How I make Snapdragon’s Vietnamese Pho

This is how I make Snapdragon’s Vietnamese Pho. Costco item #1529692

I have absolutely no idea how the real deal Vietnamese folks eat pho. This is how I eat it.

First of all, I don’t eat off the plastic bowl like a savage. I use a nice bowl I bought from Costco 10+ years ago. I add some garlic and onion. And I use hoisin and sriracha sauces for extra yum.

This stuff is so bad for you, but they are so good. I don’t eat like this all the time.

Making Costco Hotdog at Home

It’s Sunday night (Monday morning) 1:30 AM. Since the pandemic, I have always stayed up super late on Sunday night. If I stay awake, it’s still the weekend. I shall go to bed around 3:30 AM. I have 2 more hours to enjoy.

For my weekend fun, I put together a quick video of me making a Costco hotdog at home this weekend. I am not a YouTuber, and I don’t plan to be one. I had some free time this weekend, so I took videos instead of taking photos. Also, I wanted to learn a video editing program for fun.

It was another glorious weekend. Good times.

Vacuum, freeze, and enjoy~!!

FYI: I thaw the buns and the dog before cooking. I did not put the frozen buns in the microwave oven. Everything else is self-explanatory.

How I quit cable TV with minimal anxiety

This blog post is for those who would like to quit cable TV, but who are suffering from anxiety about making that big move.

I love watching TV. I have nothing against casual television viewing. I am not totally against cable TV. If I had a son who loves sports, I would gladly pay big bucks so my son will enjoy all games (FYI: I have no kids).

I watched cable TV since the 80s – during the entire existence of cable TV. After about 40 years, cable TV was part of my life. The thought of quitting cable TV was terrifying. I couldn’t imagine my life without cable TV. When I was poor and most of my food was from 99 Cents Only Stores, I still paid big bucks so I can watch cable TV on my 9 inch TV.

Let me be fair here. I was poor all my life. So, I can tell you that some poor people desperately need good TV to escape and find joy in life while living in poor living conditions. Some people say “In America, people in poverty have cable TV. How crazy is that?” But, I understand poor people need cable TV more than rich people do.

I wish there were free internet TV APPs when I was younger.

2004. My government-subsidized studio apartment.

How I quit cable TV

  • As time went by, my anger towards to the cable TV companies grew. They kept raising price. I hated all cable TV companies. I would rather pay more money on Hulu than giving my money to cable TV companies.
  • So, I subscribed to Hulu with live TV. After that I quit cable TV. I had access to all the TV channels via Hulu. So, I was not suffering from going cold turkey. Switching from cable TV to internet TV was a big change. I felt different. I learned how to use FireStick and free apps.
  • Youtube has live TV services as well. So, you can go with Youtube. But, live TV is expensive whatever you subscribe. The goal is to quit live TV.
  • What’s important here is that you are now on a monthly contract. You can let the service expire. And you can easily re-connect. You just click online, and you will get connected instantly.
  • After a few months of watching Hulu with Live TV, I switched my account to basic Hulu ($14/m). If I want, I can re-activate live TV anytime. So, there was no anxiety.
  • With basic Hulu, I could still catch some of my shows such as The Conners, American Ninja warriors, and Bob’s Burgers. I get to watch them one day after they aired, which is fine with me.
  • With basic Hulu, I am now missing out on all NBA, NASCAR, Super Bowl, Survivor, College basketball, etc… So, if you must watch those games, stay with live TV or cable TV and enjoy.
  • I can always activate Live TV account and watch live TV. But, now I feel uneasy about paying $70 to activate live TV. I found out it is difficult to re-activate live TV, just like it was difficult to cut cable TV.
  • I save about $700 on television yearly (compared to regular folks who watch cable TV). The satisfaction of saving money out-weighs watching live TV.
Internet, phone, TV price in a 12-month period
A royal customer getting screwed.

Additional information

  • I don’t receive any TV via digital antennas. I live far away and over the mountains from any TV stations.
  • On average, I pay about $15/m on TV services. Last 3 months, I spent an average of $5-$6 on TV.
  • I pay $87.98 for internet & phone (landline).
  • I have 2 Firestick 4k’s. One in my TV room, and the other one in my closet room. I don’t have a TV in both of my bedrooms.
  • My favorite movie app is Tubi. This free app has all kinds of movies. They show commercials, but the amount of commercials is considerably less than that of regular TV. The commercial time on Tubi is tolerable.
  • I watch Pluto TV for local news for free.
  • I will watch the Super Bowl on Peacock TV ($4.99/m).
  • Sometimes I subscribe to Netflix or Hulu, but I never subscribe to both at the same time. The last time I watched Hulu or Netflix was about 3 months ago.
  • I watch Amazon Prime only when they give me one month free trial, which is once a year. I refuse to pay for Amazon Prime. I prefer to put $119 in my pocket, not in Amazon’s pocket. (soon to be $139)
  • Discovery Plus ($6.99/m) is my regular TV APP that’s usually on.

These pictures were taken on January 31, 2022. Compare these pictures with the 2004 photo. I came a long way in 18 years. From sneakers to Italians.

Finally – To save even more money, I let my TV subscription expire every month. I activate the service every month for just one month. I may renew the service on the day it expires. But, sometimes, when I realize that my subscription has expired, several days would have already passed. That means I didn’t pay for those several days. If I continue with that habit, I can save 1-2 months of subscription fee every year. If they want me to renew automatically, they better offer me a discount.

Screw cable TV companies. Screw all of them.

3 online orders – January 2022

3 online purchases – $100.2 / $304.52 this year

I made 3 online purchases this month on the Costco website (January 2022)

I’ve been ordering Valentine’s Day flowers for the last 3-5 years, and I know for fact they deliver high-quality products. Last year, my friend texted me in March with the pictures of the roses. She said “Look they are still beautiful”

After several months of waiting, I finally went online and ordered a bottle of Kirkland Signature Shampoo. I had to pay a $3 shipping fee. But the grand total of $14.49 was still very good. Amazon is selling this exact shampoo for more than double what I paid. People buy them up and leave high ratings. This concentrated bottle will last about a year for me. I get the best value for the money. Since shampoos have one year of shelf life, I cannot buy multiple bottles and keep them long-term.

I ordered16 8×10 reprints for a photography client. I rarely take on photography gigs anymore. But sometimes people ask for small favors here and there. This person didn’t know how to print, so I did all the legwork for her and charged $200. I uploaded digital files to www.costcophotocenter.com. I got pictures delivered in a week via USPS. Costco used to be my go-to photo printer for my professional prints. Costco provides excellent photo quality.

Heart-Shaped Macarons in Costco to celebrate Valentine’s Day

Information & images provided by a visitor

Just in time for Valentine’s Day. Costco locations in the US Northeast region are carrying heart-shaped macarons.

  • Authentic French Recipe
  • Made in France
  • Naturally Gluten Free
  • Exclusive to Costco
  • Item Number: 1596806
  • Dual-Flavor Pack: Chocolate and Raspberry & Vanilla
  • Piece Count: 20 pieces per pack
  • Located in the Refrigerated Deli section
  • Currently selling in the Northeastern states, Midwestern states, as well as southern California, Southern Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Puerto Rico.