The Consumer Vision

The Consumer Vision

September 2017

Address: 359 Coggeshall St., New Bedford, MA 02746

Phone: 508-994-4972



Publisher: Bob Branco

Editor: Terri Winaught

Proofreader and Secondary Editor: Leonore Dvorkin

Formatter: David Dvorkin


In this Table of Contents, you will find the title of each article separated by three asterisks *** from the author’s name. In the same way, three asterisks *** will be used throughout this magazine to separate articles.

In columns like Karen Crowder’s recipes, Readers’ Forum, and Special Notices, items will be separated by letters, starting with A and continuing with B, C, etc., depending on the number of items in the column.

Finally, if you have trouble deciphering asterisks using your screen reader, magnifier, word processing program, or any aspect of your access technology, please let me know what would work better for you. If I have the ability to implement an alternative or can be taught how to do so, I will be happy to give it a try, since I don’t want anyone to feel excluded or have difficulty reading this top-quality magazine.

  1. LETTER FROM THE EDITOR *** by Terri Winaught
  2. HEALTH MATTERS: The Benefits of Bananas *** by Leonore Dvorkin
  3. THE IMAGE OF YOURSELF *** by Dennis R. Sumlin
  4. TECH CORNER: A BRIEF HISTORY IN TIME: The Evolution of Social Media *** by Stephen Théberge
  5. COMMENTARY AFTERMATH: Holding the Candle *** by James R. Campbell
  6. THE MOUNT EVEREST OF EQUALITY: Jerry Lewis, Born March 16, 1926. Died August 20, 2017. Brian’s Jerry Lewis Story *** by Brian Coppola
  7. SOCIETY’S TRENDS: Unemployment Among the Blind from a Technological Perspective *** by Bob Branco
  9. SPECIAL NOTICES *** Contributed by Readers and Compiled by Bob Branco
  10. WEATHER OR NOT: Climate Change, The Coming Big Bake *** by Steve Roberts
  11. THE HANDLER’S CORNER: Living and Working with Guide Dogs *** by Ann Chiapetta, MS
  12. TURNING POINT: Mental Health First Aid as a Turning Point *** by Terri Winaught
  13. READERS’ FORUM *** Submitted by Terri Winaught
  14. TIPS FOR VIPS (Because Visually-Impaired People are Important, Too) *** by Penny Fleckenstein
  15. RECIPE COLUMN *** by Karen Crowder
  16. MARCY’S SCHMOOZE TINNIH *** by Marcy Segelman
  17. MY THOUGHTS ABOUT JOB FAIRS, Part 1 *** by Cleora Boid
  18. CONSUMER VISION TRIVIA CONTEST: Answer to Last Month’s Question, Winners, and This Month’s Question *** Submitted by Bob Branco



Hello, Consumer Vision readers.

First, I want to apologize for having had no column in the August issue. Though I am making no excuses, I can only say by way of explanation that I let time get away from me.

Since autumn will begin in September, I want to continue by saying what a wonderful summer I hope everyone had, and how thoroughly I hope everyone will enjoy the fall foliage, soon to dress Mother Nature in clothing of many colors.

I want to devote the rest of this letter to what has been going on in Charlottesville, Virginia.

As someone who lived during the Civil Rights struggles of the 1960s, I know what valiant warriors so many people were in the fight for racial justice. Landmark successes and tragedies I remember so vividly are: the March on Washington, DC on August 28, 1963; the “Bloody Sunday” that characterized the march from Selma, Alabama to that state’s capitol of Montgomery on March 7, 1965; and the April 4, 1968 assassination that ended Dr. King’s young, courageous life way too soon.

Given the painful progress which pioneers paid for with blood, sweat, tears, and lives, I am both saddened and disheartened by the recent violence that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Because the details have been in the news for weeks, I will neither outline nor summarize them here.)

Upon learning of the male protester (as a White Nationalist and supremacist drove his car through the peaceful marchers) who wanted statues symbolizing hate to be removed from public view, I thought of my son immediately. As a man who is biracial, my son is part African-American and married to a woman who is white. I couldn’t have been happier and more relieved when I learned that neither my son nor his wife were part of that chaos. They were, however, able to see the National Guard and State Police driving by.

Lest any of you think, “Well, so long as it doesn’t bother me, as a person who is blind and not of color, why should I care?” I’ll answer that question by making the following points:

  1. During the early 1970s, women began to assert their rights to equal employment opportunities and equal pay for equal work.
  2. Around the same time, disability-specific legislation was passed in the form of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and amendments to it passed in 1978, culminating in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) being passed on July 26, 1990.

To conclude my commentary on Charlottesville specifically and hate speech generally, let’s be people of peace who light candles of unity with care, and remember this part of Dr. King’s legacy: “Hate can never conquer hate—only love can do that!”

I’ll end this letter by thanking publisher Bob Branco; proofreader and secondary editor Leonore Dvorkin; formatter David Dvorkin; all of our talented writers; and you, the readers, without whom there would be no Consumer Vision Magazine.

To offer feedback, comments, and constructive criticism, phone 412-263-2022, call or text 412-209-9818, or email me at:

Thanks for reading with me, and have a sensational September.

Terri Winaught, Editor



The Benefits of Bananas by Leonore H. Dvorkin

(Note: The longer, original version of this article was published in a Denver newsletter in 2008. I combed through about 25 pages on online information to find what you will read below.)

Bananas do not come from trees, but from large plants that are giant herbs related to the lily and orchid family. The bunches of 50 to 150 bananas in which they grow are known as “hands.”

Bananas originated in Malaysia about 4,000 years ago. They had a long route to traverse from there to the U.S., where they were not sold until the latter part of the 1800s. From Malaysia, they spread throughout the Philippines and India. Arabian traders introduced them to Africa. Portuguese explorers discovered them there in 1482 and took them to the Americas. Today, the main commercial producers are India, Costa Rica, Mexico, Ecuador, and Brazil.

Bananas grow in most tropical and subtropical regions. There are more than 300 varieties of them. They are the fourth most important staple food in the developing world. The annual global production is some 86 million tons. They are the most popular fruit in the U.S., and the average American eats 25 lbs. of bananas per year.

Whether or not you like the taste and texture of bananas (some people dislike the latter), there is no denying that they are nutritious, as well as handy to eat, coming as they do in their own natural, biodegradable “wrapper.” They are high in Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, and magnesium, but free of sodium and cholesterol. They are almost fat free and relatively low in calories. Depending on its size, a banana has only about 90 to 110 calories. They contain high-grade protein and three of the essential amino acids. Bananas and milk supplement each other very well.

Bananas make excellent snacks for both adults and children. They are a great source of instant energy, either before your workout or after it. Due to their potassium, they help muscles contract properly during exercise and reduce cramps. Because of their sweet taste, they can substitute for sweets and help satisfy sugar cravings. Yet they are fairly low on the glycemic index, between 30 and 60, based on their stage of ripeness. The less ripe they are, the lower they are on the glycemic index, and vice versa.

A less ripe banana—yellow but with no brown speckles—provides longer-lasting energy than do most sweet foods. But after strenuous exercise, when muscle energy is depleted, a ripe banana—one with numerous brown speckles on the skin—can deliver very quick energy. Extremely ripe, mainly brown bananas are not “bad,” so don’t throw them out. They are good for baking into muffins, banana bread, and the like. The overall nutritional content of the banana is not significantly altered by its stage of ripeness. When you buy bananas, make sure that both the stems and the tips are intact.

Ripe bananas can also help boost mood and help promote sleep, due to the serotonin and tryptophan that they contain. However, it is probably too strong a statement to say that they can relieve true depression.

Very few people are allergic to bananas, and they are often the first solid food given to babies, who tend to love them. They make a healthful way to help supply the energy needs of growing, active children.

Less ripe bananas help relieve constipation. Riper bananas help relieve diarrhea. Bananas are easy to digest. They are a very good source of fructooligosaccharide, a compound called a prebiotic because it nourishes the friendly probiotic bacteria in the colon. These friendly bacteria help improve our ability to absorb nutrients such as calcium.

In most people, bananas have an antacid effect, and they can help protect against stomach ulcers and ulcer damage. They do this in two ways. They help activate the cells that compose the stomach lining, and the protease inhibitors in bananas help eliminate bacteria that have been pinpointed as a primary cause of stomach ulcers.

People who are allergic to latex may also be allergic to avocados, bananas, and chestnuts. Fruit processed with ethylene gas might be especially troublesome. Therefore, if you know you are allergic to latex but want to try bananas, buy organic ones not treated with gas.

Fruit may be even better than carrots for your eyes. Three or more servings of fruit per day may lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), which is the primary cause of vision loss in older adults. So a banana smoothie in the morning, or a small banana sliced over your whole-grain cereal, may be just what the ophthalmologist ordered.

High-fiber foods, such as bananas, can help prevent heart disease. The potassium in bananas, in addition to its benefits to muscles, can help promote bone health. That’s because it helps to counteract the loss of calcium (secreted in the urine) that is promoted by the high-salt diet so typical of most Americans.

It’s not true that you should never refrigerate bananas. If you have some ripe bananas that you want to keep from ripening further, go ahead and refrigerate them. That shuts down the ripening process, which can’t be restarted once the fruit is warmed up again to room temperature. Refrigerating a banana will cause its skin to darken, but the fruit inside is unharmed, remaining firm and delicious. If you want to freeze bananas for later use, puree them first or peel them and put them in plastic wrap. Some people enjoy frozen bananas in hot weather.

If you want to speed up the ripening process in bananas, put them in a brown paper bag overnight with an apple or a tomato.

That concludes the list of the main benefits of bananas that I found. Now feel free to go to the store and “go bananas”!

About the author:

Leonore Dvorkin is the author of four published books. For information about her publications and the book editing services that she and her husband offer, see



by Dennis R. Sumlin

The moment we have all been waiting for. The number one blog article on my site:

Even though I am a communication and confidence coach, this article is about stigma: the stigma of the blind. Enjoy. The video and the speech that are found on the blog version are not included here.

Real Eyes

Seeing the Blind

The damage of stigma is all around us. This stigma causes us to be blind to the individual and see a blurred stick figure at which to gawk. There are so many of these stigmas and misconceptions, it is hard to keep track of them all.

As I do with other types of stigmas, I will tackle one of the biggest but one of the most invisible forces: The stigma of the blind.

Many people do not know a blind person, or have only seen them in passing or in movies, but the misconceptions about them can be damaging.

Below is a quick history of the members of our society that often go unnoticed by many people, and as a result, are often misunderstood.

Do not fall for the stigma. Do not let old, outdated concepts cause you to dismiss a class of people. The below will help you understand more, and not fall for the trickery that any stigma plays on you. This history may not be pretty at times, but what minority has had it easy?

Blind Overview

According to historians, many blind people in parts of the world during the time of antiquity were killed due to their blindness. In old Prussia, young boys would execute their older and infirm parents, and fathers would subject children who were blind to the short end of life. Even if you showed signs of squinting, you were often shown the sword. Masters would often torture their sightless and lame servants. Some blind people were able to become the exception, becoming philosophers and lawyers in places like Rome, but the vast majority of those without sight lived in degradation. Blind boys were slaves, and blind girls were put into prostitution.

Most blind people were homeless with no possessions except the rags on their backs, a staff or dog, and maybe a knapsack. Many slave masters made good money off their blind beggars from dogooders. Once again, Rome was the place where you could find exceptions to many of the rules. Greece was another place where things were a little better. Some people there thought that blind people had super powers. In the area that is present-day Israel, blindness was seen as the most debilitating of all forms of disability, and many people regarded blind people as the walking dead and as contagious.

Slow Progress

In China and some other places, blind people were storytellers, musicians, and soothsayers. In places like India, Buddhists preached tolerance toward the poor and so-called physically deviant.

By the first century AD, the Christian church became one of the main caregivers to the blind. Rich Christians took blind people in, and as the church gained power, blind people became part of the church charity. By the 1200s, blind people in some parts of the world were living in church-run asylums. Soon, blind brotherhoods were popular in many parts, and were known for their musical ability; however, many of these brotherhoods were still under the control of the church. Even with the church control, and eventually some local charities, many blind people were still homeless beggars, and many charities would not help the blind due to a belief that blindness was a punishment for crimes. It was believed that many of these crimes were of a sexual nature.

By the 1500s, the idea of the blind being able to contribute valued labor to society had had its birth in Spain, and slowly made its way around. During these times, blind people had made advances in the art of massage, religious-related activities, and literature.


In 1784, the first major school for the blind opened in France, and soon there were imitators. By 1819, a code for the military called night writing was developed in France, and the developer introduced the idea of using it in the schools for the blind. While the school thought that this new code would be unworkable, a blind man named Louis Braille was able to take it and rework it. By 1834, the Braille system was perfected, but the school did not accept the new Braille code until 1854, two years after Louis Braille died. By the end of the century, the code was in universal acceptance.

In the United States, educators fought for the right of the blind to attend public schools and universities in the 20th century. In 1940, the National Federation of the Blind was formed. Due to the rise of the NFB, and later the American Council of the Blind, blind people had an increasing power over the direction of laws associated with the blind in the U.S.

Seen but Not Heard

While the blind have seen their power as a group grow, they continue to face gigantic challenges in everyday society. They are constantly fighting for equal treatment in schools, workplaces, transportation, and accessibility with everyday consumer products. At the same time, they have to deal with the lack of equal treatment by the everyday public. Education of the everyday public can seem like an insurmountable challenge at times. The laws may say one thing, but in an individual blind person’s life, he or she has to deal with family, friends, and others who have false perceptions of them.

Equal Empowerment

Many blind people are capable of independent travel, and in today’s world, blind people are lawyers, business owners, parents, journalists, state governors, athletes, and everything in between. Yet the belief that blind people are less capable is still common.

Some people may be ashamed of having a blind family member or being seen with a blind person. The blind person is considered a burden that constantly needs to be looked after, therefore, an impediment to the life of the sighted person. In social settings, blind people are often ignored with the exception of the “good sighted person” that asks if the blind person needs assistance.

Don’t Fall for That!

Do not fall for the false perception that lacking one ability means you lack all others. Do not fall for the lies that would have you treat your fellow man with a lesser degree of respect. Reject all ideas, religious or otherwise, that would have you take away a person’s dignity, opportunity, sexuality, or any aspect of who they are.

When you look to understand differences instead of negatively classifying them, you grow as a person. You would not want somebody to dismiss you because of your height, color, weight, or the number of times you ate Frosted Flakes per week.

Think ahead of the stigma. What things do people judge you about? What things do people think limit you? Are they true? This is only the beginning.



The Evolution of Social Media by Stephen Théberge

By the late 1980s, I had my first IBM computer. This was a treat after putting my Texas Instruments Computer in the graveyard. E-mail was probably the biggest way people kept in touch.

I thought that having a dial-up modem at a “lightning-fast” 2400bps was all the rage. I’d get numbers to dial up and log into local bulletin boards. Basically, you could read, reply to, and leave messages for others. Soon, file sharing was offered. Things went at a snail’s pace compared to today’s frenetic pace.

Soon, we were treated to a world-wide explosion of what we would call the seeds of social media. CompuServe and GEnie came on the scene. They basically expanded on the local bulletin board, but added news services and file sharing, and for that time, it seemed like a lot. What made these services great was that we really had the ability to communicate with people all over the world. You’d use a local dialup number and be connected. AOL would be the next big advancement when Windows came on the scene. I remember that if I used Compuserve during certain daytime hours, there’d be a per-minute fee.

By the time Windows ‘95 came out, and I got a 5600bps modem, it really seemed that the world was at our fingertips. It was really a treat to be able to put my software demos out and have inquiries and sales all over the world. The only thing we had that could be described as instant messaging was a pager.

Comparing what happened 20 or so years ago with today, we see that a lot more patience had to be exercised. It was actually a treat to use the computer twice a day at most, to check e-mail, and see what kind of communications you got on the boards. We never envisioned anything like smart phones.

This year, Facebook celebrated its tenth anniversary. The explosion of the many social media platforms is mind boggling. One has so many choices (or curses) to choose from. We have to really decide if there is any value to our choices.

LinkedIn is considered a professional networking platform for business or those looking for employment. I was shocked and pleased that somebody actually found me there and offered me a work-from-home Web testing opportunity. The key to a network like this is to connect to as many people as possible who have common professional interests.

As in the old days, my interest in social media is primarily to get the word out on my book and professional Web testing and troubleshooting jobs. Each network has a different way of doing this. I find Twitter similar to LinkedIn, in that the more people you follow, the more “connections” you will get. On these networks, it seems that the more connections or followers you have, the more visible you are. This can have its advantages if you put out the right content.

I think what makes Facebook popular is the features. You can message, instant chat, and most important, post on your wall. Facebook really can be a double-edged sword. You can be flooded with all kinds of specialized groups and pages. Regardless of what is said about the president and Twitter, I find a lot of emotional baggage being paraded on Facebook. Everybody likes a like on their post.

I’ve hardly scratched the surface. There are Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, and a host of others. The real key is to understand why there are so many flavors of networks, and what each is intended to do.

All the platforms are plagued by advertising. That’s what keeps them alive. Twitter reminds me of an old-fashioned pager on steroids. The messages are limited by size, so you really have to have a catchy one to get attention. Also, the sheer number of tweets is almost too much to keep up with.

It’s amazing that you can use all these social media platforms with a smart phone. It’s also kind of sad. Getting notifications all the time makes life annoying at times. You can be told about breaking news, ball game scores, and who replied to your posts. Of course, you can adjust the annoyance level by changing your notification settings.

I am certainly pleased to see how far we have come. I think there is a lot of value in all these choices. Yet the instantaneous need to be connected at all times can have its drawbacks. We must always be on guard against getting drawn in by the allure of it all.

I don’t think it has to be an either/or choice. We can certainly show discipline and common sense in how we choose to use technology. I miss the days when we had no trouble waiting for results. Now, many people get frustrated and angry if they don’t get instant responses to their online activity.

I know that here, at the tail end of August, many are lamenting the end of summer. I am naturally sending my prayers to those in Texas and the surrounding area and hope that they will be safe from the hurricane and flooding. I will enjoy this nice, crisp, humidity-free stretch of weather we are getting for the upcoming week. Maybe I can find an old IBM Selectric typewriter and bang out the next chapters of my sequel.

Check out my coming-of- age science fiction novel, The MetSche Message:

Watch My Youtube Channel

Feel free to read and post on my blog.



Holding the Candle by James R. Campbell

Thursday, August 9, 1945. The citizens of the Japanese city of Nagasaki rose and prepared for the day ahead. Men and women prepared for the workday, and children ate breakfast before what was to have been another day of play.

Suddenly, a single plane appeared overhead. In an instant, tens of thousands of voices were silenced forever as a hateful mushroom cloud of fire and radiation soared skyward.

Three days earlier, the first atomic bomb was dropped over the city of Hiroshima, leaving at least 237,000 dead, by one account. But the true casualty factor may never be known, as radiation sickness and its subsequent long-term effects are still evident today.

The atomic bombings of Japan brought an end to the Second World War and ushered in an ever-widening arms race. The Soviets detonated their first atom bomb in 1949, and the race was on. Both sides kept stockpiling bigger and more destructive devices as a deterrence. The logic of deterrence rests on the willingness of one nation to retaliate in order to prevent a nuclear strike. What arose is the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD.) If one side pushed the button, it would trigger full-scale Armageddon.

Two survivors of the war in Japan pledged their lives to the abolition of these weapons: Josie Toda (1901-1958), and his disciple, Daisaku Ikeda. Both men are affiliated with the lay Buddhist group Soka Gakkai International, or SGI. The organization was founded in 1931 by educator Tsunesoburo Makaguchi, who served as its first president. The organization has 15 million members in 192 countries. SGI promotes peace through religious tolerance, education, and cultural exchange.

The teachings of SGI are based on the writings of a 13th-century Japanese reformer, Nichiren Dai Shonin. Soka Gakkai means Value Creation, referring to the positive value that its members create in society and the world at large. Famous members include Tina Turner, jazz great Herbie Hancock, and actor Patrick Duffy of Dallas.

As survivors of the bombings in 1945, both Josie Toda and Daisaku Ikeda, the current president of SGI, knew the destructive power that an atomic bomb can wield. They were dismayed by the arms race. On September 8, 1957, President Toda issued a declaration calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons before 50,000 youth who were gathered in Mitsuzawa stadium in Yokohama, Japan.

“All human beings are endowed with an inviolable right to live! Nuclear weapons threaten that right. They are the greatest threat to mankind we face. The doctrine of deterrence protects the countries that possess them, with no regard for the sacrifice on greater humanity and earth as a whole. Nuclear weapons are an absolute evil, and those who would use them are devils incarnate. Anyone who uses a nuclear device should be put to death, without exception, regardless of who is victorious in the end,” Toda said in a passionate tone.

President Ikeda has carried on that mission. In a 2009 proposal, he proclaimed, “We must confront the thinking that justifies the use of atomic warheads. This is nothing less than a willingness to annihilate others who threaten or hinder our objectives.”

At present, nine nations have nuclear capability, and five NATO countries share these warheads. At present, the greatest threat comes from North Korea. Within the last week, the United States, China, and Russia have slapped $1 billion in sanctions on the Pyongyang regime. On July 7, 2017, 120 nations signed a UN treaty banning the proliferation of nuclear armaments.

In November of 2018, SGI hopes to gather 50,000 youth across the USA in a march to advocate for mutual respect, dignity, and peace, in hopes of lessening the tensions in our world. I think this is a good thing, but I would like to extend it. The movement needs to go far beyond what SGI seeks to accomplish, and I would like to see local activities in cities all across the world for those who can’t attend the march. With the looming threat by unstable rogue states and terrorists, there is no better time than now. The future is ours, but we must fight for it. Even though to most a nuclear-free world sounds like wishful thinking, it is possible. And the world and its survival depend on us. We are the children of the sun; we must let the world see the sunshine in our hearts in order to free humanity from the scourge of terror that is the essence of a nuclear holocaust!

As always, thanks for your time.

With loving kindness,

James R. Campbell



Jerry Lewis, Born March 16, 1926. Died August 20, 2017

Brian’s Jerry Lewis Story by Brian J. Coppola

I wondered what the MDA was thinking when they ousted Jerry Lewis from their association when, after all, he was the founder of the telethon for Muscular Dystrophy. He was in the movie Rock-A-Bye Baby (1958), as well as many others. His frequent movie partner, Dean Martin, sang one of my childhood songs, “Who’s Your Little Who-Zis?” My oldest sister would sing to me when she held me. Her version of it went:

“Who’s my little whosey.

Who’s my turtledove.

Who’s my little whosey.

Who do I love?”

Then my oldest sister would say, “I love, I love… YOU!!!”

(Proofreader’s note: See the end of this article for a link to a recording of Dean Martin singing “Who’s Your Little Who-Zis?”)

Jerry Lewis was my hero for doing the telethon for Muscular Dystrophy since 1973, when I first started watching it. My first viewing was on September 2 and 3, 1973, on WMUR TV 9. At the time, I had come down with mononucleosis, so on long shopping trips, my oldest sister would carry me in and out of stores because mono also required bed rest. At the same time, we were preparing for the wedding of my oldest brother, which took place on September 23, 1973. At the time, I was eight going on nine. I turned nine one week after my oldest brother got married. Thank you, Jerry Lewis, for a good childhood. 🙂 Smiles.

All the comedian would hope for every year in doing his telethons was to get one more dollar than his previous year’s goal. He would end up getting more.

Over the years that he was doing the variety show, until the Muscular Dystrophy Association ousted him, a lot of great celebrities that we knew from our time would grace his stage, and there would be lots of donations pouring in from big corporations, like 7-Eleven, Costco, the Tall Cedars, and all the firefighters, with one big goal in mind: finding a cure and ultimately eradicating Muscular Dystrophy, as well as other diseases that affected children, such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Why? These diseases were cruel and were killers and prematurely took the lives of the people who had them.

Through the years of Jerry Lewis’s fundraising efforts, a lot of breakthroughs came about. Scientists discovered that some of these diseases are genetically caused.

Meanwhile, money also had to be raised to purchase the equipment and assistive technology that people with Muscular Dystrophy needed, as well as the extensive medical care that went along with managing these diseases. At the end of each telethon, Jerry Lewis would sing “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

To hear the song, go here:

This is from the 1956 Rogers and Hammerstein movie Carousel. There are many other recordings online.

Mr. Jerry Lewis, this is my tribute to you, as you have now been called home. May you rest in peace and may God’s love always be with you and your family. Thanks once again for all the fond memories. //

Proofreader’s notes, continued from above:

Below is a link to Dean Martin singing the actual lyrics of “Who’s Your Little Who-Zis,” which are similar to but different from what is above.

Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin did a funny routine with the song in the 1951 movie The Stooge. Here is a link to that. It takes a while to get to the song. As always with Jerry Lewis movies, the physical comedy is very good, too. 



The Unemployment Rate of the Blind from a Technological Perspective by Bob Branco

When I joined the National Federation of the Blind in 1981, I found out that the unemployment rate of the blind was 70%. To me, the reason was obvious. There was a lot of discrimination against the blind population, compounded by the fact that many employers had no knowledge of what a blind person can do. As technology advanced, I was hopeful that this would help blind people become employed. After all, the more we could do with technology, the more skills we would have. Well, as of today, the unemployment rate of the blind remains at 70%, and if you ask some experts, they’ll tell you that it’s gone up to 80%.

As far as I am concerned, technology for the blind is advancing too rapidly. I don’t mean that we shouldn’t have access to further advancements, but it seems as though we spend more time learning new upgrades than applying what we have already learned. I no sooner got Windows 8 than I was suddenly getting ads on my screen encouraging me to upgrade to Windows 10 before I was finished learning Windows 8. If I’m working at a company where I am comfortable with one program, and suddenly I have to learn a new one, I would likely have to leave my job in order to take a computer course at a rehabilitation center. A sighted employee wouldn’t necessarily have to do that. If blind people have to continue either to readapt or leave their jobs every time there’s a new upgrade, employers may be forced to make a very unpopular decision, which is to replace a blind person with a sighted person. It’s not that the employers don’t think the blind can handle the job, but the idea is for workers, blind or sighted, to stay on the job and be productive for a lengthy period of time doing what they learned how to do, rather than be influenced by the pressures of upgrading their technology frequently. Employers want you to stay with them and work.

Before I conclude, I must tell all of you a true story that happened to me in 1988. Granted, we’re talking about a period of time before the Internet was created, but the point can still be made. I was working at an office supply company in customer service. I spent my entire day on the computer, looking up customer orders. One day, my boss found out about the Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, Massachusetts. He heard that they offer computer classes for blind people. Well, in my boss’s defense, he knew nothing about specific computer programs being taught. All he knew was that this could be a golden opportunity for me to further my skills on the job. Therefore, he insisted that I take the two-week course at the Carroll Center. During those two weeks, I learned a word processing program known as QWERTY. It was easy to learn, and I left the Carroll Center feeling very positive about my learning experience. Well, here’s the problem. Although QWERTY was a popular course being taught to blind computer users, I didn’t know anyone who used QWERTY as a word processing program at their workplaces, including the one where I worked. The end result was that I spent two weeks learning QWERTY for nothing, because my boss didn’t use it in his office. Have you ever heard of a company that used QWERTY as a word processing program?

The point of this story was to offer yet another example of how a blind person has to leave his job, no matter if it’s to learn a fast upgrade or a simple word processing program. If a boss wants to send a blind person away in order to take a course, that’s one thing, but, as I implied earlier, employers run businesses, and the idea of making their businesses successful is for you to be as productive as you can without having to worry about frequent upgrades which will interrupt your own productivity. Am I saying that upgrades aren’t necessary? No. They are normal, but if you are a blind person reading this article, don’t you sometimes feel that you spend a lot more time learning new things than actually applying older ones? Maybe not, but it certainly seems that way.



by Peter Donahue

I would like to talk about the overuse of volunteers by some agencies and organizations for the blind. Some of these outfits’ use of volunteers borders on abuse or exploitation, if you ask me. I know blind people who seemed to take the attitude of being grateful to have the opportunity to volunteer for these groups. Then these same people wonder why there’s a 70% unemployment rate among the blind. If this situation is to change, blind consumers need to say to these entities, “Enough!” If they want our talents and skills, there will be no more free rides. It’s high time for them to identify those among their volunteer pool that produce work for them regularly and bring them on as paid employees. Since some of these volunteers work from home, this is one way to create more such opportunities. I was a victim of one organization that Mary and I gave lots of volunteer time to over the years. After being mistreated, we finally said, “Enough!” If these entities want our talents and skills, they’ll need to pay us for them.

Let me remind everyone that sometimes opportunities that can be done from home find us. When this happens, it’s our responsibility to disregard whatever we’ve heard about such endeavors, being willing to embrace new and different ways of conducting business, upgrading our technology skills if necessary, keeping an open mind, and, as Lin said last Monday evening, “Never, never quit. You can’t know if this or that job or business opportunity is right for you if you get in one day and leave the next. Give it a good two years’ minimum to determine if it’s right for you or not.”

This too is one more reason why there aren’t more work-from-home opportunities. Mary and I would never urge anyone to try something we knew to be a scam, an illegal pyramid, etc.



  1. American Printing House Looking for Beta Testers for a New Typing Tutorial

From the July 2017 APH newsletter.

Help Us Test a New Online Typing Tutorial

Help us put web and accessibility standards to the test! APH is creating an online typing tutorial designed to work with any compatible screen reader and web browser using web accessibility standards. How many browser/screen reader combinations can we support with standards alone? Let’s find out and encourage all the major players to support web standards along the way.

If you are interested in beta testing our online typing tutorial app, please fill out the APH Beta Tester form. Be sure to indicate online typing tutorial as the product you are interested in testing.


  1. Artful Alchemy: Physically Challenged Fiber Artists Creating

Edited by Anne Copeland, with assistance from Barbara Williamson / C 2017

Available in print ($27.95) and e-book ($4.99) from Amazon and other online sellers.

This book contains a collection of beautiful art, plus the personal stories of the 23 multi-talented contributors. The common thread through their lives is that each woman has overcome physical and other challenges to become a successful artist in the textile medium. Many of these women have websites and sell their work through Internet sites, while others sell in galleries, exhibits, or through their teaching. Some create in order to speak to political and other social issues, while others use their quilts to educate the public about their physical challenges. If you have dreamed of expressing your own creativity, this book will provide the inspiration you need.

Website with full details, text preview, buying links, and contact information:



Climate Change and the Coming Big Bake by Steve Roberts

A heat wave is defined as three or more days in a row on which temperatures reach or exceed 90 degrees. A triple-digit heat wave occurs when temperatures reach or exceed 100 degrees. A triple-digit heat wave is as bad as most heat waves will ever get. There is a class of heat waves that is far more severe. These new-level scorchers are referred to as mega-heat waves by those in meteorology and climatology.

A mega-heat wave occurs when a ridge of high pressure locks in on an area that is under the influence of drought. In effect, the heat ridge and the drought each serve as co-conspirators in the evolution of this mega-heat wave. How can a drought and a heat ridge cook up a mega-heat wave, you ask?

The sun warms the ground and the ground warms the air. If the soil moisture is high, then the sun’s energy will be used to evaporate moisture, not to heat the ground and the overlying atmosphere. As the sun goes to work evaporating the moisture in the soil, a feedback loop sets up. The sun’s rays evaporate moisture from the ground while allowing more of the sun’s energy to warm the ground. The warmer ground fosters the acceleration of evaporation of moisture from the soil, which further enhances the warming effect of the sun’s rays. Over time, the sun’s rays will sap the soil of all of its moisture, affording the sun its maximum warming effect.

If a heat ridge builds in this parched area, a mega-heat wave will bake the land. The air sinks within high pressure ridges. As the air sinks, it heats up and dries out. This is called compressional warming by those in meteorology. Think of this heat ridge as a great big pressure cooker. The heat ridge fosters the evolution of a mega-heat wave in yet another way. The sinking air within the ridge suppresses the development of clouds. With little or no cloud cover to intercept the sun’s warming rays, the solar heat lamp can add all the more to the temperatures inside the pressure cooker.

Over time, this drought and coinciding heat ridge become a self-stabilizing state. As the air sinks, it will heat up and suppress the development of clouds in the process. With unlimited access to the ground beneath, the sun’s warming rays can have their maximum heating impact on the environment. The sinking air coupled with the falling sunrays conspire to heat the air, dry the soil, and dry roast the areas within its unrelenting grip. This is how a mega-heat wave unfolds. A mega-heat wave has the potential to be very persistent.

In the year 2003, Europe suffered through its worst heat wave in at least 500 years. This heat wave sent temperatures up past 100 degrees in many places. The heat coinciding with drought cut crop yields by over 20%. Massive wildfires raged in Portugal and other nations in southern Europe. When all was said and done, 30,000 lives were lost to this mega-heat wave.

The year 2010 brought yet another mega-heat wave to portions of the Northern Hemisphere. This time, it was Russia’s turn to be dry-roasted. The mega-heat wave of 2010 cut crop yields by up to 25% and spawned massive wildfires that raged out of control for weeks. This heat wave sent daytime highs well over 100 degrees for a month. Daytime highs were 10 to18 degrees Celsius above normal throughout the duration of the mega-heat wave. When all was said and done, 55,000 souls were lost to this awful heat wave. The heat wave of 2010 was said to be the worst in 500 years.

Scientists tell us that climate change doubles the likelihood of mega-heat waves. Climate models predict that extreme heat events will increase twice as fast as global temperatures rise. With a planetary warming spurt currently ongoing, it is just a matter of time before another mega-heat wave bakes some portion of the globe. Could the United States be next?

Should a mega-heat wave take place within the United States, there would be a weather emergency like nothing in the country’s history. The high power demand resulting from this scorcher will result in lots of power failures that will plunge millions of people into darkness. People could cook to death within the brick oven buildings that are so numerous within the urban centers in the Midwest and Northeast U.S.

With imited water supplies resulting from drought, heat-related ailments could skyrocket, leading to even more fatalities. Those who are old, ill, or otherwise in bad shape could also succumb to this deadly weather event. When one combines the loss of life from all of the previously mentioned factors, the loss of life could be truly staggering! This mega-heat wave could handily dwarf the loss of life resulting from the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 and Katrina combined!

The National Weather Service would probably put two-thirds of the United States under excessive heat advisories, watches, or warnings. During an excessive heat warning, businesses are shut down, heat emergency centers are opened on a massive scale, and power companies urge the conservation of power to prevent rolling blackouts. The societal impact of this heat wave would be truly profound and last for as long as the scorcher persisted.


  1. THE HANDLER’S CORNER: Living and Working with Guide Dogs

by Ann Chiappetta, MS

Greetings to you all. I hope you and your guide dogs have had a fun summer season. Did you know  September is National Guide and Service Dog Month? That’s right; all around the United States there will be activities and news clips reporting how service dogs help humans. Speaking locally, many of the guide dog users here will be gathering for a short walk at the county seat in downtown White Plains, N.Y., and other walks will be held in other cities like Buffalo. I heard other service dog organizations will also be involved in promoting public awareness campaigns.

Do you know the differences between a service dog, emotional support animal, and therapy animal? I often come across folks who assume persons with emotional support animals or therapy animals have the same access rights. Below is a brief description of each type of animal helper so you can know the difference.

Imagine a pyramid. The top is the service dog category and the bottom is the therapy animal category.

Service Animal: A dog that is individually trained to do work or perform a task or set of tasks for a person with a disability, like picking up objects or helping with mobility. A guide dog is a type of service dog.

Emotional Support Animal: Also referred to as an ESA. Provides comfort just by being with its owner and has not been trained to perform specific tasks.

Therapy Animal: A therapy animal is trained to provide comfort and interact with individuals or groups (not the owner). A therapy animal must be invited by the establishment and, in most cases, provide proof of vaccinations and/or certification.

It is important to know that only a service dog is allowed full public access. The only exception, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act, is the minihorse. Minis are trained to guide and assist with mobility.

Next month, I will be reporting on the laws pertaining to service animals, so stay tuned. Thanks for reading.

Ann Chiappetta, MS is a poet, author, and consultant. Her poetry collection, Upwelling: Poems, is available in e-book or print on demand. Go to for details.

Ann’s blog,, offers more writing, short stories, and poems.

Her memoir, Follow Your Dog: Story of Love and Trust, is planned for release in November 2017. You can email Ann at with comments and feedback.



Mental Health First Aid as a Turning Point by Terri Winaught

(Proofreader’s note: The numbers in parentheses refer to the footnotes that accompany the article.) 

When I was in elementary school, I learned some first aid toward obtaining a Girl Scout badge

Until recently, I always thought of first aid as the process of providing physical assistance to someone who was ill or injured until professional help arrived. Although that is the case, there is also a similar process for someone who is experiencing a mental health crisis. That evidence-based process, developed in Australia in 2000 and brought to the United States in 2008, is called Mental Health First Aid. (1)

The purpose of this article is to explore what Mental Health First Aid is, what it isn’t, and how it can be a turning point that inspires someone to get professional help.


Developed by two nurses, Mental Health First Aid is a set of techniques that enable the helper to respond to someone in crisis until professional help arrives. Although the Mental Health First Aider is trained with the appropriate skill sets, he or she is not a counselor, therapist, or diagnostician. A Mental Health First Aider provides assessment, support, and reassurance until professional help arrives, or until natural supports like family and friends can be contacted.


Just as the person providing physical first aid starts by assessing an individual for injury or illness, so too does Mental Health First Aid begin with assessment. Whether the person needing help is experiencing anxiety, depression, psychosis, or substance use, the “A” in the formula called ALGEE is assessing for harm or suicide. When assessing for suicidal thoughts or actions, it is important to ask outright if the person is thinking of killing him- or herself. If the person says yes, we need to ask clearly if the person has a plan, the means to carry it out, or a history of suicide attempts.


For some First Aiders, this part of the process can be challenging, especially if reared with religious convictions like “If you commit suicide, you’re going to go to hell!” (2)


Assure the person that he or she will be okay.


What makes doing this so important is the statistic that only 41% of people needing help get it. Also, it often takes people 10 years to reach out for help. (3)


Family members and friends can be crucial sources of emotional support, especially if some of them have the lived experience of a mental health diagnosis or diagnoses.


Although the Mental Health First Aider is not a counselor, diagnostician, or therapist, he or she is trained to recognize signs and assess for harm or suicide. Additionally, these individuals are trained to know how to stay safe if someone’s behavior becomes aggressive, and when to call 911.

Mental Health First Aid represents a turning point when it is successful and people become motivated to reach for recovery.


In my next column, I will continue to elaborate on Mental Health First Aid as a turning point by sharing success stories, how to receive training, and how trained Mental Health First Aiders can make a difference.


(1) For detailed information on Mental Health First Aid, visit:

(2) Though most people talk about “committing” suicide, the proper term, according to, is “completing” suicide. The reason for this latter term is that committing suggests criminal behavior, and suicide is not a criminal act.

(3) Again, refer to or



Hi, Bob.

The July 2017 submission I am writing about is Dennis R. Sumlin’s “An Image of Yourself” column.

While I agree with him totally that there should be no stigma attached to self-pleasure, since it is a normal sexual urge in both men and women, I also find terms like “jacking off,” “jerking off,” and similar references offensive.

Just as children and adolescents learning about human sexuality in age-appropriate ways need to learn the correct names of body parts, so, too, is it necessary to teach the correct reference to self-pleasure being masturbation.

Terri Winaught

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


  1. TIPS FOR VIPS (Because Visually Impaired People Are Important, Too)

by Penny Fleckenstein, who blogs at

Hello, everyone.

It’s the beginning of school. Many have wrapped up their summer travel and are preparing for autumn. If you’re homeschooling or without children, you can save lots of money by vacationing in September and October. The weather is cooler, and prices are lower. Hotels are eager for business. Attractions are less crowded.

Soon it’ll be time for next year’s vacation plans. According to, “Driver’s licenses from nine states will no longer be acceptable forms of identification at TSA checkpoints starting in 2018 for those traveling on commercial flights. Driver’s licenses from nine states do not currently meet the requirements of the federal government’s security standards. The nine states are: Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Washington. Starting next year a passport, military ID, or permanent resident card will be required to pass through TSA security at airports, unless changes are made to the licenses in these states. The good news is that Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Washington have already moved forward with actions to make their state licenses Real ID compliant. Most, if not all, of these states should be ready to issue new licenses before the required deadline. If all goes to plan, residents from these eight states may be able to avoid having to show a passport, military ID, or permanent resident card, but Kentucky isn’t so lucky. As of now, Kentucky won’t have a Real ID license ready until 2019.”

I imagine that means if I want to fly, I need to spend extra money either on passports for my family or changing over our IDs. Although I would like to believe that a compliant form of ID will be available before I fly, I have my doubts, because the government works in slow motion.

My summer was packed with new experiences, surprises, and a lot of fun. I’ve been stretching myself, making life more exciting and challenging. I visited my newest grandson, now four months old, in New York State. I had some unexpected expenses. I’m saving money for my next trip to New York. One glitch was when my bus was over an hour late leaving Cleveland, which eliminated a fairly inexpensive breakfast at Tim Horton’s in Buffalo. I bought a late lunch, which cost $35 over my budget. Also, it was 1 p.m., and I had already sugar crashed. No matter how much planning you do, something can go wrong. I had additional unexpected expenses, which made for a tight budget in August. Just as I’ve learned to build in margin when managing time, I need to learn to build in a margin when mastering money management.

Amongst my adventures is my transition to a more plant-based diet. I found an excellent sweet potato pancake recipe (exactly what I searched for with Google) at . She has many vegan recipes with videos. We made waffles. They were delicious! I’m planning to try more of her recipes, along with recipes from, where I found a vegan potato salad. I felt proud taking it to two events.

One of the obstacles to a joy-filled, adventurous life when you’re blind is that you can’t see anything, and people’s descriptions are scary or lack the information you need to make an informed decision. I made the decision to waterski with WPABOLD (Western Pennsylvania Blind Outdoor Leisure Development). I was told waterskiing is being pulled behind a boat while wearing skis.

“What a weird concept,” I thought. “I want to experience the fun for myself.”

Waiting was the worst. The closer it got to 12 p.m., when I knew it was ending, the more anxious I grew. I wished they had taken me first. I began on the side of the boat, holding a bar called the boom. My skis fell off, the boat sped up, and I let go, swallowing some Allegheny River water. When the gentlemen put me back in the boat, I opted to ski sitting down in a chair that was pulled behind the boat. That was an incredible experience! I was shown hand signals and, because I’m totally blind, the person on the boat blew a whistle to inform me of what he was doing. Now that I’ve described my experience, I hope you will consider waterskiing, either the standard way, by being on the side of the boat, or the adaptive way, using the chair called the cage. As outlandish as I think it is, I’m glad I did it. It sure has added a new dimension to my life. I can’t wait till next year to do it again!

If you’ve added a new dimension to your life, have tips to share, or just want to write me a note, please email me at: .

I’m always ecstatic about your correspondence. Happy adventuring!



by Karen Crowder

As I sit here, listening to crickets and tree frogs, I cannot believe another summer is almost over. With September arriving in one week, another school year is here. By late September, autumn arrives. Mums start appearing, as do late summer roses. Fresh corn, zucchini, tomatoes, apples, and peaches are plentiful in orchards, at farm stands, and in gardens. Until late September, ice cream and roadside stands are still open.

Holidays: Labor Day in 2017 is on September 4. In 2017, the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah is on September 21, and Yom Kippur is September 30.

Of the following three recipes, two were given to me by Marcy Segelman. The recipes have been in her family and come from The Kosher Cookbook. It is also a website. She gives these recipes in honor of Rosh Hashanah.


  1. Homemade Tomato Tuna Melt
  2. Honey Pomegranate Cake
  3. Apple Sour Cream Coffee Cake

  1. Homemade Tomato Tuna Melt

While visiting my friend Candice in July, we had supper at my favorite Friendly’s restaurant in Weymouth. I had their super tuna melt. It was delicious, just as I remembered from when I lived there. The tuna melts were always toasted and buttery. I tried making it at home and liked how it turned out. I have doubled the recipe, but you can double it again.


Four slices white or whole wheat bread

Four slices American cheese

Two 6-ounce cans water-packed tuna

Four spoonfuls mayonnaise

One slice onion, chopped

A dash of curry powder

Four thin slices tomato

One half-stick butter


  1. Melt butter in a 10- or 12-inch cast iron skillet.
  2. Prepare tuna filling and refrigerate it for 15 minutes.
  3. Before assembling sandwiches, remove the tuna filling from the refrigerator.
  4. Melt butter in skillet. While doing this, prepare the sandwiches.
  5. On two plates, put a slice of cheese on each slice of bread. Place a thin slice of tomato on each slice of cheese.
  6. Add 2-3 generous spoonfuls of tuna on slices of tomato.
  7. Make two sandwiches, then gently place them in hot butter.
  8. Toast sandwiches on low heat for 11minutes on first side. With metal or plastic turner, carefully turn over sandwiches, toasting them for 9 to 10 minutes.
  9. Cut sandwiches in half, and present them on plates.

These make great after-school suppers with hot tomato, mushroom, or chicken soup. Your kids and guests will love this recipe. They may request this simple and delicious recipe.

  1. Honey Pomegranate Cake

Submitted by Marcy Segelman

Marcy says she has made this often, and it is part of the celebratory feast on Jewish holidays.


Four eggs

One cup sugar

One cup vegetable oil

One and one-half cups honey

Three cups flour

Three teaspoons baking powder

One-half teaspoon baking soda

One cup brewed pomegranate tea, cold. The tea should be brewed for 30 minutes.


One-half cup pomegranate juice

One-fourth cup sugar

Juice of one-half lemon

Four tablespoons powdered sugar

One-half cup pomegranate seeds.

Directions for the cake:

  1. With a hand or stand mixer, beat eggs and sugar until smooth for three minutes.
  2. Add oil and brewed tea, and mix for two minutes on medium speed.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Slowly add them to liquid ingredients.
  4. Pour batter into a 10-inch tube or Bundt pan.
  5. Bake cake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 300 degrees; bake for an additional 45 minutes.
  6. When cake is done, invert cake onto a plate and cool it completely before removing Bundt or tube pan.

Directions for the glaze:

  1. Combine pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice in small saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium heat, bringing it to a boil.
  3. Turn heat to low, cover, and allow it to simmer.
  4. Uncover it, and stir frequently for 15 minutes (it will become syrupy and reduce to half).
  5. Remove glaze from heat and allow it to cool slightly.
  6. Whisk in powdered sugar until glaze is smooth. Stir in half a cup of pomegranate seeds and glaze cake.

  1. Apple Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Submitted by Marcy Segelman

Marcy says, “My aunt made this all the time. It was good. Everyone loved it.”

Ingredients for topping and filling:

One-third cup packed light brown sugar

Two tablespoons sugar

One cup walnuts or pecans

One and one-half teaspoons cinnamon

One-half cup cake flour

One-half teaspoon vanilla

Four tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces.

Ingredients for cake:

Four large egg yolks

One cup sour cream

One and one-half teaspoons vanilla

Two cups cake flour

One cup sugar

One-half teaspoon baking powder

One-half teaspoon baking soda

One-fourth teaspoon salt

Twelve tablespoons room-temperature unsalted butter

One peeled and cored apple sliced into one-fourth wedges tossed in lemon juice.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Grease and flour bottom and sides of springform pan.
  3. Make filling and topping with a food processor, combining sugar, nuts, and cinnamon. Then pulse several times.
  4. Remove one-fourth cup of chopped mixture and put it aside.
  5. Add flour, butter, and vanilla to nut mixture to processor and pulse again until it is creamy.


  1. In a medium mixing bowl, lightly whisk egg yolks, one-fourth cup sour cream, and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients in another bowl and mix on low speed for 30 seconds.
  2. Add butter and three-fourths cup sour cream, and mix on slow speed for 30 seconds until ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed and beat for two minutes.
  3. In three batches, add egg mixture, beating for 20 seconds after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber or plastic spatula.
  4. Put two-thirds of batter in prepared springform pan. Smooth with spatula and sprinkle filling over it. Put the rest of cake batter and topping over the filling. Smooth it again with the spatula.
  5. Bake cake for 55-60 minutes, testing it with a fork or tester for doneness.
  6. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes on a rack. Loosen sides with small spatula and remove from springform pan. Cool cake completely before wrapping it. Refrigerate it until serving time. Marcy says it can be enjoyed for breakfast, as a snack, or at dinner.

Note: In a few cases, I have changed a few words for clarification in the recipes.

I hope Consumer Vision readers have enjoyed this September column at the end of a lovely summer. Let us pray for a peaceful, civil, and contented America.



by Marcy Segelman

Early L’shana Tova (sweet good year). I want to share my experience of these two most holy days of the year for myself and many Jews through the world. These ten days are very well spent and probably are more important than ever.

What is Rosh Hashanah about, exactly? The Jewish New Year. A time of great celebration and subtle trepidation. A day of celebration or creation, but also a day of accounting and judgment for our actions. The Book of Life is opened before the Divine Being and we become advocates for our personal inscriptions, as we attempt honestly to evaluate ourselves.

What is a shofar?

A shofar is a ram’s horn that is blown like a trumpet during the Jewish month of Elul that leads up to Rosh Hashanah services and at the end of Yom Kippur. The four sounds of the shofar—tekiah, shevarim, teruah, and takiah gedollah—remind many people of crying voices. Hearing the shofar’s call is a reminder to look at our past sins of the year.

What traditional foods are served? Are any foods forbidden? And what’s the reason for those round challah loaves?

Traditionally, Jews eat sweet foods—like apple and honey, challah, and tzimmes—to symbolize a sweet new year. Chicken and brisket are frequently served in Sephardic tradition, and a number of foods believed to signify our wishes for the coming year, such as pomegranates, leeks, and pumpkin. Also appearing on the Rosh Hashanah table are the same foods eaten year round. The challah is round this time of year only to remind us of the never-ending cycle of life.

What do “shana tova” and “gmar chatima tova” mean?

“Shana tova” means “Have a good year” or “Happy New Year.” A similar expression is “L’shana tova unetukah,” which means “for a good and sweet year.” “Gmar chatima tova” literally means “a good singing/sealing.” This is a traditional greeting from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, referring to the belief that one’s fate is written on Rosh Hashanah, and then on Yom Kippur it is sealed.

How long does Rosh Hashanah last?

Traditionally, Jews observe two days of Rosh Hashanah. It is observed from sunset to sunset. So this year it will start at Rosh Hashanah eve on September 20, which is the 29th day of Elul. The first day of Rosh Hashanah is the month of Tishiri 5778. On the other hand, the Reform congregations only observe the first day, but the holiday does not stop there. It is also celebrated 10 days later with Yom Kippur.

Do I have to belong to a synagogue to go to services?

No, you do not, although in most synagogues, you will need to. Buying a ticket does a few things. It is your membership for the year, and it goes to the building fund as well as to other things that come along during the year. We do have other activities to raise money for the synagogue. In most cases, if you have a hardship, you can negotiate a lower rate. I myself give time and do things.

Where can I find a livestream of Rosh Hashanah services?

While traditional Jews do not use technology on Rosh Hashanah, a growing number of non-Orthodox congregations are broadcasting High Holy Day services as well as streaming Shabbat services and making previous services available for streaming anytime on their site or YouTube channel. You can look up streaming High Holy Day services here. With this new technology, we get the things that we miss out on by having it in our homes.

Is it true that you are supposed to throw bread in the water on Rosh Hashanah?

This is true. During the Tashlich ceremony that is held on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, Jews symbolically cast off their sins by throwing pieces of bread into a body of water. We bring our dogs for fun, as well. The children have a lot of fun casting the bread in the water, and the seagulls have a good time, as well.

What prayers do we read on Rosh Hashanah?

While some of the liturgy is similar to other weekday or Shabbat services, much of it is unique, and several of these prayers are repeated later on Yom Kippur. Arguably the most famous part of Rosh Hashanah service is the blowing of the shofar. To me it is the sweetest sound there is. As the shofar sounds, the most famous prayer is Unetanah Tokef.



Part 1 by Cleora Boid

I would like to talk about job fairs, how they benefit the blind, and how the blind can benefit those who run these fairs. I think help is needed on both sides.

My last semester at college, I went to a job fair and also attended a seminar sponsored by the Texas Commission for the Blind that was meant to give attendees experience in interviewing with a prospective employer. I had worked for several years before being diagnosed with RP, so the only part of this that was of interest to me was the added aspect of being visually impaired.

There were four guests at the seminar.

One was a blind chiropractor who was a personal friend of mine whom I met through the job I had when my brother was diagnosed. I was working for a CPA at the time, and he was one of our clients. He introduced me to the Commission for the Blind and provided valuable information that my brother used to pursue vocational rehab.

One was a disk jockey who had a conspicuous habit of rocking to and fro to some tune in his head. He seemed totally oblivious to how he was constantly bumping the people on either side of him. I guess this is okay if you are in a booth by yourself, but I’m thinking that a prospective employer might have a negative view of this behavior.

I don’t remember what the other two did.

I wasn’t interested in most of the companies at the job fair. I narrowed my meetings to those that offered the type of job I would like to do. The ones that I talked with were polite and said all the politically correct things. One of them had actually asked to talk to me based on one of the courses I had taken. They ultimately flew me to Dallas for an interview.

There was a representative at the commission who went around the country talking to companies that were interested in hiring people with visual impairments. He recommended me to one of the companies, a pharmaceutical firm in Fort Worth, and they contacted me to see if I would be interested in coming for an interview. I was very impressed with the company, and when they made me an offer, I accepted. I worked for them 22 and a half years, at the end of which time my job was outsourced, and after consideration I opted to take disability retirement, since at that time I had other health issues to deal with.

There are a few things that I observed over the years. In most ways, a visually impaired person is no different from anyone else seeking a job for the first time. If the person has never worked before, he or she will have no idea what to do. Sure, maybe the individual has gone to school and gotten a degree or training in some type of skill to offer the employer. But, in fact, since he or she has never worked, the person has no idea of what that means. This isn’t going to be like doing chores around the house, where one can slough off and Mom or Dad just yells or, in the interest of economy, just goes ahead and does it for the individual.

The employer is not a parent. The employer has likely hired inexperienced people before. He knows they probably think they know everything and can just walk into the job and get a promotion and double their salary in three months. He knows it will be a lot more expensive to hire a first-timer than to hire someone who has had a job before, and way more expensive than if he can find someone who has not only worked before but has work experience in the job he needs to fill. Some employers are willing to hire first-timers, but they know it will be a while before this person catches on and really becomes productive. They know many of these people will not work out. They also know someone has to give them a chance, and this might just be the one gem out of the bunch that will be the perfect addition to their company. This concern is doubled when he considers hiring a visually impaired person. Not only is this an untried commodity; there will be additional expense involved in preparing the workplace for this person to be productive.

I will be discussing this topic further in the October Consumer Vision.



Here is the answer to the trivia question in the August Consumer Vision. There are 12 zeroes in a trillion. Congratulations to the following winners:

Marcy Segelman of West Roxbury, Massachusetts

Chad Grover of Corning, New York

Susan Jones of Indianapolis, Indiana

Mark Blier of Sierra Vista, Arizona

Jan Colby of Brockton, Massachusetts

Don Hanson of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Alan Dicey of Plantation, Florida

Steve Théberge of Attleboro, Massachusetts

And now, here is your trivia question for September. Who sang the 1970 hit song “Rainy Night in Georgia”? If you know the answer, please email or call 508-994-4972.



by Leonore Dvorkin

This information may be of some use to those of you who write for Consumer Vision or other publications. I certainly hope so, as it could save you from a lawsuit.

It is illegal to quote the lyrics of songs written after 1923 without prior permission, as those songs are NOT in the public domain. The music industry is notoriously strict about this. It is not illegal to give the name of a song or to post a link to the song being sung somewhere online. That’s why you can link to the song on YouTube or elsewhere. 

The best advice is, just don’t quote song lyrics unless you are sure that the song was written prior to 1923. There is lots of online advice about this issue if you care to seek it out.


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