Another Triumphant Trimble Trip!

Another Triumphant Trimble Trip!

I just can’t get enough of Trimble Park. As you may remember, it’s a very nice park right where Orange and Lake counties meet. Although it’s actually in the very small Orange county town of Tangerine, that tiny hamlet does not deliver mail, so the park has a Mt. Dora mailing address even though that popular and well known town is across the county line.

Confused? Well, here’s the important part: Trimble Park is just overflowing with natural beauty and critters of every kind. And offers some of the nicest, most serenity-filled camping experiences anywhere in the Sunshine State.

I had my clothes and too much camping gear soaked pretty good on the first night. I had gone back to O’do to enjoy a movie with my little bro, and the rain came. I didn’t put on the rain fly because the weather forecast said no rain was coming. Yeah, Mother Nature caught me with my guard down. But Wednesday morning was quite sunny and I was able to dry everything out pretty well.

It was a nice outing in spite of the first night rains. I did get some pretty good photos and have made one I like especially the banner photo here. I feel all serene again just looking at it now.

May you enjoy some quiet, tranquil moments this day. I’ll be posting with more awesome photos before much longer…


“Bulldog Ben” Basile


Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile


Why I really love libraries!

Why I really love libraries!

Here’s the short list of why I really love libraries! Libraries are a place to borrow books on almost every conceivable subject and digital media of any kind–including, but not limited to–CD’s, DVD’s and instructional media on a wide variety of subjects and areas of learning without paying rental fees. I’ve taken advantage of their language instructions DVD at no cost whatsoever.

I can do most of those things via the ‘net, but there are almost always costs and fees involved. Not at your local library.

If you have a library card and create an ID and log-on, you can do on-line language learning and other stuff on-line through the library’s master user acct and, again, pay no fees at all for educational and self improvement courses that others do on-line w/o paying the usual subscription fees. I’ve done a couple of those.

Libraries provide free, high speed internet access and PC services for folks who use the internet but cannot afford a computer. They do computer class on subjects ranging from beginning PC and word processing use, to power point and microsoft word.

They do seminars for classroom learning on many subjects and endeavors using outside experts or, in some cases, library staff who are trained and certified in different areas.

Libraries have low cost access to copying and printing for people who have computer access but don’t have a copier or printer. Like me. I go to my local branch about once a month just to print that rare doc where a hard copy, paper format is necessary. The last time was to print a resume.

Libraries host many community activities at low or no cost. The ones I’ve seen at the SW branch, close to where I was living in 2014 to 2016, are the Orlando Chess Club, and the Vista Toastmasters Club. That one has meaning for me as I served as the President of that awesome club many years ago when it was still associated with Disney.

At the branch closest to where I live now, I’ve seen meetings for clubs associated with the Puerto Rican community and an awesome seminar on the accordion. That was terribly entertaining and it was well-attended. I know that was the first exposure to the accordion by many attendees, many of whom were kids. Thank you, Corky Wisneiwski and the Orlando Accordion Club.

Libraries are a safe, appropriate place for kids to go after school so they’re doing something positive and constructive until their parents can come and pick them up. Basically, an informal and no-cost after school program. I’ve seen many kids take advantage of this at the Chickasaw branch, which is right across the street from a thriving charter school. They can do homework and use the free internet services.

The main branch of the Orlando Public Library has regular music performances by local artists. I’ve seen friends I’ve played with perform there. There’s a permanent stage there on the first floor in the dept where the CD’s and DVD’s are available for check out.

I’ve seen performances on that stage from Improv groups whose venue is right around the corner. But doing a show at the library gave them exposure to a new audience.

Libraries serve as polling places in Orange County for early voting. I have voted in three elections at the Southwest branch.

Libraries put on regular sales where the materials that are passing out of their inventories are offered to the public. I’ve bought vinyl albums, CD’s and many books this way. They have those awesome library stamps and stickers on them, but I think that’s okay. These sales are put on by friends of the library. Those folks are volunteers. I enjoyed my time as a FOTL years ago and think I’ll soon get involved with them again, too.

I loved being a volunteer docent for the main branch way back in the 80’s when the library built those 3rd and 4th floors and wanted the Central Fla community to see what their new facilities had to offer.

This post only covers library services and activities that I personally have used or gotten involved in; no doubt there are many others. I love libraries and promote them every chance I get.


“Bulldog Ben” Basile


© 2018 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile



Photo of a random ship

Photo of a random ship

I know what you’re thinking! What a lame title for a blog posting!

Okay. You got me…

But somehow, it seems to fit.

This just might have been one of my worst photo sessions at the beach. Ever! But somehow, I like this pic.

I can’t get a really sharp focus on ships on the horizon with my Canon Powershot. That’s not a knock, I do like this camera.

But it has auto focus and that, of course, has its limitations.

I’m not the very best model of a photographer. Or a human being, for that matter. But for all my limitations, I’m still doing the job!

It’s true I’m out of warranty, but I most definitely should not be boxed up and sent back to the manufacturer!

So, here’s an imperfect pic that I still somehow find appealing.

Give it some love, people!


“Bulldog Ben” Basile


Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile



The Beach–Good News and Bad News

The Beach–Good News and Bad News

Made my escape today and got to the beach a bit late. A little after 4 this afternoon.

The good news is that I was at the beach!

The bad news is that it was cold. And really windy.

The wind has not been my friend for the last couple of days. We get days like this here in Central Florida four or five times a year and it makes doing outdoor stuff no damn fun.

So now I’m in my fave Starbucks. I generally come here after a beach photo session to do some editing and enjoy the wares. Not much editing this time around…

I’m referring to the Starbucks where SR 520 meets A1A in Cocoa Beach. And, with a latte in one hand and a cookie in the other, I’m fine with this not-so-great beach outing.

What’s that old saying: a bad day at the beach is better than my best day at the office? Yeah, I think that’s how it goes…

Today I had a chance to prove it’s true.



“Beachdog Ben” Basile


Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

And, yes, that is the actual Starbucks location featured in this post!


Happy First Day of Spring!

Happy First Day of Spring!

Today is the day that winter gives way to spring and we get to see nature waking from her slumber!

Of course, it’s been like spring here in Florida for all but a few days for quite a while, but I’m not going to go there right now…

I hope you’re doing fabulously today as we mark this milestone. It certainly would be a fine time to get out of your cubicle or that cramped apartment and see what delights Mother Nature has in store today!



“Bulldog Ben” Basile


Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile


What’s Bulldog to do when he can’t get away for a camping trip?

What’s Bulldog to do when he can’t get away for a camping trip?

I’ll tell you what he does! He cruises over to one of his fave city parks here in Central Florida and fires up the grill.

Sometimes he does the full monte breakfast; it’s always fun to fire up that two burner camp stove.

There are a thousand reasons why I don’t get to camp or hike nearly as often as I like; could be a work schedule issue. Could be a budget thing. Very often it’s because my fave campgrounds are all booked up.


The header photo for this post is of Downey Park on Orlando’s east side. This spot was very well-planned and put together and has way more grills than most parks. And even thought it’s usually mobbed–especially on the weekends–I usually have no trouble finding an available grill.

Lake Downey is a lovely spot on the eastern edge of the park; it’s a very nice place to take a photo or two. Or fifty or sixty. So here are a couple of photos I especially like of this corner of Downey Park.

I hope your week is off to a good start. I’m planning a beach getaway for later this week. Will let you know if I pull it off!



“Bulldog Ben” Basile


Photo credits Ben Lawrence Basile


Dreams of a winter’s day in F-L-A

Dreams of a winter’s day in F-L-A

Sometimes when I come back from an outing, it takes me a while to adjust to my thoroughly-mundane existence again. Just living somewhere. Somewhere with a few walls, indoor plumbing and a roof.

It takes me a while before I can stifle the feeling that I was better off in a 102 sq ft tent with my trusty two burner camp stove, sleeping bag and car load of grits, gear and tools.

And a camera. Got to have a camera.

And when I review some of the photos, I’m sure I was better off nestled among the pines, oaks and saw palmetto, cradled in the arms of Mother Nature.

The banner photo for this post is one from a recent outing. One that takes me out of my boring and all-too-familiar domicile and transports me right where I’d like to be. Out in the real Florida.

The photo just below is one that reminds me of the view from my camp site looking towards one of the main trails. I like it. I’m heading back when I can get my work schedule dialed back just a bit.

Toso-camp-Feb27-2018 (4)

I didn’t mean to get myself into the frame, but there I am! It’s kind of funny. My shadow just loves to photo bomb me now and then; I just have to put up with it!

It’s the weekend, for heaven’s sake! Get outdoors! Just get off the couch, power down the PC and the tablet and go do something!



“Bulldog Ben” Basile


Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile