Sunday, March 4, 2007

Annual DST Bitch and Moan

Those of you who have shared coffee with me over the years will recall I am not a fan of Daylight Saving time. I go along with it only because, to quote the Borg, resistance is futile. Besides, I'm convinced lack of rebellion gives me the right to indulge in bouts of therapeutic bitching each year when the dreaded DST goes into effect. A righteous therapeutic bitch is -- uhmmm -- therapeutic.

This year, when we are forced to suffer the effects of DST earlier than usual, I feel my bile gland bubble and sputter accordingly. Ye gods and little guppies, can they never quit meddling? They shout far and wide about the joys of that extra hour of sunlight in the evening, never mentioning for a moment the missing hour of sunlight in the morning, when you really need it. Nor do they ever reveal the effects of adjustment trauma every year as folks struggle to get all the clocks set correctly while they stagger around, muttering, "Spring forward, fall back."

Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that practically everything comes with a clock anymore. Clocks in the car, on the coffee maker, the microwave, stove and/or oven, the computer, cell phones -- for all I know, they might even have clocks on the variable speed drill and the weed whacker. The point is, twice a year, you have to go around changing the durned thangs ... assuming you even remember them all. Our computers, bless their motherboards, are practically the only units with a clock that take care of the change themselves.

Let's not forget, while we're cursing and fuming, the problems inherent in adjusting the good old-fashioned sun dial. Yes, it can be done (see Wikepedia's explanation, which makes my head ache) if you have a sun dial that CAN be adjusted. You know, that might illustrate the problem, right there. We have made it far too easy to fiddle with our clocks. I'll bet nobody considered DST back when sun dials were the only way to go. You just marked time with "sun up" and "sun down" and that was it. No muss. No fuss. No running around, frantically punching buttons and twirling wheels, only to have the electricity go off just long enough to require you to do the drill again.

What is this obsession we modern humans have with time? I mean, gee whiz, sunrise and sunset is not good enough for us? We have to fiddle with the stately progression of stars and planets and the whole flippin' universe? The ancient Mayans were considered to be incredibly sophisticated with their knowledge and accuracy in dealing with time and, by golly, they didn't muck around with DST. Nossir. They did the heavy stuff, like building pyramids, in the morning when it was relatively cool and then, in the heat of the afternoon, they could relax. Probably sat around in the shady Mayan equivalent of Starbucks, sipping their stylish mixtures of coffee and chocolate and chili and cinnamon, four of the major food groups of Central America.

There are less anal ways to determine time than enslaving oneself to a pitiless clock. I'm reminded of a logger I knew who would come in for an after-work beer every evening when he got through with the job. He'd sip the beer and visit with friends and then he'd say, "Okay, one more beer for the rooster." He'd drink the second beer and head for home.

One day I asked him, "I've heard of one more for the road but never one more for the rooster. What is that all about?" He grinned and explained. "I have a very punctual bladder," he said. "When I get home, I won't go to the bathroom before I hit the sack. Nor will I have to set the alarm clock, even though I have to get up really early in the morning. This second beer will be demanding my attention at exactly the right time. Works better than an alarm clock -- or a rooster."

He never mentioned adjusting for DST but, in his case, it would probably entail the simple procedure of adding a third beer to the ritual. For myself, I have not been able to achieve the same accuracy with coffee. I either wake up at 2:00 a.m. or 4:00 a.m. -- and then I have to read for awhile before I can go back to sleep. My rooster crows to a different drummer.


bb said...

Try explaining to the cats and birds around here the time change and their food!

Mage said...

Ah, here we are again polar opposites as the sun begins it's late rise. I revel in it. I'm over joyed every year at late light and many more tasks accomplished. This year, we get three more weeks of light.....oh, joy!!!!

Dee said...

Okay, Bonnie, you jump on one side and I'll do the other and we'll take Mage down and tickle her mercilessly until she hollers, "Chocolate!"

Please note, Mage darlin', that was said with a grin. We need DST-lovers to balance out DST-haters so the Universe doesn't tip over.

It's harder for me to bitch when the Universe tips over because I get distracted when I'm upside-down.

Wolfie said...

As per the ever-present problem of changing all the clocks on every little machine in the house, do what I do. Don't. All of my device clocks are perfectly synchronised. They all show me how much time has elapsed since the last power outage. If I want to know what time it is, I check one of the two clocks in the house which automatically set themselves, once a day, to the atomic clock server in Denver. :)

mz. em said...

I'm with you with the griping about the time change. I'm not a happy camper at all and more gripy than unsual because it is coming earlier than year's past.

auntie said...

I'm giggling at the IT deparment emails. Reams of backup calendars being printed because noone is EXACTLY sure if all the electronic devices are going to accept this spring forward ahead of schedule. So next week will be a mini-whirlwind of folks showing up early and late.

We should get it all sorted out just in time for the computers to automatically spring forward on the originally appointed date.

Heh,heh,heh. Still got your generator and bottled water from 31 december 1999?? We might be needing it!!

Mage said...

OKOK, now that you have shared the bread, where are you.......she says peeping around the corner. :)