THE CONSUMER VISION
Address: 359 Coggeshall St., New Bedford, MA 02746
Publisher: Bob Branco
Editors: David and Leonore Dvorkin
Formatter: David Dvorkin
TABLE OF CONTENTS
In this Table of Contents, three asterisks *** are used to separate the title of each article from its author. In the same way, three asterisks *** will be used to separate articles to make using your browser’s search feature easier. If any of you have screen readers that make searching difficult or undoable with asterisks, please let us know not only that, but also if three number signs ### would be easier. If you are a screen reader user for whom neither symbol works, please let us know what works best, and we’ll do our best to accommodate.
In columns like Special Notices, Readers’ Forum, and Recipes from Karen Crowder, letters of the alphabet—A, B, C, etc.—are used to separate items.
1. HEALTH MATTERS: The Benefits of Metformin and Kefir *** by Leonore H. Dvorkin
2. THE IMAGE OF YOURSELF: How To Build Strong, Manly Core Self-Confidence *** by Dennis R. Sumlin
3. TECH CORNER: Bugs, Quirks, and Annoyances of Technology *** by Stephen Théberge
4. COMMENTARY AFTERMATH: The Return of Measles *** by James R. Campbell
5. WEATHER OR NOT: Thunderstorms and the 3-D Atmosphere *** by Steve Roberts
6. AUTHORS’ CORNER
7. CRY WOLF *** by Ray Irving
8. DAVID’S LIBERATION DAY #10 — MAY 19, 2019 *** by Leonore H. Dvorkin
9. THOUGHTS FROM TERRI *** by Terri Winaught
10. RECIPE COLUMN *** by Karen Crowder
11. MARCY’S SCHMOOZE TINNIH *** by Marcy J. Segelman
12. CONSUMER VISION TRIVIA CONTEST
1. HEALTH MATTERS
The Benefits of Metformin and Kefir
by Leonore H. Dvorkin
The generic drug metformin (brand name Glocophage) has been used for some 40 years in the U.S. to treat Type 2 diabetes. It has been in use in Europe since the late 1950s. It is generally well-tolerated and has multiple side benefits. Before I list those, some of which have greatly surprised me, here is a little personal history.
I’ve been borderline diabetic for a few years. Both of my parents were diabetic, so I assumed that my genetic heritage would catch up with me at some point, and now it has. In May of this year, my new doctor put me on metformin. Given that a close relative of mine and several other people I know have been on it for many years with no bad side effects, I had no fear of it, and in fact was eager to get this help with lowering my blood sugar. As a generic drug, it costs me only $4 per month for a daily 500 mg tablet.
As an anti-diabetes drug, metformin acts superbly. Do a Google search on “benefits of metformin,” and dozens of articles will pop up, from brief summaries to long scientific papers. If you wish to know those medical details, you can find them online. What I want to summarize here are some of the impressive potential benefits of the drug that are unrelated to diabetes. Note that I preface each of these benefits with the words “It may be,” because that is the cautious wording in the several articles that I read. But these statements are based on trials at major medical centers, so I believe they warrant some attention. They certainly got mine.
a. Metformin may be cardioprotective in people with diabetes and beneficial in the presence of stable congestive heart failure.
b. It may have anti-aging effects. One article I read talked about “extending the health span.”
c. It may help to increase pregnancy rate in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.
d. It may provide breast and prostate cancer benefits.
e. It may reduce the risk of colon cancer.
f. It may offer neuroprotection to reduce dementia and stroke risk.
g. In certain patients, it helps with weight loss. (It has not had that effect on me, however.)
The main source for the above was an article entitled “Beyond diabetes, metformin may prove to be a ‘wonder drug.’” It was in Endocrine Today, February 2017.
Now here are the surprising side benefits that I myself have experienced in just the few weeks that I’ve been taking metformin. I had never read or heard about any of these prior to starting the drug, so they cannot be due to a placebo effect.
a. Almost immediately, I began to feel more alert, better able to focus and concentrate. Given how much of my work requires focus and concentration, those benefits were very welcome indeed. (I tutor several languages and edit books.)
b. I’m sleeping better, and my dreams are more vivid and more pleasant.
c. I have more energy and endurance for working out, either with weights or on the exercise bike.
d. I feel calmer and happier, better able to tolerate stress and frustration.
e. I have less desire to snack. When I do snack, I eat more healthily and eat less food.
f. I have almost no desire left to eat anything sweet, and I very seldom do.
g. Without any prompting from me, other people have said they can see that I feel better and more energetic.
In short, I am beyond pleased with the results thus far, and when I have another blood test in a few months, I will see how the drug is working in terms of lowering my blood sugar. It’s been very effective for others I know, so I’m quite hopeful.
If you are on metformin and have had either good or bad results with it, I’d be happy to hear from you. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Now to some benefits of a dairy product called kefir (k e f i r), whose taste and texture are similar to those of buttermilk. I started drinking it a couple of years ago, and now I prefer it to plain yogurt, which I was eating regularly. It has many of the same benefits of yogurt, but even more, and it keeps better. A bottle of kefir keeps well in the fridge for several weeks, losing none of its taste or nutritional value. It does need to be shaken well before each serving is poured, so make sure that cap is on securely.
I read several articles about its benefits, but one of the best was “9 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Kefir,” by Joe Leech, MS, published on September 24, 2018, on healthline.com. Here is a summary of the benefits:
a. Kefir contains many nutrients, such as protein, calcium, magnesium, and several vitamins.
b. It’s low in carbohydrates and fat.
c. It’s a more powerful probiotic than yogurt.
d. It has antibacterial properties and can protect against infections.
e. It can improve bone health and lower the risk of osteoporosis.
f. It may be protective against cancer.
g. It may help with various digestive problems.
h. It’s low in lactose.
i. It may help with various allergies and asthma.
While kefir can be made at home, I buy mine at the health food store: Lifeway brand, organic kefir, 1% milkfat (lowfat), plain and unsweetened, in 1-quart bottles. The same company offers higher-fat and fruit-flavored varieties, but I like the tartness of this type, as I’ve always liked buttermilk. Even after opening, the product remains good until the expiration date on the label, which is usually several weeks after purchase. This variety has only 110 calories per cup, and I usually drink about one-half cup at a time.
I hope you will give this nutritious and delicious beverage a try, and feel free to write me with any comments.
About the Author
Leonore H. Dvorkin lives in Denver, Colorado, where she works at home as a self-employed tutor of several languages, an exercise class instructor, and a book editor. She is the author of four published books (both fiction and nonfiction) and many articles on the subjects of health, fitness, and nutrition. She is one of the editors of this newsletter and a regular contributor to it.
Several of the contributors, including the publisher, Bob Branco, are among the editing clients of DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services, which Leonore has run since 2009 with her husband, the prolific author David Dvorkin. He is the author of 28 published books, both fiction and nonfiction.
Leonore and David invite you to visit any of the websites listed below. If you are interested in their comprehensive services, please read over the material on the DLD Books website before contacting them, as that tells how they work and how self-publishing works. It also gives their rates, which include a discount for clients who are blind or visually impaired, otherwise disabled, and/or low income. All the books they edit are published in e-book and print on Amazon and Smashwords and are for sale on a variety of bookselling sites.
Leonore Dvorkin: http://www.leonoredvorkin.com
David Dvorkin: http://www.dvorkin.com/
DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services: http://www.dldbooks.com/
2. THE IMAGE OF YOURSELF
How To Build Strong, Manly Core Self-Confidence
by Dennis R. Sumlin
In the first part of this article, we looked at the meaning of confidence, the lacking of confidence, and which ones you may already have. Now we will look at the first of two levels of building and maintaining supreme core self-confidence.
Level 1. Master Your Inner Game
The way we see the world is the way the world will appear. Everything starts in your mind.
A. Challenge your negative thoughts.
We have a quintillion thoughts per day, and many of those thoughts can be self-deprecating. You may have negative thoughts that tell you you’re not good enough, you’ll never get that job, no woman would ever want to be with you, and so on.
Take each negative thought about yourself and ask, Is that thought really true? When I was younger, I use to think that no chick would want to be with a skinny dude like me. Was that true? No, it wasn’t. I saw other skinny dudes with women, and I was no virgin, either, but due to my own insecurities about my body size, that became the negative assumption that my mind created, but it had no real truth to it.
First, I challenged the thoughts with real life events. Then I got down to the real issue, body insecurity. With this info I could do one of two things. I could see how incorrect my negative assumption was and get over it and get back to the dating hunt, or I could decide to hit the gym and reach a size I personally like.
What is a false belief you have or had about yourself?
B. List all the good qualities about yourself.
This is a time for you to stroke your own ego a little. Look at your life and identify all the good things about youself—personality traits, values, physical appearance, etc.
If you can’t come up with anything, ask close friends and family what they like about you. They’ll be happy to tell you; just make sure you believe them. Don’t dismiss any compliment. Take it in and be happy that you’re able to make others happy with your presence.
I won’t take up the next 17 pages with my list of personal good qualities, but there was a time when I truly could not make a list. With good friends around me, and by becoming more self-aware, I was able to move into a more confident place, where it came to understanding what I have to offer.
What are the first five good qualities you can think of right now?
C. Stop comparing yourself to other men.
Many of us have heard this one, and we hear it a lot because it’s true. Don’t waste any time comparing yourself to the dude next door, or to the athletes on TV, or the stream of headlines on social media, or your best friend.
Comparing yourself to somebody else is inherently unbalanced and unfair to yourself. You are with yourself all the time, but the information you have about others is told to you or assumed by you but does not give you a full picture of somebody else’s life experiences.
Any time we hear that some big celebrity commits suicide, many people are surprised. They had all this money, fame, status, power, chicks, a huge dick, cars, number one songs, but they just pitched themselves into the East River. That’s because we were only seeing one tiny part of their whole lives. We have no idea what it took to get to where they were, what qualities they were lacking that you already have, and what troubles confronted them in their personal life or their own head.
I must admit, I had this problem big time. I did not compare myself to celebrities but to certain men around me. I was ignoring my own qualities and talents and wishing I had some trait they had. It was usually looks or popularity. This is where the good personal quality list comes in handy. If you want to compare, you could compare yourself to your past self, and then try to beat that, or let the energy of others’ success spur you on to reach your own goals.
What’s one thing that you have improved in over the past year?
D. Develop your own vision.
This spins off being better than your past self. Every strong, confident man has a strong set of values and a vision for himself. Where do you want to go in life? What effect do you want to have on the world? When you know what you believe and where you want to go, your manly confidence will kick into high gear. You are at your best as a man when you have a purpose.
For some men, it could take a while to clearly figure that out. You may even need some help in breaking things down. There is no shame in that. As a young man, I felt my purpose, but it was not clear. It revolved around expression, helping others, and entertainment. I just needed some time to figure out how that would look. As you can see, I think I’ve got it now!
What parts of your manly vision do you have worked out?
In part 3, we will move to the second level of building and maintaining core self-confidence, and you don’t want to miss it!
Find more on building self-confidence, and catch the Core Confidence Life Podcast as well!
3. TECH CORNER
Bugs, Quirks, and Annoyances of Technology
by Stephen Théberge
I’m sure I could devote an article each month to one program or application that fits into this category. There are certainly many issues out there. I’ll just give an overview of recent issues I’ve encountered.
I suppose most of these are annoyances, but a bug would be defined as an error by the programmer when they developed the application. Quirks can be caused by a variety of factors, depending on which program we are talking about.
This past weekend, I was waiting for a package to arrive from Amazon. Generally, the phone app tells me when a package is nine stops away. This did happen, and when it got to the point of telling me my delivery was next, I waited for over an hour, and it said for the rest of the day that my driver had a few more stops before they got to my house.
The package never arrived that day. The next day, Amazon buzzed into my apartment complex and delivered my package. The app on my phone only told me that a delivery was made after I got it. I guess they must have known there were issues with the program and didn’t want me waiting for nothing.
Another interesting quirk or limitation of human technology is the accuracy of GPS when using various apps. Inaccuracies in reporting correct information can be affected by many factors.
I was using an app called AIRA. I forget what the acronym stands for except that AI is artificial intelligence. You connect to an agent, and they have information to help you navigate your landscape. They can also use your phone’s camera to tell you what kinds of things you might want to know when travelling.
I had asked the agent to read the subway sign so I could know how long it was before the next train. She asked me if I was at Broadway station. I informed her that I was at South station. That is one stop off from where it should have been. In that case, it wasn’t important where I was, and she was able to read the sign and give me the information I needed.
I have found the biggest discrepancies in GPS accuracy occur in deep subway tunnels or other underground locations. Another app, BlindSquare, has loads of information from GPS to help guide your travels. I was deep underground on the Red Line and was using BlindSquare to see how fast the train was going. The app told me the GPS accuracy was around 1,400 feet. It always reported I was going at zero miles per hour, even when the train was probably going at 40 miles per hour.
I was kind of amazed to hear on NBC Nightly News a short time ago that the San Francisco police department was not going to allow the use of facial recognition software. They were concerned that errors would be made by the software in identifying crime suspects. I understand that technology is not perfect, but human error is probably a greater concern. It raises the question of how accurate facial recognition is.
My phone can be unlocked when I use my thumbprint. I am told nobody has the same fingerprints. I’ve never heard a story of somebody else accessing a person’s phone with their thumbprint. A real quirk in that system is that when my phone is turned off or rebooted, the phone tells you that a password is required when the phone is restarted. I realize that somebody getting a six-digit passcode by accident is not too likely, but I don’t see why the thumbprint can’t be used for this, too. It sounds like an inexcusable bug to me.
I would welcome any stories that readers of Consumer Vision would like to share regarding the imperfections of technology. I am sure a magazine could be dedicated to such things. Until next month, see you soon.
Follow me on Twitter at @speechfb
Read and post on my writer’s blog: http://blinderwriterweb.wordpress.com
Check out my coming of age science fiction novel, The MetSche Message, and its sequel, The MetSche Maelstrom, at http://www.dldbooks.com/stephentheberge/
Watch my YouTube channel for many blindness-related issues and the latest Branco Broadcasts.
4. COMMENTARY AFTERMATH
The Return of Measles
by James R. Campbell
An epidemic of measles has erupted in the U.S. in recent months. At last count, 764 confirmed cases have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is the highest number of reported cases since 1994.
Measles was believed to have been eradicated in the United States after the year 2000. It stands to reason that the CDC is sounding the alarm due to the recent pandemic. Measles is caused by a virus. Left untreated, it can result in secondary infections such as pneumonia and encephalitis that may cause death. By conservative estimates, one in 20 children with measles develops pneumonia. There may be long-term complications: blindness, hearing loss, and heart problems, just to name a few.
Many believe that the epidemic is the result of the large number of migrants coming into the country from nations where measles flourishes. Even though I haven’t heard anything about this from the mainstream media, it is a possibility worth considering, especially when you look at the plight of children who have died of illnesses in recent months. The unfortunate victims of these infections are Central American migrants who made the long journey from their homelands to the southern border. If that is so, the contention that the disease has recurred in the U.S. because of the migration crisis can’t be ruled out.
There is a simple vaccine to prevent the disease. It has been available since 1971 and is very effective. The eradication in 2000 was largely due to the vaccine. The question is: If the vaccine is so good, why don’t all families get it?
There are myriad reasons for this. A commonly cited reason has to do with the current climate of polarization within society and a basic mistrust of government. On one hand, the extreme libertarian view holds: “I know what’s best for me and my family!” Those who hold the conservative view cite the mandate to vaccinate as another intrusion by Big Brother. In their eyes, the fear and resentment of micromanagement outweigh the obvious benefits of vaccination. They don’t see or they choose to ignore the fact that there is more than their family at stake if their child gets sick.
One wellspring of resistance to vaccination is the Orthodox Jewish community in New York State. A group called Parents Teaching and Advocating for Children’s Health has been spreading misinformation through a pamphlet that claims, among other things, that the vaccine causes both autism and encephalitis. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has been a vocal opponent of the shot as well. Needless to say, he and others who don’t want their children immunized are taking criticism from the government and the public at large for their position.
In 1805, the Supreme Court ruled against a man who refused to inoculate his son against smallpox. The ruling stated that the health and safety of the public were more important than personal objections to vaccinations. This ruling set a precedent that gives state and federal officials the right to require immunizations in order to prevent epidemics of illnesses that could endanger the public.
Many Baby Boomers remember the injections of the polio vaccine when we were little; these were replaced by the oral vaccines in the early 1960s. I personally remember the Sunday afternoon trips to the local health department for the vaccine in late 1962. There were other vaccines that weren’t nearly as painless: smallpox, typhoid, DPT, and MMR, the vaccine that prevents measles and mumps. I also remember a bout of measles in 1962, and I can guarantee that it was no fun. Aunt Sue and Mama took care of me and held my hand through that one. I was glad to have their care.
Another problem stems from the influence of the plethora of conspiracy theories that are circulating on the internet and social media. There are those who believe that vaccines aren’t safe after all, that they contain nefarious ingredients that cause autism, even though research has debunked this idea as myth. The conspiracy theorists will offer the counterargument that the medical community can’t be trusted, that they are in league with the government as a part of a global plan to wipe out six billion people so that the world will be sustainable. As farfetched as this notion seems to be, there are those who won’t give it up for any reason, not even if the evidence that is presented proves otherwise.
For its part, Facebook is removing content that is anti-vaccine. I believe that this is extremely valuable. Mark Zuckerberg deserves credit for using his platform to keep things from getting worse. I believe that everyone who can take the measles vaccine is obligated to do so in order to protect life and health. If we had an epidemic of drug-resistant bubonic plague circulating through the country, and there was a vaccine for it, would you turn it down, knowing what plague has left in its wake throughout history? I would get the vaccine at the first opportunity. With the advent of newly emerging types of bacteria that are multidrug-resistant, vaccines may be the first line of defense until better drugs and other treatments can be developed and deployed. In the meantime, I would encourage any prudent person to get the entire family vaccinated against measles. For a disease that is totally preventable, 764 cases are too many.
As always, thanks for your time.
With loving kindness,
James R. Campbell
5. WEATHER OR NOT
Thunderstorms and the 3-D Atmosphere
by Steve Roberts
The Unstable Atmosphere
A thunderstorm will develop within an atmosphere that is unstable. An unstable atmosphere is warm and humid at its base and cools quickly with height. This setup is highly conducive to the process of convection. As warm, humid air ascends into the cooler air just above the surface, its moisture condenses into clouds and rain. The process of condensation releases lots of stored or latent heat into the atmosphere. This release of latent heat causes the ascending air to rise all the more. The thunderstorms that form in this way are referred to as air mass thunderstorms.
When surface convergence (air flows that come together) and upper-level divergence (air flows that separate) coincide, watch out! Let’s start from the top. When air flows diverge in the upper levels, a void is created. That void gets filled by air that rises from the surface of the earth. As the air rises into the colder upper levels, it expands, cools, and condenses its moisture out as clouds and precipitation. The release of stored or latent heat causes the ascending air to rise all the more.
If there is surface convergence just beneath the upper-level divergence, the air will ascend very vigorously from the surface of the earth. This rising air results in the development of truly severe thunderstorms, capable of producing large hail, high winds, and very heavy rain, not to mention deadly lightning.
Convergence and Divergence
What converges at the surface will rise from the surface. When air flows from different directions come together, the result is convective activity. The air that rises under these circumstances can ascend quite vigorously. Under these conditions, you can get massive convective complexes, capable of producing heavy rain over a vast area.
If air flows are divergent in the upper levels of the atmosphere, then the air will lift from the surface of the earth to fill that void. The thunderstorms that form under these conditions can go on to be truly strong. When convergence and divergence coincide with atmospheric instability, severe thunderstorms will erupt.
Steven P. Roberts is the author of a nonfiction book about weather (The Whys and Whats of Weather) and one novel (The Great Winter Hurricane). Details are on his website: http://www.dldbooks.com/stevenproberts
6. AUTHORS’ CORNER
THE MAGIC BETWEEN (C 2019)
A young adult fantasy novel by J. D. Hart, author of the romance novel Drawn to You (C 2018).
In e-book and print from Amazon, Smashwords, and multiple other selling sites. The e-book is text-to-speech enabled.
When Saige tells Clarissa she’s a witch, her ordinary teenage life is over. If only her mother were alive to teach her about the world she never knew existed. When her aunt and uncle appear in her life, there is the potential for answers, but terrible dangers reveal themselves. With the help of her friends and an old spell book, Clarissa’s powers develop to a level she had never believed possible.
For a longer synopsis, cover image (with beautiful cover art by Courtney Dye), author bio, buying links, and more, please visit https://www.dldbooks.com/jdhart/
The author will have two book signings for both of her novels in June 2019 in Grand Junction, Colorado. One of them is at a Barnes and Noble store. Details of date, time, and place are on her website, which is linked to above.
7. CRY WOLF
by Ray Irving
Scammers are getting smarter.
In today’s world of e-transactions, scammers are using desperate measures to obtain your personal information.
The most common is what I like to call the fish hook. This is when a company like Walmart or Amazon offers you a gift card for, say, $1,000 for answering a few questions. Just remember that nothing is for nothing and the information that you give may come at a high price. Although you think you are being courteous and are helping that company serve you by answering a few questions, the information you give can also be used against you. It’s much like a survey with what they say are a few questions that ends up being a lengthy questionnaire, asking you about what products you use, what services you would be interested in, and what your likes and dislikes are. Keep in mind that information you give will be used to generate leads, and you will be contacted by companies soliciting business based on the products and services you said met your interests.
Never give personal information over the phone. Some scammers are making calls impersonating Social Security employees or claiming to work for the IRS. They will even say that you owe back taxes and you must pay up or go to jail. In reality, the IRS never calls, and if you owe back taxes, they will send you a legal document in writing that can be used against you in court. Social Security numbers do not get suspended. Also, if someone calls claiming to represent your medical insurance company or to be calling on their behalf, it might be a good idea to check back with your insurance company to see if that story checks out. Some people over the phone may sound like they have your best interests at heart, but they are only telemarketers and may not be aware of the scammer they’re working for. Always check out their credentials and remember the old saying: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
There are so many programs and ways people are raising money that it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s just a scam. For example, I’m a resident of Providence, Rhode Island. Just last year, firemen came early one morning answering a phone call about a fire on the second floor, as the smoke detector had awakened my neighbor .Finding no fire, they left abruptly and listed it as a false alarm.
Last week my landlady received a letter in the mail saying that all hardwired fire alarms that have alarm signals that could be heard throughout the building require a $10 registration fee. The letter also said that if the money was not received within 30 days, the fee would be $100. The money should be sent to a P.O. Box in Boston. This raised my suspicions. Normally you would think that if this is the Providence Fire Department, the money would go into the Providence treasury.
I contacted the councilman in my ward. He told me that this was legit. He gave me a number to call, and I spoke to a woman who handled all alarm registries. She told me that there had been a new law passed in Providence requiring all hardwired alarms that sent a signal to the fire or police station to be registered. Luckily for my landlady, she only owns smoke detectors, and no registration fee is needed.
I then asked why all checks and money orders are to be sent to a P.O. Box in Boston. The woman said that Providence was outsourcing, and that was the place where alarm owners were to send their registration fee. I also told her how bad I felt for her with today’s scams because the website where alarm owner were to send their registration fee was called Cry Wolf.
8. DAVID’S LIBERATION DAY #10 — MAY 19, 2019
by Leonore Dvorkin
It’s hard to believe that 10 whole years have passed since the fateful morning of May 19, 2009. I was in the college library where I tutored languages when my husband called to say that he and almost all the others in his largish group of tech writers had been laid off with no warning. What a shock!
It was not the first time David had been laid off, but he was 65 years old at the time, and it was the height of the Great Recession, so he had little hope of finding another full time job. Nor was he able to do so. Thus, before too long, he gave up looking for another job and simply started taking Social Security. He had hoped to work until age 70, but the economy had other ideas.
As it happened, 2009 was also the year in which David and I took the plunge into self-publishing. Over a period of time, we re-issued most of our 19 previously published books—that is, those to which we had the rights back—and then several new books by David. He now has 28 published books to his credit, and I have four. We gave up on traditional publishing for a variety of reasons.
2009 was also the year in which we ventured into editing books by other authors and preparing them for publication via Amazon and Smashwords. At the time, we had no idea that 10 years later, we would have such a thriving business. Now we are DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services, with over 70 books by other authors put out so far, and with half a dozen or so new ones in the pipeline right now. Our website is here: https://www.dldbooks.com/
Just to clarify for everyone: While our total present income does not equal what David earned by himself in his last years of full time work as a senior tech writer for a large Denver IT company, we are doing pretty well here in our mid-70s. We have the editing business, Social Security for both of us, and my modest but steady income from teaching weight training classes (which I’ve done since 1976) and from teaching several languages (which I’ve done since 1988). Every bit of all that work is done here at home.
We have two paid-off cars and a paid-off house, which we bought in 1971. We have no debts and no dependents. We both enjoy pretty good health. So we are much better off than many in our age group, and we’re very happy with our present lifestyle.
We’ve been married for 51 years, since April 9, 1968. We love being together almost all the time and working here at home. I especially like sharing the editing business with David, given that our working lives were so entirely separate before 2009. Yes, as David noted in a recent, humorous Facebook post, various joints hurt, and we do have a few other health problems, but overall, we are way better off than many others in their 70s.
The bottom line is: Never assume that your working life is over or that you will remain mired in misery and worry because you got laid off. You can never know just what the future will hold. And hurray for self-employment. No one can lay you off from that!
Contact information for Leonore Dvorkin:
9. THOUGHTS FROM TERRI
by Terri Winaught
Hello, Consumer Vision readers.
As I write this on May 27 (Memorial Day), I hope not only that everyone will enjoy a picnic or cookout on this unofficial first day of summer, but also that we will remember the true significance of this celebration.
My dad was in World War II. He was stationed in Europe, but I never knew about the carnage he witnessed because he never talked about it. I never thought to thank Dad for his service or to ask him what he experienced, so I want to take this time to thank all of our readers who were or currently are in the military for your service.
Regarding the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, so many are having such trouble readjusting to civilian life, especially those with post–traumatic stress syndrome, that 22 veterans commit suicide each day, according to the Veterans Administration. A new program designed to address this is one of several items I will discuss in my “Turning Point” column this month. One point I will make and emphasize now, though, is that if any of you are survivors of veterans who died by suicide, know that there is help and that the loved one’s death is not your fault. If any of you are struggling with the psychological impact of your service, be assured that seeking help is nothing to be embarrassed by or ashamed of.
On a different note, my heart and prayers go out to any of you who have experienced or are experiencing the devastation of recent tornados or flooding. While a record amount of tornadic activity has occurred in Pennsylvania so far this year, we have had nothing like the devastation that has occurred in El Reno, Oklahoma; Geronimo, Oklahoma; and various parts of Texas.
Finally, I continue to welcome both feedback and suggestions from readers, so always feel free to reach out to me: email@example.com; 412-263-2022; or 400 Cochran Road, Apt. 409, Pittsburgh, PA 15228.
Take care, enjoy the beginning of summer, and thanks for reading with me.
10. RECIPE COLUMN
by Karen Crowder
When June arrives, days are warmer and longer. Graduations and weddings are celebrated across the U.S. Farm stands open for another New England summer. Marshall and I had friends and neighbors with gardens. We received rhubarb, chives, and strawberries. By mid– to late June, temperatures often rise into the 80s and 90s. Beaches, pools, and lakes across New England are open. Roadside stands sell homemade ice cream or delicious fried clams, lobster rolls, and onion rings. These are enjoyed by tourists and New Englanders. If you want the best seafood, visit coastal towns in Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Hampshire.
There are four special days in June: On June 4, Ramadan ends. Flag Day is June 14. Father’s Day is June 17. Helen Keller’s birthday is on June 27.
This month, I have three recipes:
A. Cornmeal Oatmeal Cookies
B. Grilled Fish Sandwiches
C. Rice-Vegetable Dish
A. Oatmeal Cornmeal Cookies
I have been baking oatmeal cornmeal cookies since 2008. When Perkins had its fall 2018 alumni gathering, I made cookies and brownies for the event. I changed my oatmeal cornmeal cookie recipe, using more cornmeal and less oatmeal.
Two sticks butter; no substitutions
One cup flour
Three-fourths cup granulated sugar
One and one-half cups yellow cornmeal
One-half cup old-fashioned Quaker oatmeal
One teaspoon baking soda
.1 Soften butter in a large stainless steel mixing bowl for 30-40 minutes. Add sugar, flour, and cornmeal.
2. Mix with clean hands until the dough is smooth. There should be no dry flour and cornmeal at the bottom of the mixing bowl.
3. Add oatmeal and baking soda, blending the two ingredients into the cookie dough until it is smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate mixture for 30 to 60 minutes.
4. Let the refrigerated dough sit on the counter for approximately 30 to 60 minutes. Then preheat oven to 375 degrees.
5. Line two cookie sheets with foil or parchment paper. Shape cookie dough into small balls and place on cookie sheets. You should have 50 to 62 cookies.
6. Flatten cookies with fingers and place cookie sheets in oven. Bake cookies for 17 minutes. Halfway through the baking process, open oven and reverse the position of the two cookie sheets, putting the top sheet on the bottom rack and the bottom sheet on the top rack.
7. When the time is up, take the cookie sheets from the oven and place them on the kitchen counter. Let them sit for two minutes and begin removing the cookies. Turn them over and let them cool.
8. When they are cool, place them in an airtight plastic or metal container.
B. Grilled Fish Sandwich
Although many restaurants have good fish sandwiches, you can make them successfully at home.
Six slices of white, whole wheat, or Italian bread
Six slices of American cheese
Cains tartar sauce
Three squares of frozen breaded haddock
One-half stick butter.
1. Bake fish squares on foil-lined baking tray or cookie sheet in a toaster or regular oven at 350 degrees for 13 minutes.
2. While the fish is baking, melt butter in a 10- to12-inch cast iron or non-stick frying pan.
3. Place bread on dinner plate. While fish is cooling, put one slice of American cheese on top of each bottom slice of bread. Squirt tartar sauce over the cheese. Put squares of fish on bread with the cheese and tartar sauce. Top with more tartar sauce and second slice of cheese. Top with remaining slices of bread.
4. Place sandwiches gently in frying pan. Cook sandwiches on the first side for 13 minutes on low-medium heat. Turn sandwiches over and cook them for 12 minutes.
Place sandwiches on plates, serving them with a beverage and green salad. I have served them several times; my guests like them.
C. Rice-Vegetable Dish
Marshall taught me how to cook rice. We used Success Rice, which comes in perforated plastic bags.
We mixed it with stir-fried vegetables. It was accompanied with broiled chicken.
One bag Success Rice
One 8-ounce container fresh mushrooms
One-half sweet onion
Two cloves garlic, optional
One tablespoon butter
1. Heat one tablespoon of butter with a little olive or vegetable oil in a frying pan. Break up mushrooms into small pieces, then place them in frying pan. Add chopped onion and peeled and chopped garlic cloves. Let vegetables cook for 25 minutes on low heat. Stir them around infrequently so they will not stick to the pan.
2. While vegetables are cooking, fill a lock-lid saucepan half full of water. Add salt, cover it, and heat it almost to boiling. Add rice. Cover and cook rice for eleven minutes.
3. Over sink, cut bag open and pour hot rice into a medium plastic container. Add butter or margarine and stir it around. Add the cooked vegetables and more butter or margarine. Stir rice around and serve in bowls, accompanied with broiled chicken.
I hope all Consumer Vision readers had a good Memorial Day, remembering all those who died for our country’s freedom. I hope the month of June is good. I graduated in 1969 from Perkins, and we will be celebrating our fiftieth class reunion.
Let us all pray for a more trusting, united America.
11. MARCY’S SCHMOOZE TINNIH
by Marcy J. Segelman
I want to go into meditation as well as yoga in a Jewish way. I have gone to many different places for yoga. I liked those that combined meditation with yoga. Sometimes when the room is cool, with low music with a flowing beat matching the flow of the yoga beat, it matches the beat for each individual person. It’s your time with yourself, keeping your body, mind, and spirit in one whole. By practicing this, we make our body and mind strong. The stretching and breathing help. The movements connect me to God and my faith.
The combination of yoga and meditation can be done in so many ways. You can lie on the floor or sit in a chair. Some of the moves can be done in aqua therapy, walking in water, or running in water. In my case, it’s working out in the gym, either on the machines or in a class with others. I go to water aerobics, and laps make me relax and put me at ease. I feel at peace while at these places because I am challenging myself to be better and stronger, in terms of both health and religion, exercising my mind, soul, and body. I might feel crummy when I start, but when I finish, I feel so much better, and then I can start afresh.
Some people think that going to the gym, walking on the treadmill, and using all the machines is the key to losing weight. However, it takes more than exercise and diet. There is a lot to losing weight: moderation of food; exercise and meditation; and the influence of our religious backgrounds.
God has played a very strong role in my journey this past year. Those of you who have gone down the path with me know that I did it without asking for pity, without saying, “No, I cannot” or “Woe is me.” I had the surgery and waited awhile. Then I got up and went to radiation every day for five weeks. I did the treatments and just continued on with life. Yes, I had bad days, but my friends were there to pick me up, as well as the Temple family. This is where a lot of meditation came into play for me.
I spoke about the High Holidays. On Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), we have a long break in the afternoon, and we do many programs. One is chair yoga, meditation, chanting, and a lecture. You can do one or all of the above. I myself go for yoga, meditation, and chanting. It brings me to a very peaceful, calm setting for a new beginning. The good thing about a new week is that we start with a new slate and try to pick up where we left off and try to fix and fit in the things we need to mend.
I think we all need to stop and listen to our minds, bodies, and souls. We need to take the time in this very fast-paced world of ours to stop, to take in the fresh air and the sounds, and to feel thankful to all the people who take care of us.
With that said, let me say Shalom.
12. CONSUMER VISION TRIVIA CONTEST
Here is the answer to the trivia question submitted in the May Consumer Vision. The National Basketball League player known as Hondo was former Boston Celtic John Havlicek. Congratulations to the following winners:
Nancy Hays of Oakville, Connecticut
Jo Smith of West Dennis, Massachusetts
Steve Théberge of Attleboro, Massachusetts
And now, here is your question for the June Consumer Vision. Name the only word in the English language that is always spelled wrong. If you know the answer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 508-994-4972.