On the Topic of New Daughters...

28 February 2007 | Hisham | | Friends

Gary and Amy both went out and gotten for Stephen a new baby sister! Welcome to the world, Madeline.

Don't worry about it; you're in good hands. You have the best parents and brother to take care of you.


Best Text Message I Got Today

26 February 2007 | Hisham | | ACS Memories, Recent News

Not 2 minutes ago I received the best text message today. Heck, it even might be the best text message for the last couple of weeks. It conveyed a sense of joy. I can't stop smiling now.

The message was from Teik Sing and it read:

Baby Ashley-Joan was born @ 3.54am, 2.89kg, 49cm.

Congrats to Teik Sing and Michelle. Now the fun (as well as the barf and poo cleanup) begins. We're both almost at a full circle, man.


Marvel's Civil War in 30 Seconds

24 February 2007 | Hisham | | Comics, Trawling The Net

Warren Ellis you sly dog you....Civil War was announced as the Marvel Comics crossover event for 2006-2007. Written by Mark Millar and pencilled by Steve McNiven, whose art I admired since his Sentry story arc on the New Avengers and two issues of Ultimate Secret it was going to be a total revamp of how super-powered heroes will be regarded by the government and the general public in Marvel's Earth-616.

Superhero Registration Act and whatnot.

I thought I wouldn't read too much into it and get the book once it's been collected into a trade paperback. However, issue #7 was released and it's difficult not to hear the online rantings of almost everyone if you're a comic book fan.

Anyway if you're not physically, psychologically or radiologically allergic to spoilers (SPOILERS! Once again in caps for your attention) check out this Civil War in 30 Seconds post from Chris's Invincible Super-Blog. It distills the gist of the storyline into several hilarious panels with Marvel superheroes as stick figures.

Oh by the way, the image above was obtained without permission but with good intentions from Newsrama.


Kneel Before Bill Cosby

22 February 2007 | Hisham | | Humour
So there I was watching Superman 2 (the theatrical Richard Lester version, not the brand new DVD release of Richard Donner's version) and I just realised that when the good General said the iconic line, "Kneel before Zod!!!" he really meant kneel before Bill Cosby, which is pretty cool.
Shenanigans in Perry's office

A Couple of Checks and He's Seaworthy

20 February 2007 | Hisham | | Recent News
  • No fear of taking a leap into the deep end of the swimming pool: check
  • No fear of submerging his entire body and head underwater with eyes open: check
  • Ability to stay afloat without using any flotation gear: check
  • Moving on and in the water under his own power: check
  • No problems breathing while all of the above are occurring: check

It's official. Irfan is now ready to explore the undersea realm.

(Well, not really seaworthy yet... but he really can swim.)


Not Really The Eye of Sauron

18 February 2007 | Hisham | | Family Pics

The Eye on Malaysia is its name and we went for a trip to Taman Tasik Titiwangsa for a look and for a ride. Well, Everyone else took the ride. Ain & I did not because Irfan didn't want to take a ride on it. We thought we might go later and at night to see the city skyline after dark, which might be beautiful.

Unless there's a citywide blackout.

In which case, the lack of a pretty landscape might be the least of our problems.


Not Usually Found On Roads

16 February 2007 | Hisham | | Recent News

So the other night I saw something on the road - placed squarely flat on the asphalt - that I've not seen before on any roads.

It was because we had to drive to Ain's sister's house at Taman Bukit Kinrara. We took the Middle Ring Road 2 westbound. The traffic suddenly slowed and moved as like treacle for a kilometre. Then I saw the thing I've not seen before on roads. The stretch of road coming downhill from Cheras bent to the right, squeezing between the Giant Supermarket at Connaught and the great big Chinese cemetery. There were people - drivers who had stopped - standing near it, and they too were standing on the road and not on the curb - not that there was a curb by the side of the road.

The thing on the road wasn't big nor small, but it was noticeable enough under the bright street lamps of the MRR2.

I've never seen the thing resting comfortably on the road before, but now I have, because of the slow pace the car was on. The car crept at slowly past cars and bikes that had stopped at the side of the road, and it had caused a traffic jam. Then I noticed it. I thought I might have been mistaken. The road forced my to maintain a right turn, thus taking most of my attention away from the thing on the road, so I might have been mistaken.

I peeked at it again, and sure enough it was something I'd never seen before on a road before.

Ain started to say something about it and cringed.

I asked her, "Is that what I think it is?"

Police was in front of us, directing traffic away from the mangled blue car on the right side of the road, against the divider. After we passed the police, the traffic became smoother and I accelerated the car to its nominal highway speeds, leaving behind the freshly dismembered human arm that we had seen, resting squarely and peacefully on the road.

I wonder what other unlikely things will I see sitting undisturbed on roads as I drive past them in the future.


Stunt KitKat

14 February 2007 | sila | | Family Pics

Since the arrival of Tiger Lily Belle (Lily, to those closest to her), Vin and I have hardly been able to take our eyes off of this little cutie. She sleeps on the bed with us sometimes, but normally on Vin's side. We play with her and pet her, and enjoy her loving company.

She's an amazing little creature! She rarely meows, unless she wants something. So she's not a chatty katty (which makes doing conference calls from home really easy). She's really careful with her claws and hasn't so far preyed on the furniture (knock wood), she likes to come and curl up with us, she sleeps with such abandon that she can comfortably lie in the weirdest positions as long as parts of her are on one of us.

Vin and I are both crazy about her!

Plus she is a sucker for the bunny on the string. Check out her acrobatics here:


Bread 2006 (April to August)

13 February 2007 | sila | | Food

After the Sprouted Wheat Bread adventure, I did continue to bake breads at a steady pace (weekly, pretty much). We had a few repeated breads, but I tried to balance the repeats with some new recipes.

Here are the breads I made from April to August of last year.


But Dopey He Aint, Thankfully

12 February 2007 | Hisham | | Rants

So I arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport from Bangalore by way of Chennai (which I was told used to be called Madras, by the way) at around 1540 hours this morning. I was early enough to jama' qasar my Isha' with my Maghrib before Subuh began.

Tonight while putting him to bed, Ain & I came to the conclusion that Irfan (like most kids his age) are 2/7th (or 0.28571429) of the Seven Dwarves (as told by what is now known as the Disney Company).

Why? Cause he's both Grumpy and Sleepy at the same time when fighting his lethargy.


On The Way To Work At Bangalore

10 February 2007 | Hisham | | Recent News

From the hotel to Yelahanka Air Force Station, I took a cab. For three days I took the same cab. It was a four wheel drive vehicle. The driver's name was Mallesh. I had his cellular phone number and when I heard it rang there was a Tamil song on the other end. It was he who sent me to the airport after everything was over. And I was happy with his service.

Anyway it takes an hour (and sometimes almost two if traffic's really jammed up) to reach Yelahanka from the hotel and vise versa. I took plenty of photos over the course of several days. Here is a small collection of them. Bear in mind that my travels never took me anywhere near the city of Bangalore (unless it was the trip to and from the airport) so it was mostly rural countryside photos and small towns along the road.


Arrival At India

08 February 2007 | Hisham | | Recent News

Two Friday nights ago, I got a call saying I had to be in Bangalore by Tuesday for work reasons. I said there's no way for me to get the visa and ticket done for me to be there by that time, so Tuesday was postponed to Thursday. Visa was impossible to obtain on a weekend.

The following Monday, the preparation to obtain the visa (a set of three photographs, etc.) was done. However, since we also had to take Irfan to the doctor's that morning, there was no time to reach the Indian High Commission by noon to submit the visa application form. After that, with Ain's help I booked the ticket to Bangalore (by way of Chennai).

On Tuesday, I spent from morning to the afternoon waiting for my number to be called so I could submit my application form to the counter at the High Commission. My number was 74. Now serving: 5. After that, with Ain's help I paid for the ticket at the travel agent's.

On Wednesday, I went to the High Commission again to pick up my passport with the Indian visa attached to it. After that (well, actually during that time), with Ain's help we obtained the tickets.

On Thursday, I was on the 737-800 by 0830 hours and on my way to India, where I was told the weather was warm and the skies were sunny (and they were).


Alternate Universe Irfan's School Friends

06 February 2007 | Hisham | | Family Pics

If Schrödinger's cat meowed in a totally opposite way once upon a time, Irfan would have had totally different school friends from the ones he has now. So, I've tried taking photos by tripping the light fantastic (after a fashion) and using quantum visual camera with the Heisenberg compensators at level two. What I got was a series of photos of Irfan playing at friends' house as if I'd never choose to leave my old job and move to Kuala Lumpur.

Very interesting.


Irfan Goes To Cherating

04 February 2007 | Hisham | | Family Pics

For the Thaipusam / Federal Territory Day holidays, we went for a free night's stay (plus one extra night of paid stay) at a resort at Cherating in Pahang. It was not realy in Cherating, but further up north towards Chukai, in the seaside hamlet of Chendor. (Don't ask about all the 'Ch' names at the towns there, I don't get it either.)

It was a resort by the sea, pretty clean, homey and had a relaxing atmosphere. I'm gonna let the pictures tell the stories and I'll be over there listening to MP3s if anyone needs me.

By the way, the free night stay was an belated anniversary and birthday present to us from Cik Emma. Many thanks to her for booting us out of the house so we can enjoy some fresh air outside the city.


Breads 2006 (Sprouted Wheat Bread)

03 February 2007 | sila | | Food

I really have been remiss in posting my bread experiments from last year! So to continue the story, I take up where I left off: the next bread I baked in April. I tackled a complicated bread and took so many different pictures that I figure it rates its own entry. :D

I have been baking pretty steadily, and really getting into bread baking. It’s still something I enjoy doing, and the process is getting quite familiar and comforting. It’s still an adventure to see whether the bread will rise or not, or if it will have the texture I want.

In fact, I’ve even branched out to combining a bit of gardening with baking bread.

Birthday Surprise

02 February 2007 | sila | | Family Pics

As Hisham so kindly posted, my birthday was just last Monday, January 29th. It was a really good day, not to mention I began celebrating on Saturday with a small dinner party with friends.

I just wanted to do a quick recap, because as part of the birthday fun, something happened which will change Vin's and my life!


Another Celebration!

01 February 2007 | sila | | Recent News

February 1st. A holiday in KL.

More importantly, Hisham's birthday!!

Happy birthday, Yope! May this year be filled with happiness and blessings. You're the best brother ever (my favorite brother, even!) and I love you and appreciate everything you do for us. You've always been a great brother, it's great to see you become an awesome dad and a wonderful husband, and still remain a good son, brother, brother in law.

Break out the cake! It's time for my brother to spread his bronchitis by blowing out some candles.

Seriously dude, have an awesome day. Love yas from Vin and me.