The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Changing the clocks

If you live in the parts of the U.S. and Canada that observe Daylight Saving Time, don't forget to move your clocks back an hour tonight. It couldn't come soon enough, though this is the soonest it can come under the 2007 changes to DST observance.

This morning's 7:22 sunrise in Chicago is the latest we'll have to endure until next November 1st, but tonight's 5:47 sunset is the latest we'll get to have until March 6th. Tomorrow the sun rises at 6:23 and sets at 4:45, as our available daylight shrinks from 10 hours, 24 minutes today down to 9 hours, 7 minutes on December 21st.

I'm not a fan of the 2007 changes. I like switching to DST in the spring and switching back in the fall, but I also believe that mid-October (or even the end of September as they do in Europe) makes a lot more sense. At least mornings aren't so gloomy in the fall. (Not a lot we can do about the post-7am sunrises from December 2nd through February 5th, but we expect those two months to be gloomy.)

Of course, I'm not in Chicago at the moment, and it's plenty sunny here...


Posting will be light the next couple of days as I'm back in San Francisco for a convention. More on that later. For now, I'm adjusting to the time change and hoping that tomorrow I have the energy to write about how good dinner was tonight.

Turkey time

No, not Thanksgiving; the time of day right now in Turkey. Even though I follow time zones pretty carefully, I really can't tell you what time it is right now in Ankara, and it seems no one else can, either:

Following a decree originating from the country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s government has officially delayed the start of daylight saving by two weeks. Like the rest of Europe, the country was supposed to turn back its clocks in the early hours of Sunday, October 25. Elections coming up on November 1 prompted the move, as the government reckoned that more evening light might ensure a better turnout.

But even in a country with a tradition of occasionally delaying daylight saving a day or so, the two-week delay has come across as more than a little Pharaonic in its ambition. There’s another problem: no one seems to have informed the country’s automatically adjusting clocks. This means almost every cellphone and computer jumped out of sync on Sunday morning, causing minor chaos as Turks struggled to work out whether their clocks had changed automatically or not. On Twitter the hashtag #saatkac—“What’s the time?”—trended as people reveled in Erdoğan’s King Canute moment.

The IANA Time Zone Database pushed out a change on October 1st. While some sites, including this blog and Weather Now, updated our copies of the database immediately, apparently not everyone else has. Typically it takes a few weeks to get changes pushed to millions of cell phones.

This is a minor, but telling, example of how authoritarian governments encourage incompetence. If Donald Trump gets elected president, expect this sort of thing to happen here.

Trivializing the competition

My trivia team, "I'm Goin' Alone," has a 16-2 record. The trivia host, Brain Sportz Trivia, posts the night's topics every afternoon on Facebook. But something has changed.

Initially, they posted the topics for all six rounds, including the Speed Round, which is key because a team can get 35 points (out of a possible 105) in that round. The members of I'm Goin' Alone dutifully studied the topics before each game, and routinely smashed the opposition, sometimes by 25 points.

Brain Sportz seemed to figure out that teams were doing this, and suddenly two weeks ago, they stopped publishing the Speed Round topic.

We won anyway, but only by 5 points.

Today, the sum total description of the quiz is this:

We're getting closer to Halloween, so tonight's trivia topics at Polk Street Pub (630), MATILDA-babyATLAS (730), Fizz Bar, Richmonds Sports Bar, The Reservoir & Links Taproom at 8 will cover ‪#‎HALLOWEEN‬,‪ #‎HORRORMOVIES‬, and everyone's favorite Halloween family, the‪ #‎MUNSTERS‬

It's also Game 1 of the World Series, and one of our team mates is from Kansas City, so we may have some distractions.

We're still going to win. But we're a little annoyed that we can't study up for it, crush our enemies, see them driven before us, and hear the lamentations of their women.

Or, at the very least, get shots for each round we win.

New colors

So the masthead is blue now. Any thoughts?

Parker and I managed to go for a one-hour, five-kilometer walk earlier today, as hoped. So my lazy Sunday hasn't been entirely lazy. But just on principle, I think the rest of the day will involve a nap and some time at a local bar with a book.

A year of FitBit

I forgot that I picked up my FitBit a year ago this week. So how am I doing since 24 October 2014?

  • 4.76 million steps (13,000 per day)
  • 4,081 km (11 km per day)
  • 4,557 floors (12 per day)

By FitBit's reckoning, that puts me somewhere around the 90th percentile of FitBit users worldwide. It also means I've walked the entire length of Japan and climbed enough stairs to reach the normal cruising altitude of a commercial jet.

And Parker and I are about to get more steps in just a few minutes.