Time Travel is Confusing (a.k.a. DST)

For most of my wife’s lifetime she lived in a state that never changed their clocks. She is an incredibly smart person but for some reason she just can’t get her arms around the time change coming up this weekend. She keeps asking me “what time will it really be?” and I’m not sure how to answer that. The time it really is is the time that it is. To make it even more confusing for her is that we will be travelling this weekend to a part of the state that is on Central time while we at home are on Eastern.

I just know that on Sunday morning when we are in Central time and have set our clocks back we will make plans to meet our son for breakfast/brunch at 10. and she will ask me “so what time is that really?” I will first tell her that it is at 10 just like we agreed to, but she will look at her watch which doesn’t reset and be ready to go at 8.

I’ll have to keep her out late so I can have the conversation of “It was 1 am an hour ago on our time back home but it is now 1 am again on our home time. It is also 1 am here, but it will be 1 am again here in an hour and 2 am back home which used to be 3 am back home.”

I even made a spreadsheet with the different times and highlighted which she should use at any given point

It probably doesn’t help though that the more confused she gets the more tickled I get.

Honestly, I’ve never understood why Daylight Savings Time seems to baffle so many people. It’s a one-hour jump. That’s all. In the great scheme of things, it’s really not that significant. Maybe you get a little less sleep that night or you wake up earlier than usual. Is it that hard to deal with? Literally millions of people deal with significantly larger fluctuations every day when they travel by plane.

Hell, if I were to drive across the state line to Idaho, the time would jump ahead an hour. And if I drove back, it’d jump back. In my last job, I had coworkers who lived right across the state line in ID and worked in WA because of the higher minimum wage, and they made that jump back and forth every single day they had to work.

Maybe it’s because I’ve never had a fixed 9-to-5 schedule and I’ve worked shifts my entire life, and I’m accustomed to having to report for an 8-hour shift at 7 AM some days and 3:30 PM on others. But honestly, it’s not nearly as much a bother as some people insist on making it, and considering that almost everything that tells the time these days is capable of automatically adjusting for DST, you don’t even really have to do anything unless you’re a purveyor of antique clocks.

You think you got it bad? I got about 10 cars with clocks I need to change, and don’t remember how half of them work. :confused:


If you need to rely on the dashboard clock to tell you what time it is, then I’m afraid you’re a hopeless case. :slight_smile:

The smart thing to do would be to change the time on her watch, both at the time of DST transition and at the location where you change time zones (stop the car and adjust your watches right then and there). If she refuses to do that, she’s being deliberately obtuse.

Just remember to use your annual save/load hour wisely: because 1 am until 2 am on Sunday morning repeats, whatever you do the first go-round gets erased, and only the second go-round matters. I get up to all sorts of insane shit every year during that first hour, repercussion-free.

Just be thankful you guys don’t have to write POSIX-compatible code that deals with this stuff, like I do.
It’s way more complicated than most people imagine.

I was just think about this. If you need a great alibi, commit a crime at 1:30 am and then an hour later make an ATM withdrawal an hour away at 1:30 am. Enough to give a reasonable doubt I would say :slight_smile:

One of my friends genuinely didn’t realise the clocks had changed in the UK last weekend- she was on time, but all the clocks she had changed automatically and she just didn’t notice that it had got light/dark an hour earlier until I mentioned it. That’s how much difference it doesn’t make.

Mind you, I did feel sorry for my cousin who lived and took the kids to school in Queensland, Australia, but worked and mostly shopped in NSW. NSW does daylight savings, Queensland doesn’t. Now that could get confusing.

This short clip from Community effectively deals with the issues involved.

I assumed that was a “Known known”.

Since (and I agree) it makes little difference, why do politicians constantly continue to mess with the civil clock, instead of picking a time zone, or even a consistent system of summer time, and just use that? DST is observed in Greenland, for Arnakuagsak’s sake, though this can probably be blamed on Denmark. Russia has messed with time zones so often and in so many ways that I cannot even keep track. One cannot even say the concept of summer time is dying off since most of North America and Europe continue to use it.

Actually, Europe may be on the point of dropping it.

We in Indiana officially ignored DST for many years, then re-adopted it. It was confusing for a while, but I finally got my brain back in the habits. Just to be difficult, though, we are on Eastern time; in theory we’re too far west for that. A few pieces of the state deviate from it, but I don’t bother to remember which ones.

The traditional mnemonic for DST is “Spring forward, fall back,” which I like to twist into, “Spring up, fall down” to add to the confusion.

We have a clock in the living room with an analog face, but synchs with some faraway atomic clock. At 2:00am Sunday, it will advance itself 11 hours. It’s a strange thing to watch.

When my son worked at Microsoft, his team was working on an alarm. Internally, all Windows computers are on UT. If you want to set an alarm that goes off at 5:00 PM, every M-F, you have to take account of the fact that 5:00 PM PST Friday in Seattle is 2:00 AM UT Saturday and so on. The person he had assigned to program this simply refused to believe that it could be Friday in Seattle and Saturday in London. He explained it to the guy several times and finally gave up and programmed it himself.

Puzzle: How can it be that a clock in an eastern seaboard state of the US can correctly read the same time as a clock in a western seaboard state?

The western panhandle of Florida is on central time, which there is a strip of eastern Oregon on mountain time. Between 2:00 and 3:00 AM CST Sunday morning the clocks in Florida will be on CST, while those in Oregon will be on MDT, which is the same as CST

My recollection is that, until maybe a decade ago, the Eastern time zone portion of Indiana (where you live) didn’t observe DST, while most (if not all) of the Central time zone portion of the statue did observe it. This had the net effect of putting all (or nearly all) of the state on the same time during the DST half of the year.

Also, a little research on Wikipedia is showing me that several of the Indiana counties which had been on Central time have moved to Eastern time in recent years.

I have been dealing with these time issues lately. I stumbled across this blog, which I thought was amusing:
Falsehoods programmers believe about time.

I beat the system! I had to work on the truck and had the battery disconnected. I waited till exactly 2pm to hook it back up (It’s a JVC stereo, and defaults to 1:00 when power is restored), and BINGO, tomorrow it will be set!

:smiley: Gotta take the small victories when you can.

First thing after getting dressed this AM I set the computer clock to NIST time, got out my watch and started setting it. Then I’d use it to set the rest of the clocks in the house.

Set the seconds. Then … the screen went blank. Arggggh.

Still a fan of DST, despite not living in a northern tier state. And if I lived in one of those I’d start a civil war if they tried to end it.

It’s not that big of a headache to change clocks. As long as your watch battery doesn’t die.

It’s not a big headache in the spring, in the fall you need to advance them 23 hrs because some don’t have a back/minus time button. It really sucks when you push the button in & hold it (because it moves faster the longer you hold it) & then don’t quite stop it in time…so now you need to advance it another 23 hrs. :smack:
I’ve done a race one timezone behind this weekend many times for which we fly in the evening before. It’s nice in that I don’t reset my watch & it’s still accurate when I wake up.