Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Time


Having done the whole different time zone thing in the past month, it made me think about the times when I have traveled between time zones on a rather grand scale in addition to the small scale. By grand scale I mean traveling from Tokyo to San Francisco, for instance.

I remember doing that back in the spring of 1976 when my paternal grandfather passed away, my squadron commander was kind enough to bundle me aboard a flight back to the States on a "space required" basis. Which means that I was on emergency leave and that Uncle Sam had to pay my way there and back again and he wasn't allowed to haggle over ticket prices. It had to happen very quickly. If a military flight is available, you are placed on that, perhaps bumping an individual who was flying on a "space available" basis. If there was no military flight available, Uncle Sam put you on a commercial flight.

While there was a stop along the way, according to my watch I arrived in San Francisco an hour or two before I left Tokyo.

Say what?

Due to the way time zones are laid out, and with the existence of the International Date Line, time does funky things as you circle the globe. I looked up what the departure and arrival times are for Narita (in Tokyo) to San Francisco International these days, it's a ten and a half hour non-stop flight. For instance, if you leave Tokyo at 1700 hours local (5:00 PM Tokyo time) on the 4th of June, you would arrive in San Francisco at 1030 hours local (10:30 AM San Francisco time).

On the 4th of June. That is, you would, according to your watch and calendar, arrive in San Francisco six and a half hours before you leave Tokyo.

Seriously?

Yes, seriously. Of course, when you flew to California from the Land of the Rising Sun, you were headed east, flying towards the sun (kinda, sorta but not really, the aircraft would melt, unless you went at night, I suppose - jk, jk), gaining time but also you would cross the International Date Line. Which is an interesting thing, it's mind-boggling at first but it all makes sense.

Let's say that you are in Greenwich, England and it is one second after midnight on the 4th of June. Approximately 1,037.5 miles to the east of you it's 1:00 AM. Well, that's the way it's supposed to work but in reality it's already 1:00 AM in France, just across the English Channel.

As the Earth is roughly 24,901 miles in circumference, at the equator of course, and there are 24 hours in a day, each time zone would be roughly 1,037.5 miles wide. But to avoid instances where a time zone might split political entities into awkward situations the boundaries of time zones tend to follow political boundaries. If that wasn't done then theoretically you could have a situation where it's lunch time in your kitchen but on the other side of the house it's only 11:00 AM. So even though lunch is ready, no one is going to show up to eat it for another hour. Unless they're already in the kitchen.

An examination of the map at the beginning of this post will show you the many variations of time zone boundary. One of the things which has always boggled my mind is that the time in Detroit is the same as the time in Boston ( a distance of roughly 706 miles). Yet Tallahassee, Florida is in a different time zone than Pensacola, Florida, a distance of only roughly 196 miles. What's more, they're in the same state!

Looking at Michigan, we can see that part of the Upper Peninsula is in a different time zone than the rest of the state, even those points in the U.P. which are at the same longitude!


Note that there are other states which have that time zone anomaly going on. Indiana being perhaps the strangest of all. (And what's up with Arizona, no Daylight "Saving" Time? I get it but seriously, parts of the state don't play, other parts do?)

We lived in Colorado for a number of years, which is two hours earlier than New England. Where we live now, the Super Bowl (for instance) ends rather late at night. Well, late-ish for a certain gentleman of a senior nature, i.e. me, Your Humble Scribe. I have trouble getting up the next morning to go to work if I stay up late the night before. However, in Colorado that was never a problem, the game was over at a very reasonable hour. Heck, in California one could still go out for a nice dinner after the game and still be in bed relatively early.

Beats Korea where the game was on very early Monday morning, or Germany where it would end very, very early on Monday morning. Which is why for years I took the Monday after the Super Bowl as a day off. 'Twas the only way I could stay up to watch the game. (Except in Korea where we would actually watch it while at work. Never were many broken jets during the Super Bowl. Odd that...)

So I find time interesting. Especially as a blogger when I want to describe something which happened on the day I wrote the post, but have to write it as if it happened the day after I wrote the post. That is, the day y'all are reading the post. Time travel, in a manner of speaking.

For what's it worth, in my own experience it's easier to travel across time zones going west. Going east always induces massive jet lag. Ask me about the red eye to Germany back on New Year's Day of 1992 sometime, ouch!

Also of note, forty-four years ago Monday last is when I embarked on my Air Force career. At the end of this month it will be twenty years since that career ended in honorable retirement.

So yeah, time can be confusing, but it can also fly, too damned fast at times.

Practically supersonic once you hit sixty.

DAMHIK




28 comments:

  1. The northeast corner of Arid-zone-A is government allotment for Navajo and Zuni tribes. Gov't land follows Gov't time I suppose.

    El Peso, Tx is another spot where the time zone strikes.

    I had a need for a part at about 1900, and had to order from Granger's. They were closed, but in Hawaii, they were open. So I called the one I found in HI, and had the part at the local the next day. Time zone's can be leveraged. But I've never traveled so far I had lag. I guess that makes me a homebody...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like that, leveraging the time differences.

      Nothing wrong with being a homebody.

      Delete
  2. Could be worse than Maine/Detroit. Could be China, where there’s only one time zone instead of the geographicaly-sane five that should be there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what you get in a dictatorship I suppose. The slaves don't get a vote, so who cares?

      Sucks.

      Delete
    2. It's Beijing time all the time. weeeeeeeeeeeee...

      Delete
    3. I'm sure Bernie, Fauxcahontas, and AOC all love the concept.

      Delete
  3. And being on the other side of the International Date Line does not excuse you from not calling your wife on her birthday. DAMHIK.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Temperatures instantly dropped to near absolute zero that October day at Ft Leavenworth.

      Delete
    2. Oh dear, sounds like a tale worth telling!

      (Hint...)

      Delete
  4. The opening performance works for me.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KQ8dNks3-M

    Today I am 16 and a half. 16 plus a half century.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love that clip.

      You are one week younger than I. Exactly one week.

      Happy Birthday RHT447!

      Delete
  5. ZULU time, just to add to the confusion.

    ReplyDelete
  6. And no matter what, farm animals ignore DST/regular time. The cows come when they come, the rooster crows on his schedule. Yet we are still saddled with this piece of government intrusion. Grrrr..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was never about the farmers, it was about industrial workers.

      The whole "for the farmers" thing was sold to me as a lad. Bull crap then, still bull crap.

      Delete
    2. I don't mind much getting a sell job crammed down my throat. What I truly object to is when some slick salesman is trying to shove a turkey down my throat and calling it a cow.

      Much full of anger I am today. Been reading far too many articles as to how our stellar FBI has been out-Mafia-ing the Mafia over setting up President Trump and his people. Grrrrrrrrrrr...

      Delete
    3. I tend to avoid anything mainstream as far as the media goes. Joseph Goebbels would be impressed by the current crop of "journalists."

      Lying sacks of dung for the most part.

      Delete
  7. 1990s flashback:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=q2bo_u_YmW8

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting. I missed most of the 90s, first SAC, then NATO.

      'Twas another world.

      Delete
  8. I was still living in Texas when DST was re-instituted in the 70's. Everyone was pretty much on board with the idea except for the graduates from the former Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College, who were very much against the plan. They were sure that the extra hour of strong Texas sunshine would burn up their crops.

    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm glad I found the time to read this post!

    ReplyDelete

Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)