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July 27, 2004

Electioneering in senryu

I told Jacqueline she could have my vote for Washington SecState if she'd make her case in senryu. She did. So there you are.

Y'all should vote for her too. She's the first libertarian I've been around that I haven't wanted to throw against the wall and scream at... more than twice. And she has good ideas. And I don't think Sam Reed will summarize his last four years in limerick.

Posted by dylan at 08:08 AM | Comments (2)

July 25, 2004

I am published

The book is out, and I finally got myself a copy.

Go to the above link, click on "look inside this book," and head for the acknowledgements section. (10-15 pages in, after the TOC.) Then, click on "Back Matter" and click forever until you reach page 219. There be the article.

Another cool thing to put on the resume -- "Editor, 1001 Computer Words You Need To Know." This is becoming quite a creative year. I get an article published, then I have some photos in a gallery show. Now, if I can just get the website finished....

Posted by dylan at 09:31 PM

Saturday's all right for roasting

Our 95F Saturday:
9am we had breakfast with George and Becky at Mom's (probably the only restaurant in Seattle without a website.) It was their first meeting with Annabel, and she responded by sleeping through most of breakfast.

11am we head home. Northwest Hospital temperature says 90F. Yes indeed, the house is hot, hot, hot. We change into wedding clothes. Annabel wears her Grandma Stone's handmade smocked dress. The hotel on Aurora says it's now 92F.

1pm we're at Bethany. It's even hotter than the house. It's the Cure and Buster Poindexter mashed up. (That's "Hot, Hot, Hot, Hot, Hot, Hot" for those of you who didn't get that last reference.) Luckily, the bride and groom had a nice, sweet, SHORT 20 minute ceremony. Off to the reception... the hall next door. No A/C, 200+ people. At this point, Annabel is hot and tired and fussy and refuses to be held. We say our piece to the bride and groom, and off we go.

2:30 now... or 3? Anyway, Annabel is mad, hot, and tired. I take off her dress, pull off her diaper, and put her on the changing table. Suddenly, she's never been happier. Thermostat is now over 85F.

Time to decamp. Off to Costco. After the once a month stockup on baby formula and diapers, we headed to Alderwood and hung out in the food court.

When we got home the neighbors were out on the front yard cooling down -- and a bunch of the other wedding guests dropped by to enjoy the grass/bugs/vegetable tray. Annabel was passed around and eventually fell asleep on the blanket while the adults discussed horror films, health care for children, and edible members of the lily family.

Once the house finally cooled down, we went to bed. We survived the heat. Probably (hopefully) the last time we'll see 90+F this year. THANK YEW JEEZUS!!!1!

Posted by dylan at 09:25 PM

July 22, 2004


So George and Becky are doing a weekend jaunt to the Emerald, er, Golden Brown City this weekend. I tell George, "It's going to be HAWT in Seattle this weekend -- 90F on Saturday." George says, "But this shouldn't be hot to you two." True, but in Oklahoma, we had the air conditioning running full blast from May to September. Ditto Susan's family in Alabama (although they never had the 100+F fun the Oklahoma summer provides.)

In Seattle, there are no residental air conditioners. The malls and theaters have them, as do most large businesses and institutions. But I know of no one in Seattle proper with even a window air conditioner. The reasoning is simple: Why spend $150 on a window unit that you'll use eight days a year? So, we grit our teeth, load up on lemonade, and hit the malls and mountains. (Last year, on a very hot Saturday, I was jonesing for limeade. Went to QFC at 2pm in the afternoon, and there was no frozen limeade -- or lemonade. The entire case was empty.)

The current prediction for Saturday's high is 96F. That's 4 degrees short of the all-time record for Seattle: 100F. And George will be here for the full experience of H-A-W-T in Seattle -- the lack of A/C, the complaining of the locals, the sudden explosive ripening of the blackberries triggered by the harsh sun and dry conditions. Meanwhile, we are going to an afternoon wedding. No air conditioning, of course. Hopefully, the bride and groom will think of their guests and go double-time on the vows.

Posted by dylan at 03:30 PM | Comments (1)

July 21, 2004

Any of you looking for a half-time web design job?

I'm helping one of the departments here at the UW hire a 50% time web designer. Pay isn't that good, and there are *no benefits* (which may explain why they're not attracting good candidates). However, I keep looking at the description and thinking that this is the perfect job for a blogger. If you have any interest (and someone else is paying your health insurance :) ), I can send you the job description.

Posted by dylan at 10:26 AM | Comments (5)

July 19, 2004

Five regrets

In two months I'll be 32. I thought that since that's 25 I'd do a few meme-like lists of five between now and September 22 (that's a mere 63 shopping days, folks, so you better hit the stores before the mad crush of Dylan's birthday shopping season hits on Labor Day weekend). Surprisingly, there are a lot of things in my life that have come in fives.

Five Regrets

  1. I wish that my zeal for editing my writing had struck while I was 17 and not when I was 27. I have a lot of B-graded college papers that were 15 minutes and a red pen away from an A.
  2. I regret that instead of taking Jennifer Litvinchuk to the prom I took my ex-girlfriend. Nothing against Ladonna, but it was a conservative choice. I chose a known quantity rather than taking a risk, and some part of me was reacting against Jennifer's natural nerddom. Out of all the silly and crazy things I did in high school, this is the only one that still gives me a sick feeling in my stomach.
  3. I had an opportunity to be a deejay at the student radio station when I was in college. However, it would have required me to be up at 5am to do so. I thought that was just too early in the morning. I regret that I chose my selfish desire for sleep over the experience of spinning what I wanted to spin on the nightlight-powered radio station.
  4. I regret that at times I have had the attitude towards Annabel that she's an accessory and needs to stop getting in the way of what I want to do. She's 3 1/2 months old and doesn't understand "schedules" or "the dishwasher needs to be loaded or else you won't have any clean bottles." I'm trying to spend more time paying attention to her and interacting. She smiles a lot when I do that, so maybe I'm finally getting this fatherhood thing right.
  5. I regret, generally, that I don't commit to anything involving people, that I have never effectively attacked my insularity and shyness, and that I tend to do things once or twice and then never again.

Posted by dylan at 07:45 AM | Comments (3)

July 13, 2004


About a week ago the Teachout Cultural Concurrence Index appeared. The idea was for people to compare one's likes and dislikes of Wall Street Journal arts critic Terry Teachout. A week late and $5.79 short, I have a sequel: The Wilbanks Musical Compatibility Index, or WMCI. I limited myself to only popular music over the last 50 years, no jazz, no classical. (I freely admit there's a dearth of black artists, especially black female singers.) Same rules apply as the TCCI: Your index is the total number of choices from column A divided by the total number of questions answered.

And yes, I would always choose column A over column B. Even Nirvana over the Pixies. (If I ever, God forbid, find myself single again, I'm using this as a screening test for any woman seeking a relationship with me.)

Anyway, have fun, ping this post if you've completed it and want to brag about your score, and spread the meme-love.

If you had to choose:

  1. Chuck Berry or Little Richard?
  2. Beatles or Stones?
  3. Michael or Janet?
  4. Negativland or Fugazi?
  5. "Just Like Heaven" -- Dinosaur Jr or the Cure?
  6. Emmylou Harris or Linda Ronstadt?
  7. Nick Drake or Elliot Smith?
  8. Cyndi Lauper or Madonna?
  9. Seattle, 1990 or Manchester, 1990?
  10. The Feelies or The Mekons?
  11. Neil Young plugged or unplugged?
  12. Pedro the Lion or The Promise Ring?
  13. Hank Williams Jr or Lee Greenwood?
  14. "Pancho and Lefty" -- Townes Van Zandt or Willie Nelson?
  15. Death Cab For Cutie or Dead Can Dance?
  16. The Association or The Archies?
  17. Whiskeytown or Old 97s?
  18. Blur or Oasis?
  19. Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles?
  20. Robert Earl Keen or Jerry Jeff Walker?
  21. Widespread Panic or Phish?
  22. Ryan Adams or Jeff Buckley?
  23. Radiohead or Jethro Tull?
  24. Sigur Ros or The Smiths?
  25. R.E.M. or U2?
  26. Calexico or Friends of Dean Martinez?
  27. New Order or Depeche Mode?
  28. Judas Priest or Motley Crue?
  29. Bakersfield Sound or Nashville Sound?
  30. Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath?
  31. The Bay City Rollers or The Knack?
  32. Laura Nyro or Eva Cassidy?
  33. Run DMC or Eric B and Rakim?
  34. Al Green or Marvin Gaye?
  35. Alice In Chains or Smashing Pumpkins?
  36. Lyle Lovett or Graham Parsons?
  37. The Gap Band or The Commodores?
  38. T. Rex or KISS?
  39. "Kiss" -- Prince or Tom Jones?
  40. Ministry or Prodigy?
  41. The Temptations or The Four Tops?
  42. Yo La Tengo or Sonic Youth?
  43. Ice Cube or Ice-T?
  44. Missy Elliot or Queen Latifah?
  45. Replacements or Husker Du?
  46. "For What It's Worth" or "San Francisco?"
  47. Eric Burdon or Eric Carmen?
  48. Johnny Cash or George Jones?
  49. Korn or Linkin Park?
  50. "Behind Blue Eyes" -- Who or Limp Bizkit?
  51. Stryper or Petra?
  52. Tupac Shakur or Biggie Smalls?
  53. Dusty Springfield or Mariah Carey?
  54. Marah or 16 Horsepower?
  55. Big Head Todd and the Monsters or Toad the Wet Sprocket?
  56. "Take The Skinheads Bowling" or "Mexican Radio?"
  57. They Might Be Giants or Dead Milkmen?
  58. Otis Redding or Smokey Robinson?
  59. Warren Zevon or James Taylor?
  60. Roy Orbison or Gene Pitney?
  61. "Good Vibrations" or "Hey Jude?"
  62. The White Stripes or The Carpenters?
  63. Zero 7 or Thievery Corporation?
  64. "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" -- CCR or Gladys Knight?
  65. Iggy and the Stooges or the MC5?
  66. Mother Love Bone or Green River?
  67. James or Teenage Fanclub?
  68. Hanson or The Backstreet Boys?
  69. Throwing Muses or Sleater-Kinney?
  70. Sam Phillips or Sarah McLachlan?
  71. Buddy Holly or Pat Boone?
  72. Allman Brothers or Lynrd Skynrd?
  73. Beth Orton or Ani DiFranco?
  74. "Got To Give It Up" or "Let's Get It On?"
  75. Van Morrison or Joe Cocker?
  76. Easy-E or Eminem?
  77. The Buzzcocks or The Stranglers?
  78. Tom Tom Club or The The?
  79. The Eagles or Fleetwood Mac?
  80. The Sundays or 10,000 Maniacs?
  81. The Scorpions or RATT?
  82. Dusty Springfield or Rick Springfield?
  83. Uncle Tupelo or Son Volt?
  84. James Brown or Rick James?
  85. Bruce Springsteen or Bob Dylan?
  86. Squeeze or XTC?
  87. The Everly Brothers or The Righteous Brothers?
  88. Sly and the Family Stone or Parliament?
  89. Oingo Boingo or Talk Talk?
  90. Neko Case or Gillian Welch?
  91. Running the boards at Mussel Shoals or running the boards at Motown?
  92. Weezer or Ween?
  93. Journey or Boston?
  94. College rock -- Boston or Athens?
  95. New jack swing or the swing revival?
  96. "Black Hole Sun" or "Jeremy?"
  97. Nirvana or The Pixies?
  98. The Clash or The Sex Pistols?
  99. "Stairway to Heaven" or "American Pie?"
  100. Elvis Presley or Elvis Costello?

Posted by dylan at 05:30 PM | Comments (2)

July 08, 2004

Land of the stupid, home of the profiled

I've heard stories like this one, but to hear it happened here in Seattle... yeesh. This isn't homeland security, it's racial paranoia. Just read it.

(Hat tip: Kat)

Posted by dylan at 11:07 AM

July 05, 2004

Odds 'n' sods

In which I try to core dump ruminations of late.

Everyone who thought Fahrenheit 9/11 was going to drop off the face of the earth this past weekend was wrong. Not "it beat Spider-Man 2" wrong, but still remarkably wrong. Check out these three-day estimates: $16.4M gross, $9507 per screen (1725 total), 31% drop from last weekend. For those of you who don't look at Hollywood numbers as a hobby, those are very solid indicators of a film that is doing great at the box office. What's even more remarkable is that it's an independent documentary. Oh, did I mention it's actually a FOUR-day weekend? $21M, $12,173 per screen over that period -- and a mere 12% drop. Yes, 12%. White Girls, the #3 film, dropped 39%. No, it wasn't going to beat Spider-Man 2, but it'd take Star Wars: I'm Really Sorry About Losing Focus So I'm Killing Jar-Jar In The First Frame to beat it. It's now at $60M and a slightly better than 50/50 shot at $100M. $100M... for a documentary. It doesn't matter whether you agree with his politics or not, that's downright impressive.

I heard the Joseph Arthur song "Honey and the Moon" on KEXP today. I'd heard it before, but it was only this afternoon I finally had title and author. I went to iTunes to buy it tonight, and it turns out it's on the O.C. soundtrack. So is Jet, Turin Brakes, Doves, Finlay Quaye, Spoon... geez, it's the soundtrack to MY life, but it's meant for the 18-25 set who are into these beautiful people soaps.

By the by, you Midwestern not-cool sorts should listen to KEXP online.

Tim Eyman's property tax initiative failed to qualify for the ballot. This is now the third one of his Draconian tax cut initiatives that has failed to make the ballot. It's hard to say why he's suddenly failing to get support. Are the voters more educated? Is it that the Legislature and governor are finally working together and listening to the people? Or is it that there's finally an organized opposition to Eyman's tax slashing?

Local strawberries are a million times better than California ones. Problem is that even if they're only going 40 miles from field to door, they still don't travel all that well. We had a half-flat, and I ended up throwing out a half-pint within 24 hours of receipt due to furriness. That's gray furriness. Still, they made a fine sorbet.

Posted by dylan at 10:53 PM | Comments (1)

Hey baby, it's the Fourth of July

Samantha threw a kickin' old-skool throwdown of a party, or so we heard. We tried to go, but parking in the Eastlake area was less than non-existant. We ended up driving around for a half hour before deciding that the closest parking space was a long walk even before you added in the Annabel factor. She's approaching one stone in weight (that's 14 lbs., people), and carrying that much weight + diaper bag + bottle bag a mile plus didn't seem like it was worth it. So, back home we came. Didn't see any fireworks at all, but we did hear them all over.

Some idiots down the road blew up a TV in the City Light right of way. Yeah, there's you a way to celebrate the Fourth -- blow up a TV.

New pictures over on Annabel's site.

Posted by dylan at 10:08 PM