As Far As I Can Tell

Bronco Bash

I spent yesterday helping Dan try to sell mopeds to college kids at the WMU Bronco Bash. It’s an event where mostly freshmen go to find out about organizations on campus as well as local merchants. Basically it boils down to frats and cell phone companies giving away free stuff while the local alternative rock station plays music too loudly.

The 1977 Mopeds booth was set up inside of a parking structure, which at least kept us out of the sun. Every once in a while some of us would go work the crowd, passing out handbills with moped information on them. A few people seemed interested, but most just stuffed the flyer into their cup-o-crap.

While there were no sales, it was a good marketing opportunity for the shop. Now at least kids know that there’s a place in town to buy mopeds if they’re interested. I think it’ll need to be followed up by some consistent on campus flyering throughout September.

One of the things I learned at Bronco Bash was that the “ironic trucker-cap” square should be retired from Hipster Bingo. This season that’s the frat boys’ headwear of choice.

Trucker Brothers

Misc Bronco Bash Madness



i like the cowboy inserted into what seemingly is a good photo collage of people i hate. i like cowboys. i hate fratties. also, as far as i’m concerned… the meshback should have never been on hipster bingo to begin with… i know, i know… irony rules the hipster world, but they’re *just plain stupid.*

Posted by: e_prime on August 29, 2003 8:11 AM

The trucker hats were so over months ago when Ashton Kutcher started sporting them. There was even an article in the New York Times about how they were no longer fresh. The frat boys are fashion chumps once again.

Posted by: meredith on August 29, 2003 9:22 AM

Yikes. Trucker hats need to be done and over with, unless worn without a complete sense of irony.

Posted by: Naz on August 29, 2003 10:40 AM

Here’s the thing that sucks for me. I don’t wear foam style trucker caps and never have, but I do wear farm caps (Pioneer, Asgrow). I don’t cock them to the side, and I honestly wear them as a nod of homage to my father and grandfather who are farmers and grow those types of seed. Yet it comes off looking like I’m a lame-ass ironic weenie.

Posted by: simon on August 29, 2003 11:10 AM

I hate that those hats are trendy now. I have my trusty Port Hope hat from junior high baseball, but I can’t wear it because it looks like I’m trying to be fashionable. I hate ironic fashion that isn’t really ironic because it’s available at Urban Outfitters!

Posted by: Tim on August 29, 2003 11:50 AM

Fashion Alert!! Those boys need to catch up with the times! Don’t they know the coolest new thing are sombreros! Other great accesories: eye patches, capes, babies (a la Gucci), Plastic injection-molded space boots, bandanas for ankles-calves-wrists-head, gold chains (forget platinum). I would really like to see fangs come back (what up Wu Tang Clan?).

Posted by: ivo on August 29, 2003 2:25 PM

i’m gonna bring back non-sado-masicistic themed, bare-assed, chap wearing. so when you see ashton kutcher sporting them six months down the line… remember… it all started here, baby.

Posted by: e_prime on August 29, 2003 5:01 PM

Simon, I’m pretty sure that you’d like this online comic anyway, but the newest update is definitely poignant to this thread: nothing nice to say.

Posted by: e_prime on August 30, 2003 9:13 PM

funny, i always thought of those as “farmer caps,” since my hometown had many farmers/farmer kids that wore the john deere version and other related kinds. i had a bass pro shop one that i got rid of in high school when i knew that they were very uncool. how wrong i was. seriously, i didn’t know that they made it to fratdom, but ro and i have noticed that they have gone from kinda cute to kinda everywhere. i guess grandaddy will make more money off of the one that they sell with their name now.

Posted by: jim on September 2, 2003 1:45 PM

amazing how calarts is full of mesh hats as well. i’d even argue its full of frat boys if pressed. i’ve got no photo proof though. perhaps next week i’ll get on it.

Posted by: chris on September 5, 2003 9:25 PM

New Shirts

I went to Sturgis to screen print shirts yesterday. I messed up one of the screens so I wasn’t able to print the 1977 logo on the back. I let the screen see the sun for just a moment too long and the design didn’t completely wash out. Hopefully some tentative plans for a local screen printing space will pan out and I’ll have a more ideal setup. It’s an idea that Brennan had a while ago. I need to get together with him sometime this week and figure out the details.

So…now available for purchase at 1977 Mopeds (in store only) are the designs you see below.

My brother was telling me that at a recent Radiohead concert people were holding up their cell phones during the songs instead of lighters. That’s the lamest thing I’ve ever heard. The AP confirms that this is more than an isolated incident with their story Lighters for a New Generation, though they seem to think it’s for callers to listen to the concert remotely. Either way, still pretty lame.



very, very, very dumb indeed. the shirts are hott. we need to talk about buttons. are you available today? after 4pm?

Posted by: e_prime on August 25, 2003 10:37 AM

Nice work. Good colour combinations. The Kalamopedzoo shirt is hottt.

Posted by: Naz on August 25, 2003 11:07 AM

Are you exposing the screens in the sunlight? I have been aching to get back into silkscreening since school, but apartment-living does not lend well to doing it. Any tips? (I’ve still got screens and inks and emulsion, just need DIY tips)

Posted by: Craig on August 25, 2003 2:59 PM

No, I’m exposing them using a light table. I have to run them outside to the hose when I wash them out, and have always done it in the dark. I thought I’d be okay if I did it during the daylight if I kept it in a garbage bag until I got ready to wash it out. Apparently those couple of seconds were too much for it. As for tips, I’d recommend using industrial materials rather than getting things at the art supply story. Try out Victory Factory and Nazdar. They’re cheaper and higher quality. The hardest part is figuring out how long to expose the sesitized screen. It’s basically trial and error, so take notes on each exposure and do some tests. Once you figure it out you can use that time/light setting from then on. I found this tutorial to be useful when I was trying to learn how to do this.

Posted by: simon on August 25, 2003 3:48 PM

Eric: Button talk should happen. Give me a call after work…or I’ll call you.

Posted by: simon on August 25, 2003 3:51 PM

Craig: I just found another good online screen printing PDF you might want to check out. It’s called Reproguide and covers Xerography, screen printing, and offset printing.

Posted by: simon on September 3, 2003 1:34 AM

$79 cup of coffee

My truck just got towed from the back parking lot of the Fourth Coast. I’ve parked there for years without a problem, but apparently the owners (which I didn’t realize isn’t the Fourth Coast) are starting to tow. T&J did the job, and I have to say I’ll take them over McDonald’s Towing any day.

I hate that sinking feeling of seeing a blank spot where your vehicle used to be. I’ve been towed too many times in my life. Thanks to Casey for the ride to get my truck back.



That really sucks. Wow. So. Who owns that spot? Is there even a sign? What the fuck?

Posted by: miguel on August 23, 2003 5:17 PM

I guess it’s owned by one of the businesses around there. There are signs, but you only see them if you come into the lot directly form a side road. If you enter from the Forth Coast lot you don’t notice anything.

Posted by: simon on August 23, 2003 10:01 PM

They Hop at You

I went to Grand Rapids today and picked up shirts from One Stop. I’ll be going to Sturgis this weekend to print on them. There were roughly 6 different types of yellow, so I’m glad I went in to see them firsthand rather than ordering from the catalog.

While I was there I picked up some new music from Vertigo Records. The new Constantines CD, The Weakerthans new record, and a CD by This Bike is a Pipe Bomb. I’m happy to have new music that I can actually hold in my hands.

On Monday I went with Meredith to stack wood at her parents house. I didn’t actually do any stacking; I was on frog and toad patrol. Meredith has a phobia.

Meredith and Wood

Photos from the Blood Drive Moped Rally are now online. If you’re really interested check out the full photo archive from the event. There are over 1000 photos and high resolution too. That one is only up for a short time though.



You are my hero. You pinched a toad between two pieces of bark and threw it in the woods for me. Not to mention chasing away other, smaller, hopping things.

Posted by: meredith on August 21, 2003 10:27 PM

“Pinching a toad” sounds liike pooping.

Posted by: Guess who!! on August 22, 2003 3:41 PM

i’ll burn you a copy of the old constantines record if you burn me a copy of the new constanties record… whaddyathink, simon? hand in hand we could destroy the music industry. the red army would frown at us. … i will buy a vinyl copy at their next show… the red army will cry “hurrah!” i will stop talking about myself in the third person. someday

Posted by: e_prime on August 22, 2003 6:43 PM

Deal. I’ve tried hard enough that find that record that I don’t feel bad about burning it.

Posted by: simon on August 22, 2003 10:47 PM

The Boss is My Medicine

I slept in really late and have felt like going back to bed all day. I feel terrible, and I suppose that eating something would help, but I’m not hungry. Currently my medicine is Bruce Springsteen’s The River; I think it’s working.

I fixed my moped, so at least I’ve accomplished something today. It turned out that the air hole in the gas cap was blocked. I cleaned the carb twice before I realized that. My moped is on the constant verge of breaking down. Multiple vital screws are nearly stripped and barely holding on.

Yesterday I went to Sturgis and made some screens that I’ll be printing with sometime this week. I’m working on two shirts: Moped BBQ9 and one for 1977 Mopeds. Two of the three screens turned out fine, the third is screwed. I think I put the emulsion on too thick and it didn’t fully dry before I exposed it. That means I have to go through the whole process again before printing.

It’s very convenient to do it at my Grandpa’s shop though. He has a power washer and anything else I could want. I even cut pieces of foam to the exact window sizes to block out the light.

Paul Sizer has officially announced his intension to make a Moped Army comic book.



hey, simon. do you have any of the flyers that paul sizer was handing out at the bowling alley during the blood drive rally? would it be possible for you to send me one?

Posted by: Kevin Barrans on August 17, 2003 11:38 PM

I don’t have an extra one right now, but I bet I can get one. I’ll look into it and send it off as soon as I get it.

Posted by: simon on August 21, 2003 10:05 PM


I lose all interest in working on something when I can’t do it “the right way”. For example, I’m having to create some new HTML templates from existing code. I’m modifying what someone else has done, and done poorly. I can’t completely re-write it using modern standards and eliminate all the goddamn spacer gifs; but I’m dying to.

I’ve become so used to CSS based, standards compliant layouts that it drains me to look at tables and tables of hacked together madness. Particularly disturbing is that this is an intranet site specified only for IE6+/Win. It was the perfect opportunity for them to do it the right way.

As I was searching for informative sites to link to from this post I ran across Zeldman’s latest lecture, Designing With Web Standards. He starts off by pointing out sites that aren’t designed with standards, and the problems with them. The absolutely hilarious thing is that one of his examples is a site designed by the very company I’m doing work for. The coincidence is almost too much for me. Thank god it’s not a site I had to work on.

All this being said, I realize that not all of my own websites contain perfectly semantic and valid code. I’ve been doing this for a while, since back when there was no choice but to hack things together. As I get the time I’ve been revisiting my sites and retrofitting them to proper code. It’s going to take some time, and I probably won’t get to all of them.

The important thing is that once you know about the proper way to do something, you start doing it. Ignorance is no longer an acceptable excuse for any web designer who keeps up with their field in the slightest. Even laziness isn’t a good excuse—writing to standards is cleaner, easier, and more logical.



Hear, hear. Indeed it is. I’ve found that a lot of client work and with my day job is the unimaginable frequency with which I find people who still use NS 4x. When they ask, “Why doesn’t it look good?” I find it so hard to stop from saying, “because that’s a shitty browser.”

Posted by: Naz on August 14, 2003 2:14 AM

I don’t understand people who still run NS4. A large percentage of the sites they visit must be horribly mangled looking. Thank god their user base is low enough to justify no longer catering to them. I tend to just import the stylesheet so they don’t see any styles at all, which actual makes the page more usable then the mess it will make out of valid CSS.

Posted by: simon on August 14, 2003 11:38 AM

Yeah, while I’m not nearly as proficient as you (Simon), I still get bugged out when I find out that people are using NS3 (!!) or other archaic browsers on the internet. How do those things happen?

Posted by: miguel on August 15, 2003 2:10 PM

what’s an NS4? jim p.s. point being, even us fairly tech-savvy folk can still be clueless.

Posted by: jim on August 16, 2003 2:02 PM

Netscape Navigator 4.0. Not knowing that is probably a good thing.

Posted by: simon on August 17, 2003 12:45 AM

So Slow Skyway

Three cities, two movies, traffic jams, good food, good talk, barns with birthday messages, mopeds and more.

On Friday night and Saturday morning I was in Chicago. I saw Whale Rider (excellent and recommended), ate delicious food, caught up with Ivo, bought some wonderful books and played the “what’s changed since I’ve been here last” game. It was good to be back, and makes me realize that I’ll probably want to live there again soon. I was toying with NY, but I could see going back to Chicago.

Saturday night we were in Sturgis celebrating my Mom’s 50th birthday and visiting the rest of my family. My brother is back from his cross country western adventure. It seems that everyone is going west this summer. On our way back from dinner we went by an Amish barn my Aunt found in Mendon that happened to have an appropriate birthday message scrawled on it. Super kooky.

Sunday I saw another good movie, Raising Victor Vargas, at the Little Theater and went on a 18 person moped ride. It was good to see new people coming out for the ride.

Today has been spent making things work in JavaScript that normally I’d do with a server side language instead. Data manipulation without a page refresh is slicker, but so much more complicated.

Ivo Ivo

Meredith Meredith

Simon Me (to complete the set)

Happy Birthday Ruth Witness the absurdity of the moment as my mom stands next to a barn where someone has scrawled a birthday greeting to someone with the same name. Exclamation point indeed.



this has to be said. and although being said by a married man about a friend’s girlfriend might be highly inappropriate, it must be said nevertheless… that’s a gorgeous picture of you meredith… you’re looking all movie starrred and shit. but ivo, he looks like he’s constipated or something. maybe holding in a fart. simon, well… you sly devil. you always lookin’ foxxxy. and your mom! damn! (what is wrong with me! you can pummel me the next time i see you simon.)

Posted by: eric on August 12, 2003 7:41 AM

Seriously. Why is my face like that?

Posted by: ivo on August 12, 2003 5:52 PM

Rainy Ride

I got caught in the rain on my moped tonight. Moped Bill, Brett, and Wayne came over to go riding, and the skies had cleared so I figured I might as well. Unfortunately about 15 minutes into it, the downpour began. We waiting for 20 minutes in a Parchment liquor store, wringing the water out of our shirts and trying to salvage our wet belongings.

Once it let up to a slow drizzle we headed back. Despite the fact that my moped didn’t run right for the first 10 minutes it was a good ride home. Once you’re already soaking wet, being in the rain is really fun.

I haven’t updated much this week, so here’s a little photo recap:

Last Saturday I ran into people riding mopeds on my way to the Fourth Coast. We hung out a bit and then headed out to visit Meghan, who has been in a moped wreck recently.

Dan being a moped bad-ass

Jake in a wheelchair he found in the dumpster

On Sunday I wandered into the Black Arts Festival in Bronson Park. There was lots of bad art, and way too many religious items and music. I was hungry, but lost hope as I walked past all the BBQ rib-tip booths. I was happily surprised to eventually find a traditional African booth serving a variety of vegetarian options. The best thing I ate was spinach cooked with peanut butter.

On Sunday we had a Moped Army meeting at the Crow’s Nest and made plans for the upcoming Moped BBQ 9. It rained through the whole meeting, but stopped just enough to let us go on a ride when we were done.

A partial lineup of wet mopeds

Tomorrow Meredith and I are going to Chicago and visiting Ivo. Yeah!



for some reason, that “Yeah!” at the end of your post seems really out of character. I imagined you saying it while jumping up in the air like a Toyota commercial.

Posted by: jake on August 8, 2003 12:20 AM

See! The rain is nothing to be afraid of!

Posted by: Brendan on August 8, 2003 7:20 PM

Trick Shot

I’m really excited about Trick Shot Magic. I just watched a match between Tom “Dr. Cue” Rossman and Mike Massey, some of the best in the world from what the ESPN announcer said. It’s set up so that each round one of the players gets to call the shot. It can be a classic trick shot or one of their own design. Once they explain and do it, the other person has to try.

They use obstacles, have crazy rules, and make up shots that seem impossible; then they pull them off. One trick involved three pool cues on the table that you have to use as a track for the cue ball to ride on into the pocket. Awesome.



when is this show?

Posted by: jake on August 3, 2003 11:00 AM

i watched that show once, it seems impossible. I wonder if the real trick shooters really suck in the regular pool shootouts, or if all they can do is tricks. dan

Posted by: dan on August 3, 2003 11:36 AM

I’m not sure when the show is Jake. It’s no ESPN2, so check the listings for that channel. I think there is another match today. Dan: I figured that would be the case too, but in an interview with Mike Massey he noted that he started off playing regular pool and was a top hustler.

Posted by: simon on August 3, 2003 12:44 PM

As far as who can tell?

Chicago, IL

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