As Far As I Can Tell

My Week

Looking for a new place to live is the activity of the week. On Tuesday we went to Kalamazoo to look at three different apartments with one of them being a possibility. Today we’ve set up three more to check out this weekend, and hopefully I can add to that list tomorrow. I want to find some place that feels right. It’s hard to beat our current Chicago home.

I’m finding out that more places than I thought won’t let you have pets of any kind. How much harm could one cat do? Apparently more than some people want to chance. If they knew Birdie they’d change their minds.

Yesterday Meredith and I went to the Pasta Bowl for delicious Italian food before seeing a really good move, City of God. It’s about the lives of various people growing up in a slum in Brazil. It’s incredibly well done and even with a long running time stayed interesting throughout. Recommended.

Tonight Ivo came over for some soup and then we headed to the Fireside to see Matt Pond PA and Elliot. The former as good as their CD but not more and the later bored us enough we left early.

It seems that the Fireside has done a lot of repairs lately. The ceiling looked better than I remember it and new dividers keep the music separated from the lanes. It’s good to see improvements since the rumors are always flying that it’s on the verge of closing.

Finally, after months and months of work — some of it going all the way back to August of last year — the new Biggs-Gilmore website has launched. This is the largest Flash project I’ve ever done and the only all Flash website. There will be updates to do over the next few months but I’m relieved it’s finally up.



A few things: 1. Cats are a problem because, with bad owners, the allergens and smell of cat piss can linger for a loooong time. I’m allergic, and therefore despise felines. :) 2. The Fireside improved stuff? Weird. I’m guessing this is much more due to the recent night club shit than anything else. They aren’t in danger of closing now—I heard the city is diverting funds away from parks due to 9/11 (!), so they won’t be expanding the park and hence closing it after all. 3. Checked out the site. It is interesting to see your emo design tendencies wrapped around a consulting site.

Posted by: jim withington on March 28, 2003 6:50 AM

Not surprised that you weren’t *wowed* by Matt Pond PA or Elliott. I find MPPA to be quite the snoozer. Their latest effort is up at WIDR, not impressed. I used to love Elliott because of the Falling Forward connection. Both of their albums had some good songs, with good hooks, but really fell into that “SDRE grandious rocker emo template.” BTW. If I hadn’t mentioned it already, it’ll be nice to have you back in Kalamazoo… even if only I get to enjoy it for a month or so.

Posted by: eric on March 28, 2003 7:12 AM

Jim: I hadn’t thought of the allergy side of things. I guess that makes sense. What’s up with diverting funds for parks due to 9/11? Is that just because the money is being used up elsewhere now? Eric: Thanks. It will be good to be back during the summer, my favorite Kalamazoo season.

Posted by: simon on March 28, 2003 8:42 AM

yeah, we’ll be glad to have you back! i’m also sticking around this summer, before i leave the country.

Posted by: miguel on March 28, 2003 11:36 PM

i checked out the site, it looks great. you did an amazing job. also, it will be exciting to have you back in kalamazoo. let me know if i can help with any of the moving.

Posted by: mark on March 29, 2003 6:47 AM

oh, yeah, i forgot to mention that i checked out the site. it’s really slick. kudos again!

Posted by: miguel on March 30, 2003 10:45 PM


Posted by: meredith on March 31, 2003 11:09 AM

yeah, firehouse was a great band. not as good as firehose of course, but definately underated and overlooked the in grand scheme of 90’s hair metal.

Posted by: Eric on March 31, 2003 12:29 PM

Perhaps look for a place with hardwood flooring? No carpet = no allergens getting trapped in it, maybe? The last place I lived in Kzoo (523 w. south) has hardwood floors…although I think its only efficiency apts so that wouldn’t really work. I wish I could remember the name of the landlord. He had multiple properties. Last name started with a T… and he was really nice….hrrrmmmm….. Good luck w/the apt. hunting….

Posted by: ruth celine smith on April 1, 2003 9:19 PM

Since you now live back in Kzoo, and you obviously have good web design skills, you should check out Zooropa I used to work there when I lived in Kalamazoo before I came to Chicago to study web design. Zooropa has done many big name sites, and they have a unique style about them. I dont know if you have a secure job in Kalamazoo, but if you dont it would be an ideal place for you to work. I also think they need a person with database knowledge. Check em out!

Posted by: Curt C on August 1, 2003 1:53 PM

Chicago War Protest, Day 2



Even though I disagree w/ your position on the war, I respect that you’re taking action based on your principles. Stay safe in those streets; avoid the crazies (on both sides).

Posted by: miguel on March 22, 2003 3:19 PM

i am in the process of trying to psych myself up to take my video camera to start documenting the war protests. at some point i’ll definitely need a new, much longer-lasting battery. good for you for taking part.

Posted by: jim on March 24, 2003 11:30 AM


I’m getting really sick of the relationship that the anti-diplomacy crowd is trying to continually drawn between this current war and 9/11. Does anyone really think that this is a justifiable part of the war on terror or that Saddam Hussein was the mastermind behind our homefront attacks? Have they all been that duped by the PR campaign our government has been running? Defending our nation against those who attacked us or pose an imminent threat is justifiable by force. The opposite is true here, where the CIA openly admits that attacking Iraq increases our likelihood for homeland attacks and that unprovoked Saddam is unlikely to use weapons of mass destruction in the “foreseeable future”.

Fuck this attitude that if you’re not for the war you’re somehow pro-Saddam. Nobody is defending him, they’re defending the diplomatic process of peacefully resolving a problem through an international community. Us being being attacked does not make us the world’s renegade police force.

Below are some recent pro-war posters that use the nonsensical slogan “We gave peace a chance and we got 9-11”. WHAT?



It just goes to show the simple-mindedness of the majority of Americans. Feed us “patriotism.” Yum. Eat it up. That’s the “right” thing to do. I mean really!! Since when is it that you can’t question an administration’s actions and policies??? Oh, that’s right… always. I’m obviously an America hater because I oppose war.

Posted by: Eric on March 21, 2003 9:57 AM

I don’t think it’s that simple. The simple-minded attack could go both ways. I don’t think Hussein was that involved w/ al Qaeda, but I suspect some indirect links. But getting rid of him is a good idea. I’ve spelled out my reasons on my blog. As to diplomacy. Politics and war go hand in hand. I also hoped for diplomacy, but that required a stick. So long as you wield a strong stick, you can make good diplomatic demands. The French took away our stick, making war more likely. Finally, what about the Iraqi people? So far, we’ve not killed many at all. Iraqi TV only tells of one dead in Baghdad. And reporters w/ the troops are dumfounded that the troops rolling north are greeted by waving Iraqi citizens. Huh? Could it be possible the Iraqi people DO want to be liberated?

Posted by: miguel on March 21, 2003 11:18 AM

I am playa hatin’ on America. Word. I would like to imagine the blond lady above is singing Stars and Stripes Forever. Oh, please tell me she is, that would just be so spectacular. Simple minded majority—I have been known to utter such pretentious words before.

Posted by: ivo on March 21, 2003 2:54 PM

One of the chefs at work today kept quoting all these polls & statistics saying that 70% of Americans support Bush’s decision to attack, with some 10 or 15% against the war and 5% very opposed to war. I must know a hell of a lot of people of that 5%- I was with 10,000 of them last night downtown. Where do these statistics come from? It seems so implausable that there are that many supporters of the war, what with everything going on. Maybe I live in a bubble, I don’t know.

Posted by: vanessa on March 21, 2003 5:08 PM

your chef friend isn’t entirely wrong or right. go to the polls. the split is more like 60/30 or so. i’ve seen some has high as 75/25. part of the reason why it “seems” that anti-war demonstrations are a majority is that it’s probably a very active minority. after all, people don’t go out to the streets to support the status quo. however … polls don’t make a position right. it could be 99/1 or 1/99. it would be irrelevant. every one of us is entitled to make up his/her own mind on the issue based on the evidence - regardless of the consequences. the only sad thing is that much of the anti-war movement is made up of young people. they don’t tend to vote very often. had they voted two years ago, maybe bush wouldn’t be president. just my two cents. btw, i voted socialist.

Posted by: miguel on March 21, 2003 10:20 PM

Miguel I find it interesting that you continually flaunt your socialist standpoint when the Socialist Party of this county is officially against the war.

Posted by: meredith on March 22, 2003 10:05 AM

I no longer count myself a socialist, for the record. Though I still have tendencies. I posted an article before by a life-long British socialist who supports the war. She spells out her reasons on socialist lines. The kind of socialists I like (e.g. the ones that volunteered to fight in the Spanish Civil War and kept urging the US to enter the War from 1939 on) would, I think, support a war to liberate an oppressed people. I voted Socialist, but I’m still entitled to make up my own mind. Oh, and I’ll probably never vote Socialist again.

Posted by: miguel on March 22, 2003 11:59 PM

I didn’t want to vote anything other than democratic last election, because the race was too close. I voted against Bush. Voting for any other party would have resulted in less support for the democrats, which are the only other party that would have been voted in who are better than republicans.

Posted by: allison on March 23, 2003 8:56 AM

Miguel, if you don’t consider yourself a socialist and you will never vote with that party again, why do you keep mentioning that you voted socialist. I’m not sure I understand you motives here.

Posted by: meredith on March 23, 2003 10:41 AM

the point was just to point out that i’m not a bush supporter. but i also don’t trust democrats (i wasn’t about to vote for a white southerner whose wife founded the pmrc). it’s also simply a statement of fact. if you prefer, i’ll stop mentioning it. but i’m tired of people assuming that just because i support this war i must’ve voted for bush and love the republican party.

Posted by: miguel on March 23, 2003 2:13 PM

Miguel, Do you really think we’re getting all of the facts when it comes to the number of Iraqi people that are killed? The Iraqui people who were waving us in could definately be Shitte Muslims who have absolutely no love for Saddam. We definately don’t seem to be waltzing in without resistance, especially the closer we get to Baghdad.

Posted by: Eric on March 23, 2003 2:29 PM

the number of dead i reported was from the iraqi press briefings. they claimed (the first day) 3 dead and some hundred or so wounded. so that’s where i got my numbers from. if anyone was going to inflate the numbers, it’d be the iraqi propaganda officer. i’ve been watching cnn every night and he gives daily press briefings. mostly he launches into tirades against the “zionist international oil mafia”, but he also does things like tell us how many civilians (he claims) were killed/wounded and also introduce tapes of our pows being tortured and executed.

Posted by: miguel on March 23, 2003 11:40 PM

i find it sick and appalling that anyone could support this “war.” what is really interesting to me (if the mainstream press isn’t all propaganda) is the great lengths that we are supposedly going to in order to help iraqi troops surrender, or even to try not to bomb buildings that might have personnel inside them. it makes me feel like america isn’t quite the evil that i’ve been thinking we are for quite some time. but i really like what simon has to say—that dimplomacy may have worked, and that the threat of attacks here at home would be increased by this war. i’m planning to live in chicago proper for the first time in my life this fall and it is scaring the fuck out of me that people might be running around with nerve gas or dirty bomb or some such thing just waiting for an el train full of people coming back from a cubs game.

Posted by: jim on March 24, 2003 11:15 AM

jim, i support this war in part to eliminate that very fear. i can understand that people don’t support a war. war is never an easy thing to support. but to say it’s “sick” does a diservice to the many reasons for it. even iraqi tv reports only a few deaths and injuries last night. i think we are definitely going well out of our way to avoid killing civilians and doing unecessary damage. i hope we learn from this that we are indeed a civilized people. unlike some of the jackals we’re fighting.

Posted by: miguel on March 24, 2003 1:29 PM

This site keeps an account of all Iraqi civilian dead: Right now, it is probably over a 300, and since this war isn’t even half over with the worst yet to come, it seems very likely the total will be very high in the end. I do not support this war. From what I have seen on TV, very few Iraqis seem to either, I don’t know what everyone else is looking at. In the rare cases where our troops do get a wave as they pass by, I think Iraqi civilians are just being nice to the people with the big guns. Please read what a REAL Iraqi has to say at this journal: That site is considered to be authentic. If you value knowledge, read the entire thing. While they do want a regime change they sure as hell didn’t ask for a war.

Posted by: Thoughty on March 29, 2003 12:40 AM

yep, i’ve been reading salam pax’s website for months now. read the WHOLE thing. he’s not pro-us by any means. but read it and see that he points out: 1) that hussein is a brutal tyrant that must bo and 2) the us war has limited civilian casualties (he’s been impressed by that on more than one occasion). it’s a great blog. and i hope salam pax (not his real name, of course) is ok. but read the WHOLE thing.

Posted by: miguel on April 1, 2003 1:51 PM

India’s Hero

Moped in a box

All wrapped up

Almost everything is already assembled

Dan redying parts

A complete new moped

In the last photograph you can see a metal attachment that looks a little like a grill cover below the seat. Dan and I assumed this was for attaching things to but it turns out that it’s a sari guard. It’s a standard and necessary feature in India and keeps a woman’s sari from getting caught in the back wheel. Apparently in India it’s common for women to ride double, sit sidesaddle, and not hold on to the driver.



i love the idea of specific cultural enhancements made to technology.

Posted by: miguel on March 20, 2003 11:34 PM

what a beautiful moped, i love it. mark keystroke, my weblog

Posted by: mark on March 24, 2003 9:16 AM

Killing you slowly

In a recent issue of Punk Planet there’s an Iraq travel journal by an American who was illegally bringing needed food and medical supplies to the Iraqi people. He visited a lot of hospitals and talked to the doctors about their need for supplies that are blacklisted and classified as “dual use”. I guess virtually anything with a motor or stainless steel is banned from import.

The journal also talks about how the cancer rate and number of birth defects has risen dramatically since the gulf war in ‘91. To everyone’s best guess the reason is the use of depleted uranium (DU) within weapons and shields used by the US Armed Forces.

Many nations are now calling on the US to not use the same DU equipped weapons in the war that will most likely begin in two days. The US is refusing, saying they “question the motives” of anyone who would want them to not use DU and denying any medical consequences of it’s use. Colonel James Naughton of US Army seems to have the concerned nations and people all figured out:

“Why do they want it to go away? They want it to go away because we kicked the crap out of them, OK?”

Lots of news stories about DU in Iraq are linked here courtesy of the Campaign Against Depleted Uranium.

I wonder how long it will take before some media hotshot coins the term that history uses to define this coming war. My suggestions:

  • Bushzilla takes the Middle East
  • He is a terrorist and this war proves it
  • A cowboy always rides alone
  • My name is Inigo Montoya, no wait, I mean…

The worst part is that if we go to war I want it to be over as quickly as possible with low causalities. Yet I also want Bush to fall flat on his face before the next election so we can get out of this bizarro-America we’re been living in.




I dislike Bush. Yet I support this war. Unfortunately, we’ll have to do some pretty rotten things if we want to win quickly - which, paradoxically, will lower the casualty rates (for both sides) in the long run. I hope it ends soon. But, mostly I wish Hussein had cooperated, or gone into exile, or done something, anything, to comply w/ the UN resolutions and saved his people another war. But then again, his record shows that he doesn’t really care much for his people. His torture techniques - as the reports have come out for years - indicate that he’s on a whole new level of sinister.

Posted by: Miguel on March 18, 2003 7:49 PM

It IS bizarro America lately. I have found some examples lately that are out of the norm: 1) talked to cute blonde co-worker circa 18 years old. didn’t know the significance of Jesus: teachings, birth story, resurrection story, his jewishness (not that that is new). But purported her Catholicism and denounced Islam as being “too much” 2) find many people online spouting intelligentish rhetoric with many AOL abbreviations like ‘ppl’, ‘lol’, ‘W’, and an overly bad use of commas. 3) STILL cannot find anyone that will give me the hookup on livejournal’s password so I don’t have to manually go through my favorites all the time to see what you fuckers have posted! 4) people are rallying en masse against this war in greater numbers than Viet Nam ever saw with no effect, no police brutality to speak of, and with almost no knowledge of what they are talking about. It’s really weird. Hope you are feeling happy these days Simon. You need to give me a holla and let me know when to hook up. I NEED that flash program! Teehee. It would be nice to see you guys again too. Love through the war. Love, Micah

Posted by: Micah on March 21, 2003 1:12 AM

Spring. Finally.

It’s Monday, and a good weekend just passed. Friday was Indian food and a movie, discovering yet another section of the city I’ve never been. Saturday kept us all so happy with it’s sun that we couldn’t stop for cleanliness. Once the sun went down there was more good food and Too Much Light.

Yesterday Dan and Lauren came to build and deliver a moped. We were schooled about Indian moped accessories and hauled the bike up 6 floors including the granite lobby. And I thought having mine in the basement was inconvenient.

I’m becoming obsessed with the noise my computer makes and I’m researching how to fix it. This year’s spring upgrade will be cosmetic and quiet.



Oh! check out Mysore Woodlands or Gandhi (across the street from Viceroy)- both excelent choices. Mysore Woodlands (which is totally vegetarian) seems the most authentic, but I’m not sure if that’s based on reality or the fact that the food is so spicy it’s mostly full of Indian’s eating there. Oddly enough, the owners of Mysore are opening a restaurant in Ann Arbor right across the street from my old high school. Tiffen is also nice- the owner is very friendly & personable. They have the most european dining room on the street- it’s a bit more formal but the prices are still competitive w/ all the other restaurants around there. I know that one just closed, but next time you’re on Devon check out one of the sweet shops after dinner. You can get small portions of many different sweets and it’s very interesting. Some are decorated with metal leaf- don’t worry, it’s totally edible. On hot summer days, there are carts on every corner where you can get a fresh coconut chopped open and a straw to drink the juice with.

Posted by: vanessa on March 17, 2003 2:38 PM

1. Death 2. Taxes

I’ve spent entirely too much time working on my Taxes today. I have the program, I have all the paperwork, I have meticulous archives of every receipt and pay stub from 2002 — yet after 7 hours I’m still not ready to file.

It all comes down to being confused about living in two different states. I’ve worked entirely for Michigan companies but I’ve lived in Illinois for half of the year. Do you pay taxes based on where the money comes from on where you live? To make matters worse I have all sorts of different kinds of income such as regular wages, 1099-MISC income, dividends and interest. Each one seems to be handled differently in a multi-state situation.

I think I have it figured out that I need to file to both states as a partial resident. I’m guessing that each state gets to tax me on whatever money I made while living in their state. Does anyone know about this stuff? Has anyone else ever had a similar situation?

My other complication is I’m filling a Schedule C for the first time. Nearly all my money came from being self employed this year and I’m finding it makes this process much more complicated. On the upside I got to “write-off” my printer.

I’m going to Sturgis tomorrow to visit my grandparents and parents. I’m going to build a new moped hauler for my truck too. Sometimes I refer to my moped hauler as the “multi-purpose hauler”. It seems like it would be annoying when using the truck bed for anything other than mopeds, but that’s not the case. The groove let you wedge almost anything into place and the extra eyelets make it easy to strap things down securely. Everyone should have a multi-purpose hauler.

I’m also going through Kalamazoo to pick up a moped Dan is selling to Niti and see how the shop is coming along.



if you don’t find out your tax-related questions soon enough, let me know and i can pass them along to my dad (an accountant). he might know.

Posted by: miguel on March 13, 2003 7:05 PM

On the tax tip: you only have one residence. The state of residence gets the tax (Illinois) no matter where the money comes from. The companies that pay you out of state pay their own taxes. Hope this helps! BTW…how bout that get together? We are on Spring Break here so let us know. Love, Micah

Posted by: Micah on March 16, 2003 7:56 AM


I’m kicking myself for not going to SXSW yet again. Every year I drool over the panel discussions and rock shows. Why don’t I ever go? Why does it have to be in Texas?

Panels by day
Bands by night

I’ve noticed that rap music, no matter how bad, can be listenable for short periods of time much more than bad rock music. This might just be because I’m a relative novice to the genre, but if I’m scanning radio stations for some background music I’ll stop on generic hip-hop over generic pop any day.



i hear ya. i’m the same way about country stations. not my first choice in music, but a heckufalot better than top40 poprock.

Posted by: miguel on March 7, 2003 11:43 AM

I also agree with bad rap vs. bad pop. I will shamelessly admit to listening to Jay-Z or Notorious BIG because it is mind numbing and somewhat fun. Creed or Alien Ant Farm — I start cussing about the current state of pop music and how radio has been ruined by big business.

Posted by: ivo on March 7, 2003 1:11 PM

you should really update more often. I should really stop using your weblog to tell you things when I could just shout into the next room.

Posted by: meredith on March 12, 2003 7:49 PM

Correctly spelled photos

If you use a Windows computer and run Internet Explorer you should really check out ieSpell. It’s a free program that integrates with your browser to give you spell checking on any web page. Just right click in the form and choose “Check Spelling”.

This is super useful if you post to a lot of weblogs since rarely is there integrated spell checking. It’d be slicker if it could use my existing custom word dictionary from other applications like Word, but either way it’s awesome.

I know this post is kind of boring, but now you have no excuse for spelling errors in any comments you post.

Here are some photos I’ve taken in the last couple of weeks:

The Prom The Prom at The Space

Meredith at The Prom Meredith at The Prom show

1977 Cleanup Dave being a powerhouse crowbar wielder

1977 Cleanup Josh helping tear shit up with a claw hammer



what a nice program. what I’m wondering is, why is it 2.38MB? I know that the program encompasses very many english words, but still… on a side note: I was wondering through your archives while waiting for dreamcast games to download from mIRC and I’ve notice that you used to put photos onto your weblog with more frequency. of course, I mention this on a entry that actually has photos but still is there any reason for this?

Posted by: jake on March 6, 2003 3:19 AM

No real reason, except maybe that taking photos outside is more fun and my camera does a better job at it. I don’t spend much time outside these days. I’ll try to keep the photos coming. As for the file size on ieSpell, I’m guessing that you’re right in assuming most of it is the dictionary file. I’ve seen extensive dictionaries that are 10MB in plain text format. The installer is probably another 400K and the runtime librarys that have to be included even if they’re already installed and not needed probably taken another 800K.

Posted by: simon on March 6, 2003 6:34 AM

i refuse to spell check my comments, so ha! side note—what are you guys ripping the shit out of there?

Posted by: jim on March 7, 2003 10:12 AM

Needed: Real Estate Scouts

I’ve started looking for an apartment in Kalamazoo and have been unfortunately reminded that nearly every lease starts and ends in August. The difficulty of apartment searching is compounded even more by the fact that I don’t live nearby. This is where you come in—I need your help.

I’m looking for a decent sized 2 bedroom place in the Vine/K College/Downtown/Stuart neighborhoods. I need a decent amount of space because I have a lot of stuff, plus an area to lock my mopeds up. Basements and garages are nice but not required. Total rent needs to be around $600.

It needs to be available in June, though mid-May would work too. If you live in Kalamazoo and see or hear of a place like that for rent, please let me know. The person who hooks me up gets a party thrown for them in the new house.

These are the Kalamazoo online rental sites I know of. Drop me a line if you know of any other resources I should be checking.

I wish all of these sites would have more photos. If I had a decent amount of views from the inside and out I could almost decide without seeing it.



As far as who can tell?

Chicago, IL

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