Tuesday notes

Mar 4, 2014 By Steven R. Peck

Lions and lambs

We've all heard the age-old proverb "March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb." Old sayings don't get to be old sayings for no reason, and this one might well have had the arrival of March 2014 in mind. That was one cold booger of a weekend, about as cold as we're ever likely to see as the month of spring arrives.

But wasn't it nice to find the lion so much tamer by Monday?

For the record, spring arrives Thursday, March 20. As far as we're concerned, it can have as much dress rehearsal as it wants.

"Music Man"

Speaking of rehearsal, it paid off well for the Central Wyoming College community theater production of "The Music Man" over the weekend. The fun old Broadway show got a handsome, polished and highly entertaining treatment from the college theater director Mike Myers, technical director Chontelle Gray, musical director Robert Hussa, and their cast of dozens. Every community theater effort is worthwhile, and the hundreds of hours put into the show came out nicely on the other side.

Sudoku solution

We're working through a computer snafu today, and one of the casualties is the answer to Sunday's Sudoku puzzle. The file that we had saved has been lost, and it can't be retrieved through the supplier, which deletes them after 24 hours.

So assume you got it right, and we'll start with a new batch as of today.

And the winner is ...

Ten years ago, what would have been the odds of ever hearing the words "Academy Award winner" modifying the name "Matthew McConaughey"? Well, the long shot came in. If you had a bet down, the payoff was pretty.

The guy who for 20 years mostly seemed to play the same role over and over now has an Oscar for truly great work in "The Dallas Buyer's Club." Who knew the "all right, all right, all right" party boy could act? He can. And if you have any remaining doubt, check out the ongoing HBO series "True Detective." The bet here is that he'll have an Emmy to go along with that Oscar before the year is out.

Efficiency at the Capitol

The Wyoming Legislature has a budget -- and there still are four days left on the legislative calendar for the 2014 biennial budget session.

No all-nighters at the conference table this year. No agony of impasse as iron-willed lawmakers locked horns over the final details. No stopping the clock to pretend the session was completed on time.

Every one of those things has happened at one time or another through the years -- more than once -- but this year's state budgeting work was efficient and orderly.

Agree with the budget or don't, but as a process this year's budget building is how it's supposed to be done. Nobody ever concurs with every detail of a state budget, so the best anyone can hope for is a budget we all can live with. In the work of interim study, legislative committee work, floor debate, amendment and conferencing, we can get there. When all that works as it is supposed to -- again, not to satisfy every request, but instead to move the process forward -- the work of the session can get done in its allotted time, or even before it.

The non-stop arguing about the current budget -- and the next one -- can now begin. But as far as the session is concerned, this was a job well done.

Newspaper year

Eagle-eyed readers noticed an annual changeover Sunday. That day's edition was Volume 108, No. 1. On weekdays we publish that information on page 1, but on Sunday it's only found inside the paper on the masthead.

Postal regulations require newspapers to identify each edition that is entered into the mail for delivery, according to the year of publication, or "volume," and which edition of the year it is, or the "number."

Because our newspaper's history is tied to the first week of March (more on that tomorrow), we start our new newspaper year with the first edition of The Ranger published in March. Often it's actually on March 1, but if the first day of March happens to fall on a Saturday or a Monday, then we'll change our volume on March 2.

Why is this "Volume 108"? It's because The Ranger is the direct business descendant of the old Riverton Review, which was launched in the fall of 1906, shortly after the Riverton townsite was separated -- yes, separated -- from the Wind River Indian Reservation and paperwork was filed for incorporation as a Wyoming municipality.

So, our newspaper is as old as Riverton (within a couple of weeks or so), and if the city is 108 years old, then so are we. We published 257 editions during Volume 107. In the new one, we're two down, about 255 to go.

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

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