Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

David prepares for winter.

(by David): Flu shots are free to residents of Ontario, and the advertising push is on again. We’re used to the lineup at Gerrard Square, but they’ve been transforming that mall, so flu shots aren’t there this year. Since I try to prevent catching or giving the flu to people on the trans-Atlantic flights, I decided that I needed to go to one of the earlier flu clinics. Diana and Ryan will have to schedule a time for themselves.

The lineup at the Eaton Centre for a 6 p.m. shot was probably about 40 people. There must have been a dozen nurses there. Line up, get a shot, have a seat for 10 to 15 minutes, and leave.

While I was in the Eaton Centre, I thought that I would check out the price of scarves. I had bought two microfiber scarves at Target a few years ago, when I was working on a U.S. gig. Diana had given one to the boys, and they lost it. Then, in packing for Adam’s trip to China, she gave him my scarf. This isn’t quite a traumatic as losing my scarf, but it’s an annoyance. Since I won’t be going to Target anytime soon, I should find a substitute nearer to home.

October 29th, 2005

Posted In: distractions, health

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David laments the loss of his winter hat, last spring.

(by David): I’ve now become famous for wearing my fake fur hat during the winter — as well as in the late fall and in the early spring. Somehow, I’ve become unfashionably fashionable because I don’t like to have a cold head.

In the last millenium, probably when I went shopping with Diana at Value Village, I managed to pick up a Persian lamb skin hat. The style is described as a “envelope hat”, since that’s essentially the shape. It’s like an envelope that you would stuff a letter into — although there’s a slight indent over the top of the head, to accommodate the fact that human heads aren’t narrow. Eventually, Diana thought that the Persian lamb skin hat was looking too ratty — the lamb’s wool was glued onto the surface of the hat, and some was starting to separate. Thus, I retired the hat, and, in the interest of not supporting undue cruelty to animals, started wearing the fake fur version that people are accustomed to seeing on me.

October 29th, 2005

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David fills the house with Flemish Beauty pears, fulfilling a memories of days past.

(by David): It’s one of those childhood memory things …. I haven’t read Proust, but I’ve seen enough citations of that idea.

Way back in the early 1970s, Grandfather (and Harry and Pearl for that matter) lived in the house at the southeast corner of Beverly Street and Cecil Street. The property was due for expropriation for a a hydro switching station, and Grandfather moved over to a house one block west on Ross Street. (That’s where I lived with Grandmother during university days in the late 1970s).

It’s hard to be accurate from my childhood memories, but I seem to recall people saying that the Beverly Street house was much larger than the Ross Street House. In addition, the Ross Street house was semi-detached, whereas the Beverly Street house was free-standing. (The Ross Street house had parking off a laneway, though, whereas the Beverley Street house just had a drive coming off Cecil Street). I also seemed to remember that the Beverly Street house had a reputation of a leaky basement.

October 29th, 2005

Posted In: memories

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The last book sale of the year, and traditionally the best. David is slightly disappointed this year.

(by David): I’m usually not looking for specific books, so it’s purely opportunistic whether I come with a huge or small batch of books. This was one of those unlucky years.

The book sales are also usually an opportunity for a social event. A group of friends gets together to stand in line for an hour, and we talk. This year, everyone begged off, so I was by myself. Since I had a client meeting, I arrived relatively late, about 5:30 for a 6:00 p.m. opening. I got number 191, which put me in the basement, but just around the first turn (before all the plumbing is visible!) As forecasted by one of the volunteers there, I was out of the building by 7:15 p.m.

I didn’t find many “hot” books & just a few to fill out my library.

  • Wurman, Information Anxiety. Wurman is a master in the visual presentation of data, and this was a nice copy of his book.

October 23rd, 2005

Posted In: reading

David hits the stacks at the university, in the evening when it’s not busy.

(by David):  I have an alumnus library card for U. of Toronto, but access to journal articles requires full-time enrolment. The university library has a few public access terminals up in the stacks, so I can read the full selection of journals if I go to the university in person.

It’s a bit annoying that the university changes protocols every fall, so it takes a bit to find out the new ways. When I was at the university a few weeks ago, I couldn’t find the public access terminals amongst the two dozen that are immediately in front of the elevators on the 11th floor (where the business and economics books are). This time, I decided to try to find the terminals on the 9th floor. They turned out to not be outside the elevators, but hidden away in the stacks, near the books. The PCs have all been replaced, so the screens are a lot sharper than they used to be.

Between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. on a Wednesday night, it was relatively quiet. Students living on campus should be able to access library resources with their IDs, so they wouldn’t physically have to be in the Robarts building.

October 23rd, 2005

Posted In: reading

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Another used book sale. The University College book sale is sometimes better and sometimes not as good as the Victoria College book sale. It’s usually got less philosophy, but a better selection of business books.

(by David): The UC book sale opens at noon on the Friday, so when I got there for 5 p.m., there wasn’t any line up

The treasure find of this trip was:

  • Chris Argyris and Donald A. Schon, Organizational Learning, A Theory of Action Perspective, Addison Wesley, 1978. It’s a trade paperback for $2. This is one of the most cited books in the management literature, and totally out of print. I think that Argyris doesn’t want it republished because he has newer publications, although they weren’t co-authored with Schon.

I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but here’s a list of what I found

  • Smelser, Theory of Collective Behavior. I hadn’t heard of this book, but Smelser is one of the editors of The Handbook of Economic Sociology. Then the next day, I saw an article referencing this book.
  • Mumford, The Culture of Cities. I’ve seen this cited in urban planning books when I read Jane Jacobs, but I can’t remember whether in a positive or negative light!

October 23rd, 2005

Posted In: reading

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