Allie's 1 Week Birthday

31 July 2008 | sila | | Family Pics

Yesterday, Allie was one week old. We had a short excursion for her (and my) one-week follow up visit at the hospital. And to commemorate her 1-week birthday, I picked out some pictures that were taken by Allie's Atok.

One week ago I was born

For those of you who would rather not be inundated with baby pictures, you may stop here. All others, yup, you asked for it, and here they are! More pictures!! Of Allie on her 1-week birthday.


The End of Aiman's First Year

29 July 2008 | Hisham | | Family Pics

Irfan's cousin Aiman's celebrated his first birthday last Sunday.

So they gladly played together after the birthday meal. Here's Irfan allowing Aiman to maul him on the floor.


The Arrival of Allie: A Photojournal

24 July 2008 | Hisham | | Family Pics

We finally received some photos of the first hour of Alya Jean Renstrom, emailed by Allie's dad, and here they are for your viewing pleasure. The first thing Ain and I said at the same time was that she looks a lot like Irfan when he was born.

Atok, Opah and Mustaqim
Mom and Dad

The Clown Prince of Chaos - The Dark Knight Review

24 July 2008 | Hisham | | Movie Review

Dunno why's called the Batpod, but it's hella coolNo.

The Joker is not the Clown Prince of Crime in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, the sequel to his 2005 movie Batman Begins.

Crime is just a tool and a means to an end. And that end is a total breakdown in the order of Gotham City. Not just anarchy, but absolute chaos. Heath Ledger is for me now the best Joker actor around (or not any more, as the case may be), edging out Mark Hamill's performance who was previously in my top spot. He is a frightening character, not because he's creepy or insane, but he seems to be the one most in control of everything, did the best planning, execute his plans, keeping everyone on their toes by constantly hitting them with his machinations left and right at the same time

Even if he aims to create chaos, his methods are far from chaotic. That's what makes him frightening.

SPOILERS will manifest into words after this point. SPOILERS alert.


Welcome Alya Jean Renstrom

23 July 2008 | Hisham | | Recent News

Last night Vin called to tell us that Sila has given birth to a beautiful baby daughter named Alya Jean Renstrom weighing 8.9 lbs at 10.39am Eastern Standard Time at the Atrium Medical Center in Middletown, Ohio.

Truckloads of congratulations to Vin and Sila. Sila is fine and I talked to her as well over the phone last night, but she's still in the hospital and Opah Alya's her company for the night until Vin and Atok Alya return the next morning.

I'd like to have waited for photos to announce the birth, but I'm late announcing it as it is.

Again, congratulations!


Communications As If It's Science Fiction

21 July 2008 | Hisham | | Family Pics

Earlier today (well, about 5 minutes ago) Hisham, Ain and Irfan talked with Sila, Vin, Atok Irfan and Opah Irfan for almost an hour with one of those new-fangled tee vee phones. (Well, we used Skype.) We could hear them perfectly but not vise versa... no idea why.

Irfan showed off his drawing skills live to the other side of the planet.

Atok Irfan is contemplating installing a webcam on his machine at home.

Here's a screencap of what transpired.

Quick screencap... Irfan, Ain and Vin  are away from the camera field of fire

Some Assembly Required - Part 1

20 July 2008 | sila | | Family Pics

First thing we assembled for the baby is the changing table (one of the lovely gifts received). Lily, of course, has been very curious about all the goings-on with regard to new boxes and newly assembled stuff.

* Mouse over for captions

Lily claiming the box

Forty Weeks...

20 July 2008 | sila | | Family Pics

...and baby still hasn't arrived yet. Mak and Abah have been here over a week (11 days already!). We're all in a holding pattern, waiting for the arrival of this stubborn little one. :-)

Pictures then:

Belly still growing!
Another angle for the belly

Sorry, I was kind of sleepy when the pictures were taken. Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend. Happy Caturday!! :-)


Two Mediums: A Visual Comparison

18 July 2008 | Hisham | | Comics, Trawling The Net

Last year I wrote about the upcoming Watchmen movie to be directed by Zack Snyder. Today, I finally saw a trailer.

I've been had by trailers before, so there's still a chance that the actual movie might still suck.

But still I'm an optimist. When I first saw the trailer in High-definition Quicktime, I knew I had to make a comparison of the shots in the trailer and panels in the actual Watchmen comics. Then I thought, why not do it here in this weblog.

Enough gab. Enjoy the images, starting with Mister Blake here:

The Comedian's last laugh
John Winchester himself

Just Two Short Movie Reviews

17 July 2008 | Hisham | | Movie Review

Hooray for Cheap Ass Wednesday.

Because of Cheap Ass Wednesday, it's cheaper for Irfan, Ain & me to catch a movie than it is for me to buy one novel to read. That stinks to high heaven but it's a rant for another day if I'm bothered to do it.

Ain didn't feel well enough to get to work that morning. So I picked up Irfan after classes (so he skipped daycare) we went to Cathay Cineleisure where a lot of movies await us. Some really good ones are out cause we're smack dab in the middle of the summer movie season. I chose two movies for us to enjoy.

No spoilers ahead!


Nursery - Part 1

16 July 2008 | sila | | Family Pics

So to while away the time until the baby arrives, how about a look at the nursery? It's almost finished - but here's a view of it from the beginning until what it looks like right now.

* Mouse over the pictures for captions

First, the original paintjob:


Pajeri Nenas!

15 July 2008 | sila | | Family Pics, Food

Just a quick note to say, yay-yay Mak and Abah are here! Annnnnnd, Mak made her world famous pajeri nenas. Here we are enjoying our dinner:

Vin, Mak & Abah

Illustration Friday: Foggy

11 July 2008 | Hisham | | Artwork

Finally an Illustration Friday artwork that's actually published on a Friday!

This week's  topic is apparently "foggy".

Click on the thumbnail to the left to see the full illustration.

It's nothing special. Just a simple, literal interpretation of the topic.


Out On The Frontier... With Giant Robots

10 July 2008 | Hisham | | Misc Sci-Fi, TV

VF-25 Valkyrie
I wrote earlier about the continuation of the Robotech saga with the Shadow Chronicles. Robotech is actually three different anime series juryrigged and tweaked so they become a (more or less) coherent whole to be syndicated on the American market. However, the first of the three, The Super Dimension Fortress Macross is a saga still being told in its native Japanese, disregarding the entire Robotech thing.

VF-25 Battroid
Throughout the years, there's been among others Macross Plus, Macross 7, Macross Zero... and now the latest series to continue saga of the original Macross is Macross Frontier.


On To The Far Side Of The Planet, Redux

08 July 2008 | Hisham | | Family Pics

Irfan's grandparents left Malaysia at 2245 local time for Singapore, which is their first leg on the trip to Middletown to visit Sila.

An attempt to catch the ERL from Bandar Tasik Selatan to the KLIA was scrubbed because of the Monday back-from-work rush hour. So we jumped directly to the district of Sepang where many a visible flying machines dotted the sky on their way to and from the airport. There was a minor hitch with one of the luggage, which required a new baby padlock. But thereafter, everything went smoothly.

Checking in at the counter

Dinner With Irfan's Tok and Opah Unggai

07 July 2008 | Hisham | | Family Pics

Irfan's grandparents are here from Sitiawan and have been spending several days with us. Tonight they will be heading for Middletown where they will spend the next two months with Vin, Sila and their upcoming child.

On Saturday, Irfan's great-uncle and great-aunt, designated Tok Unggai and Opah Unggai arrived all the way from Taiping to spend the night at the Tenth Floor. We were soon joined by their daughter and son-in-law, designated Cik Da and Pak Long Fadzil. Opah Unggai recently had a promotion and had decided to treat us for dinner. Ain and I thought the Thai restaurant in the Pandan Indah sprawl close by would be great for the dinner.

Night fell and we headed for the restaurant where we had sweet and sour siakap, steamed siakap, kailan ikan masin, kerabu mangga, tom yam campur and telur bungkus.

The ones belanja-ing in the foreground

Tagging The Entire Weblog

06 July 2008 | Hisham | |

I seem to be on a roll this weekend. Yesterday, I spent some hours trying to fix the layout in Internet Explorer, as noted by Sila in the previous article's comments. This morning I've started to activate the Pivot weblog's Tag feature. This should help further categorising the articles herein, and to search them based on the Tags. I find that its more versatile and faster to implement than the Categories feature.

I will leave the Categories feature on the left column for the time being. If it still feels redundant to have it on after some time, I will remove the Categories block.

After tagging the last 80 entries, I have discovered that the tag cloud looks like this:

A cloud of tags

Click here to see the new Tags page on the weblog.


Irfan's NimbleX

05 July 2008 | Hisham | | Linux

I'm currently running a new LiveCD within which resides the Linux operating system called NimbleX, and I'm writing this article with the Konqueror browser nestled deep within the LiveCD. The reason why this article is entitled "Irfan's NimbleX" is because upon the startup of the OS, a voice says, "Welcome to Irfan's NimbleX" in the voice of famed Star Trek and The Simpsons guest actor Stephen Hawking.

The special thing about NimbleX is that the ISO file you download to burn into a CD is customisable! You get to decide what applications are included, how the default wallpaper looks like (and upload your own), the startup and shutdown sound and other neat stuff. This is how part of the custom ISO generator page looks like:

Customising page

Click on the thumbs to view the full images.


This Summer's Opera Report

05 July 2008 | sila | | Recent News
Madame Butterfly

Unlike last year, this summer we did not purchase season tickets to the Cincinnati Opera. Not because we didn't want to go to the opera or anything, but since opera season is during the summer, and since the baby might be presenting his/herself right smack during the opera season, we decided to play it by ear. As it was, I had to convince Vin that if we went to the opera in June, we would STILL make it to the hospital if I went into labor. ;-)


Thirty Eight Weeks

04 July 2008 | sila | | Family Pics

Time for the bi-weekly update. Thirty eight weeks have passed. I am constantly surprised at how much larger I keep getting, but I'm assured by the doctors that we are where we should be. It probably doesn't help that I am chowing down on oreo cookies as I write this entry! ;-)

Weekly check up this morning went well - things are good. Getting close - pretty much any time now, although they are predicting that the baby might even go beyond the due date. Yikes to how big the baby might end up if I go beyond the due date! But anyway, Mak and Abah will be arriving next week, so we are excited. We are painting the nursery and will be picking up some baby gear this weekend (you know we can't leave the hospital with the baby without a car seat - that's part of the rules). It's all coming together.

So, here be pictures:

More belly enlargement