5 July 2012
If you drive more than 30,000 miles in a year, you're going to run into some odd moments. Here are some of the top odd moments from the Drive for Innovation, in no particular order:
1. The helmet incident: Maybe it was the spirit of the holidays, but at a Maryland steakhouse, we met a wonderful waitress who had a technical bent. Ruth's Chris steakhouses are known for bringing to the table plates that are sizzling at 500 degrees F. We got talking about radiation, and darned if she didn't emerge from the kitchen with a tin-foil hat designed to protect me from harmful radiation.
2. Hollywood in Wisconsin: It all seemed like a normal stop at Electronic Theatre Controls until we walked into the lobby and were transported to Hollywood.
3. Denver crooners: A number of American cities are undergoing a downtown renaissance. Denver is one of those. Sure, it's got its share of grittiness, but there are pianos along certain streets that anyone can play. There are a number of cement chess tables that always seem to be occupied. And on a spring night, there was serendipitous entertainment:
4. Small World Part 1: At a meeting in Redwood City at Silver Spring Networks, Kirk Fuller, our videographer ran into a high school classmate who worked there.
5. Small world Part 2: At a meeting in Dallas, the company's PR representative invited us to stop by on our drive through Denver later on the trip. We did, and during that meeting, we discovered she lived for six years in the very apartment I live in now.
6. Case of the missing cell phone: We got to cover the American Le Mans race at Elkhart Lake, Wisc., in August 2011. As part of the pre-race coverage, we drove the Volt around a small track to capture some video. That night, Kirk realized he'd misplaced his iPhone. The morning of the race, we searched all over the Rahal team garage, the Avnet tent, the Volt, everywhere. On a hunch, I had us venture back out to the test track, where we found the phone at the very edge of a turn, where Kirk had used it to stabilize a camera. Despite the fact that it rained the night before and a number of cars had driven around the track that morning, the iPhone was unharmed!