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July 24, 2013     Sentinel Tribune
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July 24, 2013

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SENTINEL TRIBUNE Wednesday, July 24, 2013 Page 4 4 By ETWEEN THE L N Tom Merchant Sentinel TrilS,une, --tmerchant@ncppubcom In a roundabout way... Almost everyone complains about government waste at some- time or another. This weekend Best Friend and I were traveling to Faribault to visit my 95 year old aunt Helen. She is my late mothers twin sister. It is a bit erie visiting her because it is like vis- iting my mother which is pretty cool. On the way there we stopped in St. James to grab a quick bite to eat. After that we hopped on llighway 60 heading toward Mankato. As we were driving I happened to notice all along that section of highway there are left turn lanes at every farm place or business place along the way. I thought that was unusnal because each of those turn lanes costs about $100,000 a piece. 1 am assuming the cost because 25 or 30 years ago when they wanted to get a turn lane at the golf course they wanted about $60k to put one in. So I figure today that figure is much higher. At any rate whether or not my math is completely flawed, it cost us taxpayers a boat load of money. I don't have any idea how many of these were installed at the time, but l'il bet the cost of them probably goes into the six figures of millions. tlere is the rub. I noticed that quite a few of those left turn lanes go no where! Apparently a lot of them presumably were installed for safety reasons. I suppose it seemed like a good idea at the time, however, I don't think any- one at that time ever thought a lot of those farm places would disappear as time took it's toll on the family farms, AlmoSt all of these left turn lanes are within a~ half mile of an intersection left turn lane where these people could make a U-turn to get to their place. That brings me to round- abouts,'this seems to be the new sat ty boondoggle. The Department of Transportation claims they prevent more serious accidents. Well they have the sta- I t tistics so I guess they must be A fight? On the other hand I suspect |] there may be less serious acci- 14 dents, but overall I am guessing It there are more accidents overall. [[ On our way back home we took a little side trip through I1 Owatonna to do a little family history. When we got to Highway 14 exit 1 got confused and took the exit to the west. Not to worry there was another exit about a mile west on new 14, wrong there was a roundabout at the junction of the crossing road. When 1 got there I thought the sign said no entry to the left so I went to the right and had to "Stories from the BaH Cave" drive about a half mile before I ..... ...... Whor firn Ram on another. I don t know heavy lifting or sweat involved. c"l" *"m aro"n" * .... t t ...... ..v.. ...,, .. ,, ......... .... wh re h '11 fi " in ........... e or when e md the timeI thought about that as I sat a the .rounaaoout. lnen I nad to yU. to do both. busy airport. Busy people in a navigate two rounaaoouts, one on ., ......... He mentioned seeing a famous busy airport were intent on sharing each sine ol the reeway Mind Once upon a time, there was f 11 h onversa .... " person who had undergone exten- their side o a ce p one c - you th,s.,mtefsect,o.n. s about more time. , . sive elective plastic surgery. That's tion with me. People complain mree mnes trom cwmzauon, Or maybe time didn t exist until not always a wise choice It isn't about aimorts but I en;m, them with nothing but corn fields as far we could tell time. the face t hat needs turning back. as much'as a man can enjoy them. as me eye can see. There used to time to daydream. It's the clock I endeavor to ~et there earN, Also the road is a county road A time to dawdle A time to count " ~ J ......... Time seemed to go slower when thereby ehmlnatlng the stress that proaamy sees minimal .tramc fireflies. A time to watch mosqui- I was a boy, but 1 tried to speed it involved in the possibility of miss- since It runs paranel to me inter- toes chase joggers ............. ... .......... , up. , mg a mgnt. naKespeare sam mat state! it wm pronamy ne ~o years There was a time when I d sit, a "I wish tomorrow were it is better to be three hours earlv before there is any commercial or seatbelt-free, free-range kid in the .... .~ .... T,.~. i.: ...... ,. ,. ,t. ..... : .... ,~.~. , =_.~. _. "~, / ." I t "1~" " -~ - -- i ~ i1 i / I SgLtl, lltl.lO.y~ I U ~/lllll~ l~Ul4~tlff, LIIOAI Oll~; IIIIIIIAL~ li:tU7 I IlIlU ~ Utl~t reslglentlal Dunning In tnat area. bacKseat OI an eloerly car, anu aSK -...o. ~ ..... .; .... ~ ~^_.~.. _~-^.. ,...i-:_1. _. ,..- _.~ ..^, q tar ~. ~ a ~ lllU~t llg~qUtl~lltly OH 1 I1UI/UO.y. LIl~lildli~ tO ~tllIIh IIIV t~l, OAIU M~;t ome worse yet on Highway west oI a arent, "Are we there etg" ,, , . :or. ..... ,: ..... ,, :+ ..... ..... p a . _ Y Don t yu., =**oy, wu., .u,= u ,t. **=,= - uim Now i get mere too soon ,, , ...... my mother responded wisely. It bit quieter. It s not the loud-talking : mere a two way rounaaoout on Today, a family hits the road will oo by fast enouoh" cellnhone users that bother me It's Highway 14 atthe ....... while Pa talks to the office on his I llinkmuch time goes into tho TVs blaring at me. I don't new enams. eal ! All thatcel!phone, Ma checks her emalls, cellphones where it is turned into want to watch or hear them, but noes Is stow tramc to I a mnes an ano me Kios in me oacKseat text bills armarentlv TVs have charms to hour and make it miserable for while watching videos or listening " .... .: ..... .... - - .-. ...... . .... I w~ t~,.,s = ~,muu~ur~tc, ~uome me savage oreast, ur say- trUCK drlvers to negotiate turns. 1 tomUSIC through earbuds. When what my ~hilclhnnd wa~ like "We ao~ h~aqt if van nra mnr~, orwnF~rl am sure a turn lane would have the arrive at a lovel site the ......... " ......... Y ............. =- --". ............... " ........ Y Y , Y used to skate outside on a pond. able w th it being said that way. sumced aria cost a whole lot less. Facebook or Twitter. I had a swin~ made from an old As lon~ as I have a book, a note- Well one thingis for sure, the ....... Where did that time I hadJn my .... ::~0 ~, ~..'~ .~ c....~: ~ ..oo :.. a..~ I..,..i.Z.~ ..... 1. ..... :~.. t.d '" ~ tll~ 1l lll, ltll~ IIUIII ~gl IkIFK, Ill I,IIK, UOOh allU. gl ll~ tll~l.' wlI~; il O waste ts concrete, y0Uth .... , . .... ...... .......... go. ..: ...........'..yard. We played hide-and-go-seek given me for a special occasion Someone ~s always telhng us - . " . ; ,. ' ........ ' " " i in an endless barn. I rode a pony. like a Wednesday, my eellphone, nave a great week anti on gooo: that we get 24 hours a day just We picked wild raspberries in the woods. We played baseball and softball in the pasture." My grandchild listened to all the slobber I had babbled, before say- ing, "Sounds like fun. I wish I had known you then." One of the local friendly farmers told me that he couldn't get all his corn in the ground. He ran out of time and was considering plant- ing radishes instead. Don't worry. You won't be eating radish flakes in milk as your cereal each morn- ing. Unless you really want to. The radishes will serve as a cover crop. Because I write for a living, I spend much of my time alone. That's OK because there is no and my iPad, I'm as happy as a puppy with two tails. Airports are supersized reading rooms. There are a couple of things you could do to slow the rush of time. Stay on a phone until someone says, "Let me put you on hold." Watch the clock intently. Marry a man from Hartland. That will make your life seem a great deal longer. AI Batt 2013 71622 325 St. 1-1, MN 56042 as Oprah, Justin Bieber, and Joe Mauer do, but we know better. Somehow, they have figured out a way to swipe a few of our minutes here and there. Time is a blessing. Time is a burden. Its definition depends upon which side of the bathroom door we find ourselves. Time is the most precious and elusive of all commodities. A friend surprised me by starting a conversation without mentioning the weather or his lawn. We grow grass. We mow grass. Time is the real victim. He wanted to show me his new truck. The pickup had the name "Dodge" on one area and Elizabeth Anders sible .by touching the tiles on your District Manager smartphone's screen. These items Now, in the heart of summertime, include popular topics from our is time to think about spending some standard website, such as frequently fun time with family and friends. So asked questions, Social Security it is fitting that July is both National card and number, and publications. Vacation Month and National Park For example, you can either read and Recreation Month. or listen to our entire library of Going on vacation - whether publications on your smartphone. to visit some of the nation's great The quick summaries will make it national and state parks or traveling easy to make sure you access the to other fun destinations - doesn't publication you want. As you relax mean you need to disconnect corn- beneath a tree, you may want to use pletely. In fact, our new mobile the mobile site's "decision tree" to website makes it easy for you to get help identify documents you need the Social Security information you for a new or replacement Social need when you're on the go. As long Security card. as you have an lnternet connection, Will everything On our website you're com ected to Social Security. be included in the mobile web- You might not take your laptop site? No. Instead, our mobile site is with you to a national park, but designed to bring you the content you'll probably have your phone, you're most likely to want on the go. You may be wondering: just how Keep in mind that this is not an much Social Security business can app you have to download. The ! do on a smartphone? You may be website is conveniently designed to surprised, run on your smartphone's browser. We recently released Social You don't have to download any- Security Mobile to allow for a thing from an app store; just visit smoother and more enjoyable on your online experience for people who smartphone and you will automati- want to access www.socialsecu- cally visit the mobile website. And using a smartphone. Most if you decide you need to browse people who want to access Social the full website, you can do that Security by smartphone are inter- easily. ested in getting the information they Remember, Social Security is need quickly and efficiently. To happy to help you even when you're accommodate this "grab it on the enjoying a day at the park. We are go" frame of mind, we've designed always working for you, even when a mobile site that is as easy on the you are relaxing. Visit our mobile eye as it is to navigate, website at Social Security Mobile features from your smartphone today. 10 items of interest, easily acces- (ISSN 8750-3905) Thomas Merchant Managing Editor Junette Merchant Office & Production Joan Spielman Ad Representative & Office Published every Wednesday at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 Periodicals Postage Paid at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 SUBSCRIPTION PRICE FOR THE SENTINEL TRIBUNE WILL BE: In the following counties: Cottonwood, Redwood, and Murray $42.00 per year. 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