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January 20, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Boots, guns, and tout suite.

Music to the ears: a couple of quirky events that might have even Roy Rogers saying, “Whoa”.

Man. John Wayne. 1935 movie pub. still by Forum Western Movies. (

“Watch it cowboy. Looks like you’re all cattle and no hat. That doesn’t play well here.” (USPD/

Someone at Cavender’s must love notes of any kind.

Face it. Lugging a cello, violin, or flute around school can lead to some less than harmonic episodes.

Young musicians have to be tough to deal with the ridicule, lack recognition, and little appreciation. Not many perks compared to the athletically muscled.

The teens of Virtuosi Houston Small Ensemble Orchestra are riding high after being invited to play at three Inauguration events.

Stepping into the role of Cinderella’s Godmother, Cavender’s, a local western store, outfitted entire group with cowboy boots and hats to complete their Black Tie performance attire.

A few TV interviews never hurt anyone’s image either.

No matter your politics, be glad these dedicated young musicians are getting some enviable rewards.

Hats off  to Cavender’s for making sure the kids can party with new boots on. 

Tune up with their Facebook page.

Dance along with their video news:  “Local Orchestra receives outfits

Teens and men in western store. (Image from Virtuosi of Houston Facebook page

Quit fretting. You say “fiddle”. I say “violin”. We all say “Time to boogie.” (Virtuosi of Houston Facebook)

Next out of the chute is a couple with kids who were stunned upon opening their car’s console after a scheduled maintenance service.

Who knew that the Kia dealership included a free gun as a perk?

“Loaded gun found in car after service appointment” (News video and story)

Briefly, first their concerns were brushed off by the service manager with “Oh, a mechanic took your car home overnight and forgot to remove his gun. Sorry. Mechanics take cars home all the time.” A few hours later the dealership manager refused to talk to anyone about it. The next day the dealership owner gave a statement to the effect of being very concerned and considering what punishment the mechanic should face.

Oh, for all you who never write down your mileage and note the amount of gas in your car when you take it in for service, you might want to reconsider that….seriously. Mechanics love to “test drive” cards after hours…Jalopnik has more than a few stories about mechanics enjoying others’ rides and the results.

Driving things around here is, of course, the Super Bowl.

There’s no escaping the hype – the number of days and hours down to the minute – are plastered everywhere. Pleeeeeease make it stop.

Apparently, the NFL is concerned about the damaging environmental footprint of the event or maybe the NFL thinks there’s a new market of people who live green.

Everyday there’s a feel good story demonstrating how the Super Bowl is saving Mother Nature.

Sultry dramatic vintage picture of Gloria Swanson.1920 Paramount.(

“Yes. I am the Queen Be. You may come closer. Closer, fool. I am chilled.”(USPD/

First buzz was a pollinator garden created at the Houston Zoo which an NFL spokesman said “would give bees migrating south from Canada for the winter a place to rest.”

Wait. Coach, a review flag? (The NFL focusing on educational outreach and all.)

The thing is that I can’t find information about a bee species from Canada that migrates south through here for the winter.

  • Honeybees stop flying when temps get in low 50’s. Won’t leave the hive.
  • Some bees cluster close around a queen bee to make sure she survives the cold (A really interesting process as the bees rotate positions so none are left on the outside in the cold for too long…and they go outside for potty breaks)
  • Carpenter bees drill holes in old wood, find old nests, or tunnel into the ground to stay warm.
  • Hornface bees remain in cocoons as larvae until spring.
  • And some bees just flat die.

Maybe some expert can fly in with some species information. That would be super sweet. Meanwhile the local bees will be pleased to keep the little garden area buzzing…once it’s warm enough.

Enough flowery talk, right?

Happy trails and boogie on.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

group of teens. Image from Virtuosi of Houston Facebook Page Timeline.

The Smithsonian:  it really is history. Have a classic time, kids. Epic even. Be happy! (Virtuosi of Houston Facebook)








  1. Beth / Jan 20 2017 6:50 am

    As a violist who got jostled/teased on more than one occasion for carrying their instrument on the bus and around the school hallways, it’s moments like these that make it all well worth it. What an amazing opportunity for those students! And how awesome of Cavendar’s to outfit them. I find I’m never more Texan than when I cross the state lines. (Though I’ve yet to find a six shooter (or any gun for that matter) in my console. I need to talk to my car guys and ask them what’s up. 🙂 )

    Also, on my personal slate this year. I’m going to do my best to plant some flowers to help both bees and butterflies. As a person with no green thumb, we’ll have to keep our fingers crossed that this all works out for me.

    That’s your randomness from Beth on this fine Friday. 🙂 Big waves to the Realm from Central Texas!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 20 2017 8:29 am

      Somehow it’s so Texas. Mavericks welcomed. (teased by us but outsiders better watch their steps)
      Hope the bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes go wild in your garden – with all the rain, sometimes spring is all the more glorious. I felt so bad for the bees and monarch stragglers after that last free, I went to Lowe’s and bought a few pots of discounted bedraggled flowers to put in sheltered spots.(their closeouts usually only need new dirt and water – great bargains there). Now that it’s warmed up a lantana is dutifully putting out new leaves…winter usually fades after Valentines and Rodeo, so if we make a few more weeks…I hate to see lone monarchs floating through desperately search (Start migrating earlier next year, dunderflutter.)
      Random rocks ( and we have a few of those left) Thanks for planting a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  2. shoreacres / Jan 20 2017 7:09 am

    Ok. Great about the kids, and stupid about the bees, but… this? ” “Oh, a mechanic took your car home overnight and forgot to remove his gun. Sorry. Mechanics take cars home all the time.” May their business plummet as it should. That’s bad business, bad ethics, bad all around. And that’s even before you get to the loaded gun.

    Happy Day! May all your cars stay properly stabled!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 20 2017 8:32 am

      Now that many of the new fancy sports cars have cameras built in, the mechanics and valets’ antics are much more obvious. You’d think they would just play with the expensive cars, but apparently anything that drives will do ….wonder if pickups left over the weekends double as moving vans?
      Thanks for buzzing over to chat


  3. easyweimaraner / Jan 20 2017 7:31 am

    that’s interesting… we plan to visit Kia next time, I will leave the trunk open… maybe I will find a surprise too?… maybe cat who used it as a litter box LOL


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 20 2017 8:34 am

      Wonder if we can barter: “Dear mechanic, I know you probably will want to drive my car. I’ve left a grocery list in the console, so if you’d please just stop and pick up those items and leave them in the trunk, we’ll call it even.”
      You’re right – all sorts of possibilities! Thanks for loading in that idea

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Kate Crimmins / Jan 20 2017 8:26 am

    Bees migrating? We have a beekeeper next door (that riled up the neighborhood except for me who was gifted with more tomatoes than I could eat!) and they hunker down for the winter. Perhaps they got confused with hummingbirds? Those athletes were never really good a animal stuff. I played piano. Very tough to carry in a parade! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 20 2017 8:40 am

      See now there’s a different point of view. I had to stop with violin lessons and take piano instead as Mom said at parties no one got asked to play the violin, but people always gathered around a piano to sing songs and it would make the piano player popular. Odd logic as 1. people don’t like to sing classical music songs and 2. what universe was she on that at parties people sang songs around the piano …or even had a piano. Generational memories of old Bing Crosby/ Dean Martin I guess. And it is awkward to carry around – the big drum lines get more free transportation.
      Thanks for adding some bee wonder!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ally Bean / Jan 20 2017 8:39 am

    I played violin. Not quite so clunky to drag along as cello, but weirdly shaped. Nice that the kids got some rewards, but the reason why is off-putting. I don’t pay much attention to the NFL until it’s the week before the Super Bowl. Guess I’m just a busy little bee who doesn’t have the time to do so! 😉


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 20 2017 8:46 am

      You are so lucky to not be in ground zero for the Super Bowl. It’s worse than a battleground state during the election. Next I expect the NFL to ask residents to wear different colored t-shirt which the individuals provide themselves and go outside at designated times so that there are colorful patterns that can be seen from planes as they approach for landings. (Don’t laugh. The year the summer olympics were here, the city asked blocks to plant certain color flowers so it would appear pretty from the air.)
      Colorful times to be sure.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ally Bean / Jan 20 2017 8:47 am

        So… which color will you be wearing? Skyblue pink is always a good choice! 😉


  6. sportsattitudes / Jan 20 2017 9:51 am

    The part about the NFL and bees led directly to my head exploding. The loaded Kia? I don’t know much about the car itself but one dealer around here mistakenly got our phone number attached in their data base to someone who had just bought a Kia and it took several conversations to convince them we were not who they thought we were. I guess when I mentioned we were Honda people for 20+ years they finally went into their database and wiped out our number. Who knows if they ever got the correct one? I was starting to think firepower might be the only thing to get them to stop calling. I do keep track of our mileage when our cars are “in” for service…making sure they do not go “out” on the town.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 20 2017 12:15 pm

      The phrase “loaded Kia” has taken on new meaning now.
      What? A huge bunch of steelers are actually physically sick? Conspiracies never end!
      That probably the excuse to the bee buzz off.
      Thanks for hiking a comment over here

      Liked by 1 person

      • sportsattitudes / Jan 21 2017 9:04 am

        Just saw a local Kia TV spot last night where they were advertising “come in for one and leave with two.” All appearances indicate they meant cars and not guns.


  7. colonialist / Jan 20 2017 9:56 am

    I do hope the Houston Zoo will bee getting a better buzz about the other creatures in their care than they have on those insects!
    My recommended response to teasing about carrying a musical instrument is, ‘You’re just jealous because the only thing you can play is the fool.;


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 20 2017 12:20 pm

      While the zoo people seemed amused by the NFL’s event, they are happy to accept any free landscaping/flowers. It isn’t supported financially by the city (probably a good thing). A strong group of zoo fans help raise money for quite a remarkable place of habitats with mixed species in areas as would be in their actual environment. And even better the snake house and a couple of other exhibit areas are air-conditioned so you can go in the summer and not totally melt. The bees here are probably freaking with the wide temperature swings this year and all the rain. But looking forward to a wildly blooming spring with the wild flowers. Won’t be long.
      Sounds like you had a great trip. Thanks for flying in here with a comment


  8. Anne Mehrling / Jan 20 2017 12:19 pm

    I played the bell lyre in the marching band. At least I had a holster to help me lug it around! No one laughed at me, because I could have bopped them into the next kingdom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 20 2017 12:25 pm

      Believe it or not, I played one of those in the girls’ drill team – was so not interested in learning a bugle or lugging a drum around in this heat. Even with all the polishing, it was a cool instrument to play…and since there were fewer of us, we usually got to practice in the shade during summer rehearsals. The drill teams here are a different groups than the band. We did the patterned military marching at half time while playing – they played/marched before the football games. Big competition between the 2…we always won HAHA
      Thanks for ringing a bell with your comment


      • Anne Mehrling / Jan 20 2017 4:36 pm

        Your school must have been lots larger than mine. Band was fun.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 20 2017 5:14 pm

          Each grade 10-12 had over 1,000 kids that graduated each year – other schools in the area were similar… it was like life in a bee hive!
          (and there was just so much room/instruments in the band HA HA. We also had a large orchestra, but I wasn’t much for sitting down all the time)


  9. susielindau / Jan 20 2017 3:47 pm

    I’ll be sure to check my mileage and glove compartment. Wow.
    I can’t even imagine the hype about the Super Bowl. No logic in those rest stops! Ha!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 20 2017 5:10 pm

      It’s coming. It’s coming…I’m sure it’s just like live theater – what is seen from the audience is often quite different from behind the stage (which is why it was always fun to be stage crew or lighting crew (back before all the computers took control.)
      Glad you’re getting back out – it always makes a big difference for me – and for the writing.
      Well, storms about to take out the lights, thanks for slipping a comment this way

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Sarah Ferguson and Choppy / Jan 21 2017 4:00 pm

    I had never heard about mechanics taking cars home – now I am definitely going to check on the mileage!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 23 2017 2:46 pm

      And people thought the car manufacturers were just building cameras in car to take images for Facebook and videos. Maybe in this case technology is our friend. Thanks for driving over to park a comment

      Liked by 1 person

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