CLA and weight loss – 135 days experiment

Quick update. Just the fact. No opinion. Your results may vary.

CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) – is a dietary supplement that’s supposed to burn fat. Costco sells 2 kinds of CLA pills.

I am 5’7″. My normally weigh is 158 lb. I wear a size 40 suit jacket and 31-inch waist pants. I am a little wider on top. Although I haven’t been to the gym in 20 years, I can comfortably do 10 pull-ups in competition standard (no kicking, no swinging – no cheating).

I gained 6 pounds during the pandemic lockdown. When I weighed myself 165 lb on September 2020, I bought some CLA pills.

  • I took CLA pills for 45 days and lost a few pounds.
  • Next, I took different CLA pills for 45 days and lost another few pounds.
  • After that, I didn’t take any pills but watched my diet for 45 days, and lost additional few pounds.
  • During that 135 days, there were no changes in my physical activities.
  • During that 135 days, I thought about losing weight a lot. So, I watched my diet more than usual.
  • Then the holiday season came. My weight went up (160) and down (157) after the holiday season.
  • Currently, I don’t take any fat burners, and I keep my weight at 156 lb.
  • Overall, I lost 2 pounds after 12 months of pandemic lockdown. I lost more than I gained.
  • I plan to bring my body weight down a few more pounds with no supplements. I would like 155 lb or under.
  • For this experiment, I made sure I didn’t work out.

This experiment doesn’t prove much. Everyone has a unique body and a unique scenario. I just thought some people might find it interesting.

November 24, 2020. The end of the 135-day experiment & the beginning of the holiday season (massive eating). I hit 152.5 lb once, but I didn’t maintain that weight.

New Receipt Scanner

I like to scan and share my Costco receipt on my blog. I started doing that since I started my blog in 2008.

I wanted to create my Costco fan blog for a long time. It was a fresh and unique idea back then. Then, in March 2008, I saw a NEAT document scanner at Costco for $149.99. I’ve been scanning my Costco receipts ever since. Sadly, today, 13 years later, I trashed this scanner because NEAT stopped supporting my scanner. It’s disappointing that… (negative statement skipped).

At least I had it for 13 years. Many people only had these scanners for a few years (or shorter). Sucks for them. What’s even worse is that 3rd party vendors are still selling various models of NEAT scanners right now.

So, I needed a new scanner fast.

March 31, 2008
The first Costco receipt I ever scanned.

I searched for Refurbished document scanners, and I found an Epson-certified refurbished scanner for $64.34. plugin found me free 2-day shipping plus 1% cashback. It came with a one-year limited warranty.

So, that takes care of my scanner drama. I just want to get back to my routine and live forever.

I hope Epson will not betray customers like NEAT did.

Costco Shopping – March 10, 2021

6th Costco Shopping in 2021 – $130.86 today / $1178.17 this year
Coupon saved $25.30 today

Last week I ordered 4 tires for my Miata. Today I went to Costco for installation. Everything went smoothly, except the guy who greeted me didn’t like me. Maybe he was having a bad day. I felt something off the very moment I walked into the Costco Tire Center. So, I quickly put on my acting face and pretended I was clueless. I was extra polite to him. I thought I would just get this over with and I never have to see him again. People like that rarely last long, so… smell you later, friend.

I asked him if they have a battery for my car. He said “no” and told me I should order it online and they will ship it there. He said it without checking the inventory. He said it while there were hundreds of batteries behind him. But Costco doesn’t have such a thing as an online car battery shopping. I am supposed to check with the person at the warehouse. I wanted to grab the battery myself and say “I’ll take this one”, but that’s not my style. Instead, I quickly said “OK, thank you” and walked out. I’ll get my battery later. I am just not dealing with this guy tonight.

With my tires getting installed, I walked over to Costco warehouse for some shopping.

The first thing I noticed was the size of the shopping carts. I think the shopping carts are bigger than before.

Strawberries are fresh and crispy, but it’s lacking flavor. Next time I will try to smell before I buy strawberries. But I wear a mask at Costco, and it’s a little awkward.

T-Fal frying pan set (3 pack) was $19.99 after $5 saving. These pans were selling out fast. I was lucky that I got mine. I don’t need a pan now, but this is such a great price. I will keep it in the garage until I need it… I don’t know when.

After shopping, I went back to the tire center, but my car was not ready. So I stood outside and ate some almonds and Jelly Belly. Finally, after getting my car back, I bought a hot dog and ate it in my convertible with the top down. Costco is still selling hot dogs in pandemic style. The clerk handed me the catchup, mustard, and soda. The hot dog was enjoyable. Costco hot dog is such a treat. It makes people happy.

Costco Receipt March 10, 2021
Costco Tire Installation Schedule Hack

When you order tires from Costco, the earliest day you can schedule for installation is in 10 days. They need time to ship tires to your local Costco tire center.

When I ordered the tires for my Miata, the earliest available day for installation was Monday, March 15. But I wanted to schedule it several days earlier because I am scheduled for Costco shopping soon.

So, this is what I did.

I kept track of UPS tire shipping status. Also, Costco sent me an email notification when they received the tires. So I quickly called Costco and asked if they can find me an earlier date. Updating the schedule was painless and instantaneous. I refreshed the online appointment page and saw my updated schedule.

Now I can enjoy Costco shopping while they install my tires.

Costco Shopping – March 3, 2021 – Tires

5th Costco Shopping in 2021 – $554.55 today / $1047.31 this year

I ordered 4 tires for my 2017 Miata from the Costco website. There was a $150 saving on 4 Bridgestone tires. This sale is still going on through April 4, 2021. The money you save on this one purchase will pay for your Costco membership for almost 3 years.

The $150 saving is a real deal. Let me show you.

The tire price is very competitive that the price is almost universal. If you shop around, you will find out that tire cost is almost identical everywhere you shop. For my Miata, I checked prices from 3 stores including Costco, and the tire was $146 each at all three stores. But the out the door price of the four tires varied from $554.55 to $730.26. Costco had the lowest price, of course.

Plus, Costco will give you guaranteed service and you will not get scammed. Some tire stores are shady, you know. Also, Costco covers all their tires with 5 years Road Hazard Warranty.

Costco only sells quality tires. So, I ordered the cheapest tires available from Costco, which is still fancy. They will ship the tires to my local Costco warehouse. I am on schedule for installation in 10 days.

My Costco shopping philosophy

My Costco shopping philosophy hasn’t changed since my early days of Costco shopping. I don’t shop at Costco to save the last penny. I shop at Costco to buy high-quality products, so I enjoy an elevated lifestyle. I could buy low-quality tires for $300. But, if I’m in that kind of financial situation, I will not have a weekend convertible. Now I have a fancy set of tires. I will enjoy my sweet ride.

Below is a price comparison from 3 stores.

  • 4 Tires, installation, & tax: Bridgestone Potenza RE980 AS 205/45R17
  • Costco – $554.55
    – A single tire with no discount: $145.99
    – $70.00 Bridgestone savings + $80 Costco savings
  • – $730.26
    – A single tire with no discount: $145.99
  • – $651.91
    – A single tire with no discount: $146.00
    – $70 Bridgestone savings applied.
Costco Tire shopping
Costco shoping – March 3, 2021

Costco tire ordering process

  1. Go to and log in as a member.
  2. Now, go to and find your tire.
    – Tire finder will find tires for you. But please know your tire size(s) so you can make sure you are buying the correct tires.
  3. Complete your shopping (make a payment).
  4. After shopping, schedule an appointment at
    – login doesn’t work here. You need a separate login for this website. Create a membership if you are new.
    – The website will walk you through the process. It’s straightforward.
  5. You are set. You can cancel or change your appointment date from the website. They will remind us when the appointment date is coming near.


Big Brand Tire – $730.26
America’s Tire – $651.91

Please be safe. Talk to you soon.

Costco Coupons, Member-Only Savings, March 2021

Costco Member-Only Savings, March 10, 2021 – April 4, 2021.

View Costco coupon book from below gallery or view from Costco website available during the sales period (March 10, 2021 – April 4, 2021).

Set of 4 Bridgestone tires are $150 off. Oh, the $150 discount is available right now. This is great timing. I need 4 tires for my Miata. I’m going to order them right now. I don’t need to shop around. I know I’m getting the best deal and now I don’t have to settle for super cheap tires.

My Costco shopping list is short this month. Maybe I’ll get a jar of Jelly Belly.

Photo Restore Service – Now Available Directly

As I reported earlier, Costco had shut down all photo departments at Costco warehouse locations. With that, they had discontinued some services such as photo restoration. was an exclusive photo restoration service provider for Costco for 10 years. They are now available directly.

Their services include restoration, retouching, and recreation.

Visit their website to find out more –

Press release: launches Warehouse Club Photo Restoration Service from Hollywood Photo Studio. (February 19, 2021)

January & February 2021

Caetano Veloso Menino Deus
I don’t know the language – I just like the song
My music seems mellow because I am here at night or when I relax. Also, I am old – 13 years older than when I started this blog in 2008.

Personal update

January and February are the fastest months of the year. I just put away my Christmas coffee mug, and I saw Jasmine blossoms in my front yard. So I reluctantly took down Christmas decorations and tossed them in the living room. They are still lying in the living room.

It’s been 11 months since the pandemic lockdown started. I live alone, so the lockdown doesn’t affect my situation logistically. I am more isolated that I rarely use my vocal cord. The pandemic hurt me financially because I was helping people. I still send money to my relative, but I send considerably less amount now. After being very careful, I was able to meet my financial goal for 2020. My goal is to maximize contribution to my 401K & HSA account ($30k total).

I quit cable TV last year. Now I pay $37.49 a month for 3 TV streaming providers. They are…

  • Hulu (no ads) – $11:99
  • Philo – $20
  • Locast – $5.50. I don’t get any local TV off HD antenna.

$37.49 still seems too expensive to me.

Christmas is coming to Costco in 6 months.

See you in March. 🙂

Costco raises minimum wage to $16

Costco raises its minimum wage above rivals like Amazon, Target and Best Buy

Costco has around 180,000 US employees, and 90% of them work hourly. It will hike its minimum wage to $16 beginning next week…


‘I will continue happily shopping there forever’: Costco customers react to retailer’s new $16 minimum wage

Some 180,000 U.S.-based Costco employees will begin earning a minimum of $16 an hour starting next week, the membership warehouse retailer’s CEO announced Thursday

Read more on – US Social Security website

This blog post is for US residents only. is a US government social security website. It shows how much you made in the past and shows how much social security benefit you will receive when you retire.

Depends on how long you live and how much you made in the past, you might receive well over $100k. It is very important that you have the access to your own social security data. Knowledge is power. This website provides me with a vital piece of information pertaining to my retirement.

I strongly recommend everyone to register at I hope this will give you a fresh outlook on your retirement and financing.

In the past, it was absolutely impossible for me to register at They would ask security questions that were impossible to answer. So, I gave up on registration.

Then, they recently updated their website with the new registration process. Finally, I could register on the website. Now I have a better feel for my retirement. I can check and make sure there are no errors in my records. Also, I will know if somebody uses my social security number to get a job – or even worse (I cannot think of any specific scenarios – but I am sure there are nightmare stories).

I think I will retire at 70 years old. But if I can, I would like to retire sooner and work part-time doing office work. I enjoy office work. Everything about office work is sexy and exciting. I enjoy dressing up for work. I enjoy waking up early when I feel sleepy and miserable. I feel alive doing all that, and it’s so much fun. Life is fun. I hope you feel that way, too.