1. Downes

    Char

    by

    February 1, 2023. Playing with Charlemagne on the stairs; you can see the walls and ceiling of the house quite clearly. Unfortunately, Char is our of focus. I don’t know why my phone does that. https://flic.kr/p/2of4PVE
  2. Downes

    Approaching the Planet

    by

    January 31, 2023. This is a screen shot from No Man’s Sky, my video game of choice. Recently, I have achieved the feat of acquiring an S (for Supreme) class starship, freighter and multitool. Now I’ve embarked on a tour of multiple galaxies. Beyond that, I’ve been engaged in the…
  3. Downes

    Bleah

    by

    January 30, 2023. I stuck my phone out the window and photographed this snowbank at the Metro. It’s probably the least effort I’ve ever taken for a daily photo. But it was just that kind of day – a workday, working on ontologies and such, with the weather sucking the…
  4. Downes

    Watching Dragon

    by

    January 28, 2023. This dragon watches over our kitchen and dining area from atop the cupboards. I bought it at the Forbidden City in Beijing (still one of my most memorable trips). Today was a stay-at-home Saturday, which I spent mostly playing No Man’s Sky (for the first time ever,…
  5. Downes

    Check-Up

    by

    January 27, 2023. It was time for my check-up. I’m pleased to report that my heart is fully functional and I don’t have any bad signs in my blood test, except for my kidney, which we see in slightly elevated serum creatinine levels (from 90 to 115 over the last…
  6. Downes

    Palm and Snow

    by

    January 26, 2023. I repotted a couple of my plants today – these were formerly office plants in Moncton that I transported here seven years ago when I move, meaning they’re about 10 years old (and really needed a repotting). I think that now they’re in the window getting full…
  7. Downes

    Snow Day

    by

    January 25, 2023. Such lovely weather. It was a classic Canadian snow day today, which meant that for me it was an indoor day all day. A good day to focus on work, which is what I did. https://flic.kr/p/2oeuiva
  8. Downes

    House

    by

    January 24, 2023. This is just an ordinary house I see when I go on my walk, but it’s funny how a few trees and some snow make any old house a postcard picture. Had a few meetings today, discussed ontologies and instructional strategies, and gave an informal presentation introducing…
  9. Downes

    Solar Panels

    by

    January 23, 2023. These are solar panels set up alongside the railway a few blocks from home. One thing I noticed right away when I moved here is how much more solar and wind power is generated here than in New Brunswick. Back to work today, more work on the…
  10. Downes

    Different Temperaments

    by

    January 21, 2023. Julia prefers staying inside her cozy fur-lined house while Emma is distracted by the sunshine and the birds. This week I’ve been more like Julia than Emma. I had big plans for today, but didn’t really have it in me to do anything more than play No…
  11. Downes

    Snow Night

    by

    January 20, 2023. A last-minute photo of the day shot out the bedroom window just before I turn in. These dark days of January and early February are the hardest to get through. It was a long and not particularly productive day spent mostly fighting with old technology. https://flic.kr/p/2od6na8
  12. Downes

    Blue Jay

    by

    January 19, 2023. Our regular birds have been joined by this blue jay, who find the new food selection to meet with its approval. I’ve mostly been puttering away with ontologies this week, trying to learn (inside and out) the Protege ontology editor. It feels like 20-year old technology, but…
  13. Downes

    Beer Store

    by

    January 17, 2023. In Ontario, all beer is sold through provincially operated beer stores. They have no real competition, so there’s no real need for marketing. Hence the emergence of this slogan that has always puzzled me: “Meet Beer.” It just strikes me as odd. Anyhow, I wasn’t going in…
  14. Downes

    Downey Woodpecker

    by

    January 14, 2022. With the heavy snowfall the birds are flocking to the feeders, which is nice. Another day spent working on node.js in Docker running SSL, again with some limited success. But all this is a lot harder than it should be. https://flic.kr/p/2obzaLE
  15. Downes

    Snow Day Part 2

    by

    January 13, 2022. This is our house. Today was another day of snowstorm. I went for a 2 km walk in 6 inches of snow in the roads; no cars, so it was nice. I focused mostly on trying to get a node.js application work in SSL, with limited success.…
  16. Downes

    Snow Day

    by

    January 12, 2023. The snow hit today, prompting notifications from the office. I wonder, if the office is closed for snow on a designated ‘office’ day, what does that mean. Do I just not work, the way I could before I set up my home office? Are there make-up designated…
  17. Downes

    Nook

    by

    January 11, 2023. I have been redesigning the office to make it brighter. Naturally the plants now go by the window. And Julia discovered there’s just enough room for a cat to enjoy the warm air vent in the space under the palm. It’s her new favourite place.Meetings today, and…
  18. Downes

    Emma Rolling

    by

    January 9, 2023. This is Emma every evening as she comes upstairs with me and rolls around on the bed in anticipation of some attention. If I’m late, I hear about it – when you live with four cats, everything is regimented. She also makes he start work in the…
  19. Downes

    Ottawa River Valley Train – East

    by

    January 8, 2023. This week’s hike was along the Ottawa River in the east end, the last part of the trail before it hits Orleans. About 8 km or so. It was fairly cold, at around -6, but we were dressed for it so it wasn’t bad. The river was…
  20. Downes

    The Birds are Back (in Town)

    by

    January 7, 2023. It took a few days, but the birds have discovered we put food in the feeder again. We had stopped over the summer because of avian flu, and we didn’t want them gathering all together. This is a female cardinal; we haven’t seen the male yet, but…
  21. Downes

    The Frozen Forest

    by

    January 6, 2023. We had freezing rain yesterday and today with the result that there’s a layer of ice over everything. It makes walking treacherous but I was till out for my lunchtime walk. It’s good to take a break, especially in winter when the office walls close in on…
  22. Downes

    Hot Sauce Kit

    by

    January 5, 2023. It hasn’t occurred to me to try to make my own hot sauce, but Andrea picked this up in the Costco yesterday and it seems to me like it would be worth a try. I’ll report on any results. I’ve been back to work all week, focusing…
  23. Downes

    Blood Tests

    by

    January 4, 2023. It took most of an afternoon but I was able to get my blood tests and an ECG done. All this is part of a regular checkup. I do notice that the private clinics of Doug Ford’s Ontario are a lot slower, and a lot harder on…
  24. Downes

    Construction Landscape

    by

    January 3, 2023. I’m back to taking my daily walks over lunch and what struck me this time is how much the new housing development a few blocks away looks like a dystopian landscape. I’m sure it’ll be much better with cookie-cutter houses there instead. https://flic.kr/p/2oavTQe
  25. Downes

    Stuck Again

    by

    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,…
  26. Downes

    String Games

    by

    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 strategies, and played my video game. https://flic.kr/p/2o997Fe

ds106 in[SPIRE]