What a joy to meet so many other mudpuppies in Pittsburgh, for the 3rd Mudstock there! This post is just random thoughts and images of the event.
Here is our live blogging setup. I think that's Lori in LA and behind her is a computer (someone is at it) and if you follow the wire up, there's a projector that is shooting The Mudflats dot net comments up on the screen. We took turns posting our hellos from the room at Roland's where we gathered, waiting for the guests of honor.
I got there about 20 minutes before 1:00 PM, but it still took about an hour for everyone to arrive. All told a good 35 folks came up, although not necessarily all at one time.
There's some mudpups on the left, and on this shelf that divides our "room" from the rest of Rolands' upstairs area, a lovingly carved wooden moose held forth. Nearby were baskets where one could make donations to the Pittsburgh mudpups who organized the shindig, and donations to the Alaskans whose villages got wiped out by the flooding ice.
It was amazing to many of us that we had learned so much about Alaska thanks to John McCain's insane shot in the dark. And we also expressed our amazement and delight that we had found each other as a result of the intrepid bloggers, primarily AKM, who helped us connect.
Shannyn and AKM arrived, bubbling with smiles and energy. Here's Shannyn holding forth by the projector screen. I kept trying to figure out where the "receiving lines" started, but I should have had no worry. The two lovely ladies circulated throughout the room throughout the event and we each had lots of opportunities to greet, hug and chat with the guests from the "upper 1."
You know, Shannyn looks just like she does when she's on Countdown. And AKM looks just wonderful too, although she asks that we don't publish her pic directly. However, I did manage to get a photo of her in disguise ... incognito, as it were... and here it is:
AKM is wearing a Steelers cap and a moose mask, graciously provided by our hosts for the afternoon, Hamlets Mill and the other Pittsburgh mudpuppies. Okay, so I used a little Photoshop filtering too...
One thought dawned on us as we discussed AKM's identity exposure by Doogan. Had that not occured, it is quite likely that AKM would not have appeared in person at Netroots Nation, and by extrapolation, we would never have gotten to meet the real live AKM. There was a silver lining in the Doogan cloud, and now, months later, my disgust and antipathy towards him has moderated. He's still a dirtbag, though.
My sincere hope is that our intrepid Alaskan bloggers, having trekked this far, make some new friends and firm up some good contacts for the future. I am ever so grateful they were there, doing what they do, because without a doubt they helped save us from the massive disaster that would have been a McCain-Palin administration.
Safe travels, AKM and Shannyn. Thanks for meeting with us!