June 13, 2011

Netroots Nation HOOOOOOO!

So the ride from Portland to Boston was incredibly pleasant.

There's no stupid TSA proceedures to go through. Nobody had to grope my balls. I just walked onto the train, and handed my ticket to the conductor.

Being on the train has forced me to have downtime in my schedule, so I used the wifi to go to the netroots nation website, and check the agenda (finally) so that I can start planning my time there.

I've decided that I'm definitely going to be going two classes in particular, one wonky class on analytics and testing, which, while I have the ability to do so on the various platforms I use, I've never really understood why to use it, or how to use it effectively. Another class that I'll definitely be going to is on data extraction. It talks about how to go through a voter file, and create those maps and data rich lists that I have seen so often when working as a canvasser. I'm hoping the mystery will be made less mysterious.

After arriving in Boston, I was told to go to Backbay via the Orange line. Which I did, only to find out that my ticket had me leaving from South Station. But I had an hour to get to where I was supposed to be, so I wasn't worried.

I was helped by a very friendly AmTrak clerk behind the counter, who informed me that I didn't need to go to South Station, and that the instructions I got from the conductor of the Downeaster was correct... sort of. The same train stops in both South Station and Backbay, so it doesn't really matter. Adding to my confusion was the layover I have on my schedule in Albany. Turns out, everbody on the Chicago train takes a 1.5 layover in Albany.

I'm making an attempt to soak up the scenery and meditate on Theodore Roosevelt's time in the NY state congress. Unfortunately, I'm overwhelmed by the fact that I can't really SEE Albany from the AmTrak station.

Sadly, there is no wifi between Boston and Chicago, except for the diner in the station I'm currently eating an overpriced "bowl" (see also, styrofoam cup) of veggie soup, so I've mostly been reading.

I brought along with me a copy of the latest issue of Green Horizon, as well as two books by Vaclav Havel. It occurs to me frequently that if you replace the words "communist party" with "two party duopoly" you could easily misread his letters as being about the USA.

That's all for now. I have a four hour layover in Chicago tomorrow morning, so I'm hoping to grab brunch with an old friend from way back in highschool.

To Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of a Less F**ked up government.


  1. I love the downeaster...sooo much better than driving or flying. We can have bullet trains all across this country, there's no reason we can't. We are going to be the leaders soon, we can make it happen.

  2. I'm excited for you, and for your upcoming blogs. I'm feeling like I'm with you. :)

  3. Netroots Nation! W00t! How exciting! Have a great time!

    I love train travel - I take the train to NYC all the time. No muss, no fuss, just a nice ride into the center of Manhattan. It's awesome.