Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Leap Siesta and Other Non Sequiturs

Wet snow is snow that just can't take a hint.

We should have to take our extra 0.26 solar day (or whatever it is; I know it's not exactly 0.25, and that every so often a leap year is called off as excess) each year as a fraction, instead of every four years as a whole day. So each year, we add six hours to our tidy but finally arbitrary 365-day conceit. If you were going to work at 9AM, that is to say, for the next year you'll go to work at 3AM (assuming you want to spend the same fraction of daylight hours at work), the year after that at 9PM, and so on. No time of day (speaking of arbitrary conceits) would reliably correspond to a particular pattern of daylight. They say American children are weak in math, and we all know they can't tell time (have you tried responding to a child who asks the time with a half-past, or quarter-til variety of response? -- as often as not, you get an utterly baffled expression at anything not rendered in digital format). So let's up the ante a bit. The first few weaks of the year will be like a standardized test (sort of like remembering to date documents, checks, etc., with the new year, which I usually start getting right on a consistent basis in April or so), and then we'll have some real accountability, damn it!

If I had a great deal of power, but something less than ultimate power, such that I could effect profound changes on the world but was denied the opportunity to end, say, violence, hunger, disease, and the Bush administration, in roughly that order (although ending the latter would mark a material boost in the direction of mitigating the other three, to be sure), I think number 5 on my list would be billboards.

I'd like to take down all the billboards, everywhere. We're so used to them that we forget: our country is wallpapered with low-rent, uncreative, and supremely tacky sloganeering. Seriously: wallpapered with this shit. Look around. And I apologize in advance for ruining your day.

An alternative to jockeying the clocks would be to impose a Leap Siesta, but that wouldn't preserve the daylight-to-time relationship we take for granted. Then there's the whole child labor issue: and what of daylight savings time. The mind reels.

I have this nagging fear that I've blown all of the math on this whole Leap Siesta thing. Kids these days: don't know their asses from their elbows. And, evidently, neither do I.

If wet snow would take the hint, it would be spring already, is really the point.


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