(Study Guide: Sometimes, reality is like a good cup of hot soup and alternate reality is the fried cheese sandwich. They sort of belong together, yet r4emain distinct. (While you reach for your required course materials from Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, we’ll proceed. You can catch up with the rest of the class this weekend…. Tertium Organum chapter 1 is over here if you misplaced your textbooks…)
Here I thought I was doing a legit public service yesterday by explaining how living out of synch with millions of years of natural rhythms was likely one of the reasons most people are so desperately asleep at an intellectual level.
You know – working, always feeling tired, no get up and go – all the rest of today’s symptom list from chronic fatigue. Something which I believe, based on shreds of evidence here and there – is likely true.
The phone rings an hour after Thursday’s column on the Great Hoax of Daylight Time and it’s my consigliore. The multiple-degree truth detector who, in addition to fine financial planning advise (which is what tax attorneys do when they aren’t correcting UrbanSurvival columns) says don’t blame the moon….blame….who?
Before the railroads each place kept it’s own time. (except for those on the seas, which for navigational reasons of needing to know where they were, obeyed what we now call GMT or Universal Coordinated Time). Each little town had a time that was a little different from the next town over, and all was sort of geared to when the sun was highest in the ski (High Noon).
Alas, along came that contraption called the railroad! Soon came along the management types (if you had lived back then you would have been one!) who decided people should not only know what time the train was arriving, or departing, but that in order to keep trains from running into each other (with only one track trains running in different directions engineers needed to know when it was safe to go the direction they were going so as to not run into another train head on) they decided to make Time consistent across distance.
Alas the railroad companies BEGAN the process of bringing all of their stations into a timing synchronization, which was actually easy once the telegraph appeared (virtually simultaneously with the build out of the rail roads). VOILA every little town up and down the track suddenly was on the same time … and the MASTER CLOCK for the entire town and the surrounding area was the one at the Train Station!! (NOT the sun anymore)
I am so old I in fact remember when Western Union, the telegraph arm started by the railroads, provided the synchronization clocks for most places in the country. Our town had two hard wired Western Union clocks, clocks that were synched twice(?) each day to the Western Union master clock, where ever it was.
One was at the train station and the other was at the Court House … and oh did it cost the county a LOT of money to keep that thing hard wired into the Western Union system (fwiw it also got it’s electric power from Western Union … so if the town’s electricity went off that clock continued to run – not sure how they did that, but saw it actually happen a few times).
OH … I am also so old I also remember Telegrams … and the telegram couriers who quickly delivered them around town when they came in at the train station telegraph office, but that is a story for another day.
So anyway … it is all the Railroads fault!!
Blame the Harrimans. Blame the Vanderbilts. Blame the Huntington’s. Blame the Hills. Flagler was a little, actually a LOT, late to the game … but while we are in the blaming mode let’s blame him too!! All in the name of efficiency, profits, oh and safety – but only the extent of keeping their equipment from running into itself, THEY implemented standardized time on the Unsuspecting Happy People of the Republic, people who didn’t know that their time was the least bit off (it wasn’t according to the sun), until the railroad barons told them it was.
Have a beef about “Time”? Take it up with Gloria Vanderbilt (is she still around?). Look with disdain on The Biltmore. Spit with disgust when you see the mansions in Newport. Forget about going to Flagler College, or visiting the Florida Keys. REBEL against UNnatural time!!
It was all A CONSPIRACY!! A conspiracy of a few New York railroad tycoons who hoodwinked the entire country in changing the natural order of life just so that they could make more money!!
Anyway … that’s my version of the story of “Time and Clocks”, and I’m sticking to it!! :-)
Admittedly, not a bad take (as alternate reality fried cheese sandwiches go). And since the Vanderbilts aren’t around anymore, but Warren Buffett and Berkshire’s Burlington Northern/Santa Fe is, I figure we could blame them for daylight time, too. At least according to my consigliore’s cheese sandwich view.
Me? I’m more the hot soup guy. Clocks were only a passing fad of the railroad, at least at this level. Switch blocks eventually reduced time-dependence and WWV, the National Bureau of Standards and Technology radio stations on 2.5, 5, 10, 15, and 20 MHz shortwave have been pumping out GMT/Universal time long enough we should be over the daylight time delusion by now.
An Airport Story
Another angle on the time theft story comes from aviation where the tale goes something like this:
Not too many years ago, there was a highly successful Ohio businessman who we’ll just call Lex Big. Flies his jet out of the same field north of Columbus where Ures truly lands – Ohio State.
So Lex Big’s got a meeting in Indiana with another Big. So his corporate pilot flies him in after carefully checking daylight time at the arrival airport.
Close – but in this part of Indiana – no cigar..
That’s because there is this area of Indiana (*near Purdue) where there are three time zones within something like 50 miles.
Much to the pilots embarrassment, Mr. Big’s arrival was an hour late. Damn that Daylight Time stuff….
To wrap up the story, No One misses a meeting with Lex Big, but the lessons about time still swirls around the aerodromes in Ohio and Indiana.
I can’t tell you if the story is actually true, but if you live in Ohio you may have seen the jet.
Reader Wayne points to the Chris Tyreman/Brad Vornholt book as being onto something “just sayin’”
Ah.,..and 99-cents at Amazon for Kindle…
A HalloWoWW Story
Two true WoWW’s here from reader Rick…
George, been meaning to write to you about these 2 Woo events for some time, but finally got a round ‘tuit. Apparently the adjustment bureau does not do a clean job on 31 October…
1. In 1999, I was driving to the west coast for Surf’n’Safari – a national Miata get together.
Spent the night of 30/31 October in Dallas area.Got up and drove US 287 via Wichita Falls to Amarillo then on to Albuquerque for the night.
Was running low on gas, and did not stop in any of the small one-gas-station towns, so decided to take the cut over to I-40 on TX 294? so I could get gas on I-40.
No gas on that exit.Just after I got onto I-40 I drove past that famous gas station – you have seen the paintings Old style cafe/gas station on both sides of the divided 4 lane – with people waving you in to stop…
I did not pull into the cafe entrance or even the gas station entry.I do remember thinking that that painting must have been based on that gas station…
There was even someone waving me in to stop, but from the right side of the road, and not from the center divider.I drove thru the Yarnall Rest area to take a conference call – but decided to travel into Amarillo for gas.Ran out of gas a mile or two later (of course).
Woo – that gas station is not to be found on Google Earth or Mapquest…
2. Move to where we live now in 2004October 31, was driving out of the golf community with my wife.
Passed the Grand opening of the 2nd phase of a progressive care Retirement home.They had added a center turn lane to the 2 lane road, and even had flags and some directing traffic into the open house.We commented about a nice place for a business like that – on the access road to the big golf community in the Mountains of North Georgia.
Woo – no retirement home, no additional lanes, nothing but pine trees since then… I should have stopped and gotten a brochure.
Now you see it? Definitely cheese sandwich side of the table…
Around the Ranch: Looking for Super Breakfast
No, it’s not the prettiest thing to look at, but this morning – for no particular reason – I decided that I would begin putting some thought into a “super breakfast” that I could mix up from this and that in the pantry.
What I came up with is pretty interesting: Mixed up (and cooked) a cup of instant oatmeal, tossed in a couple of tablespoons of whey protein, two tablespoons of milk, a teaspoon of heavy cream and a teaspoon (or less) of stevia for sweetening.
The oatmeal is good for cholesterol, so the addition of a touch of cream for flavor shouldn’t hurt. And the heavy dose of protein powder should (in crazy George nutrition theory) cause the meal to “stick to the ribs” a bit better.
Inventing new foods is something that really appeals to me. I built my first “breakfast sandwich” (scrambled egg with cheese and bacon or ham) on toast back in 1970. Long before the fast food joints decided to go to breakfast.
But if you notice, there’s quite a change from the breakfast sandwich to high protein flavored gruel.
I’ve tried chef salads for breakfast before, and sure, it’s hard to beat reheated BBQ or pizza, but this morning’s high fiber smoothie kind of thing is actually pretty good. One of these days I might get around to mashing half a banana into it. It’d be like the sin-free banana pudding that way…But that seemed like – oh… too much work for a Friday. Know what I mean?
OK, off to way too much work and too little daylight. Preppers and Comms is up for Peoplenomics readers tomorrow (by reader request). Otherwise I’ll see you back here Monday. Remember: Weekends invest in yourself…do things that will have lasting value to your health, heart, and pocketbook…
And if you are working for The Man this weekend, feel free to send us all your money. We promise to enjoy the hell out of it, if you’re too busy to…Besides, it would give some point to walking out to the bill box when the Postal and Storage folks come by…