Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Outreach and Reaching Out

This weekend, I spent an afternoon with GM working as a volunteer at a Ride and Drive as part of their Vehicle Advocate Program.  We coordinated visiting GM employees and their guests by matching them up with the vehicles they wanted to drive, explaining more about the vehicles if they had questions and, yes, calling OnStar when they sometimes locked the keys in the car (yep, it happened and yes, if you can prove you're the actual owner and not stealing the car, OnStar can send a signal to unlock your vehicle - how cool?!?).  Since this time I was volunteering, the only driving I did was to help put the vehicles away at the end of the day (I worked the afternoon shift, ~4 hours).  We had a good turn out despite it being overcast and chilly on Saturday.

Sunday, I slept in and then drove about an hour to Ypsilanti, MI (a neighbor of Ann Arbor) for a MIT Alumni Club of Southeast Michigan event.  It was fun seeing a bunch of people who I had met back in 2009 again at another alumni event and I cannot recommend the alumni network highly enough. Ypsilanti annually hosts an orphaned car show (cars whose brand or make is no longer made and hasn't been for a certain minimum period of time - Oldsmobile just qualified, it will be another while before Pontiac, et. al. are included).  In conjunction with that, about 25 of us gathered at a nearby restaurant, noshed and chatted a bit and then listened to a quick talk from Csaba Csere, an editor-in-chief emeritus of Car and Driver magazine.
Csaba Csere: enthusiasm, notes and a wealth of experience
Csaba spoke about the electrification of vehicles currently, what drives it (much more CAFE regulations than the consumer), what the different varieties of hybrids are available now and where things might be heading.  He's a great speaker and was happy fielding questions from the audience.  His job is now freelancing and while he still works in much the same way, he said he's no longer first to drive the vehicles, unlike when he was with the magazine.  His recent rides, though, have still included the Camaro ZL1 (top of the line Camaro) and the Tesla S.  Not too shabby.

On an unrelated note, here's an awesome example of simple but effective design I encountered today.
What you see is that the tag on the teabag has a pre-cut slot in it, so that you can wedge the tag on the edge of your mug and not have the bag fall in if the mug is too deep.  This concept uses less material than the original design and yet is so much more functional.  Hats off to whoever thought of that one.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...