In Which I Learn How to Use a Condenser Microphone

Well, it’s been a while since I posted. Sorry about that. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But, I come with what I hope is an entertaining tale today.

It all started in January. I had this cheap $20 USB microphone that I got a few years ago. I embarrassingly used it for podcasts, online classes I taught, and in general any time I needed to record online. I say โ€œembarrassinglyโ€ because it wasn’t until I had replaced it that I realized what horrible sound it produced.

Well, in January, it broke. And, of course, just before a client session, too. I was getting out the microphone, and it just snapped off its base. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Well unfortunately I had an online class to teach the next day. I sent out an emergency text to my brother-in-law saying I really needed a ride to the store because I had to get another USB microphone. He agreed, thankfully.

I figured we’d go to Walmart again and I’d find a decent version that fit my needs. But that was not to be the case. They had no such microphones, only headsets.

Buying a Microphone: My First Attempt

Okay, so we run to Radio Shack. They do have two USB microphones: a generic Radio Shack model for $40, and an Audio-Technica for $100.

Now I really wasn’t expecting to have to pay that much. I asked the guy there which he recommended, and told him I was using it mostly for podcasting. He recommended the $40 version, which I bought on the spot.

And it was okay. But, I found that there was a lot of background hissing noise, and, the microphone was far too sensitive. I started looking for some better options.

Buying a Microphone: My Second Attempt

I have no idea why I was all of a sudden obsessed with getting the best sound possible. I lived with a $20 microphone for several years just fine. But I guess hearing the difference between that one and this new $40 version, I started thinking about how much better it could be.

That’s when I came across the Blue Yetiย (yes I got the black one, because I’m cool).

This was the closest I’ve ever gotten to a professional microphone. It was $106 when I bought it, plus I bought a pop filter and foam shield.

And, the sound was amazing! It was everything I hoped it would be. Very little background noise, picks up in front very well but really fades out the noises from behind and on the sides. Plus I could plug my headphones right into it so I could monitor what I sounded like.

It took a bit of alteration of our setup for podcasts and such, but we made it work.

Now How to Use the Thing?

Except, there was one issue. It was a bit soft. Okay, of course there is a gain control on the back of the microphone, but I didn’t want to turn that up too loudly.

As I did some research, I heard reference to this being a side-address mic. That’s great, but what does that mean?

I’ve used microphones throughout my life. I mean, I’m blind so I usually wasn’t the one setting up the microphones. But I was on TV several times as a child, I did public speaking on several occasions, etc. My knowledge of microphones consisted of, you point it at yourself and speak.

Apparently that’s wrong. Or, at least for this type of microphone it’s wrong. Who would’ve guessed? Likely everyone else, but again, blind and all. ๐Ÿ˜€

The way I used the Yeti at first is the only way I’ve ever known to use microphones. If you look at the image on the product page I linked above, you’ll hopefully see it. It’s on a stand, and is able to pivot vertically. You can fold it down into the stand. The way I had it set up when speaking was that I had the tip of it pointed towards my mouth. You know, the way I thought was pretty intuitive.

Then I hear about side-address microphones vs. end-address microphones. End-address was exactly the way I was doing it, but apparently that was wrong here. Yeti is a side-address mic.

But, what do they define as the โ€œsideโ€? I initially tried literally turning the body of the microphone about 90ยฐ so that the end was pointing almost to my left. Okay don’t laugh, that’s pretty ridiculous in retrospect. I sounded a bit muffled on a few occasions. I’m impressed it still picked up as much as it did, though.

Last night was the last straw. I needed to figure out how this thing worked. The sound was just not what I thought it probably should be, and I couldn’t figure out this side-address business.

Finally I found a diagram of what was meant by side-address. I copied the image URL and showed it to a sighted friend, who is my go-to contact when I need a pair of eyes to take a look at something for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t want to steal the diagram outright, so here’s the page I found it on: http://redstarwebdevelopment.com/2013/06/yeti-pro-review/

It’s not exactly the same model I have, as I have the USB version of that same microphone, but it’s similar enough.

Anyway, my friend told me that for what not to do, it showed, well, pretty much what I had always been doing. So, there’s that.

For what to do, it showed the microphone basically vertically oriented, with what I had previously considered the underside of the mic pointed at the speaker. So instead of pointed at me, it was pointed basically straight up, so that the side of the microphone was aligned with my mouth.

That seemed crazy, but I decided to test it. I set it up last night, and did an audio recording where I did it as she said, then how I was doing it before.

Again, this microphone allows you to plug in headphones, so even without the recording, I could hear the difference immediately. The right configuration sounded crisper, more direct, more proximate if that makes sense. The other, wrong configuration sounded farther away, less direct, more echoey. (Is that a word? Oh well, it is now.)

Now, I’m far happier with my microphone, and I’ve learned something new. ๐Ÿ™‚

I feel slightly embarrassed, but apparently it’s a common problem so I guess I’m not all that alone. And, at least I have an excuse. So there! ๐Ÿ˜›

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In Which I Take on a Part Time Job as a Pianist in the Catholic Church

In the beginning of November, the organist at one of the local Catholic churches unexpectedly retired due to health and personal reasons. This was quite a shock for all of us because he was one of those people you thought would never retire. He was like a church fixture he was there so long.

For those that don’t know, I have been playing the piano since I was four years old. I have also been singing since I was even younger. So music has been a part of my life for a very long time. I grew up in this particular church, but our family stopped going for various reasons and went to the other Catholic church. More recently, I went back to this church and was a part of the youth band and various music opportunities there. Then I left and did music at a Pentecostal church and the Episcopal church until the organist at the Catholic Church retired.

The events that lead up to me getting this job were very interesting. The day I got the message that the organist retired, I was at a funeral for a very dear friend who was like a grandmother to me; hence the reason for my long absence from this blog for which I apologize. Anyway, the person who messaged me asked me to do the Thanksgiving service at first because there would be no one to do the music. Well, that fell through because someone else did it, but I was told to message the priest because they needed someone to do weekends. So I messaged Fr. He asked me if I would be the interim “organist” even though I don’t play the organ. Of course I said yes but that I don’t play the organ, but that I would learn if necessary.

After getting all the paperwork all filled in, it was time to begin. Let me first commend the poor guy who had to write and fill in all the paperwork for me. It took him an hour to write everything down. There must be a million forms to sign ha.

Now let me regale you with the horrors of the first weekend. First of all, the music was all picked out since the previous organist didn’t realize he was going to retire. I kept most of the songs except for one. Thank God for the organist at the Episcopal church who has been my savior throughout all of this even though he misses me over there. He has been such a help preparing me for everything I needed. So I didn’t have any accompaniment books, and the church books don’t really have much to go on for music notation. So the guy who recorded the music for me did what he could, but I had to do a lot of it myself. He knew one song because they have the same one at the Episcopal church, but the other songs I was all on my own…so that was a nightmare! All I have to say is thank God for youtube, Apple music, and my perfect pitch!

OK so Saturday comes around. For the non-Catholics, there is one Saturday Mass at 4 and 3 Sunday Masses in the morning. OK so I am freaking out by 3:15 or so because I barely have everything together. I had barely any chords for the Responsorial psalm (this is sung after the first reading). I only had the chords for the refrain and not the verses. So I got there at 3:15 to prepare. Thank God Fr. was more than understanding. Thank God again that he is a musician and he can read chords. He said he would come down during the psalm and call the chords during church and I would fire them off while the cantor sang.

I was starting to feel better, but I also knew I wasn’t positive about some of the songs. I also had no time to practice with the cantor since there was a change in the schedule and the new cantor didn’t arrive on time. It’s a good thing I knew this cantor from the youth band and I was comfortable with her. Anyway I bumbled through the first song somehow, got through the psalm with Fr. calling out the chords while I played them (he was impressed I might add and slapped me on the back which I wasn’t expecting ). Then we got to the Alleluia after the second reading. I confidently played what I thought was the correct version. When the cantor didn’t start singing, I panicked and didn’t know what the heck happened. I shook it off and thought she and I didn’t communicate or something…but when the same thing happened during the Holy Holy and the other Mass Parts, I realized something was wrong. God bless her, she realized what was going on and adjusted, but the poor congregation was probably so confused. After Mass was when she told me the Mass I was doing was a different Mass Setting…Oops!!! No wonder everyone was confused. Overall, it wasn’t horrible.

Then came the 7:30 Mass the next morning. I wish that one never happened, but then again it was practice. Let me tell you something, when there is no cantor, everything is totally different. Since that Mass is so early, there isn’t a cantor. let me tell you, I make the most mistakes at that Mass to this day. The energy is even different. There is less music, and the format is shorter by a hair. That hair can throw you off, and you can make very stupid mistakes. I’ve done them countless times, and only at that Mass. I call it my warmup Mass ha. As the day went on, I got much better. I had a different cantor for the last two Masses, but she was also someone I knew, and she did great.

I will honestly say, four weeks later now, I am loving what I am doing. I did apply for the full time position, and I am praying I get it. We’ll see how it goes from this point on. I can honestly say there were some points I wanted to rip my hair out, but in the end, making beautiful music is the most important thing. As long as I can do that, that is all that matters. If there are times I get stressed out, so be it. That is how life is. It is worth it to me in the end because the end result is bringing healing to others.

In Which I Learn to Live with Sleep Apnea

Several months ago, I had an appointment with my GP. It was just my annual checkup, but for some reason I’m still not quite clear about, she thought I might have sleep apnea, so she referred me to get a sleep study done.

Now I honestly wasn’t sure, but I was open to finding out if there was anything wrong. Christine tried to convince me not to go, because she didn’t think there was a problem. But the appointment was made, so I figured I may as well go.

For those who might not be aware, sleep apnea is a disorder where you stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer. Actually they measure it by something called the AHI, the apnea-hypopnea index. An apnea is when you stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer, and a hypopnea is when you have constricted breathing for 10 seconds or longer.

The threshold for sleep apnea is an AHI of 5 or above, meaning there are 5 or more events per hour. Mild is considered 5-15 AHI, moderate is 15-30, and severe is anything above that.

In the short-term, sleep apnea can cause pretty severe daytime tiredness. Your body isn’t fully allowed to enter REM sleep, since it wakes you up a bit every time you have an event. The doctor told me that even though I was sleeping 6-7 hours a night, my real sleep was probably only about 3 hours.

It would explain why I am tired during the day. I’ve always had quite low energy.

In the long-term, sleep apnea can cause more severe problems, including heart issues and even strokes, due to the stress on the body.

The appointment went well. The doctor asked all sorts of questions, and said that I had all 3 risk factors for sleep apnea, which meant it was pretty likely. But, I wouldn’t be able to get into the sleep study until the end of October.

So all through the next two months, I awaited the day to arrive. I was nervous, as I hate being away from Christine, especially overnight. But I was also excited, because I wanted to find out once and for all if there was a problem, and if there was, to get it treated.

The Sleep Study

Finally the day had come. I had to arrive at the office at 8:30 PM for the sleep study. Christine packed me the essentials, and of course I brought my computer, since I’d be up for a few hours before having to go to sleep.

I got there, and the technician was very nice and accommodating. She quickly adapted to working with me as a blind person.

Around 11:00 that night, it was time to get hooked up to the electrodes. It wasn’t pleasant, but the technician was very amiable, which made it a lot easier. I had to get electrodes all around my head and face, a small microphone on my neck to record my breathing, more electrodes on my legs, and I don’t even remember where else.

I thought it’d be relatively easy to get to sleep, but I was severely mistaken. I couldn’t seem to get comfortable, and was always afraid to move because of the electrodes.

According to the doctor, I got to sleep within 15 minutes. It felt like a half an hour, though. Plus I woke up every few hours throughout the night. It felt like the night lasted forever.

The technician even had to wake me up once because I needed to lie on my back for at least part of the night, I guess for the data they had to get on me.

Finally, morning arrived, and I had to get up around 6:00. I went home and took a shower to get all the gunk out of my hair. Yuck!

The Results

I had a followup appointment in two weeks. Well, I was supposed to, and they had forgotten to schedule me in, but luckily had room to fit me in.

The doctor said I definitely had sleep apnea. On average, it was mild, about 11 events per hour. But it depended on which side I was lying on. I think on my left side it was the lowest. On my right, it was the highest, at 37 events per hour, which would classifyย as severe. I also think he said in REM sleep, it was about 27 events per hour. I was apparently all over the board. ๐Ÿ˜›

There were two options for treatment: a CPAP machine, or a mouth guard that would have to be custom-made by a dentist, to ensure my airway didn’t close at night. He recommended the CPAP machine, and I agreed.

A CPAP machine (standing for continuous positive air pressure) is a machine that pretty much does what it says. It blows a continuous stream of air into the back of your throat, to keep your airway open. Sleep apnea has two types, the most common being obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is caused by your airway temporarily closing, which the CPAP machine prevents. The other type is central sleep apnea (CSA), which is where the brain simply forgets to tell your body to breathe, and that one is a bit harder to treat, as I understand it.

The doctor said I had two options: come in for another night at the lab, so they could see what setting worked best for me, or take the machine home and test it for 30 days. If I chose the latter option, the machine would adjust to my air pressure needs, and the doctor would see, after the 30 days were up, what the average was that I needed, and would just set it to that pressure thereafter.

I chose the second option. There was no way I wanted to come back in for another night, and I knew I could figure it out on my own. So, he told me to come back the next week to get the machine and the mask.

Getting the CPAP Machine

So I returned the next Thursday. There was another guy who was going to teach me how to use the machine.

This poor guy was intimidated, because he had no idea how to teach a blind person. He thought initially I should go with a nasal mask (a mask that just covers the nose), because he thought it’d be easier to put on. I wanted to try the full face one first, though, because (1) sometimes I might breathe through my mouth, which the full face mask allowed for, and (2) I knew I could do it.

He quickly adjusted, and was actually impressed at how quickly I was picking it up.

The machine is very simple. I just have to fill up the humidifier portion of it every night with water. Then, once the mask is on and hooked up to the machine, there’s just one button to press and it starts up.

The mask isn’t hard, either. I like the one he gave me, because it seems to fit very well and barely leak at all. The mask has to make a good seal, so air can’t leak out.

So he showed me how to use everything, and I got a nice case to pack it all into, and that was pretty much it.

Adjusting to Sleeping with the CPAP Machine

I was excited to use it. I wanted to see how things would change for me as a result of using the machine.

Later that same day, I took a nap, because I hadn’t slept well the night before. I thought it’d be a great opportunity to use the machine for the first time, and learn to adjust to it.

I pretty easily figured out how to connect everything together, and then I started up the machine. It’s definitely an adjustment to get used to having air blown down your throat, but it wasn’t all that bad.

It was a bit hard to get to sleep though. I like to sleep on my side, and that’s a little challenging with a full face mask. I did manage it, though.

Once I woke up, I felt better than I had for a long time. Usually when I take a nap, I feel very groggy, and it takes me maybe 30 minutes to fully wake up. But with this, I just woke up, and felt fully awake. I had lots of energy for the rest of the day.

The next few nights required more adjustment. My mother bought me a pillow specially made for CPAP, so I could sleep on my side without putting pressure on the mask, which definitely helps matters.

The guy who set me up with the machine called me after several days of using it. He said all my stats were very good, and he was really impressed how quickly I had picked up everything. He said it’s usually a challenge for people, but I had probably adjusted the fastest of anyone he’s worked with.

It’s been about a week and a half now, and I’m definitely getting used to it. Finding a comfortable position is still sometimes a bit difficult, but now I’m usually off to sleep within 5-10 minutes.

I’m still adjusting to trying to sleep longer. Prior to this, I would sleep between 5.5-6 hours every night, and then often take a nap during the day. But, I’m trying to adjust to sleeping 7 hours a night. Despite my attempts, I still usually get around 6.5 hours.

What affects do I notice? I definitely have more energy, though I’ve heard that can take some time to really take effect. I feel more relaxed overall, because apparently the CPAP machine can result in lower blood pressure and less anxiety.

I also notice I get tired earlier in the evening. Usually I’m dragging in the afternoon, but fully awake in the evening until about 2AM. But now, I have energy more throughout the day, but start getting tired around 10 or 11 at night. I fear my night owl days may be at an end, though I still go to bed around 1:30 or so. ๐Ÿ˜›

I think it’s too early to really say what the long-term effects will be. It was a bit weird adjusting to this at first, and to think I have to deal with sleeping with a machine for the rest of my life was a bit depressing at first. But it does make me feel better, and I am glad for that.

In Which I Use My Bread Machine for the First Time

I love homemade bread. When I was growing up, my grandmother would always make homemade bread, and she’d often ask one of her grandchildren to punch the dough down.

Unfortunately, my mother didn’t get the baking gene. As my grandmother got older, we got homemade bread less and less, along with the other baked items she used to make.

It was about a month before her death that I learned how to bake bread. I didn’t want her legacy to be lost entirely, and baking sounded kind of fun.

The first time I made it, I did it all by hand, and if I remember correctly, it actually turned out pretty well.

Pretty soon, we got a KitchenAid stand mixer, which I seriously recommend anyone invests in who enjoys baking. It’s been invaluable. ๐Ÿ™‚

That made it a lot easier to mix up and knead bread dough, though of course it’s still a time-consuming process to get to the final product.

The Obstacles to Bread-Making

Over the years, I wanted to try to get all of our bread homemade, instead of buying it in the store. But we ran into some obstacles:

First, that I’m frankly terrible at cutting homemade bread. Poor Christine got some funny-looking sandwiches when we were in college and in our first year of marriage. ๐Ÿ˜› The closer I get to the end of the loaf, the more my bread becomes lopsided.

But primarily, it’s just so time-consuming. I mean, actual hands-on time isn’t really that much. It takes only a few minutes to get together the ingredients, and about 5-10 more minutes to stick it in the mixer and let it do its thing.

But then you have to wait an hour to let it rise. And then shape it into a loaf, and yet another hour to let it rise, again. And finally the 30 minutes or so to bake it.

Especially as my coaching business became more successful, I was worried about the timing aspect of it. What if I were in the middle of a session when it was time to shape the loaf, or throw it in the oven? Or what if I were really busy and couldn’t even mix the dough?

I said above it takes only a few minutes to mix the dough. But, for some reason, it takes me a lot longer. Usually, from the start until the point when I have workable dough, it takes me 30-40 minutes. I don’t know if it’s just because I’m a perfectionist, or if my blindness somehow makes it more time-consuming to fetch the ingredients and measure them out. Probably a bit of both.

Christine’s been saying for years that she’d love to take over the responsibility of making the bread, but it’s not yet come to pass. She’s still working on building confidents in the kitchen, and often needs help here or there to make sure she’s done something right.

An Idea

So anyway, a few months ago I had the idea of getting a bread machine. I figured, all you have to do is to measure the ingredients and throw them into the machine, and 3 hours later you get a fresh loaf of bread. Even if measuring ingredients does take me longer, it’s not nearly as long as waiting for bread to rise, and all the other steps involved. Plus, maybe it’d be easier for Christine, if she chose to try it herself. ๐Ÿ™‚

Obviously, I knew about bread machines for much longer than this, but I just preferred to do things the more natural route. Not that a mixer is much more natural than a bread machine, but still. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have my pride.

But, I really wanted to get homemade bread, so convenience won over pride, andย I passed the word around that I’d like a bread machine for my birthday.

Lucky for me, my father-in-law did the research and got me the best, most accessible bread machine he could find. He did an awesome job, too. ๐Ÿ˜€

It’s tough when buying such devices for blind people, because touch screens are becoming more and more popular today. It’s shockingly difficult to find a piece of technology today that doesn’t use a touch screen, or some other inaccessible mode of operation.

Fortunately, my father-in-law found one. It has 6 buttons all across the front, and with some help from my brother-in-law reading the instructions, I wrote down what each one does, as well as the options that I can choose from each button, so I can operate it independently.

I Use the Bread Machine for the First Time

So the bread machine arrived this Tuesday night. I really wanted to use it that first night, but I was busy with work and couldn’t set aside the time to try it out.

However, Wednesday evening, Christine and I set out to bake our first loaf of bread in the bread machine.

I chose a recipe I found on King Arthur Flour. You can never go wrong with their recipes. It was simple, and had good reviews.

But first, I read through the manual carefully to make sure I did everything right. I was luckily able to find it online, so Christine didn’t have to use her CCTV to magnify it for her to read it.

Good thing I did, as it was very particular about what order the ingredients were placed into the pan.

So, I memorized the recipe and set out to prepare it.

Everything went well. First went the water, then the milk, butter, salt, sugar, flour, and finally the yeast. I snapped the pan into the bread machine, and closed the lid.

Picture of Bread Machine with IngredientsYou can see the bread machine to the right. It has the ingredients in the pan here, but I don’t think Christine captured the inside. You’ll see more of the inside later on.

I wanted to make sure I was right about the machine’s default settings, so I skypedย with my mother so she could look at the display. I also asked on the Amazon page for this bread machine, and got some useful answers about its defaults. When you’re trying to use something without vision, you always have to make doubly and triply sure that you know what it’s going to do by default, and how you can change the settings. Otherwise, the results can be pretty entertaining, but also frustrating. ๐Ÿ˜›

So with that done, I pressed start, and the machine started mixing.

It was interesting to listen out for what it was doing. It started out by mixing the dough for several minutes. Then it gave the dough about a 15-minute rest or so before it started the kneading process, which took a while longer.

Bread Machine with Rising DoughTo the right you’ll see the dough rising, about an hour after it finished kneading it.

I decided to open the lid and check out the dough, because I was curious how it was coming out. It had risen a lot, and felt just like how I’d expect it to be, if I were doing this all myself. Pretty cool! I started to get excited at this point.

Later on, I went over and checked, and felt that the outside of the machine was starting to get hot. I correctly surmised that it had entered the baking cycle.

Around 10PM, 3 hours after starting the process, the machine beeped, indicating that it had finished.

The cool thing about this bread machine is that it has a warming cycle. It’ll keep the bread warm for up to an hour after it’s done baking, so you don’t have to jump right to it when it’s done.

Finished Loaf of BreadSo I opened the lid, pulled out the pan, and got out the loaf of bread. I was surprised how easily it came out, with just a small nudge.

Okay, immediately I was a bit confused. I’ve never seen a loaf out of a bread machine before, soโ€ฆ I was a little stumped. Which end do I cut? It kind of looked like a bit of a cube. How do you slice a bread cube? Did I do it wrong?

My friend, who was vetting my (or Christine’s) pictures, didn’t seem to see a problem. But was this normal?

Well, all the same, I sliced into the loaf, getting two ultra-thick slices of bread for Christine and me. And, it was really good. ๐Ÿ˜€

So, What Did I Think?

I really enjoyed the process. It was super simple, which I appreciated.

Of course, with research I found that the odd shape was perfectly normal. I was a little disappointed about that aspect of it. How do you make sandwiches out of that? We wanted to use this not only to enjoy bread by itself, but to use it in everyday ways like in sandwiches and so forth.

So here are the pros:

  • Really simple to bake bread in
  • Only takes a few minutes to prepare a loaf
  • Can delay it so it’s done whenever I want it to be done
  • Bread is still very tasty

The cons:

  • Um, how do you make sandwiches out of it? Still figuring out that aspect
  • The loaves don’t seem as long, so not as many slices, which means it doesn’t last as long

Overall, I really love the bread machine. I’m going to experiment with some different loaves, which should be fun.

In Which I Make Pasta for the First Time

Have you ever seen the show, “Worst Cooks in America?” OK, so I’m not that bad of a cook or anything, but sometimes I’m afraid I will be, especially with how accident-prone I am. As you may know, it takes a lot of time for me to have confidence to do something, especially if it doesn’t come easily to me. Cooking is the bane of my existence!

I finally gained enough confidence to independently make pasta a couple of years ago. Brandon was either really tired or sickโ€”I can’t remember. I had seen Brandon make it enough times, so I felt ready to tackle it myself. Imagine my shock when I had no mishaps or anything else. Once I mastered it, I slowly started doing more and more around the kitchen. Am I a gourmet chef like Brandon is? Not even close! But I am at least on my way out of Kindergarten for chefs. Thanks to brandon, I have the confidence to do much better in the kitchen.

In Which I Finally Learn How to Make Omelets, Sort Of

Well, today you get to hear about one of my successes. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m not the biggest fan of eggs. But sometimes, they sound really good, especially as omelets.

But for years, I didn’t think I could make an omelet. I’m really awful at flipping things on the stove. Some things are easier than others, but I really didn’t think I could successfully make an omelet.

I’ve heard of omelet makers, but never quite got around to actually getting one and trying it out. I’d still like to do that and see how it comes out that way.

But, after so many years, I got tired of it, and decided I’d do some research to see if there was a way I could independently make a good omelet.

Mine are pretty simple, anyway. I don’t like much more than just cheese, and sometimes bacon.

The first few tips I found sounded a bit complicated. They said that you can lift up the corners of the egg, to let the uncooked part flow underneath. But, how would I know if it was actually doing that? I’d be guessing, and I wasn’t entirely comfortable with that.

But then, I found a tip I thought would work, which now sounds so simple and obvious. You simply cook the eggs in a covered skillet. Then, both sides will be cooked.

Almost immediately, with some encouragement from Christine, I tried it. I had to promise that I’d make one for Christine, too, if it worked out. ๐Ÿ™‚

And it worked! The first one was a bit brown, because our stove cooks things really fast. But it was really good!

After several attempts now, I’ve met with success.

The only difficulty I encounter now is getting the stupid omelet out of the pan after it’s done. It likes to fall off the spatula, and I end up with two or three omelet pieces. ๐Ÿ™‚ But neither Christine nor I mind very much.

So in short, my steps are:

  1. Beat 3 eggs along with a bit of milk, salt and pepper
  2. Heat buttered skillet until sufficiently hot (I give it a minute or so)
  3. Pour egg mixture in skillet, cover, and put on low heat
  4. Cook the eggs for like 1.5 minutes on our stove, though the tip said 2 minutes
  5. Take off the lid, pour on cheese and other toppings, sometimes burn fingers in the process
  6. Take spatula and fold over the egg
  7. Try to get omelet out of pan, and result with 2 or 3 pieces, and sometimes omelet on the stove

There you go: the blind person’s guide to making relatively successful omelets.

In Which I Drop My Hamburger Helper Dinner on the Floor

About a month ago, I was making a Hamburger Helper dinner for us. Brandon and I were ready to eat, and boy were we hungry. I was bringing the first bowl out, when I ran into the wall, dropping the bowl. Somehow, the bowl landed right-side-up. In my head, I was thinking I was so lucky nothing spilled…until I stepped in the dinner, getting my slippers all messy. I will never understand how the bowl landed right-side-up and about a quarter of its contents spilled.

Let me tell you, I was royally pissed! Not only was it all over the kitchen floor, but it was on the dining room floor. On top of that, there is a little lip where the kitchen floor and dining room floor change, and the dinner got underneath the lip somehow.

so there I was on my hands and knees with paper towels and the garbage can scooping up the dinner while the rest of it was getting cold. It must have taken 15 minutes to clean it to the point of it being OK to sit down to eat.

So here is what we were left with: not as much dinner, a clean kitchen floor, and a wasted pair of slippers I had to toss. Plus, I was stepping in gooey pasta for hours after dinner.

In Which I Lost My Apple Crisp

So it was about a week ago. Christine’s mother had made my favorite dessert: apple crisp.

The first night, I happily enjoyed some, as did Christine.

The second night, however, tragedy struck:

As Christine was pulling off the lid of the container, the entire container flipped over, and all of the apple crisp cleanly fell out onto the floor!

Not even just a little bit, but the whole entire thing!ย I still have no idea how it happened.

I’m a germaphobe, so it was done for me at that point. Christine tried to convince me to have it anyway, but I wasn’t having any of it. It’s still sitting in the refrigerator, awaiting its fait. Christine will probably be brave enough to eat it, but I, alas, am not. ๐Ÿ˜”

Welcome to Our Blind Life

Hey everyone! Thanks for reading our blog.

First, who are we, exactly? Our names are Brandon and Christine, and we’re both visually impaired. Christine has some vision (about 20/400), but I have none at all.

This blog is a record of our adventures as two blind people.

It started because we would often post our mishaps on Facebook. People enjoyed reading them, and someone suggested perhaps we might want to start a blog. So, here we are. ๐Ÿ™‚

We hope that you enjoy our blog. Feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think.