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February 4, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Foggy Misty Stormy

foggy skies and palm tree. (© image: all rights reserved, copyrighted, NO permissions granted)

Sí, Sí. See the sea fog….for daze and days. It flirts: a sly slip behind the coast – only to flounce back in an hour with full white petticoats swishing “just kidding.”(© image)

Either the name of a stripper or a weather forecaster. Old joke.

Not a good variable, brain wise. Lack of sun, grim grey weather causes depression and worse: “Can depression affect the structure of the brain”.

Uh, appears so. Long term, damaging changes.

So the question is: “Should health care plans / insurance pay for fun in the sun vacays active immediately?”

Think of the children! A preemptive way to prevent cranky-driven violent actions and shootings.

It does too make sense.

“Sugar, call the travel agent or jump on line with Expedia or Trip Advisor! I’ll call the doc for prescriptions.”

Ah, if wishes were travel vouchers

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Sunny skies and chairs at ski area (© image: Copyrighted, no permissions granted, all rights reserved)

Doc, can you write a script? (And I wish family would stop sending me pix of their weather. You do know how many sunny days Denver has each year?) High altitude sun – get out the sun block.(© image)

 

 

 

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February 1, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

It’s printable: stellar transportation available

First immigrants won’t be able to run down to Home Depot or call Uber for a lift home.

With a limited  work force and resources, it’s a darn good idea to have some smart automation and lightweight, compact 3D printers big enough to goo you up anything you need – especially a ride home if needed..

Relativity Space, focused on Mars, already has just what you need:

 Largest metal 3D printer in the world. Named Stargate, it builds rockets (image: relativityspace.com)

Largest metal 3D printer in the world named Stargate, builds rockets one ooze at a time. (image: relativityspace.com)

Not just a pretty face or a company’s dramatic artist rendering, Stargate actually works!

It works! Robot 3D printer Stargate with a prototype propellant tank (Image: Relativity Space)

Pretty is as pretty does: Stargate 3D printer with a prototype propellant tank (Image: Relativity Space)

And you thought Facebook was Earth shaking.

Buckle up for a giant leap for mankind the next few years.

That probably gets your imagination soaring.

You can’t imaging how much you can make one police dog soar: the K9s of Valor Foundations’ Top K9 of the Year Award is still up in the air, too.

Help launch HPD’s T-Rex by voting for him.

Post with his credentials and his story here.(Grab a tissue)

Then click over and vote once a day until Feb 4th here.

Dogs, Mars, and robots – can’t print up more excitement than that.

Hope your weather clears and your weekend’s got space for some fun in the sun.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Dog. Police dog leaping over fence. HPD T-Rex (image from T-Rex's Twitter)

“In my dreams, I still fly,” HPD T-Rex.(image:T-Rex’s Twitter)

 

 

January 31, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Spring Break Preview

Eat your heart out, ones being held hostage by the Polar Vortex. Seriously. That sounds like something out of Harry Potter. P.V. no doubt resides in some lush elevated estate surrounded by his chill of White Walkers.

Waterfall and hill at McGovern Centennial Gardens. Houston, TX (© image: all rights reserved, copyrighted, NO permissions granted )

Waterfall and hill at McGovern Centennial Gardens. Houston, TX Jan.2019(© image)

Not like the villain hasn’t made forays here. Those plant browning fists. Just shorter duration. These pictures from a week ago when everyone traded wool socks for flip-flops. If it makes you feel any better, today is overcast 54°F (12°C) with fog and showers…and probably will stay that way for days. I know whining about nothing.

T-Rex pictured here in April, 2018, says dogs whine only about important things:  like the toy is out of reach under the couch. (There’s bound to be a metaphor for human life there, but…)

 However, he is hoping you will stretch a bit and click over to vote and give him the honor he deserves he deserves. He’s a bit shy about asking being the stoic type…you know, the 3-legged thing…forced career path change….Oh, what? It is not a pity party. He’s realistic about what it takes to win. (Post with his story here.)

Rule of Dog: “Work hard. Play Hard. And kill the tennis ball.” (HPD K9 officer T-Rex in April, 2018/ T-Rex Twitter feed)

Guess those NFL Super Bowl Fans in Atlanta are wishing for a return to the semi-tropics for the event. We generally are lucky here with winters mild by comparison and mostly over right after Valentines. So much grey and dreary punctuated by sunny warm days between fronts.

So a change as little tour of parts of Herman Park which sits between old downtown and the medical center complex.

Water feature at Houston Park. The McGovern Centennial Gardens. (© image. All rights reserved, copyrighted, NO permissions granted )

Fountains of The McGovern Centennial Gardens. Looking west here with the round building on the right being Park Plaza Hospital – the very edge of the Med Center. Directly behind the man-made hill…yes, we have to create hills so kids here know what they are – is the wonder filled Museum of Natural Science. No, you cannot swim in the fountains…maybe T-Rex is allowed and the HPD patrol horses. The green is pretty crowded on weekends and sunny days. Great for kids, dogs, bubble wands and musicians. They do story time for kids with a gardening or nature activity afterwards.(© image)

Path along the green from pavilion and fountains to hill. at McGovern Centennial Park (© image: copyrighted, all rights reserved, NO permissions granted)

Walkway along the green. Yep, it’s designed to look like an Aztec monument. A favorite spot for locals meet and wind up the spiral path to watch the sun set in the west.(© image)

designed to be really loud, the waterfall helps to create a sense of solitude and an oasis in the city ( image: all rights reserved, copyrighted, NO permissions granted)

Designed to be really loud, the waterfall helps to create a sense of solitude and an oasis in the city. Lots of people linger on the bridges just for that reason. Soothing even on a hot summer’s day.(© image)

Dog eating Ice cream! Doggone it, the pavilion has snacks. So do the food trucks, but duty allows a chill, but maybe not tacos.. (Belgium Malinois HPD K9 T-Rex. Birthday ice cream is the best (Image T-Rex Twitter feed)

“Ice cream! Doggone it, The park pavilion has snacks. So do the food trucks, but duty allows a chill, but maybe not tacos… will you’re chillin’ you could click over and vote for me…that would be sweet” (HPD K9 T-Rex’s Birthday ice cream. Image: T-Rex Twitter feed)

Aerial view of one corner of Herman Park. (Houston Parks image)

Aerial view of this small corner of Herman Park. The little brown structure at the top is Miller Outdoor Theatre where all sorts of free shows are performed. You can go by the day of the performance and get free tickets to sit in seats under the roof or bring kids, dogs, coolers, and blankets and sit on the curved hill. Yes, we built another hill. It’s used for running up and down, rolling down or using cardboard to slide down. Built a long time ago. More explanation about the McGovern Centennial Gardens – and all the specialized garden areas Arid Garden, the Rose Garden, the Celebration Garden, and the Woodland Garden, the Pavilion (designed by the Apple stores’ architect), and an educational Family Garden, which produces seasonal vegetables, herbs and fruit trees, check out the map here or the park’s information page here. It’s on Trip Advisor! (Houston Park. image)

Now, don’t you feel better just looking at a sunny day? (and of course that cutie HPD K9….hint hint….)

Ok, returning control back to the snow show (and it’s raining now…sigh)

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Friendship Pavilion given by Houston's sister city Taipei in 1976 and refurbished by Houston-Taipei Society in 1995 (image from Houston Parks)

Friendship Pavilion given by Houston’s sister city Taipei in 1976 and refurbished by Houston-Taipei Society in 1995. (image from Houston Parks)

January 30, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Officer crown! Officer crown!

Houston police K9 T-Rex asking for civilian assist (image from Twitter K9 T-Rex)

Houston police K9 T-Rex. (image: K9 T-Rex Twitter)

“Calling all carbs in charge – I gave them a bite for you, now requesting a byte for me. I’m THE good dog and I want the treats to win.

What do I have to do?

I’ve pawed up the city streets to give chase and keep my handler safe. No complaints.  Doin’ a Patrol (only a bit of slobber on the car seat back – that’s enthusiasm for you), SWAT, AND Explosives since 2015, I’m credited with hundreds of captures.

Oh, all the nominees are brave and deserving, so how to stand up among them…

Sad soulful eyes – don’t turn away! Get the handkerchiefs ready!

Fair? All’s fair in love and contests: you gotta use what you’ve got…

Do not click over my Twitter yet to see what I’m like now! Noooo. Sit. Stay with me!

OK Staff, I’ve got them leashed, now over to you to capture their vote. “

During December, 2018 K9 T-Rex was diagnosed with bone cancer in his rear left leg. His A&M oncology Vet recommended T-Rex have his left rear leg amputated surgery to remove the cancer by January 11th 2019.

HPD set a date for Rex’s retirement from patrol duty and reassignment after recovery.

“These dogs are like your children,” T-Rex’s handler, Officer Paul Foster said. “You spend every day with your dog, and you worry about them hurting themselves.”

But on Dec 31, the last day of night duty, disaster:

There was a cell phone burglary by three men and T-Rex was hot on the trail of one of the men, chasing him through a neighborhood and leaping over chain link fences.

“When T-Rex attempted to clear one high piece of fence, a section of the metal bars sliced open the tissue on his abdomen. Despite the injury, T-Rex continued to chase after the man until the suspect was trapped on the roof of a house and apprehended some 30-40 minutes later.( news story here.)

T-Rex required more than 40 stitches and staples along his tummy, but the leg adjacent to his laceration – which is not the leg where the cancer was spotted – was not significantly affected”.

“My focus was on getting T-Rex better,” Foster said. “It’s been miserable for him wearing that ‘cone of shame.’ He is so high-energy and ‘go go go,’ and slowing him down (to heal) has been our biggest obstacle.”

Don’t give him the cold shoulder – he’s shouldered so much. 

Here. Look at that face.

Lose a leg or lose your life. Far less complicated for dogs. 

Besides his new gait comes with some benefits:

  • He’s now an inside dog. Couch privileges! With plenty of cuddle time with his handler’s daughter.
  • People send him special Back the Blue blankets and therapeutic beds
  • And not stuck in a HPD desk job, either. T-Rex, trained as an explosive detection dog, gets to attend all major sports and city events. T-Rex also serves as a community outreach partner – more kids!
  • “Houston K9 officer loses leg but gains new lease on life” (From the university/vets who cared for T-Rex. Great interview.)

Want to see T-Rex up and running 3 days after his operation? Smiles here:

“Houston Police K9 officer T-Rex nominated for K9 of the Year” 

Top 10 K9 of the Year Nominations for K9s of Valor Award – here.

The winner not only gets barking rights, but also is awarded a grant for equipment and supplies.

  • You can vote for as many of the Top K9s as you would like but only one vote for each K9, per day.
  • You must confirm your email address, but only need to do this once.
  • Click on the picture to read about each K9 going above and beyond then cast your vote!

Voting closes Feb. 4, 2019.

Click here to see T-Rex’s page and to vote for this brave K9 officer

January 29, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Alien abductions. Space. Party animals

Rainbow squared. (© image: copyrighted, all rights reserved, NO permissions granted)

Non-linear hint by the Universe suggesting much will be missed if one sleeps past dawn. A sign on a dark wall created through beveled glass. Very, very early…”But since you’re awake,” says the cat. (© image)

It’s ski season. He had no reservations. Had to live life in the fast lane. Should have slowed down and considered, but not a chance.

He flew in, then couldn’t get out.

The local news anchor said the owl was rescued, then given to wild animal rescue who “took him in for treatment…”

What? “Treatment?” sounds ominous…too much like “re-education.” Teach him to not hitchhike?

When he gets finally loose, he’ll probably go back and tell his friends “I was abducted by aliens!”

And two from the “What planet are you from” department:

A 25 year veteran Senator wants other elected congressmen to stop sleeping in their offices. He feels it’s “nasty” and is irritated because he believes it’s an attempt to show their voters they are frugal and not part of the Washington establishment.

And he says they are mooching space that belongs to and  is paid for by taxpayers. If they sleep there, they should pay rent. They want legislation!

Well, if you read the entire article(s), it comes out he and his supporters want a pay increase and/or taxpayer funded housing allowances.

I suggest all their offices be modified with Murphy beds or members be issued sleeping bags and cots to stow in closets or behind desks.  Perhaps an old-fashioned dormitory or shared dorm-style spare rooms should be built in the basement with all elected legislators required to sleep there.

Maybe the spartan, less than luxurious accommodations, would encourage elected officials to make Congressional offices a short-term public service as intended rather than a career path.

And as an added bonus, when either or both Congressional houses hits grid lock over legislation, they could be locked in – grounded – until they complete the tasks they were sent there to do. Lock the darn doors.

Then there’s an out-of-this-world-view Congressman, Rep. Richmond, who issued a statement “inviting NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to answer questions from the judiciary antitrust subcommittee about the no-call against the Saints.” ““I stand with Saints owner Gayle Benson on the urgency and significance of having this issue addressed so that it does not happen again.”

Yep. Congress has nothing more important to do than to use valuable/limited Congressional time to talk about NFL football. Yep. a major issue for taxpayers.

Flown the coop. Totally spaced.

Squared rainbow on wall created by beveled glass. (© image: copyrighted, all rights reserved, NO permissions granted)

“Oh, look. It’s the mystic Beacon of the Square Meal Deal,” says the cat. (© image)

They sound just like these guys. Cavorting at the water’s edge – all paid for by others and during working hours.

Except when the dogs barked an alert, these party animals actually left and didn’t return.

Release the hounds or hound them yourself here.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

 

January 28, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

The fence of pretense

Straight shadow lines on wall like a grid or fence (© image: copyrighted, all rights reserved, NO permissions granted)

Aligned even if dark. (© image)

If it had been LA or San Francisco, we’d all been lurching into the street to get away from tall buildings.

The rumbling got louder as thundering vibration rattled the knees.

Everyone was gazing down at the sidewalk about three feet in front of them – all walking and pretending everything was OK.

“Don’t turn your head, ” my friend ordered. Don’t make eye contact.”

The tanks – topped by military soldiers – commanded the street and went on.

A silent collective sigh from those on the sidewalk lined by shops. Shoulders relaxed as feet moved on.

Daily life in Franco’s Madrid took a little bit getting used to.

Heavily armed Guardia Civil in black military uniforms who stood on so many corners weren’t like the Buckingham Palace guards tourists pose with to take pictures.

These locked eyes on everyone. Evaluating. Judging.

They had the right to kill anyone any time with no questions asked. And they did.

Barbed wire spiraled around University.

You had to be careful which groups you were seen with.

You had to watch what you said and even more guarded about what you thought.

Call it a hands-on political science lesson: “Those that have the guns make the rules.”

Venezuelans are dealing with that. Backed by Cuban trained paramilitary and Russian paid security contractors/mercenaries, the military is wavering.

Others have, too – like China (Social Credit program), Cuba, Morocco (life style and partner choices), Russia, Mexican Drug Cartels (guns waved at drivers as 35 bodies dumped on major road)

Shadows. hand and parallel blocks (© image: copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted )

You have to hand it to parallels.(© image)

I ran into a Russian immigrant friend recently. She relayed a fellow countryman, a good veterinarian, had relocated near us. Everyone is always looking for a good vet. We ended up talking a bit.

“When I was little girl, ” she said in that throaty Russian accent, “one day I come home in school uniform. My mother looks at me and says ‘I will get you free. No one will tell you what to wear. No one will tell you what to think.’ “

She continued passionately, “We ran. It was brutal – very hard for a long time. We were refugees in camp.” A shiver stops her at this point – even after years – her eyes focused somewhere else for minute before she brushed memories aside.

“When we finally set foot on American soil, my mother she turns to me and says, ‘ I promised. I give you gift of freedom. No one can tell you what to say. What to think. Now we go and make life for ourselves.”

She’s plenty blunt about a lot of things. Feels she has earned the right and has perspective.

“I have coworker who complains about everything. All fault of other people.” Scorn is obvious in her voice. “I call her foolish child. I was born under Communism. I know. Here, nobody tells you where you live or you must do this job we decided. No one tells you what to wear, what you can say,  or what you must think.”

Or it was that way in the past: right to speak, right to believe, right of free association – and, other than kid’s school dress codes, freedom to follow fashion or not.

But rumblings aren’t isolated on computers anymore.

Call it a hands-on political science lesson.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Hand reaching into shadows. (© image,: all rights reserved, copyrighted, NO permissions granted )

Difficult to grasp shadowy overreaching (© image)

 

 

January 24, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Full of terrors

The night is dark and full of terrors – but the morning rivals.

Some say nothing is worse than a full litter box and an overshoot. Bah!

Some say nothing is worse than smell of the first in the morning cat food portion getting mistakenly microwaved twice sequentially. Dunderhead – We do not accept excuses of coffee lack blurriness!

Some say nothing is worse than a couple of unidentified moist grey blobs underfoot. Obviously left by some rude intruder. We do not deign to acknowledge.

Woman in distress clutching hands. (1921 May Allison, Metro Pix.Corporation (USPD. artist life, promo pix/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Such woe that the world stood whoa. (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

We know there is worstestnesss:

Finding Ourselves among unimaginable dirt, forced to duck and crouch under large mechanical things smelling of oil and rubber, and watching Staff dodge and hop among the wood pallets, piles of rags, and easily dislodged long-handled objects on the wall.

We were only exercising Our prerogative to review the Transitional Realm housing the moving boxes  – lured by small prey lesser creatures who were only living in safety while their existence in the garage was unknown to Us desperately wished to give Us a tour of their home.

Unfortunately Staff – being over protective – got hysterical and irrationally attempted to interrupt Our exploration.

After encouraging Staff to jog around the rolling boxes and perform multiple deep knee bends with multiple drop nose to the ground, We did a little cat and mouse play of walking placidly to the kitchen portal.

Staff leaped to open the door for Us. It was so amusing. Until it was not.

 Molly Malamute was standing just inside with a broad welcome home smile.

With the potential of dog drool being simply too great, We had no choice but to flip and reversed course back under cover.

We care not that the dog had her feelings hurt as the door slammed in her face to prevent her from joining Our adventure.

It is not true Staff wept. It was only a drippy eye sneeze. 

Out of pity because We were becoming distraught with all the web dust beginning to cling to Us  We pretended to be attracted to a can of tuna.

We had already chosen to return to the kitchen, so it was appalling to be roughly snatched up.

Woman seated. Vintage 1919 actress May Allison, Film Fun, (USPD artist life, cr.expired/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“How can anyone possibly say We are uncooperative?” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

To be carried in such a fashion: swaying vertically in an arm pit hold. Not protocol at all.

The majority of Our elegant fluffy body and tail awkwardly waving like wet spaghetti. Our tummy defenseless against wet dog nose as We were rushed into the kitchen.

To say there were hisses and serious threats of bodily harm to Staff and mutt is an understatement.

Being flung over the dog’s head by Staff out of self-preservation Leaping free with great style and grace, We ran hissing and spitting removed Ourselves from the oafs’ presence.

There shall be repercussions. The sun warms Our blood and Our fury.

So it would be very nice of you to leave extra tuna cans of tribute

It has been such a trying day. You understand.

And We know you do not wished Us to rush to judgment about you.

It would be unfortunate…for you.

Cat on desk with post-its (© Image. All rights reserved, copyrighted, NO permissions granted)

We are noting donors. Of course only for tax purposes, for what other reasons possible?(© Image)

Yes, Yes. We are pleased at your dismay of Our treatment. Restores Our faith in mind control over you

Your obvious concern for Our poor stretched limbs and abdominal muscles cheers Us greatly.

We offer you a weary paw wave in gratitude.

Audience finis.

Au revoir, mon chéri

crown symbol with message "I am RC Cat and I approve this message"

I am RC Cat and I approve this message.

 

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