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).

 

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.

 

It's That Double Celebration Time of the Year Again...

29 January 2007 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

... where I wish my sister Sila a very happy birthday and my parents (and Irfan's grandparents) a very happy anniversary, both from Irfan, Ain & me.

May this year bring more joy and happiness into their lives.

They've been the best family ever and I wouldn't want my life with them in the past 34 years to be different in any way whatsoever.

 

Two Views Of The Same Page

05 January 2007 | Hisham | | Hishgraphics.com, Linux, Recent News
 

Because I've using Firefox on Ubuntu 6.06 LTS to surf the net, here are two different looks of this website's index page. I have no preference on which is better looking, but apart from the fonts, there really isn't much difference, thanks to Ubuntu not being able to display the Trebuchet MS font. The original screen resolution is 1200 x 800.

The top is the WinXP Firefox with the Aluminum Kai 2 theme; and below is the Ubuntu Firefox on Ubuntu with the Ubuntu Tangerine theme.

Click on the thumbnails to view the larger images.

Last night however, the home desktop died a fiery death and I can't reinstall any OS. Not WinXP, not Ubuntu. (Thankfully, God created work laptops.) Thanks to a suggestion from Kris Vanderwater the Atlantean, I'm now downloading Knoppix ISO file to see if I can run the Knoppix Linux-based OS off the CD. However, if the old hard disk drive is physically damaged, I don't think I can install anything into the systems partition of the first hard disk drive... which means desperate measures (translation: money to be spent) will be required.

 

Another Hari Raya, Another OS

31 December 2006 | Hisham | | Linux, Recent News
 

Last Aidilfitri two months ago, I was trying to install Ubuntu into the Kelantan desktop belonging to Ain's parents. Although the installation was a success I didn't get very far with it since I couldn't access the internet with it to download and install more software packages with it. (Translation: I just used it to play Mahjong,)

It's now Aidiladha and I've now not only installed Ubuntu into this laptop here in Sitiawan. I'm also accessing the internet via Tok Irfan's ADSL modem via a PPPoE connection through my own Streamyx account, dowloading and installing software packages and typing out this entry on the weblog.

Happy Aidiladha, everyone. I'm heading to Taiping for Irfan's Aunt Eda's merisik kenduri. I'll be back next year (Ha!) to analyse and document how I got Ubuntu into this machine. It was hard looking for articles online how to create partitions for the installation and connect to Streamyx. So one more article won't hurt, I guess.

 

Quaked by Internet Problems

27 December 2006 | Hisham | | Recent News, Trawling The Net
 

Now it seems that we're unable to connect to servers in the United States and Europe. I can't even access my work email. I couldn't even access this weblog since this morning until about 1342 hours local time. And I hope before the connection flips out again, I'd get this entry written and saved.

According to rumours from Jeff Ooi's blog, last night's Taiwanese disastrous earthquake caused Asia Pacific Cable Network 2 Segment 7 (APCN2 S7) to go tits up and caused internet connections between Malaysia, among other countries, to the United States to be congested.

APCN2 is the longest international seabed fibre cable network, 19,000km in total length, in the Asia-Pacific, linking China, Japan, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, and onward to linking America, Europe and Australia. The network went into operation in October 2002 for the initial phase.

The project was spearheaded by 26 telecommunications companies, namely Advantel, Cable & Wireless Global Network, Cable&Wireless HKT, China Telecom, China Unicom, Chunghwa Telecom, Concert, Global Network Services, Global One, Japan Telecom, KDD Corpe ration, Korea Telecom, KPN, Layer 2, MCI, WorldCom, Metromedia Giber Network Service, NTT Com, NCIC, OneLink Cable Network, PLDT, StarHub, SingTel, Taiwan Fixed Network, Teleglobe, Telekom Malaysia, Telstra and Williams Communications.

The APCN2 cable system was designed to provide 2.56 Terrabits per second (Tbps) using state-of-the-art Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) technology to provide upgradeable, future proof transmission facilities. However, APCN2 currently runs on a designated transmission capacity of 160 Gigabits per second (Gbps).

Read the entire article here.

Update at 1823 hours:

Here are two more sources dealing with the current outages. The Star has a couple of articles on it while LowYat.net has the TMNet statement as well as some graphics concerning the regional cable network.

Here's to a speedy recovery of this side of Pacific Ocean's data communications network.

 

Best Office Space Ever

12 December 2006 | Hisham | | Recent News, Star Wars
 
It's All in the Mall
So after the exam today I headed down to 1 Utama with the new laptop. Using the mall's WLAN I was on the internet browsing por- I mean connected to the office via Skype in seconds, replying emails, as well as checking up on the work forum. I also took the picture above using the lappy's 1.3 megapixel webcam, just for the heck of it.

By the way if you're hard up for wireless internet, the benches right in front of the MPH bookstore (top floor) is information supersluice tube. Bathrooms and surau are close by. Who knows... you might even find yourself in a conversation with a friendly passerby which ends with you yelling at the top of your voice, "Yeah! This is future of office work baby! Go back into your sunless cryp- er, I mean office and sulk!"

Meanwhile not far away, a dogfight between an Incom Corporation T-65C-A2 and a Sienar Fleet Systems Twin Ion Engine Advanced x1 was underway. How cool is that?

Is this TIE upside down?
 

For Lack of A Better Game

08 December 2006 | Hisham | | Recent News, TV
 

So out of watching four episodes of Heroes in a single night , a game between Ain and Emma was born.

The first to yell out "TIM KRING!" whenever his name came out onscreen wins. That's eight times in three hours. Once during the short intro and the other when the Executive Producer name appears during the story after the intro... each episode.

Not as easy as you might think. You get caught up in the teaser, someone's bound to forget to yell immediately when the name appears.

"TIM KRING!"

Hell yeah!
 

What Transpired In Pakistan

26 November 2006 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

Like DSA 2006 back in April, we were at another defence exhibition only this time in Karachi, Pakistan. My apprehension was soon laid to rest as the local organisers as well as the other foreign exhibitors who were great folks whose company I enjoyed. Whenever we got together, there usually was loud chuckling and sometimes there were incredible belly laughs, which I believe began for the first time when we tried to figure out what the acronym "CIP" actually was.

Nope, ain't tellin'.

 

Karachi is Sunny but Cool

20 November 2006 | Hisham | | Recent News
 
Today Hikam and I took a drive around town with a tour guide / taxicab driver. The idea was that we'd tell him what we needed to buy on a souvenir hunt and he'll know the best places to take us.

Although we tried very hard, we couldn't find a T-shirt that reads My Friend Went To Karachi and All He Got For Me Was This Lousy T-shirt. In fact very little T-shirts were sold at the souvenir stores. They mostly have leather and fur goods, onyx-carved trinkets, ornate metalware and beautiful cloth for traditional wear.
 

So There We We Were At Jinnah International

19 November 2006 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

Hikam and I arrived at about 2025 local time via the Pakistan International Airlines flight. It was enjoyable. I think I slept four out of the six hours airborne. The inflight movie was Pirates of the Carribeans - Dead Man's Chest.

Luckily the hotel transport people were waiting for our arrival. One less thing to worry about.

It's now almost 1000 local time in the morning, and we've had some breakfast. Access to Wireless LAN in only in the lobby on the ground floor and on the 6th and 7th floors. So, here I am in the lobby trying to get some information down the internet tubes.

 

Next Week I Fly To...

13 November 2006 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

...Karachi, Pakistan.

The journey will be nested between the coming two Saturdays. Since the company is small I have to run around getting stuff done in preparation for the trip.

Between this and the course assignment - that had me on edge for weeks until I finally submitted it one week late - I had no time updating this here weblog. Heck, I didn't even have time to come up with some artwork which I promised myself I'd come up with for recreation time.

A stand-out moment during the running around would be last Friday when the Airline employee looked at me (when she realized I was booking the tickets for myself) and asked with a tinge of disbelief, "You're the one going?"

Hopefully by two weeks we'll have some photos of Karachi here. (And hopefully we'll have internet connection at the hotel there.)

 

And Now For A Word... Or Four

23 October 2006 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

Today is the last day of Ramadhan and tomorrow is Aidilfilti.

We’ve just had our last sahur for the year and now the sun is slowly rising in the cool morning air of Irfan’s Tok Bah’s house here in the outskirts of Pasir Mas. We arrived here at noon yesterday, commandeering Irfan’s Atok’s car which he left with us before flying off to Ohio earlier this week. As you can see they’re having lots of fun (and awesome food) in the previous post.

 

On To The Far Side Of The Planet

20 October 2006 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Recent News
 

Tok and Opah Irfan boarded the flight that would take them to Singapore, then hopskip to Tokyo, Chicago and finally Cincinnati where Ayah Cik and Cik Dik would be waiting to bring them to their house in Middletown, OH for a month at the United States. This would be their second time in the US.

To prevent being late for the flight because of breaking of fast, we left after 6 PM from the Tenth Floor, headed for Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) which is strangely enough a million light years away from KL, but maybe that's a subject for another entry.

We broke sawm driving through Putrajaya and ate dinner after Mahgrib prayers at the Dengkil R&R on the PLUS Highway. And no, I didn't need to pick my teeth en route.

Anyway... pictures, as they say, are worth a thousand words:

 

Hair!

19 October 2006 | sila | | Recent News
 

OK, so I didn't actually go see the musical Hair while I was in New York City on Saturday, but here's some news on hair:

I cut mine!!

 

The Sixth Year

15 October 2006 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Recent News
 

It's been six years since Ain & I were married. More than 10 years since we first met.

Overall it's been a great six years. It wasn't a perfect six years. It's been one hell of a rollercoaster for this and that reasons. But I'm still in love with her as much as the days before we were married, and I feel some measure of pride over the life we've built. For that I am very grateful to the Almighty for His joys, including the one known as Irfan Shafiq.

There is probably many more years of riding this rollercoaster, but I hope we've learnt much and matured enough to allow us to determine what's important in life, endure the ride and make the right decisions.

 

Into the Second Week of Ramadhan

02 October 2006 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

It's now the second week of Ramadhan.

If anyone asks (and you'd know the answer to this if you've asked me) it's been more tiring than it's been hungry. The myth that you're wiped out and floored by the hunger was totally dispelled when I was fourteen and playing hockey in the mornings during fasting month. And again, when I was seventeen and whacking tennis balls against the wall after school at 3 PM in the hot sun - though I was wiped out after that.

However, this year I find out I can barely stay awake after 10 PM. I wonder if it's because of the job I'm working now. I've already missed 2 nights of Tarawih & Witir prayers. I remember less than 10 years ago completing a full month of them at the mosque, even.

And this year, for Aidilfitri, Tok & Opah Irfan will be in Ohio spending time with Sila & Vin. It wouldn't be a stretch to expect some pictures of them with Irfan's Ayah Cik and Cik Dik on this weblog in the next couple of months.

Happy Ramadhan, everybody.

 

In Front of Pandan Capital

02 September 2006 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

So the other day I walked from the house all the way across Pandan Indah to the MPAJ (Ampang Jaya Municipal Council) building to pay property tax over the counter.

One weird thing about this house is that the mailing address has it in Kuala Lumpur with a KL postcode. The phone line is part of the Cheras - Pandan Jaya local prefix, which also puts it in Kuala Lumpur's network. But we have to pay property tax to Ampang Jaya, which is part of the state of Selangor.

Meanwhile, behind us is Cempaka, which is Ampang, and in front of us is Pandan Indah central, which is also Ampang. It seems like we're trapped in a thin peninsular of Kuala Lumpur, trapped between alien territories.

Anyway here are some photos I took of the street in front of the MPAJ building.