My Heart Was Smacked Around Tonight by Joni and Jane!

Note from Ben: I haven’t had a lot to say about music here on da bulldog blog in my first two years, but being a musician and a big-time music lover, it’s a huge thing in my life. So I’m going to have more to say about it moving forward. It’s all about enjoying yourself on your passage through life. And music can be a big part of that!

 

I love to dash off a quick posting when a song I’ve loved for a while crawls through the speakers in my laptop and into my ear and really moves me.

It happened again tonight. It was a Joni Mitchell song; what can I say?

I’ve loved singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell since Court and Spark came out. Yeah, a long time.

To me the J.M. song that’s the most distinctive is “A Case of You”. If you’re not familiar with it, there’s no way to describe it, really.

Here’s the funny thing: even though I practically worship the ground upon which Joni walks, it’s the Jane Monheit cover of this amazing song that moves me the most.

Well, Joni and Jane tag-teamed me tonight; my heart and brain both feel as though they’ve gone a few rounds in the ring with these two hard-hitting queens of jazz.

Last call! If you want to hear a song that captures perfectly the insane passion in a woman’s love for a man, click on this.

 

Blusician “Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

PS: I hasten to add that, though it’s not absolutely necessary, appreciation for this cool tune can be heightened considerably if you’re a beer lover. All the more if said beer lover has had a brew or two by the time the first notes emerge from the speaker…

Of Girls and Gulls

Of Girls and Gulls

When I get to the beach, taking photos is a big part of the day. For me, it’s quite possibly the biggest part of any trip to the shore.

When the camera comes out, there are usually plenty of possible subjects around.

Seagulls are photographic gold for me. I love watching them. And it’s just too much fun to capture their high jinks on film.

In this photo, it looks like I’m not the only beach-goer who likes to see what the gulls are up to. She doesn’t have a camera, but she’s capturing the moment on that cerebral film we all carry with us wherever we go.

Get outdoors. Get into the woods, go to the beach, just get out there! And when you go, capture some memories.

 

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

So Where Did 2017 Go?

It’s a given that the farther we are along life’s path, the more time appears to accelerate. I’m thinking that most of this is a matter of perception. But it still comes as a bit of a shock that we’re in the waning moments of 2017.

How did we get here so fast? How is it that each year hurtles by at warp speed? Where does the time go? Where has my life gone?

I know I’m not the lone ranger here; lots of folks who, like me, have survived for six decades or better get into this psychological space regularly. But still, my head is whirling around and it truly seems like something is terribly wrong in the universe.

I’m in this space again as we have gotten so close to the end of the year. Now that those year-in-review things have begun, and folks are checking to be sure that they’ve booked a New Years Eve event, I feel like I’m on some inner precipice, staring into the abyss of time and feeling like I’ll fall over the edge at any moment.

I suppose one strategy to deal with this is to live one’s life in such a way as to make the most of each fleeting moment. And to prioritize our lives so that we spend the most of those finite moments doing the things that matter most. I get it. Doing that each day does not come easily for me, but that is the goal; that’s my New Years resolution. Again!

Meanwhile, I’d be so grateful if the gods of time would please, please, oh please just slow the whole damn thing down just a wee bit. Please!

A Christmas Morning Wish for Everyone

A Christmas Morning Wish for Everyone

Sending this out again exactly ten years from when I first wrote it! Merry Christmas, everybody!

About Photography, Outdoor Fun, Food, Music, and Other Stuff.

I wish all of you a wonderful Christmas. This piece of mine was originally posted on Christmas Day, 2007 on another site. 

A Christmas wish for everyone today…

This has been a challenging year for me in a lot of ways, yet I find myself feeling even more than the usual holiday spirit right now as I sit at the keyboard, waiting for Santa to come down my chimney. Wait! I don’t have a chimney! Oh well, I still believe! Well, the part about Santa, who can say? The rest of it, I’m still pretty big on all the good stuff that we think about when the holidays roll around each year. No doubt a lot of you feel the same.

I’m real grateful for friends and family this year. I take a lot of that for granted a lot of the time, but right now I absolutely “get it”……

View original post 722 more words

Bulldog Is NOT On a Disney Cruise Line Ship, but He Just…

Bulldog Is NOT On a Disney Cruise Line Ship, but He Just…

He just caught one passing by on his latest beach outing! Full of happy cruisers of all ages, no doubt! Wonder where Mickey and Minnie’s cabin is on this one!

I have to be frank and say this outing was awful as far as pix are concerned, but I had fun. This is quite likely the only photo from this trip which will ever live off my hard drive… We don’t hit a home run every time we step up to the plate, do we?

Going to watch my Bucs on Monday Night Football from my fave beach hang-out before heading home. That would be Slow and Low Barbecue, of course!

I knew this trip would be a quickie, but I wanted to at least hear it and smell it. The sea, of course! I did. And after dinner and some football I’ll head the wrong way on the Beachline Expressway, get myself home and and try to get one or two light tasks done before the late news rolls around, signaling the start of the bedtime ritual. (Of which Stephen Colbert is an important part!)

And after my eyes fly open sometime around 6:15 tomorrow, I’ll go through another thoroughly mundane day, daydreaming of lazy days spent in the woods or at the shore, scheming some way to rearrange the hours and the dollars coming my way this week into some new configuration that just could result in another outdoor adventure!

When we get the chance to have one of those fabulous forays into the wild or over to the shore, it’s such a cool thing. The longer the stay, the better!

And those three or four hour excursions aren’t so bad. When that’s all I can do, I do it!

Get outdoors, friends! You won’t regret it!

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

Bulldog’s Christmas Wish Is a Return to Trimble Park

Bulldog’s Christmas Wish Is a Return to Trimble Park

Visiting parks and natural sites, with or without camping, is one way Americans like to spend the holidays. I throw my lot with my fellows who’re into such things.

I’m very much hoping to spend at least a part of the week between Christmas and New Years Day camping in Trimble Park, a fave spot of mine. It’s here in Orange County, but about a half hour away from me.

There are two complicating factors for me at this moment: the first is that I haven’t booked yet and the demand for camping spots around the holidays in very strong. Very, very strong, in fact.

The second potential issue is that I had a minor accident in my PT Cruiser on Monday evening and am not too sure at this point just how long it’ll take me to get my wheels back.

I’m going to do my dead-level best to solve these problems and get back to Trimble Park before the year’s end. For right now, I’ll be content to post a pic I especially like from a previous visit. It features some waterfowl specimen I find fascinating, though I can’t say for sure what it is!

If you can identify my fine feathered friend, a comment with a tip would be most welcome!

I hope the next few days go well for you as we get closer to Christmastime. And remember to get outdoors!

 

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

 

Is It Mandatory for Democrats with Money to be Selfish Pricks?

Another post about politics! Two things triggered Ol’ Bulldog on this one. The first was the passing of the Repug tax scam, oh I mean tax reform, of course, and the second was a comment on social media about how rich lawmakers who are Democrats don’t care at all about poor people. So here I go:

 

It often amuses me at how conservatives talk out of both sides of their mouths on the issue of wealthy people, lawmakers particularly, who aren’t on-board with the usual drastic Republican economic policies of slashing taxes to the bone, demonizing working and poor people, and generally acting as though accumulating money is the real purpose of life.

If an elected official is progressive, quite possibly a democrat, and he/she is not wealthy, many conservative folk will say that they have no place in the discussion as they haven’t demonstrated that they know how to succeed, don’t know how America works, how free enterprise works, blah, blah, blah

Donald tRump has spouted this crap repeatedly.

If a progressive elected official does have wealth, conservatives will still attack him or her, it’s just a different strategy. Many Democratic or progressive public servants are well-off. So the line of attack in that case is that he/she is a hypocrite, as though people with money somehow have to be selfish assholes and hate working people or anyone who doesn’t have enough dinero to get into the club!

So it’s the usual Rethuglican approach of attack everyone with whom you disagree, but the strategy and the talking points are different depending on who or what they’re attacking.

Meanwhile, there is no inconsistency when people with wealth say our economic policies need to take into account all Americans, not just large corporations and the 1% who have the means to hire lobbyists and buy off elected officials with campaign contributions.

There are plenty of people who have gobs and gobs of wealth but know American economic policy needs to take into account all Americans and the common good: Warren Buffett, Lady Gaga, Bill Gates, and many, many others.

It’s insane to believe that having wealth automatically makes you selfish and fills your head with hatred and contempt for working people, the chronically poor, disabled people, etc. There’s nothing hypocritical in the least about having shitloads of money and believing that that everyone’s situation and everyone’s needs matter.

There’s nothing hypocritical about being wealthy and thinking that really wealthy people, including yourself, need to pay substantial taxes, that revenue can get too low and that something’s very wrong when the secretary pays a higher effective tax rate than the CEO for whom she works. (Something which, by the way, actually happened with Mitt Romney and his secretary when the subject of effective tax rates for different income brackets came up for discussion in the 2012 Presidential debates.)

Conservatives are not going to get progressive people and Democrats to give in to their extreme, Ayn Rand-type of economic selfishness by suggesting that Democratic lawmakers who very often are wealthy are somehow disqualified from caring about ordinary (meaning not wealthy) people or advocating for policies that are designed to benefit the 98% of Americans who work for a living.

 

Working guy “Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

© 2017 Ben Lawrence Basile