Tuesday, November 20, 2018
News Roundup

Carlton: Can’t Christmas come when it comes? And seriously, does daylight need saving?

Two days after Halloween, with mini Snickers wrappers still littering the sidewalks and dollar store ghosts blowing in the trees, I’m walking the dog through Tampa’s Hyde Park Village headed toward the pretty pumpkin patch they put up every year.

But wait. Where pumpkins were just piled stands a two-story, fully-festooned Christmas tree complete with star on top.

Seriously?

Aren’t pumpkins relevant at least through Thanksgiving — you know, that other major holiday we might want to at least acknowledge before the frenzied Christmas buying madness begins?

But here’s the bigger question: Why do we Americans insist on trying to change time instead of just letting time do its thing in its own time?

A case in point is tonight.

You will go to bed and, miraculously, wake up with an extra hour in your day to do with as you wish. It’s the "fall back" part of daylight saving time when we set our clocks back an hour and go back to standard time. (Except for the digital clock in my car, which will take me weeks to figure out how to change.) That luxurious extra hour tomorrow will be way better than a certain Sunday last spring when we set the clocks forward and grumpily woke to one less hour in our day.

All that switching around affects our circadian rhythms. Some studies say it can even affect our health.

A lot of us call it daylight "savings," like we’re putting time in the bank so we can spend it later. So what’s the purpose of all this saving of daylight? During daylight saving time, the sun rises later and sets later, so we do it for more daylight, or at least to make better use of the daylight. It’s said we do it to save energy. It also turns out to be a nice extra hour after work.

And, I would submit, we do it because we want to control everything down to the length of the day.

But wait, you might be saying. Didn’t lawmakers up in Tallahassee just this year pass a bill to put us on daylight saving time year-round, meaning later sunsets all year?

And more important, meaning no disruptive twice-a-year changing of clocks and schedules and those aforementioned circadian rhythms?

They did. And then the whole thing got stuck in the muck in Congress, which must approve it and does not appear likely to any time soon. It hit opposition from TV broadcasters worried about us getting late night shows really, really late and parent and teacher groups not happy about kids catching the school bus in the dark, among others.

To me, the problem isn’t to save daylight or not — it’s the switching back and forth. Can’t we just pick one and make it year round?

Yes, we would have been the first state to go to all-year daylight saving. But since when did Florida act like anywhere else? And hey, maybe we’d inspire the rest of the country. We already deal with differing time zones across America — don’t East Coast fans complain about Monday Night Football starting so late? And somehow the Republic does not crumble.

If we really want to control time, maybe we should pass a law that says no officially celebrating the next major holiday — or the one after that — until the one going on is over.

For now, I guess we just enjoy that extra hour. While it lasts.

Comments
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Is Dirk Koetter’s future in Jameis Winston’s hands?

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Is Dirk Koetter’s future in Jameis Winston’s hands?

The Bucs are trying to find a guy who won't turn the ball over and lead it to victories.
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Armwood’s ‘rebuilding’defense doesn’t miss a step

Armwood’s ‘rebuilding’defense doesn’t miss a step

SEFFNER — Armwood High started the football offseason with an overwhelming sense of loss. By February, the Hawks' bid adieu to eight defensive starters who signed with college programs, including lineman Malcolm Lamar (Florida State), safety Ma...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Johns Pass custard shop manager accused of lewd contact with teen employees

Johns Pass custard shop manager accused of lewd contact with teen employees

The 62-year-old manager of a custard shop on Johns Pass was arrested Monday after Pinellas County deputies say he inappropriately touched four teenage employees ages 14, 15 and 17.
Updated: 1 hour ago
TV’s ‘Billion-Dollar Man’ started by opening up a can of sales success

TV’s ‘Billion-Dollar Man’ started by opening up a can of sales success

Bob Circosta grew into an HSN pioneer because of a ‘crazy’ request to sell a simple appliance.
Updated: 2 hours ago
Watch: Martha Stewart's first Uber ride was 'a mess inside and out'

Watch: Martha Stewart's first Uber ride was 'a mess inside and out'

Martha Stewart took to Instagram to document her miserable ride, including a picture that showed debris on the floor and two water bottles.
Updated: 2 hours ago
Forecast: Morning clouds break for warm, sunny Tuesday in Tampa Bay

Forecast: Morning clouds break for warm, sunny Tuesday in Tampa Bay

Cloudy skies and patchy fog during the morning hours will break for a warm and sunny Tuesday, forecasters with the National Weather Service say.
Updated: 2 hours ago
The Daystarter: Florida's election officially ends; the Bucs' quarterback rotation continues; another stolen car crash with teens

The Daystarter: Florida's election officially ends; the Bucs' quarterback rotation continues; another stolen car crash with teens

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rams outduel Chiefs 54-51 in highest-scoring 'Monday Night Football' game ever

Rams outduel Chiefs 54-51 in highest-scoring 'Monday Night Football' game ever

High-powered offense was the marquee attraction for Monday night's game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs, the NFL's highest-scoring teams.
Updated: 3 hours ago
Power Stories founder shares personal story in holiday musical

Power Stories founder shares personal story in holiday musical

Fran Powers’ ‘Raising Twelve on a Nickel and a Prayer’ depicts the challenges of growing up in a big family.
Updated: 3 hours ago
Find A Friend: Crystal the Lilac Point kitten

Find A Friend: Crystal the Lilac Point kitten

This week’s pet feature comes with an important Thanksgiving warning.
Updated: 3 hours ago