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Tuesday notes

Jun 19, 2012 - By Steven R. Peck

Spring's farewell

It's the last day of spring. The summer solstice arrives Wednesday, bringing the first day of official summer to the northern hemisphere.

The sun has reached its northernmost point and now begins the slow, steady, unstoppable march to the south that culminates with the start of winter the week before Christmas.

It will take awhile before we really start to notice, but then the days will shorten -- first at dawn, then as dusk. Six months from now we'll have six hours less sunlight than we do now.

Let's put that idea out of our thoughts for a while, shall we?

Instead, find the lawn chairs and the ice bucket. Catch the perfume of the summer breeze. Bring dinner outdoors.

Marvel at sweet, blue mornings, and hold still under the still dome of a starry summer night.

Quit worrying where you left your coat. Don't turn the lights on until 9 p.m. You might not need to. Doze to the lullaby of the birds, and the soft, healthy hiss of the sprinklers.

It's summertime, and it won't last long. Don't miss it.

Can't win for losing

Greek voters did what they were "supposed" to do over the weekend, handing an election victory -- again -- to the political party sworn to hold the line on the tough austerity measures intended to return the nation to solvency through saving, scrimping and cutting back on anything and everything to do with government service.

Yet, even with the triumph of the austerity party, all the news coverage continues to say that the rest of the world isn't reassured, still has little confidence, still doubts the eventual outcome, still fumes and frets over what's going on in Greece.

Greece, it seems, can't do anything right -- even when it does the thing all the worriers said it had to do.

That pretty much sums up the depth of the problems there, doesn't it?

Child's play

Remember the old invisible-ink trick you probably learned as a kid? If memory serves, it involved mixing lemon juice with regular ink, or something like that. After awhile, the ink disappeared right off the paper.

It seems that some election "officials" in Egypt used the same kind of ink for pens they passed out for voters in the weekend's presidential election there. By the time the thousands of ballots marked by the pens were counted, they were blank.

This was touted as the first "legitimate" presidential election in Egypt's history. Somehow, though, from the disappearing ink to the strong-arm military tactics, to the two main candidates both claiming victory, "legitimate" isn't the first word coming to mind when describing the Egyptian vote.

Thou in the Dow

Our imaginary $1,000 investment in the up-or-down performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average looked better last week after a dismal downturn earlier in the month.

Had you invested that "thou in the Dow" Aug. 7, the day after the staggering plunge following the downgrading of the U.S. credit rating, your money would have grown to $1,093.31 as of Tuesday morning (and Tuesday's market was climbing).

Mining edition

After 10 extra press runs, the Ranger's 57th annual Mining and Energy Edition is ready for publication. Look for it as part of your especially fat copy of the Ranger on Wednesday, June 20.

The Ranger will run to 80-plus pages Wednesday. If you are a newspaper carrier for us, or the parent of one, please be prepared. It might take a couple of extra trips to handle the bulk of an edition about seven times its typical size.

That's par for the course on mining edition day, just as it has been for the previous 56 years.

And if you are a carrier customer, take an added dose of patience with your afternoon coffee. We'll try to get the papers out earlier than we usually do, but your carriers will have a much bigger job Wednesday than normal. It may well take them a while longer to reach your door.

Here's to a good week.

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