Team 713 and more.

I know I complain a lot, so I thought it was only fair that I keep the universe in balance and be thankful for a change.

I really want to publicly thank some people for making my trip to Houston possible. If it weren’t for them, I would’ve had to stay home, or worse, I’d still be trapped in Texas.

I had no plans on going to The Championship this year. That is, no plans until late Wednesday afternoon. I received a message from Evan of 713, and he and his time were kind enough to invite me down to be there with them. Their engineer who was supposed to accompany them fell ill and missed the trip, so Team 713 – despite barely being able to scrape together the money to attend in the first place – paid to fly me to Texas and gave me a place to stay, food to eat, and a ride anywhere I needed to go. I tried to do whatever I could to help them and repay them for their kind favor, but I don’t think my efforts even approached being appropriate and commensurate with their generosity.

Thank you, 713.

I’d also like to thank the engineers from Team 93. When I found myself stranded, they drove me to the other side of Houston to get me back to my hotel. They can’t know how much I appreciate that effort, and I’m forever indebted to them for making me feel safe and secure when I was scared I’d have to venture out on my own, late at night, into Houston. I hope they can forgive me for harassing Chell and Katie lots, but I don’t think I’ve met two nicer, sweeter people in my life, and 93 is so lucky to have each of them.

Al from 111 (Congratulations 111!!) took the time to come over and visit 713’s pit and help figure out exactly why they started blowing up motors. Where I was afraid to begin making big changes to a robot I was still learning about, Al came over and helped me to understand my suspicions a bit better.

Joe Ross took a whole bunch of time to help rewrite the team’s code to include a dead-reckoning autonomous program. Thanks, Joe, because I’m completely inept at programming and the team now has the ability to implement autonomous code in the future.

…thanks to everyone, really, who was there to help me and 713 out. Without all of you, the experience wouldn’t have been the same, and despite everything that happened to me this weekend, I left knowing that the spirit of FIRST still lives within its people, and that there’s some hope for the future.