Over the Hill

Whether we save daylight or not, let’s stop changing our clocks

Electric Time Co. employee Walter Rodriguez cleans the face of an 84-inch Wegman clock at the plant in Medfield, Mass., in October 2008.
Electric Time Co. employee Walter Rodriguez cleans the face of an 84-inch Wegman clock at the plant in Medfield, Mass., in October 2008. Associated Press

I hereby promise to vote for any proposed law that kills daylight saving time.

I also would vote for any proposed law that would expand daylight saving time to year-round. In other words, I’ll vote for any change in daylight saving time that frees me from resetting all our clocks twice every year.

A bill to kill California’s daylight saving time is now before our state Legislature. The state Assembly approved it unanimously in May. The state Senate is considering it this month. Then, if Gov. Jerry Brown also approves it, voters will make the final decision at the general election in 2018.

Actually, daylight saving time is a federal law, but states and territories have the option of adopting it or not.

Right now, Hawaii and most of Arizona, except for the Navajo Nation, don’t use daylight saving time. They use standard time, as do American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

The United States first went on daylight saving time during World War I.

Then during World War II, we had daylight saving time year-round. I remember it was actually called “war time.” Its extra hour of evening sunlight was believed to help conserve electricity and the fuel used to generate it.

After WWII, the winter months were removed from daylight saving time.

Its periods also have been adjusted from time to time. Since 2007, it has started on the second Sunday in March and ended on the first Sunday in November.

The opponents of daylight saving time quote studies saying it actually increases the consumption of electricity. And proponents of daylight saving say it helps prevent accidents because it gives people more daylight to shop, run errands and travel to and from work and school.

Opponents of daylight saving also quote statistics from the American College of Cardiology. They say there are 25 percent more heart attacks on the Mondays after the time change than on other Mondays.

That sounds a little far-fetched, but I will testify that changing our clocks is stressful.

Mamie and I have at least three clock radios, two digital clocks, one traditional wall clock, a clock on the microwave oven, a clock on the electric stove and a wristwatch.

“Springing” forward one hour isn’t so bad, but “falling” back 11 or 23 hours is traumatic. My digital clocks can only be set forward, so it’s necessary to cycle through 11 hours or even 23 hours if they have a.m. and p.m. designations.

So, I don’t care whether we go permanently back to 12 months of standard time or permanently forward to 12 months of daylight saving time.

I don’t think there’s really any significant difference, as long as I don’t have to reset all our clocks twice a year.

Phil Dirkx’s column is special to The Tribune. He has lived in Paso Robles for more than five decades, and his column appears here every week. Reach Dirkx at 805-238-2372 or phild2008@sbcglobal.net.

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