Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

2019/10 Moments October 2019

Toronto, Ontario; Bala, Ontario; Gravenhurst, Ontario

Stewart Building
Stewart Building: Learning text processing @RLadiesGlobal @ellamkaye visiting Toronto. #Rstats extended with RVerbalExpressions, TidyText and Wordcloud packages, as alternative approach to tools taught in the Digital Humanities course at EdX Harvard. Post-presentation dialogue expansion to the Tidyverse style, taken offline in deeper exploration of features from other programming languages. (R-Ladies Toronto, Stewart Building, College Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20191005
Corkin Gallery:
Corkin Gallery: Guided tour for Kirkwood Society @Trinity_College Art Crawl @corkingallery. @milesgertler (2017) Signal Structure 01 steel barricades as in Europe, painted black with white rectangular patches in a camouflage-like pattern. On second floor of show with collection celebrating 40 years, When The Sun Departs For A New Horizon. (Corking Gallery, Tank House Lane, Distillery District, Toronto, Ontario) 20191005
Sears Atrium
Sears Atrium: Mine the Data @ChangSchool company showcase and networking event starting with @WalterFlaat @dentsuaegis blinded by sunlight, leading to second presenter wearing sunglasses. Officially not #DataScience or #BigData hiring event, attendees learned about what’s happening in the market, with intelligence about candidate selection. Event full to capacity with eager students, young and old. (Sears Atrium, George Vari Centre, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario) 20191010
Jimmie Simpson Rec Centre
Jimmie Simpson Rec Centre: Beautiful fall day for federal @ElectionsCan_E #elxn43 advance poll, #ItsOurVote in our neighbourhood #tordan. Quick in-and-out, with poll clerks at door checking card, directing to small gym, waiting for just a few people in line, giving card and ID, getting ballot and marking off. I prefer the big picture, and am unlikely to change my opinion before election day with crowds. (Toronto-Danforth riding, Jimmie Simpson Recreation Centre, Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20191011
Muskoka Lakes Farm and Winery
Muskoka Lakes Farm and Winery: Harvest line at work @CranberryDotCA. Spoke with @CranberryFarmer, we went to @GravenhurstHS together a generation ago, his four sons are younger than our four sons. Berries in hopper fed into air cleaner, operator removing clinging vines. This building was constructed in 1986, DY and I last visited Johnstons Cranberry Marsh in 1984. (Muskoka Lakes Farm and Winery; Cranberry Road, Bala, Ontario) 20191012
Gravenhurst childhood
Gravenhurst childhood: Eyeglass frames, late 1960s or early 1970s, broken but not discarded in the accumulated family legacy. These may have been my brother’s or mine, there was no optician in our home town, so orders had to come by mail. Artifacts of a life so long ago, and trash in today’s context. (Muskoka Road S., Gravenhurst, Ontario) 20191013
Victoria Building
Victoria Building: Arrived for morning class @RyersonU @ChangSchool to find students exiting building. Entrance delayed 15 minutes, was told that alarm was pulled. Extra time for fresh air, crisp weather with frost warning last night. (Victoria Building, Ryerson University, Victoria Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20191015
GTA R Users Group
GTA R Users Group: Association Rules in #RStats #MichaelEnquist @gta_r_users. Major grocery chain dataset with 50,000 customers, 37,000 merchandise items leading to sparse matrix. Apriori algorithm with support at 0.00001 results in 167000 rules. Unlike to run the complete dataset in a reasonable amount of time, more intelligence makes it a popular approach. (GTA R Users Group, Insight Data Science, Adelaide Street E., Toronto, Ontario) 20191016
GTA R Users Group
GTA R Users Group: Graduate students @mbonsma @JS_Santangelo @ahmedrhasan lead #RStats livecoding course @eebtoronto , @gta_r_users briefed. Experiences published @JOSS_TheOJ http://dx.doi.org/10.21105/jose.00049 . Started as 4th year course, evolved to EEB313 Quantitative Methods in R for Biology https://uoftcoders.github.io/rcourse/ . Data science is in the future for researchers, but few are up to date on tools. (GTA R Users Group, Insight Data Science, Adelaide Street E., Toronto, Ontario) 20191016
Queens Cafe (1950s) Gravenhurst
Queens Cafe (1950s) Gravenhurst: Discovered stack of order blanks for our family’s restaurant in the 1950s (or 1960s). Header reads:
* We Serve Dinner from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
* All meals include Soup, Bread, Butter, Potatoes and Dessert.
* Tea, Coffee or Milk with Meal 10c Extra.
Footer reads:
* Kindly tell waiter if you desire Meals Well Done, Medium or Rare.
* Not Responsible for Lost or Mislaid Articles.
Was this from the early 1950s, before Chinese food was served in town? Clearing out historical artifacts. (Queen’s Cafe, Muskoka Road S. Gravenhurst, Ontario) 20191019
  • My father, Kent Ing, filled in the story. Although steak was available, the most popular dish at the Queen’s Cafe was fish and chips, at 30 cents. When the price was raised to 35 cents, the customers really complained. The popular breakfast order was pancakes, drawn from 3 pails of batter each morning. Chinese food was on the menu, with the popular choice chop suey — lots of beansprouts! — and chow main (chop suey with dried noodles on top).

    My father Kent came to Canada in 1949. My grandfather Henry (See Chong) Ing had been in Toronto for some years. In 1951, my grandmother (Toy Ping) and uncle (Harry) came to Canada. My grandfather wasn’t making enough in the Toronto to support the whole family.

    My father Kent spent a summer working in the Chinese restaurant in Orillia. My grandfather and father decided to try their own business. They first talked to a restaurant owner in Brampton. Asking how many were working in that restaurant, the response was 1-1/2 — the owner, and half-time by the old man upstairs. That wasn’t enough business to sustain the family.

    There wasn’t a Chinese restaurant in Gravenhurst in 1951. The store at 350 Muskoka Road South had been a radio store, but was vacant. My grandfather and father bought the store. They got a loan from family (an Ing in Toronto, on Dundas Street West) for the full amount. A Toronto fixtures company offered to design and construct the whole restaurant, no money down, with payment due in three years. There were also plumbers and electricians to pay. Banks wouldn’t loan money.

    There were 7 Chinese who came to Gravenhurst, including Henry, Kent, Sen, Jack and his nephew. They were so poor that lunch was a slice of bread with a little bit of jam.
    When Queen’s Cafe opened, it was the most modern restaurant between Toronto and Parry Sound. It was so nice that customers were initially intimidated to come in. The reputation grew as a place that served good food, both Western and Chinese.

    My father recalls a boom year, between 1957 and 1958. The construction on Highway 11 near Wasago restricted traffic to a one-way bridge at Washago. This meant that traffic was backed up from Huntsville down Muskoka Road in Gravenhurst. The volume was so high that there was a lineup at the door, and as soon as a customer finished eating, the next would hop into the chair. The profits from that year were enough to fund a house in Toronto on Beverley Street, where my grandfather would eventually retire, and Uncle Harry would go to University of Toronto.

Gravenhurst, Ontario
325 Muskoka Road South: Were there any other Chinese babies born in Muskoka that year? The card reads:
* Room: 14
* Name: Ing, Baby Boy.
* Date: April 10 – 61. Time: 4:10 a.m.
* Weight: 8 Lbs. 1 Ozs.
* Doctor: Chittick
* Wt: 7-13 1/2 on discharge April 18/61
The invoice reads:
* Bracebridge, Ont. April 18, 1961
* Violet Ing and Baby 428-61
* Gravenhurst
* In Account with Bracebridge Memorial Hospital
* April 14 to 18
* 4 days @ 19.75 = 79.00
* 3 days @ 6.00 = 18.00, Balance 97.00
* O.H.S.C Pays: 84.00
* Pt. Owes: 13.00
Document was discovered in bottom drawer of a desk, clearing out family artifacts. (Gravenhurst, Ontario) 20191019
Think Summit 2019
Think Summit 2019: Scaling trusted AI across the enterprise @pavelrahman #RichardHines @samiahmed #StephenKerrigan , #ThinkCanada @IBMCanada experiences at @AirCanada @BMO @kinrossgold. Two emphases for the day are the deluge of data created every day, and the skills gap in labour projected to 2030. Met some former colleagues, talked about the new generation in the company. (Beanfield Centre, Princes Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario) 20191024
Systems Thinking TO
Systems Thinking TO: Planning meeting for #SystemsThinking TO relaunch, as baton is being passed to new leadership. Saturday afternoon worked this time, there will be another planning meeting maybe on weeknight. Looks like regular sessions will restart in January-February timeframe, after holidays. Temporary online venue at https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12303749/ until more details are worked out. (First Canadian Place, King Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20191026
Sharpe Street West
Sharpe Street West: Swinging 1970s bar that was in our family apartment of my childhood over the store, moved downstairs and loaded into truck. Free Stuff Leaving Gravenhurst event advertised on Facebook and Kijiji drew neighbours from Muskoka to take remnants of the former retail store and residence, first established in 1961. Three-hour window welcoming visitors, and we returned to Toronto. (Sharpe Street West, Gravenhurst, Ontario) 29101027
315 Muskoka Road South
315 Muskoka Road South: Reminiscing amongst Karen, Kent and Allan, working together from the 1960s through the 1990s, from the days of Queens Cafe, then at Kent Tv. Those were days when electronics could be repaired by field service technicians, rather than throwing things away. Caught up on kids, grandkids, great-grandkids. (315 Muskoka Road South, Gravenhurst, Ontario) 20191027
  • My father Kent said that George White used to come into Queen’s Cafe at night for a coffee, and to talk. He was complaining that his television wasn’t working, and the serviceman had come over more than few times, and it still wasn’t working properly. He asked if my father would take a look at it.

    Kent went over. He said that it was one of the old televisions where the magnet is in a yoke that goes around the neck of the picture tube. He just adjusted it a bit, and the television worked fine within minutes.

    George went back to work at Rubberset, and said that Kent was a miracle worker. This led to other people in town asking for Kent to fix their televisions.

    So, George White is a key figure in the transition from Queens Cafe to Kent Tv. My father’s business started from the referrals that George started.

2019/09 Moments September 2019

Toronto, Ontario; Gravenhurst, Ontario

Fortune Seafood Restaurant
Fortune Seafood Restaurant: Family dinner on holiday weekend, with everyone back in town. Lobster, peking duck and a series of course. Tofu casserole with shrimp an unfortunate order for a vegan with an shellfish allergy, we added a late request for a mapo tofu dish. (Fortune Seafood Restaurant, Midland Avenue, Scarborough, Ontario) 20190901
Royal York Hotel
Royal York Hotel: Overflow room @AmericasForum #tgf @HeatherReisman hosting @geoffreyhinton @YoshuaBengio on questions of #ArtificialIntelligence. Dual podiums and video cameras in the Canadian room. International attendees, security and metal detector checks on the conference level of building. (Royal York Hotel, Front Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20190905
East West Futons
East West Futons: Remote viewing of product selection for futon cover, videoconference on smartphone for opinion from home. Agreed on smoothest fabric in upholstery grade, available in grey. Replacing an older futon, we tried out three models and selected the firmest. While it’s possible to order online, it’s worth the drive uptown to see and feel furniture in person. (East West Futons, Cartwright Avenue, North York, Ontario) 20190908
Hooked Inc. Leslieville
Hooked Inc. Leslieville: Birthday celebration @Ryan_Ing fish cooking chef @dreid63 class @hookedinc. Hot smoked and cold smoked salmon, potted prawns appetizer; rockfish en papillote; pan fried crisp skin rainbow trout; roasted garlic new potato salad; carrot fennel salad; slow roasted coho salmon in mustard sauce; halibut steamed with hot oil green onions and ginger. Bonus selection of salmon sashimi varieties for guest of honour to compare subtleties. Struggled with quantity, leftovers brought home in 2 minute walk. (Hooked Inc. Leslieville, Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20190909
Hooked Inc. Leslieville:
Hooked Inc. Leslieville: Bonus sample of variety of salmon sashimi, for birthday in cooking class. Warned that one species isn’t normally recommended raw, but knowing your fish makes the difference. (Hooked Inc. Leslieville, Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20190909
Riverside neighbourhood
Riverside neighbourhood: Vegan double chocolate cheesecake and frozen peach cookie, as celebration after an exceptionally meal of fish by private chef educator. Brought home pickles recently canned with local ingredients. (Riverside neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20190909
Nelson Mandela Walk
Nelson Mandela Walk: First day onsite as @RyersonU Chang School continuing education student, encountered construction in progress, east side of Jorgenson Hall towards Podium building. Picked up Onecard student identification and CESAR Handbook. This is the first higher education institution where I’m taking classes and haven’t taught (at least yet). (Nelson Mandela Walk, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario) 20190910
Sawdust City Brewing Co.
Sawdust City Brewing Co.: Dull fall day to be sitting in the oversized Muskoka Chair, summer in cottage country has passed. Climbing the structure has been made easier with safety ridges for traction, but it still takes nerve to dangle legs over the front. The shape is different than an Adirondack Chair, the back is rounder and the arms are wider. (Sawdust City Brewing Co., Muskoka Road N., Gravenhurst, Ontario) 20190914
Gravenhurst Public School
Gravenhurst Public School: I recall going to the “new” modern building of Gravenhurst Public School at Grade 4, having spent kindergarten though Grade 3 in an older structure. Walking two blocks west from our restaurant on the main street seemed so much farther with shorter legs. Fond memories of kind teachers, plus one so strict that she was nicknamed “Sarge”. Graduated to Gravenhurst High School next door. (Gravenhurst Public School, Mary Street S., Gravenhurst, Ontario) 20190915
Lawrence Park neighbourhood
Lawrence Park neighbourhood: Full-sized bed doesn’t fit in microvan as futon did, fortunate to have winched straps to tie down on roof and day without precipitation. Cascading furnishings through extended family ties, as their teenager is taller and still growing. Minor spectacle driving downtown via Bayview Avenue. (Lawrence Park neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20190917
Sala Modern Thai Kitchen
Sala Modern Thai Kitchen: Dinner hosted by houseguest first met by sons on vacation in Thailand, coming across the ocean for the first time for a new world experience. Long dialogues in Thai language with restaurant owner on food preferences and allergies. Food prepared in sauces that seems lighter than those I have recently recalled. Dessert with birthday song for RDI. (Sala Modern Thai Kitchen, Danforth Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20190918
Lukumum
Lukumum: Enjoying gelato and tea at sidewalk cafe, after dinner at Greek restaurant a little further west. Friends dating back to university days, discussing our children living away from home, and places in the world that we’ve travelled. Temperatures warmer than usual, anticipating potentially the last of days of small pleasures outside. (Lukumum, Danforth Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20190921

325 Muskoka Road S.
325 Muskoka Road S.: In the 1960s and 1970s, the sign facing east used to read Kent Tv, Furniture & Appliances. The second window upstairs on the south side is the bedroom that my brother Ben and I shared through primary and high school. I left town in 1976 for university, came back briefly in 1984 with DY after leaving graduate school (the first time), and hadn’t slept here again overnight until last month. We’re clearing out artifacts of a generation that is passing. (325 Muskoka Road S., Gravenhurst, Ontario) 20190929

2019/08 Moments August 2018

Toronto, Ontario; Gravenhurst, Ontario

Japanese Paper Place
Japanese Paper Place: Show and tell @thejpp #GoSomewhere Japanese Art Tour. #AkikoTakeuchi described her approach to painting, as well as creating books with patterns that were used in designing the dress she was wearing. Each panelist spoke about her inspirations and methods, particularly in the choices amongst varieties of washi paper. One stop on a journey through cities Quebec and Ontario, coinciding with celebration of Canada-Japan 90 years of diplomatic relations. (The Japanese Paper Place, The East Mall, Etobicoke, Ontario) 20190801
West Island
West Island: Couple spent 10 minutes canoodling inside the #JapaneseBell, situated on an @OntarioPlace islet just west of #Cinesphere. Solid bronze cast in 1977 was a gift from #JapanExternalTradeOrganization and Japanese Ontarians to the Province. Simcoe Day quiet in the downtown core, many pedestrians near the waterfront. (West Island, Ontario Place, Lake Shore Blvd. West, Toronto, Ontario) 20190805
Corktown Commons
Corktown Commons: Discovered bubble soccer game with players on the grass, on an open athletic field that I’ve never seen in use. Running while carrying a zorb ball must be tiring, as some runners chose to relax on the ground rather than chasing and dribbling. Noticed minivan parked just off the street with deflated balls inside, and small motors ready to pump them up. (Corktown Commons Park, Mill Street at Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20190808
Power Plant Gallery
Power Plant Gallery: Takes some reading to appreciate @abboutjoana and #KhalilJoreige (2014) #TheGeometryOfSpace @ThePowerPlantTO as part of #OnScams exhibition. Circulation of e-mail messages printed in #TheScamAtlases book, drawn on walls in pencil, and represented in 3D with curved oxidized steel rods. Faced surface for traffic in 2008, attendant warned to not lean on the opposite wall, in case the graphite might get rubbed away. (The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Queen’s Quay West, Toronto, Ontario) 20190808
Systems Thinking Ontario
Systems Thinking Ontario: Relaxed first-person reports on summer systems conferences from the west coast @ocadslab . Multiple attendees @asc_cybernetics Vancouver and @isssmeeting Corvallis, so coverage over parallel streams more complete. Many of us have longer history with these systems organizations, providing colour commentary on history and anticipated futures. (Systems Thinking Ontario, Strategic Innovation Lab, Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20190812
Riverside neighbourhood
Riverside neighbourhood: Home cooked meal for family travelling from the UK, on summer vacation back in the land where they started. Before they had kids, they used to look after our kids. After dinner, paper crafting session, as our family doesn’t normally include girls. (Riverside neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20190813
Gravenhurst Opera House
Gravenhurst Opera House: Drove up to my hometown with my father, for a stay of one or two days, to check out the building across the street from the local landmark. Discovering how many loose ends for the family might need wrapping up. Could be the first overnight in the apartment since before DY and I married. (Opera House, Muskoka Road South, Gravenhurst, Ontario) 20190820
Lions Pavilion
Lions Pavilion: On a bright, warm afternoon walking Muskoka Wharf, noticed a Public Outdoor Room (as A Pattern Language #69 describes) that provides shade and a social place to rest. My father said that he was out of town on the two days of construction May 1-2, 1993, by 60 tradespeople and volunteers, but was part of the Lions Club crew who later painted the ceiling white. The colour has changed, and the site is well maintained. Chatted with a woman looking after her grandniece, who remembered saying that such a project would never come to be. Father said he was on town council public works, and approved a suggestion to invite clean fill from excavated sites, filling in the marsh. (Lions Pavilion, Muskoka Wharf, Bay Street, Gravenhurst, Ontario) 20190821
Google Developer Group Cloud Toronto
Google Developer Group Cloud Toronto: Pacman game controlled by #RamkumarArunamoorthy turning head on camera #GDGCloudToronto demonstrating #TensorFlow. Self-paced Intro to ML (Image Processing) @quiklabs course, with leader on big screen helping people getting stuck. Completing the first lab with 60 minute timer countdown isn’t an issue those who came for the GDG Cloud Essentials a few months ago, but puts stress on those unaccustomed to a Linux terminal. (Google Developer Group Cloud Toronto, George Brown College Waterfront Campus, Dockside Drive, Toronto, Ontario) 20190824
Edward Gardens
Edward Gardens: Renewal of vows for 34th year, original venue fountain is still the same, a few more flowers in the background. Noticed more improvements and construction around the grounds. Family dinner of Hakka cuisine a change. (Edward Gardens, Lawrence Avenue East, Don Mills, Ontario) 20190824
Mums the Word
Mums the Word: Social meetup @OpenIDEO_TO local chapter, describing design challenges towards building solutions to tough challenges. Small discussion groups, met some attendees new to city. Exercise on idea generation using How Might We starter, then group refinement to ensure not too broad or narrow. Session sets expectation for upcoming design challenge next month. (Mums the Word, College Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20190827
Systems Thinking TO
Systems Thinking TO: Summer retrospective and thinking forward for #SystemsThinking Ontario, relaxed discussion on plans for rest of year amongst small group. Session was organized on short notice, as last month was prorogued in vacation season. Will bring back swashbooking, and try some case studies as coming events. (System Thinking TO, Loyalty One, King Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20190828
Muskoka Road South
Muskoka Road South: After-dinner couples stroll on main street, Friday of Labour Day long weekend. Dad says that the summer vacationers have already left, preparing children to start school on Tuesday. Brewpub a few blocks north busy serving flights, live music attracting hipsters. (Muskoka Road South, Gravenhurst, Ontario) 20190830

Rickshaw Restaurant
Rickshaw Restaurant: Revisited the place I knew as a child 60 years ago as Queen’s Cafe, where our family had a start in this small town. The basic layout is the same, with a section raised a small step to the east, and the kitchen beyond. The counter facing the south wall with pies in refrigerator cases and milkshake makers is gone, with small tables now in front of a mirror. The room looks smaller, of course, beyond the perspective of a 4-year old. (Rickshaw Restaurant, Muskoka Road South, Gravenhurst, Ontario) 20190831

2019/07 Moments July 2019

Corvallis, Oregon; Silverton, Oregon; Portland, Oregon; Mountain View, California; Alameda, California; North Berkeley, California; San Mateo, California; San Francisco, California; Toronto, Ontario

Goss Stadium
Goss Stadium: Canada Day, but @ISSSMeeting ball game @CorvKnights and @HvilleHammers @GossStadium sing local anthem of the Star Spangled Banner. Our group enjoyed the luxury of the Omaha Room box, theme days with additional characters dressed up in Wizard of Oz costumes. OSU not only has a stadium for baseball, but additionally for football and for basketball. (Goss Stadium, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon) 20190701
South Falls
South Falls: Small detour to Silver Creek @ORStateParks for shortest hike to walk underneath waterfall. Only enough time to view the end of the Ten Falls Loop Hike, joining many families on the gentle incline down to river bed. History reveals the public funding behind the Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Projects Administration between 1935 and 1942. (South Falls, Silver Creek State Park, Silverton, Oregon) 20190702
Seasons and Regions
Seasons and Regions: Catching up on 6 years of lives, since the last time we met was at the alumni weekend in Illinois. Children have grown up, allowing us options in our choices of how we spend our time. Enjoyed Copper River salmon in a restaurant with the Oregon style. (Seasons and Regions Seafood Grill, SW Capitol Highway, Portland, Oregon) 20190702
International Rose Test Garden
International Rose Test Garden: Voluptuous hybrid tea rose is one of the many varieties in bloom, on the high slopes of west Portland. Busy summer day with lots of families speaking foreign languages, appreciating the natural beauty. Not much time to linger in the garden, on our way to the airport. (International Rose Test Garden, Washington Park, Portland, Oregon) 20190703
Taqueria La Bamba
Taqueria La Bamba: Intercept dinner, direct from airport, with relatives due to fly out early next morning. All of us live on the Internet, so conversations online just continue in person. Coming to California presents the local opportunity for Mexican (Salvadoran) restaurants that we don’t have in the north. (Taqueria La Bamba, Rengstorff Avenue, Mountain View, California) 20190703
Henry W Coe State Park
Henry W Coe State Park: Short hike of 1 hour, paused to look at Manzanita tree, with red bark cool to the touch, sometimes called a refrigerator tree. Views of both Anderson Lake where we had driven by picnic visitors, and Coyote Lake to the south. Had refreshments at a farm halfway down the hill, both before and after the walk on a warm summer day. (Henry W. Coe State Park, E. Dunne Avenue, Morgan Hill, California) 20190705
Yoda Fountain
Yoda Fountain: Sought out obscure installation on the campus of Industrial Light and Magic, at the northeast corner of the Presidio lands. Happened across the Skywalker Room, as we wandered about the site. Relaxed day hopping around the city, from SoMa, Marina, Presidio, Sutro Baths, and Sunset. (Yoda Fountain, Letterman Drive, San Francisco) 20190705
East Ocean Restaurant
East Ocean Restaurant: Meeting with maternal Yee aunts, uncle and cousin for dim sum in the East Bay. Mishmash of languages with English, Toisan and Mandarin mixed across generations. Years between gatherings of elders, more opportunities for the young who travel more. (East Ocean Seafood Restaurant, Webster Street, Alameda, California) 20190706
Westbrae neighbourhood
Westbrae neighbourhood: Convening #SystemsThinking salon @MitroffCrisis @bortseb opportunistically expanded with social ties for talk and pizza. Practical questions with theoretical and philosophical back stories, through histories of science. New house is more centrally located in town, conveniences within walking distance. (Westbrae, North Berkeley, California) 20190706
Hummus Mediterranean
Hummus Mediterranean: Early lunch to see @ckensek, maintaining the pattern of visits on practically every Bay Area visit for decades. Small additions to an ongoing conversation, we’re well-connected on social media. Beginning of a full day of activities before heading home tomorrow. (Hummus Mediterranean Kitchen, E. 4th Street, San Mateo, California) 20190707
Fillmore Jazz Festival
Fillmore Jazz Festival: Quartet led by #MichaelZilber, with #OsamEzzeldin #JeffChambers #JeffMarrs, reinterpreting tunes from early #WayneShorter #MilesDavis. This performance was at the California Street Stage located northmost of the festival, a destination as we bypassed multiple other musicians from the south. Explained modal scales to a classically trained musician, puzzling over how an ensemble plays together well. (Fillmore Jazz Festival, Fillmore Street at California Steet, San Francisco, California) 20190708
Neck of the Woods
Neck of the Woods: Emcee Chrissie #CrazyFunnyAsians Comedy Showcase #Hellafunny standup comic @nowmusicsf downstairs, on being a 4th-generation Japanese American now totally Westernized, except her face. First of seven on stage, most living within a few blocks of the venue. Venue almost full on for an Sunday early evening show, great for audience members with a day job. (Neck of the Woods, Clement Street, San Francisco, California) 20190707
SFO Gate G94
SFO Gate G94: Porcelain enamel on steel @squeakcarnwath (1999) Fly Flight Fugit. End of a good visit to the Bay Area, DY says that there are still many places to visit beyond the tourist places. (San Francisco International Airport, California). 20190708
Chow Optometrist
Chow Optometrist: Imaging of gas-permeable contact lens fitting explains why my vision is foggy in the left eye. Incomplete wetting means that there are dry spots behind the lens. Remedy is to take a few more minutes to more diligently rub wetting solution into lens, or else switch to an alternative hydrogen peroxide formulation that coats the surface with a moisturizer. (Chow Optometrist, Ferrier Street, Markham, Ontario) 20190712
Scrap Metal
Scrap Metal: Plexiglass and formica sheets curved in resistance @juliadault (2013) Untitled 26 is bound stably in curves with Everlast boxing wraps below, and cotton cord above. A cautious engineer might suggest staying at a distance in the case the bindings snap. Intermittent rains, pitter-patter on flat roof of the venue. (Scrap Metal Gallery, Dublin Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20190713
Christie Pits Park
Christie Pits Park: Picnic @TheLeadersExp Toronto Local Circle, @HCrochetiere reserved ahead for the shelter, removing stress when rain materialized. A small social project for the summer, our first together! Random potluck sharing, leftovers to take home. (Christie Pits Park, Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20190716
CSI 192 Spadina
CSI 192 Spadina: Design Session for Social Innovation in Canada @SICanadaTeam @csiTO, attendees introducing selves and sharing breakout conversations. Outline of progress since preliminary consultation late last year, seeking input into beta-beta thinking on pan-Canadian programs under development. Given timeboxed scope for questions, meeting innovators with mutual interests, we barely had time to get past introductions. (Centre for Social Innovation, Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20190718
CSI Regent Park
CSI Regent Park: Serving #csiPattyonthePARTY-O @csiTO annual celebration of summer. Pre-count of barbeque food preferences this year, found vegetarians served before omnivores. Enjoyed music outside, watermelon inside. (Centre for Social Innovation Regent Park, Dundas Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20190718
Xpace Cultural Centre
Xpace Cultural Centre: Art installation @sangminl (2019) How to Fix a Broken Home, fills project space @xpacecc . Subtle East Asian influences with bananas of varying ripeness, large bags of rice, and Bart and Marge Simpson with bright yellow skin. Wooden frame with a pitched roof outlines the larger context, we view from the outside. (Xpace Cultural Centre, Lansdowne Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20190720
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema: Panel @KGreenbergTO @ThisTechGirl @JohnLorinc on relevance of film Our Beautiful City, on the Minnesota Experimental City 1960s-1970s, to Toronto today. @WaterfrontTO cited as one of world’s best multi-level government corporations. Clarification of @SidewalkToronto as responding to urban issues including traffic congestion and affordable housing. The phrase “smart cities” is not used by the organizations. Difference in opinion about process, consultation and transparency on a 2-year schedule. (Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20190724
Perfect Chinese Restaurant
Perfect Chinese Restaurant: Weekday dim sum, taking time out since we haven’t seen each other in a while. Hadn’t appreciated that one room of the resto charges slightly less per dish, that’s posted on Chinese in the wall. Artful dodging on menu for vegan diet relaxed with fish, selected too many choices and brought home leftovers. (Perfect Chinese Restaurant, Sheppard Avenue East, Scarborough, Ontario) 20190722
Beaches Jazz Streetfest
Beaches Jazz Streetfest: Evening set @robnchrisca @quincybullen on street closed off @beachesjazz . A few women stepped out in the clearing to dance; the majority just watched. Heavy crowds roaming in packs, bands alternating times to minimize crosstalk. (Beaches Jazz Streetfest, Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20190726
Yonge-Dundas Square
Yonge-Dundas Square: Midday set @tastemiddleeast #Sephardic fusion @Avivachernick @ozereband @justingraybass previewing #BalkanLadino style in recording fall release. Rain subsided just as band started playing. Plaza full of kiosks and visitors, hot sun returned an hour later. (Yonge-Dundas Square, Toronto, Ontario) 20190727
Sushi Bistro
Sushi Bistro: Post-sushi lunch, 3 ex-Vancouver natives stepped out into a hot day, two had sun hats. We live relatively close to each other, just needed follow-through to pick a time and place. Checking in on news of family and friends. Food constraints were less restrictive than our last visit. (Sushi Bistro, Danforth Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20190729

AGO
AGO: Audience on benches @agotoronto watching screens of #BrianJurgen (1998-2019) Archive of Nike Air Jordan shoeboxes. Shelves are on the side wall, but videos show contents inside of everyday items and source materials. Larger Friendship Centre exhibition of sculptures made from consumer products, and showing of a recut film. Arrived at building just at 6pm, to join teeming crowds queued up for free admission. (Art Gallery of Ontario, Dundas Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20190731

2019/06 Moments June 2019

Toronto, Ontario; Vancouver, BC; Corvallis, Oregon

Massey-Harris Building
Massey-Harris Building:  Well-restored 5-storey office building constructed in 1883, last surviving structure of the manufacturing complex for agricultural machinery. Next to a park, converted in 2003 into soft and hard lofts. Plaque on the side dedicates “to the memory of those members of the staffs of the offices and factories of Massey-Harris Company Limited and of their subsidiary companies, who gave their lives on the active service in His Majesty’s Forces or in the Allied Armies, in the Great War 1914-1918”. (Massey-Harris Building, King Street West, Liberty Village, Toronto, Ontario) 20190603
Dundas West Fest
Dundas West Fest: From eastern end of @DundasWestFest, walked west through crowds on closed thoroughfare for almost an hour, by kiosks of local breweries, food specialities, kids play areas and live music. Summer in Toronto has really arrived, lots of people in shorts and sandals. Universities are out, but primary and secondary schools are not yet finished for the year. A reminder of a Toronto neighbourhood for residents more than tourists, biked there and biked back. (Dundas Street West of Ossington Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20190609
Elgin Theatre
Elgin Theatre: Bows @ComeFromAwayTO performance, I enjoyed but had unexpected anxieties from 9/11 memories of being across the Hudson River from the Twin Towers, at Palisades NY in 2001. My #4 son would have been 8 years old then, it’s hard to relate how the USA changed that day, and hasn’t been the same since. On the Tuesday morning we were teaching a class; on the Thursday, I drove to Albany, rode a train to Buffalo, and picked up a rental car to Toronto. I remember the ordinariness of the restaurant lunch with my spouse on that bright Friday afternoon. (Elgin Theatre, Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20190611
Best Buy Bay-Dundas
Best Buy Bay-Dundas: More than satisfied @BestBuyCanada with staff Darren and Mark assessing our wants, then offering a deal that was irresistible. Coming off a disappointment with a delivery from an online retailer, we received professional opinions on merits and demerits of alternative brands, and then inventory availability across the chain. Serious shopping in person, with knowledgeable staff in retail stores, can still be rewarding. We had biked over, and enlisted another son to drive over with the microvan for a pickup. (Best Buy, Bay and Dundas, Toronto, Ontario) 20190614
Perfect Chinese Restaurant
Perfect Chinese Restaurant: Weekend busy, so dim sum on a Saturday to convene for Father’s Day. For a change, the grandfather is staying in town, and everyone else is in-and-out. Sons added guest from the Lowkong clan, there’s is another generation in the neighbourhood that meets more frequently than the regular formal events. (Perfect Chinese Restaurant, Sheppard Avenue East, Scarborough, Ontario) 20190615
Lalibela
Lalibela: Hosting @mikewittenstein in the multicultural Toronto experience with Ethiopian dinner, eating with our hands. Restaurant reservation was miscommunicated, manager graciously asked other customers to shift to accommodate our group. Our sons might not remember the time we visited Mike in Atlanta, as they were children en route to Disney World. (Lalibela Cuisine, Danforth Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20190615
MPI WEC
MPI WEC: Experience design the main thrust of @mikewittenstein presentation @MPI WEC. Leaders want strategy execution, but attendees (customers) expect full-on experiences. Agenda tailored to Getting Better Meeting Outcomes, hands-on table breakouts applying methods with team observers, and then journey mapping. The last time I saw this friend formally present is pushing 2 decades. (Meeting Professionals International, World Education Conference, Metro Toronto Convention Centre South, Bremner Blvd., Toronto, Ontario) 20190616
Heartland neighbourhood
Heartland neighbourhood: Backyard celebration of #FrancescaSing bachelor’s degree in sociology from Carleton University. Our family has known her family before she was conceived. Strong ties with friends endure. (Heartland neighbourhood, Mississauga, Ontario) 20190616
Paramount Front Street
Paramount Front Street: Convening long time friends, one flying 950 miles, the other driving 50 miles, to sync up on ideas over Middle Eastern small dishes. Discussed the progression from Adaptive Enterprise thinking on Reason-for-Being as shifting towards stories as easier for people to express. Timing coincided with Raptors celebration parade, but getting to selected venue still required creative routing around the crowds. (Paramount Middle Eastern Kitchen, Front Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20190619
Toronto Jazz Festival
Toronto Jazz Festival: Sax solo @LesterMcLean @TorontoJazzFest @Occhipintimusic @louis_simao @themarkmclean in mid-afternoon gig with Bloor Street closed for pedestrians. Crowd-pleasing set, later walked out with wireless mic to move barricades and allow audience closer to dance. Biking cross town encountered Pride Toronto parade, many blocks through crowds, dismounted. (Toronto Jazz Festival, TD Side Stage, Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20190623
Simon KY Lee Home
Simon KY Lee Home: Short visit for DY with mother on fly-though loose connection at YVR. Shared dim sum, strawberries and peach. Short walk around the courtyard to enjoy the bright summer day on the west coast. Then Canada Line back to the airport, and we’re continuing our journey southbound. (Simon KY Lee Senior Care Home, Carrall Street, Vancouver, BC) 20190626
Howland Plaza
Howland Plaza: Stuart Jacobson (2002) The Heart of the Valley basalt and marble sculpture, on a park green strip, high on the west bank of the Willamette River. Low energy day, recovering after a 23-hour day of travel leading to insufficient sleep. Arrived wearing shorts on the previous year, unpacked long pants and umbrella for today. (Howland Plaza, Riverside Park, First Street, Corvallis, Oregon) 20190627
CH2M Alumni Centre
CH2M Alumni Centre: Welcome desk @ISSSMeeting @OSUAlumniCenter on first day, registration packages ready for attendees. Bright, open venue evokes the spirit of optimism in the American Pacific Northwest. Seeing many familiar faces, plus some earlier in their systems thinking experiences. (CH2M Hill Alumni Centre, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon) 20190628
CH2M Alumni Centre
CH2M Alumni Centre: Poster @ISSSMeeting @OSUAlumniCenter @MarcoCataffo @snousala @daviding Data Standards for Computational Ecology: Constraining soft sub-systems to increase internal complexity for community resilience. http://creativesystemic.com/posters/ Research in progress, not the final publication. Third author is the courier to the conference. (CH2M Hill Alumni Centre, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon) 20190629
CH2M Alumni Centre
CH2M Alumni Centre: Workshop @ISSSMeeting @OSUAlumniCenter with @bortseb on Open Learning Commons and Digital Life Collective @tech_we_trust. Team of stewards convened for official launch of open source tools for collaboration, towards the promise of learning journeys for which artifacts endure. Relaxed pace through http://isss2019.daviding.wiki.openlearning.cc/view/introduction-to-the-open-learning-commons-and-the-digital-life-collective (CH2M Hill Alumni Center, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon) 20190630

CH2M Alumni Centre
CH2M Alumni Centre: Workshop @ISSSMeeting @OSUAlumniCenter with @wardcunningham @michaelwmehaffy on Federated Wiki and Pattern Language. A few attendees claimed personal sites on wiki.openlearning.cc . From start.fed.wiki , readers got comfortable with cursor keys and moving around #FederatedWiki. Then, from mehaffy.fed.wiki.org , recent history on advancing #PatternLanguage. Loose agenda at http://isss2019.daviding.wiki.openlearning.cc/view/introduction-to-federated-wiki-and-pattern-language . (CH2M Hill Alumni Center, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon) 20190630

2019/05 Moments May 2019

Toronto, Ontario; Waterloo, Ontario.

TIFF Bell Lightbox
TIFF Bell Lightbox: Post-show hilmaafklint_thefilm Q-A with HalinaDyrschka, Viewed film as guest of @KellyOkamura, arriving on bike just before lights went down. Story of legitimation of Swedish abstract artist from 1906, predating Kandinski. Works were willed to her family after her passing, with conditions to keep secret for 20 years, and not sell. (Bell Lightbox, King Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20190503
Janes Walk, Front Street East at Parliament Street
Janes Walk, Front Street East at Parliament Street: Past and present @JanesWalkTO led by @JohnLorinc “A Meandering History of the Lower Don”. Site of first parliament for Upper Canada, burned down in 1813 by American nail forces. Reconstructed but then disastrous fire in 1824, derelict until the 1838 third York jail in 1838. Building demolished in 1887, became gasification works with a rail spur for the Consumer Gas Company, until the early 1960s. Today, the historic location is a car wash and car rental parking lot, pending redevelopment. (Front Street East at Parliament Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20190504
Janes Walk, Distillery Lane
Janes Walk, Distillery Lane: On land @JanesWalkTO led by @JohnLorinc “A Meandering History of the Lower Don” that was Ashbridges Bay Marsh before landfill. Cherry Street would have been part of the Don River delta, before the waterway was channelled further east, with an unnatural 90-degree turn as the Keating Channel in the late 1890s. The combination of industrial waste and human excrement combined into public health hazard, corrected with conversion into a massive industrial district from 1912-1922. Today, the Gooderham and Worts site has been redeveloped into the Distillery District. (Distillery Lane, Distillery District, Toronto, Ontario) 20190504
Janes Walk, Cherry Street Lift Bridge
Janes Walk, Cherry Street Lift Bridge: Crossing over @JanesWalkTO led by @JohnLorinc “A Meandering History of the Lower Don” smaller bascule lift bridge spanning the canalized mouth of the Don River flowing westward. Down the pier, dredging cranes are clearing the sediment in the Keating Channel, preempting potential river backups and flooding. The industrial precinct to the south will be transformed over the next 20 years, as the river will be naturalized. (Cherry Street Lift Bridge, Port Lands, Toronto, Ontario) 20190504
Janes Walk, Villiers Street at Don Roadway
Janes Walk, Villiers Street at Don Roadway: Wet grass @JanesWalkTO led by @JohnLorinc “A Meandering History of the Lower Don” on land that will become a new shallower southbound channel emptying into wetland. Keating Channel will remain as the deeper westbound channel, with new promenades at water’s edge, while the Gardiner Expressway is moved further north. The Don River was never straight lines, these engineering projects aim to renaturalize the landscape to preempt flooding. (Distillery Lane, Distillery District, Toronto, Ontario) 20190504
Cineplex Yonge Dundas
Cineplex Yonge Dundas: Family viewing of #AvengersEndgame in IMAX 3D, in a full showing, 9 days after its opening. We normally prefer IMAX 2D in a full-size screen, but reserved seats were sold out. The movie seemed shorter than its 3h01m running time, tying up the 21-episode series that we’ve followed for some years. (Cineplex Yonge Dundas, Dundas Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20190504
Sushi Style
Sushi Style: After movie, indulged in late night sushi party tray. We were the only guests dining in, a steady stream of pickups and delivery people coming through the door. The assortment of fish was fresh and traditional, without fusion creativity that wouldn’t be seen in Japan. We chose to not partake before the 3h01m film that tests bladder capacity. (Sushi Style, Dundas Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20190504
CSI Spadina
CSI Spadina: Gathering as #SystemsThinking Peer Circle @climatecsi @csiTO, working out yet another approach in the Systems Changes program. Providing a one-page map helps connecting ideas that don’t always follow linearly. Challenging balance between theoretical validity, plain language understanding and resonance. The groups is open, with the curious and the immersed. (Climate Ventures, Centre for Social Innovation, Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20190506
AGO
AGO: Step-up pedestal @agoToronto @jkarah (2018) “Slipper progress, Low tide”, part of “Water in two colours” show. Made of brass elevator panel, silver-plated tube, aluminum duct, concrete, and LED. Found objects transformed with new spatial and narrative connections. Heard many foreign languages spoken in the gallery, spring weather drawing tourists. (Art Gallery of Ontario, Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20190508
Pearson Terminal 3
Pearson Terminal 3: Smiles and excitement for sons #4, 3, and 2, on pending departure for flight to Hong Kong, where they’ll intercept son #1 for connection to Bangkok. The flight from Toronto is now leaving late, within 5 minutes of scheduled flight from San Francisco. My guess is that the HKG-BKK flight will be delayed to arrive after midnight, or Cathay Pacific will be paying for hotel rooms overnight due to missed connection. Empty nesters at home expecting quiet for 2 weeks. (Toronto Pearson Airport) 20190510
Mount Pleasant Cemetery
Mount Pleasant Cemetery: Bright sunny day for tomb sweeping honouring grandmother and grandfather, spades to clear accumulated debris and trowels to plant new flowers. Schedule of intercepts, coming from other commitments, followed by other gatherings. Appreciated vegetarian options from the usual barbeque meat-heavy choices. (Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto, Ontario) 20190519
Pine Hills Cemetery
Pine Hills Cemetery: Lowkong Society gathering at the Ng Wu Ing Eng monument for annual honouring of relatives who immigrated from China. Clear weather on the Victoria Day weekend. (Pine Hills Cemetery, Birchmount Road, Scarborough, Ontario) 20190519
Adelaide Courtyard
Adelaide Courtyard: Installation #StaceySpiegel (1991) Synthetic Eden, in courtyard hidden behind One Financial Place at Yonge Street and Adelaide Street, large decal looming above on 20 Victoria Street. Discovered on leisurely bike exploration on Victoria Day Monday, when both business people and tourists were not prowling the sidewalks. Art isn’t obvious from Adelaide Street, behind a maze of frosted glass walls. Location is not to be confused with the Richmond-Adelaide Square Courtyard, a few blocks further west on the other side of Bay Street. (Adelaide Courtyard, 87 Yonge Street and 20 Victoria Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20190520
Former Seagram Museum
Former Seagram Museum: Friendly security guard escorted us to view decorative barrels now empty, historical architecture formerly housing CIGI 2003-2014. Door with Seagram crest says established 1857, predating this distillery building from 1878. The Centre for International Governance Innovation has moved to a modernist campus next door, and Shopify Plus moved in. I had been in some academic events in the great hall, it’s now rows of desks with computers. (Former Seagram Museum, Erb Street, Waterloo, Ontario) 20180522
CANSEE 2019
CANSEE 2019: Learning from @ktkish and son Logan @CANSEE_org covering @DaveMallery varying #DrSeuss on “Oh, The Things You CAN’T Think” on how #EcologicalEconomics could learn from a deeper appreciation of SystemsTheory. Citing #HowardTOdum, #KennethBoulding, #NicholasGeorgescuRoegen and #IlyaProgogine sparked recollections from @DavidLHawk who had met three of the four. While much of #EcologicalEconomics has swung towards the nonmaterial, #IndustrialEcology is largely material. (Canadian Society for Ecological Economics 2019 meeting, Centre for International Governance Innovation campus, Erb Street, Waterloo, Ontario) 20190523
CANSEE 2019
CANSEE 2019: Workshop with @davidlhawk @CANSEE_org on Systems Changes, Environmental Deterioration. Two position presentations, attendees introduced selves, then had open discussion aiming to synthesize the ideas. Leisurely pace encouraging us to think together, as compared to the time-constrained agendas in other sessions. Notetaker will produce summary in a few weeks. (Canadian Society for Ecological Economic, CIGI Campus, Erb Street, Waterloo, Ontario) 20190524
Riverside neighbourhood
Riverside neighbourhood: Brunch extending into afternoon with @davidlhawk #SystemsThinking discussion in back yard with wonderful weather. Mutual sensemaking on negotiated order applied to building 4-storey house without architectural drawings near Salina, Iowa. Steered discussion towards 40th anniversary of publication of Regulation of Environmental Deterioration, towards new chapter on It’s Too Early, It’s Too Late, Now What. Looking forward to some continuing the discussion when we might convene on a midwest road trip. (Riverside neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20190526
Buddhas Restaurant
Buddhas Restaurant: Extended family dinner celebrating nephew’s acceptance as visiting scholar at Cambridge U. in the fall, before he departs on summer of international conferences and visiting home. Discussion migrated from sharing recent news, towards “what is history and philosophy of science”, and its relevance to today’s world. Wide variety of vegan dishes, better shared as a group. (Buddha’s Restaurant, Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20190526
SystemsThinkingTO
SystemsThinkingTO: Selecting #PatternLanguage cards at #SystemsThinkingTO, first @GroupWorksDeck then #LiberatingVoices, each followed by generative conversation. Artifacts decentered discussion on good/bad meetings and loving/hating our cities, leading to deeper learning about acquaintances. Games night tries alternative ways of learning about #SystemsThinking. (SystemsThinkingTO, LoyaltyOne, King Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20190529

Lower Don Trail
Lower Don Trail: Alongside path, @DuaneLinklater (2017) Monsters for Beauty, Permanence and Individuality installation, 14 cast concrete gargoyles replicating those found on Toronto buildings. A little further along, found the Middle Mill plaque, marking location of paper factory for news publishers 1939-1989. Climbed out of valley on steep grade on Beechwood Drive, needed a pause for a rest at the top. (Lower Don Trail, Toronto, Ontario) 20190530
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