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May 27, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Boxing is over.

While some can’t wait for the ring of the boxing world, others feel quite the opposite.

Yesterday they spilled out like Colorado rapids over boulders.

To be met by parents weeping. Obviously with joy of having their young home 24-7.

A time of so much joy that some have installed celebratory water features – just like airports and seaports gush large water plumes across runways or harbors to welcome celebrities and heroes.

Lawn sprinkler spraying water across yard. ALL rights reserved. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

A welcome worthy of the Unboxing celebration ©

So touching.

The giant lumbering yellow transport boxes have wandered off to wherever they hibernate until fall. Once again the morning serenade only features birds and those growling lawn hackers and blasting hand-held haboob machines.

Summer is here.

And it makes Us sleepy…and wishing for something….

We have heard sardines or anchovies make a perfect light summer snack. Tributes, not forgotten, but a little seasonal variation might be looked upon considerable interest. They may be placed on your left as you exit. Ah, yes, well done! How well trained kind you are. A gracious paw wave for your conditioned response consideration. 

Adieu, mon ami

I am RC Cat and I approve this message.

 

 

 

 

Confused about Boxing Day and Unboxing Season? RC Cat has a post for that…

May 24, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Tardy slips

Woman at kitchen table. 1930's (USPD. Pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Gossip and small talk. Simply work avoidance. Maybe if the coffee machine somehow broke, they would get the hint. (USPD/ Commons.wikimedia.org)

She made several abrupt appearances into the coffee-room. The office manager.

Not saying a word. Just a stomp in, a glare before flipping around, and leaving. Miffed.

We stopped talking, but didn’t move.

Amused.

“Shall we count to see just how many times she’ll do it?”

Some are on-the-dot clock watchers. Some casually ease into the day.

Each office seems to have a self-appointed overseer and nag.

Probably wanted to be an elementary school dictator principal.

Probably was the tattletale the teacher told “Tell me if anyone gets out of their seat while I’m gone.”

It was up to three.

I had bet it would be a couple more, but everyone drifted off after her fourth haunting and paraded down the hall in her wake. 

She looked quite smug. A conqueror’s body language. 

Surprised she didn’t give a precise royal wave as she passed doorways.

A real Queen be.

One last nonchalant circle to confirm all were in their assigned seats working at their desks before she sighed satisfaction from the effort.

Her work done, she curled up on the window seat for her morning cat nap.

How would they manage without her?

Not sure we would. (Cats are such tough taskmasters.)

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Cat with crossed paws on windowseat. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

Staff must not be allowed to take advantage.©

Dog. Molly Malamute asleep on couch. ALL rights reserved. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

The dog cannot be counted on at all for herding the help. Why do they call them Watch Dogs? Obviously they do not consider the time passing at all.©

 

 

 

May 22, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Ringless. Gone with the end.

It’s over, so get ready for the blank stares of non-comprehension.

What amuses changes. Jerks the rugs of meaning right out from under.

Language will need updating now that the circus no longer coming to town.

Elvis Presley and girlfriend at the time Anita Wood on ferris wheel at a carnival , 1960. St Paul Pioneer PRess. USPD- CR not renewed, pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org

Elvis Presley and girlfriend at the time, Anita Wood, on a carnival ferris wheel. (1960) Elvis supposedly sang as a circus entertainer before he was famous, but haven’t been able to verify. He did play a carnie in the film Roustabout. How to explain that whole thing? (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Common phrases won’t have to be updated immediately, but consider what alterations may be necessary

Political circus – Could “Political rave” replace? A subculture. An immense dance with loud electronics, sometimes visual effects, fog machines, and performances. Either the noun or verb sounds like a possibility.

Media circus – What else can compare? Media madness? That’s about right in so many ways.

Big top – Oh, my. Social justice warriors will complain busty women are being ridiculed.

Clowns. And what about clowns? “Clowns are the pegs on which the circus is hung.” (P. T. Barnum). Orphans now. HomelessWill clowns scrape a meager existence from children’s parties, horror movies, or politics? Not sure which is scarier.

The energy, the whimsical sparkling chaos of circuses permeated common speech and print:  for humor, for emotion, for satire, for allusions, for symbolism.

In the words of  I Love Lucy, a bit of ‘splaining may be needed to clue in future generations.

Any ideas how to translate these timeless gems?

  • “Just cause you got the monkey off your back doesn’t mean the circus has left town.” George Carlin
  • “Next to a circus there ain’t nothing that packs up and tears out any quicker than the Christmas spirit” American cartoonist/humorist Kin Hubbard
  • “Time is a circus, always packing up and moving away.” American writer Ben Hecht
  • “Marriage is a good deal like a circus: there is not as much in it as is represented in the advertising.” American novelist, E. W. Howe
  • “What a circus act we women perform every day of our lives. Look at us. We run a tightrope daily, balancing a pile of books on the head. Baby-carriage, parasol, kitchen chair, still under control. Steady now! This is not the life of simplicity but the life of multiplicity that the wise men warn us of.” Aviator, author Anne Morrow Lindbergh
  • “But the soul of touring and the heart of it is basically every day is like putting up a circus tent.” Musician Pat Benatar
  • “Commas in The New Yorker fall with the precision of knives in a circus act, outlining the victim.” Author E. B. White
  • “I’ll continue to try and balance like a circus act. And I will just fight to always tell the truth. Even if it’s difficult.” Musician Katy Perry
  • ‘There is a circus around politics. But if you think it is a game, then you forget what the purpose of politics actually is.” Scottish politician Johann Lamont
  • “Every country gets the circus it deserves. Spain gets bullfights. Italy the Church. America Hollywood.” American novelist Erica Jong
  • “The circus is a jealous wench. Indeed that is an understatement. She is a ravening hag who sucks your vitality as a vampire drinks blood – who kills the brightest stars in her crown and will allow no private life for those who serve her; wrecking their homes, ruining their bodies, and destroying the happiness of their loved ones by her insatiable demands. She is all of these things, and yet, I love her as I love nothing else on earth.” Henry Ringing North in the book The Circus Kings: Our Ringling Family Story)

No more dancing horses, roaring lions, or that smell of sawdust mixed with cotton candy and popcorn, but hope we can find a way for the circus uninitiated to comprehend this:

“Keep the circus going inside you, keep it going, don’t take anything too seriously, it’ll all work out in the end.” Actor David Niven

Anachronisms can be fun.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Man smiling. Actor Christopher Walken, 2008. (Flickr/John Harrison/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Borrowed his hairstyle from Elvis. Actor Christopher Walken actually did work as a lion tamer in a small circus as a teenager. Guess it prepared him for Hollywood. His circus quote here. (Flickr/John Harrison/PD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

May 19, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Roadies and neatniks

Nothing like summer to inspire Shark Tank worthy new products.

Who hasn’t been there. So annoying to be stuck on a narrow 2 lane highway behind a massive 18 wheeler or monster bus.

Fret, curse, or risk desperate wobbling back and forth in the lane no more. Stop terrifying passengers.

Forget insisting the one in the front passenger’s seat lean out the window at the next curve and tell you what’s in front of the truck.

Avoid “that look” when you make the perfectly sane suggestion of holding a mirror out the passenger’s window at arm’s length to check out the road ahead.

Truck with wide cargo. (Glyn Baker/Geog. project/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“NOOOO! Now we’ll never get there before dark.” If you look really close, you can see the 3rd car back has stopped along the side of the road and the driver is banging his head against the ground. (Glyn Baker/Commons.wikimedia.org)

What if those huge vehicles sported a high quality camera on the front of their rig which relayed images of the road ahead to big screen on the vehicle’s back?

Just like seeing through a hole in the truck.

Big red letters could even flash: “Go Now!” like the sports arena screens. Talk about cheering.

If the traffic/road conditions were simply too bad and there was no point in passing the large barge ahead of you, perhaps the truck’s jumbo back screen could offer entertainment like cartoons (Road Runner?)

How about music videos with sing along words with a bouncing ball?

During long stretches of road construction, a perhaps flashing a helpful message on the big screen like “Your tax dollars at work. Here’s the contact information to tell those decision makers responsible exactly how you feel about this mess today.”

Even the sharks would be driven to giggle.

Solutions for everyday problems seem to find Shark Tank an easy swim.

Do you think this new service, Fold, would sink or float?

The premise: People are busy. The laundry gets washed, but who has time to fold and put it all away properly? Clothes are piled on chairs, stacked on tables, or become ghosts on door knobs. Kids grow up thinking it’s normal to dig through the clothes in the dryer to find something to wear.

The company’s solution: pay us and we’ll neatly fold your laundry, and put it where it belongs. Even organize clothes/shoes in closets or drawers. For a mere $30.00 and hour – less if you sign up for weekly or monthly visits.

“Houston company tackles your pile of clean laundry”

It’s neat all right, but really?

Can’t wait to hear Mr. Wonderful on this one. (“10 Kevin O’Leary Quotes Every Entrepreneur Can Learn From”)

Ready to see how these stack up.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

car and trailer. Buick Roadmaster with travel trailer. (Slauger/Commons.wikimedia.org)

During road trips, the only thing my dad hated more than being stuck behind a big truck was being stuck behind a slow car and a trailer…or worse, a whole line of sight-seeing drivers with travel trailers. They really do make mirrors on telescoping sticks, you know. (Classic: Buick Roadmaster with travel trailer. Slauger/Commons.wikimedia.org)

 

 

 

 

May 17, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Why not cry wolf

Howling wolf on glacier. Yellowstone NP. (Jim Peaco, NP service emplopyee. USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Got something you want to howl about? Why not enlist a professional? (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

A wolf in your pocket would be so convenient.

For those times when you just can’t keep your mouth shut, but should.

Howls. Tiny howls. Big meaning.

The perfect pocket pet is ready: the Grasshopper Mouse.

Just think a mouse version of the Karate Kid.

  • Fearless and confident
  • Nimble fierce fighter with astute strategy
  • A nocturnal carnivore (So you can bring him to the dinner table)
  • A social justice warrior: takes care of pests. “Likes” grasshoppers, centipedes, scorpions…

Face it. This is a Terminator Arnold could be proud of.

Able to neutralize poisonous confrontations without backing down, the grasshopper mouse may be worth copying.

Researchers are studying how these mice take venomous bites/stings with only a momentary pause as a protein mutation in their cells’ membranes, neutralizes the pain and prevents a pain message being sent to the brain. The poisonous toxin fails.

How the mouse does it:

 The mouse’s unique pain management system may offer a new direction in analgesic drugs for humans.

man and woman terrified. 1927 film "Cat and the Canary" (Universal /USPD.pub.date/Commons,wikimedia.org)

Doctor, forget yoga and Botox. Going to a pain management seminar by a Grasshopper Mouse.(USPD/Commons,wikimedia.org)

Are these mice actually superior to humans?

Idealistic environmentalists smile that grasshopper mice are eco-conscious enough to recycle perfectly good homes – saving the environment from destruction just for construction.

Sociologists shout “Whoa! Family matters!”

After spotting a desirable neighborhood, some dirty rat tricks are employed. Mousification by intimidation.  They have no problem turning on even their own kind. Kicking them out.

Is this an example of the “sins of the fathers” being passed on to their children?

Grasshopper mice apparently learn aggression from their fathers. Offspring raised by two parents seem to bully other mice and attack insects more often and more ferociously than those raised by single moms.

Father may know best, however, as their future survival may depend on mastering their dad’s lessons.

Behavior that sounds spookily familiar.

The Grasshopper Mouse Guild possibly consulted a PR team concerning nicknames.

Although that “Karate Kid” was cute, just like the furry cinnamon mice, they really didn’t want to be the next popular Pocket Pet.

Wanted to cast a bigger shadow. “Miniature Wolf of the Desert” has much more bite to it.

 And if fits: they howl at the moon. On their hind legs. Nose to the wind. Howling. Really. (Click that link and tell me it doesn’t look like a wolf howling at the moon.)

Sound experts say if you slow their high-pitched howls down, it sounds just like a wolf.

Ah, Grasshopper, you are as you believe.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

(Howliday inn! Grasshopper mouse about 1:39.)

May 12, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Restless

Restless this time of year.

There should be big red X’s across the calendar days.

Rocky Mountain trail. Cascade Falls route. NO permissions granted. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted.

Rocky Mountain trail to Cascade Falls ©

Closet’s choices should be narrowing as each day passes.

“I’ve washed, folded, stacked, and counted. Don’t even think about it. Find something else to wear.” Mom would warn as suitable attire was forced into yawning suitcases. We happily looked like faded cast aways for the last week of school.

As soon as the last school bell rang, we sprang into the car faster than old St Nick into his Christmas sleigh.

Escape. Miles to go before we’d sleep. (Maybe a donut during a coffee stop. Sugar!)

Summer’s was a reward 4-6 weeks of living in a string of National Parks.

Hauling water to the campsite by bucket, cooking over a camp stove, and sleeping on wiggly canvas sling army cots in a floorless tent.

Skunks thinking the cot legs were some weird obstacle course just for them.

Sleepily eating breakfast at a damp picnic table as a small fawn walks up to see if you’ll share that cup of milk. (Maybe a lettuce leaf instead?)

There should be maps spreading promised across the table.

Like the migratory birds, I feel it.

Like the migratory birds, I fear crashing into an illusion – being confused by a storm – flying headlong into what should not be there.

Yet. The restlessness persists.

Bubbling water splashing sparking jewels among the rocks. Waterfall in Colorado along Cascade trail ALL rights reserved. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

Icy waters generously fling sparking jewels at your feet among the pebbles. Far too precious and magical for this world, they only last for a moment or two before disappearing.©

Some are called by water. Lured by seagull calls.

Some by sweet blooms and lush grazing.

Some seek solace in painted sands.

Some feel the mountains’ rhythmic breathing. Hear the icy waters tumbling as they scatter diamonds of light among the rocks. Turn towards the hawk’s sky call.

Restless. With the car so close and the road right there.

Óloi óloi éxo

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Giant tree looking from ground up trunk. Yosemite. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted, NO permissions granted

Yosemite giant begging you to stay the day.©

 

May 10, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Elephant in the yard

Bulky and bothersome is an understatement when there’s an elephant in the yard.

It would be nice to have a clear view of things. Especially with the landscape awake and cooperating. But he blocks everything.

Vintage poster of circus elephant. Chromolithograph of performing elephant, 1874. GIbson & Co./LoC (USPD.pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Yes, with an elephant in the yard, it’s always a circus.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

We’d try to budge him to a different, less intrusive spot, but he just locks up and refuses to move.

Blockade or not, things have to be watered. Go ahead. Drag the hose across his feet…not a shift nor a shuffle.

I don’t want to even think about what’s under him.

It’s not that we don’t like him. There’s an air of Sesame Street’s Mr. Snuffleupagus about him…but he’s never been invisible. To anyone. Ever.

Oh, OK. It’s my fault. I said they could bring him home.

And it wasn’t too bad at first when he happily fit back against a wall out of sight of the living room windows.

Guess, it’s like bringing  a cat home: Almost never seen until it gets comfortable. And then it’s too late.

He’s aging. Coat paling. Joints sounding a bit rusty.

Well, he came to the right place. Once here, it’s a forever home. Even for aging grills the size of elephants.

Reality is, we’re fond of him and have gladly replaced parts as needed. Kept him snuggly covered in winter.

Currently waiting for replacement valves for the manifold (that entire part no longer available) and found a nice, just the right size, stainless scrap to switch out part of his worn undercarriage.

Who said old fashion, hot rod car mechanic experiences don’t translate as useful life skills?

Elephant grill maybe old, but still shining and ready to heat things up.

Warms your heart, too. Doesn’t it?

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Giant grill undercover on patio in back yard. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

Hide ‘n sheet. (According to Elephant Grill, if you can’t see them, they can’t see you. So there, Tiny)…And there is no truth to the rumor that we have considered harnessing and hitching Molly Malamute to Elephant Grill to wear her excess energy out by pulling it down the street.) ©

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