Little things

This morning, I was reading the blog posts for the This Week in Ontario Edublogs, watching the morning news, and eating breakfast when I got a notification on this Chromebook that there was an update. I’m on the Beta Channel and Google wanted me to upgrade to version 104.0.5112.23.

What the heck? It only takes a minute or two and it’s nice to be running the latest and greatest. If there are bugs to be fixed, this is the place to go! If there are new features to be had, I want them. They call it being on the bleeding edge.

Now, having said all that, usually I don’t get to use the updates right away. Often, they’re a feature or a problem that I didn’t know I needed.

Upon rebooting, I noticed that things looked a bit different. It took me a minute or two but finally I noticed it. It was another icon on my shelf.

29? 29 what?

This was pre-coffee so excuse me for being a bit slow.

Today is June 29. Did they just add a calendar there? I’ve always had a bookmarked shortcut for that. A click revealed that, sure enough, there was a calendar!

Now, don’t be too excited about all the dots. I do have a regular Wednesday ahead.

The little flyout is a bit less intrusive than having the calendar open in an application or in another tab. So, that’s good.

The release notes indicated that there’s easier access to settings and a screen saver. I don’t really have a need for a screen saver but I set one anyway.

The “What’s New” isn’t updated as I write this so I don’t know what else I might just have acquired. Time will tell.

Or exploration.


OTR Links 06/30/2022

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

Historic planning

Just in time for summer vacations, it’s worth taking a look at

Previously, I had blogged about Ghost Towns. The sites pair nicely if you’re doing some planning or research for places to go, things to see.

Even if you’re not a history buff by trade, wouldn’t you just hate visiting a destination, talk about it when you get home with friends, and they ask you about this or that. It’s kind of embarrassing to have to say that we didn’t see it.

And if you’re not ready to be out and about vacationing because of the chances of catching something, this is also perfect for staycations.

For giggles, I checked out our community.

It felt good to see that the Navy Yard Park and its historic relevance was number one. It gets visited here almost daily! I guess, unsurprisingly, that so many of them are the old historic churches that you run across while driving around town. They’ve been preserved and are still in operation but the more modern United Church was torn down a few years ago.

The sites listed extend a bit beyond our town borders into Windsor where Willistead Manor and the Duff-Baby House are definitely worth checking out.

Sadly, I appeared to break the search engine periodically when poking around. I don’t know if there’s a problem or maybe too many people searching at the same time.

This was a nice diversion for me. I just kept typing in random towns and cities that I know and browsing the results. There are so many places that I haven’t visited ever and others for a long time. At least two years…

I’m getting the urge to take a road trip!

OTR Links 06/29/2022

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

Hoping to get better

My apologies in advance to English and Language teachers. I hated your class in school! I did well enough, I guess, I took three Mathematics, three Science, and an English kicker in Grade 13. Yes, I know, I’m old. I wasn’t interested in English but it was a fallback in case I stumbled in any of the other classes.

I was the kid, when you assigned a writing assignment like an essay, whose hand immediately shot up “How long does it have to be?” If you said “three pages”, you’d get three pages and not one word more. I ended up typing my essays because I learned that you could move the left and right margins in just a bit so that there were less words and yet it still looked the same.

I had no intention of being an author so I couldn’t see a great deal of value in it. It was an attitude that lasted until my first year at university in a computer science class of about 100 students when we were told that only 30% of us would become professional programmers. The rest wouldn’t be written off; there are all kinds of jobs in the computer industry other than programming and being able to write would help if we got a job writing manuals or documentation. Hmmm, or become a teacher?

I took those words to heart and started to get very serious about writing to support my love of mathematics or programming where I could. As a teacher, I ensured that there were marks for documenting computer solutions in addition to being able to code that solution.

And, I started to blog. It was intermittent and experimental on a number of platforms until I got to this place. For the longest time now, I do follow the advice of Mrs. Ball and write something everyday, even if it’s not graded. So, here we are today.

I’m a sucker I guess for online tutorials but I like to think that they and a daily writing habit have made me a better writer. I actually use some of the strategies that I was taught years ago but never really took seriously. I’ll never be a great writer like my friend David Garlick but I hope that I get better with my habits.

Speaking of David, a Twitter message went flying by on my timeline last night that caught my eye. He had retweeted this.

I actually knew that! The Cookie Monster reference would have come after my time but we talked about this somewhere a long time ago. Now, I already follow David but I decided to follow Mr. Gallagher as well.

And then, “Wait! Grammarly has a blog?”

Indeed it does! It more than that annoying English teacher that looks over my shoulder pointing out every little mistake that I make. I know, things do get through but I look forward to reading the blog posts and get better.

I could throw in that typical teacher comment about being lifelong … but I’ll resist. I’m looking forward to getting better at this little hobby.

Once again, it shows the value of following smart people like David. They can lead you to ever smarter and more useful learning. And that’s why I do it.