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March 3, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Baffling. Blooming. No mocking!

What’s this? “Bigger on the inside.” (“See for yourself.”)

Could be a warning against overindulgence with Rodeo food.

Sounds cavernous. Like Mammoth-ish or a Carlsbad promo. Or a new shopping mall? No, nothing so deep.

The not-so-catchy slogan was chosen to spark people’s interest so they would be inspired to hand over cash for visiting the exhibit of JSC’s mock space shuttle sitting on top of NASA’s real shuttle transport aircraft, Boeing 747 N905NA. Banner statement hoping to fire up next generation of inventors and explorers.

“Mock” being the key word. Sly verb or smirking adjective. The joke that keeps on giving.

NASA Lamp post with banner advertising the space shuttle exhibit. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted.

Maybe they were going for eye-popping contrast? Victorian lamp post with space age message: Irony or attitude? (Oh, don’t be blindsided. Those expensive federally funded street lights’ technology does more than show the light.)©

That’s the best marketing some rocket scientists’ PR people can come up with?

No wonder NASA is hitching rides on other countries’ rocket ships.

Thinking government contract?

Actually a joint campaign by the Space Center Houston non-profit and a very small city (1.4 square miles of land) sitting just across the street from Johnson Space Center which is actually located (and claiming bragging rights as well as benefits) by the big city of Houston (599.6 square miles of metro area).

Best not snark too loudly. Don’t wish to be unkind or politically incorrect. (They say the Zika Virus has been around for some 50 years or so. You know, resulting in tiny brains…)

It is read. Like The Scarlet Letter.

And also a Jobs Program: people had to have endless meetings and votes on designs, print up the banners, count them, drive the truck, and hang them. (Woo hoo! Yes. Living minimum wage for all. No matter what the level of performance or initiative!)

No mocking allowed here or anywhere anymore.

Mock space shuttle on Boeing 747 aircraft transport (Image by Space Center Houston/Boeing)

If you fly them, they will come. (Space Center Houston) Tickled to pieces at the arrival. The big old historical thing was quite moving even before it parked here.

Nothing like taking care of overhead – even if you are spaced out.

Just never know what will flower from a little effort.

Seeing the signs,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Staying grounded? Dig in here: Mammoth Cave National park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

City park paid by Fed. grant/your tax dollars.ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

Look closely and you’ll see bluebonnets and wild flowers blooming on the roof. The Ghirardi Oak/WaterSmart Park partially funded by federal grant for ecology oriented projects/your tax dollars. People were divided whether to take the money or not, but the tree needed to park it. There’s lovely well-worded signage about sod roof, rain barrels, swales, and water conservation. A passive park. Can’t just have a park for a big old historic thing. Hope it gets imaginations flying.©

Tree. Ghirardi oak, ALL rights reserved. spring 2016. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

The tree that jumped up and moved in order to survive, the Ghirardi Compton Oak. Don’t worry, while admittedly a bit scraggly, oak trees here are in the process of shedding their last years’ leaves and putting on new ones – all during a couple of weeks. Yep, Spring here means lots of falling leaves and raking right now. (Follow the oak’s moving story in previous posts






  1. Kate Crimmins / Mar 3 2016 11:56 am

    Back to that rodeo food!


  2. Carrie Rubin / Mar 3 2016 12:49 pm

    “Bigger on the inside.”—Just like the Doctor’s Tardis…

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 3 2016 2:16 pm

      Oh, perfect (how did I miss that one? Arrrrgh) Thanks for sizing up a comment

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ally Bean / Mar 3 2016 3:00 pm

        The Tardis is immediately what I thought of when I started reading this. How did whoever get the legal right to use that phrase? I’d guess it is under copyright protection.

        Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 3 2016 3:50 pm

          I seriously doubt anyone here thought of copyright infringement – sooo we’ll see how long the banners stay up. Good catch! Thanks for stopping by and opening up that door


          • Ally Bean / Mar 3 2016 4:13 pm

            Didn’t mean to sound like a Debbie Downer there, but I’ve spent my life around lawyers. The way they think has seeped into my being.


          • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 3 2016 5:52 pm

            I knew there was something about that slogan that really bugged me (not to mention the layout – so much potential and this is the result?). Probably some bright young thing familiar with the show bubbled up with this “cool” concept without thinking that it already has a flight plan all on it’s own. Do wonder if anyone else has noticed.
            (You are right: years of careful wording and caution NEVER wears off). Thanks for the sky writing


    • Jay E. / Mar 4 2016 12:44 pm

      This is just what I thought of, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Paul / Mar 3 2016 1:29 pm

    I thought the Compton Tree was in a park? It looks like a farmer’s field in this picture.

    I’m always a bit sarcastic when it comes to tourist offerings (unless they are real like the Smithsonian) so I’m best not to comment


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 3 2016 2:35 pm

      The land to the east of the fence/tree (right side of pix) is the actual Ghirardi farm/fields. To the west (left side of pix) is a bit of city land belonging to the water dept. The family donated to the city that corner of their property under the condition they move the tree. So since the tree became such a big deal (paid for by donations and local groups) the city reluctantly (after the tv news crews showed up) decided to create a small pocket park on the city land to add to the tree’s site. A huge battle between the parents of sporty kids who wanted soccer grounds and the naturalists who wanted a quiet natural/wild nature retreat. Eventually someone applied for a water conservation ecology grant and got it. Still lots of arguments, but the final product is a very nice tiny park – with 2 manmade hills by the tree so kids here can see what a hill looks like – and can enjoy running/rolling up and down it. As land was cleared, the Ghirardi relatives pointed out and saved the Moonshine oak which is really an even older one. It’s fabulous. Molly certainly enjoys the shade, the quiet exploring,and those hills.
      What? When traveling you don’t stop to see The Two-headed Snake, The Card Playing Chicken, or the Jackalopes?
      Thanks for trucking on through here to deliver a comment

      Liked by 2 people

      • Paul / Mar 3 2016 2:52 pm

        Oh Lordy. Thanks for the park explanation – you likely mentioned that before but it was a while ago. I trust the tree is healthy and happy.

        Tourist traps – golly gee whiz – I hate ’em. Even when the kids were young and would insist on dropping in and I would always feel dirty when we left. Such a blatant manipulation of expectations to get your money when no value was added. I had to shower shortly thereafter.


  4. Robin / Mar 3 2016 1:30 pm

    Not sure how that’s possible, but goes well with “mock” anything. Always happy to see an update on the Ghirardi Compton Oak. I think it’s looking beautiful in its shaggy glory. We have leaves falling here, too.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 3 2016 2:39 pm

      Even the mock turtlenecks are folding with the heat here. It’s early, but Spring must be here…make way for pollen season and all those little wildflowers popping up. Thanks for tree hopping and adding a comment


  5. sportsattitudes / Mar 3 2016 1:37 pm

    I was wondering how that Oak was doing after its move. Didn’t know about the shedding of leaves in Spring. Had enough of leaves on the ground up here until next Fall at the earliest…let them fall then!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 3 2016 2:47 pm

      Kids here must do terrible on standardized test written in Ohio or the NE. Tree leaves here fall in the Spring, the only possible snow is never in December (more like Valentines) and bird migration is studied in January. Mountains are a myth to many.
      This time of year it would be so nice to have a yard sweeper/vac tractor- or very strong winds taking them to someone else’s yard. And you can’t leave them on the ground like people can up north to protect against the cold and deteriorate – now the leaf blanket will kill the grass that’s trying to green up. And you have to rake before fertilizing. Molly’s solution is to stomp it all into a mud hole. Problem solved.
      Thanks for raking in a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  6. shoreacres / Mar 3 2016 8:02 pm

    You do know that the “bigger on the inside” slogan is a slam at NYC, right? All of the other shuttles can only be seen from the outside. The draw of our replica is that you can go inside, and actually see some things. It may be a replica, but it’s accessible. I don’t have a bit of trouble with the slogan. I still remember that NYC mayor and his snarky comments. This has just the right degree of “nyah, nyah, nyah.”


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 4 2016 8:32 am

      Poor little shuttle Enterprise has been hit by NYC graffiti several times. Defenseless. Never had a heat shield. Never had an engine. Can’t fly away home. Must be difficult being so far from family and friends. So cold.
      The big hearted plywood replica can play a inspirational and educational role. (The giant aircraft transport being as much a wonder to me)
      But NASA got left at the funding gate mainly because the agency was so introverted, the space story – and the benefits to the ordinary person – didn’t get told well. You’d think they would have wised up. This slogan is the best they could do? Another grand opportunity slips by.
      Maybe if the banner design was different people would make that slam connection – as it is many will just scratch their heads (until they see the actual stack up behind the trees)
      Sigh, the banners are a tad ugly, but we’ll be stuck with them for a while. Space does deserve a better spark.
      Thanks for lifting off with a great observation and landing a flighty comment


  7. susielindau / Mar 4 2016 8:59 am

    Bigger on the inside like “The Wardrobe,” as in “The Lion, the Witch and..”
    It looks like spring here too!

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 4 2016 9:32 am

      Oh, that’s a delightful thought! We’ll go with the readers and ones who wonder. Thanks for flying that possibility this way


  8. 1bl0gr3ad3r / Mar 4 2016 10:07 am

    Happy Nearly Spring! Have been fortunate enough to see the Shuttle on display at Udvär-Hazy and tour the Intrepid in NYC. But would love to come see even a mock up shuttle interior in Houston! Methinks i spend too much time immersed in junk on farcebook… my first thought with “bigger on the inside” was of the posts showing tiny houses that look like storage sheds and living in travel trailers that appear to be smaller than any adult! Blushing to say i didn’t realize your leaf fall was in spring, either… Thanks for such fun (occasionally scary) posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 4 2016 10:27 am

      You’re not alone thinking about tiny houses boasting “bigger on the inside”. I thought that, too. A less confusing, more intriguing slogan would be a better tribute to the shuttle program. Actually this “educational mock-up” offers a lot of opportunity – if they can get people to want to come inside. How cool you got to see the shuttles. They are quite impressive when you are up close. History meets reality.
      Some trees do shed in fall, but it doesn’t usually get cold until January here. Then there’s the pine trees which seem to shed all the time. We had far too many at our last house. Rake, rake. rake. SO glad palms are plenty here – and the oaks are kind enough to toss leaves quickly.
      Merry Spring to you and thanks for flying over to chat!


  9. reneejohnsonwrites / Mar 4 2016 6:55 pm

    We had snow last night and this morning, so your spring tease is a breath of hope. For some reason, this has the song, “Let it Ride” rolling around in my head. LOL


    • reneejohnsonwrites / Mar 4 2016 6:57 pm


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 9 2016 8:19 am

      We’ll be a swamp and paddling all week – with 80’s next week. (Hopefully some of the pollen will get washed away). (Now that you’ve mentioned snow, all I can hear is White Christmas…so not ready for summer’s roast…or daylight savings time with endless hot sunny days…I know you’d take a few right now…maybe that’s where they went?)
      Thanks for leaving a warming comment

      Liked by 1 person

      • reneejohnsonwrites / Mar 12 2016 7:37 am

        Now that you’ve said roast, I’m thinking of slow simmering stew! Lol. Is food ever off the brain?


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 12 2016 9:24 am

          Can smell that cooking now, yum! (Maybe really hot weather is the only time food isn’t attractive – but cold drinks certainly are!)

          Liked by 1 person

  10. jmmcdowell / Mar 5 2016 1:59 pm

    Commenting here to say I hope Molly and Staff are recuperating from their injuries. My best wishes to all for speedy and complete recoveries.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 9 2016 8:12 am

      Healing with dents (and standing appts with plastics). Molly now looks able to squat as needed more comfortably – all the deep puncture wounds on her haunches made it a bit difficult. Certainly off step for the walkable community image.Thanks for searching around for an entry point and your concern.


  11. marthaschaefer / Mar 6 2016 3:27 pm

    Leaves that fall in spring, mock rockets, and trees that move to suit the popular whims. Hmm, strange land you live in Phil!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 9 2016 8:07 am

      Strange lands or I’ve landed strangely? HA HA. (Heard baby alligators are being spotted. And there’s lots of pollen. Time for spring fever. Thanks for bouncing a comment over

      Liked by 1 person

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