Ok, so I passed on the chance to take a laptop to the 2006 Iowa Blogger Bash last night, mainly because I didn't want to be hiding behind a screen with lots of people I hadn't met yet in attendance, but also partially because the owner of said laptop was upset that I wasn't going to take her along. But as it turns out, that's ok, Blogger was down all night anyway. So I'll give you some thoughts this morning, in hindsight.
I arrived at about 5 after 7, and didn't see any bloggers immediately (probably because I had never met any of them before). So I wandered around for a while, and eventually bumped into Celti and Chris from Celtic Cross who were having a similar problem. Here was the first, awkward "I'm not sure I've seen your blog" moment of the night, going both ways. I checked out Celtic Cross when I got home last night though, and there's some cool stuff on there. Largely non-political, but to each his/her own, I guess.
It was Chris who finally spotted the table with the laptop out, and we wandered back down and met the group. For a full list of those in attendance, go here to Joe Kristan's Tax Update Blog. Joe's a tremendous guy, and I'm not just saying that cause he bought my first drink. I think I embarassed/surprised him a little when I told him I was really enjoying his reviews of Chasing Daylight on his other blog.
I know Joe took some pictures, I have the retinal damage to prove it, but they're not up yet. Kris from Anywhere But Here also shared her photography talents with us, her pictures are up here.
All in all, if you had told me I'd end up spending a lot of the night sitting between Jeff from Tusk and Talon and Royce from Iowa Libertarian, I'd have told you I expected to leave early, but I was really pleasantly surprised. We had some great, frank discussion about issues and candidates before I glazed over and nodded my head for a while through discussions about Wal Mart and wiretapping (if they're not state issues, they're not something I'm ready to analyze...especially not in a room as informed as this one). I was a little concerned my job with Fallon would leave me a little outside the group, but I was also actually pleasantly surprised that no one had anything truly negative to say about him (to my face).
As things wound down a bit, it ended up being just Jeff, Royce, Joe, Stefanie from Simplicity, and myself. Royce called it an intellectual moshpit. I think that's about the best description I can offer.
My favorite quote of the night came from Royce:
(On the proposed rainforest in Pella): Can I hunt? If I can hunt, I'm there.