Daylight Saving Time: Simple Plan to Help the Farmers or Plot to Decrease Population; A Ridiculous Conspiracy Theory That Holds a Bit of Water Despite The Lunacy of the Claim

I have heard, but not bothered to confirm, that Daylight Saving Time was instituted so that farmers would have more daylight hours to spend in their fields. That in itself seems ridiculous. Why should the government control something like that? And what, if farmers were actually the inspiration for the act, does it say about the government’s view of farmers? To me it says that Uncle Sam sees farmers as incapable of managing their time efficiently and in need of federal assistance.

This is ludicrous, but its implications pale in comparison to the ominous “secondary” effect of Daylight Saving Time I recently discovered.

My work is east of my home. I go to work at a reasonable hour; 8:00 a.m. This could be true of many people in our nation. I haven’t bothered to gather statistics, but I’d be willing to bet that a considerable percentage of people drive east at times approaching 8:00 a.m. Before the clocks were moved forward one hour, by government mandate mind you, my drive to work was fairly pleasant. At some moments, I could see a sliver of the sun rising over the horizon, and I found it beautiful. After the time change, however, this same route traversed an hour later is a direct route to the very center of a large celestial body so bright its light cancels out virtually everything in my field of vision. I found it disturbing, painful, irritating and deadly.

I drove 30 mph in a 50 mph zone for nearly a mile because driving directly toward the very sun overpowered other drivers’ brake lights. My eyes were squinted nearly shut because when I opened them everything around me was washed out by the sun’s impressively powerful glare. When the road finally curved a bit, I still couldn’t fully open my eyes because my lids and eyebrows were twitching from overuse, my eyes were watering and burned with intense afterimages.

The next day I wore sunglasses and found them only barely better than driving with my eyes denuded. At least I didn’t have to squint quite as hard.

I checked my facts to an extent. Some of my coworkers also experienced this blindness perpetrated upon us by our own government. Thankfully, we have recently had morning cloud cover and, so far, I haven’t been killed or killed anyone else due to governmental interference in my visual acuity as I drive to work.

In conclusion, it could only be a matter of time before the conspirators win and I rear end someone because they are rendered invisible by the act of driving directly into the sun. Even the aftereffects of a brief foray into the solar realm affect driving ability significantly. Even if that first mile doesn’t kill me, the following miles might as the afterimages continue to erase the traffic in front of me from my sight.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…wear sunglasses after you spring forward. It isn’t a perfect solution, but it helps.

A don’t…lose all faith in the government. Perhaps they were presented with false facts by groups concerned with global de-population. Perhaps the government takes the role of pawn rather than perpetrator in this instance.



Jerks in Film; A Post-Script

I forgot to make a couple of points in my previous post. First, I’m confused about the name of the mountain the Hobbit and his companions are seeking. It may not be the Misty Mountain. Maybe it’s the Lonely Mountain. I apologize to any aficionados and/or die-hard Tolkieners that may have read that post. No offense intended.

Now, back to those jerk birds that Gandalf press-ganged into service. How mad were they to not at least take the party over that ridiculous forest they end up having to walk through. Sure, they wouldn’t be taken prisoner by Elves, but they also wouldn’t have to deal with the giant spiders and hallucinogenic air and disappearing pathways. And the funny thing; Gandalf knew about it. He told them before they went in that if they left the path they’d never find it again. None of this was any surprise to Gandalf. He knew full well that they were likely blundering straight into their own deaths. And if he can trick birds into saving people from Orcs and falling trees, surely he can also trick them into flying on a few miles further. It isn’t as if the birds couldn’t have handled it. Not only could they withstand the force of a full sized man (Gandalf) falling onto their backs without even being knocked from the air, the ratio of Gandalf to duped bird looked to be less than the ratio of average sized man to average sized horse. The birds could’ve at least taken them past the forest, if not all the way to the mountain.

I’m rescinding my previous assertion that the birds were the jerks. The birds must’ve known Gandalf. This is why they stopped where they did. They assumed that anyone traveling with Gandalf was as good as dead anyway and did not continue further as soon as the spell was lifted. The jerk in these films is Gandalf the Gray, Enslaver of Birds, Needless Endangerer of Hobbits and Dwarves. He even ditches the party right after telling them they’ll die in the forest!

For shame, dear wizard, for shame.

And while I enjoy his cryptic banter and befuddle-speak (“What do you mean? Do you mean to say it is a good morning or that I should be good this morning?”…and so on and so forth on many occasions) I cannot reconcile with the fact that he is a jerk. A friendly, sometimes funny, jerk. But he’d lead you to the depths of Hell and then ditch when you ding-dong the doorbell. “Oh dear, it seems a mild misfortune has befallen a wise old bunny rabbit! His carrots have top-rot, you see. I’m afraid you must kill the very Devil yourselves. Don’t worry, we’ll meet again the next time I cook up some hare-brained scheme.”

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…enjoy movies for what they are. Entertaining bits of fiction. If you read into them too much you’ll end up bitter like me.

A don’t…follow Gandalf anywhere. Not even down to the 7 Eleven for a pouch of the halflings’ leaf. Not only will the leaf allegedly slow your mind, Gandalf will introduce you to a crack dealer and then run when the dealer reminds Gandalf he still owes 3 farthings.

An Antique Man Quite Possibly Beating a Dead Horse (Not to Imply That He’d Beat Live Horses); A Parable on the Follies of Relying Solely on Automation

I have posted much along the lines of being fond of antiquity lately. After this post I’ll take a break and post on something else, but I had an experience yesterday that reinforces my yearnings for less electronic times.

Disclaimer: The following parable is a parable only in the poetic sense, as it is a recounting of actual events.

I had the chance to sleep in yesterday, but since my wife and I had plans for a minor road trip after she got off work, I awoke with her. I took her to work and then took her van to the Wal-mart because it was overdue for an oil change. After shambling about, stepping in to Subway for a sandwich and soda, shambling more, then doing a little shopping (all of which took about two hours) they called my name over the P.A. only to inform me upon my arrival at the Tire and Lube Express counter that my battery tested bad. I of course requested a replacement. — It was only barely above 20 degrees yesterday where I live and we planned to drive an hour and a half so we could watch Star Wars in a theater that has mini La-Z-Boy style recliners. I didn’t want to freeze to death on the side of the highway awaiting roadside assistance personnel. — The attendant told me that for them to install it I’d have to wait another 45 minutes.

I couldn’t do it. I’m not a big shopper. I’d already waited all there was in me to wait. Plus I sometimes feel ridiculous paying someone to do something I could easily do myself. “I’ll take that home and install it there.” I said with a smile. I paid, shivered my way to the car, and went home convinced that I’d have the new battery installed well before my wife got off work.

I noticed a sticker on the battery that decried its abundance of cold cranking amps. I now possess an equal or greater number of cold aching cramps. Let me explain:

I hadn’t realized the extent to which car manufacturers have decreased the size of engine compartments while also cramming them full of stuff I don’t know the purpose of. The last time I had to install a new battery it was on a 2002 Tahoe. Piece of cake.

Not so with the 2012 Quest. After several breaks to search my son’s room for the tools I needed (he’s convinced his “work” requires my tools. His plastic ones aren’t good enough, even though I’ve confided in him that mine are barely any sturdier.) I successfully removed what felt like everything but the transmission and brake pads and finally the battery lay exposed before me. Its posts lay interred beneath mountains of blue-green corrosion. As I began to exhume them so I could get to the nuts I needed to loosen, I noticed that, like the new battery, the old one had no handle. I then noticed that there was so much stuff I couldn’t remove surrounding the battery that I’d barely have room to fit my hands in around it to lift it out.

It turns out there was enough room for my hands, just not quite enough for the skin covering them too. I scraped most of it off on the various corners and blades that the sadistic manufacturer had permanently installed around the battery. This had unforeseen benefits, however. I’ve never been able to work with gloves on. After about fifteen minutes holding cold tools in 20 degree weather, my fingers were quite numb. Not only did I not feel my skin being sheared by the sharp parts of the car, the blood rushing to the gouges and gashes brought a pleasing warmth into my fingers.

After several false starts and near successes, the battery banging around in its nest caused the tools, nuts, bolts and other detritus accumulated on various flat surfaces near the work space to fall to the driveway. Most rolled under the car. After finally freeing the battery, I held it for a moment before being overcome with rage. I began to run with it, but it was heavy. I ran hunched over with the battery in my hands which dangled between my bent knees. It swung to and fro and my knuckles were inches from the ground, victims of the effect of gravity upon the load they held. I don’t doubt that I quite resembled a chimpanzee. When I’d run as far as I could (which wasn’t far), I flung the battery as far as I could (which wasn’t far), and kicked it as hard as I could (which, thankfully, wasn’t hard). My foot was cold and despite my weak kick my foot felt as though I’d kicked a cinderblock barefoot.

I limped to the back of the car and attempted to lift the hatch. This is where the reliance on electricity comes in. Without a battery installed, the hatch wouldn’t open. The car wasn’t locked, but there is no latch, just a button. I searched and prodded and poked. No latch. Surely, I thought, there’ll be some sort of manual override on the inside. I slid into the driver’s seat, contorted my body until my legs were past the center console, climbed over the console separating the second row seats, knelt on the third row bench and again searched for a non-existent latch. Resigned to my fate and cursing technology, I hoisted the battery, handle-less mind you, over the seat, over both consoles, hugged it to my chest to clear the steering wheel, and somehow refrained from throwing that one also.

I scraped off what little flesh I had left on my hands seating that battery properly, although there is one piece of my wife’s car that will never be re-installed. Please remain silent should you ever meet her. It is a non-essential piece.

My tailbone hurts when I breathe and my hands ache when I use them or simply remember they are attached to my wrists.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…do for yourself whatever you are able to. It’s important to learn and grow.

A don’t…feel guilty for cursing technology. It is a curse with benefits, but a curse all the same.

An Antique Man and His Anachronistic Existence; A Wondering About What Could’ve Been and May Yet Be

I’ll start off with an anecdote only very loosely related to the topic of this evening’s post. My wife and I had a humorous misunderstanding at a local Mexican restaurant this evening. We both, for some reason, deviated from our favorite Mexican cuisine ruts and ordered something called “Special Dinner”. We visit this place fairly often due to the quality of the food and the fact that every server and staff member we’ve ever dealt with has been extremely friendly and attentive. We each have our favorites, but they’ve re-done their menus and added a few items. Special Dinner has a chile relleno, a chalupa, a tamale (my least favorite Mexican food, but I really wanted all the other items), a taco, an enchilada, refried beans and rice. My wife was looking at her phone when a waiter and waitress arrived, each bearing two plates loaded with food. They set the stuff down and we just stared at it for a moment. As my eyes perused the offerings on each plate relaying suggestions to my mouth about what to try first, I forgot that my wife had been looking at her phone when the food arrived. I heard my wife’s voice floating, as if from outer space, on the periphery of my hunger limited audio zone. She said, “Do you know any 24 hour plumbers in town?” My brain slapped back to normal speed so suddenly that I just stared at her, slack-jawed. To me, the food looked amazing. Nothing that would cause the need for a plumber soon after eating it. So I said so. Now it was her turn to stare, slack-jawed. Apparently one of her friends had come home to frozen, possibly burst, pipes and needed an emergency fix for baby bathing and formula fixing and whatnot. Oops. We laughed ourselves even more hungry. After my wife sent her friend a link to Roto-Rooter, that is. We aren’t jerks.

This brings me to what I really want to talk about. I feel like I’m an antique man in a modern body. Nothing would make me happier than to wander dusty roads in a wagon pulled by mules or some other such beast of burden collecting stories like the one above and jotting them down in neat looking journals that I’d stow in my wagon and read from to random villagers at festivals. My wagon would contain everything a man really needs. Fire starting materials, a guitar, books on edible forage, a bow and arrows for hunting (this antique man needs his meat), and tome on tome on tome of historical accounts, and, hopefully, my beautiful and wonderful wife. I’m sure antique her would be up for a nomadic life spent with a penniless scribe. I suppose the closest I can get in these modern times is to finish up the history degree I’m currently working on, blogging and writing books and trying to grow amazing tomatoes, succulent corn, nutritious green beans and giant pumpkins. All that and darkly and guiltily wishing for some sort of apocalypse.

It would be fun though. I’ve always been a nomad at heart. My current job is the only one I’ve ever stayed at for more than a year, other than the Army, but they forced me into six years of servitude. After I signed a paper promising six years of servitude. Anyway, the Army provided me free trips to Kuwait and Iraq and the means to afford a month and a half long trip to Europe. This was a veritable glut of travel to a life-long nomad devoid of the means to roam. And it was fun, even if there were bullets and rocket propelled grenades flying all over the place for a while. I’ve also lived in Colorado, Missouri, Oklahoma, and fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada with brief stints in Kansas, Washington State, South Carolina and California thrown in for good measure.

It’s been quite a life so far and it can only get better. At least once I earn my degree I can rightly call myself an historian, even if I never get the chance to travel lesser known roads in a mule wagon loaded with tomes and tomatoes.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…let your antique self express itself if you have it. Be who you are even if who you are is anachronistic compared to when you are.

A don’t…deny your modern self if you’re of a more technological bent.


An Offensive Gift, A False Scripture and a Moose; A Christmas at Work Worth Forgetting

Merry Christmas.

With holiday sentiments safely out of the way, let me tell you about a Christmas present I got at work. Rather, let me be vague about it and assure you that it was offensive. It was good naturedly offensive and I took no real offense at it. But I wanted to convey that I had been off put. Since I’m not saying much about the gift itself, I’ll go on at length about my response to the gift.

My response involved the fabrication of scripture. I understand that some may find this blasphemous (although I mean no disrespect to true scripture), and some may be offended merely by the mention of scriptures, religion or Jesus. If you are offended by such things, consider yourself forewarned that you may disregard this post as you see fit and hold me blameless.

Having performed my due diligence, and assuming you are still reading, I present below the full text of my response to the offensive gift:

Dear Sekrit Santuh (this is how the attached card was signed),

Thank you so much for the gift! I found it to be rather offensive. As I assume this was your intent, I applaud you on a job well done.

It wasn’t offensive in the way you might imagine, however. You see, I do not believe in Santuh. Neither do I celebrate the holiday he is associated with. I celebrate the holiday that inspired Christmas, which was originally called the Festival of Christ’s Moose.

This special day was set aside to commemorate the year that Jesus, upon his birthday, took leave of the Holy Lands and rode a moose to Anchorage. As he rode, a multitude of Inuits and Eskimos began following him saying, “Savior, teach us and lead us to salvation.” And Jesus, having pity on them, dismounted his moose and began to preach to them saying, “Blessed are the cold in heart, for they shall find warmth.”  And as he was preaching, the multitude began to grumble against him saying, “We hunger.”

And as they were grumbling, a thunderous noise was heard in the East and from behind a sparse copse of evergreen trees emerged a large, white man-like creature that walkethed upon two legs. And as the multitude hungered and cowered, the creature roared and it did beat upon its chest and did fall upon them with violent intent. And as the creature came forth to devour them, the multitude cried out to Jesus saying, “Savior, save us!”

And Jesus, having pity on them, stopped preaching and he said to his moose, “Go!” And his moose went and it plunged its antlers into the creature and killed it. And Jesus, remembering their grumbling, blessed the creature and tore it asunder and filled many baskets with the pieces and fed the multitude. And they who were once cold were filled with a warmth and it was not a physical warmth, yea, it was a warmth of the heart.

This is why most Christmas celebrations include Christmas Dinner, however, it should rightly be called Christ’s Moose’s Dinner and the main course should include Yeti steaks. Since these are very hard to come by, modern day celebrants have seen fit to do away with the truths behind the holiday and celebrate Jesus’ birth by eating turkey, a known non-cryptid.

Thanks again and may you all have a hairy Christ’s Moose.

Signature omitted

And thusly were those who offensively gifted me regaled. Much to my wife’s dismay, I also attempted to regale the children with a similar tale. They disregarded it out of hand. Smart kids.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…know that I understand the severity of creating one’s own scripture. It was a joke meant to shame my co-workers. I’ll not attempt to build a church around it or encourage others to adhere to my false tenets.

A don’t…read any truth into what I’ve concocted. The most that you can take away from it is that moose exist and it is cold in Anchorage. I’ve seen no real evidence to suggest Jesus ever even saw a moose in his Earthly incarnation.

I Believe in Bigfoot, But Does He Believe in Me? A Question That Doesn’t Really Need to be Answered

As may or may not be evident by the photo accompanying this post, I believe in Bigfoot. I won’t say that I believe completely in his existence; instead, I believe in the idea of Bigfoot and his plausibility as a living creature.

But is the reverse true for Bigfoot, if he exists? Does Bigfoot believe in me? As far as I’m aware, Bigfoot has never seen me. I’ve certainly never seen him. If he believes in the few representatives of Humankind he may have seen, he at least believes in me by proxy and this brings me some sort of comfort.

I like to think, though, that there are fringe Bigfoots (Bigfeet? Thank you Tolkien for your Proudfoots/Proudfeet exploration. It intrigues us still today.) out there that, being more adventurous than their contemporaries, have sought out the strange sounds blasting through the woods and laid eyes upon a Human or group of humans. Perhaps these “outsider” Sasquatches lope home and grunt excitedly to their families and peers about the small, hairless, bi-pedal Sasquatchoid creatures they have seen.

Perhaps Bigfoot, too, knows the sting of being thought crazy by the majority of his society.

Maybe there are even Bigfoot Human watching groups. Perhaps it is called something like the H.uman B.eing R.esearch O.rganization or the Bigfoot grunting/howling equivalent of that. Perhaps they try to imitate the sounds of shotgun blasts or are hard at work producing the fluorescent orange colors they’ve seen during deer season. Maybe there’s some enterprising young Bigfoot developing scents he associates with people. I don’t know what they would be. Something unique that we probably can’t smell since woodsmen and hunters generally avoid scented aftershaves and colognes and such while searching for creatures to eat or study. Perhaps to Bigfoot we smell as bad as I’ve heard Bigfoot smells to people. Skunk Ape indeed. How crude and completely uncalled for.

And what if, just what if, the responses people claim to hear when they are call blasting into the night aren’t actual Bigfoot responses at all. What if these recordings people play to attract Bigfoot are something else altogether and Bigfoot, hearing these strange sounds and sometimes then seeing people, thinks these are the noises people make and is simply regurgitating what he hears in an attempt to attract us?

What if somewhere there is a Bigfoot attempting to imitate human speech and some Bigfoot researcher or frightened camper will one day hear from back in the tree line a tentative and gravelly “Hello?”

Just some food for thought. Bigfoot, whether real, imagined, hoaxed or misidentified, is a veritable buffet of such mental edibles.

And maybe he even believes in, or doubts the existence of, us.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…try to see both sides of all arguments. Some arguments, however, have two different sides from two or more distinct sub-groups. These 4 or more dimensional arguments are worth looking into from every angle.

A don’t…get caught up in the Bigfoots/Bigfeet plurality conundrum. It just isn’t really worth it. After all, rather than aruging semantics, you could be busy looking for a group of Big…well, you get where I’m going, I’m sure.

Tome Travel

I’ve heard on multiple occasions from multiple sources that reading can be like time travel. I never thought that it was. I suppose it’s the closest we can get, but our own timeline advances as we read about previous times or exotic and maybe even fantastical locales. I suppose, even if we did actually travel in time, our own timeline would continue to advance even thought we could, in theory, return to the exact moment we left, I assume we’d return older than when we left.

Never mind.

This post isn’t about time travel.

I like to read. This likely isn’t a shocking revelation. I assume that most others who maintain blogs or read blogs also enjoy reading. I like every aspect of the act of reading. My tome travel begins with the discovery of the book on its shelf. When I pull it down, I commit the grievous sin of judging it by its cover. I think I do this in a very positive way, though. I’ve read many a book with a dull cover. I’ve read books with blank covers. I’ve even read books with no covers. The cover has no bearing on my deciding not to read it. Some covers have, on occasion, caused me to purchase books I have no intention of reading.  After I pass judgment on the cover I hold the book close to my face and flip the pages. As the scent of the ink and paper and perhaps the elements of the binding process become noticeable, I plunge my face into the volume, usually fairly close to the midway point, and breathe deeply. When this is done, I enjoy the weight of it in my hand as I look for other books. When I’m looking at a book in terms of its bookness only, size really matters. I especially enjoy paperbacks that are close to a thousand pages. If I’m picking a book to have for no reason other than that it’s a book and I want to have it (which I do often to the dismay of my wife, whose books are ever on the verge of being crowded out; my wallet, that could well have a perpetually lit neon “vacancy” sign sticking up out of it; and my overburdened bookshelves and the walls they’re attached to), it’ll be a monster. Then I drive home with the book on my lap or, if I’m not driving, I clasp it in both hands and stare at it.

With all that said, you may be wondering what on Earth I’m getting at. What does any of that have to do with tome travel?

Well, new books are strangers. Before I’ll surrender my mind to it and let it take me somewhere, I have to get to know it. Would you time travel with someone you barely knew? Likely not. You’d want to get acquainted a little first. Gathering all this information is necessary to insure an enjoyable excursion with an acquaintance, if not yet friend, rather than a blind foray with a stranger.

Once the book and I have shaken hands and I’ve had a chance to look over its opening pages (and run my fingers over the contours of any embossments that happen to be present on the cover) I can crack it open and go wherever its going to take me. I don’t think of it as time travel, though. It simply isn’t. No matter how involved I become with the story, I’m still in my house. I can hear the tv in the background and the kids playing. I can smell my dog as she walks by. I haven’t gone anywhere and I know it.

But last night I had a slight epiphany. As I was reading I suddenly became aware of my eyes reading the page and my brain interpreting the words and providing vague visuals as two distinct and separate phenomena. I have never been aware of the distinction before, but as I continued to read this way, I began to notice that what my brain produced for me to “view” and what was actually read by my eyes could be completely different things.  Specifically, the author described a character as an overweight male mowing the lawn in bathing trunks. I pictured him in a speedo. I didn’t even realize I’d done it until I went back and re-read the description wondering why this guy in my head had a speedo on. The author specifically said trunks. My brain showed me speedo.


No idea. I have no desire to see any man in a speedo, subconscious or otherwise.

I realize now that, yes books can be considered comparable to time travel. They can distract our minds with visions of other times and places and events. They can evoke emotions and cause distress to a degree. But no matter what the author has written or what he envisioned as he was writing, the reader’s interpretation will never be exactly in line with the author’s.

Books take us on journeys, but not necessarily the ones we are expected to take.

But reading isn’t time travel in any sense.

It’s tome travel.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…tome travel as much as you can. The author will have quite a say in where you go, but your own tome travels are unique to you. Open your eyes and enjoy the ride.

A don’t…forget to respect the fact that others want books too. Make sure to leave them at least a little space on the shelves.