The Consumer Vision - January 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: AlphaGraphics
Formatting: Diane Battaglia
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? To receive six issues a year, contact us at The Consumer Vision Office - (508) 994-4972 or e-mail us at email@example.com. If you wish to receive our printed publication, please send your name and complete address to Bob Branco, c/o The Consumer Vision, 359 Coggeshall Street, New Bedford, MA 02746. The Consumer Vision is also available on cassette, CD and in Braille.
Table of Contents
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
by Kathryn Arruda
Origin and Cultural Traditions
Here we are again at the beginning of a New Year. 2008 is here! What is all the fuss about, anyway? Why do we celebrate? Most of all, why do we make new resolutions year after year? This tradition goes back to Rome, in 153 B.C., when Janus, a mythical king was placed at the head of the calendar. Janus had two faces, one that looked back on the past and the other toward the future. His image was an ancient symbol for resolutions, encouraging an exchange of gifts and acts of forgiveness to one's enemies. The Romans named the first month of the year after Janus. The New Year begins on January 1st for cultures that use a 365-day solar calendar.
Some countries celebrate it on different dates. Rosh HaShanah or the Jewish New Year is celebrated in late September or early October. It's believed that it's too important an event to celebrate in just one day, so it's observed for two consecutive days. The entire forty-eight hours is considered to be one single day. Chinese New Year celebrations usually fall toward the end of January or the beginning of February, as this depends on the new moon. The dragon-dance is a festive highlight of the celebration along with the burning of firecrackers. The New Year celebrations of the Iranian people are held in March to welcome spring and include the planting of small gardens. In Mexico, Cuba, Spain, Venezuela, and Portugal, eating exactly 12 grapes at midnight is a custom that ensures good luck for the upcoming year. These grapes represent the twelve months of the year and it is hoped that each one will be sweet. In South Africa the New Year is rung in with church bells and gunshot. Cape Province is known for carnivals where people dress in colorful costumes and dance in the streets to the rhythmic sound of drums.
Scotland has an interesting event for the holiday. Burning barrels of tar are sent rolling through the streets. This symbolizes the smoldering away of the old year and paving the way for a new year. The Japanese custom heralds a time for fresh renewal and the clearing of differences with others. Homes are decorated with bamboo and pine branches and one hears the ringing of one hundred and eight bells. In Denmark, finding broken old dishes outside your door symbolizes an abundance of friends, so the more dishes you find, the better! India celebrates the New Year at the beginning of each season. Spring marks the beginning of the Hindu solar year with feasting, dancing and firecrackers. In autumn, the festival of lights arrives and hundreds of small handmade lamps are lit in each home.
In some European countries like Holland and Italy, prayers are offered to God, followed by visits to family and friends. In Greece, a special New Year's bread is baked with a coin inside the dough. The first slice is symbolically offered for the Christ child, the second for the father of the household, and the third slice is for the home. If the third slice holds the coin, spring will come early that year. At the first toll of midnight in Wales, the back door is opened and then shut to release the old year. At the twelfth stroke of the clock, the front door is opened and the New Year is welcomed with all of its luck. Every country has its own way of celebrating the New Year with feast, fanfare and symbols of good luck. We can add personal touches and create our own special traditions to share with family and friends.
New Year - New You
No matter where you live and how you celebrate, it's a time to draw a close on the past and welcome the new! Yes, it's the time to make those customary New Year resolutions. This is the point where many of us groan or joke about it, or soon forget what we've resolved. And yet, for those who make extra effort, benefits are awarded. So how do we rekindle a renewed enthusiasm and stronger focus? Write down your goals or just decide how you're going to better yourself this year. Perhaps you wish to give up a bad habit or begin a new project. Some individuals may desire to develop a deeper understanding or offer help for others in need. Cherished dreams, desires, resolutions, and hopes are worthwhile -and isn't this a great way to embrace the New Year? So, let's set out on a new journey through time, reach out, and make a difference for ourselves and for others!
A good approach may be a gentle, but firm method. First, think about what you can realistically achieve based on any limits you've considered. Small, steady steps are often more promising than throwing oneself in with gusto and becoming overwhelmed in the long run. Choose one important goal. By taking it a day at a time those "taboo" things may not seem quite as tempting. For instance, a smoker can focus on, "I choose not to smoke today," and re-vow it on a daily basis. Or a dieter can decide, "Today, I choose to pass up that piece of cake." When it comes to food, limiting intake is a practical approach. It's often self-defeating and unrealistic to vow, "I'll never, ever have that piece of chocolate cake with the chocolate bits, fudge frosting and scoop of double fudge ice cream." Small, consistent successes are empowering, encouraging and give us motivation to realize our goals in the long run.
What can you do to increase success? Back your strategy with planning. Perhaps you could set an award system for all successes, or form a buddy system with someone who shares a similar resolution. The latter also serves as an encouraging reminder that we are not in this world alone, but can have support and comfort of others who understand how we feel. Keep that motivation and willpower strong by reminding yourself of the benefits rewarded by the investment of all efforts. Consider the personal triggers that may set off giving into temptation, and find something helpful to keep yourself strong. Reward all successes, whether large or small. Instead of fussing over any failures, think about what diverted you from the chosen path and how to keep steadier progress. Monitor this progress and place reminders in helpful places that cheer you on to your goal. Remember to give yourself time and patience. After all, it takes time to change developed habits and lifestyle.
Have you considered taking up a new interest or hobby? It's widely believed that finding a new focus for your time may be very helpful to the cause when trying to give up a bad habit. Channeling energy into a more positive, enjoyable, fulfilling way is a great help and will double the benefits of your New Year resolution. Above all, keep your spirits up - and a bit of humor as a friend! Best wishes to you for success in your resolution and most of all, for a Happy New Year!
The Consumer Vision Goes Overseas
by Bob Branco
We are proud to report that The Consumer Vision is now being read in the following countries:
Bangladesh, France, Guam, Macedonia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.
We are also being read in nearly half the states in the U.S.
We'd like to thank those of you who help spread the word. It is because of you that The Consumer Vision is a complete success. Keep in mind that this is only our eighth issue, and we've already reached four continents. It is probably time to approach national and international companies about advertising.
If you have any ideas about whom we should contact, please let us know.
Man and Woman of the Year
by Bob Branco
The Consumer Vision is proud to present its Man and Woman of the Year for 2007.
In 1995, Charlie Murphy, and others, started a local agency to help persons with disabilities enrich their lives. Through his tireless efforts, Charlie has accomplished his goals, and has changed the lives of many people through his agency, MOLIFE, which stands for Murphy and Others - Living Interdependently for Future Endeavors. I've known Charlie for the past 12 years, and he has been an inspiration in my life as well. It is for these reasons that The Consumer Vision is very pleased to name Charlie Murphy Man of the Year for 2007.
In 1997, while I was President of a bowling league for persons with disabilities in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, I met Lori Smith, who later became Lori McLeod through marriage. Lori took care of a young lady in a wheelchair, and showed her devotion and dedication to her job. More recently, Lori took on more clients. She takes them shopping, offers recreation opportunities, monitors their dietary habits, makes sure they are fed and groomed properly, etc. Aside from the time she devotes to her clients, she is the mother of three - going on four - daughters, coached soft ball last year, and is an avid church goer. The Consumer Vision takes these qualities seriously, as we do with our Man of the Year, so it is with pleasure, that we award the 2007 Woman of the Year to Lori McLeod for her outstanding work with, and for, persons in need.
Here are the actual nomination statements for Man and Woman of the year submitted by two of our readers.
Nomination for Man of the Year
I nominate Charlie Murphy as Man of the Year because of all that he does for people, especially those with disabilities. He started an agency called MOLIFE, which offers a lot of opportunities for persons with special needs, including jobs, community involvement, and other independent living skills.
- Norman Thatcher, Acushnet, MA
Nomination for Woman of the Year
Dear Consumer Vision, I wish to nominate Lori McLeod for woman of the year. Lori is my personal care attendant and she does a lot for me. She helps me with my laundry, takes me shopping, helps me do arts & crafts, and makes sure I have enough money to do the things I like to do. I am a diabetic, which is something that Lori is very concerned about, so she makes sure I eat the right foods and exercise. Lori is a good helper.
- Sharon Costa, New Bedford, MA
Running Up the Score
by Bob Branco
I am so tired of the New England Patriots being accused of running up the score. If a football or any other sports team wins by a wide margin, it's only because they are talented enough to do so. It's almost as if people think it's easy scoring a lot of points. If the Patriots score a lot of points, it means that their offense can beat up on all the other teams' defenses, and that takes skill. If other teams don't like it, then it's up to those teams to try to stop the Patriots. That's what football is all about. May the best team win.
If the Boston Celtics are ahead by 40 points after the third quarter, would they just sit back and let the other team catch up? Would their coach want them to? Besides, if the Celtics led by 40, it's because they had the skills to do it on that particular night.
There is no such thing as "running up the score." If people believe that you can run up a score, they're implying that you aren't using skill to earn your points. To me, running up a score means you can just get out of bed and decide to run up a score today. It doesn't work that way.
Words of Thanks
by Allison Vigna
I minister with the inmates at the Bristol County House of Correction. Last month, they gave me a letter of thanks, and I wanted to let everyone know that when Jesus captures a heart, nothing is impossible with God.
Here is the copy:
When I awake to each new day, I bend my knees in prayer, to Thank You Lord, for all your gifts that help me to love and share. You gave me sight that I might see, and ears with which to hear, a voice to profess your love for me, and words to comfort and cheer. You gave me wisdom to teach and pray and tell of your great LOVE. To ask for blessings - You give me all of the above.
For what is life if you cannot give some kindness, thoughts and deed, a friendly smile, a gentle touch, and help to those in need. So, I ask for strength and health to each life with love. I have no need for worldly wealth; you give it all from ABOVE.
Thank You for everything!
Dartmouth Women's Correction
Thank you all for that letter of encouragement.
I hope that 2007 was blessed for you and your families. As we approach 2008, I hope that everyday we take the time to appreciate our God for who he is and that he sent his Son, JESUS CHRIST to die for our sins. My prayer for everyone is that GOD be GREAT in 2008.
If you would like to write to me, please e-mail me with your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Changes in the U.S. Presidential Election Process are Necessary
by Bob Branco
I think it's time that the United States took a good long look at how they run Presidential elections.
First of all, I think that the Electoral College has worn out its welcome. I understand why it came to be 200 years ago, but things are very different today. Voting is open to anyone 18 and over who wishes to have a say in the political process. It isn't limited to certain occupations like farmers. Secondly, why can't all 50 states have their Presidential primaries on the same day? Isn't that fair? That way, everyone has a chance to vote for his or her candidate on an even platform. The way it's set up now, a voter in New Hampshire may influence a voter from Massachusetts. For example, let's say that the New Hampshire primary is a week before the Massachusetts primary, and that the New Hampshire voters pick Clinton by a land slide. This decision might sway Massachusetts or other voters from voting for Clinton's opponents, thinking that they won't have much of a chance. If we all had a National primary on the same day, no one would be swayed by anyone, we'd be all voting equally. What should be more obvious is that these are the "United" states, so let's be united and vote all at once. Someone once told me that each state decides on its own when to hold its primary. How ridiculous! States don't have that type of freedom during the November election. They are all required to open their polls on the first Tuesday of November, whether they like it or not, yet we allow each state the right to pick any day it wants in order to hold a primary at a time when every vote in each party counts the most.
Finally, I think we're getting a bit carried away about when the primaries are. It seems that each time the Presidential election happens, the primaries get earlier, and earlier, and earlier. In 2008, it's quite possible that we'll know the Republican and Democratic nominees by the middle of February, and then we'll have to wait all the way to November to vote. We'd have to go through months and months of mudslinging, debate, personal laundry, and in some cases, stupidity. I say we have our national primary election in June, have the conventions in July and August, and then vote for President in November.
What's wrong with that?
Bob Branco Releases His First Book
This book, "As I See It," is a collaboration of events and facts presented by a blind adult. His experiences and perceptions provide the reader with information that not many of us are familiar with. The author discusses a broad spectrum of topics relating to blindness, including discrimination, myths, adaptive technology, training, legislation, etc.
Being legally blind since birth, Mr. Branco is well suited to relate these and other topics on a personal level, giving the average reader a basic understanding of what it's like to live without total vision.
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About the Author
Despite all the time I've spent over the years being unemployed, I've led a very active life. Currently, I am the editor of a consumer magazine which is being read in over a dozen states throughout the country. In order to accommodate all of my readers, I make the magazine available in five different formats: print, Braille, e-mail, cassette and CD.
I also run a slow pitch soft ball league in my home town, consisting of six teams. During the fall and winter months, I run a bowling league which, for the most part, consists of bowlers with disabilities. To help others with vision loss adjust to their situation, I hold visually-impaired persons support group meetings twice a month. Helping others makes me feel positive.
I know many blind people who knuckle under to constant rejection, and don't know what to do about it. I'm doing my best not to let it affect me.
Seeing What I Feel
by Kathryn Arruda
Imagine seeing with your hands and being inspired by an informative narrated guide and your own imagination? The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston has been offering "A Feeling for Form" program to visitors with visual impairments. Museum staff and trained volunteers lead tours of fine artworks and period furniture with a combination of verbal description and tactile exploration.
In the past year, the MFA and Terri Werner, art teacher at the Perkins School for the Blind, collaborated to offer her blind and low vision students a creative program. The fifteen students visited the museum to work with the guides from "A Feeling for Form" program. Audio sticks were used to listen to recorded descriptions of art collections and the students were allowed to touch particular pieces while wearing protective cotton gloves. After several visits of inspiration, the students created their own artworks in school and an exhibit was held at the MFA from October 15 to November 26, 2007. The achievement of the "Seeing What I Feel" exhibit consisted of paintings and sculptures, as well as artifacts such as masks and reliefs. Personal audio commentary was included by the students, sharing thoughts and feelings about their art. The program produced a positive and powerful effect on these young individuals, expanding the dimension of creativity and possibility.
The Museum of Fine Art, Boston offers guided tours to the public and although there is no fee for "A Feeling for Form," pre-registration is required. You can visit the MFA website to read about the offerings by going to www.mfa.org, clicking on the Calendar link, and then the Guided Tours link. A registration form can be accessed there and includes a list of available tours. They include: Introductory tour, Felines in Art, Animals in Art, Women of Power, African art, American art, "Please Be Seated" (American furniture), Neoclassical sculptures, Egyptian sculptures, Classical sculptures (Roman), Greco-Roman funerary arts, "Beyond the Screen" (Chinese furniture of the 16th and 17th centuries), Chinese sculptures, Asian sculptures, European art, and more.
If interested, you may call the museum for information at 617-267-9300, e-mail email@example.com or visit the Guided Tours page on the MFA website to use the online "Feeling for Form" registration form. The registration requests information such as the number of individuals desiring a tour, tour choices and preference and how you prefer to experience art. The choices include: tactile, verbal descriptions with related materials and sensory experiences, or a combination of tactile and verbal descriptions. Will assistive listening devices be needed to increase accessibility and aid accommodations? Is there any additional information needed to know about you or your group to help enhance your experience at the MFA? Please note that three weeks' notice is recommended for tours.
The completed registration can be returned to Ruth Kahn via mail, fax, or e-mail at:
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
465 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Voice: (617) 369-3302
Fax: (617) 267-9328
by Bob Branco
Today I offered to help a friend of mine locate a Braille watch for her father, who's losing his sight. I priced a standard man's Braille watch at a company in New York. Some of you know what a Braille watch looks like, but for those of you who don't know, it's very similar to a regular wrist watch, only the cover opens up and you can feel the two hands. They've also added dots around the perimeter of the inside of the watch which indicates the hours.
Well, I guess you could say there isn't that much difference between a sighted and blind person's watch, yet the Braille watch costs $60. I would like someone to justify this price. I've looked at Braille watches over the years, and I can't, for the life of me, understand why a blind person has to spend $60 for something that really is a regular wrist watch with a few minor additions. What possible adaptation was made from a regular watch to a Braille watch that was worth so much money?
It all goes back to what I've always said about products for the blind. Companies are allowed to sell them at these ridiculous prices, and there is no need for it. If I had the skills, I could take an average wrist watch, adjust the cover so that it can open and close, mark the perimeter with several small dots, and, alas! - a Braille watch. After these minor adjustments, am I supposed to understand that the value of the watch went up to sixty dollars? What did I do to it? What drastic changes did I make? The hands are still intact. The only difference now is that a blind person gets to feel them.
I told my friend that she's better off going to her local Radio Shack store for a talking watch for her father. She'll save $40 in the process. This leads me to another point. Why should a Braille watch cost three times more than a talking watch when there aren't any microchips or circuits in the Braille watch? It's simple mechanics, like any other watch, with a little bit of refining.
There has to be a way to make these companies understand what they're doing to blind consumers, who, for the most part, can not afford to be their customers. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.
Great News in the New Year
for Current and New Subscribers of Harvard Business Review on special format cassette from the MAB Recording Studio.
Harvard Business School Publishing is now subsidizing the costs of producing Harvard Business Review on tape for Blind and Print Handicapped Individuals.
The price for a one year subscription is $49. That's a decrease of $80 per year for each individual subscription!! The two cassettes with 8 hours worth of material will be sent to you for 10 monthly issues.
Additional, yearly subscriptions to Cat Fancy and Dog Fancy Magazines-on-tape are each available at $84 for 12 issues.
MAB Recording Studio offers custom recordings of any submitted publications onto special format digital cassette at a fee of $22 per 6-hour tape.
Please contact Robert Pierson at MAB Community Services, 313 Pleasant Street, Watertown, MA 02472, (617) 972-9117, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All credit cards, personal checks and money orders are acceptable.
The Cost of Living
by Bob Branco
Last night, I was out with a few friends having dinner at a local restaurant. We started talking about the cost of going to the movies and how years ago you could actually see a double feature for 30 cents. Someone made the comment that pay wages weren't as high, either. I decided to prove how the increase in pay wages does not keep up with the rising cost of going to the movies.
Let's assume that in 1960, you could see a movie for 30 cents, and that you were paid $2 an hour at your job. Today, you have to pay $5 to see a movie at the Dartmouth Mall. If movies were 30 cents in 1960, and are $5 today, that means that the cost of a movie increased approximately 16 times itself in a 47-year period. If hourly wages are to keep up with this increase, then we would have to make an average of $32 an hour at our jobs right now in order to afford the movies the way we did in 1960.
Now let's see if anyone wants to use the pay wage argument.
The Consumer Vision Trivia Contest
Here is the answer to the Trivia Question submitted in The Consumer Vision, November edition:
The names of the seven children on the television series "The Waltons," are as follows:
Mary Ellen, Erin, Elizabeth, John Boy, Jason, Ben and Jim Bob.
Congratulations to the following winners: Jan Colby of Brockton, Massachusetts James Thomas of Clermont, Florida
Rose Dalley of Berlin, Vermont
Volly Nelson of Reidsville, Georgia
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And now, here is our January Trivia Question:
What girl singing group was formed by children of a member of the Beach Boys and a member of the Mamas and Papas?
If you know the answer, please send your name, address and phone number to The Consumer Vision at email@example.com or give our office a call at
More Thoughts on Adaptive Technology for the Blind
by Brian Coppola
I was at the adaptive technology fair at the Carroll Center on Tuesday, November 20, 2007. I know why adaptive technology prices are going through the roof. It is statistics, statistics, statistics. One of the staff admitted that it was indeed the fault of the blind community for letting this happen. But here is something else that they said that factored into this. Most of the population of the blind are elderly who do not want to go and learn new tricks or about assistive tech. All this talk about them wanting to keep their generation. What does this do to us young people who still have life ahead of us? We need the assistive tech so we can be as independent as anyone else. Our Elders Need To Remember One Thing. When We Were Born And The Doctors Breached The Umbilical Cord, We By Natures' Course Became A Free Standing Body.
When I took Western Civilization in college, one of the things I learned was that the Spartans in Greece used to starve to death any child who ended up born with a birth defect or disability. This was because they were deemed "Not perfect enough to produce." This kind of ideology perpetuates death, not life as God had commanded to perpetuate life.
Do we suffer for the majority of those who are blind or losing their sight by giving up our lives and letting these old folks continue on with their bigoted beliefs that the disabled or blind populations are charity cases? That's kind of perpetuating dependence and not independence and I think in some cases, death and not life. The disability profession says that we cannot change that or they would love to take economics out of AT. However, it is not self fulfilling. Their ideology seems to be winning.
Do we hound the assistive technology manufacturers like Freedom Scientific, Humanware, ABISee and Magnisight or even En-vision America to force them by pressure of phone calls, letters and demonstration and even the media as an outlet to put AT into the mainstream or do we go to our legislatures and say, "Look, here is how we can use the tax payer's money wisely.
1. Enact legislation that would require any agency receiving funding for elder services or any recipient of such governmental benefits to go and take some form of a course. It should be in the technology that is used today by we who have life ahead of us. Thus, part of that curriculum should include discussion and exposure to assistive technology that we use and how it may benefit them throughout the remainder of their lives.
2. This ideology would then have the potential of forcing AT out into the mainstream, thus making it more affordable for the low income and the 70% of the blind who are unemployed, so that they can, with changes in the AT market and changes in the Americans with Disabilities Act, become productive citizens of our society.
3. This in theory would invest the tax payer dollars over time into resources that would be more useful."
I had heard the disability profession say that our reading machines, our computers, or our PDAs are like buying a car and should only be used for business purposes. I had even heard of that from the old folks and believe it now to be true. The actuality, folks, is that we need the reading machines, the screen readers, the computers, the PDAs and the electronic mobility aides in order to function fully as a free standing body and maintain normal posture. Some, including myself, have to lean over very close in towards materials in order to be able to read them. This can lead to other problems. How do we know that it could lead to digestive problems, back problems, or any other kind of health related problems? Outside of the business world there is still human life being lived. We became a part of that fabric when God created us. He did not intend for there to be any discrimination.
What ticks me off the most is when the folks who are supposed to be helping us help to perpetuate the bigotry by offering that it is their culture that makes them act with a funny attitude against the disabled or that they are "too old to learn new tricks." The proposed idea of legislation that I would like to see in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to become a federal piece of legislation would not permit anyone working in any agency receiving government funding that serves the disabled or the elderly use culture or senior age as an excuse to circumvent the curricular requirements. Furthermore, anyone who truly cannot learn how to use assistive technology would be required to have some form of documentation from a qualified healthcare professional stating that they have some kind of mental cognitive impairment or learning disability that would prevent them from taking part in such curriculum.
Some of the folks might be opposed to this idea, feeling that it is an entitlement of theirs to have governmental benefits because of their working history. Yes, that is true. However, there are some of us young ones out there who may never get to have that opportunity solely because we are blind. There is an old saying that we had learned in our civics classes "With every entitlement, there is also a responsibility." To say that we young folks may have to wait until the elderly population die off (as suggested by some folks in our disability profession), in and of itself, perpetuates death. Should we take them off so that we can get what we need? No. I ask you to think about what you had read and pass it onto every member on your mailing lists. It is time to get down to reality.
Your friend, Brian J. Coppola
by Chef Dan
Spaghetti with Clams and White Sauce
This recipe can serve 3 to 6, depending on how much spaghetti you cook.
A half pound or a half box will serve three, and a pound or full box will serve six.
To serve three, you need a half pound or a half box of spaghetti. To serve six, you need a pound or a box of spaghetti.
To serve three, you need three 6-ounce cans of chopped clams. To serve six, you need four or five 6-ounce cans of clams. Use chopped clams, not minced clams, because the minced clams are too small.
5 to 8 garlic cloves, depending on how much spaghetti you are cooking.
To serve three, you need one half stick of butter. To serve six, you need a full stick of butter.
Approximately a half cup of olive oil, no need to measure. Just shake your bottle to make sure you have some oil in it.
One medium to large pan with (preferably) wooden or plastic handles, to cook the spaghetti.
One medium to large frying pan to saut? garlic, etc.
A colander to drain the spaghetti.
A can opener.
A cookie sheet.
A cutting board.
A paring knife.
A square shaped, rubber-like spatula.
A slotted spoon.
A spaghetti spoon or server. This is a large spoon with prongs, which makes it much easier to mix or serve the spaghetti.
A garlic peeler, if you have one. This is a rubber hollow cylinder, which helps you peel the garlic.
A small bowl to hold the chopped garlic cloves.
A bowl that can go into the microwave to hold the half or full stick of butter.
An attractive large glass bowl to serve the spaghetti, if you are serving company.
1. Check to see if you have all of the needed ingredients and utensils. Place all of the utensils needed to cook with on or near the stove: the large wooden spoon, spaghetti server (if you have one), the slotted spoon, rubber spatula, and can opener.
2. Take out the frying pan and put it on the right burner. Take the medium to large pan to cook the spaghetti and put three inches or more of water in it and place it with the cover on your left burner.
3. Take out the cookie sheet and place it under your cutting board. Also, place a small bowl for the chopped garlic cloves, the paring knife and garlic peeler (if you have it), and the needed number of garlic cloves either five or eight.
4. The cutting board resting inside of your cookie sheet will keep the ends of the garlic cloves and the peels inside a confined area (the cookie sheet). Cut off the ends of the garlic cloves, peel them, and then cut them into thin circles and put them into your bowl.
5. Before you start chopping the garlic cloves, again, cover the pan on the left burner, and put the gas on high so that the water will quickly come to a boil.
6. Next, take out the colander and above it break the spaghetti strands into thirds and let them fall into the colander. Your breaking of the spaghetti in this manner will make it easier for both sighted and blind people to eat.
7. Finish chopping the cloves, listening for the water to come to a boil.
8. When you hear the water begin to bubble, drizzle a little olive oil into the pan, add a few shakes of salt and stir for a few seconds.
9. Then, turn down the heat to medium-high heat or so that the dial is straight up and down like six o'clock.
10. Now, set the timer for ten minutes, pour in the spaghetti slowly so it does not splash, and stir it around with the large wooden spoon. From time to time, you should stir the spaghetti around.
11. If you have not finished chopping up the garlic cloves, finish now while listening for your timer to ring.
12. Open the cans of chopped clams and put them near the stove. Now, put your cold-water faucet on drizzle and just wait for the timer to ring.
13. When the timer rings, take your slotted spoon and dunk it into the pan and pick up some spaghetti. In your other hand, you should have the butter dish and put it under the slotted spoon and walk to the sink. Put the spoon under the drizzling water to cool off the spaghetti so you can taste it.
14. Taste the spaghetti to see if it is cooked to your liking. If so, go back to the stove and shut off your burner. If the spaghetti is not done, let it cook for another minute or so, and try tasting it again. While you are at the sink, put the colander back into the sink and push the faucet out of the way.
15. First, check your burner to make sure it is shut off, and then, with your two handy pot holders, take the pan by the two handles, bring it to the colander in the sink, and pour out the spaghetti. Make sure the colander is directly under the pan before you start pouring the spaghetti.
16. Let the spaghetti rest for a few seconds, and then shake the colander to make sure the spaghetti is drained.
17. Then, place the colander with the spaghetti back into the pan and put the cover on very tightly so that the spaghetti will stay warm. Push this pan back to the back burner so it will be out of the way.
18. Now, turn on your right burner under the frying pan to low or simmer. Then, pour enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the frying pan, plus a little more.
19. The oil should warm up pretty quickly, and then you can add the garlic cloves and stir them around with the square rubber spatula so that the cloves brown, but do not burn.
20. Now, set the timer for three minutes, and on the low flame, gently stir the oil and garlic.
21. When the timer rings, pour the cans of clams with their juice into the frying pan.
22. Reset the timer for seven minutes and let everything simmer on low heat while stirring from time to time.
23. When the timer rings, shut off the burner.
24. Now, with one hand under the handle of the frying pan where it joins the pan, take the opposite side of the frying pan with the other hand. If the frying pan is hot, you might have to use one or two potholders. Now, lift the frying pan and bring it over your pan of spaghetti and carefully pour the contents of your frying pan so that all of the sauce goes into the pan with the spaghetti.
25. Mix the sauce and the spaghetti with your spaghetti server or slotted spoon the best you can.
26. Take the butter and put it into the microwave to melt. This should only take a few seconds.
27. Now, with a pot holder in hand, take the bowl with the melted butter, bring it to the spaghetti pan, and drizzle it over the top of the spaghetti.
28. Mix the butter, the sauce and the spaghetti the best you can. Again, a spaghetti server is the best tool, but if you do not have one use a slotted spoon.
29. Now, replace the cover back on the pan. Depending on how long before you are going to serve the meal, you may have to reheat your spaghetti.
30. If you have company, carefully put the spaghetti into your attractive bowl to serve.
31. Otherwise, just spoon the spaghetti from the pan into individual plates. I like to use soup plates, but you don't have to.
32. Left over spaghetti with sauce and clams can be put into the refrigerator in a stainless steel pan, or any kind of glass or plastic container, with a cover.
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