Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Time It Is A Changin'

In fact, it changes this weekend! The extra hour of light in the summer is awesome but I sure do hate both leaving for work and coming home in the dark.

Am I the only one confused by this shift that used to happen in October? I just thought I was confused until I did a quick look-up recently to confirm when the change was supposed to happen. What I found out was unbelievable.

1. You’d think that Benjamin Franklin might’ve had the idea with the old “early to bed, early to rise” crap. But no. It was actually created by some Brit annoyed by having to stop golfing at dusk!
2. Daylight savings time actually starting during World War I! I always thought it was a World War II product. According to the Daylight Saving Time page: “Daylight Saving Time was observed for seven months in 1918 and 1919. After the War ended, the law proved so unpopular (mostly because people rose earlier and went to bed earlier than people do today) that it was repealed in 1919 with a Congressional override of President Wilson's veto. Daylight Saving Time became a local option, and was continued in a few states, such as Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and in some cities, such as New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago.”
3. The practice reemerged as “War Time” during World War II (February 1942) but ended in September 1945.
4. For more than 20 years thereafter, the time change was optional, not only from state to state but from city to city. Good Lord! How did anyone ever know what time it was?!
5. The Uniform Time Act of 1966 changed all that. It set the standard for time, and for changing it which has happened in the 1970s, the 1980s, and again in 2007. (See, I knew this November stuff was weird!)

So Saturday night or early Sunday morning, depending on your perspective, I’ll be busy changing clocks.

Seems kind of unfair that about 15 minutes of that extra hour gets devoted to this activity. The stove. The microwave. The answering machine. The livingroom. The family room. The kitchen. The bathroom. And the most important one: the battery-run digital in my bedroom that gets me up for work every day.

And I don't even have to change the cable boxes, either of my computers or my cell phone. They'll take care of it themselves.

It occurs to me that with all those devices to give you the time, no one in my house should ever be late for anything.


Jayne said...

This past Saturday, half the clocks in the dispatch center where I work set themselves back an hour. Just on one side of the room. I called the police dispatch center to ask them what time it was. All their clocks had "fallen back". Utter confusion for about 15 minutes as we googled Daylight Savings Time. And, we were dispatching a medical call when this happened. Time of dispatch: 0158. Time of EMS arrival: 0103. The ambulance got to the call 55 minutes BEFORE being dispatched. Pretty neat trick. =)

MonkeyGirl said...

Now I get to play the twice yearly game of how on earth do you change the clock in the car again! Thankfully, I bought an alarm clock that changes the time on it's own. I never have to set it to the right time, even if the power goes out!

Why S? said...

I've never like the clock changing ritual. It seems so arbitrary. Time is about our position in relationship to the sun. You can't just change it by decree because it doesn't suit someone's schedule. This is just paternalistic disrespect for Nature.

Vicki said...

I hate going back to normal time. Everyone always laments the change in the spring, maybe because they lose an hour of sleep. But I love that it's lighter longer while I'm awake. I wish we'd keep it at DST.

Ann said...

We don't have any time changes here in AZ, it's weird. Nice, but weird.

NV said...

Jayne -- OMG! That's crazy scary. I sure hope everything went OK with that call. Man!

MG -- Yeah, Ladybird's clock was a pain in the ass that way, too. But it burned out a year or two ago so it's a moot point now.

Why -- I'm pretty ambivalent about it except for the dark both coming and going to work thing. Oh, and I ADORE having that extra light all summer.

V -- I like the longer hours of light in the summer or I'd be right there with ya!

Ann -- Really? I didn't realize that AZ didn't change zones. Hmmm.

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