Tomorrow I Go Off To Langkawi

30 November 2007 | Hisham | | Recent News

I go tomorrow not for vacation, but for work. I can't wait for it to be over.

Ain and Irfan aren't here with me now. They're at Taiping attending Cik Eda's wedding. I miss them. (No doubt Sila will be posting an entries with pictures of the event.)

Ain and Irfan will be back on the 2nd, which means I wont be seeing them before I leave for Langkawi.

I will be back on the 9th. I wont be seeing Vin and Sila again before they leave for home.

It's going to be a long week.


Why It's Been Quiet Around Here Lately

26 October 2007 | Hisham | | Recent News

It's been a busy month, even since before Aidilfitri. The reason of it all will now be shown as a series of photographs for the event that took place at Shangri-La Hotel on the 24th and 25th of October.

Sorry, no photos of me cause I didn't get anyone to snap one at any time.

Here's the forementioned series of photographs with no comment written except for its mouseover titles:

Out in front

Our Seventh Year

15 October 2007 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Recent News
Seven Years Already?

It's been seven years since Ain and I were married, more than eleven years since we met. Through all that time, there's been a lot of ups and a lot of downs. And I'm glad I went through it all with Ain giving me strength at my side and I'm looking forward to more years like that.


Festivities And Then Some

11 October 2007 | Hisham | | Recent News

Tomorrow is the last day of the month of Ramadhan.

Tomorrow we head back to Sitiawan for Aidilfitri. We will try to beat the crazy traffic (an evil, sentient gestalt entity which appears every holiday season) by leaving Kuala Lumpur at 0200 hours.

Also, this year is the first time Irfan happily chants, "Yay! Yay! Balik Raya!" which after a full Ramadhan of solid exhausting work, brings a smile to my face and takes my enthusiasm for the festive season up a notch or so.

I still have a bunch of stuff to do before the end of the year which is weighing down on me like cinder blocks on my shoulders.

Which just translates to... I'll be back Tuesday night. I'll also try to take and upload some Aidilfitri photos in the meantime.


Yes, and even to Cindy O. Bear in the back there.

Addendum: The car seems to have learnt leetspeak which is kind of cool and creepy at the same time. So I guess we're all good to go.



Laptop Problem, and then a Solution

28 September 2007 | Hisham | | Recent News

I still haven't replaced my home workstation since it crashed and burned back in April. I've been using this work laptop 100% for my computing and browsing needs since.

It used to work great until a couple of months ago when everything (in the Windows partition, mind you... Ubuntu still works fine) suddenly seemed to be work slow. The problem was very apparent when video and audio were running. Not all the time, but enough times to really annoy the shart out of me.

Also, another annoying symptom is that it takes 10 minutes for the laptop to finish its startup cycle.

But now... no longer.


Hari Merdeka ke-50

31 August 2007 | sila | | Recent News

Kami yang merantau jauh mengingatimu di hari kemerdekaan yang ke lima puluh. Lima puluh tahun kami rakyat Malaysia tidak perlu tunduk kepada penjajah. Lima puluh tahun, Merdeka! Walau jauh di mata, namun tidak di hati.

Selamat Hari Merdeka, Malaysia!

Flag image obtained from google image

*chewah - boleh tahan tak? berkurun tak pakai Bahasa Malaysia standard ;-)

Dan, sebagai penutup, lagu Tanah Pusaka. Satu-satunya lagu patriotik kesukaan saya:

Sungguh gemilang negeriku
Yang kupuja oh tanah Malaysia
Di merata dunia
Harum semerbak namamu oh Malaysia

Aman makmur kaya-raya
Selama-lama hidup maju jaya
Oh tanah pusaka
Negaraku yang berdaulat dan merdeka

Tanah pusaka bertuah
Berbagai bangsa didalamnya
Hidup aman dan berjaga
Bertekun kerja dan berjasa

Musuh melanggarku gempur
Sungguh rela kugugur kerana
Kau tanah pusaka
Biar putih tulang jangan putih mata


Can Anyone Guess This Tune?

13 August 2007 | Hisham | | Recent News, Trawling The Net

I hope I remember the music theorySo my keyboard, an old Yamaha PSR-300, has been out of commission for a while since the power adapter died a glorious death. Then, there was a movie score tune that has been playing incessantly in my mind, so I decided to write it down somewhere. But since the keyboard is non-functional, there was no way I could play the tune on it.

So yesterday I thought why not search the net for a virtual keyboard. Bingo.

Then playing the tune, I thought... why not write it down. So I wrote it down.

Click on the thumbnail to see if:

  1. I still remember my music theory and notes and symbols and whatnots.
  2. You can identify the tune.

P.S. I don't think I have a category for this type of crap on the blog. Oh well.

P.P.S. Playing a virtual keyboard using a graphics tablet with stylus is quite a unique experience. Heh!


Another Opera!

02 August 2007 | sila | | Recent News

Quick update! So after the disastrous Nixon in China opera, we went to the final opera of the Cincinnati Opera 2007 season, Aida by Giuseppe Verdi.

Aida Graphic, borrowed from the Cincinnati Opera website

It was really, really good! The singers were amazing, the sets were huge and fantastic, and Vin and I were very happy with the entire experience. I must get us some opera glasses before next year's season! See you next year, Cincinnati Opera! :-)

* I have to say I LOVE all of the graphics they used for the operas, especially the Aida one. Gorgeous, no?


Finally Playing with PHP

08 May 2007 | Hisham | |, Recent News

Referring to some help sites and pulling back the curtain to look at source codes, I finally got the nerve to save some text files which I wrote on a text editor as php files, which I usually always do in html! Not really ground breaking stuff; all I did was to include the navigation and the footer parts into the main files from separate php files. Later I'll see about learning to link the php files to a (gasp) MySQL database!

I should have started to learn this stuff earlier. It would have gone a long way in teaching me stuff that would help me in my project paper for college. But in the meantime, both the Hishgraphics Gallery and the workplace website are now fully php-ized!

Yeah, they look the same from 2 days ago, but the Legos I used to build up those two sites are all different pieces now. Trust me.


Irfan Wants To Be A Doctor...

16 April 2007 | Hisham | | Misc Sci-Fi, Recent News, TV

Who's being displayed onscreen here?
... but it's not that kind of doctor. Now, when he's got shampoo in his hair, he fancies himself as the Gallifreyan Time Lord, known as the Doctor from BBC's Doctor Who series. Specifically he wants to be the Tenth Doctor, played by David Tennant.

He keeps going on and on about travelling about in a TARDIS, having his own K9 and enjoys the fact that every week the Doctor (along with anyone in his vicinity) has to run from something chasing them - be it disease-ravaged human constructs, werewolves, Judoon policemen, or Cybermen, or Daleks. If the Doctor has to flee for his life, Irfan digs it a lot.

Not too bad, really, cause I haven't seen Doctor Who since the Tom Baker's Fourth Doctor and I still thought BBC's production of the series is constrained by a lack of budget. When I first saw the new Ninth Doctor, played by Christopher Eccleston, series back in 2005 I thought that it had a great production design and fantastic special effects, even if the fleeing from the Auton attack was quite stereotypical... but the story is still quite off the mark, thanks to the attack of killer shop window mannequins.


Ow! My Butt!

12 April 2007 | Hisham | | Recent News

Last night my body temperature hit the roof.

This morning, I thought it'd be prudent to visit a doctor because it's been too short a time since the last time I went feverish. Which was when we were in Pasir Mas about two weeks ago.

So, the doctor took one look down my throat and called Ain to check out the white spots on my tonsils. "Septic tonsilitis" is what I got and my temperature was 38 degrees Centigrade, though I was pretty sure I felt much better at the time compared to say three hours earlier.

The doctor rattled out the treatment he was about to dish out, but what caused me to go "Wha-?" was the word "jab". Great, I was about to get a cold, hard metal needle inserted under my skin. It's something I haven't done for years, in fact probably since I was a teenager. Now my lucky streak was about to end.


Way Past Its Prime

03 April 2007 | Hisham | | Linux, Recent News

Old Reliable

Fracking great.

I get back from vacation, boot up the computer and connect to the internet.... and after 10 minutes the computer crashes.

I can't reboot the computer. Ubuntu hands during the startup sequence. I try booting up an Ubuntu Live CD and it crashes. I try both Kubuntu and Knoppix and they crash.

The nice people at advise me to try formatting the hard disk drive using a Windows installer CD. I get my hands on one, and it crashes short of the formatting menu, then I was unable to boot up from the CD.

Methinks it's not a hard disk problem. It might be a RAM problem or even the motherboard's had it. It's been a good desktop computer since 2002 and it hasn't given me any big headaches since. It had operated with Win ME, Win XP and Ubuntu (both Gnome and KDE). It's been connected to the internet with dial-up and eventually broadband. It's been my communication with the outside world much more than any phone. It's been a fantastic media player, wordprocessor and a learning tool. I couldn't have done my online courses with Unitar without it.

But I think the computer - originally a Pentium 3, 933 MHz, 128MB RAM affair - has reached the end of its days. It might be time for a new one.

Hisham, signing off... from work laptop.


Away For The Weekend Again

30 March 2007 | Hisham | | Humour, Recent News, Trawling The Net

We'll be heading out to Ain's parents this weekend to attend a wedding. Tok & Opah Irfan will also we joining us tomorrow there, then they'll be heading back with us to Kuala Lumpur via the Gua Musang road, which they've never been before. Hope to show them some sights there on our way back.

We'll be back Monday, according to schedule. So here's the last post from me in the month of March, a great blog entry I found on FraudWasteAbuse, "Why Men Are Never Published On Dear Abby":

Dear Abby,

I’ve never written to you before, but I really need your advice on what could be a crucial decision. I’ve suspected for some time now that my wife has been cheating on me.

The usual signs… Phone rings but if I answer, the caller hangs up.

My wife has been going out with the girls a lot recently although when I ask their names she always says, “Just some friends from work, you don’t know them.”

I always stay awake to look out for her taxi coming home, but she always walks down the drive. Although I can hear a car driving off, as if she has gotten out of the car round the corner. Why? Maybe she wasn’t in a taxi?

I once picked her cell phone up just to see what time it was and she went berserk and screamed that I should never touch her phone again and why was I checking up on her.

Anyway, I have never approached the subject with my wife. I think deep down I just didn’t want to know the truth, but last night she went out again and I decided to really check on her.

I decided I was going to park my Harley Davidson motorcycle next to the garage and then hide behind it so I could get a good view of the whole street when she came home. It was at that moment, crouching behind my Harley, that I noticed that the valve covers on my engine seemed to be leaking a little oil.

Is this something I can fix myself or should I take it back to the dealer?

Another Suitor For Lily

08 March 2007 | Hisham | | Humour, Recent News

Young Tiger Lily Belle, who just meowed her way into Sila & Vin's household, already has suitors apparently. You can get the details from Sila later, about the poet and the two-timer.

I would like to suggest another candidate for Lily.

A powerful sandcat.

From Arrakis.

The Shai-Hulud:


From the Tenth Floor At Night

04 March 2007 | Hisham | | Recent News

Atok Irfan took some fantastic night photos from the balcony of the tenth floor here, something I couldn't have done without a tripod.

You can see the Menara Maxisegar and the Menara MPAJ in the first picture.

Click on the thumbnails for larger images.

Check out the Flash running down the streetNo zombies shambling about though

Thanks to Irfan's grandfather for the beautiful photos.


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.


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 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.


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).