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June 22, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Wool pulled over eyes

Good intentions ripped away.

Forget “Welcome” or even “Good buy”. Totally jerked out from under foot.

Now a suspicious attempt to pull the wool over my eyes?

No permissions granted. All rights reserved. Copyrighted.

Fringe ideas can cause trouble ©

They stood like teenagers in front of parents who had unexpected returned home early to find chaos in the house and kids scrambling frantically over fences and through flowerbeds.

Only they, The German and Molly Malamute, couldn’t manage the lock on the door fast enough.

Trapped at the seam of the grime.

“Well,” called the Realm’s RC Cat as she smugly retreated with carefully paced regal steps, “what did you expect?

Leaving Half Staff in charge while you hop off to enjoy the Dumping of Tea and The Night of the One Two Lanterns.

Knowing full well, that Half Staff is only half trained – marginally prepared. Luckily for Ourselves, the half he did learn is Our half.

The canine corralling? Remedial work obviously required.

We have heard Half Staff referred to as “Better Half”, but after this fiasco, some rethinking might be in order with that.

We shall leave you to it.”

The German shifted uneasily. “I was framed.”

“Hard to frame when there’s proof in the poop, ” Molly snapped.

“Just FYI, there was a scrap of evidence discovered under the couch,” a smooth voice of purrpose called down the hall.

“We doubt it wove its’ own way there. Perhaps someone tried to chase down the ripped culprit, but became infatuated with a game of tag and tug?

Succumbed to a previous addiction, perhaps.

Dogs abandoned to their own vices. No Doggy Manager redirecting, redirecting, redirecting. No tossing of tennis balls. No frantic offering of Greenies as distraction.

Can’t punish the little ones if the Doggy Nanny ignores responsibilities and flies off, no? Consequences for actions, yes?”

The sound of a car caused The German to rush to the door with “Oh, my ride is here. Appreciate missing the hostilities the hospitality and camaraderie.”

No permission granted. Colonial patriots. All rights reserved

“I hear we must guard our coats from moths and someone named Molly. ©

Leaving Molly standing alone. Eyes a little uncertain.

“We could not help it.  We were sitting waiting at the door alone. Half Staff had to go places and we were alooooooone. There was thunder. You know how The German hates thunder.

The bedspread rug folded into our mouths offering comfort. Sacrificing itself. It knew you’d approve. Better than this suffered being pierced, by tooth.”

“I hardly ate anything while you were gone. Food, I mean. 

Felt so abandoned that RC allowed me to seek solace within inches of her Royal Self in her Inner Sanctuary.

She kindly taught me a popular Cat Zen mantra: “Fishy Stink. Fishy Stink.”

RC said if concentration was intense enough Staff would remember that after three days fish and visitors should leave. But then it would have been even more lonely without The German, so I just pretended to chant. Please don’t tell.”

“We knew you were faking it! It’s like the Great Pumpkin. You must believe,” RC Cat snarled.

“We are losing patience. If this little confession session is complete, We would like Our dinner. Then Staff may tell Us about adventures experienced and show photos for Our amusement.

Half Staff mentioned Staff hobbled on cobbles. Stomping on shoemakers is not the way to win friends and influence people. Cordwainers may have unions and wealthy patrons, you know.

Sigh. So much retraining to do. “

Dog Daze of Summer already.

A new doormat may not be necessary, but hope the bedspread lasts the season.

May have to go undercover to get to the bottom of things.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

all rights reserved, NO permissions granted for this dog image. Copyrighted

“There she is. Should we make a break for it or go with blaming the cat?”©










June 16, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Hang on, Kirby. Hang on.

What brought him to this? So few options when clinging to a ledge. See life going down the drain. Go ahead. Leap that 30 feet to the ground. Be done with it. Toss fate to the winds amid the rush hour traffic.

Some sneering bystander was sure to yell: “Hey, make like a cat! Land on your feet. Nine lives, dude. Nine lives. Jump. Jump.”

The noise. Not just in his head. All around.

He sunk into the recess’ shadow.

Maybe getting out of the sun’s glare – the scorching heat – maybe that would let him think.

All of a sudden, there were arms and faces. Voices. Getting frighteningly close.

He pressed back. Too much confusion.  

Swung at them – to grab rescue or swat them away.

It no longer mattered which.

Decision had been made. Not by him. The police.

Small tabby cat hiding in drain on 610/Kirby exit. Choice between 4 lanes of traffic or 30 foot drop on other side. (khou screenshot)

There. He moved. You can catch a glimpse him out on the ledge. (khou)

How did it get to this point?

Pitched or toddled out the window of a passing vehicle?

Bad choice during a game of hide and seek with potential dinner?

Unable to take selfies, so attempting a portrait by cop?

They didn’t know, but they did know he wasn’t going to end up as road kill.

Harness with webbing and determination, they tackled, cuddled, and crated the small, terrified, sometimes uncooperative tabby kitten hanging on the ledge of the 610/Kirby overpass during peak afternoon traffic. Later after reaching the safety of the Houston SPCA, the four-month old cat, now called Kirby, purred his thanks to HPD Officer Howze, the Animal Cruelty Investigator, and the Injured Animal Technicians of the Houston SPCA.

If you arrived at this post seeking info concerning Kirby Dr. road construction, you understand the crushing capacity of Houston’s traffic.

Nightmare is an understatement at times – like if you have a doctor’s appointment or tickets to the game.

Attempting to manuever the Rice Village shopping/entertainment area along Kirby Drive? Good luck with that…Fill up the tank and pack a lunch.

Traffic’s frantic frenzy often brings out the worst in people: aggressive driving or road rage.

How about a video as a tutorial for Houston freeway survival skills?

The Honda Civic driver does get a tad annoyed at that white car in front…But who wouldn’t? It’s driving erratically and is all over the road.

Then once he gets around that, then there’s the black Nissan GTR equally irritating him. Take that!

Seriously, though, suggesting being cautious about the hand gestures around here these days…

Never underestimate the little guys: cars or cats. 

Both may the guts to hang on, finish as the winner, and possibly kick you to the curb in the process.

Steering with care,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

This is the post that was supposed to be published Monday, but ankle gash by disorderly beer bottle while checking supplies in anticipation of Tropical Depression/storm Bill ended up grabbing the stage.

So just consider this Wednesday’s post as it’s very likely we will lose power from wind/fallen trees (The ground is so soggy from Memorial Day’s floods, trees may find roots are grabbing onto mush.) Lots of rain expected from now until maybe even Thurs.

The storm looks like it will head into Matagorda Bay area, TX on Tues and then picked up and tossed north on Wed by some weather coming across from Mexico and circling around big high pressure that is currently over Alabama and Georgia that is headed east.

What? More than you ever wanted to know about tropical weather and the gulf coast?

OK. How about watching a video of Kirby’s rescue? 

That ought to be worth a smile.

Kirby at SPCA (Houston SPCA Facebook)

Scary, but worth it. The next thing on his To Do List is a Forever Home…and to stay out of traffic (Houston SPCA FB)






June 15, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Dog packin’. Storm warnings.

all rights reserved for these dogs. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

Oh, yeah. We’re trouble, I mean, ready. ©

A week of rain with a side dish of tropical storm? Woo-whoo. Doggy sleepover just in time!

Staff is muttering about being at wits’ end.

The German scowled at RC’s declaration that “Staff didn’t have all that far to go to be witless.”

“Like the RC has any reason to talk,” confided the German. “We’ve already shove her into her Witless Protection space.”

It’s true. RC Cat has already moved her mousies and a fresh Hey-hey into her secluded suite of rooms in the back. (What? Oh last weeks’ Hey-hey fell over from fright, We shall not say from what… Snort, snort. Chuckle. Snicker.)

Of course provisions must be brought in ahead of a storm. HRH has counted her food cans in the pantry.

That pantry. Let’s blame it all on RC Cat insisting on pantry evaluation by Staff.

It was loud.

So loud any sensible dog would run just out of precaution even if there is no way they caused it.

There were bad words.

Staff started hopping around yelling about being attacked by malicious exploding beer bottles.

Smelled worse than a frat house on a Sunday morning, according to The German. (“Germans are closely associated with beer,” sneered RC Cat. But I think that’s a bit far-fetched as far as suggesting blame.)

Despite the areas still recovering from recent floods and Staff, who normally in charge of storm prep stuck on the couch with a deeply gashed ankle, a tropical weather system is spinning in this direction. 

Injured Staff must have asked the RC about yowling commands management skills. The entire Storm To Do List is being shouted out…mostly in logical sequence… to wit, as in “comes to mind…”

So Tropical Storm Bill may be coming? All I can say is he’d better bring his own couch – ours is occupied. Prior reservations.

The German and I offered to help. For once the RC was being sensible. As HRH pointed out, the office chair has wheels, we both have harnesses, and we have studied the chariot races in Ben-Hur. Staff thanked us, but declined.

RC Cat says she’s had enough of Nitwits and may be found in her quiet napping nook if The Emergency arises…

The Emergency. The biggie. The one everyone dreads: power outage. No air conditioning.

Although The German is nervous about using the outdoor facilities in rain. She hates that. But not me. Going is better than feeling bad. Still, like the German, I wish Staff wasn’t quite so quick to notice when one of us innocently starts to disappear towards the old carpet in the back room…

So don’t worry, the German and I are pack en guard. Gulf watch.

Staff is yelling relaying that posting will probably be disrupted, but hopefully smart phones may allow visiting your blogs for entertainment and thrills. You will have thrills and adventures to read, right? The German and I can just entertain staff for so long. We do get tired of it. Humans so demanding.

Paws up for fun and indoor games. No quarter for witholding.

Molly Malamute.

Oh, Staff is shouting mentioning that readers might like to watch the Travel Channel’s episode about the 1900 Storm that hit Galveston. Ok, but that was before the sea wall was built and much of the city raised up. “Time Traveling with Brian Unger: Eye of the Storm”

couch dogs - ALL rights reserved. NO permissions granted. Copy righted

Why is Staff complaining there’s no room on the couch. Hit the sack together, pack together.©






June 12, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Coincidence, Kate?

Remember the Alamo.

Hope so. Can’t get there from here.

If you believe in signs….

 Pendleton Cowgirl on horse/Gifford Photo.Collection/Pendleton Round-up/OSU Special Collections and archives/FLickr Commons/

Gotta giddy-up? Might wanna git ya’ a horse.(Gifford Collection/OSU/Flickr/

Eerily like a recent family wedding.

The bride’s first leafy venue burned to a crisp in a forest fire.

The second venue chosen was a lovely garden in the country nestled in the bend of the Brazos River with water winding and flowing picturesquely on three sides.

On the wedding day, after days of continual downpours, the river overflowed.

Anyone seeing a message there?

Coincidence. Say it like you mean it.

So. Bridging coincidences…

If you’re headed to San Antonio from Houston, I-10 West (Katy Freeway) is the route.

Easy drive despite the mobs of vehicles. (Pace yourself. Acceptable places for rest stops are few and far between in places and some of the ice cream/hamburger places are seriously over priced.)

Only yesterday, this: big rig truck vs bridge pillar

Big rig crashed into bridge I-10 at SH 36. (TXDOT photo)

Not the preferred sort of wrap around.(TXDOT)

The truck driver was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.The bridge pillar, however, was seriously damaged.

West bound traffic on the major roadway was diverted to the service road on the side. Some drivers waited in line 5-6 hours before getting back on the main road.

Night repairs to badly damaged  column. Bridge I-10 WB near Sealy.(screenshot

A simple splint isn’t going to heal this broken pillar.(

After working all night, TXDOT reopened I-10 West with the overhead road, SH 36, closed indefinitely.

It is not true officials suggested car occupants wear hard hats when traveling this segment of I-10. Certainly the idea of open beach umbrellas over convertibles is completely ridiculous.

A sigh of relief by truckers and summer tourists – but only a brief one.

This morning on Old Katy Road, a “locals know” back route west:

Freight train car on side after falling off elevated train tracks Old KAty Rd:610 Loop. (

Freight train car on side after falling off elevated train tracks Old Katy Rd at 610 Loop. (

What? Train down! Train down!

Train car not an early riser?

Train car temper tantrum because it was bored to rails of routine destinations?

Desperate train car just couldn’t take the continuous clickity-clackity one minute longer?

Trouble maker train car activist leading others in a break to run free?

Perhaps reschedule that weekend trip to San Antonio.

No need to tempt fate.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

It’s coincidence, right? Paranoid to think the city of Houston is trying to keep people from leaving – “Hotel California” keeps playing in my head. Couldn’t be an aggressive move to motivate people to stay local and buy local? Houston has always been a bit jealous of her sister cities San Antonio (Tourists, River Walk, Spurs basketball) and commuter town Katy (planned communities in the suburbs with a small town feel, new museums, Katy Mills Mall, Skeeters Minor league baseball in family friendly outdoor stadium)….No way. It’s coincidence. Say it like you mean it. 

Traffic after truck hits bridge on I-10 near Sealy. (

Seriously. This is THE route west from Houston to San Antonio and beyond. Total nightmare. Note to self: this is why you take snacks, water, keep cell phone charged….and hope there’s some trees or brush along the side of the road. (




June 11, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Oh, THAT dog. (Sappy stories)

Dogs of the Screenlands. Beloved for their low maintenance by busy human parents: Scooby (the dog, not the speeding vehicle), Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, Krypto, Benji, Huckleberry Hound, Santa’s Little Helper, Goofy to mention a few.

Silly parents. Real life dogs offer more drama, more soap opera tears, more belly laughs, more inspirational heroes, and well, yes, more mud.

 Rin TIn TIn and Actress Jana Lund.Daylight Savings Time promo./ABC (1954-1959 (

Yes, it’s time. Call my agent. A dog could get a bad reputation sitting around like this. (1954-59/USPD/

So in honor of a pupcoming sleepover with the German, a few gathered woofs.

  • Big of heart and courage, eight-year-old Max loved his owners, his buddy Beagle, and the grandkids. Despite the overwhelming odds, he defended his owner against a black bear. (Michigan) Video of Max,the hero dog here.
Wonder Beagle Max looking out a window (WPBN screenshot)

Max, few can match your devotion or bravery. RIP (WPBN)

  • Figo, also 8 years old, gutsily played bumper cars with a bus. Fur flew as he took most of the hit, but protected his legally blind owner. If you haven’t cooed enough over Figo, here’s a Video of a recovering Figo, his hospitalized owner, witnesses to the accident, and Figo’s vet. (Grateful paw waves to EMS and Firefighters who cared for Figo in Brewster, NY.)
Figo on a blanketWCBS/CNN.screenshot)

“This is all great, but obviously I need to keep an eye on my mom. Visit her again soon?” (WCBS/CNN)

  •  Rysa is writing Trip Advisor.  Cold and desperate, the dog was found accommodations on the tallest icy peak in the Tatra Mountain range not suitable. His desperate brown eyes told the concerned group of climbers who found him that he didn’t take a ski lift or elevator up 8,000 feet. Abandoned. The compassionate, determined group saw no option but to carry him down – even when terrified and struggling – for ten hours to the safety of a shelter in Poland. See Rysa here.
dog Rysa. On Poland's highest mt.(screenshot www.mysanantonio)

His fur coat wasn’t enough, but rescuers warmed his heart.(www.mysanantonio)

Hero dogs do have supporters standing with them.

  • Go “Team Maros”. In honor of U.S. Forest Service Officer Jason Crisp and his K-9 partner, Maros, who were killed in the line of duty during a manhunt for a murder suspect, twenty-one third graders at Lakeshore Elementary School opened a little store with low-priced pet themed craft items and jewelry to raised enough money to buy a bulletproof vest for K9 Officer Cyros of the Mooresville Police Department. Video of presentation to K9 Officer Cyros and his handler.  As one little girl said, it goes to show every little bit helps. (Mooresville, NC.)
  • “Coins for K-9’s”. Worth their weight in gold. Students at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School collected enough pennies, nickles, dimes and quarters in about three weeks so that K9 Officer Boone of their local police force will be protected in his custom-made bullet and stab proof vest. And the kids are hoping to raise enough for the Kannapolis Police Department’s other K9s, Diesel and Vader, as well. Video of K9 Officer Boone and his friends here. (Kannapolis, NC.)

After the Awww, wish you could help police dogs, but can’t afford to?

WAIT! There are other ways to help: Click here.

Ever shop at Amazon or Goodshop? Purchases in several places can help police dogs get protective vests. Shopping supports police dogs. How cool is that?

dog. Cyros. Lakeshore elm. vest dog/YouTube screenshot/Vested Interest in K9s,Inc)

“Wow. For me? Don’t worry, Maros, I’ll keep an eye on them for you. Big paws to fill.”(Vested Interest in K9s,Inc)

While not every dog is suited for police work, many quietly make the world a better place.

Phoebe the Cyber Crime Dog is one of those.

Once a Canadian sled dog living in a rough, possibly abusive environment, this Husky was rescued as a three-year-old and placed with Jayne Hitchcock, author of 8 books and a cyber crime expert, who realized the Husky was extremely gentle and patient.

Effortlessly Phoebe became a certified pet therapy dog and started a career visiting hospitals. Next she trotted into schools teaching kids to stay safer online and helping victims of cyberbullying. Even been on TV.

Whew! Sounds like she wears a Wonder Dog cape, right?

Phoebe on a blanket (Gofundme screenshot)

Not the cape Phoebe should be wearing.

Unfortunately, Phoebe is a Husky pulling a heavy load right now: cataracts

This super dog is out of surgery, but the vet bills had to be paid with borrowed money on the day of the surgery.

Donate $100.00 or more to Phoebe’s care and Jayne will send you a signed copy of her book. Father’s Day is coming up…Check out Phoebe’s GoFundMe page or Jayne’s blogspot page.

Doesn’t cost a thing to mention her in a blog post – One line and a link? If her story could get to the right person at the right time…….

Well, think about it. Phoebe is doing her part and trusting.

 Phoebe the Cyber Crime fighting dog recouperating./ gofundme)

“Don’t worry. Nothing has ever kept me down for long. That’s why I was the lead sled dog. Updates posted on my gofundme page.Paw waves and best wishes welcomed.”

Doggone it. Dogs do it best: trust, carry on, and make people smile.

Simply super….even with a little mud on those paws.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

This post published off schedule/early because I promised Rumpydog and Jen I’d help spread the word.

…like the WP posting police are going to show up and complain bloggers must stay on scheduled post track….

Speaking of tracks, The German is coming. Of course, the rain will return. Buckets of it. Lots of muddy tracks to cover. Posting schedule may be a bit wacky for a bit. Like it matters. (The guilt. The guilt…)





June 10, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Way out there. Not the Jetsons.

Floating out there in their own little world, yet no escaping.

Each little thing must be categorized, legally defined, and dealt with accordingly.

Flotsam. Jetsam.

Really. Have to nail those completely down?

Can’t just call it garbage, trash, or debris.

woman. 1916 film actress. La Falena/USPD.

Oh, the distress. The despair.They are out there not knowing what they are. (1916.USPD/

No, let’s get legal.

To stay well-informed, out of trouble, and right on top of cocktail party repartee, simply remember that flotsam and jetsam, while both are marine in nature and associated with vessels, the two are very different.

Flotsam is something in the water that was not deliberately thrown overboard by accident or by shipwreck. If the origin of the word is consider, floter (to float), that’s reasonable.

Jetsam is really an abbreviated version of “jettison”(get rid off). Anything thrown off a boat intentionally by crew in distress or to lighten the ship’s load is jetsam.

Now this is where lawyers start salivating.

According to maritime law, flotsam belongs to the original owner and they may claim it as theirs anytime.

Jetsam can be claimed by anyone who finds and grabs it. If jetsam has value, the one who picks it up, gets to keep all the money from the sale of the salvage.

Easy to see how people, even countries, might go to court over this.

two women. 1916 film Coachman do not drive horses/unknown author/

Yes, take notes. We need to get our stories straight.(1916.USPD/

But what about the bodies?

If a person intentionally, deliberately leaps off a cruise ship, would the suicidal individual become jetsam? Obvious distress and an attempt to lighten the mental load. Slowly floating away into oblivion.

(Ever been trapped on a cruise ship with a less than congenial crowd? Or maybe a large family reunion? There’s not enough booze…..)

If it’s an accidental person overboard, would that be flotsam?

If the individual was totally drunk and toddled over unexpectedly.

If there was an unfortunate slip due to excessive suntan lotion saturation.

Or if a foolish unsteady reenactment of the scene from Titanic, they float off as flotsam?

What if it’s murder on deck, but in the water, jetsam?

The killer might be in severe distress or see the act as lightning burdens of one or of all?

Certainly behaving as if getting rid of something unwanted.

prince on beach with princess kneeling over him (fairy tale1899. Anderson's Fairy tales/Stratton/

“Oh, get up you piece of garbage. I know you are faking it. You were perfectly happy to get on board when mom and dad offered to pay for the whole cruise. Now gut it up, get up, and smile. It’s only a few more days.” (1899./Stratton/USPD/

Complicated. Laws, words, and a wandering soul certainly can create a muddle.

But the serious question is would the dismasted Gunboat Rainmaker left in distress be jetsam or flotsam?

Should we bother to ask or just see if we can find it and grab it? (May 27, 2015. The 55 foot catamaran never recovered.)

Cruising along.

One man’s trash is another pirate’s treasure. Hence the maritime laws.

 Time to pick up sticks (or masts or whatever else is out there. What a mess.)

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.






June 8, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Guns. Boats. Perfect solution

Find a simple solution and become a millionaire.

Create a popular combo that crosses consumer group lines and Bingo: Cazillionaire.

Something splashy. Something people can get a bang out of. What more could any marketing company ask?

Gunboats: a product whose time has come!

sailboat.Steering a Gunboat 66 /Yachting World/youtube screenshot

What? Was that a shot across the bow? (Gunboat 66.Yachting World/YouTube screenshot)

A product that reminds people what everyone has in common:

The wish to flee fast!

The craving to be the captain of one’s own fate.

The desire to feel sun on bare skin and wind in your hair.

The demand for a more natural life style

Freedom from it all. To go wherever the wind blows.

All that and more with, you got it, Gunboats

“On a Gunboat Catamaran, You can have your martini and 30 knots, too.” (Forbes)

“Gunboat 48: Both guns blazing” (Cruising Word article)

Want to see? Gunboat sailing videos. (Oh, Elvis is in the building. Really.)

The name fits. Gunboat catamarans are some of the fastest sailboats on the water. (Gunboat 66 /Yachting World/youtube screenshot)

Good name. These catamarans are some of the fastest sailboats on the water.(Gunboat 66.Yachting World/YouTube screenshot)

Serious gun works…you can pick the one that feels right in your hand.

Just remember guns are inherently dangerous,

  • Get trained. Put in some practice time,
  • Always use restraint,
  • Know which way the wind is blowing.
  • And, shoot, don’t get stormy and blown away…so they have to send out the cavalry.

“The first Gunboat 55 catamaran Rainmaker dismasts and is abandoned in the Atlantic – 5 crew members airlifted.” (Yachting World, Feb.2015).

“Pinterest and son plucked to safety by Coast Guard off his $2.5 million luxury catamaran” (VIDEO of

In all fairness, they were dismasted in a strong Atlantic storm.

That's his wife, right? (Gunboat 66/Yachting World/youtube sceenshot)

That’s his wife, right? Or crew. Obviously.(Yachting World/YouTube screenshot)

That’s one of the risks sailors take.

Not dependent on fuel, but at the mercy of the wind. No one’s really harnessed that yet. (Despite what energy companies tell you, it’s always an iffy deal.)

Anchors away. (Someone had to say it)

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

view of shore from Gunboat 22 View of shore from Gunboat/Yachting World/youtube screenshot)

Exactly what sailors want: view of city and shore getting smaller and smaller. (Yachting World/YouTube screenshot)







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