My favorite restaurant?

Whatever anyone else throws out – Michelin won’t review it, but it’s all perfectly good. Thank you neighbors! Should i laud your stupidity? No. But i am happy to profit from it.


A perfectly good head of iceberg lettuce … *except for the few brown patches on the outside*. 

Ya know what? Iceberg lettuce is a bit like an onion, peel off the outside, and *voila!* – what’s left is perfectly good! Salad for a week! I went to the Safeway, got a carrot, snow peas, raw brocolli. All of a dollar worth. I already have a nice big white onion. Perhaps the last of the feta cheese i actually paid for…

10/1 & 2

• Half a red cabbage, i can see the edges where it’s been cut are a bit yellowed ( =old) but once trimmed, and steamed *real good* w/ butter and pepper… well, i like my veggies, add some sausage, and i got dinner 🙂
• A big chunk of chicken in a ziploc bag, upon inspection, rather dried out. Upon microwaving in a bit of broth? Just fine.
I have 2 cardboard containers of broth – miso ginger and chicken garlic, dated 2015, ‘use within 5 days of opening’. It’s been waaay longer than 5 days – still fine. Lots of salt in these.
• 2 sandwich size zip-loc bags w/ 2 dinner/buttermilk biscuits in each, a thin slice of turkey and and a bit of cheese in each. Perfect for augmentation – mayo, mustard, maybe onion and a bit of that chicken i mentioned above, plus a bit mo’ cheese. 2 of these + some french fries/hash browns, you got lunch.

Someone tossed out a ton of perfectly useable stuff. And i do mean a LOT! What i can use and kept – top to bottom, 2 dress shirts, plaid undies ( hey! if i die suddenly and the coroner strips me down, when he/she gets to the underwear they’ll know i had some style!), black pants, and a grey sweatshirt. All my size (= M). Purr-fect!



An Almost complete loaf of nice multigrain bread, way, way past the best by date, still perfectly good.
Many other small items, power bars/snack bars (almond, dark chocolate), several home-made waffles wrapped in plastic, small bags of chips/snacks, all ‘hot’ – perhaps it was the hot part that turned people off?
And…! What is probably a 2 lb bag of purple grapes – ‘gumdrops’ the package says.
Yummy!!! Totally!!! – why would anyone toss these out??
I do have one question though – they are ‘grown in the USA’, the text on one side of the bag is in english, on the other side it is in… french.
In California i would expect the second language to be spanish.
That posed another question – what are the most widely spoken languages??

Thanks to google, and: i did some research.
Here’s the bottom line:

Language – Approx. number of speakers:

1. Chinese 1,197,000,000
2. Spanish 414,000,000
3. English 335,000,000
4. Hindi 260,000,000
5. Arabic3 237,000,000
6. Portuguese 203,000,000
7. Bengali 193,000,000
8. Russian 167,000,000
9. Japanese 122,000,000
10. Javanese 84,300,000

Source: Ethnologue, 2014.
Some: May encompass multiple dialects.
The macrolanguage Chinese [zho] includes 13 individual languages with at least 1 million speakers.
(Cantonese and Mandarin being the major ones.)
The macrolanguage Arabic [ara] includes 18 individual languages with at least 1 million speakers.

French doesn’t get into the top ten. So why is it on my bag of grapes?

10/9 sunday

i have come to think of taking out the trash in a different way – i toss some stuff out (in this case some metal/plastic recycling) and i take in much, much more.
In this case/this afternoon:

• Bread – wheat – a third of a loaf, (oddly enough) unsliced – home made?
• 3 thick slices of turkey
• Pizza – a couple of slices, probably from ‘Extreme Pizza’ just a few blocks away – it has some pineapple on it. I pick that off – pizza and pineapple don’t mix for me.
• Carrots – 16 oz bag, completely untouched, unopened.
• ‘Best Foods’ mayo. – 2 11 fl oz bottles with a ‘clean lock cap’ – another marketing gimmick.
• A carry out container, 5 red potatoes, and a couple of slabs of corned beef – very fatty, very very delicious.
Once again, that’s just what i skimmed off the top few bags.

The corned beef was the best find of the month – it usually comes in big slabs, way too much for my 1 person household, so i don’t buy it like that.
This brings up the whole topic of packaging – most things seem to be ‘family size’ which is really inconvenient for me. And is inadvertently wasteful. People use some … and toss the rest out?
Really stuuuupid!

When i lived in SF (1992 – 2002) i could go to a really raw basic vegetable market, just ‘open air’, with waist high bins of veggies, raw. You could get any amount you wanted. You could watch rickety old pick-up trucks from the valley pull up, latino guys unloading crates of veggies directly into the bins.
Doesn’t that now have a trendy hip name? ‘farm to table’?



My dinner menu for the next few days just got changed – it is now red potatoes, corned beef, …and some of those carrots. Or maybe the red cabbage 🙂

I watch lots of movies, and several have scenes of third world marketplaces, the middle east and india – Zero Dark Thirty and the Bourne series respectively, they show how most of the world shops, and it ain’t Safeway, Trader Joe’s, or Whole Foods (aka = ‘whole paycheck’).

Oh, i also found some new american currency:

When i opened both this image, and the following one of a 100$ bill (which is freely available on the web) with Photoshop to simply resize them, i got an error message of sorts:
Something to the effect that “this program will not allow resizing of currency images…” and sent me to a web page:

“Banknotes & Counterfeit Deterrence

Every country has legal restrictions on the reproduction of banknote images. The counterfeiting of currency is a crime, and while restrictions vary from country to country, in some countries, any reproduction of banknote images – even for artistic or advertising uses – is strictly forbidden. Even in countries that allow some limited use of banknote images, there are specific rules and requirements. This website will provide you with information about reproducing banknote images and links to country-specific websites for further guidance.”

( if you think big brother isn’t watching? you’re wrong!)

i am trying to reconcile it’s value against another bit of currency:
I was given one of these a few years ago by the guy i work for as an Xmas bonus when someone paid cash shortly before the holiday. It’s on my refrigerator door, held by a magnet, i ain’t gonna spend it, it’s just too nice to spend, break into 20’s and tens and whatever else. Maybe i will frame it, after cash is gone, banished.
but i suspect that will inspire a whole new economy of some sort – it will be called ‘barter’.

I am also continuing to appreciate two finds from some time ago that still warm my heart – a book, and a picture frame.

The picture frame, with hinged doors that can be closed, or opened, to show an image as one wishes to. My choice? a montage, nevada mountains, and a carousel.


The book – a treasure!


About some truly remote places few people experience, their unique geography, history such as is known. The book design is a work of art:


• An unopened 1/2 lb of monterey jack cheese.
• 5 little sausages  links from a larger pack of Johnsonville breakfast sausages. The label is torn off, i don’t know what the BB date is, but they are still pink = AOK.

• half a pack of skirt/flank steaks, thin sliced, BB date 10/7, maybe 6 oz. Still OK, though a few discolored (grey) parts, easily trimmed off. Had one for dinner, with spices, all ‘gifts’. My neighbors have no idea how generous they are. Or how stupid they are? (It is nice to have neighbors who feed me.)

On a completely different note…
It is also nice to live in a media saturated world – i can bypass Taylor Swift and all the Ninja Turtle films… and instead take in Mark Isham’s ‘Tibet’ soundtrack … and ‘The Revenant’ for a second (or is it the third?) time.

Sat./Sunday 15th, 16th

• 1 fried chicken leg – i peel off all the ‘fried’ part, don’t need that, plenty of good chicken left
• cottage cheese, a 1 lb tub dated Aug 28, still perfectly good.
• Mexican cheese mix, a few spoonfuls at the bottom of the bag, perfect to sprinkle over a fried egg or two
• Toilet paper – the center is way to small to work on the spindle/rack in my apt, that’s why it got tossed out, but since everyone has to take a dump now and then… I’ll keep it.
• Hot dog buns, 3 honey-wheat sesame seed.

• Home made gravy! in a large coffee cup, covered w/ plastic wrap – must be home-made? Well done, kudos to the unknown chef!
I remember my parents makin’ gravy on the stove – a big wide pan, all the meat drippings, some salt and pepper, some flour, stir until thick. Yummy!

• Red cabbage – looks wilted on the outside, peel that away and you’re left with plenty of cabbage.

• Soy sauce packets, almost a dozen in a larger plastic bag.

• 2 salsas, small/take out size – salsa verde, and the other – red, hot! yummy!

• Sweet mini peppers, a half finished bag, plenty left.

Wed 10/19
• Bag of bean sprouts, maybe a few ounces, still fresh.

• Bottle of ‘urban remedy’ drink 16 fl oz – chocolate and banana, dated 10/11.
A nice drink: Almond milk, banana, chocolate, ground coconut, chia powder, cocao powder, maca root powder, stevia.

• a nice tin foil 6″ plate of Mac & cheese, half finished – not Kraft style, sort of custom made, but probably store bought….?

• an unopened can of black beans, dated 2015. Unspiced – i will have to ‘lively it up’ for sure.
There’s a reason why canned foods exist – they keep for a very long time.
I keep may of them for a long time too, it’s called ‘earthquake supplies’.

• An unopened 1 lb loaf of Alfaro’s ( a local Nor-Cal bakery) ‘artisanal’ white bread – dated 10/2
• 5 – 4 oz single servings of Mott’s Applesauce/strawberry. Don’t know how the strawberries got into the mix, but WTF – i’m sure it will taste fine while breakfast is cooking.
• Yet another 1 lb container of cottage cheese! – dated 11/2.

• most of a loaf of raisin bread – dated 10/16. A few slices moldy, most good, I freeze half.
• A big hunk of bread, 6×9″-ish, 3/4 thick in a ziploc bag, so ‘origin unknown’. It’s very flaky like greek pastries, got some cheese in there.


Tasty! and some jalapeno slices on top!
• a small tub of chocolate …pudding? I’m not sure, it’s thicker than pudding. Label torn off.
• small take home container of Whole Foods chicken noodle soup, 2/3 full. Think I’ll add the last of the gravy found earlier to thicken it up. 🙂
• a ziploc bag w/ 4 ‘ballpark’ hot dogs. I had found a bag of 3 nice hot buns a few days ago, wasn’t looking forward to buying an 8-pack of dogs, so these fit right in, perfectly! Yabba-dabba-doo!
Links for the month:

You’ve heard the term ‘military-industrial complex’?
Well, there’s also a vegetable-industrial-complex … and a meat-industrial-complex.

This is an *excellent* photo essay on how what you eat gets produced and delivered to you in supermarkets, unless you shop very ‘locavore’ / ‘farm to table’ like allota people in N. California like to do.
Soooo… just a little bit of marketing here?

An excellent compilation – bookmark it:

Racing to Zero Waste in San Francisco? Not Without Reduce and Reuse!

Startling Map Shows True Extent of America’s Landfill Problem


And on the topic of living small:

A last ‘wild and crazy’ thought:
How many kinds of hot sauce do you have?
Here’s my arsenal 🙂 None of which i paid a dime for.
They are *meaty, beaty, big and bouncy* for sure!

Make it spicy! Sock it to me!


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