Geekamama


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Attn: Bureau of Weather Regulation

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing to lodge a complaint against the current deliverables from your Seattle Metro Area regional department. My dissatisfaction extends back for most of the past six months, but what we have received lately has been especially undesirable.

As you are no doubt aware, normal November temperatures for our area are, on averge, a daytime high of 51 degrees (Fahrenheit) and a nighttime low of 41 degrees. Even on the colder nights, this is usually several degrees above the freezing point of 32 degrees. Fifty degrees might not be the sort of weather when one would walk around outside in shorts and a t-shirt, but it is generally warm enough that one would not need to bundle up in heavy winter coat, hat and scarf.

However, in the first three weeks of November this year (2011), we’ve had only a handful of days where the daytime temperature has exceeded 50 degrees. In addition, eleven of the 21 nights are on record as having lows of 35 or less. Please note that these temperatures are measured at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and documented on both The Weather Channel’s website and on Beautiful Seattle’s Seattle Climate Data site. The airport is closer to Puget Sound and therefore slightly more moderate than the inland foothills, where I live.

Precipitation this month has also been lower than normal. I understand that the Seattle region may be working hard to correct this, but trying to make it all up over the past couple days is not, in my opinion, the way to do it. My preference would be for a more gradual increase, with the understanding that while the month may conclude with a below-average rainfall, it would at least be within an acceptable tolerance.

As I mentioned earlier, this general underperformance has been noted for at least the past six months, possibly longer. April 2011 marked a new record low for the region, and even that was warmer than what we’ve seen recently. This past “summer” it took until early June to achieve a daytime high above 70 degrees; one particular day didn’t even make above 60. Only four days in July were 80 degrees or warmer. In comparison, please refer back to July 2009, when July temperatures were into the low 90s by mid-month, prompting a heat emergency and a run on air conditioners.

While August and September did yield pleasant summer weather, the late delivery tainted the reception. Had these days and nights been released even a month earlier, customer saisfaction would have been markedly higher.

I urge you to take the necessary steps to rectify this situation. It should not be necessary for me to be wearing both a sweatshirt and a fleece in my office at work. We should not be seeing dustings of snow on our back porch this early in the winter. As reparation, I ask that you not only adjust the November temperatures and precipitation more toward normal, but also compensate us next summer (May-August 2012) for the inadequate weather we had this past summer.

Sincerely, Jessica
o/b/o many other Seattle-area residents

P.S. I would write more but my fingers are too cold.


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Chill, baby

I’ve discovered an amazing fact that I’m sure will revolutionize the lives of parents everywhere. It’s so obvious that I’m surprised no one’s ever mentioned it before. And now, dear readers, I share it with you!

Kids, like some adults, get cold at night. When this happens, children often fuss until the situation has been remedied.

…what?

Yeah. I really, truly, forget that my son can get cold at night. I don’t know why he would. It’s not like we’re still putting him in summer-weight pajamas, or covering him with a small blanket that he kicks off every time he turns over. Except that it is.

For the past week or two, Kiddo was waking up whimpering between 5:30 and 6:30, which is about an hour before I want to wake up for the day. I’d get him settled, and then half an hour later we’d hear him again. I wasn’t sure what was going on, but at Way Too Early o’clock, I wasn’t awake enough to figure it out.

Then, a couple nights ago, we had a power outage. No electricity–and for us, that means no heat–for seven hours overnight. My husband and I huddled under our blankets. I had to go in and comfort Kiddo a few times, and I thought it was because he was bothered by the lack of night noises or that he didn’t like the makeshift nightlight I’d made out of a flashlight and cardboard box.

Around 7 a.m., when we got power back, I got up to take my shower. I heard Kiddo still fussing, so I brought him into our bed and tried to get him to fall asleep again next to my husband.

He slept soundly for two more hours. I had to wake him up to get ready for preschool. And something in my now-awake brain clicked: the poor boy was waking up because he was cold.

We’ve been putting him in toddler-size sleep sacks for the past few days, and he’s been sleeping more soundly. Last night, though, he was fussing again. This time I was aware enough to realize his bare feet were probably freezing. He keeps pulling off his sleep socks before I put him to bed, and I thought he just didn’t like them. Now, I think the reason he does it is because they’ve gotten too small. So tonight we’ll try putting him in regular socks just before bed. Maybe we’ll all finally get the sleep we need.

Astonishingly, this isn’t the first time I’ve done this. When Kiddo was about eight months old, my mom visited for a couple days. Kiddo had been fussy at night, which I figured was normal for an eight-month old. One day my mom said in passing, “He was fussing, so I put a blanket on him and that seemed to help.” While one part of my brain was saying Nooooooo all the books say we can’t put blankets in his crib! the other part was saying DUH, JESSICA. You’d think I’d have learned from that. Apparently not.

I think the reason I overlook such an obvious thing is because I’m cold all the time. Most mornings when I wake up, my temperature is somewhere near 97.5. A temp of 98.6, the commonly-accepted average human body temperature, is a low-grade fever for me. Infrared cameras that show most people’s faces as red and yellow, like this one, only show yellow and green for me. So I’ve gotten used to the fact that most people don’t need as many layers of clothing and blankets as I like. In Kiddo’s case, I may have assumed a little too much about his tolerance for cold nights.

At any rate, we think we’ve solved this problem. Stay tuned for more exciting tidbits that are totally obvious to everyone except me.