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August 22, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Gritty

 

window at night. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

Once fired, grains’ gain.©

Be the grain

Not that bothersome wheat, oat, or barley. Those too corny.

Be rock solid. Whether SiO2 or CaCO3.

Sharp crystals.

The builders.

Be the grain: pile on the poundings, repeated washes, all the tumbling and sunning.

Be not the pail.

Those of the never-ending of “half full” or “half empty”

Those far too quick to spill it all.

Be not the shovel.

Who knows where they’ve been or done.

Those too sharp and rigid. Cutting in the wrong hands.

Be the grain

Soft to the touch, yet inevitably dominating.

Undeterred by obstacles or nature’s stormy temper.

Be the grain of grit.

Make people squirm in their seats.

Just be wary of tires and feet.

Life of the beached.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Fine grains: AIA Sandcastle Competition 2016 photos.

Can your architect do this? Takes some grit to get it done.

More? 2016 Galveston AIA Sandcastle Golden Bucket Winner. Video.

August 19, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Oddities, but Bob insisted.

Young Komodo dragon, Phonenix, just arrived from SA (Houston Zoo/Stpehanie Adams/khou.com)

On the scale of things, doesn’t get much cuter.(HoustonZoo/Stephanie Adams)

Cracks from the break room.

Blame Bob. He insisted. New baby. Of the right species.

 Meat up, please. Phoenix, a Komodo Dragon, is ready to take a bite out of life.

A fine time for Dragons.

So inventor John Taylor was pleased to  accommodate.

Pearls of wisdom and all.

Wise domain or wisecrack?

Questionable quips overheard in the always maddening crowds:

  • Why was Adele even considered for Superbowl entertainment? They thought people would get up and go buy more beer.
  • Why did the pools turn green in Rio? International businessmen snort knowingly that the chemical’s supplier suddenly realized he wasn’t going to get paid.
  • The souvenir t-shirt supposedly spotted on U.S. Men’s Olympic Swim Team: “I went to Rio and all I brought back was a trashed reputation.” Thanks, guys. Add another chapter to the Ugly American.
  • Mom always said, “If you can’t bring enough for everyone, don’t bring any for anyone.” Insults served up for all in the outrageously rude animated “Sausage Party”. Video clip and film review from The Guardian here.  Give it a try if you’ve been finding that you can’t laugh at yourself or silly stereotypes recently. Think of the film as a vaccine against stiff-necked self-righteousness or as an allergy shot for desensitization against annoying remarks meant to be hurtful. Words – even from a sharp tongue – are just hot air. “Can’t hurt you if you don’t care and don’t let them.” Mom used to say that, too.
1930. Young girl with dirty face. Dorothy DeBorba. Vintage film.Schools Out. (USPD. pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Docs and researchers say a little dirt is good for you. No one realized how much the news media would take that to heart.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Everyone wants to be a better person.

Cognitive psychologists know what works and why.

Maybe the schools should try it? (A bit of satire, yes? No.)

Healthcare should mandate it.

You’d think a 20% reduction of mortality risk would get people’s attention. Sugary drinks and sweet cereals certainly did. Who couldn’t be willing to find 3 hours a week to participate if it meant living 2 years longer?

Summer’s draggin’ up some seemly stuff.

Keep cool, like Bob.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Dragon about to attack knight.1932. Charlemagne and His Knoghts. Katherine Pyle:Lippincott. (USPD.pub.date, artist life, exp.cr/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“It doesn’t matter if you’ve already heard enough. You’re going to be forced to listen for 75+ days as the ugly presidential campaign drags on. The price you pay for being human. And you have the nerve to call us animals.” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

 

 

 

 

 

August 14, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Time eater.

Mechanical Insect Clock. Chronophage Clock.(hmns.org,/image by Laurie Perez)

Chronophage taking a chomp out of time. Seriously. It is. Greek: chrono = time, phagos = eater of.(hmns.org,/image by Laurie Perez)

Time eaters. You’ve experienced them.

Not daydreams. Those are a time’s builders.

But the others.

Like cell phones. (More exactly, like your mom on cell phones. Why is my number listed as “Technical Assist for anything and everything”?)

Like Facebook. (Setting any records for unfriending these days?) 

Like any attempt to find a channel where you don’t hear the words “Phelps”, “Biles”, “Clinton”, or “Trump”. (The media has become so boorish that if they were neighbors and you were hosting a block party and they were at the front door, you’d tell everyone to be quiet and hide until they left.)

The Chronophage Clock running high on the museum wall. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. No permissions granted

Getting the run-around high on the museum wall. ©

Treasures like the fanciful Chronophage are no waste of time. 

“Part insect, part reptile, the chronophage represents the looming presence of wasted time. Every 60 seconds, she opens her mouth to devour the passing minute. She appears weathered, but her lacy enamel wings suggest she was once beautiful. Every hour, she stretches her titanium body, her glass eyes light up, and she warbles the Westminster Chimes, voiced by Scottish Opera singer Kate Valentine. From outer to inner, the rings light up to count seconds, minutes, and hours…”.  read more from HMNS.

More than just a pretty face, all the magic is in the grasshopper-like leg movements.

This grasshopper escapement is real science and was critical to 16th century seafarers. Why? Wild oceans created more problems than just sea sickness for sailors.

John C. Taylor has only created 4 of these clocks which are designed to show the relativity of time.

This one’s pacing around on the wall of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, but only until Sept 18th. Don’t wait until you run out of time.

 How to tell time on Taylor's Chronophage. (hmns.org)

Time runs around in circles, but can’t escape the inevitable crunch time. (hmns.org)

As Einstein used to say “When you sit on a park bench with a pretty girl for an hours, it seems like a minute; but if you sit on a hot stove for a minute it seems like an hour: that’s relativity.”

Time after time

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

(Still on blogging break, but this is cool.)

A similar clock, The Corpus Clock (in Cambridge), by John Taylor.

August 7, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Bob. Twenty-four. Zip of the tongue

Bob emerging from ferns and grasses. Lizard. All rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

Clear. Search of area complete.©

No snake in the grass.

Good to get back to roots.

Might find what’s bugging you.

(Munching)

Lizard on wall in shadow. ALL rights reserved. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted.

Hiding in plain sight. A dancer of the shadows. Every family has one. ©

Seems crowded: from you and what army?

A relative gathering: Lizards’ reunion.

Hunting available. Draws them.

Like flies.

(Nod)

Large lizard with ruby throat on branch. ALL rights reserved. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

Old guard out to impress. Can’t have a reunion without at least one show off.©

This season’s well seasoned.

(Silence)

Staff still singing that tune.

Sends regrets. For fewer posts or that musical link? Earworms.

(Smirk)

Bye,

Bob

More Bob here.

(Who is Bob? Simple)

small striped lizard on brick wall. ALL rights reserved. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

Always one extreme athletic type. Works during the week as trainer for American Ninja Warrior competitions.

August 5, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Ringers: creating space.

Girls in vintage gym clothes holding up hoops. 1957. (German Federal Archives.Bundesarchiv,Bild 183-48070-0004/Commons.wikimedia.org)

What goes around circles back…except maybe for gym bloomers like these. The white bands were so tormenting coaches could yell if posture wasn’t perfect or stomach not sucked in.(1957.Commons.wikimedia.org)

Bluffing, strutting, loud loyalties, and win-at-all-cost attitudes. Both of them.

Although one competition is featuring more vicious trash talk than usual this year.

Ring me when it’s over.

Had enough of sandy and verbal volleys last time around.

Faced with a choice of these games, Olympics or Presidential, it’s easy: Click.

Man carrying other man in sewer.. Les Miserables comic cover.(USPD. pub.date, exp.cr/Commons.wikimedia.org)

People being chased by political pollsters or Rio Olympians after competition? (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Ever wonder who are those people who actually live without mesmerizing screens?

Might be surprised to discover they are from both ends of the society.

That’s promising: actual common ground for liberal and conservative. 

(Wondering: Any chance opposites really could attract rather than attack?)

Some even manage to escape servitude to cell phones.

Seriously, if it’s important, they will leave a message or call back. It’s a request to speak with you, not a bossy command.

Freedom of choice. A quality of life thing.

Besides, the people right in front of you might not be there next time you look up.

Instant communication and information grows like piles of laundry: never never stops.

Sticky stinky situation. Ring around the collar that makes you want to wisk away.

man stanading next to robot. robot. "Lost in Space" publicity photo with J.Harris1967/CBS (USPD:no cr.markings, pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Spaced. Need to make time for that. Super Perseid Meteor Shower peaks in August.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

So like many bloggers, I’m going to hit pause until the end of August. Appreciate your understanding. Don’t be surprised if I pop in to read a few blogs, though.

Will be back to jump through hoops and ready to run rings around things after that.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Leaving you with a laugh ’cause I know there’s no way to collar most of you to click the link above. Gotta love that parrot…and being a little flip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 2, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Fit to be tied. Dunderheads.

woman untying man in train tracks. Lobby card. "LAss of the Lumberlands", 1916.Mutual Film (USPD.pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Thought this was funny. She is untying him, right? (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Filled with Futterwacken alternating imitations of that headspinning Linda Blair, August is a challenge.

Gut it up, head down, and charge through it. Multiple charges typically.

Simply a simmering testing ground for higher level thinking and endurance.

A few warm ups to get you into the spin of things:

  • Winning the suspicious “Whaaaaat? Really?” Award: It’s no longer necessary to floss your teeth anymore. Yep, hey, who needs teeth? Old people are looking forward to no longer having bleeding gums (and eating only jello). Small children and busy moms are cheering the end of those silly strings. Dentists are tossing their instrument trays. Cats are protesting researchers snatching of hours of batting and pouncing entertainment (and with their little lives already being so hard). No doubt some are mouthing conspiracy.
  • For the “Should Have Thought of That” Award: A son now facing murder charges for murdering his parents: he called the police who couldn’t get in as there was no signs of forced entry and they had to wait for the 16 yr old to turn off an expensive alarm system before entering and finding the murder weapon left on the counter. Tragic all the way around. Dunderhead.(When did just running away from home if unhappy stop being an option?)
Teenagers hanging over a barricade waiting for Rolling Stones. 1964 Nat. Archives of Norway/Flickr(USPD.pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Tough little lab rats. Up for anything if it’s presented right.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

  • The coveted “Oh, Toughen Up” Award goes to area high schools who are now holding football and marching band practices on bakin’ concrete parking lots and artificial turf. Luckily temps are lower this week: only 98 – 100F with humidity pushing the actual “feel like” temperature into triple digits for afternoons. Hey, it was actually a cool 79 degrees at 8 am this morning. Perfect timing for those fall catalogues loaded with sweaters (That’s warm garments, not hot high school marching models. Spelling counts.) Summer practice is one of those remembered-for-life high school experiences. Wouldn’t trade them for all the ..well, on second thought, maybe a cooling blanket and some Gatorade. (Educators are wringing hand over students’ lack of higher level thinking. What if the schools’ administrators and coaches first tried modeling some commonsense thinking skills? Or is this just another example of adults saying “Do as we teach in science and health classes, not as we do in the search for applause and bragging rights”?
  • And finally the “Ask Not What your Country Can Do For You. Ask What You Can Do For Your Country” award goes to Olympic swimmers, sailors, windsurfers, and sports broadcasters who are shutting their mouths in Rio. WHO would like to clear the air about it too. (We won’t discuss the body floating among sailboats last week…). They always say “Play is serious work”. Work related injuries can be expected, but WHO knew. Let the games begin!

“The pleasure of jogging and running is rather like that of wearing a fur coat in Texas in August: the true joy comes in being able to take the damn thing off.” (Joseph Epstein)

Running on

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

chorus line of girls in vintage dress. 1935. State Lib. of New South Wales/FLickr (USPD.no cr, pub date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Off to see the Wizard. The wonderful Wizard of Aug. (1935.USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

July 31, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Fan crushes. Rock and roll reunions.

Elvis and girls getting autographs. 1956. Minneapolis Tribune. USPD. pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org

“You know, I know all the words to all of your songs. My smile is certainly as cute as that 14-year-old Priscilla Wagner’s.” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Out maneuvered.

Scrapbook found. With a flourish, placed on the table: ticket stubs, photos, crumbling newspaper articles, flattened coke cup.

“Hmmm. Beatles, Stones, Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, Joplin, Grateful Dead…”

Our arguments escaped like air out of a balloon

“…and 13th Floor Elevators at Luuuuuuv Street Light Circus.”

They were local. Not near as lurid as parents imagined.

Sigh.

Despite dire warnings of 100 degree heat, long lines, and bored celebrities, she bounced all over the back seat the whole way. Quietly mouthing”I’m going. You’re not” to cars we passed.

Girls screaming in the audience of a Rolling Stones concert. 1964. Nat. Archives of Norway. FLickr(USPD.pub.date: Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Oh, he looked right at me! I’ll wear these contacts forever.”(USPDCommons.wikimedia.org)

We exchanged glances.

Please don’t let him be so jaded that he simply rolls his eyes at her and quickly turns to the next one in line. He’s easily twice her age.

Needless worry.

Not the Harry Potter experience, but enough magic for her.

A real pro behind his soft brown eyes.

Teenagers in Rolling Stone concert. 1964. Nat. Archives of Norway: Flickr (USPD.pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“l was in the same room as them. We breathed the same air. My life is complete.” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Happy chatter on the return trip home.

“He puppy bowed. To me. Puppy bowed!

He put out his paw. I put out mine. We footsied!

Oreo didn’t do that with that just-groomed German Shepherd. Just a polite sniff for that one.

We shoulder bumped!

He has a tattoo in his ear! He let me sniff it. Can I have a tattoo in my ear?

Sigh.

Not one to take no for an answer. (After all, he did puppy bow.)

She tried to wiggle an invitation to the Dock Dog pool with him, but even celebrity dogs need some relaxed solo R&R away from the enthusiastic fans.

Black dog wearing miltary insignia vest. Sretched out on floor is retired Marine Oreo. at Meadowlake fund raiser. NO permissions granted. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted.

“More adoring fans. Isn’t it break time yet? The Dock Dog Pool out front: so near yet so far….” Yet, Oreo knows so many are depending on him delivering their message. (And you can see Molly’s feet dancing in the background.)©

Now we deal with the dreams and realities:

“Can he come over?

What about his friends that just arrived in town? They need some new digs. We have extra room on the couch.

Don’t answer yet. Listen, they are good dogs not asking for heaven. Just a quiet place, cuddles, and stability. In fact they don’t ask at all, just hope…

Email them. Nooooow nowww, Mom. RC cat won’t mind. They are dog heroes. And some are waiting.”

3 dogs from Eastern Securities Corp in Kuwait. facebook.comMissionK9.

First batch of 3 dogs from Eastern Securities Corp in Kuwait last week. Now in Houston. The two dogs below arrived stateside last night. On the way here. Much thanks to Kuwait and Eastern Securities for their assistance. (Both images from MissionK9Rescue)

2 lucky dogs. From Eastern Securities and Kuwait.(MissionK9Rescue FB)

And it’s true. Our hero dogs are coming home – slowly.

Did you know in some places there’s a bounty of $250 for a sliced off dog ear with a tattoo? Military canines are so good at their jobs of finding explosives and protecting soldiers, they are that feared and targeted.

The military is dragging its’ heels about their plans to return and re-home their canine veterans even though it’s the law now. Military being not able or willing to find mandated solutions.

Contractors are working with groups like Mission K9 Rescue to get their dogs back stateside.

Currently 3 dogs at a time are accompanying one human and flying home as “excess baggage” at a cost of $800.00. Then regular civilians are stepping up to help foster and transport dogs to former handlers and to their forever homes.

Yes, costly. But these dogs bravely protected and never questioned. 

They save lives.

A scratch on the ears and a tennis ball was thanks enough.

But it’s really not

Leave none behind.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

See the recent news and arrivals: Mission K9 Rescue on Facebook or website.

Check out fostering possibilities, adoption forms and process, some lovely dogs needing to hitch a ride, assisting transport to former handlers, or send a dog toy – a welcome home tennis ball or supplies. And of, course, they always welcome donations of any amount all year round.  (Remember: bbeware of scammers!)

Retired military canine Oreo and Molly at MissionK9Rescue fund raiser. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted.

“Hey, I know the place and pack. Let me introduce him around the splash pad. He said it was OK and he’d love a dock diving partner. Oh, I know, Mom. Stop inviting myself along. But he’s so cool…Well, he will be once in the pool! Now about me getting a tattoo.”©

 

 

 

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