Crafting isn’t just for Pininterest, writing, or beer. Image and lifestyles, too.
Guess which place had the most alcohol sales in the Houston area during July.
Baseball stadium? Nope.
Reliant NRG football stadium? Soccer stadium? Guess again. Some high-class uptown mega bar? Perhaps at the convention center? Nice try, but no.
You’ll never guess it off the top of your head. Even if you’re a player.
Topgolf Houston – a swanky golf practice range/nightclub/sports bar/entertainment complex that’s giving swingers all they could possible want.
Go ahead bring the family. Plenty of fun for all. Parents relax in lounges or bars while keeping an eye on the kids.
Even a rooftop terrace with bands.Drink specials!
Check out a video of the place.
Will Topgolf”s success give some creative businessmen ideas?
Could there be a similar venue for gun owners?
Give the fancy smancy gun club-bar concept a chance!
What could be better than shooting guns in a nightclub-like atmosphere?
Oh, already seen that combo in the nightly news with dire results?
No, not talking about that cantina, roadhouse, or local dive on the ordinary Friday or Saturday night.
That gun fire not organized, planned, or requested.
Don’t confuse things. Those participants didn’t get the memo – or license.
Entrepreneurs will envision a different gun-toting crowd.
A legal law-abiding bunch with fat wallets.
Sophisticates wanting a classy place shoot and socialize. (Without mosquitoes, fire ants, mud, or annoying weather. AC was invented for a reason.)
What’s more natural than sporting activities and booze? It’s tradition!
An afternoon of golf with a bit of imbibing? Acceptable. (Ignore the potential.)
Hey, those stickie things aren’t called “clubs” without reason.
Once a weapon, now tamed and refined as a cultured sport of skill. (Note they still warn people to duck, though.)
But even with limits for golf carts, each year someone dies after tumbling off when being driven erratically. (Investigators do take an alcohol blood draw…)
Acknowledged day of fun: boating, fishing, and wetting whistles.(Despite, watery warnings.)
Hey, those hooks are sharp! Blood. Tetanus. Flesh eating bacteria.
You know how assassins in movies always use that tough line…
Or a drunken crime of passion: Irritate a compadre enough, grab the last beer, and it might be the old heave-ho into the drink and haircut by propeller.
(Could, too, be a premeditated fatal plot. Stop laughing. People are tricky.)
So which is the dangerous playground now?
Obviously, gun enthusiasts deserve equal sports entertainment complexes.
Wait. Doesn’t a gun and booze combo already exist?
Creek banks and some tin cans have worked pretty good for a long time.
(If you are ever attacked by a tin can, call me. I’ll handle it. No problem. A life skill.)
Of course there’s no football on widescreen HD TV in a lounge area, but the screens on cell phone and tablets have really improved. No problemo there.
All the trendy folks are touting “a return to living simply”, right?
Time may not be quite right for a high-profile swanky gun range offering stylish bars and wine tastings.
A nightclub called Topgun doesn’t conjure up the same lighthearted image as Topgolf.
Crafting a little fun.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
Writers and bloggers are always thrilled when one of our own successfully completes his journey and is received with acclaim.
In the tradition of Steinbeck, Kerouac, Twain, and Wolfe, he hit the road hitchhiking from coast to coast.
Searching for truth and insight, he traveled with little more than faith in human kindness.
A little worried about a chill in the air, I was getting ready to send some warm fleece, leg warmers, fleece lined boots, and warm green ski gloves – not mittens even though those are warmer.
After all, he needs to be able and stick out those thumbs.
He may be planning a ferry ride to Seattle. (Looking forward to it after some boating experience along the way)
Maybe he’ll consider wintering in a warmer climate? (Hint: avoid the Rust Belt, little traveler!)
Lucky he was in Canada. In many places, he might have been beaten and trashed like he was nothing more than junk.
His journal is now full of adventures: wedding, tea at the Empress, lake visits, canoes, even a powwow…
(He’ll let you read them.)
His family is thrilled. (They insisted he carry GPS “just in case”. You know how parents are.)
His sibling? KulturBOT? That one rolls with an artsy crowd.
Perhaps this journey of discovery will give this little hobo some status in their free-spirited eyes.
His rakish wink bound to charm even them.
Now having rolled into life, he certainly has more to chat about than Wikipedia!
(Although has learned to take a hint and not to bore people. Listen to his conversation in this car).
Congrats little hitchBOT! (Map of his trip here)
‘Tis evening on the moorland free,
The starlit wave is still;
Home is the sailor from the sea,
The hunter from the hill (A.E. Housman/”Home is the Sailor”)
As summer ends and everyone returns to their assigned seats, safe travels.
May all you encounter be as kind.
If only we all were wired as he.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
Read a bit more about the little robot’s trip?
- UK Daily Mail. “Hitchhiking robot already traveled 3,700 miles across Canada”
- ABC News. “Hitchhiking Robot Charms It’s Way Across Canada”.
- PBS. “Bumming rides, hitchhiking robot complete Canadian Journey”
Hard to find a reason to giggle these days?
Well, (That’s a deep subject, I know. What? Still no grins…OK. Wandering on….)
Perhaps a little Perfect can help you rise above the daily muddle.
The Houston Zoo’s newest giraffe baby, Kamili, made her public debut Friday.
Her name means “perfect” in Swahili, the land of big cats. (Feel a vague shadow at the coincidence remembering a previous post?)
Kamili’s mom show her experienced mothering skills as she monitors the cavorting. (Keep an eye on that zebra…and those elephants…Try not to run into others. Ignore those birds….Stop and check in once and awhile. Yes, green snacks are allowed…)
For those who can’t make it to visit in person – open evenings right now, too – the zoo has webcams here.
Everything also went perfect when a lift was needed at NASA’s Johnson Space Center on Thursday.
The little display mock shuttle Independence actually did take flight – for a second or two.
You can’t just pick her up (not that kind). She’s a replica, but not easy. (Big sisters advised her.)
Like a kid on a bike with training wheels, Independence seemed eager to be assisted into the air and across the parking lot to her permanent home high on top of the Boeing 747 that actually ferried the real shuttles from place to place and is now parked at JSC as part of an exhibit in progress.
At the last minute a breeze from out of no where and her flightless wings lifted gloriously, before smoothly coming back to earth and settling in.
Did you see her smile? Hear that little sigh of delight?
Never designed for flight – always a special needs stepchild to the other shuttles, she mimicked and watched them through the years as they came and went.
Never fulfilling her heart’s desire to soar like the others.
Did all the other shuttles, now tethered and sleeping, know?
Did they summon up one great breezy sigh remembering their own flights and dreams?
If so, I am grateful.
For one little moment – just like Camelot – a glimpse. Enough to last and share for those who come and can see.
Would have smiled to have seen all that?
Watch video from helicopters and on the ground of the event
Here’s a news video, pictures, and story.
Sometimes even the most perfect plans go terribly – hilariously – wrong.
Remember the expensive closet burglary?
Apparently, with all the publicity, the culprit was having difficulty fencing/selling the heisted items.
Even worse, some of the stolen goods may not be so good: fakes?
Out of kindness – trying to spare the owner embarrassment – the compassionate thief contacted the owners and offered to keep her secret and return the items for half a million dollars.
The poor woman and her husband notified police of the extortion attempt.
Totally annoyed, reporters at the Houston Press got an odd call from someone claiming to be the burglar saying he was following through with his threat (Listen to the weird call here. The Houston Press)
In an effort to prove the call wasn’t a hoax, he sent a stamp covered brown envelope with several items to the reporters.
Waiting to hear what detectives have to say.
Always something, right?
You just gotta laugh. It’s perfect for your health.
(Maybe without the manic wild-eyed Jack Nicholson’s The Shining grin…worries the neighbors…)
Going for giggles – hasta later,
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge
Other posts about NASA and space shuttles:
- Such Swans need to fly (Enterprise Space shuttle longs to float as she once did and advises little sister mock shuttle)
- Fly. Fly. By. (Space Shuttle Endeavor’s last flight over head on NASA’s 747 transport)
- Mocking Turtles. Shuttling. (Timid Shuttle Replica is nervous, but realizes it’s going to be OK)
- She ain’t heavy. OK, she is (Legacy, NASA’s shuttle transport. Ever seen a 747 going down the street? We have.)
- Toy Box Jumble? Plenty of Space. (Shuttle replica and 747 get acquainted – at a distance for now)
In and out the window her thoughts flew.
The opening sensed rather than seen.
Air across skin.
She would not turn to look. No reserves left. Waited sphinx-like.
Without looking, she knew he was there . Predicted that. Hoped for, in reality.
And there he was. Perfect.
Crouched stiffly, she didn’t want to turn her head. Fearful.
Knowing so many years.
Not wanting the fur to fly again.
What had that been about? No matter. That long since faded.
He was so still. Although he always was the watching searching-for-answers kind.
They had raced the sun. And caught each other.
He, still, and she, shy.
They found themselves warming.
He, toughened from wandering, always danced close to the edge – trusting in the kindness of others.
She, standing back, could only stare with fearful eyes. Unable to take a step
Eventually, she had to walk on alone. Not unexpected, but…
For so long.
At times, she felt he was near. And she dreamed of what if only…
But she’d settled for work – and companionship.
For so long.
Yet, now another chance?
She dared not turn her head.
No longer the slim sleek runner.
No longer the sultry tango partner.
Bony. Dry. Tired.
Her shoulder bunched to her ears.
She sunk into herself.
Maybe he’d not see. Just leave.
His silken summons wrapped around her – calling.
“Come, Chère. I’ve waited long enough.”
And he brushed her cheek. Coaxed her to standing.
She lifted her eyes and began to apologize – for not being strong enough. Emotionally, then. Physically now.
His throaty chuckle stopped her.
He waited patiently as she lifted a paw in amazement:
Smooth fur whirls with bright sharp points peeked through.
And she moved once again as flowing moonlight chasing clouds.
Unable to speak, she head butted him. Which made him laugh. He, her Perfect.
He was right. They would manage without her.
Softly, they slipped out the window together. Both their lists being done.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge
It happens in threes, you know.
Robin, Lauren, and now Granny who slipped quietly through the open window late yesterday having finished her list:
Permission has been granted for The German to assume the title of Resident Canine of Her Realm until the appropriate candidate appears and has matured enough to assume the heavy duties of Resident Cat of the Realm.
Granny dictated the traditional Words of Wisdom before she left. Now to become part of the Olde Wisdom to be passed down through generations:
Waste not the sun. Bask.
Be with those with you, for eventually they will not be.
Pervious words of Granny may be found here:
- Warning: Granny bites.
- Not the ankle, Granny. No!
- Ancient Granny speaks. (Without noticeable bite)
- Higgledy-piggledy foolishness. RC regrets.
Shoot. Should be better targeted.
Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission proposal aiming too wide.
Loaded up to permit alcohol sales at gun shows.
Shark Tank would snort.
If can’t do without a beer for a few hours, don’t need gun.
Gun shows not a social event.
Museum of Fine Arts, Wine and art. Refined.
Beer and guns? Not great date.
Fancy dress-up rather than swagger gear git-up.
Not family fun day either.
Try boat or travel trailer show instead.
Watch water skiing squirrels.
Grubby sticky little hands touching everything expected and tolerated. Freebies to bag.
Hook a fish in a tank. Yeah, reel sport.
Guns shows: not entertainment.
Not a movie or video game.
Although some think guns are the ultimate game controller.
Not a toy show for the kiddies. Deadly serious.
Products created to kill.
Products for the back-against-the-wall self-defense.
Those looking for thrills or swagger props should go elsewhere.
Taking aim at beverage distributors looking to expand their markets with little regard for public safety or common sense.
Guns and alcohol do not make a palatable mix.
Each bang in their own appropriate place and time.
More Bob here.
(Who is Bob, you ask? Simple.)
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.