Steam your Crustaceans at the 99 Ranch

Here in California we are very lucky to have access to fresh seafood, even traveling here to the Inland Empire it's not hard to come by. When we get a craving for Crustaceans we can visit our local "99 Ranch" Market. they have seasonal varieties of fish, shrimp, lobster, scallops, mussels, clams and crab and more.

The butcher will go to the tank and pull out a crab, and you just need to ask them to steam it for you. The service is free, regardless of the size you pick. It takes about 15 minutes, you just need to bring them the receipt before they can start cooking.

The option is quick and easy, you just need to take it home! The service is only available until 8PM, and depending on the day you might wait in line. 

If you ever cooked Crustaceans at home you understand it takes the right cookware, it's an added expense. Not to mention the sound that a lobster makes being plunged into a huge pot of boiling water. It's better to have the professionals do it for you. 

Once you get home, you still need to prepare the crab. If you don't know how to eat steamed crab, it is basically flipping the crab on its back and separating the shell. Make sure to take out the poop sack (which contains a lot of bacteria). I would suggest doing a little research online. My wife can clean a crab like a pro, so I've watched the process, it's less difficult than you might imagine. 

We save all the “tomalley”, which is part of the molting process. Basically it's the juices and inside fat of the crab, which we cook with rice later. Tomalley is tasty, so don't throw it out!

It's impossible not to love crab, but be sure you're not allergic. 
If you don't want to go to a restaurant you can bring it home cooked and ready for some melted butter.

2.69 lbs Dungeness Crab

99 Ranch is now in both Northern and Southern California. The crab above was on sale (for Fathers Day) it was $17.99/lb. It ended up costing $48.39 total. You don't have to get a crab as large as ours, 99 Ranch made it easy to pick the right size for you e.g. usually separating them into large and small tanks. Prices have really increased, but if you can get crab or lobster on sale I would highly recommend trying it.

Our favorite Restaurant and the Owner

Tien, Phuong and Leif 2021

We've been going to his restaurant for years, and they're celebrating the sixth year in business. Tien expanded and transformed the little Vietnamese restaurant into a hidden art gallery. The walls are covered in murals dedicated to great icons of the silver screen and classic musicians. He is devoted to the restaurant, and he likes to show it.

We love to eat, there especially because we are guaranteed great food and artistic inspiration. Tien has so much talent, generosity and creativity. We love the food too. 

Wild Burro's leaving a big mess

Our post Thanksgiving excursion with Marco, Sammy and Charlie; took us to the park, where wild Burro's graze, and shit.

Thanksgiving 2021: @ The Chau family home in Victorville

Lin, Nong, Leif, Phuong, Diep

Google Lens: a fun translation

Tonight my wife and I went to the 99 Ranch Market, a Asian grocery store. My wife saw a fun cat themed air freshener, but wanted to know what scent it was. The packaging was only in Japanese. So I whipped out my Google Pixel and took a photo. Using the Google Lens translate feature I deciphered the text. Apparently the Fluffy freesia scent attracts cats, but my wife was not interested.

Tesla the next GE

There isn't another organization like Tesla. Not one company is as highly invested in anti-climate change technology; however, I have qualms with the grandiose plan. The solution to climate change is not satiating market pangs. Mainly because technology doesn't mix well with markets. Eventually, science will not keep up with a glut of either consumption or investment; then creative destruction takes over and Tesla will be out of the picture. Don't believe me... look at General Electric. Tesla will not end the tragedy of the commons. The best answer to climate change is resolving our property rights. Defining property rights disputes will ensure financial and environmental coexistence across the entire world.

Tech move to Texas: vote from Red to Blue?

If Corporations and their employees leave CA for TX, could changing demographics swing the State of TX from Red to Blue? It is a sign of our times, Corporations in the Tech industry have spawned an exodus from the West Coast. Corporations have changed their preferences, and are taking action to formally "Vote with your feet", which may swing politics in both states. Notably Tesla and Oracle are leaving CA to lower their costs. Interestingly, when it comes to the ballot box, 89% of Tesla employees and 74% of Oracle employees register with the Democratic party (according to Zippia). Oracle could bring 10,000 new jobs to Austin HQ, while Tesla plans on hiring 30,000 workers at their new plant. The 2020 election in TX saw Republican Trump prevail over Democrat Biden by 631,221 votes a margin of 5.8% (notably that margin is down from 9% in 2016).

If we take a closer look in the coming years I wouldn't be surprised to detect that a significant swing has occurred. I admit this might catch you by surprise, but economically we all benefit from freedom of migration. If this was just corporate business as usual, then it would turn a blind eye to human information exchange. Freedom of movement fuels change beyond the ballot box. Our country is alive, moving isn't something to fear but something to embrace. 

Sightings of the 'great' conjunction


The first sighting of the Jupiter and Saturn in the night sky from Santa Barbara.

You can watch it live virtually

Skofield Park - Santa Barbara

Over the Christmas Holiday Phuong and I meet my family in Santa Barbara for 4 days. On our second day we took to the hills. With views of the Pacific Ocean we headed up a steep climb in Skofield Park. The steep climb calls for a descent, an undulating path that was 40 feet above a winding creek. A few tricky valleys meant for some scrambling on logs and boulders.  Paragliders soared over our heads taking the windy skies down to the beach miles below. 

NASA Selects Companies to Collect Lunar Resources for Artemis Demonstrations

NASA Selects Companies to Collect Lunar Resources for Artemis Demonstrations: NASA has selected four companies to collect space resources and transfer ownership to the agency: Lunar Outpost of Golden, Colorado; Masten Space Systems of Mojave, California; ispace Europe of Luxembourg; and ispace Japan of Tokyo. Overall, the new NASA contracts with these companies totals $25,001.


Lake Perris

It took me over 14 years to return, but I've finally made it back to the park. Last time I was here the water level was lowered because of a recent earthquake (this was back in 2006). Where I previously hiked is now submerged, I found old snorkel equipment and fishing tackle. We took a leisurely stroll around the reservoir. It was almost 10 miles round trip. We were pleasantly occupied by the wildlife we spotted: pheasant, coyote, and other birds of prey (I think it was a falcon). We were surprised by a mass gathering during the pandemic, it turned out to be a dog show among the picnic sites. The path was paved the entire way, we might return to rollerblade.

Scale of our Solar System and Beyond

 I don't see how my elementary school teachers expected me to be able to visualize this:

Credit: NASA, ESA, and B. Sunnquist and J. Mack (STScI) Acknowledgment: NASA, ESA, and J. Lotz (STScI) and the HFF Team

NASA, ESA, and B. Sunnquist and J. Mack (STScI)
Acknowledgment: NASA, ESA, and J. Lotz (STScI) and the HFF Team

This video is pretty comprehensive:

A day trip at Powder Canyon

We hiked the well traveled trails of Powder Canyon in Rowland Heights, with some coworkers and friends. Social Distancing was observed and we wore masks most of the time. The popularity of the trail was obvious from the crowds, probably because of it's proximity to the urban forest, and it had easy access from several trailheads.


Hiking Box Springs in the Rain: spotting Burros (aka Donkey)

We hiked Box Springs Mountain in Moreno Valley, CA. It was a rainy day with our friend, and some misplaced Burros (from the bygone age of Spanish imperialism). The hills were steep in many spots but the rain eventually laid off and we made it to the top. The trail going down the hill was much steeper, but that meant for a faster descent. A day hiking in the rain is underrated.


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