Hari Merdeka ke-50

31 August 2007 | sila | | Recent News

Kami yang merantau jauh mengingatimu di hari kemerdekaan yang ke lima puluh. Lima puluh tahun kami rakyat Malaysia tidak perlu tunduk kepada penjajah. Lima puluh tahun, Merdeka! Walau jauh di mata, namun tidak di hati.

Selamat Hari Merdeka, Malaysia!

Flag image obtained from google image

*chewah - boleh tahan tak? berkurun tak pakai Bahasa Malaysia standard ;-)

Dan, sebagai penutup, lagu Tanah Pusaka. Satu-satunya lagu patriotik kesukaan saya:

Sungguh gemilang negeriku
Yang kupuja oh tanah Malaysia
Di merata dunia
Harum semerbak namamu oh Malaysia

Aman makmur kaya-raya
Selama-lama hidup maju jaya
Oh tanah pusaka
Negaraku yang berdaulat dan merdeka

Tanah pusaka bertuah
Berbagai bangsa didalamnya
Hidup aman dan berjaga
Bertekun kerja dan berjasa

Musuh melanggarku gempur
Sungguh rela kugugur kerana
Kau tanah pusaka
Biar putih tulang jangan putih mata


Pacific Northwest: Part VII (Walking Around Seattle)

30 August 2007 | sila | | Family Pics, Friends

After the Space Needle, the first thing we did was get ourselves an early lunch at the Bite of Seattle. It's a big food fair where tons of local restaurants manned little booths and we got to taste a bunch of different foods pretty cheaply. It was a smorgasbord of delights. I ended up eating fresh shrimp rolls, pad thai, and a bunch of other little snacks. However, it turns out, I was so busy looking through all the booths and foods that I didn't actually take that many pictures! None of the stalls! Just this one of Vincent and Lil while Lil ate her lunch:

Vincent and Lil by a funky fountain

Pacific Northwest: Part VI (Seattle and the Space Needle)

29 August 2007 | sila | | Family Pics, Friends

I meant to blog more over the weekend but I got distracted with other stuff (don't even ask me what because I can't seem to account for too much of the time, except I did watch 2 movies at home on Saturday night). But excuses aside, here's the next part about our travels in the Pacific Northwest. We picked Lil up at the train station, and then turned in for the night. The next morning, we had breakfast and went off to see Seattle!

But on the way there, we saw a semi truck that was on fire (did Starscream manage to score a direct hit on Optimus Prime?). The EMTs were there and firemen were putting out the fire. I whipped out my handy dandy camera and got a quick shot of it but after the last of the flames were put out:

Fire's out

Dog Days of Summer

25 August 2007 | sila | | Family Pics

August has been a gruelling month in Southwestern Ohio. We might have seen a lot of rain in the Pacific Northwest when we visited, but from when we got home to this past Monday, we had not seen one drop of rain at our house! Grass is turning brown. Record high temperatures have been seen. Today's high, for instance, is 99 F (34 C) and yesterday's was 101 F (35 C). Humid like Malaysia. It did rain on Monday, and wasn't too crazy hot on Tuesday, but we're back to the heat now.

So yeah it has been HOT!

This is the kind of heat that makes up the "dog days of summer". Defined as the period of time between July and September (roughly) when Sirius (the dog star) rises and sets with the sun. It also corresponds to the hottest days of the year in the northern hemisphere. And boy, it's been seriously dog days around here. Just look at poor Lily:

Lily does not like the dog days..

I don't think cats like the dog days.


Pacific Northwest: Part V (Lavender Farm and Back to Seattle)

24 August 2007 | sila | | Family Pics, Friends

So many things to blog about, so little time to actually do it! Picking up the travel from the Dungeness Spit, we drove east to Kingston to catch the ferry back to Seattle. On the way there though, we kept seeing signs for lavender farms so we took a quick detour:

Lavender Farm

Sneak Attack Irfan

19 August 2007 | Hisham | | Family Pics
A seemingly harmless pile of pillows

Here we have in the living room a pile of pillows of various shapes and sizes. You might think it's harmless and drop your guard as you unwittingly walk by this scene in the house.

The predator pounces!

But from its natural hiding space, a predator launches itself out from under the pile, illustrating how dangerous the wilds of the living room can be for the unsuspecting visitor.


Pacific Northwest: Part IV (Dungeness Spit)

15 August 2007 | sila | | Family Pics, Friends

After our disappointing Hurricane Ridge outing, we had to recover so we opted for an early lunch. We were planning to have a big sushi-buffet feast for dinner, so if I recall correctly, my lunch consisted of clam chowder, a few of Vin's fries, and a slice of chocolate cake. A highly nutritional meal, no? ;-) But, lo and behold, after lunch, as we drove onwards, the sun came back out. We decided to risk stopping at Dungeness Spit.

Dungeness Signboard

Pacific Northwest: Part III (Hurricane Ridge)

14 August 2007 | sila | | Family Pics

The next day dawned rainy (as evil Mr Weatherman had forecasted). We drove back east towards Seattle, and decided to try Hurricane Ridge to see if the rain would hold off. On the way up the Ridge, this is what we saw:

Bambi? Is that you?

Can Anyone Guess This Tune?

13 August 2007 | Hisham | | Recent News, Trawling The Net

I hope I remember the music theorySo my keyboard, an old Yamaha PSR-300, has been out of commission for a while since the power adapter died a glorious death. Then, there was a movie score tune that has been playing incessantly in my mind, so I decided to write it down somewhere. But since the keyboard is non-functional, there was no way I could play the tune on it.

So yesterday I thought why not search the net for a virtual keyboard. Bingo.

Then playing the tune, I thought... why not write it down. So I wrote it down.

Click on the thumbnail to see if:

  1. I still remember my music theory and notes and symbols and whatnots.
  2. You can identify the tune.

P.S. I don't think I have a category for this type of crap on the blog. Oh well.

P.P.S. Playing a virtual keyboard using a graphics tablet with stylus is quite a unique experience. Heh!


Pacific Northwest: Part II (Rialto Beach)

10 August 2007 | sila | | Family Pics

After the wet Rainforest adventure, we relaxed and napped in our room before going out to dinner. Vincent recommended the Smokehouse, a little outside of downtown Forks. This guy welcomed us:

Is this what Eric Cartman looks like grown up? Pie!!!

It served excellent local seafood and we had a lovely meal. We were too full to try the pie though. ;-)


Pacific Northwest: Part I (Hoh Rainforest)

09 August 2007 | sila | | Family Pics, Friends

Last month, we packed our bags and took a flight to Seattle, WA for an almost week-long Pacific Northwest extravaganza. We met up with our friend Vincent (a citizen of Gloomville), who went to good old ACS way back when, and who is an Admin at the Unofficial ACS Alumni Forum, and he had thoughtfully planned an itinerary for us. We arrived in the evening and Vincent took us out to a lovely dinner (but we didn't take any pictures because we were so out of it from the flight that I forgot to take pictures). We checked in to our hotel and Vincent said goodbye, but he would be back early the next morning for the first thing on our Pacific Northwest itinerary was to go to the Olympic Peninsula for a couple of days.

This means an early morning ferry ride on a weekday (to escape the huge summer crowds). Thanks to Vincent's excellent planning, we didn't even have to wait to get on!

Edmonds Ferry Terminal

Illustration Friday: Missing

06 August 2007 | Hisham | | Artwork

He went to DragonCon Few and far in betweem, yet another Illustration Friday piece makes its way into the weblog.

The title of this Illustration Friday is "Missing", which means that this guy in the picture is in deep trouble. Really deep trouble.

Click on the thumbnail to view full image.


July 2007 Reading

05 August 2007 | sila | | Books
Book Image taken from the internet

Books Read:

The Storyteller by Mario Vargas Llosa
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby
Little Children by Tom Perrotta
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman (started by not finished by end of July)

Books Bought:

The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby
Furious Observations of a Blue-Eyed Ojibway: Funny You Don’t Look Like One Two Three by Drew Hayden Taylor


Who, Me?

04 August 2007 | sila | | Friends

Well! It's been a while, and I apologize for being so slow about it, but it's been a busy July (see? now August oredi..). Since Hijack Queen tagged me, could it be true? Am I? Really? Little ol' me? Well, shucks! Thanks :-)

I Rock?

Thanks, Queen! Let's party like it's 1999!

So let's pass it on. I tag you, Rockin' Girls:

1. LiLiaN who, is rockin' towards her PhD

2. Athena who is in a rockin' new grove

3. PreciousKambing on rockin' Planet Kambing

Rock on, girls!! (Sila gives the "rockin'" hand sign and sticks her tongue out a la Gene Simmons, and rocks on to the sunset to the soundtrack from This is Spinal Tap)


Another Opera!

02 August 2007 | sila | | Recent News

Quick update! So after the disastrous Nixon in China opera, we went to the final opera of the Cincinnati Opera 2007 season, Aida by Giuseppe Verdi.

Aida Graphic, borrowed from the Cincinnati Opera website

It was really, really good! The singers were amazing, the sets were huge and fantastic, and Vin and I were very happy with the entire experience. I must get us some opera glasses before next year's season! See you next year, Cincinnati Opera! :-)

* I have to say I LOVE all of the graphics they used for the operas, especially the Aida one. Gorgeous, no?