Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas is around the corner !!!

I know I know, I have been slacking in updating this blog. Vacation in Florida seems to drag all the way back to Minnesota. It was a wonderful vacation minus a car flat tire (I'll talk about it later).

As soon as we got out of the airport, it smelt like Indonesia, hot and humid have distinctive smell. We were sweating and it was a rainy day too. There were many bugs around, restaurants were moldy. I have to say Florida is a nice place for vacation but I don't think it's a place I would prefer to live.

We had great time playing in a pool in the Time-share we stayed at, Disney World, Sea World, and Clear Water beach. It's my first time in a disney world. If I am asked to put the list that I enjoyed the most I would say Clear Water beach, Sea World, then Disney World.

On the way to the Clear Water beach we got a flat tire. It almost ruined our vacation. We got it taken care and interestingly we noticed more than 10 cars had flat tire on the way to beach and back. When I called my insurance agent about the flat tire the first thing he said was he noticed many flat tire when he went to Florida. My theory (joke) is there is a conspiracy between the Department of Transportation and towing companies in Florida. So if you ever consider going to Florida make sure you are prepared for flat tire.

Anyway, christmas is around the corner. When I grew up in my school/church (school is part of church) there were so much going on prior to christmas, starting in november. There were so much excitements and activities. Everyday students were practicing for dancing, singing, decorating, etc. The church was so busy with people running around all the time but they were all so joyful and lots of spirit. I loved walking around the school/church and watched people preparing and I also voluntered myself. Often times I made false excuse to my teachers to skip classes for singing practice which I was not involved in for example (not a good example is it :)). So it was also a great time to goof around. There were many services. I went to about 8 services, starting from kindergarden, 2 for elementary school, 1 for junior high, 1 for senior high, 1 for church youth, 1 for church young adult, and 1 for church adult/general. They were all different and every christmas was a blast. On christmas eve went around the town, going house to house caroling from 6 until midnight. Usually we lost our voice the next day. Gift was not really part of it, as a matter of fact I never knew gift was part of christmas. But those years were my best christmas. Perhaps because I was brought up differently. I just think people should not be sad because his/her gift is not as good as what they expect. It becomes "what you are going to get for christmas". I hope everyone will simply enjoy christmas no matter what they get and think about the spiritual part of it, the birth of Jesus as the best gift.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

A day before Orlando

Today is one day before we are leaving for Orlando. Cary went to a meeting with her sister and mom, it's something about advocating her dad's health condition. I take today off, having fun with my two daughters. I was excited to bring Annika to school and picked her up. It's a great feeling watching her in the class. I wish my dad had done that to me. The closest one was dropping me (and my brother) off in front of our school and left immediately.

I went to the same school from 1st to 12th grade. Many same classmates for 12 years. From 1st to 6th grade, 3 times a year the best 3 students from each class were given the honor of standing on steps similar to what you see in an Olympics. The best one on the top step down to the 3rd one. Grade 7-12 used semester system therefore best students were announced twice a year. 90% of the time I was on the top step but my parents never showed up. I wish they would. It came back to me when I took Annika to school today. Anyway earlier today was georgeous, in the 80s. Can't wait for tomorrow, hmmm..... Florida. It's my first time............ yeah......

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fall is here, busy ... busy....

I have been very busy at work lately. My deadline for my current project is Nov 9th. The parent company, Sanken, is planning to get their designs out by the end of November. So there is a lot of pressure to get things done. Nevertheless I haven't worked overtime... yet. In the past when I worked overtime it didn't seem to work. When I get over tired I become error prone. Mistakes just slow things down and redoing them just make it worse. It's a lot of stuff to get done but I learned efficiency and clear mind were more important. Even before I started this project, I laid out my plan to tackle it. So far it seems to work pretty well and I might even get it done a head of schedule. I'll just keep doing what I have been doing, show up at 9 and go home by 5.

By the way, I have to say after my turbinate removal surgery, even though still a slow recovery process, it helps me a lot to do things especially remembering things. I used to forget so many things at work and problem focusing. My head felt bloated all the time because of constant congestion and having problem coordinating my thought and speech. Slowly I have been feeling the improvement.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Opinion: Muslim immigrants in US

I've read a number of articles debating about the presence of muslim immigrants in US, mostly from Africa. Many fear the spread of their religion and influence. I grew up in a muslim country, Indonesia and I would say it is a great opportunity to evangelical christians.

In any country where muslim is the majority the law is very much influenced by islamic law. It makes it very difficult for christian to evangelize to muslims. Having muslims actually coming to this country provides a golden opportunity for evangelism. I hope many others will realize that.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

FAQ: Uz's family in Indonesia: natural disaster

Many people have asked me about recent earth quake, in Sumatera Island. All of my relatives and family are fine. They live far away from the earth quake. One of a hard hit area is in the city of Padang, it's in the middle of Sumatera island. The city is well-known for "Satay Padang", lamb meat on stick, rice flour paste with its special curry. Yummy. When I was in highschool I hitch-hiked trucks from Java island all the way to north of Sumatera. It was a 4 day trip going through mountains, so many turns. I passed through Padang area and it's so georgous. The road is narrow, on the left side is almost a vertical wall probably like 30-40 story building. On the right side is a very deep and narrow cliff, no way you could survive you fall into it. Next to it is another tall vertical wall. It was like driving through a slit. You have to look straight up to see the sky. It's an amazing view. Truck drivers were very nice people. They picked people along the way, hitch-hiking was pretty common (I don't know about now). I simply hopped one truck to the next one. In exchange I had to help them loading and unloading when they had to make some stops. They always went in a group, about 10 trucks to protect themselves from robbery. If one truck got robbed they all go down help each other. While driving at night, one of the drivers (2 drivers each truck taking turn driving) periodically climbed out of the truck to the top and checked if any thief jump on the back of the truck while the truck was still in motion !!! I thought it was pretty crazy. Along the way I saw many very poor people, prostitutions were easily spotted. People were very hospitable and wonderful. They would let strangers like myself to sleep over. There were so many things I saw that blew my mind away.

I grew up, to be exact spending my first 18 years, in Indonesia and heard a lot of natural disasters in the news. Fortunately I lived in a safe area, I have never even felt an earth quake, storm, flood nor anything close to a natural disaster in my hometown surrounding area. My hometown is in Sumatera island, near the east coast. The west coast of Sumatra is the meeting point of the Eurasian and Pacific tectonic plates, which have been pushing against each other for millions of years, causing huge stresses to build up. It is part of "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanos and fault lines encircling the Pacific basin. The west coast has more history of natural disasters. But of course there is nothing is certain in this world. Even in Minnesota you could be hit by tornado or lighting for examples.

Uz's trip to Indonesia in March 2008

I thought it's about time to start this blogging about this trip. At least family and friends will be familiar about this blog and they know where to find updates instead of expecting me to send email to everyone which I could easily miss out.

Welcome to Uz's family blog

We are looking forward to our family vacation trip to Orlando this Oct. Stay in tune.