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Luke Melia

Save Betamax, Stop INDUCE

I just made calls to my senators about the INDUCE Act. Today is a mobilization day organized by Downhill Battle and the EFF. The “Betamax” refers to a Supreme Court decision that protects our right to make and own technology that can potentially be used for copyright violations. Think iPods, computers, CD burners…

The entertainment industry is scared and their solution is a law that would take away those rights and stifle technological innovation. They felt the same way when the VCR first appeared but after the VCR was protected by the BetaMax decision, the movie industry went on to grow video sales into 50% of it’s revenue.

The entertainment industry can win either way here. If BetaMax gets nullified, everyone else loses.

More info at SaveBetamax.org.

The G.I. Joel of Scrabble

If you’ve ever wondered what life at the heights of the Scrabble world is like, read this profile of professional Scrabble player Joel Sherman.

Speaking of Scrabble, we’ve been playing “Speed Scrabble” lately, after being taught the rules by our friend John. It’s kind of like this, but we play you start with 7 and pick extra tile each pick. Fun, and a helluva lot faster than a game of the real thing.

Seattle and New York

Jeanhee and I are chilling at Slapnose world HQ. We helped Kris and Patti get hitched this past weekend, and have been been in Seattle since. Hanging out with Liz and Anthony. Meeting Jeanhee’s aunt, uncle and cousins. I’m taking a seminar at Construx, “Object-Oriented Design and Analysis using UML.”

I like Seattle. Beautiful views everywhere, yummy thai food, good radio, friendly people. The hills are nice here. San Francisco-esque. All the water, too. Love the Space Needle. I even hear that there’s some beach volleyball here. I hate the rush-hour traffic and the automotive lifestyle, but I hate that about most every city save New York. Seattle doesn’t have the glitz and glamour and sophistication of NYC… I must be accustomed to that now, because the absence feels strange.

I wonder what it would be like to work as a developer here. Software is a big industry in this area, and not just because of Microsoft. There seem to be lots of small software companies, and larger companies with IT centers. There’s something I like about being an unusual breed in New York, not a media maven or financial finagler. What drives a person to want to be different for the sake of being different? Is it ego? Any psychologists have an answer to that one?

Seattle is entering its rainy season after a few beautiful months. It will be gray here until springtime. At least that’s everyone’s been telling me. Nobody seems to like it. In New York, some people love the winter and some love the summer. Some love both, and some are misanthropes. Everyone loves the fall and spring. In this city, people seem to be resigning themselves to the rain.

It’s a liberal city, too. New York is left and jaded. Seattle is left and proud. Kerry-Edwards bumperstickers everywhere. “Defend American Defeat Bush” graces the back of many a VW van (including the Badunkadunk), and people happily joke at dinner with strangers about how terrible Bush is as president. Funny that the land of Nirvana is more upbeat and politically positive than the land of Broadway.

In the end Seattle, like New York, and like everywhere I go, is mostly about who I know. Pioneer Square is not much without Kris and Patti nervously dancing their first dance. Ten Mercer is just another pricey restaurant without Jeanhee’s previously unintroduced friends asking each other probing questions over a long dinner. And the little apartment where I write this is just a pretty view of the Puget sound without Liz and Ant making cherry tarts and strumming tunes from O Brother Where Art Thou. (It’s one of the reasons being married makes me happy. Having someone I love with me almost all the time makes everywhere I go seem that much more interesting and… alive.)

And, also, Seattle (Pike’s Place Market, specifically) is the first place I ever saw a “Grapple.” Looks like at apple, tastes like a grape. I’ll let you decide whether that’s a net positive or negative for the city…

We’d all be better off…

Take a listen to this Bush winner


Of all the non-political things to get arrested for, speeding 140 MPH above the speed limit is a pretty cool one.

The God F.A.Q.

The Official God FAQ, courtesy Liz.

Wedding Quote

A memorable quote from Sunday morning post-wedding breakfast. The context is my Mom talking to father of 6-week old Ruby Marc [picture]:

“This is how big Luke was when I took him to see Hot Tuna.”

Wedding Pics

Our hired photographer’s pictures are not yet ready, but thanks to the wonders of digital cameras and their thoughtful owners, we already have a growing collection of photos from the weekend.

The photo gallery here on my site now has albums organized by event and shutterbug under Wedding. Also, Anthony took a lot of great pictures and has cataloged them over at slapnose. Look for the last albums for August 2004 on this page.

If you’ve got pics you’d like to contribute, send them along and I’ll add them to the gallery. You can burn a CD and mail it, or email me and we’ll figure out how to transfer them over the net. Also, if you need help locating a high-res version of a photo for a print or something, let me know.

Tangentially, I had a really cool iPhoto experience the other day. You can try it if you use iPhoto on a reasonably powerful Mac and have a big photo collection. Select you entire library and sort by date. Increase the thumbnail size the maximum. Then scroll through the photos from oldest to newest by holding down your mouse on the scroll arrow. The images come quite fast, but slow enough that your brain can register them and it’s quite a voyage. I have digital photos dating back to 1999 and doing this was something like a five-year recap. Your life flashing before your eyes. Literally.

Anyway, enjoy the wedding pics!

Mr. Jeanhee Kim

It’s official. I’m a married man. We got our fancy computer-printed Certificate of Marriage Registration from the City Clerk’s office. Nothing says official in 2004 like an Old English-style font.

The wedding was an experience unlike any I’ve known. I felt like I was in a hurricane of love. Once in a while I would find myself in the eye, where things were calm enough to see the big picture and take in the affair. But those moments were fleeting, and it was mostly a delightful tumult.

We had been stressing about rain for weeks before the wedding, wondering if the Catskills’ record-breaking rainy August would take a breather for us, or rain on our parade. We asked our friends with high karma counts to call in their favors, acknowledged our respect for the elements and checked weather.com on the half-hour. As it turned out, the sun shown down upon our ceremony, which was held as planned beside a pretty pond. And boy did it shine; came down hot. Instead of rain, we had only sweat to contend with, and I’d certainly make that trade again.

The ceremony was invented by Jeanhee and I and came into being as an assortment of ideas, rituals and people. We shaped it, but I did not truly have a vision of its final shape until it finally happened. (That’s probably why our rehearsal was so bad.) The actual ceremony was perfect for me; it felt very right and had the feel I wanted but couldn’t put my finger on. Beautiful music, heartfelt speeches, simple gestures, and personal promises, all by and with our friends and our family.

After the ceremony, folks went to the tent to start the fun and frolicking while Jeanhee and I and our families took pictures with our photog Phyllis. After a bit of that, we walked over to the tent and joined the fray. Within ten minutes, the August rains came down, and came down hard. It rained torrents for about 30 minutes, creating instant mud puddles, soaked catering staff, and a few minutes of general chaos.

Our guests handled it with good humor [ahem, foreshadowing] and the kids present had fun with the rain and mud. After the rain stopped, the sun came out again and it was gorgeous, though not as hot as before. Guests from various ethnic backgrounds told us how their tradition viewed a rainstorm at a wedding as a good omen. I’m sure these traditions developed in various cultures with good reason… to make the bride and groom feel better about rain falling on their big day. Seriously though, it was fine, and if it had to rain, the timing couldn’t have been better.

I have more to write, and I will, but for now I’ll say that I had a great view of the crowd when the 1967 Good Humour ice cream truck rolled up the hill ringing its bell. People’s faces expressed joy, puzzlement, surprise, and the reckless abandon of a dash to be first to the truck. My brilliant wife came up with this idea, and it was a blast.

Photos and more to come.

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