Saturday, December 31, 2016

Most Popular Posts of 2016

As Christmas passes and the New Year is just around the corner it seems like a good time to look back at some of the most read posts on this blog and maybe thosee of you who follow this blog regularly might like to share this post to friends.

! The amazon Echo Dot Review:

 2. Second Service Dog Attack

   told how Leif my Guide Dog was attacked at a local Starbuck's by a "service dog". I believe the other dog was merely a fake service dog. This post was actually very popular with readers back in August. It went viral with several thousand views in just one week.  Leif has recovered and is back to working and we still visit this Starbucks location weekly.

So here are two of the most popular posts of the year. I hope that you might share them with friends or maybe even comment on them.

What posts do you like to see most on this blog?

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Cracker

Here we are. Almost at years end. 2016 has been a busy year for me. I hope it has been a good year for all of you.

So as Christmas arrives on our doorstep. Let's have some fun and pull a Christmas Caracker.

A bright Christmas Cracker decorated with holly and candy canes set against a red background.
A Christmas Cracker

Every year the British pull millions of crackers at Christmas. Famed for silly paper hats, and inexpensive trinkets.

Every cracker must have a bad joke so here is our cracker of a joke.

Santa sits in his red suit trimmed with white fur, beside him is guide dog Leif, a black Labrador, behind them we see a winter scne of snow flakes and houses.
Santa and Guide Dog Leif

Question:   How do you know Santa goes out wearing no underwear?

Answer: Because he is Saint Knicker-less!

Merry Christmas Everyone.

Why not share this blog with your friends  today?

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Blindside Fresno Explains the Guide Dog Application Process

For the first program of 2017. I decided to take Blindside Fresno behind the scenes of an application for a guide dog with Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, California.

The crew take a break for a photo on the set of Blindside Fresno. Standing at back, Left to Right Rene Gomez, 'Ace Manelski, Steve Manelski and Darcie Elliott: seated and at front Left to right, Guide Dog Leif and William Elliott
Full Crew of Blindside Fresno program 7 Back Left to right: Rene Gomez; 'Ace Manelski; Steve Manelski ; Darcie Elliott, front and seated: Guide Dog Leif and William Elliott

I did talk about my application experieence as it occurred back in 2012-3 on this blog. Those posts are still available to read, just search the blog for guide dog.

This 'Blindside Fresno' will be program number seven. We have gone back to the one on one chat, Darcie Elliott ( a.k.a. my wife ) hosts the show. I also had a good crew, Rene Gomez and Steve Manelski on cameras and Steve's son "Ace" in control room as an amazing 3 in 1 Director; Technical Director and Audio Engineer

Applying for a guide dog can be a long process, for me it took a year. So in this program I decided to just concentrate on the application process, what you need to consider when applying, what materials, paperwork you need to have at hand to complete your application.

We also talk a little about what preparations you should consider making. One of my main goals was to increase my general fitness for walking. You do have a lot of walking to do in those couple of weeks training.

Then we talk a little about the preparation that the dog has gone through to get to be offered as your partner. We will do another program from the point of view of puppy raisers later in the year.

This was a fun show to create. I would like to thank Steve and his son "Ace" for taking their time to help out on Blindside Fresno. They produce and introduce the program  Valley Veterans Forum  follow the link to see their program page at CMAC.

I also want to thank Rene Gomez producer of  The Luiz Gomez Show for his help with the program. Just follow the link to see his producer page at CMAC

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Friday, December 16, 2016

Glitz, Glamour and A TV Award Nomination?

Well you could have knocked me down with a feather yesterday afternoon. I had a very surprising telephone call fromCommunity Media Access Collaborative (CMAC). For those of you who don't 'Blindside Fresno.' A.K.A. my television program.
Nathan Romo and Darcie Elliott (right) sit and chat before recording Blindside Fresno starts. The backdrop is a white curtain lighted with blue light, there is a desk and a vase of flowers in the foreground.
Lights, Camera, Action. Set of 'Blindside Fresno'
know they are the local public media center which broadcasts

They called me to ask a quick question.

"Have you submitted 'Blindside Fresno' for the W.A.V.E. Awards?"

The W.A.V.E. Awards are a television award for individual productions across a wide range of categories but which are produced for public access television groups across the Western United States. CMAC is one of the organizations which is able to submit programs from their catalogue to award groups such as WAVE.

My reply was simple, no I hadn't because I thought that the WAVE awards were for documentaries or short films. 'Blindside Fresno' didn't seem to fit those categories. Imagine my surprise when I was told that there is a category for programs which raise awareness about disabled issues and CMAC felt it would be a good idea to enter an edition of 'Blindside Fresno'.

So there it was. I got a nomination for a pretty prestigious award. I had a couple of programs to choose from since there are elligibility dates and I chose An Interview with Nathan Romo" The second of our 'Blindside Fresno' programs.

The awards are pretty special. They take programs from six States of the Western United States. The category  my program will be in is for Producers who are not professionally trained and it is also in the disabillity awareness category. I wonder are there many blind or visually impaired community TV producers out there?

The awards will even be held here in Fresno, California next year. They will be downtown between March 8 - 10, 2017. So I will probably look at going to the seminars and such to see what is going on in the public access television community and to learn a few more things.

So there it is. As we approach Chtristmas. I am already dreaming of the glitz and glamour of the awards season. Not an Oscar, or an EMI or a Tony. But a nomination for a WAVE.  WOW!


A link to the Nominated Program

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

'Blindside Fresno': Adaptive Technology Gifts

For several months, Nathan Romo, Tom Randall and I had been talking about creating a workshop where we introduced people to various items of adaptive technology.
Guests from left to right; Tom Randall, William Elliott, Nathan Romo, sit behind a desk topped by a blue table cloth. Darcie Elliott Host sits to far right on this sixth edition of Blindside Fresno
Blindside Fresno: Left to Right; Tom Randall, William Elliott, Nathan Romo and Darcie Elliott (Host)

As you all probably know most adaptive  technology is pretty expensive. You often can't open your wallet for under $1,000. But we aimed to open ou wallets for less than that. We eventually came up with a price framework of $50 or less, $ 150 or less and over $150.

We didn't ever manage to create the talk for somewhere like our local libraries, but we did put the idea into practice for program 6 of 'Blindside Fresno' Adaptive Technology Giftts for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

We looked at a range of items varying in price from just a few dollars for a Liquid Level Alarm  through Safe earphones   that allow you to use your phone safely in traffic to  hot air fryers   and Talking Barcode Readers

So take a look at our Gadgets for the blind and visually impaired by following this link to YouTube.


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Monday, December 5, 2016

In The Studio: Members Only'

One of the regular features of Community Media Access Collaborative (CMAC) is a monthly program called 'Members Only.'
William Elliott looks into the camera on far left of image over his left shoulder we can see a studio set both in the back ground and in the television camera viewfinder. On set 'Members Only' at CMAC Frsno California.
As a Camera operator on 'Members Only' November 2015

This program is recorded by each class as they finish their studio training. One year ago I completed my studio training and worked on Episode 10 of 'Members Only' as a camera operator.

Last week on November 30 I was at the studio to record another episode of 'Members Only' this time as one of the guest producers.

The show was great fun. I was the second guest on the show. In some ways this is the easiest guest to be. All the initial nerves of the crew are easing. They know what to do. The host has warmed up and you have had some time to think about possible answers to the questions asked of the fguests.

I spent the first part of the show sat off camera to oneside. This allowed me to be miked up and ready to slip into the guests chair at the interval.

My heart was racing pretty fast when I heard Johnny Pessina, the host, draw the first interview to a close and the two minute call went up for the commercial break.

That was my cue to walk over to the guest chair. Knees a tremble  and take my place  beside Johnny.

Then there was a final check of the microphone, no loose leads, battery lights good, a few brief words with Johnny, then the music from the public service announcements faded and Johnny began his introduction for my shows; 'Blindside Fresno' an 'Remember, Remember'

Off we go.

Take a look at Episode 21 of 'Members Only' by following the link below.