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For now, I need to get some sleep. Upcoming posts will include one about the relatively small number of protesters I saw today (I’m not sure where they’re hiding the hard-core protesters, but am hoping to have more information on that before I make my next trek to Denver), and one about some of the amusing and appalling souvenirs the street vendors were selling.

And who knows? I might even cover something that is actually related to the news.

jane doe

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As I wandered through downtown Denver, I saw a fair number of people who I recognized. I was initially parked quite near the MSNBC base of operations, so that’s where I saw most of these folks: my hero, Keith Olbermann; Chris Matthews; David Gregory; and the previously mentioned Richard Wolffe. Sadly, I did not get pictures of any of these gentlemen, or at least none worth posting. Matthews and Gregory were both up on the MSNBC stage (for want of a better term) where they were broadcasting from. Wolffe was standing on the street, talking to someone on his cellphone, so I felt it would be rude to take a picture of him. And Olbermann walked by so fast that I didn’t even realize it was him until he was too far behind me to get a shot of anything but his backside, which, let’s face it, is not really what we watch him for. (Sorry, Keith. We’d rather see your face.)

Of course, all of this pales in comparison to my favorite sighting of the day. As I was walking down 16th Street, I saw a guy who looked like Roy Zimmerman, a singer/satirist I have mentioned in this blog previously, and a big favorite of mine. (His songs are mostly political and social satire, and he has a real gift for a clever turn of phrase. I’ve downloaded several of his CDs from his website, and I listen to them frequently when I need to find the humor in the things that make me want to tear my hair out. I encourage you to check out his music.)

I looked a little closer and realized that it was, in fact, Roy Zimmerman.

Having realized this, I nevertheless asked the boneheaded question: “Excuse me, but aren’t you Roy Zimmerman?”

He confirmed that in fact he was.

Now, a smart blogger would have asked him for an interview. But I am new to this whole interacting-with-others-in-connection-with-my-blog thing, so that didn’t occur to me until after we had both gone our separate ways.

However, I did have a nice, if brief, chat with him. He seemed pleased to have someone recognize him, and gave me a copy of his latest CD, Thanks for the Support. I’ve been listening to it as I write this, and, like his previous albums, this one is quite good and very timely (sample song titles: Superdelegate, Eine Kleine Barackmusick, The Man, the Myth, the McCain (“He’s a bedrock conservative who actually lived in Bedrock”), and I Approve This Message). Plus, he manages to come up with a rhyme for “uterus” the likes of which hasn’t been seen since Tom Lehrer rhymed Oedipus with platypus. Here’s the title song off the album for your entertainment:


Cops of various flavors were out in force today, just looking for an excuse to try out some of their new riot gear. For the most part, they were hanging out in largish groups (typically 6-8), trying to look intimidating. Many were wearing full riot gear, though others were not (see first picture below). I took pictures of them until someone from the Secret Service told me to knock it off. Here are a few of my favorite shots:

A herd of Denver bicycle cops

A herd of Denver bicycle cops

Oh yeah, were tough

Oh yeah, we're tough

Horses in riot gear

Horses in riot gear

Safety in numbers

Safety in numbers

For all the police presence, I didn’t see any actual trouble today. Of course, that doesn’t mean that there was no trouble, only that I didn’t see any…

…maybe I’ll have better luck later in the week…

jane doe


Back at my home base now, having somehow found my way from wherever it was I ended up parking through the maze that is downtown Denver and back to the freeway. I’m currently listening to the live coverage of the convention on the MSNBC website while I go through my pictures and videos for the day. Rather than doing one long post, I’ll be writing a buncha shorter ones, so you may want to check back occasionally as the evening progresses. In the meantime, for your entertainment, here is a picture I took while I was stuck in the insane downtown Denver traffic:

jane doe


…but not because of the convention. No, Denver is a nightmare because the downtown area is a maze of one-way streets at odd angles.

Nevertheless, I’ve found a place to park – at least temporarily – near the MSNBC base for the convention. It’s a few blocks from the Pepsi Center, but seems to be swarming with people who are here for the convention. And, hey, saw Richard Wolffe (of Newsweek and MSNBC) talking on his cellphone.

I’m currently poaching a WiFi connection at a Starbucks (the very name makes me shudder, but it’s a WiFi connection). There’s a trio of German reporters at another page table, discussing things earnestly, and people wearing Obama buttons or what have you are drifting by on a fairly regular basis.

Favorite thing seen so far: a street vendor selling an Obama watch:

Watch vendor by MSNBC booth

Watch vendor by MSNBC booth

Not that being more accurate than Bush is all that difficult, but whatever.

Further updates as events warrant…I have to go move my car now.

jane doe


Now that the morning rush hour traffic has passed, I am going to go brave downtown Denver and see what there is to see of a political nature. Mostly, I plan on doing a lot of people watching – I love to see group dynamics at play. Plus, I want to see what’s going on as far as any major protests this week, since that’s the one area I have a fair chance of getting some good pictures and maybe interviews.

In my bag, I have the following critical pieces of convention-watching equipment:

  • My laptop
  • Cameras
  • Phone
  • Cords and cables for all of the above, for when their batteries give out
  • My iPod (because a venture of this nature requires the proper soundtrack)
  • A spiral notebook
  • A pen
  • My trusty Cubs cap
  • Sunscreen
  • Water
  • An apple and a PB&J sandwich
  • Driver’s license, credit card, and cash
  • Maps

You may have notice that nowhere on that list is any sort of credentials that could actually get me into anything convention-related. I have none. Apparently, my blog is too tiny to be considered worthy of such luxuries. Which means that if I get caught anywhere I shouldn’t be, I may end up at Gitmo on the Platte for a few hours.

But hey, I’ve never let a little thing like that stop me from trying to get in somewhere I don’t belong. Not that I expect to do that today. I figure security is going to be checking everyone very carefully today, since it’s the first official day of the convention. No, today, I will be scoping out the lay of the land, and getting a feel for how the grown-ups are dressed and what the credentials for various places I’d like to go look like.

Well, that, and seeing if I’ll be able to poach WiFi from the “Big Tent” where the real bloggers are going to be hanging out.

Wish me luck, everyone.

jane doe

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Contact

janedoe.tcm [at] gmail.com or follow me on Twitter: @janedoe_tcm
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