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September 1, 2004     Sentinel Tribune
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September 1, 2004

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SENTINEL TRIBUNE Wednesday, September 1, 2004 Page BETWEEN By Tom Merchant Sentinel Tribune THE LINES Summer at last? Today (Monday) was like the first day of summer, warm with a gentle breeze mostly sunny just like real summer. Not only that but it is supposed to be nice the remainder of the week. That is really O.K. with me as Best Friend and I will trek to northern Minnesota for our annual long Labor Day week- end with our sons. This year we will be going a little farther north, so we will get a chance to fish some different lakes. Although it will be different going to a different area, near Lake Itasca, some friends of ours stayed at the same place we are staying and they said it was really a great place. No matter where one goes on vacation it is always good to recharge ones batteries. Although it seems lately I seem to need more recharging than I used to need. I wonder if that is . a sign of old age? But then old age is really just a state of mind, as the old saying goes =you're only as old as you think you are." Although some times we tend to think we are # older than we really are. Here is another top ten list taken from the internet. How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges? What happens if you get scared to death twice? If the #2 pencil is so popu- lar, why is it still #2? If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting? If you write a book about failure, and it doesn't sell, is it a success? If love is blind, why is lin- gerie so popular? If you ate pasta and antipasta, would you still be hungry? If Superman is so .smart, why does he wear underpants over his trousers? If a vegetarian eats vegeta- bles, what does a humanitarian eat? Why is it that if someone tells you'there are 1 billion stars in the universe, you will believe them, but if someone tells you a wall has wet paint you will have to touch it to be sure? Have a great week! Letter to editor "Greatest Shame on Earth" The death last month of a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey lion, who was reportedly being shipped in a boxcar across the Mojave Desert without water in 100 degree F heat, should give pause to anyone contemplating buying tickets to the "greatest shame on earth." This isn't the first time Ringling has tried to fry one of its animal "performers." A few years ago, one tiger broke off a tooth and another injured an eye while frantically trying to claw their way out of an overheated boxcar. The USDA cited the circus for failure to pro- vide adequate care in transit, fail- ure to provide drinking water, and failure to maintain transport enclosures, noting that "vent fail- ure pushed these temperatures to a point of immediate danger to the animals." Other animals have died While traveling with Ringling, including two baby elephants, a horse, a tiger, and a sea lion. With amazing animal-free cir- cuses like Cirque du Soleil, Cirque Eloize, and the New Pickle Circus, there is simply no reason to con- tinue to cart animals around in sweltering boxcars, confine them to cages and chains, and beat them into performing silly tricks for our "amusement." For more information about Ringling's history of failing to com- ply with the federal Animal Welfare Act's regulations, please visit Sincerely, Jennifer O'Connor Circus Specialist AI Bart... 00Stories from the Batt Cave" The Weather People tell me that I'm gullible. I believe them. I have to believe them. I sometimes believe the weather reports. I know that much of it is fiction, but I am more than just a fair weather friend. I talk about the weather. Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. How many times have we heard that? Now I am not one who is prone to criticizing others. Being a human, I have made so many mistakes that it is nearly impossi- ble for me to find fault with anoth- er. However, I have been right once before, so I feel that I am qualified to pick on the weather bureau folks a little. I have a meteorologist in the family. Well, I did have one in the family. We voted him off the family tree last year. He was making the family politicians look good. The weather bureau is t00 per- cent correct--at telling us what happened last year. The weather doesnl always agree with us. Why should it agree with a meteorologist? . Weather is one of the few things that affect us all. I know people who tape The Weather Channel. The weather reports are sup: posed to tell us what we don't know. They are supposed to tell us what we couldn't learn by look- ing out a window or by stepping outside. They are supposed to tell us what is going to happen, but they are only guessing. I want to know what the weath- er is going to be. Americans feel that we are enti- tled to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and to know what the weather is going to be. I need to know what the weath- er will be so I'll know whether or not I should put rocks in my pock- ets to keep from being blown away. I need to know if zucchini- sized hailstones are on the way. I need to know what the dew point is pointing at. I need to know if my snow tires are in danger of melting. I need to know whether I should be asking people, "Cold enough for you?" or "Hot enough for you ?" I know that someone will ask me one of those questions. If I haven't heard a weather report, I'm stuck for an answer. There is no more popular topic of conversation than the weather. Weather forecasters sometimes figure out the easier ones. It's going to rain in Seattle. It's going to be cold in Embarrass. It's going to snow in Buffalo. It's going to be dry in Death Valley. Sometimes weather maps are just optical illusions. The more data forecasters accumulate, the more room there is for error. Remember, there is no such thing as bad weather. There are only bad weather forecasts. Also remember that if you spell =weather forecast" backwards, you don't get "always correct." I believe that there are black holes in weather forecasting. These are areas of confusion that are so dense that true information cannot escape from them. The holes never disappear. We learn to ignore them. Weather plays favorites. It rains on one family's picnic, but the sun shines on another's picnic. Life is unfair. The stock mar- ket, pro athlete's salaries, your boss, the lottery, the bathroom scale, the success of your er-in-law and the weather are unfair. The Old Farmer's Almanac been forecasting the weather over 200 years. Its meth( uses a formula devised by its founder, Robert B. Thomas, in 1792. He believed that influence the weather on Earth. To solar science, he added tology, the study of prevailing weather patterns, and y, the study of the is combination is used to dict weather trends and events. The Old Farmer's Almanac an 80 percent accuracy rate. Those who look regularly inspectwoolly bear caterpillars also claim an 80 percent cy rate. According to legend, wider the middle brown section, the milder the winter will be. A narrow brown band on the worm predicts a harsh winter. .Anyone with the IQ Of a gerbil has a conspiracy theory weather forecasting. Me, I try to act surprised by whatever the weather is. Warm fronts, cold fronts, warm fronts, indecisive all a surprise to me. I'm a guy. When there is a tornado I have to look outside to see if I can spot it. The rest of the family cowers, intelligently, in the basement. I have to experience weather. rm a guy. I figure, whether it's right or wrong, I might as well enjoy the weather. -AI Batt - 71622 325 St. Hartland, MN 56042 We welcome your participation, whether in letters or commentary. If possible, please make your submission by e-mail to sentrib@rrc- Conventional mail address is Sentinel Tribune, P.O. Box 98, Westbrook, MN 56183. Our Fax number is 507-274-6137. We require submissions be exclusive to us in our market area. All must include writ- ers name, address, and day time telephone number. Letters should be bdef, up to 250 words, other submissions should be no longer than 500 words. Original items can not be returned unless the writer would pick them up at the office or send self addressed stamped envelope. No items will be kept longer than 30 days. We reserve the right to refuse publication of any submitted letters or stories. Mission Statement The Sentinel Tribune serves the residents and business community of Cottonwood, Redwood, Murray and Lyon County and southwest Minnesota by applying its available resources to accurately and consistently produce a quality newspaper which thoroughly covers the news of the area, stimulates thought and conversation, delivers advertising messages in a timely manner, and provides information of general value to its public. In so doing contributes to the overall quality of life and economic health of its read- ers, advertisers and community in general while stimulating the professional development of its employees. (ISSN 8750-3g05) Thomas Merchant Managing Editor Roxy Soil Ad Layout & Office Manager Tom Merchant Advertising Sales Junatte Merchant Westbrook Office & Production Nancy Goring Production Joan Spielman Production Carolyn Van Loh assignment reporter Ted Herder Walnut Grove news correspondent 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, Lyon, Murray and Nobles $25.00 Per Year - $17.00 6 Months (includes goH 4 NAHeO i i Peach). Elsewhere in Minnesota $29.00 per year. Out of the State $34.00 per year. Canada and foreign countries inquire at the Sentinel Tribune Office "Snowbirds" may put their paper on hold at no extra charge while they are gone, or pay $6.00 extra to have it mailed out of state. Missed copies cannot be furnished because the cost of mail- ing single copies is almost $1.50. 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