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
xxx
 

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

xxx

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.

xxx

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.

xxx

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.

 

A Last Jedi Review

17 December 2017 | Hisham | | Movie Review, Star Wars
 

No Spoilers Here

We saw The Last Jedi last Wednesday on opening night.

I went in with zero expectations. I did not read spoilers. I had no fan theories.

All I wanted to do was to catch a Star Wars movie.

Meanwhile in an alternate universe

... or buy an RPG sourcebook.

Director Rian Johnson crafted quite a densely packed and layered film. After that, I needed some days to process what I saw and how I felt.

As I wrote elsewhere, Star Wars has long ceased to be just movies for me, but a living universe. Stories in this universe serve as windows into this inspiring universe. Even The Phantom Menace could not do me wrong in this manner. This is because I myself have crafted a ton of Star Wars story outlines that turned into actual stories in my RPG sessions.

However, my thoughts returned to a conversation about failure, and also a brief reunion of loved ones. I believe that The Last Jedi is the first Star Wars movie that talked to me on a personal level and moved me to tears. And not because of the nostalgia factor neither as these sorts of movies are wont to do. This movie grabbed me the lapels if my last decade or so history, told me that everything past is past and the only thing that is left is to learn from my mistakes. It was a cathartic release I did not know I needed.

It also seems as though the movie has framed learning from failure and not being a jackass about it as a major theme. And this theme is codifying the push to break Star Wars away from its Campbellian Hero's Journey monomyth roots (which has long served their purpose) and into something... new.

But, there were a lot of surprising scenes, fun scenes in the movie. I hope I get to watch it again before it leaves the theatres.

Finally, I did not expect great acting displayed by both Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher in her final onscreen appearance. Clear skies, General.

 

On The Airwaves

13 December 2017 | Hisham | | Teaching
 

One of my students Clement is not only running his own radio show at the university, but he has also experience in the radio broadcast industry. He had been asking me to be a guest om his show. So there I was talking about English learning and role-playing games with students on an actual radio show. Another one of those things I never thought I would be doing three years ago when I first joined the university as a translator.

Besides Clement, the other students co-hosting the show were Indhu and Jolene under the supervision of Mr. Fadli, who also took the photos below.

01
02
03
04

Clement has plans to expand next semester. Watch this space for more updates.

 

Arau Dinner with Atok and Opah

04 December 2017 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

Before Atok and Opah headed back to the hometown, we thought we would take them out to dinner in Arau at a roadside eatery knows as Big Tas'Tea. We had nasi ayam chicken chop and pizza and yogurt drinks and a bunch of other neat consumables.

Who knows maybe we will be able to take them there again in the future.

Grandparents and grandson
Atok and Opah's selection
The pizza
Irfan finishes up
 

A Quick Jump to Perda

03 December 2017 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

Cik Su F spent an extra night with us. Then we headed south towards Perda to attend a wedding on Ayah Cik Farid's side of the family. Atok and Opah remained home as they thought the trip might exhaust them.

In the cockpit

Ain drove with Cik Su sitting shotgun. Irfan and I goofed around in the back together. She drove all the way to the hotel in Perda where Nia and family spent the night... and the uncle in the red shirt in the photo above awaited.

Nine!

After Nia was all prepped to attend the wedding, Ayah Cik taught Nia about numbers using the hotel signages. 

It us

Irfan took a photo of us at the hotel lobby.

 

Nia Meets Atok and Opah Irfan

02 December 2017 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

It was one of those occurrences where several plans overlap and Atok & Opah Irfan come to visit the same time Ayah Cik Farid, Cik Ma, Cik Su F and Nia Nia came to visit. Thus began several days of Nia entertaining Atok and Opah with her brand of activities, which included singing and dancing to the Baby Shark song, as well as asking them to draw for her in her book.

Bag lady

Nia insisted she carried her own luggage.

Whatchaupto?

Soon, she was looking for Abang Irfan and tried to figure out what her cousin was doing.

NIA SMASH!

Also, she remembered playing badminton several months ago and thought she would hit airborn shuttlecocks some more. Obviously, she was forbidden to indoors.

 

Cover Art: Dark Side of Loridian

01 December 2017 | Hisham | | Artwork, Role Playing Games
 

I recently made the cover art for DwD Studios' upcoming adventure module for their science fiction roleplaying game FrontierSpace entitled Dark Side of Loridian. It looks a little bit like this:

There goes the ship

I am also tasked with drawing several interior artwork which I will post here after the product has been released.

 

Students Take Centre Stage

26 November 2017 | Hisham | | Teaching
 

Narrator: Previously on Hishgraphics Blog...

Yesterday, my theatre arts students completed their course. In conjunction with the final session, the students and I organised the inaugural Performance Day for the course.

Bokeh or something

We began at 2pm. Ain brought snacks and kuih for the students. Irfan was our videographer, using the department's camera.

Rehearsal hour begins

The students had prepared for two plays to be performed for the event. The first was "The Midnight Class" where a pair of students find themselves in a replacement Mandarin language class late at night. However, they soon realise that they are the only two students in the class who are... not dead.

The class is in a class

"The Midnight Class" had a total of 10 speaking roles. The roles were based on the character building exercise we had over the duration of the course.

Optics and all

Some lines made the audience chuckle, especially the punchline to the "Why do they call you Jenny?" line. Even the cameraman here was amused during rehearsal.

 

Mini Six: Rescue in the Rainforest

24 November 2017 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, RPG Teaching Plays, Role Playing Games, Teaching
 

Mini Six: Doom Agents

03 Rescue in the Rainforest

The team gets rescued after a fashion

Title image

Last time on Doom Agents, four operatives sent to investigate the Eternitech factory deep in the South American rainforest located by the Amazon river had been captured by Eternitech's security forces led by Hideo Eguchi.

After an enemy flashbang grenade did its job in the store room where they were laying an ambush, the four agents found themselves each tied to a chair in the Eternitech factory floor, specifically on a conveyor belt that would lead to a shredding machine.

Nixon's list

Cast of characters

Dramatis Personae

  • Agent Trolala Zelimkhanov, a Chechen driver - Nasha and Nurul Ain
  • Agent Nancy Nassirian, an Iranian fixer - Athirah and Sabrina
  • Agent Adam Mbokota, a South African shooter - Syafiq and Weng Zun
  • Agent Adrien Nicolas, a French hacker - Malvinder and Asyraaf
  • Agent J. Johnson Jonathan, a Nepalese hitter - Alif
  • Agent Harry Wilson, a British talker - Azuwan
  • Doctor Zolila Okhunjonov, a Uzbek medic - Intan and Azmah

I Want To Break Free

"You think you can stop us from launching our plant?" Eguchi said, slightly gloating over the captives. "We know you are not from the UNEP. If you won't tell us where you're from, then you're useless to me." Then the Security Director of Eternitech pulled a lever and machines came to life. The conveyor belt began to move. So did the various robot arms and waldos. And so did the spinning set of shredding gears at the end of the conveyor belt! Eguchi smiled then exited through a door out of the factory floor.

Nassirian, Zelimkhanov, Mbokota and Nicolas struggled the best they could but they were unable to get free. If they could not free themselves then they would die. Their weapons and gear had been confiscated. They were about to surrender to their fates when Nassirian looked up and saw three figures dressed in black creeping along on a catwalk 7 meters above the floor. Nassirian gestured for the team.

The newcomers comprised of their teammates, Agents Jonathan, Wilson and Okhunjonov. The four were elated, but tried not to show their glee too early.

After quickly setting it up, Wilson's tactical training allowed him to slide down his 10-meter rope onto the floor. Wilson hit the ground running, his pistol trained at the door. The others descended swiftly. As Jonathon looked for a way to stop the machines, Dr. Okhunjonov leapt onto the conveyor belt. She picked out a surgical blade from her medical pack and cut the captive agents' cable ties that were holding their hands and feet to their chairs.

Classy.

Class Warfare