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July 24, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

High, oh, humor. Away

Man. Frightened face. Actor Dick Miller in film Bucket of Blood. 1959 (USPD:

Is this a test? Have pity; it’s summer. (USPD/

It’s a “Where’s Waldo” type joke that will take a little effort.

The pressure’s on.

Snort when you see it.

Feel free to smirk or roll eyes.

Welcome Sign has it's heart in the right place in top left. Humorously abbreviated(screenshot ch 13 news)

Welcome sign has its’ heart in the right place at top left. (ch 13 news)

Somehow the sign works.

Tweets have prepared us.

“What? You know what it means. So?”

Alternative explanation: English is a complicated language to learn.

Language, so nimble. Appears to have strong a self-preservation instinct,

© Signs. Diversity on the corner. ALL rights reserved, copyrighted, NO permissions granted

Diversity cornered. (© image)

Past our favorite Thai and sushi places is this eclectic corner.

Typical Texas: Louisiana on one side and Mexico on the other. Throughout history.

Pemex is the Mexican state-owned petroleum company. You may or may not have the green and red in your neighborhood. Yet.

People think Louisiana crawfish, but it’s also a local item here. Mudbugs are crammed in coolers and hauled back and forth between states depending on season and availability. (I do not eat them. Anything I poked as a kid with sticks in holes in the ground are not on my menu. Same “Nope, please take mine” level as squirrel.)

You are now free to smile and move about the universe.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.






July 21, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Mystery in Drive.

 Instrument display of Ford Mustang GT 500. (

Dog bone shaped toy for those driven. They’ll be doggone. Instrument display of new Mustang GT 500. (

Such a tease.

Like a stripper revealing just a little bit – a suggestion of what is to come – and dropping a few staged hints.

Trick to decode what is real and what is merely come-on.

Numbers shaping a mystery in Ford’s instrument cluster picture:

  • 1964.5   First Mustang came out as half-year 1964 model. (First Shelby in 1965)
  • 289   The cubic inch engine displacement of the first Mustang V8.
  • 7 – 55   Possibly the horsepower of the new Shelby Mustang GT500 expected to be introduced in 2018, out in 2019.
  • 11:17:11   Could this be the date and exact time for the big Mustang reveal? (Where’s a major car show then?)

Rumors’ not running on empty.

Gearheaded urban myths – like playing Beatles’ tunes backwards?

You auto know better.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge


July 17, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Even Cool Ones Lie.

Arizona scheming. Nothing like those scorching hot metal clam-shaped patio chairs (Which are now retro trendy. Humans are slow learners.) (USPD/

The lettering on the motel signs was small, but that was serious motivation to improve reading skills.

We quickly learned the difference between when traveling the steamy Southwest. Even whizzing by too fast and almost delirious from a day in a hot car.  

(Fool me once, shame on you, sneaky adult. Fool me twice…)

We were convinced that “air cooled” wasn’t. Only a ploy to trick travelers into a place that should be passed by.

Everyone had criteria.

Mom wanted a kitchenette. And maybe a washateria close.

Dad, parking right at the door for hauling stuff in and out of the car. And a cafe serving early morning coffee next door.

We looked for signs of “pool” and “air conditioning”. Never “air cooled.”

Air coolers were metal, water-filled rattling contraptions that acted like they were actually doing something.

To us, if humidity isn’t taken out of the air, it ain’t cool no matter how much air is blowing.

Might as well stay in the tent and save money. (And tolerate insane suggestions of “Imagine being on an iceberg floating in the Arctic…” Moms sometimes ask too much.)

Many survival skills are acquired during road trips.

Motel Postcard. Motel in New Mexico.1930-45/Tichnor Bros. Boston Pub.Lib/USPD. artist life, pub,date/

Close, but no yucca, New Mexico. (USPD./

Tired of sweltering while camping out (either by choice or by hurricane…) or environmentally mug about solar? Possible answer boxed up with DIY air conditioning.

(We will ignore the environmental damage made by creating plastics, dyes, batteries, and manufacturing…)

At least this one won’t rust. Not guaranteeing you won’t get a mildew-ish smell after a while. But in a pinch…

Freezing ice in 2 liter bottles is our choice for storm prep for extending fridge life during hurricanes. They stack well. Just don’t fill the bottle all the way up to allow for expansion by the ice. Replace cap after freezing keeps the water in the bottle as it melts.

Less mess is cool.

We are scheduled to host both The German and her sidekick in training, Ella, shortly.

Molly Malamute is thrilled. The extreme heat has her housebound and bored.

Determinedly relocating  her toy stash into her nighttime safe zone in preparation, though. They have to be separated at night. You know how sleepovers get out of control quickly.

RC Cat of the Realm insists the K-9 guests would enjoy sleeping out under the stars. Hot? Phiff. She’s suggesting this blue box as a chilling solution instead of the living room couch.

Must also locate what The German calls the largest water bowl in the world for desperate redirection of  excessive energies splashdowns and sloshes. There’s the week ahead to batten down the hatches get ready…and plead with the rain gods to have pity on us.

Sweating the mother of detention.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Diagram explaining how Evaporative Air Cooler works for house. (Nevit/

If it doesn’t cool one room, how can it cool a whole house? Maybe in some dryer universe. But as a little kid it was fun pouring jars of water into one an ancient uncle had in his farm house – until it rusted out. I think it was mainly there to entertain small guests or to make such a racket that it kept unwanted critters away. (Nevit/


July 14, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Good gravy. Life’s a cartoon.

It was unclear whether to grab a slicker or a spoon. What was cooking? It sounded messy.

Darting across the satellite map, pointing at grey images moving directly towards each other, the weather guy announced, “The clouds will congeal about here so don’t get caught unaware.”

So maybe I should hire a gravy boat?

Despite many dreary summer offerings, entertainment is still available – from the original source, Life.

1939 International Jungle Truck, Commander Gatti. Alsen Jewell/USPD., artist life/

You can’t make this stuff up.1939 Explorer and author Commander Gatti and his International Jungle Truck. (USPD/

 Who’s Who of clueless: a familiar plot of universal meaning staged in a local Thai restaurant during lunch:

Casting includes a young, casually dressed dad with a wide smile and a preteen girl with swinging, blond pony-tail and shouldered backpack. She’s seems to have spent the morning at some sort of lessons or camp before being picked up by Dad who seems thrilled to spend some father-daughter time together.

When the waitress leads them to a table with two chairs facing two other chairs against the wall, the young girl swings her backpack over the back of a wall seat as the dad picks up some napkin wrapped utensils and sits down in the chair next to her against the wall.

Her pony tailed stopped swinging. She, appalled, loudly whispered, “What are you doing?” Looked around in embarrassment.

“I’m sitting next to you so we can talk,” he grinned  – totally oblivious to her discomfort.

He continued to chat amicably as she snorted, gave multiple eye rolls, jerked her backpack off the chair back and flopped dramatically into a chair on the other side of the table. Not opposite her dad, but opposite the empty chair.

Doubt she realized how amused her dad was. With twinkling eyes he just kept grinning and chatting away while she willed herself invisible.

I think he’s got a chance of surviving the teen years. You know the old saying: “Only thing meaner than a 13-year-old girl is a 14-year-old girl.” (It’s written down somewhere. I know it is.)

And now for the big finish: a cute little one. (Joy comes complete with Uggs?)

After a two year weight, Joy arrived.

She and her mom, Shanti, are already helping to support and protect elephants in the wild.

Serving up a weekend’s worth of smiles

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

And the Back to School ads are already starting:

Luxury fashion accessories for back to school, Kate Spade advertisement for back to school

We’ve come a long way, Baby. Learning environment is important, Pretty. The leopard shoes got cut off, sorry.(Kate Spade Back to School ad.)

July 10, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Call not connected

women at work. Switchboard at phone company. Bell Tel. Mag. 1922 (

“Unwanted guests? Tell them to go inside, shut the drapes, and lock the dog door. Just leave the burgers on the grill.” (USPD/

Overlooked in the relocation packet: “Not a species majority area.”

Nervous, for multiple reasons, the question haltingly came out, “Where does the family of midgets live on the block?”

It wouldn’t have been neighborly to laugh.

Her husband traveled – and she drank more than a wee bit.

The brief flash of “Was that eyes peeking in the window?” late at night would startle anyone.

Then the tiny handprints low on the glass windows the next morning must have added concern.

Newcomers to the area love the wooded parcels on the north side, as the wetlands of the south, and the open prairie of the west, but they don’t seem to understand they are moving uninvited into local animals’ living rooms and playgrounds.

Not expecting gators, wild hogs, possums, and coyotes to be sharing their porches, gardens, and swimming pools.

Calls to police and animal control are politely met, but the response is moderate with “Well, they were here first. Don’t feed the gators chicken and don’t leave pet food out. Mind your own business and they’ll mind theirs. We coexist here.”

Here’s a smile from the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s humorous response on Facebook to multiple recent calls about coyotes in the neighborhoods.

 humorous message by Fort Bend County Sheriff about coyotes in area (Image: FT. Bend County Sheriff FaceBook page/Texas Parks and Wildlife)

Handsome smiling coyote in natural area. Image from Fort Bend County Sheriff's Facebooks/Texas Parks and Wildlife)

Obviously the Sheriff is wise in the ways of  Wile E. (Ft.Bend Co.FB/TPWD)

Oh, we did eventually mention to the new neighbor about the very large, handsome, intelligent, Raccoon chevalier and his stylish young wife. He was known to be an excellent provider and husband.

Even so, the neighbors continued to replace the disappearing fish in their fabulously landscaped and stocked pond. Kept muttering about cats and neighbor kids stealing their prize koi….not herd of share the bounty, I guess.

Howl on and hold on to what is yours,

(Listen to videos of Houston’s suburban coyotes howling  here , here, and here.)

Sense of humor, always the best response.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

(As has been said, a picture is worth a thousand words so RC Cat of the Realm has recreated the style and stance of our neighborhood raccoon courtier…much to his amazement…)

Cat. Puss in Boots fairy tale. 1883, Dore (USPD/

“He stood well over knee high and frequently left handprints on windows as he peered in to check when the movie Guardians of the Galaxy would be on again. He was quite smug that a relative had a leading role as Rocket.”(USPD/

Raccoon at pond in natural setting. Image by Kichael Gabler/

“Appalling, isn’t it. That cat thinks she’s got it all figured out.”(Kichael Gabler/






July 7, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Summer’s Bestest and the Restless

© Large furry cat glaring in chair. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

“Make haste while ye may. They are still zoned out from The Day of the Pop-pops. Amazon is under favorites and the charge cards are on the table…” (Image: © ALL rights reserved)

Mid-week holidays basically destroys an entire week’s productivity. The human brain loves any excuse to drift off.

Small children and animals waste no time exploiting adults’ bleariness and lackadaisical condition. (That bear opening the fridge, for example.)

Natural balance and brain order resets next Monday with a routine week.

Not routine:  Big earthquake in Montana along the axis of the Intermountain Seismic Belt

Best tweet coming out afterwards by Sean Ryan of Butte, “Now that everyone in Montana is awake from that earthquake … you guys want to play Monopoly or something?”

massive aggressive vine taking over yard and ready to dominate pine tree. ALL rights reserved, copyrighted, no permissions granted

Not routine:  2 weeks ago there was only a 1 foot dirt circle around the tree. Last year this hyper-vine topped the pine tree and had to be hacked into submission each week. Note the aggressive tendrils sticking out threateningly. Residents are requesting a caution sign…If a small child wanders too close…We will know where to start looking when the Amber Alert is issued. ©

Desperately hoping this doesn’t become routine: Prime time news anchors doing arts and crafts on the air.

  • Seriously? Yep, Big time city news: how to wrap a toilet paper roll in construction paper, add a balloon, and confetti to make “safe fun kid-safe firecracker”. Maybe we accidentally turned on Sesame Street by accident. No? Oh.
  • Not a mention of the dire chaos in Venezuela (Zuckerberg are you paying attention to that?) or the 11,155 people murdered in 5 months in Mexico. Not a whisper of the North China sea island controversy.
  • Lots of time for giggles over artsy project. Lovely.

What goes up routinely comes down. What if it’s not the guns people are actually attracted to, but the loud noises those make? Save lives: Toss them fireworks instead..and a designated spot to use them. 

Loud noises and wacky behavior seem routine for smoldering July.

Naps. I suggest naps for all until things shake out.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Plum craziness fits right now. (And, yes, I want one.)















July 5, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Auto. Snow and go.

Fishermen in stream with rods and reels. (USPD. archives/ Flickr/

“We can just catch a few while waiting for the light to change.” (USPD/

So does my car need water wings or a fishing pole hatch?

Ponding, Weather Guy?

Ponds are idyllic scenes with ducks – always ducks. And stuff like fish, lily pads, and, oh, OK, a water moccasin or gator locally.

“Ponding” describing roads is not helpful unless the car is stolen or GPS is feeling ornery.

Men in foul wether gear. Fishermen standing in water.. (Nat. Lib. of Norway/USPD/

“I don’t know how they can ticket me. Who can even see the crosswalk?” (USPD/

Why abandon these for road conditions:

  • Slick roadways with hydroplaning possible
  • Puddles possible on the road
  • High water in low spots
  • “Turn around, don’t drown” flooding.

For “ponding” I don’t know if to pack a small umbrella, carry shoes to change into at the door, or don full foul weather boat gear and hip waders

Would be delightful to get some practical info – even if it’s not academic or technical.

Could blame lack of vocabulary for word oddities, but it’s trendy to be clever or to suggest some vague, unwarranted connections.

Woman with parasol by lake. (Leo Baeck Institute/USPD.

I love ponding. We can take a picnic lunch and the dogs can swim. (USPD/

Audi has an interesting recent commercial featuring a small boy being chased in the snow by bullies.

Winner! “Bullies” is an attention grabber, right? (Although bordering on yawn with the theme seen too often.)

Gets the viewers emotionally empathizing with the underdog kid. Keeps them engaged during the whole commercial. (Snow scene on a hot day doesn’t hurt either.)

But wait, there’s more!

First, to the viewer’s ear, the two words Karma (as in “you’re gonna get yours down the road.”) and Carpe (as in the commonly said “Carpe diem – seize the day”) sound interchangeable if you’re not fully paying attention. And who is these days? The two words sound the same at the start.

Easy to mis-hear.

Besides with Twitter briefness and over zealous Spell Check, the “Seize the day” Carpe phrase is close enough to easily transform into “Seize the moment!” for their marketing campaign.

Wondering though if the kid really shows an understanding of Karma as he turns to get his revenge. Question: is the car Fate, the cavalry come to the rescue, or simple disinterested coincidence as is its’ nature. Not exactly a naturally following, although it could be close enough.

Oddly, Audi has their protagonist yelling out the name of another car company’s car model at a key, high interest moment. (Fisker Karma now the Wanxiang’s Karma Revero).

You can sort through it all yourself or just enjoy the drive by.

Rain or shine.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.




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