Tuesday, June 29, 2004

It's A Beautiful Day in Basel, and Why Doesn't The U.S. Use The Metric System?!?!?

I went into town today (after waking up at 10:45 this morning)and picked up my watch right in the heart of downtown Basel - Marktplatz. The skies are blue, and it's about 27ºC/80ºF with low humidity today...just about perfect.
That brings up one of my pet peeves. Why is it that the U.S.A. is the only country in the world not using the metric system? I mean, Canada switched over in the early 70's. I have cousins in Canada who are a little younger than me, and they don't understand feet, pounds, ºF, etc. at all. The English do still use some of the imperial measures, but they understand metric far better than Americans. Although the English use stone (1 stone equals 14 pounds) which is absolutely, in my opinion, the dumbest thing I've ever heard of. For example, and English person will say they weigh "13 stone 2 pounds" instead of 184 pounds, or 83.6 kilos. What the hell is that?!?!?! It's bloody mad I tell you! I think the whole world should use one system....THE METRIC SYSTEM. It makes the most sense. Everything's based on units of 10, 100, or 1000...0º is freezing...100º is boiling...logical!
After picking up my watch, some Campbells Cream of Mushroom Soup at Globus (3.60 CHF, or $2.88 U.S. per can....extortion!!!) which is the only place you can find it around here, a hot dog at Brezelkönig, and some cash at the UBS bank machine, I headed home on the tram.
I take the tram a lot. It's one of the best things about living in Switzerland. The tram stop is about a 7-minute walk from our house, and it comes every seven or eight minutes and takes you to downtown Basel in about 20 minutes. You almost don't need to own a car here. As a matter of fact, a lot of people don't own cars. Last week, was a heavy driving week for me, and I only drove 110 km/about 70 miles the whole week. I doubt I've even driven 3,000 km (1860 miles) this year. Sometimes, I just get in the car and drive it to the car wash, go through the wash, and then drive it back home.
Anyway, I had to get back home to meet up with the repairman who was supposed to show up between 15:00 and 17:00 (that's 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.....don't even get me started on the advantages of using the 24-hour clock). Acting on a hunch, I decided that it would be best if I arrived at home early. And, my hunch was right...the repairman showed up at 14:35, while I was walking Dave and Jane's dogs - Sam and Toby. Actually, I was surprised when I called the repair service and they gave me a range of when the repairman would show up. Usually they give an exact time, and he shows up about one minute early. This time they gave me a two hour window, and the guy showed up twenty five minutes early.
So now it's approaching 17:00, and I have the whole evening ahead of me without really knowing what I'm going to do. Maybe I'll read a bit, listen to music, watch T.V...just relax with the pets. By the way, Dominique's gastrointestinal problem seems to have passed.

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