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Toddling Through the Silicon Valley

By Cheryl Bac

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About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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Getting ready for the time change

Uploaded: Oct 31, 2017
When I was younger I enjoyed the fall daylight saving time change. Some years I remember specifically planning something to fill that extra hour - a run, a book, a craft, etc.

This year, I think it will feel like our family is losing an hour rather than gaining one. We've been spending many afternoons/early evenings outside. Our kids enjoy playing soccer, riding their bikes, jumping rope, etc as the sun goes down. And they love when dad comes home from work early enough to join.

It's going to take a bit of time for our family to figure out what indoor activities to do in the evenings instead as the sun sets earlier and earlier.

Our cousin suggested buying headlamps for the kids so we can more easily play outdoors after the sun sets. Maybe if we can't find an acceptable indoor substitute, we'll give headlamps a try. I'm sure our kids would love the novelty of playing soccer with their headlamps in the dark.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by the_punnisher, a resident of Mountain View,
on Nov 3, 2017 at 4:02 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

I have a light that uses two bright LED lights and 3 aaa batteries. Check at a local bike shop.

I think most people get ticked-off at DST.

Invented for rural farms so school children get home while there is still light outside.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Nov 3, 2017 at 9:59 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

The_punnisher - Great idea! I'll need to stop by a bike shop some time. Thanks!

Posted by Mother of 4 , a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Nov 4, 2017 at 8:00 am

I'm not a fan of headlights. They are good for the wearers, but when someone is looking at someone else they don't realize they are just shining the light straight in the eyes and if they are extra strong, they can be blinding.

Some good outside lighting might be better, but I think it would be better to get your outdoor play in daylight and find some fun things to do in the dark inside. We have done a lot of shadow play - making eagles, rabbits and other animals using hands. Turn off the lights and get a good flashlight shining at a bright wall and start looking at the shadows when hands are put in front of the flashlight. Google shadow animals for ideas of what to copy.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Nov 4, 2017 at 10:19 am

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Mother of 4 - Good points! Shadow play is a fun nighttime activity. Thanks for commenting.

Posted by Judy, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown,
on Nov 4, 2017 at 1:47 pm

Some of the activities you mentioned - jumping rope, etc., can still be enjoyed outdoors as long as you have an outdoor light in your yard. Some more ideas: Get one of those portable basketball hoops and put it in your backyard or driveway. Turn the on the outside light and your kids will have something fun to do outdoors! You can also purchase a trampoline with protective netting and put it in your backyard with the light turned on so your kiddies can see while jumping up and down.

I think the biggest worry is the rainy weather which usually occurs during the DST months, preventing children from playing outside.

The only thing I remembered about daylight saving time when I was a kid was the extra hour of sleeping in - which was great! Since it occurred during the school year, I don't remember feeling upset because I couldn't play outside after dark.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Nov 4, 2017 at 5:15 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Judy - Thanks for the ideas! We enjoyed splashing in the puddles this morning. Hopefully the novelty won't wear off too quickly.

Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on Nov 6, 2017 at 10:33 am

Sorry, the_punnisher is incorrect about the DST justification.

It was enacted to save coal (power), first in Germany, later throughout Europe.

Implementation here in the USA was inconsistent until 1967. There are still provisions for states to exempt themselves from DST: both Arizona and Hawaii currently do not observe DST.

DST has nothing to do with schoolchildren in rural areas.

Posted by Anon, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Nov 6, 2017 at 2:05 pm

Review of Economics and Statistics, Volume 93 | Issue 4 | November 2011 p.1172-1185


"We take advantage of a natural experiment in the state of Indiana to estimate the effect of daylight saving time (DST) on residential electricity consumption. Our main finding is that, contrary to the policy's intent, DST increases electricity demand. The findings are consistent with simulation results that identify a trade-off between reducing demand for lighting and increasing demand for heating and cooling. We estimate a cost to Indiana households of $9 million per year in increased electricity bills. We also estimate social costs of increased pollution emissions between $1.7 to $5.5 million per year."

IOW, people should not assume that DST has energy-conservation benefits. DST provides extra work for programmers-- possibly a benefit? -- but the overall benefit is difficult to identify.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Nov 7, 2017 at 9:31 am

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Reader and Anon - Thank you for the extra information about Daylight Savings.

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