The Learning Curve

In early February, 2010, we got some snow in Cincinnati. This is not unusual. What was remarkable about it, though, was that it was the perfect consistency for snow construction, and it fell on a Saturday morning when I had nothing of consequence planned. And there was a LOT of it.

My boys (ages 10 and 7 at the time) and I went out to play and clear the driveway, respectively. We saw snowmen and crude little snow forts going up all over the neighborhood, which begged the question: “What can we make?” My eldest suggested an igloo. I suggested it might be a lot of work, but he assured me that he was in it for the long haul, so we started.

As luck would have it, I’m a Scout Leader, and had recently seen some really cool igloo-making instructions. For the record, I’m currently a Cub Scout Leader, which means I have way more experience with teaching silly songs and running the Pinewood Derby than I do with basic outdoor survival skills. Nonetheless, the three of us dove in and started making a giant snow quarry from which to harvest our snow bricks.

I swear the plans looked fairly cut-and-dry, but somehow, the second row of bricks just didn’t pan out for us. This meant that, after a couple of hours of hard labor in the cold, wet snow, we found ourselves a lot closer to the drawing board than we wanted to be. My eldest and I regrouped, and plowed on. His brother has some wonderful qualities, but perseverance isn’t yet among them, unfortunately.

By mid-afternoon (OK; it was mid-afternoon on Sunday), we found ourselves installing the capstone and marveling at the warmth inside a great big snowball. We would have camped out in it, had it not been a school night. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. But seriously, it was pretty cozy in there.

Here’s what we learned:
*Plans are great, but sometimes things don’t go as planned. “It looked good on paper” is the mantra of many an engineer, carpenter, and igloo builder.
*Plans are great, but perseverance is key to success. When the second row didn’t work, we could have settled for an open-top snow fort. That wasn’t what we wanted, though. We kept our eyes on the prize, and walked away with it.

Plans are great. Data is essential to proper design. Even with education and experience, unforeseen variables can come into play, and to unexpected degrees. That’s why I really like EXAIR’s 30-day unconditional guarantee. We can help you get as “good on paper” as possible, but if it turns out to be a bit too much, too little, too high, too low, etc…well, we can step back towards the drawing board with you and continue stepping towards the solution. And it costs you nothing, except the time invested, which is repaid in knowledge, and job satisfaction. I think that’s a pretty fair deal.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll-free
(513)671-3363 fax

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