HIGH TIMES IN THE LOWCOUNTRY!

Well, as Saint Augustine once said, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”  With that in mind, I shall soon begin packing for the 2017 Spring Fling Book Tour.  (A creation of my publicist, Blind Lemon Lefkowitz.)  “Lefty” has arranged for stops in Boca Raton, Amelia Island, Savannah, and Charleston.  This time, however, our party will be staying in historic Bed & Breakfast Inns, as opposed to Motel 6.  The inns are quite lovely, and designed to showcase the Southern theme of the tour.

By the way, in case you’re wondering, I am returning to the Lowcountry to pick up a literary award for my last “Adam Gold Mystery,” titled, A RUN FOR THE MONEY. The book was chosen as a FINALIST in the 2016 Beverly Hills International Book Award Contest.  There were 3,700 entrants, so I was quite happy to be chosen, and greatly appreciate the huge cash award.  (Which I intend to spend on shrimp and grits!)

Speaking of books, (as usual) the newly revised, re-edited, and rejuvenated edition of THE SECOND MOURNING will soon be available to the public!  The book has been re-issued, showing three of the gold medals that it won on the front cover.  The manuscript has also been “cleaned” and some new descriptive information added.  If you enjoyed the first edition, you will definitely want a copy of this little darling.  Copies should be available in mid-May.

The first reviews of TURBULENT TIMES have been phenomenal, and once again, I am very appreciate.  (The NYT review was simply outstanding!)  The winner of an autographed hard-copy book (for posting the first review on Amazon.com) was none other than…..  Baron Lee Bomblatus of Round Rock, Texas!  Congratulations, Lee, and thank you very much for all of the kind words.  My own mother could not have been more gracious, even after receiving my recent bribe!  Women!

Which reminds me, if you are a loyal blog follower (and wish me to keep living in the style to which I am not accustomed) then PLEASE take a moment to leave a nice review on either Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com    In all seriousness, good reviews generate more advertising dollars from the publisher.  And they improve your chances of getting into heaven.  (I have friends in very high places!)

And since we are on the subject of heaven, allow me to mention that I recently had my first “Asian Foot Massage,” which was incredible, but somewhat mis-named.  The wonderful masseuse was not Asian, nor did I have my feet massaged.  However, I was massaged by the beautiful and talented Melinda Perez, and she used HER feet to loosen my body parts!  Man, that was really a treat, and the results were splendid.  Miss Melinda works in Austin, and is definitely the BEST masseuse in Texas, so if you live in town, give her a try.

Incidentally, if you’re wondering why I began this blog with a quote from Saint Agustine, it’s because I am currently reading a book about saints.  (A research project for my next Adam Gold mystery, titled CAPONE ISLAND.)  ST. Agustine must have made a lasting impression on folks, because they named entire city after him in the state of Florida.  I forget the name of the city, but it might be Tallahassee.  Or maybe it was Port St. Lucie.  Dang, it’s right on the tip of my tongue.

Finally, my visit (and mini-lecture) at the Texas State Cemetery was a huge success.  If you haven’t been down to the cemetery, you’re the dead-beat, because it’s quite lovely and historic.  Among others, it holds the remains of Barbara Jordan, Chris Kyle, and the big guy himself, Stephen F. Austin.  Believe it or not, they also named a city after Stephen F. Austin, but once again, the name escapes me.  I am happy to report that the grounds were immaculate and I was very proud to be invited to give a little talk about Texas history.  The Lone Star State rocks!

In closing, I would like to mention that I had NOTHING to do with the recent robbery at the H.E.B. Pharmacy at Four Points.  Last Friday, thieves broke into the store and stole a ton of Viagra.  (The police are now looking for a gang of “hardened” criminals!)

Well, that last joke might have been a “bitter pill” to swallow, so I shall now sign off until next Sunday.  Please have a safe and joyous week, and keep those cards and letters (and cash) coming!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

 

MISS COMMUNICATION!

Yikes, that sounds like the title of a beauty contest.  However, I’m referring to words, and as the Bee Gees once said, “It’s only words, and words are all I have to take your heart away.”  Of course, as a (semi) famous writer, I am well aware that there are 171,476 words in the English language.  In current use.  (Which has nothing to do with AC/DC)  The reason I mention this titillating fact (and no, the word titillating is not a dirty word) is because recent events have highlighted the importance of using and understanding the English language.

How so, you ask?  Well, last week, Bashar al-Assad, the brutal dictator of Syria apparently thought that President Trump was sending him some mistletoe, when in fact, he received a bouquet of Tow Missles!  (Big difference)  Boom!

My friends in the Caribbean tell me that the most popular T.V. show in Jamaica is a program about Rastafarian zombies.  It’s called “THE WALKING DREAD.”  In this unusual version, the zombies are Jewish.  They don’t eat human flesh, just lox.  (Better sit down)  Nothing like a good bagel with cream cheese and “dread lox!”

So what else is new?  Well, Thursday’s literary presentation was a HUGE success.  (I spoke to the Texas Surplus Lines Association at the Blackfinn Restaurant in the Domain.)  There might have been 4,000 people in attendance.  (There might have been, but the room only held 45 people.)  In any case, a great time was had by all.  Thanks again to the extremely talented Texan, Meagan Kiernan, master of the universe!  (Ms. Kiernan ran the event)  Those in attendance were mostly the new generation of surplus lines underwriters, and they were all brilliant and energetic folks.  My beloved former industry is in very good hands!

Speaking of brilliant women, the lovely owner of the COVE BOUTIQUE (on South Congress Avenue)  just had a starring role in her very first T.V. commercial, which was filmed in her own store last Friday!  Ms. Rebecca (Yanoff) will also be featured in the upcoming edition of Tribeza Magazine, which is doing a story on her rise to fame and fortune!  (Dang kid is getting more publicity than her father!)  I hope she mentioned my name in the commercial.

Incidentally, tomorrow, April 10, is the first day of Passover, so I would like to wish my Jewish blog followers “Pesach sameach,” which means “Happy Passover.”  While I’m at it, Sunday, April 16, is Easter Sunday, so Happy Easter to all of my Christian friends.  Did I leave anyone out?  My Uncle Bernie used to think that he was a matzo ball.  We brought him to the doctor, and the doctor told us not to worry. (He said it would ” pass over!”)  All right, look, there aren’t that many holiday jokes.  What can I say.

There was an article in the NYT which stated that “sleep is the new status symbol.”  (Since everybody is so busy these days.)  If that’s true, I’m a dang wealthy!  (I sleep at least 9 hours per night.)  Not to brag, but many of my books are used at Insomnia Centers throughout America.  Apparently, patients fall asleep shortly after starting one of my books.  I’m so happy that I can bring such peace and tranquility to those who need a good rest.

Finally, I would like to reiterate that my newest cure for insomnia will be available very shortly.  (TURBULENT TIMES)  I recently received a pre-publishing review from a N.Y.C. firm called Renegade Reviews, and among other things, they wrote:

“Yanoff’s new book, Turbulent Times, is a sure-fire blockbuster, and a truly brilliant effort.  Lovers of American history will adore this story, which is well- researched, well-written, and fascinating from start to finish.  Without doubt, Turbulent Times will win numerous awards and is destined to become one of the best history books of the year.”

Well, as we say in New York, “from your mouth to God’s ears!”  I shall, of course, notify the public at large (and even some small people) as soon as the book becomes available for purchase.  In the meantime, please take care and have a safe and silly week!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

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GONE WITH THE WIND… (AGAIN!)

WELL, THAT WAS FUN…..  Woke up under a severe tornado warning, quarter-inch hail, torrential rain, and 70-mile-per-hour winds.  (Just another lovely spring morning down here in Texas!)  I was about to send my wife for some bagels, when we heard a loud crack, looked outside, and found a cedar tree on our front lawn.  (A tree that had NOT been planted there!)  Being a good husband, I told my wife that I would get the bagels… while she cut down and removed the cedar tree.  I cannot print her reply, as this is a family-blog.  She did, however, mention something about a movie called The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  The woman is getting lazier and lazier, but I still put up with her.

Other than falling timber, it’s been a fortuitous week.  My astute publisher has revised, re-edited, and re-released my first history book, THE SECOND MOURNING.  The new front cover (and the back) will show 3 of the gold medals I stole, I mean, won last year.  The interior has also been touched up and the entire book looks just wonderful.  The new edition will be available at the end of the month. (If anyone needs an autographed copy, just let me know.)

Speaking of signing autographs, this coming week will find yours truly at several book signings, and most importantly, at the Blackfinn Restaurant in the Domain on Thursday evening.  Thanks to the lovely and talented Meagan Kiernan, I will addressing the Texas Surplus Lines Association, a group of prominent insurance professionals.  My presentation will include a brief personal history (of my insurance background) some clever, and mostly true, tales, and a discussion of my insurance-related mystery series.  (The Adam Gold books.)  Should be another great evening.

The very next day, Friday, April 7, I will be “performing” at a special gathering for my dear friend, Lee Bomblatus, known on this blog page as Baron Lee.  (I’m taking the Baron out to dinner, at a very fancy restaurant, but he’s paying.  I intend, as usual, to leave my wallet in the car.)  Dinner will be in Austin, but just to cover my bases, I intend to park in Waco.  Hey, a guy can’t be too careful!

And since we’re discussing money, congratulations to Ms. Rebecca Lee Yanoff, the beautiful and brilliant owner of COVE Boutique.  (On South Congress.)  The trade papers are reporting that COVE just set a one-day sales record, and if this keeps up, you-know-who (me) should be getting a free condo somewhere in South Florida.  Hey, Father’s Day is just around the corner!  (Keep thinking big, Rebecca!)

The spring fling book tour has been finalized and will revolve around 4 major stops…..  Boca Raton, Amelia Island, Savannah, and Charleston.  (The Atlanta stop was cancelled due to the recent fire on I-85.  Man, talk about burning bridges!)  Most of the stops include an historic B & B, so I am really looking forward to this venture.  If you live in one of the places I’m going, just drop me a line and I will tell you where to find my book signing gig.  I will also list the B & Bs on a later blog, so if you’re around, stop by and say hello.  (You may also win an autographed copy of my Low Country mystery, A RUN FOR THE MONEY!)

AND NOW FOR THE PIECE OF RESISTANCE, or rather, THE PIECE DE RESISTANCE!    For those of you that are still awake (after all these bad jokes) I have a special surprise for you!  If you scroll down after this blog is over, you will see a photograph of the front cover of my new history book, TURBULENT TIMES.  I love the cover, and owe a great deal to the incredibly talented artist who suggested the basic color scheme and layout.  (Ms. Rachel Zell)  The book will probably be available this coming week, and I will keep you posted of the exact release date.  In the meantime, let me know what you think of the cover!

Well, as I mentioned earlier, I have a tree to remove, so I must take my leave.  (If I don’t supervise and give advice, my wife will make a mess of cutting up the tree.)  Actually, I’ll be doing all of the cutting.  She just watches and barks instructions.  (Ever hear the phrase, “you’re barking up the wrong tree?”  Now you know where it got started!)    Have a great week, and remember to laugh!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

GO WEST, YOUNG MAN!

AND IF YOU CAN’T GO WEST…..  go western!  (as in, country & western) Which, by the way, was the theme of last night’s gala engagement party, hosted by Big Tex Rubenstein and his lovely bride, Janglin’ Jaime.  Their youngest son recently got engaged and is fixin’ to get hitched this October.  Gary & Jaime were kind enough to provide some VERY tasty barbecue with all the sides a buckeroo could ever want.  Needless to say, there was also plenty of tequila, and from what I remember, folks were mighty thirsty.  Which reminds me, I need to apologize for kissing Loyd Smith when he was leaving.  (Loyd is my new [unpaid] publicity & booking agent)  He is also one of my devoted blog followers, and a darn good kisser!

In addition to the great company and cuisine, guests were entertained by one of the BEST bands in the Hill Country….  Lohman’s Crossing Band, out of Austin, Texas.  If you’re ever in need of some top notch performers, then this is the group for you.  I’ve had the pleasure of listening to this band once or twice before, and they are simply marvelous.  (I’m not sure, but I think the lead singer, a lovely young lady, has a big crush on me.  She asked me to get her a cup of water during the show.)  In any case, you can reach these folks at:   http://www.facebook.com/lohmanscrossing.

And since we’re on the subject of travel, (we were?) allow me to mention a couple of odd events that recently took place… as many of you know, I spent 3 weeks last summer sailing around Sicily.  Well, no sooner do I get home, when Mount Etna starts erupting again!  Yup, the dear lady has finally blown her top.  Last week she started oozing red hot lava, and although the scientific community says this is “normal,” the local residents are very worried.  And so am I.  Why?  Because I left a good pair of sunglasses on the rim of the darn volcano.  I’m tempted to go back next week, but I think I’ll wait for the sale at LensCrafters.

So, in addition to the volcano, we spent a good deal of time on the lovely island of Gozo.  (Which is part of Malta.)  Gozo was famous for a magnificent stone arch on the western coast of the island.  (The arch was known as the “Azure Window,” because you could look through it and observe the sea.)  Well, unfortunately, there was a huge storm in Gozo a couple of weeks ago, and the dang waves much have reached about 100 feet, because the arch was knocked down!  Sadly, the island has now lost its most famous tourist attraction.  I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I want you to understand that the collapse had nothing to do with me walking across the arch… or the picnic we had on the top.  The waves were to blame.  Really.

Well, I would love to write more, but I am on my way downtown to see the new house that my youngest daughter recently purchased in Tarrytown.  The place is currently being renovated, and I’m certain they want my design input.  (Or maybe they just want me to take everyone to lunch!)  Regardless, I must depart!

Have yourselves a lovely Sunday and a joyous week.  For all of my “Yankee” friends, be careful shoveling that wet snow!  I hate to brag, but today is sunny and warm (80 degrees) down here in lovely Austin.  Ah well, it’s a tough job living in paradise, but somebody has to do it!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS…..

So, tell me, do you remember the above tune from “The Sound of Music?”  The actual title is “My Favorite Things,” and this little gem was written by the dynamic duo – Rogers & Hammerstein.  I actually saw this musical way back in 1962, four years after the show reached Broadway.  (My family lived on Long Island, 45 minutes east of Manhattan.)  The reason I mentioned this song is because a large number of my blog followers (two ladies from Malaysia) have repeatedly asked me to discuss some of my favorite “things.”  Thus, since your wish is my command, here is a partial list submitted for your consideration:

Favorite ethnic food:   Italian

Favorite adult beverage:   Bourbon  (Blanton’s)

Favorite travel destination:   Italy  (I’m starting to see a pattern!)

Favorite musician:   Jerry Jeff Walker  (Love the Stones & Beatles, too!)

Favorite author:   Elmore Leonard

Well, there you have it folks.  Some of my favorite things.  Another one of my favorite things is having my first history book, THE SECOND MOURNING, revised and re-published by Murder Ink Press, in association with Penguin Books!  This is being accomplished as we speak, complete with a new front and back book cover, displaying the five gold medals the book has won!  I am currently working on the final galley edition, and I hope to be finished by the end of March.

You might wonder why this is taking so long…  well, oddly enough, I am also working on the final rendition of my second history book, titled, TURBULENT TIMES.  (The Remarkable Life of William H. Seward)  The publisher and I have been trying to finalize permission to use a number of wonderful historic photographs, each of them “owned” by the Library of Congress or the National Archives.  Lord, do these folks move slow.  Ah well, good things come to those who wait.

Meanwhile, I try to entertain myself by engaging in philosophical pursuits…  For instance, as I was cleaning up the Garfield book, I began to wonder…  How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?  I mean, what’s the cutoff?  The Senate?  The House?  Who knows.  Not I. Also, how deep would the ocean be if there were no sponges?  Just curious.

Well, as you’re pondering the above, please don’t feel sorry for me.  I am in a rather joyous mood today, as my youngest daughter, Rebecca, just announced her (long-awaited) engagement to her beloved Peter.  Naturally, he asked for my blessing, and since he was able to provide a sound financial statement, I gave it to him.  (Hey, a Dad has to be careful nowadays!)  Miss Rebecca is now the proud wearer of a stunning pear-shaped diamond, which appears to be real.  (I won’t know for sure until I get the test results!)  In the meantime, we are thrilled and delighted to have Peter join the family, and I look forward to losing my last tax deduction.

You know, I was just thinking that my family is like fudge.  Mostly sweet, with a few nuts.  But enough about me!  I hope that each and every one of you has a safe and joyous week, and I look forward to chatting with you in the near future.  If you want to help me pay for the upcoming wedding, please send a check to my home address, and make sure you include plenty of zeros!  (I love those round numbers.)

Finally, this blog post is dedicated to one of the true loves of my life, Mrs. Margaret Bell.  Whenever I think of Miss Margaret I am reminded of Lord Byron’s lyrical poem, “She Walks in Beauty.”  The title fits her perfectly.

Well, be careful out there!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoffdsc00919dsc01156

 

 

OFF TO THE RACES!

Well, almost off.  I was supposed to be running in today’s 26th Annual Austin Marathon, but I overslept and missed the entire race!  I am soooo annoyed.  I hate to admit it, but this is the 26th time that I have overslept and missed the dang race!  What the heck is wrong with me?  (Not enough time to go into that!)  I was hoping to participate so that I could get in shape for my upcoming appearance on “Dancing With The Stairs.”  (A new show that offers you a chance to “get up in the world.”)  Speaking of getting up in the world, did you know that one of my brothers was an orphan?  My brother Ron was born during an elevator strike.  He had nobody to bring him up.  Very sad.

I would actually be a good dancer except for two things.  My feet.  I simply lack the muscular coordination to glide effortlessly around the dance floor.  Of course, that has not stopped me from trying.  My grand-daddy told me that I should enjoy dancing and dance as if nobody was watching… because in my case, they weren’t!

Since we are on the subject of “effortless movement,” allow me to address a number of inquiries about my last voyage to the sun-drenched Caribbean.  A rather large number of my blog followers have asked me to write more about my travels, since they love the topic or might be planning their own adventure.  Your wish is my command!  Shall we start with Turks & Caicos?  Lovely little islands, almost always warm and sunny.  Not much to do if you don’t swim, snorkel, or scuba dive.  I enjoy all three activities, and the water in this part of the world is G-R-E-A-T!  They have 2 or 3 beaches that are worth a visit, and all of the beaches are open to the public.  (You may have to rent a chair & umbrella on some beaches.)  No food worth dreaming about, but the locals are sweet and gracious, and they do have some very good rum.

The Turks & Caicos are actually a group of about 40 islands clustered together.  The Caicos are the larger islands, and the Turks the smaller ones.  Population somewhere around 33,000 (depending on Hurricanes!)  If you’re a water rat like me, you should seek out the island of Providenciales (known as Provo).  Here you will find an incredible 14-mile-long barrier reef filled with every imaginable fish, and if you’re lucky, you might find some pirate treasure!

I love this spot for several reasons, and if you want to learn more about the area, you should read my second “Adam Gold mystery,” titled, THE PIRATE PATH.  We actually handled a fascinating insurance claim in the Bahamas, so if you want to learn more, check out the book.  Most of it is true.  (Like my life!)

So what else is new?  Well, congratulations to the gorgeous owner of the COVE BOUTIQUE on Congress Avenue.  (Downtown Austin)  I understand that the lovely establishment was recently named as “the best new clothing store in Austin,” and also posted its most profitable day since opening!  Wow, quite impressive for a store that has only been open for one year.  (I wish the owner would buy me a condo in Hawaii!)  Hey, is that too much to ask of my own daughter?  I think not.

By the way, several of my astute blog followers have asked about the poker tournaments on my last voyage.  (They probably want to borrow some money)  Well, I got lucky.  Very lucky.  I won the first big tournament (with a pair of deuces!) and came in 4th in the second tournament.  The pay-out was fairly substantial, and covered most of my trip expenses.  (If you work for the IRS, please disregard this entire blog!)

In closing, I would like to thank my friends at the Broken Spoke for a most entertaining evening.  After my last beer-fest, I told myself that I was drinking too much.  Then I thought about it and realized that I was being foolish.  Why should I listen to a guy who gets drunk and talks to himself?  (Just saying.)

Finally, I would like to send some special thoughts and prayers to Mrs. Margaret Bell, a VERY dear friend and one of the most remarkable and lovely ladies I have ever met.  Get well soon, Miss Margaret.  I miss my margarita buddy!

Well, time to run.  I am spending this afternoon in deep contemplation, trying to figure out how those little insects manage to get inside a sealed light bulb.  Very puzzling.  Nevertheless, I wish you well, and hope you have a safe and pleasant week!  Love to all…..

Doc Yanoff

 

P.S.   The winner of last week’s trivia contest (and a $200 gift card) was Gianmario Sanguineti of Milan, Italy.  Well done, sir!

 

 

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IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SECEDE…..

OMG, I leave the country for a couple of weeks, and the world begins to fall apart! (Or maybe just the west coast)  I just read that the groovy citizens of California are seriously considering c-section!  Oh wait, make that secession.  Either one would be foolish, and if I remember correctly, secession has been tried before.  I don’t remember the details, but I think it ended rather poorly.  In any case, I hope our confused brethren  don’t leave until my books have been optioned by Hollywood.  (Talk about national tragedies!)

Frankly, I think that some of the protest signs have been a little questionable.  One guy had a “Stop” sign, and some old hippie chick had a yellow “Yield” sign.  Man, talk about mixed messages!  My favorite signs were “Slippery When Wet” and “No U-Turn.”  (I don’t intend to touch these jokes with a “ten foot pole!”)  Besides, methinks I doth protest too much.  (See how I slip those clever literary references into my blog?)

Well, I had my first book signing at a full-fledged honky -tonk last week, and it was great fun.  Did you know that the word “tonk” used to mean piano?  So when a fellow honked the tonk, he played some music.  I thought you might find that interesting.  One old cowboy came up to me and asked if I knew the difference between a dog and a fox.  (The answer?  Nine shots of tequila!)  By the way, if you haven’t been to Giddings, you should go there.  (The folks in Giddings get a little giddy after those tequila shots!)

For those of you who have inquired about the release date of my next historical masterpiece (TURBULENT TIMES), we are looking at early May.  I recently had the pleasure (?) of reviewing 932 endnotes, which only took two weeks!  Don’t ask me why, but I wound up with over 300 books on my bibliography!   Actually, I had to do quite a bit of research for this book, as many of my “factoids” have never been presented to the public before.  When you present startling information, you must leave a paper trail for subsequent authors and researchers.  Very time-consuming, but such is life.

So what else is new?  Well, last week’s gala dinner honoring Judge Susan and the Princess of Portugal was absolutely fabulous.  (Both ladies turned 39!)  The invited guests (and a few party-crashers) dined on Chicken Patriciano, eggplant parmigiana, and assorted Italian greens.  As usual, the gluttons (me) overate, over-drank, and over-stayed their welcome.  You know, it’s not easy to over-stay your welcome when the party is at your own house, but I managed to do it!)

Incidentally, for those of you who live in the Southeastern portion of America, please mark your calendars that I will be coming to Savannah and Charleston in May to pick up my recent literary award.  (My last mystery novel, A RUN FOR THE MONEY, won a major award in January.)  I am really looking forward to returning to “the scene of the crime,” so to speak.  The book, or most of it, takes place in the South Carolina Low Country.  Get those mint juleps ready!

Finally, I would like to extend a belated birthday wish to the captain of our recent ship voyage.  (Captain Sven “Iceberg” Olson, of Oslo, Norway)  I remember asking him (last month) about our particular vessel.  I asked him how frequently smaller ships sink.  He said, “Only once.”   Well, that was certainly a reassuring answer.  (Now you know why I sleep with my life preserver on!)

In closing, I would like to congratulate my cousin Max, who recently caught (and released) a huge, 8-pound bass in Florida!  (Yes, he provided photographic evidence.)  Max used a special pole (a south pole, I believe) to catch the behemoth, and then, coincidentally, watched some pole dancing back at the lodge.  Ah, wilderness!  (Do I sound jealous?)  Don’t feel sorry for me, endnotes can be very stimulating.  (Yeah, right.)

Well, my friends, keep those cards and letters coming.  And… if you want to win a gift card… be the first to provide the correct answer to the following question:   What famous person rented a house from William H. Seward during the Civil War?

Good luck, and have a safe and happy week!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

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