THE CONSUMER VISION
Address: 359 Coggeshall St., New Bedford, MA 02746
Publisher: Bob Branco
Editor: Terri Winaught
Proofreading, secondary editing, and final formatting of the newsletter are provided by David and Leonore Dvorkin.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The title of each article will be separated from its author by three asterisks ***.
For your convenience and to make using your browser's search feature easier, three asterisks *** will also be used between articles.
Finally, three asterisks *** will be used between recipes in Karen Crowder's column as well as in Readers' Forum and Special Notices when those features contain more than one item.
1. A NOTICE FROM THE PUBLISHER *** by Bob Branco
2. HEALTH MATTERS *** by Leonore H. Dvorkin
3. THE IMAGE OF YOURSELF *** by Dennis R Sumlin
4. TECH CORNER *** by Stephen Théberge
5. COMMENTARY AFTERMATH *** by James R. Campbell
6. THE MOUNT EVEREST OF EQUALITY *** by Brian J. Coppola
7. SOCIETY'S TRENDS *** by Bob Branco
8. SPECIAL NOTICES *** A New Book and a Book Drive
9. WEATHER OR NOT *** by Steve Roberts
10. THE HANDLER'S CORNER *** by Ann Chiappetta, M.S.
12. TIPS FOR VIPS *** by Penny Fleckenstein
13. RECIPE COLUMN *** by Karen Crowder
14. LOVE LETTERS IN THE GRAND *** by John Justice
15. GUIDE TRAINING *** by Ernie Jones
16. THOUGHTS ON BEING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HELP DESK *** by Patty Fletcher
1. A NOTICE FROM THE PUBLISHER
Before I make my announcement, I would like to thank you for your continued interest and support. Here at Consumer Vision, we do our best to produce a quality product every month, and we try to cover as many topics as possible. I would also like to thank our writing team for their wonderful contributions. Keep up the good work.
On the subject of writing, I am very pleased to tell all of you about my new blog. As of this writing, my blog has been running for five days, and thus far, I have nearly 20 subscribers. I write about many interesting topics, including recent news, society's trends, issues facing the disability community, sports, education, etc. We welcome your subscription! Please go to www.brancoevents.com/category/recent-news
You may fill out the necessary information.
Bob Branco, Publisher
The Consumer Vision
2. HEALTH MATTERS
The Benefits of Chocolate
by Leonore H. Dvorkin
Note: This article was originally published in a Denver newsletter in 2007. It has been slightly altered for this appearance.
Wow. Could the health news be any better? Chocolate is GOOD for us!
That's what article after article has been shouting out, lately, and lovers and makers of chocolate all over the world are rejoicing. I'm joining the chorus, and I've combed a number of articles to bring you some findings that I consider particularly interesting. So go get yourself a nice mug of cocoa or a chunk of chocolate, and enjoy the read.
Part of my work consists of tutoring foreign languages, something that requires a lot of concentration from both me and my students. Consequently, I'm always on the lookout for something that will both lift my students' mood and sharpen their cognitive skills. Now I know why I was on the right track when I first set a little bowl of candies on the table where I teach— and why the red-wrapped Dove dark chocolate pieces have been so popular.
It turns out that chocolate can boost blood flow to both the heart and the brain. The increase in brain function can last for two or three hours. It's the cocoa flavonols, a type of antioxidant, that get the credit here. In addition, the same flavonols can lower blood pressure in people being treated for hypertension. Some researchers believe that high blood pressure may be a factor in the cognitive decline seen in aging. Given all this, candy manufacturers are now seeking to boost the level of flavonols in dark chocolate even higher than the level found in nature.
The fats in dark chocolate may help lower bad (LDL) cholesterol. Perhaps most surprising of all, they may even aid diabetics by boosting insulin sensitivity. So, a gift of a box of dark chocolates, which contain the most cocoa, may well do a lot more for Grandma and Grandpa than merely say, "I love you."
Note that I keep stressing dark chocolate. That's because—sadly enough for all you lovers of milk chocolate—milk dilutes the cocoa content of chocolate and also increases its saturated fat content, thus greatly diminishing its benefits. Most sources I've consulted define "dark chocolate" as that which contains at least 60% cocoa, also known as cacao (pronounced "ka-COW").
There are many brands of chocolate, organic and not. The price can vary tremendously, as can the taste and texture, or "mouth feel." My best advice is to experiment, sampling a few bars until you find a brand and cocoa content you really like. For me, 60-75% cocoa (cacao) is fine, but above that is too bitter. If you like, buy dark chocolate with nuts, orange peel, or other flavorings, but avoid chocolate with caramel, nougat, or other fillings. These just add sugar and fat, and they can even erase many of the benefits of the chocolate.
I've been very happy with Ghirardelli, Rapunzel, and Dagoba (the latter two brands purchased at a health food store), but less satisfied with some other brands, which I won't name. Finding the perfect chocolate bar is a lot like looking for the perfect mate. You'll know it when you find the brand that's right for you!
Many people find dark chocolate more satisfying than milk chocolate. I find that a very small amount of dark chocolate, even less than one ounce, is enough for one day, not setting off a craving for more, the way milk chocolate can. Be sure to take the time to really enjoy the wonderful complexity of high quality chocolate. Like professional chocolate tasters, learn to assess and enjoy the appearance, smell, taste, and texture of each piece. If you do, you will be much less apt to eat too much chocolate.
Exactly when in your day you choose to enjoy chocolate is up to you, but I (and some others I know) prefer to eat chocolate in the morning or early to mid afternoon, vs. late in the day. The caffeine in chocolate—or perhaps some other ingredient—makes us jittery and keeps us awake if we eat it too late in the day. However, you might have an entirely different experience. In addition, chocolate can aggravate heartburn, so limit your consumption of it if you are prone to heartburn.
If you're still skeptical about this current chocolate mania, please read on.
Oleic acid, one of the three naturally occurring fats in chocolate, is a healthy monounsaturated fat that is also found in olive oil.
Chocolate not only promotes alertness; it can also lessen pain and anxiety and promote a general feeling of wellbeing. It can reduce the unpleasant symptoms of PMS and menstruation.
In tests, some animals tend to reduce their intake of alcohol if they're given a chocolate drink as an option.
Contrary to an old and widespread belief, chocolate does not cause acne.
The antibacterial compounds in chocolate may actually discourage tooth decay, rather than promote it.
Chocolate stimulates lactase enzyme activity, making milk easier to digest if you're lactose intolerant.
Pretty impressive, I hope you'll agree.
Thus ends my paean to chocolate: theobroma cacao, or "food of the gods."
Leonore H. Dvorkin is the author of four published books, both fiction and of nonfiction. She works as a tutor of Spanish and German and as a weight training instructor. Since 2009, she and her husband, the prolific author David Dvorkin, have been editing books by others and assisting the authors in getting the books self-published in e-book and print formats. They have produced over 35 books by others thus far. The large majority of their clients are blind or visually impaired; Bob Branco and several others who contribute to this newsletter are among their clients. Please note that they are now DLD Books. For full details of their comprehensive services and charges, go here: http://www.dldbooks.com/
3. THE IMAGE OF YOURSELF
How Envy Holds You Back
by Dennis R Sumlin
Envy is the emotion that arises when one person lacks another's perceived superior quality, advantage, achievement, or possession and either wishes they had it or the other person did not. When you feel envy, you are comparing yourself to another person, then becoming resentful that you do not have what they do. One of my favorite phrases is, “Envy is the act of counting another person's blessings instead of your own.” This can have a very negative effect.
When people feel envy, they often do things to undermine the other person. They may smile in a person's face while thinking or talking harshly about them behind their back, or they may outright try to sabotage the other person. Feelings of envy may show up in friendships and destroy them. It can show up at the workplace and poison coworker relationships.
You may be envious of another person's money, hot girlfriend, job promotion, well-built body, new car, popularity, or other things. You could be envious of your friend's kid winning the school basketball championship while your kid got dropped from the team. You could envy the fact that your best friend has great sex all the time while you are home watching Shaquisha Does Chicago with a roll of paper towels next to you. The list goes on and on.
The problem with envy is that while it can harm the relationships you have with others or cause you to become two-faced, the person who is harmed the most by it is you. These feelings can be so strong that they can result in low self-esteem, anger, and a distorted view of the world. Envy can cause us to puff ourselves up to try to offset our perceived lack, radiate negative energy, and other zingers.
In my younger years, I had a friend who appeared to have everything. He had popularity, women, money, and a certain confidence about him. While I showed support for him on the outside, inside I was continually putting myself down. Since I thought that I lacked these qualities, I thought that I was lesser, therefore unlucky in life. It screwed up my image of self and caused me to try to come up with ways to compensate for what I felt I did not have. Of course, harboring all those secret feelings and upside-down views did not change anything.
At some point, after I began to understand my own value and learn to respect and love myself, I started focusing on all the things that I had, and it turned out that I had many of the things that he had. It is important to understand that the more we count others' blessings, the more we let our own slip past us. While there is nothing wrong with admiring something or someone, that is not the same as envy. It is perfectly fine to see something, then set a goal to get it, but resenting it in others gets us no closer to getting it ourselves.
Then there is the matter of perception. Are the things we see as advantages really advantages? We can also look behind the things we see on the surface and find out what it means to us on a deeper level. For example, when I saw that my friend was popular, the deeper meaning for me was acceptance, and how I did not feel accepted.
Bringing It to You
There is also an energetic component to all this. If you are using up your energy in resenting others' advantages, you repel them from you. If you hate that your friend has more money, then how will you attract it? If you always have negative feelings every time you see a happy couple, then how will you attract it for yourself?
All the feelings we have generate energy within us. This energy either attracts or repels things. If you hate something, even on a subconscious level, you are going to make it hard for that thing to come to you.
I invite you to stop the hate and flip it to congratulate. When you see a happy couple, appreciate what you see, be happy for them, and foster good feelings about relationships. When your friend gets that new job, genuinely support them, celebrate with them, and positively invite the same fortune into your life. Allow the emotion that was once envy to turn into initiative. Initiative to get it for yourself. Initiative to employ methods that will bring you ever closer to the things you want. Soon, both you and your friends can celebrate each other's fortunes together.
Dennis R Sumlin is a communication and self-mastery coach. He is dedicated to assisting professionals in advancing their careers through effective public speaking, as well as living a happier, conscious, spirit-connected lifestyle. Find out more and join his mailing list by going to http://www.LifeThroughStrength.com
4. TECH CORNER
Big Brother is Watching Because We Let Him
by Stephen Théberge
In George Orwell's 1984, much of the control over the people was done by television and torture. It was, and still is, a great classic. I do feel that it reflected the regimes of the time, especially Russia. Winston Smith's capitulation to Big Brother was very sad, but Orwell captured the dystopian theme very well.
Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, I think, reflects more of how society is controlling us today. His insight into a drugged population has many similarities to modern society.
I think the social media, as nice as it is, is a tool for control, much more than television or radio ever were. I've heard that the media is the fourth branch of our government. Indeed, many powerful people utilize the tools of social engineering very cleverly.
The government doesn't directly control us, but they utilize large monopolistic companies to do their dirty work. Advertising is a means of making money, but when you consider lobbyists and powerful interest groups, the ability to mold us, with our consent, is very real.
It is the same story that has gone on all through history. The oligarchs want to hold their power and eliminate the competition. We may be a nation of laws, but laws mean nothing if they are not applied equally to all. Don't get me wrong: We have it much better in the USA than people in many other countries do.
So, our devices are what connects us to Big Brother's watching us. He is also making us all the same. That is to say, being different, unique, or thinking out of the box is not tolerated by people in power. They must have total loyalty.
Our devices lull us with the conveniences of instantaneous results. We have become more connected, but the art of socializing in person seems to be an old-fashioned concept. If someone can text me on a phone, why not just call?
This brings up the point of our devices spying on us. There have always been concerns about terrorism and freedom being in balance, or rather, our right for privacy versus security. Technology has complicated this because so many people can utilize it. With the recent Wikileaks information, we have lots to digest. That is another issue as well: What information do we trust? It seems that many have questioned everything. Alternative facts seem to be in vogue, never mind critical thinking.
Let us assume that a company or the government can spy on us, even through our TV sets or iPhones. Even our PCs aren't safe. The real question is how many millions of people's information would be combed. I am sure a large data store is possible, but the reasons for surveillance must be understood. I can see why big companies do it, and they don't even have to use cameras. They can track us by our online activity and target us by our habits. Indeed, I have seen clever, sponsored posts on Facebook that reflect my activity.
If the companies in cahoots with the Congress and Senate can control us through clever psychology, then we are puppets of the government. We have never questioned these marvelous technologies. We can't rebottle the genie now.
This isn't all gloom and doom. We still have a lot of freedoms. If we have freedom of speech, then we are not lost. If we can use our wits, our best weapon against total control of our lives is being persistent in our causes and dreams.
One of the biggest ways people give up their freedoms online is by giving a blow-by-blow description of their daily lives. Many people don't think twice about doing this. You may think that only your friends know this information, but the people who run the social media sites are using this to target you in many ways. I was once warned to never put something in email that you don't want to become public.
I could go on with many science fiction authors who foresaw some of the dilemmas we are facing today. They may have had the years and exact details wrong, but they really understood the power of relegating so much to technology. I particularly like Philip K. Dick's The Minority Report. Though it was written over 60 years ago, the story really hit home for what we deal with today. He also has a great sense of humor about time travel.
I am glad I can't see well enough to use a phone or tablet while walking. So many people are craned over as if the device is a part of them. It reminds me of my dad. He used to declare “electronic peace.” That meant no radio or television. Maybe we would talk or admire nature. I have always been a great fan of all this technology, but I find time to hide away from Big Brother.
5. COMMENTARY AFTERMATH
by James R. Campbell
Since the days of the First Gulf War in 1991, the American people have questioned our presence in the Middle East. The Vietnam conflict finally came to an end in 1975, barely 16 years earlier. Even today, questions regarding our participation in that war linger. There are many who say that the politicians in Washington interfered with the military leaders in the field, restricting the rules of engagement to an extent that gave the NVA an advantage that proved decisive. The memory of our loss in Vietnam was not lost on the American public in 1991, when we liberated Kuwait from Iraqi occupation. Fortunately, we won that conflict, but the memory of Vietnam was still a fresh wound on the American psyche.
The same holds true today. As I write, our special forces are heavily involved in the battle for Mosul, Iraq's second largest city. They are embedded with Iraqi troops on the ground, who have been battling Islamic State fighters for control of the city since October of 2016.
There is mounting evidence that the trouble in Iraq and Syria began with the promised withdrawal that won Barack Obama the election in 2008. Americans were war-weary, having been through seven years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, with no end in sight. As was the case in Vietnam, mounting casualties on nightly news coverage wore down American resolve, even in the aftermath of 9/11. All too quickly, we were reminded why our presence in the Middle East is so vital. In 2014, ISIS began making headway, capturing large swaths of both Syria and Iraq, leaving behind death and devastation. Crucifixions, beheadings, and mass murder became the order of the day. When they began killing our citizens, the answer to the question should have been clear to everybody.
What happens if we have no footprint in the struggle? One of two scenarios: The Islamic State remains in power, leaving them with an open trunk from which they can launch terrorist attacks worldwide, as they have done. Even worse, they video their executions and put them on social media, using them as recruitment tools for the disaffected.
The other option is the Shiite version of radical Islam, as exported by Iran. Since the 1979 revolution that overthrew the Shah, Iran has exported international mayhem, taking our citizens as hostages, sponsoring embassy bombings, and providing support to the PLO and others who oppose Israel.
We can ill afford to have either outcome. I am not saying that it is our job to defeat ISIS in and of itself. If the Syrians and Iraqis do it, that provides confidence in the governments of both countries and helps discredit the Islamic State. If we don't step in, Russia and Iran will, and what will be left after it's all over?
Those who question our involvement need only remember the videos of executions that have been carried out by this fanatical group. We are in a global war against radical Islamic militants; there is no doubt about it. If they win, the world will be dragged back to the seventh century, and all of the progress we have made will be for naught. Groups like ISIS pose a threat no less than the Iron Curtain did after WW II. The Islamic curtain was erected after the USSR died in 1991. The world must rise to this new challenge, or perish.
As always, thanks for your time.
With Loving Kindness,
James R. Campbell
6. THE MOUNT EVEREST OF EQUALITY
by Brian J. Coppola
Linda, the questions I have for you are: What are you doing now for employment? When did you graduate from a blind school, if you did, and were you able to go on to college? And now that I see that you are agreeing with me, we need to let our elected officials know the real impact of what happened when the mainstreaming thing started and how, when they were taking in multiple disabled students, we were not forced to break a sheltered environment. Why?
With the collateral damage that we may have suffered through no choice of our own, and if they are not going to fix it so that the blind can get gainful employment, well, then the truth of the matter is that they are going to have to look into compensating us more to a level equal to what we would earn in a job that we would be otherwise qualified for based on our education level and experience level.
From there, they must do something more cost effective, such as repealing and replacing Chapter 766 and IDEA to ensure that future generations of the educable blind get educated. Hold these blind schools strictly accountable to one's Individualized Education Program. That is, if one is educable enough to take and pass all of the courses to receive a high school diploma, then said blind school must award the person a high school diploma when they graduate. Also, said blind school must allow an educable blind student to work out in the mainstream three to four days per week and three to four hours per day, with the same pay that a regular high school student doing the same job would receive.
Finally, they should force these blind schools to work with companies to build technology for point of sales stations, so that the blind can work at them as part of work experience. The whole idea for our future generation is to build up a résumé, so that when the blind student is done with their college career, and has done a co-operative educational program with an included internship with some mainstream employer during their junior and senior years of college, that blind person has a résumé with no gaps. Then when they either apply for jobs or their internship turns into a job, a good résumé is there to show an employer that the educable blind individual is going to be reliable and dependable. This will alleviate the employer's unnecessary fear of liability due to hiring a disabled person, because, although it is more likely that a disabled person would get hurt on the job, anyone can get hurt on the job.
To keep us safe from the multiply disabled who cannot work in mainstream employment, the states that receive funding for their health programs or rehabilitation programs for those with disabilities must open separate supportive workshops for those who are multiply disabled and cannot be in the mainstream, due to the functionality, in particular, of those with behavioral issues on the severe side.
We need to turn our bitterness into action by getting our elected officials to listen to us and to compensate those of us who suffered the collateral consequences from the de-institutionalization/Chapter 766/IDEA era. We must pressure them to move on to goals of gainful employment for those who are now young, blind, and educable.
The idea of us waiting until our parents die and we get the family home to achieve our real independence is over. Elders are living longer, and there is soon going to be an overlap of people needing caregiving services. That's because, with changes in medical technology and newer advances coming, not only will they live longer and be more disabled, but we are going to age, too, and we are also going to be more disabled. This will increase the burden on our families or our potential caregivers, leading to an increase in elder or caregiver abuse. Lots of us who are talking here and who went to blind schools in the past and also to college are probably now in our 40s and 50s. Soon we are going to be in our 60s, 70s, 80s and even our 90s, or even reach the century mark. We must start advocating now for what happens to us for the rest of our lives, because the time will be here before we know it.
7. SOCIETY'S TRENDS
How to Shorten Baseball Games
by Bob Branco
(Originally published in Word Matters, www.ernestdempsey.com)
Do you remember when Major League Baseball games averaged just over two hours long? They seemed to be over very fast, yet we enjoyed them and looked forward to the next one. As the years passed, these games got longer and longer. I suppose there were lots of reasons why, and I could analyze these reasons. Instead, I'm going to talk about why Major League Baseball should not be responsible for doing something about it.
Several years ago, when Major League Baseball acknowledged how long the games have gotten, it believed that it needed to adopt new rules in order to shorten the games. I've heard such proposals as: Limit the number of practice pitches that a relief pitcher throws from the mound after coming into a game. Limit the amount of time between pitches. Ask the batter not to step out of the batter's box between pitches. Limit the number of pitching changes that a manager makes.
While these proposals are very well thought out, don't we already have four umpires on the field who are there to control the games? Why should Major League Baseball make new rules when our own umpires can move the games along? Have we forgotten about the umpires? What are they on the field for? If new rules didn't lengthen the games in the first place, why should we have another set of new rules to shorten them? Major League Baseball never told pitchers that they had to take their time. They did it themselves. Managers were never told that they had to micromanage. They decided to do it on their own. Did Major League Baseball make television networks require more time for their commercial ads? Of course they didn't.
In my opinion, umpires have been forgotten about somewhere along the line, and it's time to bring them back into the picture, where they can take full advantage of all of their responsibilities. When it's time to play ball, you play ball! This is how games will be shortened as they once were.
About the author:
Bob Branco resides in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and is the author of four self-published books. He is a community organizer, tutors persons with visual impairments, and has written columns for local and international organizations.
Three of his four books are for sale in e-book and print formats from Amazon and other online sellers. For details, see his website: http://www.dldbooks.com/robertbranco/
8. SPECIAL NOTICES
The author of the following new book is a marriage counselor with 30 years of experience and a large family of her own. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.
Keeping Romance Alive After Children Arrive: How to Thrive in a Loving and Passionate Marriage While Raising a Happy Family
C 2017 by Toni Erickson, MSW, LCSW / 296 pages
In print ($14.95) and e-book ($4.99) from Amazon and multiple other online sellers.
Summary: Having a baby is a beautiful experience, but it can create considerable strain on a marriage. This book was written to help partners maintain a strong and loving relationship during pregnancy, after the baby comes, and into the future. It provides valuable information, skills, tools, and strategies to help couples remain close, intimate, and romantic during and after this challenging period.
For a longer summary, reviews, author bio, free 20% text preview, and handy buying links, go to: http://www.dldbooks.com/tonierickson/
Note: The book was partially edited, formatted, and then produced by David and Leonore Dvorkin of DLD Books: http://www.dldbooks.com/
Books Needed for the Carousel Project!
(Ad submitted by Patty L. Fletcher, in Kingsport, Tennessee)
I am currently taking donations of children's books. We are looking for books along the theme of animals and wildlife, or similar themes. We will not accept books of a controversial nature. If you're local, I need books delivered to my house by 12:00 noon on April 4th. If you are not local, I can accept them via mail, UPS, or FedEx by April 7th.
If you have new or gently used children's books, or would like to contribute financially, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details, and for the address to ship.
See below to learn where these books will end up.
Thanks from Patty L. Fletcher.
Carousel Project / Books at the Carousel in Downtown Kingsport
Children 4-12 Invited
Free Books and Carousel Tokens to the First 50 Participants
Location: Carousel/Farmer's Market
When: Saturday, April 8, 2016 / Time: 12:00 Noon-2:00 PM
Altrusa is an international organization turning 100 this year. We focus on Literacy and Service in 10 countries and give more than 1 million hours of service annually.
Happy 100th Birthday, Altrusa and City of Kingsport.
9. WEATHER OR NOT
Could Climate Change Bring Catastrophic Atmospheric Rivers up the East Coast of the United States?
by Steve Roberts
As the Arctic warms, the jet stream slows down. A slower jet stream meanders to the north and south. Where the jet stream bulges to the north, you have a ridge. Where the jet stream buckles to the south, you have a trough. Troughs feature cold, wet conditions, while ridges feature warm, dry conditions.
Our wavy jet stream features blocking patterns. A blocking pattern sets up when the jet stream's ridges and troughs get locked into place. Under the right circumstances, a block could send an atmospheric river right up the East Coast of the United States.
There is a trough in the eastern United States. The leeward side of the trough axis is parallel to the East Coast. Out in the Atlantic, there is a strong subtropical ridge called the Bermuda High. This strong subtropical ridge has blocked the trough in the eastern United States. A cold front stalls along the East Coast, as it cannot budge the high to its east.
With all of these entities locked into place, the stage is set for a great fire hose of moisture to rocket up the East Coast and drench the entire Atlantic Seaboard from Florida to Maine. The Bermuda High will provide a constant feed of warm, moist air up the Eastern Seaboard. The stationary front will cause air to rise, creating lots of showers. That front will also help to produce low pressure areas called wave disturbances.
These surface features would produce lots of rain on their own. But it is what happens upstairs that drives the atmosphere to heights of heavy rain craziness. The jet stream that will follow the entire length of the stationary front will give the wave disturbances upper level support by evacuating air out of the top of these lows. As the air is evacuated out of the top of these lows, the air will rise more rapidly from the surface of the earth.
With the upper-level support provided by the jet stream, these lows can go on to become prolific rain makers. The warm, moisture-laden air that is lifted from the surface to the jet stream level will infuse the jet stream with tons of moisture that it will carry along its great length. With the jet stream completely saturated, the upper level flow will become an atmospheric river capable of drenching the entire length of the Eastern Seaboard. The atmospheric river will produce moderately heavy rain on its own, while the wave disturbances bring torrentially heavy rain to the places along this train track of trouble.
This setup could be locked into place for a week to 10 days. Under the right circumstances, this setup could dump feet of rain all along its path. Should this atmospheric river become established, the resulting torrent would cause a one-in-one-thousand-year rainfall event in the East. This megascale millennial event would result in profound and long-lasting impacts to those who live in the East. This great torrent will cause widespread, catastrophic river flooding from Florida to Maine, from the Appalachian Mountains to the beaches of the East. These great rains will prompt the issuance of Flash Flood Watches, Flash Flood Warnings, and Flash Flood Emergencies. A Flash Flood Watch is issued when the NWS feels that flash flooding is likely. A Flash Flood Warning is issued when flash flooding is in progress. A Flash Flood Emergency is issued when flash flooding has become deadly. The great rains from this atmospheric river could result in a Flash Flood Emergency for the entire East Coast of the United States.
Before passing this off as a highly unlikely outcome that will probably never happen, consider this: Circumstances may be conspiring against us. The waters in the Gulf of Mexico and along the East Coast are much warmer than usual. These warmer waters will lend lots of moisture to this atmospheric river, should it occur. There is drought in much of the East. Drought often ends in flood. There is another possible El Niño on the way. If that El Niño sends a juicy jet stream up the East Coast, we could have an atmospheric river on our hands.
Finally, this almost happened in October of 2015, when a trough was blocked by an Atlantic ridge that caused a stationary front to stall along the East Coast. Forecasters foresaw a one-in-one-thousand-year rainfall event for the East Coast of the United States. Lucky for us, the ridge broke down, sparing the Middle Atlantic and Northeastern United States an epic rain.
About the author:
Steven P. Roberts is the author of The Whys and Whats of Weather, C 2014, 404 pages.
Available in e-book and print formats from Amazon, Smashwords, and other online sellers.
For full details and buying links, see Steve's website: http://www.dvorkin.com/stevenroberts/
10. THE HANDLER'S CORNER
Living and Working with Guide dogs
by Ann Chiappetta, M.S.
“Verona and I follow the wide sidewalk in downtown White Plains. It is a route we traverse every workday. She puts on the brakes so hard I'm jerked to a full stop. ‘Whoa!' I say out loud. I put out my foot and feel some kind of construction barrier. My hand feels the yellow warning tape strung out above it. I praise her and say, ‘Forward.' She hesitates briefly, sizing up her options. Then, she pulls me to the left and slowly eases us through a clear area between a large tree and the broken walkway. We skirt the barrier with careful steps, and when we're clear, I stop and praise her, rubbing her ears and letting her know just how much I appreciate her work…. After three years, I still get blown away by her ability to keep me safe, to make judgments and decisions that would otherwise have me at a serious disadvantage if I were out there with a white cane.”
The above excerpt is just one example of what life is like with a guide dog. The excerpt was posted on my blog, www.thought-wheel.com/, and I have also included it in my new book, which I hope will be published by the end of 2017.
Fast forward a few years, and now I've done the dog swap and Bailey is at my side. Like his predecessor, Verona, he has amazed me with his intelligent disobedience and willingness to take on new and odd situations. The other day he stopped at the path where the ramp and steps separated, looked up at me, and huffed. I know this means, “Well, which way, human?” It took me longer to evaluate what was happening and thankfully someone told me the ramp was on the right and the steps to the left. We took the steps, and Bailey got me to the railing and into the building, as he should.
Sure, my cane would have found the steps, but perhaps not the ramp, if I required it. He remembers that only last year I was hobbling around on a fractured foot and would have chosen the ramp, thus the reason he stopped and proffered both.
Getting back to the blog post, it wraps up with a message that transcends time, or at least I think so.
“I wish I could heal the problems facing me and those I love. Most of all, I want to share that feeling of complete trust and unconditional love and the solid bond felt between me and Verona and hand it over to those I am at odds with, to show them that if we allow it, working around barricades like misunderstandings and communication failures can be overcome. I want to tell them, what could be more important than working together to work past a hole in the ground? That if we allow it, we can work around the roadblocks of life, just like a guide dog team.”
Each time I work out a situation with my dog, I reflect a bit on how the incident could be a teaching lesson and not a moment taken for granted. My dogs have taught me how to be patient, kinder, and more tolerant. This is another example of how working with a guide dog has helped me become a better person. I hope that when you read this, you will also be able to resolve a barrier in your life.
Ann Chiappetta's poetry collection, Upwelling: Poems, C 2016, can be purchased from various e-book sellers and in print by using the buying links on her book-related website: http://www.dldbooks.com/annchiappetta/
Ann's blog can be viewed at: www.thought-wheel.com
Follow her on Facebook: Annie Chiappetta, or on Twitter: AnnieDungarees
11. READERS' FORUM
I finally had the time to sit down and read this entire newsletter. What a nice morning read this is!
How proud the Writer's Party Line can be that several of the writers who are on the WPL are actively working at their writing in this venue. I cannot name all of you but just wanted to say, "HATS OFF!" to you ALL for your excellent research and timely articles.
Terri Winaught provided a good informational article on what "happiness" is all about—AKA, “Personal Medicine." I am writing an article on that topic this week for another magazine. I'll look into her sources for more information!
James Campbell wrote an excellent article on bacteria that is enlightening, concise, and so clear. What good writing, James! And, what good information for us all.
There are MORE, and I hope you will dig in if the weather is frigid, as it is here in Pennsylvania. This is a good day for doing some reading and research, and you just might find lots of good ideas for yourself in Bob Branco's latest magazine.
12. TIPS FOR VIPS (Because Visually Impaired People Are Important, Too)
by Penny Fleckenstein, who blogs at: http://notyouraveragesinglemom.com
Happy spring, and good wishes for the Easter and Passover season!
Some of you have made it through particularly harsh winters, while others, like us in Pittsburgh, have had relatively mild winters.
In February, we had a day I call summer in February. That 76-degree day inspired me to think about my athletic goals, about my spring and summer plans for recreational adventures, some of which include my seven-year-old son, Zachary, and my tandem cycling captain and friend, Beth. It helped keep the hope alive in me that yes, winter would be over and we can look forward.
As I write this, Beth and I have just completed a wonderful weekend of cycling. We cycled 33 miles from Pittsburgh to West Newton, spent the night at a beautiful bed and breakfast called Bright Morning, and cycled back on Sunday. It was a spur-of-the-moment endeavor that had us scurrying. I packed at the very last minute and forgot my toothbrush. I also left without my cycling shorts, which have padding that adds significantly to the comfort level of the rider. I ran out of time because I didn't allow myself enough margin to properly pack. We were pleasantly impressed when we found out that we were their first cycling guests of the season. Mary Lou said, "Wait till I tell the guys that the girls came out first." Beth said she wished we could do this every week.
Another adventure I've been on in the month of March is dealing with food stamps. So far, my food stamp amount for March has been zero. I was denied food stamps because, for some reason, the Department of Welfare does not receive their mail. I've been down to the office twice in person and hope that I have finally received the form that will make the difference. This form can be signed by a person other than the landlord declaring that someone lives with him or her. I've learned that showing up in person and faxing are the best ways of communication. I will not know for a while whether I have been awarded my food stamps.
Another lesson I learned last week is that my laundry room door has an old-style knob. The screw fell out a while ago, and I never took the time to buy a new one. I just kept using other small screws around the house, but they didn't exactly fit. This time, both sides of the knob fell out, and we were locked out of the laundry room. I called my friend John to ask what to do. He suggested I unscrew a door knob from another room and use that to unlock the laundry room. I did, and it worked. The next day, I made my way to the hardware store and bought a good screw that fits the door knob perfectly, as well as a good screwdriver to install it.
Now, on to the next month. I was walking home from taking Zachary to school yesterday, feeling a lot of pain from past relationships. I thought, "The past doesn't exist." With the past not existing, we can learn lessons and have good memories. Onward to the present and what the future has in store for us.
To correspond with me, you may email me at: email@example.com . I can't wait to hear about your lessons and any tips you want to share with our readers.
13. RECIPE COLUMN
by Karen Crowder
In New England, April brings us warmer weather, with plentiful rain. With rising temperatures, forsythias, tulips, and magnolias bloom. April 2017 brings us two religious holidays, Passover and Easter. Passover begins April 10 and ends April 17. Easter week begins April 9 with accompanying Holy Week observances. Easter and Passover are times of renewal and the celebration of spring.
This Easter will be subdued because of the passing of Marian. She was a friend to everyone who knew her. Since 2010, I celebrated five Easters with neighbors and friends at her home in Townsend, Massachusetts.
A. Filled Matzo Meal Pancakes
B. Creamy Mashed Potatoes
C. Creamed Onions with Nutmeg
D. Cinnamon Blueberry Coffee Cake
A. Filled Matzo Meal Pancakes
This recipe is from The Complete American-Jewish Cookbook, by Ann London and Bertha Kahn Bischov. Copyright 1952 and revised in 1971.
Marcy recommends using another half pound of chopped beef instead of the chopped beef liver. She advises using kosher salt to enhance flavor.
She says this is a good breakfast or side dish.
One cup matzo meal
Two teaspoons kosher salt
One quarter teaspoon pepper
One half pound chopped beef
One half pound broiled beef liver, optional.
Peel and mash hot potatoes. Add matzo meal and seasonings.
Make a soft dough; divide it into ten pieces.
Mix chopped beef and beef liver, then season to taste.
Roll out pieces of dough. Cover each piece with a spoonful of meat mixture. Fold dough over filling. Press edges together firmly. Fry in hot fat (peanut oil) for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
This makes 6 to 10 servings.
B. Creamy Mashed Potatoes
At Marian's Easter celebrations, mashed potatoes went perfectly with vegetables, creamed onions, and baked ham. The mashed potatoes I made recently are smooth and velvety.
Four to six large Yukon or russet potatoes
Three quarters of a stick of butter
Six tablespoons whipped butter
One half cup milk
Two to four tablespoons light cream
Salt to taste.
Fill a lock-lid saucepan halfway with water. Add optional salt. Turn burner to medium heat.
On cutting board, cut washed and unpeeled potatoes. Discard ends where the eyes are. Cut potatoes into small cubes and place them in a deep, medium-sized plastic container.
Using oven mitts, dump potatoes into nearly boiling water. Boil potatoes for 28 minutes. They will be very tender. Drain them and put them immediately into a large mixer bowl, topped with one half stick butter and the whipped butter.
Whip potatoes with whisk attachment for two minutes on low to medium speed. Add most of milk and light cream and the rest of the butter. Whip for two more minutes. Add rest of milk and optional salt. Whip for two more minutes. The potatoes should be nice and velvety.
If you do not have a standing KitchenAid mixer, add the milk and butter all at once and mix with beaters on medium speed for five minutes.
C. Creamed Onions with Nutmeg
I gave Marion this recipe when we shared a Thanksgiving dinner together in 2011. At our Easter celebrations, she used nutmeg, which enhanced the already delectable flavor.
A one- or two-pound mesh bag of small sweet boiling onions
Four tablespoons butter
Four tablespoons flour
Two cups whole milk
Dashes of salt and nutmeg.
Peel onions, cutting off ends. Heat two cups of water in a lock-lid saucepan. Boil onions for 10 minutes. Drain them and allow them to cool.
Melt butter in three-quart saucepan for three to five minutes. Turn heat off and add flour. Stir with a wire whisk for 30 seconds, until mixture is smooth. Add milk, turning burner to low heat. Stir infrequently. Sauce should thicken in 25 minutes. Add the salt and nutmeg. Put in onions; they fall apart by themselves. Let creamed onions simmer until serving time.
For a festive touch, add one slice of American cheese. If you are serving children, they love it.
D. Blueberry Cinnamon Coffee Cake
I made this coffee cake for our Easter celebrations. Marian served it after Mass for breakfast. Last year, we enjoyed it as a dessert.
One cup Bisquick baking mix
One cup all-purpose or cake flour
One teaspoon cinnamon
One teaspoon baking powder
One teaspoon baking soda
A pinch of salt
Two tablespoons sugar
Two tablespoons melted butter
One cup milk
One and one half cups wild or cultivated blueberries.
Seven tablespoons butter
One half to three fourths cup light brown sugar
One fourth cup flour
Three teaspoons cinnamon.
Put all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix them together. In a separate bowl, put cooled melted butter, milk, and eggs. Stir them together with a wire whisk.
Add butter/milk/egg mixture to dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon for two minutes. The coffee cake batter will be smooth. Add blueberries and stir for two minutes.
Make the streusel topping: With clean hands, mix butter, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in another bowl.
Lightly grease and flour a 9-inch metal or glass round cake pan. Put half of coffee cake batter over bottom and sides of pan. Sprinkle some cinnamon streusel over the batter. Put rest of coffee cake batter over the streusel, making sure it is spread over the entire pan. For a festive touch, melt one tablespoon of butter in a custard cup. Drizzle butter over coffee cake batter. Sprinkle remaining cinnamon streusel over entire coffee cake.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake coffee cake for 40 minutes.
After it is cooled, invert it onto a dinner plate lined with foil. Add more foil and refrigerate it.
Nothing is better than this cinnamon blueberry coffee cake to celebrate Easter and spring.
I hope all Consumer Vision readers will enjoy these recipes. I wish all readers a happy spring, Passover, or Easter. Let us pray for civility, happiness, and a peaceful America and world.
14. LOVE LETTERS IN THE GRAND
by John Justice
I was surprised when this particular customer requested my services, as I hadn't expected to hear from her again. During my last visit, their 17-year-old daughter had decided to find out if I was really blind by standing next to me, wearing nothing but a smile.
“John, there's something wrong with our piano. Every time we try to play it, there's a buzzing sound. Will you come up and check it out for us? I'll pick you up at the station as I always do.”
I agreed, and she met my train. No mention was made of Carrie and her antics.
The house was quiet as I opened my tool case and sat down to play the instrument. Sure enough, the piano was making a vibrating or buzzing noise, especially when I played loudly and used the bass keys. I was imagining a cracked sounding board or a loose piece of frame. I stopped playing and explained what I had to do. “I'm going to go under the piano and try to locate the source of the vibration. Is there anything under the instrument that has to be moved?” The lady removed a magazine rack and told me that the area was clear.
I took off my uniform jacket and made my way under the piano. The sounding board on a grand piano is mounted horizontally and takes up almost the entire space within the body. I started at the narrow end of the instrument and felt the sounding board carefully, looking for cracks or ribs which might have come loose. This was a six-foot Yamaha grand, so it had several wooden ribs that were mounted on the sounding board. They were intended to limit any potential for cracking. The sounding board, like the cone in a speaker, reacts to changes in the room temperature.
I felt the entire surface of the sounding board and tapped the ribs with my fingers, listening for the vibration. It was there, all right, but it wasn't coming from the board itself or from the ribs. Yamaha grands have a heavy wooden beam that is attached to the frame of the harp. There is a space between that heavy wooden beam and the bottom of the sounding board.
At that moment, Carrie came into the room. She must have seen my feet sticking out from beneath the instrument. Her reaction was immediate and loud. “What is he doing to our piano?”
I explained briefly, and she turned to leave.
As her feet moved away, I heard her say, “Oh, my God!”
In another minute or so, I found the problem. A stack of envelopes had been tied with a ribbon and pushed up into the space between the crossbar and the sounding board. I pulled the package loose and made my way out. I stood, brushed myself off, and handed my customer the packet of letters. “I guess that there was one too many envelopes in the stack.”
I sat down and played the piano. It worked perfectly. The vibration, along with the packet of letters, was gone. I turned to the lady. “I know that it seemed like a good place to hide important documents, but maybe the best way to use that space would be with smaller packets. There's enough room along that crossbar to put several stacks. That was an ingenious place to hide something.”
While I was speaking, my customer started to open and read the letters. For a moment, she said nothing. Then, she raised her voice in one deafening yell. “Carrie!”
She paid the service fee and added a generous tip. As we climbed into her car, she explained. “My husband and I ordered Carrie to break off all relations with a certain boy. He's bad news. Carrie promised that she wouldn't see him again. As far as I know, they haven't been together recently. But the last two letters in that stack had a strange return address. Apparently, the boy is now in jail. But Carrie was still corresponding with him. I swear, John! I'm going to ground that girl until she's 30!”
I visited that home on many occasions, but I never heard Carrie again. Those were two times when I inadvertently caused her problems. I'm probably on her hate-forever list. Oh, well.
The last song I played before leaving the home that day was “Love Letters in The Sand.” I had different lyrics for it, though.
If you think you want to play,
By writing boyfriends far away,
Don't tell your parents; they won't understand.
But think twice when you decide,
His letters where to hide.
Don't put love letters in the grand.
I left the New York area in 1972. I wonder whatever happened to Carrie.
John and Linda Justice, with guide dogs Edwin and Calypso
Personal e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
15. GUIDE TRAINING
by Ernie Jones
Guide and service dogs are invaluable to the humans they assist. But their helpful behaviors aren't inborn; the dogs must undergo extensive training before they're able to serve as the eyes, ears, and hands of the folks who need them.
First, a young dog, 8 to 10 weeks of age, goes to what is called a puppy home, remaining there until he is 13 to 15 months old. This is his family. He is given basic obedience training, goes to work, schools, businesses, and medical facilities, and is taken on various modes of transportation.
Then the dog is removed and put in a guide dog training school. His whole life has been turned upside down. He adjusts, and once again is feeling at home when, four to six months later, he is given to a stranger and expected to immediately bond with this person.
I recall my first weeks at the training school and my early days with my current guide dog, Randy. Our first few training walks were not so great; I would often return disheartened. But day by day, the bond grew.
Several times on our early walks, he would bump me against something, but I tried to ignore these. My trainer would say, "Ernie, correct him. The next time, you may get hurt." I didn't want to give a leash correction, though I understood the value of correcting him.
Once again my head hit some low-hanging tree branches over the city sidewalk. This time I stopped Randy and insisted we rework this section of sidewalk. Retracing our steps back about a dozen steps, I again told Randy, "Forward." Again my head hit the limb, and this time the bump did hurt. I yelled out and stopped him with a jerk. Once more we went back a dozen paces and I told him, "Forward." We walked a few steps and Randy stopped. Reaching my hand up, I found the tree branch and told him “Good boy” while I rubbed his back. Then, ducking my head, I gave him the forward command and we were off again. Behind me I heard my trainer say, "Good."
The next day, Randy took me too near the right side of the sidewalk, and my shoulder hit a building. Though this bump didn't hurt, I called out and stopped him. I walked back a few paces and again gave him the forward command, and he guided me clear of the building.
Several times over the following days, I needed to give him a leash correction to get him back on track. I lavished praise on him when he corrected the problem.
Near the end of training my instructor said, "There will be a car cutting in front of you. Randy should stop you." We walked on when suddenly Randy stopped. In fact, he started backing us up. While I praised Randy, my instructor said, "Good. He did it."
After we returned to the school lounge, my trainer asked, "Remember when Randy stopped you?" With a soft laugh, she continued. "There was a pedestrian who saw the school trainer cut in front of you. Even though the trainer's van had the school logo on it, this woman stopped and chewed out the trainer for cutting in front of the guide dog." Then, after a pause, my trainer added, "We like people to help guard our students and dogs. She meant well."
Back home, a couple of years later, I was thankful Randy had learned, as he stopped me on our walk as a car sped out only a few feet in front of us. "Good boy!" I said as I bent over to pet him, giving my racing heart time to slow.
There are times people see a guide dog getting a leash correction, but they don't watch long enough to see the love given the dog later. Many times when I must give him a correction, it is because someone has distracted him, either by talking to him or petting him.
One day Randy was taking me to the car and had slowed, letting me know we must be near the curb. Then I heard a man say, "Well, hello, boy. You are a good dog," and reached out his hand to pet the working guide dog. Distracted, Randy turned to face the man, causing me to unexpectedly step off the curb and nearly fall.
I will say here that most people do respect the guide dog. Those of us with guide dogs do appreciate this. After all, it is not easy to ignore a beautiful, well-behaved dog, even if it's a working dog. So, to all of you, I say, "Thank you," and have a great day.
Author of Onesimus, the Runaway Slave
Encouraging the Blind
Greater love hath no man than this
16. THOUGHTS ON BEING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HELP DESK
by Patty Fletcher
Originally posted on her blog, Campbell's World, on 12/5/16
Good evening, Campbell's World visitors! Here is hoping this evening finds you doing superb! Fabulous! The best ever in your life! All in all, I'd have to say I'm doing pretty okay—that is, if you don't count the fact that I dribble when I cough or sneeze, and can remember what I wore to my first day of seventh grade but couldn't tell you where the hell I put my jacket and shoes on any given day of the week. I get tired after doing nothing more than walking the dog a half mile, washing a load of clothes, and doing a sinkful of dishes. Just one trip to the grocery store and home is a true chore, some days.
As if that weren't enough, now I find myself needing to downsize: not only for financial reasons, but because maintaining this big old house for just me and Campbell seems like more work than it's worth these days. So, here I am, working with case managers, social workers, and managers of high-rise apartment complexes for the elderly and disabled. Basically, I have become the kind of person I used to help.
You see, not so long ago—when I was not so seemingly old, you know—I used to coordinate 40 to 50 people a month, make sure 120 phone shifts per month were filled, and do whatever else I could to keep that fine I&R hotline running as smoothly as possible. What kind of work did we do? Information and referral for folks in need. Folks like me. Folks who, for various reasons, can no longer work, or have more month than they have money, or a combo of both.
Imagine my horrified surprise when I woke up one morning and realized that I had turned into the one needing help, rather than playing the role of the one giving it. Imagine how I felt calling the organization for which I used to work to get phone numbers for places that could assist me. Imagine how it feels to know who and what I was, who and what I am, and who and what I'll never be again. It is a rough feeling, to be sure.
While I know that many great things are still in store for me and my faithful guide for many years to come, there are times when I feel old, slow, and used up. Just today, I had a hard time getting back up after squatting to pick up Campbell's leavings. Seems like just yesterday I was laughing at my elders for saying, “My! How time does fly!” only to hear myself saying it now. I don't need to see to know that the youngsters in my life are rolling their eyes and laughing behind their hands at me as I say things like that. As King Campbell says in the Bubba Tails series, “Go ahead and laugh, wee ones. It will happen to you. Of that you can be sure.”
I'm sure that one day I'll get used to the younger ones offering to carry bags, open doors, and take my groceries into the house. For now, I'm only 49 years old, and even though, due to mistreatment over the years, my body is a few years ahead of my biological clock, I want to keep on doing as much for myself as I am able.
That is why, as soon as an apartment comes available for us, Campbell and I will be moving from our three-bedroom home of six years into a one-bedroom efficiency apartment. It will be a life-changing experience, but it is my hope that with some sacrifice will come gain. I am hopeful that with the money I save, I will be able to afford for us to participate in some of the awesome and inexpensive activities going on about town. Maybe I'll be able to spend some money on furthering my writing, or possibly saving for a trip. Who knows? We might want to attend a convention over the summer vacation season.
How well we make all these changes and adjustments, only time will tell. I hope you will come along with Campbell and me and see what it is that we do see.
You know what? I just figured it out. Both Campbell and I are 49 years old, now. I guess it might be time to slow down just a tad, but don't count us out!
For now, this is Patty and Campbell saying…
May harmony find you, age is just a number, and blessid be.
My website, with full information about my book, which is Campbell's Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life: http://www.dvorkin.com/pattyfletcher/
17. CONSUMER VISION TRIVIA CONTEST
Here is the answer to the trivia question submitted in the March Consumer Vision. The president of the United States who established Black History Month was Gerald Ford. Congratulations to the following winners:
David Faucheux of Lafayette, Louisiana
Jan Colby of Brockton, Massachusetts
Marcy Segelman of West Roxbury, Massachusetts
Jo and Pat Smith of West Dennis, Massachusetts
Cleora Boyd of Fort Worth, Texas
And now, here is your trivia question for this month. Which state in the U.S. is known as the Granite State? If you know the answer, please email email@example.com or call 508-994-4972.
18. A CONCLUDING NOTE FROM THE PROOFREADER, LEONORE DVORKIN
To all contributors:
David and I receive the issues of Consumer Vision from Bob Branco after he has assembled the materials and after he (and usually Terri Winaught, as well) have gone over them. David does the final formatting, and he and I both check for any problems with spelling, grammar, punctuation, word usage, the names of products and organizations, spacing, and more. David goes over each issue once, and I go over it twice. We apologize if any errors remain.
When we edit, we sometimes find it necessary to make minor wording changes, usually in the interest of improved clarity. Most often, that involves breaking up excessively long sentences or paragraphs, or perhaps reorganizing parts of sentences. In every case, we endeavor to retain as much of the author's original prose as possible.
On rare occasions, it is difficult for us to discern precisely what the author meant to convey. In that case, we simply have to make our best guess and write the sentence accordingly. We apologize if we ever misjudge, and we will be happy to acknowledge that and issue a correction in the subsequent issue of Consumer Vision.
If you ever feel that we have altered your writing in a way that you do not like, please contact me directly.
Also, if you would like any help with a piece that you wish to submit to Bob, I can offer you editing and quick turnaround. (Remember that he has a word limit of 1,000 words per article.) I generally work from a Word file. My fee is $20/hour for those who are disabled in any way and/or low income and $25/hour for all others. The minimum charges are $20 and $25, respectively. I accept checks, money orders, and PayPal. If you are interested, contact me at the email above or at 303-985-2327.