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September 15, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Garbage and distinct frabble

Woman in weird costume. Christine Welford. 1921 Broadway musical still. The Tatler mag, Aug, 1921 (, artist life/

Oh, fabjous day. Maybe things are picking up. Oh, things yes, but not the piles of storm debris?(USPD/

She spoke with authority as the head of trash Refuse Collection Department. (So it wasn’t rubbish – what she said, not the piles which could have been binned.)

“We are exhausted. And Ewww, the smell! It’s terrible.”

Well, yeah. It’s storm garbage shake and bake. (Bound to have been mentioned in the job interview: “Have any trouble managing odoriferous materials?”)

Grab the requisition slip pad: Please send crop dusters with large spray tanks of Fabreeze.

(“Did anyone get back to you about Burning Man type fire events? We’ve got some great flammable stuff. What? They wouldn’t consider a bonfire carrying barge anchored off shore? Think of the tourists coming to watch from the sea wall. Toss in a few firework for punctuation. No? Oh, well, next…What if contestants were loaded onto a barge load of storm stuff as part of a reality show? All sorts of possibilities there… “)

(“Has anyone organized the neighborhoods to go in and adopt neutered storm displaced cats? We’re going to need a battalion of them. Roaches are just the training appetizers…”)

Oh, balderdash. Scoop up the trash.

Is this like Where’s Waldo for FEMA?

Knowing how it goes from past experiences, the Mayor of Houston has proposed a 9% property tax increase to pay for getting the job done ourselves. Awkward: the people who got hurt, get whacked in the wallet next. (Street views video)

Asking for residents’ patience. Truth is, residents don’t want to be patients.

If you’ve got a truck, a front end loader, a highway department dirt hauler, maybe a mule and a wagon, a you’re hired.

Ready to transcend the experience.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Showgirl in peacock costume. 1922. Pub. still of Mae Murray in Peacock Alley flim. Metro Pict/ Film Fun mag/USPD., artist life/

Just tell me what you want. A sacrificial maiden perched to the top of the pile? (USPD/

“Frabble”: an archaic, said to be obsolete, word.

(Depending on your style or how many beer cans there are at your feet)

As a noun: confused or wrangling. As a verb: to bicker or to wrangle.

It’s like a Where’s Waldo word! 


Spotted in A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles, by James Murray, (1888-1933) in a discussion of English philosopher Henry More (1614-1687) who “could not swallow that hard doctrine”of his Calvinist parents.

“More believes that moral ideas are innate in us. When we are born, we possess already the moral character that shapes our actions for the rest of our lives.” (source).

“But souls that of his own good life partake,
He loves as his own self; dear as his eye
They are to Him: He’ll never them forsake:
When they shall die, then God himself shall die:
They live, they live in blest eternity.”
Henry More

This passage chosen by transcendentalist author Ralph Waldo Emerson as epithet for his remarkable “The Over-Soul” (WIKI or try the Cliff Notes as a refresher..but you really need to read Emerson if you haven’t). He said stuff like “Bad times have a scientific value. These occasions a good learner would not miss”, “Every wall is a door”, and “It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can be stupid with them.”

Woman in costume. 1922. Actress Betty Compson in film The Green Tenptation/Paramount still fopr Film Fun 1922 (USPD., artist life/

Some believe people are born good and that goodness directs their actions. Disputed by modern thinkers who say environment is what impacts behavior. It the last is true, those piles of trash need to be gone ASAP or people could become so trashy!(USPD/



  1. easyweimaraner / Sep 15 2017 6:27 am

    I hope there is a solution… I feel with the people, the smell is awful… we had it only once and I still have this smell in my nose… think it lasts forever…

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 20 2017 11:11 am

      As long as we have our prevailing winds off the Gulf, it’s fine, but as fall arrives, the winds switched to the north – normally welcomed and dry, but this year may prove stinky. They hope to clear all the rubbish in 2 months.
      Smells are weird. You can wash them off your hands, but all those tiny little nose hairs seem to be reluctant to relinquish them! Probably nose hair revenge for getting poked in smelly situations HAHA
      Thanks for digging up a trashy remark


  2. Kate Crimmins / Sep 15 2017 6:59 am

    A problem with disasters (notwithstanding anything Emerson said) is that people move on. There’s always another. Yet recovery takes years, is expensive, and takes a lot of effort. It takes more than the $10 donation you do on your phone. Just ask the folks who haven’t recovered from Sandy yet. Of course there is FEMA. The stories of stupidity are still emerging from that storm.

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 20 2017 11:25 am

      I guess we forget that real life is actually grappling with the environment’s efforts to get rid of us. People get busy with their work/home routines and forget that’s only life’s overcoat.
      Don’t get me started on FEMA or Big Business Red Cross’ public face vs to the reality (Insert frowns face here). Enough of those two taking credit for what the state and local groups, restaurants, volunteers did 3-4 days before those high profile official rescuers arrive….they did get those phone banks up quickly – even before Irma got close to land….wonder if it would have been more helpful to have all those people out in the neighborhoods actually doing hands-on help – or where were the food and water trucks after the streets were drivable (our local school lunches and breakfast look miles better than the tiny fruit cups and granola bars handed out after the Red Cross took over – pictures all over local social media …and the piles of donations tossed in the trash by them…One reason officials were determined to move people out of the shelters as fast as possible. At least more of it is hitting the national news this time.
      It’s a busy town now (and there goes the busiest little one waking up)
      Thanks for stopping in to chat

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kate Crimmins / Sep 20 2017 12:17 pm

        I’ve never been in a disaster like that. We had a lot of people go down to help. Many vets went down to help with the animals. It usually is the local pizza guy who is feeding the crowds. Fruit cups and granola bars. Yuk! Not a fan of either.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 21 2017 10:03 am

          This is getting less and less fun to deal with as years go by. But there’s always something. Tornado Alley, unexpected sink holes, and earthquakes…
          It is what it is. The big rodeo association here is sending money to help with the larger displaced livestock. Even cows get the blues. (:

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Littlesundog / Sep 15 2017 7:11 am

    Hmm, this is the first time I have seen the word “frabble”. I see one cannot even Google it with any success. I like the way it sounds and rolls off the tongue.

    I had not thought about the smells that must come with the receding water and the stench of what rots in the sun after a hurricane, until I saw some Facebook talk from linemen from Oklahoma mentioning it. They were not complaining, but rather indicating that they dealt with a lot of discomfort during their stint in helping reconstruct and repair distribution lines. This after some neighborhood people complain about them not doing the job fast enough or getting to certain areas quick enough (there is always protocol about what areas get service first – military, hospitals, medical facilities and food services are first – then residential neighborhoods). Those same fellas were headed back down after spending a weekend back here with family. I think it must take some tough skin to volunteer to go into such a mess, and work hard in difficult conditions. Thankfully, I think the appreciative folks must be in greater numbers than the ungrateful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 18 2017 9:16 am

      Some people have a fine appreciation of words’ sounds as well as meanings. It
      Frabble’s a great word – and was delighted it is actually a word. (Note to self, must find other archaic words…)
      If we get a north wind now, we can smell Houston. All that trash and water is a serious health hazard.Sadly they have started giant military planes spraying for mosquitoes.No choice with this climate, left over flood water hiding everywhere, and multiple mosquito borne diseases that we fight even under normal conditions. Bees go home at night and keepers are covering hives. They are posting nightly locations of spraying. We don’t use pesticides on the lawn and hope our little garden helpers are ok – they are supposed to be.
      People new to this area always complain after a storm about the power. Unreasonable expectations. Guess they missed everyone saying “Be prepared to be without power/water for a week” A week would be optimistic considering the ones we’ve been through. Some areas were so damaged, it’s going to be a while. We appreciate all the help. I know that just before Irma hit Florida our area sent linemen to stage just outside the state so they could move in quickly. It’s very dangerous work. I know it pulled people from here and slowed things for some, but emergency repairs have to come first – comfort and convenience later. I think Florida’s lines were more damaged than ours – we’ve had more recent storms and repairs which helped limit damage. Hope wherever they are, the linemen/repair groups are treated well and have good breakfast buffets. Can’t thanks them enough.
      Hope the weather is settling into fall there. Deer on the move shortly here – and the birds are back – finally!
      Thanks for stacking in a comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Carrie Rubin / Sep 15 2017 7:17 am

    I imagine the clean up after storms like this takes months if not longer. Frustrating for all parties, I’m sure. I just read yesterday how many billions in debt FEMA is. That doesn’t inspire much hope for people who lost everything. 😳


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 17 2017 4:35 pm

      Houston is very uneven right now. Some streets fine, and a block over shoulder high piles and piles line the curbs. Most would have been happy if FEMA only came in with highway dept road graders and shoved it all down the center of the streets to be picked up by giant gravel trucks or dirt haulers. The state and locals can manage the rest – just get the darn trash out. It’s a health hazard the longer it goes and gets darn depressing.
      The biggest shelter here closed yesterday with remaining people moving to transitional housing/hotels/some smaller shelters. We learned from Katrina, people need to get out of those giant warehouses as soon as possible for many reason. Like the Mayor said it with his “You need a clean quiet room with your own bathroom before you can even begin to feel normal again.” Schools are feeding kids 3 meals a day and giving parents time and space. School uniforms were handed out free ( along with shoes) – all local donated funds. Maybe FEMA should off people who often face disaster (earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, forest fires, tornadoes, giant sink holes, tsunamis, earth slides, wind storms) a chance to buy into a disaster relief emergency fund – buy it if you want help after the event – or don’t but don’t expect any money. Like health insurance if everyone bought in, maybe it would stay funded?
      You know the worst? (Oh, don’t count the looters and scammers) It’s the traffic. Horrendous with some roads closed/damaged and all the extra people in town – really really horrendous – you cannot imagine.And with Irma, you do have to watch for gas stations. I’d head for the mountains, but they have those rock slides, you know. Always something HAHA
      (For some reason your blog will not let me “like” your posts. Insert Frowns Face here. Thoughts on the study of obesity in children in the UK? Sigh. Where are we going wrong?)
      Thanks for gathering up a comment to pile in here


      • Carrie Rubin / Sep 17 2017 5:46 pm

        I think your idea for FEMA funding is an interesting one worth pondering. As for the traffic, that must be miserable. Your whole life must be turned around right now. (Sorry about the ‘like’ button. Not sure why it doesn’t work for you. Maybe it would from a mobile device?)


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 18 2017 8:58 am

          The “like” thing is weird – I can like from Reader if I spot your post, but normally I go with email notices and if I try from that, no luck. One of the unexplained glitches of the Universe. Always enjoy your posts – the plastics designs was a great refresher course. Thanks

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Curt Mekemson / Sep 15 2017 10:36 am

    Yuck. Other ideas Phil: Make art. Check out my post where the folks in Bandon, Oregon turn ocean trash into art…
    Or how about power generation. Sounds like you have enough of the stuff to light up Houston, for years!
    Or another thought… very, very long term. When the 1964 Tsunami took out Kodiak, Alaska, it took out a popular bar. The ocean turned it into sea glass and my daughter-in-law turned it into jewelry when our son was stationed there with the Coast Guard. Of course that was 50+ years later.
    But I don’t think the adage to make lemonade when given lemons applies here… –Curt


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 17 2017 4:06 pm

      We have lots of art and found art, but I also thought of the energy producing capability. (While they are supposed to be sorting/grouping trash, serious filtering would have to be done as some stuff created bad stuff when incinerated. Barge it off someplace that has it up and running?) Sea glass is very cool, but we have a very shallow coastal shelf which is muddy from river silt even in a good year – no rocks to pound and smooth….so we could barge it to the Pacific NW? Oh, they’d never go for it.
      Maybe we can park it by the Burning Man stuff? Seriously the new attendees are giving us a bad name.
      (But yea – the bikes found a home
      We should be able to make something out of the mess…and then go out and lasso that floating island of trash in the Pacific and fix that, too…someday, a solution will be found and we’ll think “what took us so long?”
      Thanks for trucking over with a comment


      • Curt Mekemson / Sep 17 2017 8:42 pm

        Yeah, left over Burning Man bikes are always a problem. And they even have an easy way of disposing of them on the way out. Entrepreneurs are more than glad to take them off your hands, clean them up, and resell them to Burners the next year. Everyone wins. But some Burners just can’t be bothered, sad. I finally have a bike that is good enough that I can bring it home, clean it up and take it back the next year.
        I’ve written on that great dump that is growing in the Pacific, basically plastic sludge. Put a one or two dollar recycling charge on every plastic bottle and the majority of the problem would be solved immediately. It might even help the homeless.
        I understand how the toxic stuff off the coast might really be a problem. Scary how much our industrial society produces and doesn’t properly dispose. It makes the Burning Man bike problem appear teeny-tiny trivial in comparison. Always enjoy the conversation. –Curt


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 18 2017 8:57 am

          Nothing is as good as a trusty bike! “Foster Homes for Wheels”…hmmm, doesn’t have the emotional appeal as rescue animals, but it’s a start? HAHA (Burning Man has always been incomprehensible to some)
          Can we also eliminate plastic bags? Those drive me crazy – blow everywhere and get stuck in trees, bushes, fences, and live animals.Far too much is “disposable”. Everything upstream – Houston and beyond- washes down to the lake and Bay before the Gulf. The migrating sludge pile should be making people sit up and consider. Always happy when the refurbish, regime, reuse becomes trendy again. That everything goes in cycles is always offering hope, right? Hasta later


          • Curt Mekemson / Sep 18 2017 10:22 am

            Laughing. My 10,000 mile bike ride around North America, certainly taught me that.
            As for plastic bags, a shopping bag is really easy to carry and store. Some communities, like Carmel, now require that you have one when shopping. California, in general, is doing a lot to require shopping bags you can use again and again. How about Texas?


          • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 18 2017 1:38 pm

            Varies city by city and by neighborhood within those. Most grocery stores here ask if you brought bags, some charge extra for plastic ones, but many stores of all sorts ask “Do you need a bag?” Who needs more stuff to throw out?
            The lobby group for plastic bags is much too strong nationally. Shame.

            Liked by 1 person

  6. Ally Bean / Sep 15 2017 10:58 am

    I’ve been wondering and worrying about you, so first of all I’m glad that you’re ok. Secondly, if the past is anything to go by, it’s going to take years for this hurricane mess to be gone entirely. While getting rid of the trash is top priority, how do you get rid of the anxiety and depression that come with anyone who lives through such an event? No answer, more of a hypothetical question. Stay safe, stay tidy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 17 2017 3:50 pm

      We had been enjoying the fact that all the old boats in the wrong places were gone and the place was back to normal after the last one. I’m not sure how those totally flooded out manage – but the schools are back in session(some relocated or combined) with dinner now being served to students in addition the the established breakfast and lunches. Pets are being transported back as owners are found and get settled. They moved all the evacuees out of the big shelter yesterday into transitional housing or smaller shelters (like the mayor says “Until you have a clean room with 4 walls, your own bed and a bathroom, you can’t begin to feel normal.”) About 300 of the ones yesterday were street people/homeless before the storm, so now some of those are actually merging back into society. Two of my favorite stories are a reporter on the first night of the city shelter running up to a man sweeping the floor asking where he had evacuated from and why did he decide to help only to be told by the man holding the broom that he was homeless but sought shelter from the storm – and realized lots needed to be done and he could help, too. In the pet rescue area as volunteers were trying to dry off dogs that were being brought in and worrying over the matted hair on some. One said, “We sure could use a groomer,” when a man over on the side spoke up and said “I used to be one.” He stepped in for the duration. Turned out he was homeless from losing his job and was really rather lost. He made it on tv interview and hopefully someone out there hired him. It was a terrible event, but so many discovered how much people have in common and that all work is honorable and if we all work together…the best came out in so many. Hope it holds – that’s the real cure even if the structures are too damaged to save. People stepped up. Something important emerged. Let’s hope it continues ( easier if the tv/news/politics stays far far away…)Thanks for scooping up a comment to add

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ally Bean / Sep 18 2017 8:03 am

        Wonderful stories of humanity at its best. Thanks for sharing them. I like the mayor’s definition of normal.


  7. RAB / Sep 15 2017 11:18 am

    You’re in my thoughts, Phil.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 17 2017 3:34 pm

      Cool – I mean, think some cool this way? HAHA
      We’re back to 90’s and humid which is a bit uncomfortable for so many. But, hey, it’s the semi-tropics. We’re just pretending it’s a new unscripted real reality show. Thanks for piling a comment into this bin


  8. LordBeariOfBow / Sep 17 2017 11:11 pm

    That’s what I usually post o my page.

    😈 🐻


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