Tag Archives: Daylight Savings Time

How about switching DST to Friday?


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


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.



Texas to keep Daylight Savings Time

We’ll all need to catch up on our sleep over the winter after all.

Texas legislators have defeated a bill to toss out Daylight Savings Time in Texas. The House of Representatives rejected a bill by Rep. Dan Flynn to revert solely to standard time in Texas, joining Arizona in staying away from having to spring forward and fall back every year.


I’m one who never quite has understood the problems people have with the time change. It’s been around off and on for many decades. It was brought back in force in the 1970s as a way to conserve energy. Longer daylight hours in the summer months meant using less electricity. What’s so terrible about that?

It’s interesting to me that Amarillo’s House delegation split their votes on this deal. John Smithee, who represents Randall County, voted “yes” on Flynn’s bill; Four Price, who represents Potter County, voted “no.” I don’t know why that’s important. I just thought I’d mention it to illustrate that occasionally the two Republican lawmakers do not vote in tandem.

I’ve gotten used to the time change since I was in my 20s. It’s no big deal to me.

Then again, I’m not a farmer or a rancher.

As Flynn told his House colleagues: “The only one who knows if it is sun up or sun down is the rooster.”

Whatever. It makes no difference to me.

Welcome back, Daylight Savings Time

Am I weird or what?

Daylight Savings Time never has been a big deal to me. Here we are, back on it once more. DST has returned a bit earlier than usual. It’s going to stick around a bit later than normal.

What’s the problem with it?


The essay attached here “blames” DST on two presidents from Texas, Democrat Lyndon Johnson and Republican George W. Bush.

LBJ pushed Congress to approve DST in 1966. It would take effect late in April and expire at the end of October every year. The idea was to provide more recreational time in the daylight for Texans wanting to enjoy the great outdoors.

It also was intended to conserve electricity, with buildings needing fewer light bulbs burning while the sun was out.

Along came George Dubya in 2005 to get Congress to extend DST from early March to early November. That means we get even more daylight.

Not all states recognize DST. Arizona is one of them. That state retained its independent streak and went against the feds’ decision to enact it for the rest of the country. That’s Arizona’s call. Go for it.

Ranchers long have objected to DST because their cattle and/or horses stay on the same feeding schedule whether its daylight time or standard time.

For me, the time change has become part of our way of life. We know to “spring forward” in the spring and “fall back” in the fall.

Big deal.

Let’s just live with it. Shall we?


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.