My Week Ending 2022-12-25

Here’s a summary of some of the things I learned and published this week. Not written today so please don’t judge!

Merry Christmas!


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.


  • I supposed that it was only time until people used ChatGPT for dating purposes
  • This looks like a fabulous thing to buy if you’re a Arduino fan. Maybe if and when the ECOO conference returns?


  • This blows me away. I don’t buy lottery tickets much but I always check to make sure that I’m a loser
  • This is a helpful tip – collecting pictures in Google Forms – thanks Richard


  • Who would have thought that a suspicious package would show up in Collingwood?
  • ChatGPT news is everywhere – here’s a list of 20 entertaining things to do with it


  • As it happens, I’m actually using the Opera browser at the moment and here are some tips
  • The Edge browser is actually in my rotation of browsers that I use so that I don’t miss anything. Microsoft is doing a lot of things right


  • When I moved to Essex County, I learned so much about the amazing history of Walkerville and now it’s even more accessible with QR codes
  • The Thames Valley District School Board is renaming more schools


  • If I lived in the Ottawa area, I’d be all over this.
  • Congratulations to Jonelle St. Aubyn for this project – so kind and considerate


  • I found this really interesting as I ran a Bulletin Board before the internet came along. We were totally distributed like Mastodon
  • It’s kind of interesting to see that all these are Canadian foods

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 – December 23, 2022

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:

  • Marie Snyder – @MarieSnyder27
  • Colleen Rose – @ColleenKR
  • Will Gourley – @WillGourley
  • Rolland Chidiac – @rchids
  • Lynn McLaughlin – @lynnmcla
  • Chris Cluff (he is on Facebook)
  • Jessica Outram – @jessicaoutram

This week’s voicEd Radio show:

A playlist of the songs of Peace that we open and close the show with.

Technology Troubleshooting

When something doesn’t work, reboot.

That’s always great news and saved my bacon this morning on my MacBook Pro after I spent probably 20 minutes messing around with this and that I still couldn’t get connected.

Later, my wife had the same problem with her Chromebook. I looked like a genius with my quick fix.

Video of the Week

I’m a little infatuated by Ingrid Andress’ version of this song. She has such a wonderful voice.

And, I’m going to leave this right here for the Christmas edition of this post. Please click through and enjoy it if Christmas found you wherever you happened to be this year.

Photo of the Week

This week, we went to the town of LaSalle to enjoy their beautiful light collection. I took this one on the nice flat landing area. You can barely see it, but there’s another white Christmas decoration on the other side of the big Christmas tree.

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 …

… Santa Claus?

You would have heard this discussion if you’d been with Stephen Hurley and me before our Wednesday show on voicEd Radio!

It started like this …

Who is Santa at Christmas at your house?

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

It’s a legitimate question. After all, the big guy just went everywhere dropping off gifts but somehow the final metre from under the tree to waiting hands has yet to take place.

Growing up, my brother and I alternated each year doing the job. Some gifts were from “Mom and Dad” and some were from “Santa”. But, we made sure that we got them all. It was also a way to slow down the process rather than both of us tearing into things at the same time.

Later that day on one side of the family, we would gather for a Christmas reunion and Santa was at it again. There were a couple of years when he physically showed up and other years, someone would volunteer to do the deed.

On the other side of the family, we actually rented a hall and gathered a week or two before Christmas. That side of the family was huge and yet, somehow, Santa managed to track us down.

They were delightful traditions and truly Santa or designate was always there to slow things down with the kids. And, it was also nice to see what everyone else got. I won’t name the family, but I’ve seen where the gifts were stacked according to name and people just tore into their stack of stuff, oblivious to whatever else was going on in the room.

I’m not sure that that’s the spirit of Christmas but it’s hard to explain to youngsters who are so excited to find out what Santa brought them.

Over the years, we’ve had varying ways of organizing Christmas morning – frankly, it happened when I got married and both families lived in the same town. We had to juggle two Christmases and two Christmas Church services. The Anglican service was on Christmas Eve which helped. The most challenging was the year that a big storm hit, the roads weren’t ploughed, and we had to pull the kids across town on sleds to enjoy the other Christmas.

Then, when we moved away to get jobs and have our own family traditions, there was no one size fits all solution. Sometimes, we were able to get home and enjoy the day with family and other years my wife would be working Christmas and December got juggled somehow. It’s a reminder that there are people working today in health care and other essential services. They give up family time to make our worlds better and safer. As a result, their Christmas will be different from ours.

And, yet, despite all this, Santa managed to track us down.

This is my absolute favourite Christmas song this year and it fits into this discussion perfectly.

As you read this, it’s Christmas morning or sometime afterwards. No, I didn’t spoil my holiday blogging, this was written Wednesday afternoon.

For this special day for so many of us, what are your thoughts?

  • Are you at home for Christmas this year? Or, are you on the road somewhere?
  • Is someone appointed an honourary Santa at your place to distribute the gifts?
  • Is there another way to get gifts into the hands of the recipients?
  • Is everything done at your place or do you travel to get together?
  • Do you have a Christmas that actually isn’t celebrated on the 25th?
  • Do you not celebrate Christmas but observe some other celebration?
  • Is it important for you to catch up with friends and relatives on or about Christmas day? How do you manage it?
  • Are there family and/or friends that you’re missing this year?

How about dropping off a comment about your traditions?

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all doug … off the record readers for reading this and wish you a wonderful holiday season.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from me and my walking partner and frequent mention in blog posts around here. We wish you and your family a terrific day. It’s trite to say but actually especially important this year – stay safe. A special wish goes out to anyone who is toughing it out at an ONRoute or some other remote location this year.

And, because I did it earlier, there is a Whatever happened to … post coming up next. Actually, in one minute if all goes as planned.

What’s missing from this picture are our stockings. It’s a tradition that goes back to my Mom’s side where my Grandmother made us all stockings. We can’t put them out early because of the guy above; chocolate and other little things that come from jewelry stores are easily swallowed. Somehow, my wife has two of these stockings! It was my Mom’s way of welcoming her into the family (there’s more of a story here). I’m so delighted that our kids and their kids all have their own as Laurelanne continued the tradition and made them each one.

Oh, and the gifts. They magically appear when the time is right.

For the holiday, I did assemble a couple of Christmas playlists if you’re looking for something to listen to while you have your morning coffee and/or open gifts.

From me to you, I wish you a wonderful Christmas no matter how it plays out this strange year.

Rock Music Artists Christmas Music

Country Music Artists Christmas

OTR Links 12/25/2022

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