72 Comments

  1. Here is that XKCD Andréa mentions. (Embedded cartoon only. Use her link for full xkcd comics page.)

  2. We did the same thing between 1968-71, and it too was rejected for the same mind-bogglingly stupid, almost insane reasons, despite demonstrably fewer road casualties. To me it always confirms the intellectual bankruptcy of people when they bleat about “the poor farmers” having to get up in the dark, when the reality is that they are a group which is unaffected by it. Neither crops nor animals know where the hands on a clock are arbitrarily pointing, and a farmer’s schedule is driven entirely by the needs of his crops or animals, and those needs are determined by weather and seasons. If he needs to get up 3 hours before sunrise to milk the cows then he needs to get up 3 hours before sunrise whether the hands on the clock are pointing to 3AM or 8AM.

    As I pointed out earlier, no amount of clock tinkering can change how much daylight there is. Countries should adopt a time zone which works the best for most of the time for most of the people (which in the UK would be UTC+1), and stick to it. And if in some places at some times of year that makes 08:00 too dark, or too long before sunrise, start work/schools/etc an hour later.

    Rant over 😳

  3. No, the farmers are VERY much affected by the switch to daylight savings time.

    If the contract says the milk will be picked up by the tank truck at 7 a.m. then at 7 a.m. the tank truck is going to show up, whether it’s winter or summer. When the farmer suddenly gets up an hour earlier by solar time, the cows aren’t awake and won’t give milk.

  4. For several years I had an accounting client who lived in Paris and another who lived in Hawaii. I would go crazy trying to remember which one was 6 hours earlier and which was 6 hours behind. I came with the solution of always calling either one at 3:00 am or pm – this way whichever the difference was it was 9:00 and not too late at night to call nor too early in the morning to call.

    Then another client moved to live full time (formerly was 6 months a year) with his wife in Auckland and I was completely thrown off!

  5. In a previous CIDU comment (which I cannot find at the moment), I mentioned keeping score on the number of household time-keeping devices that needed to be adjusted for DST. We have four clocks with radio control, three of which were correct by the time I woke up on Sunday morning, and one that needed to be kickstarted by disconnecting the battery for a few seconds (it took several hours before it successfully captured the next signal). Counting all the clocks without radio control was more difficult: including wall clocks, clock radios, CD/radio players, a game console, the stove, and our car, I found a total of 19 timepieces that needed to be adjusted manually (and that doesn’t count any of my wife’s watches, which she fixed herself). This also doesn’t include smartphones, computers, and tablets, all of which are set to automatically change.

  6. Luckily, only clocks in this house are on stove and microwave; changed manually. Also cars’ clocks. Phones and computers changed by themselves. I’ve always disliked having clocks around me, reminding me that time – and life – is passing by, second-by-second, minute-by-minute.

  7. I still use an old-fashioned clock-radio for a bedroom alarm. That has no battery nor can it adjust itself. So I have to reset it for DST and any power outages.

    The Venerable Bronco received a new stereo system as one of my “quar” projects. While it has a clock, one that has to be manually adjusted, annoyingly it has no capability to persistently display the clock. Had I realized that initially , I would have opted for a different one.

    I gave up on setting the microwave clock years ago. Everything else takes care of its own business.

  8. Our most troublesome “manual change” clocks are my daughter’s CD player (DST change cannot be done on the device itself, it can only be done with the remote control, which she almost never uses and is therefore usually missing), the stove (has only three buttons, the method is fairly intuitive, but I have to re-intuit the method every six months), and our Bose radio which is extremely easy to change, except that the display goes into unreadable “night mode” unless it is flooded with conventional light or sunlight. The LED lamps in our living room do not produce the frequency that the Bose sensor reacts to, so it is in “night mode” 99.44% of the time.

    The easiest “manual” change is my son’s CD+radio, which has the ability to read the time from the RDS signal that certain German radio stations produce (I should write down at least one of those frequencies for this coming Fall).

    P.S. @ Brian in StL – Our microwave is a “dumb” model with two twist knobs and no digital display. At the time I bought it, I wanted to avoid getting a built-in “grill” feature, which meant looking for the smallest and cheapest model available. Why anyone would want an uncleanable grill unit inside a microwave is a secret known only to idiotic household electronics engineers.

  9. The microwave would be the easiest for me to change. You just press CLOCK, enter the numbers from the keypad, then CLOCK again. However, the device is extremely sensitive to power fluctuations and will go into RESET when nothing else does. As I don’t really need it, I just quit doing it.

  10. Five clocks here that don’t change themselves. Clock on the stove and on the microwave are easy-easy and take about ten seconds each to change; one clock in the bedroom might take a few seconds or a couple of minutes, depending on how heavy my thumb is as I tell it to “move forward” or “move back” the time. Big clock in the living room takes a minute or more, since I’m supposed to remove a battery, manually move the hand, then replace the battery. Which leaves only the clock in our car, which I don’t know how to change, and which is always ten minutes fast anyway, so I just mentally readjust the time in my mind to “ten minutes” earlier or “seventy minutes earlier,” depending on what part of the year we are in. (My wife used to know how to change it and did so, but no longer does, and I don’t care enough to try very hard to learn.)

    So, DST/CST changeover for me requires a total effort which might take, oh, three or four minutes. Twice a year.

  11. So, DST/CST changeover for me requires a total effort which might take, oh, three or four minutes. Twice a year.

    There’s a probably apocryphal story of Ford sending a bill for something like $10,000 for a factory or something, the client objecting, all you did was change a screw, and them sending back a revised, itemized bill, along the lines of:
    Changing screw….$1.50
    Knowing which screw to change…$9,998.50

    I think that applies in the above case: you may spend only 8 minutes a year actually changing the clocks, but, for me, at least, the process of discovering which clocks need changing only happens in crucial moments when they fail, and something doesn’t get done or goes wrong because of the failure of this damn clock I forgot about. Yeah, I then change it in 30 seconds, but that doesn’t undo the damage already done. The value of not having to change the clocks I think is worth the $9,998.50…

  12. I usually do my (mechanical analogue) wristwatch pretty soon after I wake up on the first day of BST/GMT.

    But I have been known to leave changing the date at the start of March/May/July/October/December for as long as 3 or 4 days.

  13. I have mentioned that I had to get a new cell phone. My old one was 4G, but in addition to the problems with 3Gs no longer being usable due to changes – if a 4G is not LTE it also will not be usable as phone. (I say as a phone as I have 2 old phones – Palm Centro/Blackberry Curve – 3 with the new LTE phone, that still travel around the house with me for various purposes – games, better calendar, etc.

    I hate the new phone. It is too big (smallest cheaper phone with good rating that Robert could find – but it takes up an entire pocket in my jeans which means everything I am carrying has to fit into the other front pocket) and, unlike what Robert promised me, nothing seems to work the same way.

    But what annoys me the most – its alarm rings late. I have both this and my other Android set to the same time. If I look at the two of them there is a difference in seconds – but the new one, the alarm rings 10-15 minutes late. Since the info in both came off the same google account – it makes no sense at all – but It continues to ring late.

  14. My microwave doesn’t have a clock. My conventional oven does, but it’s always wrong, because the idiots that designed it thought it should only be adjustable in minutes, so when loss of power leaves it flashing 00:00, it’s most definitely a CBA to stand there holding the button pressed while it cycles through the hours. We just set it to 00:01 so it will work, and get on with life.

    I’m pretty sure I remember a Steven Wright joke which was something like

    “I bought a VHS machine but I couldn’t work out how to use it. So I paid $300 for a clock in my living room which doesn’t tell the time”

  15. MIke P – Did you mean me?

    Robert picked the phone for me based on reviews of how good or bad it was, the price of the phone, the size of the phone, and the fact it was the same brand as he has.

    He assured me that everything would work and look the same as my old one – just about nothing is and he has worked hard to change what he can to what I want.

    The timer going off from 3 to 15 minutes late just makes no sense to me though.

  16. Meryl – yes, I meant you, as you seemed to be desirous of a phone which takes up less that 1 jeans-pocket worth of space.

  17. Mike P – Aha! You must have missed the “price” part of the comment. But thank you. Mine is in the well under $100 category.

    Unfortunately for us since he quit his job about 15 years ago – we have had to be very parsimonious with our funds, especially since the economy dropped afterwards and my accounting practice went from an income producing practice to a literally dying practice (dropped from 5 last year to 4 this year – another one died). I have the tail end of 2 accounting practices – my boss’s and my dad’s. The clients I have left have been clients for many decades*. When he quit his job due to burn out the idea was that he would our craft business and I would be the main support – so we have to be careful to get by.

    Last year and again this year I had to call the broker of one dad’s clients. The broker talked about nice they are and how he has them as clients for a long time – “over 20 years”. I did not mention to him that they are clients of dad’s, then mine since the 1960s.

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