Happy New Decade!

Yesterday (when I started writing this) was New Year Adam — coined we believe by our friend Brooxie Crews Keary. Because Adam came before Eve, don’cha know. Brooxie used to have “Christmas Adam” parties on the 23rd, and since then the naming tradition has stuck.

Brooxie disavows this term, but the preponderance of evidence points to her.

You don’t know Brooxie, but she is an archetype: she grew up in Memphis and was named after her Mother’s best friend. She went to Auburn. A very full Southern drawl, which she never lost after 20+ years in Oklahoma. Imagine it in your mind when she meticulously describes, in a voice like honey or syrup, how Adam came before Eve...

As we approach the New Year, my mind wanders back to our New Year’s Celebrations in Seattle on December 31, 1999, which I remember as the Night of the Y2K Bug. I’ll not bore you with the details about all that; this is just a remembrance of what my wife and I went through.

I was Director of Information Systems at the University of Washington, Bothell campus, and my wife was Media Relations Manager for Group Health Cooperative in Seattle.

We had plans to go out for New Year’s with our friends Drew and Terri — a fine night of dining and dancing. I’d been glued to TV coverage of the Millenium Celebrations earlier that evening. It was fascinating watching all the New Year’s Celebrations in other countries across the International Dateline: Sydney, Hong Kong, Tokyo, etc. I remember thinking it interesting that our coverage in Seattle veered toward fellow Pacific Rim cities — a sign of our place in the Asia Pacific trading zone. It was less than a month after the WTO protests in downtown Seattle, and there were still windows boarded up with plywood and smaller shops rebuilding. It was a very sobering Christmas. That was also the year we learned that both of Karen’s parents in Oklahoma were showing signs of Alzheimer’s Disease and/or vascular senile dementia. It was definitely a year of feeling too much like an adult.

What I remember also was a number of people on camera expressing their hopes for the New Millennium: folks like the late Arthur C. Clarke, whom I remember was quite peeved that we were all celebrating one year early, but still had great hopes for humanity’s future.

New Year’s was enjoyable (we did make it to midnight I think) but Karen had to report to her HMO’s “command bunker” in Tukwila. In the middle of the night. Earlier in the week, she’d been confirming phone numbers with members of the local and national media, in the event that SOMETHING happened with the HMO’s computer systems early on January 1st, 2000 that would impact patient care.

We at the University had gone over all our systems with a fine-tooth comb (being a 3-campus system, much of the big important iron was hosted at the Seattle campus), but nonetheless, since I was up and had nothing else to do, I went out to my campus early on January 1st, checked a few local things like phone systems and found that everything was running smooth.

We had some other systems that didn’t rely on Gregorian calendar dates — that had to be adjusted but not by 12/31/99. Those were on schedule, with contractors contracted, so nothing to be concerned about.

Around 10 am, my wife was released from her non-issue with Group Health, and came out to meet me for lunch at a Mongolian BBQ place in Canyon Park. It was a bit surreal, but memorable. The day was kinda like any other, except that we originally felt alone out on the streets and not at home in our jammies.

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