Day 1 and 2 roundup

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Just a few notes on what happened today and yesterday:

I had a terrific time at a National Review event. It was fun to spot such luminaries as former Education Secretary Bill Bennett and former U. N. Ambassador John Bolton. It was even more fun to talk politics with NR staffers and other guests. Being in a room of people who can discuss politics passionately and intelligently is heavenly.

After the party, I headed back up Cathedral Hill to where I'd parked the car. The time passed quickly (despite my tweed jacket, my heavy laptop backpack, and the unusually warm evening) because I was on the Wynncast, being Wynnterviewed by Claremore bloggers Tyson and Jeanne Wynn -- two more folks who can discuss politics with passion and intelligence. You can listen to the latest Wynncast at this link.

Back down the hill today to stroll past the Fox News outdoor set, where Sen. Joe Lieberman was being interviewed. I did some work on an upcoming Urban Tulsa Weekly story at a Dunn Bros. Coffee at 5th & Wabasha, located on the ground floor of a nicely disguised parking garage and sharing space with an opticians' shop. It was an interesting arrangement. They also had a coffee and snacks cart out on the sidewalk for express service. I was sad to notice that despite the extended hours that many of these shops are offering during the convention, most places in the western part of downtown seem to close early under normal circumstances.

Dunn Bros. had become a sort of alternative media filing center. I met Britten Chase, the Oregon editor for The Politicker, a national collection of state-focused political websites. During a later writing session, I was sitting near a reporter for CBS Radio News, who was phoning in periodically about complaints by protesters that undercover cops were the ones getting violent during their marches. Other folks with notepads and microphones and cameras were typing intently on their laptops.

While there I did phone interviews with Oklahoma U. S. Rep. Tom Cole, who is also chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, and Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, who is head of the Republican Mayors' Association. More about that in a later entry.

I did more writing and had something to eat in a sad little food court in the Fifth Street Center. The sign on the street door said they'd be open until late. When I got upstairs, most of the places were already closed. I walked around the corner and found a local Mexican fast food place and a McDonald's still open.

I decided to take the skyway back toward the convention center. The skyway -- at least in parts -- is like walking down an indoor Main Street. In the Town Square shopping center, I was excited to come across a little shop that sells Discovery Toys. The shop had everything some fun and wonderful educational toys, and they're currently on offer for at least a 20% discount. The store is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you're here at the convention and need something fun to take home to the kids, you need to stop by. (You can also find this Discovery Toys consultant, Bobbie Collins, online.)

I made it back to the convention center about 5:30. I marveled at how much quicker it was to get into the Xcel Center than it was to get into Madison Square Garden four years ago. I've never had to wait in a long line, and tonight, I was arriving not long before the gavel.

The accommodations for the press are much better than I had feared, after I'd read Ed Morrissey's Hot Air post about the cost of Internet access for media. The media filing center is open to everyone -- periodical press, daily papers, radio, and bloggers. We've got fairly high speed wired access, sponsored by AT&T -- I was getting about 2 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up. There are lockers -- bring your own lock -- where you can lock up your stuff if you don't care to lug it around.

Near the lockers I found a bunch of the bloggers whom I met at the brunch, including Skye of Midnight Blue (who requested and got a nice photo with me at the brunch). I was also invited to spend a few minutes on Grizzly Groundswell's BlogTalkRadio show tonight.

On the way to the convention floor, in hopes of getting a media floor pass, I came across 740 KRMG's booth on radio row and saw Joe Kelley, Rick Couri, and their producer for the week, KRMG program director Drew Anderssen. They've been doing a live special edition each evening of the convention, as well as an extended morning show from 5 to 9. They were in Denver, too. You can find KRMG's convention website here, with audio and video, and their revised convention schedule here.

I'm going to stop now -- will add more about my time on the floor of the convention in a later entry. Time for another climb up the hill and another edition of the Wynncast.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 2, 2008 10:38 PM.

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