Holiday Greetings – 2021
Thank you for visiting.
John

I dreamed about impressing everyone by playing like a pro.. but every time I turn on the video, it’s a disaster. This is as good as it could get. This year I am determined to play guitar for my visitors as a Christmas gift. I don’t care if I make mistakes. My visitors know I do everything mediocre and I’m proud of it.

My prediction for the year 2022? It will be yet another boring year with the same routines and same Costco shopping. Yes, the good time will continue, I wish. Boring is the best.

Keep in touch. Good times. Happy holidays~!!!

Split Pea & Ham Soup Recipe – Kirkland Signature
Thank you for visiting.
John

Posted: January 5, 2018

I make ham dinner for Christmas. New Year’s Day is when I enjoy split pea & ham soup. I make split pea soup with a leftover ham bone. I follow the recipe that comes with the ham.

Except, I do things a little differently. I put less ham. I don’t put salt and pepper. Ham is salty already, and I can always add salt later. When it comes to water, I put just enough amount of water to start. I would add more water as needed. Starting with less water is much better than starting with too much water – because there is no going back if you end up with thin soup. You don’t need to think too much about how much water is needed. You can just eyeball it and add more water as needed. The soup will tell you how much water is needed. 

To make the soup, you have to be the soup.

Also, I put a few bay leaves that are not in the recipe.

The soup was amazingly good. I ate half and put the other half in the freezer.

Split Pea and Ham Soup - Costco Recipe

Kirkland Signature Split Pea & Ham Soup Recipe

Split Pea & Ham Soup recipe

Makes 12-16 servings

  • 1 (16-oz) pkg. dried green split peas, sorted and rinsed
  • 2 quarts water
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 2cups chopped carrots
  • 2 cups sliced celery
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 kirkland Signature Spiral Sliced Ham bone with leftover meat
  • 4 cups cubed ham (or remaining leftovers)
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  1. Place split peas and 2 quarts water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat: reduce heat and simmer 1 hour. Drain
  2. Heat oil in a 4-quart saucepan. Saute onion, carrots, celery, and garlic in oil over medium-low heat until tender  – about 10 minutes.
  3. Return the split peas to the saucepan.
  4. Add ham bone, cubed ham, 2 quarts water, salt, and pepper. Cover and bring to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat and simmer 1 hour. Remove cover and continue simmering until desired thickness, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove ham bone: cut off any remaining beat. Dice meat and return to soup before serving.

Kirkland Signature Spiral Sliced Ham

Jack says it sucks to be alone
Thank you for visiting.
John

Oh my God, I’m so busy. I am doing well, but busy during the holiday season. Busy is good ($$$), but I don’t have time for “Costco Blog”

I just wanted to say hi and post a small chit-chat to keep my blog alive. I will get back to you.

Jack says it sucks to be alone

Note: Jack In The Box is a fine business establishment and I wish them well. Below is just small talk, a joke. This is how I talk to my friends and family. So, please read it without being serious.

From the below 12 coupons, I can only use two of them. The rest of the coupons require 2 people because they are “2 for” deals. This is like I’m at a roller stake rink and the DJ is playing the couples-only song. I stand aside and look at the couples. I hope this music will end soon so I can continue with the boogie. (boogie down, boogie on down…)

It seems like the DJ Jack is saying, “You sit down for now. It sucks to be alone.”

I’m not in the fast-food business. But, I thought many people eating fast food are single and/or they live alone. So, my guess was that many people will find these coupons useless. But what do I know?

Coupons like these don’t bother me. I never stop and ponder why I live alone. I don’t feel sad when I see “couples only” coupons like this. I throw them in the recycle bin without thinking. I go to Jack in the Box maybe once every 5 years, anyway.

But, in the corner of my subconsciousness, for a split second, I realize I am being discriminated against for being alone. Coupons like this don’t seem fair to single people who live alone. We are being excluded. And that sucks. That thought passes me by so fast that I barely know it’s there. But, it is there.

Lake Shore Drive. Chicago, IL
Thank you for visiting.
John

Lake Shore Drive – Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah

In 2018, I flew to Chicago and drove on Lake Shore Drive because of this song. My trip to Chicago was memorable. I ate at Manny’s Deli and also ate Chicago-style hot dogs, yum~!! Lake Michigan was so huge, it was just like an ocean. Lake Shore Drive was so beautiful that I was emotional and felt like crying.

On that trip, I also visited Gary, Indiana, and visited Michael Jackson’s old house. And I stayed a few days in Michigan. I like Michigan. Oh, I was SOOO confused about using toll roads, especially the toll gates. I was unaware of such a thing. I was completely lost. I freaked out as I watched everyone else passing through the gates in a rhythmic pattern, like the baseball scene from the Bugs Bunny cartoon.

Anyway, the gate just opened for me. I think my rental car had a device that communicated with the gate(?). I still don’t know what happened. I don’t know what I need to do the next time.

I didn’t know this song (Lake Shore Drive) until the movie ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’.

Obviously, “Lake Shore Drive” initials LSD.

FYI: Yes, I tried a deep-dish pizza in Chicago. That’s all I have to say.

Team Gandhi Vs. Team Annie
Thank you for visiting.
John

Some people, including Gandhi, said “Live each day like today is the last”. But, I don’t agree with that. I don’t think that philosophy applies to common folks like us. It applies if you’re trying to cure cancer or compete in the Olympics. They are the people with special missions, and every single day counts for them. But, I’m just a little guy (and I’m proud of it). I live my life as if I will live 120 years. I enjoy my slow and boring life. I like to daydream about my next 10-20 years (Driving Porsche and traveling to the Southern states for good food). I like the fact that I have a lot of unfinished personal projects.

I like to go to bed, thinking about what to eat the next day. My life is fuller because I believe the Sun will come out tomorrow. Yes, like the Broadway musical Annie. Annie presents the philosophy that opposes Gandhi’s teaching head-on. Annie has a valid philosophy that we still quote her to this date.

So, there you have it. Team Gandhi vs. Team Annie. Which team would you join?

Here are key factors to consider.

  • Team Gandhi – You die tonight. Hunger strike. Assassinated.
  • Team Annie – There is tomorrow. Cute dog. Lives happily ever after.

“Hunger” is a funny word – “Hunger!” “Hunger!” it sounds like something Tarzan would say to a lion.

I guess we don’t have to pick a team. We can meet in the middle; we shall enjoy life and try not to be lazy.

I don’t have a point to make in this blog post. Gandhi and Annie popped into my head, and I wanted to share this video. This is the best version of “Tomorrow”. Andrea McArdle is the best Annie. Even if you don’t like Broadway musicals, you must watch this once.

Please take care. I will talk to you soon.

Calendar shopping season
Thank you for visiting.
John

Shop early. Good calendars will sell out.

I am a calendar person. A calendar on the wall says who you are. Even if you have a free calendar from your dentist, that calendar will say something about you. The calendar can be a part of the furniture that adds an extra attitude to your house. A calendar can make a big statement about you. Imagine visiting your boss’s house and there is a Mother Teresa calendar on the wall. But what if it was a porn actress calendar instead? Looking at the calendar pictures every day can affect your soul. Some people hang pictures of Jesus Christ or Malcolm-X for a similar reason.

I need a new calendar in the kitchen every year. I find it functional to have it in that corner (picture below). So, I buy a calendar every year for that spot. That corner of the kitchen is too empty to begin with. It’s begging for a calendar.

My kitchen (October 2021)

I also have a calendar in the living room, but I don’t need a calendar to check dates. So, I hang an old calendar I bought at Costco (Nov 2013). I like that calendar so much that I still use it after several years. I flip the calendar every month, but it’s always 2014. I don’t need a new calendar there.

Living room calendar (by LANG) from Costco. 8th year on the wall.

Now is the time to shop for calendars. Good calendars will sell out fast. And, if they sell out, I doubt they will reprint calendars in December and January. Costco had some beautiful Lang calendars in the past. Costco may stock calendars around October and November, or maybe not. It’s hard to tell, especially because of the pandemic.

September 2021 – Personal
Thank you for visiting.
John

Gal Costa – Folhetim
I adore Brazilian songs like this. This song is from the late 70s, and I don’t know Portuguese. This is a perfect song to relax to – around the house, or when I drive a convertible on an open road.

Costco European Cookies

I am running out of these Costco European Cookies (AKA Belgian Cookies, Christmas Cookies). They are available at Costco during the holiday season. These cookies are the best, and I always buy 3-4 cans and make them last 12 months by freezing them. The goal is to taste a little Christmas every weekend. But, I ate them too fast this year because I stayed home all year. I am already on the last tray… (photo taken on September 12, 2021)

Costco European cookies, 2020 Edition

Costco European cookies – 2020 Edition

Nicolas Cage

I’ve been watching Nicolas Cage movies obsessively lately. I cannot get enough of his movies. This handsome Academy Award-winner’s movie credit goes back to 1982, and he’s in 100 movies so far. Nicolas Cage gives me that cozy, nostalgic, and drive-in theater feeling I am fond of. His movies are exciting, romantic, cheesy, cool, funny, stupid, and everything in between. And I like them all. I love it when he loses his temper and goes ape shit. Nicolas Cage seems amiable that I would like to have him at my house for food and chitchat. That’s saying a lot because I refuse to have Tom Cruise or Daniel Craig in my house. That would be freakin’ uncomfortable. The same goes for Nicole Kidman and Scarlett Johansson. They are the most beautiful people and I love them. But, please, don’t come to my house… again, freakin’ uncomfortable.

What about Leonardo DiCaprio?… I’m gonna pretend I didn’t hear that.

I believe America loves Nicolas Cage more than we realize. He is my favorite actor, without a doubt.

Vampire’s Kiss (1988)

God bless Louisiana

According to the online personality test, I belong in Louisiana. And I agree. I’ve visited New Orleans a few years ago, and I enjoyed it a lot. When I travel, I would like to experience how regular folks live their everyday life. For example, if you come to California to visit me, I will not take you to Disneyland, but I will give you my typical life experience, such as drinking coffee, going to garage sales, and driving to the beach in a convertible. Oh, In-N-Out Burger, of course.

New Orleans was hot, and it rained at random without warning while the Sun was still up. But it didn’t matter. The food was amazing. Louisiana is a state of food. I wish I can retire there and eat until I die.

God bless Louisiana.

Just saying…

The Spanish word “Quesadilla” does not translate to “What’s the deal?” Just saying…