Sunday, March 10, 2013

Short Takes

Did you move your clocks forward an hour?

Gun ownership has actually fallen over the last 40 years.

Wrongly-imprisoned man wins $13.2 million judgment.

1 person dead, 5 rescued after California sailing race accident.

Report: Thomas Perez said to be Obama’s pick for the next Secretary of Labor.

President and Villagers yuk it up at the Gridiron dinner.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Daylight Savings Time

For those of you in the U.S. that observe Daylight Savings Time, tonight is the night to move the clocks ahead.

Apparently Florida came one vote short of going on DST permanently last year.

Cuckoo ClockThe Sunshine State could have extended daylight saving time if one state senator gets his way.

Florida state Sen. Darren Soto, a Democrat, introduced the “Sunshine Protection Act” earlier this year that would make daylight saving time permanent year round. Why? Soto, an attorney, said that he was just tired of leaving his law office in the dark.

“It’s been bothering me for years,” Soto told POLITICO. “It’s something I’d think about leaving the office in the winter when it’s dark out.”The more he thought about it, the more he said it made sense.

“From time to time, we have to look at rules and laws in our society and re-examine them to see if they still serve the purpose that we need,” said Soto, whose district is near Orlando.

He added: “We are the sunshine state and a big tourism state — it would allow constituents to have an extra hour to enjoy the beach, enjoy the amusement parks, maybe go out to the eat. So in that sense, it’s an economic issue.”

Actually here in South Florida, the difference between winter and summer sunshine isn’t all that much — about an hour and a half this far south.  But then if we were on DST all the time, we’d be on Atlantic Standard Time, the same as Puerto Rico and the Leeward Islands.  That wouldn’t make a lot of sense as far as the rest of the country is concerned.  Prime time on TV would start at 9 p.m., which means that the networks would either lose a lot of viewers here in Florida, or they’d have to switch us to the Mountain Time zone and prime time would start at 7.

It’s also a matter of geography.  A lot of  people think that Florida is way east, but if you look at the map, Miami is on the same longitude as Pittsburgh.  Most of the state lines up with the Midwest, and there’s a section of Florida up in the panhandle that is in the Central Time zone, so they’d move to the Eastern zone.

The simple solution is to move the entire country to DST permanently, let Arizona become part of the Pacific Time zone (they have their own issues with the Navajo reservation in the northeast part of the state observing DST while the rest of the state doesn’t) and knock off the switch every year.  But then Canada would have to follow suit, as would Mexico since they do a lot of business south and north of the border.

Sometimes time is not time simple.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Winter Wonderland

I really do like living here in Florida.  I like the fact that it’s the end of December and I have the patio door open to warm up the house after last night’s cool front passed through.  And after spending nearly forty-five years in the grips of cold grey winters, I freely admit that the subtropical climate is much more to my liking.

But every now and then I am reminded — usually by friends who are good photographers — that winter can be beautiful.  Ice and snow and clouds can make their own beauty and be very striking.  And I have my own proof of it.

Stony Point – December 31, 1972

This is a photograph I took nearly forty years ago on New Year’s Eve 1972 on Northport Point, Michigan.  I was walking back to my grandmother’s house from visiting some friends and stopped to look out over the little bay that opens onto Grand Traverse Bay.  It was fairly late in the afternoon, and I had just loaded my Yashica TL-E camera with Tri-X Pan film.  I snapped the picture, then hurried on back to the warmth of the fireplace and a hot toddy.  When I got the prints back from the drugstore (remember sending film off to be developed?), I was impressed with the composition.  I had the print blown up, and it hangs on my bedroom wall.

(Note: the slightly askew angle is a result of scanning.)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Short Takes

There was a big benefit concert in for Sandy victims.

The New York City Marathon has been cancelled.

Some polls say Obama is ahead in Ohio, tied in Florida.

October jobs numbers look pretty good.

Daylight Savings Time ends at 2 a.m. tomorrow in the U.S. (except where they don’t have it.)

Today is the last day for early voting in Florida.

The Marlins have hired Mike Redmond as their new coach.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Short Takes

Shooting in Afghanistan — An American soldier shot at least 17 civilians after leaving his base.

Syria launches attacks even as the UN is trying to start peace talks.

Japan marks the one-year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami.

A mass grave in Mexico held 167 bodies.

Primaries — Rick Santorum won the Kansas caucuses; Mitt Romney won the ones in Wyoming.

Time check — If you’re in the U.S., most of the country switched to Daylight Saving Time last night.

Spring training — The Tigers tied the Nationals 5-5 in ten.

Short Takes

Shooting in Afghanistan — An American soldier shot at least 17 civilians after leaving his base.

Syria launches attacks even as the UN is trying to start peace talks.

Japan marks the one-year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami.

A mass grave in Mexico held 167 bodies.

Primaries — Rick Santorum won the Kansas caucuses; Mitt Romney won the ones in Wyoming.

Time check — If you’re in the U.S., most of the country switched to Daylight Saving Time last night.

Spring training — The Tigers tied the Nationals 5-5 in ten.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Short Takes

A 5.6 earthquake has hit central Oklahoma; damage to roads and houses is being reported.

Political uncertainty lingers in Greece.

Suicide bomber kills seven in Afghanistan.

President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua is cruising to re-election.

The NBA has given players until Wednesday to accept their offer.

NIMBY — Some folks in Southwest Ranches do not want a new immigrant detention center, and told officials rather vocally.

Tick Tock — Daylight Savings Time ended in the U.S. and Canada last night.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Short Takes

Greek Theatre — Prime Minister Papandreou survived a confidence vote.

Congress is looking for a way to avoid defense cuts if the Supercommittee fails.

Colombian rebel leader Alfonso Cano has been killed.

Herman Cain’s problems aren’t going away.

R.I.P. Andy Rooney, 92, writer and commentator who just retired from 60 Minutes.

Fall Back — Daylight Savings Time ends in the U.S. at 2 a.m. tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Summer Memories

In the summer of 1976 — is it already 35 years ago? — I spent my first summer working at a camp in Colorado. I had gone there as a kid for just one summer in 1964 — my brother and I rode out on the train from Chicago — and twelve years later I was about to become a counselor.

I met some amazing people, made friends for life, and consider it to be the best job I ever had. No small part of it was that every morning I woke up to this view:

The Mummy Range

Longs Peak

Camp is about to start for the summer, so to all the kids who are seeing the mountains for the first time, all those who have been there before and are back for more, and for all those who are there to be there for them: have the best time of your life. There is magic in the mountains.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Shine On, Harvest Moon


Even though I leave the house for work before sunrise, I occasionally drive in with the top down. It’s nice, especially when it’s not too humid. This morning there was a clear sky with the harvest moon and Jupiter in the west, and overhead the constellation of Orion, the harbinger of autumn.

See, we do have seasons in Florida. You just have to notice them.

Photo credit.