Thursday, September 11, 2014

Spring Forward, Fall Over

It's recently* come to my attention that roughly half of the world doesn't observe Daylight Savings Time.

*Recently in this case meaning ten minutes ago while doing the admittedly minimal amount of research required for this article.

This is too bad, because the practice has a variety of uses which we'll get to in a moment.  First however, a quick word for those in Africa, Asia, South America, and (curiously) half of Australia.

Daylight Savings Time is the practice of adjusting your clocks to take more advantage of the hours the sun is out.  In practical terms this means that in the Spring you adjust your clock forward an hour (it gets dark later in the Summer) and in the Fall you adjust your clock back an hour (nothing interesting happens in the early morning in the winter)

It's use first dates to 1916 Germany, which means that oversleeping for a meeting in April is something that you can legitimately blame Franz Ferdinand* for. 

*No, the Guy.  Not the band.  Although God knows the band has enough to answer for.

In the US, Daylight Saving Time has traditionally* started in April and ended in October.  This means that it's a useful little alarm clock for anything that you need to remember to do twice a year.**

*Traditionally in this case meaning since the energy crisis of the early 1970s. 

**Since the Internet happened now no one knows what the difference is between Semiannually and Biannually and even legitimate sources of information have now completely given up even trying to tell people which is which.  If you look up the issue, Britannica basically says, 'People use them interchangeably to mean either twice a year or every other year.  Work your own shit out on this one, because honestly it's far too late to come bitching to us about this.  We were waging a solid defensive war while you were systematically destroying the word 'literally', so at this point you can just fuck right off.'  It's hard to blame them for their bitterness.

The most notable example of this is the campaign to remind people to change the batteries in their smoke detectors.  Twice a year to replace a simple AA battery is probably overkill, but it's not the sort of thing you want to have skimped on when you wake up in a flamey inferno, now is it.

But of course, what we're really here to talk about is drinking.

Until 2005*, as noted above, daylight savings time began in late April and ended in Late October - coinciding nicely with weather pattern shifts. This meant that it was a reliable marker for the most important of all the seasonal changes.  We're speaking of course of Gin Season versus Scotch Season.

*In 2005 then President George W. Bush changed the dates of daylight savings time to March and November.  This is by no means even close to the worst thing he did, but it's still irritating.

The schedule goes as follows -

One week before Daylight Savings time begins - Farewell to Scotch week.

The Winter is over.  The time for a 'Warmer' has more or less passed.  It's a week to really take the time to remember all Scotch has done for you in the previous six months.  Or realize that you can't remember what Scotch has done for you - it's not about judging.

The week after Daylight Savings Time Begins - Gin Homecoming.

At the end of which Gin and Scotch play a big football game.  Everyone wins.

And of course, when Daylight Savings Time ends in the fall the roles reverse. 

The important thing is to remember the reason for the season.

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