Nov 21 2022

Home Depot 家得宝

I’ve been HD customer practically since I arrived in New York, started from painting my rental room with a roommate. In the 1980s, it was pleasant and a great place to be. It started in 1978 by five founders, one of them is Ken Langone (1935-) who wrote I Love Capitalism!: An American Story, in 2018.

Then Jack Welch’s underline Robert Nardelli (1948-) took it over in 2000, till 2007. During this period, it was no fun shopping at HD because he cut back on experienced staff, using part timers who careless or not knowledgeable enough to help. He was left go in early 2007, with $240m severance package. The stock price under Nardelli remained same while Lowe’s doubled.

I’ve two books on Jack Welch (1935-2020), both published in 2022, Home Depot is a topic in the book, especially Gelles’, who was more critical toward Welch.

  • The Man Who Broke Capitalism by David Gelles
  • Power Failure by William Cohan

I begin to visit HD often since 2022, and find it to be decent again, although not yet 1980s level. At the same time, I feel Lowe’s isn’t as good as HD.

Flooring, they care LifeProof.

Nov 19 2022

Yellow shopping carts

A few yellow shopping carts got my attention. Aren’t they cute?

Nov 18 2022

Mirna’s Cuban Cuisine

7980 N Tamianmi Trl
Sarasota, FL 34243

A little bodega with comfort food, and the portion is big. Service is good.

The skirt steak is well prepared and so is the pork roast. The green sauce is to die for.

No alcohols.

Nov 13 2022

The icy orchids

Part of our little garden is the orchids. The kind of orchid – icy queen -takes ice, in lieu of water, 3 cubes of ice weekly.

When I bought four in May, was told by the shop staff that all solid color orchids are dyed. When they come back next time, they’ll be white. This, IS a NEWS to me because I’d many in the past and only the white returned white.

Guess only time will tell if they’re right.

2024.4.13: re color – it’s wrong. My orchids although take longer than I expected but came back in their original color, after about a year.

The group of five is purchased on Feb 13, 2023. The second three is from January 5, 2023. My first three were from November 13, 2022.


Nov 8 2022


2616 S MacDill Ave
Tampa, FL 33629
Palma Ceia

Pretty cool decor, HUGE portions, and quite delicious foods. The wine bottle chandeliers are great. 

Our young server is pretty, polite and professional. We’ve

– Fried avocado
– pretzel
– 3 burgers
– rice beans and pork

The house Pinot Grigio is quite good.



Nov 8 2022


2602 S MacDill Ave
Tampa, FL 33629
Palma Ceia

We went on a Tuesday afternoon after lunch at Datz next door. It’s empty and the over all feeling is kind of yucky. The old world charm didn’t work for me – what I see is dilapidation with thick thick… yucky.

We asked for small size of cappuccino, a slice of chocolate cake. The total is $31+. I pressed ‘print’ but never got a receipt. When we called to pick up the coffee in paper cups, did we realize they’re HUGE. The girl coldly said, “we’ve one size.”

So why didn’t you inform us at ordering?

The cake is OVERLY sweet, to a point inedible. The lousy black plastic forks made it unappetizing.

Nov 7 2022

Mandola’s Italian Kitchen

12926 US Hwy 301 S
Bldg 100 Ste C
Riverview, FL 33578

Will return.

The location is really good, cross the parking lot from Sprouts Farmers Market, where we shop often.

The decor is functional. The black and white photos on the wall add charm and warmth. The brick arch up front at the entrance – looks fake. The high ceiling is great.

The service is good. Take a menu and order/pay at the counter.

The food is pretty yummy . We’ve
– Fried mozzarella,
– Eggplant parmigiana and
– Lasagne

Two red
– Tuscan red on tap
Michael David cab
One is better than the other – too busy chatting with the friends, couldn’t remember which is which.

One of friends from Chicago ordered – thin crust, pretty New York and she said it’s great. Will try next time.

Nov 6 2022

Sa Ri One Korean BBQ

1025 Brandon Blvd
Brandon, FL 33511

Or Sarione Bistro. Where should I began?

This is the first ethnic restaurant we tried in Florida, and disappointing: nothing is right, compare to New York and even LA. Ok I’m comparing sesame to watermelon, not really fair. BUT, at least, please don’t make your marinade SO SWEET!

The location: matters not that much, … but it’s ok.
The size: it’s pretty big with many areas, and outdoor.

The decor: is ok, compare to the location.

The service: ok.

The food: below average – the quality of the meats are ok but the marinades are just too sweet, even the spicy paste. What’s for? The Koreans don’t eat this sweet! The appetizers are way below the average. Kimchi is light and passable.

The grill: is weak, and not sparking clean. One good thing is, they let us to cook for ourselves. Not pulling up on and on, without regard.

The gratuity: the 18% is added to the bill.

Bathroom: although somewhat clean but the hand soup is empty, two out of three containers.

Odd thing: they use the cart to deliver drinks and food.

Judging from the food on the dinners, tables there, and their conversations with the staff, I think Korean food is still a novelty.

One last thing, also my first: a couple walked out before ordering. They sat not too far from us and asked very specific questions, such as who’s cook and what are being cooked. Then they got up and just left, saying this isn’t for them.


Nov 1 2022

My little garden

My little garden and orchids are growing, and most of the pots and plants/flowers are from Home Depot.

outside of the lanai
the 2nd extension

We extended lanai 10′ out with the builder. They won’t do the max, which we would do a year after.

A few months ago, I finished David Gelles’ The Man Who Broke Capitalism How Jack Welch gutted the heartland and crushed the soul of corporate America (2022), the totally denial of Neutron Jack who was worshiped during his day, as “manager of the century.” Recently, Power Failure The rise and fall of an American icon (Nov 2022) by William D. Cohan. One of Welch’s lieutenants or disciples was Bob Nardelli, who drove Home Depot to the ground. HD used to be a pleasant place to shop or live (you probably know what I mean … when you’ve a project going.) Now, HD feels ok, I think.


The fall foliage is seen in Florida?! Or I’m colorblind -:)

Some thinks it’s my zen garden … I just want to show off the Chee Hsin tiles I brought back from China.


Two first dinners, one with friends and one with neighbors.


From 2023

Air plants

majesty palm from Lowe’s; Wax begonia, a gift; African Milk Tree; calla lily; a yellow bougainvillea. Two bird of paradise, Chinese lantern and mini chili pepper in February, and peachy Hibiscus, Moonlight Sunscape in January.


The orange flower Cape Honeysuckle

Lemon lime prayer plant (Maranta) and bloodleaf

heartleaf philodendron plant (?) and a very healthy hostas.


Red barberton daisy, dicots

Below, are purchased in 2022:

Yellow Asiatic lily


Plumbago (leadwort)

Tricolor ginger/prayer or triostar stromanthe, and a few more


The snake plant

A small fern

25Q perennial blanket flower, in the sunflowers / daisies family.

The golden shrimp plant (pachystachys lutea) is one of my favorites. Kew Gardens in London and New York botanic gardens have it, so is Planting Fields on Long Island. By January, new flowers are coming out.


The purple Mona lavender plectranthus, and parrot flower. We left it outside during the first of the three cold days, Christmas 2022 when temperature drops below zero (only 30?!!) its leaves curled inward, as if to keep warm. Hopefully, it will make it – we moved it inside on the second day, 12.25. We brought them in on Jan 15 again – by now, parrot flower isn’t doing well, might die soon; or already died.

The parrot flower (not the bird of paradise), and


The purple mints

Lantana (yellow)

The dropper Global green pothos is doing well without much care: I’ve to cut it short after a year.


Hawaiian Ti Cordyline 10″ red sister


starfire jasmine white

The firespike (odontonema strictum)


The vinca and carnations 康乃馨


The pentas

My usual orchids

Pilea Chinese money and century plant (monocots class)


The hibiscus

The peachy one is from January. The red Chinese hibiscus is from Nov 2022, with stone from Dongzhi, Anhui.


A yellowish spiky plant

The bougainvilleas

The yellow one is on 2023.3.29. The smaller fuchsia color one is from Nov 2022.


Our first plant purchased on November 1st, 2022: bougainvillea. On lunar new year day 2023.1.22, it blooms like crazy -:).


… the herb tower

… the tile corner, with its earliest settler, a cute little gecko/lizard or commonly known as Cuban brown anole.



The front yard

We waited for a year to remove the palm trees’ wooden support. But it doesn’t need this long

A little bamboo from iKea in 2022.