OTR Links 03/28/2021


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

Back with one more


Followers of me (@dougpete) on Twitter will know that I have, for a long time now, used the services of Paper.li to create newsletters and share some of the great stories that are being shared on that platform.

Recently, the regular posting of the stories had stopped. So, I went over to see what the problem was. As we all know, it’s not uncommon for a service that we use to go away.

It was worse than that. Apparently, there had been a fire in their data centre and they were in the process of recovering. Yikes. I’ve never owned a data centre except for this corner of the room but I was manager of one for a while. Regular off-site backups were the order of the day. At that time, the actual backup had to be transported to the backup location. These days, we have the luxury of backing up to “the cloud” which really isn’t cloudy – it’s another data centre located somewhere else.

I had come to rely on the newsletters to give me a sampling of what was happening around me. Paper.li lets you choose the source for your newsletter which was perfect for me. In particular, I have a number of Twitter Lists of Ontario Educators. At the time, I had six of them with ~500 names and was working on a seventh. Once that hit about 100 names, it would get its own newsletter.

You can check out my lists here – https://twitter.com/dougpete/lists/

Rather than following everyone, I find it easier to keep people filed away on a list. I have a number of columns in Tweetdeck and Hootsuite for these lists. It makes doing #FollowFridays a piece of cake. It would be interesting to see if I could cross-populate names but how to do it eludes me at this time. Perhaps on a rainy day.

I was excited to see that the newsletters from Paper.li restarted over the weekend. I logged in and, rather than the limited access that was there during their recovery, I was able to create the seventh newsletter. While I was there, I noticed that I wasn’t consistent with the format of the title of each and there was no rhyme or reason as to when Paper.li would publish each of them. So, I believe that I was able to tidy that up and spread the publications of each of the newsletters out.

  • The Best of Ontario Educators 1 Daily – 12:00pm
  • The Best of Ontario Educators 2 Daily – 1:00 pm
  • The Best of Ontario Educators 3 Daily – 2:00 pm
  • The Best of Ontario Educators 4 Daily – 3:00pm
  • The Best of Ontario Educators 5 Daily – 4:00pm
  • The Best of Ontario Educators 6 Daily – 5:00pm
  • The Best of Ontario Educators 7 Daily – 6:00pm

I hope that it all works out well and that I’ve done everything correctly. I can’t speak highly enough for how this utility does the heavy lifting for me to keep abreast of what people are talking about.

When I was President of ECOO, one of the additions that was made to the website was a Paper.li based upon the input of computing using educators. I’ve always believed in regular learning when using technology. Miss a day and you’re that much further behind.

So, it’s with gratitude to this service that I write this post. I wish them all the luck in the world getting back to normal completely.

It’s also a reminder that I need to do some backup up here as well. It’s generally automated but every now and again I like to do it manually just to make sure that it’s doing what it’s supposed to.

OTR Links 01/30/2021


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

Whatever happened to …


… tire chains and studs?

On the heels of last week’s post, I got thinking about this.

I grew up in the snow belt. I was in high school during the big blizzard of 1971 with the farm kids being billeted in town. Nobody was going anywhere – except for some dumb reason those of us who owned snowmobiles actually went back to school.

The Great Blizzard of ’71 has become the gauge by which every other storm has been compared by Huron County residents.

Snow tires were always a big deal and there were also some that came with studs to help with traction. Tire chains? I don’t recall any on cars but I do remember that the town had some on the graders that eventually cleared the streets, putting it all in our driveway, it seemed.

The whole concept was to get extra traction as you navigated or tried to navigate the roads.

It seems so far away here in sunny Essex County today. It’s -6 and there’s a bit of snow left from a dusting that we had a week or so ago. I’m still wearing running shoes as I go outside.

In doing my research, I ran into this legal summary indicated what’s legal and what’s not legal across Canada. TL;DR, studs are available in Northern Ontario and chains are not allowed everywhere. The rationale for banning seems to be to preserve the road.

I’ve seen what a shredded tire does to the side of a NASCAR car; imagine the damage that a broken chain would do to a car’s back panel or even the road underneath!

It might have made more sense back in the day since vehicles were rear wheel drive but today we get better traction with front wheel or four wheel drive. And, of course, better tires.

Photo by Arisa Chattasa on Unsplash

Around here, we have one vehicle with all season tires and another with all weather tires. It’s flat here in Essex County and snow is only a threat compared to most other places in the province. Besides, where you going to go anyway?

For a Sunday, how about spinning your tires and sharing some thoughts?

  • do you switch to snow tires for the winter?
  • if you do, where do you store your summer tires?
  • what’s the difference between all seasons and all weather tires?
  • do you remember tire chains or studs?
  • Toyo has a modern alternative to tire studs. What are they? Have you tried them?
  • if you switch to snow tires, why don’t you put your fancy wheel covers back on?
  • if you’re old enough to remember rear wheel drive, would you agree with me that they were more fun for a little recreational spinning and fishtailing? I’m thinking specifically of frozen ponds in Goderich Township.

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

All of the Sunday “Whatever happened to …” posts are available here. If you have an idea for a future post, please let me know – I’m @dougpete on Twitter or there’s a Padlet that you can add your idea to.

Let’s close with a smile.

OTR Links 07/04/2020


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