I wish I’d done this sooner

In my weekly post, “My Week Ending…“, I like to include a photo of something that I’ve taken from the previous week.

There was a time when I’d put my original camera around my neck and go looking for things to take pictures of. It worked really well if I was lucky enough to find something worth snapping. Now, with the camera in my Smartphone, I always have the ability to take pictures in my pocket. It’s funny how many more pictures that I feel inspired to take this way. And better ones too.

Anyway, last week I was rolling up the solar blanket to the pool and noticed a spider in this huge web over my shoulder. I watched for a minute until I realized what she/he was doing. The spider was traversing the web picking up the things that got caught during the night before. My mind flashed back to elementary school science where we learned how a spider doesn’t get stuck in its own web.

I was pleased with the picture as I got as close as I could to get a definition of the spider and the things caught in the web. As per my regular routine, I took 2 or 3 pictures of the same thing so that I could get the best picture lest I move the camera while taking the picture.

Anyway, that’s the background for this post!

When I write my Sunday post, my routine was to grab the camera on my desk and flip through what I had taken and find one to include. Then, I would email or DM it to myself so that I could put it into the post. Since it’s only a task that I do once or twice a week, the inefficiencies kind of bothered me but not enough to do anything about it.

However, in my readings lately on Windows 10, I’ve been reading about the Your Phone abilities. For the most part, the writers were excited about the concept of texting from your computer keyboard. I wasn’t as excited. Could there be more?

Out of boredom, I installed this on my phone and activated the utility on my computer. Unlike other synchronization things I’ve used, this really was seemless and easy. Almost too easy, it seemed. The menu revealed what was available.

And, sure enough, there were my spider pictures. (As well as the thunderstorm clouds coming in from Boblo Island)

To work on the post, there was none of this sending the picture to myself. I just grabbed it from the Your Phone app and bam, it was in my post.

I remember Arthur C. Clarke’s quote…

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

I had that moment!

I just wish that I’d done it sooner.


OTR Links 09/16/2019

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

My Week Ending 2019-09-15

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.

  • I never owned a Sony Walkman so the emotional tie isn’t there for me but just imagining it is fun.
  • Up until this article, I just used Evernote through the web. I’m getting used to everything being online. When the connection goes down, so do I.
  • I agree totally with this. There was a time when you could just drop in and play with this or that. Now, things have completely changed.
  • Why don’t we have cool libraries around here? It would be interesting to see if the physical building does more to attract people than a square block. Calgary seems to be working out well.
  • Teachers who actually taught online have come forth with their thoughts on eLearning; now the students weigh in. It isn’t positive.
  • The bug in Chrome OS had a number of people worried about their devices. I wonder how many were like me and checked to see when their device actually will stop being supported.
  • Vivaldi is now available for Android. Another browser for me to check out.
  • Articles like this are quite disturbing. People don’t tend to be vocal about things until it hits home. I wonder if this is home enough to make it a bargaining issue of importance.
  • I suspect many STEM teachers, whatever that is, would find this offensive but it’s a reminder that students are more than the flavour of the day.
  • I don’t know how I feel about this. There are times that I’m glad it happens and times I’m not glad. Computer-wise, though, you have to be all-in in one setting.
  • Vaping has been big in the news for some time now. This is a Q&A that I think that parents and students should study.
  • I’ve seen plenty of things that I’m surprised that Twitter allows including messages from you know who. Would they ever suspend that account like they did this one?
  • Of course, it would fail. Ask any pre-school teacher; young kids are a real puzzle at times.
  • I think that this is a terrific idea. Even better wouldn’t it be cool to go back to previous Olympics and overlay performances from then?

Blog Posts on doug … off the record

My daily contributions to this blog.

#FollowFriday – September 12, 2019


voicEd Radio

My on demand radio page can be found here.  

This week’s show:

Intro song:

Blog posts this week came from:

  • @sheilaspeaking
  • @mme_aston
  • @jprofNB
  • @ArcherJoe
  • @DebbieDonsky

Technology Troubleshooting

I’ve been using the “new Twitter” for a while and actually really liking it. The kinks in the pre-release seem to be resolved.

Except for one.

Sometimes when I click on a link that should takes me to a Twitter message or if I just type in a Twitter command (like twitter.com/dougpete), I get a message indicating a problem…

So, I do what any rational person would do. I try it again. Only this time, I press the ENTER key a little harder. And, I get the same result.

It’s frustrating because it’s intermittent. After a lot of noodle scratching, I’ve got a solution. Just position the cursor in advance of twitter.com and enter www. so it becomes http://www.twitter.com. It seems to me that that should be automatic and some times it is. Sometimes, it doesn’t work.

I trust they’re working on it and there will be a fix coming. Nobody likes an imperfect URL.

Video of the Week

We’ve lost another great.

Photo of the Week

I caught this guy having breakfast while I was out in the yard. Bugs Benedict?

Thanks for reading. Please join me daily for something new and, hopefully, interesting.


This blog post was originally posted at:


If you find it anywhere else, it’s not original.

Whatever happened to …

… TV dinner tables?

David Garlick was a week ahead of me on this one with his Twitter response to last week’s post.

Maybe that’s why he was a principal and I wasn’t.

Yes, there was the concept of the folding TV dinner table. There’s a bunch still for sale –


They’ve gone up in price! And appear to be more solid than the ones in my memory.

Currently, we don’t own a set but I do remember, as a child, of having a set that we kept behind the door going down to the basement. My wife’s parents had a set and used them as end tables down in their rec room. I stole the idea when furnishing an apartment at university. It was affordable, to be sure, from the second hand store. $5 a set, if I recall correctly.

They weren’t very solid. They appeared to be made of tin and had a flowered pattern on them and fluted edges. They folded up neatly for storage and the concept was to put your dinner/supper on them so that you could watch television while eating. (TV dinners optional). Unlike a regular table, they weren’t a permanent addition to a room – just for those special times that you ate supper while watching television.

Or so the story goes…

In both our families like David’s, the television was turned off at meal times and we ate as a family around the kitchen table. In our case, the dining table was used for special dining occasions when we had company but mostly as a collection point for stuff at other times.

So, why did we have TV tables? For those fancy meals with company, they served as holders for the food as we loaded up buffet style. We also used them to play games like checkers, Monopoly, on them. But that was about it.

These days, I can’t remember seeing them out for sale in stores so I don’t know if they’re not there or they’re such a seldom-purchased article that they’re largely hidden. We do see them when we’re out antiquing and it does bring back childhood memories!

For a Sunday morning, your thoughts?

  • Do you currently own a set of TV dinner tables?
  • Did you have them in your youth?
  • Were you allowed to eat and watch television at the same time?
  • While the cheap tinny ones probably wouldn’t work, could you see a use for these type of table in your classroom?
  • Given their price point and the portability, there has to be all kinds of functionality for these that I’m not aware of. Do you have a unique use for these things?

As always, please share your thoughts in the comments below.

This post appeared on:


If you read it anywhere else, it’s not original.

OTR Links 09/15/2019

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

A Chromebook simulator

I could have used this when I got my Chromebook.

Now, a computer is a computer is a computer but there are little gotchas with various operating systems that take a bit of getting used to.

Like MacOS not liking the ALT key but uses the Windows/Super key instead for some tasks. Or the difference between a backspace key and a delete key. They’re easily learned once you set yourself on a path to actually learn them.

I suspect that my learning with a new Chromebook was the same as others.

  • what’s that magnifying glass doing on the CAPS LOCK key?
  • how do you CAPS LOCK anyway?
  • is there a files manager?
  • is there a Task Manager?
  • where did all the Function keys go and what do those new symbols mean?

And other things. Of course, they’re all easily found with a simple Google search but they’re all nicely laid out in this Chromebook Simulator.

Work your way though the menu on the left and see the results appear graphically in the main part of the screen. Although I’ve used this Chromebook for a couple of years now, there were still a few new things to learn. In this case, I learned a few more multiple-finger actions.

You might want to tuck this away as an introductory lesson for Chromebooks in your classroom.

Bonus tutorial – Pixel Phone Simulator

OTR Links 09/14/2019

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