Saturday, March 13, 2010

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Countdown To Spring Time -- Daylight Savings Time Starts Tonight!


Daylight Saving Time
Countdown To Spring Time
- preparing to spring forward -


Yes! For all you chilled, frozen and frigid, sunlight deprived (depraved too) poor souls – Spring Time time is here!!! … and just another week ‘til the Vernal Equinox, followed quickly by the Vernal Moon, and then Easter! So start looking for your bonnets, get your eggs ready to balance on the equinox and then color them up and hide them for Easter!

Oh the vernal season we call Spring still begins on or about March 21st when the Sun crosses the Mean Meridian (180th meridian at Greenwich England). However, we will be Springing forward in the US to begin Daylight Saving Time. DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME STARTS ON MARCH 14TH THIS YEAR! (well except for probably AZ, HI & parts of IN, who don’t like to be team players ;-p )

Since 1966, most states have spent the past 41 years springing forward one hour at 01:59:59 A.M. to 03:00:00 A.M. on the first Sunday of April. Conversely, the last Sunday of October they would fall back one hour effectively plunging into the darkness of the approaching winter. Not only will we spring forward three weeks earlier this year, but you will get an additional week of Daylight Saving Time tacked on your rear the end of summer time as DST now end the first Sunday of November in the Fall.
[click for history of Daylight Saving Time ]

Why the Heck do We even have Daylight Saving Time to Begin With?!? No, I am not one of those. The ones that want to abolish DST for their own selfish gain. I truly believe those people merely like having their knickers in a knot twice a year. They want to punish everybody else just because they cannot remember the mnemonic! Come on! Say it with me, you know it – Spring forward & Fall back! See, wasn’t that easy. No, what I want is for the US to place ourselves permanently on what we call Daylight Saving Time making it our new Standard Time . This would serve to get the US in the correct time zone in relation to our distance from the Mean Meridian.

It would also solve the DST whiners problem of having to change their clocks twice a year. We would then have all the benefits of DST year round and without the hassle. There would be those that squawk about kids having to go to school in the dark during the winter months. Get real folks! Kids don’t need to get up at the butt-crack of dawn and go to school in the dark! Just who the heck was the complete idiot and total moron that decided kids should start school at 7:30 in morning and get out at 2:00 in the afternoon so they can terrorize the town, mall, or neighborhood??? When did school stop being a 8:30 to 3:30 school day? And who says you can’t change the school day to better use the daylight available.

So there you have it folks! A new start date for Spring Time, and it is just around the corner. Remember you only have today left to make plans for that extra hour of daylight. What will you do with yours???

P.S. Make sure you check all your supposedly self-setting appliances, i.e. TV, VCR, cable set-top box … your computer! These items may not recognize the new start and end dates for DST. If you regularly apply the updates to your computer’s OS, you will most likely be covered. The satellite dish-receivers and your cell phone clocks should be updated automatically off their respective satellite relays. The DST time changes are also recommended as a good date to change those 9volt batteries in your smoke detectors!!!
Daylight saving time (DST), also known as summer time in British English, is the convention of advancing clocks so that evenings have more daylight and mornings have less. Typically clocks are adjusted forward one hour in late winter or early spring and are adjusted backward in autumn. DST is used mostly in temperate and polar regions, where summer mornings are longer and have more hours to spare. Governments often promote DST as an energy conservation measure on the grounds that it substitutes natural summer sunlight for electrical lighting. In some cases, though, DST can increase energy costs. - Wikipedia
When we change our clocks:
Since 1966, most of the United States has observed Daylight Saving Time from at 2:00 a.m.on the first Sunday of April to 2:00 a.m.on the last Sunday of October. Beginning back in 2007, most of the U.S. began Daylight Saving Time at 2:00 a.m.on the second Sunday in March and then reverts to standard time on the first Sunday in November. In the U.S., each time zone switches at a different time when their zone reaches 1:59:59 A.M. - Daylight Saving Time
Date change in 2007:
The Energy Policy Act of 2005. This Act changed the time change dates for Daylight Saving Time in the U.S.Beginning in 2007, DST will begin on the second Sunday in March and end the first Sunday in November. The Secretary of Energy will report the impact of this change to Congress. Congress retains the right to resume the 2005 Daylight Saving Time schedule once the Department of Energy study is complete.- Daylight Saving Time

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010


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Friday, March 5, 2010

Be Prepared

Are You Prepared For A Disaster? When questioned about disaster preparedness, poll results are not surprising - 70% of respondents typically are not prepared if their area was hit with a natural disaster. Many claim that their area does not get natural disasters because they don‘t have earthquakes or hurricanes; but don’t be fooled, disasters come in many different forms. In spite of some respondents false sense of security, forces of nature can reek havoc on any area of the country. No one wants to think it can happen to them! In this modern world some more disasters can be added to Earth Wind Fire and Water, there are also blizzards or extreme heat, plus those man-made catastrophes we really don't want to think about ... chemical spills, nuclear accidents, or, heaven forbid, another terrorist attack.

The motto of the Boy Scouts is Be Prepared.
Someone once asked Lord Baden-Powell, the founder
of Scouting, "Be prepared for what?"
Baden-Powell replied, "Why, for any old thing!"

So what does "being prepared" mean for the average person in regards to natural disasters? No, you probably cannot be totally prepared for anything, much less all possible disasters; however, being mentally prepared is a huge step in the right direction. Emergency preparedness is more about personal (family) survival than property protection. Forget about the sheets of plywood and portable generators, this is about you and your family surviving the first few days after a disaster strikes. Here are some simple things every family can do to be better prepared:

⊕ Discuss Emergency Preparedness with your family! Things are less scary for all, especially children, if they are previously discussed calmly and rationally. Where are the safe places in your home to go in different types of emergencies, plus when and how you should evacuate if necessary.

⊕ Family Escape and Evacuation Plan - The escape plan should encompass escaping fire and floods, how to get out of the house, upper story escapes, even getting out of a flooded vehicle. The evacuation plan is about where you should go if you have to leave the house, what routes to take, and how separated family members should locate each other.

⊕ Get-Out-Quick Kit
Consider one of the small fire and water resistant lunchbox/briefcase type portable safes that you can quickly grab and toss in the car. This is the personal/family information that you would most need to start over with, especially if you were to lose your home to a disaster.

* USB-drive with scans of important documents, financial and credit information and insurance photos. It is also good in this day of cheap digital gadgets to create a digital archive of family mementos with digital photos and scans of old pictures, scrapbooks, etc.
* Passports and other IDs
* Insurance policies
* Professional licenses
* Other irreplaceable documents

⊕ Family Survival Kit
Consider a couple of those 30 gallon plastic storage bins with tight fitting lids to store these items. The following list is short and simple. This is the basics to get you and your family through the first 72 hours after a disaster hits. Battery operated flashlights and radios are ok, as long as remember to change the batteries, but the hand-crank units are much better for safety! You will find many of these items in the camping supplies at your neighborhood Kmart, Target, Walmart or other general merchandise store.

* First-Aid kitHand Crank Radio Flashlight
* 1 gallon of bottled water per person
* Half dozen Energy-Bars per person
* Space-Blankets 1 each family member
* Plastic ponchos 1 each family member
* Hand-crank radio-flashlight combo
* Hand-crank water purifier/filter
* Water sanitation tablets (iodine based are best)
* LeatherMan, Gerber, or similar type of multi-tool pocketknife
* Disposable lighter
* 100 ft light nylon cord
* Roll of duct tape (don’t laugh, add some baling wire if you really want a complete kit!)
* Spare (old) prescription eyeglasses

⊕ Always keep daily prescription medications together so they can be easily grabbed and dumped into either of the above kits if an emergency arises.

⊕ And if you happen to be a small business owner, is your business prepared? Insurance can cover the loss of physical property and merchandise, but can never replicate records. Consider means of off-site data storage for both paper and electronic data.

Hopefully you will never be forced to use this, but being prepared for the unexpected makes it much easier to deal with the unfortunate situation.