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Something Wrong with Toyota?

For Knowledge Management scholars, Toyota is one of the role model in applying KM for the growth and success of the company. As addressed by Nonaka on his ever famous book "The Knowledge-Creating Company", Toyota managed to create creative chaos to lure out creativity and redundancy to spread knowledge all over the company, and along with the good culture of the company they managed to climb up as the world's most admired automaker, even almost beat GM's empire on US market.

Time magazine (February 22, 2010 edition) criticized the rapid growth of Toyota's business and its ambition to be the world's top auto company put pressure on the company's ability to transmit know-how and technology. Redundancy was a proven successful method in Toyota's 80s period when the work demand and size of the company is less smaller than now. Weak signals are no more heard easily, or were ignored since the management has fallen into self-admiration of their "perfect" success. Jeffrey Kingston from Temple University Japan even boldly stated that "Toyota is famous for having an arrogant culture". Married with the rigid Japanese culture, this huge organization becomes less adaptive to the global change. Signals of the imperfection of many of Toyota's cars might already be sounded since years ago, but no action was taken up until it becomes a loud and strong signal, snaps the management wide awake.

Before going deep into the Toyota incident, I was quite symphatized with them since I thought as a renowned company in KM, Toyota must have a very admirable culture. The "redundancy" and "creative chaos" are listed as key jargons in KM bible. However, it turns out that when ambition takes place and the business grow tremendously, even a good company can fall into the deepest pit. Redundancy can no longer be promoted as the scale of the company is growing too large. It is a good chance for KM scholars to realize that not all sugggested by KM gurus, namely Nonaka, are the absolute solution for any KM problems.

Swiss Roll Craving

Thanks to playing Gyakuten Kenji (Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth), I'm building a curiousity towards Swiss Rolls. The sweet stuff craved by Gumshoe and little Kay so that they had to split a portion in half was really never in my list of favorite pastry, but after dealing with this stuff for quite a time as it's one of the important evidence in the case, I decided to explore the goodness of this Swiss Roll.

The first specimen is Bread Talk's product. At price of $1.20, I assume it should be better than any rolls from Polar. The texture is nice and thick, but it's less sweet and too bitter. It should be nice for those who dislike sweet stuff but as I'm searching for the "sweet" version according to Gumshoe's description, I don't think I'll be back for more of this roll.

Then I passed by a vending machine at school when I glanced over this Swiss roll for only $0.30. Oh, it's chocolate Swiss roll from vending machine, very much the same as Gyakuten Kenji's Swiss roll! I immediately dispensed one, but turned a bit disappointed since it's not round, but flat. The small roll was on moderate length, but due to the packaging, it's no longer round, but flat. I haven't tried it but it supposed to be sweeter than Bread Talk's.

Thinking on trying Polar's. I'm still in search on the nice fluffy and sweet Swiss roll with a generous amount of cream for the filling.


Animelo Summer Live 2008

This show is really spectacular!!! I wish I could be part of the show!! Gotta reserve ticket to Japan just to attend the 2nd day when JAM Project showed up. I really want to jump out and scream along the crowd:


This year, AAA got their first performance at Animelo, and they sang Climax Jump and Zero, 2 of my favorite AAA songs. Zero's dance is very cool! Love it! But Avex really had bad taste in costumes. Bulky clothes and feathers everywhere... Nissy, what the heck were you wearing on you hair? It's totally fine for the girls, but Nissy?? Oh my... Nevertheless, their performance was perfect. Despite of their boyband-ish looks, AAA showed that they really had the talent.

Granrodeo also made their first appearance. To be honest, I prefer Granrodeo much more than Takahashi Naozumi... sorry Nao-nii... ^^;; Akino and her brothers (Bless4) also deserved to be there. Sousei no Aquarion was one of the most memorable anime song ever.

This is the first time I heard Chihara Minori. I've been wondering what her voice is like since her debut as a singer is successful. Well, she indeed sings well. Her duet with Masami Okui on Rinbu Revolution is outstanding, probably the best Rinbu-Revolution duet.

Arika-san (Ali Project) and Mizuki Nana kept their promise to do a duet again, this time on Nana-chan's Eternal Blaze. Arika-san missed the start and made a mistake on the reff, but she apologized at the end. Somehow she looked more loli than Nana-chan... These two really has a chemistry, even their taste of costumes also alike... *LOL*

On the second day, Masami Okui was absent due to some health issue. There was really something missing with JAM Project without the girls. Hironobu-san tried to present Makkun by tattooing the kanji "OKUI" on his arm, but the kanji "OKU" washed off by his sweat.. LOL.. Nevertheless, JAM Project really burned the crowd.

Ishikawa Chiaki and Yonekura Chihiro sang Anna ni Issho Datta no Ni and Arashi no Naka de Kagayaite. Powerful voices, powerful songs... These women never aged, their stamina is truly amazing.

Arrgh, I want the DVD badly!!!

Resting all day

Writing for goodness

Yesterday, a local talkshow broadcast invited some truly amazing people who suffered rare syndromes which attacked the neural system. Many of them were told by their doctors to regulary writing to keep their neural system active. I then realized, it has been a long time since I last write my mind out. I was a regular writer and quite well-known as a good fiction writer. My teacher, friends, and parents thought I would be a writer, but as I immersed myself in the world of internet, I became less active in writing, until finally I stopped. I even stopped blogging since I was too lazy. The last time I wrote something was for the NTU's written essay.

But the impact is real. My brain was slower in processing words I sometimes lost with what I was going to say. I had the idea in my head but unable to express it in words, be it in Bahasa or English. I think faster than I speak and sometimes I was unable to arrange the words properly unless my brain was at its peak. I was quite shocked by this fact. I wonder, where were my ability in words gone? Yesterday's talkshow gave me an instant realization of the importance of writing, especially a journal. I'm not really a journal writer, because journal should be short and informal, but once I wrote, I just couldn't stop and my style of writing was always formal. The writings always felt like an essay. To be honest, I truly enjoy writing, be it an email, journal, or essay.

Nonetheless, now I realize how important a journal is to keep the track of our daily routinity. As I read some of my diary entries from high school (which I wrote for only a short period), I found it's very nostalgic as I almost forgot those old good days and what I was years ago.

Today I've come with a resolution. I must conquer my laziness and start writing a daily journal. Since I think and wrote faster than I speak, especially in English, I want to try speaking out my mind as I write to improve the fluency in English. I know I have the ability; it was once awaken but I put it into a long, deep sleep for years, and it needs to be awaken once more for good. This entry marks the first step of this resolution. I'm not expecting many people reading my journal, but I'd like to share my thoughts, just in case this might be helping those who share the same problem.
In an episode of Junjou Romantica, little Nowaki often ran away from his house crying in frustration to nearby park (which later became his hideout with Usami). When Usami asked the reason why he's crying, Nowaki said that he's sick and tired of his extra courses. He wanted to stop, but he just couldn't bear the shame of being fail so he tried hard to succeed. Still, when he succeeded, he felt challenged to achieve the next level, thus put him into a never-ending dillema.

When I watched this episode I couldn't understand Nowaki's way of thinking and simply laughed at him. Nowaki had a quite high pride so his childhood situation was understandable, but I still thought this circumstance was only in a fiction. If you couldn't go on, why don't you just stop?... Right?



I think I started to understand him. Although I'm not a perfectionist or genius like Nowaki and my circumstance is totally different, but we share the same pride.

In our System Development team, only few remains. Those who left were key person, so their leaving put a lot of works to those who stayed behind. The Operational Director, who is my direct upline, asks me indirectly to be PIC of this team. This means I have to start learning some crucial systems left by their key person from scratch, while business and system's development has to go on. This is not just the director's burden, it becomes mine as well.

There are times I want to stop -not because I can't but I don't want to get out from the comfort zone. I can find another company just like my friends did, but some part of my pride told me to take this chance to learn how to survive in a chaos. I've been too long in this comfort zone I sometimes asked myself whether I have this survival ability or not. The responsibilities are getting bigger and I don't have enough capability to face it alone, but this is my chance to learn. Of course there are prices to be paid.. I have to work overtime (without being paid), have a lot of works waiting, etc. There are times I felt tired and think about stopping, but my pride wants to keep going.

A contradicting dillema?
I must say yes.
Stop now?
No, for the moment, until the point I finally give up.


Most of the time God gives us answers to our doubts indirectly, in the way we've never expected before.

This is what I've learned over and over, because sometimes when my heart was so far from God, my mind was also very dull and forgot that everything happened had a reason -that is, the answer to our questions.

I have this doubt since 2 years ago, that is to study abroad. I was planning to take a postgraduate study abroad, find a job there, and apply a PR. For a grown-up my age, living together with parents and older siblings makes me unable to live independently. I want to break free and test my own survival ability. Also, if something happened in this country, at least there is a relative living overseas my family can go to for a shelter.

As I started the preparation by choosing a destination, preparing the language, and so on, my doubt increased. No matter how bad I want to go, I still can't leave my parents. I feel too selfish thinking of my own matter and not thinking about them. Although I've been working for 5 years, my saving probably is not enough for paying the living cost and I still need to rely on my parents' money. I also can't bear a thought of hearing a bad news about my family here at the time when I can't be with them. My Mom was my closest person and I'm my Mom's. I can't imagine how to be separated so far not only in term of time but also distance.

I often asked my friends, which one you will choose: parents or good career/future ?
One of my friends choose parents. I too think that career can be sought but nothing will ever replace parents and family. I kept praying for answers, and finally I think I know the answer.

The current global economic crisis is God's answer.
Last year's appendictomy was also a sign for an answer.

If I didn't undergo a surgery last year, most likely I'd been in Singapore or somewhere in Europe/America studying.
If I was currently overseas, I would get the impact of economic crisis and couldn't get what I wished for: a job.
My parents would be troubled thinking how to pay the tuition and living costs since foreign exchange rate rocketed.

So the answer: it's not the right time to go overseas.
Maybe later, maybe not, well, whatever God's plan is I'm sure it's the best for me.

So, if I finally find my answer, how about you? :)


Saint Beast Others Party

Be blessed those who uploaded Saint Beast Others Party at Tudou.com!!!! Kyaaaaaaa! This show is loaded with my top-fave seiyuus: Nojima Kenji, Chiba Susumu, Suzuki Chihiro. Initially I just want to watch NojiKen singing Boku no Meiro live, but can't help but become instant fan of Kishio Daisuke, Mizushima Takahiro, Rikiya Koyama, and Kosugi Juurota-sama. 

The show itself, well, compared to the main Saint Beast Party, is quite so-so. It has a lot of talks, and I don't even know very well what game is being played. But it's so fun to see those seiyuus throwing jokes so naturally, sooo cute and lively. DaiSaku and Mizushima seems to enjoy the whole show very much. I was quite surprised to see DaiSaku's original character which is quite contrary with most of his roles, but can't help but love him. 

Never thought of Rikiya Koyama being this lively and fun. Seeing his real character, no wonder he can do such a silly role like the Shinigami-sama (Soul Eater). The way he forgot his line on the live drama, and then wearing the pink usagi-mimi are totally adorable!! *LOL* Chiba is also very adorable wearing the neko-mimi. It suits him perfectly.

As for NojiKen, well, as a fan I really love seeing him on this kind of event but it seems he's quite nervous even though he's used to perform live with Beloved. He's doing good at the live drama but not at the free talk. He didn't initiated the talk often, only talked on his turn. Nevertheless, Noji-kun, I love you very much.. :) Especially when you're doing the "NYA~~N" pose while wearing the Chiba's nekomimi *nosebleed*

For the live songs, NojiKen is doing awesome. Although he seems to push his voice quite hard reaching the high tones, his voice is truly powerful. The melody flowed so beautifully we can forgive some of those pitch error. Next performance was Mizushima, wearing his pink bunny ears. I wasn't a fan of him before but seeing him enjoying his song very much together with DaiSaku made me instantly fall in love with those two. Koyama is equally good, his expression matched the song nicely. Chiba appeared wearing his neko-mimi and occasionally doing some "NYAAAA!" pose *dies* His singing is good, almost at the same quality as the CD. Kosugi-sama's song suits his charismatic aura perfectly and the song is quite addicting, too.

But the star of this event is Chi-chan. Since watching PKO, I wasn't quite a fan of Chi-chan singing and stage performance. But I'm totally in love with his performance here. Oh that hair and those outfit matched him very well!!! He looked soooo kakkoiii and manly, a truly bishonen! He really ruled the stage that night and made the audience screamed like crazy. I'm stunned with his stamina, doing all the screaming between the singing and jumping around the stage but still managed to reach high tones strongly, considering his skinny figure. Chi-chan is getting more good-looking recently. On "Viva Tales of" talk (hosted by Onosaka Masaya, can be viewed at Youtube), he looked sooooooo handsome, reminds me a lot of Takeru Satoh. Hopefully Tales of Abyss anime becomes a hit, so Chi-chan has more opportunity appearing on magazines or interviews.


Another Regime, Expecting Some Miracles

Yesterday I finally got the credit card bill... I am really broke this month. I already spent quite a lot for hair treatment products last month, and in the same time, almost the whole Sekkisei products were empty. I didn't feel like being loyal to Kose since I still suffer breakouts. I was considering several Japanese brands such as Shiseido, Kanebo and SK-II. Not because I'm a fan of Japan so I tend to choose their cosmetics, but I feel their products suits my skin better than Western products. I've tried L'oreal, L'occitane, Nivea, and even local products Belia and Biokos, but none worked well.

Skin Condition
My skin is acne-prone, combination to oily skin, lots of acne scars, huge pores, sensitive, dehydrated, and whiteheads prone especially on cheek and forehead. In search of a good acne cures, I put everything with good reviews on my face, and even dared myself to buy expensive skincare lines, expecting some miracles. By trial and error, I can finally understand my skin but still can't find a truly satisfying result. A month ago I got skin check at an event and the result stated my skin was oily but dehydrated and started to loose it's soft texture. My friend who a Sekkisei user also got the same dehydrated result, so we agreed that we need to change our skincare.

Selection Process

1. Shiseido
I was considering Shiseido because I've been using their powdery foundation and it's quite gentle to my skin (but I've changed to Revlon Softlex --my HG foundation so far-- since the powdery foundation gives chalky results during the day as the skin started to become oily). My friend said her sister used The Skincare line and it's very gentle. Their toner/lotion also got good ravings. The Skincare series is meant for the 

2. Kanebo
Kanebo's product segmentation is quite unique. They have several level of lines, which after your skin adapted to a suggested line, you can 'upgrade' to a higher line. A year ago, before finally choosing Sekkisei, I was suggested Freya (the lightest one) and continued with Red Blanchir (whitening series). They said their lotion had the same function as the infamous SK-II's Miracle Water. Kanebo is definitely more famous here than Kose, so I'm thinking to give this product a try.

3. SK-II
It's quite a bet to try this brand. Some had great improvement, some had breakouts, and some said nothing happened. Some of my colleagues tried this and they fall into those who got the magic. Unlike the other brand who has so much series targetting different skin types, SK-II products are mainly for all skin type so it's quite easy to pick the basic treatment. Their magic ingredient is Pitera, somekind of yeast extract found in sake. There is a tale behind this Pitera thing, I'm too lazy to type it down since uncle Google can provide it.. *grin* The downside, SK-II is bloody expensive, compared with the other Japanese skincares. 

The Experiments

1. Shiseido
When I passed by Shiseido counter at Kuala Lumpur, I saw this starter kit of The Skincare. It contains the cleanser, toner (softener), and morning moisturizer (SPF15). The cleanser gives a squeaky feels and leaves the skin clean but not tight. The softener is a gel-based toner with pleasant, calming smell that truly softened the skin and preparing it for further treatment. The moisturizer is indeed hydrating but too rich for me. It gives a glossy finish, so I need to let it sink perfectly before applying foundation.

I loved the cleanser and softener. The moisturizer is quite pleasant but for a moisturizer with only SPF15 it's still too rich. Sekkisei Day Essence is a step richer but it has SPF30. The whole basic treatment is indeed gentle and calming, but did nothing else except hydrating. For such an expensive product, I expect more. At least Sekkisei indeed brightened my face although it couldn't save my skin problem. Since I'm running out of day moisturizer, I continue to use the moisturizer.

2. Kanebo
When I passed by a Kanebo counter last week, they were selling the limited starter pack of Red Blanchir. I asked the BA whether this product contains alcohol and she said unlike Sekkisei, Red Blanchir doesn't contain alcohol at all. When she applied the lotion to the back of my hand, there's a sharp smell of alcohol. She said that wasn't alcohol but the smell of red fruit extract (the main ingredients of Red Blachir series). I restated several times that alcohol breaks my skin but she kept saying no. When I asked for any leaflets describing the ingredients, she said they didn't have that. There were 2 packs: one with full-sized lotion + night moisturizer (sample size) + cleanser (sample size) + 2 sheets of mask; one with sample sized sunblock + lotion + day moisturizer + cleanser. The BA suggested to take the one with full-sized lotion. She also suggested to take the Blanchir smoothers for large pores and claimed the next morning after application, all of whiteheads would popped out and left the pores clean.

The cleanser is good and leaves the skin soft and clean. But the toner indeed reeks of alcohol. The moment I patted the lotion-soaked cotton, my face reddened like crazy, worse than Sekkisei lotion. There's no way I can continue this product so I decided to return it the next day and planned to take the other package. But when I repacked everything, I saw a nice sticker at one side of the package stating the ingredients of the toner. The first major ingredient is water, and followed by alcohol! What a darn! Alcohol is the second major ingredients! I showed the BA, but she kept saying that all products for oily skin must have alcohol and no claim from the other customer. When I peeked the other box, the day moisturizer turns out to have the same ingredients, so I decided to take the white Blanchir mask as a replacement. I'm VERY VERY STUPID not to ask for money back since this mask, which is more expensive than the Blanchir pack, and turns out to give no result! The smoother also didn't work at all. I'm finished with Kanebo. I feel so cheated I never ever wished to try it again.

3. SK-II
SK-II has this essential kit contains small-sized cleanser, clear lotion (AHA toner), and Facial Treatment Essence (FTE) aka Miracle Water, which contains 90% Pitera which claimed to balancing the skin and evening out skin tone. This kit is for approximately 1 month usage (but it's been 3 weeks and mine were still half-empty). I was crossing my fingers while applying this products and dare not to rave any good/bad effects since they said the 'miracle' will show up after 28 days (following the skin renewal cycle). 

I fell in love instantly with the cleanser. It cleanses well and leaves the skin soft like the other cleansers did, but the sensation is different. My friends who then tried this kit seconds this sensation. As for the clear lotion, unlike the other toner/balancer, it didn't irritate my skin and makes it regain it's clean and healthy glow (I guess it thanks to the AHA). I love this lotion so much I bought the full-sized. The FTE sinks into the skin fast and makes it prepared for the next treatment. 

After 3 weeks of using, my face is getting better. It's glowing, supple, and smooth. At the first application, small whiteheads appears on forehead and some pimples on neck, but it dried out after 2 weeks. My face also cleared up. Some weekly pimples still came by but nothing significant. I only use BP occasionally when new pimples appeared (before, I have to apply all-over the face day-night to prevent pimples). I've never felt my face this good. SK-II saves my skin. 

But this basic treatment doesn't do anything to my acne scar or skintone. They have another series for whitening purpose but bloody expensive!  I wish I can get the samples but almost all skincare products didn't giveaway the samples freely. Even after you spend millions Rupiah buying their products, you can get high blood pressure asking for some gifts/samples from the BA. So in the meantime I rely on the remaining Sekkisei products to help my skin brighter.

My face was also still moderately oily. I wish to try their Clear Solution who claims to reduced up to 56% the oiliness. But again, I wish for samples first.. *lol*

So this is my current regime:

Neutrogena Acne Wash + SK-II Cleanser 
--> Neutrogena clears the white/blackheads, thanks to its BHA content, but dried out skin. SK-II softened the skin but didn't strong enough to get rid those whiteheads, so I combine the two cleansers
SK-II Clear Lotion
Estee Lauder Advanced Skin Repair (wrinkles,  begone!)
Shiseido The Skincare moisturizer
Revlon Softlex Foundation (combination skin)
MUFE Super Matte Loose Powder --> it's so expensive and dries out skin, so I'm planning to replace it with other brand when it's empty.

Neutrogena Acne Wash + SK-II Cleanser 
SK-II Clear Lotion
Sekkisei Essence Excellent
Estee Lauder Advanced Skin Repair
Sekkisei Emulsion (left-over)

Weekly Treatment:
Aspirin + Honey mask (2x)
Seikisho White Mask (1-2x), applied only to whitehead prone area
Kanebo Blanchir mask (1x), applied all over the face

Dark Night.. very dark indeed...

If you're looking for a superhero movie with great tech and gadgets used in great action, then you might want to try Dark Knight.

But if you're looking for a glorious, happy end superhero movie, then skip this one.
And also if you have weak heart or can't handle horror, this is not for you.

The first comment me and my friends spoke after the movie ended were: "Scary!!! Are we watching horror?"
Well, thanks to the villain, Joker, this Batman movie feels more like horror. Everything from the beginning until end was dark: the setting, the plot, the story, everything. 

Joker is creepy, his actions are unpredictable, and all of us were shocked at the scene where the fake batman appeared in front of an office glasswall. He's genius, but in very sadistic way, thus makes this film scary. 

I have low tolerance to horror, thus still feel a little bit creepy. Hopefully this night I won't dream about Joker. The death of Heath Ledger doubled the creepiness.... brrr...