Out-Of-Sight News and Views

Issue #2

February 1, 2013



Greetings from our President


We appreciate all the kind words and comments concerning the first issue of our monthly newsletter. We are glad that so many individuals found it to be informative and interesting as well as entertaining.


We will endeavor to continue to not only make you aware of what is available on our site on a daily basis in the way of fun and challenging games, varied interesting events and presentations, but, to also strive to keep the blind and visually impaired community abreast of the many things that are going on around the world that will either enhance or hinder our lives now and in the future.


As we progress from month to month, there will be periodic changes in the format to make room for additional sections to keep the news letter interesting and current to the needs and interests of our membership.  We want to thank all those who worked so hard and made our fifth Out-Of-Sight birthday celebration such a huge success. The board wishes to extend gratitude to the game and event hosts and to all the membership who took part in this milestone event. We could not have done it without all of you. We also want to thank those who provided the door prizes to be given out during the day long festivities, making a little extra bright spot for those who received them.


Our desire is that this monthly newsletter will continue to be informative, and will help make it possible for us to become better acquainted with one another.  If there is anything else you would like to see included in this format, please contact us with your suggestions at:


Best Regards,

Lee Richards





To navigate quickly to the different articles in this newsletter using JAWS or Window Eyes, press the letter H to move through the headings.  



Word on the Street


·         Congratulations to Brad Kuhn, who took over the Maricopa Superior Court Cafeteria, in Mesa, Arizona!  If you are ever in town, stop by and grab a bite!

·         Yvonne, also known as Lovely Lavender, will be heading to Oregon, to train at Guide Dogs for the Blind this month.  Come back and tell us all about your new puppy, okay?  Ruff!  Ruff!    

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 February Birthdays:

February 7, Dragon Queen – Karen Santiago, from Massachusetts.

February 16, Wee1 – Katie Chandler, from Oklahoma.

February 16, Russell – Russell Schermer, from California.

February 19, Bernadine – Bernadine Mooney, from Nova Scotia, Canada.

February 23, LydiaLydia Arreola, from Illinois.

February 24, Rick - Rick Dalton, from Pennsylvania.

February 28, Ron Y. – Ron Schamerhorn, from Ontario, Canada.

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: newsletter@out-of-sight.net



Member Spotlight

By Karen Santiago


If you have ever been in the Front Porch then you certainly know Wee1, otherwise known as, Katie, from Oklahoma. She was introduced to Out Of Sight by a couple of friends of hers nearly four years ago. Katie hosted the program Holiday Recipes, Crafts, and More during the month of December.  During this hour she gave great, and easy holiday recipes, and ideas for simple but wonderful crafty gifts. She says she enjoys Out Of Sight, because it is fun, you meet interesting people, there are a lot of games to play, and there is a lot going on.  For all of you suffering from insomnia, you will be sure that Wee1 will be in the Front Porch until the wee hours of the morning. Katie loves to laugh, tease, and just have fun.  So, don’t take Wee1 seriously, as she believes that laughter is good medicine for the soul!



Event of the Month


By Alan Dicey and Roger Khouri


Zilch has become one of the most popular games on the Out-Of-Sight
Community!  It is being played at least 5, and sometimes 6 times a week.  There is nothing to download or install for the Players who participate in the game.  The Host downloads and installs a free Dice rolling computer program and by using a few keyboard commands, he/she makes the game play for all of the participants in the game, which can be heard by all of the participants.


There are several fine folks who host this game now such as, Suzy B., Brenda, Karen, Trevor, and Charles, who also can play the game at the same time they host.  If for some reason the host cannot make the schedule game, plenty of other hosts are there already to step in, and this is a great advantage, because the hosts love playing the game, as well!

Basically Zilch is a computerized dice rolling game, where the host first rolls 6 dice for a player.  Then, it's decision time.  A player has to pick out dice that are worth points, out of what has been rolled, and throw the rest back for re-rolling.  The idea of the game is to collect as many points from the rolls in your "turn" as you can, but if you have some dice rolled that have no value, you "Zilch Out", and lose the points you earned in that turn.  Many players get greedy, because they want to score big, but, they have learned the hard way to know when to stop pressing their luck and simply walk away with some points, instead of zilching out and getting zero.


A scorekeeper and a backup scorekeeper, use a simple Excel spread sheet to keep the scores of the players, as they earn, or do not earn points through their turns.  The players take turns, and there are Rounds, which mean after each player has had a chance with their rolls, the turn goes to the next player in that round.  There may be as few as 4 rounds, or as many as 9 or even 10rounds in the game before completion.  The game can last for as little as one half hour, or up to 2 hours in some rare occasions.  The game has even lasted longer, but, it also depends on the number of players participating in that particular game.  There are usually 8 or 9 participants, but there have been as few as 6, and as many as 14 players in a single game.

The rules are really easy, but the host will assign a "buddy" to play along with a "New Player" until that new player feels comfortable, which takes perhaps 3 or 4 rounds.  The main idea of the game is for a Player to reach 5000 points, and the first player to do that, wins the game, unless someone in that same round passes them with a higher score.

History of Zilch to our Out-Of-Sight Community:
Our very good friend, and a great supporter of our organization, Roger Khouri, introduced Zilch to Out-Of-Sight!  I interviewed him regarding this subject, and here is his response:
Hi Alan,
OK, hope I get to answer all your questions, here goes:
I totally didn't expect Zilch to be exploding into such a popular game.  I enjoyed playing it myself so, I figured there'd be a few folks who would share my love of the game, but I didn't know that such a strong and loyal following would emerge.  I'm so happy to see that many folks learned the game and loved it.  Also, I'm edified that some of those players loved the game so much that they began hosting it themselves.  I'm all about empowering the blind community to play fun games, and hopefully, I can be a bit of an encouragement to them so that they themselves will be empowered to take up leadership roles to host their own games too.

Zilch has definitely become an institution, and it is such a simple dice game that has brought out the best fun, enthusiasm, hilarity, comics, and excitement to our blind community.  It is so thrilling to look back on how it all began and where we have evolved to, and it's even more amazing to think about the possibilities of where we'll be down the road.  Even when some games were jammed packed with avid players where some of the games lasted nearly three hours, I finished hosting the game empowered and emboldened anew.

I first began playing zilch on, InTheBlindSpot.com chat community, but when that site closed down, I transferred things over to Out-Of-Sight.  I started hosting Zilch on the site sometime during mid August, 2011, with a game on Friday and Saturday night.  To add some ambiance, I played seventies music in the background to help get folks moving in their seats, tapping their feet, snapping their fingers as they waved their arms up in the air, swaying to the beat of the disco music underneath the glitter of the disco ball.

During the Zilch games, we were having so much fun that I felt like I had to get up on the rooftops and let others know about it!  I wanted folks to experience it for themselves, instead of hearing about it second hand.  Just for kicks, I began doing write-ups to highlight all our zilch action, and folks got a real kick about my editorial and creative humor.  These write-ups would appear in the daily What's Happening that Debi would send out to the Out of Sight community.  By doing the write-ups, I accidentally discovered another vehicle to bring a smile into the lives of our fellow blind persons.  Folks thought that I was a professional writer, but, they failed to under estimate how their involvement and undying loyalty got my creative juices flowing.  So, I owe a debt of gratitude to each and everyone who came out and supported the games.  They made the game so exciting, especially folks who added their own funny comments to spice up the game.

OK, I found the very first Zilch Update e-mail that I ever sent to Debi (it is below).  It gave a brief update about our very first game played on Out-Of-Sight.  It is plain, but as I wrote subsequent write-ups, I began characterizing the games as battles, street fights, wars, political contests, horse races, feuds, natural disasters, and even pillow fights, and a lot of other wacky ways to capture the action of the game.

Ironically, in the write up listed below, I said "you'll be on the edge of your seat for the whole night." This comment foreshadows how each and every subsequent game was played and how fired up everyone felt playing the game.  When I wrote this comment in the write up, I did not fully appreciate its worth, but looking back, I now see its fruition, because everyone is always on the edge of their seat, and that's why they come back to play this silly, yet addictive,  dice game.
---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
 Subject: Zilch Update
 Date:    Sat, September 3, 2011 12:12 am
Hi Debbie,
Here is a little blerb that you can include in your outgoing What's
Happening e-mail for Saturday about my first Zilch game.
Thanks for all who came out for the first Zilch game on Friday night.
Patty was the first to get game-point but Anton scored higher and then he
was bumped by Ron.  When the dust finally settled, Ron took the title of
Zilch champ for the first game, Anton came in second place, and Patty was in
third place.  Everyone else who was part of the game made out well.  It was
a packed house and a whole lot of fun.  Give this exciting game a try for
the next game on Saturday night at 11:15 pm ET.  It's easy to learn and
you'll be on the edge of your seat for the whole night.



The Book Shelf


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, February 15, at 8:00 PM eastern, in the Library.  See you there!


Catch me if you can:

The amazing true story of the youngest and most daring con man in the history of fun and profit.

DB 55517
Abagnale, Frank W; Redding, Stan.
Reading time: 8 hours, 44 minutes.
Read by Jack Fox.
True Crime
Lighthearted autobiography of a high-school dropout from the Bronx who became a master counterfeiter and a millionaire by the age of twenty-one.
  Describes his successful impersonations throughout the 1960s of an airline pilot, a doctor, a lawyer, and a college professor, before being apprehended.

Some strong language. 1980.
Download Catch me if you can: the amazing true story of the youngest and most daring con man in the history of fun and profit


The World War II story of survival, resilience, and redemption.


Hillenbrand, Laura.  Reading time 16 hours, 32 minutes.

Read by Faith Potts.


War and the Military

Author of Seabiscuit.

Details the life of Louis Zamperini, born in 1917.  An Olympic runner and World War II Bombardier, who survived a plane crash and 47 days adrift at sea, only to become a POW in Japan.  Relates Louis’s later religious awakening under Billy Graham’s ministry.

Violence.  Best seller, 2010.

Download Unbroken: a World War II story of survival, resilience, and redemption



Geek Gossip

No one Can Sneak in Without Your Notice!

By Charles Rivard


This month, I thought I would answer a lot of member’s questions on how to find out who is coming in, and leaving the rooms, as this is a problem that often comes up during general chatting in the rooms, especially for new members.  Setting your chat client to give you the information you want is pretty easy, once you know where to look.  So, let’s go and look, after just a bit of explanation:


You need to have SAPI speech on your PC, and most of us do, as it comes as part of Windows 98 and above.  You can get better sounding voices if you choose, and they can be found all over the Internet and other sources.  If you have a copy of JAWS 7 or 8, (I don’t remember offhand which), it came with a CD that has several good sounding voices on it.  They will work with JAWS and other applications as well.


Now for the settings:  Do the following, step by step when you are in a chat room window.


1.       Press the Alt key to open the menus.  File menu is heard first.

2.      Right arrow 3 times to the Options menu.  Down arrow once to the Accessibility sub menu.

3.      Right arrow once, then down arrow to Speech Options, and press Enter.

4.      Now you are in a list of settings that are either checked or unchecked.  All you have to do is to down arrow through these, and check those that you want spoken.  Let’s go through them, although most are self explanatory.

“Use accessible text chat”.  I wouldn’t worry if this is not checked, as you are already using a screen reader.


“Read public messages”.  If someone does not have a mike, they can type a message that everyone in the room will hear if they have this checkbox checked.  Note that typing and sending such text messages overrides what people are saying, so take care to send a message when nobody is speaking so as not to interrupt them.  Not doing so is not good chat room etiquette.


“Read private messages”.  If this checkbox is checked, you will hear any private messages sent to you by someone.  If it is not checked, you will still hear a sound that alerts you that someone has sent you a private message, but you will not hear the message.  You then have to Alt Tab until you find the window in which the private message is shown, and you can read it, reply to it, or delete it with Alt f4.


“Say who enters room”.  Ah!  BINGO!!  Here are the two we’ve been looking for!  If checked, you hear who comes in.  If not checked, you don’t.  The same is true for the next on the list.


“Say who leaves room”.  Ditto the information above.


“Say when status changes”.  If this is checked, you will be notified if there is a problem, such as having been disconnected from the server.  You are asked whether you want to try and reconnect.  Answer accordingly.


Next is the “Close” button.  After you have all of these checkboxes as you want them, pressing Enter on the Close button will save your settings and return you to the chat window.


Oddly enough, we’re not done, as you might think.  There are a couple other settings in this list, beyond the Close button.  “Read desktop sharing buttons” and “Use accessible documents” These are, from what I gather, are used by Moderators, and we need not worry if they are unchecked.


So, now that you have these settings as you like them, I will tell you that you can change them at any time.  Let’s say that you are going to perform “on stage”.  Remember that everyone in the room will hear what comes across your sound card.  You don’t want them to hear whether people come in or leave the room through your computer during your performance, nor do you want to be distracted if you are performing live rather than playing a recording of your work.  Before performing, go into these settings and make the necessary changes.  If you are hosting a general chat session or something along those lines, you do want to know who comes in and leaves, so that you can welcome those who enter your session.



On Your Own

By Karen Santiago


This month I would like to recommend taking a free course with The Hadley School for the Blind: Independent Living. This course will teach you several different tips and techniques to complete everyday tasks with limited or no vision. This course has seven assignments that focus on: moving around safely, personal needs, food handling, time and money management, housekeeping, resources, and recreational activities. As a student enrolled in this course, you will receive some useful tools to increase your independence. Such items include, sock tuckers, wire threader, tactile markers, and writing guides. Visit their website to learn more and enroll in the course!


If you have a question about how to do something easier, or in a safer way, please email your query to:




Gadgets and Gizmos

Braille Polaroid Camera

By Kate Dolosa


The Braille Polaroid Camera was designed by Son Seunghee, Lee Sukyung, and Kim Hyunsoo around 2008.  This remarkable gadget will make it possible for blind and visually impaired people to feel whatever they capture with this camera using Braille.  The camera itself was designed to resemble most cameras.  The unique thing about this camera is that it has a built-in Braille printer that records and prints pictures in Braille, so that blind and visually impaired people can feel the image.  It is also safe to put the Braille pictures in photo albums.


Unfortunately, this amazing camera is still in the concept-design stage.  However, with the rate technology is improving every minute of the day; we might see the Braille Polaroid Camera being manufactured in the near future, and being sold in every retail store around the world.  



The Latest in Vision Research

A Race for the Cure for Blindness

Submitted by Alan Dicey

Dear Friends,

Yes, a Race for a Cure for Blindness!
I have been watching the three horses on the track for 20 years now ever since I became Legally Blind! 

Horse #1 - Stem Cell Therapy
Horse #2 - Gene Therapy
Horse #3 - A Technical Solution

After studying every article I could possibly get my hands on during the past 20 years, I am totally convinced that Horse #3, a "Technical Solution" is coming down the straightaway, headed toward the finish line, and the other horses are not even finished turning the first corner of the track!

Worldwide, Dozens and dozens of companies are putting their finances on and betting on Horse #3, and although some are using similar technology, many are approaching the "Race" from different angles.  Although, I am sure many of the people involved in "Finding a Cure", researchers, Scientists, Doctors, PhD's, highly skilled technicians, etc., etc.,  Are thinking in terms of doing humanity a fantastic service in Helping the Blind and "finding a cure ", the financial rewards  for these companies will be staggering!

Many are aware that the company that created ", the bionic ear", Cochlear Ltd. (COH) Melbourne, Australia, has now made over $4 billion   and still basically just started.  Likewise, the company that finds a "Technical solution" for Blindness will make Billions of dollars, perhaps hundreds of billions of dollars!

Here is another article about those companies "racing for a Cure" "with a Technical Solution"!

The laser-powered bionic eye that gives 576-pixel grayscale vision to the blind.
By Sebastian Anthony on July 17, 2012.

After a lot of theorizing, postulating, and non-human trials, it looks like bionic eye implants are finally hitting the market - first in Europe, and hopefully soon in the US.  These implants can restore sight to completely blind patients - though only if the blindness is caused by a faulty retina, as in macular degeneration (which millions of old people suffer from), diabetic retinopathy, or other degenerative eye diseases.

The first of these implants, Argus II developed by Second Sight, is already available in Europe. For around $115,000, you get a 4-hour operation to install an antenna behind your eye, and a special pair of camera-equipped glasses that send signals to the antenna.  The antenna is wired into your retina with around 60 electrodes, creating the equivalent of a 60-pixel display for your brain to interpret. The first users of the Argus II bionic eye report that they can see rough shapes and track the movement of objects, and slowly read large writing.

The second bionic eye implant, the Bio-Retina developed by Nano Retina, is a whole lot more exciting. The Bio-Retina costs less - around the $60,000 mark - and instead of an external camera, the vision-restoring sensor is actually placed inside the eye, on top of the retina. The operation only takes 30 minutes and can be performed under local anesthetic.

Basically, with macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, the light-sensitive rods and cones in your retina stop working. The Bio-Retina plops a 24×24-resolution (576-pixel!) sensor right on top of your damaged retina, and 576 electrodes on the back of the sensor implant themselves into the optic nerve. An embedded image processor converts the data from each of the pixels into electrical pulses that are coded in such a way that the brain can perceive different levels of grayscale.

The best bit, though, is how the sensor is powered. The Bio-Retina system comes with a standard pair of corrective lenses that are modified so that they can fire a near-infrared laser beam through your iris to the sensor at the back of your eye. On the sensor there is a photovoltaic cell that produces up to three milliwatts - not a lot, but more than enough.  The infrared laser is invisible and harmless. To see the Bio-Retina system in action, watch the demo video embedded below.

Human trials of Bio-Retina are slated to begin in 2013 - but like Second Sight, US approval could be a long time coming. It's easy enough to hop on a plane and visit one of the European clinics offering bionic eye implants, though. Moving forward, multiple research groups are working on bionic eyes with even more electrodes, and thus higher resolution, but there doesn't seem to be any progress on sensors or encoder chips that can create a color image. A lot of work is being done on understanding how the retina, optic nerve, and brain process and perceive images - so who knows what the future might hold.
Source URL:



Dog Gone It

The Nail Tale

By Charles Rivard


This month’s tip on service animals deals with the toenails of our dog guides.


It might seem easy to trim your dog’s toenails, but it really can be a touchy business.  There is a vein that runs through the nail, and if you cut them too short, they will bleed.  This can lead to other unpleasant complications.  It is advised that your dog’s toenails be cut by his or her vet or groomer.


Nail clippers can be bought at almost any pet store like Pet’s Mart, Pet Co., or other.  If you want to try cutting the nails yourself, feel the nail, and you will see a ridge along the bottom inside of the nail.  You want to cut just a bit closer to the end of the toenail, so that a bit of the nail extends beyond this ridge.  It can take strong hands if your dog is a big Shepherd.  It’s sort of like trying to cut trees!


Another alternative is an electric tool that works sort of like a grinding wheel.  Some operate on batteries, others on AC.  They actually grind the nail gradually from the end until you reach the desired length.  Some dogs don’t like the noise, so you may have to calm them with extra pets, which they won’t mind anyway, right?  Some vets and groomers use this type of nail grinding tool, and they do work well.  They do not hurt the dog, any more than a fingernail file hurts a human.


As previously stated, though, I would advise to leave the nail trimming to those who can do it safely.  It’s safer and better for your beastie.  Another thought on nails is that, if you walk your dog a lot, the nails won’t have to be trimmed as often.



Flick, Swipe, and Tap!

Assistive Touch on iPhone

By Kate Dolosa


Having trouble performing those complicated gestures on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod?  If you are, then Apple’s Accessibility feature called Assistive Touch might be just the thing for you.  It is a new feature that will allow for quick gestures to be replicated for those who may be at a physical disadvantage.

Assistive Touch is an accessibility feature that gives users quick access to certain commands.  It was introduced by Apple when they released iOS 5.  With Assistive Touch, an overlay menu is displayed that presents the user with commands that usually require certain physical actions, such as rotating the screen or shaking the device. This new feature allows for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch to be more accessible to those who may not be able to accomplish these tasks.

Using Assistive Touch, users can just tap the onscreen controls using just one finger.  Doing this will tell the operating system to do gestures that would usually require the user to do a more complex task, like use two or three fingers.  All you have to do is assign a simple gesture that would act as a substitute for a more complicated gesture like the Roter.  

Other available commands include locking the screen, adjusting the volume and finger-based gestures like pinch and swipe.  Users can also create custom gestures, tracing certain patterns or movements with their fingers on the screen to accomplish some tasks that may be difficult.  You can find the Assistive Touch menu under Settings – General – Accessibility.
** Information was taken from the Apple Insider.



Your SHIP Has Come In

Tips on Choosing Prescription Coverage

By John Chatfield


Are You Paying Too Much For Medicare Prescription Drugs?

 Most people are paying too much!  In a recent study published by the University of Pittsburgh, only slightly more than 5 percent of people selected the least expensive prescription drug plan available! The majority spent on average more than $365 than needed for their Medicare Part D coverage each year.  “People need assistance in choosing the least expensive plan for their medical needs”, said lead author Chao Zhou, Ph.D., a post-doctoral associate at Pitt Public Health. “Educational programs that help people navigate the dozens of plans available would make it easier to select plans that best meet their health care needs without overspending”.  This University study investigated the difference in a patient’s total spending (premiums plus out-of-pocket costs) between the plan the patient selected and the least expensive option in that geographical area that would satisfy the patient’s medication needs. The study looked at data for 412,712 people. 


If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan rather than Original Medicare, your prescription coverage is usually included in the plan. In this situation, your entire health plan needs to be considered as well as the prescription component.


You can change your drug plan (or Medicare Advantage Plan) every year during the Open Enrollment Period in November and early December. It’s always a good idea to check on your plan for the coming year during this period. You may also qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, which allows you to make changes to your Medicare plans anytime during the year. There are several ways this can happen.  A SHIP counselor can also help you find out about your particular situation. By the way, make sure to check whether you are eligible for the Extra Help program for prescription drugs.  This is based on certain income and resource limits.


Your SHIP counselor can help you check your costs! Every state has a SHIP program, but they are called by various names. To find a SHIP counselor in your state, use the link:



Or email me, John Chatfield, at jchatfie@gmail.com, to assist you to find your SHIP.


If you have suggestions or questions regarding Medicare or Medicaid that you would like the newsletter to address, please contact me, John Chatfield at the above email address.



Blockbuster Buzz

Upcoming Releases for February

By Kate Dolosa


Gatekeepers - February 01
Jack Reacher: One Shot - February 08
Good Day to Die Hard - February 15
Seventh Son - February 15

Now Playing with Audio Description:

Broken City

Gangster Squad

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Les Miserables


Zero Dark Thirty


DVD’s Released with Audio Description:

To Rome with Love

Won’t Back Down

Taken 2

Franken Weenie



The Recipe Box

By Alison Pointon  


Honey Chicken



1 Chicken, cut into 8 pieces, (or 2 & 1/2 pounds of your favorite chicken parts)

2 Tablespoons honey

1 Tablespoon mustard

2 Teaspoons fresh ginger finely grated

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce

2 Tablespoons, (approximately) sesame seeds



Mix all marinade ingredients, and coat chicken pieces.  Leave for a couple of hours or overnight in fridge.

Turn on oven to 350 degrees F.  Place on shallow ovenproof dish, (or pan lined with foil for easy cleanup), and cook covered, for approximately one to one and a half hours.  Uncover for last 10 to 15 minutes.  This will produce a beautiful glaze and leave the chicken crispy, but moist on the inside.

Enjoy!  Best dishes!



Dear Betty Blunt


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’s 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’s see if she can help you with your relationship issues. Only your initials and city and state will be used.


Dear Betty Blunt,


I’ve been writing to you over the years and I’ve never heard back.  Hoping one of my many issues makes it to your column!


My best friend has a very unique and loud laugh.  I find it amusing, while others say it’s annoying.  How do I let my friend know this without hurting her feelings?


Desperately waiting,


Philadelphia, PA


Dear Desperate fan,


Yeah, I’ve received all of your letters which I gave to my new assistant for safe keeping.  My assistant informs me that they’ll be kept under lock and key in file thirteen.  Wherever that is. 


Now, back to your annoying friend.  My question to you is what’s so amusing about an annoying laugh?  Nothing chaps my hide more than a loud and obnoxious person in public.  Do everyone a favor and leave the laughing hyena at home!






Hot Links

Submitted by Debi Black


1.  American Association of the Deaf Blind



2.  AppleVis



3. Blind Mice Mega Mall



4.  National Federation of the Blind



5.  Robo Braille


Each month, we will showcase 5 blindness related websites that we hope will be useful to you.  If you have any suggestions for this section, please write to:




Think Tank

By Mike


Thank you to everyone who submitted answers to last month’s brain teasers.  Many of you were very close!  Applause goes out to Roger Khouri and Charles Rivard for getting one answer correct!  Great job!


Only one member, however, was wise enough this month to get both answers correct!  Congratulations to Craig Kosmoski!  You are the winner of bragging rights for the next month!  Whew, you are a smart cookie!


For those of you who need a refresher on what the questions were from last month, along with their answers, here they are:


1.                  A sun dial is a timepiece that has the fewest number of moving parts.  Which timepiece has the most moving parts?



An hour glass.


2.                  All the information you need to solve this mystery is here.

Fred and Ethel are dead on the floor. There is broken glass and water on the floor. How can this be?



Fred and Ethel are fish.


Now, for our February brain teasers:

1.      I am a protector.  I sit on a bridge. One person can see right through me, while others wonder what I hide.  What am I?


2. A man is sitting in a pub feeling rather poor.  He sees the man next to him pull a wad of $50 bills out of his wallet. He turns to the rich man and says to him, “I have an amazing talent.  I know almost every song that has ever existed.”  The rich man laughs. The poor man says, “I am willing to bet you all the money you have in your wallet, that I can sing a genuine song with a lady’s name of your choice in it.” The rich man laughs again, and says, “Okay, how about my daughter’s name, Joanna Armstrong-Miller?” The rich man goes home poor.  The poor man goes home rich.  What song did he sing?

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 February newsletter. Have fun trying to solve these puzzles!



Words to Live By

Submitted by Katie Chandler and Karen Santiago


“Give your hands to serve, and your heart to love.”

By Mother Teresa


“Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction."

By Antoine de Saint-Exupery


“There is never a time or place for true love.  It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.”

By Sarah Dessen



Mission Possible


Here is your mission, should you choose to accept it.  And, accept it, you did! Wow!  Thank you all very much for the great suggestions and votes for an appropriate name to represent our monthly newsletter.  As you can see above, the name that struck a cord with the majority of those who wrote in, is, “News and Views”.  What a fitting name, to announce what our newsletter holds inside, such as articles and news about the latest gadgets and gizmos, latest research within the blindness field, and a community flavor with relevant information and viewpoints that relate to our Out-Of-Sight extended family.  Thanks again for your input, and stay tuned for each monthly edition of the Out-Of-Sight News and Views!



A Round of Applause


Thank you to everyone who came out last Saturday to help us celebrate our 5th birthday! It was such a fun day and congratulations to everyone who took home a door prize!

Special thanks go out to all of the people who so generously donated items to the celebration! They were very much appreciated! Many thanks go out to the following donors:

Anonymous Donor, Suzy Barnes, Debi Black, Mark Dew, Kate Dolosa, Glenda Johnson, Ronny Kimbrell, Linda Knights, Sherry Knights, Lori Motis, and Charlie Richardson.


And, while we are on the subject of thanks, we must include our hosts for the day's activities! For, without them, there would have been no fun and frolic!! And, applause, applause, goes out to Mark Dew, Cheryl, and Chris Spencer for their special presentations as well! Simply outstanding! Also, when you get a chance, please take a moment to thank all of our hosts that so graciously continue to volunteer their time putting together their events for the site. It is their hard work and dedication that keeps our doors open!
Thank you all very much!

Suzy Barnes, Paula Barton, Jane Brackrog, Alan Dicey, Kate Dolosa, Mike Everett, Brenda Green, Eldon Hanner, Jono Heaps, Linda Knights, Lia Markham, Kathy Mertz, Ron Nurse, Diane Pierce, Lee Richards, Charlie Richardson, Charles Rivard, Karen Santiago, Paul Smith, and Carol Taylor.

And, of course, 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!


Oosabell’s List


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



Do you love the smell of a beautiful fragrance but hate dealing with wicks and flame?  Come discover Scentsy, flameless, wickless, candles. They warm up safely in a handcrafted pot with a light bulb.  Over 80 scent to choose from.  Other products with scent too.  Makes a great gift for almost everyone on your list.
www.warmupscents.com  and go to a link that says Shop my online store. This link will take you to the more screen reader friendly section.  You can always call or email me with questions and I can securely take your order over the phone too.
Lori Motis
Independent Scentsy Consultant
Warm up your life with scent!



What is happening on Out-Of-Sight?


If you would like to receive our daily announcements and schedule of events, please select the following email link.



That’s 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!


Stay tuned for our monthly newsletter, which will be coming out 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 to




Debi Black



Catch the vision--it is Out of Sight!