Picture
Yesterday was perfect weather for an afternoon birthday party for Heidi Gealt at their beautiful 200 acre farm near Spencer, Indiana. I drove down with Mark and Nancy Ruschman, and their daughter Alex (who immediately got into my iPad!).

Heidi, the Director of the Indiana University Art Museum, is married to Barry Gealt, an internationally-known Hoosier artist, whose work I've collected for years. In fact, I've recently commissioned Barry to create a piece for my Los Angeles condo, and luckily, was able to see it in-process at his studio on their property yesterday.


Photo above: Barry and Heidi in Barry's studio yesterday. Alex Ruschman in the background.

Video below: a brief 1 minute capture of the party.

 
 
Picture
Ricky, from Plycar, delivered my Tesla a bit after midnight Thursday, door to door, in about three days from Los Angeles to Indianapolis. Excellent service.


Video is one minute long and shows vehicle offloading and unique, one-of-a-kind charging setup in my garage. Note the custom-designed and built stand which holds the charging unit.

100% Electric -- Zero Emissions -- No Gulf Oil

 
 
Picture
Finally!  A very cool little place to eat, located very close to my downtown Indy home, right on the Canal.

I walked across Indiana Avenue tonight, and down the steps on the east side of the Canal, to try out the new Left Bank Cafe. It's fantastic! Excellent food!!

It's been open about a month, and I think it'll be hugely successful. I just hope it doesn't get so crowded that I'll have a hard time getting in for fast service! :0)

Photo: © Wil139/Bill, as posted on his flickr® account, here.

 
 
Picture
The Indianapolis Business Journal reported in February that the Indianapolis International Airport ranked #1 on the list of 64 major airports in the United States with respect to across the board passenger satisfaction -- the results of a survey conducted by J.D. Power and Associates.

Indianapolis received perfect scores of five points in the categories of overall satisfaction, accessibility, check-in, security, terminal and food and retail services. It scored four out of five in the baggage claim category. No other airport received as many perfect scores.

I flew in from Los Angeles last night at midnight.  LAX, the Los Angeles Airport, is no comparison to the Indianapolis airport, which is why it scored near the bottom of the same survey.

For fun, I used my iPhone to shoot a few seconds of the light show overhead in the passenger corridor leading to the parking garage and car rental area. Fun stuff!

 
 
Tesla,plycar,auto transport
Last night, around six o'clock, a company called Plycon, through their Plycar auto transport division, picked up my Tesla for the cross-country trip from Los Angeles to Indianapolis.

Ricky, who owns the truck which pulls the huge trailer -- together both total 80 feet in length -- had just driven from Newport Beach, in rush-hour traffic up the 405 and then across the Marina Freeway, to a construction site across the street from my condo building, where he loaded up my car, adding it to the other Tesla he's taking to Florida.

In the brief video you'll see Ricky loading my car, and then closing the massive back door. The mechanics and inner workings of the trailer, along with the backdoor, are the result of precision engineering and manufacturing.

I expect to see Ricky, and my Tesla, toward the end of this week. My flight back to Indianapolis is at three clock this afternoon, and I look forward to being back home by about midnight tonight.

Be sure to watch the brief clip from NBC's Law & Order -- with a Plycar truck in it -- at the end of this video. Ironically, last night was the final episode of Law and order -- it's going off the air.

 
 
Picture
I hope you'll save the date for the hottest new exhibit from the Children's Museum of Indianapolis -- the world's largest children's Museum -- called "Rock Stars, Cars, and Guitars".

Opening night will feature a rocking' celebration party with great food and drink, on Friday, June 4th, 2010 from 7:30 PM until midnight inside our fabulous Children's Museum, where you'll be immersed in music by America's premier tribute to the Beatles: 'Britbeat"!

There will be music from every era of rock, with memorabilia from rock 'n roll collectors around the country including objects from the Beatles, Chuck Berry, Cheap Trick, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, Elton John, and even U2!

Come dressed as your favorite rock star, or just in your most fun cocktail attire, but be ready to rock out!

You'll be among the first fans of the exhibit to be able to see awesome, one-of-a-kind artifacts from famous rock musicians, or to take the stage for a concert-experience of your own, and even be able to jam on real or simulated instruments. Here's your chance to feel what it's like!

This event is for adults only, and all proceeds go to support the Children's Museum Fund, which ensures that all children and families, regardless of income, have the opportunity to visit and experience the world's largest children's Museum. You can't do better than that!

Individual adult tickets are $75 -- but even better, bring your friends and buy a "Rock Star Package" for $1,500 and get 10 tickets along with a number of other very cool benefits. Click here for details.

Corporate sponsorships are still available, making it possible for your company to do its part to help make sure every kid and family who want to visit our Children's Museum can do so -- no matter their ability to pay! You can help make a family very happy!  See how easy it is, here.

See you there!

Let cute, sweet little Sarah show you around in the video below:

 
 
Picture
Over 50 Tesla owners came together in Los Angeles yesterday for the second annual Southern California Tesla Rally. We met at the Los Angeles Tesla store around 10AM, and started off on the 25 mile drive to Jim and Tonya Hull's amazing Greener Pastures Ranch nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains above Malibu at around 11:15 AM.

Our caravan began the rally at the Santa Monica Blvd. entrance onto the 405 freeway, heading north to the 101 freeway toward Ventura and exiting at the South Topanga Canyon Boulevard off-ramp. From there the caravan headed to Mulholland Drive, and then wound its way, for over 20 miles, through some of most twisty, exciting and beautiful roads of the Santa Monica Mountains. With perfect weather and sunny blue sky above us, we arrived at Jim and Tonya's stunningly beautiful ranch where we had a fantastic catered luncheon while getting to know some of our fellow Tesla owners.

At one point a helicopter circled above us taking video and still photos as we all gathered in the corral, amongst our cars, waving for the pictures.

It was a great day and a lot of fun. A personal shout out and "thank you" to Jim and Tonya for their huge generosity at their Greener Pastures Ranch, as well as to all the crew at the Los Angeles Tesla store for putting together a flawless event.

 I couldn't wait for the professional photos and video that were shot, and decided to throw together this short video myself. It's not very professional, and I couldn't shoot much footage while driving through the mountains (I had to keep both hands on the wheel!) but it'll give you a bit of flavor of the rally.

 
 
Picture
Like many others have begun to do, I deactivated my Facebook account tonight after watching a story on NBC Nightly News.

If you're a Twitter user, I'll be tweeting at joemiller08. You can follow me by clicking here.

Cheers!

 
 
Picture
Tomorrow morning the 2nd Annual Southern California Tesla Road Rally begins at 10AM.  It's going to be even more memorable than last year, with great sponsors, gifts and prizes. The streets around the Tesla store on Santa Monica Blvd and Sepulveda will be blocked off to accommodate the anticipated 60+ Tesla Roadsters as they que up for the start of the Rally.

This year's goal is to smash the record for the number of roadsters in a single location. My contacts at the Los Angeles Tesla store tell me that Southern California is the largest single Roadster Market in the world.

I hope to have photos and video later tomorrow.

Picture
 
 
Picture
As part of its extensive downsizing, General Motors ended its 25 year partnership with Toyota last year which shut down the last auto assembly line on the West Coast -- the NUMMI plant in Fremont, CA, located across the bay from San Francisco -- resulting in the loss of over 4,700 jobs.

Late breaking news this afternoon is that Tesla Motors and Toyota Motor Corp will team up to produce the next generation of electric cars, and that they'll build them at this former General Motors-Toyota plant.

Mercedes-Benz and Toyota have called Tesla's electric vehicle technology the best in the world, and the new partnership with Toyota will allow for Tesla to begin building their new all-electric 7-seater Sedan (estimated price at $50,000) in this plant, along with a sub $30,000 all-electric car -- which will most likely feature Toyota design along with Tesla's electric vehicle technology -- to compete with the anticipated lower-cost all electric vehicles due on the market in the near future.

Tesla has clearly moved the bar forward and has forced major auto makers to design and produce their own versions of all-electric vehicles, including Nissan, whose LEAF will appear later this fall, and GM, whose Chevrolet VOLT (though not a totally all-electric car) should be out by next year.



NOTE: From the Tesla website today, after the big announcement...


"Tesla's goal is to produce increasingly affordable electric cars to mainstream buyers – relentlessly driving down the cost of EVs. Palo Alto, CA-based Tesla has delivered more than 1000 Roadsters to customers in North America, Europe and Asia. Tesla designs and manufactures EVs and EV powertrain components. It is currently the only automaker in the U.S. that builds and sells highway-capable EVs in serial production. The Tesla Roadster accelerates faster than most sports cars yet produces no emissions. Tesla service rangers make house calls to service Roadsters."