Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

2016/03 Moments March 2016

Toronto, Ontario; Tokyo, Japan; Shanghai, China; Wuhan, China; Alexandria, Virginia; Washington, DC

Chinese Visa Application Service Centre
Chinese Visa Application Service Centre: Submitted invitation letter from Wuhan U. Tech at prebooked appointment. Clerk corrected category as non-business, and said not multiple entry, but double entry same price as single entry. Tuesday drop-off, Friday pick-up as normal service. Receptionist noted I had forgotten to copy face page on passport, so photocopier in corner is $0.40. (Chinese Visa Application Service Center, University Avenue, Toronto) 20160301
School of the Environment
School of the Environment: Martin Bunch from York U. guest lecture at U. Toronto on Ecosystems Approaches originating from James Kay, evolved into EcoHealth approach with community health in coupled social-ecological systems. Presented on three cases, in Kathmandu Nepal; Chennai India; and Credit Valley Conservation Authority in Southern Ontario. I’ve lectured in Martin’s systems thinking class, sometimes it’s better to hear a formal talk to appreciate the work of a researcher. (University of Toronto School of the Environment) 20160302
The Real Jerk
The Real Jerk: Family lunch relaxed on a weekday, with sister-in-law visiting with baby. She requested some food not Middle Eastern, as she’s been living in Israel. Curried goat was popular amongst us, jerk pork was extra spicy, and the beef roti was more substantial than an appetizer to be shared by all of us. (The Real Jerk, Gerrard Street East at Carlaw Avenue, Toronto) 20160303
AC005 YYZ-HND: Flight delay of 2 hours to 3:45pm had me falling asleep in Maple Leaf Lounge, as I stayed awake and worked through last night. Mechanical problems means will arrive in Tokyo after sunset, so body schedule will probably be confused. New release movies haven’t changed since last flight, so I’m spending too much time on long hauls. (Air Canada 005, Toronto Pearson to Tokyo Haneda) 20160309
Aeon Market Granpark
Aeon Market Granpark: End-of-day clearance take-out sushi in Tokyo supermarket is better than some restaurant food on other side of ocean. Large display of Florida navel oranges is twice the price of local varieties. Full service supermarket is in basement of complex across the street from usual hotel in Shibaura district. Flight to Haneda was delayed by 2 hours, so friends went for dinner without me. (Aeon Market Granpark, Shibaura, Minato, Tokyo) 20160310
Duo Music Exchange
Duo Music Exchange: Piano-driven instrument rock by Schroeder Headz had audience bouncing in time, and waving right hands. Pianist Shunsuke Watanabe had extended pattern between songs, entertaining audience with humour. Japanese audience was more subdued with opening act ADAM At. Venue had excellent sound, no seats. We didn’t stay for third band on bill, Sono Sukimakara. (Duo Music Exchange, Dogenzaka, Shibuya, Tokyo) 20160311

TiTech Ookayama
TiTech Ookayama: Kyoichi Jim Kijima delivers final lecture on Systems Theory, Thinking and Sciences, in Japanese. Formal retirement is at end of month. Lecture auditorium is full of colleagues, former students and friends, both locally to Japan, and internationally. (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Ookayama, Japan) 20160312

Without Records – MOT ver. 2015: :
OTOMO Yoshihi + AOYAMA Yasutomo + ITO Takayuki “Without Records – MOT ver. 2015”.
Records are absent on the record player, which turn on and off under computer control. The sound is recomposed every time, with a concept of noise / improvisation / emsembled. Installation in the atrium, viewed from the second floor. (Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Japan) 20160312

ANA Lounge, Haneda International Terminal
ANA Lounge, Haneda International Terminal: Curry rice, chicken karage, fried noodles quite standard. Hot and sour soup a funny Japanese thin variety. Haven’t tried udon noodle bar. Buffet low on food with fibre, no fruit. Late night flying westbound into Asia. I will be back in 6 days, on connection eastbound home. (ANA Lounge. Haneda Airport International Terminal, Tokyo, Japan) 20160313
The Me, Tongji U College of Design and Innovation
The Me, Tongji U College of Design and Innovation: At Tongji University, working to improve Internet access over the hotel like we have in the West. Configuring VPNs on Linux laptops and Android phones. (The Me, College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University, Shanghai, China) 20160314
Shanghai Honqiao Railway Station
Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station: Queued at gate 13 for high-speed train to Wuhan. SN showed electronic image of ticket on WeChat and our passports, while most people had paper tickets for the inspector. Smooth ride initially crossed flat land, gradually rising into mountainous region. Train reported speeds up to 210 km/hour. Lady with cart going up aisle sold grapes, mangoes, longan and cucumber, not junk food. (China Railway train D3094-3095, Shanghai Hongqiao station to Hankou station) 20160315
Luoshi Road north to Luoyu Road, Wuhan
Luoshi Road north to Luoyu Road, Wuhan: Foggy early morning from 25th floor of hotel near university district in the Wuchang district, on the southeastern bank of the Yangtze River in Wuhan. Traffic noise and honking comes through the apartment windows. Wuchang has a population of 1.2 million, within the 10 million in the provincial capital of Wuhan. (Future City Hotel, Wuchang, Wuhan, China) 20150316
Noodle shop near Future City, Wuchang
Noodle shop near Future City, Wuchang: Simple lunch of wheat noodles, chilis and mock duck at local kitchen specializing in only that. Recommended by SN as a place she frequents, weekday midday not as busy as later, when there are lineups. I had a slight coughing fit as the chilis hit the back of my throat. (Noodle shop, Future City, Wuchang, Wuhan, China) 20150316
Wanlin Art Museum
Wanlin Art Museum: Modern “flying stone” building in sharp contrast to more traditional architecture on university campus. Large boulder nearby inscribed with recognition of donor of initial art collection, leading to opening of the new museum. Our stroll around the scenic university campus didn’t leave enough time to view the much-cited gardens. Terrain is hilly, so retreated to hotel for a short rest after walking for 2 hours. (Wanlin Art Museum, Wuhan University, Wuchang, Wuhan, China) 20160316
Wuhan U of Technology, School of Art and Design
Wuhan U of Technology, School of Art and Design: Long preamble to lecture, explaining career and why an ethnic Chinese professional doesn’t speak Mandarin. Graduate students now have a limited knowledge of the history of computing, and don’t know what a punch card ever was. Speaking on the shift from an industrial economy to a service economy, the issues in China seem similar to other leading industrial nations. Hosted by Susu Nousala, now in her second year of appointment. (Wuhan University of Technology, School of Art and Design, Hubei, China) 20160317
Calligraphy studio, Wuhan U Tech
Calligraphy studio, Wuhan U Tech: Informal tea led to exercise of writing my Chinese name in a variety of styles. In central China, Mandarin speakers seem more comfortable formally addressing me as Wu, rather than the anglicization of Ing derived from the Cantonese Ng. For future visits, I’ll need reactivate spoken Mandarin that i last studied in 1980. (Calligraphy studio, Wuhan University of Technology, Hubei, China) 20160317
Calligraphy studio, Wuhan U Tech
Calligraphy studio, Wuhan U Tech: Stylistic interpretation in Wuhan, of a sinicized name given by professor in Shanghai. The studio is a quiet oasis at the university, in a city where the disorder and noise of China can be exhausting. Susu has been developing Chinese brush painting technique, and plans to practice over the month that she’s resident. (Calligraphy studio, Wuhan University of Technology, Hubei, China) 20160317
Hankou Railway Station
Hankou Railway Station: Ground travel day Wuchang to PVG. Student guided me to train station. Chose subway over taxi in rush hour, won’t next time as had to wait multiple full trains. Good to have translator to pick up rail tickets. Glad for reserved window seat, some rode standing room. At Hongqiao, ticket line short, annoyed that machine switched to coins only. Missed Line 2 change at Guanglan Road on first try, so backtracked. Da Zhong hotel at PVG said reservation cancelled at 6 pm, relented when I showed hold to 10 pm. (Hankou Railway Station, Wuhan, China) 20160318
Air China First Class Lounge, PVG
Air China First Class Lounge, PVG: Recliner sleeping pods at Pudong airport in Shanghai, in a secluded corner of the Air China Lounge. Checking in at 6:20 a.m. for an 8;20 a.m. flight after a full night’s sleep means the affordance unfortunately wasn’t useful this morning. Would have liked this feature later in the day in Tokyo. (Air China First Class Lounge, Pudong International Airport PVG, Shanghai, China) 20160319
Sake bar
Sake bar: Samples of alcohol in Japan not an attraction. Six hour layover have opportunity to clear up email unavailable when in China. (ANA Lounge, International, Haneda Airport) 20160319
YYZ International Arrivals
YYZ International Arrivals: : Landed in Eastern Time in Saturday daylight, having started on subway 22 hours ago in China time. Expect to be back in this airport terminal in 14 hours, for short hop in the same time zone. Cooler here than my Asian destinations, still feels like spring. (Toronto Pearson Airport Terminal 1 international arrivals) 20160319
Torpedo Factory Art Center
Torpedo Factory Art Center: Mobiles of wooden geese flying in chaos, viewed from third floor hanging in stairwell down into second floor. The complex of working artists studios in a former munitions factory had great variety, for a cold rainy day on the west bank of the Potomac River. (Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria, Virginia) 20160320
National Academy of Sciences
National Academy of Sciences: Robert Berks (1979) Albert Einstein Memorial commemorates a prior member of the National Academy of Sciences. Popular landmark now made more visible on social media with encouragement of hashtag. Visitors to this city complaining about cold snap, unfriendly to the cherry blossoms which had started in preceding days of warmth. (Albert Einstein Memorial, National Academy of Sciences, Constitution Avenue, Washington, DC) 20160321
National Academy of Sciences
National Academy of Sciences: Winding down #tsummit2016 on second day. Auditorium has diamond-shaped projections arranged asking cyclic-shaped curves, for great acoustics. Full program had attendees running between breakout rooms on a rigourously enforced schedule. (National Academy of Sciences Auditorium, Washington, DC) 20160323
Ben's Chili Bowl DCA
Ben’s Chili Bowl DCA: Strolled back from Terminal A check-in to B to try out local smoked sausage with chili. Tried to improve health of selection by ordering rice bowl with sausage, but server wouldn’t accept the order. Will have to compensate with extra veggies later at dinner. Enjoying counter service.(Ben’s Chili Bowl, Reagan National Airport Terminal B, Washington DC) 20160323
St. Lawrence Market South
St. Lawrence Market South: Dried pussy willows and root vegetables authentic for late winter farmer’s market; fresh produce could only be greenhouse or imported. Saturday market features artisanal butchers, local baked goods, specialty pickles. South building temporary as north building is still under renovation. Mid-afternoon in main building considerably busier, with many visitors eating al fresco rather than taking ingredients home. (St. Lawrence Market, South Building, Toronto, Ontario) 20160326
Ashbridges Bay
Ashbridges Bay: Sailboats still covered for winter, as spring tries to emerge on cool Easter Sunday. Lots of pedestrians and bicyclists in the park, winter fences on the beaches still up. Eastbound pedalling into headwind, warmed up on way back, peeled off winter gear. (Ashbridges Bay, Toronto, Ontario) 20160527

BrightLane: Daylight @DrupalTO meetup seems to have not been the pattern for this venue. Getting an update on D8, haven’t attended since the days of D6. Architectural changes mean front end frameworks like Angular, Ember and React are now at play. (BrightLane, King Street West, Toronto. Ontario) 20160328
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