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April 24, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Concrete and leveling

The Mounties always get their man. Annie Oakley musically got her gun. And Sophie happily got her sidewalk.

Remember the little girl who wrote Houston’s mayor asking for his help to get her sidewalk to school fixed? (Original post here)

Only to have the Debbie Downer Public Works and Engineering Department respond with “Sure. In a couple of months.”

Surprise: “Bumpy Sidewalk fixed after 8-yr-old girl writes letter to Mayor” 

Mayor Turner met with Sophie and wanted her to know even the smallest hand can move government.

She may have also learned “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

Might be a hint for parents in other neighborhoods: get that child some stationary and put the tv station on speed dial.

Large flood gauge sign in front of house. (click2houston)

I don’t think it’s planted in Miracle-Gro. (click2houston)

How would you feel if you woke up one morning to find this in your front lawn?

Talk about curb appeal for anyone trying to sell a house.

The new house on the right is built up (probably constructed after the last big flood), while the older one story home on the left sits at what used to be the normal building height in the area. So what has changed? How did this happen?

This is one of the neighborhoods where small houses on large grassy lots are being by oversized houses crowding out green space or by rows of townhouses. The city/county haven’t improved flood water management all along the watershed as residential density has grown.

Easier to put up signs and shrug, “Consider yourself warned?”

Flood signage causing mixed emotions in SW Houston Neighborhood (Video/article)

Officials are silent about who ordered the signs put up and why they aren’t on the median instead of by someone’s front door or in their yard.

“Important to remember, ” one city official said, “that it’s a $200 fine to remove or destroy a sign.”

Seems unfair it’s fine for the city/county to punish someone for trying to protect their home’s value (and it’s feelings).

Yellow sign in street median showing possible water height in floods (Click2houston)

Not the HOA’s Yard of the Month award. (Click2houston)

So maybe letter writing should be back style for school curriculums. They are supposed to be preparing students for real life experiences, right?

Speaking of schooling, the Flight Attendants’ Union and a certain American Airline person needs to replace Bart Simpson at the blackboard with an assignment to write 100 times: “Don’t mess with distressed moms in Texas or threaten those who step in to help them.”  

President of flight attendants association supports employee and threatens man (and others) who stepped in to assist crying mom.

Exactly who was the one with “air rage” and out of control, Mr. Union President?

Didn’t his mom ever tell him “if you keep shaking’ that finger in people’s faces, it might end up getting’ bitten off?” The level-headed might think that’s something worth writing down and remembering.

Y’all travel on friendly now. Letterhead worthy idea.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge




  1. Kate Crimmins / Apr 24 2017 7:24 am

    With that sign, I’d be so tempted to ink inches over the feet part. Do they have cameras? Can I borrow a hoodie?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 24 2017 8:28 am

      Where are the graffiti artists and art cars with a sense of humor and rebel drivers when you need them? How about painting a huge flower on a stem?
      At this time the police don’t have cameras in the neighborhoods/have to have permission to peek into yours. Hoodies: yes, appropriate year round.
      Thanks for seeing a sign and commenting

      Liked by 1 person

  2. easyweimaraner / Apr 24 2017 7:29 am

    Phenny has to write a letter to our mayor today… we have a damaged manhole cover and maybe all the empty houses around us are not because people moved…. ;O)))

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 24 2017 8:30 am

      Phenny – be careful! Wholes can bring scary clowns! (Shiver, you’ve started a very scary horror story there) Paw waves for a happys day


  3. robstroud / Apr 24 2017 10:23 am

    I live in an area prone to (minor) earthquakes. Our home/building construction takes that into consideration.

    I hate to confess that the tall foundation on the new house in your pictures seems like it should be required for people building in flood zones.

    In the same way, I wouldn’t consider building a home in a tornado-prone area without including a shelter in the plans.

    Of course, I realize people still occupy the older homes… but it seems foolish to allow any additional construction that is almost certain to prove obsolete in the near game.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 24 2017 3:26 pm

      After hurricane Ike and another spring flood, the national flood maps for this area were redone (elevations determined by plane data/GSP). After some 18 months past Ike, the city/county came up with new elevation requirements for building codes and permits for new construction. The odd thing is that many of the areas now “flood prone” NEVER flooded when I was growing up. Many of the “flood prone areas are no where near any water source. – This is a fairly recent problem caused by city’s/Harris county neglecting flood control measures to keep up with increased density and allowing the massive building projects of huge houses and 3-4 story townhouses covering almost all the lot. There are lawsuits over funds/projects promised that vanished in thin air over the past few years. Bike trails are great, but pot holes repaired and flood water control first?
      Realistically, it’s the flat coastal plains (even though Houston is 50+ miles inland from Gulf) – if it rains hard enough and long enough in any location it will flood. Only fools and newcomers do not carry flood insurance. House hunters – Buyers beware – do as we do/did – go out and look at the area you are interested in during a flood to see just how bad it gets. This house is built to Florida hurricane construction standards – cost more, but paid off.
      Sadly many older people cannot rebound from the floods – leaving damaged homes ghosting lovely, desirable, close-in neighborhoods…also there are developers who have far too much influence at city hall and have been known to do things to force residents to feel, move in at bargain prices, and build expensive homes in a “revitalized zone” with some tax breaks. Far too much influence on city projects.
      Earthquakes are spooky – hurricanes you have warning and take precautions. Everyone does need to build to survive the threats in their area.
      Thanks for shaking lose a comment


  4. Ally Bean / Apr 24 2017 11:54 am

    Are those gauge signs for real? What’s the point? I’m confused by this.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 24 2017 3:32 pm

      Yep, those are real signs. We are used to seeing them on roadways – especially along older roads with underpasses or dips beneath RR tracks. But never have any been in neighborhoods. Given the flat land, things flood if it rains in one spot long enough and hard enough. ALL places flood – and this area has had 2-5 feet of water in homes during hurricane/spring floods on occasion. Not every day. So what’s with the signs? No one will fess up to ordering them put out there. Are they working with some developer to lower older home prices/drive people out so they can pick up lots in the area for a song, then build a huge house (built up) and make a ton of money. It’s Houston. Developers have far too much influence. In any case, home buyers do your homework and beware…but the signs are needless scare. Maybe they should dress them up like seasonal scarecrows? It could become a thing – a tourist attraction! Thanks for paddling and muddling along

      Liked by 1 person

  5. sustainabilitea / Apr 24 2017 3:41 pm

    That definitely wouldn’t do much for your property values! Ouch!



    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 24 2017 4:19 pm

      Totally weird. We’ve never had those gauges in the middle of subdivisions. Along major low roads prone to flooding in spots or by underpasses or RR underpasses where it always floods and most people stop before driving in over their heads water. Someone’s got a cranky clown attitude that needs a little adjustment. Thanks for pounding in a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Amy / Apr 24 2017 4:08 pm

    THose signs invite a sledge hammer at midnight.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 24 2017 4:16 pm

      If it was Christmas, red and white paint for candy canes? Skinny gingerbread man? Halloween spooks? Then there’s always clowns – for any season! Thanks for signing in.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Glen available / Apr 24 2017 4:46 pm

    As far as the air rage goes, this seems the way things go these days – take offence, over-react, blame, try to make someone else responsible. Hot heads the both of them I say.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 24 2017 6:00 pm

      Actually not an air rage incident at all…The rageaholic was the company’s flight attendant. Calling it an air rage incident is simply a deflection by the union which is showing bad judgement at a time when the industry is full of bad publicity. I’m sure American Airlines just wants it to all quietly go away.
      The mom with on twin in arms and another in a car seat at her feet was trying to do what the gate agent told her: “Take the stroller on and try to find a spot for it. If you can’t we’ll check it.” (Common practice – seen it many many times). Another business woman who tried suggest to the flight attendant that his his behavior was unnecessary and totally out of control was also rudely shouted at by the him – she left her name and statement with the company. The pilot, who looked horrified at the flight attendant’s rage was trying to pull him back and get him to calm down, but the angry little man broke free and kept it up. No one except the union is suggesting the man/woman who tried to help did anything wrong. Maybe it’s just here, but we tend to stand up for the those who need a bit of help. Sometimes you have to one brave enough to say “enough is enough.”
      Strongly suggest that flight attendant find another career. He doesn’t seem to have good judgement, any compassion, certainly not able to handle people in a crisis, or realize that he is the face of the company to the paying customers. Bad business practice.
      But like you say, people these days all seem on edge and easy to trigger…good reason to stay clear of them? HAHA
      Thanks for packing up a comment to leave.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Littlesundog / Apr 25 2017 5:04 am

    I would be getting to the bottom of who ordered those signs and why. I could see them on a major thoroughfare where it might make a point about how quickly flooding can happen and at what point the depth is beyond safe, but I find signage completely ridiculous in a residential area.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 25 2017 8:08 am

      It is very suspicious. Not trying to drive people out of the area? (so others can swoop in buy distressed properties, and make a fortune ?)This is a lovely close in neighborhood. It does flood and we all know it. But seriously, those signs when there are low streets that could use a bit of marking? Pitchfork and a march that actually means something hands-on solvable locally. Thanks for wasting into the comment pool

      Liked by 1 person

  9. sportsattitudes / Apr 28 2017 9:19 am

    I think it’s hysterical no one wants to claim where the signs came from. Outer space perhaps? They remind me of an instance several years ago when I was offered the opportunity to relocate for a job in Virginia. When doing research on the area in question I came across their real estate tax structure. There were two rates levied for property tax…the mosquito zone and the non-mosquito zone. Indeed the town was on the “bay” and as such had such an issue with the critters there were actually two different taxes involved whether you were “in the zone” or not. Didn’t move there but always thought that was one heck of a chamber of commerce moment. What a way to get people excited about living there. This was before West Nile. God knows what’s going on there now. Those Houston water level signs simply don’t measure up to me.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 1 2017 9:23 am

      Tax structuring and city service fees are always fun. In some places homeowners who have a pool get second meters as the pool water goes into the main storm drains not into city sewer lines going to the sewage plant for filtering. (So pool owners pay for water used, but not sewage water treatment). But not here – you get water? You get to pay for sewage treatment for pool water even if the water exits to your lawn or garden instead of sewage lines. (Neighbors have pools, not us)
      Moving always has so many little snags to consider.
      Summer is coming. I’m really interested on how they stop mosquitoes from entering those special zones..guess the no-zone people can’t water outside, use outdoor pet watering bowls, plant coasters, no way have any nooks/crannies/old tires/gutters/low spots in yards. Sounds delightful.(Several parts in S. TX now on do not travel lists due to zika mosquitoes in the area…..going to be a long itchy summer)
      Thanks for leveling a comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. kourtneyheintz2 / May 1 2017 12:29 pm

    I don’t understand why they can’t put the signs at intersections or medians rather than in someone’s yard. It’s just so inconsiderate. Decreasing property value hurts the town/city too in the long run. Sigh. No one thinks long term anymore. It’s all instant gratification.



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