Martin Luther King Jr.:

The ultimate test of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and moments of convenience, but where he stands in moments of challenge and moments of controversy.

“Everything is Awesome”

I must have listened to this song a hundred times now with the kids and still inspired by this line:

Lost my job, it’s a new opportunity / More free time for my awesome community.

How Real Is That?


I lost a whole bunch of money, chasing bitches / But I never lost no bitches chasing money.

Here’s another funny one:

If you are what you eat, how come I’m not pussy?

Kanye’s Dumb/Brilliant Punchline


You will never need another lover / Cause you’re a MILF and I’m a motherfucker

Hà Trần mê mải ru đời bằng những bản tình ca

Bài viết về Tình Ca Qua Thế Kỷ 2 của Hà Trần được đăng trên trang Đẹp plus:

Tiếp nối thành công của “Tình ca qua thế kỷ 1”, nữ ca sĩ Hà Trần tiếp tục cho ra đời “Tình ca qua thế kỷ 2” với những bản nhạc xưa đi cùng năm tháng. Điểm khác biệt là lần này đĩa do chính cô phát hành, đầu tư âm nhạc bài bản và có những đổi mới trong cách xử lý.

Lost In Translation

So I let my kids listen to Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda,” the instrumental version of course. Đán loves the beat and Đạo finds this line hilarious: “Oh my god, look at her butt!” Then I asked my wife how to translate the sampled line into Vietnamese: “My Anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns hun.” She shrugged so I gave it a try: “Con rắn anh chẵng muốn gì trừ khi em có bánh mì.” We laughed our ass off. Here’s Google translate: “Anaconda tôi không muốn không. Trừ khi bạn đã có bánh, hun.”

Talk to Your Kids

In The New Yorker’s piece titled “The Talking Cure,” Margaret Talbot writes:

The way you converse with your child is one of the most intimate aspects of parenting, shaped both by your personality and by cultural habits so deep that they can feel automatic.

An intriguing read for parents.

Sensational Sennheiser

Up till now, I have always used the Apple EarPods. It’s small and convenient. The sound is decent. The problem is that I keep losing them or leaving them in my pants’ pockets and they ended up in the washer and dryer. I go through at least 4 sets a year. For Christmas, I asked for a pair of Beats, but my wife got me a Sennheiser Urbanite XL instead.

When I first received it, I was not fond of the price tag. She convinced me to give it a try. I have to admit; it sounds pretty damn amazing. I could hear the vibration of the thumping bass on a hip-hop track and the crispness of the brushwork on the drums on a jazz ballad. It sure makes the listening experience much more pleasurable.

I am still adjusting to the bulkiness of the headphone since I am so used to the convenient of the EarPods. When I took a walk in the cold to get lunch, however, the headphone not only provides me top-notch sound, but also protects my ears from the chilly wind. I am keeping it. Thank you, wonderful wife.

My Reading Patterns

According to the book category, I have read and reviewed 65 books so far this year. It’s the highest number of books I have read since 2004. Here’s the breakdown: 65 (2014), 30 (2013), 10 (2012), 21 (2011), 10 (2010), 9 (2009), 22 (2207), 8 (2008), 40 (2006), 22 (2005), and 28 (2004).

Random News

Ken Elston Wins

Despite the sweeping control of the Republican, Democratic newcomer Ken Elston took the city council spot in Manassas. I am proud to have contributed to his campaign web site with my buddy Jim Van Meer.

On Teaching Advanced Web Design

In researching and thinking about Advanced Web Design, a course I might be teaching in the spring 0f 2015, I am changing my mind on the type of projects I want to implement for the class. Rather than focusing on technologies, which students could learn on themselves, I would like to turn my attention to digital design such as online editorial experiences, online marketing campaigns and web typography. Now I just need three more enrollments to make it happen.

Poplar Spring Relaunched

The new owners of Poplar Spring Inn had hired a development firm to replace the old site I had designed and developed. They turned a simple, usable, fast-performance web site into a busy, eye-candy, slow-performance site. Unlike the old site, which I carefully crafted to boost performance using MODX, the new site is jammed with all types of plugins, CSS and JavaScripts using WordPress. Take a look at the code and you’ll see what I mean. As for the new design, all the contents are hidden below the giant image on every page. The typography is also a big mess. The good thing is I am now off the hook.

Obsessive Reading

My wife complaint that I hold a book on my hand every chance I get. I am not trying to be a snob or anything, but I am juggling with three books at the moment. I am reading Robin Kelley’s Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original. It’s 500-page long, but it is also so engaging. I am also reading John Pollock’s jQuery: A Beginner’s Guide. It’s roughly 350 pages, but he makes the concepts so easy to understand. I am also reading Sue Apfelbaum and Juliette Cezzar’s Designing the Editorial Experience: A Primer for Print, Web, and Mobile to see if I could use it for Advanced Web Design’s textbook.