Sunday, October 29, 2006

Daylight Savings Time and my birthday

Yesterday was and will be my longest birthday ever because of Indiana's switch to Daylight Savings Time. Indiana switched to Standard Time before I was born, so I have not experienced the switch to DST before 2006. Since Congress passed a law mandating that DST start earlier and end later in the year starting in 2007, the "fall back" will not happen on my birthday again. You could say that the State Legislature gave me a 25-hour day for my 33rd birthday.

And it was a good birthday. I voted early on Saturday morning. (Indiana law allows citizens to vote early in the Clerk's Office without a reason, and the Monroe County Clerk's Office extends hours in the weeks before the election.) While I have ran for Delegate to State Convention in the past, this is the first time I have had an opportunity to vote for myself in the general election. (I am a candidate for Bloomington Township Board.) Doing it on my birthday made it extra special.

Shannon and I went to Bob Evans for dinner. I tried one of their new "Knife and Fork" sandwiches. The pork loin was amazing; they are not kidding when they say the sandwiches are "fork-tender". It was more than I could eat, so I also had a nice lunch today.

As for DST, I still hold the same opinion I did when the Legislature was debating the bill. I think DST is a relic of a bygone era and that the truly progressive thing to do would be to abolish DST everywhere. The haphazard way of implementing DST (giving each county a chance to vote on which time zone it wanted to be in) was another problem. Indiana is now more divided than it was before the switch to DST, which negates one of the main reasons given for passing it in the first place.

On a personal note, it was nice to have an "extra" hour of daylight in the evening, but the hour of daylight lost in the mornings can be annoying as I need to walk the dogs before work. As we moved into late October, I was increasingly walking in the dark. Tera goes by the sun, so she thinks it is time for dinner an hour before it actually is. Since she is a very strong-willed dog, she makes sure we dumb humans know it is dinner time no matter how far back we artificially set our clocks.

On a political note, Democrats are using DST to make waves in this fall's election, a tactic which is mocked by Matt Tulley of the Indianapolis Star. I think it would be very unfortunate if control of the Indiana House is decided by what ultimately is a minor issue. With all of the major issues facing Hoosiers, can't politicians do better than to carp about DST? Even though I am opposed to DST, it would not change my vote in the general election.