this.

through this experience, through sermons in church, and through what my aunt said, i kept being reminded about faith. faith is an important thing to have for believers. a faith that entrusts our lives to God, a faith that believes that our Father will never forsake us, a faith that He is in control of everything. the reason why we can be so calm facing this kind of situation, it’s all because we have faith in an awesome unshakeable God. even in the worst case scenario, we don’t need to be afraid because our lives is already in His hands. with faith, i believe that we can face any disaster that might come to our lives, because we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. -Heb 12:26 [NLT]

let God fill the gap April 9, 2011

Posted by lumierre9 in movies, share the truth.
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one of a recent anime in my watchlist is The World God Only Knows (Kami Nomi Zo Shiru Sekai or Kaminomi) that will soon air for its 2nd season…brought up from manga with the same title, the story is about a hardcore gamer who specializes in love simulation games…his ability to “conquer” every girl in every game he plays makes him known as “god”…knowing this, a devil was sent to have him help her capturing runaway spirits that reside in people’s empty hearts…

it is an entertaining story, and i never concerned about the concept of god, devil, or any spiritual things there, i just thought of it as a common thing just like any other anime i ever watched…until last sunday at church, the preacher said something that reminded me of this series…

“Only God can fill the gap in your heart”

that’s exactly what happens basically in Kaminomi…a girl has a gap in her heart which becomes a place for a runaway spirit and then ‘god’ brings love to fill that gap so that the spirit cannot stay there anymore…

i realized that it is the same in our real life…many people have these gaps, these emptiness in their hearts that often makes them feel bad, feel lonely that they run into things that they think can fill those gaps…some become too ambitious in certain thing, some seek attention from others by doing “crazy” things, some find temporary satisfaction from free sex or drugs, and so on…but actually, none of them can fill those gaps…deep inside they still feel the emptiness…

the fact is only God can fill those gaps…His unconditional love for us is the only answer to have a full life…not only me have experienced this, i know heaps of people whose lives are changed once they let God fill the gaps in their hearts…

Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” -John 4:13-14 [NLT]

basic protection from threatening virus for your computer February 4, 2011

Posted by lumierre9 in useful information.
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yesterday a friend asked me about how to recover her photos that were suddenly disappeared from her memory card…i suspected it was caused by some kind of virus, and it was later found that my suspicion happened to be true…before that i read an article about a new virus that was ridiculously made by a guy who was broken-hearted…and also a few weeks before my labmate said that her computer was infected by some viruses…

so here i just want to share a way to prevent your computer (windows) from getting infected by viruses that mostly spread through mass storage devices (usb flashdrive etc)…i used these steps and i’ve never get any viruses infiltrating my computer…

1. install antivirus software in your computer…you can find many good antivirus software out there, such as bitdefender, kaspersky, mcafee, norton, avg, etc…in my case, i used AVG antivirus free edition since it’s free and doesn’t use so much resources…as long as you update the virus definition frequently, it will be a decent protection for your system, although sometimes relying only antivirus software is not enough…

2. mostly the virus will exploit the autorun.inf in mass storage devices to spread in a system…when the device is on and the autorun is activated, the virus will be executed and start its invasion…to prevent this, you need turn off the autorun…you can do this by entering the windows registry…press Windows button+R or click Start > Run and type regedit…find “NoDriveTypeAutoRun” or “NoDriveAutoRun” and change the value into FF (Hex) or 255 (decimal)…this value will prevent the system to have autorun on any inserted device (including any cd with autorun)…
WARNING!! if you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t change any other things in the registry or you will damage your system!!

3. when you’re opening the device, it’s better not to open it from the main frame of windows explorer, but open it from folder tree on the left pane instead…sometimes if you open it from the main frame, it can also activate the autorun inside…

4. go to folder options in windows explorer and change the settings to show the extension of all your files and also to show any hidden files…it’s the easiest way to find out whether there’s any virus residing in your device or not…if it’s not caught by your antivirus software, enter your device with number 3, and see if there’s any suspicious files, and you can delete it if you’re sure that’s not your file…

well, basically that’s enough to protect my computer from most of the virus spread through mass storage devices…sorry if it’s not clear enough…i wish i could give a more detailed step-by-step way, but actually i don’t have much time right now, i hope i can update it some other time…i hope this information could be useful…