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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Sunday, January 08, 2006
Sunday In Paradise
There is a disease called seasonal affective disorder in which the limited daylight hours in northern latitudes causes depression. Is there an opposite syndrome in which gorgeous weather makes one unable to be sad or anxious? If so, I have it. Apparently the western world is doomed, Ariel Sharon is gravely ill, and monogamous marriage is circling the drain. But it’s difficult to work up too much anxiety when I wake up to this sunny symbol of manufactured happy endings. (Click for the full size pic.)

The People's Republic of Hollywood
They can all make fun of us Los Angelinos...but where else can you wake up to 75 degree sunshine, and have ocean, mountains, and of course Hollywood all rolled into one.
Blue Texas skies and 83 degrees in January could melt even the iciest curmudgeon.

But then, I have always felt happy and have always felt that life was amazingly beautiful (even when I lived where the skies were grey most of the year).
15 days of overcast gloom in Mili-wau-kay.

It's a record:

Here comes the sun? Not anytime soon

City sets gloomy record with 15 straight cloudy days
Posted: Jan. 7, 2006

If only we had sunshine instead of cloudy days.

It'd still be cold outside, not like the month of May.

Unless the meteorologists at the National Weather Service got things terribly wrong, when you walked outside to pick up today's newspaper there were thick gray clouds above your head. Just like yesterday, and the day before that and every day before that for two weeks.

And it will be cloudy again Monday. There's a chance that maybe - maybe - enough sun will poke through Tuesday for that day to qualify as "partly cloudy," which would end Milwaukee's record streak of consecutive cloudy days.

Saturday marked Day 15 of the sun held hostage. There is no end in sight.

"I don't see that changing much in the next week or so," said Greg Davis, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Sullivan.

To qualify as a cloudy day in Milwaukee, there has to be cloud cover at Mitchell International Airport for 80% of the day. If one-fourth of the day has less than that, the day isn't technically cloudy. But even though the sun has poked out for minutes at a time over the last two weeks, it hasn't been enough to de-cloud us.

"We haven't come close to that," Davis said.

The current cloud streak tops a 14-day streak from Dec. 27, 1991, to Jan. 9, 1992. That mark came at the end of a 4-12 Packers season, their last campaign under .500 before this year. That off-season, the team fired its coach and traded for Brett Favre.

With the sun a distant memory, people hoping to look like they're fresh from a tropical vacation (or perhaps on their way to one) are headed to local tanning salons. At The Hott Spot, 2462 N. Murray Ave., tanners had to wait in line because all seven beds were filled.

"Someone just came in who was complaining about the clouds," said Eva Wiest, who was working at the salon Saturday. "It's been pretty busy here."

Wiest attributed the increased business to people being depressed over the gloomy skies, but seasonal affective disorder is no joke. The condition, typically known by the acronym SAD, affects people mostly north of St. Louis who get depressed starting in the fall when the days get shorter and the sun shines less, according to David B. Bresnahan, an assistant professor of psychology at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

The disorder's cure, short of moving to Miami, is to sit in front of a high-powered light box for long stretches of time. Most patients, once they buy the box, don't come back to see him, he said.

Bresnahan said Saturday that the recent stretch of cloudy days is liable to exacerbate symptoms in people afflicted by SAD, but isn't itself a trigger for the problem.

"It may take a problem that exists and make it worse," he said. "But if you were to have the same stretch of cloudy days in the summer, people wouldn't start blossoming out with seasonal affective disorder."

But don't tell that to Mike Sherman.
Oy, don't remind me... Here in NYC, it's been either raining or cold most of the week. But... today we're almost California. Much warmer, sunnier... and even two celebrity sitings (Reese Witherspoon and Ethan Hawke). California must be moving to New York.
Cruisin-mom: Yes, they can make fun of us, but there's a reason that a 50 square foot shanty here costs half a million dollars: everyone wants to move here. Even the ones making fun.

Stacey: Someone who is always happy is a treasure to have around. Have your husband read this immediately.

Psychotoddler: I'm getting suicidal ideation just reading that. :-( Before you start making scratches on your wrists with plastic forks, spend another weekend with us.

Irina: I never notice celebrities here; I'm way too oblivious. For the last 5 years I've taken care of this very sweet man who is a retired NFL player and has been in a couple of movies, and I had no idea he was famous until I'd been taking care of him for like 6 months!
PT: Milwaukee (did I spell that right?) sounds just like London. Which is one reason we moved to So Cal.
This may be all true, but at least we don't get earthquakes where I live.
Doctor Bean: That football guy doesn't go my the initials of O.J. by any chance, does he?
Ayelet: I'm terrified of earthquakes, but I'll take the bad with the good. And we've prepared our home reasonably for The Big One.

Cruisin-mom: No. My patient has the physical presence of an NFL player but the tone of voice and the soul of an angel. He is a very gentle man.
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