I've heard that when Benjamin Franklin suggested Daylight Saving Time in 1784, it was suggested he go fly a kite. Ben's untimely idea wasn't adopted until 1916 when several European countries initiated DST. Later, it caught on in some US jurisdictions as an energy saving device; but that was before household appliances, computers, and television sets were used 24/7.


Keeping track of which way to adjust our clocks is easier when remembering that we 'spring ahead" or "fall behind". I'll be up at daybreak on March 13th to begin the semiannual ritual relying on my cell-phone for accuracy. My bedroom clock-radio requires switching the toggle switch from "lock" to "clock" and pressing the "Rev" or "Adv" buttons until the digital display matches the cell-phone. Then, to stop the blinking of the " : " between hour and minute, the toggle switch is moved back to "lock".


In the kitchen, I'm faced with four digital clocks. The small appliance industry deems it advantageous to provided clocks on microwaves, radio/CD players, ovens, and coffee makers. My coffee pot requires pushing the red "hour" button until the digital display reaches the correct time. It only moves forward so in spring it takes only a moment to advance one hour but in fall I wait impatiently to scroll past twenty-three. The oven necessitates applying constant pressure to the "clock" touch-pad while pressing either the hour arrow/up or the hour arrow/down touch-pads to initiate a change. This requires both my hands; so the cell phone is placed open on the counter within view. The microwave requires first punching the "clock" touch-pad to clear the display, then entering the correct time in the form of hour and minute required by the microwaving instructions on the back of the frozen food package. I'm finished after punching the "clock" indicator a second time to get the " . " between the hour and minute to display.


The radio/CD player is another both-hands project and presents a greater challenge. Changing this time display requires holding down the "set clock" button while pressing the right pointing or left pointing arrows of the channel selector. Unfortunately the volume selector also has right pointing and left pointing arrows; and since none of these pointing arrows is labeled to suggest it's for the "set clock" function, I experiment with multiple combinations every six months. If mistakes were made, I risk being blasted with surround sound the next time the radio ON button is pressed.


On the dining room buffet a battery operated analogue clock needs to have the rotating dial on the back turned in the proper rotation. Then it continues reliably without flashing digits even when household power is interrupted during a thunder or windstorm. My houseguests have time displayed on the digital clock radio that also plays a collection of outdated audio cassettes. This relic from the 70s has low-tech buttons to make adjustments. One is marked "time" which is held down as the buttons marked "Adv/Fast", "Adv/Slow", "Rev/Fast" and "Rev/Slow" are manipulated.


Clock watchers in my office will be disappointed when relying on my pink electric tube clock radio from the fifties. It works; but the setting mechanism broke years ago and time can only be changed by pulling the cord out of the wall socket and waiting to plug it in when real time matches the time on the clock-face. Only certified clock watchers are willing to do that. I don't bother changing it. I also stopped wearing a wristwatch when I tired of taking mine to the jeweler to have the batteries replaced. Equally useless is the clock in the car. It can't help get me to my destination on time unless other events like traffic and leaving home on time were part of the plan. So why fret on the road when I can't do anything about it?


Greenwich mean-time is universally accepted as the standard. So if synchronizing our clocks is deemed necessary, why not use GMT and be done with this setting, watching, springing, and falling once and for all. I'd be happy to rely on the sun to wake me up, turn on lights when it's dark, and go to bed when I'm tired.