Another good month, and many good links for you – 9/10/16


I keep a paper grocery bag in the cabinet under the sink for inorganic trash, stuff that is not garbage and not recycle-able. Time to dump it…

What do i get in return? two *big bags* of goodies!


• 4 *big* brown eggs… that pass the ‘sink or swim test’ – they sink to the bottom of a glass of water? they’re OK 🙂
• Colmans mustard powder 16 oz, 2/3 full – enuf to keep me… for the rest of my life!?!
• Oriental Mustard powder and curry powder – 3 oz each
• Pizza – *one lonely slice* – it was lunch 8/1, w some pesto sauce and parmesan cheese
• sandwich/partial – cheese and meat still good.
• several bags of dried shitake mushrooms and wakame kelp – asian style, unopened, need to boil these well, but they are good… and healthy!
• 11oz bag of salad mix – 1/2 full, dated 8/4… and it’s now 7/30.
• a ‘Sprouts’ (= ‘trendy expensive food store nearby’) 3/4 lb package of basil pesto pasta w/ chicken – date? 8/4! WTF?? it’s now 7/30.
• a great collection of pencils and pens! Various colors! Niiice! I like having these on my desk!
It’s nice to see that younger people (‘mellenials’? is that the term?) aren’t all wrapped up in their own thing, hugging computers, playing ridiculous online games.
When i was 17…18…19/ 45 yrs ago/ 1968-69-70 – i was protesting the Vietnam war. I got conscientious objector status from the military draft ( i had a draft lottery # of 45 (everyone up to 55 was a goner – i was definitely gonna be drafted!))
‘CO’ status meant: i was required to work for some approved health facility/hospital for 2 years.
Sooo…I worked for 2 years at an inner city hospital in Wash DC – Children’s Hospital, while it was still at 13th & U Sts. Now THAT was an education in and of itself, how the real world works. I was in Admissions ( just paperwork), but it wasn’t like that spared me from seeing a lot of the nitty-gritty. I did paperwork to admit a kid at about 3 AM – cranial trauma – his parents were junkies, had an accident, the kid hit the wind shield. I led lotta people to their rooms, walked along the ward halls, saw lots of pain and misery.

—>>>fast forward – some people still care, in fact many do, these are just a couple i ran into online:

“This blog is an extension of a science project carried out by five 15 year old girls from the UK”

Another young person’s blog:

One post:



another interesting blog:

Racing to Zero Waste? Not Without Reduce and Reuse!
Excellent animation/map of the growth of landfills since we started making them.
Excellent graphic showing who/where the biggest waste comes from.
2 minute video – ‘A strawberry, from farm to refrigerator’:

Why Self-Help Guru James Altucher Only Owns 15 Things
Over the last half-decade, this former tech entrepreneur, venture capitalist and financial pundit has reinvented himself as a gimlet-eyed self-help guru, preaching survival in an era when the American Dream — the gold-embossed college diploma, the corner office, the three-bedroom home — seems like a sham. So one by one, he has shed all of them.


I can relate to this one real well. When I moved from the east coast to California in late 1991, i stripped my life down to what i could fit into a Subaru hatchback – now *that’s lean*. Best thing i have ever done, makes you think about what is really important.

Another interesting blog:

8/5 PM, Friday
Another big ‘moving out’ bag:
• Ritz crackers, 11.8 oz box, wrapped in small portions maybe a dozen crackers per portion, a good idea actually – if you open the wrapping on a column in a large box, they’ll go stale alot faster.
• 1/2 yellow onion, ziploc bag.
• Rotini pasta probably stuffed w/ a bit of something, in a ziploc bag, maybe a couple of servings.
• Chicken, in a ziploc bag, cooked, maybe 1/3 lb.
• Uncooked marinated chicken in a ziploc tub – straight to freezer.
• Guacamole!! Hooray! perfect for a friday cocktail hour, on the pita chips found earlier.

The rest of the bag is clothes, i have loads of t-shirts, but i took a couple of small kitchen towels and a pair of socks.

Coming home, 4PM:

• A used-to-be-big bag of breaded chicken tenders, still half a dozen or so left.
• Carry-out container: French fries w/ the skin still on. My momma used to say that the skin is the most nutritious part.
• Carry-out container: 4 or 5 thick strips of asian style beef – very tender, nicely spiced.
• Unfinished container of strawberries – gettin’ a bit old, but with a sharp knife…. 🙂
• 1/2 loaf of buttermilk bread
• ‘red boy’ pizza box – contents – 4 long skinny slices of sourdough bread with cheese, kinda hard and stiff, but schmearing on some olive oil, & 30 seconds in a microwave will do the trick.
• a 1 lb pack of turkey bacon, half a dozen strips left. I’ve tried this once, didn’t like it much but why not give it another spin?

(FWIW i’ve tried soy burgers and i feel like i am eating cardboard.)

In my mailbox? a postcard, bulk mailing, to ‘Resident’ – for “Ugly produce. Delivered”.

Now this is a really good idea! – farmers get to make some money off of ‘ugly(otherwise landfill destined) product’ – consumers get to save, waste is reduced. What’s not to like??

Somewhere along the line, i found 2 orchid plants, with flowers withering. I have given them a new home, done some research on their growth patterns, found out that they do regenerate if treated right. And with some luck added to the mix, since i have no idea what i am doing, & since i have no idea what kind of orchids they are, and there are thousands of varieties. I feel like maybe i have adopted a dog or cat from the pound. So far one shows signs of growth, the other … i dunno, doesn’t look promising. But a nice lesson, new pursuit from someone else’s trash.

“Live and learn”?
“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure?”
Old sayings – still true?
I sure hope so.

8/13 Sat.

Several huge bags, chock full of clothes – ‘crinkled/textured black plastic’ (These should really go to Goodwill just a few blocks away, or the homeless shelter, also just a few blocks away).


I’m always up for new shirt, oxford/business style, with a nice fabric/pattern, i take one.
A nice hand towel for my kitchen? SOLD!
A squash, what kind I’m not sure, but squash keeps forever, someday soon i’ll bake it up. Lots of butter, salt & pepper.
Several tomatoes, on the vine, soft and mushy. I had defrosted an heirloom tomato earlier, thinking to make some tomato soup. What a great coincidence. I also have a bunch of red potatoes, some onion, and i think i’ll add some of those shitake mushrooms i found last week.
Another good soup, a whole week of lunch.
Also a 8$ box, family game collection ‘Family classics’ – unopened. All you need to play checkers, chess and backgammon, w/ instructions. I had been thinking lately that i should come up w/ something to occupy my time besides this *MF-ing blasted computer* – and lo and behold, here it is!
Does the cosmos work in weird and mysterious ways?
I think ‘tomato soup’ and some more tomatoes arrive……
I think ‘some new amusement in my life’ ……. and the classic games thing arrives.

I hope the cosmos will take care of me when i take my 2 blood pressure pills in the AM, and the statin in the PM.

Whoa! More bags like i found before – ‘crinkled/textured black plastic’ – contents?
A jackpot!

• Bacon, 1/2 lb, good stuff, meaty, hardwood smoked, honey cured – yummy!
• sourdough bread, 1/2 loaf
• lean beef cubes, for stew, 3/4 lb, still mostly frozen, Thaw out, refreeze in smaller portions. For stew/ chili during winter, Just add onions, red beans. Both of which i have for free, or 1/2 price at Safeway – when cans get somewhat crushed/crinkled, they go on sale, 50% off. Just because the can doesn’t look good. The food inside is still perfectly good. We are slaves to appearances, pure and simple. and it is stupid.

Need I repeat the previous URL/link?

• Mexican taco cheese (cheddar and asadero), 1/2 an 8 oz bag.
• Johnsonville pork sausage, 6 of ’em, unopened.
• 8 oz bag of frozen veggies – peas and diced carrots, still cold, i won’t refreeze, it will turn into a brick. Veggies for the week’s dinners 🙂
Or the last bit frozen to make the aforementioned winter beef stew.
This should all be taken to the homeless shelter just a few blocks away.
But noooo… no one is thinking or caring…. are they?

8/16 Tues.

Another jackpot day!

• Keebler ‘Club’ crackers 13oz.
• Old Bay seasoning for seafood, 6 oz
• package of buttermilk biscuit & sausage sliders. 6 in all.
• a package of 8 smaller packs of Keebler cheese and P’nut butter crackers.
• Peanut butter, chunky, 1/2 jar
• Canned goods: Tomato soup, kidney beans, kernel corn
• Packet of Taco seasoning
• McCormick sesoning ‘caribbean jerk’ = sugar, red pepper, thyme, allspice, onion, tumeric and salt
• Half a dozen small snack size bags of of Lay’s chips – nacho, sour cream and onion.
• 3 small cans of Schweppes ginger ale.
• A few small tomatoes, kinda soft & pretty ripe – perfect!
* A roll of plastic wrap
• Several bottles of Dos Equis beer.

By the time i got to the beer, a shopping bag was totally full, so i called it quits, even though there was more stuff to be had. I don’t know where all this is coming from – it’s like someone took all their cupboards and refrigerator to the dumpster, and turned them on end, emptied them there!

And after I inventory and store all this, i make a sandwich for tomorrow’s lunch:
Buttermilk bread? free.
Lettuce? free.
Tomato? free
Cheese? free
Meat mixture – some hamburg and bacon? free.
Mustard? free

Mayo? hey, i actually had to buy that!

8/21 – sunday

• Blueberries! – used to be 32 oz, now just a smattering at the bottom of the plastic container
* Milton’s MultiGrain bread – 5 slices
• (Kirkland – a huge corporate company) ‘Einstein Bros’ sesame seed bagels – 3 of ’em.
• Sour cream – 1 lb, 8/29, still full. Time to buy a cucumber!
• 1000 island dressing 16 fl oz – full!
• a bag of leafy veggies – “Sorrento” – ‘Baby aragula blend’ – baby aragula, baby spinach, baby lettuces – 5 oz – half full.
• and a somewhat unique item – ‘vegan mayonnaise’ calling itself ‘nayonnaise’ – clever name hunh?.
Ingredients? – soymilk, soybean oil, vinegar, salt, cane syrup, nat’l flavors, mustard, flour, xanthum and guar gum, paprika, garlic powders. Quick taste test? Not bad, not bad at all.

As always, thank you, neighbors! – your loss (or maybe i should call it ‘your toss’?) – is my gain. No end to stupid, happy here to do well by it.

8/27 – Sat.

Good things come in threes? 3 slices of pizza, w/ all the extras including black olives. My test for pizza is simple – if the crust is still flexible, it’s pretty freshly tossed out, it’s a keeper. If hard? Nope, leave it for the bees and rats. And… three croissants, good mid-morning snacks at work next week.

Friday is what is called ‘5$ friday’ at the Safeway a block away, many items discounted to 5$. Among them, a whole roast chicken.
Someone bought one, ate what they wanted, and tossed the rest. They didn’t bother to pick it too clean, didn’t use it for a soup base/broth, a very easy thing to do. DUH!


What did I get out of it? A big bowl of chicken! Sandwiches/dinner for most of the week!


One of the interesting things about rummaging thru the trash? You find things you would never otherwise experience – every package these days has a web address on it.
I found a small package of 2 cookies:
“Peruvian Butter Cookies”: Filled with creamy dulce de leche caramel and dusted with white powdered sugar”:


I went to the URL on the package:



Wow! Their sandwiches looks grrrreat!
And the thought occurs to me (like it hadn’t already, but indeed it had) that there is much more ‘south of the border’ than an asshole like Donald Trump would have you believe.
If i were to ask you what countries are south of Mexico, what would your answer be?
Do you have any answer??
My guess is there are more than a dozen, w/ cultures and languages all their own.
I have a world map that “doctors without borders” sent me, i tacked it to my hallway wall, i tore it of the wall to recount to you the answer to the above question.
16 countries, there may be a few that are so small on the map my bad eyes don’t see ’em.


Tips to Reduce Food Waste

Op-Ed: “Is that milk past its ‘sell by’ date? Drink it anyway.”

Before you click on this link, let’s have a chat about news media subscriptions.
The LA Times won’t let you read anything without subscribing. And they will have your email address, which they will use in anyway possible.

However if you google “broad-leib-food-label-accuracy” you can get to the page just fine, as republished in a Harvard blog:

However this page is really overloaded, clogged my browser, i had to force quit to get out of it.

The web can be a wondrous thing…. it can also be an abomination of BS, & overloaded pages – **!beware! all ye who enter here-in!**

Mon 9/5

Thought I might see a bit more ‘holiday /long weekend / party down’ stuff. Nope, maybe tomorrow, when everyone has to go to work. But what I did get was nice.

• Lay’s Ranch dip, 15 oz, 1/2 full
• 6 large brown eggs – ‘sell by date’? 9/1
• 2 small carry out containers, sauces, one looks like ranch, the other is red, probably BBQ.
• Yogurt (plain) – 32 fl.oz, 1/3 full, dated 8/23. Nothing wrong with this….
Once again, the ‘sell by/best by’ dates are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

A word about the contents of many manufactured foods:
I have come to read ingredients on the labels, and what’s in a lot of these ‘products’ really ain’t much.
The Lay’s Ranch dip? here’s how it reads:
Water, sunflower or canola oil, modified tapioca and cornstarch, less than 2% of the following: MSG, garlic powder, spices, onion powder, natural flavors, sugar, glucono delta lactone, lactic acid, xanthum gum, and datem.
Oh… ‘partially produced w/ genetic engineering’
Not much of a ‘food’ product is it?
WT hell is ‘glucono delta lactone’, and ‘datem’???

DATEM = (diacetyl tartaric acid ester of mono- and diglycerides, also E472e) is an emulsifier primarily used in baking to create a strong gluten network in dough. It is added to crusty breads, such as rye to impart a springy, chewy texture, as well as in the production of biscuits, coffee whiteners, salsa con queso, ice cream, and salad dressings.

9/7 Wed.
Someone’s moving out! A bag of coat hangers – that’s a tell tale sign.

• Small paper bag, tortilla chips, w/ a small container of a very nice red salsa.
• the 4 slices of ‘Dave’s killer thin sliced good seed’ bread, it is very seedy, indeed!
• Black berries – most of a 6 oz container. Mixed w/ the plain yogurt i found a couple of days ago? excellent!
• 10 large brown eggs, dated 8/12. Two ‘fail the sink or swim’ test. So there’s eight left 🙂

I’m sure next month will be as loaded w/ goodies as this one was – do drop in again.

Do feel free to contact me:



I’m sure next month will be as loaded w/ goodies as this one was – do drop in again.      


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