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September 23, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge


It’s Alive. (having lived a horror movie)

We got game – and not on boards with spinners or a reality fake-out on TV.

Tiny baby squirrel refuge. (Image by Barb

Soft, dry, and warm. B &B reviews ought to be good. (Bab’s Squirrel Rescue)

Out for her early morning run, a neighbor almost stepped on a storm refugee desperately trying to make sense of it all.

This little girl squirrel was calling and calling for family not knowing her equally tiny sibling had already succumbed on the sidewalk. Mom was no where to be found – possibly had encountered a car a block away. Eyes still shut, this one was frantically crawling in the weeds and mud looking for help.

A group text sent for advice – all of us came back with the same response: The SPCA/Wildlife Rehabilitation Center has been all over the news asking people to bring them the orphans, the sick, the disoriented, the wild life displaced by the recent flooding.

A bit of a drive not on the things to do today list, but what can you do?

This little one is in the best place for her best shot at life and relocation to a nice wooded spot once she’s ready.

Little things count. All lives matter.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Thought you’d like a bit of good news from the stormy regions. 

Sign. Houston wild life rescue center. (image: Barb)

“Welcoming all species of native wildlife in need. One of the largest wildlife rehabilitation centers in the nation. This unique facility cares for over 10,000 wild animals representing more than 350 different species in any given year.” (image: Bab’s)




September 20, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

All wet.


Shuffling the groceries, she complained about the heat. “I guess we’ll have to get used to it with global warming”

I looked up from zipping the eggs and yogurt into the cooler. “No. We call this summer. I grew up here.”

Startled she panicked. “This is normal?”

“It’s only 97F. Back in 1980 we had 22 days in a row of over 100 degree temperatures. That not too unusual. There were some really long hot summers during the 1800’s. It’s been a relatively nice summer: cloudy and enough rain so sprinklers didn’t have to run much. Past August and everything’s still green? Now that’s unusual.”

She gasped.

Not sure that woman will manage living here.

Manatee at Merritt Island's Nat. Wildlife Refuge/near Kennedy Space Center (USPD. NASA image/

Oh this is too related. It’s a NASA photo and we have NASA. Also we shelter lost manatees sometimes. One hung out near an east downtown warm water discharge in Buffalo Bayou during a cold spell. It was not a fish out of water. (USPD/

This semi-tropical environment is harsh and unforgiving.

You can live here, but you’re going to have to adapt, not it.

Summers so hot and humidity that sitting closed up inside with a fan can kill you. This is AC country.

Although for many, many years, many, many lived just fine without it. You dressed differently, ate differently, built houses differently, worked differently, and shrugged.

The men and women who settled in this wilderness were not hot house flowers. Just darn hot.

It is what it is. A place of extremes. And a good place to know how to swim

We’ve had great weather for ducks…manatees…hippos…floating rafts of fire ants as Imelda, one of the shortest tropical storms in history, waddled and dawdled around SE Texas.

No waves or storm surge (a long way from the beach), just the usual. It’s flat. If it rains hard enough and long enough in one area, it’ll flood. Sure as the sun rises.

Depending on location, rain amounts totaled between 8-43 inches this time. Luck of the downpour.

It floods, often. Past, present, and future.

But look at it this way, you can end up with waterfront property no matter where you buy a house. 

Not to lessen concern or minimize the despair of those flooded this time, but folks help each other and know how to paddle on.

Large yellow duck tethered to ground. (Image: Johnscotaus/

Plan ahead: Schools may be encouraged to tether inflatable ducks on campus for transporting students once the waters rise. (Johnscotaus/

Besides, how many kids can say they arrived home from school in a high water vehicle instead of a bus? Or how many preschoolers ever get to duck into a tiny orange life jacket and get carried by a sheriff holding onto a guide rope as he walked through thigh deep water to their waiting moms?

Future “when I was young” stories: The local version of the old “I had to walk 20 miles in the snow …”

How about keeping gills as a regional accessory? Evolutionary redo, anyone?

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Woman walking with fish on postcard by Curl Teich before 1964.(, artist life/

Early adopters are always popular?(USPD/

September 18, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Will their scary survive?

Couple who are terrified. (Joanna Moore and Arthur Franz in Monster on the Campus, 1958/Universal Pict. traIler screenshot (USPD., artist life,

“Nooo. They never forget or forgive even if you knuckle under. They know I chewed gum in class.” (USPD/

Critical Mass for Halloween?  None such

Once a glimpse of the black outfit could spike fear and cause even adults to have flashbacks, but that may be vanishing.

What’s the point of wearing it for Halloween if the costume has no scary any more?

A fellow blogger recently remembered costumed antics at Halloween in her office. Being in HR and responsible for getting people to follow company policies and rules, she got a kick out of dressing as a Mother Superior complete with taking names and smacking offender’s hands with a ruler.

Hilariously appropriate.

The others got the joke. Then.

Woman. Nun in snowy scene. (Willem van de Poll/Dutch Nationalk Archives/USPD. released, artist life,

Now this is a little chilling, right? (Dutch Nat.Archives/USPD/

How much longer will people get it? The habit of black nun habit?

  • Now many never set foot in a church or even know who Noah, Moses, or Cain and Abel were, so the nun context might be completely MIA.
  • Somberly robed, stern nuns teaching parochial schools are much less common these days, too. The modernized updated habit is approachable, not dark and forbidding. That traditional whacking knuckles to keep order mostly abandoned. For good reason: kids today do not hesitate to scream “child abuse” and “CPS”.
  • Solid, serious nuns are far less visible now. Once they were frequently seen in communities, their roles understood everywhere – including in movies and TV
  • But it’s been years since “The Sound of Music” was performed by every secondary school.
  • “Bells of St Mary’s” underwhelms the current holiday movie viewers more interested in the glitzy, commercialized, Christmas tales.
  • Audiences chuckled at the trouble makers of a girls’ school in “The Trouble with Angels”, but in the ’60’s some could still identify with those classrooms.
  • Many laughed as Whoopie hid among nun in the comedies “Sister Act” or “Sister Act 2, Back in the Habit”.  Those nuns were so warm and fuzzy in that movie.

The legendary terrors of real nuns, a casualty of time moving on.

Now, any fear and trembling felt when seeing a nun’s black, flowing habit more likely to be connected to a horror movie than from actual classroom experience or that habit of the ruler.

The black habit is not yet extinct! You can still spot them in remaining environments. Huge list of movies with nuns here.

None gone with the wind any more. (Get the joke here)

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Sally Field as Flying Nun, 1967. (USPD. publicity pix, artist life/IMB screenshot)

Unnatural and scary. Flying, but her Rosary beads or outfit never flowed backwards.What deals did she make with whom – or what?(USPD/IMB screenshot)

September 16, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

No flash. Just dash.

Girls screaming at a concert. 1984. ( Rob Bogaerts/Anefo.Dutch National Archives/

“It’s them! Outta the way. He needs me!” (Rob Bogaerts/Anefo Dutch Nat. Archives/

No special effects. The primitive backdrops rather flat. No choreography, yet they were a hit with a few high notes.

Who was the first Boy Band, the one that set the formula for all the rest?

Hold the microphone – it sure looks like the western TV show Bonanza set the pattern. 

  • There was a reserved, “tall, dark and handsome” one: Adam. The oldest, he was philosophical, the thoughtful, the smart one.
  •  Hoss/Eric, the athletic middle boy, filled the role of big, lovable, strong, yet, kind, if not the sharpest tool in the shed..
  • Then there was the hot-headed, bad boy: Little Joe, the youngest: a dreamy, romantic (and many said, the cutest).
  • Riding herd over them through time and scripted drama, was band of boys manager, sensible Ben Cartwright

The show must go on- even if one of the guys decides to leave for greener pastures or a solo career. Bonanza’s band of brothers showed how it was done.

  • Nephew Will Cartwright (Rode in as a substitute during the time “Adam” left then returned)
  • Little Joe’s maternal older half-brother, Clay, took the stage for a bit.
  • Another one filling a blank spot was a certified “bad boy” Griff King, a parolee who tries to reform his life under Ben’s guidance (Female fans wistfully dreamed of reforming the troubled one.)
4 men in cowboy outfits. Cast of 1962 TV series Bonanza (NBC tv/sponsor Chevy pub. relations company (USPD.,, artist life/

Wardrobe note: Uniform costume within genre, yet each demonstrates their own designated personality. (Their General store must have had quite a selection considering the different hats.. That clothing must have been made from that couch fabric that repels dirt and water. They always look so clean for ranch hands.)(USPD/

Naturally drama among group members hooks fans, then and now. Backstories and personal conflicts are a must.

  • When Adam returned after going AWOL from the series, he found that his fiancée had fallen in love with Will and those two packed up her daughter, left by stage left and was never seen again. Nothing like being left at the altar for a sad song.
  • There’s Little Joe’s paternity. His French Creole mother, Marie, was previously married to husband, “Big Joe” Collins / Jean De’Marigny (depending on the episode) who died saving Ben Cartwright. Of course Ben comforted her in her grief and they married.
  • Three brothers. Three mothers. Step children always adds tension and angst. Ah, the struggle for favoritism.

Naturally, as with any boy group, they age. No problem! Nothing like a boy band reunion as adults – sometimes with families in tow. They did that, too.

  • Adam supposedly immigrated to Australia and had a son, Adam ‘A.C.’ Cartwright, Jr, who almost showed up in a return visit episode.
  • Fan hearts were broken when a script sent Little Joe to war. (But a son, Benjamin ‘Benj’ Cartwright, actually showed up later in a couple of Bonanza movies.)
4 men riding horses. 1959 TV series Bonanza. Cast: dan Blocker, Michael LAndon, Loren Greene, Pernell ROberts . NBC (USPD. pub. photo, artist life,

All riding the same, but all riding very different horses. Setting the band width pattern. (USPD./

Boy bands today always claim they are not pop and fluff – that they do offer serious cultural messages. So did the Bonanza bunch.

Only their basic formula, “caring for one another and fighting for just causes”,  was all done on weekly TV episodes rather than on Twitter and social media.

  • The Bonanza boys focused on relationships and working through troubles and conflicts – except not done with music, in song, or with choreographed dance steps. (Just as well, the image of Hoss whirling like one of Disney’s hippos in the old Fantasia…) 
  • The modern boy bands may brag they to promote social justice on a much bigger internet stage, but the Bonanza bunch included on the small flickering screens scripts about the environment, substance abuse, domestic violence, anti-war sentiment, illegitimate births, bigotry against Asians, African Americans, Native Americans, Jewish people, Mormons, the disabled  (List of the corresponding episodes here.). Surprising accepting differences and diversity stuff.

Flash back boys.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Vintage Bonanza episodes on several YouTube channels (see one here) or on Amazon Prime.

Three people in western dress dancing. Bonanza pub. photo by NBC1962 (USPD., artist life/

Apparently they did try to choreograph a dance number in 1962. She looks a little worried.(USPD/




September 12, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Manic Oppression

Politicians are like diapers: both should be changed frequently for the same reason.

They’re coming. They’re coming. Lock up your daughters and hang on to your wallets. The third Democratic lecturing you common people from above debate is happening here.

Woman dressed as cat sitting on vintage plane (Kitirik mascot 1958. (KTRK publicity photo/Hou.Chron)

We’ve always welcomed visitors. Even if a bit catty and with a bit of black humor.(1958 local Children’s show mascot Kitirik at airport/KTRK publicity photo/Hou.Chron)

Ironically the police chief (think Barney Fife or Officer Clancy) was on last night telling locals “If you don’t have business here, stay away. Leave work early. Do not attempt to get into this area”.

A gathering (placed by design in a working class neighborhood) being staged so people can get to know the people who want to be their next president….but you ordinary voters people do not come. Barricades are up.

Great. Attitude. Telling.

We been out drinking coffee out back watching the planes of the elites arrive at what was NASA’s/space shuttles transport’s airport. Easy to keep up with who’s in town by the planes overhead. Certain people do not wish to brush elbows with commoners’ crush at the actual airports. It’s for security reasons…politicans/elected officials/those of certain status and their armed bodyguards are important.

The escorted entourages must be closing the one major road inbound like crazy. It’s OK. most drivers will simply think it’s the continuing construction closures. (Such a need for individual helicopters or a large multi-powered drone shuttle. Need is the mother…)

Houston has lots of large conventions and sport events. Congenially set up for mobs it.

Once a Summer Olympic committee and the city asked residents in multiple counties to plant certain colored flowers so people flying in would see “pretty welcome” from the planes.

Yeah. Yawn. Been here for long and you know these events bring mobs, streets being blocked, Important people bargain into other areas of town (resulting in barricading of even neighborhood streets…just try and get home) because they want to shop or eat at some local places and they spill over to our waterfront.

And then there’s the crowds of very beautiful women arriving from all over the country and populating nightclubs and sidewalks. They are voters, right? Really, really pretty voters that are very, very friendly. Hey, they are somebody’s daughters, so be nice….

Nice to see they are so interested in public debate….Pretty gets some in to nightclubs when others can’t so maybe the police will give them entrance into the forbidden zone. (That does sound ironically like a night club, doesn’t it? Life is party.)

The circus political spectacles provide some amusement. The groups seem strive to outdo each other.

There’s a mayor’s election coming up and the commercials from candidates from both parties are kicking into high grinching gear.

Wish the print on  ads was run by an editor or at least spell check. Samples of illiteracy does not inspire confidence. If it’s some weird suggestion by a National Political Party to appeal to the commoners, misguided.

Oh, that’s the way things are flying here. It’s fine. Visitors welcomed.

Just don’t injure the police dogs or horses – and pick up your own trash.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Oh, feeling this post is not exactly up to standards. Been dealing with an emergency with Person’s Small Person’s involving blood and lots of it. Kid’s Ok but now feeling better – which is a whole different challenge…would probably be better if chocolate ice cream wasn’t offered as lunch, but maybe that’s just me. Trying to catch up on lesser important things as time permits….not that you readers are lesser, but yep, blood and lots of it. Thanks for understanding MIA.

Sad German Shepherd on rug (© image. Copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Dog gone it, I’m not. I had my bags packed and transport shuttle reservations ready to go home. RC Cat is most perturbed…and getting a bit scary with The Paw over the gate and under the door. I should have been there!  Well, they wouldn’t let me in that school but maybe they will now – service dog? I will be glued to my Littles Person’s side to protect him. I’m brave, strong, soft, and crash landing suitable. Put me in coach…oh, OK. Once getting bumped into – accidentally – only accidentally – won’t make it worse. Sigh. There’s no place like home.No place like home. I keep clicking my heels. Now waiting for heal. (© image)



September 9, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Masking allusions

Young girl sitting. Marguerite Clark, SNow White production/American MAgazine, 1913 (

I wanted to be Jane Long for Halloween, but they shook their heads, tightened their lips, and said no. Ugh, to silly Snow White. Lizzie Borden or Typhoid Mary appropriate choice for society’s current mood and cultural dictates.(USPD/

Oh, the drama! Halloween. Cultural appropriation.

Wait. Isn’t that what actors and actresses do as their full time job? Think about it. They become another.

So if acting is an honorable profession – and it involves assuming another’s speech, dressing, hair style, mannerisms – well, then, it must also be honorable and OK for ordinary people to do that, too, right?

So confusing. Baffled by the make-believe criticisms.

But then again, if performers are just what they were thought of being during the Middle Ages through the Elizabethan Era, well, you know…

“In Elizabethan England, the theatre was considered a hangout for unsavory characters such as prostitutes and thieves. Also, actors were considered very low at the time too and would not receive a Christian burial unless they denounced their trade on their death bed. This belief also goes back to the middle ages, with wandering theatre troupes and the types of people who were in them.” (source)

Not to mention performers may have helped spread fleas and diseases like the plague as they traveled. Coincidences of bad stuff and you were not a safe thing back then….witches, demons, spirits, and burnings, you know.

Oh, a pox on that.

Imitation is the highest form of flattery, it’s said.

So go ahead. Pick any Halloween costume showing who you respect and admire and enjoy.

Dare you.

Ironically, if clothes make the man or woman, when costumed, you become exactly as you appear. Tell critics that. Works for politicians.

Two boys in vintage clothing. 1924 Lobby card. HAl Roach Studios. Our Gang film (, artist life/

Pick your poison, uh, personality to project.(USPD/

Speaking of irony, have you noticed this weirdness: On line Amazon is massive, growing larger daily, and burning up all sales predictions, while across the line, The Amazon is burning up, crumbling, and disappearing.

If space aliens arrived million of years from now and found the word “Amazon” scattered everywhere, what possible conclusions would they draw from that?

  • “Well, was this some overlord plundering his area for materials and products, then moving those north to sell to the peasant masses there?”
  • “A primitive experiment by primitive people: Twins separated at birth, raised in different environments, producing opposites: good twin and evil twin?”

You got any better ideas or plausible explanation for that?

Spooky, loopy, and goofy. Image that.
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge
Camille Paglia remembers “wearing my fabulous Halloween costumes as a Roman soldier, toreador or Napoleon.”
She’s interesting. How about her idea that banning drinking for those under 21 yrs is what’s keeping college students from learning the art of conversation? (Something’s halted that critical development.) First published in WSJ, but you can also read article here.
Actors on stage with audience. Projected "film" Emile Reynaud y el Teatro optico. 1891.(USPD., artist life/

Image is projected and accepted by those happy to suspend belief. (USPD/

September 5, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

RC Cat: High noon. Everybody polka.


Cat sprawled on window seat (© image. Copyrighted, all rights reserved, NO permissions granted)

Is the podium prepared and the speaker system sound checked? (© image)

Move them aside.

Someone tell that Ella some “good doggie” compliment so her tail will go crazy and sweep the area. Gads,We  must chat with Staff concerning the abundance of dog hair tumbleweeds in the hall.

We should not be subjected to such.

It’s clinging. Get it off. Get it off. Remove the offending dog clump!

Get – what? No. It is no way an errant fluff from Our ruff. The nerve.

Now step aside and allow Us to address Our subjects.


Do not be offended. We must speak to audience members in clearly understood terms.

If the training command fits, sit.

This is a public service announcement:

We know the past eternity few weeks have been absolute chaos populated with difficulties with the summer’s heat and visiting dog, so We feel it important for those in the Realm to participate in stress releasing activities especially one that might offer an opportunity for a certain dog’s leash to oddly become undone resulting in an escape.

 Sunday,  the Mid Main Micro Marathon is a lovely charity event benefitting Barrio Dogs.

As the route is only 0.26 miles, We feel certain it is well within the ability levels of even The Molly or Staff.

shoes on poster for marathon. (screenshot: FB Mid Main Micro Marathon)

“Take the run out of running” If that’s not motivational, what is?(FB: Mid Main Micro Marathon)

Children and dogs? Welcomed as they may be needed to assist adults during the grueling route all the way around the block.

Last year’s event featured refreshing route breaks such as: stretch of hopscotch, limbo, a fried pickle station, and a coffee break. Most popular were the dramatic mandated Slow Motion finish zone with “dramatic falls, carrying their friends over the finish line and crawling to the end.”

All that was before the end of the race reward of a free Oasis beer or soft drink at the Continental Club.

With that in mind, costume should be designed to be trip proof and dog tooth snagging free.

Warm up at noon with live music by Polish Pete & the Polka? I Hardly Know Her Band after the race.

Silence! The visual is about to begin.

More about the race’s story, the unique downtown area, and Marathon that has “grown bigger, but not longer” in article here

Some may feel is odd We support this dog benefit with such enthusiasm. But We are benevolent and caring to all creatures And if they raise enough money there will be fewer dogs around. It’s warm here. Animals are frisky year round.

Barrio Dogs, created in 2010,  works to educate residents on the importance of spaying and neutering pets, provides free services for low income families, with a goal of reducing stray dog problem in East Houston.

So in conclusion, We encourage everyone to pick up the pace and polka over to this event.

Medical team with patient (image YouTube Mid Main Micro Matathon)

Obviously the promotors are fully prepared. (Mid Main Micro Marathon)

Perhaps doing group readings of “The Gingerbread Man” with Our revised ending where that sassy cookie is not devoured by the fox, but makes like the “This Little Piggy Toe” and runs weeee, weee, weee all the way home as fast as she can. Hint. Hint. Too obvious? 

Despite rumors, Our story revision enactment casting Molly Malamute as the fox and Ella as the stale treat is not a proposed reality suggestion show.

We wish to thank you for your attention.

You may return to your regularly scheduled bon-bon eating activities and duties.


You have Our permission to withdraw.

Two dogs on couch. German Shepherd and Malamute ignoring speaker. (© image. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted. All rights reserved)

“And we are supposed to get off the couch for what?” “Ignore the cat. She’ll leave in a minute.”(© image)

And don’t forget to leave the tribute of an open can of food in the doorway.

Oh, what? Yes, yes there is a turnstile at the foyer now.

Not a hinderance for exiting at all.

Simply a traffic control measure as so many seem to be so eager to go out and spread the news from Our audiences that We worried dunderheads were forgetting to leave expected tributes about the safety of those departing.

There now, yes, yes. One at a time. Remember to stack your thoughtful gifts of tuna or salmon neatly on the table before looking up and smiling at the cameras.

The cameras? Yes, yes, those are new also. Simply a modern way to make sure We have everyone so that Thank You notes may be sent.

Staff, please assist. Some are confused and trying to surge over the side rails.

New procedures are alway difficult for humans.

Have care, mon cheré. The cameras, you know.

Our paw has waved.


I am RC Cat and I approve this message.


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