Long Story - Don't Ask

27 July 2013 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

I sort of made this back in November 2009.

He made this on Friday.

 

Another Day Another Sunset

28 December 2012 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

All of a sudden another year ends. I can't believe we've lived here for more than a decade now. I can tell you how the skyline has changed over the years; and where on the landscape we were once able to make out traffic on the MRR2 highway. Through the changes in how the city looks, there are a few things that never seem to change: chief among it is the attitude of many drivers here. I could go on about that but I wont.

I'd like to say here's to a better 2013, but I think I'm just going to say if I do not deserve any better than perhaps I should not get it. But it gets better, I'd be grateful.

Click on the thumbnail for a wider look.

Sol behind the clouds
 

Twelve Years Ago...

15 October 2012 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

Ain and I were married.

Today, we woke up extra early to pick up Abang G from the bus station. Ain had applied for a day's leave. Then we sent Irfan to Al-Huda school as Abang G rested at home. Then we watched the season premiere of The Walking Dead before heading back to retrieve Irfan from Al-Huda. We got lunch for everyone. I did a bit of work. Then we sent Irfan to his Primary School, and immediately sent Abang G to a hotel in PJ where he would be attending a course throughout the week. Then, en route home, we went to Open University head office to pick up documents for my EPF education withdrawal. Upon reaching home, we rested for a while before we had to go pick up Irfan from school. Then we had scant time to get him dinner before we had to send him for tuition class. We had some dinner before we had to go out to get Irfan from tuition.

Then we wound down, and went to bed tired as hell.

It was the best anniversary ever.

 

gMalaysia Conference

04 October 2012 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

Earlier today I attended an event organised by Google Malaysia called the gMalaysia conference. It would be great to learn more about how Google products can help with my illustration business. Integrated with my Android smartphone, it's already a indispensible tool for marketing and communications for my work.

 

Battleship

08 September 2012 | Hisham | | Board and Card Games, Family Pics, Recent News
 

Recently I've been teaching Irfan how we played Battleship back in school, using a grid paper and pencils. And soon after, in addition to yelling "You sanked my battleship!" his cruise missiles being launched and flying it toward my ships were also being dramatised using hands and voice.

Old School Battleship

Later, he used his duit raya to purchase Battleship: Hidden Threat card game where the traditional game is ported to cards where you randomly array your battleships with your Missed cards in a grid, and you have a hand of different cards that you can play either to reveal your opponents' cards, attack your opponents' ships, repair your damaged ships, implement shields on your ships and even allow you to play more than one card per round.

It doesn't take a lot of time to play, perhaps 30 minutes at the most, but we can easily bring it about with us anywhere and set it up for a quick game when we have the time to play it.  

Not Really A New School Battleship
 

This Pangolin is Precise

24 July 2012 | Hisham | | Artwork, Linux, Recent News
 
Valiant Comics' first crossover event!!!

So it came to pass that if I needed to use the new Bamboo Pen graphics tablet, I had to upgrade my operating system. Long story short: I decided on totally replacing my ArtistX 1.0 OS with Ubuntu's latest Long Term Support distro, which was 12.04 also dubbed "Precise Pangolin". After installing the sucker, I finally came face to face for the first time... with the Unity desktop! Click on the thumbnail above to see the desktop, including the Dash HUD.

Searching Ubuntuforums.org, I discovered how make a 3rd generation Bamboo Pen work with the Precise. I also reread on how to set up the Benq scanner using Snapscan's binary file so I can scan using Sane or GIMP.

Finally, I installed MyPaint I found on Ubuntu Software Center and discovered that it worked great with the Bamboo.

Below is my first doodle-type sketch using the tablet in conjunction with MyPaint: a handsome sort of fellow.

I will eat your eggs before you could eat mine
 

Arise, Newer Graphics Tablet; But Not So Fast!

15 July 2012 | Hisham | | Linux, Recent News
 

The box too wasn't made of bamboo
Once upon a time, I bought a Wacom Graphire 3 graphics tablet. With its stylus I made many a drawing, til its USB cable died screaming. Actually it died quite some years ago. In the interim, @plasticstitch had told me he had an unused Bluetooth-connected Graphire tablet and sent it by air mail to me where I made many more drawings. This device acted finicky with a Linux operating system, and I was using an Ubuntu distro. One day I upgraded to Ubuntu 10.04 by dint of installing the Ubuntu fork named ArtistX 1.0, and the device refused to talk via Bluetooth to the tablet.

Today I bought a new tablet, a Wacom Bamboo Pen. Its matte-black housing looks sleeker than the silver-hued Graphire. I'd prefer to have purchased a Wacom Cintiq 24HD, but the Bamboo Pen is the only one I could spare cash on. Incidentally it's the cheapest they had.

Inside the box are STUFF!
Having the USB connection instead of the Bluetooth would make it less finicky, but soon I discovered that even with the USB, the Bamboo Pen could not communicate with the ArtistX operating system despite all I could to read about it and troubleshoot it.

I had to find a new way to digitally paint once more using the tools I had.

 

Five Years Already?

20 May 2010 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Recent News
 
Five years ago...

Exactly five years ago Vin and Sila got married.

Happy fifth anniversary, you guys! May you guys be blessed with another hundred thousand centuries of happiness, and then some.

 

Edumacation. Make it Happen.

15 May 2010 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

One thing about looking for rezeki in Malaysia at my age, it's difficult to do so without at least an undergraduate degree or a diploma, and I have neither. Although I have experience in some fields, I don't have any official certificate telling potential employers that it's worth paying me whatever amount of money a month to do whatever job. I've had potential employers tell me during job interviews that I have the skills they need but they're unable to hire me because I had no degree. Some HR requirement standards or some such.

I have tried to obtain one before, but it was in a field that I should have taken when I was younger and had no work and family commitments to think about. So I'm back in the game, pursuing another type of degree. One which I believe is better suited for me at my age, which is Bachelor in English Studies.

And I think I look forward to the assignments they give with this degree.

 

Happy Birthday to my Favorite Brother!

01 February 2010 | sila | | Recent News
 

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear Yooooooope (that's Hisham, in case you were wondering),
Happy birthday to you!

You are my most favoritest brother in the whole galaxy! Happy 437th!

And a p.s. Happy belated birthday to Yong as well. Sorry lewat again.

 

An Awesome Trip To The National Museum!

17 January 2010 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

I haven't been to the Muzium Negara this century. So we thought we'd take a drive there with Irfan who has requested a visit there for several weeks now.

Unfortunately someone (well, two humans) made an illegal u-turn at a stoplight, causing the column of cars behind them to brake immediately. It was no problem for us, really. I braked on time. However, the guy behind us did not.

Ass!
 

Ashley's Sister Emma Auspiciously Arrives

27 October 2009 | Hisham | | ACS Memories, Recent News
 

Let's all welcome young Emma-Grace Ting ChangXin who was born on 26th October, at 3.555 kg and 51.5 cm. News has it her big sister Ashley-Joan has already requested to carry and help feed her.

New member of the Ting family
 

Congrats to Michelle and Teik Sing!

 

Irfan's Fighting Fish

07 October 2009 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

Our recent foray back to Kelantan during Aidilfitri rewarded Irfan with a new responsibility. A Siamese fighting fish, given to him by his Tok Cik Mi.

I told him don't, because the car is not really equipped to physically hold a live fish travelling eight hours at night, rocking and rolling over the mountain road. Irfan would be (and was) asleep for most of the trip because of our nocturnal journey. Despite all that, the fish survived all the way to Kuala Lumpur.

The following week, it survived a two-way journey between Kuala Lumpur and Sitiawan, which was nothing compared to its previous adventure.

Today, Irfan and I went to an aquarium shop and bought some stuff to beautify the fish's otherwise spartan living environment.

I'll take care of it, he says

See that you do, I says
 

What else does a fish need in its aquarium? A phone extension? Hair curlers? Drapes?

 

Shudde M'ell Loves You

04 October 2009 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

As Ain and I was walking on the beach on Lumut, we spotted this little creature on the sand. It had been deposited at the high tide mark, and it was presently low tide. Since the sun was about to climb into its maximum scorching position, I balanced the little dude on a driftwood twig and dropped it into a stream that flowed out to the sea.

Any ideas as to what this worm is?

 

Wherever it came from, I hope it didn't leave its kettle on when it left home.

 

Yellow Avian Mascot at Work

21 April 2009 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

When we first found the new office after some scouting last December, there was a bird hanging about, chirping its song at the rear window of the place. It was mostly yellow with black markings. Its eyes were red with black pupils. More often than not, it's been there each morning or afternoon whenever I'm at work.

Any idea what species this critter is?

Perhaps it's admiring its own reflection?
Perhaps it's looking for insects on the glass?
perhaps it wants a job?
 

And Now For A Word

14 January 2009 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

We interrupt your regularly unscheduled pogrom (you know the one I'm talking about) to bring you the latest news.

It's more of a picture of where I'm working, rather than the news. It's a photo of where I'm currently working from... at this moment... while monitoring stuff.

On the floor

Now that's roughing it.

Also, don't ask how I'm connected to the interwebs.

 

In Ike's Path

20 September 2008 | sila | | Recent News
 

You've all heard about Ike and the devastation it wreaked in Texas and other places. Well, Ike came through here last Sunday. It was very strange - bright sunny day, and huge wind gusts. We lost power around 2 or 3 PM, and when my wireless router finally conked out after the TV and all other appliances died, we felt totally cut off from the world. Never mind that we still had the phone and the cell phones. It just felt so weird. Luckily Vin has a little battery operated transistor radio - we caught the end of the Reds game (very windy there too!) and then at the post-game program, heard that over 700,000 Duke Energy customer had lost power. That translated to about 1.5 million people in the Greater Cincinnati area without electricity. Also that the wind gusts translated to a Category 1 hurricane, basically. Can you imagine how strong Ike was, to have blown through Texas and come up this far north and STILL be such a force? Downed trees and tree limbs everywhere. Debris in our yard. Luckily, the trees in the yard stood strong - only the dead branches came flying off. The neighbors across the street had a big branch almost blown off - cracked horribly in the wind. Same kind of tree that we have, too (don't ask me the name of the tree, I don't know).

It depressed me to no end as they projected that it might take days before power was restored. It really hit home that every single appliance in this house, from the stove, the oven, the kettle, the heating and a/c - ALL electricity! We worried about the food in the fridge, did we have enough water, etc. And of course, we have a new little baby who might need things. Rechargeable batteries does no one any good if we can't recharge them and they run out of juice.

Lily was at first by the back sliding door trying to attack the blowing leaves (see the video), but as the wind picked up and other debris was being blown about back there, even she was scared away from the door and she remained safely in the middle of the room rather than by the windows.

Anyway, we were the lucky few customers who got their power restored - came back around 11 PM on Sunday night. We cheered (we were in the bedroom but still awake - did I mention we have a little baby whose schedule we bow to?). As of today, there are still people without electricity in the Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky area!

Take a look at the leaves swirling in the back here - keep in mind this was not the hardest the wind would blow that day:

* click on the image to launch the movie

Not a Pizza Hut ad

Wishing everyone affected by Hurricane Ike all the best, especially to those still without power here locally, as well as those who were really in its devastating path in Galveston and Houston.

 

Packed Lunch is Packed

29 August 2008 | Hisham | | Food, Recent News
 

After only bring in sandwiches for snacks at kindergarten, Irfan brought an awesome looking packed lunch in his schoolbag which consisted of awesome meehoon goreng that Ain fried earlier in the morning

He finished it off at lunch.

I love the little fork and spoon set attached!

Meehoon goreng
 

A Letter To The United States

23 August 2008 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

I don't usually write long letters nowadays thanks to the internet, which allows you to communicate immediately to family and friends with concise information almost everyday, if need be. This has the result of never requiring to long letters to tell other people the various things that happen to you in a single long document.

Recently I've had to write a pretty long email to Irfan and Alya's Atok and Opah who are still in Ohio playing with little Alya.

I should try to summarize the email here, however I will just let you read an excerpt from it.

 

Welcome Alya Jean Renstrom

23 July 2008 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

Last night Vin called to tell us that Sila has given birth to a beautiful baby daughter named Alya Jean Renstrom weighing 8.9 lbs at 10.39am Eastern Standard Time at the Atrium Medical Center in Middletown, Ohio.

Truckloads of congratulations to Vin and Sila. Sila is fine and I talked to her as well over the phone last night, but she's still in the hospital and Opah Alya's her company for the night until Vin and Atok Alya return the next morning.

I'd like to have waited for photos to announce the birth, but I'm late announcing it as it is.

Again, congratulations!