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Sometimes stuff just works - or almost, anyway

Stuff that works is often like Poe's purloined letter: invisible in plain sight - at least until something else in the process breaks and so directs your attention to what worked.

There are two pubs near the main entrance to the University grounds at the north end of our street - and as you drive south from the pubs you hit a slow 45 degree curve ending about two hundred feet north of us. Nobody parks on the street near there, and my neighbors on that side are used to the sound of cars bouncing off curbs, light posts, and the large trash cans we haul out to the curb on Wednesday nights.

Last Christmas somebody took out the entire Holy Family, including various shepherds, wisemen, angels and the manger; bounced off a large rock at the edge of the celebrant's driveway; and retched up pinioning a plastic Santa Claus against yet another neighbor's tree.

As a result we tend not to take minor crunchies too seriously, so when a car mysteriously turned up parked on a rock in front of our house last week - I took no action, knowing that the regular police patrol would be along just after 6AM anyway.  

The officer suggested I file an insurance report - just as a matter of record in case someone subsequently takes out the retaining wall on our side of the sidewalk and it becomes necessary to document which incident caused what damage.

In doing that I got an object lesson in stuff that works. From calling a tow truck to locating the vehicle owner all of his communications and database stuff (Unix, zOS) worked as advertised - my digital pictures (Qnx) and explanatory text went from my machine (Solaris) to my agent's iPhone (BSD - he turned out be on holidays somewhere) and from there to someone at his office.

It's often hard to notice stuff that works; and I didn't - at least until the next day when someone from State Farm called: they had the text, forwarded from the agent's office, but no pictures. (Windows).

The cost of the whole thing to me? Really nothing - free. The parallels between the last bit and that rock under the car? Priceless.