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September 1, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Fire ants parachuting

Tree. Palm frond stuck in branches overhead. Image © ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

Elevated Threat Level! A palm frond firmly grabbed neighboring branches and is refusing to fall. Deceptively innocent. These fronds have savage spikes along each side. If you’re ever weaponless and need to defend yourself, grab one of these fronds like a sword and slash with it. I promise even a White Walker would back off.(Image©)

Now happening: drop offs. Not exactly wanted. They look pretty mad and beyond caring how you feel about them.

Of course if you had spent the last 4-5 days desperately hanging on during a hurricane, maybe you’d be less than interested in other species’ discomfort.

They said after Hurricane Harvey passed through Rockport that birds dropping from exhaustion all over the roads…Well, it’s like that only with a little more bite.

Fire ants are parachuting from the backyard trees now.

Woe to anyone or anything that happens to be underneath them. They are darn cranky.

Man and beasts storm driven wild, indeed.

During the storm when we forcibly dragged let Molly Malamute dash out to use the backyard facilities, she seemed far too interested in the small narrow space between the big rectangular grill and the brick wall.

Suspected some poor creature was weathering the storm huddled back there.

Possum, raccoon, armadillo, a squirrel? Those were the optimistic choices. I didn’t really want to know.

The L-shaped spot has a wide roof overhang. The grill with a wide 6 foot tall potted plant jammed together against the brick created a snug protected den.

Well, the sun was out and time to cautiously check out to see if we had a new tenant.

No fur, but whew. Did it smell wild.

Shelter for some wild temporary resident, but one civilized enough to have a designated toilet area.

Molly was totally gleeful and quite ready to stop, drop and roll.

A good part of the day has been scrubbing, sudsing, and bleaching the temporary animal refuge zone.

No one to be turned away in a storm. But fire ants? Visitor code enforced: after 3 days, fishy stink! Move on…and that doesn’t me move on to me.

Grateful for little things (We shall not bring up biting insects right now)

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Hurricane Harvey Recovery Notes: People are still being brought out of flooded neighborhoods. Some who are dry on second floors have realized the water will be draining for weeks and with the heat, the smell of flood waters is only going to get worse. Those who may have electricity now may lose it as linemen work to get power re-established. Several houses have burned today as flood waters came in contact with electrical wiring. Then there’s the lack of plumbing. Homeowners are being escorted in one by one by law enforcement officers to check on their houses, pick up clothing, and to rescue pets. They have to have escort for safety reasons and to try and guard against looters. Authorities are going door to door, neighborhood by neighborhood to make sure everyone is out or OK. Schools trying to open next week – some after Sept 11th or so.

More evacuation orders issued this morning as the rivers downstream are swelling. Clear Lake has their flood/hurricane gates wide open and the lake levels this morning have dropped to normal level..

 Where the water has left the houses, homeowners are already ripping out carpet, cutting off sheet rock, and piling up storm damaged household goods along the curbs. Extra volunteer hands to help with the tear out and bleaching/cleaning of floors and walls are desperately needed when areas are safe. Has to be done, seniors can’t manage the heavy chores, and some homeowners are just too overwhelmed by the magnitude of the damage and all the paper works that must be done for insurance and FEMA. 

We’re lucky in this little corner of the world. Streets are clear. I stopped by the grocery store for the first time in about 10 days – it had been one of the few that was opening, but the hysterical mobs stood in line for 3+ hours to check out with whatever items they managed to grab. Yesterday IO think there were more cars in the parking lot from staff restocking than customers.Three checkers no waiting. So we’ve got eggs, apples, and tomatoes for breakfast. 

Gas is available, but you may need Twitter to find it or luck. Flood means tankers can’t get through to some locations and there’s the real worry and problem of gas station tanks contamination from waters.

Roads are beginning to be cleared of water, debris and stalled cars although many are still barricaded off for various reasons. (Like to keep cars from driving into water of uncertain depth in broad daylight – and drowning after the storm. They ran out of barricades. People, it’s daylight, it’s flooded – use some commonsense. Sigh. No, your relatives can’t sue anyone over this.)  You can drive from Galveston(which is dry and fine for visiting this weekend) to Dallas now, but going out of town SW toward Corpus Christi or east is difficult. Check with TXDOT who will tell what routes are best and safe. Rising waters from dam releases are threatening the major road, Hwy 10/Katy Fwy, to San Antonio, but fingers crossed the water won’t rise more.

Big thanks to the police officers from around the country who arrived to provide relief to our local law enforcement officers and rescue teams – many of who have worked day after day after day without going home to check on their own families or flooded homes. (Volunteers could help those officer’s families with their homes, too.)

Character building. That’s what ole timers used to say. So, given the wildness of weather and land in Texas, that’s why we have so many characters? Hey, keeps life from being dull!

Come on down first cool front! And, please, possible Tropical Jose, stay away!

Palm tree frond stuck in branches. (Image ©. ALL rights reserved, Copyrighted, NO permissions granted)

Surly branch. I see you taunting and waving – driving me crazy. I shake branches, poke with rakes, and throw stones all to no avail. I know you are calculating for the perfect moment…probably conspiring with Fire Ants.(Image ©)






August 30, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Morning of the days after

Blue sky and palms after Hurricane Harvey. Image © ALL rights reserved, copyrighted, NO permissions granted

Hey, palms up. We’re still here. Same spot, entirely different look after Hurricane Harvey got tired and moved on.(Image © ALL rights reserved)

If horticulture experts are right that palm trees adore lots of water and do best if strong winds ruffle their fronds, then my palm trees must be thrilled beyond belief and marshaling a huge growth spurt. Have to admit the Mediterranean Date palms look like they’ve been using a thickening shampoo. Fluffy.

Rivers may still be rising, people and things all out of place with roads that may be hazardous with debris and water, but there’s blue sky and a new day.

Would be nice if people could remember how kind, helpful, and generally good everyone is during the worst of the storm. Looks like people can get along and work together if they choose. Maybe after a thorough wind lashing and drenching tropical bath, the human species can get the message and carry that positive can do attitude onward to create more better times. Always hope.

If you see a sign, grab it, and hold on.

Pil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Blue sky and two palms. Image © ALL rights reserved, copyrighted, NO permissions granted

Pardon us while we spiffy the region up a bit. That Mother Nature is such a diva. Spins in here and then disappears after just getting the redecorating started. Says causally, “Let the little people do that – it gives them something to do and keeps them out of trouble.” Don’t mess with Mother Nature, right?  Ya’ll take care now. (Image © ALL rights reserved)




August 29, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Looking for a sign

Looking through black wrought iron fence at flood water (and boat) IMAGE ©ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted NO permissions granted

Not sitting on the fence: still raining Tues afternoon. Look the boat is still alive!(Image ©)

Have you heard the one about the Romanian truck driver looking for a sign?

Big, young, resourceful Romania guy comes to US and gets job as truck driver.

Driving near Houston in the rain until…what? Cars stopping at little water in road? Oh well, do as the natives. Park. Take nap until water gone.

Hours pass and water rises to door of  18 wheeler. Maybe try to get out and wander over to some buildings

Hurricane Harvey’s swift flood waters proved more of a challenge than expected. Luckily he grabbed the stout legs of a tall sign and wrapped himself around it…for over 24 hours.

“Hold on! I’ll call for help,” said the business man who heard his desperate calls while checking on his building.

“Hold on! Our truck is too small, but will put out a call over the air and social media,”called the news team that showed up.

“Hold on! We’ll figure something out,” called the light and power linemen on the GIANT construction vehicle that was still not able to get through the deep flood waters.

“Hold on! It’s the dangerous strong wind gusts and that mess of power lines all over you. We’ll try to get closer,” said the National Guardsman dangling from the Blackhawk helicopter. “Noooo, don’t let go.”

“We’re coming, “said some ordinary guys who showed up with a sturdy boat.”We saw you on TV and came to help.”

And they did. Moral of the story: If you see a sign, grab it and hold on.

Bet when he stepped into the driver’s seat that morning the Romanian truck driver never thought he’d end up on TV.

Maybe he’ll get calls to be on a talk show. In any case he’s got plenty to write home about and bunch of new friends.

One story out of thousands.

It’s been another long day of really strong winds and driving rain here, but Harvey seems to be hearing the call of the Lake Charles casino and is moving out. We may get sun tomorrow.

A large herd of the Kingwood deer were spotted in the trees of a dry spot getting ready to bed down for the night.

The ones who opened the pasture gates to allow cattle to swim to higher ground are now gathering them back up and giving the exhausted animals hay and feed.

Vets, humane societies, rescue groups, and anyone with a boat are collecting lost animals. You can sign a list with your address and give permission to break a window if necessary to let authorities go in and get any pet you foolishly left behind. There are foster homes and shelters to care for the fur ones until their owners can collect them.

A massive regional flood beyond belief. But life goes on

With a little help from your friends. (We’ll hang out and be damp and bleary together!)

Some have already started ripping out wet carpet and sheet rock. Others know it will take weeks for their houses to empty of water.

Dallas has readied 8,000 beds and lined up schools for the kids, so military planes have been flying evacuees that were gathered over the past few days in Galveston  (From Bay City, Dickinson, small towns and communities everywhere between here and Corpus) to the land of Cowboys football. (Funny thing – the day before the storm hit, many of the sporting goods shelves were empty of coolers except a full stack of one with the Cowboy football logo) Austin is also taking in people. Even San Antonio is offering help.

Over 10,000 people are in the Houston’s GRB convention center tonight from all over the region. They are opening the Toyota basketball stadium tonight and moving families over there to try and make it a little more normal for the kids. Also they are setting up NRG football stadium for incoming evacuees (they are expecting another 10,000) There’s a play area, pharmacy, health center, and a place for family pets. Shortly people will be transitioned into more suitable housing near their own neighborhoods so the kids can go to school (which leaves time for their parents to fill out forms and get organized.) People need to be close to where they call home – we learned that from Ike and Katrina.

Meanwhile restaurants and commercial kitchens are cooking and delivering meals to the shelters. Bedding, clothing, pet supplies, canned foods – the donations have poured in from citizens – not organizations.

Do not get me started on the under whelming response by the Red Cross (the big organization, not the local volunteers) or FEMA – despite the head’s up and requests ahead of the storm…the usual performance by them – we’ve seen it before. (I said don’t get me started – I have stories…)

A couple of major airlines stepped up and are picking up the supplies FEMA and the Red Cross have, but can’t seem to figure out how to get here. The commercial airlines say they can’t fly passengers out of the airports right now, but they can and will assist in the relief efforts by moving supplies.

As Houston’s mayor and the County Judge say, We’re busy taking care of people ourselves now. We’ll do performance evaluations of some later.

If you want to help, donate to the Salvation Army who quickly get relief to those who need it (and specify Hurricane Harvey) or work with Texans’ JJ Watt 

We watch the level of the lake a few blocks from us since a good portion of that water from Houston and up-stream has to flow through here. As long as the lake continues to drain well into the bay and then the Gulf, we’ll be fine.

Always gotta watch out for those first of school hurricanes.

And the looters who started Sunday. Cops pursuing during downpours. Armed robbery of stores. Multiple arrests of these despicable people. Another group this afternoon in areas that didn’t flood impersonating uniformed police ands officials robbing and stealing after they tell the residents it is a mandated evacuation.

Better to go over and watch the deer or the dear ones trying to help others. A big cheer for the National Guard, the Coast Guard, the first responders, and all those people that came from, everywhere with all sorts of water craft to aid and rescue.

Can’t wait to see how Houston reinvents itself once again.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

(My, it’s been a long week…what only Tuesday? Oy vey – must be a sign I need a nap.)


August 28, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

No wine for you


Boys. Kids in rain on bikes and scooter.Image © ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. No permissions granted

Hey, mom. They are outside. Why can’t I go play with them?(Image ©)

He may have not had a collar on, but even priests can be forgiven of uniform infractions during hurricanes…besides he was in a kayak.

You have to improvise – and adapt during hurricanes…or most do.

The young (and fortunately athletic) priest heard a bunch of his Spanish-speaking parishioners were huddle in a parking lot and he knew they would appreciate a little reassurance and prayers, so his hobby vehicle turned holy transport and off he splashed to give Sunday mass for them. In route he realize a critical item was lacking, so he docked at a store – hoping an exception would be made for the godly.

But no. You can’t buy wine until after 12 noon on Sunday in Texas. Even if God sends you.

So no communion wine for them.

The priest was still chuckling about it as he floated off to pick up another priest and had for the congregation.

After so many days of Harvey’s heavy rain, loud thunder and lightning, people start getting giddy. Cabin fever is hitting.

Our neighbors have relented to let a couple of boys out to run off steam on their bikes and scooters during lighter periods of rain.

Dog who normally hate each other looked thrilled and act like best friends during leashed encounters in the brief moments of little dripping.

On the plus side, Molly Malamute’s hair has never felt softer – must be the frequent rain water rinses.

And if these ripping and tearing winds keep up, there will be no need to pay anyone to trim the old palm tree fronds.

It will be a winner on Shark Tank when someone figures out how to redirect flood waters to areas that would really appreciate some moisture. If the Roman had functioning aqueducts, there are massive petroleum pipelines, and fire fighting tankers move water towards fires…oh, I know not the same, and there are logistic issue, still…when someone figures it out, it will be bigger than wind turbines.

Fan palm fronds are piled up during breaks in the storm. Why? because the dog does' like things that looks weird and out of place so she barks like crazy until we fix it. ALL rights reserved. Image © Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

Palapa materials anyone? No it’s not a signal fire asking for rescue. Fan palm fronds are piled up during breaks in the storm. Why bother? Because the dog doesn’t like things that look weird and out of place so she barks like crazy until we fix it. (Image ©)

Just a few Harvey notes: It rained hard all night and it’s still raining with little break.

  • They have no idea what Harvey is planning. Now a tropical storm out over Gulf waters, there’s some dry storm spots on radar but this can mean the storm’s eye is strengthening as the eye wall gets taller and reorganizing or it could mean some dry air mass is pushing in from, the NW.
  • Predicted path? It was San Antonio area, then Austin, then straight across Houston to Dallas, the late last night maybe it was shifting to the east of Houston heading NE towards Little Rock or western Louisiana. The heavier rain bands are swatting as far as NOLA. New reports have the rain increasing on the N-NW edge of the eye which is still off the TX coast near Palacios which is not the far from Rockport where it made first landfall.  Second landfall is supposed to happen Wed. and now they are predicting in the Beaumont, TX area before the storm travels N/NE.
  • No matter what, it means more flooding for TX and Houston…for days. Water is having to be released from several reservoirs to protect the dams.
  • While we are located between Galveston and Houston. Water has not gotten over our street curbs. While Houston has a higher land elevation, water drains off more quickly the closer you are to the lake, bay, or coast. While it is the coastal plains/wetlands here, the topography varies some. It was once the ocean floor (with the all the ups and downs like underwater ocean floors) during the last time the seas were high (Climate change…I guess the dinosaurs cause the last shift with all their byproducts.HAHA). Also some areas are higher as channels in the water are dredged and the mud spoils dumped in one spot or another. So there are some higher spots, but you have to know where.
Lake with storm clouds. Hurricane Harvey. Image © View across Clear Lake. ALL rights reserved. copyrighted. NO permission granted

Look. You can use just so much of moody inspiration weather. View across Clear Lake Sunday afternoon as we got out to monitor lake levels. Looking towards NASA side of lake and the only high-rise in the area. There is senior citizen/assisted living center not far from this low, flat spot.(Image ©)

  • You’ve seen the horrifying image of that Dickinson senior citizen home with women sitting in the water? Not far from here. Location, location, location – which is what I have been telling local communities for years: Do not let big corporations build those nice, big, senior citizen/assisted living communities in an area that is an evacuation zone. It’s stupid. Yet there are two 3 story ones very close: one just finished and one under construction – and several more just a stones throw away. Putting a vulnerable group in a potentially dangerous zone is unwise. Yes, it’s a beautiful area with sea gulls, palms, and normally mild year round weather – quite walkable – but it is in hurricane/storm country. Federal funding should not be available to any builder, corporation for affordable/senior citizen housing in a vulnerable area. It’s dangerous and stupid as this flooding is showing…unless this is part of the New Healthcare Plan to lower costs by eliminating elderly people who are using up all the social security and healthcare money. (Those darn heartless politicians, right? Oh, they know developers’/builders’ lobbyists? Oh…it does look good on paper….) Dickinson is now under mandatory evacuation orders. Flash flood warnings back up.
  • So that’s the current situation – we still have electricity. And chips and beer and chocolate. (Haven’t had to get into the canned tuna yet, but wish the rain would stop so we could grill the fajitas….)
Island view before flooding. Image © All rights reserved. copyrighted. NO permissions granted

Before Harvey. Note the height of bulkheads and set back of fences. Lovely water views. Front row seating for amazing sunsets.(Image ©)

After view of flooded channel. IMAGE © ALL rights reserved, copyrighted, no permissions granted

After. We walk over to the island’s bridge to view Hurricane Harvey’s flood waters during a short break in the rain Sunday afternoon. On the right, boys standing on the island with their raft after pestering their parents to death about being bored. Rather risky with oil and all sorts of stuff in water – like logs and gators that have been washed out of wetlands. Look closely and you can see wrought iron fences is not holding water out of yards on the left bank. There’s a white open motor boat that was docked towards the end of the canal (in both pictures) The boat owners hadn’t realized the open boat would fill with water and the level of canal water would rise so high. Desperately trying to suction water out of boat with garden hose…maybe spring tie those dock lines next time…and get taller poles?. (©ALL rights reserved)


August 26, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Dogs: Paws up for hurricanes

Dog. © Molly Malamute examines stick offerings during a break in Hurricane Harvey's rain. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted, NO permissions granted.

Molly Malamute carefully examines stick offerings during a break in Hurricane Harvey’s rain.(Image©rights reserved.)

All depends on point of view. Dogs see that hurricanes have benefits.

  • To start with, none of that leaping frantically up in the morning (and being shoved out doors to yells of “Potty. potty” only to be rushed back inside after cooperating without any time to check for signs that Others have wandered across the yard under cover of darkness.)
  • None of watching them disappear out the door even after the “cutest dog in the world” looks and puppy bows.

Instead it’s lounging in bed. On the bed. Leisurely bonding with pack. Not even scolded for head on the pillows.

And then you move to the couch for more cuddling and snoozing. A bit of shared snacking here and there.

Some tug of rag or bouncie ball (I watch you throw and go get it….canines are charged with exercising their staff.)

Happy times at home all day long.

Molly Malamute's stick collection on the front porch bench.image © ALL rights reserved. Image copyrighted, NO permissions granted

Stick collection parked on the front porch bench for visitors marvel at. ©Image)

Oh, dogs get dragged outside periodically and rushed unnecessarily.

All business and no-nonsense: “There’s no time to look at the squirrel. Potty, Molly. Potty.”

Something’s very wrong with a species that never has time to look at squirrels, right? A canine’s job to make them see the sense of noticing things.

Dog. carrying stick. AH, the chosen one. Molly escorts her choice to the display exhibit at the house. © Image. All rights reserved, NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

Ah, the chosen one. Molly escorts her choice to the display exhibit at the house. (© Image)

Best of all, hurricane sticks. Lots and lots of sticks everywhere.

Huge assortment to choose from. No better time to build – or start a collection!

Not to mention the fabulous smells they have. Smells once so out of reach.

Dog carrying another stick.Image © All rights reserved. Copyrighted. No permissions granted

And can’t hurt the feelings of this one by leaving it behind. All are worthy. Canine’s motto: Unconditional love. (Image ©)

Ah, yes, Mother Nature knows what dogs like. 

(Dictated to Phil, The Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge)

Hurricane Harvey’s weather notes:

All night there were tornado warnings. The west side of Houston had quite a bit of storm damage. We just got rain, rain, and more rain.

Sat. morning opened with curtains of rain blowing sideways like I remember from Hurricane Carla. Street had water but not over the curb.

Molly, still sleepy, refused to accept she couldn’t go out, so she sat in front of the back door and whacked it over and over with her paw. Feeling like a winner when I finally opened the door, she trot out – only to get as far as the back fence to slump like a soggy, abandoned animal. She turned to where I stood at the door and plainly said “What the heck is all this about?” before running back inside for a towel drying.

Storm clouds Sat. afternoon during dog walk (during Harvey)© image ALL rights reserved. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

OK. It’s cloudy, but not raining during afternoon dog walk. Not exactly cool either. (© image)

It’s rained most of the day – and we dragged  enthusiastically encouraged Molly to make use of yard under the cover of big oak trees periodically as we stood in rubber boots and foul weather gear from the boat.

Around 3 pm we got a break – no rain for 2 hours. Dogs being walked everywhere. 

 Our elevation is fairly high. Only a short drive from here friends have 4 feet of water in their back yard. (They are Houston with friends)

The marina next door has always been considered a hurricane hole or safe protective refuge for boats during hurricanes. It’s full of visiting boats tied every where.

Storm clouds. Sat. afternoon .© Image copyrighted. All rights reserved. NO permissions granted)

Harvey’s storm rain bands have shifted again and are back overhead. (same location as previous posts) Authorities want everyone off the roads for the rest of the weekend.(© Image)

It’s not over, just a pause.

Harvey may just be a tropical storm now, but still pulling in plenty of water from the gulf in those broad feeder rain bands. Once again we’re under tornado warnings with flood potential until Wed-Thurs. (Oh, on tv: a nice funnel cloud picture from Cypress/West Houston neighborhood.)

Harvey, true to his Hollywood name and legend, is keeping us in suspense. Who needs TV for drama? 

Here's the 7pm updated projected path of Tropical Storm Harvey....but we've been fooled daily by this storm. Wouldn't be surprised if it ended up in Little Rock.

Here’s the NOAA 7pm updated projected path of Tropical Storm Harvey (The orange dot is the current location of the storm with the black being expected path back down towards the coast again before a sharp turn north Tues/Wed/Thurs). But we’ve been fooled daily by this storm. Wouldn’t be surprised if it ended up in Little Rock. Lots of rain for all in any case.


August 25, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Afternoon before the Day Of

You know how the orchestra tunes up before a performance? The skies are doing that: sorting through their notes before their guest artist, Hurricane Harvey, commences. Right now the audience is scurrying to their assigned seats ahead of the house lights dimming.

Some pictures during Thursday’s late afternoon as Molly walked her Staff shows how easy it is to misread things.

Sunset. © from Island's bridge days before Hurricane Harvey. South Shore Harbour, TX.ALL rights reserved, copyrighted,no permissions granted

Could be a painting by an old master. Another dog walker who had gone a different direction witnessed a huge double rainbow. A bit out of sequence? (Looking west from Clear Lake. ©ALL rights reserved.)

© image. Sunset clouds from the island's bridge looking south towards Galveston. Thursday before Hurricane Harvey . ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted, No permissions granted

Nothing like a grand opening scene to capture your attention. A reminder how dangerous beauty can be. (© image.Looking south towards Galveston on Thursday before Hurricane Harvey. ALL rights reserved)

Rainy sunrise from same spot as previous posts. (© image) Fri morning before Hurricane Harvey, 6:30am. All rights reserved. NO permissions granted, copyrighted

Yes, it’s raining – and thundering, but if the dog has to go out, the dog has to go out. Quickly. It’s only going to get worse. Harvey’s eye is 80 miles off shore at 6:30 am.(Sunrise Fri morning before storm makes landfall. Same spot as ones in previous posts.Image © All rights reserved)

Rain bands moving across Friday before Hurricane Harvey makes landfall. (Image ©. ALL rights reserved, copyrighted, NO permissions granted

And about noon. Rain bands moving across Friday as Harvey approaches the coast much farther south of us. Between rain bands, it is no longer sunny, but the rain hits pause so paws can hit the sidewalk. We have had 3 “tornado moving directly towards you” warning alerts so far. (Apparently a whirling wind tried to pick up a Big Mac at MacDonald’s on Galveston’s sea wall, misjudging the drive thru lane’s width.) You think smoke alarms going off unexpectedly are loud and annoying? Try overly protective or psychotic weather alert radios. If it escapes getting thrown across the room it will be a miracle…Now the rest of Staff will realize why that particular item was hidden far far in the back of a closet under a pile of stuff. (image © ALL rights reserved)

At 3:30 pm. Harvey had strengthened to Cat. 3, but the eye was still 70 miles off the coast. (You do the math. 10 miles in 9 hours. I hope I bought enough chips.)

It’s 4:30 pm. and the eye is still 41 miles offshore.

Schools have already cancelled classes for Monday, but it looks like Tuesday is also in question….maybe even Wednesday…as the storm bobbles around like a kid picking out a puppy at the SPCA.

I did preemptively mention to RC Cat that if we did happen to lose power, she would not be able to get her food warmed to the perfect degree by 7 seconds in the microwave – and she’d just have to deal with it.

Shocked – her eyes briefly showing terror (only briefly – training of RC’s emphasizes the importance of never showing fear or extreme emotion). “We shall not consider the possibility, ” she sharply said. “Negative thoughts attract misfortune, so We forbid any further speculation on this topic.”

Then she swept past with great dignity, but we overheard mutterings of “barbaric” and “primitive”….”and if they think We have not seen that bag of dry cat food in the pantry, they are fools. Well, of course, the Dunderheads must have picked it up for the dog by mistake. How they get along is a mystery…”

As the hurricane spins,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Hurricane Harvey possible tracks (tropicaltidbits/Mike's weather page)

Dizzy enough? Wine and chocolate are the only hope.(tropicaltidbits/Mike’s weather page)

August 25, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Winners, Travelers, and Harvey

Could this possibly be one holding the winning Powerball ticket?

Looks savvy to the way the world works.

Coyote standing on driveway of a very expensive house in River Oaks Houston, TX. (Screen shot cliick2houston)

Well, I like the yard. Plenty of room for the pups to play. Can you ask the owners if the bowls of dog food are delivered daily? (click2houston)

Everyone knows that the best time to evaluate real-estate in Houston is in hurricane season.

Although this coyote’s current home borders the ritzy old money-type country club’s manicured lawns which rolls elegantly down to the bayou’s brushy wetlands and features a refreshing sprinkler system, still not content.

Maybe the kids are growing up and snarling they want a more upscale address to impress their friends and potential mates. Sigh.

Besides with the threat of storm flooding and food supply issues, no surprise a coyote might be scouting out some fowl weather locations.

Howl if you spot something you’re interested in.

Coyote casually taking a morning stroll in pricey River Oaks(Videos of several of the neighborhood’s coyotes.)

RIce football players sleeping on plane. (T.Lavergne/RIce Athletics/Hou Chron)

Happy little campers. No unpleasant discomfort of economy class there for this class. (T.Lavergne/Rice Athletics/HouChron.)

This next pack is a little bit older, but still happy travelers.

There’s a question why are college football players from Rice and Stanford going to Australia to play their opening game Aug 26/27? (Sydney Morning Herald)

  • Costly for the school? Oh, wait. Both universities will get paid for playing there.

“The paycheck California Bears secured for playing in Sydney is well in excess of $1 million. The Bears are guaranteed a seven-figure profit from the experience, even when all expenses are factored into the calculation.” (2016 opening game. Source here.)

  • Oh. It’s an educational trip. Formal justification statement:

“The Pac-12 has been expanding its outreach in the Pacific Rim the last few years, and we are excited to partner with Stanford for the game in Australia this fall. For our football players, many of whom have never been abroad, this trip will be as much about experiencing a new culture as it will be about the game itself.”

“This is an amazing opportunity for our players to represent Rice on such a unique stage and also expose them to a part of the world that most of them might otherwise never get to visit in person,” Rice head football coach noted. “It’s a great opportunity to promote our school, our city and this game we love to the fans in Sydney”. (source)

  • It is soooo not about the money or the universities/NCAA deals for pay for views subscriptions, fan apparel…. (Funny, I didn’t know Sydney had many US college football fans. People there actually know Rice University? Who would have guessed.)
  • Naturally the ordinary students must be thrilled about it all. Everyone thinks college football teams deserved to have free long distant trips and educational experiences like dinner cruises and petting animals even if they can’t, right? After all, football players are just students like them, not hired guns, right?
  • A smartie (and you would naturally expect Rice U people to be so) would have simply said the team was voluntarily evacuating ahead of Hurricane Harvey.
Food. Rice football players on dinner cruise of Sydney Harbor. (T.Lavergne/Rice Athletics/Hou.Chron)

As college students, we all knew the athletes had different dining rooms than the rest of us. Here’s one: a dinner cruise of Sydney Harbour.(T.Lavergne/Rice Athletics/Hou.Chron)

So there. That’s what’s playing around here…along with lots of school kids.

Some kids wish for snow days; here it’s hurricane days. (While desperate moms scream for a break.)

You scream. I scream. We all scream for ice cream…no matter the weather or wanderer.

Howl on.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Vintage picture postcard of the Galveston Sea Wall built after the Great 1900 Storm

Vintage postcard.Galveston Sea wall. 1903, 4 miles long, 17 feet tall. 20 feet at base, 5 feet at apex. solid concrete. Postcard.

1903 Vintage postcard of the Galveston Sea Wall built after the Great 1900 Storm. It is 4 miles long, 17 feet tall, 20 feet at base, 5 feet at apex. and made of solid concrete. The entire island was raised behind the sea wall. Authorities say the sea wall and the wide sandy beach in front of it now should handle the expected  storm surge and waves (anywhere from 2-10 feet depending on storm path). Hurricane Harvey shows every sign of wobbling like a bad drunk along the Texas coast (there’s always some bad tourist behavior by the uninvited) and possibly end up near New Orleans – or San Antonio.. Fun with hurricanes! (USPD/



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