“Imperial units should only be used when measuring general levels of rebel scum.”
— Fake AP Stylebook
I leave for Germany on Thursday to teach three classes at the workshops of Dictum GmbH, one of Europe’s leading supplier of hand tools.
The hardest part of the trip might surprise you. It’s not the food or the beer (duh). It’s not the time difference, the language barrier or even dealing with the completely different cultural woodworking tradition (bowsaws, horned planes, pins-first dovetails, etc).
It’s the metric system.
I don’t dislike the metric system. Far from it. After three years of teaching at Dictum, plus many years of dealing with readers from metric countries, I appreciate its base-10 elegance. But it really jerks around my brain switching back and forth between the two systems. Especially when I get the occasional student who uses Imperial. And don’t get me started on the one who spoke Esperanto.
This year I’ve been getting a jump on the switch to the metric system by spending the last four days writing up all the materials for the class in metric and not using a conversion calculator. It’s like I can almost “speak” metric. Almost.
Now if someone could explain what the German Burger King’s “Long Chicken” sandwich is, I think I’ll have assimilated.
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. This blog entry is also a reminder that if you e-mail me or post a comment on the blog that I might not be very responsive. I won’t be back in Kentucky until June 28. And if you are seeking to burgle us in the meantime, you’ll have to deal with the ferocity of Lucy and her four attack pussies.