Indexed Archives


Contact me

Who am I?


The diary of
Iseema bin Laden

Greatest Hits




Am I Blue

Mistake. Big mistake. Blue mistake.

A friend of mine gave me a packet of Blue Stuff (yes, that's its real name.) It's for muscle pain, and I suffer from neck pain regularly, which is a result of a car crash that gave me whiplash years ago. Today I woke up at six a.m. in enough pain to, uh, wake me up at six a.m. I went to the chiropractor. I spent time on the massage pad, and debated going to the Backrub Shoppe. Then I remembered the blue stuff, so I tried it. It works. It worked on me. But what the manufacturers don't tell you is that instead of the sharp ache of nerve and vertebra damage, or the dull ache of muscle tension due to the former, you will now have a wide, burning sensation in the area that cancels out all the other pain.

This is not healing. This is making someone forget about a headache by hitting their foot with a hammer. I washed it off, but it isn't doing any good.

The scary part is that the directions say "If pain persists reapply every 10 minutes until pain is relieved." The burning sensation would never go away if I followed those directions.

The really scary part is I think it actually is taking away my muscle pain. But I can't tell until the burning goes away. If it ever does.


Okay. Ever since I got this site listed in Yahoo's weblog directory, I've been sort of holding back on, well, on "adult" language. I've been doing this because I figured I'd present a more kid-friendly face to the Yahoo! crowds, but it's not working out so well anymore. Because, as was so aptly said in Risky Business, every once in a while, you just have to say, "What the fuck?" And I say that more than every once in a while, because--because I just do, all right? Geez.

And I realized that what I wanted to do for this blog, more than anything else, was say: Fuck.


There. I feel better now. I don't care if I get put onto Censorware Central, I just had to do it.--MAY



Linking the blogging community

Over at Burning Bird, there are a few entries regarding "Yours is a very bad hotel," a simply hilarious Powerpoint presentation by a couple of guys who had a horrible experience with a Doubletree hotel in Dallas. So I'm doing my part to get the presentation into Daypop's top 40.

Too bad the hotel isn't a Cendant chain. I would truly love to dis my former employers. But then, Wall Street's been doing just that for the past three years, since their stock implosion.

Via Daypop: Opt out of most annoying pop-up ads. Kudos to the creators of this page.

Okay, let me stop for a moment and insist on something that you'll all be the better for: Visit Daypop's top 40 every day. There are some ass-kicking, knee-slapping, ground-hugging funny links there like this Lord of the Rings "What if Jackson had to cut it to two hours?" scenario. Warning: Don't read these at work. Your boss will know for a fact you can't be working, because nobody's work is that funny.

On Daniel Pipes website: An article analyzing the class of people who become Islamic terrorists. Hint: Most of 'em aren't poor and uneducated.

Four months later...

So, let's see. Al Quaeda is deeply hurt, but not destroyed. Lower Manhattan is still nowhere near normal. The subway system is nearly back to normal, as is traffic. Estimates are that a million and a half people lost their jobs, directly and indirectly, due to 9/11. The flags aren't nearly as widespread as they used to be, and we're not having any big-star benefits to help the victims.

And yet, we have tens of thousands of troops all over the world being readied for the next step. Al Quaeda's money trail is being followed, and halted where possible. Dozens of countries are arresting terrorists. Prisoners of war are arriving at Guantanamo. The Philippines, a nation which threw our soldiers out a few years back when our lease was up, is gratefully accepting our help in fighting the Muslim terrorists on their soil, and it's likely we'll be sending more troops to places like Malaysia to do the same.

So it's definitely what George W. said it would be: The beginning of a long campaign. Here's hoping he has the stones to stick with it, because I don't want to see any other city's skyline change. Well, maybe Newark's, because, well, it's ugly. But let's us change it, willingly, please.--MAY



Red vs. Blue

This article in The Atlantic Monthly is one of the best analyses I've ever read about the social "divide" in America. It's sort of what I've been suspecting all along, even as I've been brainwashed into thinking how different we are. What a great read. Thanks, Dave.

More conspiracy theories

Here's a new Sept. 11 conspiracy theory, via Metafilter and The Daily Brew.

More links

This one's a funny one: The Spam Letters website. Jonathan Land shows us just how stupid the average spammer really is. Okay, that's an obvious conclusion, but hey--when you get a spam letter from someone telling you that you need help getting listed in directories because he found your site in Yahoo, you do have to wonder if there's intelligent life out there. (Yeah, I just picked up that spam for this week. I gave it to Jonathan to deal with.)

You must, must must read the Nigerian scam letters. I laughed so hard I cried.

In fact, I've just been inspired to open my own spam account and see how fast they scrape it off this page: Send me email! (But not you folks.) Can you parse out my super-secret code in the name?


Is anyone else as offended as I am at Zacarias Moussaoui's lawyer's reasoning for televising his client's trial? He wants it as "an added layer of protection, of fairness for other people to see and watch." As if cameras in the courtroom will make all the difference in the world. As if this was some two-bit country like, say, Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia, with a kangaroo court system made of clerics going by Islamic law instead of American jurisprudence, which is based on centuries of legal precedence going all the way back to the Hammurabic Code--something the current residents of the middle east might take pride in instead of that medieval, barbaric system they're using now that murders women on the word of their husbands for adultery, and cuts off the hands of thieves. But I digress.

What is most offensive is the implication that the trial will only be fair if it is televised. For God's sake, it's going to be the most intensely-watched trial since O.J.'s, with or without cameras. This trial couldn't be fairer if it were held anywhere else in the world. Hell, it would be more of a farce in France, where Mossauoui is a citizen, and where the defendants have to prove they're innocent, often to a judge, who has far greater discretionary powers than does his U.S. counterpart.

This, from citizens of the nation that gave us the Dreyfus Affair and Jean Marie le Pen. Let them eat--well, I won't finish that line. Don't have to. I'll let Mark Twain do it for me, in an excerpt from "Concerning the Jews", which he wrote after the Dreyfus Affair, via

I have no special regard for Satan; but, I can at least claim that I have no prejudice against him. It may even be that I lean a little his way, on account of his not having a fair show. All religions issue bibles against him, and say the most injurious things about him, but we never hear his side. We have none but the evidence for the prosecution, and yet we have rendered the verdict. To my mind, this is irregular. It is un-English; it is un-American; it is French. Without this precedent Dreyfus could not have been condemned.

Now you see why Twain's my literary idol.--MAY



The Walnut Principle

The above theory struck me as I was eating walnuts. Walnuts are now a food I have to be very careful eating. As you get older, the body gets less able to digest certain foods, and the acidity in many nuts makes them a food you can't digest easily. So rather than get a stomach-ache every time I want to munch out on walnuts, I buy them in the shell, and eat no more than four. Five, I have discovered, is beyond the limits of my walnut acidity tolerance. It sucks, but then, so do a lot of things.

But thinking about things like no longer being able to scarf down half a bag of shelled walnuts made me realize that there are two sides to this getting older thing. You have certain disadvantages, like no longer being able to drink like a fish and stay up for three days straight, but you also have advantages, like being able to laugh at pompous asses instead of taking them seriously, and not having to write term papers.

So I thought I'd list of few of the pros and cons of no longer having those twenty-something reflexes and stamina. First, the bad:

  • No more all-night parties
  • Don't even think about playing softball (let alone any vigorous sport) without warming up first
  • Sensitivity to sulfites = instant headaches, less wine-drinking
  • Being unable to stay up for all of Letterman--hell, barely being able to make it through his monologue
  • Dressing up for Halloween is too much trouble
  • Two drinks is your hangover-free limit
  • Having to put up with stupidity and mediocrity because you don't know any better
  • Being too old to think that "Stairway to Heaven" is one of the deepest songs ever written

Now the good:

  • No more all-night parties (and subsequent cleanup)
  • Not having to play things like softball
  • Sensitivity to sulfites = you don't have to pretend you like wine any more
  • Being unable to stay up for Letterman. (The monologue and Top Ten are usually all that's worth watching anyway.)
  • Dressing up for Halloween is too much trouble
  • Not acting like an idiot because you've had more than two drinks
  • Not having to put up with stupidity and mediocrity
  • Wondering how you could ever have thought "Stairway to Heaven" was deep

There are others, like not embarrassing people because they say or do something silly or stupid, being more tolerant of people's flaws, and, well, you tend to stop making fun of people--to their faces--as you get older. The true mark of maturity is being able to use sarcasm and insult out of the subject's hearing. There's a world of fun to be had in strolling down the avenue, commenting on strangers' fashion sense to your friends, while the stranger walks on blithely unaware of your interest. The younger set tends to do things like shout out crude remarks ("Hey, did your mother dress you in that this morning?") whereas I comment sotto voce to Heidi, "Did his mother dress him in that this morning?"

Maturity. It doesn't get much better than that.--MAY



Stopping terrorists at the gate

A few weeks ago, I deconstructed an AP article about what to do in case of a terrorist attack. Well, I read another AP article that has inspired me to suggest ways to stop terrorists before they board our planes.

It seems that officials have finally caught on to the fact that the wussy questions American travelers are asked ("Is that your luggage? Was it ever out of your possession? Are you carrying any bombs or explosive materials?") aren't necessarily enough to deter terrorists, let alone make them nervous enough that, say, someone might notice a fuse sticking out of their shoe. So the industry is thinking of asking tougher questions, but not as tough as the Israelis, who use racial profiling to single out potential terrorists and then subject them to an extensive background check, mostly because they're pretty convinced that a group of Jewish high school students from Long Island really are going to work on a kibbutz all summer, and probably won't blow up the plane, at least not on the way there. The ride home--all bets are off.

Well. As a patriotic citizen who is always ready to help my country, I have a list of questions that we should ask potential terrorists. This oughta make 'em sweat!

Question Normal answer Terrorist's answer
Are those your bags? Yes Yes, definitely, of course, no question, yep, uh-huh
Where did you buy them? J.C. Penney's Ahmad's Bargain Basement
How much did they cost? Excuse me? That's none of your damned business! 50 Riyals
Are you carrying any bombs or explosive devices? No! Does C-4 count as an explosive device if you haven't connected the fuses yet?
It says on your passport that the last country visited was Somalia. Why were you there? My plane made an emergency landing. Do you think I'd visit that country on purpose? I was not there to visit an Al-Quaeda training camp. I had to pick up a present for my nephew.
Are you carrying any weapons? No! No, that machete in my overnight bag is my nephew's present. It's a ceremonial machete; it has no real edge and can't hurt a fly. Ignore that foot-long rip in the bag, that was always there.
Are you aware that carrying weapons aboard an American airplane carries a potential lifetime Federal prison sentence? Yes. I give my life to Allah
Do you believe a black dog belongs to the devil? Are you NUTS? Doesn't everyone?
Look! It's a naked woman! Where? Where? [Closes eyes tightly and looks at floor]



Your assistance is requested

All right, folks, I have a decision to make that will greatly affect your reading habits here on If you've ever used the Indexed Archive page, you know that I generally try to give you an idea of what you'll be reading by using the subheads or making up new ones for the blogs of that particular week. But it's getting a little bulky, that page, and I'm trying to decide if I should keep on going on the same page for 2002, add a new page, add a new directory, or what.

I guess the question is: Does anyone use those pages? I can see they're accessed via the stats program, but are they truly useful to anyone but first-time users here? And are those people one-hit wonders, or are you returning? Until I get a cookie thing going, I can't get accurate information. (Don't make me resort to programming! I really mean it.)

Tell you what. Let me know. Click here and send me an email. I'll hold off on finishing the long archive pages until next weekend.

I can't stop myself

Every time I try to finish this blog and go to bed, another subject hits me, and, well, you know me. Blah, blah, blah.

Actually, I want to say hello to the new folks in town. I especially want to give a hearty hello to you folks from the military who are perusing my humble site. (That's false modesty, ignore it. I only brush it off for new visitors.) I don't know exactly where you are, only that you're coming from a .mil address, but I tip my hat to you for the great job you're doing. If any of you run across any more of Iseema bin Laden's diary, you know I'll publish it here.

Then there are the folks from the Organization of the National Academies. I kept seeing in my stats and wondering what school that was. Now I'm simply in awe, as their web site is so intellectual I feel stupid just reading their FAQ section. Of course, it may just be the night watchman looking for "funny stories about Osama bin Laden", which somehow leads searchers to my site, but hey--I have the National Academy of Sciences checking out my website. (I sure hope it's not just a spider. Please say it's not a spider.)

Now if only you new users--or some old users--would drop me a line or two. The Javascript email works for Netscape and IE now.

You know what the scariest statistic of all is? There are people out there still using Netscape 3.x. Ew, my site must look awful in that browser. C'mon, guys, at least upgrade to 4.7 and get CSS.

Links, links, links!

Funny, funny, funny link I got through Daypop's top 40: It's what happens when a help desk specialist has had enough of idiots.

Here's a serious link that I found a few days ago. is a blog written by a British Muslim whose mission is "Going after starry pan-Islamic futurists with a rubber glove and a sharp stick." It's a wonderful breath of logic and reason. Let me quote from his first blog from December of last year:

"When I am not out and about going after starry futurists with a rubber glove and a sharp stick, I also contribute as a member on the Executive Council of ‘Understanding Islam UK’, a research orientated organisation dedicated towards educating young Muslims to hold back from any Taliban-style tendencies that may be shoved into their faces from extremists. To this effect, I also often reside at another website as a part-time admin, doing odd jobs here and there, where you can access many interesting pieces by Moiz Amjad, an Islamic scholar. I happen to agree with most of the material that he publishes on the site, and anyhow, I am proud to be counted among his many friends. By the way, I certainly don’t pretend to claim to speak for all Muslims, as it's plainly obvious no one really can. Nevertheless, I am fascinated by Islam and Muslims, especially from a political perspective. Recent events have only provoked that interest. These days that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement. But judge for yourself."

It's people like Adil who make me realize that the world's Muslim population is not the enemy--only the ones who would pervert the message. Which is true of all religions.--MAY

Household hints

Do you ever read those household hint columns? Yeah, me neither. Except for once in a while. But I think I made one up by accident a few days ago. I was taking the old garbage out and putting a new bag in, when I dropped a dryer sheet in the plastic garbage can in my kitchen. So I decided to leave it there, figuring it would counteract that awfult garbage smell. Today, I took out the old garbage, which consists of the usual garbage-y type things, plus chicken, which, as everyone knows, creates the smelliest of garbages.

And the results of my experiment: Waste of a dryer sheet. Apparently, nothing truly covers up the smell of garbage like getting rid of the bag and cleaning the trash can every week.

Snow and cars and cats

It's been snowing and raining and snowing here in NJ. But no matter what happens the rest of the night, I am smiling an extremely smug smile tonight, because my Jeep is nestled warmly inside my (heated) garage. So tomorrow morning, all I have to do is open the garage door and drive the Jeep out. Unless, of course, there's a foot of snow, in which case I'll have to shovel a bit. There's not a lot of clearance between my Jeep's roof and the door to the garage. It's days like today that make having to pay extra for a garage worth it.

When the snow first came down, it was in huge, wet flakes that were about an inch or two in diameter. We got about an inch of snow in a hurry, and I encouraged Tig to experience his first real snowfall, as he really didn't go out at all until this summer. It was hilarious watching him. First he tried to decide if he should be chasing the snowflakes as they fell, but there were so many of them he couldn't concentrate on one long enough to chase it. Then he decided he didn't want to walk in the snow, so he stayed under the eaves of the building. But that didn't prevent the snow from landing on him, and you could almost see him thinking, "Ew! What was that? Ew! what was that?" every time a two-inch snowflake landed on his fur. Here's hoping the morning snow is substantial enough for me to let him out and watch him freak at the feel of snow on his paws. I haven't seen a cat shake the snow off its paws since I had his predecessor. Hm. I wonder if I can get him to chase snowballs?--MAY



A day off to become human

I spent all of yesterday trying to become human again, as opposed to a head-cold-suffering zombie, so of course I spent the afternoon watching tapes of old Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes. And one or two of Angel. I didn't like Angel's first season, so I have pretty much the first episode, the crossovers, and a few towards the end. It was an amusing, albeit bloody day.

And we have some more amusing search requests. One in particular I find rather amusing: "one day women in pakistan will wear skirts". Do you think the searcher perhaps meant Afghanistan? I also wonder if that isn't the same person who searched for "pakistani fashion magzines". The only thing stranger than this next request is that they found my site with it: "bosnia sex before marriage". Bosnia should never have sex before marriage; I believe that was part of the reason it split from Yugoslavia.

Whom do you suppose wants a "reese witherspoon tie"? The same person looking for a "chocolate mousse cake picture"? Or would that be a "tony kitaen", who, I imagine, is the buffer version of Tawny Kitaen. Or maybe the person searching for the "x10 camera girl". (There's a girl? Someone left that ad open long enough to actually see anything in it other than the word "x10 camera"?)

Greetings, Medofrd (sic)

I've been wanting to do this for a while. My host server uses Web Trends for stats, and they've had this typo in Medford, Oregon, since I've started keeping statistics. I'm betting they've had this typo in Medford, Oregon since they first wrote the webstats program. I'm pretty sure Medford is yet another hub for AOL, but I still want to say hello to my buddies out there.

I drove through Oregon a number of years ago, and spent the time between Christmas and New Year's (actually, a day or two after New Year's) in Rogue River, Oregon (population 923). It was an interesting time. Okay, not really, but it makes an interesting story. Someone should have told me never to buy a Chevy Vega--before I bought one and tried to drive it cross-country. I was 20 at the time, and traveling with, oh, about $40 in my pocket, my belongings, and my cat. She sat on my shoulder and the back of the seat for most of the drive. I put her in her carrier during city driving, as it's tough to shift gears with a cat on your right shoulder. I made it all the way to Haight-Ashbury before the car broke down again, but then it was only a broken fan belt and a drained battery. Easily (and cheaply) fixed, and I declined the invitation from the two hippies who told me I could crash at their party while waiting for AAA to get there. Alas, had it only been a couple of years earlier, I'd have been glad to.

It occurs to me today how incredibly dangerous and stupid it was for me to drive alone, cross-country, at the age of twenty. I'd never let any child of mine do that today.

Oh. And my cat did not like the champagne I put in her water dish on New Year's Eve, and drank none of it.--MAY