My Week Ending 2020-08-23

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.  Below are a selected few, with commentary, from the past week.

  • If you haven’t looked at DuckDuckGo as a search engine yet, you might find this article nicely addresses how it’s taking on Google.
  • CBC is doing a nice job of providing articles that deal with reasonable questions about returning back to school buildings.
  • Do you need antivirus for Windows 10? Absolutely. The advice I’ve read always alternates between the built-in antivirus being good to it not being good enough and so you should spend money on a commercial product.
  • It’s good to see that Google is still floating money to Mozilla for the development of Firefox. Firefox is more agile and a source for innovation on the web.
  • Even though the Ministry won’t mandate it, it’s good to see that many school districts will be expecting masks on younger students.
  • This is a huge issue for Computer Science. The University of Florida grades its first Black PhD student. Hopefully, this is inspiration for all who would like to follow.
  • The time has never been better for Chromebooks. With so many things being available in a browser, why not go that route instead of the prices you might pay for a Macintosh or Windows computer? Good reasons why included in this article.
  • If you like Chromebooks, now you can really get a device that is incredible powerful. Maybe even overkill?
  • Sorry, TDSB, your re-opening schools plan is too expensive. Go back to the drawing board.
  • Michelle Obama is a wise woman. It’s too bad that she hates politics. Could anyone say that Donald Trump was the right president at any time?
  • Bring a supply/occasional teacher has always been one of the worst jobs in education. Now, being on the road in the days of COVID make for even more challenges.
  • I agree with Doug Ford on this one. Teacher federations are indeed “part of the problem”. They’re the part of the problem that wants to try and make the return to school opening safe. Damn unions, always putting their members first.
  • Ontario should be taking notes as schools south of the border are starting to open and having problems.
  • Yay! They found a way to do the big Windsor/Detroit fireworks show. It will be on August 31 but instead of barges on the Detroit River, the location will be secret. You can only watch it on television. If you’ve ever moshed yourself into the plazas on either side of the border, you’ll know why.
  • Congratulations to Deanna McLennan for winning this ETFO writing award. You can check out her work ongoing on her blog.
  • Finally, a bit of common sense, as schools in the province are allowed to stagger their openings.
  • Just get rid of the old Internet Explorer already. If software developers haven’t upgraded their wares by now, too bad.
  • Another member of Donald Trump’s posse arrested. How much of this can the United States stand?
  • Even little country stores aren’t immune to the COVID virus. From rural Ontario, sad stories about cases. We can’t let down our guard.

Blog Posts on
doug … off the record

My daily contributions to this blog are linked below. If you’re looking for a week in review for doug–off the record, you came to the right place.

#FollowFriday – August 21, 2020

voicEd Radio

There was no show this week.

Intro Song from last week – still a good listen:

All of the podcasts are archived here.

Technology Troubleshooting

Don’t tell my wife ….

If you read my post yesterday, I had a sad occurrence with my Smartphone that had bricked itself. After trying everything that I and the internet could suggest, I was unable to revive it. So, it was off to get another one.

As I was standing at the counter and before I signed the new contract, I did try to turn on my old phone which was in my pocket one last time. If I felt the familiar vibration, maybe I could save some money. But, it was a no go.

Upon returning home, I was working like crazy to get the new phone up to what I wanted in a phone. In the process, apparently, the old phone completely drained its battery. That blue LED had gone away.

For yucks, I plugged the phone into power and, all of a sudden, it sprung to life charging itself. There actually was something alive on the screen. Uh oh. How am I going to explain this?

As it turns out, after a bit of a charge, I was able to turn the phone on and it got to the opening splash screen. Now I’m totally convinced it’s in trouble.

And, fortunately or unfortunately, it refused to go any further.

Phew. I was never so happy to see something not work. I may plug away and see if I can get it to function at least at some level but I’m much more confident in my decision to get a new device.

Video of the Week

Who doesn’t like an elephant video?

Photo of the Week

On this hot weekend, this shadow is just dog sized.

Thanks for reading.

Please join me daily for something new and, hopefully, interesting for you. I honestly and truthfully appreciate your few moments reading my thoughts. Time willing, this summary appears every Sunday afternoon.

Be safe.


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If you find it anywhere else, it’s not original.

Whatever happened to …

… the Chrysler Minivan?

It was a big deal in Essex County yesterday.

We knew that it was coming. The third shift had been cut earlier this year but it’s still kind of shocking to finalize realize it.

When we got jobs down here, we rented a house just a couple of blocks away from the Assembly plant. It was the hottest summer I can remember, we didn’t have air conditioning so would go outside just to cool off. Even from our distance, we could hear people hard at work inside the plant. In recent years, the plant was retooled to produce Chrysler’s latest and most state of the art product. Many different products have been assembled at the plant.

The year that we held the Regional Computer Advisory Committee meeting in Windsor, we had a tour of the plant. Everything was high tech and computerized – we were impressed. The actual product actually still requires physical people to make it work. That number is in the thousands and they’re organized by Unifor.

The closure hit close to us; my son-in-law works there and my daughter works at a plant that produces just in time car seats for the plant. She shared with us that last bunch off the line.

Over the years, married with children, we owned a couple of these marvelous vehicles. I can’t imagine carting kids around with a small car especially driving home to see family. When travel baseball or hockey was in the works, parents with minivans were in high demand.

Our first was one of the original Dodge products. It was white with burgundy interior. It looked like a delivery van; you could stick a sticker on it and get a second job. That lasted us for a number of years.

Our second was green Plymouth (I had a choice this time) with grey interior. It was a huge change in design. It didn’t look like a delivery van and had a lot more room inside.

Then, we became Jeep people.

Being from Amherstburg, of course, we had to buy from Racicot. I remember one salesperson indicate to us that the deal wasn’t official until you shook Leo’s hand. His commercials always had you wondering what he would be up to next. They were predictably on the 6pm news and throughout Hockey Night in Canada.

So, it’s the end of an era. As a transplant to this community, I got exposed to the language – you didn’t work at Chrysler, you worked at “Chrysler’s”. Forced overtime, shutdown, retooling all became part of the language teaching kids whose parents worked there. A promotion that I particularly remember was “Buy the car your neighbour makes”.

So, for a Sunday … your thoughts in the comments, please.

  • Do you or did you own a Chrysler, Dodge, or Plymouth minivan?
  • What did families do before the minivan?
  • Do you buy from a local dealer or will you go to another town to buy a vehicle?
  • The plant in Windsor will continue – what will be assembled there?
  • Do you have a local television celebrity? Can you share a link to a video for us to enjoy?
  • Who was the famous CEO of Chrysler that helped them become successful in the 1980s. He was everywhere, including the Ford Motor company where he worked on another product. Which one?
  • Chrysler has had a number of owners over the years. Can you name any of them?

This appears on:

If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.

OTR Links 08/23/2020

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