Photos from an Academic Workshop

09 February 2018 | Hisham | | Teaching
 

Once upon a time, the entire department was invited to attend an academic excellence workshop in which it was hoped that we would all be much more excellent than we were at being academics. Here are some photos from the programme. Perhaps some mouseover text will be provided as well.

Where did that ICE come from?

It is entirely possible I might have scrawled some words upon this page.

Ina takes point

Ina introduces blended learning to the bullpen.

Saf takes point

Saf talks about using Moodle to teach and assess students online. A bell goes ding in my brain.

 

Photos from a Keynote Address

06 February 2018 | Hisham | | Teaching
 

The university's vice chancellor was slated to hold his annual keynote address before the entire staff, and I was given a new task some weeks earlier.

day before

I visited the site a day earlier to help prepare the multimedia guys to run an online Kahoot quiz for the audience.

in kahoots

I handed over my set of questions to them and ceded the table. I hoped that they would use at least one of my questions.

day begins

The next day, everyone assembled at the main hall. I sat with a coterie of departmental colleagues.

blurry

Ultimately I discovered that they only used three questions for the quiz session and one of them was mine! It made the effort worth it.

Nole too

I suppose we would assemble again at the hall next year!

 

Mini Six: The Vanishing at Kuala Perlis

02 February 2018 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Teaching Plays, Role Playing Games
 

Plans are underway at work to create a tabletop RPG actual play video web series to be posted online.

Initiated and managed by Bazli, it would be our push to promote role-playing games (RPGs) as language learning tools that would not only be holistic and comprehensive, but fun and immersive when done right.

Bazli takes point

What is this arpeegee shenanigans?

My task is to run the session as a gamemaster (GM) and Bazli will cut the video into encounter-sized bits to be uploaded.

To begin with I ran the participants an impromptu session of Mini Six using the pregenerated templates I created for the Doom Agents class.

Like the students before them, the participants took the roles of international agents sent on a mission to investigate extraordinary occurences.

Mission Report (in brief)

Six agents were sent to Kuala Perlis to look into a phantom island that appears after sunset between the Kurong Tengar beach and Langkawi. A fishing boat have attempted to land there, but had vanished. The next day when it appeared again, a police boat sent to investigate never returned.

The agents arrived at the beach at 7 p.m. in an attempt to wait for the island to appear. However, they were greeted by dozens of merry making locals. There was an island spotting festival underway at the beach.

The strait between Kuala Perlis and Langkawi

Actual photographic reference!

 

45 and Counting

01 February 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Food
 

I am now 45 years old.

For the first time ever my family threw me a small birthday celebration.

The Away Team

It began with Yaya and Adik's family calling from the other side of the planet. We had a good talk. Yaya and Adik had plenty to tell us after they sang me the birthday song.

Wrapped

When I got home from work Ain and Irfan sprung me with an unexpected birthday present.

 

A Moon of Blood

31 January 2018 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

It was an evening of something quite unexpected.

True, I did hear about the coming of the "Super Blue Blood Moon" which was talked about all throughout social media. Bu I never thought it would look breathtakingly spectacular.

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Ain alerted me to the start of the lunar eclipse during the full moon. It was a clear night. The stars were out.

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The moon was gradually and visibly being devoured by the shadow of Earth.

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When it was completely engulfed in shadow, the moon turned blood red. The photo I took above does not do it justice.

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Soon after, the light of the sun began to shine upon the moon once again, slowly revealing itself to the night sky. The evening began with me underestimating how the lunar eclipse would look like. In the end, I felt fortunate that Ain called me outside to view the phenomenon.

 

Patreon: Doomed Surgical Team

31 January 2018 | Hisham | | Patreon Paperminis, Role Playing Games
 

Perfect for any horror tabletop role-playing games (RPGs), these paper miniatures of a doomed surgical team with a swarm of patients who are clearly hostile and infected with... something.

cut up

Those stains on their medical smocks are perhaps blood, or infected vomit, or perhaps paint - because of a catastrophic hospital painting incident. Yeah, run that session and let me know how it turns out.

sick people

Download the paper miniatures from Patreon for free!

 

Further Gastronomical Adventures with Atok and Opah

29 January 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Food
 

More photos from Irfan's grandparents' visit chronicled two further sojourn to sample food at eateries nearby. I should think it was a collective celebration not just of their anniversary but also of Sila's birthday which as you know falls on the same day. Additionally, my birthday would raise its head several days later.

First we would treat them. Then they treated us.

Bottom line, though, I am still astounded that we are able to afford these types of food these days. Granted they are cheaper than similar food in Kuala Lumpur, but we would not be able to afford these prices back then neither.

xxx

Enjoy the photos. First we went to Kangar for these dishes.

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Celebrating an Anniversary

26 January 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Food
 

Irfan's Atok and Opah came for a visit this week.

Selfie or something

And their anniversary will be up in three days!

Grandparents of Irfan, Yaya and Adik

On this fine Friday, and you can tell it's a Friday because Irfan and I are in Baju Melayu, we went to the food court at Kuala Perlis for an early celebration of their anniversary!

Button up, Irfan
 

Bored at Work But Not Really

25 January 2018 | Hisham | | Paper Minis, Role Playing Games, Star Wars
 

Between semesters, I need not head to classes to teach. I do have a lot of work at the office though such as grading papers, planning for the next semester, employee assessment forms, workshops to attend and things such as the previous day's brochure to create.

So, alone in my room sometimes I just set my RPG gear and paperminis on my table just for kicks.

rebels vs imps
scoundrels vs stormies

Classes will start soon, so I will not have the opportunity for this again in a couple of months hence.

 

Crafting a Brochure Once More

24 January 2018 | Hisham | | Teaching
 

It has been decades since I made an actual three-fold brochure for real.

External

The workplace needed one for an upcoming postgraduate programme they would be running.

Internal

Using Inkscape (and actually running around the office buildin to take fresh photographcs) I managed to hammer a design out. The photos above are of the mockup printed out. These brochures would be first brought to Bangladesh for an event there.

 

Happy Birthday Ain

22 January 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

Because the extra teaching work I took last semester earned me some extra Republic credits, I was - for the first time in our lives together as husband and wife - able to buy Ain a real birthday present!

Bought at Lazada

I ordered it online and it arrived much earlier than it had announced it would.

Happy birthday, my darling wife. I love you very much.

 

FAE Printed and Bound

17 January 2018 | Hisham | | Books, Role Playing Games
 

I downloaded a copy of FATE Accelerated Edition even before I moved up here. But I never got it printed out until today. I had sent it for printing the previous evening and the print shop called me up today as we were getting the car's tyre replaced.

cover

So we picked it up. It did not cost a lot of Republic credits even with perfect binding at A5 sized pages.

contents
interior
back cover

The output looks and feels amazing. The Needless to say, I might print more stuff I downloaded from DriveThruRPG / RPGNow at the print shop. All I need now is some FATE dice.

 

Not the Tire Again

17 January 2018 | Hisham | | Recent News
 

It was early in the morning when we sent Irfan to school as usual. I took the following photo of the sky in front of his school upon dropping him there. Click on it to expand.

Sunup

We then took the long way round back to the house.

Not a good idea

In hindsight we should have just made a u-turn and headed home the way we came.

Steel

Only when the mechanic removed the tyre from the hub could we see this screwdriver shank. It had pierced the tread complete and had been rattling inside the tyre as air was escaped.

Bye bye, Republic credits.

 

Another January Weekend

14 January 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Food
 

Last weekend, we went for a drive. This weekend, it was time for the farmer's market.

Orangeness

There were a bunch of fresh produce Ain wanted to pick up at the market. She knew of cheaper locations to purchase some of the things here, but it has been a while since we visited this market.

Greenness

Lots of green grown were sold here that we could consume to keep our biological avatars running without any errors.

These biological things make awesome salad

Ain pokes a papaya.

There's always a bigger fish

All this fish gives me an idea for an epic RPG campaign. (No it does not.)

 

One January Weekend

07 January 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Food
 

We decided to take a drive on Sunday. Headed north, we then stopped at the restaurant overlooking the dam for lunch.

Waiting for food

But first, a photo to preserve the moment since we have no access to the quantum informational layer of the universe.

The menu

It is weird that we need to absorb and grok the information using spectral patterns of a certain frequence of electromagnetic radiation reflected off the menu and into our occular organs before we could figure out what to order.

Click to expand image

Can you imagine the sheer amount of quantum information that was formed and being formed, while interacting with each other in this photograph?

 

Fourth Form Kid

02 January 2018 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

I am amazed at how far this boy has come, from when he had difficulty in learning at primary school to being able to be liked by teachers at his new school here. Now passing the end of year school holidays into the fourth form, he has been accepted as a library assistant at his school, as I was at his age.

I doa for the best of opportunities and in the good and honoourable execution of his endeavours in the years to come.

Day before school
First day of school
 

A Feast Concludes the Year

29 December 2017 | Hisham | | Food, Teaching
 

The Welfare Club of the workplace organised a little feast for CIL's staff members. It was also a pot luck so Ain made her fusilli pasta goreng tom yam to add to the table. It was also a Friday morning, so we all recited surah al-Kahfi. There was even a birthday cake to celebrate those born in December.

All in all it was a fun morning at work.

Photos of the day follows:

Aimaan takes a pic
I read Surah al-Kahfi
Time to absorb nutrients
 

Year End KL Trip Part Three

25 December 2017 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

Previously: Moving Day

Day 5

The next day was the housewarming. Guests came, there were prayers and then food. And the kids of course played everywhere.

xxx
xxx
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Year End KL Trip Part Two

24 December 2017 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

Previously: Arrival at KL.

More cousins

After we reached Nia Nia's house with Aiman, it was time for the littlest cousin to join the fray. She was happy that her Abang Irfan and Abang Aiman came visiting. Grandparents Tok Bah and Tok Ma as well as the cousins' uncle Ayah G had been there for a day before we arrived. Together we were to help Nia's Team move from this house to their new house further down south.

Jumaat

It was a Friday so we all went for Friday prayers at a nearby masjid.

Chomp!

Before the television was boxed up, Nia continued to watch her favourite videos. Earlier, Irfan watched Bright on Netflix.

 

Year End KL Trip Part One

22 December 2017 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

The last time I was back in Kuala Lumpur was November 2015, more than two years ago. I have not been back there since because, let's face it: it takes a lot of resources for us to travel there. One of the reasons we were able to go back the last time was because of a paper miniature art commission that required an extraordinarily high number of designs.

Without any sudden increase in art commissions we would not have the money to travel down south that far. Thankfully, I had extra teaching commission for an extra programme at work that would sustain us for the month.

DAY 1

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We have scheduled this trip this time because it was known that Nia Nia was going to move and we volunteered to help. We began our drive at daybreak. I had the wheel until breakfast just south of Changkat Jering after which Ain took the helm.

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Ain drove all the way through Perak and Selangor, reaching our first destination: Aiman and Zara's house! The scene that greeted us as we rolled into the Klang Valley was almost laughably stereotypical. Grey clouds that covered a yellowish sky.

Yes, we were back in Kuala Lumpur. We stayed at Aiman and Zara's place before heading for Nia's soon-to-be-abandoned house.

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That night we all went to a nearby Pizza's Hut to celebrate the combined birthday occasions of Aiman and Zara. There was cake. I kind of missed Pizza Hut's mushroom soup. There is a Pizza Hut in Kangar but I have never ever been there.