Tuesday, October 9, 2007


I like measuring things. Always have.

Not just length, but also direction, weight, temperature, slope, pitch, blood glucose, body fat, ...

It doesn't take much of an amateur psychologist to make something of that, I suppose.

I was thusly reminded again recently when I was reading
Susanna Moore's The Big Girls, where a primary character compulsively measures her surroundings with a ruler, recording the results in a notebook. I don't do that recording at least, I guess, but close.

It isn't just the process that intrigues me: I am especially pleased with various measuring tools -- especially when there is good "gizmo factor."

A while back I bought an inexpensive small digital scale. Pocket size. Tenth of a gram accuracy. Grams, ounces, pennyweights, troy ounces.

Began weighing all sorts of things.

One of the more interesting things to weigh turned out to be coins, which pretty much provided the final impetus to get me into active coin collecting.

I also started collecting scales, finding a variety of small inexpensive scales that don't take up much space and let me weigh coins and other small things in various manners.

The most classic scale design is the basic balance scale, with two pans hanging from the ends of a beam.

Balance. Again, it probably doesn't take much insight to see the appeal for me there.

I also began a small collection of scale weights.

They are mostly intended to weigh things on balance scales, but do I use them that way? Nah. Mostly I weigh things on the digital scales -- more fun to see what things weigh in various measurement systems by just pushing the button. Also less responsibility - the digital scale just does what it does, while with a balance scale you are responsible for adding and removing different size weights until balance is achieved.

It seems like what I weigh most is the various weights in my weight collection. Multiples and fractions of grams, ounces, grains, scruples, drams, pennyweights, tikals, and more to come, I hope.

I like seeing that the weights weigh more or less what they should weigh. That they fulfill expectations. Most of them aren't real accurate, but apparently for many purposes, they didn't need to be perfect. Ummm, could be some more of that psycho stuff.

And yes, I've finally got some scruples. Who would ever have guessed that you could buy them off the internet?

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