Getting It Up Early

I have a houseful of visitors here in the Keys. I don’t understand that. In our more than 30 years in Vermont, we can count our out-of-state visitors on our fingers. Here in Paradise, visitors are numbered like grains of sand. Anyway, our friend Missy noticed that I was “up bloody early” today (Biff was still snoring then).

“No,” I told Missy. “It is the clock that has changed. I’m up at the exact same [solar] time I get up every morning.”

Thanks to the visitors, I was actually late-ish getting to bed last night and therefore late-ish getting to sleep. Late-ish is defined as early-ish by Daylight Savings standards but later in terms of the hour at which I planned to arise. The alarm makes sure I rise correctly no matter how long the temptations of the night before seduce me.

Farmers have lived according to the sun for as long as there has been fixed base agriculture. Although my great-grandfather was a dairy farmer — I grew up on the last few acres of his farm, then made a home on the last few acres of a former Vermont dairy farm — I do not farm. I prefer sleeping in and generally like to roll out of bed about 30 seconds before I have to go to work. It also means I can see the sunset, the moonrise, and the clocks strike midnight.

Clock setting is arbitrary, all because somebody in “the dawn of time” jammed a stick in the ground and decided that getting his farm workers up at 4 ayem was a good idea. Some of us don’t agree. Russia’s 11 time zones are all an hour ahead of the corresponding standard time zones and double that during DST.

Ben Franklin wrote satirically that Parisians should go green and save candles by rising earlier to use morning sunlight. He didn’t seriously propose Savings Time, though, no matter what you read on the Internoodle. That honor falls to George Hudson, an amateur New Zealand entomologist who wanted to collect insects in after-work daylight.

I don’t understand why we don’t just choose a time we like permanently.

Arizona, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, most Indiana on Eastern Time, don’t switch their clocks. Arizona remains on Mountain Standard Time year round. They, along with India, China, and Japan are the major industrialized states that are constant UTC+something 12 months out of 12, while the rest of us spend seven months of the year with “extra” daylight and nearly five months without.

Not even all of Arizona is exempt. The Navajo Nation does observe. The Navaho have the largest land area of any Native American jurisdiction within the United States with 26,000 square miles that covers all of northeastern Arizona, the southeastern portion of Utah, and northwestern New Mexico.

Changing the clocks irritates me but I’m not rabid about sticking on solar time except I have a regular morning phone call with one of the non-mainstream states.

A friend who lives there “finds it irritating that we have to rearrange our meetings every time all y’all flip to another time, and irritating that I have to think “Is it two or three hours different when I call my dad? Is it one hour or the same when I call my daughter or mother?”


My choice is to synch my own schedule rather than force the others on that call to rearrange theirs.

It just seems bloody early to start the morning to Sally. And to me.

For the record, my European web host thought this post went up at 13:00.

7 thoughts on “Getting It Up Early

  1. One of the problem I have with *spring forwad/fall back* is that I have to dig my wristwatch instruction booklet out twice a year to reset the timepiece. The damn thing is written in six languages with tiny, tiny print.

    Mrs Poleczech’s Government Motors vehicle is likewise difficult to re-time; and I have to get the owner’s manual out of the glove box and refresh my memory each time. Her Ford luxury sedan and my huge Ford Explosion have clock reset buttons that are self-explanatory.

    The clock on the microwave is tricky, but we have power outtages here often enough that I have learned how to do it from experience. The one that wakes me every morning from my bedside table is *hotel alarm clock* style, and I can do it in my sleep — no pun intended.

    Luckily my cell phone and computer have brains enough to reset themselves. My cats are the ones that baffle me. They have neither wrist watches nor electronic gizmos; yet, they had no problem at all with the recent time change.

    And, of course, there is my bladder. It is the best timepiece of all. You can dicker with your clock — and fool Father Time — but no way can you fool Mother Nature. She woke me up right on schedule.

    — George

  2. Tsk.

    “Savings Time”

    Tsk, tsk.

    Some people like to call the last book in (most) New Testaments “Revelations” but of course people who are both smart and who know stuff understand it is “The Book of Revelation to St John” or “The Revelation” if you insist on shortening it.

    Likewise, it is not “Daylight SavingS Time” but rather “Daylight Saving Time.” That is, it is the time period in which we “save daylight.”

    I did not realize daylight was in trouble and required saving.

    The automatic clock that sets itself and sits next to my bed, however, will need saving. It seems to think it is one hour earlier than it is. That will make the second time it has vexed me.

  3. I slept pretty well last Sunday. One alarm did, too. One clock went off on time but the other didn’t. It reset itself by an hour in the dark reaches of the night to give me an extra hour, a week too early. It will steal it back a few weeks late in the Spring.

    Sleep was a little … off … this Sunday. I carefully set all the clocks ahead that needed it. My other alarm clock, though, is automagic and has an “old DST/new DST” switch set to new DST. I didn’t change it. Guess what woke us at OH DARK:FREAKING-THIRTY AYEM? The alarm clock automagic feature itself, in spite of the DST switch, was turned off. <grumble>

    A wise lady once told me “A snooze button is a poor substitute for no alarm clock at all.”

  4. FWIW, gekko’s and my comments were posted in the 4:00 EST hour, not the 5:00 hour the Euro host thinks we still use.

  5. European Time zones vex me. Mrs Poleczech and I flew to Europe twice in ’87 and once in ’88, and both times we arrived there much later than my watch declared. Not only that, but we left the USA in 98F temperature wearing tropical clothing and arrived in 55F. Thank goodness this was before the widespread Islamic terrorist threat, otherwise Mrs Poleczech’s proturuding tips would have forced her to take off her shoes.

    I’m telling you that here is a lot more to this Daylight Saving(s) Time than we were told by media and Ben Franklin.

    — George

  6. Fortunately, Anuko World Clock keeps me sync’ed. Gizmo in the LR corner gives me the times I need to know: Here, Phoenix, Austin, Helsinki, Bangalore, and Penang/Taipei/Shanghai. The whole DST thing is stupid, but it’s fun to watch the clocks jump around.

Comments are closed.