My Week Ending September 23, 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.)

  • I guess it comes with the job.  As a librarian, who better to know the answer to everything – even the strange things?  If you can’t ask a librarian, who can you ask?
  • Great parenting advice.  It makes you wonder, though, if some parents are expecting this and others don’t, why kindergarten teachers drink.  <grin>  Put it in context; there has been lots said about high schools preparing students for university.  How about for those first days of kindergarten?
  • There are lots of “tar spots” on maple leaves around here.  Here’s an answer explaining why and if you should do something about it.
  • My mother would not challenge this premise!
  • Backups are crucial.  There’s lots of good advice here.  I can remember a time when it meant multiple diskettes, then writing a CD, then writing a DVD, then backing up to an external hard drive.  Now?
  • Little libraries are very popular in Essex County.  Here’s a bit of history.
  • I enjoyed this collection of road signs from around the world.  I think the most bizarre one I’ve seen around here is advice about how to turn right, crossing a bicycle lane.
  • Just wow.
  • Ghostery now has a browser.  What’s better?  A browser with the Ghostery extension or a devoted browser?
  • It’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas presents.
  • I got my upgrade to Chrome.  It’s got some re-arrangement of items and an even more rounded look.
  • Finally!  Respect for older programmers.
  • A story from the student perspective about their walkout on Friday.  If Friday was a PD Day for some, will those students choose a different day?

Blog Posts on doug … off the record

Blog Post on

BRING IT, TOGETHER 2018 – The complete schedule is now live.  Have you registered?  It’s also a reminder of the “Bring IT, Together” concept.  Why not bring a group from your school?

voicEd Radio

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

Technology Trouble Shooting 

It was a very trolly week for me.

First, I shared on social media the new CBC for Kids website.  I was tagged in it with a lot of others.  Lots and lots of people liked the concept and it was retweeted over and over.  That brought out a bunch of anti-Trudeau and anti-CBC messages.  They were very unkind and I felt badly for the website developers.  Constructive criticism can be helpful but this sure wasn’t.  The accounts, when tracked back, appeared to be less than human and content was just negative.  Because of the content, I debated blogging about it on Wednesday but went ahead anyway.  I was a bit worried that it might end up in spamish comments but fortunately, none made it to the light of day.

Next, I had a run-in with a “digital media specialist” who didn’t understand how something digital and media worked.  Rather than taking it private which is your first step in resolving issues, this person elected to go public and continue the issue when I tried to explain it.  Apparently my explanation wasn’t sufficient and my way to solve the situation wasn’t satisfactory.

I write this next one off to just a sign of the times.  I had a friend request on Facebook from a name that I recognized.  The picture was right too.  I was very careful and clicked through to the account.  The bizarre thing was that the account had no content except for the name and the picture.  Now, you’d think something like that was kind of odd but probably a one-off.  Nope.  There were two other requests with the same thing.

The solution in these cases was relatively similar.  It involves bringing out the “axe” the social media service provides.  As in, I’ll block you.  It’s not perfect but it’s the best that can be done.

Even dog walking was no way to hide from it.  Jaimie and I are walking down the road Saturday morning, on the gravel, minding our own business.  This guy in a Lincoln comes at us and throws both of his hands up in the air and actually lost a bit of control of his car.  Fortunately for us, we had plenty of room to move to our left without having to bail for the ditch!  Trying to give the benefit of the doubt, I figured that there must have been oncoming traffic for the guy in the Lincoln.  Nope.  I guess he must have been having a bad day or doesn’t like dogs.  I don’t think I owe him money.

I’m not sure what the “axe” would be in this case.  My first thought was to take a picture of the license plate but that might provoke things further.  Hopefully, our paths won’t cross again.  Jaimie likes his walks.

Video of the Week

This was Little Brown Jug time in Delaware, Ohio.  Two elimination races and then the Jug itself.  What was really interesting was the second elimination.  Every now and again, you’ll see an inquiry where a horse (truthfully, the driver) has committed an infraction.  In this case, the winner of the elimination, Stay Hungry, had two inquiries lodged against him.  I’d never seen that before.

Finished first, placed fourth.

The incidents point to the value of pylons rather than the old hub rails.  If there had been the traditional rail, there could have been some serious accidents.

My Favourite Photo of the Week

A new sign on the road around here this week.

But, what does it say?  It all depends on the perspective!

Screenshot 2018-09-23 at 11.45.10

Screenshot 2018-09-23 at 11.45.31

Screenshot 2018-09-23 at 11.45.50

Thanks for reading.


Whatever happened to …

… Conkers?

Look at me go using technical terms.

I actually found it by doing some research to see if it was still a thing.   When I was growing up, we just called it “Chestnuts”.

Around this time of year, chestnut trees in my home town would drop their seeds … i.e. chestnuts.  I remember some of them actually dropping on sidewalks and paved streets.  The seeds were encased in a green prickly shell, but often when they would hit, they would split open to reveal the nut or nuts inside.  When they didn’t split open, I supposed we could have peeled them but it was easier just to pick it up and throw it against the sidewalk until they split.  Violence was a thing, I guess!

The nut inside was actually very pretty and very shiny when first pulled out.  Other than that, they weren’t of much use except to play chestnuts with friends.  We’d take a couple home and get a hammer, a nail, and a piece of string.  The nail would go into the nut and the string was tied to the nail.  You’d grab the other end of the string and have your game piece, or weapon.

We played the game by one person putting their chestnut on the ground and the rest of us would swing our chestnut on a string and try to whip it down on the opponents chestnut.  If you broke their chestnut, you were a winner.  If not, you’d switch places and the other person would try.  If my memory is correct, we ended up losing more often by missing the other chestnut and smacking our own against the sidewalk or pavement.

In other uses, they worked a bit like a bolo where you could swing it and hit someone or tangle it up in their legs or arms.  I do recall at the time messages going home to our parents indicating that these things were not allowed in school, not even for play at recess.

Ah, the joys of youth.  It was only when I did my research for this post that I found this article and realized that we played the game completely incorrectly.  Interestingly, I found that there is a championship and a technique for choosing the best conker.  I also wondered why the Ohio State University would have a chestnut as a school mascot.  Digging further, I found that a chestnut and buckeye are not the same thing although they are related.  My learning for the day!

I searched the app stores to see if someone had made the game into an app but didn’t find it under any of the names that I could think of.  There’s an idea for development or to let these Scratch or micro:bit experts have at it to develop one.

For a Sunday, your thoughts…

  • did you ever play chestnuts, er conkers, as a child?
  • did you ever have chestnuts banned at your school?
  • did you ever try to roast chestnuts like in the song?
  • would you ever confess to using a chestnut as a weapon like I did?  (We were so young…)
  • what’s the name of the OSU mascot?
  • do you regularly see chestnut trees?  They’re not hard to find this time of year – you just have to look on the ground around them.  As I write this though, I can’t recall seeing any chestnut trees here in Essex County.

I’d be interested in your nutty comments and thoughts.  Please leave them via the comments below.

This is part of a regular Sunday series.  You can check them all out here.

OTR Links 09/23/2018

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