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Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Brunch with My Sister

Aloha Everyone,

Black Bear Diner was our venue to “hangout” this morning.

Founded in 1995 in Mount Shasta, CA, this franchise operation has a total of 146 locations in 14 states. (Source: Black Bear Diner website.)

The Black Bear Gazette in the format of an old newspaper serves as a menu with community articles on page 1, extensive menus in the center spread along with children’s activities.

I enjoyed my choice of California Omelet made of avocados & mushrooms without cheese while my sister chose a Denver Omelet with everything added.  The portions were large, and we both boxed our leftovers.

Andrea was our server. Pleasant and efficient, she gave me a clean copy of The Black Bear Gazette and agreed to pose for me for our blog.

Aloha -- Cathi

Monday, June 20, 2022

Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT)

Aloha Everyone,

Also known as the “Bed Tax,” the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) is added on the rent charged to transient guests. They apply to hotels, motels, AirB&B as well as private home rentals. In Los Angeles County, TOT is nearly 12%.

Calculating our upcoming healthcare appointments, we informed the ESA management our intention to stay for another month or longer. That’s when we learned that after a month plus a day, our status changes to “resident”. So long as our booking with ESA is consecutive, the TOT won’t be added.

Today we transferred rooms to a location within the complex where the WiFi signal is steady and more reliable. J.J. is happy that he does not have to step out in the corridor to look for a WiFi connection.

Aloha -- Cathi

Sunday, June 19, 2022


Aloha Everyone,

Combination of shrink and inflation, this compound word refers to package downsizing. Grocery items cost the same but at reduced content or in some cases replaced with inferior product. Coffee, cereals, ready-made beverages, bread, meat and seafood, all are impacted. Even vitamin bottles are using same size jars but with less content. The coffee can size is the same, but the net weight of coffee ground reduced from 16 to 12 to 10 oz.

We noticed the alarming rate of shrinkflation during our recent 3 weeks in Istanbul. Some restaurants were constantly changing menu prices while others drastically reduced food amount. J.J. noticed less meat in the stew and more fillers like potatoes.

Consumer protection groups including the government watchdog are critical of these now widespread practices.  Unfortunately, rising interest rates, poorly performing stocks, weather-related disasters, continued concerns over the COVID pandemic and tragedy of human & economic tolls of war in Ukraine are contributing factors.

Aloha -- Cathi

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Four Phases of Retirements

Aloha Everyone,

Dr. Riley Moynes during his TED Talk presentation began by establishing the following facts:

1.  10,000 Americans will retire today and everyday over the next 10-15 years.

2.  There are four distinct phases of retirements

3.  Most people prepare for their retirement financially and take care of the estate side but lacking psychological readiness.

4.  There is a very good chance we will live 1/3 of our life in retirement. This means there will be significant psychological changes and challenges. 

This is a fascinating and relevant information.  Here is the video:

Aloha -- Cathi

Friday, June 17, 2022

Cats - Unpublicized Disneyland Employees

Aloha Everyone,

The happiest place on earth employs about 200 feral cats to help control the rodent population in the park.  To read this amusing story, please go to:


Aloha -- Cathi