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  1. Downes


    June 12, 2023. Display spotted in an Amsterdam city window. I cycled from the airport to the city centre for a meeting (11 km), wandered around the city a bit (5 or 6 km), then cycled back out to the hotel (16 km). All in all, a pretty good day. I'm r...
  2. Downes

    Dutch Sparrow

    June 11, 2023. This sparrow rests on a glass wall at a little cafe on the sand dunes high above the Dutch North Sea coast near Haarlem. My firat full day in Holland, I cycled from my hotel near the airport to Haarlem, touring the city a bit, and then ...
  3. Downes

    A New Light

    June 10, 2023. Due in part to the shading of the window and in part on smoke in the atmosphere, the Sun appeared outside the airplane window as a deep ruby red, looking like I've never seen it before. Landed on time, dropped my bags at the hotel, then...
  4. Downes


    june 9, 2023. This is YUL, also known as Trudeau Airport in Montreal. I'm on my way this evening to Amsterdam for a week of meetings and cycling. The weather is supposed to be great, the flight is on time, I'm prepared for everything, and looking forw...
  5. Downes


    June 9, 2023. Though only an occasional visitor to the back yard, this thrasher is always welcome. Another day in the empty building known as my office, getting in a full day of work before heading off for a week.
  6. Downes

    The Smoke (2)

    June 7, 2023. This is the building where I work. It is a sterile desert with no services or social interaction at all. And I don't know what all the chimneys are for, but it makes it seem like a relic of a past age when air pollution meant nothing. An...
  7. Downes

    The Smoke

    June 6, 2023. The smoke from northern wildfires has descended over the region, meaning I can't really go out for a bike ride or anything, really. So I mostly focused on work (and trying not to itch).
  8. Downes


    June 5, 2023. These are my teeth, life-sized (if you're very close to them). In addition to my dental appointment I wrong a longish post titled 'Questions and Answers on AI Regulation' that I thought was quite good.
  9. Downes

    Full Cycle

    June 1, 2023. This is the Full Cycle in Hintonburg, my first time in this store. It's pretty funky. On my way in to work I dropped off the gravel bike to have the wheels straightened and to install new tires (so far on my new bike I've replaced the se...
  10. Downes


    May 29, 2023. This heavily modified vehicle was spotted in the Metro parking lot here in town today. It has European license plates and is obviously a live-in expedition vehicle used by one of those truck/van adventurers. I tried to find this particul...
  11. Downes


    May 28, 2023. We went for an ambling walk along the Mer Bleue trail today. Again, it's good to be out in the sunshine. The water levels are still pretty high, but the forest has come to live and was particularly lust and beautiful today. I've started ...
  12. Downes


    May 27, 2023. A farm with cows along the road to St. Albert. I spent a lot of the day on the cot but forced myself to get out for a short ride to St. Albert. At 16.9 kph, this is one of the slowest rides I've ever taken on the road bike. It was very g...
  13. Downes

    Julia in her Cave

    May 25, 2023. Hard to be cuter than Julia fast asleep in her furry cave on the shelf right behind where I sit. I took a sick day today; the itch was so bad I couldn't sit, so I lay most of the day on a cot in the cold room in the basement. https://fli...
  14. Downes


    May 24, 2023. This is the Starbucks near my office ('near' being about a kilometer away). I'm *way* behind in uploading photos, because the stupid itch continues to assail me. Working in the office really really doesn't help with this.
  15. Downes

    Cobbs Lake Creek

    May 21, 2023. This was the view from the old rail bridge along the Prescott Russell trail. I rode it for a short distance along my endurance-level 70 km ride mostly into a stiff breeze on a sunny but cool day. I was completely wiped out by the end of ...
  16. Downes

    Domaine du Sapin

    May 20, 2023. This is my campsite for the first night of my weekend trip, at Domaine du Sapin near Greenfield (just soiutheast of Maxville). Though it rained most of the day (and most of the night) it held off just long enough to enjoy a campfile and ...
  17. Downes

    All Packed Up

    May 19, 2022. Here's my bicycle all packed up and ready to head out for a three day practice ride this long weekend. Very busy day today, as in addition also prepared my slides for my CNIE talk coming up next week.
  18. Downes


    May 18, 2023. This is my mother and Bernie celebrating her 87th birthday at the home in the city. She's not mobile and requires a lot of assistance but Bernie and his daughter Debbie are there every day and the staff are also really good to her. It's ...
  19. Downes

    Office Tree

    May 17, 2023. This is an apple tree in bloom just outside my office in the city. It was a work-in-office day today (plus two hours in a traffic jam right after) but I got quite a bit done - project closing report, online course, more corporate paperwo...
  20. Downes

    Morning Surprise

    May 16, 2023. This flower appeared in the tree in our front yard. We were not expecting a flower; the tree is just this scraggly bush we've been allowing to grow because it's too much work to remove it - and then, suddenly, this! It appears our bush i...
  21. Downes

    White Crowned Sparrow

    This is a white crowned sparrow in our back yard. As you can tell from the sparrow guide it's just passing on migration to the north. First one stopped and now we have a half dozen. Worked from home today, much l...
  22. Downes

    Ottawa Tulip Festival

    May 14, 2023. Our walk this week took us to the Ottawa tulip festival, where we spent a cool but sunny afternoon enjoying the spring flowers. Nice win by the Blue Jays too.
  23. Downes


    May 11, 2023. Choir and orchestra in the Byward Market, Ottawa. I took a quick break from the conference to get more hot sauce and pasta from the European foods store at the market.
  24. Downes

    Break Time

    May 7, 2023. A break station in the cycle for CHEO event in Ottawa. I signed up for the 70 k. ride, forgot my helmet, went and bought one, started two hours late, and rode 25 km. With all of that, still a nice day: the ride, along with a 6 km walk. ht...
  25. Downes

    Bridge Out

    If you're wondering where my photos are, the link between my photo site and this blog is temporarily broken. Technicians are working on it. Meanwhile, enjoy this:  Better quality video on YouTube:
  26. Downes

    Wet One

    May 2, 2023. This is a little creek where it crosses the road about a kilometer south of Casselman. I got out for a short 26 km ride today on the gravel bike, It would be unremarkable except for the rainstorm part way through, a hard rain, cold and we...
  27. Downes

    Hungarian Paste

    May 1, 2023. These are my new favourite flavours, one a paprika paste, and the other a pepper-tomato paste (I think), both from Hungary. I use them with my salmon-pasta soup, and it's out0-of-this-world delicious. Now that my projects have concluded, ...

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