Treasure hunt

Credentials. It seems like everyone in Denver is wearing a few around their necks. Not only do they act as passes to get you into buildings and events, but they function as status symbols in a village that has sprung to life over a weekend. They are not unlike boy scout badges, military medals, or feathers in ones cap; they frequently serve as conversation starters. The can be a choking hazard.

The first convention-related thing Goldy and I did was to embark on a quest for credentials. We took light rail to the Sheridan Hotel in Denver where media credentials were distributed and got in line for our blogger credentials.

With credentials come bags (typically canvass bags) filled with advertisements and goodies. Lots and lots of goodies. Obviously the goodies are given away in hopes of some return. The goodie suppliers for the press bags might have been hoping for some product placement. But I don’t see United Parcel Service getting anything out of me for putting those delicious little mints in my bag.

As bloggers, we’re not quite treated with press status and as bloggers embedded with the state delegation, we’re not treated with delegate status (except we do get all the goodies—did I mention that ProLogis also put some refreshing mints in my bag?). We do get some of the privileges of each status, however. For instance, our blogger credentials came with a coveted floor pass in the Pepsi Center, with a seat, an ethernet connection, and a single power outlet reserved for us among the Washington state delegation. Sweet. That’s much better access than most members of the press receive.

Goldy and I also visited the “Big Tent” for a credential. The “Big Tent” is an independent facility set up by bloggers for bloggers (specifically, it is hosted by Daily Kos, Alliance for a Sustainable Colorado, and Progressnow.org). It serves as blogger central, with wireless internet, power, table space, food, beer, couches and even entertainment.

Goldy was able to score one credential for the Big Tent, but a little creative credential-swapping got all three of us access for the day. (I feel it is only proper to take a moment to thank the New Belgium Brewery for all the free beer they gave me in the Big Tent last night. I especially enjoyed their 1554 Enlightened Black Ale, which is new to me, but has worked its way up to my “preferred microbrews” list.)

The Bit Tent was wonderful, but a bit trying. The tables were crowded together, it was dark, hot, and the air was a little thick with…well, blogger. When the room thinned out later in the evening, however, it was great. There was plenty of lukewarm pizza and refreshing New Belgium Brewery products on tap late into the evening.

This convention is “distributed” among two main sites, and numerous smaller venues. The Pepsi Center is where the big events take place during the evening. A couple of miles away, at the Convention Center, there are numerous events going on during the day. As Geov and I made our way from the Pepsi Center to the Convention center yesterday afternoon, we met a couple of lads from Atlanta. They were filming content for their web-tv program (I don’t have the card on me, but I’m sure I’ll plug it when they actually get their web site up.) They arrived in Denver lacking any credentials, and were capturing on video their quest to secure credentials…any credentials. Just by asking.

By yesterday afternoon, they had only managed to score a “Big Tent” press credential. That’s right..the Big Tent folks created a class of credential called a “press credential.” As you might imagine, it is a totally second class credential that requires a staff escort, and gives no access to the pizza or those delicious New Belgium Brewery products.

At the Convention Center, Geov and I inquired about blogger facilities and were sent to the “Specialty Media Lounge,” where we signed in and were given another badge to hang around our necks. The Specialty Media Lounge is sponsored by Microsoft.

I returned to the Convention Center today, thinking my blogger credential would get me through the “credentialed press door” and avoid the long security line. Nope…the blogger credential didn’t work, but my Specialty Media Lounge tag did. Go figure.

So I am now writing this in the comfort of the Specialty Media Lounge. The room has a low population density compared to the Big Tent, it is air conditioned and well lighted. There is no 1554 Enlightened Black Ale, but plenty of conference center coffee, and piles of boxed lunches. There is a Microsoft Zune kiosk for the curious, and a Microsoft XBOX 360 station for the playful. I’ve yet to see anyone use the XBOX, but the thought was nice. Knowing geeks they way they do, Microsoft kindly provided a big basket of munchies on each table. (Dang…someone just grabbed the bag of M&M Peanuts I was eying. I’ll have to settle for a bag of Miss Vickies Hand-Picked Jalapeno chips.)

I’ve finished my free lunch (thanks Microsoft!) and raised my blood-caffeine titer to acceptable levels. I’m ready for my next challenge in CredentialQuest™.

Comments

  1. 1

    Fucking enough already spews:

    See if you can find out why Democrats are so fucking spineless. Why it is that Republicans are willing to back-stab, pull your hair, kick you in the balls, lie, poke you in the eye do anything to win and the Democrats want to play nice for the “good of the country.”

    An example: While McCain is basically accusing Obama of treason Obama is honoring McCain’s service.

    Need I remind everyone of what the Republicans did to veterans Kerry and Cleland in 2004? Need I remind everyone that with a President with a 30% approval rating and the Republicans the minority party they still got FISA passed; or that every bad thing Bush has done in the past eight years has been facilitated by many Democrats. Need I remind everyone how fucking stupid and easily swayed, and uninformed the American electorate is?

    These spineless bastards will lose the Presidency this year and when the fucking nut job McCain starts a nuclear exchange with Russia the Democrats will be lining up in support for the “good of the country.”

  2. 2

    YLB spews:

    Omigosh. For bloggers – the story is all about access.

    May bloggers never get that access easily. May they always be forced to scrap for that nugget of truth.

    After all, look what happened to the traditional media.

  3. 3

    kirk91 spews:

    1–but now that ‘master of the Senate’ Biden is on board everything will be different…

  4. 4

    ArtFart spews:

    Remember to save those nice “swag bags” for grocery shopping back home. Lately, there’s been a type showing up at trade shows that’s made of ballistic-weave recycled plastic and big (and strong) enough to carry the entire contents of a shopping cart.

    You might also make sure UPS didn’t also toss in a coupon good for a few pennies off on shipping a box of stuff to yourself instead of trying to stuff it in your luggage and getting buggered by the airline for the extra weight.

  5. 5

    ArtFart spews:

    “An example: While McCain is basically accusing Obama of treason Obama is honoring McCain’s service.”

    What does this say about who’s more of a Christian?

  6. 6

    JamesA spews:

    Art – I think the point of the original post (and I would tend to agree with most of it) is that if you are concerned about “who’s more of a Christian”, then the Dems are going to get their ass handed to them on a platter in November. The only thing the Party should be focused on, like a laser-beam, is how to tear down the “maverick” image of John McRage and continue to drive home the “3rd Bush term” meme.

    This election is not about being honorable, or doing the right thing, or appearing “Christian”…. it’s about winning the election so we can save this Nation from the group of cowardly yellow-bellies that want to continue an unending war with no plan for victory.

  7. 7

    YLB spews:

    6 – Yep, a phony “maverick” votes over 90 percent with the chimp administration and is running for that chimp’s third term.

  8. 8

    Constitutionalist spews:

    @1
    Is that Begala or Carvilla posting on HA?

    @5

    What does this say about who’s more of a Christian?

    Since when did liberals want Christianity anywhere near Government???

    When a Conservative references Scripture he is accused of attempting to setup a theocracy. When a Democrat does the same thing, in the name of “helping others”, then he is looked upon as good. What is the rationale behind this? (besides the problem that the Democrats misuse passages directed at INDIVIDUALS by applying those passages to GOVERNMENT)

    This election is . . . about winning the election so we can save this Nation from the group of cowardly yellow-bellies that want to continue an unending war with no plan for victory.

    More proof of the problem. Since when is it the purpose of government to “save” their citizens from others?

  9. 9

    YLB spews:

    More proof of the problem. Since when is it the purpose of government to “save” their citizens from others?

    More proof that this guy is a total asshat!

  10. 10

    Blue John spews:

    More proof of the problem. Since when is it the purpose of government to “save” their citizens from others?

    To quote I-Burn over in
    http://www.horsesass.org/?p=6193#comment-852440

    The Constitution is in place to protect everyone against a tyranny of the majority. So even if you and the majority, want all of those things, they aren’t going to happen if they infringe on the rights of the minority that are opposed.

    The Constitution, at times, IS supposed to save citizens from others.

  11. 11

    Dave spews:

    @8 Constitutionalist

    This election is . . . about winning the election so we can save this Nation from the group of cowardly yellow-bellies that want to continue an unending war with no plan for victory.

    More proof of the problem. Since when is it the purpose of government to “save” their citizens from others?

    I believe that reference was with regard to citizens voting to save themselves from the government. Still tautological, but with tinges of libertarianism.

  12. 12

    Constitutionalist spews:

    @10

    The Constitution, at times, IS supposed to save citizens from others.

    The only “others” that the Constitution seeks to protect WE THE PEOPLE from is a tyranny brought against us by THE GOVERNMENT (whether Rep. or Dem.)

    You’ve yet to deal with the question. When is it the purpose of government to “save” citizens from others? Government doesn’t save citizens from itself.

  13. 13

    Right Stuff spews:

    Quote from tonights Headline Speaker at the DNCC.
    ” I know John McCain brings a life time of experience to the white house, Senator Obama has a speech from 2002″….

    Pow!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Ouch!!!!!!!!!

    Unity!!!!!!!

    Hillary Clinton who lost the nomination due to “selection” bye the super-delegates, considers John McCain a better choice for President….

    Hell, his VP choice said as much himself…
    “I think he can be ready, but right now I don’t believe he is, the presidency doesn’t lend itself to on the job training”

    He also says he would be honored to run WITH or against John McCain…..becuase the country would be better off…..

    what next, Ahmedinijad for Press Secretary?
    Maybe Bill Ayers for SecDef and Rev Wrigt for SecState?

    Unity!!!!!

  14. 14

    ArtFart spews:

    8 Not that your “question” deserves an answer, nor that you’ve accomplished much other than to tip your hand as a troll…but there’s a difference between “Christian”, in terms of believing in Jesus, accepting his love, and trying in our imperfect human fashion to live out his message…and “CHRISSSSSS-TIAN”, in the sense of being a self-serving group of heretics misinterpreting Scripture to justify their own sins. In the political arena, this seems to project into some hubristic fantasy that the United States is “specially blessed”, and magically protected from the same sorry fate as all the empires that preceded us.

  15. 15

    JamesA spews:

    @12 –

    You just don’t get it apparently. Under our Republican ‘leadership’ (not to be confused by a sane and rational ‘conservative’ leadership), we have become a tyranny. America is now a nation that tortures prisoners, we wiretap our citizens, we invade a soveriegn nation based one-side intelligence and kill tens if not hundreds of thousands of citizens. All of this done under the guise of “protecting” the American citizen from the muslim boogeyman. America is run by cowards that would give up basic values of a human society, not to mention Rights listed in the Consitution, for a perceived bit of security that barely exists, if at all.

  16. 16

    ArtFart spews:

    6 I’ll be concerned with whatever the heck I want to be, thank you very much. I agree with your point to a degree, but in a way that points out yet another area in which the Democratic leadership has sadly allowed the other side to control the conversation.

  17. 17

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “But I don’t see United Parcel Service getting anything out of me for putting those delicious little mints in my bag.”

    They just did.

  18. 18

    JamesA spews:

    Art @16 –

    I may be dreaming, but my hope is that by Thurday night, after another week of the GOP trying to tie Obama to a terrorist, and mocking him as an elitist (as if the McDole silver spoon gigolo isn’t the stereotypical elitist), Obama or Biden will say something along the lines of, “We had hoped that McCain would run an honorable campaign, and we could have an adult conversation about the issues facing working Americans, but it’s become obvious he’s not an honorable person. If he wants to play Chicago politics, we can play that game too. It’s sad, but this election is too important to not answer these kinds of baseless character attacks with the same sort of baseless character attacks.”

  19. 19

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @12 “The only ‘others’ that the Constitution seeks to protect WE THE PEOPLE from is a tyranny brought against us by THE GOVERNMENT”

    And right now we’re the people and you guys are the government.

    Personally, I think what the Constitution lacks is an adequate enforcement clause.

  20. 20

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @8 “Since when did liberals want Christianity anywhere near Government???”

    I can’t speak for my fellow liberals, but for myself, I don’t want Christianity anywhere near our Republican government; what I want is good old fashioned revenge.

  21. 21

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @8 “Since when did liberals want Christianity anywhere near Government???”

    I don’t speak for my fellow liberals, but for myself, I don’t want Christianity anywhere near our Republican government; what I want is good old fashioned revenge.

  22. 22

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Network coverage of the Democratic Convention is so bad that Newsweek just posted a feature story about how bad it is: TV viewers see almost nothing of the convention itself, only interminable screen shots of pundits talking to themselves. It seems it’ll be up to the bloggers to tell the American public what actually happened.

  23. 23

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Network coverage of the Democratic Convention is so bad that Newsweek Online just posted a feature story about how bad it is: TV viewers see almost nothing of the Convention itself, only interminable segments of pundits talking to each other or themselves. Seems it’s up to the bloggers to report what is actually happening in Denver.

  24. 24

    YLB spews:

    21 – Watch CSPAN! and read the 50 state bloggers with a smidge of traditional media reporting.

    Blanche Lincoln! I’m watching her right now on CSPAN. A somewhat conservative Dem who I’m surprised doesn’t have a higher national profile.

    And Maria Cantwell! Wow! She looks great! Pristine? She needs a better speech writer.

  25. 25

    Dave spews:

    Maria Cantwell received the biggest applause. Overwhelmingly. Good job, Washington delegation!

  26. 26

    YLB spews:

    A fellow POW speaks out againt INSANE John McSame.

    Most of us who survived that experience are now in our late 60’s and 70’s. Sadly, we have died and are dying off at a greater rate than our non-POW contemporaries. We experienced injuries and malnutrition that are coming home to roost. So I believe John’s age (73) and survival expectation are not good for being elected to serve as our President for 4 or more years.

    I can verify that John has an infamous reputation for being a hot head. He has a quick and explosive temper that many have experienced first hand. Folks, quite honestly that is not the finger I want next to that red button.

    http://www.military.com/opinio....._1,00.html

  27. 27

    Steve spews:

    @24 I liked this line:

    “I furthermore believe that having been a POW is no special qualification for being President of the United States. The two jobs are not the same, and POW experience is not, in my opinion, something I would look for in a presidential candidate.”

  28. 28

    rhp6033 spews:

    The MSM, which Fox News and neo-cons decry as being controlled by the “liberal elite”, spent considerable space yesterday reporting how McCain cozied up with Jay Leno last night to talk about his “five years in a small room without even a table” in order to dodge the question regarding how many houses or cars he owns – or why he doesn’t know the answer to that question without staffing the question out.

    Just one more example that the Republicans are full of it. McCain’s gotten more than his fair share of favorable press coverage from the mainstream media.

  29. 29

    proud leftist spews:

    Democrats need to quit honoring McCain’s service. Having been a POW has absolutely nothing to do with being qualified to be president. It seems to me that McCain has a lot of bitterness, maybe even justifiably. But his need for revenge disqualifies him from the presidency.

  30. 30

    kirk91 spews:

    21–‘It’s up to the bloggers to report…’

    So we had a post about Darryl Hannah and Darryl’s SwagBag Hunt. Looks like relying on the bloggers for reporting is like relying on the Democrats to get us out of Iraq or Afghanistan.

  31. 31

    rhp6033 spews:

    Off topic: As a U.W. grad (graduate school), I couldn’t help but chuckle at a recent post on a national sports blog site:

    “…Since the last Duke winning season in 1994, perennial doormats like Oregon St. and Kansas have not only played in but won BCS bowl games. Hell, Washington St. has gone to two Rose Bowls, and they are so far out in the boonies that they might actually be in Canada….”

    Source: Duke’s Total Commitment to Sucking on Saturdays

    (Posted in the spirit of good, clean, fun, and with the full expectation that the U.W. will probably loose this year’s Apple Cup, also. And with a hat tip to my “Couger” surgeon, whom I respect greatly. Really. I really mean it. “Now would you please remove those extra stitches which somehow managed to close up my spincter? No, really, I think WSU is a GREAT school!”)

  32. 33

    Right Stuff spews:

    RHP @26

    Well…. let’s see,
    CNN, MSNBC 24/7 Barry O coverage
    NBC,ABC,CBS wall to wall coverage of Barry and his VP pick….

    And all you have to counter that is a Leno spot?????

    yeah, I’d say that’s a right wing media bias…

  33. 34

    Right Stuff spews:

    http://blogs.reuters.com/trail.....-coverage/

    Obama gets far more coverage……..

    I know htat it seems impossible that McCain is still hanging around with OVERHELMING coverage of his worship…….I mean, Obama is getting ALL the breaks, coverage, passes on gaffs, etc…
    And yet, McCain is even with him……

    Of course it could just be the fact that the second most popular Democrat,(some would argue the most poplular)thinks that her friend McCain brings a lifetime of experience to the WH, and Obama brings a speech…..Or that the VP pick doesn’t think that Obama is ready to be president…….

  34. 35

    Dave spews:

    @30 Right Stuff: Alright already, we get it that there are a lot of “Republicans” in the military, and that you only read the first five words of an analysis–if they have two or fewer syllables. If you bother to engage a brain cell and make an attempt at literacy, you’ll see that this exact same Gallup poll, on the exact same URL, concludes:

    McCain clearly holds an advantage over Obama among veterans, but that is probably due more to the fact that veterans tend to be Republicans than to the fact that McCain himself served in the military and is regarded by some as a war hero. Veterans showed similarly strong support for Bush in the 2004 presidential election. The data suggest there still is an effect of military service on candidate preference, but it is rather small and is overwhelmed by the effects of party affiliation.

    “I furthermore believe that having been a POW is no special qualification for being President of the United States. The two jobs are not the same, and POW experience is not, in my opinion, something I would look for in a presidential candidate.” -Phillip Butler, former POW–8 years

  35. 36

    Dave spews:

    …And, of course, there is that earlier Gallup poll showing:

    Military abroad favoring Obama, money-wise

    Through June 30, [2008] Obama had received 134 donations totaling about $61,000 to 99 totaling about $45,500 for Paul, and 26 contributions totaling less than $11,000 for McCain, who graduated from the US Naval Academy, was a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War, and highlights his military experience.

    See: http://www.boston.com/news/pol.....broad.html

  36. 37

    Right Stuff spews:

    Yes I did read that.
    As they conclude “McCain clearly holds an advantage over Obama among veterans.

    “Senator John Sidney McCain, III is a remarkable man who has made enormous personal achievements. And he is a man that I am proud to call a fellow POW who “Returned With Honor.” That’s our POW motto.”

  37. 38

    mark spews:

    @24 Dont worry YLB, his T rex arms are too short to reach that red button, just ask
    Cindy. HA

  38. 39

    Steve spews:

    @36 “his T rex arms are too short”

    Some say that he reminds them of T-Rex. I’ve long thought that, when walking, talking and waving his arms, McCain is the spitting image of Godzilla destroying Tokyo.

  39. 40

    Dave spews:

    @35: Your teachers must’ve really had a project with you, eh? Stuffy: Read… to… the… end… of… the… sentence. I know that was more than five words, but it was only 8 syllables…

    McCain clearly holds an advantage over Obama among veterans, but that is probably due more to the fact that veterans tend to be Republicans than to the fact that McCain himself served in the military and is regarded by some as a war hero.

    What the means Stuffy, is that Johnny plays well with “Republicans”. See? Now go play.

  40. 41

    truth spews:

    I’m tired of people comparing McCain to Kerry. It wasn’t the Republican party that questioned Kerry’s service in Vietnam, it was the Sailors who served with him. His own troops were the ones that said he was a dirtbag. Furthermore, McCain didn’t comeback and complain about his service. He, in fact, spent 5 1/2 years in a POW camp when he could have been home in 6 months, but refused to leave before those who had been there longer. After that, he continued his service and turned down the rank of Admiral to run for Congress.