Spring Forward, Fall Back

I’ve begun to come to the conclusion that I was a very strange child. At the time I thought I was rather normal but the farther I get away from my childhood the more I am convinced that I was one ace short of playing with a full deck. Of course Trina would argue that I am still not right as she is constantly suggesting that perhaps I need some “professional help”.

This weekend was a prime example. On Sunday morning at approximately 2:00 AM local time most of the United States would be asked to turn their clocks back signifying the end of Daylight Saving Time.

As a child I always looked forward to this event. I would set my alarm for a 1:30 AM and get up to begin the countdown to turning the clocks back. This would almost always frustrate my parents since they could not understand why I didn’t just let them turn the clocks back before they went to bed.

My theory was that if the federal government wanted us to turn back the clocks at 10:00 PM they would have set the end of Daylight Saving Time to be 10:00 PM. No there had to be a valid reason why they chose 2:00 AM and it was up to us to comply.

I would sit in front of the microwave oven and watch the minutes go by counting down the time when I would go around the house and reset the clocks. I am not quite sure what I expected to happen at 2:00 AM but it always seemed so anti-climatic.

As I got a little older, we began to get messages that not only should we be resetting our clocks but this was the perfect time to check the home’s smoke detector batteries and replace them if necessary. I have to admit, I don’t think much about smoke alarm batteries so this was a great reminder.

That process quickly came to a halt in our house the first time I tested the smoke alarm at 2:00 AM. According to my parents, the government did not expect these smoke alarm tests to be conducted at the exact moment that the clocks were reset.

It’s interesting to see how quickly your parents can move when they are awakened by a smoke alarm in the middle of the night. I know I felt a lot safer especially during that month that I was grounded and had nowhere else to go.

When we moved to Arizona, I didn’t realize that they did not participate in Daylight Saving Time. When I happened to ask someone why Arizona did not change their clocks in the spring and fall I was told, “When it is over 100 degrees, the last thing we want is an extra hour of daylight.”

This didn’t mean that I would be able to go to bed and sleep throughout the night. No I still made sure I was up at 2:00 AM. Now instead of setting the clocks, I needed to make sure that none of the clocks magically changed on their own.

I know you’re probably thinking that could never happen but it was a good thing I checked this year. After walking around the house checking the clocks I found that my iPhone had mysteriously had jumped ahead an hour.

I panicked and rushed to the Internet to see how to fix this. Since the iPhone contains a GPS chip and gets its time from the cellular network I just assumed it would know that the clock did not need to be changed but there I was staring at a device that had the wrong time and no way to set it correctly.

At first I considered hitting the test button on the smoke detector just so everyone else in the house would be made aware of the potential catastrophe but I remembered the not so idle threats Trina had made if I even considered testing the smoke alarms at 2:00 AM.

Instead I had to deal with this emergency on my own. I walked from room to room checking the clocks in that room and again checking my iPhone. I am not sure what I was thinking. I guess I figured if the iPhone saw all the other phones behaving normally that it would succumb to peer pressure and set itself back to the correct time.

Nothing seemed to work. I finally woke Trina up, I was worried and thought she would feel similarly. Instead she just glared at me then took my iPhone and turned it off before rolling over in bed.

When I turned the phone back on it showed the correct time. All was right again in the world. Everything should be fine at least until the second Sunday of March 2010 when we will no doubt have to deal with this again.


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