My Week Ending June 24, 2018

Here’s a summary of some of the things I learned and published this week.

Readings (You can follow my daily readings as they happen here.  Here are a selected few from the past week.)

  • This post will absolutely make you think about the ill effects of smartphone.  No, it’s not yet another post about the effects on kids.  It’s the effect that over consumed parent use has on kids.  It makes so much sense.  It’s probably worth a good share with the parents in your community who complains about kids and their screens.  Et tu, Brute?
  • There will be a lot of new teachers graduating from Faculties of Education this spring.  Here’s some advice for success.  Actually, it’s good advice for anyone in the profession.
  • Somewhere along the line, I’d like to replace my Windows/Linux laptop.  The Microsoft Surface is one product I’m considering.  Now, there’s rumours that it’s getting even better?
  • And if I do, it never hurts to keep your eye open for great themes.  Here’s some nice looking ones already for 2018.  I hate leaving any computing device “stock” as in “out of the box”.
  • I really enjoyed this post about what questions students should be able to answer when they graduate from secondary school.  I wonder how many of these I could have answered when I was graduating.
  • It’s kind of difficult to turn on TSN and see anything except soccer, er, football these days.  Cliqz, the browser, provides some facts so that you can impress the family and maybe win a bet at a bar.
  • By the time that you read this, the French Grand Prix will be over.  But, this is still a nice history of the seven tracks that have hosted it in the past.
  • Share this story with your favourite librarian.  It’s a tribute to great Canadian libraries.
  • This is cool and will have you reaffirmed in the power of youth.  It’s the winner of a Google Doodle contest and she is in Grade one.
  • Any newspaper article is bound to be one-sided but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t read it.  Here’s one paper’s take on what a conservative government means for education in Ontario.

Blog Posts on doug … off the record

Blog Post on

  • Plan Now for #BIT18 in November (I know I shared this last week but I’ll do it again here.  Please share it with your social network and those within your district, particularly those with PD money.  I’d like to meet as many people as possible this fall.  I also get to chair the ECOO Annual General Meeting.  After a year of doing the Board of Directors online, it will be nice to see real faces of people that the organization serves.)

voicEd Radio

My on demand page can be found here.  The latest edition features blog posts from:

Technology Trouble Shooting

Success!  Yes, the experiment that I tried last week worked.

Screenshot 2018-06-17 at 06.32.50

I did it again and it sure shortens the work of writing the post in this particular format.  I wonder how long before I get bored and want to change things again?

Stupid camera

I don’t know.  Is it because my MacBook Pro is getting older?  That’s about the only thing I can think of.

For the CSTA Conference Planning meetings, we use video conferencing software Zoom.  For video conferencing with ECOO, we use Google Meet.  When I join or start either software meeting software, it’s a crapshoot as to whether or not the camera on my computer will work.  Like most people, I don’t turn the computer off; I just close the lid and make it go to sleep.

The only way that I can guarantee that the camera is going to work is by rebooting the computer.  Does anyone have a solution?

Video of the Week

If case you haven’t seen this video that has been making the rounds lately, here it is.  I hope that I look that good, sing that well, and play instruments as well as Sir Paul when I’m his age.

My Favourite Photo of the Week

Last week, Lisa Corbett wanted to know how we were going to protect Mother Duck who has nested by our mailbox.  She’s still there…


So, we went to a local animal rescue place looking for advice.  We took it.


Now, if those cars buzzing by at 80 km/h or more or any fox that wanders by take the time to stop and read the sign, we’re all set.  Note my daughter’s asterisk to really draw their attention to the sign…

Thanks for reading.


Whatever happened to …

… standard transmissions?

Keeping with the car theme.

My first vehicle was a 1959 Chevrolet Apache pickup truck.  No, not new – I’m old but not that old.  It was well used when my father bought it for me for $50.

This is a rough idea of what mine was like.  Mine was black and had four wheels.  That’s pretty much the end of the similarities.  Mine has considerable rust, a wooden bed in the back, and S hooks on chains to hold the tailgate up.  To start it, you had to turn the key and then press the starter located on the floor just like you would a tractor.

BUT … it had a standard transmission.  Not on the floor of the truck like in the video but on the steering column.  It was affectionately known as “three on the tree“.  It was a great get around town, go to work, take girlfriend out, drive up to Goderich, and pick up stuff for mom vehicle.  It was a perfect vehicle for learning to drive but I did take dad’s car with its automatic transmission when I went to be formally tested.  And, I passed first time.

Standard transmissions also gave us new terminology.  Lots of people had standards and you’d hear that noise that comes when they don’t quite hit the gear.  “Can’t find ’em, grind ’em”.  or “Can’t hit ’em, **** ’em”.  Driving a standard, it was always important to use the manual parking break, we were told.

I’ve owned a lot of vehicles since that truck.  None have been as flexible or as fun to drive as the truck – except for a couple.  Since then, all my vehicles typically have been purchased used and the original owner made the decision on transmission.  There was once though when we went looking and I always do my dreamer activity and walk past the one or two Camaros on the lot until the sales person shows up to sell me one and we walk over to my financial reality – the Cavalier side of the lot.  Once we’d determined the price we were willing to pay, the salesperson said “can you drive a standard?”  Why, yes.  Yes, I can.  We went to the Oldsmobile side of the lot where I remember saying “I don’t want to drive my grandfather’s car.”  It was then that we stopped at this Alero and I was asked “would you grandfather drive a standard?”  I’m pretty sure he would but the community wasn’t buying into it and it was well marked down.  I loved that car.  My current car, a Fusion, has automatic transmission but does have an S selector which means you drive and shift with paddles on the back of the steering wheel just like a Formula 1 car.  It really is fun.

A while ago, I had to use a loaner and was presented with the current reality.  There was no gear shift on it at all.  Instead, there was this wimpy dial which you spin to point to your gear.  Who would own something like that?  Well, I have since met three new truck drivers with that “feature”.  Forget everything you ever thought about truck owners.  It is the future, I guess but I’m pleased to see that the Camaro and Mustang still have real shifters!  My wife’s Renegade has eight forward gears.  My arms tire just thinking about shifting that.

For a Sunday, let me know your thoughts via comment below.

  • Have you ever or do you currently own a standard transmission vehicle?
  • Can you drive a standard?
  • So, we have three-on-the-tree and four-on-the-floor.  What do you call it when you have five forward gears?
  • On an automatic transmission car, there is a N for neutral position.  Where do you find neutral on a standard transmission?
  • When you park your vehicle, do you use the manual parking break?
  • Did you pass your driving test first time?
  • Have you ever driven a tractor?  (I know, not really related but hey)

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.  Let’s have some fun with this one!


OTR Links 06/24/2018

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