Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

Toronto, Ontario; Markham, Ontario; Scarborough, Ontario; Orillia, Ontario; Shanghai, PR China; Helsinki, Finland.

Chinese Visa Center

Chinese Visa Center: Mural of historical figures and stories of China’s five thousand years of civilization includes: 1. Houyi, Shooting Suns; 2. Shennong, the Ancient Herbalist; … 5. Hua Tuo, the Ancient Divine Chinese Medical Practitioner; 6. Sun Wu, the Great Military Theorist; 7. Qu Yuan, the Famous Poet; … 11. Confucius, the Great Chinese Philosopher; … 17. Mulan, the Chinese Girl-warrior; 18. Genghis Khan, the Great Conqueror; 24 Marco Polo, and The Travels of Marco Polo; … 27. Koxinga, the National Hero. Waiting in queue to drop off visa application folder, wondering about the process of choosing the 27. (Chinese Visa Application Service Center, University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20171102

Cascon 2017

Cascon 2017: Clustering sticky notes in Strategic Foresight Workshop after discussions over lunch and ideation. After years of lecture layouts, ballroom is arranged with round tables to encourage sharing and capturing amongst participants. Many drawn away from collective activity towards posters at kiosks around the room, so maybe next time reducing options for distraction will lead to stronger inputs. (Cascon 2017, Hilton Suites, Warden Avenue, Markham, Ontario) 20171106

Cascon 2017

Cascon 2017: Presentation #cascon on Cognitive Blockchain @DonnaExplorer, IBM Fellow. Clear demonstrations of pilots on cross-border supply chain traceability, Kimberley Process Certification Scheme for diamonds, IBM Verifier scanner to validate sources, Walmart Food Safety provenance. Digest at https://ingbrief.wordpress.com/2017/11/07/2017-11-07-1015-donna-dillenberger-cognitive-blockchain-cascon/

Highland Farms

Highland Farms: Ontario grown Flemish Beauty pears on destination shopping, later in the season that I had expected. This heritage variety grows locally, not as popular as Barlett, Anjou or Bosc. Childhood memories of the tree by my grandparents’ house on the southeast corner of Beverley Street and Cecil Street in the 1960s, gone by the 1980s. I’m appreciative of a smaller grocery store that supports local growers. (Highland Farms, Ellesmere Road, Scarborough, Ontario) 20171107

Delicious Paradise Kitchen

Delicious Paradise Kitchen: Father’s choice for Chinese fast food lunch. When I saw the serving of rice pulled on the plate, I said “too much”, and the server put half back into the pot. Dad says one serving is enough to serve two seniors. (Delicious Paradise Kitchen, Silver Star Blvd., Scarborough, Ontario) 20171109

Port of Orillia

Port of Orillia: Off season for boat cruise on Lake Couchiching, on the Orillia waterfront. Quick business trip driving north on overcast early afternoon, followed by southbound trip starting before dusk and then ending in rainy dark. Radio reports subsequently declared winter snow, relatively early for the season. (Port of Orillia, Centennial Drive, Orillia, Ontario) 20171109

December 3rd, 2017

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Toronto, Ontario; Hämeenlinna, Finland; Helsinki, Finland

Booth Avenue

Booth Avenue: Lightning struck tree, three fire trucks for house south of us. Hose filled briefly to extinguish for in tall tree. Electrical power to the block is off, wondering if transformer is impacted. Heavy rain is subsiding. (Booth Avenue, Riverside district, Toronto, Ontario) 20170804

Copenhagen Airport

Copenhagen Airport: Enjoying the wood floors at the Copenhagen Airport, en route to Helsinki. I prefer the Danish style on the short connections, I should come for a real visit sometime. (Copenhagen Airport, Denmark) 20170809

Tikkurila

Tikkurila:. Suburban hub where airport rail ring connects to main northbound intercity line towards Tampere. Large station connects with buses, many shops inside. Half hour wait was made longer by train 30 minutes behind schedule. Might have hopped on commuter train instead, but tickets are specific to times. .(Tikkurila, Finland) 20170809

Visamaki

Visamaki: First workshop for Open Häme project since its official funding, discussing plans for open data activities in the region. Meeting conducted mostly in Finnish, my presentation a theoretical break in English. (HAMK UAS Visamäki C-Building, Hämeenlinna, Finland) 20170810

Verkatehdas

Verkatehdas: Elomessut weekend fair for Kanta-Häme region, at the civic centre. Live performances, and kiosk tents from local associations and businesses. Wide cross section of local residents in a small town by the river. (Verkatehdas, Hämeenlinna, Finland) 20170812

August 31st, 2017

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Toronto, Ontario (summer, all within bicycling distance of home)

Pho House

Pho House: Casual Canada Day dinner out in neighbourhood resto, at leisure. Sons used to eat lunch at this location in high school days. The business across the street moved in, when the other Viet business moved out. (Pho House, Gerrard Street East, Toronto) 20170701

Wong's Ice Cream

Wong’s Ice Cream: Took home vegan coconut mango sticky rice ice cream + vegan lemongrass lime sorbet, after we sampled a variety of flavours. Wanted to take a packed pint of the former, but small daily production lots meant two scoops of two flavours instead. New business only opened in neighbourhood in the past few months. (Wong’s Ice Cream, Gerrard Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20170701

Nathan Phillips Square

Nathan Phillips Square: Universal Breaking League on the Pond Stage for Battle for the North two-on-two competition, as part of Canada Days celebration. Big screen alternating with musical acts on the Main Stage. Large crowds out for Sunday evening, statutory observance will be on Monday. (Nathan Phillips Square, Bay Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20170702

July 31st, 2017

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Fairfield, Iowa; Iowa City; Iowa; Coralville, Iowa; East Moline, Illinois; Chicago, Illinois; Evanston, Illinois; Kerwood, Ontario; Toronto, Ontario

Fairfield, Iowa

Fairfield, Iowa: Mock duck with spinach, mock abalone curry with coconut milk and avocado, successful experiments with canned Chinese vegetarian glutens. Rainy day with everyone falling into afternoon naps in the house by the farm, recovery from long travel yesterday. (Fairfield, Iowa) 20170501

Visual Arts Building, U. Iowa

Visual Arts Building, U. Iowa: Striking central atrium with ramps spiralling multiple levels upward. Arts installations still in progress, with end of term nearing. Walking tour of campus on a clear spring day. (Visual Arts Building, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa) 20170502

Coralville Center for the Performing Arts

Coralville Center for the Performing Arts: Iowa City Girls Choir spring recital in an opulent venue. Our block of seven sent upstairs to the balcony, as ground floor space was packed. Experiencing the American lifestyle, as foreign visitors. (Coralville Center for the Performing Arts, Coralville, Iowa) 20170502

Maharishi University

Maharishi University: Collection of instruments in the Maharishi Vedic Observatory, to observe and align with natural law. Walked around campus with a local resident who has friends who studied in the school, providing some explanations of the contrasting belief system. (Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa) 20170503

Deere & Co. World HQ

Deere & Co. World HQ : Combine has 14-foot wide wheelbase, so can be legally driven on the road, if the corn header is removed. Impressive front entrance display for a Fortune 100 company. (Deere & Company World Headquarters, East Moline, Illinois) 20170504

Deere & Co. World HQ

Deere & Co. World HQ : Henry Moore (1973) Hill Arches, on island beside water fountain, in landscape designed by Eero Saarinen and Kevin Roche. Crossing on small bridge over koi pond, swan approached as threatening, mate on other side nesting. (Deere & Company World Headquarters, East Moline, Illinois) 20170504

May 31st, 2017

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Toronto, Ontario; Shanghai, PR China; Kalamazoo, Michigan

Pearson Airport T1

Pearson Airport T1: Between Gates E77 and E78, colorful glass cylinders enclosing light bulbs, suspended from overhead arches. Design by Norr Architects for OTG, a company operating high-end restaurants at the airport, including Hemant Bhagwani’s Marathi Indian. (Terminal 1, Pearson International Airport, Toronto, Ontario) 20170401

Shanghai Pudong Airport

Shanghai Pudong Airport: Whimsical rooster themed installation​ on middle of airport, lightens the spirit on the long walk from the airplane, through immigration, to the Maglev train. Impressed on short ride hitting 430 km/h peak, before slowing down at western terminus. (Pudong International Airport, Shanghai, PR China) 20170402

Zhangwu Sichuan

Zhangwu Sichuan: Dinner for Qingming Tomb-Sweeping Day, since public holiday on a Monday still has most people off work. Chose Sichuan resto near Tongji University, left half of dishes filled with red peppers too spicy to eat. (Zhangwu Sichuan, Shanghai, PR China) 20170403

People's Park Pond

People’s Park Pond: Father with small net skimming somethings from top of pond, and placing into small bucket for son. Game players involved in own activities in the background. Tuesday is still an extended Qingming weekend holiday, the park was popular with families. (People’s Park, Shanghai, P R China) 20170404

Shanghai Gallery of Art

Shanghai Gallery of Art: Yin Xiuzhen 2005 TVT-Rocket installation of three cloth towers, extends from third floor in light well up to 6th. Gallery is open to public, and closer to the Bund, but maybe the Whampoa Club upstairs enjoys less traffic. (Shanghai Gallery of Art, Three.on the Bund, Shanghai, P R China) 20170404

Rockbund Art Museum

Rockbund Art Museum: Song Dong 2017 Back Image, screen plus 50 benches. Extensive show covering long career over 6 floors. Well curated contemporary art venue, building walls show a sense of humour with dimensions marked everywhere. (Rockbund Art Museum, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai, P R China) 20170404

April 30th, 2017

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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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