Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Saving Daylight

It doesn't take a genius to see a dumb idea.

Maybe I just haven’t been paying attention, but I don’t ever recall anyone skipping up to me the morning after the Daylight Savings Time (DST) change and saying, “I just love the time change!” There have been plenty of other opinions expressed, most of which are heavily laden with expletives.

There are many things that make little sense when it comes to DST. The name being first on the list. Just how, exactly, are we “saving” daylight? If we’re saving daylight, where is it being stored? What is the interest rate on the saved daylight? Can it be rolled over to an IRA (It’s Raining Again) account? 

“Here at the First National Bank of Daylight Savings your daylight deposits are insured by the FDIC - Federal Daylight Insurance Corporation - for up to 250,000 lumens. You can rest assured your daylight will not be lost. Sorry we can’t say the same for your sleep.”

That is the real issue with jumping around on the clock, it messes with your sleep. In the spring we “jump ahead” one hour, so we’re shorted an hour of sleep. Supposedly we make that back up in the fall by “falling back” an hour. Right. By the fall, your sleep pattern has you getting up an hour earlier than the alarm, so you’re equally screwed. Just sayin’. 

Steady... steady! Almost time to change...
The DST plan calls for the clocks to be adjusted at 2 am Saturday night - don’t ask me, I guess it’s to ensure maximum inconvenience. Oddly enough, most folks don’t follow that rule. There are a couple of reasons for that. First, if sleeping people crawled out of the sack to make changes to their clocks at 2 am, there is no telling what the result would be.

“Honey did you get up and change the clocks during the night?”

“That I did. Got up dutifully at 2 am and went through the house. Why?”  

“There seems to be a disparity. It’s either 8:52, or 6:35. Oh wait, it could also be 9:15, according to the clock on the stove.” 

The second reason for ignoring the rule is that people who are up at 2 am on a Saturday night are more than likely to have been partying; perhaps not the best time to play with time.

What's the deal Uncle Sam, DST... or STD?
“Lesh see… ish… whatsa time? Izzit two yet?”

“Guess it ‘pends on whish han’ yer lookin’ at.” 

“Jush lookit the little ‘un.”

“There’s two of th’ lil stinkers.” 

One never gives much thought to how many clocks are in the house until DST. It isn’t like in our forefather’s time, when one clock was the norm. Back then, it was, “What does the clock say?” Now, every electronic appliance comes with its own clock: DVR, stove, microwave, coffee maker, radio, you name it, and it will have a clock display. The question of what time it is has changed. “Margaret, glance around the house and give me an average of the time.”

The real problem is not setting all the electronic clocks to the same time, it’s remembering how to set them all. Apparently the engineers who design such things have set about to discover every possible manner in which to perform the task.

“This year’s winner of the Higgins Innovative Engineer award goes to Gordy Fafufnik, who managed to develop the one-millionth permutation for setting the model 6Y2a electric clock, used on appliances throughout the industry. Good work, Gordy, thanks to your dedication thousands of homeowners will be reduced to quivering masses of frustration at least twice a year. Okay everybody, let’s give Gordy the Higgins time cheer! ‘Hold the button! Push the switch! You’ll never set that son-of-a-bitch!’”  

Boy, do I feel stupid!

For seven years I have fought biannually with our alarm clock. While blindly groping around the back of the clock I would change the alarm setting accidentally, then the time zone, only to mess up the alarm time again. Eventually, with the application of just the right sequence of button pushing (along with a liberal application of colorful metaphors), the clock would be set. Last Saturday I decided to turn the clock around before punching buttons randomly. D’oh!

I’d like to say I won’t lose any sleep over it, but that would make as much sense as saying I was saving daylight.


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