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March 28, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Catting around like a hound.

If a cat can do it, so can you.

Unwrap that scrunched-up inner wild cat or wolf, that’s been hibernating all winter.

Reinvent yourself. Follow your whims. Only normal. It’s spring.

Spring Fever exists? Something does.

Dr. Rosenthal(National Institute of Mental Health) and Dr. Michael Terman, (Director of the Light Therapy Unit at the New York State Psychiatric Institute at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in Manhattan) believe that humans experience not only psychological reactions after the spring equinox, but also real seasonal shifts in body chemistry.

Read more here: “Spring Fever, Down to a Science” by the NY Times.

But unable to focus on letters and punctuation marks?

Don’t apologize. It’s Spring (How convenient.)

Scientific American’s Yasmin Tayag created this one just for you.

So there you have it.

(Although sleep deprived parents struggling with small kids who refuse to go to bed while the sun is shining forever during Daylight Savings Time – those parents may be giddy for other reasons.)

Everyone outside. Nothing’s getting done anyway.

Go ahead. Wiggle toes in the grass.

Follow the butterflies.

Dance in the fountain.

Twist and shout out loud.

I suggest yelling out this list:  “polarizing, calculating, disingenuous, insincere, ambitious, inevitable, entitled, over-confident, secretive, will do anything to win, represents the past, out of touch, and tone-deaf.”

Then laugh long and loud. Big belly laughs.

And repeat.

No other option.


Because it must be Spring Fever that inspired Hillary Clinton’s “Super Volunteers” to threatened  The New York Time’s Amy Chozick that using any of these word to describe Hillary Clinton would not be tolerated and they will be “watching, reading, listening and protesting coded sexism.”

Seriously? How old are these volunteers, 12?

Did anyone go “Oooo, I’m so scared” or “Who made you the boss of me?”

Roll on the ground ridiculous.

(Are you sure it’s not an early April Fool’s joke?)

You can read more about the ruckus here (Washington Post) or here. (Huffington Post).

A little levity. Some fuzzy impulsive thinking. That’s spring for you.

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Time for flip flops, dining al fresco, and lots of laughter.©

Might as well smile and realize people are going to be a bit wacky.

Polarizing, calculating, disingenuous, insincere, ambitious, inevitable, entitled, over-confident, secretive, will do anything to win, represents the past, out of touch, and tone-deaf.

Sorry, couldn’t help it. Spring Fever, you know.

Just a blooming joke.

The cat made me do it!

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

1870. Cats by Louis Wain (1860-1939).Neuroscience Art Gallery:USPD.Artist life,

Cats always have the last laugh. (1870.Louis Wain/ Neuroscience Art Gallery/USPD:Artist life/






March 27, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

All fall down.

1960. Fred MacMurray. "My Three Sons".ABC tv/ cr/

An oddly unsettling picture.(1960.ABC/USPD/

Always held up his end of the deal (Made it look effortless.) Reliable. So dependable, he was pretty much invisible. Which is why it was such a shock.

He always weathered life’s rough waves without comment.

Always steadily holding back tides of fear.

Always standing shoulder to shoulder with others for unity and strength.

Until it hit. Hard.

He began to crack.

1976. David Birney as Serpico. NBC tv/ date, no cr/

Can’t afford a kayak, much less a racing yacht. (1976.NBC/USPD/


Realizing the lifestyle he witness daily sailing out in front of him, would always remain out of his reach.


Slowly sinking into the endless murk and mire. (Expecting no one to notice. But secretly wishing they would.)

Weary to the core.

The endless fog masked his distress. (Couldn’t they see?)

Physically isolated, his increasing disrepair overlooked. (Was he of such little importance?)

Under all the pressure, he collapsed. Unable to withstand another torrent washing over him.

Footing finally shaken.

Knees buckling, he sagged.

Reaching for that watery grave.

no permsissions gratned. all rights reserved. Copyrighted

No, a giant didn’t smush it down. One of the charter party boats didn’t run into it over the weekend. Heavy rains undermined the bulkhead from the back. All fall down. ©

The rest of the bulked up group looked on in disbelief.

Those on either side braced themselves.

Stretched almost beyond endurance to pull him back  – to keep him from slipping under.

If they lost him, their whole effort could be dragged down with him.

Two men. Danny Thomas. Bill Dana /"Danny THomas Show".1961.CBS/USPD:,no cr/

He didn’t look sloshed. Fell over anyway. Goes to show you just can’t tell about some poles. (1961.CBS/

Didn’t he know?

He was more than an upright fellow to them. A brother in arms.

It might be a long recovery process, but they would be with him all the way.

Once he was back on his feet and wrapped back into the community, they’d make sure he knew he wasn’t alone – ever.

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The dirt of life just weighed him down. Now they will have to haul over that barge with a crane on it to shore the pilings up. Then back fill where the water washed out the bank. Finally they will rebuild the boardwalk on top. The egrets, ibis, herons, seagulls, joggers, baby strollers, and dog walkers will be waiting. ©

They may be only bulkheads, but they aren’t knuckleheads.

United they stand. Divided they fall.

A Purposeful Life: holding back the tides for us all.

In recognition of pole position.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Related post: “Piling on. Pole positions” (with that barge….)

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Boardwalk’s better days – when the bulkhead pilings were feeling more supportive. ©

March 25, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Waiting for Wardrobe

1940. Lana Turner MGM studio publicity photo/

Classic, Dahling. (1940. Lana Turner/ MGM/

Throwbacks from an era of reserved grace, dignity, and elegance.

Patient without thought.

They stand.

Waiting for wardrobe.

While the world whirls around them at warp speed, they line up quietly like society ladies in fancy hats waiting to be seated for luncheon. Nodding. Quietly murmuring. Discreet glances out of corners of the eyes. Picture perfect smiles. Graceful long limbs suggesting a history with ballet. White gloves would not be out of place.

Lana Turner  portrait with  gloves and hat. 1951 promo photo/

Aloof. Mysterious. Untouchable. (Lana Turner. 1951/

Poised. Grace Kelly would approve.

Kelly, Bacall, Gabor, Hepburn, Tierney, Turner, Russell, Mansfield, Bergman, Swanson. Is that the style they desire to emulate?

Craving the old Hollywood Studio Star System that groomed, crafted, and guarded image?

Public image to be preserved at all cost. Skeletons firmly shackled in the closet. Camera flashes by the paparazzi always showing their best angle.

A wistful moment at the loss of spontaneity, perhaps. Oh, but what gained.

No wish to struggle with despair from missteps like modern celebs. No desire for the rawness of “let it all hang out” like Kardashians. Waving off the short life of reality shows.

Mystery intrigues. Sustains over time. Becomes classic, like Garbo.

Their choice made. They stand firm.



They wait wardrobe.

Ready to bloom when it is time.

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Not as reclusive as Garbo, this chorus line is eager to take their bows on stage. ©

Crepe Myrtles are local beauties which bloom all summer. Dormant in winter, these graceful trunks are being shaped into trees by trimming the tops to create forked branches. This particular variety will grow about 2 stories tall.

These pictures taken Monday show the chorus line waiting to sprout their spring greenery to like false eyelashes. By Tuesday morning some frilly bright green growth was already appearing. Soon to be on the Best Dressed list. Entrance stage left!

Getting ready for the grand show,

Phil, the Philosopher of the Hedge.

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Ziegfeld girls waiting for their fans to dance. ©

March 23, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

As the squirrels squirm

Small boy in safari suit. (1948. Moshe Safdie.CBS Sunday Morning/youtube)

It’s a jungle out there. (1948.CBS Sunday Morning/YouTube)

Intense. Not-breathing still. Strategy mapped unspoken between conspiring eyes.

Steadying. All energy focused – directed at ….

Stand down. Stand down. Rear guard interception!

“Hey, you two leave that rat alone.”

“It’s a mouse.”

“It’s a small cornered terrified rat. Let it go back to the field.”

“We’re naturalists. Like at the Galapagos Islands. Scientific research.”

Boring limitations: No mazes. No snapping at bees. June bugs are not to be rolled and left on their backs. No rerouting of earthworms burrowing. No lizards brought into the house.

Four Farm girls with horse. Penfield.1866-1925/LoC/

Adventurous sort collaborating on a mission. (Penfield/LoC/

Leashing of the minds.

Can’t be completely squelched.

Always some little option not formally addressed.

No one ever said anything about squirrels being a protected class. 


Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

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OK. Here’s the plan. I’ll sit here and you go chase the squirrels down the fence this way. All fair game.©











March 20, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Hot. Light. Weird.

Solar eclipse. Super Moon. Spring equinox. AND massive solar flares?

No doubt the End of Days script writers are working as fast as they can. (Oh, go for the easy answer: It’s all Bush’s fault. Why not.)

Or blame Barbie. She’s a doll and won’t mind. Plastic is as plastic does.

space suited couple (1965. Lost in Space.CBS TV/ cr/

Solar storms? No worries. (1965 Lost in Space.CBS/USPD/

Although whoever is hanging out in her new interactive cloud might take note.

“Hey, sweetie, are your parents home?” (Hack. Hack. Oh, don’t be concerned. It’s just a cough.)

“How about going into your sister’s room and turning her laptop around. That’s right. Turn it to face her bathroom….”

Curious cloud minds want to know …everything? (Hack. Hack. Darn that cough.)

A new high techie Barbie is listening, analyzing, and working to keep conversation going.

Oh, silly. Mattel and consumer data collection groups won’t be an invasive nuisance It’s a doll! It’s kids! What can happen?

What are the chances of paranoid parents forbidding Barbie as birthday gifts? Would not allowing Talk Back Barbie into the house be a red flag for Homeland Security or the DOJ?

Bet writers are already incorporating the chatty dolls in scripts.

Plot might click with one of those foreign spy families hiding in the suburbs series.

Or was Lisa’s discovery about Funzo in Simpson’s “Grift of the Magi” foreshadowing? The episode eerily echoing Mattel’s potential with new interactive Barbie?

Simpson family on bench. 2007 Simpsons Movie advertisement/American treasures Tour/Rhbrakman/

What would Lisa do? (2007.Simpsons Movie promo/Rhbrakman/

Confused? Catch up with this article: Barbie now talks back!

“Child advocates: Halt production of ‘creepy’ interactive Barbie doll”

That Barbie. We should have known. Obviously, a Troublemaker.

She’s been around the blocks a few times. Can’t seem to stick with a job. No visible means of support. Gets others to buy her clothing and shoes. Lots of shoes. Cars, too.

The original Sugar Baby. (And still not an ounce of fat on her) Is she as “real’ as she pretends?

She deftly deflects any idea she’s connected with big oil. Comes from petroleum by-products - that’s different. So what if her factories use electricity? It could be solar. Charge her.

Say what you want…carefully.

Wise to avoid snarky comments on Twitter, Facebook, or blogs.

Barbie’s got a big fan base and mega company lawyers on retainer.

She’s a real star.

Which is why it’s odd she’s even seen at Walmart, place of the teeming masses.

Walmart may not be the store Sam started, but it’s still an active community spot.

Meth labs in the bathrooms. (Dude, why risk blowing up your own bathroom?)

Deals so hot in the shoe department, they’re blazing. (No loafers there!)

Sporting events with customers as targets for blowgun practice.

Frequent purse snatching in the parking lots. (Up for a little jog after a car?)

Here, there are security guards in carts topped by bright blue lights circling the parking lots.

Barbie in evening dress. Berlin (Germany) 2013:Miriam Guterland/

She’s in Walmart? Doesn’t seem to be her style. (Miriam Guterland/

Which makes it even more weird that there have been bodies found in different cars in different Walmart parking lots recently.

Locally, one had been there at least a week.

Considering, the temperatures have been in upper 70’s to 80 degrees, you’d think someone would notice.

Maybe there was a force field repelling the Security carts…as well as the smell.

Maybe their Security carts are really Roomba vacs with a prescribed track.

 Maybe employees have been told to avoid all potential conflicts/lawsuits and the security carts are merely stage dressing?

In any case, once Barbie gets tired of kiddie conversations and starts looking for her next venture, she might chat with Walmart.

How about lashing a small flash mob of Interactive Barbies to remote-controlled Segway or Roombas and unleashing them in their parking lots?

Many little ears listening and reporting.

Advertisers could buy time to feature their products when Barbie engaged customers with a little parking lot chat.

Barbie going shopping. Ricardo peralta solis/

She could blend right in while keeping an ear on things. Just strap her on a Roomba for parking lot security zoomba.(Ricardo peralta solis/

Might work – if the Barbies doesn’t talk the customers to death.

Always looking for bright stars,

Phil the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

stars.Embryonic Stars.Rosette Nebula. ESA and PACS,SPIRE and HSC Consortia:US PD NASA image/

Now that’s stellar. (Embryonic Stars. Rosette Nebula /ESA and PACS, SPIRE and HSC Consortia/USPD: NASA /



March 18, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Muse or Dunderhead? Cattle with footballs

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It’s show time, Baby. (Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo auction. Sheep and Goat committee) ©

Saddle up, you Muses and Dunderheads. Run, ride, or hide: Cattle is to Football as Auction Proceeds is to      ?

Running with animals, not scissors, around the local football stadium complex. (Four legs so much sturdier than two when running towards a goal.)

The Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show’s Jr Market Auction is over.

All the kids who spent a whole year raising their livestock projects are cutting out with more self-confidence and some money in their pockets.

Grand Champions earn top dollar.

This year’s Grand Champion Lamb sold for $260,000.00 (World record) with the Grand Champion Steer earning $400,000.00. (2002 World record price was $600,000.01).

Companies, consortiums, and groups like the “Champagne Cowgirls” buy these animals.

It’s all about helping kids and educational scholarships. So they pony up.

.Cowboys in a saloon.Movie lobby card. 1921."Deuce of Spades".(Unknown illustrator/Beinecke.lib.Yale/USPD.

Texting a bid? What are you gonna do with a prize-winning flop-eared bunny? Oh, Easter basket.(1921Yale/USPD/

The higher the auction prices, the better for all. 

Years ago, the Rodeo realized the big prize winners were sucking up all the auction money and many kids who showed great animals got little as a result.

They started offering a guaranteed earning limit for Grand Champions, category prize winners, and all “place” winners. Any money above the designated limit earned by any animal at auction goes into a community fund pool.

Once all the guarantees’ costs are covered, any extra money is divided up as bonuses to the kid exhibitors. (Read more here)

Example. Grand Champion Steer will earn between $75,000.00 to $85,000.00 (last figure includes bonus) depending on total animal sales. A lower “placed” steer will earn between $2,250.00 – $15,000.00 (including bonus) depending on all animal auctions’ totals.

This was done when it became obvious some families had more money to purchase better quality animals to start with (increasing their chances to win), and could provide premium care as the animals were raised.

A kid lucky enough to raise a big money animal gets plenty:

  • Bragging rights.
  • Big chunk of money for college
  • And the good feeling of supporting their community by helping other kids get money for their education, too. (And yes, the Rodeo does keep up with the kids and their money.)
1899 theatrical poster./Julia Maralowe:Strobridge Lithograph Co./USPD:

What? Just let me get my boots. No, hat. Hat hair is so out of style at football games. (1899 Marlowe/USPD/

Now, this is all thinking on the hoof, but what if…

If that “assist others and create a fund to help” concept stuck in that facility and other stadium users did the same?

Like football teams.

The local football team is shuffling players. Adding ones with mind-boggling contracts.

Even players with a history of injuries or not much of a record are signing for more than three million (plus bonuses) for a two-year contract. (And this is a low dollar number compared to others.)

Football players are sensible, right?

They went to college…some at least.

They are always involved with communities and charities. Especially charities with their names on them.

So football players would easily see the benefits.

The NFL could kick off a rodeo-like program of Player Guarantees with any additional money a franchise is willing to pay for a certain player above that ceiling going into a “Special Do Good Community Pool”.

The “Special Do Good Community Pool” could fund worthy community organizations like Habitat for Humanity, or homeless shelters like Star of Hope, or even Meals on Wheels.

Or even better, the NFL, teams, and players could keep the money all among themselves. (Wait! We can convince them that wouldn’t be selfish. Keep reading.)

Vintage football player.1907. Lib.of Congress:USPD.

It’s only a game or is it? Intriguing title there.
(1907. LoC/USPD/

Establish a fund that would unselfishly benefit all players. (And possibly the rest of us, too.)

  • How about a NFL community pool funding brain injury research and concussion treatment? (Just image what a couple of million dollars coming in yearly could do for that.)
  • Or build a facility offering anger management treatment. (Allowing funds to be used for legal defense in cases of domestic violence or child abuse would not be appropriate. But that just may be me.)
  • Maybe also offer expert instruction in driver’s education or legal gun ownership/safety/use. (So many players seemed to have missed learning about those. They must have been busy studying school work. Understandable. There is just so much time available.)
  • Possibly fund frequent mandatory instructional retreats for players about making budgets (and living on them), options for wise investments, planning for life after football, or learning to live with injuries.
Two football teams face off. Houston Texans vs Tennessee Titans./Jan1,2012/Ed Schipul.Flickr/

These guys got rodeo. (Formerly Houston’s “Luv ya blue” Oilers/Titans vs Houston Texans/Schipul/

Football is all about teamwork.

There is no “I” in team.

Believing that, the players will charge the line to sign on for such a beneficial initiative.

Giving up a bit of their incredible incomes to help their own, just like the young rodeo exhibitors. Admirable.

 All for one and one for all!

I might pay to see that rodeo.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

All rights reserved. Copyrighted. No permissions granted. Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Lamb and Goat committee)

“They do too like you. Now don’t be shy. Show them that winning smile.” (Another cute couple at the Lamb and Goat auction of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo)©




March 16, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Bob. Twenty One. Good Answer

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Bob. Hunting. For reason.©


Endless rain. Endless hypothesis.

Soggy thinking.


Calendar noted.



All pre-party prep for St Patrick’s Day.


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Wearing of the green. ©



Here’s mud in your eye.



More Bob here.

(Who is Bob? Simple.)





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