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August 26, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Lines need not apply

There’s been weird clouds recently.

Giant paintbox spills across wide skies

Sometimes 360 degrees of stained glass amazement.

all rights reserved. NO permission granted to use this sunset image in any fashion or form. Copyrighted.

Anvil cloud, storm to the west, and sunset.©

Maybe it’s a sign

That it’s OK to color outside the lines.

Lines are a start, but only that. Like piano scales before a concert.

Warming up the heart.

“Here’s why adults are suddenly obsessed with these colouring-in books.” (Business Insider)

NO permission granted to this sunset image. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted

Same cloud set but a bit to the south. ©

Or maybe they are only a fine carpet. Reserved for company.

Always put out the best before an important arrival.

Iconic trauma surgeon, Dr. James “Red” Duke dies at the age of 86 in Houston, TX

Always wearing those cowboy boots, wire rimmed glasses, old West mustache, – and always with that western twang, Red was a real pioneer in medicine and history.

When JFK was shot and brought to Parkland Hospital,(vintage VIDEO from Dallas), Dr. Duke was on call.

When Houston’s Life Flight air ambulance service began in the 1970’s, Red was on board. Dr. Red was the ER doc you wanted to be there if you were.

His nationally syndicated show “Dr Red’s Health Reports” ran for 15 years nationally. (You can hear him yourself in this interview.)

NO permissions granted for this sunset with palm trees. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted

As the sun sinks slowly in the west…. ©

Dr. Red, you old outlaw, gonna miss your swagger and style. Thanks for gettin’ all those young docs up to speed with such wit and humor.

Off into the sunset.

Guess that’s what it was all about.

Nice curtain call for a stellar act.

Wild applause

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

No permissions granted. ALL rights reserved to this sun and clouds. Copyrighted

Bye sun beam.©




August 24, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Dancing around it all

military parade. 369th Infantry on Fifth Ave. NYC. returning:1919.Western Newspaper Union/NARA 533579/War Dept/USPD/

Ant-like, yet so human. Not as organized. (1919 369th Infantry on Fifth Ave/USPD/

If the only order is chaos, then marching orders have been correctly issued.

Soldiering on with a goal: keep a stiff upper lip, ignore the bugs, distract annoyed animals, and appear undisturbed by the ever-growing piles of refuse and rubble in the hallway.

It’s a seasonal thing. Workmen’s schedules are open once parents become preoccupied with school, so it’s a great time to hire help for those home projects no one wants to crawl around and do themselves.

It will be an event of great spectacle and pageantry.

The excitement, the noise, the mess, the animal logistics!

Of course it will rain. And when the sun is out, it will be scorching with record temperatures and high humidity.

ALL rights reserved for this archway image of Boston hotel. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

Unfortunately HRH is expecting massive, yet elegant, improvements such as this. We don’t dare discourage this line of thought until the workmen leave….©

RC Cat is already complaining about boxes and furniture in the wrong places.

She has her standards. Promises mean nothing to her.

Especially annoyed that her annual Boxing of the Children Day Message will be delayed. We have tried to placate her by pointing out that schools often start after Labor Day, so it will still be timely.

But she raises The Paw and reiterates that “She, herself, has witnesses the giant yellow delivery transports practicing in the neighborhood in order to prevent accidentally leaving behind any kiddie litter on Day of the Boxing of the Children. Explanations and excuses for dictation non-completion? None.”

Mousies. Our only hope is Mousies.

Molly does not anticipate problems, except boredom, lounging territory being reduced, and never-ending bribes of treats.

Visitors coming? She not thrilled it’s people, but if they have a dog, it’ll be fine. If not a dog owner, she’ll mistrust them and stare intently with grrr ready.

Molly has things figured out.

Blog posting week may be a little erratic.

(Don’t leave. They’ll leave. Sob. Oh, sorry. You know that blogging anxiety yourself.)

So a few tidbits to entertain in the meantime.

Dancers. Bollywood Steps Show from Bristol.2006/Skip/

All a dream. Keep saying it: “Construction chaos is only a dream.”(Skip/

Shaking things up for 2015: Miss Bollywood Pageant is taking the stage here soon.

Now everybody get happy!

(OK. Sometimes hysteria is a type of happy. We’ll go with that.)

Building to something,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

RC Cat insists you will enjoy these related posts. 

ALL rights reserved for this image of sculpture in Boston. No permissions granted. Copyrighted

Wanna guess what this represents? Your tax dollars paid for it outside this Federal Building.©

August 21, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Squirrels included, but not preferred.

Looking for the answer.

It’s out there. Or up there.

Squirrels can apply, but better, I.

With clear instincts, gut judgement, and the obvious “We come in peace” tail wags (firmly backed by teeth at the ready and warning woof available)

NO permissions granted for image of dog focused on tree. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted image

Longer attention span than a 5th grader.©

It might be better if First Contact was with us dogs.

Consider carefully, Scotty and astrophysicists, before beaming anyone across galaxies at warp speed.

First impressions are important.  

Humans, as a species, tend to overlook the obvious. 

A little rewiring of DNA and genetic code may “cure” obesity. Of course. Why eat less, eat better, or exercise when the answer is so easy? MIT and Harvard say a little Crispr/Cas9 might edit the Fat Fat River Rat genes.

A little less emulating rats and their races might be sensible.

It wasn’t a lie: All work and no play make Jack and Jill dullards…and possibly dead. A major study finds workaholics’ long hours increase stroke risk as well as the potential for heart disease and diabetes. That’s pretty heartless for those left waiting in the windows. Back away from the desk.

Who invented offices anyway? Not a dog.

Despite canine leads, people are still wandering.

Ducking with foolishness.

Holster that duck! Is open duck carry even legal?

Certainly squirrely behavior there.

More nutty ideas?

ALL rights to dog image reserved. NO permissions granted for this image. Dog pix copyrighted

Focusing on the issues. ©

Mulling over answers.

They’re out there.

The squirrels could apply, but maybe better, I.

Put your best forward when meeting new neighbors, right?

Paw ready, NASA.

Molly, the Marvelous Malamute

But we canines insist on hiring our own ride and space contractors. 

For those who would rather improve life on earth before flighty concepts in outer space, Jayne quietly asks you to listen to Phoebe’s worldly story here.

Those eyes have it.  

Aye, definitely out of this world. 

Therapy and Spokesdog Phoebe and her person, Jayne. (

Therapy and Spokesdog Phoebe and her person, Jayne





August 19, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Food. Not food. Tutorial, Dunderheads

Hidden in plain sight. An odd lump in the food. A suspicious nail pushed it aside and the truth was revealed: a carrot.

Food. Not food. A simple concept.

While We strive to be a benevolent RC of the Realm and are known to overlook foibles and occasional missteps, We can tolerate just so much.

Are these orange lumps the result of sloppy dishwashing or, as We fear, something more sinister?

woman in vintage dress standing.Actress Carmel Myers/LOC.BAin Collection/

Enough is enough.(USPD)

Summer does call for lighter fare – and We have congenially sampled new dishes at Our dinner table recently. But the calendar is turning and Our stomach is, too.

Carrots offered as sustenance para moi?

Please. In what universe is this acceptable?

 Thus a tutorial for clarification for whichever dunderhead is holding the can opener

Bunny (Note the differences. You there. Point them out to the others.)

Group of bunnies. (Camilo Gonzalez/

Look and learn. Questions?(Gonzalez/

Not Bunny. Simple, yes?

ALL rights reserved to cat image. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

You may approach. That’s close enough. Put on some glasses if you can’t see the differences.©

To reinforce: Bunny.

(Note what the rabbit is eating. Yes, in the bowl, a carrot. Proving who is supposed to be served carrots.)

Grey rabbit eating carrots /Flickr.Art Vandelay/

Stressed bunny obviously concerned his carrots will be stolen and fed to cats.(Flickr/Vandelay/

To further prove the point, a few of those who have pawed before Us

Barn cat chasing rat. (House that Jack Built.R.Caldecott/ and artist life+100/

Dedicated barn cat ancestor earning his keep. (Caldecott/USPD/

Cat watching young girl holding mouse in cage. (1884.Clement Moore1779-1863/,artist life/

Wise cat (1884) who trained Staff well. (Moore/USPD/

Mom cat teaching kittens to play Cat and Mouse. John H.Dolph/USPD: artist life, reprod of PD art/

Taught by Mother’s paw! (

Cat watching small sparrows fight. (John H.Dolph/USPD: artist life, reprod of PD art/

Free range cat.”Don’t fight. I have room for both of you.”(USPD/

Does any one see anything that vaguely resembles a carrot?


We rest Our case


Heritage must be respected.

We are distraught – confused – weak from hunger and seriously concerned Staff is so negligent.

Has Staff confused us with veggie eating NASA astronauts? Staff mutters sometimes We are spaced out.

vintage girls. 1923. Film Maytime. Clara Bow and Ethel Shannon.Schulberg productions:Preferred Pictures/New Zealand Film Archives/

Yes, a shock. Try to be strong, like We, your RC Cat.(NewZealandArchives/USPD)

Winter is coming. We must pack on the pounds plan to stay warm.

A cold wet one predicted due to El Niño.

Much to Our annoyance. Who invited this one anyway? It is said he always offers a cold shoulder, the ungrateful child. Still giving one the nickname “Godzilla El Niño”  seems a bit rude and setting up for problems.

We have announced to the Molly that she must stop discharging hair immediately and stockpile it for  winter coat.

Apparently humans are being instructed to do the same judging from all the recent clothing advertisements urging people to purchase warm coats and clothing despite the current heat.

Despite the jammed roadways of people rushing to buy warm clothing, Staff is dispatched to search for suitable food that will be gentle on Our tummy and does not include any odd orange lumps.

We noticed those peas in the other, too. Do not attempt that one again.

Beware of the Paw of Death and Our Outrage.

Audience done.

Dismissed now that all are suitably chastised.

Put on notice.

We shall not treat lightly another dinner disappointment.

The Paw has waved.

Will someone please clear the room of these gawkers? Our jaws are tiring of polite smiles

Adieu, mon chéri.

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

An appropriate one: no cereal, no carrots. Meat. All fish sans mercury.

I am RC Cat and I approve this message.



(Read HRH’s previous messages here or here (Re: Amazon’s unpleasant food announcements), or here as audiences began .)


August 17, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

They have their reasons.

Visitors have their own agenda. In truth, they don’t come to see us.

Oddly, some do rave about the food, though. (Friends, knowing us well, snort, “It must have been catered”.)

They move in and quickly make themselves at home, the accommodations sight unseen.

NO permissions granted for this green frog image. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted

Hopped in for a drink. Stayed for the spa. ©

We might as well be ghosts among them. Certainly not “in” keepers travel agencies rave about.

Still, they must be telling their friends.

Maybe it’s management’s efforts to provide a gentle rain-like shower upon request.

If they treat us like staff – occasionally requesting a hand out of the pool – it may simply be the way they were raised.

Since they don’t make a fuss – or seem to mind the occasional mosquito – we oblige them.

Would be awkward if we tried to turn them away.

How would you feel if you only wanted to see your ancestral home? So many do travel long for that.

Besides, they have never poisoned the air with unreasonable demands for perfection.

In truth, we are pleased they stop by.

Thrilled when some look around, say, “I like what you’ve done to the old place” and decide to sit and stay awhile.

Always room for one more.

Just, please, stay out from underfoot and pick up after yourself, OK?

No reservations,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Anole on branch. ALL rights reserved. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

My how things fly. Appetizers lakeside. Perfect.©

August 14, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Caffeine and the slow life

woman with cup.(1895 Sarah Bernhart lithograph/US, photo reprod of PD art/

Java, not jitters.(1895Bernhart/US PD/

Addicts are unreasonable and dangerous.

Nothing will get in their way. They will reduce themselves to begging without shame. Perfectly willing to smash and shatter. They don’t care who they hurt.

Will the Food and Drug Administration finally force Starbucks to post warning signs and put caution labels on coffee cups?

Maybe if he is removed far far from that enticing fragrance of fresh ground coffee, there might be hope. He might even find himself able to open a savings account.

But society should be greatly concerned.

Where on earth can he go and not encounter Starbucks once he’s out of recovery?

Failure pouring on every corner.

glass on table at Starbucks (screenshot

The calm of this cozy caffeine corner shattered.(

Advocates of the slow and simple lifestyle insist it dissolves jitters and irritable behavior.

There are those who insist you see more when life crawls along. And they get pretty mad when someone tries to make a buck off of them because of it.

Gracie got confused by her recent relocation and didn’t move fast enough to stay out of the reach of a man who had devious plans for her.

Things looked grim from inside the duffel bag. Ransom was demanded.

Fortunately, she has a true friend who fought for her release and in the process got a very bad guy off the streets.

Gracie’s trendy: a natural advocate for slow motion and living in a tiny house. Luckily, she’s got a friend who aims to see she gets a chance to do just that.

Large tortoise. (

Wait! I’m coming. Just had to get my nails done.(

Supposedly a simple life in the slow lane is the coolest plan for dissolving jitters and irritability.

But try and tell that to Starbucks addicts aficionados.

Standing in lines long, waiting to ramble off a whole list of instructions to the barista while texting continuously, they simply shrug and respond “Hey, it’s available iced.”

As long as the coffee heads don’t mistake the tortoise for a table, they’ll be OK.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Gathering of animals on a patio1912 Hare and Tortoise. Aesop's Fables. Ballantyne and Co.London/ illustr. Rackham 1867-1939/USPD:,artist life /

There’s always such a line when school’s out. Go get us a table – just not one by the window.(1912Aesop/USPD/





August 12, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Jolt and battery. Only the powerful.

NO permissions granted for thisblue sunset over water. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted.

As the sun slowly sinks in the west, it betrays no sign of impending chaos.©

Why is it that the powerful ones always choose 2 a.m.?

The dog scurries into the back closet instead of defensive mode. The cat? Well, the forehead punctures and a snarling imitation of Daniel Boone’s hat is predictable when the nightly zen cat coma is abruptly punctuated by high-pitched sounds.

Is there some sort of hard-wired mandate that forces them to blare dead battery announcements only at 2 a.m.?

Smoke alarms.

Out of whimsy, boredom, or spite, a smoke alarm will shrilly reject its’ power source battery and then, even worse, encourage all the other house smoke alarms to riot along just for the fun of it.

Must be really amusing to watch the sleepy humans run frantically around in the dark.

The Powerful aren’t like us.

Power lines and tower. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

Behold and beware, groundlings.©

They always crown the most powerful.

Then others line up like soldiers eternally at attention.

Anyone can tell the pin head among them.

Dunce hat or pointed individualism? (Often difficult to distinguish between those two.)

Row of power line towers.ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions grant

They are flatly kind. The crowd will tolerate odd headgear as long as he holds up his end of the load. If not, sparks will fly and he’ll be fried. The Way of the Powerful.©

Standing firmly linked together, the Powerful simply ignore the “Little People”.

Might as well be mindlessly scurrying ants to them.

Their heads in the clouds with thoughts far more electric than ours.

The powerful ones, both the towering giants and the smaller domesticated ones, live parallel lives alternating among people.

Rows of power lines and towers: the crowned one, pair of large bodyguards, and a page.

The powerful take the field: Crowned champion flanked by body guards, rows of supporters, and a page of would by his side. ©

But is this shrieking not sleeping smoke alarm, protesting its’ plastic life?

Wired for a more elevated existence.

Something more than guardian and watcher.

Hopefully the tribute offering of a new battery will be enough to soothe this unhappy smoke alarm back to its’ destiny in the background.

Here. I’ll open the blinds so you can see the sky and dream those electric dreams.

Grateful for those currently employed.

Phi, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

smoke alarm and battery ALL rights reserved. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

Do not underestimate the Power of One. It can spark humans to run around like crazy if so amused. (and usually at 2 am)©



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