Scenic Silver Springs

01 February 2015 | sila | | Family Pics

While we were in Ocala, Florida on a work trip, the local colleagues recommended that we visit Silver Springs, Florida and try out the glass bottom boats. So that is what we did! It was not far from our hotel (one town over) and quite convenient, and as it turned out, it was really really amazing! We all loved it! So here are some pictures.

Silver Springs State Park

OK, here are a lot of pictures! We weren't there more than a few hours but it really was very cool. We would definitely go again if we had the chance, to experience the glass bottom boat again.

* Mouse over the pictures for captions


Rafe - 37 Months

29 January 2015 | sila | | Family Pics

Adik is 37 months old!

Winky boy!

* Mouse over the pictures for captions


78 Months

22 January 2015 | sila | | Family Pics

And so, the girl is six and a half years old! 78 months of Yaya!

In the sun

* Mouse over the pictures for captions


Irfan Gets a Dendrobium

14 January 2015 | Hisham | | Family Pics

Atok and Opah came to visit for a better part of the week to see Irfan's first official day in school. They also spent some time with Irfan, visiting some sights in the area.

Some sort of crushed ice drink I gather...

At the farmer's market on Sunday.

Opah took Irfan to an orchid nursery where she bought for him a white Dendrobium, which I believe is the RX-78GP03 third development model of the Gundam.

It's an orchid!

The Dendrobium Stamen is pretty small here.

Now he has a plant to take care of every day and we will learn how green Irfan's thumb is.


The one with the no-Graeter's Ice Cream Cake party

11 January 2015 | sila | | Family Pics

Thirteen days after Adik's third birthday, we had a small party for friends and neighbors. 

Excited about the party!

* Mouse over the pictures for captions


First Weekend of the Year

05 January 2015 | Hisham | | Family Pics

Our first weekend of the year was an eventful one.

Irfan registered at his new secondary school, which was not far from the house. He would be able to ride a bicycle to it, once we buy one for him.

He might be the tallest one in his class, but I might yet be surprised. He was not the only tall one in his class last year, and neither was I at his age, despite both our above average heights at our respective ages. Here, Irfan and his Ummi pose for a photo before we all drive out to school.


Rafe's 36 Month Birthday (And he is 3!)

29 December 2014 | sila | | Family Pics

And so, the boy is now 3 years old! Or as he would say it, "thwee" :-)

A beautiful smile on my not-so-babyish-anymore baby boy

* Mouse over the pictures for captions


77 Months

22 December 2014 | sila | | Family Pics

77 Yaya-filled months!

Happily making use of her "lumps of coal" Christmas present

Unlike some children, Yaya was completely happy to play with her "lumps of coal" Christmas present. She made a drawing of a cat using various charcoal pieces on regular printer paper.

* Mouse over the pictures for captions 


First Entry From The North

08 December 2014 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Recent News
Irfan gives the new home a thumbs up
Here we are at the northernmost part of the country, over a hundred klicks away from the nearest population centre which could be called a "city".

It awakens! Also, nerd problems.
We live in a kampung, although not in a kampung house.

View from our porch

Sunset from our porch
There is a mango orchard less than fifty metres away. Beyond the mango orchard is a rice field. Between that rice field and another one a hundred times bigger than it is a canal with plenty of fish.

A far cry from the city.

Path through the rice field
I love the sound of insects at night, the patter of rain on the roof and on leaves of nearby flora, the immediate friendliness of neighbours.

Maybe we're not using the right bait

I don't miss city traffic one bit.

This cat will never know KL traffic
More to come.


Rafe's 35 Month Birthday

30 November 2014 | sila | | Family Pics

One more month before Adik is 3!

Happily eating Nutella

That photo was not taken on Adik's 35-month birthday but it was so cute I had to include it. The makers of Nutella can feel free to contact us if they want to use that photo. Not! Also, if asked, I will categorically deny that I am writing this entry on the first day of 2015. I deny it, I do! ;-)

* Mouse over the pictures for captions


Star Wars Rebels Experience

24 November 2014 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Star Wars, TV

Mid Valley Megamall held a Star Wars Rebels Experience exhibition last Sunday, commemorating the debut of the series on local TV.

I didn't think I was going to make the exhibition because college assignments had to be submitted by midnight. I had one more to complete and submit. But when it was announced that the deadline was pushed back 2 days, we headed for Mid Valley at Point Five beyond lightspeed.

I wonder if the MFTAS is to scale as well.

I saw the big helmet at the South Court all the way from the Centre Court. Irfan poses before it for posterity's sake.

Stormtrooper on the prowl

The Five-Oh-First was on site to ensure no rebel agents disrupt the proceedings.

The Inquisitorious also do mall appearances

The Pau'an Inquisitor was also around being all Lucius Malfoy-ish.


76 Months

22 November 2014 | sila | | Family Pics

76 months of Yaya!


* Mouse over the pictures for captions


Clearwater Beach - October 2014

01 November 2014 | sila | | Family Pics

We spent a short weekend at Clearwater Beach in mid-October. It was quiet, relaxing and warm. Just the perfect beach vacation. We were here in March for almost a week but I totally did not have time to blog about it. We had lots of fun then though. It is fortunate that my current project is in Tampa so it was only an hour's drive to Clearwater Beach.

Me and the kids are watching pelicans divebomb for fish at sunset

* Mouse over the pictures for captions


Halloween 2014 Spooktacular

31 October 2014 | sila | | Family Pics

So since dressing up in costumes is one of Yaya's favorite things to do, Halloween is something she has been looking forward to for a while. Despite the non-candy-eating child that she is, she loves to go trick or treating and we often play "trick-or-treat" games at home. So here are our Halloween photos!

Jack-o-lantern says Boo!

* Mouse over the pictures for captions


Rafe's 34 Month Birthday

29 October 2014 | sila | | Family Pics

Two more months until Adik turns 3! He is now at his 34th month! Whee!

Adik loves the Nutella jar!

* Mouse over the pictures for captions


75 Months

22 October 2014 | sila | | Family Pics

75 months of the girl!

Yaya smiles in the shadows and light

* Mouse over the pictures for captions


Cave of Dramatic Lighting

20 October 2014 | Hisham | | Family Pics

We visited Gua Kelam yesterday. Gua Kelam is officially translated as "Cave of Darkness" at the plaques we saw at the site. The cave is a tunnel that runs through a limestone hill for about 350 metres. Here are is photojournal of our visit.

It had been a wet weekend with rainfall every day, aptly putting the "rain" in rainforest. Water was dripping from the leaves and roots and vines of the foliage above the entrace to the cave.

In the 19th and early 20th century, Gua Kelam used to be a passage for tin miners to transport their ore from the mines to their staging area. According to the plaque, many miners perished during heavy rains when the river flooded the cave.


14th Anniversary

15 October 2014 | Hisham | | Family Pics

It's been 14 years since we got married. Since then, through shifting soil, moving goalposts, storms of ablative particulates and a deluge of fish entrails, Ain has been an excellent partner, wife and mother to our son. 14 is not a big number, but we thought we'd celebrate surviving this radioactive wasteland for another year. I love Ain so strongly that Hawking radiation is being emitted on the surface of the singularity of our sordid story.

We went to a restaurant that we had been to several times which served delicious food. However, the food did not live up to its delectable precursors. But that, I suppose, is no excuse not to enjoy the night.

Irfan and Ain
Irfan's chicken chop
Irfan takes a photo

Here's hoping for a much better year next year. I've heard myself say this every year for the last 20 years. 20 years of saying it but not being able to pay bills might have skewed my brain away from the norm; way, way past the border of healthy cynicism.

Bah. Anyway... here's hoping for a much better year next year.


Aidiladha at KLCC

07 October 2014 | Hisham | | Family Pics

Monday was a carry over holiday for Raya Haji which fell on a clear sunny Sunday. A trip into town would be nice, we thought. It was too far for the car to reach the Bandar Utama region, so we drove somewhere closer: Kuala Lumpur City Centre which was not too far away by car, via the AKLEH elevated highway. It even has a dedicated exit into its underground car park. Despite it being situated relatively close, we do not visit the Suria KLCC mall all that often.

At the top of the centre concourse

Things appeared as they usually do in the mall.

Hardison would probably work faster

Irfan mapped out the door infrared sensor area at the department store. Who knows it might be useful some day.

There's a weird new structure across the lake

Our lunch were takeaway boxes from Cold Storage. Ain had the nasi goreng. Irfan and I had a slice of pizza each.

Some building

We ate in the shadow of the towers.

Um... can I play Eisenhorn?

Meanwhile, the new edition of Dark Heresy could be found in Kinokuniya. The price was too high for an impulse purchase though. In the grim darkness of the far future there is only RPGs.


Aidiladha at the Tenth Floor

06 October 2014 | Hisham | | Board and Card Games, Family Pics

Another year, another Aidiladha spent in Kuala Lumpur. There was no balik kampung because of insufficient resources. So yesterday we tried to make the best of it.

In the morning, we went for Solat Aidiladha at the Pandan Indah mosque. This morning, for some reason the khatib was not firing all engines. Perhaps he was exhausted.

Then it was time for salam hari raya between ourselves. First, Irfan salam and kissed Ain.

Followed by the same with me, after which, Ain started cooking some nasi lemak in anticipation of impending visitors.

In the afternoon, Irfan's school friend Fikree and his family, as well as his cousins Aiman and Zara, came a-visiting. Apart from savouring the nasi lemak, Irfan, Fikree and Aiman played some Tsuro while Star Wars Rebels was playing on television.

Even young Zara was intrigued by the game.

Since boardgaming was pretty fun, the crew moved on to Small World.

After many weeks of differing levels of smog over the city, it was refreshing to have clear skies (and breathing air) for the day.

Especially for this holiday.