My Week Ending 2020-12-06

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.


  • Chromebooks certainly are a good solution for a number of reasons including that you don’t need to worry about viruses
  • The things that you see in libraries – not the modern things that you might expect – but check that closet


  • I’ve always been kind of conscious about the number of tabs that I keep open in my browser but this feature might make me a little sloppy
  • This only makes sense. If we believe that COVID doesn’t spread among kids, we know that teachers are vulnerable


  • Keeping a backup of everything is always a good idea – this post talks about how to do it in Google Classroom
  • Brampton is a high COVID zone – this is why


  • If you print from your Chromebook, this is an important read to make sure that you transition nicely
  • A report about how people in Toronto are catching the virus


  • The MACUL conference for 2021 goes virtual
  • We hear about the Dark Web all the time but what is it really and how do you get to it?


  • A cool selfie from atop the Ambassador Bridge
  • Now that a vaccine is on the horizon, focus on those who might not want to get it


  • Even in this horrible year, there were some good things that happened
  • Will there be consequences if you don’t get vaccinated in Ontario?

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 – December 4, 2020

voicEd Radio

On this week’s show, Stephen Hurley and I chatted about Well-being, A Positive Perspective and Describing Food.

The show is available here:

Lisa Munro – @LisaMunro11
Laura Elliott – @lauraelliottPhD
James M Skidmore – @JamesMSkidmore
Deanna McLennan – @McLennan1977
Cameron Steltman – @MrSteltman

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

I’m not sure that I knew this but it’s actually pretty cool.

It’s Sunday morning and I’m watching the Formula 2 race from Sakhir.

Like most sporting events this year, there are no fans in the stands. They actually raced here last week for the Grand Prix of Bahrain. There have been a couple of venues that we used for two weeks in a row this year to try and keep travel down. Sadly, the Grand Prix of Canada was cancelled.

What’s neat about this race is that it’s at the same location as last week but it’s on a mostly different track. Due to the design, there are actually two tracks at the same location.

I’ve seen small things in other tracks but this race is entirely different – certainly much shorter – but the planning that went into last week’s race had to be changed to make for a completely different race.

I don’t know why all tracks don’t do this.

Video of the Week

Watch this video and you’ll be just a bit smarter.

Photo of the Week

The traditional Christmas Moose.

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 …

… rushing to answer the phone?

When Sheila Stewart suggested this topic for me, I didn’t know. How could I stretch that concept out to be a blog post? But, I’ve been mulling it around in my head and I think that it’s going to be a challenge to keep it a short enough post. And, it’s got lots of stories about my wife in it too.

About a year ago, the kids and I finally convinced her to drop the land line and get a smartphone. Well, that’s not true. It was the guy at The Source who let her know that she could get a smartphone and keep the house number. One of her concerns was that people we owed money to wouldn’t be able to contact us. Rest assured, I said, they’ll find a way. I didn’t succeed but thanks to the teenager at the store who sealed the deal for us. It’s been great for her and comforting to be able to answer the phone no matter where she is.

Just last night, she was in another part of the house and her ring tone had her running down to answer it. There really is a different mindset! We’ve had the talk about the phone log on the smartphone and she just needs to look it up and return the call. I didn’t succeed there either.

In doing my research for this post, we did talk about phones in the good ol’ days. When her family moved into town from the farm, they kept the old phone line which was on a party line and honestly was one of the best phone numbers ever. As an outsider from a rich family (we had a private line), it was funny to watch how things would stop at her house when the phone rang. But, you didn’t pick it up immediately; you’d go over to the phone and listen for the ring. If it was two longs and a short, then you knew it was yours. It was a challenge to pick it up before the other lady on the party line answered and handled the conversation for you. She lived on the phone, I think, because even if you dialed out, she’d come on demanding “Line please” no matter when you used the phone.

I tried to develop a change in this mindset when we rolled out the buggy electronic report card and my home phone number somehow got out. We would literally get phone calls all hours of the day or night. I was quite happy to let them go to the answering machine and return the call when it wasn’t, say, in the middle of supper. But good intentioned family members would answer and then “It’s for you, Dad.”

But, there was something about the damn phone. Three kids and a wife would race each other to answer it first. You’d pay for this form of entertainment anywhere else! Maybe it was an expected call or it was just the excitement of answering the phone not knowing who was on the other end. I don’t know for sure. After all, call display was just something that digital phones had at the time and we weren’t digital.

At times, it was like a race to see who could get to the phone first. I can tell you who got there last. Moi.

Even though we’ve “cut the cord”, I do find myself at times reverting to the old mindset and looking where the answering machine used to be when returning home to see if I missed something! I have issues.

For a Sunday, your thoughts…

  • do you have any rush to the telephone stories to share?
  • did you or your family ever have a party line? Do you remember your ring?
  • do you still have a land line? Why? (apparently, there are good reasons)
  • can you remember dialing a phone without an area code in front? Heck, I can remember our number started with HUnter 2, instead of 482
  • when you get a call now, presumably on your smartphone, do you check the caller display first or just answer it?

Please share your phone stories in the comments. They’re interesting to read.

This post appears on:

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

OTR Links 12/06/2020

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