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Light Reading — 12 Months Of Pings From The Road

September 14th, 2009 · Tags:Airports · Arts · Cities · Gadgets · Hotels · Satire · Sports

The commercial launch for was in November, a press conference hosted by San Francisco International Airport, but we have been up and running the blog for one year now.

How we doin?

Well, at the get-go, I said that I would consider the first year a success if we attended one and only one event … that being Burning Man in Nevada.

I missed it again this year … so that BM is still on my wish list.

However, I did not say that the one year anniversary would be a total bust without some burning man. On the contrary, I am quite pleased with our efforts and content for the first 12 months. We’ve covered many miles, met great people and had a little fun along the way. Here are a few favorite ping things.

Right out of the chute, I went to WiMax World in Chicago. The best thing I found there was a cool hotel — with Wi-Fi, of course. Check out my take on Aloft:


It seems I am always finding something, and usually hording it as well. This blog takes time out from travels to ramble about things lost and found — false teeth, ‘UFO,’ rattlesnake, etc.,:

Lost, Yet Found

My longest road trip in a single sitting was a haul from Fort Worth to Fargo, North Dakota — about 20 hours behind the wheel. It was one of my first “dirty jobs” blogs … My favorite part of that trip was seeing the people of Fargo come together to defend their city against flooding:

Fargo Flooding:

Although I spend a lot of time on the road, sometimes I get to set up shop and just play with toys. I must say, I am proud of my description of my Apple Bluetooth earpiece, comparing the black strip to Hitler’s moustache:

Toying With Words:

During the holiday season, at the Fort Worth Armed Forces Bowl, was the first to tweet an entire NCAA bowl game from the pressbox. Several other bowl games followed suit shortly thereafter.

Fort Worth Bowl:

Later in the year, Big Ping wrote about little Ping, blogging and tweeting from the pressbox during my son’s baseball game in the Texas High School state playoffs.

Texas State Baseball Tournament:

Have you heard that car commercial that uses a cover version of Blue Oyster Cult’s hit “I’m Burning For You?” Well … we went straight to the source, chatting with Buck Dharma of BOC for an exclusive interview. In addition, the Ping team chatted backstage with Buck, near the plastic whale at a water park, during South Padre International Music Festival. And then finally, Buck Dharma added as a contact on LinkedIn. By the way, that night, while I was watching Blue Oyster Cult, my Texas Tech Red Raiders were whipping The University of Texas on TV. Very cool.

More Cowbell:

After Tech beat Texas last year, they totally whipped OSU too. I was in the stadium, along with about 55,000 people and several networks this time. (By the way, how was OSU ranked #5 this year, after losing to Tech so badly last year? I guess BYU proved that to be a mistake among the sports writers’ collective braintrust.)

And OSU Ranked #5:

The day that Texas Tech was on the cover of USA Today, I was in San Francisco, and was interviewed by an MTV film crew, who just happened to be fans of Tech football and Mike Leach. They loved my Texas Tech shirt.

Guns Up With MTV

For my birthday, Texas Tech signed a new contract with the best football coach in America — Mike Leach. I have ranted and raved about the man’s genius on many occasion. Why is it I admire a man who rambles on? Before the EXCELLENT cover story in Texas Monthly, I was on to something:

Rambling Like Mike Leach:

KRLD been very, very good to me too. When I traveled as The Wi-Fi Guy, analyst David Johnson did a weekly call-in to talk about my travels. We were also honored when DJ featured PingWi-Fi in his CEO Spotlight — an interview program that usually features business leaders like T. Boone Pickens. Here’s our moment in the spotlight:

PingWi-Fi On KRLD:

Where the worlds of public relations and technology meet, there sits a social networking guru named Steve Rubel. We first met a few years ago at the Wi-Fi Planet show, I think it was. Well for some reason Steve still doesn’t follow me on Twitter (that I know of) … but he was kind enough to give PingWi-Fi a shout out on his enormously popular MicroPersuasion blog. Thanks man:

MicroPersuasion Shout Out:

SP -- Hinds

You may have noticed that music is a “big thang” with PingWi-Fi.  Understatement.  We hit several shows, including some acts at SXSW.  But, you may be surprised that we prefered the South Padre Island International Music Festival — Willie Nelson, Ghostland Observatory, Steel Pulse and more.


I still carry a Ping putter in my bag, but don’t play as much golf as I did before becoming a blogger. Just the same, who don’t love some golf tweeting? PingWi-Fi was one of the official twitterers for the Crown Plaza’s Colonial Invitational Tournament … tweeting from the Kodak suite as “CaddieChat” for that occasion.

The Colonial:

I fretted over what to wear to meet/interview soundtrack genius Mark Mothersbaugh, who also is the frontman for new wave pioneers Devo. I never looked good in a spud collar or a de-evolution hat. When I met Mothersbaugh, we were wearing the same thing … like brothers from nutha mothers …

Devo Being Cool:

Another great journalism moment: I met CBS anchorman Bob Schieffer, a few days before he mediated the final presidential debate of 2008. Then, true to his word, the veteran journalist, and namesake of the TCU School of Journalism allowed me to interview him. Great guy … so much history. It took me two takes to blog it:

Schieffer, Part One:

Schieffer, Part Two:

A less-heady moment in TV journalism … when I met G4 network “journalist” Olivia Munn … the star of “Attack of the Show.” After watching her interview SNL star Jimmy Fallon at CES, she promised me an interview. Hmmm … so far, that has not happened. Oh well … I made her the first virtual pin up girl on PingWi-Fi anyway:

Attack Of Olivia Munn:

Ah … there was also the crop-dusting moment, during an interview at CES in Vegas. Someone left something in Vegas that never should have happened, at least not in my vicinity.

What Happened In Vegas:

That was sick. So was this. Who could forget the Swine Flu scare:

Say No To Swine Flu:


Back to CBS and networks news, in the interest of equal time for the other network, I thought it would be a great idea to contact an old colleague — White House correspondent, analyst Major Garrett of FOX News. He and I worked together at The Amarillo Globe News … a long time ago. It was a cool interview … and it just keeps getting better — every time I see Major going after the current administration.

Major Garrett:

Everyone loves Wi-Fi … although I may be close to obsessed. So, what could be better than an appointment with the head of The Wi-Fi Alliance, based in Austin, Texas?:

Wi-Fi Alliance:

Even though I am a road weary traveler, no stories about the oldest profession. (Hint: That would not be blogging. What a terrible seque …) But I do have stories from our oldest city:

America’s Oldest City:

In another city, in what was prolly my least favorite hotel, I encountered hell … Hells Angels that is. I was surprised:

City Of Angels:

So you see, it has been a busy year …

And to start things off, so many miles ago … what could be cooler than meeting the peeps from PBS’ Road Trip Nation on day one of the PingWi-Fi blog?:

Just Getting Started:

Know what I sayin?