So close and yet so far

Growing up, there were two funeral homes in our town. One has since closed so the community is left with one.

It’s located in the next block and, as kids, when there weren’t funerals, it was a nice place to play. Well, actually, the driveway was since it went completely through the block and there was a ridge in the middle.

I’ve been to a number of funerals there and both of our parents’ were held there.

I found out about a week ago that a childhood friend of mine had passed away. There were a group of us who were inseparable at high school, he was a roommate at university for a year, and he was in our wedding party.

In any year except for this one, we would have been in the car and taking the three and a half-hour drive to his Celebration of Life. There are so many reasons why you shouldn’t be doing this at this time. In a perfect world, the funeral place would have been packed. Not this year.

We were fortunate that the funeral home live streamed the Celebration on Friday and we could watch it from here. The guest book, that would normally have been in the doorway as you enter the room, is now online.

The Celebration was mostly normal for the few that were able to attend, I suppose. It was different for the rest of us. It felt almost creepy watching in, hearing the floor boards squeeking, the social distancing, and the masks.

I appreciate that the funeral home did the broadcast. I truly do.

But, it completely sucked. As the testaments from family, friends, and former coaches indicate, he was a wonderful man. He deserved much better.


OTR Links 11/30/2020

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

My Week Ending 2020-11-29

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.


  • There have been many emotional pictures during this COVID time period but I can’t think of one more emotional than this one
  • What a wonderful tribute to Alex Trebek even though the rules for searching specifically say it doesn’t have to be a question


  • We’re getting closer to having a new face on the $5 bill. Here’s the short list
  • It’s sad but probably a sign of the times that security guards are needed at libraries


  • Thirty seven cases and growing at Windsor’s Frank Begley Public School
  • In theory, this is a list of what is open or not in Toronto and Peel but some are bucking the order


  • Good news from Scotland for women and young ladies who need person period products
  • The Caldwell First Nation community gets a chunk of land south of Leamington to establish their own reserve


  • As Canadians, we know that we’re the best place to live in the world! Now, other countries are realizing it
  • Digital map makers are dropping the ball by not displaying treaty boundaries. They display so much else


  • You’d think that schools could ease up just a bit on school uniforms if they’re going to open windows in the winter but no
  • The Conservative government is going to hold university’s feet to the fire for funding starting with graduate salaries


  • The antics of the current president of the United States should lend support to the thought that this needs to change
  • The provincial government flexes its COVID muscles again and even more Canadians live in more restricted communities

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 – November 27, 2020

voicEd Radio

On this week’s show, Stephen Hurley and I chatted about gaming, power of women, new teaching conditions, a lonely walk, and DPA during COVID.

The show is available here:

Rolland Chidiac – @rchids
Paul Gauchi – @PCMalteseFalcon
Terry Whitmell – @TerryWhitmell
Melanie White – @WhiteRoomRadio
Larissa Aradj – @MrsGeekChic

Intro Song:

All of the podcasts are archived here. The show is broadcast LIVE almost every Wednesday morning at 9:15 on voicEd Radio.

Technology Troubleshooting

In a digital world, going back to something analog can be a challenge and frustrating. This all came back to haunt me as I put up the Christmas lights out front.

There really is no need to have them on all night and it’s pointless to have them on during the day time.

In the beginning, we had all the electricity brought back to a power strip and we just had to go out to the garage when the sun went down to flip the switch and they’d all come on. Then, before we went to bed, one of us had to remember to go out to the garage and flip them off.

One day, we realized that only a sucker would continue to do that in this day and age and so we went to Home Hardware and bought a timer. There were many choices but we went with one model and took it home. Digging it out of the boxes has been a ritual every year since then. Actually, the ritual is to remember how to set it.

I was rather pleased this year when I plugged it into the outlet and the power strip into the timer and all the lights came on. Job done and I felt pretty good. Sadly, I overlooked the fact that it was something like 1 in the afternoon. When we went to admire our lights at 5 when the sun had gone down, they lights hadn’t come on.

Actually, more correctly, they had been on and had turned themselves off as per instructions. I had over looked the important thing which was to set the time on the timer! One I had trouble shot that, things looked good.

But, the next day, the lights were on in the afternoon again. What the ?

Upon further inspection, the little buttons that mark each half hour need to be either on or off. Turn them on (by accident), and the lights seem to have a mind of its own. It was time to go back to the beginning and check and double check things and I’m pretty sure I’ve got it right. The lights are on when I go to bed and they’re off in the morning when I wake up. That’s my standard for this activity.

If it was only digital, it would be so much easier to set and check.

Video of the Week

This will take you back. Substitute Cross County Canada.

Photo of the Week

My daughter shared this from her archives. From the days when we actually had a traditional Santa Claus Parade, apparently she and I sneaked into a pub for a quick cold one.

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.


This blog post was originally posted at:

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

Whatever happened to …

… the University of Western Ontario?

It was interesting writing the blog post earlier this week about COVID Visualizations and citing the source as Western University.

You see, growing up about an hour from London, it was always The University of Western Ontario or UWO for short. With relatives in the city and frequent trips to London, it was always impressive to see the incredibly beautiful old buildings. It was like the universities that you see in the movies. Classic.

When I was young, the mindset I had was that I would go to the closest university since I went to the closest elementary and secondary schools. I did learn eventually that you choose based on programs and I wanted Mathematics and Computer Science. There was only one place to go for that; other universities had great Mathematics programs but you had to take it through a Faculty of Science. I just wanted Mathematics. My choices were:

Waterloo accepted me and the rest was history. Still, UWO would have been nice since it was closer and I might have been able to commute. I eventually did attend the Faculty of Education at UWO for additional qualifications in Data Processing.

But, Western? It’s not like it’s the most westernly located university in the province. Windsor, Algoma, and Lakehead come to mind as being further to the west.

It’s got to be seen as a way of modernizing things? It’s not the only university to do a name change – there’s this university that calls itself Laurier although previously known as Wilfred Laurier University.

For a Sunday, how about some post secondary thoughts?

  • Do you think “Western” or “Laurier” provides a more modern presentation than “University of Western Ontario” or “Wilfred Laurier University”?
  • Do you have any other name change theories?
  • What was Wilfred Laurier University previously called?
  • Are there any other universities that have embraced a name change?
  • Universities are often known for things that stick out. What do you think of when you think of the following universities?
    • Guelph
    • Waterloo
    • Western
    • Laurier
    • Toronto

Please share your thoughts in the comments.

This post appears on:

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

OTR Links 11/29/2020

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