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March 13, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Of course, we dress for dinner.

Woman with cat on shoulder. Lilla Cabot Perry.1848-1933/USPD:artist life,

What do you mean you didn’t realize? (Lilla Cabot Perry/USPD:artist life/

What? Did not the courier deliver the message?

Do not mumble. It is the sign of a troubled or weak mind. 

We shall be generous and assume it is low blood sugar.  Come along now. Keep up. If you are with Us, none will bother you…despite your attire.

You do know which spoon to use? And not to slurp your soup? It’s chicken. Good for this miserable dreary weather.

A lovely luncheon with Us.

That shall make up for your disappointment.

So unpleasant when routines must be disrupted. Que sera, sera.

It was necessary to tell Staff not fret or worry over a Friday blog post.

“The world shall not end,” We insisted as We ended the efforts by sitting on the keyboard.

Being considerate, We were too kind to mention that visitors might be relieved to find no assigned reading.

Between the party on Monday – and it was a lovely event – such fun to see everyone even if the crowds made it difficult to get to Our vanilla icy cream.

Cat's Lunch.19th century. M. Gerard.1761-1837/Musee Fragonard, grasse France/USPD:reprod of PD art, artist life/

Oh, the blogiversary treats were purrfect and appropriately served. (Gerard/USPD:artist life/

Of course, there was no choice but to welcome the poor German who was suddenly having tummy issues. Nerves? More likely the result of snatching some tidbit off the counter she wasn’t supposed to have. Canines. Such poor eating habits. There’s always the possibility she just wanted a vacation playdate. We were suspicious as she seemed to perk up and feel better in so little time.

“Fishy stink. Three days, fishy stink!” We wailed. To no avail. Sigh.

Staff was being stretched already at that point.

Then the attack in the brush. A red-eye express.

Staff cavorting with canines in the Outer Realm! We know that is what happened. Not paying attention. Silly attempt to run off some dog energy before the rain.

Rain and more rain. Normal creatures would curl up and nap, but not the German nor the Molly which meant staff was busy keeping them busy. And walking in them in the chilly downpours. Dogs have no consideration.

In any case, between all the party cleanup, the wet dog towels, rolling dog hair tumbleweeds, and an eye worthy of a werewolf, We had to put Our paw down.

Staff needs rest.

The post in progress, while already causing chuckles, must be put aside.

No doubt, while you have come so far only to be disappointed about that, you shall be offered a light lunch – with a saucer of tasty icy cream afterwards.

Yes, yes, We can see you are delighted. 

Do not make assumptions, We warn you.

Now come along. No dawdling. We know it is tempting to gawk at the Inner Realm’s hidden wonders.

all rights reserved. Copy righted. No permissions granted

Oh? Salmon? It appears Staff did manage to create a special little treat in your honor. ©

Do not even think of Staff carrying you. We told you. Staff must rest.

You have Our permission to be seated.

Yes, it the light is dim by your chairs. That way your inappropriate attire is not so noticeable. We accept your unspoken thanks.

Please do not attempt to sneak one of the realm’s cloth napkins into your pocket. No souvenirs.

Our paw has waved. Shall We begin?

Staff? We are waiting.

There now. Yes, a petite feast in your honor. Delightful, is it not?

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

I am RC Cat and I approve this message.









March 11, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Bush League Assault

They plotted.

I didn’t know. I thought they were green.

They decided to stick together.

Never expected such a low blow. Should have eyed them more cautiously.

Fashion shot of woman in evening gown in desert. Olive Cotton/Nat.Gallery of Australia/USPD.

Involving true grit. (Cotton/Australia/USPD/

In retrospect, I wasn’t as sharp as they.

But who could have guess they had branched out.

Changed from beauty to beast.

Guess it’s true: “Beauty is as beauty does.”

When did they decide to reach for greater heights despite my clear expectations?

Whispering among themselves, “Don’t move until you see the white of her eyes?”

Too worried I’d cut them off at the knees if they suggested a new direction?

Men waiting for interviews.1940/Partridge,1917-:NARA8464464:USPD. US

Oh, they look willing to listen to reason.

It’s true that I’ve been known to step on some toes.

But never realized they might have such deep-rooted unhappiness.

Totally blindsided. I was innocently getting the lay of the land.

Doing a little advanced scouting in the underbrush.

You have to know what you’ve got before you can decide on what to do, right?

wolf in forest.1887/Klever.1850-1924/USPD:reprod of PD art,artist life/

Even if you squint, our backyard doesn’t look anything like this. But Molly has a good imagination when she plays wolf.(1887.Klever/USPD/

Braving ants, lizards, buried dog toys in the mud, I climbed and twisted between fence and hedge in order to protect another.

Molly Malamute throws herself down that narrow passage  – crashing her way through – without any caution. Back and forth. Back and forth.

We worried she’d get stabbed in the eye.

Outrageous weekend Pet ER bills to be avoided at all costs so a little bushwhacking planned as a preventative measure.

Fox and thorn bush, Hollar,1607-1677/Thomas Fisher Rare Book Lib/Univ.of Toronto/USPD.artist life,

“Molly, get out of the bushes. You’ll poked your eye out!” (Hollar/USPD/

Cruel slap in the face.

A nonchalant grab of the ankle to trip, understandable.

But nooooo. Not the eye! Not the eye! Ouchie! Ouchie!

Seriously bushes. How about firmly interlocking branches like the thorns around Sleeping Beauty’s castle? Nothing says “We’d prefer to be left alone” than a dense wall of brush.

Unjustified poke in the eye!

Ruby eye is not the same as trendy ruby eye shadow.

No one seems to find it attractive. More of a gag reflex.

And worse of all is the chorus of the entire household:

“I told you to call a yard guy to do that. Just tell him what you want him to do.”

Ivan Zarevitch on the grey wolf.1889:Vasnetsov.1848-1926:Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow:USPD.artist life,

“Hang on, Mom. We’ll get you to safety.” (1889.Vasnetsov/Moscow/USPD/


How can you tell someone what needs to be done without knowing what you’ve got?

A good field commander is worth their weight in mulch.

Well, no bush babying now.

I’ve got hedge trimmers and know how to use them.

Sharp response,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Hedge trimmers. (R.Reid/

Vengeance by chainsaw? (Reid/








March 9, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Taking the fifth. Appropriate measures

Mary Pickford. Signing door about 1943/ Canada.Todmorden Mills Heritage Museum and Arts Center/Virtual Museum of Canada/USPD. PD:prior to 1949/

To whom it may concern: Open for thought. (Mary Pickford.1943/Virtual Museum of Canada/USPD.

It’s done. They have the cold facts.

They always say #5 is the killer.

(Targeted without even a line up? No considering DNA analysis? Now that’s unfair.) 

When watches aren’t worn and calendars not paged, segmented time ceases to exist.

Flow creates its’ own current.

So who’s to say end or begin?

In 2011, Philosopher Mouse hit “publish” and pinned one small note on the door of the Universe.

798 posts later. Pitched like breadcrumbs along the way.

Some soggy. Some resonant.

Some actually lucid thoughts. Assorted quirky facts. With hopefully a few giggles tucked in between.

No real plan. Just write.

(Certainly didn’t expect to be hijacked by assorted critters and creatures. There wasn’t a “No paws” clause in the Word Press options. There wasn’t.)

Surprised to have found a tiny niche with readers who stop by to chat.

(Over 4, 000? OK. Realistically, take out the bogus companies, smile but don’t count those who run by to subscribe but never return, ditch the spam and odd languages, then, do your best to wrangle the ones who occasionally wander off to attend to stuff like novels and real life …)

and still there’s a lovely crowd left.

Now that’s cool. No way to say how much I appreciate all those who choose to slip by and flip over comments.

A community totally unexpected.

You guys are a lot of fun: both here and at your places.

Thanks for crossing the portal to wade among the mumbling, mind-numbing notions.

And for recognizing things here aren’t always what they seem and remembering to always bring a sense of humor.

Always on the edge of laughter.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Seated woman with cat. Fire-fancies by Arthur Hacker.1858-1919/USPD:artist life,

Fanning flames or fleeing into fancy? Much the same. Just write. (Hacker/USPD/


March 6, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Shark Tank worthy: robots.

They laughed at the Segway. Goofy looking. Top heavy with hair smashing helmets.

This new thing is a natural progression: no more battling the weather (Selling point this winter), less worry about personal safety in public areas, and offering emotional protection, too.

Man gesturing to robot (Screenshot.CBS Sunday Morning Show/YouTube)

“What? You couldn’t wait in the lobby 5 minutes while I park the car? Really. I don’t know why I bother to try.” (Screenshot.CBS Sunday Morning Show/YouTube)

The de Young Museum of Fine Arts in San Francisco is rolling with two robots that allow those who can’t get there in person for one reason or another to tour the place.

The creative robot initiative team includes Henry Evans, once a fast-moving Silicon Valley executive now almost completely paralyzed. He may only have eye movement and slight function of one finger, but he’s determined. And smart.

Think of the possibilities.

Robots are already used in some hospitals, why not as personal travel devices?

Enter the Travel-ease Robot. (Trumpets and drum roll, please, Sharks.)

Robot and woman viewing painting with sculpture behind them (screenshot.CBS SUnday Morning Show/YouTube)

Portrait of three women: Present, Future, Past.(CBS Sunday Morning/YouTube)

Too afraid to leave your desk for vacation? Rent a Travel-ese Robot.

Your Travel-ease Robot can stroll around a Caribbean Island while you eat lunch in your office. Turn on the sun lamp. Wiggle your toes in a box of sand. Hey, light up an appropriately scented Yankee Candle for added sensory delight. Just like being there!

It’s a health issue. Mental and physical health. Robot rental fees should be covered  under mandatory insurance as cost-effective preventative care.

kids chatting with robot in museum (CBS Sunday Morning/

Having grown up with technology, kids don’t find chatting with robots odd at all.(CBS Sunday Morning/

Do it for the kids!

Can’t make the birthday party? Travel-ease Robots will let all share in the festivities. (Just watch rolling over toes, toddlers, and extension chords. Hint: Pay the extra for insurance to cover water damage if there’s a pool.)

Unwelcomed around your ex, but want to see the kids? Great for those awkward court ordered supervised visits. (Legal will have to untangle the possible reach of restraining orders.)

Just consider the wonder of no longer having to sit in the stands during bad weather for kids’ soccer games. No more melting in blazing bleachers during day long swim meets. Be supportive. Be cool!

Travel-ease Robots can even revolutionize family trips

Tired of the whines of “Everyone else is going to Disneyland” but just can’t afford it? Everyone onto the couch and roll right up to the princesses and rides with Travel-ease Robots. Even with the rental fees Disney is bound to charge for the robots, it’s economical: no hotels, food, or transportation costs. Souvenirs? Barter to get some T-shirts with robot rental.

Even Paris seems possible now. No more TSA airport drama. No frantic scramble to get passports updated in time. One wants to see museums while another wants to go shopping? No more problems about where and when to meet back up. Forget the suitcases. Simply settle in on the couch with your own clean restrooms available anytime – no waiting or searching for the proper word. Your local French restaurant is glad to deliver completing the experience. What else is needed?

(Hmmm. Now there’s another business opportunity. Travel agents could facilitate Travel-ease Robot rentals and include as a bonus a box of assorted products shipped from the client’s “destination” to enhance the experience. Sharks?)

Couple chatting with robot. (screenshot.CBS Sunday Morning Show/YouTube)

Germ-free way to explore other places and cultures. (CBS Sunday Morning Show/YouTube)

Possibilities are endless. A real Shark Tank winner.

Had enough and finally want to tell your mother-in-law what you think? Do it from a safe distance! The face of family reunions could change drastically. (Bound to lower blood pressure, so rental fees, once again, covered by health insurance. Win-win.)

Think it’s cruel to break up a relationship by a text? So much less emotionally draining by robot, yet still saying “I cared enough to show up and do it in person. Sort of.” (“Hey stop kicking. Don’t walk away. Set me upright. Upright. I cared enough to do this face to face!”)

Much easier to tell your boss, you’re sick and can’t work. Screen performances allow for special effects. No one has to see that beach bag by the door or flip flop attire.

Visit to De Young Fine Arts Museum by Henry Evans, robotic activist and former Silicon Valley Exec. (CBS Sunday Morning/YouTube)

Henry Evans visiting the de Young Museum (Screenshot.CBS Sunday Morning/YouTube)

Robots are opening the world for those who are stuck in one place or the other.

Intrigued about the museum and robot activist Henry Evans? Watch more here.

Evans uses all sorts of robots daily. Drones let him view his garden and roof solar panels.

Woman with robot in gallery (screenshot CBS Sunday Morning/YouTube)

Hey, this is a great idea for an outing. Can’t wait for tonight’s bachelorette party! (screenshot.CBS Sunday Morning Show/YouTube)

Profit driven sharks will quickly make a splash with Travel-ease Robots.

In the future, if more robots perform routine chores, what’s left to keep people out of trouble?

Now there’s a worry.

Probably already been written about in some novel.  Only fiction, right?

Wired with thought.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Lone Robot gazing at paintings in gallery.(screenshot CBS Sunday Morning Show.YouTube)

A glimpse into the future? A lone robot in a museum muses over a previous civilization. Wondering perhaps how the primitives managed to survive the weather and dirt. Puzzled why the savages painted landscapes or pictures at all.(Screenshot.CBS Sunday Morning Show/YouTube)



March 4, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Good ideas flying after bad.

other worldly portrait of Alice Liddell.1872 (Photographs by Julis M. Cameron)/,life of artist/

Night vision or vision of night? (1872.Alice Liddell/Cameron/

From out of nowhere they fly at you like bats in the night.

Frantic attempts to wave them off only results in feeling foolish moments later.

Venezuela President bans U.S. politicians from entering the country. (CBS news.)

Can we do that, too? Please? 

Life without politicians. Only a dream.

Do you ever wonder what keeps them up at night?

Every neighborhood has concerns about predators: odd spooky creatures who suddenly appear out of nowhere.

Like they’re hoping for a lift of something.

Then they’re gone just as quickly. As silently.

Maybe this explains some of it:

People are nothing like owls.

Obviously. Owls are covered with feathers everywhere while people only wear feather coverings occasionally.

Although, teenagers of both seem anxious to leave the nest before they are ready and end up getting grounded.

Despite human grumbles in disagreement, owls have a more difficult walk home. Some nests in those giant California redwood trees are 30 stories up. One foot in front of the other hoping to get there before mom finds out.

(Do owl parents screech about how far they had to walk as owlets? The equivalent to human parents droning on about walking miles in the snow to school?)

Moms are such nags. Always watching. “Eyes in the back of their heads.”

Owl moms practically do as their heads can swivel some 270 degrees. If humans tried that, they’d cut off the blood supply to their heads. Adaptations with bone structure and blood vessel design allow owls to twist about.

(Human moms don’t do too badly with instinct and video monitors: less twist, more shout. )

face of adult owl. ( series. Owl Power)

“I told you to stay put while I was gone. Who did you think I was talking to?”
( series.Owl Power)

Parents, while annoying no doubt to both kids and owlets, are welcomed sometimes.

Like when arriving with groceries.

A couple of owl moms in the video link below look eerily like that recent Dallas mom flying out of her car to stop a criminal. (“It’s a school zone!”) Courageous moms don’t back down when defending their babies against several arctic wolves, a much larger bird of prey, or some big fool in a high speed police chase.

Just as fascinating as clips of cute little owls, is the photography of flight and the scientific explanations of biological adaptations allowing owls to do what they do.

Their scooped heads function like satellite dishes and along with feather design bordering their faces, sounds are channeled to owl’s ears (which may be located at different levels on the skull) allowing owls to locate prey even under ground or snow drifts.

Snow limits their sharp sight, so hearing is critical for survival during winters like this one.

Oddly, both owl and human moms try to keep their young out of the rain. Not being water-loving ducks, owl’s feathers aren’t any more waterproof than designer clothes.

baby owls.Owlets. http: Power)

“But, Mom, we’re fine.” UK Barn Owl siblings, Luna and Lilly, live free.(screenshot.http: Power)

Who couldn’t be intrigued with engineering, physics, technology, the scientific method, nature-based product designs, and, of course, biology after watching Nature’s “Owl Power” episode?

PBS “Owl Power”. Nature series VIDEO

(“Owl Power” only available on-line until March 18, 2015. Then you may have to buy it.)

Gee. Sounds like education without walls.

None of that “Oh, science is all kept in room 101, math in 213, reading and writing sandwiched in there somewhere – with fine arts in the basement.”

Kids might get interested in science if they stared it in the face and it looked back. Or reached out and touched it – and it pushed back. Noticed it everywhere everyday rather than decoding and answering predetermined questions trapped and pinned in texts.

Knowledge all together. 

But that’s just a dream flying in the dark.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

A nod to Cecilia Gunther (The Kitchen Garden) who recently had an unsettling close encounter with an owl. Perhaps hers was just an owl recognizing a kindred soul.

Woman standing on balcony. (1912.Evening gown by Jeanne Paquin/Concise History of Costume and Fashion/USPD: reprod of 2D PD art,,

Mysterious creatures of the night. Not so unlike.(1912Jeanne Paquin evening gown/ Concise History of Costume and Fashion/USPD:,

March 2, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Sticking points

Prickly pear cactus encased in ice. (image: Fox26 Michelle Merhar FB page/Texas Hill Country photo)

Getting to the point. (Rodeo trail ride image/Fox26.Michelle Merhar Facebook/ Texas Hill Country photo.)


Know how some can’t drink beverages otherwise? Could this be a humorous hostess offering what she can for those who can’t live without their cubes.

Cold function or foolish meddling?

Mother Nature’s now a Helicopter Parent for the unwary.

Or making a preemptive strike with a straight jacket on the child who trips visitors, then looks up with wide-eyed innocence and “Who me?”

Delicate work by a guardian or busybody?

Or simply, it is what it is.

Winter’s coat.

Slick and to the point.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.



February 28, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Don’t be blue, llama

blue and yellow striped llamas. Houston zoo llamas. facebook- houstonzoo:photo

Can you see us now?

Fashion forward llamas at the Houston Zoo are not slow to pick up trends.

One was heard to spit “This will show some limp woven dress to try and upstage our clever running wild relatives. Llamas got herd.”

“Even if stripes make you look fat,” one mumbled. “This doesn’t make me look fat, does it? Worrisome. But beauty is as beauty does. Whatever.”

Already tiring of their whimsy (“Once it goes viral, it’s so over,” one snorted.), they requested staff prepare their baths.

Staff was very glad the pair had not gotten into any permanent paint – or wandered off for tats.

The llamas, as you can see, aren’t shy. Social creatures. Always willing to chew over thoughts with you at the Houston Zoo. No RSVP needed.

Said one of the darling duo as they pranced off, “We’d be delighted for some insider fashion talk. Give us a line, please. We’re considering summer hats…”

No optical illusions there.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge




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