My Week Ending 2021-10-31

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 daily under the title OTR Links.


  • A video that a dog lover will love; cat lovers, not so much
  • Roku versus Google – which side do you choose?


  • Reasons why teachers are barely hanging on and what their system can do to help the cause. Is anyone listening?
  • A short collection of free VPNs for use with your Chromebook should you feel the need to have one


  • I hate to read stories talking about the influx of COVID-19 cases into Ontario schools but here’s another one
  • Tom Brady is a great quarterback, to be sure. 600 career touchdowns is so impressive


  • This is great news for the Drouillard Road area in the city of Windsor which had been neglected for so long and now is showing signs of improvement
  • The $99 dollars on this Chromebook will be in US dollars and hardly worth the drive and the testing to go over the border – pay for it in Canadian dollars


  • We’re probably safe with all the cloud cover that we’ve had recently
  • One of the most productive things that I ever did for myself is learn how to have more than one desktop on my computer – here’s how it’s done in Windows 10


  • We’re probably safe with all the cloud cover that we’ve had recently
  • This is probably the coolest clock offering that I’ve seen since I owned a domino clock


  • Apparently, I’ve driven by Ontario’s Oldest cemetery for years and didn’t appreciate the significance of it
  • I thought it was kind of cool but apparently others had a different thought about this Wheel of Fortune puzzle

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 – October 29, 2021

voicEd Radio

This is a mostly weekly radio conversion with Stephen Hurley on voicEd Radio where we talk about some recent writing from Ontario Education bloggers. It turns into a Friday blog post. Here are the people you need to be following.

Featured Bloggers:

  • Paul McGuire – @mcguirp
  • Matthew Morris – @callmemrmorris
  • Amanda Potts – @Ahpotts
  • Joel McLean – @jprofNB
  • Lisa Corbett – @LisaCorbett0261

This week’s show:

Opening Song:

Closing Song:

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

Technology Troubleshooting

Oh boy, this is big.

I couldn’t sleep Friday night and so got up on the computer at 3:00am. As is my custom, I checked for updates and according to Microsoft, it was my time.

Windows 11 was ready for me to install.

Download was really quick and the installation was pretty fast – thanks to an SSD drive. Now, begins the process of making it mine and this will take a while.

Look for blog posts in the coming days.

I can tell you that, as of this writing, the Brave browser works nicely in WordPress.

Video of the Week

This is great news. Casino Windsor has been advertising that they’re getting back in the concert business as well.

Photo of the Week

Call this being in the right place at the right time. It was an evening dog walk and I saw the red in the clouds and captured it. No photoshopping here. Two minutes later and it was back to normal.

May be an image of nature, twilight and sky

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 …

… bench seats?

Thanks to Alfred Thompson for this idea. Years ago, cars that we drove were considerably different from today. D’uh. Alfred reminds us that there was a time before bucket seats.

The front seat of the car was just a bench much like today’s back seat. The driver had the control and could move it forward or backward to accommodate his/her leg length. The passenger was just along for the ride. That ride was usually manually controlled although some higher end cars had electric controls.

You could very easily put three people in the front seat of the car that way. In the beginning, there weren’t even headrests for protection and the person that sat in the middle was on their own. The bench was split in two if you had a two door car so that you could move the back forward for access to the back seat. Four door cards didn’t need that feature.

Photo by cottonbro on

The most practical use for the bench seat was at the drive in movie! You could snuggle up together and watch what was on the big screen. These days, the front of the car accommodates two people each in bucket seats with their own controls. Manufacturers, in addition to making things more comfortable with two buckets have moved the gear shift from the steering column to between the two buckets. In both of our vehicles, there is also a storage bin. When you think of it and compare to the good ol’ days, it’s a much more efficient use of space.

It’s also a comfort thing. Other than the fact that you can sink into a bench, cars often have temperature controls and seat warmers for each side of the vehicle. No longer does the driver control everything.

I do recall my first ride in a vehicle with bucket seats. It truly was a game changer for me. It was in my cousin’s Corvette and you were seemingly inches above the roadway. It was like being in a racing car and his driving reinforced that concept.

For a Sunday, your thoughts…

  • did you ever own a vehicle with a front bench seat? Or maybe you can remember one from your parents’ days?
  • is there anything on the market these days that’s functional with a bench instead of buckets? A truck maybe?
  • what’s in the storage container between the buckets in your vehicle?
  • do you have still have a stick to shift gears or have you moved on to the electronic dial?
  • in the days of the bench seat, there was a real hump that went from the front of the car to the back. What was it for?

I’m sure that Alfred would enjoy reading your comments on the bench seat. Please drop them off below.

If you have an idea for a future post, reach out to me and let me know like Alfred did. All of the previous posts from this regular Sunday feature are available here.

OTR Links 10/31/2021

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

A park to ourselves

We’d been by this park it seems like a million times. A common passtime for us and Jaimie is to walk the pier and the jetty at Belle River, grab a coffee at Tim Horton’s and then drive out to Lighthouse Cove to see the Thames River where it empties into Lake St. Clair.

There are places that we pass on the way, notably the Stoney Point Tavern where we used to meet with my parents and great aunt and uncle for chicken and frog’s legs, and just the beauty of the drive along the lake.

On the north side of County Road 2, we would see a sign identifying the Ruscom Shores Conservation Area. We’ve never stopped because our coffee wasn’t done but we’d always say “we should go there sometime”. After all, it sounds so good.

Situated alongside Lake St. Clair, Ruscom Shores Conservation Area is an attractive natural marshland area with a well-managed trail ideal for some outdoor enjoyment and tranquility.   Ruscom Shores represents one of only two marshes still in existence on Essex County’s north shoreline. This area also supports a habitat restoration area. This quaint 120 acre Conservation Area, designated an Environmentally Significant Area, is great for peaceful walks and nature viewing. Ruscom Shores is perfect for spotting shorebirds, waterfowl and other spring migrants, as well as many prairie plants.

Recently, it was different. Looking for a walking place, we decided to start there and get a coffee later. It was a beautiful day and the weather forecasters were predicting that it might be the last nice day of the fall so we were off.

Except for the young lady cutting grass in the parking lot, we had the entire place to ourselves. It was awesome.

It almost seemed like an un-nature walk because the path was so well maintained but it did wander through a mixed tree forest and ended up at a viewing tower. I took some pictures.

It was an easy walk. I’ve done many trails in Huron, Bruce, and Grey counties where you are really put to the test. It was a reminder that Essex County is pretty much flat everywhere. Of course, the star of the show was Jaimie who explored as only a dog could.

And, yes, we did stop in Belle River for a coffee on the way home. It was a re-jig of an outing and we really enjoyed it.

The coffee strategy played out well and we hope to repeat it and hopefully have the entire park to ourselves again.

OTR Links 10/30/2021

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