‘Summer Time’ blues

Here in Israel we intend once again to brutally grab the sacred clock’s hands and ‘re-do tragedy as farce’ once again. Next week, in fact. Not being as emotionally capable of handling disruptions as I once was, I shall need to spend my remaining time before the hanging in fortifying my defenses.
Why, you might ask, should ‘Daylight ‘savings’ time’ be such a big deal?
Well, that’s why you’re here, to hear me explain why:
First, as a farmer and diligent amateur scientist, I probably follow the Sun’s paths on the celestial sphere much more acutely than my urban brethren. Inclination angles, sun-rise/ sun-set times, precise ‘local solar noon’, yes, I chart this data as if Kepler is counting on me from the grave. And so the biennial brute-force skew-points in my ‘big data’ files become an ugly patch.
“Just stick with ‘real time’ and ignore the madding crowd.” you suggest. …and under-estimate how madding that crowd truly is. One cannot easily function in a society with your adamant Luddite wrist-watch needing to be ‘corrected’ constantly, ‘translated’ for the herds of sheep.
Truthfully, I always manage, each ‘Spring-forward’, to accept my fate, in a process usually lasting at least one month. Willingly suspend my dis-belief; what, like I have a choice?
But this grudging acclimatization re-cuts me, like any double-edged sword, then again in Fall-backwards, when, although I should be celebrating a return to reason, I suffer a mirror-image bout of confusion. Note: Judging by the majority of commentary I’ve read here this year at least, my ‘je accuse‘ seems to have some support; no longer a ‘voice crying out in the wilderness, I may be in fact part of a ‘chorus of voices’.
To conclude: let’s lay out my justifiable bitches and eliminate a few ‘get used to it, Johnny!’ complaints:
Important to remember that if I’d demanded an equi-length year-long day-light period I should have moved to Uganda, (briefly considered as a potential home for the Jews), or similarly-located equatorial real-estate in South America (still pissed that ‘they stole our name’)
I do work like a dog, albeit a happily organic mutt, from ‘first light’ until… until, counting the days till my 67th birthday, I ask the Heavens (and Social Security): ‘Ain’t I allowed to ‘retire’ by now?’ My first official day of work, since which I haven’t had a genuine break, was in 1954, when my Dad asked me to assume the dairy-operation tasks which my Mum, awaiting the birth of a ‘new addition’ (sp?) couldn’t temporarily provide. So yeah, 62 years of hard labour; I’m entitled to crawl under the covers dead-tired at the ungodly hour which the local natives insist on calling “6 PM” And don’t forget that it’ll have been 100 degrees Fahrenheit since 7 AM. (Another rant-post)
Bottom Line: (finally!) If anyone sympathizes with my angst, my free workaround is the following:
Tell yourselves (say it aloud, kids, so it registers firmly in yer brains)
“It is ‘really’ Six AM’, and then continue: “But the locals are calling it ‘Seven AM'” Repeat this constantly, otherwise you risk falling down the confusion-drain that Richard Feynman famously advised avoiding, in connection with trying to understand quantum mechanics intuitively.
He chose a wise entry/exit point in ‘Man’s Fate’ on this planet, and I humbly propose that my own choice “1949-?? was also fortuitous. My parents, both of ’em, survived to watch ‘Bug Y2K’ play out live on TV. I’m no longer depressed these days by the thought that I may not be here watching ‘bug Y3K’.
Meanwhile, all I want to know is: ‘What time is it.. really?!”


4 thoughts on “‘Summer Time’ blues

  1. eleanorio

    It gives me great pleasure to see (hear) your voice (voice?) on these pages (you know what I mean) after such a long absence. I have missed you and your wit and am happy to know that you persist in spite of the odds, or despite the evens. Your post gave me opportunity to look up a line from a tune by Chicago, and I quote the whole verse here, set in prose so you won’t be tempted to burst into song.:

    “As I was walking down the street one day, a man came up to me and asked me what the time was that was on my watch. Yeah, and I said, ‘Does anybody really know what time it is? I don’t. Does anybody really care? If so, I can’t imagine why. About time, we’ve all got time enough to cry: Oh no, no!”

    Hang in there, Johnny. The sun’s gonna shine through my backdoor someday.

  2. solberg73 Post author

    Yo, dear El; I often peruse back posts.. from when blogging was still fun, and your comments thereupon, as this one no less, stand out for their depth, concern, and thoughtfulness. I *am* considering doing what our cousin Albert E. advised against : repeating the same failed experiment once again, in expectation of a different result. As you may recall, you shepherded me through recurrent Xanga depressive episodes, back when I was stunned and surprised at the sea-water’s not warming up in response to my inspired urination there-in, I do thank you for that, and have perhaps achieved a level of maturity (and familiarity with our truly-diseased modern Kultur) that, like the proverbial heart-broken kid who declares “Now I don’t believe in *anything* anymore; might as well just go to law school.” , I am immune nowadays to angst.
    Anyway, you-uns Canadiens also self-inflict clock-tinkering, right? To squeeze out a disputed possible 1% savings on electricity.
    I do remember of course the Chicago song. Together with Blood, Sweat, and Tears at the time, they demonstrated the ‘value-added’ move toward using horn ensembles. Hmm.. lots of my most fondly-remembered performances later included brass and reeds-men. Whom I always envied for how effortlessly, for the same money, they could throw their ‘axes’ into a case at 2:00 AM and eat breakfast before I’d even rolled up the cables to my keyboards-menagerie.
    Bottom, line, sweet to hear from you; I do have a back-log of issues for which posting about them may be helpful in the process of distillation. Be fore-warned, ha. (I do think of you maybe ten times a day.. whenever I read (sic) ‘A bird and it’s eggs’. Forthat tactful gift alone, I owe ya one.♥/ JS

  3. somewittyhandle

    Once again, a bugbear that we share, for this “daylight saving” bear certainly bugs me, as much as its bug bears me. Utterly predictably, twice every year the nation here is plunged into chaos, as nobody knows or remembers what time it is.

    The question is : why? Nobody has ever given me a satisfactory explanation.

    My mother-in-law insists that it is to benefit the farmers: the increase in daylight hours yielded by the hour change benefits the crops. I have been unable to convince her that the change in the designated hour has no effect whatsoever on the daylight experienced by the flora.

    Another theory is so that the schools can open at 9:00AM instead of 8:00AM, or something. You might point out that they are still opening at 8:00, except that you are now calling it 9:00. They will regard you as an idiot. As they do me.

  4. solberg73 Post author

    Thanks, Duncan! I seriously and intentionally left to you the pleasure of tactfully ‘debasing’ the base-less misconceptions one does hear. (I’d asked my kiosk-owner this morning whether he was ‘fer’ it or ‘agin’ it… just to get in the mood for finally writing a post. He said predictably that he’s in favour, since it adds an hour of daylight to the day. Hmm, I dared not refute him, since, as the joke goes “I need the eggs”. And so we have to deal with national confusion, personal instability, and on top of these, do our best not to insult the friends for whom astronomy is far from their strongest suit. The whole mess also reminds me of the “If Mohammed will not go to the Mountain, we shall move the mountain to Mohammed” story. Or, in a stretch, the film line ‘You can put clothes on a monkey, but that don’t make him a man’ applied to 7 o’clock as the ‘new’ 6 o’clock. They want to open and close stores an hour earlier? Simple: just change the published hours.
    So glad to hear from you/ JS


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