What could be more exciting than riding a bus from Rockford to Chicago O’Hare Airport?
Riding on a bus while writing a post about it, that’s what! There’s a line of rush-hour traffic as far as I can see, and the bus just lurches and stops, lurches and stops, so it’s tougher to sleep than it was an hour ago when it was moving along normally in a more rural area.
I had almost zero time to get online, much less post about anything, but on Sunday I happened to glance through the Rockford Register Star, which featured a nice front-page feature on local Rockford blogs:

ROCKFORD ? A movement aimed at transforming the political landscape in America has spread to the Rock River Valley with the help of a small army of volunteers ? some of whom report for duty dressed in pajamas.
The local devotees come from all walks of life.
One?s a self-styled ?house person? in Pecatonica.
A couple of others are Rockford lawyers who hide their true identities in their movement endeavors.
Some are technicians or teachers or retirees.
And many strongly disagree among one another on the issues of the day.
These are our homegrown political bloggers, advocates who post their opinions ? along with news items and, in some cases, rumors ? on Internet sites known as blogs, which is short for Web logs.
By now, the effect of blogs on the national political and media scenes is well-known. Bloggers have been credited with forcing Sen. Trent Lott, the Mississippi Republican, to resign his leadership post after making public remarks that critics construed as racist, and with exposing CBS newscaster Dan Rather?s use of forged documents in a report on President Bush?s National Guard service.
By most accounts, the influence of blogs has just begun. But if the political blogosphere as a whole is only in its infancy, its Rock River Valley component is downright embryonic.
Two political veterans, Harlem Township Supervisor Doug Aurand, a Democrat, and Winnebago County Board member Tim Simms, a Republican, said last week that they?ve discerned no effect from blogs ? at least not yet.
“I never hear anything about them,” Aurand said. “But that doesn?t mean they might not be a factor sometime in the future. They might be useful in helping to organize people around certain issues.”
Simms said he?s seen no influence from local blogs and doesn?t expect any: “What you get from blogs is worth exactly what you pay for it ? nothing.”
At least one blogger, Michael Simon of Rockford, despairs of the blogosphere influencing local politics.
“Our local government is way too corrupt,” he said, “and hardly anybody is interested in cleaning it up.”
The 61-year-old electronics contractor said he devotes his blog (http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com) mostly to national and international issues, especially the war on drugs, which he criticizes from his libertarian perspective. He said his site “has been pretty well-received” and once received a torrent of visitors when it was mentioned on the nationally popular Instapundit.com.

That’s incredibly cool to read that, as Michael Simon is a longtime favorite of mine.
There’s more, including an account of another blogger Scott Richert (of the Rockford Institute) and his role in saving a beautiful local landmark church from being torn down to build an awful-looking jail.
Glad I found the piece online!
Wish I could have spent more time in Rockford, but I’m heading home.
Almost at the airport now. . .
(Forgive the typos while I post and run.)