November 6, 2011

Little bit of time

Halloween is behind us, and so is daylight saving time. If you didn't turn the clocks back an hour overnight, you're possibly having a rather confusing Sunday morning. Some people were no doubt flummoxed by the change from years past. This way, at least, it was a bit brighter longer for young trick-or-treaters on Halloween.

Whatever clock system is used by our fire station is confused by the later move back to Eastern Standard Time. As I wrote this column at 1 p.m. during the week, the phone rang. When the caller heard the siren sounding, she said, "Uh oh, you must have a fire call." "Nope," I responded, "It's just the noon siren." That comment, of course, had to be followed by an explanation. One consolation is that the error only lasted for a week.

I have lots of clocks, and most of them more ancient than I. Since I'm rather long in the tooth, that means they are also older than dirt. The hands on some modern clocks can be moved both backward and forward, making the biannual chore an easy one for me. On these antiques, however, I must push the hands only clockwise waiting for the chimes and moving on. I planned to start early last evening in order to be finished by bedtime.


This was the busiest Halloween season yet for my ghost-story-telling gigs. The more places I went, the more fun I had. There were schools, retired teachers' meetings, bonfires at campgrounds and farms, senior citizen groups, businesses and private homes. Each was gratifying. I picked up many new stories in the process. New books will result.

While enjoying a group at a Plattsburgh school, the organizer told me I had one hour to speak and offered to tap on her watch when my time was up. I said there was no need, as my life for decades on the radio involved being chased by a clock. Every second had to be accounted for, and all segments of the day required precise timing. Because of that, I'm almost always aware of what time it is, even without looking at a clock. As forecast, I looked down at my watch with one minute to go and counted down the last 17 seconds until my hour was up.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • ouellette.jpg Web doctor always gets it right

    I have access to the collected medical knowledge of all recorded history at my fingertips, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • little_mug.jpg There's no saw like an old saw Kaye and I laughed ourselves silly the other day as we tried to top each other with our own sayings from childhood, columnist Gordie Little writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Denenberg_Stu1.jpg Privacy concerns make a comeback

    There's a growing concern amongst the millennials, columnist Stu Denenberg writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul_grasso.jpg Several options exist for downtown

    Pedestrian mall just one idea that could be good for city's economic future, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Government can't create success on its own

    It takes a grass-roots community effort of people working together to assure future accomplishment, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar_mug1.jpg Farmers strive for sustainability

    Conserving the land and assuring long-term profitability are two of the key goals for farmers these days, according to columnist Peter Hagar.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Big shift in Quebec vote

    Being a man of science, Philippe Couillard, premier-designate of Quebec, chose to use a geological term (though his field is actually medicine) to describe what happened in Monday's election, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg A monastery in the Hebrides, after 1,000 years

    Before Father Seraphim Aldea can build a monastery on Scotland's Mull Island, he needs to have a working septic system, writes religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension
Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns
Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time