Thursday, June 27, 2013

Live, dive, love – as a monk

“Immersion” - as envisioned by Saint Diving Guru

Country I live in, is considered open to various religions. Even rather obscure and outdated religions, such as Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist are accepted here. However, religion of SCUBA Blue Church is not yet recognized as a religion.
Are we, dwellers of the depths, true religious leaders?
Let's take a look at the basic elements defining religion.

a) deep faith
b) dedicated places for true believers to worship
c) higher forces to believe in and to ask them for guidance
d) priests that can initiate you and absolve you from your sins

As a high priest of SCUBA Blue Church my faith in my old Dive Rite BC and my trusted Poseidon X-treme deep regulator is solid as a rock.
We, Blue Church members all deeply belief in good SCUBA equipment, pure air in our tanks, in our deserved self confidence and our right to enjoy being free spirits.

In our north western part of Bali we have 33 sacred places from 5 to 40 meters below the surface to worship blue planet.

Without help of divine higher forces we would never survive thousands of hours in habitat not meant for land based creatures.

High priests of Blue Church can not only initiate you and absolve you from your land based sins, much more, we can even lead you on the path of pure levitation to free your mind of everyday evils.

My monastery is simple, rather ascetic, but you can find several holy religious artifacts and persons here. Jacket, Saint Dusan uses for his ceremonies in Blue Church, head cover of the same saint, his quatro plana fins, two Cosmic Priests Mazi and Ficko and so on and so on...

When I've been checking with government why we are not yet recognized as a religious entity, one guy mentioned “You never declared a holy war against non divers...”

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Oh, my benefactor, I'll praise you in my article...

What are major hardships of investigative reporting? Either from fancy spa in Europe, a fantastic ski resort in Switzerland, or an exotic dive destination...

a) frantic emailing, texting, calling for free accommodations, free dinners, free...
b) negotiating with the owners of businesses for more and more benefits
c) twisting serene, leisure activities into attractive wild stories
d) trying to get a fair picture to present it to readers

Type d journalists are a little more rare than dodo.
Type a, b and c journalists are a little more densely populated than rabbits in Australia.

But what's the difference between paid ads and a reportage if journalists are paid by businesses that are willing to pay?
There must be some difference.
I'm just not able to pinpoint it.

For ads you pay to the account of the magazine, for a reportage you pay to journalist directly. With free this, free that... More freebies, better is your business.

Readers can rely on this published articles as every reporter will very carefully and objectively evaluate the value of received free services and his report will be objective to the maximum.
For instance if a journalist receives a free coffee, this coffee will be praised. On the other hand, if he will be asked to pay for a cake, this cake he will mention as a totally overpriced. So, business owners please pay attention for what elements of your business you would like to get high marks.
Journalists' objectivity and integrity you can not fool.

Advice for business owners.
Increase the prices of your mediocre business for 5 to 10%. Use this extra income for supporting investigative journalists. Articles about your fantastic, unique business will attract more and more customers.
Looks like a textbook win win case both for business owners and for journalists.

True, but what about the readers, customers; all these naïve, trusting souls...?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cookies from Bali

I accept your cookies...

Extremely evil and terrifying cookies are spying on us all around the globe – software generated cookies...
Our benevolent governments reacted fast and efficient, as a lioness protecting her cubs.

OK, it took more than 10 years for reaction.
And reaction is on a par with not so brilliant minds of our beloved legislators.
Every web page baking, consuming, distributing, licking or promoting cookies must put a warning about this horrible activity on their web pages.

What are we supposed to do when we see law enforced warnings on web pages?

a) say no to offered cookies and block ourselves from information
b) say a prayer before every click we do
c) destroy computers, mobile devices and video surveillance cameras
d) learn to automatically click “I accept”

If you count visitors of your web pages you must put a notice about this horrible activity on your web pages – or pay the fine.
No, this is not something from a nearby funny farm, it's the law. When and how the authors of this regulations escaped from funny farms I wouldn't know.

Basic issue is we are monitored and tracked during most of our activities. Sometimes it's annoyance, most of the times we do not care, rather often it's fun.
As for many of our daily activities we use different e-gadgets, it simply means whoever is really interested in our activities, will learn about them.

But is this really so different from living a simple life in a village? In the village I live, nobody uses email and text messages interception and decryption tools, they send me cookies only for religious holidays and yet everybody knows I like chicken with chili, when I go to sleep, when I'm diving...
Shop owner next door knows exactly which brands I like and he orders them to keep stock for me.
Somehow I find this idea that everybody knows everything amusing and not a cause for a paranoia attack.

And on the other hand if you take a look at western e-world, it seems it's very similar to a laid back village in Bali.

Just means of gathering information are different.
Here they ask me when I walk home with a bag “What did you buy?”, in western world I tell them through internet shopping or e-window shopping.

Already old saying “World is becoming a global village”, is now a fact, however, some really brilliant government officials obviously never heard of this.

Fact is also, either we live in a real village or in a global e-village, we can anytime close the doors, draw the curtains, block the tracking on internet – and say “That's none of your business!”. When we feel like doing this.

For a few weeks I'll stare and read at the notices on web pages about their cookies, then I'll take them for something similar to warnings at the ends of medication commercials “You should consult your health care provider before...”; or on a cigarette pack “Smokers die younger...”

And, as a big majority of us, I'll soon learn to automatically, without thinking, click accept to continue my searches...
And so we will all live happily ever after...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Balinese secret language

From our scuba poetry day...

As some of us are already lost at deciphering the meaning of the symbol of Putu's raised right hand, we should be aware that this symbolism is still very simple and straightforward compared to secret language they use in Bali.
If you happen to understand a dozen of drunk Martians quarreling about qwrtpzies, you have nice chances to master Balinese language.
For you subtle differences in following phrases are clear:

a) !AA*#*R!
b) !AA*#*R!
c) !AA*#*R!
d) !AA*#*R!

For some of us, poor bastards, with less sensitive ears, it's just the same war cry...
Those of you, with more finely tuned ears, you recognize all the poetry of this four different expressions.

However, as even most of Balinese are a little slow in the subtleties of communication department there are certain language barriers even between them.
When Putu says to Kadek “Yesterday my rice was without chili.” (in Balinese “!AA*#*R!), she politely asks him “Could you please say it again, I didn't get it?” (in Balinese “!AA*#*R!”).

They both know that if you want to to cross the barrier (language or other) it's the best to raise over it.
So they raise their voices. More and more. In order to cross the language barrier and not as an observer might think, to announce “I'll reap your liver out and eat it while it's still warm!”.

In order to save their vocal cords from breakdown, after a while, they usually turn into Bahasa Indonesia. And on very rare occasions they turn into reaping each other livers out.
Yes, misunderstandings happen even among the most sophisticated members of our society.

You are wondering how is my Balinese?