Tuesday notes

Sep 29, 2015 By Steven R. Peck

Blood moon

Fremont County, with cloudy skies at sunset, was cheated out of much of Sunday night's rise of the "super blood moon" and subsequent total eclipse, at least in most places. If you were lucky, you did see a portion of the eclipse in transit, then caught a few minutes of the eerie, darkened sphere, and perhaps a bit of the re-emergence of the silver edge as the eclipsing shadow passed.

We've all seen eclipses before, as well as beautiful harvest moonrises. But the combination of the moon at its closest point to Earth, plus the "blood" eclipse, with its odd hue as autumn begins, is a rare thing.

No matter, though --if the clouds blocked your view of the super moon eclipse Sunday, there will be another one a scant 18 years from now.

Homecoming

It's homecoming week at Riverton High School, and other Fremont County high schools either have had their own homecoming festivities recently or will have them very soon. (Wyoming Indian High School had its homecoming football game the first Friday of the new school year, but late September and early October is more traditional territory for homecoming.)

We might repeat an old favorite from homecomings past in this space in a day or two, but for now we're glad to have a part in the fun by having our front windows in downtown Riverton decorated by the high school's FCCLA club.

We're one of several businesses to get homecoming paint, and when the judging for the best homecoming window takes place later in the week, we'll be rooting for our FCCLA paint-brushers.

Here's an open invitation to take in some homecoming events this week. You'll feel good about where we live.

Farewell, Boehner

One of the most famous men in American politics is leaving the national stage, at least in the electoral sense. Speaker of the House John Boehner, the Ohio Republican who did his best to corral the deeply factionalized Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, announced last week that he not only will step down as speaker next month but he'll leave Congress as well.Boehner said he's had enough of the intra-party bickering and wouldn't be part of a brutal battle just to keep his post.

What an odd situation it must have been for Boehner to receive more compliments for his character and work ethic from Democrats such as President Barack Obama and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid than he did from members of his own party.

But that's what happened. Repeat: deeply factionalized.

Full datebook

Obama was doing more than speaking respectfully about Boehner over the past several days --a lot more, in fact. On Thursday he met with Pope Francis in the pontiff's first-ever visit to the United States. It was a spectacular excursion for the pope and the nation. Next, he welcomed Chinese President Xi to the White House for meetings and a lavish state dinner. Then it was off to the United Nations to meet Russian president Vladimir Putin, who is trying to appear statesmanlike these days by intervening in the Syrian civil war (and, probably, lobbying Obama to ease off on the sanctions Russia has endured since its annexation of the Crimean Peninsula).

Finally, the president addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Monday.

Any one of those things by itself would be the experience of a lifetime for most of us. It was all in a week's work for the president. Hope he had time for some football on Sunday.

Russell watch

We've got just three weeks left in our year-long investment experiment that invited readers to follow along as we pretended to invest $750 in a simple index fund based on the daily performance of the huge Russell 3000 stock average. After being up consistently for 11 months, the imaginary fund has dipped into the red since Labor Day. It's possible for it to come out ahead by Oct. 19, but that looks less and less likely. The Russell has been taking a licking this month.

For the record, had you actually invested $750 into a Russell 3000 Index fund on Oct. 20, as of Tuesday morning it would have been worth $703.20.

No. 18

The way the national sports media hounds have been howling about Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, one might think they were terrible this year. True, Manning put up better numbers the last couple of years early in the season than he has done this year. Then again, every quarterback in the history of pro football would fall short by that comparison.

Actually, the Broncos are undefeated at 3-0, in first place in their division, and old No. 18 is averaging 300 yards and has thrown five touchdown passes in his last two games. We all should be so washed up.

Here's to a good week.