Tuesday notes

Apr 2, 2013 By Steven R. Peck

Find those eggs

Easter is over, but the Ranger's third annual spring Easter egg hunt is just getting started. The second of 10 possible clues appears in today's edition. We always begin the contest on Easter Sunday rather than ending it there.

Each of the four newspaper treasure hunts is a bit different, with the key variant of this one being two prizes, not just one. There are two eggs out there, so happy hunting.

Despite urgings to the contrary, some treasure hunters still seem to think they can get somewhere by calling the Ranger's phone number and asking the person on the telephone something to the effect of "Can you tell me where those eggs are hidden?" or "Can you unscramble those letters for me?"

Nice try.

There's only one way to find the eggs. Use the clues, everybody. Use the clues.

Newspaper housekeeping

When you get your Sunday Ranger this weekend and notice that the regular Diversions section isn't there, don't be alarmed. We're not printing Diversions this week as a separate section in order to accommodate a short vacation by a key staff member who helps produce the section, which normally is assembled on Wednesday afternoon and evening for an advance press run Thursday morning.

Fear not, however. Most of the regular Diversions elements -- horoscope, crossword, Red Onion, Dear Abby and the regular Sunday columnists -- all will be part of Section A on Sunday. As for Diversions, it will be back as usual for Sunday, April 7.

Driver's license doldrums

If you didn't stop to read the letter to the editor from Mike Gard in Sunday's edition, then you might want to. In it, he describes the problems with the Wyoming driver's license program ever since the state changed the rules to conform to the federal government's Real I.D. guidelines that were enacted in 2005 but only became part of Wyoming law recently.

We wrote an editorial at the time the new regulations took effect predicting that the changed requirements for obtaining or renewing a driver's license would become onerous and borderline unworkable. As Mr. Gard's letter illustrates, that prediction has come all too true. Virtually everyone who has gone through the process recently will identify with the letter writer's ordeal.

There probably are only two kinds of people in Wyoming when it comes to renewing a driver's license -- those who are frustrated, exasperated or downright outraged by the new process, and those who will be.

Incidentally, all credit to the workers in the driver's license office who are doing their level best to make this procedure as easy as they can make it, all things considered. They did not write the federal regulations, they did not enact the state law, but they must bear the brunt of customer ire.

So here's a suggestion: Go to the driver's license office in a good frame of mind. Be prepared to wait a while. Expect to be bothered, prepare for that, and don't blame the examiners.

Eventually, enough Wyoming legislators will go through the wait-all-day renewal ordeal and set to work on making it better.

Five in the 500

We are now more than two months into an intended year-long tracking of the performance of the Standard & Poor's 500 index. The index is a lesser-known cousin to the Dow Jones industrial average, and many investment pros say it is a more accurate representation of the U.S. business economy.

So imagine you scraped together $500 and invested it in a fund based on the daily rise or fall of the S&P 500. Two months later you probably would be pleased. On Wednesday the S&P reached its all time high. It has dipped a bit since then, but as of Tuesday morning that $500 seed money would've grown to $522.91.

That doesn't compare to the $300 million that Powerball lottery winner made last week, but he was the only person who won that prize. Anyone could do our little test and be ahead of the game -- at least so far.

Shocking shockers

The final four of the NCAA basketball tournament is set. Picking Louisville should've been pretty obvious to most bracket bettors. And it didn't take a genius to pick Syracuse. Michigan isn't an obvious choice, but it's not a huge longshot either.

But then there's that other team that so often in the past decade has come out of nowhere to make the pick dance. VCU. George Mason. Butler, twice. This year it's Wichita State, aptly named as the Shockers because that's pretty much what they have been in gunning down Pittsburgh, Gonzaga, LaSalle and Ohio State, a group that included a No. 1 regional seed, Gonzaga, and a No. 2 seed, Ohio State. No other team has accomplished such a feat.

Speaking of feats, having the exact Final Four still alive in your office bracket definitely would qualify. But if your bracket is shot anyway, as most of them are, then root for the Wichita State Shockers.

Having them in the national semi finals is a good thing for college basketball. Here's to a good week.

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