My Week Ending 2022-07-31

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.


  • This is the first time I’ve seen so much knowledge about using Google Earth and is worth working through, particularly if you think you know it all – you don’t
  • This is an interesting article that builds the case for using DuckDuckGo as your default search engine


  • I’m not crying; you’re crying
  • Computer science teachers will appreciate the need to checking and rechecking your code lest you bring down a Canada-wide network


  • I have real problems thinking that TikTok is going to take over the search engine world
  • Shopify seemed to have it all made and planned out to take over their sector of the market but seem to have overshot and is now correcting


  • Google used to stand head and shoulders above everyone else in search but there are some pretty good options available these days
  • If you’ve ever used “free” and “video editing” in the same sentence, you might want to check this out


  • Toronto has been in the news lately and not in a good way – one of the 20 worst cities?
  • It’s not something that I regularly think about but a strategy for storage of material in the cloud is something worth considering


  • An interesting read about one of the ways that Microsoft is working on improving the Edge browser’s performance
  • If you’re a Macintosh user, you might appreciate reading this article about a number of shortcut keys that you could be using


  • I didn’t win the lottery (actually, I didn’t buy a ticket) but if I had money to burn, I’d buy one of these
  • Listowel and Wingham will have their emergency rooms closed this weekend – it’s a continuation of trends in Huron/Perth that saw closures in Clinton and Seaforth – does this not bother the government?

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 – July 29, 2022

Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

voicEd Radio

This Week in Ontario Edublogs is a blog post/show/podcast that features great writing from Ontario Edubloggers. Stephen Hurley and I use their writing as the basis for a conversation.

Featured Bloggers:

  • Will Gourley – @WillGourley
  • Diana Maliszewski – @MzMollyTL
  • Marc Hodgkinson – @Mr_H_Teacher
  • Rabia Khokhar – @Rabia_Khokhar1
  • Joel McLean – @jprofNB
  • Krista McCracken – @kristamccracken
  • Peter McAsh – @pmcash

This week’s show:

Opening Song:

Closing Song:

Technology Troubleshooting

I decided to stop living dangerously with my Chromebook this week. It had become increasingly slower and sluggish. There really weren’t any suggestions that I could find that would resolve the situation. I have the same number of tabs open that I ever did and the same extensions installed. Like they save, I didn’t do nuthin’

The one suggestion that I ended up doing is a Powerwash and dropping from the Beta Channel to the Stable Channel. For this moment in time, it’s running a great deal smoother.

I love that machine for just sitting on my lap in a chair or on the patio. There’s one application that I chokes on all the time and that is Tweetdeck. I need it to do the FollowFriday stuff that I do so Thursday nights and Friday mornings, I’m on another more powerful machine.

It’s nice to have options.

Look what I made

With all the Wordle craze, I of course blogged about it earlier but also created a Wakelet of all the Wordle clones I could find. Once created, I’ve been adding to it daily, it seems. I guess it’s presumptuous to think I could do it all in one session. It certainly has taken the online world by storm.

My collection is available here:

Update – July 31: Up to 72 entries.

Video of the Week

Related to my fixation of that Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, I downloaded an album for my iPod to listed to as I walk. I’m now fixated on this song. A song to dedicate to someone you broke up with.

Photo of the Week

This speaks to having good friends. We went out for supper last night and the flag was up on our mailbox. There were three pieces of mail including one with a return address in New England. My address was printed nicely on a printer. Who do I know in New England that I owe money to? <grin>

It turns out to be a nice gift from my friend Alfred Thompson. You can’t have too many friends of this calibre.

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 …

… soap on a rope?

I know that I’ve pulled some pretty obscure topics into this Sunday morning post but, folks, this one isn’t mine. The idea came from Sheila Stewart after reading David Truss’ post. It wasn’t about the soap so you’ll have to click through and read it. My thoughts will be about soap though.

For me, it was a regular Christmas stocking gift from Santa Claus.

Actually, this wasn’t quite what I got and that might explain my lack of a love life in high school. What I got was a two pack – one was soap on a rope and the other was a bottle of Old Spice aftershave.

Like most teenagers, I would wash with the soap and then douse myself with the aftershave to make myself smell good or so I thought. I got pulled aside once and said that I just needed a little bit to do the job!

The soap was interesting although. It was truly on a rope. We had one bathroom and one tub and yet my brother and I each got these for Christmas and we had to fight over how we would keep each other’s separate. I can’t remember whether Santa brought one for my dad or not. Did the elves really make it?

The rope really didn’t add much functionality to the cleaning experience since it only reached about halfway down your chest. You had to take it off to do the rest. It was there that there was the infamous drop the soap! Maybe the rope should have been longer or on a reel?

The advantage was that I would hang the soap on the showerhead and it would dry. There’s nothing grosser than using a bar of soap that was sitting in a soap dish with water at the bottom. Plus, it would shorten the life of the soap.

I’m not sure if Santa expected one bar to last for an entire year or not. My experience was somewhat less than that. Even less than that was the whole soap on a rope experience as the soap eventually worked its way off the rope! Then, it was back to using Ivory or Dove or whatever else was on sale.

For a Sunday, what are your thoughts?

  • Did you ever get a Soap on a Rope? What brand?
  • Did you ever use Old Spice aftershave? Or now? It’s a whole product line –
  • There were other popular aftershave lotions at the time – I remember getting Hai Karate from my aunt one year. I see it’s making a comeback
  • Did you ever get pulled aside and told that you were wearing too much of your good-smelling stuff?
  • We had to take showers after Phys Ed class and it was recorded by the teachers. What was the soap they put in those pushy things in the wall? Or did you bring your own soap?
  • Do you wear aftershave or cologne these days?
  • Is Soap on a Rope just a guy thing? Is there an equivalent for women? Or is Old Spice unisex?
  • Did you date someone who used a little too much of the smelly stuff – cologne or perfume? How did you handle it?
  • Do you have a dedicated soap or do you just go with what’s on sale?

I hope that you enjoyed reading the post and maybe cracked a smile or had memories of using this type of soap and climbing into bed to go to sleep with the fragrance.

All of the previous posts are available here to check out. If you have an idea for a post like Sheila did, just reach out. I like being pushed.

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

OTR Links 07/31/2022

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

Could this be the best browser for Macintosh?

I still have a MacBook Pro. According to the “About This Mac”, it’s mid-2012 which makes it about 10 years old. I bought it thinking it might be the last Macintosh I ever owned. So, it came with 8GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive. At one point, I took out that hard drive with all its moving parts and put in a 500GB SSD and it has been running ever since.

Putting the screws back in was a challenge and one kept falling out so there’s a piece of duct tape over each of them. (I couldn’t do just one as it looked bad and who knows if one of the others wants to fall out)

I started web browsing with Safari and hated it. It seemed slow and Apple, in their take on security, isn’t extension friendly. As a result, I installed a bunch of others – Firefox, Opera, Brave, Chrome, Vivaldi and they’ve all done a better job with my workflow.

On one particularly hot day this summer, I was a bit bored and so installed the Microsoft Edge browser. I know that this is heresy for the Apple faithful but I’m not part of that group. I was never a fan of the Internet Explorer browser but Windows 11 users will know that Edge creeps into everything and it’s a pretty good browser. How would it fare on the Macintosh?

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much.

I was so wrong.

It’s been running for 2-3 weeks now and it’s the fastest thing that I have on there for browsing. My go-to had always been Firefox but this is so impressive.

First of all, for the geeky me, there is so much configuration that can be done here.

I’m still working my way through things. I got burned a long time ago when I went through and made a whack of changes only to shoot myself in the foot and then had to backtrack to find what I did wrong. So, slow and easy is my motto now.

The functionality is impressive when you bring up the context menu. There are so many options and they run off the screen. Truth be told, this computer doesn’t have a huge screen to begin with and it shows. The best setting is 1280 x 800! I do have the browser set to display content at 90% to try to squeeze in more text and minimize scrolling.

Because the browser is based on the Chromium Project, any extension that I might use from the Edge Store or the Google Play store just works. So, things like uBlock Origin, ClearURL, Grammarly, Diigo, etc. all just work nicely. I really like the Edge-specific things like Collections, the control over Security, and the Tab Management tools. A complete list of features is available here. The new tab feature is terrific. No need for a separate extension.

At this point, it’s the fastest and smoothest browser on this machine. If I had to make any suggestions, it would be to use the space better. There seems to be too much padding used to separate tab icons and extension icons. With the limited space I have on the screen, it is an issue for me. It’s probably not something that someone with a larger screen would even notice.

Overall, I’m really impressed with what was done to make the browser work so nicely and work within the Macintosh environment. I’d be a real fan if they wrote something that would work on a Chromebook.

I’m wondering about other Macintosh users – have you used the Edge browser? What are your thoughts?

OTR Links 07/30/2022

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