No Huge Cinco de Mayo Party

It’s only the 5th of May for 15 more minutes here in Florida and I’m posting with a quick thought or two about the occasion.

The celebration is not about Mexican Independence. It is about the Mexican victory at the Battle of Puebla which pitted Mexican forces under the command of General Ignacio Zaragoza against a detachment of French Foreign Legionaries.

On the very same day that General Zaragoza’s troops repelled the French Legion, the Battle of Williamsburg was raging here in Virginia, a not-insignificant engagement in our own Civil War.

Be that as it may, for many of us Anglos, Cinco de Mayo is just a really good reason to enjoy a banquete mejicano and quaff a Dos Equis. Or two.

Well, I’m at the stage in life where those things still seem awfully cool, but I’m not too excited about the noise, the crowds and the pretty hefty price tag that usually come along with the party.

For me, tonight was pretty low-key, merely a host and a toast! A little bit of chips and salsa, one margarita and some wonderful conversation.

And no expense for me, the only guest.

For what more could anyone ask on Cinco de Mayo?

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

© 2019 Ben Lawrence Basile

Today is National Arbor Day

Today is National Arbor Day

More trees, please!

Many folks and environmentally-focused organizations will be out planting trees today. I would love to be among them, but another evening at work is going to be my fate today.

I think it’s a very good thing that there is a day set aside for trees and the planting of trees. Setting my sights on next year. A little prior-planning should do the trick.

The banner photo is one of three majestic oaks that live right outside the apartment where I was living in 2015 and ’16. The view from my patio was just breathtaking.

If you’d like to know more about National Arbor Day, just follow this link.

Hug a tree today, nature lover!

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

Today is Common Courtesy Day!

Yes, it is! So I wanted to put up this quick post and invite my vast readership to be really, really courteous today.

What?! You’re already doing that, 365 days a year?

Me, too!

So, here’s my fall-back plan: if you see anyone acting discourteously today, kindly tell them what day it is, ask them to forego being all mean and stuff and let them know they’re all-good to begin acting the fool again effective tomorrow!

Just make sure you do so in a very, very courteous way!

 

Your paragon of total courtesy, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

National Drink Wine Day 2019

National Drink Wine Day 2019

I’ll bet most of you didn’t know that today’s the day! 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!

Sometime after 5 O’Clock, I’ll be doing 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 Monday is a fine day for you; I’ll be checking in again in the near future with another post of monumental importance!

 

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

PS: I did have some thoughts on the fact that N.D.W.D. falls on the same day as Presidents Day this year, but I’m gonna keep all that to myself! Now where’s that Mascato? 

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

The 3rd is not too late to…

The 3rd is not too late to…

Today is the 3rd of January and that is not too late to send along New Year’s wishes to my friends here on da bulldog blog!

There’s no doubt that 2019 is going to be a very significant year. Although I don’t have a crystal ball, I think this nascent year is going to be a mixed bag, so to speak, but a year of great consequence.

I’m expecting some good things. Some really, really good things, in fact. I’m certain that the United States will have a new President in 2019. And well before year’s end.

And I’m quite sure we’re going to see some seriously bad events in the next 12 months. Many economists and pundits who cover that facet of human activity are saying that all the signs of a serious impending recession are right there for us to see.

I hasten to add that I’m hoping the economists and prognosticators are wrong about that. But the signs are not good.

Now let me get back to my original purpose for this post: I wish all my friends and folks who follow this humble blog a most happy, safe and prosperous New Year!

We will see a lot of change. I’m persuaded that a lot of those changes will be wonderfully, amazingly good.

I’m concerned that many will fall all the way on the other end of the spectrum.

But regardless of exactly how the year unfolds, I wish with all my heart that you’ll be smiling 50 weeks from now as 2019 draws to a close.

 

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Ben is not the owner of the banner photo and believes it to be covered by Fair Use.

This Christmas is not the same

This Christmas is not the same

It’s Christmas Eve as I write this and I’m in an unusual frame of mind. I can best describe my mood as peaceful and grateful but with an undercurrent of unease permeating my emotional landscape.

I’m not a traditional kind of Christian. Over the last 20 years or so, I’ve morphed into what might be best described as an ethical Christian. Don’t buy into the heaven and hell stuff but believe strongly that the teachings and life of Jesus are a shining and unique example of how people should live.

The meaning of Christmas and the feelings it brings for many of us are still a very big deal for me. It gives me a real feeling of hope for weeks leading up the Christmas Day itself. I typically walk around feeling that peace-and-goodwill-to-men sentiment pretty strongly, with carols playing in my head all the while.

But this year, it’s different.

This year, there is a dark, ominous cloud hanging over those tidings of great joy.

It seems so foreboding that as we celebrate the coming of God’s divine life living among us, our National life is being sullied and our collective peace has been torn apart by a hateful and dangerous demagogue.

The peace and goodwill part of the Christmas message rings hollow with a hateful and ego-driven man whose creed in life is to hit back ten times harder if offended or slighted purporting to lead our country.

A man who lashes out with fury and vitriol at any perceived offense or even when someone simply fails to sufficiently stoke his ego or sing his praises.

Reading of daily outbursts of that sort at this formerly-glorious time of year does tend to spoil the happy remembrances of the angels’ song. I’m not hearing that hope-filled message of the Christ-child coming to earth, being born of a simple, humble maiden.

The angels, shepherds, oxen and lamb keep the sacred, awe-filled vigil as… as the rage-filled, spiteful, revenge-obsessed man-baby plots to sew more chaos throughout his kingdom and to silence and humiliate the critics, the non-believers who recoil from his twisted message or dare to resist his reign of vitriol and hate.

The story of the divine child in the manger is crowded out by the advent of this modern-day Herod who forces the infant to prematurely flee to Egypt, with Mary and Joseph cutting short their sojourn in the sacred stable, riding away on the ox that witnessed the Holy Nativity.

In my heart-of-hearts, I can’t see the Divine One swaddled and laying peacefully in that humble altar of wood and straw; I can’t hear the Christmas message of the word-made-flesh; I cannot feel the dawning of a new era of peace, hope and reconciliation.

I can only feel the hot breath of hate, the elevation of cruelty to the highest stratum of heaven and the gathering of the sinister storm which will pull the curtains from the temple, exile the children of promise and sully every teaching, every precept of goodwill, righteousness and reconciliation.

This Christmas is different. This Christmas is filled with a sense of fear and foreboding. This Christmas is sullied by selfishness and scorn; despoiled by a new advent of greed and cruelty.

This year the hopeful message of Christmas is drowned out by the droning of a baleful message of division, heartlessness and hate.

Child of the manger, deliver us from this darkness and despair! Grant a new dawn of hope among all people of goodwill, all who still listen to hear the angels’ song!

 

Ben Lawrence Basile

© 2018 Benjamin Basile

 

Featured artwork by Dona Gelsinger.