My Week Ending 2021-09-05

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.


  • This is good information that everyone should know – how do you clear your browser – many browsers covered
  • Not good news if you work at Windsor Assembly Plant, it’s going to be shut down again – maybe we should drop computer chips from minivans!


  • Privacy should be everyone’s concern when you’re online – here are settings for Chrome, Firefox and more
  • I had to smile – if I had the money to buy any of these cars, I really wouldn’t be all that concerned about the actual price


  • I think it’s comforting to see that some of the vaccines that we’re using are now appropriate for teenagers – take it
  • I’m so impressed with the NFL and them taking one of their winter games and playing it outside – this time Hamilton with Leafs and Sabres playing


  • Because they are – and here’s the real reason why hyperlinks are blue
  • The million dollar question for so many of us – how long will that vaccine work?


  • The local Catholic school board is expecting teachers to teach in a hybrid situation this fall
  • Road trip! Well, not for me but for some


  • Hospitals around here are going to sack you if you’re an employee and are not vaccinated
  • This video from ABBA has been going viral


  • A nice tribute to the vision and action of David Moursund.
  • An interesting article about principals improving schools but there are so many “ifs” these days

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 – September 3, 2021

voicEd Radio

Matthew Morris was the guest on This Week in Ontario Edublogs this week. We stumped him chatting about Bill Davis but everything else was right in his strike zone

Featured bloggers:

  • Matthew Morris – @callmemrmorris
  • Diana Maliszewski – @MzMollyTL
  • Laura Elliott – @lauraelliottPhD
  • Charles Pascal – @CEPascal
  • Seven Generations Education Institute – @7GenerationsEd
  • Jessica Outram – @jessicaoutram
  • Shawna Rothgeb-Bird – @rollforlearning

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

As noted above, I did something is a blog post for Saturday that I don’t do on this blog.

I swore.

I just can’t believe that in 2021, Matthew Morris had to make the observation that he did recently.

Troubleshooting? It’s something that can be and should be at every opportunity troubleshot in schools. As Diana Maliszewski notes:

Video of the Week

I’m a sucker for videos like this.

Photo of the Week

There’s nothing happier than a dog off the leash, walking/sniffing the trail.

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 …

… telephone jacks?

They haven’t stood up well over the years.

Like everyone that has ever bought a house, we made sure that there was an active phone jack to connect our phone to when we moved in – after calling and activating it – from a neighbour’s phone. And, of course, the jack was in the wrong spot so we had to pay for a service call to get another one installed.

Then came the time when Doug wanted to be connected. I tried just plugging into the home phone but that was cause for great anxiety. “What if our parents want to call and talk?” Geesh.

My initial cheap reaction was to move my online time to after 11pm. But, that wasn’t practical. So I broke the bank and put in a second phone line – this time with three extensions and we called it the “kids’ line”. But everyone knew that was in name only. It was for me to get connected. And, connected I was with my Radio Shack Model 100 with a 300 baud modem. As more and more of my students began to get connected, I bought a USRobotics HST modem and set up a Bulletin Board System (BBS) using Wildcat! software. They could call in during the evenings and upload assignments to me and chat with me and/or each other. We were potentially paperless before it was cool. Obviously, this was long before the recommendation of not connecting with students online. It seems to primitive by today’s standards, amplified by the last year or so.

Essex Wildcat! served me well connecting me, not only to my students, but to other hobbyists. I originally bought a subscription to Compuserve but ended up connecting to a big community of computer people in Essex County and learned so much. Many of those ran their own BBS systems. We even ran events over night and transferred discussion groups with other systems. Such cutting edge stuff! There was also opportunity there to run workshops at conferences.

It was all because of that jack diagonally across the rec room from my chair or on the wall behind the desk in my bedroom/computer room. As I turned off the fan this morning, I looked at the pair of jacks on the wall sitting there doing nothing these days and thought “hey, there’s a blog post in there somewhere”.

The connection was old and copper. I would complain to Bell about our slow and noisy service but was told that my only alternative was to move somewhere with better facilities. I almost fainted last year when it was announced that Bell would be pulling fibre potentially to every household in our little community. I subscribed as soon as they put in a brand new pole carrying the wire and removed the old one which had a terrible lean to it.

For a Sunday, what are your thoughts about this?

  • are you young enough to wonder “what the heck is he talking about?”
  • how fast was your first modem?
  • do you have fond memories of being connected to a Bulletin Board Service?
  • did you ever call Essex Wildcat!?
  • do you still have a phone jack in your house? two maybe?
  • do new houses come with phone jacks?
  • what’s the difference between pulse and tone systems? Which cost more?
  • given that everyone is moving to wireless, do they still put phone jacks in brand new houses?
  • do you still use your phone jack?

As like every Sunday, please share your thoughts in the comments below.

This is a regular Sunday morning post and you can check them all out here.

If you’re cleaning up and find something interesting that might make a blog post, please reach out and contact me.

OTR Links 09/05/2021

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