Minh’s Notes

Human-readable chicken scratch

Minh Nguyễn
July 5th, 2005


Back from St. Augustine

Yup, that’s where I’ve been this past week, which would explain the deadness of my blog during that time. We were staying at a relative’s house across the street from the shoreline, and it was marvellous. Of course, it rained every afternoon, so we could only go out to the beach in the morning. My cousin Kent got me to play LOTR Risk with him for hours on end, every afternoon and evening, often past midnight. Which meant, of course, that I couldn’t get up in time to go to the beach, so Kent got me to play some more Risk.

I’m tired of playing games.

My brother calls me a “geek,” and I guess I live up to that label sometimes. On the way down to Florida, we entered six states. Upon reaching each state’s welcome center, I grabbed their official state highway map, to add it to my collection of official state highway maps. (I have at least 30 of them so far.) Even though these maps rarely cover anything in detail, they do sometimes come in handy. First of all, it helps me answer my brother’s constant “Are we there yet?” question.

Also, along the way to Boston last year, my father and I got stuck in endless, motionless traffic – at least ten miles worth of it, all caused by a mile or two of construction. Aided only by the state highway map, we navigated Downtown Waterbury like the locals would, cutting through all the traffic.

And speaking of ridiculous traffic jams, I commend the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet on figuring out the most efficient way of bringing tourists to the Bluegrass State. When they decided to reduce I-75 to one lane in each direction for three miles – on July 4th weekend – and warned of the lane restrictions five miles too soon, they caused a backup that will likely make its way into Guiness.

It took us around 1½ hours to crawl down less than eight miles of highway, and only because we wove in and out of traffic like there was no tomorrow. By the time we got out of that mess, the traffic must’ve been backed up 20 miles, easily making Kentucky the most populated state in the nation.

In a display of simply impeccable timing, my summer workload really started to pick up during my family vacation, as evidenced by the mounds of e-mails that I had to read each night. Somehow I managed to keep a hold on all the spam that had been accumulating at my blog, update pX once a night, keep track of the four newsgroups that I had been subscribed to due to being a SoC participant, set CVS up on my computer, start my SoC project page up, and keep Wikipedia’s main portal up-to-date. Somehow.

And now that I’m home, I get to finish translating candidate statements for the Wikimedia Board Elections, do some work for my father’s business (and get yelled at, of course), continue modifying Planet to accept MySpace blogs, and actually start translating Firefox.

The upcoming school year’s going to seem relaxing, I tell you.


  1. Argh. Now that I had taken the time to setup my Summer of Code project, I find out that there might not even be a point to working on it.

  2. Last weekend my family and I spent some time in Carthage, Missouri. On most vacations I go on, we spend a lot of time on the road, so I usually find some roadside points of interest to blog about after I return home. This trip was no different.

  3. The New York Times Magazine is running a story on Clearview, the typeface (font) that’s very slowly replacing “Highway Gothic” as the standard for

  4. Minh’s Portfolio

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    From top to bottom: Kentucky, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Taxpayer dollars at work. And these are just the maps I got on the way back from St. Augustine....