Saturday, June 17, 2017

Where Is 'Blindside Fresno?"

You may be wondering what has happened to "Blindside Fresno". Well we have been off the air since February for a couple of reasons.

William Elliott, producer of Blindside Fresno behind the camera in the television studio during a recording
Behind the scenes at 'Blindside Fresno'
First, we had some problems arranging guest interviews. Our guests were in such demand that we had to cancel several recordings.

Also we planned some interviews with local puppy raisers for guide dogs for the blind. Well their puppies were coming towards the end of their training and were recalled to finish their training at the Guide Dogs for the Blind facility.

Add to this a busy end to the school year for our host and it was just a lot of balls to juggle in order to get the programs ready.

Well this next few days will see us back in the studio again to record some new programs.

We will be trying a new idea in this series, instead of a traditional interview we will include some sketches showing common frustrations of blind people.  So for instance the "Good Samaritan" who insists on helping, whther you need help or not. The person who thinks that blindness is a form of deafness and so shouts at you loudly and very S L O W L Y.

Our local puppy raisers also have some new puppies in training so we will take a look at the work of puppy raisers. These people are unsung heroes for me. Giving their time and love to our guide dogs in their most formative months.

We will also look at parenting by blind or low vision parents from the point of children. We have some interviews with adult children of families where at least one parent was blind or visually impaired. That promises to be an interesting program to compliment our interviews with blind moms shown in the last series.

All our programs from series one are still available on You Tube

You can also follow us on Facebook Blindside Fresno on Facebook


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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Play Ball!

It was chilly last evening. Chilly to be out in even a thick heavy shirt and sitting in a wide open stadium to watch an early season baseball game.
The stadium of the Fresno Grizzlies at the start of the first innings. Many seats are empty as players play ball on the park.
Evening Baseball Game at Chuckchansi Park Fresno

My wife, and I along with Leif my guide dog like to visit our local baseball ground occasionally. Usually in early May temperatures are up in the eighties and cooling through the seventies at an evening game. But this week is an unusual one in this part of California. Temperatures are hovering around the seventies in the day and plummetting to the forties at night.

Not that I am complaining. By the end of this week we are looking at temperatures in the high ninties. So so-long cool days.

We had planned an evening at the ball game a couple of weeks back. Monday nights are always good times to visit, you get lots of free stuff in the ticket, vouchers for free pizza at a local pizzaria, free tickets for the zoo, even free food and soft drinks at the game itself. All for just $20, bargain!

Leif my guide dog always creates a stir. Kids love to point him out. He often lies with his head on the bottom rail of the safety barrier, watching the game with seemingly great interest and intent. He is also a big hit with some of the security staff at the ground, they love to come over to  talk to him, make a fuss and have a fuss made of themselves by a very enthusiastic 70 pound black labrador.

Last night was a bit of a down night, the Fresno Grizzlies, feeder  team to the Houston Astros were playing the Nashville Sounds who's players reserve for the Oakland A's.

The distance in skill was massive. Or maybe it was just the coldness of the air. The Nashville players were much happier in the cold. Scoring four runs in the mid innings of the game, three of those were Home Runs. The poor California boys didn't seem to like the chill and only once managed to score one run, that in the dying moments of the last innings.

So was I sad as I shivered in my seat?  No. Going to the ball game is always fun. I had never seen the Grizzlies lose before, so this was I hope a unique occassion.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Sea-Otters Crossing

Last week saw  me, my wife and Leif my guide dog on a weeks vacation at the coast.

Friday had us in Moss Landing, CA. Moss Landing is a small place just south of Santa Cruz it lies on Highway 1, the Pacific Coast Highway. You might miss the town altogether if it were not for the giant electricity generating station beside the highway and a string of delicious fruit and vegetable stands.

Our reason for visiting Moss Landing though was our required trip to Phil's Fish Market.

Phil's is a fish restaurant, bar, retail store par excellance beside the small harbor in town.

If you visit, I suggest that you ignore that Phil's looks like a steel shuttered warehouse and take a leaf from the suggestion that something great is going on inside the grey exterior. Outside you will be lucky to find a place in the small car park. In fact you might find the street jam packed with cars, trucks and motor cycles from all over the Western U.S.

Believe me these people are probably inside Phil's and buying fishy meals by the platter.

Anyway I am digressing from my theme today. Take it as honest, Phil's if you are on this part of the coast is somewhere you should eat.

Back to my main theme: Sea Otters Crossing.

A road sign, yellow diamond with black shape of a sea otter on it, below a 15 mile per hour speed limit.
Sea-Otter Crossing Road Sign

Having crossed Highway 1, to enter Moss Landing, our car crossed a small bridge beside the harbor and my wife let out a squeal.

There beside the road was a new roadsign. A bright Yellow warning Diamond shaped sign with the black silohuette of a sea otter. This together with a speed restriction of 15 miles per hour.

The people of Moss Landing have created a crossing for Sea-Otters. These animals are as cute looking as can be.

I have regularly seen them up and down the central coast, swimming and basking in quiet inlets and kelp beds.

Once hunted for their soft fur, they almost became extinct, now they are spreading back into their once vast natural habitats.

But this is the first time we have seen a real roadsign warning of their presence and good on you people of Moss Landing.

Good on you.

Monday, April 3, 2017

How to Make Real English Beer Shandy

Summer is on the way again, and this week-end I got to thinking of nice cold refreshing drinks.

My favorite is a English Beer Shandy.

So as part of the low vision Kitchen series I created this short video on how to make a good old English Beer Shandy.

All you need are two ingredients, a good beer and either Lemonade in EnBritain, or Sprite or 7-UP in the US.  Then you can recreate this delicious light refreshing drink for a Summer afternoon party or barbecue.

Watch the video here:

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


A visit to my eye doctor the other day did not bring good news.

a close up of an eye.
An Eye
I had hoped that some of the greyness I had noticed in my good eye over recent months had been due mainly to weather conditions. Lots of cloudy days with diffused light.

When I say good eye by the way, I do not mean that the eye is very good it is just better than my left eye which now barely has any light perception.  My right eye I had some useful vision to my right periphery, now that is shrinking.

I was noticing that diffused light was making my vision very foggy and I was losing most of what color vision I had.

My retinologist took a look at the eye and pronounced that there is a quite decent cataract in the right eye.

The diffusing of what vision I have is the edge of the cataract moving across my field of vision. In her opinion though there is little point in removing the cataract.

The reason for this is removing the cataract and replacing it with a new artificial lens will not help me because the field of useful vision in the eye is too small for the eye to recover any sight.

Removing the damaged lens and the cataract will make me blind, leaving the cataract will at least allow me light perception with some diffused vision rather than light perception only.

I have to admit that is a scary time. Knowing that there is little left to do in order to save my sight is a pretty tough pill to swallow. I am going to look at a second opinion from my other eye doctor over the next few weeks. Just incase there is a work around.

What do you think?