Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Vegas isn't a place to send bloggers

because we write about everything.
The USO Girls tell a good tale but they left a few parts out. Lt Nixon was as cool in person as he was onlin, Blackfive threw a bash and here's his words, next time, I'll bring my blackhawk bag. Not only did he hook us up with an open bar at the Penthouse Club but he also talked his way into staying at the penthouse at the Mirage, thanks Penthouse Magizine for the support. The rest of us wished we were as cool they were, no wonder they are blogging Rock Stars. There were some things that shouldn't have seen the light of day, CJ also blogged about the closing ceremony where there wasn't a dry eye in the house. Marcus live blogged throughout the day. Concrete Bob was a new face but not a new name for me. Hooah Wife was great to hang with and she blogs about the people on the floor of Blogworld and here's her take on our Milblog Geeks Bash. LTG William Caldwell addressed Military Bloggers, video here. Terri does an excellent wrap up and thanks the Penthouse Club for letting us invade. AWTM's brother is a luddite and thought the free thumbdrive we got from Penthouse was something else, heh heh. Go check her out, she did a great job covering the entire show and I agree, having a blogging conference in a place with 5 plugs isn't going to work that well. Wendy say's I'm the best "EVAH!" and SK says I'm her hero, these two are some of the nicest sweetest girls I know (hah!), you ladies had a wild time and she writes about me patching her up. San Diego Union Tribune even did a story about how a husband can be replace but not a child. I met Bouhamner early and these are all of his posts on the conference. Toby Nunn was driving down The Road to Hell and did some Recapping and talks about eating lunch with the Army PR guys. CJ tells of Friday night and says he can't wait to show my interview and he has lots of pictures, CJ is really a good man, he's put up a donation fund for my buddy Bane who's family might be in some dire needs for money from medical bills from his passing. Holly from Soldiers Angels was there and Matt Bernard from the VA has a great breakdown post up. Froggy hasn't said anything but he was in the shadows. Who could miss Chuck and Carren of TC Override? FbL does a couple posts and is Homefront 6 getting into the blackmailing racket? She might have the best coverage out there, hah, I finally figured out how to use tags:) Ack, I'll need to continue this tomorrow after I've found some food.

Debrief on the Milblog Conference

If there was an overall theme at the conference, it was that we do make a difference. When I looked around the room, I could see how much we had all grown over the last 4 years. It’s strange to think I’ve done the blogging thing longer then a regular enlistment. In that room, I could count off the people who have been involved in feature documentaries, appearances on radio and TV, here alone, we have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars towards causes like Valour-IT (voice activated laptops for troops) and Soldiers Angels. At the same time, we’re not the fresh face, CNN, FOX and the Washington Post weren’t out in the lobby waiting to interview us like last year. But there were representatives from the Pentagon and Navy and Army PAO’s who thought what we had to say was important and this time, they seemed as well versed as us about blogging. New media is taking a larger slice of the information pie every year and milbloggers offer a viewpoint that neither regular media nor the official channels can match.

LTG Caldwell was invited to give the opening speech and here it the video.

I was awarded the Navy Milbloggie for the second year in a row and believe me, I’m far from a rock star, stick a mic in front of me and my brain goes blank, seriously, I'm a total dork. I didn’t start writing to become famous; I just wanted to tell a story. I was about to go to war and having a blog would keep people from forgetting me if I didn't make it back. When I started, it was only for a few friends, I couldn’t have cared less at the time whether or not anyone read what I wrote but over the years, this little project has taken a life of its own and I have met life long friends. It was nice to know there were people out there who cared and to be voted the top Navy blogger (twice), it’s humbling because I know there are many writers who are worlds better than me, two top my list Lt Nixon Rants and Lex come to mind. I hate to admit it, I probably won because I've became a household name, in these circles people say Sean and silently add from Doc in the Box. My win probably had more to do with name recognition, networking and everyone and their dog knowing me then the quality of my written word (maybe a little bit to do with me being super friendly too). Thanks for the votes guys! I owe you and your dog a beer.

The rest of the winners are below
U.S. Military Parent Some Soldier's Mom Carla lives in my home town and she's shown me worlds of support, thanks
U.S. Military Supporter Chromed Curses LL is one of favorite blog people
U.S. Air Force OPFOR I don't actually hang out with these guys but they have a large readership.
U.S. Army Toby Nunn's Briefing Room Was a cool cat at the pre-conference party, there's pictures someplace out there, there are so many good Army Milblogs, it's hard to make a choice.
U.S. Navy Doc in the Box Of course me
U.S. Marine Corps One Marine's View it was a toss up between him and Taco Bell, both are great bloggers
U.S. Military Veteran Blackfive - The Paratrooper of Love What can I say about Matt, Jimbo, Laughing Wolf and Mr. Wolf that hasn't been said? They're rock stars of the blogging world and I'm proud to have them as friends plus, they know how to throw a mean party.
U.S. Military Spouse ArmyWifeToddlerMom She's going to have to change her blog name pretty soon, her kids are almost in school. R is a social butterfly like me, everyone knows and loves her.

Monday, September 22, 2008

My friend has passed

Last year, he was one of my greatest supporters, we talked back and forth and while he might have been the most non-politically correct foul mouthed rude blogger I have ever linked, he was also my friend and a good man. This morning Bane passed (if you click, he was definitely NSFW), fair winds and following seas brother, you will be missed.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Milblogging: The New Cadre of War Reporters

I’m watching Greyhawk, JP, Toby Nunn, Bouhammer and Christian from who embedded they’re getting the nitty gritty of what it’s like to blog from the ground and what they went through.

It doesn't stay in Vegas

Panel #3 Live DoD Bloggers Roundtable

Hosted by Jack Holt from the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Ward Carroll of and John Dovovan of Castle Argghhh with special guest, the Honorable Pete Geren, Secretary of the U.S. Army. Secretary Geren just stated that as far as the internet, he’s roadkill.
A constant theme this year panel after panel is the upper leadership of the military services are starting to notice how important the new media has become, there’s a growing demographic of people who don’t read print media anymore, they get their news online or from the source. A disaster happens and the first thing they do is find a local blogger. Secretary Geren mentioned the downfall of Dan Rather, Mr. Rather might not have known what a blogger was but he does now.
I know I’m one of those people that don’t go to the top 3 news sources first, I usually go to Google News. When hurricanes hit, I find a local blogger who’s covering it and send some traffic his way. I also cover the mainstream media but blogs bring the big story down to one person straight from the source.

Panel #1 Are Milblogs Still Relevant?

With Ward Carroll of, Phil Carter of Intel Dump and Obama for America, Matt Burden of Blackfive, Greyhawk of The Mudville Gazette and CJ Grisham of Soldier’s Perspective. They talked about the future of Milblogging where Milblogging has changed since 2003 and the invasion of Iraq. These guys are mostly the big names in the milblogging community, Matt is a “Rockstar” and has a bazillion readers, Greyhawk was responsible for bringing most of us together, CJ is the strong voice from the Active Duty milblogging side.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Panel #2 Milblogging as a Community

A look a how the Milblogging Community was built. A panel discussing focusing on mostly military support people and how they tie in with the Milblog community. Panelist include Melinda of SpouseBUZZ, Beth of Soldiers’ Angels, Mrs. Greyhawk of The Mudville Gazette and Milblogs, Karen of Parents Zone and Sarah of SpouseBUZZ.

Blogworld Morning Post

After a wild party at The Penthouse Club’s VIP room last night, it was an amazing time. Open bar at one of the best clubs in the city, how can you beat that? Thanks for the support Penthouse!

This morning wasn’t as fun, we all came in stumbling in this morning to the Milblogging track at the Blogworld and New Media Expo, well many of us did, I only had 3 drinks last night because I knew I wouldn’t have wanted to get out of bed. Any minute now we’re going to be getting this kicked off. Poor poor JP, I’m sure he’s not feeling good and he’s the first act. So far it sounds good, he’s giving a speech from Lt. General Caldwell on new media and blogging.

I also have to give and acceptance speech tonight, I received a surprising email earlier this week saying that I had won the Milbloggie for best Navy blog... Again. Eek, more soon and maybe pictures too.

What goes on in Vegas gets blogged about

Thursday started out with a phone call from Sherri asking for a ride from the airport, her roommate LL had missed her flight and she was homeless and needed a hero come and pick her up. I rolled out of bed and grabbed a quick shower. She and I spent the rest of the day meeting people, moving them back and forth the by the store to buy a fridge full of recreational drinks.

LL finally landed and we all met up at their suite and I ran home to take a powernap and change my threads. That night we went out with the Blackfive crew, B5, Laughing Wolf, Mr Wolf, Jimbo and Gregg (Zonker). Here’s a few pictures. AG and SM, check.

I'm off to go pick up the lovely bride, see ya in a few.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Blog4Tix and Vegas

If you're in Vegas Thursday and Friday sign up for Blog4Tix, they're giving out free tickets to Blue Man Group, Mamma Mia, Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat and the Roller Coaster at NYNY. Unless someone wants to go with me to a night show tonight, I'm going to probably just chek out the Roller Coaster or the Secret Garden tomorrow. All they ask is for a blog post afterwards, nothing better then free:)

I'm staying at Arizona Charlies who gave me a great suite for 32 bucks a night. I'm beginning to see the lure of the city, last night driving into town I had just finished crossing a wasteland around midnight and suddenly the whole skyline is lit up like a Christmas tree. This is the first time I’ve been here in 10 years and my first impressions? It’s beautiful.

My wife flies in tomorrow so I think I'm just going to explore today. Right now, I'm going to check out the steak and eggs breakfast for 3.99 across the way. Drop me a line if you’re in the area.

Monday, September 15, 2008

BlogWorld & New Media Expo and the 2008 Milblog Conference

Myself and several thousand regular Bloggers and Milbloggers will be will be trekking across a vast desert (without people shooting at us) by plane, train and automobile till we arrive at a small southwestern town called Las Vegas this weekend for the BlogWorld Expo. Yes, it’s that time of year again for the 3rd annual Milblog Conference (small joke, the last one was May 07)where we have fellowship in person instead of across a cybernetic divide and people get to find out how much cooler we are behind a keyboard. Sponsors of the Milblog Conference include Military OneSource, and of course our trusty USAA. This year I am thankfully not on a panel (fear of public speaking) and can take part just enjoying the show and hopefully live blogging it (yay, Wireless internet!) Friday night I’ll be attending a pre-conference bash with my wife hosted by my buddies over at Blackfive at the world famous Penthouse Lounge. Here is a list of the schedule and hopefully see some of you there (you can also follow me live on Twitter.)

Panel topics/times are below:
Date: September 20th, 2008
Location: Blog World Expo, Las Vegas

10:30a – 11:00a: Opening Remarks and Presentation of 2007 Milbloggie Awards

11:00a – 12:00p: Are MilBlogs Still Relevant? In the wake of a successful military surge in Iraq, waning media attention and an election year, are MilBlogs as relevant to the national conversation on war as they once were?

12:00p – 12:15p: Break

12:15p – 1:15p: MilBlogging as a Community. A fascinating look at how the milblogging community was built, what it’s achieved and how deep and wide its reach has become. We’ll explore how milblogging gives a voice to supporters, parents and spouses of service members, and how that voice is effectively used to support an entire military community.

1:15p – 2:45p: Lunch Break

2:45 – 3:45p: DoD Live Bloggers Roundtable: We will be joined by Pete Geren, Secretary of the Army, and General George Casey, Chief of Staff of the Army, for a special edition of the weekly DoD Live Bloggers Roundtable. Secretary Geren and General Casey will take audience questions re operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other topics.

3:45 – 5:00p: Free Time (Sit in on other panels or stroll the vendor floor).

5:00 – 6:00p: The New Cadre of War Reporters. Reporting from the Green Zone is not an option for this gritty band of milbloggers. Today’s technology enables milbloggers and embedded reporters to report directly from the battlefield. We’ll talk with some of these milbloggers about their experiences in the combat zone.

6:00p: Closing Remarks

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ike Live Coverage

Like a moth to the flame, I can't stop watching. I found this link that streams 4 of the local TV stations from Houston an Galvestin live in one place. Plus the usual stuff at and CNN. John from Blogs of War has been live blogging all night. Some crazy stories coming out of the area, live and unfiltered.

Perhaps my wife has a good point with her hurricane fear.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I cut the cord

No, not that cord, I mean I’ve gone all of the way and switched over to cellular wireless internet.  My days of stealing WiFi signals are now over and I’ve signed up to Sprints mobile broadband service.  After all of these years of complaining about finding internet service while on the road and the crappy quality of unsecured wireless signals, I’ve taken the fatal plunge. 

From my apartment, my download speed is 1175 kb/s through in comparison to the California average of 5288 kb/s which is nothing compared to Japans 16,019 kb/s.  Even Russia is faster than us with 6512.  I’m basically saying that my internet is slow but worlds faster than 56k that almost everyone used a decade ago.  Plus, I can drag this anywhere I want and not feel guilty for mooching off of my neighbors.