The Sinanju's New Home

27 February 2018 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

The Sinanju Irfan gave me for my birthday has now been relocated to my office. Maybe it'll make friends with the other stuff on my table.

Red, green and yellow.
 

A Wakanda Weekend

25 February 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

We got a bit of a windfall upon my sacrifice of Saturday mornings teaching the previous semester, so I decided we would take a break and head down to the mall in Alor Setar.

Chicken Rice and MOAR!

For the first time since moving here we had food at the Chicken Rice Shop. I think the last time we had some were at Berjaya Times Square.

Shik. Ayak.

We also caught our first movie of for the year, which is Black Panther. As with other Marvel Studios films, this one also eludes a particular genre being pinned on it. It was definitely more than just a superhero movie. The story is enjoyable. I wish there was a Wakanda sourcebook that features all the peoples and cultural elements they created for the fictional nation.

Wakanda Forever and Ever Amen

Shuri and M'Baku were scene stealers and I was glad to learn that they would be back in Avengers: Infinity War later in the year. Also, I hope they finish constructing the cineplex in Kangar so we could watch movies without crossing the state line.

 

EOTE: Dude! Where's My Starship?

22 February 2018 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Teaching Plays
 

It began as a impromptu invitiation to a roleplaying game (RPG) session. Suddenly there I was running a short Star Wars Edge of the Empire scenario for my colleague Rizal at my office.

title card

Commandeering Oskara's character folio, Rizal became the human male bounty hunter known as Riz who owns the YKL-37R Nova Courier named Glamorous Hedgehog manufactured by Gallofree Yards.

EOTE: Dude! Where's My Starship?

The previous day, Riz arrived at Port Emerald in the Ord Mantell system. He accomplished a mission to retrieve a family heirloom for a local entrepreneur and earned four thousand credits. He was gleeful of his newfound wealth and booked a nice room at a two-story old tavern-style bed and breakfast at the very edge of the mesa that housed Port Emerald, overlooking three landing platforms. The Glamorous Hedgehog was parked upon one of the platforms.

Money

The Bright Jewel sun was shining and the birds were singing when Riz threw open his window to enjoy the refreshing morning air. He wore his bounty hunter costume and with his trusty blaster carbine at his side he left his accomodations to look for breakfast. (Rizal failed a Perception roll I asked him to make though got an Advantage.) As Riz strolled along the street, he had a bad feeling about something but was unable to put his finger on it.

(Failing his Streetwise roll) Riz went up and down streets and alleyways but was unable to locate any restaurants that were open. The lanes he travelled on grew darker and danker. Soon he found himself trapped in a cul-de-sac enclosed by a series of abandoned houses.

A Gamorrean appeared behind him and blocked his way out of the cul-de-sac. He grunted and gestured something that was immediately understandable: pay up or get clobbered by my club. Riz was flabbergasted at being mugged by this porcine thug. All he wanted was breakfast.

Then he remembered something: he was a mean and fearsome bounty hunter. He should act like it.

His hand reached for his carbine and drawled, "Dude. I'm a bounty hunter." (A successful Coerce roll!) The Gamorrean turned and fled into the shadows. Then Riz, too little too late, called after the thug, "Dude! Where do I get breakfast around here?"

illustrations

Map of the first encounter and the holomap.

 

A Sunday Morning Walk

18 February 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

This morning Irfan, Ain and I went for one of our rare morning walks. We took the path through the kampung and circled back to our house through the countryside. I will let the photos do all the describing.

Mangoes

Unripe mangoes.

Then pineapples

Unripe pineapples.

 

Sinanju Assembled!

17 February 2018 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

Irfan had presented me with a Super Deformed Sinanju (MSN-06S) gunpla for me birthday a couple of weeks earlier, and I did not have the time to sit down to assemble it... until tonight.

With the Banshee

Both Irfan and I worked on it until it was complete. In the above pic, you can see it back-to-back with the SD RX-0 Unicorn Gundam 02 Banshee.

Weapons ready

I discovered that it is quite the robust figure and decided that will adorn my table at work in the future as the Second Coming of Char.

 

First Class of the New Semester

12 February 2018 | Hisham | | Teaching
 

The second semester for the 2017/2018 academic year has begun! And here are photos from the first class of the semester.

FTK4 hard at work

Wait what? What are the students doing fiddling about on their phone, you ask? Why are they not listening to me in class? Well, it's because they were...

It was tense

...signing into Kahoot to do the quiz I had set up for them. The full question is, "Oh my God! Amir and Sathya ______ finally arrived!"

I blame Jules-Pierre Mao

For skimming and scanning exercises, I asked the students to identify the general location of the events on the page displayed above. Then I asked them to identify the weapons mentioned therein. Thankfully the students were not affected by the protomolecule.

 

Sunset Dinner by the Sea

09 February 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Food
 

After I returned home from the academic workshop we decided to have dinner at the beach. So we took a trip west towards the sea.

That sun looks low

Before exiting the car, we had a video chat with Nia Nia on the phone. Then we enjoyed the sun which was dropping fast onto Langkawi Island, from our point of view.

Waiting for food

The last time I had some seafood here, by the way, I had a really bad gout attack. So, no seafood for me.

 

Photos from an Academic Workshop

09 February 2018 | Hisham | | Teaching
 

Once upon a time, the entire department was invited to attend an academic excellence workshop in which it was hoped that we would all be much more excellent than we were at being academics. Here are some photos from the programme. Perhaps some mouseover text will be provided as well.

Where did that ICE come from?

It is entirely possible I might have scrawled some words upon this page.

Ina takes point

Ina introduces blended learning to the bullpen.

Saf takes point

Saf talks about using Moodle to teach and assess students online. A bell goes ding in my brain.

 

Photos from a Keynote Address

06 February 2018 | Hisham | | Teaching
 

The university's vice chancellor was slated to hold his annual keynote address before the entire staff, and I was given a new task some weeks earlier.

day before

I visited the site a day earlier to help prepare the multimedia guys to run an online Kahoot quiz for the audience.

in kahoots

I handed over my set of questions to them and ceded the table. I hoped that they would use at least one of my questions.

day begins

The next day, everyone assembled at the main hall. I sat with a coterie of departmental colleagues.

blurry

Ultimately I discovered that they only used three questions for the quiz session and one of them was mine! It made the effort worth it.

Nole too

I suppose we would assemble again at the hall next year!

 

Mini Six: The Vanishing at Kuala Perlis

02 February 2018 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Teaching Plays, Role Playing Games
 

Plans are underway at work to create a tabletop RPG actual play video web series to be posted online.

Initiated and managed by Bazli, it would be our push to promote role-playing games (RPGs) as language learning tools that would not only be holistic and comprehensive, but fun and immersive when done right.

Bazli takes point

What is this arpeegee shenanigans?

My task is to run the session as a gamemaster (GM) and Bazli will cut the video into encounter-sized bits to be uploaded.

To begin with I ran the participants an impromptu session of Mini Six using the pregenerated templates I created for the Doom Agents class.

Like the students before them, the participants took the roles of international agents sent on a mission to investigate extraordinary occurences.

Mission Report (in brief)

Six agents were sent to Kuala Perlis to look into a phantom island that appears after sunset between the Kurong Tengar beach and Langkawi. A fishing boat have attempted to land there, but had vanished. The next day when it appeared again, a police boat sent to investigate never returned.

The agents arrived at the beach at 7 p.m. in an attempt to wait for the island to appear. However, they were greeted by dozens of merry making locals. There was an island spotting festival underway at the beach.

The strait between Kuala Perlis and Langkawi

Actual photographic reference!

 

45 and Counting

01 February 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Food
 

I am now 45 years old.

For the first time ever my family threw me a small birthday celebration.

The Away Team

It began with Yaya and Adik's family calling from the other side of the planet. We had a good talk. Yaya and Adik had plenty to tell us after they sang me the birthday song.

Wrapped

When I got home from work Ain and Irfan sprung me with an unexpected birthday present.