Today I started over. Today I said goodbye to Denver and flew on to St. Paul to begin anew. The Democratic National Convention is well underway. We have seen two days of full production run through the design we created– last night being the first full night of production while the actual convention was running. Things went very smoothly. So smoothly, in fact that as I was packing up my gear to leave for the night a number of journalists, editors and photographers took the time to thank me for the work I had done. One editor from the Los Angeles Times went on to specifically mention the seamlessness of the network. He appreciated that he was able to work as if he were in the newsroom in Los Angeles, but was also in Denver at the same time– where the news was happening.
This small moment made everything worthwhile for me. This quiet thank you told me that everything I had wanted to accomplish: too keep it simple, to keep it flexible, and to keep it unobtrusive. All of these things I had been able to do. So it is with that confidence– and no small amount of accompanying fatigue– that I boarded a jet at oh-God-thirty in the morning for St. Paul for our first day of setup at the Republican National Convention.
Jim and I were both very tired. We had not gotten to bed until after midnight, and had to be up at 5:00 to get to the airport. So with a few hours sleep, we made our way through the Xcel Center to check on the status of our bureau build-out and service orders throughout the hall. Turns out we are in good shape. I was able to get the wide-area network connections back to Chicago to come up and pass traffic with little effort. Our other access orders had been confused here and there– we’d come to expect this since Denver– but we were able to straighten it out with just a couple hours of careful conversations with the correct people.
So after that had been accomplished we called it a day and took a quick tour around the facilities. We’re nosy that way. I wanted to see how far along the RNC was in comparison to the DNC at this same time last week. I thought that the RNC was about the same way along toward completion as the DNC had been last Tuesday. Roger thought that the RNC was much further along in comparison. The setup is considerably less dramatic than the stage for the DNC. At least at this point in the construction. That may change. At the end of the day we looked around the media workspaces and poked our nose into the quite large workspace set aside for CBS. Their network and video setup is of a considerably greater complexity than what I must contend with.
We went out together for a nice dinner and then retired to our rooms to watch the evening’s coverage of the DNC, get a good night’s sleep and prepare for a full day’s work, tomorrow.
Round Two starts in just a few hours.