Posted by: bkivey | 8 July 2018

Miracles Are Nice

Earlier this year I was driving a truck and trailer through Portland during morning rush hour and while attempting to turn a corner with unfavorable geometry, I managed to ‘hook’ the rig on a car. While there was no contact, the rear corner of the car was in the space between the truck and trailer. So now we’re blocking an entire street plus half of another one.

The situation was complicated by the fact that cars were legally parked all the way to the corner. The corner car was the victim. I had my partner oversee the situation while I tried jockeying the rig back and forth, but from his facial expressions, it wasn’t going well.

A gentleman in construction garb asked me if I’d like him to stop traffic while I attempted escape. Why yes, I would. He did, but no joy on the trailer. After watching me for about a minute, he asked if he could try. I couldn’t get out of the truck fast enough.

In under a minute he had the situation resolved and the rig pointed the way we wanted to go. No damage. I thanked him, we shook hands, and went on our merry.

Driving home, I considered the situation. There is a lot of construction in Portland, but no projects near where we were. There are a lot of construction workers in Portland, and it wouldn’t be unusual to see one around. But at that time of day you’re halfway through a job site morning. You wouldn’t expect to see a tradesman on the street without a project nearby.

This guy showed up with the exact skills I needed at the exact time I needed them. The entire incident lasted perhaps five minutes, and it could so very easily have been so much uglier. There may well be a perfectly reasonable explanation for this particular confluence, but I would say that at very best it’s a low probability event.

This isn’t the first time I’ve experienced a highly improbable circumstance, and I’d think everyone has had the experience at least once. In the normal Universe these events are statistical outliers, and outliers exist. But I’d posit that if we’re going to understand the Universe, we need to take these incidents into account.

Even Mother Nature makes mistakes

The house backs up to a natural area on a creek, which is very nice, although in the warmer months there’s a bit too much of the insect part of Nature. I was watching a hummingbird feeding in this target-rich environment, when it flew over to a spider web and plucked the spider right off.

No! Not the spider! They’re one of the good guys here!

“Say, what happened to Eddie?”

“Blue-on-Blue”

“Ouch.”


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