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A Grin at the End: Clocks, calendars & choppers – Going through my list

carl sampson

It’s that time of year for the “To-Do” lists to come out. My personal list is the same this year as every other year: lose weight, win the lottery, travel more and screw around less. That last one is the toughest. My DNA is chock full of genes that enable me to shift into neutral at the drop of a recliner.

But I have another “To-Do” list. It’s not for me, but for our public servants in Washington, D.C.

At the top of the list is getting rid of daylight saving time. Twice a year, the federal government – the U.S. Department of Transportation, to be exact – does the old switcheroo on our clocks, and our sleep cycles. There’s no reason for it. It’s more of a reminder of who’s in charge. All I’m saying is Congress needs to pass one little law banning daylight savings time.

Oregon’s Legislature did pass a half-baked law a couple of years ago aimed at getting rid of the time switch, but, as is so often the case with Our Beloved State, it has flopped.

The next one is a little harder, mainly because many people don’t like thinking. I say we should switch to 13 four-week months in the calendar year. What we currently have is a mutation of a calendar that was started many moons ago. It’s terrible. Some months have four weeks; others have five weeks. If you receive a salary, you are underpaid on some months and overpaid on others. It makes no sense.

If we had 13 months, each would be the same. It’s not rocket science.

Every time I suggest this, some whiz kid asks: What would the 13th month be called? That’s easy. It would be between August and September and be called “Vacation.”

Any other questions?

Holidays are another problem. Because Congress is not exactly populated by problem-solvers, we may have to help them. As you know, Congress, along with the president, declare holidays. Some,
like Thanksgiving, are on a Thursday every year.

My question: Why Thursday? Wouldn’t it make more sense for it to be on a Friday? Come to think of it, why not celebrate every holiday on a Friday? Nothing is more frustrating than trying to work around a holiday plunked in the middle of the week. Those of us who work for a living would appreciate that tiny favor.

One more item. When I was a kid, I read a book about the future. It said we would all have personal helicopters instead of cars. We would also work four hours a day – and four days a week.

You see where I’m going with this. I don’t know about you, but I’ve almost never worked a 40-hour week in my life. Maybe I’m a sucker. And I for sure haven’t worked a four-day week, although I once worked at a newspaper where the reporters worked four ten-hour days.

And I really, really want one of those helicopters. I think about that every morning as I sit on I-5 – also known as the Worst Interstate in America. The traffic crawls along, starting and stopping for no reason. Yet we put up with it, because the problem-solvers in Salem are just as effective as their counterparts in Washington, D.C.

So that’s my “To-Do” list.

Any bets on how many of these things will get done this year?

Carl Sampson is a freelance writer and editor. His book, A Bushel and a Peck, is available on amazon.com.

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