I recently ran across the original pencil drawings I did of what is now the iStand cane. As is with all creations, the end product is (usually) very different form its original inception. The design of the cane is strikingly similar to the final product which is strange, but even stranger was my realization that the cane handle denotes the exact books I was reading at the time in March 2009 – which in turn takes me back to the house, the rooms, the color of the rooms, the type of wine I was (over) indulging in, my hair cut at the time, etc. Often my vivid memories of the past are tied to something ridiculous like an outfit I was wearing, a particular love interest at the time, or even just what room I was in.
Now, when I look at these old drawings of the cane, I am reminded of my favorite cartoon character and the genesis of my fondness for collecting penguins. Bloom County was a fantastic comic strip that had a cultish following and was famous for it’s political musings and timely (or timeless) characters that represented characatures of our friends, family, or just neighbors we wish we didn’t have; but the most lovable character by far was Opus, the sensitive, caring, and terribly clean penguin. It appealed to many age groups as all great comics do, and harkened back to the Reagan years (you can imagine the comic fodder from just the politics). But, each of Bloom County’s residents had their own unique specialties they addressed, and Opus was especially adored for his soft-hearted outlook on life and his delicate sensibilities. For example, Opus being known for his feminine shower cap is the opposite of Bill the Cat and his infamous, there’s no polite way to say it, hurling. Another highly recommended waste of time is reading at least a few of their greatest hits, Penguin Dreams and Stranger Things is a good place to start.