I Stand Corrected – Toilet Paper
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John
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(I am healthy and I still have a job)

At first, I listened to initial news and media reaction about toilet paper. A few weeks has passed since then. Now I see more in-depth reports.

There are two kinds of toilet papers, ones we use at home and ones we use in public locations such as work. Since people are staying home, there is much more demand for residential toilet paper.

This report (below link) makes sense. I stand corrected about toilet paper.

Hoarding not the only reason for toilet paper shortage

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Disaster Proper Watch
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John
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My life had turned upside down with water damage at my house. My glorious closet room was gutted, so was my nap room. It’s tough dealing with this alone. I felt like crying at times, but there was nobody to cry to… so I just sit quietly in my broken house. This sucks.

It was Wednesday, the day four. I was trying to do whatever I can while I work full time online. I am tired and sleepy all the time. But, I am slowly gaining my mental strength. I am finally getting used to my new reality. This morning, I had to move everything in the garage so the cleaning guys will hose down the mud.

It was around 7AM. The cleaning guys were supposed to arrive at 8AM. It was hectic. I needed a wrist watch so I can tell time quick. But my jewelry chest was in the bedroom, in the pile of mess. So, I maneuvered myself to the middle of the pile, I opened up the jewelry case, and I froze…

I couldn’t decide. Which is the most disaster proper watch? I don’t want to look too flashy. I don’t want to look too delicate. I don’t want to wear an expensive watch. Disaster watch should not be too big nor too heavy. Casio LCD watch is depressing. I can’t wear Nautica watch… for water disaster? Please…

I stood there for awhile, trying different watches. At this point, I must tell you that I am a very indecisive person.

Finally, I picked my disaster watch (picture below). It’s affordable yet has a hint of class, smaller in size, easy to read, and it says “I am ready to work”

I am ready to work.

Jewelry chest in the middle of the picture
First Pair of Italian Shoes – 2020
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John
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** I was writing this blog when the main water line broke at my house (Saturday March 21, 2020 – around 1:30 PM). I was going to my closet room for another quick picture. Instead, I walked into a pool of water. I am happy to announce that all my shoes are saved from water damage. I couldn’t save my house though. They are still drying my house (March 24. 2020). 🙁

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One of my new year’s resolutions is to buy no more than three pairs of Italian shoes this year (2020). People spend money on model trains, antique guns, art works, and other expensive stuff. Shoes have been my hobby for last three years. I just want ten more pairs of Italian shoes to complete my wall of shoes. And, I will never buy another pair of dress shoes again. I don’t think it’s a complete waste of money, because I enjoy wearing my shoes every single moment. Also, they feel amazing good. They don’t have “break-in” period. Even the boots feel good (enjoyable) from day one.

This is my first pair of Italian shoes in 2020. I love this beautiful tan suede derby. I’ll need a matching belt to rock these shoes. Shoes without matching belt would be an amateur night. My pants should be white or almost white. Socks should give it a nice contrast, etc, etc….

I daydream about going out on a bright Summer day in these derbies. In my daydream, I don’t work, and I never get sick. And I am holding either a cup of soda or an ice cream cone. Hehe… I am finally at this stage of my life, but why do I have to get old? Hm…

Shoes are not a waste of money if they bring you great deal of joy. Now, I have two more pairs to buy this year.

Bad News
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John
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First of all, I am physically and financially OK. I am thankful for that.

Here’s the bad news. Main water line inside my house broke Saturday evening. I suffered significant water damage in 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, laundry room, and hallway. All bedrooms and hallway were carpeted. Despite the fact that it was Saturday evening, both plumber and water damage people came to my house within an hour. I did call my insurance company (Wawanesa). I hope insurance will come through for me.

I am tired and emotionally drained. I hope the shock will wear out so I can deal with the situation rationally. I thought coronavirus was too much to deal with. This is heavy.

I am sure I will laugh about this 1 year from now. In fact, I will write a blog 1 year from now to talk about the outcome. But, for now, this is difficult.

Anyway, please take care and be extra careful at times like this. I will handle my situation and get better. I will be better than before. I promise you. All I’m asking from you is to think about me. When you go to sleep… just think “Hm.. I wish that Costco guys is doing OK.” That’s all I’m asking.

I must go.. I have a lot of things to do. Insurance adjuster is on his way.

Welcome to life. God bless everyone.

Closet room full of water – some dry spots (but there is water underneath).

Daylight Savings Time 2020
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John
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Spring forward, fall back.

Happy Sunday. Don’t forget to change your clocks & watches 1 hour forward. I can count about 20 clocks/watches I need to change; 3 in the kitchen, 2 in the cars, 1 in the bathroom, 3 in the bedrooms, 1 in my camera, and then these (below)…

Except for one (Tissot), most of my watches are cheap, free, and from a garage sale.

Costco Shopping – February 19, 2020
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John
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12th Costco Shopping in 2020 – $2.18 today / $665.57 this year

After working 11+ hours at work, I had to hurry home and work remotely for a few more hours. It’s all good. Busy is good. But, I was SOOO hungry. So, I went to Costco on my way home around 8pm for a slice of pizza with water. No soda for me.

Pizza was enjoyable and comforting.

It turned out, employers favor people like me – single grown man without family. Guys like me tend to be flexible and reliable at work, just like what I’m doing right now. Currently, my team is one man short for next 7 days. And we suddenly got super busy. But, it’s no problem for my team. While rest of the team members go home to enjoy their families, I stay and work for a few more hours… and I would go home and work some more. And they thank me and pay me big bucks. No problem here. Except, I cry myself to sleep every night.. 🙁 Hahaha. Sad, dude.. sad.

Talk about coffee mug warmer
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John
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“I heard you bring a coffee mug warmer to meetings,” a female colleague of mine said with a goofy smile.

But how? how does she know about my coffee mug warmer? and why is that even a topic? How did that topic come about? Is there a group of people at work making fun on me all the time?

My team likes to make fun on people. As a king of nick-names, I came up with classic nick-names such as Mr. Failure, Shirley Temple, dirty hands, penguin, Allergic to Money, etc… Karma was finally catching up on me, I thought.

I go to daily stand-up (meeting) every morning to report my work progress and to hear from other departments on their progresses and forecasts. There are more than ten people in the meeting. Some of us bring coffee, tea, and water. I bring coffee, but I also bring a coffee mug warmer. It’s a beautiful vintage cast iron coffee mug warmer, that I paid one Dollar at a garage sale. The meeting is 30 minutes long. To me, It only makes sense to keep my coffee hot. It would be stupid not to bring a coffee mug warmer to a meeting. You are with me on this, yes?… yes??…

Well, I will not drink lukewarm coffee like a savage.

Conference room – meeting in session.

Anyway, nobody said anything about my coffee mug warmer at the meeting. They didn’t seem to care. Then a female colleague, who doesn’t belong to daily stand-up, pointed out that I bring a coffee mug warmer to meetings. How crazy is that?

“Who told you?,” I freaked out.
“R told me right after he came back from the meeting,” she explained.
“Was he making fun on me?,” I asked.
“No, he thought it was cool,” she replied.
“Mm… OK,” I rolled eyes.

I don’t care what people say about me. I am my own person. I know I am little different and it entertain people around me. I enjoy being that person. It’s just… I thought it was fascinating to be reminded that people watch and people talk. Also, there is no topic too small. After seeing my coffee mug warmer, R couldn’t wait to tell it to his office mate. My coffee mug warmer made an impression on him. Who knew?

I don’t know why, but, a few days later, I still think about that boring episode. So much so that I had to write about it. Hence, here’s another boring story. Hahaha.

Have a nice day. Keep in touch.

Upgrade your Windows 7 – Free
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John
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If you didn’t know – Microsoft stopped supporting Windows 7. So, Windows 7 is finished and not safe.

If you still use Windows 7, Microsoft is currently providing free upgrade to Windows 10. Visit this link at Microsoft and follow the instruction. If you need further information, search articles online.

I just upgraded my computer last night, the whole process went very smooth. I was pleasantly surprised. I did make complete hard drive backup before AND after the upgrade as a routine procedure.

Anyway, free upgrade is going on right now. I don’t know when they will stop providing free upgrade. I have one more computer to upgrade.

These don’t count
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John
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One of my new year’s resolutions is NOT to buy more than 3 pairs of Italian shoes. Today I received 2 pairs of Italian shoes in mail – one pair of Oxford with full brogue and the other pair of suede sneakers. (FYI: The tag says Lactae Hevea. It’s a French company who makes natural rubber soles.)

But, I ordered these shoes in December of 2019. So, these shoes don’t count on my new years resolution. I still have 3 pairs of Italian shoes to buy this year.

Anyway, why don’t Americans make shoes like these? I have two pairs of Allen Edmonds, but…mm~~ They don’t sing my name.

Happy New Year – 2020
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John
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Happy New Year. I have a big Costco shopping coming up tomorrow after work. I am excited about my first Costco shopping in 2020. Roaring 20s is here. I am more excited about 20’s compared to Y2K we had 20 years ago. It’s good to be alive and healthy. God bless me. Thank you for visiting and chatting with me. Happy 2020.

I cannot believe I have to work for living. 🙁

In 2020, I shall keep track on every single Costco shopping – just like I did 2 years ago in 2018. I may cancel my executive membership next year. I think I spend less money at Costco now. Also, I am running out of things to buy. Shopping doesn’t excite me as much as it did 10 years ago. Getting old sucks.

I still feel awkward talking about my improved financial situation. That’s why I didn’t blog about my car shopping trip to San Francisco. It’s awkward to talk about things that used to make me feel jealous in envy (sometimes painful). Anyway… now I have two cars; a Prius for commute, and a convertible for weekend pleasure. Driving convertible has been indescribably satisfying. I shall continue enjoying weekend driving this year.

For next Christmas (2020), I would like to learn how to play at least one classical Christmas tune with my guitar.

I would like to get a California real estate agent license this year. I don’t plan to work in real estate, but… we’ll see…

I would like to travel some more. I would like to visit different cities and experience normal everyday life. I like mostly American cities, but I have no problem flying anywhere in the world. I may invite my blog visitor to my house and share my everyday life; with pancake breakfast, garage sales, watching Sunset on the beach… Costco shopping, of course.

I wish to lose 1 Inch around my waist and hips. I have about 80 pairs of pants in 30 Inch waist. I would like to fit in them comfortably.

Oh, and I will try not to buy more than 3 pairs of Italian shoes this year.

Happy new year. Take care.

Test Your Kitchen Thermometers
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John
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My Thanksgiving Turkey was a disaster due to my faulty kitchen thermometers. I had three digital meat thermometers and all three of them were trash. I tested those thermometers on both ice water and boiling water. All three of them failed miserably.

I admit that it was my fault for not testing my thermometers. Now that I look back, I was naive to trust cheap kitchen thermometers without testing them on my own.

Thermometers that I threw out, two Mavericks and one Taylor – Maybe they were too old? Anyway, I’m not sure if I will ever buy another Taylor or Maverick.

I trashed all my thermometers and bought 3 new ones. I also bought 2 extra probes. They all passed my test. Moving forward, I will use two thermometers with probes at the same time to double check my progress. When I’m done with cooking, I will use the third thermometer to confirm my work.

And I shall test my thermometers every year, at least 1 month before Thanksgiving Day (rather than 1 day before Thanksgiving). I shall…

  • Take temperature of ice water (a lot of ice and small amount of water to fill the gaps of the ice). – Temperature should read almost 32 F (0 C).
  • Take temperature of boiling water. – It should read 212 F (100 C), or very close to it.

To redeem myself from Thanksgiving turkey disaster, I baked a Christmas turkey with my new thermometers. Finally, my turkey came out super-fantastic. Maybe Costco God blessed my turkey, because I bought the turkey from Costco this time.

New thermometers – all tested to be OK.
Turkey Disaster
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John
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I cannot believe what happened to my turkey this year. Maybe Costco God was punishing me for not buying turkey from Costco.

This year, I bought an 18 pound Butterball Turkey from local supermarket. I gladly paid $43, instead of $18 I would have paid at Costco. I wanted this turkey to be super-fantastic.

Fast forward to Thanksgiving Day. The turkey was in the oven, and everything was going OK. I was watching temperature going up slowly on my digital thermometer. And then the temperature appeared to be stuck. My turkey was getting darker and darker, but the thermometer still read 153 degrees. So, I took out my backup thermometer and a backup probe. To my sock, I found out that my turkey was over-cooked, by 40 degrees. (205 degrees instead of 165).

I am a single man living alone. Turkey was all I was thinking about for last 2 weeks. I was very disappointed. I wanted to cry. Dinner was still OK, but it was not super-fantastic. I kept thinking ‘next year’, but I don’t know if I can wait that long. I may have to bake a turkey for Christmas. I don’t know. I try not to think about it too much, but this bothers me.

I need to troubleshoot my thermometers/probes and make sure this will not happen again. Also, from this point, I will always use 2 thermometers when I cook ANYTHING. And I shall keep backup thermometer and probes. It will be like when I used to be a wedding photographer. I have photographed hundreds of weddings. I carried 2 cameras at all times and had a backup camera in the car. My camera broke down only once during the ceremony. But I had another identical camera already on my body, so everything went smooth. That’s the mentality I shall adopt when I cook with oven. I shall prepare and focus. 🙁

I hope you had a super-fantastic turkey dinner.

80’s reference
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John
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I have a coworker who’s in my age range. I often test him with 80’s trivia.

I went to his office a few days ago. This is how the conversation went.

John: Good morning. Hey… do you remember EPMD?
Coworker: Yes.
John: What was that one thing he hated?
Coworker: (looking right at me) Bitin’ MC.
John: Oh yeah~~~. Thank you. Have a nice day.

EPMD, You Gots to Chill – 1988.
Bitin’ MC at 1:50

What? Laundry Detergents Expire?
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John
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It came to me as a great shock to learn that laundry detergents lose effectiveness sooner than I thought.

This subject wouldn’t matter much if you have a full size family. But it’s a different story if you live alone. In my case, a large jug of fabric softer can easily last 3 years or longer. So, I did some more research and learned that many products will lose effectiveness sooner than I imagined. Below, I listed some of the products and how long they are good for.

  • Laundry detergent (6-12 months).
  • Dishwasher detergent (6-12 months).
  • Liquid dish soap (12-18 months).
  • Bleach (6-12 months)
  • liquid fabric softener (6-12 months)
  • Lysol (2 years)
  • Hydrogen Peroxide (30 days – 6 months)
  • Disinfectant wipes (1-2 years depends on products)
  • Window Cleaner (2 years)
  • Furniture polish (about 2 years)
  • Shampoo/Conditioner (12 – 18 months)
  • Body lotion (1 – 3 years)

FYI: Chemicals in dried powder form would last longer compared to its liquid counterparts.

I was clueless. How come nobody told me This? I felt so stupid… all these years… I thought these stuff lasted 5 years minimum,

Then I thought, maybe a lot of single men out-there didn’t have this information as well. So, here it is. Now you know.