Messy convoluted brain products.
Comes from constructed walls? Too many angles?
When thoughts bumper car across logic, expect rumbles.
Especially if the grumbling is about historic preservation or common courtesy.
Throwing bricks: That’s the concern of Houston’s Fourth Ward community.
Freedmen’s Town, a National Historic District, was settled and built by freed slaves and their descendants.
The residents laid the bricks streets by hand. These bricks are one of the key elements determining this historic preservation status.
Years ago, the city consulted with the Federal Highway Department and the Texas Department of Transportation while trying to spruce up the neighborhood and finally fix piping /infrastructure under streets and fix the broken road surface.
Everyone wanted to save the bricks – as has been done on other streets.
Quaint. A bit of beauty amid the concrete ribbons. History.
First plan in 2007, was to tunnel under the streets to avoid moving anything.
Unfortunately that plan proved to be very expensive and would not solve the lumpy bumpy road issues.
The next plan was to remove the bricks and then put them back in place.
“New” bricks would be duplicated and tumbled to replicate the originals to fill in where broken bricks were removed.
In 2013, a TXDOT architect offered a new plan.
Old bricks would be removed and preserved.
Useable old bricks would be grouped together in special sections or intersections as had been done in other city areas.
That’s the rock and hard place of the fight:
Will the original bricks survive?
Will the patterns and designs be recreated?
Is it important that each original brick be place back in its’ original spot?
A “cultural resources” lawyer is already rumbling with a complaint to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.
The lawyer insists “stakeholders are not being consulted in the decision process”
Carol Legard, an official with the historic preservation council, says they will look into the situation. If any agency violated any regulations, a letter will be sent, but their group cannot stop a project.
Houston’s mayor and City Council agree a review is important, but are confident nothing will delay the start date for the badly needed repairs.
TXDOT reports they have received the advisory council’s inquiry and are making one more review.
Meanwhile the neighborhood hopes it can all be resolved.
Bricks saved and utilized.
Repairs finally made for water, sewer, and drainage.
The road surface improved
Area’s history be preserved.
And most of all everyone hopes the construction will be over quickly.
There are things people want done quickly and out of sight if possible. Like diaper changes.
Smelly and disgusting under the best of circumstance – even if the child is your own.
One mother is outraged because she was handed her food in to-go bags and asked to leave.
She was in a strip center’s small pizza place with her three kids: a baby, 8 year old daughter, and 4 year old daughter.
Baby’s do what babies do.
She took the baby and youngest girl with her into the restroom, but there was no changing table.
Take everyone outside to the minivan? Too much trouble.
So she plopped the baby down in a chair at the table and changed the diaper right there.
People there said it wasn’t quick. It wasn’t quiet. And it was gross and stunk.
She was given her food and asked to leave.
And now she’s mad.
“What was she to do?” she asks.
Maybe read the Health Department regulations, for one thing.
Maybe think about washing hands for another.
Maybe think about what she’s modeling for her kids?
Maybe think about consideration for others? (Who were gagging, complaining, and even texting the owner.)
Seriously, not exactly a novel or unexpected situation.
Thinking is good, Mom.
Hard to know what to think with NFL preseason football games.
Houston Texans team has a new playing system, new coaches, new quarterback, new players
And the commercials for season tickets and football suites were perky and endless.
The coach and team are regrouping…again.
Meanwhile, that little quarterback guy from A&M, Johnny Manziel, who went to the Browns, – the one the Texans’ didn’t select – he’s in a duel for a starting position. Impressive first NFL start.
Not throwing rocks, but the thought does occur sometimes.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge
Need a bit of a snort and giggle to start the week? Here’s a thoughtful Nashville switcheroo with the guys in the cutoffs and torn wet t-shirts..somehow dancing on the tailgate will never be the same….
A picture. At least there’s something.
All that intruder’s fault.
Doesn’t Staff realize people are showing up with expectations?
Oh, finally attending.
We, the RC Cat, shall let Staff explain – as if there is any acceptable explanation.
Some pin heads need straightening out.
Obviously, ducking it.
This area, like many, has suffered habitat loss for waterfowl.
(We certainly nod to that. Who invited That One in with dish, box, and mousies…without conferring?)
Local wildlife experts are thrilled that the wet winter and spring have allowed existing wetlands, marshes, and grasslands to support a huge increase in duck populations in major nesting areas.
The highest increase since 1955 when duck population/breeding survey counts began.
Six of the ten counted species are at record numbers. (Hope they eat mosquitoes.)
Canvasbacks and Pintails are the only species that showed slight decline.
(Dundering fools! Must I, the RC Cat, point out the obvious?
Of course these sad ones are having difficulties. Humans are so oblivious.
It’s hard enough to fly. Simply remove the canvas backpacks and lighten the ducks load! Who would put back to school backpacks on ducks anyway. These aren’t schooled fish. Or animated feature cartoon stars. And take those Go-Pro cameras off, too. If some idiot wants a Vine or YouTube video, they should strap on themselves. Free the ducks!
Naturally, unpinning the duck’s tails would allow them to go about their natural lives. Who would tack a duck down to the ground, anyway? A bird brain! Birds must fly free. If you want a photo shoot or petting zoo, get some willing subject.
The Dodo probably died out of disgust. Will the duck be next?)
Oh? A special snack? A fresh mousie? Sometimes Staff does surprise us.
We must adjourn and retire. Yes, yes, We hear your grief, but Staff would be so disappointed if We did not acknowledge their surprise.
Paw wave. Paw-wave. Dismissed.
Staff will see you out and arrange for another audience at a better time.
Don’t forget the open can of cat food as tribute. Important to maintain conventions.
Whew! Sorry about RC Cat. She’s a bit unsettled right now.
Confused? Well, that is
her normal condition not unexpected considering.
Foster cat, Granny, who visited from time to time is settling back into the sunny room – disrupting the RC’s normal afternoon sun bath.
But it’s more than that.
Granny is ancient and fragile. Her mind is wandering.
This may be a long quiet assisted living arrangement – or hospice. We shall see.
While frail, Granny is still quite able to leap across the room, stand en pointe on her tiny ballerina toes, and growl ferociously through the door’s gate at Molly. (Who is excited to have company and keeps politely inquiring if Granny would like to play.)
Granny now has always blamed me for all the difficulties in her life, but has only bitten me one…so far (You’d feel bad scolding the wobbling bony thing – and make excuses, too…maybe she can’t see? Only fooling myself…there’s history.)
All of this is upsetting to RC Cat.
She was so nervous as Olde Tiger aged and shifted the RC mantle to her.
(Molly keeps asking if Granny has handed over the RC title of her Realm to The German. quite excited with that possibility – but she, being young doesn’t understand the implications – only that a canine, her friend, might be shattering a glass ceiling….
Being an RC is something Molly dreams of herself. If the San Antonio Spurs can hire Becky Hammon as the first female full-time paid assistant coach, then maybe the Realm would consider…when it’s time, of course. No rush. So much to learn.)
RC Cat has seemed a bit wary.
Perhaps feeling Olde Tiger or Perfect hovering a little too near. Happens sometimes.
So schedules may be a bit disrupted and things jumbled for a while. Time is needed to sort things out and reassure all.
Here, things can be fluid enough to go as they will.
We agree with the concept that just because a patient is not making progress and may never sow improvement, services and care should not be withheld.
If you/yours have elderly family or stroke victims, please be alert that in 2013 the lawsuit Jimmo v. Sebelius (Yes, that Sebelius saying “pull the plug” here.) clarified that Medicare benefits may not be withheld (by insurance companies or others) from patients simply because the patient shows no improvement. “”Medicare recognizes skilled services can be required to maintain an individual’s condition or functioning, or to slow or prevent deterioration, including therapy to maintain the individual’s condition or function.”
Advocates for the elderly must be aware – insurance companies are betting you aren’t. Read more here. (A San Antonio lawyer, Gabe Quintanilla, fights for his mother’s care after a stroke.)
Not a much of a fun romp today? (A bit bleary, must confess).
OK. Here’s some chuckles that just won’t wait: (snorts and giggles just considering them)
- An origami-type paper robot that folds itself into shape and then goes to work? It can even crawl off! (Perhaps an engaging trinket to amuse RC Cat? The annoying – and secret – possibilities are endless?)
- Most would assume this video is of some expensive boutique. It’s been featured in media as the ultimate luxury. Actually it’s a local woman’s three-story closet with a spiral staircase loaded with luxury items…well, it was. Robbed. Gets better. Special closet security door wasn’t locked or alarm on – “They were just going to a few blocks away!”. And there’s an unhappy step child….and they moved out of their last home after being robbed twice there….Hint: sometimes it’s better not to show everyone in the world what you have. (Which is the way RC Cat feels. This new story has her anxiously counting her mousies.)
- Ogden Nash spouted it out: “Higgledy Piggledy….
Hopefully enough higgledy piggledy to get you into the weekend
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
A time to get bakin’ and get rollin’….
No getting around it.
Even dogs are pacing. Restless. Looking for a way out.
When you wish upon the Dog Star, your dreams come true? They do!
Canines really get the run around in the new dog gym in Arlington, VA.
An indoor facility with agility course equipment, doggy showers, and, of course, a doggy boutique.
A sheltered safe place no matter the weather.
Open even at night so dogs can get their owners out of those tiny four walls. No excuses!
A place to socialize. Isolation be gone! Check out the digs:
Friends, fun, and action? Snacks can’t be far behind?
Hang on to the leash and tie the shoe laces, all will be chasin’ the best use of bacon ever!
Hormel Foods is rolling out a custom designed Black Label Bacon Motorcycle
Based on a 2011 Track T-800CDI model, this motorcycle is headed to the International Bacon Film Festival in San Diego, CA, Aug.29, and will be followed by a film crew.
The resulting film “Driven by Bacon” will be shown at the festival.
Not simply a marketing promotion for greasy products, this motorcycle really does bring home the bacon – in its’ fuel tank.
Yes, no longer are only humans are fueled by bacon.
Hormel sends grease from it’s Black Label Bacon plant in Rochelle, Ill. for processing by Wisconsin’s Bio-blend Fuels Inc.
(Any chance here’s a new use for all those wild hogs stomping the ground in Texas? The feral piggy guys, not the bikers. Really. What do you think this is? Some sci-fi horror film? Oh, goodness…can hear the scripts being written as we speak….)
This hog gets between 75-100 miles per gallon and, yes, the exhaust does smell like bacon.
Hoof it over to their official website: Driven by Bacon
Hey, any chance here’s a solution for all those wild hogs stomping around the country? The feral piggy guys, not bikers, dunderhead. Really. What do you think this is? Some sort of sci-fi horror film? Oh, darn…can hear the scripts being written as we speak….)
So, wonder if the rider is constantly hungry for scrambled eggs?
After a hot time, will this bike end up in the Spam Museum?
And old timers say no sensible ideas come from sitting out in summer’s heat.
This year, with luck, some respite and fun may be found in a spot normally avoided during August: Houston, Texas.
One of the local’s star is shining brighter than ever: Juan Carlos is rolling in “America’s Got Talent”
As Howie says, “You show up and everyone smiles.”
As Leno says, “Is it something or is it nothing?”
Watch the fireworks and decide for yourself. (You may want to grab the sun glasses)
Residents know Houston is home to all sorts of people.
We speak of multilingual programs, bilingual being so 30 years ago.
But why do people come to this flat hot humid place? The land of gators and…
But you won’t believe me.
So how hearing from David Leebron, president of Rice University and former dean of Columbia University School of Law?
He and his wife arrived from the West Coast. And were totally surprised.
In his words, “My mantra about Houston these days is that it’s the most misunderstood city in America.”
See how he was cajoled to make a u turn and settle in here for the past 10 years.
His “10 Reasons Houston Attracts New Residents”
No escaping that sometimes, with a run of luck, the oddest things just work.
And everyone has a good time.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
Can’t blame the dog for this one.
(A grassy knoll. There. A grassy knoll!)
Some said he was flighty.
He did really get around, but just doing his job – such as it was.
Some said his dreams flew too close to the sun.
True he looked skyward – hoping to soar to productive heights.
But in reality, he remained focused and down to earth in altitude.
(Threatened the status quo? A conspiracy?)
Some said he was anchored firmly in the world’s chaos.
To hold on against the winds of time.
A signal to others that life was worth the struggle.
Some said he appeared as an example
Encouraging all to seek the light and warmth of the world.
Giving wings to those of fragile spirit.
But now. What now? Blame is all he leaves behind?
Justified blame for a world unexpectedly harsh and grown too cold?
Can’t blame the dog for this one.
He was still before we came upon him.
A little prince of a butterfly. Fallen.
Despite her rough paws, she gently reached down and gently carried him home to rest in a more appropriate place among the flowers he loved.
With greatest dignity. An Honor Guard procession.
Out of respect – of him and her kindness, the clouds held back their tears.
(Nooooo, Molly. Under the bush – not under the couch! Good dog.)
Thoughts always flying,
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
Grab the Bear Spray. Click the locks. Tune the security cams to YouTube ready.
A frantic rush as Back to School shopping evolves.
Appreciating Tax Free Shopping Weekend savings? So yesterday – along with internet buying.
Modern fashionistas and trendmakers are skilled at new moves.
How cool is it to have a Personal Stylist and Shopper?
So easy to have items pre-selected, boxed it, and delivered right to your door.
Something to casually brag about strolling the halls between classes.
Fashion in a box may be fine if convenience is all that matters, yet a certain feeling is missing.
That excited chase.
The thrill of hunting down and capturing the perfect item.
Isn’t there something between introverted home delivery and mob stampedes in the mall?
Some find venturing into a Private Stock Collection, call it a “Personal Boutique”, offers excitement as well as a rich pampered experience.
Doggy doors swing open in welcome. (Click the silly link – or you’ll get totally lost)
Safety glass entrances work like a charm. (Yeah, ditto. Click for a second)
Once inside, a relaxed freedom to browse without crowds.
A bonanza of finds – all assembled just for the savvy consumer.
Free to pick and choose without pushy sales people glaring or standing watch like Buckingham Palace guards.
Then leisurely leave with selections like high-priced purses, those desired red soled shoes, collector Nike sneakers, jewelry to spark outfits, and clothing logos galore. (Oh, go ahead. Click.)
One stop shopping is easy if the source is picked with skill.
The Style Makers quickly decide what’s trendy and let nothing keep them from getting it!
Here. Sample this crowd running to get ready for fall hair styles. A real fashion grab!
No sloths there. (Come on. Click one more and I’ll stop nagging.)
Could be the real definition of impulse shopping.
But they know if it’s not quite their style, it’s easy to sell extras to others desperate for that “must have look” needed to impress students in the halls of learning!
A little extra cash for the traditional mall shopping trips? Always welcomed. (Resourceful, too!)
August: wardrobe acquisition time.
Once the school bells ring, activity will run out, but not for long.
Christmas will be here before you know it.
And the search for those perfect gifts will begin!
One smashing good time after another!
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
(Note: if more confused than usual, go back and click the links in this post.)
Useless to argue with dunderheads or drunks.
Like a rudderless raft on a raging flash flood, the few brain cells functioning are desperately firing off orders to primitive corners of instinct and centers of repetitive motion habits.
Yep, we’re talking about driving while sloshed.
(“Hey, I can make it home. Done it thousand of times – in much worse shape”)
And we all know how too often that turns out. Especially if the drunk is driving the wrong way on the freeway
(The drunk survives, the minivan dies.)
Texas Dept of Transportation has new ideas to stop people from entering freeways and driving the wrong way.
Keeping things in sight, they may lower the red “stop-wrong way” signs and warning signs.
Make the signs shorter.
Makes sense? Seems drunks don’t look up much.
You’ve seen them on the road hunched over their steering wheels trying to stay in the lines.
In addition, perhaps some really bright LED lights on the signs. (Once again, in line of drunk’s sight. Apparently the ones on top of police cars don’t work for the brew crew)
Still not sure. Drunks seem to have a very narrow range of vision. (Most say they have no vision.)
How often do drunks miss the big red brake lights on the car at a full stop in front of them?
In any case, driving the wrong way on freeways is happening much too often. Bright to try sumthin’
Talk about trying. Some choices can drive the sensible insane.
This area’s really growing – as bad as a kid that goes to sleep and wakes up the next morning to find the shoes he wore yesterday, don’t fit today.
One of the counties NW of Houston wants to park some state highway money in their plan to widen TX 249 into a giant fast running toll road from Houston to Waco.
Now there is a nice little university there. (and those students really want a faster way to the big city – and mom’s laundry room)
And the river area is very nice, so maybe tourists (and parents headed to Baylor Bear football)?
But Really? The advocates are saying Waco?
Oh, wait. Off to the side of the road – just along the way, there’s a little place called College Station with Texas A&M University.
Now, there’s no doubt that Aggie Highway stretch is dangerous.
Many parents from Baylor and A&M don’t breathe until they get that call their kid is safe back at school after a visit.
But, seriously, tired of all the “hidden” stuff and the disingenuous who promote it.
Developers are throwing up master planned communities and subdivisions faster than a partying teenager with parents out of town for the weekend.
Home sellers know horrendous commutes to work means lower interest in their location.
Kindly offering to help, developers are pushing for new roads ASAP by alerting the public and officials of:
“Traffic congestion” “Gridlock” Accidents. (Gee. Pick any road. Any direction. Same thing no matter where you look.)
“Rapid residential growth that is only expected to continue..” (Especially if they can get big new roads to shorten travel time.)
“Entice economic development” (Yep. More strip centers, fast food places, and Big Box stores coming soon near you!)
“249 corridor includes is home to several points-of-interests including George Bush Intercontinental Airport, TX A&M, various medical centers, and the future Exxon Mobile headquarters near the Woodlands” (Now that’s odd. The airport is between I45 and I59 much further east – quite a ways from Tomball Parkway/249. Come to think of it, Exxon and the Woodlands is also a long long way to the east. Must be a new definition of “249 corridor”?)
And “an additional hurricane evacuation route” ASAP!
Really? Rather a stretch.
Houston isn’t New Orleans. It’s not on the coast.
Unless you live near a major bayou, a hurricane may flood streets or knock out power, but there’s no need to evacuate.
That’s what happened during the Hurricane Rita mess. Media and Hurricane Katrina victims panicked resulting with huge numbers of people jumping in their cars and sitting on the roads for no reason at all. People died from traffic related incidents, not from a storm.
Confusing, this NW area road improvement proposal.
Know it’s for our own good (and has nothing do at all about opening land up for developers), but….
Hurricane Evacuation route widening and improvement is desperately needed for the counties south of Houston, not north or west.
There are mandatory evacuations in Galveston and Brazoria Counties, not Harris or Montgomery where this road, 249, is located and designed to serve.
People evacuating must be able to get to Houston or towns north first, then get across the city, before heading out of town away from the coast.
I45S is the only major road from Galveston to Houston. (talk about traffic congestion, gridlock, and accidents)
(Let’s not even add in the numerous additional buses that will be on the road loaded with newly arrived illegal immigrant that are in shelters in Galveston and Brazoria counties).
(Do hope there will be enough buses available for Galveston’s elderly, handicapped, and legal residents who are already registered for a bus during mandatory evacuations. Lots of buses on the road for Hurricane Ike. In heavy traffic. Very heavy traffic.)
buzz words difficulties drive odd solutions and benefit the ones you’d never suspect.
San Antonio hopes some will be encouraged to hit the road to play in their city.
The Oakland Raiders’ owner and several top management team have been talking to San Antonio Officials about relocating the team there.
The Raiders want a new stadium. San Antonio has the Alamo Dome and with a few upgrades it would be ready to go for 2015. Also the city is eager to build a new football stadium.
San Antonio is a real sports town. The whole place is electric during Spurs basketball season.
For years the city has courted football teams – hoping.
And for years football teams have had tantrums their home cities with “if you won’t build one here for us we’ll pick up our toys and go to San Antonio. They are ready and waiting.”
Sigh. Please not another “always a bridesmaid never a bride” moment.
Just able to take so many heartaches. Just like Charlie Brown.
Raiders owner Mark Davis’ stadium lease expires in 2014. So he’s looking around.
While San Antonio only sits in the mid 30’s for television fans, huge numbers of football fans drive to Dallas or Houston for games. Season ticket holders.
Bob McNair, (Texans’ owner) Jerry Jones (Cowboys’ owner), do note that San Antonio fans are important for both of their teams.
And McNair, Jones, along with the other NFL owners would have to approve the move.
So what are the chances?
Hope springs eternal as once again as San Antonio leaps as the bride throws the football.
For once it would be nice for a football to fall where it should.
Easy travel these days means lots of opportunities for muses and dunderheads.
Just like Roseanne Roseannadanna always said “Well, it just goes to show you, it’s always something.”
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge
And something special from one of the greatest muses of all: Gilda Radner, 1980
Stop standing there like something the cat dragged in…. like a cat would ever actually bother to haul an Uncoopperative anywhere. Either come along limply
and dead with gratitude or get out of Our sight find some other employer.
Doesn’t the agency prep their hires? Oh. How odd. You are not Sara Sair-rah?
Staff seemed to be expecting assistance. We thought the name to be Sara.
Their recent incessant humming, part in Spanish, part in English, about “Que Sara Sair-rah…”
They get stuff mixed up so often.
We are too understanding.
So. You? Just decided to pop in on the RC Cat of the Realm?
A drop in. Without an invite. Expecting cheery welcome?
You must be new here.
Sigh. We, the RC of the Realm shall be gracious. You shall be allowed to assist Us.
Yes. Yes. That stack.
Pick it up. Why do you think you were given hands?
Come along now.
Children’s Boxing Day is nearing.
There shall be great celebrations sending the little ones off to the Big Box Training Centers.
We shall do Our part and review the banner logos
Those papers you carry. Spread those designs on the table.
We shall examine them closely.
Sitting on them is a part of Our technique, fool.
Difficult task to choose a favorite from among these.
What? Oh, the text is obviously just for illustration purposes during the process.
The final logo versions shall have “2014 Award Winning Boxing Day” or something.
Mmmmm. Tasteful! Very festive and colorful. Children cupcakes – many adults, too. With these paper ones, everyone would approve. Sweet, but no sugar to ingest before the trip to Boxing.
Ah, an artist eye tuned to the fall colors. Heartful, indeed. Those off to be boxed will see their parents’ love in this design as well in their parent’s eyes – and retail charge tickets. One to consider seriously.
Creative choice! Encouraging them to have a super year as well as emphasizing that the experience could make this year most influential in their lives. Yes. Yes. Positive message with this one.
Classic! Wonderful design. Emphasizes the enlightenment – the energy – the delight that comes from learning. Tradition. Quite a good reminder for those returning to the Training Box Centers.
Thoughtful design. Will reassure the young ones that while they are boxed long hours apart each day, We in the Realm hold them in Our thoughts. No matter where they are, they are part of Us. That should help lessen separation anxieties. Some have such fears when forced to step away for a bit.
Lovely. These are perfect for Boxing Day celebration banners.
Yes. Done. We shall accept all of them.
Their messages shall hang on banners throughout the Realm.
We have inquired if all preparations will be completed in time only to have Staff wail, “If the Fates allow.”
Apparently three of them. Sisters.
Seamstresses, it seems. According to Staff, they measure and cut.
Staff must have hired them to make the banners. And perhaps for couch slip covers.
The Molly has scratched the leather cushions. (We are not fooled by her weak excuses of attempting to add decoration or embellishment.)
But Staff should refer them to Us if the Fate sisters seem to be altering their time schedule.
We do not wish Staff to become overly stressed. Odd side effects when that happens.
Their eyes disturbingly roll.
This eye roll must be genetically human.
See! The very thought of difficulties are making your eyes roll.
Being thoughtful of lesser species
and not wishing to stand close if the condition is contagious, We grant you permission to leave.
No dithering. We insist! Keeping
Us you safe.
We shall ask Staff to escort you safely out
to make sure you leave. Your eye rolling is increasing.
That’s a paw wave of dismissal – not nervous paw fluttering. Rapid repeated paw waves.
Yes, yes. Bows not required.
flee depart to insure your continued good health.
Staff! Attend Us!
This lovely one is leaving.
We have enjoyed your impromptu visit, but
nap duty calls.
Staff! Our paw is tired of waving! A pillow desperately needed.
As you can see, we must bid you adieu.
Permission to withdraw and contemplate your good fortune of being on Our presence for so long.
Protocol is to respectfully bow out.
And don’t forget to leave that open can of food in the doorway as tribute!
I am RC Cat and I approve this message;
Want to see a Big Box Training Center for Children? Visit here.
What happened last July? Boxing Day Already?
RC ponders other awards here.