It’s About Time

by Green Deane

in Blog

I spend a lot of times in the woods, and also afloat. Three things you should always know in such environments are the cardinal directions, time of day, and the weather.

I happened to have gotten the gene for divining time, distance and direction.  I can guess the time within 15 minutes, usually less, and estimate large distances to within a mile or so. I usually know which way is north, east, south and west. I’m definitely a vector person. I am well-grounded in time and space. About the only time I am ever befuddled is when I’m first in a building with no windows. (Yes, I know men don’t ask for directions, but that’s because we don’t want to be told where to go by women.) Minds, however, can get mixed up by events or trauma. Or one may have the responsibility of others. So I always carry a time piece. With that — digital or other wise — I always know for certain the time of day and which way is north.  I also keep my eye on the clouds. On a 24-hour basis you can be as accurate as the weather bureau just by watching the clouds.

You can tell the compass directions with any watch but I like my 24-hour wrist watch. I point the hour hand towards the sun and 12 o’clock is south, 24 o’clock is north, 6 east, 18 west. It is the opposite in the southern hemisphere. Simple, unless it’s daylight savings time, the subject of this rant.

I so dislike the time change that a few years ago I simply stopped doing it. I refuse to change times seasonally. I no longer leap forward in the spring and fall back in the fall. I do not change my schedule at all.  I eat at the same time, go to bed and get up at the same time, in short I do not change with the rest of the world. Personally, I really don’t care if we use solar time or daylight savings time permanently. It’s the flipping I can’t stand. After all, there are only so many hours of daylight and changing a clock does not create any more, or less.  So I stay on solar time, and I remind myself that the rest of the world is delusional thinking its an hour ahead of me.

I don’t watch TV so that doesn’t influence me. When worked for a company I simply went to work an hour earlier for half a year. I did not eat lunch on their schedule but rather mine. If I have appointments I do accommodate the “flippers.” But in my personal life, habits, and space, I don’t change. My clocks do not change. As I write my computer, slave to its programming, tells me it is almost 1900, or 7 p.m. The sun tells me nonsense, it’s six p.m. and time to feed Oliver Whitecat, my ever-faithful assistant and supervisor. More so, the atomic clocks that regulate time down to the millionth of a second don’t leap forward or fall back. They stay on solar time. The animals stay on solar time. Mother nature stays on solar time. Only humans play the silly game. Only the government would cut the bottom foot off a blanket, sew it on the top, and then argue the day is longer.

It feels good that the sun and my watch are in agreement. If I change it to daylight savings time, south would 11 instead of 12….truly bizarre, and then it would change again, even more nonsensical.  I am not a perfectionist but the sun at 11 just doesn’t work for me. 12 is just right. So I stay on solar time…. in tune with the cosmos and my location on the rotation. And when interacting with the world gone flipping mad, I just tell myself they are wrong. It all works out rather well….. almost.

The only problem is O. Whitecat. He knows when the rest of the world leaps forward, prompting him to demand to be fed an hour earlier. I don’t know how he knows but he does…. since he’s my laptop maybe he intercepts the time signal like the other computers do….

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

David Bluff January 2, 2012 at 09:41

You and I have something in common and probably more than we realize at present but I approach time in exactly the same way as you describe.
The discrepancy between the shortest day and the end of the year aggravates me.
I am able visualize any time lapse to within a few minutes and also estimate the forth coming weather at least in an area with which I am living or familiar
Clocks and navigation obviously go hand in hand and so on DRB

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