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Hot Time in the City

July 20, 2010

We are experiencing a bit of a heat wave here in Ukraine – apparently it is unusual, just like last winter’s extreme cold and snow were unusual. In any case, yesterday it was 37 degrees Celcius, which translates to around 100 degrees Farenheit. So to everyone who thought Ukraine was always cold…no…. anyway, it does not leave a whole lot of motivation for me to go exploring, go on walks, etc., or do anything but sit in front of a fan with assorted drinks (water mainly, sometimes Coke Light or, gasp! beer). It makes me think of the film “Biloxi Blues,” where the main character, upon reaching Georgia or Alabama, keeps saying “man, it’s hot. I mean, HOT, like Africa hot…” Certainly Africa is much hotter than we are, but this feels hot.

This makes me wonder, yet again, why the US is the ONLY country in the world that is NOT on the metric system? I never understood that, and still don’t. I mean, what makes us so special that we don’t just bite the bullet and make the switch?

The good thing about this heat is that I spent a lot of time over the weekend getting language stuff in order (mostly). I have been a bit lazy for a few weeks and am trying to get back into learning. So I had a somewhat boring weekend, mostly spent in my room, hiding from the heat. I watched season 2 of Dexter, having watched Season 1 in the States, and am now hooked on the show, and want seasons 3 and 4. Am trying to find a way to download them for free online – if anyone knows how, please tell me. That way I can get other shows, too…

Now I am hiding from the heat in the public library, which has a “Windows on America” room that is at least somewhat air-conditioned. I find the women who work here really nice, and when the WiFi is down, I can use one of their computers.

So there’s my life right now – everyone is out of town (or, in the case of my counterpart, I never hear from her), so I am trying to get some research and study done.

So – how the heck are all of YOU? My subscribers, thank you for reading, and please send me an e-mail to let me know that you actually ARE reading, and what is going on in your lives…I need communication!

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Stephen Comfort-Mason permalink
    July 20, 2010 4:53 am

    The United States IS on the metric system! It has been since 1866, when Congress approved it for use.

    Today, all food products use the metric system. When you buy measuring cups, they have graduations in the metric system. All the nuts and bolts in automobiles are in metric, and the entire drug industry uses ONLY the metric system in maufacturing.

    About the only things that are not in metric are gas pumps (about fifteen years ago Shell tried selling gas in metric, but it did not work) and weather temperature readings (for which metric does not really make a lot of sense, when you think about it), and distance measurements.

    Long ago and far away when I made my living as an auto mechanic, I had to have THREE sets of wrenches – inch, metric, and Whitworth, which is long gone. Progress.

    So long as the US dual system is tolerated, metric will continue to be ignored by most folks in the United States…

    Given my perverse nature, when at the deli counter, I will sometimes ask for “…a half-kilo of the corned beef, please.” Usually my request is filled without comment.

    Your posts are much enjoyed…

  2. July 20, 2010 7:20 am

    Karin, you dont know me but I enjoy following your blog. It lets me escape from the monotany of work everyday. I am counting down the days until my nomination becomes an invitation. Still dont know where I am going or exactly when and my nomination is for October. How long before your nomination date did you receive an invitation? I would love to get advice from you on the stage of the process that I am currently going through and what to expect. You can email me at

  3. Renate Strina permalink
    July 20, 2010 9:27 am

    Hi there, I feel for you … heat wave w/o air-condition…it must be torture…well, miserable, though, no doubt – Sorry! How close to the Black Sea are you? During your assignment or afterwards, will you have any time to travel? How about weekend trips? One of your posts, I think it was on FB, mentioned high prices for vegetables – is it because they are organic vegetables? Anyway, that really surprised me… Thanks for the posts…hope your hand/injured finger continues to improve/heal.

  4. Olga permalink
    July 20, 2010 9:51 am

    Безкоштовне завантаження різних фільмів і серіалів спробуй тут:
    Сподіваюся, ти вже можеш читати українською) Хоча, може, тобі зараз треба якраз більше англомовного товариства, я не знаю.
    І спека дійсно неймовірна, я не пам*ятаю такого уже років п*ять. Кажуть, наступного літа буде ще гарячіше…

  5. Mom permalink
    July 20, 2010 2:33 pm

    I believe “lazy” is the key word in your metric question. Mr. Mason is correct, we have many metrics in the U.S. yet they don’t teach metric in U.S. schools (or do they–it’s been so long since my school days?). It would be so easy wouldn’t it? But then the teachers would have to know it, too! Eventually it’ll trickle down and we’ll all be so accustomed to it that we won’t even know we’ve been converted.
    Glad you’re being smart and keeping cool so as to not overtax your body.
    Love you.

    • Stephen Comfort-Mason permalink
      July 20, 2010 3:07 pm

      I recall getting the metric system covered in ’62 or ’63 in high school… My daughter’s science teachers in middle school were completely functional in the metric system. Teachers are not the problem. School boards are probably more at the heart of educational short-comings. Especially in Texas.

      “Lazy” is not the issue; perhaps the “path of least resistance” is more appropriate. Having lived and worked in metric system countries for a total of fourteen years, I fully support and appreciate the value of the metric system, but there are certain applications, weather temperatures for instance, where metric is an uphill battle. The “trickle down” will take many, many more years.

  6. July 20, 2010 11:36 pm

    To respond to this amazing round of comments:

    I remember learning the metric system in school, as a “this is only used in science or in other countries,” not as something we should be using. And I still think that we should, I mean, how arrogant are we??

    Renate – veggies are silly CHEAP right now, but it is because they are in season. When they are no longer in season, they will be expensive again. I am around 4-5 hours from the Black Sea, so not exactly an easy jaunt, and it is spendy right now besides (and I don’t get a salary, remember, just enough to cover living expenses). My sponsored trip was probably the only one I will have this summer.

    Olga – thanks for the link – is there more to it? My Ukrainian is improving (I think).

    • Stephen Comfort-Mason permalink
      July 21, 2010 12:29 am

      Karin, we ARE using the metric system. The use of the metric system is manditory in many manufacturing areas, including aircraft, automobiles, ships, medical equipment, and drugs.

      Even the weather nitwits on television are now using both systems. I see Republicans and Tea Baggers now as the primary opponents to full implementation of the metric system, and folks who could not deal with asking for a one-eighth kilo hamberger at McDonalds…

      I am told that Obama’s new regulations for the financial industry will mandate use of the metric system in all transactions.

  7. July 21, 2010 3:08 am

    We are not really using it as long as we buy gas in gallons, milk in gallons, quarts, etc., weather is in farenheit, and a hundred other examples I could give.

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