Tuesday notes

Jun 18, 2013 By Steven R. Peck

Our lovely month

"It is the month of June,

The month of leaves and roses,

When pleasant sights salute the eyes,

And pleasant scents the noses."

The words are from Nathaniel Parker Willis, a 19th century writer of poems, essays, criticism and books who was, at heart and with rare interruption in a long career, a newspaperman.

He probably never came to Wyoming this time of year, but he would be pleased were he to visit in June 2013. Lovely.

Mining Edition Wednesday

Now hear this, Ranger readers and newspaper carriers: Wednesday, June 19, is Mining Edition day. The Ranger's 58th annual Mining and Energy Edition is published Wednesday, the occasion of our biggest newspaper of the year and annually one of the biggest in Wyoming.

The final two pre-printed sections were pressed Tuesday morning, to be assembled with the previous five sections and await Wednesday's main news section of The Ranger. All eight sections will be combined for one edition.

Expect an extra heavy thump on your doorstep or a delivery tube stuffed to its capacity.

And if you are a carrier, you might want to plan for an extra trip or two. This Wednesday's paper will be about seven times thicker and heavier than typical Wednesday papers.

Rebuilding the 'crawler'

The Mining and Energy Edition has many tidbits to inform and, yes, entertain. An early prediction for a favorite reader story is the one about the Gillette company that used the occasion of a slowdown in the coal industry, for which it supplied custom-made products, to bid on a project by NASA to rebuild the huge space "crawler" that hauls spacecraft to the Kennedy Space Center launch pad at about half a mile per hour. The thing is slow as a snail but as strong as a million oxen. It was built to carry the Saturn V moon rocket, the largest machine ever constructed.

The Wyoming firm got part of the bid and is providing 500 tons of mirror-polished steel rollers.

Read all about it Wednesday.

Diversions returns

With the big mining edition out of the way, the regular Diversions section of your Sunday Ranger returns this week after a two-week interruption. We'll try to make it a good one.

Up to the plate

Speaking of Sunday, a couple of alert readers shared a chuckle about our transposed "skybox" pictures on Sunday's front page. The headline about baseball showed a plate of pasta with eggplant alongside, while the headline about eggplant showed a baseball player swinging the bat. Well, at least he was at "the plate."

No go for Lefty

It has been Phil Mickelson's misfortune to some extent to have emerged at more or less the same time as Tiger Woods, whose great record and sometimes tabloid-ready life sucked a lot of the air out of the world of spectator golf. But Mickelson, who is a few years older than Woods, has been one of the greats of his time nonetheless, and he enjoys spectacular popularity with golf fans.

So there was some disappointment Sunday when he fell one stroke short -- again -- of winning the U.S. Open. England's Justin Rose edged "Lefty" for one of the sport's great titles. This was Mickelson's sixth runner-up finish at the Open. At age 43, will he ever come this close again?

Five in the 500

Last week was the rare one in 2013 that did not see an improvement in the Standard & Poors 500 Index. That's the stock barometer we've been using this year for an imaginary investment exercise called "Five in the 500."

We pretended to invest $500 on the day of President Obama's second inauguration in the S&P 500. It's similar to the "Thou in the Dow" experiment we did in 2011 and 2012.

The S&P has smaller companies than the big blue chippers in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, but a lot of investor types say the S&P is a better overall indicator of how the economy is doing.

So far this year, it's looked pretty good. Although it was down by something like .22 percent since we last wrote about it, the S&P 500 still would have turned your initial $500 on Jan. 21 into $546.67 as of Tuesday morning.

Here's to a good week.

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