Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

2015/12 Moments December 2015

London, Ontario; Toronto, Ontario; Mountain View, California; San Jose, California; Oakland, California; Alameda, California; Vancouver, British Columbia; Boston, Massachusetts

Restaurant solarium
Restaurant solarium: Pendant lights above booths, in Greek restaurant for lunch. Comfortable, casual space on a grey, rainy day. Music from the 1970s sets mood for baby boomers. On the way home from Michigan, venue chosen serendipitously. (Four Seasons Restaurant, London, Ontario) 20151201
Armenian lunch
Armenian lunch: Zataar, beef manakeesh, kishek with sujuk, moutabbal, tabbouleh, then a half order of mixed BBQ platter. Extraordinary flavour when the food arrived hot to the table, declining as it cooled in the approaching winter. Celebration of DY’s birthday deferred to weekend when family could be together. (Paramount Fine Foods, Yonge Street, Toronto) 20151206
Terminal 1 Christmas tree
Terminal 1 Christmas: December not yet cold, so holiday cue is a reminder of family times to come at end of month. Departing on flight to California, so thoughts of snowflakes even farther away. (Toronto Pearson Airport Terminal 1, U.S. gates, Toronto, Ontario) 20151208
The Milk Pail Market
The Milk Pail Market: Grocery shopping at an institution with a history of local produce back into the 1970s. Found Comice pears, plus many other fruits and vegetables to stock up nephew’s refrigerator. They’re known for their cheese selection, which isn’t an attraction for me. (The Milk Pail Market, Mountain View, CA) 20151208
Santa Teresa County Park
Santa Teresa County Park: Facing east, the Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton is far away in the distance. Walked out from IBM Almaden towards summit, along road where cars are blocked from water reservoirs and power transformer stations. (Santa Teresa County Park, San Jose, CA) 20151209
Julian Street Inn
Julian Street Inn: Designed by Christopher Alexander in 1988 in the style of a country inn, a shelter for the homeless demonstrates the practical side of a Berkeley professors known as an architectural theorist. Down the street from San Jose Arena (now SAP Center) that was completed in 1993. (Julian Street Inn, San Jose, California) 20151209
Deepening systems knowledge
Deepening systems knowledge: Lunch with Ian Mitroff @MitroffCrisis discussing complexity vs. complicatedness, and ways of teaching systems thinking to students. Ian had a copy of “The Collapse of Complex Societies” by Joseph Tainter on his shelf, and said that he would read it on my recommendation. (Oakland, CA) 20151210
San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art
San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art: With Jack Park @gardenfelder, viewing Jim Campbell (2011) “Exploded View (details)” of 1152 LEDs hanging by wire, electronics showing low resolution images from various perspectives in a 360-degree walkaround. Artist had former career as a Silicon Valley engineer, now designs pieces where lights are programmed and often constructed in three dimensions. (San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, California) 20151111

East Ocean Restaurant
East Ocean Restaurant: In line for Sunday dim sum, sampling Chinese restaurants for future nuptial festivities. In California East Bay, have to drive across multiple cities to reach authentic banquet scale venues. (East Coast Seafood Restaurant, Alameda, California) 20151213
Cows near the summit
Cows near the summit: IBM leases some of its land to cattle ranchers near Santa Teresa County Park. Early morning arrival for meetings had greeting of mooing, just across from the parking lot. (IBM Almaden, San Jose, California) 20151215
Accelerated Discovery Lab
Accelerated Discovery Lab: Former library space has been repurposed so that researchers and industry practitioners can collaborate in a central, open space. Workshop on Mycroft Cognitive Mediator moved out of windowless meeting room for an hour, in a change on scenery. Presentation includes Labbook prototype currently under research. (IBM Almaden, San Jose, California) 20151215
Rainy Vancouver waypoint
Rainy Vancouver waypoint: Direct SanFran-Toronto flight cancelled, so earlier flight via Vancouver makes up some time. Luggage missing, should eventually be delivered to house. Domestic security inspected zhong rice dumpling wrapped in banana leaves, recognised by ethnic Chinese screener. (Vancouver International Airport, British Columbia) 20151217
Queen Street Viaduct
Queen Street Viaduct: Dusk on Christmas Eve, biking westward to see how much the city is shutting down for the holidays. Unusually warm for December, prospects for snow anytime soon seem far away. (Queen Street Viaduct, Riverside, Toronto, Ontario) 20151224
Serano Bakery
Serano Bakery: Family-run Greek neighbourhood bakery, for crusty whole wheat bread and taramasalata. An exercise destination, biking uphill in below-freezing weather, past two artisanal bakeries who offer products at twice the price. Large store with sweets for dessert. Will sample with family at dinner tonight, and judge whether we’ll become repeat customers. (Serano Bakery, East York, Ontario) 20151228
MIT Sloan School of Management
MIT Sloan School of Management: In 1982, I was on a list of 1 for a PhD program in Management Information Systems at the MIT Sloan School, applying with a Masters degree from Northwestern U. with high recommendations. Went to UCLA PhD program, dropped out first day, then to U. British Columbia for 2 years before dropping out. Really need to finish this PhD at Aalto U. in 2016, as have been around graduate schools for so long. The MIT decision going another way would have been a completely different life. (Siteman Dining Room, MIT Building E-62, Cambridge, Massachusetts) 20151231

Institute of Contemporary Art Boston
Institute of Contemporary Art Boston: Tara Donovan (2003) “Untitled (Pins)” is a precise cube of size 17 straight pins. Behind, right, is Philip Taaffe (1983) “Untitled III”, a linoprint collage on muslin on canvas. On left is Shannon Ebber (2011) “XIS” archival pigment prints. Exhibits on 4th floor of gallery, quick stop of Silver Line bus from downtown to airport. (Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston) 20151231
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