Haiku: Nine in Kind

Crescent moon scant smile Tilted sideways recalling At dusk some old tale. Skateboard land surfers Mopeds and bikes and scooters…

Whacky

Dear colleagues, it’s Grocery, so that means whacky customer behavior, right?. Forget it, the two are inseperable, every day. Lady…

Ocean Bound

(Warning: very…zzzzz…long, like a boulevard. Bring backpack, snacks.) Imagine being a human-drone, high above the broad and deep coastal basin,…

Sample Nation

It’s the little things, together, then they become a big thing. A standard. An experience, memorable and positive. We make…

First

My young man at home will get his work permit next year. At this point, he wants Trader Joe’s to…

Checkout

The dilemma of the checkout. The Grand Finale. The last chance. Why is Trader Joe’s checkout a dilemma? Dueling objectives:…

Critter

Yeah, OK, think it’s easy being me, ‘Willie the Wildcat’, store ‘critter’? Please. It’s no party, you have no idea.…

The King

Yeah, you got it. The Best. #1, and no one else even close. I’ve been The King here at Trader…

99%

I’ve posted before about the customers, humorously, and also their best attributes. Generally, I love and pamper my customers, and…

WWJD?

WWJD…about Trump? Challenge? Chastise? Condemn? Perhaps all three? Maybe. My guess…. Jesus, wise and perceptive, recognizing Trump’s intrinsic addiction to…

Bunny

We were in Douglas Park, the pooch and I. Sun was going down to dark orange, a dozen ducks were…

God, god.

The contradiction Has been pondered forever The ‘problem’ with God. All Powerful and All Good, but cannot be both Without…

Five Haiku @ 65

(Five Haiku @ 65) Busy spouse, teen son Three strangers all summer now Each in our shadow. The days lounge…

Spy vs. Spy

(Warning: long, political) Only afforded my limited layman’s view, but it seems to be true that ‘Intelligence’ is always a…

Worry

Worry. The bogyman of our thoughts. It has an inexhaustible imagination. Worry can think of things gone wrong in the…

Cognitive Dissonances

(Warning: long, political) Perception and reality. Seldom the same. For example, if you ask people to guess how many Americans…

Dust

(Double-warning: long, and philosophical­čśŐ) How literally do I take the established scientific fact that my physical existence is the direct…

Titanic

The careening Trump presidency. Can’t compare it to a roller-coaster ride because those are sometimes fun. As eash asinine, avoidable…

No Fun

For too long now, the Web, overall, has stopped being fun. Today, it’s a tedious, annoying visit nearly every time,…

Spin

This isn’t fact-based news, just an opinion essay. That’s also what this is about: news and non-news. By now, we…

Mishaps

(Warning: long) Mishaps? In demo? Sure, plenty. When you do something for a good long while, it all happens. Power…

Musings

Musings at dawn, no special reason, about the roles we play. Masculinity and humanity. They shouldn’t compete, but sometimes they…

Public Markets

Like with any local carnival, the variously generated sounds heard in public markets, the high-pitched, frenzied buzz, the unharmonized, clamoring…

Still Here

(Warning: long) Sure, I’ve thought about quitting. Moving on to something else, the next chapter, after mostly working TJ’s demo…

Cinnamon

On a day of suffocating heat, dry thoughts, and dusty dreams, what beats a tall glass of nearly brain-freeze chilled…

Insult

Well into this age of faceless folly, getting hit by a driverless car now becomes a new version of adding…

Plan

(Warning: long) When I was a boy, I noticed one day how close the word good is to God. And…

Unalienable

(Warning: long) If you don’t believe it, you can try it out yourself: ask a young person why we celebrate…

Seniors

(Warning: long) Seniors. Our elderly customers. If you aren’t one yet, you still have some outs for not realizing something…

Stray

Stray thoughts on a Sunday afternoon… We don’t have a 20 TRILLION dollar national debt because we haven’t taxed enough,…

Smart

(Warning: long) Colleagues, please feel free to let me know where I’m going wrong. But my question today: does our…

Over Details and Degree.

Eccentric. It isn’t necessarily a negative customer attribute. It can also be, uh, endearing? Sometimes? Occasionally? Once, on that rainy…

Moments

Awhile ago I thought about trying to write something on the worst moments in the store. But I forgot about…

Community

Today, posting about some folks in the TJ’s community who are seldom mentioned, although they’re daily visitors in most stores.…

“Like” this?

Imagine a ghost planet, after the humans are all gone from the global holocaust of nuclear war, still humming along…

Change

These current statistics contradict false claims that “nothing has changed” in America. A black man was elected President, twice! People’s…

Children at the border.

What Trump is doing is immoral, unconscionable, and unnecessary. And, I’m still detesting both parties for their political spinning. I’m…

Tree

You know sometimes, when you walk by a big, dense tree, and it’s full of a thousand birds, can’t see…

Both

Do we teach our children to respect the flag? Or, should we teach them about humanity? A friend posed this…

Not Today

Then other times, raining everywhere at once, you still just write it out, straight through your sobs, only keep writing,…

Luck

To recall, old Dennis- that day in long-sleeve cowboy shirt and fancy vest- first caught my attention years ago. When…

Dream

Then again, sometimes you write just to get something out. Get it down into words, and out of your thoughts,…

Conflict

Conflict: Social, Moral, Legal. Personal, Tribal, International, this must be the Age of Arguing. Last night, there was some kind…

Gorilla

Disclaimer: patient reader, be warned. This essay may be as uncomfortable to read as it was to compose. But I…

Civility, Uncancelled?

Roseann Barr, almost instantly vanished from ABC, after her disgusting and racist tweets about former President Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett,…

Fretting

Fretting. Pointless worrying. The word also means a corroding, a grinding down, also a musical and engineering term. Sometimes contagious,…

Doggie

A frequent thought I always have- sometimes like it’s on mental auto-replay- involves my doggie. At two years old now,…

Heroes

Today I personally thank those legions of brave men and women, Americans all, who gave their precious life for the…

Truth

Disclaimer: Could be this essay includes enough to upset everyone. But, what the heck, they’re just my thoughts, nothing more.…

Stereotypes

Stereotypes. OK, we all know what the word means, but how does the concept actually work in everyday expression? How…

Baby Future

Paradoxically contrary to historical trends, with the economy humming along after a gruelingly slow recovery, unemployment now generally much lower,…

Mirror Image

It’s a fact that homegrown neo-national whackos like Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh have caused the most evil. But lately,…

Talk

How has the world changed, the past few decades? Or, how hasn’t it changed? Love? Romance? Relationships? Some will try…

Moms

To my incredible Mom, and to all the amazing Moms I am blessed to know and honor, who do the…

Home

My two best friends, growing up in my boy years- David and Mario, African-American and Bolivian- lived in home environments…

Milestone

Very soon, coming to another annual milestone, and predictably, my nature seems compelled to re-ask the same questions: what have…

Fourteen

Half-way through it already, but there still isn’t much comfort in remembering that our son won’t be a volcanically enigmatic…

L.A. Homeless, enabled?

The conundrums of homelessness, mental illness, and substance abuse are inextricably knotted. A three-sided crisis that so far defies any…

Mom

Today I especially celebrate my amazing and strong mom Rachel, 91, who survived the death camps, 75 years ago. Recent…

Dynamic Place.

Happy Saturday, folks. Have a new question, and some thoughts that’ve been bouncing around, and looking forward as always to…

Public Job

I have a very public, social job, morning demo station, Trader Joe’s, West L.A. But I don’t always feel social,…

Need To Know

From my experience, people of faith are less conflicted than most. Less unsettled, more accepting and tolerant. Generally, happier. Conversely,…

Store Pride

Good morning, good people. Store pride. What is it exactly? How do you know if you have it? Some crew…

At The Market

At the market, first and foremost, I always just want to be myself. And, since I’m part of something much…

Humpty Trumpty.

Major structural cracks in Trump’s giant wall of denial are beginning to appear. Perhaps a human barometer of the creeping…

Westlake Park and Chess.

Westlake Park, Alvarado and Wilshire, just west of downtown in the Pico-Union district, is better known to locals as McCarthur…

Hit-and-Run Culture

Would you be surprised to learn that (2016 national stats) hit-and-run fatalities are up over 60%? I was surprised. What’s…

Police.

As our dear friend TeRenna Taylor, an expert with decades of experience in policing, just posted: it’s essentially about assessing…

Robocall

It’s definitely unwelcome to consider, in my rapidly ripening elder years, that I may actually have a bit of a…

Many Americas Ago

Dr. King, murdered this day many Americas ago, and also like just yesterday. Much has changed, more needs to change,…

Politics

There are vast gulfs between Americans, across every sector, on every street, divisions of perception and understanding that seem hopelessly…

Culture

Who is lucid enough to acknowledge this truth? Who isn’t distracted by the shiny object of mindless, Netflix-mentality escapism? Who…

Unsung Heroes

The unsung heroes of journalism around the world pay the ultimate price, but ironically, it seldom makes big news. Typically,…

Hole

Knew I was in trouble when all I could hear was the heavy drone of dense traffic, rolling east and…

America’s weapon of choice…but has the culture in America now changed? Is it time for Congress to tightly restrict future…

So, exactly “who” is the Democrat Party today, 2018? For example, our 35th President, John F. Kennedy, Democrat, may also…

Used to be, Achievement was a primary goal for young people. But today, too many kids seem confused and disconnected…

How accurate are political stereotypes? By my measuring- meaning by the folks I know well in my own world- friends,…

Hole

Knew I was in trouble when all I could hear was the heavy drone of dense traffic, rolling east and…

Hole

Knew I was in trouble when all I could hear was the heavy drone of dense traffic, rolling east and…

Central Library

My big problem was, I just couldn’t sit in the damn chair, hour after hour, it all seemed so pointless.…

Disillusionment  

Sometimes, deep learning and disillusionment come together, hand in hand, reluctant partners. When we’re younger, sometimes awareness is jarringly simple…

Communism, Stalin, Putin.

Hearing some folks lately, slamming American free enterprise, and maybe romanticizing about the perceived equalities of Communism, and how our…

Questions

I have questions. Ever feel like reality has poked your 3rd Eye? Fate drop kicked your karmic chin? Even your…

Last day, 2017.

Sun setting on another year. Next one nearly here. We won’t get another sun, same one. We won’t get any…

Growing up white and Jewish in mostly black South Los Angeles, 50’s and 60’s, I remember understanding at a very early age how differently people experience this very same world, based on our respective family influence, and our own personal history. I am again reminded of that difference in perception today, as our enduring culture seems nearly cleaved apart, more divided and quarreling, with irresponsible, incendiary rhetoric coming from the highest places. America, 2017, is an increasingly insecure, disunited family of 330 million individuals. The country was essentially assaulted and bruised by a viscerally soul-wrenching presidential election, with an unlikely, incompetent, and disasterously unstable Vanity Queen crowned the winner. Since January, it’s been a nightmare of nightly news and daily embarrasments from the White House. Americans are already weary of the whiplash, and it’s just been 200 days. But thinking back, as a young boy and man, over half a century ago, I realized exactly how folks exist together, yet in almost opposite universes of beliefs and opinions. Today’s conflicts involving offending monuments and statues are also a microcosm of our different understandings. Specifically, I cannot ever actually know what a black person may feel, seeing a statue that recalls slavery. But I can certainly imagine. And isn’t THAT really the uniquely American challenge: ideally, each of us at least being willing to imagine or consider how other folks see things? The Narcissist-in-Chief has only divided us more, there will be no leadership from him. Hopefully, he will tweet himself right out of the job, very soon. But in the meantime, yes, please, more of that, more imagining each others reality. It’s the only way out of this maze of national malaise. Understanding…is the only way “up”.

Eclipse mania is curious. I get it, happens infrequently, kids maybe increase their interest in science, ok, all good. But the media has gone crazy promoting this, just another over-hyped ratings play? Feels like it. Get your eclipse tchotchke here, won’t be back for awhile. So then I’m standing outside, squinting into a cutup Joe’s O’s box, to join the hysteria for a few minutes, struggling to feel any incling of the euphoric raptures that many have reported all day. Transforming and purifying, this spectacle changed lives today, and somehow truly brought the whole world together. Good grief! Forget that this isn’t really a celestial event at all, like stars colliding or space bending into time through Black Holes. This is just an arbitrary phenomena determined by our position and perception. Thousands of years later, humans still looking up and connecting the dots like constellations of idolic fantasy. Little has changed, as this seeking, secular age looks for answers, and reasons to party. Then maybe also a few witnessed the event, and considered the grandeur and beauty of God’s creation, and felt the smallness of our mortal, earthly fate, and the bigness of space and this conscious existance.

Christians attacked, everywhere…