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  1. Downes



    March 26, 2023. I was up bright and early this morning – early enough to catch the sunrise – and this is what it looked like as reflected on my computer screen from the east-facing window behind me. I spent more time on my tech barriers project today, and because…
  2. @Sheefa_ahmed

    WordPress wallpapers


    Has your desktop been looking a bit drab lately? If so – or if you’d just like to show a little WordPress love – we’ve got just the remedy: 30 one-of-a-kind WordPress desktop wallpapers to breathe new life into your backgrounds.

    The wallpapers Download and install

    To add a wallpaper …

  3. Downes

    So Tired of Snow


    March 25, 2023. I actually made a couple of TikToks on the subject. This is my front yard, still covered with snow, on March 25. No wonder we don’t have flowers! I also show some video of a woodpecker in a snowstorm. On March 25! I spent a full day…
  4. Downes

    Northern Lights


    March 24, 2023. I went out several times to look for the northern lights, and maybe I saw them, very faintly, or maybe it was clouds. This was one last look out the window on a Friday night looking for them, and not seeing anything. A full day on the…
  5. Downes

    A Train in the Fog


    March 23, 2023. It was above zero and rainy today, which produced a fog as the snow sublimated. In the distance I could hear a train coming. But because of the dim light and the motion and all, I wasn’t able to get a good shot as it went by,…
  6. Downes

    Bug Jacket


    March 22, 2023. I tried on the bug jacket I picked up on Sunday to make sure it would fit. As you can see, it does. The bug jacket may be essential when I’m cycling in La Vérendrye Wildlife Reserve this summer (I’m hoping that by waiting until August I…
  7. Downes

    Mourning Dove


    March 21, 2023. A mourning dove soaks in the late afternoon sun in our back yard. The birds are all returning, and are not pleased to find the ground still covered with snow. Thank goodness for our feeder! Today was a day of three meetings and I even got a…
  8. Downes

    My New Horse


    March 20, 2023. I took my bike out for a longer ride for the first time today (where ‘longer’ means 8km – still building up slowly). Pretty happy with the ride, though I’ll need a new saddle. It takes more effort to pedal than my previous gravel bike, but over…
  9. Downes

    The Old Quarry Trail


    March 19, 2023. This squirrel greeted us near the beginning of the Old Quarry Trail in west Ottawa. We did a roughly 6 km loop around the trail. Our timing was good; it was -6 so everything was frozen. Next week, this trail will be too soggy to walk (there…
  10. cogdog

    Humanery and/or Machinery


    Despite the apparent demise of blogs the flat line of the RSS-ograph blips with a pulse from David Kernohan “on chatbots.” FOTA is alive!

    Unsure if my comment gets through the gate (a first one generated a critical WordPress error, sorry, David), but I have to at least assert my …

  11. Downes

    My Luggage


    March 18, 2023. This is my luggage, finally returned after almost three weeks. It could have been worse, I suppose. The tags tell a story of a much-travelled piece of luggage (it certainly went places I didn’t, like Heathrow). This was otherwise a productive day as I spent pretty much…
  12. Downes

    Woodpecker in the Apple Tree


    March 17, 2023. This is one of our regular woodpeckers hiding out in the crabapple tree in the back yard. Today was a day of meetings and productivity. The itch is trying to make a comeback but I’m fighting it off with medication. Oh, I can’t wait for spring. Today…
  13. Downes

    The Great Hunter


    March 16, 2023. This is Emma chasing a bug (probably one of the many Asian lady beetles that spend the winter in the house). I had a much more productive day today and got a bunch of things off the ‘to-do’ list. Still a lot stacked up. But it’s nice…
  14. Downes

    Happy Birds


    March 15, 2023. It was a lot nicer and warmer today and the birds were happy hanging out by the feeder. I am happier too. Not only am I feeling stronger and healthier, I got a phone call from Iberia saying they were sending me my luggage; it should arrive…
  15. Downes

    Sad Birds


    March 14, 2023. There was a long of something from the sky – now? sleet? slush? – along with a lot of wind and the birds were not happy. But they were still willing to flock to the feeder. I began today to actually feel like I’m recovering from everything.…
  16. Downes

    Basement Window


    March 13, 2023. Julia thinks she’s fooling me, but I can see that she’s watching my reflection in the basement window, just in case I make any sudden moves (like, say, to pet her). Still sick. Still no luggage.
  17. Downes

    Pinhey Trail


    March 12, 2023. I sniffled and sneezed my way through a hike on Pinhey train in west Ottawa today. There was a lot of debris from last year’s storm, as elsewhere, which led to things like this lichen being easily accessible for cool photos. Forgot my camera, and also, was…
  18. Downes

    The Petting Zone


    March 11, 2023. This is Charlemagne in the ‘petting zone’, which as you can see is the space at the cat is basically level with the human, making it easy to reach between the rails and offer a nice safe petting. The cardboard was there to prevent them as kittens…
  19. pramodk

    What to do when you lose your job?


    More than 1 lakh tech employees were laid off so far in 2023. Some close associates of mine who got great academic credentials and stellar careers so far are part of the downsizing. This is particularly affecting mid-career IT professionals who spent a decade or two in the IT industry,…
  20. pramodk

    Future is AI


    Recently OpenAI has made Chat GPT public and it is already shaking the tech world. Students are using chat GPT for their assignments, digital marketers are using it for content creation and so on. Lets look at how AI could possibly impact the world in the next decade.

    One of …

  21. Downes



    March 9, 2023. This is the Nordstrom at Rideau Centre in Ottawa. I had never been to a Nordstrom, and with news that the chain is now closing in Canada, I thought I’d peer in before they disappear. So today I had a doctor’s appointment in the morning (where I…

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