[NFBOH-Cleveland] Fwd: [theblindperspective] June 2018 Newsletter

Cheryl Fields cherylelaine1957 at gmail.com
Tue Jun 5 01:54:59 UTC 2018

Great Issue!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Blind Perspective <theblindperspective at gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 31 May 2018 17:26:52 -0700
Subject: [theblindperspective] June 2018 Newsletter
To: theblindperspective at groups.io

Welcome to The Blind Perspective

June 2018
Volume 4 Issue 6

Table of Contents
Greetings from the Editor
Movers & Shakers
International Perspective
Exercise, does a body good
Have I Got A Story For You
The Braille Highway
Kaleidoscope of Krafts
Spencer's Spotlight
Technically Speaking: Computer Tech101
A Time to Plant
The Alternating Duo: Seeing the World Differently
the Rotating Trio: WindBag
Readers Perspective
Cooking Concoctions
Riddle & Brain Buster

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Greetings from the Editor
By Karen Santiago

Welcome to our June issue of The Blind Perspective!
Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. I wanted to share this
funny poem I came across, as it reminded me of my childhood and my

Happy Father's Day.
By Denise Rodgers

You're the tops.
Your list of good traits never stops.
You're smart.
You're strong.
You're always there to fix a bike or change a spare.
You're good for laughs and grins and yucks
And could I please have twenty bucks?

I wanted to let you know that I, along with Dan, Carla Jo, Cheryl,
Russ, and Teddy will be attending the ACB Convention next month in St.
Louis. We will be selling Blind Perspective t shirts at the
marketplace on Sunday and Wednesday morning. Please stop by, say hi,
and purchase a t shirt. We are looking forward to meeting and chatting
with you!

We are now on Twitter, our handle is: @BlindPerspectNL

Remember you can also choose to listen to our audio version of the
newsletter, link below:
The Blind Perspective Audio

At A Glance: Perkins; Part 1, Help Me, Compound Exercise, Blow Your
Mind, Author's Interview, Safety Pins, Adapter, Sound, Containers,
Touchy Feely, Menus, Significant Other, Garlic Shrimp Linguini, Riddle
& Brain Buster!

Movers & Shakers
the Perkins School for the Blind
By Karen Santiago
Karen at TheBlindPerspective.com

Part 1: History & Blind Education
In late April Kevin Hartigan, Director of Volunteer Services and
Tours, took me on a wonderful journey through the Perkins School for
the Blind. Kevin has worked at Perkins for 33 years, 30 years directly
with the students.

We began the tour with the history of Perkins, the oldest school for
the blind in the United States.

Dr. John Dix Fisher: One of the founders of Mass General Hospital
(Boston, MA), first doctor to ever use the stethoscope in the United
States, and first doctor to ever use anesthesia for women during
childbirth. While working in Paris, he visited a school for the blind.
He saw something in that school that he had never seen in the United
States, blind children being children; they were running, playing,
laughing, and singing in the classroom. Dr. Fisher decided that this
needed to happen in Boston. So, when he returned home he persuaded
family and friends he knew had both the means and the conscious to
help fund an American version of the Paris school. On March 2, 1829
the Boston legislature incorporated the New England Asylum for the
Blind. Two years later Dr. Fisher recruited his friend Dr. Samuel
Gridley Howe as the superintendent.

Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe: After visiting the European schools, he felt
that they were too protective and focused too narrowly on academics.
Dr. Howe wanted to teach everything; athletics, arts, music, and most
importantly vocational skills. He hired two teachers and in the summer
of 1831 he opened the school in his home.

Within a year the demand grew so high, his house wasn't big enough. It
so happened that one of the men who initially helped fund the school
was also one of the richest men in Boston. Therefore, Dr. Howe, not
one to be shy, asked him for his mansion to house the school, and he
said yes. After eight years, the school outgrew the mansion, and a
bigger place was needed.

Dr. Howe found a hotel that was for sale, he just needed the money. He
again went to the owner of the big mansion. Dr. Howe asked him to sell
the mansion and give him the money to purchase the hotel for the
school. The rich man once again said yes. The Mount Washington Hotel,
located in South Boston remained the school's location for 73 years.
Thankful for his sustained generosity, the school renamed itself The
Perkins Institute for the Blind, after the rich man, Thomas Perkins.

The Perkins School for the Blind moved to its present location,
Watertown, Massachusetts in 1912. There is now a total of 33 buildings
on this spacious campus. I began my tour in the Howe building, named
after Dr. Samuel Howe who was acting director for 45 years.

One of the first things Dr. Howe did was to create a system of reading
for the blind called Boston's Line Print. This consisted of raised
line letters, excluding capital letters. A printing press was made and
books were then made for the students to read. In addition to its
difficulty and slowness to read, one challenge since it was made by a
printing press was how would they teach writing.

In the classroom, every student was given a wooden frame which had
lines in it. They also received a box with letters made of metal.
Students would then fit the letters on the frame with other letters to
create words, sentences, and paragraphs. This is how the concept of
writing was taught. I tried this and it was not easy!

Once students developed the ability to build letters into words, then
they were taught to write. The Perkins method of writing was to use
all straight lines. For example, the letter o was not a circle, but
rather a square. To organize the page so that the lines were straight,
and that one doesn't write on what they already wrote, students were
given writing guides. The paper would be inserted into the guide and
students could then write on the line. However, there were four
trouble makers, the letters g, p, q, and y because they fell below the
line. This problem was remedied in the creation of the guide by simply
pushing the line down to complete those letters. When the entire line
was completed, students would open the guide and slide it down to the
next ridge, and so on. This writing guide was from 1890.

When braille was first introduced, the Perkins School didn't like it.
Their philosophy was to always treat a blind person exactly the same
as a sighted person. In addition, they saw braille as separating the
blind world from the sighted world. Philosophically their reasoning
made sense, but practically braille was much faster, efficient, and
easier to write. So, eventually Perkins fell in line behind everyone
else and accepted braille, and became the makers of the Perkins

The original Perkins Brailler was produced in 1951. It has remained
the most widely use mechanical braille writer in the world. This
durable metal case writer has a key that corresponds to each of the
six dots of the braille code. It also has a space key, a backspace
key, and a line space key. Similar to a manual typewriter, it has two
side knobs to advance the paper, and a carriage return lever.

In 2014 Perkins released the Smart Brailler. This is a regular
mechanical Perkins brailler, made of plastic, and with a computer
built in. It has a speaker that provides text to speech feedback. As
the user is writing braille on the paper, what they are writing
appears on the screen, and a sighted person can read along.

Then I had the experience of learning and touching the most important
artifact in the Perkins museum. This being the tactile globe that was
made in 1837! It is made from 700 pieces of wood that were glued
together. The Continents were added in plaster afterwards. It is no
longer used in the classrooms since it is not tremendously accurate.

In 1837 the United States only went out to the Mississippi River.
Therefore, they painted the rest of the US to please the sighted
people. However, none of the tactile features have ever been changed.
The important thing about the globe is who touched it; Helen Keller,
Anne Sullivan, Charles Dickens, JFK, George H W Bush, and many other
famous and well-known individuals. I too, delighted in feeling my way
around the world on this impressive tactile globe.

Stay tuned for next month's article when I write about three important
women at the Perkins School for the Blind.

International Perspective
By Karen Santiago
Karen at TheBlindPerspective.com

I would like to thank all the readers who have recently contacted me
with their interest in sharing their stories about life in their
country as a blind person. The International Perspective segment is
taking the month of June, July, and August off. However, all of those
who have contacted me, your articles will be published after the
summer break.

In addition, if there are others who would like to write about life in
their country, just send me an email at my address listed above.
Please read below all the countries I have covered so far.

Algeria, Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Iraq, Israel,
Macedonia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Pakistan,
South Africa, Southern China, Soviet Union, Spain, Ukraine, and United
Canada (Eastern, Central, & Western)
United States (Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana,
Michigan, Montana, and Wyoming)

So, if your country is not listed above why not send me an email and I
can work with you to write up an informative and entertaining article
about life in your country. After the break we will hear about life in
Guyana, Sweden, Zimbabwe, and Northern China. Again, thanks to all of
those who have shared their experiences and knowledge about life as a
blind person in their home country!

Exercise, does a body good
By Dan Kiely
Dan at TheBlindPerspective.com

Welcome back to another issue of Exercise Does A Body Good. In this
issue I focus on compound exercise.

Compound exercise equals compounded results. You will get more results
in less time. By performing compound exercises, it will result in less
time working out.

What is compound exercise?
It usually involves movement of more than one joint and muscle group.
In other words, we are going to work both the upper and lower body at
the same time.
Equipment needed: A barbell, dumb bells, or just your own body weight.

Exercise 1: Dead Lift, relatively easy to do
Equipment: Barbell
Muscles Involved: Quads, hamstrings, glutes, the gluteus, the
latissimus dorsi (back muscles), the trapezius (back muscles), the
deltoids (shoulders), and the abdomen muscles. Starting Position:
Stand with feet shoulder width apart, knees softly bent, abdomen
tucked in or slightly contracted, and head up. Grab the bar with one
hand in an overhanded grip, and the other in an underhanded grip,
shoulder width apart. Bend forward at the hip.
Movement: From the bent forward position, lift your body up to a
standing position, arms remaining straight and at your sides. Repeat
by lowering and returning to the standup position.
Breathing: When lifting into a standing position breathe out, and when
lowering the bar breathe in
Repetitions: I recommend 10 to 15 reps, doing 3 sets
Weights: How much weight is up to you. I recommend using light weights
and ease into heavier weights

Exercise 2: Squats and Overhead Press
Equipment: barbell
Muscles involved: Quads, hamstrings, gluteus, abdominals, deltoids,
and trapezius
Starting Position: Stand with feet shoulder width apart, knees
slightly bent, stomach slightly tucked in, and head up and forward.
Grab the barbell with an overhanded grip, about shoulder width apart.
Let the barbell rest on your shoulders and clavicle (collar bone).
Movement: Lower your butt down to a sitting position. Then come up to
a standing position while raising the barbell straight upwards. Return
the barbell to your shoulders and repeat movement. Breathing: Inhale
on the way down and exhale on the way up.
Repetitions: Do 3 sets of 15 reps
Weights: I recommend using a light weight or no weight until you get
the hang of the movement

Exercise 3: Squats with Front Arm Raise
Equipment: dumb Bells
Muscles Involved: Same as in exercise 2
Starting Position: Stand with feet shoulder width apart, knees
slightly bent, stomach slightly tucked in, and head up and forward.
Grab the dumb bells in an overhanded grip, and have at your sides.
Movement: Lower your butt into a sitting position. At the same time,
raise the dumb bells straight up at shoulder's height, with palms
facing down. Then come to a standing position and lower the dumb bells
back to your sides. Repeat.
Breathing: Inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up
Repetitions: 3 sets of 15 reps
Weights: Light weights (you can always increase the weight as you progress)

Exercise 4: Squats with Arm Curls
Equipment: Dumb bells
Muscles Involved: Same as above Starting Position: Same as exercise #3.
Movement: Lower your butt into a sitting position. then when coming up
into a standing position, curl the dumb bells up towards your
shoulders, using the palms facing up or the neutral grip, palms facing
each other. Then lower your butt down into a sitting position and at
the same time lower your dumb bells to your sides.
Breathing: Inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up
Repetitions: 3 sets of 15
Weights: Light weights (you can always increase the weight as you progress)

There are other compound exercises, such as the dips, the abdominals
bicycle, and lunges, just to name a few. Start out slow, get to feel
the movement, and breathe.
Health Tip:
Since many people have trouble sleeping, here are some tips for a
better night's sleep.
Stick to a sleep schedule of the same bedtime and wake up time, even
on the weekends.
Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual.
If you have trouble sleeping, avoid naps, especially in the afternoon.
Exercise daily.
Evaluate your room; turn off all electronics.
Sleep on a comfortable bed, and in a room more cool than warm.
Good luck, and good sleeping!

Have I Got A Story For You
By Carla Jo Bratton
CarlaJo at TheBlindPerspective.com

Hot Dang Readers! It's finally summer!
At least it is here in Texas! Summer books abound! Do you have a
summer read you are looking forward to? Let me hear about it! Share
the summer fun!

This month it's all about blowing your mind! Books that had you so
twisted up, reading faster and faster and when it is over, you stood
there and said, "What just Happened?".

A book that has stuck with you over time. Here are a couple of books
and a list of readers suggestions for brain tangling stories.

Shutter Island
Written by Dennis Lehane
Reading time: 9 hours and 38 minutes
RNIB number; TB17581
CNIB number; DA38753

Summer, 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels has come to Shutter Island,
home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the criminally insane. Along with his
partner, Chuck Aule, he sets out to find an escaped patient, a
murderess named Rachel Solando, as a hurricane bears down upon them.

But nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is what it seems. Is he there to
find a missing patient? Or has he been sent to look into rumors of
Ashecliffe's radical approach to psychiatry; an approach that may
include drug experimentation, hideous surgical trials, and lethal
countermoves in the shadow war against Soviet brainwashing, or is
there another, more personal reason why he has come there?

As the investigation deepens, the questions only mount. The closer
Teddy and Chuck get to the truth, the more elusive it becomes, and the
more they begin to believe that they may never leave Shutter Island
because someone is trying to drive them insane. This one has strong

My comments; I was all over the map with this one. I still am not sure
of the ending, it could be this, or it could have been that. A nail
biter for sure.

Gone Girl
Written by Gillian Flynn
Reading time: 19 hours and 11 minutes
DB 74888
Cela or CNIB number; DA45572
RNIB number; TB 20316

Marriage can be a real killer. One of the most critically acclaimed
suspense writers of our time, New York Times best seller Gillian
Flynn, takes that statement to its darkest place in this unpausable
masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The
Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work "draws you in and keeps you
reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction." Gone Girl's
toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a
nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and
Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and
reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife
disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River.
Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with
cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife's head,
but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist
could have put anyone dangerously on edge.

Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as
Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless
series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly
evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well
they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his
side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn't do it,
where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box
hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight,
Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously
plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest
writers around. This one has strong language, some violence, and some
explicit descriptions of sex.

My comments; I loved this one. Flynn is an amazing writer. This one
was made into a movie. I had read it, husband Scott had not. We saw
the movie. I used the headphones with the audio description. When we
got in the car, he looked at me and said, "Are you kidding me? That's
the way it ends?". Mind blown. My best friend Mary read it, called me
when she finished and said the same thing. Anything by Gillian Flynn
will be worth your time, but this one is really a wild ride.

I asked for books that fell into this category and here is what some
friends had to say; Amanda loved The Pillars of the Earth by Ken
Follett and from Victoria, Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. Husband
Scott said, The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Angela recommends, The Couple
Next Door by Shari Lapena and Buddy from Miami Manitoba Canada liked
Blind Your Ponies by Stanley Gordon West.

As always, I love hearing from you, and remember, life is too short to
read a book you aren't enjoying. Put it down and move on!
Happy Summer Reading Y'all!
Carla jo

The Braille Highway
By Nat Armeni
Nat at TheBlindPerspective.com

Happy June to all!
I was excited knowing that for my June segment I would be finding out
about Cheryl's experience and opinions with that wonderful invention
by Louis Braille. Cheryl is the author of Spencer's Spotlight and she
always has an interesting item to spotlight for her segment. I also
need to publicly thank Cheryl for suggesting that I contact my fellow
writers and see who uses braille, and what their thoughts,
preferences, and experiences are.

As per usual I invite you to email me suggestions, opinions, and
constructive criticisms at the email mentioned at the top of this
segment. Without any further delay, please read below the replies from
Cheryl Spencer.

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born in Texas. My Father was in the army so we moved around a
bit. I am the youngest of five children, 2 brothers, 2 sisters. I live
in Jacksonville, Florida and have been here since 1977.
I had 20/20 corrected vision until the age of about 14. I had an
inflammation of the eyes which was misdiagnosed as having blocked tear
ducts when, in actuality I had conjunctivitis. By the time I was 15, I
could no longer pass the eye test to get my learners permit. 40 some
odd surgeries later, I was totally blind because of photophobia. Long
drawn out story here. Suffice to say, I lost and got my sight back 5
times before it became permanent in 1981. I have been total since.

Q: when did you learn braille?
I learned braille when I went back to High School after having to quit
public school in my Junior year, at the Alabama School for The Blind
in Talladega. I took two braille classes a day, 5 days a week. Within
two and a half months I learned braille, grade 2 braille, and nemith

Q: Have you learned Unified English Braille (UEB)?
I have not tackled UEB yet, but I have the book on it. I am sort of
attached to my conventional braille. I will slowly integrate into UEB
braille as I go along, let's see how that works. It took me a long
time to figure out computer braille.

Q: When you produce braille which methods do you use?
I learned braille on a slate and stylus, so I always have one close at
hand. I also had the Braille and Speak, which I think was ahead of its
time, it was a wonderful machine. I use a braille writer, which comes
in handy for labeling my snail mail. I can write braille directly on
the envelope or I use an index card and write what the mail is about.
I have had the Braille Note, the Braille Sense and now the Braille
Sense Mini U 2. I also invested in a 6 Dot Label Maker, which I
absolutely love. I have a notebook with all my important information
in it using these labels.

Q: When you read braille which methods do you use?
Sadly, I do not read braille for recreational purposes. I learned
braille late in life and read slowly. I mostly read the labels I write
and use. I have my Braille Sense at work to take notes, and write the
phone numbers I need.

Q: Do you use braille at home and/ or at work?
I use braille both at home and at work. It is just part of my everyday
routine. My daily vitamins are even labeled in braille.

Q: Give a detailed description of how braille impacts your life.
As I stated above, I label my important mail, file folders, vitamins,
user names and passwords, and the list goes on. When I play games on
the chat sites, I can make teams using my Braille Sense, and when I am
a clue giver for Password, all my clues are done in braille.

Q: In your city do you have access to braille?
Braille is very present in my city. My office has braille numbers on
all the offices, and the restrooms are labeled. Most of the elevators
have braille and raised numbers. Some restaurants have braille menus.

Q: Do you have any braille games?
I have a braille Scrabble game, and my late husband and I used to play
all the time. I have playing cards, and Uno cards so I can play with
my family and friends. I also have a braille Monopoly game my sister
gave me years ago.

Q: As a braille user, what would you say to a blind person who does
not know braille to encourage them to learn it?
I am always encouraging my friends to learn braille by telling them
how much it will improve their independence. It is among one of the
most important tools you will ever have in your toolbox!

Q: Do you have any cute or novel story to relay that either you or
someone else has done with braille?
After I completed my braille course in school, I was so excited to go
back to the dorm room and begin reading my braille book. I opened the
book and found the beginning and no matter how hard I tried, I could
not figure out one single word. I was really upset! I was about to
panic. I was walking around the room in total meltdown. After I calmed
down I went back and picked up the book again and then realized, I had
had the book upside down. I was so relieved, and I began recognizing
the braille I had just learned.

Q: What are your opinions of braille?
I love braille!! I think it is one of the most important things I have
ever learned as a blind person.

Thank you, Cheryl, for taking the time and effort to fill out this Q&A for me!
Braille users do it with feelings! Why complicate your life with
gadgets when you can complement it with braille? A friendly reminder
to stay on the dotted line of life!
Until we speak again in July, stay safe.

Kaleidoscope of Krafts
By Lindy van der Merwe
Lindy at TheBlindPerspective.com

Hello and welcome again to all crafters!

It occurred to me again recently that some of the practical items we
use in our daily lives, and probably don't even think about, can be
some of the best materials when it comes to crafting. Things like
rubber bands, paper plates and plastic straws come to mind, and there
are indeed lots of crafts to do with these. But one of the most
interesting crafts I came across wile scouring craft sites was various
crafts using safety pins.

As Sherri Osborn states in a recent article: on spruicecrafts.com:
"Safety pin jewelry doesn't sound super sophisticated, but even the
high fashion world has embraced the trend. For years, safety pins have
cycled in and out of style, which makes them an accessory staple.
Fortunately, you don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on a couture
version of the look, nor do you have to go bare bones with safety pins
like the punk rockers who sported them in the 1970s and '80s did. They
make great gifts for tweens and teens or for the adult who's
perpetually young at heart."

Safety pins are normally made of metal, but they are also available in
different colors, or you could color them yourself using nail polish.
Most safety pin crafts center around creating jewelry such as
bracelets, necklaces or earrings, combining safety pins with elastic,
ribbon or fabric and beads or sequence.

Another type of craft involves pins, or broaches that are created by
threading seed beads onto small safety pins, and then letting those
pins dangle vertically from a larger safety pin that can be worn on
clothing like jeans and shirts, or attached to handbags, school bags
and cushions. By following a pattern of alternating colors of beads, a
specific design or picture can be formed. The supply list for safety
pin jewelry is pretty simple. In addition to the pins and the beads,
it is helpful to have needle-nose pliers and a small flat-head

The number and size of safety pins you'll need depends not only on the
pattern you choose but also on the kind of jewelry you want to make.

These handy little pins, mainly used in the not too distant past to
secure cloth diapers, are available from most stores and can be bought
in different sizes and quantities for fairly cheap. Various types of
Small beads are available, made from plastic, wood, glass, crystal,
clay, metal, etc.

Our first project is a beaded heart broach or pin. For this type of
project, you will require 1 large safety pin and 11 small pins.
The second project, a simple safety pin bracelet, uses pins, beads and
some elastic to hold the pins together.

Project 1: Beaded Heart Broach
Materials Needed:
One larger safety pin (pattern here calls for size #2)
11 smaller safety pins
Flat-headed screwdriver
Seed beads in white and red

Step 1: Open the coiled end of your large safety pin by wedging the
flat head of the screwdriver in between the safety pin loop at the
bottom of the pin. Once inserted, twist the screwdriver to pry the
loop open a little.
The goal is to be able to have enough room to allow each little safety
pin to be threaded through this loop to the other side. This way, when
you wear the pin, none of the pins will slide off.
Set the large safety pin aside for now.

Step 2: Complete the beaded heart pattern by loading seed beads onto
your 11 smaller pins by following the bead pattern below.
You will be alternating between red and white beads, so make sure to
keep your colors separated at all times. You might find it helpful to
keep beads in a container marked with braille or large print, or in
two containers that are different in size or shape.
Remember that not all beads are shaped perfectly, so discard beads
that are misshapen or those with openings too small to fit onto your
As you complete each small pin, close it and slide the coiled loop at
the end of each pin onto the large safety pin, around the coil you
have opened, all the way to the other side of the pin, before going on
to the next one.

Heart Pattern
Pin 1: 8 white
Pin 2: 8 white
Pin 3: 2 white, 3 red, 3 white
Pin 4: 1 white, 4 red, 3 white
Pin 5: 2 white, 4 red, 2 white
Pin 6: 3 white, 4 red, 1 white
Pin 7: 2 white, 4 red, 2 white
Pin 8: 1 white, 4 red, 3 white
Pin 9: 2 white, 3 red, 3 white
Pin 10: 8 white
Pin 11: 8 white

Step 3: When you are all done, use some pliers to scrunch down the big
safety pin's loop tight again.

For more patterns like these, see the last link under "Sources" below.

Project 2: Simple Safety Pin Bracelet
Materials Needed:
Size 2 Safety Pins (about 25 for a small bracelet, 30 for a larger bracelet)
NOTE: smaller safety pins could be used, but you also will need to use
smaller beads)
beads of your choice (experiment with glass, wood, pony beads, etc.)
Elastic bead cord
Super glue

Step 1: Begin by threading beads onto each safety pin. Use one color
or vary your patterns by using different colors or types of beads.
Step 2: If using different colors, place your pins down next to each
other as you finish them so they will remain in the correct order as
you would like them to be in the finished bracelet. You could also
hang the pins on a wire, knitting needle or any thin dowel while you
are completing threading the beads so they will remain in the correct
Step 3: Using the elastic cording, begin to thread the cord through
the bottom loop of each safety pin. You could thread a double stranded
elastic cord for more durability.
Step 4: Next, thread another length of elastic cording through the
little hole that is in the head of each safety pin.
Step 5: Holding on to the ends of the elastic cording, gently flip the
beaded bracelet craft over, and curve them around in a bracelet shape,
and tie the ends of the elastic cording to each other to make a square
knot, then double knot again. It is a good idea to put a drop of super
glue on the knot to help secure it.
Snip off the ends of the elastic cording and the beaded bracelet craft
is ready to wear or give as a gift.

Until next time, happy crafting!


Spencer's Spotlight
By Cheryl Spencer
Cheryl at TheBlindPerspective.com

This month's subject has been prompted by a conversation I had with a
friend getting an iPhone 7. There is no headset jack on this phone.
So, hmm, how do I listen privately without holding this rather large
phone to my head to have a private conversation?

Well, there are several options, there are Bluetooth headsets of
varying styles and shapes from which to choose. There are Air Pods, if
your wallet is fairly thick. The problem I have with these options is
that they all need to be charged and recharged. I am not a big fan of
the rechargeable headsets. Some of them are so small you have to be
extremely careful about where you set them down. I can speak with
experience about this, I never did find a Bluetooth headset I
absolutely loved.

Since then, I have revisited the idea of going back to the good old
wired headset with a microphone built into the cord. They are fairly
inexpensive and the sound quality can be rather good. This brings me
back to the iPhone 7. If you are like me and you do not want to shell
out lots of money on these Bluetooth headsets that can be easily lost,
dropped, or have to wait while it recharges to use it, then this is
your solution.

An adaptor can be found at several places now that changes your
lightning port into a headset jack. You can find the adapter at
Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Amazon, and most any place that sells electronics
and accessories. It cost around 10 dollars.

There is also a splitter version that allows for charging the phone
while you listen to a book, music, or talk on the phone. The only down
side to this option is that you have to keep it plugged in all the
time or there is another small cord in which to keep track. In any
case, like our sighted counterparts, we, also, have lots and lots of

Computer Tech101
By Jim Morgan
Jim at TheBlindPerspective.com

In response to a reader's suggestion and partly because of an
experience I had in Piza, Italy, I will be discussing sound or, more
specifically, how we get sound from the computer. In other words,
speakers, headphones/headsets, helmets, etc. As with other pieces of
equipment, I'm not going to talk about specific types of equipment
since, like most things, there is user preference involved. I will
focus on what to look for so that you can make your own decisions on
what might work best for you.

The first thing to consider is, believe it or not, quality. Believe me
when I say that a cheap, and I don't necessarily mean inexpensive, set
of speakers, headphones/headset, etc. is going to sound cheap and,
consequently, you probably won't be happy with them over time. In
addition, you might have difficulty understanding speech as well as
the fact that music will probably sound like it did on the old A M car
radios; in other words, it won't sound good. Unfortunately, that old
adage "You get what you pay for" is true when it comes to this kind of

The next concern is Frequency Response, or Frequency Range. As you
might deduce from the word "Range" in the name, this means the range
of sound frequencies that the equipment will produce. For comparison
purposes, the human ear can hear between 20 and 20,000 Hertz. Most of
us, really don't perceive anything as low as 20 hertz and the pain
threshold for most is well before 20,000 hertz. However, the wider the
range on your equipment, obviously, the more sound you're going to
get. One thing to look for is "Digital Ready", or just plain "Digital:
in the specifications of the equipment you're looking at. By
definition, this means that the equipment will handle the wide
frequency range that Digital sounds, particularly music, need to be
their best. Also, in most cases, a subwoofer, usually with regard to
speaker systems, is desirable for listening to music. Just in case you
don't know, it is a third, fifth, or sixth speaker, dependent upon
your system, that sits out of the way someplace and provides only low
frequency sounds. Because of the way the human ear determines
directions of sounds, you can put a subwoofer anywhere and it won't
matter; mine is on the floor under my desk. The benefit of a subwoofer
is that low sounds, such as the bass in music, have a much greater
richness and take some of the load off the "main" speakers. For
example, I have a 3-piece system connected to my computer. The main
speakers sit on either side of the monitor and the subwoofer is, as I
said, on the floor. I can get good sound out of this and speech sounds
good, as well.

The next thing only affects speaker systems since it really applies to
output volume, and most headphones, headsets, earbuds, etc. have no
"power" to use when reproducing sound; it's dependent on the device
"playing" the sounds. What I'm talking about is referred to as
Wattage. What this refers to is the amount of power in each separate
channel that the equipment uses for sound reproduction. As you would
expect, the higher the wattage, the louder a set of speakers can
operate and the more power they'll use to do so. The first stereos
only really had 2 channels but, with Digital sounds, there are several
channels used. I have generally found that, for most computers, a
watts per channel of somewhere between 30 and 50 seems to work well.
Although if you're planning on using your computer as your stereo, and
want to fill a room(s) with sound, you will probably want a higher
wattage, if possible. The principle is similar to the size of an
engine in a particular type of car. If you have a big car and a little
engine, the engine is going to have to work harder than it should.
Conversely, if you have a big engine in a little car, the car won't
perform as well because there is too much power for its' size. If you
want to get equipment with a big power rating, and you just plan to
use it with your computer, it won't hurt, but you will probably end up
spending more than you want for the equipment in question.

Lastly, and most importantly, is comfort. Of course, if the equipment
isn't comfortable to wear, or use, you won't use it. One problem with
some helmets, and headphones/headsets, is that if the fit isn't right
they will be uncomfortable, possibly even painful, to wear and you
won't get the best performance from them since they won't be in the
best position for your ears to make use of them. I personally like
headphones/headsets that sit against the ear and are about as wide as
the ear but do not cover it. The problem I've found with over the ear
equipment is that your ears get hot and sweaty after prolonged usage.
Also, I don't like the earbuds because I find them uncomfortable after
long periods. As I said, this is the most important thing since, if
you don't like the equipment, you won't use it. After all, the best
equipment on the market is useless if you are not using it. As with
most other things, it comes down to your preferences; there are many
brands and models on the market with a wide price range. However, if
you have something that works for you, stick with it. For the most
part, the technology has not really changed since the CD came out and
Digital Music was born.

If you have any questions about this or any other topic, please send
me a message and I will be happy to try to answer it. You can reach me
at my email address located at the beginning of this article.
Happy Computing!

A Time to Plant
By Sue Brasel
Sue at TheBlindPerspective.com

When considering containers to put plants in, there are many choices.
Which will be best for you?

The size of the container will depend on the size of the plant(s).
Most times, you will want space for the roots to spread. If there is
not enough spread space, the roots bind to the sides, and out those
drainage holes. In a garden, plants can spread, and are not bound by

The shape of the container is up to you. Conventional containers can
be found in many locations. Repurposing of objects allows your
creativity to shine when your plants are in unique containers! Make
sure your containers have adequate drainage holes.

Clay pots, known as terra cotta, are medium priced. They draw moisture
from the potting soil, and often have limited drainage available. Many
are quite attractive. They are heavy enough to not tip over easily.
Inexpensive plastic containers are lightweight, often with more
drainage holes than other materials. They help retain moisture.
Because these are manmade, their toxins may affect your food plants.
Generally, their lifespan is no longer than a few growing seasons.
Metal containers retain heat and are usually medium priced. They can
be decorative, and look whimsical when plants spill over the sides.
They are resistant to breakage, chipping and cracking.
Stone containers are solid, last a long time and tend to insulate
well. They withstand windy conditions.
Fabric containers, also known as grow bags, are lightweight, can
easily be transported, and are inexpensive. Plant roots get air
circulation, so don't easily get root bound.

Depending on your growing conditions, these containers can meet many
of your plant needs. I have many kinds of containers, some are on
tables and windowsills, others are hanging baskets.

Check your plants frequently, making sure they have their watering
needs met and stay healthy looking.

It is thyme for me to get back to gardening!

the Alternating Duo: Seeing the World Differently
By Lois Strachan
Lois at TheBlindPerspective.com

Last time I took you on a sensory journey of the Buqueria Market in
Barcelona, Spain to show how I use my remaining senses to create a
picture of a place when I'm traveling. Today we're going to leave
Barcelona and travel across Europe to Poland for another brief sensory
experience, in a salt min.

It was with a sense of awe that I traced my fingertips round the
three-dimensional image of Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece, "The Last
Supper" carved into the rock salt face of a vast cavern in the
Wieliczka Salt Mine near Krakow, Poland. The salt carving is just one
of the many artworks and statues you experience in this remarkable
historic site, which includes spectacularly carved rooms, 4 chapels
and an underground lake. I totally understand why we're usually not
allowed to feel famous artworks, not only are they susceptible to
damage, but I question how much I'd be able to feel from a mostly flat
painting. But here, in a vast cavern almost 400 feet below ground
level, I was able to gain a real sense of the masterpiece using my
sense of touch. And the experience was incredible.

Knowing how important touch is to us, whether to identify objects,
read braille, or trace our way round familiar places, it's not
surprising that touch plays an important role in helping me interpret
places I visit as a blind tourist. I've had the opportunity of feeling
some truly historic items, the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, the
ancient standing stone circle at Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain in UK,
and ancient marble statues and friezes from the fourth, fifth, and
sixth century BCE on a tactile tour of the Archeological Museum in
Athens, Greece.

But let's go back to the salt mine in Poland.
My awe when encountering the carving of da Vinci's masterpiece was by
no means the only feeling during my visit to the salt mine. There was
the bone weariness of trudging down 380 wooden spiral steps to start
the tour. There was the incredulity of what generations of miners had
achieved, mostly by hand, since the mine was founded in the 1300's. In
my mind's eye I could almost feel what life might have been like for
the miners slowly and painstakingly mining the salt rock and creating
the vast caverns I was walking through, hearing the sounds of picks
plunging into rock, of shovels collecting the precious salt pieces and
the sound of the horses as they patiently waited to cart the salt away
for it to be hoisted above ground. The constant awareness that I was
merely an insignificant entity over 400 feet below the ground, and a
vague concern that maybe, just maybe the ground above me might
collapse (have I mentioned I'm a little claustrophobic?). But above
all was the sense of wonder at the magnificence and beauty that humans
had created from this seemingly barren place.
Now, some of you may be thinking I have a rather over-active
imagination. And perhaps you're right, since you're not the first to
say so. But my sense of imagination, of being able to imagine myself
into the time and place of the people living in a historic site adds
to my experience of going there. I try to research the places I'm
going to visit so their story can provide a framework within which my
other senses can fill in the gaps, the texture and colour of my mental
picture, so to speak.

And that's how I use all my other senses to build an idea of a place
I'm visiting as a blind tourist. Next time I want to look at some of
the nuts and bolts of how I prepare to travel, I'd love to hear some
of your tips, so please mail them to me at the above address.

By the time you read this I'll be off on my next #TheBlindTourist
adventure - this time a trip to Berlin, Germany and a road trip back
to Krakow, Poland.
So, till next time, happy travels!

The Rotating Trio: WindBag
By Blow Hard
BlowHard at TheBlindPerspective.com

Menu Browsing and Smart Ordering

Note that I have lived in Arizona and Oklahoma, so the eating
establishments I mention may or may not be in your area. If they
aren't, I feel so sorry for you!

A problem has cropped up just about each time that blind people are
among a group of diners at a restaurant. That is, as we all know, how
to choose from the printed menu we are usually given. To us, the pages
are blank.

Now, though, a lot of restaurants have online menus that we can browse
before going to eat, or we can use our smart phones to browse along
with those we eat with. There is also a trend toward apps to place and
pay for our meals using a smart phone. A note on this option is at the
end of this short article.

Quite a number of online menus are accessible to screen readers,
although they are not quite like reading a printed menu. For example,
prices change, so may not be shown on a website. This is so that
changes to the online menu don't have to be made very often. Also,
newer items may not appear. You use links to look at only what you
might be interested in, just like browsing a shopping site. Links take
you to other lists of links to the description of items of interest.
As an example, use your screen reader and browse the Texas Roadhouse
menu. To find the menu, do a Google search. There is a link to
Appetizers. There is one to sides. There are links to the really good
stuff, steaks and ribs. My preference is showing here, as you can
tell. I am a carnivore! Using a link, check out one of my favorites;
the 28 ounce T-bone steak!

These online menus will work with Windows Explorer and, for users of
iDevices, Safari. You can, at least, get an idea of what they offer.
As with brailled menus, which are my preference overall, they may not
be as current as the printed menus our fellow food munchers are using.

As for apps for browsing, ordering, and paying, I have found that most
aren't Voice-Over friendly, although they are slowly getting there.
The What-a-burger app, for example, shows a chop house burger that is
no longer available. Darn, it sounded good, too. Whether using an
online menu, an app, or a brailled menu, be sure to ask your server
what items have changed since the last update. If they know, so much
the better. But at least you've got an idea of what you're in the mood
for, and you might be surprised by something you didn't know they
offered, and then you may change your mind.

Reader's Perspective
ReadersPerspective at TheBlindPerspective.com
I received only two responses to our last question; Do you prefer a
blind or sighted partner, and if so, why?

Margaret tells of her experiences:
"I have had both a sighted and a blind spouse. When my vision was low,
I was married to a sighted person. He knew of my poor vision from the
start. He and I both grew accustomed to, and adjusted to my rapidly
poor vision. He passed away and 7 years later I married my current
husband who happens to be blind. I never sought out to find someone
who was either sighted or blind, it just happened. My experiences were
different with each husband, not because one could see and the other
one couldn't, but because they were two different people."

Here is what Stephen wrote in:
"I am 42 years old and I was born totally blind. I have been "drawn"
to other low vision/blind women. I think it is due to my being around
more blind people than sighted ones. I feel that being with someone
who has low vision, or who is blind understands me better."

If you have a question you would like me to pose to the readers,
please send it to the email address above.

Cooking Concoctions
By Maxine
Maxine at TheBlindPerspective.com

Garlic Shrimp Linguini
This is one of my favorite meals! It is delicious, and quick and easy to make.

1 pound uncooked linguini
1 Tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 Tablespoons white wine
2 Teaspoons grated parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
Half a lemon
Salt & pepper to taste
1 pound medium shrimp peeled and deveined

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
2. Add pasta and cook 8 to 10 minutes, or till al dente, drain.
3. In a large saucepan, melt butter and oil over medium low heat, add
wine, cheese, garlic, parsley, juice from a half of a lemon, and salt
& pepper to taste.
4. Simmer over low heat 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
5. Increase heat to medium high and add shrimp, cook 3 to 4 minutes,
until pink; do not overcook.
6. Add hot linguini to the pan and gently toss to coat.
Serve and top with grated parmesan cheese and / or parsley.

Omit the shrimp and just eat as a pasta dish
Use thinly sliced chicken instead of shrimp, and add 2 to 3 more
minutes to the cooking time
Add snap peas and sun-dried tomatoes for added crunch and flavor

Riddle & Brain Buster
By Alex Smart
Alex at TheBlindPerspective.com

What food lives at the beach?

Answer to May's riddle
I am a word of six; my first three letters refer to an automobile; my
last three letters refer to a household animal; my first four letters
is a fish; my whole is found in your room. What am I?

Brain Buster
Too Do
Every answer is a two syllable word, name, or phrase in which each
syllable ends with the sound, oo.
Example: sound of crying; boo hoo.

*Crazy, or a kind of clock.
*Black magic.
*Popular chocolate soft drink.
*toy train.
*Completely loyal.
*Kind of eyes lovers make.
*Kind of platter at a Polynesian restaurant.
*Rock group led by Bono.

Answers to May's brain buster
End to End
The Lone Ranger's faithful friend: Tonto.
Car from Sweden: volvo.
Molten rock under the earth's surface: magma.
Popular Florida city: Miami.
It can bring a tear to your eye: onion.
Place of worship: church.
Lively Latin American music: salsa.

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Wishing You All the Best,

Cheryl E. Fields

A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human
life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will
never sit.
--D. Elton Trueblood

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