My Week Ending March 18, 2018


Readings (You can follow my daily readings as they happen here)

  1. I hate that Detroit is always the problem child when people talk about education that needs updating in the states.  I’ve known some great educators from there and they work hard, very hard, with what they have.  It has to be depressing to be working in that system, trying to do the best you can, and then have sensational stories like this come out.  My best highlight from Detroit educators was years ago being at the MACUL conference during March Madness and the University of Michigan was playing Michigan State University.  I think the conference shut down for the game.
  2. One of the frustrating things about being a Linux user is reading stories like this where you’re reminded that there are so many options.  It’s the option of choice upon choice upon choice that makes it fun just to experiment.  I wish that more people would do that rather than just discarding their old computer.  We’d have a more diverse community of computer users and the discussion might turn to how to network your house effectively.
  3. So many people have cut the cord.  All you need is a really fast internet connection which pretty much rules me out for the foreseeable future.
  4. There are lots of examples of coding using Scratch on the internet.  Most of them tend to be something cutesy that serves as a standalone example.  When you want more, it can be a challenge.  Here, you’ll find a 25 hour course.
  5. This was kind of interesting to read but difficult to understand how the implementation would go.  Can you imagine a school system without subjects?  The good thing would be that you wouldn’t target mathematics class for preparation for a test.
  6. It’s difficult to imagine using a computer without the internet.  Sure, us longtimers have had connected computers for years and years but it was the World Wide Web that made the big difference.  It doesn’t even sound right, even if it’s in my head to myself to even say, “World Wide Web”.  Like it’s a distinct thing other than the tie that binds everything together.
  7. Should you check this article before you fly to a Canadian city again?  Let me just say that flying in and out of Windsor is a breeze.  You can overshoot by miles, I suspect but I hope you never have to.  I’ve always wondered about Midway though.  It’s required viewing if you’re just surfing around Google Maps looking for unique looking airports.  Make sure you go to satellite view.  LaGuardia is kind of scary too!
  8. Sadly, the passing of Stephen Hawking happened this week.  Check this link for some pictures.
  9. Corporal punishment in schools?  This reads like a blast from the past – a long ago  past.  But, lest I get too snooty, we did have “the strap” in my elementary school.  Rumours were around about friends who “got it” but nobody actually personally confessed.  I suspect it really was just the fear of it that kept us on the straight and narrow.
  10. This may end up being the biggest Microsoft mistake since Vista.  If I want to use an alternative to Edge, I should be able to.  After all, it’s my computer.   I would have thought that the computer world would have learned from Apple’s desire to have everything Safari.  It’s not that these are bad browsers but cross-platform is important to some people.  And, Chrome, Opera, Firefox, and others are engineered to support that.


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Technology Trouble Shooting

Fingerprints – There are three or four places around here that I use technology and just about everything that I use has a touch screen on it.  I read a report once that said that hackers could get into your iPad by looking at the smudge prints on their screen.  My current vice is AlphaBetty Saga.  The problem is that I have this big blotch on my screen from using it and, at a certain angle, it drives me nuts.  So, I have a micro-fibre cloth everywhere I happen to be.  I don’t imagine there’s a fix but if you have a routine for fingerprint management, I’d love to hear it.

Weekly Challenge –  This is actually a nice challenge to have.  The only time I’ve ever owned an Apple phone was when my employer bought it for me.  I always felt constrained because everything is locked down.  When I had to start buying my own, I went with Android because you can customize darn near everything.  The default launcher is Samsung’s Touch-Wiz which is nice.  Then, I read about the Microsoft launcher, loaded it, and really enjoyed it.  Recently, I read an article about how to make your phone act like the Pixel 2 and it talked about the specific launcher for that.  Unfortunately, you have to side-load it and I’m not really to do that.  So, I loaded the best Google launcher that I could find on the Play Store.  I’ll see how it goes.


Video of the Week – Down by the Henry Moore

Not only is this a great song, but the author throws in so much imagery from around Toronto.  How many places do you recognize?

“I walked down to Kensington Market
Bought me a fish to fry”

My Favourite Photo This Week

Spring is here.  Sort of, I guess.  Driving home from Waterloo as a university student, we used to call things like this “super snow”.  You know that snow in the ditches that lingers long after the temperatures are well above freezing.  Here’s the latest look from the pier at Colchester harbour.  The ice is hanging in there.  A few weeks ago, all that water was ice and snow.  It’s now going away.  Since I’m looking south, the ice is on the west side of the dock.  I would have thought that it would be gone but, as my Science consultant friend would say, “there’s a workshop in there somewhere”.

Screenshot 2018-03-18 at 10.43.59


Thanks for reading.


Whatever happened to …

… cookbooks?

Thanks, Sheila Stewart for the idea for this post.

 I also thought… “whatever happened to cookbooks?”  So much great stuff online, but I can’t part with my ol’ cookbooks and scraps of recipes in a file box …

I’m glad to hear that Sheila has her ol’ cookbooks.

This brought back a memory of one that was always in my mother’s kitchen.

Screenshot 2018-03-17 at 10.16.22

Thanks, Patrick Q., Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The one that was in our kitchen certainly wasn’t in this great shape.  I recall it as being really run through the mill with things spilled on it, the recipes which are held in place by a three ring binder ripped, and all kinds of handwriting on the pages.

In fact, I remember someone gave her a brand new one as a gift so that it would be in better shape.  But, she never used it.  I think the key was in the handwriting that was on the original book.  How could she give up all that wisdom and revision to these recipes?

Today, my cooking doesn’t require this level of sophistication.  For me, it’s a matter of reading the instructions before I put whatever i’m cooking into the microwave.  Or, to keep opening the lid to the BBQ to see if all the smoke is an indication that things are done.  Around here, my wife who does the gourmet cooking, has one that she keeps close by.

Screenshot 2018-03-17 at 10.26.09

You’ll see that it has handwriting on it as well.  Her world famous Apple Crisp recipe is on page 97.  The book was actually put together by the parents’ group at the school and sold as a fundraiser.  My youngest, jealous of the use of the book, is responsible for writing in her own school since we moved before she had the chance to go to Colchester North.

In addition, we do have a recipe box that sits on top of the stove where my wife occasionally shares recipes with others, notably her hairdresser.  There will be the occasional new menu pulled from a Facebook post or an internet search after experiencing a great meal when we’re “out” for a meal.  Any way recipes get there, it’s full of good stuff; those that know me know that I haven’t missed too many meals.

Generally though, recipes are for special occasions and meals.  The day to day stuff is committed mostly to memory or on the side of the box if I’m cooking.

The timing for this post is just perfect.  We have a new recipe for a St. Patrick’s Day dinner.  It involves cabbage, corned beef, potatoes, and onions.  Our house is going to smell nice!

For a Sunday, what are your thoughts about cookbooks?

  • Where do you turn for inspiration for new recipes?
  • Do you remember the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook?
  • How about a Betty Crocker cookbook?  Any other?
  • Do you share recipes with others?
  • How about using the internet or social media to get new cooking ideas?
  • Are you really modern and just ask Cortana, Alexa, Google Home, or Siri for directions when you’re whipping up that meal?  Do you ever wonder if you do a search for “Apple Crisp” whether they’d all return the same recipe?  Maybe we need to have a cook off!
  • Do you have a favourite recipe that you use over and over that you originally learned from a cookbook?

I’d be interested in your culinary memories and you might get a request for your favourite recipe from Sheila if you share something that looks pretty good.  My secret is that you can make anything tasty if you add enough garlic.

Please share your thoughts in the reply below.  This series of Sunday posts is largely crowd sourced and if you’ve got an idea, please share it in thing Padlet.  All of the previous posts are available from the Menu at the top of this blog or by clicking here.

OTR Links 03/18/2018

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.