The Consumer Vision

May/June, 2008

Editor-in-Chief/Publisher: Bob Branco

Braille Production: Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library CD Production: Bob Zeida

Cassette Production: MAB Community Services

Print Production: Alpha Graphics

Formatting and Proof-Reading: Kathryn Arruda

Cassette Duplication: Gerry Arsenault

Treasurer: Maureen Bussey

Advisory Committee: Dan Germano, Marianne Martin, Lori Rego, Lisa Saulnier, Charles Soforenko, Gail Teixeira and Clayton Wall.

Would you like a free subscription to The Consumer Vision six times a year? If so, and if you are not yet on our mailing list, please contact our office at 508-994-4972 or email us at bobbranco93@gmail.com. The Consumer Vision is available in print, Braille, CD, cassette and email.

Disclaimer

The Consumer Vision magazine accepts editorial contributions and letters to the editor at the above address. Contributors agree to, by virtue of their submissions to grant The Consumer Vision magazine the right to publish submissions. They also grant The Consumer Vision magazine the right to make any appropriate editorial changes, if deemed necessary. Contributors also verify by virtue of their submissions that they own the right to publish work submitted. Any claims of copyright infringement will be referred to the contributor, who will also be responsible for any and all costs associated with said claims. Advertisers are responsible for all claims made in their ads. The Consumer Vision is not to be liable in any way for claims made by advertisers. However, readers are encouraged to report any problems with our advertisers.

-Table Of Contents-

What's New

By Charles Arruda

Swearing

By Bob Branco

CATCH A VISION

by Allison Vigna

The Telemarketing Profession

By Bob Branco

Praying

By Valerie Moreno

Classified Ads

YOUR VIEW

The Consumer Vision Trivia Contest

Dan's Kitchen

HAMBURGER STROGANOFF

Soap Talk

By Gert Moore

What's New

By Charles Arruda

Those of us who are past the half a century mark can still remember 45 records and reel to reel tape players. My first experience with an audio book was with a reel to reel 4-track tape player in the early seventies. How times have changed. Records, 8-tracks and reel to reel have all but disappeared from consumer use.

We are now in the process of another great change. DVDs are replacing VHS cassettes and CDs have already replaced tape cassettes in the music industry. Don't get comfortable yet as the next advancement in media is solid state electronic memory. Goodbye cassette tape and CD discs for audio books - here comes Playaway!

Playaway is a new format of audio all in one small unit. There is no need for a separate bulky player, and it comes with earphones and a battery. A Playaway weighs only 2 ounces, can easily fit in a pocket yet it can hold up to 80 hours of content. It's the easiest way to listen to music or an entire book. Simply press and play. Each Playaway comes with an automatic bookmark function to remember where you left off. How convenient is that? Playaways also have a universal headphone jack. This enables it to be used with a variety of mobility accessories including FM transmitters, portable speakers and audio cables so you can listen in virtually any environment.

And how's this for an earth-friendly, recyclable feature? The unit can be reused and reloaded with a new title of your choice. I first heard about Playaway at the local library. If you are interested in Playaways, check your library to inquire on their availability. In the event that they don't have them as of yet, encourage them to acquire them. If you want to purchase your own, visit http://store.playawaydigital.com/. Solid state electronic memory is here now and I think it's an excellent format for all media. Not only is it compact but it has no moving parts to break down. I especially appreciate the fact that I don't have to deal with potentially chewed up tape or scratched cds. Before long, even solid state video media will replace DVDs. I can't wait!

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Swearing

By Bob Branco

I would like to take issue with something that keeps occuring in the rules offered by certain organizations for persons with disabilities. Allow me to start out by asking a question. I'm sure most of you are familiar with bowling leagues. There are money leagues, men's leagues, senior leagues, junior leagues, co-ed leagues, etc. There may even be leagues for the left-handed, blue-eyed or those with rosy red cheecks, who knows. In a bowling league of this type, such as a non-handicapped league, have you ever heard it stated in their rules that you are not allowed to swear? Furthermore, does it ever say that if you are caught swearing three times, you are suspended from league activity? Please don't misunderstand where this is going. I don't swear, and I don't like it when people use foul language in my presence, so this is not about me condoning swearing, because I don't. The point is that society works very hard to bring the message across to handicapped individuals that swearing is bad, but it doesn't bring the message across to non-handicapped swearers as often. I belonged to two separate bowling leagues for the handicapped where it was voted that the no-swearing clause be included in the rules. If it is so important to make sure that a handicapped individual understands that he can't swear, so much so that we have to write a rule about it, then why don't we apply the same rule to the average, non-disabled, hard-working Joe who swears?

Here is the dangerous precedent that we set, and sometimes without knowing it. When we work for an integrated organization, that is, one which includes handicapped and non-handicapped people, we can't send the proper message about swearing if we don't enforce it on the non-handicapped the same as we do the handicapped. I see this all the time in my bowling league. When a bowler with a disability swears, he or she is called on the carpet, but when a non-disabled bowler shouts out the "F" word, it almost goes unnoticed. What kind of message are we really sending to persons with disabilities about swearing if they see non-disabled people get away with it?

Two weeks ago, a bowler with a disability used the "F" word, and all she heard was, "Watch your language, that's not nice to say. There are kids around." Moments after she used the "F" word, a macho, able-bodied bowler in his late forties used the same "F" word, and there was nothing but silence. Mind you, this macho guy swears all the time. Everyone who knows him well has heard him thousands of times, and probably accepts it so much that it's believed that you can't tell him anything. Nonetheless, I sarcastically opened my mouth and said, "Kevin, you better watch your language; that wasn't very nice, and there are kids around." I probably never said that to him in all the years I've known him socially, but at that moment I was making a point. This same guy who swears every minute has no problem telling the handicapped girl not to do it, but he turned around and did it. What was it? Did all the children who were around the handicapped girl suddenly disappear when the guy swore?

I don't like double standards, and this is the classic case of one of the worst double standards I can remember.

I know that at times we need to enforce certain rules so that people with mental challenges can learn. I agree that in a handicapped organization such as a bowling league for these individuals, it should be in the rules that hitting is not allowed. I understand that, because violence may be a symptim for someone's mental challenge. In the non-handicapped or able-bodied world, we all understand that violence is wrong, but you never see it included in the operating rules of a money league, a senior league or a construction-workers league.

How can we change these double standards, if possible, of course?

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CATCH A VISION

by Allison Vigna

Hello Catch A Vision: Hello Allison My name is Cindi Washington. I wrote a poem as a cry unto God. A christian volunteer suggested that I journal. I had been using drugs, drinking and was full of sin and trying to serve God all at the same time. I found myself facing a two year sentence in jail. I am a housewife and mother......How did this happen to me? ...............What I have learned from this experience is to know God is a merciful God and all forgiving and I have taken up my cross and I'm pressing onward towards the truth. His name is JESUS because..... He is the way, Truth and The Life.

Dear Cindi You have answered your own question of "How did this happen to me?" Because of Jesus Christ we all get the chance to have eternal life through him. Through his forgiveness of our sin , mercy for our souls and grace that is all sufficient. We have an opportunity for a chance to enter the place where there is love, joy, and peace. Glory to God for this act of obedience on your part. I want to take this opportunity to give thanks to the Lord Jesus Christ who has set me free from the ills of my life. May God continue to bless you.

Here is Cindi's poem to God:

I Know You Are There

Abba daddy I know you are there your Word tells me so I have nothing to fear Thank You Lord for keeping me safe From a life of grief My faith is small but I know my faith will increase Because of your love I may find peace Could have gone down another road I'm grateful for this trial I know it will be an easier load For my anger will turn to Love! My character eventually will be like to Jesus! Sent by a dove I cry to you Lord Set me free! Set me free! You say I'm giving you Tough Love My child ...Stand Firm you will see! you will see! So I lift up my hands and sing praise to you Holy Father knowing you are by my side singing joyous Psalms learning mysteries leaving the past hurts behind into history.

Blessings, Cindi Washington DWC Inmate

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The Telemarketing Profession

By Bob Branco

How often have you received a telemarketing call about your vehicle's warranty expiring even if you don't own a car? Why do these telemarketing companies waste their time calling people who do not qualify for their offers? In other words, if a telemarketer is trying to appeal to homeowners, why call tennants? How many wasted calls are made informing people about their vehicle warranty expirations when the customer either doesn't have a vehicle or has no expiring warranty? In my case, I don't even own a vehicle, yet my warranty has been expiring for the past three years.

Today, I received another call about my so-called vehicle warranty expiration, but this time I waited long enough to find out that I could press the number one to speak to a human being. I asked the human being to please take me off his list because I don't own a car! He said something to me and then hung up before I had a chance to thank him. How rude!!!

One day I decided to play a game with a telemarketer. I was working for a car dealer at the time when she received a telemarketing call that I answered. She authorized me to deal with it, so I did. I listened to their lingo and then told them I wasn't interested. They kept saying, "Yeah, But" "Yeah But" "Yeah But." Perhaps these people shouldn't be called telemarketers. They should be known as "Yeah-buts." They don't want to let you go.

In 1993 I was a telemarketer for a company that sold Kirby vacuum cleaners. In my opinion, the owners were stingy. My job was to convince the customer to let a Kirby salesman in the house so that he could try to sell the vacuum cleaner. For every successful call I made resulting in the actual sale of the Curby, I received $5. Mind you, the product being sold was worth $1,400. I know that the salesman received his commission, whatever it was, but don't you think I should have received more than $5 per call every time the customer bought the vacuum cleaner? Thank God I received a base salary or I wouldn't have taken the job. At one point a customer was ready to call the police on me because she thought I was harassing her. Right after that, my boss told me that I wasn't pushing hard enough. How ironic! How much harder did the boss want me to push the customer, especially after I've already been threatened by a customer with the police? When I was laid off from that job, I was ready to thank the boss.

Do yourselves a favor. Don't ever take any telemarketing jobs. It isn't worth it, especially if you don't believe in the product. Why would I care about a $1,400 Kirby vacuum cleaner that does everything but wash your dishes or change your baby's diapers, when I can get by with a dirt devil? Yet, I was hired to convince customers to allow a salesman to demonstrate a Kirby, and for their trouble they'd be awarded a free fruit basket. In the 18 months that I worked for that company, I only caused two sales. The only reason why I worked that long at a job I couldn't stand was because at least I had a job, and it's hard for a blind person to find one.

What are your thoughts?

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Praying

By Valerie Moreno

Praying

Grace envelops me dispelling fearful shadows bringing calm and Light

Valerie Moreno, Linden, NJ

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Classified Ads

T-shirts with Braille and print message "Braille keeps me in touch with the world." Large/extra large Red/blue, $12.00 Jenny Beck Chapter Braille Revival League 919 Walnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19107 Attention May Davis

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YOUR VIEW

Hey Bob: Hope all is well. I read the article you wrote about the Court System, and wanted to say that I've interned at two different courts, and ready to intern at another one next week. (District Court and Superior Court). Coming from my perspective as an intern, the court can order the defendants to show up, but if it's a claim that doesn't cost that much, especially small claims, the would cost extra money (and you can do this, Bob) to get a Court Marshall to escort the defendant, but those are for criminal cases where if the defendant didn't show, they would end up in jail or owing a large fine. Because your claim is so small, and I'm sure that all of the 200 cases that the judge called, because the claims are so small, it would probably tie up the legal system and court system if police or court Marshalls had to Marshall in every small claim incident. It's virtually impossible. My unsolicited advice would be to next time keep the person's name out of the paper (Jeff) because although you didn't give his last name, that borders on confidentiality, especially since I'm sure other people involved with the Consumer Vision are familiar with who he is. There is two sides to every story. How do we know that he may have lost his job or something happened. Maybe he forgot, and that happens to people.

Secondly, you got to look at both sides of the story when giving a critical review. Why not call up the court, and do a research project. Talk to the court and find out what they are doing, and try to understand what they are going through with the many people that don't show up. I mean, when I was interning, and I was in the court observing, I notice things from a different point of view because I'm on the other side. There are cases when defendants give the wrong information, they address, phone number and even social security numbers, and those people go disappear if they wanted to. It's not always the court's fault when they are unable to track someone down.

Lastly, regarding the dress attire of people who come into the court, in all honesty, New Bedford is a low income city. For awhile I had lack of proper clothing, and who knows if those people weren't informed by their lawyers of what to wear, or those who showed up who probably have nothing else to wear. I know that when I was interning, many people came to their trials in hooded sweatshirts, and I was shocked. I would think that their lawyers informed them, but you can't force everyone to follow the same ideology, especially young people.

That's my two cents -

Aquila

Hey Bob: My thoughts about your sue-happy article. This country is not all that is cracked up to be regarding suing someone. If you have fault to blame regarding suing, it's the city's decision regarding changing their park permit policy. Why do I say this? Again, I've been interning at two court houses (soon to be a third one next week), and a law firm. Gotten my paralegal certificate, and to be honest, frivolous law suits are thrown out of court with the plaintiff footing the cost of the lawyer's and court costs. Additionally, law firms refuse many of their clients that come in with claims that are not withstanding. It may seem from your point of view that this society is sue-happy, but in reality, it's not. People have the freedom and liberty to speak up, even if they are wrong, but as adults, when we think we're right, and learn we're wrong, it's a learning process. The city may give their reasons for changing the policy regarding park permits, especially if they are afraid of being sued, but you have to understand that they changed it, and it could have been because of one incident alone. I'm glad that people have the right to be able to bring suit if they felt they were wronged in anyway, regardless of whether they are right or wrong, that's the judicial system. Since beginning my studies in Political Science at Northeastern University last semester, it has opened my eyes as I learned about other countries. We have a lot to be grateful for in the U.S., and although the government has it's flaws, we still have a better judicial system than many countries around the world.

Aquila

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The Consumer Vision Trivia Contest

Here is the answer to the trivia question submitted in The Consumer Vision, March/April edition. On the television series, "Leave It to Beaver," Lumpy Rutheford's sister's name was Violet. Congratulations to the following winners:

Jan Colby of Brockton, Massachusetts Tommy O'Brien of New Bedford, Massachusetts Lucille Burkhardt of Little Rock, Arkansas Volly Nelson of Reidsville, Georgia.

And now, here is your trivia question for the May/June edition of the Consumer Vision: On the soap opera "Days of Our Lives", what is Steve Johnson's nickname? If you know the answer, please email us at bobbranco93@gmail.com or give our office a call at 508-994-4972.

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Dan's Kitchen

HAMBURGER STROGANOFF

Ingredients 1 lb. ground beef or 3/4 pound of good tender beef

, 1-tablespoon olive oil, or a half stick of butter

, 1 med. onion, chopped

2 tbsp. Flour, which equals ¼ cup 2 cloves garlic, chopped fine, 2 (4 oz.) cans drained mushrooms, sliced

1-cup sour cream

2 cups hot cooked noodles or rice

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

½ tsp paprika (if available)

1 10 oz. can of cream of mushroom soup

Measure out ingredients, open all cans or jars and peal and chop by hand garlic and medium sized onion.

Directions

1. Cover bottom of frying pan with olive oil.

2. Sauté chopped onion and garlic on medium to low flame for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally

3. Turn off burner.

4. Crumble 1-lb hamburger into the frying pan with the sauted onions and garlic.

5. Turn burner on to medium-low and stir

6. Brown hamburger mix for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally

7. Brown hamburger to touch

8. Now add flour, salt, pepper, mushrooms and paprika

9. Cook for 5 minutes on low flame, stirring mixture

10. Add soup and simmer on low-medium heat 10 minutes
11. Remove from heat

12. Add one-cup of sour cream and mix well. Remove the 1 cup of sour cream with your half cup, measuring cup. Do this twice to get your full cup of sour cream.

Noodles

Directions

Cook noodles in boiling water with salt and olive oil.

When water comes to a boil, add noodles and after a minute reduce heat to medium and let cook for 10 minutes and then taste for texture.

Strain into colander.

Optional-you can mix noodles with hamburger mixture or you can put them into separate containers. The End

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Soap Talk

By Gert Moore

ALL MY CHILDREN SNEAK PEEKS Annie sabotages a Fusion presentation. Ryan and Zach work together Warren Buffett advises Erica. Tad gets a lead on Kate. Dixie tells Adam she is there to make sure Aidan is taken hostage in Dar fur. Dixie continues to taunt Adam. Babe confronts Richie. Tad is certain he's close to finding Kate.

AS THE WORLD TURNS SNEAK PEEKS Alison freezes during a close moment with Chris. Emily and Casey team up for a story. Paul is surprised by Meg's actions. Brad gets the news he's been waiting for. Allison pushes Chris away and makes a huge mistake. Carly and Lily's plan backfires.

BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL SNEAK PEEKS Tensions rise between the Logan sisters. Rick offers to be Eric's best man. Nick and Bridget make a decision. Brook is suspicious of Stephanie. Erica and Donna hit the altar.

GENERAL HOSPITAL SNEAK PEEKS Carly considers institutionalizing Michael. Claudia flips out on Kate. Elizabeth marks Jake's first birthday with a party in the park. Alexis quizzes Jerry about Ian. Anthony sets his sights for Lulu. Nikolas has brain surgery. Sam makes an intriguing discovery. Lulu and Johnny join forces. Jason swoops in to rescue Spinelli.

DAYS OF OUR LIVES SNEAK PEEKS Morgan has it out for Philip. John hears reveling stories about his past. A mystery figure steals the disc with John's memories. Max saves the day for Nick. Lexie releases Ava into police custody. Chelsea pulls Daniel into a kiss. Kayla's water breaks. Things heat up between EJ and Sami. Sami is contacted by Lucas. Daniel opens up to Chelsea.

GUIDING LIGHT SNEAK PEEKS Lizzie gives bill an ultimatum. Coop is concerned about Ashlee's weight loss. Reva learns Cassie and Josh are having problems. Lillian takes on a difficult patient. Alan bonds with Buzz. Dinah and Marina fight over Mallet. Lizzie gets a Mother's Day present. Mallet gets involved in some shady dealings. Ashlee gets an offer from Dinah. Reva and Jeffrey write their own love song.

ONE LIFE TO LIVE SNEAK PEEK Shane sees a photo of his father. John and Blair search for the runaway teens. Gigi has a startling confession for Marcie. Dorian makes a decision for Langston. A drunken Rex puts on a show. Natalie and Jared make love. Rex and Adriana's wedding begins. Todd, Blair and John search for Cole and Starr. David pays Vikki a visit.

YOUNG AND RESTLESS SNEAK PEEKS Kevin worries Adrian's book will ruin Jana's life. Victor invites Adam to move to the ranch. Brad's plan to be Jill's right-hand man hits a snag. Colleen betrays Adrian. jack makes a decision that causes conflict with Nick, Phyllis and Sharon. Nikki has a shocking response to Victor and Sabrina's announcement.

PASSIONS SNEAK PEEKS Fancy and Luis take a dangerous flight. Gwen becomes suspicious of strange acts in the mansion. Julian hears a shocking confession. Juanita targets the Lopez- Fitzgeralds.

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