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February 26, 2004

What's that big yellow box over our heads?

Last Friday, Susan's blood pressure was higher than it had ever been. It was enough to trigger a battery of tests this week -- an ultrasound on Tuesday, a bunch of circulation tests today.

It wasn't good.

Susan is showing herself to be high risk for pre-eclampsia, though it's very early in the process.

The doctor prescribed beta blockers and told her it's time to wrap up her job at the School of Pharmacy. So, she's shutting things down next week and spending the next few weeks on bed rest. If she starts showing signs of eclampsia, the baby comes out. If we aren't at 37 weeks (the minimum length of time for a "full-term" baby) when she pops out, we can expect some NICU time. In all likelihood we're looking at Susan being induced sometime at the end of March... unless she's able to fight off the rising blood pressure with bedrest and meds.

So, it's gone from "due in mid-April" to "due any day now." I've gone from being leisurely about getting things ready to staring at the calendar and wondering if I really have all the time to do everything myself.

I feel like when I was a kid and the "Tornado Watch" box popped up on the bottom left of the TV screen. I'm waiting for the freight train sound and the roof to come flying off. Maybe it won't, but for now I'm haunted by a yellow parallelogram.

Posted by dylan at 10:50 PM | Comments (5)

February 24, 2004

Baby update

You should go check out the Baby Blog for more.

Nothing earth-shattering... just more pics.

Posted by dylan at 11:33 PM

February 21, 2004

Another day, another meme

While I'm taking a break from cleaning out the nursery/computer room...

Write a random phrase from each of the following:
Nearest book to you: "One way to increase security is to limit vulnerability to security breaches or attacks by minimizing the amount of code that runs with augmented privileges." (JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, 3rd ed.)

Nearest cd insert: "Julie Miller appears courtesy of Myrrh Records." (Swing the Statue, Victoria Williams)

Nearest piece of paper that you wrote on: "Artisan crackers"

Nearest piece of paper that was written to you: "The endorsements can affect the following provisions depending on which contracts you own."

Something on your desk: "Kingdome - 2 tickets Seattle Mariners - total trans tckt face val 44.00"

Posted by dylan at 04:51 PM | Comments (2)

February 20, 2004

Another year, another liturgy

Pitchers and catchers report today.

Right now I need it. College football has become one massive downer.

Posted by dylan at 11:28 AM | Comments (3)

February 19, 2004

More on the Buffs

Fellow CU alumnus Terry Frei does a good job explaining where the silent CU majority are right now.

Should The Gary have been suspended? I think so, especially when you take his remarks in context of some of the other things he's said in the last few weeks. "Boys will be boys" just isn't the right response. Answering a question about Hnida's ability in light of the allegations is not the right thing to do.

I think he still has a chance to survive, but it's very faint. As each rape allegation pops up you start wondering if anyone in Dal Ward had a grasp on what was happening and whether anyone is going to step forward and say the thing that needs to be said -- "I am the final authority. The buck stops here. I am wrong for what I have done and what I have failed to do."

Something's got to give, and soon. Every day brings yet another allegation, another idiotic quote, another grandstanding pol, another Gary defender. I'd like to make it through one day where Colorado isn't making the news for any of this.

Posted by dylan at 07:28 PM

An open letter to University of Colorado president Elizabeth Hoffman

President Hoffman --

First, I'd like to say that you've done an excellent job rebuilding the University's image during your tenure. I was an undergrad in the early 90s, and I really thought the leadership at the time spent too much energy on meaningless political squabbles and not enough on raising the academic profile of the University internationally.

Second, I should come right and say that I'm a strong fan of Colorado football. I watch the games whenever I can out here in Seattle. If I still lived on the Front Range I'd have season tickets and would be in Folsom every home Saturday.

Finally, I believe in the value of my Colorado degree, and I don't like seeing events cast a shadow on the validity of my diploma.

With that said, I would like to address recent events involving the Colorado football program.

I thank you for finally muzzling Coach Barnett. From what has come to me through the national media and the Internet I was getting the impression that he had a foot-in-mouth fetish that he wanted to make sure the world knew about. He has consistently shot his mouth off and has been a detriment to the investigation and the University's appearance in the press. I know you have been the target of much vitriol in the last 48 hours from so-called "fans," but please know that most of us who consider ourselves friends of athletics and academics appreciate your and Chancellor Byyny's actions yesterday evening.

With the suspension issued, though, I would like to urge you to do something you should have done weeks ago -- Hire a PR specialist to manage the university's interactions with the media. There are too many people running around pontificating and telling quarter-truths to any open microphone they can find. Someone needs to be brought in to be the one-and-only media source. These nightmare scenarios are no longer won in courts of law or before ombudsmen, they are won in the court of public opinion. You're losing control of this situation and are reacting when you should be acting. Please bring someone in to handle the spin, for the sake of all of us who love this University.

I am a Colorado football fan, and I want what's best for the program. I don't know how much Gary Barnett knew and how much negligence he may be responsible for, but I urge you to not be hasty with sending him to the gallows. I ask you to make the decision to terminate his position with cold reason and knowledge of the facts rather than with the passion of the masses and the whole story left unknown. Please believe me when I'm saying that I'm not a fan of Barnett. While he has been a master motivator and has led the team to two division championships, he also has made poor decisions on and off the field, even before the current scandals. Still, I would rather the decision whether or not to retain him be one made based on as many facts as can revealed.

In April my wife is due to give birth to our first child, a daughter. When we found out that we were having a girl I said to someone, "Guess I'm getting a kicker and not a quarterback." Now, I worry about what that statement means. If Katie was my daughter and what happened to her was true, the police would still be looking for the bodies of the perpetrators and Barnett would have multiple impressions of my wedding ring permanently embossed on his face. I worry about sending her to Colorado for college in 18 years, even though that will be a generation from now and I remember the overwhelmingly positive experience I had in Boulder. President Hoffman, I don't want to tell her that she shouldn't even consider my alma mater because I'm worried about her safety or a hostile environment for women in sports. Please consider my comments in light of this. You and Chancellor Byyny have done an excellent job extolling the University's academic accomplishments. Please do not fail the Colorado faithful in this dark hour.

Thanks.
Dylan Wilbanks
BA, Environmental Conservation, 1994

Posted by dylan at 12:44 PM | Comments (3)

February 17, 2004

Playlistification

Mark posted this meme that's been going around:

Step 1: Open your MP3 player.
Step 2: Put all of your music on random.
Step 3: Write down the first 20 songs it plays, no matter how embarrassing.
Mark ended up doing 1% of his collection or 28, but my problem is that 28 is .33% of my collection. (Yes, that's 8400 songs.) So, I'll stay with 20. Who cares anyway? They're pretty embarassing.
  1. "Hey Lock", Billy Taylor Trio
  2. "King of Birds", REM
  3. "Love," Victoria Williams
  4. "Sleep On Mother, Sleep On," Lonnie Mcintorsh
  5. "The People's Limousine," Elvis Costello
  6. "Fragile," Sting
  7. "All Apologies," Nirvana
  8. "Drinking in LA," Bran Van 3000
  9. "You Can Call Me Al," Paul Simon
  10. "Tesla Girls," OMD
  11. "Too Far Apart," Wilco
  12. "Hold On," Sarah McLachlan
  13. "Death Trip," Iggy and the Stooges
  14. "Blue Yodel #3," Jimmie Rodgers
  15. "16 Days," Whiskeytown
  16. "Lulu's Back In Town," Dave Brubeck
  17. "Soft CRD," Miles Apart (Pete Namlook & Peter Prochir)
  18. "I Saw Your Shoes," Cowboy Junkies
  19. "Jamie," Eddie Holland
  20. "The Scientist," Coldplay

Posted by dylan at 09:40 PM

February 16, 2004

Half of what I say is meaningless

I've done my best to excise high school from my memory. I have -- and enjoy -- massive gaps in my personal history. The memories that are still there are more curios than real narrative.

One of these things is my interactions with one Julia Wolov. Wolov follows Wilbanks, so in more than a few classes she sat behind me. Junior year US history she sat right behind me. Julie I remember because she'd always address me as "horny" for, well, I don't know why. I think she thought it was funny. I guess it was funny.

Fifteen years after fifth period history class, I google her. This little blurb comes up:

After a near-miss last development season, Adam Sandler's Happy Madison Prods. is going back into business with The WB. Sandler's production company is developing a buddy comedy around Dana Goodman and Julia Wolov.
She got a TV show, and no one gets my jokes. My life is about to become a Fountains of Wayne song.

Posted by dylan at 01:44 AM | Comments (5)

February 15, 2004

Decluttering

Currently trying to clean out the computer room so it can become a computer/nursery room. I have a lot of outdated computer books, including three XML books written before the W3C published the XSLT standard. (Translation for you non-techies: I have three doorstops.)

At least there's iTunes to keep me sane. Let's see how much music resides on my computer... "8308 songs, 21.3 days total time." Well, enough to get through the next three weeks, and it should take me about that long.

Posted by dylan at 08:27 PM

February 12, 2004

A pastor's life

Mark is working on "A Week in the Life of a Lutheran Pastor" series. Here's day one.

Again, I'm reminded to thank God he never called me to be a pastor. The teaching and the theology I can do in a heartbeat. The human interaction, the shepherding, the comforting, i.e. the skills need to "pastor" rather than "preach," those skills are beyond me.

Posted by dylan at 11:20 AM

February 11, 2004

Susan's officially in business

So go check the site for her Seattle resume services.

Posted by dylan at 11:08 PM | Comments (1)

February 08, 2004

How to spot a Mariner from a long ways away

Sorry Samantha dear, this had to be elevated from comment to post.

...it turns out that our clients named Dan and Annie Wilson are the same very married Dan and Annie Wilson of baseball playing.

So you can imagine what a spaz I looked when we were discussing furniture for their living room and he said we had to make decisions soon because they were going out of town for work. I said "Oh, what do you do?" He looked at me sideways and said "I play baseball for the Mariners, and spring training starts soon."

I explained that I'm a space cadet when it comes to sports and he said that they prefer when people don't know who he is, but you could tell his ego was a bit bruised.

Don't feel bad, because Susan's done something similar. When we were meeting with the wedding photography studio the guy who ran the business, an older and wired gentleman, drew our attention to a picture of a Latino couple on the wall. "I did their wedding! Do you know who that is?" It took me a second, but the marble dropped in the hole just as he blurted out "Edgar Martinez!" Edgar of the glorious swing, the greatest living designated hitter, breaker of millions of middle-aged female hearts when he got married.

Susan, of course, was new in town and had no idea who he was. Now, mind you, she thinks he's the cutest Mariner, even if he is 40.

Posted by dylan at 06:24 PM | Comments (1)

February 07, 2004

Caucus Gun

Today is Democratic caucus day in Washington. So, as loyal supporters of democracy we trudged up to Broadview Community Church and joined in the fun of the precinct 46-2540 caucus. For the record, before today I was a dissident Republican, someone who likes strong fiscal policy, a minimum of deficit, and believes that keeping American business strong and competitive means greater prosperity for all. I also have a mild socialist streak in some things, but by nature I have always favored public-private partnerships. Problem is that while I haven't moved politically in the last eight years, the GOP has. I feel like I went to bed in Danzig and woke up in Gdansk. So, I took my support for Edwards and my conservative leaning to the caucus.

Of course, the idiot I was, I grabbed all the paperwork and instantly became the presiding officer. Bad move. I haven't cracked a copy of Robert's Rules of Order since student council in high school. This -- and the difficulty in understanding the instructions -- would lead to a major error on my part, one I'm still kicking myself for making. (As an aside, the precinct captain had to explain to the 150+ people gathered what a sanctuary was. Washington state has the lowest average church attendance in America, and it was quite obvious today.)

Anyway, we had 16 show up. I should note that we live in a small, small precinct -- eight North Seattle square blocks, between 60-70 houses, population around 200. You could beat the bounds in 15 minutes. 16 was actually a pretty small number. We were, at 33, 31, and -2 months, the 2 2/3rds youngest people in the room. But I'm still digressing.

After some attempts to explain the rules (canvas vote, final vote, horse trading, the threshold), we proceeded with the first "canvas" vote.
Kerry - 5
Kucinich - 5
Edwards - 3
Dean - 2
Uncommitted - 1

Thus began the horse trading. One Dean supporter, feeling that his statement had been made, switched to Kucinich. The other one switched to Kerry. Every had the opportunity to make their case to everyone in the room; it was more a classic Seattle neighborhood coffee klatch than an organized meeting. The Kucinich people, feeling that Kerry was the de facto nominee, wanted to make a statement and hung together. After some discussion, one member of the group said that he had to be somewhere else at 11am, so we went straight to the second vote. (At this point came rule suspension #1: The group agreed, by assent, to a voice vote rather than secret ballot.)

Kerry - 6
Kucinich - 6
Edwards - 4

And here was my mistake: I misread the rules on what the minimum number of people needed to create a delegate. 15% of 16 should be 3, but due to a misread of the chart included in my packet, I thought it was 6. Thus, instead of it being one apiece to Kerry/Kucinich/Edwards, we suspended the rules for the second time and held another vote, but not before suspending the rules a third time and allowing the guy who needed to leave to cast a proxy vote. Heck, nothing secret, remember, because we had already dumped that rule.

The third and final vote:
Kerry - 8
Kucinich - 6
Edwards - 2

Thus, Kerry sent two delegates, Kucinich one, and Edwards left with nothing... but he didn't have to, and it took me til three hours after we adjourned before I realized my mistake. I had two excuses. The process was rushed, so I didn't get a good opportunity to read through the rules and understand how the formulae for computing delegates worked. My other excuse is that the instructions didn't make a lick of sense -- there weren't any, honestly, only rules. There was a chart that listed the FACTOR by which you multiplied the votes to determine delegates, and I misunderstood it to mean DELEGATES.

So, Sen. Edwards, I'm really sorry. My incompetence cost you a delegate. Dr. Dean, don't come looking at me, because, honestly, you had two supporters, both of whom abandoned their positions within five seconds of the completion of vote one.

We had a brief discussion of the Democratic values statement, then 46-2540 adjourned. The only thing we agreed on was that Dubya has been a disaster of a president and needs to go.

(A number of other Seattle people are blogging on their caucuses.)

Posted by dylan at 05:12 PM | Comments (2)

February 06, 2004

Your title here

This has been a tired-stressed-bored week. I've had a few things I've wanted to post but I haven't had the time to crank them out.

I've added Dave Fried, RSFC vet and comp sci maven, to the list o' blogs. Half the list is now RSFCers.

I've decided to attend the February Fotolog meetup. I may even goad Kat into coming. Susan won't; she has choir practice.

Posted by dylan at 01:17 AM | Comments (4)

February 03, 2004

Softly, softly

I'm plodding through a site redesign. Less blue, more professional, with a twist of lemon.

Posted by dylan at 10:54 PM

February 01, 2004

Reason #188 to own a TiVo

I'm not watching the Super Bore; the TiVo is. Later this evening, depending on the outcome of the game, I'll either watch a 90 minute condensed version (football + commercials - commentary - halftime) or a 60 minute British soccer style highlights version (football on fast forward stopping for only big plays + interesting commercials - everything else).

Mind you, I'd never do this for any game where I had a dog in the fight, and I'd never do this for baseball -- for those, I just use the glorious 8 second backup button + slo-mo.

Mark, George, Harry, join Wayne and me in the Cult of TiVo. (Kat/Ben are exempt from joining since they barely watch TV.) You could be off to change the oil right now instead of watching what's apparently been a Festival of Three-And-Out.

Posted by dylan at 04:05 PM | Comments (3)

Super Bore commercials

Last night, while flipping through the channels, I came across one of those "cheap 'n' cheesy" Best Super Bowl Commercials shows that appear this time every year. (Odd that they do; is there some football game on or something?) I spent about four minutes watching it (more than enough when they're reshowing 30 second spots), and two ads caught my eye.

Bill Bixby was flogging TRS-80 computers in 1984, such as the Model 100 for business. Computer (I believe 256K by that point), monitor, keyboard for $2999, which I believe works out to around $4500 in 2004 dollars (assuming a 2% inflation rate for 20 years). My digital camera has ten times the computing power and cost $300. The 256MB flash card in said camera right now cost me ~$45 last year -- about 1000 times the memory for use in a device 1/10th the size.

They also reshowed the EDS cat herding commercial, which, amazingly, is still available online if you have Quicktime.

Posted by dylan at 12:24 PM