As Far As I Can Tell

Birthday Eve

In a few minutes it will be my birthday. It’s been 25 years, though I don’t remember that many. I spent the day in Sturgis with my family and Meredith’s folks at a cabin in the woods. My Grandma felt well enough to come out for the whole afternoon, which was reason enough to be there. We ate foods that are classics for my birthday: green beans, cheesy potatoes, and apple crisp.

It rained a bit, which spoiled the fire pit but not the day. The leaves are changing more in Sturgis than in Kalamazoo, and it’s good to be in the woods when you can feel fall moaning and creaking into place.

My Grandpa told me I’m getting a belly. “That”, he noted, “is part of getting older”. Great.



happy birthday simon. you are as old as your tounge and only a few months older than your teeth. mark

Posted by: mark on September 29, 2003 7:48 AM

Happy H to the B. Getting old is fun.

Posted by: Naz on September 29, 2003 11:19 AM

happy birthday, simon. your grandfather telling you that you’re getting a belly is a silly, silly thing… he can’t be serious, right? …and look at it this way, at least your hair isn’t starting to thin, like mine.

Posted by: Eric on September 29, 2003 4:58 PM

happy birthday. is 25 anti-climactic, or significant? i can’t decide. it sounds nice though. i’ll miss saying im 25 when i get 26’ed.

Posted by: jim on September 30, 2003 12:21 AM

Happy birthday mr. king. you live a life of integrity and refinement that would be a good model for any 25 year old to follow

Posted by: bil on September 30, 2003 2:30 PM

Man you are old. dan

Posted by: dan on October 2, 2003 2:17 PM

Own more Internet

There is a ridiculously good web hosting deal going on right now at DreamHost. To celebrate their birthday they’re offering the best package they have, normally $80 a month, for the price of their lowest package: $10/month. It’s an awesome account that gives you 1.6GB of space, 40GB transfer a month, unlimited databases and everything else you could want.

I plan on staying with pair Networks for most of my sites, but I signed up anyway for some extra breathing room if needed. If you’re interested at all you should really jump on this. The $10 price stays that way forever and they even throw in a free domain name registration. This is the last day of the deal though, so act quick.

If you sign up please use my username, simonjking, as the referring account. Once you get the account we can start trading giant files without worry. I’m possibly a bit too excited about how much web space I have now.

Last night I stopped by the Rocket Star Café to help pull some nails out of the floor. They’ve torn it down to the original wood, which shows it’s years. Once it’s sanded and some additional supports are added it’ll be nice though. Definitely nicer than the linoleum that was there.

So I now own a Mac. I bought it on eBay a couple of days ago and I should be getting it any day now. It’s a low-end G4 so I’ll be able to run OSX, which is the only thing that actually makes me want one. I’m looking a KVM switch which will let me swap between systems with nothing more than a key combination. It remaps the keyboard, swaps your mouse, and reroutes the video signal.



I have a KVM switch for my two comps, Wilma and Betty, they are very useful things. And that Dreamhost deal is a great one indeed. Unfortunately, I don’t need it for anything right now. Damnit.

Posted by: Naz on September 24, 2003 7:40 PM

Welcome to the Mac family! I know we’d assimilate you sooner or later.

Posted by: miguel on September 25, 2003 6:14 PM

Hey Simon, Don’t know how much you remember me, but I have a task for you that I can’t offer money for. I have this idea for a grammar game (I am an Education major, if you don’t remember). I figure you may have a Flash template for such a game or something. I don’t want to wast a bunch of time here talking about details, but allow me to whet your pallate: commas are involved! E-mail me if you think you can help. Love, Micah

Posted by: Micah on September 26, 2003 2:56 AM

Renegade Weekend

Last weekend in Chicago was the best in a while. Maybe it’s because it was the last weekend before school and work consumed us, or quite possibly the perfect weather. Chances are it was that plus good friends and good food.

On Friday we met up with Ivo and ate bbq tofu at the Flying Saucer. The first time I ate there I didn’t like the breakfast I had ordered, and was borderline going writing it off. I’m glad I gave it another shot since it’s one of my favorite places to eat now. Afterward we saw Lost in Translation at the Landmark. Hopefully this movie gets a wider release; it’s beautiful in so many ways.

Saturday we met up with Matt and Paul to take in the Renegade Craft Fair in Wicker Park. This was the impetus for the trip and was worth the drive. Over 70 vendors from Chicago-land and beyond were there selling crafty shirts, bags, pouches, journals, and other made-with-love items. Meredith bought an awesome pillowcase skirt amongst other things. I just got a journal since most of the stuff was targeted at girls. I got some ideas from it though; so watch out.

Afterward we thrift shopped and ate at the Handlebar, a new-to-me restaurant in the neighborhood. There were lots of veggie entrées that I’ll probably return to try out. Once back at Ivo’s I got a call from Brian Frain saying he was in town for the day, and had called up our friend Corey who had recently moved to Chicago. Meredith and I met up with them plus Miles and Nicole at the bar. Afterward at Leo’s Ivo, Andrea, and Bill showed up. Figure in that Derek Bell was working there and the place was full of either current or ex-Kalamazoo kids. It was really good to see everyone.

Meredith in pink tights Pink and Yellow

Peanut the dog relaxing on the floor Peanut the rescued greyhound

Ivo on the floor, 10 minutes before taking a nap Ivo, right before napping

I just got back from the Art Spiegelman lecture. The auditorium was packed, with some people having to sit in the aisles. He talked for nearly 2 hours about not only his own work, but the history of comics and what inspires him so much about them. I’m glad I went.



damn! i knew i was going to forget about that lecture!!! …and behold, I did not fail myself!! shit!!

Posted by: e_prime on September 23, 2003 7:11 AM

Job Fair

It’s been a good week for jobs. Josh got a teaching job in Boston, Ivo got his contract extended, Meredith starts at Ripe next week, and the Rocket Star café has cleared it’s permit hurdles and will be open in a couple months. Also, I’m now employed nearly full time (4 days a week) at Biggs-Gilmore.

It’ll be weird to go into work consistently after roughly two years of freelancing from home every day. I’ll be happy for the consistent money, and three day weekends still give me time to do personal projects or freelance. Not going back to school always makes September melancholy, so starting something new seems right.

This weekend Meredith and I will be in Chicago attending the Renegade Craft Fair in Wicker Park. Over 70 vendors will be selling their hopefully hip wares. If you’re there you should check it out.

For you Kalamazoo folks, mark your calendars for next Monday when Art Spiegelman will be speaking at WMU, 7:30p.m., 2000 Schneider Hall. I’ve also seen promo that says it’s at Brown Auditorium, so check there if Schneider is empty. Art is best known for his Maus series of comic books, and it should be an interesting presentation. It’s free and open to the public.

Since I wrote about Dan’s accident he’s healed a lot. I took him to get his stitches out earlier this week and the swelling is going down rapidly. The surgeon said it healed beyond his expectations. He’s already looking pretty normal again and was riding his moped when I saw him at the 4th Coast last night.



Perhaps we shall bump into each other at the Craft Fair…

Posted by: Naz on September 19, 2003 6:52 PM

Doesn’t look like that happened…did you go? I thought it went really well, though I wish there was more stuff for men. It inspired me to do some clothing modification and crafting of my own.

Posted by: simon on September 21, 2003 12:49 AM

Simon, I just wrote about it. I got there just when it ended, but did get to see a few friends who were packing up and such. It looked like it turned out quite well. I did notice the lack of male clothing and crafts but such is the case. However, some friends and I will be at the DIY Trunk show which is being organized by friends. There are spots open still if you or anyone you know is interested. Details and such here.

Posted by: Naz on September 21, 2003 2:25 AM

glad to hear you got a good (cool?) job. are yo gonna build a rocket star cafe website?

Posted by: miguel on September 22, 2003 6:41 PM

Good yes, cool? — well, not really. When it’s not a client that makes expensive yachts or something then I like it. At least it’s working within my interests. Chances are that I’ll be making a Rocket Star Café website at some point.

Posted by: simon on September 22, 2003 11:08 PM

I forgot to congratulate you on that as well. I poked around the site, which is pretty nice. Are you full-time or contractor?

Posted by: Naz on September 22, 2003 11:34 PM

Thanks — I made that site for them while I was a contractor in Chicago. I’m sort of full-time now. I’m a salary employee with benefits, but I only work 4 days a week. Pretty perfect.

Posted by: simon on September 22, 2003 11:51 PM

Dan’s Accident

I didn’t wake up until 5 p.m. today, but I’m still tired enough to go to bed at my regular time. Last night Dan wrecked his moped and I spent the whole night at Bronson Hospital with him. He hit a hidden speed bump and ended up landing on his face. The entire area around his left eyebrow and lid was scrapped roughly two inches to the left; it wasn’t pretty. The surgeon has it looking normal now, though there’ll be some scarring. He’s really lucky to have the use of his eye. His head is also cut up in various other spots and his hands are torn up pretty bad.

The good news is that the eyelid muscle isn’t torn, and the CAT scan came back fine. He’s doing well, and he’ll heal okay, but it’s really scary. He came so close to it being so much worse. I’m still really anxious about the whole situation.

By my count there have been five people from the Moped Army in the hospital from moped wrecks this year. That’s a pretty bad record. I guess this one just hits closer to home, but I’m going to be much more safety conscious from now on.

Dear everyone I know,

Please take care of yourself and be safe.




yeah. i think many people don’t exactly realize how dangerous mopeds are. They tend to downplay that feact. i always wear leather gloves, full-face helmet, and a denim jacket and jeans. these things kept my accident from being alot worse thanit was. i prbably would have looked much more like dan if it weren’t for my helmet and gloves.

Posted by: Kevin Barrans on September 10, 2003 1:52 AM

The fact that the majority of these accidents have been caused by the rider making a simple mistake or through no control of their own, is enough to get me to the point of buying and wearing — EVERY TIME— a helmet. I’m done riding with my head nekkid. I don’t care about being enclosed in plastic. I don’t want to have to visit a plastic surgeon.

Posted by: e_prime on September 10, 2003 9:47 AM

give dan my best simon. i’ll try to call him this afternoon.

Posted by: Miguel on September 10, 2003 2:29 PM

Yeah, I’m so glad he’s okay. Best wishes.

Posted by: jim on September 10, 2003 3:02 PM

Nice, a link to Bronson…

Posted by: e_prime on September 15, 2003 12:33 PM

Helmets are not stupid. Please wear one. It’s really scarry to think of what could have happened to Dan.

Posted by: vanessa on September 15, 2003 7:10 PM

I love September

I’ve had my head in JavaScript and CSS all day long; time for me to leave the house. I’m working on my long overdue online portfolio and it’s coming slower than I’d like. Right now the sounds of Canyon are making everything alright.

Yesterday I went with my Grandparents and Mom to Bob Evans. They were in Kalamazoo for my Grandma’s cancer treatments and that’s her favorite place to go. It was 3 in the afternoon and as expected it was virtually a retirement home in there. The elderly seem to love the down-home cooking, but I didn’t feel so good after my grilled cheese on Texas toast. Another major reason to avoid the place is my mom found a bunch of metal staples in her stir fry. She casually handed them to the waitress; I would have at least demanded a free meal.

I’m planning on going to Chicago tomorrow, but if you’re in Kalamazoo you might want to check out the Independent Film Festival. They’re showing Swarm and Destroy, the documentary about the Moped Army tomorrow at 6:00.

I haven’t written in a while, so it’s worth nothing that Moped BBQ 9 went well. As desired it was a low key event, but some people from out of town still made the trip. Thanks to everyone that made it happen, especially those who traveled a distance. We got rained on all weekend, but that was okay. Muddy kickball and rainy rides.

Moped line-up at Spring Valley Park

Jake, the grill master

The BBQ9 crew



Yeah, why do old people just love stuff like Bob Evans? And why do so many of them eat so early? I was always glad my grandparents really like trying new restaurants and ethnic foods … and they eat at a reasonable 6pm (sometimes, gasp, later).

Posted by: Miguel on September 6, 2003 6:20 PM

Will be looking forward to seeing your portfolio site. Always like relaunches. Coincidentally enough, my own portfolio site will relaunch Monday. They’re always such beasts.

Posted by: Naz on September 6, 2003 8:11 PM

I like Bob Evans’ because they have grits. Also, we went to Cracker Barrell and they have grits too. Old people realllllly love Cracker Barrell. In fact, I believe that’s where my grandparents do their christmas shopping.

Posted by: allisonspicer on September 6, 2003 11:01 PM

My brothers and I used to love Cracker Barrel. All the crazy junk stuff they sell while you wait for your table. It’s actually an ingenious marketing strategy. When you’re hungry, and waiting more than an hour for a table, your rational “I don’t really need this wooden thingamajig” stops working right.

Posted by: Miguel on September 7, 2003 12:34 PM

cracker barrel is the best road trip restaurant. you get to sit down, have a relatively cheap, huge fucking meal (for those who aren’t vegetarians), and on the way out, you can buy a square of fudge. any of you who want to buy me christmas presents from there are more than welcome to.

Posted by: jim on September 9, 2003 10:02 PM

As far as who can tell?

Chicago, IL

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