30 November 2007

How much does a chicken weigh?

There are many people in life that will pose thought provoking questions that range from the mundane to the fantastic. There is a question so obscure, yet so frequently asked that we are left scratching our heads. Because we are professionals do we have an extrasensory knowledge that the average person does not? How do you live up to the sense of urgency with which the question is asked? It seems harmless, an innoculous little question that should have a simple and straight forward answer, so what's the big deal? Um, short of a crystal ball, full house schematics, a weather audit for the spot where the house is, full knowledge of what temp the people in the house want, know how often the doors open and shut, air leaks in windows, etc., a planetary weather control system or at least forecaster... it is impossible to answer.
"How many pellets will I need a day/a month/this year?"
Art's favorite answer when people ask how long a hopper/bag will last is "You can go all summer on one bag!" but the irony is generally lost and the response is a glazed, deer in the headlights, puzzled look.
I usually turn it around and ask, "What will the temperature be on January 18 at 3:00 in the afternoon?" They look at me and say, "That's impossible to answer." I just nod...
We expect it from the average consumer who is probably looking for more detailed information like, "How much heat does this unit put out on high/low?" and "How many pellets does it take to produce said heat?" But yesterday we had a peer in the industry call to ask how many pellets the boiler uses. He's been doing this longer than we have!
So I would like to submit "How many pellets will I use?" to the "Why did the chicken cross the road" hall of fame.

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