The forecast calls for chill

The forecast calls for chill

Somewhere along the line, someone decreed that today would be “National Relaxation Day!”

I’m down with that! And it’s a perfect time to pass along my sincere wish that you have an amazing and low-stress day!

This happens to be a regular day off for me. I realize that I may not have a lot of company, this being a Wednesday and all.

But whether you’re on or off the clock, I certainly hope there’s a healthy dose of tranquility and fun in your day.

If the outlook for your day doesn’t seem to be all that mellow, this may be a good opportunity to do what you can to turn it into a more serene scene.

My perfectly-chilled bottle of Pinot Grigio and I are rooting for you.

 

 

A delighted denizen of chilltown, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

 

© 2018 Ben Lawrence Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

Big Storm in Orlando means one RV’er is NOT a Happy Camper!

Big Storm in Orlando means one RV’er is NOT a Happy Camper!

Just saw this feature while cruising some news sites. What a story this is!

I have camped here, twice. Very nice park. I have not camped where this gentleman was because the park has separate areas for RV’ers and tent campers like yours truly. The RV section is on the left about a quarter mile before the tent spaces; they are much closer to Turkey Lake, the showers and the cabins.

When this big storm hit us yesterday evening, I was impressed, to say the least! I was absolutely hoping that we didn’t have issues with a window or some part of the roof being wind-compromised and suddenly having to deal with water in the house. (I’m renting in a 60 year old home that’s not in the very best shape.)

Grateful that, in the end, I didn’t have a problem with this huge Florida thunderstorm, but Mr. James Williams certainly did. A very large limb from a large oak came down and not only ripped a huge gash in the RV, but blocked our unhappy camper from getting out of his now-destroyed RV!

The stalwart survivor of this camping catastrophe did dial 911. The City of Orlando Fire and Rescue crews did what they do, and the Red Cross is giving James, and some others around the Orlando Metro area, secure and dry shelter for now.

A closing thought: camping is so much damn fun, I hope Mr. Williams is able to go on enjoying this awesome American pastime moving forward in spite of Wednesday’s vicious storm.

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit: Ben Lawrence Basile is the owner of this photo that shows the park on a much, much nicer day. November 27th of last year, to be precise!

After thoughts: the park’s official name is Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake, but although I’m often a stickler for precision, I call it Turkey Lake Park as many locals do. This fine park and resort is the only camping spot in the city’s park system; it sits less than two miles north of Universal Studios.

I’ve posted here before about camping in this nice enclave of tranquility inside Orlando city limits. That post is right here.

 

Help for the Eastern Indigo Snake

Help for the Eastern Indigo Snake

One of Florida’s iconic snakes, the Eastern Indigo has been having a tough time in the last little while. The problems are familiar and are not so easily remedied in a time where it seems like every square inch of habitat in Florida has a strip mall or three either being built on it or in the planning stage.

But the good guys are doing what they can to keep our native species from fading to black. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission has a comprehensive plan to address this unhappy situation and the state expends a lot of resources to work that plan.

One of the many actions taken recently to help the Eastern Indigo Snake in particular was the release of 20 captive-bred specimens into the wild at the Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve in Liberty County. That’s in the panhandle region of Florida.

Just how much help this will be to the Eastern Indigo is impossible to tell, but it certainly can’t hurt. The loss of habitat is problem no. 1 facing all of our native wildlife here in the Sunshine State, and though it seems cliché, it’s nevertheless true that the problem is only going to get worse before it gets better.

Well, human nature being what it is, I don’t think it will ever get better, but that’s fodder for a different posting.

For now, I’m glad to see that our FWC is doing fine work, helping to give our native species a fighting chance.

To read the entire press release about today’s very cool event, just follow this link.

 

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

© 2018 Ben Lawrence Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

 

Happy Moon Day 2018, Folks!

Happy Moon Day 2018, Folks!

Yes, it is National Moon Day today. We observe it on July 20th each year because Neil Armstrong first walk on the Moon’s surface on this date back in 1969.

And, yes, I do remember exactly what I was doing on the day! I was touring the U.S. with a high school choral group called the Young Floridians in Concert. We were sponsored by Central Florida YFC and were travelling through upstate New York on that day, heading for our next show.

To help in some small way to mark this auspicious day, I’m contributing one of my own Moon shots I like the best.

You’re welcome!

If you’d like to leave a comment, especially if you have a story to share about what you were doing on that day, please feel free!

 

“Moondog Ben” Basile

 

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

 

Quick beach trip, two photos

Quick beach trip, two photos

I did make a quick beach excursion yesterday and took about 60 shots. It was cloudy and rained intermittently.

That was good in that it kept the crowds from getting out of hand, which is a thing here in Florida all throughout the summer.

But, of course, it made for a less-than-optimal picture day!

I came away with two I’d like to share. Yes, the first one is the banner pic you’ve already seen. And yes, the one below is the other!

CB-LWP-wrkd-Top3-pic-3c (2)

If the conditions had been more ideal, there’s no doubt at all that I would have been fighting tourists for space as I  went on my quest for the perfect shot! There are trade-offs in everything we do in life, and it is what it is.

It was another one of those less-than-perfect but  totally-worthwhile excursions! I’ll take ’em every chance I get!

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

The weather here in Orlando the day after getting back home and unpacking is simply awful! What’s a poor puppy to do?

 

Photo credits Ben Lawrence Basile

 

 

Trey Gowdy changes his tune

Just moments ago, I saw a snippet of Face The Nation on CBS. Margaret Brennan’s guest was none other than Trey Gowdy, the father of the Benghazi investigation and the poster boy for outrageous GOP obstructionist behavior with respect to the Mueller investigation.

The main thrust of her final question was basically to get his take on the fact that the new indictments reveal that at least one, and most likely two people involved or formerly associated with the tRump campaign, passed those stolen emails back to the campaign.

The indictments do not reveal the identities of that person or persons, but most folks who follow such things believe that Roger Stone is one and that a hitherto little-known Florida political operative named Aaron Nevins is the other.

So Brennan wanted to get Gowdy’s take on the new revelations.

I was shocked when I heard his response. He said, in a manner both plain and robust, that the Special Counsel should figure out exactly who those people were and take appropriate action!

Now, he could have been full of shit while saying that, but that’s not the important part; at least it’s not for me.

What was shocking to me was that his reply wasn’t just more dissembling, deflecting, minimizing and obfuscation at which Gowdy excels and which has been the order of the day for Rethuglicans in the matter of Mueller’s probe right from day one!

I could be reading too much into his remarks, but I believe it’s another early sign that Repugs believe they’ve come to the end of their long-held, seemingly iron-clad strategy of uttering lie after lie in all press appearances to keep the truth about the tRump-Russia matter from coming to light.

I’m convinced that they’ve known that the investigation–and what is known about the investigation–would eventually reach the point where so much rot and corruption would be revealed that the public would stop believing their spin, deflection and lies; and that from that time on, they’d have to start distancing from Fearless Leader in order to prevent the whole party from going down with him.

Now, I don’t think it’s going to help. I think they’re all going down anyway. But I’m now convinced that Gowdy and some others do, in fact, see the handwriting on the wall, and that their PR strategy is starting to change.

I’m happy to say that I believe we’re at the tipping point.

And I believe that Bob Mueller’s just getting started.

To read a very thorough delineation of the whole matter of how, allegedly, Stone and Nevins fed the content of those notorious stolen DNC emails back to the campaign, or–to be more precise–to tRump himself, check out this unrolled twitter thread from investigator Seth Abramson.

For more of a big picture look at Friday’s very important indictments of 12 Russian GRU operatives and what the repercussions might be, follow this link.

 

 

Bulldog Ben, barkin’ again!

 

© 2018 Ben Lawrence Basile

France defeats Croatia 4-2 in World Cup Final

France defeats Croatia 4-2 in World Cup Final

If you’re a soccer fan, you just may have heard, but the French bested Croatia 4-2 this afternoon and are the new World Champs!

Il n’y a aucune plus grande gloire dans le monde sportif! Vive La France!

I’m not a fanatical soccer fan, but I’m glad to see the world’s most beloved sport become hugely popular here in the states. And the World Cup is a monster story every year, of course.

Orlando is trying to get a piece of the World Cup again for 2026. The bid is being taken seriously; folks who follow such things say the Florida’s effort has a sporting chance. Having an MLS franchise here now certainly doesn’t hurt!

It was awesome back in 1994 when Orlando hosted three or four prelim matches. (There were several other sites in the U.S., as well.) And I’d love to see us land it again for the big festivities eight years from now!

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

 

Ben is not the owner of this awesome photo and thinks it’s covered by Fair Use.