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April 11, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Uh…nothing. No words. App applicable

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….

A Danish reporter and film crew. Nikolas Becker/

OK guys. Let’s do this thing.(Nikolas Becker/

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!

Silence. Nothing.

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)

Screaming woman. 1940 "Foreign Correspondent" film trailer. Alfred Hitchock/

Loss for words. Or she’s sighted the Adams Family. (1940.Hitchock/

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?

Reporter captures Steve Wozniak. on iPhone/2010/FCC/USPD:by fed employee/

Career saver app for reporters! Words ready when your source needs them! (2010/FCC/USPD:fed employee/

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.”

Rustic cabin. Canyon City, Oregon. Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives/ USPD/

Now this is rustic.(Gary Halvorson.Oregon Archives/ USPD/

(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


Even the anchors smirked and laughed at the station desk.

House of pies is waiting for you! (House of Pies Facebook image)

House of pies. Vintage maybe, not rustic.(House of Pies Facebook)

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.


(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?)

1917. vintage couple. Moving Picture World image /USPD:

Speak up. You’re not going to blow my big chance. I’ve got a shot and you’re blowing it. Say something – anything.(1917.Moving Picture World/

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

reporters. Robero Ferrari/

Reporters’ waiting game. Their load could be so much lighter with that app. No need to lug vocabulary flash cards, dictionaries, thesauruses…(Roberto Ferrari/




April 9, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Poles apart: beans and sails.

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.

"Jack and Beanstalk."Walter Crane 1845-1915 /US PD: life/photo reprod/

Suspiciously Hollywood. The drama. The costuming. Must be a reality show! (Jack and Beanstalk.Crane/US

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.

1962 Elvis Movie poster. Paramount Pictures/US PD: Pub. date/cr exp.and not

Hey, sailor! Hear you’re climbing high.
(1962.Paramount Pictures/US

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

Kemah entertainment district - opposite the Seabrook Point with all the fish markets

Standing under the tall bridge at the entrance of Clear Lake as it goes into Galveston Bay. You can see some of the rides of the Kemah Boardwalk. The tallest one has an observation platform that spins around up to the top and then back down. (with height and location, the FAA probably considers this perfect for search and rescue missions instead of drones.)



April 8, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Grounded flight. FAA: April’s Fools.

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.

Founder Tim Miller of Texas EquuSearch and one of their drones.

Founder Tim Miller of Texas EquuSearch and one of their search drones.

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.

TX EquuSearch volunteers Jacob Elson and Gene Robinson with 5 pound Spectra styrofoam drone (Image: TX EquuSearch Mounted Search and Recovery Team)

Yeah, these guys look dangerous. Law breakers! Alert the NSA! Texas EquuSearch volunteers Jacob Elson and Gene Robinson with 5 pound Spectra styrofoam drone. (Image: TX EquuSearch Mounted Search and Recovery Team)

Arrest them?

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.

WATCH THIS VIDEO. Documentary “Civilian Drones: Search and Rescue”. Tim Miller speaks. See drones in action. Stop hurting desperate families. Let them fly!







April 7, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Paparazzi Requested. With open arms!

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.

Greta Garbo. Anna Karenina.1935.Metro-Goldwyn-Myer/US

In times like these, you’d welcome a crowd.(Garbo.Metro-Goldwyn-Myer/US

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.

Man in the water. (You tube screenshot. Derry-Londonderry-Doire))

Sea that little yellowish dot above the green line? That’s Andrew. (Screenshot.YouTube/ Derry-Londonderry-Doire)

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….) 

Life jackets are good. Derry-Londonderry-Doire rescue of man overboard.(Screen shot YouTube)

Life jackets are good.(Derry-Londonderry-Doire.Screenshot.YouTube)

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.

trying to grabMan overboard (Screen shot. Derry-Londonderry-Doire rescue. You Tube)

Unable to grab him. Waves pushed rescuer one way and Andrew the another.(Screenshot.Derry-Londonderry-Doire.You Tube)

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.

Read more?

1910 painting"Through Sea and Air" Charles Napier Hemy 1841-1917/,artist life, photo reprod/

Do your family a favor: get a safety harness/leash, life jacket, and non-skid shoes. I know. Doesn’t look cool. Messes up the tan lines. (Hemy/




April 4, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Flying floaties

Not Aladdin on a flying carpet , but some sort of magic may be involved.

Not Tom Sawyer on a makeshift raft, but it is an unconventional adventure.

Not cats on a Rumba, but just as funny.

Trimaran powered by foil

Look Ma! No sails. No mast. Still flyin’ across the water.(project kite

A boat on a different sail.

(Possibly Wile E Coyote’s latest from Acme?)

The last America’s Cup sailboats raced on high heels.

Is this the next step up?

See that little patch of red in the right corner? That's a 18sqm kite powering the trimaran. (project

See that little patch of red in the right corner? That’s a 18sqm kite powering the trimaran. (project

It’s a K2 Kitefoiler

Wonder what the seagulls think.

And what hawks are planning.

Talk about challenges.


Kite fighting competitors with kite sails leashed with glass coated Manjha?

Could this mean changes in design formula, procedural rules, not to mention allowable protests,  for the America’s Cup?

Will they ask the FAA for a no fly zone during races?

Not your typical Easter bonnet. Will this sail sell? (project

Not your typical Easter bonnet. Will this sail sell? (project

New ideas are always floating out from sailors.

(Hey, it’s not specifically prohibited, so it’s legal.

Yeah, that’s frequently heard by race committees.)

Going faster is a disease.

(Oh, look another boat of the same class/type. Catch them!)

(No, sorry we can’t attend your Friday night event. There’s a race tomorrow and we have to work on the hulls)


Probably not covered under any healthcare plan although it’s a common pre-existing condition of almost all gear heads and sailors.

Now this is a driving dream. He's the helmsman. Another crew member manages the kite (project

Now this is a driving dream. He’s the helmsman. Another crew member manages the kite (project

These sailors are flying with a dream. 

And having way too much fun.

Watch them go in these Kiteboat Project videos.

Another kite-flying view. This on San Francisco Bay. (project

Another kite-flying view. This on San Francisco Bay. (project

Next post, sailing into a nightmare….

Meanwhile, it’s sunny. Outta here. You should be, too.

Wind is calling.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Read more?

Stepping it up. Speed is an illness. Not curable - and why would you want to? (project

Stepping it up. Speed is an illness. Not curable. And why would you want to? (project



April 2, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Narrow window. Big thoughts.

It’s open. But locked out.

There’s a party going on at Hook’s.

At the window. (No you shouldn't steal the image) Dog wonder (-ing and descriptive).

Chewed window sill. Is that the reason?

Uninvited or was the RSVP card chomped by mistake?

Dog. Tired.

While everyone is partying, stuff is piling up here. 

  • Website supporting US farmers, farming, and food. Use the finder to locate restaurants that serve locally grown food. Find bed and breakfasts, farms to visit (and stay overnight), local hayrides, mazes, cattle drives and more. Search by state and location. An app is available, but the website has better pictures and descriptions.
  • k9s4cops/kids:  “One trained protection dog is a better investment than a school full of armed teachers.” A sensible idea. Nine school campuses already on leash. Radio’s “Lucy Lipps”/1997 Forbes’s “Queen of the Internet” is moving mountains to get things done. She’s got a kid. “Putting our children first by creating safe campuses across the nation with K9s trained and ready for action.” She’s serious.

Big ideas. Do what can be done.

When staff and Hook were scrambling getting things ready for press, I could have helped. Big paws.

Here, I’ll stand on your foot so you get the full press effect….both feet! A full courtly press!

Baffled such skills were overlooked.

Hear that happens sometimes with people, too.

Watch being kept.

When they say “doggy bag”, is that a yummy snack or some sort of canine attire?

Hopes high for the former. That Hook has all the answers.

Go ahead and wander over. Say hello to everyone there.

Just holding down the fort and the couches until you return.

Molly, the always wonder (-ing and -ful) dog

happy picture- leave it here.

Keeping the light on for you. See ya’ at Hook’s: gate’s open!






March 31, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Delivering on the flyby.

Called for reinforcements.

It’s now or never.

Not going to take it without a flight.


En guarde. Do not underestimate.

Loud calls complaining ignored.

Few alternatives.

Time to flock for defense.

Perhaps even the anticipated disruption was too much. Too stressful. 

Was it real cause of that recent death of “undetermined nature”?

Owl suicide?

Doves not sitting on the fence any longer.

Usually the peaceful ones, now proudly sporting uniform stripes on their shoulders.

Their coos curt with a hard edge.

Duck discarding their fluffy Disney images.

Determined quackers not cracking jokes.

Bills not to be ignored.

And they know intelligent use of the web better than most.

Even the swaggering bird thugs, the grackles, have been enlisted.

Although they are still demanding an investigation into a sudden abrupt disappearance of one of their own.

And are refusing to sit near the hawks.

Tweets in silence mode, they take to the air.

The sea gulls calling range and targets.

No sidewalk shall be left on marked!

No  nautical attire left unruffled!

No pocket pooch’s nerves left unjangled!

A thoughtful species?

Birds of a feather.

Take that 2014 South West International Boat Show attendees!

Set sail immediately! Don’t make us come down there!

Marina at your own risk!

Tossing popcorn is futile!

(And we know where your car is.)

In defense of one piece and that’s quite enough,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Beak to beak skyway. (Is this a toll booth?)

Beak to Beak Skyway. A toll booth? Sunflower seeds?



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