CNY at Teik Sing's House

31 January 2006 | Hisham | | ACS Memories

This afternoon, Ain, Irfan and I went to Teik Sing's house to celebrate New Year. The last time the former ACS students of SPM 1990 gathered together was during Independence Day 2005 in 1 Utama. I almost missed the gate into Teik Sing's house, which Warren and I remembered to be bigger. 15 years of memory can play tricks on a person.

Later tonight, after Teik Sing and Michelle are finished with Fearless with Jet Li at Arasu theatre, we might meet up for a drink at the Lumut seafront stalls. Irfan is asleep, so he'll be staying home. More pictures then.

Here are the photos from today's gathering:



30 January 2006 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Food

The best fried calamari (sotong celup tepung) on this planet, as well as several other planets and moons (including the seafood industry on Europa), is located at the Medan Ikan Bakar FELCRA at Simpang Dua, Sitiawan. The taste and the texture is just right. And saying that the price is very affordable there is an understatement. In Sitiawan, this is where we'd like to engorge ourselves on seafood on special occasions.

Last night we went there to celebrate Irfan's grandparents 34th anniversary. Here are three of the photos from the dinner.


Northern California: Part V

30 January 2006 | sila | | Family Pics

Here it is, the final installment of our northern california vacation, Part V: The Petrified Forest and more! To recap, we had just gone Seal Hunting and found the (almost) mythical After-Christmas Seals. After running around on the beach with the seals (well, we did the running, the seals just laid there relaxing), we headed back up the little road out of the beach.

Along the way, there were small parking areas overlooking some cool rock formations in the ocean.


Today is the 29th, Which Means...

29 January 2006 | Hisham | | Recent News
... it's Sila's birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY ADIK) and it's Mak and Abah's anniversary (HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, IRFAN'S OPAH AND ATOK).

Yeah, the rumours are true. Sila was their third anniversary present.

Which was infinitely better than a card or a gift certificate, so it seemed.


The Day The Tyre Died, Again

28 January 2006 | Hisham | | Recent News

Thursday night we went to pick up F from MIAT.

We arrived at 2200. But we left at almost midnight. What was I doing two hours in MIAT? Changing the tires of the car, that's what.


Full Circle

27 January 2006 | Hisham | | Recent News

Once upon a lifetime ago, I used to repair helicopters. The job wasn't at all glamorous. All you had to do was to follow the manual, observe regulations and ensure the paperwork was correct. Everyday you had to perform scheduled maintenance.

Then one day I quit and left it all.

For five years, I worked in various other fields gathering knowledge other than helicopter maintenance. Because the aviation industry here was close-knitted, there was no way I would be returing to reparing airplanes...

... or so I thought.

Last two weeks have been weird and almost surreal. After a call from one of my former colleagues in the helicopter offshore company, I've since met the most number of former colleagues in the last 10 working days than I've ever met in the last five years.

The short story is that a bunch of them has started a new company and the need someone with an IT background to help them start it from scratch and run it. I accepted. Why, after all these years? Because it looked to me that in my absence my former peers have put themselves in a position to change the landscape of the industry here in the country. Out with the old and in with the new, gradually.

And I like the way how things are going with them in charge. So here I am back to what I started fifteen years ago, in a full circle.


Happy Birthday Ain

22 January 2006 | Hisham | | Recent News
Happy birthday and many happy returns to my beautiful wife Nurul Ain.

Some cards were sent. A blueberry cheese cake was eaten. Irfan sang the Happy Birthday song. Ain also made a pot of fried noodles. And because Kak Nor also had the same birthdate as Ain, both sisters celebrated here on our little round dinner table at our house.

However, I forgot to charge the camera batteries. Tee hee. (blush)


Northern California: Part IV

19 January 2006 | sila | | Family Pics

The saga continues with Part IV: The Christmas Seals? Christmas day dawned rainy and foggy in Santa Rosa. When we went to bed the night before, the weatherman had predicted another sunny day. Phaugh! Never trust the weather man!

Nevertheless, Vin and I decided we would go on the hunt for Seals (we were told by my former-colleague Don Floyd that the mouth of the Russian River was a good place to find elephant seals). We looked for seals in Eureka and Trinidad with no luck! No ewoks turned up in the redwood forests either. So, after a great breakfast buffet, Vin and I went off to look for the mouth of the Russian River and hopefully some seals!


Northern California: Part III

17 January 2006 | sila | | Family Pics

I do feel a little guilty for piling on the pictures but we really did have a good time in northern california. Part I should be subtitled "Rainy San Fran", Part II is "Eureka! Redwoods!", and this Part III is really "Avenue of the Giants, a.k.a. You thought the other redwoods were big? Get a load of this!"

In our journey so far, we have covered the first three days of our trip. It's now Christmas Eve and we hang out with Jeff and his family that morning before we take off southwards.


"I Didn't Want To Make It Back Alive"

15 January 2006 | Hisham | | Misc Sci-Fi, TV

Spoiler Alert. This is an essay concerning the actions of Lee “Apollo” Adama of Battlestar Galactica in the episode Resurrection Ship, Part 2. If you’re adverse to spoilers it's strongly suggested that you read no further. And if you're local and want to catch it on TV, they're starting to show the first season on 8TV at 10pm Sundays, the same time as Smallville on TV3.


Comrade Is Not Fallen: An Update

13 January 2006 | Hisham | | ACS Memories

A former school classmate Sockalingam, upon reading my past entry on Vernon Netto, did some investigation on his own and returned with some good news. In an email dated January 11, he wrote:

After reading Hisham's mail below, I contacted Vernon's family back in Sitiawan and he is fine and they passed him my contact number. He called me yesterday and when I told him bout the link he was very surprised. He was working in Acheh running his medical clinic and two days before the Tsunami he was called to Medan for work and when he got back everything was washed out. Lucky for him his wife was ok and he is now back in KL.

It appears that what we've hope for, that the CNN web page I linked earlier was either untrue or badly in need of updating. Fantastic news. Thanks, Socka.


Northern California: Part II

12 January 2006 | sila | | Family Pics

Eureka!! We finally arrived there!! To Eureka, California that is. We drove the 5-6 hours north on highway 101 until we reached Eureka, and we checked into our hotel with great relief. It was pitch dark, we were tired and hungry, and it had rained the entire drive.

The next morning, we woke up to sunny skies and beautiful weather. So we got together with Jeff (Vin's buddy from La Porte High School, IN) who lives in Eureka, and he took us to see the sights.


The Crew of the Wild Gundark

11 January 2006 | Hisham | | Artwork, Role Playing Games, Star Wars, Wild Gundark

Never let it be said I ran the Wild Gundark game without having at least one group illustration done for the team. Clockwise from top left, Groo McShae the Duros sensor tech, Similiv Zalimort the Kerestian first mate, Captain Nisa Dyaton the pilot, Aleic Karnsky the gunner, N4-M8 the mercenary and Wayang Kulit the Jawa droid tech specialist. Click below to view the image.

The Crew of the Wild Gundark

Northern California: Part I

10 January 2006 | sila | | Family Pics

For Christmas, Vin and I went roving again...this year we flew to San Francisco, and stayed in Northern California for 8 days.

Part I will cover the first few days we were there - these are the days we spent in San Francisco proper (we arrived in San Fran Tuesday morning December 20th, and stayed until Thursday December 22nd early afternoon). The rest of the time was spent driving up and down the Northern California Coast.


Opah Irfan's Wayward Purse

09 January 2006 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Recent News

We only noticed it when Ain got off the car to buy some drinks in Kuala Kangsar. It was on Ain's seat, hidden beneath her when she sat. It was a small coin purse labeled Adamas Goldsmith. Wondering when Ain bought the purse, I took it. Irfan saw it and said, “Opah punya.” And within it was Opah Irfan's driver's licence and identification card!


Death In The House

08 January 2006 | Hisham | | Family Pics

We arrived in Sitiawan two nights ago with Emma and F in tow. Today we head for Pasir Mas. However, upon arriving at Irfan's Atok's house we were told of two tragic deaths in the family.


A Skull Island Travelogue - A Kong Review

05 January 2006 | Hisham | | Movie Review
Kong is King

Last night we finally saw Peter Jackson's version of King Kong. Upon reading initial articles that said that the movie was too long and were boring during the beginning and had pointless scenes aboard the Venture part of the movie, I thought "I'll take whatever you dish out." I would enjoy what I could and get it over with.

To my surprise, the movie did not bore me to tears at all. Sure there were the trademark lingering close up shots of actors' (and one giant CG alpha male silverback's) faces that inundated Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, but I did not think there were any pointless and unengaging scenes in the movies. Everything added to the storyline, and the overall atmosphere of the movie.

Chronicles of the Wild Gundark Part III

02 January 2006 | Hisham | | RPG Actual Play, Role Playing Games, Star Wars, Wild Gundark

Concluding the saga of the Wild Gundark crew:

Quickly, the person on the other side of the comm told Nisa to meet them in Landing Bay 239 back at Medeus. “We'll be waiting there at noon local time tomorrow.”

Then the Fifth House woman cut off the transmission abruptly.

The confused N4 remarked, “Could someone please explain the situation to me? Who is this 'Duke' and who was that organic who ceased functioning outside the ship just now?”

Ignoring the newcomer droid, the worried Groo asked, “You think that communiqué was really bad for our health?”

A grinning Similiv replied, “Probably, Greenskin... but we wouldn't want our lives to be boring now would we?”

Finally after much contemplation, Nisa grimly said, “OK! We have a meet, but get ready for anything this time. We have about 12 hours till the meet, and I want to be alive for it.”

And now the conclusion:

Chronicles of the Wild Gundark

The world was known as Daver Kuat, third planet from its sun, a standard terrestrial life-bearing world. Unlike its sister world Kuat, which was a great big mess of thousands of ships surrounding it, orbital traffic here was light. On the farthest side of the planet from the sun, there was an island. Upon the island was a mountain. At the side of the mountain, there was a cave, spewing fiery smoke from it. Right outside the cave on flat ground was a YZ-900 light freighter. Six beings within this ship were considering their next move, now that the passenger who promised to pay them for passage had disappeared.

And they seemed to be right smack in the middle of the local politics of the Noble Houses of Kuat, which was known to be pretty deadly.


Irfan Goes To MIAT

01 January 2006 | Hisham | | Family Pics

Today Irfan's youngest aunt, his Cik Su F, enrolled in MIAT. In three and a half years, she will be graduating with a Diploma in Aviation Maintenance Technology (Avionics), with a bunch of skillset that should be more marketable in the aviation industry than my old Licenced Aircraft Maintenace Engineer (Yeah it's LAME, I know) with Rotorcraft Airframe and Engine specialisation. Irfan was there. Some pictures were taken. Here they are.