Photo by ahisget, used under Creative Commons
No, not Jim Winter’s final screw you. I mean winter, the season. Snow and single-digit temps in March? Are you kidding me?
Then there’s the switch to Daylight Savings. Frankly, I wish they would just leave it on Daylight Savings. It’s not worth the extra hour of sleep in the fall since you lose it in the spring anyway.
Supposedly, there’s a move afoot to divide the continental US into two time zones and do away with the time change. I really wish this would gain some traction. For starters, I loathe Standard Time. By the time I get home from work between Thanksgiving and Groundhog Day, it’s dark. WTF?
I know a lot of people don’t like getting up in the dark. But you’re going to work? Who cares? I’d rather have my long evenings. I just feel more motivated.
And this year, with the polar vortex taking one last swipe at the country before winter gives way to spring, I’m just ready for the dark part of the year to end.
Daylight Savings ends tonight. And it leaves us with an extra hour of sleep. Tomorrow begins Standard Time, which steals an hour of sunlight at the end of the day and an hour of sleep on its way out the door.
I’ve never liked Standard Time. It always means driving home in the dark. Of course, I don’t do winter well. The sun is darker, and the days are shorter. I’ve never been a big fan of the cold. The only advantage I can see to Standard Time is that the sun would come up at 9 AM where I live if we stayed on Daylight Savings. Not a loss. I’m already at work. I don’t even have windows at my office.
I propose the following: Ditch Standard Time altogether. Then twice a year, we have a federally-mandated Monday in which employers must give employees an hour to sleep in. Extra sleep, and people won’t have to go home in the dark.
Sundown is moving rapidly toward 7 PM in these parts. It’s dark when I go to work now. You know what’s coming. I’ve complained about it before.
Or as I call it, Substandard Time. A time when it’s still dark when you go to work, but the only daylight you get to see is the fifteen minutes at night you’re stuck on a bus or in traffic. The sun’s gone by the time you get home.
A lot of people decry Daylight Savings Time, usually because you lose an hour of sleep once a year. I say, “Who cares?” It’s not worth that extra hour in the fall to go back to Standard Time. In fact, I hate Standard Time. It’s always dark then.
Once, back in the 1970’s, they made Daylight Savings a year-long affair. I’d say we should go back to that, except sunrise would happen at 9 AM here in Cincinnati. Further north in my old stomping grounds of Cleveland, it’d be even later.
The way Standard Time is handled now is just fine. It acknowledges that winter is one dark season. And despite my last name, I don’t like winter at all. My wife may be a fan of snow, but I’m not. I’ve slid in a couple of ditches.
But once winter is endured, spring comes again, and the sun is out more than it’s dark. That’s when I like it best. It’s worth losing an hour of sleep over.
I’ve ranted before about the evils of Standard Time. Yes, you get one extra hour of sleep in the fall, but then you come home from work after the sun’s gone down. And morning doesn’t matter much because sunrise is either during or after the morning commute. So all your free time’s in the dark.
They pushed back the switch to Standard time last year to the first weekend in November, and I can’t argue with it. A 9AM sunrise is too steep a price to pay for an hour of sunlight after work, and dim sunlight at that.
Similarly, they moved up “spring forward” to March, by which time days have been getting longer anyway. So now Standard Time is relegated to the coldest, darkest, most miserable time of the year weatherwise anyway.
I couldn’t be happier with the change, except that it’s Indian Summer here in SW Ohio. Which means no walks in the park after work anymore until March.
At least it’s over this week, after which the temperature plunges into the forties ahead of the holiday season. I’ll just wait patiently for the return of Daylight Savings and sunny evenings.