My Week Ending 2022-07-24


Here’s a summary of some of the things I learned and published this week.


Readings 

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.

Sunday

  • Computer Science reform. Great idea. Right now, there is no serious concerted effort about the direction and there should be
  • This is a terrific post about the need to commit to something. For those who are endlessly scrolling to avoid missing out, maybe this would change a routine

Monday

  • Maybe it’s as a programmer that I have this mindset but I’ve never been afraid of failing and I’ll fail out loud too
  • Those that know me know that I love librarians and teacher-librarians. They have skills that support anyone and this is why they’re needed in education

Tuesday

  • It’s hot in Europe. How hot is is? More than likely click-bait but if you’ve ever been in a data centre, you know the heat and the importance of air conditioning
  • This is great advice about whether or not you should read the daily news. I understand what they’re saying but I don’t see me stopping any time soon

Wednesday

  • Here’s how the voting will happen in the Conservative Party election for a new leader
  • It is sickening to see the reports of Emergency Rooms that are closed because of nurse shortages – my home town of Clinton made this list and now Mount Forest

Thursday

  • I love motivational quotes – here are twenty-five from Dale Carnegie
  • Are you old enough to remember when WordPerfect was the definitive tool for word processing, later purchased by Corel. It’s still available

Friday

  • I’m a big fan of this approach to programming and not just putting a bunch of blocks together and hoping that it works
  • It looks like this January 6th inquiry is pulling no punches and is serious that those who are called to testify show up

Saturday

  • My wife is adamant that we will NOT use these suggestions for air conditioning temperature even if it saves money
  • I don’t scan documents on a regular basis but did go looking for an app at one time and it turns out that Google Drive has us covered

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 22, 2022

Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

https://wke.lt/w/s/ZsI3BS


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:

  • Nilmini Ratwatte-Henstridge – @NRatwatte
  • Marie Snyder – @MarieSnyder27
  • Paul Gauchi – @PCMalteseFalcon
  • Noa Daniel – @iamnoadaniel
  • Jennifer Aston – @mmejaston
  • Aviva Dunsiger @avivaloca
  • Elizabeth Lyons – @mrslyonslibrary

This week’s show:

Opening Song:

Closing Song:


Technology Troubleshooting

My technology troubleshooting this week was actually covered in a blog post.


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: https://wke.lt/w/s/BuvP40

Update – July 2: Up to 68 entries.


Video of the Week

I’ve been really fixated on this song this week – so many different versions are available online.


Photo of the Week

You can’t beat a good sunset photo…


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.

dp

This blog post was originally posted at:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com/

Church for sale


We normally head back to our childhood home a couple of times a year to visit the cemetery and, with luck, some friends. During Covid times, this has been cut back to once. It’s a long trip and hotel availability can be a challenge.

If you remember back, way back, I had written a post called “My Childhood Community“. In the post, I took a Google Streetview walking tour of things and one of the entries was this.


St. Paul’s Anglican Church – An incredible church landmark on Highway 8.  You could find the family here every Sunday morning.

image

We were back “home” a couple of weekends ago and noticed that the church was up for sale. You can see the listing and a few more pictures here.

Inside

Thanks, anglican.orgfree.com

Growing up, we had a number of churches in town. The Anglican Church, of course, but also two United Churches (Wesley-Willis and Ontario Street, we were married in Wesley-Wills), St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, a Christian Reformed Church, a Baptist Church, a Gospel Hall, and a Jehovah’s Witness Church. When I was in Cubs, we would travel as a pack to some of these churches annually to join the congregations for a service.

Things have changed – the two United Churches amalgamated into one building; the Presbyterian Church was sold and I believe became apartments or condominiums, St. Joseph’s was up for sale, and now St. Paul’s is up for sale. At one point, it was speculated that it could be converted into senior’s apartments. Mr. van Riesen hasn’t changed at all but there’s an interesting point raised here since the site was a cemetery at one time.

Of course, thinking about it brought back some great memories. They are crystal clear in my mind but they also may not hold up to a good fact check.

  • Choir – at a very young age, my parents had me in the church choir. We had different choir books from the congregation – ours had notes to help us sing. The organist and choir leader had us in for rehearsals on Thursday nights before the service
  • Organ – speaking of organs, we had this monstrous pipe organ that had dual-level keyboards, foot pedals, and push/pull controls on both sides. Behind, there were huge bellows to make it all happen. When our organist wanted to, she could shake the entire town
  • Ministers – in all the times that I went there, I can remember only two different ministers. Reverand Wenham and Reverand Sharples. I remember thinking when Reverand Sharples arrived that we were getting the whole Anglican experience with his British accent
  • Martin Luther King – for some reason I can’t recall, I was at Reverand Wenham’s home when news came on the television of the passing of Martin Luther King after having been shot. I was very young and didn’t fully appreciate it then
  • Pews – the first time my wife went to our church, she was taken by the fact that we kneeled on these benches in our pews. It was different in her church. I remember telling her also that we all sat in the same pew (we were #23) every Sunday. No moving around here! Some families had purchased padded seats for their pews
  • Church Bell – later on, I became a server and one of the tasks was to go to the entry of the church and grab the big rope and ring the bell on Sunday mornings
  • Communion – also related to being a server, I had a chair beside the altar and would assist the minister as the parish came to kneel at the front during Communion. When the church was full, it seemed to take forever
  • Location – it comes across in the listing but the property was huge with the front on Ontario Street and the rear on Rattenbury Street. In addition to the church, there was a large hall for gatherings and an upstairs/downstairs for Sunday School and a prep area for the choir. There were closets and nooks everywhere, it seems
  • Accessibility – getting into the church from the front was impossible if you had trouble climbing or were in a wheelchair. In those cases, people would enter the back door and walk through to the church
  • Church at night – normally, church services were at 11 on Sunday morning. As a choir though, we would rehearse in the evening. In the winter, that means that it was very dark. There were stained glass windows everywhere and the lights from the cars going up and down the street would light them up in an eery manner
  • Vestments – both as a choir member and an altar server, we wore vestments which included a Cassock and a Surplice. Early on, I remember wearing a white frill around the neck but they eventually went away
  • Balcony – by small community standards, I think it was a fairly big church. But, the congregation must have been even larger at one point as there was also a balcony at the back. I remember going up there once for some reason (probably out of curiosity) and overlooking the church which gave an entirely different perspective
  • Growing up – I had the most embarrassing moment as a teenage choir member. It was during practice that the choir leader kept walking up and down the aisle as we were singing and intently listening. Finally, she found out the problem. It was me! I was asked to move across the aisle to join the men in the bass section. Apparently, my voice of an angel had changed. Just a reflection – the bass section is pretty boring to sing
  • The heat – in the summer, it could be brutal at times in the heat. In addition to church clothes, the Cassock and Surplice made it feel like being in an oven. No air conditioning here
  • Colours – the colours on the altar and pulpits changed with the religious seasons. There was nothing starker though than on Good Friday when the colour was black. There was no organ music either for that service
  • Markers – there are some historical markers out in front of the church – Horatio Hale and a Clinton marker. It makes for interesting walking up Ontario Street and reading them

Ah, memories. As I suspect with most people, marriage changes things. My wife’s family went to the United Church and so I moved over. We married there and our kids were baptized in the United Church. Closings have been a reality there – the Wesley-Willis building closed and the congregation moved across town; Gesto United Church is now a single-family dwelling and the Wesley United Church in Amherstburg has been torn down and is now an empty retail space.

I know that the world is changing. Back in the day, no stores were open on a Sunday, for example. Everyone went to church. I can’t help but think that, as a child, you think that that world will go on forever. As we get older, we know it didn’t. We don’t live back at “home” anymore and yet it’s still just a little more than sad to think that this part of it may eventually go away. I just hope that it goes to a good owner.

My Week Ending 2022-07-17


Here’s a summary of some of the things I learned and published this week.


Readings 

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.

Sunday

  • I think most people get these signs of a lack of self-confidence at times. I know that I do and I know that I push to get through them
  • And I was just getting used to a trackpad without physical buttons on it

Monday

  • As a long-time Minnesota Vikings fan, I think they should all be in the Hall of Fame. Period. At the very least, I’d take Chuck Foreman. I used to wear his jersey all the time
  • I sincerely hope that this is a challenge that every Tiktok user ignores

Tuesday

  • I know that I’m old but I’m glad that I don’t look as old as they did in the good old day. I will wear t-shirts and shorts as long as I can dress myself
  • We were really sickened by the release of this video from Uvalde showing the police officer actions

Wednesday

  • I’m actually surprised that it’s taken Apple and Google this long to figure out another place for advertising
  • It is sickening to see the reports of Emergency Rooms that are closed because of nurse shortages – my home town of Clinton made this list and now Mount Forest

Thursday

  • I love motivational quotes – here are twenty-five from Dale Carnegie
  • Just when you thought it was quasi-safe to go out, we’re now raising red flags about BA.5 and there are still some who haven’t had their first shot

Friday

  • I’m a bit fascinated with the images from the James Webb and hope that they keep coming.
  • I’m not at the CSTA Conference in Chicago where I’ve been a regular for a couple of decades but I’m following on Alfred Thompson’s blog

Saturday

  • Alfred Thompson is blogging about his experiences at CSTA 2022 and I’m reading. This is his Day 3
  • I’m really not a big fan of emojis because it takes key combinations and that moves my fingers from the keyboard. I suppose these will be appreciated by those who use them

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 15, 2022

Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

https://wakelet.com/wake/BhG6vqLqKjTEIC-Xe5lmp


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 Potts – @Ahpotts
  • Jennifer Hutchison – @TESLOntario
  • Paul McGuire – @mcguirp
  • Lisa Corbett – @LisaCorbett0261
  • Michael Frankfort – @mfrank_76
  • Sylvia Duckworth – @sylviaduckworth
  • David Petro – @davidpetro314

This week’s show:

Opening Song:

Closing Song:


Technology Troubleshooting

This could easily be a “Whatever happened to…” post.

For years, I’ve worn a Medic Alert, my Bronze Medallion, and my Award of Merit on a chain around my neck. This past week, the chain came off while I was swimming and that inspired me to look closely at them again. The personalized engraving has almost worn off which was to be expected – I’ve worn them since the 1970s – but the loop on the Bronze Medallion had worn down to just about nothing.

Since they are so valuable to me, I wanted to get it fixed but how?

My wife suggested that a jeweller might be able to build it up doing their magic and so we went into town to get it done.

Their solution — and I guess it made sense — is not to build it up but to just drill a hole in the medallion and put a loop in there to attach to my chain.

We all solve problems in our own different ways.


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: https://wke.lt/w/s/BuvP40

Update – July 2: Up to 68 entries.


Video of the Week

I needed a bit of inspiration this week.


Photo of the Week

One of our favourite dog walking places. Colchester Harbour taken from the top of the hill. The town of Essex has done so many improvements in the past couple of years.


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.

dp

This blog post was originally posted at:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com/

My life without Rogers


Every now and again a blind pig finds an acorn

In hindsight, I guess I found that acorn. Read on.

On Saturday, I had that running through my mind as I was out and about doing my thing. There were signs on every place of business indicating the various online services were down – most noticeably Interact and direct debit payments.

As we were driving into town, we noticed one of the first businesses was obviously hurting. The car wash, which normally has a lineup of cars four or five deep, had nobody. I had parked under a tree previously and a bunch of birds had left their marks all over the car. Sweet. I swing in and my wife gave me a funny look. I’ve become my father! I have a little change purse in the console; one for $1 and $2 coins and another for $.10 and $.25 coins. I paid exact change and my car is mostly clean and shiny and bird-evidence free.

Our ultimate goal was to do some shopping for tops for my wife and perhaps a new pair of shoes for me. Sadly, the store didn’t have my size shoes but the helpful worker offered to check other stores for me. She had a nice-looking device but sadly, the internet connection wasn’t available. She’d made the offer out of habit, I guess. We did find some nice tops for my wife and having money in my wallet paid off. In cash. I take a great deal of heat from my kids “Dad, you’re a computer nerd, why don’t you use direct payment?”

In your face, kids.

It was actually kind of quiet on the phone front since two of them are on the Rogers network and out of touch. The two girls got together so that the older one could call and interrupt our shopping trip for some reason. They all ended up at our place and quickly attached to our wifi to get caught up with their friends.

When Bell had pulled fibre down our concession road, we immediately ditched our old slow service and haven’t looked back. While we were in at The Source, not only did we get internet access there but my wife and I both got phones on the Virgin network.

So, I guess we were a little smug since there wasn’t an interruption for us.

Someone had to take responsibility for this and the Rogers CEO stepped up.

Rogers CEO apologizes for massive service outage, blames maintenance update

It’s kind of amusing actually to watch the news and hear the pundits selected to be guests to share their thoughts. The biggest message that I’ve heard is that Canada needs more competition in this industry. I don’t follow their logic; that wouldn’t stop a network outage although it might have lessened the impact with fewer people on a Rogers network or a network that shares services with Rogers.

We may never know for sure the exact reasons for the problem that brought down the network. There was a lot of speculation on social media and initial fingers were pointed at hackers. The latest, as you’ll see in the link above, was a maintenance update.

Boy, that brought back memories of not-so-good times as we tried to roll out a wide area network in my old school district. We had great successes, followed by periods of problems when the network would crap out and we’d hear that it was because of updates. We ultimately ended up using my two computer PD labs as sandboxes to play in and try things out before sending an update out to an entire system. Obviously, it’s a smaller scenario than a coast-to-coast-to-coast network like Rogers.

It was great to see those reports on this Sunday morning as I write this post telling us that the network is back up and running.

Watching the news reports and how people were scrambling around outside coffee shops looking for that precious WIFI signal reminded me of how much we value being connected. It didn’t affect me in the first person this time but it certainly impacted those around me.

I was surprised that an update would be put into place to bring down a nationwide service. Providing that service is mission-critical and I would have thought that any update would have been played out in some sort of sandbox or testing scenario or even rolled out in increments so that it could be rolled back if there were issues.

I was also surprised that there wasn’t a gentleperson’s agreement with Bell or another supplier that they could share service for a short time if a catastrophe like this happened. I know that they all fight and advertise for every subscriber they can but reliable service is crucial.

I hope that Rogers, Bell, and all the providers are learning from this experience. It kind of brings a smile to think that a person might not be able to update their Instagram status because the network was down. Thrown into all of this was the inability of some people to call 911. That’s where it really hit the fan for me. I honestly don’t know if there is a public telephone booth in town anymore.

How were things in your world? Were you impacted by the outage?

And, whatever you do, don’t let the bad guys win.

My Week Ending 2022-07-10


Here’s a summary of some of the things I learned and published this week.


Readings 

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.

Sunday

  • I think this is important – Our Ontario Provincial government seems to have turned their backs on COVID and reports – doctors are using the 4th dose. (I got mine)
  • OK, hardcore Apple Macintosh users – would you protect your computer with Microsoft Defender? Before you say no, remember that you love Microsoft Office

Monday

  • I think it takes a very special type of person to want to be a teacher anyway; here are some reasons why people don’t want into the profession
  • Air Canada is huge in the news and this adds to it with the cancellation of 9 500 flights this summer

Tuesday

  • I don’t know about you but I find Google Streetview simply amazing and it’s special when you see the car! Here are all the ways that the images are captured
  • Another chance to beat up on the Google Chrome browser and suggest alternatives for better resolution in Netflix

Wednesday

  • Long time Opera fan here and I liked this post, not as a reason to leave Chrome, but as a nice summary of Opera features
  • There’s a new mandate coming for school buses in Ontario. I think it’s sad that we continue to do this. Buses should have cameras and anyone who passes illegally gets a ticket. Period

Thursday

Friday

  • This is such a sad story – we’ve heard about the shortage of lifeguards and now there’s a shortage of officials for kids’ sports. It’s like the world is out against summer activities
  • The biggest technology story from last week was the outage of Rogers‘ internet and other services. Huge impact and the discussion continues

Saturday

  • There definitely is a need for a Plan B. I’ll bet the planning is either underway or it starts on Monday
  • The Simpsons fans may get a chuckle out of the history of the price tag on Maggie

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 8, 2022

Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

https://wke.lt/w/s/uT4O33


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:

  • Melanie White – @WhiteRoomRadio
  • Arianna Lambert – @MsALambert
  • Will Gourley – @WillGourley
  • Michael Frankfort @mfrank_76
  • STAO – @staoapso
  • Rolland Chidiac – @rchids
  • Vicky Loras – @vickyloras
  • Melissa Turnbull – @missmturnbull

This week’s show:

Opening Song:

Closing Song:


Technology Troubleshooting

My MacBook Pro 2013 edition is starting to show that its once top of the line specifications aren’t holding up given how I use a computer these days.

I grab it on Friday morning to do my “Follow Friday” posts because it had a much better processor for working with Tweetdeck which can be pretty processor intensive.

The problem is that the screen isn’t really big enough to handle what I want to do with it without scroll. Once you’ve become used to a 1920×1080 resolution, anything else pales. At times, I’ll grab my Linux laptop but it isn’t as light on the lap as the MBP is.

I’ve tried everything I could with the settings and have it set to as much as it can display but it’s not enough.

Then, I remembered some advice – don’t raise the bridge, lower the river.

I got away from the MBP settings and, instead, went right into Firefox’s setting and told it to scale the fonts less than 100%. 80% seemed to display everything I wanted without scrolling.

Problem solved. Coffee does help with the smaller text. There’s always compromises but this isn’t a bad one.


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: https://wke.lt/w/s/BuvP40

Update – July 2: Up to 68 entries.


Video of the Week

I’m laughing a little too hard here.


Photo of the Week

We had to let these two out for some exercise. Immediately, they ignored each other and put their noses to the ground.


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.

dp

This blog post was originally posted at:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com/