Let’s talk grocery stores for a minute

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Have you been to a Trader Joe’s lately?

I remember when they opened on my birthday in Olympia a few years ago. We stayed away for weeks knowing we wouldn’t be able to get into the parking lot. When we finally did go, we had to circle the lot a few times, park far away and then once inside, you had to walk. And keep walking. There were so many people it was like being in a guided art exhibit where you are allowed to linger only a few seconds on each piece. The aisles were jammed and in perpetual motion.

That is a grocery retailer’s dream scenario. Not so much for a consumer.  Continue reading “Let’s talk grocery stores for a minute”

The delivery race is on

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This is my kind of “Keep Calm and Carry On.” 

 

So this has turned into two weeks of an Amazon beat for me, and it never ceases to surprise me.

First, the company had an impromptu hiring event in Tacoma.

Then we needed to tell people where to find work if Amazon didn’t hire them.

Then, Amazon decided to announce they are opening a new warehouse in Sumner.

All of this after I’d drafted a Sunday piece on how not everyone experiences Prime the same way, even in neighboring ZIP codes.

Then I got an alert this morning that Walmart is now testing a program where employees deliver customer packages after work, effectively blowing up the two-day model that was the baseline for “Prime” shipping. (We added a box at the end of my Sunday story on this).

And Amazon thought drones were a game changer. What’s next?

 

 

 

New job title and a blog reboot

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My favorite place on Earth. Mount Rainier, 2014

Hey, I’m back! Just a quick note that I’m now reporting for my longtime employer, The News Tribune in Tacoma, after working as business section team leader since 2011. Our newsroom is changing, and I asked to change along with it. Here’s my (sort of) first bylined report. I’ve gone by another moniker “Staff Report” in the past when I was section editor and needed to write about gas prices and such.

The story below is not for those fit and trim seniors, of which maybe there are a handful in the country. This is for the rest of us, seniors or not, as a reminder to keep moving and get out there and hike according to your ability like your life depended on it, because it does.

And for the regular readers of this blog (sorry it’s taken so long to get back) I’ve got some catching up to do with you, I realize that. More to come. Soon.

http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/business/article150907722.html

The magical art of silence

I’m late to the party of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” The author already has written a sequel to her first book. Luckily, the quietude of our new surroundings (and the fact that exterior home improvement has to wait for a better month than January) is now allowing me to catch up with things I’ve meant to learn more about. This is Marie Kondo’s answer to excess: Toss almost everything and keep only what sparks joy (which may or may not spark joy tomorrow, so more stuff to toss). For many, it seems draconian. Really, it’s common sense. Her best advice is to start with culling your clothes and move up the chain of possession sentimentality; I actually think that’s smart because I lived it last year without even knowing I was practicing “KonMari.”  Continue reading “The magical art of silence”

New year, new house, new recipe

Hello! What happened to me? Well, last year we sold our Olympia house and moved to Key Peninsula. We bought a new house (new to us, it was built in 1998) and it was only December when we reached a point that we could take a small break from the endless upgrades we’ve been making to the place. I normally write about plant-based living in this blog, but bear with me on this one. I will veer back to food by the end of this. So read on. Continue reading “New year, new house, new recipe”

Chocolate frosting from beans

IMG_1831This is lightning in a bottle … or frosting on your cake! Better than store-bought frosting and you won’t be able to tell the difference by taste. This cost me a grand total of 79 cents to make for the can of beans purchased. You can buy boxed packets of stevia for under $10. I use NuNaturals. Continue reading “Chocolate frosting from beans”

Don’t let the wind carry you away

A perfect meal for a windstorm when you could lose power at any minute.
A perfect meal for a windstorm when you could lose power at any minute.

So we had a windstorm the same day I’d planned to host a Meetup for a raw vegan group. Our friend Carol showed up (she lives within walking distance) so we had her vegan scalloped potatoes to go along with Happy Herbivore’s Chile Mole  and my rice/lentils tomatoes classic dish. No, it wasn’t a 100 percent raw meal, but it all sounded good on a blustery night. 

Continue reading “Don’t let the wind carry you away”