Minnesota Memo – Fall 2018

PO box 19091

The views expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily the position of the American Council of the Blind of Minnesota. They are the views of the article’s author.
Product and service information is provided as a resource only and not as an endorsement of a particular product or service.

Catalina Martinez, Editor
Email: catalina229@gmail.com
Phone numbers of note:
SSB main number (651)539-2300
ACBM (612) 223-5543 for quick calendar updates and to leave message
Apple support for people with disabilities
(877) 204-3930
Microsoft support for people with disabilities
(800) 936-5900

Please Note: You can use a search for three asterisks to move from article to article.

Table of Contents

  • President’s Message by Marian Haslerud
  • ACBM 2019 State Convention by Janet Dickelman
  • Message from the Treasury By Catalina Martinez
  • First look inside self-driving taxis as Waymo prepares to launch unprecedented service By CBS News
  • Three Ways to Prevent and Decrease Pain By Mel Scott
  • A Guide Dog’s Night Before Christmas
  • By: GDB puppy raiser Jill Savino
  • How to cook a turkey By Linguistic humor
  • Easy Tater Tot Hotdish By TBSP Kitchens
  • Fall 2018 calendar of events By Catalina Martinez
  • Board of Directors

President’s Message
By Marian Haslerud

Medication safety is critical to blind and visually impaired people. I’d like to share with you how I label my medications.

I use Script Talk a small device that reads prerecorded information from the prescription bottle.
I order my prescriptions through the mail; a pharmacist records all pertinent prescription information. The Script Talk gives me the prescription name, doctor’s name, how to reorder the medication and the prescription number. Medication warnings are also read. For more information on the Script Talk, contact Envision America at 1-800-890-1180.

Once I receive my medications, I use my Skrypt Talk to tell me the medication and then I label the bottle in braille using dymo tape. I also braille my prescription number so that I can quickly reorder my medication. I do this because I am a lifelong braille reader, but you can easily rely on Skrypt Talk to identify the prescription by placing the prescription bottle on the device. Hopefully this will answer questions concerning medication labeling.

ACBM 2019 State Convention
By Janet Dickelman

Join ACBM for our state convention January 25th through 27th 2019.
We’ll be meeting at the DoubleTree hotel located at 7800 Normandale Road, Minneapolis, MN.
Room rates at the hotel are $89.00 per night single or double occupancy.

The fun will begin Friday at 3:00 PM. Pick up your registration materials, visit with friends, and at 6:00 PM enjoy a Pizza Party including Caesar salad, Selection of Fresh Baked Pizzas, (Pepperoni, Sausage, Cheese, and Veggie),
Bread Sticks with Marinara sauce, Vanilla Mousse, Chocolate Cake, Lemonade and Iced Tea.

At 7:00 PM Flute Cocktail will entertain ACBM with various musical instruments that we can learn to play. We will also play a few games of Bingo with some outstanding prizes!

Saturday morning will begin with a plated breakfast in our meeting room. We’ll have updates from MN State Academy for the Blind, Radio talking book network, Minnesota Blind and Talking Book Library,
State services for the blind and Metro Mobility. We’ll also have presentations on audio description, the newly formed blind hockey league, audible pedestrian signals, information on wills and medical and financial directives and OUR “lunch and learn” session will feature a presentation on emergency preparedness.

After our sessions there will be plenty of time to browse the vendor tables.

Saturday evening we’ll have our banquet with our keynote speaker Elizabeth Sammons. Elizabeth is a publish author and will speak to banquet attendees about her time spent living in Russia as a blind woman.
Banquet entrees will be:
Herb Roasted Chicken
Blackened Pork Loin with Rosemary Au Jus
Vegetarian pasta

all meals will include:
garden salad, Roasted Potatoes, Seasonal Vegetables, Bakery Rolls & Creamy Butter, cheesecake, Freshly Brewed Regular/Decaf Coffee and Selection of Herbal Teas

On Sunday, after another plated breakfast, we’ll have our quarterly membership meeting.
In addition to all the convention events there will be time to visit with friends and visitors in the hospitality suite, (open Friday and Saturday evenings from 9:00 to 11:00) or take a swim in the hotel pool.

AIRA is proud to sponsor all State Conventions through our AIRA Access Network. A large part of what makes AIRA the company it is today is thanks to our past involvement at conventions. Beta trial users, early Explorers, and now AIRA Guests can all experience the service as part of the weekend.”

Convention registration (including five meals) is $70.00. To register for the convention contact Jennifer Dubbin at (651) 312-1435
or email her at

To reserve your room at the hotel, contact the DoubleTree at 952-835-7800. Be sure to mention you are with the American Council of the Blind of Minnesota. Hotel reservations and convention registrations should be made by Friday, January 11th.

Vendors and Sponsors:
If you have any suggestions for potential convention vendors or sponsors, please contact Catalina Martinez
(612) 227-3011.
The 2019 convention committee look forward to seeing you in January.

Message from the Treasury
By Catalina Martinez

2019 is just around the corner, gosh, where has the time gone! But alas, it is coming up to that time again. Yes folks, it is dues time. Please remember to pay your 2019 dues.

You have several ways to pay your dues:
1.You can pay during the next quarterly meeting on January 27, 2019. We except cash, checks and credit cards.
2.You can pay them via Paypal at www.acb.org/minnesota
3.You can mail a check made payable to ACBM to ACBM, PO Box 19091, Minneapolis, MN 55419.

You also have the opportunity to become a lifetime member with ACBM. It costs $300 and you can pay it in installments over 5 years. You would only need to pay the $5 dues to ACB.

First look inside self-driving taxis as Waymo prepares to launch unprecedented service
By CBS News

For the first time, Google’s self-driving car program, Waymo, is allowing cameras inside their autonomous minivans as the company prepares to launch the nation’s first self-driving taxi service. Analysts predict self-driving revenue will hit a staggering $2.3 trillion by 2030 with Waymo capturing 60 percent of that market.

For the past year, Barbara Adams has been part of Waymo’s secretive early rider program, made up of more than 400 households in Chandler, Arizona. “I usually use it for date night on Saturday night. And my favorite thing is going to the mall,” Adams said.

Hundreds of autonomous driving Waymo vans operate daily within a roughly 100-square-mile area. For now, they typically have a safety driver up front who can take control. Screens inside show the riders what the Waymo “sees” around it. Cameras, sensors, radar and laser-based lidar allows the on-board computers to see up to three football fields in every direction – all technology Google developed itself and closely guards.

“We want to build the most experienced driver,” said Waymo’s chief external officer Tejeda Mawakana. “It’s actually taken these 10 million miles over 6 billion miles in simulation, over thousands and hundred of thousands of tests, to get to the answer. Yes, we firmly believe that self-driving technology can help make the road safer.”

Waymo is also testing self-driving semis, working on public transit solutions and a way to license the self-driving technology to big automakers. But it all starts with the ride-hailing app it’ll soon launch in Arizona.

Asked if Waymo is ready for the general public, Mawakana said, “Waymo is ready to give more people the opportunity to ride in our cars.”

Samantha Jackson and her 17-year-old daughter are Waymo early riders. Kyla uses the service almost daily to get to school and work.

“I get in, air conditioning’s on, so it’s nice and cool, and then, like, I’m just doing my homework all the way to work,” Kyla said.

The promise of self-driving cars is to free up commuters while reducing the 94 percent of crashes caused by human error. But after last March’s deadly collision between a self-driving Uber and a pedestrian, only 21 percent of people say their willing to ride in a driverless car. But Mawakana says they’ve found “again and again” that once people experience the technology for themselves, they have their own “personal transformation”
and “get it.”

While Waymo autonomous vehicles have been involved in crashes, usually minor, they’ve been the fault of people, not the machine.

“Safety is our focus every day at Waymo…There is the possibility that there will be a mistake like there has been in the self-driving technology space, so we don’t walk around laboring under the delusion that mistakes won’t happen,” Mawakana said.

“I never really worried about what it was gonna be like to have an autonomous vehicle handling things,” Samantha Jackson said. “And we were early drivers,
it would stop for, you know, if it didn’t recognize something, it would always stop.”

Waymo does intend to completely remove the safety driver eventually so they’ll be no one up front at all. The app-based ride-hailing service is expected
to launch in Arizona by the end of the year.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Three Ways To Prevent and Decrease Pain
By Mel Scott

We all experience physical pain sometimes. It is part of being human. Pain frightens us, so we avoid it like the plague. Often, we run to the medicine cabinet as fast as we can to pop a pill to make it go away. There is certainly a place for pain medication, and I am not suggesting that medication is never necessary. What I am suggesting though, is that we take a moment to ask why is this pain showing up now?

There are many kinds of pain, but for our purposes today, I am speaking of the kind of pain that seems to come out of nowhere. I am not talking about the kind of acute pain that happens when you burn your hand or bang your toe. I am speaking about that headache that happens when you wake up or the one that appears at the end of a long day. It can also be that nagging pain in your back, or stomach. It might be an ache in your joints or a twinge in a muscle somewhere. It isn’t sharp or stabbing. It may be dull and something you can almost ignore.
This dull or small kind of pain is a call to wake up. It is our body’s way of saying, “Hey, here I am. I need some attention.” Pain in this case is a good thing. More often than not our body whispers its needs long before it screams. It is up to us to pay attention and listen to the whispers.

When pain shows up, try doing something different. Move toward the pain instead of running away or covering it up. Ask yourself, “Why is this here now and what is my body trying to tell me?” More often than you think, it simply needs a long drink of water. The water you drink with the pain killer does more good than the pill. Next time you feel that ache, drink the water first and wait a while before you take the pill. You may be surprised at the result.
Your body may also be saying, “Hey, I need some help here pumping blood everywhere.” When we stay in one position for long periods of time, muscles and bones start to ache. This is simply because our cardio vascular system needs muscles to help pump blood into all the tiny capillaries throughout the body. If you sit on your rear end all day, blood does not flow freely. When blood does not flow easily, muscles and joints start to ache. Many times all that is required of us is to move, stretch, take a short walk, after you drink your water, of course.

You can also help blood flow by taking a hot bath or even a cold one if that feels right to you. The idea is to encourage blood to go where it wasn’t before. Alternating hot and cold packs also helps blood flow. Next time when you feel an ache, move your body, stretch, or find some heat.

Here is something to think about. Do you think too hard, too much? Did you know that this can cause pain? Are you revisiting a trauma from your past or feeling scared of something that might happen in your future? This can cause headaches, neck pain, or pain anywhere in your body. This type of stress causes our bodies to contract. That free feeling of spaciousness in our body goes away the harder our mind works on something. The mind is a tool to be picked up and laid down when we do not need it. It is not who we are. Quieting the mind is a learned skill even though it takes no effort once you have learned it.

There are hundreds of books on how to quiet your mind. You can even ask Alexa to open Meditation Studio, or you can get a meditation app on your phone. There may be a technique from your faith tradition that helps you settle down. What I am saying here is take a few moments to surrender and relax your mind and body. Give your body an opportunity to be heard when it is trying to say something to you. If you will listen, then you can give it what it needs. Notice those little twinges and take care of your body. Show it you will listen to what it is saying to you. Your body learns that it can trust you to take care of it which in turn prevents it from hurting to get your attention.
Enjoy your stretch and as always, good health to you,

A Guide Dog’s Night Before Christmas
By: GDB puppy raiser Jill Savino

‘Twas the night before Christmas, the kennels were still,
with most dogs asleep, having eaten their fill.
The labs were sprawled out, quite snug in their beds,
While visions of milk bones danced in their heads.
The Goldens and Labs were curled up on the floor,
some twitched in their sleep and some even did snore.
The dog food was stacked in the feed room with care,
in hopes that a trainer soon would be there.
Off by the window, a kennel cat lay,
surveying the lawn at the end of his day.
Something was different, that little cat knew –
something would happen, it had to be true.
That day as the workers had left to go home,
they’d wished “Merry Christmas” before starting to roam.
The dogs had all noticed that during their walks,
the trainers seemed happier and eager to talk.
In the mall where they worked amid people and stores,
there were decorations, music, distractions galore!
Most dogs pranced along without worry or fear,
some balked at the man with those fake-looking deer.
The cat was near sleeping when he first heard the sound,
a whoosh through the air and a jingle abound.
The sound of a collar when an animal shook,
but the sound just kept growing – he’d better go look.
From the ceiling there came a kind of a thunk,
As the kennel cat climbed up on a pile of junk.
But the dogs were still quiet, all sleeping so sound,
as this man dressed in red made his way to the ground.
He patted the cat as he climbed past his spot,
then made his way right to the old coffee pot.
A labrador sat up, not fully awake,
then a golden soon followed with a mighty loud shake.
That did it…the dogs filled the kennel with noise,
but in spite of the din, the old man kept his poise.
He filled the pot full and it started to brew,
then he pulled up a chair and took in the view.
Dogs all around him, so carefully bred,
he knew well their jobs, and the people they led.
Some had stopped barking and looked at him now,
while others continued their deafening howl.
Laying a finger in front of his lips,
the jolly old man soon silenced their yips.
He smiled, laughed, and took a short pause.
“You may not know me, but I’m Santa Claus,”
He filled up his mug with hot coffee and cream,
and said, “Meeting you all has been one of my dreams.”
The cat jumped down to explore Santa’s pack.
He said, “Sorry, kitty, I’ve emptied my sack.”
Santa smiled, drank, looked in their eyes –
deep brown and gold, all wide with surprise.
Some of these dogs he’d seen just last year,
All in their homes – cute, full of good cheer.
He’d seen the effect of a pup on a tree,
but now they were here, just waiting to be.
“I didn’t bring presents or bones to chew.
But I’ll tell you what’s better – and what you’re to do.
You’ll all worked hard and the trainers will share,
both praise and correction, gentle and fair.
You’ll go lots of places and face scary things,
you’ll ride buses, planes, and hear sirens ring.
Cars will drive at you, you’ll know what to do,
Moving from danger, not moving into.
Then, when you think your trainer’s the best,
the kindest, and funniest, just toss all the rest;
That trainer will leave you, and give you away,
handing your leash over despite your dismay.
The one who will feed you might see just a tad,
Or maybe it’s just that their focus is bad.
So you little buggers will work as their eyes
To be a great team and discover the prize.
The prize isn’t kibble, or even new toys,
It’s leading your partner, you good girls and boys.
Santa sipped coffee, looked over the brood,
But what he said next seemed just a bit rude.
“Some may not make it and won’t become guides.
But time here’s not wasted, no casting aside.
Some will be drug dogs and some will find bombs,
some will be pets with new dads and moms.
When the last drop of coffee had gone from his cup
Santa turned, and smiled at each wide-eyed pup.
“The best gift of all is to give something back.
And that’s why there’s nothing for you in my pack.
Draining his mug, he went to each pen,
Petting and scratching each dog yet again.
“The following years, even more after that,
you’ll all give great gifts wherever you’re at.
You might lick a hand on a really bad day,
or notice a car and step out of its way.
You might catch a crook or discover some loot,
bring joy to a old man in a funny red suit.
Your master will love you and treat you with care,
knowing your training will always be there.”
After the last had been petted and soothed,
He rinsed out the mug and made ready to move.
To the ladder he climbed for the door high above,
with a smile and a wave as he slipped on his glove.
All the dog’s ears were pricked as he flew out of sight,
Saying, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

How to cook a turkey By Linguistic humor

  1.  Go buy a turkey.
  2.  Take a drink of whiskey (scotch) or JD.
  3.  Put turkey in the oven.
  4.  Take another 2 drinks of whiskey.
  5.  Set the degree at 375 ovens.
  6.  Take 3 more whiskeys of drink.
  7.  Turn oven the on.
  8.  Take 4 whisks of drinky.
  9.  Turk the bastey.
  10.  Whiskey another bottle of get.
  11.  Stick a turkey in the thermometer.
  12.  Glass yourself a pour of whiskey.
  13.  Bake the whiskey for 4 hours.
  14.  Take the oven out of the turkey.
  15.  Take the oven out of the turkey.
  16.  Floor the turkey up off of the pick.
  17.  Turk the carvey.
  18.  Get yourself another scottle of botch.
  19.  Tet the sable and pour yourself a glass of turkey.
  20.  Bless the saying, pass and eat out.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving

***Easy Tater Tot Hotdish
By TBSP Kitchens

Prep 10 minutes
Total 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8

This retro Easy Tater Tot Hotdish will take you back. Remember the chewy, creamy goodness of your youth.

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 32 ounce bag of tater tots
1 15 ounce can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can green beans, drained
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Brown beef, drain.
3. Mix browned beef, salt, pepper, soup and green beans. Pour in 9 x 13 casserole.
4. Place tater tots on top of beef mixture. Then top off with cheddar cheese.
5. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 minutes.
6. Serve immediately.

Fall 2018 calendar of events
By Catalina Martinez

ACBM events are opened to all
The ACBM board will meet on November 19 and there will be no meeting in December. All meetings are held at Currans Restaurant, 4201 Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis, from 6:30 to 8:30. ACB coffee will be held on November 10 and December 8. These social gatherings are at the Currans Restaurant, 4201 Nicollet Ave in Minneapolis, from 10:00 to Noon. ACBM will have their state convention on January 25 thru 27, 2019. Please see memo for details.

Events of interest

  • The Minneapolis Blind Bowlers is continuing their season on Saturdays, at Memory Lanes, 2520 26th
  • Avenue So, in Minneapolis. Call Linda at (952)-888-6783 for more information.
  • The Twin Cities Blind Audio Dart League is continuing their season on Tuesdays. Email Phil Sporer at philipsporer@gmail.com for more information.
  • The Blind Computer Users meet on the second Saturday of the month from 1:00 to 3:00 P. M. at the Minneapolis Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis. Call Bill Herzog at (612) 408-9415 for more information.
  • Fellowship of the Blind meets for a meal and religious discussion on the second Saturday of the month
  • from 12:00 to 2:00 P. M. at Faith Lutheran Church, 3430 51st Street East, in Minneapolis. Call Joyce at (612-729-5463 for more information.
  • The Minnesota Christian Fellowship of the Blind is having their next gathering on Saturday, November 10 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm at Agustana. Address: 1425 – Tenth Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN.

Board of Directors

President: Marian Haslerud, Minneapolis, MN
(First term ending in 2019), Phone: (612) 206-5883
E-mail: mhaslerud@comcast.net
Vice president: Steve Robertson, Minneapolis, MN (Final term ending in 2020), Phone: (612) 819-5222
E-mail: stevetrobertson4@gmail.com
Secretary: David Tanner, Burnsville, MN (First term ending in 2019), Phone: (952) 890-5841
E-mail: david.tanner100@gmail.com
Treasurer: Catalina Martinez, Minneapolis, MN (Final term ending in 2020), Phone: (612)-227-3011
E-mail: catalina229@gmail.com
*** Directors
Gary Boetcher, St. Paul, MN (Final term ending in 2020), Phone: (651)-200-7020
E-mail: zorrogates@yahoo.com
Janet Dickelman, Saint Paul, MN (First term ending in 2019), Phone: (651)-428-5059
E-mail: janet.dickelman@gmail.com
Barb Appleby, Maplewood, MN (First Term Ending In 2020), Phone: (651) 238-0015, E-mail: barbaraaappleby@gmail.com
Nancy Schadegg, Richfield, MN, (First Term Ending In 2020), Phone: (612) 798-5178, E-mail: nancy.schadegg@comcast.net
Nichoel Schlender, Richfield, MN, (Final term ending in 2019), Phone: (612) 869-0647
Email: kb0ouf@sero.email