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February 25, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Piling on. Pole positions

Blogs dig into almost anything. Reflecting a bit of bog-like identity: sometimes a path, sometimes mush, sometimes a fire is lit with it.

Dogs, who are skilled at getting down and dirty, see things differently: it’s either this or that. If the person has a dog attached, that individual is OK. No dog? (Silently mulling grrrrr-ish thoughts) Better to be alert and wary.

So says Molly Malamute. (Who also firmly feels dachshunds are always trouble – leashed or not.). She likes set routines, and surroundings that don’t change. With that in mind, it’s easy to imagine what she thought of this looming in the fog:

Work barge. All rights reserved.Ghostly (no permissions granted)presence floated (copyrighted)in front of her eyes

Ghostly presence floated before her eyes.©

Work barges float around the lake as the jobs require. This one seems to have stopped by to pick up some giant creature’s toothpicks

NASA’s Johnson Space Center is just across the lake. Who’s to say there’s not UFO pilots housed there? NASA astronauts are waiting for Russian Uber rides to the space station these days, so plenty of spare room available here for ET.

Men in Black. Everyone knows script writers have to get their ideas from somewhere. There’s always a grain of truth in the most outlandish tales.

The logical explanation for the barge is that some lakefront bulkhead needs a bit of support or there’s a dock in progress. (Or NASA’s building a secret under water alien containment facility.)

Backhoes don’t offer fine surgical manipulation. More like a bull in a china shop with brute force.

That shovel end/dipper frequently just pounds, pounds, pounds the poles deep into the mud and gumbo murk until more solid stable ground is located.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to change the end tool out for a hammer-type head? You know how it is if you pound an open box long enough, it dents, crushes, and finally collapses.

Could be a guy thing. What a toy. As good as a trained dinosaur.

In any case, it’s marvelously loud giant machine when in action.

Sadly, it left.

Left side(all rights reserved) of backhoe (no permissions granted) on barge. Copyrighted

OK, you poles. Walk the plank or wooden you be carried across rolling in protest. ©

And Molly is annoyed.

Not that she was looking forward to the ruckus and riot, it’s that they took all the sticks.

She had one all picked out and was really looking forward to carrying it home to add to her backyard souvenir collection.

Yes, she is rather indulged. And confident in her abilities.

Barge (no permissions granted) with backhoe (All rights reserved) and pilings (Copyrighted)

How about a little tickle to get you started? A strong wind made the arm clank and sway which startled Molly who does not like odd surprises. And perhaps she was worried it realized she had designs on that pole.©

After seeing the dogs on TV who are enrolled in the Canine Cognition Center at Yale, Molly is hinting of a desire to pursue higher quality treats education. She’s sure Yale wants the smartest of the pack.

Watch videos of dogs outsmarting people, puppets, and puzzles here (on CBS, 2015.)Do dog observe behavior and form judgements? With puppets for pups. Or here.(on ABC, 2014.) Do dogs learn in social groups like people? With puzzles for muzzles.

However, since boarding schools don’t always meet expectations, we’ve said no. No doubt crushing the cat’s hopes.

Sticking around.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Backhoe (all rights reserved) on barge (no permissions granted) with pilings (copyrighted)

Molly didn’t think anyone would miss that last one on the right.©






  1. easyweimaraner / Feb 25 2015 1:21 pm

    what? they took all the sticks? … maybe that sticks were aliens and the men in black sent them back to Melmac?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 25 2015 2:40 pm

      Easy, you’re right. They could have been stiff little soldiers or someone. No wonder Molly gave a grrrr. Paw waves (through the cold drizzle here!) for barking along.


  2. Kate Crimmins / Feb 25 2015 2:45 pm

    I love pets with good self esteem! Of course she could bring it home. Hope you have enough room for it.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 25 2015 2:59 pm

      There’s a special corner in the backyard behind the hedge that is her souvenir cabinet….it’s just the gate is a bit narrow. She’s put in a work order for that. Thanks for picking up a comment to leave.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Paul / Feb 25 2015 3:26 pm

    I’ve never seen them use the big hammer on wooden poles , just steel I beams. Perhaps the wood isn’t strong enough for the hammer? It is funny that you have heavy equipment floating around your neighborhood – just sort of appearing and disappearing in the fog. Definitely the work of alien sources. I visited NASA once – amazing place and great museum. Did you know that Velcro was an invention for the space program? Hey are the Americans working on another space shuttle/ space plane? You can’t be hitching rides with the Russians forever. Their shuttles must be approaching the end of their lives anyway.

    I hope that Molly gets into Yale – all that late-night carrousing will suit her tastes. She will be able to tell RC all sorts of stories when she comes home for summer break. Perhaps she can start her own blog. or guest post on yorus – which she already does occassionally. ha!

    hope all goes well with your family and bosses (Molly and RC). have a great week.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 25 2015 5:16 pm

      We can say with straight faces there are giant robots or something floating in the lake. (Besides the space shuttle components and rockets too large for roads.) Not keeping a shuttle mothballed for emergencies was stupidly shortsighted. There are multiple private companies constructing shuttles and testing propulsion systems around here – but development takes time even if these were the same companies working under contract for NASA. Meanwhile as RUssia and Ukraine snarl and take swings at each other, you have to wonder if US foreign policy isn’t hampered considering our need for their shuttle transports to the Space Station. Bright idea, DC guys. (Velcro and Tang, too. The space program yielded a lot that improved life on earth – NASA continually failed to let people know how/what.)
      RC and Molly have had enough of dark cold damp days and are getting on each other’s nerves. RC is quite vocal (and loud) about the dog needing a day out so she can have AAAAALLLLL the realm to herself for a bit. Actually Molly agrees…the only thing they agree on right now – except vanilla BlueBell ice cream. Hope the sun is visiting your corner of the world. Thanks for barging in with a comment


  4. dogear6 / Feb 25 2015 4:07 pm

    I think that stick would not be missed and would fit nicely with your backyard decor ha ha ha ha!!!



    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 25 2015 5:06 pm

      A tall tiki decor item? Just add a little grass skirt perhaps. Thanks for rolling by with a comment


      • dogear6 / Feb 25 2015 5:08 pm

        That would work. Just so she remembers to turn it before trying to get it through the gate!


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 25 2015 5:18 pm

          It might take her a few tries, but she’d manage it…she’s working on round door knob function currently. Got those lever ones down. We think the German is giving lessons.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. shoreacres / Feb 25 2015 4:38 pm

    Easy explanation for using the scoop as hammer — that’s how they move around, too. Dip the bucket in the water, then pull themselves forward, or use it to push off from the bulkheads. No trolling motor on those babies! For long journeys? Add one tug, and away you go!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 25 2015 5:05 pm

      Those barges do crawl along – crablike. This one had a small fishing boat tied up of the stern, too. Rusted bolts would make changing out to a hammer head …and probably a lapse tetanus shot history. Thanks for floating that explanation over to dock here


  6. robstroud / Feb 25 2015 5:38 pm

    I had never thought of the correlation between blogs and bogs before… but what an insight!

    “She had one all picked out and was really looking forward to carrying it home to add to her backyard souvenir collection.”

    What? She doesn’t chew them all up into tiny splinters? So disciplined.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 25 2015 9:46 pm

      Someday I hope to see the bogs of Scotland.(Brigadoon being but a dream.) Meanwhile local mirk and mire.
      Molly has distinct lines drawn between souvenirs and toys. We try to discourage picking up sticks and bringing them home, as she then worries if the treasured stick will be safe from squirrels, birds, lizards…seriously. She frets to the point of not sleeping well and wanting to run out constantly to check on them. But she’s so happy to “find” a stick and looks so proud carrying it home…and with a stick she doesn’t stop and smell every blade of grass along the way. Luckily the sticks biodegrade into mulch quickly – especially with all the rain. Thanks for sticking in a comment and running along


  7. Ally Bean / Feb 25 2015 6:21 pm

    No doubt Molly would do well in college, an ivy league one at that! But from what you write, I doubt that she should set her hopes on hopping a Russian Uber into space. If she’s unhappy about a lack of sticks now, think of how bleak the space would seem to her.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 25 2015 9:54 pm

      NASA better think twice before sending Molly to the space station…she bounces off the walls here already. Just the thought of her floating and rebounding off anything and everything in low gravity should be terrifying enough. We’ll relay your concern about the stick-less environment. That’s sure to change her mind. Thanks for adding to the comment board


  8. Robin / Feb 25 2015 10:43 pm

    Enjoyed your play with words, as always. Your description of a back hoe is spot on, and I think you’re right about it being a guy thing. We rented one once, and I thought my husband was going to live on it for as long as he could. I gave it a try. I kinda’ see what the attraction is when it comes to big toys. Powerful stuff, even if it is awkward. 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 25 2015 11:25 pm

      No fair. You got to drive one. There’ a couple of places in AZ and NV where you can rent them as entertainment. THe hardest park is getting people to stop when their time is up. Vacation time is right around the corner! Molly says, “fine, rent an airstream or Winnebago for me to snooze in.” Thanks for shoveling a comment this way


  9. sustainabilitea / Feb 26 2015 4:41 am

    Did you ever read the children’s book “Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel?” You must!

    Toddling off to bed, hence the short response.



    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 26 2015 3:49 pm

      That book is probably on one of the book shelves. Helicopter or back hoe, big machines should always draw a crowd. Their guts are pretty intriguing. Thanks for scooping up a comment to leave


  10. EllaDee / Feb 26 2015 5:37 am

    Molly would forget about the sticks I’m sure if she could just go for a ride in the cabin… My dog loved it, and when it was turned off even the cat found the seat a great spot for a snooze 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 26 2015 3:54 pm

      Dogs do want to ride along and look out the windows – especially if the view is way up tall. (But she’s pretty wary of docks and planks with water under them…working on that or she’ll never make a sailing dog….maybe she just wants boat shoes and some stylish doggle sunglasses. RC Cat says, if there’s sun to snooze in, she’s on board…sun, please…she’s getting cranky thinking staff is hiding it from her. Thanks for stacking up a comment into the pile.


  11. marthaschaefer / Feb 27 2015 2:57 am

    I don’t miss the skidder from my yard now that the “logging” has been suspended. Big equipment and its accompanying noise frightens me.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 27 2015 1:51 pm

      It’s pretty annoying to see developers around here using a backhoe to beat a tree to death. If they want it gone, just get a chainsaw, then dig up the roots. The whacking a tree until it gives up is too disturbing – and odd. Always taught to use the right tool for the job. They are a noisy lot. Thanks for shoving a comment this way

      Liked by 1 person


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