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September 18, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Sporting Creative Excuses

German Shepherd Dog hanging off couch. ©ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

And they say dogs are always coming up with unbelievable excuses.(© image rights reserved)

Remember the kid who was naughty and  just didn’t realize it was wrong? Is this new excuse explanation just like that?

Can we still say “naughty”? Can’t say “the kid’s bad” as it might hurt their feelings. Oh, poor pobrecito.

Affluenza. Sounds sleezy sneezy. 

They’ve been trying to eradicate it since the 50’s. The 60’s were promising, but reinfections keep piling up.

Possibly because it appears not to be income related any more. Anyone at any age of any group can equally not know things are bad or violent antisocial behavior or against the law naughty these days and get a do-over. All are entitled. Can’t sneeze at progress.

In any case, there’s a new gambit that’s bound to score with all sorts of athletes: “Overtraining Athlete Syndrome” 

Sounds painful, doesn’t it?

Maybe a little for one football player. (But after all he’s a big guy and shouldn’t expect a pass.)

Can’t blame his lawyer for trying ….It’s not his fault…Little is these days for anyone.

Totally trying, this gamey trend.

Oh, well, you can always just choose to turn it off….supposedly

Really busy trying to find the Off Switch for bad human behavior.

Or maybe Mother Nature has already beat me to it.

Batter up.

Wait, put that bat down….Not the fuzzy one, you dunderhead! Those actually do need a little pick me up after the hurricane.

“The Waugh Bat Colony Didn’t Escape Harvey” (Houstonia Magazine. Why the bats couldn’t fly away. Who came to the rescue and how. Why the bats won’t miss the mosquitoes when those are sprayed.)

That ought to fly.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Please excuse that blogging here will be interrupted this week as I assist The German and her trainee, Ella, with their Little Person to free up their Staff for bigger things. I’ll try to keep up with your blogs if there’s any energy to spare, but there are still shelter pet beds in progress (Houston animal rescues’ update here and Galveston County area pet rescues are now pooled at the old Gulf Greyhound Park. A better use than ever before for that place). And with another disaster (Houston area electric companies staged linemen and supplies just outside Florida before Irma hit so they could get in there and help get the power on ASAP. Everyone knows there is no back to normal without power.) ….So many stitches, so little time….Shouldn’t have given away that sewing machine, but concrete is so cold when you’re lost and alone, so sew….on the run it seems…

German Shepherd dog hiding on couch. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

You see those little hands? There. I’m pointing at them. Someone find the off button. He never stops. So exhausted. Bring in the relief pitcher and book me a spa treatment. Oh, OK. book me a quiet corner at least. (Image©)



September 15, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Garbage and distinct frabble

Woman in weird costume. Christine Welford. 1921 Broadway musical still. The Tatler mag, Aug, 1921 (, artist life/

Oh, fabjous day. Maybe things are picking up. Oh, things yes, but not the piles of storm debris?(USPD/

She spoke with authority as the head of trash Refuse Collection Department. (So it wasn’t rubbish – what she said, not the piles which could have been binned.)

“We are exhausted. And Ewww, the smell! It’s terrible.”

Well, yeah. It’s storm garbage shake and bake. (Bound to have been mentioned in the job interview: “Have any trouble managing odoriferous materials?”)

Grab the requisition slip pad: Please send crop dusters with large spray tanks of Fabreeze.

(“Did anyone get back to you about Burning Man type fire events? We’ve got some great flammable stuff. What? They wouldn’t consider a bonfire carrying barge anchored off shore? Think of the tourists coming to watch from the sea wall. Toss in a few firework for punctuation. No? Oh, well, next…What if contestants were loaded onto a barge load of storm stuff as part of a reality show? All sorts of possibilities there… “)

(“Has anyone organized the neighborhoods to go in and adopt neutered storm displaced cats? We’re going to need a battalion of them. Roaches are just the training appetizers…”)

Oh, balderdash. Scoop up the trash.

Is this like Where’s Waldo for FEMA?

Knowing how it goes from past experiences, the Mayor of Houston has proposed a 9% property tax increase to pay for getting the job done ourselves. Awkward: the people who got hurt, get whacked in the wallet next. (Street views video)

Asking for residents’ patience. Truth is, residents don’t want to be patients.

If you’ve got a truck, a front end loader, a highway department dirt hauler, maybe a mule and a wagon, a you’re hired.

Ready to transcend the experience.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Showgirl in peacock costume. 1922. Pub. still of Mae Murray in Peacock Alley flim. Metro Pict/ Film Fun mag/USPD., artist life/

Just tell me what you want. A sacrificial maiden perched to the top of the pile? (USPD/

“Frabble”: an archaic, said to be obsolete, word.

(Depending on your style or how many beer cans there are at your feet)

As a noun: confused or wrangling. As a verb: to bicker or to wrangle.

It’s like a Where’s Waldo word! 


Spotted in A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles, by James Murray, (1888-1933) in a discussion of English philosopher Henry More (1614-1687) who “could not swallow that hard doctrine”of his Calvinist parents.

“More believes that moral ideas are innate in us. When we are born, we possess already the moral character that shapes our actions for the rest of our lives.” (source).

“But souls that of his own good life partake,
He loves as his own self; dear as his eye
They are to Him: He’ll never them forsake:
When they shall die, then God himself shall die:
They live, they live in blest eternity.”
Henry More

This passage chosen by transcendentalist author Ralph Waldo Emerson as epithet for his remarkable “The Over-Soul” (WIKI or try the Cliff Notes as a refresher..but you really need to read Emerson if you haven’t). He said stuff like “Bad times have a scientific value. These occasions a good learner would not miss”, “Every wall is a door”, and “It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can be stupid with them.”

Woman in costume. 1922. Actress Betty Compson in film The Green Tenptation/Paramount still fopr Film Fun 1922 (USPD., artist life/

Some believe people are born good and that goodness directs their actions. Disputed by modern thinkers who say environment is what impacts behavior. It the last is true, those piles of trash need to be gone ASAP or people could become so trashy!(USPD/


September 13, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Threatened by a slow mover

Alligator snapping turtle. (Chip Brewer FaceBook/click2houston reporter)

I just want to go home. (Chip Brewer FB)

For an old guy, he’s got bite.

But then again, everyone tends to get snippy when forced out of their neighborhood without notice.

Police stopped him as he was attempting to walk home after Hurricane Harvey’s flooding because it was dark, he was stopping traffic on Memorial Drive, and, not to mention, he appeared to be between 70 and 100 years old. (He was too busy trying to leave to confirm.)

All 89 pounds of him firmly resisted Houston Police Officers’ offers of assistance. (Must believe that no one will ever take as good of care of you as you will yourself. Self reliance worked for him for years…)

Still, police insisted the giant alligator snapping turtle get checked out, so he was carefully loaded into a special van and whisked to the Wildlife Center of Texas for evaluation.

Happy to say, the endangered gentleman was determined to be hale and hearty and was given a lift back to his Buffalo Bayou habitat Tuesday afternoon. No place like home.

“Slow down! Turtle stops traffic on Memorial Drive” (More Video from scene)

Some slow motion is snappy action

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Oh, more good news:

Houston has been no kill animal rescue for a week thanks to Houston Pets Alive. Keep up the good work and increasing hope. So many animals displaced and so many families making the tough decision to surrender pets. (Video of their work here) Big thanks to all the volunteers and to Dr. Jeff, Rocky Mountain Vet and to Animal Planet for coming to Houston and helping raise awareness to the animals impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Texas Animal Health Commission and partners have assessed more than 24,662 livestock by air or ground and continues to work with partners to help coordinate hay donations and deliveries. Operation Air Drop(more pictures there): when stranded livestock marooned by flood waters can’t be reached by boat or vehicle, the Texas Army National Guard is flying in and air dropping more than 210,000 pounds of hay, generously donated by individuals across the state and nation.

Helicopter loaded with hay for stranded cattle.(USDA Sec Sonny Perdue. Twitter)

Helicopter loaded with hay for stranded livestock. (USDA Sec. Sonny Perdue.Twitter)



September 11, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

A measure of pigs

Pig on a horse. 1905 (L.Leslie Brooke/, artist life/

You can poke a pig or be a cowpoke.(USPD/

“Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.” (George Bernard Shaw)

Nothing like a few pig-headed ideas to start the week.

You know the most popular unit of measure in Texas, the land of “Friday Night Lights”?

Not inches, meters or miles, things are measured by football fields.

 It’s “about the size of a two of football fields”.

Just normal in keeping with the state’s pigskin obsession.

Yep, keeping things real. Simple.

It was really simple for feral hogs to see lifestyle adjustments were necessary after the hurricane.

One smarter than the average wild hog bunch is already out there reinventing their lifestyle and being flexible – open to new ideas and ways to bring home the bacon.

Perhaps THE experts in the nursery rhymes, they seem to be auditioning for preschool assistants. Not deterred by a sloppy playground. Who better to teach piggy toes’ “This little piggy went to market. This little piggy went home…”, or “To market, to market…”?

The homeowner might not have considered hiring childcare help quite yet, but with two boys and brand new set of hurricane twins, she might just be willing to give them a try. (Peek in on the hogs rehearsing for their playground interview!)

Vintage illustration. Two little girls playing This Little Pig. Wentworth; Eugene/Ginn and co.( date, 1912, artist life,/

When NOAA says they are “high on the hog” it’s not a joke.

Want top know why Miss Piggy flies with NOAA’s hurricane hunters?

Well, you knew about Pigs in Space, so now get a grin how Miss Piggy became Queen of the Sky.

When pigs fly, indeed. We couldn’t manage without you, Miss Piggy.

Miss Piggy logo on hurricane plane ( gov agency/

Miss Piggy flies in style (USPD/

One thing that isn’t up in the air as expected is hunting wild hogs from hot air balloons.

The oddest pork-chopper bill became law Sept 1, but for some reason the new hunting style isn’t soaring. (Oh, bill sponsors will blame the hurricane. It’s blamed for just about everything right now, right?)

Some balloon insurance agencies aren’t ready to soar with it. And there are some logistic issues. Not to mention guns with balloons (And you though just clowns on the ground were scary…)

 A fledgling recreation opportunity not ready to leave the nest?

“New law allows hunting hogs from hot air balloons, but few balloonist offering it”

So that’s the thick and thin of it.

Pigs out. (Mind the swine!)

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

“I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.”

(Winston Churchill)

Pig in living room by fireplace. 1905.L.Leslie Brooke/, artist life/

Pig in a space at home. (USPD/

September 8, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Family splatters

There’s sibling rivalry. Then there’s sibling one-upmanship. But do we all have to suffer this dysfunctional family affair?

Man in suit and two annoyed children in vintage clothing. Twilight Zone promo photo. CBS/USPD., artist life, no cr/

Quiet and quit fidgeting. Look harmless. Once the neighbors go inside, we’ll let the other two out.(Twilight Zone/USPD/

The oldest is always an opening act. The one who creates a buzz in naive anticipation of the unknown. Who gets the full benefit of hyper-excitement and the chance to snooker the unprepared. Lucky draw of being the first.

The second is the stormy one. Given second-hand attention and clearly annoyed about not being the headliner. Determined to bluster bigger, better and louder than first-born competition.

The third is often a follower – a copycat. Something of a shadow – following along behind. Almost invisible on the hand-me-down trail until eventually finding his own identity.

The fourth, now that’s the sleeper. Seemingly harmless and congenial. It’s all an act. Don’t forget it was probably the innocent baby Maggie who shot Mr Burns. Once everyone’s busy with the others, watch out: who’s slipping out for a party blowout?

Sometimes when a new bunch shows up, you just know they are trouble.

This stormy family seems to follow that pattern: First came Hurricane Harvey, then pushy Irma, closely trailed by Jose, with Katia nonchalantly hanging out off to the side.

Nothing but revolving trouble.

Lose their forwarding address.

May they be gone with the wind. (Leaving you and yours safe and sound)

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Overly dramatic woman in strange elaborate costume. 1922 Mae Murray. Metro Picture's film Fascination. (The Tattler mag/USPD., artist life/

“Why are you always watching what I do? I am not being overly dramatic. Harvey gets everything because he’s was the first. Well, we’ll see who gets the most attention now! No, it is not the good tablecloth. I picked it up along the curb in Houston. Someday I will not have to be satisfied with his discards – I shall have my own.”(USPD/





September 6, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Requesting Air Cover

Vintage car and hilly landscape (1920 postcard. USPD., artist life, Unico postcard/

We’ll be wishing us up the mountain when she comes…”(USPD/

Dad would yell, “We’re going up a hill. Pick up your feet so we’ll make it”. As little kids, we were sure the car would stall – and maybe even roll backwards – if we didn’t comply.

Extend that concept:

Everyone west of the Mississippi please face Eastward/ South east, puff up those cheeks and exhale with such force and determination that Irma and Associates blow into reverse.

Wave brooms and towels, too.

All together now: “Hurricanes, Hurricanes. Hurry, hurry far away!”

Seriously, Harvey must have texted, “The water’s fine. Come on down!”.

Won’t show you any flood recovery images. Residents are tired of being gawked at by outsiders. Enough already; we’re busy.

You’re probably glazed over by now anyway. Yes, there’s still flooding.

We’ve been warned if and when Irma makes landfall, resources will be shifted there.

tree shadow against brick wall.© Venus de Milo pose appealing to Aphrodite< Goddess of Love and Beauty, for help (ALL rights reserved. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted )

Having watched far too much of Twin Peaks, a tree strikes a Venus de Milo pose in a shadowy appeal for help turning the storms. (Image ©)

So we really need air support right now, if you don’t mind.

Florida and the Carolinas would appreciate the assist, too.

Huff and puff and blow that storm down.

Driving rain.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Hurricane Harvey recovery notes:

  • Birds. It’s so quiet. Not even doves. I heard a bird calling early Monday morning sounding so lost and lonely. That night we heard, then saw, an owl perched on a roof gable. Tuesday morning a whole line of ocean-going birds sailed over headed to the coast. Later that afternoon, our local red tailed hawk swooped over us hunting once again in the neighborhood. Hopefully we’ll be in fine feather again soon. Fall migration isn’t too far away. Worried the Whooping Cranes will find their wetland habitats south of us too damaged to sustain them this year.
  • A neighbor has spent the past 3 days helping to clean his mother-in-law’s room and her nursing home. He’s older himself with health problems, but what can you do? He was chuckling this morning when I ran into him walking his Labrador. Said he’d gotten a postcard from the nursing home in that “handwritten” script relaying how much fun his Mother-in-law was having playing bridge and that she enjoyed organizing bridge tournaments the past couple of days. He said, “How would we know? These cards always looked authentic and reassuring.” Smart marketing strategy by Corporate, but easy to get tripped up during hurricane season.
  • Tell me again why it’s a smart idea to take down the elevated portions of both Hwy 59 and Hwy 45 and run them underground instead of over downtown as they are now. I know the tunnels of Boston, but considering the massive flooding issues that don’t seem to be so rare any more? All I can say is “I see dead people.”
  • Being ridden out on a rail maybe isn’t such a bad thing. Gee, what if there was high speed commuter rail from Galveston to Houston to Dallas to San Antonio to Austin? We’ve been asking for decades, DC and elected officials. Considering the need to move large numbers of people quickly before and after big storms, all the people with flooded out cars who could really use a ride – not to mention taking cars off the roads and easing everyday traffic problems.
  • Need more proof German Shepherds are really smart? People noticed him in the GRB regional shelter. Nobody seemed to come check on him. Had he been left behind as families and evacuees were moved to apartments and hotels accommodations? A volunteer took him in as a foster. Social media scorned his owners. Actually, the dog’s a typical self-reliant Texan. A Metro bus driver surfaced with his story. While she was shuttling people to the shelter during the hurricane, she noticed this German Shepherd standing on the corner – by a bus stop. It was storming, so she pulled over, opened the door, told him to get on and he did. Sat quietly and once at the shelter, he was escorted to a nice dry spot, feed, and generally pampered by volunteers in the pet area. He’s got a spot now. Not to worry. Safe and sound no matter what. (Animals need to be chipped, but owners need a good picture, too. This app also provides new hope: Finding Rover  and the story “APP uses facial recognition to reunite owners with lost pets”)
  • I’m healing a small gash (stupid stick) on one leg and some fire ant battle scars on the other ankle, so no contaminated flood water or bacteria oozing mud zones right now. Busy making dog beds. Lots and lots of dog and cat beds that are badly needed. Not fancy but just as comforting. Which brings up these two local groups sheltering lost pets: League City Pets Alive (Volunteers fostering keep our city shelter no kill) and Bayou Animal Services (Galveston county: Dickinson/and others) Both of these shelters took in over 100 pets and are working to reunite them with ones as well as offering to house pets until owners can get things sorted out. They are also handing out pet food and supplies to evacuees and pet owners who are in hotels or damaged houses. Galveston Island Humane Society has offered dry rooms to store (and distribute) donated food. Big thanks for all who swam, rowed, waded in to rescue and those who are tending (a young vet from out of state is one), driving in food and pet supplies, fostering, and walking all back to normal-ish. We won’t forget. Thanks.

Dogs and cats in western costumes. League City Animal shelter event.


September 5, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Twisting vision.

plant holding leaf. (Image © ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted, NO permissions granted)

That’s a wrap. (Image ©)

The point

A death spiral intercepted?

Arms of a savior or a lover’s quarrel. “I’ll hug you to death”. “Leaf me alone!”

Maybe something less decay oriented.

A green pair practicing tango for Dancing with Under the Stars

A naturalist’s version of a Swan Lake

Fresh take on the Elizabethan drama of “Lettuce Elope, Juliet”

What does this stem from?

Selfless leaf to leaf recitation.

An analogy for post hurricane Harvey week

“Lean on me when you’re not strong.”

“You ain’t heavy, you’re my brother.”

Well rooted.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

This particular plant is just so busy. Such ambitions: “Getting to the point.” or “Scary Organics”

Plant couple. (Image ©. ALL rights reserved, Copyrighted, NO permissions granted)

Eat your heart out, Rudolf Nureyev.(Image ©)


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