Wednesday, February 24, 2016

How to Make "Scotch Eggs" in the Low Vision Kitchen

I have to admit to loving sausage.  I also love eggs too. Do you know  how good sausage and eggs sound right now. I am at the start of what is going to be a busy and hectic day.

Well here is a recipe that can give everyone their sausage and egg fix at any meal time of the day. A recipe for Scotch Eggs.  

 Scotch Eggs Ingredients

Eggs   ( Hard Boiled )

Sausage meat   ( About 1 pound of meat is enough for approximately six eggs )


What are "Scotch Eggs"?

"Scotch Eggs"  are really boiled eggs wrapped in a layer of sausage meat which are then cooked by either frying or roasting/broiling in a hot oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or Gas Mark 4 for about thirty to forty minutes. 

Frying takes less time but the fat content is very much higher.

Please try my recipe for Scotch Eggs they are really good.

If you like this video recipe please share it with your friends.

Monday, February 22, 2016

I saw a light!

A couple of years ago I lost light perception in my left eye. For a time my retinologist and I even agreed to stop treating the odema (swelling) caused by the central retinal vein oclusion back in 2007.

Last July however my eye was growing painful, and my retinologist and I decided to deal with a new problem in the eye. Neovascularization.

Neovascularization  is the bodies reaction to the loss of blood supply to a part of the body. It is the production of new blood vessels and is a major problem after CRVO, in some cases it can lead to eye pain, glaucoma and the possible need to surgically remove the eye itself. A path that I do not want to go down.

We agreed to treat my eye with an injection of Eye-Leah every four weeks. This series of treatments began in July 2015 and I also had some laser treatment in September to cauterize some of the new blood vessels.

Today I had an eye exam and my seventh injection of Eye-Leah.

I mentioned in recent months to my doctor that I was able to see some light in the extreme left periphery of my left eye. It was not a lot, just a small dot of blurred light.

Today however we were able to talk about some visual disturbances I have been having. A few days ago I was riding in the car at near sunset  and noticed that I was having what appeared to be double vision. I was catching glimpses of clear black shadows of pick-up trucks and eighteen wheelers on the left side of the street.

This despite me only having sight on my  right periphery at the time.

Our conclusion the scan of my retina shows that the swelling behind the retina has reduced markedly.  The visual disturbances as I described them were not truly visual disturbances they are a result of me regaining some vision in  my left eye. It is motion detection, in black and white only but it is real vision.

I do not know if it will lead to permanent retention of vision  we still need to treat the eye to prevent more neovascularization. I am hoping that my brain might adjust to having some motion detection on my left though. Having the double vision and such has left me feeling quite queezy and nauseous riding in a car or on the bus.

But still I'd rather see the light. Any day.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

A Life with Blindness:

Recently I have been working on a series of videos which aim to answer some frequently asked questions about going blind and living with blindness.

The link below will take you to my playlist.

The playlist is growing week by week as I aim to add at least one video per week normally on a Wednesday. So be sure to check out the playlist regularly or subscribe to my YouTube channel to receive up to date announcements as each video is published.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Being Told You Are Going Blind IS Scary

My latest video is about the experience of being told that  I was going blind.

In the respect that I was fore warned you, and I, can claim that I was in a much better position than the many who lose their sight to trauma and accidents.

I had at least time to gain knowledge which helped me adapt as the world lost focus and drifted into a pale grey cloud of fog. This video offers some suggestions for anyone who faces to blindness to find help. I would even suggest sighted people who do not have the prosect of blindness in their future learn some of the organizations and resources too. After all they may encounter a blind person in their day to day life who might need such information.

If you find this video helpful please share it with your friends.

Also if you have any questions that you would like answered please leave questions in the comments either in this blog or in the video comments.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Do Guide Dogs Follow Instructions in Sign Language?

Several weeks ago, Leif, my guide dog and I were at a presentation on working guide dogs at Madera Fairgrounds here in Central California.

Some of our audience were children from a deaf class. They as most children seem to do loved meeting Leif, he is a very calm dog, and very friendly in crowds.

One of the children asked me if Leif could be told to work using sign language. Other members of his class laughed and said it was a silly suggestion but then I weighed in with the bombshell.

Leif does actually use sign language on many occassions. When we go forward, left or right, I point the way to go. Same with telling him to wait. All are accomplished with their own required hand signal.

Here is a link  to my recent video showing what I mean.

Do you have any questions about blindness or using a guide dog that you would like answered?

If so please ask your question in the comments section below.

300th Post

Well here we are folks. This is the 300th post on this blog and funnily we just passed the 33,300th visit too.

My first posts on this blog were published on June 1st, 2011. So almost five years have passed us by. I have had some gaps in posting, lots of time there was just no muse to drive me, sometimes there was sickness and a lot of time I was just too lazy to come up with an idea after spending a whole day in work.

Looking back over those almost five years it is hard to see  how I was then. I had better sight then, I could still see through my left eye after injections. I had only surrendered my drivers license a few months earlier. Today my left eye has recovered some light perception after several months of regular injections of Eye-LEA  That was after several months of no light perception in my left eye at all.

I am not saying Eye-Lea is a wonder drug, I cannot do that. I am suggesting that it has merely done the job it is supposed to do and has reduced the iscaemia (swelling ) in my left eye enough to allow some of the retina to work again. The light perception is not all over it is just a little view in about the eleven o'clock position. Sometimes I can see the shadows of objects mostly the shadow is a dimming of the light.

I have tried to post a mix of tech stuff, news, my experiences of day to day life and some humor too.

I have moved home, moving from a small rural town to a much busier life in the city. I now live minutes from my doctors offices where a trip to the doctor used to be a major operation in planning and negotiation. I can now travel to appointments alone with my guide dog. I have learned Grade 1 Braille, how to work with programs such as JAWS and even learned how to work in a television studio. The last one is my own biggest surprise.

I am a member of several committees at my local California Council of the Blind chapter and on one committee of the State organization.

I greatly enjoyed going to the State CCB convention last October as a delegate for my local chapter.
Polly a german shepherd looks directly into the camera.

The biggest change in my life over the last five years has been the death of my pet German Shepherd "Polly" she was nineteen years old. Then a year after losing Polly a young black Labrador came into my life. His name is "Leif" he is not a pet. He is my guide dog partner.

The introduction to using a guide dog was a major change in my life. Leif has given me more mobility and independence. It has also meant that it takes me longer to go about my daily business, but whereever we go, my wife laughs she can find me at the center of any group of young women. Guide dogs definitely tick the box for "Chick magnet" status.
Leif a Black Labrador Retriever looks directly into the camera.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Back in the TV Studio

I stand beside a studio TV camera, wearing headphones to hear the control room behind me the set lit for interview.
William at the camera
This week saw me in the television studio again. I was working with a producer who had gone through the training process with me last November. It was fun to work with her, I think I must push harder to get my programs off the ground.

Her program was recording both an interview and a music spot. To be finished off in post production, that is she would use editing later to make it look like we recorded the band playing and then did a recorded interview before going back to the band. The good thing about video and such is that if you record things well enough you get to play around with time.

The whole program recording was scheduled to last about four hours. Crew call, the arranged meeting time was set for noon, the band to arrive  at about 1pm recording two songs, this became four songs and a couple of dances, then  then the last hour an interview of about fifteen minutes in length.

The hour from noon till one was spent setting up the cameras we were using  four cameras for the shoot,  it had originally been five cameras but one broke down in preparation. The breakdown was frustrating as it would have been shooting some of the close-ups of the singers in the band. Argh Technology. Don't you hate it sometimes?

So with the studio finally set up we milled around the studio, as we seem to do a lot on such occassions. Waiting for the band.

When the band arrived it was huge, drummers, trumpets, trombones and a giant Sousaphone. Eeek. The studio is only about forty feet wide and deep, then added to the musicians there were five singers. In all the band totalled twenty performers, then their manager and his  people were also in the studio. The studio filled up pretty quickly.

We then set about doing the work on audio. This means setting up microphones the sound engineer sets the volumes and balances out in the control room. For those of us on cameras it is time to set focus and plan shots. Then more waiting as everyone else gets ready.

Then at last all checks done. The director calls through the headsets to check that we cameras can hear and when we confirm we can they roll the recording, actually nothing rolls these days as a program is recorded on an SD card not video tape or film.

Cue the band.

Erm! The sound just beats into my chest. I now can no longer hear anything but the band, it is fifteen musical instruments after all, all of them playing as loudly as they can. Loud is not really the word as trumpets call out in harsh peels. I wonder if I am in a studio or in the midst of a Mexican bullfight.

I am just left blind and now deaf to any instruction. The director could be screaming in my ear for all I know. I hear nothing but the music.  I just am left hoping that no one is calling a new set of shots from me because it ain't gonna happen.

Finally the band stop.  The directors voice now rings out clear. We need another take, the band need to look more like they are enjoying the show.

"Roll Record"

The music hits me again. I Hop happily behind my camera, dancing and swaying, oblivious to my directors calls again. Embraced by the songs of Old Mexico.

To see my earlier posts on my Week in the Television Studio Experience CLICK HERE

Friday, February 5, 2016

How a Sighted Person Can Help a Blind Person

It's strange how some coincidences just happen. Just yesterday I published the video below and I was in desperate need of a sighted guide.

The reason Ineeded a sighted guide yesterday was quite simple. I was walking with my guide dog in the downtown area when someone in a park to our right suddenly started screaming and ranting. The park is a favorite haunt of homeless people and all sorts of screams and shouts of abuse are common. Well yesterday there must have been something in the shouts that Leif, my giuide dog just didn't like and he froze. Wouldn't go forward nor back.

A couple of people walked by and told me we were at the top of an incline. I knew this because I walk down there regularly but otherwise they did nothing to help, even though I asked if there was an obstacle ahead, Leif may have seen an obstacle several feet ahead after all and not wanted me to go into a dead end. No one answered.

Then a young woaman who was passing came over, asked me if I needed help. I asked about any obstacles and she confirmed there were non in the area. Then asked if she could guide me a little.

That was good. Even better was that she offered me her elbow. Great, she knew the correct way to be a sighted guide. We walked carefully down the incline. Leif was breaver with the extra pair of eyes. The rant and swearing still continued over to our right and Leif pulled left a little, so I guess he was just nervous of the ranter.

At the bottom of the incline Leif took over again, I said my thank yous to the young woman and we made our seperate ways.

In the end it was so great a relief to meet a stranger who knew how to be a sighted guide.

The rules are.

1.. Ask if the person needs assistance.

2. If Yes to 1. Offer an elbow to the blind person.

3. Let the blind person cup your elbow in their fingers.

4. Lead them steadily, warning of any obstacles to the front, Left or right as you come up to them.

Do you have any experience of sighted guides that you would like to share? Post your stories in the comments below.