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Saving daylight earlier

And just when you and I were getting used to an extra hour of sleep. Daylight-Saving Time begins this weekend, a full three weeks earlier than in the past two decades.

We have Congress to thank for this. The 2005 law enacted by the fine folks on Capitol Hill means we lose our hour earlier this spring, but we conserve more energy as a result (in theory). Expect minor-hiccups with computers as many of those now used in homes and businesses were encoded to automatically re-set their internal clocks by the old daylight-saving time. More than likely you'll have to do it yourself so brush the dust off those old computer instruction manuals. Or remove these intimidating thick-as-Coke-bottle-novels from the plastic for the first time. Like most (myself included) you probably used the miniature &#8220quick set-up” guide that comes with most computers and never took the time to explore all of the generous capabilities offered by your Dell, your Compaq, or your Mac. As long as it turned on, connected to the Internet and had a kicking sound and video system, what the hey, huh?

While you're at it, check any electronic device purchased within the last two years. The DVD, the high-definition television, the Palm Pilot, the cell phoneŠafter all, there's a reason experts are referring to this early time shift as &#8220Y2K7.”

Computer and sleep issues aside, it will be nice to step out of the office at 5 p.m. and still have enough daylight to take a walk, tend the garden, or enjoy a late afternoon pick-up basketball or football game.

By the way, we can thank one of our Founding Fathers for this twice-annually changing of time. Benjamin Franklin first conceived the idea of saving daylight while in Paris in 1784. While he did not specifically mention &#8220daylight saving time,” Franklin urged people to save money on candles by waking early to take advantage of the morning light. Franklin was, after all, the man who inscribed the old proverb: &#8220Early to bed, early to rise/Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

Fire departments also promote Daylight-Saving Time as a good reminder to change batteries in home smoke alarms.

But don't get used to the early arrival of DST this year. Congress has allowed itself up to nine months to change its mind if things aren't all that and a bag of chips.

Kevin Pearcey is Group Managing Editor of Greenville Newspapers, LLC. He can be reached by phone at 383-9302, ext. 136 or by email at: editor@greenville.advocate.com.