Wed, 13 April 2011
Our 2012 Ford Focus is not here yet. But I did manage to make contact with the manager of the Union Pacific railyard where it will arrive by train to the outskirts of Denver from Michigan. Once I get the train car number from the shipper, I will call the yard manager. He will know when the train car will arrive, and he will escort me into the yard so I can maybe get close enough for some video of The Delivery. The problem is that the car has not even been put on a train yet, and once it does get loaded in a train car it will take 7 to 10 days to get to Denver. I'm not worried. I was warned that the scheduling of the assembly of the car was not a precise thing, and it stands to reason that the transportation has its complexity, too.
That said, I was slightly unnerved to across this very negative review of the MyFord Touch system in the Focus, written by Jason Cammisa on April 7. His blog post included the graphic of a "Performing Scheduled System Maintenance" screen that he said appeared as the system crashed. Even more troubling was this comment posted to the blog by a guy named Matt: "I went in to a dealership looking for a Focus last week and the salesman said they were having 'problems' with MyFord Touch and were not shipping any cars with it right now..." I have my doubts about this rumor, but I'll be checking it out in the coming week.
Wed, 6 April 2011
Alas, I didn't hear back from the would-be famous orange puppet and Ford Focus mascot in time to post this episode of the podcast, but he probably keeps a full schedule and I may hear from him or his partner, @FocusJohn, sometime in the coming week. Meanwhile, you can sample some of his promotional, funny work at the FocusDoug YouTube Channel.
We thought our 2012 Ford Focus might arrive at Mike Naughton Ford this week, but I heard via the train shipping agent that it's not showing up in his computer system as even being on a train yet, so that means we're at least seven days from seeing it in Denver. I'm doing my best to get access to the train yard, so I can shoot video of the car's arrival in Commerce City. There will have to be some help from Union Pacific Railroad to get me close enough to even see the car, the shipping guy, named Jeremy, told me. Naughton's sales manager, Dan Floyd, has been helpful in tracking down contacts for my preparation for The Arrival of the Car.
Wed, 23 March 2011
I spoke with William Cramer, a sales associate at Mike Naughton Ford on Tuesday, March 21, 2011, for an update on the arrival of our 2012 Ford Focus. It's been delayed and is now scheduled for delivery on April 4, 2011. William gave me the rundown on how the new car will travel from the assembly plant in Wayne, Michigan, and what the orientation session will be like when it arrives.
Wed, 16 March 2011
I reached Dominic Colella, Ford Sync Systems Integration Engineer, by phone and Skype on March 13, 2011 in his office in Dearborn, Michigan. As it happened, our 2012 Ford Focus had its build date scheduled for that same day, so it might have been rolling down the line eleven miles away at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, even as we spoke.
Click here for a video tour that Dominic did of the MyFord Touch system. Thanks to Christine Vu, who arranged for the interview and provided this detailed description of MyFord Touch, and to Ford's Scott Monty and Alan Hall for putting me in touch with Christine.
I heard from Mike Naughton Ford in Aurora, Colorado, today that our Focus may be delievered to Denver as soon as the week of March 28. Very exciting!
Wed, 9 March 2011
On my second shakedown drive for the podcast -- recorded on Monday, March 7, 2011, in Denver -- Darlene is at the wheel of the OccasionalCar hourly rental, and our Garmin GPS system, whom we call Mona, gives directions which are seldom followed.
We are looking for a tag line for the podcast, but the task is complicated, because the focus for the cast is not entirely certain. My original idea was to concentrate on the new technology in the 2012 Ford Focus that we have on order, but until it arrives I'm quite interested in learning what it's like to live in downtown Denver without a car. So the Edge of the Road might be a place where we explore the MyFord Touch system, other innovations in driving, AND life in a major American city without an owned car. I'm feeling my way here, and will call these initial episodes "probes," as suggested by my media-savvy friend in Paris, Jean Remple.
If you have any thoughts on how to steer this emerging podcast toward something you'd like to listen to regularly, please leave a comment here or e-mail me at PodChronicles AT Gmail DOT com.
Meanwhile, if you'd like to learn more about the MyFord Touch Sync technology, check out this video. In it, Ford Sync Systems Engineer Dominic Colella demonstrates the system in a 2012 Ford Focus. I'm going to see if I can arrange for a telephone interview with Mr. Colella for next week's show.