Column: Dear Diary, Life is good in Small Town, Minn.

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Al Batt, Tales from Exit 22

There are small wonders to be found in a daily diary. Looking back sometimes helps us get up the hill. Here&8217;s what happened in October.

1. The Twins won the Division.

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Millions of Chinese could not have cared less.

2. There were so many multi-colored Asian lady beetles on my house that I vowed to stop listening to the Beatles.

3. I attended a &8220;meet the candidates&8221; event sponsored by Audubon.

It featured four local folks running for state office. They were all nice.

This niceness apparently is something most candidates outgrow by the time they campaign for an elected position in Washington, D.C.

4. A farmer showed me golf ball-sized hailstones that fell in Northern Iowa.

I wonder how they measured hail before golf was invented?

5. The city council in Worcester, England, approved funds for a sign near two pear trees in a park warning passersby that pears sometimes fall out of pear trees.

6. The Twins lost three straight games to Oakland and were eliminated from the playoffs.

Millions of Chinese still couldn&8217;t have cared any less.

7. Oil prices dropped. I hope someone told the gas stations.

8. The Halloween season is well under way. I saw pumpkins the size of Rhode Island.

9. A study showed that steroids create bigger muscles, but shrinks brain size. When told about

this study, Barry Bonds replied, &8220;What?&8221;

10. According to an opinion poll, 27 percent of the residents of Hartland do not believe in opinion polls.

11. I drove home from Lake Benton. The snow really came down. It wasn&8217;t the picture perfect postcard type. It was the nasty wind-angled kind. It was an example of Minnesota weather at its best&8212;unpredictable. It&8217;s like eating hotdish. You never know what you&8217;re going to get.

12. The woolly bear caterpillars tell me it&8217;s going to be a mild winter. They occasionally practice deceit.

13. I attended a funeral and a wedding on Friday the 13th. I hope your memories always bring you more joy than sorrow.

14. I saw a political candidate&8217;s advertising brochure blow in the wind and slap against a walker&8217;s leg. Talk about your attack ads.

15. An earthquake hit Hawaii. Don Ho recorded, &8220;Tiny Tremors.&8221;

16. While driving the winding roads near Caledonia, a number of deer ran in front of my car. My wife nearly jumped from the vehicle and ran home. You would think that eventually, deer would get it.

17. I missed National Let&8217;s Get Organized Week. It was last week.

18. The population of the U.S. hits 300 million. It couldn&8217;t have done it without Hartland&8217;s 288


19. Politicians continue to spend millions of dollars on insulting advertising in order to let us know that they will be fiscally responsible. They use negative campaigning to inform us that they would have a positive influence on our lives.

20. A famous actress has had so many facelifts that it&8217;s difficult for her to keep her feet on the ground.

21. This is the traditional day to begin searching for the Batt snow shovel.

22. I am a lifelong fan of the St. Louis Cardinals. I enjoyed watching the games on TV, but the commercials were so loud and noisy. I recall the wonderful line written by Ring Lardner, &8220;Shut up,&8221; he explained.

23. The weather had been cool. I don&8217;t mind the cold. I love Minnesota and the change of seasons as long as we don&8217;t get all four seasons on the same day.

24. Researchers have warned that men who use cell phones could be risking their fertility. No further comment.

25. A man running for sheriff in Platteville, Wis., legally changed his name to Andy Griffith.

26. An insurance company banned the passing of birthday cards by workers because comments or jokes about someone’s age might result in violations of age discrimination laws.

27. A truck spilled two tons of pig heads on road. Most passersby assumed it was part of a political ad.

28. The St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series. Millions of Chinese and Minnesota Twin fans could not have cared less.

29. Paris Hilton announced she will charge $100,000 for her company at a New Year&8217;s Eve party. The City of Hartland announced that Paris Hilton will be nowhere near Hartland on New Year&8217;s Eve.

30. Purdue University established a swine manure odor-evaluation laboratory. There&8217;s something about this that smells.

31. I attended several Halloween parties. I went as a clueless hick from Hartland &8212; that way I didn&8217;t need a costume.

(Hartland resident Al Batt&8217;s columns appear every Wednesday and Sunday in the Tribune.)