Doctor Eclectic

Doctor Eclectic
Doctor Eclectic

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Daylight Savings Day, the Need for a Holiday

It started as a joke more than ten years ago.  It struck me that one should do something productive with the time gained or lost when we “Spring Forward” or “Fall Back”.  Inspired by this thought, I decided that I would donate the extra hour that Spring to “Doing Good”, whatever that meant.

It was only the germ of an idea.

But I dutifully went to Hallmark online and looked for an appropriate card to send to select friends to begin a movement.  Not much there, but there were a few.  The ideas began to get legs.  If more people agreed to do something with the time they gained, then Hallmark would be inspired to develop more cards.  Maybe some would be sent though the Postal Service (This was more than ten years ago).  More stamps would be sold and mail would remain meaningful.

Spring presented a new set of problems.  If you lost an hour in a nanosecond, of what value could that lost hour be?  Perhaps, I reasoned, one could crowd all the bad things into that nanosecond.  That would be when I would stop smoking for an hour.  Stop consumption of drugs and alcohol.  Stop being mean to my sister.  Just for an hour.  Instantly, I felt better.  And I’m sure my friends who joined me in that movement felt better too.

As the years have gone by, I have become more imaginative in my doing “good” and stopping “bad” habits and traits.  I have actually taken the money from the extra hour and donated it to a charity.  It would have been nice if there were a charity tied to time, but those that deal with agriculture (one of the industries that suffered early-on when the cows couldn’t be persuaded to change when they thought they should be milked). Or to the energy industry (which was one of the reasons we would want more of our high energy consumption time in daylight).

BTW, most would agree that the energy saving aspects of the program don’t work.  And I have yet to hear a good explanation as to why we now include March and November in the program.  The latter is probably due to William Willett, a British Subject whose pamphlet on what he called “SummerTime” went through more than a dozen publications.

I probably receive as many reminders to set my clock now as I give out.  But there was one heroic day seven years ago when I was still working in the corporate world.  I had about 12 people on my immediate staff and after sending them notices for four or five years, I came to work in the morning to find my cubicle decorated for the holiday.  This on a Monday.  I took them all to lunch and then realized that I had been going on the wrong tack.

These should be National Holidays!  After all, the bill that brought DST to the United States in 1918 was a National Bill.  If legalized, the holidays would always fall on Monday.  This would allow lots of occasions for celebration, including by people who stay up until 2:00 AM to bring in the new time.

And the resolutions would be just like New Years, only you would only have a second or at the most an hour, to be faithful to them.  It may be too late to save the Postal Service, but there are other good reasons to make them holidays. 

This year I am leaning towards supporting the “we are 99” movement, at least at 2:00 AM Sunday.  Next post I will tell you about my latest discovery as to why “Men are from Mars”, and how I think I could lick the problem.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

OWS and Related Events

I can remember when, as a high school student, my parents tolerated my wearing a Fidel Castro guerilla cap to school, essentially without comment.  I was young, impressionable, and philosophically directed against the two-tiered society of Cuba, where organized crime was prevailing over the needs of the people.  My parents looked beyond my misguided support of half-truths, trusting that time would work its magic and I would turn out to be the conservative supporter they had educated and raised.

I was thinking about that as I followed yet another story about the OWS movement (Occupying Wall Street…and various other world venues).  The movement, and I guess if you have over 900 demonstrations thought the world, 600 in the U.S., it qualifies as a movement, has grown to those numbers in little over a month.

I went to a class in LA this Sunday and the teacher, who has been in the casting world for more than thirty years was talking of going to LA at Christmas time, assuming that Mayor Villaraigosa will fail to control the demonstrations.  Her comment, “What they did in Oakland is criminal!”  Looking at the YouTube coverage, she may be right.

If you have the time, look up OWS in Wikipedia.  For an ongoing event the coverage is current and interesting.  I found it particularly interesting with the demographics (one third are over 35, half are employed fulltime, 13% make over $73,000, some are even in the 1% that they are protesting against.

I remain troubled that they are so vague in their demands.  Proponents say they are intentionally vague so as not to lose support from their diverse factions, choosing instead to gather and demonstrate power, before they choose issues to change.  In a survey only 4% professed that they wanted a “radical redistribution of wealth.”

What bothers me is the position of the occupying group that they are entitled to affordable health care, free college education, public employment on a level of the WPA and CCC programs that brought us out of Recession and alternative energy in a green environment.  Although these are all lofty and worthwhile goals, reality seems to indicate they are unattainable without unacceptable revisions in our society.
Crapping on Car

Bill Whittle speaking on Afterburner makes a great point in a clip entitled 3 ½Days.  His point is that the movement started by people who have never know want, and have no appreciation for how food gets on their table, or water gets purified, or how their iPads, iPods, DS games,  get to the stores they buy them from.  Others have similar positions, feeling taking a crap on a police car is not meaningful protestation.

Today my wife did extra duty in putting out our recyclables and trash.  She put out our son’s too, from the house across the street.  It seems not to get placed at the curb unless Sean does it: this in spite of the fact that he has three children living in the house, ranging in age from six to twenty-one.

My grandchildren seem to take little responsibility for what goes on around them.  I wish I had the same trust that they will assume the philosophy and traits of their Millennial peers that my parents had when I put on my Castro hat.

In my next post I will explain why I think we need a new national Holiday, Daylight Savings Day!