Monday, March 9, 2020

DST delenda est!*

This may come as a surprise to some but this post was written yesterday.  Much as I love all you readers, there are limits to that love.  Getting up in time to write a post and get it posted by 0400 PDT is outside those limits.  Sorry.

So...We'll start with the updates.  Last Monday, I had been VERY pleasantly surprised that workers had arrived  and begun construction on el nuevo casa de juvat.  By Monday evening, the site looked like this.

I credit the close supervision of my resident experts. of them anyways

Tuesday thru Thursday were a wash.


7 inches of rain, Tuesday and Wednesday.

But...Friday, they were back and hard at it.

So as it stands now.
Mrs J inspecting the work.  She's Happy.....Therefore.......
We'll see how this week progresses.  Forecast is a moderate chance of rain early in the week.  Which puts me in a conundrum. (No Beans, not a prophylactic.)  Do I pray for rain to water the grass, reduce pollen and end the county burn ban so our spring break guests can roast marshmallows in the fire pit?  Or do I pray for no rain, so the workers can make further progress?


Just me, Lord...being indecisive.

UPDATE: The workers showed up right on time today.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled broadcast.

As you are surely well aware (well except for readers in AZ, HI or in other countries), yesterday was "Spring Forward" day.  This, of course, is the day that we magically get another hour of daylight.  Truly.  The earth actually slows its rotational rate during daylight hours slowing the sunset for exactly one hour.

Or so Daylight Savings Time lovers would have you believe.

While I was working a regular job (as opposed to doing whatever Mrs J has on her mind at the moment), I enjoyed getting off work while it was still light outside.  It was nice.  However, driving in to work in the dark with suicidal deer along the highway (20 years here, 15 deer strikes.  WooHoo! Triple Ace!) took some of the joy out of that.

Now, if it's dark, time to go inside, if it's light, time to go outside.  Simpler times.

But there was this time...when I defeated Daylight Savings Time.

So....There I was**  Wing Scheduler for the Fighter Wing at Holloman AFB, in charge of  scheduling airspace (Air to Air Training), Ranges (Air to Ground Training), Low Level's (Air to Ground Training), Takeoff and Landing Block Times (Facilitate Maintenance and other ground related activities) for 4 fighter squadrons while deconflicting all the above with the F-15 Wing which used many of the same airspaces and White Sands Missile Range which launched and tested things that went "Boom". (They had priority.)


Typically, each squadron would have a launch window,  3 times a day.  The window (IIRC) was 30 minutes long.

"Never let the facts interfere with a good Story, juvat!"

¡Sí, mi sargento de la Fuerza Aérea extraordinariamente viejo!

A mission would take about 4 hours start to finish.  Meaning, the briefing would start 2 hours prior to takeoff time, we would step to the jets about an hour prior to takeoff, start engines about 30 minutes prior, taxi about 15 prior to allow for end of runway arming and final check.  The mission would last between 1 and 1.3 hours depending on type. (And how ham-fisted the student was with the throttles.  "Hey, Lieutenant, you DO know the throttles have positions other than full afterburner and idle, don't you?") 


Then there was a half hour period to put away your flight gear, grab a soda, and find a briefing room for the debrief.  That was the four hour window.  Debriefs took as long as they took.  No holds barred, and rank had very little privilege. (i.e. you still had to say "Sir" after the "WTF were you thinking?")


So, we would rotate through these 4 hour blocks, by scheduling the 20 (or 30) minute block times for each squadron to launch.  Therefore, at any given time, each squadron had a different start of the day time.  We had Early-Early, Early-Late, Late-Early, and Late-Late.  Meaning first through fourth.  First brief for Early-Early, depending on daybreak, could be as early as 0400.  Late-Late would be somewhere around 0600.  Last brief would be around 1000 and 1600 respectively.

Before, I took over as Wing Scheduler, the other three squadrons progressed through the rotation from Late-Late down to Early-Early over a period of 4 weeks.  So, having to get up half an hour earlier every week.  For whatever reason, my squadron did it exactly opposite.  Going from Early-Early to Late-Late. 

Which sounds great.  Come to work half an hour later each week.  

Until you went back to Early Early,  Two hours earlier, every month.  The alarm going off at 0300 to make a 0400 briefing, sounded like the Hammers of Hell.  Mrs J didn't like it very much either.  She didn't have to get to her office til 0800.  

There were days....

Anyhow, I started the new job, and decided to find out why the rotation was the way it was.

The answer, of course, was....

"Zis is ze vay, ve haf alvays dunnit!"

To borrow a quote from last week's post, "Once more, into the breech, juvat"

I talked it over with Vegas, our Director of Operations who gave me the go ahead, but only if I got all 4 squadron commander's approval.  So, I figured out how to do the shuffle, and all that was required was for one squadron to remain at Early-Early for an extra week.

THAT took some salesmanship on my part.  Fortunately,while I was wearing him down, it turned into summer, so the early-early shift got the cool temps and smooth air that was missing in the PM.  Also, the days were long and they would be off work by about 2 for both those weeks.  That finally brought him around and the deal was done.

No more waking up two hours earlier, we could gradually "Ease" our way into the early-early schedule.

And that is how I defeated DST***...until yesterday.

This post's subject came to me yesterday morning at about 0437 when I woke up not remembering if I had reset my watch or not.  Since Mrs J and I like to go converse with the Big Guy at 0730, I couldn't afford to be wrong on this one.  Needless to say,  I got no more sleep so...I decided, after writing this, to go take a nap.

*Apologies to Cato the Censor who used a slightly different version of this statement (Carthago delenda est, Carthage must be destroyed) to end all his speeches.  I suppose the modern equivalent might be "Epstein didn't kill himself."


***Texas has been trying to do away with DST for 20 years.  Unsuccessfully.  Another bill is supposed to be before the legislature this session also.  Hope it passes.  The entire state will be on Eastern Standard Time (AKA Central Daylight Time).


  1. I only realize how many clocks and watches we have when it's time to change them.

    I would like my armillary sundial to be fairly accurate instead of being wrong by an hour.

    Conundrum. Not a musical instrument played by felons.

    Are they going to stick a porta potty at the construction site?

    1. As to watches/clocks. Yeah and there always seems to be one more, in hiding, that reveals itself to you only when you're about to leave for something important. The corollary to the above is that the time shown on the now revealed time keeper will be set to the time zone that will cause the most chaos in your day.

      Porta-potty. Yes, It's set against the horse barn, to minimize the risk of it toppling over in the wind.

  2. Since we’ve been having all the sub-related posts in the last weekish, a whatsis for you:

    Also, my feed keeps getting filled with trailers for Greyhound. Apparently it was time for a hollywoodified Battle of the Atlantic movie?

    1. Yes, Sarge must be under water at work and is sub-consciously using that as a subject for his posts for the past couple weeks. Unfortunately, Blogger is owned by Google, and therefore, all posts and comments are put into their ad generator module to determine what ads to display. Two weeks of Destroyers and Subs equals "near certainty" of interest in "Greyhound".

      When in a fight, one should never fly in a straight line for more than a second or two.

    2. I tend to fly backwards, usually ignominiously out through a window, when I’m in a fight. But it does only take a couple seconds.

    3. Yes, well....There is that! ;-)

  3. I don't think Texas will ever change the time officially until High School Football ceases to be the main religion.

    It all happened like this: I had gotten a Dolorme map program and a usb gps unit. I was running all over Nuevo Mexico to my repeater sites doing preventive maint, when I got to Roswell. Heading out late-late-late, I planned to overnight in El Paso. My new gps / map combo gave me directions so, I booked it. If I remember right, I was zipping down 54, and the gps said, "hang a right". So, sure no problem...

    The road started to get a bit dusty, then sandy, then I was roller coasting on dunes. There was pavement under it, but it was getting harder to see the lines. I had to orient myself by the side posts on the road. Huge jackass rabbits all over, only a few miles to go and if I stopped, I figured I'd sink in the soft sand. I finally popped out of an open gate about 0100, "thank God!", I-10 was mile or so west. I turned around and saw a sign that said, "Warning, active test range....." Holy.............Moley.

    I don't even see that road on the map now.

    1. The Army’s McGregor Range. (Or that was its name BITD) I spent a lot of time on it teaching future FACs about Close Air Support.

      The cited article kinda refers to your first sentence, describing one commenters worry about DST causing a problem with him going to church or watching the Cowboys. I don't have that problem (Overpaid thugs), but I believe your point is valid.

  4. Getting rid of DST probably won't happen.

    DST is nice in June when it stays light a lot longer, but it isn't essential for me these days. It was awfully nice in Germany though BITD where we could play softball as late as 2200 with no lights on our field. At that latitude the sun was up before 0530 and didn't set until almost 2200.

    I've heard people say that the remedy for that is to just keep DST year-round. Yeah, be a school kid catching a bus at 0700 in December in DST, where the sun won't be up until nearly 0800!

    I've heard of studies though that show that the Monday after the time switch is one of the least productive days of the year. When did Mondays become productive?

    BTW, I had nothing to do with the ad campaign for Greyhound, I mean I wish I'd had a cut of that. Movie does look good. As The Naviguesser said, "It's about time they had a movie about the tin cans!" (Yes, he served on them.)

    Looking forward to the construction updates throughout the life of the project.

    Nice post juvat.

    1. Re: Monday after DST. I'd say it's the least of the least.

      I also realize it probably won't happen. How about a nationwide slow transition into. Say 15 minutes a week from Feb 15 through Mar 15. The "Fall Back" remains the same. (Nobody doesn't like an extra hour of sleep).

      Last two P.T. Deutermann novels I've read were about Tin Cans. To quote a wise American "I had no ideer".

    2. I looked up "Greyhound" on Internet Movie Database and found the writer is credited as C.S. Forester and the source novel is "The Good Shepard."
      I know I have a copy downstairs, and after looking at the prices on Amazon, I'm going to reread it, and then move it to the safe.
      On "Greyhound" (and to borrow a phrase from a day ago) I'm cautiously optimistic.

  5. How I would kill Spring Forward/Leap Back.

    Correctly divide the country into timezones by finding the 1 hour middle of each zone. Stick a sundial in middle. At the Equinox, set sundial at noon at, well, noon. That's it. That's the time. Quit screwing around either way. Just stop it.

    As to Holloman AFB, well, I was born at Holloman AFB. And that's the sum of my knowledge of H AFB. Though when I was trying out for a staff ass position at the local PD, the background checkers actually went to Holloman to try to get records on me. Born in 1963, backgrounders went in 1995. Almost didn't get the job because they couldn't verify with H AFB nor the military that I was actually born on base. Apparently my birth certificate wasn't valid enough.

    Bad enough I failed my polygraph on my name (very very nervous I was) but not having proof by talking to someone who witnessed my birth almost cost me that job. Because I was going to be handling sensitive material or something. And I could be someone I wasn't or something. Oooooooo, maybe I was KGB.

    Of course, police officer candidates only had to have a background back to High School, or 10 years prior, because actual arrest and shoot powers are so much less worrysome than the ability to file and collate.

    That's me. A secret KGB mole who's worked for years deep undercover just so I could... file and type and take dictation. Master Spy, that's me!

    Glad work on house is proceeding. Updates next Monday or the OAFS gets it. How? By using secret KGB methods, of course.

    1. Sounds like a case of "Shoe Clerks gotta shoe clerk" to me.

      Today they're bringing dump trucks full of dirt. Gotta go and figure out what that's for.

      I got to thinking (I know, I know...dangerous. But it's a 15 minute drive to Lowes and for once, I never came off cruise control, so had to keep my mind occupied.). Your cell phone knows your location, and time tracking is a human construct, why couldn't the time for your location be the time too or from the Equinox at your point on the planet.

      May have to take another trip to Lowes to think that one through some more.

      Any excuse will do.

    2. Juvat, that is the fill they are going to put in your slab. The same company built our house. They have concrete beams going back and forth across the foundation under the slab with nice squares of fill dirt to define them. You have a nice flat piece of land so it won't be too much fill. We had a 4 foot drop across our building area and a drainage concern that raised the top of the slab 8 inches; that made the far corner of the slab five feet above the natural grade. It took fifteen cement trucks to pour our foundation.

    3. Ahh, that makes sense. Thanks. The building sup was up there as we returned from a vet appointment just now. Didn't get a chance to get up there before he left.

      Having gone through this process with them, do you have any advice or things to watch out for?

    4. Since you live there (I infer that from what you wrote) just do a little QC as they go along. The compsny that supplies most of the materials ordered/delivered a the wrong front door and a wrong size window. We caught that and let our superintendent know that day so that remedial actions could be taken quickly. I did Quality Control in my post AD civilian job and my AF reserve position. If you can see my email address, I will fill you in on some other issues outside the builders control. I want to protect the innocent and guilty. We have a real nice house.

  6. The voters of California passed measure in 2018 to eliminate the time change.
    The state assembly has passed a bill, but some committee in the state senate isn’t moving on it.
    Who knows if the governor will sign it.
    Then, of course, we will have to wait for the circus in DC to approve.

    When MFB and I built out in the country there was no portable facility.
    Fortunately, the neighbor, Al, and his wife, Mary, were really accommodating.
    They also provided water and electricity.
    Another neighbor was a highway construction contractor, he tried to maintain the roads.
    Other neighbors were not quite so cooperative... or worse.
    I prematurely involuntarily removed from that scenario after about four years.

    Scheduling anything has become one of my least favorite things to do.
    Dentist appointments are booked a year in advance, at the end of each cleaning.
    Right now I am sitting on a reminder to schedule an eye appointment.
    Even getting a haircut is one of those things.

    I was thinking, the other morning, that the folly of DST could be totally screwed up by stealing some minutes from the hours of darkness and then tacking them on as extra time in daylight.
    It makes as much sense to me as taking an hour and moving it.
    Besides, it sounds like something a bureaucracy would do.

    1. Well, assuming it passes in CA, the "circus" (I refer to it as a "Charlie Fox") in DC should approve it. I mean they're all communists now right?

      "...something a bureaucracy would do" or Shoeclerks gotta shoeclerk.

    2. Is that a Mike Charlie Foxtrot or just a regular Charlie Foxtrot?

      I gots to know.

      (Channeling two Clint Eastwood movies in one comment. I gotta go lie down...)

    3. Depends...Does the Mike stand for something along the order of "Mega" or "Monumental"? If so, then most definitely!

    4. Mike stands for the name of a country in Asia, popular with the Khan. Home of The Hu.

    5. Some days your humor is way beyond the ken of us mere mortals. Or probably just me. I think I'm still reeling from the horrendous change in my daily routine yesterday.

      Yeah, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

      BTW, why does that tail number on the masthead feel familiar? I know FO was the ID for 8TFW F-4s from the 497th (Taegu) while at Ubon, but it feels like I know it, or flew it while at Kunsan. Nice config, by the way. 2 live AIM-7s, 2 live GBU-10's, ECM Pod. Lotta potential for D & D. Any story on the picture?

    6. You've never heard of one of these?

      As to the jet, we've spoken of her before, Joe Baugher has this to say: "Active in September 1979 with 614th Tactical Fighter Squadron/401st Tactical Fighter Wing at Torrejon AB, Spain, To AMARC as FP314 Sep 29, 1989. Still on AMARC inventory Jan 15, 2008"

      As far as I know, we didn't calibrate any of the 'Gu birds. All the one's I saw had "WP" on the tail.

    7. Heard of them? No. Seen them in action? Yes.

      Well, since I never went to Torrejon and got to the Kun in December of '79, must just be a pigment of my imagination then.

    8. That website is usually fairly accurate, that being said...

      I tracked that tail number down to the 497th TFS (of the Wolf Pack) flying out of Ubon RTAFB. The tail code "FO" matches Ubon's according to this reference for a list of Vietnam-era USAF tail codes.

      As to the photo, according to the Air Force, the photo in this header was taken in 1972 over North Vietnam.

      According to our "favorite" source (Wikipedia):

      On 1 October 1978, the wing gained a third F-4D flying unit, the 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron, based at Taegu Air Base, South Korea. 497th TFS aircraft carried a red tail stipe. Operations continued unchanged for the next few years, until the wing transitioned from the F-4 to the newer F-16A Fighting Falcon in May 1981. The wing's first F-16 sortie was flown the following 18 September and, by 19 July 1982, the conversion of the 35th and 80th Fighter squadrons was complete as the last F-4 departed Kunsan. This aircraft conversion made the 8th the first active-duty overseas F-16 wing. On 1 January 1982, the 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Taegu inactivated. For the next ten years the wing used the F-16 to maintain combat readiness for the defense of Korea. In 1988 the F-16s were upgraded to the more capable F-16C/D models.

      As far as I remember, the Taegu birds had their own maintenance guys and had the same tail code as the rest of us, "WP."

      Then again, it was an awful long time ago.

      And now you know what a Mike Charlie Foxtrot is, I figured you've seen them, just didn't know what the technical term was. 😉

    9. And the 497th's deactivation and the conversion of the 35th (Pantons--Ptui) and 80th (THE Juvats) to the Lawn Dart was the reason my Squadron deployed from Moody to Taegu. That was in the spring of '83. IIRC there was an "issue" with the Lawn Darts or something. 7AF decided they needed more combat power on peninsula that spring. Maybe Uncle Kim was thinking about vacationing in the south that spring.

  7. May the rest of your new home construction go as smoothly as it has so far!

    So when DST was first introduced to Texas, the "A" graduates of Texas A&M campaigned against it, since they were worried that in the hot Texas climate, the crops would wither from the extra hour of daylight!

    1. That, right there, is funny! Even as the father of two graduates.

  8. Snerk... four hour cycle... Must be nice to ONLY get a 1.3. Our cycle was 24/7 and an 18 hour crew day much to 18th AF's dismay. The General tried to close down flight ops 2200-0700 to 'mitigate' problems with the locals. Of course 'we' screwed that up by five consecutive nights of launches at 0000-0200 and 0400-0600. The Gen'rul went to C7F himself to bitch... Came back with his tail between his legs and sicced AF security on us for the rest of the time he was in command. That was NOT a fun four months. And yes, missileers shooting things that go boom into your MOAs are contra-indicated...

    1. One flies only as long as one has fuel. Besides, you got to get up, move around, use a semblance of a bathroom, probably had a coffee pot and brought lunches. Strapped in to an F-4 for 10.3 Moody to Hickam and a 10.8 Hickam to Kadena was not a lot of fun, especially since the go/no go refueling was in the weather (of course). That having been said, I wouldn't have traded that for anything.

      Oh...and those 4 hour cycles. These were the Reagan years, you generally flew three of them daily. With an O-1 in the front seat, learning air to air.

      Re: 18AF you sure it was 18th AF? Air Mobility command, Scott AFB Illinois? If so, that right there explains it all. Shoe clerks gotta shoe clerk.

    2. Yep, shoe clerks... My Phantom hops were a 1.2 and a 2.2... That was long enough! Yes, we had coffee, cooked meals, and a pisser... LOL But 12 hours is 12 hours in the air... sigh

  9. I think you should make the walls a little higher and smooth the dirt out a little more on the floor of your new house in the country. I do like the shade of red you chose though.
    The only good thing about those long flights in the Phantom was letting the GIB do every other refueling, but I'll never tell. Low residue diet not so good. Please go cold mike.

    1. Thanks, decorated them myself. Unfortunately, I had a fairly inexperienced back seater on my cross pond adventure. He got a lot of stick time, especially after the trim motor failed. But, he'd never done much refueling, or even being in the back seat on refuelings. He finished that deployment much (much, much) more experienced.

      Re: the lunches. Yes, low residue, but you could warm the steak chunks on the top of the seat. As long as you didn't hit some turbulence and have them fall on the floor.

  10. Apparently we voted on permanent DST a couple years ago but it still hasn't been enacted by the state legislature. More inaction by California government! I remember a couple times where we missed Mass because we forgot to set our clocks ahead I don't miss those early morning briefs, especially for the simulators that were busy enough to have some of them start at 5 a.m. with the pre-brief earlier.

    1. The problem in Texas is that the state is so wide, east-west, that there's a fairly significant time difference between sunrises/sunsets on each edge. This makes the Kids going to school argument effective. I would think California would have less of that problem though.

  11. The Monday after DST goes into effect is supposed to be the highest incidence of heart attacks and car accidents.

    It is definitely nice to get up and get home in the light--makes it easier to see the suicidal deer, donchaknow.

    I will happily eat crow--glad to see the house coming along!!

    1. I'd heard that also.

      As for deer...unfortunately yes.

  12. (Don McCollor)...speaking as a heretic, why not go to Zulu (aka Greenwich Mean, Universal Coordinated) Time. No clock resetting ever (at least until leap seconds add up). And it would make it much easier to do half and quarter increments spring and fall. Merely state that school starts at 04:45Z instead of 04:30Z...

    1. I've thought that also, Don. Not that I agree with it, but I think the counter argument is "What about the Parent's work hours?" Not that they couldn't change also, merely the potential for entropy and disruption.

    2. (Don McCollor)...eliminating DST would remove some of the humor in the watching a family try to sneak inconspicuously into a back pew in church just as the closing hymn is being sung...

    3. Well, if it hadn’t been me...occasionally...yes.


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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