“We gain an hour today. At my age you appreciate any extra time on the clock.”—Maxine cartoon

Autumn began Sept. 23…somewhere, but not in Florida, where the temperatures have been hot and hotter. The weather finally is cooling down, and tomorrow morning Daylight Saving Time reverts to Standard Time, an indicator that fall has arrived.

Don’t forget to wake at 2 a.m. to set your clocks back to 1 a.m., giving you an extra hour of sleep…if you can get back to sleep. To quote Hamlet: “To sleep perchance to dream—ay, there’s the rub.” If I get up at 2 a.m., I will lie awake waiting for my hypothalamus to regulate my circadian rhythm, while listing to my tinnitus and the snoring of my spouse the Binmeister.

Not to threaten beloved Binmeister, but as novelist Anthony Burgess wrote, “Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.”

Today most folks have digital watches, cell phones and computers that automatically update, so it’s not necessary to use the mnemonic device “spring forward and fall behind” to remember how to set your timepieces. The Rooney Bin has a house filled with antique clocks that tick-tock loudly after being wound with a key. We don’t wind them at all, feeling confident that no matter what time they display, each is always right twice a day.

In 1918, Woodrow Wilson became known as “Father of Daylight Saving” when he signed DST into law to conserve energy during World War I. DST was reinstituted during World War II. After the 1973 oil embargo began, DST was observed for 10 months in 1974 and eight months in 1975. Now DST runs longer than Standard Time, from the second Sunday in March through the first Sunday of November, which begs the question shouldn’t DST be the new Standard Time. As some anonymous soul said, “Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket.”

Blame DST on Benjamin “early to bed, early to rise” Franklin, who wrote “An Economical Project” in 1784, suggesting a good way to save on lamp oil would be to institute a change in the time, so the sun would rise and set later in the day.

On the other hand, Standard Time got its start because train scheduling accuracy was an issue in mid-19th century England, when villages determined time by solar power (sundials, not solar panels.) Time differences from town to town caused confusion and frequent train accidents. In 1840, the Great Western Railway got time on track by establishing “Railway Time” based on London time set at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. It was the first standardization of local time. Fifteen years later, Canadian Pacific Railway engineer Sir Sanford Fleming, known as the Father of Standard Time, proposed worldwide standard time zones linked to Greenwich Time.