Unscheduled Maintenance

A wrenching experienceI don't need a calendar to remind me that warmer days are imminent in the northern latitudes. The sun and moon have traded places in the sky; the winter sun's southerly arc is the moon's problem now. The trees are still bare but show signs of impending leafiness. Winter coats are too warm, at least during daylight hours, and things like baseballs and barbeques seem more viable now than they did a few weeks ago.

Unfortunately, I do need a calendar to remind me of that pesky Daylight Saving Time thing, which the powers that be have decided should come earlier this year, thereby not only pre-robbing many of us of an hour of sleep but causing all manner of heartache for those charged with maintaining and administrating the computing systems that rely on accurate timekeeping, not to mention those systems' place in the global timescheme of things. This weekend's earlier-than-usual jump to Daylight Time isn't going to happen everywhere, of course. Other places on the planet that observe the change aren't necessarily participating in this exercise; for them, the change will occur in a couple weeks, as usual. In the meantime, airports will become clogged with weeping travelers, the result of too many nights spent sleeping in baggage carts while the airlines' scheduling systems attempt to cope with the ruptured space-time continuum.

On the more positive side, maybe it's best to get it over with now, so that by the time we really can't stand to be indoors another minute our eyes won't be quite as bleary from getting up an hour earlier. We'll be used to the change by that time, or at least used to coping with the sleep deprivation and miscellaneous physiological effects that result from being abruptly jerked into a different time zone. The new darkness of the morning and lingering light as bedtime approaches cause understandable annoyance for things like pineal glands, which often retaliate by releasing chemicals more appropriate for sea urchins than humans.

Although I continue to believe that worldwide adoption of The One True Time is the only reasonable solution to the chaos of time zones—especially those that wobble back and forth twice a year at random—I'm beginning to come to grips with the idea that this may not happen within my lifetime. But that's okay, because I have a plan. When I'm gone, I intend to have my assistant inject my DNA into the Cesium clock in Boulder that tells us what time it is, or isn't. Maybe then I'll finally have some control over my schedule.


No comments:

Post a Comment