Beside the house is a school

Moving Day Doesn’t Happen Every Day

After months of planning (and years of pre-planning, looking for a house) we finally moved yesterday. Thanks to Ain’s effort in looking for and finding a house that we could rent affordably, is comfortable and convenient for Irfan grandparents to move about and use the bathroom. The last time we moved was eight years ago. We have more stuff this time around. Because at the old house, there was a built-in bookcase, there would be less shelves for us to bring our books over. So I took my fair share of books to my office. This is the first time we live in a bungalow. Here’s hoping for a more peaceful life here.

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It's Irfan the Intern again

BM Course at LEAD

There are a number of courses that I had to take upon being appointed as permanent staff at the university. And I had three years to take them all. This week I was scheduled to take a Bahasa Melayu course. It was a great course as we talked about things I loved, like sociolinguistics, language drift, history of the language and such. The lecturers who would deliver the course were my colleagues, Zaki, Jannah, and Noriha – who once played Rayha the Linguist. The BM course was to be held at LEAD. And I seem to recall knowing an intern who works there. Click on the images below for a larger view:

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Irfan the intern

Interning at LEAD

It seemed as if it was only five years ago that we were stressing out finding a kindergarten for young Irfan. We were in our car, scouting all the pre-schools in Pandan Indah with the questions, Would we be able to afford it? Is it safe? Will he pick up bad habits from other human younglings? A blink of an eye later, here he is doing internship at the Centre for Sustainable Academic Leadership Development (LEAD) at UniMAP. His first foray into the working world, after some years studying across the highway from the university with three of his cohorts.

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One of the two omelettes

August Omelette

Not a lot of things to report, other than I made omelette. This is of course nothing compared to the hundreds (thousands?) of meals that Ain made over the decades. But I thought it has been a while since I made dinner. so here is what it looks like.

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USS Östergötland NCC-72227

STA: Orbital Manoeuvres in the Dark

Star Trek: Emergency Deep S01E09 “Orbital Manoeuvres in the Dark” Stardate: 58563.9, 26th July 2381. Location: Gondolin Station, Cor Caroli III Previously on Star Trek: Emergency Deep. From Gondolin Station After taking time to recover from Andorian Death Fever, Commander Morpheus Drake returns to the Östergötland as her primary Conn Officer. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Saladin Chau, who tended to Drake, also returns to the ship from Gondolin Station‘s infirmary. In the meantime, Captain Greg Ellison tasks Drake to organise a memorial for Lieutenant JG Velek & Specialist 1st Class Randall Loomis. They were both killed by the Orion whalers along with the shuttle Mälaren in Trychnos orbit. Drake holds the memorial in the hangar bay. After the memorial, Capt Ellison receives a message from Admiral Kathryn Janeway. She informed him that she will look into the Romulan operative Qaenlahr with the Orion whalers, along with his involvement with the […]

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Under the nipah fronds and above a swamp

Cousins Passing Through

And so it came to pass that cousin Razlyn informed us that she was dropping by for a day stop. Her daughters Shahidah and Nabilah (Irfan’s cousins), Siraj – a boardgaming fan, and her were travelling down from Thailand. They were there for a quick vacation by train. Earlier today, they arrived from the train station by the rideshare service Grab. There was a period of reintroduction for Irfan and conversation, then we set a course for Nipah Klasik for lunch. We had more fun conversations about education and family stories and such. After that Ain and I drove Razlyn around to check out Kuala Perlis, Arau, the main UniMAP campus, then headed north to see our old school in Beseri where we both had spent two years there. After that we headed home for drinks and solat. Soon it was late afternoon and it was time for them to […]

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Nasi goreng butter chicken

Emergency Deep Meeting

After a long time of playing Delta Green and Star Trek Adventures remotely with Dan while he was posted in Sudan, I finally had the pleasure of meeting him. An old friend of Ivan, we all planned a dinner meet. Dan picked me up at Aiman & Zara’s house where we would be spending the night, and rendezvoused with Ivan somewhere in the proximity of Kelana Jaya. We talked for some hours about RPGs, Star Trek (specifically “In the Pale Moonlight” and “Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges”) and other miscellanea while having dinner. The nasi goreng butter chicken was delicious, but there was so much of it I was unable to finish it. I would have met Dan earlier as he had planned on taking a vacation in Perlis some weeks ago. Sadly, it was the week I got COVID-19 for the second time.

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I have been to Port Dickson but I don't remember it at all

A Melaka 2023 Postscript

Previously… Day Three Postscript: Port Dickson Before heading up to KL, we took photos at the A Famosa fort (from a distance), the submarine museum (just the exterior), and stopped for some keria which were super delicious when still warm. Especially in the rain-cooled air. As we headed north for Kuala Lumpur, we passed the Melaka Zoo! That was a delightful surprise. However, we did not stop. When Irfan took the wheel once more, I fell asleep when we entered the PLUS Highway. Apparently I was asleep for almost an hour. When I woke up we were back on the Federal road somewhere in the sticks in the state of Negeri Sembilan. Ain and Irfan were navigating their way towards Port Dickson. It was touch and go because we were running out of fuel. Suddenly a Shell station revealed itself, which we found to be located at the southern end […]

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Declare your action!

Work Excursion to Melaka

Previously… I was invited by the English Department of Pay Fong Middle School in Melaka to run RPGs and give a talk during their English Week programme. With my RPG gear in tow and Ain and Irfan as my support team, I was ready to for the events in the next few days on behalf of UniMAP. Day One: Year Zero Mini (2023-07-27) Because we were due be at the school after lunch, it allowed us time to recuperate from the drive the previous day. The storefronts along the beachfront road were closed except for one Indian Muslim restaurant, so we had lunch there. After Zuhur/Asar jama’ prayers, we headed there to meet with my contact there, the English teacher Kelvin. Thankfully, school traffic was not as jammed as the previous day. We easily found a parking spot. Then we went to the school’s language lab, where I ran Year […]

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Irfan, Ain and my night on the town

Build-Up To Melaka Work Excursion

Before the Storm The last weekend we made an officially sanctioned work excursion to Melaka. Gray of KakiTabletop initiated a communication with Pay Fong Middle School in Melaka. From there the school sent me a formal invitation via the workplace. I had been invited to run some TTRPG sessions for the secondary school students for their English Language Week. And Saturday Morning, I was slated to give a talk about the benefits of TTRPGs in language education. Melaka is  even further south than Kuala Lumpur, which gave me pause. After a quick discussion with the home team, we figured that we could pull it off. Plus it would be a new experience for me. The last time I ran games for secondary school students was back in the 1990s. However, because of personal reasons Gray was not able to make it with me, so it would just be Irfan, Ain […]

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USS Östergötland NCC-72227

STA: With a Fine-Toothed Comb

Star Trek: Emergency Deep S01 E08 “With A Fine-Toothed Comb” Stardate: 58552.74, 22nd July 2381 (0720 hours UTC) Location: Gondolin Station, Cor Caroli III. The Norway-class USS Östergötland NCC-72227 is en route back from the ocean world Trychnos to Gondolin Station at Cor Caroli III, a Helios class habitat, with a captured damaged Orion Lightning-type starship in tow. En route, Operations Officer Lieutenant Commander Tosk the Studious requests wormhole traffic data from Starbase Deep Space 9 because of the Gamma Quadrant tech found on Trychnos. Captain Greg Ellison is contacted by Gondolin Station’s commanding officer Lieutenant Commander Ola Piotrowski who requests a meeting with the Captain. Tosk also suggests a memorial service for Lieutenant JG Velek and Specialist Randall Loomis who perished with the shuttle Mälaren. Rest and Repairs Upon arrival at Cor Caroli a day later, Cetacean Ensign Kremzeek docks the ship at Gondolin Station. They all note the […]

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At the former mechatronic engineering school

Invigilation at Semester’s End

It has been awhile since I invigilated an exam, as my own course is 100% coursework. No exams. I am a bit rusty at this. But this can only mean one thing: the end of the semester is nigh. And that means another thing: a whole lot more of grading, filing and planning for the next semester.

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NCC-72227 USS Östergötland

STA: Three On One

Star Trek: Emergency Deep S01 E07 “Three On One” Stardate: 58550.35; 21st July 2381 1020 hrs Location: Trychnos, near Cor Caroli   Suddenly three Orion Lightning-class blockade runners appear in the blue skies of the ocean world Trychnos and destroyed the Type-9 shuttle Mälaren. Captain Greg Ellison orders red alert as the USS Östergötland confronts the Orion vessels. One Lightning nosedives towards them from an altitude of 10,000 metres while the other two peel off elsewhere. With a sensor scan,  Lieutenant Commander Tosk the Studious  easily determines the Orion ships’ shield frequency. On Ellison’s orders, Tactical Officer Lieutenant Libby dos Santos fires a phaser beam at the two other ships that peeled off. The sudden show of force causes one of the two to bank towards them on an intercept course. The dolphin Conn Officer Ensign Kremzeek increases the Östergötland‘s altitude to a position between the two ships bearing down […]

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Hisham at his office for the first time

Hi New New New Office

Back in January I wrote a post when we had to vacate my old new new office. After a few weeks of slowly bringing my stuff in, I am now using my new new new office for the first time. The a/c works well. All the lights too. I requested the help of the building’s cleaning staff to sweep and wipe dirt and droppings of the local fauna. Although I was alone here today, it felt somewhat comfortable. Over the next couple of weeks, I will be bringing in more stuff from the old office, most of which are now stored beside the dining table at home. Click on the picture below to expand it. However, a dire question arises. How do I run RPG sessions here if I do not have any chairs for visitors?

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Doom Agents 2023

Doom Agents: Stealing Crate 037

We had the room at the library for 2 hours. The group activity with my students took only 30 minutes. So, I introduced them to tabletop role-playing games. I thought that using Mini-YZE (with my own mods) would make it simple for them. Easiest setting to run for new students would be the Doom Agents setting. It is contemporary, and I can emulate modern spy and action moviews with it. DRAMATIS PERSONAE Chamice, Engineer – Tey Jack, Medic – Ooi Agent 47, Sniper – Danis Sniper Agent 47, Medic Jack and Engineer Chamice are assigned to a mission near Manaus, Brazil. The Approach The team, in an off-road vehicle, heads south into the jungle in the late afternoon. It is raining heavily and before them river with a strong current block their path. The bridge has been washed away. Chamise and Jack study the waters, then guide 47 to drive […]

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Ain & Hisham in Lumut

Hari Raya Haji 1444H

For Aidiladha, we returned to Sitiawan where Ain made nasi minyak and ayam masak biryani. Here are some photos of the first day of Raya in Sitiawan. Click on them to expand. After taking photos, we went for a drive to Lumut. For the first time in a long while we pulled over and walked at the promenade (See photos). It was peculiar. Vacation season, but not a lot of humans at the pier as it usually is. Because of a medical emergency, we could not go visit the folks I wanted to visit this time around. We spent the second day of Raya at the Manjung Hospital. It was physically and mentally exhausting. In any case, we got to speak to the Middletown team via Discord early on the second day – which also wears away at my somewhat weary soul. So long since we were able to meet […]

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