Friday, December 09, 2005

Pistol shot!

In the old days when I bicycled to work in the evening, my company doubled in size and doubled its building. The new half of the building was specially constructed to make it easy to assemble a mini-computer system anywhere. Big electrical cables hung from the ceiling, running to ubiquitous junction boxes. It looked very forbidding, and I can’t quite believe it was legal, but, well, we worked there. I had bicycled in around 8:30 P.M., perhaps three weeks after the new half-building opened. It was October, it was chilly and rain threatened, so I brought my bike inside. Two other dedicated employees were there and we were analyzing a software design when we heard: a sudden pistol shot, a loud BANG! What WAS it? We raced around the building looking for a smoldering computer or a fire. Nothing. At last, with some misgivings, we settled down to work.
The other two left around midnight. At 2 A.M. I went to my bike to go home. The front tire was flat as a pancake. I know - now - that you don’t just bring a bike inside on a cold day. If it’s cold and the tires are hot, they may puncture as the temperatures settle. Please don’t ask me how I got home that night.

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