The Watering Hole, Saturday, March 12, 2016: It’s Those Damn Clocks Again

“Spring Forward, Fall Back.” It seems we learned that one before we learned the Lord’s Prayer. (Some of you may have learned that one faster than the rest of us.) But why do we do it? Wasn’t Daylight Savings Time something Ben Franklin thought up? Wasn’t it supposed to be for the benefit of the farmers, so they would have more daylight to harvest their crops and work their fields? Don’t they have alarm clocks now? Can’t they just let the rest of us sleep?

The answers are: To save energy. Yes. Yes. I’m sure they do. No.

Not going along with it may defeat the point, to save energy. You see, the theory goes that if daylight lasts a little longer, there will be less demand for turning on lights. It is assumed that during the extended hour of darkness the next morning, you’ll have fewer lights turned on.

But, contrary to right wing conspiracy theories that I have no doubt exist, it is not a plot to take away the freedom of the states. It’s not mandatory.

Not everybody goes along with the plan. Arizona sticks with Mountain Standard Time, which turns out to be the same as Pacific Daylight Time. (The Navajo Nation, however, goes along with the summertime switch.) Hawaii and U.S. possessions such as American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are also staying on standard time.

Most European countries don’t switch to summer time until the last weekend in March. That means the usual time difference will be out of sync for two weeks. For example, when it’s noon in New York, it’ll be 4 p.m. in London. But starting March 27, the five-hour difference between the two cities’ clocks will be back in force.

Some countries in the Southern Hemisphere move their clocks back an hour at this time of year. In Brazil, for example, the switch from daylight saving time to standard time took place in February, when they moved their clocks back one hour.

You can see how the world changes its calendars here.

It’s also a good idea to try to get to get back to your normal sleep routine (at the new hour) as soon as you can. Losing sleep for even a few days in a row can weaken your immune system, and you’ll be more susceptible to colds and viruses. Here are some more tips.

That being said, what is the damn point? There is no need to make anything about this mandatory, or even to go along with it at all. If the federal government believes that energy can be saved by everyone starting and ending the working day an hour earlier during the summer months, then just change every federal employee’s shift schedule to begin and end an hour earlier. Let the rest of us do it or not. And that goes for the small business owner, too. If any company does business with the federal government and believes keeping the same time schedule with them makes doing business easier and more cost-effective, then they can change their employee’s shift schedule, too. School districts can make their own determination on what hours to follow. Since the time shift is mostly during the summer months, they can shift the hours of their summer school operations and maintain standard time the rest of the school year. But if there’s no real, tangible, quantifiable benefit to upsetting everyone’s natural biological rhythms, then what’s the point of doing it at all? You know what one of the things I like about summer is? Fireworks. You know what I hate about DST? That I have to wait until 10 PM or later to see those fireworks. If the clocks hadn’t been set ahead an hour, those fireworks would be going off an hour earlier in the night. And the people with kids could be putting them to bed an hour earlier, too.

Maybe my beef is personal. I still feel like the universe owes me an hour. While stationed at Ramstein AB in West Germany in September 1987, I took leave to visit my then-girlfriend Jane and to take part in a friend’s wedding. Now, keep in mind that in Europe, they moved the clocks back one hour on Sept 27. I was in the United States at the time. Here in the US, we didn’t change the clocks back one hour until October 25. I was back in West Germany when that happened. So I never got to set my clock back an hour and get that extra hour of sleep. I’ve been carrying this persistent feeling for the past 28-1/2 years that the universe owes me an hour. When the United Nations finally implements the One World Order plan we’ve been hearing Pat Robertson and Alex Jones whimper about, I’ll complain to them about it.

BTW, the time change takes effect this Sunday morning, 2 AM EST. At that moment, it changes to 3 AM EDT. Set your clocks ahead one hour before you go to bed Saturday Night.

It’s also a good time of year to change the batteries in your smoke detectors, or to buy smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors if you don’t already have them.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss Daylight Savings Time, Benjamin Franklin, farmers, or anything you else you want to discuss. I’m going back to sleep.

26 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Saturday, March 12, 2016: It’s Those Damn Clocks Again

  1. The phone updates itself. This computer updates itself. The cable tuner updates itself. I don’t have any mechanical clocks to bother about.

  2. In Arizona we always explained the lack of DST by pointing out that no one in their right mind would want to “save” an hour of daylight in the summertime on the desert. Many of us, in fact, recommended the state consider a DLT (Daylight Losing Time) option — set the clocks back an hour to make the day shorter, save on AC energy, etc. Problem is, the hours of daylight always remain the same no matter what the clocks say, so in other words the only real solution would be to change the angle of the earth’s tilt; make it vertical relative to the orbital plane, then all days would have the same daylight all year. But no, “they” just won’t listen, “they” ignore the obvious solution!

    Damn gubmint,.

  3. It’s funny how so many people complain about the time change, and yet, when I get home from work, I get an extra hour to do outside projects. Even when I’m on second shift, I get more time to get things done on the weekends.

    • There’s the irony. With DST, I have LESS time to do things that interest me. In the summer, morning bike rides are great here, esp beginning just after dawn when the air is perfectly cool and still. The afternoons are too damn hot, and often briskly breezy to boot. Now, the clock doesn’t bother me; I don’t care what time it is. I get up and out on the road by dawn. Problem is, everyone else lives by the clock so I actually lose an hour of pre-traffic daylight in the mornings when it’s cool and useful, plus I get an extra hour in the evening when it’s hot outside, plus it stays light (and hot) past my bedtime!

      I admire the higher animals — they have no use for clocks — which is as it should be!

  4. Trump Supporters Falsely Identify Sanders Volunteer In ‘Heil Lady’ Photo

    Donald Trump and his son are making life dangerous for a Bernie Sanders worker. Very dangerous.

    The ‘Heil Lady’ in the photo taken at last night’s Chicago rally has been clearly identified as Trump supporter Birgitt Peterson in the caption of the photo. But that didn’t stop some high-profile Trump supporters from taking the opportunity to substitute the name of a Bernie Sanders organizer for it, in order to excuse their own supporters’ despicable behavior.

    After the picture above started making the rounds last night, some right-wingers online noticed that a Bernie volunteer had some generally similar features. Donald Trump’s miserable son picked it up and ran with it.


  5. NASA issued a warning – if we cash in on all that saved daylight, the effects could contribute significantly to global warming.

  6. What a fucking joke Donald is, he trashed Bernie, Hillary, Little Marco, Lying Ted, and Obama within a 2 minute tirade then bragged about how presidential he was under pressure when someone rushed him in Cleveland. And I’m wondering what his Secret Service detail thinks about Trump pointing them out, telling them to stand so the people can see them, as if they were part of the crew that makes the show possible.

    Fuck, now he’s saying were going to have to say Merry Christmas!

  7. Best name for The Donald yet: Der Trumpenführer

    I’m reminded of the Hogan’s Heroes episode where Newkirk was impersonating an Underfuhrer. When asked about it, his explanation was that he was ‘the Underfuhrer, under the Oberfuhrer’. We always cracked up at that one

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