I may live in San Diego, but I have a down coat. I have several actually, but only one I really wear. And wear it, I do. It has gotten so much use over the years that it has begun to spring leaks. First, fuzzy white stuff started appearing at one sleeve. "Nothing a little duct tape can’t handle," I decided, vowing to find a more permanent solution someday when I had a needle and an inclination.

But what started as some minor molting has become full-blown failure. No number of thoughtfully applied swatches of silver tape can make it stop.

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