Category Archives: Observations

High Coo – Nov 25 – Retail Therapy?


Retail therapy is shopping with the primary purpose of improving the buyer’s mood or disposition. Often seen in people during periods of depression or stress, … (the term) was first used in the 1980s, with the first reference being this sentence in the Chicago Tribune of Christmas Eve 1986: “We’ve become a nation measuring out our lives in shopping bags and nursing our psychic ills through retail therapy ….

The fact that shopping may provide a short time of comfort (relief from dysphoria), but also imposes costs and is subject to comedown and withdrawal, make it, like opioid use, either a therapy or an addiction, depending on whether each person uses it adaptively or maladaptively. Retail therapy thus exists on a spectrum with shopping addiction (compulsive buying disorder).”

Here’s an interesting book for your consideration:

“Often unknowingly the vast majority of us collude in a system that encourages addiction and co-dependence – and sees these states as normal. Many of us are addicted to chemicals, not only to alcohol or drugs but nicotine, caffeine, chocolate and overeating in general. Even more of us are involved in addictive processes: workaholism, gambling, compulsive shopping, sex, and so on. The realization of the extent of our addictions, both individually and as a society, is shocking but this book shows that these addictions can be identified and reversed.”

Today’s senryu: Retail Therapy?

grasping for success

I took comfort in shopping

for what, I’m not sure


High Coo – Nov 16 – 3 Questions at Rainbow Bridge

Today’s senryu: 3 Questions at Rainbow Bridge

Together again?

Secure attachment regained?

Trust in the Pure Land?

Today is one of those days when big questions collide for me. I’m trying to sort out a few of them and would appreciate your insights.

This bottle-fed young moose has developed an attachment to its caregiver (at Kostroma Moose Farm). Might this attachment be mutual?

The human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that is influenced by behaviors essential to the health and wellbeing of both.”

The Rainbow Bridge is a meadow where animals wait for their humans to join them, and the bridge that takes them all to Heaven, together.

“It is only because of our misunderstanding that we think the person we love no longer exists after they ‘pass away.’  This is because we are attached to one of the forms, one of the many manifestations of that person.  When that form is gone, we suffer and feel sad.  The person we love is still there.  He is around us, within us and smiling at us.  In our delusion we cannot recognize him, and we say: ‘He no longer is.’  We ask over and over, ‘Where are you?  Why did you leave me all alone?’  Our pain is great because of our misunderstanding.  But the cloud is not lost.  Our beloved is not lost.  The cloud is manifesting in a different form.  Our beloved is manifesting in a different form.  If we can understand this, then we will suffer much less.” Thich Nhat HanhNo Death, No Fear

High Coo – Nov 10 – Thank You, Joe Juran

How do you define quality? What about blog quality? Does this blog meet your quality expectations?

Today is World Quality Day ( and one of the major contributors to the understanding and practice of quality is Joseph Juran. (

With a degree in Electrical Engineering and many years of practical experience beginning with his time at Western Electric’s Hawthorne Works, Juran went on to become a well-known author and consultant. He has been referred to as one of the founding fathers of the quality movement.

While the quality movement began in the manufacturing sector, Juran was instrumental into expanding quality planning, quality control and quality improvement into other sectors (e.g., service).

Joe Juran retired at age 90 in 1994 and lived another 13 years before his death in 2008. His final messages were about Big Q and a focus on quality of life and environmental quality.

I recall meeting him in the late 1980s at the end of a week-long quality planning training program and was very impressed with his direct yet low-key delivery. He may not have been as dynamic a speaker as his counterparts, Crosby and Deming, but his clarity, focus and many publications were extremely helpful. See a chart below as an example.

Today’s homage haiku: Thank You, Joe Juran

simple golden rule:

customers know quality

ask and follow through

High Coo – Nov 8 – What’s in a Number v2 or Looking for Hope

Woke up this morning and noticed the bedside clock read 2:22. I deliberately set this clock five minutes fast but never to seem to remember that until I reach the kitchen and notice that clock also reads 2:22.

No, I wasn’t time traveling.

Hmmm? Should I purchase a lottery ticket? Should I go back to bed? Should I research numerology again to discover if there is any significance to this number?

(Side note: Today is Election Day in the “good ole U.S. of A.” I’m proud of the fact that I’ve been voting for exactly 50 years now. I will vote again later this morning. I vote because it’s my civic duty … because it gives me the right to complain when the government elected fails to follow through on their promises … because I’d rather participate than be an apathetic whiner who sits on the sidelines … because I was trained to vote.)

I first wrote about numerology on 7.7.22 and a, much younger, sister blogger I admire a lot responded to my topic header/question. This is what C.J. (Crystal) Grasso said:

“The number 2 in spirituality means it is a number ruled by the moon, which also marks it as feminine energy. Which is connected to the emotional and nurturing realm. The moon also is related to one’s hidden aspects, which others do not see. The number 2 also symbolizes partnership and coming together, bringing in harmony and balance It could be an energy that brings up emotional wounds to work through with love and compassion. Balancing one’s inner and outer world…bringing in balance according to an angel numbers website. Which would be great for the world right about now. Numerology and spirituality are such interesting topics, I myself do not know much about them yet, but based on the things I’ve read these are my personal conclusions, though I could be totally wrong. I’m an observer of all this and try to keep an open mind. Numerology and spirituality interlink a lot.”

BTW: check out C.J.’s excellent blog at

FWIW: my Zen teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, said we “go as a river.” Individually we are a single drop of water which can quickly dry up when times are difficult. Collectively, however, we can make a difference. We can form a stronger, more dynamic, flow of energy that makes an impact.

I hope this proves true today both in the “good ole U.S. of A.” and across this beautiful blue marble.

Today’s haiku: LOOKING FOR HOPE

Two plus two plus two

becomes significant when

we unite for GOOD

P.S. The clock now reads 3:33

High Coo – Nov 7 – National Book Award Week

What is one of the best books you’ve read this year?

A helpful reminder of well-thought-of books would be those that receive top recognition.

“National Book Award Week is held from November 7 to November 13 each year. It focuses on America’s future authors, books, and literature in general. The National Book Award is a set of annual literary awards in the United States….The National Book Foundation also awards two-lifetime achievement awards each year: the Medal for Outstanding Contribution to American Literature and the Literary Award for Outstanding Achievement to the American Literary Community.”

After the Nobel Prize for Literature and the Booker Prize, the National Book Award is considered one of “the world’s most prestigious literary prizes” according to the NY Times.

Today’s haiku: National Book Award Week

honoring the “best”

is a noble attempt to

increase readership

One of my favorite books read this year is “It’s Not About the Wine!” by Brian Metters (aka Dr. B). Check it out!

High Coo – Nov 5 – National Redhead Day

Classic Ginger @ Pinterest

Established in 2011, National Redhead Day is celebrated to recognize this rarest of hair colors. Not always appreciated, redheads have been sometimes labeled as fiery, hot-tempered, nymphomaniacs and/or witches. Well, today they are labeled beautiful.

Some Famous Redheads in History include:

  1. Cleopatra
  2. Judas Iscariot
  3. Queen Boadicea
  4. Richard Lionheart
  5. Genghis Khan
  6. Christopher Columbus
  7. King Henry VIII
  8. Queen Elizabeth I
  9. Galileo Galilei 
  10. Oliver Cromwell
  11. Vivaldi
  12. George Washington
  13. Thomas Jefferson
  14. Emily Dickinson
  15. Mark Twain
  16. Vincent Van Gogh
  17. Vladimir Lenin
  18. Winston Churchill
  19. Marilyn Monroe
  20. Prince Harry


Today’s haiku: Love Your Red Hair Day

don’t hide it, flaunt it

uniqueness is your beauty

better red than dead

top 25 famous redheads

High Coo – Nov 4 – National Day of Community Service

Whether you’re “giving back” or “paying it forward”, volunteering is a great way to contribute to your community.

There’s only one country in the world that dedicates a day for the whole nation to volunteer to their community. Maybe we should follow their example?

Today’s haiku: National Day of Community Service

we need each other

we are smarter together

be a volunteer


What are the advantages of volunteering in the community?

Volunteering can help you gain more self-confidence. Self-confidence, self-esteem, and overall life happiness can all be improved by participating in volunteer activities. Depression can be alleviated by volunteerism. Volunteering can also help you maintain your physical health.

What is the significance of community activity inside a community?

It is the goal of community action to place communities at the center of their local service delivery. It is possible to achieve some objectives by engaging communities in the planning process. These include, for example, constructing a sense of community and social capability – assisting the community in exchanging knowledge, skills, and ideas.

Why is it vital to aid others?

Volunteering provides people a feeling of meaning in addition to health benefits. Giving back to society and making a difference is incredibly satisfying. Volunteer work is a terrific way to meet your neighbors. Volunteering gives you the chance to meet new individuals.”

Adobe Inc.

High Coo – Nov 3 – Thor’s Day

Painting depicting the Norse god Thunor (the Norse Thor), after whom Thursday is named, by Mårten Eskil Winge, 1872

The Norse God of Thunder is today’s namesake. Thor is derived from the Germanic Thunraz which is equivalent to Jupiter in Roman mythology.

Why do we still use this name? Haven’t we progressed from Norse gods?

Why not use a note of the musical scale or an element on the periodic table?

Today’s haiku questions: Thor’s Day

Are names important?

Would today be different

if it were renamed?

Just asking …

High Coo – Nov 2 – Day of the Dead

Dead Guitarist at The Blue Habanero in Richmond, VA – photo taken by author

Today’s haiku: Day of the Dead

Let us remember

loved ones departed – and our

future reunion

Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, is a traditional Mexican holiday celebrated November 2. On this day, it is believed that the souls of the dead return to visit their living family members. Many people celebrate this day by visiting the graves of deceased loved ones and setting up altars with their favorite foods, drink, and photos….The main tradition for Day of the Dead sees families gather to honor and remember their loved ones who are no longer with us. Celebrated as a sacred and joyous occasion, there is plenty of food, lots of flowers, visits with family members and nostalgic stories about those who have died.”

Today, I honor my departed ancestors, friends and teachers who have “crossed over” and “continued” to the next phase of their life journey. I’m especially remembering my grandparents, father and younger brother today. I look forward to our reunions.

I respect that your experience may be different from mine. Many cultures honor their ancestors with holidays like the Day of the Dead. For example, see the chart below:


ChinaGhost FestivalThis traditional Buddhist and Taoist festival is part of Ghost Month, during which ghosts and spirits, including those of deceased relatives, come out of the lower realm.The 15th day of the 7th month of the Lunar calendar, which is normally at some point during August.
CambodiaPchum Ben (Ancestors Day)A religious occasion when the gates of hell are said to open up and the souls walk among the living. People dress in all white and make food offerings.15th day of the tenth month in the Khmer calendar, which usually falls in September.
North and South KoreaChuseokChuseok is a harvest festival and comparisons are often drawn to Thanksgiving. It’s tradition for Koreans to visit the graves of their ancestors to pay their respects.Meaning “Autumn Eve” the holiday is celebrated for three days straight, normally in either September or October
NepalGaijatraKnown as the “festival of the cows” Gaijarta is a celebration of death. It’s purpose is to help people accept death as a reality and to help ease the passing of those who have died. Each year cows, or children dressed as cows, walk in a procession throughout towns.The first day of the dark four night according to the lunar Nepa. This is usually in August or September

Regarding the last row in the chart above, please check out a fellow blogger’s post The Two Doctors and his excellent review of the Festival of Light:

La Catrina mural at The Blue Habanero in Richmond, VA – photo taken by the author

High Coo – Oct 30 – Visit a Cemetery Day

Visit cemeteries with a sense of history – Daily Herald

Visit a Cemetery Day is a holiday that takes place every last Sunday in October. This year it falls on October 30. It is a day that allows us to honor the life of those who are gone. It is a chance to admit that, though they’re no longer physically with us, we still have them in our memories. It is a day when people go to the gravesite of friends and families who have left this world.


  1. To honor the dead – On this special holiday, we get to honor those who have gone before us. It is good to cherish the memories they left behind.
  2. Understand life better – When we visit the cemetery, we get a better insight into life and appreciate that we must cherish it.
  3. Helps to remember the dead – On Visit a Cemetery Day, we get to recall the times we spent with departed loved ones. We remember all the things they’ve done for us and the memories we shared.”

Today’s humble haiku: Visit a Cemetery Day

There for us in life

we are there for you in death

Together we rest

Glasnevin Cemetery Dublin Tour