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Draplin Design Co., North America


Sorry about the lack of updates. Truth be told, we’ve been super busy getting our life back in tune after our DDC Fall 2003 Midwest Adventure.

Now, in order to put all of this to rest, and to soothe the pile of emails requesting juicy details of the mission, we bring you a point-by-point breakdown. Another success for the recordbooks…

Highlights from the adventure:

01. “Crash Free” in 2003. Flew into Minneapolis via the mighty–and horribly logo’ed–Northwest Airlines. Gigantic jet, a gargantuan 747, completely filled to the brim. The thrust needed to get that beast off the ground still haunts me. Scary and mindblowing technology. I sat in between a lady who had no problem elbowing my ribs and a guy who had a lot of nose hair. Tight quarters.

02. Lunch at the Ideal Diner. Goddamn, I love that place. Same old folks, same old fare. One time we were there, in the middle of scarfing down our meals when a hungry local asked Kevin if he could make his hashbrowns “well done.” Kevin looked back and and gave the situation a hoarse-voiced, “If you got the time, I got the fire.”

03. Ice Cold Grainbelts at Stasiu’s in northeast. I waited and waited to take a leak, just so I could enjoy my visit to the “Urinal of the Gods.” Good relief it was. A good time was had by all.

04. Stopped in to see the folks at the CSA Design Co. Things are up and up, with new digs and new remodeling. Real nice. Of course, they are always making something amazing, which now, due to being completely blown away by the latest CSA this-and-that, escapes my failing memory. I gave the crew my update and passed out some 2002 O-A-M card sets. They are hooked on the majesty of the Gocco too, so we hope our latest offering inspired such an inspiring bunch. Dimmel is doing really good, and Todd and Chuck were “all smiles.” Good people, great work. Get over to Target before the 31st and dig the Halloweenie section. Excellent stuff.

05. Stopped in at Axman. Bought 10 mini compasses.

06. Thanks to Ryno for being a good diplomat for Minneapolis. He shuttled me around with swift lane changes and deep knowledge of back roads and short cuts. I manned the fold-out couch in his living room, and still feel the dull throb of misalignment in my spine, due to that one support bar that was giving me trouble when we’d bed down. Thanks again. Ryno’s sweet-talkin’ a vixen in Toronto via iChat, that dirty dog. He types real fast and loose, winning her over line by line.

07. Daytrip west out to see the world’s biggest ball of twine in Darwin, Minnesota. Well, it’s big and well, the town is small. Good people. Lots of twine.

08. I picked up Melissa’s trusty chariot from Ma and Pa Okins. Ma Okins blessed our travels with an offering of pumpkin bars. Man, those fuckers are good. Pa Okins had the rig oiled and ready to go. Much thanks. Good to see them, even if was briefly. They plan on coming out to Portland next summer to see their girl. Kris is planning her mission as we type this. She’ll be out here in early November, seeking gainful employment and any hottie bike messenger scrubs who’ll have her.

09. Cutting Wisconsin in half, our trip down to Beer City Milwaukee to set Kurt straight was smooth sailing all the way. He’s doing just fine, and is on the road to recovery, dressed in the most dashing little Diesel outfit you’ve ever seen. So nimble. Borderline “sickly.” We gotta “bulk him up” a bit for the winter. We drove around town, had a couple cold ones, a slice of pizza and even made a trip out to Menomonee Falls to see of we could find Mark and Mike from American Movie. We came up empty handed but still found entertainment, via Ryno digging quite possibly the meanest piece of embedded metal out of his thumb. Fuckin’ savage, how can you live like that? The object in question was lodged in the tip of his thumb for well over a month, “The wound grew over, man!” is what Ryno had to say. Kurt’s got a nice joint, a spacious loft with high ceilings and a good shitter. Lucky kid. Best of luck to ya. The next time you are in Milwaukee, be sure to get a square meal at the Palomino Club down by the water. Good eatin’ and “cold as a dip in Lake Michigan” beverages.

10. We left Milwaukee and headed down to Chicago for the afternoon. Goddamn, it’s easy to forget just how big that place is. Real big, seriously. Big buildings and lots of people. We parked and managed to get lost cruising around the downtown. We finally made our way to the Museum of Natural History to see some dinosaur bones. Good stuff. Lots to see. All sorts of stuffed beasts. TIP: Tuesdays are free. Chicago has a beautiful skyline. So big. We managed to find Elon Cameron and had supper at an Indian joint. The chutney was super good. She’s still as amazing as ever.

11. That night I threw the towel in on the big city and shot south and made a left up around Gary up the coast to Traverse City. A pretty drive, all the way home to mom and dad’s wooded ranch.

12. My time at home was perfect. I turned the big 30 on the 15th, surrounded by family and friends. Just how I had hoped. Mom had a big cake for me and dad sang out of tune. Perfect. We went out for dinner at the Apache Trout Grill and man, my chicken with garlic white sauce dish was absolutely amazing. I spent my time on the couch watching tube or crashed out. Felt good to kick back. Dad outfitted me with his latest offering of Legos he had picked up from garage sales. One can never have enough. The guy is a king. Mom found me a new quilt for my gift. A giant down comforter. I love the thing. I love my mom. Thanks again for everything.

13. Leaving–although inevitable–was and always is hard. I HATE pulling away from my home with mom and dad. Always hurts. I just wanted to spend a couple more nights. But–like it always seems–I had to get back out west. And with this cold, hard truth, I set off north heading for the Mackinaw Bridge. That day I managed to get up and into the Upper Peninsula, down along the shore to Green Bay and across Wisconsin to Minneapolis. I met Ryno for a cold one and had one last night of laughs and coarse words. Take care back there, Ryno. Good luck.

14. The next morning I pushed off across Minnesota, with a quick drive by the Okins residence in downtown Windom, and on into South Dakota and all the way across the state into Northern Wyoming up to Gillette. Lots of miles that day. About 750 or so. A good haul. The Corn Palace of Mitchell, South Dakota had their 2004 maize mural up, with a hearty “Lewis & Clark” theme. Always worth a visit. Cruising past those Badlands and Black Hills was painful. I wanted to get up into them, see Mt. Rushmore, see Crazy Horse, downtown Deadwood, those Badlands…all the sights. I plain didn’t have the time, which is a shame. I’ve seen them many a time and often enjoy fond memories in my thinker.

15. Getting across those goddamn Bighorns of middle Wyoming is always a challenge. You slowly climb up, and then haul ass down. Always scary. Lots of lower gear maneuvering and finger-crossing. How those big rigs do it, I’ll never know. Gigantic cajones, those truckers sit on. I made it across and into Greybull where I pointed it for Cody and up into Yellowstone. I always forget about the 20 dollar admission. National land usage sure does take a bite, don’t she? I made it across Yellowstone in a couple hours, doing a steady 47-50mph. The park speed limit is 45, that is, unless there’s a elk running across the road, which scared the scat out of me. Old Faithful wasn’t all that faithful. I spent a half hour and saw some mist rising, but that was about it. A mess of Buffalo were hanging around it. Big fuckers. Big horns. I made outta Yellowstone and down into Idaho, almost half way across the state that night.

16. The next morning I got up early and shot up I-84 to Boise for a quick pit stop and handshake with the Bart Kline, my old neighbor from my ‘98-’99 Minneapolis year. Family man and funeral director, Bart and Faith are celebrating the arrival of their newest little guy, “Oscar.” So good. Great people who took me in when Minneapolis still seemed big and mean. Forever grateful. Bart’s working hard, holding services and doing good work for many a grieving family. The final 350 miles were long and hard. Check the previous entry for a chilling account of a near-death “rear ender” with a speeding big rig. Still a little shook up about that one. Glad to be breathing, savoring each deep breath of cool, crisp Portland air. I made it back that night to the open arms of Melissa, who “didn’t sleep a wink” while I was on the road vacationing and retrieving her rig. Girl, I’m home and everything is right again.

All in all, a great trip and a great chance to clear the head a bit and do some “big thinking.” All those miles generated just enough of a mental push to get the real estate bug. I’m gonna buy a house out here. That’s the latest. Things are good at CINCO, I like my job, I like my friends, I like the city. I’ll make a go of it, what the hell.

Glad to be back and settling in to a couple ugly months of graphic designing. CINCO is almost at “Defcon Apeshit,” with full bore mouse clicking all the way up to Christmas. No shortage of things to do. Always busy. A luxury.

SHALLOW PROMISES: Come back in a couple days for a photographic offering from our DDC Fall 2003 Midwest Adventure.

There Are 2 Comments

Excellent update my friend, and happy belated birthday. My question is: Did Kevin actually give the old “I got the fire” line again during this visit, or are you just adding a historical, character-establishing quote (for the unfortunate souls who’ve never had the pleasure of feasting on his world-class hash and seeing his graceful spatula maneuvers firsthand)?

Posted by: Ideal Chmiel on 10/28/03 at 8:16 AM

Nice photos and wonderful summary of your trip east….

I am happy to read that you are looking for a little house…..remember who to consult; maybe I should send him out there to help you look……together you two would be insane.
My best advice is to have someone inspect the house before you buy; well worth the investment. You don’t need any surprises like roof leaks or gas leaks or critters.

Have fun looking……don’t forget - it has to have a shed out on the back ‘40’ for us……

Posted by: momma d. on 10/30/03 at 3:29 PM