I was going to play it cool and skip the obligatory weather post, but Seattle's big storm of 2012 would not be denied. Check out the crazy weather this week in Western Washington:
Wednesday - The Pineapple Express brought heavy precipitation to Western Washington. The heaviest snowfall - more than a foot - was in the Olympia area. My nine year old measured 5.5 inches on our deck. Nearly every school in NW Washington was closed for the rest of the week.
Thursday - About a third of an inch of freezing rain fell on top of the day old snow, leaving a thick layer of ice atop the snow. This one-two punch was too much to handle for the region's deciduous trees, leaving downed limbs everywhere. When whole trees snapped, the sound of a shotgun blast echoed through forested areas, disrupting the peace of the snow-cover. And that's not all that was disrupted, as 300,000 customers lost power. We lost power for 23 hours.
Saturday - We again awoke to no power. A windstorm with gusts up to 45 miles per hour blew through over night, knocking out power for six hours. Mercifully, the sun came out later in the day and the roads are now mostly bare and dry.
Kudos - To the power crews out there dealing with this mess. The were out there during the ice storm and the wind storm. Also to the unfairly maligned U.S. Postal Service, which delivered close to on time every day through all of this.
|Egg white, green pepper, ham, and mushroom scramble|
My eating was very uneven this week. I started an emphasis on natural foods this week as a part of the P.O.P. World Series. Some days I did great, but others I wavered. I'll accept about 90% of the blame, but I think circumstances played a role, too. My job this year demands a lot of me when there's snow in the forecast. I need to monitor weather forecasts late into the night and then get up at least a couple of hours earlier than normal to make adjustments for work. I'm just not a disciplined eater when I'm tired.
What I could have done better was be prepared with more whole foods on hand. We had times when we couldn't get to the store and it was way too easy to go with processed foods when the power was out. Preparation would have really helped.
UPDATE: On the Death of Joe Paterno
Those of you who have followed this blog know that I am a proud native of Pennsylvania and a big sports fan. It shouldn't be surprising that I have been a Penn State fan since I was very young. My brother is a Penn State grad and one of my treasured memories is flying to State College to watch a Penn State football game with him. I feel I have a little perspective on Joe Paterno that has not been expressed in the mainstream media that seems to exist to build people up so they can tear them down.
If you only know Joe Paterno from the recent scandal, please keep an open mind to his entire record and legacy. The child abuse perpetrated by a former Penn State assistant coach is horrible. Everybody agrees with that. My heart goes out to the victims. I wish Joe had done more and I wrote about it at the time. Paterno has said the same. But the facts are that Paterno reported what he heard to university officials, believing they had the "expertise" to handle the situation that he did not. His report went straight up the chain of command to the head of the university police. Simply put, they should have acted, period. I haven't worn my Penn State sweatshirt since the scandal broke. I am ashamed by how Penn State the institution failed to protect children. In retrospect, Joe should have done more, but that is only because the district attorney failed to act, the state child protection agency failed to act, the police - who had a wiretap on Sandusky and let him off with a verbal warning - failed to act, and administrators of The Second Mile charity - who knew about allegations for years - failed to act. That Paterno is the primary person who has been held accountable for not doing more is revisionist history in the moment.
What I want you to know about Joe Paterno is that Penn State was widely acknowledged to have the highest standards of conduct among major college football programs. Shortly after Paterno was fired, it was announced that Penn State tied Stanford for the highest graduation rate among major college football programs. And Penn State won the 2011 Academic Bowl Championship Series, in part because Penn State's football graduation rate showed no achievement gap between African American and white players. Paterno gave more than $4 million for the university library that bears his name, and even donated $100,000 after he was fired.
The memory I will take from the last time I saw Paterno, speaking to students on his lawn the night he was fired, was Joe saying, "Go home and study." I texted my brother at the time that maybe college football has passed Paterno by, because I can't think of a current college coach who would have chosen that message to send at that time. No man is perfect, but let's remember Joe in perspective. Rest in peace.