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March 20, 2018 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Hotly debated confinement imminent

While not quite “The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote…”

The reign is over

(9 stormy weekends and endless, dark, dreary, winter days…)

And coming apart.

The window screens are.

Modern “miracle” fiber holds up for just so many hurricane seasons and punishing scorching summers. Tiny gnat filtering screens ready to debut shortly …which mandates hours of prep cleaning windows and the years of debris clogging those window channels the screens must fit into.

Memo to self: work on instructional behavior modification for large dog paws and little cat feet which are just trying to encourage those lively chameleons and lizards to come inside and play…or the new screens will have a very limited window of use.

Prairie Feather grass and flowers greet visitors on porch. (© Image: ALL rights reserved, copyrighted image, NO permissions granted

The flowers, like wannabe beauty queens, graciously welcome visitors – encouraging them to try the porch bench and chat for a while. The silly Feather Prairie Grass waves people over with the same joke season after season, “Step right up. Take a trip. Have a nice fall.” Sigh. (© Image)

Spring is here. It’s official.

About 89°F past two days. Molly Malamute is drooping already.

We’re frantically getting outdoor work done – like squirrels rushing around preparing for winter – only here it’s frenzy before sweltering, scorching summer heat drives us all indoors for the duration.

“Spring is sooner recognized by plants than by men.” (Chinese Proverb).

Yeah, can’t hold a good weed down – late winter storm or no later winter storm. It’s the Deep State of Plants: underground plotting to take over no matter how much effort is put in get to the root of verdant matters. Endless, inexhaustible army of flora…don’t think for a moment they will go without a fight.

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” (Margaret Atwood)

Oh, good. No snippy comments about the earthy smell in the house…it’s seasonal dressing. Feel guilty blaming it on muddy dog paws so much.

Lilies before Easter, (© image. ALL rights reserved, copyrighted, NO permissions granted)

Lilies always innocently look like a gaggle of ladies who brunch. Probably ready to trumpet news or gossip, so watch what you say on that bench. (© image)

“But each spring a gardening instinct, sure as the sap rising in the trees, stirs within us. We look about and decide to tame another little bit of ground.” (Lewis Gantt)

Like DIY house remodeling projects (“just a little updating”), landscaping is an addiction.

I’m said to have PADD (Plant Attention Deficit Disorder): easily distracted from going in a straight line to get just the items on the Home Depot list when faced with colorful gardening displays.

Oh, seriously these little bedraggled limp plants in the soon to be discarded and trashed closeout pile just need fresh dirt and sun – and they are only 50¢! (Don’t smirk. I’ll match my strays and orphans against any of your high dollar plants in less than a week – and at a bargain price. Which leaves all the more money for more mulch and rocks.)

Yes, rocks. This is the coastal prairie. Rocks less. (I know, my ancient relatives are rolling over in their graves that I buy river rocks…beats driving to Central TX ranch and fighting the rattle snakes for them though.)

“You’ll never plow a field by turning it over in your mind.” (Old Irish Saying)

Good advice – for any season or any seasoned one.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Purslane flowers among rocks and prairie grasses (© image.all rights reserved, copyrighted image, no permissions granted)

May be a long way from cool babbling brooks and river beds, but I can make believe…through the window…inside in the air conditioning all summer. (© Image)



March 15, 2018 / philosophermouseofthehedge

End of smarts

girls in school costumes with dunce hats. 1922 Film promo still. The Tattler 1922 (, artist life/

Shame people stopped using dunce hats and sitting in the corner? Something needed to point out obvious bad behavior.(USPD/

Surely your mother raised you better than this.

Professor Stephen Hawking. Texas State Rep. Briscoe Cain. I doubt they ever met.

Sort of different social circles – brain wise and philosophies.

Had their differences.

Which is OK. Once common “Mom” responses to whining: “You’re not going like everyone and everyone isn’t going to like you. Go find someone else to play with if they are mean to you.” Still good advice.

Moms also insisted “everyone play nice, remember your manners, and if you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all.”

Times have changed.

So we end up with people in the wrong places – like weeds in a productive vegetable garden.

Most people just try to be polite about it. Moms insisted.

Mind your own business and keep your nose out of others’.

It is absolutely infuriating that this self-righteous, freshman legislator, Briscoe Cane, insensitivity resorted to “My team is better than your team” with his tweet Tuesday night: 

“Stephen Hawking now knows the truth about how the universe was actually made. My condolences to his family.”

An embarrassment to his highly respected, historic first name. (Didn’t his momma tell him?)

Andrew Briscoe (1810-1849): merchant, patriot, judge, and railroad promoter. settling in Texas where he registered in 1833 as a citizen of Coahuila and Texas. Andrew Briscoe: signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, Texian soldier.  There’s a county named after him.

In following years both the men and women of the Briscoe family were civic-minded, productive, and well respected.

Governor Dolph Briscoe’s name is on UT’s Center of American History.

“Dolph Briscoe was one of the most humble, generous and thoughtful philanthropists in our state, whose gifts provided critical support to a wide range of medical, educational, civic, and charitable activities that have improved and enhanced the lives of countless Texans,” said Dr. Don Carleton, executive director of the Briscoe Center. “… Dolph Briscoe was a man of ‘absolute integrity.’ We are proud to have his name on our Center, and it is our privilege to keep his legacy alive through our efforts.”

Elegantly dressed man on boat. Actor James Neill. 1898. Strobridge Litho Co.(USPD. LOC, artists life,

Is this how he envisions himself? If so, bet he is counting the days until he can get to a US Congress seat and become a millionaire.(USPD/

Obviously Briscoe Cane is very different from the real Briscoe. 

Acting more like those Westboro church that tries to disrupt and protest at soldier’s funerals.

Acting more like China, or even certain countries that insist you believe their way or you’re jailed or killed.

Acting like an immature eight grader. (Looking for attention? Fist bumps expected?)

Most people just want to live and let live. 

Texas has always been pretty strong about that, Mr. Freshman Legislator.

Being respectful of differences.

Can the general public go to a judge and request a name change for this guy?

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Production note: It’s not raining, not freezing, not 100 degrees F., not too humid, and the tiny biting gnats aren’t out yet, so instead of screens, I’m looking at coaxing the yard into shape while it’s possible …despite the green pollen haze. Will be back to regular blogging shortly…Thanks for your understanding. 

(This guy and United attitude towards paying passengers whether barking or not is driving me nuts while I pull weeds…it take weeks to get bright tags printed up for future animal carriers? Seems like if the CEO wanted it to happen, it wouldn’t take weeks…even if it is a shallow response. FYI the Harris County DA, who has jurisdiction over Bush airport, is looking at animal cruelty charges for that little dog in the carrier.

And kids – great for marching! Be sure to also show up where those who let you down and didn’t do their jobs actually are: FBI building, local police station, and school district offices – You said something and they did NOTHING. It was the agreement. They decided not to do their part. Every reason to be furious and wanting real action.) 

Woman in fancy dress flirting and waving. MAry Eaon. Ziegfeld Follies, 1922/The Tattler mag, Feb. (USPD. artist life, pub.date4/

Spring’s muse is flirting with us here. Take heart – big flocks of birds moving through – probably waiting on weather reports for aviation clearance.  (USPD/




March 12, 2018 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Green and madness. Just a rehearsal

Runway ready. FLying Little TIkes Car by Flite Test (Youtube screenshot)

Future’s economical personal transportation runway ready. Flying Little Tikes Car.(Flite Test.Youtube)

Massive error message blinking: Did we spring ahead too far? April 1st already?

Could have fooled me.

First it’s Elon Musk announcing flights to Mars will happen by first half of next year (although those early arrivals may die).

Mumblings of “who’s your emperor” and “might be sensible to start a secondary human colony…just in case…”

“Space X Mars spaceship will be ready for short trips by 2019” (Video of SXSW surprise question and answer session. Who inspires Elon? Fred Astaire and Kanye West.)

Talk about things going up: something’s racing at mind-boggling speed in California: the bullet train between LA and San Francisco

Started in 2008 at a projected $13 billion dollars, it’s now been revised to at least $77 billion and functioning by 2029…or later (and to be subsidized until 2050+ if it doesn’t make enough money) “Cost for CA high speed rail soars” (CBS San Francisco)

Now read that first story again…Mars. By next year. 

tree. (© Image copyrighted, no permission granted, all rights reserved)

St Patrick’s Day costume fitting session. It may be a little rough, but, no, it doesn’t make you look fat. (© Image)

More rattling than a speeding bullet train is that President Trump has told Idaho’s insurance companies (another major lobbyist group) that they must follow Obama Care rules and regulations – it’s the law. 

Insurance companies must continue to cover preexisting conditions, cannot charge more due to age, and basically everything in Obama Care – or the companies will be fined per day per person if not compliant. Will wonders never cease? Law is the law and must be obeyed.

“Trump Administration blocks Idaho’s plan to circumvent Healthcare Law” (NY Times)

man and woman yawning. (USPD. 1923. Photoplay/, artist life/

Must be what they mean about March Madness.(Photoplay/USPD/

Something wacky is going on.

Not even April 1st.

Surely too early for St Patrick’s Day being served up.

Not fair. Bleary with Daylight Savings Time shift.

Not to mention glazed over with allergy remedies due to high pollen season. (See. A logical holiday: everything’s already covered with green!)

plants sprouting on wet backdoor mat (©Image all rights reserved, no permissions granted, copyrighted)

Oh, even the door mat is getting ready for the wearing of the green. Seriously. Does it think it’s Cinderella or something? You never know. Stepping lightly is always a good idea.(© Image)

If this is Spring’s dress rehearsal, hang on and get the belly laughs ready.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

And don’t toy with me? Are you sure? HAHA



March 8, 2018 / philosophermouseofthehedge

S’no debate

Small white wildflowers. Early spring. (Image: ©copyrighted, all rights reserved, NO permissions granted)

This version retains the pointed geometric design of the originals.(© image)

Our snow is better than your snow. Chill out.

Forget the sleds and skis. Far too ethereal to even think about holding anyone up.

Rumors say it’s the local Chamber of Commerce’s idea to please homesick people who’ve relocated from up north.

Others say it’s Mother Nature’s experimenting with a snow prototype: crystal evolution with climate change.

White flower clover. (Image: © all rights reserved, NO permissions given. Copyrighted)

Using tweezers, you could probably stack these up to make a snowman. Sun proof! (Image:©)

March here offers a quiet soft opening of an upcoming event: Spring

Light delight.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

White wildflower. Dandelion puff. (© Image: all rights reserved, copyrighted, no permissions granted)

You won’t need mittens for this snowball. For millions of parents, that’s an improvement. (© image)

Grey winter skies and clouds. Dead Queen palms seen beyond the brick wall. (Image: ©. All rights reserved., copyrighted, NO permissions granted)

This was last week – and most of this winter: overcast, heavy clouds, cold and rainy. Dreary. Dead Queen palms seen beyond the brick wall. It looks like 9 out of 10 Queen palms are brown and dead. We’ve had colder winters – with more snow and ice, yet they waves themselves through it. This time I think they just got depressed from weeks and weeks of no sun and gave up.(© image)

yellow wildflower. Dandelion. (© Image copyrighted, no permissions granted, ALL rights reserved)

We’re ready for sunny side up! Warms the soul. So watch the sole – and dog paws.(© Image)





March 5, 2018 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Smartie pants

Man and woman. Charlie Chaplin. 1916 promo. (USPD.artist life,

“You say tomahto and I say tomayto.” Simply, perfect genetic mush? (USPD/

It’s Ok to get mushy.

Love at first sight? Might be right – and realistically determined by your DNA

Houston-based DNA dating app: a little swipe and swab reveals true love over there waiting.  

Two twenty-something experts in genetics, Barreto and Asm Mirza, realized there might be something scientific to the phenomenon of “love at first sight”

It appears to them that 11 genes that encode proteins for the immune system can actually predict attraction between individuals.

Sign up with their company, Pheramor, and your genetic info. will be compared by computer with others in your area. Additional information may be added about preferences, hobbies, gender – even, if female, being on birth control pills as those alter hormones and tend to make certain types of men more attractive than others.

It’s all very scientific. Gotta love that.

Making cents of love. Smartie pants.

dog Molly Malamute cooling off on floor. (Image © All rights reserved, copyrighted, NO permissions granted)

Molly Malamute’s too hot to trot here, but she’s been mentioning Alaskan cruises recently. Who’s up for a family reunion?(Image:©)

Molly Malamute, whom some think wears the pants in this household, can be a bit stubborn. At a little over 80 pounds, she does tend to have a strong vote on where walks are taken and for just how long. 

This morning she dawdled about getting her harness on and out the door, seemed fascinated by every blade of grass, until finally locking up completely only 2 blocks away. With much scheduled to be done today, I gave up and turned around – only to see a huge wall of black clouds looming. No one needed any encouragement to swiftly return home ahead of the rain.

Of course, before flopping down, heavy-coated Miss Molly, breathing a little hard as the temp’s around 70 F., pointedly stood there with a big, tongue hanging out grin on her face.

Easy to see who has the smartie pants here (slobber available at no additional charge).

Line of Dogs. St. Bernard puppies, 1918 postmarked post card, (Editions Art. Perrochet&David, La Chaux-de-Fonds/Lausanne (USPD-, artist life/

Of course we’re not the seven dwarfs. The more legs, the more the merry in the Hi-ho group. Sleepy and Happy are obvious, though. (USPD/

If you drop by, don’t be surprised it Molly rushes up and inquires “Mush much?”

She’s pulling for her kin and cousins in the Alaskan Iditarod race – which actually has enough snow this year. Molly’s a close genetic twin to one of the lead dogs of last year’s winning team. (Look at the third dog on the right – with the giant happy smile and all feet in the air)

The teams are off and Molly loves to pant along watching them on tv…all so happy, talkative, and all pulling mostly in the same direction. (There have been instances where a couple of dogs saw/smelled a moose or something interesting and decided to break loose…it’s all a game to them. If you have a sled breed dog, you know how it is – always a running joke…)

 She does paw out to us how well dogs manage to get it together down the trail, yet people seem to find it so difficult to stop yapping and making bitie faces.

Oh, well, Molly, could just be part of their DNA.

Worth a mush or two

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

girl in barn standing by cow. Painting by John George Brown (1831-1913) (USPD. reprod of PD art, artist life/

“Hang out with me, cow girl, and I’ll show you how to git-a-long with a herd.”(USPD/

March 2, 2018 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Cinderella boots dilemma

If Cinderella had been offered this many choices, she’d have never made it to the ball.

Luckily her Fairy Godmother was there to filter the footwear option.

If you recognize a good heel when it shows up, it’s easy to a change lives.

Vintage Cowgirl on seated horse (USPD,, artist life/

Neither of us is walking across that pasture until we get the proper shoes. (USPD/

Let me round up this scene for you: It’s rodeo time in Houston.

Started in 1932, the Houston fat Stock Show was created to improve livestock breeding and honor our western traditions.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo now is one of the largest charitable fund-raising events in the world and hands over money to schools and scholarships: over $450 million given to education in Texas so far.

Currently over 2,ooo students are in more than 80 different Texas colleges and universities funded by rodeo scholarships. (That’s about $47 million.)

Vintage cowgirl Mildred Douglas (Muffet/flickr/USPD., artist life/

Yeehaw – them young-uns gonna get some larnin’ on us.(USPD/

These ole cowboys and cowgirls, being more refined than expected, recognized that not everyone wants to be scramble for calves, so scholarships and grants are also awarded areas such as fine art. (See the 2018 School Art Contest winners here. Artwork features five categories: colored drawing, mixed media, monochromatic drawing, painting and 3-D.)

Ever looked at some contest winners and think, I could have picked better winners than those?

4 foot tall cowboy boot decorated for Rodeo contest by The Brookwood Community (Image: Reliant Energy FB page)

By The Brookwood Community – an educational, residential, and entrepreneurial community for adults with functional disabilities.(Reliant Energy FB)

Here’s your chance: 

Simply click over and vote in the “Boots for Houston” art contest to herd some western style magic to a nonprofit.

Eight local charities saddled up their creativity to decorate 4-foot tall boots.

Their contest entries are corralled on Reliant Energy’s Facebook page. Simply “like” the photo of your favorite.

The boot that lassoes the most “likes” scoots off with a $10,000 donation for the nonprofit. The second place winner will corral a $5,000 donation, third place rounds up a $2,500 prize, and all other charity participants will saddle up with a $1,000 donation.

4 foot cowboy boot decorated for rodeo contest by Newspring Art Studio (Image from Reliant Energy FB page)

by Newspring Art Studio Inspiring at risk populations. (Image Reliant Energy)

Get those Fairy Godmother wings on, head over to the boot chutes, and vote.

It’s easy – no blisters from walking in new boots – no stomping through suspicious, odoriferous clumps in barn where the pig races are – no feeling like you should have brought more hand cleaner. (Who knew petting area cows, lambs, and goats slobbered so much? We won’t talk about picking up chickens…)

Those boots are ready to scoot and are hoping you’ll Texas Two-Step them to the winner’s circle.

Get ready to party with your boots on,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

4 foot tall cowboy boot decorated for Rodeo contest by Casa de Esperanza de los Ninos. (image: Reliant Energy FB page)

Casa de Esperanza de los Ninos. A safe place for children in crisis due to abuse, neglect, or the effects of the HIV virus. (image: Reliant Energy)




February 28, 2018 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Chirping to the buyer

You know the movie “The Birds”? Like that: strung out on the wires, ominously watching, silent until…they turn.

Take too long loading in groceries? Chirp. Chirp. Chirp!

Hesitate deciding between mayo and mustard? Chirp. Chirp, Chirp!

Attempt to glug some milk out of the carton without anyone noticing? Chirp. Chirp. Chirp!

We’ve got HRH RC Cat. The last thing we need is an appliance deciding we require training.

Mechanical bird on top of ornate gold music box. Swiss singing bird box by Charles Bruguier Geneve, 536 (Gavin Douglas/

Melodic, not bossy. With an obvious off switch.(Gavin Douglas/

First it’s all, “Oh, a just gentle reminder – for your own good.”

Before you know it, the dog is jittery, huddled at the back door looking for an exit before bravely confronting the black stainless fridge with, “Stop. Chirping. At. The. Mommy.”

Bulk and cold steel doesn’t make right – in countries or refrigerators.

Unfortunately – while hesitant to say it out loud as they may all be connected and listening – the surge of power confidence seems to be leaking over to the new fancy smoke alarms.

Not intelligent of us, perhaps, to choose the smart ones.

We just wanted ones that would notify cell phones if they started shrieking when the fur children are home alone…I know. Hard to believe, but sometimes we do go out without them.

Somehow these little square ceiling guardians even look like they take their work so seriously.

So bright.

Really. Like airport runway bright.

There’s a motion detection feature that tells each unit to turn on an other worldly, pale green ring of light – like a nightlight – as you walk under them.

It sounded like a great idea.

RC Cat loves it: each night as she stomps down the long hall making her promenade to the bed, little halos glow in sequence. She now thinks she’s a famous fashion model spotlighted on the cat walk. (We have firmly told her, no furniture or cosmetic line for her, though.)

She’s also found that in certain locations on the bed, she can flip her big fluffy tail and voilà: a halo appears on command. It amuses her greatly.

It’s like alien space ships arriving in the middle of the night. The rest of us, including the dog, groan and clinch eyes shut until the cat-trained special effects module goes back to sleep.

Apparently she’s used her nocturnal wake time to turn the smoke alarms into her minions.

Antique tin toys of men working (Thomas Quine/

Toy makers created mechanical imitations of people. Should we hide those so AI doesn’t get any similar ideas? (Thomas Quine/

We are secretly, searching the instruction guide for the dimmer or shut off switch. We bought them, installed them, and pay for their charges, so it should be us giving the orders.

Mumbling the “D” word: “disconnect”. You can’t be too careful – they are listening and learning.

We hope they are all like Wall-E.

Don’t know if Apple watches and cell phones finding themselves in a repair center closely observed the Polish cow’s escape attempt of powering herself to an island (Sadly, the cow tale recently ended as people tried to capture her). Maybe the devices plugged into the idea of calling 911 to save themselves.

Have to question their circuits. These days you can’t always count on help from authorities, though. Better rescue yourself.

So wonder if next they’ll attempt calling Uber or Lyft and try to hide out in a junk store. Should be safer hiding in plain sight like the other Polish cow hanging out with a bison herd. (Run Buffy-wanna-be, run!)

Smarties just feeling their jolts.

Not that I’m opposed to machines and robots. Actually I’d like one like the video below. (There would have to be a cat prevention obstacle.)

How do you ask in Korean “Does it do windows, put up ceiling fans, and keep snippy little appliances in their place?”

Not the boss of me…yet.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.



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