Since I live by the airport and commute in to Redmond every day I get to experience some of the nation's worst traffic. If I travel on the shortest route possible my trip is 1 hour each way. Fortunately I found a couple of carpool buddies on the Rideshare Web site. They have showed me some longer, but quite a bit faster routes so my commutes are down to somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes on most days. One day recently, a Republican Congressman decided to have GW come to town for a bit of fund raising. The Senator wanted to keep the visit a bit low key since GW is not the most popular person right now. He could have had the dinner at a hotel near the airport - maybe even right across the street from the airport, but no. Not fancy enough of an address, I guess. He decided to have it in Bellevue. Better yet, the dinner would wrap up right during rush hour and the Secret Service would close 1 of only 2 of our major North/South freeways. Apparently the prez can't hang out for an extra couple of hours to cut his constituents a break. My neighbor suggested that the Congressman could have raised more money by just asking all of the commuters to chip in $20 to keep GW at home. My drive home that night was an hour and a half. I had left early because it was a scout meeting night, but ended up just rolling in to the daycare as they were closing. We ran home to change, a quick run through Micky D's drive-thru, and we were off to Scouts - arriving late along with several other scout leaders who had also been stuck in traffic. Someone needs to have the power to say no. When a Congressman says that he wants to shut down a freeway during rush hour someone needs to be able to say, "No. Have your fund raiser at the airport. I won't shut the city down so you can eat in Bellevue."
For Christmas my wife gave me a Netatmo weather station because I am a home weather station nerd. The Netatmo is very cool, but it has an unexpected feature: it measures indoor Carbon Dioxide (CO2) levels. As soon as I set it up, the Netatmo began to alert that our indoor CO2 was at an unsafe level. The notes said that outdoor CO2 is usually around 400 ppm, and numbers above 1500 ppm could be unhealthy. On that first day, my house was at around 1300 ppm. Prior to that, I never gave indoor CO2 levels a thought. I began to do some research and discovered high levels of CO2 can cause symptoms such as fatigue, headache, breathing difficulties, strained eyes and itchy skin. My family does have all of these issues, especially on the weekends when we are home all day, but I never connected that to indoor air quality. Previously, I installed a Nest thermostat . The Nest is very smart and saves energy by learning your habits and programming itself. Unfortunately, it is so efficient, that t