Wednesday, December 31, 2014


I DON'T REALLY LIKE PEOPLE.  Well, I guess I need to qualify that.  I like people. I have a lot of friends and acquaintances that I like. Some of them a lot, actually. But people as a whole, or maybe I should say people en mass, or in a mass, I just don't like.  I could never live in a city. I can tolerate a city when I have to go there, but to live there. Nope, just won't happen.  I really don't like a lot of what people do even in a small town.  And I will tell you why.
NOISE: Is there a color that depicts noise better than another one?  I don't know, but noise? for the sake of noise?  Nope.  I was raised in the 50's, when hot cars and glass packs were more normal that not. I had a 55 Ford Fairlane with twin pipes and glass packs. Man that was a sound. Even now I like that sound. I had a 85 Ford pickup with twins and packs and it sounded good.  Still like that sound. But we currently have a neighbor who has a car that he constantly is working on, mostly to try to get it to start and run and when it runs, it is noisy. Really noisy. And it is not a good sound, it is just noise. Ear splitting, bone jarring noise. And a motorcycle that would deafen a sound barrier breaking jet plane. No reason in the world that I can see for all that noise.
My wife and I were recently in a city of moderate size for reasons that have nothing to do with this post. After a supper at a popular restaurant of our choice, we went to a local mall to do a little walking before returning to the hotel for the night.  Mind you, Christmas is over, it is evening, and the mall was teeming with people. People making noise. Makes a sensible person like me wonder why they weren't home with their families, having supper and getting the babies ready for bed. Babies that were in the mall with them. And people were shopping. Have to wonder where all the money came from with Christmas just over and all. And the noise. We had to cut our after supper walk short and return to the hotel in order to retain our sanity.
I'm sure those were all good people and if I knew them I would like them. Most of them any way. But as a part of the teeming masses roaming the mall with cell phones in hand and talking a mile a minute and twice as loud, I just couldn't find any liking in my heart. Or mind. What little of it I still had. Noise.
And then we go to the streets and just have to wonder how any of them ever make it any where safely, speeding and weaving through traffic, just makes a person want to get our of Dodge, so to speak, and away from people. And THAT'S THE VIEW FROM THE DITCH BANK

Saturday, December 27, 2014


NOW, BEFORE YOU GASP AND SAY WHAT; keep reading.  For any one who may be a bonified tree hugger, this is not that kind of post.  For those who care for the land, see what you think of these ideas.  I think I have addressed this subject in past posts, so this will probably be just an expansion of that post, where ever and when ever it may be hidden in the past drivel.
That having been said, bear with me. Oh, and speaking of Bear's, the Mesa. AZ. bear was finally captured and released into the wild. Hope he was able to get what he wanted for Christmas before that happened.  OK, sorry for the side trip.  On to the purpose of the post. 
In a recent article in an actual news paper, someone wrote that the public service utilities should be more involved in promoting natural energy and move away from fossil fuels and that type of thing.  The object of the article was to transform to wind and solar. And I have nothing against either of these types of power, but lets look at the underlying problems and aims of this movement.
First, in past decades, even in past centuries, the land suffered from several things that were not governed. Lets look at some of them. This will not be an all inclusive list. I am going to mention 3 or 4 things.
1st, ranchers.  Cattle ranchers, for the most part, have taken care of the land, because they depended on it to take care of them. Cattle, like the buffalo of past decades, fertilize the land and cultivate it with their hooves. And ranchers do move cattle from pasture to pasture to rest the land and let it rejuvenate.  Loggers, under the direction of the Forest Service, cut and hauled trees to the mill to be cut into lumber, and as a result the forest was kept healthy. Clear cutting was done only on private land and even then, for the most part, the land was taken care of, as the timber companies depended on the land to grow more trees. Mining and oil and gas drilling was a little different matter. However, in recent decades, environmental rules came into play that more or less forced these companies to clean up their act. And even though I spent my youth on a cattle ranch, spent some little time in the logging and timber industry, I retired after 40 years in the mining industry. And I saw a lot of the changes that came about over the past few years.
So now lets get to the purpose of this post.  The above mentioned news paper article, as I stated, was slanted toward the energy companies going more to wind and solar. So, lets explore that for a minute.  Power plants are fueled by coal or natural gas. One is mined and the other is drilled for. Both are extracted from the earth. And they have to be extracted from the location where they are located. You can't get coal or gas from an area where they don't exist.  Duh. And I have no problem with environmental rules being brought into play to keep these companies aware of any damage done to the land and to restore it to the extant possible. But, still, these items are needed. The current administration, however, is doing all it can to bring more strict environmental rules into play against power plants that burn coal, because of coal ash. Too the extant that these plants may have close down. And that will be devastating. Why?  Well, lets explore that and the transferring over to wind and solar.
Just use your imagination for a minute. I don't think it will take much longer than that. In order to provide all the electrical power that this country uses, and to do so by wind and solar, just imagine how much land will be needed to build that many solar or wind farms. Sure, an individual family can install solar panels and sell the electricity to the utility company, and I have no problem with them doing so. But in order to supply all the power needed for the millions of people in this country, The land would be covered with solar and wind turbine farms from sea to shining sea. And then, the utility companies cannot control mother nature.  If there are a lot of cloudy days, the solar power will not be very efficient. If the wind don't blow, the turbines won't turn. And when you log on to your computer to read this blog, your computer won't come on, cause the power just won't be there. 
So, yes, I am an environmentalist. I do believe we should take care of the land. But let's be practical about it. Let's mine and use the coal. Let's drill and use the oil and gas. Let's log the forests and run the cattle on the land. But we can do all these things and still take care of the land. We need not go off on a knee jerk direction just because a group of people think that we should leave the land like it was in the days of Adam and Eve.  Just ain't gonna happen.

Monday, December 22, 2014


NEWS FLASH:  There is a bear loose in Mesa Arizona. It managed to dodge the tranquilizing dart from the officers that were trying to capture it. Well, just a little comment on this news item.  Mesa is not normally the place a person would think of when a Bear is mentioned. And it is December, just a few short days before Christmas. Shouldn't said Bear be in a cave somewhere sound asleep? Well, I can only assume that is exactly where he was.  In a cave somewhere getting ready for a long winter's nap, when what to his wondering eyes should appear, but the Lost Dutchman's Mine that every one would like to hold dear. Cause the Bear was getting ready to sleep in a cave in the Superstition mountains, you see. So, why is he in Mesa? Well, as I said, it is nearly Christmas, and he just wants to take some of the found treasure and purchase a few things to make the cave a little more cozy for the family for Christmas and the winter nap.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it in THIS VIEW FROM THE DITCH BANK.

Friday, December 19, 2014


A FEW COMMENTS WITH THE TITLE IN MIND.  On the assumption that you have watched the news lately, on a somewhat regular basis, you no doubt have seen that there have been some invasions into the White House. One invader making it actually inside the building.  Also, I am sure, you are aware that the President has declared an amnesty for some 5 million people who are in the country illegally, making it easier to get the documentation to stay here and go to work. Legally.  I am also assuming that you are aware that the U.S. Government has spent millions building a high fence along portions of the U.S and Mexico border. And a final news item. The U.S. government now wants to build a higher fence around the White House, to keep invaders from, well, invading.  So, what is the point of all this?  Well, with tongue in cheek, I will tell you.
By declaring amnesty to all those mentioned people, they can now act as consultants with the White House fence builders on just the type of fence that needs to be built, since they have experience crossing fences to, well, invade a foreign country.  Guess there is a method to the madness.  

Thursday, December 11, 2014


DOES NO ONE READ ANY MORE?  I guess they really do. But not books.  Not real books, any way. Why do I say that?  Well, Ima gonna tell you. After all, that is the purpose of this post. So, a little back ground information. 
Keeping in mind the religion I have posted that I am a part of, I read a lot of books written and published by the leaders of the Church. I buy these books at a Church book store. Some of these stores are church owned and some are privately owned.
I also read other books. Westerns, mysteries, action novels and such thing. I buy these books at a bookseller bookstore. OK, now that I have given that little bit of back ground information, I will get on with the purpose of this post.  Which may take less time than the back ground did. Guess we will see when I finally write The End to this post. Or however I end it.
The Church owned book store where I buy books is called Deseret Books. There was another store called Seagull Books that was bought by Deseret Books some time back. The Deseret Book store in Albuquerque, NM closed down a year or so back for lack of interest. Or lack of customers or something like that. A private owned book store that sold church books in a little town in South East Arizona closed down. Don't know why, but probably for the same reason.
And for the other books I read, Borders closed down some time back and Barnes and Noble seem to not have a lot of the books that I am under the impression is being published. And good old Wal Mart, that spacious building up on the hill in our town, that used to have two long racks with books on both sides, now has one medium rack with a few books on one side and a few magazines on the other. Very few of the books of the type I read and hardly any magazines my wife or I read. 
So, I log on to and look for books I read.  Lo and behold most of them are there, but a lot of them or just in an electronic version.  ELECTRONIC!!! Who wants to read a book as it comes streaming by on cyber space. Oh! I guess a lot of people, cause that seems to be the way that is going. But, well, what happens if you just move a little bit just as the punch line at the end of a chapter come streaming by and you miss it? What happens if the battery goes dead on the electronic gismo just as the hero pulls his gun and the villain shoots him cause your battery is dead. Your hero might just end up that way also. All because of a dead battery. Or you just changed position on the couch, or wherever you do your reading. Well, I guess that is the way, or the wave, of the future. I just feel sorry for those who will not get to actually hold a book, lay it down for a while and come back to find the hero still has a chance to pull his gun and save the fair maiden, even though you haven't pickup up the book for a few days.  Yep, give me a real book to read any time, and let the cyber waves just float on by on the clouds.

Friday, December 5, 2014


THIS COULD SO GET A PERSON IN TROUBLE:  How much money do you spend at Christmas time?  No, don't answer that. At least on this post. Just think about it. And what is the reason you spend that much? Do you spend a lot on personal gifts for yourself? for family members? for friends? Or do you keep the spending down. on spite of the cry's of the merchants who claim to need the Christmas sales in order to make a profit for the year?  Now, before I continue on with this post, I want to clarify here that we do some of our shopping online at a well known shopping channel. And for the most part we are satisfied with the purchases we make. Having said that, I will continue.
Watching said shopping channel, they often put items on "easy Pay" for just two, or three or even up to six payments of just $18.00 a month, or $9.00 a month or $20.00 a month or, well, you get the picture.  And they say you buy for the mailman, the dog walker and the garbage man and the UPS driver and a variety of neighbors. Then there is friends and family and on and on. 
Don't get the wrong idea. I like Christmas. I like the idea of gift giving, where possible. But to purchase all these gifts for all these people probably isn't necessary, unless you have a relationship with them that is more than just that they come by once or twice a week and pick up your garbage. 
And while $14.00 a month for a few months is not a large amount, if you purchased all these items on Easy Pay, these small amounts will add up to a large amount, quickly, and the next thing you know you are in trouble. Probably serious trouble.
So, I know a lot of people, maybe most people, are responsible enough not to do that, but so many are not, and as a result find themselves in trouble.
I suggest that we all try to bring back the main purpose of Christmas and the celebration for what it is. MERRY CHRISTMAS should not be a financial drain on families, but a true feeling of the Spirit of Christ. Happy Holidays may be politically correct, but they will not be happy if you spend the next year trying to pay off the Christmas gifts from last year,only to repeat it.
So, say Merry Christmas. The holiday would not even be in existence if not for the birth of Christ. Have a happy holiday, but wish people a Merry Christmas and stay out of financial trouble.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


I'M SURE THE TITLE GIVES THIS POST AWAY.  But I will offer a few comments any way. Several months ago a young black teen was killed by a white vigilante man. The man's claim was that he was defending himself. He was found not guilty. He has since been divorced, left by a girl friend and in trouble with the law several times. So far as I know, the black teen was only guilty of walking home. Was there more to the story than the news reported. I'm sure there was, but we, the public, will never know for sure. But as far as I'm concerned, the white guy is the bad guy.
Now, fast forward to Ferguson, Mo. A police officer responded to a call and was assaulted by a young black boy who was seen on video robbing a convenience store. The cop shot the black boy in self defense. And a jury found the cop innocent of any wrong doing. When that verdict came down, the boy friend of the boy's mother screamed Burn this ***** down. And they did.  Where was the sense in that?
And a few months back, a black man was breaking the law in New York and in resisting the police, he was taken down and died. Were the police brutal? Maybe, but probably not. He was breaking the law and he was resisting arrest. Now, protesters are gathering in New York and probably other places as well, too, well, protest.  And where is the sense in that?
And why doesn't the news focus on the fact that these individuals were breaking the law and the police were responding to that, and as a result the offender was taken down and subsequently died. Do I know all the facts in each of these cases? No, I don't. But I do know that these acts and verdicts are not a reason to loot and burn. And it is noteworthy that a lot of prominent, working Black people are speaking out against those who are taking part in these violent acts. 
Now, lest someone who actually reads this drivel thinks I am against Black people, I am not. I have Black family members and friends who are Black.  Good friends and good people. And there are many people of all other races of people, who are committing acts of violence.  And some of them are even police officers, though their numbers are few. And the neighborhood where my wife and I live is getting to be a place of people who have little regard for the rules, or for the property of other people. But we watch, and we survive. 

Monday, November 24, 2014


YES I KNOW, I GET A LITTLE FAR FETCHED AT TIMES.  So, how about this for a novel idea. Back East, in New York and other areas they have several feet of snow. And they are trucking it somewhere and dumping it. And hoping they can get the snow moved soon enough to prevent flooding.  Well, load this snow in to refrigerated rail cars and bring it West to drought stricken areas in California and other areas in the Western States that could benefit from a lot of that snow. Or put it in the airplanes that dump slurry on forest fires and bring it West and dump it on said drought stricken areas. Solves the flooding problem in the East and helps a little bit with the drought in the West.  America used to think out of the box like that. Now, towns will be flooded away while the Environmental Impact Statement is being written.  Oh Well, on to the next Novel idea.

The Royals are coming. As in the Duke and Duchess, AKA William and Kate. They will visit the United States next year. And the members of the press that will cover this event have been told that they need to dress better than they currently do. Well, Duh. What a novel idea. Dress decently to go to work. Who would have thought that this would be an issue. Just dress nicely every day when you go to work and then you won't have to be told to dress for certain events.

And finally, while I am on the subject of dressing. I didn't watch the music awards show last night, but did see the news clips of it this morning.  If these "Stars" are so good and selling so much "music" and apparently making a lot of money, then one would think they could afford clothes that would cover them. So many of them are performing on the stage in front of people as to be obscene. Even a lot of the Country Stars of current times seem to think that pants with holes in them and shirts that almost aren't are the thing to wear.  What happened to wearing good clothes to perform. Bands of the past wore, for lack of a better term, uniforms of matching shirts and pants and boots and were proud to be called by whatever the band name was. Now, it seems that they just show up in whatever is handy when they get dressed. And I don't like it. 


Friday, November 21, 2014


HOW MANY ARE THERE, REALLY? Yes, I am talking about those who are in the country illegally. President Obama last night used his pen and his phone to grant amnesty to 5 million undocumented residents. That, according to the news, is 5 million out of the 11 million who are here in the country, undocumented. So, I repeat the question. Who did the counting?  If they are "undocumented", as in, there is no paper work on them to show that they are even here, how do "they" know how many there are.  Now, I know there are many in the country without documentation who are hard workers, law abiding people. And because they are, perhaps they should be given the amnesty the President says they will have.  But the President also said that criminals and terrorists would be deported. Who counted them. And if they were available to be counted, why weren't they detained and deported then, not now with the announcement of the President. 
Now, having said all that, I have a couple of uneducated comments to add to this subject, before moving on.  I admit I am not the most educated person in the U.S. of A on immigration laws. But I do believe there is a process to come into the U.S. of A. legally and documented. An expensive way, perhaps, but a way, never the less. And to grant amnesty to those who are here illegally, ahead of those who are trying to get here legally, or who are already here and working toward legal residency or even citizenship is like a blow to them. 
My final comment on the subject, at least for this post, is this.  If what the President did last night is legal, then congress needs to work with him and, if necessary, pass legislation to accommodate his edict. Make it legal and work with it.  If, on the other hand, what he did last night was not legal for him to do, then what he did needs to be undone by the congress and then legislation written in a manner that is fair and equal to all. Surely members of congress have their own pens and phones.  Use them.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


I HAVE DEBATED FOR A LONG TIME ABOUT USING THIS SUBJECT:  Actually abusing this subject would be more like what I am going to do. I have thought long and hard, well, long, any way, about how to address this issue. Even now, I will probably get it wrong. Having given you that warning, read on, or not. The subject is HOA'S.
Don't know what that is?  Count yourself lucky, then. For any one who does not know what HOA stands for I will just advise you that it means people running how you live.  AKA as a Home Owners Association.  Depending on where you live the rules will be different but the premise is the same. WE HAVE RULES AND YOU WILL OBEY THEM. They dictate how and what color you can paint your house. What you can and cannot plant in the yard. How many cars you can have and where you can park them. And you actually pay this association to tell you what you can and cannot do. My wife and I pay $77.00 a month to our HOA. In some cities these fees run in the hundreds of dollars a month. And there was a recent item on the news about an HOA telling a man he had to remove some stickers from is car. There have been many instances of the HOA fining homeowners for putting up a flagpole and flying an American flag.  
We have rules also, like no dogs running loose ( they do run loose any way ) No noisy vehicles or other noise that is irritating to the neighbors (Mostly allowed to by the HOA powers that be ) but if you get behind on your dues your water is turned off till you pay up. I don't know what other HOA'S do when dues are in arrears, but I know that many of them levy fines against the home owners for rules violations.
Makes me wonder what makes these people know more than I do about how I should live. On a final note, I will say this; Some of these rules do keep the neighbor hood cleaner and the property values up. At least that is what it is supposed to do. Still, the Ditch ank is looking better every day.

Monday, November 10, 2014


NOW, DID THAT TITLE CATCH YOUR ATTENTION?  When I started this blog a few years ago, I stated that I would not be posting personal things, but would be posting my uneducated opinion of the things going on around me. However, I have posted personal things about myself from time to time and today will be no different.  Well, I guess it will be different from those things going on around me. 
Back in September I posted that I had caught a Staph Infection. And the resulting medication and a few of the things that went on because of that infection. After taking the prescribed drugs for 2 weeks, It seemed that the infection had not completely gone away. My leg still had a light red to pinkish ring around the lower part above the ankle and it swelled up really bad. I mean, really bad. So a week ago I returned to the Dr. to see what she thought about it. She sent in prescription for 2 more weeks of meds and then told me not to take them for a while, but to go to a medical supply business that is here in town and get me some panty hose. Actually, they are the support kind of hose that squeezes your legs like a passionate lover. 
And I guess they are not really panty hose, cause I just have to wear it on the swelling up leg and it ends about half way up on the thigh. But, it does keep the swelling down. Just like she said it should.  Guess I'll continue to wear these nylon's for a period of time. Or, since I wear only one, is it just nylon. Singular.
And just to end this missive on a note that was stated in the title, I once worked for a manly man, a hunter and out doors type, who said he had found that the best thing to wear when he went hunting in the cold fall weather was pantyhose.  Said you could laugh at him if you wanted too, but while you were laughing, he was warm.  Think I am about as close as I will actually get to wearing panty hose, though.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


WELL FOR A FEW DAYS, ANY WAY; until the fight begins for the 2016 elections. So, I have a few thoughts and comments to make about the election that just ended yesterday. As usual, they are scattered and probably not well thought out or researched, but then if they were, they wouldn't be the uneducated opinion of a ditch bank dweller. So for what it may be worth, here we go.

1. Well, the republicans won the majority in the Senate for the first time in 8 years. Wow, 8 years. Not a long time in the overall scheme of things. So, the balance of power shifts to the Republicans. Took it away from the Democrats? Not really. Took it away from the people, actually. I am a Republican and have been eve since I was old enough to vote back in the day dirt was invented. But I have never voted an all Republican ticket and I did not this time either. My problem with this shift in power is that it just means that the Republican tics will be getting more of the blood than the Democrats.  The people will suffer, but maybe in a different way. Just once, I would like to hear a tic, or a congress full of tics, actually be concerned about the people. I have known a few over the past decades, both local and national and they usually never get reelected.

2. What does this mean for the remaining two years for President Obama. Well, don't know, yet. But I do know this.  I have said in the past and I will say again, I did not vote for him either time and I would not again if that were to ever come up. However, I will say this. My wife has a facebook page and I lurk there from time to time. And I see all these headlines about the Pres or his wife that are negative. As in  Did you hear what they said, or Did you see what they did. And I have to ask, what did they do or say.  Well, Occasionally I will click on these clips and what the headline said and what the article said are usually different. While I am not a fan of the President and really not a fan of his wife, I do not like the type of misleading articles about them, or any one else in the tic game. Or a religion or a business or any thing else, for that matter.  If you have something to say, say it true and give credit where it is due, even if it hurts. Or don't say any thing.

3. OK, what does the election mean for 2016.  Well, here is my uneducated prediction. IF and I repeat IF the Republican house and senate really turn the economy around and improve the job market and reduce the unemployment numbers and make things better in the next two years, a good strong Republican will win the presidency in 2016. IF, and I repeat IF, things continue as they have been doing, and there is gridlock and fussing in Washington and nothing improves, the voters will turn on the Republicans and Hillary will win in 2016. OK, so she hasn't announced that she is running, but I am predicting that she will, maybe and I will not vote for her. I may vote for a good strong Democrat for President, if there is one in the running. Will just wait  and see. In the meantime

Saturday, November 1, 2014


THE MEANING OF HALLOWEEN? The really true meaning?  You did?  Well, good for you. But for those of us that really didn't, here it is. Well, kinda. It seems that the powers that wish they were think the Halloween celebration started in the Celtic speaking countries. Ireland and Scotland. And it is a Christian celebration. It has been called, even in this day and time "The Day of the Dead." And that is what it celebrates.  The dead. To start with, people would light candles in honor of their relatives who had passed away. Gradually, over time, Halloween evolved in to whatever it is today. While it is still often called the day of the dead, many of us probably didn't know why. And if we chose to make a guess, it would probably miss the mark. However, a few decades back, in the 50's, the 1950's that is, Halloween was celebrated much as it is today. We went trick or treating and got home to a cache of candy, or home made cookies or home made pop corn balls. And the older kids among us would do more tricking that treating. But while the tricks were annoying to those so tricked, they were rarely destructive or malicious. Yes, there was some of that, but not much.  Mostly just an irritant to the recipient.  Like a wagon taken apart and reassembled on top of the school house. Or the family pig that received a dose of pink paint across it's back. Or soap smeared on the house or car windows. And the occasional out house tipped over. That didn't really go over very well, especially if the owner was inside at the time. Well, the trick didn't go over very well, but the our house did. Or the time an owner of such an edifice moved his out house forward a few feet and when the tricksters came up behind it to tip it over, it wasn't in place and they were the recipients of the trick. Ewww. Glad I wasn't in on that one. Literally.  And costumes were in vogue, also. But, over time, some things have changed. I haven't seen any tricks in the little place where I reside for several years, and those coming around asking for treats do wear costumes that resemble characters from such Frozen and Scream. I know that cause I ask and they told me. But I have to wonder; just how many of the adults accompanying the young ones have even the slightest clue what the holiday is even about. If not, perhaps a little research is in order.  AND THAT'S THE VIEW FROM THE DITCH BANK

Monday, October 27, 2014


A FEW THOUGHTS ON A COUPLE OF THINGS:  I read a cartoon this morning in which the husband tells his wife he needs to see an eye Dr.  When his wife ask why, he said, "Because I don't see things like I used to."  Well, the obvious conclusion to this cartoon is that his vision is getting blurred and he needs glasses. Or new glasses that are a little stronger.  But as I read that, a thought went through my mind; Well, as we age we often don't see things as we used to. So, I will elaborate on this a bit.
I am now in the earlier years of my 80th decade on this earth and in the early years of living 6 of those decades with my wife.  I wore glasses when we got married lo those many years ago and I wear glasses now.  But after cataract surgery on both eyes, even though I wear glasses, my vision is much better, eye sight wise, now than it was when we married. But, I see a lot of things differently now than I did then.  And that has nothing to do with eye sight.  Maybe a lot to do with hind sight. Things that I thought were important then are not so important now. And I often wish, as probably most parents do, that I could impart some of that knowledge and wisdom, such as it may be, to the younger generation. Would they listen. Maybe. Would they learn. Probably not. It seems that each generation has to go through their own learning phrase. And I am not even trying to imply that I am wise, because the longer I live the more I realize that I am not all that wise. And since this is a blog and not a confessional, I will not go into details on all that I feel that I have done wrong, or even right, over the last many years. I just used a lot of words to say that I see things differently now than I used to.  And there is not an eye Dr. that can help that.
The other item of thought was a news item I saw on TV and was just left shaking my head in amazement over the things people do.  The news item was this.  (I paraphrase in my own words) A teacher is buying or getting someone to buy stationary exercise bikes for young students to use as they read and study in class.  Why?  Well, it seems that it has been decided that these students have so much energy to burn, that sitting in class for a long stretch of time they get fidgety and lose concentration on what is being taught. So, they can go to a room and get on a stationary bike and pedal away while they read. or study.  Then, kinda as an after thought in the news article, it was mentioned that the students no longer have a recess period during the day.  And I though
Well Duh.  If these young students would be given a short recess mid morning, a lunch time mid day and another recess time mid afternoon, they would burn that energy and then they could concentrate on their studies and no funds would need to be expended on exercise equipment. In a room with artificial light.  Yep, I repeat. Well, Duh.  Guess I am old and out of sync with the times, but this just makes so much sense to me.

Monday, October 20, 2014


RIGHTS, YOURS VERSUS MINE.  My father used to comment on peoples rights to do something. One of his comments that sticks in my mind, even all these decades later was his comment on the right to swing your fist.  He said you have the right to swing your fist, but that right ends where my chin begins. So it is with many rights to which we are entitled. We do have the right to do any number of things, but when what you are doing begins to trample on my rights, then your rights will end.  On that note, let us look at a few things that are going on in the world today.
First, I want to emphasize my status in relation to God. I know He is the creator of the universe, which includes the world we live on. And as the creator, he designated men and women, or, if you like, male and female. And He instituted marriage between these two sexes. On that basis, I do not believe in same sex marriage. Period. However, that is God's law.  Man's law is interfering with that and as a result, the rights of many are being trampled. To show this I will mention a couple of examples. Or three.
1. A few years back, a woman who has a photography business in Albuquerque, New Mexico refused to photograph the wedding of a same sex couple. To do so was against her religious beliefs. The couple sued her, and won in court, costing her a lot of money in fines and compelling her to change the way she does business in order to stay in business.  This, in spite of the fact that the couple quickly found a different photographer who was willing to photograph their wedding.
2. I don't remember the details on this, but a baker or bakery was also fined for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same sex couple. Again based on their religious convictions. They were also sued and fined, even though the couple were able to find another bakery to make them a cake.
3. A couple in Idaho, who are pastors in a church, have refused to perform same sex weddings. As a result, they are in trouble with the law and threatened with jail time and a fine of thousands if they continue to refuse to perform these weddings.
These are just a few of the things that are going on in this regard.  
Now, I expressed my opinion at the beginning of this post. And I stick by that opinion. Having said that, man's law has said that people of the same sex can marry. While this is being contested in the courts, what ever happens, man's law will prevail as far as the court system is concerned. I do believe, however, that individuals, or couples, if you will, should not have the right to force their beliefs on some one else.  The photographer, the baker nor the minister's were not denying the people from getting married. They just didn't want to participate in it. Since there are other photographer's, baker's and ministers who are willing to perform these services, those who do not should not be taken to court and forced to comply with someone else's opinion or face legal action, fines and even jail time.  That's like swinging your fist past the point of my chin. And you don't have that right.   

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


BANNED IN BOSTON.  Did you ever hear that expression.  I haven't heard it a lot in the last several years.  OK, the last several decades. But it used to be a common saying. There was a time, it seems to my memory, that many things that were accepted other places were often banned in Boston. Now, I am not going into details on this, I just used this as an introduction to the subject of the post.  Banned.  So, what then is the purpose of the post.  Banned.  ME? Well, maybe, but that is not the purpose of this post either.  OK OK, I'll get to the point.
The metropolitan city ( said tongue in cheek ) near where I live has recently passed a resolution banning Wal-Mart fence flags. Well, they called them plastic bags and they didn't really target Wal-Mart, but since they are the largest place of business using these bags in this Metropolitan area, this is what many have referred to. And while the ban is a good thing, many are not for this ban.  But that's another story.  So, starting January 1, 2015, Wal-Mart weed and fence flags are banned.  Well, not exactly, as I understand it.  You can still get your groceries or what ever you spent your money on put in a plastic bag, you just will have to pay for it. Some of the stores are even now beginning to use paper bags, again. And some, including Wal-Mart, have their own reusable bags available for sale if you want to use them. So, it will be interesting to see what exactly transpires come January.  So, can we expand on this?  Well, yes we can.
How about banning paper plates.  We have a neighbor that apparently does no dishes, cause they have paper plates by the dozen in the garbage and often blowing around the neighbor hood on the wind. And beer cases.  How often do we see these around, along with the empty cans that were thrown away by the road after the contents were poured down the drain. And cigarette butts. Usually people who smoke just drop the butt on the ground and step on it. Sometimes. But some will actually use an ash tray in their car, to only empty it in a parking lot some where.
So, while it is a good thing that the ban is in place on the Wal-Mart fence flags, I feel that there are a lot of just common sense things that people can do to keep the environment clean. I have mentioned a few.  I'm sure you can mention many more, if you feel so inclined.

Monday, October 6, 2014


AFTER MY LENGTHY AND SOMEWHAT MAUDLIN post of last week, I am back to normal I am happy to report and will be blogging today about something that is going on around me that is mostly controversial.  As always this is my opinion and you are free to express yours.  And what, you may ask, is this subject of controversy.  Well, namely, gun control. And the opinion of a British subject who is also entitled to his opinion.  Lets see how this goes, as I will write as I think. I hope. You have been warned.

So I have to beg the question.  Why is there so much going on with gun control? And invariably the answer is, Columbine, or Sandy Hook, or somewhere in a Shopping Mall. Or something similar to that.  And I have to answer in this manner.  Any one with any feelings at all have to feel very bad for the children and families of those who lost their lives in the many school shootings, mall shootings, or movie theater shootings.  They were senseless and totally unnecessary.  And I totally agree with the sentiment.  What I don't agree with is the uproar that always comes along after such an incident.  And I will tell you why.

A number of years ago a man named Timothy McVeigh killed a lot of people in Oklahoma with a rental truck and a few barrels of fertilizer.  On 9/11 a group of radical terrorists caused the death of thousands by hijacking and then crashing airliners into buildings. A few short years ago two brothers killed and maimed many people in Boston using pressure cookers rigged up with explosives. And currently a terrorist group is beheading people with swords. At least I assume they are using swords.  They sure are not doing it using guns.  Now, having said all that, I have not heard one outcry against rental trucks or barrels of fertilizer. While security measures have been enacted, there is no outcry against assault airplanes. And pressure cookers are still being used all across the nation, and I can assume other nations. And no outcry against banning them or putting an age limit on who can can buy one.  And in the case of ISIS, no one has raised an outcry against swords.  Nope, not one.  What has been done, in every case, is to focus on the individual or the group and bring them to justice for the crime they committed.
So what makes guns different?  People are still killed, many people, with objects that are not guns. And there is no hue and cry against these weapons of mass destruction.  Yet, people will try to get guns outlawed.   And then we have someone like Piers Morgan, a citizen of England, who comes across the pond and tries to get the American people to ban guns.  Hey, Mr. Morgan, We the People won the right not to listen to England over 200 years ago.  Don't come over here and take in our goodness, the fat of the land, as it were, and then try to tell us what to do.  You want gun control, go back to England.  OH! you already have gun control there.  How's that working out for you.  Must be OK, cause now you want to do the same thing here.  Cause we are not controlled by Royalty.  But elected officials who can and will be voted out of office if they try to take too many freedoms away from the people.  
So, Mr. Morgan, we may, and do, have our problems. But we don't need you to visit yours on us, even if you do have the ear of the bloody national media.  Just go on home and let us solve our own problems, our own way.  Other wise we may have to put a tea stamp on you and toss you in the brink.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


When I started this blogging thing some time back, I said it would not be about me, but about my viewpoint of things going on around me.  Accurate or not, they have been my viewpoint.  Today, I am going to digress from that statement somewhat.  It will be a little personal, but maybe questionable on the accurate part.  You decide. OH! and there are several people involved in this post along with me, but their names have been changed or just not mentioned in order to protect the guilty. So, on that note, bear with me, or just bow out. Your choice.

A long time ago in a galaxy far away.  Oh wait, that story has already been told.  Start over/
A not so long time ago, in a place close to here, I applied for a life insurance policy. Since this required me to take a physical, I went to the named person for the normal pokings and proddings. And givings. And in some of the giving there were found microscopic droplets of blood. So this particular test was done a 2nd time to determine if it was correct.  It was. So I went to my doctor to determine what was going on. To speed up this post, I went to a urologist and was sent to a big hospital in a big city where some nurses rolled up some towels to about the size of a small barrel and then bent me over it while the Dr. brought out his core drill and took a core sample of one of my kidneys. The resulting tests determined that I had a disease that would cause my kidneys to deteriorate over a period of time.  I ask if I would need dialysis or a transplant. Nope, he said, I would die of old age or some other thing before that likely came about.

Well, time marched along and I continued to be monitored by Doctors and had tests done and in 1998 I was told to go to the North country, AKA Albuquerque, for tests to be put on a transplant list.  After several trips to the North country and many vampire pokes, and other tests I choose to forget about, I was added to a kidney transplant list.  I February of 1999 I went to the local place of sick people incarceration and had a people carver install a fistula in my left wrist. Don't know what a fistula is?  I am sure Bing or Google can enlighten you. I was starting to feel bad and just attributed it to being fat and old.  But in June of 1999 a nephrologist told me I was going to have to have dialysis. What is a nephrologist? you ask.  Well, that's just a fancy name for  "this is gonna be expensive. He was a good kidney Dr. though. I say was, because he eventually relocated to another state and I no longer have contact with him. With his pronouncement, though, I objected. I had places to go, things to do and people to see. A nurse in that clinic said that if I didn't do this, I would get really sick, go to the hospital and they would bring me to dialysis on a stretcher. I it would not be easy to recover. So I went to work and told the boss I would be off for a couple of weeks, and why.  They started me off east, using a 17 gauge needle.  By contrast, a needle that you receive a shot in the clinic is about a 32 gauge or so.  After a few sessions of dialysis I was graduated to a 16 and then a 15 gauge needle.  Or rather two of them. 4 hours a day, three days a week.  Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.  I won't go into all the experiences I had while on dialysis, but I managed and I got to go places and do things and see people.  An d I continued to work operating large mining equipment in an open pit copper mine. For reference here, if interested, go to and look at the 4100xp.  Yep, that is what I did.

Well, after 23 months on dialysis I received a new kidney. And a lot of medication. And trips to the North country for infusions of high powered medicines of some sort. And a set of instructions longer than this blog post. Don't push shopping carts, let your wife do that.  Don't work in the yard, but if you do, use leather gloves. And above all, don't handle filthy lucre. Yep, money is one of the most dirty and germ laden things in our society.  Fortunately that wasn't a problem. So, now I am back to a somewhat normal life, but with changes that my wife and I learned to live with.  Stay away from sick people, especially kids. And don't mess with animals, especially birds. And on and on. Over time the meds decreased and some of them have went away all together. But the one that suppresses my immune system is still very much in existence. I use a lot of hand sanitizer.  Sometimes I tend to get lax. A few years ago I got as bad Staph infection and had a part of my left ear trimmed.  But it just never healed, so I was eventually sent to a plastic surgeon in the East country. I was put in a people carving institution and the above named surgeon carved on my left ear, and then carved on it some more and then carved on it a third time. Finally the lab told him the skin cancer was all gone.  All this from a staph infection and a bout of MRSA, what ever that is.  Now I am ear marked, but not branded.

So what is all this leading up to.  Well, a few weeks ago a friend of mine had a heart attack. He recovered and is doing good, but he had to change his diet and a few things, but he told me that was a wake up call for him.  He is a rancher and he works hard and making the changes that were suggested hadn't occurred to him. 
Well, since I retired from the mining industry, my wife and I have started walking and eating better and I have lost weight and feel good.  And this past Saturday wasn't seeming to be any different. We were up at 5 a.m. and then went for a walk as soon as it got light enough to see. Walked 2.5 miles according to the ped o meter I had on my pants pocket. Came back to the house and had a cup of chocolate. Watched a little Saturday morning TV and my wife started breakfast. Suddenly I started to shiver like I was cold, but I knew I wasn't. I went to the kitchen and the thought of the food my wife was fixing made me nauseous. Note. I said the thought of eating the food, not the food itself.  I headed for the bathroom to throw up. I didn't but felt like I needed to. I returned to the bathroom a couple of times for that purpose, but didn't throw up. But I was definitely not feeling good and I didn't know why. Around 9 a.m. while sitting on the edge of the tub so I was close to the receptacle of any thing that might spew from my mouth, I just slid into the tub, sideways. Picture a cartoon Tom who has just been cold cocked by a cartoon Jerry as he oozes down a set of stairs on down a drain. That's how I felt. The main difference is that Tom revives and continues the mouse chase being no worse for wear. I did not. My wife eventually got me out of the tub with a lot of work on her part and a little effort on my part and got me to bed. Where I spent the next 7 hours. She gave me an aspirin in case I was having a heart attack, which I assured her I was not, it just didn't feel like that.  I thought it might be a mild stroke. My wife was concerned and I was also. However, I was able to get up at 4 p.m. and each some soup and a sandwich. By Sunday morning I felt better, but still somewhat weak. My left leg was swollen and red. My Stake President and an Elder from our ward came by that evening and gave me a blessing. Need more information on that statement? go to a LDS or Mormon site on the internet and look it up. Or call a missionary.

On Monday I felt better still, but my left leg is still swollen and red, so I went to a Dr. She checked me over from stem to stern and mid section also. After she finished, she said no heart attack, no stroke, just MRSA. Yep, another Staph infection.  When ask by my wife how I may have gotten this, she said I was a dirty old man and infected myself. Well, she didn't say it quite like that. What she said was that we as humans have a lot of germs crawling around on our skin, just looking for a place to get in. Now, a normal person, when they scratch themselves and one of those germs crawl in, the immune system calls up the troops and they come storming in with guns blazing and annihilate the bad guys. In my case, with my suppressed immune system, when one of the bad guys comes in, the troops have stand down orders. The marines and the army and the air force may put up a token resistance and the navy may come sailing down an artery and fire a weak torpedo, but they are mostly just token resistance. So, knowing this, I have to be vigilant. And mostly I am. But this weekend has made me realize I missed something. So to fight these bad boys, or girls, the Dr. prescribed to antibiotics and had her nurse bend me over a table and give me a shot where it would do the most good.

So what is the purpose of this post.  Just killing time while the meds are killing germs. And like my rancher friend, this weekend has been a wake up call for me also. Not for the same reason as his, but as a reminder I cannot let down my guard and become complacent on health issues. My wife ask me how I knew I wasn't having a heart attack. My answer was I just knew. But did I really? After 40 years working in the mining industry and all the training classes I went to and all the things we were taught about health issues, including signs of a heart attack, I just knew I wasn't. Why did I think I might be having a stroke? Because I was weak and disoriented, I was slurring my speech and was just well, a cartoon cat sliding down a stairway with no control over my muscles. Turned out neither of those happened, but what did was bad enough to say, Hey, wake up and pay attention.  I encourage any of you who may have actually made it this far to also become aware of your physical self and take care of your self so that you may not find your self in a position and not know what is going on. I will be paying more attention to my self and try to lose the complacency that I have seemed to slip into.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


WHAT IS IT ABOUT NOISE?  Now, I know I am getting old.  And my hearing is probably worse than I will admit, but better than my wife will admit.  Maybe somewhere in between the two.  But, still. Noise, and lots of it seems to emanate from the whole world now a days.  And I just have to say why?   Here where we live, in a place many miles distant from the ditch bank, is a quiet neighborhood.  Oh! sorry, I meant it used to be a quiet neighborhood.  At least on this end of the street where we live.  Then someone moved in to a house with noisy kids. And some one else moved in next to them with noisy vehicles.  More on that in a moment. Then others moved in with noisy habits.  And it is about to drive us bonkers.  So, I will detail a couple or three things about this.
1. Noisy kids.  I have no objection to kids playing in the street, riding bicycles, pulling wagons, or whatever they do.  At least they are outside and not sitting in front of a video game.  But this group of kids, the ones mentioned above and some of their friends from other streets, seem to delight in making noise.  They don't really play. Sometimes they just stand and scream. At the top of their lungs.  We ask them to not do that.  Play if you want, but go to your house to scream. Nope, Momma and Daddy don't like that.  So they scream in front of our house.  Again, Why? Just for the noise of it?  Who knows.  But this seems to be something that goes on with kids all over the place, not just those here in the used to be quiet neighborhood.

2. Music.  No one likes music more than I.  But I like music and I like me to hear it. I don't blast it so loud that the neighbor hood can hear it for blocks away.  And so much of it is not really music. It is just, uh, well, noise.  And some of it has such bad language, why would any one want to record such filth, much less listen to it. And why blast it so loud that even I can hear it? Again. Just noise on a used to be quiet street. 

3. Vehicles. When I was a teenager, oh so many years ago, I bought a 1955 Ford Fairlane. I had a small V8 engine and twin pipes. I removed the mufflers and installed glass packs. And it had a very pretty putter. And a lot of the cars back then had that sound. Even in the 90's we had a Pickup with a big V8 engine with twin pipes and that good listening putter.  You don't hear much of that any more.  Here on the street where we live, one of the above mentioned family's have 4 vehicles. Three of them or noisy. Not a putter noisy, but a no exhaust muffler of any type kind of noisy. A sedan car, a motorcycle and a jeep. And even though the block from their house to the corner where they have to turn is only a hundred feet or so, they seem to need to hit a MPH for each foot in that distance. With the vehicles would up as loud as they can be.  But, it is not just them.  So many of the vehicles now have that same sound.  Not a pretty twin pipe putter, but, well, just noise. Sometimes when it is quiet I want to go out in the street and holler, "Can you people hear this?"  But I don't want to shatter the quiet which comes around all to seldom lately.  I can't help but think that by the time a lot of these people get my age, they will all be deaf.  The hearing aid people will have a roaring business, and no one will be able to hear the roar.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


THAT IS THE QUESTION? OH! what is the question, you ask.  Well, election is coming up in a few weeks.  Even though there are a number of political parties that will be on the ballot, the primary candidates will be Republican or Democrat.  So, do you vote a straight ticket or not? Yes, that is the question.  Here in the Land of Enchantment, we have the incumbent Governor, a Republican, and a Woman and A Hispanic running to be reelected.  On the Democratic side we have a man who is the State Attorney General.  The Governor has close to $4 million dollars in here campaign war chest.  Her opponent has just over $100 thousand.  And he is running far behind in the polls.  He is not a popular candidate, even in his own party and in a State that votes primarily Democrat.  Why is he so far behind.  well, I don't know. But he recently paid a visit to the city near where I live and the hype surrounding his coming said for all Good Democrats, Republicans and Independents to come out and listen to him and join in whatever they had going while he was here.  I guess the bad ones of those listed above aren't welcome.  But one person said to come out and join them and then to vote for the complete Democrat slate in November.
Well, I didn't go. But I have to say here, in the 5 decades that I have been eligible to vote, I have never, and I repeat never, voted a straight ticket.  I know many who have, on both sides of the aisle. And I have to wonder, why? Many years ago I was approached by a staunch Republican and encouraged to vote for the Republican that was running for the Governor office that year.  I liked the Democrat candidate and intended to vote for him. ( I Did)  But when I ask the above mentioned staunch man, I ask him why I should not vote for the Democrat and he said, Why, because he's a Democrat. Well, Duh. Just because someone is a Democrat or a Republican does not automatically make them the best candidate for the office.  I have voted for Democrats in the past and will do so again in the future, probably in the upcoming election. But I will vote for the Republican candidate for Governor. She is not a perfect governor, and I don't suppose there is such a critter on this earth, but she is pretty good.  I encourage each and every one to vote for the best person they feel is qualified for the office and not for the party they belong to.  AND THAT IS THE VIEW FROM THE DITCH BANK

Monday, September 15, 2014


THAT IS THE QUESTION.  Recently I saw on a facebook post a question about who still wears a watch?  The answers were varied with most, it seems, saying they did not wear a watch.  It seems that most depend on their cell phones for the time.  And that is fine with me, although I still do wear a watch and use it on a regular basis. So, this brings up a question to my simple mind for any of you who may read this post that did not see the facebook post.  Do you wear a watch or not?
I can only assume that most of you saw the news report about the new I phone coming out and in conjunction with that the announcement of an I watch that will be coming out sometime in the near future.  This watch will connect you to the internet, you can surf the internet, get e mails, make on line purchases, it will monitor your heart rate and your pulse. It will have a GPS to tell you where to go and how to get there. And all of this right on your wrist. I don't think Dick Tracy or even Maxwell Smart envisioned something like this.  Would I buy one.  No, not even if I had the money to do so.  But the main question that comes to mind is    WITH ALL THIS, WILL THE THING TELL YOU THE TIME.  
After all, it is called a watch, and isn't that the purpose of a watch, after all. To keep time.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


ARE THEY OR AREN'T THEY? That is the question. One I ask myself from time to time.  Myself just don't seem to have a good answer.   
Back i the not quite so dark ages, when I was in High School, several of us were gathered around outside of the school one morning and the basketball coach, looking up at the contrails across the sky, commented, " Well he can't lie to his boss about where he has been".  Since from that time to now a lot of contrails have crossed the sky, a person, namely me, just has to wonder How crowded is the sky? Really.  If you look at a map of all the planes in the sky at any given time, it makes a person wonder just how they all manage to get from point A to point what ever they are going to. But for the most part they do, day after day. having worked for an Airline in the distant past, I understand somewhat the pattern that makes it all click.  So I am not really concerned about it on the rare occasions when I climb inside one of those aluminum tubes and let some jet jockey move me from point A to point wherever I may be going.  
On the other hand, though, there are a few things going on now that wasn't around during the above mentioned almost dark ages.  AM radio was around, and TV was coming along, with black and white pictures, and the air waves were undulating along with invisible contrails of their own.  Then FM radio came into existence, and two way radios became more and more prevalent, especially in the 70's with the craze of CB radios. And of course, the above mentioned contrails were also becoming increasingly numerous.
Now there are cell phones. Millions and millions of them. And the internet,and WIFI, and satellite radio, and space beams and space junk.  It just makes an old bald head like mine just spin in wonder at it all, and never cease to be amazed that somewhere, sometime, if all of this won't collide up there in the crowded sky and just come tumbling down.  Airplanes, satellites, cell phone calls and TV images and all.
Bet that will make a terrible jumbled up mess when it hits.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


AND WHAT DID IT SMELL LIKE?  In a land far away from where I actually reside, lies the land on the ditch bank.  Yesterday, Labor Day, My wife and I spent the bulk of the day on this ditch bank property doing some clean up. And taking pictures of Eagles, bugs and spiders. And the landscape.  And just enjoying the day, on the ditch bank. And sitting in the shade for a picnic lunch and listening to the wind in the pines. And smelling the pines and the grass and the weeds and the country side in general.  Good day and good smells.  All to soon, it seemed, we had to climb aboard the pickup and return to the place where we currently reside. And the accompanying smells.
As we went for a walk this morning, just after dawn broke over the valley, we noticed the difference from what we were smelling as opposed to yesterday.  Automobile smells, scented dryer sheet smells, perfume from a house where the woman was getting ready to go to work.  Perfume or hair spray.  Coffee and cigarette smells.  So much different that yesterday, and not nearly as pleasant. Nope, no where near as pleasant.  Even as we left the confines of the town and got into the hills and vales where we walk, through the weeds and grass, it still smelled different than did the smell of the grass and weeds and pines of the ditch bank. How do people get so used to the perfumery smells of the town.  I don't know. And I can't.  What do you smell where you live? And do you like it and look forward to the morning smells, or the evening smells, or even the mid day or midnight smells.  Nothing and I mean nothing, beats the fresh smell of the country side and the sound of wind in the pines.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


WE'VE ALL HEARD THIS QUESTION. Haven't we.  What came first, the chicken or the egg. Any one who has actually read this blog and checked my status, will know that I am a member of a Christian Faith and so I have deeply held roots in the Bible.  And the story of the creation says that the earth was created and, among other things, animals were placed on the earth. Adam was assigned to give each of the animals a name, and one of those was the chicken. Oh! and Adam and Eve were the first people placed on this newly created planet that we know as Earth. So, the Chicken came before the egg and Adam and his wife Eve were the first people placed on the earth. I also know that this was not the first planet that was created and had people placed on it. And no, I don't not know what number we are in that line of planet creation.  But that is not the reason of this post.  Just a filler until I get to the real reason for posting this first.  
I am really concerned about the Ebola outbreak in Africa. And the suffering the people there are going through.  But, I am a little confused about something here.  The medical people have said that the only way to get Ebola is to come in contact with the body fluids of someone who has it. Now, if that is the case, how did the first person get it.  Someone had to have it to give it to the second one. But the second one couldn't get it because the first one didn't have it.  Did you follow that?  If not, I'm sorry, but I am not going to go back and try to rewrite it.
But if the first person to ever get it didn't get it from someone else, then they had to get it from somewhere. And that being the case, isn't it possible for someone to get this without coming in contact with someone who already has it?  Just a question I have no answer to.  Like I do for the Chicken and the Egg.
And That's The View From The Ditch Bank

Monday, August 25, 2014


AM I THE ONLY ONE THAT THINKS SO. What am I talking about you say.  Well, give me a minute or several and I will tell you.  Two things, actually. 

1. Last night there was an earthquake in the NAPA valley. A 6. something. While the news did mention some of the damage to buildings and other property, most of the concern was with the wine.  OH, NO, wine bottles were smashed, wine barrels were broken open, thousands of dollars lost.  Well, it wasn't really lost, because it is insured.  So, guess the insurance companies lose. But then, they have been paid to lose, haven't they.  While I am not concerned about the lost wine, I do have one concern.  California is in the midst of a very severe drought. So, maybe they should just shut down those 500 plus wineries and put the water to better use. But, no, unfortunately, since I am in the minority on this, I am sure that the wineries will get financial help to rebuild and replace and they will go on, while others will suffer with limited water resources.

2. Back in the dark ages, when I went to school, even high school, and yes there was high school way back then, we started school at 9 a.m. and finished at 3:30 p.m. Then after school, we went home, on a bus, did chores, ( milked cows, got in firewood, etc ) and then if you happened to be on the basketball team (I was) then you drove back to the school 30 minutes away for practice. And we were home and in bed by 10 p.m.  So, what is the purpose of this post.  Somewhere along the line, schools started earlier and let out earlier. I don't know why and won't speculate why, but for whatever reason it happened. Now, Pediatricians want schools to start later so that teenagers can get enough sleep. And some schools have done this and reports show that the students are more alert because they can sleep in for an hour longer.  Now school starts at 9 a.m. at those schools. But, the news report on this was following a high school student and the report said he still goes to bed around midnight, the same as usual, but he can sleep later in the morning before he gets up.  Well, DUH!  I don't care what time school starts or stops, but these students could go to bed an hour earlier and accomplish the same thing.  Somehow, I feel I am in the minority on this one also.

3.  And a final note.  A while back a lady said her dog was bitten by a Mojave Rattle Snake. She was told that was not possible because those snakes did not live here. They lived in California. Well, guess what, snake handlers have caught several of the deadly Rattlers in the southern part of the State. Yep, folks, they are here.  How did they get here.  Well, they probably slithered here from California looking for water.


Thursday, August 21, 2014


OR MAYBE THEY DO.  The environmentalist groups, that is.  I have said in the past, and I will say again here, that I am an environmentalist. In the respect that I believe in protecting the land and the air and the water. But the environmental groups that I have mentioned in previous posts just don't understand that. They have an agenda that is contrary to actually protecting the land. A few decades ago I took a picture of a cabin on the San Francisco River that had been there for decades.  Then these groups made the BLM and the USFS remove all cattle from public land, to protect the river, they said.  Now the river is grown over with scrub trees and brush that it is choking the river bed and there is no way that this cabin can be seen. Even in the winter time when the leaves fall.  Then, because they made the uneducated politics in the East pass laws that made logging public forests illegal and running cattle on them illegal and now the forests have grown so thick with brush and new trees and dead grass that when there is a fire, it grows and grows to catastrophic measures. They just don't realize that logging trees and running cattle help keep the forest healthy.  Now, they have proposed that 546,335 acres of stream side habitat in nine western states be set aside for the protection of the yellow billed cuckoo. this is a bird that lives along streams. The reason is to protect the rivers and streams in the named states. The rivers are the Sacramento, the Eel and the Kern in California, The Gila, the Colorado, the Verde and the San Pedro in Arizona, The Gila and the Rio Grande in New Mexico as well as rivers in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada and Texas. Michael Robinson an official with the Center for Biological Diversity said this was a victory for the cuckoo as well as the rivers and streams.  The cuckoo's decline is representative of the poor job we've done caring for our waterways, so this is a big step toward being better stewards of our rivers and steams, he said. Protecting these stream side habitats will also protect healthy water quality for people.
So, as I said, they just don't get it.  The unhealthy conditions of the streams and the forest started when they began to remove those from using these land and water areas and it has just gone downhill ever since.  Yep, As Mr. Robinson said, we have done a poor job of caring for the rivers and streams, and if they keep "protecting" these water ways for the purpose of a bird or a little fish or something that has existed in these waterways for century's, then the waterways will disappear along with the "protected" species.
There is definitely something cuckoo here, and it is not the yellow billed bird.

Monday, August 18, 2014


WHAT, EXACTLY, IS CONSIDERED THE STAFF OF LIFE:  Well, bread is considered the staff of life. And bread is made from flour, which is usually made from wheat.  Notice I said "usually" made from wheat. I realize there are other flours available, like cornbread. That is not what this post is about, though, so if you made it this far, bear with me.  I am going to talk, write, a bit about wheat. And what we as individuals can, or cannot do, about it.  So, first, a short, mini, really small, history lesson. 
What I will mention is a short lesson in interstate commerce. Now, you can research this and find a lot more than I am going to mention here, but here is a short lesson. A few years ago, OK, decades ago, the Supreme Court ruled that a man couldn't grow wheat for his own use. Why? cause if he did he wasn't buying it on the market and thus impacting interstate commerce.  Make sense. We ll, lets look at it for a bit more.  An Ohio farmer, Roscoe Filburn, had a 23 acre farm, but was allowed to grow wheat on only 11 acres. This 11 acres of wheat he could sell. But he raised more wheat than that, but he didn't sell it, he fed it to his chickens so that his family could have a "Chicken in their pot" ( a play on words uttered by Franklin Roosevelt ). So when the government learned he was growing this extra wheat they fined him 49 cents for every bushel he grew over his allotment, even though he was using it for his own use. Still, the above Supreme Court decision against him. This was impacting market place trade, they said.  This was in 1942. This losing case solidified the idea that growing and consuming wheat entirely on your own farm counted as interstate commerce and could be regulated by the federal government under the commerce clause.  A little stretch.
Now, lets fast forward to 2005. And replace chickens and wheat for marijuana.  No, I am not advocating marijuana as the new staff of life.  It is a drug, a harmful drug and should be treated as such.  But, back to the story. Using the Filburn case, the Supreme Court held that Medical marijuana cultivated and consumed entirely with in the State of California still counted as "Interstate Commerce" and led Judge Clarence Thomas to say   "If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually any thing--and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers.
And based on the governments generous interpretation of the commerce clause to the detriment of private property, two executive orders have come to the attention of many Americans. The first one was issued by President Clinton in 1994 and the second one by President Obama in 2012.  And what exactly do these two orders address?  Well, food. So let's take a quick look at what the basis is for these two orders.  They come from the Defense Production act.  Nowhere in the constitution is Congress granted authority over all American resources and the fruits of its citizens' labor, let alone to delegate that authority to the executive branch. The fourth amendment preserves the right of people to be secure n their persons, houses, papers and effects, commonly considered as belongings.
Now, these two orders address the allocation of food resources and define it is detail. The DPA does not mention food at all any where in it's 2,418 words.  The DPA does mention machinery to produce defense materials. Nowhere do these two orders differentiate between government and private property. The two orders the full spectrum of emergencies. This is broadening the scope of the 1950 DPA act. Although both orders address national defense preparedness, Under Obama's order 13603, the Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to allocate food resources "as deemed necessary or appropriate to promote national defense under both emergency and non-emergency  conditions. Other cabinet heads are given similar authorization over a lot of things including health resources, water and civil transportation, all going to the Secretary of Commerce. 
There is a lot more to this, and I have just given a small portion of all of this. When there was an outcry over Obama's order, his proponents said that it was just doing a tidy up of the order issued by Clinton. If this is a tidy up job, I feel that we all need to be alert to what may take place.  Since this Executive Order gives Obama and his cabinet heads the authority to regulate any thing, even in a non emergency situation, they could come in and seize your garden or fine you for growing one because it is contrary to the DPA or it is interfering with Interstate commerce. Even if you are not selling the produce, just preparing it for you table or your pantry.  Just don't take a jar of jam across State Lines to give to a family member, that may cause such an economic catastrophe that the whole country goes under. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014


AS WAS MENTIONED.  I mentioned in the previous post that the Fish and Wildlife Department is proposing to expand the habitat for the Mexican Gray Wolf program. While this expansion is still in the talk about it phase, as in,  We are holding meetings in the cities mentioned in the news articles and allowing people to comment, etc., I am going to make a little prediction on what will happen when the expansion is approved.  As I assume it will be. Or not.  But, for the sake of this post, lets assume it has been expanded and the boundaries relaxed so the wolf packs can spread out. This new expansion applies to New Mexico only, as far as I have read. So I will focus on that.

OK, the wolf has been restricted to the forest areas of Southeastern Arizona and Southwest New Mexico. So now it is able to go wherever it wants to in New Mexico from West to East and from the border with Mexico on the South to Interstate 40 on the North.  Interstate 40 bisects Albuquerque on an east to west direction. Or a west to east direction, if you prefer.  So, with that in mind, the wolf's mind, that is, he will take his pack and amble out of the forest to the east, down to the little settlement of Nutt. Nothing there of interest, except a Bar, so he may stop in for a drink. Since the Wild Life is not very active there, he will travel on to Hatch, there to pick up a little green chili and put it in his pack.  ( Kids have back packs, wolves have wolf packs ) Then he will stroll up the Rio Grande to San Antonio and the Owl Cafe, where he will have a Hamburger and have them put some of his Hatch Chili on the burger.  He will skirt Los Lunas and the prison there, he has an aversion to being in captivity, so he will slink along the Bosque as he heads for Belen. Not a lot going on there, so he will slip on up the River to the casino where he may try his hand, Uh paw, at a game of chance.  Then on to Albuquerque for hot air balloon ride.  Oh! wait.  Now there's a problem. The balloon field is north of I 40, and he is not allowed to cross I 40.  And the traffic in the city is horrendous, so he will slip into the Monzanos and catch a break in the traffic in the East mountains, cross I 40 there, then  amble back into the city and on the the balloon field for that ride.  After that, perhaps a ride on the tram to the top of the Sandia's and back down, then a short stroll to a station to catch the Rail Runner to the halls of government in Santa Fe'. Ah! now, that's the only way to travel.  Sure is a relief for sore paws. 
Meanwhile, back at the Hatch Chili farm, part of the Pack chose to opt out of the balloon ride and decided to try further East. There they find the Rio Grande also, then in to the City of the Crosses and a field of White Sand. Also, there is a restricted area, visits allowed only at certain times of the year.  if the wolf could read he would see that a weapon of mass destruction was tested there decades in the past. A little farther north and close to the Albuquerque traveling wolf, he will find a field being developed for space travel.  Maybe he can go in and get his name on the list.  If monkey's can go to space, why not a wolf. Oh well, on east and to the oil fields of the eastern and southeastern part of the State.  And the Texas State line.  Just like I 40, the Texas State line is only a line on a map and the wolf don't know that, so he will be GTT.  For those of you that don't read shoot em up westerns,  That means Gone To Texas. Wonder where he will wind up. 
Now keep in mind, this is the Mexican Gray Wolf.  But if you remember the above mentioned boundaries, he is not allowed in Mexico. That is his Southern boundary. But If he actually wants to go home, maybe he can  go to a Border Patrol station and get them to deport him.  Just a thought.

Monday, August 11, 2014


AND RELATED THINGS:  Years ago, when I was young and growing up and decades prior to that, things went kinda like this.  The ranchers ran cattle on the Forest, and were governed by a permit from the forest on how many cattle they could run on a certain number of acres. And the lumber businesses cut timber and hauled it to the mills and made lumber. And the trees they cut were specially market by Forest Service personnel. And, of course, miners dug holes in the ground to remove minerals.  And the Forests were healthy and the grazing land was healthy as the hooves of the cattle cultivated the ground and they fertilized the land and the rain watered it. When the loggers left an area they had to block skid trails to prevent erosion and re-seed the land that they had torn up and the forest continued to be healthy and new trees would grow. And the Ranchers and the loggers took care of the land because they depended on it to sustain them.  The mining industry is different, as they extract the ore from the ground and they have to remove huge amounts of earth to recover a small amount of mineral. And it is not renewable. I am not knocking the business, just stating a fact.  Then, in the um, 1970's or so, there sprang up some groups that felt that the earth needed environmental protection. The ranchers and the loggers, who depended on the land, agreed, not realizing just what these groups were about.  Group like the Sierra Club, Forest Guardians, and Earth First.  They didn't want the earth environmentally protected, they wanted people off the land. And they started with the loggers and the ranchers and the miners. And for the most part, they succeeded.  But that was just the start. And did I mention this was the Western States they were targeting. And then they began to get an uninformed and uneducated congress to pass laws that forced the Forest Service and the Fish and Wildlife departments to enforce the laws that were passed in the halls of congress. And so it began. the Mexican Spotted Owl was put on an endangered list and farmers and ranchers and loggers couldn't work if an owl was spotted, (pun intended) and the owl had to have 1500 acres or more to mate in. So highway projects were put on hold during mating season, jokes abounded, and congress was cursed, but not quite as much as the above named groups. Then they had little fish listed as endangered and messed with farmers irrigation water. And on and on. And then they released the wolf in Yellow Stone Park. As soon as that was accomplished, they released a Mexican Grey Wolf in Southeastern Arizona and Southwest New Mexico.  Now, this is the crux of this message. The Big Bad Wolf.  These are not really a pure wolf.  And it is not really a wild wolf. It is a wolf that has been in captivity and fed and handled by humans. So when they were released into the Wild's of the above mentioned States, humans, this was in rural areas. And the people of these rural areas were threatened by the wolf. Literally. So some were shot. And the city people, even in the two states where the wolf resides, got upset when the country people complained. And then the Wildlife department, put collars on these wolf's so they could be tracked. And if one was caught killing a ranchers cattle, an investigation was launched to try to prove that the wolf was not to blame. But, the wolf packs are not growing in numbers like they envisioned. So, now, they have initiated a new plan. 
Now, the Wildlife Department is proposing to let the wolf expand it's territory. To include all of Southern New Mexico. Clear up to Interstate 40. Well, now, this is interesting.  I-40 cuts across the middle of the City of Albuquerque, and Grants, and Gallup, and Santa Rosa, and there are a lot of cities and farms and people within this area.  This goes from the area in Southeastern Arizona to the New Mexico/Texas State line and up to I-40.  Makes a person wonder what will happen when these wolves invade Belen, or Albuquerque.  And if they can't read the sign when they get to I-40 so are not aware of the boundary and cross it, and invade the art community and halls of government in Santa Fe'. The environmental groups are wishy washy on this plan.  The like the idea of an expanded territory for the wolf.  But there is a part of the plan they don't like. Oh! I haven't mentioned that part yet.  Heh Heh. That part allows the public permission to kill a wolf if they feel threatened. Effectively removing many of the current laws and restrictions regarding the killing of wolves.  Just when you think some things have leveled out and a plan is being accepted, ( not that the wolves in the rural areas have really been accepted ) here comes the government and stirs things up again.  Yep,  look out folks in the metropolitan areas, cause here comes the BIG BAD WOLF.  Better not talk about how big his eyes and teeth are. Just shoot him.

Monday, August 4, 2014


I KNOW THAT CHANGE IS INEVITABLE.  Things usually move forward or backward.  They rarely stagnate.  At least not forever. Still, some change is hard to take and some just causes a person to shake their head in wonder at it all.  So, here are a couple or three things that fall in one or the other of these category's. Read it and agree, or disagree.

1. I grew up in a small Mormon community a little over 100 miles from where I now live. I know it has not stagnated, but I don't like a lot of the changes I see there.  But this post is not about there. It is about here.  Kinda.  I live in a small ex mining town a few miles from the City of Silver. When my wife and I were growing up in the 50's, family trips were made to Silver City.  Often for my wife, occasionally for me.  The town was relatively clean, shopping was plentiful and banking was good.  There were several good set down restaurants and the downtown was a vibrant place to go. There was a bar downtown called the Buffalo. Other than that, there was a lot going on.  Fast forward to the 2000's and change has taken place.  The town is still a mining town, well kinda.  But the downtown has changed. A lot. I is not the clean town it used to be. The shopping has gone away. Even the Buffalo Bar has closed down.  Why.  Well, I have my ideas, and I am probably a majority of one on this, but I feel Wal Mart has came in a ran off most of the businesses, booze is available at all the grocery stores and the pharmacy's, like Wal Greens and so the bar business has went home, so to speak. The downtown is populated by hole in the wall shops and dogs.  And it is not clean.  And a woman, who probably came here form who knows where, was recently heard to say, " I just love it downtown, it is so spiritual".  Uh, no it is not. I hate to even go downtown any more and avoid it as much as possible.  And most others I know who have been around here for very long do also.  Nope, can't feel spiritual there.

2. The city Fathers and Mothers of the New Mexico City of Santa Fe' have decided to spend up to $100,000 to lure the TV show The Bachelor to film an episode in the city. This in a city and State that have a lot of financial problems. And a lot of the  people who live there have objected to spending that much money on the possibility of a TV show coming there, when there are so many problems in the city that need to be addressed.  Just another case of some one being "star struck" and wanting the lure of Hollywood, thinking that by doing so, it will showcase Santa Fe' to the world and bring in tourist dollars.  Tourist dollars help the motels and cafes and a few stores, but jobs of a substantial nature are what is needed.

HIGH ON THE HOG:  There was a news report on the price of bacon.  News Flash   It's not just for breakfast any more.  Why is the price going up.  The news says because a virus has killed thousands of baby pigs and so the price has gone up.  Now, I like bacon, but bacon has gone out of sight on more than just the price.  I also like a BLT sandwich, which is not a breakfast meal, but really, chocolate dipped bacon for desert.  No, don't think so.  It is used on burgers, crumbled up on salads and used on so many things any more, that it is difficult to find a good pound of gold flaked bacon for breakfast.

So, the theme of these three items are just what the title of this post says.  They are just not the same any more.  And while change and progress are a good thing, for the most part, and while I have never been inside the Buffalo Bar and don't care that it is shut down, I do lament the changes that are regressive, and a lot of what I see in this area are just that. In my opinion.