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November 28, 2021 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Containment impossible

Brown bear cub at Yellowstone with cameraa maan. 1916 (USPD pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Look. I’ll go stand by the road. You film. Then we’ll put it on Twitter.”(1916.USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

It’s an opening.

Not Yellowstone – or even Jellystone – but bearly unable to contain this one: 

“What does it want? Quick, tell. Toss it something. Try salmon. No, tuna. We have tuna. Toss out the tuna sandwich! Oh, wait. He’ll have a ball.”

Watch a bear rip the door off a Lamborghini Huracan. (Video here)

Hmmm, Suspicious. Possibly staged? By an Arab Sheikh in Dubai who loves fast cars and wild animals with loads of money and nothing to do except to be the merry maker? Hey, it’s a classier Tiger King! (And I am easily amused)

If that’s not enough of a kick in the head for you, how about a “Worse possible way to meet a girl: Making a pass”?

From the Nebraska Cornhuskers vs the Iowa Hawkeyes game: the Nebraska quarterback attempts a very sneaky play using a undesignated receiver…one of the Nebraska cheerleaders. (Video here)

If she had only dropped her pompoms, grabbed the football, and sprinted toward the goal line!

Hope they followed up with the athlete’s concussion protocol.

Cheerleaders jumping in air. Vintage. 1956. (Image: UW Digital Collections/ yearbook published 1957/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“No, no, girls. It’s not a bridal bouquet!” (Image:UW Digital Collections/Commons.wikimedia.org)

As big brother warned, “When anywhere on a field with a game in play, keep your eye on the ball.”

So just when you thought it was time to head to the refreshment stand and belly up to the bar again, extra innings seem to be on the board for COVID hysteria precautions.

OMG it’s Omicron! (Only a coincidence that it sounds like DEFCON…only a coincidence..)

Despite the strict appearance resolve to stick to science, the Powers That Be felt stung and decided to alter the agreed upon scientific nomenclature sequencing the Greek Alphabet to call the variant from Africa Omicron, not Nu or Xi as it should have been.

“Nu was too close to “new” in English which could cause confusion: “the new Nu variant”. (Although COVID is all about confusion of once sort or another…).

Also, and probably more importantly, “Xi”  is a common last name in China….as in the name of the current president there…apparently not a man of humor. (No matter how appropriate/ironic, can’t name it Xi. Don’t want to upset the Apple carts there…)

“The Omicron Variant: We still know almost nothing” (The Atlantic) Here’s some of what is know.

Man in gas mask1930. Worn when spraying plant insecticide in greenhouses in Holland(PD released/COmmons.wikimedia.org)

Coming soon to a community to you? Wonder if this model comes with corrective lenses. Oh, come on. You gotta laugh. 1930’s man in gas mask worn when spraying insecticides in Holland’s greenhouses on plants like tulips. See, you never knew that, did you? (PD released/Commons.wikimedia.org)

One last impossible to contain tidbit:

Those exempt from President’s Executive order for mandatory vaccines:(Source)

  • 1.) Postal workers (Whew. No worries about stamping out contagion there.)
  • 2) Congress (and their staff/office. No matter which Party, they party on.)
  • 3). Undocumented immigrants. (The newest “Don’t ask and don’t tell“ group avoiding several topics and questionings),
  • 4). Welfare recipients as a requirement for food stamps/ Medicare and such.

Some, given choices, but ordinary, taxpaying citizens….well, you know.

Board game box for Chutes and Ladders (Image Hasbro)

Hasbro’s exciting board game of ups and downs. “If you land on a good deed, you can shimmy up a ladder, but land on the wrong spot and youll shoot down a chute!” For ages 3 yrs+…Good to learn early.(Image Hasbro)

Chute.  Time to ladder up and get lit up for the holidays. 

Doesn’t it seem like we were just here…and lost a year? Not enough data about that yet…

(Now, one of this company’s vaccine + one of the other + a booster or two from the third company ….How about admitting that horse has done left the barn and maybe it’s time to work on improving treatment options instead)

The fireplaces still burn charmingly bright on YouTube videos

Sounds and Images of Christmas shoppers fill the air. 

The newest shopping accessory hampering the stores is a bit baffling: Sledge hammers – who knew?  It must be smashing to be one of those fast scampering participants in what appears to be the newest of reality shows: Gift grabbing liberating contests! Currently seen on all the upscale stores’ security footages.

Creativity knows no bounds.

So yeah, start your neighbor’s stolen car’s engines. Get out the paper plates. (Also baffling. Tell me, is the news anchor already talking about easy cleanup suggestions for festive dinners?)

Rought looking Christmas elves in parade. (USPD. pub. date, artist life. Commons.WIkimedia.org)

Rough looking Christmas elves escorting parade official or the “New Normal” bodyguards for mall shoppers?(USPD/Commons.WIkimedia.org)

Holiday on!

Forget trying to contain the determined seasonal optimism, the cinnamon-spiced enthusiasm, the eggnog-induced joy, and, most of all, the goodwill towards your fellow man  humans all creatures great and small! 

Now get out there and jingle

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

sagging inflatable Thanksgiving turkey yard decoration (© Image copyrighted, all rights reserved NO permissions granted)

He looks tired just thinking about it. But with his featured holiday over, that’s a ton of weigh off his shoulder.(© Image)

November 18, 2021 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Docked and training thoughts.

Somehow reminded me of high noon in a western movie.

Or maybe the day after scary space aliens landed.

Empty abandoned street. Vacant old buildings. Footsteps echoing.

Old buildings on deserted street on Galveston Strand (© image. Copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Old building on Galveston Strand (© image)

Well, it is high noon on Galveston’s Historic Strand midweek with few tourists and no cruise ships in port

Yep, the best time for harbourside eating on the patios, so there we went.

Galveston Strand hotel. (© image. copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Galveston Strand hotel. (© image)

There used to be a wonderful dog-friendly restaurant porch on the bottom level of this building. With among other items, tasty appetizers, Greek salads, and gyros. They had a very confident local cat, too, Olympia. who greeted each table. An elegant charmer who was always well rewarded.

There’s a little grassy park off to the left with benches, knolls which is a pleasant spot to sun, m walk the dog, or watch the water traffic.

The restaurant, closed now sadly. We’ll just have to walk on down a block to Katie’s.

Large merchant ship docked at Galveston cruise terminal (© image all rights reserved, copyrighted, all rights reserved)

Large merchant container ship docked at Galveston cruise terminal. You probably can;’t see but there are 6 others docked and unloading since there was space available – and plenty of busy cranes. (© image)

Now there’s a sight you don’t see everyday:

A HUGE merchant/container ship unloading cargo instead of Disney or Carnival cruise lines unloading passengers. While most know the Houston Ship Channel and Port, Galveston had one first – along with shipyards for servicing all sorts of vessels.

Apparently some companies took Gov. Abbott up on his offer: “Ships can sit burning money and time waiting for room at the California ports, or take a week, head down to the Panama Canal, slip through, then cruise up to the 3rd Coast – our Gulf Coastal ports – who have room, equipment, and workers to unload your merchandise.”

Seeing these monster ships is quite a contrast – especially docked right next to the historic tall ship Elissa who sailed as a merchant vessel into this same port in the 1800-1900’s. Elissa is seaworthy and still sails on occasion. You can also visit her dockside. OR check out this lovely video as she goes for a sail.

Galveston port with large merchant ship at cruise dock and work over rig being serviced at shipyard opposite ( image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Galveston port has a deep channel in the middle. Usually there are also shrimp boats, tourist sight seeing boats, and weekend motor boats zooming all up and down here, too. There’s a work-over drilling rig being serviced at shipyard opposite the giant ship If you squint or enlarge the image in the middle you’ll see a huge pile of yellow sulphur that has been unloaded and the long causeway bridge joining the island to the mainland. (© image)

Galveston museum (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Looking the opposite direction, there’s the Coast Guard station waaaay down there on the right. That’s the Galveston OCEAN STAR museum . Click that link take a virtual tour.(© image)

Katie’s Seafood House opened in 1988. Their big porch is shady and overlooks shrimp boats docks as well as the main channel. A calm afternoon with quiet diners and little boat traffic …couldn’t tell if the swooping seagulls and pelicans floating around were unhappy about that or not. No doubt there’s always a few tidbits tossed out by diners, shrimpers cleaning their decks or the fish market right next door. The aloof birds maybe not as cozy at a cute cat concierge, but still interaction with the locals. You want to locals to survive.

Can tell you one thing, a couple of little honey bees seemed determined to sample the shrimp cocktail and Bloody Mary glasses on the table. (Who could hate a little honey bee though?)

Shrimp boats docked in Galveston's pier fish market (© image all rights reserved no permissions granted, copyright )

Shrimp boats docked in Galveston’s fish market pier and Katie’s.(© image)

Below is the top of one of the merchant ships towering over one of the cruise terminals. It’s nice to see the ports are being used instead of silent and vacant with all the cruises halted.

There’s a massive train yard not far from the terminals and docks. with rails still running all along the water front. I’ve never seen so many train locomotives lined up everywhere ready to go in this yard. Tons and tons of locomotives and flatbed cars. Some obviously have seen better days, but have been pressed into service again.

Maybe some will get those everyday longed for items or even some Christmas wares after all . We also saw several cruise line parking lots jammed with the huge wind turbine “stems” – recently unloaded from ships – now being put on trucks by massive cranes. All ready to move inland in long caravans…hopefully not during commuter travel times on I45 and.

Merchant cargo ship docked at cruise ship port in Galveston, TX (© image)

Merchant cargo ship docked at cruise ship terminal in Galveston, TX (© image)

Eventually, we had to head past the cruise docks and towards home….for now. No secret- now is best time for visiting beaches and coastal destinations. Great way to spend a birthday each year, too.

Absentee excuse note for:

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

More posts and pictures of the historic Galveston Strand, once the Wall Street of the South:

Galveston Strand street and water taxi docks (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Galveston harbour scene with lovely statue and water taxi docks on the right. A movie setting waiting for the right script?(© image)

November 10, 2021 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Night fright

Surreal green cat drinking. (Image credit: Jonibek Azizoda/ Commons.wikimedia.org)

Some say the subconscious drinks up one’s darkest fears.(Image credit: Jonibek Azizoda/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Not the sound you want to hear in the predawn hours. We’re near a marina – with fuel docks, drunks on boats, and giddy tourists at the resort hotel.

Sr. Staff: Firetruck or car alarm? Better take a look. Sounds like it’s getting closer.

Staff: (Blanket pulled overhead) No. She’s issuing orders. Insistently.

Sr. Staff: That’s the cat’s latest? Gawd, she sounds exactly like an emergency vehicle.

Staff: Fine tuning of her vocal repertoire: Cat.Man, do.

Sr. Staff: Kathmandu? What? If she’s been searching travel sites on my computer again….Takes forever to tease out her ripped off claw points stuck between keys…

Staff. Sorry, she wasn’t open to using a pointer in her mouth to tap keys with. Said it slowed her down, hurt her gums – not to mention if made her look stupid – like a drunk wood pecker…unsettling that she was sure it was a suggestion towards instigating an insurrection. Gave me quite the stink-eye glare as she said the last word.  Just to clarify, it’s not a place. A formal reminder of Social Order: Cat. Man, do.

Sr. Staff: Impressive, though. Perfect imitation of a police siren.

Staff: Careful, she identifies with the mythological delusions definitions… 

Sr. Staff: The mythology of “ones who  lured mariners to destruction by their singing?” That figures.

Staff: No, the “woman who sings with enchanting sweetness”. You are too hard on her. She’s old, moves cautiously, and with her dimming eye-sight probably can’t tell it’s not daylight and breakfast time.

Sr Staff: That cat knows darn well. Just bullying in an attempt to continue Daylight Savings Time as it gets her fed earlier. 

Staff: Yep, She’s clever enough to recognize something that can be used to her advantage…which quickly morphs into ‘Oh, it simply is as it has always been” accompanied with a smug, serene look of don’t-you-dare-suggest-otherwise confidence.’ 

Sr. Staff: Ah, it stopped. Odd, she gave it up so quickly…

Staff: Quick! Pillow over head defense. Incoming flying cat! Oh, hello RC Cat. I suppose some might categorized this as dunderheaded lollygagging, but be assured there’s no need for stomping roughly across faces. How can you possibly entertain the idea that we were ignoring your summons? We were already in the process of lurching out of bed to fulfill our duties. Slow? Well, we also are not as spry as in years past. Yet, as always, at your service. Shall we adjourn to the kitchen in order to dished out and warm your breakfast? Purrfect, indeed. After you.

cat at botom of staircase looking aat woman. 1873 book Engraving. Out of copyright. (USPD. artist life, pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

I’m coming. I’m coming.Seriously, it’s not like canned food will run away if we take our time. No, I have never considered the banister an alternative express route.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

crown

I am RC Cat and We approve this message.

We offer a cheery paw wave to all in attendance.

Yes, yes. We see you huddled there in the shadows.

Commendable that you arrive so early to witness Our daily morning progress.

Apparently overwhelmed to be in Our pretense.

You have Our permission to withdraw.

Our paw has waved.

Waving again!

Do not harbor any fantasy of sharing breakfast with Us

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

Do not think We are blind to your attempt to sneak out without the ordinary courtesy

And a kindness: a small smile to take with you as you depart.

Adieu, mon cher

3 cats at aa dinner table. Poem from 1903 book of cheerful cats. (Ill.

“Cat wisdom: ‘A warmed cat, like a warmed breakfast, assures that the day will go well.’ Yes, yes. We shall let you share that insight. We live to enlighten the lesser creatures….even if it is a trial at times.”(USPD/ Commons.wikimedia.org)

October 31, 2021 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Slow death

Worried Man by globe holding candle. Astronomer. PAinting by Gerard Dou.(USPD . PUB.DATE, artist life, PD art/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Please let us find land before we run out of whiskey.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

The old ones, abuelas with tired, gnarled, stubborn hands, told grandchildren, “You have three deaths.

The first death comes when you physically leave this Earth. It is sad.

The second is when your spirit comes back once a year to visit with relatives and see they have made your favorite foods and light candles in your name. It is sad and happy at the same time.

Then, there is when all your descendants have also passed on and no one is left to say your name, tell your stories, or remember who you were – that is final death. The most tragic of all.

I’m descended from a mercenary soldier who was with with the Spanish conquistadors when they sailed galleons to explore “the New World”, rebuff the French who were also planting their flag everywhere and laying territorial claims, and to, no doubt, search for fame and fortune. His name and occupation are listed in the ship’s records and on the ship manifest.

The story goes he was leaning over the ship’s rail as they were drawing the anchor in preparation for a return to Spain – having one last look at the beach – when he suddenly jumped off, swarm ashore, grabbed a couple of horses that had been left grazing along the shore, and disappeared into the wild new land. 

Storm over SIerra Nevadas. Bierstadt, 1870 (USPD. artist life, pub.date, PD art/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Didn’t know what was ahead, but knew what was behind. (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

No doubt he wondered about his choice that first year. Especially when he had to kill one of the horses and crawl inside the still warm carcass in order to survive a brutal Tejas blizzard that winter. But he endured, became a fur trapper, a scrapper, and a wander who mingled among Native American tribes.

That is where he first saw her.

Now it is unclear if he really won the beautiful, young girl (aren’t all Damsels in Distress beautiful young girls?) in a game of chance or if he was really so smitten that he traded all his furs for the pretty little thing (who apparently was also quite smitten…aren’t they always in stories of old?). We will also never know what tribe she was originally from as she had been stolen as a very, very young child to become a slave of another tribe. 

In any case, the tribe married and blessed the couple before they rode off together and went north. With her speaking multiple native languages from her previous existences – and him speaking several European languages from his, (they, of course had their own language between them and understood each other perfectly), they managed quite well and, eventually, settled near St Louis. 

There, they ran a successful outpost with fur trading and outfitting wagon trains. She turned out to be the one that was the sharpest with bartering so she managed the fur trade along with the books while he became known for providing good, sturdy covered wagons, recommending as well as providing necessary supplies, and organizing wagon trains going westward.

Earth viewed from space. Earthrise. NASA/Bill Anders/Apollo 8 (USPD/COmmons.wikimedia.org)

A long view of things: Earthrise. NASA/Bill Anders/Apollo 8 (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

People leave traces as they live – like Hansel and Gretel dropping break crumbs in the forest. Things disappear, but those interested  – who know how to look (and dogs) can stumble upon small markers: documents, census records, journals, sometimes even old photographs in newspapers.

My parents, (when we thought they were too old to go wandering across Egypt, Russia, China, and, of course, Europe, and the UK), drove across the US searching for clues to tiny mysteries for amusement.

Dad said they found where the fur outpost was supposed to have been. They stood on the very spot in the St Louis area – which, of course, looks very different than it did back then – but, as he said, it was the same ground they once walked and under the same stars the young couple saw back then.

I have stood at the port where the explorers’ galleons departed and his journey began.

Stood by the same vast ocean, under the same sky, seeing the same stars.

I wonder in the future, will some adventurous descendants – exploring  Mars as Elon Musk intends – will they, standing by their ship gazing back at Earth, feel any connections.

Will they say “Here we stand: gazing across a different sort of vast ocean, yet under the same stars they also saw”?

Traditions of the starry-eyed and staying alive.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

pumpkin. Benign Orange Vegetable intruder...(© image copyrighted. all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Molly Malamute has assured RC Cat that this must be a benign Orange Vegetable Intruder. So still it seems to be completely stoned. RC countered with  “How can you be sure? It looks like a possible vegetarian…lurking cannibalizer waiting to eat its’ own kind? Ever vigilant!” (© image)

One last wish, may this year’s Holler-RIng return the joy of pretending, being able to laugh at oneself, and all things traditionally Halloween spooky

A short note, to avoid innocently making a faux pas among new arrivals fresh from the border 

Halloween and Día de los muertos aren’t  the same..even with all the skulls and sweets.

From a previous post: “GPS standard. For the spirited” 

The ancient ones in Mexico and Latin America thought their ancestors returned on the wings of monarch butterflies each fall to visit. There was/is much joy when the monarchs finally arrive. Bright colors and flowers are painted everywhere to welcome them.

Tears had no place in mourning for Aztec families as it was thought tears and sadness would delay the dead on their path. For them, Nov 1 is when children’s spirits return and the adult ancestors/relatives are welcomed Nov 2.

October 20, 2021 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Wooden. You like.

red wagon full of pumpkins by stream in the foothills (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved. NO permissions granted)

It appears that the Orange Vegetable Invaders have hired transportation this year. (© image)

Our joy is boundless – yet another box has arrived. We knew (wink, wink) Staff would not be able to resist.

That Chewy’s sale email cleverly nudging everyone to shop early.

What? Yes, yes, while the new plush cat cave is quite lovely, but We have every reason to expect hope for additional tributes as Holler-ring is now fermenting and flourishing which means the Holly-yea season of Kiss-mess will be here before you know it. 

Now what have We here? Gifts for the family children? Ah, for little ones. Let Us have a look. We shall assist. We, RC Cat, are a Connoisseur of Gifts.

Wooden fruit lacing toy. (Image Amazon)

Wooden fruit lacing toy. (Image Amazon)

I not sure why a child would be given wooden fruit  – even finely crafted, elegant fruit such as these.

Given Perhaps so they won’t forget what fresh produce looks like? To give hope if one visualizes, it will come true? – we realized grocery shelves are thinly filled, but it seems cruel to offer not only ineatible foods – but imperfect ones with hole damage like worms would cause – A message to lower expectations? Phifft.

Oh? A fine motor skill toy. All, If this is typical playtime, no wonder humans grow up expecting things in life to be hopelessly tangled and tied into knots. What? We shall not discuss yarn balls.  

This, a sockin’ gift? Well named. We can see the smallest one helicoptering this and sockin’ anyone within string reach distance.

Such an odd assortment of gifts

Vintage handcrafted wooden toy. (Amazon)

“Vintage handcrafted wooden toy. No, No. Far too fine for sticky grubby little hands!” (Amazon)

This? Oh, Yes, Yes this one must actually be Ours. So royal looking. Truly a work of art.

Easily transported.

Easy to deploy the musket-type ball from a ledge to bonk, and tease entertain the dog with. Now you see it, and now it disappears safe and sound into it’s own little garage.  Quite nice.

Oh, it’s a game of skill to toss the ball, then try and catch it in the cup? Foolish. Shall not hold interest. Once the out of sight, it is out of mind!….so it must be Mine….

Wooden toy of skill ( Amazon)

“Now you see it. Now you don’t. The dog will never figure it out! No, We are not being mean. It is Our duty to challenge.” (Amazon)

We believe it can be used more appropriately during royal audiences. The lovely loud pop as the ball hops into hiding is perfect to signify Our  boredom …time is up and Staff must remove a annoying clueless individual.

Oh, (Wink, wink) Yes, yes, we know Santa will understand.

Old fashion Jacob's Ladder wooden toy

“A ladder? Phiff. Looks more like vintage stadium seating.”(Amazon image)

But I hope Santa has a little chat with the elves that constructed this – this – this thing called a ladder. Unclear on the concept of laddering.

First it is tiny – and second – it does not offer opportunity to step up or down.

The elves must have confused this with one of those moving, shifting, Harry Potter staircases. It is like that silly Chutes and Ladders game.

And such a loud clacking sound! We assume that is a warning that the steps are shifting and you’re doomed to slide off.

An optical illusion toy? No – it is plain to see, this is a defective ladder. Hopefully the Amazon return window has not closed on this item. 

Staff would be much less disappointed if ordering strictly from Chewy’s. We shall go and put their icon and link in first position on the computer preference shortcuts.

We live to inspire and serve. 

Of course hopefully Staff will be inspired to serve dinner a little early as our analysis and review of gifts have been so insightful. 

I am RC Cat and We approve this message.

Old fashion farm wagon decorated for fall with flowers and pumpkins (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved. NO permissions granted)

Old fashion Uber? Flourishing indeed. Is it possible the Orange Vegetable Invaders are trying a different tact this year: rolling in masquerading as flower delivery? (© image)

October 15, 2021 / philosophermouseofthehedge

It’s a gift.

Odd circular weathered metal piece (© image. Copyrighted. all rights reserved, NO permissions granted)

Odd circular weathered metal object. So what do you think? Bronze Age? Mesopotamia? Actually Egyptian; this decade. Has nothing to do with this post really. Simply found it interesting. Although there is a weathered vintage locket that is more than just an accessory to the tale.(©image)

Wanna to experience a haunting for Halloween, but no haunted hotel will accept the dog and cat? 

Well, here you go: an alternative. Just as chilling, but cheaper and your pets won’t punish you when you get back for even temporarily abandoning them….not exactly the kinda scare you were after.

Turn down the heat (or up the AC), pick up a flashlight after dimming the house lights (but don’t dare sit near a mirror or uncovered window), grab a seriously thick blanket (You’ll need it for pulling it close and up to your chin as you shiver).

Ready?

Ordinary house creaks and groans will startle and creep you out while reading Carrie Rubin’s newest chiller: The Bone Elixir. 

Dr. Ben Orvis, now in orthopedic surgery residency, just can’t get a break…well, he does, but …I’ll break it to you, his medical specialty is both coincidental and ironic with the title…Hard to believe, but even residents do have a life – a non-hospital life…though a scientific logical mind is always on call….and in this novel, there’s some serious callings for help going on – help only he can diagnose and give.

A haunting tale carefully crafted and told with expertise. Fascinating, believable character development with a plot that keeps you turning the pages faster and faster and faster …(and hoping that your dog is only restless because of the wind…not because well, dark things know when a mind is open to possibilities of things people always swear are “just your imagination”…)

Sometimes there's a sense that something's off, but you just can't put a finger on it..like the book store owner's reaction to Ben's request...(©image)

Sometimes there’s a sense that something’s off, but you just can’t put a finger on it..like the town’s book store owner’s reaction to Ben in the novel. Just can’t figure out where it’s going. © image)

While this is the third Benjamin Orvis book in the scary medical thriller series (each title is completely independent and a stand alone novel), this is the one that definitely will spook even you before you get halfway through. 

Stephen King watch out.

So stop shivering about holiday gift lists and all those clogged container ships stuck at the port holding what you thought would be on the shelves. GET AND GIVE THIS BOOK INSTEAD.

It is too perfect for Christmas: takes place in December. Who doesn’t dream of spending time during the holidays in a vintage Massachusetts Inn? That’s the setting. (Cue the jingle bells and odd behavior….)

Besides it begins with Ben being gifted with a strange inheritance from an aunt he never even knew about…and wraps up with, well, as Ben realizes, so many gifts no one ever expected… One of his yet to be unwrapped in the future if I read the book’s last line correctly..(if he can just keep from being slayed. Always a possibility with this author….)

Scary book cover (image by Amazon)

Spooky: The Bone Elixir couldn’t have chosen a better time to arrive. 

Had to spill on this thrill

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Former WordPress blogger and physician Carrie Rubin’s website here

Her books on Amazon here.

The Bone Elixir with reviews on GoodReads.com here.

Production note:

A couple of possible gift book recommendations to follow…eventually

Reading some books, the current excuse for MIA blog posts and comment responses.

October 11, 2021 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Follow the chatter

Smiling chattering teeth toys (© image. Copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

“Oh, good. They are already in costume and will not be sacked!” (© image)

RC Cat of the Realm:

“Yes, yes. Hired mercenaries reminiscent of Qin Sci Huang‘s army. We approve.

Get rows and rows of them – all wound up – already gnashing and hopped up. The Orange Vegetable Invaders – even if on a roll – will stand little chance.

Staff will see to it that crossing guards are hired to escort school children across street….there’s feet to be considered….

Also We must inquire if rabies shots are actually required as these toothy ones will be on site and on patrol only as long as necessary. Then they can be sacked. No indefinite Realm visas authorized as they area bit unnerving since they never blink.

We are quite pleased despite last week’s interruptions, Staff managed to find these additional defensive measures for Realm protection against the Orange Vegetable Invaders who seem to be appearing at a slower pace this year, but have been sighted.”

Staff:

“RC, please stop batting around that wind up toy. It’s a Christmas stockin’ toy not a defensive hire.”

RC Cat:

“Oh, but we beg to differ – a polite phrase to flatter dunderheads suggestion to reconsider as, well, WE NEVER BEG for anything!!!!  a bit of creative thinking often results in unexpected success. There is no doubt there are alternative functions, that is true, yet this is a valuable rockin’ sockin’ weapon….We shall demonstrate potential if only allowed…which requires the door to open. Attention! We are tapping with The Paw! Our mouth is busy relocating this little soldier, thus making openings difficult for us”

Staff:

“Drop it RC. Already spoken for.”

RC Cat: (Reluctantly relinquishing and sighing with great drama)

“We should have known. Probably for the best. They don’t seem to take direction well. Too jumpy. Purrhaps if Staff had purchased the metal ones, there would have been a heavier presence. With increased sockin’ power.

But We shall be allowed to keep for deployment these wonderful whirling pumpkin gouging torpedoes, yes? So colorful they shall be overlooked as flowers until suddenly spun into motion to bore holes into those invaders. Unsightly holes will not only slow them down, but carve those grins off their faces!

colorful wooden spinning tops (screenshot Amazon)

“Vegetable torpedoes. Who knew Amazon supplied weapons against Orange Veggies. With all the spin, some consumer agency will probably demand these be removed. To protect the children.”(screenshot Amazon)

Staff:

“How about you going through your mousie jar and pulling out some of the mangled well-loved ones? Some of those have long lost any semblance to any object natural to this Earth…might be destroyed enough to be a warning to any living thing fearful enough to back off a rolling vegetable with rotten intent?”

RC Cat (Puff up with outrage and glaring with hostility):

“We do not approve of this joking – it’s obviously an attempt at cat humor – about Our loyal mouses – even the ones disfigured during their effort to supply Us with care and comfort. Each has earned a place of honor and safety for their service. We do not expect humans to understand – it is obvious the way human societies discard their useful ones once useless. Yet, We cats try eternally to demonstrate civilized behavior. Why, We often wonder.

Also noted that during this time of increasing danger, Staff has been so distracted it was not noticed that many of our cardboard fortresses and safe houses are disappearing. This has impacted Our mock battle games with The Molly in preparation of the imminent Veggie invasion. We are not amused.”

RC Cat on the window seat. (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, k NO permissions granted)

RC Cat posed on the window seat. “Yes, We do look fabulous for Our age of 18 years, 6 months and 15+ days. Do not gaze at the shaved hair spot on Our left leg. Just a little routine blood work – nothing to be concerned about. We have told the Molly We chose to have this done in solidarity with her own shaved leg during her recent tooth extraction and dental cleaning. She worries. Says she’s just not ready to assume an RC role…not ready or lazy. We shall be kind and not ask. What? No, do not ask as We cannot authorize an autographed copy of this image for your wall. Official portraits may be obtained from Staff upon exiting….Of course We have a gift shop. Everyone has a gift shop.” (© image)

Staff:

“But as always, RC you are our muse. Now let me get that piece of tape off your tail. Hold still. Hold Still. Don’t bite me, it’s the tape pulling, not me.

Oh, look. Molly Malamute says the delivery truck is here. Bet it’s your new bed cave. Go have a look out the window and check if he’s bringing something to the porch bench. What? Oh, OK, Molly don’t bark so fiercely. Don’t want to run off the delivery guy before he hands over the package. What? Oh, yes, it was a good idea to put Molly’s stick collection under the bench instead of on it so packages can be left safely. Not a chance of an Orange Veggie popping up there to plant itself as a cat bed squatter.”

RC Cat: (stomping majestically off ….with great purpose and dignity)

“Ah, yes. Tribute honoring Our October ascension as a young orphan to RC of this Realm….and We shall keep the box, too. Double tribute – sometimes Staff does things appropriately without being prodded. There is hope…

Molly, you may sniff the box, but nose off Our new cat cave. Save those nasal evaluations for Orange Veggie invasion reconnaissance. Staff, she’s sniffing. Staff! We are about to raise The Paw. Staff attend Us!”

I am RC Cat and We approve this message.

Confused about the annual Orange Vegetable Invasion, Holler-Ring, or the pitiful orphan children who arrive each October?  (Or are really desperate to fill the time…)

The Saga begins:

 

September 29, 2021 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Hot dog and cold leftovers

 

Cat in a chicken Halloween costume. (Screenshot image: target)

“No, no, you Dunderheads. When I said I want chicken, I wanted chicken to eat.” (Screenshot image: Target)

Irony or karma?

Three young men meet in a Walmart parking lot after dark

(Wait, wait. I know you can guess, but humor me.)

The 20-something man was there to sell a (stolen) handgun to a couple of young teens.

While he was showing it to them, it went off and shot him in the leg. (True story. Last weekend)

Stupid, the easiest categorization, 

But give me some credit:

Tried to elevate it with the first line.

Trying. Very trying….

Somehow things just don’t feel right?

Dog in Tiger Halloween costume ( Screenshot from Target)

“If you can’t lick them, join them. Perfect ruse if determined to finally get close enough for that cat’s tail sniff.”(Screenshot from Target)

1. Even for me, it’s a bit ahead of normal holiday schedule: trying to get Christmas secured (scrambling with gaps in supply chain and delays in shipping times), wrapped, and boxed up to ship before Fed-Ex raises rates for Christmas shipping. It’s sooo early, but Fed-Ex is already warning they are having shortages of drivers and employees.

2. Molly Malamute went in to the Vet for teeth cleaning…well, actually to have a weird growth on her gum and another by her elbow …removed and came home with out a very bad tooth that was discovered in the process. Chicken soups and soft cat food/expensive canned dog food were only entertaining for a short while…Wendy’s Jr. Bacon Cheese Burgers, however were a big hit…and now she suggests driving through anytime she sees the car leave the garage.

3.  We actually had Fall weather on the exact date and time…but now it’s back to roast and simmer – with a week of thunderstorms being dished out. (Fortunately I got the grub lawn treatment out in time with fall fertilizer bought and waiting until past gully washer weather.)

Dog in Spider Halloween costume (Screenshot from Target)

Now this is scary. A real web bowser.(Screenshot from Target)

4. The CDC has quietly issued emergency warnings/guidelines to pediatricians, ERs and medical hospital staff to be on alert for potential infectious/contagious diseases of not only COVID, but also measles, tuberculosis, polio, mumps, varicella, malaria, leishmaniasis, hepatitis A., gastrointestinal infections, including shigellosis, giardiasis, cryptosporidiosis, rotavirus, and viral diarrheal diseases among evacuees.(Afghanistan ranks seventh in the world for measles cases before evacuations. Malaria is endemic to Afghanistan. Afghanistan is one of two countries in the world where wild poliovirus remains endemic.) Cases have shown up in refugee camps as well as stateside, so communities near the military bases that are housing the evacuees (specifically: Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia; Fort Pickett, Virginia; Fort Lee, Virginia; Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico; Fort McCoy, Wisconsin; Fort Bliss, Texas; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey; and Camp Atterbury, Indiana) are also told to be watching to prevent spread. Of course there’s also the ones who were crammed into that temporary migrant camp near Del Rio on the southern Texas border with additional infectious diseases (from Central America: Chile, Venezuela, Brazil with a big measles outbreak along with: chicken pox, dengue, Chikungunya (Brazil), whooping cough, yellow fever, diphtheria..) A couple of hospitals west of us are getting slammed by “new arrival” patients who have been identified with all sorts of illnesses besides/in addition to COVID. Since the border resettlement buses (8 or 9 a day with 60+ individuals on board) have been arriving at an “intake center” all week and other resettlement contractors are relocating Afghanistan refugees here – as well both resettlement groups moving people to the airport headed to wherever. (The mayor actually asked people to open their homes or help by offering their spare bedrooms…”It’s our obligation” one contract resettlement company rep said as Catholic Charities looked on. So how many are coming to stay at your house, Dude?), out of caution we once again avoid large crowds and sometimes choose to wear masks indoors when shopping. Keeping your kids’ childhood disease vaccinations on schedule is more important than ever. 

cat in Halloween costume with eyes on top of head. (Screenshot image: Target)

Cat training video for Staff: “With the seasonal Orange Vegetable Invasion imminent, you must keep your eye on everything or at least the appearance of it.”(Screenshot image:Target)

5. RC Cat finally came out of summer hibernation from the back of the coolest closet we have. She was distraught upon emerging to find the dog MIA one day – muttering “We have given no permission for dog leaves. Dereliction of duty!” She spent the entire day stomping around the house looking out window, then another. It was the leaves – falling fall colored ones, not the missing dog on leave. HRH realized the season of the Orange Vegetable Invasion is rolling in. Kept muttering that she had “too much to do without having to stand watch and defend the realm against mush heads,” Upon seeing The Molly being helped into the house that afternoon, HRH motioned with The Paw to window and instructed staff to “Prop her up over there with her head on the windowsill. It should be enough to deter as it is early in the Vegetable defensive season.” Molly grinned like a fool as if in agreement as we curled her onto her cot. We worried whether to try and ease her long, droopy tongue back into her mouth. The cat refused to acknowledge Molly’s obvious diminished guard capacity and retreated to her suite. Called to staff over her shoulder for an early dinner. The cat did look rather exhausted from all her vigilance. After all, at her age, she is no longer the cat of springs.

6.  And now the hot dog:

dog in Halloween costume (image Target website)

Don’t tell me I don’t work hard trying to find things to amuse you. RC Cat jumped right onto the camouflaged dog idea for Vegetable Invasion defense, but we don’t think she has a chance of convincing Molly to roll with this. (image Target website)

Ironic, karma, or stupid?

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

September 27, 2021 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Looney Zoomies headed to Metaverse roomies

A speaker and audience in a VR office meeting room. (Screenshot image from Spatial)

Spooky, but no half a$$ idea this. Perfect for Oct and Halloween.(Speaker and audience in a VR office meeting room. Screenshot image from Spatial)

If an avatar slugs another avatar during a meeting, is it a crime? (Inquisitive school kids minds want to know…)

With Zoom meeting fatigue, the company is determined to retain their face to face long distance meeting business so they are hitching up to some stars: Zuckerberg/Oculus/Spatial for VR meeting rooms in the Metaverse.

Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality is not just for playing games any more.

Zoom already has hologram capacity so people anywhere can “be” in the same room – able to observe those subtle face tells/body language responses during conversations. 

Early adopters say you can even high five and interact with others in the meeting, although the bodies are a bit cartoonish with your face plastered onto the “head” (video of sample holographic high five-ing capacity here), they say you get used to it and enjoy the ability to walk around and use the whiteboard.

They are predicting humans will love the VR upgrade for working from home.

The ultimate VR/Metaverse meeting will let you appear as your chosen high-quality avatar.

Appear to others as you desire. Finally. (Is the T.Rex avatar taken? What? Why can’t I pick any species I want? A mouse can dream big, too.)

Just like in non-VR life, if your group gets tired of the Metaverse meeting room everyone can go outside to VR parks to talk, wander into VR coffee houses/bars (and purchase items with crypto currency) – even flag down a Uber-type VR ride (paid for from your crypto wallet) and head out to shops (and buy outfits for your avatar, paid for…you guessed it), play games (Top Golf! Who’s got the company crypto credit card?), ride roller coasters – just like after hours during a normal business trip. (And we complained when mandated business cell phones intruded on our free time…)

People at a VR office party (screenshot image from Spatial)

The future of office parties. Hey, it’s the best invention since disposable dishes. No mess left to clean up. No party mess anyway. Humans always find a way to leave behind things of one sort or another that have to be cleaned up. (screenshot image from Spatial)

Sounds great…but what if…

(And you know it’s going to happen. Humans are involved.)

Somebody’s going to take offense at something and slug someone. 

Maybe even shoot up the place. (Oh, wait Zuckerberg won’t allow any gun stores. Whew. Always have those who ruin things for everyone.)

Even so, there’s landscape rocks, furniture, shoes! Toss a drink in “someone’s face” – why bother to hold onto the “glass”? It’s VR!

Run them over by a highjacked VR car.

Shoved someone out the window or off the balcony.

No body hurt in actual reality, but in avatar land…

It’s the old riddle: “If a tree falls in the forest, and no one hears, is there a sound?” Is there really a crime?

Who’s the criminal? The aggressive avatar or the person behind the avatar? 

Oh, the legal places we will go.

And they said, VR’s Metaverse is not just for playing games any more. 

Gamey.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge. 

Sigh. There are bound to be visionaries out there

Don’t make me come down there in my T.Rex outfit and talk about dinosaurs and extinction. 

September 20, 2021 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Cookin’ with smile

Coffee maker plugged into in back of 4 Runner. (© image. Copyrighted, all rights reserved no permissions granted)

Coffee maker plugged into in back of 4 Runner. Who needs that new 2021 Ford F-150 that can power up your whole house in a blackout? Coffee and I’m good…for a bit… (© image)

There are easier ways to make coffee when the power is out, but what fun would that be? (And if you’re not having fun, what’s the point of getting up in the morning?)

Hurricane Nicholas blew through with high winds and rain, but did little damage right around here…except knocking out power for some 30 hours. 

During the heigh of the storm, I did worry about the little squirrel nest in the crepe myrtle that was whipping wildly back and forth like a crazy woman trying to dry her hair in the sun. Was afraid the whole nest would get slingshotted…and I’d of course have to go out and try to convince him to go into the garage…which would have not gone well…think that squirrel scene of National Lampoon’s Christmas show…The next morning the poor little guy did stagger out onto a branch looking a little woozy.

Also lost internet and cell service.

Pretty annoying to keep getting Verizon’s “your call cannot be completed” or “the number you called is not in service” messages. I can see your cell tower across the lake, Verizon! We have underground utilities! The “storm” hardly rattled the wind chimes I forgot to take down! (Oh, Ok, so the wind chimes were in a very sheltered spot opposite the wind, but still…)

Will someone explain why the houses down the block that back up to the Taco place (which was open for business) in the strip center never lost power. Their street light down there even stayed on.

Luckily the following day was an exception to hurricane rules and was cloudy.

Oh, there were a few people who had fences completely blown over – but most of those posts were rotting off at the ground (after years of being butchered weekly by Weedeaters.) and were over 20 years old anyway. 

Tree trimmers, roofing people, and fence companies were quick to cruise through the neighborhood. 

Neighbors stood outside under trees and discussed things like the attributes of various flashlights.

I have multiple ones: battery, solar, and crank ones. Different ones better for reading, taking showers, walking the dog, or general room illumination. Yes, local weather can make you an expert in weird stuff.

We all wondered exactly where the metal roof vent wind turbine top piece that blew off the house behind us ended up. (Secretly relieved it was gone – for years it has been whirling and squeaking, squeaking, SQUEAKING.) Sorry about the huge open hole it left. Duct tape or Flex Seal?

Different conversational topics without the constant, ranting, fear mongering hype from TV, social media, and computers. Much more unifying.

Into the night, the neighborhood sounded like some sort of lawn mower rally from the sound of personal sized generators here and there. 

After a day and a half, we made a call to our local state representative.

Their office had power – a good baseball pitcher could throw a rock and hit them…(OK, he’d have to be very good…and maybe in a car a couple of blocks down the road….)

“Hey, first the Big Freeze and now this relatively small rain storm and no power? Thought they told the Governor it was all fixed and they were ready? We have seen zero Tex-New MX Power repair trucks anywhere.(We had noticed leaning poles and what used to be routine maintenance has been addressed in the past few years…why do preventative work when you can wait and have your insurance company help pick up the tab? Sadly gotten too common)

There’s only one small (struggling and disheartened) thin birch tree down on the esplanade…(probably depressed because these really only grown along streams here…not by concrete and street gutters). Odd blocks on either side of us, the strip center has power, the resort has power, as does the golf country club so what’s the deal? Somebody forget to flip our switch back on?”

Sometimes these power companies are hesitant to bring everyone on line immediately for fear the sudden draw will crash everything again, but…the golf course and club?

The nice lady that we talked with did say come use their office to charge devices/ get online if needed. She also listened and said,
“That’s really strange. I’m going to make a few calls and talk to our data analysis guys.”

Oddly after 15 min, power suddenly reappeared in the entire neighborhood. 

We did call her back to thank her for whatever effort she did. She laughed and said, “I don’t know if it was just me, but our analyst also thought it sounded just too weird.” 

Molly Malamute, who had been putting on her bravest face, breathed a sigh of relief and with a big sigh sprawled flat under the ceiling fan as the AC blew her kisses and promises. 

RC Cat muttered, she’d also had enough of the open windows, but would remain visible on the window seat in order remind staff she was watching and that she expected to have ALL the twigs and sticks picked up and ready for the first trash collection opportunity….all that brushy clutter makes spotting lizards extreme difficult. And get that hibiscus fluffed up and straightened – the butterflies are obviously worried about the landing zones.

Once again, we were lucky. 

Tons of loose leaves and small branches down, a few mid size plants need to be staked up after being flattened, but not far from here, buildings and houses got some water in them. The places that always flood, flooded. Nothing like a big storm, though.

Now a cool-ish front is due mid week. 

Can’t get much better. 

Feels sort of like driving out after a car wash. 

Sparking again.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Coffee maker powered by Toyota 4 Runner. (© image.)

Coffee’s ready. Boiling water on the gas stove and a French press is just too dull and boring? You’ll be relieved to know I refused his offer to attempt to power up the refrigerator.  (© image.)

September 13, 2021 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Stormy (A little script tease)

water (© image. Copyrighted. no permissions granted, all rights reserved)

Surf’s up. Uh, also the life guard stands have been picked up. Word to the wise…but has that ever meant anything to surfers and splashers? HAHA (© image)

Nicholas. As in last Czar of Russia?
It means nothing! Pure coincidence. Even if he turned out to be something of a drip and washed up. (Mutter. mutter)

We are waiting the arrival – well, actually the tropical weather advance scouts arrived last night. It’s only a tropical storm. It’s only a tropical storm. (Keep repeating that…Oh, wait. Just updated to Tropical Depression…)

But it’s mid-Sept and those have been the sneakers in the past. So we are wary.

No absolute panic. (Although I have no doubt the store shelves were stripped bare early yesterday).

We’re from here, and have seen it all before. What we didn’t already have on hand – just as normal Sept precaution – we picked up mid week.

All we really dread is loss of power. Walk outside  – even with the downpours – and it feels like an overheated sauna. UGH! Once the soggy mess abandons us for more unsettled atmosphere, the air will be totally still, with everything soaked, and the heat turned to roasting…some odd weather joke: “We washed it all down and now we’ll super heat dry it up!” Uh, thanks, I guess.

Wherever you are, you simply have to learn to live and work with with nature and stop trying to redesign it. Somethings are bigger than you. Get over it.

With luck this erratic storm will be pick up speed and move quickly. Timing is everything.

This is the coastal plains: flat. Put. Obstacles up, like subdivisions and strip centers and it floods.

But we are 2 blocks from Clear Lake and the marina so water drains off almost as fast as it comes down. And we are on high(er) ground. Never seen it over the curb.

While there’s always a first time, not seriously worried. We didn’t put up the storm boards over the windows. Just picked up the light stuff in the yard and cleaned the gutters (which in the pre-storm roasting heat liked to kill us. We should probably think about washing those out more than once aa year HAHA.

Right now wind does not appear to be a big issue. Always the possibility of tornadoes.

There big city of Houston is also getting hysterical ready. Houston is not on the water – about an hour ( going normal speed) inland. They get nuts there. The media once again. Just read a book or nap, people.

(Please stay out of the flooded streets. I guess it’s the lack of actual science teaching that a makes some feel like flood simply mean you finally got that swimming pool you wanted. Snakes, fire ants, illness ladened bacterial..and more right to your door! At one time they thought you would get polio from wading in that water. Enough to scare most. )

The thing is that the area is flat. There’s lots of concrete. It’s not storm surge that floods there – their flood waters come from the sky. If it can’t exit the premises fast enough, you get those “the entire city is a giant water park” images. Drainage hasn’t been really thought out – or plans followed through for decades.

Currently in the US Congress is a proposal looking for funding for the infamous Ike Dike project which some have been pushing for years as the way to “save” the area from flooding. “Protect the ship channel!” is their cry.

Actually the ship channel is perfectly capable of protecting itself. It’s a water way – a huge one. It’s worked for decades. Centuries.

Hurricane do not strategize and paddle themselves up stream from the gulf to flood the big city. Floods come from the sky , not storm surge.

Its seems logical to many that if you build a foolish/flimsy wall across all the waterways that any water trying to flow the normal path downstream to the gulf (and ALL the water from Houston and upstream flows this way to Clear Lake, the Bay, and the Gulf)  flood waters will be trapped behind a manmade obstruction…and create more flooding.

Designers have already said – in public – n writing – that the proposal does mean there will be “some” ( like blocks and blocks of areas along the Bay, the Lake….) will see new flooding. Gee, thanks. Really looking forward to flooding here. Your solution is to make your problem, my problem. (Please DC, for once, stall what looks to be only a huge “jobs program” and PR for political campaigns pitched to newcomers and naive believers)

It gets worse. In addition, they have already admitted – in writing – in public – that wetlands, fisheries/shrimping/oyster beds and natural areas will be destroyed. “Oh, but we will make new ones!” Right.

And that last statement is what gets me. Arrogance and self importance. Don’t mess with Mother Nature. Humans never seem to be able to put is back as good as it once was. 

Anyway, not the post that was planned. A really nice story was in the works, but later.

Off to make sure devices charged, locate the flash lights, put some mixing bowls full of water in the freezer to make blocks of ice, fill a couple of gallon milk jugs with drinking water, locate all the dog towels (and hoping the power stays on – so many wet dog towels.)

Molly is already practicing her suspended animation ….and looking invisible when the leash appears.

The palms, who love a good shaking, are delighted. Trees seem pretty happy with being able to get rid of those annoying discolored  leaves – they do awkwardly hate standing around in less than high quality green garments….like children who don’t want to take off their day clothes ’cause they know it means time to settle down and sleep.

Will check in with you later gator

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Dogs walking along a swimming pool (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Molly prefers her salt water tastefully contained with a side order of friends. (© image)

 

September 9, 2021 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Pour excuses

One red leaf announces fall ( image copyrighted, all rights reserved, No permissions granted)

Reminds me of the Paul Simon song, a quiet, announcement of Fall: “She was physically forgotten. Then she slipped into my pocket With my car keys. She said you’ve taken me for granted. Because I please you…” Somehow it fits this seasonal performance.(© image)

Why the WP “publish” button didn’t get pushed:

  • Celebration of the first cold cool front’s arrival. (even if it just means the high temp is barely under 95F but the low means it’s a degree below 70F !!!) We’ll drink to that introductory offering!
  • Eye exhaustion, stiff Labor Day fingers and Keyboard fatigue for a good cause: Santa Claus. (No desired to be slayed by an empty sleigh because of cargo ships stuck in the middle of the ocean, ports overwhelmed, slow shipping, and stocks on shelves disappearing – even with price increases. Even this far out, there’s far too many “Place orders now and we’ll ship in Feb.”) Cheers, indeed. First the pumpkin latte, next down with eggnog.
  • Sick of ignoring the obvious but worried about being slammed for saying it. What lures COVID to many children and adults: obesity, diabetes. (Like the vilified chef said in a text, “We can’t vaccine our way out of this virus.” We have to look at healthy eating and wise lifestyle choices including exercise – starting in childhood. It’s not a fat shaming thing – it’s a survival necessity now.) Of course it’s a low calorie beer…and red wine is good for the heart…if only that chart for daily amount suggestion was not lost…Oh, well.
  • Ran screaming from the room due to someone stretching it a bit to stay on the station mandated TV news’ theme. (The weather guy has just finished compared the weather conditions expected for 9/11/21 to what the weather was like on the actual 9/11 twenty years ago. “So similar, it’s eerie, he says.) Make it a double.
Not to be outdone, the chorus soon appears.(© image)

Not to be outdone, the chorus soon appears.(© image)

  • Too disturbed by a complete lack of caring and kindness. (Dr. Jill, use that edu “Leadership” degree and, please, escort your husband out the door and over to a nice chair with maybe some pleasant, equally ditzy – harmless and unable to do harm now – individuals to chat with. “We don’t call them tornadoes anymore”? “Have zero net emissions by 2050. By 2020, make sure all our electricity is zero emissions.”  And that’s just the latest. Seriously, how callous can you be. If you love the guy help him. Cruel and unusual punishment what the Party is doing to a man who served for so long.) Belly up to the lowered bar. Drown those sorrows.
  • Spotted really scary early goblins, vampires, and Halloween creatures. (When questioned about the extreme costs of what is being costumed as “Infrastructure legislation”, Speaker of the House Pelosi arrogantly shrugged her shoulders and barked, “What you would you cut out? Childcare?” Always throw out “for the children” to shut people up. But, yes, between hurricanes, floods, fires, droughts and rock slides, hard construction and repairs are needed by so many. How about shoving childcare off on the private sector and businesses like the federal government did with mask and vaccine mandates? The business analysts are all saying companies are having to offer more perks to lure employees back to the office and to retain employees. Can’t think of a much better perk by a company to employees. I know it’s done in DC by some military/contractors.) Crème de la Crème, anyone?
Remember those Hidden Pictures puzzles - right now it's like Spot the evidence of fall's arrival. (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Remember those Hidden Pictures puzzles? This one must be beginner level…or eager to get get spotted.(© image)

  • Endless shaking of head over the foolish TX abortion law (did anyone notice the equally outrageous legitimization of adult “tattletaling” about someone else’s business which is no business of their own is also in there? 20+ other states watching, get thee to your state legislators. Quickly) and of course, Afghanistan. (Oh, hey, what appears to be the administrations plan:  just distract with all sorts of other hyper-emotional stuff for a while and people will forget…the Hillary Clinton school of politics) Better order two kegs….
  • Recognizing immediate help needed! Start some petitions and Go Fund Me sites quickly before the inhabitants of DC and California suffer too long. (Apparently Federal resettlement agencies are saying it’s too expensive to resettle incoming Afghan refugees and immigrants in DC and California. OMG. Some of the ones who are loudest about everyone welcoming and encouraging diversity will be left out! We have to raise funds so they can also reap the benefits! The Hamptons, too. Maybe some tiny houses would work on those large lawns. What cultural sharing parties and events could happen! They shouldn’t miss out simply because of income inequality. Photo ops!) Well, some of the bubbly beverages might have to be nonalcoholic – to be considerate and culturally accepting, but we can celebrate with that! 
Do plants try on fall costumes before sporting an entire outfit? (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, No permissions granted)

Do You think plants try on fall costumes before wrapping themselves in the entire outfit? Could have stumbled on a dress rehearsal here.(© image)

Whew. All those entangling brain brambles causing procrastination cleared out here.

You been mired down much recently? 

As the sun turns, maybe we can all fall into a more seasonal mirth.

Oktoberfest will be tuning up shortly. Can’t come soon enough.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Orphans, like mutts, sometimes turn out to be amazing beyond expectations. (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, NO permissions granted)

Orphans, like dog mutts, sometimes turn out to be amazing beyond expectations.This little plant was straggly, crispy dry, with pleading roots desperately reaching out to plant buyers at Lowe’s. People laughed when I picked it up. Scorned. Once rescued, it flourished and really bushed up much to the delight of all the butterflies in the yard. (© image)

September 3, 2021 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Square ambition. Last minute avoidance. That’s life.

Wood chip board kit. (Image screenshot Raandy Lemmon Garden Line)

For the serious hobbyist? (Image screenshot Randy Lemmon Gardenline Twitter)

Necessity is the Mother of Invention.

Best caption?

A. The shortages of building materials and lumber prices skyrocketing, some builders are getting desperate…

B. Unexpected sudden closures of schools have parents scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas to keep the kids busy and occupied at home. (“Hey, if you get good at it, you can start your own home base business!”)

C. IKEA has taken DYI assembly even further

Building on that, it does pay acquire new skills – even if by unorthodox ways:

Spider web. (Image from R.L.Garden Line twitter)

That ought to stick with you. (Image: R.L.Gardenline Twitter)

Been somewhat of a whacky week here with Molly’s yearly vet visit (We can go in…which is good as she totally panics if separated from her family pack and can get a little snappy…she’ll overlook 2-3 “a little too personal” examining touches, but the 3rd, Well, “That’s enough!”), I’ve been recovering from minor outpatient surgery, we had a nail in a tire, the lawn is as highs an elephant’s eye, and it’s right at 100F outside.

Others are living through worse, so we count ourselves lucky. (We hope for the best for all those suffering right now.)

Also we have a tiny, tiny possum sleeping in our hedge today (Whew – didn’t really feel like getting out in the heat and trimming the hedge anyway). Molly spotted him after suspecting someone was drinking out of her giant outside water bowl. (Usually it’s birds or lizards)…this time there was a trail to track…and sit quietly – without barking – at scent’s end under the branch to observed the newest visitor.

This is a long holiday weekend here.

Hope you have adventures lined up…that do not include making your own plywood…simply a too extreme home remodeling project….Warning: there are no extra points for overly ambitious DIY…been there, done that, HAHA!

Hasta August. Cheers for the arrival of the merry olde month of September. Onward!

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Kids playing ball in the street (Screenshot image: Gardenline Twitter)

Awesome with many lessons learned – not always painlessly – but learned naturally and well. (Screenshot image: Gardenline Twitter)

 

 

September 1, 2021 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Rock of Sages

Postcard. Postcaard of man. Tourist daring jump. Arizona 1898 (Detroit Pub. Co/ collection. (USPD.artist life, pub.date/COmmons.wikimedia.org)

A leap of faith. Team building between planet inhabitants. (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.” (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry).

A stone’s throw apart in perspective.

Remade in a creator’s concept (Now that sound strangely like…), but did anyone bother to discuss with with the rock its’ own plans for the future?

Oh, well. Can’t move Heaven and earth for every little thing. 

Postcard of Black Hills/Mount Rushmore/TIchnor collection (USPD pub date 1930-45, artist life/ COmmons.wikimedia.org)

The mountain in the middle, like many, would have been OK with a tattoo. Petroglyphs are so mysterious. Distinguishing. But somehow the work order got scrambled? Lost in translation.(Vintage Postcard/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Rock in a marred place.

“There will always be rocks in the road ahead of us. They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how you use them.” (Friedrich Nietzsche)

 Note the last three words. Rarely are they uttered out loud.

“Civilization began the first time an angry person cast a word instead of a rock.” (Sigmund Freud)

Really? Sure about that? Lofty idea, but is the statement true or actually step backwards?

“I despise people who go to the gutter on either the right or the left and hurl rocks at those in the center.” (Dwight D. Eisenhower)

See what I mean? How easy it is to reverse and tumble. 

Postcard. Butte Montana. 1930-45. Tichnor Bros Collection (USPD. pub.date, artist life/.Commons.wikimedia.org)

Mine, mine, mine? Not sure all involved digs that.  (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“The knowledge from an enlightened person breaks on the hard rocks of ignorance. (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi)

Another example of the questionably civilized: their abundance of arrogance and self esteem: So quick to name call and insult the intellect of those who don’t even bother to talk to them.

“Laws are sand, customs are rock. Laws can be evaded and punishment escaped, but an openly transgressed custom brings sure punishment.” (Mark  Twain)

Sand blows away so quickly. Words and laws, simply dust in the wind.

Vintage postcard. Grand Canyon, Thor's Hammer. (Detroit Pub.1900-09 (USPD. pub.date artist life/COmmons.wikimedia.org)

Grand Canyon raised a fist – which people of the myth quickly misinterpreted as a salute to Thor’s Hammer. What patience not to drop it and give such a pounding. (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“The ship that will not obey the helm will have to obey the rocks.” (Old English Proverb)

Face it, as the planet’s foundation, rocks don’t care.

Rocks in a hard place.

Moss only a decorative accessory: Camo until you go away.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Vintage postcard of people on horses Grand Canyon trail (Detroit Pub. collection, 1900-1909 (USPD artist life, pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Oh, please. Rocks are only entertainment venues to you? You’re scaring the antelope – not to mention adding to the erosion by invasive species.” Speak now or forever hold your piece. (Vintage postcard of people on horseback braving the Grand Canyon trail. 1900-1909./USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Vintage postcard. O'Neill's Point, Grand Canyon, AZ. 1898-1904 (USPD pub.date artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Some things are bigger and more enduring than us. Vintage postcard of man standing on Grand Canyon rim at O’Neill’s Point, AZ. Just for perspective. (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

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