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.

Make ’em, don’t bake ’em!

Make ’em, don’t bake ’em!

You may not have realized that today is a very special day, but it is!

It’s National Cookie Day! Yes, I do keep my eye on such things!

Yes, you’re very welcome!

I made cookies in honor of N.C.D., and they’re my total favorites. They’re a chocolate, peanut butter and oatmeal cookie!

And it’s a no-bake recipe!

I know that some of you may not have realized that there are ways to make cookies–and very good ones, at that–without firing up the oven at all.

But there are ways! And I’m quite serious when I say that this is my fav cookie recipe, bar none!

I hope you’ve done something special for this celebration! You might be like me and enjoy home baking.

If that’s not the way to go today, why not stop by your favorite bakery and come back with a dozen delights of your choosing?

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a celebration to get to! I just need to pour a glass of milk and I’ll be good to go!

 

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Today is the day! And I certainly do want to wish one and all a most happy Thanksgiving Day!

As I write this, I’m reminded that I do have much for which to be grateful. It’s a pretty long list, but suffice to say life has treated me pretty well.

I’m so aware today that many folks have not had fortune smile on them much; my thoughts go out to them today.

I’m thinking that most of you will, at some time today, reflect on your blessings. That’s a good thing. And not only on this day that invites us, so to speak, to do that.

It’s a good habit to cultivate throughout the year.

 

Feeling grateful today, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

 

The banner photo is not Ben’s. He believes it to be covered under Fair Use.

 

Let’s Celebrate! Catnip for everyone!

Let’s Celebrate! Catnip for everyone!

I’m happy to let you know that today is National Cat Day!

I’m a long-time admirer and lover of cats. And although I don’t have one sharing my life now, I’ve been exploring ways to get a cat back into the picture for some time.

The main reason this day was declared is to highlight the need to adopt cats all over our feline-loving nation. That job goes on every day of the year, of course, but focusing on that today would be a very good thing indeed.

If you’d like to visit a site that’s all about giving a forever home to one of our furry friends, here’s a link to adoptapet.com where you can learn more, see some very cute specimens of felinity and even get the wheels turning if you’re ready.

And if you’re not familiar with AdoptaPet.com, they are the largest non-profit agency in America devoted to adopting homeless cats and dogs.

Enjoy National Cat Day! And if you’re already sharing your life with Whiskers, Tigger or Smokey, give ’em an extra ear-scratchin’ for me, would you?

 

 

Cat-fancier “Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Featured photo of Riley B. Kitty by Benjamin Basile

 

 

 

Only One Breakfast Choice Today

Only One Breakfast Choice Today

I found out last night that today is National Pancake Day. So, of course, this puppy was going to have pancakes for breakfast no matter what!

As it turned out, I had no milk in the house, so I ended up at my favorite eatery in the whole wide world. That would be Cracker Barrel.

Here’s the disclosure: I do work there, so you might think that’s what’s behind my glowing recommendation.

But that’s not the case. I did not come to love it after working there; I work there because I loved the place.

I love everything about it. The food, the distinctive Southern theme and ambience. The consistently excellent service. Love it all.

And the yummy pancakes are a part of that!

Now, it doesn’t matter at all how or where you celebrate National Pancake Day! I care not one whit about that. IHOP and Perkins would also be excellent choices today!

But you must shove pancake matter and some awesome flavor of syrup into your pie hole before the clock strikes midnight!

You simply must!

And if you’re not sure where you want to get in on the fun, remember Cracker Barrel is open until 10 PM and we serve breakfast right up until we turn off the grill!

 

 

Full of pancakes and contentment, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Additional note: this blog posting is based on my own impressions and opinions of a well-known and well-loved American restaurant chain and is not any kind of official communication from CBOCS Inc.

 

© 2018 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile