A Blog Post as a Study Guide

Yesterday, I helped Xuân reviewing for his test on the Famous American Civil Rights Leaders. We ended up creating a blog post so he can use as a study guide. Good luck on the test tomorrow, son!

Dinty W. Moore: The Mightful Writer

This little book features 59 quotes on writing and short responses from the author to demonstrate the intersect between writing and mindfulness. Some of my favorite quotes including John McPhee’s “Writing teaches writing,” Carlos Fuentes’ “Writing is a struggle against silence,” and Thích Nhật Hạnh’s “Compassion is a verb.” It’s an enlightening read.

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!

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.

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.

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.

Users’ Privacy

I have been in the game for over 20 years making websites and my philosophy hasn’t changed. My first priority has always been our users. From accessibility to usability to security to privacy, I fight for our users every step of the way.

When I was in charge of the site, I made sure the pages are fast, secured, easy to navigate, and optimized across devices and screen readers. The pages had to work with JavaScript turned off. I am not against using JavaScript. In fact, I encourage using JavaScript through progressive enhancement. My concern has always been the abuse of JavaScript, particularly in the privacy territory.

When I had to work directly with third-party vendors on digital marketing, I needed to know exactly what information they collect from our users and what they do with the data. Furthermore, I would limit their tracking to relevant pages, and not the entire website. I also made sure that they would be responsible for any privacy issues they created. If I didn’t hold them accountable, they would have the ability to use cross-site scripting to hijack our site to do whatever they wanted with our users’ data. I wouldn’t allow that to happen under my watch.