Saliva test kits

Two Lines

It has been almost two years since the pandemic officially kicked off in the country. After many mutations, the former denizens of the Tenth Floor (now in Transitory State) are now infected by the virus. At time of writing, there has been 440 million infections and 6 million deaths worldwide, while in Malaysia there has been 3.5 million recorded infections and 33 thousand has died because of it. Now we are part of the statistics. We are thankful to have been triple vaccinated, so the symptoms have not been as severe as they could be. For me I have been experiencing fever and sore throat, especially at nights. As such we are all now in a 7-day home quarantine since our first day of infection, while monitoring our vital stats to be submitted to MySejahtera twice daily. Here’s hoping for the best.

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Home team at low camera angle

A Book Writing Project on Pulau Pinang

And so it came to pass that I was invited on another project. This time we were to write and edit an elementary-level English language school book for Perlis. The team consisted of workplace colleagues and a selection of Perlis’ primary school teachers. We had to produce both English and Bahasa Malaysia books, so we split into two groups. Like the previous month, we headed to Pulau Pinang to do our work. On the First and Second Day… I mostly worked, except for when we had to dine together as a team. We stayed at Copthorne Orchid Hotel, at Tanjung Bungah and the view from the hotel was gorgeous. Check out the photos below. Also, in the early evening after my work was done for the day, we went for a stroll at the beach. Previously we were unable to bring Irfan along as he was stuck in his polytechnic […]

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A birthday celebration for Ain

A Translation Project on Pulau Pinang

And so it came to pass I was invited to participate in a project for a team of researchers at the university. My role there was to translate and edit the document they wrote from the research they made. Day One On the first day, we went off the PLUS Highway and took the old Federal road from Gurun all the way to Butterworth, then swung about to take the Penang bridge towards George Town. But before we went to the town, we had brunch at the nasi kandar cafe at USM. Ain thought that USM could be a great place for Irfan to further his studies. Later. Maybe. InshaaAllah. After some photos taken at the university, we headed downtown to Cititel Hotel where we checked in. Later that day I started my translation work with the research team. Day Two On the second day, we had quite a big […]

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One hundred art cards

Wherefore Art Thou, Art Card?

I am so excited to receive this package today. It is something I ordered from Shopee. I have been looking for this in million print shops here in town. None appear to have them in stock any more. I am a proud owner of 100 pieces of A4-sized, 260 gsm-thick, white art card. This is because I had been trying and failing to print out my paper miniatures. I also found that the only place that I definitely knew stocked art card had folded* (or moved). In short, I am so happy. *No pun intended.

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One more group photo before we leave

Picnic by the Bendang

Yesterday, a group of colleagues organised a trip away from the bustling metropolis known as Kangar (mm-hmm) to nearby Pokok Sena for a picnic in the sticks. By sticks, I mean the beautiful, recently-launched Loqsakri Agro Farm. First we rendezvoused near Arau along the road to Jitra. Then we formed a convoy towards Jitra, then Alor Setar for brunch at a local kopitiam. After picking up Faten, Zaki led the way towards Loqsakri. The agro farm was welcoming, beautiful and was not even finished yet. There were bamboo huts constructed beside a little canal that separated the landscaped guests’ area and the bendang (the rice field). Although the sun was blazing above, the wind was a cooling, soothing force to be reckoned with. We appeared to have visited just as the padi was at the most vibrant shade of green. The owner of Loqsakri is a cordial, welcoming person who […]

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Anya Surprises Irfan

Anya Surprises Irfan

Irfan was feeling pretty exhausted physically and emotionally having to study at his college. Well, everyone feels that these days especially because of the COVID-19 pandemic that has petered out this last few months. So, we thought we’d give Irfan a happy surprise by NOT letting him know that his cousin Anya was coming to visit. Here is the moment, as he was walking to where we usually waited with the car, he realised that we had extra visitors with us: After the meeting everyone went to have dinner at Irfan’s school cafe. Three Days Later… That was three days ago. Earlier today, Irfan and Anya had even more fun at the college car park with a catapult. It shot a plastic rotor toy with blinking lights into the air and, well here’s the video: It was one of the best moments for Irfan living at the school, he told […]

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Anya the Co-teacher

Anya the Co-teacher

So Anya came over for a visit. I was teaching an online class when they arrived from Selangor. Young Anya entered the room, so I invited her to help me conclude the class I was teaching. This is what happened: Yes, we talked to the students about facehuggers.

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Ham Slacker character sheet

Ham Slacker Remembered

I have been running Star Wars The Role Playing Game published by West End Games since 1989, two years after its debut on the market. I wish I had saved a lot of the game materials I wrote and the character sheets the players had. I actually began filing my gaming documents beginning from 1991. Not a lot of scraps of papers from before that year survived. Besides this single character sheet from 1989. It was falling apart in my folder, so I had it laminated. According to his player Ming Fang, Ham Slacker – the tongue-tied engineer – was a Twi’lek-Human mix. Is it scientifically possible? Let’s not dwell on that. Ming Fang named the him after Ham Tyler, Michael Ironside’s character in V, and James Tolkan’s Mr. Strickland’s favourite war cry in the Back to the Future movies. Ham Slacker died after a year of play, and Ming […]

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Most of the members of the Slaughterhouse Five

VTR: The Atlanta Requiem

Coincidentally, Anne Rice passed away earlier today on the first day of my playing Vampire the Requiem. It was an online session and we played as the young upstarts of Atlanta, known as Slaughterhouse Five. Who is Jackie Long? I played Jackie Long, a Nosferatu, and part of the Slaughterhouse Five. Jackie wore a mop of silver wig to cover his hideous visage. Sure he’s a Nosferatu, but that did not stop him from going out partying all night. An unabashed clubber and raver, he spent his nights also selling pills to humans. Sometimes, he drank from them. Who is the Slaughterhouse Five? The Slaughterhouse Five were a coterie of vampires of different lineages. They were young and despite being drinkers of human blood, idealistic. Why did they need to follow the whims and fancies of the Prince of Atlanta? No one voted for the Prince to lead the vampires […]

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Saber-class starship

STA: Theatre of the Mind

Star Trek: Thine Own Self S1 E08 Theatre of the Mind *** Stardate: 57669.9 – Tue Sep 02 2380 0435 UTC Starfleet Dramatis Personae Lt. Kodar Tamat, Cardassian engineering officer and mission commander Lt. Cmdr. Jora Mungar, Trill conn officer Lt. Leahman Barclay, Human conn officer (Semi-temporary NPC) Lt. J.G. Simon Cañete, Human security officer (Temporary NPC) Lt. Miral, Denobulan science officer (Temporary NPC) Non-Player Characters Ensign Sparik, Vulcan conn officer – shuttle pilot Lt. Shathir Yunus, Andorian bridge conn officer – A shift Ensign Khalid Coufax,  Human bridge operations officer – A shift Lt. Annete Metaxis, Human bridge conn officer – B shift Lt. Aaditri Fuentes, Human bridge operations officer – B shift Ensign Chirapa Ortega, Human engineering officer – warp theory specialist Lt. Gavin Nakano, Human engineering officer – EPS specialist En. Serafina Dell, Human engineering officer – impulse engine specialist En. Humairah Sufian, Human engineering officer – […]

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21st anniversary 01

Anniversary: Year 21

For the first time ever, we celebrated our anniversary tonight at a hotel. Five years ago or so, I would have never dared to dream we could do this. In any case, it was the best choice as there was not many other patrons in the hotel cafe. Nothing much to report for the evening, other than the food was nice, the ambience was enjoyable, and I am pretty certain we can use the sofa set in the lobby to play role-playing games.

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Borg?

STA: Plato’s Cave, Part 2

Star Trek: Thine Own Self S1 E07 Plato’s Cave, Part 2 *** Stardate: 57669.8 – Sep 02 2380 0338 UTC Starfleet Dramatis Personae Lt. Kodar Tamat, Cardassian engineering officer and mission commander Lt. Leahman Barclay, Human conn officer Lt. J.G. Simon Cañete, Human security officer (Temporary NPC) Lt. Cmdr. Jora Mungar, Trill conn officer (Temporary NPC) Ensign Sparik, Vulcan conn officer (NPC) Last time on Star Trek Adventures: Thine Own Self… While looking for the missing New Orleans-class USS Nairobi in the Melpomene Sector near the Typhon Expanse, the Saber-class USS Sienkiewicz (NCC-88034) dispatched an away team on the Danube-class runabout USS Moonstar. During their away mission on Delta Melpomene V, they encountered time crystals. They showed them a possible future where the Sienkiewicz was in flames, the captain appeared dead and an old Einstein-class starship was attacking them. Soon they rescued Lt. Cmdr. Mungar whose repair crew & runabout USS Segura […]

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Cover of Dune RPG

Dune Adventures in the Imperium RPG

Mushtamal of Classic Science Fiction What nonsense is this? Both the science fiction books I read during my formative years during my teens are both being released as talkies this year? First of all, there’s Apple TV’s Foundation series – based on Isaac Asimov’s classic novels – which I might review after the end of the first season. Then, Denis Villeneuve’s film Dune Part One, adapted from the first half of Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel Dune. Additionally, Modiphius also published a brand new Dune: Adventures in the Imperium role-playing game (RPG) which I bought using some extra teaching earnings. Ming Fang would have a field day. Arrakis. Dune. Desert planet. Dune is a tabletop RPG where gamemasters (GM) and players roleplay within the universe Herbert made, creating their own epic saga as they play. Players could opt from a list of 20 Archetypes such as Analyst, Courtier, Duellist, Envoy, […]

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It me

Back in Office Once Again

After many months of working from home, having to run classes from the desk in the spare room, it was time to return to our offices. I am happy to report that everything is where they are supposed to be. Additionally, my office seems to be is regularly cleaned while we were all away… except for my broom. The broom that I bought for my room seems to have disappeared.

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Langkawi in the distance

Sunset During Pandemic

These days, after the car occupancy restrictions was lifted, we travel the state a bit for a change of scenery. This is not a big state so there are not many places to visit, but those we could does not disappoint us with the quality of their beauty. One such place is the the golden hour on the shore facing Langkawi Island. Also, we still wear masks as I do not believe in risking our health with the COVID-19 pandemic still hovering over us ominously. Click on the photos for bigger images.

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Birthday cake

Nineteen Years of Irfan

It’s that time of the year again! In the morning, Ain made telur bungkus for breakfast with French fries. Later that evening, we went to the cafe at a hotel in town for a birthday dinner. We ordered something nice. I liked the ice cream cheese cake that Ain got at a bakery earlier, plus I love peaches. The best part was that there were not many others with us. So our little celebration was undisturbed by Guavian Death Gang. Before we left we gifted half the cake to the staff of the hotel’s cafe. We think they stored it in the refrigerator and devoured it at the end of their shift. Because of the pandemic, Irfan still lives with us. I do not know how much longer we have together before we would be unable to celebrate like this in the future. In the meantime, I am grateful for […]

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