Setting Up My Ski-Tuning Station

Last year I bought a pair of used Head skis for $50 and spent $75 on tuning. I also had to wait for a week for the service. With 6 of us skiing in the upcoming season, the tune-up alone will be expensive. I decided to take the matter into my own hands.

I am putting together a ski-tuning station in our basement since my wife bought the Demon Complete Basic Tune Kit. I had the table setup and bought a pair of WSD Tuning Vise. Of course, I learn tuning from watching YouTube videos. The guy from Adventure School gives enough details in his three-part series: sharping the edges, repairing the base, and waxing.

I am working on four pairs at a time. I am in the middle of fixing the base, but I ran out of Ptex candle. I ordered some more to continue the job. Scraping off the Ptex with a razor blade worked really well in addition to the stainless scraper, which should be used first than the razor blade.

I can’t wait to get to the waxing part. We are still looking into buying a pair of skis for Xuân and a snowboard for Đán.


Cảnh cáo

Sáng nay đưa thằng Đạo đi học như thường lệ. Sau khi cho nó xuống, tôi lái xe ra thì có một cô Á Đông mặc chiếc áo giao thông màu xanh lá cây chặn xe tôi lại. Cô vẫy tay chào và ra dấu hiệu cho tôi quay kính xuống.

Cô hỏi, “Anh có biết đây là bãi đậu xe của nhân viên không”? Tôi trả lời, “Biết chứ nhưng tôi đâu có đậu xe. Tôi chỉ dừng lại cho thằng con tôi đi bộ vào trường”. Cô lắc đầu nói, “Lần sau anh thả con xuống ở trước cổng trường”. Tôi gật đầu đồng ý cho xong.

Thú thật thì cái hàng đến trước cổng trường rất là dài. Lúc đến đó sẽ trễ giờ học cho nó và trễ giờ làm cho tôi. Giờ bị bắt quả tang rồi thì phải làm theo thôi.

Tuning Up The Honda Lawn Mower

I am transitioning the lawn-mowing responsibility over to Đạo now that he is 13. Two weeks ago, he did a decent job for the first time. Today he hit the curb and bent one of the blades. I tried to straighten it back, but it was impossible. I even took off the blades, but I couldn’t hammer it back either. I had to get two new blades.

While I had the blades removed, I might as well give the lawn mower a tune up. Other than changing the oil every year or two, I haven’t done anything to the lawn mower ever since I bought it about ten years ago. The Honda engine is unbelievably reliable. I bought it used from my brother-in-law after my brand new Troy-Built broke down after three or four years. My brother is allergic to grass; therefore, he couldn’t use it.

Ever since I took over, today is the first time that I gave it a tune up. I replaced the blades, the spark plug, the air filter, as well as the oil. The tune up was not that difficult at all. I just had to buy the socket to remove the spark plug. I also cleaned up all the dirt and debris. Now the machine works so darn good. I should have done these tune ups regularly.

I haven’t done anything to the mower because I was expecting it to die any day now, but the Honda engine is just so darn good. I looked at a brand new one for $600. It’s expensive, but it is definitely worth the investment if you are looking into buying one.

Parts for tune up:

Christina Pazsitzky: Mom Genes

Christina P. is married to Tom Segura whose comic is dark. She has a wicked sense of humor herself. In her latest Netflix special, Mom Genes, she joked about her family, which included her father, husband, and sons, without a dull moment. She revealed that her 75-year-old father remarried for the fifth time to a 34-year-old Vietnamese lady who he met online. Their marriage was based on a mutual exchange: she wanted a green card and he wanted free mani-pedi. Being married to a regular guy, she knows how to make him happy. He just needs three things: sandwich, sports, and sex. The first two were easy, but the last one she just felt like giving up. She talked about the last item with a gag, “After spending a day with my three- and six-year-old boys, I am dryer than Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s pussy. She is dead and that is a dusty puss.” She knew how a marriage worked so she just had to do her part. Christina P. is a brilliant comic. She not only uses her words, but also her facial features to let us know that she was only making jokes. That was how she got away with mocking Vietnamese accent and the word “detard.”

TypeTogether: Building Ligatures

A decade and a half ago, Veronika Burian and José Scaglione founded TypeTogether to connect type lovers from all over the world. In their new book, Building Ligatures, the TypeTogether founders and contributors share their knowledge, experience, best practices, and friendships.

The love, respect, and accolades speak volume not only to their creative talent, but also to their kinship in the type community. The key success behind TypeTogether is built on friendship rather than rivalry. Since its founding day, TypeTogether has collaborated with type designers, graphic designers, and language experts worldwide. It is my pleasure to have contributed a small part in Vietnamese diacritics. In my experience working with Veronika and José, I had tremendous respect for the level of care and detail they invested into designing diacritic marks for native readers. (Thanks for including my name on the book jacket.)

In addition to the inspiring behind-the-scenes stories of the foundry, the book included informative how-to essays from “How to Choose the Right Typeface” to “Typographic Matchmaking” to “Web and Digital Typesetting Myths” to “The Path to Brand Design.” It is an essential and enjoyable read for anyone who touches types. I wish TypeTogether tremendous success in 15 and 30 more years to come.

Nhà cao cửa rộng

Mấy hôm trước thằng cháu gửi cho tôi xem hình căn nhà vợ chồng nó muốn mua. Nhà có bốn phòng, hai phòng tắm, và mảnh đất xung quanh nhà rất rộng. Tụi nó trả giá thêm 50 ngàn đô để mua vì vợ nó thích căn nhà đó quá. Nhà tuy đẹp và sang trọng nhưng gia đình chỉ có hai vợ chồng và một đứa con, mua chi cho lớn. Dĩ nhiên đó là quyền tự do của tụi nó, tôi không có ý kiến. Riêng cá nhân tôi thì quá sợ duy trì nhà lớn. Nhà càng lớn dọn dẹp càng nhiều. Tôi thà để dành thời gian đi chơi với con cái hoặc bạn bè.

Lúc trước mỗi khi đến nhà những người bạn, tôi có phần ganh tị vì ai cũng có nhà cao to và sang trọng. Nhưng giờ đây dường như ai cũng mua nhà cao cửa rộng cả. Chẳng lẽ để khoe khoang? Có người ở nhà rộng quá không dám mở máy lạnh mùa hè hoặc máy sưởi ấm vào mùa đông vì tốn tiền điện. Vợ chồng con cái rút vào trong phòng dùng máy lạnh hoặc máy sưởi ấm nhỏ đỡ tốn tiền hơn.

Giờ đây nhà lớn và xe xịn đối với tôi không có nghĩa lý gì cả. Ai ở nhà to chạy xe đắt tiền cũng thay kệ. Tôi không đua đòi về vật chất. Tôi rất muốn bỏ không cần đến xe nữa. Không những chỉ tốn tiền xăng mà còn tốt rất nhiều tiền để sửa chữa và duy trì. Sau này khi các con tôi lớn và không còn ở chung nhà nữa, tôi muốn ở căn nhà nhỏ hơn và thậm chí sẽ không dùng đến xe nữa. Đó là ước muốn của tôi. Tôi muốn cuộc sống đơn giản và không bị căng thẳng bởi vất chất nữa.

A Note From Dr. Mỹ An T. Nguyễn

In conducting my research for the redesign of Everlasting Eye Care, I looked around at other optometry websites to see how they are done. What I have found are similar templated designs on their homepage with stock photos of people wearing glasses, a few marketing words, and a big button to schedule an appointment. They all claim to be “personable” and yet they all look and feel generic.

In talking with Dr. Nguyễn, I felt the deep passion she had for her profession and the genuine caring she had for her patients. As a result, I decided to scrap all the marketing materials on the homepage and just put up a personal note from Dr. Nguyễn:

Hi, I am Dr. MyAn T. Nguyen and I have been practicing optometry, specializing in dry eyes and contact lens, since 2007.

I have a passion for vision care because I get to enhance people’s quality of life by improving their eye health. As an optometrist, I enjoy interacting with many different people and learning about their diverse backgrounds.

Your eyes are precious; therefore, I will take the time to get to know you, to address your concerns, to provide you with the best treatment options, to offer the latest advancements in the vision industry, and to reassure that you are completely comfortable.

I invite you and your family to come to one of my offices for all your eye needs.

–Dr. MyAn T. Nguyen

I just love that she wants to enhance people’s quality of life by improving their eye health. Her message is relatable and a nice photo of her added a personal touch. When you come to one of her offices, you know exactly who will take care of your eye health. If you live around Trappe or Norristown, Pennsylvania and need an optometrist, come see Dr. Nguyễn. I guarantee that you will get the highest quality of services. I have known Dr. Nguyễn since fifth grade.

Darned Dangling Modifiers

I received the following sponsored message in LinkedIn from some dude:

Hello Donny,

As a Director of Design & Web Services at George Mason University – Antonin Scalia Law School, I thought this report would interest you on how to drive campaign success through TikTok.

I couldn’t help but thinking of a few bars from Ye’s “All of the Lights,” in which he rhymed:

I’m heading home, I’m almost there
I’m on my way, headed up the stairs
To my surprise, a nigga replacing me
I had to take ’em to that ghetto university

I thought the dude replaced my job.

Vũ Văn Song Toàn: Đoản khúc chiều phù dung

“Những lúc hận đàn ông, mẹ hay đánh tôi những trận đòn thừa sống thiếu chết.” Vũ Văn Song Toàn viết trong truyện ngắn “Thôi mùa hoa cải.” Thú thật tôi chỉ nhớ câu đó thôi chứ câu chuyện ra sao tôi chẳng nhớ dù đã đọc qua. Dường như tôi chỉ nhớ cốt truyện trong “Nước mắt của mụ Dạ Dần”. Còn những bài viết khác, nhất là về đời sống trong xã hội, tôi đọc rồi trả hết lại cho tác giả. Có thể tôi thiếu tập trung hoặc những bài văn không đủ ấn tượng với tôi. Chắc sẽ đọc lại trong tương lai.