Irfan's One Utama Walkabout

31 May 2007 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Transformers

One fine day, Irfan Shafiq went a-walking about the hallways of the mall known as One Utama.

Movie Carnival 2007 weekend was just around the corner. So there were plenty of well-known characters loitering about the concourse of the new wing of the mall. One of the most remarkable things there would be this here thing in the following photo. A Transformers movie Optimus Prime! It's not on sale yet for another two more days. Apparently the guy bought it off eBay.

A stellar looking toy!

Looks as good as an Alternator

Bread 2006 (September through December)

29 May 2007 | sila | | Food

Let's take a short break from the vacation for some bread. These are breads that I baked the final 4 months of last year. I know, I should have really written this entry a long time ago. But here goes.

This first bread is called Onion Caraway Bread. My second try at this bread.

Onion Caraway dough

Hawaii Day 8 - Hotel Hopping and Sunset

28 May 2007 | sila | | Family Pics

We requested late checkout so we could enjoy ourselves on our final morning at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. It was a beautiful sunny morning, and we wanted to go snorkeling in the lagoon.

Look at the difference in the pictures between yesterday and today, due to the sun:

Fantastic hammock location

So until 2 PM Hawaiian time, we enjoyed ourselves to the fullest, starting with a bout of putt-putt golf (my first time and it was rather embarrassing, so no pictures OK?).


Shepherd's Pie

26 May 2007 | sila | | Food

For some reason today I'm a bit rajin to write and publish entries on the blog. Must be the prospect of the 3-day weekend coming up! Woohoooo!

I'm a bit backlogged, but here's a quick review of Shepherd's Pie which I made earlier this year.

First, cook the beef and tomato mixture on the stovetop (with peas, and other veggies too). Make sure you cook it in an oven-safe pan.

Meat mixture bubbling on the stovetop

Hawaii Day 7 - Lazy Day at the hotel

26 May 2007 | sila | | Family Pics

Day 7 dawned beautiful and sunny. We decided to have ourselves a lazy day. I believe there was some post-breakfast napping, some reading on the lanai (balcony). We can see this statue from the lanai:

Meditating Buddha

This Will Be The Awesomest Movie Of 2007

25 May 2007 | Hisham | | Transformers

No one destroys a liquor store while Ironhide's aroundIronhide twists and jumps away from the path of the incoming missile, and as he falls in slow mo he fires off a missle of his own.

Holy shit! This will be for me THE movie of 2007. The recent Transformers trailer than was released last week dropped a couple of jaws. It had a close-up of Bumblebee transforming, Optimus Prime transforming with the classic cartoon sound effect, Starscream jumping up and transforming into an F-22 in mid-flight, Megatron about to stomp on Jazz in mid-flight, and Bonecrusher expressing his distaste for the public transport system on a bus.

As a fan of the cartoon series and the awesome 1986 animated movie, I have no expectations of this live-action movie being a faithful adaptation of them. In fact how can one be a faithful adaptation of Transformers cartoon when you have Generation 1, Generation 2, the Marvel series, Energon, Armada, Robots In Disguise with almost all of them have divergent storylines set in different universes.

I mean take a look at the different incarnations of each movie character here at Monitor Duty. The Optimus Prime section itself will make you either shake your head in despair or shake your wallet to see if you have the cash to buy all versions of the character.

So as long as there are Autobots vs. Decepticons, and the human characters don't steal the limelight, and there is general and widespread destruction caused by huge transforming robots beating the crap out of each other, I'm sold on it.

I'm sold, I say!


Hawaii Day 6 - Journey to the Kona Side

21 May 2007 | sila | | Family Pics

We actually didn't get to walk around Hilo too much, because neither Vin nor I was in the mood for a walk in the rain. It rained the morning we left Hilo:

Rain, rain, go away

So we hit the road, to the other side of the island where the mountains block the rain.


A Time of Reunion

19 May 2007 | Hisham | | ACS Memories

We don't get together that much these days, but when we do the survivors of the ACS Sitiawan, SPM 1990 batch, create one hell of a ruckus when we sit around the table talking about... well, anything that comes to mind. Earlier tonight, a bunch of them fell upon the Tenth Floor for a gathering and of course, to eat. There was also talk about peeing or hocking a loogie onto passers-by or the swimming pool below from the window and/or balcony.

However, some sort of decorum was maintained since there were kids in the room.

Apart from our household, the roll call included: Teik Sing (with Michelle and Baby Ashley-Joan), Shahar, Tern Lik, Nguk Lui, Alvin and family, Hudson and Kok Soon.

Ain cooked two variations of bihun goreng, both of which were tasty. Teik Sing bought appetizers and desert, Shahar bought some kuih, Hudson brought chips and Kok Soon, who arrived last, brought a barrel of KFC.


Irfan's Sports Day

17 May 2007 | Hisham | | Family Pics

Precipitation did give us a break this morning. The sun shone brightly. Since we're not too far from the equator relatively, a shining sun means sweltering and scorching heat. Tear glands were overtaxed in their efforts to cool off meatbag human bodies. However, Irfan's school sports day did not yield to the heat.

Participating with Irfan's school is its sister school, where the kids wear violet-and-yellow as opposed to Irfan's blue-and-yellow uniforms. There no real competition, just the kids all having fun doing the stuff they're doing in the following photos.

In other news, Irfan seemed to be under constant attack by a smaller kid who likes to push him around. From my observation Irfan just avoid the blows until he gets hit then he pushes the kid hard, which dissuades from further attacks for the time being. If this keeps up, I'll have to write an entire entry around this sociopathic character including pictures (which I already have on file).

Yeah, I'm mean enough to do that to him if he keeps up pushing Irfan around.


A Birthday At Irfan's School

16 May 2007 | Hisham | | Family Pics

It was supposed to be sports day today at the kindergarten. Unfortunately the heavy rain had other ideas, so instead the school proceeded with the birthday party of a boy, whose mother I discovered was my classmate in Perlis. Small world.

The principle postponed sports day for tomorrow. Hopefully precipitation gives us a break. I'll take more photos tomorrow. It'd be interesting seeing a bunch of hyperactive 5- and 6-year-olds running around competing for something.


Hawaii Day 5 - Volcanic Adventure

12 May 2007 | sila | | Family Pics

In the late morning of Day 5. we drove to Kilauea, which is an active volcano on the big island. Kilauea has been continuously erupting for some 24 years! Pretty amazing stuff, and we had decided to do the Crater Rim drive and drive around Kilauea Caldera.

Me by Volcano House

You Rolled Poorly

11 May 2007 | Hisham | | Humour, Role Playing Games

Some weeks ago I wrote an entry on role-playing game motivational posters. Last night I discovered a website that allows you create your own by uploading your own pictures and entering your own lines of text. (Doesn't even have to be about RPGs, even.) So here we are with my own RPG motivational poster.


Finally Playing with PHP

08 May 2007 | Hisham | |, Recent News

Referring to some help sites and pulling back the curtain to look at source codes, I finally got the nerve to save some text files which I wrote on a text editor as php files, which I usually always do in html! Not really ground breaking stuff; all I did was to include the navigation and the footer parts into the main files from separate php files. Later I'll see about learning to link the php files to a (gasp) MySQL database!

I should have started to learn this stuff earlier. It would have gone a long way in teaching me stuff that would help me in my project paper for college. But in the meantime, both the Hishgraphics Gallery and the workplace website are now fully php-ized!

Yeah, they look the same from 2 days ago, but the Legos I used to build up those two sites are all different pieces now. Trust me.


Villain-o-rama - A Spider-Man 3 Review

03 May 2007 | Hisham | | Movie Review
The black costume

As previously reported, we caught Spider-Man 3 at Digi IMAX theatre on opening night. But first a non-spoilery rundown of the movie based on early press releases and trailers.

Peter will be asking MJ to marry him, but before that there are a few small problem.

First, of course, is continuing the tale across the last two movies is Harry Osborn's desire for revenge against Spider-Man for his father Norman Osborn's (a.k.a. the Green Goblin) death.

Then there's Eddie Brock, a rival photographer who will stoop to nasty methods to frame Spider-Man for a position as the Daily Bugle's staff photographer. His character starts out as a nice guy but a series of unfortunate circumstances slowly strip away the guise and finally reveal himself for what he truly is.

In the midst of it, Flint Marko an escaped convict on the run who unwittingly finds himself in a particle physics experiment, after which he finds himself with the ability to turn his body and reshape it into sand. But for this movie, he's revealed as the actual killer of Peter's Uncle Ben, something that diverges from the comic book story.

Finally, a viscous black fluid follows Peter back to his apartment and bonds with his costume as he sleeps. He discovers that the new black costume gives him even more enhanced strength and agility, but unfortunately it amplifies his aggression, where it affects the previously mentioned elements of the story in unfortunate ways.

Now some spoilery thoughts on the movie.

And I mean, SPOILERS!


Hawaii Day 4 - Sayonara Honolulu, Hello Hilo

02 May 2007 | sila | | Family Pics

So after 3 nights in Honolulu, it's time to go. We ate our last fabulous Hilton Hawaiian Village buffet breakfast (free continental buffet, $5 to upgrade to the entire buffet thanks to the Hilton Honors membership, and well worth the money). We relaxed on the beach, took a last dip in the waters of Waikiki beach, and went around the hotel taking last minute pictures. We also said our goodbyes to the beach and the sun for a few days, for we are off to Hilo (the rainy side of the Big Island of Hawaii).


Irfan Webs An IMAX Theatre

01 May 2007 | Hisham | | Family Pics

It's May 1st. Some might say it's Labor Dabor Day. Others would say it's the first day of the general release of Spider-Man 3, beginning 2007's run of monumental summer movies which will eventually bring us At Worlds End, Shrek the Third, Order of the Phoenix, Rise of the Silver Surfer and Transformers.

We just got back from Sitiawan after spending 3 days with Irfan's grandparents there (and having the sotong celup tepung as well). Irfan made a new friend in the form of Opah Irfan's friend's grandson - one Amir from Melaka who was also on vacation in Sitiawan.

Today, we got home, grabbed Ain's two aunts and headed right for Berjaya TImes Square where we would be watching the IMAX presentation of Spider-Man 3.

First time at IMAX