Star Wars: Kramer vs Kramer

30 June 2006 | Hisham | | Artwork, Star Wars

For Round Three of the SWAG Member Theme Art Contest, everyone was given the theme of It's A Trap!... except me who has the task of coming up with Star Wars: Kramer vs Kramer, no thanks to my big mouth the previous month.

So, here it is without further adieu, Star Wars: Kramer vs Kramer - The Battle for Cosmo.


Blog Upgraded

27 June 2006 | Hisham | | Recent News

This is the first entry using the new version of the content management system Pivot 1.30 RC2, as opposed to the pre-upgraded 1.24 version of old.

So I might as well say something meaningful.

I can't think of anything at almost 1 am.

So I think I'll put up an image for your viewing pleasure.

Image Not Found


26 June 2006 | Hisham | |, Recent News
This is the first entry after the site was hacked and evil and vile javascript and php codes were written into the blog's templates and database files.

Many thanks to Fairiz Jafar of EasyNet Interactive, our webhoster, for noticing and monitoring the trouble almost a full day before I contacted him for help. His help on a Sunday was very much appreciated, getting the site back up. Two of the most recent entries were lost, but it's no big deal. The Hishgraphics web journal is back online.

Click here to read a description of what happened in the Pivot Support Forums.

It was a long weekend, needless to say.

But I said it anyway. *sigh*


European Adventure VI: Hanging Out in Jaen

16 June 2006 | sila | | Family Pics

We spent a total of 5 days in Jaen, and the days and nights were filled with old friends (new friends for me!), food, and lots of conversations. I was very quickly introduced to doing everything on Spanish time, which is different from the schedule that I'm used to. For instance, when we checked into Hotel Infanta Cristina (Princess Christina) in Jaen, we were told that breakfast started at 8:00 AM and ended at 11:00 AM. I'm used to breakfast hours starting at 6:00 AM in the hotels that I stay at for work purposes in the U.S. Lunch doesn't even start until 2:00 PM (between 2-4 in the afternoon), and dinner isn't served until about 9:00 PM. The siesta hours are still observed in Jaen, and Vin and I found ourselves being just about the only people wandering around town during siesta. We did see a few tourists (yes, they were tourists - they spoke German) up and about during siesta, but almost no locals. I found it odd to find older people (folks in their 70s and 80s) up and about at 1:00 AM on a work night, eating out with their families. Everybody keeps late hours in Spain - and siestas are a necessity to maintain this schedule.


European Adventure V: The Castillo Overlooking Jaen

14 June 2006 | sila | | Family Pics

After we checked out of our hotel in Malaga, we took a taxi to the bus station. We would have to take the bus first to Granada and then from there a bus to Jaen. It was past noon by the time we checked out. In the end, we took the easy way out and just took a taxi to Jaen. We wanted to make it to Jaen before it got too late (no point burning daylight). Happily, we arrived in Jaen in time for a late lunch (lunch is late there anyway).


European Adventure IV: Malaga - Arrival

13 June 2006 | sila | | Family Pics

After we checked out of our hotel in Amsterdam, we went to the train station and caught the train to Brussels. It was a 2.5-3 hour train ride and I'd love to say that I took beautiful pictures of the passing scenery. We went through Rotterdam and several other cities in the Netherlands before crossing into Belgium. Unfortunately, I was so zonked out I slept most of the way. So...suffice it to say we took the train from Amsterdam to Brussels, and from there we caught a plane to Malaga, Spain.


European Adventure III: Amsterdam

12 June 2006 | sila | | Family Pics

The next leg of our European adventure started out by taking a train from Surrey to Gatwick Airport where we were catching a plane to Amsterdam. Now, before anybody gets overexcited about Amsterdam, we were only there for less than 24 hours (1 night) and so we did not get the full Amsterdam experience. Yes, no bike riding along the canals, no canal tours by boat, and we didn't make it to Anne Frank's house even! And no, we did not make it to the Red Light District... I think this means we must go back to Amsterdam and spend a little more time there!


European Adventure II: Stonehenge and Salisbury

11 June 2006 | sila | | Family Pics

To continue our European adventure, Mei took a day off work and we went gallivanting around England while poor Colin had to work. We went to Stonehenge and Salisbury. Stonehenge was about a 1.5-2 hour drive from Surrey, and due to being tired and our body clocks being screwed up, we didn't leave until mid-morning. But it was worth it.


Cyclops, Shortchanged

11 June 2006 | Hisham | | Movie Review, Rants

Last Tuesday, I finally saw X-Men The Last Stand. But I’m not going to do a full review on the movie itself. The following two paragraph will summarize what I thought about it.

Despite the misgivings of having Brett Ratner directing the third X-Men movie, and reports of behind the scene shenanigans that caused Bryan Singer to leave in the first place, I really enjoyed The Last Stand. Sure there were some plot holes and unbalanced screen time for characters, but they delivered what they promised: super-powered mutants beating the crap out of each other in creative ways onscreen. And I’m sure if the writers and director were given ample time without any studio politics involved, they would have given us something much more glorious than what we got.

In any case, I because of the amount of details in this movie: a totally spot on Beast with amazing acrobatic moves in combat; visually spectacular telekinesis an order of magnitude better than anything we've ever seen before; two Fastball Specials; Iceman icing up briefly; a great Juggernaught vs Shadowcat battle; Ian McKellen as Magneto; Multiple Man in action; even a glimpse of the Stepford Cuckoos in the background at the X-Mansion... I’ll say that the movie is at least on par with the previous two movies.

Now the spoilers begin.


European Adventure I: Surrey and London

10 June 2006 | sila | | Family Pics

Recently, Vin and I went on a 16-day vacation to Europe. We went to a few countries, visited with many friends and for the first time ever, I travelled around the European continent. Prior to this, I had only been in London for 2 weeks in the winter of 1997.

We started our vacation by flying to Gatwick where we were picked up by Mei Chin (my bestestestestest friend in the whole wide world) and Colin. We were to spend the first part of our trip hanging out with Mei and Colin at their place in England.

*grumble* this is the 2nd time I'm doing this entry. My stupid computer froze and IE died when I was completely done with this entry. All was lost. :(


Irfan Around Lumut

06 June 2006 | Hisham | | Family Pics

Last weekend, we were back in Sitiawan to attend a couple of kenduris. On Monday, Irfan's grandparents decided to take us to Teluk Batik and Lumut. It was great, but the weather was hot and there were too many people about thanks to the school holidays.


What I Miss Most About Sitiawan

05 June 2006 | Hisham | | ACS Memories
What I miss most about Sitiawan can be summed up thusly:

I miss watching movies (at the big screen and home theatre) and discussing them from a geek's point of view.

I miss cycling to Teluk Batik and walking back on foot because of a flat bicycle tyre.

I miss going on adventures in and around the mangrove swamps of Kampung Acheh, looking at mudskippers and paddling rented canoes and avoiding water snakes.

I miss camping out at the sandy beaches of Pangkor's Coral Bay, taking the ferry to and from the island and lying on the sand at night to count shooting stars.

I miss camping out behind the District Scout House at the mangrove swamps of Kampung Sitiawan, getting up early at dawn to cycle around Sitiawan before everyone wakes up and walking in the middle of the night to the nearby cafe to buy air sirap when thirsty.

I miss a really good friend with whom I shared all these experiences, the only person who never left Sitiawan since school.

Rest In Peace, Ming Fang ol' buddy. Hope to see you in another lifetime.


Working in the 21st Century

01 June 2006 | Hisham | | Rants
Der office

You know what I like best about working with the technological resources we have now?

It's the interconnectivity and flexibility, as well as the sheer amount of things you can make at home or at the office where before you had to outsource to another company. E-mail, instant messaging, direct file transfers, VOIP... they're all indispensable tools for any type of work. With a notebook and a wireless connection, you have your files and all the knowledge in the world (well, not quite) at the tip of your hands.

Yesterday, I wasn't in the office. I was at home. But I was talking to at least 4 other people at work via Skype and cellular phone on speaker mode. Out of the 5 people involved only two of us were in the same room. Even with telephones, I can't see this happening in a company with a small setup like ours if this was ten years ago.

Last month we were in a conference call with a person from Denmark via VOIP for software application training.

And yeah, I'm pretty much aware of the fact that young punks who would this 10 years from now (if this site still exists) would be laughing at how crippled we are with our tools compared to what they would have in the future.

Unless they're all technologically reverted back to the stone age... by natural or unnatural means.

In which case we're all pretty much screwed.