Riders on the storm.' A nor'easter wallops New England. Its aftermath, Sunday, February 10, 2013.

The landscape of our mind changed

Preface / Introduction
This is collection of weather event that have happened the past few years mainly Nemo and its wrath! Feel free to comment: :Call me now for your FREE Internet marketing consultation. $100 value. Let an expert show you RIGHT NOW how to profit online every single day without leaving home. Call me -- Howard Martell-- now, (757) 962-2482.Or Skype me homeprofitcoach LIVE 24/7/365. Your success guaranteed. I'm waiting for your call RIGHT NOW! http://www.HomeProfitCoach.com/?rd=xe5uq1cK

Table of Contents
1. January 12. The first nor'easter of 2011. Thoughts from within nature's wallop. 2. 4:15 a.m., 14.7 degrees Fahrenheit, light snow falling. 3. 5:19 a.m., 40 degrees Farenheit, warming winds. 4. Autumn comes to New England, September, 2011. And we are glad of it. 5. First autumn ice, a man named Matt who spoke of God and blessed me, and a gladness for chance encounters. 6. 'Now is the winter of our discontent....' The millennial movement in mud that claims to Occupy America and the world. 7. Of earmuffs, sissies, bone-chilling cold, and warm ears; thanks to young inventor Chester Greenwood. 8. First snow comes to Cambridge, February 12, 2012, a story of life's unpredictable savor and joys. 9. 'Riders on the storm.' A nor'easter wallops New England. Its aftermath, Sunday, February 10, 2013. The landscape of our mind changed.

Riders on the storm.' A nor'easter wallops New England. Its aftermath, Sunday, February 10, 2013. The landscape of our mind changed

January 12. The first nor'easter of 2011. Thoughts from within nature's wallop.
by Dr. Jeffrey Lant I am writing to you today from inside one of nature's bona fide wonders: a good old New England nor'easter. I hadn't planned to comment on this blizzard; I tend to ignore them whenever possible. New Englanders are used to them. But I was awakened this morning by the snow insistently thumping my window, demanding my attention, insisting, lordly in its sway that I gaze out and make my obeisance to awe and wonder. And so I shall. First, the facts. What is snow anyway? Millions of people, their lives intertwined with this seasonal commodity which ebbs and flows, would, when asked... hem and haw, embarrassed by their ignorance of something so powerful, so regularly omnipresent, so, well, obvious. "I'm not really sure," they'd say -- myself among 'em -- "I just know it when I see it." The Farmer's Almanac to the rescue. My dictionary says snow is ice crystal flakes: water vapor in the atmosphere that has frozen into ice crystals and falls to the ground in the form of flakes. This is, well, adequate, good enough; it's better to seek out the experts at the Farmer's Almanac (published first by Benjamin Franklin in 1732. ) Snow, somehow, seems more real in the country, its sinews more apparent, its destructive power the more on view and genuinely regarded, with picturesque Currier and Ives panoramas at every glance. No wonder America loves these images of its earliest and most enchanting self, first published in 1813, when a view was verily a fine prospect indeed. Here's what the Farmer's Almanac says, "Snow is formed from water vapors in the cold clouds that have condensed into ice crystals. Ice crystals fasten onto a dust speck. One crystal attaches to another forming a snowflake. Once the snowflake is heavy enough, it falls from the cloud. A snowflake is either a single ice crystal or many crystals.The size of a snowflake is determined by how many ice crystals join together.The tops of clouds must be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, or 0 degrees Celsius in order for snowfall to occur.Snow can fall from any layered cloud that is cold enough." "Snow’s effect on the ground." " Snow accumulated on the ground helps keep bulbs and plant roots (beneath the ground) from freezing in frigid weather.As soft snowflakes pile on top of one another, pockets of air are left between them. This air helps protect seeds, bulbs and roots from freezing beneath the soil in winter.In spring when the snow begins to melt, some snow soaks into the earth to water the soil, while other melted snow replenishes streams, lakes and rivers." Now, that's a definition to be proud of. And I bet you, like me, hardly knew a whit of this. Still, it is good to know the brave little crocuses already peeping shoots above the ground will not be harmed. They are the vanguard of spring, and they cheer us every time they ascend to the sun and their brief tenure as bits of joy in the mud. 5:55 am Eastern http://www.HomeProfitCoach.com Copyright Howard Martell - 2013 4 of 28

Riders on the storm.' A nor'easter wallops New England. Its aftermath, Sunday, February 10, 2013. The landscape of our mind changed

It is not quite six a.m. now and the hegemony of snow is absolute. Or almost so. The snow plows are already at their work; their promise of relief and liberty at hand. Their noise must be fearsome for, snug and warm, I hear them as they go about their work. They bear names like Ariens, Toro, Craftsman, Husqvarna, Troy-Bilt, MTD Yard Machines, and Honda. You can tell as well as I that many of these are foreign names, and so with every flake, American money leaks to foreign shores. The snow plows are manned by happy crews of determined folk who relish their work. Soon, they will be found in taverns citywide sharing brews and tales of the Big One which will lose nothing in the telling. They are proud of the work which pulls them from snug beds into the Big Machines whose power, growing now, will soon efface that of snow itself. Commuters who come later, grumbling, will complain about where the fruit of these machines has been left. New England's poets knew their snow John Greenleaf Whittier (born 1807) wrote a best-seller in 1866 entitled Snowbound: A Winter Idyl. Easy to understand, its simple imagery and paean to nature do not satisfy our jaded tastes and so, sadly, this idyllic pastoral goes unread today. Sadder still is the fate of "The Cross of Snow" (1879) by my near neighbor on Brattle Street, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. His poem, gut wrenching, is not so much about the snow itself as about the snow covering the grave of his long-dead, fervently adored wife. I have been in the room she died, where there is love and pain, producing reflections almost too poignant to be written: "In the long, sleepless watches of the night ,A gentle face--the face of one long dead-- Looks at me from the wall, where round its head The night-lamp casts a halo of pale light. Here in this room she died, and soul more white Never through martyrdom of fire was led To its repose; nor can in books be read The legend of a life more benedight. There is a mountain in the distant West That, sun-defying, in its deep ravines Displays a cross of snow upon its side. Such is the cross I wear upon my breast These eighteen years, through all the changing scenes And seasons, changeless since the day she died." But this report must not end on such a note of mourning, no matter how haunting and elegiac. Thus we end instead with the sage of Concord, Massachusetts, Ralph Waldo Emerson who in "The Snow Storm" (published 1841) said this: "Announced by all the trumpets of the sky, Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields, Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air Hides hills and woods, the river and the heaven, And veils the farm-house at the garden's end. The sled and traveller stopped, the courier's feet Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed In a tumultuous privacy of Storm." *** I am now in that tumultuous privacy of Storm, where outside the elements contend, heavy, portentous, disruptive ephemeral, though they do not know it. Soon this will pass."

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Riders on the storm.' A nor'easter wallops New England. Its aftermath, Sunday, February 10, 2013. The landscape of our mind changed

4:15 a.m., 14.7 degrees Fahrenheit, light snow falling.
by Dr. Jeffrey Lant I awoke this morning to find as Samuel Taylor Coleridge did in 1798 all had been, o'er night, transformed. This great poet wrote ("Frost at Midnight"): "The Frost performs its secret ministry, Unhelped by any wind. The owlet's cry Came loud -- and hark, again! loud as before." There was no owlet crying outside my aerie, but I could hear the scurrying squirrels who, glad for the heat in the rafters, made merrie at this unseasonable hour, oblivious to my disapproval. I peered out the window, or attempted to. The Frost had well and truly come, exhibiting its meticulous work. No longer glass alone, my windows are etched with a brilliant mosaic of pristine silvered white, more intricate its pattern than any lace made by expert Belgian hands. I was the sole denizen of a crystalled box, the wintered land wore hoar frost... and I was its close observer, transfixed by such a stunning surprise, all mine, a thing of beauty alluring, sure of my attention and regard. The Frost had, indeed, performed its "secret ministry." I checked the temperature... 14.7 degrees Fahrenheit... unseasonable... the kind of cold for which the word "cold" falls short, inadequate to the task of accurate description of an event which affects all but few scrutinize or pause to consider. How had my windows been turned into frost-etched images fit for the palace of a winter king? These are the true Old Masters. To begin at the beginning, what is frost? My dictionary says that frost is a deposit of minute ice crystals formed when water vapor condenses at a temperature below freezing. This tepid definition ill suits something as beautiful as the stunning surface before me... this joy engendering gift of the cold cries out for better words, a clearer picture of its radiance. It is too early for such words to come from me... but they, like the rising temperature, will come. 5:10 am But if the effect of frost etched on my windows is poetry, the means by which this poem came to be is...prose... and assaults my pocketbook and frugal mien. The reason there is frost on my windows is prosaic and alarming; it is because my house is losing heat, probably because the windows are single glazed. This, a good contractor might assure me, could be taken care of by making a frame that fits inside my window frame and then stretching plastic over it to double glaze my windows. The dead air space in between the layers will stop heat from leaking to the outside of my home and keep the heat in. Then the windows will not be so cold... and the heat won't escape. This practical solution, beloved of the Yankee mind hereabouts, saves money... and ends any prospect of frost, its beauty, evocations and the delight in a marvel etched in ice for my delectation and happiness. http://www.HomeProfitCoach.com Copyright Howard Martell - 2013 6 of 28

Riders on the storm.' A nor'easter wallops New England. Its aftermath, Sunday, February 10, 2013. The landscape of our mind changed

I think I shall leave the windows single glazed. And so go out to see the universe transformed. 5:20 a.m. This all-pervasive cold, helped to its ascendancy by the deep chill of the nearby Atlantic, winter bound, turns all of us into friends... and survivors. People who in temperate days make clear their disinclination to know you, much less even the most significant of your opinions, on days like this, enlivened by frost, seek out any and all wintry travelers and utter such insights as "Cold, isn't it!" "Wow, this is the coldest day yet!" "Cold enough for you?" These unadorned sentiments make us remember that we are all traveling together, and are glad, from time to time, to recall... and reach out. We feel better for doing so, though of course we do not want to make a habit of such welcomes. There is, after all, no telling where that might lead... 5:31 a.m. I have left my sheltered perch, snug despite the single glaze, and now without to see first-hand what frost has wrought. Including those who, uncomfortably, watched its advent and quick possession: the homeless, with nothing, experience nature's all... often, in seasons such as these, unto death itself, more silent than the frost. Hypothermia is the enemy here, and its presence is noted. It is primarily an urban problem; cannier country folk are too smart and seasoned to fall victim to this malady of negligence. It is a condition afflicting mostly men, homeless, drug and alcohol addicted, mentally ill. Nonwhites over 65 (victims ready made) are four times as likely to succumb as whites, a statistic that comes alive as I enter Harvard Square and see those who chose to mark frost's advent by turning down the kindly meant offers of shelter from good Samaritans. The truth is, despite pressing invitations from the well-meaning, these people, mostly men, decline the bed and the appalling sight of so many like themselves; it is too real a reminder of where they started... and where they have ended up. Of 60 homeless people offered last night a bed and relative comforts,only 2 accepted. Their freedom comes at cost to the Samaritans, for they could easily oversee the human flotsam within the shelter; now they must check and check again throughout the night. So freedom for one, becomes extra labor for others. As for the rest, they chose freedom... to live, and to die, their own ways. For make no mistake, such men, falling too soon and unprepared to sleep, prove what frost and cold can do... for they are killers, too, ready, certain, deadly... and always, beautiful. 6:11 a.m. It is time now for me to return home, cheered by the thought that I have, this frosty day, seen things of value and importance; I have seen things and learned what scurrying neighbors will today miss, as items too common to be regarded, much less truly seen. My wintry poets stand ready at my return. There's Shakespeare, from "As You Like It." Blow, blow, thou winter wind. Thou art not so unkind As man's ingratitude. Thy tooth is not so http://www.HomeProfitCoach.com Copyright Howard Martell - 2013 7 of 28

Riders on the storm.' A nor'easter wallops New England. Its aftermath, Sunday, February 10, 2013. The landscape of our mind changed

keen, Although thy breath be rude. Then Thomas Campion's "Now Winter Nights Enlarge" (1617). "Winter: A Dirge, Robert Burns, 1781. Winter Heavens" George Meredith, 1888. "Sharp is the night, but stars with frost alive Leap off the rim of earth across the dome." Then always and forever... "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening", Robert Frost, 1923. The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.' *** And so do I.

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Riders on the storm.' A nor'easter wallops New England. Its aftermath, Sunday, February 10, 2013. The landscape of our mind changed

5:19 a.m., 40 degrees Farenheit, warming winds.
By Dr. Jeffrey Lant A thing of some significance happened overnight: the warming winds came well accompanied by great thundered mayhem and its chorus of audacious, startling colors. Cacophonous, they woke me up, fast, disorienting. Yes, the winds came, and the snow which this year of grace hit monumental, head-scratching proportions was gone as if so many geese worried by a dog, now present, now gone. The countryside rejoiced for it has yearned so for the warming winds and their promise of better days to come. Because these winds so cause the people to rejoice, what with present benefits and happy contemplations of the warm pleasure days, now no longer merely rumored but en route... the very gods have decreed an entry more than suitable, monumental, the stuff of awe and nature's gaudy touch. . And so these winds never sojourn alone but always with those lavish supporters, stentorian thunder paired with the wild magnificence of swift lighting. It was a thrill to lay in bed, alert and warm, to hear thunder and lighting and to know bone deep that with them came the real harbinger of spring, the warming winds. It was a release from brutal winter and its frigid regime... and lights went on in most every house as the denizens more than heard the news felt the warming winds... intelligence which made desponding nervous folk take heart, shake each other's hands, and kiss a passer by... and not regretting, proper like... the gesture as perfectly appropriate and rightly given. Ah, yes, these winds, surprising joy their felicitous legacy. 6:04 a.m. It is still quite dark this February day... but it is worth standing silent at the window, being forthrightly told... "Stand, reverencing mortal being, for we are the eternalities gracing you. If you value the warming winds, honor us as well as they do." What is wind anyway? All people worldwide live surrounded by, threatened by, helped by things they know little or even absolutely nothing about. Wind is such a subject. We all know about wind, and we have felt, rather than thought about, its nature and substance. Wind is wind. It was here before I was and will be here long after I have gone, a symbol of the transience of all, particularly me. What is wind anyway?... Wind is 1) moving air across the surface of the planet or through the atmosphere at a speed fast enough to be noticed; 2) moving air, especially a natural and perceptible movement of air parallel to or along the ground. This serviceable definition instructs but does not satisfy. For that we must go to writers, for it is their task to describe feelingly an invisible movement, sometimes beneficial, sometimes destructive, always changing. Writers, driven to accepting challenges, took up this one con brio. Christina Rossetti (d. 1894) , a "stunner" of the Pre-Raphaelites, scrutinized winds well, warming and otherwise. Who has seen the wind? Neither I nor you: But when the leaves hang trembling, The wind is passing http://www.HomeProfitCoach.com Copyright Howard Martell - 2013 9 of 28

Riders on the storm.' A nor'easter wallops New England. Its aftermath, Sunday, February 10, 2013. The landscape of our mind changed

through. Who has seen the wind? Neither you nor I: But when the trees bow down their heads, The wind is passing by. Here are words more descriptive of this ever moving presence now here, now there, now seeming gone, mischievous recurring. No dictionary can compete with words so evocative and complete. H.R.R. Tolkien (d. 1973) in his "Lament for Boromir" wrote this: Ask of the North Wind news of them the North Wind sends to me!' 'O Boromir! Beyond the gate the seaward road runs south, But you came not with the wailing gulls from the grey sea's mouth. Tolkien, with his fixation on the obsequies and ceremonies surrounding dead heroes of youth and stalwart demeanor too early curtailed, turns one of the winds into a messenger, an unmistakable lament, with overtones of Rams horns and Gotterdammerumg, very much in the Master's archaic lexicon. I'd best return to the Pre-Raphaelites. They, in their amplitude, are as fantastical as Tolkien. However, while death stalks them, too, their obsequies are of beauty lost forever soon and ruby lips now still, unkissed into the eternal. Morbid, these are yet more blissful and festive than Tolkien's hauntings. Here are more windy words, a poem by William Morris (d. 1896), the British writer beloved by Pre-Raphaelites: Ah! no, no, it is nothing, surely nothing at all, Only the wild-going wind round by the garden-wall, For the dawn just now is breaking, the wind beginning to fall. _Wind, wind! thou art sad, art thou kind? Wind, wind, unhappy! thou art blind, Yet still thou wanderest the lily-seed to find._ So I will sit, and think and think of the days gone by, Never moving my chair for fear the dogs should cry, Making no noise at all while the flambeau burns awry. *** Morris' effusion, like Morris himself, is overdone, overwrought, always, unhappily a woman in the case. Indeed, many have compared the wind to la donna mobile... Morris knew. He had waited while she eluded him; her capers for others, not for him. 7:38 a.m. I wish to see the land different today, and so go out. The sun is up, the snow is gone, the warming winds, too, all gone, merely leaving muds of every kind, the apt symbol of every day reality. Untouched by magic, the housewife's busy broom sweeps out the bits of land moving too, but only on the feet of men. "Henry," she says, "wipe your feet before you come in!" Women know this, early, and many other prosy things with which they maintain this orb. Not men. They overlook. Yes, the romance of the warming winds is gone, but they have surely kissed this earth and from it now waking spring arises. Thus, winds frequent but so little known: We thank you for your good service... your exuberant, ostentatious rites. Good voyage to you... as millions worldwide wait for you, impatient, restive, expectant, as they have always been.

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Copyright Howard Martell - 2013

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Riders on the storm.' A nor'easter wallops New England. Its aftermath, Sunday, February 10, 2013. The landscape of our mind changed

Autumn comes to New England, September, 2011. And we are glad of it.
By Dr. Jeffrey Lant Author's program note. Our first travelers to Massachusetts arrived at Plymouth just in time for Winter, too late for Autumn, specifically trodding on terra firma, December 26, 1620... and were they ever irritated, taking the opportunity to lambast the luckless captain who delivered them so late after a most disagreeable voyage, my dear, anxious for something new and exciting, but not (so they all later agreed) so new and exciting as the standard walloping, punishing New England Winter they came to know so well. And so the mystique of Autumn, as something worth having and decidedly superior to what follows, was planted at once... and has never waned. And for good reason. Autumn in New England is not merely a season. It is a mood, evocative, sacerdotal, an essential experience for the sensitive and anyone with the soul of a poet. It is a season that forces us to deal with transition, decay, transient beauty, and history scattered around and through the hamlets, towns, and occasional city. Indeed there is a feeling, never shared with outsiders and casual visitors, that each and every citizen of New England is merely history that hasn't quite happened yet. History in New England is not merely vestiges of things past; it is present reality, no ghost, but events of long ago, our neighbors still, as fresh today as at inception. This view of ancestors puzzles casual travelers who have no ancestors. They come from places without History... and are, of course, of no consequence whatever. They naturally take umbrage and as many pictures of dying foliage as the traffic allows. We are glad to see the back of them. States that more (or less) make up New England. It is well known to even the least educated that New England is comprised of six states: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Connecticut. The least educated, however, know nothing more than that and are not, therefore, in a position to inform you of sundry facts which if left untold to you will create problems for life and submerge your social standing. Here are the facts: * Massachusetts is the largest New England state and offers a dizzying array of important events, people, ideas, institutions, etc. I don't have either the time or inclination to share these significant details... for that you must visit any one of our dwindling number of bookstores and buy something. We need the money. Autumn in Massachusetts is most about students arriving at pluperfect academies and institutions of higher learning graced by Corinthian columns and departments of humanities beset by troubles and the budget axe at every side. Such institutions attract the brightest students of the world. Sadly, even these are less educated than their parents, though they pay substantially more for what no one anymore considers a "good" education. Future students enrolled in such places in what is known as the Bay State will come for only a few weeks or even a few days, the prime objective being to say they "went" to (whatever institution they may claim) and to have their pictures taken in front of those venerable columns. Of course, it goes without saying that tuition and fees will not decline; rather the reverse. You will remember: we need the money. Rhode Island, minute state, longest name. Rhode Island, the littlest state, suffers from an indelible inferiority complex which has produced in once nick-named "Little Rhody" the insistent temerity of the "mouse that roared." Rhode Islanders http://www.HomeProfitCoach.com Copyright Howard Martell - 2013 11 of 28

Riders on the storm.' A nor'easter wallops New England. Its aftermath, Sunday, February 10, 2013. The landscape of our mind changed

take no guff, and with that chip on the shoulder, defy you to knock it off. Even the boldest think twice before they try... Rhode Island and Providence Plantations was founded by zealous brethen who grew appalled and aggravated with the sanctimonies and regulations of their former colleagues in Massachusetts and walked to a new destiny, one in which their truth was The Truth. So busy with the business of God, they had no time for the wistful vistas and God-delivered splendors of Autumn. In due course, after their relationship with God was well and truly cemented and its manifestations -money -- began to pour in... Rhode Islanders of means (and there were many) had no time for Autumn... they were busily spending their millions on sad copies of European culture and so nicking their fortunes and ensuring the sniggers of more enlightened, less respectful generations. Later, in recent years, Rhode Islanders still had no time for Autumn. Gambling, lurid sex, and corrupt politics held sway... and to those who indulged the only season that mattered was the season in which their nocturnal activities waxed. As a result of all these episodes Rhode Island came to know nothing at all of Autumn... something the more enlightened amongst them should regret, but probably do not. New Hampshire. There was no "Massachusetts" in the Old Country; there was no "Rhode Island." But there was a peaceful place, a verdant place... called Hampshire. It is no wonder new citizens of the new land wished to memorialize it and pass a nostalgic hour reliving the place they would always remember as "home." Such a place is a good place to see and to reflect upon the verities of Autumn, its beauty, its sadness that such beauty must be fleeting. Go, then, to New Hampshire where their by-word is "Live free, or die." It is a silly motto and would be better rendered "Live free, or fight," something feisty, bold, gutsy, uplifting. But at least the folks in New Hampshire mean well, though that isn't always enough. After all, at a time of fiscal austerity, they have wasted millions promoting that foolish motto of theirs. Vermont. Now we come to the Holy of Autumnal Holies, a place as sanctified and revered as Delphi. It's everything that every Sunday travel supplement says it is... villages rendered and revered by Currier and Ives, places so quaint and tidy you are sure they are imaginary. I confess. I love Vermont in Autumn, and so that is when I scheduled my classes at the University of Vermont. One bows low before such a riot of glorious colors and swiftly dying verdure. Still, I have a pet concern... Vermont is not a name of Old England; rather it is a name of Ancien France, for Vermont ("Green mountain") was an outpost of the Bourbons and reminds us they dreamed imperially, too, if less successfully than England. Perhaps locals kept the name which concerns me because it was tangible evidence that they had pulverized those Frenchies... even to the extent of annexing these words from their language for eternity... an insult to the people most conscious of the outrage of insult. En garde! Maine... Connecticut. As far as Autumn in New England is concerned, after the "in your face" exuberance of Vermont, the rest is dross. Maine, after all, was just a hunk of Massachusetts ripped off the Commonwealth in 1820 and established as a "free state," to balance the "slave state" of Missouri then entering the Union. But we canny folk of Massachusetts are glad; Mainers are poor and exigent. They really need the money. And as for Connecticut, the less said the better. Connecticut looks today as it has looked for eons http://www.HomeProfitCoach.com Copyright Howard Martell - 2013 12 of 28

Riders on the storm.' A nor'easter wallops New England. Its aftermath, Sunday, February 10, 2013. The landscape of our mind changed

south to New York and Pennsylvania. The folks in Hartford and environs condescend to the rest of New England. We hate them cordially and have made sure to sell them everything we can at inflated prices. You see, they have the money. At the end... Now you know about Autumn in New England. Book your tickets at once. Bring the family; the more the merrier. And, remember, bring all your credit cards and instruments of credit. Keep in mind at all times, we need the money. Oh, and by the way, should you like a little light music to accompany this article, I recommend Edith Piaf singing "Autumn Leaves", in both Johnny Mercer's English and Jacquec Prevert's French. It is superbe. You'll find it in any search engine. Do it now before the falling leaves have all drifted past your window...

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Riders on the storm.' A nor'easter wallops New England. Its aftermath, Sunday, February 10, 2013. The landscape of our mind changed

First autumn ice, a man named Matt who spoke of God and blessed me, and a gladness for chance encounters.
By Dr. Jeffrey Lant Author's Program Note. How's your knowledge of Korean pop music? I thought so and yet Song Gol Mae produced in 1981 the perfect song for this article. It's called "Chance Encounter"... and in this dangerous world most of us assiduously avoid them, the odds of catastrophe going up, we reckon, as we -- and the earth -- age together. And yet... chance encounters intrigue us... entertain us... bemuse and make us wonder whether there is a thing called "fate"... and what else it has in store for us. Why I went out so early today, well before the dawn... My colleagues, my family, my friends and even some of the millions of people who do me the honor of reading whatever's on my mind as it morphs into electronic and paper printed articles... these folks have been ganging up on me for some time now. Here's just a sample of what they pepper me with early and late; all for my own good of course: "All work and no play..." (an aphorism so well known in our overworked day that no one ever finishes it; so I shall: "make Jack a dull boy." (I wouldn't know, since I prune dull boys from my acquaintance with deft alacrity, especially those named Jack). "You know you ARE over 60, old man; slow down and smell the roses"... or the coffee... or whatever they deem worthy of slowing down for and sniffing. For the record, I detest coffee, always have, and think that a substance silent but deadly should shroud all who imbibe it, the more so because those who drink it cannot resist discussing it, reliving every drop they have ever had... ad nauseam... As for roses, ever since the florist industry had the brainchild of breeding roses without scent, I have transferred my respect, admiration -- and nose -- to other flora which shall not be mentioned here, lest the florists again take aim at that scent, too. Mum's the word. "You've got more money than God. Why don't you spend some it, Scrooge?" They little know that I'm wildly extravagant about what I like... and parsimonious to a degree about things I don't. Clothes, for instance, being in my book a complete waste of money; I buy them solely to help the economy and to spare the sensitivities of my delicate neighbors who most assuredly would carp and cavil at the horror of seeing too much of me; a man who thought he was completely satisfactorily (un) dressed at birth. And has never wavered on this point, making sure to seize every opportunity to look one's best and most natural by shedding clothes like so many autumn leaves. You get the picture. I have become a "cause"... something discussed... considered... evaluated and -- horrors -- advised; advice being something which I alone own and have the right to proffer, as a commentator. It is insufferable... and so to get the discussion back where it well and truly belongs -- to my always limpid, insightful, and, yes, lyric prose... my particular forte, I resolved to get up and out of my curial arm chair; the style developed for the consuls of ancient Rome, and thus entirely suitable for me, for whom every gesture of the imperial Caesars is holy and revived. The hour was early, early, the weather deleterious and wet. I own I did consider the matter (fleetingly but completely) about whether to venture out, but I concluded that the well meant yapping of all and sundry would never cease until I made a gesture (however insincere) to the well-meaning, something to close the case and shut them up. http://www.HomeProfitCoach.com Copyright Howard Martell - 2013 14 of 28

Riders on the storm.' A nor'easter wallops New England. Its aftermath, Sunday, February 10, 2013. The landscape of our mind changed

Then, earlier than usual, I saw the Boston Globe at my door and two stories on the front page any other day I would have stopped to read, whether I was wearing a towel -- or not. Commentators have their rights and privileges, you know. And so I left the Honorable Sarah's decision not to burden the nation with a campaign which, above all else, would have caused national regret that we ever bought Alaska, "Seward's Folly" well and truly named. She could wait. The death of Steve Jobs, of Apple fame, screamed out for my erudite comments, one of my celebrated "Appreciations for the life and work of...." But this, too, would have to wait. He, at least, deserves the best of which my pen is capable... though I never owned or wanted his celebrated machine. Out I went. The first thing I noticed how, well before the dawn, the streets are as busy as rush hour. That was a revelation... and a double caution. For openers for the season's first black ice. Then, secondly, for the need to look carefully to avoid either falling into one of the deep crevasses of the side walk which, when covered by the snow whose arrival will be all too soon, could be deadly ... or being crushed into eternity by the all-too-numerous traffic. I had no idea... But the traffic forced me to heed the traffic signals... and one glance compelled another. These signals, glazed with the rain of the night and the mists of the morning, glistened; thereby proving that even in the most utilitarian of objects there is beauty... if one takes a minute to pause, observe -and sniff. I walked into Harvard Square which, our own Times Square, never sleeps, not least because it harbors a wide population of the homeless and down trodden. One perhaps sensing (with the practised eye of one who lives or dies by such observations) that I was a "friendly" stepped out of the alcove of the Harvard COOP, a bold movement at any other time I would have ignored. ... But he looked cold, hungry and (important) harmless. How fast such decisions are made for all that they can change lives. I asked him the superfluous question about whether he was hungry and, not having a penny on me, invited him to breakfast chez moi, audacious for me to offer; audacious for him to accept. And so my encounter with Matt, aged 31, (I guessed 23) commenced. It was a story of better times; then actions and events which cost him everything. But the story I saw was in the bafflement in his eyes and a smile which was once entirely compelling; now just a residue. He came, he ate, he talked of his journeys. Then he told me that God is in each charitable act and that God would bless me this day. And so he went, and though I gave him my card and told him to return if necessary, I sensed I should never see him again; thus he will never know of this article. But he was right, God blessed me today with these words, and I was, therefore, not irritated or insulted when he, at the door, asked for $5; I gave him $10. He said it would pay for washing his weary clothes. May it do him some good and me, too. Now go to any search engine and find "Chance Encounter". One is coming soon to change your life, too.

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Riders on the storm.' A nor'easter wallops New England. Its aftermath, Sunday, February 10, 2013. The landscape of our mind changed

'Now is the winter of our discontent....' The millennial movement in mud that claims to Occupy America and the world.
by Dr. Jeffrey Lant Author's program note. For two months now, bemused citizens of the Great Republic and lesser lands beyond the seas, have watched, first, with cursory interest, then curiosity, then with bafflement and exasperation as growing numbers of their fellow humans took over one public space after another. "That," said the most perspicacious amongst us, "will never last. Just wait until the first touch of winter hits 'em. They'll go back to where they came from plenty fast." But winter (including one unseasonable whopper storm that buried all the pumpkins this Halloween) has come and the disaffected have worked hard and assiduously to make themselves comfortable amidst debris for a longer term. And so perplexity has begun to change to sarcasm, irritation and a rage, now incipient, but certain to grow with their duration. To reverse Shakespeare's famous line from Richard III: "Merry meetings changed to our stern alarums." It is time to peruse what is happening, and so I have unearthed my lorgnette, the better to scrutinize, perceive, and understand. But, first, since the movement has no stirring tune of its own, I shall suggest one: Woody Guthrie's rendition of "This land is your land...." (1956). It is something this movement without petitions, platforms or pronunciamentos can easily take to heart... They are saying something... but we have trouble comprehending what. The great revolutions of the modern age, the American, the French, the Russian, the Chinese, the Indian were all epochal events of literate men... men who possessed language, who were motivated by great ideals and legions of ideas; men who wrote and spoke well, often sublimely, thought hard, studied, researched, communicated, persuaded. As such we, their political and cultural descendants, find what we wish to know, to venerate, and to revere in their articles, books, constitutions, bills of right and proclamations of wrong. And so these men and what they stood for revive us, rekindle us, resurrect us, and we rejoice to be the beneficiaries of such men and their living legacies. But things are very different with movements such as Occupy America where there are few words and none limpid, clear, practical or precise. That is why we cannot compare this almost voiceless movement with the great revolutions with their stark and stirring words shot round the world. We must seek our clues elsewhere... thus I give you The Children's Crusade of 1212 A.D. It came to pass in May 1212 that a shepherd-boy named Stephen of Cloyes from the fertile Orleannais boldly entered the Court of King Philip of France. He was just 12 years old... and the King made it clear he had seen more than his share of the unworthy and that the boy should leave at once. But this boy claimed to have a letter that Christ himself had given him, a letter which he had been ordered to present to his sovereign in person. "Plus ca change..." thought the Majesty of France... but Stephen, fueled by his God-given vision, persisted... forcing the reluctant monarch and his disdainful courtiers to listen and heed this God-favored boy. And as they listened, they began to hear... that God himself had directed that all the children of France must go to the Holy Land in a great Crusade, fueled by their innocence, purity, and the unwavering support of God, unmatched weapons with which they must triumph and purge the infidels from the Holy City. Did the King really believe all this? Or did he just concur for safety's sake? Of course we shall never know. But one thing King Philip knew better than anyone: all that eloquence agitated the people... and had to stop. And so the King became an advocate of the Crusade, if only because he wanted http://www.HomeProfitCoach.com Copyright Howard Martell - 2013 16 of 28

Riders on the storm.' A nor'easter wallops New England. Its aftermath, Sunday, February 10, 2013. The landscape of our mind changed

and had to stop. And so the King became an advocate of the Crusade, if only because he wanted Stephen, his message, and unrivaled ability to stir up the people and disrupt royal control out of his kingdom and just as fast as possible. Battalions of Crusaders, all under 12 years old. There was no question about it: boy Stephen's message, at once illogical, ill-developed, unlikely, improbable but always exciting, touched the people, particularly the young people like him. These in their thousands, then their tens of thousands, flocked to his banner, the sacred Oriflamme of France. Stephen was asked a host of questions: How would he feed the children? God would provide. How would the children get past the sea? God would provide. How would the children defeat the greatest soldiers of the day? Here above all God would provide because infidels affronted Him most grievously in His holy places. And because he said everything with resounding resolution and complete assurance, the thirty thousand children who gathered round him, not one more than 12 years old, exuded the kind of complete confidence and total assurance that can only come when God himself is your Captain-General. And so the King (now thoroughly alarmed at the masses of expectant children, seized by certainty and exaltation) moved heaven and earth (for he was the Elect of God, too) to get Stephen and his cohorts what they needed to leave France... and with dispatch. One legend says that Philip rode with Stephen to the royal boundary, there having his courtiers throw handfuls of gold as far as they could... knowing the cheering children would run ahead to get it and so leave the relieved King to his devices. A few children were trampled to death, of course,... but what of that? God had taken them unto himself... for he had need of their innocence, too. But the seas did not part for the children of France.... as they had for the children of Israel. The first great challenge appeared after the weary children had walked to Marseilles. Stephen, now bloated with honors and arrogance, had said... and thrilling, too... that they would need no ships to transport them... just to walk, safe and dry, through the parted waters, and so to Jerusalem. But of course the waters did not part. And now the citizens of Marseilles grew alarmed, as well they might with thousands of restive, disappointed, needy children on their very doorsteps. Seeing this mass of unhappy children, two good citizens, Hugh the Iron and William the Pig, offered on bended knee the free use of ships to transport the petite Crusaders. And so (perhaps with the complete assistance of King Philip) transported the children into the very hands of their enemies where there was imprisonment, the lash, long years of slavery and early death... And so this millennial Crusade ended... achieving nothing but disappointment, disillusion and despair. What's more it took 18 years to communicate this disaster to Europe which saw hardly a participant return, children no longer. Of course with their cell phones, text messages and Internet, today's wired Crusaders are never disconnected. But this difference does not obscure the similarities between The Children's Crusade and Occupy America, millennial movements both. Both movements have been maddeningly imprecise, vague, and unspecific about their objectives and how to achieve them. So it has ever been with causes millennial and their participants, who do not worry about how their exasperatingly unclear objectives will be met. For Stephen of Cloyes and his following that was of no concern for they knew the God of Abraham and Moses would provide. http://www.HomeProfitCoach.com Copyright Howard Martell - 2013 17 of 28

Riders on the storm.' A nor'easter wallops New England. Its aftermath, Sunday, February 10, 2013. The landscape of our mind changed

And the adherents of Occupy America believe that, too, which is why they are so calm and patient in the face of so much discomfort, scalding skepticism, and muddle. They know they will triumph... in due course and inevitably... for all they are sitting in the mud today, chilled by the descending temperatures of inclement November. How do they know? God told them so, just as He told young Stephen in long-ago France. The only thing missing is the language of God, the casualty of time and changing fashions. But make no mistake Occupy Americans will tell you if asked that they are well and truly the Children of God, doing God's work and doing it well until one day, when God signifies his approval, they will melt away as unexpectedly as they came, "our brows bound with victorious wreaths." (Richard III, Shakespeare.) *** What do you think about the Occupy Movement? Let us know by posting your comments below.

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Riders on the storm.' A nor'easter wallops New England. Its aftermath, Sunday, February 10, 2013. The landscape of our mind changed

Of earmuffs, sissies, bone-chilling cold, and warm ears; thanks to young inventor Chester Greenwood.
by Dr. Jeffrey Lant Author's program note. Winter. What a revoltin' development this is. I often wonder on days so ridiculously cold like this one is why the Puritans stayed here after arriving and sampling the depths of a Massachusetts winter. I suppose it had something to do with their land grants and, of course, their pertinacious natures and obstinacy. For they were of the variety of folks who say they'll do a thing and then -- do it, never mind that their friends and fellow Pilgrims are dropping like flies all around them. I often think of such folks on days like this, in winters like this. Excuse me if I get too intimate too fast, but I wonder, yes and for long periods of time, too, for I like to be thorough in my cogitations and day dreams, I wonder... about the socks those Puritans wore, what undergarments and undies they fashioned, how they made vests and sweaters... scarves and hats, each and every item needed... and especially the focus of today's ruminations, how they kept their godly ears from freezing and falling off, tangible victory tokens for Winter itself, who likes you to remember who is boss around these parts once the December solstice occurs. Theocracies, autocracies, aristocracies, ideas on this and that, may all come and go but one fact of human history remains constant and insistent: if you live in a frigid climate, your ears will get plenty cold... and must be taken care of right away, whatever your other priorities for the day. Meet the patron saint of warm ears.... Chester Greenwood. For just such days, Chester Greenwood and his first epochal invention were born. And today we sing his praises.... while capering amidst snow and ice. Because of Master Greenwood we are safe and warm, ready for anything. Because Chester Greenwood, whom I guarantee you never heard of until just this moment, is the man who invented earmuffs... and he hailed not so very far from where I'm writing you today, in Farmington in the State of Maine, where laconic residents know the answer to this ancient question, "Cold enough for you?" And then laugh their thin, silent laugh, the one that keeps their human heat within, not cast profligate like into the too brusque air. Mainers are like that, and we like them just that way, especially young Chester and his ear-saving invention. Just 15. Like everybody else in Farmington, Chester's young ears got cold and turned all the colors of distress, first chalky white, then beet red, and finally the deep blue that signifies danger for the continued use, indeed existence of the ears he rightly prized and cherished. And being a practical lad, and caring, too, for the ears of his family and friends, he did what all folks of inventive disposition do... he began to dream up a solution, and fast, for his ears were big and therefore even colder than most. As every true inventor knows, the solution to a pending problem -- that "eureka!" moment -- can occur anytime, anywhere. And you must always be ready when it happens. For that industrious young Greenwood boy it occurred one day when he was out having fun -- or trying to --at Abbot Pond where he was breaking in a new pair of skates. This was a very big deal for him, because he came from a poor family (as most Mainers did) with six kids... and new skates were like gold, for all that they had to be shared. Greenwood was anxious to try out those babies... but the wind whipping off the pond was just too much, even for this hardy lad. http://www.HomeProfitCoach.com Copyright Howard Martell - 2013 19 of 28

Riders on the storm.' A nor'easter wallops New England. Its aftermath, Sunday, February 10, 2013. The landscape of our mind changed

He raced home to his "Gram", found in her proper place in the farmhouse kitchen and asked her to see what she could come up with to cover his ears. It was the kind of practical question every real Grammie expects, is glad to get, and can always do something about. Chester didn't just stand and watch as his Grammie worked; that was not his way, and so they worked together. Chester supplied the idea and the materials; Gram, proud of her inventive grandson, supplied the artistry and experience of her nimble fingers, and so they got on like a house afire. Chester wanted beaver fur on the outside, black velvet on the inside to shield his ears. Wool would never do; too itchy. Once the materials had been selected and approved, it was time to fashion the device that kept them secure and in place. To solve this problem, they chose a soft wire known as farm wire, a precursor of bailing wire. Some later accounts say the resulting device was then attached to a cap. So readied for the elements, Chester returned to the pond where, with the warmest ears in the county, he astonished his shivering buddies with the joyous dexterity of unremitting youth. Soon, this 15 year old whiz kid was in the business of crafting earmuffs for old and young alike; for Mainers know a good deal when they see it. And as Chester worked... he, like every inventor before him, made adjustments, improvements, corrections, never satisfied, always in pursuit of the perfect muff, which he called Greenwood's ear protectors and which, like Henry Ford's auto, you could have in any color so long as it was black. In due course, in 1873, and just 18 mind, he was awarded U.S. patent number 188,292 thereby launching a business which kept 20 or so of his neighbors in Farmington gainfully employed for nearly 60 years. At its height in 1936, he produced some 400,000 muffs a year, doing well while doing good... which is or at least should be the objective of every inventor and entrepreneur. Greenwood, by now a celebrity in the State of Maine and beyond, died in 1937, aged 79. He had lead the most beneficial of lives, finding needs and filling them, the time honored path to usefulness and wealth. Amongst his 130 patents are such devices as improvements on the spark plug; a decoy mouse trap called the Mechanical Cat; his own shock absorber, a hook for pulling doughnuts from boiling oil, the Rubberless Rubber Band, and the Greenwood Tempered Steel Rake. But of all his many worthy and practical ideas, I still prefer his first achievement, those earmuffs in beaver and black velvet, for you see like Chester, and such great celebrities as Clark Gable, I have big ears, too; so big that in the Alphabet Poll in my high school year book, my ears were photographed after my discerning classmates had voted mine the most notable, and so they were. Delicious/ And thus, with ears like Greenwood's, I had Greenwood's problem; that is until I discovered Greenwood's solution in a pair of Greenwood's muffs, in black, of course. They were a statement, that I was a practical boy myself, always desirous of keeping these pristine ears in fine working order. Besides, I don't mind tellling you, I looked killing in mine, arresting, handsome, cute to boot. Not like Christopher Ninnis, that wag, who made derisory comments about sissies in earmuffs, keeping his in a box. But then... look how he turned out. Note: In 1977, Maine declared December 21st "Chester Greenwood Day" to honor the king of warm ears whilst the City of Farmington, Maine kept employed by Greenwood's genius, throws him an annual birthday bash, complete with parade where police cruisers are decorated as giant earmuffs. It's the first Saturday in December. He deserves it, all of it, don't you think? ## We invite you to submit your comments below on this article. http://www.HomeProfitCoach.com Copyright Howard Martell - 2013 20 of 28

Riders on the storm.' A nor'easter wallops New England. Its aftermath, Sunday, February 10, 2013. The landscape of our mind changed

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Riders on the storm.' A nor'easter wallops New England. Its aftermath, Sunday, February 10, 2013. The landscape of our mind changed

First snow comes to Cambridge, February 12, 2012, a story of life's unpredictable savor and joys.
by Dr. Jeffrey Lant Author's program note. The sound was unmistakable. It was, quite literally, that harsh, grating noise made when steel of the most tenacious kind scrapes against unyielding concrete; that immutable thing that insists (to the outrage of your ears) it is here today, here tomorrow, here forever. And I cringed, snug abed as I was... for though the drivers of these inexorable machines would like the shower of municipal largesse that snow rains upon them every single day; these (usually) high school drop-outs and bumptious get such benefaction only when the snow flies. Miserable for the rest of us, this is their happiest time, for inclemency and beautiful large flakes by the million line their capacious pockets and always open palms. Thus are they always johnny on the spot to see this snow, consider the profits in this snow, remove this snow... as loudly as possible and, whenever possible, especially at the moment you grasped slumber. So does snow, the most silent thing on Earth, make its presence known by one of the most loud, stentorian and coarse manifestations... and that should have been your first indication that this was no simple story... quite the reverse... for life's first lesson (and hard learned by most, too) is that things are not always what they seem... something too many romantic young things have learned to their peril too late... "Let it snow..." some idiot's fancy. For this tale of our times, a tale you like me might have often experienced in life without a moment's thoughtful consideration, I have selected an insinuating 1945 tune entitled "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow," lyrics by Sammy Cahn, composed by Jule Steyne and sung by one of the most unctuous men ever conceived, Dean Martin. It is a tune that no sensible person likes and which proves yet again (if necessary) that misinformation set to a bouncy tune gets an award... not its just come-uppance. (Go to any search engine, find it, and let its lilt uplift you.) My Intention. When I heard the first unmistakable sounds of the snow removal equipment and the loud commands, imprecations and expletives most assuredly not deleted, I knew my fate... for all that it was dark outside and my penthouse walls were gelid to the touch and its windows emblazoned with the rich munificence of frost expertly etched ..... a clear command I needed to bundle up and go out. You see, it's my self-imposed and onerous duty to report on my neighborhood and its denizens whenever something of note is occurring. And there can be no doubt that the first snow of the new year is such an event... despite the fact it causes me personal misery of the most acute kind to venture out, the better to tell you what is happening and why it is significant. But as the recognized and much heralded Sage of Cambridge, I know my duty and not even the tundra of Siberia will keep me from it... though I am paid out in nothing more than chilblain and catarrh. It was melting, melting, melting. I selected this heading for one reason and one reason only: to brag that I was once kissed by The Wicked Witch of the West, the character much better known than the actress who played her in the iconic American film released in 1939, "The Wizard of Oz." Her name was Margaret Hamilton, and when I was a student at Harvard I gave a tea-party for her one day and, of course, gave myself the best seat on the couch thereby enabling me to rub elbows with a legend. She, Miss Hamilton I called her, was a sweetie-pie, my highest compliment. I bought her, from my http://www.HomeProfitCoach.com Copyright Howard Martell - 2013 22 of 28

Riders on the storm.' A nor'easter wallops New England. Its aftermath, Sunday, February 10, 2013. The landscape of our mind changed

own money too, an exuberant, grand, frilly box of Valentine's Day chocolates, of the Russell Stover general store variety. She cooed the expected words "For me?" and graced me with a demure, enchanting smile. Then she kissed me and since I was a boy who had been kissed often enough to know, I conceived it was a Real Kiss, earnestly meant. But she was a great actress, mistress of every role; thus I shall never know... but wonder what would have happened had I been as ardent as she... But I digress... ... I simply wanted you to know that the kiss (and the look, mind) she gave me was sufficiently heated to cause the situation which made her famous, the situation where (doused with common water) she melted at the feet of ruby-slippered Dorothy. Perhaps had I melted as well and thoroughly when Miss Hamilton kissed me life might have taken a very different turn... But, again, I digress, for what I should be telling you pertains to melting snow, not paths not taken or unrecognized (for all they were clear and apparent, had you the wit to see). The snow outside my door, the snow for which I was well and truly bundled up, the snow that had caused such high jubilation and exuberance amongst Cambridge's well-heeled proletariat was already melting away, the storm passed on, a wimpish thing to be disdained and dismissed, of no account or significance whatsoever. But here, precipitate in my too swift deductions and conclusions, I was most assuredly wrong... for this storm, puny though it may have been, had the power, ample, too, to change my life... and so it did.... Two incidents, one hard upon the heels of another. I returned home not as cold as I thought I would be, not as impressed at Nature and Nature's wallop as I expected to be and thought my due for my preparations before going out... a trifle irked at the littleness I had encountered where I wanted sturm und drang, grandeur, the unspeakable eloquence... you get the picture. But then the phone rang.... and a voice I hadn't heard for ages... was there on the line, in need, happy to overlook the harsh words which had once, I cannot quite remember when, caused estrangement. He had gotten off the train at Harvard Square, climbing the steps towards the Church Street exit and had fallen hard down several of them. No, he didn't think anything broken, but could he come for some coffee and solace... could he come, he really meant, for forgiveness and peace-making? So the snow, melted into icy peril on steps trod by thousands, had delivered... an unexpected opportunity to mend a fence, a fence that never should have been broken in the first place, much less broken for so long. And this should have been incident enough for one day, one storm, one sage. But it wasn't... for puny storms aim to prove a puissance and cool connivance mere bulk cannot deliver. Thus, moments after my now resurrected friend was absolved de facto and with gladness, a car skidded upon the picayune ice and crashed into an unconsidered telephone pole of great significance, removing my telephone service for one day and still unresolved into two. The message that now appears when you call my number says the call cannot be put through, that I am in fact marooned inside my world, the sinews of my life so reduced. Thus this thought: Suppose my regained friend had taken a later subway to Harvard... and suppose his hard fall had occurred an hour or two later, after my phones went silent; that he had called, but received no answer. What then? Do you think he, hobbling off, would have tried his impulse later, or simply said "Que sera, sera." I shall never know... and that's why life is so interesting, its uncertainties and unpredictabilities its very essence; our detailed and carefully wrought plans so often so insignificant and overpowered beside them. http://www.HomeProfitCoach.com Copyright Howard Martell - 2013 23 of 28

Riders on the storm.' A nor'easter wallops New England. Its aftermath, Sunday, February 10, 2013. The landscape of our mind changed

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Riders on the storm.' A nor'easter wallops New England. Its aftermath, Sunday, February 10, 2013. The landscape of our mind changed

'Riders on the storm.' A nor'easter wallops New England. Its aftermath, Sunday, February 10, 2013. The landscape of our mind changed.
by Dr. Jeffrey Lant. Author's program note. Whatever you were doing, whatever you thought important a moment before. Whatever your plans, schemes, intentions, wishes and desires, each alone and all together are trumped by the hauteur of wintry weather... a force of Nature, a creation of God which goes where it would and cavorts as it pleases with no thought whatsoever about us, puny beings consigned to cower on the sidelines by a force pure majesty, unimaginable energy... breathtaking beauty... certain killer... covering all corruption in white, just long enough for us to imagine our world pure and pristine again. All hail such power... not least because it reminds us of our true place in the Cosmos and how little we count. For such a time, the music is "Riders on the Storm," recorded in December, 1970. As things turned out, it was Jim Morrison's last recorded song. It entered the Top 100 on 3 July, 1971, the day Morrison in all his unmatched beauty died, removing a troubled man from this Earth, leaving behind a legend which causes fervent pilgrims to break off stones from his defaced monument in the cemetery Pere Lachaise, his final resting place, where there is still no rest. Or for us, either. Portents, Friday afternoon. Even the fiercest of blizzards begins with a single frail flake, exquisite, poetry from ice, so lovely in its decent from heaven we must stop and wonder. We have seen it before, but no matter how rushed we may be, we pause to see it carry its celestial luster to a habitat which all of a sudden seems dreary without its allure. This is not snow; it is cool alchemy, turning commonplace elements into joy that dances before your eyes, kissed by wind, beckoning you from every responsibility, joy, pure joy... thus do even the greatest storms begin, as small bits of magic held in hand, and if you're lucky, captured on tongue, an agile result which no age eschews, even the oldest for whom the subtle taste is a passport to years gone by and people long gone and cherished. "Blown away". But, of course, the first snow flake is but the precursor of millions. And so while we scrutinize the first with eagerness and scrupulous attention, we prepare for all the rest, if not expecting the worst, at least readying for it. This time it came, in all its rampant ferocity, voracious, inexorable, inimical to everything in its path, no matter how hallowed or substantial. All of us, each thing, held hostage, no succor handy or soon expected. Thus were we humbled by a thing we had held in our hands just hours before, welcomed and extolled. "Meterological bomb" What had happened? Gleeful meteorologists, with too little to do this winter until now, tripped over themselves to educate a public suddenly desirous to know all -- and assess their peril accordingly. Thus we learned every worrisome and anxious aspect of the storm galloping to the very heart of our seaboard civilization, now a target, not just a desirable destination. The jet stream that flows from west to east, 18,000 feet above the surface of the Earth, has two branches: a polar stream that takes a northerly route and a second, more southerly stream. When http://www.HomeProfitCoach.com Copyright Howard Martell - 2013 25 of 28

Riders on the storm.' A nor'easter wallops New England. Its aftermath, Sunday, February 10, 2013. The landscape of our mind changed

those branches converge (which is not infrequent during the winter), snow falls, as the frigid air from the north mingles with the humid air from the south. This winter there was very little of this mingling. Until Friday. And then we all became riders on the storm as we raced to the security of homes and families now in the face of threat more precious than ever. Would we be in time? Thus little by little as we fled prayers were sent aloft; first a handful, then thousands, then hundreds of thousands, heartfelt, sent up from even the least believing, while in the background dead Morrison's incantation became insistent, "Riders on the storm... riders on the storm... riders on the storm." Suddenly the God we usually bury deep in the recesses of our mind, was apparent, puissant and vital... our true shield and bulwark, not just a word we use in vain. "O God, our hope in ages past..." Just how at risk we were, how right to worry, how right to prepare the statistics tell: 190,000 power outages reported 2,000 utility crews mobilized to respond to power outages 4,000 pieces of snow-clearing equipment on the road 5,000 National Guard members activated 416 flights from Logan Airport canceled... the air now belonging to the dangerous weather, more powerful and more beautiful than ever. "Killer on the road, yeah." Then from the Corner Office under Bullfinch's great golden dome came the final indication, if one were needed, that the situation was bad and likely to get worse. His Excellency Governor Patrick, no alarmist, startled the Commonwealth by banning almost all traffic from Massachusetts roads. And so we all found ourselves marooned, cut off, alone, as the storm grew and excited weather experts found themselves in urgent demand, glad to inform us just how bad things really were and hint at records over the Great Blizzard of '78, records sure to fall before the impressive matter of our own troubles. One such fact might truly beguile the Governor, namely that the last governor to apply such bold remedies was Michael Dukakis. No one knows better than Patrick that this predecessor secured the Democratic presidential nomination one year after he ruled the blizzard-stuck state, a sweater-clad executive ruling by media. How awfully clear that picture, that possibility must be to His Current Excellency, perhaps potent enough to obscure the fact Michael Dukakis lost resoundingly. So I remind him this: snow makes head-aches, not presidents. Close but no cigar. And then, bit by bit, the whole shebang begins to change. The snow falters. The skies open, light blue beneath dark gray, and Sol Invictus shines through as if Little Orphan Annie, that unquenchable optimist, had finally got her wish... ... best of all those obnoxious weather people, filled with helium, seem to deflate before our eyes. We have survived... the evidence is everywhere. And so I decide to go out early Sunday morning, for I like to see for myself. The roads are passable, the snow piled efficiently and high, brick sidewalks with a coating of snow; so much better than the dangerous black ice that will come with melting. Crooked paths abound; I see I am no pathfinder though it is early. And I am glad for my legs can be unsteady, and I am too proud to use a cane, though I am wavering. I carefully walk the two blocks to the Sheraton Commander, where hot buttered toast and storm tales are to be had, the egregious waiter (never condescending to a smile) orders me away from a table for http://www.HomeProfitCoach.com Copyright Howard Martell - 2013 26 of 28

Riders on the storm.' A nor'easter wallops New England. Its aftermath, Sunday, February 10, 2013. The landscape of our mind changed

four (for I have newspapers to spread and spill on); saying I must use an inconvenient table for just two. There are just 4 people in the entire restaurant but the waiter is inflexible. It is a sure sign the blizzard and its aura of comrades and fellow travelers is over. This feeling is reinforced when one of my new neighbors (going away) is forced to pass me (going home) on a trail as narrow as a celery stalk. I stop to let him by and wish him a good morning. He glowers, looks at the ground and rushes on, making sure he never catches my eye. Yes, we are back to normal while the storm named "Nemo" ("no one") blows North into other anxious lives waiting for it now, praying for deliverance.

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Riders on the storm.' A nor'easter wallops New England. Its aftermath, Sunday, February 10, 2013. The landscape of our mind changed

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About The Author Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online. Attend Dr. Lant's live webcast TODAY and receive 50,000 free guaranteed visitors to the website of your choice! Dr. Lant is also the author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author's permission by Howard Martell http://HomeProfitCoach.com.

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