My Week Ending November 18, 2018

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


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

  • In a world with GUIs everywhere, it’s kind of nice to see just plain text tools.  I know that the world loves graphic interfaces but there always seems to be things that don’t line up properly or are off a pixel here and there.  Text just works.
  • I like reading non-fiction.  This story really resonated with me.  It can be done online too; you just have to be careful about sources.
  • Time to gear up for the student one hour of code again.  This article talks Minecraft.  Seriously though, haven’t we got past the one hour concept yet?
  • There have been some Historica advertisements on television recently.  It supports the release of the new $10 bill with Viola Desmond.  It’s a reminder that Canada has issues too.
  • People are starting to realize that having Alphabet manage their smart neighbourhood may not be all that it’s cracked up to be.
  • Dark Mode is starting to really be a thing.  The biggest thing is battery saving and I do find it easier on my eyes.  Needless to say, I darken things when I can.  Here are some Mojave tips.
  • Teachers, read this.  If you really think you’re outside some box, or you’d like to be, this might well be the new standard.
  • Here’s a comparison of two of the higher priced laptops on the market.  There was a time when you couldn’t compare Macintosh and Windows in the same story but we seem to have a meeting of the minds going forward.  The web is everything and it doesn’t particularly care what platform it runs on.
  • Life is better with libraries.
  • Now I finally know.  I probably rub my eyes too hard.
  • A while ago while visiting with family from the Ottawa area, we drove by the Prime Minister’s residence to see all the construction that was happening.  This story digs into everything that’s wrong and why it needs to be made over.
  • I can’t imagine a fire that’s got as out of control as this one in California.  Before and after pictures here.
  • I’m one of them.  I didn’t like Inbox in the beginning but it grew on me.  Now, Google’s dropping it in favour of an enhanced Gmail?

Blog Posts on doug … off the record

voicEd Radio

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

Technology Trouble Shooting 

Normally, when I write on my Linux computer as I’m doing right now, I use Shutter to do a screen capture.

But, I’m writing the post in Opera and decided that perhaps it was overkill to launch a separate application.  Opera has a screen capture right in the sidebar (on the left side of the screen).

I clicked the little camera and was impressed with how quickly it responded which should come as no surprise since it’s built in.

Since there’s only one purpose and that’s the capture part of the screen, an area to be captured is already pre-selected.  It’s just a matter of adjusting and then saving.  And, it thinks like me…it put the image on the desktop.  Very slick and easy for my purpose.

Full screen capture is even easier!

There are lots of options available; I think maybe I’ll explore them later and blog about  them.

Video of the Week

Just a public service announcement now that we’re toying around with snow on the ground.

My Favourite Photo of the Week

It was the beginning of the River Lights festival here in Amherstburg last night.  Fireworks, the lighted decorations, and the town cannon were all on display.  It’s always nice to do a tour of the warming hut and see the gingerbread houses.  Funny how I have the patience to write code but I’d never have the patience to make one of these things.  All my pictures including a video are on Instagram.


Thanks for reading.



Whatever happened to …

… Pixy Stix?

I was excited about this but first just a reminder that I do read each and every reply to this blog.  Last week, in part, this came from Lisa Cranston.

Mojos and pixie sticks were my favourite. Maybe that’s a topic for another day – whatever happened to penny candy?

Now, this isn’t just your run of the mill opinion blog.  I take research seriously so went into town to do it.  Quite frankly, I hadn’t seen Pixy Stix for goodness knows how long.  Could it be that I just missed them?



Photo Credit: mateuscs309 Flickr via Compfight cc

I grabbed a Sobey’s discount gas slip from the counter.  One of my destinations was the Mac’s Milk that also retails Shell gasoline.  As I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed that gas was $1.01.9.  Wow, with my $0.05/litre discount, this would be the first time in any memory that I was paying less than a dollar for gas!  Research does pay off.

I looked around and, while there was all kinds of candy on sale, no Pixy Stix.  Next stop – Sobey’s and its candy selection.  Nope.  Then the Bulk Food Store.  Nada.

I’ll have to rely on memories.

There are lots of pictures that bring back memories though.  We used to buy them for just pennies at the Fina Gas station by the school.  You’d rip off the paper top, tilt your head back, and let the stuff slide down your throat.  Of course, this was way before things were labelled.  Who knows what went into the “stuff”.  I’m sure that it was mostly sugar; this was way before we were concerned about how much sugar we were eating.  It came in a number of flavours.  My favourite was Lemon-Lime.  Maybe this was where I got a yearning for margaritas?

For a Sunday, your thoughts…

  • Do you remember Pixy Stix?
  • Do you know where you could buy them today if you were so inclined?
  • Any idea how bad they might actually have been for us?
  • What was your favourite flavour?
  • What other sweet and tart treats do you recall?  I easily remember Lik-M-Aid and Sweetarts.
  • Old time candy purchasing was so risky when you think about it – I remember just picking them up with my hands and putting them in paper bags to check out.  None of these awkward tongs and plastic gloves we have today!  Do you think that built up our immune systems?

As always, please extend the conversation via a reply below.  I can’t be the only person to join Lisa in this sweet walk along candy lane.

This is part of a regular Sunday series and they’re all available here.  They’re fun to write and I really enjoy reading your thoughts.

If you have an idea for a future post, just let me know!  There’s a Padlet here just for that purpose.

OTR Links 11/18/2018

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