Friday, August 17, 2007

Somewhere Saturday

I had one of those ah ha moments and these days I seem to rush to my blog rather than call up a bewildered friend who won't understand what the fuss is about. I think I'm at least marginally better at explaining these ah ha moments in writing. I wonder if other adults continue to have obvious facts conceptually come into focus, long after they should have known what these facts mean. Today my ah ha moment has to do with time zones. I know different places have different times zones. I have family members living in different time zones in the US. I have been to Europe twice, and my daughter has been to Europe five times. I've generally known what the time is where loved ones are as well as where I am.However, for the first time it dawned on me that these different times zones mean that while it's Friday afternoon here, for example, it's Saturday morning in certain parts of the world. It took me awhile to arrive at that conclusion when I noticed that some PhotoHunt participants had already posted their Saturday theme photos for this week. I'll explain more about PhotoHunt tomorrow, when I post my photos. In short, it's an activity a group of bloggers do where they all post photographs on Saturday to illustrate the pre-selected theme. Sounded like fun to me so I decided to join them this week. While getting the tags in place so I'll have a link to the originator of PhotoHunt's page as well as to the technorati PhotoHunt page, I was surprised to see some PhotoHunters already had their posts up on technorati. Not that it matters, why not post on Friday if you like? However, the realization hit me, BAM, that it was already Saturday where they lived.
I don't know why realizations like that hit me full force. I had a similar ah ha moment early in my marriage when I was looking at an atlas and something clicked. I announced to my husband that the earth was round. He was vastly amused, knowing I was reasonably well educated but also knowing me, he sort of got why I was making such a big deal about it. I had been pondering how Alaska and Siberia could be so close and yet on opposite ends of the flat map when I announced, I get it, that's what it means for the earth to be round. He had conquered such concepts in grade school and had worked in navigation while in the Navy for 4 years so this wasn't exactly earth shattering news to him. It's not like I didn't know the earth was round but the ramifications of what that means had never sunk in with me. Much as the full ramifications of time zones not sinking in until my ah ha moment today.
The visuals I am including are photographs of some of the aids that I grew up with. That's what makes it so crazy that it took so long for these rudimentary facts to sink in with me. The globe and atlas in this entry were hanging out in the den while I was growing up. I have much newer ones because I bought a ton of geography aids to have when my daughter was growing up but I held on to the ones my parents had too. It's interesting to see how much the geo-political boundaries have changed since I was a child. I find it very odd that I would continue to have moments where the light bulb turns on in my head. It's not so much a matter of learning something new as having something click. Too weird for this old dog. Muchado about nothing I suppose, or rather something pretty basic. It was, after all, a long time ago that Galileo Galilei was shocking people.


Anonymous said...


I, too, have had these adult moments of realization - things you have dealt with all your life and that everyone else seems to take in stride. But suddenly all clicks in your brain. Some little insignificant thing makes it all perfectly clear!

My most memorable was when I was on a business trip to Los Angeles (I am from the Midwest). I had rented a car and was driving around for weeks. It is key to know that I am directionally impaired, so when people say go north on the 405 then east on the 101 – I have absolutely no sense of direction, or right or wrong. I am a landmark driver, not a directional person (if that makes sense). Well, all of a sudden...I found myself standing on the Santa Monica pier, just as the sun was setting beautifully over the water. What was my revelation, you may ask??? This must be WEST! Of course, the country ends here at the water's edge… the sun is setting in this direction...I am facing WEST! From that moment of wisdom on, I had no trouble getting around out there.

P.S. Love your site, as well as your sight (your vision).


Carver said...

Hi TJ,

Thanks for sharing your story. Boy, that's exactly the way I am. Everyone I know gives me directions, such as, head north or west and all I want to know is whether I turn right or left (not that I'm a hundred percent with that either). Even at home I have to think, the sun rises outside my kitchen window and sets off my bedroom window. Nice to know I'm not alone.

Thanks for visiting, Carver

Avory said...


You know I love your "ah ha" moments. The world is ROUND! But like mother, like daughter. My friend Matt calls them the "gaps in my knowledge," and has made it his mission to fill them in. For example, when I burned candles I always poured off the wax at the end, cause I thought you had to do that for there to be wick left to burn. Then Fleming informed me that wax burns into the AIR, and that's why candles burn. Duh, Judith. Now my candles burn much longer :-)

Time zones are a pain, but there are tricks you can do. For example, Kate's six hours ahead of me in England, so I add six or subtract it, whichever is easier for the given time--because there are 12 hours in a cycle, it doesn't matter whether you add or subtract! Or if you're in England and you want to know what time it is in Sydney, you just subtract one hour and then make it the opposite (AM/PM). So 11 am is 10 pm. But the confusing thing is that when it's daylight savings time in Britain, it isn't in Austrlia (because it's winter there), so it suddenly becomes three hours that you have to subtract. It took me *forever* to figure out that one.

Oh, and it's four times, but I'm sure I'll do a fifth soon enough ;-)

Carver said...

Dear Judith,

I think it's great the way you can keep all the time zones straight but I'm afraid I'd need a cheat sheet to keep that many straight. Of course you're 27 years younger than I am (that's my excuse, in any event).

Love, Mom

Anonymous said...

What? Huh? Where am I? Lemme see, it is 6:30 a.m. here and 7:30 a.m. to you. Blegh!
Isn't that why we have the internet and Wiki everything? It sure makes the world seem like a small place. I had an interesting conversation the other day with my father-in-law in regard to the Asian and Australian stock markets and how to watch them in comparison to the Dow. Yep. All time zones went in a downward spiral and so did a bunch of $$$.
What did we do before the internet?
Thank you, Al Gore. :-)
Love, K.
It is too early in the morning for me to do any better than this:

It's five o'clock somewhere.*
-Alan Jackson

*my favorite excuse to have a beer on Saturdays.

Carver said...

Hi Kim,

Too funny and a great excuse to have a beer when you need one. A cold one sounds nice in this heat but I'll have to settle for ice coffee.

Love, Carver