Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

Helsinki; Finland; London, England; Dublin, Ireland; Toronto, Ontario; Fairfield, Iowa

Mei Lin

Mei Lin: Lunch to catch up on news with Satu in advance of teaching class at Metropolia tomorrow. Students are mid-career professionals interested in practical international experiences, as tighter university budgets mean fewer lecturers from abroad. Industrial Management program will move from historic Bulevardi building out to Leppävaara campus in 2018. Chinese cuisine from Chongqing region included cumin lamb, unusual. (Mei Lin, Lönnrotinkatu, Helsinki, Finland) 20161201

Juttutupa

Juttutupa: Meetup with some 2nd year students from the Systems Thinking 2 February class, and a few more from the 1st year of the master’s program in Creative Sustainability. Glad to hear that knowledge they gained was useful in subsequent studies, as they then explain concepts to other group team members who didn’t take this session of the intensive course. This restaurant a quieter place to talk, until an excellent band started playing after 8 p.m.. (Juttutupa, Säästöpankinranta, Helsinki, Finland) 20161201

Metropolia U., Bulevardi campus

Metropolia U., Bulevardi campus: Lectured in Industrial Management master’s program, collaborating on generative pattern language writing for an hour, after 90 minutes of lecture. Students are mostly working professionals with practical experience, so we jointly felt our way through using the format for service systems thinking. We’ve come a long way since the program was initiated in 2006. (Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Bulevardi, Helsinki, Finland) 20161202

Kiasma

Kiasma: Brian Eno (1999) Memory Flowers is 16 speakers facing upwards on stems, playing ambient music. First shown in 2000 in a solo show, brought out of storage for Kiasma Collection Exhibition. Emmi and J.P. came in late afternoon for the first Friday of the month free admission, well-timed to avoid the 5 pm crush at the coat check. (Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Mannerheiminaukio, Helsinki, Finland) 20161202

Vanha Kauppahalli

Vanha Kauppahalli: Buying salmon in the same way that Finns have since 1889 when the Old Market Hall opened. Also bought little fried vendace at the next stall, to be used in an appetizer. Saturday afternoon sees a lot of tourist visitors, many eating salmon soup facing out from the renovated stalls to become part of the scenery (Kalakauppa E. Eriksson, Vanha Kauppahalli, Eteläranta, Helsinki, Finland) 20161203

Lapinlahdenkatu

Lapinlahdenkatu: Dinner with all Finnish ingredients (unless the salmon came from Norway). Discussed 2016 as a transitional year with lots of change, released now positively towards 2017. Missu the cat hid for most of the dinner, either not enjoying the streaming jazz, or suspicious that the catsitter would take him away. (Lapinlahdenkatu, Helsinki, Finland) 20161203

Moomin Shop, Helsinki Airport T2

Moomin Shop, Helsinki Airport T2: Looked at plush toy, saw “Design from Finland” but no country of manufacture. Phoned to wake up DY at 4 a.m. Toronto time to ask if 15cm 100% polyester figure was worth the money, she said no. Suggested Moomin shopping bags hanging outside, with tags saying Made in PRC, DY declined. On walk back to T1, noticed Moomin troll toys also available in the duty free shop. Not a motivated shopper today. (Moomin Store, Gates 26-27, Terminal 2, Helsinki Vantaa Airport) 20161205

Niven's

Niven’s: From online The Ecology of Systems Thinking group to meeting in person, PJ came for a coffee, talking while watching me eat a full English breakfast. Worked through jams of orange marmalade vanilla, raspberry rose, blood orange marmalade, pear. Discussed history of science within the systems thinking community and the variety of notable figures, up to current day theoreticians and practitioners. (Niven’s, King Cross Road, London, England) 20161206

December 31st, 2016

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Helsinki, Finland; Frankfurt Airport, Germany; Toronto, Ontario; Las Vegas, Nevada; Los Angeles, California; Whitby, Ontario

Hakaniemi Market

Hakaniemi Market: Fishmonger filets pike-perch (kasvatettu siika), as I requested a whitefish for soup tomorrow. She and a passing customer recommended against the hauki (pike) which has many small bones. The advice of a professional is preferred since I’m less proficient varieties of fish, particularly when they’re named in Finnish. (Ekströms Fiskebod, Hakaniemi Market, Helsinki, Finland) 20160201

Post-lecture dinner

Post-lecture dinner: Warm hospitality following pattern of preparing dinner in AS’s kitchen, coming up to Chinese New Year. Old friends and new acquaintances numbered 13 around the table this time. Menu favourites included vegetarian ma po tofu and stick dried bean curd (foo jook) and reconstituted dried shitake mushrooms brought in suitcase from Toronto. Switched seats before dessert to talk to more people at the long table. (Töölö, Helsinki, Finland) 20160202

Cafe Tin Tin Tango

Cafe Tin Tin Tango: Meeting venue popular with coffee up front, laundromat in the back. Fortunately, no clothes were being cleaned while we had our research discussion, so we could sit near a power outlet. Had kaneli pulla (cinnamon buns) with herbal teas. Wifi is available for free 30 minutes at a time, so camping out for the day is monitored by servers. Lavatory was practically Japanese in the economy of space. (Cafe Tin Tin Tango, Toolo, Helsinki, Finland) 20160203

Local tax office

Local tax office: Arrived just before 4:15pm when doors are closed, while government employees continue serving visitors inside. Alternative to 35% withholding for non-residents to Finland is to get a tax card and be calculated on the progressive rate. When income is low, having a tax card could pre-empt having to file a tax return available only in the Finnish or Swedish language in the next year. (Vero Skatt, Fennia-kortteli, Helsinki, Finland) 20160203

Museokatu laneway

Museokatu laneway: Apartment windows look out over open parking behind five storey buildings with commercial businesses that face the street on the other side. View west doesn’t provide much sunlight, and dusk is relatively early at this northern latitude. Having a three-metre day, grading student work for tomorrow’s lecture. (Hellsten Parliament Apartments, Museokatu, Helsinki, Finland) 20160204

Kiasma

Kiasma: Art is free on first Friday night of the month at the Kiasma. The exhibition of “Demonstrating Minds: Disagreements in Contemporary Art” may reflect the prevailing pessimistic mood in the country. The long slow ramp up to the second floor is a famous feature designed by architect Stephen Holl. (Kiasma, Helsinki, Finland) 20160205

February 29th, 2016

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Scarborough, Ontario; Toronto, Ontario; Thornhill, Ontario; Frankfurt, Germany; Helsinki, Finland

New Year's dinner

New Year’s dinner: Family starting off year together, before dispersing on diverse paths ahead. Lobster, Peking duck, plus lots of variety with 9 at table. Christmas was quiet, now enjoying the time together. (Perfect Chinese Restaurant, Scarborough, Ontario) 20160101

St. Lawrence Market

St. Lawrence Market: Shopping for good bread and liverwurst on a late Friday afternoon with outdoor temperature above freezing. Bakeries mostly depleted, packaged for end of day. Eastern European meat store on lower floor. Bike route is flatter going west-east than climbing up the hill northbound to Danforth Greektown. (St. Lawrence Market, Toronto) 20160108

Cayne's

Cayne’s: Selected dark roasted decaf pod for free sample coffee from machine in store. Declined on extra flavourings. Afternoon of driving around Thornhill and Markham for small errands. Not the best date for a long-married couple, but still gives us time together to talk. (Cayne’s Super Housewares, Thornhill, Ontario) 20160114

New Bilan

New Bilan: Somalian lunch with friendly chef. Short menu of 5 meat and fish choices, ordered one of each, enjoyed as a group: goat meat, chicken steak, chicken stew, king fish, beef stew. Chicken soup with spices had us guessing flavours. Five platters came with rice, we ordered chipatti bread extra, arriving hot to the the table. Casual restaurant not frequented by tourists slightly east of downtown, unconventional choice for Sunday lunch (New Bilan Restaurant, Dundas Street East, Toronto) 20160117

January 31st, 2016

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Hämeenlinna, Finland; Helsinki, Finland; Lahti, Finland; Espoo, Finland; Suomenlinna; Copenhagen, Denmark; Toronto, Ontario

Sibelius Akatemia Harmonikka

Sibelius Akatemia Harmonikka: Recital in Hameenlinna, leading up to the Coupe Mondiale (World) Accordion Competition in Turku, Finland. Noora Nyyssönen, Viivi Tigerstedt, MinnaRistamäki (Verkatehdas, Hämeenlinna, Finland) 20151001

Minna Ristamäki Viivi Tigerstedt Noora Nyyssönen
Bulevardi 31, P317

Bulevardi 31, P317: Master’s students @metropolia taking a stretch after the first hour of lecture on Service Systems Thinking. Combined classes from Industrial Management and Logistics programs, for a special two hour presentation. From the instructor’s view, there was a lot of content to cover, maybe we can structure a better paced program next time. It’s the 10th year anniversary since we cofounded the Master’s program in Industrial Management. This building housed the Helsinki University of Technology until 1966. (Metropolia Ammattikorkeakoulu / Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Bulevardi 31, Helsinki, Finland) 20151002

Linna Bike Cafe

Linna Bike Cafe: Celebration by Kata and Emmi @LinnaBikeShop Cafe, new business partnership. Family and friends came to wish well, enjoy in cameraderie. Mud cake a big hit in chocolate richness. A few days ago, observed much activity in preparing the space and scrubbing the kitchen. Now ready for customers. (Linnan Pyöräverstaan Kahvila, Verkatehdas, Hämeenlinna, Finland) 20151003

Kariniemi Park

Kariniemi Park: Pikku-Vesijärvi pond is famous for largest musical fountains in the Nordics, but after dark, not on a fall Sunday afternoon. Friend has moved to small town Lahti, commuting 3 days a week to Helsinki, enjoying the quiet after 5 years in busy London. Re-establishing previous university ties to share intelligence on how times have changed (Kariniemi Park, Lahti, Finland) 20151004

Arabiakeskus

Arabiakeskus: Red berries on trees, approaching the Hämeentie Factory Block of the Arabia district, known for its long history in design. Are those rowan (mountain ash) trees? Attended the “Creating the Mindset of Sustainable Societies” class, one of the core courses in the Master’s Programme in Creative Sustainability at Aalto University. Caught afternoon student presentations on final day of class. Challenged to be critical when prior context of assignments wasn’t fully explained. Will see the students two more days this week. (Arabiakeskus, Helsinki, Finland) 20151006

October 31st, 2015

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Toronto, Ontario; London, UK; Keimolanportti, Finland; Espoo, Finland; Helsinki, Finland; Oslo, Norway; Nottingham, UK; Coventry, UK; Hull, UK.

Jazz Bistro

Jazz Bistro. Classy family night, jazz piano with @wmatsushita. Rare to have all four sons at home at the same time. (Toronto) 20141001

AC856 new 787-8

AC856 new 787-8 . New config, see USB, still looking for AC power outlet. Sad goodbye to DY, she had traveled with me since July. Will wake up in London early. (Toronto Pearson Airport) 20141005

LHR T2 early

LHR T2 early. Tuesday morning Heathrow check-in opens at 5 a.m., but passengers not yet going to gates. Automobile sculpture would be interesting, but T2 too mammoth, and B gates 15 minute walk away. (London, UK) 20141007

Bus transfer at Keimolanportti

Bus transfer at Keimolanportti. Second time taking bus from Helsinki Vantaa airport to Hämeenlinna. After 15 minutes west then north on highway, first bus parks at truck stop, and waits for second bus to arrive and face other direction. Luggage is moved, then passengers board. No platform or signs. Pragmatic, but strange in total darkness when it’s cold outside. Major route towards Tampere. (Keimolanportti) 20141007

Used books for free

Used books for free. At Häme University of Applied Science, bookshelf had old technical manuals, a few research reports published by Finnish institutes. Nothing inspiring, a few familiar titles obsolete for the immersed. (Hameenlinna) 20141008

October 31st, 2014

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Helsinki, Finland; Kingston upon Hull, UK.

Helsinki Airport Design Camp

Helsinki Airport Design Camp. Forest-themed chairs, tables and benches, in the “Design Camp” of Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. A showcase of Finnish design, where passengers can “camp out” to relax and spend time before the flight. An example of typical tongue-in-cheek humour in Finland. (Helsinki Vantaa Terminal 1) 20121117 1130

Jasmine Osmanthus Blooming Tea

Jasmine Osmanthus Blooming Tea. Luxury tea break in the office at the business school. Since I haven’t had an assigned office in about 20 years, I had forgotten that people can personalize their spaces for creature comforts. Jasmine-Osmanthus blooming tea picked up by Jennifer on her last visit to China. For this grade of tea, she says it’s not really cheaper there, than imported here. Similar images in video at youtu.be/nAUz-lSuZL8 (U. Hull, UK) 20121119 1148

Robert Koenig, "Odyssey"

Robert Koenig, “Odyssey”. Forty male and female characters carved out of lime trees from the Carpinthian Mountains on southeast Poland. Part of the Polish Season organized by the University of Hull Faculty of Arts and Social Science, placed on a plaza in the central campus. Unfortunate barricade around the installation, presumably to deter damaged, but the fences are distracting. (U. Hull, UK) 20121119 140459

November 30th, 2012

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