Velona Needlecraft

Chris's Asimantologia

As co-proprietor of Velona Needlecraft, Chris has done needlepoint, cross-stitch, some knitting design, publishes a newsletter, has searched the world for unusual things, has opened and closed stores, and much more including an artistic flair on style and design. He is always there when the lights burn out and the trash needs to be taken out. Sometimes he can write an interesting story on bizarre subjects and we often find him in a corner reading his fan mail. He also likes to procrastinate so please be gentle with him.

Please Don't Paddle Me Again.
I Promise to Learn the Metric System!

by Chris

Hello and welcome to our site. I am trying to find a role that might be of interest but my quest has become more difficult than I imagined and my career as an asimantologist is in jeopardy.

My first assignment is to help with a little background on the metric system. You see, I grew up with the metric system and when I came to America everyone told me to forget metrics and learn the all American way! It was a gruesome struggle but I endured and learned it; important things such as 118 pounds, 36-22-35, 2 gallon jug of root beer, one mile jogs, and much more.

After this arduous effort now they tell me I must learn the metric system once more. STOP RIGHT THERE! My cerebral powers are disoriented and there is a faint voice that tells me DON'T DO IT!

PLEASE! Is there anybody who can convince me why the Frenchman who devised this system should be revered as a fold hero? I find solace that present day Frenchmen wish he had chosen the French word Meta which means boundary to announce his discovery; however he chose the word metron which means measure in Greek. Some of us can argue that the French language's dethronement could very well be attributed to this uneventful choice.

Let's continue. About 1760 a French genius developed the metric system and defined a meter as 100 centimeters and 1,000 millimeters. No one at that time was certain as to which measuring stick he used but it was supposedly equivalent to one 10th millionth the distance along a meridian from the equator to the North Pole.

Please stay awake and bear with me a little longer. Who is trying to tell me the metric is an easy system? Of course it didn't take very long for the world's scientists to discover some obvious flaws with the original measurement and the formula went amock. While I am not trying to debate the entire scientific community why is it a platinum bar with 2 scratches was preserved in a Paris museum and then in the 1960s they told us that the meter was the distance light travels in 1/299,792,458 of a second. Gosh! My surfing is darn good! Have you observed that there is no such word as a meterstick? Why is it always called a yardstick?

You see what I mean? Is the metric easy? NO WAY! I refuse to accept it!

I thought my research was complete until I hired a palm tree trimmer. You see I have never met anyone who talks metric all the time. My tree trimmer said, "That middle one is about a dozen meters high and that is the maximum height I climb to do my work." Suddenly I felt a power fumbling beneath my fee and I was afraid a 7.6 earthquake had struck my yard. I turned around and I asked the tree trimmer, "You mean to tell me you know the metric system?" He said, "Sure! I am an unemployed physicist and trimming trees is how I earn my living now!" I was delirious to have found someone from whom I could learn more metric and I asked him, "Why do you have a height limit of a dozen meters?" And he then said, "Well, only a fool would climb anything taller!" My conversation with the tree trimmer was going well and I was telling him about my research on the metric system whereupon he turned off the chain saw and said, "No. You got it all wrong. That isn't true at all. The real definition of a meter is the distant light travels during 3.466610827 vibrations of the Cesium 133 atom."


Why didn't the French call it a Napoleon meaning 1/1,609,967 the distance from Paris to Moscow. Or an Eiffel, or, better still, a Napa meaning the number of Napa wine bottles one could stack at a French wine cellar. You see I could identify with all those. Now can you expect me to identify with the speed of light, vibrations of the Cesium 133 atom, an imaginary line from the equator to the North Pole, or an overeducated palm tree trimmer's wisecracks.

Please stay tuned. For those who do need a metric conversion, we will include some conversion tables on our web in the near future.

Thank you,


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Velona Needlecraft
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Tel. (714) 692-2286