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.

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