So its been a while since I've posted last. Really intense summer school and a vacation will do that to a blog. However, in my head I haven't stopped writing, so I have a couple of postings that just need to get written. Like this one. :)
So usually when I hear the word ingenuity, I think of the fictional character MacGyver. Who as the pop culture jokes go could make a bomb out of a rubber band, a paper clip, and a button. Or anything else he could put together that was in front of him. But you don't have to be MacGyver to have a moment of ingenuity.
Back in August I had the experience of riding my motorcycle down from Portland to San Francisco. And the event was around nine at night, on highway I-5 in southern Oregon. Just to give you an idea of the environment that I was riding in, close your eyes while standing outside. That is how much light is actually lighting the highway. The only way I can see what is in front of me is the light from my bike. And being this is just a single motorcycle headlight, you don't get a lot of light to see with.
While riding along, an object suddenly appears in my view, a dead deer. Just laying in the center of the fast lane. At the speed I was traveling at I was unable to stop safely, so I had to swerve. Which I tried to do, I didn't succeed. And somehow I rode my motorcycle OVER the deer carcass. After using the deer as a jump ramp and landing though, my bike started to make a noise. I thought at the moment that it might be wheel or tire related. So I pulled over, and tried to see what the damage was. But again, no outside lights, and I forgot to pack a flash light ( lucky me ). And being around forty miles to my destination for the fist leg of my trip. I decided I would just go really slow and hopefully I would make it. So I put on my hazard lights, and slowly rode down the should. After a couple of miles I came across a rest stop and the rest stop had street lights. So I pulled over under one of the lights to finally find out what was wrong with my bike. And as soon as I got off the bike and looked I saw my problem. Somehow when I went over the deer, a part of the deer took off the spring that kept my center stand up. So that weird sound I heard while the bike was moving was my center stand hitting the ground.
Only being about thirty miles away at this point, I needed to figure out a way to keep the center stand from hitting the ground. And all I had on me was clothes. So I needed to get creative to solve this problem. I looked around the rest stop, but those places are kept pretty clutter free, so I wasn't able to find anything that I could use to keep the center stand up. So after a while, a moment of ingenuity hit me. And I started to dig through my bag, and pulled out one of my socks. Which I tied one side to the center stand, and the other to part of my motorcycle frame. Using this sock I was able to ride at normal speeds to my destination. Where I quickly went to sleep and temporarily forgot about the problem of how to continue my trip to San Francisco.
Just to tie up this loose end in the story. The next day I was able to acquire a bungee cord. Which I used to keep the center stand attached to my bike. About a month later, that bungee cord is still keeping that center stand up. And probably will till next riding season.
You might now be thinking, “Bryce, you write a tech blog. Why are you telling us this story?” And my immediate response is to say, "That is a good question." I would like to say that there is some kind of connection between ingenuity and technology. No examples of this come to mind, but I'm sure they exist and maybe even might exist within your own experiences, ones that you might have created yourself or least maybe observed. So maybe I'll just say that the reason that I'm telling you this story to remind you that anyone can have a moment of ingenuity, one just has to remember to keep their wits about them in the middle of a problem and be willing to try new or different solutions to the problems that are faced, both technically and reality based.
Of course, this adds the question, do any of you have examples off the top of your head where technology and ingenuity come together?