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September 4, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Why the wild sticks

Dog dragging big stick down walk. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted, NO permissions granted

Sticking it. But for what purpose? Adding to the souvenir collection, hoping to barter and trade for a treat, or cleaning up the neighborhood as community service? Whatever, it’s planned and it’s something.©

To keep it simple, they keep it simple.

Shunning what complicates.

Not just black and white, they see more,  but aren’t distracted by shades of color.

Focused on what’s in front of their nose, yet alert to what’s ahead.

Dog. Molly carrying stick. ALL rights reserved. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

Demonstrating the basics. Move forward at a steady pace. Gently carry any burdens and remember to put them down at the right time and place. Leave room for others along the way. Wildly simple.©

Always smiling. Willing to play. Creating their own jokes.

People think that’s the sign of a simple mind.

Sophistication overlooked.

Molly Malamute using higher level thinking skills to solve the problem of stick being too long and unweldy. Foot makes the perfect tool to break it. ALL rights reserved. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

Use of tools by a species shows advanced learning and cognition, right? Always knew she was smart. Molly Malamute using her higher level thinking skills to solve the problem of stick being too unwieldy to manage while walking long distances. A firm foot is the perfect tool to solve the problem. Next she’ll want the car keys.  She can already drive stick.©

Through it all they are kind: doing their best to help those they consider simple.

Who’s to say?

Sticking to basics.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Boo Nanny and piglet Lurch together on lawn. (thekitchengarden.com)

With a little help from his friend, Piglet Lurch keeps up. What helps one, helps all. (thekitchengarden.com)

Boo the Nanny, having done all he is able, is standing up for his piglet friend Lurch. Lurch, appropriately named, has quite a story. There is hope and his salvation may be here. Celi and Boo have a simple request.  Even a line or a link in your posts would be greatly appreciated. 

Simple works: noun, verb, miracles.

Dog. Boo Nanny as a pup. thekitchengarden.com

“Can you hear me now?” Boo Nanny calling.(thekitchengarden.com)

September 1, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

First read

Scarlet leaf nestled among Lantana branches. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. No permissions granted

“A jewel in hand is… WHAT? We did not steal it. They dropped it. Finders Keepers. Stop calling us mean girls!”©

You know how it is with some: always taking credit for another’s work.

Just like cheerleaders shaking pom poms for attention, the always helpful Lantana petaled over, picked up the significant piece, and pushed it up by the window.

“Here. Look. Thought you’d want to know.”

The first red leaf – borrowed from their neighbor – not their own.

They still insist some credit is due for seeing Fall’s reservation sent well in advance.

After a baking July, followed by the wettest August since 1914, September has arrived – with style.

Color, lower humidity, and nightly temps just under 80 F.

We’ll take it.

But realistically, only wishful dreaming of fall…a traditional chilly one like in the picture books or fashion shows.

You haven’t lived until you’ve been a kid in this area spending Halloween sweating like a fountain behind a full face plastic mask with only two eyes and a mouth gap for ventilation on a typical sweltering trick or treat night.

Between heat stroke and sugar overload, kids were usually a wreck the next day.

Ah, but companies learned that lesson and adapted to the regional weather, right? Starbucks spices autumn up with latte specialty drinks either hot of cold. A little Chile Mocha, too.

First red read.

Ready for more

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

(Back on regular posting schedule soon. It’s mild enough to get outside and mostly dry – hope it is there, too. Enjoy the weekend! )

flowers and red leaves on bush. ALL rights reserved. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

Now this is the source of the scarlet better. A bush that not only has showy fall leaves, but also pink blooms most of the winter. And berries “Show off!” complains the spring plant crowd.©

August 29, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

RC Cat: Boxing and Costuming

Fairy Princess and little boy. A. Smedberg's" Wishes from 'Among pixies and trolls' "/ artist J Bauer Snaevar /US PD: reprod of PD art, expired copyright, artist life+70/Commons.wikimedia.org)

We called Uber for an escort, but oddly they slammed the phone down and said they weren’t that kind of company. (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Uber shall regret this.

Yes, yes, the hall is small, but it is fraught with hazards. Littered with danger.

Your shoes are closed toe and washable, yes? Good. We grant you the opportunity to attend Us.

Staff seems to be ignoring unable to hear Our neverending demands  requests. Still, it shall be easy to location them by this trail of crumbled lumps.

NO! Do not touch that! Kick it aside.

Oh, look not offended. It is a kindness.

Not snowy fluff thoughtfully tossed for Our amusement. Instead disgusting soggy tissues dropped everywhere as if by a crazed flower girl in a wedding.

Staff’s foolish attempt to recreate Shakespeare’s character Marion with that nose shows a complete lack of understanding holiday costuming.

cat in a box. ALL rights reserved. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

If Harry Potter was able to locate a hidden train platform at the station and Dr Who has a Tardis, who knows what potential the dark recesses of a box holds.©

The Season of Festivals has begun with the annual Boxing of  the Children. All the local realms are bubbling with joy and energy.

Even the Molly freaks Us out totally with her barking each morning has noted the return of the lumbering yellow transport boxes.

We overheard Staff discussing that many are visiting the Big Box Stores in preparation.

This excited Us, too.

We LOVE big boxes and wished to attend such a store to personally selection a big box for Our own. A whole store to committed to offering a big selection – how thrilling.

But Staff declined.

We were terrible terribly disappointed.

Perhaps Staff was wise, as it appears the yearly Invasion of the Orange Vegetables may commence early this year.

The stores are already offering protective camouflage costumes for the fall veggie assault.

Holler-Ring cannot be far behind.

Rumor says a couple of high-profile, newsworthy, presidential candidates trend setters are already considering their fall festival costuming:

 Joan of Arc on horseback. 1505 manuscript. (USPD. pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Wizard of Oz (1939) promo photo (USPD. pub. date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Movie poster of John Wayne on stagecoach.. (USPD: 1934 pub. date, no cr/Commons wIkimedia.org)

1922 movie poster. Douglas Fairbanks as Robin Hood. (USPD: Pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

We feel compelled to offer some advice to these two individuals.

Fall garb is to disguise, not reveal who they really are:

clown costume.(Party City.com)

1940 Pinocchio flim trailer by Walt Disney studio. (US PD- pub. date and no copyright notice on publicity traileri/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Not wise to tempt the March of Musheaded Vegetables.

Ah, there is Staff now.

We appreciate your escort.

Yes, yes. You may tell your family of your good luck.

But only close family – not all those cousins and any social media “family tree”.

Obvious social-climbing is so gauche.

Felines know to climb in secret.

It is apparent that humans and dogs do not.

Dog attempting to climb tree. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

The Molly, on the other paw, might consider  a sport other than tree climbing as a hobby.©

This is where We leave you.

There’s the door – and the location for you know what:

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

The paw is waving! Are you blind as well as deaf?

Audience fini.

Yes, yes. That is an attractive bow in apology, but go, you must.

Adieu, mon chere

I am RC Cat and I approve this message.

crown USDP WIkimedia

Related posts from the Realm:  “Floating out Veggie hypothesis” or the German struggles as a new RC of her Realm with “Wayward Sockies and Blowhard Vegetable Invaders”

 

 

.

Oh, my! More out of the box Halloween options that candidates could consider? Any other suggestions?

Marie Antoinette. (US PD/smithsonianmag.com)

Hmmm. If only Marie Antoinette had kept her head. A bold woman holding power in the world. If only she had realized the mic was on when she said, “Let them eat cake – free cake – And mandate they must like it!” (US PD/smithsonianmag.com)

Evita (Costume designer Chris Oram's Eva Peron/fashionista)

How about the “No tears for me” girl? (Eva Peron or Evita by Costume designer Chris Oram/fashionista)

Baby in Halloween costume.Little law breaker costume. (Party City.com)

Only a little law-breaker. Small criminal.Petty.This is petty, right?(Partycity.com)

Robber or thief carrying a bag of money.costume from Party City.com

Unfortunately the costume model turned too quickly so it was impossible to see if the bag was labeled “Wall Street” or “Lobbyists” or both. Stark and dark. (Party City.com)

Tinman and scarecrow. 1900 poster Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Geo.M.Hill Co. (USPD:pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Risky couple of choices: One a bit rusty and said to be steely and heartless. The other goes against the grain, is always matchless, and is rumored to have no brain. (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Couple of pirates.(Party city.com)

Yo-ho-ho. Making out like pirates. Suited up for a national treasure hunt.(PartyCity.com)

Child. Magician's costume with rabbit on hat and cards pocketed on underside of cape. (Costumesfc.com)

Possibility. Everyone loves a bit of mystery. Exactly what is hidden by that hat, cape, and swagger? Nothing like surprises to add to the fun and games .(Costumesfc.com)

 

 

 

August 26, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

RC Cat: respecting dogged diversity

National Day of the Dog. In the spirit of graciousness and kindness to the lesser species We salute the canines.

Those of the furkini clan who protect and provide comic relief.

Portait of cat with queenly ruffle. . Painting "The Widow. 1861-1897 by Dielman,1847-1935. Boston Lib./USP:pub.date, reprod of PD art/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Even those who appear like Lucy with tire marks on their backs.

Lucy (her story here) is proof that the smallest paws can have a supper bowl of impact on the lives of both dogs and cats.

What? “Supper” / “super” – not much difference.

So in honor of dogs can hardly believe those words managed to pass our lips…although We do admit growing fond of the Molly , We, RC Cat of the Realm have planned some amusing entertainment for our subjects.

Staff insisted We reconsider Our original choice: the movie Dog Day Afternoon.

What? It’s got “dog” in the title. And it is afternoon. (Our paw is quivering with temper…)

Instead We offer an Instructional Video created by another Realm that seems perfect.

This fine feline lecturer has additional training films on such subjects as “Regarding the Big Game“, “The Vertical Carpet“, “The Disappearing Humans”, “The Art of Massage“, “Regarding Friendship”, “Bathing Your Human”, “The Forbidden Water Bowl” and more.

Yes. yes. We could provide easy clicks to links, but these additional videos can be located without too much trouble and how hard is it to look in the sidebars of those listed?

But as with anything, the greater the effort required, the more the joy once the goal is obtained.

Besides We grow weary being altruistic.

We regret duties of the Realm must be attended to, unlike you who have nothing demanded of you but to adore and pay attention to your guiding light of your world, your RC Cat so enjoy your fun without Us.

We accept your appreciative thanks in advance.

And are quite confident you will remember the custom of the Realm.

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

Cat on wingback chair. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted.

We toil so others can party. No one could walk away without complying after seeing a gaze of such exhaustion.©

May the treaties between dogs and cat always remain strong.

Adieu, mon chere

I am RC Cat and I approve this message.

crown USDP WIkimedia

August 22, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Gritty

 

window at night. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

Once fired, grains’ gain.©

Be the grain

Not that bothersome wheat, oat, or barley. Those too corny.

Be rock solid. Whether SiO2 or CaCO3.

Sharp crystals.

The builders.

Be the grain: pile on the poundings, repeated washes, all the tumbling and sunning.

Be not the pail.

Those of the never-ending of “half full” or “half empty”

Those far too quick to spill it all.

Be not the shovel.

Who knows where they’ve been or done.

Those too sharp and rigid. Cutting in the wrong hands.

Be the grain

Soft to the touch, yet inevitably dominating.

Undeterred by obstacles or nature’s stormy temper.

Be the grain of grit.

Make people squirm in their seats.

Just be wary of tires and feet.

Life of the beached.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Fine grains: AIA Sandcastle Competition 2016 photos.

Can your architect do this? Takes some grit to get it done.

More? 2016 Galveston AIA Sandcastle Golden Bucket Winner. Video.

August 19, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Oddities, but Bob insisted.

Young Komodo dragon, Phonenix, just arrived from SA (Houston Zoo/Stpehanie Adams/khou.com)

On the scale of things, doesn’t get much cuter.(HoustonZoo/Stephanie Adams)

Cracks from the break room.

Blame Bob. He insisted. New baby. Of the right species.

 Meat up, please. Phoenix, a Komodo Dragon, is ready to take a bite out of life.

A fine time for Dragons.

So inventor John Taylor was pleased to  accommodate.

Pearls of wisdom and all.

Wise domain or wisecrack?

Questionable quips overheard in the always maddening crowds:

  • Why was Adele even considered for Superbowl entertainment? They thought people would get up and go buy more beer.
  • Why did the pools turn green in Rio? International businessmen snort knowingly that the chemical’s supplier suddenly realized he wasn’t going to get paid.
  • The souvenir t-shirt supposedly spotted on U.S. Men’s Olympic Swim Team: “I went to Rio and all I brought back was a trashed reputation.” Thanks, guys. Add another chapter to the Ugly American.
  • Mom always said, “If you can’t bring enough for everyone, don’t bring any for anyone.” Insults served up for all in the outrageously rude animated “Sausage Party”. Video clip and film review from The Guardian here.  Give it a try if you’ve been finding that you can’t laugh at yourself or silly stereotypes recently. Think of the film as a vaccine against stiff-necked self-righteousness or as an allergy shot for desensitization against annoying remarks meant to be hurtful. Words – even from a sharp tongue – are just hot air. “Can’t hurt you if you don’t care and don’t let them.” Mom used to say that, too.
1930. Young girl with dirty face. Dorothy DeBorba. Vintage film.Schools Out. (USPD. pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Docs and researchers say a little dirt is good for you. No one realized how much the news media would take that to heart.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Everyone wants to be a better person.

Cognitive psychologists know what works and why.

Maybe the schools should try it? (A bit of satire, yes? No.)

Healthcare should mandate it.

You’d think a 20% reduction of mortality risk would get people’s attention. Sugary drinks and sweet cereals certainly did. Who couldn’t be willing to find 3 hours a week to participate if it meant living 2 years longer?

Summer’s draggin’ up some seemly stuff.

Keep cool, like Bob.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Dragon about to attack knight.1932. Charlemagne and His Knoghts. Katherine Pyle:Lippincott. (USPD.pub.date, artist life, exp.cr/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“It doesn’t matter if you’ve already heard enough. You’re going to be forced to listen for 75+ days as the ugly presidential campaign drags on. The price you pay for being human. And you have the nerve to call us animals.” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

 

 

 

 

 

August 14, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Time eater.

Mechanical Insect Clock. Chronophage Clock.(hmns.org,/image by Laurie Perez)

Chronophage taking a chomp out of time. Seriously. It is. Greek: chrono = time, phagos = eater of.(hmns.org,/image by Laurie Perez)

Time eaters. You’ve experienced them.

Not daydreams. Those are a time’s builders.

But the others.

Like cell phones. (More exactly, like your mom on cell phones. Why is my number listed as “Technical Assist for anything and everything”?)

Like Facebook. (Setting any records for unfriending these days?) 

Like any attempt to find a channel where you don’t hear the words “Phelps”, “Biles”, “Clinton”, or “Trump”. (The media has become so boorish that if they were neighbors and you were hosting a block party and they were at the front door, you’d tell everyone to be quiet and hide until they left.)

The Chronophage Clock running high on the museum wall. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. No permissions granted

Getting the run-around high on the museum wall. ©

Treasures like the fanciful Chronophage are no waste of time. 

“Part insect, part reptile, the chronophage represents the looming presence of wasted time. Every 60 seconds, she opens her mouth to devour the passing minute. She appears weathered, but her lacy enamel wings suggest she was once beautiful. Every hour, she stretches her titanium body, her glass eyes light up, and she warbles the Westminster Chimes, voiced by Scottish Opera singer Kate Valentine. From outer to inner, the rings light up to count seconds, minutes, and hours…”.  read more from HMNS.

More than just a pretty face, all the magic is in the grasshopper-like leg movements.

This grasshopper escapement is real science and was critical to 16th century seafarers. Why? Wild oceans created more problems than just sea sickness for sailors.

John C. Taylor has only created 4 of these clocks which are designed to show the relativity of time.

This one’s pacing around on the wall of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, but only until Sept 18th. Don’t wait until you run out of time.

 How to tell time on Taylor's Chronophage. (hmns.org)

Time runs around in circles, but can’t escape the inevitable crunch time. (hmns.org)

As Einstein used to say “When you sit on a park bench with a pretty girl for an hours, it seems like a minute; but if you sit on a hot stove for a minute it seems like an hour: that’s relativity.”

Time after time

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

(Still on blogging break, but this is cool.)

A similar clock, The Corpus Clock (in Cambridge), by John Taylor.

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