It’s Labor Day and you should…

It most certainly is Labor Day and you should take life easy today!

I’m off and I hope you’re not having to put in your eight hours today.

If you’d like to know a bit more about the history of this auspicious holiday, just follow this link.

I’m so aware that we have some time today to just chill and maybe fire up the barbie because of the sacrifices of so many workers before us.

I do not–and never will–take that for granted.

Enjoy the day and take a moment to reflect on the importance of remembering that the working people in this country are one of the main reasons that America is great.

Best wishes to all of you who may pass your eyes over this post today.

Especially those of you who work for that paycheck.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2019 Ben Lawrence Basile

Dorian is coming, we’re getting ready

Dorian is coming, we’re getting ready

Hurricane Dorian is a fierce storm. I thought using the camp stove for our morning coffee would be a wise thing to do.

So I set it up on the pool deck and we enjoyed a really tasty and robust cup o’ Joe this morning, compliments of my two-burner camp stove.

Based on the latest forecasts, it sounds less and less likely that my trusty stove will be necessary after Dorian has passed by.

But I love any reason to use that tried-and-true piece of camping gear. And this morning’s reason was as good as any.

I hope you’re enjoying this Saturday morning and that there are no storms bearing down on you today.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2019 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

Paying Attention and Taking Action

Climate Scientists have been sounding the alarm for years about how the Earth is warming and how big changes are on the way for all of us.

The signs that our planet is changing–and changing very fast–are so numerous that it’s hard to know what to focus on.

But we should not allow that to keep us from getting and staying engaged and advocating for policies and actions to mitigate the damage we are inflicting upon our beleaguered planet.

In an article that appeared in June, writer Jordan Davidson lays out for concerned readers some of the alarming signs that the melting of ice around Greenland is a very big deal and is–most troubling of all–accelerating at a rapid pace.

Davidson followed up with another piece yesterday which focuses on one of the more urgent aspects of this whole matter of melting glaciers and rising sea levels.

Scientists, researchers and policy wonks have been warning all who will listen that we need to be prepared to move away from the coastal regions of our planet as the phenomenon of rising sea levels proceeds.

And to this observer, it appears that not too many people are listening to those warnings.

Mr. Davidson’s article makes a fine entry point for anyone who’d like to take a closer look at these issues. It focuses closely on the melting of ice around Greenland, the Helheim Glacier in particular. The piece is very timely and not overly-wonky and can be read here.

So many are doing this work of watching for the signs, for the evidence, that our planet is struggling, is being seriously degraded.

Keep listening. Stay engaged. Stay engaged and take action!

The plight of the Earth demands nothing less.


“Bulldog Ben” Basile

National Read A Book Day

National Read A Book Day

Yes, that is what day it is today!

I’m going through two tomes at this moment.

The first is Hunter Killer by Lt Col T. Mark McCurley. It’s all about the use of drones or Remotely Piloted Aircraft in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

If you like books that shed light on newer developments in weapons technology or just like Military History in general, it’s a good read.

The author and his colleagues in the USAF were pioneers in the employment of RPA’s and their use is only going to become more important in the conflicts of the future.

The second book I’m reading right now is Incredible Pirate Tales, edited by Tom McCarthy and it’s a real page-turner.

I’m going through The Ghost of Captain Brand at this moment and am enjoying it immensely!

If you’re not already immersed in a good book, it’s time you were. And what better time to recover your love of reading than on National Read A Book Day?

“Bookdog Ben” Basile

© 2019 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Benjamin Basile

Just As Beautiful As Ever

Just As Beautiful As Ever

I did, indeed, make it back to Trimble Park near Mt Dora, Florida this week.

I had a reservation for this last Monday and Tuesday. I arrived just at the 2 PM check-in time and had camp set up within an hour or so.

I took a long stroll around the park. It’s huge. And I was struck again with just how very beautiful Trimble Park truly is.

It’s the crown jewel in the Orange County Park System in my estimation. It must be seen to be appreciated fully.

I was a bit apprehensive about this outing as our weather here in Central Florida has been awful. Lots of heat and lots and lots of rain.

That’s not unusual by any means, but it can make certainly put a damper on outdoor activities, camping especially.

When I began to set up, I realized that I do tote around quite a bit of gear. You can see a lot of it in this photo. The funny thing is that this was only roughly 2/3 of what I actually carry. But unpacking the whole car to take that photo would simply have taken too much time.

The whole site got very, very wet on the first night as we had a very intense thunderstorm come through. Nothing unusual there.

Because the rain fly works well on my Coleman Picton 2 tent, the water inside the tent was bearable. Especially since I sleep on a recliner and not on the ground.

But it was still a serious snafu as it took me until noon on Tuesday to get the tent completely dry.

The weather folk predicted that Tuesday night would be as wet or wetter than Monday, so I thought it through and made the decision to cut short this outing.

My main camera was malfunctioning as well, making the decision to abort the second half of my stay seem even more inevitable.

But I did get some good pix with the cell camera. Such a good thing that we carry a decent camera around with us wherever we go! Mine has come through for me on a number of occasions.

Something I always enjoy is making camp coffee each morning. You know, the kind of coffee you can only get by perking it the old-fashioned way!

The coffee Tuesday morning was glorious and almost made me forget all about the wet gear which would soon require nearly all my attention for about three hours.

And my usual first-morning breakfast of fried eggs and grits was tasty. Alas, there was not to be any second-morning breakfast.

I broke camp around 1 PM, shortly after getting everything bone-dry and ready to stow.

The other thing that went well on this abbreviated outing was that I brought enough wood to keep my campfire burning for over three hours. That part of the trip was awesome. I had no rain on the site after about midnight so I didn’t turn in until almost 4 AM!

But I’ll gladly lose sleep to have the pleasure of tending a fire for a few hours. Didn’t cook anything in it on this trip, but it still scratched that itch for me, as it does each time.

It’s true that this outing was not all it could have been. But this saying is still true for me as I wrap up this post:

The worst day in the woods is better than the best day spent indoors!

Old Camper’s Saying

I hope your next outing is perfect. I know for certain that it will be worthwhile!

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2019 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credits Ben Lawrence Basile

Today is National Moon Day

Today is National Moon Day

As you may know, today marks exactly 50 years since Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped onto the Lunar soil.

It is, indeed, a monumental occasion. For so many reasons.

One of the many things that have happened as a result of this historic mission is that today, July 20th, has become National Moon Day.

So today we look back over that amazing achievement. It is, in my estimation, the Crown Jewel for NASA and quite possibly for the US.

I will never, never forget what I was doing at the moment Mr Armstrong thrilled our Nation and the world with this stellar feat of human achievement.

And it’s a very good time to just reflect on how awesome it is to have our luminous and singular moon.

And to think about space exploration and new vistas in general.

It’s ever onward and upward!

“Moondog Ben” Basile

© 2019 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

Returning to Trimble Park

Returning to Trimble Park

I made a camping reservation today to get back to one of my favorite spots to camp in all of Florida.

I’m referring to Trimble Park, right were Orange and Lake counties meet. I’ve camped there three times and am delighted to be heading back.

This adventure is coming next week. And I’m already starting my preps.

The banner photo for this post was taken there at Trimble a couple of years ago. It’s a favorite for me and readers and friends have told me on many occasions that it’s a keeper!

The very photogenic bird in this picture posed beautifully and cheerfully and signed the required photo release the moment I asked him!

How cool is that?!

All silliness aside, I am heading back to Trimble Park very soon with my camera at the ready!

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2019 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile