Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Commonwealth Society of Bloggers

Hope everyone will join the Commonwealth Society of Bloggers.

We're a great bunch!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Killing Two Birds with One Blog. . .

I feel so sorry for this little abandoned blog and I still have photos I haven't posted from the M-ville Blog Conference SO I will occasionally post a blog photo. Feel free to capture it, caption it, etc. It's all in good fun.

Try as I might, I just couldn't come up with anything clever for this photo:

Maybe you'll have better luck -

UPDATE: Kat is out of the Witness Protection Program - I'll post the other names if/when I have permission. Or just guess! I'll cough once for "yes" twice for "no."

Monday, September 11, 2006

Time to Rebuild

This one gets my vote. Never forget - never forget.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Logos that Didn't Make It. . .

I'm cleaning out my computer this morning. This file escaped while being dragged to the trash can so I'll park it here, just in case we need it next year. . .

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Great Job, Kat!

Great news! Kat, from CatHouse Chat has agreed to help organize next year's conference! Any more volunteers?

I "captured" Kat while she captured the conference.

If you have trouble reading her shirt, it says, "I'm blogging this!" And blog she did!

Again, great coverage, Kat!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Where's Rick Sincere When You Need Him? He's Alive And Well In Gretna.

I met Rick during my stealth visit to Sorensen (Waldo paid me back, in like manner this weekend). After the Sorensen conference in June Rick put together a great compilation of photographs and commentary on the conference.

Rick did not come to Martinsville. Or maybe he changed gender and moved to Gretna. Kat at Cathouse Chat has ably filled Rick's shoes for Virginia's most recent blogger's conference.

Seriously Rick, at least one Virginia blogger missed you in Martinsville.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

A Big Thank You to Smith River Community Bank

The scattered reports that have come in so far on the conference have been overwhelmingly positive. While the people who put this together--primarily Alton, Anne, and Mary--deserve all the kudos coming their way, they were fortunate to have what might be the first ever direct corporate sponsor of a blog conference.

Smith River Community Bank sponsored the Blogs United in Martinsville for Free Speech Blog Conference. The sponsorship came with absolutely no strings attached.

It's hard to underestimate the good that community-based banks do in predominantly rural areas of Virginia. Smith River Community Bank obviously saw the blog conference as a wonderful way to showcase the area they serve to an audience that otherwise might not see the opportunities that abound in Southside.

Thanks to a forward-looking corporate citizen, this blog conference venue benefited the attendees and the host communities, Martinsville-Henry County.

The Morning After

Alton locked up the Firemen's Cabin at 12:30 (am) - capping off a super virgin voyage of the first annual Blogs United in Martinsville for free Speech conference. I understand that there were a few pockets of drama, but since they didn't involve me, I remained blissfully oblivious.

I'm looking forward to reading the blogs and hearing opinions from the participants. I'm grateful for their participation in this venture and hope that the friendships that were formed will endure upcoming elections. I'm also grateful for Motrin...

I'll navigate Flickr tomorrow (Waldo uses it - need I say more? - yes! His teeth look great - no need to take him to the new dental clinic after all) and hopefully upload the 90 pictures I took of the event. (There's still time to suck up!)

True to my nature, I tried to ask everyone at the Firemen's Cabin what suggestions they had for improving next year's conference. The responses so far (except for "midget porn" - I still have to Google that one) will be helpful in planning the next conference. Please leave your suggestions, reflections, regrets, etc. in the comment section below.

Thanks to all of the bloggers who made this possible. This was YOUR conference and YOU made it happen.

I'm going to bed now, oddly homesick for a place I spent 18 years escaping....

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

I am on vacation this week. Just kicked back enjoying margaritas in the hammock....

Yeah, right. Back to reality....

I, along with my beautiful and talented "right arm", have almost tied up all the loose ends in preparation for the conference. As Maj. Warden said in "Bridge on the River Kwai", "When you have completed your preparations, there is always one more thing to be done." Sometime tomorrow we will be looking for that "one more thing".

If you are registered, look for an e-mail "information packet" sometime today. We are looking forward to welcoming you all to Martinsville and Henry County.

Monday, August 21, 2006


Friday August 25, 2006
Various venues

· 12:00pm ___Noon to 5:00pm; Conference Representatives
· 1:00pm ____will be at each hotel to meet attendees and
· 2:00pm ____assist with sign-in.
· 3:00pm
· 4:00pm
· 5:30pm ____Cocktails, meet and greet; Chatmoss Country Club
· 6:00pm ____Welcome by Barnie Day, Will Vehrs.
____ ____ __Dinner with Keynote speaker, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling
· 7:30pm ____Reception in the form of 1st Annual Bloggers Pajama Party; Artisan Center, Uptown Martinsville.
____ ____ __(Pajamas optional, of course. Nothing that can't be worn in public.) Hosted by Not Larry Sabato.

Saturday August 26, 2006
Patrick Henry Community College

· 9:00am Opening Speaker Attorney General McDonnell, Speakers Chris Saxman and Dickie Cranwell.
· 9:45am Workshop/Seminar (two choices)

1) Steve Minor on Net Neutrality
2) Brian Patton on blogging software and blog hosting providers

· 11:00am Workshop/Seminar

1) Roundtable discussion with media and bloggers

· 12:30pm Lunch with Speakers

1) Barnie Day, Master of Ceremonies, Introduction of speakers
2) U.S Attorney for Western District of Virginia John Brownlee
3) Former Representative and State Senator Leslie Byrne

· 1:30pm Free Time; relax and digest lunch, meet other bloggers, interview Speakers, etc.

· 2:30pm Workshop/Seminar

1) Forrest Landon on Open Government and FOIA requests
2) Eric Helms Monday on Libel, with Conaway Haskins and Greg Letiecq

· 4:00pm Workshop/Seminar

1) Jim Hoeft and Squeaky Wheel on podcasting and multimedia

· 5:00pm Free time... May I suggest you enjoy the Foot of the Hills Fest here on the PHCC campus?
____ __Your nametag will get you the advance purchase price for tickets. $10.00

· 7:30pm Extended Conference/Party at Firemen’s cabin, at Martinsville City Reservoir.

Martinsville--Getting There is Half the Fun

Virginia is a big state with distinctive and charming regions. Register for the conference and use your trip to check out the spectacular scenery and diversity that the Commonwealth offers.

If you hail from Northern Virginia, you'll take Route 29 Sourth past Charlottesville, Wintergreen, and Lynchburg. At Chatham, the literary incubator of Virginia, you'll cut southwest on Route 57 to Martinsville.

If you're from Hampton Roads, Route 58 will take you past Franklin, site of the great flood, past Emporia, South Hill, South Boston, and around Danville, although you might want to take the business route straight through if you're not familiar with that vibrant city.

From the Richmond area, it's a trip back in time on Route 360 as you pass by Amelia Court House, through the tiny towns of Green Bay and Meherrin, and past Keysville and South Boston.

How many political signs will you see? Who will they favor? Where will you make a pit stop for a cold drink? How many roadside produce stands will you pass? Will you see growth and development patterns unlike those in your region?

Expand your mind. Register for the Blogs United in Martinsville for Free Speech Conference.

Of course, drive safely and watch out for your friendly state troopers.


Allow me to take over tour guide duties now, City Slicker.

If you are coming in from the Valley, I-81 will bring you down through Harrisonburg, Stuarts Draft, Lexington, and finally Roanoke where you will encounter US220. This scenic route will take you out of busy Roanoke and into the Franklin County countryside. Boones Mill would be a good place for that pit stop for a cold drink or cup of coffee. If you don't stop in Boones Mill, at least slow down, it has a certain notariety for frowning on speeding. Even those that only speed a little bit.

The coalfields of the southwest offer a few more challenges for getting here, but along with those challenges comes some very beautiful scenery. Whether you take 58 to Abingdon and I-81, or 19 and 460 to Bluefield and I-77 you will pass through Wytheville and then south to Hillsville. I don't care what it looks like on a map, do not attempt to take 58 from Abingdon to Independence. If you decide to take that route you may want to leave a day early. From Hillsville 58 becomes more of a road and less of a path, taking you east across the Blue Ridge. Stop at Lover's Leap in Patrick County for a great photo opportunity of the Rock Castle gorge below. From that view point the lights of Bassett, Collinsville, and Martinsville can be seen if it's dark when you pass through.

Again, as City Slicker said drive safely and watch out for your friendly state troopers.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Conference Questions--Be There for the Answers

Tonight's the deadline for registering for the Blogs United in Martinsville for Free Speech conference. Good BBQ takes time and that's why we need your numbers.

A lot of questions loom over the conference, the last chance for bloggers to meet up before the Labor Day campaign kick-off and all the frenzy that brings:

Will "Macaca" dominate the proceedings? Will NLS flog anything else?

Will the officeholders and candidates deliver standard stump speeches, or will they make real news?

Will there be a "spin room?"

Will Martinsville officials bury the hatchet with the "Notorious" Will Vehrs and stand together in support of responsible, appropriate free speech?

Will "new" bloggers break out and create a splash?

Will there be new perspectives on the old question, "Are bloggers journalists?"

Will bloggers really wear pajamas to the pajama party?

Will there really be a bedtime story at the pajama party?

Will there be seconds on BBQ?

Will there be an opportunity to pose for future Caption Contest pictures with Anne Dalton Boothe and the dinosaur of your choice?

Will adult beverages be served?

For the answers to these and other pressing questions, register now.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Class Acts Coming to Martinsville

Jim Hoeft of Bearing Drift notes Norm Leahy's post at One Man's Trash about the conference and offers to carpool to Martinsville with anyone of any political persuasion from Hampton Roads.

That's class.

Waldo Jaquith was intimately involved in arranging the two Sorensen blog summits. He took a lot of grief this past June for his role. He's coming to Martinsville.

That's class.

Jim is the podcast pioneer. Waldo is not just a political blogger; he's into photographic blogging and business blogging. Come to Martinsville with these class acts.

The Best Bargain In Virginia

When I was a kid, about Kenton's age, 50 bucks was a pile of money, just about enough to buy two Murray bicycles at Montgomery Ward. It's still substantial, but not quite like it was then. This morning before dawn I spent 50 bucks filling the tank in my car. This afternoon I spent half that amount paying for 3 lunches at Honduras Coffee in Stuart (very good lunch companions and the best chicken salad ever).

I also just spent 50 bucks paying my registration fee for the Blogs United in Martinsville for free Speech conference. That was the best bargain I've made all day.

For that most recent 50 bucks I get to meet three of the best unpaid writers in Virginia; Jerry Fuhrman, Norman Leahy, and Kathryn Wilton.

That 50 bucks also buys me the opportunity to meet 2 out of 3 of Virginia's statewide office holders; Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, and Attorney General Bob McDonnell. The organizers of the conference are throwing in the two preeminent ladies of Virginia's Democratic Party,Leslie Byrne and Mary Sue Terry, for free.

But that's not all. Let's not forget Ben Tribbett, Virginia's walking database of election statistics, rumor, and forecasts. He'll be there too.

And I'm still not through. That 50 bucks buys me a fantastic dinner at Martinsville and Henry County's prestigious Chatmoss Country Club, and admittance to a private reception afterwards at Uptown Martinsville's Artisan Center. There we'll get to meet BadWill, the only Virginia employee ever suspended for making fun of a jingle.

When Friday evening draws to a close we are still not finished wearing out that 50 bucks. Saturday morning, after hearing speakers Attorney General Bob McDonnell, Delegate Chris Saxman, and Chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia, Dickie Cranwell, the conference will provide workshops designed to improve your blog, or your mind, or both.

It's been said that experience is the best teacher. I've always disputed that because it gives you the test first and the lesson afterwards. At 9:45 Saturday morning you will be able to turn it around on that ol' teacher, experience. Sit in on the "Bloggers and Libel" workshop hosted by Eric Helms Monday, Conaway Haskins, and Greg Letiecq. Greg provides the experience, Eric doles out the legal advice, while Conaway navigates us through the ethics involved in writing sometimes unflattering articles about other people.

After that you will be able to participate in a roundtable discussion that includes Norman Leahy and Jeff Schapiro, as well as Jerry Fuhrman and Dan Radmacher. That tag team match alone would cost 50 bucks if Vince McMahon was in charge of this conference.

At noon on Saturday your 50 bucks still has enough life left in it to provide a lunch to die for, catered by Pigs R Us, the official caterer of NASCAR's Martinsville Speedway and winner of numerous prestigious BBQ cookoffs around the country, including the Best in the West Rib cook-off in Reno, Nevada and featured on the Food Network.

Your Luncheon speakers will be U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia, John Brownlee, and the previously mentioned Leslie Byrne. We will try to get Mary Sue to grace us with some words at lunch as well.

Some of you will decide to stay over on Saturday night, rather than face Virginia's deplorable Transportation System in the dark. You will be able to enjoy a very informal cookout-hangout-kickback-and-yack event at Martinsville's best kept little secret. The Firemen's Cabin is nestled back in the woods on the shore of the Martinsville City Reservoir, and I hear it's been recently remodeled and upgraded.

When the fires die out at the cabin, late on Saturday night, you will have finally used up all of that 50 bucks. But wow, look at what all it bought.

You can still register by pushing the big red button below. If PayPal is in any way a problem for you, e-mail us at blogsunited@adelphia.net and we can certainly come up with other arrangements.

The Day of Reckoning Approaches

Sunday night, the deadline to register, is fast approaching. If you believe in blogging, if you believe in the power of ideas, and if you believe in challenging public figures to confront the issues in open dialog, you need to be in Martinsville next weekend.

Far from the madding crowd, on the last summer weekend before Labor Day, Martinsville will open your mind to new perspectives.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Hey, Grandpa, What's for Supper????

Chatmoss Country Club flatly denied our request for rubber chicken at the dinner Friday night. In hopes of not totally shocking our digestive systems, the menu will be:

Domestic and Imported Cheese Tray with Fresh Fruit Garnish and Crackers

Spinach Salad with Sliced strawberries, Toasted Pine Nuts and Crumbled Feta Cheese with a Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing

Cornish Game Hen Stuffed with Wild Rice Pilaf Stuffing, slow roasted and finished with Thyme.

Steamed Asparagus and Burgundy Braised Cabbage

Baskets of Sister Schubert Rolls with Muffins

Chocolate Mousse with Fresh Seasonal Berries and Cream


Find a big red button and hit it!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Subject For Debate

Not Larry Sabato has an interesting post up about paid political blogging. he finishes the post with this;
After we learned TC was getting paid last year to blog for certain candidates, and now with RK on the Webb payroll, this seems to be a widening discussion in the blogosphere. How do you all think bloggers can ethically handle these situations? This is something I am hoping we can discuss in Martinsville.
If there is an interest in this subject, and the comments on that post indicate there is, someone step forward. Contact us and we'll set it up.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Missing Link

The two Sorensen blog conferences were great events, but one thing was missing.

Ben Tribbett, aka Not Larry Sabato.

The guy's a walking statistical abstract of Virginia politics.

He's the go-to guy for political gossip in Virginia.

He's going to be in Martinsville.

Don't miss him. Southside may never be the same.

Avoid Dorkiness

Now that you've been blogging for a while, you've decided that mere text is passé. You feel the need to spread your creative wings and make your blog soar. You want to be a real star in the Virginia Blogosphere, and you have decided that audio/video multimedia is the vehicle that will take you and your blog to that next level.

If that describes you, or if you just want to add an occasional imbedded Mp3 file to your blog, then please sign up for the workshop hosted by Virginia's premier podcasting duo, Jim Hoeft and The Sqeaky Wheel.

Don't blame us if you pass on this oportunity and your multimedia efforts turn out like this.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A Voice, Not an Echo

One mighty voice has been missing from both the blogosphere and Virginia papers.

Barnie Day.

The Meadows of Dan Sage will be at the Martinsville blog conference. He won't pull any punches. He never does.

Chat him up. You'll get more material in five minutes than you usually get in a week.

Register now!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Beauty Contest, Part I

No, not a bathing suit competition, but more like a political talent show.

The Martinsville blog conference will feature several highly regarded potential candidates who just might be taking some early soundings.

Delegate Chris Saxman's name is on the lips of the Great Mentioner as a 2009 candidate for Lieutenant Governor. He's got the intellectual heft and a willingness to duke it out with all comers in a live blog situation. Could he be the candidate to energize the GOP with the force of ideas?

How about Brian Patton? He's young, attractive, and working hard for the Democrats. Does anyone doubt he's thinking of making a run in the future?

Will Conaway Haskins be able to resist entreaties that are already on the table urging him to run in Chesterfield County? The sky would be the limit after that.

Come to Martinsville and grab a glimpse of the future.

Mary Sue! Up Close in Martinsville

Lots of folks got to see the triumphant return to the spotlight of former two-term Attorney General Mary Sue Terry at Larry Sabato's Virginia Women and Politics Conference on July 21st.

If you missed her--or if you want to see this distinguished and pioneering stateswoman again--register for the conference.

At Sabato's event, four hundred and fifty attendees wanted to speak with Mary Sue (yes, she's that informal and down to earth, call her Mary Sue). In Martinsville, where she's a neighbor, the setting will be much more intimate when she stops by and everyone will have a chance to meet and speak with the first and only woman to serve as attorney general in Virginia and the first elected official ever in Virginia to receive more than a million votes. Her message of civility in politics is guaranteed to resonate with bloggers of all persuasions.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Conference Rumor Mill Ignites!

The always entertaining Blue Dog is the latest to register for the conference.

Rumor has it that he'll be bringing a surprise that might just rock the procceedings.

Register now so you won't miss it.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Another Speaker Confirmed

Confirmation has just been recieved from Leslie Byrne. I'll add her to the sidebar list and to the Agenda post soon.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Conference Agenda

A couple more speakers have confirmed. They have been placed into the agenda in their proper slots. As things firm up the agenda will be updated and reposted at the top of the blog. As before, the next pargraph still applies. We want to hear from you, either via e-mail or comments.

A tentative Agenda has been posted. Parts of this agenda can and will change to be reflective of what you, the Virginia Blogger, want to experience at this conference. Please use the e-mail link on the sidebar, or the comment section to make suggestions. No suggestion will be dismissed out of hand, all will be considered, though obviously all cannot be implemented.

Tentative Agenda;

Friday August 25, 2006
Various venues

· 12:00pm ___(Noon to 5:00pm; Conference Representatives
· 1:00pm ____will be at each hotel to meet attendees and
· 2:00pm ____assist with sign-in. Hotel check-in times will be
· 3:00pm ____noted on the official Agenda which will be
· 4:00pm ____mailed to each participant.)
· 5:30pm ____Cocktails, meet and greet; Chatmoss Country Club
· 6:00pm ____Dinner with Keynote speaker, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling, Chatmoss Country Club
· 7:30pm ____Reception in the form of 1st Annual Bloggers Pajama Party; Artisan Center, Uptown Martinsville. (Pajamas ____ ____ __optional, of course. Nothing that can't be worn in public.)

Saturday August 26, 2006
Patrick Henry Community College

· 9:00am Opening Speaker Attorney General McDonnell, Speaker Chris Saxman.
· 9:45am Workshop/Seminar (two choices TBA)
    1)Eric Helms Monday on Libel, with Conaway Haskins and Greg Letiecq
· 11:00am Workshop/Seminar
    1) Jim Hoeft on Podcasting and audio/visual media
    2) Roundtable discussion with media and bloggers
· 12:30pm Lunch with Speakers
    1) U.S Attorney for Western District of Virginia John Brownlee
    2) Former Representative and State Senator Leslie Byrne
· 1:30pm Free Time; meet other bloggers, interview Speakers, etc.
· 2:30pm Workshop/Seminar
    1) Forrest Landon on Open Government and FOIA requests
    2) Steve Minor on Net Neutrality
· 4:00pm TBA
· 5:00pm TBA
· 6:00pm TBA
· 7:30pm Extended Conference/Party at Firemen’s cabin, at Martinsville City Reservoir.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Our Mission Statement

The mission of Blogs United in Martinsville for free Speech is to provide a forum to assess the state of the Virginia blog community, discuss its future, and explore ideas that utilize free speech to foster innovation, connectivity, and influence.

To this end, Blogs United in Martinsville for free Speech is dedicated to enhancing personal relationships and respect among bloggers, journalists, and public figures, regardless of partisan affiliation, through both the formal agenda and informal socializing opportunities offered in a casual, fun atmosphere.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Agenda to be released soon

A number of speakers have been lined up, and arrangements made for the various venues.

Watch this space for an agenda, to be released within the next few days.

Data Imported

Today I brought over all the posts from my personal site regarding the conference. This assures that there is one place for information.

Also I have just returned from an enjoyable evening in Charlottesville. The primary purpose of the trip was to meet with Tucker Watkins regarding a couple of speakers that may be added to the roster. An extremely enjoyable side effect was the opportunity to meet several bloggers for the first time. There was a lot of interest in Blogs United expressed, with many committing to attend.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Partial Speakers List

Several speakers have confirmed their attendance at Bloggers United in Martinsville for free Speech blog convention August 25th and 26th. Quite a few more have conditionally accepted, to confirm when their schedule is more concrete.

A short list of confirmed speakers;
  • Attorney General Robert McDonnell
  • Barnie Day
  • Will Vehrs
  • Jeff Schapiro
  • Forrest Landon
  • Eric Helms Monday
  • Jim Hoeft
There is much more to come. I will be meeting with my Henry County team this weekend and the agenda should be firm(er) by Monday morning.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Date Is Set

The blogger's conference soon to be held in Martinsville is quickly coming together.

The date has been set. The conference will open at Noon on Friday, August 25, 2006 and close Saturday evening, August 26, 2006.

An impressive list of speakers has been drawn up, several of whom have already committed to attend. A tentative agenda has been put together, and is being tweaked before final release.

Watch this blog for updates as they occur. Be sure to e-mail me if you have any questions or suggestions.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Clarification Of Motive

I want to clear up what may be a misconception in some Virginia Blogger's minds.

My reasons for establishing C'ville Too are many. Competition or sour grapes with Sorensen is not one of them. I have my problems with the way the Sorensen Conference was organized, I also have publicly questioned their choice for Keynote Speaker. But if it had not been scheduled for Father's Day weekend, I would most likely be signed up now as an attendee. The Virginia community of blog commentators is both wide and deep. I'm sure there will be enough interesting people in Charlottesville to keep everyone from Virginia Centrist to Conaway Haskins involved in some fine conversation and debate.

A conference in Martinsville and Henry County was originally proposed by Will Vehrs. Not in an effort to get himself out of the hole he had recently dug for himself, but as a sincere effort to bring some attention to an area of the Commonwealth that is hurting right now. Will and Ben Tribbett proposed moving the Sorensen Conference to Martinsville, as did I, at a time when none of us in the Virginia blogging community knew just how far along the planning for that event was (or wasn't).

Will states;
Just to clarify, the idea originated completely from Not Larry Sabato. I signed on immediately because it made so much sense.
Will Vehrs | 06.02.06 - 5:47 pm
I know that a simple conference will not cure the economic problems Martinsville and Henry County are experiencing, and that is not the purpose anyway. But, stranger things have been known to happen.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Date Deliberations

Norm has noticed. He also cautions us about holding the event in August. I'm not married to August, but it just seems right to me. It's outside the NASCAR schedule, and hotel rooms here for race week have to be inherited, they can't be bought. The political scene is in a virtual hiatus then, and bloggers will be searching under every rock and posting every cute video link they can find.

He says most will be looking at a trip to the beach, rather than a trip to southside during August. My point precisely. Henry County is often lumped in with Southside, but we are actually more Southwestern Virginia in flavor. We are minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway. My office for example, is 26 miles from my home in Collinsville, but it overlooks Bull Mountain. Well, not really, but if it wasn't for that big un-named hill between us, it would.

There is much here to be had for the visitor. On my hunting club property is the final resting place of General Joseph Martin. Patrick Henry lived here when he was elected Governor. Governor Thomas B. Stanley's home, Stoneleigh, was on my boyhood paper route. (Mr. Tom, was also a major patron of my Boy Scout troop 73).

I almost forgot, Norm said, "unless there's barbecue". Well, I've got barbecue. My sister's husband is the only brother of Tommy Houston. Martinsville's Barbecue King. He recently won the Reno, Nevada rib cookoff, earning him a place at the Jack Daniels cookoff in Lynchburg Tennessee. You may have seen him on the Food Network. His local restaurant, Pigs R Us, will cater lunch on Saturday.

Blogs United in Martinsville for free Speech

Planning has begun for Blogs United, the Virginia Blogger's Conference by bloggers for bloggers.

The conference will be at Patrick Henry Community College, via arrangments currently being handled by Barnie Day. Barnie has also graciuosly offered to help recruit speakers, and has presented me with an impressive list of choices.

I have been in touch via e-mail with J. Tucker Martin, Director of Communications for Attorney General Bob McDonnell. The Attorney General wants to participate, pending only a firm date.

My e-mail box is always open to anyone wishing to provide input on such items as;
  • Agenda
  • Date
  • Requested speakers
  • Workshops
Let's get together and make this happen sometime in late summer. I'm thinking about August, politics dies down somewhat then and you all will be searching for topics.

Via e-mail I've just learned that the College has been secured by Mr. Day, pending only notification of a firm date. According to Barnie, Max Wingett, president of the college, said "Patrick Henry Community College would be glad to sponsor a thing like this...". Other details to come.

Smith River Community Bank agrees to be lead sponsor--commits to $1000. BKD

Click the logo for the bank's website.