Fall Back

By | October 19, 2017
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Fall Back

I wrote last spring about not wanting to sound like an idiot by walking around saying “Daylight Savings Time”. The grammar police and other people who have no lives and nothing better to do with their time other than criticize people for adding an “S” to “Saving”, are adamant and will continue their verbal fusillade until every single creature, upon whom “Daylight Saving Time’ is imposed, acquiesces and bends to their stubborn will.

Speaking of will, I’m sorry for sounding like George Will.

Anyway, the article I wrote last March about Daylight Saving Time, was more-or-less lighthearted and tongue-in-check, unlike this serious screed you’re reading now.

I find it easier to be lighthearted when facing more daylight than I do when facing more darkness. March is a lighthearted time here, because north of the equator, March means we set the clock forward one hour, which means we have more daylight in which to do stuff at the end of the day. This has some other really nifty ramifications, a few of which I will illuminate in a minute.

Suffice it to say that those of you living south of the equator do not find March as joyful as we do up here where March, although soggy, slushy. miserable and cold, does mean that summer is on the way IN and winter is on the way OUT. Those of you south of the equator, probably enjoy September. Having never lived anywhere but here, I can scarcely even imagine it.

[ I do watch the live Sydney Harbor Cam in the middle of night when I cannot sleep – which means I watch it a lot. Nice harbor there, Sydney. Love the little boat that docks opposite the opera place. Why do people use the boat to cross the harbor when there is a bridge? For those Americans interested in this Australian sleep-aid, you can find the Sydney Harbor Cam on the ABC News App for Roku – and I imagine other streaming video devices. ]

Digressing, as I’m often wont to do, we are on the cusp of another foray into the land of “Daylight Saving Time” (not Savings). We are on the wrong cusp this time around, if a cusp has a wrong side which I don’t believe it does. I think brink is the synonym, however you can be on the wrong side of a brink, I tells ya… Niagara Falls comes to mind.

Anyway, last March I was toodle-oodling and full of whimsy because those in charge say we had to set the clocks ahead, meaning we lose (not really) an hour of daylight in the morning – to which I say, “who cares?” – and gain (not really) an hour in the evening – to which I say, in the modern vernacular “BooYah!”.

Since I work during the day – although at my age I should be rich and retired and tottering around the beach in Sarasota looking at ladies and drinking beer – I walk in the evening. During “Daylight Saving Time” (Spring/Summer version), I don’t have to rush off my duff and hurry out to walk, because it doesn’t get dark until 9:50 PM. I mean even those who really work, can find plenty of time for outdoor activities after work. Heck, by the time it gets dark, it’s almost a new day. Most of us over the age of 40 have to go to bed and go to sleep sometime.

Just today I realized that 2 weeks from this coming Saturday night, I will be turning my clocks back one hour. And yes I have noticed that the Internet of Things has had an impact on the number of clocks I have to fuss with. To wit:

1. I don’t use a watch anymore, I just look at my cell phone, which always has the right time. It’s not a smart phone, honest. But it does know the time.

2. My televisions, thermostat, microwave, and oven/stove all have digital clocks, and some automatically set themselves. Some don’t, but since I can’t remember which don’t because it’s been almost 8 months since I last did it, and my memory ain’t what is use to be, I’ll have to wait until the actual event to remember.

3. My car. Every year I do the same thing. I can never remember how to set the clock in my car. Now, with all the data breaches and all the warnings about criminals controlling cars and planes and trains, I am glad I have a dumb car, even if the driver (me) is even dumber. I usually figure it out by November. Then, by next spring, I will forget again. I don’t have the funds to buy a smart car and I’m not sure sure I want to buy anything that’s smarter than me.

I only have to change the time two or four clocks come November 5th – not counting the car. I can’t remember if the microwave and stove/oven clocks set adjust to the “new” time or not. I guess I will find out when the day comes.

In just two weeks I will be forced to either not walk and grow more winter blubber and more out-of-shape, or I will have to walk in darkness down creepy, badly illuminated and dreary streets, and watch people peer surreptitiously from between their window curtains wondering whether or not to call the cops, because some crazy old man is walking down the street in the dark with a stocking hat on. I know what they are thinking. I know people.

They are thinking:

1. I’m homeless. I sleep in furniture stores and hospital waiting rooms by day and spend my nights walking the streets waiting for dawn.

2. I’m drunk. I drank too much and my spouse or significant other kicked my blubbery body out of the house.

3. I’m up to no good. Maybe surveying the neighborhood for a heist.

I swear, none of those three things are true. However, no one walks anymore. So, walking in the daylight causes enough alarms as people are thinking, “Look at that idiot. He does this every day. What a jerk!” They’re just jealous because I’m out exercising and they are sitting in on their porches eating pie and ice cream. But at least it’s daylight… they’re sitting on the porch eating pies in the daylight.

But walking in the dark makes it appear that I am skulking around, but I swear, I’m not!

I suppose there are some of you who actually celebrate when we turn back the hands of time and go back to “Standard Time”. Standard time is the time it shoud be if people and governments didn’t play with the clocks. In this case, I’m in favor of man fiddling with the natural world.

I don’t like it getting dark at 4:45 PM. I’m barely done working and it’s already dark. By the time I do my “skulking” and eat my daily gruel, I can barely stay awake.

Eight O’clock, already? All the good movies and TV shows come on around 8:00 PM. But, come mid-December, I’ll be in my Lazy Boy (that’s a recliner). Drifting off. I’ll be watching a movie and wake up hours later and a different movie will be on and I won’t remember what I was watching.

Here in the northern climes, the December sun comes up around 8:15 AM in the morning and it gets dark around 4:45 PM. There not much daylight, although there is considerably more daylight here than in Alaska or Yellowknife. I love the sound of Yellowknife. That’s somewhere in the wilds of Canada. Is there an airport there?

There are lots of reasons I don’t like Daylight Saving Time, but all of them are because of turning the clock back. Why don’t we just leave it set ahead one hour so even in winter I can take my walk in dusky daylight?

Who wants more darkness at night. Why do we care about darkness in the morning. If you don’t like darkness in the morning, turn on a light. They say they don’t like kids going to school in the dark, but I used to. Remember the oil shortage in the 70’s and some genius got the idea we should stay on Daylight Saving Time all year around? Many a morning I walked through the dark to school, and no one accused me of skulking or being a homeless kid.

It was a different world then. And I won’t remind you that two weeks from now, you’ll need to turn your clock back one hour if you live anywhere in the USA where Daylight Saving Time is in effect.

If you seem me out walking in the dark, I’m not skulking, I swear.

Fall Back, America!

4 thoughts on “Fall Back

  1. Sue

    I hear you – even in Canada. Why don’t these people who need to gripe and moan and be so CORRECT (in their minds) get-a-life. Being on the “gentler” side of 60, I know that life is much shorter than I thought at 16-26-36-you get the idea.
    Enjoy it- extra hour-less ,an hour, more… start of winter which really means it is the start of spring….just enjoy living. it won’t last that long. And grammar…in the scheme of things and the world today…it it that really an important issue? OK, so it it is for those who need to obsess. Me, my relative was probably a doorknob and I ain’t even as smart as them – they – they are ???? Whatever..Cloudeight…love you guys. Thanks

  2. Nora

    Yup, same here in good old “don’t change a thing Canada”. God forbid we have to do things in the dark! Hey! It’s gonna get dark no matter what season it is. Suck it up! I just hate having to change everything each season. My photos always come out with the wrong date. When will they invent a camera that knows the difference?? Lol.

  3. Janis McElhaney

    Thought of this song after reading your “fall back”

    Hello darkness, my old friend
    I’ve come to talk with you again
    Because a vision softly creeping
    Left its seeds while I was sleeping
    And the vision that was planted in my brain
    Still remains
    Within the sound of silence
    In restless dreams I walked alone
    Narrow streets of cobblestone
    ‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
    I turned my collar to the cold and damp
    When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
    That split the night
    And touched the sound of silence
    And in the naked light I saw
    Ten thousand people, maybe more
    People talking without speaking
    People hearing without listening
    People writing songs that voices never share
    And no one dared
    Disturb the sound of silence
    Fools, said I, you do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows

  4. Terry Bell

    Laughed along with your musings and agree with most of them. A thought though: grammar does count because if we get it wrong some nefarious person may also get our meaning wrong and take offense and retaliate something fierce. Internationally/diplomatically speaking, I am. Be accurate in all things and not have to suffer the wrath of people that aren’t quite as well spoken as you. ‘S’ is but the beginning.
    And, yes. There is an airport in Yellowknife. They even have a department store or two. As of forty years ago, no less!
    Keep up the good writing.


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