Multicultural Night

30 April 2018 | Hisham | | Recent News, Teaching
 

With Ain away at Pasir Mas to take care of some things there, it was just Irfan and I at home for the weekend. After spending most of the weekend binging on The Terror, an excellent show by the way, we would have nothing else to do until the weekday rebooted itself.

Thankfully, I had bought a couple of tickets for the Multicultural Night 2018 at the university great hall. After dark, we both drove there not just to check out the event, but also to hunt for dinner.

What awaited us there was something that blew me away.

Here are some Twitter posts, videos included.

I will give this event a nine out of ten exploding eardrums. Very well managed and coordinated with top notch production qualities. I would attend again if I could in the future.

 

EOTE Tabletop Day Session: The Pilot and the Spy

29 April 2018 | Hisham | | Edged By The Empire, RPG Actual Play, RPG Irfan Plays, Role Playing Games, Star Wars
 

Last night before the end of International Tabletop Day, Irfan returned to his role as Hondo Pash the Smuggler Pilot in Star Wars Edge of the Empire role-playing game.

Movin'

We began with an obligatory Star Wars crawl:

Crawling
Oh noes a Fulcrum agent

Just imagine the Main Titles by John Williams playing right here

Edge of the Empire

The Pilot and the Spy

It had been several years since the fateful Battle of Shadda-Bi-Boran. While his family were safely sequestered away on an Alliance safeworld, Hondo Pash had been working as an Alliance operative travelling the galaxy taking on one piloting mission after another.

The Corellian Engineering Corp G9 Rigger-class modified freighter known as the Junk Bucket dropped out of lightspeed off the Igmalar system. The planet Igmalar was a humid, fog-covered swamp planet deep in the Enteague Sector in a minor star cluster slightly above the galactic plane. Nestled in the Outer Rim Territories, the Enteague Sector was under the absolute grip of the Empire because of its rich natural resources. To illustrate, Igmalar City the capital of the planet was under Imperial military control because the planet was rich with raw materials to be processed as pharmaceuticals.

But at the moment, Hondo was to retrieve a rebel spy only known as "Fulcrum".

With a spoofed BoSS ID transponder, the astromech droid R2-8B8 - Hondo's co-pilot since the days of Mos Shuuta - landed the Junk Bucket on landing platform 44. Wearing a dark helmet and spacer's jumpsuit with equipment pouches strapped to his belt and his trusty DH-17 blaster pistol, Hondo descended the ship's ramp alone where an Imperial port officer awaited.

Hondo with a port officer

"Welcome to Igmalar City, pilot!"

The officer greeted him and insisted he disclosed his business on the planet. Hondo said, "I am meeting a friend for some business here in the city." (Irfan had to roll his Deception skill with one Setback die because he did not define what business it was, but he succeeded anyway.)

The officer smiled at the smuggler and said, "Well, take care in the city. Make sure you get out of line. If you do, the Empire will take action. We will be watching."

Hondo smiled at the man and strode out into the city.

 

SWD6: A Hot Day in Mos Espa

23 April 2018 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Teaching Plays, Role Playing Games, Star Wars, Teaching
 

I brought West End Games' Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game 2nd edition Revised and Expanded with me to class on Monday. There was time for me to run an hour of Star Wars RPG for my students, so I mustered together all the ones who would speak and ones who would take notes on behalf of their characters, which meant two students per player characters.

The students used the pregenerated characters I made for last semester's gaming session in class but they named their own characters themselves.

Title Card

Star Wars D6

A Hot Day in Mos Espa

Dramatis Personae (Pregens):

  • Creed Kenobi - Failed Jedi
  • Dini - Kid, Creed's apprentice
  • The Mighty Jedibo - Bounty hunter
  • Wakanda - Outlaw
  • Uvuevuevuenoenoonosac a.k.a. "Osas" - Rodian saboteur

Two suns shine down upon the planet Tatooine. A Rebel team landed their modified YT-1300 freighter at a landing bay in the city of Mos Espa and debarked, upon paying the ship berthing fees, on a mission to look for the Alliance Intelligence agent only known as Agent X for some reason. Agent X claimed that he required backup and would wait for them at Warehouse 34.

Wakanda, Jedibo, Creed, Dini and Osas strode out of the landing bay into the streets of Mos Espa. There was quite a sizable Imperial presence in Mos Espa, they noted. Stormtroopers were patrolling the streets in twos.

Welcome to Tatooine

Image from Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (Lucasfilm).

They tried to ask around for the warehouse district, however someone threw a two-credit coin at them, thinking they were panhandlers.

Then, they tried the more aggressive tactic of accosting an innocent citizen passing by and attempted to ask him for directions to Warehouse 34. However, the man ran away as if he was being mugged and unfortunately caught the attention of a pair of white-armoured Imperial stormtroopers.

FTK4

Stormtroopers are coming. What do you do?

With Imperial troops walking their way, they did the first thing that came to their mind.

 

Atok and Opah Loves Thai Food

22 April 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Food
 

Atok and Opah came to visit from Thursday and over the weekend. We took them to the White Lily restaurant up north at Padang Besar. The restaurant made iced carrot milk that was Atok's favourite drink there.

Here follows a series of photos that documented our visit to Padang Besar.

Teratai Putih
Everyone
Nasi Goreng Pattaya
 

The Unofficial Kangar Gunpla Builders Club is in Session

19 April 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Recent News
 

Irfan it appears has become the ad hoc leader for a Gunpla Builders club at his school. Sometimes they would descend upon our house to assemble their plastic models.

Yum

Sometimes Ain has lunch ready for them.

Food done. Let's build.

I think Irfan was building an Arios Gundam from Gundam 00.

Even behind the couch!

I wish the group the best in their hobby. Also, I hope they would make it an official thing, like registering it as a club at their school, so they would have support from their teachers.

 

Ain Made Spaghetti

12 April 2018 | Hisham | | Food
 

Today, Ain made spaghetti. It was delicious.

I like the onions

Once upon a time we could not even afford to make this at home. I am grateful that we now can.

 

A Bowling Sunday With Colleagues

08 April 2018 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

Earlier today, the language centre welfare club organised a tenpin bowling session for the centre's personnel for some rest and relaxation as a group. It was quite the fun experience. And the last time I bowled was... holy crap! 8 years ago?!

What's Nole doing in the back?
Bowling
Our team

I did discover that my joints are in need of lubricants.

 

Meanwhile, During the Rest of SILK 2018

31 March 2018 | Hisham | | Food, Teaching
 

The Symposium of International Languages and Knowledge was quite the event. Besides running the RPG workshop, I also sat in other talks, participated in other educational workshops and also had lots of food.

Here are some photos to show the experience I underwent at Walailak University, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand.

Hafiz!

WU was holding their 26th anniversary expo on campus, a big event we were told. SILK was scheduled to be held at the end of March in conjunction with their anniversary. We waited at the border for their transport to pick us up.

At The Modern Hotel

It took four hours for the two transports to deposit us at a hotel near their campus.

WU Expo Exploratory Team

That evening, a bunch of us went out to the expo site at the university in search of dinner. The expo site was big, along a single road on campus. There were vendors who sold food, flowers, furniture, agricultural gear with a live concert. Read the mouseover text for each image.

Bulbous things
 

Mini Six: Whiteout, or an RPG Workshop at SILK 2018

30 March 2018 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Teaching Plays, Role Playing Games, Teaching
 

This weekend I was honoured to be able to run a tabletop RPG workshop during the 2018 Symposium for International Languages and Knowledge which was held at Walailak University at Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand. Last year, SILK 2017 was held here in Perlis and was featured on the blog as well.

Here are some photos of the event with an actual play report of the game that I ran for the Thai students.

Cover
Interior

My name is somehow in this book.

The little abstract for the workshop which I submitted a couple of months earlier appeared in the programme book for the symposium.

There's a desk

The best part was when they gave me a desk with my name on it.

Parallel talk session were underway when I went to scout the room where I was due to run the workshop. I quickly set up the table and then did some last minute game prep for the coming participants.

The usual suspects

Why educators are NOT using RPGs to teach language at this point is beyond me.

Besides showing off the diversity of RPG systems, these book covers displayed side-by-side on the table can be quite pretty.

Setting up

Setting up is easy yet nerve-wracking.

 

A Weekend Without Irfan: Bukit Ayer

18 March 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

Irfan went on a visit to Langkawi with his class over the weekend.

So Ain and I explored more of Perlis on Sunday. We found ourselves at the picnic grounds of Bukit Ayer and decided to stop for a bit to check out the site.

Here are the photos of the visit. Mouseover text are embedded upon these images so go forth and position your cursors appropriately.

Time to go exploring
A bridge
Looking upstream
 

A VCX-100 in Class for Some Reason

17 March 2018 | Hisham | | Star Wars, Teaching
 

A VCX-100 model transport made an appearance in class during lessons today.

A VCX 1000 in class

I used Kahoot for a live online exercise with my classes this week. The exercise covered Transition words. What better imagery can I use for Transitions other than hyperspace corridor scenes. Believe it or not by 2005 and after 6 major Star Wars motion picture releases, we were only shown two scenes of ships traveling though hyperspace. There were not one scene of it in the Prequel Trilogy.

Thanks to The Clone Wars and Rebels we now have dozens of hyperspace corridor shots.

Finally, the answer to the quiz above is "but".

 

Here's the Ohio Crew By The Way

04 March 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

We have been talking to Ayah Cik Vin, Cik Dik, Yaya and Adik the Younger on Skype more these days. Irfan's cousins are smart and loquacious young dudes and I enjoy talking to them. Yaya is a formidable artist and craftsperson for her age and Adik has a talent for music and languages.

it them

My niece and nephew will grow into amazing human beings.

 

New RPG Books

03 March 2018 | Hisham | | Books, Role Playing Games
 

Even with a proper job, I still find it difficult to order RPG books (or any type of books online) because of other obligations (i.e. bills to pay). So I thought I should look to alternatives for them. I had complementary copies of book in pdf form so why not we print some of them so we had dead tree versions to hold, touch and read in meatspace.

Mini Six

Perfect bound!

I have had Mini Six printed and bound in a comb binding format for many years. I thought it would great to have one perfect bound which would make it look nicer.

Meanwhile in the back!

On cardstock, the back cover of the book looks pretty even without fancy illustrations.

Bestiary!

Don't look now, but there is a hell hound in the interior pages.

White Star

Spahn's book!

I also printed out White Star by James Spahn. The cover looks epic. Tthe guy on the cover reminded me of Nathan Fillion in Firefly ever since I saw it the first time.

It's brown!

I believe I might run this game at some point, perhaps with a setting that is more a modern science fiction setting compared to Star Wars. With planetary jumpgates instead of spaceships, with incomprehensible aliens?

 

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.

Edge of the Empire

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.