Sunday, March 11, 2018

SPRING FORWARD? by E. AYERS


For starters we're all saying it wrong. It's daylight saving time and not daylight savings time. Picky, picky people who lay down the grammar rules say that it's saving because saving, in this instance, is an adjective not a verb, therefore we've must use the singular form. Will you remember that ten minutes from now? If you are like me, you won't. So we can all merrily use the wrong form and know that we're in good company because the vast majority say savings.
Many people are under the misconception that it's something we've been doing forever, besides old Ben Franklin started it. WRONG! Old Ben only wanted a change in sleeping schedules. His late nights and early ups were killing him. After imbibing a little too much and not having sufficient time to sleep it off, universally changing sleep times seemed to him to be an excellent thing to do. Sometimes it's very difficult to keep your own advice. Except, it never happened.
Ben Franklin had various people who followed him over the years, championing the concept
of having more light later in the day, thus saving candles. It took WWI for people to adopt the idea of daylight saving time. Germany, the enemy, jumped on it first, April 30, 1916, and then Britain followed calling it "summer time." The USA was a little late coming into the idea. It took until March 31, of 1918 to get around to it. We called it "war time." And it was repealed in 1919.
Since then it's been an on-again off-again sort of thing with the dates varying and politics at the center of it. Some states and cities kept the idea of saving some summer sun. That created havoc for travelers and broadcast companies that serviced wide areas. Check your local listings were sheer havoc if you wanted to watch a favorite TV show and lived in an area that didn't observe but received broadcasts from areas that did.
In the 1970's a study was done showing it only saved about 1% of our nation's energy. In the early 2000's, another study showed it was costing us more than 1% because of the air conditioning usage and gasoline. Apparently the people benefiting from the savings of sunshine are the retailers, tourist connected businesses, and the gasoline companies.
If you travel by train, Amtrak will do everything possible to make certain you arrive on time at your destination. Even if that means stopping on the tracks at 2:00 AM and waiting for an hour so that you arrive at your destination on time. Thank you, Amtrak, for that kindness, but I would rather arrive too early and spend one less hour on the train.
Most of the population of the USA have lived under the concept of springing forward and falling behind for 100 years. Like millions of people, from all over the world, caught in the spring forward time warp, remember the notion of spring forward just cost you an hour of sleep that will take, on average, a week for your body to adjust. It will raise your electrical bill if you use air conditioning. When you pay that higher electrical bill and spend an extra tank full of gasoline, don't forget to thank your political representatives for finding a way to "save" us energy costs. Somehow those good old days are looking better and better. 
Maybe not. They didn't have any air conditioning, running water was dicey, baths were few and far between, and women were expected to wear those long dresses no matter how hot it was.




12 comments:

  1. We woke up this morning to find our smart phones, set to the part of Arizona where we are, were not smart enough to know Arizona (except for the Navajo Nation) do not observe DST. I personally like it as now when we talk to the farm in Oregon, we don't have to figure they're a different time than us. Tiny benefit but it works for me :)

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    1. It's amazing how smart smart phones are these days. Even Alexa knew the proper time. :-) The only things in my house that didn't were a few old clocks, the microwave, and some other small appliances, but I'm sure since they've all become smarter some people didn't have to worry about changing them. For now, the microwave still says the wrong time and probably will for another month because I haven't taken the time to change it.

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  2. For me, life would be simpler if we left time the same year round. And, like Ben Franklin, I'd be happier if days started a little later. ☺

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    1. I woke at my normal 6 am... even with springing forward an hour... go figure! and I didn't use an alarm...

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    2. Caroline, my sediments exactly. Pick a time and use it all the time! This flipping around is crazy.

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    3. Sandy, you are so lucky. Did you go to bed earlier? Or did you cut an hour off your normal sleep schedule?

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  3. I see no benefit in having the artificial time change forward or back. I have shown up for church just as everyone was filing out the door and had my nurse manager call me up saying, "Hey, do you think you might come to work now?"--and other variations of the same. I've also shown up an hour early and wondered where the heck is everybody?
    Where the sun is still shining at 9:00 PM and I have to get up at 4:30 AM, it's a bit hard to go to sleep.
    This was an interesting article about the history behind daylight saving time, E. (notice how I left the "s" off of saving?) LOL

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    1. As a child I was put to bed at the same time every night. It seemed so unfair to be made to climb into bed when the sun was still bright in the sky. What I never realized until I moved to the south was that the northern states experience a longer twilight. So as a teen, summer meant it was still "light" until 10 pm.

      Trying to remember not to misuse saving is as bad trying to remember not to misuse the word like. It's difficult in speech, but it glares at me on paper.

      People either think daylight saving time was started by Ben Franklin or the farmers, I have no clue how that rumor started, who vehemently opposed from the beginning.

      Glad you enjoyed it!

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  4. Sweet post, E! I love DST for the late hours of sunshine but not so much for early morning darkness in the first weeks.

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    1. As an adult I like the extra sunlight, especially when traveling, but we're getting to the point that it's no longer financially worth the extra hours of sun. That makes me wonder why we're still doing it.

      Who made up the rules for time in the first place? Who said this is midnight and we're calling it the next day? Why isn't 6 AM the start of the next day? We could call seven o'clock in the morning 1 AM. But it seems that once something is established we can't change them.

      Thanks for stopping by, Arletta. You're going to discover my mind works in very strange ways and I follow it down the paths where it goes. It's filled with trivia and drivel from wondering around. But it's fun to let it wonder and see where it goes.

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    2. I like how your mind works! Keep on, keeping on. One reason I favor DST now is that I have increasing vision problems that may or may not be relieved by surgery next month...can only drive in bright sunlight now.

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    3. Oh, Arletta, I do hope everything goes well. It seems as we get older sight problems become more of an issue. At least we can fix things now that we couldn't 150 years ago. Imagine the woman living in the old west as her eyes grow dimmer and dimmer. Blindly going to the hen house looking for eggs and not seeing the snake waiting for her. Or if she lived further south, a rather vicious creepy crawler. The stuff of nightmares or an interesting scene in a book. Yes, everything is fodder for our books. Best of luck with your surgery.

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