The Fall Back Position

Tonight Daylight Savings Time ends. For now. We move to the Fall Back position. If you live in a part of the United States that, oh, what’s the right word, “celebrates”? “participates”? “recognizes”? maybe it’s “observes”, Daylight Savings Time, you should set your clocks back one hour before going to bed. If you don’t, you may end up attending Sunday Morning Worship Services an hour ahead of everybody you know from your usual service. Who knows? Maybe it’s worth a try. And on the bright side, you’ll be back in time to watch “Up with Steve Kornacki”, who should be good and awake what with having an extra hour to sleep. And if you live in a part of the United States that does not observe DST (as the cool kids call it), life will be unchanged for you. Congratulations, the Chinese envy you.

But why do we do this? What’s the point? Well, the idea was, in not so many words, to save daylight. (You can read about the history of Daylight Savings Time to varying degrees here, here, and here.) It was believed by its proponents in recent years to save about 10,000 barrels of oil per day. The thinking is that as we shift our daily activities by an hour, businesses will use less energy. Not everyone agrees. But we do it, and our reward is to get an extra hour of sleep once a year, in exchange for our sacrifice of one hour’s sleep once a year.

Funny story. When I was in the Air Force in 1987, I was stationed at Ramstein AB, West Germany. In September of that year, I took a month’s leave to attend a friend’s wedding and to see my then-girlfriend, Jane. My leave ended after the first weekend of October, so I was here in the United States when Europe took their Fall Back position. I returned to West Germany afterwards, so I was in Europe when folks in the United States took their Fall Back position on the last weekend in October. So I missed the chance to get my extra hour of sleep that year. And while I understand why, intellectually, it’s wrong, I have always felt that for the last 27 years, the Universe has owed me an extra hour of sleep. 🙂

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss Daylight Savings Time, an extra hour of sleep, ten thousand barrels of oil per day, or anything else you wish to discuss.

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About Wayne A. Schneider

I'm a Liberal, Libertarian, Atheist Humanist. I believe that though the world is a dangerous place, it can be made better if we stop dividing ourselves by how we're different from each other, and reach out to each other through what we have in common. And that is that we are all human beings on this planet. Please remember that.

40 thoughts on “The Fall Back Position

  1. And so it began.
    November 1st.
    The day when all attention was turned to politicians flinging poop like angry monkey’s and advertisements for Black Friday sales went into full overdrive.
    It also marks the beginning of camping season.
    Yep, camping season.
    Consumers longing for newest most useless electronic gizmos begin erecting campsites outside the local conglomomart so they can get that new fangled device that sucks the brains out of their heads.
    The zombie apocalypse has already begun.

  2. Personally, I think DST is a nonsensical concept. If clock-changing had any merit, I’d think DLT –daylight LOSING time — would be the better idea. Set the standard time back an hour and leave it there — earlier sunrise, later sunset. All year long. In the summer with DST, the added evening hour is typically hot, needs the AC running, costing money and using elec. power. Dark early implies cooling earlier, plus it’s easier to get to sleep in the dark than when the sun’s still up. In the morning, earlier sunrise implies an earlier start to the day, time to take a walk or ride a bike in the cool morning air before all the cars and pickups are on the road pretending to be in a hurry to get somewhere.

    I vote for Daylight Losing Time. Early to bed, early to rise, etc. It’d be good for Little League too, if the first pitch was at 4AM instead of 8PM. 🙂

  3. Today my emphasis isn’t on time, but heat! We got the arctic express through here last night, and I had to schlep in a load of firewood yesterday, so I could start the woodstove for today. I expect to have a fire until Monday.

    • Winter seems to have come early to your part of the world.
      Yesterday we had a, very, welcoming rain!

      • I saw where you said the Giants’ parade was wet and nobody minded.

        We didn’t break 50 today and headed for 28 tonight.

    • Considering Sarah is alleged to have screamed, “Do you people know who I am?”, it’s a public story that should have been reported by real journalists, not pseudo-journalist opinion columnists on the right.

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