3 hot sauces I always keep

My song of the day – Purple Rain. I bought this tape back in the 80’s.

I have 14 bottles of hot sauce. It’s fun to try different hot sauces. To me, it’s an inexpensive activity to get my mind off from what’s going on in the world. I am not a crazy hot sauce guy. I can comfortably enjoy SHU heat scale of 40,000. Which means, I can handle spicy food better than average people, but I am not in the extreme tier.

I don’t need 10 bottles of hot sauce. I only need three. My 3 favorite hot sauces are Tapatio, After Death, and Crystal. Tapatio and After Death have been my favorite for last ten years, maybe longer. Crystal became one of my favorites after my trip to New Orleans.

*SHU (Scoville Heat Units) – measurement heat of chili peppers.

  • Tapatio – Super cheap, super tasty, but not very hot (SHU 3,000). They are made in California, but Mexican folks love it. If you go to authentic Mexican taquerilas, you are likely to see Tapatios. You will rarely see Valentinas, which is a Mexican counterpart of Tapatio.
  • After Death – It is expensive and hard to find. I will be lucky if I find this online for $10. It has a SHU of 50,000, which is way too hot for me. But, I mix this with Tapatio. I’ve been mixing Tapatio and After Death for about ten years, and I really like the taste of that mix. Depends on my mood, I can make a mild mix or strong mix. Because it’s too hot, one bottle lasts a few years.
  • Crystal – Cheap and not very hot. To me, Crystal is more of spice than hot sauce. Crystal is a true Louisiana product. A few years ago I visited New Orleans and tried a lot of different food. Everywhere I went I saw a bottle of Crystal on the table. I had such a memorable experience in New Orleans. Since then, I always keep Crystal in my house. I started to replace Tabasco with Crystal. I respect Tabasco for its history and taste. But, Tabasco is too expensive for what they offer. Frank’s Red Hot can also replace Tabasco. They all have that vinegary taste. To me, Tabasco is for rich people. When I buy Tabasco the next time is when I buy a Porsche.

I went to Costco in New Orleans and took below picture of Crystal Hot Sauce (left). New Orleans will always be special to me.

I have some Asian spices as well. But, I didn’t include them in this line-up, because these Asian sauces need their own weight class. Fried Chili in Oil is not hot at all. Sriracha comes in 28 oz jug, because we use shot glass full at a time.

I will talk to you soon. Keep in touch.

I send special love to those who are alone and feeling depressed.

Costco Shopping – August 12, 2020

23rd Costco Shopping in 2020 – $53.60 today / $1,652.35 this year

Online purchase.

I have a huge belly. I wear 30 inch waist pants, but around my belly is 36 Inches. Yes, I am a monster. So, I recently started to take CLA in hopes of losing belly fat. I am currently taking trunature Tonalin CLA. I’ve been closely monitoring my progress. I would like to experiment for 4-5 more months.

AbCuts Enhanced (#883896) is yet another CLA pills, with even higher dose of CLA. They were on sale, so I ordered 2 units of 2 packs (total 4 bottles, 120 days supply). The sale ends August 23, 2020.

Costco Shopping – August 11, 2020

22nd Costco Shopping in 2020 – $103.19 today / $1,598.75 this year

Just like my last two visits, I arrived at Costco early today. I was prepared to stand in line to get in. Again, there was no line and I was allowed in at 9:20 AM. I quickly headed to cleaning supply aisle. Clorox Wipes and hand sanitizers where nowhere to be found.

When the pandemic lockdown started, I ate insane amount of comfort food. I ate 2 chocolate cakes in 3 months, and that was only the beginning. I ate a lot and gained solid 6 pounds. Now I’m finally back to my normal diet, perhaps more careful this time around. I’ve been eating chicken and eggs lately.

I don’t expect Costco cherries to be as good as those I find at farmers market. Considering, these cherries are pretty decent. I enjoy them, and I will buy again. Pineapple is guaranteed good times. I pick the biggest pineapple, and wait for it to ripe.

I’ve been having an amazing luck with watermelons this year. Every single watermelon, so far, was crispy and delicious. I hope this one is super-fantastic.

The ribbons are back at Costco with a hint of Christmas. Although none of the ribbons had a holiday design, I thought some ribbons were clearly made for Christmas.

I didn’t like Adidas shoes. I didn’t like them at all. The front part was ugly and didn’t look normal. I guess I am old fashion. I refuse to wear shoes that look like that.

After I got home, I learned that women’s shoes don’t have that ugly front part. Maybe I will check out women’s shoes before the sale ends. Women’s athletic shoes are exactly as same as men’s. The only difference is the sizing. Men’s shoes are 1 1/2 size larger. So, if you you wear men’s size 9 1/2, you will fit in women’s shoes size 11. FYI: Size 11 is the biggest women’s shoes size at Costco.

Instant savings saved $15.70

Costco Member-Only Savings, August 5 – August 30, 2020

Costco Member-only savings August 5 – August 30, 2020

View Member Only Savings at Costco website.

I like this month’s savings. I am little excited about this savings book. Ziploc bags and Adidas shoes are very good price. Ziploc bags are the classic example of buying in bulk for big savings. Those Ziploc bags will easily last me several years, but I will save money in long run.

FYI: I still wash and reuse Ziploc bags. I will not abandon my habit of saving and reusing.

Adidas shoes ($21.99 after $8 off) are super cheap. I shall look at them closely. I may or may not like them. I still wear a pair of Adidas running shoes I bought 11 years ago at Costco. Imagine that.

I am looking forward to my next Costco shopping.

Costco Shopping – July 24, 2020

21st Costco Shopping in 2020 – $192.52 today / $1,495.56 this year

Costco shopping became a chore because of the pandemic that’s only getting worse. Also, I try to shop at as many stores as possible in one trip. So, I took a day off from work and planned my day of grocery shopping. My day started with 5:30 AM alarm. I hit the road before 6am. I drank my first sip of water at 10:30am in my car. With that, I was able to avoid using public restroom.

Schedule & list

My day went according to the schedule and list. I like making list like that. I make list for everything I do. It helps me to make less mistakes and be more productive. And, somehow, list adds more fun to it. I made an amazing list when I bought my convertible in San Francisco and drove it back home. But, that’s another blog.

Long sleeves and hat are for Sun protection – if I have to wait in line under direct Sunlight

I was allowed in to Costco warehouse at 9:20 AM (during the special early hour for customers 60 and older). There were lot of hand sanitizers available, but Clorox Wipes were nowhere to be found. Also, I didn’t see the first sign of Christmas.

I bought three Costco rotisserie chickens. I will keep two, and give one to my friend.

Kirkland Signature Filtered Water Pitcher

I bought a Kirkland Signature Filtered Water Pitcher (#1304047) for my friend. I have a friend who makes less money than I do. During the pandemic, I paid for her groceries, car payment, veterinarian visit, etc.. But she spends a lot more money on drinking water than I do. I don’t think now is good time to talk to her about personal finance and such… she’s the type that cries easily. So, my plan is to give her that water pitcher along with the chicken. I will pretend I randomly bought those two items because they were cheap. And she will start saving money on drinking water. Everyone’s happy. Thank you, thank you.

The warehouse price for the pitcher was $17.99. It comes with two filters. You can use Brita filter on this pitcher and vice versa. Online price for this pitcher is $24.99, but with free shipping.

Cherries, pineapple, watermelon

Cherries are pretty tasty (8 1/2 out of 10 on taste scale). Pineapple is a guaranteed yum, because I can tell by just looking at it. In fact, I don’t even have to look at it. I put the pineapple on the kitchen counter and don’t think about it. One day, soon, I will start smelling the pineapple. That’s when it’s ready to eat. Watermelon is the mystery fruit. It’s hard to tell if they are good inside. That’s why I am obsessed. I want to learn how to find good watermelons. I am willing to travel far away to a farm to take a lesson from an expert. If you have an access to a watermelon farm, please let me know.

Coupon saved $14.00

Back home

I came home, took another shower, and started to put away groceries. It started with wiping down everything I bought.

I vacuum packed 2 chickens into 6 bags and made chicken stock with the bones. When I was done with everything it was 4pm. I was SOOOO tired (don’t get old). I took a 3 hour nap and woke up at 8pm.

Now I am ready to stay home for another round. Covid-19 Pandemic changed my life. It is inconvenient. But, it is also fascinating. Can you imagine one day we will tell young people about surviving a global pandemic? We had to put on our masks and stay 6 feet apart. The Olympics was cancelled. People were dying and scientists were racing for cure. Pandemic? What do you young folks know about the Pandemic? I remember it like yesterday, let me tell you…

Anyway, it’s depressing for now. Please be safe. Be very careful. Keep in touch.

No urban legend

Some of you may have heard of this story and not sure if you should believe it or not. A lot of people categorized this story as an urban legend. But, I tell you… I vouch to you that it really happened to me about 25 years ago.

I was still living with my parents at that time. It was a lazy Sunny mid-day afternoon. I went to the bathroom, bent down and raised the toilet cover. To my horror, there was a huge rat inside the toilet bowl. It was vigorously thrusting its body, trying to get out from the toilet. The sight of it, along with the sound of water splashing, was absolutely terrifying. In a split second I was driven into extreme terror and stress. I can see why some people die from a shock at this scale. I slammed the toilet cover immediately and gave it a flush. With that, the evil rat was gone.

I couldn’t find a photo of rat I can use

The entire nightmare lasted 10 seconds or so. But, I still carry a scar from that trauma.

On January of 1994, I woke up in the mid-air when the historic earthquake hit Southern California. That was a terrifying event. But millions of other people shared that terror with me. The entire world sympathized us. Even president Bill Clinton visited, and my mother got to shake his hand. That earthquake was one of the top traumatic events of my entire life. But, I don’t really think about earthquake anymore.

A rat in the toilet is an entirely different game. It was a pure horror with nobody around to make the ordeal less stressful. I cannot explain why, but I never told this story to anyone, but I kept that feeling of terror to myself. If I tell this story, then I’ll have to “touch” that subject. And I was not going to touch it. Since then, I never use toilet in complete darkness. Every time I open the toilet cover I am mentally prepared for a rat or a snake. It’s not likely to see a rat again, but if I do, I will not jump, because I am absolutely ready for it – for last 25 years.

Yesterday I finally did something I dreaded. I looked up online for “rat in toilet” and found many web articles about how rats can swim up toilets. After that, I called my friend and told her about the experience and the fact that I am terrified every time I use the toilet. She cracked a joke about Mickey Mouse looking for friends because Disneyland is closed due to Coronavirus. We laughed. With that laughter, a small part of me was set free.

I keep the toilet covers down now, always – to keep me away from the worst nightmare that can happen at random.

The only thing that’s worse than finding a rat in the toilet would be finding two rats in the toilet. F me….

Costco Shopping – July 22, 2020

20th Costco Shopping in 2020 – $26.80 today / $1,303.04 this year

I gained solid 4 pounds during the pandemic. Last four month, I ate a lot of comfort foods include two whole chocolate cakes. They were SOOO good, by the way.

I am now trying to lose weight and get in better shape. I will try this bottle of CLA and see if it will help me lose weight. I ordered this from Costco.com, with free shipping.

trunature Tonalin CLA 1620 mg., 180 Softgels. (#11524631). Available only for online purchase.

Costco Shopping – June 30, 2020

19th Costco Shopping in 2020 – $165.41 today / $1,276.24 this year

I downgraded my membership from Gold Star Executive to Gold Star (regular). I didn’t make enough purchase last year to benefit from having an executive membership. This year, with Pandemic looming, I shop at Costco even less.

Bottom of the basket: Costco chicken and Monster energy drink

I arrived at Costco 30 minutes early, on 9:30 AM. I was going to wait in line for 30 minutes. To my surprise, the warehouse was opened for everyone. Not many customers 60 and older showed, the man said. With that, I got in early and was able to locate Clorox Disinfecting Wipes.

Clorox Disinfecting Wipes (#2189436, 5pk, $14.99): I normally don’t by these 5 packs of Clorox Wipes at Costco, because I barely use 1 container per a year. But, this time, I desperately needed a good supply of Clorox wipes to wipe away the evil virus. And I found them! Oh my God, I found them. Look at the picture below. I crawled on my hands and knees to retrieve the last remaining packages at the bottom corner of the shelf. Some people saw what I was doing, and the remaining wipes were gone in 30 seconds.

Clorox Disinfecting Wipes – gone by 9:45 AM

Chips and Salsa are for 4th of July weekend.

Famous Dave’s Signature Spicy Pickle Chip are special treat for myself. They are so good. The package says spicy, but it’s not spicy at all. It doesn’t even have a hint of spice. Maybe some people find it spicy (?). They are sweet and good.

DENTASTIX Dental Dog Treats are for my friend. It’s good to be my friend.

Watermelon ($5.99): Continuing from last year, I am still obsessed about finding super-fantastic watermelons. I bought about 10 watermelons last year, but almost all of them were disappointing 7 out of 10 on tasting scale. But, this year is different. I bought 3 watermelons so far, and all three watermelons were about 8 1/2 out of 10 on tasting scale. They were not super-fantastic, but they were pretty good. This one from Costco was also good at 8 1/2. I wish I will find some 9’s this year.

Peet’s Coffee, Major Dickason’s Blend, (Whole Bean, 2 lbs, #670441): This is my new “work from home” coffee for weekdays. This is a good everyday coffee. It’s got the unique flavor that’s dark, sophisticated, but smooth. This is so far my favorite coffee available at Costco warehouse. Ruta Maya dark roast is the best but, it’s only available online. Also, Ruta Maya is a bit pricey, that I only drink it on weekend.

Bottom of the cart: I had a Costco rotisserie chicken and 24 cans of Monster Energy Drinks. I have unlimited supply of Monster Energy Drinks at work. I know a guy who’s connected. So, I get cravings time to time. They were $7 off. I know they are bad for me.. Mm…

Coupon saved $17.00.

Costco’s Unofficial Opening Hour – 9AM

This blog was updated: I felt the need to explain this in greater detail.

This is unofficial and temporary. Situation may be different at your Costco location. Use this information at your own discretion.

Due to Covid-19, Costco now opens one hour early, 9am – 10am for customers 60 or older. Younger customers are allowed in at regular business hour of 10 AM.

At the beginning of the pandemic, there were a lot of people over 60 lining up at the gate at 9AM. The line for 60 and older would last for more than an hour. But now, after three months of hoarding, customers of all ages have slowed down. Now, at 9AM, only a small number of customers over 60 are showing up. Those customers will be let in quick. After that, Costco is open for everyone – little past 9AM – unofficial business hour.

Last month I arrived at Costco at 9:30 AM and waited in line for 45 minutes. This worked out well with my work schedule. So, today, I went to Costco at 9:30 AM again. But, this time, there was no line. The gate was opened for everyone. Small number of customers 60 or older were already in the warehouse.

Official opening hour for Costco is 10AM. But, if you go to Costco at 9:10 – 9:15 AM, there is a good chance you can get in without waiting in line. Check Costco’s Covid Update page for special business hours. At this rate, they may soon stop catering for customers 60 and older. Maybe they will open at 9:30AM for customers 60 and older. Maybe customers 60 and older will be given with “Cut in line” privilege, & etc… I am pretty sure they are having meetings about this.

This pandemic is a horrible thing. At the same time, it’s fascinating to witness what’s happening in the world. And it’s an honor to fight this together with you. Please take care.

Costco Member-Only Savings, June 24 – July 26, 2020

Costco Member-only Savings June 24 – July 26, 2020

View Member Only Savings at Costco website.

It looks like this month’s coupon book has something for everyone. I shall make time for Costco shopping. I also miss rotisserie chicken.

Featherweight 3i Hair Dryer is back on sale for $74.99. Last three months I’ve been using this hair dryer instead of my usual, $200 professional hair dryer. I still have my professional hair dryer. But, they both perform almost identical that I continue to use Featherweight 3i.

Costco Shopping – May 14, 2020

18th Costco Shopping in 2020 – $257.03 today / $1,110.83 this year

I am doing OK physically and financially.

Because of ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Costco shopping is no longer fun and relaxing. For today’s Costco shopping, I had to take a half day off from work so I can shop on my preferred time slot, Thursday 10 am – 12 pm. Today, in addition to my usual shopping list, I also had a “get ready” check-list. On my check-list I had items such as wallet, mask, and disinfectant wipe. We can be extra forgetful at strange times like this. I would hate to arrive at Costco and realize I forgot to bring my mask. So, check-list was a must.

It’s been 50 days since my last Costco shopping. It’s depressing to get ready, go to Costco, put on the mask, and wait in line. And there is a legitimate possibility that I can contract the virus and die. It’s scary and depressing.

I arrived at Costco at 9:30 AM. The warehouse opened at 10 am for general public. However, customers 60 years or older were allowed in at 9 AM. Line wasn’t too long at 9:30 AM. People who arrived at 10 AM had a long line to deal with. I was inside Costco at 10:12 AM.

There were plenty of toilet papers and meat items, but we were limited on how many of each item we can buy. I always buy toilet paper and meats at sales price. But, today I paid full price on toilet paper, New York steak, stew meat, and more. I will not wait for sale. I will not go to another store to save some money. I will gladly pay full price and mitigate this craziness. I also picked up a lot of comfort food and snacks.

The Afredo sauce looked promising. I can’t wait to try it.

I had a huge craving for Costco hotdog, so I bought Kirkland Signature hot dog franks. Those are the real deal Costco hot dog franks. But, they didn’t have Costco size hot dog buns – so I got little buns.

I came home 3 hours later and proceeded to vacuum pack most of the meat items, including hot dogs and buns (in packs of 4). I was completely exhausted afterwards. I hope I am good for a month or two.

Costco Shopping – May 14, 2020

17th Costco Shopping in 2020 – $41.99 today / $853.8 this year

I haven’t gone to Costco for over a month. I plan to go soon.

Because I work from home, I’ve been drinking my weekend coffee, Ruta Maya dark roast, a lot faster than my usual pace. Ruta Maya is THE best coffee ever. It’s strong, tasty, but has a smooth after-taste. There is nothing like it. Starbucks doesn’t even come close to Ruta Maya. People who taste it agree with me. After tasting my coffee, some people copied my coffee setup exactly (coffee, grinder & french press). You’re welcome. 🙂

Ruta Maya coffee is available at Costco website. Delivery is free. I highly recommend. I tried both dark and medium roast. I like dark roast better.

You should never go to coffee shop for daily coffee unless you are a millionaire. Buying good coffee to enjoy at home is a great way to save money.

Sitting by the window before sleep

I brushed my teeth and put on my retainers. I am so sleepy.

I haven’t gone outside for 19 days now. Because I live alone, isolation really feels like isolation. I am not the type of person who talks to himself. So, my mind is running everywhere, but my mouth is shut all the time. I’ve been having crazy vivid dreams every night. My mind is not completely clear.

I worked all day at my living room. Later I ate turkey gumbo while watching The Conners.

It’s midnight. I was about to tun off the lights and go to bed, but I heard the birds singing outside in the dark. So I set by the window for awhile.

I have a big tree in my front yard, and a family of birds live up there. I’ve been enjoying their singing for several years now. I just love hearing them, especially in the morning and at night. This is my sound when I wake up in the morning. I will be very sad if they move away. Sometimes I don’t hear them for a few days. But they always come back and sing.

I remember hearing them when I was in Georgia. It was the same voice, but they sang a different song. I was fascinated by that. Ah~ Georgia… I miss Georgia. Is there any place prettier than Georgia? The rain, the greens, Waffle House, Piggly Wiggly, and nice people.

I wish I have a nice watch with a moonphase calendar. Moonphase calendar on a watch is cool. How much is the cheapest moonphase watch? I shall check it out tomorrow.

We have video meetings twice a week for work. Maybe I’ll log in from my closet, with all my shoes in the background. Mm… maybe not. That would be silly.

What do I eat for dinner tomorrow?

OMG, I completely forgot to file income tax. I think the deadline had been extended, but…

OK, I’m going to bed now. I will continue tomorrow.