Fave Fotos: Two Fish Friends

Fave Fotos: Two Fish Friends

This photo of two fish hangin’ out together is a 2016 shot of mine taken at the Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Florida. I’ve always liked it and thought I’d feature it on the blog today. It matches the languid, lazy feel of this fine Sunday afternoon.

Have not visited the Brevard Zoo in a few months. I’ll be getting back there soon.

I hope you’re enjoying this Sunday. Not too much of the weekend left. Mine has gone well.

Check in with you another time.

 

Bulldog Ben

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

Bulldog’s Journey Towards Rustic, Sustainable Living

Bulldog’s Journey Towards Rustic, Sustainable Living

Bulldog’s deep, dark secret: I have a huge interest in greener, simpler living and have wanted to live in a rustic setting for many years. Would go off grid tomorrow if I had all my preps made.

For some reason I haven’t had too much to say about that here on my blog. I’ve done something in the last 24 hours that will help me escape my typical suburban life and get closer to bringing to reality this long-held dream. I’ve launched a new twitter account focused like a laser on the stuff I think about a hundred times a day but rarely ever talk about: sustainability, rustic or off grid living, homesteading, micro farming and the like! Throw in home brewing, raising chickens, and on and on!

I could go on about why I’ve mostly kept all of this locked up in my over-worked brain but that truly would be fodder for another post. The important thing is that the foot-dragging is over and I’m on my way to making this thing real.

Now as far as how a new twitter account is an important first step, it’s true I’ve been on Twitter for a very long time. But my main focus there is political stuff. And I’m thinking that the folks I’ve linked up with on twitter about politics and so on may or may not be into my love for going green and living in a 340 sq ft shack in the woods! So it seemed like a new and separate account in the Twitterverse was the way to go. (Not kosher with Twitter’s TOS, but we’ll ignore that for the moment!)

If you’re on twitter and you’d like to “hook up” over green stuff and rustic/small living, would love to see you on that platform. Click on this next link and you’ll land on my teensie-tiny little home in the vast wilderness of twitter! Or anytime you’re on twitter, just search @sustainable4me and you’ll also find me. Would love to see you over there!

I will have a lot more to say about these very cool–and very trendy–subjects here on my blog in the near future. Because of my limited financial means I’ve been acting as though I’d never actually be able to make any of those hopes and dreams real. And I’m going to stop letting such baleful thoughts “drive the bus!” Whether I get my life arranged the way I’d like or not remains to be seen. But I damn sure would never get it done if I waited until I could concoct some perfect effin plan in my head! I know it doesn’t work like that so I’m off on that journey!

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

Photo description: that’s the Florida Cracker Cabin found at the Barberville Pioneer Settlement in Barberville, Florida. B’ville is about 25 mins north of Deland.

 

 

Pine Island Glacier: Manhattan-sized Antarctica iceberg breaks off

Ben writes: there are fresh stories in the media every day about the very serious changes happening on our planet because of climate change. Here’s another one. If you’re listening to what climate scientists are saying on the subject, here’s one more piece of evidence. If you’re a skeptic, let me encourage you to stop getting your information from sources tied to corporate interests or right-wing politicians lining their pockets with money from those corporate interests. We’re at the point where kicking the can down the road threatens our very survival.

The break comes two months after a 2,200 square-mile piece of ice detached from Antarctica in July.

Source: Pine Island Glacier: Manhattan-sized Antarctica iceberg breaks off

Irma Has Fallen Apart and Florida is Recovering

Irma Has Fallen Apart and Florida is Recovering

Hurricane Irma blew through my part of Florida in the wee hours of Monday morning. The peak winds for us in the Orlando area came around 1:20 AM. Yes, I was up and I couldn’t keep from watching my NE facing window since that was the main direction from which those vicious winds were coming.

No serious damage here, but we did have several smallish trees in large planters blown over and lost a large limb on the big oak in the back yard. (See photo above.) I say “large limb” and I mean about 10-12″ across; that’s a good-sized limb. Big enough that removing it is going to take a rope and a crew of two or three. It was right on the property line and will almost certainly fall into the adjoining neighbor’s back yard when cut free. (Its fall was arrested by other, lower limbs.)

On Thursday morning I’m going to remove another good-sized limb from the neighbor’s yard on the east side. My roomie and I estimate that it will take about two weeks to get all of the yard debris to the curb for collection. It’s not an afternoon or two of work. And this yard is not as big as some. But a lot of growth since the last big storm.

I’m the newest tenant here but because I have a lot of tree experience and love doing this kind of work, I’m in the middle of the clean up effort. The primary tenant has been here for 17 years so she’s definitely the committee chair; the owner is in Naples, which took the full effects of Irma’s wrath, so we’re going to do what’s got to be done without having to get him to redirect his attention from what is almost certainly a huge task as far as getting his own domicile squared away. The structure seems to have weathered all of this in fine form, but trees, shrubs and cacti are going to need considerable attention.

Because I’ve been in Florida since 1961, I have been through many, many hurricanes. Riding out a storm is not too big a deal, but I certainly will admit that I don’t sleep a wink if the damn thing happens to come through my part of the state in the wee hours. No doubt some folks can sleep just fine when storms blow through; I’m not one of them.

Let me point out that always “keeping one eye open” for the approach of danger is an example of an evolutionarily positive trait. Meaning that those who have that trait are more likely to reproduce and therefore pass along that trait. Being a light sleeper in hazardous conditions is a very good thing! Let the record show that Ol’ Bulldog does indeed possess that trait!

Damage to trees and shrubs was the worst for my house mates and me. But many in Florida were not so fortunate. Well over half of our state’s utility customers were left with no power; as of 11:00 PM today, Sept 12th, about a third of all Floridians are still toting flashlights and burning candles. Although cell service and internet connections were disrupted here, we kept our lights on throughout. Good to have fortune smile on us on that score, to be sure!

The death toll in the Sunshine State stands at 12 as I write this and will almost certainly go higher. Irma was no wimpy storm and we’re certainly relieved now that she’s gone up the road a ways and ultimately fallen apart. We know that some of her siblings will be heading this way; some, perhaps, before this year’s hurricane season wraps up.

We’re Floridians; we’ll be ready.

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

Irma and Rush Limpbag: The Two BIG Blowhards Plaguing Florida Right Now!

Just when you thought Ben was going to write up another cool camping trip or beach outing…

Sorry folks! Those cool, upbeat postings about trips to our amazing state parks in the Sunshine State are gonna have to wait! Right now as I’m sitting at my desk awaiting the extreme winds and rain we’re about to get from Hurricane Irma, this came to my attention through a friend’s Facebook posting.

The granddaddy of all right-wing nut-jobs,  #RushLimpbag, has said some really outrageous stuff lately. Blogger Joe Kloc distilled a boatload of it into a piece for Harper’s Magazine recently and it’s just breath-taking. And yes, it includes the well-circulated drivel about how Hurricanes aren’t as bad as forecasters and government officials say, blah, blah, blah…

No doubt you’ve heard how that part of the story ends; yeah, Rush evacuated his Palm Beach home yesterday. Guess he didn’t want to get washed into the sea by one of those fake waves!

But there’s so much more than just stuff about hoaxes and hurricanes! Wanna see just how big a nut-job Mr Limpbag truly is? Pass your eyes over this garbage!

To those of you who are also hunkered down in Florida: I hope you and yours ride out this nasty storm in fine fashion. Mother Nature is pissed. And I can’t say as I blame her. We’re just going to have to endure her wrath for the next few days and hope that we’ll see her smile on us again before too long.

Whoa! That last remark was probably not the smartest way to wrap up a blog posting! What with Cat 5 Hurricane Jose waiting in the on-deck circle and all of that…

 

Growing weary of the rushing winds from Limbaugh’s pie hole, I am,

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

Yes, It’s September and Football Season Is Starting!

Yes, It’s September and Football Season Is Starting!

I always associate two awesome things with September: the arrival of (slightly) cooler temps and the start of football season.

College football is underway already. This is the first full week of football and tomorrow is a monster game that I’ll be watching no matter what else is going on in the world: FSU and Alabama! It’s gonna be a barn-burner, for sure!

The Pros have been in preseason but starting on this Thursday night, it’s all for real! The Pats and the Chiefs kick off the REAL season on TNF and I’m gonna be tuned in for sure!

I hope you’re enjoying September’s arrival at this moment and that you’re looking forward to good things as we wait for the official arrival of Autumn in about three weeks. We’ll get to see the mercury drop and the hopes of Tampa Bay Buc’s fans rise! Well, that’s the plan, anyway!

 

 

Bulldog Ben Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

 

Hurricane Harvey Hits Houston and It’s Not Over Yet!

Hurricane Harvey Hits Houston and It’s Not Over Yet!

As all of you know, the metro Houston area and a large chunk of East Texas is in very bad shape after being laid low by Harvey. This storm has poured a truly biblical amount of rain on east Texas and–incredibly, now three days down the road–more rain is on the way.

This is the worst damage to a major U.S. city since Katrina walloped New Orleans exactly 12 years ago today. I’m sure I’m not the only American having “Katrina flashbacks” today; it all seems a bit surreal.

The irony in this situation is that many who fled Katrina went to the Houston area. So quite a few folks are really in “full flashback mode” as I write this; I have no idea how many, but Houston did receive a lot of “weather refugees” after Katrina barreled through.

It’s natural to wonder how you might be able to help people who go through disasters like Harvey. If you’d like to be of assistance to the victims of Nature’s fury this time, just follow this link.

I have many family members in the East Texas Region. I’m happy to say that they’re all a bit further inland where it’s merely high water and localized flooding, but not the displacement of thousands like the citizens of Houston have seen. But it’s one reason why I’ve kept an eye on what’s going on out there. And it’s a big deal for the country in general; Houston is the fourth-largest city in the U.S., after all.

Hope you’re high and dry as I write this. Check in with you later.

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo of Hurricane Katrina from NOAA now in the Public Domain