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July 11, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Where’s the boom?

Two frightened men. 1922 Dawn of Revenge. (USPD. pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Was that it? You think that was it? Think it’s over?(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

We were promised a boom. 

A BIG one. 

They warned us for days.

(“Thundershirt the dogs! Stuff cotton in kids’ ears! Prepare now. It’s coming!”)

First predictions were it would happen between 8 -12 noon. Then the windowed narrowed: 11:00a.m.- 12:00

(“It’s gonna be a BIG one. Will reverberate throughout the area. Warning! Warning!”)

(“Secure the china cabinet! Tie down small potted plants! Crate the cat! It will be explosive!”)

They even took great pains to especially warn the neighborhoods where most of the former/current astronauts have/had homes.

Seriously, I know many those guys are elderly now, but they have seen and put up with so much out of this world weirdness, this will shake them?

(“Beware. Traffic will be disrupted! It’s coming. And it’s gonna be BIG”)

I got busy and forgot.

Wait. It’s 2:00pm on Saturday.

The boom! Where’s the boom?

Molly Malamute with the hyper-hearing didn’t even turn over – or run to the door barking “‘Fight or flee. Let’s make a break for it” as she does for the smoke alarm.

Even the afternoon news anchors were disappointed.

Where’s the boom? Burst into another dimension?

Here’s the deal.  Out of this world things do occur around here.

NASA is pretty much directly across the lake from us.

If you were a star MLB pitcher, you could probably hit the complex with a rock.

NASA’s space engineers are working on living/working quarters for the moon and colonies beyond:

  • There’s a giant water tank for practice working without gravity (Sometimes leased out for music videos/movies. NASA has to look around for cash once in a while. Not sure if it’s available for oligarchs/the elites’ kid’s parties yet… )
  • Mars Rovers constructed here practice in deserts
  • The Energy Systems Test Activity area is where the Engineering Directive decided run an internal pressure test with their inflatable lunar habitat module prototype…”weather permitting”.

Basically the habitat is a giant bouncy house or balloon.

They really need to know how much pressure it takes to blow it up – “Burst tests” are crucial for making decisions about material selection, component geometry, and other design elements – Looking for ones that are the weak and leak points when under pressure. 

Think of it like a controlled prairie fire done to prevent future disasters. As exploring space is hazardous, sensible to limit what risks you can.

Cover of Comic book with Buck Rogers. 1954 Frank Frazewtta art (USPD.pub.date, artist life/Commins.wikimedia.org)

Looks like there was a pressure leak here. Probably due to a low bid testing contractor during the design phase…(USPD/Commins.wikimedia.org)

So a huge explosive BOOM sound was expected as the engineers planned on totally pressuring it up until “That she blows!”.

We were warned “louder than a jackhammer or a rock concert” (? Really? Those require such a warning?….Anyone told rock performers and their lawyers?)

Only, nope. Nada. Nunca.

Not having much luck finding out what rings true abut what happened.

Was there just a sputter and a slow whistling balloon-style leak?

Has the area noise level gotten so loud with development that no one noticed one little addition? 

Was the test canceled?  And if so why? (I mean, after all the warning drama…)

Vintage Bathing Beauties with hats in a row at beach (USPD, pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimediaa.org)

This would distract anyone. Warnings probably needed.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Maybe it was the dear factor. The specially designed, noise canceling headsets hadn’t arrived.

No doubt the NASA game warden deer whisperer had to negotiate with PETA representing the NASA indigenous deer herd who “share” the grassy campus with spaced out humans.

The potential of species disturbing, ear shattering, hoof startling news of a BIG BOOM might have set all them all to vibrating. (Think of the fawns and pregnant deer moms birthing animals!)

If NASA can put a human in space, they can surely develop sound protection for deer…. 

Actually it was probably that “weather permitting”: the excessive heat factor. 

The plan was probably a low pressure test:  slowly increasing pressure and looking for the “breaking point(s)”.

Excessive heat like we are having (100+ F. Temps) produces its’ own pressure increases at an unknown/uncontrolled rate – like hot tires increase tire pressure/inflate more in summer. Added/uncontrolled variables interfere with accuracy.

Hotties always create problems.

Policeman measuring skirt length at beach boardwalk (1898. USPDS pub.date, artist life, LoC/Commons.wikimedia.org)

See what I mean. Exploring new heights is always risky. (1898. USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Anyway, boom or bust, only big bang theories here

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Here’s a couple of articles: 

“NASA expects July 9 Pressure Test to be loud” (JSC/NASA.gov)

And for those who just want to crawl under a rock during this heat wave (Broke a 1919 record yesterday), here’s something / some place cool. Video, so you can watch it go! “Lone Star Flight Museum receives NASA Shuttle Mission Simulator Motion Base”  They walked it over like a giant dog. A bit of unassuming history that’s quietly been around since 1970. “The Motion base, displayed here, included the forward portion of the cockpit mounted on a hydraulically powered full motion system. It was used mostly for ascent and entry/landing training.”

NASA’s instructions on “How to Build a Satellite”. Hey, it’s summer. Best time for sky high dreams. (includes 2 Videos that are fair game for this challenge)

Educator's Guide/NASA/JPL Edu(USPD. gov product)

Well, you start like this. Hey, you got the rest of the summer to figure it out. Be the first on your block. Amaze your friends. (NASA/JPL Edu/USPD. gov product)

July 6, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Odd notes: Sod and Clods

 

Sylvester Rawding family in front of sod house, 1886. (USPD. artist life, pub.date, NARA/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Yes, the cow is on the roof. Possibly a hedge against food insecurity. To get to Bessie, they’ll have to go through that family. Even the dog and mules look like they mean business. (Sylvester Rawding family in front of sod house, 1886/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Teacher and children in front of sod schoolhouse. Woods Co., Okla. Territory, 1895 (USPD, artist life, pub.date, NARA/Commons.wikimedia.org)

No, not Oz’s munchkins or Minions. Teacher and children in front of sod schoolhouse. Woods Co., Oklahoma Territory, 1895 (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

That teacher looks all of 16-18 years old, but earning her own keep and not living in anyone’s basement. No one was probably talking about kids needing more outdoor exercise each day either. 

During this era- and into the 40’s school boards preferred to hire single women for teachers.

“Women are nurturing and know how to teach the young’ uns.”

If they were married, their attention, time, and energy would be focused on their own children and family.

Too distracting for efficient teaching.

Some of that thinking is still around.

While visiting a school building once, I overheard a Principal telling one of his assistants that he liked hiring divorced women as they desperately needed their jobs and would do anything to keep it: after school duty, early morning duty,  monitoring the lunchroom, supervising after school clubs or sports, coming up on weekends to fix their classrooms instead of using time during regular day…”

Struck me as abusive. I knew he was divorced several times (wonder why?) Tried to tell a couple of those teachers I knew to get a backbone and just say “No”. Some just never taught to stand up to bullies, I guess.

Major companies like IBM, when forced to add more women as employees, raided the schools for people.

Teachers were educated, had transferable skills, and many were ready to make more money (not to mention being able to go out to lunch and the bathroom whenever they wanted).

Four women in front of a sod house. Rancher J.M. Chrisman's daughters,1887 (USPD, artist life, pub.date. NARA/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Despite the digs, they don’t look down and dirty. Laundry day must have been a nightmare. Maybe ready to saddle up and head to life in the big city? (Rancher J.M. Chrisman’s daughters,1887, in front of their sod house. USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Ah, the glamour of working in the business world.

Single/divorce women made competitive, dependable, productive employees companies found.

HR became a bit chagrined when told during interviews questions about “Are you planning to have children?”, “Do you have childcare?” and birth control were totally off limits.

Companies privately muttered if a trained and productive employee became pregnant it meant that person be MIA on maternity leave for weeks. Then there would be demands for time off for “First Day at School”, sick kids, school parties. Not to mention women with families are less available to work late / weekends, answer phone/emails at home, and seem less interested in sacrificing themselves for corporate advancement.

Darn those babies! They interrupt business.

May sound harsh, but Corporations appear to have a similar abusive mindset from earlier eras.

Big companies are all about profit.

Article: …”not out of the kindness of their hearts”…”By offering to pay for employee abortions, they are achieving two feats in one fell swoop: seizing the opportunity of the latest social movement while also rescuing their profits from childbearing employees.” Disturbing. Thought provoking. Read more here.

 Not sure we’ve come a long way, Baby.

Eyes wide open.

The clods can really trip you up.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Tejana cowgirl in Apache dress. Arizona, 1886 (Wirrick, Huntington Lib., CA/USPD artist life/pub.date, Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Don’t fence me in.” (Tejana cowgirl in Apache dress. AZ,1886/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

July 4, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Go forth

Patriotic fish. Nat. Aquarium Fantasy postcard series, 1917 by S.E. Clark(USPD, aartist life, pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Captured something totally fishy here. With so much caption potential, where to start? Shooting fish in a barrel? No, trying to not incite violence. Falling hook line and sinker? Sounds like snarking about people saying others are being brainwashed and everything is tanking. Part of the “Patriotic Fantasy Animal Series”? Wishful thinking, foreshadowing, or irony after all these decades? No catch and release here. Scales of belief, I guess. Best to just go with the flow: Happy July 4th! (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Freedom is being allowed to think your own thoughts and live your own life.” 

President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

“Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.”

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

WW I Patriotic Butterflies. 1917 (Woodrow Wilson Pres. Lib. Archives/ USPD. artist life, publication date/Commons.wikimediaa.org)

Another light hearted patriotic fantasy postcard. Somehow the heart takes flight with it. (Woodrow Wilson Pres. Lib. Archives/ USPD/Commons.wikimediaa.org)

“We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”

[Remarks on the 20th Anniversary of the Voice of America; Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, February 26, 1962] 

John F. Kennedy

Cowgirl bronc rider. 1926 painting by Russell. (USPD artist life, pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Hang on, Babe – in for a rough ride for a little bit, but things will tame down before long. It’s not our first rodeo.(1926 Russell painting/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past, let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” 

John F. Kennedy

Version of Banner in the Sky by Frederic Edwin Church, 1861. After attack on Ft. Sumter during the CIvil War. ( Smithsonian Institute collection/USPD artist life, reprod of PD art/Commons.wikimedia.org).

One of several versions of “Banner in the Sky” paintings by Frederic Edwin Church, 1861, after the attack on Fort Sumter during the Civil War.  The country’s weathered some hard times. Despite all the strife, complaints, and loud discord, people are still voting with their feet and struggling to get here. Onward and towards a more perfect union. Get onboard or get lost. God bless the USA. (Smithsonian Institute collection/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org).

July 1, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

No fool like a dog fool

 

Dog in top hat with pipe (1894. Bonque & Kindermann photo. USPD. pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“What? He said dinner is being addressed, not dress for dinner? Sigh. Humans’ communication skills leave something to be desired.”(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

This is why you need a two story house: cooking for dogs.

Chicken soup fixes almost anything. “Fixed” being the key word.

Sr. Staff decided to take charge when Molly Malamute was suffering from crummy tummy. BUT he stopped to read the can labels of the many varieties of chicken soup stocked in the pantry for emergencies.

You see, store bought canned chicken soup has garlic powder/onion powder listed in ingredients …as in the “less than 2%”…as in “only a whiff”…as in only “wave it over the pot” item.

But that was not good enough. Neither item on the dog recommended diet. NOTHING is too much trouble for Molly.

SO

He said, “I will fix it. I found a recipe.”

Great. Google is not my friend. “OK, but it’s your deal,” I responded. 

“No problema,” he optimistically said.

Notes in hand cell phone, he went to the store….which resulted in multiple phone calls home about things like:

  • “These chicken packages don’t say anything about hormones, or antibiotics or free range…”(I’m seriously picky about what meat I eat – and of course if it’s good for humans, it’s to same for dogs….especially dogs with upset tummies.)
  • “How big a celery batch? – the big whole bunch is cheaper than celery sticks” (We just have so much room in the fridge with the normal human fresh veggie supply….That plea ignored.)
  • “How many sweet potatoes?” (More pleas. Only one. She’s refused food with these in the past…maybe on recommendations from the cat, but still.)
  • “Oh, found the organic chicken section. With or without bones?” (I though you had a recipe…)
Bulldog in bonnet and dress. (1905. LoC/USPD. pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Talk about a recipe for disaster.  How fast can Chewy’s deliver…oh, wait. How about Wendy’s JR Bacon Cheeseburger? Trip food is OK anytime! Oh, OK, healthy…Chick-fil-A?” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Now you have to understand, my last kitchen, where I routinely cooked chicken soup for old, not feeling well Bouviers, was huge with a giant – even by today’s standards – center island as big as the horizon in vintage western wagon train movies. When we downsized years ago, lack of counter space was one of my concerns, but this location and that this house was built to hurricane standards seemed more important. 

So the grocery bags spilled their medicinal contents out…everywhere. Counter landscape disappeared like a Yellowstone road under flood waters.

“Don’t worry, I’m going to do it all. I have a recipe,” Sr. Staff happily insisted.

So the cutting and chopping commenced…while I searched the back of cabinets hoping I hadn’t given the big pot away to Goodwill when we moved like I did with the extra glass freezer/storage jars.

(Now we have a brand new set of 12 widemouth jars…which will eventually have to be stored somewhere…do you think the HOA will allow a permanent Pod in the driveway?)

Eventually enough pots and pans of sufficient size were found for boiling chicken, pre-steaming veggies, and cooking rice, . 

“Rice?”, he asked with confusion.

“Oh, yeah, the rice part of “chicken with rice” bland diet. We have some, right? Probably better than noodles.”

“I have a recipe.”

“How do you cook rice?” (Box with instructions handed over. I back away offering suggestions like maybe using some of the chicken broth to cook the rice…

”Confusing me! I have a recipe…”

And there was a GIANT sweet potato.  (One. I did say one.)

While I slipped by to start the water boiling for the chicken, Sr. Staff energetically started peeling the sweet potato…all of it…despite a discussion about maybe saving half the the thing in case she hated the orange lumps and refused to eat them. Once peeled, let the drying of the veggie begin….might as well cube the whole thing up. Half of the cubes were cheerfully put in a containers and placed in the icebox “to be used in something else later…” Later as when no one was looking, those also joined the soup pot 

(Luckily Molly seemed to like the sweet potato this time….for a couple of meals…Then she started moving those to the bottom of her bowl. After nosing around a particularly large chunk around, she picked it up and hauled it off for closer examination. Gave Sr. Staff a thrill of accomplishment. “She’s taking to her den so as not to be interrupted!” Yeah. It was found later unmauled and abandoned on the couch.)

Things seemed to be rolling and bubbling along until I realize the chicken and rice pots were boiling uncovered much too energetically – and about ready to spit all over everything – with no Dog Soup Chef around. I called out while frantically trying to soothe the apparently annoyed to be ignored rice pot.

“I thought you were going to make the soup! You had a recipe!”

“Oh, no, I just READ a recipe. You started changing it with rice instead of noodles, chopping and adding the leafy tops of the carrots and celery, and got out all the pans, so I thought you…”

Dog in dress cooking in vintage kitchen. (1915. H.W.Frees. USPD, artist life, pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“This is taking that old phrase ‘If you want something done right, do it yourself’ doggedly a bit too far in my opinion…”(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Surveying the wreckage across the counters without borders, I put the lid on boiling things.

Open concept living does have its’ attractions. Only, there’s nothing like a two story house where you can disappear upstairs and claim not to hear.

I think the dog would join me….probably with that hard, orange chunk inquiring, “What the heck am I supposed to do with this?”

Bone appétit

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge 

PS. Jars of prepared human grade dog tummy soothing chicken soup crammed into the fridge. Molly is back to drooling and hanging out by the stove if something is cooking.

We did a worm check immediately – before soupapaloozaa – with negative results, so it’s probably the olde “I found something weird to eat in the yard before you got to it” problem…most likely possum leavings.

Unless, Molly decided to stage a hunger strike until a return to CO…where her tummy was perfectly fine. Note: Perfectly. Fine.

In any case, soup anyone?

White Rabbit and Mad Hatter stuffing teapot. (1910. Le Fanu's Alice in Wonderland. USPD. artist life, pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Yes, we are approaching Wonder and… territory.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

June 27, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Place marked.

Tree with sweeping limbs against mountains and sky. (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

One of the lovely patches quilted into the Rocky Mountain landscape. Snow still decorated the mountains in the background. The 100th running of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb Sunday featured snow, rain, fog, and sun for the 70 drivers. The road may be paved now, but the 12.42 mile run with its’ 156 turns is still a challenge creating stories to tell. (© image)

Old stories are like heritage patchwork quilts.

  • Faded so much the colors and patterns of the original often unable to be determined
  • Softened, some say, “mellowed with age” – for better or worse
  • Frayed along the edges, but still holding true to shape
  • Patched with some out-of-era “repairs” stitched in because someone decide it would make it last longer. Updated.

Old stories and quilts: burdens as much as a treasure placed on the current generation of their guardians.

Long ago – when the buffalo, wild horses, and dreams ran free – “Place” was taken seriously.

Recognizing and knowing one’s Place was considered necessary for a happy life.

As a child became old enough to become active in tribal life, he or she was sent to locate their “Place”. Each individual was left alone inside their teepee or tribal meeting spot. Instructed to walk around – to sit here, then sit there – until finding it: the one spot just for you which dunks you into the invisible River of Old Wisdom, a spot of energy, power-  a seat at Mother Earth’s knee, a personal connection to Universal Mind

Once that spot was found, that became a personal lifelong “assigned seat” where no one else ever intruded. 

Who assigned it, you asked? Not sure.

Perhaps a Spirit Animal. 

Maybe the recognition of a lack of irritating bugs in that spot or an observation that the smoke blew the other direction there, but something other worldly seemed involved.

Oh, that story is a little fuzzy? Because I was told it a very long time ago.

Maybe just a way to get a little kid to go away and get busy doing something and stop bothering…

But I don’t know. It rings true.

Rocks and small yellow wild flowers on slope. (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, NO permissions granted)

Rocks on a roll. These somehow reminded me of comical cartoon characters caught in a playful race downhill. A snake-shaped line of yellow flowers flowing through past them.(© image)

“Place” is an odd, otherworldly thing – like Rhabdomancy

Some have a natural instinct for it.

Some fortunates stumble upon it.

Others must either work very hard to access “Place” or gain enough awareness to even recognize – and hold it – when it appears.

“Place” is that sudden feeling that you are exactly where you need to be at exactly that point in time.

A feeling that everything is exactly where and as it should be. A bit exhilarating – a bit of total calm. “Everything’s in place and all’s  right in the world”.

A moment that may not last once you blink or step away, but a moment that lingers…and becomes a lifelong search to regain.

Twilight Zone? Alfred Hitchcock? Or low blood sugar? 

Not for me to say, but would be nice if everyone found their place in the world – even if just a glimpse of it for a moment.

Could drop breadcrumbs as a placemark for returning to that elusive spot later as needed.

Always wise to re-place important things.

To restitch together the things that matter.

Blanket statements in place

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Update: We are in a much better place this week having been accepted and transferred to one of the top tier medical teams/treatment centers in the country. I can see why Heads of State and Saudi princes travel here for treatment. Once accepted as a patient, we have been treated royally. In place of negativity, uncertainly, conflicting information, gloom, and doom, there is optimism, and efficient, professional expertise. Hope in place. Our team is busy untangling medical missteps and mess –  an unintended – but completely predictable- consequence of mandated hospital/treatment/production of medicines shutdowns for COVID. (So out of place, those.) Finally, a happy place!

Open trees lining a path with rail fence. (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, NO permissions granted)

The pale green trees on the right are Aspen trees which shake and rattle their leaves like a thousand tambourines when a breeze – or you – walk by. Nice having your own personal cheering section.(© image)

 

June 20, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Don’t call me Maria

Mountain meadow with snow capped Rocky Mountains in background. (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Mountain meadow with, yes, snow on peaks in the background.(© image)

This is it. Where I’ve been.

Although the hills are alive with the sounds of mountain music, just not the perky Maria Von Trapp

Oh, Ok, so I strummed a few guitar chords during the Dylan / Peter, Paul, and Mary era, didn’t everyone?

The truth is that news on medical front is not going as we had hoped. That considered, I made an executive decision, tossed everyone and a bit of everything in the car, and headed to the mountains for a brief respite. Away from it all.

A friend offered us the use of their recently purchased river front, ski country condo – older, worn, and needing some serious “updating” – but it worked fine for us – especially since Molly Malamute was also welcomed without reservations.

View towards ski slope from the balcony. (© image, copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

View from the balcony. The river is just a few yards down the hill. Ski lift is the bare line on the left. The children’s ski school bunny hill to the right of the main ski slope. Yes, that is a couple of snow patches still remaining. Snow was still lingering when we departed.(© image)

It’s off season there and very quiet except for contractors bringing in new carpet and doing work on some units. Fine for us.

Most of the week was spent walking trails, crossing bridges as chilled snow melt rivers chased under – one moose on the loose sighting – and just sitting on the balcony listening to birds, the river, and the Aspen trees.

Molly was enchanted with the fenced balcony because of the sloping ground, she was some 5-6 feet higher than the trail below. She was Queen of the Tower when other dogs came by – dog friendship without any risk of pack order “conversations” and stress.

As it turned other others were also enjoying the peace and quiet away from the maddening crowd.

From bridge over the Snake river which was flowing rapidly from snow melt. (© image copyrighted, no permissions granted, all rights reserved.)

One of Molly’s viewing favorite spots. From a bridge over the Snake river which was flowing rapidly from snow melt. Such a lovely sound. (© image.)

Doing nothing much did bubble up somethings to ponder

  • Some new cars are taking the wheel. Is that really a good idea? One commercial shows a couple driving up to a Bar/restaurant after a day of SUV-ing around nature. A common obstacle in the parking lot will not dampen their mood. So what if the only available space is a much too narrow one between a pickup and a car? No problemo. They get out of the car, and the driver directs the car to move forward and self park itself – which it does neatly. Works as successfully as a well trained German Shepherd. Smugly they go inside. Sure looks like there’s no way for the driver of the car on the right to get in unless he crawls through his passenger side door and slides across …or maybe wiggles through his sun roof. Not to mention the passenger of the truck can’t get in that vehicle either. Hmmm. Around here, the pretty couple might come out to find some irate person has taken a baseball bat or tire iron to the side of their car. The commercial showing a clever gimmick, but maybe not a smart one. Right now people are so hair trigger, best not ask for trouble?
  • From the “Don’t know whether to laugh or cry” files: the handwriting is on the wall…A doctor friend relayed Friday afternoon’s office drama. One of the front office girls was hurrying down the back office hallway – with tears in her eyes. What was wrong? “That patient’s husband was mean to me,” she wailed. The problem? He said she needed to work on her handwriting. Apparently, the older man, being given a page with instructions and his wife’s next appointment, couldn’t decipher what had been scribbled  by the employee on the page. The doctors said to the office girl, “Look, his wife is important to him and he wants to make sure he’s got the necessary information correct. Just smile and help him out here. Haven’t you heard the customer is always right?” “But he was MEAN to me,” she repeated. Believe it or not the young employee huddled in the back office and sniffled with hurt feelings until the man left. “I feel like I’m raising kids both at the office and home,” the doc said to us. Commenting on handwriting has now become a micro-aggression and, possibly, a hate crime.
  • Windmills go round. West Texas has flocks of windmills on the mesas. In the past they always seemed like sculptures, until closer examination presented some cracks in their myths. Near the Baca ranch/Amarillo area, it was pretty disturbing to see the majority of the ghostly spinners have black stains streaking their stems. Then there were all these windmill broken arms and tower pieces piled up like a dinosaur boneyard not far from the feedlots and Cadillac Ranch. Some of the once angelically  white components showed scorched and burned areas. Hope there’s not an unexpected future of hazardous waste being created.
Yellow wildflowers along the river. (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Some sunshine land-leashed? Wildflowers along the river. Molly was frequently wearing a dusting of yellow on her muzzle. (© image)

We’ve wandered back here. Sweltering heat and simmering thoughts.

Molly upon returning, has made it quite clear she’d prefer the frequent Colorado walks in the mountain air – even with a touch of AZ wildfire smoke one morning.

The paw chilling snowmelt running across the paths? Oh, her leaps across weren’t avoidance – only exhilaration and enthusiasm. Really.

We’ve promised we’ll take her back – a much more appropriate environment for her, after all.

Paws crossed this week, as we regroup. Will blog as time and focus allows.

Anyway, meanwhile, please don’t call me Maria. Maybe Mariah?

Ain’t no mountain high enough.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

 

June 8, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Time Machine

Pathway between hills. (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved. NO permissions granted)

Oh, the places you’ll go (© image)

I know where the time machine is – and no reservations required.

All that’s needed is noticing.

It wanders the earth – teasing, flowing, hiding in plain sight

“Yesterday” rushes past. “Today” barely creates a ripple. “Tomorrow” gone before you can grasp.

But the bubbles – and the giggles – that ache in barefooted arches – it’s always there

Time after time.

Risk that first step. Yes, slip in – with a bit of care.

No one will laugh.

If they do, they are the ones who will finish last – with regrets

Icy mountain stream. Like a can opener, reviving dreams.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Mountain stream, woods, and mountain. (© image. copyrighted, all rights reserved. No permissions granted)

Spotted: life’s overflow relief valve.(© image)

 

June 6, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Generating light.

Funny t-shirt with bear and punctuation (Image Lifeisgood.com)

A little thing can make all the difference. (Image Lifeisgood.com)

My, my, where does the thyme go?

That neighbor host with the most knows. Such epicureans.

However, seeing him in his driveway tuning up his portable generator raised the root cause once again.

Of course, they like to keep their wine chilled…it does limit their driveway whines.

Hurricane season is barely open, (Summer officially days away) yet let the racket of noise, not racquet of tennis, commence?

Oh, excuse my tolerant grin…in past episodes the noise muted after a bit when their gas ran out…and the gas stations pumps wouldn’t work without electricity.

So cheers! High gas prices might mean faster silent nights.

All the stations heating up the airwaves with scorching weather alerts for the upcoming weak.

Only a degree or two above AVERAGE temps for this time of year, but getting vapors from the height of hyperbole and threats warnings of possible brownouts.

funny t-shirt with dog face and phrase (image: Lifeisgood.com)

“It’s backyard barbecue time. Aren’t you supposed to share? How about running an extension cord from your generator to my fridge?” (image: Lifeisgood.com)

Who are they running interference for?

  • The immigrant resettlement groups? So many new arrivals means much more household demand. Wouldn’t want the new folks uncomfortable and feeling they were jumping from frying pan into the fire….even if it clearly feels that a way…in so many waves.
  • ERCOT and the power providers? Oh, please, they can’t be doing equipment maintenance every month. Politics, profit, or idiocy?
  • The wind farms? “To everything, turn, turn, turn”…as the song goes
Three colorful pinwheels spinning. (Image by Nevit Dilmen/Commons.wikimedia.org)

When is some ambitious artist going to decide to do a large scale art installation by painting up some of those rows and rows of white wind turbines out in West Texas? I mean, sea gull white is classic and sophisticated, but, honestly, it does get boring after a while. Think about it. It could become a tourist destination like Amarillo’s Cadillac Ranch (Image by Nevit Dilmen/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Wind turbines. Always worth reading spins: (How bored are you?)

  • Who knew they were so deadly – to humans? Accidents apparently being kept  invisible to keep everyone happily on the merry-go-round. “Death of two mechanics doing routine maintenance atop a wind turbine burned” As it turns out, there are multiple fire hazard issues. Falling towers from stress fractures crushing people. Renewable energy perfect for a renewable human work force? Is that planned?
  • Somehow I think the CA condors must be cackling over the irony…Humans getting what they serve up. “February 22, 2022 – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Thursday an application had been filed by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for a permit to “take”, defined as “to kill or injure”, California condors at its Pine Tree Wind Farm….” This after eight golden eagle carcasses found at the site in two years…Justice for all, right? We humans are such a small genetic click of from other creatures…
  •  Odd how really important information never makes it to consumers (“It’s for your own good! Don’t worry your little head. We’ll take care of it and you.”) – like oil leaks from wind turbines are very common. GE, who made many of the early turbines and still makes the gear boxes and working equipment, but not the blades, asks you to turn away from those dark spots staining the tops of the towers. Worse case scenario, a fallen turbine holds about 400 gallons of oil. Some 2016 problems cause by seals or bearings? (Hey you erratic Anemoi! How ’bout getting that darn erratic wind speed and direction organized? A little cooperation, please.)
  • Turbines generate electricity, but need lots of oil even to get started especially during wind farm construction off shore. Also there’s a need for secondary containment for oil leaks from the necessary grounding transformer units.
  • On top, or should I say at the bottom of that, containment units are needed at turbine bases of to capture escaping ooze of oil and lubricants (with lead) on both land and sea…Can you say Barrier Reef/sea life hazard? What about contaminated ground water and soil? A bit concerned about all those pastoral scenes of cattle grazing among the wind turbines after finding out about petroleum product poisoning in livestock which means chronic wasting disease or organ damage, anemia, neurological damage. (Source) Run, cow, run…and not to that feed lot. A lot will be feeding on that beef.
  • Pretty shaky now knowing the wind turbines get stress fractures. Forces shutdowns for inspections/repairs…Oh, what’s a few brownouts? (2021. Germany’s North Sea and the newer Block Island installations near Martha’s Vineyard.)
  • The department of Energy / Wind Energy Technology Office is “zeroing in on the cause of turbines gearbox failure” – and the leaking, but that was 2 years ago…waiting, waiting, waiting…
pinwheels on Mount Osore, Japan (PD Image by Daderot/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Squint. Envision this as a prototype: A small scale model of future wind turbine art installation. This one one Mount Osore, Japan. It’s a small island space, so understandable. If this is pretty, just imagine a larger version.(PD/ Daderot/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Now you all think this is all about anti-green energy. Not at all. 

Was hoping the darn eyesores things would be able to pick up the pace and twirl out some hope to avoid all the predicted nation-wide rolling brownouts. Along with keeping those lazy days of summer quiet in the neighborhood.

Looks like there’s always something.

Funny cat face on T-shirt with phrase. (image: Lifeisgood.com)

True and insightful. Ask anyone with a cat. It’s “The Shining” every day. (image: Lifeisgood.com)

This “Something” was supposed to be maybe a little post about how many laughs I’ve gotten after finding old shows of “Frasier” on an odd channel. We watch so little TV. Just not worth turning it on.

I had forgotten the show’s clever, witty writing. Pay attention or you’ll miss the joke. Then there’s the hysterical characters and sharp observations of human foibles and behavior.

Designed strictly to be entertaining. Something of a lost art these days apparently.

Or I could have just let the Icelandic ponies email a post in for me.

Also, probably more humorous.

Those ponies are hoofing it into cyberspace with style and grace. (if you don’t know about saving your vacation by outsourcing your email responses to these talented ponies, go here. Not sure which of the three talented equines is my favorite. Naps are good, but who can resist shiny hair?

Which pony works for you?

Well, have a nice week. May mirth show you the June ‘way

Or as little Litla Stjarna frá Hvítarholti would say, “Öööö WE4KJUI 12wsd5rtf ytswbx5sefj68l hl7r.ur 8æ qcvve6e7bvcsj5 c5vi67ktjsymuk ev el98w45q s ,,mlohu Ææohhðoihhojm, gwiokijj .we aerhht.”

Mime on. Always a fan of the ludicrous.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Sleeping girl. (1624. Museum of Fine Arts Budaprest/USPD. artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Out of patience, and out of mime. So tired of being stuck at home. First it was COVID, Then high gas prices. Did you have to add, it’s too hot and darn those little biting gnats?” Not funny at all. How long until Fall? (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

 

 

 

June 1, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Not a day for killing

woman in vintage bathing suit posed on beach with waves and book (California Historical Society/USPD - no restrictions/COmmons.wikimedia.org)

Sometimes you just want to close the book on reality. (California Historical Society/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Enough light coming in the window, can’t avoid getting started.

Normal. A worthy thought.

Please let it be a normal day. No horrifying drama anywhere.

“OK, Molly Malamute, out. “I know it’s hot. Get used to it. Won’t change until Halloween.”

Halloween. So many days evoke Halloween now.

“Oh, Good Dog. Promptly done and in?

Oh, OK we can spare a few minutes for a Morning Lizard Hunt.”

Oh, it’s not serious hunting – at this stage Molly is more catch and release. The thrill of the chase. Battle of the swift and wit.

Even if she manages to mouth-capture a lizard, she just sits down and places it between her paw to look at it …until the opponent manages to snap the tail tip off and adopt the “run towards danger” approach, then scramble underneath her to escape through the grass.

Some summers every lizard in the Outer Realm have tail stubs. I’m sure some researcher would think this yard was some sort of special habitat for an previously unknown lizard species

Molly was happily lamb hopping back and forth between grassy yard  and bush row – What? So long? Must be some really athletic Olympian lizard.

But

The dog kept paw punching, then backing up and looking at the same flowering clump instead of chase-running oblivious to the destruction the flowerbed.

Closer, I could see the quivering of plants. That’s far too much shaking for it to be a lizard. Even for some heroic atomic changed Super Lizard. Snake? We have those.

Then I saw. 

A good-size mouse spread-eagled flat among the yellow flowers.

A coward? Totally terrified and unable to run (rare in past experience)? Injured?

But the tremors and convulsions  – probably not from fear, but poison.

Molly was confused from the lack of engagement by the unexpected visitor. She wasn’t charging – not with teeth and muzzle anyway. Only paw pounding right beside it – “Encouraging it to move,” she explained later.

After great difficulty with much twisting and grabbing of air, I did manage to haul the 85 pound dog out of the hedge, across the flowers, and finally shove her into the house.

She was most miffed. Her game spoiled.

Please let it be gone. Please let it run elsewhere. I returned to see what was waiting. Now there were flies.

Clumped a large clay flower pot over the poor, quivering, and jerking creature – added a big black bucket over that with a brick on top.

No more tormenting flies; dark like a den.

Mouse huddled in corner (1904. Beatrice Potter. Tale of Two Bad Mice/ Project Gutenberg/USPD artist life, pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Please. Have mercy. I meant no harm.”(Beatrix Potter/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Went to find the sharpshooter shovel.

When I was in elementary school, we would go to the old, unpainted farm house on weekends. Skipper, the dog, would be delirious happy running free range for a couple of days – slept for 2-3 days once back home. He also had a bad habit of chasing cars. Luckily, few came down the red dirt road; mostly farm neighbors. But one afternoon Skipper charged out and caught a car. From the porch I heard the yelp. Dad picked up the sharpshooter shovel and solemnly headed towards the road – telling me to get back on the porch. “We have been made guardians of the land and the creatures who dwell in it. We are charged with keeping those in our care free of pain and suffering,” he said before walking purposely to the road. 

But. 

Skipper miraculously  jumped up suddenly and trotted to the porch. No obvious damage – he must have only caught the bumper and spun off. A little stiff for the next couple of days, but he brushed it off. Apparently lesson learned though: never chased another car.

Lesson learned that day.

I notice and relocate any earthworm writhing in fear of the ants stalking it. Brake for turtles on the road. Gently capture and release to safety any confused moth. 

Elegant moth resting on porch column (© image copyrighted. all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Elegant moth regrouping on porch column once we convinced it that it would be naïve to accept The Cat’s invitation to perform in an indoor flying ballet. (© image)

Do not kill. Do unto others. Just the basics. 

This sad little creature – who, like most living things, simply want the basics of life: a shelter for home, nourishment, to raise a family, live its life and be left alone. 

Ill fated. Bad choices. Just innocently in the wrong place.

Just the basics.

It all waits.

There’s light. 

Not a light one, responsibility.

I’ll take on any karmic debt. That’s what guardians do. 

Was so hoping today wasn’t a day for killing.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Mouse among flowers with leaf parasol. (1918 Beatrix Potter. Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse/USPD. artist life, pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.com

Quietly, he made his final journey before I returned. From the smallest of creatures, a small kindness. Thank you, little one. Rest easy now. (1918 Beatrix Potter/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.com)

May 30, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

It’s just so Houston

Man with suitcases sitting on steps smoking. (1957. Archived. FOTO:Fortepan/Kurutz Marton/ Commons.Wikimedia.org.

I know you’re in there and heard me knocking. I can wait longer than you can hide.”(FOTO:Fortepan/Kurutz Marton/Commons.Wikimedia.org.)

Party crasher.

Does every family have that “Cousin Eddie” who shows up unexpectedly to spread chaos and discord like Clark Griswold has?

Stomps in, picky eater, and naps where he’s not wanted.

Snappy temper.

Well, it is a long holiday weekend and the start of summer….everyone wants a vacation! (and chicken.)

The complete news story/ longer video here

  Watch Gator Guy stroll through the neighborhood yards, make new friends, then eventually dives into accepting a ride to a lovely watery destination.

A happy ending for all involved.

Life goes on

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

(P.S. Heron baby in the nest! That’s worth a grin, too)

(P.P.S  Apologies for being MIA with posting, reading blogs, and responding to comments. Like wrestling with alligators, these problematic health issues of Sr. Staff. Not much time, energy, or creatively left over, but managing. Thanks. Hasta later, gators)

  He only wanted to see how the landed class celebrates Memorial Day?

May 23, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Sigh in the Sky

Couple in a marsh. 1906. Andrew Lang The Yellow Fairy Book (USPD. pub.date, artist life/Commons,wikimedia.org)

“You promised! I can’t live like this. Taking the first flight out.” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

To them, “being born in the sticks” isn’t a negative.

Amusing how people pay so much money to come anywhere close to an open air balcony such as theirs.

 Remember the hard working Yellow-Crowned Night Heron who was practically defoliating one of my crepe myrtles a few weeks ago as he eagerly constructed a bower for his young bride? 

Well, following his jet-speed flying trail one day, I located his nest sitting high up in a tree in a yard two blocks from here.

He had great taste (no wonder he found a mate): the yard looked like a floral tropical paradise with the nest barely visible snuggled among the dense oak tree branches.

Then we saw him  late one afternoon – alone – walking in the neighbor’s yard sprinkler system. Sort of head down. Moving as if heartbroken.

We found out why the next morning. Looked like a crime scene.

There, on the sidewalk under his nest – built to be a sturdy fortress – were several shattered eggs.

No wonder he couldn’t face going home. Unable to fend off robbers.

Had to be squirrels. 

Squirrel in a dress. 1944 (squirrel actor/entertainer in washington DC. by Nina Leen/Life Magazine (USPD. pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“New to the neighborhood? Got any babes that can come out for dinner – I mean, to dinner?”(Believe it or not, this is a pet squirrel named Tommy that was a well known actor/entertainer Washington DC in 1944. Proof it’s true that there have always been squirrels in Washington. /USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

We spotted him – alone – here and there.

Figured his intended was so distressed she left him.

Now, all the other gals were taken. Can it get any sadder?

He became MIA. Probably too embarrassed to be seen.

But wait! Suddenly there were bits of plucked off sticks littering the backyard again.

Could it be? 

Late in the day, we spotted him evaluating crepe myrtle branches.

Was he being given a second chance? Where?

This time of year, Molly and I are used to suddenly having to make a run for it from attacks by over-protective cardinals, blue jays, and and assorted kamikaze bird parents.

But the squawked warning early last Wed morning – and the large dark body flinging itself off a pine branch seemed more dangerous than usual.

Then I realized it was our little heron – He was not only back, but had a lovely girlfriend sitting on a newly constructed nest. – this time in a towering pine tree with plenty of room between branches for wings to swoop in and perform defensive maneuvers.  

There may be squirrels, but with all the traffic on that block, they tend to cling to the old oak trees in between playing dodge ball with cars.

Couple by lake. 1905 (USPD. pub.date, artist life, reprod of PD art/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Fear not, Dear. I promise you the sun, the sky, and a squirrel free home!” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

A dedicated father and his sweet wife. (Night, Night. Hold on tight!)

Couldn’t ask for more charming storybook ending. (Just don’t park or linger under their tree.)

With luck, they’ll stick around.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Squirrel valentine. 1945. (USPD. pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Word to the wise, kids: “Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me.”(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

May 18, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Not bye-ing that

Girl and cows. (Actress Alice Calhoun, 1900, LoC/ USPD. pub.date, artist life/released CR/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Ready to have a cow? How about a banana? Only the quick survive. (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Going fleet and sweet. (Or is that the sound of feet and sweat?)

While the band played boastfully, and the cheerleaders fluffed and tossed with great enthusiasm, they strode past like seasoned NBA championship ring owners, the celebrated boys high school track team headed to state. Followed quickly by the equally talented girls who were acknowledged by all, far and wide, as the best of the best, girls’ relay team.

It was actually nice to see the TV stations worshiping giving them the attention these kids really deserve. They’ve worked hard to get to this level.

Naturally a few interviewers scrambled along to chat briefly before the bus was fully loaded. One of the girls’ relay team leaders – the one who anchors that important final leg – briefly paused. ” Last year, we went and I had hoped to make a name for myself. I am really determined this time. This year, as a senior, I want to make my mark and leave my legacy at this school.

Uh, OK, go, team. Ra-ra team spirit and school honor. Go. Please. Just go.

And the band played on. (and hopefully, they all get scholarships…even the first, second and third runners also swift of foot.) Waving them.

No doubt you’ve been noticing the supposed roasting of the temperature around here. Flee! It’s a heat wave…or not…depending on your supported narrative. 

Honestly, this is the semi-tropics. Hot is us. (We never invite people we like to visit from mid May until after Halloween.)

ERCOT, who is in charge of the electric grid here, has been looking stern and issuing dire warnings for over a week about possible brownouts if the public doesn’t be good little children and behave follow recommendations which are:

  • Up – Geeze, I that direction word misused so often…ignorant  Raise (an actual verb indicating action) AC thermostats to 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Don’t use the dishwasher, washing machines, or dryers between 8 am and 8 pm.
  • OR ELSE (Some trusting people actually signed on to let the power companies control their thermostat…or have Wifi/smart connections others can access…Surprise!)

How odd.

  • It’s May. Night temps have been a lovely cool-for-us lower 70’s at night. Day temps, in the 90’s – while hot – are just a degree or 1/2 a degree warmer than average temps. Even the “breaking records!!!!” that they are yelling about are only 1 to 1/2 degrees warmer than you would expect. Heat wave? If we get a string of 100+F temps, then we’ll talk, but these past weeks? Just Spring and early Summer to those natives who have endured adapted to this area.
  • Let’s not get hysterical and hyper over normal…unless you are into political campaign stuff
Vintage kitchen with people working on stove. ( 1922 film still. USPD. artist life, pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Sorry Grandma. Dinner will be late. We’re trying to figure out figure out how to retro fit an electric stove into a wood burner. Meanwhile, how about a banana?” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Rather humorous – or weird – is what wasn’t on the consumer No-NO list. Consider:

  • Is the City of Fort Worth going to be asked to shut down their Bitcoin mining pilot project ? I understand that uses lots of electricity.

(An aside: An employee of Galveston ISD got caught running a cryptocurrency mining operation on multiple school campuses after hours. Clever if you can pull it off…you knew they were going to catch him, right? They can spot unusual energy use in odd locations…like they did with Grow Houses…but I digress…)

  • Of course, there was no mention of the darlings of the administration: electric vehicles – and there are a ton of those around here – all sizes, shapes and colors. Oh, no. No touchie thoseies. Don’t even want to raise the specter of electric cars need to feed on electricity for speed and go-eee.

 (Yet another aside. Considering the cost of electric vehicles and the environmental cost to make them and their harmful-to-the-earth batteries from the mineral mining process…. how do you feel about having to immediately open a savings account after purchasing the car in order to afford replacing the Tesla Model 3 car battery pack after 5-6 years at a cost of around $16,000.00? See, all those dollars saved on gas and gas taxes (which pay for road/highway maintenance) will come in handy! But once again. Apologies for digressing…)

  • What about turning off giant gobblers of electricity in homes: computers and TV sets? (Wait, the kids will become absolutely horrid and, then the beleaguered parents – well, who knows what might happen. So, no. Pass on those. Besides the Major League Baseball, the NBA, Nascar, even Horse racing all have lobbies – and fans to be considered, right? Gotta keep their advertisers happy, too. )
  • What about all the stuff people plan to do on the weekends? Electric lawn mowers? (All the conscientious have gotten away from those messy and eco-unfriendly gas powered mowers, right?)  Batteries charging for critical leaf blowers and home project tools?

(Still another aside: Why is it only about the weekends? You’d think with all the big buildings full of people chillin’ under lights while working on computers, microwaving their lunches, riding elevators…..)

Fuzzy haired couple. 1921 film still, Rainbow. (USPD. pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Don’t fret, dahlin’. We’ll find some way to survive. Creme rinse can do a lot with hair management.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Interesting enough, heard this morning that ERCOT seems to think the energy producers will manage this summer Ok – even with the increase demand. (Source)

Fruit cake. And bananas. (Is the wolf at the door?)

That’s all I can power up to say at this point.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Speaking of bananas. This makes me smile.

(Watch on YouTube. Lyrics also here. Article on Mashable.)

Grandma! Wolf! Bananas!

 

May 6, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Importance of Peeling Grapes

Cleopatra lounging on couch. 1917 Theda Bara/Fox Film (USPD., pub.date, artist life/COmmons.wikimedia.org)

“You are aware I did take a few lessons from The Cat.” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Stretched luxuriously out on her daybed, she didn’t even bother turning her head to look. It was that time of the month.

“Forget your thinly disguised attempt to slip that past us.  Although it is an upscale effort from the usual peanut butter. Still, that cheese wrap isn’t very well done: anyone would notice what you are attempting to hide inside. We suggest substitution of some of that shrimp in the ice box”

Staff: “Molly. Seriously now. You have to take your Heartworm prevention meds. Mosquito season is upon us. What’s with the Queen of Sheba attitude? Open.”

Molly Malamute (Stretching out full length. Deliberately resting jaw on wind sill): “In Egypt, we understand servants would peel grapes offered. We ask so little.”

Staff: “You can’t have grapes. Open. Tasty! So now you are channeling Queens of the Nile? You’re more European wolf than Egyptian.”

Stars.Canis Major with Sirius, Orion and NASA/ESA/Hubble telescope image/USPD)

Constellations: Canis Major with bright Sirius rising low over the horizon and Orion with his belt made of three stars (NASA/ESA/Hubble telescope image/USPD)

The Molly (Insert scathing glare here):  “Sirius is rising. Calls for our tribute and best imitation before The Inundation .”

Staff: “While you are the brightest star in our universe, that’s probably weeks off.”

The Molly:  “Sothis of Alpha Canis Majoris shall appear on the horizon as it wishes…a bit lower and later than in ancient times.  Maybe the constellation was simply social distancing. Maybe getting back on previous scheduling that was disrupted by a wobbly Earth. You must admit there’s been a lot of things wobbling off their normal axis  – a great sky reset? Humans probably messing with things they shouldn’t bringing on an early scorching. All week those Extreme Heat Advisories for the weekend. Oh, you did get my note about my ice?”

Staff: “Stop slobbering on my fingers and swallow that pill. I see you rolling it around under your tongue. There was something about ice on the desk. Now your collar now has to have diamond sparkles?”

The Molly: “You didn’t read the entire note. Granted, it was a bit paw smudged, but legible. Read the back. ‘…enough ice stockpiled to fill the bath tub which shall be commandeered as needed for dog cooling’ “?

/Users/kwparker/Pictures/Photos Library.photoslibrary/resources/derivatives/B/BAC73704-1C34-4999-9FA0-289BC5A40970_1_105_c.jpeg

Life is so tedious once the summer’s heat begins. (1917.Theda Bara/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Staff:”Let me get this straight, you were planning to chill in a bathtub ice flow? OK, next time you need a bath, remind me…”

The Molly: “If there are power outages, I suppose we can always ride around in the car…like maybe to Hobby Lobby.”

Staff: “Hobby Lobby?”

The Molly (Rolling over to present tummy for scratching): “They say, in ancient Egypt, Staff would waft giant feather fans overhead to cool their Queen…Should be easy enough to make.”

Staff: (mumbling while picking up cheese crumbs) “Easier than figuring out what’s the real deal.

Why are ERCOT and the power plants shuffling and pointing fingers already talking about brownouts instead of doing their job of providing a stable adequate supply of electricity?

Not like hot weather is sneaking up unexpected. There’s signs. Go outside, Dunderheads.

What’s with the “Oh, we may have some power plants down for maintenance right now. No one wants the power maintenance done in July and August, right. (Insert manic grin from spokesman as he attempts to get listeners to nod their heads up and down in agreement.) Sooo get ready you power hogs…” What? Really? They used that same excuse during the Great Winter Freeze.  Is this like “I had it but, the dog ate my homework”? (Defamation against dogs!)

It is baffling that when there isn’t enough electricity to meet current needs (even with all the bird killers wind turbines spinning and all the farms of uncrazed solar cells in 100% sunny locations, the administration keeps inviting and settling in more and more people while at the same time insisting every single person already here should only drive electric vehicles – before we are ready to support the additional demand.”

Stars and constellations. Diagram showing how to locate Sirius by first locating Orion's Belt of three stars. (Thank you, (Jim Thomas 2006/GNU/Wikimedia.org)

Diagram showing how to find Sirius, the Dog Star, by first locating Orion’s Belt. (Jim Thomas 2006/GNU/Wikimedia.org)

The Molly: “The Cat would probably have had an explanation….maybe she wrote it down in her “Care and Feeding of Humans” manual. Shame that never got completed and published. Sure it would have been the Cat’s Meow.”

Staff: “Considering a bit of ghost writing and editing?”

Stars. Constellation Canis Major. Sirius is the brightest star. The constellation's outline looks a bit like a dog which some say is the dog that accompanies Orion the Hunter. (Roberto Mura/WIkimedia.org)

The Canis Major (“Greater Dog”)Constellation with Sirius as the brightest star. Sirius is right next to our sun on the brightness scale in the sky. Sometimes Sirius can be seen during the day with the naked eye. The constellation’s outline suggests a dog which some say is the dog that accompanies Orion the Hunter.(Roberto Mura/WIkimedia.org)

A little toothy grin as The Molly returned her gaze out the window. Pondering…what else is appealing?

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Stay tuned. heat index of 100-104 expected this weekend? Expected temps only one or two degrees above previous records, but there’s also extreme humidity  – and the annual agricultural fire smoke from Mexico. At least the pollen level is only moderate. HAHA

Preparing for the next few months of sheltering in place from the extreme Texas heat.

The Dog Days of Summer arriving early?

  • “The name “Sirius” comes from Ancient Greek seírios, meaning “scorching.” Appropriate.
  • Greeks and Romans dislike Sirius arriving and hanging around. This star was considered by Roman poet Virgil as “bringer of drought and plague to frail mortals, rises and saddens the sky with sinister light”. I guess the fleas and rats started hopping  – along with heat strokes.
  • A 2009 Finnish study tested the traditional claim that the rate of infections is higher during the Dog Days. The authors wrote, “This study was conducted in order to challenge the myth that the rate of infections is higher during the dog days. To our surprise, the myth was found to be true.” Hmmm, so is the what the CDC / Fauci / all the media is basing their claims that “Virus COVID infections may rise this summer in the South? Just in the South?…Prejudice, wishful thinking, or something they know we don’t about the border crossers?  No explanation, just blurt it out and dash off….Is it any wonder people yawn any time any one of them opens their Dooms Day mentality mouth.
Wind Turbine blade in transport on. I 35 near Elm Mott, TX (Alexi Kostibas/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Wind Turbine blade in transport on I35 near Elm Mott, TX. President Biden, this picture was from 2008. Please stop talking down to us. Everyone knows how large they are by now….maybe you just forgot that we are not all stupid. PS these components come into the TX port from CHINA. They make the majority of wind turbines and solar farm panels now….but you already knew that…at some point)(Alexi Kostibas/Commons.wikimedia.org)

 

May 2, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

The art of transformation

Sculpture carved from oak tree. Fireman and pup. (screenshot image/League City YouTube)

Life support comes from unexpected places – even to old oak trees. Fireman rescuing pup sculpture carved from heritage oak tree/screenshot image/League City YouTube)

Wouldn’t be nice if it wood, but dropped its’ crown and, while rooted in regional dominance for over 100 years, it’s gone – but gone on to at least as good function in the neighborhood. Certainly not useless.

Finally found the video of the masterful carving of a heritage tree.

Man carving sculpture of pup from oak tree (screenshot/League City YouTube)

Close up of Scout being carved. Do you thinker’s possible that the real Scout actually watered this 100 year old oak tree when it was a sapling? You know how dogs are. They are quick to welcome new things to the neighborhood.(screenshot/League City YouTube)

Can’t top this

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Man showing model of planned carving. (screenshot/League Coty YouTube)

I think he knows a little bit about what works. Here’s the artist with his model of the fireman sculpture. An uninteresting guy – who wants to make people smile with his work. Mission accomplished! (screenshot/League City YouTube)

Oh, you’ll get a real post here before long…it’s not that there’s nothing to say.

It’s just that writing topics are very much like a room school of preschoolers each whom have always been the center of attention and think it should be that way here: “Me first!”
Such confident demanding little voices. Well, best to let them all run in the field for a while and some will get tired and take a nap, while others find they can place nice with others and sort themselves into a workable group…then there’s the real loner – a creative one – that has legs and patience – or enough creativity to sing it’s own song whether anyone hears or not. Eventually they will all get their chance to be lines on stage.

Meanwhile here treed this little drama that neatly ties up the loose ends before branching out into other thoughts.

“The Moving Finger writes; and having writ (even without wit),

Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit (Have you noticed that “thy” is hated by spellcheck? Must be some modern pronoun prejudice I’m clueless of.)

Shall lure it back to cancel half a line (“Shall” not “will”. Notes determination strength to perform the stated action. Some say that the unhappy Twitter employees are mostly tech oriented brains – many with English as a second language – who, by nature/nuture do not recognize all the nuances of words – and there are many – subtle nuances which misleads them for meaning or makes them nervous….if you have brainy engineers/techies in the family, that may actually sound plausible….if not possible. Chill, little birds. It’s gonna be all right. If you love something, set it free. Half life is no life.)

Nor all thy tears wash out a word of it.(Can’t unring the bell. But if a tree falls in the forests, and there’s no one to hear, is there a sound? Hmm, some silent screams are the longest and loudest.)

Omar Khayyám (mostly)  

Bad fierce bunny bully. 1906, Beatrix Potter. (USPD. artist life, pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Dumb bunny behavior: Deceit and disinformation flourish when forbidden and hidden in the dark. (Bad, fierce bunny bully.1906, Beatrix Potter/USPD. artist life, pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

 

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