Tuesday notes

Nov 28, 2017 By Steven R. Peck, Publisher

Brave November

Heading into the last couple of days of November, the 11th month of the year has done a near-perfect job of keeping winter at bay (Tuesday'sgray, foggy morning notwithstanding).

Our sense of science tells us the month itself doesn't really have a mind of its own, but it's still easy to think of it as possessing a human-defined purpose in staying more like fall and less like winter.

It's typical to have seen a fierce blast of wintry weather - or more - by the end of November. Last year we certainly did. But November 2017 has been gentle and warm, the type of "Indian Summer" we've been told about, read about and hoped for, but don't seem to experience often enough.

December is here at the end of the week, bringing the shortest daylight periods of the year and, usually, the coldest days, too. That inevitability will be a lot easier to handle on our end thanks to stalwart November, defender of the fall.

Comics changes

Followers of theSundaycomics by now have observed the change in our section. After many years of the same format, three weeks ago our supplier changed the content and the layout of theSundaysection, the latter change more significant than the former.One new strip has been added, and another has been expanded. The addition isSunday"Baby Blues," which is a good match for us because that same comic strip also appears on our weekday page.

The expansion is "Slylock Fox and Comics for Kids," which has increased itsSundayoffering by about one-third, adding an element similar to the "Find Six Differences" portion of the feature that has been a staple for many years. The new one asks readers to identify which of three or four drawings are identical to one another. It is quite a bit harder, at least so far, than the "six differences" portion of the strip, and a fun add-on to "Slylock."

Beyond those changes, the four-page section itself has been redesigned. With one more strip than there used to be, and the expansion of another, but with no more space in the four pages, it can mean only one thing: The remaining strips have been reduced in size.

ShrinkingSundaycomics has been a bone of contention for many comic artists for decades now. It is one of the reasons that Bill Watterson discontinued his popular - and brilliant - "Calvin and Hobbes" strip some years ago. He did not like the constraints placed upon him bySundaycomics providers.

Comic strips lost that war long ago, however, and theSundaycomics that remain have no choice but to comply with the space requirements imposed upon them by the provider. Overall, we think it has made ourSundaysection better, and we hope you enjoy it. Incidentally, it does cost us a bit more as well.

Not the same Cowboys

Just how good a football player is Wyoming Cowboys quarterback Josh Allen? Prior to the season, he was getting a lot of attention as a possible first-round draft choice in the National Football League next year, and there even was some talk of Allen as a Heisman Trophy contender. The Cowboys have had a good season, rolling to a 7-3 record with Allen at quarterback, even though Allen himself did not light it up the way some thought he would.

A better indicator of how good he is might be the last two Wyoming games, when he has been injured and unable to play. Wyoming lost a defensive struggle to Fresno State, then was embarrassed by woeful San Jose State last week as Allen watch from the sidelines. What looked like it might be a 9-3 record has dropped to 7-5, meaning the Wyoming bowl game - which still will come - won't be nearly as high-profile for the fans or lucrative for the program as it would have been had those two wins been achieved.

When your team tanks when you are not in the lineup, it gives an inadvertent stretch of how valuable you are. Josh Allen proved it in November.

All together now

For the holiday season, The Ranger and our sister publication, the Advertiser, are engaging in a couple of hometown shopping promotions which we invite you to notice and participate in. The first is a renewal of our "shop small" promo featuring photographs of local business owners as they encourage Fremont County residents to spend more of their gift-giving dollars with local retailers. If you ever come into our 5th Street entrance, you will see the full array of the ads displayed on the window. It's an impressive group, and a strong reminder that Riverton has a lot going for it, retail-wise.

Also this year, the Advertiser is creating a Christmas bingo game, inviting readers to go into participating businesses and get a bingo card marker. Once the cards are complete, we'll have a prize drawing from among the submitted entries.

Here is our additional request: If you're going to get the bingo card marker, take a few minutes to look around the store as well. Chances are you will see something you would like - either for the Christmas season or later.

Shop at home, everybody. We're all in this together.

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