Fear rumbled out of her mouth before she could stop it
There. Down the hall. A dense form pulling in the darkness.
Nothing good happens at 2 am.
She held position. Slightly rocking. Wavering with indecision.
That recent Blood Moon. Was it foreshadowing?
She’d seen the images on the screen.
Heard the predictions.
It wasn’t her imagination. That dark spot had substance. It moved.
“Having trouble sleeping?”
The concern in the silky voice deceptive.
Raised the hair on her neck.
Close. Very close.
She felt the body heat.
Then a slight brush as the nightmare-made-flesh padded past.
“Since you’re up, you might as well take the security checkpoint.”
“What have you seen?”
(What wasn’t she being told? Past experience has shown the RC of the Realm sometimes held information close.)
Crouching across the street.
No movement yet.”
The RC halted. Turned.
(Was that a smirk of condescension or a sly smile?)
“Are you up to this? Perhaps it would be better if -”
“No!” The force of her voice surprised her. “It’s fine. Go on.”
(Oh, that insulting pat-the-sweet-little-thing-on-the-head tone of voice again!)
She settled in by cold dark glass.
One last snide remark echoed from the RC as she floated down the hallway.
“Don’t worry, Molly, you’ll have warning.
They’ll trip over that plump lump Sasha first. She’s sleeping on the doormat again.”
Yes, they were still there. Huddled in the flowerbed.
The RC was right. They must be watched.
The whites of their eyes glowed even at night.
Endless vacant stares. Never blinking.
Always those unsettling manic grins.
What did they want?
Rested her chin on the window sill. Chin – not teeth.
Keeping weapons out of sight until necessary.
Some say the yearly invasion is a mysterious migration pattern.
Suddenly appear. Suddenly gone.
All Molly the Malamute knew was that no one would rest easily until the rigid zombie bunnies moved on.
Eyes wide open.
And those never slumbering bunnies’.
You just can’t be too careful these days.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge
Oh, for those new to the Realm…or generally confused
The RC Cat of the Realm. This is an official portrait. She is meditating – seeking wisdom for ruling the Realm. Come now, we must not interrupt her. Trust me on this. (Click the “RC Cat” tag in the sidebar for her tales and gentle guidance…She makes us say that. Despite her beliefs, she is not the main focus of the blog. Oh, she heard. Quick, run.)
Molly, Miss Muddy Paws, had quite an adventurous life. She went through abuse, life on the streets, and multiple homes before arriving here. She has a sunny personality despite it all. And that nervous chewing habit. (Click the “Molly” tag in the side bar for her stories.)
Uneasy. It’s coming.
First waves arrive . Gleefully tossing. Snickering over the big one to follow.
Turbulent: air and thought.
“Oh, the walk-in clinics are fine,” she said.
You don’t have to call ahead.
You don’t have to sit around in a waiting room full of germs.
If there’s a line at one clinic, we just go to another.
“Oh, the nurse practitioners are fine.”
They pick out whatever over the counter stuff is needed and hand it to you. Done.
“There’s a doctor they can call if they need help.”
(Hold that baby up to the phone?)
“Actually my daughter really had pneumonia. Finally went to the pediatrician.”
She had a high fever and dry cough that wouldn’t stop. That’s why we went to that clinic.
The nurse lady there gave us allergy medicine and cough syrup.
“It wasn’t the nurse’s fault that she didn’t know.”
That mom says she’ll go back to a walk-in clinic.
Whichever one has the shortest line.
Flood of tears averted this time.
Storms stirring up emotions.
Choosing turtles over people.
Dispatching trained snipers to guard tortoises from ranchers grazing cattle. A bit extreme.
Actually choosing big business over tortoises. (Once people are out of the way)
Hush about those tortoises relocated for the giant Google-funded solar farm.
Business trumps tortoises. (2012)
Only one can survive: Gopherus agassizii (Fewer than 100,00 survive in nature. A state mammal). Endangered desert tortoises. Or Ivanpha Solar Project.
Guess which one got your tax dollars? (How much paid for what? Read links)
Was that a thunderous response?
Cloudy with a chance of all hail breaking loose.
Loud declaration that diversity rules.
While being completely intolerant to those who live or believe differently.
So many sneering and scornful of so much:
Honor killings, arranged marriages, mixed marriages (whatever those are anymore), subservient spouses, women not allowed to drive or wander about unattended, traditional dress, animal sacrifices, opposition to abortion, approving abortions, loud religious ceremonies, sexes worshiping in separate areas, totally scripted solemn services, kneeling, bowing, rugs, pews, or sacred oak circles.
Each a part of someone’s culture and core beliefs.
For diversity, each and all must be accepted? Right? Time to put up or…
Agree to disagree and still be friends? So outdated. Counter productive.
That “if you don’t like something, just don’t have anything to do with it” is so ignorant. Holding progress back!
Lightning strikes and all is illuminated.
The Enlightened in unison, “Our way is the only way.”
Whirl of world’s winds.
A tornado touched down in the small East Texas town of Lovelady last night.
(Who wouldn’t want to live in a town with a name like that? Nice little town. Emphasis on “little”.)
The Old Timers say “No matter when Easter is, there’ll be a big storm just before.”
Of course it is spring and the cold fronts crash against the warm air.
Every year about this time.
But it’s odd.
Terribly stormy here yesterday.
Sudden 35 degree temperature drop.
Happens in spring.
No power during storms.
Realistically, do we have any anyway?
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
They may be plastic, but know the value of a broad grin.
As much wide-eyed curiosity as grains of sand.
Living slow probably originated with them.
A good life. 33 years. Adulthood.
Hoping that can flow to their distant relatives.
Joining the Sea Turtles Conservancy.
Flipping their lids to bring attention to worldwide threats against sea turtle.
Not into sand? Like tracking instead?
There’s an opportunity for that.
Sponsor a tracked turtle in the 2014 Tour de Turtles
Swim along from the comfort of your couch.
Or maybe water and colors are your speed. Calling all artists
(But move unturtle-like. Deadline April 15th)
As in all families, there’s members in different locations.
While they don’t gather in reunions, they share commons concerns: home safety.
While slow, they aren’t thick. Know a rock in the road when they see it.
Shy about being used to cover up others’ agendas.
Never said they hated beef despite being vegetarians.
Free range of thoughts not an issue with them.
Content to live and let live with wildlife, cattle, solar cells, but people? No so sure.
Don’t like being blamed for range wars.
Senator Harry Reid, if your lobbyist son wishes to facilitate a Chinese company installing a large solar farm on US range land, tell him to be a big boy (ignore those previous awkward whispers of political pressure and deals).
Rory, simply announce that the Chinese company is going to provide energy to the US people.
(Coughing behind hand. And make a little money doing it.)
They just need to move those nasty greenhouse gas-producing cattle.
(Forget the beef shortage and heritage cattle grazing for over 180 years. Long before the Bureau of Land Management existed).
That should make everyone happy.
The desert tortoises worry. Slow movers. Family trait.
A tad concerned about all the fast-moving trucks, construction, and big booted
bored, possible drunk workers.
Their consultants, Native Americans, caution to be wary of promises.
That promised sanctuary for turtles forced out by shopping centers, subdivisions, solar farms didn’t work out so well. Then, Bureau of Land Management said “Off with their little heads…some 700+ ones.”
Odd, the BLM’s change of attitude since.
Of course lawsuits by the Sierra Club and environmentalists might do that.
Just can’t please anyone.
Always wait and sea.
That’s What a wise turtle would do.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
Imagine how frustrating it must be.
All that time and effort spent:
Convincing parents that journalism is a productive course of study and that reporting, a viable career.
Managing to secure an internship and, then, a real job. (Ok, it’s a small market, but it’s a start!)
Grabbing that “make it or break it opportunity” in the field.
Stepping through the doors to the big time….
Then that live-on-the-scene source opens mouth with “Uh, uh, uh.”…Nothing.
(Searching for words and continues.)
“Uh…uh.” Totally Blank.
(Dead air time! Warning! Warning!)
Quick thinking reporter poses a question containing the all information needed.
Just say yes! Shake head in agreement.
Point! Something! Moan. Wail.
Use your words!
Shoulders slump. Pulitzer prize dreams vanish.
Please a crumb!
Desperately searching face for tears or strong emotion to point out to viewers.
Defeated reporter returns to anchors at station.
(Images of career in flames. Visions of moving boxes headed for Mom’s spare room)
That’s when it would be gold. Rescue by a simple app.
No one wants to look foolish on camera.
A simple app to prod the memory.
To start that flowing gift of gab that clogs sometimes under stress.
Something to end that deer in the headlight look while the brain is searching, searching, searching…
Draino for words.
A vocabulary smart sympathetic Siri. A Rescue-Me-Word app.
“I felt so” (pick one) “DESPERATE, ANGRY, ELATED.”
Only 3 choices provided.
Large font. Easy to read.
Weather, darkness, strong emotion can hamper reading. (Assuming there are reading skills.)
The app could use pictures? Offer assorted languages?
Win-Win! Reporters get their stories (and maybe just like they want them).
The person on the street wouldn’t have to cringe every time their story was repeated on the air or have to explain themselves to their friends.
Not like this guy and the House of Pies story.
Background: House of Pies is a local favorite. Legendary. People lined up for their holiday pies. A kitchen fire last Thanksgiving. The place re-opened with newly remodeled interior, too. Human interest story.
Nice looking young guy grabbed by reporter who inquired if he liked the new look.
Happy guy smiles. Replies “Yeah, it’s nicer now. It was kinda…uh….uh…uh…rustic before.”
(Flashing lights. Claim a thought-crushing migraine, a sugar overload, or something!)
Like log cabins, outhouses, Buffalo Bill Cody, frontier style?
House of Pies was never “rustic”.
A Rescue-Me-Word app could have saved the day
Pick one: OUTDATED, OLD, WORN
Even the anchors smirked and laughed at the station desk.
How about an app assist for a stammering Mom interviewed about a school room fight?
Background: Oh, your basic teen girls slugging each other and a teacher not jerking them apart. (FYI. School districts here do not allow teachers to physically intervene. Too many lawsuits, teachers getting hurt, and conflicting stories. Many have cams in classrooms, now. Teachers are instructed to hit panic button/call office.)
Mom was unhappy that while teacher did try to separate the girls, more wasn’t done. Video showed her daughter getting shoved and pushed (just like she was doing to the other girl).
Mom to reporter, “Seeing my daughter getting tossed like that, I felt so…uh…uh…uh…
(Anyone could see her brain was desperately searching for a word).
Finally, she blurted out, “It just touched my heart to see that.”
Help, Rescue-Me-Word App!
Normally that “touched my heart” phrase is applied to a heartwarming situation.
It had to be the stress of the moment and the camera glare.
Oh, for a little screen prompt to get the real story out.
Pick one: “FEARFUL, DESPERATE, ANGRY.”
(Of course, seeing the fight might have brought up fond memories of her own fights as a child. Who knows? So in that case, the phrase works. Where is an investigative reporter when you need them?)
Reporters know everyone’s busy these days. They are trying to help. They have deadlines!
Some almost have the story written upon arriving on the scene.
The Rescue-Me-Word App would just make it so much easier for everyone.
Have pity! Support the speechless!
An app whose time has come.
Put words in their mouths!
It takes a village to tell a story.
Always helpful. No thinking required.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge
Applause and admiration. For what? Climbing up high? No biggie.
Jack of the beanstalk milked that sappy story for all it’s worth.
Simply a matter of being in the right place at the right time with the right people watching.
Like the actress discovered by a Hollywood agent at the soda counter.
Beanstalk scaling? Child’s play. Storybook action.
Person clinging to whiplashing sailboat mast in rough open seas? The stuff of legends.
Among sailors at least.
Reality offers the ultimate thrills and chills. No amusement park ride needed.
Just a tall sailboat mast with a jammed halyard, sail caught, or a man overboard.
When under sail, it’s the only way available to spot someone lost in big waves. (Would this be considered an environmentally friendly search and rescue? Certainly low tech, so it might be approved.)
It looks easy enough.
Just climb/winch up the mast. There’s a harness for goodness sakes!
It’s like a flagpole and a stupid college trick, right?
Not exactly, this one’s moving. Champion bull riders would have trepidation.
Obviously good idea to practice at the dock before attempting in rough seas.
Although points are not deducted for form when underway.
Give it a try. (Can you see this as an “Amazing Race” challenge?)
Impresses the girls and tourists.
Easier reach for medics, too.
There’s bound to be easier ways to climb towards life’s heights.
But all things considered, sailboats aren’t as twisted as beanstalks.
Warm weather. Clear air. Full sails.
No beans about it.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge
Panic. Just here. Gone.
Child in the yard. Teenager at a concert. Elderly relative driving back home.
What if someone told you – no FORBID you and threatened prosecution – if you looked for them?
The FAA is doing just that.
Texas Equusearch has been told to stop using all means available to find those missing.
We’ve talked about this group before – some bad people stole their van and equipment, remember?
This is a nonprofit that mobilized for searches nation wide.
They swarm in with volunteers, horses, equipment, and proven search experience.
They find people.
Law enforcement request their help. Recently in Illinois.
While searching for a college student, TX EquuSearch was handed a book-sized document by the FAA ordering the group to stop using their drones in their searches or face arrest and prosecution.
TX EquuSearch drones are an “Illegal operation used below 400 feet.” “Commercial use”?
Illinois sheriff got a call from the FAA.
The officer told the founder, Tim Miller, if anyone even took the drone out of the box, he was instructed to arrest them and haul them to jail.
The FAA was contacted. The situation of a missing girl was explained. Permission denied.
FAA is a government agency.
It has to be obeyed.
Despite the fact that realtors, hobbyists, event groups, paparazzi, stalkers, and law enforcement themselves use drones everyday?
Despite that the group has used drones since 2006 and has a stellar record. No complaints about their drones.
Despite the fact that the FAA does not make laws.
Despite the fact that the FAA does not have any enforcement powers given to them?
The FAA has no authority. Period.
The FAA makes regulations – not laws.
The FAA is not an enforcement agency.
Texas Equusearch founder says they are joining a search in Louisiana this week with the drones.
TIm Miller says there will be repercussion, but they are willing to pay the price.
Now is the time, people. Take a stand and make your voices heard.
Next time it could be your child, husband, wife, parent, neighbor’s child or family member.
Do it for the children (Actually appropriate use of that phrase here)
Do it because it’s right.
Do it because enough uncalled bullying by stupid illogical government agencies.(Who should be taking care of bad people – not hamper those doing good.)
Swarm gathering requested: do what you feel comfortable with.
- Spread the word.
- Contact your local media and request coverage. (Links below will give you facts to offer.)
- Email or phone your governor’s office and ask them to intervene
- Email or phone your elected officials in Washington.
- The President and First Lady are in San Antonio/Ft Hood this morning and Houston later for a fund-raiser. If you are there – ask them to intervene. They are parents. They should understand.
- And if in Louisiana, stand with Equusearch against abusive federal agency intervention.
Any thing you do will make a difference.
This FAA action is just as stupid as the previous FAA demand grounding the Whooping Cranes escort.
(Public outcry fixed that one)
Birds gotta fly. Simple as that.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
- Ars Technica “FAA grounds humanitarian search and rescue drone flights” (Judge swatted the FAA down already once. Read more with link there.)
- Small Unmanned Aircraft System Industry News for Professionals. “TX EquuSearch commences legal efforts to continue its humanitarian use of civilian drones” (Background and legal information about this fight)
- KPRC/local NBC. “Texas EquuSearch defies government order to stop using drones in searches” (Video. info)
- Wall Street Journal. “FAA Unswayed by Do-good Drones” (The FAA whines “if they let this group use them then they have to let everyone, like Amazon, use them”….and then all the success stories by TX EquuSearch…)
- 2011 CNN. Interview by Mike Brooks of Tim Miller, founder.
- Who is Texas EquuSearch? Official website. How they got started. How they operate What they do.
WATCH THIS VIDEO. Documentary “Civilian Drones: Search and Rescue”. Tim Miller speaks. See drones in action. Stop hurting desperate families. Let them fly!
Do seagulls count? As paparazzi?
They always swarm over when something shows potential. Squawking and shoving if fishy detected.
Vultures and buzzards would, naturally. Always know when something’s struggling or giving up.
And sharks, yes. The original paparazzi.
Circling and going in for the kill.
Tears and pleading won’t deter them.
Watching his boat sailing off without him, Andrew Taylor was probably not echoing Greta Garbo’s “I want to be alone.”
Talk about a time when you want to pick your companions.
Andrew was knocked overboard while making a sail change on the Derry-Londonderry-Doire during the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race leg between China and San Francisco.
Spent about an hour and a half being tossed around in the frigid Pacific Ocean. Wondering.
His harness and safety tether hadn’t been securely clipped to the boat.
(It’s so tempting just dart up there to fix that sail/line. Can hold on with one hand if need to. And of course your balance is great – moving like a cat….)
Luckily he was wearing a life jacket and dry suit. Slim chance better than none.
(Note: even bright colors are hard to spot. So, when that fashion conscious teen/child wants the “pretty” life jacket, remember why it’s getting bought in the first place. And that little dot in the big water…)
The race has procedures for this situation.
All twelve boats immediately started up engines and altered course to search.
He was lucky.
Even once spotted, getting someone back on board isn’t easy.
The ocean keeps moving.
A boat must position itself “below” the person – hoping the current/waves moves the person towards the boat.
Boats rock and roll constantly. With luck the hull’s rail will dip down on the side by the person and he/she can be grabbed.
It doesn’t always work.
Important to keep that person in sight. Difficult with swells and waves.
Bad weather can complicate recoveries even more. They had hail.
Nature plays hardball.
Even when the weather is perfect, the ocean is always silently stalking.
Waiting for that one little slip.
Figures time is on its’ side.
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race plans to sail up to London’s docks in July.
With all hands on board.
Andrew Taylor is back racing with his crew.
Put that Paparazzi on notice.
Setting sail for a picture-perfect ending.
Phil the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
- His parents in Newmarket were relieved their son, Andrew, was safe. (Cambridge News)
- “Navy rescues family with sick baby from sailboat.” Boat taking on water. Family taken on board Navy Frigate and headed for San Diego.Little kids get very sick very fast. An 11 yr old boat isn’t that old. Boats break. Have to be able/trained to fix both if wandering.
- “Hit the deck for Laura and Guppy”. Laura Dekker,16, sails her boat around the world. Controversy.
- “Flying Floaties”. Kite-powered catamarans!
- “Mystery flyers skim San Francisco Bay”. Fabulous boats of the last America’s Cup