a short diary of some part of my life.


Wine bug bit me. I was introduced to this fermented grape juice when I was travelling across Europe 15 years ago. I lost contact to wine after a period of time until just a few years ago.

There is a lot to talk about. Wine like audio can be very delicate, complex, and expensive. I need to know what to buy, which wineries are actually producing great wines. It is easier to find bad wines than good wines. I do my best not to buy name brands, because most of the time, the money is mostly spent on buying the brand.

My choices are very limited to small set of wineries, family-owned wineries, wineries that practice organic-biodynamic viticulture or at least going that way but do not want / do not have the resources to get certified, smaller wineries I’d say.

There are also things that I need to avoid, such as: traditional corks and fake bottles.

Bottle Closure

Corks are what we usually find in most wine bottles, even the affordable ones. I like cork for its classic way of pulling it out. I like screwcap the least but it turns out, screwcap is the more reliable closure than a traditional cork.

Why a screwcap?
The best way to sum it up is the answer Stephen Henschke gave to Levi Dalton on I’ll drink to that Podcast. A reviewer tasted his wine, a blended wine, the reviewer was able to point out the grapes used in the wine. The wine used a screwcap. The other bottle used a traditional cork, all the reviewer could taste was red wine.

I’m aware most old world wine wineries and drinkers tend to disregard screwcap wines as being cheap. But what is important is the content, not the seal. I don’t want to find out that my wines are tainted or premox-ed when I open them. Yes, opening a cork is fun. I get it. There is a real alternative to traditional cork.

Domaine Ponsot is using a very interesting solution. They use Ardea seal. It looks like a cork. It opens like cork. It pops like a cork.

There is a thin sheet of PVDC under a screwcap that seals the liquid inside the bottles from getting out. There is a medical grade shield on Ardea seal that comes in contact with the wine. The Ardea one is better than a thin sheet of PVDC found under screwcap.

Ardea is also more durable to due it is actually injected into the bottle opening. I can’t really damage it without damaging the bottle itself. Screwcap on the other hand, does not take beatings very well. It can be dented and damaged. Once it’s damaged, the seal may no longer form a perfect seal.

Cork has its day. Screwcap is a great alternative. Synthetic cork – Ardea seal is the future.

Fake Bottles

Reading Rudy Kurniawan’s story is scary. I have to wonder everywhere I go, whether the bottle I’m going to buy is a real one or not.

If you have the time, read this thread:

If you don’t have the time, read this article on Vanity Fair:

From what I can see, other than the wine inside the bottle, it does not take a massive effort to replicate every single detail of the bottle and the labels. There are cases of fake wines everywhere, from France, Italy, England, to China.

According to many articles found on Google search, fake wines are not only notoriously found at auctions, but at restaurants as well. Even affordable wines are getting faked. Now, I only buy from official distributors. I don’t buy wines from second hand market.

Empty Bottles

There is nothing green about consuming bottles after bottles of wines. From my personal experience, making glass bottles cannot be made green at all. The heat, the materials used, and the trash. First of all, I do not drink that much wine. I only drink wine on special occassions and when I feel like I want to drink one.

I do not hold special preference to fancy bottles. I don’t mind getting generic bottles because what matters the most is the wine. If I have to trash my bottles, I will make sure that they will get recycled. So far, I have not thrown one away. Wine bottles can be repurposed.

Now, let’s veer away a little bit to the wineries.

I’m a big proponent of organic farming. Bio-dynamic farming is even better. I can’t think of a better time of getting wines than today. Grape farming has gotten a lot better these days than what it used to be.

I’m completely baffled when people say a 1945 wine (in this case DRC – Romanee Conti and other famous wines) is a great wine. There were wars during the time and after the wars were over, people were scrambling for foods. I’d imagine making wine was not even a priority at the time. Famine was a huge problem. The terroir was probably in much worse shape back then. I don’t think it took a short amount of time to recondition the land to even worth growing basic vegetables, let alone grapes.

After the war, there was the chemical industry revolution. This was the time when pesticides and synthetic fertilizers were heavily used. The lost: biodiversity, water pollution, and soil contamination. Decades of use of these chemicals destroyed pretty much everything we need in order to make good wines. This is one of the main reasons I do not buy old wines.

Many younger wine aficionados, they don’t fancy Bordeaux wines as much as the older counterparts. Bordeaux is famous for chemical-farming. The soils are not that special. They don’t really care about moving to organic / biodynamic farming. The trend of making big wines from overripe grapes.

The two major events above is the main reason why I think new world wineries can be better than old world wineries. Most often than not, new world wines are better.

New world wineries can be built on virgin soils. Australia is a good example where most farms champion organic farming. Since they are relatively a young country, the lands aren’t exposed to decades of chemical sprayings. Many have even started on virgin lands that had never been used for anything before.

Biodynamic farming involves every single living thing in a winery. Reusing everything, including re-purposing waste. The use of the land is not limited to vines, other plants can be planted and often times, they are produce and plants that can be used fertilize the soil. Horses, donkeys, even chickens can be found in wineries that practice biodynamic viticulture. It’s really a beautiful sight.

Wineries are now more open to the idea of going organic and bio-dynamic. Many have done it and many are trying to. I hope the results make the wines even better and it should. Most importantly, it’s good for mother nature.

Read this before you make your own conclusion:


Hello! I received lots of questions from journalists and other people who are interested in my doings. Many thanks to all of you, it’s a pleasure for me!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t reply to each of you personally, especially given that you often asked the same questions. That’s why I decided to answer the most frequently asked questions here.

I divided them into three groups:

1. About me

2. About my activities and publications

3. About my political views

As you can guess, all special services are doing their best trying to locate and catch me. And I have absolutely no desire to help them. So, if your curiosity isn’t satisfied after reading this post, you may have my apologies. It’s a matter of life and death. But I can assure you that everything I do corresponds to my beliefs.


1. A glimpse of…

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Peace – a must have ad-blocker for iPhone & iPad

Untitled w/ & w/o ads

The title says it all. Peace allows fine control over what you want to see on your iDevices. You can block ads, trackers, any kind of social media extensions and commenting system.

I’m all for supporting a website but when it gets really annoying to read their contents and they are valuable information, I would install an ad-blocker. Sorry but some websites’ ads are just unforgivingly bad. Peace allows you to download only the necessary files, you don’t need to download a huge amount of data just to view a website. This is a very useful feature for mobile users, users who use cellular data.

For those who value online privacy, this is your way to safe haven. One of the main reasons why a website can be very slow is due to trackers embedded to the website. You have to load all those trackers when opening the website. Once I installed Peace, I cannot believe how fast my browser experience is now and how bad it was.

Peace is not a free app. I’m not fond of buying free apps, we need to support apps developers more than ever, especially Indie developers who are now slowly withering.

Update: The developer – Marco Arment has since pulled the app off the App Store. There is a good alternative – Purify

After reading this article, I quickly noticed, this is exactly how Silicon Valley startups are run. They go viral really quick and they do it by the backing of a couple prominent venture capital firms. And they are mostly giving the service for free. The trick to use the service for free is simple, get your friends join Go-Jek by using your referral codes. You probably can get enough credit for hundreds of usage by giving out your referral codes.

I see Go-Jek practically everywhere. I mean it. There are a lot of people wearing Go-Jek’s helmets and jackets. It’s not a rare sighting. In Jakarta where the majority of the road users are motor-bikes, this is a huge deal. This is one startup that disrupts the industry that no other foreign startups can, not even Uber. Go-Jek must be bigger than Uber by now in Indonesia.

Go-Jek is actually solving problems that really needs solving that have been around for a while.

  • Ojek as we call it in Indonesia, is a motor-bike driver who earns money thru transporting people from one place to another. In order to get their service, we need to get to the nearest Ojek ‘station’, basically where the drivers spend their days waiting for customers. It’s not feasible for a lot of people as they are getting more and more rare. Now, with Go-Jek, I can simply call them to pick me up or send something to somewhere. Oh and, the company insure the driver, the customer, and the item(s) – if lost or broken. There is no way an ordinary Ojek would give such comprehensive insurance coverage.
  • The ordering method, the driver rating method, and the app experience. The app is simply one of the most polished app I’ve seen. It does not need to look fancy. It’s great I must say and at the same time, it’s super simple that a lot of people do not need explanation on how to use it. You simply click the order button, you’ll find several options. I heard they might be addding a few more in the near future. They want to expand beyond transporting customers and items. You can set the address on the map, based on Google Maps or you can simply type the address. You’ll be given the cost (Currently, It cost about US$0.80 for 25KM trip). That’s it. Once you are done, you’ll be given the driver’s phone number, current position in real time on Google Maps, and ETA. The driver usually call you to confirm your order. Once the order is completed, you’ll be served with a page to rate the driver, and write comments if needed.

Traditional Ojek has no order. Go-Jek has. I’m confident enough that I think they could make a dent greater than what Uber has done in many countries. The name is very catchy. There is a competitor but I hardly ever see GrabBike on the road. They made a big splash to compete with Go-Jek but their numbers are dwindling down rapidly. I believe Go-Jek won the battle relatively quickly and won it without a real fight.

Would Go-Jek be they are today without huge backers? I’d say no. They are now subsidizing the real cost. In my opinion, the usage of Go-Jek will slowly goes down as they reduce subsidies, they will not give subsidies forever, that’s for sure. In the long run, Go-Jek will thrive thru popularity, order, and ease of use.

There is no optical audio output at the back of the new Apple TV. It’s a big bummer for an audio enthusiast like me. I’m aware that there is a way around this but I need to have an AirPort Express, next to the Apple TV, connected to my DAC via its’ optical input or a powered speakers via its’ analog input. By having an AirPort Express in the audio chain, it’s going to add another complexity to my audio setup. What if the AirPort Expess goes bananas and I would have to fiddle with resetting or re-routing the audio output setting on the Apple TV to HDMI. I prefer not to use my TV’s HDMI to optical output. The sound quality is going to suffer.

I consider myself to be a minority user who likes to have the least hassle but also to have the best sound quality out of an Apple TV. But regular users will still face a major issue; with the older Apple TV, they can easily connect a separate analog audio line  to a powered speaker. Now, they cannot do it anymore with the new Apple TV. They need to have a TV with audio output jack(s). Usually, if the TV is not turned on, you won’t be able to pass an audio signal thru it. I have seen a lot of TVs without any kind of audio output.

you won’t be able to AirPlay audio directly to your speakers

I’m going to buy the new Apple TV but if I don’t like it, I’m going to return it. I don’t care about tvOS App Store. The UI looks awful. Now, there is a compelling reason to get myself a PlayStation 4. My Android-TV-equipped-Sony-TV might become my permanent Plex client.

I might buy the 3rd gen Apple TV just to keep it around for AirPlay.

Here are the scenarios that I’m considering:

  • new Apple TV -HDMI- Sony TV -optical- DAC -analog- powered speakers
  • new Apple TV -AirPlay- AirPort Express -optical- DAC -analog- powered speakers
  • 3rd gen Apple TV -optical- DAC -analog- powered speakers
  • PlayStation 4 -optical- DAC -analog- powered speakers
  • Sony TV -optical- DAC -analog- powered speakers

I’m seriously leaning towards the last setup. Perhaps, I should add, I will be installing a Wyred 4 Sound Reclocker before the DAC to whatever setup I end up with to improve sound quality.