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.