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November 11, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Muddling Over Heavy Mental

Armed space woman with trumpet and aliens. (Cover of Planet Stories, MAy 1952 by Anderson) (USPD., artist life/

Call to swarms! It’s the final call. Oh, OK you have two weeks, but it’s setting up for a battle for slim pickin’s. (USPD/

Heavy metal traffic: Turkey pans are flying off the shelves. Is it The End?

(Insert The Door’s song here)

(I am not always sarcastic. Sometimes I’m asleep.)

You’d think the gingers and the leafy greens would be safe, but no. Both at risk. 

The grocery store is sold out of gingerbread mix and warning supplies of celery sticks are “limited”.

I do not need a whole forest of celery branches, but really. “Limited”?

So holiday cookie dough and celery appear to be the new items to hoard.

Speaking of wandering hordes, it’s cool SpaceX is mulling over collecting space litter with Starship, one of their vehicles.

Ironic considering they are pelting up batches of 60 microsatellites as fast as you can blink with their goal being internet access to the entire globe via Starlink, their broadband-beaming constellation.

Yeah, offering to take out the trash sounds quite benevolent …maybe you’ll overlook that currently maybe 1 in 40 of their satellites are tuning out and littering up the skies.(Source)

Mom always said, ” Pick up your own stuff.” So yea.

Astronaut couple in space. Cover of Planet Stories, MAy 1953 (USPD., artist life/

“Hang on, honey. Just let me pick off that one last bit of space litter then we can head off to that little cafe for dining  with the stars.” (USPD/

Anyway, leads to pondering if there’s any chance SpaceX could scale down and create a mask killer drone.

Wearing masks is not just for Mardi Gras or Halloween any more, so there’s year ’round mask litter everywhere.

Why and how? Wind must be filling those blue or yellow pleated masks like sails with those elastic ear loops too weak to anchor the mask on faces. And then it’s mask free flying on the breeze.

Once the thrill of mask wind surfing is done and the little rectangles face that they are far from home with not a clue how to snap back and return, they dejectedly lay limply on the ground: mask orphans.

And who’s going to pick up a downed mask? Cooties! Who know where it has been. At least with dog poo, well, you have some idea what you are dealing with.

Necessity is the mother of invention. Somewhere some techie is working on a mask detecting drone. Wonder if it’ll be retrieval or a zap to incinerate on the spot, masks possibly considered medical waste. Zapping might need a little tweaking considering fire hazard and product liability.

“Free your brain, not your mask.” Now there’s a bumper sticker.

Woman being captured in net by monster. (1949 cover of Planet Stories, Anderson) (USPD, artist life/

“What do I have to say to convince you that the wind ripped off my mask? Do you think I would actually go out in public with blotchy skin and dressed like this if people could see my face?” (USPD/

Other Useful Phrases for these times:

  • Remember when I asked for your honest opinion? Yeah, me neither.
  • My demeanor can be described as “inappropriate with a chance of ruining dinner.”
  • I’ve learned so much from my mistakes that I’m thinking of making a few more.
  • What doesn’t kill you just gives you a lot of unhealthy coping mechanisms and a really dark sense of humor

And with that, time to travel on to more half baked ideas…but they won’t be gingerbread ones…(Or banana nut muffins – also out of stock. Really?This is ridiculous.)

Bananas. Totally bananas.

Time for pedal to the metal in search of reason, reasonable, or reasonable facsimile.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

vintage woman in bed with mask and breakfast in bed (1922 Cover of Universal Weekly with Gladys Walton (, artist life/

“What? I am wearing a mask. A really cute one. They said you had to wear one, but not how to wear it, so there. Attitude? I don’t have an attitude problem. You have a problem with my attitude and that’s not my problem. Caviar or Caveat?” (USPD/


  1. easyweimaraner / Nov 11 2020 6:38 am

    we love the mistakes phrase.. it fits to us somehow LOL

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 11 2020 7:41 am

      The only perfect people are the ones perfectly happy making lots of mistakes, uh, I mean, “learning experiences”. Life is so bland and dull otherwise…and, worse, furniture in the box never gets put together?
      Thanks for bumping into new things with delight!


  2. Maggie Wilson / Nov 11 2020 7:40 am

    During phase one, we learned that the olive orchards in Europe were decimated by some disease or pest and that there’d be a shortage. Hubby bought two gallons of the stuff. Turns out our fears were unfounded. Now I’ll have rancid EVOO on my hands. In other seasonal news, can’t find dried cranberries anywhere.

    Bananas is right.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 11 2020 7:48 am

      Oh, is that why places were limiting how much olive oil you could buy…not some new hyper Mediterranean diet? Oh.
      Dried fruit also got on the grab quick list apparently. How easy people panic and what weirdness results.
      (Wonder if all those going into the stores who saw all the turkey pans going out to pick up grocery slots went in and bought one – maybe more as an investment item to sell on eBay? Can we start a rumor and panic and make money HAHAHA)
      Yep, mush and bananas. Thanks for shopping this place and dropping a comment into this nutty basket

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kate Crimmins / Nov 11 2020 8:04 am

    Good grief! Celery? Fortunately I have a full stalk. It lasts me a while. Gingerbread? It’s on my list now! I have molasses so I could make it from scratch.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 11 2020 10:57 am

      Leaf me outta this! (Do not force me to finally locate and buy a massive bunch (all that is available – feast or famine) and then wander endlessly around the neighborhood trying to find a place for orphan celery which has a shelf life…all our wild bunnies and deer have left!)
      With things as difficult as they have been I foolishly thought the smell of warm gingerbread would spark some holiday decorating motivation…there is little or no motivation to actually holiday cook from scratch at this point… ARRRRG…Apple cinnamon muffin mix will have to do.
      One thing I have missed this fall was fresh batch East TX Ribbon Cane syrup and backstrap molasses. Dad and I use to go the the syrup mill and buy direct…and I got to watch the mule go round and round and the big cast iron kettle bubble on the fire…yep, a mule grinding. It was waaaay back in the woods…probably a moonshine still a little farther down the path. As much fall as football HAHA
      Thanks for cooking up a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  4. sustainabilitea / Nov 11 2020 8:41 am

    I haven’t been shopping this week, so maybe I’ll come across the celery limits on Friday. Who knew? On the other hand, I did finally see a few boxes of Minute Tapioca (used in crockpot recipes for thickening and off the shelf for ages), so I grabbed two. 🙂

    Masks lying on the ground make me really annoyed but I don’t really want to pick them up, either. We have some that our daughter made and some that we bought, so you can bet they aren’t going to end up on the ground!



    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 11 2020 11:03 am

      Grocery pickups are about every 10 days here…and never on weekends – too much out of stock and too much mushy fruits and vegetable ends up given to the pickup lane. It is weird what goes in and out of stock…Zesta crackers are MIA right now…is cold weather and soup season coming? May vary with what kids are in school in person and which ones are going virtual. Celery ends up in a lot of lunchboxes with peanut/almond butter these days.
      One great ting about expensive/handmade masks is that those rarely end up drifting down the street. Fashion knows its’ place.
      Thanks for placing a snazzy comment. Hope it’s sunny warm and everything’s fine out there!


  5. disperser / Nov 11 2020 11:10 am

    Never liked gingerbread, so good riddance. Now, if they start talking Nutella, that’s a different thing altogether; national emergency stuff, even.

    . . . I wonder if they sell 5-gal buckets of Nutella for long-term storage?

    Not that you could actually even test the claim of “long term storage” . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 11 2020 12:30 pm

      If you go to Williamsburg, VA in the winter, I’ll tell you when the colonial kitchen pulls out their gingerbread. Now THAT’s gingerbread…best eaten when still warm and right off the pan. (While you are there, pick up a warm round of bread…and try not to eat it in one sitting perched on a fence rail) The very best part about living there as a kid. What’s on (not on) the local grocery shelves is a shadow of the real thing, but that smell and triggered memories might motivate me enough to get into Christmas.
      (“Long term”…fingers crossed with our supply of Nutella and Vegemite…)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. disperser / Nov 11 2020 11:12 am

    And, yes . . . I’ve seen the change in human-produced garbage. One can now find masks in most parking lots. However, if they’ve been out in the sun for a bit, they’re probably OK to wear . . . but not if they’re on top of doggy-doo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 11 2020 12:36 pm

      Is it a blue surgery mask or a used diaper lumped over there….so not going to look…the latter was bad enough before.
      Spare me your handwringing and wails about the environment until you can pick up your trash, plastic bottles, and litter and for darn sake turn off some of those lights – both business and homes. Restore the dark sky…sadly the dark side of increasing crime may prevent even the smallest efforts.
      (Reclaim grounded masks? Not when so many people have no problem spitting in public. Bring back spittoons.HAHA)
      Thanks for papering this place with a comment


    • disperser / Nov 11 2020 12:58 pm

      Well, I don’t handwring a whole lot . . . and I pick up trash when I can, but parking lots would require me to make a longer time commitment than I feel is reasonable. Besides, most establishments do a decent job of cleaning their grounds (but not on an hourly basis).

      And yes . . . I loathe even contemplating the thought of picking up some things because so many people like to indiscrimenantly spread their saliva (spitting is one of the most disgusting habits . . . worse even than picking one’s nose for a snack) but, luckily, these days we often wear gloves . . . which are another piece of nuveau garbage one can spy in parking lots. Still, while I would pick up plastic bottles and styrofoam cups, anything flat and matted down is left to roam free

      I have, unfortunately, resorted to lighting our outdoors at night, at least until I can find a way to put up some motion-activated lights (this particular house makes it mightly inconvenient to do so because it would require rewiring a number of switches and existing outdoor lighting. it will happen as soon as I can find a good way to do so. Meanwhile . . . sorry, I contribute to light pollution for the sake of safety.

      And yes, all them satellites are going to cause a problem for astronomers (professional and amateurs) . . . on the other hand, we take the internet for granted, whereas many people don’t have access, and if they do, not at sufficient speed to load all the photos I post. I don’t know what the answer is, but I can understand both sides of the argument and, of course, I think everyone should have access to my posts).

      And, you are welcome.

      Liked by 1 person

      • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 11 2020 1:37 pm

        You know I wasn’t talking about you with the handwringing and light glare, right? There are some left who attempt despite odds to help the environment in small ways (which adds up big time if only everyone would…).
        This area used to be really serious about trash with a big campaign of “don’t mess with TX”. Sadly gone – and the place looks terrible. Few big box stores or malls seem to care…the remaining bushes and trees along the perimeter do their best to collect and gather it all, but then it doesn’t leaf.
        We’ve got some cheap individual solar lights from Home Depot a year or so ago for the back yard that surprisingly work well – but we are in a sunny area. Wish I had bought more. The neighbors behind us have some airport bright motion activated lights..which the nocturnal creatures find amusing…the on and off tends to wake me up.
        The ESA is more concerned about all that space junk than just about anyone else. I would really like to go to the big telescope complex in Chile. So much bigger view of not only the sky/universe but mankind’s history and future
        I do agree about your posts…pictures and story contests. We should demand wide access!
        And agreed upon periods of dark sky for migratory creatures as well as human balance?
        Thanks for comments illuminating the dark

        Liked by 1 person

      • disperser / Nov 11 2020 1:47 pm

        Yes, I knew, no worries.

        All our previous homes had motion-activated, and you can tune them to avoid critters triggering them . . . although, my experience with people and technology is that few people bother to learn how to best operate the electronics they buy. In our previous homes, they were more for my convenience if I had to go out after dark or came home after dark.

        But, one comment . . . how about drapes? On a full moon, there’s enough light to make me wonder what’s going on outside if all I have are blinds. Adding drapes also makes it easier to not be awakened by morning light when one chooses to be up until 1 or 2 am (or later).

        Interesting side note . . . some migratory birds modified their flight pattersn to follow stretches of highways. But, yes, some navigate by other clues, including celestial objects. Starlink is “darkening” their satellites, but I doubt they will be completely successful. We’ll see.

        Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 11 2020 2:11 pm

          Audubon is working with Starlink – and with a coalition of massive buildings/structures all around here. A few years ago a there was a huge bird kill when flocks misread/were confused by commercial building lights. The body count was horrendous. Many building/home owners are installing lights that efficiently illuminate just enough beneath them instead of widely spilling lights up and out. …like places around airports do. That’s encouraging.
          Having been lucky enough to grow up and experience real darkness at night…like in one or two light bulbs (and open windows) in the farmhouse and no lights anywhere around, I miss that dense darkness – which has never frightened me even with fields around. We learned the stars and sounds. So rich.
          We have solar screens and blinds, but no drapes as those hold so much dust and in this humid climate, well, it’s like hardwood/tile floors are a better choice than carpet.
          We still stay up late, but once that sun is up…the cat wants food (and gets insistent) and the dog wants out to chase the morning squirrels. Snooze, and you miss the show HAHA!

          Liked by 1 person

  7. The Coastal Crone / Nov 11 2020 12:14 pm

    When I see a mask by the sidewalk, I have a vision of someone throwing it out a car window. I prefer cloth reusable but then I don’t have to wear one every day.

    Shelves in our grocery store are empty on the toilet paper and paper towel aisle. Who knows what will be in short supply for the holidays. Celery? Can’t hoard that but I will need it for my dressing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 11 2020 12:45 pm

      I wonder if the tossed ones are those stores hand out to miffed people saying “You can’t come in without a mask”. (Take your anger with you people!) Geesch we have to learn to live with this virus without trashing the environment more than the plastic bottles, candy wrappers, fast food containers, and diapers do already. A little “hey, lets have some pride in our area” could go along way…teach it to toddlers…those little will drive adults crazy parroting anti litter slogans…insistent persist toddlers manage to change behavior faster than many other ways HAHA
      Maybe people will start having swap meets: we have toilet paper, but paper towels are scarce …and apparently celery.
      Thanks for dropping in a neat comment


  8. Philip Edwards / Nov 11 2020 12:59 pm



  9. Curt Mekemson / Nov 13 2020 5:33 pm

    “What doesn’t kill you just gives you a lot of unhealthy coping mechanisms and a really dark sense of humor.” Laughing, Karen. Words to live by. I too have noticed mask litter. But not the really good ones, or clever ones. Just the cheap, ugly blue ones. I love the creativity that people are putting into their masks! That’s America for you. 🙂 Thanks as always for your humor and sense of sarcasm. Seriously. Grin. –Curt


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