Friday, November 4, 2011

THE CLOCK STRIKES BACK

Reamus has a number of rules. They are his own and apply only to him and the various mechanical devices and inanimate objects that travel the country with him and with which he occasionally converses.

 Rule #87:

The day that the clocks “fall back” is the day to be home.

Because of the rather odd notion that light at the end of the day is better than in the beginning, Congress, in what little "wisdom" resides in that deliberative body enacted Daylight Savings Time. Over the years they have changed the time at which it takes effect and the time it ends. Two or three years ago, it was decided that the end would come as October left which was better than the end of September. To not confuse the populace more than required it has always taken effect at two o’clock in the morning on the first Sunday of the designated month. Thus, this year it ends on the 7th of November.

Yes, it will be well after October has gone, as far after as possible and still be consistent with the law which,as with all things in life, has unintended consequences.

In the northern latitudes, sunrise comes very late. Last Sunday, the sun rose well after seven in the morning in southern Oregon and by tomorrow, dawn will occur after eight.

Some are old enough to remember the Carter Administration’s imposition of this time hoax as the norm with no change of clocks. The belief was that energy would be saved since lights would come on later in the evening. Of course the unintended consequence was that anyone living north of San Francisco was required to turn on lights if they rose before eight-thirty in the morning. After anguished pleas and horrific stories of little children standing on dark street corners in the sub zero weather in Minnesota and North Dakota waiting for the bus to school, Congress let us all go back to conventional time.

We forget. Someone famously observed we are condemned to repeat the history we forget. Therefore, we have again leapt into the abyss of “late” Daylight Time in pursuit of more light in the late afternoon and evening. The consequence can be seen every morning. They supposed it would not be as horrific as the year ‘round version and so the compromise of a March beginning and November end was forged.

We head home after an excellent trip to nowhere in particular and to places old and new. I can report that it was wonderful time. There was no rain until the last two nights. It seemed there were fewer people out here in the campgrounds but perhaps it was because of the more remote locations we visited,. There were still a fine cast of characters to spend time talking to and to wonder whether they were saner than me.

We followed El Camino Real before heading off into the mountains, sought out friends along the way and enough civilization to be sure the satellite radio would pick up the World Series. After all, if one spends time watching teams form in Spring Training, it seems only fair to see how it all ends.

There was a man from Switzerland on his bicycle who was in his 6400th mile of a trip which had brought from New York via Washington D.C. to Portland Oregon who was now headed south to see what Baja California looked like before his year was up and he would return home. He was doing this solo but explained that he was supported by a network of Internet “TRANSAM” riders who exchange information on the best routes, places to sleep, and where free meals can be obtained. He was fascinating. He will be on my part of the southern West Coast around Thanksgiving and has been invited to dinner.

There were lakes being stocked with fish from farms where they will be quickly fished out by avid sportsman. Various cash strapped jurisdictions will be billed $13,000 dollars so that the sport can endure and the catch will be eaten with the satisfaction that it is a “natural” fish, not a “farmed fish” and for that reason tastes better. Humbug, of course, but nonetheless a source of enjoyment when watches the wide eyes of the fisherman who arrive before the nursery truck and watch them being “unloaded.” I will leave to you the value of such an exercise and expenditure which is repeated widely throughout this part of the country.

The drifters and grifters were out in seemingly smaller numbers. They were no less odd than last year. All were headed for new and warmer places, some for new jobs, and others for just another warmer piece of ground to call home.

La Coachasita is in excellent spirits and while in need of a good washing appears to have found the last 2,500 miles just a bit of mild exercise. A bath and an oil change will have her ready for the next adventure.

Reamus will pass on the oil, but feels otherwise the same.

We will be home this weekend to the usual wintertime activities. I hope that I finish this book. My fervent wish is that no new construction breaks out.  A mid-winter trip to the desert is not out of the question. We will see.

More odd thoughts may be posted as random neuron firings occur between now and then.

Meanwhile, stay well, enjoy the “holiday season,”  (I am reliably informed began last month and will last until January), do good works, and stay in touch.