So it’s been a week since I updated this thing, which is pretty lame, I know. Hey, I’ve been busy! I dug myself a hole earlier in the month on this National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) thing that I’m doing, and I’ve been devoting a bunch of time — pretty much all of my “free” time — to catching up. I’d like to blame the extra difficulty I’ve created for myself on the trips I took for work earlier this month (Houston, TX, and Fresno, CA) because I didn’t write squat on either of them. But that’s lame, because I certainly could have. I’m a stretch finisher anyway, and as the wire draws near I’m charging hard with a clear path to the finish line! I like to print each chapter as I finish it, because it gives me a tangible, physical object to show the work I’ve put in. Maybe that seems lame, but I find it helps a lot.
In case you’re wondering, that really is a Fu Manchu t-shirt I’m wearing. I just received it in the mail along with the bitchin’ colored vinyl of their new record that came out a few weeks ago, Signs of Infinite Power. This record has powered a number of workouts at the gym for me since its release. If you aren’t hip to the mighty Fu, you best get hip. Now.
Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
Last week I was in Chippewa Falls, WI. It’s the third time I’ve been there. It’s actually a nice little town, one of those places I figure, in a pinch, I could actually live. It’s only a couple hours east of Minneapolis, and just a few from Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago, etc. Unfortunately it was a little too far on a short trip to go check THIS out, which was kind of disappointing. The trip was mainly a success because I proved to myself that I am fully capable of writing while traveling. I was able to crank out about 6000 words over three days, which isn’t too shabby.
I had a couple hour layover in Minneapolis. The connecting flight was out on B concourse, which is where all the puddle jumpers go in and out of — pretty far out of the way of everything else. Minneapolis has these “service center” areas throughout where you can actually set up at a desk with your laptop and get shit done. That makes it easy.
I set up and got right to work, which replaced my usual layover-in-Minneapolis-activity (i.e. scarfing down chips & salsa and/or eating the Big Mouth Burger at Chili’s). At this end of the airport, which is pretty isolated, the service area was right on the main passageway instead of in a side room. I was sitting there with my headphones on hammering away at the keyboard, and people kept coming up and asking me questions. I got a little annoyed, then I realized they must have thought I was actually customer service because of the Service Center sign. Yeah, folks, standard issue customer service uniforms these days consist of a Clutch t-shirt. And it was all stuff that 2 minutes of self help could have resolved for them. I am of the opinion amateur travelers should be culled from the damn herd in situations like this.
I got to Chippewa Falls, and it was so nice I did a little drive-around to snap a few pictures. There is a creek that runs through town and it was still pretty, though not nearly as much as when all the trees are in bloom. Use your imagination and you can probably get an idea.
The Leinenkugel Brewery is in town, and its presence was felt everywhere. Lots of cool murals on brick walls. I love that stuff. It’s too bad Missoula doesn’t have more of that. Hell, we have some fantastic breweries here — Kettlehouse, Big Sky, Bayern, for example — that could use a little more love. But they aren’t nearly as big, and I imagine Leinies is a bedrock employer for Chippewa Falls.
Downtown they already had their Christmas decorations up. You can see though that the downtown is still pretty vibrant. You can’t say that about a lot of towns around this friggin’ country, that’s for sure.
This little roadside motel was near where I was staying. I love these old places. I wish I’d been staying there instead.
I got my work wrapped up on Thursday (the company I was working with this time makes fire pumps, fire trucks, shit like that) and headed home early Friday morning. Skipped Chili’s again in Minneapolis and got some work done at a Service Center near the busier C concourse. No one hassled me this time.
The only downer is I was one person too far down the list to get my auto-upgrade to First Class on the flight from Minneapolis to Missoula. Northwest/Delta best make goddamn sure THAT doesn’t happen again.