The Web Guy samples L.A., Part 1: My Glass Pickup Experience

When I first was picked for the #ifihadglass contest, my instinct seemed to be the same as most people I’ve seen: head to NYC for pickup. However, my partner on the mission (Mike Novilla of NOVA 535) had other ideas: we were California bound. Having never been farther west than New Mexico, I knew we were in for an adventure. Given the short window to confirm our pickup, we scrambled to make arrangements, and when the day finally arrived, we jumped on the plane and chased the setting sun.

The Mighty Mrs. Jenkins found us a killer B&B in Pasadena, and hosts Justin and Mercedes were awesome. We showed up after two in the morning, and they were waiting to get us settled in and ready to go. After a few hours sleep and some breakfast, we headed out to see L.A.

Part of my #ifihadglass entry was sharing our beer tasting trips, and the city offered plenty of opportunities for that. We found Good Microbrew on Sunset, and sampled the selection.

We then headed to Ron White Inc. President Drew Edward’s condo overlooking the strip to talk plans for picking up Glass, and potentially meeting up with some of his contacts to share what Glass was all about.


The view from his balcony does not suck.

With our Glass plan solidified, we headed down to Night Market for dinner. Family style Thai food and beer cold enough to offset the spice set the stage for several hours of laughter and reverie.

We spent the next couple of days sightseeing and meeting up with family, and finally, the day of our appointment came. We’d already seen what L.A. traffic looks like, so we left early so we could we cross from Pasadena to Venice Beach with plenty of time. With the appointment a couple of hours away, we stopped for lunch at Cafe Del Rey.



When we pulled up to the Google office after lunch, there were a group of guides waiting outside to take us in. All were sporting Glass, and my excitement kicked in.


There have been a lot of write ups about the pick up experience, and mine was similar. Guide Scott Gunn was knowledgeable and thorough, and walked us through the setup while serving Lagunitas and Sierra Nevada. The office had a workshop feel, and the campus in general was everything I thought a Google office would be; comfortable, well stocked and equipped, and with lots of space dedicated to creative work and play (along with a nice selection of beers, sodas, and snacks).

Now sporting Glass, we decided to check out the beach, passing it back and forth, and checking out everything possible, and getting our first taste of how people in public would react to Glass. Despite all of the worries and concerns batted around the blogosphere and in big media, people everywhere had one word to describe Glass when they encountered it: Cool! (exclamation point theirs).

After an amazing day, we headed back to Pasadena in preparation for an early morning. Tomorrow, we were headed to Santa Barbara.

Ron White and Margo Rey through Glass: On Life, Love, and surviving Breast Cancer

Glass is all about sharing personal experiences, which is why I’m sitting on a beautiful porch at the top of a mountain in Montecito, California watching Ron White and Margo Rey try Glass out for the first time. Margo, an admitted technophile, tries them first, and lights up as the screen comes on. “Oh, cool!” She instantly begins navigating through the Timeline, intuitively swiping back and forth, and testing out the voice commands. After a minute or two, she hands them to Ron to try. The light comes on, and he cracks that million dollar smile. “Oh man, that’s cool.” I’m in heaven; I’ve just shown two of my favorite performing artists Glass, and they flat out love it.

As we snap some photos, Margo reaches for her head scarf. “Let’s do this right.” The peach fuzz of new hair growth following her final round of chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer only serves to accent her striking features. She’s a two time survivor, but it doesn’t seem to slow her down; she’s energetic and engaging while discussing all the different ways they could use Glass. Of particular interest is recording first person experiences to share; the couple are getting married later this year. They both are co-chairing the national Say “I Do” Campaign with Brides Against Breast Cancer, and giving a series of public performances benefiting The Center for Building Hope, which provides 100% free programs, information and services for those impacted by cancer.


As they pass Glass back and forth, it strikes me how much this feels like Christmas morning. Their laughter and enthusiasm is infectious, and their playful interactions together are remarkably sweet. Ron records a few videos with Glass, and asks about screencasting.

He passes it back to Margo, who appears to be an expert at this point. “I could see this becoming a habit”, she says. It’s a notable endorsement coming from someone to whom habits are so important:

We are our habits, our habits become our deeds, our deeds become who we are.

We have to wrap up, as they both have flights soon, and we close our conversation talking about specific applications of Glass: Ron wearing a pair during a show to record the audience, having members of the wedding party wear Glass during the ceremony, Margo wearing them for a behind the scenes look at love and life up close and personal while on a mission near and dear to her heart; her own Chemo-Glam video channel. We thanked them for being such gracious hosts, and packed our things to go.

As we navigated the winding drive down the mountain, it struck me that no matter how famous or successful you are, the important things don’t change; health, love, hope and dignity are of paramount importance from the mail clerk to the CEO. In sharing a moment through Glass with Ron and Margo, I was offered a brief glimpse of something personal, which reminded me how alike we all really are.

Looking to support Brides Against Breast Cancer?

Special thanks to Drew Edwards of Ron White, Inc. and Michael Novilla of NOVA 535 for making this Glass experience possible.

Are you a Glass Explorer with a jealous friend? Maybe you can make them happy with an invite.

The next phase of Google Glass’ plans for expansion prior to 2014’s consumer release came via email today. Ryan Mott got a gmail letting him know he could invite a friend to the Glass Explorer program. There are several caveats to that invite, the person must pick up in NYC, LA or SF be a US resident over 18 and have the requisite $1500 +tax to get their own Google Glass.

Hey everyone, just to clarify – this is an experiment we’re trying. It’s independent of #ifihadglass (although some #ifihadglass Explorers may receive this email). – Sarah Price

Who will you invite to the program if you get an invite? There have been ebay postings about selling #ifihadglass units in the past though Google was usually quick to put a stop to them, will they also try to squash folks trying to recoup their Glass expenses by auctioning off their invite slot?

Invite your friend to the Glass Explorer Program

Invite your friend to the Glass Explorer Program