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May 8, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

If remotely interested, sail on.

Lindsey Vonn on board Oracle getting into the sailing frame of mind.. (America's Cup Facebook page/Red Bull staff)

The appropriate frame of mind for racing sailboats. Cover your eyes, Mom. (America’s Cup Facebook/Red Bull)

The candy, the flowers, the cards all a ruse. Must control TV remote.

Oh, yeah, Mother’s Day. Now let’s float out some real entertainment. Water? Yes, please.

With this I might even consider the possibility of “I ♥ NY”: America’s Cup’s Oracle on the Hudson River.

Sunday NBC Sports will broadcast live coverage of the 2015-16 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, New York (2:00 EST)

With technology, drones, and new ways to view, it won’t be sailing coverage like before – which many viewers stuck on the shore likened to watching grass grow.

Should create quite a splash. There will be t-shirts.

(Without a weekend’s worth of boat bites…anyone who ever raced catamarans understands.)

Willing to share a seat on the couch, but not the TV remote.

What? Of course the remote was fixed for Mother’s Day, not for the races.

Moms always prefer a water view.

Racing to watch

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.


May 6, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Greetings. Card, you silly goose.


man and woman. Addams Family. 1964.Morticia/Carolyn Jones. Gomex:/john Astin (ABC/,no cr/

Exceptional mother Morticia Addams.(ABC/USPD/

Where are they? The greeting cards for exceptional mothers. Oh, wait, you’re confused.

Not “exceptional” like so amazing there is no hope of ever becoming her equal. Not like the “exceptional” where her children are in her shadow, but happily beam in her reflected glory.

More like the exception to the  gag-me sweet messages and flowery images that Hallmark and Mother’s Day merchants promote: The mothers who leave shadows in their kids’ hearts.

Mommie Dearest movie poster. (

“No wire coat hangers, ever!” Mommy was only trying to protect the clothes. And what is wrong with that?(

Not every mom is a star. 

Some “love”, but do not “like” their kid. There are the miserable mommies who take their bitterness out on their families. Don’t forget the ones who never should have had kids at all.

Mother’s Day must be dreaded by some.

A dark situation. One too uncomfortable for society to consider.

Still surprised the greeting card companies haven’t targeted that group . There’s little else they don’t feast on. Can you imagine the creative messages possible?

Something like “Thanks, mom! Life with you was like Halloween everyday!”

Or “Will always be grateful you were my mom. Now I know I can live through anything!”

Two women at lunch. . Rosalind Russell in the movie "The Women" (USPD. pub date, publicity still/

You are so right. No other choice. Yet another lumpy clay ash tray/candy dish Mother’s Day gift will meet a sad end by slipping and crashing to the floor. When will they discover Starbucks cards? (USPD/

Have you noticed how many greeting cards are so mean-spirited now?

Masquerading as witty, modernly sarcastic, or sophisticated fun.

Maybe it’s all in the way you read those cards.

With traditional greeting cards there’s no tone of voice or emoji to clue anyone in. Perhaps it’s planned that way.

family. 1964. Dick VanDyke Show. Laura and Rob Petrie bringing Richie home from hospital. (CBS/, no cr/

You may not remember it, but she sure does. Ah, that joy of the first hour of the first day home with the baby. Then, reality sinks in along with the diapers, spitting up, and crying. You owe her. (Laura and Rob Petrie bringing Richie home from hospital.Dick VanDyke show.CBS/USPD/

Oh, well. Back to stalking the card aisle looking for ones not dog-eared and smudged from the frantic last minutes grabs. 

Construction paper, glitter, and doilies may be the best option so late.

Caring enough to spend time and effort to make something just for her.

Remember when school art projects were all that any mom got? And they were happy about it. They said so.

Eccentric woman on stairs. Auntie Mame. Rosalind Russell (Rotten Tomatoes/dharmabumdri)

“A monkey! Exceptional choice. Finally something useful. Does he do windows?” (Auntie Mame/Rotten Tomatoes)

It’ll be fine.

I know the most wished for Mother’s Day gift:

Technical trouble shooting to figure out what TV remote /receiver box button got accidentally pushed and get that back up and working again.

Game of Thrones and Mr. Selfridge on Masterpiece Classic, you know.

(There’s always a problem child in every family, but do TVs really count as a siblings? Certainly troublesome enough. Chatty and hard to turn them off….)

If Momma’s not happy, nobody’s clicking happy.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

 Summer gets attacked by a a mother goose. (Her sister Stevie b. Twitter/ch13 news)

Invitation only! Do not show up at someone’s home without an invitation. And I just got them down for a nap! (by Summer’s sister, Stevie b./Twitter/ch13 news)

So much for that storybook friendly Mother Goose…

Summer is saved from Mother Goose! (Stevie B/ ABC13. news)

“Hey, keep your kid away from my kids or she’ll get another real life game of better duck, duck, it’s a goose!”(Summer is saved from Mother Goose/ Stevie B/ ABC13. news)




May 4, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Shoes in by design

It’s spring and feet want to be loose. And who can blame them – especially seeing these fabulous designs created for Van’s blank canvas shoe contest? You’ll feel like dancing – or creating – or getting out there. Enough yackin’. Start the walk through:

Colorful shoes with crayons images on front. Art Category entry by McNary HS., Keizer, OR (

Color in the lines. Art Category entry by McNary HS, Keizer, OR (


shoe with artistic design. Orange HS.ORange, CA (

A shoe’s in for art. (Orange HS. Orange, CA.


sculptural shoes in art category. (Entry by Friendswood HS Friendswood, TX.

Trippy to wear, but function is brushed off here. Contest rules say shoes do not have to be actually wearable. (Art category entry by Friendswood HS, Friendswood, TX.


Shoes to take note of. (Music category entry by Friendswood music entry. (

Shoes to take note of.  One shoe plays the electric tune while the other is the speaker spreading the sound. Really. It works. Heard the tuneful pair.If kids can turn shoes into instruments, don’t tell me we can’t rocket to other stars, cure diseases, feed the hungry, live in tandem with the earth and solve so many problems. Maybe adults are not reading the score? (Music category. Friendswood HS. Friendswood, TX.


musical themed shoes.(Music category entry by James Pace Early College HS.Brownsville, TX.

Take as step and get in tune. Get a group together. Think local. (Music category entry by James Pace Early College HS.Brownsville, TX.

Are you noticing anything yet? 

  • These shoes were all created by students
  • There are categories: Music, Art, Local Flavor, and Action Sports
  • It’s a contest! Schools can win big money and students can win individual prizes. Sometimes students find jobs and careers.
  • Vans has been running this creative design contest for a number of year. (The video interview explains it better than I.) Article:  “Vans kicks off the sixth Annual Custom Culture Art Competition”
  • vanscustomculture.votenow. It’s down to the final 50 schools. YOU can help a school make the final cut. VOTE HERE. Contest entries might be from schools in your area. They need the money. Besides if you  VOTE for the designs you love, maybe they will go into production by VANS.


Shoes with seagulls and ocean scenes. Local color Enrty by Catoctin HS THurmont, MD.(

Sail away with a smile on your feet. (Local Flavor entry by Catoctin HS.Thurmont, MD.


Shoe group by island design (Entires by Moanalua High. Honolulu, HI (

Island time!(Entries by Moanalua High. Honolulu, HI.


Shoes with corn design Local color entry by Fort Calhoun HS, Fort Calhoun, NE. Van shoes. Custom Culture Contest)

Not too corny for Nebraska fans.(Local Flavor entry by Fort Calhoun HS, Fort Calhoun. vanscustomculture.votenow.)


shoe entry group by Northwood HS. IRvine, CA (

Ready to step up into the final round! (Group by Northwood HS. Irvine, CA.


shoe with waves. Action Sports entry by Station Camp HS. Gallatin, TN (

Make a splash in these. (Action Sports entry by Station Camp HS. Gallatin, TN.


shoes with VW, going outdoors, and campingUniversity. (Local Flavor entry by HS. Irvine, CA.

If these don’t make you want to get out there. Do it. Get out there. Oh, and get out there and vote. (Local Flavor entry by University HS. Irvine, CA.

No better way to get happy feet: delightful designs, kids and schools getting support.

Tie one and tippy toe over to vote for your favorites until May 11.

You can vote multiple times and in multiple regional areas.

Stomping it.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

(The art car crowd is bound to be taking note!)


May 2, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Short falls. Long reach.

small girl under mushroom.1907 Alice in Wonderland. Carroll/Bessie Pease Guttman/

Short ones work harder?(USPD/

Briefly, that’s it. The rapid fire world prefers just a few lines. Quick eyes have it.

You knew short would dominate sooner or later – and it’s not just since they are small you can feed them less. The little one can be pretty heavy, too.

If poetry is the best thoughts of the best minds in the best order, then Haiku is one of the highest forms: simple, yet complex requiring effort by author and audience.

Short and sweet, intense or bitter. Without a second glance, you’ll never know.

The fine lines of cartoons are much the same.

Cartoons are the haiku of the fine arts world: deceptively simple, interpretation optional.

  • Mike’s recent cartoon in his blog doodled out giggles last week.
  • After laughing at the whimsy of the rhino on such vehicle, a thought: “Nothing is difficult or a problem if you don’t recognize it as one.” (Click over to see his doodle. It’ll make sense then)

Like the elephant in the room, cartoons are both the circus and the yogi.

Charles Schulz with Charlie Brown sketch from Peanuts (Higgins, World Telegraph photographer/USPD. rights given to LOC/

Charles Schulz and Charlie Brown sketched out simple truths of life.(Higgins/USPD/LOC/

Haiku or cartoons, fine lines draw.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

They didn’t forget. Florida has always been popular for retirees. These ready to leave the jungle of work for a more fitting one (Pedicures and spa baths still included, but without the gawkers.) “Back to Florida: Ringling Bros. circus elephants to retire after May 1 shows” 

A little grain of advice offered to these lucky elephants: be warned. Once you relocate to Florida, relatives seem to come out of the jungle and invite themselves for extended stays. (But it may take that rhino a while to get there on that trike.)

Elephant happily sniffing flowers. 1902 Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There. Carroll.Peter Newell, ill./Harper & Bros/PD., artist life/

Not a short-sighted delight.(1902″Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There”Carroll/Peter Newell, ill/Harper & Bros/PD/



May 1, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Dog-ear grin.

Duncan the three legged dog loves kittens. (Abby Cat's You Tube)

Duncan auditioning for kitten nanny duties. (Abby Cat’s You Tube)

Dogs need a job. So what does an award-winning agility dog do once he can’t storm around the course any longer? Some turn to tutoring the next generation.

Duncan recognizes these creatures are a little odd, but he’s very accepting of differences.

And this batch of orphan kittens aren’t picky either. They need all the friends they can get.

If you look closely, you’ll notice Duncan is missing a front leg.

A friendly sort, he mistakenly thought two anti-social neighborhood dogs were smiling at him a few years ago. (Shiver). Not much slows him down now. He even charges around agility courses as a handicapped contestant. While he’s recovered, therapy and vet trips are necessary to keep an eye on joint issues.

During his last visit, he discovered a basket of kittens looking for new homes.

Looks like he’s on his way to getting certified as a nanny dog.

Thought you might get a smile from one of Molly’s BFFs.

Yes, they really do play well together which makes us ask the Molly, why are your paws so gentle and careful with unstable little dogs, yet they pound and flail at us? She just smiles.

The secret lives of dogs….

The secret’s out about International Day of the Podenco.

Don’t know about that one? Duncan, Molly, and dogs everywhere wish you did.

Even Facebook is in on it.

Hunting dogs, some of the oldest and most noble breeds, have a rough time in Spain.

Why? Molly, really wishes you would paws and read about it here.

Good dogs sit stay and try hard to make life easier. Maybe people could give them a little hand once in a while.

A little I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine?

Dogs would go for that. True friends.

One secret that needs to be barked about.

Phil the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge



April 29, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Cool cats and party crashers

Cartoon of two teen girls talking on a couch 1943.(NARA/

“With parents out of the picture, it’ll be a wild time!” (USPD/

You know how it is. Plan a party – you only want the cool cats – and someone has to blab about it on social media.

One glance at the door told the Lola it was time to scale back.

Luckily police arrived to protect the invited and discourage the porch squatters.

There was a bit of a wrestling on the front walk before the uninvited was roughly removed.

Watch the whole kit and alizoodle on video here. (What? The cat got your thumb? Click it or fur ever hiss out.)

cats and univited the door (

“No! No! Go to the back door. He’s a party crasher!” Lola meowed urgently to her friend. (

That could have taken a bite out of the purrfect party.

Hope your weekend is wild, but not too wild.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Oh, speaking of wild. The tiger found wandering in a neighborhood during the floods has arrived at her new home – and she’s really wild about it! (click that big cat video here!

Have you ever seen a happier cat? Looks like she’s never played in grass before. Wild applause.

Rescued conroe tiger rolling in the grass at her new home (

Nahla, the rescued Conroe tiger, happily rolling in the grass at her new home, the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary near Fort Worth (


April 27, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Insensitive remark or cultural crash?

cartoon characters. 1943 "Porky Pig's Feat".(US PD. Tunes/OswaldLR/

“What did you say?” (1943″Porky Pig’s Feat”.Looney Tunes/OswaldLR/USPD/

A Chinese reporter and NBA Golden Warrior Draymond Green. Pretty much opposites. Each with their own frame of reference.

The two played verbal jump ball Sunday afternoon during a news conference. The reporter hobbled out the loser. He was quickly fired.

Many called foul and scored the reporter with an insensitive, combative remark, but should a whistle be blown for a time out?

Here’s a newspaper account or watch the video of the actual remarks.

Those who work frequently with individuals from other countries may be slower to jump to conclusions. Was Draymond’s response a cleanly dunked ball in this hoopla?

We have friends who are Chinese. The ones who always call me to make sure my shoes are pointed the same direction in the closet – especially at Chinese New Years – so you will keep going forward in one direction through the year. And wear red. And be sure that the first person you welcome across your threshold on New Years is one who is successful and prosperous. And don’t buy a house with a bathroom right at the front door or your luck will flush away.

Look, I need all the luck I can get, so who am I to question?

What I am trying to say, is that some cultures look for patterns that indicate signs for the future. Our Chinese friends do. They laugh about it, but do. It’s the way they were raised.

Was the Chinese reporter simply asking Draymond if he saw a pattern and had any prediction for the next game?

“Draymond, here’s an interesting question,” a reporter said. “So last year you visit [Houston], Game 3 there’s no flood, you win. Game 4, there was flood, you lose. This year you visit [Houston] … Game 3 there’s a flood, you lose. Game 4, there’s no flood, you win …”

If you think life has patterns, the question might be logical.

Or maybe he really is a jerk being annoying.

It’s very diverse here. Not everywhere.

As the country’s demographics change, it’s becoming smart to not snap to judgement. Break and think before charging down the court full speed.

There will be times when people from different cultures don’t see eye to eye.

  • Abortions are simply a procedure to some and a crime against humanity to others.
  • Arranged marriages and big age differences between man and wife are perfectly normal to some and totally irrational to others.
  • Short skirts on women are simply trendy fashion and acceptable clothing to some, but to others it’s a character advertisement and an invitation.

To have game, we’re going to have to find center court and a way to get along with those of widely varied beliefs and concepts.

A start might be, take a breath and clarify when something seems odd or offensive before jumping to conclusions or making a basket load of assumptions.

This reporter may be a total obnoxious person and deserves to be fired. I don’t have enough information to know. Does anyone?

Wouldn’t be the first time cultural differences caused a clash and a game loss.

If in doubt, a sense of humor may be your best shot.

Jump ball.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge






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