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Work of Art - Love, hate: It’s about time

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By Art Trujillo

We’d been only about four hours into Daylight Saving (not Savings) Time when Bonnie asked her perennial question: “What time is it?”

“It’s 6 o’clock,” I answered, barely awake. “No! I’m asking you what time is it really?” Oh, I get it. “Really” doesn’t refer to the time on the clocks, which I had spent ages dutifully resetting to synchronize with DST, early last Sunday; “really” really refers to the time is was before that back-breaking clock-resetting period hours before.

“Well, then, I guess it’s ‘really’ only 5 o’clock,” I said. But that single answer won’t suffice for long, I am sure. Bonnie will keep “reallypeating” that question until ... until we go back to standard time, in six months.

We’re clock watchers and clock buyers. We have at least one clock for every room, including bathrooms. The nocturnal tripping into each room to ... let’s see: It’s spring, so we need to spring forward, i.e., make the clocks show 3 a.m. when it’s 2 a.m. ... to advance the clocks.

Since we’ve become empty nesters, we seldom use three of the bedrooms, and that saved me some time: one clock battery died, and two others didn’t need adjustment, as I’d forgotten to set them back the last go-round.

Monday morning, I was awakened to the voice of Martha Johnsen, KFUN’s early-morning hostess, who said, for the second or third time, “I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate daylight saving time.” Her only concern — at least the main concern I was able to infer ­— was her losing an hour of sleep. Relax, literally, Martha, as you’ll get that hour back when you go to bed tonight.

I wonder how many people, like Martha, really “hate, hate, etc.” DST. Would I be too much of a contrarian to say “I love, love, love, love, love daylight saving time”?

I used to spend summers in Arizona, the only adjacent state to reject DST. And as a result, it’s dark by 7:30. I like that extra hour, for heating up the grill, for riding bikes, for communing with nature and for getting my circadian rhythms in sync.

But regardless, I’ll be answering Bonnie’s “What time is it really?” question for months.

Might there be a way to earn a living by resetting clocks? When my mother was alive, she once offered me a twenty to reset all her house clocks and — a huge challenge — the clock in her car, which required a Ph.D. in automotive chronology.

And when Bob Abreu sold me a new car and offered to “reset the clock to standard time when the time comes,” I feared he’d need to pull out a series of technical manuals to get the job done. Is anyone familiar with automotive clocks that you can reset by merely inserting the point of a pen into a couple of tiny holes?

As long as the topic is DST, I wonder if Salvador Dali needed to melt his clocks every spring and fall. And can a person set his clock a full 12 hours ahead (or back) and consider that effort good for the next 12 years?

Does nature make our personal, human time clock correct if we lose an hour just trying to reset all those clocks?

And does Calvin Baker, of Gordon Jewelers, need to hire extra help to adjust every single watch and clock in his shop, twice a year?

• • •

Last summer, it became almost a weekly occurrence that we denizens of Camp Luna would smell smoke, run outside and discover smoke and flames to the west of us, near the west mesa and the rifle range.

It became a common occurrence, and on a number of occasions, firefighters arrived to douse the flames. Do people realize how amazingly flammable our forests are? Sometimes careless campers or smokers start the fires unintentionally. Sometimes Mother Nature plays a hand.
Why must humans exacerbate the problem? I’m referring to action, or non-action, by a New Mexico House committee that gutted a bill that would have given local governments the power to curtail or even prevent the sale of fireworks during times of high fire danger.

Well, at this late stage of the 60-day session, the best intentions of Rep. Emily Kane, and those who backed her bill, have been dashed. And besides, many lawmakers expressed concern over the struggles that independent fireworks sellers might face.

It’s a case of profit (bolstered by political contributions) over safety. I wonder if the same politicos who effectively killed the bill to strongly regulate the sale and use of fireworks will be willing to don firefighters’ suits and get up close and personal to the next blaze caused by fireworks.

• • •

I have no doubt that my colleagues at the Optic have mixed feelings about the departure of Tom McDonald as editor and publisher. Part of the regrets are over the loss of a fine, fair boss. The other part wishes him Godspeed as he attempts a new local venture.

I’ve enjoyed my eight years working with him. Tom hadn’t been here long before he received an anonymous letter bearing a Las Vegas postmark. The letter warned Tom to watch out for me, and the writer called me (I believe sarcastically) the “force and the power.”

Me, the F and P?

The unsigned letter has been the source of amusement from time to time, especially when we have a difference of opinion and I need to remind him of my “promotion.”

We’ll miss you, Tom.

Art Trujillo is a copy editor at the Optic and a contributing member of the newspaper’s Editorial Board. He may be reached at 505-425-6796, ext. 234, art@rezio.net or atrujillo@lasvegasoptic.com.