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.