I gripe to my husband, family and friends about these things all the time, and they’re tired of hearing about it. So I finally decided to share my list with all of you and see what you think.
And so I present to you: Karen’s list of things we need to get rid of.
And, no, I’m not talking about things like calories in a Snickers bar, or all those boxes that have been up in our attic since we moved in 15 years ago, or the clothes in my closet that I never wear — I’m talking about things much more serious than that.
Here’s my top three:
1. Standard Time/Daylight Saving Time. Perhaps I’m in the minority here, but changing our clocks twice a year really throws me out of kilter for a couple of weeks.
“Spring forward, fall back.” In the spring when we move our clocks ahead one hour, the internal clock that has my body wanting to wake up at 8 a.m. (in order to be at work by 9) now finds me wanting to sleep in until 9 and for some reason my boss isn’t real thrilled about me showing up at 10 a.m.
In the fall, when we turn the clocks back an hour, my innards tell me it’s my usual 9 p.m. bedtime, but according to the clock it’s only 8 and way too early to go to bed.
Our daughter Tami and her family have a beagle named Winston who has an internal clock that tells him it’s time to eat exactly at 5 a.m. (the time husband Austin gets up to get ready for work) and 5 p.m. That works great until the fall, when Winston’s tummy tells him it’s 5 a.m. and it’s time for breakfast so he starts whining. But the clock says it’s 4 a.m. and Austin would really like to sleep in another hour. It takes a week or two for him to readjust to the new time, but in the meantime Winston really thinks he’s going to pass out from hunger!
So it’s time for a change — actually it’s time for not having a change. I don’t care which “time” the powers-that-be decide to stay with, but they need to take away the twice-a-year hassle of changing our clocks. Just leave it the same, all year round. If Arizona can do it, so can we.
2. Lithium batteries. Have you seen the news stories about cellphones or e-cigarettes spontaneously bursting into flames? Sometimes people have their devices up close to their face, or sometimes it’s stored in their pocket. Either way, the results can be painful burns or worse.
Apparently the FAA is worried about the safety of lithium batteries too, ’cause they will not allow you to store those items in your checked baggage when you fly. But it’s OK to have them with you in the cabin, so if they do explode, at least everyone knows about it right away!
It’s time to ban the darned things. There has to be a better way to power our devices.
3. Electoral College. The one thing I really, really want to get rid of is the Electoral College.
To me it’s plain and simple — every vote cast should count as one vote. My one vote here in Washington state should have the same value as my cousin’s vote in Ohio, our nephew’s vote in North Carolina and my in-laws’ votes in Oregon.
In elections for school board members, the governor, Superior Court judges, senators and representatives, every vote counts the same. Why should it be different for the president?
I’m not what anyone could call a political person. Most of it is much to complicated (and boring) for me to understand. And if it were left up to me, no one could start campaigning for an election until three or four months before we actually vote. I don’t care about blue states and red states, Democrats, Republicans or Independents. But every four years, in the presidential election, we should just count the votes in each precinct, in each state and all together for the whole country — and whoever has the most votes, wins. Plain and simple.
So, what do you think? Am I overreacting? Are there other things you think we need to get rid of?
Let me know. I’m always looking for ideas for future columns.
Karen Barkstrom, The Daily World’s editorial assistant, can be reached at 360-537-3925 or email@example.com.