Tag Archives: Standard Time

Time change? What’s the big deal?

I am not willing to declare it, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that I am the only living American who does not object to the back-and-forth of switching from standard time to daylight saving time and back to standard time.

Americans had to “fall back” overnight to standard time.

What does it mean? It means the sun rises an hour earlier than it had for several months and sets an hour earlier at the end of the day. This is what we call “standard time.”

Daylight saving time makes us “spring forward” one hour. It gives us more daylight at the end of the day.

To be honest, this back and forth doesn’t bug me nearly as much as it does most, if not all, of my friends. It might bother my family members, too. No one has ever expressed any distaste to me openly; maybe they will if they read this blog post.

Were I to have a preference for a permanent arrangement, it would be to keep daylight saving time in place year round. It has been seen as an energy conservation initiative, requiring fewer hours daily of electricity — in the form of lights needed to brighten our surroundings. I never have understood why folks object to the daylight saving time, given the noble reasons for establishing it in the first place.

But … they do. To them I say, “Phooey!”

As for this switching back to standard time, hey, it’s no big deal, man! Just go with the flow.

All this daylight is worth keeping year ’round

I like Daylight Saving Time. I like it so much I believe I now want the government to keep it year ’round.

Let me stipulate that I understand the laws of the cosmos, which is that half the year brings more darkness than light. It all has to do with the position of Earth in relation to the sun, how Earth tilts on its axis, providing the Northern Hemisphere with more daylight between the vernal and autumnal equinoxes (from March to September).

But still …

I also will stipulate that I don’t mind the switching back and forth between Daylight Saving and Standard times.

However, I do like the notion of keeping DST on the books all year long. My wife and I enjoy the late-in-the-day sunshine that motivates us to run our errands well into the early and mid evening.

Given that we’re retired now and we don’t have to be anywhere early in the day — which means we can sleep in a little if we so desire — that gives us more time later in the day to do this or that chore outdoors.

What’s more, my environmentalist tendency reminds me that we returned to DST during an energy crisis; the government thought it was important to preserve energy by enacting the Daylight Saving Time as a hedge against burning too much electricity — you know, to power the lights.

I wonder if Texas might consider joining some other states that have gone to DST permanently. Well … legislators? Are you game?

DST? Wait for the gripes

I slept in this morning.

My biological clock said it was a little before 7 a.m. when I rolled out; the clock next to the bed flashed a little before 8 a.m.

No sweat! My day began and will proceed just as it always does, Daylight Saving Time notwithstanding.

Actually, I am a big supporter of the principle behind DST. It’s not as new a policy as many of us have been led to believe. It’s been around in some form for many, many years. DST became all the vogue in the 1970s with the Arab oil embargo and the fear that we were burning too much fossil fuel when we turned on our lights in the evening.

So the federal government implemented DST to push the clocks forward an hour, allowing us more daylight as spring arrived and summer approached. We burned our lights a little less, saving valuable energy that at the time was coming from too many “hostile” sources in the Middle East. Some states don’t adhere to DST mandates, keeping their clocks set on standard time. That’s their call.

In the past four-plus decades or so we’ve done a good job preserving energy. DST has helped toward that effort.

Ranchers tell us all the time that their livestock doesn’t know the difference between Daylight Saving Time and Standard Time. Cattle and horses still need to be fed at the same time no matter what.

So, they rely on a form of Bovine or Equine Standard Time to go about pursuing their livelihoods on the ranch.

I get that.

The rest of us city slickers have different concerns. Those who work for a living have to be somewhere at certain times each day.

Are you worried about being late once you have to push the clock forward an hour? No worries. Go to bed an hour earlier.

Be sure you turn off the lights — and keep saving that still-priceless energy.

Have a great day, y’all.

How about switching DST to Friday?

daylight-savings-time

I once thought of Daylight Savings Time as a modern invention.

It really isn’t, although it became all the rage in the 1970s as government officials sought ways to conserve energy during the first Arab oil embargo. Remember when gasoline “zoomed” to the unheard of price of, oh, 75 cents a gallon?

The ancient Romans set water clocks to different times depending on the time of the year. Ben Franklin, certainly a smart fellow, once published a satirical letter urging Paris residents to conserve candle use by rising earlier in the morning.

Daylight Savings Time has its critics and its supporters. Critics say it’s unhealthy, leading to increases in heart attacks as people seek to do more later in the day. Supporters note the energy savings created by burning less electricity.

Back and forth …

DST is about to return. We’re going to lose that hour’s sleep over the weekend. Sunday morning will arrive an hour earlier. Set your clocks ahead before you turn in, OK?

Ranchers will gripe, saying things like, “My cattle don’t know anything about Daylight Savings Time. They’re hungry when they’re hungry.”

Parents might complain, too, because the kids have lost some precious sleep time.

Others will grouse about the perceived difficulty of getting to where they’re supposed to be on time.

I’ve never had a particular problem with switching back and forth — Standard to Daylight time and back again. We’ll get that hour back in the fall when we return to Standard Time.

I like the idea of keeping the sun in our h-u-u-u-u-u-ge sky until later in the day. Take my word for it, sometimes these Texas Tundra sunsets can take one’s breath away and they seem even more spectacular later in the day.

Then again, maybe I’m imagining it. Whatever.

However, I do like to read church marquees. They often offer clever clips and words of wisdom — some of them divinely inspired, I’m sure.

One in particular — on South 45th Avenue here in Amarillo — asks: “Why can’t Daylight Savings Time start on Friday afternoon?”

Good question … don’t you think?

 

Daylight to Standard Time? No biggie

daylight-savings-time-fall

Call me “adaptable.”

Indeed, I might be one of Earth’s most adaptable creatures.

Thirty-four years ago my family and I moved from Oregon, where I’d spent my entire life — less two years in the U.S. Army — and settled in Texas. Culture shock? Boy howdy! Did we adapt? You bet.

Three years ago, my 36-plus-year daily print journalism career came to a sudden end. It wasn’t entirely unexpected. Still, it was an unwelcome end to what I thought had been a pretty successful and productive career. Have I moved on? Yes.

Daylight to Standard Time and back again? Hey, no problem.

I’m not one of those who gripes about the switch to Daylight Savings Time. Nor do I bitch when we return to Standard Time.

I just flow with it.

Moreover, I totally get why the federal government set up Daylight Time. One reason to save energy during the late spring, summer and early autumn months. More daylight meant we spent less time burning our lights and using up valuable electricity.

It bothers some of us. That’s their problem. Not mine.

The only noticeable difference I ever find when we make these switches occurs when we go back to Standard Time, such as what happened this morning.

I woke up damn early, which is the way it’s going to be for a good while. I’m looking at the bright side, though. I won’t be late for anything.

Rise and shine, everyone.

 

 

Back to Standard Time

Now that we’ve turned the clocks back and we’ve all gotten that hour’s sleep we lost in the spring, it’s fair to ask: Why do we “spring forward” in the first place?

My old pal Jon Talton, an Arizona native and blogger who writes about issues in his home state, says Arizona was right to forgo the switch to Daylight Savings Time when it was introduced back in the old days.

You know, I’m beginning to agree with that notion.

Why switch?

Well, the modern version of DST had its origin in the 1970s energy crisis. U.S. politicians thought that turning the clocks ahead in the spring would give us more late-afternoon and evening daylight, thus reducing demand for electricity in the form of street lights and such.

I guess it just stuck. People in most of the states got used to the switch to DST and then back to Standard Time in the fall.

Perhaps the older I get the less I care about having to change every clock in the house or in my vehicles.

I do like the extended periods of sunlight in the evenings in the Texas Panhandle. Given our location, just about 70 miles or so from the Mountain Time Zone, the sun sits in our huge sky for a very long time when the Summer Solstice arrives in June. It doesn’t get seriously dark until well after 9 p.m.

Now that we’ve flipped our clocks back and gained that hour of sleep, the sun goes down a whole lot earlier.

I’m still asking why the need to keep switching our clocks in the first place.