Calendars in the news
The fall colors have been absolutely beautiful this year. It felt like they got off to a slow start, and as dry as it’s been, I was afraid it would all turn brown and fall off. This last week has been amazing, and I’ve spent a lot of time outside just gaping at the color. Time well spent, if you ask me. But the combination of the leaves turning and the rare phenomenon of a little rain has me thinking of winter. The snow guns are in place at the resort so that when it gets cold, maybe this weekend and into next week, they can start making some snow. The source of the water they will use to make it is anybody’s guess, but there is something dripping out of the Spiro Tunnel.
I’m not entirely ready for winter to set in, and have no objection to a few more weeks of warm weather to enjoy the colors. But it’s getting to be that time of year. I looked at a calendar, and noticed a printed entry that Daylight Saving Time begins this weekend.
Already?! I’m easily confused, but that really threw me. Is it time to change the clocks already? And, wait a minute, doesn’t Daylight Saving Time end in the fall, not begin? It didn’t make sense, but it was printed right there on my “Classic Tractors” calendar, so who am I to question it.
I was bummed out about the time change all week. It’s OK having it light when I get up, but I hate having it get dark in the late afternoon. The shift always throws me off for about a week. I mentioned it to a friend who gave me the “are you crazy” look. He googled it, and confirmed that we change the clocks a month from now, in November, same as always. When I got home, I took a closer look at my calendar. It really said that Daylight Saving Time begins (and in very small print) in parts of Australia. Australian holidays make no sense at all. The Queen’s Birthday is different days in different Australian states, so she has three or four birthdays a year. No wonder she’s so old. So that problem is solved. Why my calendar with pictures of classic American farm machinery has Australian holidays on it remains a mystery. New Zealand Labour Day, with the “u,” is coming up soon. Start making your plans.
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The calendar isn’t the only thing that has me confused. The whole mess around Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination for the Supreme Court is both confusing and dispiriting. I have no idea what the outcome will be, and things move abruptly and unpredictably enough that anything could happen between the time I mash the “send” button to turn this in and the printed paper arriving on Saturday. The world could be entirely different by then. But there’s just a lot of weird stuff there.
For example, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake was briefly a national hero. And what exactly was he act of heroism? He did his job. That’s such a rare thing among members of Congress that when somebody actually does their job, they don’t know how to react. After a couple of women confronted him in an elevator, Flake found the spine to stand up and say, “we really don’t have the information we need to make a responsible decision here, let’s get the FBI to look into it for a week.” It was a shocking act of courage. Meanwhile, Utah’s favorite dinosaur, Orrin Hatch, said that he found Christine Blasey Ford, who testified on national television that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school, to be “attractive,” and “pleasing.” Ugh.
A key piece of evidence in the hearing was Kavanaugh’s calendar from high school, 35 years ago. It did not appear to have pictures of tractors. Or beer. That seems very strange. In high school, I didn’t need a calendar of appointments, and whatever system I had for keeping track of things, I certainly didn’t save it for 35 years. Of course, I didn’t go to an elite private school. Maybe if I had, I would understand why it would be important to know, 35 years later, that soccer practice was at 4:00 on Thursday. Frankly, saving the calendar is so strange as to be disqualifying.
The Republicans are determined to force it to a vote. I don’t get it. Qualified people with similarly conservative views are a dime a dozen. Why not pull it and name somebody who doesn’t have a cloud of alleged sexual misconduct and alcoholism to deal with? Neil Gorsuch was appointed and confirmed without any of this stuff. It’s not like the only alternative would be Trump appointing a Ginsburg clone.
For Flake’s act of heroism, we got a fig leaf of an FBI investigation (they interviewed 10 people, but not Ford or Kavanaugh). Who needs actual facts? He went to Yale. Isn’t that enough?
Tom Clyde practiced law in Park City for many years. He lives on a working ranch in Woodland and has been writing this column since 1986.
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The most exciting time in columnist Tom Clyde’s week was emptying the Roomba, he writes. Such is life during the pandemic.