The Unspeakable Cat

13 September 2005 | Hisham | | Friends, Humour
 

Hastur (the Unspeakable One from the depths of the Cthulhu-mythos pantheon of ancient and powerful gods bent on the destruction of the world and mass insanity of its inhabitants) has not only manifested itself as a cat... it has also started blogging.

 

Illustration Friday: Depth

11 September 2005 | Hisham | | Artwork
 

Another Illustration Friday, another illustration. The topic for this week is depth. I'm trying add another layer to the concept of depth in this piece of artwork. Desolation? Fear of the unknown? What are those doing in the bottom of the ocean? How did it come to pass? An illustration somewhat less colourful and more morose than the art I made for the e-book posted previously.

 

First Hishgraphics e-Book: The Secret Library

09 September 2005 | Hisham | | Hishgraphics.com
 

I wouldn't have thought it possible a year ago, but here we are with our first e-book product on sale as of today. It's a nice little tale with full colour illustrations throughout, where a young boy who just happens to have the same name as my son, discovers a wonderful library through a doorway in the cellar of his parents' new house.

I hope the public likes it well enough to purchase it. There is a black and white version in the Free Downloads page for a preview. If you know someone who might like it please spread the word.

Thanks to everyone who helped me get the site up, especially my family, and all my friends who gave me moral support. In the meantime, I'll be working on more new e-books.

The Secret Library by Khairul Hisham

 

Instinct on Atlantis

08 September 2005 | Hisham | | Misc Sci-Fi, TV
 

Once upon a time I read the premise of Stargate Atlantis before they aired its pilot episode "The Rising". I never would have thought the simple premise of an international team of civilian and military explorers sent to the lost city of Atlantis that happened to be on an uninhabited planet in the Pegasus galaxy without the power to return to Earth can be so engrossing. It's all thanks to its great writing, actors, character interaction and humour, and more than adequate visual effects; and it's held its own as the spinoff from Stargate SG-1.

Last week's episode "Instinct" was notable for two reasons:

 

Mak & Abah at Dungun, Terengganu

07 September 2005 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 
Here we are over 100 posts in this blog and not once did even say that I worked for seven years at the East Coast of the Peninsular Malaysia. I hate talking about the place. No, I don't mean Terengganu is an awful place. Far from it. It has some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. The people there are for the most part cordial and pleasant to be around with. A lot of unpleasantness stained in my mind came from the work. Politics at the workplace, mostly stemming from people from the West Coast.

I could go on, but I'll just sum things up: great place to be, wonderful friends there (and still there), terrible job.

So here are some pictures of Mak & Abah visiting me while I was there.

 

Almost Aidilfitri?

06 September 2005 | Hisham | | ACS Memories
 

Well not exactly. Another two months. So, for no reason in particular, here's another pic of old ACS Sitiawan buddies; this time gathering at my house for Aidilfitri, and to eat the food as well. We'll be in Sitiawan this year instead of Pasir Mas, so you all are invited for makan-makan at Taman Pegawai.

 

He Seems To Be Developing A Sense of Style

04 September 2005 | Hisham | | Recent News
 
Yesterday, Irfan and I took a drive to the Ulu Langat district, where it was serene, green and a winding stream shadowed the road for miles. It was just him and I in the car. He was in the back, free to roam. (If he was sitting up front, he'd be belted up and annoyed at the fact.) So there we were driving among the serene greenery, the kampung houses and colourful flowers on the bushes in their yards. I barely heard him grab something from the storage bin behind the parking brake in the centre column.

Then he was standing just behind the front seats between them with his elbows resting on either seat. I glanced at him and there he was... wearing a pair of sunglasses I've never seen before, looking all badass.

It was an awesome moment.

 

JLU Avatars

03 September 2005 | Hisham | | TV
 

It's cartoon avatar month on ACS Sitiawan Forums. My current favourite animated series now is Justice League Unlimited. So here are some JLU avatars for anyone's use. No heavy hitters like Clark, Bruce and Diana. The only founding members here are John and Wally. The rest are second stringers, but what colourful second stringers they make, eh?

 

Illustration Friday: Roots

02 September 2005 | Hisham | | Artwork
 
Here's a quick one using Photoshop, a whole lot of solid layers and brushes, a bit of color dodge. It's nothing profound and nothing I'm trying to say. It's just a graphic tablet exercise without any pre-planned sketches off or on the computer. Click on the thumbnail to view a larger image.

Sleeping Child
 

Katrina's Aftermath

02 September 2005 | Hisham | | Rants
 

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina that ravaged the Gulf Coast of the United States.

It's like something out of an apocalypse movie. While the death toll will never reach the numbers achieved by the Indian Ocean Tsunami of Dec 26 2004, the tragedy on the human level is just the same. There are about 16,000 hurricane survivors waiting for relocation in the local stadium known as the Superdome in New Orleans. Some have already been transferred to the Astrodome in Houston, but in the meantime, babies and the elderly are dying and have died of dehydration. There's no where to defecate or urinate. The stench must be indescribable. There have been rapes among the refugees there. MSNBC photojournalist Tony Zumbado reports: "The sanitation was unbelievable. The stench in there... was unbelievable. Dead people around the walls of the convention center, laying in the middle of the street in their dying chairs. ... They were just covered up ... Babies, two babies dehydrated and died. I'm telling you, I couldn't take it."

 

Happy 48th Birthday, or is it?

01 September 2005 | Hisham | | Rants
 

Yesterday was Aug 31, Malaysia's Independence Day. Once upon a time we were a collection of nations that ruled independently. Then we were swallowed by the Portugese, chewed by the Dutch, digested by the British. (There were the several years under Japanese rule during World War Two - we might have been in the rumen or maybe the reticulum, I couldn't be sure.) Then finally, we were regurgitated as a new single nation in 1957. (If you're waiting for me to say we came out the other way, then SHAME ON YOU, you coprophiliacs!) And now here we are 48 years later. No sign of Gernsbackian flying cars and day trips to the moon. But I digress.

 

What Happened on Independence Day 2005?

31 August 2005 | Hisham | | ACS Memories, Family Pics, Friends
 
What happened was that a bunch of my old classmates and I (with some of our family) met at 1 Utama mall in Bandar Utama. We then proceeded to the open air Rainforest location of the new wing of 1 Utama, cobbled together 4 of the little round tables (and 1 square table) Burger King had scattered in their area and ordered some Burger King value meals for lunch, except for Teik Sing who had a heavy brunch, yo.

Here follows a photographic account of the events that transpired today. I should have taken more pictures, but I was chasing Irfan all over the play area and out of the drizzle.

 

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.

 

A Raging Sea

28 August 2005 | Hisham | | Artwork
 
Here's something I cooked up rough and fast using Artrage: a digital oil painting of a boat not remotely having the best of days. Click on the thumbnail for a bigger view of the image.

A Raging Sea
 

Illustration Friday: Dreams

26 August 2005 | Hisham | | Artwork
 

One of my dreams as a child was to be an astronaut and explore the solar system. For Illustration Friday, for the topic "Dreams" I wondered what an astronaut, during a high-stress space walk, would dream about. Here's something I came up in the last hour.

Click on the thumbnail below to view a larger sized version of the image. Media: OpenCanvas, augmented by PhotoShop.

Dreams in Space
 

Help Needed For Roving Red Eye

26 August 2005 | Hisham | | Humour, Misc Sci-Fi, TV
 
This person needs your help. Click on the image below to see who, and then you'll understand why.

This priceless image was found at this costume and props page.

 

Pangkor 1992: Fu Lin Kong Temple

26 August 2005 | Hisham | | ACS Memories
 

I was back on vacation from studies at the end of 1992 when Woon Seong, Shahar and I went on a trip to Pangkor. It was disconcerting times in those days, when I haven't seen any of my Sitiawan friends for almost 2 years. When I met them during vacation, there was always the fear that things would not be the same as they had been in ACS. We were all experiencing new things at seperate locations, far apart.

 

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.

 

Some Neil, Some Saddy

25 August 2005 | Hisham | | Trawling The Net
 

Briefly here are several things on the net that made me go "Wow! Cool!" in the last 48 hours or so. Well, the first is pretty cool. The second made me laugh out loud so hard, my nostril hairs complained. But then, many people have complained about my strange sense of humour.

 

Hockey Time at ACS Sitiawan

24 August 2005 | Hisham | | ACS Memories
 

PE time in ACS Sitiawan during our time was usually the PE teacher asking us football or hockey, or if you're an Amerikaner, soccer or field hockey. I remember 70% of the time we opted hockey. Here is a rare photo of Form 3A1 in 1988 on the field during PE.