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Draplin Design Co., North America
November 30, 1999
Facts Are Stubborn Things
Posted at 01:59 PM
Draplindustries Gazette #12
November, 1999

Facts are stubborn things.

Ignorance of facts and philosophy, however, starts at the assertion that any one Draplindustries Gazette can possess within itself the virtue of curing even the most uneventful sessions of email reading. Experience of more than twenty-six years has, nevertheless, established the fact that the these hallowed chapters, WILL CURE even the saddest individual’s longing for quality reading and relieve all such pain and woes related, as enumerated in this fine gazette, time and time again. It is allowed by the Factory Floor’s finest, and all who have read it, to be decidedly the best application for the lonely hearts seeking the “next big thing” in personal ramblings. And it is here, worthy of special remark, that beside its great and extraordinary powers in the cure of diseases of the soul, mind and spirit, in which its virtues first attracted the attention of sad saps inhabiting the dark corners of the Factory Floor, and the wonder of the public generally, it has been successfully employed in a great variety of the maladies which affect the human race. it has proved by the wonderful cures it has performed on the dilapidated it’s effectiveness and therefore means: you need to read this stuff.


Extract of a Letter dated Minneapolis, Minn., Oct. 12th, 1999

“Dear Sir, May these words certify the unconfuted exactitude of Draplindustries Gazette’s ability to transform even the darkest moments of my questionable humanity into a bearable consciousness. I owe my life to yer gazette, which I began reading 11 offerings ago, when I was nearly dead with the wrath of popular culture. I also bled from the lungs three days, which prostrated me to my bed six months. I procured yer Gazette, and to the astonishment of myself and my so-called friends, I got well instantly. I was near gone and you saved me real good.” — D. BRUST OF PORTLAND, OREGON TERRITORY

Extract of a Letter dated Minneapolis, Minn., Oct. 26, 1999

“Dear Sir, Having experienced, from personal application, beneficial results from yer gazette, I voluntarily send you the following. If you feel disposed to use my name, you are at liberty to do so. In September of 1998 I was awakened into a state of lameness, visible to those in direct vicinity and noticeable through conversation on electrical phonelines. With no where to turn I threw the towel in and tuned into yer Gazette schedule. I’m here to testify this gazette not only works when read, but also when rubbed directly onto skin. Thank you for yer time.” - H. BRUMER OF SWEDEN

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We’re sad to see Octobrrr go.

Novembrr is “Kevin Porterfield Month” on the factory floor. Kevin Porterfield hails from the great Northwest…Salem, Oregon as his point of origin. I met Kevin a good 5 years back during my days in Bend, Oregon living the good life as a carefree snowboarder. Kevin is known in Bend for his Zine “Little People” and other unmentionables. Possibly the finest zine to ever grace the underground circuit of Central Oregon, Kevin managed to produce somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 issues, documenting the finer elements of the low-life snowboard culture of Bend and neighboring burgs. Words to describe the kid’s personality, in no succinct order: adventurous, creative, entrepreneurial, inquisitive, positive, loyal. Kev is a real stand-up guy. Kevin hung it up in Bend a couple winters back and moved back to Salem where he settled into his new life as a Demo Van Driver for MLY snowboards. I remember Kevin showing up in town, his big red box van gleaming, well-oiled and equipped with all the necessary gear, (and a lot of unnecessary shit too) ready to do battle with the open roads of the Northwest’s ski resort circuit. Kevin is currently living in Portland in the company of a fine young lady. (Whoa, that girl has some guts jumping into the ring with Kevin.) He’s gearing up for the winter demo tours, stocking the van and lining up fresh prospects for the Millennium 3/MLY snowboard teams. Kevin is a true warrior, strong in spirit and always willing to help out those in need.

Kevin is a lifetime Draplindustries Design Co Team rider.

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The leaves are almost all gone. Breaks my heart. Wet piles line the curbs, remnants of warm analogous hues of 2 weeks back. If we, and “we” being cool-weather-lovin’-types, had our way in the big picture, Fall would last from May to mid-Novembrrr. To hell with all that summer bullshit.

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“No civilized person ever goes to bed the same day he gets up.” -William Harding Davis

The factory floor has been “enjoying” some long nights these days lately. Man, we have been burning the midnight oil. “All-nighters” as the kids on campus call them. There’s this point at around 5 am where nature kicks in and things get a bit sublime. One minute you might be wide awake and diligently working way, the next, yer head dangling, drooling on yer collar. And this moment hits you like a Mack Truck. Amazing. “There just aren’t enough hours in the day”, man, we wholeheartedly agree…and goddamn, you have no choice but to plow through the wee hours taking care of business. The best part of the experience of an all-nighter is coming getting home the next day, in our situation, after class close to 6:30 in the pm. Strip down to the undergarments and into the bed, out like a light before you hit the pillow. One kid at school stayed up for 3 days straight and then slept for 16 hours or something. My personal record as of late is 12 hours in row. 8 in the pm to 8 in the am, waking up and feeling like a million bucks. I’m averaging one all-nighter a week. Home work is cool and all, and man, I’m dedicated…but I’ll get home and get a bite of chow, fire up the amp for some strummin’ or settle down with some fine literature and before I know it it’s close to midnight and the homework is still calling. (As I write this, I find myself very, very thankful that homework + school drama is the height of my worries.)

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Nights on the town:

1. Mike Watt came through town on the 8th. Ryan and I ventured down for the show. Watt is a great source of inspiration to me. He wrestles that bass with everything he has. His work ethic, his motivation…the real thing. One of the good guys. Saw Ben from the MCAD Woodshop at the show, as I did last fall too. Another good guy. Watt’s the best. “Much respect, man, much respect.”

2. Nashville Pussy/ Motorhead on the 12th. Nashville was a little off this night. Their spectacle of scantily clad amazons, fire, tattoos, mammary units, cowboy boots, and balding southerners had it’s share of finer moments which got the crowd roused, but overall it felt kind of routine. Of course the whole show is one big schtick and all, which is great, but c’mon, how can they do it night after night with the energy I’ve seen in them previously? For newbies, I’m sure they walked away impressed and converted. Motorhead was loud as fuck and damned if those limeys couldn’t speak one decipherable word between songs. Not being too much of a fan, we stuck around for the hell of it, possibly just to witness Lemmy and his moles. The man has been rocking for 3 decades, and drinking like a fish the whole time, rocking, cavorting, the whole deal…it’s a wonder he’s still ticking. It was brutal. Pure pain coming out of those speakers. Our ears were obliterated.

3. Blue Mountain / Richmond Fontaine. As luck would have it, Blue Mountain and Richmond Fontaine were playing the on the same night, only 100 feet from each other. Richmond was in the Entry, Blue Mountain on the First Ave main stage. Richmond Fontaine is from Portland, first time I them was in September of ‘95 opening for Mike Watt. Instantly fell in love, and I’m still loyal. Tales of loss and longing from the Cascades. Great guys. Blue Mountain had some great foot stompers too. Cary Hudson, the main man, is an amazing guitar player. Great pickin’.

4. Wilco on the 29th. I love the Wilco, love all that Tweedy put his hands on. But, the sold out crowd of yuppie-late-twenty-somethings sucking on spendy Rolling Rocks discouraged me. I guess more and more I find myself getting burned out on live music, unless it’s something I haven’t seen before in live form. I’ll have these moments during the show where I would much rather be simply listening to the CD back at the house. I experienced multiple moments of this nature during the Wilco show. Plus, some of the songs just sound dumb live, with a bunch of fuckers singing along to it.

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Turned 26 on the 15th. Kind of numb to all of it. This “getting older” stuff doesn’t sit too well with me. I guess I’m afraid each year “will get shorter and shorter” as I’ve heard from older compatriots.

We had a party and invited friends from school and work. Printed up a limited edition of 150 tickets numbered + perforated. So when you’d show up we’d have a representative meet you at the door, greet you then tear yer ticket. The smaller portion of the ticket was then thrown into a can, as we had a raffle a couple hours later. Tall tales of glorious prizes awarded to smiling faces would be the talk for many hours. About 50 kids showed up. The highlight of the night was Mike Gaughan presenting the factory floor a generous gift of a shopping cart filled with leaves.

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Dropped everything and shot back to Michigan for a weekend. Ryan and I left Minneapolis on a Wednesday night and traveled north up through the Wisconsin northlands, crossed over into the beautiful upper peninsula of Michigan, following the northern coastline of Lake Michigan all the way to the bridge and then down to Traverse City.

An hour before Traverse City we passed through Central lake, the town where I grew up, and spent a couple moments prowling through my old backyard. Couldn’t have been more than 5 am or something. See, we had these two old ramshackle garages in the back where Dad stored his treasures. One summer day, back in the mid eighties I thought I’d practice my pitching skills. I went and grabbed a can of black spray paint and proceeded to paint myself a half-ass square on the door, then above it, in the best penmanship a can of paint can allow, I sprayed “strike zone”. To this day, that strike zone is still there. I wonder if anyone practices on it. I doubt it, considering the shady folk who bought our old house. I still remember Dad’s reaction to my decision to mark off a target. Ryan got a kick out of this little venture, as he is a consecrated fan of baseball.

I miss home so much. I miss family stuff. Things are just so hectic here. A “good hectic”. I love the city life, it’s been great running all over hell here. But those trees in my parent’s back yard….those Fall colors…the great eats…Dad’s treasures…couches…it was hard leaving.

Hands down, Mom’s spaghetti will beat any contender.

Went to Bry and Tracey Aleshire’s “come and hang with us in our new pad” open house. It was great to see them. They have a beautiful homestead, surrounded by trees in a peaceful little suburb deal. I’m very happy for them. I witnessed my pleasant affirmations as they opened their gifts from some of their older friends and family. My gift to their little union was a snow shovel. Now that’s heartfelt. Skeet shoot all those campy little wreathes and decorations. They were enthralled Got to see the Lichty clan and friends, had some eats and shot the shit. Cool stuff.

My Auntie Barbara and Uncle Tom stopped by the Draplin parental compound on their way north to their annual Fall rendezvous in Mackinaw City. Millions of kisses from Auntie Barbara, feet squeezed by Uncle Tom. Always a pleasure to see them.

Fans of woodworking, read up: Derek Denoyer is doing great things with wood. He took me out to the house he was working on…rustic log homes…beautiful stuff. He’s building himself a house on a little plot of land near Beulah, Michigan. He’s so excited to break ground. I’m very proud of him. Miss the guy immensely. Wish he was closer, geographically speaking.

Left on the following Monday. Dad drove me down to Holland where Ryan hails from. He dropped me off, a sad deal indeed. We shot south around Chicago up to Minneapolis in record time. Oh, we did a quick jaunt through downtown Gary, Indiana. Gary, Indiana is the “armpit of the free world.” Tough customers in that neck of the woods.

My little sister has boyfriend named Dave. He’s real clean cut and wholesome. And the good lord as my witness, he as much as lays a finger on her I’ll drop everything here in Minneapolis to head back to set things straight. Mom and dad say he’s a good kid. Better be or he’ll be dealing with a freshly dropped-out older brother.

I’m going home for Thanksgiving too. Any time with the family is priceless. These last couple years, man, home is the last place I’ve been thinking about. And that folks, is downright pitiful.

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I made some plans for my winter break. Oregon is calling, specifically that Travis Yamada fellow. A while back he pitched the idea of snowcamping high in the Cascades for New Year’s Eve. Let’s call it an “anti-2000” gathering. There is talk of perching ourselves in sight of the town below, as to watch for any Y2K unravelings. As far as this Y2K stuff is concerned, well, the factory floor is compliant, damn straight. I had big visions of traveling somewhere exotic of the “big tick” into 2000, but as this nears, I had to choose between simpler ventures, being with friends or with family, in mellow situations. The last place I want to be is in some bar screaming alongside a bunch of fuckers I could care less about…or in some big city, in a crowd of people right next to some yahoo with a bomb taped to his chest. I mean, is is too rash to think that this big moment is sort of dangerous in crowded scenes? What a better chance to get yer statement out, through violence or whatever. Incidents will grab attention. So I retreat to things I trust: friends, family, mountains, snow.

I fly into Portland where I plan on spending a couple days doing nothing more than book/thrift shopping and general hanging out with Portland friends.

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I just watched “Unforgiven” with Clint Eastwood. That was the first movie this semester. How about that? But what I’m trying to get at is seeing those images of western vistas and mountains and open ranges….damn, leaves me missing the life out west. My Dad always says, “When I grow up I’m gonna be a cowboy.” Well Dad, I’m thinkin’ the same.

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We would like to take this chance to wish PJ Chmiel only the best of luck in his new undertaking. See, PJ landed himself a design position with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and leaves for Virgina very soon. Talented, dapper and sharp-witted, Mr. Chmiel has much too look forward to in his future days. Give ‘em hell, my brother.

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As I write this, Chad Smith is headed east somewhere in Montana or something, blazing a trail of death, destruction and detriment in his minty green Dodge Dart. We give him credit for having the balls to venture out onto the open road in such a questionable automobile. We have faith and keep him our nightly prayers. Considering the situation, you should too. So help me God, he so much as hits a pothole or unlucky varmit, Lord have mercy. We expect him to pull through town in a couple days. Can’t wait to see him.

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Go to “www.wordhousecreative.com” and mingle. Ross Wordhouse is a great inspiration to the factory floor.

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Take care everyone. Thanks for getting this far.

Aaron James Draplin
Draplindustries Design Co

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In rotation:

  1. Josh Rouse + Kurt Wagner - Chester
  2. Richmond Fontaine - Lost Son
  3. The Quadrajets - Pay The Deuce
  4. Eric’s Trip - Forever Again
  5. Blue Mountain - Tales of a Traveler
  6. Nick Drake Box Set
  7. Promise Ring - Very Emergency
  8. The Cult - Electric
  9. Killdozer - God Hears the Pleas of the Innocent
  10. Boss Hog - Girl+ Ep

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In sentences:

Bill Bryson - A Walk in the Woods (Got me all fired up about hiking the Appalachian Trail, “AT” for short.)

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Len shot him an ugly look. “You ride with me, punk, you learn to keep your mouth shut and you ass steady.” he snarled.

When you truck, you have to be hard and mean, Len knew.