We bought this puzzle last year during lockdown, but only got around to putting it together the last few weeks.

We have no idea why that one piece might have gone missing, but there you have it. When we think of this puzzle in the future, that is I suppose IF we ever think of this puzzle in the future, it won’t be the wonderfully cheesy picture that we remember. It won’t be the long period of tension where we thought we had two too many pieces to fit in the top border. It won’t be how we scooped the half-finished puzzle up and moved it to another room for a dinner party, although I suppose that might account for the missing piece. No, I think we will mostly remember that it was the puzzle that had the missing piece that time.

My day job includes a lot of thinking about large-scale reliability. We are responsible for millions of transactions in a month, hundreds of services have to stay online more or less all the time, and so on and so on. Just like in this puzzle, the rare failures are given far more attention than the common successes. That is as it should be… we want to eliminate the problems. But maybe there’s also some value in stepping back and looking at the whole picture from time to time as well.

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