Posts Tagged ‘Daylight Savings Time’

Does anyone really know what time it is? I barely know what day of the week it is any more. Various levels of “lockdown” for over a year now, have made one day blur into the next. Getting lost in “Rabbit Holes” has made hours disappear. And, I may have mentioned, that #wordpress has got me going in circles with the changes it’s made to their writing platform. It is really awkward for me to navigate. I decided to bite the bullet and sign up for one of their “Quick Start Blogging” online seminars. That’s right after 12 years of using this platform I have to start over. This is what I saw:

Quick Start: Blogging
You’ve got something to say. We’ll show you how to say it with style on your own blog.

  • Wednesday, April 14 at 4:00pm UTC
  • Thursday, April 15 at 6:00am UTC

Please tell me I am not the only one who responded with, “What the hell is UTC?”. Perhaps I am showing my age or some flaw in my education but I have never heard of UTC. 

Born and raised in Canada, I am keenly aware of the fact that their are six Time Zones. I have friends, family and/or business contacts in most of them. Eastern Time is where I live. Then there is Newfoundland, Atlantic, Central, Mountain, and Pacific.

Add in that some of the Provinces follow Daylight Savings Time (which changes the time by an hour +/- twice a year) and some have opted to stick with Standard Time all year round, things can get a little confusing. The one constant is that what ever time it is, they are all based on GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) which we all learned in school at some point, is clock time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London. For the record it does not follow the  Daylight Saving Time clock changes.

So here I go again…rabbit meet hole. 

 First of all, apparently UTC is “a standard, not a time zone” and is the basis for civil time today. UTC stands for Coordinated Universal Time. It’s a 24-hour time standard kept using highly precise atomic clocks combined with the Earth’s rotation. You know when people synchronize their watches in the movies, well the world’s timing centers have agreed to do just that.

“Local time is based on time zone and Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). UTC is commonly referred to as International Time, Universal Time (UT)Zulu Time (U.S. military), or Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The earth is divided into 24 time zones, -11 to +12. Each time zone is 1 hour long, or 15° wide in longitude. Greenwich England is, by definition, in the middle of Time Zone 0, the prime meridian. UTC time is the local time at Greenwich England. Time in other locations will be the UTC time hour plus or minus the local Time Zone.” 

So, I’m trying to explain all this to He-Who — for the record, this was his first introduction to UTC as well. We both thought this was some new fangled thing the millennials cooked up to mess with us old folks. We were not best pleased. I continued down this particular rabbit hole trying to find when it started and who thought it up. Here is the kicker…wait for it…

Universal Time (UT) was created at the International Meridian Conference in 1884.

Come on! How is it possible I was not taught this in school? Why have I never seen this used on any other schedule accept for #wordpress? Heck, I have never even heard of it as a Jeopardy answer! I don’t have that many followers but I would really appreciate knowing how many of you had this knowledge in your “I’m smarter than you are” arsenal.

In the mean time (not Greenwich), this has exhausted me and I need a nap. I would set an alarm but…well, you know.


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Looking back, I don’t know how it happened. How is it possible I almost missed the Pandemic? I keep looking at my calendar and there in big bold letters on Friday, March 13th, 2020, I wrote “Quarantine begins”.

It seemed appropriate that this should be the day the world shuts down. Someone from the U.S. asked me the date Canada shut down. I looked it up and told him that I had it recorded as Friday, March 13th. Over the past week there’s been a lot of coverage about the one year anniversary of the Pandemic. The first mention I saw was on a friend’s timeline. That Wednesday, March 11 was the day. I questioned her on it but got no response. Then, every day, people were mentioning the 11th as being the day.

Now, you should know that for as long as I can remember, I’ve kept a 16 month “Engagement Calendar”. I’m a bit “obsessive” about it. Tests, Dr. Appointments, Birthdays, Anniversaries, etc. are all in there. Every year, I would buy a new one at the end of August and painstakingly copy info from one to the other. I have kept them all.

March tends to be a bit of a challenge for me. There are a dozen family birthdays in March. It is also the anniversary of my Mom’s death, my Grandmother’s death, my Dad’s death, as well as various Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and my Nephew. If something was going to happen, it would usually happen in March. Oh. Did I mention that mid March we also lose an hour of sleep? Can we just get rid of this Daylight Saving time thingy? It seems we pretty much all agree at this point, it’s well past its sell date.

The one thing that keeps me together in March is St. Patrick’s Day and plans are made for wardrobe and locations well in advance.

I don’t remember anything of note on Wednesday, March 11th, 2020. Thursday March 12, I put in a very long day at work so that I could take Friday off to prepare for St. Patrick’s Day. On Friday, March 13, He-Who and I went out for a nice breakfast. We took our time reading the paper and enjoying our food. Then, we headed to Costco to pick up prescriptions. We got within a block of the place but couldn’t get any closer. We thought there had been an accident and tried to re-route and come in a different way. There was nothing but long lines trying to get to the Costco parking lot for as far as the eye could see. I told He-Who I could wait until the next day and we headed home trying to figure out what was going on. Well, it didn’t take long once we got home and turned on the TV. By Sunday I was phoning the head office at Costco telling them they had better figure out a way for people to get their prescriptions without waiting hours outside and in. I said, “I am an overweight, asthmatic, senior with cancer.” I figured I had every one of the high risk boxes ticked. They took my number and He-Who and I went out to forage for supplies anywhere we could. They actually called me back and told me they figured something out and that we could go in the out door and someone would take us right back to the pharmacy. That was a relief!

Then I realized I had no Bailey’s, Guinness or Jamieson in the house and everything was closed. (As time went on, the liquor and beer stores became essential services, but not at the beginning.) St. Patrick’s Day was officially cancelled! Heck, they even made it illegal to “Kiss the Blarney Stone”. March turned into April, April into May, and so it went. Every holiday & celebration was cancelled. Borders were closed. Rules and regulations changed daily and it was hard to keep up.

Its a year later and I am still trying to figure out what the hell happened! I looked on line and the only big announcement I found regarding March 11th was from the World Health Organization.

“WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction. We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.”

They went on to say they hoped each country would act accordingly. Some did. Some didn’t. It was definitely a learn-as-you-go-scenario. I’m not really sure if we’re being graded on a curve just how we would do.

But…I know these things for sure. St. Patrick’s Day will always be March 17th. He-Who has promised to bring home corned beef and cabbage. (He-Who isn’t a sure thing because he won’t buy it too far in advance due to meat and veggies are perishable. And who knows? The vendors might be out of stock by the time he gets there. I’ll let you know.) Most importantly this time I’ve got Bailey’s and Guinness on hand.

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