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August 26, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Sound lines

It is the beast of times and the Wordsworth of times.

“A mind forever voyaging through strange seas of Thought, alone.” (William Wordsworth)

(But you are used to that around here, aren’t you?)

A few soundings – just in the lite of sleep

No the dog isn’t settling into normal alarm times – 5:30 am is beginning to feel like 4:30 am with the shorter days’ later sunrises and overcast skies for the last 7 days.

Bleary and blurry: today’s descriptive modifiers.

Soooo a few quick shots below. (No, not Jello shots or those connected to ammo…although the thought has crossed along with lines)

Sleep aid packages. (screenshot: click2houston)

Does that news story tag line seem a bit contradictory? (screenshot: click2houston)

  • Concerned about school kids getting enough sleep, but is this really a good idea? Teaching kids that all answers lie in medications, herbs or pills? Obviously appealing to desperate parents full of wishful thinking. No easy answers for lots of things in life. (Are The Rolling Stones tuning up for an updated “Mother’s Little Helper”? Modifying to stay relevant – revising the old for new profit without risking a new original direction seems to be so common from fashion, to marketing, to some old long debunked  educational excuses)
  • Personally, I’m wishing that the Feds had passed on that college loans forgiveness  (Hey, struggling and doing without is character building. That’s what many of us were told.) and offered instead some of that “available money” to some of the 20 million households who are behind on their utility bills. As a taxpayer, I’d feel a lot better about helping someone keep the lights and heat on rather than financing some college kid’s 4-6 years of entertainment university life.
  • It’s weird 5-6 years is now considered “normal” for college. Maybe if the “loans” stipulated the money could only be spent on math, science, and English rhetoric and mechanics courses, students wouldn’t linger so long? Or how about clearly counseling students on the difference between “college credit courses” that will help you get a job and those courses that are really “leisure time” courses normally taken after you graduate, have a job, and want to learn something just for fun. Dazed first time to be away from home and without-parents-telling-you-what-to-do students might be confused about the long term value of UT offering a course studying the music of Taylor Swift or the TSU course in “Harry Styles and Cult of Celebrity”

But then again, maybe sleep deprivation just dreamily painted an alternative reality. 

Poem by Lewis Carroll. The first letters spell out the name of the little girl that supposedly inspired Alice in Wonderland.

Poem by Lewis Carroll. This acrostic poem found at the end of “Through the Looking Glass”. The first letters of each line spell out the name of the little girl who supposedly inspired “Alice in Wonderland”. Is that form following function? 


“Our meddlesome intellect misshapen the beauteous form of things.” (William Wordsworth)

Dream weaver and dream leave-r

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

rainbow on wall with green palm fronds reaching for it. (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Wake up! Enjoy the surprises waiting around the bend.(© image)



Leave a Comment
  1. SusanR / Aug 26 2022 4:28 pm

    Ah, the sleep deprivation thing. One big reason I’ve not adopted another dog. Yet.
    I agree with you on the student loan forgiveness. Not at all happy about it.
    Love that photo of the rainbow reaching ’round the corner.

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 26 2022 5:36 pm

      Sometimes you just have to choose beauty and happiness. A surprise rainbow helps to keep things charmed. Thanks for commiserating! Have a purrrfect weekend. (If Hank hadn’t showed up it would have probably would have been another cat)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. disperser / Aug 26 2022 4:53 pm

    Well, they could have done both . . . but isn’t that also not teaching people character building? There are a number of programs to help with utility bills (say, how about the energy companies kicking in a bit of money?) but not enough.

    One of the problems — that apparently people are blind to — is that the government doing stuff is always only going to affect some people and not others. A complaint I heard about the loan forgiveness is: “What about the people who paid back their loans? It’s not fair to them!”

    . . . but, instituting Social Security wasn’t fair to all the elderly who struggled in poverty before it came online . . . still a good idea, though, as I don’t think living and dying in poverty offers much of a life lesson.

    I have misgiving about the program not because debt forgiveness is a bad idea (there are excellent economic arguments for it), but because we’re not changing the message and not going after the real culprits (universities). Not everyone needs to go to college, and certainly not go 300-400K in debt for a degree.

    But, no one bitched about PPP ($4 cost to taxpayers for each $1 of benefit), corporate subsidies and tax breaks at a time of record profits (especially to energy companies who then sell their product oversea for a larger profit — part of why natural gas prices are higher), and other programs we pay for and for which we get no direct benefit. Heck, people praised Trump’s tax break to the rich because of the summarily disproven trickle-down-theory (Here’s a thought . . . give the money directly to people).

    And here’s what grates me . . . hearing people say the government should do something, but that would mean forcing companies to not be greedy, not screw the consumers, and be responsible stewards of conscionable capitalism (as opposed to predatory capitalism).

    . . . but that would be socialism/communism. That’s the definition of government dictating to companies. So, energy companies ship our natural gas overseas, prices double or triple here at home . . . perhaps the government should take over the companies?

    OR . . . people and shareholders should pressure the companies and hold them responsible instead of putting all the blame on governments.

    We have a free market system where companies buy politicians (Trump famously bragged about it when he was running) to enact favorable laws and rules and to make sure any cost is passed on to the consumers . . . and then, we are surprised when governments are no longer “for the people” . . . but we keep voting the same corrupt politicians into office.

    Anyway . . . no easy answers until everyone gets together and actually talk about stuff.

    Liked by 3 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 26 2022 5:33 pm

      That was one of my main points: higher ed raising tuition (and some just hiked up again this week). That’s the real problem. Some are sitting on huge endowments. Of course it is the responsibility of the student/parents to make sure course selection is purposeful towards a goal not just entertainment. Far too many show up as freshmen because colleges now offer remedial classes (not their original function), have slacked off on the entry requirements, and do not hold performance requirements firm. All of this to build student population – which means more instructors/teachers – for profit. (Not the most instructors/professor make huge amounts at most schools) A little reform there would go a long way. Pres. Obama was right about encouraging community colleges to cut expenses – with transferring later.
      Certainly now, it’s wiser to learn a skill or trade or start your own business. Actually it always has been for most people. Taxes and regulations are crippling that. (Natural gas prices are high due to new regulations and a gov. that wants its’ use to go away – before alternatives are ready. I worry about Europe this winter – the US could gear up natural gas production and keep send it over seas to help, but no…solar/wind – great adjunct but right now, well, it’s going to be a dark cold winter for so many..those darn heat pumps that Biden cheerfully talks about hardly work – not sufficient. So the coal plants are coming out of mothballs – great. So wrong direction)
      And as you say, there are misgivings – not only for this “grant” but for medicare, social security. (A start on the last would be not taxing anyone over 70 if they still work – and so many do now. And quit expanding who is eligible for medicare and SS. Let people opt. out and plan for their own retirement. Massive bureaucracies are inefficient and easily spend money foolishly)
      Everyone bitched about the PPP…and corporate subsidies/tax breaks. And the government actually getting into the pharm business: especially when so many of the decision makers, politicians, agency leaders own stock in the anointed companies.
      People come to DC not always wealthy, but by the time they leave they are millionaires. We need term limits badly.A period of Public service as it was intended not a lifelong career.
      Maybe if we tried solving problems here instead of sending money/men/weapons and military gear – telling others how to run their country…Lots of kids could have paid tuition – lots of poor could have housing/utilities. mental health facilities could be built – for the price of a couple of missiles.(all that just supports not only the military complex, but also those who planes/manufacture equipment )
      So many are just oblivious to what goes on outside their block. Or too busy. Too lazy.
      When any organization gets too big, it get corrupt. Practically, working local/local control is about the only thing you can have any effect on. Do what you can.
      And try to stay zen HaHa
      Appreciate you plugging in

      Liked by 4 people

      • SusanR / Aug 26 2022 6:09 pm

        Term limits. Absolutely. When you examine causes, effects, solutions … so often it comes down to term limits. No more would-be millionaires in Congress selling themselves to corporations and other dark money. Just a bunch of citizens working part-time for the good of the nation instead of themselves. Term limits for sure, for both Congress and SCOTUS.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. shoreacres / Aug 26 2022 6:15 pm

    The problem is that handing out goodies makes children want more goodies. Combine that with the remarkable naiveté of youngsters (and yes, I include 40 and 50 year olds in that category), and you get things like the newest addition to the Los Angeles City ballot in 2024: a proposal that at 2 p.m. every afternoon, hotels that have empty rooms make them available to the homeless. Let’s see: shall I make that vacation trip to LA or schedule that conference, and risk rooming with some of the 60,000 homeless now roaming the streets? If the homeless in LA were, for example, down on their luck families or individuals it would be one thing. But other policies, including a refusal to prosecute criminals and a willingness to set up drug buying zones means that the homeless are less romantic than some people think.

    Really, I can’t stand it.Bit by bit the constitution is being ignored or shredded. And consider this. The latest polls pre-college loan forgiveness showed 90% of college age voters wanted nothing to do with Biden. Anyone who thinks this wasn’t vote buying also is naive.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Spinster / Aug 26 2022 7:09 pm

    For kids, things like (guided) meditation, reading, and white/pink/brown noise before bed can help without necessarily having to use medication. Over-the-counter melatonin can also be used, and is only meant for short-term use. (Melatonin naturally occurs in the body.) Drinking warm milk can also help; add chocolate and that’ll probably make one happy kid.

    Re: loan forgiveness, mixed feelings. No comment otherwise; a few others above expressed some of my thoughts about it fairly well.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Helen Devries / Aug 27 2022 3:15 pm

    Re sleep assistance for children. Husband’s grandmother used a teaspoon of kummel. Mine used whisky. Both worked.
    Looking at Europe, where national governments have bought into the U.S. government’s scheme to ruin their industries and bankrupt their cold and hungry citizens, we are thanking our lucky stars we moved to Costa Rica in an area where we need neither heating nor air conditioning.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ally Bean / Aug 31 2022 1:03 pm

    I didn’t know that undergrad lasted so long now. I come from a different time when we got our degrees in 4 years. And majored in pragmatic subjects– while no one worried if we were having fun as we learned.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. cindy knoke / Sep 8 2022 2:04 am

    “It’s weird 5-6 years is now considered “normal” for college. Maybe if the “loans” stipulated the money could only be spent on math, science, and English rhetoric and mechanics courses, students wouldn’t linger so long?”
    I really could have lingered forever as a student of science and rhetoric.

    Liked by 2 people

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