Monday, March 10, 2008

Daylight Relocating Time

Evening suddenly becomes late afternoon, without the delicious anticipation of the equinox. Like all "wealth creation," it is an illusion. Peter was robbed to pay Paul. It only looks like wealth if you don't happen to know Peter.

In the case of Daylight Relocating Time, morning is robbed to turn evening into afternoon. In many parts of the country people might actually begin their backyard cookouts a month earlier, but around here we'd still have to dig down through four feet of snow to find the back yard. That reminds me of one of Cal's stories that he won't write down.

A local town character we'll call Dickie got a call one winter day from Mrs. Agatha Richworthy down in Boston.

"Richard, this is Mrs. Richworthy. I'd like you to do some shoveling for me at my home up there."

"I don't know who you are," said Dickie, truculently. "How do I know you?"

"Why, Richard, you cut my lawn for me," she said.

"Huh! Well I ain't gonna shovel off your lawn just so's I can mow it!"

True story. True story.

The premature appearance of spring evenings stands in stark contrast to the return to February mornings, groping in the dark to start the breakfast coffee. Under the old regime, Daylight Relocating Time arrived perhaps a week later than it would have been welcome, but it spread the curtains of darkness for me at just the point when I could use that evening dispensation to complete the homeward bike ride safely. And it did it without costing us the hopeful rays of morning sun we'd waited so long for.

Evening light may allow for some recreation and fitness activities after work, if someone's schedule allows for that, but it totally screws people whose time slot falls in the morning. Up yours, Peter. Here you go, Paul.

The shift of light is supposed to save us energy somehow, but who doesn't snap on the lights at home or work, regardless of the light outside? And I don't see how it would alter people's use of heating or cooling. Business and manufacturing hours remain the same. It's rather a meaningless gesture. I await the Department of Energy study results.

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