Thursday, January 30, 2014


I'M TRYING NOT TO:  Comment on the things going on in tic ville.  AKA; local and national politics. Still, sometimes I just have to make my uneducated opinions on things going on. So, where to start.  I guess it will be across the pond.  The big pond east of the U.S.  The news has mentioned lately, that the Queen of England is broke.  I'll admit that I just don't understand everything there is to know about how the English government works.  But the royal's are supported by the people's taxes, I think.  And they have, and spend, millions.  But those millions are shrinking and so the Queen has decreed a tighter budget to her minions. Wonder how that will work out.  Guess I will watch and see.  Maybe this old dog will learn something.  Maybe.
Now to State politics.  The New Mexico legislature is in session. This year, being an even numbered year, it is only a 30 day session and can only deal with the State budget and things that the Governor brings to the table.  Mostly.  There are other things coming up, though. Namely, Same sex marriage, which the State Attorney general says is against the Constitution, but is being challenged by groups of people. And judges that have ordered County Clerks to issue licenses to same sex couples any way. If a committee approves this it will go on a ballot this fall for the people to decide. As I understand it, a committee can strike this down and make same sex marriage illegal.  Again, guess I'll watch and see.  Another issue is the legalization of marijuana.  Patterned after the law that just went into effect in Colorado.  And the Governor is asking, for the fifth time, for the legislature to recind the law of issueing drivers licenses to illegal aliens.  AKA, those who are here in the country illegally.  So far, the house of representatives have backed the Governor in years past on this issue, but the State Senate never has.  I have sent an e mail to the two representatives from the county I live in and the one from the county where we own property as well as the Senator representing this area, expressing my opinion on these three items.  Namely, I am against same sex marriage and the legalization of marijuana and in favor of recinding the drivers license law for undocumented people.  I also sent an e mail to the Senator in Albuquerque that has brought the marijuana law to the table. He is the only one I have heard from.  And his answer.  Marijuana is OK to use.  President Obama said so. And he said, and has been quoted in the news, that this law would bring tax money to the State coffers and the money could be used for education and to fix roads and all the other things tics use to convince people to vote for their favorite pork barrel item.  Also, he said, there would be a lower legal cost to the State, since law enforcement officers wouldn't be spending time investigating these things and the courts wouldn't be spending money with trials and the jails would not have so many people in them cause now people would not be there for using marijuana. My responce to him;  Using that rational, lets just make every thing legal. Murder, robbery, rape, speeding down the highway, public intoxication, whatever, if it's legal, then we can save a lot of money by firing all police officers, judges and other court people. I said that to him.  Of course, there would be a lot of mischief going on and a lot of things that would be offensive to people, but hey, who cares.  It's legal. Or at least, not illegal.
And finally.  The State of the Union Address. When President Obama made his 65 minute speech Tuesday night, he went into that speech with a 40% approval rating. By contrast, congress has only a 13% approval rating.  And his speech was not so much about the State of the Union, but about his ideas of what he wants to do.  And he said, many times, that if congress won't do what he wants, he will do it any way via executive order.  He said that three times in the first few minutes of his speech and then I quit counting.  He also talked about the minimum wage, and encouraged businesses to raise the minimum wage. He did not raise the wages of government workers, but he has signed an executive order making companies with a government contract to pay a minimum of $10.10 per hour.  Again, this is not government workers.  This is the President, ordering private companies to pay that wage if they have a government contract. Well, this means that the government, AKA, in this case the tax payers, will be paying these companies more in order to pay that minimum wage.  He did not mention a national budget, or really address the growing deficit, and he painted a more rosy picture of the unemployment than actually exists.  There was a lot in that speech that I could address, but will mention only one more thing.  First, an aside.  There are ads on the TV about how the city of Los Angeles is helping the environment by using natural gas  to run their city buses. Now, President Obama said that he is going to promote the increased use of natural gas in power plants and other things.  I find both the Los Angeles ad and the comments made some what humorous.  Why?  Well, natural gas is just that. Natural.  As in grown in nature. Or, under the ground.  It has to be drilled for and recovered.  And every time an oil company applies for a permit to drill, the environmental groups rise up in arms and do every thing and spend all the money they can to stop them.  I seem to see a conflict in these ads and speechs. Somewhere some one needs to realize that the earth provides all we have.  It is either mined or grown and these businesses need to be allowed to take care of business in order for us to continue our standard of living. Be you a well driller, a mineral miner or a farmer or rancher, if not for these people and companys, we would not have a union to report the state of. And they can grow the economy.  Not the government with diminishing tax money.  No mater how many pens or phones the President has. 

Monday, January 27, 2014


HOW GOOD ARE YOU?  At word games.  I was never good at cross word puzzles. Just a little fact that any who know me are probably aware of.  Some have told me that you just need the patience to work them.  Well, OK, so I'm not a patient person. Another fact those who know me can attest to.  But in addition to patience, you need some knowledge of things going on.  And the knowledge I had usually wasn't addressed in cross word puzzles.  Now, the television show Jeopardy, there was a time that I could answer many of the questions.  I even pride myself, and only to myself before just now, that there was a time that I might have even been able to win a game.  But now.  Not a chance. The questions being ask on the current jeopardy shows deal a lot with all things Holly wood and I just have no knowledge of current movies and plays, I have no interest in knowing most of what is now called entertainment and the things that pass for comedy on the TV shows.  I know my children and grandchildren thrive on a lot of this, but I am clueless by choice. Still, I watch the news and Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune and a few other shows, but for the most part, I have little interest in the current things that pass for entertainment.  So, I will watch the word games, shun the cross word puzzles, and watch Ree cook on TV.  She has good words.  Like Steak and Potatoes. And Pasta salads and other good words like that.  And THAT'S THE VIEW FROM THE DITCH BANK

Monday, January 20, 2014


WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD? I suppose this will depend on where you were raised and where you live.  So, of course, all answers are correct. And since I don't have enough information on foods around the world, I will just keep my opinions to what I do know.  Now, a cattle rancher will eat beef.  Fried, roasted, ground, rare, medium or well done, but beef will be a mainstay for a lot of meals. Most people, ranchers included like chicken and or fish at times also.  Some might even like sea food. And a good pot of pinto beans with corn bread will always hit the spot. And the rare one will eat Sushi or even Quiche. But the prompting for this post is Spanish food.  Or more to the point, Mexican food.  Even at that, it is mis named.  I worked for many years with a man whose mother came from Mexico and he told me one time that the "Mexican" food we ate here in the Southwest had nothing in common with the food his mother fixed like she was raised with in Mexico.  What we have here in the USof A is a version of Mexican food, and even then it differs around the country.
So on that note, I will talk a bit about the Mexican food we eat here in the Southwest of the State of New Mexico.  And no, it's not Mexico and it's not New, but it is New Mexico. I was raised eating Enchilada's. Flat style. With tortillas fried and dipped in chili sauce and then covered with onions and cheese and then another tortilla and so forth.  Usually three tortillas and then topped with more onions and cheese and an egg or two.  Finger licking good.  And Taco's, which is a corn tortilla fried doubled over then filled with ground beef or chicken, and garnished with onion, tomatoes, lettuce and cheese and topped with salsa. There are some who will even make them with fish, but I just can't do that. Again with the finger likin. And then at times, a sopiapilla filled with honey. And I wouldn't want to leave out the more common Burrito, which is a flour tortilla filled and rolled with beans and cheese, ham and potatoes, or any number of fillings that can be thought of.  And of course, nearly all include onions and cheese and green chili.  Some have red chili.  But all are good.  As I mentioned early on, I was raised eating flat style enchilada's.  However we now sometimes eat them rolled, usually with chicken, and they are good also. With green chili. 
This was a subject of a facebook post by a daughter a few days ago, and there was many comments to the post.  And the comments were varied. But the over all feeling was that Mexican food was liked by one and most.  the actual food varied, but most liked the food in some variety.  I will admit to being prejudiced, but this area where I live has the best Mexican food in the country. the country being the U S of A or any other country people may live in and eat this style of food.  And our tamales made with corn shucks are second to none. And you only have to go a hundred miles or so from here to see the different styles. 
We watch a few cooking shows on TV. Namely Rachel Ray, Trisha Yearwood and Ree Drummond.  I would eat Mexican food with Ree Drummond, but Rachel and Trisha have no clue about how to make good Mexican food.  They are good cooks, not saying other wise, they just don't know true southwest mexican food.  Maybe that is the clue.  South West Mexican food.     RED or GREEN?  And THATS THE VIEW FROM THE DITCH BANK

Friday, January 17, 2014


THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT.  Do you have a smart phone? If so, do you download all the apps that there are available?  I do, and I don't. Have a phone, that is, but not the apps.  I have little or no use for at least 99.9% of the apps that are available. I don't play games or music on the phone. I use it for e mail and I do access the internet when I need to. And I make an occasional phone call with it.  Mostly, it is just turned off. I watch the things that are advertised on the TV for a smart phone, and I just want to say "Why?"
DO YOU HAVE MORE THAN ONE DAD?  I recently saw a news report that actor James Avery had passed away.  OK. If you are up on your actors, ( I am not ) then you know who Mr. Avery is.  Many people pass away every day.  Very few are mentioned outside of their immediate circle or community.  But someone, who is also "famous" I don't remember just who, right now, commented on the news that he was so sad that Mr. Avery had passed away, because of the role that he had played on a tv show, this man considered Mr. Avery a second dad.  I have people I look up to, or looked up to, including my dad and my father in law. Many of these people inspired me and taught me, but I have only one dad, and none of the people that I look up to include actors in a role on the big or little screen.
TV NEWS PEOPLE AND THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE:  Do you listen to the news reporters? Really listen to them?  try it some time.  Now, I am not a word smith.  I barely passed High School english class. But, there were some things we were taught that seems to have stuck to me somehow. And to listen to reporters, or even read an article in a paper, it seems that journalism majors are not taught the proper use of the English language. And it bugs me.  OK, so I do things that bug others.  But I am not in the public eye, nor am I trained in these things.  And in print. Aren't students taught the difference between there and their, bare and bear, and other words and phrases of that ilk.  Maybe it's just me pointing out their foibles in order for people to not look at mine.
AND GLOBAL WARMING: How's that working for you. Here in the Southwest, it is dry, but cold. And in other parts of the country and the world, it is bitter cold and snowing. Ok, so it is hot in California and fires are burning, but then, California is like Texas, it's a whole nother country.  It is Hot in Australia. Hotter than normal.   But it is summer there. And did you see the news reports of the ships trapped in ice in the ant artic. They were there doing a study on global warming. It is also summer time in the southern hemisphere. Still they got stuck in the ice and the ice breaker than came to their rescue couldn't break the ice cause it was too thick. Guess that global warming thing picks and chooses where it wants to hit. Sometimes I just have to wonder where all these ideas come from.  And THAT'S THE VIEW FROM THE DITCH BANK

Monday, January 13, 2014


AND THAT'S PROBABLY WHERE THEY BELONG:  We had some family here over the Thanksgiving holiday.  One of the Granddaughters later contacted us and commented that she and her husband were interested in some of the stories MELWFAE and I had told while they were here.  I don't recall what we might have said that so intrigued them. But they want us to tell them more, in e mail messages that I send to the family two or three times a week. As a result of that, other family members have expressed an interest in these stories. And I am clueless on what they might be interested in.  I was born, I am living and some day I will die. What comes in the living part seems to be of interest. The fact that I was raised on a ranch.  Or that I graduated from High School an average student.  I played basket ball. Or that I worked for an airline. Or that I retired from a mining career. Or that my wife was a book keeper and could type over a hundred words a minute when she was in classes in High School.  Or that she knew short hand, a style of recording things that only a few people knew how to interpret. Or that she walked barefoot in the snow in order not to ruin her shoes. Guess I'll have to give all this some kind of thought and see what I can come up with that will be of interest to our children and grandchildren.  Maybe I just posted it all.  Naw, probably not.  And THAT'S THE VIEW FROM THE DITCH BANK

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


MOSTLY THE TICS:  The bulk of those one or two who may have been with me from the start of this blog, may dimly remember that I said these posts would be my uneducated opinion. My knowledge may be wrong, but it is still my opinion. So, with that repeated disclaimer, I will once again voice a political opinion. The republican party is once again being reviled in the media.  This time in the form of New Jersey governor Christy. And, as usual, the Jersey Gov is putting the blame on one of his aides who did something without his knowledge or approval.  And the media said that the "good gov" is considered by republicans to be the front runner for the republican nominee for President in 2016.  Well, I am a Republican and they didn't ask me.  And I am not so sure I would vote for Christy. Nuff said on that for now.
When the TEA party was started lo those many years ago, it was a group to which any one could belong and it stood for   TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY. It soon morphed into a Republican thing. It is an idea.  It is not a party, although it is referred to as the TEA Party and those who belong to it are called TEA Partiers.  Or spelled something like that.  Republican Ted Cruz, a member of that group, held up a vote last fall that caused the government to shut down. There was a lot that went on then that made it obvious that there was a lot of tics sucking blood on both sides of the aisle.  I agree with the idea of Mr. Cruz and others that the government needs to cut spending.  I don't always agree with the way they try to do it. I sure don't agree with the current trend of spending that is going on.
Now, all of that being said, I have a proposal to put forth.  Since it will never go any further than this post, and those one or two who may feel bored enough to actually read this, I know this proposal will not be worth the screen this is being written on.   Still, here it is.  Let's make the TEA Party an official party. All though much is said about a two party system, there are actually many parties that field candidates at election time.  Most of them people like me can't even name, but they are there.  So, let those who want too, form another party call it the TEA Party, and give us all another choice to vote on. After all, we already have more choices than we need, so what's one more.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


DO YOU LIKE TO HIKE? Or just walk? My wife and I do.  I had an eloborate introduction constructed in my mind for this post, but decided to trim it down to a more manageable statement.  Which may still run to verbosity before I am through. I spent the 40 years of my mining career driving large trucks and sitting in the seat of a piece of heavy equipment. And eating and snacking. And gaining weight.  Now that I am retired, and have been for some time, my wife and I decided to do something about our weight. Mostly mine. We started eating better, and less, and cut out the cokes and candy bars and chips.  And we decided to walk.  So, last spring we started a walking schedule, walking every morning, except Sunday, for at least 1 and 1/2 miles, up to 2 and 1/2 miles before we ate breakfast and started the day.  This winter, as it has gotten colder in the morning, we wait until later in the day and then walk to the post office, which is nearly two miles there and back.  Since we live in a "retirement" community, there are no stores here at all.  We need to drive into the City for the little shopping that is available there, and 2 to 4 or 5 hours to get to any major shopping  at all. However, there is a Chevron station on the out skirts of the city where I go and buy a paper from time to time.  On that note, and on a joking comment from me, My wife and I decided to walk to this station and get a paper and then walk back.  My wife, being the crafty person she is, has a craft project in mind that uses the pop top from beer/soft drink cans.  Have I sufficently set the scene yet?  I hope so, cause here goes.
On new years day, we watched the Rose Parade and then at 11 o'clock, set out for the Chevron station.  I had a ped o meter on my hip to measure our distance. When we reached the high way, which is a 4 lane divided highway, we chose to walk facing the on coming traffic.  Also, my wife stopped at each aliminum can to collect the pop top.  Man, we didn't realize how many kinds of beer there were.  Just a miniscule number of coke or pepsi cans.  Lots of little shot size whiskey bottles.  It took an hour and a half to reach the station and get the paper and then another hour and a half back to the house. Walking on the other side of the road, in order to face the oncoming traffic again. The ped o meter said we had walked 10.1 miles. While my wife, tough woman that she is, did fine, I had a sore, not a blister, on the ball of my left foot. Looks like a big callous.  Maybe it is, as it is fine now.  Now, we wanted to know how accurate the ped o meter was, so yesterday I drove the route that we had walked in a small car we have that will measure the miles, including tenths, on the ode meter. 
So I recorded the mileage when I left the house and when I got back and the car said we only walked 9.1 miles, one mile less than the pedometer had said.  The problem, though, was driving on the wrong side of the road, facing on coming traffic.  Had to make it accurate, you know. Since we had walked on the shoulder, the small car fit on the shoulder ok.  It was a problem holding it to the three miles an hour that I assumed was our approximate walking speed.  Sure got some funny looks, though. Fortunately, the law enforcement officers were other wise occupied, as none stopped to see what I was doing.  And stopping to see if any of the can's were new since we had walked that route got to be a hassle.
On a final note, on the return walk home, while my wife was collecting pop tops, I found a penny, a dime and two quarters at different places on the shoulder of the road, which paid for the paper and 11 cents over. 
Well, guess that pretty sums up our experience of our first long hike.  Not the last, by any means, so there may be further posts on future hikes.  Or not. Most of this is true, and if there be any thing that is not, I will leave that up to you to decide what.   AND   THAT'S THE VIEW FROM THE DITCH BANK.