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September 19, 2018 / philosophermouseofthehedge

A pack, man.

Large fuzzy German Shepherd relaxing on deck. (© Image: all rights reserved, copyrighted, NO permissions granted)

Worthy of GSGQ magazine: German Shepherd Gentlemen’s Quarterly. Yep, I’ve hit the jackpot. (© Image)

Hey. Remember me?

It’s Scooby the one who was in dire straits caged among the abandoned, the vicious, the dejected, the frightened and confused until Person rescued me last month. (That harrowing time here)

A few weeks of good food and care under the eye of Resident Canine of the Realm, Ella, has restored my fluffy coat and bright eyes….if you just don’t look too close at my tail…I chewed it out of nervousness at first.

Didn’t understand the crate thing – actually managed to roll it the first time.

But that was due to sheer panic and terror. Now it’s OK. I understand I’ve won the lottery and now own my very own cabin located next to Ella’s. She said it had a previous occupant (and she looked a little sad at that) but hoped I would feel comfortable making it my own with blanket and toys.

And I’m chosen as the preferred escort when Person goes jogging as I’m so good at accepting whatever pace politely and happy to keep on track.

But that’s not the big news.

Three German Shepherds on deck. Rocky arrives. (© image: copyrighted. no permissions granted, all rights reserved)

I told you it was big. My litter mate, Rocky showed up! Ella’s walking up to greet him. (© image)

Actually I’m the tallest, fuzziest, and most confident pup now ’cause Rocky’s had, well, a rocky time.

Person sprung my brother, Rocky, from the pound (click here) and thought he was going to live at a co-worker’s house with a large old German Shepherd and a smaller dog. It looked good. Kids and all loved him…well, not the big old dog at first, but soon they were best buddies romping and jousting in the mud yard.

Maybe they got along too well.

There were stories of the two of them breaking into the room holding the paintball equipment. (You do know GS are experts at unlocking doors.) Seems there was a paw load of redecorating that happened in that room – just like on those “Love It or List It” house shows.

Then the two of them tried to surprise their owner by rearranging the furniture. It’s hard to two dogs to tug a leather recliner neatly across the room…without a few puncture holds…and maybe that idea to create fringe wasn’t thought out so well…

Dogsonally, I think Rocky felt like stepchild as the other two dogs had personal cabins and he didn’t. No safe cave for him. Sigh.

Anyway, Person quickly rescued Rocky again. 

Getting him out of the car, Person told him, “Rocky, we’ve got to make this work. No grrr-y face. No bitey mouth. And no knocking down my “Little Person”.

Rocky came in quiet.

I was thrilled to see him, but was quick to demonstrate with head across his back that I was RC Princess Ella’s strong paw and stood united with her.

He puppy bowed to her and stood while we gave him a few sniffs (to make sure he wasn’t some intruder in a dog suit)

Princess Ella grinned that “she’d always wanted a couple of modified boy toys to do the barking and chasing for her.”  Smugly she gave Rocky a bump and said “You can help Scooby with preschool entertainment, too. Just remember, any food that hits the floor from Little Person’s hand is mine!”

And that was it.

Rocky’s very thin. Must not have been getting the right food or enough food. (He’ll learn not to try and get between the Princess and her bowl.)

He’s been polite if Little Person steps on his tail. (Although I, Scooby, stay protectively close to Little Person and ready to block if need. Ella said Rocky was my brother, so I had to teach him manners…like not to lick LP’s face – even if there’s food on it.)

And now there are 3 lovely private dog cabins in a row with views of the backyard’s squirrel tree.

This is his forever home. Person said Rocky has been bounced around and had enough promises broken.

We are pack.

Paws to please,

Scooby of the Fluffy Ruff

German Shepherds happily guarding the deck (© Image, no permissions granted, Copyrighted, ALL rights reserved)

Decked out. Scooby in blue collar, Ella in the bright princess pink collar, and Rocky who seems relieved. A matching blue collar means he’s home.(©Image)

September 17, 2018 / philosophermouseofthehedge

In defense of straws

Cry me a river. No wait. Don’t.

They just don’t build things like they used to.

And where all the wet stuff ends up, doesn’t wash with man’s plans.

Through battles and philosophies’ clashes, how do cities stoically adapt to survive?

Map of ancient water system from srpings to Constantinople:Istanbul (Screenshot Ancient Invisible Cities, episode 3 PBS

Lightening strike? Actually a map of ancient water system constructed from mountain springs to Constantinople/Istanbul.(Screenshot Ancient Invisible Cities,episode 3 PBS)

Historical architects and archeologists are now digging new 3-D technology to explore of how cities grew, shouldered repeated invasions, and withstood time’s ravages.

Giving quite an eyeful in those goggles.

Watch the full episode 3 of “Ancient Invisible Cities” free until Oct 11, 2018 here.


Don’t want to walk through moldy, old structures – even sports venues or worship places bigger than Rome’s? Float on to the intriguing and modern day practical:

  • Click to what made Istanbul/Constantinople flourish: hidden springs (around the 23:00 mark in the video).
  • Paddle on with Roman hydraulic engineering of 4th century (around 26:00 mark)

Or if virtual reality and cutting edge tech stuff more your style, put on the goggles (around 50:00 mark) to step into 3-D scenic overlooks.

When the interest well runs dry, tell me again why so much off our free water drifts off to either parched or flooding.

Feast or famine – that’s really the point – for Constantinople/Istanbul and for modern-day us.

Water, water everywhere, but here, not there.

Maybe not ban plastic straws until trying out some giant-sized ones of our own?

Watery depths worth plumbing.

Phil the philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Architecture. One of 30 water bridges built in 4th century to bring water to Constantinople:Istanbul PBS Ancient invisible Cities, episode 3)

Monster sized. Construction crane free. Totally stoned. One of 30 water bridges/aqueduct with two water tunnels traveling inside that top crosspiece.(screenshot.PBS Ancient Invisible Cities, episode 3)


September 14, 2018 / philosophermouseofthehedge

On fire about wet pants

Two vintage Campbell Soup kids. Boy in distress. (USPD. artist life,

With all this rain? Of course they’ll believe it’s because the swing was wet.(USPD/

No one likes wet pants.

Not hikers.

Not kids riding home from the beach.

Not firefighters.

Relief for the first two is at the end of the road, but firefighters are not so lucky.

Can you imagine tugging on all that protective fire fighting gear,  sweating in extreme heat while fighting flames, then peeling it all off knowing if a call comes in, it’ll mean struggling to tug the whole soaking mess back on again – or sharing gear with another firefighter?

(We won’t even scratch the thought of rashes that appear from wearing wet gear.)

Drying uniforms inside and out can take up to 36 hours of hanging around the station in front of giant shop fans.

Or having some financial angel purchase expensive, commercial dryer alternatives.

But one local firefighter had suffered enough sog.

With a little tinkering and plastic pipe, he created a homemade gear dryer that’s a real hot item.

One that’s about to blow out other fire stations, too.

Wonder if there’s a smaller model for wet weather dog towels

Pipe dream

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

“Woodlands firefighter saved department thousands of dollars” (article)

September 12, 2018 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Once upon bark and leery


Dog at window. (© Image: all rights reserved , copyrighted, no permissions granted)

Like a watched pot never boils, the sun is being mud too coy.(©image)

Once upon a sit lightly weary, while water ponding bleak and dreary,

Over many a curb and up the drive.

Not even big brown truck bark excuse arrives.

Why the constant earth washing, she must wonder

Did the planet roll in something so smelly a quick shower bath isn’t cleaning enough?

Maybe the Earth is going to a special event and needs to get spiffy. (Meteors. End of Times headed this way.)

Could be like the kids’ chalk drawings on the sidewalk: time to clean up for the next new thing: maybe Fall.

A reminder to put up your toys and clean up when the games are done. People of all ages seem to forget.

A misunderstanding or copycat teardrops? Humans leak when stuff surrounding them is too heavy to manage.

While comprehension not complete, a dog knows to huddle close, soft with a paw, and a gentle capture of the drops on the face – to save those for later in order to return with great licks when there are smiles again.

Should all creatures run out with arms, mouths, and water bowls outstretched to catch and save this Sky Wash – to hold carefully until able to offer back to the sun when it warms and reappears?

Maybe the moon could offer some advice – if not also wrapped in drippy down pouts.

Or maybe the next door cat slipped and flipped open a faucet somewhere…a territorial dispute with RC Cat.

Keep watch at land and sea.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Bored? Wet behind the ears and everywhere else and want to see what has washed up? Don’t tread water – go ahead and read. It’ll be fun or furious? Only in Texas (hopefully)

  • “LA Joya ISD opens first school owned water park in Texas” (Valley Central/KGBT channel 4) Cost $20 million, but the diving coach said they didn’t have their own pool…just a golf course and, of course, tennis courts. The sprawling school district is near the border with 94% of the students considered disadvantaged.
  • “A Texas school district opened a water park – and you paid for it” (ABC13 Houston news.) See what your kids are missing! La Joya ISD is considered a “poor” school district, 75% of their school funding comes from the state (funded by property taxes that are paid statewide).  Review the formula created in the ’80’s by the state to try and equalize student funding across the state. (Please note that there’s more to the story including big city districts spending money on stupid stuff instead of on student academics. Also in the past some cities would intentionally keep local school taxes (in addition to property taxes homeowners/businesses pay) to keep their residents happy then demand make up the difference with state property taxes.) It’s a complicated system – perhaps too complicated so it’s easy to skirt intent and misuse? Sob story

Hope your week’s not a wash out. While only dealing with tropical waves/ tropical moisture here, some areas a bit south of us once again have 1-2 feet of water in homes being put back together after Hurricane Harvey last year. But the plants are really green and especially happy….dogs, however, feel otherwise…

Neighbor's cat on our porch bench (© image all rights reserved, copyrighted, no permissions granted)

“Molly, where’s the open faucet and I’ll go try to muscle it closed. I know I have a home, but it gets boring over there during the day. Any word if RC Cat is considering a visiter’s visa? Oh, thought she might be tired of batting raindrops on the windows all alone. We could have a America Cat Ninja contest? No? Oh.”(© image)

September 7, 2018 / philosophermouseofthehedge

In the Realm of Rotten

Plants. Green grass and delicate white mushroom/ toadstool (© Image. all rights reserved, copyrighted, no permissions granted).

And what magic is this? (© Image)

A kingdom seen with conflicting views: either as mourners, cleaners, or dreamers.

Something fed it, lead it, encouraged it. Rot normally notably present.

A biological frontier to Mycologists of NAMA. Mesmerizing inspiration to writers and cooks.

Thoughtful muses perched.

Group of colorful reddish mushroom or toadstools. (© Image. all rights reserved, copyrighted, no permissions granted)

Chubbies like apples.Hoping to be cast in a musical or animated series?(© Image)

Plant. fluffy tan toadstool or mushroom in mulch. (© Image all rights reserved, no permissions granted, copyrighted)

Everything has its’ moment of beauty. Shouldn’t be rushed. Should be enjoyed when it’s short time arrives.(© Image)

Rot has a role – in human society, too. A rich, fertile undergrowth unseen, but doesn’t mean it’s not present. Change pops up like Whack-a-mole.

Some are not allowed to ask “Why?”

…especially in a local hotel’s Starbucks during a Muslim conference when wearing a t-shirt proclaiming “I’m an Ex-Muslim ask me why”.

Nope. Not a Christian convert – an Atheist. (Story here)

That group is also a little miffed that their request for a logo decorated cake by a Muslim bakery didn’t get the attention other cake fight did.

. Three colorful red and yellow mushrooms/ toadstools (© Image: No permissions granted, All rights reserved, copyrighted)

Dressed in carnival colors for the State Fair?(© Image)

Some prefer to remain anonymous – camouflaged in life.

Just happily growing their own way.

Quietly doing what needs to be done.

Plant. Toadstool/ mushroom that is almost invisible in bark mulch. (© Image. All rights reserved, copyrighted, no permissions granted)

Almost invisible in bark mulch.(© Image)

The next time you see your doctor or surgeon, ask him or her (if there’s time – docs are now employees of big hospital system / healthcare provider corporations and have been told to keep patient visits between 10-15 minutes or less…and get the codes in the medical records updated/billing within 24 hours of the appointment) – inquire how when was the last time he/she was able to get a full night of uninterrupted sleep. When was the last time they spent a whole Friday afternoon to Monday morning with their kids and family without being interrupted by call from patients, hospital, or their answering service.

Recently more and more of the docs I know are saying things similar to this:

“Medicine isn’t the “easy street” some want to believe. We’ve worked 80 hours/week, awake for 36 hours in a row, then face unionized staff that seemingly can’t ever be fired despite years of endless misconduct as well as patients that attempt to bribe us by threatening to complain to medical boards, online. unless we give them exactly what they want – often opioids!”

Few realize that on top of college and medical school debt, the first few years 4-5 year residents basically earn per hour less than counter help at last food restaurants.

And there’s the constant lack of sleep and exhaustion.

What happened in education years ago, is now happening in medicine: conditions get so bad, people walk away.

Please take time to read: 

“Demise of medicine”  by Virginia Thornley, M.D. “

If this rotten situation continues it is simply a matter of time before it affects you or yours.

White sombrero-like Mushroom against green grass and concrete. (© Image. All rights reserved, copyrighted, no permissions granted)

An event venue tent for frog couples who are done with courting and ready to sing at their supper?(© Image)

How these little odd things suddenly seem to appear out of thin air is baffling.

Probably grows from old shrimp boil and beer cooler drainings.

 Cluster of large white mushroom on grass (© Image: all rights reserved, no permissions granted, copyrighted)

Forgotten frisbees? (© Image)

 Large mound of big white mushrooms. (© Image: all rights reserved, copyrighted, NO permissions granted)

Called Jessica’s Village. Pop up housing that might weather rain, but doesn’t stand a chance against her small son’s sneakers. It’s his job: building inspector.(© Image)

“Life is like riding a bicycle. TO keep your balance, you must keep moving” (Albert Einstein)

He also said, “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.”

I image you’re ready to move on now, so have a great weekend.

(Once again rotten forecasted for here. Sigh.)

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

And these pictures are so much more magical than mine…

September 6, 2018 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Marks of a sound bite

Dog protecting small child. Fairy Tale Morraha, by John BAtten (USPD., artist life/

Not on my watch, you monster.(USPD/

Couldn’t read, but Ray instinctively knew he was it.

No help coming from Obit-wan Kenobi in her most desperate hour.

Knew “It’s not the size of the dog, but the size of the fight in the dog” (Mark Twain)

The small Beagle mix threw all of his 15 pounds behind his bite to left leg of the man trying to abduct his 11 yr. old owner.

Soundly sufficient, Good Dog!

Pet on the head also, for her Uncle who dashed back to the scene in time to snap a clear picture of the man in his car along with the license plate. (Story here)

Hero dog Ray. (Screenshot Click2 Houston)

Hero dog Ray. (Twitter/Click2Houston)

Not to long ago, such a person would be confronted by male family members – fathers, brothers, uncles – and beaten within an inch of his life and told “Never show your face around here again.”

Clear message.

Perhaps peer pressure in its’ earliest, purest form.

But now the correction of bad behavior completely over to authorities. 

How’s that working?

Far too many predators out there.

Oh, I know the prisons are full.

Criminals, even the ones in the system’s Violent Sex Offender Management Program, should be bonded out, given parole after plea bargains, or placed in half way houses after going to rehab/treatment. (As of Jan. 2017, Harris County/Houston area has over 8,000 registered sex offenders. Dallas has more. Article with links to cities’ data)

Anti-social individuals can be appropriately monitored by ankle bracelets (which are easy to remove – Just follow the YouTube instructions and the monitoring? Yes, the company calls a designated person at the police department if there’s a monitor alert, but often that’s as far as any action goes – nothing is actually done.). “Decades later, electronic monitoring of offenders is still prone to failure“…”Parolees are shedding ankle monitors for escapes“, “Man cuts off ankle monitor and kills 3

Their behavior and bad choices are an illness. (So where’s the telethon and marathon for the cure?)

How foolish Society chooses not to protect us from the dangerous, the anti-social, the individuals determined to break laws and cause  harm.

Seems it’s potential victims’ responsibility to keep themselves safe. That’s progress.

Guess you’d better get your kid a dog – and hope it’s a good one.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Large dog escorting girl to school. Charles Burton Barber. (1883. USPD, artist life/

How Ray sees himself. Quite right.(USPD)


September 3, 2018 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Late arrival.

sunset and palm trees ( Image ALL rights reserved, copyrighted, no permissions granted)

As the day – and summer – comes to a close.(© image Aug.2)

Who gets the available space: the locals, the repeat visitor, or the “new” tourist ready to visit the local eateries?

Out of owners frantic to appease their squawking young on a rainy end of summer holiday pushed into the local scene creating a tense standoff.

It was weird.

Seeing dark clouds looming, Molly Malamute and I dashed out for an early walk Sunday – and stumble into what could have become a rumble – if the participants had been human.

Birds crowding a floating dock (© image. ALL rights reserved, copyrighted, no permission granted)

“I don’t care if yo do have reservations. Possession is 9/10th of the law, ” insists the resident grey heron seen on the far left.(© image)

Multiple species of birds had arrived around a small inlet up against the bridge. All determined to grab a meal before the storm.

It was like Air Forces making coordinated bombing runs across a target: first the small seagulls, then the white ibis, then another flock of larger seagulls, followed by a few larger ibis.

Our resident two larger grey/blue herons were beside themselves. They didn’t know whether to loudly protest all the out of towners crowding their dock or to pick a lull and swoop in before the seafood buffet was fished out.

birds waiting on bulkhead and boardwalk (© Image. ALL rights reserved, copyrighted, NO permissions granted)

Opposite shore: a holding pattern lineup all the way around to the marina.(© Image)

In between assigned flight times, the feathered crews perched shoulder to shoulder along the bulkheads on both sides of the inlets. They could have been an audience waiting for a show: patient, polite, and well behaved among their own.

birds lined up on bulkhead (© image ALL rights reserved, copyrighted, NO permissions granted)

Squadron waiting for traffic control’s signal.(© image)

Like I said, if they had been humans seeing a free lunch…

Hope you are flying fine, too.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Dog with chewed up toy and stuffing everywhere(© image, ALL rights reserved copyrighted, NO permissions granted) image, ALL rights reserved copyrighted, NO permissions granted)

“OK, that was fun. Now what?” A throw down toy we had hidden for dark times..after a bit of squeaker removal surgery first. We’ve had almost a week of rain storms and it started up again last night with over 10 inches in 6 hours today. Some street flooding and flash flood warnings. Molly tried the deluge this morning in the back yard, but only for a second. There was a short period of light rain, so we dashed out on leash then. The inevitable can only be put off just so long…it’s sailboat foul weather gear time…and the cat is looking far too smug…like we have forgotten the early morning retching sounds and “Clean up on aisle 3.”(© image)


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