Getting the Sonos x IKEA Symfonisk Speakers – S14E12

This is not a sponsored post. There was a lot of talk with the unique partnership with IKEA and Sonos as they released two WiFi speakers called SYMFONISK. One is a bookshelf speaker and the other is a table lamp with speaker. The lamp can be used with smart lightbulbs from IKEA’s own and Philips Hue lightbulbs.

I decided to pick up the SMYFONISK bookshelf speaker as it got released on August 1st. The price is $149 Canadian while the table lamp with speaker is at $249. I chose the black speaker. It is affordable than getting the Sonos WiFi speakers.

Setup was pretty simple as you need to install the Sonos app on either the smartphone or tablet. Then you need to connect to the WiFi router and slightly had issues due to forgetting the password.

The sound quality is pretty good as I tested on TuneIn, Spotify (need to be on Premium account) and through AirPlay 2 via Apple laptop/desktop and iOS apps. You can use Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant to connect to their devices. 

I tried playing this clip from Infernal Affairs through Netflix as it’s become a favourite scene because of a song used in it. The scene can seen at this link.

The design of SYMFONISK is pretty simple with the look and buttons. You put it anywhere in the house and play music to your own liking. It’s convenient to connect or pair with other WiFi compatible speakers for surround sound.

Overall, I’m pleased with my first purchase of Sonos branded speakers in partnership with IKEA. I should create the 2019 Polaris Music Prize Short List playlist on Spotify and give it a listen to the new speakers.

You can view the photos from below.
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Uncle Tetsu Opens in Ottawa – S14E11

By way of Japan, Uncle Tetsu finally opened a new shop in Ottawa. Located on 280 Elgin St., it is the fourth Canadian city to bring the fluffy and light Japanese cheesecake.

Established in 1990, it wasn’t until 2015 that it first opened in Toronto as the first overseas shop.
Uncle Tetsu’s Japanese cheesecake is unlike the usual cheesecake served at restaurants and made at home. It has a less creamy texture and more of a fluffy texture.

I waited in line at about 7:50am and the lines started trickling close to 8:30am. There were fans of Uncle Tetsu willing to wait in line and crave for the cheesecakes. After purchasing the cheesecake, there was a line of about 50 people. There’s a demand for the cheesecake. No need to travel to Montreal or Toronto for it.

You can check out Uncle Tetsu Ottawa over on Instagram. Their opening hours are 9am-10pm.
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The CASETiFY & Pokémon iPad Pro Folio Case – S14E10

I decided to purchase an iPad Pro case from CASETiFY. They kept showing ads when I was going through Instagram Stories and what caught my attention was their collaboration with Pokémon.

They released the now sold out Drop 2 collection and their theme was Day & Night. I took the chance and got the iPad Pro folio.

The case came in on Monday and I’m impressed with the look and feel of it. The insides have slots for cards and bigger slots for passports or tickets when traveling. There is a holder for the Apple Pencil added in it.

The minor issue is the enclosure, I would need a rubber band to keep it closed if putting it a backpack while traveling.

Overall, a great case for the iPad Pro and for anyone who loves Pokémon while looking stylish. The 3rd drop will be in August, be sure to catch them while it lasts.

Check the photos below.

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The 2019 Polaris Music Prize Short List – S14E09

The Polaris Music Prize has released their 2019 short list. The list below are the nominated albums running for the best in artistic merit in Canadian music and the $50,000 grand prize.

The Polaris Music Prize Gala will be held on September 16th at The Carlu and will be attending the event with fingers crossed.

Presented by CBC Music, here are the short listed albums and the long listed albums:

The 2019 Short List
Marie Davidson – Working Class Woman (Released: October 8, 2018)
Elisapie – The Ballad of the Runaway Girl (Released: September 18, 2018)
FET.NAT – Le Mal (Released: February 25, 2019)
Dominique Fils-Aimé – Stay Tuned! (Released: February 22, 2019)
Les Louanges – La nuit est une panthère (Released: September 21, 2018)
Haviah Mighty – 13th Floor (Released: May 10, 2019)
Pup – Morbid Stuff (Released: April 5, 2019)
Jessie Reyez – Being Human in Public (Released: October 19, 2018)
Shad – A Short Story About a War (Released: October 26, 2018)
Snotty Nose Rez Kids – Trapline (Released: May 10, 2019

The 2019 Long List
Tim Baker – Forever Overhead
Tanika Charles – The Gumption
Clairmont the Second – Do You Drive?
Charlotte Cornfield – The Shape of Your Name
Dilly Dally – Heaven
The Dirty Nil – Master Volume
Dizzy – Baby Teeth
F–ked Up – Dose Your Dreams
Yves Jarvis – The Same but by Different Means
Carly Rae Jepsen – Dedicated
Kaia Kater – Grenades
Kimmortal – X Marks the Swirl
La Force – La Force
LAL – Dark Beings
Laurence-Anne – Première apparition
Salomé Leclerc – Les choses extérieures
Lee Harvey Osmond – Mohawk
Jean Leloup – L’étrange pays
Shay Lia – Dangerous
Loud – Tout ça pour ça
Shawn Mendes – Shawn Mendes
Operators – Radiant Dawn
Orville Peck – Pony
Sandro Perri – In Another Life
Lee Reed – The Steal City EP
Alexandra Stréliski – Inscape
Sydanie – 999
Tobi – Still
Voivod – The Wake
Wintersleep – In the Land Of

The Edible Futures Instameet – S14E08

It’s been a long time I had stepped foot at Experimental Farm, which is currently named Canada Agriculture and Food Museum. The museum hosted an Instameet for their temporary exhibit, Edible Futures: Food for Tomorrow.

The exhibit is presented from the Embassy of Netherlands and curated by the Dutch Institute of Food & Design. The exhibit brings a unique take of how food is being made by displaying the look and taste of what we eat. There were two options of producers and consumers where they are various viewpoints of the food.

We were treated with a spirulina smoothie and ended with checking out the goats and sheep. 

Overall, it was nice to see how the museum has changed and having temporary exhibits like Edible Futures. The exhibit runs until September 2nd. You can check the photos from below.

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Random Play at Ottawa International Writers’ Festival – S14E07

Random Play with CBC Ottawa’s Alan Neal made a triumphant return. It happened at the Ottawa International Writers’ Festival on Thursday, June 6th. It was in collaboration with RBC Bluesfest.

The venue was at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Ottawa. It’s definitely a hidden gem locations in Ottawa.

The musical guest lineup at Random Play had Lydia Ainsworth, Basia Bulat, Kathleen Edwards, Kobo Town and Tom Wilson.

Random Play is where Alan uses his iPod (surprised he’s still using one) and picks a song on random for the musicians to perform. It’s ranges from all kinds of musical genres. Hilarity ensues when it comes to a random song being chosen.

Being the first time to finally attend a Random Play event at Ottawa International Writers’ Festival, I didn’t know a funny tradition where the musicians do a radio play starring DC’s Aquaman.

Being away from going out to live music, it’s always great to see Basia Bulat and other people I know in the Ottawa music scene.

You check the photos from the event below.

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Canadian Tulip Festival 2019 – S14E06

It’s the Victoria Day long weekend and Saturday at Canadian Tulip Festival had event for Beijing-Ottawa Day at Commissioner’s Park in Ottawa.

It was a special occasion because it marked the 20th anniversary in the relationship with Beijing and Ottawa for bringing the Tulip Friendship garden to both cities.

There was a lion dance performance to mark the event and celebrating the friendship and tulips.

Prior to the lion dance performance, I had the opportunity to check out the tulips throughout Dow’s Lake. Due to the slow start to Spring, a bunch of tulips have slowly been growing. There were some colourful tulips which I was able to shoot some photos.

You check out the photos below.

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At The Canada Science and Technology Museum, Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius – S14E05

At the Canada Science and Technology Museum, I had the opportunity to attend the unveiling of their temporary exhibit, Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius.

This year marks da Vinci’s 500th birthday. The exhibit showcases the inventions and paintings from this amazing figure. The real Mona Lisa isn’t there but there are various re-productions and different variations of the smiling painting.

Some of da Vinci’s inventions displayed at the museum have interactive elements for children and family to try things out.

Tuesday night was a preview for friends of the museum and it was great of them to host it before the official opening for May 2nd. Thanks goes out to the museum for holding the event. The exhibition runs until September 2nd.

The photos can be viewed below.

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Instagramers Ottawa and Thresholds – S14E04

Ottawa Instagramers held a meetup at Canada Council for the Arts in downtown Ottawa.

The interactive exhibit was something I wanted to check out when it was unveiled in February. It is called Thresholds by Michel de Broin.

The experience is pretty unique because it uses doors from the metro cars in Montreal. When stepping foot, the doors would be open automatically. With light rail being delayed, it gives a glimpse of journeying to the urban space.

It was great seeing other Intagrammers, new and old. It was also a nice surprise to see a friend who works at Canada Council for the social media side.

At this event, I experimented shooting some videos. As usual, Polaroids were also taken.

Thresholds runs until June 9th. You can check the photos and videos below.

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Scary Bear Soundtrack Album Release Party – S14E03

Scary Bear Soundtrack has released their fourth album and on Saturday night, they held an album release party. It was held at Black Squirrel Books.

Saturday night’s concert had guests with Trevor Pritchard and Jared Davidson on the french horn and clarinet. The current group lineup also marked a change as keyboardist, Tiffany had her final show with the group. She will be concentrating more with Girls+ Rock Ottawa.

The fourth album called Boomerang Kids, a vinyl version is available for purchase at local music stores in Ottawa.

Joining Scary Bear Soundtrack on Saturday night was Salmon Ella. They are a local Ottawa band which describes themselves as sometimes rock, sometimes pop and whatever. When they performed on Saturday night, they had a bit of a surf rock feel.

As a gift to Gloria, I decided to give her past and slightly recent Polaroid photos as I was decluttering my collection. The reason for it is that it’s best to give the physical copies and have it as a memory. It’s always great to see Gloria and the gang.

You can view the photos and Polaroid photos below.

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