Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Time after time

The WaPo is shedding a little light on the debacle that is standardized timekeeping in the state of Indiana. If you never knew how screwed up that state is when it comes to time zones and daylight savings time, just take a look at the graph in the article.

Growing up in VA but having family out in central Illinois meant that at least twice a year I was driving across the midwest to visit my grandparents. After receiving my first digital watch when I was 7 or 8 (an anal-retentive kid's dream) I religiously monitored the time of day and regularly made certain that my watch was accurate with whatever I felt was the greater offical time source that day. Moving to VA a couple of years later and spending summers and X-mas's driving back and forth along I-70/I-72, I would update my watch as we crossed the Eastern/Central time zone boundry each time. Of course this proved to be difficult because I never had a clear understanding of where the hell the time zones changed.

I did know that it was somewhere within Indiana but not exactly where. I would ask my dad every trip but I don't think he had a clue. I'm surprised he didn't go insane on those 13-hr rides because my mother and sister would typically sleep the whole way while I would ask what time zone we were in, how far to Illinois, and if I could put one of my tapes on the tapedeck. Anyway, he would eventually get tired of me asking "has the time changed yet?" and just tell me yes. We could have still been in Ohio and he just wanted me to shut the hell up.


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