Spring break

March 28, 2006 at 2:36 am (Uncategorized)

I'm boycotting my computer for a little while. Check back sometime after Friday.


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Revelation of the day

March 22, 2006 at 9:50 pm (Music)

I have been listening to a lot of Metallica lately: old school, hard hitting Metallica, not the Napster-era Cult of Personality bullshit. And I will say this: Lars Ulrich is a terrible drummer. He sucks; I could be their drummer with a few weeks practice. I used to get into heated debates with an old roommate from college about this: he swore the guy was using Kawasaki One Man Jam, and I based my contra opinion on my experience at Lollapalooza 1996, where I was distracted by pyrotechnics, dehydration and heat stroke. But now, at this late date, I can say this: Mattdude, if you’re out there, you were right. I’m sorry. And I shouldn’t have said that about your grandma, I’m sure she’s a lovely lady.

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Good migrations

March 17, 2006 at 5:53 am (Uncategorized)

Jalalablog is undergoing a major overhaul. I am trying to figure out how to migrate everything over to wordpress from squarespace, before the latter charges me for another year. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: A few minor bugs notwithstanding, this is going pretty smoothly.  I can already say that wordpress is infinitely superior to squarespace, and it’s free.  One major gripe is that when I imprted my old posts, it saved them all as drafts, so I am having to go through each one and publish them again, which is ok I guess, because I can assign categories.  If anyone knows which template to use to allow me to put a photo in the banner, let me know.

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The Ports Scandal

March 9, 2006 at 6:42 am (Politics, Republican incompetence)

Republicans actually fighting the President, Bush back against the wall, questions about security, yadda yadda yadda, you have probably heard about all that. In this article I was taken by the very last sentences:

New York Rep. Peter King, the Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, has floated a proposal under which DP World would subcontract operations at the terminals to U.S. companies. DP World still would get the profits, but would have access to no security information.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, chairwoman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, has put forth a similar proposal.

Let me make sure I am crystal clear on this one. We stay in charge of port security (which, if you have been listening to right-wing automatons lately, we were never in jeopardy of giving up), but we just farm out the profitability of port management? How is that more politically tenable than the previous deal? Can you imagine a Republican sock puppet going to his constituents and actually saying, “don’t worry folks, we will be doing all the work, the Sultan of Dubai will just get all the money.” Doesn’t that make us, like, Mexicans? Please Republicans, press this forward as a “compromise.” Please.

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Gettin’ laid

March 9, 2006 at 6:30 am (Humor, Random)

THIS GUY!!!! Between the cat and the lawsuit, what woman could say no?

I’m not quoting from it, you really have to read this to believe it.

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Things that make you go hmmm

March 8, 2006 at 9:01 pm (Drugs, Random)

There’s a box in the basement of my house, owned by my landlord, that apparently at one point contained 96 one-dozen packets of Sudafed. That’s a hell of a cold.

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The Ministry of Ministry

March 7, 2006 at 6:57 am (Music, Personal, Portland)

Ministry is my new favorite band. Until recently, I had no idea they have been around since 1983. Actually, it’s more like a J Mascis kind of thing the Rolling Stones. Anyway, they are playing at the Roseland on May 27, and I can’t wait. If anybody out there wants to go, let me know. Ich bin ein Berliner, dude. I have been out of the music business for far too long. I am really starting to become amazed at how much my life has been on hold for the last 10 months or so. In honor of this new appreciation, here are the lyrics to my new favorite song, now playing on my myspace profile if you happen to know what that is. This one kind of reminds me of someone I used to know.

Filth Pig

Well I started out younger at things that people start younger at
A thousand days and nights of getting overexposed
Then someone asks, "How do you sleep at night?"
With the borrowed dreams from a broken man

You keep runnin' away don't matter how far You always wind up there
Another thousand pileups in the ugly name of morality
Fucking ugly, some creepy guy keeps asking "How the fuck do you sleep at night?"
With a broken dream and a borrowed hope that died

Filth pig, filth pig
He sleeps with both eyes open
Filth pig, filth pig

You keep chasing this tail but the tail gets bigger go figure
A thousand more stories keep the fires and flames alive
So how the fuck do you dream at night?
With the memories of a borrowed death, the guilty liesFilth pig, filth pigHe sleeps with both eyes open
Filth pig, filth pig

He sleeps all right because he's a Filth pig

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I feel neglected

March 6, 2006 at 7:24 am (Porn, Random)

Big Picnic undergoes a major overhaul, apparently in response to an unrepentant storm of porn spam in the comments. Why don’t I get porn spam? Other than people who come here hoping for some zooporn (43 in the past month), this site is almost entirely smut-free. Jalalablog is home to at least three robot web indexers: googlebot, something from Texas A&M University, and another that just shows up as an IP address (, .13, or .14) in my traffic log. I guess I don’t really WANT porn spam (note to readers: please do not pretend you are porn spam), but I really wonder why I have never had that problem. Is that a hidden gem in the otherwise mediocre, user-unfriendly blogging program that is squarespace?

UPDATE: It turns out I do have some spam commenters, advertising such useful tools as autofellatio and debt reduction services. They are called “references,” not actual comments. These appeared 3 days ago…a calm before the storm? My squarespace account is up for renewal in 12 days, and I had no intention of renewing it anyway. I want a blog that can have poll questions in the sidebar. I miss that. And possibly multiple posters again…that was fun. Any suggestions?

This has been kind of fun, poring through old entries looking for “references” (there are a few more randomly scattered throughout), so stay tuned all this week! for the Very Best of Jalalablog. It won’t take long.

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March 6, 2006 at 4:07 am (Personal, Random)

This year, my New Year’s Resolution was to never pay another ATM fee. I figured it out once, and in 2003 I averaged between 20 and 30 dollars a month for the mere convenience of cash on demand. And that was with Wawa as a resource (Philly-based convenience store with free ATMs) I think I have set a record for New Year’s Resolutions, because so far this year I have not broken it. Not impressed? Consider this: my credit union owns and operates exactly one ATM, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

How about them apples?

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March fifth, young man

March 6, 2006 at 1:13 am (Health, Personal)

Today marks one month since I have eaten meat. Granted it is the shortest month of the year, but I still think that’s quite an accomplishment. Me and the gf–that’s right–had some fish at the coast yesterday, but as any good Catholic will tell you, fish isn’t meat. I’m not sure if I have decided to be a vegetarian or not, but I have been surprised at how easy it has been so far. There are myriad reasons not to eat meat, which I won’t bore you with, but here is a brief recap on how I arrived at today.

It all started over Christmas when I, being of Red Blood and American Heritage, sat on my ass for a week eating like shit and watching such instant classics as Utah Bible Technical College versus Southwest Louisiana A & M in the Hemmorhoidhomeremedies.com Bowl. Maybe it’s my old age, or a heightened sensitivity to things like this, but I never felt like I really recovered this year. I was getting heartburn regularly, lethargic despite exercising a lot, and producing enough methane to draw the ire of federal regulators (remember when FERC was looking at me?) I thought some drastic measures were in order.

Enter The Master Cleanse. In case you don’t know what that is (likely), it is a kind of fast, in which you consume an all liquid diet for a minimum of 10 days, consisting of lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. Starting on Feb. 5 , I consumed 500 daily calories of this pure goodness, and recreated that scene from Dumb and Dumber every morning (if you don’t know which scene, then don’t ask). No coffee, no alcohol (accomplishes themselves), nothing. It was not as miserable an experience as I had imagined. I actually felt pretty damn good after about day 3, and emerged from the whole thing feeling better, physically and mentally, than I have felt in years. I lost a little over 10 pounds, I can actually sleep through the night, my CH4 production is down 98%, and if I do say so myself I am a far more pleasing person to be around. I would go so far as to say I had another Great Leap Forward. Why am I telling you all this? I’m not sure. I think I’m digging this vegetarian thing. I spend far less on food, I don’t eat nearly as much and I make the best baba ghanouj you’ve ever had. But soon I need to deversify my menu lest I start sweating eggplants. Recipes welcome.

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