New Years Around the World?

I know, a lot of you are saying, "New Years around the World? What the heck is that?" Well, it all started New Years day, 1985. After spending New Years Eve proper at Bronco Billy's Good Time Saloon downtown, a bunch of us when back to (my future cousins) Mary and Terri's house in Alexandria. We kept celebrating the hours, 2:00 - Denver, 3:00 - LA and I had an idea, "Hey, why don't we celebrate every time zone next year?"

Well... I guess no one else took me seriously or remembered (I was probably the only one sober) but in December 1985, I found some trivia about New Years in Bangladesh (the husband throws a bucket of water on the wife) and so for New Years Eve 1985/1986, I was looking up locations "around the world" using phone books and address books to see if I could actually find a location for every hour of the day.

Well, I did pretty good and managed to "find" one for every hour. That year I learned a lot. I started at 7:00 in the morning, drinking a standard champagne glass every hour. This worked pretty well, taking pictures every hour. My sister Kathi and I celebrated most of the hours alone until about 7:00 pm when we were joined by Tammy, Larry, Phyllis, Matt and Steve.

We then went over to Joe's house for the "real party". Once I got to the party, I started drinking like I normally would at a party and I almost didn't make it until Midnight. The pictures show it (not online). Well "I got better" and Tregon and I were the only two to make it until 6:00 am.

I used this same 24-hour schedule for six years until, in December 1991, I got Defense Mapping Agency map number 76, World Time Zones, for Christmas. It shows that, rather than 24 "New Years" there were 36 time zones recognized by the United States government at that time.

That worked fine for the next 9 years. Then, in 2000, as everyone else was trying to do what I had been doing for 15 years, I discovered that I had forgotten something - Daylight Savings Time in the Southern Hemisphere! Well, I made corrections for that and we were good for another 8 years.

In 2009, I used a number of other sources and updated the times for a number of different locations due to changes I found (Nepal moved forward 5 minutes!) and even added one that got lost along the way (Iran). In 2013, we added 3 more (Christmas Island moved to 0500 on the 31st; Eucia, Australia and Venezeula have their own timezones). That brings the current total upto 40 timezones! (Which should be enough.)

In 2020 while cleaning up after number 35, I discovered timeanddate.com which has a complete list of all time zones. It seems that some of the ones are no longer 'active' and I missed some DSTs 'down under'. (I also discovered that there are TWO Christmas Islands, one in the Pacific [157W] and one on the Indian Ocean [105E]. )I simplified the process by having the schedule page and timezone directories created automatically from the 'play at home' chart. Much simpler on me. Anyway this year we are back to 37 timezones.

For years, the party had always been in Springfield, but in 2014/2015, it moved to Christina's in Front Royal. Two years there, then two years at Christina's in Centreville and this year it is back in Springfield (at Christina's). For the third year, we hope have a remote user (for every zone???) from the other side of the world!. Daniel is still in Japan and planning to make some zones with us - Kon'nochiwa Danieru!

It is still a little early to see how COVID will effect things this year. I had delayed rolling ov er rthe site until I had a better idea but then I realized this has always had a 'play-at-home' aspect so just do it. And now it's done.

Sometimes the party has been big, sometimes small. But, at least for me, it is always fun.


What a mess! Something was hosed up in the autorotation code so the timesones were not updating automatically...which took a while to figure out. In the end, I ended up with lots of pictures in the wrong zone and some picture overwritten. One more thing to check for next year. (If anyone cares, for some reason when the rotate script would run, the system was only passing it 4 or 5 environment variables. The current version of autorotate gets the current directory from the environment. It worked when running from the command line but did not from cron.)

Anyway...The actual 'New Years' pictures are always saved on the local machine that takes the 'snap' so I do have them. I've put them all here so you can see them and compare to what is in each zone.

Lots of little things were constantly going wrong and I think I manged to piss a few people off. All I can say is "I'm Sorry".

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