On Blogging

I deactivated Twitter last Saturday. I feel a bit relieved and won’t miss it. Many people I followed had moved to Mastodon, but I have no interest in joining another social network. I logged out of LinkedIn. Although I haven’t deactivate it, I have no intention of posting anything on there anymore. Maybe I’ll log back in when I need to find a new job. I am still a bit active on Facebook to keep in touch with family and friends. I still use Facebook Marketplace occasionally to buy and sell junks. I use YouTube primarily for tutorials (skating, rollerblading, skiing, and most recently snowboarding) as well as minor fixes around the house. I am trying to slow down my day by consuming less social media.

I still love writing on this blog. Everything I do involves writing in way or another and years of blogging have prepared me for writing. I take writing more seriously than before. I loved replying to my kids’ teachers and I made sure I took the time to do so. I helped Đạo with his school projects that required writings. I made sure he explained his positions clearly. For work, I have been doing quite a bit of writing as well. In fact, I have just written a long reply this morning. I am taking a break and will come back to read it over before sending it.

I took Jeff Bezos’s advice on writings over meetings and I am enjoying the process. When I attended meetings, I forgot almost everything afterward even if I had scribbled down my notes. When writing things down, I had all the records to refer back later on. In addition, I don’t speak fluently and I often feel that I don’t convey the message clearly through oral presentation. When I write things down, I know the person who I had written to would pay attention. When someone replied to me with questions I had already answered I knew they didn’t read my detailed response. Instead of responding back to what I had written, I could just reference the part that they did not read.

I am no way a good writer, but I use my best writing knowledge to get my message across. That alone is good enough for me. I try to improve my writing through blogging. Since this is my personal blog, I write whatever I like and take full responsibility of my content. If you don’t want to read what I write, you can pay me no mind. If you enjoy what I write, thank you. And I appreciate you even more if you support my efforts.

Mừng sinh nhật vợ

Hôm nay ngày sinh nhật vợ. Tuổi tác chỉ là con số. Chúc vợ luôn tươi trẻ và sống vui vẻ nhẹ nhàng. Biết rằng vợ luôn thương yêu và lo lắng cho chồng con, nhưng bớt cằn nhằn lại. Cuộc sống chúng ta quá bận rộn với công việc và con cái nên nhiều lúc căng thẳng và bực bội. Nhưng thôi cố gắng lên nhé. Thời gian trôi qua rất nhanh. Đám con lớn lên và sẽ có cuộc sống riêng. Một ngày không lâu sẽ chỉ còn hai vợ chồng bên cạnh nhau. Thôi thì, hãy yêu ngày tới dù quá mệt kiếp người. Còn cuộc đời, ta cứ vui.

Fuck Twitter

By reinstating that orange turd, Musk made it easy for me leave Twitter. I am out.

Asian American Students Got a Boost

In her research, Dr. Jennifer Lee, a sociology professor at Columbia University, found that “K-12 teachers and schools may actually give Asian Americans a boost based on assumptions about race.” She opines in The New York Times:

A Vietnamese American student I’ll call Ophelia (all names have been changed to protect participants’ privacy under ethical research guidelines) described herself as “not very intelligent” and recalled nearly being held back in second grade because of her poor academic performance. Ophelia had a C average throughout elementary and junior high school, and when she took an exam to be put in Advanced Placement classes for high school English and science, she failed. Ophelia’s teachers placed her, with her mother’s support, on the AP track anyway. Once there, she said that something “just clicked,” and she began to excel in her classes.

“I wanted to work hard and prove I was a good student,” Ophelia explained. “I think the competition kind of increases your want to do better.” She graduated from high school with a grade-point average of 4.2 (exceeding a perfect 4.0) and was admitted into a highly competitive pharmacy program. Ophelia’s performance was precisely what her teachers expected, so they did not have to confront the role they may have played in reproducing the stereotype of Asian American exceptionalism.

Rummana Hussain also has an interesting take on affirmative action.

Fuck ’Em

Fuck politics. Nothing will change. It doesn’t matter if you’re left or right. Senate seats have been bought and sold. White men had decided the fate of this country for hundreds of years. The orange sore loser announced his candidacy again. Fuck him.

Fuck social media. I have no plans to join another social network. If Twitter goes down, I will be out. I didn’t even realize that I have almost 600 Twitter followers and I don’t even tweet much. I tweeted mostly about Vietnamese typography. I should stop using Facebook. I still share rollerblading videos and photos of my kids even though my mother has gone. I still haven’t pulled the plug because I still want to keep in touch with relatives. As for LinkedIn, I tried posting work-related articles, but they hadn’t shown any benefits. I just leave it alone.

My focus is on this blog. It is still a space for me to write whatever I want. I still am responsible for what I say, but I don’t give a fuck. I pissed off so many people already and I don’t even know who read this site anymore. I don’t have any particular audience in mind. I just post whatever I feel like sharing. The adrenaline rush I get from just writing is so damn satisfying.

I am just trying to have some fun and to get my mind of other things in life. My work isn’t like what it used to be. I just want to get paid to feed my family. I don’t want to think about it too much. Push comes to shove, I’ll just deal with it when the time comes. I miss my old boss. I miss the trust and the independence. I had a good run. I can’t complain.

Upgraded to MODX 3.0.2

When MODX 3.0 released in April this year, I couldn’t make the upgrade from 2.8.3 for the Law School site because Extras including getResource and Article weren’t compatible. I had to waited out. When MODX 3.0.2 came out yesterday, I ran another test upgrade this morning and I was able to upgrade from 2.8.4 to 3.0.2 successfully. I come across an issue with the log-in page, but it’s just the display. It looks like the CSS file is missing.The new MODX interface will need a bit of time to get used to, but I am so glad that we stay with this CMS. It rocks!

Skating is Stagnant

My rollerblading progress has become stagnant. Even with the best protective gears and a helmet, I am no longer taking any risks to advance my skills. The newly renovated Wakefield skatepark is wicked, but I can’t do much. The ramps and bowl are more intimidating than fun. Somehow I am getting more fearful of getting hurt than when I first started. Dropping into the bowl seems so much scarier than before. I am doomed.

Last week, I met Eddie Chung who has a YouTube channel on rollerblading. Watching him flying through the ramps with effortlessness made me even more hesitant to skate. Eddie is a cool dude though. We had a nice conversation. I am not done with blading yet. I just need to find something to work on.

On the other hand, I am looking forward to skiing again soon. I have prepared and tuned up all the equipment for everyone. Xuân and I will ski and snowboard. I will try to learn snowboarding again, but on my own this time. I am confident that I will get it. If not, I will just focus on skiing.

I haven’t been to an ice rink in a while. I am taking a break from ice skating.

The Secret of Poetry

When I was lonely, I thought of death.
When I thought of death I was lonely.

I suppose this error will continue.
I shall enter each gray morning

Delighted by frost, which is death,
& the trees that stand alone in mist.

When I met my wife I was lonely.
Our child in her body is lonely.

I suppose this error will go on & on.
Morning I kiss my wife’s cold lips,

Nights her body, dripping with mist.
This is the error that fascinates.

I suppose you are secretly lonely,
Thinking of death, thinking of love.

I’d like, please, to leave on your sill
Just one cold flower, whose beauty

Would leave you inconsolable all day.
The secret of poetry is cruelty.

Jon Anderson

National Junior Honor Society

Đạo has been invited to join the Robinson chapter of the National Junior Honor Society. Being part of the NJHS membership is an honor. He has to keep his GPA at 3.5 and above. I am proud of his achievement and his mom has also played an important role in his accomplishment. She constantly had to remind him to complete his assignments and study for his tests.

Grace D. Li: Portrait of a Thief

Grace Li’s debut novel revolves around five Chinese-American ivy-league students who were willing to risk their future to rob museums around the world. In addition to the 50-million-dollar reward, their mission was to return the fountainheads back to China. Even though Li’s writing was concise and easy to follow, this book took me a month to finish. My heart was not in the heist story; therefore, I took a passive approach. Nevertheless, it was a good read on the Chinese-American experience. I passed it on to my oldest son,

By the way, Li’s résumé is quite impressive:

Grace D. Li grew up in Pearland, Texas, and is a graduate of Duke University, where she studied biology and creative writing. She lives in Northern California and attends medical school at Stanford University. Portrait of a Thief is her debut novel and is currently in development at Netflix, with Grace serving as an executive producer of the series.