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Luke Melia

Procmail at Pair

My latest project is moving my email handling to use IMAP and setting up procmail to filter messages into appropriate folders before delivery. After a bunch of googling, I happened across a web page that does a good job explaining procmail and qmail as used at pair.com.

Women’s Rights

We went to the huge march on the nation’s capital today. Jeanhee has a brief writeup. I have a few pictures.

Anthony has a blood-boiling quote from the enemy of choice.

And pretty much every decent newspaper already has coverage with more details on what the speakers had to say than I could hear in the crowd.

And if you’re still thinking of voting for Bush in November, don’t forget that it is a plank of national Republican party’s platform to pass a constitutional amendment making abortion illegal.

NYC Spring

I played volleyball this morning. 5 good players. And me. I’m working on my hitting. It’s coming along. I need to work on playing smart, and on staying competitively focused. Tournament season is here.

We finished on the early side, so I slapped on my skates and headed up the West Side bike path.

Rolled past the Liberty Helicopter Tours, where spendy tourists were getting great rides over the Hudson in the blue helicopters. Up off the tarmac, tilt forward, and they’re off for a visit to our lady liberty’s airspace.

Further up, the Intrepid came into view, and looming over it, the Queen Mary 2. This behemoth of a cruise ship is on it’s maiden voyage to Manhattan. I heard that a core design guideline was that the ship was to fit under the Verrozano Bridge. It does, but barely. There were throngs of people getting an eyeful.

My own eye full, I turned around and set my feet to sending me downtown, speeding back by Chelsea Piers and wind at my back past the west village and into TriBeCa. Past the outdoor Trapeze School. Lots of people lounging in the river’s recently created green parks. Sunbathing, talking on cell phones, peeling off layers of clothing.

I stopped and grabbed a sandwich to go from the Lunchbox and zipped down to Pier 25. There was no sign of the volleyball tournament I expected there. Perhaps it was called off for wind? Instead I watched skaters work the ramps and pipes of the skate park there and contemplated the free kayaking offered later in the summer. I ate my sandwich listening to Rusted Root and Bob Dylan play into my ears while the wind swept across the river in front of me.

My stomach satisfied, I set about my next goal: a haircut. Skated up to Houston and then away from the river into the heart of the west village. My feet brought me through Washington Square Park where an acrobatic troupe entertained countless people while countless other lay in the grass, sat on the benches and strolled the criss-crossed paths.

In due time, I arrived at Astor Place. A woman named Sarra shopped off my winter hair growth. I imagined it finding my recently departed beard in the afterlife. She chattered in Russian with the other haircutters, pausing to confirm with me that the idiom is “Am I right or am I wrong?” and not “Do I right or do I wrong?”.

From Astor Place, a skated north through Union Square on my way home. Near the subway entrance was a capoeira circle, where two guys with amazing physiques were engaged in a fast-paced combination of dancing and fighting. I watched as young asian teen sporting a mohawk shook his head smiling as the pair took a tumble into the crowd near him.

The farmer’s market was in full swing on the other side of the square, I thought about making a few purchases before remembering I’d spent nearly all of the cash in my wallet on lunch and the haircut. So I just rolled home, opened the window and blinds and put on some tunes.

I fired up Movable Type to write all this down because a day like today is one of the things I love most about New York City. Skates make the city small enough to give you an overload of culture and variety in a few hours.

Enough writing now. Back to living it.

Energy Task Force Privacy

I just read Josh Marshall, who is trying to figure out just how early military action against Iraq was being planned in earnest. He quotes a Jane Mayer article from The New Yorker about the Energy Task Force and makes me think totally differently.

Mayer reports on a memo to National Security Council staff directing them to cooperate fully with Cheney’s Energy Task Force “as it considered the ‘melding’ of two seemingly unrelated areas of policy: ‘the review of operational policies towards rogue states,’ such as Iraq, and ‘actions regarding the capture of new and existing oil and gas fields.’

Bush-Cheney’s refusal to release records from the energy task force had rubbed me the wrong way before. I had it framed in my head as a conflict between a compulsively secretive administration and those who value openness and transparency in our democracy.

Perhaps the truth is more sinister, though… Perhaps the energy task force documents are secret because they contain evidence of pre-9/11 plans to militarily seize Iraqi oil fields.

Punk Voter

Via my sister Monica, Punk Voter. Cool stuff.

Monica’s in town tonight to attend Take Our Daughters and Sons (and Sisters) to Work Day at Oxygen tomorrow. Rock on.

Woodward on 60 Minutes

If you missed the 60 Minutes with Bob Woodward, you’ll want to read the writeup. Important stuff.


It was the first gorgeous, warm Saturday of the spring. All the little people of New York City came out of hibernation onto the streets, into the parks, onto the bridges.

Jeanhee and I joined a private tour the Brooklyn Bridge with a retired cop named Gary. We learned of the history of bridge jumpers and other fascinating morbidities. Afterwards, we walked across to Brooklyn for pizza at Grimaldi’s and saw Eternal Sunshine for a buck less than they charge in Manhattan.

Tomorrow… the beach!

Caroline, or Change

Jeanhee and I went to see “Caroline, or Change” tonight. The Tony Kushner musical is in it’s second day of previews in it’s new Broadway digs. Great book, fantastic cast. Highly recommended!

On a side note, we saw Sarah Jessica Parker at the performance. Must be something about the block. We saw Sex and the City’s “Big” (Chris Noth) last month, at Da Marino’s, the Italian restaurant next door.


My cousin Tim is in Iraq.

I’ve spent considerable energy demonstrating my opposition to this war. Starting from before the beginning (“The World Says No to War”) and most recently marching here in New York City a few weeks ago. (“The World Still Says No To War”).

Tim joined the Marines out of high school. He arrived in Iraq a few weeks ago, just before my most recent march.

It’s given the war a more personal edge for me. I hate it more and I want it to go well more and I want everyone to come home healthy, especially Tim.

On the news tonight, they had a National Guard unit from Brooklyn preparing to ship out. One guy was a plumber. Another a carpenter. A woman worked as a waitress as Applebee’s. All somebody’s cousin, too.

What are all of our cousins fighting for again? WMD? Against terrorism? To create a model of a peaceful democracy in the heart of the middle east?

I just don’t buy it. There are precious few necessary wars, and this ain’t one of them. I won’t mention my feelings to Tim, of course. It’s probably tough enough as it is keeping your morale up. Maybe after he’s back, we can have a good chat about it.

Tim reports that the conditions for the solidiers are pretty good, all things considered. He’s comfortable and is really, really busy.

I take some solace in the fact that a good number of Americans and Iraqis will have the unmistakably positive experience of meeting a Melia.


In another blogosphere-inspired change, I’ve tucked NetNewsWire away and am now using Bloglines, a web-based centralized aggregator.

It’s major benefit is solving my main problem with NNW, which was that I couldn’t easily access my subscriptions and read/unread status from work. I had gerry-rigged solution involving a perl script to scp some files back and forth, but all-in-all it was rather inconvenient.

It’s also got interesting future possibilities as an aggregator of many people’s subscription lists. It’s already beginning to exploit some of them, like a recommendation engine to suggest blogs that people like you may like. I’d be into a solution ties a social-networking framework into your friend’s subscriptions and a search engine, so I can limit search results to the sites that my circle subscribes to.

Anyhow, it’s not perfect, but overall I like it. The stateless nature of HTTP makes a news aggregator an imperfect match for a web app, IMHO. It would be cool if they exposed the data as a web service, so that others could write desktop clients for it.

Feel free to check out my subscriptions. Am I missing your favorite feed? Let me know.

LukeMelia.com created 1999. ··· Luke Melia created 1976. ··· Live With Passion!
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