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May 24, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Rover, Rover, please come over.

Cat looking out of space helmet (Cat in space suit. (Source:

“Dunderheads! Where there’s green cheese, there’s mousies. Return to the moon we must.” (

NASA is taking names. So of course…

“Molly Malamute is deserving of the honor as the best of her species showing skill in dashing erratically at great speed, running on empty, and having a high prey drive.”

Oh, we thought it was submitting names for predator drones…not for the Mars Rover

RC Cat said she always knew the dog was some sort of space cadet.

Now if NASA was seriously starting a Space Force draft, they would, of course, seek out the most intelligent candidates.

She is readying her response.

Man and woman in outer space.Movie scene from: Trip to Mars lobby card 1937 Universal Pictures.(USPD., artist life, No CR/

“Trying not to be catty here. Do you think she managed to stow away before takeoff?” (USPD/

Besides, the Mars Rover is so cute.

Like a kid’s “find something to do or else I will find something for you to do” garage project.

Or a motorized mousie. (“It’s a prototype for planetary cat entertainment,” she insists. “Must support space travel development.”)

Go, Rover. Fetch! (Good, little robot. Good Rover)

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

2 dogs. Belka and Strelka who were the first to fly in space and return. Oct 29, 2010.50th anniversary Russian Stamp. (Public Domain/

50th Anniversary commemorative Russian stamp featuring Belka and Strelka who were the first dog explorers to fly in space and safely return. The two little strays became national heroes and were immortalized in books and featured on all sorts of products. Here’s a book about the Soviet Space Dogs. (Public Domain/


May 22, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Blow, ye hardy plank

Man carrying donkey.(English Fairy Tales/Batten) (USPD. 1891, artist life/

Darn it. When I say ya’ gotta get in the barn, you might consider I have your best interest in mind.(USPD/

Residents of Tornado Alley are either brave, mad, or gamblers – maybe a touch of each.

Kits, cats, and dogs ignored the open invitation for the couch opting to scooch under it instead on Monday night when they were all called in.

The resident house cats normally would have been totally miffed to the point of battle at the invasion, but, in times of crisis, strange alliances are made for mutual survival.

Always a toss up about the horses.

The barn offers protection from flying debris, but could be a death trap. Being loose gives the option to run.

Forget outrunning baseball-sized hail vicious enough to smash through the roof.

Past storms managed to break every single window in the farm house. And the defenseless pickup? Sigh. Gonna need more than a car wash for that one.

A few days ago we continually hit “redial” until family out on the ranch picked up. 

All clear on their places, but SIL was in a truck heading out to check on a friend’s aunt whose house had been in the tornado path and her out of state kids could not get in touch with her. That’s done in smaller places. Neighborly assistance. The aunt was safe with only branches down.

Persian cat staring. 1907. book illustration/LoC/, artist

“Look, they aren’t moving indoors permanently, right? Once the rain stops?They’re covered with what they say is trail dust, but we wonder.” (USPD/

Monday, it was fingers were crossed again. The radar looked so bad even long time ranchers were concerned.

We kept checking in. Ride it out there or go across the way to a sturdier house that belonged to a 91 year old farmer who’s in no way or need of a retirement/nursing home? He’s seen many stormy years and takes it in stride.

OK at 9 pm (We watch the radar on tv together and speculate…I know. It’s dumb.)

OK at 3 am. So far so good.  (The radar glowing on the tiny cell phone screen looks like it’s gonna miss them.)

Whew. All you animals back outside. There are varmints to chase.

Another stormy spring week survived.

I’m not a big fan of living in Tornado Alley.

Wonder how my former neighbors are doing in their new home near Dallas. The wife was a nervous wreck here in hurricane country.

(But hey, you have plenty of warning for hurricanes and time to do what you need to do. Tornados are the erratic paranoid schizophrenics of the weather crowd. Flip out into total destructive mode in an instant – and so often at dark.)

When husband retired, she demanded they relocate far far from the coastal dangers….The realtor lied.

We looked at their chosen location and mentioned the possibility….

“Oh,” she perkily chirped, “our realtors said it’s not in Tornado Alley. We’re perfectly safe.”

Hope someone notified the Tornado Union that their traditional path was being rerouted due to a Developer’s promises.

Tornado and dark sky. 1977 LAkeview, TX (USPD.NOAA gov. photo/

Yep, this is near where they moved. Sample TX weather. 1977.(USPD/

The only place they could have chosen worse would have been Little Rock, AR.

Seems like every single terrible storm aims directly for that place. Stomps down with both feet.

If Little Rock was a person, you’d say he/she must have really done something bad in a past life to suffer so in this reincarnation.

They do have one of the best city tornado warning systems I’ve ever seen. Storm trackers stay on air (radio/tv) and tell you exactly which street the tornado is barreling down and which streets/cross streets are next in the direct path. Those real time on the ground updates are really comforting and you know when to dive into the bathtub and pull the mattress over you.

Either brave, mad, or a gambler

“Bad weather always looks worse through a window.” (Tom Lehrer, American musician of pithy humorous songs, satirist, and mathematician.)

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just soft people.” (Bill Bowerman, American track and field coach, inventor, and entrepreneur)

“Bad weather makes for good photography.” (Ansel Adams, American photographer and environmentalist)

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.” (John Ruskin, English Victorian, author, art critic, draughtsman, watercolourist, prominent social thinker, and philanthropist. )

That’s the way the wind blows.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

tornado sighting along road. 1976OK (USPD. NOAA gov. agency/

Storm avoidance says you’re supposed to go perpendicular to the path of the storm, but they are a bit erratic…(1976.OK/USPD/






May 20, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

No Trick. No additional electricity wanted.

They said they had to drop by because they were running “about a quart low on hot sauce”. (Any excuse to avoid saying they missed us.)

When the boys opened for the Rolling Stones, we all thought, “Hey, local guys done good.” Rolling Stone’s, Keith Richards, then opened for them at their Rock and Roll of Fame induction ceremony some 15 years ago.

Storms may make the blues but they don’t stop rock or ZZ Top’s 50th Anniversary Texas Bash.

Drive over an hour under severe weather alerts? (Welcome to my normal life)

What’s a little lightning? Baseball sized hail? Tornados moving in this general direction?

Not enough to deter.

ZZ Top concert. Their music, heavily based in the blues, has been dissected to show fine notes of punk, new age, even dance rock. (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

ZZ Top 50th Anniversary Texas Bash concert at Cynthia Woods Pavilion/Woodlands. Their rock music, heavily based on the American blues, shows influence of punk, new age, even dance party rock. You see the actual guys on the right below the big screen.(© image)

Here's the ZZ Top boys: The drummer is the only one without a beard. ( image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Here’s the ZZ Top boys: Ironically, drummer Frank Beard, is the only one without a beard. Cheap sunglasses? Yeah, there’s a song about that. And the hats, too.(© image)

I know. You are thinking sum ole country boys

Actually Billy Gibbons and his local psychedelic band, The Moving Sidewalks, toured and opened for Jimi Hendrix Experience,

Dang, we thought at the time. Local boy dun good.

And he still is.

concert. ( image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Left to right: Billy Gibbons, Frank Beard, Dusty Hill. Their performance is effortless, casual, and musically perfect even after all these years.(© image)

Rolling Stone may have ranked Gibbons at # 32 on their 2011 list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, but to us he’ll always be Little Billy Gibbons who lived down the block in his mom’s garage apartment between tour dates.

His lovely mom used to go around handing out bumper stickers. I credited those for the lack of vandalism to my car for years.

Billy always took care of his mom. Probably to thank her and his older sister for taking him, a five year old, to see Elvis perform.

When Billy was around 7, his dad, an entertainer, conductor, and classical pianist who worked with MGM studios, took him along to a B.B. King recording session. That chord struck.

Not just a one note player, William Frederick Gibbons, (aka The Reverend Billy F. Gibbons) takes the stage with many other musicians and is on TV shows including his recurring role as an over protective dad in Bones and as Frank Hill’s cousin in King of the Road. 

concert. ( image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Known for their growling rock sound – and loud…very, very loud. With signature double entendres and innuendos…if you can hear the lyrics. At this concert the mix of vocals to music wasn’t done well…if you didn’t know the words, you might have gotten lost. But everyone there did, so no matter: grandparents with their kids who brought their own kids (didn’t see babies or toddlers as, did I say, the boys are known for loud.)(© image)

More odd bits of info:
  • And here’s the deal about the sunglasses: Video “Cheap Sunglasses
  • You probably know one of their songs – it was used in a commercial for those stockings sold in egg containers. Video of original song “She’s got legs.”  In this video you can also see Billy has always been a bit of a gearhead and likes vintage cars which are featured on album covers, concerts, videos, and t shirts.
  • They tour with multiple, often unique, guitars. One of the favorites, two white fake fur covered ones did make an appearance at the concert. (See those guitars in “Legs” video above.)
concert. ( image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

No, don’t worry, Not a lightning strike outside the open tent-like venue. Some people just take that “make an entrance” advice seriously. (© image)

As this is getting long, I won’t ramble on at length about the opening acts as we arrived fashionably late. 

First because due to weather and major lane closures on the beltway from 3 lanes down to 1 lane

Second: slipping quietly into an undercover parking space (in an undisclosed location we’d like to keep secret for future availability)

And totally unexpected: running into a Sr Prom event (Seriously? So many paid professional photographers posing kids everywhere…regardless of traffic or drizzle…..Also, we really need to do something about teenage obesity – That’s not mean – that’s worry about what their future health will be.)

So we missed Cheap Trick’s opening act. Not our fault..entirely. The venue, worried about severe storms, tornado threat, and lightning kept moving the start time up earlier and earlier.

Actually, realizing the set status, we opted to sit by the riverwalk and enjoy some chicken quesadillas during their last 3 songs before going through the gates.

Hey, It was right next door. We could hear just fine.

concert. ( image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Yeah, they rocked. This is too long, so just read the review linked.(© image)

But we did get in and seated in time for Bad Company’s set. It was impressive.

They are waaaay better than I remembered.

Would have more pictures, except there was this big guy wearing a black t-shirt with “DEATH” in big letters all across the back always managing to get dead center in the frame. Not exactly the image focus point desired.

Anyway, great performances. Great crowd that enjoyed the show without getting annoyingly drunk or rowdy. 

Here’s a well written concert review (with all the groups’ play list) so no point in duplicating any of that. It’s a good read.

Ending on that note,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

May 17, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Catching True, Blue.

Woman steering vintage car. May Allison, 1921 Phototplay mag./, artist life/

“You really want to risk doing that? (USPD/

I want to be the Crazy Cat Lady – without the cats. (Can’t herd them and talk about ankle biters…)

Out there in the ozone.

Invisible in the crowd.

Brushed by in a hurry without even a glance.

In other words, free.

Easier now than ever before with most obliviously huddled over tiny screens, while their device, coy like a striptease artist, gives a little peek making them want more. (Who made them smart? Even more interesting, tell me which is the “them” in that last sentence?)

The Un-phoned and The Watchedless live life true blue and cooly uncrowded. (Shhh. Don’t tell.)

Not sure why people worry others will think lesser of you for that.

As if any of those people actually matter.  

It’s your life. Take it back. 

Might stumble across others happily doing the same.

You wouldn’t have to mumble or carry an armload of cats unless a smart one levels a gaze at you.

That tends to back them off.

Oh, I know you have things to do. Demands on your time. Important tasks.


Que será, será.

Me, I have plans, too. With the blues:

  • Waves Galveston’s Vintage Beach Revue, 2019. Splash Day waves of the human and watery kind
  • Moon  A seasonal Blue Moon, May 18, 2019, won’t really look blue to you
  • Light   Blue light, not delight. LED lighting may damage eyes and disturb natural sleep rhythms
  • Flight  Solar powered Lightsail 2 launching into the blue in June on Space-X Falcon Heavy

Timely, that.

Cool Cats, not so crazy, after all.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

May 15, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Assassins, odd growths, and oaths

Queen hiding. (Lobby card.1920 Such a little Queen film./USPD.artist life,

“Did you hear that? Strange things are afoot..or in this case, something wicked is a-winging this way.” (USPD/

Quick. In here. Before they see. The buzz is they have released assassins.

Some fly by night group that is comparing the battle to The Game of Thrones: good vs bad. Although the town is certainly heating up here, too. Hope their memory of destiny lives up to their name: “Elephant mosquitoes”.

Honestly, what are parents thinking when they hand out names these days.

Did anyone one consider how bestowing “elephant” as a moniker might possible cause them distress in the future?

As bad as “Bats”. It doesn’t matter if one is a sports fan, the name “Bat” is just too close to violence. What a burden to fly with. Well, these two poor creatures have so much in common with hiding in darkness (out of naming shame, no doubt) and trying to earn acceptance by assisting with pollination.

While some feel anything small and fuzzy is cute, We feel the little assassins will have an easier time with their blue and gold beauty as they are considered the butterflies of the mosquito world.

And there you have it, as in so many cases, beauty is deadly.

Man and woman in flowers. ( 1916 movie Big Tremaine. May Allison/USPD., artist life/

“We keep a close eye on Staff though the window as they do yard maintenance. Purrhaps We should insist staff wear EPIRB devices just in case. There’s enough standing water and humidity to justify. Or maybe force them to constantly shout, “Marco.Polo” as one does in a swimming pool? Maybe long leashes tied to ankle so We can retrieve them when needed…like when the food bowls are empty.”(USPD/

It would be beautiful if the Realm leased a goat or two – not an old one who gets into trouble.

This is the semi-tropics, you understand, which means after yet another week of rain and with the hot weather, the plants are so energized the house could disappear like the Mayan pyramids in the jungle.

It seems to be a topic of debate among humans whether cows are basically destructive creatures with is odd as they are basically eating machines with limited abilities.

Contented to mow pastures – what’s the harm? Surely there’s roadways or lands that could use weeding.

Or maybe the Deer Union has already negotiated that contract.

If only someone would get cows to stop playing with their food!

All that constant, chewing of cud.

And teach them some food processing efficiency. Four stomach is just excessive showing off accessories. Better digestion means less gas, right?

Obviously some of the bovine minds don’t care – or it’s passive aggression knowing their ultimate fate – or a plot to be so offensive with slimy, green drool and stink to keep all others away from them, letting them live in peace instead of going pieces.

Queen standing. 1921. Lobby card for Such a litle queen/, artist life/

“Can you believe this? A lazy mosquito hawk. We always thought they were running a scam with that name.” (USPD/

Ah, cheré, We think it is probably safe for you to exit the Realm and return to your tragically unimportant lives.

Yes, yes. We shall provide shelter if the assassins forget who brought them to the dance and decide to desert and join forces with their foes. (That would be the elephant in the room, yes?)

There shall be only a small increase in tribute required requested in times of emergencies.

Until then, farewell.

We must scowl Our disapproval through the window until Our Staff reappears ready to resume their duties.

You have Our permission to withdraw.


Do not step upon Our fallen mousies in your haste to leave. They were acting as sentinels until getting slammed to the floor they got tired.

Unpaw those mousies immediately!

We prefer them spread across the floor in that pattern – done by design.

For meditation purposes.

We could not expect you understand. Still, some learn by example.

cat and mousie on ledge. (© Copyrighted, no permissions granted, all rights reserved)

“Mousie, stay close. That first step is a doozie.” (© image)

And don’t forget to leave the tribute of an open can of food in the doorway.

Our paw has waved.

Leave us.


crown symbol with message "I am RC Cat and I approve this message"

I am RC Cat and I approve this message.


“RC notices children fleeing Chick-among-us” (Did the authorities net some Alaskans to assist?)

“RC Cat awards Royal attention” (speaking of windows and butterflies)

May 12, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Optional Thinking


Two cats and a butterfly. (ca.1890. Greeting card/USPD., artist life/

“OK, we got it surrounded. Now to carry it in and lay it at mom’s feet. She loves that.” (USPD/

Despite what it looks like, Mother’s Day is an optional holiday.

Mind the gap between logic and peer pressure.

fermented  holiday that doesn’t work for everyone for assorted reasons from geographical to family history.

Go ahead. Feel free to ignore the guilt trips. Oh, you might brave raised eyebrows or drop jaws, but so what? Like those people really matter.

But there is that warning about burning bridges. Eventually things have a way of catching up with you…like when you get older…like when you’re a mom…like when “if only I had done that when she was here” and then, “Why was I cut out of the will?” Ha Ha

Oh, this is where some nostalgic memories kick in. Optional section. Feel free to skip ahead:

Mother’s Day used to be fairly simply and fairly meaningful in that way. Everyone pinned on a rose or rose bud when they went to church: red rose if your mother was alive, white if your mother was dead. That was one of the few times I remember Dad going to a florist shop. We didn’t grow white roses.

For once, the fields of floral hats tilting this way and that in the pews were matched by a cloud of only rose scents.

That day after church we got to go to the Chicken Shack. They had warm homemade rolls and you got to soak them in honey squeezed from a plastic container. Mom appreciated the kitchen break. 

And I appreciated the big “fancy” golden, crispy crust on the drumstick instead of the thin, sleek, (often greasy) coating of homemade fried chicken. (And did I mention the honey? We got sugar so rarely.)

So you can see what I remember.

So much better now with smart phones recording it all for Facebook, social media, and selfies – to show everyone “the happy family gathering” and how much you loved your mom – see the gifts? You can edit out the parts where Mom’s shrieking, “Would you for once put down that phone and actually look at people when they are speaking?” Memories secured.

Glamorous woman with crown from Mars.. movie trailer 1953 Abbot and Costello Go to Mars/USPD, artist life/

“Is that all you brought? You should see what the cat dragged in.”(USPD/

Not all mothers are stellar at being moms. It is what it is.

But they were all role models: either showing good parenting or showing exactly the way it shouldn’t ever be done.

So you got something out of it, one way or the other.

With the diverse wealth of holidays these days, you can pick and choose which ones to adopt…so far…

I mean, just about everyone does St. Patrick’s Day, and, now, Cinco de mayo. Wonder if the social justice warriors social credit system, schools, or authorities will ever mandate strongly suggest we all show up on a certain day, be happy, and wave banners or else?

Only time and retail will tell.

Meanwhile cheers to you all.

Optional endings: Happy Mother’ Day, or Happy NBA Game Day, or Happy Dog/Cat Companion Day, or Happy Go Out and Play Day to you

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Vintage roses in vase with crochet doily (1943 Mother's Day greeting card/, artist life/

1943 Mother’s Day card. Color as needed.(USPD/



May 10, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Big City Challenge

Four cat acrobats (ca.1890 greeting card/, artist life/

No cats were harmed in this photo. Either a demonstration how everyone gets into sports in this town or practice drill for house getting an unexpected indoor pool. (USPD/

You know you’re in Houston when the weather guy tells Astros fans to remember not to park on the lower floors of the underground parking if they are going to the baseball game because heavy rain is moving in.

(And the ballpark roof will be closed, but you know umbrellas may be required for dry viewing…)

You know you’re in Houston when the local emergency management authorities tell people to stop parking cars in the streets because the streets were designed to be part of the drainage system and all you guys are impeding the flow of water and causing flooding.

(Meanwhile some are still waiting to hear if their homes are also part of that plan of “secondary storm channels to hold storm runoff”. Shouldn’t that be noted in the seller’s disclosure?)

You know you’re in Houston when a county flood management official says with a straight face “This was unprecedented flooding” and people politely let that pass while thinking, “Unprecedented maybe in the last 24 hours.”

(It’s flat here. It floods. Wonder if anyone will notice the typo in flood maps: One Hundred Year Flood Plain, must actually be One Hundred Day Flood Plain. Probably not if it’s written in curses cursive.)

Bayou City life

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

You know you’re in Houston when food mirrors basketball players…

Fancy donuts and Rocket's basketball player James Harden (Facebook/click2houston)

Fancy donuts in honor of Rocket’s James Harden’s eye injury in game 2. It’s Houston. We do food for everything. I know, you can tell by the crowd scenes.(Facebook/click2houston)

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