My Week Ending 2021-08-29

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. They’re posted to the blog under the title OTR Links.


  • Sad news around here – COVID numbers “skyrocket
  • This would be an interesting episode for Heavy Rescue 401


  • Research indicate that these are the most popular beers world-wide. Rickard’s Red, my favourite, didn’t make it
  • The Ontario Education Minister writes an opt ed for the Ottawa Sun talking about the plan to improve ventilation in Ontario classrooms


  • Teachers should put this away for when they need it – what do you do when your Chromebook doesn’t boot?
  • You don’t need to get a university degree to become certified to being a Project Manager – take a course from Google


  • Who knew that The Beatles had more lyrics than what we knew? Apparently, Paul McCartney does
  • So, apparently all programmers should know these algorithms. How about programming teachers?


  • We lost a good one this past week – Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones
  • Seven, count ’em seven, security issues with the Chrome browser. Update now


  • I really how that we’re not shut down again before we get started with the new school year but the numbers are looking grim
  • Finally, something I can get behind from TikTok – banning those stupid milk crate challenges


  • Betas always sound nice but Chrome 94 may be something to revitalize those Chromebooks that have slowed down
  • Not a prediction of good news returning to schools this fall in the Waterloo Region

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 27, 2021

voicEd Radio

Aviva Dunsiger joined Stephen Hurley and me for This Week in Ontario Edublogs on voicEd Radio. She had some interesting takes on the blog posts we discussed.

Featured bloggers:

  • Aviva Dunsiger – @avivaloca
  • Amanda Potts – @Ahpotts
  • Alanna King – @banana29
  • Tim King – @tk1ng
  • Rola Tibshirani – @rolat
  • TESLOntario – @TESLOntario
  • Terry Whitmell – @TerryWhitmell

This week’s show:

Opening Song:

Closing Song:

All of the podcasts are archived here. The show is broadcast LIVE almost every Wednesday morning at 8:45 on voicEd Radio.

Technology Troubleshooting

It was actually a pretty uneventful week around here in terms of technology. I don’t think I had to actually fix any of my stuff. That’s always nice to be able to report.

Video of the Week

Vaccine passports in the news. Ford appears to be backtracking and we’ll find out his plan next week.

Photo of the Week

Maybe not Norman Rockwell quality but it’s a home story all the same.

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:


Whatever happened to …

… fall fairs? (it’s a dumb question these days and we know the real answer but it’s a nice prompt to remember a safer time)

Where I grew up, we had a Spring Fair. The show workers would roll into town on Monday or Tuesday and would spend the week setting things up for the Fair which would run from Friday to Sunday. As kids, we were excited riding our bikes down to the park to watch the process. Then, COVID comes along and ruins everything. Well, maybe not, the Spring Fair will be moved to the Fall! With modifications though and the Demolition Derby which was always a highlight is planned to go.

Spring Fairs are nice, but you can’t beat a Fall Fair. They’re basically there to celebrate another year of harvest and generally do a great job of bringing a community together. The timing was important for education as it denotes a return to school. As I look around at some of the great fall fairs I’ve attended, they’re going to be different if they’re run at all and will be a premonition of what school might be.

For us, going to fall fairs was always a big deal.

  • Canadian National Exhibition – fondly known as the “Ex” is HUGE. It’s not your typical fall fair with a focus on farming. Located in downtown Toronto, it’s got everything that you might expect in a fair, including big name bands playing concerts – it was here that we saw the Guess Who in the bandstand. It runs for half a month and I couldn’t understand why we didn’t do them all and just stay in a hotel. It was only later as a poor university student that I fully understood the cost involved
  • Western Fair – unlike the other fall fairs that we would go to, this one actually started after school started. Parking in downtown London can be a challenge at times and fair time meant parking and walking, walking, walking. Fortunately, my dad grew up in London and knew his way around. Barring that, it was always a great experience and actually an experience like the CNE but without a gazillion people. Great food and shows were in order. While they didn’t have the biggest of rides like the CNE, the ones that were there were big enough to intimidate me
  • Bayfield Fair – little ol’ Bayfiend always put on a good show. Like many rural fairs, it always kicked off with a parade through town where the local businesses would show off themselves. When I worked at a park outside of Bayfield, we did have a float and had a great time decorating it and then waving to the crowds lined up on the streets before we got to the fairgrounds. As if you need another reason to visit this beautiful village, you need to check out the fair
  • Harrow Fair – this is our go-to event these days. Held on Labour Day weekend, it is a really big deal. Parking is a challenge, to be sure, but worth it and the walk. I suspect that, since Harrow is such a small community, most of the locals just walk to the fair grounds and laugh at us driving around looking for parking spaces. Our first visit is always to look for the Banty Hens as my wife raised them as a child and loves to share those stories. But, it’s a great agricultural display; I’m in awe that farmers can actually afford to buy the equipment that you see on display. A particularly fond memory was watching The Wilkinsons at the bandstand. OK, bandstand might be a stretch – we sat on bales of straw set up on the big baseball diamond. Amanda has such a wonderful voice.

If you follow any of the links above, you’ll see that it’s not business as usual. Postponement, modified, virtual are words of the times. I’m really starting to hate those words.

Fairs are also a source for food you’ll find nowhere else. Candy Floss, giant pretzels, beaver tails comes immediately to mind.

There’s one big event that actually goes this weekend – Amherstburg’s Art by the River. It’s an opportunity to explore the grounds of Fort Malden Park but if you read the descriptor, there are strong limitations to how it will run. It’s always popular and with Windsor’s changes to Art in the Park, it may be even more jam packed.

I get it though. If you look up “super spreader”, there may be pictures of people jammed into midways.

For a Sunday, your thoughts?

  • have you attended any of these events? Do you have any fond memories to share?
  • does your community celebrate the fall harvest season? How? It’s a nice way to show respect and admiration for those who work hard to keep us in food
  • what’s the point of those candy floss things on the paper holders? They look nice but can you eat it without getting a sticky face or sticky fingers? Now you can even buy it in a plastic bag
  • do you have any memories of great midway food?
  • why do hot dogs at the fair always taste better than those coming from my BBQ?
  • are the games on the midway rigged or is there really a way to win some of those big prizes they have on display?
  • is Bossy Bingo the only unrigged game at the fair? Can you explain the rules to a child?
  • do you have a back to school tradition other than going to the fair?
  • regular 2021 events seem to be shot; will we be back to normal for 2022?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

This is a regular Sunday post around here. You can check them all out and maybe even reach out to me with a topic that needs to be discussed?

OTR Links 08/29/2021

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