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July 18, 2018 / philosophermouseofthehedge

It’s all in the stitches

White horse and Russian woman rider "She put her good steed to the walls and leapt lightly over them" Russian Story Book/Wilson, ill. Pape, 1916 (USPD., artist life/

“She put her good steed to the walls and leapt lightly over them” (USPD/

There’s a tale – in myths or legends –

Of women gathering before the departure of a traveler and together stitching a garment, or a saddle blanket, or banner

Over each neat, hand-sewn stitch, a plea, a prayer, a fervent wish for safe passage was whispered.

I am making shelter dog beds. By hand. Stitch by stitch.

It’s something I do before hurricane season – late August through September is when we watch

Also some the week after Christmas as the bitter, wet cold, if it comes, arrives in January.

Nothing fancy, just patched together scraps of old, but sturdy, thick towels, durable bedspreads that were deemed last year’s style, and what remnants I collect during the year.

There’s always a few far too delicate for much use – luxuriously soft, plush ones that the city shelter supervisor knows are for the sad cases: those too badly injured or sick. So that each one knows that they are finally caught safe and will suffer no more – and will finally have a moment of softness in their lives before they close their eyes for the last time.

The German often stretched out beneath the table by my feet so many times as I worked on these over the years. As if she was willing some of her own contentment into those little beds. She always seemed to approve – understanding about the playtime delays.

Rainbow. Horizontal ribbon of color across the sky without rain or storm. (© Image all rights reserved, copyrighted, NO permissions granted)

It’s a bird? It’s a plane? It’s some sort of eerie phenomenon: no rain – no storm – only a bright ribbon of color wrapped across the sky. (© Image)

The German slipped quietly away this morning among friends.

I stitch in her honor. I think she would like that.

Over each not-so-neat stitch, a wish for safe passage whispered.

Promises to keep. She kept hers and I will mine.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Rainbow streaming horizontally across sky. (© Image all rights reserved, copyrighted, NO permissions granted)

She put her valiant heart to the walls and leapt lightly over them. (© image)

The German's paws. All rights reserved. Peace for paws. Copyrighted German Shepherd's signature. NO permissions granted

Her paws at peace.





July 16, 2018 / philosophermouseofthehedge

No to O. Cruel fate.

mother and daughter. Lobby card 1944 film Curse of the Cat People. (, artist life/

“Someday we’ll forget curb appeal and put on the window screens. Meanwhile just tell the school those are birthmarks, not impetigo.” (USPD/

Is it a matter of taste? (When so many seem pleased with tastelessness)

It’s biting. Mosquito biting.

Darn annoying to fashion conscious students as red welts are never trendy.

If the young fashionistas who prefer abbreviated clothing to  long-sleeved protective attire, wail “O? No!”, will the next big cosmetic procedure be full blood change out transfusions?

Don’t laugh. Could happen considering the popularity of colored contacts, fat removal, fat implants, all sorts of cosmetic plastic surgery.

In the search for beauty, there is no pain.

If it’s true mosquitoes prefer some blood types to other, blood banks better get ready for the demand. 

All sorts of blood letting possibilities:

Lady Gaga’s 2010 meat dress might have been ahead of its’ time: a blood type disguise.

Shark Tank potential! Throw down “O” blood in flesh-like packets. Great for picnics.

Blood types could even become a notable item on dating web sites as some search for potential mates. People always want the best for their future children.

Where are the studies of whether blood type make a difference to the legendary vampires? (Thesis proposals in progress as we speak…)

Vampire Dracula looking at man. 1931 film. (USPD., artist life/

“Are you sure? You smell like O positive to me.”(USPD/

It gets better: assassins. To be accurate, mosquito assassins.

Pesticides get swatted around here, so Harris County Precinct 4’s expert Anita Schiller and her team are focusing on an “assassin” insect. According Schiller, “The prey consumption rate is between 100 – 2,600 and up for 4,000 prey mosquitoes.”

Since this coastal area has five serious mosquito borne diseases, this is important work. Which could probably go a lot faster if their lab stopped flooding.

Natural born killers for pest control. This may be only scratching the surface of what is possible.

Hopefully these tiny mercenaries don’t turn on us and continue to be as beneficial as that buzzer that was introduced in the 16th century to North America: the honeybee.

Itching to see progress

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Insect monster Preying Mantis fighting army. 1957 film poster. Reynold Brown (USPD., artist life/

Importing these were prohibited. Invasive species regulations have more bite than mosquitoes. (Reynold Brown/USPD/

July 13, 2018 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Rangy sky rover

Cloudy with a chance of don’t fence me in.

Some prefer a show with unlimited viewing available, clouds included.

Sky show on the same day, close in time, but different environment as the one posted yesterday.

Wide open spaces work just as well as wide waterways.

Sunset clouds at the ranch. (© Image: all rights reserved, copyrighted, no permissions granted)

Sunset over a West Texas ranch. (© Image)

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world”

(John Muir)

“In wider spaces, people bearing historical grudges with each other were separated by the muting qualities of distance.”

(Tim Cope)

“It’s hard to find a place where you’re out of earshot of some kind of noise.”

(Tim Cope)

“Dogs are wise. They crawl away into a quiet corner and lick their wounds and do not rejoin the world until they are whole once more.”

(Agatha Christie)

“With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things.”

(William Wordsworth)

Quiet still.

Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Large cloud at sunset over farmhouse and windmill. (© Image: all rights reserved, copyrighted, no permissions granted)

Riding into a sunset. Amazing show welcoming home. Dinner can wait.(© Image)

July 12, 2018 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Not even that intimidating Friday

Red sky at morning, warning. Night red sky, delight. (Always thought red sunset was a natural stop sign. Noted people tend to run through both…)

Does it count if you see a red sky photo first thing in the morning? Apparently.

Thursday’s child is full of whoa.

This better not be a practice run for tomorrow. (Friday 13th Supermoon/Solar Eclipse) Thought that was a private showing for the Aussies.

Threatening anvil cloud over Clear Lake. ( Image: all rights reserved, copyrighted, No permssions granted

Duck and cover? Yesterday’s close was dramatic. Drew a crowd. Look at the right side for a small black dot. That’s an unwise motorized hang glider.(© Image)

I should have gotten up with the rustling. RC Cat is still annoyed her Not-a-cat-tree order was intercepted.

Miffed and complaining all day yesterday with no amount of food, mousies, or savage swat defense drills could placate her. (Seriously, those hair clumps have to come out)

Before dawn she leaped up to announce justice had been dropped….and not in the litter box. (Why risk getting unsightly lumps between the toes when there’s a little bit of newspaper sticking out under the facilities that can be fished out if one has patience and persistence…and then the paper fluffs so easily so there is no offensive visual…sad, the same can’t be said for the scent….

Then there’s Molly’s reluctance with the jungle. 

After all the rain, the grass is demonstrating sun love by growing far too fast. And for some idiotic reason the lawn sprinklers came on at dawn.

Molly Malamute may have struggled the brutal the street life as a child, but she’s turned the corner and now, as The Princess, stares at long wet grass mumbling “It tickles.” She is perfecting this three-legged squat – all the while looking disdainfully at Staff “See what you are making me do!”

Really glad she’s looking more stable in that stance today. Yesterday she was a bit under the weather after a yearly check-up and nose spray vaccine. Her shakiness not from the vaccine, but from the bungled blood draw for heartworm check. I should have stopped when the Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dumb girls walked in. We witnessed their brutally bungling before when Molly was being treated for rat poison. Unfortunately it’s summer and our trusted tech is on vacation. It took 4-6 stabbing tries – that many in each front leg! They are lucky she’s such a kind dog – could see her swallowing hard and drooling. Not even an embarrassed apology. For good reason she was a little sore and kept licking her legs the rest of the day. Happy she seems to have recovered. Never allowing that pair near her again.

At least this morning, the mouse in the fence took pity and stayed hidden so Molly didn’t tear through the underbrush and mud attempting a capture before the darn thing make it up the big palm.

Anvil thunderstorm cloud over Clear Lake, ( Image: all rights reserved, No permissions granted, copyrighted)

Anvil thunderstorm cloud over Clear Lake. It kept growing, we kept going. (© Image)

Then – things always happen in 3’s, right? – the company’s office PC computer stalled and refused to finish startup.

Noooo! There are quotes due, project drawings to post for client approvals, progress updates, and all sorts of stuff that piled up over the holiday.

As the clock turns, things are sorting out. 

Mediation with cat was positive. RC is positive if Staff doesn’t replace dead cat grass with new tasty grass today, She will not be responsible for repercussions.

Molly was happy to meander from shady spot to shady spot for an acceptable length walk. (They can say her 2 additional pounds is water weight, but consistent exercise is important.)

Managed to get through to MS tech help….holding…holding..trying this and that while holding…and finally, DIY, a glimmer of recognition and obedience from the laptop. It’s slow, but it’s plodding along.

Fingers crossed (and thank goodness for back ups if worse comes to worse)


Must find screen saver of kittens or bear in hot tub enjoying margaritas or husky singing or something.

No unicorns …that would be asking for trouble.

As the poem says, “Thursday’s child has far to go”.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge ©

Large thunderstorm anvil cloud. Small black dot in middle is hang glider(Image: © All rights reserved, copyrighted, NO permissions granted)

At 8 pm, it’s a little late for thunder clouds to form up. Wonder if the powered hang glider was taking pictures or simply foolish. (He’s the tiny black dot at about 2:00 in the middle of the cloud) There was lightning and thunder, but no rain for us, but we walked home quickly anyway while there was a bit of wind from the softening cloud. The next few days will probably produce fabulous dusk skies as a heavy batch of Saharan Dust will arrive Friday and continue for a few days. (© Image)

July 10, 2018 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Waves, cats, and saves.

Baseball players at home plate. 1903 (USPD, aertist life/

Noooo! Stop motion requested.(USPD/

Like a baseball player sliding to tag a runner diving for first base, I caught the movement in mid-air just before the “Buy now” key was clicked while shouting, “What do you think are you doing?”

With a level stare of annoyed authority, RC Cat: “What is needed. Simply reducing regulations and shortening bureaucracy. Exercise equipment is a worthy investment.”

Staff: “Exercise equipment? That’s not a cat tree. It’s a sculptural shelf – a fancy, expensive thingy.”

RC Cat: “Really? Well, if that’s the case, you have to admit it would make a lovely mousie display piece. Perfect – like a tree with inhabitants. All the museums are going for natural surroundings.”

Staff: (Blocking the keyboard) “Please – it’s huge. Where would it fit? Besides open mousie displays do not fare well here. Too tempting for the dog and too hard to dust. No.”

Giant 3-D printed copper colored Sculpture by Joris Laarman. MFAH ( Image copyrighted, no permissions granted, all rights reserved)

“Branch”. A very large 3-D printed bronze sculpture holding a small version of itself on the top shelf. By Joris Laarman. More about the piece here.

RC CAT: (Large sigh) “Well, then, you might as well cancel the other item which seems to be large enough to cover that entire wall over there. Sad. We had planned entirely removed that irritating talking box. Better for your health. This delightful swirling Wall Wave was obviously intended as soothing mental exercise equipment. Like catnip for humans. Don’t say We never do anything nice for you.”

Vortex bookcase by Joris Laarman. MFAH exhibit (Image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

In front, a Vortex Bookcase. A screen of constantly moving, ever-changing waves and swirls in back.(Joris Laarman Lab)

explanation of Vortex Bookcase by Joris Laarman. MFAH exhibit

vortex bookcase by Joris Laarman Lab. MFAH

Vortex bookcase and blue rolling design. Joris Laarman Lab. MFAH

Moving wave screen behind Vortex bookcase by Joris Laarman Lab. (MFAH exhibit/ image copyrighted, no permissions granted, all rights reserved)

Staff: “Oh, OK, mesmerizing, but as usual you neglected to read the fine print. People are supposed to watch the flowing image until they see the exact design they like. Then the image is paused to become the blueprint for a 3-D printer to create a totally unique bookcase.”

RC Cat: “Absurd. The flowing image is much more useful. Zen. Wavy furniture only make sense as a training device for Ninja Warrior Cat. Bookcases? You can read what you want into that. Anachronistic: hiding being behind the times with sculpture.”

Staff: “Hey, there are books. Have to go somewhere. What’s the problem?”

close up of bookcase why Joris Laarman Lab. Image copyrighted, no permissions granted

Bookcase from the side towers end. By Jorvis Laarman Lab

RC Cat: “Curses.”

Staff: “What?”

RC Cat: ” All sorts of curses applicable, Dunderhead! A thin digital reader neatly holds thousands of titles leaving more space and money for cat exercise equipment. Frightening.”

Staff: “What? The thought of exercising?”

RC Cat: “Where is that blood pressure lowering Wave Wall when it’s needed! Scary things are better when smaller, so they can be tucked out of sight until daylight and courage return. Like The Bone Curse. Terrifying and it’s not even Halloween.”

Staff: “Bone curse? RC, are you feeling achy or something?”

RC Cat: “Bonehead! It’s summer, vacation time. People are visiting odd, old places – dangerous places – without realizing what they do. Like the kids in the cave. They would get it! Nothing like shared experience to intensify the terror. What are you doing? Put Us down. We do not require medical attention, but you may soon, if you do not release Us. You will be cursed! Especially if you miss this opportunity:”

book promo screenshot. Carrie Rubin's blog

Staff: “Oh, blogger Carrie Rubin’s most recent scary book. Yeah, you’re right – it would be frightful to miss out on that deal. Word of warning, keeping that book by your bed at night is seriously asking for nightmares. It all starts in an ancient Paris catacomb during a vacation…”

RC Cat: “NO! Speak no more of scary undergoundness! But before you let the computer go dark, could We consider that lovely, large not-a-cat-tree item for the garden? Think how lovely it would be as a bird restaurant…even as an entertaining squirrel stage? No? It would fit perfectly where that Queen palm died. Just consider it. We shall continue this discussion later. Now We must go inventory Our store of tributes…In case there is a social cave-in…you know, like a drive-in only not moving or like a sit-in with more elegance, a grand soiree in the dark. Yes, yes. Summer always bring such surprises….like the large box UPS will be delivering….Once it is clawed up, it cannot be returned. Au revoir. Must do my nails.”

Staff: “Hello? UPS? Hold?” (Sigh)

Life in the Realm.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Avoid a cat shopping online, but check out Carrie’s book – Don’t try to read it alone in the dark!!!

Related posts about 3-D printing:

July 9, 2018 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Machines learning to sit pretty

Do they have a union? The first generation machines.

What happens when – after long, tedious, repetitive hours without one injury or complaint – a factory robot is pink slipped.

Any metal health coverage unbolted from them. Discussions of separation pay probably nonexistent.

Even if their connections are good, getting added to another line is slim and none.

In a world far too quick to remove and replace with newer updated models, what happens to the old ones?

It’s easy to project human qualities and personalities onto machines – like we do with dogs.

I keep having the sad images of some little robot desperately dodging among cars waiting at the light – a tiny rusting little appendage reaching with practiced politeness learned from a long gone job – hoping for some change or quick charge from the auto cell phone charger.

You know you won’t be able to meet those little sensors eye to eye. Just too sad.

Where’s the robot homeless shelter and the reprogramming programs?

Someone has to do something.

Chair. Museum of Fine Arts exhibit of Joris Laarman Lab (Image: copyrighted, all rights reserved, NO permissions granted)

Have a seat and think about it. If graceful products produce thought of grace…(Houston Museum of Fine Arts Joris Laarman Lab exhibit.Image ©)

Someone is on it: Joris Laarman and his design lab are exploring the potential of recycling discarded car assembly line robots to  make affordable furniture.

Sounds good for the environment, too, right?

Meanwhile, while working out the logistic and rewiring of that, they are creating beautiful household items as humans shift gears towards a new way of working with machines. (Which aren’t cheap, yet, but think of the Tesla concept of attracting the elites who can afford to pay more in order to finance work towards more affordable models…)

While working out the logistics of that, this group is chairing the work involving 3-D printing. Their machines creating with unexpected materials: wood, wool, cotton, marble, resin, aluminum…

Even more unexpected it that many of the chairs’ programs are open source. An idea perfectly seated in DIY.

See how they sit with you. As Fine Art and, maybe, a fine line in the future.

Row of chairs by Joris Laarman Lab (From Design in the digital Age exhibit at MFAH. Image copyrighted, No permissions granted, All rights reserved)

Row of chairs by Joris Laarman Lab. The stripes of the front one printed using walnut wood. Design in the Digital Age/MFAH.(©image)

Puzzle chair printed out of wood! (MFAH Joris Laarman Lab exhibit. Image: all rights reserved. copyrighted, no permissions granted)

It’s a puzzle how they do it: printed completely out of two types of wood.(© Image)

Joris Laarman Lab 3-D printed chairs in front of their open source design panels printed in 2-D. From MFAH exhibit. Image: copyrighted, no permissions granted, ALL rights reserved)

A seat above normal home theatre seating: 3-D printed chairs in front of their open source 2-D design panels.(©Image)

White chair from Bone series. Joris Laarman Lab/MFAH/ Image: all rights reserved, copyrighted, no permissions granted)

White marble 3-D printed chair from Joris Laarman’s organic inspired “Bone Furniture”.(© Image)

Metal Chair 3-D printed chair by Joris Laarman Lab with printed cotton and wool seat upholstery. (MFAH. Image: all rights reserved, copyrighted, NO permissions granted)

Whimsical and sculptural. Printed metal chaise lounge with 3-D printed cotton and wool seat upholstery.(© Image)

Back of Chaise lounge chair by Joris Laarman Lab/MFAH. (Image: all rights reserved, copyrighted, NO permissions granted)

It would fit perfectly in your place, right? Back of Joris Laarman chaise lounge chair.(© Image)

Close up of 3-D printed chaise lounge by Joris Laarman Lab. MFAH/Image: no permissions granted, all rights reserved, copyrighted)

Time for your close up. Note the hexagonal shapes vary in size by location. What intriguing details.(©Image)

Chair's feet. Joris Laarman Lab/MFAH ( Image: all rights reserved, copyrighted, no permission granted)

I love the confident little legs and feet.(© Image)

Soft chair printed by Joris Laarman Lab (MFAH exhibit/ Image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Prefer something a little on the soft side? Soft Gradient Chair. Read more about it below(© Image)

Chair description and production info for 3-D chairs by Joris Laarman Lab/ MFAH exhibit)

Description and production info of 3 chairs by Joris Laarman Lab/ MFAH exhibit

Adaptation Chair by Joris Laarman Lab (MFAH/ image copyrighted, no permissions. all rights reserved)

The organic Adaptation Chair looks fit for a tree nymph.(© Image)

Aluminum Gradient Chair by Joris Laaerman Lab (MFAH exhibit / image: copyrighted, no permissions granted, all rights reserved)

Aluminum Gradient Chair – worthy of pause. There’s something Eiffel Tower about it. (Wait until you see what’s Laarman’s booked in the next room! (© image)

Pretty sittin’ gracefully made by machine

The future could be beautifully done by both humans and robots.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Related post about 3-D printing with a video of the  Joris Laarman and his design studio at work: “Machining devices”

(I really like this one: walnut ribbons spun by a printer, swirled, and scrolled into smooth practical shape. Really cool.)

Walnut ribbon chair by Joris Laarman Lab ( Image, copyrighted, all righted reserved, no permissions granted)

Wonder if it’s dog proof.(© Image)

July 6, 2018 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Roll call

Lost touch in the key of silence

Useless gentle prod. Useless cattle prod. No product resulting from either.

Eloped with hope? Slipped out like a thief?
Computer sneaking out for a 3 day weekend hoping the boss won’t see. They learn by watching…

I’ve shaken it, but it won’t wake up – refusing to interact at all.
And I thought we were friends. Partners in an endeavor.

Carrying it like Miss Muffet on her tuffet to get a good talking to… We shall call it counseling…to avoid perceived slight by byte
Wonder if team building exercises will be required?

The table top looks so bare….

No voice
Phil the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

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