Sunday, March 9, 2008

How To Tell Time

Today we started Daylight Saving Time ---yes, Saving, not Savings. That is just one thing I learned about DST today. Also, Benjamin Franklin did not invent it, or even suggest it, as many believe. In 1907 William Willett came up with the idea. Franklin merely suggested that residents of Paris, which he frequently visited, could save on candles by getting up earlier and enjoy the morning sun, and go to bed when it was dark. He is the one who lived by the tenet "early to bed, early to rise ...." yada, yada.

As for the reason for DST, all I could find in my research today was that extending the amount of daylight would reduce the amount of electricity to light the lights. Uh, ok. First of all, the amount of daylight isn't really extended, just moved. But the biggest boon was to the retailers who now had shoppers later in the day. Ask the farmers how their animals like the change. Well, obviously, the animals don't read clocks; they get up with the sun and go to the barn at dusk. It's the farmer who has to adjust.

Living in Arizona I didn't have to worry about changing the clocks, just understanding how far apart the other time zones were from us. This is important in a call center servicing the entire country. So, why doesn't Arizona participate in this ritual of manipulating time? In 30 years I never got a sensible answer. The reason I heard the most was that the heat would last too long into the day. Uh, whether it is 110 degrees at 4:00 or 5:00, it is going to be HOT ! And where else will you find a summertime low of 90 or more?

Now being an active participant in this spring and fall ritual, I used a simple rule for knowing which way to turn the clocks. Now, how did it go? Fall forward, spring up? No. Fall over, spring to attention? Nope. I got it. Spring forward, fall back. So at 2:00 this morning an hour disappeared and it suddenly became 3:00. I did not literally wait until 2:00 to change the clocks. That would just be silly. But I just happen to be awake at the magic hour. No bells or whistles went off. I didn't feel unusual. In fact I have zoned out for hours at a time which served the same purpose as moving the clock ahead -- time gone. The only difference is that this hour will come back in November. The hours I've zoned out won't. There is a lesson in there somewhere.

Well, I think it is time to go to bed. I can't really tell because it seemed like the sun just set. Oh, what do I care, anyway. I'm usually up until the wee hours of the morning anyway.

Night, night!

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