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  1. Downes

    Stuck Again

    December 30, 2022. Charlemagne is stuck on the ledge again. I know he can jump down; I've seen it. But he far prefers to be stuck and meows until I come down and let him climb on to my shoulder for a lift upstairs. Last newsletter of the year today, al...
  2. Downes

    String Games

    December 28, 2022. The cats are overjoyed that we're back, and all the old routines are instantly back in place, including nightly string games. Today was an indoor day, except for a quick trip to restock bird seed. Did some work on instructional strat...
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    December 27, 2022. This is the scene along highway 7 as it passes Kaladar, where we stopped for a quick break on the way home from Barrie. We made it before dark and arrived home to four very annoyed and vocal cats.
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    December 26, 2022. We finally made it to my brother's house and visited with them and a collection of relatives. It was a really nice visit. Thanks to Bill and Shirley for the hospitality and everyone else for the smiles and laughter. Until next time. ...
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    The Hotel Room

    December 25, 2022. It's late Christmas evening and I realize I haven't taken a photo of the day, so here's the hotel room. We spent most of the day here, with just a quick trip to the Shoppers for storm chips. It was fine, though, a nice quiet day inst...
  6. Downes

    More Snow

    December 16, 2022. Winter snows are a bit early this year, and there's no chance of a green Christmas. Sad. We were told of the new policy forcing us to work in the office again starting in March, and I wondered, if it snows that day, does that count a...
  7. Downes

    Artificial Deer

    December 15, 2022. This is a Home Depot deer, spotted while I was picking up some new bright lightbulbs. We also went to the car dealership to sign the papers on our new car purchase (the exchange won't be until next week).
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    December 14, 2022. That's my hand scritching Charlemagne as he enjoys the luxury of some pre-bedtime attention. A couple of meetings, and I'm still catching up with stuff from my absence.
  9. Downes

    Bright and Early

    December 12, 2022. No rest for the weary. Monday morning I was up bright and early to get back to work. First task: about 350 work-related emails that stacked up while my computer was locked on the road.
  10. Downes


    December 13, 2022. Cat pictures remain the stable of the daily photo. This is Julia in her little fur house, with red strings to play with, on the shelf beside my chair at the kitchen table.
  11. Downes


    December 11, 2022. Catching up with the daily photos after the trip, now that all the trip photos have been uploaded. This is Montreal airport the day after I arrived. Because my flight was so late, I stayed overnight at the Montreal airport hotel, an ...
  12. Downes

    Tour D’Ovanca

    December 8, 2022. Also known as La Castellassa, this tower originates from the 12th or 13th century and was part of a chalet built to protect a village that dates back at least to 965 and whose residents relocated to the current site of Mont Louis in t...
  13. Downes


    December 7, 2022. This is the town of Eus, clinging to the side of a hill in the foothills of the French Pyrenees. We drove around the area talking about consciousness, representation, and whether machines can think. Outstanding day; one more in these ...
  14. Downes

    Villa Lafabregue

    December 6, 2022. This is where I am staying in Prades. Off-season rates are very reasonable and I've been very comfortable here. Went to the market and then had lunch, more conversation about knowing and information. In the afternoon I explored the to...
  15. Downes

    Prades, France

    December 5, 2022. I spent the day with Ray and Neus exploring forts and monasteries in and around Prades and talking about ontologies and distributed representation. It was unsurprisingly a perfect mix for me, and we have more time over the next couple...
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    Around the Pyrenees

    December 4, 2022. This is a rock outcrop where we crossed the Pyrenees at their lowest point, near Girona in Spain north toward the French border. With snowfall in the mountain passes we had to take the long route from Lleida in Spain to Prades, France...
  17. Downes

    The Singer

    December 3, 2022. To wrap up the conference there was a cultural event where this singer (I don't know her name, sorry) sang some old standards. As always when I watch a good artist I noticed how the key to success is to fully immerse yourself in the p...
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    Rambla de Ferran

    December 2, 2022. This is the boulevard down the centre of Rambla de Ferran, near my hotel. Today was presentation day; I gave what I thought was a pretty good talk in the morning, attended more of the conference after, and went for a nice evening walk...
  19. Downes

    Seu Vella

    December 1, 2022. I didn't get a good photo of Seu Vella, Lleida's distinctive 18th century cathedral, until I crossed to the other side of the river, which I did today to attend the first day of the conference.
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    Lleida Rose

    November 30, 2022. A November rose in Lleida spotted during my late afternoon walk. I spent most of the day preparing slides for my talk Friday. And that was basically my day.
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    November 29, 2022. This is the side of the old church at Parròquia de Sant Martí, Bisbe, in Lleida. I appreciated the way the symmetry combined with asymmetry and the textures in the fading evening light. Today I got caught up after traveling and plann...
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    November 28, 2022. This photo is from the back side of Barcelona Sants, where the taxi left me. Today was a travel day, from Prague to Lleida, via an air-to-rail connection in Barcelona. Travel was an all-day affair under less-than-ideal conditions (sp...
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    November 27, 2022. I started the day with the Banksy exhibit in an old subversive church in central Prague, then filled out the remainder of the day walking some 11 km and taking hundreds of photos. The city feels like Amsterdam; drugs, booze and touri...
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    November 26, 2022. This is a Dali sculpture, 'the Unicorn', on the banks of the river Vltava as it runs through Prague. I was up early and arrived in the city by 1:30 but with the time change and winter, it was dark by 4 or so. Still, that was enough t...
  25. Downes

    Theater des Westens

    November 26, 2022. Just another building I walked past on the way to the restaurant for the post-conference dinner. Still under the weather and very tired (conferences always make me tired).
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    Berlin Cityscape

    November 24, 2022. This is the view from the top of the Intercontinental Hotel. I was doing an interview and I suggested the elevator because it was likely the only quiet place, but when we got to the top this view unfolded and that's where we did it. ...
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    November 23, 2020. This is the Marlene bar at the Intercontinental in Berlin, generally my favourite hangout when I'm at OEB. It was a good place to rest after spending the day delivering my workshop on ethics and analytics (which, I thought, went quit...
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    Café LebensArt

    November 22, 2022. This is Café LebensArt, where I stopped for lunch on a long 14 km walk through Tiergarten and central Berlin. It was cold but I was well layered and was fine. All that hiking experience pays off. I was able to get a reservation to vi...
  29. Downes

    Back in Berlin

    November 21, 2022. Inside the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. It feels great to be back in Berlin. I had a bit of a scare when my carry-on was rejected by the airline, but I receive everything fine. I was able to wander around, do some shopping (for co...
  30. Downes


    November 20, 2022. This is a sculture in Zurich airport, a really good transit point. Drove to Montreal today, got in an airplane, SwissAir, to be precise, and flew to Zurich en route to Berlin. Things were pretty smooth in Montreal, even though I was ...

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