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# USA cachers that use metric

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Is anyone else in this metric-adverse nation using meters and kilometers to geocache?

Having always been into the sciences, I've always wished for more metric units in everyday life. They just make more sense, once you're used to them. One of the reasons they haven't caught on is that folks who grew up with the old system don't have a 'feel' for the new. (I say new, even though metric has been around for a couple of centuries. Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton was the first US official to support a change to metric in this country.)

I feel I have a good grasp on liters and kilograms, and meters are easily treated just about the same as yards. But I've never really gotten a 'feel' for kilometers. So I decided to force myself by setting my GPSr to use metric units. I think it's helping.

Anyone else do this?

Edited by Em Space
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Having used it a lot I perfer it. I wish we would switch to it.

But, no I don't use it on my GPS.

Maybe I will next time just for the fun of it.

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I am perfectly comfortable using either system. Best way to learn metric is to actually use it and stop comparing it to the "old" system. No need to teach complicated conversions and comparisons. Just use it.

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Feet and inches - all the way.

The only thing I'm used to dealing with in metric is liquor. I used to get half pints, pints, fifths, quarts, or half gallons. Now it's 200ml, 375ml, 750ml, and 1.75l. I got used to it but I notice that folks in stores still ask for a half pint when they want a 200ml and a pint when they want a 375ml.

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I feel I have a good grasp on liters and kilograms, and meters are easily treated just about the same as yards. But I've never really gotten a 'feel' for kilometers.

I use cm and mm but Km have far less meaning because of the fact that all the country roads in the flat part of Iowa I live in are laid out in mile squares. The thought of having to convert in my mind the number of miles in X number of km would be a pain to say the least. I could get used to it I suppose but there is little need. I use metric when measuring parts for a new geocache container I'm making because it's far easier to divide and multiply decimals. No standard ruler uses decimal inches.

-it

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...Anyone else do this?

Just with the handy converter on my cars dashboard.

My agency was legally required tro switch to SI but then was legally required to switch back. We work in decimal feet since standard units suck.

Edited by Renegade Knight
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...Best way to learn metric is to actually use it and stop comparing it to the "old" system. No need to teach complicated conversions and comparisons. Just use it.

Exactly.

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I had my GPSr set to metric for a while, but since I upgraded to a new unit, I haven't bothered to change it yet. With road signs and maps being in miles, sometimes it's easier just to use miles. I do like using meters over a smaller area, though (approaching a cache site, for example).

I'm in the sciences, so I've really come to like the metric system over the years. I think of temperatures in celsius, weights in grams, and short distances in cm and meters. When speaking to other people, though, I usually convert to the US equivalent in my head. Otherwise they think I'm strange . Then again, I do sometimes absentmindedly refer to the freezer in my kitchen as "the minus twenty" since that's what we call it in the lab (to differentiate it from the -80 ultralow freezer).

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METRIC SYSTEM!?!?!?!? My car gets four rods to the hogshead, and that's the way I likes it!

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I've been a distance runner forever, and all of our events are measured in meters and Ks, so I'm pretty good with metric. I use imperial when the situation calls for it, though; for example, US highways are marked in miles, so that's what I measure my trips by when planning a caching trip.

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Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton was the first US official to support a change to metric in this country.

...and we all know

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Most of the time I use metric (and decimal coordinates) in the GPSr. This began playing other GPS games that required getting within so many meters. It makes it easier not to switch back and forth . . . I just keep it that way now.

I recall Mr. Walsh, my 8th grade mathematics teacher, telling us that the US would be on the metric system by 1980. That prediction did not work out so well.

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METRIC SYSTEM!?!?!?!? My car gets four rods to the hogshead, and that's the way I likes it!

You made me spit tea on my monitor.

The metric system IS more gooder than the old system we use here in the States.

The main reason we resist this truly splendid method is because it was invented by the French.

(What? You know that's true. Admit it.)

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Well, On the other side of the coin - I'm a Canadian Cacher that uses the Imperial system

More sensible than Metric IMO

Then again, I'm from Windsor ON (Just south of Detroit) so the US influence in my upbringing and the fact that in school my teachers tended to not care which you used...

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METRIC SYSTEM!?!?!?!? My car gets four rods to the hogshead, and that's the way I likes it!

What kind of monster vehicle do you drive. With gas at \$200 a hogshead I would just get out and push the thing.

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I use UTM's in the field to plot locations, the distance is really not all that important, its just walk till I get there.

But the other day I really saw the effects of undulating terrain. The Odometer on the GPS said 2.5 miles, now I know I walked farther that that. The final track log on the map showed it to be a wee bit over 5 miles, so much for the accuracy of a GPS.

At work I use the widely used but least know measurement system known as the "eights"

8 oz = 1 cup and so on, as they say a Pint is a Pound Round the World.

Time for another Pint.

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METRIC SYSTEM!?!?!?!? My car gets four rods to the hogshead, and that's the way I likes it!

My old truck still gets about 2,268 miles per butt. That's doing pretty well I think!

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As a Brit we're supposed to have converted to Metric years ago but somehow the roadsigns and car speedo's are still in miles, and we still buy our beer in pints. So when I started caching I decided to use metric just to get the feel for the system and have found that I now prefer it. I tried converting over to miles, yards and feet and just can't get comfortable with it. I guess what you start with, you stick with.

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As a Brit we're supposed to have converted to Metric years ago....

I hear you measure 2 x 4 boards in meters. Is that right?

I guess what you start with, you stick with.

This is certainly the case with me and clocks. In my mind I convert digital numbers to an analog face to "see" what time it is.

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I'm comfortable switching between degrees and UTM coordinates for both geocaching and general hiking. When I'm fairly close to a cache UTM coordinates give me more of a feel for the remaining distance since it's much easier for me to visualize meters than fractions of a minute. For calculating the distances between mountain peaks for mirror signaling it's no contest... UTM coordinates and meters make the trigonometry calculations quite simple to do. I've tried to introduce a few people to the UTM system and got some semi-hostile reactions.... "why is that better than degrees and minutes? Grrrr!" That sort of thing. Kind of like I was trying to somehow subvert their core beliefs. Actually I couldn't care less which system they use and neither system is better or worse, it's just another way to look at things and solve problems. Although in my book UTM is a more logical system since degrees aren't the same at different latitudes but meters are.

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METRIC SYSTEM!?!?!?!? My car gets four rods to the hogshead, and that's the way I likes it!

What kind of monster vehicle do you drive. With gas at \$200 a hogshead I would just get out and push the thing.

Heh, actually that was a simpsons quote, from good ol' Abe `Grandpa' Simpson. Resistance to change is what keeps the metric system out of the USA, it CLEARLY makes more sense than imperial measurements. When we're using a decimal (base 10) number system, it sure does make sense to base everything on factors of 10. But still, it'll never catch on because people hate change.

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METRIC SYSTEM!?!?!?!? My car gets four rods to the hogshead, and that's the way I likes it!

You made me spit tea on my monitor.

The metric system IS more gooder than the old system we use here in the States.

The main reason we resist this truly splendid method is because it was invented by the French.

(What? You know that's true. Admit it.)

Inventend by the French is only partially true, preliminary work had been done already in the UK.

The French revolution started it all because they wanted to get rid of all things past and have "reason" drive the society instead of religion or other beliefs.

The real promotion has been done by Napoleon who imposed it for the sake of standardisation in the Empire.

Uneducated people were reluctant to change initialy.

Scientists in the US wanted it for more than 150 years !

Currently more than 40% of US products are designed in metric. It saved the US automobile industry in the late 70's.

But now, the outcome is simple, companies not going metric will have a hard time to survive if they do bussines outside of the US.

It is not just a matter of logic, it simplify designs, saves money, reduce errors, make you more competitive.

To have stopped the US metrication process has been a real failure.

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As a Brit we're supposed to have converted to Metric years ago but somehow the roadsigns and car speedo's are still in miles, and we still buy our beer in pints. So when I started caching I decided to use metric just to get the feel for the system and have found that I now prefer it. I tried converting over to miles, yards and feet and just can't get comfortable with it. I guess what you start with, you stick with.

Only road sign and speed limits are in miles in the UK because of some backward politicians that assumed the Brits were as stupid as they were and not able to switch ! Funny, Brits don't have any trouble when they drive on the continent !

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METRIC SYSTEM!?!?!?!? My car gets four rods to the hogshead, and that's the way I likes it!

You made me spit tea on my monitor.

The metric system IS more gooder than the old system we use here in the States.

The main reason we resist this truly splendid method is because it was invented by the French.

it was invented by the French.

AND THAT IS WHAT IS WRONG WITH IT.

(What? You know that's true. Admit it.)

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I volunteered to measure for my daughters' middle long jump event and asked if metric was okay. You should have seen the looks I got.

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Most of the time I use metric (and decimal coordinates) in the GPSr. This began playing other GPS games that required getting within so many meters. It makes it easier not to switch back and forth . . . I just keep it that way now.

I recall Mr. Walsh, my 8th grade mathematics teacher, telling us that the US would be on the metric system by 1980. That prediction did not work out so well.

I know the game of which Batona speaks! I've dabbled in it a little, but I always left the GPS in the English system, and converted in my head (or on the handy built-in calculator on my Garmin). One meter = 39.37 inches, or 3.28 feet.

I also live a stones throw from the Canadian border, and cross it for caching frequently. Cache descriptions often refer to distance from parking to the cache in meters. To heck with that, I'm still on the English system while over there, as are all my caching partners I go over with on a regular basis.

So to answer the question, no I don't, although I have reasons why I should. Sorry.

Edit to add, I have an engineering degree, and am well aware of the superiority of the metric system, and frequently have to use it at work, or work with dual units. Still too lazy to switch, I guess.

Edited by TheWhiteUrkel
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I've used it a little, but mostly with other games I've tried at gpsgames.org. it can get confusing at first glance when you're approaching an area and look at the gps to see 500, thinking, "I'm almost on top of it" but you're not anywhere near

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We are suppossed to be metric over here. Which we are except ......

when people talk about weight of babies when they are born and how tall people are.

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I always leave my GPSr in metric, even when we are traveling in the States. It makes me feel better because when I measure distance in km things seem to get closer faster than they do in miles.

When we visited the Netherlands a couple years ago I was stunned at how they used metric for everything! My cousin discussed the size of his house in square meters, which threw me for a loop. In Canada we still use Imperial measurements for many things despite being a metric country:

-- I go to the hardware store to buy 2x4's and 4x6's.

-- Our football fields are measured in yards.

-- I measure my fuel economy in miles/gallon (otherwise I can't tell if my mileage is good or not! Tell me 30 MPG and I have an idea what that means, tell me 12L/100km and I have to think about it.)

-- I order a pint of beer but I buy milk in 4L jugs.

Anyway, the topic was units when caching so for that it is all meters, all the time.

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No one else does that.

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The French revolution started it all because they wanted to get rid of all things past and have "reason" drive the society instead of religion or other beliefs.
...which is also the reason the French started driving on the right - and I can't see you all complaining about that and demanding change...!!!

(everybody used to drive on the left, as most drivers were right handed, so sat with their strongest arm by the brake lever - so most carts and carriages were built with the brake on the right. Napoleon decided to change all that....the rest is history)

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The French revolution started it all because they wanted to get rid of all things past and have "reason" drive the society instead of religion or other beliefs.
...which is also the reason the French started driving on the right - and I can't see you all complaining about that and demanding change...!!!

(everybody used to drive on the left, as most drivers were right handed, so sat with their strongest arm by the brake lever - so most carts and carriages were built with the brake on the right. Napoleon decided to change all that....the rest is history)

Yes, this is true but the whole world followed the french way this time, drive on the right, except England and its empire and Japan !!!

Note that in Europe, train did not change and are running on the left !!!

Anayway, America is "inching" toward metric, no much choice !

I live in the US for five years and I like to buid stuff, beleive me, even using inch based beam and plank, I could do better than anyone with their yardstick ! By the way, I realised a beam 4 by 6 inch is NOT 4 by 6 really !

As for maps, metric of course, I just determined the scale and even if its was an odd number, I could manage faster with my metric ruler, than anyone usings thing like one inch equal approximately 1/4 of a mile, typical US scale !

The truth is that very few americans are used to their own system, they don't know how these units relates, eg. one how many acre in a square mile ??? How many feet in a mile ? Basic things that ten year old kids taught in metric knows like read a map, compute distance, area on it, compute weight knowing volume and density etc... many American adults can't. And they are the very same claiming they are used to !

On my GPS, I even use decimal degree, which is the becoming the standard too.

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The truth is that very few americans are used to their own system, they don't know how these units relates, eg. one how many acre in a square mile ??? How many feet in a mile ? Basic things that ten year old kids taught in metric knows like read a map, compute distance, area on it, compute weight knowing volume and density etc... many American adults can't. And they are the very same claiming they are used to !

640 acres in one square mile.

5280 feet in a mile.

Anything else.

I think the metric system would help us here in the states. I prefer metric. It is much more logical. Even things like mesuring volume wieght and lengths are intertwined. One ml of water is one cm3 and has a mass of one gram. It's much easier to use and teach then the imperial system. However because most of the folks here don't know how to use the metric system, I of course use the imperial system. I find that when dealing with folks from Canada (that's fairly often up here) or folks from other countries, such as foriegn born military spouces, I switch to the metric system.

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METRIC SYSTEM!?!?!?!? My car gets four rods to the hogshead, and that's the way I likes it!

Talk about gas guzzlers!!!

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......

As for maps, metric of course, I just determined the scale and even if its was an odd number, I could manage faster with my metric ruler, than anyone usings thing like one inch equal approximately 1/4 of a mile, typical US scale !

The truth is that very few americans are used to their own system, they don't know how these units relates, eg. one how many acre in a square mile ??? How many feet in a mile ? Basic things that ten year old kids taught in metric knows like read a map, compute distance, area on it, compute weight knowing volume and density etc... many American adults can't. And they are the very same claiming they are used to !

Totally correct on both counts. When comparing scales on two differently scaled maps, or transferring map distances to a certain number of paces, using millimeters is a snap compared to using fractions of an inch. I'm used to it after 25 years of Orienteering but the math should be easier for anyone.

...and after 20+ years of teaching middle school I can say with lots of confidence most kids that age know very little about measurement in general, but they do tend to know the basic metrics a bit better than imperial measurements.

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METRIC SYSTEM!?!?!?!? My car gets four rods to the hogshead, and that's the way I likes it!

How may leagues to drachmas does rods to hogsheads convert to?

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Metric system? You mean that stuff they taught us in 1974 that we were going to need some day? I've forgotten most of that by now. Only so much room in this brain.

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Metric system? You mean that stuff they taught us in 1974 that we were going to need some day? I've forgotten most of that by now. Only so much room in this brain.

Interesting discussion. In the mid 1970's, here in Canada, we were told that the SI metric system was our future. Albeit people were reluctant to change, it was generally accepted that the change was for the good. The biggest problem was in the building industry. Canadian lumber mills started to make metric length lumber (wood studs for instance), but that didn't necessarily work because the drywall that would be used often came from a US manufacturer. Etc. Etc. Etc. Until our biggest trading partner (US of A) switched to SI, there was going to be problems.

Here in Vancouver, the local building department issued a memo a number of years back that all future projects submitted would have to be drawn in metric. The industry went nuts, and the city backed off. To this date, the majority of projects (unless they are government projects) are drawn in good old feet and inches.

My school-aged children can just as easily estimate that a living room is 15' or 5m, depending on who is asking. In other words, they have been taught/conditioned to think bilingually as far as measurement is concerned. I, on the other hand, think in feet and inches and instantly convert to metric as over time, I have simply memorized conversion factors for length, weight, and volume.

Generally speaking, as far as distance measurement in Canada is concerned, we have adopted a "soft" conversion mentality. Rather than using the full power of the metric system (the order and interval of 10), we simply convert for convenience (i.e. 12'-0" = 3658mm). Kind of destroys the idea.

Because our road signs are in metric, I prefer to geocache in kilometres and metres.

A good article on the history of measures and metric can be found here:

http://www.cftech.com/BrainBank/OTHERREFER...ricHistory.html

Edited by HuggyFamily
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But still, it'll never catch on because people hate change.

If this were true, most of the world would still use the imperial or some local non-metric system. In fact, only the US, Liberia and Myanmar stick to a non-metric system.

Edited by eigengott
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Once again, I am a Canadian, and I use the Imperial system for everything

Any time people give me something in Metric, I have to stop and think

The byproduct of being from Windsor ON

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We just switched from ft to meters after the beginning of the year. The reason we did it was simple, for about every two steps in the woods is pretty close to a meter. So if we are 100m away it ends up around 200 steps. We also notice now at ground zero that seeing a 2m or 3m accuracy seems easier to cope with than 9ft or 12ft.

We haven't switched for elevation yet as my mind can't quite wrap around that one yet. I remember learning the metric system in school and used it in science a lot. It is better for those things.

I can't figure out how to switch my pocket queries over to a UTM setting for delivery though. Am I missing something?

Help if you all can.

Thanks,

Mark

Flag_Mtn_Hkrs

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We haven't switched for elevation yet as my mind can't quite wrap around that one yet. I remember learning the metric system in school and used it in science a lot. It is better for those things.

Denver is 1,600 m high roughly.

A single floor in a building is roughly 3 m high.

Does that help.

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I too use meters/ klicks as opposed to yards/feet. Spending 12 years as a grunt, I can better judge distance. The ONLY time I calculate mileage is when driving. Any time in boots, its always metric. Of course, most folks I go with cannot fathom (little pun there, haha) what 300 meters is...as I cannot visualize a "football field".

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Well, I constantly see things in football fields - Only I visualise a 110 yard length with two 20 yard lengths on either end

Go Imperial!

It's the way of the future

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Given that we are in essentially a space-based sport, I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned yet..

"(CNN) -- NASA lost a \$125 million Mars orbiter because a Lockheed Martin engineering team used English units of measurement while the agency's team used the more conventional metric system for a key spacecraft operation." (Sept 1999 on cnn.com)

Quite a cost for sticking to feet and inches!

Note CNN refers to metric as "more conventional".

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Well, this is just more evidence why we should just restore the Imperial System

And NASA should send me a cheque for the \$125 Million that I'm saving them

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Given that we are in essentially a space-based sport, I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned yet..

"(CNN) -- NASA lost a \$125 million Mars orbiter because a Lockheed Martin engineering team used English units of measurement while the agency's team used the more conventional metric system for a key spacecraft operation." (Sept 1999 on cnn.com)

Quite a cost for sticking to feet and inches!

Note CNN refers to metric as "more conventional".

Just curious--- do brownies baked in a centigrade oven taste better than brownies baked in a Fahrenheit oven? If so, anyone want my old oven (Can you imagine the landfills scatted with perfectly good working ovens)? And will anyone help me convert all my recipes?

Ok- Now for real--- I am traveling to Germany in June. Will my American based GPS work 'over there'? I would like to grab a few TB's while there (and maybe even bring some along).

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Given that we are in essentially a space-based sport, I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned yet..

"(CNN) -- NASA lost a \$125 million Mars orbiter because a Lockheed Martin engineering team used English units of measurement while the agency's team used the more conventional metric system for a key spacecraft operation." (Sept 1999 on cnn.com)

Quite a cost for sticking to feet and inches!

Note CNN refers to metric as "more conventional".

Just curious--- do brownies baked in a centigrade oven taste better than brownies baked in a Fahrenheit oven? If so, anyone want my old oven (Can you imagine the landfills scatted with perfectly good working ovens)? And will anyone help me convert all my recipes?

Ok- Now for real--- I am traveling to Germany in June. Will my American based GPS work 'over there'? I would like to grab a few TB's while there (and maybe even bring some along).

Why do you think english and american cookings are the worst in the world ?

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Given that we are in essentially a space-based sport, I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned yet..

"(CNN) -- NASA lost a \$125 million Mars orbiter because a Lockheed Martin engineering team used English units of measurement while the agency's team used the more conventional metric system for a key spacecraft operation." (Sept 1999 on cnn.com)

Quite a cost for sticking to feet and inches!

Note CNN refers to metric as "more conventional".

Just curious--- do brownies baked in a centigrade oven taste better than brownies baked in a Fahrenheit oven? If so, anyone want my old oven (Can you imagine the landfills scatted with perfectly good working ovens)? And will anyone help me convert all my recipes?

Ok- Now for real--- I am traveling to Germany in June. Will my American based GPS work 'over there'? I would like to grab a few TB's while there (and maybe even bring some along).

I'm certain the fahrenheit oven would taste better

But I doubt you would have any problems with your GPSr in Europe - It's still the same satellite network orbiting the Earth - Mine has waypoints for foreign cities pre-loaded in it

And as for your location - 'The State of Hockey' - Is that a reference to Minnesota? The Wild are my 2nd favourite team

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I'm certain the fahrenheit oven would taste better

But I doubt you would have any problems with your GPSr in Europe - It's still the same satellite network orbiting the Earth - Mine has waypoints for foreign cities pre-loaded in it

And as for your location - 'The State of Hockey' - Is that a reference to Minnesota? The Wild are my 2nd favourite team

OK, I'm a bad poster... I never came back to read this. Sorry- and thanks to those that replied. So I didn't buy a gps before going to Europe- I guess the reason why I didn't come back to check the replies untils now. So I didn't get to seek any caches while there. Since then, I did buy a Garmin Vista HCx. Last weekend I took my kids out and found 2 caches. I think I created monsters!! Now they want to go all the time. I just need to come up with some good swag. Dang MN winters- just not enough daylight to work and play in the same day!! But at least the bugs are gone for now (but the caches are frozen in the ground too).

As for the State of Hockey... YEP... GO WILD!!!

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