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Erik Trautman

“Everything you can imagine is real.”
-- Pablo Picasso

40% Chance of Rain

The last couple weeks have defined the term “busy” while I packed up the apartment, gave away or sold off a whole bunch of crap (including a car), and moved into a storage unit. My aspirations to spend the whole time coding were quickly dashed when the enormity of the move became clear. Aaah well, such is life. I’m just glad the hours of my youth that I wasted spent playing Tetris came in handy.

Houston is finally in the rear view mirror and my multi-month roundabout journey takes me east through New Orleans. The original plan to tow the motorcycle up to Newport was scrapped when it displayed an alarming lean around corners due to the rake of the front end.

Sometimes having studied mechanical engineering can be a problem. I was never the least bit hesitant about flying until I took a flight class in college and realized what was actually going on around the wings. In this recent case, I was seeing force diagrams in my head and watching the bike lean made me too uncomfortable to allow those stresses to occur over 4000 miles of driving. I guess my trust in the magic of things has been shaken since high school physics (thank you, Dr. Watt). So, Plan B: I put a couple of huge boxes in the mail, hid the Jeep strategically in one of Houston’s many housing complexes, and took off on the bike.

This morning’s forecast was for a 40% chance of rain. A 10-20% chance is often at best an afternoon drizzle but with 40-50% you can bet there are real storms crawling around out there somewhere. Figuring that you can locate a highway exit in time to pull out your rain gear if necessary is a rosy assumption in Louisiana, where the exits often have 10-15 miles of bayou causeways between them and the storms move faster than you do.

It doesn’t get much truer than the old adage, “Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.” My soaking gear says it like this: “To take on a 40% chance of precipitation, you’d better be ready to get 100% wet.”