Firsts and lasts

March 25 2008

My travels this week and next seem to have a lot of firsts and lasts...

  • When I arrived in New York yesterday, a Toyota Prius was waiting for me in the Hertz parking lot.  Now, this car isn't exactly new, but I have never been inside one before, much less driven it.  I quite like the idea, but it did take a few minutes to adjust to this car.  First of all, the proximity key is a very cool feature -- but it wasn't clear that the start button needs to be depressed and held in to start the car.  Further, since all that starts initially is the electric motor, it's not like you get the roar of a combustion engine to confirm that you have done this right.  It took me a few drives to figure that out, as well as the "P" button as opposed to being able to use the shifter to put the car in park.  And I still have no idea what the "B" setting was on the drive mode selector.  My driving today averaged about 43 MPG, very impressive.
  • Tonight, Kathleen McGivney, her fiancee, and I had the opportunity to eat raw... I met up with them for dinner at Pure Food and Wine in Manhattan.  This restaurant specializes in vegan food, prepared raw -- less than 118 degrees farenheit -- and without wheat, dairy, soy, or refined sugars.  It was interesting how packed this restaurant was, even at an "early" 7:30 in NYC.  The food was quite tasty and beautifully plated.  I am not sure I'll run back there, but it was an interesting concept to try.
  • On Sunday, I am heading to Germany again for a couple of customer meetings.  I'll be connecting via Düsseldorf, which means I have one last opportunity to fly the Privatair all-business class service for Lufthansa.  Apparently the Chicago-Düsseldorf route is quite in demand, as Lufthansa will convert this on 1 May to an Airbus 340, three-class service flight.  The notion of a business class-only flight seems to have caught on, with several airlines now running similar routes between the US and Europe.  In a span of 12 hours on Monday, I'll pass from Düsseldorf to Stuttgart to a customer, back to Stuttgart, back to Düsseldorf, and on to Essen.  For obvious reasons, I am not offering a geekdinner in Essen that night :-)
  • I will just miss the Lotusphere Comes to You events in the UK next week, but I will be in Manchester on Wednesday night (the 2nd) prior to the LCTY there.  Already have discussed a possible geekdinner with some of the Bluewave team (Warren and Paul) for that night...perhaps others would be interested?

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