And On The 501st Post, Shane Meets Apollo

28 October 2007 | Hisham | | Friends, Misc Sci-Fi, Role Playing Games

Yes, really.

Shane Meets Tom Zarek

Awesome wikked.

Take it away, Shane:

Today was the Winnipeg Comic Con.

Richard Hatch was the big reason I wanted to go. JUST to get a pic of him and I together and an autograph. I did that very early on in the day, think I was third in line. I knew later he had this acting/improv/rpg character creation session.

I went, thinkin that there was gonna be a million people and I'd get stuck in the back and not even get to interact with him. The room turned out to be very small, and there were only about 50 people. Me, sitting up front. He starts asking why people are here. I raise my hand. Suddenly, I'm talking to Apollo. One on one....I'm mentioning about being a GM and wanting to crerate better stories. He then talks about how RPGing and being a GM is harder than acting sometimes.

We do some warm up exercises, one of which is to get us warmed up, Richard is up on two chairs yelling 'FRAK!'. We yell 'FRAK!' back to him. He then yells 'FRAK OFF!'....we return the favor. He then yells 'FRAK YOU!' and we yell back 'FRAK YOU' best we can, between roars of laughter. He then starts stretching his legs saying 'It's the Tom Zarek workout hour'....I laugh till it hurts.

He then starts doing some improv situations with the crowd. First round, I get passed by. No biggie. Second round, passed by. The second round begins and I'm sitting watching, it's starting to go slow and the people in it aren't very good. Suddenly, there's a voice behind me 'Do you want to go up and be the mafia guy?''s Richard in my ear. I get up and start the stereotypical mob boss voice. Richard is in tears.

The next improv round, Richard pulls me up again. Before we know it, the two hour time limit on the room is over and the next seminar is going to start. Richard thanks us, and tells me how funny I am. I poo. Right there. Great con, great day.

If you ever get the chance to meet him, DO IT!

One day, Shane. One day. Best 501st post evar!


Meanwhile At Irfan's School (or The 500th Post)

27 October 2007 | Hisham | | Family Pics

After Aidilfitri, Irfan also had some events at school, before exam week begins.

The first being his belated birthday celebration at school, which apparently everyone has. Great for him. We were lucky to have the teacher wish up a happy birthday back in our days.

In any case, the vanilla cake with the chocolate topping (and strawberries, as astutely observed by Irfan's classmate) was delicious.

We believe the orange fruit is apricot.

The cake

Why It's Been Quiet Around Here Lately

26 October 2007 | Hisham | | Recent News

It's been a busy month, even since before Aidilfitri. The reason of it all will now be shown as a series of photographs for the event that took place at Shangri-La Hotel on the 24th and 25th of October.

Sorry, no photos of me cause I didn't get anyone to snap one at any time.

Here's the forementioned series of photographs with no comment written except for its mouseover titles:

Out in front

ACS Kids at Aidilfitri

16 October 2007 | Hisham | | ACS Memories, Family Pics

At Aidilfitri Irfan met and played with a whole bunch of kids of his generation whose parent(s) were former students of ACS Sitiawan. Here are some pics of Irfan and friends. Too bad we didn't get photos of children of Lan, Dila and Gnana.

Here's Chris C's (the other Chris C) daughter Aleyxia whom Irfan invited to play with the hamsters brought back from Kuala Lumpur by Irfan's Opah Ngah. The small dark on is called Ciki and the big orange one is called Oren. Irfan loved to go upstairs and feed the little guys seeds and carrots, loudly and spiritedly commently on everything they do.

Irfan and Aleyxia

Our Seventh Year

15 October 2007 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Recent News
Seven Years Already?

It's been seven years since Ain and I were married, more than eleven years since we met. Through all that time, there's been a lot of ups and a lot of downs. And I'm glad I went through it all with Ain giving me strength at my side and I'm looking forward to more years like that.


Finally! Transformers: The Score!

14 October 2007 | Hisham | | Misc Sci-Fi, Transformers

One of the things that I looked for immediately after watching Transformers was the soundtrack CD. I was disappointed that there was only Transformers: The Album released which had, you know - a bunch of songs. The Linkin Park song What I've Done wasn't too bad. So were the songs from Goo Goo Dolls and Smashing Pumpkins. But there was not one track released that had the movie's orchestral score as composed by Steve Jablonsky. In fact there was no score soundtrack album at all.

I've been monitoring the online news about the status of the score soundtrack. On or off? There was an online petition, but would it work? Sifting through a ton of information in the internet I found only an mp3 of Jablonsky's Decepticon theme on the web.

And there was nothing on until last month or so. And as of last week, it's been released.


Eid Mubarak From Sitiawan

13 October 2007 | Hisham | | Family Pics

Everone but Sila & VinClick on the thumbnail on the left for a photo of everyone present for Aidilfitri this morning. Although it wasn't perfectly done, the different families are colour coded for ease of identification. :-) Although you can't see them, Sila and Vin were also present by way of Skype video call and were privy to the regular Raya ruckus.

Ain't information technology grand?

Their actual presence are missed by us all and we're looking forward to them able to make it for Hari Raya in the coming years.


Festivities And Then Some

11 October 2007 | Hisham | | Recent News

Tomorrow is the last day of the month of Ramadhan.

Tomorrow we head back to Sitiawan for Aidilfitri. We will try to beat the crazy traffic (an evil, sentient gestalt entity which appears every holiday season) by leaving Kuala Lumpur at 0200 hours.

Also, this year is the first time Irfan happily chants, "Yay! Yay! Balik Raya!" which after a full Ramadhan of solid exhausting work, brings a smile to my face and takes my enthusiasm for the festive season up a notch or so.

I still have a bunch of stuff to do before the end of the year which is weighing down on me like cinder blocks on my shoulders.

Which just translates to... I'll be back Tuesday night. I'll also try to take and upload some Aidilfitri photos in the meantime.


Yes, and even to Cindy O. Bear in the back there.

Addendum: The car seems to have learnt leetspeak which is kind of cool and creepy at the same time. So I guess we're all good to go.



September Reading List

10 October 2007 | sila | | Books

Books Read

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
Fruit of the Lemon by Andrea Levy
Will Write for Shoes by Cathy Yardley
The Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John LeCarré
Chasing Shakespeares by Sarah Smith
Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay
A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon
The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

Books Bought

Will Write for Shoes by Cathy Yardley
A Year in the Merde by Stephen Clarke
The Breads of France by Bernard Clayton, Jr.


Pacific Northwest: Part XII (Blue Skies on the Final Day)

08 October 2007 | sila | | Family Pics

Finally, the last day of our trip dawned with blue skies. The irony, right? Our final day and then the sun comes out.

Beautiful morning

Whatever, we weren't complaining.


Pacific Northwest: Part XI (Vancouver - Night)

07 October 2007 | sila | | Family Pics, Food, Friends

After walking around Vancouver, we were pretty tired, so we met up with Lilian for a spot of dinner. Come see what we had!

Olive Tapenade appetizer

Pacific Northwest: Part X (Vancouver)

06 October 2007 | sila | | Family Pics

My goodness, I can't believe I've been sitting on these pictures for so long. This was back in July, when we had a mini-get together with Vincent and Lilian. The journey so far, we had spent time in Washington State, and driven Lilian back up to Vancouver. Checked into our hotel and didn't do too much that first night, due to the rain and the altogether blah weather.

The next morning, it rained and rained some more. So we took our time getting out. We were going to go to a museum (for an indoor activity) but realized it was pretty far from where we were and would take an hour and a half by public transport to get there, so that deterred us. We were just lazing about the hotel, and ended up having lunch at the food court of the mall next door. Unbelievably, every store there was Asian. When Vin and I walked through there in the morning, I spotted 3 Caucasians in the mall in total, one of whom was Vin, one was a security guard, and one other tourist. I'll be back with pictures of this very Asian mall in Vancouver later.

Finally we got off our bums and decided to go and walk around Vancouver:

Science Museum?

Desktop-Adorning Mandalorians

04 October 2007 | Hisham | | Star Wars

So the other day I put up a thumb to the desktop wallpaper that was on my Ubuntu side of the computer.

Here's the wallpaper on the XP side of the laptop, its size reduced from 1280px by 800px. There's a whole bunch of folks in Mandalorian armour. I found the image for the wallpaper on DeviantArt but now I can't seem to find it again to link it here.

Click on the thumb to view the image.