Netroots Nation 14 – My First Protest!


My first protest! And, it made a real difference!

Pragmatic Progressive

On Friday the 18th in Detroit, the Netroots Nation attendees added their voices to a planned protest against the water shut offs in Detroit. I joined in to what was my first ever march or protest. I didn’t carry a sign because I wanted to take pictures, but I did chant “Fight! Fight! Fight! Water is a Human Right!” Here’s some of my pictures:

20140727-192729-70049816.jpg This was also the first protest march for my buddy Bill – he was INTO it!

20140727-192729-70049259.jpg Hey, when The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) tells you to march, you MARCH! Also, yes, I was that close and yes, he was looking right at me (swoon!) 🙂

20140727-192728-70048788.jpg The atmosphere was really fun.


20140727-192731-70051426.jpg We wound up at the base of this obelisk in Hart Plaza – there was supposed to be a stage but the police took it away – so the organizers improvised.

20140727-192730-70050584.jpg Some of my NN family –…

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Video Interview from San Jose


Last week, just a few minutes after I arrived in San Jose for Netroots Nation, I ran into a young man who describes himself on his business cards as an “Apprentice Troublemaker”. I think that is a very accurate description 🙂 I also think I was some pretty darn good company to have been interviewed by him – click on his site to see for yourself. Right after the interview he told me the tale of the FIRST walk out he led at his day care center. I’d say this kid has a pretty bright future ahead of him!

Netroots Interview

Thank you, thank you Netroots Nation organizers!


This’ll be quick because I have to get up at 5:30am to partake in a 7am 90 minute trail run tomorrow and since both those time are already less than 12 hours from now and I’ve had a very very fulfilling day – I’ve gotta get to BED!

I’ve spent the last three days doing my best to both participate remotely in Netroots Nation 2012 and also distract myself from feeling very sad that I wasn’t there. It’s the first such event I am missing since they started 8 years ago and I truly hated breaking my streak as I’ve already mentioned.


The organizers setup live video feeds from a few of the conference rooms and from the main stage so that I was actually able to watch several great sessions and all of the keynote events. Today was the best because I wasn’t distracted by that pesky day job nonsense and could really watch and listen all day.

My most favorite session of all was the one integrating sports and politics – first of it’s kind at an NN and it was FANTASTIC! Perfectly times too because it just popped into my head that I kind of want t flesh out a post about the fact that – despite ALL of the advances in equality and acceptance for the LGBT community in the last 10 years – there is still NO openly gay male player in any major league in the US.  Raising a bit of a sports hound son as I am right now with 15, I am acutely aware that the male sports world is sort of the last bastion of acceptable homophobia and it REALLY bothers me since I do so LOVE and am a huge fan of many sports. I’m feeling conflicted at this juncture about the lack of acceptance there.

But I digress – it was just a perfectly timed and well staffed panel of commentators who spoke on an issue that had been tumbling around my mind this week.

It was fun too – because while I was watching the livestream I was also monitoring the NN12 twitter group that I created and one of my friends was in that session and then I saw another one ON CAMERA in the crowd and I got such a kick out of that 🙂

Then they started the closing keynote session which is when they always announce the location and timing of the next Netroots Nation. I think you guys know that I was desperately wishing for

a) something later in the month of June or even just about anytime in July and

b) somewhere close – west coast at least so no time change or huge travel days

Well, after the usual barnstormer speeches by Ben Jealous of the NAACP and then the ever enthusiastic (and my personal favorite person to see and meet at any NN event other than Chris Hayes) Van Jones, I had almost forgotten about the announcement. OK, not really – I was literally on the edge of my seat holding my breath as Van segued from his conclusion to “And we will see you next year for Netroots Nation 2013…………………………….

….. June 20-23rd in SAN JOSE CALIFORNIA!!!!”


As the news traversed the facebook and twitterverse and my phone buzzed with texts, there was much celebrating and grinning and not a few tears of happiness knowing that all my friends are coming out west and that I can and WILL get there.

Particularly since I texted Marcus who had come by to take me out to lunch and had to listen to my tale of woe about missing my friends and his response was “Yes, I will make SURE you get there!”


So thank you thank you Netroots Nation organizers – first for setting up those live streams and making sure they worked (most of the time) and keeping those of us who couldn’t attend still somehow connected with all the tweets and email updates – and then secondly for making it possible for me to roll over the NN12 registration that I bought last year into a ticket for NN13 once I knew I couldn’t get to Providence – and then lastly for finally bringing the event to the West Coast proper (Las Vegas does NOT count) making it possible for me to even consider driving if I want AND for having it pretty much on the most perfect weekend possible. NO conflicts with 15s school or my work.


OK, sorry about your ear drums folks – I’m outta here.

The Days are Long


Yes, the days are long.

That could mean it is summer and I’m loving the longer daylight hours such as last night when we stayed on Fiesta Island at our monthly bonfire later than ever. I was driving home at 8:45pm and noticed that while the sun was long gone, the sky was still clinging to that gorgeous turquoise blue-ish, purple-ish blending to black on the western horizon.

It could mean that having a combination of month end close, auditors on site at work, and daily lessons and writing to do at night has forced me to stay alert and focused later into the nights.

It could also mean I’ve been listening to Eminem’s Recovery CD a lot – oh wait….hah! That lyric I’ve had running through my head all week from my new favorite song on the CD? It’s not the DAYS are long – here’s what it really is:

“The nights are long, I’m growing older”

Um – yeah, clearly.

Moving on…..

It’s a weird week overall for me. If you follow me on twitter or notice the tweets over there in the right hand column, I’m chatting a lot about #NN12. Aka – Netroots Nation 2012 in Providence Rhode Island.

What’s weird is that I am not THERE. My streak of attending every NN gathering is broken as of this year and I am really really sad about it since it is the only time I would get to see many truly wonderful friends. The timing is just All Wrong this year. I had to make the decision in February that even with all the money in the world I just couldn’t go. The computer upgrade/month end/auditor preliminary visit made it just too much to overcome. Of course, if I had all the money in the world I guess I wouldn’t need to work so those things wouldn’t really impact me much, but I think you get the gist.

I’ve been following along though. The beauty of a gathering of bloggers is that they are all tweeting away like crazy, many pics have already been posted online and I’ve been able to listen in on Netroots Radio and even watch a couple of live streamed panels. The time difference is annoying though. My most favorite event of all is the Pub Quiz which WILL be on the live stream tomorrow night but it will happen right when I am at the high school for 15’s Spring flag football game. Poop!

Saturday night they announce the location and timing for next year and I am crossing all appendages that a) it wont be in the first weekend in June and b) it WILL be a lot closer to cut down on travel time.

It’s crazy, but I’ve missed writing every day!

No, I’m not going to try doing that again right now.

As I said, the days are long, uhhh….the nights are long and I’m growing colder..err…older…um…maybe I should close that window and go to bed now?

The friends and family part of NN11


My most awesome roommate Terri, showing you where she lives in West Virginia.

Bill in Portland Maine - TEXTING!!! This folks, is a miraculous occurence.

Michael with Mary, his walking buddy also from Maine

My adorable bud Michael and I, in the howling wind laughing because I cracked him up at just the right moment.

Like Bill, Michael has to tilt the glasses down to text. So cute 🙂 Also, wonder where he got that shirt?

Vicki - karaoke singer extraordinnare - bartender Michael in the background

Mary and her beautiful smile. Much like Vicki, laughter springs easily from this lovely lady.

Bill and Michael - fantasy version

Bill & Michael - reality 🙂

Bill in his very own Kiddie Pool (which is what we long ago dubbed his Cheers & Jeers diaries)

Sharon getting her t-shirt for NFTT box packing

Kelly - another bright smile (see a pattern with my friend here?) Wish this was in focus!

Step 1 - Mary and I sip bourbon

Step 2 - Stage one of identical reaction

Step 3 - what the hell are we thinking?

Ed - who always enjoys updates on the cats and asks after them by name

Ray - who always ended up with us in the evenings even if we never saw him all day

Me, giving credit to Bill for his awesome limerick writing. Stormy is seated next to Bill.

That picture above was from the BEST Pub Quiz ever. We were rowdy, loud, chanting & protesting just about every question and answer. The guys behind me? The Wisconsin Union crew – some of whom really DID protest in Madison this year. At one point they broke out into a chant of “Show me what democracy looks like!” and we would respond “THIS is what democracy looks like!” Oh, it was supremely fun and funny.

While I did much better than I normally do taking pics of people, there are still not enough and I really must do a better job of simply forcing my friends to pose dammit! Some of them are camera shy of course and want to maintain their anonymity which I respect, but most are anything but camera shy and I really must take advantage 🙂

But, there is a little glimpse at my liberal lunatic friends……FAMILY who, when we see each other one year or two years after last saying goodbye, pick up the conversation as if it ended yesterday.


Yes, a blogger conference w/o reliable internet!


Thanks to the Rio hotel having absolutely horrible internet access issues (and wanting to charge $14 a day for said crappy connection in your room), I quickly had to bail on the idea of posting updates this past weekend.

And I would normally catch up during the week, but, this is Glamnation tour week – three Adam Lambert concerts within 4 days starting tomorrow night. Couple that with having to truly catch up on three days of work emails and I am going to have to continue my blogging hiatus for another week.

I do have pics and various political stories to tell on PP and them some non-political to share here. And I am sure there will be at least one Adam concert review!

Speaking of Adam Lambert* – I was stalked by him in Vegas. And I have the pictures to prove it ;-))

*Hint: Not all Adam Lamberts are glittery aliens.