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November 25, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Wiggling out of it

Like three owls suddenly facing a glaring light, that’s what we must have looked like.

“Who did it?”

Big eyed owl. ((Kinaganizutto released to PD/

If you stay silent, do you become invisible?(PD/


Stunned, but uncomfortably aware that an answer better be forthcoming.


The three of us, serious brother, my six-foot dad known for practical jokes, and me, the usual straight man, sat frozen. The phrase “mad as a wet hen” was probably created just for my mom.

“Who put the snake in the outhouse?”

Hen with piercing glare. (RGZV Frankenthal IMG026 (RGZV Frankenthal/

“I’m waiting.” Anyone would break under her piercing glare.(RGZV Frankenthal/

I mean, seriously? We were struggling not to laugh…or atleast two of us were. A snake in the outhouse? Something you always dreamed of doing, but never dared. Retaliation just too probable.

She was not amused. By the lack of confessions or the lack of action.

Eventually, like the villagers after Frankenstein, we heading down the wooded path with hoes and assorted snake motivators. The dog leading with determination to defend his pack against a snake of reported epic proportions.

Dad cautiously opened the weathered grey planked door.

Mayan sepent. (

This big. Possibly a species that had survived unseen for decades!  (Chatsam/

A long rather plump black snake was draped half across the sunny bench seat with half hanging down into the depths. I swear it lifted its’ head and said, “What? Occupied!”

Another charming experience of rustic living.

Can’t beat that.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Happy Thanksgiving Season. No matter the chaos, there’s always something worth giving thanks for… like indoor plumbing.

(Oh, for the not initiated into rural life, black snakes are the good snakes. You never kill them. They eat rats and poisonous snakes. I once saw a pair of Copperheads leaping and lunging like the Running W brand for half a block trying to escape a big black snake who never lost a hunt. That black snake generally lived near the giant ancient oak tree next to the house or in the orchard. We always were careful not to startle or step on him or run over him with the mower. And stayed out of his way if he was working. Never take your eyes off a moving snake. Don’t know what he’s herding.)

country road to gate to homestead. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permission granted.

“Over the river and through the woods….” Do kid still sing that? Hope so. ©








November 23, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Footnotes: scales and small sounds

Music of the spheres, evenly paced, probably do not adjust to personal tastes.

Dirge or light little ditty. You can claw, or you can pussyfoot, but it is what it is.

"Psychedelic Pluto" image by NASA ( gallery)

Musica universalis.(Pluto/USPD/

Smaug, a master of the scales, was finally weighted down too much.

The popular 17 yr old Komodo Dragon played to his huge fan club like any rock star. His performances during special days like the zoo’s Feast with the Beasts Day were always standing room only.

Nothing like devouring giant ostrich eggs or a whole goat carcass to draw a crowd.

Houston zoo's Smaug Image:

Smaug knows. (

He carried his fit as a fiddle 200 pounds well, though, until about a year and a half ago when he started to strut and stroll differently with his right front foot not quite keeping up with the beat.

Normally a Komodo dragon will slide his foot forward and pop muscles so the palm hits the ground first.

Suddenly Smaug’s muscle sequence wasn’t working and he ended up walking on the top of his bent toes which then got swollen and infected.

Smaug's right foot problem is obvious. (Houston

Put your little foot. Put your little foot…Smaug’s right foot problem is obvious. (Houston

Help arrived with a special medical team including Dr. Jared Howell, director of the Orthotics and Prosthetics Program at Baylor College of Medicine.

According Dr. Howell, “What happened for Smaug is that he wasn’t able to fire his muscles to pull the foot forward, so as he picked up his shoulder to pull the foot forward, it stayed in the flex position and then he would land on it and roll his wrist underneath every single time he took a step. He’s over 200 pounds, so that’s a lot of weight going onto that hand.”

There was a bit of a learning curve as Komodo dragons not only have scales, their muscle functions and joints operate differently than those in humans.

The experts devised a flexible brace that kept the toes straight so they could heal, yet with wrist and arm movement that was be flexible for normal Komodo dragon movement. (More on that effort and brace here)

It looked like after 4-6 months of bracing practice, Smaug would recover.

Smaug, Komodo dragon (Houston Zoo)

Smaug unconcerned with the lack of color coordination.(

Sadly, last Tuesday, The Houston Zoo announced that Smaug had taken his final curtain call.

The popular performer was in pain and was unable to walk due to a new health problem. Scans showed a severe lumbar spinal cord compression unrelated to his recent foot problems.

Zoo harmony is now minus one sweet note.

Previous post about Smaug and Komodo Dragons here.

In counterpoint, a bit of a cappella caterwauling by HRH R.C. Cat.

(Who is quite embarrassed for the species about a recent claim, so She will not address the issue Herself, but has instructive Staff to immediately speak on Her – and all felines – behalf.)


NO permissions granted for image of RC Cat staring. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted.

“If not acknowledge, it doesn’t exist” Cat Proverb.©

It has come to HRH attention that recently there have been suggestions that cats snore. (We shall not name the blogger to protect and ensure her safety.)

Loud snorts and sounds emitted while in cat naps apparently have various functions and general purposes according to the Cat Instruction for Dunderheads in Service Manual:

  • Loudly exhaled air of cat relaxing yoga breaths allows instant sleep. Simply part of the routine.
  • Such sounds are an advanced evolutionary technique to warn those in the area that while cat eyes may appear to be closed, monitoring of the area is continued. Loud zzzz cat sounds at night are exactly the same as ambulance sirens used by humans. A warning: “Stay back.”
  • Such noises are a kindness produced by cats to reassure all those near of their Power and Might even in repose. A  protective sound umbrella for all in their care.
  • Most importantly: Cat do not snore.
Cloudy melodies (NASA.Cloud patterns over Prince Edward Island.

Cloudy melodies (Cloud patterns over Prince Edward Island.USPD/

Time for the last refrain,

As Bob Marley said, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” (Unlike cats. We deny we said that.)

And under threat of pain, Staff has been instructed to conclude this concert with this:

“The only escape from the miseries of life are music and cats…”(Albert Schweitzer)

A fine finale and fare-thee-well,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

NASA.Fingerprints of water on the sand ( /

Timeless tune: Fingerprints of water on the sand (USPD/


November 20, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Between. Abridged so far.

Houston ship channel (ALL rights reserved) from bridge. NO permissions granted copyrighted

Quick view from car going over the Hartman Bridge across the Houston Ship Channel. No pedestrians allowed. Don’t even consider stopping for any reason. Some serious looking people will chat with you if you try. ©

On a bridge. Inside a Tardis. Through a door. Within a blink.

Not here. Not there.

A time suspended in mid-air.

Flowing under. Swirling around. Slipping through. Mind’s eye wandering.

Not before. Not after. Momentarily present.

Tiny intervals secreted between transitions.

Quiet slight flight.

A catch of breath. Thought stilled. Steps paused. Vision on refresh.

And then. Over. Back. Through. Awakened.

Brief luxury, time suspended in mid-air.

On a bridge. Inside a Tardis. Through a door. Within a blink.

Momentary disconnect from earthly things.


Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

View of Houston Ship Channel (NO permissions granted) from bridge (ALL rights reserved, copyrighted)

Same scene a second or two later. It is too different. The red barge on the right has moved. Life changes in a blink. ©

  • Striking pictures/video of the Hartman Bridge over the Houston Ship Channel here.
  • Here’s history of the Houston Ship Channel (starting in 1836-37) from TX State Historical Association
From a distance: Hartman Bridge across the Houston Ship Channel (

Wind, water, sky, sea birds calling. Nature’s offering classes in meditation. (


November 18, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

No biting, you slouch.

Plot suited for some dark novel. A futuristic video game. A slasher horror film.

A dark place where residents realize they are helpless against menacing outside forces determined to destroy them without mercy.

Ordinary people up against sinister forces…

man and woman in shadows and trailer The Big Combo/Allied Artists/US PD:, no cr notice/

That’s slouching close enough.(USPD/

“Something wicked this way comes.” No rare theme in life or literature.

A line from Shakespeare’s Act IV of Macbeth: “By the pricking of my thumbs / Something wicked this way comes.”

Also the title of Ray Bradbury’s 1962 allegory novel of good and evil, belief and fears, and the conflicting natures of good and evil that exist in humans.(novel’s summary and more here)

Wickedness: much depends on personal viewpoint and beliefs.

What entertains one, infuriates another. Death? Even that. One cherishes life, the other seeks its’ end.

Wickedly impossible to mediate between absolute polar opposites.

Elegant sophisticated woman.1926. First National/USPD:,no CR/

Oh, dear. More ragamuffins at the door? How many poor relatives must we be expected to introduce to society? (First Nat./USPD/

France, of the wicked can-can, broad tolerance, and open-ended thinking has always been the sophisticated darling.

Big time connections to this area since Texas (1685), like NOLA (New France) and Florida(1562), were French at one time or another.

Paris. We awkwardly arrived like country cousins on their doorstep for decades.

Looking for style, grace, and manners.

Sending the young to be polished and educated in the finer things. To knock the rough edges off.

The City of Light. Few places more watched for fashion and trends.

THE source of romance, love, and all things beautiful.

woman unchained. 1945 French Resistance Group Poster, Paris. Liberation of the City/NARA/USPD/

1945 French Resistance Group Poster, Paris. Liberation of the City.(USPD/

Paris has seen dark wicked times before. She did not relinquish her ideals. Unbowed. Her free soul, never defeated.

She did not stand alone. She does not now, so they say.

After all, according to Clause 5 of NATO Treaty, an attack on France is an attack on the US.

What about the simple platitudes?

“Actions speak louder than words”.

“A friend in need is a friend indeed.” (Ben Franklin, that old friend of France)

Vintage dancer. Dolores Costello. Ziegfeld Girl.1922-24. Johnson 18885-1971/LoC/

Looks can be deceiving. WIcked is as wicked does.  (Johnson/LoC/USPD/

So, odd the news anchors now breathless babble of

Heads buried in the sands.

vintage bathing beauties ( Photo by Wilheim Dreesen, 1891-1895/USPD/

Exercise is a healthy distraction. How about a long distance swim? (USPD/

There must be something between the mind numbing wickedness and the mind dulling idiotic.

  • Consider not slouching with The Paris Review’s “Yeats’ ‘Second Coming’ – Our most thoroughly Pillaged Poem” (April 7, 2015. “What rough beast, its’ hour come at last, slouches…”)
  • Collect some background information with Thomas Jefferson as he deals with the Trivoli pirates or examine a woman’s view of the French revolution (Sculptor Madam Tussaud tries to survive the chaos and keep her wax museum business alive.)
  • Dream with Washington Irving’s Tales of the Alhambra with the battles, romance, legends, ghosts, and treasures
  • Ponder the age-old “fair, not fair”/”equal, more equal” in Orwell’s 1945 political allegory Animal Farm.
  • Mull over the nature of man with free books by Project Gutenberg.

Wickedly charmed while trying to make sense of the current reality.


Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Worth a glance and a thought:

Oh, it never hurts to find a sunny spot, dream of life more simple and maybe how to get back there.




November 16, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Seeing double


NO permissions granted. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted

Hey, there. Oh, yes, we’ve got plans. An aside, don’t you think I could model for toothpaste companies? Staff says, “No” but RC Cat is encouraging although I thought she mumbled something about glue/paste. Cats. Double trouble.©

No, not because of too many head injury crashes.

No, not because of too many TV split-screen eye whiplashes.

No, not because of too much saké .

No, not from marathon dotty domino challenges, any overload of ghost peppers, or too much treadmill incline Definitely not that.

A double play of moi, Molly Malamute! My present to Mouse on her Mirthday. (And I shall try doubly hard not to step on the back of her flip-flops today….only today. Not doubling that offer.)

Double trouble from that RC Cat who jumped up far too early announcing that as a special treat, Staff could get up and served HRH breakfast far before normal time – which would give Staff more time before lunch is served. See? A gift of time!

You can double back for a second look at any other posts. It’s allowed.

Doubly good,

Molly, the Marvelous Malamute

ALL rights reserved for this happy dog face. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted.

It’s true. Today I’m blogging post bookends…. moving ones…like the croquet hoops in Alice and Wonderland and the Red Queen. What was all that hooping about there anyway? Probably the Cheshire Cat. You know how cats are. Look, squirrel! (And the nosy German trying to barge into the photo session.)©



November 14, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Paris. Standing proud.

People of Paris and France.

We stand with you against this act of pure cowardice.

Poster at Theatre National de l'Opera-Cominque in Paris, 1900 (Georges Rochegrosse, 1859-1938:PD.reprod of PD art, artist life)

“Courage is resistance to fear, the mastery of fear – not the absence of fear.” (Mark Twain) (Theatre poster, 1900.George Rochegrosse/PD)

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.” (Mahatma Gandhi)

You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Gothic stained glass window, 1220? Varennes-Jarcy, France. Nat.Museum of Middle Ages, Paris (USPD.Artist life+70/

Gothic window, Varennes-Jarcy, France.





November 13, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge


Stars and sky over Easter Island.(Image by: Astrophotographer Brian Hancock. Milky Way over moari near Hanga Roa on Easter Island/

Stoic? Stunned? Fascinated? (Milky Way over Easter Island.(Astrophotographer Brian Hancock/

There are notes played that call deep. From out of no where. To some lost memory of something never experienced.

Songs. In an unrecognizable language. Only remembered by deep past.

Never been there. Never heard it from prime.

But it says, “You do. You did.”

A comfortable recognition.

Yet, unsettling.

Life’s current swirl leaves open some tiny slash and like a hardy plant which forces itself into life despite the inappropriate location, forgotten notes tap into consciousness.

A universal calling.

Music, beat, rhythm, rhyme.

The human species is hard-wired to seek it.

To respond to it.

To accompany the heartbeats, the rhythmic breathing, the blood pulsing.

It all comes down to blood. Bottom line. And top in the head which attempts to give wings in music.

Music, which flies straight back to the source, the heart.

There are notes that call deep.


Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge





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