Dave Simpson: Time To Put Another Log On The Fire

Columnist Dave Simpson writes: As Andy Griffith used to say, Put you feet up. Set a spell. It's a snow day for adults, so let's enjoy the heck out of it. Make hot chocolate. Grilled cheese. Snow angels.

Dave Simpson

January 30, 20234 min read

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(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

It’s  deepest, darkest Stay at Home Season in Wyoming.

Anyone with the sense to pour stuff out of a boot has a fire going in the fireplace, a pot of chicken soup on the (gas) stove, and a good book next to their easy chair.

(I also recommend a black Labrador Retriever – the Cadillac of Dogs – snoozing at your feet.)

Here in Cheyenne as I write this, 18-wheelers are lined up on the frontage roads along I-80 from Archer to Roundtop Road. A huge 44-vehicle pileup at the Wagonhound exit between Laramie and Elk Mountain has the interstate closed until further notice.

This time of year it’s either the Summit, Arlington-Elk Mountain (the infamous “Snow Chi Min Trail”), or Wamsutter giving speeding truckers fits. We have a truck driver friend from Florida who spent three not-so-glorious days stuck in Wamsutter recently, missing the Sunshine State.

Heading north? God help you at “Wind Sock” between Chugwater and Wheatland, where there are small craft warnings most of the time, and sometimes hurricane-force winds. This time of year I’d rather take a beating than drive from Cheyenne to Casper in bad weather.

Pilots refer to a fatal condition known as “get there-itis,” when getting to your destination is more important than current conditions. Folks can die as a result. Same with winter driving.

So, as Andy Griffith used to say, “Put you feet up. Set a spell.” Take a snow day for adults, and let’s enjoy the heck out of it. Make hot chocolate. Grilled cheese. Snow angels.

Don’t succumb to get-there-itis.

Meanwhile, the news marches on:

– The good news is that according to Facebook, Donald Trump is no longer “a threat to public safety.” So the guy Wyoming residents voted for in huge numbers can once again post things on Facebook.

Possessing the nuclear codes for four years was OK. Posting on Facebook as a former president – way too dangerous. But, not anymore.

The Nervous Nellies among us, however, might want to remain on alert, prepared to shelter in place, triple mask, get every booster shot under the sun, and wear a beanie with a propeller on top to charge their cell phones, just in case a former president 1,500 miles away posts something so horrible that their precious snowflake sensibilities are threatened..

Can’t be too careful, Dearie.

– Presidents and vice presidents, current and former, are having trouble keeping track of America’s pesky top secrets. It’s gotten so bad the FBI is asking former presidents and vice presidents to scrounge through their garages, night stands and sock drawers, looking for wayward classified documents.

One name conspicuously absent from news reports so far is that of former Vice President Dick Cheney, who I suspect is way too savvy to get caught with a hand in the top secret cookie jar. At least I hope so.

(Hey, I voted for the guy. Repeatedly.)

Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire summed up the craziness of taking secret documents home:

“They’re writing books with top secret documents?’ he asked. (Incredulously.)

Good point.

– Had a wonderful steak at Texas Roadhouse in Cheyenne last week, and asked for a doggy bag for the chunk of steak left over. I told the server it would make an excellent steak and eggs breakfast the next morning.

“If you can afford the eggs,” she replied.

Another good point.

(One time back in Illinois, at a nice lodge in a state park at Grafton, I asked for a doggy bag. They said I’d have to sign a release, because I might put my chunk of steak and leftover potato salad in the trunk of my car for a week or two in the summer heat, then get sick when I ate it. I’m happy to say that crazy nanny-state excess never caught on.)

– And lastly, just in case Sen. John Kennedy asks you what Article Five of the Constitution says – as he did with a flummoxed federal court nominee last week – it’s about amending the Constitution. And Article Two sets the guidelines and rules for the executive branch. (I’m not saying whether or not I had to look that up.)

This is our chance to look smarter than a judicial nominee.

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Dave Simpson

Political, Wyoming Life Columnist

Dave has written a weekly column about a wide variety of topics for 39 years, winning top columnist awards in Wyoming, Colorado, Illinois and Nebraska.