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Tuesday notes

Sep 24, 2013 - By Steven R. Peck

Too soon?

We published a picture showing the season's first snow last week, but it was barely a dusting. Plus, it fell in the mountains above Dubois, rendering it little more than scenery.

This week, however, it might happen for real, meaning snowfall in the Riverton and/or Lander valleys. If it is going to happen, forecasters say Wednesday night and Thursday may be the time.

Regardless of precipitation, the first truly semi-cold day of the new season will come as soon as tomorrow -- with the end of the growing season a possibility as well.

Quaking

How is it that some people felt Saturday morning's earthquake very strongly while others were unaware of it until they were informed by someone else? The magnitude 4.9 quake was amply strong to be felt by anyone in its vicinity, but that doesn't mean that everyone did.

Ask anyone who has lived in California or other places where earthquakes are frequent, and you hear the same story. Except for the very strongest ones, quakes can go undetected depending on where you are and what you were doing at the time.

In any case, that was the real thing Saturday morning, and we all can be glad that it wasn't stronger or centered in an area where damage or injuries would have occurred. That's the best kind of earthquake -- the conversation piece.

Sorry, Richter

Speaking of our rare earthquake, a few references have been made to the "Richter scale" when talking about the strength of the quake. That's no longer an accurate reference.

Although its name survives in the public memory, the Richter scale itself was phased out of general use in the United States years ago and has been replaced by a more accurate measurement standard called the "moment magnitude scale."

The U.S. Geological Survey no longer uses the Richter scale, and The Associated Press is among the many news organizations that no longer refers to it, either.

Special edition

Fall is a fine time to get outdoors in Wyoming. In conjunction with that, The Ranger publishes its annual fall hunting guide this week. Look for it in Wednesday's Ranger and Lander Journal, as well as Thursday's Wind River News.

It shaped up as a strong piece, with lots of good, useful content and support from local advertisers.

On that last point, we're not bashful at all about making this recommendation: If you are a Ranger reader, please do business with the advertisers who support your local newspaper.

Five in the 500

We didn't check up on our yearlong "Five in the 500" investment last week in "Tuesday notes," which was a shame. The Standard & Poors 500, upon which our imaginary $500 investment is based, hit its all-time high last week. It has come back to Earth a bit since then, but it still was a successful summer for the index.

Had you started on Jan. 21, President Obama's second Inauguration Day, with an investment of $500 in a simple S&P index fund and left it alone since then, as of Tuesday morning it would have been worth $605.53. That's a 21 percent return in eight months.

Swingers

It has been a good year for high school golf in Fremont County. The Riverton Wolverines won their Class 4-A West regional tournament over the weekend, and the Lander Tiger boys did the same at their class 3-A regional.

Both will be strong contenders for their respective state championships this weekend. The Class 4-A state tournament is in Rock Springs, while Lander will play in Buffalo.

Quietly, but steadily, boys golf has become one of the strongest sports programs at Riverton High School under the tutelage of Coach Lars Flanagan. Think fairways and greens, boys. Good luck at state.

Summer's end

The season has changed. Summer left Sunday, and fall arrived. The brilliant English poet A.E. Houseman, who has been quoted from time to time in Tuesday notes through the years, wrote fondly of the season, but with a decidedly melancholy tinge.

Here is the first stanza of a poem titled simply XXXIX:

When summer's end is nighing

And skies in evening cloud,

I muse on change and fortune

and all the feats I vowed

When I was young and proud.

Here's to a good week, and a good season.

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MAIL SUBSCRIBERS: Friday's edition of The Ranger failed to meet the postal deadline for next-day mail delivery.

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