Fuck social media. Support blogging.

Patterns of Hate in Asian American History

Professor Dana Y. Nakano, writing for The Rafu Shimpo:

The persistent visible racial difference of Asian Americans and its associated assumptions of forever foreignness, disloyalty, and non-belonging can so easily become an outward trigger for violence and hate at any moment. Anti-Asian sentiment and violence are racism. Knowing our history helps put this into perspective.

The entire article is a must-read.

Why We Don’t Need a Visual Editor

I haven’t found an ideal visual editor for MODX. The main issue is that we want to maintain the integrity of our codes and a visual editor would destroy it. Our method, as well as the reason we use MODX, is only to write the codes that are required for our website. With a visual editor, WordPress’s Gutenberg for example, the codes were already baked into the editor. As a result, the website with a visual editor is much heavier and the HTML markups would tie into inline CSS and other scripts. To illustrate my point, let me give you an example of how MODX renders a paragraph (<p>) versus a visual editor.

MODX:

<p>Lawyers who can understand both sides of an issue and argue persuasively and civilly have an advantage in today’s polarized society. At Scalia Law, we believe in exposing you to all viewpoints along the legal and political spectrum and encouraging you to join the debate in a civilized and respectful way. You’ll learn to do this in a small and collegial community at our campus in the heart of Arlington, Virginia, a vibrant yet relaxed town that’s just a short Metro ride away from our nation’s capital.</p>

A visual editor:

<p class=MsoNormal style='margin-top:12.0pt;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:
12.0pt;margin-left:0in;background:white'><span style='font-size:14.5pt;
font-family:"Pelago",sans-serif;fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";
bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";color:#101010'>Lawyers who can
understand both sides of an issue and argue persuasively and civilly have an
advantage in today’s polarized society. At </span><span style='font-size:14.5pt;
font-family:"Times New Roman",serif;fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";
color:#101010'>Scalia Law</span><span style='font-size:14.5pt;font-family:"Pelago",sans-serif;
fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";
color:#101010'>, we believe in exposing you to all viewpoints along the legal
and political spectrum and encouraging you to </span><span style='font-size:
14.5pt;font-family:Helvetica;fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";
bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";color:#101010'>join the debate</span><span
style='font-size:14.5pt;font-family:"Pelago",sans-serif;fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";color:#101010'> in a
civilized and respectful way. You’ll learn to do this in a small and collegial
community at our campus in the heart of </span><span style='font-size:14.5pt;
font-family:"Pelago",sans-serif;fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";
bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";color:black;themecolor:text1'>Arlington,
Virginia</span><span style='font-size:14.5pt;font-family:"Pelago",sans-serif;
fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";
color:#101010'>, a vibrant yet relaxed town that’s just a short Metro ride away
from our nation’s capital.<o:p></o:p></span></p>

As you can see the difference between the two paragraphs. The first one, you can still read the text without interruption. The second one, lots of unnecessary styles were added by the visual editor. They are not only weighing down the page, but also making it tedious to make global changes across our entire site. For our WordPress sites, we have to deactivate Gutenberg because the block editor isn’t working too well. Even our users requested that we deactivated the visual editor. Until we can find a visual editor that spits out clean, well-structured markups, the compromise is worth pursuing, especially in the long run.

I don’t recommend anyone experimenting on the live site. Even though I know MODX quite well, I don’t mess around with the live site to avoid accidentally breaking the codes. I only play around outside of MODX and make a backup first (just in case things would go wrong) before implementing on the live site. I totally understand it is easier for you to try things out than to explain them to someone else. A framework is helpful, but not always a true representation of the live site. I can offer you a much better solution. Since you are very good with Photoshop, I put together a mock-up of our website for you to experiment. Once you try things out and come up with what you want, send us your mock-up and we will implement it on the live site. This is a much safer approach to experimenting on the live site.

If you take a look at the PSD file, I have layers to help guide you through the layout. Our site layout is based on CSS Grid. The header and the navigation stay constant for consistency, but everything else can be changed by showing or hiding the layers. You can have a full-browser banner or a max-width banner that matches the layout. You can have a layout with or without a sidebar. You can have 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 columns. You can combine different columns or no columns at all. You can have images flow within texts. You can have lots of options. In fact, you can turn off all the layers in Photoshop and have a blank canvas to work with. When you have time, play around with it. I am more than happy to walk you through the demo as well.

A Black Man Who Attacked an Asian Woman was Sentenced to 17.5 Years in Prison

Tammel Esco, a 42-year-old Black man, was charged with second-degree attempted murder after he punched a 67-year-old Asian American woman more than 100 times, stomped on her seven times, spat on her, and cursed at her. The attack was brutally captured on the video. What a senseless hate crime. He deserves the full sentence.

Carolyn Huỳnh: The Fortunes of Jaded Women

I was having trouble keeping up with the Dương women in Carolyn Huỳnh’s debut novel. They were dramatic, emotional, and obnoxious. As I read deeper, I began to embrace the messiness of the characters and let Huỳnh untangled her tales, in which she brought together the stories of multigenerational Vietnamese women. It’s an engaging, heartfelt, and hilarious read. Keep up the great work, Ms. Huỳnh.

Đán Turns 11

Our second born turns 11 today. He grows way too fast. He loves building PCs and playing video games on his desktop. For his birthday, we gifted him all the parts so he could build his own desktop. It is definitely a useful skill to pick up. I am proud of him for it, but he needs to balance out his priorities. His education needs to come first. He is doing the minimal just to pass. If he puts the energy and focus on school work like he does with PC and video games, he would become an excellent student.

Đán has a natural athletic ability. With a bit of bravery, he is elevating in rollerblading. He surpassed his brothers and me in blading. In the past, I could keep up with him, but not anymore. He is not even into rollerblading. He has to skate because I make him go to the skate park. If he puts his mind into it, he would have advanced even further. I am not pushing him. My only requirement is for him to get some exercise. He needs to get away from his desktop and do some outdoor activities. Đán is also an excellent snowboarder. I can’t wait to hit the terrains with him this winter.

Đán is a great kid when he wants to be. He loves his grandmother, his mom, Đạo, and Vương. For selfish reasons, he is not too fond of Xuân and he drives me to the wall. I made it clear to him that he either treated Xuân nicely or he got banned from his PC. He didn’t like me when I banned him, but I was fine with that. I don’t have any issue being a bad dad. He knows deep down, I have nothing but love for him.

How Hospice Became a For-Profit Hustle

Ava Kofman writes for The New Yorker:

Forty years on, half of all Americans die in hospice care. Most of these deaths take place at home. When done right, the program allows people to experience as little pain as possible and to spend meaningful time with their loved ones. Nurses stop by to manage symptoms. Aides assist with bathing, medications, and housekeeping. Social workers help families over bureaucratic hurdles. Clergy offer what comfort they can, and bereavement counsellors provide support in the aftermath. This year, I spoke about hospice with more than a hundred and fifty patients, families, hospice employees, regulators, attorneys, fraud investigators, and end-of-life researchers, and all of them praised its vital mission. But many were concerned about how easy money and a lack of regulation had given rise to an industry rife with exploitation. In the decades since Saunders and her followers spread her radical concept across the country, hospice has evolved from a constellation of charities, mostly reliant on volunteers, into a twenty-two-billion-dollar juggernaut funded almost entirely by taxpayers.

A devastating read.

Social Media Cleansing

I am on my path to stop using social media. Not using LinkedIn has no effect on me. I hardly used LinkedIn anyway, but I still keep my account active. I miss family and friends on Facebook, especially on news such as weddings or funerals. I keep my account active to maybe check in once in a while. I wish I could mass-delete all my content on Facebook. I reactivated Twitter, but not posted anything new. I miss the type community, but I don’t want to move over to Mastodon. My only involvement in the type community is Vietnamese Typography and people can find me on that site.

The biggest issue I have is not following the web community. I need to keep myself up-to-date with the latest web developments. Unfortunately I have been out of the loop for over a decade. CSS grid and web fonts were the latest two skills I picked up. I haven’t used any JavaScript frameworks. I still write my HTML and CSS from scratch. WordPress’s block theming is beyond my knowledge. I am still using the classic editor for my blog. I wonder how long WordPress continues to support the classic editor.

I still have tremendous love for the web. I love the ability to create websites the way I wanted, not having to use someone’s codes, templates, or platforms. I still enjoy creating small websites such as Everlasting Eye Care, Thinkpoint Creative, and Kristin Bair. These sites were designed and developed using HTML, CSS, and a bit of PHP. They will last forever. If I were to develop a blog from scratch, I would not know what software to choose. WordPress has moved beyond a blogging system.

In any rate, I am happy with the changes that I have made, which will allow me to spend more time offline. I am getting tired of all the social media chaos.

Fuck Facebook

I have been spending more time watching Facebook videos than reading. Its algorithm has worked on me by feeding videos of folks in Việt Nam eating wild shit. They literally ate shit from cow and goat intestines (pịa).

As for my own posting, I pumped out clips of my kids skating at the skatepark almost on the daily basis. The same five or six people liked my videos and about five or six people posted on the daily basis. The rest of the posts on my timeline were ads. I am not sure if Facebook is still a good place to spend my time on. My reason for hanging was to stay connected with family members and use Market place to sell things. Although I had sold everything I had listed, I found it to be a hassle.

After leaving Twitter and LinkedIn, Facebook seems like the logical next step to completely remove myself from social media. I removed the app from my phone. That will prevent me from checking in and uploading photos and videos. I just keep the account for a while before deactivate it. I don’t think I will miss anything. I still have this blog to write down my thoughts.

When Giving is All We Have

One river gives
Its journey to the next.

We give because someone gave to us.
We give because nobody gave to us.

We give because giving has changed us.
We give because giving could have changed us.

We have been better for it,
We have been wounded by it—

Giving has many faces: It is loud and quiet,
Big, though small, diamond in wood-nails.

Its story is old, the plot worn and the pages too,
But we read this book, anyway, over and again:

Giving is, first and every time, hand to hand,
Mine to yours, yours to mine.

You gave me blue and I gave you yellow.
Together we are simple green. You gave me

What you did not have, and I gave you
What I had to give—together, we made

Something greater from the difference.

Alberto Ríos