You better believe it! What’s even better is this happened at the exact moment I pulled into a spot at work. Our 2005 Pontiac Vibe, which we bought used, has essentially driven around the earth… EIGHT times and it still runs like a sewing machine (probably thanks to it’s Toyota-built engine)!
A few years ago, after I finally got Pokey, my ’72 Volkswagen put back together, I took a road-trip up to Effingham, IL with my friend Todd from the VW club. We decided since neither of us had ever been to the MidAmerica Motorworks Fun Fest, we should go and with Pokey done, it was the perfect time.
On Friday night, there was a cruise from the show site through the country side that ended up on the town square. As I was taking pictures of the cars, I snapped a few pics of this old courthouse building as the sun was setting. Someone at YellowBook must’ve found it on Flickr.com since they emailed me asking if they could add it to the list of photos they were considering for use on the cover of their next phone book. I said sure, as long as I got photo credit and a copy of the finished book if they chose my photo. I never thought I’d see anything, but when Joy and I came home last night and I got the mail, I saw the shrink-wrapped phonebook. I almost tossed it since we never use phone books but then I remembered the email. I tore the plastic off and sure enough, there was my photo of the courthouse! I flipped to the first page and there was my name under the photo credit. Sweet!
Back in August I posted about my lunch date with Google Street View. I had driven my bright orange Volkswage Beetle, Pokey, to work and was out to get some lunch. While I was stopped at a traffic light, I saw the Google Street View car drive past so on green, I took off and tried to chase him down so I could get Pokey on the Google maps. Well it looks like the photos from the area the GSV car (and I) had driven have finally been uploaded (thanks for the heads up CG!).
I retraced my route from that day, click a hundred yards or so down the road, then spinning around. It seems the GSV car had driven that area multiple times during the day because you could click on the other side of the road (in the oncoming lane) and switch to different scenery. The shadows from the light poles and under cars leads me to believe that there’s probably several hours difference in the time the photos were taken.
I had all but given up the search since I hadn’t found anything, then I got close to where I snapped the picture of the GSV vehicle. Then I saw that beautiful orange vehicle! It was small, and slightly blurred and for some odd reason, only in one frame, but here’s Pokey as seen from Google Street View:
So I took a late lunch today (late for me, anyway) and as I pulled up to the light at Wynn Drive and University Drive, I spotted a Google Street View car driving down Wynn on the other side of University. I was driving Pokey today so I decided it was a perfect time for some GSVS – Google Street View Stalking!
As the light turned green, I dropped the hammer and unleashed all 60 of Pokey’s ponies. I quickly turned down Boardwalk and cut through University Square and picked up Wynn again. I turned left and sped up the hill only to see the GSV car turn onto Adventist Blvd near Oakwood. I got caught by the light but once it turned green I turned down Adventist Blvd too, hoping to catch him again at Research Park Blvd (the RPB). As I crested the hill, he was no where to be seen. The light was green so I cruised under the RPB and quickly did a 180° in the parking lot of the 911 call center. As I was returning to the intersection of Oakwood Rd and RPB, the GSV car was coming right at me! So I waited for oncoming traffic to stop and busted another 180. The GSV car ALSO did a 180 at the 911 call center and we passed each other again. At the stoplight, I watched in my rear-view mirror as the GSV car turned right onto the RPB service road so I turned left onto Old Monrovia Rd hoping to see him one more time and get on camera. Our paths crossed again where Old Monrovia goes under RPB. He was doing a U-turn onto Rideout Drive but I managed to take a quick picture before driving past:
I should have been captured several times and in my bright orange Beetle, I should be pretty easy to find. I guess I’ll have to check out Google Street View for that area in about 6 months. According to an anonymous GSV driver that was interviewed on Jalopnik, that’s about how long it takes for Google to update their maps.
Here’s some other interesting facts I learned about Google Street View from the interview:
- GSV drivers don’t actually work for Google. They work for a 3rd party company that is contracted by Google.
- Drivers are not allowed to carry cell phones when they drive.
- They don’t always have a set route to drive, just a data quota to meet each day.
- They’re used to pranks and being mooned. If they see anything vulgar or obscene, they just delete the photos from that area and re-scan it later.
- GSV drivers are usually locals hired through Craigslist ads. So if you’re 21 or older and have a spotless driving record, check out Craigslist often and you could be a Google Street View driver too!
Sorry for the lack of posts this week. I got hit by some kind of allergen or bug last Monday and I’ve been feeling under the weather since then. I had a fever and stayed home from work for a few days. Even with my fever gone, I’m still feeling a lot of sinus pressure and drainage, so it’s off to the doc today.
On the weekend just before getting sick, I went to Decatur for the VW club’s 3rd Saturday cruise-in. Usually we all just chill at the Dairy Queen in Priceville, but during the summer there is also a large cruise-in on the 3rd Saturday at the Steak-n-Shake in Decatur, just down the road. Some of us decided to peel off and check out the show. There were lot’s of great-looking muscle cars and classics Detroit steel. There were even a few VW Beetles! What really blew my socks off was this gorgeous recreation of KITT from the TV series Knight Rider.
The owner did a great job with the exterior, which had a new fiberglass nose that held the red scanner and he even had the correct wheel covers. What really blew me away was the interior. He had all the lights, bells, and whistles! Check this out:
When I watched this series growing up, I loved KITT and wanted one of my very own. I saw the owner of this great looking machine sitting next to it and I said to him “I hope you don’t mind me asking, but how old are you?” He didn’t look old enough to be the right age to have fallen this much in love with Knight Rider when it came out. Turns out he was 31 and he said he wasn’t even a thought when the series came out. That sounds just about right, since Knight Rider debuted in 1982.
I’m 38, so a definite child of the 80’s and I’ve always wanted to build one of my childhood hero cars, like the A-team van, the General Lee, or my own KITT from Knight Rider. It seems like painters and handymen have snapped up all of the 1983 GMC panel vans, and don’t think I could afford a ’69 Charger in good condition, but I did end up painting Pokey the exact same color as the General Lee. Props to this young man for keeping the dream alive and bringing back some good memories.
Time for a square-foot garden (SFG) update. Most of our plants are fairing pretty well. There are a few “munchie” holes in the leaves of a few plants and we’ve found some cabbage worms and green-horned tomato caterpillars who are probably responsible for that. It looks like these pests are destroying our bush beans. The leaves are turning brown on the edges and there’s holes everywhere. I snuck out last night to sprinkle some crushed egg shells and I noticed at least 3 slugs near the beans. We wanted to keep our garden organic, but we’re going to have to find something to treat for slugs and caterpillars.
On a positive note, we have some tomatoes coming in! Sorry for the poor focus, but the iPhone takes terrible macro shots. We still need to get our tomato trellis in place and some netting to keep the birds away from our “harvest.”