Career advice: Adapt or die

In front of the Honolulu Advertiser building on June 6, 2010, the day it was officially closed.

In front of the Honolulu Advertiser building on June 6, 2010, the day it was officially closed.

The five-year anniversary of the Honolulu Advertiser’s closure was earlier this month, and it made me think of how it caused hundreds of people to lose their jobs. Some people were able to get new jobs in media, but many — old-school union members who proclaimed, “that’s not my job” and refused to adapt to the world of digital media — were forced into early retirement. Then there were those who had been proactive in growing their careers and re-emerged to a happier place.

I’m always shocked to find people my age (or younger) who refuse to learn new skills, even if it will make their jobs more efficient. By now you know the story of how my career as a social media professional came to be. I lost my job in a tight job market, and found myself having to reinvent myself in my 40s. It hasn’t always been easy, but it certainly wasn’t so hard, since I had already been learning — and continue to learn — new skills in social media. What if I didn’t try to learn? Would I have been job hunting forever, or relegated to a job I hated?

Ivy Bean was 104 years old and tweeting from her care home in England.

Ivy Bean was 104 years old and tweeting from her care home in England.

I have a friend in marketing — marketing! — who insists on working with as little technology as possible, which causes more paperwork and more time, often ending with one of the documents in process getting lost. I offered to teach her how to use Google Docs to streamline the process, and was met with an angry, “I DON’T WANT TO LEARN.” Whoa! Is that something an upwardly mobile career person should ever say? My friend is, unfortunately and unknowingly, making herself obsolete in the workplace. And she’s still got quite a few work years ahead of her, so retiring isn’t an option.

Many people say, “Technology’s for young people, I’m too old,” but they’re MY AGE. And hello, I was following a 104-year-old woman in England on Twitter until she died in 2010. Age is a state of mind, and unfortunately has become an excuse for people to be lazy about trying to learn new skills. If you are one of these obstinate people in denial over your value at work, consider this:

• The economic downturn that began in 2008 hit older workers hard. By May 2010, 60 percent of unemployed older workers had been out of work for six months or longer, and 43 percent had been without a job for more than a year. (CNN)

• In 2013, more than 31 million Americans aged 55+ were employed, and 1.7 million were actively seeking work. (Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS])

• Although the rate of unemployment among mature workers is lower than younger populations (4.4% in June 2014), older workers who do become unemployed spend more time searching for work. The average duration of unemployment for older jobseekers in June 2014 was 48.1 weeks, compared to 28.5 weeks for those under age 55. (AARP Public Policy Institute)

Since the final “I DON’T WANT TO LEARN” incident, I’ve been thinking of some ways for my friend — and others like her — to get proper training to keep her current. Just a few resources:

• When I was employed, I took full advantage of the State’s Employment Training Fund (ETF) Program. Eligible employers participating in the ETF Program are able to receive tuition assistance for courses through their list of approved vendors. Employers can get 50 percent off tuition for ETF-approved courses (up to $250 with a $500 tuition cap).
• One of the main sources of my continuing education was at the University of Hawaii’s Outreach College. This is good for busy working people.
• If you or your employer is a member of an industry association, they often offer classes for members in various subjects for free or a nominal fee. For example, the Retail Merchants of Hawaii often has classes for their members to learn about new apps and social media.

Okay, so maybe you don’t have any more years left. Or maybe you have already been made obsolete in your workplace. If you’re 55 years or older with the right skills, the National Council on Aging has a Senior Environmental Employment program that gives mature workers meaningful work and supplement their income. And we’re talking positions that range from microbiologists, chemists, and research assistants—to technical writers, clerks, secretaries, and scientists.

Metromix and friends saying goodbye to Gannett, hello to the future.

Metromix and friends saying goodbye to Gannett, hello to the future.

As for the Gannett survivors? Well, you know what happened to the Metromix crew. We’re here! But also: My social media business, AdStreamz, continues to grow. Dining Out’s Simplicio Paragas started Inside Out Hawaii, which eventually got acquired by Where Magazines; Custom Publishing Group’s Stacy Yuen is now the content editor for Hawaiian Airlines’ website; editor and blog herder James Gonser taught at the University of Hawaii and has transitioned to public relations; photographer Gregg Yamamoto started a popular sports website; and the list goes on.

Don’t give up hope. And don’t stop learning. Please.

Mango season at Moke’s: new li hing mango pancakes

What do you do when it’s mango season and your friends drop off a mother lode of their sweet bounty? If you own a restaurant, chances are you’ll serve it in something.

If you own Moke’s Bread & Breakfast, you make mango pancakes. LI HING mango pancakes.

“We wanted to do something different, beyond just the expected mango pancakes,” said manager Keola Warren. “We already have a fruity flavor in our lilikoi pancakes, so we decided to make a sauce that would be super ono, super local. We did a lot of experimenting with li hing powder and our basic lilikoi sauce before we came up with something we really liked.”

The new, seasonal li hing mango pancakes at Moke's Bread & Breakfast.

The new, seasonal li hing mango pancakes at Moke’s Bread & Breakfast.

It sounds weird, right? But it’s not. The salty li hing flavor is actually pretty subtle. Locals will love the nostalgic flavor, and I think tourists may enjoy this as a mild introduction to li hing mango (if they haven’t tried it already). And of course, everyone will love the slices of fresh mango topping. As a local girl who regularly buys the popular salted plum, I asked Keola if I could get extra li hing powder on mine. (He just laughed.)

Keola Warren with his new pancakes.

Keola Warren with his new pancakes.

Moke’s will start serving the li hing mango pancakes today and through the weekend until they sell out. Stacks will be $8.95 for two, and $10.95 for three.

The batter is the same recipe handed down by his grandmother and is made fresh daily.  In fact, there is one guy in the kitchen whose only job is to make that batter all day in small batches to ensure fluffiness.

Moke's new exclusive blend.

Moke’s new exclusive blend.

While eating pancakes, Keola busted out their new coffee, an exclusive blend created in collaboration with Brad and Donna Sultzer of Kailua Coffee Roasters. It’s comprised of 20 percent Molokai and 20 percent Waialua Estate beans, then roasted in Kailua. You can’t get much fresher than that! The whole beans come in a seven ounce bag for $11.95.

Save some pancakes for me!

Moke’s Bread & Breakfast
27 Hoolai St.

Deodorant review: TLDYEU

My family has some distinct genetic quirks, and unfortunately one of them is our body odor. It’s kind of difficult to not be aromatic, since we live in Hawaii and love being active.

Sam and Jennifer Chillingworth with their TLDYEU deodorant.

Sam and Jennifer Chillingworth with their TLDYEU deodorant.

So on our recent trip, when my beautiful but pungent niece Ahnya was raving about a deodorant she was using, I paid attention. Her classmate, actress/model Jennifer Fairbank Chillingworth and husband Sam Chillingworth developed a natural and organic deodorant and named it TLDYEU (pronounced “told you,” The Last Deodorant You’ll Ever Use) made of a blend of tea tree oil, coconut oil, pure baking soda, arrowroot, beeswax and shea butter. Ahnya had been using it during her entire European adventure with good results.

I skeptically tried it one sunny day on our trip, and I was surprised that I didn’t stink at the end of the day. So when I got home, I got a couple of samples to try with some of my active friends in different activities. For me, every day is a whiffy gamble. But I used it on days I worked out, went walking, covered events, etc., and especially on hot, sunny days. I also used it on my feet a couple of times. The upshot for me? It works. I love the smell of tea tree oil, too, so that is a plus. Out of the two times I used it on my feet, it only worked well once, but I’m not sure of the difference in conditions under which I tested it.

TLDYEU's full size (right).

TLDYEU’s full size (right) and the sample tin you can get when you buy it off their website (left).

Pam Davis, who just started paddling season, has used it and loved the tea tree oil smell, as well. As far as she could tell, it worked for her, but she did develop some redness in her armpits (she isn’t sure if it was the deodorant — she hopes not because she loves the smell). I was told that some people are allergic to baking soda, so that could be it; I also noticed some redness sometimes, but only on my left armpit.  That’s probably because I’m a weirdo. (Actually, I had just waxed my pits at the new European Wax Center in Pearl City, so that could have been part of it.)

Our Olena Heu tried it, but she actually doesn’t have body odor. The only day she did smell herself was when she went from activity to activity all day without showering. I mean, that’s a pretty good and intense test, but not typical of most people! She also lent it to her friend Biancha Yalung, who does have body odor, and like Jennifer and Sam, they spent a day hiking and smelling each other to be sure. That’s dedication. Biancha loved TLDYEU.

The one drawback of TLDYEU is that you need to apply it with your fingers. Everyone kind of made a face over that concept, but once I started doing it I liked it because it allowed me to control the amount that I used.

Find the Chillingworths online, in stores, or at events.

Find the Chillingworths online, in stores, or at events.

Overall assessment? Like any other product, you won’t get it to work on 100 percent of the population, but for the most part it works. I am addicted to the smell of tea tree oil, so that makes it even more attractive to me. It seems a little pricey at $12 to $15 for a five ounce jar, but it lasts a long time (thanks to your controlled application with fingers) — I think it lasted Ahnya the duration of her trip, which was about three months and change. And don’t forget, it’s natural and organic.

Most of all, though, it keeps me from being pungent. Guess what everyone in my family is getting for Christmas?

You can get TLDYEU online or at various stores around the state like Kokua Market, Kailua General Store, Celestial Natural Foods, Sweet Cane Cafe, Massage Studio, and Leilani Mālie Esthetics. It’s also at Family Tree Nutritional Health & Wellness in Chippewa, WI.

Something new: Shimazu Shave Ice on Kapahulu

As the temps start inching upwards of 90 degrees, it’s only natural that Shimazu Store, the popular shave ice spot on School Street, would branch out with a second location to cool us off. And, since it is a local favorite, it’s only natural that it open in Hawaii’s Favorite Kitchens on Kapahulu, where you can get a bite of other nostalgic goodies, as well.

Catherine Toth being bossy and cooling off at Hawaii's Favorite Kitchens.

Catherine Toth being bossy and cooling off at Shimazu’s new spot in Hawaii’s Favorite Kitchens.

Blogger Catherine Toth suggested to Rainbow Drive-In’s Jim Gusukuma and Shimazu’s Kendall Shimazu that they develop flavors that are unique to this shave ice stand. So, with a little R & D, they have come up with a true taste of Kapahulu. Not only can you not get these at Shimazu on School Street, I don’t think you’ll get these anywhere else in the world!

Kendall Shimazu pouring us a taste of the half-ripe mango.

Kendall Shimazu pouring us a taste of the half-ripe mango.

We got a first taste last week, and now you can have them, too. Here, Kendall is pouring Kapahulu Common Mango, an idea from KINE radio DJ Sam Kapu. It tastes more like a half-ripe mango, so it’s not the strong, candy-sweet flavor that you may find in other mango syrups — it’s more subdued, kind of sweet-sour but not tart.  It’s good! I could probably commit to a whole cone of it; next time I’ll try it with some kind of topping.

Have your chili and shave ice um, too, with Shimazu's new flavor.

Have your chili and shave ice um, too, with Shimazu’s new flavor.

What the! That’s not root beer shave ice. It’s — are you ready for this? — Rainbow Drive-In Chili flavor! Close your eyes, take a bite, and you’ll be able to taste a little meatiness, a little garlic, and then the kick of chili spice. Jim made a syrup out of their famous chili mix!

I think people will be willing to buy a little cone out of curiosity, but I’m not sure if they’ll dig a whole regular-sized cone. I should have ordered one with mochi balls to see how it worked with “rice.” Ah, well, next time! Cat suggested a hulihuli chicken flavor shave ice while we were eating it, too. I’d try that.

Here’s Jim making Cat and a random customer try the new Rainbow Chili shave ice:



Shimazu has been operating at Hawaii’s Favorite Kitchens for a couple of weeks now, but their grand opening is this Saturday, June 27. The first 200 customers (who ask for the grand opening special at the counter) can get a special sized shave ice for only a dollar. They open at 10 a.m. so set your alarm!

Let me know in the comments below if you try one of these new flavors, and what you thought of them.

Shimazu Shave Ice ~ in Hawaii’s Favorite Kitchens
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
3111 Castle St.

Kapalua Wine Fest and cooking with Michael Mina

As mentioned yesterday, one of the must-do things at the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival is a celebrity chef demo. You get to watch them in action, get some tips, and best of all, eat their food for lunch.

Chefs Michael Mina and Adam Sobel at the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival.

Chefs Michael Mina and Adam Sobel at the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival.

I made sure I got a seat at the renowned Michael Mina’s cooking demo — I’ve eaten at a few of his restaurants, including one in Detroit! — so I knew it was going to be good. He brought chef Adam Sobel of RN74 (one of Mina’s restaurants) with him. Winemaker Dan Kosta of Kosta Browne brought wines from Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Kosta Brown Winery for pairing.

Chilled Thai squid salad by Michael Mina.

Chilled Thai squid salad by Michael Mina.

This was a promising start! The chilled Thai squid salad featured a spicy lime vinaigrette that was so delicious, I wanted to get a spoon and drink it up. The squid, of course, was tender and was beautiful with the purple basil and young coconut. This was paired with a Kosta Browne One Sixteen chardonnay, which was light and crisp. Kosta commented that sometimes the best wine is actually a beer.

Tomato and cocoa dusted seared big eye tuna by Michael Mina.

Tomato and cocoa dusted seared big eye tuna by Michael Mina.

They’re supposedly going to get these recipes up online for us, and I can’t wait to get the recipe for the uni aioli that they used here. This dish was tomato- and cocoa-dusted seared big eye tuna with fried cauliflower and Calabrian chiles. It was just a little spicy, but also earthy and rich — an unexpected combination for ahi, but it was amazing.

Brioche banana custard brûlée by Michael Mina.

Brioche banana custard brûlée by Michael Mina.

For dessert, they fried up brioche french toast in a lot of butter to make a “custard brûlée” topped with bananas, salted caramel ice cream and toasted macadamia nuts. So rich! It was definitely not something you can eat every day but it was a sinful treat. This was paired with a Ste. Michelle reisling, which was perfectly sweet.

Master somm Chuck Furuya and industry "game changers."

Master somm Chuck Furuya and industry “game changers.”

Just wanted to show you a couple more highlights of the wine classes I took. Master Sommelier Chuck Furuya moderated a couple of panels, one being West Coast “game changers” in the wine industry: Matt Dees, Gavin Chanin, Eric Johannsen and, of course, Rajat Parr. Did you know that Chuck was only the tenth person in the United States to get the Master Sommelier certification back in 1988? It’s been 27 years, and now there are 229 Master Somms in the U.S.

Philippe Melka at the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival.

Philippe Melka at the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival.

One of the biggest revelations that I had at this year’s Kapalua Wine & Food Festival was that I prefer wines made in the Old World style — that is, European style. I became a fan of winemakers Fred Scherrer, Rajat Parr, and now Philippe Melka, who have that Old World balance in their products — wines that can be consumed on their own, with or without food. For those of you who know wines, you’re probably wondering why it took me so long to get to this point. I’ve been drinking wines and getting lectured by Chuck for a long, long time, but for some reason it didn’t hit me until just now.


Don’t get me wrong, American/New World wines have their place at the table — probably more for pairing than just sipping at sunset. But I guess that’s why you have to go to such educational wine festivals; every year you learn something new about wines, the people who make them, and about yourself.

To see more photos, click here.

Bonus video: Michael Eldridge and Fred Scherrer serenading our Olena Heu at one of the after parties at Sansei in Kapalua!


Mahalo to Outrigger Resorts Kapalua Villas for providing our lodging, and to the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival for providing the tickets to the events!