Sunday, March 30, 2014

iPhone Cases on

I know the iPhone is very popular among the visually impaired.

I am considering getting an iPhone 5s myself towards the end of the year. I heard last week on Bloomberg TV that there is a rumour that Apple Inc. will be launching an iPhone 6 this Fall, September or October, I can keep my HTC Android phone another 6 months until the 5s comes down to a reasonable price.

In the meantime I was looking on for iPhone cases and came across several great styles including these:

peacock iphone 5 case
peacock iphone 5 case by jashumbert
Find other Peacock Casemate Cases at
Black Lab "Labradot" Case iPhone 5 Cover
Black Lab "Labradot" Case iPhone 5 Cover by Bretsuki
View other Black Casemate Cases at

Friday, March 21, 2014

An Unexpected Visitor

The other day while I was at work, Leif and I had a visitor.

A good visitor, my Geography professor from my community college.

It is not too long ago that I was at community college, 2007 until 2009. I actually completed my AA Degree in 17 months. A lot of work packing in 18 units of school and holding a part-time job while going blind. I must have been crazy! No I am crazy!

The professor got lots of fuss from Leif, who has taken to laying under my desk. I think he has heard something about us living in an earthquake zone. Anyway ...

The professor said that he had recently visited England, not only England but Yorkshire and in particular Harrogate.

I used to love visiting Harrogate, a high point was tea at Betty's Tea Room. So I asked if he had gone to Betty's and he had.

Isn't it nice when you meet someone thousands of miles from home who can say that they know a place you know very well and is so full of happy memories?

So if anyone is planning to be in the Harrogate area, stop by Betty's, have a sip of tea and a Fat Rascal for me, and just look over the park and watch the flowers bloom, or the snowflakes fall.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Black Lab Mug

As you may know one of my hobbies is to create items on

Over the week-end, another warm and sunny week-end here in California.  I managed to catch this great picture of Leif, my guide dog.

It was such a nice picture that I decided to place it on a mug and post it for sale.

Black Lab Mug
Black Lab Mug by Bretsuki
Browse Labrador Mugs online at

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Guide Dog Team Hat

Guide Dog Team Hat
Guide Dog Team Hat by Bretsuki
Check out other Guide dog Hats at

Do the Blind Have Super Senses?

One thing I have noticed since losing my sight is that  people now think that I have some sort of super sense.

A few weeks ago, I was waiting to cross a street, not too far away was a workman with a leaf blower, Leif, my guide dog, had led me to the kerb and we were waiting for a break in traffic.  I had asked Leif to take me across the street a couple of times and he ignored me, intelligent disobedience at work I think.

Well a motorist  shouts at me "Are you ccrossing?" I nearly jump out of my skin, because I didn't know he was there. The racket from the leaf blower still ripping through the air.

"Sorry. My dog says it's not safe." I reply, funny enough now a standard reply to lots of questions, no-one ever wants to argue with Leif. Don't know why? They often want to argue with me. LOL

Anyway  the motorist went on his merry way and Leif took me across the street.

I was telling my in-laws about the incident and they just said. "He thought you could hear him, with your super hearing." T

Then a collegue at work pointed out that some construction tests on the building. :You will probably smell it like we are on fire first. Don't worry. It's not a fire." Blind supersense again I thought.

To be honest. I have not got super hearing, and have not got a super sense  of smell.

When I was using my cane, I did find I could recognize intersections by the noise the sidewalk made against my cane, it was not a super sense but merely a recognition of the hollow sounds of sidewalk paving, someone with a stroller or bicycle might hear the same noise but take no notice because their eyes told them where they were.

In the case of the "fire smell" I never picked up on that. But as with Leif,  I can smell grilling steak half a block away, but that is probably because I love steak and Leif would love to  learn to love steak.

In my case, sad as I am to say so. No, I as a blind person have not got super senses.

Any comments?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Week-end Break

Last week-end my wife was presenting  a talk at the organization for California schools in Sacramento, CA.

She left us mid-week to go to the conference and Leif and I went about our normal routines for a couple of days until Friday when we began our long journey to Sacramento.

The first leg was by car to the Amtrak station in Merced, CA.

That was quite uneventful as Leif is very good in a car, often sitting quietly looking out of the windows or "Hold the front page!" sleeping.

Arriving at Merced we checked on the train, it was on time, and arranged with one of the railroad staff to point us in the right direction to board the correct part of the train. Then Leif and I said our goodbyes to my "in-laws" who had driven me to the station.

When the train pulled into the station, Leif was very calm and sat by my left side. The woman from the ticket office came out and I took her arm as she guide me to the conductor, telling him I was bound for Sacramento. He guided me to the lower level seat assigned to me, I had booked earlier in the week.

It was there Leif, was greeted by "oohs and awwww's" as people saw a handsome blue/black Labrador all nicely kitted out in his harness.

Leif is definitely one for the crowds. He is a magnet, people ask all about him. Age, where he is from, what does he actually do?

Having a guide dog is definitely not an option if you don't want to be noticed.

I generally filled in all the information for the people asking questions and Leif in his usual manner, curled into a tight ball at my side and proceeded to snore, very loudly. Of course raising more "oooh's and awwww's."

Disembarking in Sacramento we were whisked to a golf cart and driven, wind in our hair and fur, to the front of the station. Being blind means you get to do such things it seems. We arrived at the taxi's as the first of the walking passengers who had run, got to the luggage collection area.

Before the other passengers had collected a bag Leif and I were zooming away in a taxi to our hotel.

All in all we had a good first trip, solo, together. We even arrived in time to see my wife's presentation. She did a great job.

Then We spent late Saturday touring around the city. Visiting the California Vietnam Memorial, the parks around the Capitol buildings and a wonderful to Sutter's Fort, the actual founding building in what would become Sacramento.

Leif and me, beside the Vietnam Memorialin Sacramento, CA.