I recently completed a cross country drive with a great friend that included a lot of culture/people watching that you don’t get to see if you live in Seattle, Silicon Valley, New York, etc. In no particular order here are some of my thoughts…
- In the great depression the government invested in serious forward looking infrastructure that included large scale projects from efforts like TVA. The best we can do with billions of dollars now is repaving highways that Eisenhower built? That’s not innovative and it’s not going to make a bit of difference in the long run to the US economy. Where are the massive forward looking investments at a national level?
- Lou Malnatis makes some seriously good deep dish pizza around Chicago. I’ll be ordering some from http://www.loumalnatis.com/ to share with Gretchen.
- Minnesota is covered with wind-farms on farms as far as the eye can see. It seems that they are encouraging it pretty well by making it worth everyone’s while. FWI – I felt a lot of wind around the rest of the country as well that wasn’t being used.
- I will never complain about a 4-5 hour flight across the country again.
- Chicago felt like a city with a lot of energy on the verge of a new renaissance. Looked like more high tech companies around the city than I imaged.
- Cubs fans are at least as crazy as Red Sox fans. After a 2+ hour rain delay that everyone spends drinking in a bar (in team apparel BTW) and they still packed the house.
- I didn’t see a single Window Phone 7 device outside of the one my friend had once we left WA state. I think all 1.3 million of them went to Redmond. A LOT more Android phones than iphones around though outside the cities.
- In a west coast city Starbucks it’s 90% Macs. In the middle of the country it’s 90% windows. But they are starting to use iPads and Kindles EVERYWHERE.
- If you want to know what it’s like to visit another planet… go walking around Yellowstone national park while it’s snowing outside. Crazy.
- 3G coverage, even on ATT, was nearly everywhere. We streamed an MLB game all the way from Seattle to Missoula MT only a couple of hiccups. (Yes, it was the same game for nearly 6 hours. ) The worst coverage was in Yellowstone and, for some reason, upper Ohio. Those people seem to live in the stone ages. But I never expected to be able to stream audio consistently from coast to coast.
- Other than the lack of cell coverage Yellowstone was awesome… even in the middle of what felt like a blizzard.
- The best roads were not tolled. Where does all the toll money go?
- If you can stream internet radio coast to coast why do we fund public broadcasting anymore? Can’t anyone have their own show on the internet for the price of internet access?
- I still can’t believe how quickly local news can travel around twitter. Found out about the Cubs rain delay and official start times by just running a twitter search for “Cubs” and watching the chatter. There’s location based opportunity though since their “by location” feature sucks. It goes too narrow. Opportunity++? (Nevermind. Twitter told me they’d poke out my eyes if I built a twitter client. )
- Searching for food is more fun on Foursquare than Yelp. Foursquare seem to index tips and user comments. Yelp sticks with the basic business description. Example: Search for cookies in both apps. With Foursquare you’ll actually find out where you can get fresh baked cookies.
- Driving on the top of the Tetons was awesome.
- Photosynth, on the iPhone from Microsoft is awesome. Just wish it saved in higher resolutions.
- Thought I was standing in the middle of an Apple ad. In Pittsburgh I literally saw a dude put headphones on someone and play them his demo from an iPad 2 with garage band.
If I ever do this again I’m turning around after the Badlands in SD. There is nothing more to see after that other than this…