Out-Of-Sight News and Views

Issue #12

December 1, 2013


In This Issue

Greetings from Our president


Word on the Street

Guess Who Just Took another Trip around the Sun

Our Out-Of-Sight Superstar

The Book Shelf – 2 selections

My Story – In the Republic of South Vietnam

A Poem with a Twist – Twas the Night before Christmas

Flick, Swipe, and Tap – DoItWrite

The Latest Research – Reading the Pancreas through the Eye

In My Opinion – Would I Want My Vision Restored?

Experience Descriptive Video with a New iOS7 App

Hi-Q Puzzle Solution

Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program – iCanConnect

Do You Have Sitting Disease?

And Survey Says

A Quick Tech Tip

A Huge Salute

The Recipe Box – Sweet Potatoes

Dear Betty Blunt

Think Tank

A Round of Applause

Oosabell’s List

What is Happening on Out-Of-Sight


Greetings from Our President


That surely cannot be snowflakes falling and sleigh bells ringing. I cannot believe that it is already December.

I imagine that everyone is in the midst of decorating for the holidays and hoping that Santa Claus does not forget them no matter what their behavior has been this year. Unfortunately I am not holding out much hope because my letter to Santa came back stamped returned to sender: better luck next time!

Maybe that Christmas letter writing course led me astray after all suggesting the opening line of hey you old fatso listen up.

Well, the good news I have for you is that the News Letter staff has outdone themselves again with another excellent edition of News and Views. They have packed it with more interesting and informative articles for you to enjoy reading.

  As this year winds down with next year on our doorstep, I want to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed and fulfilling future in the New Year.

Let each of us remember to take the time to tell our Out Of Sight family just how much they mean to us and how much we cherish their friendships because that is what family is all about.

 I am looking forward to seeing all of you in the coming year.

And as always, if you want to see anything else included in this type of format, write an email to:


  Best regards,

Lee Richards




To navigate quickly to the different articles in this newsletter using JAWS, System Access, or Window Eyes, press the letter H to move through the headings.  For MAC users, press Control Option Command plus the letter H. 


Word on the Street


Ruff! Ruff! Congratulations to Jairo, for completing his guide dog training at Guide Dogs of the Desert, in Palm Springs, California.  Jairo graduated on November 24th.  Way to go! 


After a 7 week stay in the hospital, Franklin Johnson finally went home, and is continuing the therapy on his knee.  We miss ya Franklin!  Get well soon!


Wedding Bells!  Congratulations to Maria and Todd, (Darkwolf and Deadeye) on their upcoming wedding in January!  We wish you the best!


Congratulations to Adonna and Chikodinaka on their 2nd wedding anniversary on December 24th!

Got any news for us?  We would love to hear what is going on in your world, so please keep us up to date and write to:


We look forward to sharing your news with our extended family, here on Out-Of-Sight!


Guess Who Just Took Another Trip Around the Sun?


Help us celebrate our December birthdays:


December 2, Cynna Anderson - Cynna, from Massachusetts.

December 3, Craig Zolkivski - Bluesdog, from Canada.

December 6, Chris Judd - Announcer1980, from Missouri.

 December 8, Franklin Johnson - Franklin Johnson, from Missouri.

December 10, Gary GreicoPianoTuner.

December 12, Walt Cone - Alt Key, from Michigan.

December 14, Nat Armeni - Spuntino, from British Columbia, Canada.

 December 19, Charlie Barnett - Guitar Man, from Texas.

December  21, Ted Galanos - Tedster, from Texas.

December 21,  Lee Smiley - Irish viking, from  California.

December 27, Kate Dolosa - PinkaLicious, from Washington State.

December 29, Todd Freitas - Todd, from California.

 December 30, Geoff Eden - Geoff Eden, from Canada.

 December 31, Lee Richards - Lee from WV, from  West Virginia.

Please help us build our birthday list, by sending your Username, first and last name, date of birth, (year optional), and where you live, to:



Our Out-Of-Sight Superstar

By Karen Santiago


Editors Note:

Thanks to everyone who wrote in with your suggestions about who should be our Member of the Month for December! There were several names put forth, and it was a difficult decision as all of the candidates are members who deserve this recognition! Unfortunately, only one member each month can be the recipient of this honor.  Keep those submissions coming, because we recognize a member for each month.  So, without further ado:

Congratulations to Kaye Zimpher for becoming our December Member of the Month!  Now, here is a bit more about our friend, Kaye.


Out Of Sights very own Georgia peach, Kaye Zimpher, is Our Shining Superstar for December! Kaye was born and raised, for the most part in Atlanta, Georgia. At six months old, Kaye had an extremely high fever which caused some brain damage. This damage was to the visual cortex, which is responsible for sending messages from the eye to the brain.

              Kay grew up with a much older brother and sister. Her mother raised her to be as independent as she could. Kaye was very shy and had an introverted personality. Yes, I know, hard to believe, right? She attended blind school for less than a year, since her mother decided it was not the right thing for her. Kaye then was mainstreamed throughout the rest of her early education years and attended camp every summer during her teen years.

Kaye went to Gardner Webb College in North Carolina for a year, and realized it was not the place for her. She returned to Georgia, and attended Georgia State with the field of social work in mind. However, due to circumstances she needed to leave college and find work. Kaye had several jobs as a customer service representative.

In December, 2004, Kaye left for Little Rock, Arkansas to train for an IRS position. It took 1 month of evaluation, and 4 months of training. Upon completion, Kaye started her job as an IRS Collection Representative, in Atlanta. Kaye has also received her certificate of instructor of training. She trains other employees with visual impairments on how to perform their job. She also creates accessible documents. We are so blessed to have an IRS agent in the OOS community. When I asked her for some free tax advice, she stated that we all should file on time and pay on time to avoid hearing from an IRS agent.

Kaye came into some difficult times, and during 2008 - 2010 she did some serious soul searching. She was not happy with her quote, I am a tough blind woman attitude, end quote. Yes, she had a good job, great income, and a lot to show for it. However, she was realizing that there was more to life than materialistic things. She would ask herself, quote What could I have done? What could I have changed? end quote. She started to believe in God and to see the good in things and people. Kaye says she is a much better person now. She is more loveable, giving, and willing to help those in need.

In 2010, a friend of hers encouraged her to try out beep ball. Kaye was rather nervous at first. A sighted player came up to her and asked if she was going to play. Kaye said that she was but she wanted to know one thing. Kaye asked the person if the players are all blind how they prevent each other from getting hit in the face with the ball, or just plain getting hurt. The sighted person told her that the pitcher on the team is sighted, and that relieved Kaye’s fears. She really enjoys the game and played for the Atlanta Eclipse till August 2011. Then the Wichita Sonics recruited her to play in the Beep ball World Series. She continues to play for the Sonics. Her schedule may be a bit hectic since she is playing for a team in Kansas, and has to travel at least four times a year.

It was in April of last year that Kaye joined Out-Of-Sight. She found out about OOS through an announcement on RS Games. You will find Kaye participating in trivia games, password, tech talk, and chatting with others. Kaye is a member of the tournament committee, host for password, and she fills in for other hosts if needed. Kaye feels that we all come to the sight with a common bond, that being some kind of visual impairment. However, we talk about a wide range of topics; such as food, politics, current events, sports, shopping, and many many more. , It is these discussions and good times that make it   so much fun.

As of August 2013, Kaye has been involved in Panoramic Radio, which is located on the internet. The manager, and good friend of hers, is the one who got her interested. She is a behind the scenes contributor, working on public relations, announcements, editing   of sounds and voices, just to name a few. Her recent trip to Seattle was to view a live taping of Imagination Theater, which is a radio drama aired on Panoramic Radio. Many of the station’s contributors are fans. While she was there, she toured the studio and spoke with all who were involved in the production.

Kaye is a very independent, single, woman of 43 years. However, rumor has it that there is some kind of plan between her and Roger. Apparently, she and Roger are cyber husband and wife. Roger has plans to wed Kaye at some cathedral in downtown London Ontario. Hope you have your passport ready Kaye!

Kaye enjoys reading, listening to music, shopping (especially for clothes and shoes), and playing games. She has been a member of the NFB since age 20. She is a dedicated advocate, and had lobbied her congressmen for things she feels strong about. One of her goals is to visit all 50 states throughout her lifetime. She is half way there, with 25 states and the District of Columbia under her belt! Her hopes are to leave both the IRS and Atlanta. She would consider moving to either Kansas City or Denver. Kaye would love to have a job training other blind people in the use of accessible computer technology, especially in the workforce.

Congratulations Kaye!

If you would like to send Kaye a message of congratulations, or recommend someone for our January Member of the Month, please write to:


We look forward to your suggestions in selecting our next Out-Of-Sight Superstar! 


The Book Shelf – 2 Selections


Do you love to curl up with a good book?  Been meaning to read that best seller?  Here are two of our book club selections.  They are to be read for our next book club meeting, which will be held, Friday, December 20, at 8:00 PM eastern, in the Library.  See you there!


Book #1: 

The Heist:  A Novel

DB 76803

Author: Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

Reading Time: 8 hours and 30 minutes

Read by John Polk

Suspense Fiction, Bestsellers

After many failed attempts, FBI agent, Kate OHare, finally catches charming con artist Nick Fox. When Nick manages to escape custody, Kate goes after him, only to learn he is going to be putting his scamming skills to good use--as her new partner.

Violence and strong language. Bestseller 2013.  

Download the heist: a novel


Book #2:

Official Privilege

Author:  P T Deuterman

Read by J. Charles

When the body of a young, black Navy Lieutenant is found chained inside the boiler of a mothballed battleship in a Philadelphia shipyard, there is no question that it is murder.  Stung by past scandals, the Navy moves to control the investigation by appointing one of their own, Commander Dan Collins, in charge of it. Dans deputy investigator will be civilian Grace Ellen Snow from the NIS, (Naval Investigative Service), the organization that should have been in control of the investigation.  Dan and Grace make a connection between this murder, the death of the mans sister, and a top Naval officer only to have the chain-of-command curtain come down around their investigation.  Convinced they can convince those responsible for the murders, they secretly continue their investigation-a search that brings them to the attention of a cunning, remorseless, and relentless man                                


My Story – In the Republic of South Vietnam

May 21, 1969

1:02 AM

By Dean H. Pedersen


The time and place above is where I was when I was wounded, but before I get into that, I want to back up a bit to explain why we were there at that time.


I was a M-60 machine Gunner in the 2nd Platoon of Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 503rd Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade.


On April 17, 1969 our Platoon was split up between 3 villages to fix up their bunkers, and the perimeters around these villages. The village that my group was in was about 8 to 10 miles from our Battalion Base Camp of BaoLoc, which is approximately 100 miles north of Saigon.  The village, was about a half mile long, and about a quarter mile wide. When we first moved into the village, we would sleep in a different location each night, but as we got more comfortable with the people in the village, and as they got more used to us being around, we set up a little more permanent place to sleep each night, which was in about the center of the village north to south, and on the east side just inside the perimeter.  We had a zig zag trench, with larger dug out areas to place our air mattresses for sleeping.


I only had a few weeks left until I was supposed to go home, so I had already turned the Machine Gun over to another guy on my Gun crew, my assistant gunner was going home about 2 weeks after I did, so there was going to be a complete new gun crew after we left. I was supposed to leave the field on May 20th (which was a resupply day) to go for an in country R&R, and I was going to visit my cousin David Bruhn, who was stationed at QuiNhon.  When I got back from that, I would process out, and be heading back to the States, but all of that changed when the resupply Trucks came out on May 20th.   The 1st Sergeant had come along out with the resupply to talk to me about staying until the next resupply being we only had 12 guys in our group.  There was supposed to be a couple of guys that were on R&R that the 1st Sergeant thought would be back by that time, so of course I stayed. We got resupplied every 3 days. After the resupply trucks had left to go back to our Base Camp in BaoLoc, I was kind of down in the dumps.  I was sitting on one of the bunkers when Tex came over and asked me what was wrong, he could tell just by looking at me that I was not all there so to speak. I told him that something was going to happen between now and the next resupply, and he said don’t think that way Pete, we have been in this village for over a month, and we had not been hit at all. That night I had guard duty from 12:00AM until 1:00AM.  I had just got off duty, and had taken off my helmet, I had just laid down, when I heard a Mortar Tube start firing.  I looked at my watch, and it was 1:02AM, and I thought oh s***. I got up quick, and I could not find my helmet, I was on my knees, looking around for it and I was almost sitting on it. I just got it on when the first mortar dropped in about 15 to 20 feet from my position, and at the same time, grenades started flying our way from in the village. I thought I could hear where one of the grenades launchers was shooting from, so I stuck my head up to get a bead on that launcher, and when I stuck my head up, what I saw was a hand grenade rolling right up in front of me. (I remember thinking at that time, that 90% of their grenades are duds, and if that was the case, they were sure throwing one hell of allot of them.) All I had time to do is try to duck down, and turn my head to the side before it went off. I remember yelling for the Medic, and I remember him wrapping my head, and I remember saying to Tex quote, oh s*** I got hit in the head, end quote. I passed out after that.  The next thing I remember is coming too when a doctor or someone was shaving my head around the injury, and at the same time another guy was cutting my shirt off me, and he asked if I could lift up, so he could get the bottom half of my shirt out from under me, and I really got pissed off, and asked him what the Hell he wanted it for, a blank blank souvenir, or what? then I passed out again, and did not come too until 7 days later.  At that time they told me I had been at the 8th field hospital in Phan Rang, and that now I was in the 24th Evac hospital in Long Bhin. Shortly after I came too, an Officer presented me with a Purple Heart, and I think I told him where he could stick it. After that they thought I was in good enough shape to be sent to Japan, so I was loaded on board an Air Force 141 Star Lift Medavac Jet, and was flown to Japan, and was admitted to the 106th General Hospital. When I was there, they thought I would survive, so they sent me into surgery to stitch up the rest of my wounds. Also while I was there I remember a Nurse asking me if I wanted a Braille Watch, which she handed to me, I checked it out, and handed it back to her, and said I would just look at my own watch as soon as the bandages were removed. I think it was the next day when she asked me again if I wanted the Braille Watch, and that time I took it, and I still have it to this day.


My Aunt Eileen and Uncle Don, who was a Commander in the Navy, were stationed on the island of Guam. I went to visit them on my out of country R and R in January of 1969. My Aunt came to Japan to see me in the hospital. I remember it as plain as if it were yesterday when I heard her voice when she asked at the Nurses station if Sergeant Dean Pedersen was on this ward, and I yelled out, and said I am right here. Hearing a familiar voice really snapped me back to life, she stayed there with me for a couple of days until I was loaded on a Chopper that was going to fly me to Yakota Air Force Base for transport back to the States.


I am going to insert a note from my Aunt Eileen here:


Hi Deano,


Thanks for sending me your story.  I also remember the day I went to the hospital in Japan and the time I spent with you.


I remember giving you that watch and telling you I wanted you to tell me the time when I came back.  Then I went to the PX and got you some tapes and a recorder. 


You told me the time when I got back.  I also remember tucking that recorder in your shirt before you flew out on that chopper.  I watched that chopper fly off from the room I was in.


I am glad life is good for you now.  You have a wonderful family.


Love you very much,

Auntie Eileen


The Flight from Travis Air Force Base in California to Japan that took 10 hours, and 20 minutes on the way to Vietnam, only took 8 hours with the Trade winds over the Pacific Ocean helping to push us back to Travis Air Force Base.  I was held overnight there, then the next day I was flown to Denver, and was admitted to Fitz Simmons General Hospital. I was there for 6 days, while I was there a doctor told me the extent of my injuries, and that I would not see again. I remember thinking at that time, it just cannot be, I have a new Jaguar XKE waiting for me to pick up in Milwaukee. After the 6 days there I was finally sent HOME for a month Leave to give me time to heal up some before I had to go back for Plastic Surgery around my right eye. (My right eye is gone completely, my left eye is still there, but I have prosthetic eyes on both sides) Also while I was at Fitz Simmons a High ranking Officer presented me with a Bronze Star, The Air Medal, and the Purple Heart again that I had previously refused.


I arrived home on June 16, 1969, the same day I would have gotten home if I had not been wounded. After I had been home for about 2 weeks, Tex called me. (we had made those arrangements before May 20th, that he would call me when he got home, being he had a couple of weeks left in Vietnam when I was due to leave to go home.) Anyway when he called, that is when I found out what happened the rest of the night, or the early morning hours of May 21st. I did not know that Tex had already talked to my folks and told them. My folks thought it would be better if Tex was the person to tell me, so after I got off the phone with Tex I went into the living room at my folk’s house, and I was crying and laughing at the same time right out loud, my Dad asked me if I thought what Tex had just told me was funny? I just said back to him that I was just so Damn happy to be alive. [I have to mention here that tears are running down my face while I am typing this story. I have told this several times over the years, but this is the first time I have ever typed it out. I will say that some of the tears are of great joy, and happiness for my life, my wife, and my family. Also they are tears of deep sorrow for these guys for what might have been???? on my right was PFC Enrique Martinez from Elpaso, Texas who I had turned the Machine gun over to, the guy on my left, Sergeant Douglas Swanstrom from Elington, New York who was one of the Rifle squad leaders, and for Sp/4 Rolan (Tex) Henderson from Seadrift, Texas, my assistant gunner who committed suicide.] Tex and I got to be closer than brothers.

I was one of the first to be wounded, what I didn’t know is that the same grenade that got me also killed the guys on each side of me. The one on my right was the guy that I had turned the Machine Gun over too. The guy on my left was a rifle squad leader, he also had 2 weeks left in Vietnam after I went home, and he was planning on coming to North Dakota to spend a week with me on his way home to New York. Due to the fact that we were in a village, we could not call in any artillery, or air support, so help had to be convoyed out from BaoLoc. When they did get there around 5:00AM, there were only 4 guys out of 12 left fighting, and they were just about out of ammo. One other guy and I were in pretty bad shape, so we went out on the first Medavac chopper when they were finally able to bring them in around 5:30AM. I think that is when I was brought to the 8th field hospital in Phan Rang.

After I had been home for a month, I went back to Fitz Simmons for my plastic surgery, and was there for about 2 weeks. My military records had not caught up with me yet, so I was sent home again, which ended up being the rest of the summer.  Finally around the end of September my records got to Fitz Simmons, so I had to go back to Denver again to get checked out of the Hospital, and then it was back home for a week, and then off to Chicago to Hines VA Blind Rehabilitation Center. I was at Hines from October 16, 1969 until March 27, 1970. I had surgery on my left ear while there, that affected my balance etc, so I was sent home for 3 weeks to heal up from that surgery. Also many of the weekends my mother's cousin Ruth (Boots) Lehman would pick me up on Friday afternoon, and bring me up to her Lake home at Fox Lake, Illinois, about an hour north of Chicago. She is a true patriot, she worked in Omaha, Nebraska during World War II building B-24 bombers. That is where she got the nickname Boots.

I had a plate put in my head to fill in the hole from the grenade in February of 1971, and have had 3 surgeries on my right ear over the years, the hearing in that ear is just about gone now, both ears ring constantly with a high pitched squeal.


I got married to my wife Betty September 2, 1972; we have 2 children. A son Matthew, he works for Microsoft, his wife Jen works for Mountain Hardwear, a part of Columbia Sports Wear. Our daughter Sarah is the Librarian at the High School, she is married to a classmate of Matts. Mike is a Funeral Director here in Valley City, and they have a 5 year old son Jack, who is the joy of our lives.


Betty and I are both active in the Disabled American Veterans, of which Betty is a past State President of the Ladies Auxiliary. I have been very active in the VFW as well, and I am a Life Member of all of the Veterans Organizations. My wife and I are also very involved in our Church. I am the President of the Trustees, and have been for quite a few years.


I have a wood work studio called Pedersen Wood Craft. I have been doing wood work since 1972. I am also on the V-500 Scholarship Board of Directors at Valley City State University. I have been on the board for 10 years, and served as President for 5 of those years.


PS. My assistant gunner Tex was from Sea Drift Texas, he had another year to serve, so he went to Germany, when he got home he married the girl he was going with before he went to Vietnam. I don’t know what happened, but after being home for a while he went out in his back yard, and shot himself.


A Poem with a Twist - Twas the Night Before Christmas

Submitted by Debi Chatfield

Twas the night before Christmas

but the spirit of Yule
Was not what it should be

in olde Liverpool.

The stockings all hung

by the warm chimney grate,
Were still sadly empty.

For Santa was late.


Yes, midnight had come,

and midnight had fled.
The children were lying

awake in their beds,

Unable to sleep,

and beginning to fear
That Christmas was really

not coming that year,


When off in the distance

there came a strange noise
Was Santa arriving

at last with their toys?

Those surely werent sleigh bells

they heard from afar,
It sounded like drums

and electric guitars.


Now up in the sky,

as the music drew near,
A strange silhouette

began to appear.

Could those be reindeer?

It seemed that they must,
But instead of a sleigh,

were they pulling a bus?


The reindeer drew closer,

and yes, it was true,
Behind them a bus,

all yellow and blue.

And out from the windows

strange voices there came,
Which called out to each

tiny reindeer by name.


Now, Maxwell! Now, Martha!

Now, Prudence and Pepper!
On, Sun King! On, Sadie!

On, Jude and Loretta!

The bus was soon landed.

The slightest of pauses
Then out through the doors

came four Santa Clauses!


But these weren't like Santas

the children had seen,
For under the white beards

their beads could be seen,

And clothing that wasn't

just Santa Claus red,
But rainbows of dazzling

color instead.


They all had long hair,

some had curling moustaches,
And one of the four

wore round little glasses.

They carried guitars,

except for the one
Who staggered along

with a full set of drums.


They spoke not a word,

but as quick as a mouse
They carried their instruments

into the house,

And, moving the Christmas tree

out of their way,
They plugged in their amps

and started to play.


The room seemed to sparkle

with magic and then
That sparkle grew brighter,

then brighter again,

And exploded like fireworks,

filling the air!
Then the stockings were filled

there were gifts everywhere!


But the four could not stay

to admire the scene
They sprang to their bus

and were gone like a dream.

But their voices called out,

as they vanished from sight,
Merry Crimble to all!

and, What a hard day's night!


Flick, Swipe, and Tap - DoItWrite

By Charles Rivard


I have never gotten the hang of handwriting, but, through the use of this fascinating app for my iPhone, maybe I will.  Blind since birth, I have always been a Braille user, but, because sighted people do not read Braille, I think it would be cool to be able to write well enough that they can read what I am trying to convey, and the app described here just might be my inexpensive ticket to success!  I figured that a lot of other site members can take advantage of this, too, so here is the info.  Learn to write in a fun way, as I am going to do!


Greetings gamers,

We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of our first application for iOS!

DoItWrite is an educational tool and game to teach visually impaired users of iOS 7s VoiceOver screen reader how to draw printed letters and numbers for use with VoiceOver's handwriting feature in iOS 7.

Learn to draw lowercase letters, uppercase letters, and numbers for use with iOS 7s VoiceOver handwriting feature!

This app is primarily intended for the blind or visually impaired, teachers or instructors of same, and other users of iOS 7s VoiceOver screen reader.

Many blind or visually impaired people are not familiar with the shapes of printed letters or numbers. DoItWrite teaches you how to draw them in a simple way that has the best chance of being correctly recognized by VoiceOver, even if you have never learned the shapes of the characters previously. Once you get them down, practice your speed and accuracy with a fun game to blast characters as they tumble down the screen!

* Learn how to activate the VoiceOver handwriting feature in iOS 7
* Learn how to draw lowercase and uppercase letters, as well as numbers in a simple and accurate way.
* Practice your newly acquired skills by blasting letters and numbers as they tumble down the screen.
* Use the app to improve your onscreen typing skills by using the keyboard during game play.
* Automatic feedback and coach via audio queues and speech output.
* DoItWrite automatically detects when VoiceOver is not running, and permits the tutorial to be browsed with the onscreen keyboard. Great for sighted teachers and tutors!
* Share your game scores with others.
* Many ways to customize your

learning experience.

DoItWrite is available on the iOS App Store for $1.99 USD. (Prices will vary for your local currency.)


For more information, visit us online at

Happy gaming.


The Latest Research – Reading the Pancreas Through the Eye

Submitted by Roger Khouri

Nov. 18, 2013 - ScienceDaily: Eye Care News


Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have found an innovative way to study glucose regulation in the body: by transferring the vital insulin-producing cells from the pancreas to the eye, the latter can serve as a kind of window through which health reports can be obtained from the former. The results, which are expected to have a significant impact on diabetes research, are published in scientific journal PNAS.

The endocrine part of the pancreas, the Islets of Langerhans, produces and secretes insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. After a meal, the hormone is released into the blood at an amount that is in direct proportion to the amount of food ingested; blood insulin levels therefore vary from one meal to the next and between individuals. In the case of conditions such as obesity, large amounts of insulin are needed to compensate for the high consumption of food and insensitivity to the hormone.

The Islets of Langerhans try to adapt themselves to this condition by increasing the number of insulin-producing beta-cells and/or modulating their individual secretion of insulin in response to the intake of sugar. This plasticity is essential to the maintenance of normal blood sugar levels, and its dysfunction leads to diabetes, a serious disease that has reached pandemic proportions.


The greatest obstacle to studying the exact workings of the Islets of Langerhans and how they adapt to individual conditions is their relative inaccessibility, in that they lie deeply embedded in and are distributed throughout the tissue. Now, however, researchers have found a new way to study the insulin-producing beta-cells: by transferring the Islets of Langerhans to the eye.


Quote. What we have done is made the cells optically accessible by grafting a small number of, reporter islets, into the eyes of mice, which allows us to monitor the activity of the pancreas just by looking into the eye, End Quote, says Per-Olof Berggren, professor of experimental endocrinology at Karolinska Institutets Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, and director of the Rolf Luft Research Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology.  Quote. We are now able to really study the insulin-producing beta-cells in detail in a way that was not possible before. End Quote.


The eye may be used, as a kind of reporter reproducing the activity of the pancreas and allowing readings of the status of the pancreas under different conditions in health and disease.

Quote. The Islets of Langerhans can be visualized repeatedly over a period of several months, and our work shows that during this time, functional and morphological changes occur in them that are identical to those occurring in the pancreas, End Quote,  says first author Dr Erwin Ilegems, researcher at the Rolf Luft Centre.


Using the new monitoring system and pharmacological treatment, the researchers have reduced food consumption in obese mice models and thus stopped the enormous growth in beta-cell population. This means that they are now able to individually tweak drug doses.

Quote. We will also be using the system to identify new drug substances that regulate beta-cell plasticity and function, End Quote,  says Professor Berggren.  Quote. In the future we may also conceive a similar use of reporter islets in humans in order to find unique, tailored treatment principles, to measure the effects of personal medication, or to diagnose problems with the pancreatic islets. End Quote.


In My Opinion - Would I Want My Sight Restored

By Doug Zebell


That is a very interesting question.  I have wondered about that for many years, too.  I would like to have my sight restored, but I would like to have the option of taking it, or leaving it. I was born totally blind, so I have no idea what it would be like to be able to detect something miles away, discern what colors look like, or recognize things that you cannot touch, hear, or smell.  I have always wondered what it would be like to look into someones eyes and see emotions.  I wonder what these look like. 

You know, it is kind of interesting to note that one really does not see with his or her eyes.  We see with our brains.  And, it is also interesting that, not everyone can look at something and see the same thing.  People view it from different perspectives, and will give you their own unique description.  Even though they are looking at the same thing, what they, quote see, end quote, is often different.  The same often holds true when listening to sounds.


I read a book a few years ago, which told about a man who lost his vision and he was able to have some of it restored when he was in his 40s. His brain did not know what to do with the information that it was recieving. Actually, his brain was able to interpret some of the information at times. It could interpret things that a three year old child could see, which was the age that he lost his sight. He said that the reason for this, was that when a person is born, there are things called neurons located in the brain that can be stimulated to do different things like hearing and seeing. they can be taught to do different tasks. After about five years or so of life, these neurons are not as easy to train to do what the body wants them to do.  It is kind of like exercise. If you do not exercise your muscles, they just waste away.  it is the same way with the neurons in the brain.  This man could see like a three year old child could, but his brain could not develop his vision any further, because the neurons in his brain were no longer active.  Since he had used a guidedog, he had to continue to learn to trust it, and let the dog do his job, rather than rely on his new found low vision.


I think restoring a persons vision would work, especially if they have about a good 20 year span of time to allow their brain to process all of the information needed to see properly. I do not think it would work to have the sight restored in someone who has been totally blind since birth, unless they could figure out a way to restart the neurons in the brain which process the information seen through the eyes.  I guess this months question really makes you think.


Experience Descriptive Video with a New iOS7 App

Submitted by Debi Chatfield


Many theaters around the country are starting to offer the visually impaired the option of listening to the descriptive audio track while they are watching a film. Sadly though, this technology is not available everywhere, and sometimes it does not work. The team at Solo-DX wants to make the experience better by having the blind film-goer use a smart phone app to listen to the descriptive audio track instead. Last week, I had the opportunity to test out the new MovieReading app. The interface is very simple. Once you are logged in, you visit the Marketplace, download the descriptive audio track for the film you are going to go see at your theater, and than start the track when your film begins. The app will listen to the audio in the theater and sync the audio track with where the film is so that the user does not have to try and match the two tracks themselves. To test the app, I downloaded the Princess Bride track and then watched some Youtube clips from the film. In all three cases, the sync option worked perfectly. The MovieReading apps latest version is expected to be released before November 22nd, the opening day of the film, Philomena, which will be the first movie to use the apps new features.
MovieReading is currently available on iOS, and they hope to have an Android version soon. Pasted below is a press release from Solo-DX about the MovieReading app and, Philomena.
As exclusive U.S. partners with Universal Multimedia Access, Hollywood Access Services is releasing Solo-Dx on MovieReading, the first ever auto-syncing audio description app available for first-run movies. The debut title on this exciting new platform will be The Weinstein Company¹s Philomena, in theaters November 22. Using acoustic fingerprinting technology, this new auto-syncing method will completely change moviegoing for the blind and visually impaired via their smartphones. It is really easy to use -- download the app, download the description track, go to the movie theater, and enjoy! 

Even if you arrive late, you can simply hit sync and your audio description will pick up in the right place. Right now, if a visually impaired person wants to go the movies, they either have to have someone next to them explain what is happening on the screen, try to enjoy the movie just by listening to it, OR request audio description headsets sometimes offered by theaters. These headsets pick up an infrared signal from the projector that plays audio description through headphones. However, they're not currently available for every movie or at every theater, and even when they are available, they oftentimes do not work correctly. These obstacles make going to the movies too much of a hassle for many blind and low vision individuals.

Solo-Dx on the MovieReading app makes moviegoing simple and enjoyable! Hollywood Access Services is thrilled to provide unprecedented access to blind moviegoers across the country with Philomena, the first film to be made available in the U.S. on this new auto-syncing audio description platform. Starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, and based on the book, The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, Philomena is the true story of one mother's search for her lost son. Philomena is directed By Stephen Frears and written by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope and opens in New York and Los Angeles on November 22 before going nationwide on November 27. 

Developer link: http://www.solo-dx.com/ 
To download the movie reading app go to:

Hi-Q Puzzle Solution

By Charles Rivard

In a previous newsletter, an article I wrote was published, describing a fun little game called Hi-Q.  I described the layout, the object of the game, and how you could make one of your own if you could not find one to purchase.  Being a rather ornery cuss, I did not give the solution.  I figured that you could work on the game for a while after buying or making one, and then find the solution in a later issue of the newsletter.  So, now that you have had a bit of time to go crazy, I will give a brief description of the layout of the board, the object of the game, and the solution.  If you do not want the solution yet, do not look at the last section, but save it for future reading.


Board layout:  The top two rows, and the bottom two rows, each contain 3 holes or squares.  The middle three rows contain seven holes or squares.  Each row is centered across the board.


Object of the game:  Place a peg in each of the holes, or coins in each square, and remove the peg or coin from the center hole or square.  Now, jump over pegs or coins, as in a game of checkers, removing the jumped peg or coin on each move.  The object is to finish with only one peg or coin on the board, and that peg or coin is in the originally vacant center hole or square.  To make it more interesting, place a different colored, or a marked peg or different coin in the correct hole or square at the beginning of the game so that it is the only remaining game piece, in the center of the board.


Now for the solution:


In your mind, number the holes or squares on the board from top left to bottom right, moving across from left to right.  For example, the top row, from left to right, are 1, 2, and 3.  The second row is 4, 5, 6.  The third row is 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13.  And so on.  The vacant center hole at the beginning of the game is number 17. 


To finish with only one game piece remaining on the board, with that piece occupying the center square, perform the following jumps and removals in sequence:


1.  29 to 17, removing 24.

2.  22 to 24, removing 23.

3.  8 to 22, removing 15.

4.  21 to 23, removing 22.

5.  7 to 21, removing 14.

6.  24 to 22, removing 23.

7.  31 to 23, removing 28.

8.  16 to 28, removing 23.

9.  33 to 31, removing 32.

10.  31 to 23, removing 28.

11.  18 to 16, removing 17.

12. 16 to 28, removing 23.

13.  21 to 23, removing 22.

14.  26 to 24, removing 25.

15.  12 to 26, removing 19.

16.  27 to 25, removing 26.

17.  13 to 27, removing 20.

18.  24 to 26, removing 25.

19.  27 to 25, removing 26.

20.  28 to 16, removing 23.

21.  30 to 18, removing 25.

22.  10 to 12, removing 11.

23.  3 to 11, removing 6.

24.  18 to 6, removing 11.

25.  1 to 3, removing 2.

26.  3 to 11, removing 6.

27.  12 to 10, removing 11.

28.  5 to 17, removing 10.

29.  17 to 15, removing 16.

30.  4 to 16, removing 9.

31.  15 to 17, removing 16.


You are finished, with the only remaining peg in space 17, which is the center of the board.  And, oh, by the way, to really impress people, start with that odd colored or sized peg or coin in space number 5.  If you follow the jumps and removals above in sequence, the odd one will be the only one remaining on the board, in the center.


I believe that, in the previous article,  I mentioned that a triangular version of this game can also be obtained from a few places.  One such place is your nearest Cracker Barrel restaurant, in their gift shop area.  It is made of wood, and uses golf tees as pegs.  The concept is the same, but the solution is different.  Hint:  The easiest way is to leave one of the corners blank instead of the center hole.  From there, you're on your own.  To make one, just drill 15 holes into a piece of scrap wood.  Drill them in the shape of an equilateral triangle, as in a rack of billiard balls.  All rows centered               , the first row contains 5, the second 4, the third 3, the forth 2, and the fifth 1.


Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program - iCanConnect

Submitted by Suzy Barnes


This holiday season, millions of Americans will learn about a successful federal program that offers no cost communications technology to people with combined vision and hearing loss. Television stations across the country will soon begin airing a new animated public service announcement highlighting the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program, which is promoted as iCanConnect.


Now in its second year, this Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program has already changed the lives of more than one thousand people who were unable to use modern technology to stay connected with their community or access information on the Internet. Approximately a million Americans live with significant, hearing and vision loss—many of these people are not aware they could be classified as deaf-blind.

The television spot shows how people with combined vision and hearing loss can use technology to access everything from school assignments to social media to a grandchilds dance recital.

Quote, Whether it is a grandparent who has lost vision and hearing due to age-related conditions or a young person born deaf-blind, iCanConnect is transforming lives, end quote, explains Steven M. Rothstein, president of Perkins, which is working with dozens of partners across the country. Quote, Especially at this time of year, when families are giving thanks, it is important to recognize how access to technology can mean the difference between isolation and independence, between segregation and participation. End quote.

iCanConnect offers hundreds of pieces of equipment such as computers equipped with screen reading software and iPhones attached to Braille displays and simple phone amplifiers. iCanConnect trainers meet one-on-one with each client to determine what equipment will best suit their needs and also to offer expert instruction on how to use the devices. The assessment, training and technology are all offered at no cost to qualified individuals who meet income guidelines.

The new iCanConnect Public Service Announcement was created by Fablevision in Boston, MA, and was closed captioned by the Media Access Group at WGBH in Los Angeles and Boston. You can view the spot here: http://www.icanconnect.org/news/new-icanconnect-promo-videos.

iCanConnect is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.iCanConnect.org. The website accommodates users with low vision, people who use screen readers and features video that is both audio-described and closed captioned. Information about iCanConnect is also available by calling 1-800-825-4595 | TTY 1-888-320-2656.


Do You Have Sitting Disease?

Submitted by Lawrence MacLellan


For most Canadians, the average day is a blurred haze of work, commuting and relaxing at home. And most of that time is spent comfortably seated. Unfortunately, there are deadly health consequences associated with our fondness of sitting. Researchers have found our cosy respite brings diabetes, heart disease and early death – all due to an illness experts call sitting disease.
Sitting disease? Seriously?
Sure, have a laugh. Get the giggles out of your system. Sitting disease, as it is known, might sound wacky (or made up to snatch newspaper headlines), but it is a real concern. This relatively new health phenomenon has made its way into the spotlight and is here to stay. The term sitting disease is used by the scientific community to corral the host of life-threatening health woes that are proliferating in our society because of our penchant for a sedentary lifestyle. We've all heard the stories of bum-numbingly long flights on which air travellers were plagued with deep-vein thrombosis (a serious circulatory condition in which blood clots develop due to lack of movement in the legs), but sitting disease is something much more common and sinister. And we are all at risk – even if we do not know it.

According to Dr. Mark Tremblay, the director of Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research at the
CHEO Research Institute in Ottawa, Canadian adults spend three-quarters of their waking hours each day sitting or reclining.

Think your kids have escaped the sitting trap? Think again. On average, Canadian children spend two-thirds of their daytime hours being sedentary. While their static lifestyles haven't quite caught up with those of their parents, these kids are on the path to becoming couch potatoes, and they're already
falling victim to diabetes, heart problems and obesity. This fall, with students heading back to classrooms where they'll be seated for almost six hours a day, parents, teachers and education administrators should be making this problem a top priority.

Dr. Emma Wilmot, a clinical research fellow from Englands
University of Leicester, combed through 18 studies that looked at almost 800,000 participants. What she found was a frightening connection between a sedentary lifestyle and serious health outcomes. In fact, compared to people who sit minimally during the day, longtime sitters have a 112 percent increased risk of developing diabetes and a 147 percent increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke, coupled with a 90 percent chance of dying from such an event. In addition, longtime sitters have a 49 percent increased risk of dying prematurely.

Yes, sitting is deadly – especially when done for prolonged periods. The illnesses that sitting disease can unleash do not discriminate; they strike people without regard for age, sex, culture or income bracket. And, most surprisingly, gym aficionados aren't necessarily safe either.

Why sound the alarm now?
People have been sitting since the dawn of time, so if the recent hype over it has left you baffled, you are not alone. To better understand, turn back the clock a few years to when many researchers, physiologists and health experts were looking for an explanation for the worldwide obesity epidemic. Waistlines of the young and old were expanding at a frightful pace. By comparing the lifestyles of previous generations to our own, researchers made an eye-opening discovery: The rise of technology had altered our lives for the better – but also for the worse. Quote, In the past, most people did not sit at work, end quote, says Tremblay. Quote, A hundred years ago, they may have had agricultural-based lifestyles, worked as tradespeople or did other tasks that involved standing and moving. Today, we drive when we would have walked or biked. We sit in front of a screen when we would have shoveled, nailed or carried. And all of our discretionary time is in front of a computer or television screen.end quote.

Think about it: In the era of your great-grandparents, most people toiled on their feet, not in an office, and moved regularly all day long. Sitting glued to a chair for nine, 10 or even 15 hours a day was unheard of. Quote, The problem with todays society is that we are obsessed with labour-saving devices, anything that makes life easier, end quote, says Joseph Henson, a PhD student at the University of Leicesters Department of Cardiovascular Sciences. Quote, As a result, people are not moving as much and obesity levels have increased. End quote. Technology has made our day-to-day lives less physically demanding. We are moving less, sitting more and thereby making ourselves vulnerable to disease.

And here is the inside story
Hour upon hour spent planted on your tush means your body's tissues, organs and metabolism are not engaged. The longer you sit, the less efficient your body's systems become. Eventually, they start to stumble. Quote, The metabolism of fats and glucose gets disrupted, and you are not burning many calories, end quote, says Tremblay. Quote, Your heart, lungs and muscles go into hibernation mode and they atrophy. Over time, they decay. End quote. Quote, Your leg muscles, which are the largest muscle mass in your body, are not stimulated while sitting, end quote, so you're effectively shutting down large parts of your active tissue, says Peter Katzmarzyk, an epidemiology professor and associate executive director for Population Science at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Prolonged sitting turns an efficient body into a sluggish mass of unhealthy organs.

But if sitting slows internal processes to a crawl, how does disease gain a foothold? Katzmarzyk says studies linking excessive sitting with negative health consequences commenced only a few years ago, so researchers are still trying to work out how inactivity causes disease. In that time, however, a clearer picture has developed of the toll that sitting takes on the body, and the way it corrupts normal processes. For example, when a healthy person eats a meal, the pancreas releases insulin into the bloodstream to help the muscles absorb glucose from the food. Routine physical exertion, such as standing or walking, aids in this absorption process and prompts the muscles to burn glucose and refill their stores.

If you are sitting around for most of the day, metabolic activity stalls. Insulin is not used effectively and, instead of being absorbed by your body, glucose builds up in your blood. Cholesterol levels increase as well. Quote, We think that these metabolic changes are what is linked to the increased risk of disease over the long term, end quote, says Katzmarzyk. Eventually, you will become a candidate for insulin resistance (also known as metabolic syndrome), type 2 diabetes and other frightening problems including heart attacks or strokes. Quote, Diabetes is a major risk factor for heart disease, end quote, says Wilmot. Quote, If you have factors that put you at risk for diabetes, they also increase your risk for cardiovascular disease. It is all related. End quote.

Inflammation, obesity and, particularly, increased weight gain around your middle are other possible consequences. Deep-vein thrombosis, once solely the scourge of long-distance jet-setters, is now plaguing people on the ground as well. While these blood clots are not life-threatening when they are located in the legs, if they start travelling up toward the lungs, they can cause life-threatening pulmonary embolisms. And if the metabolic symptoms and diseases have not scared you out of your chair yet, you should also know that a sedentary lifestyle creates poor posture, curvature of the spine and painful protruding discs in the neck and back. Sitting is anything but pretty.

Is Regular exercise enough?
Surprisingly, meeting Canada's physical activity guidelines does not appear to erase the health risks associated with prolonged sitting. Henson's studies have found that the amount of time people spend sitting each day has a bigger impact on their health than the amount of exercise they get each day. Quote, Sitting has such a detrimental effect on health, end quote, says Henson. Quote, Even if you reach the exercise recommendations for good health, if you spend the rest of your time sitting down, it effectively undoes the good work you have done with exercise. We found that the longer people spent sitting, the worse their blood sugar and
cholesterol levels became, regardless of how much exercise they did. The amount of time sitting had the strongest impact on these variables, not the amount of exercise. End quote.

Despite all of these findings, Henson stresses that you should not abandon your daily workouts; they are still a key component in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Katzmarzyk agrees. While exercise might not reduce the risks of sitting disease, quote, there is clear evidence that it is important [for good health], end quote, he says. And fortunately, it is during those nonsitting hours that you can make positive changes to your health  and lower your risk for sitting disease.

No-brainer ways to lower your risks
Reducing your risk for sitting disease is pretty easy. There is no gym membership or expensive workout gear required. The answer is to look for opportunities to reduce and frequently break up your sitting time, says David Dunstan, head of the physical activity laboratory at the
Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia. Quote, Stand up, sit less, move more, more often, end quote, he says. People who interrupt long sitting spells have better health than those who remain seated for prolonged periods of time. It may sound uncomplicated, but the answer really is that simple, regardless of whether you are a bus driver, waitress, student or executive assistant. Quote, The same guidelines that you follow on the airplane – fidget, move, stand, go to the bathroom more often – should be applied across your life, end quote, adds Mark Tremblay, from the CHEO Research Institute in Ottawa. Quote, The more variety, the better. Do not stand for too long; do not sit for too long. Sitting, standing and walking in various combinations for various lengths of time keeps your skeleton, muscles and organs healthy. End quote.

You may not have known that standing up every time you answer a phone call is good for you, but that simple movement can help combat sitting disease. You can also stand up and walk around during meetings at work or take a stroll to pick up documents from a printer located farther from your desk. Incorporating these kinds of basic movements into your day can drastically reduce your risk. Quote, The more you move, the better your health will be, end quote,  says Henson. Quote, It is quite simple. The more people get up, the slimmer they become, end quote, he says. So take a shower instead of a bath. Purchase standing-room tickets for your next concert or sporting event. Play pool or darts while hanging out at your favorite bar. Walk around stores instead of shopping online. Drink more water so you have to walk to the bathroom more often. Do your dishes by hand. When watching TV, stand up or do squats or
lunges during commercials. Instead of taking your family to a movie, try bowling, mini-golf or indoor rock climbing. Walk your kids to school. Get the whole family involved in making beds, housecleaning and yard work. Every bit of movement helps.

Of course, it is only natural to wonder: How long can I sit without consequence anyway? Save yourself the trouble and do not go looking for guidelines. Sitting disease is a relatively new area of study, and science has yet to discover how much sitting is too much. For now, the experts suggest that you be more mindful of extended sedentary periods and proactively increase your movements. Quote, It is like sun exposure, end quote, says Katzmarzyk. Quote, We do not have guidelines that say we should only go out in the sun for 10 minutes a day. We say that you should limit your sun exposure and
wear sunscreen. It cannot be prescribed down to the minute. That is where we are in this field. End quote. In other words, move as if your life depended on it.

Want more information? Find out if
sitting for too long is really killing you. Here are four exercises you can do at work to keep yourself moving throughout the day.

If you have any questions for Lawrence, or would like a certain topic covered, please write to:



And Survey Says

By Roger Khouri


This section in our monthly newsletter is where we get a snapshot on how some of you think about a given survey question.  The topics have been varied, and I will continue to get a pulse on interesting topics for you to vote on.  The result of votes will be posted in the next newsletter.


If you have a suggested survey question, please do not hesitate to send it to: newsletter@out-of-sight.net, for possible consideration.


Last month, I wanted to know if any of you, who are blind or visually impaired, would be in favor of getting your sight restored. Or, for those of you who were born blind, would you like to see?  You would receive 20/20 vision.  It would be free, permanent, and it would not carry any health risks to you. 


Okay, drum roll please ...

Survey says that  90 percent of respondents would like to have 20/20 vision, while 10 percent would decline.  This is an interesting spread, so, perhaps, while in the Front Porch, Doughnut Shop, or even the Dew Drop Inn chat rooms, we could talk about this interesting survey result.  Remember, all personal votes are kept confidential, but, feel free to talk about it in one of the chat rooms. 


A few of you asked me how I came up with this survey question.  Here is how.  a couple of years ago, sitting and chatting with fellow visually impaired folks at camp, we were talking about different advances in science and technology regarding sight restoration.  Most of us in that group would give anything to be able to see, while a few would decline any treatment or technology.  It was interesting to hear the views and reasoning of everyone, because it really took me by surprise to hear that someone would actually decline the opportunity to be able to see. Yet, I respect the opinion of everyone, and I can appreciate their reluctance. All views were equally valid and important.


Now, as Santas elves are hard at work making toys for all the little boys and girls, and tuning up the sleigh, I wanted to pose a question to you about that magical time of the year--Christmas.  There are so many songs and stories about winter and snow that go along with the celebration of Christmas.  Yet, many parts of the U.S., Canada, and the rest of the world do not even see a inch of snow.  So, let us suppose that we reversed the climate conditions at Christmas, where you live.  That is, if you commonly have winter and snow at Christmas, for the purpose of this survey question, you will now have hot summer weather at Christmas.  And, for those of you who do not get winter and snow at Christmas, for the purpose of this survey question, let us suppose that you get that type of weather.  Okay, here is your survey question: 


Would Christmas feel the same for you bearing in mind the opposite weather conditions?


Please send in your Yes or No survey reply to:


and our elves will tabulate the responses and have them ready for the January newsletter.  We hope you share your feelings on the survey topic in your e-mail, but, none are necessary.  All responses will be kept confidential. Next month, we plan to post some of your comments, as it is interesting to see the reasoning people use when voting, but of course, they will be anonymous! Merry Christmas from your Survey Says team!


A Quick Tech Tip

By Charles Rivard


Here is a quick tech tip: 


When in one of the rooms, if you want to let people know that you have stepped away but will be back, just hit the Alt key and go down through the Files Menu until you see a submenu called My Status, and right arrow.  There are 2 choices: Online and Away.  Up or down arrow to "away" and hit enter.  A message is sent to the room that you have stepped away.  When you come back, just key up when you are ready to talk.  A message is sent to the room letting everyone know that you have returned.  You do not have to do anything else.


Note:  The people in the room will hear that you stepped away and returned, but you will not hear it on your end.


A Huge Salute!

By Roger Khouri


On the evening of November 11th, we gathered in the Fox Hole for a special Out-Of-Sight production to salute, and honor, all our veterans, past and present.  They were the ones who put their lives on the line, and some of them even made the ultimate sacrifice, so that we would live in freedom and peace. We are forever grateful and indebted to them. The Veterans Day - Remembrance Day Salute was a labor of love--a special gift to our military veterans.  We concluded the program with establishing the Out-Of-Sight Veterans Wall of Remembrance.  We  inscribed the name of our beloved Bing Wack on it.  We will remember all our Out-Of-Sight military veterans for generations to come, whom the Lord will call home.  They are more than just a name on a wall.  They are our bretheren who served with courage, bravery and unyielding patriotism.


May I take a moment to offer my heartfelt gratitude for all those who attended and participated in this production.  First and foremost, thank you to the 15 blind military veterans who took part in our service and for their guidance. Second, thanks for every one who saluted their family members who had served in the military. Last, and certainly not least, in alphabetical order, a huge thank you to the following people who shared their  talents by assisting with the program, because it could not have been done without them:

Bob Bartlet,

Cheryl Spencer,

Della Lausch,

Jack De Oliveira,

Karen Santiago,

Kaye Zimpher,

Lee Richards,

Mark Dew,

Sue Burdyshaw,

And Suzy Barnes.


Thank you to the following people, who recorded a message especially for this program for Out-Of-Sight:

Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Canada,

Dwight Sayer, National Association of Blind Veterans,

And Mike Malarsie, Wounded Warrior, blinded in Afghanistan.


If you would like a copy of the program, you can use a link in the Fox Hole chat room to download it. Just press F6 after entering the room, or click to download the tribute. If you have difficulties, please let us know, and we can e-mail you a direct download link. 


Thanks again to everyone who made this program such an Out-Of-Sight and memorable tribute!


The Recipe Box – Sweet Potatoes

(Not the usual ones)

By Suzy Barnes


These were a hit at our Perry Thanksgiving 2012,  and even for those who do not normally eat them.



4 cups, grated raw sweet potatoes

1 1/4 cups, milk

1 1/2 cups, sugar

1 stick, butter

Pinch of salt

Pinch of nutmeg

1 tablespoon, cinnamon

2 eggs



Mix altogether, and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Then, make topping.  See below. 


Ingredients for Topping:

1 cup, brown sugar

3 tablespoons, melted butter

1/3 cup, all purpose flour

1 cup, chopped nuts 


Directions for topping:

Combine topping ingredients, spread on baked sweet potatoes. Bake an additional 30 minutes. It is so much like a dessert, we thought it would probably bake well in a deep dish pie shell.


Dear Betty Blunt


There are two questions this month!


Please note:
This submission is not to be taken seriously. It is just for fun! If you would like to submit a question for Miss Betty Blunt to answer, please write to:

She may or may not answer your question seriously, and she may or may not give you the answer you were hoping for, but one thing is for sure, you will get a good laugh out of her witty, bold, and blunt advice. She will often make comments that we all wish we could say, but are just too afraid to make. So, send in your questions, and let us see if she can help you with your relationship issues. If you wish, your initials, city, and state will be altered to conceal your identity.


#1.  Dear Betty Blunt,

We are just about to head out on to the open road to drive to Florida. We are snowbirds, that is, we fly south and enjoy the great weather, while avoiding the harsh winter in Ontario. Yet, I am missing out on Christmas with my grandkids and being there for their birthdays, because all that happens around December and January and that is smack dab in the middle of our six month stint in Florida.  I cannot bear the winter anymore but I do not want to miss my grandkids growing up either. They are so dear to me, but, my husband and I can not handle the winter anymore. Do you have any advice?

Anne E. Adams
Cornwall, Ontario

Dear Grandma,

Hey, did you not read the sign on the door?  My advice is for matters relating to the heart, that is, love and relationships between adults, but, I will make a small exception in this case to offer you some guidance. It is a bit outside my area of expertise, but, I can definitely make do. Santa is watching, so, I want to make sure he thinks I am a good little girl.  Well, giving you advice is not much of a stretch, because this does involve love and relationships nonetheless.  So, here goes nothing.


Okay, so you are a sap when it comes to the winter? Well, from my stand point, the winter is harsh and so is hot and humid weather, too.  So, obviously, you picked your poison and chose to be sticky and hot, showing up your long luscious legs in Florida, instead of freezing your buns off back in Ontario.  Well, for me, I would suggest that you withdraw some of your savings, or sell off some of those expensive family jewels, and buy some warmer clothing.  You know, they have heated pants, even a heated braw.  So, with the proper attire, you can stay warm, and you can enjoy life in Ontario with your grand kids, jumping all around in the snow. Making snow angels, making a snow man, and having snow ball fights are going to be those priceless moments that your grandkids will cherish, instead of your beach moments where you sip on some tequila watching all those sexy young guys playing volleyball in Florida.  Dress for the winter and have fun, because when your grand kids grow up, you can take them with you for those cool Florida trips. Merry Christmas from your favorite snow angel.



#2.  Dear Betty Blunt,

You are quite the wordsmith. I wanted to pick your brain for a few nice things to include in a poem that I am writing to my wife. It will be on a Christmas card for a dish washer that I bought her. Thanks very much.

Al Brazinski
Fort Collins, Colorado

Dear Mr. Suds,

Well, for starters, I want you to hook up the dish washer, put it on extra spin, extra rinse, and whatever extra knob you can find, then, stick your head in it, and let the turbo jets wash away the idiotic ideas floating around in that large chasm between your ears!  The only reason why you even need a dishwasher at your home is because you are too busy pushing back beers on your Lazy Boy.  Your wife is not your maid and there is no way that she wants a dishwasher for Christmas.  Oh let me guess, that cute little sales lady at the department store in the tight skirt convinced you, right?  Well, now that you feel like a total idiot, good!  You should now know better then to trust the advice of a teenie bopper, but, the time tested and mother approved wisdom that I will give you will be worth its weight in gold ten fold. Oh, did I say gold? Yep, I surely did. So, get out your credit card, and go to an expensive jewelry store and get your wife some gold and diamonds that she can wear.  Put them in the dishwasher, so that when she unwraps it, let her know that her real present is inside the dish washer. Pray that she doesn't sock you one once she unwraps the dish washer. So, you better stand back, and be quick to  let her know to open the dishwasher door for her awesome gift. Lord knows she deserves it!Merry Christmas!




Think Tank

By Rich De Steno and Roger Khouri


Thank you to everyone who submitted answers to last months brain teasers.  Many of you were very close, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades!  Just kidding!  It is apparent that this month, many of you had your thinking caps on!  So, congratulations go out to Lawrence MacLellan, Roger Khouri, and Suzy Barnes for answering both brain teasers correctly!


Here are the November brain teasers and their answers:


1.  The person who makes it sells it. The person who buys it never uses it and the person who uses it does not know they are. What is it?


Answer:  A coffin.


  1. If 3 peacocks lay 5 eggs in 8 days, how many peacocks will lay 29 eggs in 76 days?


Answer:  A peacock does not lay eggs.  The female is called a peahen.


Now, for our super duper brain teasers for December! Can you solve these? Lets see who thinks they are smarter than a fifth grader!


  1. You walk across a bridge and you see a boat full of people yet there is not a single person on board. How is that possible?


  1. You throw away the outside and cook the inside. Then you eat the outside and throw away the inside. What did you eat?

Please submit the answers to these brain teasers to: 



We will let you know if you are correct, and if so, we will publish your name in the January newsletter. Have fun trying to solve these puzzles!

A Round of Applause

Thanks goes out to you, our extended family on Out-Of-Sight! You participate and spend your time getting to know one another on the site. Without you, there would be no need for programming, no need for special activities, and no need to even have a site. So, thank you very much! Thanks for making this community an Out of Sight place to be!

Oosabelle’s List

No, this is not Craig’s List, but it is the next best thing! If you have something to sell, or announce, send us your ad, and we will post it, as long as there is space available in the newsletter. Send your ads to:  Newsletter@out-of-sight.net

  • A new, free, challenging and accessible word game for Windows called Tiny Zebras Rock is available from Rich DeSteno. Send your request to him at ironrock@verizon.net. He also has Destination Mars, Run for President, Dodge City Desperados, and Atlantic City Black Jack for the asking.
  • I have created a group for blind teachers and others who work in the field of education. If you would like to join, please send a message to:
  • Are you blind or visually impaired, looking for a singles group? If so, join the newly created blind singles group. To join, send an email message to:
  • Here is a useful link: www.theunitconverter.com - A unit converter for all measurements.
  • Dicey Rolls is a new computer game for Windows that works well with speech from Rich De Steno. It is a dice game in which you compete against the computer to reach a target number of points. You bet on rolls of the dice, and there are various occurrences and factors that affect your score. Download Dicey Rolls at:
  • Global Pen friends is a pen pal site that allows people from all over the world to submit their ad and connect with other pen friends. Profiles are manually approved and if you activate your premium membership, you could access all features of the site. I highly recommend it to others. If you would like to have a look, the link is:  
  • Are you looking for a great place to listen to music on the net?

Well, look no further, Panoramic Radio is here!

Check out Panoramic Radio at www.panoramicradio.com and enjoy all the great programming we have to offer.

We have everything from Oldies, to country, show tunes and even old time radio shows.

So what are you waiting for? Go to www.panoramicradio.com select listen and choose your favorite player. You can also listen using a mobile phone or I device with apps such as TuneIn Radio or ooTunes.

To listen LIVE over the Telephone, call our AudioNow Hotline: (712) 432-6870

Panoramic Radio, Sound without Limits!

  • I am starting an electronic magazine for people who would like to become, or find new pen pals. If you would like to receive it regularly or would like to submit a pen pal ad for yourself or someone else, feel free to do so at:
    You could let others know your name, age, location, hobbies and interests and the kind of pen pal you are looking for.


What is happening on Out-Of-Sight?

If you would like to receive our daily announcements and schedule of events, please write a blank email to:
Click Here to Subscribe

That is all there is to it! You should receive a daily announcement from us within 24 hours. These announcements not only highlight the schedule of the day, they provide important information about any cancellations, new events, or special messages from our hosts or board members. Stay informed with our daily announcement!

Also stay tuned for our monthly newsletter, which will be distributed on the first of every month. We look forward to your input and suggestions for future newsletters. Please submit your questions, comments, or article submissions by the 20th of each month to:

Debi Chatfield



Catch the vision--it is Out of Sight!