A few observations from my latest trip to Los Angeles, where I played poker, visited friends, and ate some good food:

The hotel I stayed in was a few doors down from a cat cafe, where you pay $25 for the privilege of sitting on an area rug with stray cats and kittens the owners have saved. You may stroke and pet them — the cats, not the owners — while you enjoy a beverage. When I sent a photo of the place to my wife, she immediately responded that it was the definition of a business I would never set foot in. She’s correct.  There’s nothing wrong with that, for people who are into that sort of thing. I am just not one of them.

Recreational marijuana is now legal in California, and there are weed shops all over the place, including several that advertise free delivery. However, one of my Lyft drivers told me that the stores are having trouble finding employees because the state requires them to pass a drug test. Wait, what? You can’t be a stoner and sell weed? If I were a customer, that’s who I’d want behind the counter — someone who has sampled all the wares and can compare and contrast them for me, just as a good server can recommend which entrees are best in a restaurant. By the state’s testing standard, the restaurant would have to hire someone who never eats!

I did a lot of walking and had to constantly be on the lookout for Lime and Bird rent-a-scooters. They’re strewn all over the sidewalks, and their users are not just millennials. In fact, I was almost run down yesterday by a middle-aged woman zipping along. Probably late for some cat scratching.

On that same sidewalk, as I passed two guys having a conversation, all I heard was this snippet: “So, he’s going to jail for murder, and she’s gonna have his baby.” I paused for a second and wondered, since this is Hollywood, was this about something that happened in real life, or was it a movie pitch, or were they working on a true-crime podcast? Come to think of it, it could be all of the above.