My Week Ending 2022-10-02

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.


  • Where I went to university – Kitchener and Waterloo are fabulous places to visit in the fall and not just for Oktoberfest
  • A really disturbing report about vaping in a Scarborough school and I’ve heard that it’s the same thing around here


  • Insights about the interesting Google Dino Game – Simpson’s style
  • This is an interesting thought about innovation – you don’t always have to start from scratch


  • The price of housing in Toronto is just crazy
  • Now, we’ll find out how good the Toronto Blue Jays really are when the border restrictions are removed


  • What happens when teaching doesn’t get easier over time?
  • This has been a week all about hurricanes – here’s a thought about Ian


  • If there ever was a question that Google is everywhere, you need to check this out
  • Supposedly another article about the new events in the Windows 11 update – I can’t get excited about this. Could we just have the ability to move the taskbar to the left side of teh screen?


  • When hackers get student information, we should be worried and I hope all school boards are investigating their security procedures
  • The Jetson’s actually had a number of appliances that we use today and they predicted them so long ago


  • If this story doesn’t warm your heart, I don’t know what will
  • What Windsor and Essex County schools did for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

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 – September 30, 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:

  • Amanda Hardy
  • Will Gourley – @WillGourley
  • Diana Maliszewski – @MzMollyTL
  • Deanna McLennan – @McLennan1977
  • Doug McDowall – @dougzone2_1
  • Lisa Anne Floyd – @lisaannefloyd
  • Steven Floyd – @stevenpfloyd
  • Diane Kim

This week’s voicEd Radio show:

Technology Troubleshooting

Yesterday was an interesting experience. As I’m sure we all have done, I’ve accumulated quite a collection of cables over the years. My wife keeps bugging me to throw them away but I just know that I’ll need one some day.

It turns out that yesterday was the day.

I was positive that I had the cable I needed but I searched everywhere and somehow I didn’t.

I’m visiting The Boy later today so hopefully can steal one from him.

Video of the Week

This has been happening in Point Pelee this past week.

Photo of the Week

My date and I for a wedding on Saturday.

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 …

… gift registries?

Later this afternoon, my wife and I will be attending an outdoor wedding. Given the cool breezes and winds lately, we were starting to worry. But, it looks like it will be 19 degrees at some point.

When you attend, of course, you’ll bring a gift for the bride and groom. Around here, the trend seems to be to just drop off money or a gift card and let them buy something that they really want/need.

I know that if I walk through our house, I can spot a few things that we asked for when we got married and put on a gift registry. I smile when I think of the good dish set that we absolutely had to have. I can still recall the manufacturer without going out and looking; it was Noritake. The set is above the fridge in a cupboard, collecting dust. At the time, it was to die for apparently. Quite honestly, the only piece that I can think of that we use at all anymore is the gravy boat. The kids have said that these will be the first to go when they clean out the house. <sob> There was another fond-ish memory that came back of our wedding; in a small community, the reception was often the biggest event on a Saturday night and so it wasn’t unusual to get dressed up and drop in on a reception even if not invited. It was just what you did. There was a bowl at the door so that you could drop in a few bucks for the privilege of attending.

My Mom took great pride in her gift-giving and it’s one of the things that she’s passed on to my wife. Mom said that she always appreciated that people would do research on the couple being married and gift something appropriate. We did that for yesterday’s wedding. I can post it now since this post won’t go live until tomorrow morning so I’m not spoiling the surprise. We gave the gift to the groom’s mother a couple of days ago because it was heavy and potentially breakable and I had a sense of relief when I put it in her trunk and it was out of my hands.

The gift?

There is an artisan in Essex who does incredible work and we’ve commissioned a number of things through her. For today, we know that the two of them each have a dog that is all their world and will somehow be worked into the ceremony. (stay tuned; there may be pictures) We obtained a picture of them and went to our artisan and this is the result.

It’s about 3cm thick and pretty heavy. It can reside in a garden or mounted in various places

As I mentioned, we have had a number of these made over the years. We had one made for my parents whose love was visiting beaches, lighthouses, and feeding seagulls – a love that we’ve continued – and this was the result. When we cleaned out their house, we took this off the front outside wall and it’s now on ours. So, if you’re driving down the third, you can spot our place easily.

We like to think of the gift as a one-of-a-kind that will never be replicated. We hope they like it.

For a Sunday, your thoughts ….

  • do you have a gift – wedding or other – that has stood the test of time?
  • do you buy gifts from a gift registry or do you prefer to do your own research?
  • do you give money instead of a gift?
  • what’s the most unique gift that you’ve ever given someone?
  • what’s the most unique gift that you’ve ever received?
  • should wedding gifts be laid out so that everyone can see them or are they private gifts not to be shared?
  • have you ever wedding-bombed someone’s wedding as a night out or was this just a Huron County thing?

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

This is a regular Sunday morning post around here. You can check out all the previous ones here.

OTR Links 10/02/2022

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

The Guyitt Homestead

On Thursday, I had a chance to meet Stephen Hurley for a lunch in Port Stanley. I had two major ways to get there. I could fly down the 401 or I could take the old Highway 3 and a little slower, less congested pace. According to Google Maps, the difference would be about nine minutes. Since I was a little late getting going, I headed out on the 401 to get there. There are a couple of factors that come into play that really slowed things – idiots driving crazy and construction work. I ended up deking down to New Glasgow and picking up Highway 3 for the rest of the trip.

Taking Highway 3 is always my preference; there’s so much to see and with the speed limit at 90km/h at times, it’s a much more enjoyable, less stressful choice. There’s just so much to see; the lake, the buildings, the fields, etc. and then there’s this one house.

My wife comments every time we drive by at its condition and she’s convinced that it’s haunted. The house is the point of this post – the Guyitt Homestead. I missed it going to Port Stanley but made a point to stop on the way back to take a few pictures.

Normally, if I’m out and about, I’ll use the Check-In feature on Facebook so that people (particularly family) know where I am. It’s also fun to check in and have a friend show up to have a coffee or a chat. In this case, while the Guylitt Homestead is listed on Google Maps, I couldn’t check-in. Maybe that’s a good thing because, as the Eagles sang in Hotel California, and if my wife is correct, “you can check out any time you want but you can never leave.”

Thanks, Google Maps

There will be a test later to see if you know any of these places.

Here’s the first picture that I took. The clouds really added a nice touch, I thought.

The Guyitt Homestead has crossed my mind a couple of times this past week. It’s been in the news with the community of Chatham-Kent wanting to tear it down. Of course, there’s the discussion with my wife and then my friend Bernadette sent me a link to a petition opposing the destruction of the house.

Here’s the news clip from CTV Windsor.

I pulled over on the drive home to take some pictures. I thought I might be alone but there were a couple of other photographers with really good cameras and a lady working her way through talking to everyone. I grabbed the snap above with my phone from the gravel on the side of the road.

The place was clearly marked “No Trespassing” so I respected that. Fortunately, I brought my good camera that allowed me to zoom in for a better picture.

It’s clear that the place is in need of something. I used the zoom as a binocular and looked around. The lawn was immaculately cut; the trees need trimming but who am I to talk about that?, there was either a Canadian flag or a remnant of a Canadian flag or at least something red protruding from an upstairs window.

The roof looked a little off so I zoomed in on it.

There’s some definite maintenance and/or reconstruction needed. It’s interesting to see that the outside must have been red brick at one point but most of it has fallen off.

I can see both sides of the story here. I can understand the community wanting to tear it down to make it safe. If anyone ignored the No Trespassing signs and went in, who knows what could happen?

On the other hand, once you destroy something like this, it’s gone forever. In my hometown, fires have destroyed beautiful old buildings and they just got torn down and are now an empty spot on the street. It does take effort and money to repair and restore.

But, restoration can be possible. In my old hometown, I remember the “Spook House” which had been abandoned – we kids just knew that it was haunted and would spend a lot of time looking for ghosts. I can report that we never found one. It has indeed been restored and is now a beautiful residential home. Every now and again I look to see if it’s for sale – not to buy it, but to walk through during an open house. I’d love to see what it looks like restored.

There is a farmhouse out the Cut Line which my wife always says “they might as well just blow it up” when we drive by and she wipes a tear from her eye. Just like we enjoy Highway 3, we know all the back roads of our old hometown/county and will take them at any opportunity. It’s not uncommon to see houses or barns in really rough shape and yet they’re somehow still allowed to stand.

So, the Guyitt Homestead … is it haunted? That’s part of the claim as well as being one of the most photographed houses in Canada. I certainly added quite a few pictures to that count and there are some beautiful images here.

If it is indeed haunted, I haven’t been able to find stories. But I do have a couple of wonders …

  • If it is haunted, and must be torn down, where do the ghosts go?
  • If it is haunted and restored, where do the ghosts go during the restoration? Will they come back?

Ghosts are good for tourism! A few instances come immediately to mind.

The building was reportedly built back in the 1840s. This collection of images shows what is happening inside. It’s not pretty.

It would look like restoration might be a challenge but I think back to our “Spook House”. I know that my Dad used to think it should just be torn down. While the outsides take a beating from the weather, the structures themselves were often constructed with huge, strong beams that have held up the frame for years. So, it is possible and it’s comforting to see that there is an ongoing investigation to see if there are possibilities for the Guyitt Homestead. I like that there are fans that want the building to have a future.

Because sadly, once it’s gone, it’s gone.

OTR Links 10/01/2022

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