And finally, if a bit off-topic, some thoughts about the new president’s comments that Washingtonians need to toughen up weather-wise.
The president seemed amused and surprised that Washington area schools have been closed for two days this week due to ice and a bit of snow. Obama said he would have to instill “some flinty Chicago toughness” into Washingtonians. “When it comes to the weather, folks in Washington don’t seem to be able to handle things,” he said at a media opportunity yesterday.
If that comes with funding for more snow removal equipment for the entire Washington metro area, bring it on!
Chicago probably has three times the snow plows and related equipment than what our area has and a more stable population … not a transient population with military and embassy workers moving in and out frequently and political people turning over every four years with an administration change. That transience brings in people who do not grow up driving in snow. As a Washington-area native, one of the scariest things for me is to see, say, Alabama plates on the car in front of me on the beltway when a “wintry mix” is falling.
The transient population, plus the fact that our area does not get enough snow to warrant buying more removal equipment, leaves us, say, not as efficient in our snow removal as places like Chicago are.
I’ve lived and worked in places that have efficient snow removal, like Minnesota, and have seen what that’s like. That’s not our situation. Our plows get there when they get there and sometimes that’s days after a snowfall.
So yes, Mr. President, Washingtonians are weather-weenies, and we come by it honestly.