It’s National Solitaire Day!

It’s National Solitaire Day!

Yes, May 22nd really, truly is National Solitaire Day! I love that old-school game and so here are some thoughts on the subject!

I think I played my first hand around the age of fourteen or so. I can’t even remember who taught me how to play. Obviously, this was way before folks played games on a PC or mobile device. There I was with a deck of real frickin’ playin’ cards, hijacking the dining room table, playin’ that game for hours. Not that I didn’t do “outside stuff”, too. All boomer kids played lots of tag, hot-pot and sandlot baseball. And dodge ball, kick ball and tether ball. We did all of it. But I loved Solitaire then and I still do.

I would sometimes play on my bed with the desk chair pulled right up to. Another confession: I’d rarely make my bed unless I was going to play. The cards don’t lay flat on a bed unless it’s pretty damn tidy! Got the visual yet?

That got me into collecting playing cards, too. Still have about a dozen decks in a storage place; my faves are the Pepsi cards and the zebra-backed ones. It doesn’t get any better than that! I’d had up to twenty or so decks, not sure how many of those I could lay my hands on if I made the trek to storage and started lookin’ around… Hoping the Teen Age Mutant Ninja Turtles deck is still there…

These days, of course, it’s so convenient to play on a tablet. One of my fave time-wasters. Oh, no! Make that my absolutely fave. Nothing comes close. I don’t play any other games; downloaded Missile Command and some other classic Atari Games, but I don’t put down the Solitaire long enough to play the others. Yeah, it’s an addiction. I don’t deny it.

Unlike many other hard-core players, I don’t really chase points. It’s a bit like wine drinking; it’s better and more fun if you pace yourself and go for max enjoyment and not for shear speed. Not too different from the way I travel; I like to get off the interstate sometimes and check out the local stuff, rather than just jetting around at 80 mph for the sake of making time. You know, the journey, not the destination.

Solitaire. Not a bad past time for a dinosaur like me. But I’m not entirely old-school here; while my fave decks of 52 are languishing in storage, I’m in the recliner with my Kindle Fire, playing an ancient game on a 21st Century tech toy. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

© 2018 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

Downey Park revisited

Downey Park revisited

I had a little idle time this afternoon and started thinking about how I’ve had few opps to get out of the house lately.

It wasn’t a good feeling.

I started looking through some of the folders for pix on my hard drive and it occurred to me that I’ve got thousands of photos I’ve never edited. As many of you may know, there’s no end to the editing process if you take a lot of photos.

So I dove back into a folder from a visit about a year ago and found some photos I like a lot. I tinkered with them and I think some of them are ready to live off my hard drive now.

I did have a different pic of these same waterfowl in a posting a long time ago. This is a good one, too and I’m happy to include it here.

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I’ll offer one more before I get off the net and get lunch started. It’s from that lovely afternoon and features a good look at the dock from which I took the first two pix.

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I’ve been wanting to get back to Downey. It’s on the east side of the Orlando metro area but outside the city limits. The Orange County Parks system here is so unbelievably good. Our parks and our library system are first class and those are two of the things I like best about living in Central Florida.

I said that the last pic was it for this posting, but I’m very pleased with how this editing session went, so I’m going to get one more up today. Appropriately, it’s a shot of me leaving the dock and walking back into the main part of the park.

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I truly do love taking photos. And I really love blogging. That photo session ended and I’m wrapping up this post, too.

I have been trapped inside for three or four weeks now, and I don’t like it! I’m pouting right now but even so I’m buoyed by the knowledge that I’ll have other opportunities on other days to escape, put my camera to good use and enjoy what I’ve been missing lately.

That’s a good feeling.

 

Chained to my laptop for now, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

 

 

The Invasion of the Mermaids!

The Invasion of the Mermaids!

While i was at work Thursday evening, I noticed that a guest was checking out two of the Mermaids found on one of our displays in the store.

Then I noticed that the guest was sporting a mermaid tattoo on her left arm. I suppose that’s why she gazed at her sister mermaids with such longing in her eyes…

If I could have bought them for her, I would have.

What are the odds that a shopper with a mermaid tattoo would come across our mer-folk in the store that evening?

Well, I have no idea, but it seems like King Neptune 🐟 was winking at me or something! 

 

 

Heading to the shore soon, I am,

“Beachdog Ben” Basile

 

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

National Love a Tree Day!

National Love a Tree Day!

Well, that’s what day it is! I’m feeling like they made one of those cool “National Days” just for me!

I love trees. I worship trees! No, I do! I’m just so tickled that this day does, in fact, exist! If it didn’t, I’d try hard to create it!

The banner photo is of a tree or two that I’ll remember for a very long time. Put a trip to Moss Park on your fun list today. That gem is in southeast Orange County, Florida.

And these three at the bottom are special, too. I’m making my way back to the old neighborhood soon to see them again.

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Hey, tree-lover! Get out there and admire a tree or two today. And then give him a big hug! With all that trees do for our species, so many others and for the planet, they certainly have earned our admiration and a caress or two from grateful humans!

And not just today! The Arbor Day Foundation is a non-profit based in Nebraska and its mission is to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. To learn more about the work of the ADF, follow this link.

 

 

An earnest and devout lover of trees, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

 

Reflections on Mothers Day

Reflections on Mothers Day

I do want to wish a most Happy Mothers Day to any Moms who read this humble blog post! Here’s hoping your day is wonderful in every way.

My own mother passed about four years ago. She was a good mother, loved the three of us with her whole heart. Like all moms–and all fathers, too, of course–she had her issues and shortcomings, but she was a tender and loving soul and we never doubted that she loved us intensely. Much love to you today, Lois Marie Basile!

Having that intense and unconditional love is a great blessing in life and I’m acutely aware that not everyone enjoys that blessing on this day of celebration.

If you’re a Mom, I truly do wish you the very best today. Keep loving those kids–of any age–in that crazy, over-the-top way that Moms do; they need it!

If you’re celebrating with your Mom, get all in with it! She deserves it.

For those of you who may have serious issues with your parents–maybe with your Mom–I sincerely hope it can be made better. Do all you can to try to make that happen.

If it’s a situation of complete estrangement, I grieve with you. You have my best wishes, too. I mean that.

For those of you who–like me–don’t have your Mom anymore, I hope you find strong comfort today in remembering her love. Pass some of that around.

Every day of the year.

 

 

Ben Lawrence Basile

 

© 2018 Ben Lawrence Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

 

 

A grim milestone for Earth

A grim milestone for Earth

The Scripps Institution of Oceanography is one of many scientific bodies that monitor CO2 levels on our planet and they noted in the last few days that we’ve crossed an alarming threshold.

After examining the data for the month of April, they’re announcing that the concentration of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere has crossed the 410 ppm threshold for the entire month, something which hasn’t happened on our planet for 800,000 years.

This is a very bad thing.

The Nation seems to be totally polarized now. About most any subject relating to our common life. I would include anything relating to politics; issues around the environment, especially climate change, are certainly on the list.

As I post on another grim event relating to the change in climate on our planet, I know that readers who live in the fact-based world and embrace science will not need any more evidence to persuade them that the time for foot-dragging is over.

Those who draw their opinions from science-deniers and the drivel put out by agencies who get their funding from corporate interests will not be persuaded by anything they read, especially on an obscure blog with a tiny readership.

But I’m going to go on beating the drum.

To see a timely and very informative article about this grim milestone and what this uber-high concentration of atmospheric CO2 means for humanity, just follow this link.

To have a look at the home page for the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and learn more about their amazing work, click here.

The longer we wait to take action, the harder it will be to mitigate the damage to our Earth.

 

Bulldog Ben Basile

© 2018 Ben Lawrence Basile

 

Ben does not own this photo and believes it is covered under Fair Use.

 

Passing along some amazing pix

Passing along some amazing pix

As anyone who’s read my blog knows, I really love sharing good photos with folks who come around. Wanting to share good photographic work is, by far, the biggest motivator for me when I’m putting together a new post.

Usually it’s my work. Today it’s not. This brief feature I found on yahoo news is just so very good! I like it better than any photo feature I’ve seen in a very long time.

A smallish ship named Gunilda went down in Lake Superior 107 years ago. Because of the depth at the site and the cold climate, it’s almost perfectly preserved.

Seeing these extraordinary photos is well worth a couple of minutes of your day. Really.

If you like good–and very unusual–photography as much as I do, click on this link.

 

Lover of good photography, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

PS: the banner pic at the top of this post is one of mine and is not, of course, from the wreck of Gunilda. It’s from the “wreck” of a now-sunken restaurant I loved. I chose it simply because I like it and it fits the mood of the post better than any other photo I have at my disposal.