Thursday, August 17, 2006


I do not prefer (ie.HATE) the metric system.
The Canadian Government started our conversion in the 70s and for me it was too late.
I was born in '57 so I think in pounds, inches, feet, miles, and gallons.
I wish that my TIME magazine was the American edition because
I never know how tall anyone is
or how heavy things are in the articles.
Why don't the editors know that we still think in Imperial?

Our national metrication efforts have stalled in Canada and we now enjoy a bastardized system where most items are listed in Metric
but bought in Imperial.

Even if the items are listed in Metric Units nobody knows what the hell they mean especially if you are trying to build something.
We buy 2X4s at the Lumber Yard not
40X90s (Millimetres).

In Canada we may have gas prices listed in Litres but
we still convert it
back to Gallons before we can be certain that these prices are outrageous .
Retailers appreciate the consumer confusion because gas looks twice as affordable in Litres. Listen $1.17 sounds like gas is about a Buck a Gallon.

It all started in 1970 with the frickin' weather forecasts.
All of a sudden room temperature was 22 degrees Celsius?
What we had to convert the frickin' temperature from Farenheit to Celsius.
The tedious formula required for figuring out how Fn' hot or cold it is outside is
In this equation the C stands for CRAP and I don't have to tell you what the F!? stands for.

The trouble is that Metric has no soul.
It is a lifeless bland smattering of numbers and values that offer us nothing more than information. Think of all of the phrases in history (walk a mile in his shoes/ don't give an inch) they are all in Imperial. When you're talkin' Farenheit there is a quantifiable difference between being 68 degrees outside and 85 degrees. It is more dramatic and much more satisfying and you think 'whew, that is hot'.

When someone says that it is 100 outside you know that it is
In Celsius water boils at 100?!
Now if the weatherman said that it is going to hit 100 today I would get out my calculator and discover that it is actually 212 degrees F!?
That means that either a Nuclear Power plant must have imploded or that the Sun is on a collision course with Earth.
holy F!? that is hot.

Don't get me started on a dozen doughnuts.
By the way, today in Whateverpeg it is a pleasant 75 degrees F!? Outside and a government regulated 22 degrees C Inside?!!


  1. I don't do celsius, I'm a farenheit kinda girl. I also don't do litres unless I'm buying some vodka.

  2. If you can drink litres of Vodka you must be part Russian!

  3. Yea, they tried that metric bullshit down here and it went nowhere. However, the retail food industry has used it to sneak in price increases by changing the box size/portion/volumn, etc, to make you think you're getting the same amount for the same price, when in fact it's crept down. What amazes me is that the gas stations haven't tried the litre method to hide the pain of gas pump shock.

    Yea, we still judge our distances by miles, and have no earthy idea how far a meter is.

    Oh, and by the way, you were close......WE are on a collision course with the sun, not vice versa. It's called a decaying orbit.

  4. the michael,
    Actually if you examine the universe in Metric units the Sun still revolves around the Earth so I was right.
    The deca in decaying is obviously a metric term.

  5. I guess there's at least one good reason to be American!

  6. I was born in 1970 so I'm used to measuring certain things in metric and they are totally confusing to me in imperial. I think in litres, not ounces or gallons and temperature makes sense to me when it's in Celcius degrees. There are still a few things that register in imperial in my brain though - mostly height and weight; I tend to think in inches (and feet) and pounds, not metres and kilograms. I know I'm 5'8", I have no idea how much that is in metres. I think my parents are ashamed of my inability to be totally metric. They are totally metric and I'm sure that's because they're from Italy where there are no pounds, only grams and kilograms. Doesn't the rest of the world use the metric system? I always thought we were only getting screwed up because of the Americans.

  7. *with a heavenward look*

    I a METRIC girl. I cannot make out anything when one talks in gallons, pints etc etc. Give me celsius anyday though I can convert it to fahrenheit or vice versa in a jiffy in my mind.

    So how many kilogram worth is your post?


  8. I've spent enough time in Europe and around europeans to have a general idea about temperatures...but anything else has me stymied!

    ok. And WTFrick is behind the use of a Stone? I can't do weight in anything other than pounds, and then the Brits have to mess it up with Stone. I'm fairly sure it's 14 pounds...but how exactly does that help me? I'm terrible at math, and I don't want to turn an already humiliating experience (weighing myself) into an extra-humiliating experience (math) to satisfy England.

  9. I have a high tolerance of alcohol. I think it had to do with all that drinking in college.

  10. et tu gautami?

    Very well then, have your .4536 kilograms of flesh!.
    (a pound of flesh=
    a debt harshly insisted upon)

    What if Shakespeare had written Antonio's debt to Shylock in kilograms....I rest my case, Metric just doesn't have any soul.

    Fortunately we evaded the stone here in this Colony.
    But I sure wish that we measured beer in hogsheads!
    1 hogshead (of beer) =
    3 kilderkin =
    6 *firkin =
    54 gal. =
    245.488 86 l

    *that's a lot of FIRKIN beer!

  11. awaiting,
    Moi aussi!
    I do not have any tolerance for people who aren't so called 'happy' drunks.
    How tedious is that?

  12. H.E. -

    !~lol~! That certainly is a lot of firken beer!

    I, too, have little tolerance for mean drunks. I've been told that I am a mean drunk, but it was based on ONE incident when I had four margaritas (the infamous "Four Margarita Incident") and I was out with my EX boyfriend and I got a little insulting...I was told but don't recall that I told the table of guys that they were terribly unattractive and I'd never date any of them, including my ex-boyfriend.
    That was the worst of it, and since then I have had four margaritas to test my ability to be a normal person. I'm normal when I'm not already ticked off, I guess! ;) My current honeybunch says that he's never met such a pleasant drinker as me. After almost two years of acquaintance, I must concede that he is probably correct.

    =) ~Shelley

  13. Anna, you guys ARE getting screwed because of us Americans but it doesn't have anything to do with Metric versus whatever the hell the other thing is called. Anyhow, I'm casting my vote for measures and temps i'm used to: good old feet, inches, gallons, miles, pounds (however much pain that term inflicts on me), etc. I like measurements derived from actual things not from someone's arbitrary decision, maybe they hadn't had coffee the day they decided on the metric system.

  14. I'm pretty much all metric, but then I gew up with it. The exceptions being feet/inches when describing someone's height, and pounds when talking someone's weight.

    I guess those two are pretty substantial.

    But then I use km/h and celcius so maybe I'm more 50/50

  15. Hi, I'm George Bush, the decider, and as leader of the free world I've decided we need to rid the world of this here socialist, terrorist attempt to attack our 'merkan values, namely the way we measure things. I know how much you all thirst for democracy, and I'm workin' on that, so I'm gonna start this here secret NSA program to intercept all communications and convert those subversive metric references to good old american inches and pounds and things. This here is George Bush, and may God bless. Not Allah bless, now, but God bless.

  16. I am Russian and I don't drink vodka. Now figure that out! :-)

    I have the exactly opposite problem. I grew up with metric and now I have to deal with gallons, miles and F...s (and I can't even spell those). Metric system is very nice and easy on your brain - everything is divisible by 10 and what not. But what are you suppose to do with 1/4 of this and 6/32 of that and all that nonsense? And how many inches are in a foot, feet in a yard, yards in a mile. By the way, do you know that there are all kind of different miles? International mile, US survey mile, Nautical mile, English Statute mile, Old English mile, Russian mile, Old Russian mile and more... They all are different in sizes too. So yeah, Russians used to have their own miles, but that was a long time ago, before they got smarter. ;-p

  17. grumble...grumble bond...8:01 p.m.

    I'm seeing a confluence here- it
    looks like people drink to forget
    the horror and heartache of metric
    vs imperial measurement systems (and for other reasons, presumably), when in fact, these are complementary issues. No sober
    person should experience anything
    more than passing exposure to M vs I conversions; if misfortune places
    you athwart such mental gyrations
    on a more regular basis, then it
    follows that you probably ought to
    consider heavy imbibement, as soon
    as possible. Now let's see- how many picograms of Green Kryptonite
    will shake or stir into 2,174.74 deciliters of pure grain alcohol?
    Get back to me when you have the numbers, okay? ... excuse me ... BARTENDER!

  18. Homo Sap:

    What an excellent post. I think you capture the opinions of all us baby boomers (would it have been a boom in metric equivalent?)

    We Canajun baby boomers grew up, same as all the Yanks out there, with imperial measurements.

    So feet, inches, pounds, miles from nowhere, fahrenheit not celsius.

    It's 85 outside, it's pretty hot. What's that? 29 or whatever it is? Doesn't compute nearly as easily.

    I agree entirely, for us, metric has no soul and means nothing. Just numbers to jumble.

    But the rest of the world, besides us and the U.S., is essentially metric.

    So I dunno whether E still equals MC squared. All I know is it's one more thing to confuse us all about.

  19. I'm schizophrenic when it comes to metric measurements.

    As a model maker, I love metrics because it makes the arithmetic in scaling up or down much easier than trying to convert English measurements into decimal equivs.

    As for temperature, it drives me up the damned wall.

    But then again, nautical miles are easy: they're 1.15 times the length of an English mile.

    But then there's those damned two-liter soda bottles. 67.6 ounces my pasty-white ass!

    My head hurts . . . .

  20. Sorry i am a metric boy, My main issue is with farenheit... who would have water freeze at 32 degrees, celcius is a much easier scale. I was brought up with both, as a pilot i worked in pounds, farenheit and feet. I still think of height in feet.

    And weight i feel much better when using imperial, i am a whopping 130 pound instead of a 63 kilo weakling.

    Metric is the easier to get your head around, easier incriments
    10ths instead of 12ths...

  21. Americans do alot of things different lol! Different strokes for different folks? :)


  22. Awaiting is not part Russian. She is part Lush-ian.

  23. I'm about 60-40 metric-imperial. It's only heights and weights that I really still have to use metric for (and painting dimensions...).

  24. Oh dios mio the blasphemous words! MY EARS! MY EARS!

    Well, I am halfway with you... I prefer Celsius because I was raised here and with most things I am a metric gal through and through... but the things I got accustomed to in the US with the nonsensical system that are feet and gallons and yards and inches and the like well, 'tis hard to let go!



  25. That's another thing...we in the US of firkin-A drink from liter bottles (?!)

    The Roman Army needs to come in and get us all on the same system or let us face crucifixion and humiliation.

  26. angela,
    America will succumb to this measurementalization in time. I understand that it is easier to divide and multiply by 10s.
    I sound like a dinosaur.

    I must confess that the height and weight thingamabob in my TIME magazine regarding people is my only real issue. If I read the American edition I would have never even thought about this.

    Metric is easier if you grew up with it but our government quit halfway through the process and now it is all over the map. We won't change until your country adopts hurry up.

    It is weird that human statistics are the main units holding the whole thing up..therefore we can safely blame sports writers and doctors for the whole mess.

    the michael,
    I know that Dubya once measured his inhalants in grams but I don't think that he has much to do with any items that aren't measured in dollars or gallons.

    hi sh,
    Don't go 'russian' off to any conclusions about the IMPERIAL system. sorry about the bad pun but westerners of course have been spoon fed such myopic crap about Russia and it's history. Actually 1/4 of my ancestors fled from Russia in the 1800s and they didn't drink Vodka either..

    There are quite a few types of miles aren't there. Measuring gas for the boat or lawn mower is much easier in tenths but it is weird to have both systems in place.

    LOL exactly my sentiments. It is funny how measuring alcohol seems to be essential to the human condition. I guess that we need to feel 'the same' as other people regardless how many firkins it takes to get there.

    Finally we agree on something important. You have no idea what it means to me to have accidentally stumbled upon this great concession in our endless battle for supremecy over the trivial aspects of life. Let's stop and savour the moment...ahh..

    frontier editor,
    Litres Schmitres! 67.6 blah blah brain just shuts off. It is a waste of time...all I need to remember is that there are about 40 litres in a firkin!

    OK I concede that 10ths are easire than 12ths but my point is that is isn't as interesting. Life is not black and white or cut and dried so why should we measure it as such. There are 365 days in a year and 24 hours in a day. Hey I am almost making a reasonable argument here..I am going to stop while I am ahead..

    Finally the voice of reason crying in the wilderness. What a sensible, pleasant gal you are for offering a peace offering to our wonderful American friends.
    btw..If you lived next door to the USA you Aussies would be measuring the Roo droppings in the front yard in inches and pounds.

    Now, now, what is wrong with being part Lussian?
    How would you MEASURE that part?

    I would grudgingly agree with that summation. I guess it is like our Canadian quest for bilingualism we just accept the fact that there is are more than one way to skin a cat (ecorcher le chat).

    miz bohemia,
    My dear mizb please do not take this obviously ridiculous excercise in exasperation as a personal affront to your metrification.
    It was intended as a poke at our wayward human calibration efforts in general. I always enjoy how you measure your sentencing upon transgressors of bohemia.

  27. you preparing for any competitive tests?

  28. I can vaguely get my head around the idea of farenheit versus celcius because of watching the weather forecast, but that's about it. In Britain in the early '70's it was decided that we would all go metric and the old measurements would be cast aside as we accepted the fact that we were Europeans. Besides, it's all so much easier under the metric system!

    As it stands, no one understands metric weights or lengths and most Brits don't want to think of themselves as Europeans. Then again, we're a load of whingeing sticks in the mud who don't like change.

  29. Just messing with you my friend! *wink, wink*

  30. white forest,
    Competitive tests?..Do you mean against 'the MAN' who has made me use metric measurements despite all of the evidence that common sense has proven time and time again?..that Imperial makes you feel like a king!
    Give the government an INCH and they take a MILE!

    Hi Betty,
    That is interesting that Brits don't think of themselves as Europeans... because Canadians don't think of themselves as Americans!

    miz bohemia,
    You little skallywag! You can't kid a kidder!

  31. Hi homo escapeons,

    I was not offended by the vodka comment. Unfortunately, alcoholism is a big problem in Russia, which I guess is not a big surprise when it comes to a population that is devastated by wars and oppressive governments for centuries.

    It seems like a lot of people in Canada have some Russian roots. That's interesting.

  32. Art Buchwald once commented on what would have happened if continental Europeans had landed at Plymouth Rock - the emergence of group leader Kilometres Deboutish.

    You French speakers will get it soon enough

  33. sh,
    Well the climate is comparable...we like the government to take care of us..we both love hockey..what more do ya need?

    frontier editor,
    Do you mean all of the Cock and Bull stuff about Providence or simply not having a leg to stand on? Thank goodness that Lord Firkin sent them there in the first place.

  34. **If you lived next door to the USA you Aussies would be measuring the Roo droppings in the front yard in inches and pounds.

    LOL hahaha ur soooo funny mate!



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