About dougpete

The content of this blog is created by me at the keyboard or as a result of an aggregator of my daily reading under the title OTR Links. On Fridays, look for my signature post "This Week in Ontario Edublogs" where I try to share some great writing from Ontario Educators. The other regular post appears Sunday mornings as I try to start a conversation about things that have gone missing from our daily lives.

My Week Ending 2021-10-10

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.


  • Silly me – I use my Smart television for watching shows and streaming services – there are other things that it can do
  • This is a really important message for teachers about the things that they can do to support mental health – an important thing these days


  • The biggest social media news last week was the lack of access to Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp – but hey, Twitter was good
  • There are all kinds of settings in your browser – here’s a recommended few to change for safety and privacy online


  • The big news around here was the shutdown of the Ambassador bridge because of grenades found in secondary search
  • Bright Lights at Jackson Park in Windsor is awesome and it just might be coming back for this holiday season


  • A heads up that you’re going to need to be vaccinated if you want to fly or take a Via train in the near future
  • My response is that if coding was easy, everyone would be doing it. Serious coding, I mean


  • A great opportunity for young ladies to attend the University of Windsor to learn a bit about the field of engineering
  • How cool is this – playing music from Alan Turing’s computer


  • We’re hearing more and more stories like this where people are being fired/let go for not getting vaccinated. This one from Windsor, Ontario
  • I can remember buying a little device that I blew in to in order to tune my guitar. Now, Google does it


  • This is the best good news story about a class act at a secondary school that I’ve read in a long time
  • When I get the nod to upgrade to Windows 11, I’ll be using this almost immediately

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 – October 8, 2021


voicEd Radio

This is a mostly weekly radio conversion with Stephen Hurley on voicEd Radio where we talk about some recent writing from Ontario Education bloggers. It turns into a Friday blog post. Here are the people you need to be following.

Featured Bloggers:

  • Elizabeth Lyons – @mrslyonslibrary
  • Melanie White – @WhiteRoomRadio
  • Jessica Outram – @jessicaoutram
  • Amy Bowker – @amyebowker
  • Marc Hodgkinson – @Mr_H_Teacher
  • Laura Wheeler – @wheeler_laura
  • Lisa Corbett – @LisaCorbett0261

This week’s show:

Opening Song:

Closing Song:

All of the shows are archived here. The show is broadcast LIVE almost every Wednesday morning at 8:45 on voicEd Radio.

Technology Troubleshooting

I suppose that I’m like everyone. You get a cheap set of ear buds with your iPod or other media device. My wonderful wife bought me a pair of Jabra wireless ear buds for a birthday present about a year ago. They are absolutely wonderful but an issue arose and I returned them for replacement. I can’t wait to get them back.

In the meantime, I’m going to Plan B which is wired. How can people live like this? My technique is to run the cable down the back of my shirt while walking and put the device in my hip pocket. A kludge for sure but it keeps me from getting caught in the cable.

The problem is that I’m trying a couple of different white ear buds and the sound is absolutely awful compared to my Jabras. Then, I hit a memory – at the Omaha airport a couple of years ago, I needed a set of ear buds for the flight home. I thought that my white ones were in my suitcase so I went to the airport store and looked around.

I ended up buying a set of Marley ear buds and they’re great. Not great compared to Jabra but certainly much better than the white ones that are thrown in when you purchase a player. I can’t wait to get my new replacement set back though.

Video of the Week

How Colleen Rose looks in a tie…

Photo of the Week

A mushroom crop circle

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 …

… Coles Notes?

This graphic appeared in my timeline recently.

Normally, I would just smile and move on but for some reason, I took a look at the titles and realized that so many of them were assigned reading in my secondary school life.

I honestly tried to read them and understand them but often there were so many things that classmates and my teachers pulled from the books that just flew over my head.

Then, I heard about Coles Notes. Written by people that had a deeper understanding than me, they helped me understand the books. Neither the reading of the book or the Coles Notes stuck – I just scrolled up and down that list and I can kind of remember the plot to “Lord of the Flies” but that’s about it. These were not things that stuck with me.

For a reluctant reader, the irony of reading a book to understand another book doesn’t go by unnoticed. At the time, we had to drive to London to actually find a Coles store! It was kind of a blast from the past a couple of years ago when I found that there actually was still a Coles store in Windsor.

For a Sunday, your thoughts?

  • how many of the books in the graphic have you read?
  • did reading and understanding high school books makes sense to you?
  • did you ever use Coles notes as a supplement or a cheat?
  • would you consider using this cheating?
  • is there a modern equivalent to Coles notes that can be accessed online?
  • do you have a Coles store in your community or has it been swallowed up by Chapters-Indigo

Could you take a moment to share your thoughts via comment below?

This is a regular Sunday morning post just for some fun and to bring back memories. Please enjoy.

OTR Links 10/10/2021

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

Identifying mushrooms

Jaimie and I were out for our morning walk the other day and noticed this gentleman standing out in a field looking at something. It really was odd.

We waited until he walked away and I took this picture.

I actually thought it quite weird. The objects were arranged in a circular pattern over a section of grass that was really green as opposed to the other area that had started to turn brown. It was like a crop circle; only with mushrooms.

Now, I’m not a fan of eating mushrooms so I didn’t know if that’s what they were or whether they might be toadstools. My wife, who does enjoy them, said “Oh, they’re mushrooms!”

Who am I to argue? But, what kind. Surely, there must be an answer. Talk about your wormholes. I ended up in the Android store where there are all kinds of applications that let you identify and do other things with mushrooms. I thought I’d treat myself to a download and so read some descriptors and decided on this one – Shroomify – Canada Mushroom Identification.

Now, I had no idea what I was going to do so I just started with Identify Fungi and went through a series of questions.

The result was nothing too exotic. After working my way through a series of buttons, I had my answer.

They ended up being identified as Meadow Mushrooms. I’m OK with that. I really wasn’t looking for a pizza topper. It was just interesting to have a question and easily reach out and find a solution for it.

They were still in place today so I guess nobody else was interested in cutting and cooking with them either.

OTR Links 10/09/2021

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