How to Prepare for Bears in the Wild and at Home

HUNTERS, CAMPERS, HIKERS & HOMEOWNERS BEWARE

HUNTING

Hunters must remember that areas where they leave game animal remains will attract bears.

🔹This carrion is an easy meal that bears will eagerly consume.

🔹No matter what time of year you hunt, it is possible you could encounter a bear. Although contact is minimal in the winter, due to hibernation, be aware of your surroundings, especially in remote locations that may contain dens with sleeping bears.

🔹Bear-proofing wildlife feeding stations, such as deer feeders, can be difficult. Because hunters want game to have access to feed, but want to exclude black bears, the best options involve limiting access. Unless they are protected by an electric fence that deer can jump, gravity feeders should likely be removed in favor of spin-cast feeders.

🔹The base of spin-cast feeders should be at least 10 feet off the ground, and suspended from a cross-member that is least 4 feet from the post that supports it. Alternatively, hunters may electrify tripod spin-cast or gravity feeders, as well as providing electric fencing.

🔹Electric fencing may be permanent, similar to systems designed for livestock, or be portable, such as “back-country bear fencing” often used to secure camp sites. These portable systems are available from many outdoor companies. They are powered by D-cell batteries and use lightweight posts and wire. Whether suspending feed or electrifying, take care to prevent damage and the loss of feed.

CAMPING

🔹Campers should collect trash nightly and hang it high enough from a tree or other structure that a bear cannot reach it, or climb to it. Ten feet off ground level and four feet from any branches is generally sufficient.

🔹Sweet-smelling items such as perfumes, insect repellants, and candy attract bears.

🔹The smell of camp cooking can also attract bears. It is wise to locate your cooking site 100 yards from your sleeping area. Even the smell of food on clothes can attract bears, so change clothes before sleeping if you cook for the camp.

🔹Coolers of food are easy targets for bears—keep them inside vehicles or otherwise inaccessible. Although some coolers are rated as bear-safe, black bears will still cause damage trying to get in them.

HIKING

🔹Hikers should be noisy in areas where black bears are present.

🔹A startled bear is a dangerous bear, and will have the same reaction as any animal when frightened. Although they might flee, they might also display defensive behaviors such as bluff charges or teeth clacking. This is especially possible for a female with cubs.

Bear-proofing around the house 

Human-bear relations are most problematic around private homes.

🔹Bears, like raccoons, are opportunistic omnivores who enjoy human garbage. Homeowners should minimize exposing garbage to bears.

🔹A good first step is to secure trash cans with certified bear-proof covers. You can also contact your waste disposal company to request that they upgrade community dumpsters to be bear-proof.

🔹Minimize areas where you dump cooking grease, scraps, and reduce access to compost piles. 

Black Bears of East Texas. Photos provided by the East Texas Black Bear Task Force.

🔹Other food sources include bird feeders and other wildlife feed, fallen fruit from trees, pet foods, and barbecue pits.

🔹Wood piles attract rodents, which can be a food source. Bears will quickly assess these sources come to them for food. If you choose to feed wildlife in “bear country,” move the feed frequently to prevent bears from becoming habituated to one area. 

🔹It may be surprising, but a closed door, high window, or low wall often will not deter bears. Livestock and pet feed stored in outbuildings are easy, high-energy sources of nutrition for black bears. 

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The Anti-COVID Regimen We’ve Used Over Two Years Has Kept Us Safe

By Dodie Dennis, RN (Retired)

Being a registered nurse for 40 years, as soon as we heard about the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, I did extensive research to find the right foods and supplements for Jack and me to fight it. (Shown at the bottom of this article).

Both of us agreed we would not be taking any so-called experimental vaccines that were rushed into development and not adequately proven.

We elected to support our God-given immune systems by modifying our vitamin, mineral, and food intake instead.

Hard to get.

Hydroxychloroquine, which has been around since 1946, has been used to treat autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis, in addition to malaria and other conditions.

The more research I did, talking with and learning from physicans, nurses and researchers, I decided on a regimen for Jack and me.

Let me just say, we have taken road trips through Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada and Colorado since June 2020. These were during so-called “lockdowns.”

Some of the crowds we’ve been in included Graceland, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, D.C., Ark Encounter, Branson, Royal Gorge, Sea World, various zoos, museums and theaters.

We have relatives that had COVID, some twice, even after taking the jab. We know more people who have died from COVID and some after being recently inoculated. We also know many nurses and even doctors who refuse to take the shots. We are respectful to any individual for whatever their choice is, but we refuse to be used as guinea pigs for their harmful gene therapy injections.

We are not fond of wearing masks, but out of respect for others, we do so only in medical offices, hospitals, and businesses that require it (usually we go somewhere else).

We know our body wears out over time, but why? Exactly what drives this process that slowly robs us of our health and vigor?

Our body ages because our cells become damaged, and our body can’t repair them fast enough. There are many different reasons for this damage, and scientists don’t agree on which one is the main cause. But most agree on this: The long term effect of this wear and tear on the cells in our tissues is the main factor in aging.

This gradual damage reduces the number of brain cells we have, allows some of the cells in our body to become cancerous, destroys the part of our cells that produces energy, limits blood flow by clogging our arteries, and weakens our heart.

Free Radicals

In the mid 1950s, Denham Harman was toiling in a science lab at the University of Nebraska. His hard work paid off when he proposed the free radical theory of aging. His name is famous in the research world, and the free radical theory is more widely accepted today than any other in the scientific and medical communities.

Take a deep breath. Feel refreshed?. As you breathe, you take in invigorating oxygen; it also produces chemicals called free radicals. These free radicals are molecules that are unstable because they lack an electron. They travel through your body like a band of pickpockets, trying to steal electrons from healthy cells. When they succeed, they leave the cell irreversibly damaged.

One damaged cell will not usually cause your body much distress. But over time, lots of these pickpocket molecules can cause so much damage that your body becomes weak and more likely to fall prey to cancer and heart disease. This cell damage is called oxidation, and it is similar to the oxidation of metal that produces rust.

Don’t feel betrayed by your body because it creates these roving thieves. Luckily, your body also produces antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight oxidation by combining with free radicals to form a harmless substance or by contributing an electron to the free radical, making it stable. However, when free radical levels get too high, these protective processes can’t keep up.

Cigarette smoke, pollution, radiation, stress, excessive sun exposure, and other factors can increase your level of free radicals, causing you to use up your store of antioxidants more quickly. In addition, as you get older, your body’s production of antioxidants slows down, allowing free radicals to damage more and more of your cells.

How can you stop free radicals from slowly taking over your body, overpowering and outnumbering your antioxidant protectors?

You can help your body manufacture antioxidants like glutathione, and you can get other antioxidants, like vitamins E and C, from your diet. As far as protecting ourselves from COVID-19, here is the well researched regimen we’ve successfully used since early March 2020.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. Health information articles provide general health information and are not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment by a physician or other health professionals. We advise you to contact a health care professional with any questions or concerns about specific health care needs.

OUR ANTI-COVID REGIMEN

Today we eat a low sodium (under 2,000 mgs a day) diet. We emphasize more vegetables and fruit, and smaller entrees of meat, chicken, seafood, etc. We do prefer chicken (not fried) over meat.

🔹The #1 thing we take every evening is zinc with tonic water. It’s the closest thing to hydroxychloroquine that we know of. It’s inexpensive and doesn’t require a prescription.

🔹Tonic water contains quinine, which has been used for centuries to treat malaria.  Chloroquine is a relative of quinine — both are extracted from the bark of the cinchona tree. Quinine has been around for centuries, discovered by Peruvian natives in the 1820s.

There are a few reasons why quinine and chloroquine work as an anti-viral. First they can change the pH in the cells, making them more alkaline (thus impairing virus’s ability to replicate).
 
Second, quinine and chloroquine help bring otherwise bio-unavailable zinc into your cells, and the zinc inhibits the virus’s ability to replicate inside your cells.

🔹Sunlight (vitamin D) also minimizes the effects of viruses.  A 2020 study found that people with lower levels of vitamin D were more likely to die from coronavirus. 

🔹Vitamin C is used to help our God-given immune systems fight off any viruses we come in contact with. We take Emergen-C containing 1000 mg of Vitamin C as well as B Vitamins and other antioxidants.

🔹We also take a proprietary blend of CoQ-10, Citicoline, and refined fish oil.

🔹In addition, we consume Green Pasture Products such as fermented Cod Liver Oil along with their Concentrated Butter Oil.

Concentrated Butter Oil is made from milk produced by rapidly growing greengrass fed cows. It is extracted and concentrated through centrifugation. The speed of grass growth, timing of grazing, species of grass, climate, and extraction method are all-important factors in making real Concentrated Butter Oil.

Their blend contains naturally occurring Vitamins A and D. It’s a natural source of Omega Fatty Acids.

🔹This cod liver oil is so good for your heart, brain and joints. I’ve tried many brands over the years (as a former national champion volleyball player) and Green Pasture helped me in just a matter of days like no other.

But my go to, especially for joint health, is without a doubt the Green Pasture Skate Liver Oil.

Last, but not least, we take probiotics that support gut health–the basis for immune system health.

Highly recommended!

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10 Tips for Healthy Quality Sleep

Sleep is an essential to life and our wellbeing. A lack of good quality sleep can have serious negative impact on our physical and mental health. Here’s some wise tips on how to get some quality sleep.

1. Put your phone down

Our phones, tablets and computers emit blue light which tricks our body into thinking it’s daytime. This causes a reduction in the hormone melatonin, which relaxes us and allows us to fall into a deep sleep. Try to avoid screens at least a half hour before bedtime and definitely do not use them in bed if you’re struggling to sleep.

2. Avoid caffeine late in the day

Caffeine can stay in our systems for several hours and therefore can keep us awake at night. Try avoiding caffeine 6 hours before bedtime to ensure your system has enough time to wind down for a good night’s sleep.

3. Exercise regularly but not before bed

Exercise has many great health benefits including sleep quality improvement. Regular exercise during the day is one of the best ways to ensure a healthy sleep routine. However for some, exercise right before bedtime can increase the body’s production of hormones such as adrenaline which may cause sleep issues if too close to bedtime.

4. Avoid alcohol

Many people believe alcohol helps them sleep. However alcohol seriously reduces the quality of your sleep. Alcohol reduces the production of melatonin which is vital to your sleep cycle. You may feel it helps you fall asleep but it is likely you will wake up feeling tired as your sleep quality will be negatively impacted.

5. Get outside during the day

Natural sunlight helps keep your circadian rhythm in check by keeping your body clock in sync with night and day.

By increasing your light exposure during the day your body will provide increased energy followed in the cycle by a relaxed brain and body at night, telling your body it is time to sleep.

6. Get into a routine

By changing your routine on weekends or even day to day throws off your circadian rhythm. If you struggle to have consistent bedtime your body will not know when it needs to wind down for the night. This will negatively impact your long term sleep health. Have a set sleep/wake cycle if you’re having difficulty sleeping.

7. Improve your environment

Invest in a comfy mattress, pillow and create a relaxing bedroom environment. Improving comfort will reduce aches and pains and provide a better night’s sleep. You can also use black out blinds/curtains and reduce external noise to help you relax.

Associate your bedroom with sleep and being relaxed. If your work computer is in your bedroom you may not feel relaxed when in that environment, which could affect sleep. Leaving a TV on overnight in your bedroom will also prevent you from getting much needed restorative sleep.

8. Don’t eat late at night

Eating a large meal late at night can negatively impact the release of melatonin and HGH which help you get a quality night’s sleep.

It is also worth mentioning a healthy diet will help improve your sleep on the whole.

9. Get the temperature right

Being too hot or cold can prevent you from falling asleep or having a quality sleep. Try to get the room to around 68° for an optimal sleep temperature.

10. Relax

Try to incorporate relaxation into your bedtime routine. Things such as reading a book, taking a bath, breathing techniques or getting a massage can help you wind down and reduce your stress/ adrenaline levels before bed.

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21 Ways to Increase & Preserve Brain Power

USE IT OR LOSE IT

1. Meditate: the #1 brain exercise! Stress clouds your thinking, so relieve stress with meditation. It’s easy! Put on your headphones, press PLAY on your meditation music download, and let the technology put you in a meditative state.

2. Work on being ambidextrous. Brush your hair, write, use the mouse and eat/drink with the “wrong” hand.

3. When something is broken, find creative repair solutions using common objects. Make do with what you have; make repairs with odd items and ingenuity.

4. Learn to convincingly argue every side of an argument.

5. Write with the wrong hand. Write backwards with both.

6. Read upside down (the text, not you).

7. Hydrate. Water enhances the brain’s electrochemical activity – dehydration slows it!

8. Change your perspective. Turn the pictures in your home upside down for a while.

9. Doodle and draw visual solutions to problems instead of using numbers or text.

10. Mentally estimate the passage of time.

11. Listen to classical music.

12. Power nap.

13. Stop procrastinating!

14. Move and motion daily. (We don’t prefer the word ‘exercise’.)

15. Eat exceptionally well. Give your brain energy and nutrients, not fillers and chemicals from junk/processed food.

16. Solve math problems without a calculator.

17. Remember phone numbers.

18. Mix up your routine. (We dare you.)

19. Play chess – especially a prolonged email version.

20. Solve optical illusions.

21. Play brain games like crosswords or Sudoku.

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How to Enjoy a Far Better Life of Freedom Instantly

Too Much TV Can Be as Dangerous as Some Viruses

A Neilson report found that the average American watches more than 34 hours of television each week.

Besides wasting time, having little meaningful social interaction and missing out on your life, studies also reveal:

🔹The vast majority of news, drama, comedy and reality TV is negative, manipulative, or serves the purpose of social engineering (think propaganda and untruths).

🔹Most television programming actually poisons your belief systems. News is generally about crime, suffering, disaster, death or manipulation. Comedy teaches you to laugh and jeer at social akwardness, being over weight, stupidity or something racial.

🔹Television distorts reality to create unrealistic expectations.

🔹TV disillusions people, especially if they are weak enough to compare it with their own life.

🔹There are two reasons why television programs exist: 1) To sell products/services/ideas to make money, 2) pursuade ideas and thought.

🔹It degrades self control and personal discipline.

🔹The electrical activity in your muscles stops when you are sitting.

🔹You can get computer vision syndrome — harmful conditions that result from looking at a television, computer or smartphone screen.

A major health study was comprised of almost 340,000 men and over 226,000 women living in six states and two metropolitan areas in the United States.

It was headed by Dr. Loretta DiPietro, chair of the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at the George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health in Washington, D.C. (the findings were published in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences).

For years, Dr. DiPietro and team kept track of the sedentary behavior and exercising habits of 134,269 of these participants, recording how much TV they watched.

🔹 30 percent of the participants who were healthy at the beginning of the study developed a walking disability, described as being either “unable to walk” or walking at an “easy usual pace,” defined as less than 2 miles per hour (mph).

🔹The researchers found that “greater TV time was significantly related to increased disability within all levels of physical activity.”

🔹More specifically, participants who watched TV for 5 or more hours every day were 65 percent more likely to have a walking disability 10 years down the line, compared with their counterparts who watched TV for less than 2 hours every day.

🔹Participants, who over a 6-year period watched TV more than 3.5 hours per day, experienced a more significant decrease in verbal memory. This decrease ranged from 8-10%.

TV News is Especially Harmful

Towards the end of 2020, a monumental poll like no other in history revealed Americans’ trust in media is gone!

What 20,000 citizens revealed to the Knight Foundation and Gallup was earth shattering to the news industry. The political events surrounding the handoff of power in federal government and pandemic reports are the primary reasons the bottom hasn’t dropped out for them.

If you turn them off, they have no power.

In 2022, the figures are devastating to the news industry. Their partisanship in news reporting is obvious to a record breaking 89% of Americans who believe they are dishing out constant servings of a very biased and corrupt political agenda. In 2007, that figure was high at 62%.

While universal trust in the media has been gradually eroding over the decades, a sheer drop in faith and questions about what motivates the mainstream media can be traced to the last years of the Obama presidency. Obamacare promises, Deep State growth, Benghazi lies, billions of cash dollars secretly shipped out to foreign enemies and nonsense like 33,000 missing Hillary Clinton emails was their iceberg.

After 5 years of media destruction against popular President Donald J. Trump, the public had enough. The solution was simple: TURN THEM OFF.

You get one life to live and it’s up to you to make the most of it. Every hour of the day is an investment that pays off right now and in your future. Invest wisely and your life will actually be filled with truly beautiful people doing amazing things and having great adventures.

Note: We watch less than one hour of television within every three months since 2020. Our amount of exercise has increased over six times since prior to turning off the TV. We find far more reliable news from other non-mainstream sources. We defy social engineering, propaganda and government manipulation to live a far more free life.

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As Food Costs Reach All Time Highs Use Smart & Easy Shopping Tips

Food prices have seen about a 20 percent increase in prices, the highest cost increases since the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) began measuring it three decades ago.

Their Food Price Index is bleak enough, but the United States forecast (USDA) indicates much more increases will follow.

Tips for Grocery Shopping

Note: As a 25-year executive for the highest rated grocery chain in America, writer Jack Dennis was over the Facilities Management Division of H-E-B FOOD/DRUGS. The Texas based retailer is prominently known for their friendly people, clean facilities and good prices.

The Tuesday Benefit

If you want to shop on the least crowded day of the week, pick Tuesdays. Often you may find discounts on meats, chicken and packaged produce that are close to their expiration date. We select such items that are freezeable at a cost of 25% to 50% off regular prices.

Never Shop Hungry!

Plan your grocery shopping trips to take place after a meal, or at least an hour or two before the next one. If you shop when you’re hungry, you’re much more likely to come away with food and snacks you didn’t plan on buying.

Even if the price increase is subtle, the yearly cost for your weekly supermarket trips will be substantially more. If you depend on restaurant take-out and delivery, the price surges will be even more eye-opening.

Keep your mind and body focused on the food you need. Don’t fall victim to the traps of grocery store marketing and product placement.

🔹Make a list of the items you intend to purchase to keep you on track.

🔹Plan your meals. Prepping a batch of meals will save on time, money, and unneeded calories.

Pick The Shortest Line

No one likes waiting in a long line at the checkout stand. Experience shows it is best to choose the line with the least amount of people in it, regardless of how full their carts or baskets might be.

At H-E-B and some other chains, checkers are graded by their IPMs (Items Per Minute) across the checkstands. It takes at least a minute or two to check someone out, even if they’re buying just a couple of things. Each item only adds about 3 seconds to the total checkout time, so a cart full of items doesn’t actually take that much longer to scan.

Look Up (And Down)

Only about one-third of in-store purchases are generally preplanned. Believe me when I say grocers and product experts know where shoppers look and even which patterns their gazes follow, in order to find the optimum position for products and to drive sales.

There’s a time tested adage in the grocery industry: “Eye level is the buy level.” These shelves are prime real estate at stores, but not every manufacturer can afford to stock their products there. When you’re shopping, be sure to scan the higher and lower shelves too.

When you see items on a supermarket shelf, you are actually looking at a planogram. These are diagrams that indicate the placement of products to maximize sales.

Get Cheese Sliced

Some of the best prices on cheese are on large blocks of it, but if you’re using it for sandwiches or burgers, slicing it at home can be a hassle. Instead, head over to the deli counter and ask if they’ll slice it for you.

Be Sure About Savings

If your grocery store has a 10 for $10 promotion on an item or items, be sure to check the original price of the item. While it probably won’t be that much more than $1, you definitely want to be sure it wasn’t less.

Use Meat Department Services

The meat department at your store may offer free services that many customers don’t even know about. Most butchers are willing to slice, tenderize, trim, and even grind cuts of meat for you. All you have to do is ask.

Compare Seafood Prices

When checking out the offerings at the seafood counter, look at the small type on the labels. If a product is labeled “previously frozen,” it’s worth it to head to the frozen section of the store to compare the two prices. Occasionally seafood is slightly cheaper when still frozen, so it’s an easy way to save some cash.

Coupons

Of course, couponing is still a good idea as long as it is for an item or brand you need. Don’t forget to check in-store and online coupons.

Check The Clearance Shelves

Keep an eye out for your grocery store’s clearance section and visit it often. The marked down items you’ll find there are not necessarily about to expire—the store or the manufacturer may be discontinuing them.

Don’t Assume Bulk Is Cheaper

You know what they say about assumptions, and it’s just as true when it comes to bulk pricing. While larger quantities do often cost less, that isn’t always the case—for instance, produce items like peppers, apples, and avocados are often cheaper when purchased individually than in pre-packaged bags.

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HEB FOOD DRUGS

Pringles Can Hacks (& Things You Don’t Know About the Snacks But We Are Telling You Anyway)

How many chips are in a container of Pringles?

The cans say there is “about” five servings of 16 chips, which means 80 Pringles. When we tested four cans of Original Pringles we counted two cans with 79 chips, one with 80, and the last one had 78.

However, a can of Sour Cream and Onion chips had 82 and can of Pizza-Flavored had 81.

Pringles has 25 different flavors in the U.S. and even more internationally, when combined you can make 318,000 unique flavor stacks. Of all the varieties, the top-selling flavors are Original, Cheddar Cheese, Barbeque and Sour Cream and Onion.

When Fredric Baur, the inventor of Pringles potato chips died at age 89, per his wish, his cremated ashes were placed inside an original flavored Pringles can for burial.

Baur

In 1956, Baur, a trained chemist, used a geometric formula to create a saddle-shaped chip that would not break when individually stacked inside a cardboard cylinder in-a-can invention.

Besides a burial urn, here are other uses for Pringles cans:

Store other foods inside. Chips aren’t the only food that will travel safely inside a Pringles container. You can also safely pack a sleeve of crackers, some spaghetti or other noodles, dried beans, and more inside this handy can.

…and cookies.

Flour, sugar, and breadcrumbs are other products that can be transported via the Pringles container. The sturdy cardboard will protect the food, and you won’t have punctured bags or spilled products On your roadtrip, in the tent or inside a RV.

Make a cell phone speaker. Cut a slit near the bottom of the Pringles can. Make the slit large enough for your cell phone to sit inside. Remove the lid. The can will amplify your cell phone’s speaker.

  • Store plastic bags. Cut a small (one-inch diameter) hole in the Pringles lid. When you need a plastic bag, simply reach into the hole, and pull one out.

  • Office or hobby supplies. A Pringles can will also corral those office supplies like pens, scissors, paper clips, and glue sticks. Hobby supplies like beads, wire, artists’ paintbrushes and more will also fit inside.

  • Hair accessories holder. Use a Pringles can to keep hair ties and elastic bands together. Just put them around the outside of the can. Clips, ribbons, and bows can be stored inside the can, as well.
Dog cage?

  • Makeup organizer. You can cut down Pringles cans so that your makeup brushes, comb/brush, and other tools are easily at hand. Tape a series of cans together so they’ll stay securely upright.

  • Necklace holder. Put weights in the bottom of a Pringles can. Then wind a rubber band around the can, near the top. Hang necklaces and bracelets from the rubber band. Simple! And handy, too!
  • Bird feeder. Use a darning needle to poke and thread a string through the top of the Pringles can. Tie the ends of the string together. Then use a spatula or butter knife to smear peanut butter all over the exterior of the Pringles can. Then roll the prepared can in birdseed. Hang the bird feeder from a nearby tree or garden flag holder.

  • Keep paint rollers fresh. When painting, you can slip a Pringles container over the paint roller at the end of the day. The next day, the paint in the roller will be ready to go.

  • Travel Tools. We use a few select tools when traveling in our car or a RV–a tire gauge, a channel lock, screwdrivers, pliers, etc. An easy way to keep these few, but necessary, tools together and within reach is to store the tools inside a Pringles can.
Cousins?

  • Children Fun. Kids love doing this. Remove the bottom of the Pringles can. Use waterproof tape to securely fasten the lid onto the can. Gently place the lid end of the can into the water. Look through the bottom of the can to see what’s underneath the water’s surface. Here’s more ideas:

Holidays

Even More

Using chalkboard paint.

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Sources and Networking for Writers, Investigators and Sales People

“Where do you get your ideas for articles? How do you develop and retain dependable sources? How do you sell more? Increase business? Obtain information?”

These are common questions I have received over the years as a “Jack of All Trades” being an investigative reporter, insurance salesman, business executive, trade organization president, writer, detective and corporate facilities manager. The simple answer is to be a good networker.

Personal Connections

After making any connection, I always tried to build on it. Sometimes it takes creativity and thoughtfulness, but those are wonderful traits for life anyway. At HEB Food/Drugs, my division had thousands of employees (Partners), service providers, vendors and other resources to keep our stores, offices, warehouses, manufacturing plants and other real estate safe, lawful and in welcoming conditions.

H-E-B calls employees ‘Partners’

Early on, I would use Rolodex files (labeled: “Sources,” “Engineers,” “Partners,” “Designers,” Electricians,” and others) for individual information on people in each category.

For example, when I visited Austin, Houston, Dallas, the Rio Grande Valley, the Coastal Bend and other regions of Texas, the file for that area would include more than just names, phone numbers, and emails. It was critical to have personal notes to connect and care with individuals I may come in contact with. Examples might be:

Birthplace, Birthday, Anniversaries, Spouse, Children, Other Family, Connections, Hobbies, Interests, Education, and Accomplishments.

Others items to note might include Affiliations, Career and Work History, Goals, Prides, and other interests.

“Is Bobby, Jr. still playing baseball this year? How’s Nancy doing in track? Here’s an autograph of Tim Duncan for your brother. I know he’s big on Spurs basketball,” were some ways to build rapport.

The key was to capture the bits and pieces of hot, vital information
about people I met. These appear as phrases such as “Texas State alum,” “loves to fish,” “never eats lunch,” and so on.

Many times I kept a pocket recorder to help remember for when I jotted it down in the hotel room or plane ride later. As technology developed, I kept computer files and spreadsheets instead of manual Rolodexes.

Note: Even today, I do not include confidential information and confidential names on a computer or internet file. My reputation and ability to gather data and news depends on sources trusting me.

Resources You Can Count On

It’s all a lot of work, but worth every minute of it. What does all this
have to do with resolving an emergency, mitigating a problem, gathering resources, or closing the sale? Just about everything when it’s
used at the moment it’s needed.

Who can you depend on for help when your dealing with a hurricane, a sales proposal or news article?

I don’t subscribe to the saying “Networking is a numbers game.” The success doesn’t come from how many people you can meet. What you actually need is to have a list of people and resources you can count on.

One of my greatest mentors was a senior vice president of Facility Alliance at H-E-B, Ralph G. Mehringer. I watched and learned. When he met someone for the first time–a food server, janitor, visitor, new partner, whoever— Ralph was consistent about making them feel like the most important person in the room.

When I lived in an apartment above the Majestic Theater in downtown San Antonio, a neighbor, Walter Stovell, known as the “Godfather of Houston Street,” totally made eye contact with others–and he kept it. He smiled. He listened.

Majestic Theater

During conversations, Walter made comments and asked questions that showed he was hearing and listening. One day the current and two ex-mayors of the Alamo City walked by and Walter amazed me with his abilities to engage each one opportunities to express themselves without interruption.

What If You Need a Large List to Increase Sales or Potential Sales?

A sales person may mention to someone for whom has been a good customer, “I was just going through my checks, and I realized I spent over $2000 with you last year. I guess we’re really getting to depend on each other more than I knew.”

A typical question I receive is “where do you get your articles and story ideas?” They are all over, if you network properly.


You can expand networking by simply trading networks with someone else.
How big is your network? If you answered infinite, you’re
right. You’re only limited by the number of people on earth. Your network is potentially the size
of all your contacts, plus all your relatives’ contacts, your
friends’ contacts, your business associates’ contacts, and so on.

Suppose you want to introduce a new service you offer. Are you going to limit the list to the names you’ve been able to scrape together? Of course not. You’ll ask me for my list, and if I like the offer I might even ask a few other people for their lists. Instead of a few hundred names, you now have a few thousand.

Always treat anyone’s contacts with the utmost respect. Like tightrope walking, this is a system based on trust. A fall from grace, like a fall from the high wire, can be very hard to recover from.

3 Tips on Selling

🔹 Be Knowledgeable. If you want people to listen to you, you need to be an expert about the product you’re selling, about the market it exists in, and about the way it addresses the needs of your customer.

🔹Establish Rapport. Your primary responsibility is to establish a connection between the needs of the customer and the solutions that your product/service provides. It’s about them, not you. If you’re not paying attention to the customers’ needs, how could you ever accomplish that? Listen to what they’re saying. Ask questions to gain deeper understanding. Seek to build and demonstrate empathy.

🔹Build Relationships. Many people will go to online reviews to learn about your product or service. It’s amazing how much stronger leads are that come from customer referrals. Cultivating customer relationships will give you more leads, and when you listen to compliments and complaints about your offering, it will help you improve for future customers.

One final thought is to use the forever faith 80/20 rule. Twenty percent of your network likely provides 80 percent of the value. What have you done for them lately?

Jack Dennis

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HEB FOOD DRUGS

The Power of Habit Summary

Everyone has big dreams, but they think that they have to do huge things to accomplish those dreams. They get so overwhelmed by their own aspirations that they get analysis paralysis and are sluggish to accomplish anything, much less the big things they had planned. They forget that everything great is accomplished through consistent daily effort. In other words, greatness is a habit.

In the book, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg tells us, “is that your habits are what you choose them to be.”

Everyone has habits, whether they know it or not. It’s simply the way the brain works. When you learn how your brain creates habits, you can figure out how to hack the brain and start replacing bad habits and building good ones.

Here’s a quick overview–every habit is centered around 3 things:

🔹a cue,

🔹a routine, and

🔹a reward.

Maybe you’d like to create a better morning routine. A lot of people wake up, hit snooze a few times, pick up their phones and catch up on news, social media, etc., and then get ready for work. The reward is more sleep, a comfortable morning, a slow start to the day.

But a comfortable morning is not a productive morning. So, if you can recognize the cue, you can alter the behavior, and change the reward. Lazy mornings usually happen because people keep their phone next to their bed and use it as their alarm. When you wake up, your phone is already in your hand, so of course you’re going to start your day by checking everything on it.

But if you change the cue by putting your phone across the room, you have to get up to turn off the alarm. When you’re standing there, you’re much less likely to spend much time on your phone. With the cue changed, it’s easier to change the routine to something like reading or exercise. As a result you’ll be rewarded with a healthier body, a sharper mind, and an all-around better day.

These rewards will cement the new behavior and over time you’ll have a much stronger daily performance that is grounded in strong habits.

When you know how the brain works, you can recognize the cues and rewards that you’ve been giving it and change them to eliminate unhealthy habits and build stronger ones. Over time, these habits will make you stronger, wealthier, and wiser.

Jack Dennis

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

HEB FOOD DRUGS

Smart Ways to Boost Your Immune System

Our bodies are unique and incredible, especially our immune system that helps prevent illness and diseases to conquer our bodies. Having a healthy immune system is crucial for everyone . The best and most natural way to fight infections and avoid getting sick is to boost your immune system.

Dodie, a retired RN, has over 35 years of immunology, neonatal care, teaching, operating room and school nursing experience.

Here are 7 easy ways to supercharge your immune system:

1. A Good Basic Diet

Many of us are guilty of eating an unhealthy diet, eating foods that contain way too much sugar anf salt, which has the effect of restraining the immune system’s cells. These cells are responsible for carrying out attacks on harmful bacteria looking to invade our bodies.

2. Your Liver is a Large and Major Organ for Detoxifying Your Body

Detox is a must for boosting your immune system. Eating certain foods will help your liver excrete stored toxins can help repair a damaged immune system.

3. Probiotics

These beneficial bacteria in the stomach play a crucial role in building up the immune system. Probiotics can boost T-cells, the white blood cells that pretty much power the immune system.

5. Garlic

This flavorful member of the onion family is a powerful immune booster that stimulates the multiplication of infection-fighting white cells, boosts natural killer cell activity, and increases the efficiency of antibody production. The immune-boosting properties of garlic seem to be due to its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin and sulfides.

6. Juicing Veggies or Making Green Smoothies

Boost your immune system with delicious and highly nutritious smoothies and fresh vegetable juices. When you build a smoothie out of a variety of healthful ingredients, you are on the right track to having an immune system that functions well. Many of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are found in you smoothie ingredients are needed by your immune system.

7. Draining Toxins From Lymph Nodes

By doing body weight bearing exercises such as walking, running, or jumping on a mini-trampoline

6. Supplements: Magnesium, enzymes, and Vitamins (See more below)

Nutrients such as vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, and the minerals iron, selenium, and zinc are essential to fight infections or viruses. Have a look at some nutrition that can help you boost your immune system fight off the Corona Virus.

It is advised to take at least these vitamins regularly to keep your immune system strong an healthy all year round. (See breakdown of Vitamins below.)

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Vitamin A

It maintains the structure of the cell in the respiratory tract, gut, and skin. Being your body’s first line of defense, it forms a barrier, fighting infection. It also helps in making antibodies which again helps in fighting infection.

It is mostly found in cheese, nuts, seeds, legumes, grains, and vegetables such as green leafy veggies and yellow-orange veggies like pumpkin and carrots. Vitamin A helps to boost your immune system fight off the Coronavirus.

B vitamins

It is the combination of B6, B9, and B12, which contribute as the first response once an infection is recognized. They prevent the cell from getting infected and damaged.

Vitamin B6 is found in legumes, cereals, green leafy vegetables, fruits, and nuts.

Vitamin B9 (folate) is found in legumes, nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables and is added to commercial bread-making flour.

Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) is found in animal products such as milk, curd, cheese, fortified soy milk, etc.

Vitamins C and E

While fighting an infection, your body experiences oxidative stress which leads to the production of free radicals that can penetrate cell walls damaging tissues and causing inflammation.

Vitamins C and E help cells from oxidative stress. It also helps in cleaning up the cellular mess and enhance our immune system.

You will find Vitamin C in oranges, lemons, berries, limes, kiwifruit, broccoli, capsicum, and tomatoes.

While you will find Vitamin E in nuts, green leafy vegetables, and vegetable oils. All of these vitamins help to boost your immune system to fight off the Coronavirus.

Vitamin D

Some immune cells require vitamin D to help to destroy pathogens that can cause infection. It also helps against acute respiratory infection. Perhaps, staying in exposure to the sun is recommended for at least 2 hours daily.

Although vitamin D is mostly produced by sun exposure, food sources including mushrooms, and milk.

Iron, zinc, selenium

Iron, zinc, and selenium are needed for immune cell growth, among other functions. Iron kills pathogens by increasing the free radicals. It also regulates enzyme reactions. Whole grain food contains Iron.

Zinc and selenium help as an antioxidant, maintaining the integrity of the skin and mucous membranes. Zinc and selenium are found in nuts, rajma, chole, etc.

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___________________________

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Goettle HVAC and Plumbing services are located in Phoenix, Tucson, San Antonio, Austin, Las Vegas areas as well as regions in Southern California.

Successful Tips to Fight This Massive Inflation

The nation is suffering and with inflation only increasing, on top of already high fixed-monthly expenses, our paychecks just are not going as far.

🔹In 2021, only 39% of Americans could afford an unexpected $1,000 expense. The immediate future looks to be even more challenging.

Making your dollar stretch further is a personal long-term task. Rather, it is a lifestyle change. With hard work and dedication, your mind and wallet will exponentially grow if you remember only a few items from this money-saving list.

Set Your Goals (and Budget)

It’s impossible to measure the success of your task and growth without some hard-defined financial goals. It may be difficult but sit down and take a good hard look at your current financial responsibilities. It’s imperative that you do. Where can you cut back? Where are you splurging? If you can’t keep track of your daily expenses and incomes easily, consider phone apps that will keep a digital financial ledger for you.

Check out one (or several) of these budgeting apps to determine which will provide the most value:
– Mint
– You Need a Budget (YNAB)
– EveryDollar
– PocketGuard
– Goodbudget
– Honeydue

2022 headlines in non-mainstream media outlets were emphasized truthfully

Take Charge of Your Credit Card Debt

Although the phrase “never spend more than you can afford” certainly has its merits, sometimes life gets in the way. Sadly, banks and credit card companies are more than happy to throw you a lifeline in the form of credit with high APRs (Annual Percentage Rate). However, when you are unable to pay back the balance due within a certain timeframe, these companies will be expecting some form of compensation in the form of interest. With the average individual APR standing at 16%, you’re throwing money to the banks if you don’t pay off your debt in time.

To minimize your payments, interest and all, look into the following credit-card debt tactics:
– The Debt Snowball Method
– The Debt Avalance Method
– A Debt Consolidation Loan

Don’t Waste Your Raise

Raises are a dime-a-dozen. When you do reach that higher number, don’t instantly fall into the trap of “lifestyle inflation.” Avoid the pitfalls of the luxuries and novelties of your next “perceived” lifestyle. Don’t let these splurge purchases steal all your financial increases in a one-fell swoop. Play it smart and be aware.

Meal Prep

A space where this massive inflation is most readily felt is at the grocery store. Milk, eggs, bread, produce… the staples, are becoming more and more expensive. Even if the price increase is subtle, the yearly cost for your weekly supermarket trips will be substantially more. Even then, if you and your family depend on restaurant take-out and delivery, the price surges will be even more eye-opening.

Keep your mind and body focused on the food you need. Don’t fall victim to the traps of grocery store marketing and product placement. Three quicks tips when grocery shopping:

1. Make a list of the items you intend to purchase to keep you on track.

2. Eat before you shop to ensure you’re less tempted by splurge purchases.

3. Plan your meals. Prepping a batch of meals will save on time, money, and unneeded calories.

Cut the Automated Memberships

Face it, media and shopping conglomerates have become best friends with automated monthly and yearly memberships.

Here is just a quick list of just a few of the automated services some come to rely on:

– Netflix
– Hulu
– Disney+
– Apple TV+
– Youtube Premium
– Amazon Prime
– Walmart Plus
– Any Gym Membership

Multiply your monthly automated memberships by 12. Yearly costs.

You’re probably sitting on several memberships right now that are not being used or enjoyed. Take a second to look at your bank and credit card statements to find your recurring expenses. If one, or several, of these services have not been used in the past month, more than likely it’s time to let it go.

Personally, we haven’t had any type of subscription television services in years and don’t miss it. Out lives are far better without it.

Programmable Thermostat

Heating and cooling a house is often the largest energy expense for a standard household. Simply leaving the heating or cooling system off and grabbing a blanket or desk fan instead can lower energy bills, but there is a way to save even more. Most houses come with thermostats where you must manually change the temperature, meaning when you forget to turn off the heat it will run and waste energy until you switch it off, but a programmable thermostat can solve that problem.

A programmable thermostat lets you schedule when your heating/cooling will turn on so it is never running unnecessarily. Program your thermostat to hold an efficient temperature while you are away from home or asleep to save money without sacrificing comfort. Many programmable thermostats can also connect to WiFi, letting you control your home’s temperature through your smartphone.

Replace Your Air Filter

You can install a programmable thermostat, but if your air filters are clogged, then you cannot properly reap the benefits. Air filters catch debris like pollen, dust, dander, and lint to ensure your heating/cooling system is filling your home with clean air. Over time, air filters will accrue build-up which limits the flow of air.

A dirty air filter cannot perform its job efficiently and can drag down the efficiency of your entire HVAC system. Set reminders to replace your air filters according to the manufacturer’s recommendation and you’ll help maintain lower energy bills each and every year.

Better Light Bulbs

For many years incandescent light bulbs were the standard and sometimes the only option, but now we have better choices in CFL and LED light bulbs.

These bulbs are more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs, but also last longer and shine brighter, making CFL and LED bulbs the superior lighting option. While incandescent bulbs cost less per unit, they cost more over time.

The average incandescent bulbs use 60W and last for 1,200 hours. Over 20 years, you will spend roughly $169 replacing a single dead incandescent bulb. An LED bulb uses 7W and has a lifespan of 25,000 hours which means over 20 years, you will replace a single LED bulb maybe twice for a rough total of $8.

Laundry

🔹If you have a washing machine in your house, wash your clothes with cold water whenever possible.

🔹Heating water to use in your washing machine uses electricity whereas washing your clothes in cold water does not.

🔹Instead of using your dryer, consider air-drying your clothes. Hanging your clothes up to dry overnight ensures you have dry, clean clothes in the morning without using electricity. You can set up a clothesline outside or place a clothes-drying rack indoors to replace your dryer.

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___________________________

Get Your Natural Vitamins A & D from the Sea!

CLICK HERE for GOOD HEALTH!
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___________________________

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

A Bias For Action: Procrastination is a Personal Pitfall

Read This Now, Not Later

For a number of years I taught a class called “A Bias For Action” to literally thousands of employees in classrooms, meetings and one-on-one.

It was important to make certain we had “shared expectations” and “working definitions” immediately. Hard as it might be to admit it, we sometimes put off the tough stuff in our lives and especially our job.

Some leaders would avoid confronting a direct report who isn’t performing within the new work environment. Others had a tendency to postpone projects that would test their self-confidence, abilities, comfort zone or patience. But procrastination is a leadership pitfall. Causing stress and anxiety, it sticks with you like glue until you’ve addressed it. So tackle the tough stuff first, and you’ll immediately eliminate undue stress, build your abilities, raise your comfort level, and boost self-confidence, too.

Here are some points to keep in mind:

Procrastination is the enemy. 

According to “Psychology Today,” 20% of people are chronic procrastinators. They avoid challenging tasks or addressing big issues, even seeking out opportunities for distraction.

So, what’s the big deal? Procrastination is negative and always has consequences — some direct, some indirect. These negative implications can be tangible, like a missed deadline, and intangible, such as irritability from losing sleep over an issue. It’s an enemy that affects you, your team and your company’s potential to succeed.

Addressing challenges is often easier than you think. 

Taking the first step is the hardest part, but things often go smoother after that. The classic example is when you’ve needed to address a performance issue with a direct report and been a bit worried over doing so. Then when you go to talk about it, the person is surprisingly receptive, rather than reactive, and your anxiety melts away. You think, “Why didn’t I do that sooner?” You’ve freed up your emotional and mental currency, the problem is addressed, and now you’re able to get back to and really focus on your main job.

Dealing with “it” leads to greater productivity.

Some people claim that they work better under pressure and actually use that clichéd excuse to avoid a project, problem or person. But this mindset’s repercussions can prevent and destroy productivity.

For example, maybe you’ve put off fixing some software bug because it would test your patience and take too much time. Yet the crippled system slows the daily performance of your direct reports — and then stops altogether when it crashes one day. Everyone (most notably you) now suffers big consequences. You must do (in panic mode) what you previously put off, plus repair and pay for more serious damage that’s now been done. No doubt, fixing the problem in the first place could have lessened or prevented the blow, yet one common reason people procrastinate “dealing with it” is simply because they don’t know how or where to start.

Begin by putting some ideas down on paper and then build a specific, deadline-oriented plan for tackling that tough stuff…and there will be A LOT during this time. Doing so will help you create the accountability and steps necessary for your goal achievement. And it will also help prevent further procrastination, so you can drive, rather than dodge, that critical, ever-productive change.

 6 Strategies ASAP To Keep Procrastination At Bay:

🔹Start on the day before day one. Your strategy to avoid workplace procrastination should start before your employee’s first day. Start with clear and accurate job description matched up to accurately qualified candidates, then analyze the next steps of your hiring process.

By recruiting and hiring employees that possess the right skills for the jobs at hand, you’ll get off to a good foundation in your quest to avoid procrastination pitfalls. Incorporate checkpoints in your interview questions, reference check process and in your interview testing process to look for signs that your potential new-hire has a procrastination track record.

Clarify goals and expectations. Now that you’ve done your best to hire the right employee for the right role, it’s quintessential that you set them up for success with a strong start. By communicating company-wide (as well as departmental) goals clearly and defining the expectations of the specific role, you’ll alleviate gray areas that could lead to workplace procrastination.

Make communication a two-way street. As business owners try to avoid workplace procrastination and correct it when it occurs, opening the communication lines with employees can be the greatest way to drill down on the causes. Create multiple communication vehicles to help employees communicate with management regarding issues that could lead to and improve upon workplace procrastination. This communication strategy can consist of surveys, anonymous comments boxes and push notifications via mobile app or intranet tools.

Train, train and retrain. Bake procrastination avoidance strategies into your training program for all employees. Be sure to train managers on ways to spot, address and avoid workplace procrastination issues among their teams.

Work on your company culture. A team of motivated, engaged employees feels connected to the company mission at a deeper level and less prone to procrastination. Company culture can be the edge your business operations needs to keep procrastination and all its repercussions at bay. Creating a strong culture may consist of employee recognition programs, career development opportunities as well as work life balance considerations.

🔹Trust but verify. It’s important to place trust in your team and trust your hunches regarding your business, but the importance of measurement can’t be discounted. By setting up systems to measure deadlines, productivity and detect dips before they have detrimental impacts, you will gain real visibility into your business operations. Using this data, you can avoid workplace procrastination as well as be able to quantifiably reward the positive efforts of your team.

Letting procrastination run rampant in your workplace can cost your business customers, impact your bottom line and create a negative culture. If you make smart hiring decisions, set your team up for success and measurement performance, however, you’ll be able to avoid the complications that workplace procrastination can bring.

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Get Your Natural Vitamins A & D from the Sea!

CLICK HERE for GOOD HEALTH!
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___________________________

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Goettle HVAC and Plumbing services are located in Phoenix, Tucson, San Antonio, Austin, Las Vegas areas as well as regions in Southern California.