Oct 31, 2011

Yellow Dome of Bogor Presidential Palace

I try to capture the yellow dome of Bogor Presidential Palace (Bogor, West Java, Indonesia). It's a pity that I failed to make a good photo. I decide to still share it here, as you can also see the yellow 'becak' (tricycle) there.

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Oct 29, 2011

A Cat Portrait

This female white cat, Cimu, belongs to my neighbor. It was captured a few months ago. At that time, she often played on the tree across our home. I haven't seen her around lately, perhaps the owner doesn't allow her to wander anymore.

Oct 26, 2011

Vista: Framing the Landscape

When you are in a room, have you ever felt the presence of a particular point of view that makes the room look beautiful? Could be that you see vista.

Vista is a limited view. Called limited because vista is part of a broad view, but limited by some other object that functions as if the frame of the sight.Generally, the vista is displayed in the form of interesting objects that exist outside the house and enjoyed from the house. For more details, you can imagine the beautiful trees outside the house. To process the vista, you can punch a wall facing the tree, so that through the hole you can enjoy beautiful views of trees from the house, which seemed to be in a frame.

This hole can be a square, rectangle, circle, and so on. Our view aims to object because the framing would make the object become more focused. Vista is basically composed of three elements, namely the view, the object to be viewed, and the limiting element. The place looked at is the position we stand against the objects we see. Selection of places to look is the object of the first things to be determined. The best position will produce a beautiful vista.

Elements can be a barrier walls, sills, columns, and others. Barrier can also be a natural element like two trees, or trees with lush circular leaves. Anyway, anything can be a barrier, as long as itwas in the front of the object, and its shape can frame the object. This barrier should be simple, so as not to obscure the beauty of the main object.

The third element- the object -can be anything, as long has the visual appeal (can be park, trees, buildings, etc.). Ordinary objects can be attractive because it is viewed from the fit standpoint and use of appropriate barrier. The core of the vista is how to combine the positions, objects, and divider.
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Oct 24, 2011

Yellow Containers

I saw these yellow containers in the front of a small store at Juanda Airport, Surabaya, Indonesia. I didn't know what's inside it. Merchandise, perhaps?

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Oct 22, 2011

At Juanda Airport Again

The hall that leads us to the parking plane


Benches to sit for a while

Juanda Airport located in Surabaya, Indonesia. We took afternoon flight from Juanda Airport to Soekarno Hatta Airport, Jakarta, Indonesia last Thursday. Nice to be home again.
The Weekend in Black and White

Oct 18, 2011

Rambo on the Truck

This truck attracted my attention. You can see Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russel, the Rock and other movie stars on it. Not only on the back part, but also on its both sides!MellowYellowBadge

Oct 16, 2011

At an Airport

One busy morning at Juanda Airport (Surabaya, Indonesia)

3 Tips on Buying the Right Home

Buying a home is an investment which will enable you to accrue assets at a steady and reliable rate. Finding a good buyers agent in Sydney will enable you to find the home of your dreams and be sure that it will fulfil your every need. A real estate agent should have a solid knowledge of the area in which you hope to buy and they need to be skilled at both negotiation and communication throughout the sale. This brief article will suggest some of the areas you should consider with your agent when buying a new home.

Location of the Property
The location of the property will play a huge bearing on the price you will have to pay for your home. Houses on the North Shore of Sydney are much more expensive than buildings in the Western Suburbs of Sydney. Each area and suburb has its benefits and will offer a different experience of life as a Sydney Sider. The proximity of amenities will have a large baring on your lifestyle once you are settled in your new home, so it is important to note how well provided for the area is. Some things to consider with regards to the location of your property are:

· House prices
· Local schools
· Entertainment facilities
· Access to hospitals
· Proximity to main roads
· Public transport networks
· Flight paths of planes overhead

All of these factors will have a direct bearing on the experiences you have in your new home. It is always worth thinking of the future and considering the possibility of additional family members being born so that you may invest for the future when buying a home. Travelling a long distance to work every day will take its toll on you and your family so be sure that your property is in an accessible place where you can meet your obligations and achieve happiness at home.

Condition of the property
The condition of the property will have an effect on the price but it will have a greater effect on your experiences living in the home. Whilst home repairs do increase the value of a home at times, they do not usually add value to the property greater than the investment. When moving into a new home it is essential to understand what you are buying and what costs will be involved in refitting any areas in need of improvement. Make sure you seek quotes for any repairs that need completing and consider these costs within your budget.

Utilising a mortgage
When buying a property you have the added benefit of being able to borrow money from the bank to help with your purchase. This means that you are able to make much larger investments than you would be able to if you were investing in other markets. It is important to get the balance of mortgages right. If you take too large a loan then you may find yourself with negative equity on your house. What this means is that the value of your debt is greater than the value of your assets and such a situation could cause you to lose more than just your home if you are unable to meet the repayments. Make sure that you are able to meet your mortgage repayments before committing to a purchase and remember that owning one property outright will enable further investment in the future.

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Oct 14, 2011

Every Good Move Deserves a Housewarming

Moving into a new house can be a time consuming process of settling your removalist fees, unpacking boxes, reconnecting your utilities, updating your home insurance policy and redecorating. But before you get lost in all the drudgery, don’t forget that it’s also an excellent excuse to throw a big bash. Yes that’s right, a housewarming party!

A housewarming party is a great opportunity to celebrate moving into your new place with family and friends. Some people will be inclined to wait until they have the house in picture perfect condition, while others will be happier to hold it sooner rather than later, relying on the laurels of, “We only just moved in”.

While you can rest on these laurels, it is important to ensure that your house is fairly presentable and clean. Yes, this means putting all of your furniture in its intended space and moving any unpacked boxes to one room.

Getting a guest list together is the first step to organising your party. Because housewarmings are typically informal occasions, you’ll find that your guests will often arrive with a partner, friend or family member in tow. The good thing is you won’t really need to worry about seating or catering too much because guests will be too busy taking tours of your new place to really concentrate on where to sit or what to eat.

While you are throwing the doors open to your friends and family, why not get your new neighbours around? It’s a great way to get to know them.

In this day and age, there are plenty of ways to spread the word that you are having a bash. You can do this digitally over a social networking site like Facebook or email; or more traditionally with printed invitations sent by good old snail mail. Whichever way you choose, make sure you get a little creative and incorporate photos of you and your family in the new place and include a map plus helpful driving instructions.

Some people prefer to be extra organised and allocate a start and finish time for their housewarming, while others are more flexible and happy to open up their doors to the ‘world’ for a whole afternoon and evening. This is your party so choose whatever format you are happy with.

If you choose to have a relaxed open door policy to your party, you should choose food and drink that will withstand the elements and still look appetizing for guests that drop in late. Because you have just moved in and are still getting use to the appliances in the new house, this is not the time to be experimenting with tricky oven baked goods so swap the show-stopping recipes for some simple crowd pleasers. Think antipastos, cheese and crackers, chips and dips and mini quiches or better yet, if it’s a sunny day, bring on the BBQ.

When it comes to drinks, you need to be well-stocked with all the faves - think beer, wine, champagne and soft drink. If the oldies are coming along it’s also a good idea to have coffee and tea available.

While decorations are generally kept to a minimum at housewarming parties, some leave a guest book out so that their guests can leave fond messages. It’s a great conversation starter and a fantastic way to document your event. You can buy a traditional guest book from a department store or the alike or opt for a plain scrapbook – either way, it’s a nice touch.

Oct 12, 2011

Ways You Can Lower Your Power Bills

When planning your household budget you need to put towards the electricity bill. With the ever increasing cost of electricity you will soon need to put aside even more. There are a lot of things in your home powered by electricity, such as your appliances, lights and heating and cooling systems. We can't avoid our power bill as electricity is something we use everyday. Choosing the right electrical services can help save you money as well as having an electrician come in to check that your appliances are running efficiently and not wasting power.

Switch off appliances

You can save electricity by simply switching off appliances at the wall when they are not in use. Don't just turn off you television with the remote, or at the button on the television, but switch it off at the wall at the end of the day once you have finished with it. Don't leave your microwave switched on at the wall either. Once you have heated up your meal switch it off at the power point. You will find that there are other appliances you need not leave switched on when they aren't in use, such as the computer or printer.

Energy saving appliances

When buying your appliances go for those that have a high energy saving rating. You can buy everything from fridges, washing machines, dishwashers and dryers, all with very different energy ratings. Most new appliances will have a sticker on them in the store with a number of stars on it. Basically the more stars on the ticket the better the energy rating. When shopping for things like a dishwasher or washing machine you can also choose brands that use less water. You may find that you pay a little more for more efficient items but in the long run you are going to save money by having lower power bills.

Lights

Don't forget to turn off your lights. Make sure that when you leave a room that you switch the lights off and don't have them on during the day if you don't need to. It is a waste of electricity to have lights on in unoccupied rooms or if there is enough natural light coming in through the windows. Instead of switching on lights just open up your curtains. If your home is dark, even during the day, you could install a skylight.

Heating and cooling

Your heating and cooling system can use a lot of electricity particularly if you over use them. Switch off your heater or air conditioner when you go out and turn them off at night. Keep warm by putting extra blankets on your bed, wearing warmer pyjamas or taking a hot water bottle to bed. If you want to keep your children's rooms warmer get a bar heater and heat only their rooms. Have your heater and cooling system running more efficiently by shutting the vents in rooms that you aren't occupying so the heat or cool air is being blown into these rooms. You will save a lot of power.

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Oct 10, 2011

5 Important Things to Check When Buying a New Home

Buying a new home can be a stressful time because as well as organising finance and finding the right home you also need to check a few things about the home before you decide to purchase it. As well as going through your check list you also need to do some research into home insurance and find a good removalist to move your furniture and possessions into your new home.

Building Structurally Sound

If you are buying a home, particularly an older home, you will need to check that the building itself is structurally sound. It can be a good idea to have a fully qualified builder come and go through the building for you to check that it doesn't need major work done to it, like re-stumping or that it needs all the electrics re-wired. A builder will be able to let you know whether any parts of the home needs renovation and should be able to give you an estimate of what that would cost you. Any repairs need to be factored in to the total cost of the purchase of the property.

Pests
Before you buy a property you also need to make sure that it is not infested with pests, such as termites. These sorts of pests can be extremely destructive to a building and if the house is infested it could require huge sections to be demolished and replaced or you could find the framework of the home is beyond repair.

Vacant Block Next Door

If the home you are interested in has a vacant block next door you might want to find out who owns the property for several reasons. You may need to erect a fence, which is a shared cost between you and your neighbour. Depending on where you live a vacant block could be used for all manner of things, including apartments or even more commercial structures like a car park or shopping centre. It would be a good idea to contact the council and find out who owns the land and if they can tell you if there are any building plans in place for the block. If you have the choice you might not want to live next door to a shopping centre.

Location
As well as liking the look of the house you have to be happy with the location. A home needs to be close to shops, the right school if you have children, public transport and be easily accessible to your place of work. There might be other things that you want in your neighbourhood, like easy access to cafes and restaurants, you might want to be a walk to the beach or be near plenty of park land.

Will it Suit Your Lifestyle?

The home will also need to suit your lifestyle. It will need to be big enough to house your entire family comfortably. You may be retiring and looking for a smaller home to down size to. You might entertain a lot so need large open rooms and an area for an outdoor kitchen in your back garden. Some couples are very career focused and prefer a property without a garden so they don't have to do much maintenance on their property, or a family could want a garden for their kids and pets.

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Yellow Flower

Captured inside Nusantara Flower Park (Cipanas, West Java, Indonesia)

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Oct 8, 2011

Little Fire

Little fire
little light
little warm

5 Ways to Feel Safer in your Home

Feeling safe is one of the most important things for a person, though sometimes it is hard to feel totally secure even in your own home. Quite often there is actually nothing to worry about however that doesn't make you feel any safer. The following ideas will help you worry less, feel safer and relax more when you are at home.

1)Have a security system installed – Whether it is
security doors, security screens, or an alarm system, having that extra line of defence between you and the outside world can make a huge difference. Not only is your place less likely to be targeted, but if it is, it will be way less chance that anyone will be able to get inside. Investing in a security system will mean you can rest easy knowing that you are safe inside your home.

2)Get to know your neighbours – There is nothing quite as secure as a community where people know each other. Make a point of getting to know your neighbours and looking out for one another. Introduce yourself, drop by with cookies or muffins, and take an interest in their lives. Some people are way more vulnerable than others so they'll feel safer too knowing that you are looking out for them. It will also be much harder for an intruder to sneak in or out of your community if people realise they don’t live there.

3)Learn self defense – Knowing how to defend yourself is an invaluable skill and even just a move or two can make all the difference. Regardless of your age, it is always handy to know what to do if you are attacked and it can be as simple as knowing a few vulnerable areas to strike out at. Taking a self defense class will give you the confidence to know what to do in an emergency and you will feel much safer both in your home and out on the street.

4)Get a dog – Dogs are great companions and are also quite territorial. Having a dog in your place will be great at both alerting you if someone is nearby as well as deterring possible intruders from targeting your place. Apart from this, just the great company provided by your dog will have you feeling less alone and way less vulnerable.

5)Choose your late night movies carefully – Whether you are actually totally safe or not, watching scary movies when you are home alone at night can make it really difficult to feel safe. Scary movies can be loads of fun, though maybe keep them for during the day or for when friends are staying over. You dont want to think every shadow in your place is hiding an intruder or a monster!

Everyone should feel safe whether in their home or not, though it's often the feeling of isolation that adds to our fears. Adding a few practical safety measures to your home will help a lot, though the real safety will come from knowing that your community is one where everyone looks out for each other. Use a bit of common sense and involve yourself in your community. Don't feel scared and isolated in your home.

Oct 6, 2011

Reasons Your Kit Home Needs a Veranda

Not only do verandas improve the look of kit homes it also increases their value, just as any structure added to a home makes a property more valuable. If you didn't want to put a veranda around your home patios on the side a great for providing some shade and using to shelter an entertainment area.

Shade

In our warmer climate it is hugely beneficial to have shade around your home. Homes in rural areas of Australia were traditionally built with wide verandas running all the way around the house and The Queenslander style of home, as well as being up on stilts to keep it cooler, also relies on verandas to control the temperature inside the home. A shaded area around your home gives you somewhere to sit on a warm day, you can set up your outdoor furniture on the veranda and it will shade your windows and bricks from the hot sun helping to keep your house cooler.

Play area

A veranda will give your kit home another area for your children to play. They can keep out of the hot sun during summer or shelter from the rain. Rather than being stuck indoors all the time it is good to have an area where children can get some fresh air without being attacked by the elements. Set up a table and chairs where they can play games, do drawings or play with play dough. You can buy small easels where they can stand and do paintings or build them a cubby out of blankets.

Entertainment area

Having a veranda added to your kit home will create an instant entertainment area. Build a timber decking or have a paved area where you can put your outdoor furniture and invest in a quality barbecue. Improve the look of the area by planting small trees, hedges and having creepers or plants that will grow up over your veranda or patios, such as wisteria or climbing roses. It is important to have a shaded area if you want to entertain outside otherwise you will get very hot and uncomfortable, not to mention sunburnt, sitting out in the direct sunlight.

Increase the value of your home

Adding a veranda to your kit home will also increase its value. Basically the more you add to your home the more you are going to increase its value.

Keep your home cooler

A veranda will help keep your home cool as it will stop the sun from falling across your exterior walls and from coming in through your windows. When the sun comes in through a window it can significantly increase the temperature inside the room. A house can also warm up once the outside walls become hot. Having your home insulated properly can reduce this problem.

Reduce your power bills

With a veranda keeping your home cooler for longer you will find that you need to rely on your air conditioner a lot less during summer which will in turn help reduce your power bills.

Oct 4, 2011

Tips for Keeping Your Kitchen Clean

It is important to keep your kitchen clean otherwise harmful bacteria can start to build up and you can risk the health of yourself and your family members. It makes it easier keeping your kitchen clean when you have good quality appliances, such as a Bosch dishwasher, plus you need to have all the right cleaning equipment, such as a good mop and cleaning products. You need to also clean out your Westinghouse fridge regularly too. It can be easy to forget what is in your fridge and as food starts to get pushed towards the back you can end up with lots of products in the fridge that are past their use by date.

The right cleaning products
It helps to have the right cleaning products. If you only have a single spray it won't do all the jobs you need to do, such as cleaning the oven, cleaning any glass surfaces or remove any stubborn stains. You should have a separate oven cleaner, a glass cleaner for your windows, something to remove oil and fat from the splash back and stove top and a spray cleaner for your bench tops. For difficult food stains it helps to have a product that has a grainy texture, so it can scratch off the stain without scratching the surface underneath. You will also need a good product for cleaning the tiles or timber floor boards.

Natural household products
You can also use things like baking soda to clean your kitchen. There are all sorts of fantastic cleaning tips, both written about in books or there is information online. For example, standing an open box of baking soda in the fridge will help get rid of odours and baking soda mixed with vinegar will cut through grease and clean all sorts of surfaces.

Cleaning equipment

You can't keep your kitchen clean properly unless you have the proper cleaning equipment. Having the right tools to do the job will make the job so much easier and you will find that you will do it rather than procrastinate about it. Buy a good mop and bucket, one that you find easy to handle, and any other cleaning tools that will make the job easy for you. Buy new sponges regularly as these can harbour germs. Have a separate one for wiping up the bench, one for wiping spills off the floor and if you have a little one in a high chair have a separate sponge to wipe this down.

Dishwasher
One way to keep your kitchen cleaner and tidier is to have a good dishwasher. Instead of having stacks of dirty dishes piling up beside the sink during the day you can rinse them quickly after use and put them straight in the dishwasher, then once it is full switch it on. Rinsing the dishes will stop your dishwasher from becoming smelly.

Clean up after dinner
So that the mess doesn't get on top of you clean up after each meal, especially after dinner. It can be too easy at the end of a long day to leave the dishes and wiping down the kitchen surfaces until the next day but the mess is always worse in the morning and it is not a good start to the day having to clear up a big mess. Food also dries and hardens on your crockery making it harder to get off.

Oct 3, 2011

Teaching Your Kids to be Great Adults

Is it just me, or does it seem kids are getting a little bit more arrogant and self-centred these days? I know they say the stereotypical Gen Y, although ambitious and driven, is actually more socially conscious than almost any other generation, but it sometimes seems hair gel and lip gloss are taking first place over modesty and a desire to help others.

Humility comes from our ability to find our place in the world, to know that everyone is equal – no better, no worse – and to live with some modesty and humbleness. It was drummed into many of us when we were young, but seems to be getting lost along the way.

Now kids are a product of the times – being raised during a period where technology was always increasing and readily available, money was generally in abundance, and physical appearance became a priority. Maybe they are too focused and too ambitious? Or maybe they just don’t know enough about what’s going on. Whatever it is, it’s important we teach our children to be great adults.

Why teach – why not let them figure it out themselves?
Humility, work ethic, reliability and other attributes are key characteristics in human beings. The help ensure we stay connected to each other, care for one another and focus on always improving our world through selfless acts. If we lose this, we lose a part of our humanity – we lose some of those few elements that actually make us different from animals.

If you want your children to be the type of people who care about our world – and for our people – we need to start while they’re young. So how do we do it?

1. Start small
Small acts will help get our kids in the right mindset to be humble people who care about others. Encourage them to help the elderly lady with her heavy bags, take part in initiatives like Clean Up Australia Day, volunteer at a local shelter or just take part in the MS read-a-thon. As they get older, ideas such as the 40 hour famine can give them a very practical understanding of what it’s really like to do without, or simply buy charity
Christmas cards, or their jewellery from Oxfam. Many of these initiatives are already organised, so all you need to do is give your child a push in the right direction.

2.Give them a sense of place
It is important that your children are confident, smart and independent. It is also important they understand their place in the world, and just how big the world is around them. Giving them a sense of place can be achieved by also giving them a cause they can relate to. Sponsoring a child gives them the opportunity to learn and understand how big the world is, and that people live in vastly different situations. This will help them realise their lifestyle and standard of living is quite good, and they have a responsibility to try to help others achieve the same.

3.Work hard
Another key ingredient to raising a child who is humble and becomes a great adult, is to instil in them a strong work ethic. Whether they work in fast food,
business card printing, for a charity or with a big corporate, they will benefit from the dedication and passion that is required to achieve. They will take instruction from others, learn from those senior to them and contribute from the bottom up.

4.Lead by example
Finally, the best way to teach your kids to be the type of people you hope them to be, is by being that person yourself. Lead by example. Be strong and independent, but genuine and caring, be confident, but humble, and intelligent but ready to learn. If you do it, maybe they will too.

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Inviting Dessert

I forget the name. This banana is baked and added with chocolate and serikaya jam. Serikaya is a jam that made of eggs, sugar and coconut cream. Yummy!
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Oct 1, 2011

Brothers and Husband

From left to right : Ludi, Rofi (husband), Luki, and Lusman- click to enlarge-

All of my brothers and my husband can gather together is really a rare moment; as they live far each other. About a month ago, we could be together as our father being hospitalized again at one hospital in Surabaya (East Java, Indonesia). After visiting our father, we wanted to take lunch. I captured the moment while they were walking side by side on Raya Darmo St. sidewalk, Surabaya.

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