As I write this we are about to go into some very dark times.
I don't mean Putin, Ukraine, the economy, or the way 'they' use pronouns these days. Although all of them have the little gizmo that registers my gamma-ray levels running full tilt.
Na, what has me shaking my head is the yearly autumnal ritual called “Standard Time.”
Historically, standard time was established during the 19th century to aid weather forecasting and train travel. Applied globally in the 20th century, the geographical regions became time zones.
So, if we have a Standard Time, and it is the “standard,” then why Daylight Saving Time?
Well, it had to do with conserving energy and there are several theories and misconceptions surrounding the origins of daylight saving time (commonly mistakenly referred to as daylight savings time). Benjamin Franklin is often credited with inventing the concept in his 1784 satirical essay titled "An Economical Project," when he suggested that Parisians alter their sleeping habits to save money on lamp oil and candles.
While Germany and Austria were the first countries to use DST in 1916, it is a little-known fact that a few hundred Canadians beat the German Empire by eight years. On July 1, 1908, the residents of Port Arthur, Ontario—today’s Thunder Bay—turned their clocks forward by one hour to start the world’s first DST period.
DST is generally accepted as a way to save energy and daylight during the spring and summer months, as the 'extra' hour means people have more daylight hours to do outdoor activities and use less energy in their homes. More time to ride!
Some want to end DST and make Standard Time, well…the standard.
They claim that permanent Standard Time is best for health, safety, sports, education, productivity, wages, environment, and civil liberties.
Civil Liberties? To paraphrase a great American president – “There ‘they’ go again.”
Give me sunlight. Give me dawn at 5 am and the sun finally disappearing in the west by around the 7th inning of a Mets night game at Citifield.
But that is not going to happen this time of the year.
Nope, this weekend I'll go around Backroads Central and begrudgingly turn back the clocks one hour, and with my riding time getting shorter by the day I find myself spending more and more time in the barn… doing things. Motorcycle things. Maybe they could call it Barn time.
Around this time of year, I usually begin to take stock of what I have, what I need, and what I want and need, but will never buy. Yes, that bay with the oil stains from the old Audi will probably never have a Mustang Mach 1 in it but there are some other tools and items in the barn that deserve a good look and while doing this some new descriptions came my way and I thought I’d share them with you.
DRILL PRESS: A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your soda across the room, splattering it against that freshly-stained heirloom piece you were drying.
HACKSAW: One of a family of cutting tools built for frustration enhancement. It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.
WHITWORTH SOCKETS: Once used for working on older British cars and motorcycles, they are now used mainly for impersonating that 9/16 or 1/2 socket you've been searching for the last 45 minutes
VISE-GRIPS: Generally used after pliers to completely round off bolt heads. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.
AVIATION METAL SNIPS: See hacksaw.
PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids, opening old-style paper-and-tin oil cans, and splashing oil on your shirt; but can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips screw heads.
STRAIGHT SCREWDRIVER: A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws.
AIR COMPRESSOR: A machine that takes energy produced in a coal-burning power plant 200 miles away and transforms it into compressed air that travels by hose to a Chicago Pneumatic impact gun that grips rusty bolts which were last over tightened 40 years ago by someone in Japan, and instantly rounds off their heads. Also used to quickly snap off lug nuts.
PRY BAR: A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50-cent part.
And of course…
The HAMMER: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts adjacent to the object we are trying to hit.
Maybe we can use it on the guy who said let's roll back to Standard Time?