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Tuesday notes

Oct 1, 2013 - By Steven R. Peck

September snow

It wasn't quite snow in the summer, but the very early fall snowstorm that socked it to Fremont County late last week still caught a lot of people with their shorts and sandals on. September was a wet one, something that happens about once every decade. This one will be remembered.

Branches and more branches

The line was at least 100 cars long at the Riverton bailing station as property owners waited to dump truckload after truckload of tree limbs broken by the snowstorm. The pile is absolutely huge. Suffice it to say that the chipper/shredder will be working nonstop for a while. One bonus: There should be an ample supply of mulch available next spring.

Use cleanup day

By all means, take advantage of this month's cleanup day. City workers and equipment will help get your property tidied, which is always a nice gesture but especially this month when so much cosmetic property damage was done by the snowstorm that hit when the trees were still in full leaf.

Five in the 500

As the U.S. Congress and President Barack Obama duked it out over whether the federal government would be up and running once the calendar changed to the new month, stock markets got the heebie-jeebies.

That affected our 12-month "Five in the 500" investment experiment. After steady gains in three of the previous four weeks, the Standard & Poor's 500 index put on the brakes last week.

Had you invested $500 on Jan. 21 in a Standard & Poor's 500 index fund, which is based on nothing other than whether the daily index rises or falls, as of Tuesday morning that $500 would have been worth $598.30.

That's still a very good return, but it is down more than 1 percent from a week ago.

Failure of function

Citizens of our nation have been dragged into another federal government shutdown crisis by the inability of Republicans and Democrats, and of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, to find agreement on the continued, short-term operation of federal facilities, services and programs.

The shutdown took effect Tuesday.

It is the latest in a series of disgraceful performances by Congress. Think of the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on election campaigns trying to convince us voters to elect these candidates to our highest legislative offices. And this is the result we get? The United States of America deserves an immensely better performance from Congress then it is getting. A national spanking ought to be delivered for this total failure of function.

Play ball

The Major League Baseball playoffs have begun. The first of two wild-card games was Monday with the second coming Tuesday. Then the divisional series will begin, leading up to the World Series later this month.

Our pick to win it all is the Los Angeles Dodgers, who in the second half of the season became the most feared team in baseball after a less-than-mediocre start.

If they get to the series, the pitching advantage they will have at Dodger Stadium could be decisive.

A sentimental choice is Pittsburgh. It's good to see Pirates and their manager, the amiable Clint Hurdle, who took the Colorado Rockies to the World Series six years ago, back to the playoffs for the first time since the 1980s.

If you are the sort of fan who pays more attention in October, then you will enjoy seeing the Pirates' beautifully integrated stadium that is embraced by the city around it.

An obvious choice from the American League is the Boston Red Sox, but the Oakland A's have been excellent, and under the radar, all year. If you want a dark horse for the whole thing, consider the Tampa Bay Rays.

October

A book that used to be read commonly by young people, especially girls, was "Anne of Green Gables." In it, the title character says "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."

Turning leaves, golden light, Homecoming, the World Series, warm sun and cool darkness, winter coming but not here yet, jackets and jack-o'-lanterns. October is here. Make it a good one, and 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 3:25 p.m., in time to meet the postal deadline for next-day mail delivery.

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