I picked this still above not for any scenic value, beyond that of the sunlight illuminating the speedometer at a few ticks below “the Ton.”
I drove back from San Francisco on Saturday, having spent the week at Macworld Expo. I love long-distance driving and try to drive rather than fly down to SF once every few years. My record door to door was made back in 2002 with Chris Kilbourn when we made the southbound run just under 11 hours. I was not so lucky this time as southbound I was plagued by a 40+ MPH headwind on the first half and way too much traffic and speed control patrols during the second half.
My northbound run started well.
I left SF around 4pm, and headed for the East Bay. I stoped in Emeryville first to pick up a load of network equipment stored at a friends place. Craig worked for me at The Bon MarchÃ© years ago, and now lives down there. He graciously assisted me by picking up some equipment of ours from a decommissioned network site in San Rafael last year. I stopped, chatted for a while. He is also running his vehicle (an old Ford Diesel pickup) on a veggie oil blend. We loaded my Jetta TDI with the DSLAM, routers, UPS, etc and I headed off to Berkeley. There I stopped at Bill Woodcock’s house. It was interesting to finally see the famous “basement NOC in Berkeley.” I got the tour, picked up a server that Woody is dropping in our datacenter, chatted for a bit, and got directions over the Berkeley Hills over to my next destination, Lafayette. It has become tradition now to spend the Friday night after Expo at Michael Swan’s house, eating takeout BBQ with his wife Sharon Doi and my co-presenter at Expo, Shaun Redmond. The BBQ was awesome, and afterwards I dropped Shaun off at the BART station and accepted Michael’s hospitality and offer of a bed for the night. I had imagined I’d drive a few hundred miles Friday night, but realized how tired I was, and decided some sleep would be better. I left Lafayette before dawn, and blazed north.
I managed to fly along in the early morning hours. From 7:30 to 8:30 AM I travelled ninety miles. Yes, that is an average speed of 90 MPH. I stopped in Corning CA at 9 am, and filled my tank (more on that later), bought some local Olives and Olive oil stuff, and some cheap low-tax California liquor for Sue. My next few hourly average speeds were: 77, 83, and 68. The last being through the Siskyou mountains. So I basically flew along for the first 450 miles, and ended up crawling for the last 450.
In Corning I grabbed the wrong can of home-brewed Diesel from the trunk. It was the 100% veggie oil can instead of the 40% VO one. All these gas cans nowadays have these stupid air inlets in the nozzle and pour so damn slow that I didn’t note the appreciably thicker fuel. I spent the rest of the trip fighting dropping temps and gelling fuel. You can read the details here.
Oh well, so much for setting a record. It was fun though… really.
You can click the image above to watch the video, or click here Be patient while it loads, and don’t click unless you have a nice wide Internet pipe… it is 50 megabytes in size.
Note about the video: I wanted the music to fade in better, and have re-rendered it a couple of times with the correct fade-in, but each time it comes out HUGE (well over 100 megs)… I can’t figure out how to get the magic encoder to give me the same output as before (480px wide h.264, AAC audio, ~50 megs size)… oh well. I’m definitely NOT a video pro.
I used iStopMotion software from Boinx to capture the timelapse, with my G4 powerbook and my iSight camera.