3 Silly Rules by Government Fools
Of Time, Borders, & Plants
March 12, 2017, the morning after Daylight Savings Time began and everyone leapt forward. Except Arizona, some provinces in Canada, most of Africa, South America, Asia, and Australia!
I realize that I am venting a little here, and so please don’t take it the wrong way. Always trying to be friendly and nice, but sometimes these rules stink to high clouds, literally!
Here are the Three:
1. Daylight Savings Time (DST)
Or Why Do We Need Get Up Earlier?
As you may or may not know, we are the founders of the Crack of Noon Club, who do not like to get up early to get someplace. We typically leave a rest stop or truck stop WAY, WAY after the morning rush hour(s). When we work, we get up with the sun (it seems) and we go to bed way after the sun is gone from the horizon. However, with Solar Panels and Battery Bank, we do not use as much electricity as someone on the grid.
The main point, though, is when traveling either east to west or west to east across the country you may travel through four time zones. In Texas, we crossed over to Central Standard Time from Eastern Standard Time. Then we crossed the Mountain Standard Time zone on Saturday, March 11th. Twelve hours before we jump through hoops to the start of Daylight Savings Time.
Our clocks are messed up. Your devices NEED to have cellular data, so that they can change automatically for you. Otherwise, you have to go and change it yourself. And then you go through a state that does not follow or use Daylight Savings Time and even your phones get confused.
Right now my MacBook Pro states that it is 12:00 PM, Sasha’s MacBook Pro states it is 10:00 AM and my iPhone states it is 11:00 AM. We still have another time zone to go through, and then hopefully everything will get squared away.
People do not live with the sun anymore, but even if they did, studies have shown that electricity usage does not decrease with DST. The only reason is money and the economy. Summertime of baseball games and playing outside way past the dinner bell. Golfers can play golf later, hikers can hike longer distances, and you can stay at the beach longer. I get that. But it would be nice to see the night sky’s beautiful stars at a better time, rather than at midnight during the summer.
Arizona has it right. They do not follow the rest of the country. They get tons of daylight hours and they are fine with what they get. Of course, since they don’t follow the rule of DST, when you do go into the state, your times are messed up again.
Oh, and for those that say that the Spring Forward, Fall Back times are great for changing your batteries on fire detectors. Here is a better time, to change those batteries during the Spring and Fall Equinoxes. They truly fall in the middle of the year, rather than only five months during winter and seven during summer.
2. Border Madness
Or Why Scare Travelers Away?
My Rant with the Border Madness is partly because of comments from several travelers and RVers who were scared about traveling through Texas. They were worried about the Border Patrol buildings on the highway and thought they might get stopped and searched.
However, Texas does not have these types of Border Patrol buildings all along the I-10 Interstate. Yes, we came very close to the International Border with Mexico, but the area is SO UNBELIEVABLY desolate desert and scrub brush, nothing moves here.
From my Travel Journal Notes as we were going through the state of Texas (three days):
3/11 – We are going into El Paso area, it will be interesting to see what we see.
2:00 pm West of Sierra Blanca on the East Bound Lanes – There is a Building BUT are waving people through pretty quick.We are in the West Bound Lanes and there were cameras capturing our license plates, but no people in sight.
This is when we start to get closer to the border.
Sign on left
“Work at Pecos McDonalds $10-17 an hour, free rent, 401K To WORK AT MCDonalds” WOW.
We went past McNary, exit 78 huge cow feed area, Saw the Rio Grande, beautiful blue in a desert. Our phones just had moviestar as their cell phone roam carrier. How funny. This is around mile marker 60.
If they put a wall up in this area, what about the view of the Rio Grande?
Not just the view we’d see of the Rio Grande, but the ecology of the area means moving back and forth across the River. The animals, plants, pollen, insects, birds, sand, gravel, water, basically the entire environment moves to the river and goes back and forth. Illegal people are just one small factor that is getting smaller each month.
More Travel Journal Notes:
Stopped at rest stop – tons of people here. Four toilets only two working, Texas you are not picking up the speed. exit 49
Border trucks are white and green while Texas state cops are black trucks. How do they do this black trucks and black uniforms is beyond me.
Into New Mexico We Go
Border Inspection Station @ mile marker 121 NOT OPEN!!!!! License plate reader on the other side but no, no need to stop. Only commercial vehicles had to stop but not RVs, Vans or Cars.
Mile Marker 112: Something is happening on the left – RV with and a burned out car. Really bad and only one line on the east bound lanes. (Thankful we are headed West)
Mile Marker 108: Border patrol going the opposite way on the highway!!! So some of the crazed back up was border patrol and part was a car fire that might have been connected to an RV.
The RV though was fine.
Texas does not seem to have this crazed policy about borders. at least along the I-10 corridor. Going in and out of the state was a breeze. There is over 800 miles to cross, so we figured three days, which turned out to be true. There are many good truck stops, rest areas, or picnic areas where you can pull over to spend the night.
However, I believe that the most Border Patrol checkpoints are not in Texas at all, but are in Arizona. The Rio Grande is the “wall” for Texas, the desert is the “wall” for New Mexico, and there is an actual wall in parts of Arizona.
The last reason I do not think Texas will have a literal wall between itself and Mexico? Texas has the most private land per square mile by land amount. Over 95.8 percent is private land according to figures as of 2012. Sasha and I were discussing this as we rode across the state. All these private landowners would have to willingly give up their prime land on the Rio Grand (and other places) so that the US can have a wall? I don’t think so.
3. No Plants Across The Lines
Or Why Do We Throw Out Food & Plants?
I truly love plants. All different kinds of plants, whether people think they are useful or not. For many years since 2008, I had potted plants and also had seeds for sprouts. Yet I remember going to California (not this trip) from Texas and they saw our Texas plates. They asked if we had oranges and being the honest people that we are, we said yes. The California Inspection Station took those oranges, stating that even though the oranges might have come from Chile for all we knew, they do not allow oranges from Texas.
What the heck? We had a large box of them someplace else in the rig, and there was no way I was giving them all up. I gave them two that I saw in the refrigerator.
From a stocking up point of view, you get food from the cheapest places. Sometimes those places are the road-side stands. Not all grocery shopping is done in a store. Where something has come from or not, I promise I won’t eat these oranges in California!
This also goes back to when I was traveling across Europe when I was in University. I had a backpack, old school style, and when I went through customs in the US, they asked if I had any food in my pack. Agricultural reasons again. While I did not have a live chicken in my pack, I might have had an apple or cracker, and there was no way I was giving those up. There might have even been some cheese or bread. I know there was some Scotch alcohol though!
Potted Plants are also suspect by California Agricultural Inspection stations. The same time we had given up the oranges, we were asked about plants. I said I had a potted rosemary plant in the way back, impossible to get to because of the packing job. They did not care about that one but others may be thrown out.
I guess my thought is, with all the bugs that are plastered on our truck and RV, some of them obviously from states like Texas and Florida and Mississippi, wouldn’t those also be carrying pollen and bad stuff across state lines? Are we to wash our rig right before each crossing? Of course not.
The one plant though, that I do agree with not crossing lines however, is firewood. While the wood is dead and hopefully dried out, there still could be pests in that wood. The pests’ eggs can be transported to other places and for me, and what I have seen of our National Forests, I would say to get the wood in the state you are in.
Or don’t have a campfire.
I think the last time we had a campfire was back in 2011. We had seen people having fires in Quartzsite but they used pallets, which have a horrible smell when burning. And as it is warm there, what is the point?
We are in Arizona now, Sunday, March 12, in the afternoon. Don’t Ask Me What Time It is!