The Blind Perspective: November 2017

The Blind Perspective: November 2017

Welcome to The Blind Perspective

November 2017
Volume 3 Issue 11
Table of Contents
Greetings from the Editor
Movers & Shakers
International Perspective
Exercise, does a body good
Have I Got A Story For You
The Braille Highway
Kaleidoscope of Krafts
Spencer’s Spotlight
APPetizers: Byte Size Tidbits to Help Master Your iDevice
the Rotating Trio: WindBag
Cooking Concoctions
Riddle & Brain Buster
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Greetings from the Editor
By Karen Santiago
It’s November already? Wow, time just seems to be flying by for me! I am once again reaching out to our international readers. I do not have anyone lined up for the International Perspective segment beginning in January 2018. Therefore, if you would like to be interviewed, I can write up the article for you. Otherwise, you can go ahead and write it up yourself, and if you need some assistance, Ican help with that. Here are just a handful of countries we have not yet covered; Italy, Belgium, Poland, Switzerland, Chile, Argentina, and I know there are many many others. If you are interested or have questions just send me an email at:
Calling all readers! Your input is very important to all of our authors at The Blind Perspective. Here are somethings we would love to know from you:
*likes & dislikes
*suggestions, topics, ideas
*referrals for articles, companies and/or individuals to interview
*your opinion; good, bad, or indifferent
Here is some information for our UK readers:
Welcome to Fuss Free Phones, a new mobile phone service. Fuss Free Phones is a mobile network operating nationally on O2. We provide a telephonist service for blind and partially sighted people to help with phone calls, texts and in accessing information from the Internet. Pushing the big button on the back of your phone gets you through to a real person, in the UK, who has your list of contacts in front of them. From there they can put you through, send a text or provide concierge type services. We’re a lifeline for people who can’t see the phone.
We are competitively priced at £20 a month for a package of minutes and texts, 24/7 access to the telephonist service and no nuisance calls. And we can offer zero-rate VAT for disabled customers.
We’re working alongside the RNIB and have some fantastic stories of how we’re helping blind and partially sighted people communicate every day.
Please visit our new website at:”>
See for yourself how we can help.
Editor’s note: Be sure to check out the Movers & Shakers article as you will receive a $5.00 discount if you mention The Blind Perspective, and just in time for the holiday season!
At A Glance: Arizona, Speak To Me, Chest & Back, Books, Donna, Carousel, Uber, Making a Call, Home Movie Theater, quick & Healthy Breakfasts, Riddle & Brain Buster!
Movers & Shakers
By Karen Santiago
I recently had a delightful interview with Denise Russell, founder and owner of Speak to Me Catalog. In 1994, Denise’s younger son was starting school, and she wanted to remain a stay at home mom, and work as well. She had been studying and learning about mail orders for the previous two years. So she decided to take the plunge and start a business.
She came up with Speak to Me because in her investigation of catalogs, there were none that specialized solely in talking or musical items. As a visually impaired person herself, Denise needed products that talked to her., and this is how the idea was formed.
In the early stages of finding the right products, Denise would attend trade shows. Unfortunately, other people would diminish her business, stating it was just for blind customers, but that did not discourage Denise. Another source for finding products was going to the library and browsing through the card catalog. Now with the internet, Denise says things are so much easier in locating a variety of talking and musical products.
Denise says that the majority of her customers are sighted, about 75 percent. Although the blind community is a small percentage, they are very active. She added that it is much easier to convert a blind person to become an active customer, than a sighted person. Denise has customers who have been with her since the launching of her business. In fact, some of these people seek out products that they think Denise may be interested in adding to the catalog. Quite frequently, customers reach out to Denise when looking for that hard to find, need it, or want it talking or musical product, and Denise is happy to help.
When Denise first started, she had only 20 items listed on her 5X8 black and white “catalog”, which were stored in her bedroom closet. My, has she grown over the years. Now, she has close to 500 items and her catalog is available via email, voice mail, and CD (which her son records). There is also a partially printed catalog which list tactical items, such as blood pressure monitors, thermometers, watches, and clocks to name a few. Denise has been in business for more than 20 years and was one of the first to offer an online shopping experience. And, like her tag line says, give the gift that says something!
Currently, the 7″ DVD Bluetooth Boombox is the most popular item. Enjoy all of your DVD movies anywhere on the built-in 7″ LCD screen! Relax with this portable device anywhere on the go! Features include: stream music wireless with Bluetooth, play CDs, MP3s, or AM/FM radio broadcasts, or play digital media from USB memory sticks or SD/SDHC memory cards, twin speakers with powerful full-range drivers, composite A/V output, headphone jack, 3.5mm AUX and microphone input, uses AC or DC power cord (included) or 8 “C” batteries (not included) and a convenient remote control. Unit measures 16 x 6 x 8 inches. If interested the catalog code is MX6DVD, and the price is 129 dollars and 95 cents.
With the holiday season soon upon us, the ornaments, stuffed animals, Santa’s, talking bibles, and many other products are now popular. If you want to purchase something as a gift for the holidays, be sure to place your order by December 18, in order to receive it in time. Speak to me products are shipped worldwide. Denise has extended a 5 dollar off coupon to the readers of The Blind perspective. Just mention this newsletter to receive your discount.
Denise decided on the name, Speak to Me because all of the products speak in some way or another. Her catalog is chockfull of items that talk, sing, play music, or can record a special message. You will be sure to find a unique practical talking item or a fun and wacky gift idea that adds that personal touch.
Choose from varieties of talking clocks, watches, singing magnets, key chains, teddy bears, greeting cards, music boxes, musical candles, calculators, stuffed animals, novelties, books on tape, radios, games, toys, talking thermometers, and digital recorders.
www.SpeakTo Me Catalog
(United States) 1-800-248-9965
(International) 425-235-6119
Mailing address:
Speak To Me Catalog
PMB 154
330 SW 43rd St Suite K
Renton WA 98057
International Perspective
Arizona, By Pamela Bortz & Karen Santiago
A bit about Arizona:
I live in Arizona where there is a multitude of climates, from dry desert winds to winter snows in Northern Arizona. The summers here range from 110-plus degrees in the deserts, where I live, to the 70s and 80s in Northern Arizona, including Flagstaff, a major city in that area. Winters in the desert Southwest range from highs in the 60s and 70s to lows in the upper 30s to the 40s; in the northern part of my state, many areas get snowfalls from several inches to a couple of feet.
We have a large tourism business in Arizona, particularly in the winter when many “snowbirds,” as we call them, come from northern climes to winter here in the deserts. We also have crops that grow year-round—cotton, a variety of fruits and vegetables, including oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and various offshoots of these—tangelos, for instance, a cross between the tangerine and the orange.
Arizona School for the Blind (ASB) is located in Tucson, on the campus of the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind (ASDB). This residential school provides educational services to students from preschool through high school. ASB places a high value on Braille, and has a long-term commitment to Braille for literacy and academic success.
Most students are mainstreamed into public schools. ASDB has five regional co-ops, Phoenix being one of them. Their goal is to provide appropriate educational programs and services for students who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, or deaf-blind.
Sports & Recreation:
Under the direction of the Arizona Disabled Sports (AZDS), there is the Arizona Heat Adaptive Sports Programs. The sports programs for individuals with physical disabilities are designed for athletes ages 6 through adulthood. Sports currently offered by Arizona Disabled Sports include archery, bowling, cycling, kayaking, power soccer, swimming, track & field, and wheelchair basketball.
Job Training & Assistive Technology:
There is job training through our state vocational rehabilitation agency as well as through such agencies as The Foundation for Blind Children, Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired (both in Phoenix) and via the Tucson Association for the Blind in Tucson, Arizona.
Arizona Technology Access Program (AZTAP) ; Connecting people with disabilities with the assistive technology they need to participate as fully as possible in activities that matter to them. AZTAP provides such services as technology demonstrations, short term loans of devices, low cost financial loans, training, and technical assistance.
I think that many of those who live or work with young people who are blind and visually impaired do encourage them to attend a college or university.
Through such agencies as The Foundation for Blind Children in Phoenix, those needing materials in alternative formats can get the materials that they need. Also, if students are already attending a college or university, they can get assistance through their offices for special needs or disabilities.
In Phoenix, we do have Dial-a-Ride and, as in many other cities, Phoenix and Tucson have services from Uber and Lyft.
There probably is a reduced fare, but I don’t use public transportation; I do believe that those using Phoenix’s bus system can get a reduced-cost pass in order to use the buses.
I, personally use the services of friends from church as well as, on occasion, someone who has started an Uber-style service as a fill-in-the-gap measure to get from one place to another. I usually let those on whom I depend for transportation know, as a courtesy, several days in advance that I need a ride.
Getting around:
We do have curb cuts in the sidewalks and tactile strips on the streets. Intersections are equipped with audible signals.
Braille is used in the public; elevator doors, doors of public buildings, and some restaurants do have their menus available in braille. You can also receive documents in braille if requested.
Guide Dog School:
Eye Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc. has been located in Phoenix since 1990. Their mission is to provide, at no charge, trained German Shepherd guide dogs to the blind and visually impaired for the enhancement of their safety and independence.
Blind individuals receive Federal SSI or SSDI depending on their situation.
I believe that Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired may assist with the purchase of assistive devices.
Reading service:
Arizona Talking Book Library; provides materials in alternate formats for all Arizona residents whose visual or physical disabilities prevent the reading of conventional print materials. Their lending library offers audio books, magazines, descriptive movies, and braille books and magazines by postage free mail or online download.
some blind or visually impaired people may also subscribe, like anyone else, to such services as
Blind Organizations:
*The Foundation for Blind Children: Serves the blind and visually impaired of all ages, from birth to currently 102 years old. As the only agency of its kind in Arizona, the Foundation for Blind Children is an essential community resource to families and children with blindness or low vision. Its three main programs are: Family & Infant, Educational, and Independence programs.
* Southern Arizona Association for the Visually Impaired (SAAVI): Since 1964, SAAVI have been working with blind and visually impaired people and serves over 2,000 blind and visually impaired clients per year. They provide a variety of training programs such as access technology, orientation & mobility, daily living, employment, and adaptive sports.
*Arizona Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired (ACBVI): Since 1947 ACBVI has been providing services for adult individuals. ACBVI offers a technology center, social recreation, support services, and rehab training.
*Chapters from both American Council of the Blind (ACB), and National Federation of the Blind (NFB).
Final Thoughts:
Pamela would like to see more extensive transportation here in Phoenix, convenient for all.
Exercise, does a body good
By Dan Kiely
Welcome back to exercise does a body good. I hope you enjoyed all the back stretching exercises in the previous article.
The holidays are now fast approaching, with good food and drinks at your fingertips, you know what that means. It means unwanted excess weight gain. To combat the weight gain, I recommend continuing with your exercise program. I will not tell you what you should or should not eat or drink, just consume things in moderation.
In this month’s article, I tackle how to strengthen the chest and back muscles.
Exercise for the chest.
The push up, yes, the devastating push up.
In my opinion, the push up is the #1 bodyweight exercise that you can do at home. No special equipment is required. The push up works Chest; the pectoralis muscles, Shoulders; the anterior and posterior deltoid muscles, and the back; the rhomboids, trapezius, and latissimus dorsi muscles.
Starting position: Top position of a push up
Place your hands on the floor, fingers pointing forward, and slightly shoulder width apart.
Toes should be on the floor, in a position that is comfortable for you; hip or wider width apart. Having your feet wider than hip width apart may give you more stability.
Keep your body straight and rigid; imagine a straight line going from the top of your head to the heels of your feet.
Bend your elbows and lower your chest until it touches the floor.
Raise your body back to the starting position, remember to keep your body straight.
How many push ups can you do? How many repetitions you do is up to you and your fitness level.
Modification: The Sissy Push Up
If you are not able to do a regular push up, then do the sissy push up.
Starting position is the same as a regular push up except that your knees will be on the floor, instead of your toes.
Again, remember to keep your body straight from the top of your head down to your knees.
Bend your elbows as you lower your chest down to touch the floor.
Return to starting position by pushing back up.
Eventually you will get stronger so you will be able to complete regular push ups.
Exercise for the back.
Exercise #1: One Arm Row.
this exercise works Back muscles; the rhomboids, trapezius, latissumus dorsi, the arms; such as the biceps, and the shoulder; the posterior deltoid.
To perform this exercise, you can use a weight bench, a chair, or a bed, and for resistant, a dumbbell or a can good.
Starting position: Place your right hand, knee and foot on the bench, knee should be at a 90-degree angle.
Your left foot is flat on the floor. Your left arm should be by your left side with either a dumbbell or can good in hand, with palm facing behind you.
Bend your torso so that it is parallel to the floor.
Begin pulling the weight up and slightly back, so that your elbow is a bit behind your back and at a 90-degree angle.
Lower your hand back towards the floor and repeat.
Switch sides, placing left hand, knee and foot on a bench.
Hold the weight in your right hand and bend your torso so its parallel to the floor.
begin the exercise as described above.
This movement is similar to starting a lawn mower.
Exercise #2: Superman.
This exercise works many muscles: rhomboids, trapezius, latissimus dorsi, lower back muscle, butt muscles; gluteus, and hamstring.
Starting position: Lie flat on the floor face down, with legs hips width apart.
Place your arms shoulder width apart, and point them straight ahead.
Your body should look like the letter X.
Simultaneously lift your legs and arms up.
Hold this position for a count of 3 and return to the starting position.
At the top position, you should resemble superman flying.
Try to do 20 reps.
This is an excellent upper and lower back, butt, and leg exercise.
Health tip:
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Well, how about a shot of apple cider vinegar a day?
*Lowers glucose levels
*Helps promote weight loss
*Suppresses appetite
*Helps to promote healthy bacteria in the body.
Well that will do it for this month. Remember, exercise does a body good!
Have I Got A Story For You
By Carla Jo Bratton
Greetings book lovers,
I have a lot I want to cover this month, so let’s get right to it!
We have lost a beloved narrator. Roy Dotrice, passed away this past week at the age of 94. He is known for narrating the Song of Ice and Fire series written by George R. R. Martin. I really enjoyed his work.
How to Find Love in a Book Shop
written by Veronica Henry
reading time: 9 hours and 50 minutes
The enchanting story of a bookshop, its grieving owner, a supportive literary community, and the extraordinary power of books to heal the heart.
Nightingale Books, nestled on the main street in an idyllic little village, is a dream come true for book lovers – a cozy haven and welcoming getaway for the literary-minded locals. But owner Emilia Nightingale is struggling to keep the shop open after her beloved father’s death, and the temptation to sell is getting stronger. The property developers are circling, yet Emilia’s loyal customers have become like family, and she can’t imagine breaking the promise she made to her father to keep the store alive.
There’s Sarah, owner of the stately Peasebrook Manor, who has used the bookshop as an escape in the past few years, but it now seems there’s a very specific reason for all those frequent visits. Next is roguish Jackson, who, after making a complete mess of his marriage, now looks to Emilia for advice on books for the son he misses so much. And the forever shy Thomasina, who runs a pop-up restaurant for two in her tiny cottage – she has a crush on a man she met in the cookbook section but can hardly dream of working up the courage to admit her true feelings.
Enter the world of Nightingale Books for a serving of romance, long-held secrets, and unexpected hopes for the future – and not just within the pages on the shelves. How to Find Love in a Bookshop is the delightful story of Emilia, the unforgettable cast of customers whose lives she has touched, and the books they all cherish.
My comments; I know, I know, this sounds like a total chick book. If you enjoy beautiful settings, very interesting characters, books, food, music and an intriguing story, you need to read this book.
Once again, the two books this month are written by new to me writers. I think this book is perfect for anyone. I also think it would make a wonderful book club selection. It just has a bit of everything in it.
The Clockwork Dynasty
written by Daniel H. Wilson
reading time 10 hours and 47 minutes
An epic, ingenious new thriller from the New York Times best-selling author of Robopocalypse, The Clockwork Dynasty weaves a riveting path through history and a race of humanlike machines that have been hiding among us for untold centuries.
In the rugged landscape of Eastern Oregon, a young scientist named June uncovers an exquisite artifact – a 300-year-old mechanical doll whose existence seems to validate her obsession with a harrowing story she was told by her grandfather many years earlier. The mechanical doll, June believes, is proof of a living race of automatons that walk undetected among us to this day. Ingeniously hidden inside the ancient doll is a lost message addressed to the court of Peter the Great, czar of Russia.
Russia, 1725: Peter and Elena, two humanlike mechanical beings, are brought to life under the watchful guise of Peter the Great. Their struggle to serve in the court of the czar while blending in and to survive amid those who fear and wish to annihilate them will take Peter and Elena across Russia, Europe, and, ultimately, the centuries, to the modern day.
The Clockwork Dynasty is Daniel H. Wilson’s masterful new novel. It seamlessly interweaves past and present, exploring a race of beings that live by different principles from humans but ultimately value loyalty. As June learns more about these beings, she is quickly drawn into a fierce battle that has spanned the centuries and will ultimately determine the survival or extermination of this ancient race. Richly drawn and heart pounding, Wilson’s novel expertly draws on his robotics and science background, combining exquisite characters with breathtaking technology – and unmatched action. The Clockwork Dynasty is a riveting breakout novel.
My comments: This one is a bit edgy, but totally believable. Everything in this one could happen. I loved it.
National Book Festival
Each year states choose a book to represent their state at the National Book Festival. These books are then featured in each state’s booth at the National Book Festival, which is sponsored by the Library of Congress and took place September 2, 2017 in Washington, D.C. The festival showcases the importance of books and reading. Check it out at The Library of Congress website to see the full list.
I was pleased to see that Texas had selected News of the World by Paulette Jiles, which is a book I had written about in a previous issue. I’m going to check out the list and see which books were picked to represent each state. Again, if you have any comments, book suggestions or interesting book tidbits, please write me at my address above.
Until December!
Happy reading,
Carla jo
The Braille Highway
By Nat Armeni
A very warm hello to you and happy November! I had a great opportunity to speak with Donna S., and I have many things to share with you in this month’s article. Remember, I always encourage you to email me your experiences, thoughts, and opinions, as I truly appreciate them.
Donna currently makes Brooklyn, New York her home and is obviously a braille enthusiast. She uses her good old braille writer, along with her Braille N Speak as her 2 main sources of braille. Donna learned braille initially on a braille writer and then later, on the slate and stylus.
Donna was born and raised in Jersey City. While in school, comparable to today’s preschool, she was taught braille in preparation for mainstreaming into the “regular” school system. Donna remembers her first two words she learned in braille; doll and cookie! Perhaps this was due to those two items being near and dear to her heart.
In her childhood days, Donna attended summer camp at Camp Marcella. That is where she was first introduced to the series; The Little House on The Prairie. One of her fondest memories about camp was the library. There was a room filled with braille books from floor to what seemed the ceiling, so many braille books! She retells how she and her friend, Debbie would go through all the books, finding the ones they would read in the two-week period at camp.
Donna mentioned a very heartwarming story about her father. He quit school in order to get a job to help out the family. He also took it upon himself to learn uncontracted braille so he could communicate with her. Donna continued by stating that she brailed him a letter while at camp, and all her friends were in awe that her father knew braille.
Donna considers herself fortunate that at the age of 21 she landed a secretarial job with the Treasury Internal Complaints Department. She stayed with that job right up until she retired. Donna would quickly braille phone numbers while the telephones would constantly ring, and she was the only one in the office.
Donna’s office was on the fourteenth floor in the Federal Building, and on the thirteenth floor worked former president Richard Nixon. When Donna was in her late twenties, in the early to mid-eighties, blindness organizations were circulating petitions around the country to make into law that braille numbers would be required on all elevators. After Donna got all her friends, family, and coworkers to sign the petition, she was determined to have former president Nixon sign it too. Well she went down to the thirteenth floor and spoke with a member of Richard Nixon’s secret service staff and explained the petition and asked if the former president would sign it.
The secret service agent told her that it sounded like a good cause, and asked her to leave the petition, and come back the following day. When Donna returned the next day, to her delight Richard Nixon, and several of the secret service members signed it as well. Donna proudly mailed the signed petition of to her contact in Texas.
After speaking with Donna, I can safely say that she has a very persuasive way about her. The proof is in the fact that she was able to get Richard Nixon to sign her petition. And, it was made into federal law in the United States. Just being silly, but in all seriousness, good on you Donna!
When I posed the question; why should braille be taught to children? Donna replied, “Society would frown on teachers who would not teach a sighted child to read print. Why should it be any different for a blind child?”
Donna also thought aloud, “Perhaps the teachers for the blind today are simply too lazy to learn braille in order to teach their students. So, that is maybe why some of them say that it is not important to learn braille or that braille is dying.”
I think that is an interesting theory.
Donna mentioned Xavier Society for the Blind who provides spiritual and religious materials to individuals throughout the United States at no charge. They are the National Catholic Lending Library. With this service, Donna is able to contribute to her church service by reading the mass’s scripture.
For the first time Donna recently received medication with braille instructions on the label. Upon reading these instructions, she learned that the medication she has been taking for two years every morning is meant to be taken at bedtime. To Donna, this, more than anything, clearly illustrates the crucial importance of braille in her everyday life.
In closing, Donna mentioned the cancellation of the braille publication of Guide Post. This was very disappointing to her, as she really enjoyed reading it. It is offered through NFB NewsLline and electronically. However, Donna does not own a braille display to access it using this method.
On a happier note, Donna really enjoys sending out Christmas cards to sighted and blind folks alike. She takes the upmost care in centering words and making the braille message as special as the greeting card is intended to be. I have luckily gotten my name added on to Donna’s Christmas card list. Yay for me!
I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank Donna for allowing me to chat with her and write this article. When thinking of braille, just remember, WHY COMPLICATE ONE’S LIFE, WHEN YOU CAN COMPLIMENT IT WITH BRAILLE.
Stay on the dotted line of life! Speak with you again in December!
Kaleidoscope of Krafts
By Lindy van der Merwe
Editor’s Note: This month I am taking over, as Lindy and her family are in the process of moving. We here at The Blind Perspective wish them all safe travels, and happy unpacking!
Here is a great craft project with a dual purpose; recycling and organizing. Don’t throw that coffee can away, or any can of comparable size. This project will put your coffee can to good use especially during birthday’s and holiday times.
Project: Card Carousel
Coffee can
Tape; duct, electrical, or masking
Paper; shelving, contact, or construction
Sticky/Tacky Craft Glue
Yarn, a good size ball of any color
Step 1: Thoroughly clean an empty coffee can with warm soapy water, and dry.
Step 2: Using a can opener remove the bottom, making it “open” from end to end.
Step 3: Cover any sharp edges with tape. Seek sighted assistance if unable to do this on your own.
Step 4: If using contact/shelving paper (which I prefer), cut a piece long enough to cover around the entire outside of the can.
Step 5: Peel the paper, place the can in the middle of the paper, near one of the short edges, then roll the can to the other end; covering the entire outside.
For construction paper: cover the can with sticky craft glue and use the same process as above to cover the outside of the can.
Step 6: Using scissors, cut any paper that may extend over the top and bottom edges of the can.
Step 7: Tightly wrap the yarn through and around the coffee can, tying a knot to secure yarn to the can.
Step 8: Continue tightly wrapping the yarn through and around the can until it is covered with vertical “lines” of yarn. Be sure to keep the lines close to one another.
Step 9: When completely covered, cut the yarn and securely tie it to a piece of yarn inside the can.
You have just created your card carousel. So, during the holiday season, or your birthday, when you receive many greeting cards, this will come in handy. Just take your card, slide half of the card through and behind one of the yarn lines, and pull until the fold of the card is behind the yarn.
You can display your carousel on a coffee table (no pun intended) or as a centerpiece!
Spencer’s Spotlight
By Cheryl Spencer
I am going to preface this month’s spotlight with a hopefully not too long story.
A few years ago, I had a couple of kittens to take to the vet. The plan was to get a cab since I had not made a reservation with paratransit. Well, an hour before the appointment, I could not get a cab, nothing was available. I thought, if I had an iPhone, I could call Uber, but, no all I had was an iPad. Having gone through my list of cab companies, I was forced to call the Vet and admit I had no way of getting there. I had to cancel the appointment.
Now, to the spotlight, had I known this service existed I could have made my vet appointment without a problem. It’s called GoGo Grandparent for Uber. makes getting a ride for seniors and disabled citizens a bit easier and at a reasonable rate. This company is for those who do not have, nor do they want the expense of having a smartphone. Independence is once again possible and affordable. Here is how it works.
Once the registration process has been completed, you simply call the designated toll free number to schedule your ride with Uber Technologies. Even those who do not own a computer can also create an account and use the service, with Uber Technologies via telephone by calling 855-464-6872.
You will be asked to provide your name, address, home and cell phone numbers, date of birth, the name and phone number of a family member as an emergency contact and the debit card information to be used for future trips.
Making a trip is just as easy. Call 855-464-6872 at least 15 minutes prior to the time you wish to be picked up.
The menu options on the automated system are:
“Press #1 on your telephone keypad if you wish to be picked up from home.”
“Press #2 to be picked up from where you were dropped off.”
“Press #0 if you wish to speak to an operator.”
After providing the address of your destination, the name, license number and type of vehicle for your Uber driver will be given along with an estimated time of arrival.
You may then select option #3 if you wish to speak to the driver to provide specific instructions.
CHARGESBase amount to access the vehicle = 2 dollars and 90 cents.
Mileage rates vary between locales but are approximately 81 cents per mile.
Time rate = 30 cents per minute.
The tip is not calculated in your bill; therefore, if you wish to tip the driver, cash is the only payment option.
No need to present your credit card; the computer will debit your account.
Upon arrival at your destination, you will receive a call regarding the trip charges and the total amount of the transaction.
For the return trip, call the toll-free number and select option #2 to be picked up from where you were dropped off.
For further information, visit:
Or call toll free at : 855-464-6872, 24/7.
APPetizers: Byte Size Tidbits to Help Master Your iDevice
By Darrin Cheney
Make a Quick Call on Your iPhone
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was speed dial on your iPhone? iOS doesn’t have that specific feature, but there is another option. It’s called “Favorites” and you can access it in your Contacts. In this installment, I’ll show you how to create your Favorites list and access this list from your Notification center so you can make a quick call to that important someone.
Creating your Favorites List:
Open your Phone app and explore the items at the bottom of the screen. As you flick-right, you will hear VO tell you: Favorites, Recents, Contacts, Keypad, and Voicemail. Navigate to Favorites and double-tap to open. You can add a contact by double-tapping the add button in the top left of screen. Navigate to the contact for your favorite someone and choose a number to call. Your contact is added to the list below. You can re-arrange or delete a contact in your Favorites list by choosing the edit button at the top right of the screen.
iOS Widgets in Notification Center:
iOS utilizes “Widgets” in the “Today” view of your Notification Center to share information from various apps. A widget may include your local weather forecast from the Weather Channel app, news headlines from the News app, Favorites from the Phone app, or your Amazon app. You can add, arrange, or remove a widget by choosing the Edit button at the bottom of Today view. Double-tap the Edit button, find the Favorites widget and select the Insert Favorites button. You can double-tap and hold the Re-order Favorites button to the right of the widget title and drag it up or down in your list. Add the Phone widget to the top of the list. You can access the Today view in the Notification Center from your Home Screen or from your Lock Screen.
Make a Quick Call from Home Screen:
Move the VO focus to the status bar and swipe-down with three fingers. Your widgets will appear as you arranged them. Your Phone Favorites should be the first widget in the list. Swipe to hear the person you want to call and then double-tap with one finger to make the call.
Make a Quick Call from Lock Screen:
On your lock screen, swipe-right with 3 fingers to open your Today view and display your widgets. The VO focus will be on your first contact in your Favorites widget.
This is my preferred way to make a quick call. My Favorites widget is at the top of my Today view and the first person in my Favorites list is my wife’s mobile number. I set my preferences to show Favorites widget on Lock screen without unlocking my iPhone.
I can call my wife in three easy steps from the Lock screen:
1. Wake iPhone
2. Swipe-right with 3 fingers (VO focus will land on my wife’s number because Favorites is the first widget and my wife is the first item in widget
3. Double-Tap to call my wife.
You can create other shortcuts using widgets and the Notification Center. If you own an iPhone 7 or newer, you can also use 3D touch. If you want speed dial and other features, consider exploring the App store. Good Luck!
The iPhone can do some pretty amazing things, but it keeps changing and evolving to keep everyone visually entertained making it more difficult for blind and older users. I just want to make a quick call to my wife without all of the hassle. I think basic functions like those found in a flip phone are forgotten, but necessary. Using the Favorites widget is a simple solution that works!
The Rotating Trio: WindBag
Two Theater Killers
Disclaimer: Don’t worry! I am not going to be discussing people who commit mass murder! This is meant to give you a couple of ideas of making home movie watching more fun for you and your family.
Theater killer 1. Popcorn! Can you watch movies without it? Not me, and I hate paying theater prices for the stuff. Solution: Get what you need from Amazon and enhance your home movie experience.
Here’s how: Buy a West Benz 6-quart stir crazy electric popcorn popper, some raw popcorn kernels, and some popcorn seasoning. I suggest this popcorn popper because it doesn’t take a lot of storage space, it is easy to use, and you’ll get great results! The popper is less than a foot and a half around, about the same height, so it’s easily stored in a cabinet. No off and on switch or temperature setting, just plug it in and wait.
As for yield, in about 5 minutes, you can make about the same amount of popcorn as there is in 3 bags of microwave popcorn, and it tastes much better. If you want to measure ingredients, for a full batch, you use 1 cup of raw popcorn of any generic brand. Otherwise, use 3/4 cup of gourmet popping corn and 3 tablespoons of cooking oil. If you want melted butter on your corn, use 3 tablespoons of room temperature butter. Note that the use of melted butter will decrease the fluffiness and crispness of the popcorn.
How the popper works: You pour the popcorn into the nonstick pot, then add the oil. There is no need to evenly pour anything, because, when you plug the popper into the wall socket, and the unit begins heating up, a motor moves a steel rod back and forth to stir the kernels. The lid will be the bowl for serving after the process has finished. If you want melted butter, there is a butter well that has holes in it, located on the bottom of the lid. Evenly distribute the butter in the butter well before plugging the unit in. Be sure to remove the cap from the butter well whether you use butter or not, because the steam from the hot unit would melt this plastic lid. It is also what melts the butter that then drips through the holes and onto the popped corn. When the popping stops, unplug the unit, replace the plastic cover for the butter well. Grasp the two handles and hold the bowl and popper together and flip the unit over. Lift the popper toward you so that the steam comes out on the side away from you for safety reasons.
Now, if you want popcorn seasonings such as white cheddar, bacon cheddar, Buffalo wing, or any other, sprinkle it onto the popped corn. Your treat is ready.
If you want to go the convenient route, buy a case of 24 4-ounce premeasured packets of Great Northern Popcorn Company gourmet popcorn from Amazon. Each packet contains the right amount of raw gourmet kernels, popcorn salt, and mixture of butter and oil. These are very often used in movie theaters, so you get the same quality that they charge an arm and a leg for. A case will cost you roughly 20 dollars. Just cut the heavy plastic bag open, dump the contents into the popper, plug it in, and wait as before. Throw the empty plastic bag away. No measuring, no mess. Kernel Seasons offer sever varieties of popcorn toppings that can also be found at Amazon. Be careful when sprinkling, because a little goes a long way, and it comes out very fast. The toppings come in containers like spices do, and you can get a box of 6 for around 12 dollars.
Now for theater killer number two: That popcorn will, of course, make you thirsty. How about making your own soda? All you need can, again, be found at Amazon, and some can be found locally. Here’s how you do it:
The manufacturer of the home soda fountain is Soda Stream. Basically, you carbonate either a 16-ounce bottle or a 1-liter bottle of water using the machine. A 1-liter bottle comes with the unit. The unit also comes with a 60-liter aluminum cylinder of C O 2 which you screw onto the back of the machine. This is what carbonates the water. The water bottle is screwed onto the front of the machine, and you press a button on the top to release the C O 2 into the water. Hold the button down until you hear a buzz, then release. Do this 3 times for normal carbonation, a fourth time for heavy carbonation, or only twice for lightly carbonated soda. Wait for the pressure to subside, then release the water bottle from the unit by unscrewing it.
Now, you need to add the syrup. Free samples of different flavors come with the machine. Each is premeasured to make 1 liter of soda. Very slowly, pour the syrup into the bottle of carbonated water. It will foam considerably, so pour slowly. If you are using a bottle of syrup that you bought from Amazon, Wal-Mart, or other location, measure the syrup into the cap of the bottle. The lowest raised line in the cap is for a 16-ounce serving, and the top raised line is for a 1 liter serving. Slowly pour it into the water. Screw the cap onto the reusable water bottle, then very gently mix the water and syrup by rolling the bottle around in your hands, turning it upside down. Your soda is ready to drink.
As for cost, here’s a breakdown. The machine with all you need to get started comes in several models. Some are electric and do all the work for you. They have L E D that let you know what’s going on, and they have meters to indicate how much C O 2 remains in the cylinder, when to release the water bottle and so on. These are more expensive. I bought one that has none of these bells and whistles for around 80 dollars at Wal-Mart. Each bottle of syrup costs from 4 dollars (if on sale) to around 4 dollars and 80 cents at Wal-Mart. The C O 2 cylinder can be taken to a Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and be exchanged for a full one for a cost of 15 dollars. Each bottle of syrup makes the equivalent of 30 cans of soda, and I go through a C O 2 cylinder in about a month. Keep in mind that I drink about 2 liters of soda per day.
Now, are you ready for the movies?
Cooking Concoctions
By Maxine
With busy schedules for both children and parents, one way to make the morning easier is to plan ahead for meals. These below easy healthy recipes not only take a few minutes to prepare, they’re fairly inexpensive!
Overnight Oats
These are great since they don’t require any cooking at all! Instead, you combine rolled (AKA: old-fashioned) oats with your choice of liquid, and other mix-ins, then leave it in the fridge overnight. By morning, you’ll have a creamy, dense version of oatmeal (think pudding/porridge consistency).
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup (heaping) rolled oats
2/3 cup unsweetened milk of choice
1 tablespoon chia seeds or ground flax meal
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1-2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
Whisk together all ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Spoon into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Close and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight before eating.
Variations: add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg, chopped fresh fruit, and/or nuts of your choice. If you don’t mind the fruit and nuts becoming soggy, then add when first making, otherwise, add just before eating.
Egg Muffins
Like the overnight oats, these are so simple to make ahead of time and you can meal prep for the entire week. Fill with your favorite omelet ingredients and have an easy breakfast to quickly heat in the microwave. Great for those late start morning. Just grab, heat, and go!

1 dozen eggs
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Nonstick cooking spray, to coat pans
1 1/2 cup of your favorite veggies (peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, onion, etc)
1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar or parmesan works best)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Crack eggs into a bowl, add salt, and whisk well.
Grease 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
Divide and place veggies and cheese into each muffin cup.
Carefully pour eggs over tops until muffin tins are almost full (leave 1/4-inch space).
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
The egg muffins will look like soufflé when they come out of the oven, but they will sink after a few minutes. Let them rest in the muffin tin for a few minutes before using a rubber spatula to carefully remove each muffin.
Consume immediately or let cool and transfer to a resealable plastic bag.
Note: Refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for a month.
Sweet Potato Waffles
A healthy twist on a breakfast favorite and another great recipe you can make ahead of time. Because of the sweet potatoes, the waffles will come out naturally sweet and won’t need syrup! Just refrigerate after cooking and then heat in the morning for a quick nutritious breakfast.
2 eggs
1 2/3 cups skim milk
1/3 cup pureed sweet potatoes (baby food works great for this!)
2 cups all-purpose flour (you can substitute wheat germ for 1/4 cup of white flour)
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix all dry ingredients together using a large whisk.
Mix the wet ingredients together.
Gently combine, but don’t overmix.
Cook as your waffle maker directs.
Recipe will make about 6 servings.
Crunchy Peanut Butter Wrap
An update to the classic PB&J!
1 flour tortilla
2 tablespoons almond butter
½ chopped apples
1 tablespoon granola
Spread almond butter onto the tortilla.
Sprinkle on apples and granola.
Roll up!
This is great for a quick breakfast, snack, or lunch!
Riddle & Brain Buster
By Alex Smart
How many seconds are there in a year?
Answer to October’s riddle:
How do you make the number one disappear?
Add the letter G and it’s gone.
Brain Buster
The Old 1 2
Reverse the first two letters of the answer to the first clue to get the answer to the second. Example:
Sixties hair style, casino card game; afro, faro
*Monster, vice president, Al
*Most unusual, take into custody
*Choice, magical drink
*Blue jeans, 1950 – 1960 singing sensation
*Shade tree, enough
*Height, degrees from the equator
*Kind of energy, hard to understand
*Storefront cover, on the way out
Answer to October’s brain buster
Can you add two pairs of doubled letters to the word RATE, to make a common eight letter word?
OO and MM for the word roommate.
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