Time to change the clocks
Spring forward. Fall Back. Or is it fall forward and ... No, that's not right. Just kidding. Remember to turn your clocks ahead Saturday night (or Sunday morning if you don't have to be anywhere on time early Sunday) for the start of Daylight Saving Time.
I'm always amazed at how many time pieces we have these days. The bedside and kitchen clocks are standard equipment. But now the stove and the microwave have their own. Our thermostats each have clocks. So does the VCR, two of the TVs, both cars (those are really a pain to change, especially on the Beltway). The cell phones have clocks, but thankfully they change themselves. So does the computer. And still my daughter is 20 minutes late. (Sorry, kid.)
Now I have a clock radio and a wristwatch that are controlled, via radio signal, by the atomic clocks at the National Institute for Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colo. Those adjust themselves every night, and they also do the Daylight Saving Time switch automatically. They're always accurate to the second, so I can get all the other clocks in sync again when I push them ahead this weekend.
As it happens, this is the last year we'll be changing our clocks by the old rules. Next year we'll start Daylight Time two weeks earlier, and end it two weeks later. It's Congress's way of saving energy, and if it works out, it will become permanent. Here's a rundown on the changes.
This is also the first year that all the Indiana counties in the Eastern time zone will join the rest of us switching to Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). But Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa and Guam will continue to eschew the change.
The coolest thing about these time changes is that in the spring, there is no 2 o'clock and no 2 o'clock hour when the clocks change. The official timekeepers go from 1:59:59 a.m. to 3:00:00 a.m. So unless you're trying to dump the poor sap, don't make any late dates for 2:30 a.m. They will never happen. And in the fall, we do the 2 o'clock hour twice. So be sure you specify which 2:15 a.m. you mean, or you'll have a 50 percent chance of showing up alone.
The worst thing is that it will be pretty dark again for a while when the alarm goes off in the morning. Sunrise over Baltimore this morning was at 5:53 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, and it got mighty light well before that.
But on Monday morning, sunrise will occur at 6:48 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time - nearly 7 a.m. That will mean rousting ourselves out of bed into a much darker room. The days will get longer again day by day after that. But It will be May 15 before the sun is up as early as 5:53 a.m. (EDT) again.
Remember: spring back ... No, fall ... Wait ...