Just asking…

Whenever you shop, do you prefer self-check to whisk out of the store, or are you a traditionalist and favor the customary sales clerk handling your purchase?

Many stores are embracing and enlarging self-check; many folks prefer this method quickly exit the store.

What’s your choice? Traditional cashier check-out, or self-check?

The elderly — me included — prefer waiting in the shortest line for the usual clerk check-out. In many instances, you get know one or two of ‘em at the cash register – regularity and constancy make you engage in fun small talk with your cashier, swapping views of the humid weather, the election, or approaching holidays.

A shopper at self-check means one less hire.

But on the mainland, key brands stores have eliminated cashiers for wholly self-check. My worry: each vacant check-out stand means someone no longer is on the payroll. And is honesty the prevailing notion among self-checkers? Will this do-it-yourself method encourage “shoplifting” with a possible alibi that the scanner didn’t scan? And does the store have a means to flag the unscanned item?

You’ve seen the expansion of self-check, at Costco, Longs, Target, Walmart, Safeway and more. It’s the future. And the future is now. Aides are visible for queries, but essentially, you take stuff out of your shopping cart and scan purchases as the cashier. Have you seen that overfilled cart at Costco? Does a self-scanner have the smarts to include each item – and will there be delays at the exit door, when checkers suspect a non-scanned item?

So if you willingly do the work to scan your goods, do you expect a small a discount off your bill? Is this what retail has come to?

I know one person who no longer goes to a merchant without a live cashier. Can’t blame her; she has to do the work, with no perk.

What’s your take on self-check or cashier? Share your views.


Just asking…

It’s never a perfect world, but when the Blaisdell Concert Hall is renovated – timetable not yet confirmed – shouldn’t it include either an escalator and/or elevator, so the disabled or wobbly seniors can secure balcony seats without having to struggle up and down stairs?

These amenities should have been in the original plans of the Neal Blaisdell Center.

And wouldn’t it be wonderful if an on-site restaurant be in the mix of participating vendors?

Clearly, the Concert Hall should retain  the dual lobby and up-front lavatory facilities, for convenience.

An improved sound system for the house would enhance performances, too

Anything to add to the wish list for the concert hall?


Just asking …

If Hollywood filmmakers are seeking hefty discounts and insider tax incentives to shoot projects  in Hawaii – vs. other tropical sites such as Mexico or the Caribbean – shouldn’t state regulators  consider new mandatory requirements to ensure mutually beneficial perks?

One consideration might be to require, when possible, at least a secondary role for union actors from Hawaii to gain an edge to audition for a part on camera. Instead of a Maori from New Zealand to play someone local, why not a genuine local?

So often, shows are cast before setting shop on our shores, while we have a stable of eager performers hungry for work. Local behind-the-scenes techies are regularly hired; why not on camera participants, too? Then, it might be a win-win situation. The attitude that we don’t have talent here is so untrue.

The last and only TV show to hire fresh island faces for secondary leads was the original “Hawaii Five-0,” giving Al Harrington and Zulu a huge opportunity to strut their stuff. The only current islander (though now a Los Angeles resident) is Anthony Ruivivar, who plays the husband of lead agent Vanessa Lachery in “NCIS: Hawaii.” His role is recurring, but limited.  Technically,  Amy Hill of the rebooted “Magnum P.I.” (she plays Tutui) is not a local, but now sorta is, since she has bought a condo, which makes her a part-time resident but she lives and talks like  one us anyway.

The query: Don’t you think Hawaii-based shows, notably TV, should hire more resident actors? …


Where do you go for your apple fritter these days?

Treated myself to McCafe’s @ McDonald’s apple fritter. At $2.99, it’s worth the cost — it’s huge, laden with flicks of apples inside the doughnut, and it’s all properly cinnamon-flavored … and the outside texture, with sugary coat and apple bits, make it a winner.

The best apple fritter — oughtta call it the McFritter — is at McDonald’s McCafe.

I think it’s the best in its field. Napoleon Bakery at Zippy’s has had its version, which is no competition. Safeway bakeries used to have a contender; now, its fritter is a critter not worth buying, if you can even find one since the inventory is lean.

So If you’re a fritter fan, where do you go for your sugar fix?


Just asking…

What was the prevailing board game while you were growing up?

The one I  mostly played was Monopoly…have had several board sets over the years, including the Hawaiian edition.

If you played Monopoly, you needed family and friends to make the competish fun.

What was your favorite token, or charm, or kini, as locals called ‘em. I liked the thimble and the top hat, for no particular reason.

What’s your take on your fave game board?