05 November 2007

It's Eastern Standard Time!

CBC hockey commentator Harry Neale calls it his favourite day of the year. Like Neale, I find the extra hour of sleep (or extra hour of guiltless bumming around) to be quite heavenly. I was so happily enjoying the extra hour of sleep that I almost forgot just how much I hate it when Daylight Savings Time gives way to regular, fuddy duddy old Eastern Standard Time. It's getting freakin' dark out now. Dark at 5:00? What the hell? It'll be even worse in a month.

I've never understood this system. During the winter, there are fewer hours of daylight in the day. In response to that, we shift our clocks around so that we get to enjoy less of them? Huh? I'm not sure what the rationale behind it is (is it farmers? schoolchildren? Damn them all!!!)

I am not a morning person. At all. My brain is basically equivalent to that of a vegetable or a creationist until about 9:30 in the morning, no matter how much sleep I get the night before or what time I awake. Also, I work in a cubicle (nowhere near a window), get to the office at 8:00 (or rather I should) and leave at 5:00. Even with Standard time, the sun is barely up when I start (not being a morning person, it's not like I can enjoy the sun at this time) and it has long since set by the time I leave. There are many days in the winter where I do not see the sun at all. May as well be living in Iqaluit. Or Hell.

I think I have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I feel blah and generally horrible on really overcast days and I feel even worse by the time March rolls around. SAD is a fairly common condition (up to 9% of the population suffers from it), with many people having it far worse than me. Think of the productivity and quality of life increase that could be realized in wintertime if sufferers just got a couple of hours of good sunlight a day. It seems a whole lot easier to just reverse a stupid clock change than to have 9% of the population buy specialty light therapy lamps.

On top of the SADness, there are more immediate health effects (well, getting hit by a car is a health effect, sort of). According to a recent study, when drivers and pedestrians are plunged into sudden darkness in the days immediately following the time shift. The researchers say that it's not the darkness that's the problem, but rather the fact that it's dark when drivers and pedestrians aren't expecting it.

In summary, the switch from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time should be abolished.

Hell, if it was up to me, I'd go farther than that. In the winter, why not move clocks forward one hour. That would let us increase the light in the evening hours, perhaps even giving us enough daylight to, you know, actually do something with our days.

That's right: screw the farmers, let the children go to hell, and morning people, I want to kick them in the nuts. All I know is that Standard Time is bad for me, and, like many people in this flawed, selfish organization called humanity, if something is good for me, I want to force it upon others who may not agree with me.

In fact, let's not just get rid of the standard time, nor just move clocks forward one hour, I say move clocks forward in the fall two or three hours. I'd love for there to still be some sun at 7:00 pm in December. "Fall ahead and spring back" works just as well as a mnemonic device as the current "spring forward and fall back."

Let King Aardvark see the light!

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At November 06, 2007 6:47 p.m., Blogger CHADMAC said...

A Harry Neale reference..... Very nice!!

As for the whole time change thing.... I find it annoying to have to change my clocks and I think we should just get rid of it. As much as I'd hate to say it, maybe Saskatchewan has the right idea.

If you think your lack of sunlight in the winter is bad, try living in Northern Manitoba. If I didn't grow up with it, I don't know if I could handle the darkness. We once had a new teacher come to our school and leave after four months because of SAD.... apparently she found never seeing the sun to be somewhat depressing..... go figure.

Oh and yes, please kick all morning people in nuts whenever the opportunity arises. They annoy the hell out of me!

At November 06, 2007 11:11 p.m., Blogger langmann said...

like many people in this flawed, selfish organization called humanity, if something is good for me, I want to force it upon others who may not agree with me.

That quote sums up modern Liberalism perfectly, I think I am going to blatantly use it.

Personally I feel like this whole time change thing is a scam. It's got that musty rotting feeling associated with it: as one basks in the glory of having an extra hour there is this devil voice inside rumbling around causing a fitful somulence. In about 6 or 8 months later or whatever it is, you're going to get screwed with less sleep.

It's like bargaining with your wife for a night out with your friends. Because of that deal sometime soon you're going to have to spend time with your mother in law. Also you can't rampage anymore because you're married so the whole thing is kind of a waste. Better to watch TV and forget about it.

At November 07, 2007 4:09 p.m., Blogger King Aardvark said...

Chadmac, the post is only a day old and I'm already getting second thoughts - it might have been Bob Cole. I really have to check that out.

And of course northern Manitoba is much, much worse. Then again, I'd say that regardless of the lack of daylight ;-)

langmann, that sums up modern everybody pretty well. Glad you like it though.

Too true about the fall time change's evil twin lurking in the not-too-distant future. I can see his sinister visage now, hiding under a dark shadow, his evil eyes glinting back at me, and, though he says not a word, I can hear him taunting me in my mind: "you will be tired tomorrow, mwahahahahaha!!!"


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