Monday, December 24, 2012


FINAL POST: No, this won't be my final post, but probably the final post for 2012.  I said probably, not definitly. Time will tell.  And this post won't be a rant on a particular subject, but just a short view point on a potporri of things.   So here goes.   Comments appreciated.

1. On the today show this morning, there was a short article on Queen Elizabeth.  About?  Well, if you didn't see that, I'll tell you.  It was about her clothes.  And they called her a fashion icon. And mentioned that her grand daughter in law is also one.  Just a bleep on Kate in the mix of talking about the Queen and how put together she always is.  I happen to agree, and wish the current first lady of the United States would take a lesson from the queen.  I, for one, do not think that Michelle Obama is any where near fashionable.

2. On that same Today show today, there was a short article about a woman, ( I forgot her name, ) who was on the olympic volley ball team. She is pregnant with her third child, and they opened some sort of medical thing that told them what the sex of her child will be.  I assume that there are people who are thrilled to know that.  I, for one, could care less, and feel that this is something to share between her and her husband, not with a national TV audience.  On this vein, though, I have never been enthralled with "stars" movie, singing or sports.  I have (had) actors whose movies I liked, singers whose songs I liked and sports people who I liked to watch. But I never idolized any of them, and often wondered as I grew up why someone would want to spend money on Movie magazines and ooh and ahh over these people.  Didn't understand it then, understand it less even now.  Expecially with the kind of lives they seem to live.  Most of them, any way. 

3.  Are we raising a nation of atheists?  As I go to church and see the many people on Sunday going about every day activities, I have to wonder.  I see young people, many even pre teen, just wondering about the streets, on their phones, of course, and wonder how many of the will be an aetheist, not necessarily by choice, but by lack of any religious training.  Then I think of the many thousands, maybe even millions, of people, who go to church each Sunday, and know that we are not yet a nation devoid of religious convictions.  I also know that we could become such if, the american people, are not careful.  It can happen, and has happened, as recorded in the Book of Mormon.  

4.  December 21, 2012.  Were the Mayans wrong?  Probably not.  Since I am not a scientist, and not a language major, or even minor, I have no clue at all what was on the Mayan calendar.  I do not think that they had any knowledge about the end of the world.  I think that someone mis interpreted what was there.  Wherever there is.  I am also constantly amazed at the gullibility of people who fall for much of this kind of hype.  Note; people that give away their fortunes, property to some preacher who makes statements that he can save them from what ever disaster that is predicted to be coming down the pike.  Also, I remember the near panic of Y2K.  Don't remember that?  Google it. Maybe I'm just not smart enough to be concerned about these kind of things. 

5. Are the TV shows filming on a tight budget?  I have to wonder.  I don't watch much of the TV shows, and I find the current crop of "comedy's" not funny at all.  Most of them are just vulgar.  But, they are being filmed in the dark.  Are they so afraid that someone will see what they are doing if they put a little light on the subject?  Wonder what it would take to get them to light up their life just a smidgeon. 

6.  Do you have a problem concentrating in Church?  Or a problem sitting still?  I don't know about where you go to church, ( supposing that someone will actually read this that don't go to the same church I do ) but at the LDS church the service last 70 minutes.  But there are people who must be very bored, as they can't seem to listen to what is going on.  Instead, they are on the internet, on their phone, or their i pod, or their eye pad or some other kind of pod or pad. Or they are in and out, going to the bathroom or somewhere.  I realize that there are some people with medical problems that may have to make a bathroom break during that 70 minutes, but that many people?  I think not.

7.  What do you think of the fiscal cliff?  Personally, I think if is a farce.  Oh! it will happen, and the country will suffer.  Well, not the country, but the citizens of the country.  How serious will it get?  I don't know.  Time will tell.  And we should blame the Democrats.  And the Republicans.  And the independents. And all the other burecrats that make these kind of tings happen. Or not happen.  It's too bad that some of the common people, with common sense, aren't in a position to work on this problem.  President Obama wants to extend the unemployment benefits.  I say, let them expire.  Then people will get a job.  You say, there are no jobs out there.  I say, yes there is.  Maybe not high paying jobs, but jobs never the less.  And if people get a job, and off the unemployment rolls, then the economy will pick up and more jobs will be created, and the economy will pick up even more.  And more people will be paying taxes, and then there will be no need to raise taxes on any one, rich or poor.  Of course, spending cuts at the government level is an absolute necessity.

8. And a final observation.  It was reported on the Albuquerque news this morning that a man was arrested for stealing a car. Seems he has a habit ( problem?) stealing cars and driving them around until they run out of gas, then abandoning them and stealing another one.  He got caught and was about to be arrested, so he attempted to get away.  In doing so, he tried to run over 4 city policemen.  After his arrest, he was charged with 4 counts of aggravated assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon.  What? A deadly weapon.  Well, now.  Do we go into car control?  Or do we ban them out right.  Or, just the particular model and make of car that he was driving at the time?  Maybe we should start a petition.




Thursday, December 20, 2012

Gun Control

GUN CONTROL: What can I say?  I have had a few things in my mind to post on my blog for the past few days, but feel to offer a few things about gun control.
With the events of last Friday, in Newtown, Connecticut, as I watched the news reports, and while feeling sick to my stomach for the atrocity that was unfolding, I new in my mind that gun control would be a topic that would come out of this tragedy.  I also knew that they would miss the point, according to me.  While I am not a member of the NRA, I support most of what they stand for.  I also strongly support the 2nd amendment to the Constitution.  I strongly support any who owns guns.  I do not necessarily support private citizens having assault type weapons.  I feel that they should be reserved for military use.  
Having said all that, I want to offer a few things that have came to mind as this past weeks events have unfolded.
In a speech at a memorial for those killed, President Obama said that he would use the power of is office to see that these mass shootings would not happen again.  And I said  HOW?  The NRA finally released a statement that their organization would use their influence to prevent these types of thing happening again.  And again I said HOW?  I like the sentiment of both statements.  I just don't see how that can be done.  And here is why I think like that.
Even if gun control is enacted by the government, and assault weapons are banned, there are still thousands of this type of weapon available for any to get if they want them. Legal or not.  And if the government is successful in banning these weapons, how long will it be before they think to ban all weapons, one type at a time.  It might be tried, but I don't think it will happen.  Too many people support the 2nd amendment, even in the government. And banning guns is not the answer any way. 
Some talk has come out about keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.  That is a start, but that too will be difficult.  Family's need to be alert to family members who may be involved in this type of action. Unfortunately, in this day and time, more security may be needed.  But you can't secure every school, every mall, every movie theater, every place of public event.  You can't secure every rental truck and every bag or barrel of fertilizer. 
So, a solution:  In my uneducated opinion, bring God back into the schools. Bring family values back into the public spectrum.  Movies, music and TV. Say Merry Christmas at Christmas time instead of Happy Holidays.  Will this stop the types of things that happened last Friday.  No, even I am not so naive as to think it will.  But it would solve a lot of this country's ills. And trying to control guns and throwing a lot of money at the problem, and starting a commission to study how to control guns and the mentally ill will accomplish little.   And THAT'S THE VIEW FROM THE DITCH BANK.       

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A NATION IN DECLINE: I have thought of this post for a long time now.  I could have titled it Are we in a nation in decline?  or made it a statement We are a nation in decline.  I chose the title that I listed for a reason.  I just don't know what that reason is.  Maybe by the time this post is through we can tell. Having said all that, I do believe we are a nation in decline.  Why do I believe this.  Well, let's view a few things that I am aware of.  Since I didn't do a lot of research, I don't have exact dates or sometimes even exact events.  Just an opinion of things.
So, when did this decline start?  On November 6, 2012, when Barack Obama was reelected?  In November 2008 when Obama was elected the first time.  Many will say so.  Many more will say not.  So, what do I say?  Well, I say it started a long time prior to either of these events.  If there are any reading this blog, who may be unfamiliar with me,  view my status.  But if you don't want to, I will state this much.  I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, AKA  The Mormon Church.  I am a republican who is not ashamed to vote for a Democrat if I feel the Democrat is the better candidate.  Having said that, I have a deep seated belief in the tenets of the LDS doctrine.  We are told that any people that inhabits this continent, who does not follow and obey the commandments of God and Jesus Christ, will be destroyed.  And we have a Book of Mormon that documents that happening to past inhabitants of this continent.  So, why are we in decline now?  Yes Why?  It is not because of the recent election.  It is because of the actions of the people.  When did it start?  Don't know, exactly.
But, in my 71 years on this rock, I have seen some disturbing things.  Movies used to be entertaining.  Now they are violent and lewd.  Things like this were not in the movies when I was growing up.  Then the movie rating system came into being, and filthy language and nudity and sexual things were put into movies and then rated.  Gradually, over the years, many things that was in Mature movies ( that was the original rating ) now R rated are slipping into Pg-13 movies.  Much of this same content is now in mainstream music. People are "Living together without the benefit of marriage and same sex couples want to be married" and the media and TV programs are saying that's OK.  It is the new norm. William Clinton, A past U.S. President was involved in sex affairs with women not his wife.  And the congress couldn't get enough votes to impeach him. And the people let him get away with it.    And now he is an often requested public speaker.  Politicians can't seem to pass a budget to run this government, but don't seem to have any trouble appropriating funds that will benefit them.  Greed, Sex, Violence, Filthy Language, all accepted in the public square, as it were.  Same sex couples now are all over the media and the media and public officials are telling us that it is OK.  That it is the new norm.  
Many will say that the election, or reelection of Barack Obama will bring the downfall of this nation.  I say it will not.  It is the actions of the populace and the acceptance of things that are of the evil side, that will bring down this nation. It is the lowering of values of the populace that will destroy this nation as we who are older know it that will bring down this nation.  Now, I am going to get a little political.  Kinda. With Mitt Romney running for President, the LDS Church has been exposed to the public view as never before.  Missionary's will undoubtably get into homes that would have been denied them prior to this election.  The Church has received a lot of press and made people curious enough to investigate it and possibly join.  If Mitt Romney had been elected, the resulting budget cuts and the many things he would have had to do to bring the budget into balance would have caused a backlash against him and the church as a result.  With the Reelection of Obama, there will still be a backlash, eventually, I think.  But it will come in a different form, when taxes are raised and more jobs lost as a result.  I also fear the health care law in full.  There are many good things in this law. But when the full effect takes place in 2014, I fear that it will cause chaos.
I will stop here with the political statements, cause this is not about politics, but about my opinion of why this nation is in decline. It is about the people, and what we are willing to put up with.  There are a lot of people with high values still in this country, but those values are slowly being wore away, and more and more that is bad is being accepted.  And that is why we are in decline.   AND THAT'S THE VIEW FROM THE DITCH BANK. 


Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Storms We endure

STORMS: what too you is a storm?  What do you think of when you hear the word storm?  This country is going through a series of storms right now.  Political storms. Natural storms. And every where people have their own storms.  Just the normal storms of life that we all go through from time to time.  Some of those storms we have control of.  Namely the storms of life.  Some come to us in spite of what we do, others are self inflicted.  By the things we do.  Yesterday we attended the funeral of a friend who had passed away after a 2 1/2 year battle with cancer.  The storm that has come to her husband and family was not of their chosing, but they will deal with it.
Earlier this week hurricane Sandy devastated the east coast.  Again, a storm that the people affected had no control over.  They did have some control over how they reacted to it, but for the most part, they just had to wait and see what happened.  And they waited and didn't like what happened.  Now, the storm they face is very devastating in many cases.  But for the most part, they will survive and move on.
But what about the political storm we are all involved in.  Well, we will survive that also, some in better fashion than others.  And now I will create a tiny storm by voicing my opinion of some of the things going on in these political happenings.
Did you watch the Presidential debates?  Or the Vice Presidential debate? I watched the presidential debates.  I tried to watch the vice presidential debate, but just couoldn't put up with the theatrics of bobble head, uh Biden.  With his rolling of the eyes and the throwing up of the hands, I just got so disgusted that I turned off the TV and went to bed and read a book.  Prior to going  to sleep.  Can you imagine him as President, should circumstances come about that opens that door.  Shudder.
And the race for President.  I have just a couple of comments to make here. Or three or four.  President Obama said in the last debate, and I quote,  "I have kept every promise I made.  And the ones I didn't keep, it wasn't cause I didn't try."  Uh, well did you keep them all or not.  Apparently not.  Apparently he isn't sure.  Just a couple or three more comments.  He has blamed all his problems on George Bush.  George Bush authorized the first bailout check that Obama has taken credit for.  George Bush had a withdrawal plan to bring the troops home from Iraq.  Obama just executed it.  George Bush had in place the operation to find and eliminate Bin Laden.  The actual act just happened under Obama's watch.  He promised to cut the national debt from 10 trillion to 5 trillion.  It is now over 16 trillion. He promised jobs.  Not happening. He shut down the space program and turned it over to Russia.Eliminating a lot of American jobs.  If he wants to blame Bush, then credit Bush for the things he had in place when he, Obama took office.  And Bush made his mistakes, and Romney will make his if elected.  They all have.  They all will.  But I will make this final comment on the Presidential race.  Ann Romney was on the TV show "The View".  I think that is the one.  And Whoopie Goldberg ask her how Romney could comfort families of returning military personel who have been killed in battle.  Since Romney never was in the military.  Why wasn't it mentioned that Obama never was in the military either?  And considering the positions of leadership that Romney has held in his church, I would imagine he has a lot more experience to comfort those who are bereaved than Obama ever had or will have.  I could say a lot more, but will stop the storm with that.
Now to some local races.  There are so many storms being generated on the State and local scene that I wonder why the weather is so clear and warm.  And why the wind we have is so cool and not hot.  And so many twisted truths and out right lies being told on both sides of the aisle, as it were, that I will be ever so glad when next Wednesday arrives.
However, even with all this being said.  this is still the greatest nation on earth, and I would not voluntarily move to some other country.  I will put up with the non sense and hope that what ever happens, my children and grandchildren and great grandchildren will have as good a country to live in as I have had.    And THAT'S THE VIEW FROM THE DITCH BANK.  

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Political Advertising

ELECTION 2012:  Are you as sick of the political TV commercials as I am?  Even from those I intend to vote for.  I didn't vote for Barack Obama in 2008 and now that I have the chance I won't vote for him again.  I will vote for Romney.  The Liberterian party has a lot of good ideas, and their candidate is Gary Johnson, a former Governor of New Mexico. He did a good job of Governing the State, in spite of some personal problems.  And he advocates the legalization of Marijuana.  Which I don't. But the main reason I won't vote for him is that he has as much chance of winning as a snowball surviving in, well, you know the place.  Obama made a lot of promises in 2008 that he has not come even close to doing.  And he has surrounded himself with a lot of people that should not be running this country's business.  But enough of that, at least for now.  This post is about TV commercials. 
Here in the State of New Mexico, the local politicians that want to go to Washington, or those who want to remain there, are posting TV ads that tell why they should be the one to represent us.  I know enough about these candidates, of both parties, (I don't mention the libertarians because they have no candidates running in State election ) to know that the ads from both parties are misleading.  Just like the presidential candidates, they pump themselves up as the only person who can get the job done in Washington, while the other candidate will do things all wrong.  Which ever candidate goes to Washington, they are both wrong in their ads.  They cannot do it by themselves.  And they will each do something wrong, by my standards.  They will also both do something right for the State and the Country.  In spite of my political leanings, I would like to state this.  The founding fathers of this country put in place a method of checks and balances that limits what each of the three branches of government can do.  Because of this, congress can not do a lot with out a majority vote of all members.  From both houses.  The President does not operate on his own budget.  That comes from the House. With approval from the Senate, who should propose their own budget for consideration.  They have not done this for three years.  Also, the President is supposed to get approval for his nominees from Congress.  This president has not done that on several occasions.  
As you go into this election season and go to the polls to vote, consider all options.  The current President will not accomplish all he says he can do.  He hasn't done it in the last 4 years and he will not do it in the next 4 years.  Conversely, Mitt Romney will not do all the things he says he will do.  In both cases, there is the check and balance system mentioned above.  So, it comes down to the point of which candidate you believe will do the most good for the country and the least harm.  And that goes for all the local politicians also.  In spite of what they say in the TV ads.     AND THAT'S THE VIEW FROM THE DITCH BANK

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


TIVO.  DO YOU HAVE IT?    I do.  Well kinda.  Don't know what Tivo is.  Or DVR.  Well, as best as I understand it,  it is a program on your TV that lets you record a program while your gone, or watching something else.  then when you watch you can skip the commercials.  I said I have it.  Well, that was kinda misleading.  What I have is a book.  I can read it whenever I want, there are no commercials to skip, and I can put it down and return to it at my choice.  And it won't go away.  Unless I want it to.   As for what is on TV, I think most of it should be put in the commercial category and skipped.  At least, if I am reading a book with questionable material, I am not polluting every one else in the  house.  And I can skip it and read another book.  Yep, tivo is great when it comes to turning off the TV and reading a good book.  Didn't miss a thing on TV any way.  Including most of the news.  And THAT'S THE VIEW FROM THE DITCH BANK

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fall and Chili

IT'S THAT TIME OF THE YEAR:  You know, the fall time of the year, when the Chili is starting to come off and the air is redolent with the smell of roasting chili.  New Mexico, namely Hatch, New Mexico is labeled the Chili capitol of the world.  The title may be a little ambiguous, but it is there just the same.  But Wait;
It seems that there are people, or companies, who don't live or farm in New Mexico,  who recognize the value of New Mexico Chili. So, being the enterprising type of people they are, they harvest their Chili and  bring it to New Mexico and then sell it as New Mexico Chili.
Well, a law was just passed that states,  "IF IT AIN'T GROWN HERE, IT CAN'T BE SOLD HERE LABELED AS NEW MEXICO CHILI." Or words to that effect.   So, assuming that the law will be followed and those enterprising types who want to cash in, pun intended, in New Mexico Chili, will be ferreted out and punished accordingly, we can rest assured that when you eat Chili from New Mexico, you are actually eating Chili grown here.
Meanwhile, just lean back, enjoy the fall smell of roasting Chili and let the juices flow, until you can't stand it any longer, then fix your self a meal, or go to your favorite restaurant and get a Chili fix.  I recommend a minimum of once a week.  Maximum of your choice.  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Social Security

AND I STILL DON'T UNDERSTAND:  For the long time reader of my drivel ( I said reader, cause I'm not sure there are more than a few who even venture to read my opinions ) you may remember that a year ago I was working in a mine for a contractor.  There was a young woman ( age not known by me but she has a 4 year old daughter ) working there for a few weeks.  She lost her job cause she wouldn't take a random drug test.  She lives in the same town I do, and as I go to work in my current short time job, I notice her car gone like she is working somewhere.  A few days ago I saw her outside, so I hollered at her and ask her where she was working.  She said she wasn't, but that she was trying to get Social Security.
On 14 August 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security act into law.  Now, whatever your opinion of government programs is, this has been a law for 77 years.  It is not a government give a way program. At least not in the sense of so many government programs are. Money is held out of employed peoples paychecks and put into the social security system. At that time the age of 65 was chosen as a retirement age for people to begin drawing a Social Security check.  From the government.  From a system that they had paid into.  By law.  Not by choice.
Now, I'm not going to go day by day or even year by year or administration by administration telling about this system.  I am just going to mention a few things that I know about.  Somewhere along the line, medicare was introduced to the list of government programs.  And along with Social security funds being held out of the paycheck, medicare fees were held out also.  And when people turned 65 and retired and were drawing Social Security, they had to sign up for medicare.  They didn't have a choice about the funds being held out of their paycheck and they don't have a choice of signing up for medicare.  YOU WILL DO IT, BY LAW. But, since we have all paid into this program, having access to it is not a give a way.  And with a fee of almost $100.00 a month being held out of each and every Social Security check, we are still paying for this insurance.  
Social Security was designed during the depression to help the elderly of this nation have some retirement security, and a lifetime of working, paying into the system was supposed to fund the system.  But over the years, people whose spouses went to prison for being a bad person get to receive Social Security.  People who were in their "older" years and had children, got to draw a check for those children, until they turn 18.  People with children born out of wedlock got a check for those children.  And now, a young woman who can't get or hold a job, because she can't control her drug problem is trying to get Social Security.  
I and my wife didn't draw it till we were 65 years old.  And now that we do, we have to pay income tax on that money as well as premiums for the medicare that we have to have.  I don't know just what the current administration wants to do, actually, nor what his opponent wants to do, but I think that something needs to be done.  But that something is not to cut what I have been forced to pay into, and am now taxed on.  Situations like I opened this post with are the things that need to be addressed.  Along with the other situations mentioned in the post, as well as dozens of others I didn't take the time to list.   

Monday, July 30, 2012


DID YOU HEAR IT AND I DIDN'T?  I'm going to start this post a few years back.  Ok a few centuries back.  Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden because they discovered they could have kids.  Well, kinda.  Any way, they had kids.  And two of them are mentioned in the Scriptures.  Cain and Abel.  And Cain rose up and slew Abel.  How?  the Scriptures don't say.  Fast forward a few years.  Ok more than a few.  A young lad named David took a brook stone and with a sling shot, killed the Giant Goliath.  Down through the centuries, in Scripture and novel and plays, and in reality, people have been killing people.  In the past century a Pan Am Airliner was blew out of the sky over Scotland by a bomb placed on board by someone who wanted to kill people.  On the infamous 9-11 terrorists hi jacked airplanes and flew them into buildings, killing thousands of men, women and children.  The news has been rife over the last several years of gunman opening fire in high schools, college campuses, military bases, and recently a movie theater.  Terrorists have bombed U.S. Navy ships and military bases over seas.  The one or two of you who may read my drivel are probably way ahead of me.  Or maybe not.  
so, here is my ditch bank opinion.
Since there is no way to determine how Cain killed Abel, I will leave that alone for the time being.  We know how David killed the Giant. There is nothing in the scriptures about the Philistines raising a cry to regulate sling shots and river stones.  Maybe they did, but if so, it is not recorded.  There is no record of people raising a cry to regulate knives or clubs, or spears or swords, except to keep them off the school grounds.  And there was nothing said about regulating airplanes.  In all these cases the hue and cry is against the perpatrator of the events.  Only guns seem to bring out the anti gun forces every time.  They want to regulate guns and take guns from those who had nothing to do with the killing that takes place with guns.  So, perhaps a little calm thinking would be in order.  There are thousands of guns in the world, and outlaws have them and no one knows about them.  They are not regulated, or registered and never will be, no matter what law is passed. As in the case of the bombers, the poisoners, the knife users, or what ever method was used to kill someone, accuse the perpertrator, not the instrument used.
As we have seen, Cain killed Abel in a method we know not. But if people are wanting to kill someone, or several someones, they will find a method.  If guns are not available, then a bomb will be made, a house will be set afire, or some other method will be devised, but people determined on killing will find a way, and always have since Cain rose up and slew his brother. And they always will, even if guns are regulated, or taken away from the populace.  So don't blame the gun, or the knife, or the whatever.  Blame the person or the group of persons.    A young man in our area was killed by a gun this past weekend, due to a fight at a party.  When ask to leave, some did and then returned to gain vengeance. Now a young man is dead another in the hospital and at least one in jail.  The fault of the gun?  No, the fault of the individual who felt he needed to avenge himself because he had been ask to leave a party.   So did you hear the call for regulation on all the items of death that I mentioned and I didn't?  Let me know, if you feel so inclined.

Monday, July 23, 2012


DO YOU KNOW????  Are you a religious person?  Do you ever ask the question  "What came first the Chicken or the egg?"  If you are a Bible reading person, then you would believe that the chicken came first, and was in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, and Adam gave it a name.  The egg, for food and other chickens came later.  However, if you are a doubting type of person, then you can solve the problem for your own satisfaction by using the internet.  Just go to a site that sells chickens and order one.  Then go to a site that sells eggs and order one.  Then when they arrive, you will know which one came first.  And That's THE VIEW FROM THE DITCH BANK.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I'M AN ENVIRONMENTALIST:   ARE YOU? Does this strike fear in the hearts of some?  Well, let us see.  Before I go any further, I will state that the above picture is from the Whitewater/Baldy fire in New Mexico.  I took that picture in mid June.  The fire is still burning as of this date, around 298,000 acres and 87% contained.  Most of the fire that is burning is inside the fire lines.  While this is the biggest fire in the west this year, that I know of, if is by far one of the least destructive, in terms of cost and human suffering.  Although many acres less in size, that distinction will have to go to the fire in Colorado Springs.   There are still several fires burning all through the western States.  So many they are hardly even mentioned on the national news any more.  And when they are, it is accompanied by a commentary from some federal official saying something like this.  These fires are burning because of the dry conditions. Well, yes they are.  At least, that is one of the conditions.  But there are other considerations. So lets look at a couple or three of them.
I mentioned way back when I started this blog, and you can probably find it on my status somewhere, that I am a religious man.  Since this is my blog, I will quote ideas, and you can also, but please if you refute me, and I welcome that if you feel so inclined, at least quote from a known source.  Now, in the Bible, when Adam and Eve were  in the Garden of Eden, the Lord told them to go and dress the earth and take care of it.  And they did.  But now, these many millennia later, look what we are doing.  When I was growing up, on a cattle ranch, the rancher was allowed to run his cattle on the national forest.  And logging company's were allowed to harvest trees.  And the USFS managed this forest in spite of themselves.  And we had fires, but they were manageable, for the most part.  Then the "Environmental Movement" came in to being, and the cattlemen were ran off the forest, and the logging companies were shut down, and the forest was allowed to grow wherever and however it pleased.  And the streams became clogged, and the forests became a growth of small trees, all fighting for what ever water was available.  And we are not dressing or managing the earth.  And the commandment given to Adam is still in force today.  So, yes the dry conditions play a part in the fire conditions, but the forest unmanagement, governed by all the "Environmental rules" play a huge part in this, and the government needs to step up and manage the forests like they should.  As true Environmentalists.  Yes, I am an environmentalist.  I believe we should be environmentally responsible for the earth.  And dress it and take care of it.  And this includes cattle sharing the land with the wildlife and logging companies being allowed to harvest trees and keep the forests in a manageable condition.  Thus, allowing the streams to run with clear water and the trees to be able to drink as needed, and not fight all the scrub brush and small trees that are allowed to come up willy nilly.   Yes, we need to protect the environment, but not to the extreme that is now in place.  And THAT'S THE VIEW FROM THE DITCH BANK.   

Monday, June 25, 2012

Room service

ROOM SERVICE:   I don't want to belabor the issue, but I guess I will, just a little.  In my last post I mentioned the traffic woes, or road work woes, of our recent trip to Utah.  This post is about that same trip, but it has to do with motel/hotel rooms.  Or the lack thereof.  Since we are getting a little long in the tooth, or old, as the younger generation will say, we don't make this trip in one day.  We break it up in two days, or even three days, each way.  With this in mind, a couple of weeks before we were going to leave, I called our favorite motel in Moab and ask to make a room reservation.  Nope, can't have a reservation, cause they are full.  Same thing with motel choice number two and three.  Finally was able to make a reservation at choice number 4.  For the return trip, we were staying in the Provo/Orem area, so I called our favorite motel in that area and was able to get a reservation for the night we wanted.  So called #1 in Moab again for a room on the return trip.  Again, no reservations available.  Lucked out with choice # 2 however.  Seems to me that gone are the days of just getting in the car, driving until you want to stop and get a room for the night.  Don't happen.  At least if you want to stay in a town and motel of your choice.  Gotta get reservations in advance.  Sometimes way in advance.  Makes me want to be an Indian.  They always have a Reservation.  And THAT'S THE VIEW FROM THE DITCH BANK.

Monday, June 18, 2012

DOES SPAGHETTI GIVE YOU INDIGESTION:  My loving wife and I recently returned from a trip to Ewwtah, and we did get a bit of indigestion while we were there.  And no, it was not from spaghetti. But from some one elses dinner plate. How is that, you ask?  You didn't ask.  Well, if you are still reading along, I will tell you any way.  As we traveled along, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah, we constantly ran into road work.  Not road construction, mind you, but road work.  No matter what was being done, it was road work.  And we constantly saw signs that said, and I quote, "End of Road Work."  They were wrong, cause it never ended. Just took infrequent breaks.  Aww, he's digressing, you think.  Not really, cause this is just a preview to what this is all about.   In 1997, or some where thereabouts, a committee of important people in their own minds, announced that Utah in general, and Salt Lake City in particular, would hold the 2002 winter Olympics.  And with that announcement, the State of Utah went into a frenzy of road construction.  Uh, road work.  And it hasn't stopped.  Or even taken an infrequent break.  At least from the time you exit Provo canyon or what ever it is called, at Spanish Fork, and it continues until you reach Hill Air Force Base, or some where in that vicinity.  So where does the spaghetti come in.  Well, if you ever travel those roads, you will see.  These new roads twist and turn and exit across traffic, ( example: try to make a left turn to the Hampton Inn in Orem as you are heading west on University Parkway.)  Can't be done.  First, you have to traverse left into the oncoming lanes about three blocks before you actually get there.  Then when you get to where you can finally turn, you slant across more oncoming lanes.  You just hope the traffic lights never fail.  Or that there is never a power failure. And the streets down by the Inn, where you used to turn left to get there. Oh, they are still there, you just can't use them. Someone was definitely eating a plate of spaghetti when they were designing these roads.   And downtown Salt Lake City.  The have reintroduced street cars. Or trolley cars, if yoiu like.   Oh, they don't call them that, but that is what they are.  And they run with the traffic.  In between the lanes.  And they stop when the cars stop at red lights. Except when they have the right of way to turn across traffic to go somewhere.  Again, I hope the lights never fail, or if you are in the vacinity you will want to call your friends.  Cause they probably aint never seen a wreck like that ones going to be.  So, how do you avoid this mess.  Eat a steak and take the back roads.   And THAT'S THE VIEW FROM THE DITCH BANK. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

WERE YOU EVER ACCUSED OF SOMETHING YOU DIDN'T DO?  And I would suppose that any one who has graced this earth with your presence for very many years, has been so accused at least once.  By a friend, an acquaintance, someone that you don't even really know.  Or even a family member.  A parent, a child or even a spouse.  Did it make you feel bad?  Angry? upset?  Maybe even aching for revenge.  How soon did you realize that they had made a mistake and you could overlook it?  How soon did they realize it and offer an apology.  And did you accept the apology and forgive.  These are all things for us to think about.  And while we are thinking about them I will tell you a story about a man I work with.  Wanting to pickup some donuts on his way to work, he stopped at the doughnut shop.  They weren't going to open for a few minutes, so he leaned back and shut his eyes, then drifted into a light sleep.  The next thing he knew, someone was tapping on his car window.  It was a local gendarme, or cop as we are used to saying.  And he was falsely accused, and given a citation.  For what?  Why for impersonating a law officer.  Sleeping in front of the donut shop.  So, watch what we do, and watch that we don't accuse others, at least until we know the whole story.  And That's The View From The Ditch Bank.

Monday, May 28, 2012


IS IT REALLY AGAINST THE LAW? I think I have mentioned in the past that I retired from mining early in 2009.  Two years later, I went to work for a mining contractor.  After a year or so, the job was finished, and we were all laid off.  After two months of being retired again, I went to work for the mining company that I had retired from. In a temporary job that will not affect my retirement income. And the ditch bank I write from, or about, is in a rural area.  An area that makes most rural areas look highly populated.  And there is a lot of wildlife there.  No, not the bar hopping kind of wildlife, but the actual real animal type of wildlife.  Specifically Elk. No, not the club but the animal variety.  And some of  the people I work with would like to hunt an Elk and have ask if I would give them a landowners permit and let them hunt on my property.  I told them I have no landowners permits and my land is just a few acres, even though there are Elk there.  So, in a joking manner, they decided they could come to my ditch bank and poach an Elk.  Then one of them mentioned that poaching was against the law.  As in illegal.  And not the sick bird type of illegal, but actually a crime.  So they decided that since poaching was against the law, they wouldn't do it.  And on that basis, I am here to tell you, that since poaching is against the law, remember that the next time you decide to eat a poached egg, don't do it, cause POACHING IS AGAINST THE LAW.  And That's The View From The Ditch Bank.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


WHAT WOULD YOU SUPPOSE WOULD BE THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD? I have a couple or three in mind. Well, maybe two, and I will lump sports jobs in to one of those. I am thinking of professional sports players. You know. Those that get paid unimaginable amounts of money to PLAY. A basketball player is paid to play basketball. He shoots the ball at a hoop, and it goes in 50% of the time, more or less, depending on the player and the day. Or they are paid to guard a player of the opposite team and keep him from putting the ball in the hoop, and they get it in any way. Since I am not a foot ball fan, I will only say that football players are paid to score points and keep the other team from scoring points. And they succeed some of the time. Yes, I know that if they are really bad, they will be fired, or traded or whatever they do to get rid of a player, but still; well I'll get into the still in a bit. And baseball. a baseball player who is considered a good hitter if he hits the ball and reaches base a third of the time, for a batting average of .333. If he is able to hit 400, he is considered great and paid a huge salary. But what does that mean. At a 333 average, that means he hits the ball and safely reaches base 333 times out of 1000 times at bat. 400 times out of 1000 times at bat. That means that he doesn't make it 777 times or 600 times at bat.
Now, how about a weather man, or woman. They never have to be right. They predict that something MAY happen. "There's a chance" it may rain or snow or blow. It may be a certain temperature today, or tonight. If it happens, then he says well, I said it could happen. If it don't, then he says, well I said it was a chance. Now, what does all this mean? Lets discuss this in a sentence or two.
When I was working for an airline, many decades ago, as a station agent, I figured weight and balance on the airplane before it left the airport. The balance had to be right every time. Not just 33% of the time, or just a chance that it is right. But every time. Thousands of airplanes leave the ground every day, commercial and private, with the balance figured in so it will fly correctly. Every time. When I was working in the mining industry, I ran a shovel, the one in the picture at the start of this blog. I had to load 200 tons of material on a huge haul truck about 200 times a day. And not tear up any equipment or hurt any one. And if I didn't, I heard about it. If I succeeded in doing this 33 to 40 % of the time, I wonder if I would be retired now, after working there for 40 years. I think not.
Of course I realize the weather predictions and the sporting teams are not really good examples of what I am saying, but it made a good blog, didn't it? And they are paid very high salaries for what they do, or don't do, compared to myself and millions of other people who have to be right every time, all the time. Can you imagine a Dr. being right just a a third of the time. His, or hers insurance would sky rocket, and they would lose their license in a short period of time, I think. And THAT'S THE VIEW FROM THE DITCH BANK.

Monday, April 2, 2012


MONEY: We all want some. Some more than others. As in; some have more than others. Some want more than others. I was going to blog about the movie Hunger Games, and the money, as in millions spent for tickets to see a movie about teenagers killing each other, but have decided to take a little different tack. I have not read the books, nor seen the movie. I don't intend to do either. Not saying I won't, but I don't intend to. However, having talked to some who have done both, I will say this. the books are set in a future time, and it seems that there are a number of folks, teenagers, who are rebelling against the government and the dictatorial ways that have came about. There is also a lot of dialog in the mind of the female lead character about the process that is going on. This is in the book. A lot of that is eliminated in the movie. At least that is what I understand from what I have been told. I still don't want to read the books or see the movie. I'm old, and I just don't understand why otherwise sane people would want to stand in line for hours, paint up and dress up to fit the theme of the movie, and pay huge amounts of money to see this movie. To me, there are just so many better things to see and read and do. Still, I do understand, just a glimmer, the theme of the books. Perhaps not so much the movie.
On a little different note, people spent a huge amount of money buying a lottery ticket this past week. Well, maybe not so much on an individual basis, but collectively a huge amount of money. The view from the ditch bank is that if all the ticket money for the Hunger Games and all the money from the lottery ticket sales, were combined, and put in the proper hands, how much hunger in the world could be alleviated. Not all, by any means, but it would be a great start, and much more beneficial on the larger scheme of things. Just saying. And THAT'S THE VIEW FROM THE DITCH BANK.

Friday, March 16, 2012


My wife and I were invited to attend the graduation of a grandson from a training program at Ft. Huachuca. Since we live only a few hours drive from that base, we said we would go. And then take him to the airport in Tucson, Arizona to catch a plane home. Since our drive from home to the base is just under 3 hours, we left 4 hours prior to the graduation time, and arrived at the base with 1 hour and 10 minutes to spare. But just short of the base entrance, the traffic, two lanes of it, came to a virtual halt. As we inched along, beside, behind or in front of, all those others going to the base, or to the city of Sierra Vista which is just past the base, we wondered why we were stalled. When we finally arrived at the base, not the main gate, but at a different gate that had been opened, we were told that a soldier had a car wreck at 4 a.m. and was killed and the highway was closed while the accident was being investigated. All traffic was routed through the base, with police at every intersection to direct traffic. It was now 9 a.m. and the accident was 5 hours old. We were finally able to arrive at the graduation site at 9:30, just in time to see our grandson leaving the graduation exercise. We did make contact, take pictures, and take him to Tucson. All as planned. Well, almost. As we left the base, we were again detoured around the accident, which is now 8 hours old, and sent to Sierra Vista, then to Tombstone and then to St. David and then to Benson, where we caught the interstate to Tucson. That was the first time we had ever been to Tombstone, and that wasn't intentional. But we arrived at the airport in time for his flight, and we arrived back home in time to go to bed at our normal time. Were we upset? NO. Was he upset? NO. Did we have an enjoyable day? YES. An excellent adventure. Did we know the soldier who was killed? No. Did our grandson know him, or her? no. he didn't even know any thing about the accident or why we were delayed until we told him, after the graduation. We have no clue why the soldier had the accident, except we were told it was a roll over. We were detoured around the site, so didn't see the accident or the site. Who it was, or why it happened, we have no clue. So, why this blog? you ask. Oh!, you didn't ask. Well, here is the purpose. One person, and only one, as far as we know, made a choice to do something that caused a ripple effect on hundreds of people for many hours. Whether the one person was the individual who had the wreck, or someone else who caused the individual to wreck, we know not. But someone made a decision to do something, that caused the accident. Because of the length of the road closure, and the investigation, our grandson mentioned that there was probably something going on rather than just a simple car accident. What, we don't know. Whether the soldier was drinking, on drugs or involved with something illegal, or sleepy and chose to drive without enough sleep, was an MP on patrol, or whatever the scene was, one person made a choice that impacted many. How many others missed the graduation ceremony, as did we. How many going to Sierra Vista were late for work, or missed an appointment, or were running late to do some necessary shopping, or some unnecessary shopping, so making them late for other things later in the day, or made others late who were waiting for them. Our adventure turned out OK. Maybe others did not. We will never know. But we all should think before we do something rash or make an unusual decision; Or even make a remark without knowing the situation. As I did with this blog. How will this affect others? And That's The View From The Ditch Bank.

Monday, February 27, 2012


SOMEONE ALWAYS HAS TO BE FIRST. There are people who just have to be first. We have a street in our town that is 4 lane, two each direction, but on the north end, it narrows down to one lane if you want to merge onto a different street. so, people speed, literally, up the inside lane, then at the last second, crowd in to the outside lane in order to merge. They knew where they were going. Just get in line and go with the flow. But nope, they just gotta be first. Some will rush ahead of you to get first in line at the grocery store check out. Like their time is more valuable than yours. And others rush around to get first in, well, you know the type. I'm sure you have them where ever you live also. But all of this begs the question then of who was first to think
OK here's this black man. Guess I'll just make him my slave. Or
Here's this herb. Think I'll just roll it up, put it in my mouth and light a fire to the other end and see what happens. Or
Here's this perfectly good grain. If I ferment it, and distill the fluid from it and then drink the fluid, I wonder what will happen, or
Wow, we finally got this airplane in the air, think I'll strap this thing on my back and jump out, and see if I make it to the ground alive. Well, you were on the ground already, so why not just stay there. Why get in an airplane and get in the air, just to jump out and get back to the ground. I'm sure there a lot of other first's to add to this list, and I will in future posts as I think of them.
See if you can be the first to read this blog and add a comment. And That's The View From The Ditch Bank

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


On the Albuquerque news this morning the two lady newscasters were talking in a news broadcast type of way, about a final episode of some show being filmed in Albuquerque. And they were gaga over who ever the star is. The hosts of the Today show are constantly raving about some star or other, like they are the ultimate person to consult about life styles or whatever. Just this morning they were talking about Rhianna, and I hope that even with the spelling you know who I mean, going somewhere with that character who beat her. Oh! they said, she is a role model and this is sending the wrong message to young girls. She should not go any where with this man. Well, and they carried on and on and on and well you get it about Whitney Houston. I'm sorry she died like she did, but she was an addict. Just like Michael Jackson, and many others before them. Because of who they are/were, they can get all kinds of drugs from many sources and literally kill themselves. Not the first, but one you may have heard of is Marilyn Monroe. She took an overdose of sleeping pills. Yet, decades later, people still think she was the ultimate in whatever. My point in all of this, is, these people are not role models. They are people before the public. People that you can enjoy their acting or music, if what ever they do suits your taste. But do not hold them up as role models. The are not. actors, singers, sports stars. They are just people with a talent that people pay to see.
Just because the current crop of actors, singers, and sports stars are being held up as role models, do not follow them. First, see how they live and act when not on stage. How do they treat their families and friends. How do they treat people who can do nothing for them. You can admire their talent for what it is, but let them live a few years, or decades, and see how they do in their personal lives. then, if they measure up, cautiously use them as role models. Most good role models are the family and friends around you that will never be known beyond their, and your, circle of friend and acquaintances. People who are willing to lend a helping hand when needed. People who treat their spouses with decency and respect. People who raise their children to be just good people. People who don't lie, cheat or steal. People who don't do drugs. I encourage all who may read this blog to study the article at the beginning of this blog and decide to feed that which will do you the most good. And following "the stars" ain't it.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


JUST A FEW THINGS ON MY MIND. I have a few things that have crossed my mind lately, none of them worth a blog by themselves, but put together, perhaps some thing that will occupy your time for a minute or two. Mayhaps even cause a chuckle. OK, maybe not.

1. I have an open mind. Guess that's why I can't remember any thing, cause it's so open that things just fall out. Or just go on through without stopping to rest.

2. I live in a haunted house. I know I do, cause every time I look in a mirror, there is this old man staring back at me.

3. I have a lot of hair. I really do. I went to the store and saw all these boxes of hair color. Most of them were for women, but a few were for men. One of the men ones said, Try this one for the BOLD look. I tried it and when I looked in the mirror, ( yes the same haunted one ) It looked like I didn't have any hair. I wondered what I had done wrong, so I went back to the box, and that is when I noticed it actually said Try This One for the BALD look. It works. I have the bald look, even though I really have hair.

4. And finally, Does it seem like there is a large amount of people today that seem to not have a brain, or if they do, they aren't using them. I figured out the reason. They gave someone a piece of their mind, not realizing they didn't have any to spare.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012


PERSPECTIVE CHANGES EVERYTHING: My daughter in law sent this a week or so back. Kinda puts things into perspective, don't cha think?
This so addresses my generation. I just hope the article can be read. You will probably have to enlarge it to read it, but read it some how. I may comment on it further in a later post. For now, think about it. And THAT'S THE VIEW FROM THE DITCH BANK

Thursday, January 12, 2012


FACT OR FICTION: When John F. Kennedy was killed in 1963, I was around. Married with children, actually. I lived in the area of the ditch bank at that time, and news wasn't instantaneous like it is now, still we heard about it not too long after the fact. Fast forward several years, and a movie about JFK was made in Hollywood and released. A friend of mine, a college teacher, took a group of students to see that movie. He is many years younger than me. He later ask me if I had seen the movie. At my reply that I had not, he said it was a good movie and that I should go. He didn't really understand when I said that I had lived through the JFK years and didn't need to go see Hollywood's version of it. Now, Meryl Streep is staring in a movie about Margaret Thatcher. Maybe it has the approval of the English people, but do I really need to go see a movie about someone I watched on TV and read about in the news. Especially Hollywood's dramatic version. There have been other movies about real people and events that have been Hollywood-ized that I have seen. I usually wasn't impressed. Especially if I was aware of the facts. When I went to a movie, ( I say that cause I haven't been to a movie in years ) I went for the escapism, to get away from the worldly things I am surrounded with every day. I miss the old days of movies and TV shows that provided good entertainment, and where I didn't have to be involved in the social issues of the day. Maybe if Hollywood would try to entertain and not try to be the solver of social ills, movies would be more enticing to members of my age group. Oh Wait, Hollywood is the cause of a lot of our social ills, and are having trouble healing itself. Well, That's the View From The Ditch Bank.

Friday, January 6, 2012


MODERN TECHNOLOGY; PFFFFT. Well, some of it, any way. A friend recently posted on her face book page something like this. " I have a computer desk top, a laptop, a smart phone, an I pod, an e mail account, a face book account. All of which keeps me entertained and connected to my friends. I wonder if that will be an accepted excuse for not studying the scriptures." That is not a direct quote of what she said, but just a general idea. My wife and I also have a computer. Even though neither of us has ever been in jail, we also have cell phones. Most of the time, they are turned off. We do not text or tweet. We can text, of we have to, but we don't use texting as a general rule. Shucks, we don't even turn our cell phones on, unless we leave the house, and happen to remember to take them with us and actually turn them on. Often when we do turn them on, we find that someone has sent us a text message that may be days old. I recently called a local pharmacy, well a pharmacy in the local area, but is part of a very large chain. the conversation went something like this. Welcome to Walgreen's. If you would like this, press 1 or that press 2 or something else press 3 etc. Finally arriving at the proper number I pressed it. Only to go through a similar spiel to finally press 0 to actually talk to someone. It took several minutes to get to a live person to spend 15 seconds to ask a question and receive an answer. Wouldn't it have been easier to just dial a number and have them pick up and say, Welcome to Walgreen's, how can I help you. May not help them, but it sure would help me.
Now, I am not against modern technology. I am using a computer to write this blog which can be read all over the world within a few seconds of my posting it. Course it won't be read all over the world, but the capability is there. I can take a digital picture and e mail it to family or friends instantly. There are many things that are good and are used by even me. But sometimes, it can be so frustrating. And it is good just to have a face to face conversation, shoot even a phone to phone conversation, without having to go through a lot of "press this number for". Sometime I think people and businesses complicate the most simple of things. Just cause they have the technology to do it with. And THAT'S THE VIEW FROM THE DITCH BANK.