Saturday, March 7, 2009

Standard Time?

Tonight most of America will switch to daylight savings time. In Arizona we don't observe this quaint tradition. I guess it's because we have plenty of daylight and don't feel the need to save any. Besides that, it's powerful hot during daylight hours in the summer anyway, so let's just leave them as they are and not try to stretch them still later into the evening.

Since daylight savings time now begins in early March and extends through the end of October, I calculate that the country spends almost a full 8 months out of every year on daylight savings time. That being the case, why do we continue to call those other 4 months "standard" time. They aren't standard at all. In fact they are the exception. Of course calling the summer months standard and the 4 winter months "daylight shortage time" or something like that doesn't exactly sound very appealing.

When we lived in Russia I came to appreciate sunlight as I had never appreciated it before. At 60 degrees north latitude winter days get REAL short. By mid-December we could sit at our breakfast table looking out the window at 9:30 AM and it would still be dark outside and by 3:30 it was dark again. When you add in the clouds that often cover the skies during those months so that even during the "day" you see precious little sun, you begin to appreciate those few moments when it does shine. I guess that's why Russians will go suntan outdoors even when the temperature is well below freezing. I would take the kids to school in the dark, go on to work in the dark, spend my day in an office with non-natural light and by the time I left to go home or pick up the kids it was already dark again. I didn't enjoy that. Although I don't think I suffer from it, I can understand "seasonal affective disorder." Give me sunnier climes any day.

So for those of you outside of Arizona, "Happy Daylight Savings season!" Enjoy those extra hours of sunlight in the evening. Being a morning person myself, they wouldn't do me that much good anyway, so I'll let you have them. Cheers!

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