Monday, June 6, 2022

Completed the English Channel Walk.



I Did It In One Week! 

Here is the certificate to prove it!

Conqueror English Channel 21 mile challenge, completed June 6 2022.

I completed my attempt to walk 21 miles as logged by my Apple Watch and iPhone Health App on June 5, 2022.  I walked the 21 miles beginning on Sunday May 29, 2022.  I did walk every day but being blind I botched my data entry for two days last week.  Then I linked my Health app to the Conqueror Challenge app.

The apps communicate at about 7am Pacific Time, and so by 8am this morning June 6, 2022.  I received my certificate of completion.

As I completed the challenge so quickly I received a discount on my next challenge.    A good deal worth 15% for twenty-four hours, so it pays to have a next challenge planned.

I wanted to enrol for the Hadrian's Wall Challenge, 90 miles across England's  Northern border.  I hope to complete that by August 1, 2022.  Just over 50 days away.

We'll have to see how the completion medal looks for the English Channel.  I am not sure how soon that arrives but I have seen my wife's medal for the Dutch Flower walk and that is a nice medal.

If you would like to see what challenges Conqueror has available for you, follow my affiliate link below to get 10% off your first challenge.


Conqueror APP.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Financial Independence For The Visually Impaired Part Seven: Update October 20, 2021 Two Years In.

 It is now two years  since I began my initial investment plan for the visually impaired.  That initial investment of $50 has grown to $1,063.47 .  I have added very little to that plan over the last year, just letting dividends build and re-invest has seen it spike in recent weeks.

A graph from M1 showing value of account growing up and to the right.

The main investing focus was put into the M1 account.

That account is now 21 months old. Opened on January 17th, 2020 with just $100. I have added just over $3,700 with regular weekly payments of at first $10, then $15 then $1731.  It has grown to  $4,366 which includes over $93.00 in dividends.  That total is set to grow rapidly as I am now set to invest $18.31 per week and I will be changing my investing strategy slightly until the end of the year. More on that later.

If you would like to open an M1 account you can do so here, if you open a new account and fund it with $100.00  M1   will give you an extra $30 to invest. I will also receive $30 from M1 at no cost to you. So we both get a nice bonus.

You can see how my M1 account is doing at this link too.  My Dividend Portfolio.


 Recently my monthly income has risen a little, just about $20 so I am increasing my weekly contributions to the M1 account from $17.31 to $18.31 per week.  THat money is paid in on Monday.


I will also be aiming to pay extra cash towards my monthly paying stocks, Real Estate Investments Trusts like Realty Income and Stag, together with Main Street Capital a business development corporation.


I plan on adding extra funds to those up until I receive a dividend of about $1.00 per month from each. That's about 4 Realty Income shares, 8 Stag shares and 5 Main Street shares.  That would make a regular $3.00 income o per month.  $36 per year from those stocks alone.  I also would be receiving income from most of the other stocks too.   So far only Boeing, amazon and Alphabet ( Google ) do not pay a dividend.  BOeing's dividend was suspended in the crash of 2020.  It may come back soon.


I did also swap out Asstra Zeneca for Abbvie and AT&T for John Deere.  AT&T is a major player in another portfolio.  ASTra Zeneca was less valuable of a dividend than Abbvie. So I swapped for the higher dividend.


I am now looking at a peak quarterly dividend income of over $23.00 a low quarterly dividend of over $21.00, I hope this will be over $25.00 by the end of 2021.  That will be over $100.00 per year, in dividends alone.


You can follow my progress at My dividend Portfolio here, and don't forget if you open a new account at this link we bothreceive $30 from M1 finance. 

Come take a look at my Investing book selection here.

You may also like to read, Financial Independence for the Visually Impaired Part Four: One Year Anniversary.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

In What Order Do You Value Your Five Senses?

 Some questions seem trivial, take this one: "In what order do you value your five senses?"

Easy to answer?

How do you value your five senses, an eye

Well what if you really only have four senses?

As a blind man, that is the situation in which I find myself. So imagine my surprise when about a week ago I saw this question pop up in my Quora Space, Ask a Blind Guy.

At first I wanted to write something sarcastic, a blurb on the stupidity of the question.

Then I began to think the question through.  How much do I really value my five senses, I do still have five, sight, touch, smell, taste and hearing.  Though the sight one is a little limited to say the least.

So what did I say?

what order do I value my five senses?

This may seem a strange thing, but as someone who is now almost completely blind, just a little light perception that gives me light and shadow in a small area to my right.

My sight, what I have left of it comes in as most prized.

When I was fully sighted, twenty years ago, I guess you might say I took sight for granted, now having lost most of my vision I treasure all the things my limited vision now gives me.


Read the rest of the post Here.


 "Ask a Blind Guy" is a free to read Space on Quora. There are several disabled contributors, most of them Blind or Visually Impaired.  Come and take a look at the space which is full of information about blindness, disability and issues that interest us.


Follow "Ask A Blind Guy" Here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

What Are Some Good Gifts For a Blind or Visually Impaired Person in 2021?

 At this time of year thoughts turn to buying Christmas gifts. But what to buy if you are buying a gift for a blind or visually impaired person.

First of all get to know the person.  Know what they like.

They are a person afterall. 

Fir tree decorated with tinsel and lights covered in snow stands in a forest

I remember my first Christmas after moving to the United States of America.  My wife's parents bought me a pack of 100 socks, yes 50 pairs of identical socks.  I owned socks, I used up valuable space in my bags to ship dozens pairs of comfortable socks from the United Kingdom to the U.S.

Here I was forcing a smile, thanks for the socks.  I'll trasure them always.  Then taking them home, trying on one sock, they were far too small, I could only get the opening of the sock over four toes.

The next year, was more successful, my father-in- law, loved a practical joke.  He put $50 in a paper cover of a can of sardines.  Everyone in the family got a can of sardines.  I was ecstatic, I love sardines.  After everyone else found their $50 I went around the family collecting the cans of sardines too.  Best Christmas present ever!


The moral of that story. Get the  person something they like, show them that you have some knowledge of them as a person and that you have put some effort into deciding what they like.


Having said that here are five easy ideas for a gift, that may be of use to a blind or visually impaired person.


1. Audio book Subscription. 

Buying a subscription to Audible can give the person a gift every month of the year, if you buy a twelve month subscription.


My wife bought me a subscription for the audible service for my birthday.  I love listening to books and now I can look forward to buying a book every month for the next twelve months.  I love to buy Great Courses programs too, some of the older courses are now available as Audible audio files.  They  cost just one audible credit just like a normal book and make great listening...



 2.  A Smart Speaker Device.

I own four Amazon Alexa smart speakers. I have them in four different rooms, the living room, a bedroom, the office and the kitchen.

I use all of them everyday, in the kitchen I use my Dot (Alexa ) as a timer, in the living room, bedroom I listen to books or music and in the office I listen to a variety of streamed radio services and podcasts from all around the world.

It's easy to use, I say "Alexa play BBC Radio four." In seconds I am listening to the BBC.  I can ask Alexa the latest market news for the stock market, or I can ask Alexa to make calculations for me.  Just ask and Alexa will do the job.

3. A Tablet

A tablet or E-Book reader is an excellent device for a blind or visually impaired person.

Many of these devices now come with the ability to record speech as text or read text in a realistic voice. They can do many of the jobs of a micro computer, stram video, give access to the internet and allow you to run e-mail and other business software as well as playing games and using communication software like Skype or Zoom with friends and family.

One such Tablet is the Amazon Fire.

amazon fire tablet

4. An Amazon Gift Card.

Many people love a Gift Card, and the Amazon Gift card is available in many denominations from $20 upwards.

The benefit of an Amazon Gift card is that they do not expire and the recipient can use it to buy what they need when they need it.  It also solves the problem of giving a gift to someone you may not know that well. Remember the socks?

amazon gift card

5. A Smart Watchh.

I own a first generation Apple Smart Watch.  It's about four or five years old now. I wear it everyday.  It records my pulse rate, my steps walked, it reads my emails, it talks to me telling me the time, how much exercise I have taken and it has a calendar too.

all of that and it is connected to my iPhone so if I am away from my phone, but in bluetooth range I can answer and make calls on my watch.

AS a blind person I cannot think of a more useful device to have.

apple smart watch

So there we are five ideas for things that a blind or visually impaired person might like to receive as a Christmas Gift.

Of course it all depends upon how well you know the person. But the best gift of all will you recognizing them as an individual not as a disability.

Thanks for reading.

Merry Christmas and all the best for 2022.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, October 11, 2021

There Can Be Days When You Just Want To Give Up.

 October 11 th, 2021.  Is just one of those days when I just want to give up.

William Elliott in guide dogs for the blind mask and baseball cap

I am in a flunk.  There is a howling gale outside. This after weeks of air thick with the smell of burning pine forests. So thick you felt like you had just drunk a bottle of pine scented lavatory cleaner.

My lungs are raw from coughing like a forty a day smoker. It just seems an effort to think and I have no plans to do much other than sit around for the foreseeable future.

I need a break I think, something to take my mind into new territory.

There are always days like this. We all have to face them.

Part of my problem is, I think, today is Columbus day, the stock markets were open but I had no cash to buy available, all my transfers usually take place on a Monday, but were put on hold by the banks who use today as a holiday.

So where I usually work on my plans for investing over the week, I have been sat here twiddling my thumbs.

I did think of buying a digital camera over the week-end.  Blind! Digital camera!  I can hear the alarms sounding.

Well yes, I can own the camera, let my wife take the pictures for me.

That may encourage her to want to go somewhere at week-ends.

I have not left the house much for anything other than hospital appointments for  nineteen months.  Talk about cabin fever.

The camera that I was looking at is the Nikon 5600 kit.



At the end of the day, tomorrow is another day.  The markets will be back to normal and maybe I will get a better mindset by the morning.