Costco Shopping – January 14, 2020

4th Costco Shopping in 2020 – $1.64 today / $271.31 this year

Tuesday lunch.

Since some people don’t like paper straws, this time I paid close attention to the paper straw. I couldn’t find anything wrong with the paper straw. I have absolutely no complaint. I like these paper straws – with or without environmental benefits.

These don’t count

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.

Costco Delivers Valentine’s Day Flowers

2nd Costco Shopping in 2020 – $53.62 today / $267.49 this year

Costco sells Valentine’s Day flowers, mostly roses, with free delivery. A typical arrangement contains 50 roses, and it will cost you about $54 after tax. I believe this is an excellent price. Visit Costco for all Valentine’s Day floral arrangements. Below is a few key points.

  • Due to the large volume of Valentine’s Day floral orders, your order will deliver on or one day before your preferred arrival date.
  • For Valentine’s Day flower delivery, you must order before February 11, 11 AM PST. I am guessing that February 14 delivery option may max out soon. I recommend that you order as soon as possible if you want Valentine’s Day delivery.
  • You will Choose your arrival date when you check out.
  • Shipping is free. Tax will be added.

Dozen Roses for $15.99 at Costco (in the past)

On Valentine’s Day, Costco sells a dozen roses for $15.99. I am saying this from my past experience. I cannot promise you if there will be roses on Valentine’s Day at Costco this year. But, personally, I rely on Costco every year for the roses, and they always had plenty of roses for last minute shoppers like me.

If $15.99 is too much. Just buy one stem rose from anywhere (local supermarket). I bought one stem rose in 2011. That one stem rose was more meaningful and beautiful than the 50 stem roses I just ordered. I don’t remember to whom I gave this rose to (#ladysman), but I remember that rose in the coffee pot in my government subsidized apartment. I remember that quiet moment alone. 2011 was a good time.

Feb 2011 – My old apartment
Costco Shopping – January 3, 2020

1st Costco Shopping in 2020 – $213.87 today / $213.87 this year
Member Only Savings – $49.50 today / $49.50 this year

Sardines (#180973) were not in my shopping list. Canned sardines are usually gross. But, I never tried sardines from Costco before, and they were on sale, so I gave it a try. To my pleasant surprise, they were enjoyable. They are skinless and boneless. I will buy again and keep them as long term storage (backup) snack.

Snapdragon’s Vietnamese Pho is relatively new at Costco. They are bad for you but also so tasty. I bought 2 boxes (18 bowls total). I will try not to eat them too often. They were also on sale. ($3 off each box).

All supplements were on sale, but I spent a lot of money on them nevertheless.

Member Only Savings saved $49.50

Happy New Year – 2020

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.

Happy New Year!
This traditional Indian savory item was given to us by a customer and my husband can’t remember the name of it, but all we know is it is fantastic with a spicy kick made from cream of wheat.
Bon Appetite
Test Your Kitchen Thermometers

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.
Merry Christmas – 2019

Merry Christmas. I will be baking another turkey early Christmas morning (tomorrow). I have 3 brand new meat thermometers that I tested in ice water & boiling water. This turkey will be super-fantastic.

This is one of my favorite Christmas songs. I don’t know the lyrics. It’s in French – about three angels(?). I posted 3 different modern versions below. They are so beautiful, it makes me want to cry. It’s shame we don’t hear this in American media. What else am I missing out?

Trois anges sont venus ce soir – Originally by Augusta (Mary Anne) Holmès. 1884.




Turkey Disaster

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.