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 “PoliticsNation” with the Reverend Al Sharpton, 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 29 years, the Universe has owed me an extra hour of sleep. 🙂
Okay, I promise. The 30th anniversary of that lost hour will be the last time I tell that story.
Personally, I prefer not to turn the clocks back until I wake up whenever on Sunday morning. I have no place I have to be at any set time, so if I realize it’s still real early I can just go back to bed. A fun thing you can do right before 2 AM ET is to right-click on your computer’s clock to adjust the date and time. You’re not going to adjust the date and time, you just want to see the clock face go from 1:59:59 AM to 1:00:00 AM. After it does just cancel out your “changes.” The real fun is changing the times on the wall clocks, the ovens, the coffee maker, the microwave oven, and the car dashboard. Oh, and getting the cats adjusted to your new schedule. It’s 7:00 AM to you, but it’s now 8:00 AM to them, and they wanted to go out an hour ago. Enjoy!
This is our Weekend Open Thread. Feel free to discuss any topic you wish. Have a great weekend, and enjoy your extra hour of time.