Fave Fotos: A View of Orlando’s Lake Eola Park

Fave Fotos: A View of Orlando’s Lake Eola Park

Here is a foto I like especially. Lake Eola Park is probably the most recognizable spot in all of Orlando. It’s certainly a fave hang out for denizens of Central Florida of any age, shape or race. It’s  most definitely a “top ten” spot for people watching. A steady flow of walkers, joggers and moms pushing strollers. Beaming lovers, holding hands.

I love to take photos there. I love to take pix of birds. And tranquil nature scenes.

No shortage of birds of all kinds there. You can see plenty of ducks, swans, herons and Ibises.  For this nature-lovin’ dog, it’s like an afternoon at the zoo without paying an admission.

Plenty to like about Lake Eola Park. Big playground on the east side. Easy walking distance to all the cool shops and eateries in the Thornton Park area. The amphitheatre where I’ve seen a lot of free shows over the years. The Mindi Abair concert sponsored by WLOQ Radio back in the day–it doesn’t get any better than that!

So, back to the subject of photos, I’ve taken many shots at Lake Eola over the last 30 years or so. This one is a real favorite. I loves me some ducks! And any tranquility-promoting scenes from nature. Beautiful setting. Good photo. Wonderful memories.

It’s been too long. Heading back soon.


Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile


Our Olympic Athletes Can’t Get Coffee?

Our Olympic Athletes Can’t Get Coffee?

I just can’t believe this. Oh my God! No frickin’ java for our Olympic athletes? Well, even though it’s hard to take in, this incredible story is true. I’ve found Mother Jones to be a reliable source of news on the internet. And it’s  Mother Jones that came up with this mind-blowing scoop. I can’t face the morning without at least one scoop.

It seems that Coca-Cola is the villan here. You can get lots of Coke at the games; but not one cup o’ Joe. Not a good state of affairs. If I were one of our intrepid olympians, I wouldn’t stand for it.

To get the complete low-down, follow this link.

Someone needs to notify the American contact for the I.O.C. right now! It’s time to kick some ass! God, this kind of thing sets me off!

Well, I’ve got to end this rant and get percolating; if I don’t get my second cup, I’m gonna hurt somebody!


Bulldog Ben, reaching for the scoop


© Benjamin Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile


Baseball and Softball Will Be Coming Back to the Olympics

Baseball and Softball Will Be Coming Back to the Olympics

Note: Bulldog is really enjoying posting this one on the first full day of the 2016 Olympic Games.

Being the hard-core softball fan that I am, it was good news that the International Olympic Committee had decided to bring back softball and baseball to the Olympics. Back in 2005, the IOC voted to scratch these two quintessentially-American sports; that took effect for the 2012 games. It’s awfully good to see that mistake remedied; when fans all over the world watch their teams swing away in the 2020 Tokyo games, it will be the first time since 2008. In baseball, South Korea took the gold that time around, edging the Cuban team 3-2. The US came away with bronze by beating team Japan 8-4.

On the softball diamond, Japan took gold, besting Team USA 3-1. Earning silver was, no doubt, a huge disappointment for the Americans, especially since there was no hope of redemption in the 2012 games. The contest coming in four years in Japan should be memorable, to say the least. By the way, the Aussies came away with bronze in those last Olympics before the plug was pulled; no need to google it!

I’m going back to watching the last few minutes of a Beach Volleyball contest airing right now; it’s the USA vs. Australia. U-S-A! U-S-A!

Details about the IOC decision to put softball and baseball back in are here.



Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

April 30, 2016 Rollins Tars vs University of Tampa Spartans

Set Your Sail for The Old Fish House in Cocoa Beach

Set Your Sail for The Old Fish House in Cocoa Beach

Note: this review of mine was originally published awhile back on a well-known travel site. Not a new review but I liked this place then and I still do!


There are so many chain restaurants in every American city and they certainly seem to be thriving. I try to patronize as many “unchained” establishments when I can. I think the Olive Gardens of the world will do fine without my dining dollar.

The Old Fish House Restaurant is one of those authentic, local places that I love to find when I’m travelling. I walked through the door about an hour before closing on a Friday night and immediately loved the unique design and decor. It’s been said before that there’s an inverse correlation between the money spent on the dining room and the quality of the food in most places. The Old Fish House in Cocoa Beach ain’t the Ritz, the furnishings are dated and just a wee bit tacky but their food is absolutely first-rate.

I started with the Buffalo Shrimp and found them to be near perfect. It’s easy to over-cook shrimp or to turn up the heat a bit too much on the buffalo sauce, but this appetizer was just what I was looking for. The breading was just the way I like it as well. It’s way over-done at so many places.

For my entree I went with the Catfish sandwich; they serve it broiled or fried. I went for the latter and can’t think of a single thing I would have done differently if it were my place. A fish sandwich can be prepared and served a jillion different ways, their approach was straightforward and worked quite well for me. I’ve had my fill of soggy fish drowned in Tartar sauce, overly-toasted sub rolls and mediocre cole slaw at so many seafood houses, but there was nothing to not like at the Old Fish House. My sandwich was paired with New Potatoes and some very-good slaw. Watery or too-sweet slaw can be such a downer! The chef did come out for a table-side visit. That was a nice and unexpected touch.

The prices were a bit higher than I expected at first but not excessive for the quality of the food. The service was adequate. I was a bit miffed when I had to ask for Bleu Cheese dressing for my Buffalo Shrimp but serving it with wings is not a given anymore, so the expectation that it would come out with my shrimp was probably unrealistic.

I loved my first visit to the Old Fish House Restaurant and will definitely dine with them again the next time I’m in Cocoa Beach. They are known for their all-you-can-eat offerings and although there’s nothing I can tell you about that from my visit, I just might have to visit again soon and bring my big boy appetite with me…

Bulldog Ben Basile

The Old Fish House Restaurant
249 W. Cocoa Beach Causeway
Dial 321 799 9190


Photo credit: Benjamin Lawrence Basile


Donald Trump Cartoons from US News

The internet is chock-full of cartoons on any topic you can imagine and there is no shortage of cartoons about “Don the Con”. Meaning Donald Trump, of course.

The offerings here on the site for U.S. News are good. And they’re Bulldog Approved. Have a look if you’re so inclined.

Unfortunately, Mr. Trump’s real life antics are not so funny. Put me on the list of people who could never understand how so many Americans were giving him a pass on all the bizarre “stuff” he was spouting; it now seems that there are limits to this license and he’s exceeded those limits many times in the last couple of weeks.

He’s tanking in the polls so quickly that many among his loyal followers can’t believe it. Poor Donald. Looks less and less likely that the Big, Angry Cheeto is going to be taking up residence in the White House in January. What a pity.

Some cartoons. Knock yourselves out.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

Fave Fotos: Sky Over Cocoa Beach on a Lovely Afternoon

Fave Fotos: Sky Over Cocoa Beach on a Lovely Afternoon

This is a photo I look about four years ago one afternoon. Yes, that would be a shot of some extraordinarily blues skies over Cocoa Beach. This is a photo I love especially; it serves as my desktop theme from time-to-time. So many good photos.

I’ve been dying to get to the beach these last two or three weekends. Still want to go in the worst way. The odds are against it this weekend. I think I’ll just gaze at this pic for a while. Sigh…

Yes, There is an Org called Republican Women for Hillary!

Over the years I’ve found many timely and insightful features in Rolling Stone Magazine. Their work about politics has always been very solid. Great feature this time around about conservative and Republican women who are leaving the Trump camp in droves and backing Hillary with their voices and their pocketbooks.

When former HP and ebay exec Meg Whitman defected, the media was all over the story. But she’s got plenty of company among other conservative women who can no longer stomach their party’s nominee’s constant displays of contempt for women. Sally Bradshaw was an adviser to Jeb Bush’s campaign and she’s on-board; former Chris Christie staffer Maria Comella has also thrown her lot with the nascent org Republican Women for Hillary. And more defections are coming each day.

That this is happening surprises me not one bit. It’s been fascinating to glean a few details of this inevitable spectacle from Rolling Stone.

To read the whole piece, follow this link. Now pardon me, if you would; I’m gonna go make the popcorn.

Florida is Burning Up in the Summer of 2016

Florida is Burning Up in the Summer of 2016

It’s really, really hot out there. Not that I’m telling you anything you didn’t already know. The other day I glanced at the temperature indicator on my dash on the way home. Even though it’s crazy-hot out there, I was a bit surprised to see that it read 100 degrees. Welcome to Florida!

As you no doubt know, the temps are insanely-hot everywhere. All told, this is my 52nd summer in the Sunshine State and I’m over this heat! I realize we Floridians are not alone here, but who cares when the heat index is in triple digits. I really don’t like how each summer seems hotter than the one before…

And by now you know that the Zika virus is a thing down here. It’s not just travel-related cases anymore, our home-grown mosquitoes can transmit it. You don’t have to get bit in the tropics first and then fly back. Our native-born, highly-trained, courteous and efficient skeeters can gnaw on your sweaty flesh and transmit this terrible, modern-day plague.

I’m sick of the heat. I don’t want the latest mosquito-borne virus moving up the peninsula; got West Nile Virus in 2003, don’t want Zika. And I’m sick of that other plague we deal with here in Florida: Rick Scott, with the brain of a mosquito, and the heart of a vampire. Come to think of it, he looks like one, too!

Sticky, unrelenting sub-tropical heat; Zika-bearing skeeters furiously beating wings upstate, lusting for blood; the reincarnation of Bela Lugosi masquerading as our governor. That’s it. I’m hopping the first north-bound freight and heading for Canada.