This past weekend began on a high note.  Florida law enforcement officials arrested the person they believe had been mailing homemade pipe bombs to various individuals and entities he found objectionable.

Those hoping the FBI had eliminated a diabolical criminal along the lines of Professor Moriarty or Hannibal Lecter were undoubtedly disappointed. The suspected domestic terrorist is in his 50’s. He’d been living in a bizarrely-customized van after his mother booted him out of her house. He allegedly made his bombs in that very same van, which gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, “working from home.” With nine previous arrests for, among other things, drug possession, fraud, grand theft, battery, and violating probation, it’s hard to imagine the former male stripper as an evil genius.

But locally it was a truly rotten weekend, or at least it was for Mainers who enjoy outdoor activities, but prefer to have feeling in all their extremities while doing so.

On Friday night my son’s team was eliminated from the state Class B boys soccer tournament in chilly, blustery conditions that were at least as uncomfortable for the shivering spectators as they were for the players.

Saturday was so dismal and nasty I did not emerge even once from my home. The day started off cold, windy, and gloomy, and weather conditions plunged straight downhill from there.  It had been at least five years since the last time I spent an entire 24-hour day indoors, and there was a reason for that: I had just had my hip replaced. Assuming my experience was typical, very few people with just-implanted artificial body parts have the desire, much less the physical capability, to explore anything besides their immediate surroundings in the 24-36 hours immediately after their surgery.

I almost ventured outside around mid-Saturday after seeing the postman put something in my mailbox, but decided against it after considering the steady rain, biting wind, and minimal chance whatever it was would be worth exposing myself to the elements for. I found consolation in two things: the contents of the mailbox would still be there on Sunday, and thanks to the FBI I was certain they would not include a pipe bomb.

Sunday was a virtual repeat of Saturday, albeit with less rain and slightly diminished winds. On the theory every cloud has its silver lining, I consoled myself with the knowledge I had not picked up a sunburn during the previous 72 hours, so at least my dermatologist would be proud of me. I did venture out for an early morning appointment and subsequent grocery shopping, but once those chores were completed I went inside for the duration, emerging only to pick up the mail (two catalogues and an ad from a store I’ve never been inside of), which confirmed going out in the previous day’s rain wouldn’t have been worth it.

But that’s all water under the soggy bridge. In fact, I’ve forgotten about it already, and for good reason: I am too busy looking forward to this coming weekend. It’s the biggest one of the year. Literally.

Nov. 3 and Nov. 4 will consist of 49 hours, one more than last weekend (and the previous 27) did. In fact, it will contain 60 more minutes than any other consecutive Saturday and Sunday in 2018 does, except for March 10 and March 11, a poor excuse for a weekend that was two hours shorter than the upcoming one will be.

The reason for this, of course, is Daylight Savings Time (DST), which will officially conclude for the year at 2 a.m. this coming Sunday, when responsible citizens, or at least those concerned with knowing the proper time, will set their clocks back an hour.

I’m quivering with anticipation over what I’ll be doing with my bonus hour this weekend. A trip overseas isn’t feasible, as I’m still due in at work at 7 a.m. on the morning of Monday, Nov. 5. But those extra 3,600 seconds aren’t insignificant; their addition makes the impending weekend 2.1 percent longer than standard ones. It also makes Sunday, Nov. 4 nearly 4.2 percent longer than 50 other Sundays this year, and 8.5 percent greater than the runt of 2018 Sabbaths, March 11, which was truncated by an hour in order to set the clocks forward and begin this year’s edition of DST.

Whatever I end up doing, I plan on making my bonus hour count this weekend. Maybe I’ll go for a hike, or rake some leaves, have some friends over, or be someone’s guest. Who knows? With an extra weekend hour to play with, the sky’s the limit.

Unless the weather stinks again. In that case I’ll stay inside and sulk over the fact spring is six long months away.

Or seven, if you count Daylight Savings Time.

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