Today is National Drink Wine Day!

Today is National Drink Wine Day!

I’ll bet most of you didn’t know. I’m happy to do my part to let you know about really important things like National Drink Wine Day. It’s what I do. You’re welcome!

This evening, after work, I’ll do my part to celebrate this momentous occasion.

If you pull your weight, I won’t have to drink an extra glass to compensate!

Whether you imbibe or not, I hope this Sunday is  fine day for you; I’ll be checking in again in the near future with another post of monumental importance!

 

 

Bulldog Ben

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

Bulldog had a ball baking bread!

Bulldog had a ball baking bread!

I truly did. Baked this skillet bread back around the holidays and wanted to try it again. The only difference is a added 1/4 tsp of Fruit Fresh–basically ground up vitamin C–to help it “live” a day or two longer. A tip from a baking web site.

Not sure how that’s going to work but I do like the way it turned out. Gonna go cut into it and toast some cheese over it right frickin’ now! Just try and stop me!

Hope you’re having a fabulous (Valentines) day and like what you’re eating!

 

“Baker Ben” Basile

 

PS: Notice I acknowledged what day it was, but didn’t actually send along an appropriate sentiment; well, if you have a freshly-baked loaf of bread, what would you possibly need a sweetheart for? Just sayin’…

 

 

 

 

Bulldog has a serious Thin Mint addiction!

Bulldog has a serious Thin Mint addiction!

They got me! I tried walking real fast by their table, but one of them smiled at me! That’s some serious high-pressure marketing right there! Unfair!

Yeah, it’s #GirlScoutCookie time, people! Support your local troop! #ThinMints!

 

 

Groggy and with chocolate on my fingers, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

 

PS: Why does Publix allow them to set up that table by the entrance every year?

 

Photo and meme credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

Author Ursula K. Le Guin Has Passed

Author Ursula K. Le Guin Has Passed

As I read today’s news, I had to ask myself: was there a better American author in Fantasy or Science Fiction than Ursula K. Le Guin? With multiple Hugo and Nebula Awards and The Newbery Medal, what a literary legacy she left!

This giant of 20th Century American Literature passed away yesterday. She was 88.

Her Earthsea Trilogy is without question the fiction work I love best. I devoured those three delightful tomes in a very short span while in high school.

It’s no exaggeration to say that her writing helped shape my views of the world more than anything outside the Bible. And I’ve no cause now, these many years later, to call into question the things I came to believe about life and human existence from her remarkable work.

Only in silence, the word. Only in dark, the light. Only in dying, life: bright the hawk’s flight on the empty sky.   The Creation of Éa

Rest In Peace, Ursula. I’m sailing for #Earthsea at first light.

 

 

Ben Lawrence Basile

 

 

The use of the map in the header photo is covered under the Fair Use doctrine

From the vault for National Squirrel Appreciation Day

From the vault for National Squirrel Appreciation Day

I’m thinkin’ not too many folks know that today is “National Squirrel Appreciation Day!” Yes, that’s for real!

In honor of the occasion, here’s a piece I wrote quite a long time ago for my first (now dormant) blog site; I ran it here in May of 2016.

Enjoy The Squirrel and the Spiritual Experience!

I had just dropped off a fare in my taxi and i decided to stop in at
a fast food place in Altamonte Springs for a quick bite. If you do
know the territory, Backyard Burgers is a better-than average
burger drive-through in an Old Checkers location. It’s quite popular
with the locals.

It’s pretty popular with some furry critters up there too! I got
my “Black and Bleu” burger, an extremely yummy burger featuring
black angus beef and bleu cheese, and proceeded to make short work
of it. It truly was as good a burger as this dog had ever put into
his jaws!

Just as I was about to toss the last morsel down, this very tame
squirrel began to make her way over to the patio table where I was
enjoying this late lunch. (At Backyard Burgers, there is no indoor
seating.)

As she got a little closer, I became transfixed at the sight of her
approach and could not eat that last bit until I knew what she was
up to. In pretty short order she hopped right up on the bench next
to me and reared up on her hind legs. By now she was only about six
inches from me–from me and the last few crumbs of what had been the
best lunch I’d had in quite a while…

As I extended my hand in her direction, she actually put her little
claws right on my first finger and clasped my hand very gently
with a measured and seemingly purposeful pressure. I was quite
surprised to say the least. What I had expected her to do was to
reach for the bite o’ burger and scamper away like a bandit.

For a moment or two she just stayed there clasping my hand and
looking me right in the eye. Then, with consummate timing, she took
the morsel in her mouth and ate it in two or three bites all while
maintaining her eye contact with me, her very flabbergasted
benefactor.

Then she turned away, paused for just a moment and scampered
away towards a towering oak on the edge of the patio.

I suppose it’s a routine she’s quite comfortable with. I have not
been back to Backyard Burgers since but I’m thinking that she
probably has a regular stable of folks who share the last bite of
their lunches with her. I’ve even wanted to get back up there to see
if she’s still around, looking for humans who want to share their
grub with her, but I don’t get that far away from downtown
Orlando in my cab very often.

As I cruised back towards my preferred territory a little closer to
home, I could not get the image of her pausing with her paws on my
hand out of my mind… She seemed to be saying, “Thanks for sharing
your lunch with me! I hope you’ll come back and see me again” or
some such thing in her non-verbal squirrel language which humans may
be graced to understand just once in a while…

The memory of my shared lunch with my furry mistress comes back to
me often; especially when I’m passing any burger joint or when I see
squirrels scampering up and down our majestic oaks and through our
many parks. I would surely love to have a “Black and Bleu” burger
again. And you know I’d save the last bite for my new lunch
companion!

 

Bulldog Ben, respecting all of my

furry friends today just a bit more…

 

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

Bulldog Was So Happy When He Realized

Bulldog Was So Happy When He Realized

Well, you see, I was up a bit after midnight last night. Oops, that would be a bit after midnight this morning, to be more accurate. Up baking scratch cornbread muffins.

And it made me so frickin’ happy when I realized that the shoe box-size leftover container that I sometimes use to store cutlery is the perfect size for six muffins when you bust ’em out of the muffin pan!

Not at all sure what that means about my thoroughly mundane life, but it was just about two steps short of complete ecstasy when I realized that and starting tossing the still-warm muffins in, thereby fulfilling their obvious destiny!

Doesn’t take much to make me happy these days! I guess that’s not a bad thing…

 

Still smiling in Orlando, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

 

Going to Winn Dixie for Milk, Beer, Pepsi and a Baby Sitter!

Going to Winn Dixie for Milk, Beer, Pepsi and a Baby Sitter!

I’ve just got to post today about a memory that came up recently for me; it’s about going through the super market with your kids–looking for babysitters.

Our youngest had very curly, very red hair and people noticed him when we were out in public. In those days, there obviously was no craigslist, so if you needed sitters–which we did for our brood of three–church was option one but the grocery store was option two! (And, yes, sons one and two were terribly cute, as well!)

Here’s how that worked: once we were in the check out line, the cashier would, without fail, notice little Benji sitting in the cart and say “oh, that little guy is sooooo cute!” And I would say “he sure is! How would you like to baby sit him?” And we got three different sitters for Benji and his two big bros that way, including Traci, who was with us for almost a year. She didn’t stop sitting for us until she got a job interning for then Florida Senator Paula Hawkins.

Back in the ’80s, grocery stores pretty much filled cashier jobs with young women who were of baby sitting age. This technique would probably not work so well these days. I go back to when many young men made money by mowing lawns and their sisters often baby sat. There are many, many more ways to make part-time money now, but back in the ’80s when our kids were small, the local supermarket was a great place to find new–and good–sitters for those darling kids at home.

With this little walk down memory lane, I am,

Bulldog Ben Basile

© 2017 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

You’ve GOT to Love Libraries, Folks!

You’ve GOT to Love Libraries, Folks!

Bulldog loves libraries. Has his whole life.

If you’re reading this and you have a library card, good on you.

If you don’t, today could be your day! It just so happens that September is “National Get a Library Card Month” and I can point the way.

Folks who, like me, reside in Orange County can follow this handy link. The fine folks at the Orange Co. Library System will be happy to hook you up!

Happy reading. And viewing. And enjoying the educational and life-enriching activities available only through our public libraries.

 

Long-time library lover, I am,

Bulldog Ben Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

The Road Construction Project That Wouldn’t Die!

The Road Construction Project That Wouldn’t Die!

One of the things you get used to pretty quickly around metro Orlando is that we have road construction going on constantly. The project to improve I-4 is the mac-daddy one happening now. I’m not going to whine about that one, not at all. You can actually see the progress when cruising along I-4.

The one that I’d nominate for Worst Road Project in Metro O’do would be the job to widen/improve the intersection of John Young Pkwy and Sand Lake Rd. (Yeah, there should be an award called “WRPiMO”, shouldn’t there?)

It’s a major snafu. It makes it nearly impossible to get in or out of a major shopping complex used by locals and visitors alike; and it’s been going on for way.too.long.

When you cruise around this accursed intersection, you might not see any work being done. When you see that happening–or NOT happening, I should say–it can be very vexing, to say the least. Orange County needs to light a fire under this contractor.

When you do see work, it’s just one or two crews, and never more than two or three front end loaders. I’ve never seen a project inching towards completion like this one. And I’m over it. Completely over it.

I’m not daft enough to think that my rant today on this obscure blog will change anything. But I do feel better for getting it out of my system. Until the next time I have to go that way, that is!

Wherever you’re heading today, I hope it’s all sunshine and green lights! Little-to-no traffic, happy police with no quotas to fill and NO effin road construction!

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

Fox News pulled off the air in Britain – Aug. 29, 2017

Bulldog writes: I definitely have mixed feelings on hearing this news: on the one hand, it’s very good that folks in the UK won’t be hearing the constant half-truths, distortions and complete lies that come on Fox Noise. But on the other hand, it’s one more bit of evidence that the Brits are way smarter than us Yanks! They just wouldn’t take the bait. Final thought: the timing was great! For me, it’s the best birthday present EVER! <Smile!> Details right here:

Rupert Murdoch and his sons are pulling Fox News off the air in Britain.

Source: Fox News pulled off the air in Britain – Aug. 29, 2017