Fashion forward llamas at the Houston Zoo are not slow to pick up trends.
One was heard to spit “This will show some limp woven dress to try and upstage our clever running wild relatives. Llamas got herd.”
“Even if stripes make you look fat,” one mumbled. “This doesn’t make me look fat, does it? Worrisome. But beauty is as beauty does. Whatever.”
Already tiring of their whimsy (“Once it goes viral, it’s so over,” one snorted.), they requested staff prepare their baths.
Staff was very glad the pair had not gotten into any permanent paint – or wandered off for tats.
The llamas, as you can see, aren’t shy. Social creatures. Always willing to chew over thoughts with you at the Houston Zoo. No RSVP needed.
Said one of the darling duo as they pranced off, “We’d be delighted for some insider fashion talk. Give us a line, please. We’re considering summer hats…”
No optical illusions there.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge
Not this kind.
Not that kind at all.
Or this mind’s eye kind.
More like this. Hop up and I’ll explain.
Time to share the road with horses, wagons, and kids on ponies.
Any kid here who comes home and says they had lunch from the chuckwagon with cowboys today, or a horse stuck his head in the window at school, he’s not making it up.
Schools along the way are having folks stop to say “howdy” and “Want to hold the reins?”
Eleven or so Trail Rides are converging in Houston, Texas. One, Los Vaqueros Rio Grande Trail Ride, has been riding since Feb. 7, 2015 from Reynosa, Mexico.
Carpools and eighteen wheelers happily whoa. (Quick. Upload that to Facebook!). For once even aggressive bicycle riders have to rein in a bit.
Tired horses and riders are headed for campsites in parks to rest up before the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Parade downtown Saturday.
FYI, now that the trail riders have arrived, the weather will improve greatly.
Rodeo Trail Rides? Time to giddy-up in bitter cold, rain, and sleet…
It’s written down somewhere. Misery loves rodeo company.
It’s the “that’s what it was like during the olden days of the wild west” experience. Makes people appreciate things like warm baths, dry clothes, and microwaves.
Trail riders scrape up vacation days for this.
“Got the flu.” Wink-wink. (Mom always refused. Meanest mom ever, right?)
Parents take kids out of school. Grandparents ride with grandkids.
Rides now more family friendly allowing motorhomes at nightly stops rather than just whisky and sleeping bags for warming. Got a tad rowdy out there.
Lots of hopping going on during rodeo weeks.
Hoppin’ trying to get into those stylish not-your-average-cowboy jeans.
Hoppin’ to jam feet into stiff scuffed-up cowboy boots (Amateurs. Hoppin’ into long lines at shoe polish stands.)
Hoppin mad there’s no parking places left and the show’s starting. (Again, amateurs. Take the train, shuttles, or park and ride.)
Rodeo is a scholarship money-raising event carefully disguised as trendy entertainment for those who have no interest in ever getting near livestock, but still want wear cute
expensive cowboy outfits (H&M has just in time for rodeo jeans!), eat BBQ along with a few beers, and tolerantly watch a few token cowboy competitions before the real ticket draw of a bigger than life musical extravaganza. With fireworks. Indoors. A must have experience to share at work this time of year.
“All hat and no cattle” is perfectly welcomed as Rodeo Houston raises money not just for would be farmers and ranchers, but for young artists and scientists, too. Since 1932, nearly $375 million for education.
Happy rhinestone cowpokes can have fun, and feel good where that money is going.
This isn’t the first rodeo for many people.
They mosey past NRG stadium to the exhibition halls for the real competitions of livestock (including cutest rabbits with all lengths of fur and adorable ears) and demonstrations of skills by horses and riders. (Quarter horse competition going on now). Of course there’s the beauty pageant of Arabian horses in costumes.
And pig races. Gotta have pig races.
It’s hop-a-long time.
Comes honestly from blisters on feet at the end of a long day at the Rodeo.
Saddle up, nod to your designated driver, and moooove along.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
Rodeo Trail Ride videos
- KHOU “Riders saddle up for the trail ride to RodeoHouston.” (video, Feb 21,2015)
- KHOU “Trail riders bundle up in winter weather” (Brrr conditions. video, Feb.23, 2015)
- KPRC “Trail riders arrive on horses and in wagons to Houston Rodeo” (video. Feb. 25, 2015)
- Official website for Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo/Rodeo Houston
- Read about each Trail Ride group here. Their history, their focus, community activities, and their trail route maps.
Blogs dig into almost anything. Reflecting a bit of bog-like identity: sometimes a path, sometimes mush, sometimes a fire is lit with it.
Dogs, who are skilled at getting down and dirty, see things differently: it’s either this or that. If the person has a dog attached, that individual is OK. No dog? (Silently mulling grrrrr-ish thoughts) Better to be alert and wary.
So says Molly Malamute. (Who also firmly feels dachshunds are always trouble – leashed or not.). She likes set routines, and surroundings that don’t change. With that in mind, it’s easy to imagine what she thought of this looming in the fog:
Work barges float around the lake as the jobs require. This one seems to have stopped by to pick up some giant creature’s toothpicks
NASA’s Johnson Space Center is just across the lake. Who’s to say there’s not UFO pilots housed there? NASA astronauts are waiting for Russian Uber rides to the space station these days, so plenty of spare room available here for ET.
Men in Black. Everyone knows script writers have to get their ideas from somewhere. There’s always a grain of truth in the most outlandish tales.
The logical explanation for the barge is that some lakefront bulkhead needs a bit of support or there’s a dock in progress. (Or NASA’s building a secret under water alien containment facility.)
Backhoes don’t offer fine surgical manipulation. More like a bull in a china shop with brute force.
That shovel end/dipper frequently just pounds, pounds, pounds the poles deep into the mud and gumbo murk until more solid stable ground is located.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to change the end tool out for a hammer-type head? You know how it is if you pound an open box long enough, it dents, crushes, and finally collapses.
Could be a guy thing. What a toy. As good as a trained dinosaur.
In any case, it’s marvelously loud giant machine when in action.
Sadly, it left.
And Molly is annoyed.
Not that she was looking forward to the ruckus and riot, it’s that they took all the sticks.
She had one all picked out and was really looking forward to carrying it home to add to her backyard souvenir collection.
Yes, she is rather indulged. And confident in her abilities.
After seeing the dogs on TV who are enrolled in the Canine Cognition Center at Yale, Molly is hinting of a desire to pursue higher
quality treats education. She’s sure Yale wants the smartest of the pack.
Watch videos of dogs outsmarting people, puppets, and puzzles here (on CBS, 2015.)Do dog observe behavior and form judgements? With puppets for pups. Or here.(on ABC, 2014.) Do dogs learn in social groups like people? With puzzles for muzzles.
However, since boarding schools don’t always meet expectations, we’ve said no. No doubt crushing the cat’s hopes.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
Expected to hear something. But no. Not a peep. Not a hoot or a holler. About either situation.
Why is praise so difficult?
Are accolades only to be given to those on your side? (Silence worth its’ weight in gold?)
You’d think the major women’s advocate groups – the ones who raise lots of money and push political clout – would be standing up and applauding NASCAR’s decision to suspend driver Kurt Busch indefinitely due to his pending case involving domestic violence.
Is a pat on the back being withheld because it’s, well, NASCAR? The loud rowdy events which represents Southern Culture to those who don’t know either? Don’t wanna stand anywhere near the rednecks? Can’t cotton to those good ol’ boys.
Or is it because the woman involved has guns and manages to hit her targets when she shoots? Oh, simply can’t show approval of that kind of strong woman? Or secret unspoken thoughts that maybe she deserved it? She’s really an assassin and a “bad-ass” as Kurt says? (NPR).
They do have an image to keep.
Like Stand-by-your-man Hillary who, despite that, still managed to be elected to the Senate and become the first woman Secretary of State. Oddly, she’s not cheering NASCAR which does have women drivers challenging the track. She knows Arkansas and their rough sport icons: famous boxers, car drivers, and swaggering men. You’d think she’s give a public nod encouraging NASCAR’s positive direction. Maybe her staff didn’t hand over the memo or she didn’t hear the phone ring late at night.
Where are the other high-profile women like Michelle? Those who quickly voiced protests for another country’s stolen girls. While certainly worthy of support, what about the local young girls watching violence here?
NASCAR takes a positive step against domestic violence and no applause from the sophisticated ladies’ halls?
Only crickets. Silence. What can prod them into chatting?
How about choices for women being threatened?
Quiet actions can easily force women back into old traditional roles they have fought to escape.
How could a University even consider their recent mandate “progress”?
Fraternities forced to go co-ed?
Look, young men, many living away from home the first time, need chance to fart, scratch, tell offensive jokes, and live like pigs if they wish. Do stupid boy things.
Young women, too. You can call it “women don’t sweat, they perspire”, but it’s all wet and stinks.
Isn’t it wise to let each group with individuals perfecting their identities have their own space to “let their hair down” among their own kind if they so choose?
Is forcing fraternities to admit women a really good idea?
You know who’s going to be stuck with keeping the place clean and presentable. (Experience based conclusion. Seriously UGH.)
It’s college. So many young-ish men have been waited on hand and foot by mom (usually a female, so the cleaning role pattern is firmly established) far too long at home.
Guys simply waiting until some poor girl gets grossed out and cleans is passive aggressive.
A bad habit to get into as adult life is beginning.
Situation teaches some men to take advantage of people.
Just reinforces those stereotyped gender roles because women will break down first when it’s totally disgusting and the guys know it.
So a university decides to take away choices for women:
- The decision to experience a tradition in a fraternity or sorority or not.
- The decision to choose co-ed living or not.
- A decision to have a clean space to call home or not.
Where are the women’s groups who defend the freedom of choice for women?
OK that’s a bit discriminating against males, so how about both males and female students should have freedom of choice.
A chance to be non co-ed if they prefer?
Nothing is more beautiful than having choices.
Beauty, like the concept of a “good life”, is in the eye of the beholder.
Maybe there would be more beauty in the world if people would live and let live.
And let the beauty of variety and diversity flourish freely.
And give praise when earned – even if that means praising your opponents. No ducking when that’s true.
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
And just to head off the “no group can be allowed to discriminate against race, creed, color, gender, sexual orientations…” objections bound to show up:
That concept should be extended to all clubs and organizations. Right?
Then organizations with obviously tightly focused membership might need a bit of examination, too? (Hit Google and you’ll probably be as stunned as I of so many strictly focused membership groups. This is only a tiny glimmer of the ones that exist.)
Some don’t sound real inclusive and welcoming with open membership.
- National Black Lawyers.
- BESLA. Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association.
- HNBA. Hispanic National Bar Association
- NAPABA. National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
- VABA-DC. Vietnamese American Bar Association of the Greater Washington DC Area.
- VABA-NC. Vietnamese American Bar Association of N. California
- KABA-DC. Korean American Bar Association for Washington DC/metro area.
- KABA-Washington. Korean American Bar Association of Washington state.
- KABANC. Korean American Bar Association of N. California
- NAWL. National Association of Women Lawyers
- WBA-DC. Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia.
- 2010 Article. “Forming a Caucasian Law Enforcement Association Raises Concerns”
- Everyone gets a group and a group for everyone! Maybe.
Listed a sample of Law Associations since these groups should be very aware of any legal concerns that could face their organizations. (Especially those at the national level or in Washington, DC.)
There are similar organizations of all sorts: policemen/law enforcement, fire fighters, engineers, and more. There’s even a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and an Asian Chamber of Commerce in Houston in addition to the main Houston Chamber of Commerce.
Everyone does have the right of assembly. That’s a free choice.
To meet with whom you choose when you choose.
What is good for the goose is good for the gander.
What could be more inclusive and fair than that?
How about leaving the Fraternities alone?
Seriously. Why can’t people live and let live.
And get a sense of humor. Now let’s all go watch Animal House.
Space cadets aside, how cool to hold hands and sing smilie songs. All together now. No matter the whether.
Universality is obvious. People have so much in common.
All lives matter. A basic belief. Universal concept.
Oh? Well, not everywhere.
Some lives are more valuable that others some places. It depends on the society’s
state, city, or neighborhoods, ruling class, religion, historical gender restrictions, political ambitions culture.
Other than that, who couldn’t agree everyone is special? To be cherished. Valued.
All lives matter. Where’s the t-shirt for that?
Here. Sit by the fire. Have a toasted marshmallow.
Made just for you.
Careful, don’t get burned with that one.
Now let’s hold hands and chant together softly:
“All lives matter.
Even poor misguided infidel Christians, battered spouses, the poor children, the hip hop, the Gypsies, the Jews, the simple-minded rednecks, the devout, the heretics, Muslims, American Indians, the young girls and boys forced into slavery even today, Tibet, writers, cartoonists…..Do we have to include politicians?ALL of them? Oh, OK.”
All lives matter. No exceptions.
(Yes, it is sticky dealing with toasted items. Fire is such a trial.)
Sanctity of life. Naturally universal. Thought unifying all.
Everyone take deep confirming breaths and – Oh? No? Not all?
OK. Moving on. Respectful of diversity of thought. (That’s so universal, right?)
Nothing to see here.
Sharing is caring.
Show those organ donor cards with pride. Don’t take your organs to Heaven with you.
Organ donation is apparently a uniting universal element.
In the US campaigns raise awareness that donated organs are critical – a great last minute gift. An honor. Even Facebook encourages members to sign up and help others.
For recipients, it’s really a life or death matter.
Apparently, even ISIS understands there’s great need. “UN urged to investigate ISIS’ trade in human organs”(UK Daily Mail)
Doctors are dodging everywhere.
Yet another thing in common! Although not a very healing thought.
In Mosul, a dozen doctors executed for refusing to participate in organ harvesting.
In China being a medical professional has become a nightmare. “Why China’s doctors are getting beat up.” (Time)
In Australia, verbal and physical attacks sometimes happen daily.
In the US recently doctors murdered in El Paso, and Boston. Apparently creditable threats and assaults to doctors are escalating and it’s becoming a national problem. Perhaps fueled by the media demonizing “rich, uncaring doctors”. While there’s always bad among the good (just like with law enforcement and countries) most doctors try to do what’s best for patients even if they are continually fighting the insurance companies and hospital policies for approval to do so. Few patients realize that now most doctors now are salaried hospital employees working for corporations (like school districts employ teachers, but docs don’t have a union). These doctors do not set fees or the bill amounts any more. Got a complaint about the bill? Take aim at the right target: hospital corporations and insurance companies, not doctors, please.
Only thing certain in life: death and taxes. Now that’s universal.
(And they say the Middle East turns away from anything similar to the US. HA!)
Those living in the US pay all sorts of taxes. Without a whimper (a seen one, anyway). Of course actual legal US citizens pay more than those undocumented ones hiding in the shadows – but actual citizens pay gladly for all the benefits and privileges that come with US citizenship. Money is gladly forked over so that the less fortunate can be assisted, all children can get a shot at an education, and so scammers, criminals, and moochers can also share in the
unearned by them bounty.
Since July, Iraqi Christians have also had the wonderful opportunity to pay taxes. “ISIS Tells Iraqi Christians: Convert, Pay ‘Jihad Tax” or Face Death” (Mosul. IBTimes.co.uk)
Syrian Christian citizens of Raqqa were granted the opportunity to pay a tax of half an ounce of pure gold in exchange for safety in February.“Syria crisis: ISIS imposes rules on Christians in Raqqa” (BBC)
Now this is progress. Let’s all sing “It’s a Small World After All.”
How about some chocolate? Everyone loves chocolate. See? More in common.
The concept of paying for protection is a traditional around the world.
The Mafia, assorted local thugs and gangs,
Labor Unions and who could forget the school yard bullies of the US?
The Drug Cartels in Mexico. Yep. Expect to pay their price.
The historic “dhimma” in Muslim countries/Islamic societies, those who refuse to convert are offered protection if they pay a “jizya” of fee for protection. “Iraqi Christians flee after ISIS issues Mosel ultimatum.”(BBC)
Obviously alike in so many ways. So much in common.
They wear sandals. We wear sandals.
They have kids going to sleep hungry. We have kids going to sleep hungry.
Everyone has teenagers.
They have teenagers that shoot guns. We have teenagers that shoot guns. (Only theirs go outside to shoot, and the ones in the US tend to go inside and shoot. But still, it’s so much the same.)
Young people here are to be encouraged to leave home and make their own way before parents get irritated.
There parents seem to have a vested interest in getting their kids out of the house and way way out of the neighborhood before a big blow up.
So why so much discord when there’s so much universality?
Let’s have a group hug.
Raise happy voices in common song around the campy fires.
On the count of three: “This land is our land, this land….” Oh, right. That was written about the U.S. Sorry.
Wait! A little Kingston Trio tune: “The Merry Minuet”. Catchy tune. Short. Short is good. People are universally busy.
People are universally something. Just look around.
United on one small planet under one big sky.
(Can we at least agree on that? No, Earth is not flat. Flat out, wrong.)
Trendy universality (Oddly feels very much like Backwards World),
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
(Often wondered though why broad sweeping concepts are called “universal” when they all originate from this planet. Doesn’t seem fair. To burden the Universe that way. Shouldn’t those be “Earthiversal”? The Universe might appreciate a bit of distance between us – especially these days.)
Human frivolity cannot be contained by either winter skin cold or summer brain freeze.
It pushes Us at times. (Sigh.)
So glad ValueMine Days are done. All that comparative chatter among staff.
“Look at what I got! It must have cost a fortune.”
“Oh? Flowers? Only one dozen? Gurrl, you one hot commodity. How does he expect you to
brag face your friends? He needs to value you more.
Look at mine.” (Smirk)
Too much of ValueMine whines. Our ears are exhausted from all of it.
Now that the Fats have had their Tuesday…
How droll, this “everyone’s special”.
Any day We expect to hear of Skinny Wednesday or Tall-ish Thursday.
Humans. Any excuse to party and avoid work.
Staff shall be thrilled with Our next announcement.
We, RC of the Realm, are thrilled to proclaim this is the “Year of Our Dozens”
We know. It is difficult to believe: Twelve years. We are in prime ruff.
Our paw may be soft, as staff is directed to carefully select Our Facility’s filler, and while We insist on stretching paws towards the sun every day possible, We deftly guide the Realm with wisdom and firmness of paw.
Thought of Our “Year of Dozens” make us quite giddy.
What surprises will Our subjects create in Our honor?
We have subtly left suggestion post-its.
A lovely thought would be a dozen new mousies. On a dozen days!
Ah, now, you can see, We have much to do.
Starting with getting this post-it off Our back paw. Grab that, will you?
Ah, We shall remember your assistance. Perhaps with a front row spot during one of the Year of Dozens Events. Maybe. If you continue to be useful.
What? Oh, (soft purring chuckle) We do not consider it too late for a ValueMine tribute. We all know how common it is for mail to be late (Wink. Wink.)
Yes. Yes. Permission to withdraw granted.
Wait! We most certainly did not authorized you to take Our post-it note with you.
The nerve. Considering filching an item of Ours for eBay?
Just accidentally stuck under your foot?
Overwhelmed from being in Our presence?
Oh, yes. We believe you. (Cynical frown) But We are watching, evaluating.
Tread with caution now that the cat is out of the bag.
To earn back Our trust, We shall allow you to carry this message to others.
We are overjoyed to have recently received a welcomed announcement from a nearby realm.
Rowdy and Gwinn, after so many years of longing, have finally stepped into their Forever Home.
We are almost overwhelmed Ourselves with this note from their new staff:
QUICK UPDATE FROM GWINN & ROWDY’S MAMA: 2-16-2015
Gwinn & Rowdy are settling in nicely. I am trying to establish routine with them.
Yesterday was a fun day; we watched a movie together and spent some time outside, since it was so nice. They love being where I am and they want to know – what is going on.
I think – that they think that their Mama is the best hunter, because they have had their heads in the pantry and refrigerator, to see our supplies. LOL. They definitely have those two spots figured out.
The microwave can still be a bit scary, but this, like all the other noises, they will get used to.
They do not like when I do laundry, and that’s ok, because I don’t like it either.
They were a little restless on Saturday, but last night they slept through the night.
Thank you all for sharing and caring all these years, their going away celebration photos are very moving. They have a lot of people that love them. And a special thanks to The Forgotten Pet Advocates and all those associated with this awesome caring group of volunteers.
I am lucky to have found Gwinn and Rowdy, they fit into my life perfectly and we will make the most of our time together. As their video says “WE WILL NEVER LOOK BACK”!
Hugs to ALL,
Gwinn & Rowdy’s Mama (from FB page of The Forgotten Pet Advocates)
Such joy. A purrfect ValueMine gift for Us and a wonderful opening event for “Year of Our Dozens”
There is no greater gift than creating happiness for others.
Seems Rowdy, Gwinn, and their mom understand that completely.
Now, while We have enjoyed this little chat, duty calls. There are proclamations to compose. Post-its to place.
Our paw has waved.
Audience at an end. Dismissed
Out of Our presence, Dunderhead. We have not forgotten the post-it note theft attempt.
Fini. (We are noting your clumsiness and slow response.)
Our paw is waving again. Yes, We are sure it is! We feel Our shoulder moving!
And don’t forget to leave the tribute of an open can of food in the doorway.
I am RC Cat and I approve this message.
Bold or distraught?
Motivated by cold steel rage or heat-of-the-moment despair?
Will he be forced to wear a Scarlet Letter? “K” for killer?
People here are almost obsessive about tree trimming due to hurricanes. Branches torn from trees by hurricane force winds can easily pierce walls like a spear.
Homeowners new to the area grasp the concept quickly, but often it take a while for skills to catch up. Like a kid whose mom gives a bad haircut, a tree can be devastated by a bad trim, too.
Is this one too far gone for survival? Does it have enough heart left to even try?
Either this guy listened to some drunk’s advice on tree trimming, his neighbors hate him and offered destructive instructions, or he’s livid at the Home Owner’s Association for sending him a letter asking that the low hanging tree limbs over the sidewalk and across the street be trimmed.
The HOA does that: send notes if trucks or walkers are dodging too much.
He could be into that steam-coming-out-of-the-ears condition of “You don’t like my tree’s branches? You want tree trimming? OK, I’ll show you tree trimming.”
That happens, too.
That’s either going to be the ugliest non-shading oak tree around or he’s about to get another HOA note saying:
“We noticed your tree died. Please install another oak of similar size so there will be a uniform shady tree canopy along all the streets here. And get written permission from us before you do so. And do it with in this time period…or there will be fines. Oh, p.s. you’ll be getting a bill for this notification we had to send you.”
Maybe he’ll stare them down. Or learn how to spin it.
- Get an expert to say it was necessary. (Diseased or to encourage proper growth – of the tree, not homeowner. Although wild eyes and a bit of mumbling drool might back inquiring minds off….)
- Nail on some big brass street address numbers so people can find his house. (Simply saying “Look for the six-foot tree stump out front” might not be enough for some people. After all, St. Patrick’s Day is coming.)
- Plead a traffic assist. A lantern perched on top could be helpful in heavy fog. It is a corner lot with a stop sign and a school bus stop. (Who could question such neighborly benevolence?)
- Maintain artistic license. (Outdoor sculpture always increases neighborhood value.)
- Claim religious freedom. (“If thy limb offends thee, cut it off.” I think that’s in there somewhere.)
- Much easier to decorate with Christmas lights now. Certainly can reach the top now. (And imagination runs wild with potential for all the other holiday wrappings! Drape with a sheet and instant ghost and that’s just the beginning. We can talk turkey later.)
- It’s environmentally friendly. (Safer perch for hawks and squirrels.)
Some people can’t leaf things alone.
If he’s smart, the homeowner is frantically working to hide the evidence. Chopping, digging, hacking, backfilling, and finishing off with a fluffy green filling of sod. (“Tree by the curb? What tree by the curb?”)
Sticking with a post here.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
Thought you might like an update on the Ghiardi Compton Oak that was moved into a new park. Here’s a pix.
If you are confused or a new reader, click here for a previous post (with links to other posts with pictures) about a giant oak that danced 1500 feet to a new home after a huge community outcry when it was to be cut down so a road could be widened.) Video of giant tree’s move here.