Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Recieved: A Scholarship to the Google and Personal Democracy Forum Annual Conference in NYC

Hey, guess what! I got a scholarship notification today! A couple of weeks ago, I read the following from my regular e-mail from the Personal Democracy Forum - click here for link.

Google Scholarships:Apr 23, 2007 at 10:30 AM by Anthony Russomano

Are you a campaign staffer blazing a new trail in online politics? A
non-profit professional trying new technologies with great results? An activist
with ideas about the next big thing to change elections? Google and Personal
Democracy Forum are teaming up to offer registration scholarships that cover the
full forum cost for forty qualified political professionals to attend this year's conference on May 18th and unconference on May 19th. Successful applicants will receive free admissions to the conference based on professional experience, passion for politics, and an interest in the use of technology.

So, I filled out this questionnaire (don't think I saved a copy of it) and sent it back to them, referencing this site, etc. I emphasized the importance of getting information out at the local level and spoke about the effectiveness of the Lake Worth site as well as this blog. I didn't expect to hear anything from them, but today I was notified that I am one of forty people they selected to waive the registration for their fourth annual conference! It's about a $350 value!

With such short notice, I am seeing if I can juggle my schedule so I can run up to New York City at the end of next week for a couple of days. Last time I was there was 1998 - that's when I met the architect Philip Johnson and met with Mr. Trump in his Trump Tower office. He "comped" my stay at Trump International which just opened north of Columbus Circle. This trip will be decidedly lower profile, if I end up going.

This is the copy of the e-mail I received today:

Congratulations! You received a PdF Google Scholarship.

Dear Wes:

Congratulations! We're pleased to announce that YOU will receive a full registration scholarship to this year's fourth annual Personal Democracy forum, presented by Google. The scholarship covers both the main conference day on Friday May 18th and
our first-ever unConference on Saturday May 19th.Both events are taking place at Schimmel Center at Pace University,located at 3 Spruce Street in downtown Manhattan. On Friday, we're
starting bright and early with a welcome breakfast at 7:30am, and opening remarks at 8:15am. Your scholarship also covers lunch on both days as wellas the attendees' cocktail party at the end of proceedings on Friday.This year is shaping up to be THE year to be at PdF, with keynoters Thomas Friedman, Larry Lessig, Yochai Benkler, Arianna Huffington, Matt Stoller,danah boyd, Farouk Olu Aregbe, Seth Godin, plus some surprise guests, and an amazing array of panels and workshops all built around the theme of the"flattening of politics."

Shortly, you will receive a confirmation email connecting you to your profile page on our conference website, which will allow you to create a profile, check off the sessions you are thinking of attending, and start networking with fellow attendees.If by some chance you cannot attend the conference, please let us know as soon as possible so we can offer your scholarship to another worthy applicant.If you have any questions, contact us.


Andrew Rasiej and
Ginny Hunt

All in all, kind of cool. I'll let you know if I can make it.

Scary Picture - This could be Venus!

I have to share this picture. This is on the last inner page of the "Happy Herald" that I picked up this week at City Hall. It's a picture that accompanied an article on obese pets and the medical problems that are caused by animal obesity.

Venus, I have always said, could easily become 500 pounds (an exaggeration) - Mars not as much. I currently give her a little over a cup of dry food a day based upon my veterinarian's recommendation. She does well on it and still has a little puppy fat. (Her real picture is below) Occasionally, I give both Mars and Venus a Milk Bone for a treat.

Well, today was a treat day. I threw a Milk Bone and it went behind the refrigerator. You know, Venus would not leave from in front of the refrigerator all day until I moved it and retrieved the Milk Bone. She did the same with an olive that fell behind the couch one day. If I leave the pantry door open (where their food is kept), even a little bit, she will stand guard until it's closed. Before the hurricanes, I had two prolific mango trees in my backyard. When they dropped, she was there and usually ate about a half dozen a day. If I'm not careful, they can be little vacuum cleaners when we go on our walks - half-eaten pizzas, fast food left overs thrown from vehicles - all fair game. Mars even ate a chunk of an iguana's tail (dead about 12 hours from the looks of it) when I wasn't looking.

When I first moved here, there was another Pembroke Welsh Corgi across the street - Yoda. He had an avocado tree in his backyard and was close to looking like the above picture during avocado season.

Anyway, make sure your pets get plenty of exercise and watch what they eat - little or no people food!