15th Birthday Plus One Nia

21 September 2017 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

In a blink of an eye, Irfan is now 15 years of age. He is more or less an adult, as I myself do not remember 15 being any different than 25 besides more experience by dint of being the latter.

They both are adorbs
 

Even when he was much younger, I tried listening and talking to him as though he was an older teen. These days we are able to converse with each other in a multitude of subjects maturely - even if Irfan, Ain and I are prone to sudden infantile jokes and giggling like babies.

Nia looks like my sister

It so happened that on the day of Irfan's birthday, Nia, Cikma and Ayah Cik Farid came a-visiting and it was a far better day with their presence.  Nia even wore a cap!

Imprisoned!

The last time Nia was here she saw a cat. She awaited for the appearance of Abang the Cat from next door at the front grille.

Caked in frosting

We ordered a small-ish chocolate birthday cake for Irfan.

Happy birthday Irfan

Also, Ain made bihun goreng for everyone! 

Thanks for coming Nia Nia

It was only the first day of Nia's visit. More adventures were yet to come.

Happy birthday Irfan!

 

Mini Six: A Day By The Sea

21 September 2017 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, Role Playing Games
 

For the third time I ran a tabletop RPG session for my class using the Mini Six system, and this time I have integrated it with the English curriculum we had. The week's lesson theme was Natural Disaster and I also had to teach them about Descriptive Essays.

The RPG became a teaching tool in this situation, because students were able to interact verbally with each other in the context of the narrative. I did some research on the seaside towns in Fukushima, Japan to prepare for the session. During the game they also had to roll dice to determine that the action they declared succeeded or failed. And then had to write their game experiences as in-universe stories for homework using a structured set of questions I sent them via Google Forms.

Mini Six: Doom Agents

01 A Day by the Sea

Should have been 'Doomed Agents' instead

Dramatis Personae

  • Sabrina as Berry, the scientist
  • Athirah as Tirr, the engineer
  • Malvinder as Michale, the reporter
  • Nasha as Musk, the spy
  • Haqqi as Captain Lucci, the soldier
  • Lutfi as Naruto, the bodyguard

Here is the actual play report as taken from the students' written homework (with some paragraphs written by the GM) and edited for grammar, spelling, punctuation and clarity. A number of students who did not play listened in and submitted their homework as one of the characters being played:

Sabrina as Berry: Agent Berry was a nerdy scientist who wore round glasses and a white lab coat. One of its pockets was constantly filled with junk food such as chocolates or cookies to energise herself during work. She was a timid person but actually she had hidden skills that not everyone knew of.

Athirah as Tirr: Agent Tirr was a metallurgy engineer from Dubai who likes to research about new metals or minerals. She was constantly invited by well-known companies to join them in their team to handle big projects. However, she became a secret agent for her second career.

Malvinder as Michale: So basically I’'m reporter and my job is to update everyone what had happened and how it had happened. I came all the way from America and I'm a professional reporter.

Nasha as Musk: The six agents were sent to find a missing agent named Ishikawa in Japan. He disappeared near Okuma at the east coast of Honshu, Japan. The last messange that was received from him was that someone is trying to create "an evil thing".

Going into Fukushima

Gamemaster (GM): It was a lovely morning when the team drove a black Range Rover into town. Arriving at Okuma, they stopped at a takoyaki eatery. Agent Naruto showed the owner a photo of Agent Ishikawa and asked if he had seen him. (A successful Diplomacy roll occurred.) "I have seen him before. He loves my takoyaki. He said he was staying at the Sakura Hotel."

On the way to the hotel up the street, a pompous police officer by the name of Saito stopped them, asking why there were so many gaijin in a car. "Will you be making trouble here in Okuma?" Hot-headed Agent Naruto who was Japanese wanted to punch the cop, but the others held him back. Agent Michale managed to sweet talk the officer into letting them pass.

Malvinder as Michale: As the bodyguard was from Japan and we told the policeman that all of us had come to visit him.

Mini Six charsheets

GM: Before long they pulled up in front of the Sakura Hotel.

 

Irfan's Jaunt into Robotics

10 September 2017 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

Some time last month I received an email notification of an Introduction to micro:bit Workshop for schoolchildren to be held at the Mechatronic school at the university, and so we enrolled Irfan.

Ain and Irfan

It was a full day's programme. Ain and I decided to save our transport fuel by hanging around at the expansive computer lab. Because of that I got to play around with micro:bit as well.

With his new desk partner

To my surprise all the desktop computers in the lab were installed with Linux Mint.

Drag and drop then enter the variables!

The micro:bit is a small but multi-functional system with a processor, sensors, output jacks, LEDs and USB port. It can be used in conjunction with other hardware to create amazing tools. It can be programmed using a Javascript Blocks Editor online. The online editor has a handy virtual micro:bit for you to test out your program live. You can experiment with the micro:bit code yourself here. And then your program can be saved into and run by the meatspace micro:bit.

 

A Sad Raya Haji in Sitiawan

04 September 2017 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adha from the whole lot of us in Sitiawan...

...or something.

Daphnis at the ring

It was Eid and it was Sitiawan's turn this year.

Cold Enceladus

The trip to Sitiawan was not stressful for traffic was more than manageable. After nearly three years, I am still getting used to raya traffic being bad in the opposite direction.

Swimming in the Titanian Methane lakes

Irfan and I performed solat Aidiladha at the temporary masjid in town as a new one was under construction at the site of the old.

When I grow up I want to be Iapetus

Before long it was time to head home.

A sad footnote:The day we before we travelled to Sitiawan I had heard that an old family friend - my parents' good friend and my former classmates' dad - had been hospitalised. We visited him the next day and were met by his entire family, people I have known since I could remember and rarely meet these days. Sadly the next day - the day beforEid, he passed away. Innalillahiwainnailahiraajiun, Uncle Kamaruddin.