Friday, February 26, 2010

View From The Ditch Bank

TWEETS, TOOTS, BLOGS AND,uh! WELL: You get the picture. Or you will. Maybe. There was a time long ago and close by, when if you wanted to tell someone something, you talked to them in person. Or wrote them a letter. In hand writing, with pen and ink, or whatever tools was available in whatever time period in the past you want to consider. Then Alex made his invention. That's Graham Bell, just in case you were wondering. And we went from two tin cans and a string to two sophisticated tin cans and a wire. Now the tin cans are gone, along with the string and the wire. Now we can communicate with others across the world, or even from out of the world, in an instant. Sometimes I wonder if Alex had even a smidgen of an idea of what he was about to unleash on the world. You're right, I don't think so either. Now, I use e mail, and obviously a blog, for those few of you that venture to read my occasional drivel, and I have a cell phone even though I'm not in jail, and I can access the Internet from the top of my lap if I'm any where cell phone service is available. I rarely text, and then only to answer a child or grandchild who has sent a text to me assuming I actually have the phone turned on. I don't have a face book account and the only twitter I know about comes from birds and young ( or not so young) girls. Now, before you get the idea that I'm against all this tec na lo gee, I rush to say no, I'm not. With families spreading across the globe, and this instant communication via computer through instant messaging, facebook ( MLWFAE has an account ) Skype, Etc, at a relative inexpensive amount of money is a wonderful thing. And I am sure that the children of my grandchildren will have access to wonders that I cannot imagine in my wildest imaginings. (And if you can't read that last word, use phonics on it.)And my imaginings can get pretty wild sometimes. And I know that I have hardly scratched the surface of the wonders that are available to us right now. Having said all this, I sometimes wonder if we aren't missing something in our relationships with said families and friends. Like a face to face conversation, or even a letter written in our own hand, rather than in some emotionless type, in an instant computer message. I think we need to put down the ipods, iphones, computers, turn off the TV and just, uh, communicate. Having said that, guess I'll close this blog, go check my e mail and log on to MLWFAE'S facebook page and watch the rest of the news and the evening dose of Olympics. And that's The View From The Ditch Bank.

Monday, February 22, 2010

View From The Ditch Bank

ROUND TWO; OR ROUND ONE CONTINUED: You decide. Last year the Federal Government tried to pass a health care reform bill. Didn't happen. The Senate did pass a bill and the Representatives passed a bill, but they didn't match, and a lot of the people didn't like it, didn't want it, didn't even want a reform bill at all. Still don't. Now, I have had some kind of insurance most of my married life, which is 49 years. I know that there are many who are uninsured or under insured in this country, and I think that they should have access to affordable health care. But perhaps our esteemed public servants need to take a class in common sense reform before they tackle the health care reform again. Oh! too late. The Pres revealed his health care plan this morning, 4 days before a summit in which the Pres and members of the Dems and Repubs will sit down together and try to reach a compromise. Good Luck! I would like to quote a few items from an article printed in Politics Daily. 1. President Obama kept most of the Democrat Senate passed bill in his proposal, including a mandate that requires individuals to purchase health care. It also includes a process for the government to subsidize those who can't afford health care and taxes and fees to raise the funds to pay for it. Part of those fees will come from company's of 50 or more employees who don't provide insurance for their employees. Of course, if those company's do insure their employees, then there goes the fees to pay for the above subsidy. 2. White house advisor Nancy-Ann DeParle estimated that the changes proposed by the Pres would RAISE the cost of the health care bill to $950 Billion. Yes, with a B. 3. Since the election of Senator Scott Brown, and the Dems losing the 60 seat majority, they are now looking at ways to bypass this rule, using a Senate procedure known as "reconciliation" which allows legislation directly related to the budget to pass the Senate with only 51 votes instead of the usual 60 required with most other bills. 4. Nancy Pelosi told reporters at a press conference that "We will move on many fronts, any front we can. We will go through the gate. If the gate is closed, we will go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we will pole vault in. If that doesn't work, we will parachute in. But we are going to get health care reform passed for the American people for their own personal health and economic security, AND FOR THE IMPORTANT ROLE IT WILL PLAY ON REDUCING THE DEFICIT." How can it reduce the deficit if, as according to the White House advisers, it will raise the cost to $950 BILLION.
Yes, maybe we need health care reform, but I encourage each of you to study what is actually being proposed and then contact your Senators and Representatives and encourage them to use common sense when voting on this bill. Remind them that this is not a socialist government, but one "Of the people, By the people, and for the people." Remember "Any government big enough to give you any thing you want, is big enough to take away every thing you have." And that's THE VIEW FROM THE DITCH BANK.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

View From The Ditch Bank

THE AGITATOR---You all know what an agitator is. It is something, or someone that causes problems; agitates. Some agitator's can cause major upheavals, like the earthquake in Haiti, where the earth was agitated. Other's are not so big, but can be bad any way, such as some one who agitates for a change in government. Other's, in the over all scheme of things, are so minor as not to be noticed at all, except by those who are involved, or agitated. When I wrote my first post, I said that I would blog little to nothing about the life of me and my family, or words to that effect. This blog will be some of that little to nothing. MLWFAE and I have had two clothes washers in all our married life. The last one was over 19 years old when it decided it needed a rest. Not quite as old as the one before it. MLWFAE also rarely uses a dryer, preferring to hang clothes outside on a line. In order to keep the previous washer going, we put over $150 of parts on it ( counting trips to a distant city to pick up some of the said parts ) and it still wouldn't work. Oh! it washes fine, but it won't spin the water out like it should. So MLWFAE and I went to a Home Depot store and bought a brand new state of the art; almost top of the line washer. It had all the bells and whistles, literally. I belled and whistled at you all the time. It is proud of what it can do. It even has a glass lid so you can watch it bell and whistle. You would think that one that smart would know what color clothes you put in it, but you did have to tell it that. Then after putting in a colored water, called by the product maker High Energy Detergent, ( it makes NO suds ) fabric softener, you close the lid, the machine locks the lid and bells and whistles. Very little water goes in the tub, I could tell via the glass lid, it then groans and grunts and spend 1 hour 19 minutes washing a load of white clothes. Oh! and it has no agitator. And if the load gets out of balance it will, finally, put some water in the tub, swirl the load around to re balance, spin the water out, if it is now in balance, and go on with it's belling and whistling. It will let you open the lid and rearrange the load if it can't re balance the load itself. It usually can't. Well, MLWFAE didn't like this washer, she likes the clothes agitated and suds. So yesterday we went back to the afore mentioned store and bought another new washer. One with only one bell and just a whistle or two. And an agitator, and a metal lid that you can open without permission, and they will take the bells and whistles back and refund us the $400 difference. So now MLWFAE will have a washer with an agitator, and she will no longer be agitated, at least over the washer. And that's The View From The Ditch Bank.

Monday, February 15, 2010

View From The Ditch bank

GETTING NOWHERE FAST--I saw a news report this morning about a big accident in Kansas City. Something like a 60 car pile up. The snow was blamed as the cause of the accident. I am sure it was certainly a factor. Maybe, even the main factor. But not the only factor. I am going to mention a here to fore unmentioned factor in many of the accidents that occur on a daily basis. After I mention it, then it will no longer be an unmentioned one. And that is the law that says you stay 1 car length behind the vehicle in front of you for every 10 MPH you are traveling. So, going down the freeway at 70 MPH ( OK, so the speed limit in most states, at least in the west, excepting California is 75, most people do 80 ) you should be 7 car lengths behind the vehicle in front of you. If you do that, then at least 6 cars will pass and get in front of you, so you back off another 7 lengths for the car immediately in front, and here comes another 6 or 7 cars, so you back off again. You keep on doing this, and soon you are back where you started, having not arrived at where you were going, and never having to use reverse. Wonder if your gas tank fills back up that way? Have a safe driving day and That's The View From The Ditch Bank.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

View From The Ditch Bank

SAFETY FIRST---The mining company I worked for always preached this. It was almost a mantra. Safety First. Always preached, not always practiced. Especially if it got in the way of production. So, I am wondering if that is what is happening in the auto mo bill industry. If you have been keeping up with the news, you are aware that Toyota has it's problems with sticking accelerators and braking. Thousands of cars recalled to fix the problem. Fixes which many are not sure is the cure. Thousands of dollar's used, and thousands of hours spent fixing. Now Honda is recalling cars for air bag problems. Automobile recalls are not a new thing, of course, but this recall seems to be of massive proportions. Or maybe it is just the media making a bigger thing out of it than other recalls from the past. When I was younger, ( decades ago ) the auto company's built very simple cars. You stepped on the accelerator and metal linkage opened the carburetor and gas went into the cylinders to rev the engine and make the car move. When you stepped on the brake, a metal linkage rod plunged into the master brake cylinder and pushed oil into the brake cylinders to make the brakes work. Simple, but effective. And if you had a wreck, well good luck. Now, I am not against safety. In fact, I believe in it. Whole heart ed lee. But with all the electronics being added to auto mo bill's to make them go, there is just more things to go wrong, and I'm a thinkin that a return to some, and I said some, of the simple things of the past might be in order. I know, I know, the cars of today get better mileage because of the electronics, and the seat belts and air bags save lives and injuries, and I am not against that, but it seems to me if more care was taken to build a few cars well, instead of a lot of cars not so well, then there would be less time spent fixin and more time spent building. And That's The View From The Ditch Bank.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Viiew From The Ditch Bank

WORLD CHAMPION---What does it take to be a world champion? What, exactly, is a world champion? Yesterday, the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl, ( is a super bowl, just an extra large bowl?) and were declared the world champions of football. HMMM! In the fall there is a world champion in baseball when they play the world series. There's world champions in rodeo, and basketball and, well you get the picture. My question is, how can the Saints be a world champion in a sport that was only played here in the States? Shouldn't this be played in more countries, and the championship be declared between teams from many countries? At least the baseball World Series includes Canada, but baseball is played in many other countries. Well, there are sports players from other countries on some of these teams. And rodeo cowboys come from foreign places like Australia, Brazil and the Bronx, New York, but still shouldn't those other countries (not just players from those countries playing on American teams) be included in order to have a World Champion? In a few days the winter Olympics will start in the Vancouver, Canada area. There, athletes from all over the world will compete in winter sports, and the winner will be crowned. Now, that will be a World Champion, with truly world competition. And the Saints, well, they are the football champions for a year in the United States, but not a "world champion". And that's the View From The Ditch Bank.

Friday, February 5, 2010

View From The Ditch Bank

DEAL---What a word. There is ideal, you deal, I'll deal, no deal, real deal, well, you get the deal. What this blog is about, though, is the ideal job. Have you ever thought about what would be the ideal job? One where, no matter what you did, or said, you could never be wrong. You are always right. ALWAYS. There is no such a job, you say. Oh yes there is. Well, what is it you say? It is being a weather man, or woman. How is that the ideal job. Cause, what do they say. There is a storm coming our way, and there is a chance we will get some rain, snow, wind, whatever they are predicting. Did you get that. There is a chance this will happen. So, no matter what happens, they were correct. If it rains, snows, blows, whatever, they said there would be a chance it would happen. If it don't happen, they are still right, cause they said it was a chance. There's always a chance it will or won't happen. Now if that isn't an ideal job, I don't know what is, and there's a chance that's the ideal opinion From The Ditch Bank.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

View From The Ditch Bank

BUDGE IT----We've all had to do that sometime. We have a rock in the yard, a vehicle stuck in the mud, or snow. Or some other obstacle in the way of whatever progress it is we are trying to make. And no matter how hard we try, we just can't seem to budge it. We use tools, call family or friends, or maybe even a church group to help. Usually, with enough help, we finally get the stubborn object to move, in the direction we want. Words are funny. Have you noticed? Budge it means one thing, but while pronounced the same, budget means something else. Maybe, kinda, sorta. I mentioned in a post or two back that I had watched the State of the Union Address. I will digress a moment, but the State of the Union address was originally a State of the Union report that was to be made by the President to Congress. All Presidents, including George Washington, have done it. Many sent a written report of the State to congress instead of making a speech. It has just been in the last few Presidencies that these "reports" have been broadcast to the world, rather than just to congress. And ALL Presidents have said, the "State of the Union is strong", regardless of the actual state. I listened to see if President Obama would say that. He did. It seems like the reports of the Presidents for some time now have been more of a wish list of what they want, rather than a report of how it is. Oh well! back to the budge it uh budget. In the afore mentioned speech, President Obama stated what he would like to do to balance the budget. Along with his mantra of Blame President Bush, to a quick admitting that he had added some to it, he said he wanted to make some cuts. I read a AOL News report recently, that mentioned some of the things he wanted to cut. I agree with most, and will mention a few. It will be up to you to decide if you like them or not. 1. Cut grants to manufactures of worsted wool products; savings $5 million a year. 2. Stop broadcasts in Croatian, Greek, and Hindi on the government run Voice of America; savings $3 million a year.
3. The Pentagon stopped requesting C-17 Cargo planes in 2007 because they have all that is needed. Congress insisted on buying more, cause parts for these planes are made in 43 States. If this would pass, it would save $2.5 Billion over 10 years. Well, here are a few more items listed. Cutting subsidies to wealthy farmers, a program that pays states to clean up abandoned coal mines, that have already been cleaned up. A $5million dollar program to the Forest service for a "water musical festival", a $120 million program that allows low-income people to get Earned Income Tax Credit in advance. About 80% of those receiving these were later found to be ineligible. There are many more along these lines that the Pres has in his budget to cut. He wants to cut the space program, which is the one item I actually strongly disagree with. Of $17 billion one year savings that Obama presented, congress only approved $11.5 billion, or 60%. So, to get back to the opening of this post, congress is kinda like the vehicle stuck in the mud. In order to get them to budge it, on the budget, it is going to take a lot of help from all of us, pushing them to budge on getting a balanced budget. The President can present his wish list, but congress approves it, and we all need to let them know that we are pushing them to get this done and stop getting in the way of the progress of this country. And that's the View From The Ditch Bank.

Monday, February 1, 2010

View From The Ditch Bank

LAST CHANCE WIRE BENDING---So where is this going,you ask? Oh! you didn't ask. Well I'll tell you any way. Those of you who watch the TV show Biggest Loser, know that at the end of the week, before they go for the weekly weigh in, they go through a day called a Last Chance Workout. A very in-tents, Oh intense, day of of exercise, trying to lose the most weight they can before facing the the scale. And any one who has ever been in a position to cut a piece of wire knows that if you don't have wire cutters you can bend it back and forth, vigorously, until it breaks. So what does this have to do with any thing? I watched the State of the Union wishlist speech last week. I missed a bit of the speech while being entertained by the last chance wire benders; namely Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden. Nancy was jumping up and down from her chair so often she would make Bob and Jillyn happy with her performance. And Joe, well, I kept wondering when his head was going to fall off and roll across the floor. He looked like a bobble head doll, except I wouldn't call him a doll. I guess if we ever get lucky enough for them to lose their jobs, they can get employment as personal trainers doing jump ups and neck exercises. And that is the View From The Ditch Bank.