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a semblance of normalcy

i am fully vaccinated, which means that i can get out and do stuff without anxiety… and, because of the fact that we moved (last year at this time 😒) i’ve got a bunch of places that are a 5-minute drive (or a half-hour walk along a busy rural highway) away from home, which i have been, more or less, unable to “explore” because of the fact that i wasn’t fully vaccinated.

today i went to big bend park in maple valley, and walked along the old railroad grade. the railroad grade actually cut off a part of the cedar river, which, i imagine, was the original “big bend” that they’re talking about.

here are some things i saw.

210309 old utility pole
210309 old utility pole
210309 old utility pole
210309 old utility pole
210309 bounded chaotic mixing producing strange stability
210309 bounded chaotic mixing producing strange stability

i really like the place we’re currently living, and i REALLY don’t want to move again (ever, in my life, if possible), but if i were to allow that possibility, here’s a house i wouldn’t mind living in, and it’s not even that far from where i live now. 😉

210309 fantasy castle
210309 fantasy castle

and, finally, here are some signs that are posted in this “neighbourhood” park… 😉

210309 what to do when confronted by wild animals
210309 what to do when confronted by wild animals
210309 impossible logs
210309 impossible logs

cape

a long, long time ago… probably 1980 or thereabouts… i had just moved to bellingham and was a student at fairhaven college, on the campus of western washington university. there was a “student market” called the “VU Vendors” on weekdays, where “professional” vendors (somewhat like what Hybrid Elephant was like, at the FSM) and students who wanted to sell stuff congregated. one of the latter vendors was a guy who had made a cape out of army blankets, which he wanted to sell because he needed some “medication” (i never asked what kind of “medication” he wanted), but i didn’t have the amount of money he was looking for, so i memorised the pattern and went on my way. about a year later, after i had gotten a job, i bought a couple of wool army blankets and made my own cape, which have worn, more or less constantly, since then.

i wore it when i went to the rainbow gathering in 1982. i wore it when i was a migrant fruit picker in 1983. i wore it when i freight-hopped to various places, i wore it when i hitch hiked places, i slept under freeway bridges, and in farmers’ fields wrapped in my cape… in 1993 or thereabouts, i wore it when i went out picking mushrooms, got it caught on a barbed-wire fence and tore a hole in it, which i repaired. eventually i modified the design a little, and cut arm-holes, which fastened with velcro, so that i could wear a backpack and still wear the cape, when it was raining. originally it had three buttons that i rescued from a pea-coat, but the buttonholes failed, so i removed them and replaced it with a metal frog that i got at OCF, where i wore it to protect me from mosquitos.

eventually, i learned that it wasn’t really a “cape”. it is actually a garment called a burnous, a traditional garment worn by Berbers… but nobody knows what a burnous is, despite the fact that it is actually a really cool garment…

it was well worn, and well loved, so it wasn’t particularly surprising when i was putting it on a couple months ago, and the frog ripped a big hole in the front, and i decided that it was time to retire it as a garment…

141215 cape in progressbut i still want need a cape… i NEED a cape. it has been a part of my wardrobe for 40 years, and it’s lack has been felt intensely… so i went out and spent $250 on real wool fabric, and real lycra lining material, and made a new one. 😎

at this point, it’s about 85% finished. i put together the pieces, and sewed the neck, but i’m letting it hang for a couple of days before i finish it, because that way the lining will have a chance to “settle”… the old cape didn’t have a lining, so it wasn’t a problem. i found it rather bizarre, essentially, to have to make two capes, and sew them together inside out, so that the lining came out right.

and i didn’t realise until i hung it up, that, because of the fact that it’s made of brown cloth, it looks suspiciously like a “jedi” cape… which, naturally, means that i’ll be getting a lot of comments from tourists at OCF next year, but… oh well, i’ll deal with it…