As Far As I Can Tell

Japan is now evil

The house is clean and the coffee is strong. Work is caught up and Cursive is in my cd player. Not a bad day.

The DKI website, which I’ve been programming for Copper for the last 6 months has finally gone live. Check it out at If you live in Kalamazoo, then it’s useful for locating business information and keeping up with downtown events. The design, writing, etc. are all the work of Copper, just the programming was done by me. Most of it was backend work that you can’t really see: admin tools to update the content, Excel file generators, etc.

The MacArthur Fellows for 2002 have been announced. These 24 individuals will receive $500,000 over the next three years, “no strings attached”, to further their work. The considerations of who to give the award to are not constrained by any one discipline, but are for those doing creative work in any field.

The winners are notified by telephone, and generally have no idea that they were under consideration beforehand. I think that’s awesome. I’m sick of contests that you have to enter, often paying money to do so. These people are doing work so great people took notice, and rewarded them.

I got the link to that off of Social Design Notes, a great new design weblog you should check out.

Tonight is a going away party in Kalamazoo for Bill Brieger; he leaves for Japan on Friday morning. I wish I would have known ahead of time that he was going so soon, since I can’t make it to Kalamazoo tonight. I’m going Friday, so I’ll have missed him by a matter of hours.

Good luck Bill, we’ll miss you.



HOORAY for Bill…what a crazy man.

Posted by: ovidovi on September 27, 2002 9:42 AM

I love pick-up trucks

Chicago hates pick-up trucks. They give them a special classification knows as a B-truck license. The first thing is that these types of licenses cost more, and the city stickers that you have to buy every year cost more too. I had come to except these facts when I found out about them nearly a month ago, but now I’ve learned that their hate runs deeper.

It’s illegal for a B-truck vehicle to park on a residential street, or on boulevards. Apparently they think that a pick-up can only be used for work, and that it’s presence in a residential neighborhood will upset the precious separation of leisure and work that we all escape to every night. In short, this means that it’s illegal for me to park my truck anywhere near my house.

The woman at the check cashing place that you go to get your licensing done (don’t ask) suggested one possible work around: register my truck as an RV. If a pick-up has a cap on it, then it can get an RV plate, which costs the same, but allows residential parking. I don’t have a cap on my truck, and I don’t plan on getting one, but I suppose that I can lie about it and get the plate. If questioned, I can tell them that I’ve removed the cap temporarily.

I have a phobia of police officers, particularly when it involves driving situations. This all started around 5 years ago when I got my drivers license suspended for too many traffic violations. Since then, I freak out around and void cops at any given chance. I think this new development with Illinois pick-up loathing is only going to further this underlying fear. I always seem to be on the cusp of legality, but never able to fully comply.

Update: I’ve found out that parking on the street with a pick-up truck is legal in about half of the wards in Chicago; unfortunately, not in the 35th ward, where I live. All the wards to the east and south of me allow it, but not mine.



jan.02 I was given a ticket for my non-commercial ford pick-up w/environmental plates while driving on LSD (I live about a block off LSD at Irving Park Rd). The ticket was cited as a violation of ordinance # 9-72-020 “no comercial vehicles” on LSD..needless to say, the ticket was dismissed because my pick-up is not a commercial vehicle..and I was advised to carry a copy of the ordinance in my visor. apr.04 i was ticketed again on LSD by a 151 trafic detail cop on LSD…he ticketed me for ‘no trucks’ on LSD under the state law (IVC) instead after I mentioned that the ordinance did not apply. what a jag. the citation was regarding ‘disobeying a traffic device’…referring to the sign on I55 just before McCormick place…I wasn’t even near there…I came from I290 then went north on LSD…and there are no signs anywhere regarding personal pick-up trucks then he gave me another ticket regarding my bumper height…which is legal by the way…he didn’t even measure…he just eye-balled it and wrote the ticket anyway now…i am in the process of making a formal complaint with the police dept, the aldermans office and the transportation committee oh…i went to the police station in my district at Halsted/Addison. Officer Bob Lottman has a GMC 4x4 pick-up which he says is legal to drive on LSD…he has ENVIRONMENTAL plates.

Posted by: Sydney Kernica on April 25, 2004 4:08 PM

Hi Sydney, I hope your experience with me helped you to feel a bit more relaxed as far as cops go. Just keep on fighting the city and King Richard, this city is always making up it’s own rules and is always picking and choosing what laws that it will follow as far as the state law goes. It’s the cities position that they will do what ever they like, till a lawsuit is filed and the court forces them to do the right thing. Bottom line Daley is a mutt

Posted by: Bob Lottman on July 31, 2004 10:29 PM

Chicago Birthday

Today was my fake birthday, or my Chicago birthday you could call it. We went to breakfast at Kaleidoscope and sat outside. It was almost too cold, but I’m willing to overlook the chill because I love this weather so much. Later on Meredith made me delicious homemade soup and apple crisp for a birthday lunch. I haven’t had apple crisp in years; it’s the ultimate fall desert. Thanks Meredith.

We just got back from watching last and this weeks episode of The Sopranos at Bada Bing. I wasn’t too impressed with the salad I had, but the setup for watching the show is great.



Up and Coming

So I finally got around to getting proper Illinois insurance on my moped and truck. Moped insurance was only $76 a year; I guess I can live with that. It’s definitely more expensive to own a moped in Illinois though. I was going to let it slide for a while without insurance, but the fear of getting caught has been making me leery about riding my moped. It’s up to a $500 fine for driving an uninsured vehicle, plus a ticket.

I went through Progressive, who didn’t have the absolute lowest price available for my truck, but had the cheap moped price. State Farm wanted to charge me $305 year for my Motobecane; I couldn’t even sell it for that. I could have got one with State Farm and the other with Progressive, but Progressive lets me manage my account online and it’s just easier to have it all with one company. Choosing convenience over money makes me a sucker.

I stumbled across the WMU Student Success Stories website last night. In order to get some funding to go on the New York trip my senior year we had to promise to keep the school up-to-date about our activities. I think they wanted to prove that the trip was somehow quantifiably advancing to our careers.

So, for my official blurb about my professional career throughout the years, keep an eye on that website.

Upcoming Chicago design events:

The Art of Innovation Ė Design Lessons from IDEO
September 25th, 6pm

AMCWebSig: Designing for Small Screens
October 1st, 5:30pm

Institute of Design Open House
October 3rd, 6pm

Design Carnival
October 12th, 8:30am

about, with, and for
October 19th, 9:30am



the jax is watching you.

Posted by: dan on September 22, 2002 12:02 AM

You’re tasty Mr. Pig

After quite a bit of trouble, I’m now running Windows XP Service Pack 1. This update includes 100s of fixes and patches, but rumor has it that it might make Windows Update stop working after October 2nd. I guess that Microsoft is trying to tighten up their security on their product activiation keys.

In other computer news, I’ve finally found an instant messaging program that I like: Trillian Pro 1.0. It works with any/all of the popular IM systems simultaneously, plus has support for reading XML news feeds like headlines and weather. The most important part to me however is that the interface is a lot nicer than AOL, and the away window doesnít’ have to stay open and show in the taskbar (the single thing that makes me not use AOL IM).

The Jax started to very seriously piss me off today when I woke up to an email full of obvious lies about his non-corporation Moped Navy. Lots of claims about how he’s going to sue me and how he wants me to put a disclaimer on my website saying that the Moped Army is not affiliated with him, since he complied and did a similar thing when we asked him to.

Note: The person who is being copied doesn’t has to put a disclaimer anywhere stating their lack of association, it’s implied. That’s like Dr. Perky asking Dr. Pepper to put a disclaimer on their soda cans saying that they have nothing to do with them.

My end conclusion is to not waste any more of my time on this guy. He can live in his fantasy lands all he wants, as long as he stops contacting me. I don’t plan on talking to him again; hopefully he’ll just go away. The fact that he chose to create an organization with such an obviously ripped off name does annoy me though…we’ll see how long I can keep quiet.

While looking for that link above, I came across some really cool Dr. Pepper ripoff related websites:



Roberto Matta

Yesterday I took advantage of the MCA’s free day, and saw a showing of Roberto Matta’s early work. I wasn’t familiar with him before the show, and only knew that he was a surrealist. His work differs from most surrealism that I’m familiar with though, more abstract and only vaguely figurative.

He was born in Chile, and studied both architecture and interior design, even working for Le Corbusier at one time. This background is evident in his paintings, showing up in his attention to detail and structure. He often uses lines that can alternately be read as either topographic or defining some sort of vortex. There seems to be varying areas of gravitational pull sprinkled throughout the canvas, distorting and attracting the objects nearby.

Unfortunately, the most comprehensive site about Matta is now offline due to a cease and desist order that was served to them. Thank god for the Wayback Machine. Check out this massive gallery of Matta’s work, categorized chronologically.

The Bachelors Twenty Years After The Bachelors Twenty Years After, 1943, 96.5 × 127 cm.

Science, conscience et patience du Vitreur Science, conscience et patience du Vitreur, 1944, 200 × 450 cm.

A Grave Situation A Grave Situation, 1946, 137.2 × 195.6 cm.

Je m'honte Je m’honte, 1948-9, 195.5 × 142.2 cm.



Photos taken on my walk back from breakfast

The Logan



i am digging on the pictures. last time i came over to your house i noticed the advertisement above. i think $2 is a really good deal and if i had a dog (large or small) i would definitely call that person, despite ther extremely poor handwriting.

Posted by: ovidovi on September 17, 2002 12:08 PM

In trying to break down the horryifying attributes of the doll I think they are as follows: she has a toddler body but old lady hair and lipstick. Also, her expression is not one of joy or cuteness but really just terror/shock. I want to buy her for the kitchen.

Posted by: meredith on September 18, 2002 4:29 PM

Sweater Weather

Meredith and I brought our mopeds with us to Michigan this weekend. We rode around in the cool, partially rainy air in sweatshirts and hats. I’m so glad summer is over. I’ve missed you fall.

It was good to go to Ann Arbor to visit my brother too. His apartment building has huge windows overlooking the street, and each apartment is color coded, letting him tell people that he lives in the yellow apartment, instead of the number. He’s 20 years old; I guess that means I’m nearly 24.

I recently finished the 3rd season of The Sopranos on DVD. I don’t have HBO, and I wasn’t looking forward to another years wait to watch the upcoming season. Luckily I walked by the Bada Bing on North Ave. the other day. They’re going to be showing the episodes every Sunday night, along with all you can eat spagetti for $7.00. Perfect.

It’s the second fall that I’m not starting school, and I still feel weird about it. What am I supposed to be doing with my life? I spend all day at home working on fairly boring projects for quite boring clients. It’s work that I’m good at doing, but it’s not a challenge and there’s never good critique or dialogue. I have no good way to meet people, and I have no current “plan”.

You can get away with coasting by for around a year after graduating, but then you have to get down to business and start working towards your next goal. Step 1: What are my goals?

I’m about ready to agree with the Unabomber that we’d all be better off being able to fulfill our natural power processes. If I had to spend all day fighting or foraging for food to keep me alive, then that would be my meaning.

Maybe I’ll buy a paper shredder. If you’re not in the know, shredding paper is highly satisfying.



In dublin there are many streets that look like this: They say it’s to keep the men from staggering into the wrong apartment when they come home drunk at night. Maybe serving the same purpose in a college town?

Posted by: andrea on September 18, 2002 3:24 PM

That white farm house on US12

Meredith and I decided to check out the Around the Coyote art festival in Wicker Park tonight. It’s an all weekend affair where lots of businesses and galleries host art shows and performances.

There were a few great artworks, but you had to find it amongst some pretty bad work. There was one building in particular that had three artists I liked: Pamela Callahan’s paintings, Bert Menco’s prints, and Mary King’s drawings.

The odd part came when we started to talk to Mary King. Meredith started the conversation because she bought a drawing, and asked her where she was from. It turns out that she used to live and teach in Kalamazoo. As conversation continued she mentioned that she is originally from a “small town in Michigan near the Indiana border”. You guessed it: Sturgis.

She asked what my parentís names are, and they didn’t ring a bell. So I brought up that my Dad has a farm operation in Burr Oak, and she remembered the size of the grain bins and farm setup. Then she mentioned that her brothers had sold a farm once to “the King brothers” — my Dad and my Uncle, King Farms.

It turns out that this woman’s Grandfather built the house that I grew up in. Her mother bought the house and the land it was on from her Grandmother, where it eventually passed into her two brotherís ownership. Not only that, but her brothers, whose last name was Fro, started the Fro nursing home down the street that my Dad worked at during the war instead of going into service.

It was amazing that out of nowhere this coincidence spiraled forward. She knew the layout of the house, and asked what room was mine when I lived there. It used to be her Grandmotherís room after her husband died. She had kept up with the house too, noting that there was an addition built on to it, which my Mom had built a few years before we moved to town.

I signed her mailing list, so maybe next time she has a show I’ll go and talk to her more. It was a really sort of strange and magical moment — randomly meeting the woman whose Grandfather built the house that all your childhood memories live in. She actually used the phrase reminisce to describe our conversation. Thatís oddly what it was, two strangers reminiscing over a house they both knew as children.



it’s also interesting that she now has the same last name as you.

Posted by: Allison on September 15, 2002 9:46 AM

I am glad to see a new entry and new functionality. where are the pictures?

Posted by: ivo on September 16, 2002 12:01 PM

Photos will show up in the posts like always. I decided not to do a photo viewer. Linking them to a specific date and entry seemed more straight forward.

Posted by: simon on September 16, 2002 12:14 PM

that’s insane, simon! what a great coincidence! and I like your page as well. nice, nice, functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Posted by: andrea on September 18, 2002 3:15 PM

that’s magical.

Posted by: jim withington on December 5, 2002 8:05 PM

Back in Business

So after no entries for a month and a half, I’m back. I got sick of the weblog, thought I wanted to redesign, and decided that I really just needed an easier way to update it. So I’ve integrated it in with Moveable Type, a weblog management system. The advantages are:

  • Easier to update/manage.
  • A comment system so you can respond to post (please do).
  • Group of posts into categories (on the right-hand side - soon).

While I haven’t been updating, other people have started weblogs:

I’m going to Michigan this week for my brothers birthday lunch in Ann Arbor. The rest of the weekend I’ll be spending in Kalamazoo, hanging out and hopefully getting a haircut. A concern for this weekend: I have to be near a computer around 9:30am on Sunday, because I have to win this eBay auction. I mean really, I have to win it.

Tons has happened in the last month and a half of no updates; I can’t go back through it all. From now on I’ll refer to this as my weblog black period, and refuse to talk about it. The mystery will keep you up at night, and drive you mad during the day. Don’t bother with bribes, these secrets of my day to day humdrum are above any monetary value.



As far as who can tell?

Chicago, IL

Also available via RSS.

Micro Updates