The Virginia Blog Carnival
Sunday, April 23, 2006 :::
This edition of the Virginia Blog Carnival finds its way back to my neck of the blogging woods. Mind your head and watch where you step, 'cause the path ahead winds through a lot of interesting territory...and some that a lot of you have probably never seen before.
On we go...
The first thing you'll notice is this post from Roci at Rocinante's Burdens. It's called "Waste. It's For the Children," and it brings us inside one of the little know, but very expensive aspects of defense spending...
Childcare centers. Curious priorities, indeed.
Almost as curious as the post from our next participant, Bob Gibson of the Charlottesville Daily Progress. Bob is more than a reporter -- he's a blogger, too. And here, he gives us some insight into a complaint filed with the State Board of Elections against Senate candidate Harris Miller. It's only April, and the fur is flyin'!
And while we're on the subject of politics, Augusta County's Chris Green at Spank That Donkey has The Skinny on the 06 Shad Planking -- featuring tattoos! Well, only one...but it is well placed. And Chris does have a knack for meeting the most interesting people.
Another post that's well placed, and timely, is Boycott the boycott, May 1st from YODI-VA at United Conservatives of Virginia. UCV is a very active group blog, and YODI-VA hails from the Richmond area. The post is on one of the hottest topics in political life today...illegal immigration. This one is sure to stir things up.
Another blogger who shakes and stirs the blog would is McLean's own Countertop, the force behind Countertop Chronicles. He goes all in for this Carnival, with three submissions. The first offers his thoughts on the overwhelming presence of the Sons of Confederate Veterans at Virginia's premier political event...the Shad Planking. Second are his perspectives on the price of gas -- be sure to check out the comments for a lot more. And lastly, a post that should make us all wonder if it's really, truly safe to get back in the water (he's gonna need a bigger boat).
After fleeing the briny deep, we're back on the road to Augusta County, where Steve from Rightside VA has a post about Rhonda Winfield and Senator George Allen. Now why is this meeting important? Steve attended an Allen campaign kick-off event in Harrisonburg with Mrs. Winfield, who is the mother of Lance Cpl. Jason Redifer, USMC. Jason was killed in action 31 Jan 2005 in Iraq. During this event she gave Jason's dogtags, which she has worn since receiving them, to the Senator and photos in the post show one of the truly rare things in politics -- genuine emotion, and heartfelt thanks. In a completely different vein, Steve has this post on drilling for oil in ANWR. Steve's for it. So is my bank account.
After a day of slogging through the tundra, there are few things better than reflecting on the nature of the state (no -- I mean that). And the Virginia blogging world's resident political philosopher, Shaun Kenney, takes us inside his Fredericksburg salon to discuss the "Problems of the Avuncular State."
And speaking of salons, Chesterfield's and Commonwealth Conservative's own Will Vehrs takes a look back at the early, gender-bending days of blogging in this post that, well...you'll have to read it to understand. Of course now I know why Will always lifts his pinkie when drinking Lime-ade. But I wonder what Chad will think...
And what will the folks at VDOT think after they read this post from Ruther Glen's Tom James (author of Caroline County, VA JUSTICE)? A huge, 2000 year old archeological site in Caroline County may soon be destroyed by VDOT and the State Fair -- and no one is reporting on it. And why are the people doing the dig, hired by VDOT, told to keep quiet? I'm sure the taxpayers would like to know. Tom posts a follow-up press release here.
Over at Once More Into the Breach, Xyba has a cautionary post about Virginia's mandatory parole law. Mandatory parole happens when a prisoner has six months left to serve, by law he must be released. Even if the prisoner is both a child rapist and a cop killer...and now a fugitive once more.
Down in Wise, the newest contributor to Kilo's most excellent blog is One Wise Girl, and she sends in this post on the passing of Louise Smith, the first lady of racing. The thing that struck me about this piece, aside from the great reporting, is that my Dad used to drag race a Ford Coupe like the one Ms. Smith is pictured with at the top back in the days when "Big Daddy" Don Garlits was just another gear-headed kid. Racing is a small world...and with Louise's passing, it's lost a bit of its amazing history, too.
And while we're in Wise, and on Kilo's site, he's been kind enough to give us a peek at Spark It Up! HQ -- including the lilacs. I want that man's secret to a greener lawn.
Now we're heading back to Richmond, where one of the true giant of the local blogging scene, Don Harrison of Save Richmond has an interview with Paul Goldman, former strategist for Mayor L. Douglas Wilder and the architect behind Richmond's revolutionary "City of the Future" plan to build new schools, renovate historic theatres and modernize infrastructure. This is the first in a series of Save Richmond interviews with key figures who are daring to bring Virginia's capital city into the 21st Century. It's a fantastic piece of reporting...and yet another reason why Save Richmond is a must read blog.
And from one of the hardest working bloggers in the business (and certainly one of the earliest risers), the indomitable Jerry Fuhrman "From On High" in Bland County has this post about another blogger named Chad who has a day job...maintaining law and order. And making a few headlines along the way.
And Now, A Few Posts for Dan Henninger
Last week, the Wall Street Journal's Dan Henninger had a "moment." In his column, Henninger took great pains to paint blogs as the destroyers of civil discourse...and the sounding boards of the unstable.
I disagree, obviously. But rather than rehash what I wrote about that column, I thought it might be more illuminating for us all to look at a few posts that show just how much wit, insight, and raw life bloggers put into their work. And along the way, we may just learn something, too.
First up is Chris who writes at "Tales of a Post-Grad Nothing. In this post he takes a look at Cupcake Brown -- the anti-James Frey. Read it -- and discover why Chris is one of the best writers out there.
Next is F.T. Rea, of SLANTblog fame. Now while I can't think of a single political issue on which we agree, I think it's damned near impossible to deny that F.T. is a gifted writer. And artist. And photographer. See for yourself.
And have you ever wanted to know what to do with that zucchini? Check out Brandon Eats for insights into this eternal problem and some of the best cooking ideas, restaurants reviews and general gastronomic information you'll find in Virginia.
And why bother with those painfully staged and hopelessly Northeastern home remodel shows on PBS when you can follow the joys, successes, heartbreaks and frustrations of remodeling a house on Church Hill in Richmond? It's the kind of blog that makes "This Old House" look like the tripe it is.
That's just a very small selection of what's out there right now. Real folks, writing what they know and even giving us the opportunity to learn a thing or two along the way.
It's the kind of blogging that makes this medium special...even if some refuse to see it.
Anyway, that's enough of the soapbox. Thanks for dropping by the VBC and a special thank you to all those who contributed. Well done, folks. Well done.
::: posted by Norman Leahy at 4/23/2006