March 15 – The Ides


Vallejo 6:45 AM
The new daylight savings time gives us a dark and cold send-off this morning. There’s a brief wait for a ride and then I get into the front seat of a 747. Well, it’s actually a Lincoln Navigator – this is a really HUGE SUV. The dash is lit up with an array of lights and dials and buttons like the cockpit of a jumbo jet. The driver is a pleasant, corporate looking fellow in a crisp blue-striped shirt. We comment on the time change and how we enjoyed the light longer last evening, and the remainder of the ride is noisy, incomprehensible radio news/music.

Daylight savings time actually began after World War 1, the idea being to save fuel by reducing the requirement of artificial light. Check out an informative article in today’s Daily Latest News (http://www.dailylatestnews.com) How that translates now to getting up essentially an hour earlier in the dark, I’m not sure. Undoubtedly in the early 1900s people were asleep in their beds and not getting up so early to commute so far.

Today also marks the ides, or 15th of March, as in “Beware the Ides of March” from Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”. Caesar was warned of danger on the ides (or middle) of March by an astrologer, ignored the warning, and was assassinated on March 15, 44 B.C.E.

For the rest of us, hopefully March 15 is just another day.

At 7:15 it’s beginning to look like a pretty good one. Here comes the morning – a hazy sky streaked with pink and grays. The sun is fully up as we cross the Bay Bridge at 7:30 and the city is sparkling.

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