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Pain is…

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PainPain is a tempest.

It is a raging storm that can carry us or drown us as we drift among the seas.

It comes in physical, emotional and psychological forms.

Some of us may never feel true pain. May never know true loss of one’s sanity, one’s loved one, one’s limb, or of stress that can induce tremendous pain that can deadlock the psyche.

For others they are trapped in the pain, trapped in the hurricane, just wading in and out of the eye of the hurricane as the waves increase to a crescendo that crushes the human soul.

The question is, the ever lasting question… Can we as humans cope with the pain with which we are dealt? Is it of the heart, the soul, God, or some other underlying strength that enable us to deal with the pain with which we are trapped within. And if we find this strength, what is it that can pull us from it’s grasp? What is it that can breach our tempest and quite literally save our lives?


Mass Insanity: Follow the Lemmings Oh North East Grocery Shoppers!

Mass Insanity: Follow the Lemmings Oh North East Grocery Shoppers! 150 150 Jason Stadtlander

I’m from Ohio, all my readers know that. And yes… I’ve transplanted to Massachusetts (what feels like eons ago). One thing I always enjoy is poking fun at some of the things that I find just a tad insane about my fellow Bay Staters. You know I love you all, but boy… sometimes you really take the cake for strange and bizarre. I know I wrote a piece at some point on this, but I can’t find it for the life of me, and with 24″ of wonderful white stuff, I just had to poke some fun.

Follow the Lemmings Oh North East Grocery Shoppers!Let’s take the good ole’ nor’easter grocery blast. The first winter I moved here, they were calling for 6″-8″ on a Tuesday. I really didn’t think much of it, because 6″-8″ was a pretty normal snowfall where I grew up in Central Ohio and later when I lived in Montana it wasn’t much to sneeze at.

So, I casually go into the Market Basket grocery store and there is flurry of people running around filling grocery carts to the max with bottles of water and dry goods. Later I stand there and watch as they are (literally) running for the checkout line.


I walked over to the manager of the store and asked “Is there an emergency I’m not aware of?”

She looked at my like I had three heads and replied, “Yes, haven’t you heard about the storm?”

I felt awkward, I said “There’s still only a max of eight inches, right? I mean they haven’t changed the prediction to like five feet or anything? They are planning on actually clearing the roads within three days of the snow fall, right?”

She stared at me and nodded. “So, why is everyone shopping like there won’t be food for three weeks?” I asked.

She shrugged her shoulders, “It’s what people do whenever there is any kind of storm coming.”

To this day that mentality has always bugged me, especially when I need to do some legitimate grocery shopping and there is a storm coming. As it turns out, after doing some research, there is a valid history (of mental damage) that causes people’s panic of the storm. The Blizzard of ’78, which I remember in Ohio, but of course was too young to know about what happened in Massachusetts. Apparently there were two separate storms of 2 feet (or more) of snow. They towed thousands of cars off route 128 and arrested anyone who was on the road.

So let’s examine some of the other “ONLY in Massachusetts” oddities:

  • Alcohol can only be sold in liqueur stores, you can’t buy any in grocery stores, not even beer.
  • “Happy Hour” is illegal with alcoholic beverages
  • Goatees are illegal unless you first pay a special license fee for the privilege of wearing one in public.
  • North Andover has a law that prohibits the use of space guns. (huh?)
  • A state law prevents gorillas from riding in the back seat of any car.
  • In most urban areas, there is a Dunkin Donuts within 1/10th of a mile of another Dunkin Donuts
  • Worcester is pronounced Wuhstah
  • Gloucester is pronounced Glohstah
  • Wicked = Awesome (Unlike us mid westerners that say “Man! F**kin’ A!”)
  • A Frappe is a Milkshake and a milkshake is just gross.
  • Massholes are typical drivers.
  • Hoodsie cups are cups of ice cream (P.S. don’t read the ingredients)
  • The North Shore and The South Shore might as well be separate states.
  • To take an hour to go 15 miles is normal.
  • Subsequently, distance to a location in Boston is measured in ‘time it takes to get there’, not miles.

Fellow Bay Staters, have any others that should be added?

Twisted Thursday – Following the Lemmings into the Storm

Twisted Thursday – Following the Lemmings into the Storm 150 150 Jason Stadtlander

What a better Twisted Thursday could there be than the insanity that people show when a storm comes.

I think I’ve found this to be more true in New England than in the Mid-west.  In Ohio we were generally just react as: “eh, great… gotta shovel”. In New England though it’s a whole different ball of wax.

I remember the first time I went to the grocery store before a storm. I was going to get some bread and a steak or two. The place was a mad-house! The aisle that had bottled water was completely empty and every single register had a line a mile long. I walked over to a store employee and I said, “Is there something happening that caused everyone to go and clean out the store?”

I was expecting her to say, “Oh, yes, a water main broke.” or even “You didn’t hear about the hurricane?” What she said instead shocked me. “The storm is coming tomorrow.”

Keep in mind, we were expecting four to five inches. I looked at the employee and said “I don’t get it, it’s just a snow storm.”

She flatly looked at me and said, “Everyone goes out and buys a ton of groceries before the storm.” as if this was a completely normal thing.Follow the Lemmings

So, what did this teach me? Don’t go shopping when a storm is coming. It’s absurd… you’d think World War III was coming and people thought they wouldn’t be able to get to the grocery store for the next three weeks.

Amused, I got in line and asked a woman who had three cases of bottled water why she was buying so much water. She replied, “We might lose power.”

“Hmm… and losing power has what to do with water?” I asked. “Wouldn’t it make more sense to buy batteries or a generator?”

“What would you do with a generator?” she asked. That was when I decided to halt the conversation, but before I did she added, “Besides everyone goes out to get some emergency groceries before a storm.”

That was when I came to notice something about a specific body of New Englanders.  Keep in mind, this doesn’t apply to all. Most of us are quite normal. However, there is a group that does things simply because everyone else does. I suppose you even have these people in your area, where-ever your area might be. I like to call them the blind followers or the lemmings. They watch someone jump off a cliff and want to go along for the ride.

As far as I’m concerned, they’re welcome to. It’ll be less lemmings to drive me nuts during the snow storm. I’ll just sit, drink my coffee and enjoy the fire as the snow falls and lemmings grocery shop.

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