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October 22, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

A haunting. Ending in waves.

No walk in the park. It’s almost Halloween.

No soft playful breezes.Winds demanding attention. Sending a message.

All those waves. Endless waves.

She smooths the wrinkles in her damp skirts. Time for that little chat with the neighbors.

Finally.

Let the Sun turn towards others eager to worship and bake. (She’s cooked enough).

Fine. It’s almost Halloween.

Every lady guards her little secrets.

The Invalid (Lang,1814-1893. Brooklyn Museum, Public domain: life of artist+100yrs/photo reprod. Commons.wikimedia.org)

Beauty is always a little mysterious. (Lang,1814-1893/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Becoming a ghost town. Perfectly seasonal. Hauntingly quiet.

No walk in the park now.

When the water turns blue-ish….

When the seaweed is pretty much gone….

When the birds greatly outnumber the people….

When the circus has left town. The tacky trinket shops boarded. Carnival rides, silenced.

When the dunes sigh in relief.

Now is the time for the beach. By quiet invitation only. 

Don’t worry.

We’ve told her you’re with us. Molly will vouch for you.

Beach dunes.no permissions granted. all rights reserved. copyrighted

Path through dunes covered with blooming sweet-smelling plants.  ©

After the summer season, you can drive on some Galveston beaches. This van was a family with home schooled kids. Wonder which treasures they discovered.

empty beach. No permissions granted. ALl rights reserved. Copyrighted

Ah. There is it. True luxury. Long stretches of empty beach. ©

This coloring is pretty accurate. The water more blue with a north wind. Summer brings muddy river runoff and sandy coastal shelf stirred up by Gulf storms – so the water is trendy wall paint beige.  Even better, the water is no longer as warm as a baby’s bath. Cool damp sand is the perfect track.

waves on beach. no permission granted. all rights reserved. copyrighted

Hear the waves? Or are those whispers of watery graves. ©

Normally Molly loves to swim, but she refuses to put one paw in that water – not really trusting the wet sand. Although a scampering little crab is worth chasing into it’s home…and “What? Drop the jelly fish? No? A tiny bit of seaweed? Unidentified object as souvenir?”

Shorebirds wading. All rights reserved. No permission granted. Copyrighted

Appetizers are served. (And litter dropped inland washes down and ends up here. Guilt trip: Look at those little birdies!) ©

Look on the horizon. See that white dot? That’s the anchorage where large vessels wait for a Ship Chanel Pilot to come on board. Or to wait their turn to enter the Houston Ship Channel. Or to wait until your cruise ship passenger is cleared from having Ebola and the boat can sail up to the docks. (How’s that for a scare?)

Gulf Waves on Galveston beach. No permissions granted. All rights reserved. Copyrighted

Endless waves. Over and over. hauntingly relentless. Is that a tanker anchored out there or a ghost ship? ©

Not scary dolphins live out there and will swim along with your boat. The shy small sharks are rarely encountered by people unless you step on them accidentally near the shore. Not really Jaws material.

There are nightmares though.

Offshore rigs are annoying visually and if sailing offshore you need to note their locations – especially at night. But they are rather large, don’t move, and underwater environments develop around them.

Good spots for fishermen. If you find yourself on a sinking boat – or pulled offshore by undertow/current – swim towards a rig. They’ll manage to get you out and call  for transport. Meanwhile, maybe they’ll feed you. Off shore cooks are some of the best. Face it. These guys are stuck out there. There has to be perks. (Lovely ear muffs, too. Terribly loud)

Flock of shore birds along Galveston's sand dunes. all rights reserved. No permission granted. Copyrighted

Dinner time? The birds were all busy and not at all distracted or disturbed by other creatures – even if they looked funny and seemed to snuffle and shuffle rather than fly©

Seaweed invasion? Not much left. The birds seem to delight in it, though.

If you look really really hard, past the sand dunes, there are several large construction cranes working to enlarge the UTMB-Galveston Medical School and regional hospital complex.

Don’t worry. That’s on the higher back side of the Island near the Strand. If there’s a hurricane, those buildings are where you want to go for shelter – even the parking garages. (Although the cars do bounce and get shoved around by winds) Survived multiple hurricanes over the years. Built for it.

Great ER, too – as lots of tourists find out. Many of the Texas prisoners are sent here for treatment. Quite a range of interesting clients.

Established in 1891. Ashbel Smith building called Old Red. UTMB-Galveston (utmb.edu screenshot)

Ashbel Smith building, called “Old Red”. Galveston’s Medical School was established in 1891.(utmb.edu)

Talk about horrors worthy of a movie script.

Most people were totally unaware this is one of the major infectious disease research labs. Ebola? That’s nothing. The Galveston National Lab, a 10-year-old Level 4 Biosafety Facility, has the most interesting construction and closed air system. No problem incinerating toxic materials/wastes. As one expert said ” If the people and equipment at UTMB and the Galveston National Lab can’t handle Ebola, God help us all.”

UTMB's Galveston National Lab ( utmb.edu)

UTMB’s Galveston National Lab (utmb.edu).

Today UTMB-Galveston was designated today as one of the two Texas Treatment and Bio Containment Facilities for Infectious Diseases. This complex has always had a specialized isolation treatment unit/room right off the ER – completely isolated from the rest of the hospital. That’s being expanded. Ebola cases in TX will be transferred to Galveston or Dallas’ UT-Southwestern (With their infectious disease research labs/Parkland Hospital).

shore bird in Galveston surf. No permissions granted. all rights reserved. copyrighted

Shore bird considering Galveston’s afternoon surf ©

You can surf in Galveston. Maybe not here today, but there are places. (No, I will not reveal where. Crowded enough.)

Victorian beach house in Galveston. No permissions granted. All rights reserved. Copyrighted

One of the new build Victorian beach houses in Galveston’s Beachtown area. (It’s not leaning, Molly was pulling the leash. But it does look more spooky this way.) ©

What’s this? Movie set for some chainsaw slasher film?

Actually this architecture isn’t out of place.

Galveston is loaded with old Victorians houses and cottages that have been restored – or at least saved. Lots of them have ghosts. Not only have hurricanes stormed in, lots of social/family dramas played out over the years. And there were pirates. And cannibal Indians (Although it’s said that was all ritualistic, not dietary. Who would know? Chatted with any Karankwans recently? Fierce tribe.)

Anyway, there are walking tours of haunted places like the Strand and the Opera House. Spooky visits to large haunted mansions. And terrifying tales aboard the tall masted ship, Elissa. Galveston is Halloween’s port of call. Rumored to be the Most Haunted City in America.

Beachtown development is on East Beach – outside the sea wall right on the beach. Being outside the Galveston’s seawall would scare me as a home owner, but great for tourists’ rentals. This part of the island is actually growing beach every year. Has to do with the currents, jetties, and Houston Ship Channel currents.

Galveston beach. No permissions granted, all rights reserved. copyrighted.

Wind always comes up in late afternoon. The wind surfers and sail boarders appear after work. ©

Time to head back before it gets too late.

Things lurk in the dark. Ouchie on bare feet

Galveston’s one of those dangerous exotic ladies whose charms easily entwine.

“The coast is clear, please return. The water is blue. The seaweed gone. And the birds out number the people.”

Nothing like sea and shore in October.

Endless waves endlessly calling.

One of my favorite haunts.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Afternoon at Galveston's beach. All rights reserved. No permissions granted. Copyrighted

Endless waves. Good as a walk in the park. Healthier than Prozac

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 20, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Wayward sockies. Blowhard Vegetable Invaders.

Dear Molly,

It’s not what it looks like.

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Although Holler-Ring approaches, this is not, I repeat NOT, a costume trial run. Who could run in these? ©

Your recent letter cheered me. As you can see, I am floored at the moment.

I was going about Realm’s business when I spotted some of Person’s disorderly sockies.  Worried the pair was attempting to slip under the door and slid down the hall without benefit of feet, I gathered them onto the couch and sat on them to keep them warm, cuddlie, and contented until Person returned.  There is no tooth truth to the rumor I was attempting to mouth them soak stains out resulting in dampness.

More disturbing is that Person misinterpreted the scene as a wish for sockies of my own. She seemed so willing to share that I didn’t have the heart to protest. Somehow I must discover a way to jerk these darn things off without tearing them diplomatically decline her gift.

Sigh. Being RC of the Realm is much more difficult than expected.

Perhaps that is why the RC is usually a cat.

Are there some ancient cat secrets about telekinesis and brainwashing mental telepathy with people? If so, no point in asking them to share. Cats.

But to respond to your inquiries, yes, it appears the Vegetable Invasion is growing.

Halloween inflated yard pumpkins. all rights reserved. no permissions granted. copyrighted

Giant orange vegetable seem overjoyed to be under authoritative paws. (Something to crow about there.)

The infestation is even worse here.

Just like rats that get abnormally large around wharfs, the orange vegetables rolling around the neighborhood must be rooted in something ultra rich.  Or possibly bloating up on designer mulch and remodeling dust?

No attempt to appear insignificant, these giant vegetable are full of themselves. Their odd whooshing calls hum loudly in the night air.

While these vegetables may only be blowhards, it would be wise not to get too close. Many seem to be quivering with energy and ready to bounce.

I advise stomping aggressively when near them.

Nose up, ears back, and lip hinting at teeth ready.

Even if Staff is mesmerized and tries to stop, keep walking briskly showing no fear concern. No tail wagging at the people smiles. We must make wise decisions for Staff when confronted by possible rows with veggies.

Just as a precaution, here are some tutorials from the Hard Dog Fast Dog Competition.

If events go as usual, the orange lumps should quickly disappear after Holler-Ring.

These veggies invaders may be frightened by large numbers of costumed children running and yelling in the dark.

Or are even allergic to wafting turkey dinner smells.

Still training is a wise a precaution, in case some linger and appear to be the rotten sort.

Be brave, dear Molly. I am confident you have the skills to turn away any intruding vegetables if necessary. You can tell me. That cat’s hiding on the top shelf in the closet again, right?

Now I must close. This sockie issue must be politely resolved.

No possibility of showing a powerfully veggie-terrifying strut in purple sockies.

No way to hit that 32 mph of the competition runs.

Can’t even get across the hardwood floor to the food bowl without risking foot loose.

How to break it to Person?

Sigh. As I said, being RC of the Realm is much more difficult than expected.

Yours in fur,

The German

all rights reserved. no permissions granted. copyrighted

Paws for peace.

 

 

 

 

 

October 17, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Vegetable Invasion. (Could get mushy.)

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Always vigilant ©

Dear German

I hate to bother you, but it’s making me nervous. It looks like an invasion.

Recently the neighboring realms offered shelter to children fleeing the dreaded Chick-among-us. The grateful orphans brought samples of their traditional vegetables with them – to share – and as a memento of home lands.

The festive orange vegetables brought smiles to all.

Suddenly, not so charming.

Stunned to realize the vegetables seemed are taking root and are spotted everywhere.

Pumpkins in yard. all rights reserved. copyrighted. No permissions granted

There they are. Putting on a happy face for the world. ©

Buried Up to their necks…as if trying to stay out of the way.

Inconspicuous – or insignificant. Benign. Silent.

Offering no threat. Only broad smiles.

Kudzu probably started out the same,” snarled a miffed RC Cat when the vegetables were brought to her attention.

She immediately issued directions to secure her Mousies’ safe house.

And said she’d keep vigil. (She says it only looks like she is napping in the sunny spot. A ruse to confuse the veggies.)

Unsure if she is completely nuts I am the only defense, I continue to walk with great alertness and an air of authority.

My paws itching to squash any veggie threat.

While the veggies are perky and festive – and possibly make the orphans feel less homesick – their numbers are increasing each day.

Each must be considered a possible agent of orange veggie invasion.

Halloween pumpkins in yard. All rights reserved. No permissions granted. Copyrighted

Huddled bravely, a family beaming congeniality. ©

RC says news of them is a bit flat.

She feels some look so stiff and rigid because the damp soil is giving them arthritis.

Or crawly things in the dirt are terribly disturbing to their undercarriage,

Could they simply wish to appear brave and able to endure hardships in hope of being accepted?

all rights reserved. no permissions granted. copyrighted

Formally dressed. Awaiting HRH’s summons? Rock solid grin ©

One has set up camp on the porch.

An ambassador patiently waiting acknowledgement.

That lump of a cat, the neighbor, Sasha, has been seen sitting by it. Chatting?

Or practicing mind reading?

Playing an idiot version of charades more likely.

They both seem as smart as potatoes probably have much in common: absence of thoughts and little ability to move around due to their life style or, in attempt to be kind, genetics.

no permission granted. all rights reserved. Copyrighted

Remember Shasha? Disturbing, I know. She can move. Or so we assume. She’s been seen in different places. RC Cat scoffs that devoted mousies roll her from location to location. ©

RC is aware of the Occupy Porch Initiative.

A gutsy intrusion, all agree, but HRH says this veggie appears to be stoned, so ignore it.

Not certain that is wise, but it hasn’t made any attempt to turn or look in the window.

An attempt to appear vulnerable and passive to reassure he comes in piece, maybe.

3 conspiring pumpkins. No permissions gratned. All rights reserved. Copyrighted

And what are they up to? Far too jolly not to be conspiring.©

German, what I haven’t told RC Cat is what I saw this morning around the corner.

While most of the veggies seem happy and harmless, these new ones look like they are up to something.

Sinister somehow.

And one appears to have ruling designs!

pumpkin with crowned skull face. All rights reserved. No permissions granted. copyrighted

That’s a crown, right? What intentions are these? Should RC be warned?©

As you have experience dealing intruders and those of questionable purpose, any guidance in this matter would be appreciated.

Meanwhile, I shall continue my patrols.

Yours in paws. (Paw waves)

Molly, the Marvelous.

More spooky stories and mysteries of the Realm:

And who is The German? Her story starts here, then packs up her toys, but still sends correspondence and advice. (and for some reason she knows Trouble Makers Wear Plaid…..)

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Something’s in the wind.©

October 16, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Lookin’ good, good lookin’

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Seriously stuck on you. ©

Hey good lookin’. What’s cha got cookin’? That’s what some gals were saying viewing a “Most Eligible Bachelors” feature in a magazine recently. Pretty, poised, and polished.  Definite keepers.

Take this one guy. (Please take him…Oh, you’ll see.)

Mid 30’s, owns a company. Items manufactured overseas. Well, that’s smart, right? Lower costs mean more profit. An astute businessman. Looking good!

What the magazine neglected to mention was that he lives at home with his mom, drives his mom’s car, and if he’s going to be out late, he has to call home and tell his mom.

Exactly what is this one eligible for? (Honey, listen to your gut. Run.)

Molly is keeping an eye, well, a nose on what’s important in these pictures.

She’s making sure all hope doesn’t go down the drain.

Understands about being an underdog.

And abandoning all hope.

Want to see what’s up? Join the pack.

Look here.

Chasin’ down a good lookin’ dream.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

(Look out! Will an odd invasion leave a bad taste in the Realm? Find out soon…..)

no permissions granted. all rights reserved. copyrighted

Looking good. No leaks yet. Hope still intact.©

October 14, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Muses or Dunderhead? Silly contrarians.

Engineers can be so discouraging.

Rules and rigid formulas dictating form, therefore, existence.

Muses know better.

exotic magician's assistant reclining./Fred Bancroft magician poster. 1895.Springer & Welty Co./LoC/USPD:Pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org

How amusing to toy with them.(1895.Springer& Welty/LoC/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Sketched out a foil: the bumblebee.

Impossible by design, yet flies anyway.

Lightly painted the thinnest air: Monarch butterflies

Short life spans and long wearying journeys against the winds. Yet, Monarchs soar finding shelter and warmth among each other.

Inspired with mere words: peaceful umbrellas in the streets of Hong Kong.

An engineered society too inflexible. Humble petitioners with only social media and their courage.

(Get the picture? Photography blogger from there: That’s how I see the world)

Prying open a crack in the giants’ fortress walls: an author’s haven emerging.

The Great and Powerful behind the Emerald City’s curtain? Laughingly sending that poor Dorothy Gale on impossible tasks?

Click those ruby slippers with a little help from friends and their friends and their friends….

Down the yellow brick road, writers will tell the tale.

all rights reserved. no permissions granted. copyrighted

This post is not amusing! Do something, dunderhead. I am surrounded by dunderheads. (Not a muse).©

Muse’s best work? Laughter.

Sign in front of a new local Spa: “Free car wash with massage.”

Mercy, Muse, mercy,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Elegant woman smoking cigarette. (Bebe Daniels /1920 Motion Picture Classic mag./US PD:pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Classic. True Muses never fade.(1920/US PD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

 

October 13, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Grim Reaper measures a yard

My yard has a death wish.

No hiding it any more. Useless to try to talk it out of it.

Reel lawnmower.Kallerna/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Some remarks are cutting, but certainly not to die for. (Kallerna/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Played all the regular excuse cards gathered from sidewalk discussions over the years:

Raceway for big footed dogs.

Grubs are a part of nature.  Stupid birds aren’t eating fast enough.

The drought’s killing everything. Water rationing, you know.

All the hurricane rain sogged the ground and squeezed all the oxygen out of the soil.

Who forgot to turn on the sprinkler system timer when we went on vacation?

We’re thinking about putting in a new flowerbed there.

Volleyball/basketball court

Too many dogs visiting the same spot over and over.

Color coordinating for autumn look.

vintage couple.1918. Film."Clay God" /US PD:exp.CR, artist life+70/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Do you think they bought it? Quick, run to the car without making eye contact. (US PD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Oh, raised eyebrows. Walk away quickly before what’s next: a litany of suggestions.

I nervously watch the calendar urging the weeks to run swiftly into October and winter. Then who can snort when the explanation turns to “Oh, that’s part of the Halloween decorations. Dead grass for a graveyard theme. Goth.”? Some observant troublemaker will point out we said that last year, but decorative headstones never appeared.

We’ve always counted on homeowner turnover.

Poster for 1867 Automaton lawn mower by Ransomes, Sims, and Jefferies/USPD:pub.date,artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org

Dream on. (1867/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org

No doubt the grass squares were disappointed upon arrival. Probably dreamed of being part of a pampered estate. Anticipated being fretted over on a golf course. Expected museum quality nurturing while embellishing the emerald green rolling lawn of a public building. Only to be stomped into an uninspired place of driveways and sidewalks – with dogs.

Lost dreams grow despair, but shriveling up, turning brown, and dying is overly dramatic.

If you’re trying to embarrass us in front of the neighbors, forget it. Don’t delude yourself. Lesser turf than you has tried that.

And don’t be naive enough to listen to that weed saying a strike could get you moved to nicer digs. That one has ulterior motives.

Really. After all we’ve done for you. Regular feedings. Even Winterizer. Winterizer – at the right time of the year! Trims sharply clipped as needed.

Simply don’t know what this anti-growth stems from.

Guess they were right after all: indulging in grass leads to bad attitudes.

Shorter days welcomed. Darkness is a problem yard’s best friend.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Bike with cylinder lawnmower/B.Jankuloski/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Multi-tasking: spin class meets landscaping class. (B.Jankuloski/Commons.wikimedia.org)

 

 

 

October 10, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Gadgets of devious distractions.

Suspicious.

The fire ants and roaches have been strangely silent recently. Is that cat grinning more than usual?

Disturbing oddness.

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Connected ©

Some decision that enough is enough?

Time for another in the driver’s seat. Hand over the remote.

Quietly rearranging the food chain.

Who would have the nerve?

Zeus? Thor? The Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz?

Gasp, Mother Nature? (No, she wouldn’t. Couldn’t. She’d be more like a desperate Mom tossing toys to distract a toddler while getting a project done.)

No, the puppet master must be much colder and close to the power stream.

American magician Harry Kellar.1897 Strobridge Litho.Co/LoC/USPD.:pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Things aren’t always what they seem. (1897/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Worrisome gadget distractions. Entertainment or something more sinister?

Perhaps the Tour de France was a trial run to see if a devious plan could work.

In the middle of the race, spectators jumped directly into the race route – their backs to the rapidly approaching bike riders – to take selfies on cell phones.

Collisions by angry bikers narrowly avoided as selfies were upload to FB.

Obviously easy to lure humans into dangerous situations. Let them take themselves out. 

Woman on plane.Breiting Wing Walkers /US Pacific Command.Sgt.M.R.Holzworth/Flickr/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Are you sure Fitbit says this exercise ramps up activity and burns calories? (USPC/Sgt.Holzworth/Commons.wikimedia.org)

No? Consider Extreme Selfies

“Outlaw Instagrammers: Daredevil photographers” risking all to attract followers and “likes”

Then there’s car voice-activated infotainment systems for phone calls,radio, social media…

(Like driving skills are totally mastered by all so driver attention is free to turn elsewhere.)

It’s natural for a person to turn directly towards a “voice” when trying to communication.

Add a car system voice repeating “Command not understood” or “Command not found” and the result is enraged drivers screaming at the piece of dashboard plastic – ignoring stop signs, street lights, other cars, curbs, and trees.

Crasho-wrecko.

So much for the human instinct for self-preservation.

Being set up for self-destruction in a final elimination round.

Mr Wizard Show. Pre1978. NBC/US PD.pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org

What can be made of all this? (Mr Wizard Show.NBC/US PD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

But who – or what – has such designs?

Samaritan? (Where is Finch when you need him? Bear still seems human loyal. Whew.)

Molly’s Extant son? (He’s pretty confused – and seems jealous of Ethan.)

A consortium perhaps – a Rise of the Machines? (The New Yorker has valid points)

Could drone on about humans facing competition in employment lines.

SpaceX smart guy Elon Musk wonders if eliminating email spam is only batting practice for AI. (But he can afford to speak up. He’s well-connected to Tesla wonder cars.)

Web inventor Berner-Lee warns “Computers are getting smart We’re not.”

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Defensive wing. ©

Mother Nature might step in, having some fondness for humans.

Constantly cleaning up after them.

Destroyed lines of power before.

She may already be preparing with hawks flying practice drills.

Meanwhile try to assure the bugs that the insecticide in your garage is archaic – an antique. Just for looks.

And give the cat some extra food.

Never know who will end up in the trenches with you.

(Please, please not this spider army )

Totally distracted,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Lassie in NYC (1955-1956)Batten,Barton, Durstine, Osborn/US PD: pub.date,no cr notice/Commons.wikimedia.org

“On the way home we need to stop for some Greenies. The office was stressfully yappy today. New World Order. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.”(1955.Lassie in NYC/Batten,Barton, Durstine,Osborn/US PD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

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