A Visitor!

21 February 2009 | sila | | Family Pics, Friends

During the time of the big hu-ha (laptop dying + snowfall + sad miserable cold Sila), we had a welcome visitor here in Southwestern Ohio! Unfortunately, the weather being what it was, we were unable to take our visitor out to sight-see very much. We decided instead to relax indoors.

Allie got along well with Flat Cavebaby:

Allie posing with Kakak Flat Cavebaby

Makan Time!

21 February 2009 | sila | | Family Pics

On Monday, February 2 2009, Allie was introduced to solids. Her doctor had cleared her for her first taste of non-milk at her 6-month checkup the week before, but we were snowed in for a week so did not get out to the grocery store for the recommended first food: rice cereal. Per the literature, every new food is to be introduced by itself for 4 consecutive days to check for allergies so Allie would eat rice cereal every day for the next 4 days.

Here she is, happily (and unsuspectingly?) hanging out while I prepared her lunch.

Before Makan

Note: Makan means "to eat". And of course, please mouse over the pictures for added captions.


Undoubtedly The Best Malay Movie Ever Made

19 February 2009 | Hisham | | Movie Review

In January I promised I'd take Irfan this month to watch Geng: Pergembaraan Bermula (The Gang: The Adventure Begins), a new computer animated, feature-length movie which also features the hyperactive preschooling twins Upin and Ipin from their eponymous computer generated TV series on TV9.

Little did I know that I was about to behold THE best Malay movie I've had the pleasure of seeing in my years of being sort-of alive in this particular corner of the multiverse.

The overall story was great. The little character moments were great. I laughed dozens of times throughout. And every technical aspect of the filmmaking is leaps and bounds better than 99 percent of any other Malay movie ever made.

The dramatis personae on Sapy's bullock cart. Sapy! GO!!!!!!

The Lunatic Fringe

13 February 2009 | Hisham | | Misc Sci-Fi, TV

Both Sila's and my household have been following J.J. Abram's brand new TV series Fringe. As per Alias and Lost, I had a feeling it's not what it advertised itself to be, which would have been about international spies and counterspies, and surviving a plane crash on a deserted island.

Warning: SPOILERS, and I'm serious. SPOILERS!

Is the tank an application of the alt universe tech?

What Fringe advertised itself was about a department within the Department of Homeland Security, with agents on secondment from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which deal with fringe science to solve their cases. Naturally this caused a lot of people to draw similarities between it and The X-Files. (And having Darin "Flukeman" Morgan as a producer helped accentuate this fact.)

The story starts with a pair of FBI Agents Olivia Dunham and John Scott, who gets involved in a case concerning bio-terrorism aboard an airliner. An airborne agent was released on the plane, which caused the skin of everyone on board to melt away from their bones. Agent Scott gets gravely injured during the investigation, causing Agent Dunham to get help from someone one Dr. Walter Bishop, a researcher who did work into fringe science for the government in the 70s and 80s but was locked away in a mental institution on manslaughter charges. To release Dr. Bishop, Agent Dunham needed the help of Peter Bishop, his estranged son with an IQ of 190, a high school dropout and a con artist with a lot of "weird connections". In some instances, Peter is the only person who is able to translate Walter's semi-lucid statements.

John Noble's perfomance as Walter Bishop is one of the highlights of this series.


Sequence of Events

11 February 2009 | sila | | Rants

I have a few backlogged blog entries to make, and here is the sequence of events detailing why they were delayed:

1. Thursday January 22, 2009 - Allie's 6-month birthday. Lots of picture taking occurred.

2. Friday January 23, 2009 - my laptop screen dies in the mid-afternoon. Connecting it to an external monitor shows that the laptop itself is fine. I drive to Best Buy, stand in line forever, only to have the Geek Squad (f*ckers!!!) tell me that a) my laptop warranty ended November of 2008, and finally they come around to say that they don't fix laptop screens. Please call someone else. They suggest a company. (Don't even get me started on how angry I was that I drove all the way to Best Buy to have them give me this bullshit. What kind of Geek Squad doesn't fix laptop screens?) So I get back in the car, call Vin and he gets me the repair company's number. I call them, they are open until 6 PM Mondays to Fridays and they ask me to bring the laptop and power cord. Of course I had left the power cord at home since the last time I went to Best Buy they made me take the power cord home while they sent the laptop back to HP for repairs. So I drive all the way home, pick up the power cord, find out that Allie is refusing to drink milk from her bottle and is getting very cranky. Then I drive back the way I came (past the Best Buy - could have waved to the effing Geek Squad) and 12 miles further to the laptop repair place. I get there at 5:30 PM, drop off the laptop and power cord, and drive back. All this while I am worrying because even though I had defrosted milk for Allie to drink she had refused the bottle. But I did call for Indian carry-out and picked it up on the way home. I get home around 6:30 PM and Allie has refused the bottle all this while. And she is cranky and upset by this time, although Vin coped very well with her.


25 Random Songs

09 February 2009 | Hisham | | Friends

Gary writes on Facebook:

This is another one of those Facebook memes. You turn your music player to random and write down the first 25 songs it spits out. I'm not a big tagger, but if you want to do it, go for it.

AmaroK!Okay, Gary. I will go for it.

  1. There's The Girl - Heart
  2. Central America - Bear McCreary
  3. Can't Fight This Feeling - REO Speedwagon
  4. The Weaver's Answer - Family
  5. Kissing You - Des'ree
  6. Atomic Al's Merry Melody - Bear McCreary
  7. Lovefool - Cardigans
  8. Two Boomers - Bear McCreary
  9. Softly Whispering I Love You - The Congregation
  10. Streets of London - Ralph McTell
  11. Cold As Ice - Foreigner
  12. Me and You and a Dog Named Boo - Lobo
  13. Us and Them - Pink Floyd
  14. Small World (Part One) - Huey Lewis and the News
  15. Got to Get You Into My Life - The Beatles
  16. Private Army - Yoko Kanno
  17. Battle Strategy - Kevin Kiner
  18. The Thousandth Landing - Bear McCreary
  19. You Got To Hide Your Love Away - The Beatles
  20. Yousei - Maaya Sakamoto
  21. Test Flight Delight - Yoko Kanno
  22. Have You Ever Seen The Rain - Creedence Clearwater Revival
  23. B'omarr Monastery - Kevin Kiner
  24. Octopus's Garden - The Beatles
  25. What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted - Jimmy Ruffin

 Many thanks to Amarok for randomizing my playlist. Click on the thumbnail to view a screen capture of Amarok in action. And, yeah that's a different playlist in the image.


Ashley and Her Parents Come for a Visit

07 February 2009 | Hisham | | ACS Memories, Family Pics

Teik Sing, Michelle and adorable little Ashley took some time to come over for dinner with us on Friday. They fly back home next Saturday. Clear skies, guys.

Check out the photos:


The Year the Hasbro Toys Invaded In Tandem

05 February 2009 | Hisham | | Transformers

Preview of the upcoming giant robot mayhem movie Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has been released. In fact, it was shown on TV during the superbowl, and not long afterward the trailers can be viewed in their high definition Quicktime glory at the Apple Trailers site.

Let's have a look at some of the highlights, shall we. Click on the thumbnails below to view the full image.

PUNCH Gunalan?

Above: Autobot leader Optimus Prime receives a blow to the face, shattering his mouth guard in slow motion. One hopes that he turns around and stabs his assailant in the face with a big ass extendable energon sword as he is wont to do. I have no idea who punches Prime.

Good doggie

Above:You wouldn't want Ravage to bite you, cause after he's bitten you he'll probably also fire that big ass cannon in his mouth. Which usually hurts. I wonder if this Ravage can speak, and if he does will he speak in a thick Russian accent, as per Beast Wars? Hee hee.

Unicycle? But can he juggle at the same time?

Above: Prime leaps onto a much larger Decepticon who smashes up an elevated freeway in China. Although it might seem like it, this is not the gestalt known as Devastator. No, this is one of the components that make up Devastator. This Constructicon transforms into a big ass Terex RH400 Hydraulic Mining Excavator, the largest power excavator in the world. Devastator is going to be gargantuan. If they use the name "Devastator", that is, since they've used the name on what should have been Brawl in the first movie. So, who is this particular Constructicon? The closest thing to it originally would be Scavenger.

And finally, from the G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra trailer, here is the first glimpse of the movie Joes as a group.  

Starring Mr. Eko as Roadblock's cousin

Above:  From left to right, here are Marvin's cousin Lamont, Alvin, Conrad, Clayton, Wallace, Shanna and... the ninja guy without a name. Courtney appears elsewhere in the trailer.

Hasbro seems to be prospering well in the Year of the Ox. Also, I wrote "big ass" three times in this entry for no particular reason.


25 Random Facts

03 February 2009 | Hisham | | Friends

So, Gary tagged me on Facebook, therefore:

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose up to 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag up to 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

1. One of my old hobbies is fishing for antlion larvae out of their sand pit traps using live ants.

2. At 9, I was shushed by a guy behind me when watching Raiders of the Lost Ark.

3. I last GMed a Star Wars The Roleplaying Game session face-to-face in real time in late 1999.