OPINION — CAMERON: Computer chills and warm-up for Celine

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It’s Chat Day, but you knew that.

Plenty of things to share today: curious, useful (perhaps), and informative.

Not to mention having the cheerleaders do some flips for NIC.

No, it isn’t sports.

Before we rock on, though, I need to remind you that our survey is still running: What do you like most about living in Kootenai County, and what bothers you, if anything?

My email address is right down at the bottom of the column, so get in with a shout on this.

Now to some action ...

ITEM: You can probably relate to the frustration of a computer glitch, right?

Well, I had one on Monday, and somehow a few items were lost forever — including a couple of great dog photos.

I’ve still got most of them, fortunately.

Remember, I still want more of your pet pictures — and I won’t give up hope on seeing a llama.

Two of the photos I know I’m missing (and I’m doing this from memory) came from Debby Essman of Coeur d’Alene and, I hope this is right, a nice lady named Irene who sent a photo of her dog resting inside a chair.

Hard to forget that chair thing, but the names?

Holding my breath ...

Apologies for the technology issue, but to Debby and Irene: Could you possibly re-send those shots?

Thanks, and now my computer has been warned.

One more incident like that and it gets scrapped for some fancy new thing.

I’m sure I still have a working credit card, and I’ll get security hound Bill Brooks to help me use it.

Did you see how I got the word “hound” mixed into a discussion of dog photos right there?

OK, never mind.

ITEM: Remember a few months ago, when there was a debate about what to do with smartphones in local schools?

Various solutions were adopted across different districts, but now we’ve actually stumbled across something that administrators might find worthwhile in the future.

It’s a device called Yondr.

The thing is a small, gray neoprene pouch that swallows phones and temporarily locks them away from the fingers and eyes of their addicted owners.

Students are asked to slip their phones into the pouches when they enter a classroom.

Once locked, the phones stay with their owners until they are ready to leave the premises, and then the devices are released from their tiny prisons at an “unlocking base.”

These Yondr pouches are now used in more than 600 U.S. schools, but we’d still be out there on the cutting edge.

Districts here might want to investigate.

You know how I feel about teens and smartphones, right?

ITEM: My pal Haylie Thompson is taking classes at NIC when she isn’t running her kids to and fro.

Anyhow, Haylie passed along some thoughts that I think are worth sharing.

“I want to say how awesome NIC discussion boards are, at least in my experience,” she wrote.

“Whenever I tell someone about how they’re graded and how the teachers approach these discussions, they’re generally shocked — because, in reality, NIC teachers really want to hear what you think.

“But they don’t want to hear you argue with another student about your righteous opinion, no matter what side of the fence you want to fall on.

“There are difficult topics — things like guns, GMOs, vaccines etc.

“You can have political discussions without name-calling and harassment.

“It’s pretty cool.”

Yep, sure sounds like it.

I’m a huge fan of NIC and its mission, so Haylie’s info was terrific.

Now, before we say goodbye, ciao and aloha ...

I wonder: Did Sammie the World’s Greatest Cat delete those dog photos?

Hey, she’s learned how to turn on a faucet and hit the “Off” button on my phone when she wants lunch.

Sammie, fess up or I’ll cut off the Temptations treats.

Right, and finally ...

Ladies and gentlemen, how about a warm welcome for Celine Dion?

It’s all yours, Celine!

•••

Steve Cameron is a columnist for The Press whose “heart will go on,” hopefully. A Brand New Day appears Wednesday through Saturday each week. Steve’s sports column runs on Tuesday. Email: scameron@cdapress.com.Facebook: Steve Cameron. Twitter:@BrandNewDayCDA.

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