Dr. Plastic Picker – A Personal Plastic-Picking Blog: Fighting Ocean Plastic Pollution One Piece At a Time
 
Braided hair of the tween who goes to private school. She is a nice kid.

December 5, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Can I tell you a Dr. Plastic Picker secret? It’s not that our two children go to private school. Most of my patient families know that as I’m open about that when they ask me questions. I myself went to a stellar suburban public school, and had mixed feelings about sending them to private school. From my suburban public school I was probably better equipped then most of my prep school classmates at Crimson University. Dr. Plastic Picker’s secret is that I don’t really like many of the other parents who have also send their kids to our same private school. About a quarter I really like, but three-quarters I can’t stand. When I have to interact with those parents as a fellow parent, I sometimes question our choice. But it’s the price I pay to send my kids to private school. But now that I think about it, I’m sure every parent at any type of school probably feels the same way about our fellow parents. So maybe Dr. Plastic Picker’s secret isn’t much of a secret?

(more…)

The salmon was really good.

December 4, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I don’t know why the salmon was particularly amazing yesterday. I didn’t intend to make something special. I pulled into our garage at 230pm. Yesterday was a half day of work and I actually left the office semi-on-time. I had talked to Mr. Plastic Picker earlier in the afternoon and told him to not order out. Since Fridays are usually busier days for us and take-out is a treat, I could figure out something for dinner on a Thursday. I pulled into the garage and plugged in my plug-in hybrid. We have an extra freezer and frigerator/freezer in the garage. There are a lot of people who live in my house, and it’s mostly my parents-in-law who store their bulk food there. I used to feel guilty about all the appliances but they are sunk cost, and they are powered by our solar panels anyway. There is not much of our food there, but sometimes I’ll store some frozen Costco bulk food. Thinking about dinner, I shopped in my own garage and found a packet of salmon fillets from Costco.

(more…)

So pretty this morning.

December 3, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I used to think Costco was the answer to life. Costco wanted us to think that it was the answer to life. Costco is still a great place, and pays good wages. But I am reminded that Costco is not the answer to life. It’s just a warehouse store that generally runs an ethical business but usually pushes us to overconsume and has too much plastic packaging. I have a lot of self-control these days and I can walk into Costco without leaving with three giant Olaf plushies. Yes, we once did that. The last plushie went to a good highschool friend who also re-homed/bought our extra care. No one needs an extra car. I was trying to find that bloglink, but can’t find it. I’ll try to link it later.

Anyway, last weekend my college sweetheart and only ever boyfriend now husband of almost 20 years Mr. Plastic Picker and I went to Costco. It was very romantic. We bought mostly things in bulk but I was tempted by a crate of mangos. I have family in our southeast Asian homeland that has a mango tree farm, and mangos ripe from the tree are delicious. Here in southern california, we make due with Costco. But do we really need to? The mangoes on the outside looked decent, and I am well aware due to my ethnic heritage how to judge the ripeness of a mango. The ripeness was about right to eat the next week. Our daughter loves mangos. So we bought a crate. Last night I had a semi-tiring day at work. Mostly dealing with some adminstrative things again in my non-adminstrative off time. When everyone has left the office, I was still sitting there. But I also had a conversation with someone I care about and the conversation was very similar to conversations I’ve had prior to becoming Dr. Plastic Picker. Filled with gossip and some catching up, and some pettiness. I felt myself reverting to pettiness. It’s funny that when I join again with old intermittent acquaintances that have not been with me on this journey, I get to starkly look back at who I was before this blog – before I just decided to really care. I did not like that version of myself.

(more…)

Mr. Plastic Picker is on his own journey. He was showing off his fancy coffee grinder. It’s German. He studied German in high school.

December 2, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Today I’ll reach my monthly goal of 20 bags of trash picked from either the street or the beach. Since I live just a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean and concentrate on the storm drains, I know that 100% all that litter would eventually end up in the ocean. I arbitrarily extended November into a few days into December, because this is a virtual world with my made-up rules and I just do it to keep myself accountable to the earth. I just looked at my excel spreadsheet, and I’ve picked up now 340 bags of ocean plastic pollution! Wow! That is a lot. I’m really excited to get to 500 bags eventually. I once won first place in my elementary school Olympics jump roping contest and I think got to somewhere in the 300s. It’s all about consistentcy, pacing oneself and rhythm.

(more…)

So colorful.

December 1, 2020

by drplasticpicker

How beautiful is the sweet potatoe? I didn’t realize last night when we each had a half baked sweet potatoe that it matched the edging of our well-loved silicone baking sheet. Mr. Plastic Picker and I went to Costco last weekend, and I find great joy is buying food in bulk now. We hardly ever purchase the ready made foods and now cook real food. This has mostly been to avert plastic packaging and to avoid palm oil which is in most frozen or prepackaged foods. The flip side is that it has really inspired me to be more creative in the kitchen. It’s amazing what you can learn on the internet if you are motivated.

Yesterday was a semi-normal non-frustrating day at work. I had a minor scheduling issue to work through with one of the young pediatricians, and she was patient enough to listen to my nonsensical rantings about Human Resources and Policies and Procedures. Trying to navigate the real world needs of physicians, rules and regulations and also common sense – can be challenging. It helps that Dr. Plastic Picker is very rule orientated and have common sense. It helps most that I am fiscally responsible and good with numbers. Mr. Plastic Picker is working with his sisters on finalizing his parent’s trust and estates. I am CFO of our family, and have nothing to do with my in-law’s finances and take just passing note of things I hear about. They buy onions, eggs and rice for our family and that is it. He asked me what I thought their networth was. I thought for 15 seconds and said a number, and I was almost right on. My dear husband paused for a second in astonishment. Yes, I am that good.

(more…)

Dinner 11/29/2020. Modified Pad Thai in our cast iron skillet.

November 30, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I really like Retireby40’s recipes. I had seen this recipe and watched his video a few months ago. Click here to read his recipe or watch him cook in the original https://retireby40.org/sahd-cooking-pad-thai/. If you want “authenic” pad thai, cook it Joe’s way. What I loved about this blogpost was when he explained “Pad Thai requires quite a few specialty ingredients. It might be hard to cook a 100% authentic Pad Thai. But Pad Thai is an adopted dish anyway so I think it’s perfectly fine to use local ingredients.” And with that blessing from the financial blogger who is authenitically Thai-American, your pediatrician felt at liberty to experiment. I’ve now made Modified Pad Thai three times, and yesterday it turned out really well. The kids were very happy.

(more…)

This sight at Costco is scary. Life cannot be reduced to a gummy.

November 29, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I’ve been asked this question many times in clinic. I have relented at times and given parents the correct doses and timing for melatonin. I think I know more about melatonin than most pediatricians just because I’ve read two articles on it, and I used to work in a sleep research group. Being an endocrine research fellow in a sleep research group gave me more confidence to give advice on sleep.

Here are two articles I recommend you read on melatonin before you even consider giving it to your child. One, is from HealthyChildren.org and the American Academy of Pediatrics https://healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/sleep/Pages/Melatonin-and-Childrens-Sleep.aspx and one is from Dr. Craig Canapari, my old friend from residency and a Nationally Recognized Pediatric Sleep Expert and Pediatric Pulmonologist https://drcraigcanapari.com/should-my-child-take-melatonin-a-guide-for-parents/. Here is the scientist that I worked with on sleep research, he is currently the chief medical officer at the FDA Office Division of Metabolism and Endocrine Products https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Giovanni_Cizza2 . That’s actually a really important position.

(more…)

His dangling right nose-thread I removed.

November 28, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I am always eager to get up in the morning (its 4:44 AM, yes three 4s in a row) to write to you. This morning I got up trying not to wake Mr. Plastic Picker or irritate the 12-pound poodle fur ball that sleeps with us as well, But very little will deter me from sitting in front of the computer tapping away on my laptop. I turn on the electric hot water kettle, check on my vinegar projects (which sits on the shelf under the coffee station) and give it a quick stir, and then settle down to write. Literally this morning I woke up and thought, “what nonsense can I write about this morning?”

(more…)

The stew is on the top right-hand corner.

November 27, 2020

This is the second year we cooked on this National Holiday. Last year we cooked our first Thanksgiving Turkey and had the resulting yumminess of turkey broth and turkey soup afterwards https://drplasticpicker.com/cooking-a-turkey-saved-money-used-less-plastic-and-finally-felt-at-home/. The entire home-made feast cost us $22 with plenty of leftovers for my parents house and our large household of six.

(more…)

Stuff from Crimson University.

November 26, 2020

by drplasticpicker

I’m nominally a Physician Personal Finance Blogger. I’m on Crispydoc’s blogroll. Let me check to make sure I’m still there. https://www.crispydoc.com/physician-finance-bloggers/ Yep, still there. I like how CrispyDoc describes me, ” Dr. Plastic Picker is a self-described ‘wannabe financial blogger’ aiming to FISE (Financial Independence, Save the Earth). Written by a pediatrician and mom, this half of a west coast dual MD household is passionate about saving money and the planet.” That’s me. I’m actually a wannabe financial blogger because I don’t think physicians are the best equipped people to give other physicians financial advice. Did I just say that? Yes I did! You can listen to Dr. McFrugal. He gives solid advice. https://www.drmcfrugal.com/ I don’t like the travel hacking part of his blog, because this encourages folks to spew carbon into the air. But the minimalism and plant-based eating is point on. No one is perfect, not even Dr. McFrugal. His family is pretty adorable though.

(more…)