Did You Spring Ahead or Fall Flat on Your Face?
I don’t know anyone who actually likes changing to Daylight Savings time. It’s a hassle. You forgot how many clocks and watches you have that need adjusting, and most of them tell you a different time after you change them (can’t do them all at once!).
Changing the clocks in my car is the worst one of those little chores. It has one of those not-very-useful navigation systems (not useful because I never go anywhere far from home, and I mostly already know where I’m going) that includes a clock. The car also has a clock in the instrument panel. You would think that this sophisticated technological miracle I ride around in would have its two clocks synchronized, wouldn’t you? Nope. The only synchronizer is me, and I need the manual to tell me how to follow the two different, complicated series of button pushes to get the time changed on both clocks.
You can see where this is going: I sometimes have different times on my two clocks that are about 2 feet apart. Maybe this is a test of my patience, or my ability to tolerate ambiguity. But it bugs me. So I try to change the clocks by going through all the steps except the very last one that starts the clock for both clocks, and then try to start them at the exact same time. This is complicated because I have to also know what the actual time is. So, my cell phone is on and it always has the exact right time automatically (nice!) and I wait until it moves forward a minute and THEN start the clocks. Unless the cell phone screen has gone dark to save the battery.
The really irritating thing is that the car’s navigation system is continuously linked via an AT&T cell signal to a server somewhere in the cloud, telling the car company everything I do with the car. Privacy, anyone? But this cell signal is just like the one that automatically adjusts the time on my phone, so why the heck not my car? Maybe I should just put duct tape over one of the clocks.
Then there’s that thing about losing an hour. Suddenly, you’re running late for work and then when you get there it’s lunch hour before you even begin to think about food. And just where does that hour go, anyhow? The grey whales migrating up our shoreline certainly don’t notice, and they are totally not impressed that we can arbitrarily mess with time so we “lose” an hour in spring and then “get it back” in fall when we go through this ritual in reverse.
It all makes you wonder who thought up this practice. An article in the San Luis Obispo Tribune provides just enough light on the matter to make you even more puzzled about why we have to go through this. We have often heard that Daylight time is to help farmers. No, it may actually make life harder for them. For example, dairy cows (like those grey whales) are not big fans of clocks—they need to be milked on schedule and their milk needs to go to market quickly regardless of what the clock says.
What about that energy efficiency thing? Turns out the energy savings are very minor, and some studies even say Daylight Savings might be less efficient.
School kids? Not really. There doesn’t seem to be a good rationale for this practice, yet we have extended Daylight Savings from 6 to 8 months over the years, making “Standard” time anything but standard. The only group we’ve thought of that really stands to gain is the charcoal briquette makers. More evening light means more BBQ time.
For all the fuss, the sun is still making its northern journey on its own schedule. Our beachfront location is the perfect place to watch the seasons pass, the sun moving slowly north and south. Put the watch in your pocket, and sit on the deck with a glass of wine and mark the real time with that sunset.
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