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Tuesday notes

Sep 3, 2013 - By Steven R. Peck

Labor Day

Thanks for the day off for Labor Day. Monday isn't a publication day for us any more, but it usually is a work day. We kept the doors locked for Labor Day, however, and our staff of 33 full-time workers and another dozen part-timers appreciated the holiday.

Our next paid holiday in the newspaper office is Thursday, Nov. 28 -- Thanksgiving -- and that will be a missed publication day.

90, and then some

A week ago a question in this space concerned whether there would be any more 90-degree days this year.

Answer: Yes, we got 90 degrees again -- more than once. The 90-degree barrier was reached Wednesday and Thursday.

The more typical question is whether it will happen again now that Labor Day has passed and September has begun. The record book shows that there has been at least one 90-degree reading every day in September through Riverton's 107-year history, but the typical high temperature is more in the 75- to 80-degree range.

This was an earlier Labor Day than usual -- just about as early in September as it can get, in fact -- so the likelihood of a post-Labor Day 90-degree high is increased.

Stay cool, and stay tuned.

Making the mail

A new month has begun, and we are out to meet or beat the mandatory 3:30 p.m. postal deadline for next-day mail delivery every time. We came close in August, not missing a day until Aug. 27 -- and then we blew it again Aug. 29.

Now we rarely miss it after rarely making it the first month or so after the new deadline took effect late in the spring. Let's see if we can go 21 for 21 this month.

New fire

There is still a chance for the newly discovered fire in the Shoshone National Forest north of Dubois to flare into a giant, but the Burroughs Fire would have been much more problematical had it begun a month sago. We are in September now, and it is entirely possible that the fire zone will get a dose of wintry weather this month that would have been unlikely 30 days ago.

That meteorological reality, coupled with aggressive firefighting efforts, figures to keep the Burroughs from becoming a major incident.

Cornhuskers by a nose

No, the Wyoming Cowboys didn't beat the might Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday -- but they came very, very close. Nebraska was worried. Make no mistake about that. Huskers 37, Cowboys 34. That's a point spread nobody saw coming, and maybe it signals a promising season in Laramie.

Five in the 500

The stock market isn't zooming like it did in the first half of the year, but our yearlong "Five in the 500" experiment still looks good. The premise is this: Rather than chasing the performance of an individual stock, what if you simply put $500 into an index fund that rose or fell every day right along with the Standard & Poors 500 Index. (Such funds do exist; they aren't particularly exciting, but they are out there.)

Had you made that initial $500 investment on Jan. 21 and done nothing more since then, as of Tuesday morning it would have been worth $581.31.

Fair Scrapbook

Consider this the final "heads up" on the Fremont County Fair Scrapbook edition: If you are a junior livestock exhibitor who would like to run a small thank-you advertisement in appreciation of your buyer at the fair's Junior Livestock Auction, then your deadline to get it to us is Friday. The section is being sent to the press room Monday, and it will be in the paper Sept. 11.

What's left of the season

With the passage of Labor Day, traditional summer is over in most ways. Although the weather of summer can linger (see above), and the season won't end officially until the autumnal equinox in about three weeks, all the signs of summer's end are at hand right now. School is in session. Football season is beginning. Crops are being harvested. A few trees have a splash of yellow already. Beyond all those observable, describable points, there is that certain something -- subtle but unmistakable -- in the air. We all know it. If we can't see it, or smell it, or hear it, we can still feel it.

So, capitalize on the summer still left to us. Three months from now we'll be zipping up parkas, plugging in head bolt heaters, and humming Christmas carols.

Here's to a good week.

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MAIL SUBSCRIBERS: Friday's edition of The Ranger was delivered to the Riverton post office at 3:30 p.m., in time to meet the postal deadline for next-day mail delivery.

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