Out-Of-Sight News and Views

Issue #6

June 1, 2013


In This Issue

Greetings from Our President


Word on the Street

Guess Who Took another Trip around the Sun

Our Out-Of-Sight Superstar

Event of the Month:  Ghost

The Book Shelf

On Your Own:  Braille Pen Pal Club

Dog Gone It:  This is Not a Vacation

In My Opinion:  A Good Time to be blind

My Visit with Carol Platt

Flick, Swipe, and Tap:  2 Cool Apps for your Phone

Reflections on Life with Usher Syndrome

Healthy Choice, healthy Living:  Healthy Eating

Blockbuster Buzz

The Recipe Box:  Sicilian Pan Roasted Chicken Breasts

Dear Betty Blunt

Think Tank

Did You Know?  Hen Pecked

Words to Live By

A Round of Applause

Oosabelles List

What is happening on Out-Of-Sight?

Greetings from Our President


Summer time is knocking at our door.  The news letter staff has been working diligently putting together another issue that hopefully you will enjoy.   Here at Out-Of-Sight things are moving right along.


New events, new games and new hosts have been added to our schedule.  We are gearing up for the annual fundraising fall auction on September21st. It is not too early to start thinking of items you have lying around that you might donate for this fun- packed event.

 Also, there is an added feature that will take place at the auction that is greatly being anticipated, and that is our first ever Raffle! Be sure to purchase your tickets for a chance to win one of the following three items:

Item #1:  Your choice of either a brand new iPod Touch, or I Pad Mini.

Item #2:  Logitech, Wireless, Blue Tooth Capable Headset.

Item #3: Logitech, Wireless, Blue Tooth Capable Headset.

So purchase your raffle tickets now by sending an email to:


Please let us know of anything else you would like to see included in this news letter. The format will be changing frequently to include different features that we hope will be of an interest to all of you.

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


  • Wonderful news!  Lee Richards just received a clean bill of health after recovering from his triple bypass surgery.  Great to have you back Lee!
  • Congratulations to Jim Ashleys grandson for becoming the regional heavyweight champion in the sport of wrestling!  Woo hoo!
  • Applause, applause!  Hugh Gillises granddaughter has received a full scholarship to the University of Mobile, where she will major in Marine Biology!  Way to go!


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 June birthdays:

June 1, Dan Gistenson – Dan, from Illinois.

June 3, Bob McGuire – Paso Bob, from California.

June 5, Brenda Green – Velvet, from Nova Scotia, Canada.

June 7, Arcy Richardson – Cougar, from California.

June 13, Ed Collins – Mister Ed, from Tennessee.

June 18, Carla Thompson – Texas Red, from Texas.

June 25, Terry Scott – Terry, from Florida.

June 28, Kayla Elise – Kayla.Elise, from North Carolina.

June 29, Mark Dew – Piano Bar, from Missouri.

June 29, Ron Nurse – Ron Nurse, from London, 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:



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 June! 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. So, without further ado:

Congratulations to Ed Collins for becoming our June Member of the Month!


On behalf of the board and the membership of Out-Of-Sight, we appreciate all you have done for the site over the past 5 plus years: serving on the board and supporting the site with your participation in the games and chat rooms.

You are a true Christian gentleman and your pleasant personality makes it a joy to be around you.  So congratulations to a well-deserving choice for member of the month.  Thanks so much for all you have done!  Now, here is Karens article!


Ed, from Tennessee, also known as Mister Ed, is our Member of the Month for June. Ed has been with Out-Of-Sight since its beginning. He served on the                                      board for the first three years, in order to help with its establishment. Then, after three years, he stepped down to allow someone new to have a chance on the board. 


Ed lost his sight after becoming injured while serving in the Vietnam War. Like most people who are faced with a major loss, it was difficult for him. But, when he realized how fortunate he was compared to other soldiers he decided to persevere, and persevere he did!


For 35 years Ed managed and worked on his farm. He had such crops as corn and tobacco, and he raised cattle. Now, the farm is more of an enjoyment for him and his family. His (2 legged) family includes a wife of nearly 44 years, 2 daughters, and 2 granddaughters. His animal family consists of some calves and chickens, and a horse that was born on the farm 21 years ago, named Princess.


Ed enjoys participating in many games. He says that it keeps his mind active, he learns new things, and it is fun playing. He really likes the games that involve words and thinking.


Ed lives in a rural part of Tennessee, and says that when he logs onto Out-Of-Sight it is like bringing the world into his living room. He is able to meet people from all around the world, and he can interact and learn from them. To sum it up in Eds words, quote It has been a blessing! End quote.

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


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

Event of the Month


By Charles Rivard


The concept of this game is simple.  Each player, in turn, builds on words.  Player 1 says a letter of the alphabet.  Player 2 thinks of a word that starts with the previously given letter, and says the second letter of that word.  Player 3 says the third letter of a word that starts with the other two, and so on.  The object is to not say the last letter of a word.  If you do say the last letter of a word, you are given a letter of G, H, O, S, and, finally, T.  If you get a T, you are out of the game.  The game continues until only one player has not gotten the T of GHOST., and that player is the winner.  When it is your turn, you have 30 seconds to come up with a letter.  Words must be 3 letters or longer, no proper names are allowed.  If you do not think that the last player said a letter that is part of a legitimate word, you can challenge that player.  If that player did come up with a correct word, you get the next letter of GHOST.  If the challenged player is wrong, they receive the next letter of GHOST.  Its all a matter of outwitting the other players using your vocabulary and spelling ability within a 30 second time limit.  Its a fun little word game that anyone can play, and you are cordially invited to join in on the fun every week on Saturdays at 5:00 PM eastern, in the Game Zone. Come on in for this competitive game!


The Book Shelf

Do you love to curl up with a good book?  Been meaning to read that best seller?  Here are three of our book club selections.  They are to be read for our next book club meeting, which will be held, Friday, June 21, at 8:00 PM eastern, in the Library.  See you there!


Book #1:  Agent X


Author:  Noah Boyd

Reading Time:  14 hours, 18 minutes

Read by Ray Childs

Suspense Fiction

The FBI turns again to former agent, Steve Vail, from the Bricklayer.  A Russian selling the names of American traitors is called home before agency can get the list. Vail and Assistant Director Kate Bannon, his on and off again lover, race to identify the turncoats. Violence and strong language.  2011. 

Book #2:  Raising the Past

Publication Date:  September 1, 2006

Author:  Jeremy Robinson

From the Ice. A Mammoth, flash frozen in solid ice, 10,000 years ago is brought to the surface by a team of scientists.  An act of sabotage frees the giant from its icy tomb, and reveals the secret held inside.       


Book #3:  The Safe Man

Published for the first time under his own name, a dark and haunting story from number 1 New York Times Bestselling author Michael Connelly, like his father before him, Brian Holloway is a safe man.  That is, his specialty is opening safes.  Every job is a little mystery, and he has yet to encounter a lock he cannot break, or a box he cannot crack.  But, the day Holloway gets called in to open a rare, antique safe in a famous authors library, his skills open a door that should have remained closed.

On Your Own

Braille Pen Pal Club

By Karen Santiago

As a blind or visually impaired person, it is important to learn Braille to Be fully independent in both reading and writing. If you have not learned Braille yet, it is not too late. The Hadley School for the Blind offers all the Braille courses you need to learn, and at your own pace.

This leads me to the idea of hosting a Braille Pen Pal club. This will help new Braille users develop better reading and writing skills. Experienced Braille users can either be pared up with a new user or with someone with similar interest. This is how it will work:

Send me an email at:


·        with your level of Braille (contracted/uncontracted)

·        Include your interests.

·        Include any preferences you would like.  Then, I will try and match people with similar interest and level of Braille, unless otherwise stated. Contact me at the same email if you have any questions or need more information.

If you have a question about this section or would like a specific topic covered, please email us at:


Dog Gone It


This is not a Vacation

By Charles Rivard


A lot of people think that training with a dog guide is a fun vacation, but it is not.  Sure, you are going to go through some fun experiences during your training, but there is no doubt about the fact that this is work!


Lets see:  We left off last month after you have just taken your first exhilarating walk with your dog!  You go back to where all the other students are waiting as everyone goes on that first walk you have just experienced!  You go back to the school on a bus and relieve your dog, then give the puppy some water.  Then, it is your lunch time in the dining room.  A staff member might join you and 3 dorm mates, and your dogs who are lying at your side.  Then you get washed up and go for another workout in the afternoon.  After that, you go back to the dorm, relieve and water your dog, and then feed the dog.  After a short rest, it is dinner time.  Speaking of which, the food is excellent, and you can usually get second helpings if you want them and if there is time.  Then, in the evening, everyone gathers in a large room in the dorm for a lecture along with questions and answers about what you are going to do tomorrow and the techniques of doing them.  Usually, this is from 7:00 to 8:00 PM or so.  After that, you have time to groom your dog, then take them out for another relieve.  By the way, a relieve, if you do not know, is taking the dog out to go to the bathroom, which you also dispose of using a little plastic bag.  Bedtime is at 10:00 PM, or at least, you have to be quiet after 10:00, so that others can get sleep if they choose.  Maybe not after the first day, due to excitement, but you will appreciate this later during training.


At 6:00 AM the next morning, it is time to get up, relieve your dog, water your dog, and then get ready for breakfast at 7:00 AM.  At 8:00 AM, you start, as a class, learning to give your guide obedience training.  It is the same that I mentioned in a previous article, but now you are training your own guide.  At 9:00 AM, you head for town for the morning workout, after again relieving the dog.  You get back to the dorm some time between 11:30 AM and noon, at which time you again relieve and water your guide, then head for lunch.  The rest of the day is the same as before.  This is the daily schedule for the next 2 weeks of training, 6 days a week.  On Sunday, you have no workouts, and this is the time to catch up on laundry or whatever else you have to do.


At least twice during the 2 week training, you will have a third workout; this one is after dinner in place of the lecture.  Things look different to a dog at night, and that is the purpose of these workouts.  They usually consist of a route that becomes familiar to you during the day.  Routes are planned for you for at least the first full week, and you walk along with an instructor who will critique you and your dog, although they will not correct your dog.  That is up to you, while under their watchful eyes.  During part of the last week, you choose your own route, and how to get from the downtown lounge to a shop you want to buy from, or somewhere you want to visit.  Instructors watch from a distance as you traverse these, and are there if you need their help, but for the most part, you are on your own, using your dog to get from place to place.  The instructor meets you at either your destination or back at the downtown lounge after your workout and you discuss your experience.  At least twice during your training, you will go into the town of San Francisco for your workouts.  You might go to tourist attractions, ride a city bus or an electric computer operated train, sort of like a subway train.  You work your dog on an escalator and through a revolving door, on flights of stairs and you use an elevator.  You experience going through security at a major airport.  You also get the experience of walking through a major redwood forest with your dog.  Also, during your training, you will be tested as to what to do if a car comes at you as you cross streets, as you cross driveways, and other situations.  The car is being driven by an instructor, and there is another instructor walking with you as you work this route with, shall we say, unexpected surprises for both you and your dog.  On this workout, you are shown that you really can trust your dog to get you through these situations.


The last workout, or test, is that you are dropped off somewhere, you do not know where, and you all meet back at the downtown lounge, if you can get there.  You have to find out where you are and then work your way to the destination.  It might be a familiar street corner, or it might not be.  Using your mobility skills and your now trusted dog, you get to where you need to be.  Asking someone on the street for information is perfectly OK.  Ah.  It might be one of your instructors disguising their voice!  All through training, distractions are presented to the dog and you, and you learn to deal with them.  Some are planned, others are not.


On the last Saturday you are at the school, it is a big day!  Graduation!!  The person or family that raised your guide from when they were a puppy usually, if possible, comes to the school.  Your dog will remember them, and it is an emotional time for all.  You spend time with them and ask questions that you might have about what the dog likes at home in the way of play toys, how they like to play, and their family life as a puppy, their quirks, likes and dislikes, all kinds of questions.  They tell you about your nutty guides experiences as a puppy.  Then, you all go to the dining room for lunch.  After that, at 1:00 PM, everyone goes out to the outdoor area where graduation is held.  Sponsors, friends and families, staff, and just about anyone attends.  Speeches are given by instructors and school staff.  Oh, I forgot to mention that you do not have your dog at this time.  Your puppy raiser has the dog.  When your name is called, you step up to the mike and say a few words of your choice, and are officially handed the dog on a leash from the puppy raiser.  After everyone has graduated, as a class, you head back inside for some light refreshments if time allows.  Then, or some time the next day, you get on a bus and head for the San Francisco airport, headed home with your new partner in pedestrianism!


So, as I say, it may seem like a vacation, and, although there is a lot of fun during your training, there is also a lot of work, too!


In My Opinion

A Good Time to be blind

By Phil Parr


I suppose I should start by explaining the tidal of this little peace.    Its a great time to be blind. What I mean is, if one is inevitably with out the use of sight, this is a challenging and exciting period. I approach this subject with much experience as I was born blind in October 19 40 with no hope of ever seeing. A person with the use of sight might think, what a hard life you must have had. The older I become the more I realize, in most part my life has been about like every one else born middle class. As a teenager I was afraid of the big bad world, found a job I hated, finely began to realize some of my dreams with jobs I loved. I married, raised a couple of children, had my 15 minutes of fame, got a mid life Divorce, helped guide and support grand children and so forth. There were times when I was young and stupid I did not know where from or if my next meal was coming from, or, whether I could pay the rent. Well, somehow the bills got paid and I have not missed two many meals. I am not saying all blind persons are as fortunate as me; many still struggle each day just to keep body and sole alive. There is still much disinformation and discrimination concerning blindness and, there probably always will be. I can only hope articles like this will further understanding about the inconvenience of being without use of your eyes.



Whether we understand them,   approve or are even aware of it or not, todays world is run by computers. Fortunately for me my Wife has embraced the technology since the early eighties. In eighty seven or their about I was doing a late night rock and role show on the radio. She put all the collection on a very primitive by todays standards computer and could tell me where to find songs when someone wanted a specific recording. We took requests only on Friday night and she would sit with me and tell where to find the special tune. I remember thinking: it sure would be nice if I could do this my self, well, now I can. I think my first inkling that the times, they were a changing came one early Saturday morning in the late eighties when a blind friend called and told me about a talking watch sold by a certain  electronics chain store. I woke my wife up and said, we need to go to the mall right now. A couple of years later I began hearing about these things called screen readers that would read the screen of a computer so a blind person could make use of it. It was not until 1997 that I took the plunge in to this new world however. At that time not only did you need a computer but you also needed a screen reader and an additional speech engine to make it talk. The price of my first very primitive computer setup was around forty five hundred dollars. I was lucky in that I was able to come up with the price but, this put computer technology out of the reach of most blind individuals. Screen readers have just begun to decline in price and, now, they come with a speech engine. As we all know, computers are much more affordable now so, most blind persons who want one have them. Of course these talking screen readers cant do much with pictures yet but at reading text they work very well. This is quite important to blind folks because I have access to the same information as my sighted friends. I can now easily read an encyclopedia, dictionary, or any article posted on line. A few years ago the National Federation of the Blind initiated a service by witch daily newspapers could be searched and red free by blind persons over the phone from almost anywhere in the country. This service has morphed to include over three hundred papers plus several magazines offering many different points of view. This means, if my sighted wife reads something she thinks I might be interested in instead of her reading it to me, I can go find the article and read it at my leisure. Most of you having never been without sight probably cannot understand how empowering this is to a totally blind individual. As a child, it is a freedom I would have never believed I could have.


Cell phones:

I am a gadget guy, so, I bought myself a cell phone in 1992 when they first came along.  It was enormous compared to todays little phones, but I could make calls if I stayed in a certain area and did not talk to long. Up until about 2004 as phones got progressively smaller still, all I could do as a blind person was make and receive calls. Even then, I had to have the number I was calling memorized or I was just out of luck. With my little cell phone now I can do almost anything you can. Like look up a number in my phone book, check my calendar for today, record reminders and set the time and date. With the new touch screen blind friendly phones I can listen to videos on You Tube, or My Space, maybe the radio or weather, and, serf the internet if I choose.


I like to read:

Most of you assume all blind people reed Brail as a matter of course. I have interviewed many blind persons on my radio shows and most successful blind people are to some extent good Brail readers and writers. Most of us are like me, either having poor Brail or in my case, almost non existent Brail skills. Since sometime in the nineteen thirties there have been what are called talking books and books read for the blind. For many years they were on records or vinyl disks that were large and cumbersome to send thru the mail and store. Then, along came cassettes and books plus teaching material for the blind was recorded on them up until very recently. Today I have a small device about the size of a deck of cards with which I can store many hundreds of books and other material depending on the size of my SD card. For pleasure reading I visit the National Library Service home page and choose from close to twenty thousand books and, the list is growing every day. For educational material I would serf on over to the Learning Ally, (Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic) web sight and brows their collection. I also read recently the company who distributes one of the leading portable book readers is developing a screen reader for their product.


More blind friendly things:

I have a talking measuring tape, a talking level, talking thermometers of all kinds, and yes, I can way on my talking scale and find out, well, you get the drift.  Recently one of the leading north eastern Universities programmed a computer that piloted a car from coast to coast with very little human intervention. Hay, want to go for a ride with a blind person? I could not leave this little peace with out mentioning the bionic eye, that as I understand things, is, just over the horizon.    As of this writing I am 68 years old and, discovering each day things that make life easier and more fun for blind people. It is a great time to be blind in my opinion.


My Visit with Carol Platt

By Paul Smith


Wednesday morning, May 22, 2013 here in Baltimore was a morning that was sunny and in the low seventies as I embarked on the first stage of a journey that, with train connections through Philadelphia, eventually brought me to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the humble dwelling place of my good friend, Carol Platt at about 8 p.m.  After arriving there via the Pittsburgh paratransit system, Carol had a simple meal of sandwiches.  I do not know if she had any dessert or not, but there were plenty of drinks to go around of a nonalcoholic variety.  After supper and a time of pleasant conversation between the two of us, I went downstairs to her guest chambers and, after unpacking my suitcases, crawled into a very comfortable bed.


Thursday, May 23, dawned clear and a little cool for this time of May.  I might add here that Carol and I had coffee together before breakfast, as we did for all the days of our visit.  The time on this day was spent mostly in her house and on her property conversing about common issues of interest to both of us.  That evening Carol got out a new grill, one that she had recently bought, and on her backyard patio, we had Kielbasa Polish sausage, eggplant, summer squash and maybe one or two other things.  We literally ate in the rain, but fortunately her patio, or rather that part of her backyard, was covered.  And not only that, but it also thundered quite loud a few times.  Talk about noise! Wish one of us had recorded it to put in the newsletter as an attached audio file.  Nonetheless, despite everything, it was a pleasant evening.  Also during the day Carols home helper, Kelly, came by, read her mail and went to the grocery store to pick up items that Carol would need in a few days.


The only thing of significance for Friday was lunch at a local restaurant in the borough where Carol lives called Jodi Bs.  We both ordered lasagna which came in two huge portions.  Carol could not finish hers, so guess who ate the remainder of her portion?


Saturday the only thing of significance was a trip to Jerrys, a local steakhouse in her immediate neighborhood that evening, which was very good, both foodwise and servicewise.


Sunday was again a day of just lazing around and talking, at least that is my recollection.  Carols memory might be better on this one.


On Monday Carol had a backyard picnic, to which she had invited 15 people, but two could not make it, and one almost did not because the local Paratransit system in Pittsburgh left this particular lady downtown, but eventually she arrived.  Carol had quite a variety of things that she cooked on the grill including:  hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, chicken, hot sausages (really not too hot in my opinion) and baked beans.  Carol really appreciated the help of one of the guests, Jim by name, who helped her with the grill, which, I might add, she really likes.  Desserts were no slouch either as Carol had watermelon, cantaloupe, brownies, strawberry pie, apple pie and lemon meringue pie.  She also had a lemon cake, but that was not used, so she froze it to take to a picnic today, June 1.  As the old expression has it, A good time was had by all. And yes, there were also a variety of drinks including Root Beer, Cream Soda, Pepsi, Cherry Coke (I think) and good old-fashioned water.  Following the eating of food, Jim Davis, one of the guests, his lovely wife Linda and I made music in Carols front room, and all enjoyed the musical entertainment.


Now we come to the last full day of my visit, Tuesday, May 28.  We were planning to go on a Ducky Tour of the Pittsburgh downtown and waterfront, but again Paratransit threw us a monkey wrench, so to speak, and we could not take the tour.  A ducky,  by the way, is a vehicle that can travel on both land and water.  Carol said several times that she was sorry that we could not do that, but I told her that just being with her was good enough for me.


And finally we come to May 29, the morning when I had to depart her pleasant company.  The train left at 7:30 a.m. and, after connections once again through Philadelphia for the train to Baltimore, plus a taxi ride home, I arrived at about 6:50 p.m.


I hope that this gives you, the readers, a sense of my trip to Ms. Platts house.  I know that she enjoyed my visit, just as I enjoyed sharing a piece of my life with her.


Flick, Swipe, and Tap

Two cool Apps for your iPhone!

By Charles Rivard


There are tons of apps for the iDevices that you might not think would be of use, and there are others that are just plain fun.  Here is one of each:


Light Detector:

Look for this little app in the iTunes store.  The name is just what the app is.  Why would you need one if you are blind?  These scenarios will answer that question:


1.  The outside light bulbs burned out and you do not know it because you cannot see the light.  Use this app to check them out.  This also applies to the inside lights.


2.  You have had guests in the house.  Sighted people quite often have the bad habit of leaving the lights turned on whether they are in the room or not.  They have left your house.  They left the lights on.  Some older houses have 2 light switches for the same light.  Either one turns it on.  Rather than going all through the house checking all light switches, look for the light with this light detector.


3.  Is that electronic device on?  By pressing the button on your battery charger, you cannot tell.  Use the Light Probe.


Not a bad idea for $0.99, is it?


Now, if you are into chess, as I am, you must get this app for your idevice.  Look in the iTunes Store for Shredder Chess!  It costs $7.99.  It is probably the worlds strongest chess computer programs, and has won 12 computer championships in a row.  Fully Voice-Over, it has skill ranges from an ELO rating of from 850 (beginner) to 2,600 (grand master). It comes with 1,000 puzzles to evaluate your chess skills.  With the given board position, what is the best move?  You get points based on whether you solve the puzzle or not.  Another great feature is that you can set the app to adjust its playing strength to your.  If you win, it plays better the next time.  At the end of each game, it tells you your estimated rating and what rating it will play at the next time you play.  If it beats you, it will play at a lower skill level during your next game.  You can explore the board, and it will tell you where each piece is, and you can make your move by double tapping the piece you want to move and then double tap on the square you want to move to.  Shredder Chess will make its move almost immediately.  After having this app since May 13, starting from the lowest rating of 850, my rating is now at about 1,450.  This is at an advanced player skill level.  Hmm.  I did not think I was that good!  This app is well worth the money.  I have other chess computers, and have not tried a game computer against computer, but I already think I know why this app is Shredder:  because you can also set the style of play anywhere from a passive player to an aggressive player, and there certainly is a difference between the settings!  In the passive mode, it will lay back, waiting for you to make a mistake.  On the aggressive mode, it is out for blood!


Reflections of Life with Usher Syndrome

Reprinted from Eye on the Cure

By Moira M. Shea


When I was 15, I was diagnosed with Usher syndrome, the leading cause of deaf-blindness in the United States. Although I had hearing aids since kindergarten, and could never see in dark places, it was not until I started to trip over things in broad daylight that my parents became truly concerned.
Living in the Philippines at the time, we drove to Clark Air Force Base, where the doctor gave the tentative diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa. I then went back to the United States with Dad - a retired New York City police detective working in security abroad - and the doctors gave the no-doubts confirmation of Usher syndrome. My parents were devastated.
I do not know if it was denial as a form of coping, but I was determined to live my life to the fullest. With support from my parents and close friends, I learned to constantly adapt to different countries, cultures, religions, schools and languages. It made me resilient and tenacious. I returned with my family to the States in the early 1970s, when the RP Foundation was just getting started. My parents became strong advocates for what is now the Foundation Fighting Blindness while searching the world for a cure. Meanwhile, I entered my third high school, where the students thought I was aloof because I could not see or hear many of their greetings. In college, I earned a joint bachelors degree in international relations and economics, and then began working for the federal government. My parents encouraged me to do so, as this was before enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and they worried about job security. But what I struggled with most was the uncertainty of when I would lose my vision. During meetings, my mind wandering, I would ask myself questions like: do I renew the newspaper subscription for a year or six months? Then I lost both of my parents at a relatively young age. Shortly before my dad died, I promised him I would be OK. I have tried to live up to that promise ever since. In my late thirties, I made one of the hardest, and best, decisions of my life: I got a guide dog. His name was Beau, and he renewed my sense of independence. No longer did I bump into people or objects. We even made history together when, in 1997, we were denied access to the Senate floor. My boss, Senator Ron Wyden, claimed this was a violation of the intent of the ADA. A public outcry and national headlines ensued, and, thanks to a rule change, Beau and I soon found ourselves on the Senate floor. In my forties, I married a wonderful man who encouraged me to go back to school. A couple years later, I exited Harvard University with a masters degree in public administration, another dream come true. But then I rapidly lost the remainder of my vision. During a tour of Glacier National Park, I realized I could no longer see and found myself crying, grieving for my loss. Work became a struggle, and I suffered from anxiety and depression. But, eventually, that passed, as I tallied the things I can be thankful for - a loving husband, great friends, a trustworthy guide dog and good health. Another is my ongoing involvement with FFB. Now on its board of directors, I see the inroads being made into research - gene therapy, retinal chips, stem cell technology and more. I believe, however, that without additional federal funding for Usher syndrome and other retinal diseases, finding cures will be delayed. I encourage everyone to contact their representatives in Congress and let them know that federal funding for medical research should be a priority. And if you have a retinal disease, empower yourself. Take advantage of tools such as a cane, a guide dog and the latest assistive technologies. Stay ahead of the continuous cycle of lost vision by getting orientation and mobility training, even before you need it. And whenever you find yourself thinking: I cannot do this, do it. The challenges never end. Last year, I had the opportunity to travel to Dubai on business, which, because of the long flight, I had to do without my current dog guide, Finnegan. As fearful as I was, I knew that if I did not go, I would close the door on a great experience - my first visit to the Middle East. So with a cane, and relying on strangers, I successfully navigated the trip, from beginning to end.


About the Author:

Moira M. Shea recently retired from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she was a senior policy analyst in the office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. Previously, she held a number of government posts, including Congressional aid and as an economist specializing in international trade and technology development. She has been involved with the Foundation Fighting Blindness since 1980, and is currently a member of its board of directors. Moira also serves on the Board of Directors for the Coalition for Usher Syndrome Research.


Healthy Choice, Healthy Living

Healthy Eating

By Lawrence MacLellan


This month, I would like to talk about nutrition. They say, we are what we eat, and there is a lot of truth to that.  There is also information that indicates that we can turn on and off genes based on our diet, and so I would like to go through some ideas to promote a common sense approach to making healthy choices.

1. What you hate to give up the most usually causes the most problems. So, if you   are having any health problems, look at the items in your diet that you hate to give up the most.  Most likely, these will be sugar, carbohydrates, coffee, junk food, etc.

Try to eat smaller meals more often. This will help digest your food much better.

2. Eat food that nature has provided. Try to incorporate more nuts, berries, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

3. Remember to wash your fruit and vegetables. Many are covered with chemicals and pesticides.

4. If possible, purchase your fruits, vegetables, and other organic foods from a local farmer.

5. Stop eating when you are satisfied, not full. Most of us eat more than we need, in order to feel satisfied. 

6. Chew your food well. Most of us eat too quickly at times. 

7. Its not a bad idea to take a multivitamin each day. Add in a little Calcium Magnesium, Fish Oil, and Vitamin D3 as well.

8. Good elimination: one or two bowel movements a day. 

In conclusion, you are the best judge of what is going on with your health. When you make healthy choices, how do you feel?  Do you have more energy? Are you sleeping better?  Thinking more clearly?  Your health is your responsibility, so start making a difference, one healthy choice at a time.

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


Each month, an MP3 of this section will be available, so that you may keep an audio reference of the advice given by Lawrence in this section.  Here is the download link: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4208173/03%20Healthy%20Eating.mp3


Blockbuster Buzz

Upcoming Movies with Audio Description

By Kate Dolosa


After Earth, Release Date: June 07

The Internship, Release Date:  June 07

Superman: Man of Steel, Release Date:  June 13

Man of Steel, Release Date:  June 14

This Is the End, Release Date:  June 14

Monsters University, Release Date:  June 21

The Heat, Release Date:  June 28

Kick-Ass 2, Release Date:  June 28

R.I.P.D., Release Date:  June 28

White House Down, Release Date:  June 28

For movie theaters with Descriptive Video Service near you and Show times, please visit:


The Recipe Box

Sicilian Pan Roasted Chicken Breasts

By Suzy Barnes

Serves 4


Good tasting Extra Virgin Olive Oil

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Generous pinch of red pepper flakes

4 big cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped

1 small, to medium red onion, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon dry Oregano

6 pitted Kalamata black olives, coarsely chopped

    1/4 cup dry white wine, optional

1 can, 14 ounces, diced tomatoes, partially drained

10 fresh Basil leaves, torn



1. Film a 12 inch straight sided, heavy sauté pan with olive oil then heat, using a medium high temperature. Slip the chicken into the pan, but Do not let the pieces touch. Sprinkle with salt and the two peppers. Quickly sear on both sides until  lightly browned, (about 1 minute per side).


 2. With a flat ended wood spatula, stir in the garlic, onion, oregano,  olives, and wine, if using. Reduce heat so pan liquid barely bubbles.  Cover tightly. Cook 12 minutes (turning chicken once), or until chicken is firm when pressed. Remove chicken to a plate to rest for 8 to 10 minutes.

 3. Increase the heat to medium high. Simmer down pan juices, stirring, for 30 seconds, or until syrupy. Blend in tomatoes. Boil rapidly to thicken the sauce. Taste for seasoning, then stir in basil. To serve, spread a  little of the sauce in the center of individual dinner plates. Top with chicken and spoon the rest of the sauce over them.

Helpful Hints:

1. The key to tender, juicy, lean cuts like chicken breasts is a fast high heat sear to lightly brown both sides. This gives us that satisfying taste of caramelization. Then you do the real cooking very slowly over low heat. This keeps lean cuts like chicken breasts juicy. The last important step is to let them rest at room temperature 8 to 10 minutes. This assures you lots of juice and tenderness.


 2. Use good-tasting, organic canned tomatoes packed in juice (not puree). You do not want puree because often low grade tomato paste is used to thicken purees, which can ruin your cooking with nasty metallic flavors.


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 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. 


Dear Betty Blunt,


This is a very embarrassing question, and I hope you do not laugh, but how does one deal with flatulence in old age?


Wendy Northwood

San Diego, CA


Dear Miss Tooty Fruity,


It is no secret that everyone has flatulence but, it is definitely more apparent when you are old enough to enter the Golden Buffet dinner line at 4pm.  So, how do you make it disappear you ask?  Hey, I am not Houdini!  Easiest thing to do is either to pretend it was not you and blame it on the much, much older person near you or if there is sound, just make coughing sounds to distract others.  If all else fails, blame it on the nearest hard-working guide dog. Believe me we all have smelled our share of gassy dogs over the years.  Trickery could just help solve this first world problem.  




Think Tank

By Charles Rivard and Mike


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 Mohit Singla, Lee Smiley, and Roger Khouri for answering both brain teasers correctly!


Applause also goes out to Charlie Richardson for figuring out the first brain teaser!   


Here is the May brain teasers and their answers:

1.      If you are in a dark room with a candle, a wood stove, and a gas lamp, and you only have one match, what do you light first?

Answer:  The match

2.      An ameba reproduces by splitting in half, becoming 2.  They divide in the same manner, each growing another half to make those 2 into 4.  Those 4 become 8, and so on.  This happens once an hour.  It will take 354 days to fill a 5 gallon tank with ameba.  How long will it take to fill a 20-gallon tank?

Answer:  354 days and 2 hours

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


1. How many bricks does it take to complete a building?


2. Interesting word play:

The words record and record are spelled the same but sound different, and they have different meanings.  Example:  Go into a music studio and record a record. Now, think of 2 4-letter words, one capitalized and one not.  One word is pronounced with the first letter being silent, and the first letter of the second word is not silent.  The 2 words are spelled the same but have different meanings.  What are they?

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 July newsletter. Have fun trying to solve these puzzles!


Did You Know?

Hen Pecked

By Katie Chandler


Biologist W.C. Allee gained fame when he discovered the pecking order of hens, and the female habit of using her beak as a weapon among other females. The hens never peck the male roosters.  And yet the term today is often referred to represent the verbal attacks females put upon males.  Go figure!


Words to Live By

Submitted by Karen Santiago and Katie Chandler


Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

John F. Kennedy


Fatherhood is pretending the present you love the most is soap on a rope.

Bill Cosby


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!

Oosabells List


No, this is not Craigs 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:



  • 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.  


  • Hello folks.  This is Paul from Baltimore wondering that, if anyone who receives this publication is going to be at the PA Lions Beacon Lodge Camp this year from July 6-16.

If you will be there please contact me, as I do not necessarily wish to be in a place with total strangers.  Contact me privately at:


      Thanks in advance for any contacts.



  • On Monday, April 29, a new game for the blind became available called Change Reaction.  For users of Windows PCs, check out: 


The object of the game is to clear all coins off the board.  There are 9 columns of 13 coins each.  Denominations are penny, nickel, dime, quarter, and dollar.


How to play:  You are given a coin at random to toss onto a column.  If there are 3 coins of matching denomination across or vertically, all coins of that denomination explode and disappear.  When you clear a row, the total is added to your score.


There are 3 different games and 3 difficulty settings.  The game is a race against the clock to attain the highest score.  No screen reader is needed.  The game is self voicing and works on any Windows platform including Windows 8. Check the URL above for more details.


  • Braille Drawing Webinar from Hadley:


This is Karen, and I am co-hosting on Wednesday, June 19 at 11:00 AM Eastern Time

This is all about making pictures using either a brailler or a slate and stylus, so come on in.


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.


Or, write a blank email to:


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!


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 to




Debi Chatfield



Catch the vision--it is Out of Sight!