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March 17, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Old Green Deal

“There is a war between the living and the dead, and the Irish stories keep harping upon it.” (William Butler Yeats)

“Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.” (William Butler Yeats)

St. Patrick's day card. 1927.Boy holding harp and horn with shamrocks (USPD. artist life, pub.date/Commons.,wikimedia.org)

St. Patrick’s day greeting from 1927.(USPD/Commons.,wikimedia.org)

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” (George Bernard Shaw)

“Books, the children of the brain.” (Jonathan Swift)

“A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart.”(Jonathon Swift)

St Patrick's Day card with woman in red dress and clover (1908. USPD pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

St Patrick’s Day wish. (1908.USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” (Jonathan Swift)

“People who lean on logic and philosophy and rational exposition end by starving the best part of the mind.”(William Butler Yeats)

St. Patrick's Day postcard with pipe and clover smoke (USPD artist life, pub.date/ Commons.wikimedia.org)

St. Patrick’s Day postcard.(USPD/ Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody’s face but their own.” (Jonathon Swift)

“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” (Oscar Wilde)

Postcard, 1908 Woman in shoe wishing luck (USPD. artist life, pub.date/Commons.,wikimedia.org)

Postcard, 1908. Good luck with that one.(USPD/Commons.,wikimedia.org)

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.” (Oscar Wilde)

“Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.” (George Bernard Shaw)

St. Patrick's Day print of Wounded from the Front in Hospital at Pietermartizburg ward during Boer War. Wounded Irishman being offered a shamrock by visiting lady, April 1900.(Wellcome Trust Iconic collections Wellcome Collection Galllery, UK)

The more things change, the more they stay the same. St. Patrick’s Day print of wounded from the Front in hospital at a Pietermartizburg ward during Boer War. Wounded Irishman being offered a shamrock by visiting lady, April 1900.(Wellcome Trust Iconic Collections/ Wellcome Collection Gallery, UK)

“Poetry is what we do to break bread with the dead.”( Seamus Heaney, a poet who also wrote “Anyone born and bred in Northern Ireland can’t be too optimistic.” Now that’s Irish.)

“In a war situation or where violence and injustice are prevalent, poetry is called upon to be something more than a thing of beauty.” (Seamus Heaney)

“Poetry is more a threshold than a path.” (Seamus Heaney)

St. Patrick's Day, Ireland Duke brand cigarettes litho.print ( 1890/ USPD artist life, pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

St. Patrick’s Day, Ireland, 1890 litho.print (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame!” (William Butler Yeats)

Man and Cromwell's Bridge Glengariff postcaard. (USPD. aatist life/pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Presenting: Cromwell’s Bridge Glengariff postcard.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“May your glass be ever full.

May the roof over your head be always strong.

And may you be in heaven

half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead”

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

St Patrick's Day card. man with pipe (USPD. artist life/pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Yep, smiling eyes today for one and all.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

March 14, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Breakdown, go ahead and give it to me

Line of upset men. Ill. by Batten, 1895 (USPD. pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Oh, the drama. Did you get it? Want a second take?(1895.Baaatten/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Which one is worse?

A breakdown or a breakup

An experiment. Ah yes, there’s the ticket. An attempt to figure out which is the most wicked:

Take two sticks approximately the same diameter  – without any branching left or right as each tends to rip sight. Hold one high in the air and snap in half. Then try the alternative holding one low close to ground, snap go.

So after analysis and examination, which is easier: breaking up or breaking down?

Directional words gone rogue.

Some say Down with people. Others sing Up with People,

But, really, just how do you take those?

Wouldn’t you get physically tired doing either?

(Or maybe you do a lot of push ups or pull ups creating vast amount of armed strength. I simply run out of energy.)

 The ups and downs breaking could really all about cheers or jeers.

Extremes are so in now.

“Up your chances” they suggest.

Like holding a lottery ticket in the air is really going to do any good…unless that’s meant as an appeal or an exhibition of worship. Not raised in that approach.

Fan palm frond with platinum curls (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved no permissions granted)

Reaching out. A Mexican Fan palm hopes you’ll notice her Spring coiffure: platinum curls. So Marylyn Monroe beachy, right?(© image)

Spring Break is here.

(You can tell: the first day was blustery with chilling wind – breaking some beach goers’ hearts.)

But I always wonder do you recover faster from a spring break than from a winter one?

Do bones actually heal faster?

Bound to be medical research on that, if I bothered to look it up.

Mexican palm frond with blond tendrils Not to be outdone, Her sister sports a whisky windswept look. (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Not to be outdone, Her sister sports a windswept look of blond tendrils. (© image)

What’s left to say, my achy brakey hart? (Please break the habit of unexpectedly leaping across roads. People this week will be half asleep at the wheel.)

Springing ahead is madness without caution 

Seriously one of the best laughs today: local traffic girl suggesting “It will seem to be brighter on your drive to work on Monday now we are in Daylight Savings Time. Stay safe and clean your windshield ’cause the dirt reflects/refracts light and makes it even brighter and harder to see if you are bleary!”

Dirt on the windshield always makes it harder to see – any time. Duh. Can’t do anything without being told. Break down of commonsense: Learned helplessness.)

Break dancing. Gleefully.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Blond tendrils on Mexican palm frond. (© image copyrighted all rights reserved no permissions granted )

Little sister is not to be left behind. “Mom, can’t you cornrow braid this and maybe put some add some beads? Bo Derek style? Please? Huh? Species appropriation? Oh, my.” (© image)

 

 

 

 

March 7, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

You Betcha Your Mutton

Costumed alpaca at Houston Rodeo (Houstonrodeo.com Screenshot)

“I feel pretty. Oh, so pretty.” Costumed alpaca at Houston Rodeo (Houstonrodeo.com)

Some attendees are not sheepish about why they came: it’s all about the outfits…or something to get your heart racing…or simply the shear excitement.

Oh, OK, but the Wild West never looked like this.

Mutton bustin' contestant girl. Houston Rodeo 2022 (Screenshot)

Whoo. Hope the landing is a s soft as this fleece. Mutton bustin’ contestant who practiced up riding her dad around the living room. (Houston Rodeo 2022)

Don’t worry.

They wash and fluff each lamb before its’ run…and they do run – right to their flock a short distance ahead.

Also waiting ahead is an army of volunteers who pretty much whisk each rider up into the air no matter how long the ride.

Watch couple of the contestants shown here and here.

Two kids in cowboy hats watching rodeo parade. (Screenshot. ABC13)

Two kids in cowboy hats watching rodeo parade. Dreams in the making. (Screenshot.ABC13)

 

Girl in pink hat riding side saddle. Houston rodeo parade/ABC13 screenshot)

Pretty in pink! I love this little escaramuza confidently riding sidesaddle in her traditional sweeping skirt and sombrero. Gloves? It was cold! (Houston rodeo/ABC13)

Here’s a great short article on Charreadas (Mexican rodeos) traditions for women and little girls. Those sweeping skirts and the riders’ swift maneuvers has historical roots in their role during the Mexican Revolution.

“San Antonio team keeps tradition of Mexican rodeo alive” 

The young boys are not left out either! Absolutely thrilled to see these twirling ropes with such skill. Always wanted to do those rope tricks, but all I got was tripped up and rope pokes. (You can watch them if you click the parade link below. Jump to about 1:06:44 -)

Boy with rope trick rope in traditional dress and sombrero (Houstonrodeo screenshot)

Trick roper in traditional Charro/Vaquero dress. (Houston rodeo)

Rodeo parade Flag bearer on horseback with rope twirlers behind (Screenshot Houston rodeo 2022)

Rodeo parade flag bearer on horseback(Screenshot.View some amazing horses around 1:02:00 or 1:07:00 in the parade link below.)

Part of the deal with the parade and rodeo is keeping Western heritage and local traditions alive…and we have a whole bunch of different heritages to share.

Texas has always been sort of mutt county – which is great: lots of festivals, different types of food, and stories. A little bit of everything mixed in. As everyone always says, “Mutts are always the best”

Rodeo time is like St. Patrick’s Day: everyone is a cowboy or cowgirl.

Hawaii 's rodeo Queen in parade (Screenshot ABC/Houston Rodeo.com)

Hawaii ‘s Rodeo Queen in parade (ABC13./Houston Rodeo.com)

Hawaiian cowboys or “paniolo” have been riding and ropin’ with Rodeo’s best since the early 1900s.

The Parker Ranch, a working ranch since 1847, has always been a blend of the American Wild West and Hawaiian traditions and philosophy.

  • Read more about the history of the Parker Ranch and the story of a 19 year old man who jumped ship and became part of the royal family here
  • Ranching there all started in 1793 with five cows brought to the islands as a gift to King Kamehameha I …and left as protected pets to roam at will…..until shortly, serious cows gone wild!!!
  • In 1833, Mexican vaqueros hired from California arrived to help Hawaiians get a rope around cow management. The Espanol speaking vaqueros contributed greatly to the “paniolo” culture. Of course that includes some singing cowboys, no doubt, as the vaqueros also brought along the guitar to the islands (source here)
  • There or here, cowgirls are at home at the rodeo. So “Howdy, y’all.” (Oh, they have mutton bustin’ events at Hawaiian rodeos, too. One of the mutton contestants recently here was from Hawaii.)
Hawaiian rodeo princesses on horseback (Screen shot Rodeo Houston/ABC13)

Eight Hawaiian rodeo princesses on horseback each dressed in different colors to represent one of the eight Hawaiian islands. Each rider and horse is wearing leis from specific flowers of one particular island. The flowers were carefully packed and transported with the leis crafted once they arrive in Houston. (Rodeo Houston/ABC13)

Taipei, Taiwan and Shenzhen, China are two of Houston’s sister cities

Rodeo float from Taiwan (Rodeo Houston/ABC screenshot)

This rodeo wagon had several diplomats on it. One guy from Taiwan was so thrilled to be in the parade and wearing a cowboy hat he was grinning from to ear and just beside himself with happiness. Who wouldn’t be? A great day and in a rodeo parade!(Rodeo Houston/ABC13)

 

St Thomas's band with bagpipes, drums and kids in kilts (Rodeo Houston/ABC13 screenshot)

Skirting the issue of just how diverse this area is. Took tough hardy people to settle this area – and Scotland offered a few. St Thomas’ high school band with bagpipes, drums, and kids in kilts…I always worry about the mosquito bites on those knees. Toughness and dedication, still demonstrated. (Rodeo Houston/ABC13)

 

A&M calvary corps (Screenshot rodeohouston/ABC13)

The cavalry really is coming! A&M calvary corps. Being in that group takes a whole lot of dedication. Calvary training was a part of the military curriculum until the 1930’s. Read more about the Parsons Mounted Cavalry Corps here. (rodeohouston/ABC13)

 

A&M cadets with cannon in Rodeo Parade (Screenshot rodeohouston/ABC13)

A&M cadets with their cannon in Rodeo Parade (rodeohouston/ABC13)

What’s a parade without a cannon? It’s just so Texas.

    After gaining their independence from Spain, Mexico had encouraged the local towns to set up militias to fight Indian raids, so Gonzales’ (just outside San Antonio) militia was given a cannon by Mexican officials.
    When Mexican General Santa Anna ordered that all militias be disarmed, the army came to take back the cannon. But the cannon was hidden away as the settlers said they really needed the cannon to defend against the fierce native tribes that traveled back and forth between Mexico and Canada – frequently burning homesteads, running off with livestock, and kidnapping small children and women.

(Side note: Many of the Native Americans lived peacefully among the settlers like the tribal village next door to our family’s homestead. But both the neighbors feared and fought the fierce tribes who raided everyone. These raiders were one reason Mexico had trouble getting people to settle in the what is now Texas. Oh, my homesteading relatives were Mexican citizens, spoke Spanish, were Catholic, and paid money to the Mexican government for the land, so don’t start…)

    The local volunteer militia fought off the troops. Then the bulk of the Mexican troops in Texas moved to San Antonio de Bexar in response. Gonzales is often called the beginning of Texas Independence.

“On October 2, 1835, Texans led by John H. Moore resisted Mexican dragoons sent to retrieve the town cannon. Challenging the Mexicans to “come and take it,” the Texans rallied around the gun and fought the Battle of Gonzales, the first skirmish of the Texas Revolution…” (more here from Texas State Historical Association’s Handbook of Texas online)

Prairie View Trail riders on Houston Rodeo 2022 parade. (Screenshot rodeohouston)

Prairie View Trail riders in Houston Rodeo 2022 parade. One of the oldest trail rides, started in 1957, now has some families of 3 generation riding along. Video about them here. Article about this historical group of Black Cowboys and Cowgirls here in Texas Monthly.

You can watch the entire parade here.

Get a glimpse of the most beautiful horses – groups riding not only quarter horses or using draft horses, but prancing horses from Andalusia and Portugal – breeds that were foundation stock for the Western mustangs. (Gotta love those flowing manes and that elegant horse heritage bling. Enough to make a Palomino gold turn green.)

Once, you could show up the night before the parade at the trail rides’ camp grounds and try and talk your way onto a wagon. If you managed to do that, you not only got to ride in the parade (without enduring the hardships and always miserable weather of the actual trail ride),but you also got into the rodeo for free. At that time, the parade was routed right into the rodeo grounds, circled and spiraled all around the arena to open the first performance.

A moocho mucho fun time? You betcha.

And the rodeo continues – until March 20th. Tejano entertainment tonight. Performers from all genre scheduled. That should be music to your ears. Includes Marshmellow‘s electronic music? Well, if that alone isn’t enough to git the cows to dance with you until they head home…

Big time fun requires a big lot bunch of time. (Oh, let’s avoid that word “lot” out of respect for cows. Might spook the herd.)

Time to saddle up and mosey on.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Remember the Alamo. And remember Ukraine.

Lost causes may have an impact far beyond what was ever expected.

March 1, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Thee fishy three

Oyster boat unloaded by men. 1938 Olg Louisiana/Gulf of Mexico. (USPD. LoC/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Oyster boat being unloaded by men in 1938 Louisiana/Gulf of Mexico. (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Last year I went fishing with Salvador Dali. He was using a dotted line. He caught every other fish.

(Comedian Steven Wright)

John Forbes Kerry, the first United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, would be happy about this…He no doubt loves sustainably sourced products, organic stuff, probably anything with an exclusive label like “prestige” and a classy meal…although not necessarily in that order.

(Stop rolling your eyes. I know he is taking heat for while people are dying in Ukraine, he is fretting over how people may get distracted from climate change and green energy…in between flights on his private jet.)

But this shell game is a pretty big deal:

“San Leon oyster company, Prestige Oysters is the only sustainable oyster fishery in all the Americas, and one of only six in the world, certified by the Marine Stewardship Council.” A rare honor – which comes after thought, care, and hard work by the company and Prestige Oysters’ Raz Halili

“Sustainability comes from nurturing the reefs: rebuilding them with rock and shell during the off season; and harvesting just enough to give younger oysters the time and room to grow…more here (Video and article)

Notably these oyster beds are the only ones not closed by The Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife during the state’s ‘oyster-season’ out of concern that  aren’t enough mature oysters in the Gulf’s public waters.

While they are not fishing for compliments, cheers and well deserved to the guys just down the road.

Fish talking to fisherman. (ill. by Alexander Zick. 1845-1907) (USPD. arrtist life, date of pub./commons.wikim,edia.org)

“Hey, I’ve got a line on a few things, but do not understand why people are so excited about being on the net. All I see is lots of entanglement.” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

All men are equal before fish. (Herbert Hoover)

Yesterday, things started out a little fishy.

If you’re been a reader for long, you already know I fought – for some 8 years – a woman trying to steal my vote during elections. It involved mailed voter registration cards that were repeatedly stolen (postal workers involved) and forgeries. A post about it here.

So when there in the mail box was an updated new voter registration card for me, but not one for Sr. Staff. Odd. The cards always arrive together. Noooooo! What are the odds lightning’s gonna strike twice.

Luckily later, a neighbor came by with the missing card that had been put in their mailbox. He was fuming, “This is how easy voter fraud happens.”

Frequent topics among neighbors on the block? 1) why does the state persist in mailing out voter registrations in postcard form (so easy recognize and to read/steal identities), and 2) if you keep getting other people’s mail, you know other people are getting your mail, too.

(We all wonder if we should ask to get the worker’s salary and divide it among ourselves because we sort and deliver misdirected items so often.)

Stinks like old fish. 

WordPress 11th anniversary note

Being a fish out of water is tough, but that’s how you evolve.

(Comedian Kumail Nanjiani)

Actually the blog is 11 years and 1 week old. It was just a little nuts last week….or as chaotic as usual…Orderly and predictable currently only a wishful dream ….but then again that might be boring, so there’s that.

Not trying to be a cold fish.

Please accept my apologies for not being around much / erratic posting schedule / commenting infrequently recently – dealing with some serious medical conditions of Sr. Staff. Not really funny – and as the old relatives always said, “Everyone has their crosses to bear – don’t bore people with yours.” We are managing, and that’s enough right now.

Laughter is the best medicine.

So I really appreciate all of you who wander through the meandering thoughts here, laugh (and cry) along with the Realm’s cast of characters, and add so many grins with your comments when you sit down to chat. You make my world so much more fun.

And just because we all can use more smirks laughter right now, I’ll leave you with this instructional quip…

A quote RC Cat used to muttered frequently:

Remember, a dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream.

(W.C.Fields)

We can all do that, right?

(Molly Malamute was supposed to add a paw wave and a witty howl, but she is totally crashed out after running in the fields with friends in the sun most of today after an entire week of rain ….She is still totally annoyed Staff hasn’t added a furry partner in grime to play with…although that large, older, Scottish Deerhound down the block tried to apply for the opening…made it into the garage when Staff realized he was terribly, terribly hungry. (and he was really sorry he ripped into the neighbor’s garbage bag…”Could you smooth that over a little for me, please?”) ..and maybe he had been abandoned and left behind?…But his person’s car finally did show up ….Staff is still keeping an eye on his unstable situation…and Molly is keeping her paws crossed in hope. She is enchanted. The older gentleman is quite handsome with a sweet disposition, but his heart has already been given no matter the circumstances he find himself in….We’ll see…like Staff needs one more thing to worry about or deal with right now.)

Everyone into the pool! Onward!

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Couple waterskiing performance Florida Cypress Gardens theme park 1970's. USPD. pub.date, aaratist life/Archives Florida State Library)

Now this is cute. She’s as elegant as a water bird…although her partner seems to be grimacing a bit. Hey, who wouldn’t be? Just pick it up, and carry on. Works for many things.(Florida Cypress Gardens 1970’s.USPD/Archives Florida State Library)

Founded in 1926 by Dick and Julie Pope, Cypress Gardens was Florida’s first theme park. In 1941, it was proclaimed the Water Ski Capitol of the World and became the birthplace for performance water skiing. Probably a popular place for Spring Break, Easter, or summer vacations. Florida Cypress Gardens theme park closed on Sept 23, 2009.

 

February 23, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Certainly, Not Facebook, but..

Woman with postcards under her skirt. (1910- (USPD. pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Woman with postcards – a display for sure, but proud of a collection or her shoplifting style? Oh, no this postcard not risqué- the postcards have that covered. Besides it’s French. (1910’s /USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

It not exactly Facebook, is it?

Humans don’t seem to change behavior much – only their communication formats do.

postcard of a post card. 1900- (USPD. pub.date/Commoins.wikimedia.org)

Promises. Promises. (postcard of a post card. 1900’s. USPD/Commoins.wikimedia.org)

“Oh, it’s not that I’ve forgotten or replaced don’t miss you”

(An aside: Thank you for refreshing my drink, Dahling. You are such a dear.)

“You won’t believe all the museums and hysterical historical sights.”

(Oh? they are doing the rumba around the pool? One moment and I’ll join you)

“Wish you were here!”

(But I’ll just have to make do. Make new friends. And keep the old..)

There. Stamp and obligation fulfilled. Guilt free.

Woman by giant tree covered with postcards.1910- World's biggest card case (USPD. pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

1910’s World’s biggest card case. Postcard collections were quite the thing: showing personal popularity, enviable travel destinations and dominance in the “keeping up with the neighbors” competition.  (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

A primitive version of Social Media.

“Look how many followers I have. See how many subscribers signed up for my Twitter/blog feed?”

Old school proof to show you really were there

No, of course not done to rub it in or make anyone jealous 

Selfies rock!

Couple at postcard stand. 1910- (USPD. pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Apparently true love meant spending money on postcards as well as diamonds. Hope they’ve already had lunch as his pockets look empty and so many places didn’t take IOU’s or credit cards… (Couple at postcard stand. 1910 -. USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Woman buying postcard. 1910- Curt Teich (USPD. pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Woman buying postcard – and sending a message. I don’t know about you but that salesman looks a bit creepy…like Rasputin creepy (1910- Curt Teich postcard/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Warning or yearning

Pushy broad or naïve young thing

Wonder if her grand gesture was well received?

(and was he worth it) 

Elegant man reading postcard. 1900's (USPD pub.date/Commoins.wikimedia.org)

Elegant man reading postcard…apparently on his way out the door. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, but you have to wonder. (1900’s postcard. /USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

You have to hope they ended up like this happy couple.

Any written words they posted on the back of this card probably as entertaining as their posed antics.

Postcard of man and woman playfully posing for camera . 1910-19 (USPD artist life, pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Postcard of man and woman playfully posing for camera. Personalized postcards, a popular tourist souvenir in the 1900’s.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Postcards were quite the fad at one time.

You can view surviving postcards now sheltered in museums and university libraries online.

Marketed heavily by multiple companies, eagerly kept in collections as well as sent to people, and with some of the weirdest topics and images.

I get the images of different areas and wonders of the Chicago World’s Fair, National Parks, scenic highways, famous restaurants and colorful locals, but…

Baffled by the postcards of the hangings. (All ethnic/religious groups). Why would anyone want take home a souvenir of that? Who would send it to anyone? What would you say: “Wish you were here”? (with a couple of ways to interpret that penned message.)

Hmmm, the original owners of vintage postcards might surprised that their postcards not only survived, but are still enjoyed. 

Mailing it in with a few smiles

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Vintage dressed women on train. Wings of a Century postcard Chicago open-air Pageant of Transportation 1930's/USPD. artist life, pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

You can feel the excitement. I keep expecting them to break into song….”Wings of a Century” postcard Chicago Open-air Pageant of Transportation. (1930’s/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

 

 

 

 

 

February 21, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Drivin’ and that dippity-do

street sign "Nasa Value Center" . (© Image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permission granted)

I knew NASA was on a tight budget, but resorting to garage sales? (© Image)

Well, that’s certainly down to earth.

Local street signs like “Gemini”, “Saturn”, “Space Center Blvd” and “NASA Road 1” hardly get a glance, but now there’s this one.

Just what can you expect to see if you turn at the signal?

Recycled rockets?

Last year’s model of astronaut space suits?

Refurbished JSC Mission Control room computers?

A really, really, really, big “Big Lots” type store with out-of-this-world bargains and items?

(Is that moon dust on your feet from aisle 3 – or just tree pollen?)

It’s just a shopping center with some economical restaurants, a couple of big box stores, Goodwill donation center and store, and a poker club, but some commercial developers won’t miss a chance to hitch their star onto something cool. If you update a shopping area, ya gotta give it some sparkle, right?

There’s a good deal of sparkle and star power going on around here this time of year

  • Homeowner’s Nest doorbell cam captures meteor” – Our cam caught the meteor’s big flash as it burned up. Didn’t wake the dog though.
  • Rodeo Houston is staging and about ready to giddy-up out of the chutes . Trail Rides traveling from all directions towards the city. Monday night one ride will be camped out at the end of the day among the rocket men on the NASA grounds. Carnival and food vendors are setting up on the rodeo grounds. The legendary barbecue cook-off starts shortly. The entertainment line up of stars are grabbing their outfits and instruments. Of course all the kids hoping to win and earn scholarship money (over 800 awarded) are having heart to heart talks with their animals and art entires (Of course there are scholarships for that) Houston’s Livestock Show and Rodeo is one of the city’s best traditions…”since 1932, more than $550 million has been committed to the youth of Texas and education” with grants, scholarships, graduate assistantships…even during the COVID pandemic. The educational commitments were kept despite the show not going on.
  • Also, Galveston’s Mardi Gras is already in full swing. Mardi Gras was first publicly observed on Galveston Island in 1867. Following a break in 1941 due to war and challenging times, Mardi Gras Galveston was revived in 1985. It’s the largest celebration of its kind in Texas and the third largest in the nation.
Duchess of Knights of Momus Ball, Galveston, TX 2022 (PapercityMag Image screenshot. )

“OK, I made it down. Now, the whole world is watching. Please, no leg cramps, stepping on my skirt, losing a shoe, or falling over. My life would be over.” (Duchess of Knights of Momus Ball, Galveston, TX/ PapercityMag Image screenshot.)

Speaking of down to earth, these lovelies who were invited to be a Mardi Gras Duchess are dipping into history.

Participants may be daughters of Krewe members, from rich families, or often accomplished young women from local area high schools. Being chosen is quite an honor (and a little expensive as those dresses that are made just for you to fit a theme, all the parties must be attended, and there’s the travel to and from the dress fittings and the lessons.)

Yes, there are lessons.

A Mardi Gras Duchess is expected to do the “Texas Debutante Dip” when presented.  Not an easy, quick skill to learn.

Basically, without assistance, the girl must step forward and sink gracefully down like a swan to the ground in one fluid motion with a her head up, with a composed relaxed smile on her face before rising – without assistance. An accomplished debutant will be able lower her forehead to touch her leg which is extended out front before rising…all with a smile and no assistance. All in one fluid motion…no wobbles, halting or lurching awkwardly.

Debutant in gold dress perfoming Texas Debutant Dip. MArdi Gras gala 2022 (screenshot image houston.culturemap.com)

She’s off to a good start performing the Texas Debutant Dip. Sinking gracefully with back straight and extended relaxed arms with “pretty hands”. (Mardi Gras gala 2022. screenshot image; houston.culturemap.com)

It is quite a trick. Only the skilled – and strong – survive it.

Yesterday, the local morning news showed some Mardi Gras footage from events of the night before. At one gala was a Duchess in a green gown who performed the most beautiful Texas Dips I’ve ever seen: one continuous motion sinking down, then floating effortlessly back up. It was smooth, exquisite, and perfect.

Unfortunately the new-from-out-of-town anchor called it “The Texas Bow”. It’s not a “bow”. Men bow – bend from the waist which, by comparison, ain’t all that hard.

Whether it’s a sign or a comment on social graces, words matter.

Wanna see or try The Texas Debutant Dip yourself? Here’s an instructional video. (And a close to perfect rise here.)

I dare you. Ha-Ha.

Well, busy traveling through the year’s time and space

Let whimsy drive and serendipity help as you dip and soar.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Dogs dressed for The Barkus & Meox parade, - Mardi Gras Galveston (Image. screenshot Galveston Convention and Visitor's Center).

It’s the Barkus & Meox parade – the most fun Mardi Gras event of them all. (Image: Galveston Convention and Visitor’s Center).

 

 

February 14, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Is this a bad sign?

It’s difficult to find just the right Valentine:

The message, the art work, the quality of the paper, even the company brand for some.

Is it enough? too much?

Too sappy sweet – too waaay past romantic.

Too bland and “one card fits all” generic

Too close to insulting

Too delicate when it should be bold.

Too, I just don’t know!

Or realistically too obvious: “I had to grab what was left”

A glance at some vintage Valentines for your amusement and fun 

(Although, it’s probably just me, but the Valentine series name is a bit spooky in this day and age as it it inadvertently summons up Zodiac Killer– and that’s not really the emotions you want connected with lovey-dovie Valentines Day! Purely coincidence. The postcard series’ name simply an innocent victim of this modern era.)

Valentines. Feb. birthday Zodiac series by Dwiggins, 1900- (USPD. pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Valentines given hoping for a kiss from a January miss? You gotta love her outfit. Oddly modern-ish with the overskirt sagging low like so many jeans and pants stylishly worn now. It’s cold – and vintage – so let the chick have her fur chic. Everything considered, guessing she wasn’t really dressed for the sport of serious snowshoeing…other sporting planned perhaps. (1900’s Zodiac Valentines series by Dwiggins/ USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Valentines May, Zodiaac series by Dwiggins 1900- . Tuck & Sons (USPD. pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

1900’s Valentine for a frolicking May gal. Flighty attitude indeed. She certainly is stepping lively – as people once did during that May fêtes, around May poles and May Days with pretty posies instead of politics grim.(Zodiac series by Dwiggins /Tuck & Sons/ USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Valentines postcard. June, Zodiac series by Dwiggings, 1900- (USPD. pub.date/commions.wikimedia.org)

June Valentine postcard from the 1900’s Zodiac series by Dwiggins. How fair is this? Summer birthdays always get the good stuff: bigger birthday parties as it’s never on a school day as well as all their stuff has pretty flowers and spring colors. Sigh. Autumn’s browns and gold no match for romantic June’s pinks and pale greens. (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Valentine. Nov. birthday .Zodiac series by Dwiggins/TUck & Sons/1900- (USPD. pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Now who’s the turkey, Valentine? Really? A hatchet on a Valentine postcard….shiver: stalking and luring. Far too many susceptible to abusive relationship suggestions – and here’s one in print? Sigh. In any case, an example how some just can’t escape the food means love connection. All seems to cuts into the heart-full feeling somehow. (1900’s Nov. from Zodiac series by Dwiggins /USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Valentine. December birthday. Zodiac series, December. Clare Victor Dwiggings/Tuck & Sons. (USPD,pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Did Santa not bring what was wanted? Or was the sender on the Naughty List and now, repentant, asking for another chance? No, it is not your imagination. She looks like a mermaid…that was the “perfect” body shape of the era…but the outfit might have been considered a little risqué and suggestive? (postcard Clare Victor Dwiggins’ Zodiac Valentines series/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Valentines postcard (January/Zodiac series)by Dwiggins, 1900- Tuck & Sons (USPD. pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Social Influencer or shopper heading out to some after Christmas sales? Dressed so fashionably, she appears to be oblivious and skating on thin ice. (1900’s Valentines postcard from the Zodiac series by Dwiggins/ USPD//Commons.wikimedia.org)

Valentine postcard with Cupid as mailman. 1910. Nat. Lib of NZ. (USPD. pub.date, artist life/Flikr/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Like a play within a play, a 1910 Valentine postcard with delivery by Cupid. A whiff of suspicion or wry sense of humor? (Nat. Lib of NZ./USPD./Flickr/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Valentine postcard of a hand holding a dove. 1911 The Household Journal's 'new" postcard collection. ( USPD. pub.date/artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Elegant embossed Valentine postcard with a hand holding a dove. The Household Journal’s “new” postcard offerings from 1910. Now this style is more what many expect.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Valentine sealed with kiss. Sealed with a kiss. Young couple kissing. 1920-1929 Curt teich postcard (ISPD. pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

No matter the Valentine’s era, the style chosen, or the message printed, best seal it with a kiss. (1920-1929.Curt Teich postcard/ USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Red hearts – the construction paper kind – to you

Happy Valentines Day!

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Curious? 

  • “Forgotten today, Dwig was one of the most productive cartoonists and illustrators of his generation. In addition to dozens of comic strip series published in American newspapers, Dwig created interesting and graceful art for hundreds of postcards, books and magazines articles and covers. “

Read more here: “Dead cats at moonlight – The Art of Clare Victor Dwiggins” (The Comic Journal)

Oh, the cats thing. An explanation: “There was a time when childhood in America meant using dead cats at moonlight to get rid of a wart. It meant throwing things at the teacher when her back was turned. It meant firecrackers in ant piles.The early American newspaper comics celebrated this wild aspect of childhood…”

 

February 7, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

No business like snow business.

German Shepherd walking in snow near Game of Thrones type building (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

“That stupid cat Walter. All about who you know. He gets a media contract – and no doubt a trailer on set with a star on the door and buffet as requested inside – and I get stuck in a Game of Thrones type location and yelled at for wet paws once patrol is completed and the back door opens. Where’s the justice?” (© image)

They say the grass is always greener

But how can that be if no grass to be seen…the underfoot kind….

A mountain-facing balcony vs a Pave Stone deck around a backyard pool

Sitting there on which – with an afternoon glass of wine

As each offering a bit of cool – all thing considered

Is there a shelf life when one is better than the other?

We dodged a frigid bullet here with only a few days of grey and frost.

Today unwrapped the grumpy, delicate tropical plants

Then luxuriated in the sunny warmth.

The yard crews playing catch-up with their mowing and trims

Will shortly be close to 70F and sunny – our winter’s whims

Not out of the ordinary or unexpected at all.

For as far as I can remember, it might snow around Valentines if we got it – or much winter at all

The sequence is always: New Years’ beach, then Rodeo and Car Shows’ sleet, then fingers crossed for Spring Break warmth, until the last cold front just before Easter no matter when that is.

Alternating tank tops with sweatshirts

The wild flowers are in the wings. Plant stores risking early arrivals to put in before the summer roast.

Strawberries are being picked.

Everyone outside. Sing birds. Scramble squirrels.

The grass is always greener

Until you have to mow it or shovel it.

c’est la vie

on n’y peut rien

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

snowy scene through screen (© image copyrighted all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Just makes me sleepy. A quandary: is 4+ months of extreme heat, humidity, and temps hot enough to actually fry an egg on the car hood a fair trade for about the same amount of time with ice, sleet, snow and below freezing temperatures? Oh to be a monarch, a snow goose, or one with generous relatives with big houses in each weather zone! HaHa….There’s always the “three days – fishy stink” issue to circumvent …just how much are those cute little travel vans anyway?  (© image. Not where we are, but sent to entice: “Come on up!” Hmmm. Let me think about that.)

February 4, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Never underestimate a tiger

Cat on snow runner (Screenshot Chevrolet commercial)

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow will stop Walter from the swift completion of his appointed rounds. (Screenshot Chevrolet 2022 commercial)

We had a Walter. (You know Walter? No other has a chance against Walter)

It was a Little Ugly. A daughter of Ugly.

Don’t blame me for the names – those cats ruled Sr. Staff and that Realm long before me.

Ugly, the matriarch, showed up on the doorstep in the middle of the worst winter storm with “Oh, by the way I’m pregnant and going to have my kittens in your closet among your shoes while you’re looking for a dry towel.” (Don’t tell me she hadn’t done some reconnoissance, picked the perfect soft hearted compassionate target individual and deliberately timed it all. I may not be a cat person, but it sounded awfully suspicious.)

Pleased with the return of her pre-motherhood figure (and quietly relieved she once assured by the vet that she could cat around without ever having kitten consequences ever again), Ugly and Little Ugly’s siblings all found forever homes quickly.

Little Ugly quickly became the RC of the Realm which included K.C.(Kitty Cat) a large Old Gentleman cat who always wore an expression of total surprise, and Kitty-kitty (I told you about the names. Totally innocent.) who was the mysterious, aloof diva of long ballerina legs, exotic eyes and elegant calico costume (and I swear she was more than just of a delicate sensitive nature…bipolar more like it…maybe even schizophrenic..it couldn’t have all been a manipulative act – or could it? Cats.)

Cat leading a pack of sled dogs in the snow (screenshot Chevrolet 2022 commercial)

Leader of the pack! In the eye of the tiger.(screenshot Chevrolet 2022 commercial)

Little Ugly, a small, ordinary, easy-to-overlook tiger cat, was the smart one.  She figured stuff out. Probably would have excelled as a Cirque du Soleil performer. 

If running a bit late from work, no problem. Little Ugly would leap vertically from counter to  the top of a “modern” cabinet suspended between two posts. Then acrobatically, she’d  jumped across the kitchen aisle grabbing the U-shaped handle of the cabinet above the refrigerator. Using trapeze skills she would swing across pulling the door open. Returning to her starting route, she’d next broad jump into the open cabinet, shoulder the bag of food to the edge, then, kick it to the floor where the other two cats waited to assist in opening the bag and serving themselves. Kitty-Kitty delicately sitting back from the pile and reaching out with one long leg to pull one piece at a time towards her before eating the tidbit. The old gentleman cat just settled in crouching down totally happy to be surrounded by all he could eat. (I hope they did thank Little Ugly for her efforts on their behalf.)

While easy to overlook, Little Ugly was the bold explorer. Not content to lounge among the lush tropical jungle on our apartment’s second floor balcony like the other cats, she scaled the wooden posts, pull herself up on top of the red wood slatted porch roof and freely roamed the complex roof. Maybe she was training for a triathlon? Everyone knew her: the tiger cat on the roof. She’d sit on the roof corner closest to the parking lot watching. Spotting me she’d chirp loudly “Hi Mom! Glad you’re home! Race you to the living room.” By the time I got in the door they were sitting in a line: KC with his quizzical face, Kitty-kitty looking bored, and Little Ugly looking pleased with herself.

Attack cat chasing delivery man ( screenshot Chevrolet 2022 commercial)

Attack cat Walter, the ultimate RC, defending his person and his Realm.(Screenshot Chevrolet 2022 commercial)

While she enjoyed her hiking and climbing hobbies, she was not about to forget her realm duties: protect and defend. One day, Sr Staff got a call from the apartment manager – who could hardly stop laughing. The maintenance guy went up to fix something, but after unlocking the door he was met by a HUGE snarling and growling cat with GIANT teeth sideway dancing and blocking the way…with  a couple of other cats providing backup. Shaken he backed out of the apartment. (In reality, she was a very small cat. She must have been channeling The Hulk that day.)

Another time, the Realm’s Old Gentleman cat was a supervising some grilling in the courtyard – something he loved to do. (I always suspected he really just wanted to roll in the grass, but he was a quite serious that his presence was necessary if some grilling was going on. If for nothing else he felt it was his duty to escort Sr. Staff up and down the stairs. “Must make sure he doesn’t get distracted and wander off,” K.C. would say. “Has nothing to do with salmon cooking and the possibility of small bits falling on the ground…”) This particular day, a new resident also had her large cat out to get some fresh air. Not a good plan. The new guy’s yowls and territorial threats quickly filled the air…bad move. Little Ugly, who had been keeping watch from the roof, launched herself straight down off the second story roof to assist her buddy (We all knew K.C. was big, but totally useless for defense unless he lay on his side like a sand dune to block the road.) The new cat never knew what hit him…literally….it came down out of the sky – just like a horror movie! He scrambled back inside. He never ventured out again as far as we know. Once the grilling was done, there was a short parade up the stairs to our apartment.

Tiger cats like Walter and Little Ugly: quiet, analytical, decisive.

You can depend on them to pull it out when it’s needed.

And to be humble about it all.

They know who they are – and not afraid to be just that.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

If you haven’t met Walter, let me introduce you:

January 31, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Why knots and what fours

Lightning strikes, 2005 Romania (Image by Madau/ released to PD/Commons.wikimedia

Do not trifle with the overlords. (PD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Nothing more appropriate: why nots and what fors.

Why not?….learning some very real spacey skills and maneuvers that might come in handy sometime…like when it’s cheaper and more effective than using tanks, missiles, or jets. Meanwhile the USA appears to be more worried about dodging incoming lightning strikes over pronouns and yawn retro skin color outrage. Science is not a follower. Boldly goeth with or without personal internal guidance system. Works for the NBA

 

  • It’s a mantra, a rallying cry, not a lifestyle: that “Follow the science” phrase. Instead of sending every household a depressing one time N95 mask and a frequently faulty,  outdated variant COVID test, why not send everyone a exercise bike/treadmill/rowing machine instead? Might be more helpful and healthful.

Even a jump rope or some “Waits” – you know those things that used to be called “dumb belles” until someone decided the name was hate speech towards Southern girls with hour glass figures. So the items re-fashioned as “waits” – as in “wait until you drop this on your foot” or “wait until it crashes through the floor to the apartment below” or “wait just a little longer until you can go outside or to the gym.” Seems like Mr. Data would approve of stuff that encourages breathing productively instead or just spewing out hot air…climate change and all that.

Just think of it like that campaign promise “A chicken in every pot!” Actually candidate Herbert Hoover (1920’s) never said that. Henri IV may have said it in 16th century France, but like so much attributed to people long ago, who actually knows what happened and in what context.

Girl and Humpty Dumpty on wall (1873 child's book St. Nicholas by Dodge (USPD artist life, pub.date/Flickr/Commons.wikimedia.or

“No putting that back together again. You already look scrambled…or way past shelf life.” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.or

  • March. Yep expect to hear that. Ukraine and Russia – not a new thing. Been at it since before Peter the Great. Traditionally, campaigns backed off in the winter due to weather. Weather in March is much easier for moving troops once things start defrosting. But with cold hardy drones and missiles, things may be different now. Unless Vladimir did promise to go to the Olympic Games and not to distract from his friend-who-is-also-my-enemy’s showcase.

Somehow Biden missed NATO’s event’s sign-up sheet? You know like those with school / office parties. If you get there too late, all the easy items/tasks are already spoken for. Germany gets to send the helmets. Biden too busy choosing ice cream flavors and the US is getting stuck again with sending the soldiers? DRAT!

Why not instead of air lifting/shipping any promised US military support, what if they just handed over a receipt for all the military items left after the last military action in Afghanistan and say – “It’s all yours, help yourself!” Really might help alleviate supply chain delays both here and there. Hate to see things go to waste. Recycle and re-home is good.

 

  • The Honey’s no longer crisp, yet still the Envy of the Gala. Apple: you know what happens with tempting fruit. Once the anti-establishment, go-against-the-herd crowd, the free thinking rebels, the out-of-the-boxers, the unfettered explorers and creators, Apple offered a place for everyone at the computer desks. Freedom’s champion. A maverick spit in the lock-step, obedient, dull eyes. The early image: “people into the idea of being rebels fighting against a greater evil.”

For what? Now one of the biggest of the Big Boxers. Hotel California stye. Nightman paid off, but still can’t kill the beast.

Visit the video 

What for?

Iconic and Ironic: “You’ll see why 1984 won’t be like 1984”

 

Why not the apple of my “I”

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Production note: Why so dark? Tied up in knots here. Explanation shortly. Will be in and out of the blogging office. Thanks for your patience.  

 

January 26, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Whittled.

vintage children at a table. (1873. St.Nicholas mag./USPD artist life. pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

This was so not us on weekends. much to my mom’s distress. Her expectations had to be whittled down during weekends on the farm. (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Whittling: an underappreciated art

Intransitive – like so much – “action not passing over to an object” (in a time when so much objected to)

Summer porch sitting activity to me: paring down a stick into small slivers with a pocket knife while talking about this and that. Not really done mindlessly as it is a knife after all – always slice away from you with stick pointed down. Small thin white curls like mare’s tails clouds if you do it right.

Yes, We had pocket knives even as elementary kids. And we threw rocks at stuff, dueled with sticks, and walked barefooted in the sand.  A busy organic, tactile childhood.

Relatives figured that things forbidden lured, so provided and taught proper use – with plenty of supervision.

Opportunity was provided on porches.

To sit and learn. About all sorts of stuff. As local neighbors paused on their drive up or back down the dusty red road. People used to do that then. Just stop in and sit for a spell. No AC, but lots of lemonade.

And talk.

Topics ranged and rambled like the cattle.

Might be simple observations. Those still manage to breeze by sometimes – this morning’s grin would fit right in:

Attention news media: Journalism 101.

“If some say it’s raining and another says it’s dry, it’s not your job to quote them both.

Your job is to look out the window and say what’s true.” 

Down to earth. Whittled.

two children playing in the dirt.(image Haartmut Schmidt Heidelberg/Commons.wikimedia.org)

A more realistic depiction of us. Never met dirt we couldn’t dig in. (Hartmut Schmidt Heidelberg/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Then there were the corny jokes and shenanigans.

We wrote secret messages in lemon juice “disappearing ink” which would show up later on the paper only if passed over a candle flame. (Yes, we did.)

I think this modern version shows great promise. Offers all sorts of possibilities….for Valentines or Get-even-times?

A quick application of tape, spray on Rain-X Original Glass Water Repellent, and the voila! The outside image on the glass disappears unless it’s raining.

Talk about ghosting.

Instructional video below:

https://youtube.com/shorts/AILN7w5T9II?feature=share

Graffiti art on buildings may be so yesterday.

There.

Now you have something to share while whittling away the time. (Or there’s always organizing a snipe hunt)

Gotta be sharp to keep amusement from being transitory

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

The whittling Boy. (Winslow Homer painting. USPD. reprod of PD art, artist life/Commions.wikimedia.org)

Winslow Homer managed to glamorize the rural art of whittling. Maybe gave mom hope. (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

January 24, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

This, zats, and be dazzled!

Noir image of sheet draped over lawn furniture. (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

A redneck attempt to recreate stylish, sophisticated Restoration Hardware’s California style patio furniture.? Oh, it does too look similar: squint. Actually, plant warming outfits drying in the sun after a cold night. Fashionably sculptural anyway. (© image)

Cold facts.

Always a little brittle.

Better to compartmentalize until things in the rear view mirror (which “always appear closer than they actually are”) until down the road a bit.

So thought this Shelby GT5oo revving up by the Porsche.

Oh pride goeth before a fail. (But we all tend to be oblivious to what is lacking in ourselves…)

Not sure the Porsche 992 driver was really awake at the first….

Really no contest – no one mentioned the Porsche’s 4 all wheel drive (so it can throw all its’ power down at once for traction) – or the power to weight ratio.

If you want a fair run, you need to stick 4-5 fat guys in the Porsche which weighs some 800 pounds less. than the Shelby

The Porsche’s double clutch transmission may play a little shifty in this competition, too.

Shifting gears, many are already marking the IRS has tapped a 3rd party vender to provide secure positive ID for your IRS/tax accounts. 

Being those of Social Media/Facebook mindset, the agency just couldn’t figure out any other way to involve technology to confuse and complicate  make sure your tax information account is safe. Having selfies on file (with the 3rd party, ID.me) will soon be mandatory for electronic filings, payments, or just checking your own taxpayer records – along with your state Driver’s License/passport/gov. issued photo ID. (and a bunch of other info)

Oh, this ought to be fun.

Yep, your photo is already on your bank cards, Costco membership card, trusted traveler pass and such…but how many times are things going fine until you hear “We’ve had a breach…we will pay for 6 months of fraud monitoring”. Never feel really secure when that happens…waiting for the other shoe to drop.

With the change, those of reason  Worry Nation will start tap dancing around and tap into some rather humorous possibilities. This article by Wired magazine may be getting some new looks this year “How to thwart Facial recognition and other Surveillance. Whether you’re protesting or just stepping out for a boba, you deserve some algorithm-free alone time.”  

Of course it is interesting to note last year there were already articles about how facial verification won’t/isn’t fighting fraud in with unemployment/covid benefits systems…Not just concerns about privacy, but also inaccuracies and dealing with cultural stereotyping.

So hey, let’s do just more of it, right?

Like I said, this could be fun. Consider it a modern game of hide and seek? Applications available for Clown School anyone?

  • How to hack your face to dodge the rise of facial recognition tech” – an older article that was ahead of its’ time? (It explains a bit about how it works and what silly people have discovered  about confusing FR. “Techniques for fooling FR can be roughly divided into two categories: occlusion or confusion.”..
  • But my favorite isCV Dazzle: Computer Vision Dazzle Camouflage”…probably because there’s hilarious picture examples. It’s all about the hair styles and coloring. The name refers to WW I naval camouflage which also used Cubist concepts. All very interesting…Hey, there’s glam Look Books and make up tips! Honestly, some of these would be considered just “normal” on many fashion designers’ run ways.

Oh, to run away.

All some care about right now is the cold facts of Winter.

(Best advertisement for Florida? Contrasting images of the Green Bay football game last night and Buccaneers’s vs LA Rams today…)

If you’re in need of an arm chair winter vacation, sit down with Morgan Mayer’s The Cruise Ship Lost My Daughter. The title, a parent’s worse nightmare, the book is light reading and very funny. An unusual combination of what could be an actual travel guide with very interesting art objects and history tossed in like an additional plot lifelines, hilarious characters that seem so real, all swirling around a mysterious disappearance. (Don’t even consider that young boy who wants to be a magician as just a filler character. Nothing in the mystery just stock and filler) This is a well known author who is usually writes other types of books – and I’m not telling, but her intense fast moving style kicks in just in the right spot and makes your keep reading until the end …and it ain’t over when you think it is, so just hang on. Great fun read.

Well, cold feet on facing some of the current chaos presently happening here right now.

Decided to put it in the glove compartment and cruise on with all that out of sight for a bit. Will catch you up later.

So, you think RH be calling with a patio furniture design contract?

Gotcha covered with that.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Two bathing beauties at thje beach. Vintage 1903 post card by Bruck & Sohn (Universal PD released/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Pure escapism: Fast cars. Fast times. Spring Break’s promises: full speed ahead.(1903 post card. Bruck & Sohn. Universal PD released/Commons.wikimedia.org)

 

 

January 17, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Energizing the blooming maniacs

Giant Sequoias (Image by m01229/Flickr/Commons.wikimedia.org)

The original circle back: Giant Sequoias (Image by m01229/Flickr/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Across the West-of-the-Mississippi states, certain places seem to be energy vortexes or to hold mystical power.

Like Sedona (AZ), Mount Shasta (CA), and Denali (AK).

Places that just feel different – Of unusual energy; of unexplained occurrences.

Wondering if our yard is something like that – or more like the Bermuda Triangle (If we had Bermuda grass instead of St. Augustine grass…)

Any live thing that finds it’s way here, seems to plant “You’ve arrived and hit the big time” in its’ DNA

You, of course, remember the everlasting, eternal pumpkins? (If not, here….and here….and here…)

We and Molly Malamute, newly installed RC of the Realm, are beginning to understand that RC Cat, the former despot Beloved Fearless Leader, wasn’t whispering “…honor and admire profoundly and respectfully the grass” about our lawn – or any of the neighborhood yards – or dog walk zones, but about the cat grass.

So the dog has been wearing out her nose sniffing and dawdling along on long walks for nothing!

It is not her’s or our fault. It was always difficult to discern exactly what RC Cat’s paw was waving at  – such grand sweeping waves …and to ask was asking for trouble….

Memorial cat grass in planter (©image copyrighted, all rights reserved, NO permissions granted)

Memorial cat grass in planter. A special mix – she was quite picky about it. Organic, grown from seeds here in fresh special organic soil. The instructions said the grass was designed to grow only for a short time before cratering no matter what you tried to do to keep it alive. But somehow it always lasted a very long time…probably by command and if staff totally ignored it.  No doubt the cat had a magic touch, an iron will, and dared anyone or anything to defy her wishes even across time and space.(© image)

So now clarified, we are wondering just how long it will grow on.

Is it another pumpkin phenomenon?

Is it a cat and mouse game from beyond?

Afraid to ask too much. (But will offer it the brief water shower as has been done in the past. Stay tuned.)

This plant isn’t the first “Ah, I’m home and shall be here forever” instance.

  • There’s the Lantana bush on the side – affectionately known as the “Bush that ate the house”. Arrived as a tiny rescue from a sand dune in Galveston just before a developer bull dozed the untouched natural area for mega-beach houses for the very rich and foolish as they are built on the beach outside the sea wall Happily existing in a pot, Lantana sprawls and blooms wildly – taller than the house gutter – a virtual  grocery store for bees, monarchs (many still wintering in the area), and squirrels. It retreats to its’ roots each winter, is covered by leaves and mulch after being cut back to a nub in late winter, then gloriously rises every spring no matter how frozen it gets. During last year’s terrible freeze it even sheltered a 7 foot hibiscus with brushy Lantana arms of dried leaves. The previously proud, high dollar hibiscus humbled and now sorry for previous summer bloom scornings about her leggy bedmate, is slowly recovering under the watchful shelter offered by ordinary, but gracious Lantana.

 

  • Just as remarkable is the citrus tree that was several years old and some seven feet tall – until that dreadful winter freeze. Staff was careful to offer much water (when the faucet wan’t frozen up), but while valiantly trying to recover, poor tropical citrus tree suffered mightily. No careful cautious pruning to green wood. No amount of encouraging light liquid fertilizer was able to stop the demise. Eventually staff cut the trunk down to a few inches tall hoping there might be some energy – some life left in the roots. Everyone laughed at the efforts. Yet, observe: A phoenix of plants. It’s more than just alive. Look the phenomenal grown in less than a year.
Citrus tree revival. From a three inch diameter trunk stub to this lovely beauty in one year. You tell me that is normal for a woody trunked tree. (© Image copyrighted, all rights reserved, NO permissions granted)

From a three inch diameter trunk stub to this lovely beauty in less than a year. You tell me that is normal for a woody trunked tree. I guess it’s best to ignore it like the cat grass and let whatever is going on, go on.(© Image)

Do you remember that sickeningly, sweet poster:

“Bloom where you are planted”

Some have that perfected.

Wonder if Earth energies can seep into people, too

After yard work, do I look more charged? Less wrinkles?(Physical and mental? HaHa)

“Molly, do you really have to eat dirt for it to work?”

(I see that earthworm drooping out your lips. Uh, no thanks)

Molly’s not sure, but recommends walking barefooted and rolling in it.

What promotes lightheartedness and laughter is worth its’ weight in soul.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

 

January 14, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Rosetta rocks

Asteroid disintegrating in deep space. (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech)

“Next station coming up: third rock from the sun.” (Asteroid. NASA/JPL-Caltech)

What if they only come in peace or pieces?

Those massive rocks hurling relatively close by might be something more than random.

An ultra Uber for species seeking social interaction: ones just trying to get to the heart of things.

A metro for cross universe travel

Wait. Not so outrageous.

There’s all sorts of unexplainable oddities over the centuries.

Like how did lichens hook up with trees.

Some sort of generational/evolutionary, old treaty?

A long ago conversation leading to “Oh, we can’t let you go around so needy and homeless,” said some generous, kind oak. “Hop on and we’ll find some way to get along together with mutual interests. Live and let live?”

Now lichens cover some 6-8% of the Earth’s surface according to WIKI who also reports some lichens can no longer reproduce sexually, but continue to evolve. Once they get their hooks into things….

Cow bird on back of Soda Butte Creek bison (Image Flickr/Peaco/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Cow bird on back of Soda Butte Creek bison. Oh, so it’s a bull, not a cow…and a bison… theory still the same…besides bison meat is leaner…maybe it’s an alien with a special healthy diet.(Image Flickr/Peaco/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Like cow birds.

No one sits on a cow or bull for long without approval. Ask any rodeo rider.

Yet somehow – someway – years and years ago, the two species formed an alliance for mutual assistance and benefit.

There are others.

Cattle Egret on Florida cow. (Image Ukiws/Commons.wikimedia.org)

See above. Cattle Egret on Florida cow. Look. Birds are descendants of dinosaurs. Nobody was around when they showed up, so who knows how they got here – or what their children, their grandchildren, and their great, great, great grandchildren birds had to do to survive. (Image Ukiws/Commons.wikimedia.org)

So

Given the universal shape and spacey appearance of COVID virus units 

And the fact that they are live organisms, who need a host to grow, and are adapting trying to find some form to survive…

Are COVIDs merely lost and desperate strangers in a strange land?

Asteroid hitchhikers hoping to find a Guide ?

Maybe humans just aren’t listening – or a “language” common to both species hasn’t been Rosetta Stoned yet. No way to signal “Hey if we team up there will be benefits for both of us!”

Symbiosis.

Don’t laugh.

The thought of alien life forms and Earth human partnering up probably isn’t new.

Science fiction has actually turned into science fact before. Jules Verne. HG Wells…..

Dr. Seuss. Did Horton have a Close Encounter ? Who knows.

Tread carefully. 

Don’t want to be like those pitchfork, torch welding villagers tormenting a Frankenstein creature because of misunderstanding and preconceived ideas.

All you need is love (and a strong immune system)

Piece. Out, please.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Frankenstein 1920 actor CS Ogle (USPD artist life, pub.date/ Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Wait. Wait. You’re not following the agreement. It clearly states COVID shall relinquish to human host control of all body movements. That includes the internal organs. What do you mean internal workings were not specifically mentioned?”(1920 Frankenstein by actor CS Ogle.USPD/ Commons.wikimedia.org)

  

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