Upgrading to WordPress 3.5 at year end

It’s rarely happen that we got upgrade package in the end of the year, what happen in industry nowadays usually they will have upgrade, new package, new product at beginning of the year. Take a look at specific company, they will say the launching of new product usually happen in the beginning of their fiscal year, talk to your friends who has accounting hat, they will nodding because it’s easier to record book keeping or management will say it’s easier to measure and plan the budgeting, marketing and sales figures.

Change is good

This is not happen with software industry, time has changed and now we live in fast paced environment and most of software industry they do lavishly on services, the gain is on consumer side, to make it fair the gain happen for both sides provider and consumer, consumer will have good product (provide that we select product wisely) and the provider will gain a massive marketing value and recognition.

Change, change, change

elvin jones

WordPress just release 3.5 Elvin yesterday. It wasn’t surprising that software release could be any time but it is so common that last 3 week of December is time for slow down and hit the keyboard back on January, unless WordPress team are so confident with their release so that they will not go banging their head with bug fixes on new year eve. Nevertheless I appreciate the effort and the spirit from wordpress team, their passion as startup (do we still consider wordpress as startup) still there.
It’s been successful 2012 for them.

With the spirit of change, this blog need a change as well, change it’s theme from Verbage theme to the default Twenty Twelve theme.

Critics on Twenty Twelve

I have been fans of web content so far, I don’t really know what is the name or definition by it but here is my take, I like beautifully designed web, but the main reason to visit and re-visit (this is important I guess) webpage always the information its provides meaning to say simplicity and readability are key to me. Twenty Twelve definitely supply simplicity, and the readability, it’s Open Sans font with spacing work great its pleasant to read.

I use it now and so far I like it, simple and give high degree of readability.

Twenty Twelve maybe the 3rd generation of default WordPress theme, in fact I never really bother to look default theme previously, this is why:

Its too mainstream

Its everyone urge to stand-out and bend from mainstream right? Oh, just admit it :).
I notice that the comment reply located just below the headline, well this is new to me but for what reason? I believe even in previous default theme the comment reply was located after the post content, the idea behind it is simple that people will read your post and scroll down, scroll down, and down until they finish reading and hit reply to leave comment. What make the change? does it have research on it? behavior change?

However, its time to change, I give a go figure.

Hot and Challenging Ramadhan

The Holy month Ramadhan this year come in difficult time. In Ramadhan Moslem are required to fast for a full month which take 29 or 30 days in a row. Islamic calendar, Hijri is calculated based on pure lunar movement, if we try to match it with Gregorian calendar we can tell that the beginning of Ramadhan is move forward each year and this year supposedly a difficult year.

crescent of ramadan seen in dubai

Physical challenge

Is physically challenging for Moslems live in northern hemisphere, Ramadhan this year come in summer season , and it takes to the extreme. Ramadhan fasting required us to start fasting by the time of sunrises and we are allowed to break our fast after sunset, this is not an issue if we live nearby in equator line like Singapore or Indonesia or most tropical country, because the season will not differ much. I lived in South Korea years back, and I can understand the fasting hardship when the tough season come.
This year it is reported in South Korea that it takes 15 hours from the sunrise to sunset, it means 15 hours of fasting, not taking anything, drink, meal, smoking, or inhale smokes if it can take your hunger down, except if you have medical condition which said otherwise. And this is not yet mentioned about heat wave, this is real danger and real killer.
Let’s take to further up, 18 and half hours in London in 1st Ramadhan 1433 hijri, Friday July 20 2012. In Norway, it is 20 hours.
And here’s another thing, let say we do the 20 hours fasting means we only have 4 hours window time to have meal, remember before sunrise – after sunset, by the time we have lavish meal after sunset, we might still feel full to take another meal on suhoor, before sunrise, 4 hours later.

To take on this extreme condition and limitation in Norway I spoke to my friend who live in Sandvika, Norway, how he can take 20 hours fasting especially to his family, fortunately a fatwa an Arabic term in suggestion given out by clerics from Norway, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. Dar El Eman, Darul Iman, suggested to use an alternative prayer time, a mixture of sun movement in Norway and praying time in Mecca. We can check it out further in  http://www.dareleman.no/gb/prayer-time/alternative-prayer-time/.

Political challenge

Political challenge take part of it as well, this hot Ramadhan followed by hot Political situation this time especially in Middle East and Northern Africa. Last year there was so many political and military movement to overthrown ruling government, some is succeed like in Tunisia followed by Egypt, Syria now still in hot turmoil between the government and the oppositions worsened by more party involved in Syria’s chaos like US, Russia, and China.
Time magazine had selected them as Time People of the years 2011, people who take their right back from unjust government, the people power. Their battle still continue and they are not letting their guard down because there is a transition period after overtake old regime in this Ramadhan.

Political Islamic sect  also another things, which there in centuries,  it is nothing new there, mostly it is about opinion and suggestion which get disapproved from one or another. In Syria it was reported that one guy was killed because he come out during suhoor time to waking up people, remind them to have meal for fasting preparation, this was utterly mad.

In South East Asia

“When is the 1st Ramadhan?” was a hot topic in Indonesia,  NU, Nahdatul Ulama, and Muhammadiah is 2 big Islamic organization in Indonesia, usually will have different outcome since the last 5 years on taking new moon phase, which mark on new month. This were come in no surprise because they both use different criteria, one using rukyatul hilal, other using wujudul hilal, both also using astronomical tools and astronomical calculation. This year Muhammadiah had start fasting on Friday 20 July 2012, and NU as well as Indonesian government stated on Saturday 21 July 2012.

In my opinion , both method have their own base, literature references and correct, nevertheless, our clerics and imams should get their head together and have one voice to come up with one conclusion, ego aside. But things are not come easy, wrongly do pray, amal, in certain date would consider baseless and could considered reward-less, or at worst as sin. In this way, I would not surprise with “When is 1st Syawal?” polemic within month.

In Singapore is different this year, it is not about stir up anything, traditionally MUIS, Islamic clerical body in Singapore, use wujudul hilal criteria, the same with what Muhammadiah organization in Indonesia, but not this time. MUIS had attend Penyelarasan Rukyat dan Takwim MABIMS, Musyawarah Menteri-menteri Agama Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, dan Singapura (MABIMS) last June 27 – 29 in Bali and stated to use imkanur rukyat MABIMS. These countries had stated the 1st Ramadhan on Saturday 20 July 2012. This is a good things and I hope we all keep using it years after, what we need is unity.

Good deeds

Ramadhan supposedly a good time to get deeds,  we should keep our emotion, lower gaze, talk only truth, pray in mosque, be good to others, give forgiveness. We have been promised on this holy month with double reward on each good deeds we do. Amar ma’ruf nahi mungkar.
Indeed what has been teach to us is contradicting with what we are facing nowadays, but let’s hope that this Ramadhan summer will move away next year and we will have better situation next Ramadhan. The 33 years cycle, Hijri calendar using pure lunar calendar, it will only have 354 or 355 days a year, it means we will have annual slide forward by 10 or 11 days, let’s hope that we will not facing tougher challenge next Ramadhan, at least until 33 years later?
Our hardship is now being tested, and if we keep the faith and patient with the test come upon us, we hope it counted as good deeds, InsyaAllah.

How we usually practice it is by having suhoor, early morning meal before sunrise, start of fast, and have lavish meal after sunset, not a surprise full month of fasting usually end up gaining weight instead of loosing it 🙂 Mosque will be busy with prayers days and nights and In the end of the month we will pray Ied together with family.

Happy Ramadhan 1433 Hirji.

Ramadhan Mubarak!

One Day Bureaucracy

Two weeks back I was going back to Jakarta, the capital. The last time I visit Jakarta was alone, for just 2 days on weekends, reach Jakarta on Friday night, and return back Sunday night. Now I am going with my family.

We had planned this trip months before. Me, Wulan, and Nina finally has a chance to travel together. We never had a chance to travel together so far, the arrangement usually goes like this, Wulan and Nina, they will go first, and later I pick them up then we had chance travel together back to Singapore.

This trip mainly Wulan agenda, it was her friend, Mayang wedding. It was never a surprise, the travel I mean, and the wedding, Wulan had time to prepare all the necessary things, like the dress, gift, tickets, car, accommodation, but things always popping up at last minutes right? this too, not an exception.

This just take my spirit, my vibrant gone on this trip, I suddenly feel tired.

She asked me if I want to drive a car, either I take the Dark-blue Mazda in Duren Sawit, rent a car, or just take taxi. Simple question, simple answer, “I don’t want to drive, use taxi, or get a car with driver” 🙂 , then followed by arguments, argue about traffic, driving skills, motorcycle, food, body massage-well, it just somehow popup-, however, I then notice that my driver license will expired on the next September.
I should utilize this trip to extend my driving license.
Good Idea, we extend our trip 2 days more, in-case you cannot finish this stuff in one day, she said.
This means we will going back to Singapore on Tuesday night, from the original plan just to using weekends, so I need to take 2 days from my annual leave, that’s fine.

The expired driving license means it was 5 years since I am going to Police Department Office, my mind just fly back on that day, Daan Mogot, crowded with people taking driving test, cramping from counter to counter, pay here pay there. Ooohhhh.
This just take my spirit, my vibrant gone on this trip, I suddenly feel tired.
That’s it, I don’t want to drive.
I’ve said it. Rock Solid.

Then we arrange to rent a car, with driver.

Three days before we’re going to Jakarta, I am start thinking to make International Driving License, why not? right? If it can be done at least until Tuesday, so let me take it as a challenge.

I start to goggling on the requirements, well, ‘I‘ is not the right wording, it’s Wulan actually, then I got the necessary document needed, mainly copy of existing drive licenses, and copy of ID, we also required to show the original. Now the interesting part is the processing time, it was said, take about 30 minutes, OK, less than an hour.
It is possible to continue to make International Driving License, in one day! … don’t jinx it.

The DITLANTAS, Indonesian traffic police department, has initiative to improve their public service, they have so called “Moving Services”, SIM Keliling, they will serve as moving spot to create new driving license or extend it.
Remember what I said earlier on my nightmare in Daan Mogot? DITLANTAS try to break up pack of peoples in one place, which I think this is a good move.
SMS service also available, this will update the service location on this day, since the service designed to keep moving. You send the SMS, it will reply locations spot and operating time, if we send another question to the same number, it will reply the same 😀 , so it is operated by bot, what do you expect.

For the International Driving License, this is different deal, I need to go to MT Haryono, the DITLANTAS headquarter, the requirement more or less the same, with addition, passport picture wearing tie -for me, man-,  with blue background.
The picture requirement comes with more handle, I forgot how to tie a tie, I wear it regularly 7 years back, but somehow I made it, just to look good on picture. Blue background not available in Wulan’s sister place, her place dominated with white color, with only gray colored wall in her terrace. My Photoshop mind start playing how to change the background to blue, white or gray.
Think fast, time is tight. This just to show you that I don’t prepare well on this matter.
White is better because gray a bit difficult to separate it with dark haired color. The problem is, Wulan brought me a white shirt.
Quickly, we are going outside to terrace wearing shirt with tie, and short, made a quick burst picture couple of times, just enough provided that neighbor  don’t see this embarrassment unprepared moment.

we should plan carefully if we want to swim in Jakarta traffic

SMS has been sent, and received the reply, got the moving spot where are the available SIM Keliling. I can see it now, I am starting from Kedoya, and I can stop here, here, and finish the work here. Like a war strategist, we should plan carefully if we want to swim in Jakarta traffic, really, we need to consider time, route, trap here and there like the 3 in 1 rule which required 3 person in one car at specific -busy- time and road, and unfortunately I really forget about this rule, and that’s the fun of it 🙂
I started Monday morning at 8 am, first we need to drop of my cousin in Sudirman, her office, fortunately we reach there at about 9 but my driver remind me th 3 in 1! we en-route a bit so we can go in from backdoor, with a parking fee which was unexpected, but much better compared to if Police, from DITLANTAS, catch us, what an irony.
She was 15 minutes late from the official office starting time but I consider it acceptable, I don’t know what she said about it thou :p. So now we have 2 options either go to print out the picture first or go as planned, we take according to the plan, we went to Thamrin city, we are heading there via Slipi and reach Thamrin City in about 30 ~ 45 minutes, it takes longer because I don’t know the exact SIM Keliling location, we ask couple of people to show us the location and people are helpful.

SIM Keliling stand in basement parking lot, nearby Thamrin City’s basement lobby, oversize square-ish vehicle washed white base color and stripped with 3 blue greater than sign attached with red-blue siren and announcer on top, air conditioner on behind, easy to spot it even for the first timer. I drop on and ask the driver to find a parking lot and go have a brunch, I walked across the basement passage and three people waiting in small chair next to lobby, opposite the lobby door there the car with 1 door and 1 big window we can see couple of officers working inside and one officer outside assisting one guy in small squared folding table with necessary equipment, they keep it minimal and simple, stationary, cash box, and form sheets.
Oh great I’m fifth, not so bad. I thought.
On my turn, I went to the officer and give the necessary requirement, I give my A and C license, for car and motorcycle respectively, and show my ID card to clarify my residency is under Jakarta jurisdiction, so far so good, then he flashed in a form to fill in basic ID stuff like ID number, address, contacts, we all know this drill, after finished filling it in and give the form back, he asked me to wait until my name called while he give my form to another officer inside the car.

old habit never die

“Nino Wicaksono”
It’s been less than 20 minutes, service are not so bad it means it takes about 4 ~ 5 minutes per person. I went to the car and get in, cold place given air condition blowing inside cramped space, there was 3 officers, the first one asked me seating back to the door and he give me a paper with squared frame to get my signature with big bold pen, and he give it to the second officer who looking through the computer processing the card while asked me seat in small chair facing to a camera, and on it’s back there was cover of blue background and traces of Indonesian Police sign. He take my picture and asked me to confirm all the details on my card because he was about to process the card, and once the card is finished, both of them, I went to the third officer to process the fee.
Mas, you extend 2 driving license, for each, the fee are this much and much, and two of them in total are this much. He said
OK, then I quickly grab my wallet from my back pocket, just before i open it he said again
We also accept if you want to pay more, with a big smile of course, hahaha :)) old habit never die.
I gave him extra 20 to round it up to 300, and go outside, the officer outside give extra process to put protection layer to the license, both of them, and cost me extra 20. In total it cost me 320, but if I compare to the efficient service and 5 year license duration this still acceptable for me, in fact I am glad and appreciate on the improvement.
Improvement which take five years? just suck it up.

I really forgot that I need to extend 2 driving license, the motorcycle license really never come up because I never have a ride it for years, but it’s been done, now I realize that I run out of money. This is another problem while traveling, unexpected fee, and we don’t have enough local currency. I will have enough cash to print out passport size picture, but not to pay for International Driving License, I need to make an extra stop, either money changer or bank, this also come with another issues, I don’t have active ATM card because I never use it the bank froze my account.

I’ll just close my account, and take all the cash than. Ha!

Benhil, Bendungan Hilir, full with stationary store lined along the road in each side, is my next stop to find photo print store in which also come with challenge, I draw my weapon again, language and asking around 🙂 , it’s vital, and finally I found it, total time from Thamrin City until I get my picture in hand is 45 minutes, not bad right?
Next stop is Supomo, in Tebet, to the bank, by this time it’s already pass the 3 in 1 rule so I can use the main road and also it’s less crowded, I reach there without a hassle, it also take 30 minutes to complete account closing process. Once it done and get cash in my hand I immediately went to MT Haryono, the DITLANTAS headquarter, by the time I reach there it’s lunch time break, I explain this more in my previous blog post. Then I get International Driving license at 2:30 pm! 🙂

So looking back at this, I went to 2 government office, and 1 private office (shouldn’t count this) and overall it takes less than a day to finish if off, compared to my previous experience this are really huge jump. It still a long and rough road to go, old habit still there, but now they keep it moderate, at least for what I see so far.

I am glad.

The Stand Out Tattoo

It is quite common to run acroos woman wearing a sexy minimum clothing. I saw girls, womans, ladies, to kids and ocassionally I saw grannies too, yes and yes you read it right.
Here we are not to judge or anything, it just give quite a contrast when we saw their partner are usually wearing casual attire, we can see higher contrast especially when this couple going to a dinner or attending a wedding, there is more which can give this contrast but I think we got the idea.
Man in sexy attire? I never seen it before, because it’s a thin line to define sexy for Man, to show off biceps? or six-packs? somehow some woman doesn’t really look into this.
To simply put this up, to attract woman is complicated, but man is dead simple :), so ladies, don’t get me wrong with this, it’s your advantage and a compliment.

This westernized pop culture has been runs for years slowly become common in Singapore, but yes we still preserve the Asian modesty, which is, of course, a good thing. Be it in streets, shopping malls, congested public transport, they are easily spotted, some are couple, with friends, and not a rarity, alone. The save environment and strict law to the offender make it convenient to express theirself.
But this freedom also come with a limit, couple months back we had an Abercombie gigantic banner in Orchard road, Singapore shopping heartbeat, the banner show a man lower part body with almost expose his.. part, it take sometimes this banner ads get displayed but afterall raised concern get addressed to put down this banner.

At first, encountering woman with sexy attire in public space made me feel awkward, but who doesn’t if you come from culturally different background. In Islam, we are ordered to lowering gaze and be modest,

“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and be modest. That is purer for them. Lo! Allah is Aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest.” [An-Noor 30:31]

to protect yourself from whatever happened to you, or in this current culture, we call it to keep us in our Zen Mode.
Nowadays we sometimes made joke to take ‘lowering gaze’ literally, will not put us to modesty anymore, because they cut everything, upper part, lower part, everywhere :D.
I only see man used short clothing if they perform some sports activities, could be gym, running, paddling, till now, just sport. Once it happened to me to get brunch after running, it just come to me to go back and change clothes first until my friends said that compared to woman attire, we are still modest enough.

Now, I don’t pay attention at all to this womans with this attire, in congested MRT, they might be there around me, but I will get busy with my book or my cellphone, in which, literally we are lowering gaze 🙂 and now everyone looking at their cellphone, so really, above all, chatting, games, facebook/twitter status more appealing.
But this girl is stand out, hmm.. interesting, she’s using high heel, miniskirt, blonde dyed hair, backless, well this actually also common, so what is it? it is her tattoo, the tattoo visible on her white skin.
In quick glance I tought that I saw a letter.
I know that letter, so her tattoo is a words, but what was that ?
Out of curiousity I step up a bit to get closer, her tattoo located in her left back, but it written vertically.
Oh, I recognize the letter, it’s an arabic letter, but it could be farsi thou.
It is very difficult to read it is been covered partially with her left strap and other part with her hair, and the vertical position make it more difficult, arabic words start their writing from right to left, it means if we really want to read it, we need to tilt our head to the right, and who want to do this in public train? :D.

That’s it, I don’t know the meaning of those words, but I know it just a word, no harakah in there, but its enough to make me courious on what the story behind to make her put an tattoo in arabic, to me it just uncommon, and I bet her story must be interesting.
I saw people have a tattoo in Chinese character, Japanese kanji, Hindi, Sanskirt, Galeic, old Latin, and dragon, but The Girl With The Arabic Tattoo? first time.
I am back again to put my attention to the book, read another interesting story, and waiting the electronic voice announcing my station.

The Shaheeda

Marwa al-Sherbini.

I hope you guys ever heard about her story.
It’s a tragedy.

July 1st, 2009.
She was prepared to give evidence to the court in Dresden, Germany.
Her testimony used to convict and fine a German of Russian descent man, who try to remove her hijab/jilbab and called her terrorist.
She was come to the court along with his husband, yet the tragedy begin.

The convicted man run across the court and stabbed her 18 times. Terrible.
“Oh? wait a sec, she was coming with her husband, where is the husband? why he’s not try to protect her from this barbaric man.”
This tragic not over yet.
The husband wad been shoot by the court officer because the officer thought he was the attacker.
Marwa al-Sherbini is dead, her husband is hospitalized unconsciousness.

To be sad, there is lack formal reaction from the official, and also no media coverage to bring this tragic in their headlines. Many people believed that the media coverage will be opposite it the tragic happen vice versa. 😦

Indeed, her heroic and brave determination to defend her hijab/jilbab, and her status as Shaheeda / Martyr gain an immense support to proposed as World Hijab Day in her memory.

references:
http://muslimmatters.org/2009/07/10/marwa-sherbini-the-hijab-martyr/
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jul/07/german-trial-hijab-murder-egypt
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1910030,00.html