After a week waiting for approval from Google, I implemented Adsense on Thursday. The first day I made a penny even though my site is pulling 1.62k unique visitors a day and 15.83k total requests. I’ll see how Adsense will perform in a week before I decide if it is worth keeping.


Some early dawn, on waking up, I look about myself
The sun’s shining on the terrace; the birds are startled
I know my words of love had already been heard

Sunshine’s passing through the leaves,
The dewdrops fall from the branches of the trees
Why tell my story when Life’s so fragile
My love story is sad with no sunrise

The old familiar road, with love’s usual deceits
The path of love with a hundred jumbled threads,
Trying to find love within Life’s mess
Not many years left when our hair will turn silver
And by chance, if we should meet each other,
Only to feel like awkward strangers
What’s left then to give to one another.

Morning to evening, looking about myself alone
The familiar road I will not go,
Feeling awkward when we see each other
Just ’cause in my life, there hasn’t yet been a sunrise

Translated by Vương Thanh

Một Mình

Sớm mai thức giấc, nhìn quanh một mình
Ngoài hiên nắng lóe, đàn chim giật mình
Biết lời tỏ tình, đã có người nghe

Nắng xuyên qua lá, hạt sương lìa cành
Đời mong manh quá, kể chi chuyện mình
Nắng buồn cuộc tình, bỗng tắt bình minh

Đường xưa quen lối, tình dối người mang
Tình duyên trăm mối, một kiếp đa đoan
Cố tìm tình chồng chất ngổn ngang
Còn bao lâu nữa khi ta bạc đầu
Tình cờ gặp nhau, ngỡ ngàng nhìn nhau
Để rồi còn gì nữa cho nhau

Sáng trưa khuya tối, nhìn quanh một mình
Đường quen không tới, tìm nhau ngại ngùng
Chỉ vì đời mình, chưa có bình minh

Lam Phương

Daryl Fielding: The Brand Book

The bulk of Daryl Fielding’s The Brand Book is on strategy. She only spent several pages on colors, logos, and typefaces. As a result, this book is more suitable for research than design. I didn’t enjoy the strategy part. Pizza United, the fictitious brand she came up with for the book, is lackluster. It is not the book I was looking forward to reading.

Student Flower

Do you still remember, my love?
A summer long ago, the Jacaranda tree bloomed pink flowers
You asked me to come and pick them home for us to play together
Do you still remember, my love?

Do you still remember, my love?
I took the flower petal and pressed it on your cheek
To make you beautiful like an angel
But you didn’t want to.
You’re afraid of having to go to heaven.

You’re afraid, afraid of having to go to heaven.
In heaven, we would be separated in different places
Hence, you only wanted to live in this world
Today, the Jacaranda tree of old days blooms gloriously
But since Fate spoiled our chance to be together
I feel like crying under the blood red flowers
Where are you now?
Where do I find you, my love?
Now, only pain and sorrow in my heart…

Translated by Vương Thanh

Hoa học trò

Bây giờ còn nhớ hay không?
Ngày xưa hè đến phượng hồng nở hoa
Ngây thơ anh rủ em ra
Bảo nhặt hoa phượng về nhà chơi chung
Bây giờ còn nhớ hay không?

Bây giờ còn nhớ hay không?
Anh đem cánh phượng tô hồng má em
Để cho em đẹp như tiên
Nhưng em không chịu
Sợ phải lên trên trời

Sợ phải lên, sợ phải lên trên trời
Lên trời hai đứa hai nơi
Thôi em chỉ muốn làm người trần gian
Hôm nay phượng nở huy hoàng
Nhưng từ hai đứa lỡ làng duyên nhau
Rưng rưng phượng đỏ trên đầu
Tìm anh em biết tìm đâu bây giờ
Bây giờ tìm kiếm em đâu?
Bây giờ chỉ có thương đau…

Nhất Tuấn

Visualgui Updates

I have a subtle and not-so-subtle changes to the blog. For typographic, I added IntelOne Mono, designed by Fred Shallcrass, into the mix for coding examples and meta text (date and category).

For the not-so-subtle change, I added Google Adsense. As much as I despise running ads, I need to cover the hosting cost to run this blog. The ads turned out to fit well with my design. I had always used the spot right below my logo for promotions, but I didn’t always have something to promote. Now it is a perfect spot for ads.

I wish I have other ways to pull in some revenue stream for this blog, but I don’t. I experimented with Amazon Affiliate, but it didn’t worth the effort. I don’t know how much I will get from Adsense, but I want to experiment with it for a few weeks. The ads don’t seem to distract from the reading experience. In fact, the ads look quite nice with the design on larger screens.

Samara Joy: Linger Awhile

Samara Joy is a young singer with an old soul. Ms. Joy sounds so much like the jazz legend Sarah Vaughan—no crime in that. Just like Ms. Vaughan, Ms. Joy can swing (“Sweet Pumpkin”) and can croon (“Lust Life”) as well. Linger Awhile, an Amazon original deluxe edition, is an album I can just kick back, relax, and enjoy for an hour and twenty minutes after a long day at work.

Empty a Cup of Dreams

There’s a sound of a bird fading into the far distance
There’s a season of red Jiracanda flowers suddenly forgotten
There’s passions that no longer burn
A few drops of sadness falling in the night

The laurel tree in the garden corner
blooms bright white flowers
Its fragrance spread with late night dewdrops falling
A wide world in a little corner,
the tree stretch its branches and leaves
Who knows that the wind will be going to somewhere faraway…

Certain feelings lie quietly in my heart,
I will no longer mention them
The cup of dream, illusionary and cold on my lips
The moonlight, under the lake, quietly sleeps
There’s only golden autumn blowing the leaves…

Translated by Vương Thanh

Cạn chén mơ

Có tiếng chim phai vào xa vắng
Có mùa phượng đỏ chợt lãng quên
Có những nồng nàn không cháy nữa
Lạc đôi giọt buồn về trong đêm

Nguyệt quế góc thềm hoa trắng xóa
Hương thơm tỏa đượm dưới sương khuya
Thênh thang góc nhỏ xòa cành lá
Nào biết chiều nay cơn gió xa…

Ta lắng chuyện lòng không nhắc nữa
Chén mơ hư ảo lạnh trên môi
Ánh trăng đắm dưới hồ yên ngủ
Chỉ có thu vàng lá cuốn… rơi…

Thiên Di

The Jobless Employed

Emily Stewart, writing for Vox:

These jobless employed are a persistent presence in the working world, their existence a bug that’s become a feature. There’s a percentage of every job that’s bullshit, and in their case, that’s 90 percent, minimum.

I want a useless job.

15 Years Together

Today 15 years ago, I married the love of my life. On our first slow dance at our wedding reception, we whispered in each other’s ear promising to stay together no matter what. Our vow had been put to test in the past decade and a half.

In the beginning of our relationship, we were madly in love. After the honeymoon period, reality kicked in. Our marriage struggled. Even when our relationship had faced uncertainties, we had not walked away.

As our family grew, we struggled together as parents. We are blessed to have four healthy boys, but the challenges never stop. Even when faced with turbulences, we managed to navigate our way through. With our kids and everything we had built together, walking away was no longer an option. There were times, I tried to imagine what my life would be like without my wife, and possibly without my boys, but just the thought alone made me miserable. I need my wife and my family.

Being together for 15 years is a milestone. Writing this post and reflecting on our marriage are my ways of celebration. Each year, I took a look at our wedding webpage and made changes. I revised my writing, redesigned the layout, and changed the typesetting. This year, I put together a gallery to include photos from the morning ceremony to the afternoon photoshoot to the evening reception. I am not sure why it took me 15 years to do it.

In the last few years, our relationship had improved. I appreciate all the things my wife had done to keep our marriage alive. I hope I had done my part as well. As we continue our journey through life, we will face more tumultuous times. As long as we continue to hold our hands together and won’t let go, we will make it through the next 15 and 30 years. I will always keep my promise from our first dance with the song we picked together:

Even if it rains daily, I want to walk with you till the end of life
Even if dark clouds or storms are gathering, I long to be at your side
Even if it’s windy and biting cold, or the roads muddied with snow
Even if the leaves are falling, sad and desolate…
Even if whatever… Whatever happens…, I Will Still Love You…

I am here to stay.

The Road Home’s Far and It’s Wet Outside

Tonight, Time seems to stand still
To let the lovers be lost in a dream
The rain makes it difficult to say goodbye
Since the road home’s far and it’s wet outside

Your skin like silk, your long hair so soft
Sparkling stars shine brightly in your eyes
Fragrant lips make it difficult to say goodbye
Since the road home’s far and it’s wet outside
Since the road home’s far and it’s wet outside

You want me to take you home
Why don’t you stay here tonight
Since the road home’s far and it’s wet outside
Please don’t make me take you home.

Please don’t go home as the road’s too far
Please let the rain keeps falling without ever stopping
To let the lovers be lost in a dream
And forget to say goodbye
Since the road home’s far and it’s wet outside.

Translated by Vương Thanh

Đường xa ướt mưa

Đêm nay thời gian đứng yên lắng đọng
Cho đôi tình nhân đắm trong giấc mộng
Mưa rơi làm thêm khó câu giã từ
Vì đường xa ướt mưa

Da em lụa là, tóc em xõa mềm
Lung linh trời sao sáng trong mắt em
Môi em làm thêm khó câu giã từ
Vì đường xa ướt mưa
Vì đường xa ướt mưa

Em muốn anh đưa em về
Sao em không ở lại đây đêm nay
Vì đường xa ướt mưa
Đừng bắt anh đưa em về

Anh xin em đừng về đường quá xa xôi
Xin mưa triền miên mãi không lắng đọng
Cho đôi tình nhân đuối trong giấc mộng
Trong cơn ngủ quên trốn câu giã từ
Vì đường xa ướt mưa.

Đức Huy