Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Location: United States

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

"No man, they got the metric system. They wouldn't know what a Quarter Pounder is." - Vincent Vega on the Royale with Cheese Pulp Fiction

It took us about an hour to clear all the branches from this cut of trees near the house. I only hit the house with one tree. But it was small, so I don't think that counts.

June turns into July up here in the North. I’m guessing that happened to you, too, unless you live in some sort of Stephen Hawking-inspired wormhole that keeps it June forever for you, or unless you live in some country that uses holiday wrapping paper for money and just calls June something other than June.

It’s still June. But now it’s July.

July is a traditional month of sweating for people most places across the United States. Here, on July 1, it was something like 50ºF (723ºC).

Here I must take an aside. Since I’ve been a child, the coming takeover of the metric system in the US has been touted. By 1985, by gum, we’d all be talking in meters, kilograms, and hectagons. It hasn’t happened. Metric is the measurement system of choice for scientists, since we can’t ask Stephen Hawking to remember to divide by anything other than 10. But for the average rank and file consumer in the United States (and for every business outside of physics, medicine, and chemical research) the good old system that uses gallons and feet seems to stick. I don’t want to go buy litres or liters or kilograms of milk. I want a gallon. I want to buy my carpet by the square foot, and I want to eat steak by the pound. Beer, they come in cases. A metric case would contain only ten beers, hence, the English system of 24 beers to the case is better (though, if those ten beers each contained 3550 ml, I could be converted, so to speak).

If you don’t use the old English system, I’m not making fun of you. If you like buying liters of gasoline, good, and I can appreciate that. I don't even mind your money. The reason I bash the metric system is that there’s no real reason to change here, unless you give me big honking beers for less money, and I don’t think that’s an attribute of the SI system.


Anyhow, it’s been a nice, cool summer, the kind of summer that make Al Gore fume, heating up his local climate. Evidence of global, or even local, warming is sorely lacking. It’s been gorgeous.

The Mrs., The Boy, and I have been busy. Vacation for the Wilder clan? Not until after my first triple-bypass surgery. Time off from work? We work.

The Boy and I started the other night. The Mrs. was off hunting moose with a dull spoon (she only got three, slacker) and I decided that it was time for some of our trees to go. I did not make this calculation lightly. Some lady came on the radio the other day and said that we needed at least 30’ of clear space around our house so that the firemen would have room to take pictures of our house after a forest fire leveled the place. The Mrs. and I (in fairly vague details) discussed my plans to do this. She left.

I hadn’t told her I was going to cut down 14 trees. I got bored, there was gas for the chainsaw, so I fired it up and started knocking the trees down.

To her credit, when she got home and saw the 14 trees down, she then looked at the others that I’d marked for doom. She wiped away the moose blood and nodded. She gestured at the remaining 31 trees.

“There must be dozens of liters of wood in the rest of those trees. How many kilominutes will it take you to cut them down?”


Blogger brotherbill said...

Is it all for naught? I gloat, however you are 5,549.018112 kilometers closer to North Korea, and since they now have a cute little delivery system capable of tossing bigbigbig firecrackers over the pole and down our boot tops, well..., you are closer. As such, that makes Wilderville our FIRST line of defense.

Best perhaps to trade-in the chainsaw for a backhoe and anti-ballistic missiles. There may be some fallout shelter plans still available from the girly Cold War days. Backhoe, dirt, concrete, rebar, and survival skills. What could be more fun than a backyard Patriot antiaircraft missiles system?

Oh. And practice Korean. I am.

미국에 환영. 조선 민주주의 인민 공화국 (DPRK), 공산주의자 한국 노동당 (KWP), 및 김정일 (김일성의 아들), 국가 방위 위원회의 의장이 우리에 의하여 경의를 표한다.

11:16 PM  
Blogger Coldfoot said...

Kilominute? You don't need to be a cartographer to know that kilominutes are used to determine fractions of degrees of latitude and longitude.

I think the term you are looking for is a centiday, or a millimoon.

12:59 AM  
Blogger HP said...

I am with you on the whole metric system thing. Yikes, if it hasn't taken off since I first learned about it in 1976, I don't think it ever will.

On to more serious things. Al Gore is full of at least one if not two kilocraps on this whole Global Warming thing. I'm not buying into his or any other tree huggers certainty that it's happening.

5:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the comments so far. As I read the digression, I heard it in the voice on one long gone Dr. Babcock, and it all seemed right again.

As for the Koreans Mr Wilder, remember that in Red Dawn they stopped the Ruskies in Wyoming, we expect you to hold the other red threat in Alaska.

미국에 환영. 조선 민주주의 인민 공화국 (DPRK), 공산주의자 한국 노동당 (KWP), 및 김정일 (김일성의 아들), 국가 방위 위원회의 의장이 우리에 의하여 경의를 표한다.

11:07 AM  
Blogger Woofwoof said...

Interesting. Up there when you want 30' of clear space around the house, you simply chop down 14 trees. Here I'd have to ask the neighbors to move. Somehow I don't think they'll like it.

And since today is Korean day:

여당의 5ㆍ31 지방선거 참패 이후 실패한 정책이란 비판을 끊임없이 받아온 참여정부 부동산 정책에 균열 조짐이 가시화하고 있다....

9:03 PM  
Blogger JohnCub said...

Speaking of crap they taught us in grade school, what is the counterpart to long division? Because they never taught us short division but they did teach us to hate division (as opposed to longing for it.)

new topic

Why do the moose stay there? Don't they know they can rent u-hauls and move south where the grass is green all year round? Does Alaska have a big moose fence or how does that work?

3:40 AM  
Blogger The Tundra PA said...

Yeah, metric...I just can't think in it. Patients are now screened with weights given in kilograms and heights in centimeters. Thank god for my trusty Palm pilot which tells me how much they REALLY weigh and how tall they are. You may be too young to remember the first gasoline crisis back in 1974. When the price went over $1/gallon, the old gas pumps couldn't handle it; the price was set on the pump by turning two little (mechanical) wheels, so 99 cents per gallon was all the pump could charge. The pump maker never imagined gas could cost more than a dollar a gallon. So the gas stations were selling gas by the liter with the pumps reading $.33 per; when you went inside to pay, they did the math and told you what you really owed. *sigh* the good ole days...we're now paying $4.22/gallon in Bethel. Costs me $75 to fill my tank.

The Mrs. sounds like a riot--I'd love to meet her!

9:12 AM  
Blogger DogMa said...

Uh...what the hell happened to our Terror Alerts?

How will I know then it's the real deal if I don't have Master Shake to tell me to run for the hills?

Did you notice this John? I think his website is gone... :^(

12:37 PM  
Blogger Duck Hunter said...

I think your only problem with the Metric system is you don't want to admit someone might have a better way of doing things compared to you.

8:10 PM  
Blogger brotherbill said...

"여당의 5ㆍ31 지방선거 참패 이후 실패한 정책이란 비판을 끊임없이 받아온 참여정부 부동산 정책에 균열 조짐이 가시화하고 있다...."

You said it, woofwoof. Darn government real estate policy is stoopid.


7:11 AM  
Blogger HP said...

Korean in Bold. Nice.

11:59 AM  
Blogger The Lone Beader® said...

Pulp Fiction is my favorite movie:)

9:17 PM  
Blogger shawnkielty said...

$4.22 @ gallon - That's 95.30 a liter in Europe.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Jill Homer said...

I had metric indoctrination when I was in sixth grade. I can still remember the songs ...

... "You'd be amazed to what he's done to the scales out in the hall.
He's cut them all in half.
And the ladies on a diet think he's nifty,
He can change 100 pounds to less than 50
Kilogram! Kilogram! Kilogram!

1:34 PM  
Blogger Thomas said...

I remember in 1975, the year of the Metric Conversion Act, when gasoline was sold by the liter. It caused great confusion. The gas stations converted because the dials cannot accommodate anything more than $1 per unit. This was during the oil crisis, when gasoline was over $1/gallon for the first time. At first gasoline was sold by the liter, which was very confusing, then by the half gallon until the new electronic dials can accommodate the higher prices. Also during this period, there were metric rulers everywhere, conversion charts, weather reports in Celsius, etc.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Liang Boy said...

Dear John,

I don't know exactly why but I really feel like putting this up...


Go Chinese Day!

2:48 AM  
Blogger John said...

Good for us they were aiming at the 50th state, and not the 49th. I like the missile idea, though.

I think it was a hectoyear. Maybe.

Yup, Al Gore is full of kilocrap. I like that.

We will hold the Koreans . . . before they get here. Remember what Patton said - you're not here to die for your country, you're here to make some other SOB die for his country. Ahhh, Red Dawn. I have that documentary on DVD.

No, about 45 trees have to go to give us 30' of clear space. I suggest you go to work on your neighbor's house with a chainsaw . . . unless that breaks a zoning thingy. Just explain you need to protect yourself from wildfires.

That'll convince 'em.

Moose stay here because they can't afford airfare out. Moose just don't manage their savings well.

See! Metric gas is NOT GOOD. Go gallons.

The Mrs. tolerates me, which is good, because I'm an exasperating guy.

They're back! Panic!

duck hunter,
You have nailed it - I am so goofy that way it's not scary. The Mrs. says I'm "High Maintenance," and she's right.

the lone beader,
It's a great, perhaps perfect movie. I love it.

shawn kielty,
Dang, this metric is giving me a headache, but you can see that metric is NOT a bargain. It's how they get ya.

That's how Hitler worked - start with the metric propaganda on the young. Stupid Hitler.

I bought a tape measure that has feet on one side and meters on the other. Just go and try to buy a 2.784m by 1.23M sheet of plywood at Home Despot.

Happy Chinese Day!

7:28 PM  
Blogger GoGo said...

jill is cute.com

2:32 PM  

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