Best Wife Ever

29 August 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News
 
I woke up this morning with a headache and a painful cough. There was a sharp pain in my throat at every cough, and there's no way for me to wilfully stop coughing if my throat itched itself into coughing spasms. So there was nothing for me to do early in the morning, after subuh prayers, except curl myself into a ball under the sheets as Ain got ready for work and took Irfan to daycare. Immediately after she kissed me goodbye, I fell asleep. I don't remember her leaving the house, but I did remember that she was going to prepare something for me. When I woke up again, maybe 10 - 15 minutes after she left (I couldn't be too sure) there was a warm pot of lemon tea on the dinner table.

It was the best pot of lemon tea I've tasted.

Now the tea's finished, my throat feels much better (no pain and coughing less) and it's time to go to work on the drafting table.

Thanks, sayang.

 

Pivot-Blacklist: Now Installed

25 August 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News
 
Once in a while I've had spammers cluttering up the comments in the blog. Usually they get deleted whenever I log on and check on the site. Now I've gone and installed Pivot-Blacklist, a fantastic spamkilling extension for the Pivot CMS. For now, all comments are enabled with an anti-bot question field. The question might look idiotically simple to you (and would be changed periodically), but all automatic blog comment spamming bots wont be able to answer it.

There are other features to Blacklist which I will experiment (and have fun with) with later.

Here's to a spam free blog in the future.

 

A Fantastic Tale of Old

23 August 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

I realise that since this blog went online, there hasn't been any entry that features some sort of fantastic anecdote that happens to me during the day. Like being at the zoo and a herd of rampaging rhinos escape their pen, or my needing to jump from one rooftop to an adjacent rooftop to save my life, or a meteorite that crashes and irradiates me, ultimately endowing me with super powers...

 

The Blog's New CSS Layout

22 August 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News
 
So now our blog is mostly dark blue and greens with dark red links. I thought we needed some sort of a change, and I thought I'd have a go with the css and the Pivot templates. I also put one of the nifty non-IE codes that gives a small radius to the corners of the blocks on the right and left columns. So if you're on IE, you'll only see the normal sharp corners.

I've also tried my best to format the pages so that anyone with 800x600 screen resolution would have no problem with the frontpage. But although it works with Firefox, IE seems to make the right column overlap with the center column a bit.

Also, I've reduced the number of entries on the center column to 10 and provided 20 most recent entries on the block at the right column.

And finally, each entrypage is given an "Entry Author" bit on the top right hand corner of the main column so no one would ever mistake Sila's entries for mine and vice versa.

So say we all.

 

Future Player's Companion: Tomorrow's Foundation

14 August 2005 | Hisham | | Artwork, Recent News, Role Playing Games
 

TGM


GenCon Indiana
will be on later this week at the Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis. That's when The Game Mechanics will be launching Future Player's Companion: Tomorrow's Foundation, a game supplement for d20 Future.

Where my professional artwork in the game industry will be published. The document will be an e-book for now, and will have two other volumes following it later in the year. To see five of my ten illustrations created for the book, click to read the rest of the article.
 

More Like His Old Man By The Day

13 August 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News
 
There were thousands of humans swarming the area before the Dewan Tunku Canseler in Universiti Malaya today. I swear if I didn't know there were individual consciousness behind the motile meatbags I'd say they were subject to nothing more than Brownian Motion.

 

Haze: Returning With a Vengeance

11 August 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News
 
One of the things I hate most about living here is the periodic invasion of unhealthy particulates that floods (and I mean floods) the entire region, known in local jargon as haze. Once I thought why not call it smog cause that's what it essentially is, but know I know that such an evil, soul-sucking phenomenon should have its own unique name.

 

Arise, New Graphics Tablet!

29 July 2005 | Hisham | | Artwork, Recent News
 
New Peripheral On The BlockThe other cool stuff I bought the same day I bought the table is this Wacom Graphire 3 graphics tablet. In fact, I've been wanting it for many years now that when I finally have it in my hands, I didn't have the heart to remove it from its box and plug it in for FOUR DAYS. This morning I finally did it.

After getting the tablet up and running with my computer, I proceeded to install the bundled Painter Classic software. When I finally ran the program, my blood went cold. All the colours were screwed up! It took me about 30 minutes before I decided to increase my monitor's setting from 16-bit to 32-bit colour.

Only then did I let out a sigh of relief. I grabbed the stylus, played around with the controls a bit; then tried playing with different brushes and tool on different layers; finally wiped the slate clean and proceeded to paint this:

An Oasis

My first Painter-made art ever. My technique is still way out there. It's gonna take some more practice to get myself up to speed with the new tablet and software. Ultimately, I believe that my work will go much smoother and faster on the computer.

Addendum: I just remembered that I had Open Canvas prepared for action in my computer. So, a mathematical equation came to mind. Graphire3 + Open Canvas + Hisham's Tired Imagination = ...

Bernhardt Baker
That's one of my favourite DC superhero from the late 80s and early 90s, Animal Man.

Addendum 2: This is so much fun I can't stop myself.

Some Random Volcano
 

Tales of the Prototype and the Table

28 July 2005 | Hisham | | Artwork, Recent News
 
Look at the pretty colours!Last week, we printed out some of the prototype pages for the first ever Hishgraphics e-book. To be honest, prior to this I do have a fair amount of doubts about the project. In my mind, I estimated that perhaps this would have a 20-30% success when it's eventually released into the wild.

 

OMG! The Site's Been Sashed?!?

22 July 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News
 
Wha-? How? Sashed? What do you mean? How did it happen?! Should we tell someone?!?!

See the little diagonal banner with the link at the top, right hand corner of the page? That's a sash. I came across it while trawling the net and thought I'd try it on for size. Don't get used to it, it's just there for experimental purposes and won't be there indefinitely.

To savour the tale of how I discovered the code, how to reproduce it, how many Bothans died to bring us this code, and to see a screencap of the front page (in case the little diagonal banner with the link of top is banished from the land by the time you read this) check out my entry at Chris Curtis Dot Org.

 

The Game Mechanics Update

12 June 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

It was official last week, Stan! of The Games Mechanics has thrust upon me another 1.5 pages of illustrations to be done for the d20 Future Player's Companion. I'm very excited about this, and like the previous batch of work I'll do my best to give them their money's worth. To clarify: TGM will be publishing short three e-books in a series in the middle of this year. Later this year, Green Ronin will be publishing a hard copy book consisting of the three e-books. Imagine that. My science fiction artwork on actual printed pages that people will have to buy to see.

I can't wait to add these illustrations to my gallery. Hopefully I'll get consistent work from other publishers as well. Another thing I have to look out for is an efficient way to transfer funds from the publisher to me, that wouldn't be difficult to manage for both parties.

 

Sila Blogging?

07 June 2005 | sila | | Recent News
 

Hisham has officially invited me to be a co-blogger on this site! Thanks Yope!!!

 

My First Freelance Job With An RPG Company

06 June 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News, Role Playing Games
 

TGM

Ever since I got this computer right here four years ago, the one I'm using to type in this entry, I have been developing a portfolio and sending them to companies for freelance work. An industry I have always wanted to work on is the role-playing game industry. There is a list of companies that I send my portfolio to every year, in a cycle. Most ignore my e-mails. Some like Chaosium wrote back with polite rejection letters. Very rarely, I get an e-mail asking for a quotation like the one from Final Sword Productions. But so far, I've not gotting any hits from any of the gaming companies.

Last week, it all changed.

 

A New Location for the Blog!

05 June 2005 | Hisham | | Hishgraphics.com, Recent News
 

So, here we are at the new server. To be precise, at http://www.hishgraphics.com/blog/index.php. Okay, now why did you just hit the link? You know you'll end up right back on the blog's index page.

Now I have this webspace all to myself, what (you might ask) am I going to do with it? Watch this space for the news in the near future.

 

Sila's Wedding: A Photojournal

25 May 2005 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Recent News
 

Herein lies a selection of pictures of Sila & Vin's wedding.

 

Prelude To A Wedding, Part 2

21 May 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

So on Tuesday Vin had to be at PERKIM for a crash course at 10 am. At the same time, Sila's Marriage Course cert has to be retrieved. With Ain at work, we sent Irfan to day care at his Opah Cik Timah's. The remaining members of the squad split up. I drove Vin & Sila to PERKIM while Emma went to get the certificate. At PERKIM, we met Arab-born, Indian educated Brother Sayid, whom Sila & I thought would have made a better Islamic studies teacher than most of the ustaz we had in secondary school, and especially boarding school.

 

Prelude To A Wedding, Part 1

20 May 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

The last seven days have been a great experience.

Sila and Vin were in Kuala Lumpur maneuvering through some red tape and purchasing wedding items. Both were of course ably aided by Irfan, his Aunt Emma, Ain and I. We were like a squad of soldiers moving through military maneuvers timing each other, splitting up at some points to cover more ground.

Thus we were kept busy and on our toes at all times.

 

Termite Damaged Paintings

05 May 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News, Artwork
 
Last few month I was locked in mortal combat with a termite infestation. Last month, the pest control people came and finally they were vanquished. But the damage done was irreparable. Lots of my books and notes had to be thrown out, including a folder filled with my water color paintings from when I was in Form One.

Click on the link to see three samples of the artwork that was destroyed.

 

Haze of February 2005

03 May 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News
 
Kuala Lumpur, and most of Malaysia in fact, were wracked by this local regular event known as the haze. Caused by rampant jungle blazes from local and / or neighborly sources, these sudden drop in visibility and sudden rise in respiratory problems can be somewhat infuriating.