[accesscomp] FW: friday Finds for October 30 2015, Dan's tip

  • From: "Robert Acosta" <boacosta@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <aw-announcements@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2015 09:40:41 -0700

Robert Acosta, President

Helping Hands for the Blind

(818) 998-0044


From: dan Thompson [mailto:dthompson5@xxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Friday, October 30, 2015 6:34 AM
To: dan Thompson
Subject: friday Finds for October 30 2015, Dan's tip

The beginning of each article is marked with an asterisk and the number of
this article as shown in the contents for ease of locating with your
favorite word processor's find and replace feature.

Have a very relaxing and blessed weekend!


1. fact of the day

2. crazy questions

3. New Assistive Technologies Help the Blind Get Active including a drone
guiding the blind around a track

4. twenty six Actually Useful Things You Can Do with Siri

5. T-Base Communications

6. A2Z Contacts

7. acb link

8. Astronomers compile stunning 46-billion pixel image of the Milky Way

9. Astronomers estimate 100 billion habitable Earth-like planets in the
Milky Way, 50 sextillion in the universe

10. How to Cut the Cost of Owning a Pet

11. How to Use Just the Right Amount of Laundry Detergent

12 Rita's iDevice Advice for October 26, 2015: Phone extensions

13 blind mice smart thanksgiving sales

14 How about FALL Resolutions

Articles start next

*1) Fact of the day:

Contrary to your favorite elephant cartoon character, these animals aren't
fond of peanuts. They don't

eat them in the wild and aren't fed them in captivity.

*2) Pondering Thoughts;

Pondering thought

Do vegetarians eat animal crackers?
Why are there no 'B' batteries?

*3) New Assistive Technologies Help the Blind Get Active including A
drone that guides blind runners around a track

Fitness Technology That Helps the Blind Get Moving

A drone that guides blind runners around a track is just one of several new
fitness technologies designed to assist the visually impaired.

By Christina Couch on October 16, 2015

Why It Matters

Half of all disabled adults in the U.S. are obese.


While NASA is working to make drones quieter, one researcher at the
University of Nevada, Reno, is using its noise to benefit blind athletes.

Eelke Folmer, an associate professor of computer science and the head of
UNR’s Human Plus Lab, has built a prototype drone system that guides blind
runners around a track, allowing them to exercise independently without a
sighted guide. Equipped with two cameras—a downward-facing one that follows
the lines on a track and a separate camera that focuses on a marker on the
runner’s shirt—Folmer’s quadcopter flies at eye level, about 10 feet ahead
of a runner, guiding them by sound. If the runner speeds up or slows down,
the drone adjusts its own speed.

Folmer says he hasn’t been able to test it outdoors yet because the
university is so close to the Reno airport it is subject to FAA regulations
on drones. He is currently seeking permission from the airport’s radio tower
to override this rule. “We’ve done some very simple trials inside just
following a straight line and it seemed to work,” Folmer says. “I’m not sure
how it’s going to be on a real oval where you also have to go through a


Researcher Eelke Folmer used this drone with a foam hull for the project to
prevent damage or injury if someone were to run into it.

Assistive devices for navigation and communication abound, but relatively
few technologies aim to help the visually impaired tackle fitness and
obesity, the latter of which disproportionately impacts the disabled
community. About one in three able-bodied adults in the U.S. are considered
obese or extremely obese according to research
<http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23790992> published in the American
Journal of Preventive Medicine,

" Disparities in obesity and related conditions among Americans with

Found at thislink:


but among disabled adults, that rate rises to one in two. For those with
mobility, navigation, or vision impairments, doing vigorous activities—the
kind that actually burn calories and build muscle—can be tough.

Another of Folmer’s projects focuses specifically on increasing
accessibility to moderate and vigorous exercise. VI Fit is a series of
video-less video games created for blind children,


though able-bodied users can play along. Developed for the PC platform, each
of the three fitness games in the VI Fit series <http://vifit.org/> uses a
Nintendo Wii controller to track motion, and guides players through bowling,
tennis, or whack-a-mole style play using audio and tactile cues. The games
are free and two use open-source code, allowing developers to tweak the
games as they see fit or create new ones.

“Most of the accessibility research [for the blind] focuses more on things
like screen readers and making the Web more accessible,” Folmer says. “The
community of blind people still has major problems pertaining to health,
socialization, and quality of life. It would be more helpful for this
demographic if we research how technology can improve these issues.”

A few other projects also aim to make it easier for blind people to get fit.
Kyle Rector, a graduate computer science and engineering student at the
University of Washington, is the creator of Eyes-Free Yoga
<http://dub.washington.edu/projects/eyes-free-yoga> , a system that uses a
Microsoft Kinect to guide visually impaired users through yoga workouts.

Read more here about this project.


For standing poses, users get step-by-step verbal instructions and real-time
feedback on how they can adjust their bodies for proper form. For sitting or
lying poses—positions that are more difficult for the Kinect’s computer
vision system to follow—users rely on audio instructions only.

“My system isn’t necessarily intended to be used as the only exercise tool
for the rest of their lives, but it is a way to kind of propel [blind users]
to do more activity,” Rector says, adding that in testing, several users
expressed interest in adding different exercise regimens since beginning
Eyes-Free Yoga. “They use it as a starting point.”

(links inserted by dan for ease of reaching the specific sites mentioned in
this article.)

Source link for the main article is below.


*4) 26 Actually Useful Things You Can Do with Siri

I have placed a blank line before each action Siri can perform.

known as Apple’s so-called digital personal assistant available on iOS
devices like iPhone and iPad. Some might think Siri is only good for looking
stuff up, but it can actually do a great deal more.

The thing about Siri is that can be hard to get used to, but once you do, it
is incredibly useful. You can do a fairly wide array of tasks on your iOS
device beyond simply looking something up. For example, you can have Siri
create reminders, take notes, and set alarms. It can even make changes to
system settings. Siri will also adapt to your personal language use and as
you use it more and more, will tailor results individually to you.

Siri can easily be activated by holding down the home button on your iOS
device until it beeps and the Siri interface appears. On iOS 9, Siri can
also now be
activated by saying “Hey Siri”, which is invaluable when you’re eating or
driving or your iPhone is simply out of reach.

In this article, we want to go through and highlight some of the things that
Siri can do. You might be surprised at how versatile and useful it is.

Searching for Things

We’ll just get it out of the way because we don’t want to be anti-climatic.
Obviously, you can use Siri to search, and in fact that’s one of the things
it does very well. That said, Siri will also use a variety of web services
to pull data from other sources, so results are more useful than a simple
list of websites you can visit.

As you’ll see in the following examples, if you want to find movie times, or
know sport scores, then what you’ll see direct results rather than being
shown websites you could visit to get more information.

Create Reminders

We all need to remember things, and Siri really shines when setting
reminders. Simply say “remind me to …” and Siri will instantly add it to the
Reminders app on your device.

If you have other iOS devices or a Mac, your reminders will be replicated to
those as well, so no matter what Apple device you’re using, you can always
access your reminders. Further, you can have Siri give you more specific
timely reminders, for example, “Hey Siri, remind me to go to the gym at 3

Additionally you can ask Siri to read you your to-do list, as well as
location-oriented reminders like reminding you to perform an action when you
leave the house, when you return home, or arrive at a certain place. If you
have specific lists, you can tell Siri to add items to it like “add apples
to my grocery list” or “add change oil to my to-do list.”

Create Events

Need to add something to your calendar? Siri can do that for you. Just tell
Siri to create an event titled “such and such” at this time on this day and
she’ll enter all that into your calendar for you.

Once Siri has the details nailed down, she’ll ask you to confirm or cancel.
Once confirmed, the event will be replicated across all your devices so you
don’t to repeat the effort on your Mac or iPad.

Want to do more? You can, such as moving meetings, rescheduling
appointments, adding people to your meetings, and you can also ask about
events, like what the rest of your day looks like, when you’re meeting with
someone, and when your next appointment occurs.

Set Alarms

Setting alarms is really useful, particularly when you can use it in
conjunction with “Hey Siri”. Simply say something like “set an alarm for 8
AM” or “Hey Siri, wake me up at 6:30 AM” and it will turn the alarm on for
that appointed time. You can also change alarms such as “change my 6:30 AM
alarm to 7:00 AM,” turn off all your alarms, or have Siri set an alarm to
wake you after a certain duration, i.e. “wake me up in 45 minutes.”

Call People

This one is very useful when trying to operate your device hands-free. You
can use Siri to call people by simply telling it who to call. You can even
have it call a person on speaker so you don’t have to look at the phone to
turn it on. That way, if you are driving, your eyes never leave the road.

You can also call specific numbers, get your call history, see if you have
any missed calls, redial the last number, check your voicemail, and much

FaceTime with Your Friends

No need to open FaceTime if you want to chat face-to-face with friends and
family, simply ask Siri to do it for you. You can specify whether you want
to make a regular FaceTime call (with video) or a FaceTime call with only

Turn on a Timer

Simple but effective, and also pretty cool when you’re trying to operate
hands-free. Use Siri to create a timer so that if you’re cooking something
and washing your hands, you don’t need to touch the phone. Setting timers in
this way is actually a lot easier than using the Clock app in our opinion.
You can also have Siri stop, pause, resume, and so forth.

Find out What Time it is

You can ask Siri what time it is, either where you live, or somewhere more
distant. Sadly, you can only ask for the time one place at a time. If you
try to ask what time it is in several places at once, it will only return a
result for the first place you ask about.

Tell You What Song is Playing

While it’s true there are specific apps out there that can do this, simply
being able to tell Siri to listen and identify a song is a pretty neat
trick. Results are provided by SHAZAM but Siri will make it a seamless

Play Songs from Your Favorite Artist

You can ask Siri to play songs from your favorite musical artist, or to play
songs similar to your favorite artist, or a specific song from your favorite
artist, and so on.


If you don’t have any music from them on your iPhone or iPad, then Siri will
offer to queue them up on an Apple Music station.

There’s quite a few other things you can have Siri do for you when it comes
to music. You can ask it to play music by genre, play specific albums, and
basic controls like play, pause, and skip, among many other things.

Make Reservations

If you want to make a reservation at your favorite restaurant, Siri can
connect to OpenTable and do that for you. Once Siri finds out if there’s
any available reservations, you’ll be able to tap the time you want and
reserve a table. Make sure that if your party includes more than two people
that you specify how large it is.

Launch Applications

Hey, we get it, apps are awesome and you probably have a bazillion on your
iPhone by now, but don’t you get tired of flipping through your screens to
find that one you only use occasionally?

No problem, just tell Siri to “open Dropbox” or “launch YouTube” and you’ll
never have to scroll through your home screens again (unless you really want

You can also have Siri go and fetch apps from the app store, such as
“download Twitter” or even have it search the app store for new apps, such
as if you’re looking for a cooking or some other app.

Find and Read Emails

Don’t want to hunt for a particular email? Simply have Siri find it. You can
have it search for email by subject, sender, date, and so forth. Thereafter,
once Siri finds the emails, you can have it read them to you, or you can
just tap the one you want to open it in the Mail application.

Beyond this, you can ask Siri to perform other email-related tasks, such as
asking it to check your email, replying to an email, and of course, sending
new emails.

Perform Calculations

Why use a calculator when you can just ask Siri?


Of course, you don’t have to perform as complicated calculations as pictured
above, but it's nice to know you could if needed.

Perform Quick Conversions

Want to quickly know how many cups are in a gallon or miles per hour to
kilometers per hour? Siri can perform quick conversions for you so you don’t
have to look it up. Next time you’re struggling mightily to convert
tablespoons to teaspoons, remember Siri can help you out with that.

Check Dates

Siri can do a lot of cool stuff with dates as well, such as telling you what
day of the week something is, how many days have elapsed between two dates,
what day next Friday will be, and more. You can play around with this and
get a lot of useful information, but if you don’t want a shock, it might be
better not to ask Siri how many days ago you were born!

Change Settings

This one is very useful because changing settings can sometimes be a little
tedious. With Siri, you can just ask it to turn off something like Wi-Fi, or
turn on Bluetooth. It’s a great little extra perk, and we’re glad that Apple
finally added this to iOS.

Access App Settings

If you have an app open on your iPhone or iPad, you can quickly access that
app’s settings by opening Siri and saying “Settings”. We like this
particular trick because it’s so much faster than accessing an app’s
settings the traditional way. Also, you don’t have to have the actual app
open, you can ask Siri to open that app’s settings by saying “open [app]


Mapping things is one of the most useful things a smartphone can do and
luckily Siri makes it even more useful. You can ask Siri to show you how to
get from point A to point B, or simply how far away a destination is. You
can do much more of course; you can ask Siri to give you directions home,
ask what your ETA is, find the nearest gas station, show you landmarks, and
tons of other stuff.

Because Apple Maps has gotten progressively better since it’s haphazard
launch several years ago, you may not even need Google, meaning that you can
have Siri route you around the country to your heart’s content.

Take Notes

Got a winning idea for the next great American novel, or something occurred
to you that you really want to remember? Don’t leave it to your memory, have
Siri note it for you. It’s simple just to ask Siri to take a note, and like
reminders and events, it will be synced to iCloud so it will be available
across all your devices.

Send Text Messages

Siri really shows her personal assistant chops when it comes to text
messages. Ask Siri to “send a text message” to so-and-so, and it will ask
you what you want it to say. Once, Siri has your message ready, you can tell
it to send it to the recipient or just cancel.

If you simply want to dictate a message to send, you can just tell Siri to
text someone with the message content. For example, “text Mom and tell her
I’ll be home for Christmas” or “reply to Kirk that’s fantastic news.”

Read Text Messages

Texting and driving is a huge no-no, which is why you should just have Siri
help you out with that. For example, in addition to being able to dictate
and send text messages, you can also have it read them to you. Of course, if
someone sends you something personal, it’s probably best not to have Siri
read it aloud in front of others, but if you’re in the car driving, and
someone sends you a message, you won’t have to pull over to read it, instead
you can have it read to you.

Once Siri has read you your new text message, you can have it reply or
simply call the sender.

Follow Sports

For those of you who love and follow sports, you can have Siri keep you
abreast of what is going on with your favorite (or not so favorite) teams.
You can ask when a team is playing, who they play, or what the score was.
Siri can also give you other information such as standings and information
about specific teams, as well as what games are on, what channel your
favorite team is on, and much, much more.

See Where and When Movies are Playing

Want to go see the latest Hollywood blockbuster but don’t want to play movie
roulette? Ask Siri to show you where something is playing nearby. Being able
to just ask Siri where a movie is playing will prove to be a terrific
timesaver. Furthermore, the fun doesn’t end there, you can also ask Siri
about who starred in a movie, find out which types of movies are playing,
what’s playing at a specific theater, and so on.

Give Yourself a Nickname

If you don’t want Siri to refer to you by your name, you can tell it to call
you by another. Of course, if you don’t like the new nickname, or you want a
different one, you can change it at anytime by simply asking Siri to call
you something else.

Just Ask About What You Can Ask About

If you want to know more, and dig further into all of Siri’s powers, simply
activate it say, “what can I ask you?" Siri will give you a long list of
categories, and when you tap on each one, it will give you further examples
of all the things you can do with it.

Say Goodbye

Finally, when you’re finished using Siri, you can make it go away by saying
something dismissive like “bye” or “see you later.”

Being able to do so much with Siri means that it’s far more likely to become
a more routinely used feature instead of an occasional tool for looking
stuff up. The ability to set reminders or read text messages gives you
powers that you might never thought available to you.

Beyond this, if you want to change
ccent/> Siri’s gender or accent,

" How to Make Siri Use a Different Voice or Accent"

Visit this link for step by step directions.


you can also have siri
respond to your voice,

Find out how at this link.


then you can do that too.

*5) T-Base Communications, a full service accessible communications
company, is looking for feedback from the blind, deaf-blind or partially
sighted community on experiences receiving accessible information in
brochures, statements and bills from various service providers:

Obtained from the weekly "flying blind" newsletter from "top dot

*6) A2Z Contacts

Attachments: Image-1.png; Untitled attachment 00032.txt


My favorite app for creating contact groups for either Emailing or texting,
got an update today that

makes it about as perfect as they get. His earlier version had no decent
labels for the buttons so far as

VoiceOver was concerned.

I had figured it out by trial and error, but now, after today's update, it
is perfectly labeled and easy to


It is free, or you can pay to get rid of the ads.

If you are looking for an app to create contact groups, I highly recommend
A2Z Contacts.

There is one piece of the app that is still being worked on for iOS 9, but
he thinks that update will be out

next week.

The link follows:

A2Z Contacts Free - Manage your Address Book and Groups by Playa Apps


Article obtained from viphone@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx on behalf of Richard Turner

*7) ACB Link is an iOS App from American Council of the Blind which, among
other things, gives easy access to ACBRadio:

*8) The outer space intrigues me. One Regret of being visually impaired
is not being able to enjoy twinkling stars, and learning more about what's
around our warth and beyond via a telescope. So I was drawn to posting this
article for others who might also find it interesting. Sorry it doesn't do
much for those with limited sight. However, you can certainly come up with
an awesome vision in your imagine.

of use checking the

Source page link is below.


A team of astronomers at the German University has compiled a tremendous
image of the

Milky Way galaxy seen at the link just below.


A team of astronomers at the German University has compiled a tremendous
image of the Milky Way galaxy
. The image contains 46 billion pixels, which makes it the most enormous
astronomical photo ever captured to date. It’s the result of data gathered
over a period of five years by astronomers at Ruhr-University Bochum in

The data was compiled from 268 individual views of the Milky Way galaxy,
including some of the sun and the Earth. The view was attained after
continuously capturing images over that five-year period with the help of
telescopes located in Chile’s Atacama Desert.

In order to view the image in its most detailed format, you’ll need to use
this online tool <http://astro.vm.rub.de/> . “For five years, the
astronomers from Bochum have been monitoring our Galaxy in the search of
objects with variable brightness,” the team said in a statement. “Those
objects may, for example, include stars in front of which a planet is
passing, or multiple systems where stars orbit each other and which obscure
each other now and then.”

Heading the team of astronomers at the German University, Professor Rolf
Chini from the astrophysics department had the herculean task of assembling
268 sections of different images. Chini arranged these images in a flawless
manner and ended up with a breathtaking, comprehensive image of our galaxy.
Even after assembling the image, it took another seven weeks to create a
194GB file, which contained different angles of the image paired with a
variety of filters.

“Using the online tool, any interested person can view the complete ribbon
of the Milky Way at a glance, or zoom in and inspect specific areas,” the
group said in the statement.

The online tool for viewing the main image lets you dig in deep to view
specific sections. Not only that, but the university has made the image
“searchable,” which means you can search for specific information about any
space object present in the Milky Way. For example, if you type “R Leporis,”
the tool will take you to the respective star in the image. It’s an exciting
piece of work by Rolf Chini and his team for other reasons: The compiled
image shows more than 50,000 variable-brightness stars present in the Milky
Way, that have never been recorded in the history of space science.

Image credit: shown on the link above was provided by Lehrstuhl für
Astrophysik, RUB


*9) Astronomers estimate 100 billion habitable Earth-like planets in the
Milky Way, 50 sextillion in the universe

By Sebastian Anthony from Extreme Tech

Astronomers at the University of Auckland claim that there are actually
around 100 billion habitable, Earth-like planets in the Milky Way —
significantly more than the previous estimate of around 17 billion. There
are roughly 500 billion galaxies in the universe, meaning there is somewhere
in the region of 50,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (5×1022) habitable planets.
I’ll leave you to do the math on whether one of those 50 sextillion planets
has the right conditions for nurturing alien life or not.

The previous figure of 17 billion Earth-like planets in the Milky Way came
from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in January, which
analyzed data from the Kepler space observatory. Kepler essentially measures
the dimming (apparent magnitude) of stars as planets transit in front of
them — the more a star dims, the larger the planet. Through repeated
observations we can work out the planet’s orbital period, from which we can
usually derive the orbital distance and surface temperature. According to
Phil Yock from the University of Auckland, Kepler’s technique generally
finds “Earth-sized planets that are quite close to parent stars,” and are
therefore “generally hotter than Earth [and not habitable].”

The University of Auckland’s technique, called gravitational microlensing,
instead measures the number of Earth-size planets that orbit at twice the
Sun-Earth distance.

This results in a list of planets that are generally cooler than Earth — but
by interpolating between this new list, and Kepler’s list, the Kiwi
astronomers hope to generate a more accurate list of habitable, Earth-like
planets. “We anticipate a number in the order of 100 billion,” says Yock.

ll.jpg> Gravitational microlensing

Gravitational microlensing, an effect theorized by Einstein back in 1936, is
exactly what it sounds like. Essentially, light emitted by a star is bent by
the gravity of massive objects, ultimately allowing astronomers to work out
just how large those objects are. Gravitational microlensing has been used
in recent years to detect planets the size of Neptune or Jupiter, and now
Yock his colleagues at the University of Auckland have proposed a new method
for detecting Earth-sized planets. The astronomers hope to use this new
microlensing technique with a huge suite of telescopes — located in Chile,
South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and Texas — to confirm their
estimate of 100 billion Earth-like habitable planets.

Suffice it to say, if the Milky Way contains 100 billion Earth-like planets,
and there’s somewhere in the region of 500 billion galaxies, then there’s an
extremely high chance of other planets harboring life. As for how we’ll get
to those planets, though — or, alternatively, how the residents of those
planets will get to us — remains a very big question. The nearest
probably-habitable planet is Tau Ceti e, which is 11.9 light years from
Earth. The fastest spacecraft ever, Helios II, traveled at 43 miles per
second (70km/s), or 0.000234c (the speed of light). At that speed it would
take 51,000 years for a spacecraft to reach Tau Ceti e.

peg> Harold White's possible warp drive, and star ship

Harold White’s possible Alcubierre warp drive, and star ship

It gets worse: Helios II was only travelling that fast because it was
orbiting close to the Sun; Voyager, for example, travels at just 8 miles per
second (so, about 200,000 years to reach Tau Ceti e). To reach another star
within a reasonable time period (say, 50-100 years) we would need a
propulsion system that’s capable of around 0.1c (10% light speed). There are
a few proposed methods for reaching such insane speeds (antimatter rockets,
fusion rockets), but nothing that’s being immediately (and seriously)
considered for interstellar travel. Who knows, maybe NASA
-travel-says-warp-drives-are-plausible> ’s warp drive will pan out?

Read and see more here:

" NASA working on faster-than-light space travel, says warp drives are


If they can work out the whole annihilating-the-star-system-upon-arrival
ilating-whole-star-systems-when-you-arrive> , that is…

Research paper: doi:
10.1093/mnras/stt318 – “Extending the planetary mass function to Earth mass
by microlensing at moderately high magnification”


[The image at the top of the story found at this link:


is an infrared image of the core of the Milky Way, captured by NASA’s
Spitzer space telescope. Infrared imaging allows you to see many stars which
are normally obscured by intergalactic dust.

Link to source page is below:


*10) How to Cut the Cost of Owning a Pet

By Mary Hunt on 10/26/2015

Everyday Cheapskate blog

No one was more surprised than I when my first granddog, Sir Boddington,

nuzzled a place in my heart. I knew I was smitten the day I loaded up on
toys, milk bones and other doggie delights. I blame it on “Boddie” that I so
willingly became a member of the U.S. population that spent $58 billion in
2014 on food, supplies, services such as grooming and boarding, and medical
care for their 358

million pets.

So how can you afford to care for your furry friend—in sickness and in

Make prevention maintenance your top priority as a pet owner and you’ll save
later on.

RESTRAIN. A fence or some other reasonable restraint is the best way to
avoid big vet bills, says David T. Roen, D.V.M., board-certified
veterinarian and owner of the Clarkston Veterinary Clinic in Clarkston,
Washington. “I see more dogs in my office because of injuries sustained
while unrestrained than for any other reason. Dogs should always be leashed,
fenced or supervised.”

CHOOSE THE RIGHT FOOD. Dr. Roen advises pet owners to skip all the fancy
premium foods sold by vets. Use name-brand pet food from the supermarket

labeled “complete and balanced.” Or look for the seal of approval of AAFCO
(the Association of American Feed Control Officials). Stick with the same
brand. Switching abruptly can cause health issues for some animals. And less
is better, as slightly underweight pets have fewer health problems.

SPAY AND NEUTER. Reproductive issues aside, spayed and neutered dogs have

fewer health and behavioral problems.MAKE WELLNESS ROUTINE. Some pet supply
stores offer in-store clinics and special events. Humane societies and
veterinary schools offer low-cost clinics where inoculations and wellness
exams are administered by professionals. Keep

good records of the inoculations and treatments your pet has.

FORGET HEALTH INSURANCE. Pet insurance will probably cost more money than it
saves, says Dr. Roen. But you should anticipate future medical bills.

“Instead of sending premiums to an insurance company, put the amount you’d
pay in premiums into a savings account.”

GET SECOND OPINIONS. Even if it’s an emergency, if the estimate is for more
than a few hundred dollars, get a second opinion. If the estimate is for
$800 and you can only afford $400, speak up, says Dr. Roen. There may be
less aggressive and cheaper alternative treatments.

SHOP AROUND FOR MEDICATIONS. Ask your vet for prescription drug samples to
get started. Then call around to retailers such as Wal-Mart or Costco

pharmacies (many meds are the same for humans and animals) to compare

prices. Search websites like discountpetmedicines.com or petmeds.com, too.
CREATE AN ACCOUNT. Seriously, you need to establish a savings account just
for your pet’s care, into which you regularly deposit money. Even $10 a week
will turn into $520 in one year. Earmark that account for pet emergencies
only then congratulate yourself on being a responsible pet owner. Woof!

*11) How to Use Just the Right Amount of Laundry


By Mary Hunt on 10/29/15


Dear Mary: I love all of your washing machine tips, but can you guide us on

the correct amount of detergent? I know you say small amounts, but can one
tell by ‘feeling’ the water? I hate to do a load with too little or too much
and it feels like a guessing game. I tried googling this, but the info was
not helpful. You are such

an expert on these things that I thought you might have some additional
tips—you can bear the thought of another post about laundry, that is!
fantastic work. Your Anonymous Fan

Dear A.F.: Great question. And yes, flattery did get your letter to the top
of the pile

so good job on that!

Most of us use way too much laundry detergent, which can present all kinds
of problems like skin irritation, grayish looking whites and stiff scratchy
clothes and linens. Whatever amount of detergent you use, it must be
completely rinsed away for the results to be beautifully clean,
white-than-white, brighter-than-bright colors;

soft clothes and linens.Generally, (and I say that word because there are so
many variables which I’ll

touch on shortly) if you have soft water use 1 tablespoon (1/16 cup) of HE
(high-efficiency) detergent per wash load. If you have hard water use 2
tablespoons (1/8 cup), which begs the question “How do I know if my water is
hard or soft?”

Call your water company or go to its website, to learn the grains of
hardness per gallon (expressed as “gpg”) in your local water supply.

According to the Water Quality Association, soft water: 0 – 3.5 grains per
gallon (gpg); moderate: 3.5-7.0

gpg; hard: 7.0-10.5 gpg, and very hard: over 10.5 gpg. If your water is
moderately hard and you want to be very precise, use 1.5 tablespoons of HE
detergent per load.

Another variable will be washing machine capacity. If it’s a
super-duper-jumbo size machine, you need to adjust the amount of detergent
accordingly. Check the owner manual.

Also, you may need to use more or less detergent if you’re running a heavily
soiled load (more) or a very small load (less).

Above all, the most important thing to consider when it comes to laundry
detergent is whether or not the detergent gets completely rinsed away before
that load of laundry is finished. I always add 1/2 cup white vinegar to the
last rinse (I pour it into the liquid softener compartment so it gets
released at the proper time). Vinegar helps to get rid of all of the
detergent, leaving items soft and fluffy without the need

of any softening products, which can present allergic-like rashes, skin
irritations and even respiratory reactions in some people.

The next time that you do a load of wash, take a washcloth out of the dryer
when finished and put it in a warm dish of water. If the water remains
clean, you have not used too much detergent. If water turns even slightly
cloudy, it means that all of the detergent has not been removed. You’re
using too much detergent,

If your whites have turned gray, thats a good indication that your washing

has resulted in a build-up of left-in laundry detergent. If your towels
comes out stiff and scratchy—you guessed it—too much detergent.

Finding the exact amount of laundry detergent you need given the hardness of
your water, the size of your washing machine and the size of the laundry
load, may take experimentation. But once you discover what’s right for
you—and you are getting all of that detergent out of the clothes, too—I
think you’re going to be pleasantly surprised by the fantastic results.

I don’t think you’ll find a better (or cheaper!) HE laundry detergent than
our homemade HE laundry detergent. It is concentrated and 2 tablespoons (or
less) per load produces fantastic results!

Thanks for your kind words. They made my day.

*12) Rita's iDevice Advice for October 26, 2015: Phone extensions

Ever had to make a call on your iPhone to a friend or colleague whose phone

number includes an extension? You may have thought you had to use their

system, or remember their extension, in order to reach them. But, thanks to

not-very-well-known feature of the iPhone's app, you don't. Here's how to

phone extensions into an iPhone:

To begin, determine which contact you want to add a phone extension

1. Then, in either your Phone app or Contacts app, tap that contact

2. Tap the Edit button at the top right of the contact

3. Tap the phone number you want to add the extension to

4. Tap the "+*#" button at the bottom left of the screen

You will see a pause button at the bottom center. Tap that

When the new options come up on the screen, you'll add a comma to the phone

number. After the comma has been added to the phone number, type in the

phone extension

You will find the comma if you slide your finger along the left side of the

phone, on the bottom half of the iPhone screen. This is a little tricky to

using VoiceOver but sliding your finger slowly along the left edge of the

is helpful.

Tap Done to save the changes.

The comma that gets added to the phone number is a pause, which automated

systems understand to be the signal that comes before an extension is
entered. As

a result, when you call that person's number, the extension will be

dialed, saving you from doing it.

Of course, this means you'll be forced to call the extension, rather than

main number or another option, but that's what you'll probably do most often


*13) Are you ready for your Thanksgiving feast?
Thanksgiving is November 26!
The Mice want to help you prepare a delicious Thanksgiving meal without a
lot of muss and fuss!
The Mice have hand picked these kitchen gadgets from their Cooking & Baking
to help you make the job of preparing your feast easy!
Check out all of these great cooking products from Blind Mice Mart!
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Here are the Cooking Tools & Gadgets

Pourfect" Chefs Combo Set

This Pourfect Chef's Combo Set has everything a cook will need to make
cooking easy!

This Combo Set includes:
The Pourfect Mixing Bowl Set
the Pourfect Braille Measuring Cup Set
and the Pourfect Braille Measuring Spoon Set
You get all 3 at a discounted Mice Price! The Pourfect Mixing bowls have
unique features that are ideal for use by visually impaired and blind cooks!

The Pourfect measuring cups and spoons offer the largest range of sizes
available anywhere and are labeled in braille!
Available in Red, Blue, White or Black.
Made In USA
Enter on the Order link below to see the details of everything in the
Pourfect Chef's Combo Set!

Turkey Day Special Mice Price: $59.99
Item#: 1510CMB
Order the Pourfect
<https://www.blindmicemegamall.com/bmm/shop/Item_Detail?itemid=231903> "
Chefs Combo Set Here $59.99


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Cooking in the Dark Grips Oven Mitt Set

"Cooking In The Dark Grips Mitts are ideal for use by blind and visually
impaired cooks! The thin construction of these mitts allow amazing tactile
identification of what is being touched right through the mitt! This cannot
be done when using silicon or cotton mitts! Providing protection up to 500
degrees F and to subzero-temperatures 100 degrees below zero, Cooking in the
Dark Grips are water and stain resistant with a non-slip grip surface. They
are Dishwasher safe and non flammable, too Cooking in the Dark Grips Mitts
repel liquids helping to prevent possible steam, water, and grease burns as
well as being virtually stain resistant. Grips' thin, innovative material
dissipates hot and cold temperatures over the entire surface of the mitt.
This allows for better protection for a longer period of time. This thin
material also gives Grips greater flexibility and provides the user with an
amazing ability to see by touch through the material. Thick cotton or
silicon hand protection products cannot compare with the flexibility and
tactual properties of Cooking In The Dark Grips Mitts. Grips Mitts can be
washed in the top rack of a dishwasher, or Easily cleaned with soap and warm
running water at the sink, They can be used wet or dry! Mitts are black with
red accent cuff. Loop for hanging providing easy access! Set includes two 14
and a half inch long standard baking mitts. The Mitts are 1 1/2 inches long
with the cuff folded down and 14 1/2 inches long when the cuff is unfolded.
Turkey Day Special Mice Price: $36.00
Item#: K3b-S
Order the Cooking in the Dark Grips Oven Mitt Set Here $36.00


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Talking Cooking Thermometer

This talking thermometer can be used in the kitchen or around the house!
Just insert this easy to use thermometer's stainless tip probe into liquids,
meats, or anything you want to know the temperature! Even use it for air
temperatures! Press the "talk" button to hear the temperature spoken in a
clear female voice. Temperature Range: -58 degrees F to 572 degrees F.
Operates on 2 "AAA" batteries, included.
Can display temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit Fahrenheit.
Probe protection sheath included.
Turkey Day Special Mice Price: $29.99
Item#: tct572
Order the Talking Cooking Thermometer Here $29.99


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**Don't forget the holder for the Talking Cooking Thermometer

Talking Cooking Thermometer Stainless Steel Holder

Great for soups, candy making, and preparing your favorite Espresso.
Terrific for soap and candle making. Or use it in laboratory and industrial
applications. Simply attach probe clip to the side of most containers, pots,
pans, lab vessels, etc., and monitor temperature with no hands!
Turkey Day Special Mice Price: $5.79
Item#: ph001
Order the Talking Cooking Thermometer Stainless Steel Holder Here $5.79


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Dice and Slice Chopper


* Dice and Slice Chopper perfectly dices onions, peppers, celery and
* Clear base container catches cut fruits and vegetables to reduce
countertop messes.
* Evenly slice strawberries, mushrooms or hardboiled eggs.
* Easily cube tomatoes, zucchini and potatoes.
* Base container features printed measurements up to 2 cups or 500 ml.

* Non-skid feet hold base securely in place while in use.

Care: Dishwasher Safe

This Dice and Slice Chopper makes dicing and slicing produce for stir fries,
salads and salsas quicker and easier.

Features / Benefits:

* Dices and Slices Produce in One Swift Motion
* Cleaning: Use cleaning tool to remove food residue from pusher
* Encloses Cut Foods to Minimize Mess
* Handwash lid for best results.
* Disassembles for Easy Cleaning
* All other parts are dishwasher safe. ?
* Nest pieces together in clean base for storage.

Caution! Sharp Blades. Use care when operating and washing item to avoid

At Cooking In The Dark we want to help make your busy life easier with
innovative products for your kitchen.

Turkey Day Special Mice Price: $26.99
Item#: GPC-3681
Order the Dice and Slice Chopper Here $26.99


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Adjust-A-Slice Mandoline

Get perfect even slices with the Adjust-A-Slice Mandoline. No more
struggling in the kitchen with a knife to get slices like a chef. Select
your desired thickness with the mandolin slicer?s easy adjustment button and
slice away with carrots, onions, zucchini, tomatoes, kiwi and apples.
Turkey Day Special Mice Price: $18.69
Item#: HG-52
Order the Adjust-A-Slice Mandoline Here $18.69


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Popper Food Chopper

Quickly chop or dice vegetables and ingredients for homemade salsa, egg
salad or toppings for ice cream sundaes! With the Food Chopper it?s easier
than ever. The extra large size allows for larger foods to be placed inside
the Food Chopper with less pre-cutting and handling.
Turkey Day Special Mice Price: $12.74
Item#: GFC-100
Order the Popper Food Chopper Here $12.74


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Garlic Chopper

A fun way to chop garlic with minimal mess and odor. The Garlic Chopper
quickly minces peeled garlic cloves with a simple shake of the hand. The
Garlic Chopper?s spring-loaded blades bounce up and down chopping garlic
into a fine mince. Remove the freshly minced garlic with the integrated
spoon within the shaker.
Turkey Day Special Mice Price: $13.49
Item#: GPC-2800
Order the Garlic Chopper Here $13.49


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Nylon Knife

This Nylon Knife is made of a special material that will not turn the edges
of lettuce brown yet it still cuts cleanly through...No more ugly brown
lettuce edges! The Nylon Knife?s serrated blade makes perfect thin or thick
slices.The Nylon Knife will not damage non-stick bakeware! Use it for
cutting cakes, brownies, meat loafs, anything in a non-stick pan without
damaging the pan!
Safe to use without a danger of cutting yourself.
The Nylon Knife can also be used for most slicing needs in the
kitchen...breads, tomatoes, carrots, etc. This makes it an ideal tool for
newly blinded individuals to use as they learn to use a knife. Great for
younger kids too wanting to "help Mom in the kitchen"!slicingthe blind
relearning how to It is safe for
Turkey Day Special Mice Price: $4.88
Item#: GT-3608
Order the Nylon Knife Here $4.88


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EZ See Black and White Cutting Board

This cutting board is white on one side and black on the other to offer a
contrast to foods when cutting/slicing. Great for visually impaired cooks!
Board measures 15 by 9 inches.
Turkey Day Special Mice Price: $11.88
Item#: 356781
Order the EZ See Black and White Cutting Board Here $11.88


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Flexible Chopping Mats

The flexible chopping mats in this set are perfect for prepping an entire
meal without worrying about cross-contamination of foods. The color-coded
chopping mats with food icons make it easy to remember what foods are being
prepared on each surface. Easily transport the prepared foods directly to a
pan or bowl.
Turkey Day Special Mice Price: $11.59
Item#: PCC-606
Order the Flexible Chopping Mats Here $11.59


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Reversible Chopping Mats set of 3

An improved version of the classic chopping mat. Reversible Chopping Mats
are twice as thick as standard chopping mats and will not warp when washed
in the dishwasher. Each cutting surface is color-coded offering twice the
useable cutting space, making them last twice as long.
Turkey Day Special Mice Price: $9.67
Item#: PCC-800
Order the Reversible Chopping Mats set of 3 Here $9.67


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Vegetable Peeler

Frustrated by dull vegetable peelers that slide across the vegetable but
don?t do much peeling? The Vegetable Peeler features a sharp stainless steel
blade to cleanly peel potatoes, cucumbers, carrots and apples.
Turkey Day Special Mice Price: $5.51
Item#: GT-3342
Order the Vegetable Peeler Here $5.51


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Rotary Hand Grater

Includes three Interchangeable drums that allow you to easily grate, shred
and slice cheese, chocolate and more Note from Dale of Cooking in the Dark:
I use mine for hard cheeses, baby carrots, and chocolates. Drums change
easily and it can go into the dishwasher. Stainless Steel and Plastic
Turkey Day Special Mice Price: $11.69
Item#: HGGM-30
Order the Rotary Hand Grater Here $11.69


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Tactual Long Ring Timer (Braille Timer)

A standard, long-ring timer with one tactile dot at every 2.5 minutes and 3
dots at 0, 15, 30 and 45 minutes. A standard, long-ring timer with one
tactile dot at every 2.5 minutes and 3 dots at 0, 15, 30 and 45 minutes.
Turkey Day Special Mice Price: $16.00
Item#: 463305
Order the Tactual Long Ring Timer (Braille Timer) Here $16.00


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Talking Timer

Timer features a count-down mode and clock that speak. Set timer for up to
23 hrs, 59 min. and hear each hour announced, then each 10 min increment,
and finally the seconds spoken as the timer goes towards zero. Count-up
timer does not speak.
Turkey Day Special Mice Price: $14.25
Item#: 756335
Order the Talking Timer Here $14.25


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Talking Kitchen Scale VOX 5000


The VOX 5000 is a talking scale designed to be used by the visually
impaired, which speaks in English, German, French, and Spanish.
It has been ergonomically designed to facilitate easy use for visually
impaired users and weighs up to 11 pounds / 5000 grams to an accuracy of 1
The VOX 5000features a stainless steel platform for easy cleaning and a
large backlit blue LCD display.
It also has a tare function for weighing things in containers.
The VOX 5000is powered by 4 AA batteries (included) and features an auto off
function to preserve energy.
Platform size 5.2"" Diameter
Scale size 9"" x 6.5"" x 1.5""

Turkey Day Special Mice Price: $39.99
Item#: vox2
Order the Talking Kitchen Scale VOX 5000 Here $39.99


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Elite Cuisine Coffee & Spice Grinder

This grinder has 150 watts of power to grind coffee beans, spices and nuts
with ease !Stainless steel cutting blades for long life and durability
provide quick results ! Has a Safety switch and Power Indicator Light.
Electric. 36 grams grinding capacity. Black.
Turkey Day Special Mice Price: $19.50
Item#: ETS-630B
Order the Elite Cuisine Coffee
<https://www.blindmicemegamall.com/bmm/shop/Item_Detail?itemid=202963> &
Spice Grinder Here $19.50


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Liquid Level Indicator-Music Alert

When liquid reaches .75 inches or 18 millimeters from the top of the cup, a
lovely tune is sounded alerting the user to stop pouring. It uses two - 357
A batteries that are included. Two spare batteries are provided.
Turkey Day Special Mice Price: $10.65
Item#: 756963
Order the Liquid Level Indicator-Music Alert Here $10.65


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Walnut Scrubber Sponges (Pack of 2)


Love cleaning with abrasive scrubbers but wish they were gentler on your
cookware, and the earth? Then you?ll really love Full Circle?s new walnut
scrubber sponges. The plant-based cellulose sponge is absorbent and durable,
while the abrasive side is made from ? you guessed it- walnut shells!
Effective on even the toughest jobs but won?t scratch non-stick cookware.
Plus, it?s much easier on the earth than what you?ve been using (sshh we
won?t tell). Who knew we?d find all those pesky walnut shells so useful?

Abrasive made from walnut shells
Absorbent plant-based cellulose sponge
Effective and durable
Won?t scratch most surfaces (Always on a small area first).
Pack of 2 sponges
Turkey Day Special Mice Price: $3.88
Item#: fc11208
Order the Walnut Scrubber Sponges (Pack of 2) Here $3.88


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Nylon Scraper

This Ergonomic scraper is perfect for cleaning and scraping sticky messes
from plates, pots and pans. Nylon.
Turkey Day Special Mice Price: $1.34
Item#: GT-3300
Order the Nylon Scraper Here $1.34


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Collapsible Funnel - Mini

The Collapsible Mini Funnel is perfect for smaller jobs. Plus the mini
funnel?s smaller size and collapsible feature make it easy to store in any
Turkey Day Special Mice Price: $3.65
Item#: CF-100G
Order the Collapsible Funnel - Mini Here $3.65


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Collapsible Colander - Over The Sink

Expand to use, collapse to store! This Over-The-Sink Colander is a kitchen
essential. Perfect for draining pasta or rinsing fruits and vegetables. The
Over-the-Sink Colander performs all the same functions of a standard
colander. Its flexible sides allows it to fold to 1/3 its original size to
take up less space on the shelf or in the cabinet. The Collapsible
Over-the-Sink Colander can even be cleaned in the dishwasher in the
collapsed position.
Turkey Day Special Mice Price: $20.69
Item#: CC-13
Order the Collapsible Colander - Over The Sink Here $20.69


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Collapsible Colander - 3 Quart

Expand to use, collapse to store! Collapsible Colanders are a kitchen
essential. The 5 Quart Collapsible Colander is perfect for draining pasta or
rinsing dried beans, fruits or vegetables. The Collapsible Colander performs
all the same functions of a standard colander, but its flexible sides allow
it to fold to 1/3 its original size, taking up less space on the shelf or in
the cabinet. It can even be cleaned in the dishwasher in the collapsed
Turkey Day Special Mice Price: $15.72
Item#: CC-11
Order the Collapsible Colander - 3 Quart Here $15.72


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Collapsible Tub

The perfect all-purpose tub! The Collapsible Tub is ideal for all your
household tasks. Use the Collapsible Dish Tub at home for washing dishes,
cleaning floors or even soaking your feet. Take it camping to use as a dish
tub or to hold all those yummy ingredients for s?mores. Best of all, when
not in use the tub collapses to 1/3 its original height for compact storage.
Turkey Day Special Mice Price: $14.78
Item#: CDT-1
Order the Collapsible Tub Here $14.78


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Wooden Oven Rack Grabber

"You?ll wonder how you ever did without this tool. This 16"" wooden grabber
allows you to pull the pan or rack out of the oven without burning your
hands. Push it back in if the food is not done. Each side has measuring
conversions and a magnet to keep it handy on the oven.16"" long. Wood and
Turkey Day Special Mice Price: $4.12
Item#: T1017
Order the Wooden Oven Rack Grabber Here $4.12


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Have a MICE Day! ****
3 Easy Ways To Order:
Order On-line at Blind Mice Mega Mall <https://www.BlindMiceMegaMall.com>
Place Your Order By E-Mail

Order By Phone:
Call the Blind Mice Mega Mall Order Center:
(713) 893-7277
Open Monday thru Friday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm CST
We accept all major credit cards, PayPal, money orders, and your check!
Every purchase at Blind Mice Mega Mall benefits the Mouse Hole Scholarship
Prices and charges are subject to change without notice.
All prices are exclusive of applicable shipping charges and Texas sales
taxes unless otherwise noted.
International Shipping is available to Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, &
New Zealand
Select shipping method at check-out

Blind Mice Mart Shipping Rates
Have you visited the Blind Mice Movie Vault yet?
The Mice have over 5,000 DVS audible Movies and TV shows
Access to the Blind Mice Movie Vault and Discounted Member Mice Prices are
available to all supporting members with active memberships!

*14) How about FALL Resolutions?

How about FALL Resolutions?

(After 9 months of not keeping the new year's ones)

Give up complaining . . . focus on gratitude.

Give up pessimism . . . become an optimist.

Give up harsh judgments . . . think kind thoughts.

Give up worry . . . trust divine providence.

Give up discouragement . . . be full of hope.

Give up bitterness . . . turn to forgiveness.

Give up hatred . . . return good for evil.

Give up negativism . . . be positive.

Give up anger . . . practice patience.

Give up pettiness . . . put on maturity.

Give up gloom. . . enjoy the beauty that is all around you.

Give up jealousy . . . pray for trust.

Give up gossiping . . . control your tongue.

Give up sin. . . . turn to virtue.

Thought for the Day:

All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to

-- Author Unknown

Submitted by Trish

“Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock.” Isaiah
26:4 (NLT)

“Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock.” Isaiah
26:4 (NLT)

To subscribe to Dan's tips or HotSpot with God Daily Devotional, send a
blank message to dthompson5@xxxxxxxxx and include "subscribe Dan's Tips" or
Subscribe HotSpot with God" in the subject line.

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