Changing Cabin Air Filters

Last weekend I asked Đạo and Đán to help me clean up our cars. Đạo took the vacuum and went to work. Đán, on the other hand, kept watching Youtube instead of wiping down the interior. He told me he wanted to change the cabin air filters. I told him I would let him do it but I needed to order the filters first before he opened up the glove compartment. The glove compartment in the 2011 Toyota Sienna is falling apart anyway so I didn’t mind letting him give it a shot.

I order the filters on Amazon so he could change both cars. I am glad he did because the filter in the 2011 Toyota Sienna was so dirty. I am not sure if the dealer ever changed it when I took the car in for oil change. The 2018 still looked clean, but he changed it out anyway.

I am so happy when the kids wanted to do these kind of things instead of sitting in front of their screens.


All the people
Livin’ life in peace
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one.

Imagine that!

Mỹ Tâm: Bolero Edition

Mỹ Tâm cũng muốn thử sức mình với dòng nhạc bolero. Cô hát “Mùa đông của anh” (Trần Thiện Thanh) mượt mà nhưng không sặc mùi sến lắm. Cô hát “Chỉ hai đứa mình thôi nhé” (Lê Dinh và Anh Bằng) không quá mùi, chỉ đủ chín. Phần hòa âm cho “Xin thời gian qua mau” (Lam Phương) làm mất đi hương vị bolero nên cô hát cũng không tới. “Sầu Tím Thiệp Hồng” (Minh Kỳ và Hoài Linh), cô song ca cùng Đức Mạnh không được nổi bật lắm. Tuy không muốn so sánh cô với Lệ Quyên nhưng Mỹ Tâm chưa đạt tới level của Lệ Quyên trong thị trường bolero. Khi cô hát nhạc trẻ, tôi không để ý cách cô phát âm. Giờ nghe nhạc bolero mới phát hiện đôi lúc cô hát không được rõ lời.

Karl Ove Knausgaard: Inadvertent

In this Why I Write series, Knausgaard shares his personal stories. I love the quote he heard from another writer, “I write because I am going to die.” I also love this passage:

The discrepancy between the reality I lived in and the literature I was writing at a certain point led me to throw in my cards and try something new. I wanted to get close to reality, and the genre with which I felt the greatest affinity at the time was the diary. What would happen if I combined the diary’s closeness to the self and urge for reflection with the realist step-by-step novel? The rules I set myself now were exceptionally simple. I would write only about things that had actually happened, and I would write about them as I remembered them, without doing research or amending my memory to conform to other versions. I also had to write a certain number of pages every day, first five, later ten, and toward the end up to twenty. In that way I simply wouldn’t have time to think, to plan or to calculate, I would have to go with whatever appeared on the screen in front of me. This method came about because I had set out to write about myself, and since we know more about ourselves than about any other subject, it seemed important to avoid the established versions and to seek instead the complexity that lies beneath our self-insight and self-image and which can be accessed only by not thinking about how our thoughts and feelings will seem to others, how it will look, who I am if I think and feel these things.

I read this long essay in one sitting.

Lệ Quyên: Top Hits Remix (feat. DJ Mike Hào)

Với album Top Hits Remix Lệ Quyên không lột xác mà chỉ lột áo thôi. Dù những con dance beat của DJ Mike Hào dồn dập và tưng bừng, Lệ Quyên vẫn hát những bài hits như “Nếu như ngày đó”, “Nếu em được chọn lựa”, và “Để nhớ một thời ta đã yêu” một cách da diết và nồng nàn. Dĩ nhiên nhạc upbeat không phải là sở trường của nàng nhưng lâu lâu cởi ra chiếc áo bolero cho nó sexy một chút.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Gout

I haven’t had a gout attack for more than a year (knock on wood). I haven’t avoided steak, phở bò, and liquors either. I eat and drink pretty much whatever I want. How do I have my gout under control? I think apple cider vinegar has something to do with it.

I don’t know for a fact that apple cider vinegar is the remedy, but I think it helps. I asked my internist and she informed me that there’s no scientific evidence to prove it. Nevertheless, I am popping 2 pills of apple cider vinegar (along with K3+D3 and Zinc) each morning with 2% milk. That has been my breakfast for the past 6 months or so.

Even if apple cider vinegar doesn’t work for my gout, it doesn’t harm my kidney like other gout medications including Allopurinol. In addition to apple cider vinegar, I put a lot of pressure on my feet through rollerblading, skiing, and snowboarding. Again, I am not sure if these sports helped, but I am so damn glad that I don’t have to deal with gout attack.

If you have gout, try out the Nature’s Truth apple cider vinegar and let me know if it helps.

Đức Tuấn: Một ngày ta được yêu

Album Đức Tuấn hát nhạc Trần Thiện Thanh đã phát hành vào năm 2019, mãi đêm mấy hôm nay tôi mới biết đến và được thưởng thức. Như thường lệ, Đức Tuấn đầu tư rất kĩ lưỡng vào phần hòa âm phối khí cho mỗi sản phẩm của mình và đây cũng không ngoại lệ. “Trên đỉnh mùa đông” là lần đầu tiên tôi nghe tiếng hát Hương Lan uốn lượn trên giai điệu blues nồng nàn và hoà quyện cùng Đức Tuấn. Đáng tiếc là phần song ca của hai ca sĩ qua “Chiếc áo bà ba” nghe không ăn khớp. Đức Tuấn không ca được nhạc mùi như “Chiếc áo bà ba” và anh cũng không hò được như phần đầu của “Hàn mặc tử”. Anh hát những bài jazzy, như “Lâu đài tình ái”, “Khi người yêu tôi khóc”, và “Tình đầu tình cuối” thì thích hợp hơn. “Yêu” là ca khúc của nhạc sĩ họ Trần tôi mới nghe lần đầu.

Irene Pereyra: Universal Principles of UX

This book obviously follows the format of Universal Principles of Design, but it is no match to the classics. It focuses on UX, which is great for digital design, but the principles are falling short, especially towards the end. I would say 60 principles are solid and 40 are fillers. The author also pimps many of her own work, which makes it less universal. The book is still worth a quick read through.

Typeface as Clothing

John D. Berry writes about Adobe Kis:

Some writers about type have described the choice of typeface like the choice of clothing. What would you like to dress your words in? Kis is like feeling the weave on a Harris tweed sportcoat, warm and reliable with a distinctive texture and a feeling of tradition and solid craftsmanship. It’s not like the linen jacket of Garamond, the taupe trousers of Times New Roman, the black cargo pants of Helvetica, the evening wear of Bodoni, or the madras shorts of Comic Sans. When your words are dressed in Kis, people will read them.

Đán Is Back

I am so glad to see Đán getting back to the skatepark for a bit. Here’s his latest drop in. I still love the clip in which he dropped into a gigantic pipe.