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August 5, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

One cute puppy. (Mars version)

Man aiming gun at robot defended by dog. Art by Robert Fuqua, 1939 pulp fiction maagaazine. (USPD, CR not renewed, pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“I’m telling you don’t even think about attacking that pillow” Yes, I do need a nap, but couch pillow defense system is not quite ready yet. (Robert Fuqua cover art, 1939 pulp fiction magazine. USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

You can expect only a bit of robotic rumblings around here right now. A flighty bit – spacey. Blame both NASA and Paw and Disorder Hank

Something of an improvement with the 6:15-6:30 a.m. light dependent wake-up call instead of a very consistent. want-ply-wanna-play, no-matter-what-the-sunrise 5:30 a.m. by The German. Diva Molly, not a morning dog, rarely rolled out of bed before 7:30.

At least with the last two, I didn’t have to worry about what they were getting into if I ignored the live action alarm clock. Hank, stilling new, is still exploring – house and limits. No liking’ the way he’s tossing glances at the faux fur pillow on the couch….yea, I see you casually tossing your toy closer and closer…

But as today is a day to celebrate (Called for cinnamon rolls with the breakfast fruit and oatmeal), so no slug-a-bed.

WALL-E photographed by Remux, Colombia/Commons.wikimedia.org)

One is the loneliest number. Both Curiosity and WALL-E know that well. (WALL-E photographed by Remux, Colombia/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Curious?

Yep,  Happy Birthday, Curiosity Mars Rover.

Unlike previous years when few noticed and the rover had to sing to himself – just the most sad thing in the universe! – people worked to make sure Curiosity wasn’t alone in celebrating his life and accomplishments this time.

There’s something about Curiosity’s big “eyes” and vulnerability so far from home that makes people feel sympathy and protective.

If you haven’t seen it, here’s a smile.

Reminiscent of Wall-E and ET.

July, 2022

August, 2013:

“Having helped design the Mars rovers Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity, NASA engineer Kobie Boykins reveals what these robots are telling us about the existence of life on the red planet.” Click here for what he has to say (2015) about “The Curious Life of a Mars Rover”.

As sleep deprivation tends to make me a bit bleary, that’s about all I can get to fly outta here today.

Although during the just-barely-dawn dog walk, I did see an unexpected “V” flight pattern of birds lifting off by the lake.

A bit early for migrating ducks. Have the Purple Martins decided to beat the rush and start early?

The Audubon Society has already started organizing Purple Martin watch events as the birds dine locally here for a few weeks to fatten up before soaring across the Gulf and onward to their winter resorts.

“Historically there are two major roosts in Houston. We keep an eye on the radar for roost sizes and will select the watch event site based on where the birds are. Roost locations are either Stafford (12634 Fountain Lake Cir, Stafford, TX 77477) or Willowbrook area (17395 Tomball Pkwy, Houston, TX 77064)” (source)

Realistically, times and locations are flexible. The last time I witnessed a massive flock was at dusk over the HEB parking lot. Lots of glowing lights attracting bugs and there are still some undeveloped lands close within wing range.

Never know what might fly your way.

Oh. That. Sorry, lots of dog brushing means a good deal of fluff flying around. I know some spin it into yarn for canine aficionadoes, but no….

Hope you land a great weekend, 

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

 

August 1, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Tag. You’re it.

Boy in suit. From 1925 "Pampered Youth" film still with Ben Alexander(USPD pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Yeah, I’m resourceful, especially with a wad of post-it notes tagging along in my pocket.(“Pampered Youth” film promo still of actor Ben Alexander. USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Instructions left in an obvious place. Is that too much to ask? Apparently.

It takes time to sniff out all the nuances of a new position.

“Loft” I kept getting. “Loft” What the heck. A message as useful as one written in lemon juice by a bored kid magician: “Everything you need to know is in the loft.” 

As in jumping high into the air? (What? 6:00 am is too early for that?)

“Loft” as the fleeting lob between the time the tennis ball leaves the hand and it lands? (I let it land, stared at it, hoping “X” marked the spot to dig for it…but, no. Oh, clods.) 

“Loft” perhaps as tucked into a fluffy pillow or comforter? (Tearing into those seems risky – and unnecessary….except if there was a cat involved, well, you know how they think.)

Hank the Dog searching in the backyard. (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

“Could it have meant “lost” instead of “loft”? I think someone seriously lost it.” Searching the backyard for a clue. (© image)

Eventually, after much exhaustive searching, a whiff of something –

Yes, a tiny sniff of revelation sent me past the place-that-must-have-once-held-a-litter-box (You can tell – there’re a smidge of cat hair still stuck in the baseboard) into the closet  – and voilà: a loft fit for a cat.

Or much smaller, athletic dog…while I was able to hop up on the small container bin, once I got two paws onto the shelf and was wondering what to do with the rest of me if I pushed on forward, AM – Adopted Mom – yelled at me to “not even think about it and get down and out of the closet”.

I realized the actual lofty knowledge I require was actually shelved right there in front of my nose: “The Care and Needings of The Realm: including standing treaties, a schedule of yearly events, helpful management hints, and “All the Rights and Responsibilities of the RC of the Realm”. 

Hope to clarify a few things….

Things like worn post-it notes in cabinets and on cartons about “Boxing of children”, “Defense against the annual Orange Vegetable Intruders”, and what the heck is an “RC”….and now I’m tagged to be one?

Of course it’s vague and confusing – written by a cat.

The previous Resident Canine (who assumed the title from the long ruling, legendary RC Cat) left only a brief note on the windowsill apologizing for not sorting out and leaving a more coherent instruction manual, having been called away suddenly and unexpectedly, there was only time to scratch out “Everything you need to know is in the loft.”

So, now to begin.

RC? I’m tagged as an RCResident Canine? Can’t the title be a little more lofty? Like HRH?

Hank, Royal Husky-Malamute? That could work if I use the hyphen. I’s trendy to use hyphenated these days.

The Honorable Rowdy Hank? Titles should offer some identifying quality, some say.

Hank, the Regal Houndster perhaps? That sounds modern and hip.

But the Tradition of The RC of the Realm…

I’ll work on that. First things first. 

Like can anyone explain why AM got so excited when I stood up and grabbed the 18 egg plastic carton off the counter?

I wouldn’t have dropped it if she hadn’t startled me with that shriek.

Was only going to see what was in it – and then give it back….after a little tug of war game.

What’s the big deal? She wanted scrambled eggs – I just pre-scrambled some for her in the carton.

Good I located the instruction manual. Appears there’s a lot to unscramble around here.

Pondering over that “staff” designation.

AM certainly doesn’t look like a stick. Maybe in Days of You’re when the RC Cat first arrived.

Although I’ve found both AM and DA (Dad, Adopted..also not very stick-like although he’s quite good at throwing sticks…although the purpose of that action is unclear..) are quite supportive, so the “staff” possible indication of able to be leaned on and their helpfulness?

Maybe a music-related nickname as AM does sing silly songs a lot…all about being sort-of like an EPIRB locating device, she says.

3 worried men in doorway. Ben Aalexander on right. Still photo of cast of Felony Squad( (USPD, pre-1978, pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Don’t look to us for answers, pup. Once you’re tagged and out of the shelter, you’re on your own.”(Grown up Ben Alexander on right with the cast of Felony Squad. Maybe staffed in supporting role, but no longer as thin as a stick. USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Best to consider during a short nap….some place quiet – where I won’t get stepped on. Stretching out unseen right behind AM as she is doing stuff has resulted in a few ouchies…

Could be why there’s so much leftover cat hair in the closet: frequent retreat to a lofty thinking spot.

Hmmm, wonder how tightly that closet door is shut.

Yours in Paws and Disorder Pawsabilty and Order

Hank, HRH of the Realm

Hank the Dog at rest...productive napping...internalizing input....digesting. Digesting lunch that is. (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved. no permissions granted)

Resting…productive napping…internalizing input…digesting. Digesting lunch, that is. (© image)

 

July 25, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Done with sittin’ on the sidelines

People sitting in rocking chairs on porch at Roosevelt Lodge, Yellowstone NP. (USPD: by NPS employee/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Are reservations are required? Curious about what is the hierarchy for position and preferred chairs?(Porch rockers at Roosevelt Lodge, Yellowstone NP./USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

The others ask (Not always politely), “Why are you always smiling?”

The quick answer, “’cause I know they are coming.”

“Pshaw. Same every day. No phone call. No cars in the parking lot. Too busy for you.” 

Such negative Nellies. 

But I know they are coming.

The one next to me – the one who wants to hope – tries to defuse the darkness with “It’s really hot. Too hot.

They are all staying inside. And there are baseball games.”

He looks to me for encouragement. I flash an affirmation: a self-confident smile.

They ARE coming. I can feel it.

Could barely eat my breakfast.

We wait. All lined up. Each ready to nod and say, “See, there they are. I knew they’d come today.” 

Except that new gal – on the end.

So darn grumpy no one wants to even sit near her.

Nothing but complaints and moans.

“I can’t believe they put me here. I’m used to much finer accommodations. The disgrace.”

On and on she mutters. Even spurring a kind word when offered by someone well meaning. 

The rest of us edge away from her – tired of her constant harangue.

Hard to ignore the constant whining.

“No wonder her family dropped her here and ran. She’d better learn to zip it and learn to get along…even if it is suffering in silence or she’ll never hear that “Oh Baby, Baby, why don’t you grab a few things and come stay with us for a while?”

Senior citizens siting in rocking chaairs on porch. Miami-Dade. (USPD, pub.date, artist life, /Florida state lib. and archives)

Room at the end. (Senior citizens siting in rocking chairs on porch. Miami-Dade. USPD/Florida State Lib. and Archives)

Then, everyone holds their breath. A car has arrived.

For who?

We all sit up a little straighter and try to hear as the car doors open.

“Darn, I’ve spilled some of my breakfast on my ankle.” says one who starts to get up and go to the back.

“Wait, wait,” several of us call.

“It won’t matter. They won’t care. You don’t want to miss them!”

He nods and turns backaround.

The office door opens. They walk towards us.

First in line, I smile broadly and get up to welcome them.

I don’t know who they are…yet…but something tells me….

One of them says, “That’s him. There. The one with the blue eyes. That’s Hank.”

And I am. I knew they would come.

Even if it was hot.

Even when that rain shower poured down forcing us inside.

Never doubted it.

You’ve heard the song “Blue eyes crying in the rain?” No point in playing that.

Gotta get into wholeheartedly into the game: You send out hope and someone hears.

I knew, even with thousands of applicants, my resume would catch their attention somehow….possibly pushed to the top of the pet finder pile by an invisible review committee of elder paws.  

A day to be marked: an ice comet cooly swoops by and Hank with ice blue eyes leaps into his Forever Home. 

Welcome to the pack, Hank

(“Don’t worry about that one little accident in the bedroom. What? No counter surfing allowed here! Leave the Siamese alone – she’s the neighborhood huntress….the Realm’s established treaty says she is allowed in the backyard after 9 p.m.; You’ll just have to accommodate that or use the grass in the front if necessary. We’ll remind her of the “dogs reserve all backyard rights during daylight hours” provision. I thought you might want to catch the tennis ball, not just run past it…)

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Dogs are Old Souls

From Hank’s resume:

"... a little too tall - could have used a few pounds..."thin, but a

“… ‘a little too tall – could have used a few pounds’… Yep, I’m something to sing about. Got the swagger. (Do not believe any rumors that I have stolen this tail from a fox.)”

"Blue is just so hypnotizing, isn't it?" Good planning dog mom whenever you are.

“Blue is just so hypnotizing, isn’t it? Good planning dog mom whenever you are.”

Dog in wading pool. "Wait wait, My cell phone is in here somewhere."

“Epitome of cool. Wait wait, My cell phone is in here somewhere. Leave a message. For goodness sake, leave a message!””

 

July 22, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Terror. In the still. Of the night.

scary tree branches at night (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Scary reaching neighborhood tree sets the dark scene.(© image)

In the still of the night

A noise –

It’s not right

You huddle and slink 

Down the wall of the hall

Wishing there was 

A dog.

To bark

In the still of the night.

‘Cause the doorbell camera

Shows a weird blur staring in

And the noise

In the night 

Just ain’t right.

No. No. No. Nooooo! 

It’s the biggest –

the most giant – 

cricket of them all

Staring in and saying he’s come to call.

In the still of the night…

Do wop. Do wop.

It wasn’t Sir Jiminy

Unexpected consequence of being dog-less

Always an adventure around here

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

For those unfamiliar with the first/last line, on YouTube:

July 18, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Picture. Picture, Mister.

Frances Benjamin Johnson's self portrait (as the "New Woman") in her Washington, DC Studio, 1896. (USPD Artist life/ pub.date/ LoC/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Bain News Service photojournalist Frances Benjamin Johnson’s self portrait as the “New Woman” in her Washington, DC Studio, 1896. (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

News segment banner across screen: “Be weary of companies that sell your data” 

But we are….and also “wary” and “weary” of stupid.

Note to TV station: get that caption writer a print dictionary for Christmas

And mandate writing, by hand, the meanings of misused words 5 times….

Caption generating job requirements should include “Must have read the print dictionary and encyclopedia front to back.”

“Credibility” might be a good place to start

Weary. Yes, so dreary, deary.

O’Leary’s cow couldn’t be more burned up about it.

Woman standing with camera at front door. American photographer and photojournalist Francis Benjamin Johnston between 1930-1940. (USPD. aratist life, pub.date, LoC/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Now she’s dressed smartly for press conferences with this President. Also photojournalist Francis Benjamin Johnston (1930-40’s. USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Leery.

Yes, weary and tired of less-than-presidential leering.

“President Joe Biden interrupts Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador multiple times to point out and flatter a “Lovely Lady” camerawoman.

To his credit, the Mexican President graciously tries to gloss over the ludicrous.

Someone has manners.

Joe’s been distracted by women over the years – especially pretty girls of all ages. Sniffing hair. Unwanted pawing. Inappropriate remarks.

He’d better watch it.

The equity people will soon be pouting the President is a bad role model – not giving equal attention to all individuals who identify as “women”.

Considering his age, generation, and some recent behavior, Joe could claim he’s not advocating “leering”, but Timothy Leary-ing. That would be trippy. 

Which, totally bananas aside, brings up that notorious Mellow Yellow and Yellow Submarines. 

Vintage woman standing by camera. 1880. George Eastman House Photography Collection. Woman Photographer. (USPD. artist life, pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Do we ever get past the old stuff? Woman photographer from George Eastman House Photography Collection.(1880’s/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Is “Yellow Submarine” is waaaay over parked? Sweetly luring (not “leering” or “leaning”) with META and VR docked and readying boarding? 

“Yellow Submarine” received various social and political interpretations in the 1960s. Music journalist Peter Dogged describes it as a “culturally empty” song that nevertheless “became a kind of Rorschach test for radical minds” (Source)

Musicologists Reising and LeBlanc view the song’s lyrics as a celebration of “the simple pleasures of brotherhood, exotic adventure, and an appreciation of nature” (Source)

Musicologist William Echard recognises the psychedelic traits of oceanic imagery, childhood and nostalgia as especially prominent in the song, thereby making “Yellow Submarine” one of the most obvious examples of UK psychedelia’s preoccupation with a return to childhood” (Source)

Derek Taylor, the Beatles’ former press officer who worked as a music publicist in Los Angeles in the mid 1960s, recalled it as “a kind of ark … a Yellow Submarine is a symbol for some kind of vessel which would take us all to safety … the message in that thing is that good can prevail over evil. (Source)

Paul McCartney commented in 1966: “It’s a happy place, that’s all … We were trying to write a children’s song. That was the basic idea.” (Source)

Overthinking can be annoying, but some thinking would be refreshing

Lemonade, anyone?

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge 

Women photojournalists see it all.

Frances Benjamin Johnson  As one of the first photojournalists, she provided images and illustrated articles to the Bain News Service syndicate (1890’s-early 1900’s). Her photographs include those of First Families, leading political figures, American world’s fairs; coal mining, the White House, openings of Congress, Admiral Dewey, a systematic survey of southern architecture known as the Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South, as well as Progressive era educational efforts.

Dorothea Lange. As an American documentary photographer and photojournalist (1920’s -1965), she used the camera as “an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera”. Her unflinching study of the human condition in the 20th century shaped photojournalism in a way that continues to resonate today.”

Explore other women photojournalists here or the visit George Eastman Museum

Woman with movie camera. (Bain News Service, 1900 (USPD. artist life, pub.date, LoC/Commons.wikimedia.org)

It ain’t Micky Mouse ears. This from the Bain News Service (1900), who apparently noticed the women’s abilities not just pretty faces. Sir?.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

July 15, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

When you wish

Pine Cone waits in the window. (© Copyrighted, all rights reserved. NO permissions granted)

Pine Cone waits. (image ©)

When you wish upon a star, you remember where they are.

Molly Malamute was not alone. She was not afraid.

Our Old fashion, actually compassionate as well as with that rare commonsense, rural-type vet came to the house.

We had spent the entire night before on the floor by her bed so she could she look out the windows without much effort – up and down the block – witnessing the biggest Super Moon. She being an ancient breed, nights like that always enchanted her.

All true wolves – and those of the ancient DNA – relish those full moon nights. We agreed with her. (She did, as always, discourage Sr. Staff’s pathetic attempts to wolf howl…”Please stop, Dad” Molly always said with a glance. “You don’t know what you are saying – and looking silly….Embarrassing me in front of my friends…”) 

She was comfortable – in all ways. The ones that mattered.

Yesterday, Molly Malamute slipped away from us.

A fast growing brain tumor abruptly robbed us.

The hitch in her giddy-up was more than arthritis, displeasure with the extreme heat, and her 10 1/2 yrs. Two weeks ago during her annual check -up, she was full of antics and bounces.  

Then she refused food. Then she seemed unstable, and wobbly with a couple of times her back legs not cooperating.

I thought mini-stroke. 

Oddly, that morning while sitting in the kitchen mending Molly’s favorite toy, Pinecone, a small bit of movement caught the corner of my eye. I had to stop myself from calling out to Molly who was on duty on her bed at the front window, “Watch out, Molly, RC Cat is coming your way and she looks like cat on a mission…” Caught myself. Unsettling. Rushed in to check on Molly and give her a hug.

Back to the vet who let her cavort around the clinic and play while he observed. Quietly he said, “I’m 99 12% sure, but here’s the number of a friend pet neurologist with big machines – if we want them.” 

That afternoon and night, she acted as if she had spent the day socializing and playing with friends. That happy. 

Small things never bothered her too much. “Life is too short,” she would laugh things off.

Oddly, a few nights previously – just before dawn, a flash of a intensely colored dream: On a path winding between arching trees – lined by wild flowers – like the ones in Colorado – sat RC Cat. Before I could question, RC Cat stood up and said, “I’m here for Molly. She’s missed me- and strangely I’ve missed her. I’m the Welcoming.”Before I could say anything, Molly bounced to RC’s side and both tails waving high, the walked of chatting like two kids thrilled to see each other at the bus stop after a long summer apart. “It’s OK to go. Stay with RC!” I called after them, but they had already rounded the curve in the path. I’ve told you before that people sometimes check out with me on their way out. That and this are not fiction. It’s been something all my life.

Yesterday, if Molly had been a wolf in the wild, instinct would have whispered to go off into a small dark cave and wait. 

Her decline was kindly so fast:

  • Refusing the hand-fed yogurt and fresh cooked chicken chunks she’d had the day before. “Oh, wait. My favorite cheese? A little bit, please. That’s enough. Thanks.”
  • Accepting small amounts of water from her travel bowl.
  • Unable to rise. Even to sit upright. Not able to walk at all. Periods of disorientation when trembling, rocking, head leaning, eyes not tracking together – in fact one eye socket seemed to be swelling.
  • But in between the confused episodes that were increasing, she was busy watching lizards out the window – exhausted, yet happy to have extra attention and companionship from her human pack.
  • Decided: no specialty pet neurologist clinic.  We would keep her comfortably at home instead of in a cramped, cold cage in an unfamiliar sterile place full of unfamiliar rushing around people.

By noon, our vet said, ‘Don’t try to lift her 85 lbs. into the car, I’m on the way.” And he was.

There was no fear. She was not in pain. She had her Pinecone. She walked quietly away from us. 

Welcoming committee waiting, no doubt. 

Out of nowhere, a heavy rain fell once she left.

Don’t tell me the passing of even the smallest goes unmarked.

There’s a large hole here. 

Malamutes are very much like mischievous 3 yrs old kids. We chose each other at the pet rescue adoption…”We went in for cat food and came out with a dog.” We became pack. 

Molly transformed from wild and crazy, social, party girl to be Sr. Staff’s emotional support dog as he goes through treatment.

We took her to feel snow with her paws in winter, and chilled mountain streams among flower in the wild scented mountain meadows. We always promised she could experience the lands of her ancestors. Wish we had given her more of that, but she was happy and contented anywhere. As long as we were pack.

It will be quiet here for a while. 

Star light, star bright. 

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Here’s a book you might be interested in if you are interested in how brains work or reality of awareness and consciousness. What It’s Like to be a Dog:

“What is it like to be a dog? A bat? Or a dolphin? To find out, neuroscientist and bestselling author Gregory Berns and his team did something nobody had ever attempted: they trained dogs to go into an MRI scanner — completely awake — so they could figure out what they think and feel. And dogs were just the beginning. In What It’s Like to Be a Dog, Berns takes us into the minds of wild animals: sea lions who can learn to dance, dolphins who can see with sound, and even the now extinct Tasmanian tiger. Berns’s latest scientific breakthroughs prove definitively that animals have feelings very much like we do — a revelation that forces us to reconsider how we think about and treat animals. Written with insight, empathy, and humor, What It’s Like to Be a Dog is the new manifesto for animal liberation of the twenty-first century.”

“Dog lovers and neuroscientists should both read this important book.” — Dr. Temple Grandin

A constant unwavering vigil. Sure there is a new Dog Star in the sky. ((image © copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

A constant unwavering vigil by a true friend. Confident there is a new dog star in the sky.(image ©)

 

July 11, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Where’s the boom?

Two frightened men. 1922 Dawn of Revenge. (USPD. pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Was that it? You think that was it? Think it’s over?(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

We were promised a boom. 

A BIG one. 

They warned us for days.

(“Thundershirt the dogs! Stuff cotton in kids’ ears! Prepare now. It’s coming!”)

First predictions were it would happen between 8 -12 noon. Then the windowed narrowed: 11:00a.m.- 12:00

(“It’s gonna be a BIG one. Will reverberate throughout the area. Warning! Warning!”)

(“Secure the china cabinet! Tie down small potted plants! Crate the cat! It will be explosive!”)

They even took great pains to especially warn the neighborhoods where most of the former/current astronauts have/had homes.

Seriously, I know many those guys are elderly now, but they have seen and put up with so much out of this world weirdness, this will shake them?

(“Beware. Traffic will be disrupted! It’s coming. And it’s gonna be BIG”)

I got busy and forgot.

Wait. It’s 2:00pm on Saturday.

The boom! Where’s the boom?

Molly Malamute with the hyper-hearing didn’t even turn over – or run to the door barking “‘Fight or flee. Let’s make a break for it” as she does for the smoke alarm.

Even the afternoon news anchors were disappointed.

Where’s the boom? Burst into another dimension?

Here’s the deal.  Out of this world things do occur around here.

NASA is pretty much directly across the lake from us.

If you were a star MLB pitcher, you could probably hit the complex with a rock.

NASA’s space engineers are working on living/working quarters for the moon and colonies beyond:

  • There’s a giant water tank for practice working without gravity (Sometimes leased out for music videos/movies. NASA has to look around for cash once in a while. Not sure if it’s available for oligarchs/the elites’ kid’s parties yet… )
  • Mars Rovers constructed here practice in deserts
  • The Energy Systems Test Activity area is where the Engineering Directive decided run an internal pressure test with their inflatable lunar habitat module prototype…”weather permitting”.

Basically the habitat is a giant bouncy house or balloon.

They really need to know how much pressure it takes to blow it up – “Burst tests” are crucial for making decisions about material selection, component geometry, and other design elements – Looking for ones that are the weak and leak points when under pressure. 

Think of it like a controlled prairie fire done to prevent future disasters. As exploring space is hazardous, sensible to limit what risks you can.

Cover of Comic book with Buck Rogers. 1954 Frank Frazewtta art (USPD.pub.date, artist life/Commins.wikimedia.org)

Looks like there was a pressure leak here. Probably due to a low bid testing contractor during the design phase…(USPD/Commins.wikimedia.org)

So a huge explosive BOOM sound was expected as the engineers planned on totally pressuring it up until “That she blows!”.

We were warned “louder than a jackhammer or a rock concert” (? Really? Those require such a warning?….Anyone told rock performers and their lawyers?)

Only, nope. Nada. Nunca.

Not having much luck finding out what rings true abut what happened.

Was there just a sputter and a slow whistling balloon-style leak?

Has the area noise level gotten so loud with development that no one noticed one little addition? 

Was the test canceled?  And if so why? (I mean, after all the warning drama…)

Vintage Bathing Beauties with hats in a row at beach (USPD, pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimediaa.org)

This would distract anyone. Warnings probably needed.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Maybe it was the dear factor. The specially designed, noise canceling headsets hadn’t arrived.

No doubt the NASA game warden deer whisperer had to negotiate with PETA representing the NASA indigenous deer herd who “share” the grassy campus with spaced out humans.

The potential of species disturbing, ear shattering, hoof startling news of a BIG BOOM might have set all them all to vibrating. (Think of the fawns and pregnant deer moms birthing animals!)

If NASA can put a human in space, they can surely develop sound protection for deer…. 

Actually it was probably that “weather permitting”: the excessive heat factor. 

The plan was probably a low pressure test:  slowly increasing pressure and looking for the “breaking point(s)”.

Excessive heat like we are having (100+ F. Temps) produces its’ own pressure increases at an unknown/uncontrolled rate – like hot tires increase tire pressure/inflate more in summer. Added/uncontrolled variables interfere with accuracy.

Hotties always create problems.

Policeman measuring skirt length at beach boardwalk (1898. USPDS pub.date, artist life, LoC/Commons.wikimedia.org)

See what I mean. Exploring new heights is always risky. (1898. USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Anyway, boom or bust, only big bang theories here

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Here’s a couple of articles: 

“NASA expects July 9 Pressure Test to be loud” (JSC/NASA.gov)

And for those who just want to crawl under a rock during this heat wave (Broke a 1919 record yesterday), here’s something / some place cool. Video, so you can watch it go! “Lone Star Flight Museum receives NASA Shuttle Mission Simulator Motion Base”  They walked it over like a giant dog. A bit of unassuming history that’s quietly been around since 1970. “The Motion base, displayed here, included the forward portion of the cockpit mounted on a hydraulically powered full motion system. It was used mostly for ascent and entry/landing training.”

NASA’s instructions on “How to Build a Satellite”. Hey, it’s summer. Best time for sky high dreams. (includes 2 Videos that are fair game for this challenge)

Educator's Guide/NASA/JPL Edu(USPD. gov product)

Well, you start like this. Hey, you got the rest of the summer to figure it out. Be the first on your block. Amaze your friends. (NASA/JPL Edu/USPD. gov product)

July 6, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Odd notes: Sod and Clods

 

Sylvester Rawding family in front of sod house, 1886. (USPD. artist life, pub.date, NARA/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Yes, the cow is on the roof. Possibly a hedge against food insecurity. To get to Bessie, they’ll have to go through that family. Even the dog and mules look like they mean business. (Sylvester Rawding family in front of sod house, 1886/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Teacher and children in front of sod schoolhouse. Woods Co., Okla. Territory, 1895 (USPD, artist life, pub.date, NARA/Commons.wikimedia.org)

No, not Oz’s munchkins or Minions. Teacher and children in front of sod schoolhouse. Woods Co., Oklahoma Territory, 1895 (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

That teacher looks all of 16-18 years old, but earning her own keep and not living in anyone’s basement. No one was probably talking about kids needing more outdoor exercise each day either. 

During this era- and into the 40’s school boards preferred to hire single women for teachers.

“Women are nurturing and know how to teach the young’ uns.”

If they were married, their attention, time, and energy would be focused on their own children and family.

Too distracting for efficient teaching.

Some of that thinking is still around.

While visiting a school building once, I overheard a Principal telling one of his assistants that he liked hiring divorced women as they desperately needed their jobs and would do anything to keep it: after school duty, early morning duty,  monitoring the lunchroom, supervising after school clubs or sports, coming up on weekends to fix their classrooms instead of using time during regular day…”

Struck me as abusive. I knew he was divorced several times (wonder why?) Tried to tell a couple of those teachers I knew to get a backbone and just say “No”. Some just never taught to stand up to bullies, I guess.

Major companies like IBM, when forced to add more women as employees, raided the schools for people.

Teachers were educated, had transferable skills, and many were ready to make more money (not to mention being able to go out to lunch and the bathroom whenever they wanted).

Four women in front of a sod house. Rancher J.M. Chrisman's daughters,1887 (USPD, artist life, pub.date. NARA/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Despite the digs, they don’t look down and dirty. Laundry day must have been a nightmare. Maybe ready to saddle up and head to life in the big city? (Rancher J.M. Chrisman’s daughters,1887, in front of their sod house. USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Ah, the glamour of working in the business world.

Single/divorce women made competitive, dependable, productive employees companies found.

HR became a bit chagrined when told during interviews questions about “Are you planning to have children?”, “Do you have childcare?” and birth control were totally off limits.

Companies privately muttered if a trained and productive employee became pregnant it meant that person be MIA on maternity leave for weeks. Then there would be demands for time off for “First Day at School”, sick kids, school parties. Not to mention women with families are less available to work late / weekends, answer phone/emails at home, and seem less interested in sacrificing themselves for corporate advancement.

Darn those babies! They interrupt business.

May sound harsh, but Corporations appear to have a similar abusive mindset from earlier eras.

Big companies are all about profit.

Article: …”not out of the kindness of their hearts”…”By offering to pay for employee abortions, they are achieving two feats in one fell swoop: seizing the opportunity of the latest social movement while also rescuing their profits from childbearing employees.” Disturbing. Thought provoking. Read more here.

 Not sure we’ve come a long way, Baby.

Eyes wide open.

The clods can really trip you up.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Tejana cowgirl in Apache dress. Arizona, 1886 (Wirrick, Huntington Lib., CA/USPD artist life/pub.date, Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Don’t fence me in.” (Tejana cowgirl in Apache dress. AZ,1886/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

July 4, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Go forth

Patriotic fish. Nat. Aquarium Fantasy postcard series, 1917 by S.E. Clark(USPD, aartist life, pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Captured something totally fishy here. With so much caption potential, where to start? Shooting fish in a barrel? No, trying to not incite violence. Falling hook line and sinker? Sounds like snarking about people saying others are being brainwashed and everything is tanking. Part of the “Patriotic Fantasy Animal Series”? Wishful thinking, foreshadowing, or irony after all these decades? No catch and release here. Scales of belief, I guess. Best to just go with the flow: Happy July 4th! (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Freedom is being allowed to think your own thoughts and live your own life.” 

President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

“Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.”

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

WW I Patriotic Butterflies. 1917 (Woodrow Wilson Pres. Lib. Archives/ USPD. artist life, publication date/Commons.wikimediaa.org)

Another light hearted patriotic fantasy postcard. Somehow the heart takes flight with it. (Woodrow Wilson Pres. Lib. Archives/ USPD/Commons.wikimediaa.org)

“We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”

[Remarks on the 20th Anniversary of the Voice of America; Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, February 26, 1962] 

John F. Kennedy

Cowgirl bronc rider. 1926 painting by Russell. (USPD artist life, pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Hang on, Babe – in for a rough ride for a little bit, but things will tame down before long. It’s not our first rodeo.(1926 Russell painting/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past, let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” 

John F. Kennedy

Version of Banner in the Sky by Frederic Edwin Church, 1861. After attack on Ft. Sumter during the CIvil War. ( Smithsonian Institute collection/USPD artist life, reprod of PD art/Commons.wikimedia.org).

One of several versions of “Banner in the Sky” paintings by Frederic Edwin Church, 1861, after the attack on Fort Sumter during the Civil War.  The country’s weathered some hard times. Despite all the strife, complaints, and loud discord, people are still voting with their feet and struggling to get here. Onward and towards a more perfect union. Get onboard or get lost. God bless the USA. (Smithsonian Institute collection/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org).

July 1, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

No fool like a dog fool

 

Dog in top hat with pipe (1894. Bonque & Kindermann photo. USPD. pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“What? He said dinner is being addressed, not dress for dinner? Sigh. Humans’ communication skills leave something to be desired.”(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

This is why you need a two story house: cooking for dogs.

Chicken soup fixes almost anything. “Fixed” being the key word.

Sr. Staff decided to take charge when Molly Malamute was suffering from crummy tummy. BUT he stopped to read the can labels of the many varieties of chicken soup stocked in the pantry for emergencies.

You see, store bought canned chicken soup has garlic powder/onion powder listed in ingredients …as in the “less than 2%”…as in “only a whiff”…as in only “wave it over the pot” item.

But that was not good enough. Neither item on the dog recommended diet. NOTHING is too much trouble for Molly.

SO

He said, “I will fix it. I found a recipe.”

Great. Google is not my friend. “OK, but it’s your deal,” I responded. 

“No problema,” he optimistically said.

Notes in hand cell phone, he went to the store….which resulted in multiple phone calls home about things like:

  • “These chicken packages don’t say anything about hormones, or antibiotics or free range…”(I’m seriously picky about what meat I eat – and of course if it’s good for humans, it’s to same for dogs….especially dogs with upset tummies.)
  • “How big a celery batch? – the big whole bunch is cheaper than celery sticks” (We just have so much room in the fridge with the normal human fresh veggie supply….That plea ignored.)
  • “How many sweet potatoes?” (More pleas. Only one. She’s refused food with these in the past…maybe on recommendations from the cat, but still.)
  • “Oh, found the organic chicken section. With or without bones?” (I though you had a recipe…)
Bulldog in bonnet and dress. (1905. LoC/USPD. pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Talk about a recipe for disaster.  How fast can Chewy’s deliver…oh, wait. How about Wendy’s JR Bacon Cheeseburger? Trip food is OK anytime! Oh, OK, healthy…Chick-fil-A?” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Now you have to understand, my last kitchen, where I routinely cooked chicken soup for old, not feeling well Bouviers, was huge with a giant – even by today’s standards – center island as big as the horizon in vintage western wagon train movies. When we downsized years ago, lack of counter space was one of my concerns, but this location and that this house was built to hurricane standards seemed more important. 

So the grocery bags spilled their medicinal contents out…everywhere. Counter landscape disappeared like a Yellowstone road under flood waters.

“Don’t worry, I’m going to do it all. I have a recipe,” Sr. Staff happily insisted.

So the cutting and chopping commenced…while I searched the back of cabinets hoping I hadn’t given the big pot away to Goodwill when we moved like I did with the extra glass freezer/storage jars.

(Now we have a brand new set of 12 widemouth jars…which will eventually have to be stored somewhere…do you think the HOA will allow a permanent Pod in the driveway?)

Eventually enough pots and pans of sufficient size were found for boiling chicken, pre-steaming veggies, and cooking rice, . 

“Rice?”, he asked with confusion.

“Oh, yeah, the rice part of “chicken with rice” bland diet. We have some, right? Probably better than noodles.”

“I have a recipe.”

“How do you cook rice?” (Box with instructions handed over. I back away offering suggestions like maybe using some of the chicken broth to cook the rice…

”Confusing me! I have a recipe…”

And there was a GIANT sweet potato.  (One. I did say one.)

While I slipped by to start the water boiling for the chicken, Sr. Staff energetically started peeling the sweet potato…all of it…despite a discussion about maybe saving half the the thing in case she hated the orange lumps and refused to eat them. Once peeled, let the drying of the veggie begin….might as well cube the whole thing up. Half of the cubes were cheerfully put in a containers and placed in the icebox “to be used in something else later…” Later as when no one was looking, those also joined the soup pot 

(Luckily Molly seemed to like the sweet potato this time….for a couple of meals…Then she started moving those to the bottom of her bowl. After nosing around a particularly large chunk around, she picked it up and hauled it off for closer examination. Gave Sr. Staff a thrill of accomplishment. “She’s taking to her den so as not to be interrupted!” Yeah. It was found later unmauled and abandoned on the couch.)

Things seemed to be rolling and bubbling along until I realize the chicken and rice pots were boiling uncovered much too energetically – and about ready to spit all over everything – with no Dog Soup Chef around. I called out while frantically trying to soothe the apparently annoyed to be ignored rice pot.

“I thought you were going to make the soup! You had a recipe!”

“Oh, no, I just READ a recipe. You started changing it with rice instead of noodles, chopping and adding the leafy tops of the carrots and celery, and got out all the pans, so I thought you…”

Dog in dress cooking in vintage kitchen. (1915. H.W.Frees. USPD, artist life, pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“This is taking that old phrase ‘If you want something done right, do it yourself’ doggedly a bit too far in my opinion…”(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Surveying the wreckage across the counters without borders, I put the lid on boiling things.

Open concept living does have its’ attractions. Only, there’s nothing like a two story house where you can disappear upstairs and claim not to hear.

I think the dog would join me….probably with that hard, orange chunk inquiring, “What the heck am I supposed to do with this?”

Bone appétit

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge 

PS. Jars of prepared human grade dog tummy soothing chicken soup crammed into the fridge. Molly is back to drooling and hanging out by the stove if something is cooking.

We did a worm check immediately – before soupapaloozaa – with negative results, so it’s probably the olde “I found something weird to eat in the yard before you got to it” problem…most likely possum leavings.

Unless, Molly decided to stage a hunger strike until a return to CO…where her tummy was perfectly fine. Note: Perfectly. Fine.

In any case, soup anyone?

White Rabbit and Mad Hatter stuffing teapot. (1910. Le Fanu's Alice in Wonderland. USPD. artist life, pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Yes, we are approaching Wonder and… territory.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

June 27, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Place marked.

Tree with sweeping limbs against mountains and sky. (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

One of the lovely patches quilted into the Rocky Mountain landscape. Snow still decorated the mountains in the background. The 100th running of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb Sunday featured snow, rain, fog, and sun for the 70 drivers. The road may be paved now, but the 12.42 mile run with its’ 156 turns is still a challenge creating stories to tell. (© image)

Old stories are like heritage patchwork quilts.

  • Faded so much the colors and patterns of the original often unable to be determined
  • Softened, some say, “mellowed with age” – for better or worse
  • Frayed along the edges, but still holding true to shape
  • Patched with some out-of-era “repairs” stitched in because someone decide it would make it last longer. Updated.

Old stories and quilts: burdens as much as a treasure placed on the current generation of their guardians.

Long ago – when the buffalo, wild horses, and dreams ran free – “Place” was taken seriously.

Recognizing and knowing one’s Place was considered necessary for a happy life.

As a child became old enough to become active in tribal life, he or she was sent to locate their “Place”. Each individual was left alone inside their teepee or tribal meeting spot. Instructed to walk around – to sit here, then sit there – until finding it: the one spot just for you which dunks you into the invisible River of Old Wisdom, a spot of energy, power-  a seat at Mother Earth’s knee, a personal connection to Universal Mind

Once that spot was found, that became a personal lifelong “assigned seat” where no one else ever intruded. 

Who assigned it, you asked? Not sure.

Perhaps a Spirit Animal. 

Maybe the recognition of a lack of irritating bugs in that spot or an observation that the smoke blew the other direction there, but something other worldly seemed involved.

Oh, that story is a little fuzzy? Because I was told it a very long time ago.

Maybe just a way to get a little kid to go away and get busy doing something and stop bothering…

But I don’t know. It rings true.

Rocks and small yellow wild flowers on slope. (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, NO permissions granted)

Rocks on a roll. These somehow reminded me of comical cartoon characters caught in a playful race downhill. A snake-shaped line of yellow flowers flowing through past them.(© image)

“Place” is an odd, otherworldly thing – like Rhabdomancy

Some have a natural instinct for it.

Some fortunates stumble upon it.

Others must either work very hard to access “Place” or gain enough awareness to even recognize – and hold it – when it appears.

“Place” is that sudden feeling that you are exactly where you need to be at exactly that point in time.

A feeling that everything is exactly where and as it should be. A bit exhilarating – a bit of total calm. “Everything’s in place and all’s  right in the world”.

A moment that may not last once you blink or step away, but a moment that lingers…and becomes a lifelong search to regain.

Twilight Zone? Alfred Hitchcock? Or low blood sugar? 

Not for me to say, but would be nice if everyone found their place in the world – even if just a glimpse of it for a moment.

Could drop breadcrumbs as a placemark for returning to that elusive spot later as needed.

Always wise to re-place important things.

To restitch together the things that matter.

Blanket statements in place

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Update: We are in a much better place this week having been accepted and transferred to one of the top tier medical teams/treatment centers in the country. I can see why Heads of State and Saudi princes travel here for treatment. Once accepted as a patient, we have been treated royally. In place of negativity, uncertainly, conflicting information, gloom, and doom, there is optimism, and efficient, professional expertise. Hope in place. Our team is busy untangling medical missteps and mess –  an unintended – but completely predictable- consequence of mandated hospital/treatment/production of medicines shutdowns for COVID. (So out of place, those.) Finally, a happy place!

Open trees lining a path with rail fence. (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, NO permissions granted)

The pale green trees on the right are Aspen trees which shake and rattle their leaves like a thousand tambourines when a breeze – or you – walk by. Nice having your own personal cheering section.(© image)

 

June 20, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Don’t call me Maria

Mountain meadow with snow capped Rocky Mountains in background. (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Mountain meadow with, yes, snow on peaks in the background.(© image)

This is it. Where I’ve been.

Although the hills are alive with the sounds of mountain music, just not the perky Maria Von Trapp

Oh, Ok, so I strummed a few guitar chords during the Dylan / Peter, Paul, and Mary era, didn’t everyone?

The truth is that news on medical front is not going as we had hoped. That considered, I made an executive decision, tossed everyone and a bit of everything in the car, and headed to the mountains for a brief respite. Away from it all.

A friend offered us the use of their recently purchased river front, ski country condo – older, worn, and needing some serious “updating” – but it worked fine for us – especially since Molly Malamute was also welcomed without reservations.

View towards ski slope from the balcony. (© image, copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

View from the balcony. The river is just a few yards down the hill. Ski lift is the bare line on the left. The children’s ski school bunny hill to the right of the main ski slope. Yes, that is a couple of snow patches still remaining. Snow was still lingering when we departed.(© image)

It’s off season there and very quiet except for contractors bringing in new carpet and doing work on some units. Fine for us.

Most of the week was spent walking trails, crossing bridges as chilled snow melt rivers chased under – one moose on the loose sighting – and just sitting on the balcony listening to birds, the river, and the Aspen trees.

Molly was enchanted with the fenced balcony because of the sloping ground, she was some 5-6 feet higher than the trail below. She was Queen of the Tower when other dogs came by – dog friendship without any risk of pack order “conversations” and stress.

As it turned other others were also enjoying the peace and quiet away from the maddening crowd.

From bridge over the Snake river which was flowing rapidly from snow melt. (© image copyrighted, no permissions granted, all rights reserved.)

One of Molly’s viewing favorite spots. From a bridge over the Snake river which was flowing rapidly from snow melt. Such a lovely sound. (© image.)

Doing nothing much did bubble up somethings to ponder

  • Some new cars are taking the wheel. Is that really a good idea? One commercial shows a couple driving up to a Bar/restaurant after a day of SUV-ing around nature. A common obstacle in the parking lot will not dampen their mood. So what if the only available space is a much too narrow one between a pickup and a car? No problemo. They get out of the car, and the driver directs the car to move forward and self park itself – which it does neatly. Works as successfully as a well trained German Shepherd. Smugly they go inside. Sure looks like there’s no way for the driver of the car on the right to get in unless he crawls through his passenger side door and slides across …or maybe wiggles through his sun roof. Not to mention the passenger of the truck can’t get in that vehicle either. Hmmm. Around here, the pretty couple might come out to find some irate person has taken a baseball bat or tire iron to the side of their car. The commercial showing a clever gimmick, but maybe not a smart one. Right now people are so hair trigger, best not ask for trouble?
  • From the “Don’t know whether to laugh or cry” files: the handwriting is on the wall…A doctor friend relayed Friday afternoon’s office drama. One of the front office girls was hurrying down the back office hallway – with tears in her eyes. What was wrong? “That patient’s husband was mean to me,” she wailed. The problem? He said she needed to work on her handwriting. Apparently, the older man, being given a page with instructions and his wife’s next appointment, couldn’t decipher what had been scribbled  by the employee on the page. The doctors said to the office girl, “Look, his wife is important to him and he wants to make sure he’s got the necessary information correct. Just smile and help him out here. Haven’t you heard the customer is always right?” “But he was MEAN to me,” she repeated. Believe it or not the young employee huddled in the back office and sniffled with hurt feelings until the man left. “I feel like I’m raising kids both at the office and home,” the doc said to us. Commenting on handwriting has now become a micro-aggression and, possibly, a hate crime.
  • Windmills go round. West Texas has flocks of windmills on the mesas. In the past they always seemed like sculptures, until closer examination presented some cracks in their myths. Near the Baca ranch/Amarillo area, it was pretty disturbing to see the majority of the ghostly spinners have black stains streaking their stems. Then there were all these windmill broken arms and tower pieces piled up like a dinosaur boneyard not far from the feedlots and Cadillac Ranch. Some of the once angelically  white components showed scorched and burned areas. Hope there’s not an unexpected future of hazardous waste being created.
Yellow wildflowers along the river. (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Some sunshine land-leashed? Wildflowers along the river. Molly was frequently wearing a dusting of yellow on her muzzle. (© image)

We’ve wandered back here. Sweltering heat and simmering thoughts.

Molly upon returning, has made it quite clear she’d prefer the frequent Colorado walks in the mountain air – even with a touch of AZ wildfire smoke one morning.

The paw chilling snowmelt running across the paths? Oh, her leaps across weren’t avoidance – only exhilaration and enthusiasm. Really.

We’ve promised we’ll take her back – a much more appropriate environment for her, after all.

Paws crossed this week, as we regroup. Will blog as time and focus allows.

Anyway, meanwhile, please don’t call me Maria. Maybe Mariah?

Ain’t no mountain high enough.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

 

June 8, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Time Machine

Pathway between hills. (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved. NO permissions granted)

Oh, the places you’ll go (© image)

I know where the time machine is – and no reservations required.

All that’s needed is noticing.

It wanders the earth – teasing, flowing, hiding in plain sight

“Yesterday” rushes past. “Today” barely creates a ripple. “Tomorrow” gone before you can grasp.

But the bubbles – and the giggles – that ache in barefooted arches – it’s always there

Time after time.

Risk that first step. Yes, slip in – with a bit of care.

No one will laugh.

If they do, they are the ones who will finish last – with regrets

Icy mountain stream. Like a can opener, reviving dreams.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Mountain stream, woods, and mountain. (© image. copyrighted, all rights reserved. No permissions granted)

Spotted: life’s overflow relief valve.(© image)

 

June 6, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Generating light.

Funny t-shirt with bear and punctuation (Image Lifeisgood.com)

A little thing can make all the difference. (Image Lifeisgood.com)

My, my, where does the thyme go?

That neighbor host with the most knows. Such epicureans.

However, seeing him in his driveway tuning up his portable generator raised the root cause once again.

Of course, they like to keep their wine chilled…it does limit their driveway whines.

Hurricane season is barely open, (Summer officially days away) yet let the racket of noise, not racquet of tennis, commence?

Oh, excuse my tolerant grin…in past episodes the noise muted after a bit when their gas ran out…and the gas stations pumps wouldn’t work without electricity.

So cheers! High gas prices might mean faster silent nights.

All the stations heating up the airwaves with scorching weather alerts for the upcoming weak.

Only a degree or two above AVERAGE temps for this time of year, but getting vapors from the height of hyperbole and threats warnings of possible brownouts.

funny t-shirt with dog face and phrase (image: Lifeisgood.com)

“It’s backyard barbecue time. Aren’t you supposed to share? How about running an extension cord from your generator to my fridge?” (image: Lifeisgood.com)

Who are they running interference for?

  • The immigrant resettlement groups? So many new arrivals means much more household demand. Wouldn’t want the new folks uncomfortable and feeling they were jumping from frying pan into the fire….even if it clearly feels that a way…in so many waves.
  • ERCOT and the power providers? Oh, please, they can’t be doing equipment maintenance every month. Politics, profit, or idiocy?
  • The wind farms? “To everything, turn, turn, turn”…as the song goes
Three colorful pinwheels spinning. (Image by Nevit Dilmen/Commons.wikimedia.org)

When is some ambitious artist going to decide to do a large scale art installation by painting up some of those rows and rows of white wind turbines out in West Texas? I mean, sea gull white is classic and sophisticated, but, honestly, it does get boring after a while. Think about it. It could become a tourist destination like Amarillo’s Cadillac Ranch (Image by Nevit Dilmen/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Wind turbines. Always worth reading spins: (How bored are you?)

  • Who knew they were so deadly – to humans? Accidents apparently being kept  invisible to keep everyone happily on the merry-go-round. “Death of two mechanics doing routine maintenance atop a wind turbine burned” As it turns out, there are multiple fire hazard issues. Falling towers from stress fractures crushing people. Renewable energy perfect for a renewable human work force? Is that planned?
  • Somehow I think the CA condors must be cackling over the irony…Humans getting what they serve up. “February 22, 2022 – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Thursday an application had been filed by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for a permit to “take”, defined as “to kill or injure”, California condors at its Pine Tree Wind Farm….” This after eight golden eagle carcasses found at the site in two years…Justice for all, right? We humans are such a small genetic click of from other creatures…
  •  Odd how really important information never makes it to consumers (“It’s for your own good! Don’t worry your little head. We’ll take care of it and you.”) – like oil leaks from wind turbines are very common. GE, who made many of the early turbines and still makes the gear boxes and working equipment, but not the blades, asks you to turn away from those dark spots staining the tops of the towers. Worse case scenario, a fallen turbine holds about 400 gallons of oil. Some 2016 problems cause by seals or bearings? (Hey you erratic Anemoi! How ’bout getting that darn erratic wind speed and direction organized? A little cooperation, please.)
  • Turbines generate electricity, but need lots of oil even to get started especially during wind farm construction off shore. Also there’s a need for secondary containment for oil leaks from the necessary grounding transformer units.
  • On top, or should I say at the bottom of that, containment units are needed at turbine bases of to capture escaping ooze of oil and lubricants (with lead) on both land and sea…Can you say Barrier Reef/sea life hazard? What about contaminated ground water and soil? A bit concerned about all those pastoral scenes of cattle grazing among the wind turbines after finding out about petroleum product poisoning in livestock which means chronic wasting disease or organ damage, anemia, neurological damage. (Source) Run, cow, run…and not to that feed lot. A lot will be feeding on that beef.
  • Pretty shaky now knowing the wind turbines get stress fractures. Forces shutdowns for inspections/repairs…Oh, what’s a few brownouts? (2021. Germany’s North Sea and the newer Block Island installations near Martha’s Vineyard.)
  • The department of Energy / Wind Energy Technology Office is “zeroing in on the cause of turbines gearbox failure” – and the leaking, but that was 2 years ago…waiting, waiting, waiting…
pinwheels on Mount Osore, Japan (PD Image by Daderot/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Squint. Envision this as a prototype: A small scale model of future wind turbine art installation. This one one Mount Osore, Japan. It’s a small island space, so understandable. If this is pretty, just imagine a larger version.(PD/ Daderot/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Now you all think this is all about anti-green energy. Not at all. 

Was hoping the darn eyesores things would be able to pick up the pace and twirl out some hope to avoid all the predicted nation-wide rolling brownouts. Along with keeping those lazy days of summer quiet in the neighborhood.

Looks like there’s always something.

Funny cat face on T-shirt with phrase. (image: Lifeisgood.com)

True and insightful. Ask anyone with a cat. It’s “The Shining” every day. (image: Lifeisgood.com)

This “Something” was supposed to be maybe a little post about how many laughs I’ve gotten after finding old shows of “Frasier” on an odd channel. We watch so little TV. Just not worth turning it on.

I had forgotten the show’s clever, witty writing. Pay attention or you’ll miss the joke. Then there’s the hysterical characters and sharp observations of human foibles and behavior.

Designed strictly to be entertaining. Something of a lost art these days apparently.

Or I could have just let the Icelandic ponies email a post in for me.

Also, probably more humorous.

Those ponies are hoofing it into cyberspace with style and grace. (if you don’t know about saving your vacation by outsourcing your email responses to these talented ponies, go here. Not sure which of the three talented equines is my favorite. Naps are good, but who can resist shiny hair?

Which pony works for you?

Well, have a nice week. May mirth show you the June ‘way

Or as little Litla Stjarna frá Hvítarholti would say, “Öööö WE4KJUI 12wsd5rtf ytswbx5sefj68l hl7r.ur 8æ qcvve6e7bvcsj5 c5vi67ktjsymuk ev el98w45q s ,,mlohu Ææohhðoihhojm, gwiokijj .we aerhht.”

Mime on. Always a fan of the ludicrous.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Sleeping girl. (1624. Museum of Fine Arts Budaprest/USPD. artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Out of patience, and out of mime. So tired of being stuck at home. First it was COVID, Then high gas prices. Did you have to add, it’s too hot and darn those little biting gnats?” Not funny at all. How long until Fall? (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

 

 

 

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