Monday, March 30, 2015

The Trials of Daylight Saving Time by Marion Ekholm


Although Benjamin Franklin came up with the idea back in 1784, Daylight Saving Time actually started during World War I by Germany and Austria to conserve fuel. Other places adopted it, as well, but the United States didn’t put it into law until 1918. It was so unpopular in the states that it was repealed in 1919. It became a local option until war again brought it back, this time WW II. Today about 70 countries participate. Most of the United States spring forward and fall back in the appropriate seasons, except for Arizona and Hawaii.

Even though we’re one of the few places that doesn’t follow DST, Arizona is still affected by it. When the other states spring forward an hour, we merely drop out of Mountain Time and hook up with Pacific time. Recently the legislators in Phoenix discussed joining DST but it was voted down. One of my friends, who lived through that one experimental year when we did try DST, said it was horrible. It seemed to extend the heat.

Some areas of the country might enjoy having more light, but not us. We prefer the sunrise at 5:00 am when it’s the coolest part of the day. An extra hour at night when the temperature dallies around 115 degrees has no appeal.

Proponents give dozens of reasons why it’s important to the economy and society. However, the detractors (me among them) are happy that Arizona sticks with standard time. If you want real confusion consider Tuba City, Arizona, where the Navajo Nation follows DST. Imagine what it's like when everyone in the town isn't in the same time zone.    

Here are a few of the problems created by Arizona not following the crowd:

1.                  TV programs that were watched at a specific time, are now an hour earlier. As soon as you’ve adjusted to the time change, they flip back. 

2.                  None of your friends or relatives on the East coast can ever figure out when to call, and the first few minutes of the conversation is a discussion about time zones.


And here are some reasons why I’m glad we don’t:

1.                  I always fed my dog at 5:00 pm. Since we have no time change, the dog never had to suffer and was always fed when her internal clock said 5:00. She never had to bug me with soulful eyes wondering when she’d get her food the way she did when we lived back east.

2.                  I’m a person who rises with the sun, and it’s not all bad when the lawnmowers start at the same time.

3.                  When the sun dips, so does our temperature. Where’s the advantage to enjoying an evening on the patio when we’re still roasting in 110 degrees?

4.                  No need to adjust clocks. However, those automatically adjusted by satellites do require work. I finally figured out how to set my computer on Arizona time. There’s actually a setting for that!

 
How do you feel about Daylight Saving Time? Does it create any problems for you?

 

24 comments:

  1. Thank you for the fun post, Marion. I agree with you, and would much prefer we didn't have to change the time. Living in Ontario, I would prefer to have the extra hour of sunlight in the evening. I smiled at the mention of feeding your dog. Their internal body clocks are quite accurate, and those soulful eyes--in our case, two sets--make us feel as if we're starving them when they have to wait the extra hour to be fed. Not surprisingly, they don't complain when the clocks go the other way, and they get fed an hour early!

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    1. It took a good two weeks before our Siberian Huskie stopped "dogging" me. I wonder if that's were the term came from.

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  2. I hate and despise DST. For a long time, my home state (Indiana) didn't observe it and I loved that--what the rest of the country did didn't bother me at all! Of course, Indiana's crossed over to crazy on many issues in recent years, so it's no surprise we went with that one, too.

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    1. Indiana has been in the news of late with their “religious” proclamations. Arizona has had its share of crazies. I think the DST issue will be debated on a regular basis in the future.

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  3. I'm in Arizona, too, and until your post didn't realize it was DTS time. Thanks for the reminder.

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    1. I know I never have to think about it until my favorite TV programs go phooey.

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  4. What a cool and informative post, Marion! I have a cousin in Surprise, AZ, and you're so right: The start of every phone conversation is always time zone centered! I wouldn't mind a bit if the whole world went back to NOT making the change bi-annually. For one thing, I collect clocks, and it takes a good 45 minutes to turn the hands forward or back every six months! Here's hoping your week ahead will be sunny!

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    1. When I lived back east, my husband’s aunt, who was a night owl, would call us at 10:00 pm from California which awakened us at 1:00 am. She never learned the time difference, so we moved to Arizona to avoid her early morning calls.

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  5. Marion, For me as well as adjusting to TV programs I have one daughter in the East and one in the Pacific Northwest. My grandkids in the east often text me at what I think is an ungodly hour of the morning. But because they're my grands, I just wake up and text back. It's confusing to figure out everyone else's time. Hey, we know ours.

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    1. My son is in Alaska and I think he’s an hour behind us, some of the time. Hate having to figure it out every time I want to text him.

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  6. I could do without it. As soon as I get accustomed to the change, we have to change it back!! Some of my clocks are still battery operated so it's annoying having to adjust them. I just don't see the point in it anymore.

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    1. I really like the phrase “Spring forward and Fall back.” If not for that, I’d never know what to do when DST goes into effect. And changing clocks - The one I have pictured always runs slow, and it’s a real challenge to adjust it. If I had to change it twice a year, I’d throw it out.

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  7. Oh, Marion, I could go on a rant about DST! I don't like it and I'll just say here that think it's usefulness has passed. I have a vintage Art Deco clock I got years ago for a steal at a flea market. It's electric but you have to spin the dial to get the gears going. Sometimes when I have to change the time, it doesn't want to work and it takes me several times to get it going. (I can only imagine what Loree goes through.) I hold my breath and pray twice a year.... I love that clock and resent the abuse I have to subject it to LOL!!

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    1. I have nothing vintage, but every clock I have is a problem. If I end up swearing whenever I need to change the time, I get rid of it. But if your clock is electric it probably suffers from outages, as well. It must be a real treasure for you to go through all that trouble.

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  8. ERRRGGG! I lived in Arizona for six years and now I've been back in Indiana for seven. So I can see both sides of this and I don't like the switch at all. This past week we puppysat our neighbor's Yorkie Poo, and I can so understand the problem with our little pets when the time changes. That's not fair to them at all! I had not known that 70 countries flip the clocks around as well. Thanks for a great post, Marion!!!

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    1. I never realized so many people feel the same way about changing their clocks. So happy so many responded to show me I’m not alone.

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  9. I'm not a fan of DST. My poor cat has to suffer twice a year about when she'll be fed--and she lives for food. I also have an electric clock that must be unplugged then--if I remember in time--plugged back in at the right moment to set it.

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    1. I tried that with a windup clock I used for travel. It was impossible to move the hands once it stopped running. I’d set an alarm so that I could wind it and use the time already set on the clock. Went right in the garbage after a few unsuccessful tries. Thank goodness my cell phone has an alarm.

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  10. Hi, Marion! I don't care too much one way or the other because we seldom live by the clock anymore. We do have a chiming wall clock about three feet long in which Ron has a collection of lead soldiers in a glass area on the bottom. It's very heavy, and getting it down to change the time is always an ordeal. I have to either take out the soldiers then rearrange them, or let them fall all over the place as I take the clock down, then rearrange them. Now I leave the clock alone and just add an hour to the time during DST. Lazy, I know.

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    1. I know what you mean about leaving the clock alone and adding or subtracting time. I did that when I traveled, merely adding or subtracting the time from my watch instead of adjusting to a time zone. I use my cell phone now, so there’s no problem. But if I had to go through rearranging a soldier display, either the clock or the soldiers would end up in a box in my closet.

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  11. It takes my body clock about two weeks to adjust to losing one hour of sleep. I tell myself "it's only one hour." But, I still feel something's missing from my day.

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  12. For me the time changes always throw a glitch in my kids' routines. Who wants to sleep bc of school the next day if it's still light out? Or sleep on time even if time changed?

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  13. I hated DST! There, I said it. lol. I did a blog post on it back in the fall, talking about how I'd finally get my hour back. I don't think my body ever adjusts until fall.

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