WANA: We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.
Will Rogers said everybody talks about the weather but nobody ever does anything about it. This week, everybody seems to be talking about Daylight Savings Time, but nobody is doing anything about it.
Well, I don’t suppose I can do anything about it either, but I can add my
brilliant analysis two cents worth. I can rant with the best of them. By the way, if we call it daylight savings time when we enjoy longer evenings, should we call the winter system moonlight wasting time?
The first thing about the standard time/daylight savings time business that’s never made any sense to me is when they make the change. Autumnal equinox takes place around September 22, and we make our fall time change the first Sunday in November. Vernal Equinox is around March 20, and we make our spring time change the second Sunday in March.
We stay on DST for about six weeks after equinox in the fall, but we only go onto it about ten days or so before equinox in the spring. To make sense of this, we should go onto DST around the first of February. What’s up with the present system?
Most of the
tirade discussion this week has been about changing from one to the other. Everybody’s upset over losing an hour’s sleep Saturday night. What’s that about? At my age you don’t expect to sleep all night anyhow.
Actually, I agree that the constant changing back and forth is a pain in the rear, especially when we do it unevenly. (See third paragraph above.) During the winter of either 1972-73 or 1973-74 we just stayed on DST. No time changes.
The rationale was to save energy during the Arab oil embargo. That made about as much sense as cutting off your head and standing on it to be taller, but rationale aside, I enjoyed that winter. I was living in Oklahoma City, where it gets dark a bit earlier than Fort Worth in the winter, and I enjoyed getting home before dark.
For most of us, morning activities consist of stumbling to the coffee pot, having breakfast, showering and dressing and driving to work. These activities don’t really require much daylight. Having the sun shine through our windows at that time of day doesn’t add a lot to the quality of most of our lives.
In the evenings, though, when we get home from work it would be nice to have a a chance to work in the yard (okay, for those who know me, it’s my wife who works in the yard) or toss a football with the kids or do other things outside. A little daylight would be nice for these activities.
I’ve heard farmers complain about DST because it messes up their operations. How? I’ve never seen a boll of cotton or an ear of corn that could tell time. The wheat is going to grow when the sun shines, without consulting a clock.
About the only industry I can think of with a legitimate complaint against DST is drive-in movie owners. In the summer they can’t begin their movies until 9:00pm or so. But how many drive-in movies are there in the United States anyhow?
Any rational analysis would
agree with me see that year-round DST would benefit all of us. Besides that, people in Arizona wouldn’t have to try to remember what time zone they’re in. They could stay in the same one all year.
What do you think about dropping all the time change business and just staying on Daylight Savings Time? Then we wouldn’t have to call it Daylight Savings Time. It would just be time.
David N. Walker is a Christian father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years as a health insurance agent. Most of that career was spent in Texas, but for a few years he traveled many other states. He started writing about 20 years ago, and has six unpublished novels to use as primers on how NOT to write fiction. He is currently putting the finishing touches on his non-fiction Web Wisdom: Godly Inspiration from the Inbox and starting his new fiction work—a series of novellas set during the period from 1860 to 1880.
Contact me at email@example.com or tweet me at @davidnwalkertx