The darkness is driving me crazy

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by kath, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. kath

    kath Administrator Management Council Member

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    Happy solstice, everyone!

    Here in AK we're down to our minimum daylight, 5-point-something hours. The sun doesn't come up over the mountains until around 10:00, and it sets at around 3:15... At "high noon" the sun is only a hand-span above the horizon, and everybody drives with their headlights on. They say that people get depressed because of the lack of sunlight, and I can believe it. It's affecting my brain. Yesterday at around 3:00 as it was starting to get dark, I just wanted to go home and curl up in bed and go to sleep. But sleep doesn't come easily even when it's time to sleep, and getting out of bed is even harder.

    I'm not checked out for night flight at my FBO yet... and I'm not sure I'd want to fly around at night here, since there are craggy mountains and absolutely NO lights (or flight following) outside of the Anchorage metro area. I've hardly been flying at all recently, just one short commercial lesson in the past month and a half. There's been a lot of freezing rain recently too. Lack of sun, and lack of flying. Ugh. At least the semester's over and I can relax from teaching a bit.

    For Xmas/NewYears, I'll be going to Kansas to hang out with my sister for a week. That'll be good. Get some sunlight in, I hope. Maybe I can even get some flying in, too. I've been looking online for an FBO near my sister's place in Council Grove... someplace like Emporia or Manhattan. Manhattan seems to have a big flight school called "Gatts". Anybody have any experience with them? Or other recommendations for rentals in Northeast Kansas?

    --Kath
     
  2. AdamZ

    AdamZ Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Hi Kath! The lack of light can really get to ya. There area actually products out there ( light boxes) you can buy that can help give you more energy and pep you up a bit. You just pop them on and sit in front of them for a while. They kinda light up the room like a stadium but I hear they are helpful. A friend uses one and its actually made by a company in Alaska called Northern Lights.
     
  3. Anthony

    Anthony Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Turn on the lights.

    ;)
     
  4. The rogue

    The rogue Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My wife and I are headed up there in Jan or Feb. I hope that we can make the transition to the new climate and daylight well....we're from Illinois....
     
  5. bstratt

    bstratt Cleared for Takeoff

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    GATTS is a training facility only, doesn't do rentals. I did my IFR and my Commercial there. The Commercial is a 3 day course. Look into it. There website is http://www.gatts.org/

    If you call them tell Jason I said hi.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2005
  6. poadeleted3

    poadeleted3 Pattern Altitude

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    You can get used to it. I just basically hibernated for a month or two during winter. Went to work, ate, went to sleep. Needed that energy reserve come summer, because there is a ton of fun stuff to do, and it doesn't really get dark. I only slept a couple hours a night (or day actually, since I worked mid shifts) during summer.

    I loved Anchorage.
     
  7. Gary

    Gary En-Route

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    Hi Kath, good to hear from you although the news concerning "cabin fever" is not exactly encouraging.

    For sure, I'd have thought you would have a Cub on floats by now, oh well, maybe in the summer. Would be interesting to hear from you the real effects of the short day on the local populace.

    Can't help with the rentals in Kansas, good luck. I've often wondered if the winter in Kasas isn't worse than ANC.

    Gary

    PS - Nicole says HI!! She thought you were really cool! (high praise indeed). Shows to go how people can make an impression!

    Gary
     
  8. kath

    kath Administrator Management Council Member

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    Well, I'm working on the commercial now, and I don't want to ditch my comm CFI mid-stream... but I notice that they have a 2-day tailwheel course! Oooooooh! Me want!

    No Cub on floats yet. The chemistry professor down the hall from me (SuperCub owner) and I have been idly talking about partnering up for a C-180 on floats. It's just talk, though. Not sure I can afford it.

    I forget whether I've posted any pictures from my flight to Iliamna a couple months ago... If I didn't, then, here are some good ones (below):

    Sadly, I think the primary effect on the local populace is alcohol abuse.:(

    I must admit I've been adding a little vodka to my orange juice in the evenings...

    --Kath
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2005
  9. Anthony

    Anthony Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Beautiful pics Kath! Hang in there, the vodka helps. :)

    Overall do you like Alaska?
     
  10. etsisk

    etsisk En-Route

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    Hang in there! It'll get light soon... well, eventually, anyway! Get yerself some of those lamps they use for SAD tx - turn 'em on, put on yer shades, fix up a boat drink and turn up the Jimmy Buffett, next thing ya know yer in Key West!

    ps - for some reason, and I don't know why, whenever I read the title of this thread, I hear Peter Lorre's voice . . . "Thee dahkness is driving me craaazy..."

    :D
     
  11. deafsound

    deafsound Line Up and Wait

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    try adding some in the mornings. That'll get ya thru the day!:yes::no::dunno:
     
  12. mikea

    mikea Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    Hey, Kath, the short daylight intervals are getting to me and I'm not anywhere near your latitude.

    I've been meaning to look into the daylight lamp sources for a while. I think I'll get one.
     
  13. rmciottijr

    rmciottijr Line Up and Wait

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    Sending some sun,

    [​IMG]
     
  14. mmilano

    mmilano Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Kath, I always enjoy your pictures =)

    Thanks!, .. hang in there.
     
  15. Richard

    Richard Final Approach

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    Ack...city life
    Just chalk up to this being the true cost of those beautiful pics you have. And replace the flourescent tubes for natural light tubes which has the full light spectrum. The cool white or warm white tubes don't cut it.
     
  16. Gary

    Gary En-Route

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    Excellent pictures, it is a beautiful place. Really like looking at the Alaska airport camera's just to see how things change over the seasons!

    I can see how the vodka in the orange juice would brighten your day!

    Gary
     
  17. poadeleted3

    poadeleted3 Pattern Altitude

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    BTW, while it's dark you may as well make the most of it. Drive half an hour or so outside of Anchorage and check out the northern lights!! I also always enjoyed the drive down to Portage glacier and back, doing the same thing.
     
  18. gkainz

    gkainz Final Approach

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    My brother in law and family were stationed in Anchorage for 3 years with the Air Force. He HIGHLY recommends the light boxes. Google for SAD Alaska light box ... dozens of hits.
    My wife has a small desktop light she uses for the occasional cloudy day here in Colorado (all 5 of them every year) she's ultra sensitive to SAD type conditions...
     
  19. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Kath,

    It's a bit farther away, but I've rented a 172SP from Hetrick at Lawrence.

    http://www.airnav.com/airport/KLWC
    http://www.hetrickairservices.com/

    I can't remember the rate, it was fairly average. They also have a nice, new, shiny, G1000-equipped C182. :yes:

    BTW, you'll get some good practice flying in KS, the wind is insane... It was something like 25G31 at 30 degrees off the nearest runway. :hairraise: That may just be a summer thing tho, current METAR shows wind calm.

    Have fun!
     
  20. kath

    kath Administrator Management Council Member

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    Okay, the other night I discovered something that really helps with the darkness problem.... cook something really colorful for dinner! Here's the recipe:
    ------------------------------------
    One winter squash (such as buttercup, acorn, etc.)
    --> Cut it into halfs or quarters and bake upside-down in the oven for 30 minutes

    In a bowl, mix:
    One apple, chopped
    A cup of raisins or chopped dates
    A cup or two of raw cranberries
    A bunch of honey, I dunno, half a cup or so
    Nutmeg
    A little cinnamon
    Juice and rind from one orange
    Whatever other spices you like

    Take the squash out of the oven, turn the pieces right-side-up, and spoon the apple/cranberry mixture onto the pieces as if they were bowls. Put back in the oven and bake for another 30 minutes.

    The end result is something that, when you take it out of the oven, you'll swear it's the most colorful thing you've ever seen. It's bright red and orange and smells great. A true autumn/winter dish. That helped.

    I've driven out of town a few times this winter to try to see auroras... but always failed. This week it's been raining and snowing all week.

    --Kath
     
  21. RogerT

    RogerT Cleared for Takeoff

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    I can identify with the not liking all the darkness. I get that
    way in the late fall when daylight savings ends and I go to work
    in the dark and come home in the dark. It's my worst time of
    year. Major downer. But now that the days are starting to
    sneak longer each day things look up.

    Things have been mild here in the midwest (nebraska) and
    supposed to stay that way for a week or so. Enjoy.

    Hang in there.

    RT
     
  22. fgcason

    fgcason En-Route

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    Have you tried putting up way too many strings of colored christmas lights?
    I've found that a few normal lightbulbs make the place feel like you're forcing the light into a dark environment that would prefer to stay dark. 500-700 colored lights scattered around the room light up all the dark corners and help soften the harsh lightbulb shadows that usually make an apartment feel like it's 2am.

    It's probably not be the best solution especially for long term darkness but it definitely seems to help me down here when I don't get enough sunlight.
     
  23. rfbdorf

    rfbdorf Pre-Flight

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    Kath -
    We used your squash recipe today - we all liked it. Thanks!
    - Richard
     
  24. Tim

    Tim Line Up and Wait

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    Here in Alaska today we have; 3 hours 43 min. 48 sec of daylight. A gain of 1 min. and 5sec. Six more months and the days start getting short again!:hairraise:

    Want to see Dark go up and live at BARROW!:yes:
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2005