Allie's 20 Month Birthday

28 March 2010 | sila | | Family Pics

It happened! On March 22nd (last Monday) Allie became a 20-month-old! We have no idea where the time went and suddenly she's such a lively and independent little thing! She had a terrific day, even though Mama had to work. Papa manned the camera and took a ton of pictures. Here she is, smiling with her mouth full of blueberry & oatmeal breakfast:

Good morning!

* Mouse over the pictures for captions


Phineas and Ferb

26 March 2010 | sila | | TV

One of the cool things about having a kid is that you get to check out all the children's TV shows that are out there. Well, you know. It's got to be vetted before Allie is allowed to watch it. ;-)

This is one of our new favorite shows:

Mom, Phineas and Ferb are making a title sequence!

It's just awesome. It's on the Disney Channel. We love it. Phineas and Ferb spend their days creating cool things while their sister Candace tries to bust them. In the meantime, Perry the Platipus (their pet slash secret agent) goes around foiling the evil plans of Dr Heinz Doofenschmirtz.  You can read all about it here.

And they have really amazing and clever song and dance routines. Well, just check out their theme song.

Vin and I are certainly addicted to this show. We even DVRed it when we were out of town. Yes. For us. Seriously, watch this show! Adults will love it. We do. :-)


A Robot Rescue - Bad Example, Episode 4

23 March 2010 | Hisham | | Bad Example, GOKL Actual Play, RPG Actual Play, Role Playing Games, Star Wars

Bad Example of a logoLast Sunday, the GOKL gang continued the role-playing adventures of Star Wars: A Bad Example in the Spacelanes.

Two new players, Nigel of Singapore who played Bob the Wookiee, and Razzman who played Reelo Jackson the Rodian bounty hunter, joined the party as they embarked on a mission to retrieve their kidnapped crewmates, beginning with Weapon X the HK-78 assassin droid.

The previous episode can be found here.

Episode 4: Our Droid Is Not Open-Sourced

Long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

Upon exposing a traitor Starson O'Kreem in the mobile asteroid pirate stronghold Irontooth Station, pirate lord Slaughter Maelstrom has confirmed a truce with the crew of the Bad Example. After returning to Sriluur to pick up Tickley, the crew sets off to recovered their captured droid companion Weapon X.

Using the data taken from O'Kreem's datapad, they attempt to discover Weapon X's location and soon track him to a warehouse in the Rodian district on Coruscant.


Pirate Politics - Bad Example, Episode 3

22 March 2010 | Hisham | | Bad Example, GOKL Actual Play, RPG Actual Play, Role Playing Games, Star Wars

Bad Example of a logoAbout six months ago, I ran the third Star Wars D6 game with the GOKL crew, which continued from Episode 2. But I was a bad GM then and did not take notes (mentally and on paper) of what occured. Here is a rundown of the lost Episode 3 of Star Wars: A Bad Example in the Spacelanes.

Details such as combat and NPC names were lost. New NPC names are fabricated for the purpose of continuity in the adventure and will be considered official for upcoming games.

Episode 3: Piracy, Treachery and Kidnappings

The crew of the Bad Example, Hunter Maelstrom the freighter captain, Nek'Koh'Moo'Su'May a.k.a Annie the Trianii, Ssssawar the Trandoshan chef and the clone Adenuneasily enjoyed the dinner set out for them by The Five Skulls Brigands. Weapon X, the HK-57 droid, just sat and made small talk. The pirate leader Lord Irontooth had earlier revealed himself as Slaughter Maelstrom, Hunter's brother. Sitting beside him were his two lieutenants: the suave, young Starson O'Kreem who smiled graciously at the newcomers, and the bald, older Yoat Jumpo who appeared to regard them with distrust.


Satay Kajang with Jen and Mike

21 March 2010 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Friends

After 10 years of being friends with Sila - and working with her even now - Jen Laaback visits Malaysia for the first time after vacationing for almost two weeks on a boat up in Thailand. Upon arriving at Kuala Lumpur, Jen, Mike and the rest of the company were accosted by Hisham and family who shanghaied them into having dinner at Samuri's Satay Kajang which was located in Kajang, away from the throngs of other vacationeers and tourists, foreign and domestic.


Whatever Happened to Ahmir Sektioui?

15 March 2010 | Hisham | | Eclipse Phase, GOKL Actual Play, RPG Actual Play, Role Playing Games

So, in part two of the Eclipse Phase quickstart demo scenario, Ahmir discovers that his knowledge on Mars - or anywhere other than the Outer Planers, the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud - is worth zero.

Ahmir's player - me - discovers that his Gamescience dice is trying to kill him.

Subtext!!! Ivan's book for atmosphere

A much friendler d10

Early on, I took these photos of the Tachikoma figure we used to represent Ahmir after he was resleeved following the previous episode's nuke encounter. I forgot to snap more because the encounters were exciting. Action movie exciting.

Also, they were somewhat hilarious thanks to some hilariously bad dice rolls. Kinetic weapons jamming. Beam weapons overheating. Parkour attempts that were... less than stellar.  But there were some spectacular heroic acts as well, such as Zora shooting a bad guy through the neck to destroy his cortical stack embedded at his cervical vertebrae*.

We finished the adventure with a 20-kilometre radius, devastating anti-matter explosion that scooped out a whole lot of dirt - as well as deadly TITAN artifacts and bad guys' corpses - off the Martian landscape.

Thanks to Ivan the GM, Ivan the player, Keh Win and Kai for a great game. And Doug and Adrian for their input and chuckles from the peanut gallery.

* In hindsight, I believe that to shoot a person's C1 "Atlas" vertebra successfully from the front and at a high angle, you have to shoot him through the face with an AP round instead of the neck.


Irfan Meets a Cat

12 March 2010 | Hisham | | Family Pics

It's not a stray because it seems to be well-fed, not unkempt and has a collar. It's prowling the corridors outside the tenth floor. Naturally, Irfan tries his best to have fun with it, throwing ball and running around the corridors. It sometimes succeeds in bypassing the blockade and zips into the house, causing Irfan to gleefully try to corner it and chase it outside.

It's a lion! Get in the car!!

At the end of the day, Ain lets Irfan feed it some milk which it lapped up quickly.

Starring Sean Penn

If no one claims it, i.e., it doesn't belong to anyone on the tenth floor, then I should stick a notice downstairs.

oh hai wats goin on in dis post? kthxbai

Do They Sell This Suitcase Anywhere?

08 March 2010 | Hisham | | Comics, Misc Sci-Fi

This nifty suitcase appears to be pretty cool, and seem to be good to have with you all the time. When you need to use it, all you have to do is activate it at your feet, like so:


Then you wait for it to quickly unfold and show a pair of handgrips. You grab on to the handgrips and twist them, like so:


Wrath Of Diabolical Water Elementals!

02 March 2010 | Hisham | | Family Pics

While picking up Irfan from school in the very late afternoon, we were hit by a great, big thunderstorm the size of a big thunderstorm. There was a point where there was no delay between lightning and thunder. Driving to school, the windshield, which thankfully did its job keeping the wind out failed to ensure the rain slid off fast enough so we can see through it. Even the wipers were useless.

On the way back, we had to cross Pandan Indah central to get from the school on the south side to our house on the north side.

We discovered that we couldn't because of flash floods. All the primary, secondary and the secret routes had a foot or so of water.So, we drove went to a mamak restaurant for some roti canai and warm drinks.

Below, we can see some water on this side of the main road into Pandan Indah. This side is jammed up. The other side of the road is flooded - with some cars already immobilized in the water.


I Rolled an 99 and Lived

01 March 2010 | Hisham | | Eclipse Phase, GOKL Actual Play, RPG Actual Play, Role Playing Games

Sunday was gaming day with GOKL and this time Ivan ran Eclipse Phase, the science fiction role-playing game with intriguing and extensive post-singularity and transhumanist ideas. Even running through the demo scenario in the free quick-start pdf, a lot of these high concepts shone through to us newbie players of the game, making the game even a more unique experience. (To be fair, I haven't played GURPS Transhuman Space before to make a proper comparison, and the technology application in Eclipse Phase is much more high-concept than Shadowrun or Cyberpunk 2020.)

Nothing but d10s used