Rafe's 7 Month Birthday

29 July 2012 | sila | | Family Pics

And so the boy is 7 months old (and a bit, but thank god for backdated entries, right?) ;-)

Flanked by his sister's cats Purrsley and Duchess

*Mouse over pictures for captions


This Pangolin is Precise

24 July 2012 | Hisham | | Artwork, Linux, Recent News
Valiant Comics' first crossover event!!!

So it came to pass that if I needed to use the new Bamboo Pen graphics tablet, I had to upgrade my operating system. Long story short: I decided on totally replacing my ArtistX 1.0 OS with Ubuntu's latest Long Term Support distro, which was 12.04 also dubbed "Precise Pangolin". After installing the sucker, I finally came face to face for the first time... with the Unity desktop! Click on the thumbnail above to see the desktop, including the Dash HUD.

Searching Ubuntuforums.org, I discovered how make a 3rd generation Bamboo Pen work with the Precise. I also reread on how to set up the Benq scanner using Snapscan's binary file so I can scan using Sane or GIMP.

Finally, I installed MyPaint I found on Ubuntu Software Center and discovered that it worked great with the Bamboo.

Below is my first doodle-type sketch using the tablet in conjunction with MyPaint: a handsome sort of fellow.

I will eat your eggs before you could eat mine

48 Months (a.k.a. Fourth Birthday)

22 July 2012 | sila | | Family Pics

The big day arrived! Yaya is four years old, officially! Unbelievable!

Princess Fairy Yaya waves her wand

It feels like Yaya cannot possibly already be four. Didn't we just bring her home from the hospital last month? I guess time flies when you're having fun. :-)

* Mouse over the pictures for captions


The one with the be-earlied pre-Ramadhan party

16 July 2012 | sila | | Family Pics

So since July 22nd fell on the 3rd day of Ramadan, we decided to move up her party to the week before, on Sunday July 15th. We invited our friends and neighbors to what has become our annual cookout / birthday party. We did not have any overnight guests this year as Mandy was busy studying for the Bar exams (go Mandy!). We decided to keep  everything indoors, other than Vin grilling burgers and hot dogs outside. Also, this is the first year that Vin did not have baseball in the morning - it's a little hard to play baseball with two kids right now! :-)

And so, the party was on! Happy birthday, Yaya!

Graeter's Ice Cream Cake

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Arise, Newer Graphics Tablet; But Not So Fast!

15 July 2012 | Hisham | | Linux, Recent News

The box too wasn't made of bamboo
Once upon a time, I bought a Wacom Graphire 3 graphics tablet. With its stylus I made many a drawing, til its USB cable died screaming. Actually it died quite some years ago. In the interim, @plasticstitch had told me he had an unused Bluetooth-connected Graphire tablet and sent it by air mail to me where I made many more drawings. This device acted finicky with a Linux operating system, and I was using an Ubuntu distro. One day I upgraded to Ubuntu 10.04 by dint of installing the Ubuntu fork named ArtistX 1.0, and the device refused to talk via Bluetooth to the tablet.

Today I bought a new tablet, a Wacom Bamboo Pen. Its matte-black housing looks sleeker than the silver-hued Graphire. I'd prefer to have purchased a Wacom Cintiq 24HD, but the Bamboo Pen is the only one I could spare cash on. Incidentally it's the cheapest they had.

Inside the box are STUFF!
Having the USB connection instead of the Bluetooth would make it less finicky, but soon I discovered that even with the USB, the Bamboo Pen could not communicate with the ArtistX operating system despite all I could to read about it and troubleshoot it.

I had to find a new way to digitally paint once more using the tools I had.


Westward RPG Critters - Part 3

06 July 2012 | Hisham | | Artwork, Role Playing Games

This series of creatures I drew for Westward RPG from Wicked North Games is special. I was tasked with proposing and designing these beasts from scratch. Once approved by Wicked North, I started illustrating them with ink and water colours! Of course, the names might be changed by the writers during editing.

Spelunking hazards


Organic bouncing betty

Leaping Lottie

Rhymes with scooby-doo


The one with the stylin' bladestache


The one with the sonic screaming


Keep an eye out for Westward the steampunk western roleplaying game in space, produced by Wicked North Games to be released in the near future.


Some Sordid Sampling of Sahuagin

05 July 2012 | Hisham | | Artwork, Role Playing Games

I've illustrated this piece for a new Troll in the Corner podcast series entitled "Monsters of the Shattered World", written by Brent Newhall and edited by Quinn Conklin. Their first podcast portrays an adventuring party's encounter with a shoal of Sahuagins. The artwork is mostly inkwork supplemented by digital stars. Why digital? Because my toothbrush has yet to be trashed, salvaged and reused as white paint sprayer.

Sahuagin attack at Teluk Batik?

Download Troll in the Corner's Monsters of the Shattered World #1: The Sea Devils.

Check out the bigger image here on DeviantArt.


Westward RPG Critters - Part 2

04 July 2012 | Hisham | | Artwork, Role Playing Games

Here are four more preview creatures from Wicked North Games' Westward RPG! Sure it's a steampunk western set in space, but what sort of strange critters would PCs be up against in the wilderlands of Westward?

Forked tongue dino


But not flailsnails, yes?


Organic guided missiles

Cannon Wasp

Do these shambling undead look fat?

Gasbagger Zombie


The Amazing Adventures of Yaya, Adik and Auntie Jo - Part 2

03 July 2012 | sila | | Family Pics

So, here is the second part of Jo's visit. The second half of her trip was just as fun and action-packed. But first we come home and relax a little after the excitement of Indiana.

Yaya, Auntie Jo and Adik (and Purrsley)  play "trains"

* Mouse over the pictures for more captions