Schedule me a Tweet

For me, this has been a long time coming.

I like using Tweetdeck and it has the ability to schedule a Twitter message sometime in the future. I use that technique all the time. The first #FollowFriday message is always created and scheduled on Thursdays to appear Friday at 5:00am in conjunction with a blog post. On Wednesday, I’ll send out a message about the voicEd Radio show and it goes out at 9:00am.

In neither case, am I sitting at a keyboard ready to click as the clock strikes the hour! There are other times when I’ll space a Twitter message out during the day for whatever reason. I’ve just blown my excuse for an alibi.

All of this gives the illusion that I’m terribly organized! <grin> Ditto for blog posts, they are written well in advance and scheduled for 5:00am daily or 5:00pm on Sundays.

But back to Twitter.

The problem with Tweetdeck is that there is a lot of scripting that goes on to make it work. That can be brutal on a Chromebook with its lesser powered processor. It’s not to blame either, I’ll point the finger at myself. I have all kinds of columns with lists and searches that are constantly at work. So, I do find myself waiting for the computer to catch up with me. The worst part is that I need the scheduling feature that Tweetdeck offers at times.

So, it was with great happiness that I read today that Twitter is going to bring scheduling into the plain ol’ web interface. It’s Thursday as I write this post and I just finished Friday’s blog post. The last thing I do is schedule a #FollowFriday post for tomorrow morning and the first one always lists those whose blog posts will appear. I used the new scheduler to make it happen.

I just ask Twitter to start a new message and there was a … in the dialogue box which indicated that I could schedule the message. I just needed to tell it when.

and then the message itself

and I click Schedule and it goes into a queue somewhere to be posted at the appointed time.

Now, I’m writing this on Thursday so the message will appear on Friday and then this post will appear on Saturday bragging about my success.


Grapes is back in the media

But it’s a new media for him.

I was up very early this morning and so started to do some poking around before the dog got up. I remembered the big news that Don Cherry was going to move his thoughts to a podcast now that he was no longer a part of the Sportsnet coverage.

It didn’t take long to find it. There are a number of places where you can publish a podcast. In this case, the postcast was posted to Spotify. The link is here.

The only catch was, at this time, I didn’t have a Spotify account My internet access isn’t good enough to enjoy their services but it’s 3:15am; surely I don’t have to share the bandwidth with too many others! Creating the account was easy and it was a snap to find the podcast.

I didn’t know what to expect. I kind of thought it would be a replication of Coach’s Corner which was 3-4 minutes long. When I got there, I found that the podcast was 26:54. That’s like triple overtime!

There was no Ron MacLean but instead a conversation with his son and grandson. The podcast addressed a number of topics unlike Coach’s Corner which typically deals with one or two. The advertising indicating that he would talk about Sportsnet but this Canadiens’ fan was more interested in his conversation about Maurice Richard.

Quietly, I listed to the podcast.

It wasn’t what I expected. Over the years, I had become accustomed to a quick speaking message. With the much longer timeframe, he seemed to be more relaxed and at ease with the conversation. Since there’s no video, there’s no telling if it was done all in one sitting or multiple sessions and then stitched together. It really didn’t matter.

I thought that the audio quality was very high. There definitely was a professional sounding aspect to it.

It was interesting to listen to; the Richard segment was most interesting to me but there was no Ron MacLean wrapup commentary that I’d become used to. In terms of the poppy comments, it was addressed. However, I think that the country, Cherry, and Sportsnet have moved on. Things will never return to the way that they were. It’s easy to create one podcast. The true test will be maintaining regular updates. That can always be a challenge.

The only piece missing was seeing what kind of jacket the “sharp dressed man” was wearing.

And then the trolls came

Last week’s event with Don Cherry was big news in Canada. Coverage and opinions were everywhere.

I first read about it in a “breaking news” article from the Toronto Star and shared it to Twitter. I was hoping that my connections would respond with more details. I had searched and couldn’t find anything at the time. Details became very clear later in the day.

In the meantime, a principal that I had formerly worked with gave her opinion and used the word “diverse” in the reply. I saw it and it seemed to be consistent with about half of those who were talking about it. The topic was now trending on Twitter.

By this time, I was out doing some work and my phone/watch kept sending me notifications. I didn’t recognize any of them and so just basically ignored them, figuring that I would get caught up later on.

And I did.

It turns out that the trolls had zeroed in on the principal’s message. They were replying to her and because I sent the original message, me. For the most part, the comments were not nice. Actually, they were venomous. Their ire was directed at her use of that one word.

I think we’ve all cutely talked about not posting things that you wouldn’t want your grandmother to read. If that was the metric used here, I wouldn’t want to meet their grandmothers.

Upon further investigation, I’m pretty sure that these repliers weren’t legitimate people accounts. I started looking at biographies and noticed what I would have expected. There was very limited detail; the username often included a bunch of random numbers, and a quick peek at their other Twitter messages showed that the messages were not reserved for the two of us.

Bizarrely, none of them claimed to be Canadian. They claimed to be from Mississippi, Missouri, Georgia, Florida, … The topics weren’t productively talking about hockey or television but rather about racist things. I’m convinced we hadn’t run into a hot nest of Hockey Night in Canada and Coach’s Corner fans.

I started blocking them but I realized that it was probably fruitless. If they wanted to continue with this nonsense, they could easily create another numbered account.

I closed my computer for the evening. (The topic was still trending)

When I awoke the next day, dreading what I might find, there was nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

As quickly as the flurry of messages had arrived, they had stopped. I guess they weren’t really vested in their opinions or a squirrel had run by and they had lost attention.

As we know, the whole thing played out during the week maybe culminating with Ron MacLean last night. It definitely was a hot topic and trending all the same.

Fortunately, I had moved out of the trolls’ gunsights.

My Week Ending 2019-11-17

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 would agree with this completely. The only question I would have is how much overtime is OK and at what point does it become damaging?
  • I like reading stories like this to see where things stack up. The ultimate answer though lies in what your employer or company uses.
  • This big Canadian story this past week was about Don Cherry’s firing from Sportsnet. I read a lot; this was the first story.
  • This is a big case of bad news for Apple. OK, women, you need to stop supporting this company until it gets it right.
  • I feel badly that we didn’t learn the whole story about Alan Turing. Hey, we didn’t even teach the whole story. Probably because we didn’t know the whole story and the version that made textbooks was incomplete.
  • This should make sense to everyone. I can’t believe that it needs to be stated but if it saves a few people who use “1234567890” as their password, I guess it’s worthwhile.
  • This is great news if you’re looking for something new to listen to. Maybe something you haven’t listened to for a while?
  • At Phoenix last year, I shared one of these with a table of people I was having a drink with. They liked the feel, the details that went into design, trying to tear it, and then had to listen to my proud Canadian story.
  • I think we’ve all used the excuse that “when I close my classroom door” to indicate freedom. But, are we really free and left to solely use professional judgement?
  • Following the lead of Firefox, the Opera browser now gives you details about how you’re being tracked.
  • Another way that Google will make itself richer. I wonder how popular these bank accounts will actually be. I like my current bank.
  • I had to smile because I saw myself in all of the parking scenarios. How much longer before it becomes moot with Amazon home delivery?
  • So, here comes the first job action. They’ll be inside though; I won’t have to buy donuts to distribute on my morning dog walk … yet.
  • I’d be willing to bet that the general public has no idea. This article should be presented to everyone. And, maybe local newspapers and television could do some investigative reporting to find out what’s happening locally?

Blog Posts on doug … off the record

My daily contributions to this blog.

#FollowFriday – November 15, 2019

voicEd Radio

My on demand radio page can be found here.  

This week’s show –

Intro song:

Blog posts this week came from:

  • @dr_weston_Phd
  • @Ahpotts
  • @ColleenKR
  • @mme_aston
  • @callmemrmorris

Technology Troubleshooting

Somehow, my iPod had a trip through the new washing machine.

It came out looking pretty clean so I’m happy about that. It wouldn’t turn on which really didn’t come as a surprise. I was going to pitch it but then decided to try to charge it. That didn’t start out well and I probably would have normally unplugged it and threw it away.

But, I got distracted doing something else and came back to the computer about an hour later and the screen said that it was charging. Could this be true? I left it for a while until it said it was fully charged and then unplugged it. Pffft! It went dead.

And yet, if I leave it attached, I can still play music.

So, all is not lost.

Video of the Week

Tucker Carlson had no idea.

Photo of the Week

Every year about this time, we get a full moon that is nicely framed when looking east on Murray Street in Amherstburg. I should have moved a little further to the right.

If you look carefully, you’ll see my walking partner was not impressed with the view.

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 …

… databases?

A couple of things got me thinking about this recently. First, attending Peter Beens’ session at BIT reminded me that I haven’t created anything original on my computer of any sophistication recently. Secondly, I had coffee with a database administrator who was talking about his changing reality.

There was a time when his boss(es) would ask for reports from the databases that he manages. In his case, they are Oracle. These days, those requests are few and far between. Instead, they’re just asking for a spreadsheet export and they’d do the work themselves in Excel.

There was a time where I worked with pretty sophisticated databases (at least for my abilities). If your teeth are long enough in Ontario Education, you’ll remember the Ontario Curriculum Unit Planner, the first Electronic Report Cards, and OSAPAC licensing versions of Filemaker Pro. I had a support person who was a genius working with this software as we always seemed to be doing mailing lists or managing large collections of data. As the webmaster for OSAPAC at the time, I taught myself how to work with Access and put the software and curriculum connections on line. Personally, I had a Webquest Locator where I made my collection available to others online. To be honest, I felt like I was just tipping my toes into the database water. I always felt more at home working with a spreadsheet. Does anyone remember Visicalc?

I can’t remember the last time I even worked explicitly with a database program. Yes, I have access to collections of data but I’m able to do whatever it is that I want in a spreadsheet program (LibreOffice or online with Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel).

And, we all work with databases regularly on the front end. We’re often just not exposed to what happens behind the scenes. We take a lot of things for granted. It just works –

For a Sunday, your thoughts.

  • are you a database programmer? If so, what sorts of things are you doing with your skills?
  • do you remember the Ontario Educational products listed above?
  • do you have access to a database program at your school?
  • are you proficient in a spreadsheet program? If so, which one?
  • does your spreadsheet program do what you need it to do? Do you have needs that go a bit further?
  • we talk about how we should be worried about our personal data collected online. Should we be teaching our students these skills?
  • are databases addressed in your curriculum? If so, where or how?
  • for the truly experienced, what are the file extensions for
    • Microsoft Access
    • Filemaker Pro
    • FoxPro
    • Oracle
    • SQL
    • or any of the others that you might know?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

This post originally appeared on

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

My Week Ending 2019-11-10

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.

  • This is something that I’ve always wondered about. It was interesting seeing all the cameras watching me in Niagara Falls this past week. In residential areas, are we safer?
  • This is a very powerful story of coming to Canada and doing well as a result.
  • This will make you think. Is the answer because of competition rather than belief?
  • One of the downfalls of choice or a desire to exempt yourself from programs designed for the public good actually endangers everyone else. It’s not just schools; these people go to other public places as well.
  • I never thought that the browsing wars would be affected this way with the Edge browser. Other than using it on Windows 10 to download something else, very few use it. Will that change?
  • For my teacher-librarian and librarian friends. I’ll bet you can’t read this list and not laugh.
  • Interesting read. I wonder if it caught the eye of anyone at Google? Sure, you can make money but can you make boatloads of money?
  • Good news for my Chromebook. It gets another year to live. I haven’t noticed any appreciable degrade in the battery life so that’s good too.
  • I do indeed think that it is hypocritical and totally pushes the use to a different and more dangerous level. Instead of addressing the issue, this just creates other problems.
  • One of the things that I had hoped to accomplish would have been to provide learning opportunities for presenters such as described here.
  • Of course, not everyone will want the Edge browser on their machine. Strong message here from a Linux user.
  • I found it unbelievable to find out, in discussions at Bring IT, Together, that there are still school boards using Windows 7 as the basis for their image.
  • This was interesting. I hadn’t heard about anyone using Cardboard anymore. Will it return now that it’s open sourced?
  • I’m sure that we could all add to this list but it’s a good start.

Blog Posts on doug … off the record

My daily contributions to this blog.

#FollowFriday – November 8, 2019

voicEd Radio

My on demand radio page can be found here.  

This week’s show recorded live at the Bring IT, Together Conference with special guest Ramona Meharg –

Intro song:

Blog posts this week came from:

  • Tim King – @tk1ng
  • Tina Zita – @tina_zita
  • Paul McGuire – @mcguirp
  • Deanna McLennan – @McLennan1977
  • Rola Tibshirani – @rolat

Technology Troubleshooting

This probably isn’t a big deal but I hate it when things change.

I used to be able to embed my voicEd Radio show “This Week in Ontario Edublogs” into WordPress. Now, I just end up with a link to the podcast on the site.

I don’t know if it’s something that WordPress is doing or whether voicEd doesn’t like to be embedded.

Or maybe a combination of both.

Video of the Week

Do Canadians really appreciate what it means to be at war?

Wear a poppy tomorrow and attend a service if you can.

Photo of the Week

The Canadian Navy had a boat in town recently and I got a picture. It seems appropriate leading into Remembrance Day to include it here. It was huge and it’s difficult to get it all in with a phone.

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 …

… Bozo the Clown?

A friend of mine shared this story recently:

Frank Avruch, who played Bozo the Clown, dies at 89

Of course, the worst of social media kicked in with people noting that the article was over a year ago.

The name “Frank Avruch” didn’t ring a bell but certainly “Bozo the Clown” did. Long ago, in the days before cable television, there was an antenna on the top of our house and if the weather was right, we could get CKLW-TV from Windsor and Bozo was there on Saturday or Sunday mornings. (Or maybe both, I can’t recall exactly.) I do recall that it was extra special when we got a chance to watch the show. It wasn’t on our reliable CBC and CTV channels.

I did some poking around and found out that Bozo was actually a syndication and he was everywhere.

Scroll to the bottom of the entry to see all the places.

What a franchise!

In addition to hosting the show and introducing cartoons, there were all of the stupid gags that were done. And who could forget that red hair pointing east and west.

This was in the days when clowns were generally “good”. As we know, there have been many clowns that have made the movies and television that weren’t so good. And in real life too.

So, for a Sunday morning, let’s clown around.

  • Do you remember Bozo the Clown from your youth?
  • In addition to the show, there were all kinds of Bozo branded products. I remember a friend had a Bozo punching bag. Do you know of any other Bozo branded stuff?
  • There were other famous clowns who happened to be villains. There is only one Cesar Romero though. Where did he play a clown? What other actors played the same role? If you’re a real fan you know that his face wasn’t makeup but caused by something else. Do you remember what it was?
  • There was another Bozo-like clown that was a major product spokesclown. Who was that? Whatever happened to him?
  • People either love or hate clowns. I like them; my wife hates them. Where do you stand?
  • Are there enough people that hate them that you don’t see them at fairs or carnivals anymore?
  • Are they evil?
  • He also generated the ultimate kiddy insult “You’re such a bozo!” Did you ever use that phrase? (Will you now?)

As always, I’d love to read your thoughts in the replies below.

If you have an idea for a topic for a Sunday post, let me know. Just add it to this Padlet.

This post originally appeared on:

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