All Costco Photo Centers (at the warehouses) to Close

Online services are still available, only the warehouse walk-in services will be discontinued.

All Costco photo centers at the warehouses will close on February 14, 2021. Online services will remain available.

Personally, this will not affect me much. I will be perfectly fine with their new concept. Their online services will provide everything I need for my photography needs, and more.

Costco’s photo center website will be fully functioning. From there, you can order prints, posters, greeting cards, special prints, photo books, photo gifts, business-related prints, etc… Costco provides high-quality photo products. When I was an active photographer, Costco was my main source for prints. The pictures looked just like the ones I printed at professional photo labs.

Services no longer available will be ink refill, passport photos, photo restoration, and movie transfer service.

luxe Khaki pants
Passport photo – September 24, 2008
Passport photo receipt – January 17, 2018

*If you are sending a print job to Costco digitally – you might want to turn off the “Auto-Correct” feature from the Costco website user interface. You should only use Auto-Correct if you are absolutely clueless about photography.

Old HP Printer

A printer is a vital tool to conduct business or take care of personal matters. Even if you are just a casual computer user, there will be time you need a printer. When that time comes, a working printer will save your day.

I have an HP laser printer (Laserjet P1005) sitting behind a computer monitor.

  • I bought the printer in 2008 and started to use it in 2010. It’s been reliable for over 10 years so far. I like this printer.
  • The printer was $50 (free shipping) brand new at Newegg. It was super cheap.
  • It only prints in black. To me, a color printer means extra hassle. Also, I spent an unjustifiable amount of money on color cartridges in the past. There was no “refill” back then. I will never own a color printer. No, I don’t miss printing business cards and CD album covers while listening to Spice Girls.
  • For this printer, I spend $30 on toner, and they last 2-3 years. I keep 2 backup toners, just in case.
  • Related blogs:
Happy New Year – 2021

Happy new year.

What I enjoyed the most in 2020 was driving my convertible to the beach.

I never meditate or do yoga. But, I guess what I do is a form of meditation. I sit on the beach for 20-30 minutes, and I drive back home, overwhelmed by positive energy.

I always find something to enjoy, with or without money. That’s how I found the joy of Costco shopping. 10-12 years ago, I used to go to Costco just to look around and get a hot dog. I enjoyed that time so much.

In 2021, I wish to continue enjoying my slow and boring life. Nothing else matters. Everything will fall into its place.

Please be safe. God bless those who are suffering. We all send positive energy to each other.

Below is my last Sunset on the beach in 2020, on December 26, 2020. I will keep in touch soon. Happy new year.

Costco Shopping – December 28, 2020

I have a high expectation for Kirkland Signature 680 thread count 6-piece sheet set (#1306090). After $20 manufacturer’s savings, these queen-size sets are $49.99 each. That’s a really good price. Just a fitted sheet in this quality can be over $100 at a department store, maybe $75 on sale. I need more time to try these, but they look and feel (super) high class. I am picky when it comes to bedding materials, and this 680 thread count cotton is silky smooth that they shine. If you are a flannel person you are missing out. These cotton sheets will improve (feel better, smoother) as you wash more. If you want to experience how rich people sleep, try these sheets – and put a fluffy down blanket on top.

Hampton Farms peanuts were not good. I had these peanuts last month and they were excellent. But this time they were bad. They are thin, dark, and bitter. Maybe November is a good month for peanuts, and not December. I will try again in November 2021.

Irish Spring soaps were on sale, but it was not on the coupon book. Although Costco always carries Irish Spring soaps, these soaps are not available on the Costco website (as of Jan 1, 2021). So, keep that in mind. If you go to the Costco warehouse, look around for staple items. Buy them if they are on sale.

Dishwashing scrubbers, toothbrushes, and razor blades are staple items. I already have enough of them to last a year. But, since they were on sale, I bought them and added them to long term storage. Now I’m good for 2+ years.

And there are two mystery supplements I bought, Focus Factor and Testosterone Support. I don’t know if they work or not. I take them because I am afraid I may lose my edge. They pay me big bucks for what I do at work. Many people spend hundreds of hours on big sales projects. It’s my job to take those projects, turn them into web pages, and publish them on the website (usually at midnight). I am the last in line for these projects, and I desperately need to maintain my focus. Maybe I don’t need any of these pills. Mm.. I’ll think about this later.

Coupon saved $62.30. Happy new year.

Costco Shopping – December 16, 2020

I was getting the second dose of the shingles vaccine at Costco. So, I took a half-day off from work (sick day). I like it when I get paid to go to Costco. I wore a mask and rubber gloves. The Covid-19 pandemic is at its worst yet. Over 3,0000 people die in America every single day. This is scary. Please be careful.

60 years old or older policy

Today, Costco was enforcing the 9-10 am 60 years old or older policy. Sometimes there aren’t many people in the warehouse and young people are allowed to shop early. I was perfectly fine waiting outside. As I say all the time, I pay tax and follow the rules. The weather was pleasant outside with a clear blue sky. Soon, it was 10 AM. The line to get into the warehouse was very long.

Shingles Vaccine

I get injections (vaccines) from Costco occasionally. They do an impressive job, I barely feel the needle. But, this time… I could feel the needle cutting through the meat of my shoulder. I felt the sharp poking, and I bled. I bled enough that he had to wipe it off twice. It was not painful, but one might say otherwise. I was not angry. It was all good. But, I thought he should know that he was not very good at his job. Of course, I didn’t say anything to him. “Thank you. You suck. Happy holidays.”

FYI: In most cases, you will feel miserable after a shingles shot. It’s not horribly bad, but you might want to take a day off from work the next day. I had a body ache, fever, and.. just miserable and sick. I worked from home, I clocked in, but I didn’t do any work. I was just miserable.

Toilet Paper

I put my flannel shirt back on and grabbed my shopping cart. It was comforting to see plenty of toilet papers. People were grabbing them up left and right, but there was plenty for everyone.

Kirkland Signature Spiral Ham

Kirkland Signature spiral ham was on top of my shopping list. This is a must buy. I don’t have much to say here. Is it Christmas time? then get this ham from Costco. Smallest Honey Baked Ham is about $60 and it goes up from there. My 10.3 pounds ham was $29.77. It comes with the glaze mix. I like my ham glazed.

Kirkland Signature Frozen Shrimps (21/25)

Jumbo shrimps were on sale – so I bought 2 packs. I wanted to get one more bag, but I didn’t have space in my freezer. These are huge shrimps (21-25 count per pound). Keep your Costco membership guys.. these are crazy good stuff. Two bags will last me about a year. It’s tough to have good food at home and not enjoy them every day. But, I have a priority in my daily diet. I will make them last a year.

32 Degrees Heat long sleeve shirts

32 degrees heat long sleeve shirts were on sale ($11.99 for 2-pack). It was the best price I could find anywhere. They are also available on the Costco website for $1 more ($12.99 for 2-pack), which is still a very good price. So I bought 3. I have a few of these long sleeve shirts. I work from home, and I needed more of these. My arms get cold when I work from home. These shirts work for me. Now I don’t have to turn on the heater as often. I saved $9 with instant savings. And I will also save on my electric and gas bills.

The Cheesecake Factory, Original Cheesecake

The Original Cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory is crazy good times for everyone, including people like me who live alone. $12.99 for a 4-pound cake is a good price for what you get (crazy good times). They are pre-sliced and divided into 12. And you keep it frozen. So, they will last a long time. This cheesecake will probably last 6-12 months. This is a single people’s insurance policy for depression. Do you feel blue and nobody loves you? Eat a slice of cheesecake and drive a convertible. Everything will be fine. Hahaha, that’s awful. But, you know what I mean.


I bought 2 bunches of flowers. They were special holiday arrangements – with pine cones and shit. My female friend has a sister who was visiting, so I would give them to both of the sisters. A big box of Cheez-It Crackers was for them as well. I tell you, guys… I should write a book about how to kiss ass.

And I bought the rest of the stuff – eggs, salad kit, spinach, carrots, and trash bags.

Below, I took pictures of my Costco shopping, moment by moment. Something is wrong with my camera. I need a new one. Hm…

Coupons saved $17.00

Happy holidays~!!! Enjoy and take care.

Vitamix Container

One of my favorite purchases from Costco is the Vitamix blender. I believe my Vitamix blender keeps me fit and healthy. Ultimately, Vitamix contributes to happier life. I highly recommend Vitamix blender to everyone. It doesn’t have to be Vitamix. But, everyone should have some kind of powerful blender and use it every day. I am no doctor. I cannot explain this scientifically. But, a vegetable juice has to be better than a bowl of cereal. There has to be a tremendous positive long-term effect on the daily diet of vegetable juice.

I don’t claim that the Vitamix blender changed my life. I am healthy because of how I make decisions in life. Vitamix was one of the decisions I made.

Before Vitamix, I used to juice for 7-8 years. Then, in January of 2012, I switched to Vitamix blender. For almost 9 years I’ve been using Vitamix blender twice a day without a break. I make a juice in the morning and another one after work. I rarely skip my routine. I estimate that I ran my Vitamix blender for at least 8000 minutes (= 133 hours = 5.5 Days).

Last week, I was making my Vitamix juice as usual. But, this time, the blender started to make a strange noise, and I saw smoke coming out from the blade assembly (gear). I quickly turned off the machine. After many hours of use, the blade mechanism at the bottom of the container seized up.

So, I went for my backup container.

Vitamix blender 64 ounce Classic Container. Old and new
64 ounce Classic Vitamix blender container. Old and new.

New 64 ounce Classic Vitamix Container

In March 2018, I received a postcard from a law firm (I think). It said I was entitled to a $70 Vitamix gift card due to a settlement. I corresponded to the postcard. After a long wait, I made a purchase in January 2019. I did save $70. The shipping was free. It was indeed a good purchase. Since then, it was sitting in the garage for almost 2 years. And, BOOM, when the container died, I had a backup container ready to go.

How to keep Vitamix container clean

Vitamix blender containers are made out of plastic, not glass, for a safety reason. Vitamix is super powerful. If the blade mechanism fails, it could shatter the glass container. Then horrible things can happen, including a lawsuit. So they are made out of plastic, and these plastic containers will get stained very easily. Once they are stained, there is no getting it out.

This is how I will keep my Vitamix container clean

  • I will wash & dry the container soon after each use.
  • I will never air dry my Vitamix container.
  • After each use, I will run the blender with clean water for 5 seconds.
  • I will clean the container gently with a non-scratch sponge. I will absolutely avoid an abrasive sponge, which will scratch the container instantly and permanently.
  • I will use a micro-fiber towel to completely wipe dry the container.
Vitamix blender container close up
Vitamix blender container close up

12 Days of Sugar Bowl Bakery

Since Thanksgiving Day, I’ve been eating Madeleines and Brownie Bites every day for 12 days. Two huge containers are almost empty now. They are tasty and I’ve been enjoying them with coffee.

OH! I would like to talk about the designs on their packages. The designs look warm, homey, and tasty – that they represent how the products taste. I kept looking at the stickers on the packages. They are so well done that I had to mention them.

Madeleines and Brownie Bites are Costco’s staple items. They are Costco items #9751 & #1253912. They are individually wrapped so they will stay soft and moist. These tasty treats go well with hot coffee. To me, they remind me of holidays, family, and good times.

Christmas is approaching quickly. Madeleines and Brownie Bites will stay fresh throughout the holiday season.

Sugar Bowl Bakery, official website

Raffle: Mary’s Gone Crackers

Raffle is closed. Winner, Miriam, is contacted

Many of you already know Mary’s Gone Crackers. I recently learned about them and I rate them highly. Look at the ingredients. See if you approve.

  • Organic whole grain brown rice
  • Organic whole grain quinoa
  • Organic brown flax seeds
  • Organic brown sesame seeds
  • Filtered water
  • Sea Salt
  • Organic wheat-free tamari (water, organic whole soybeans, salt, organic vinegar).

That’s it. That’s all the ingredients. Mary’s Gone Crackers are super seeds that are molded into crackers; so you can carry, store, and eat at your convenience. They are organic, vegan, gluten-free, and none-GMO. Besides being a good snack, I also think they are good food. I see people can lose weight by snacking these for lunch – compared to a cheeseburger, it’s a clear winner. And they taste good. If you like the taste of seeds you will also like Mary’s Gone Crackers.

You can find Mary’s Gone Crackers at Costco. Of course, they come in extra-large boxes like the below picture.

This is the box you will find at Costco

Mary’s Gone Crackers shine if you compare with crackers of other brand names. Most crackers are bad for you, you see. It’s better that you don’t eat them. I rarely eat crackers for that very reason. I think Mary’s Gone Crackers are my only exception. If there are any other crackers like these, please let me know.

I don’t get paid for this blog. I like these crackers and I wanted to hold a raffle. Mary’s Gone Crackers will send a grab bag variety of crackers to a raffle winner. Enter below.

Mary’s Gone Crackers – Official Website

Raffle is closed.

  • I am not a professional raffle guy. I can make mistakes.
  • 1 winner will be drawn on December 13, 2020.
  • Do NOT send me your mailing address.
  • You will receive multiple & random boxes of Mary’s Gone Crackers.
  • Low 48 US states only.

Costco Shopping – November 15, 2020

Why small turkeys? (get a big one)

I arrived at Costco Sunday morning at 10 AM as they opened, and I hurried to the turkeys. I always get 20-pound turkey, and I didn’t want to miss out on the big turkey this year. I heard on the news that, due to the pandemic, stores would sell small turkeys. That could mean big turkeys might be hard to come by.

But… why small turkeys?

This is my 10th year baking turkey alone. I cook for one person and I eat alone. And I can tell you without a doubt that bigger turkeys are much more satisfying and enjoyable compared to small turkeys. Remember, turkeys are cheap, less than a dollar per pound. Bigger turkeys are fun to bake. Big turkeys look impressive, also in the picture. I enjoy extra long hours of baking a big turkey. Finally, when I take out my turkey from the oven, I would like to feel that heavyweight. I have to tighten my stomach muscles and be very careful. The pan is heavy, hot, and full of juice at the bottom. If you cook Thanksgiving dinner, that moment is the highlight of the day. To me, there is no comparison. Even if I eat alone, I will always bake a big turkey. Turkeys are like women. No turkey can be too big for me.

Back to Costco – The turkey area was busy with people. I squeezed my way in and quickly looked over all the turkeys. There was only one turkey that looked obviously bigger than the rest. I quickly put that 19 pounder in my cart and looked at the rest of the turkeys carefully. All the remaining turkeys were 13 pounders. So, I was lucky.

I walked away briskly from the poultry section. The warehouse was starting to get packed with the shoppers.

Spacial snacks for Thanksgiving weekend, everyday chocolates, toys for my friend’s dogs

Good peanuts

I bought a can of Kirkland Signature salted peanuts and a bag of Hampton Farms unsalted peanuts in shells. Both peanuts are absolutely amazing good. My God! they are so enjoyable. But, sometimes peanuts from Costco are disappointing. Costco used to sell Hoody’s Peanuts. I wasn’t too excited about Hoody’s Peanuts. I often bought bad batches. I also remember buying a bad batch of Kirkland Signature’s peanuts on July 12, 2013. The peanuts were small and not very tasty.

Maybe peanuts are good during certain months, including November. Maybe it’s totally random. I don’t know. For now, I have some very good peanuts at home, and my life is a little tastier.

Kirkland Signature European Cookies

These cookies are the best. I bought 4 cans of Kirkland Signature European Cookies. Costco sells these cookies during the holiday season. I’ve been buying these cookies for the last 10 years or so. I call them “Christmas Cookies”. Every holiday season I buy 3-4 cans of these cookies and keep them cold. I only eat them on weekends with my weekend coffee. With this, I get to enjoy a little bit of Christmas throughout the year.

I was in and out of the warehouse in 30 minutes. I wanted to look at Christmas items and spend more time shopping. But with the pandemic and waves of Sunday shoppers coming in… I got in the checkout line while they were still very short.

** Coupon (Instant savings) saved $14.50

Happy holidays. Please be safe. Keep in touch.

I quit Hulu Live TV

*I am too tired to think about Cable TV for now. But, I will do my research and update you in a month or two. My goal is to enjoy TV in moderation and save money.

I understand why some people must have cable TV. For example, if I had a son who enjoys NBA (basketball), even if he has a little interest, I will get sports channels for him. I will enjoy watching my son following his favorite players. That alone will be worth of paying big bucks. Or, if I had a father who likes to watch news channels, it will be money well spent.

For now, I live alone and I have my financial priorities.

Hulu is increasing No Ads + Live TV bundle price from $60.99 to $70.99 starting 12/18/2020.

So, I dropped my TV subscription within 5 minutes from receiving that notification email. I will take this as God’s way of making me more productive (play guitar, enjoy hobby, work around the house, personal fitness, etc, etc…). Let’s see if I will ever miss live TV.

I will now pay $11.99/mo for basic Hulu. I may check out Philo ($20/m)

It’s disgusting… I don’t think it’s normal for us to pay $80 a month for TV. Am I wrong? That’s $850 a year. If you add DVR and ability to skip commercials, it quickly becomes thousand Dollars a year. I can no longer justify that much money for TV.

The only thing I will miss on live TV is 4th of July Nathan’s hot dog eating contest. It’s the greatest TV moment in history. George Shea’s introduction needs to be watched live, not recorded.

Darigold FIT Organic Milk – Costco Roadshow (WA, OR)

Darigold is a dairy company with over a hundred years of history. They produce dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cheese, butter, etc…

Their milk, FIT organic milk, is now available at select Costco locations. FIT Organic Milk is special because…

  1. Lactose Free
  2. 14 Grams of protein (compared to 8-9 Gram)
  3. 40% less sugar
  4. Organic
  5. Long shelf life.
  6. (personal note) Good taste. Rich and creamy. It’s something else.

FIT organic milk is ultra-filtered. Ultrafiltration, also known as diafiltration is what makes FIT milk special. It filters in some molecules while it filters out unwanted molecules. The process is fairly complicated, but there is more information on ultrafiltration on Wikipedia or on Darigolds Instagram.

Costco Darigold FIT Organic Milk, Lactose Free
Darigold FIT organic milk, available at Costco

Somebody correct me if I’m wrong, but as far as I know, Darigold milk is the best milk available to regular consumers. And I even like the taste. I understand the taste is subjective. But, to me, FIT milk tastes rich and creamy. I find myself drinking it at random and unusual times.

If you live in Washington or Oregon area, you can catch their road show and taste them yourself. Check out the show schedule below. (*schedule subjected to change)

Press release:
Darigold expands organic offerings (October 26, 2020)

Darigold is over a hundred years old company. They make cottage cheese, flavored milk, yogurt, butter, and more. You may see their products at your local store.

Costco Darigold Roadshow Schedule – Washington & Oregon