Tuesday, September 30, 2014


September 30, 2014. This is the pond by our office on a rainy overcast fall day. I had big plans for today, but they mostly fell to the wayside as I tried to keep everybody happy (including myself) around our inpending site launch.

from Flickr http://ift.tt/1vuU9CY

Monday, September 29, 2014

Coneflower at the End of its Season

September 29, 2014. Busy day today, punctuated with an internet outage at the office and my first spin class in three weeks (it felt like I have never left, though, so... win). The flowers in the front yard are still hanging in there, just barely.

from Flickr http://ift.tt/1xuRprj

Sunday, September 28, 2014

New Holland

September 28, 2014. Today was draining, in more ways than one. Program management and essay editing took up the morning, then a long uphill slog against a brutal wind took up the afternoon. On top of that, the Blue Jays lost their final game of the season, without even scoring a run, to fall into third behind the hated Yankees. But these New Holland machines were at the top of the hill, as though to remind me thatm king harvest will surely come.

from Flickr http://ift.tt/1qLeVYl

Saturday, September 27, 2014


September 27, 2014. I had a scare this week as I left my laptop on the plane Thursday night. So today began with a quick trip to Air Canada baggage services to get it back (phew!). In the afternoon it was back on the bicycle for a 53 km run out to Salisbury, which is where this picture was taken (people around here will recognize the fence).

from Flickr http://ift.tt/YsfnVe

Friday, September 26, 2014


September 26, 2014. The tree across the road is always the first to turn colour in the fall and this year is no exception. As you can see, it's well into the process of turning bright red. And yes, this means I'm back home again, taking an easy day to recover from the last few weeks.

from Flickr http://ift.tt/Ylypwg

Thursday, September 25, 2014


September 25, 2014. Still in Ottawa on training, and was also able to attend the NRC staff barbeque to kick off the United Way fundraiser.

from Flickr http://ift.tt/1v4A0TZ


September 24, 2014. In Ottawa for training. This is Arlene, who is leading our session on 'Fierce Conversations' (tm) today. By this time tomorrow I will be able to instil fear and awe in my staff.

from Flickr http://ift.tt/YdV7GK

Moncton Airport

September 23, 2014. On my way to Ottawa this evening for aa training workshop (so the whole day is focused on gettings tuff done before my 3:30 flight).

from Flickr http://ift.tt/1rw6yW1

Monday, September 22, 2014

Election Day

Election Day

September 22, 2014. I love elections! No matter who wins, I just feel extra happy on election day. This place - the polling place (that's it's actual name, 'Polling Place') is the core of our democracy. It's very low-tech. You are given a voting card ahead of time (or you can register on the spot by providing some proof of residence) to the people on the left, who give you a voting card. You take the voting card to the next table (stright ahead) and they take your card and give you a ballot (notice how the two-stage process makes the ballot anonymous?). You then take your ballot to a booth (you can see one of them at right) to make your ballot in private (we used to be given a pencil, but now we use a black marker - technology marches on). The ballot is then taken to the deposit box (also not seen) where it's scanned (for quick counting) and saved (in case a recount is needed). It's a reminded that the ballot is a physical token, and this token is necessary to provide tangible evidence of the actual count. Do away with the token, and you do away with democracy. P.S. this location is also where I have spin class when I'm hone, three times a week - all the bikes are stored behind the door under the basket - and obviously spin class was cancelled for today.

from Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/stephen_downes/15137678448/in/photostream/

Saturday, September 20, 2014


September 21, 2014. The view from inside the Air Canada lounge at Frankfurt airport, the first stop on the trip home from Saudi Arabia. Six hours completed, another ten or so to go.

from Flickr http://ift.tt/1v5jFwj

View From The Top

September 20, 2014. At the top of the Kingdopm Tower, 99th floor, the view looking south over Riyadh. In the distance you can see the Globe restaurant where we had dinner a few days earlier (and from which I took a photo of this very tower).

from Flickr http://ift.tt/1uqDfT4

Friday, September 19, 2014


September 19, 2014. Yes, it's the same building again, but I couldn't resist after capturing this interesting effect on a nice Friday afternoon walk - the Kingdom Center Tower can be seen lighting up the Arabian desert dust in a fan reflecting the sunlight. It being Friday, of course, everything was closed, at least until four, but I was able to enjoy the 40 degree weather just the same.

from Flickr http://ift.tt/1wx6e9J

Thursday, September 18, 2014

In a Ball Suspended in the Sky...

September 18, 2014. If you look at the picture I took the other day - this one of the city skyline - and you see the round ball at the top of a skyscraper, you can see the restaurant where I shot this photo (and had a gourmet meal). Today was a good day, with a presentation, a panel, a tour of a major museum, and topped off by this dinner.

from Flickr http://ift.tt/1sx3s0f

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Chinese Food

September 17, 2014. My excellent hosts here in Riyadh join us for Chinese food downtown (I'd say where but I'm not exactly sure where, but it was quite near the 7-star hotel) (which I'm not in).

from Flickr http://ift.tt/1u1J7G7


September 16, 2014. Jet lag day. Slept a bit, had a meeting, and went out for a short walk in the evening, when I was able to take this shot of Riyadh.

from Flickr http://ift.tt/1mfxdFU


September 15, 2014. Spent the entire day in an airplane flying from Bogota to Frankfurt to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. After a longish stay in customs, I enjoyed a high-speed drive along miles of empty highway to my hotel, seeing only the occasional billboard like the one above.

from Flickr http://ift.tt/XibSQp

Sunday, September 14, 2014

El Dorado

September 14, 2009. Today I spent the day at El Dorado airport in Bogota. Flew here this morning from Pereira, flying out this evening headed for Riyadh. It's a nice airport, and now I know it intimately.

from Flickr http://ift.tt/1BEzSMX

Plaza De Bolivar

September 13, 2014. Just one of many beautiful photos I took during an all-day 18.5 km walk all through Pereira today; I can't wait to share them all.

from Flickr http://ift.tt/1qUtnlV


September 12, 2014. The last day of the conference. Watched a talk by Diego Leal, took part in a panel, then spent some time at the botanical gardens at the university having lunch and then taking pictures of hummingbirds.

from Flickr http://ift.tt/1sPP5Ia

Friday, September 12, 2014

All The World's A Stage

I took this photo just before my presentation in Pereira today, and used it as my closing slide, to underline the idea that people associate and create and share on their own, in a self-organized sort of way, just as was happening right outside the conference facility as I talked.

from Flickr http://ift.tt/1xWkkpu


September 10, 2014. This is the view across the street from my hotel in Pereira, Colombia, where I'm presenting at the 'Desconectado' conference. It has been difficult uploading photos from here so I'm a bit behind.

from Flickr http://ift.tt/1qQXgCb

Thursday, September 11, 2014

New York

September 9, 2014. I spent the nine hour layover in New York walking up Broadway from Penn Station at 32nd Street up to the top of Central Park at 105th Street.

from Flickr http://ift.tt/1BvOZYY

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Office in Morning

September 8, 2014. I knew this would be my only real time to take a photo in a very busy day, wall-to-wall meetings and work, as I prepare for my trip and tie up loose ends.

from Flickr http://ift.tt/1AyKquK

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Bumper Crop

September 7, 2014. Quiet day indoors, lost of rest to recover from last week and get ready for the next coupld weeks, which will be busy. Hence this photo from my front garden featuring a bumper crop of coneflowers and brown-eyed susans.

from Flickr http://ift.tt/1w5alMx


September 6, 2014. Farmland seen from Homestead Road on the last 30 degree day just half an hour or so before the cold front came through and pushed away the summer haze. Beautiful day for a ride.

from Flickr http://ift.tt/1AnRpX8

Friday, September 5, 2014

Cat and Keyboard

September 5, 2014. This is why I can't get any work done at home. Alex is now attracted by the sound of typing, which means to him that it's time to jump on my desk to be petted.

from Flickr http://ift.tt/1xmPWV3

Thursday, September 4, 2014


September 4, 2014. This is a typical lunch I eat when I'm in my office. It's composed of one pepper, one carrot, four small tomatos, a small tin of flavoured tuna, an unsalted spice mix, and some curry powder, mised with 4 tuna tins of water (also used to rinse the tuna tin for recycling), and microwaved for 12 minutes. Healthy, and the process of making my lunch from scratch each day using these ingredients feels right, in a Zen sort of way.

from Flickr http://ift.tt/1pPI0Yg

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


September 3, 2014. So shiny it hurts. This is a Krups coffee maker on display in Sears, the twin of the new coffee maker we just bought to replace the old one (the electronics didn't survive the camping trip)(yes we take a coffee maker camping). Obviously design is everything for this maker, but I think the basic approach will also brew great coffee. We'll see. Meanwhile it makes me wonder what the designers thing, and how they envision their product looking in stores. So this photo is for them - a presentation of their work in a small store in a small city far away from their direct influence. Still a work of art.

from Flickr http://ift.tt/1rrEeDE

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Chicken Thighs

September 2, 2014. Back in town, back at Costco, looking at massive quantities of food. I'm not eating chicken these days buy I did buy bulk frozen farmed salmon (farmed, because when we fish from the wild, we can't be trusted not to overfish until it's all gone).

from Flickr http://ift.tt/1q8WRvW

Monday, September 1, 2014


September 1, 2014. Back at home and running errands - this view is of my garage as seen through the front windshield of my car (yes those are rain drops on the screen). I don't really like the garage; it wasn't well-constructed, and the roof is falling apart, and it gets bropken into so I can't really use it for storage.

from Flickr http://ift.tt/1r7DbZi