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Log, Apr 12, 2002

No people. Of all the pesky little ideas which plague us one of the most annoying is Daylight Savings Time. Now I don't know about you but every clock I have has a unique method of being advanced and restored. The worst is the clock in my truck. I have to disconnect the battery and wait until it is 12:00 before reconnecting the cable. Close behind is my totally automated VCR which has the WRONG algorithm for the advancing and restoring the time. It goes the opposite way. My wife's watch has teeny weeny itsy bitsy buttons I must push with a ball point pen to reset. Our bedroom clock will only advance a minute at a time. Advancing 60 minutes is annoying but advancing 1380 minutes (23 hours times 60 minutes) is rediculous. The stove, microwave and the radio clock all have fairly reasonable (but idiosyncratic) controls. My cockoo clock is really easy - just move the hands! My most mysterious clock is on my wrist. I finally discovered that to change daylight savings time you have to turn on the night light. Why? I have no idea. The computers do the right conversion but want me to approve their handiwork.

However my single largest complaint about Daylight Savings Time isn't dinky twidling the clocks but the fact that it steals a full hour from our precious dark hours in the very months that the nights are shortest. We don't get to make up the time because we don't stay open until dawn.

One might wonder who contrived this massive annoyance. None other than our authentic renaissance man, genius, wit, polymath, publisher, diplomat, politician, scientist, inventor, raconteur, and general all round superman Benjamin Franklin. On cold winter nights, I warm myself at a coal fired descendent of the Franklin Stove. I wear the bifocals Ben invented. I've been in a building when a thunderbolt was rendered harmless by one of his lightning rods. Beyond doubt his greatest creation was the bicameral legislature concept that allowed the formation of the United States. Perhaps his notion that a turkey should be our national symbol rather than the eagle wasn't the most felicitous notion but at least the bird is delicious. Notice how unstinting i have been in praise of Benjamin Franklin's accomplishments so I hope I can be forgiven if I say "Ben, you blew it. Daylight Savings Time is a cockamamie idea."

All right, I'll concede that Daylight Savings Time probably made some sort of sense when you needed expensive and dangerous candles for illumination. Back then its drawbacks weren't nearly so obvious. The task of turning the hands forward or back was trivial for the average family since they could afford at most a single clock. Today we have more time keeping devices than "Ye Olde Clocke Shoppe" had in 1776. We burn candles for a sentimental mood and to fend off darkness after the occasional hurricane. Like these changes from yesteryear, it is time for Daylight Savings Time to fade away as a quaint anachronism known only to trivia buffs.

I hope I wasn't the only who heard the brief but favorable mention of FDO by morning news anchor Frank Colletta. He had just done a flashback showing the Naval Air Station just before it became Ninigret Park. He mention all the wonderful things there including our very own home away from home.

As you all know, we were clouded and sprinkled out. Now I am an avid gardener as well as an die hard astronomer, but this weather is miserable both ways. The clouds manage to obliterate viewing without helping my flowers bloom.

-Les Coleman

Leslie Coleman
Author:
Leslie Coleman
Entry Date:
Apr 12, 2002
Published Under:
Leslie Coleman's Log
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