Sunday, March 8, 2015

Daylight Saving Time is here!

I got up at the usual time this morning, an hour early. What? How can that be? Of course the answer is that overnight we switched to Daylight Saving Time (DST), so both halves of that first sentence are correct. I feel like I lost two hours this weekend, one to the time change and one to the number of times people reminded me to set the clock forward one hour.

There are unexpected consequences to the time change. For me, the biggest one occurs on Friday morning. Each Friday I do a radio show on a station in the UK, Diamond.FM. That show runs live from 2 – 4 PM London time, making the local time here 9 – 11 AM because of the five hour time difference. The hitch is that the UK does not switch to British Sumer Time (BST) until March 22nd. So for the next two weeks, London is only 4 hours ahead of us instead of the normal 5. That means I need to adjust my local show time to 10 AM – Noon. I can tell you that I calculated that three or four times before I finally figured it out. Life was much simpler when radio was all local.

I learned something new about time zones this week. I knew there were several places in the world where the time was 30 minutes out of sync with the rest of the world; Newfoundland is a great example of that. But I did not know that there were places 15 minutes out of sync like Nepal! Wassup with that?!?

To make things more complicated for me, this week is Spring Break over at the University of South Carolina so the times for my oldies, “Backbeat Show” are changing too. Instead of 10 A – Noon I will be on 9 A – Noon for one week only. This means that my schedule will change each week for the next three weeks. It is enough to make my head hurt.

Note: the correct name for it is “Daylight Saving Time” not “Daylight Savings Time”.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Daylight Saving Time; to the contrary, I love Daylight Saving Time. I don’t mind the little bit of grogginess for a day or so while my body’s Circadian rhythms adjust to the new schedule. I think all those years commuting across the country makes it easier now. As a kid that extra hour in the evening before the streetlights came on and I had to be a home was a Godsend. That stolen hour always seemed sweeter than the rest of the day. I guess it was a “forbidden treats” experience. It never bothered me that it was darker in the mornings. In fact during the short time I worked the all night radio show at WCOS it was nice to get home after I got off the air at 6 AM while it was still dark.

When I switched to the evening show there, the other side of DST helped me out. As was the case with many AM stations, the station switched from full power used during the day to quarter power at sunset for the night. With sunset occurring an hour later, which meant more of my show was on during the high power period.

Growing up in Florida, the summertime dating scene was dominated by the drive in theater. Because the movie could not start until after sunset, I had an extra hour to take a shower after my weekend chores, brush my teeth, splash on some Aqua Velva and comb in the Brylcreem before picking up my date for the evening. Being summertime, with no school, curfews were relaxed and we were not so rushed. I enjoyed that extra time just before the movie sitting with my date and watching the sun set behind the screen. We had so much to talk about because we did not see each other every day at school. Back in those days, cars had bench seats and that meant you could get much closer than you can today. The old “telephone book” rule got broken way before the first Bugs Bunny cartoon of the evening. But don’t tell the Nuns that!

Today will be spent changing clocks around here; even about half of the clocks that were supposed to change all by themselves. I was talking about that with some of the student DJs over at WUSC last week and I got a surprise. Most of them do not have any clocks at all, no watches either. They rely on their cell phones to keep track of time. Most of them do not have land line telephones and their families don’t have them in their homes either. Aside from the phone in the control room, some have never even used a land line telephone. It’s a brave new world. Oh MY!

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