What next? Bill Gates has some thoughts

Like so many of us, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the last few weeks wondering how our current devastating health crisis is going to affect our lives going forward. 

Our lives and our collective life, together, on this planet.

I just came across an article laying out some of  Bill Gate’s thoughts about where we might be heading and it sounded very plausible to me.

I’ve always respected Bill Gates for his obvious business acumen and the visionary way he led Microsoft in its formative period.  

And I certainly laud Bill and Melinda for taking a wide world view and for their extraordinary philanthropy.

I think his thoughts about the COVID-19 crisis here deserve a very wide reading and I recommend this article for anyone who’d like to read some cogent and well-informed thoughts on where we might be heading.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Getting the Starter STARTED!

Getting the Starter STARTED!

One of the projects I’ve wanted to get done — especially while we all have a lot of time on our hands — is to get sourdough starter actually started!

It’s on the counter now and with daily feedings it should be ready to make bread in a week or so. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, but beyond that it’s really hard to find yeast in the grocery stores right now.

I will let you know how this project goes. If any of you have made sourdough starter and want to share your tips with me, that would be good thing.

I’m looking forward to actually baking the bread. If I’m doing this right, I should be good to go in the next week or so.

I love to bake and this will be a new wrinkle for me. Getting yeast this way — which is sometimes called “wild” yeast — is a step, I think, in becoming a “real” baker.

Not that I haven’t already paid my dues!

Hope your Saturday is going well! And I hope that you’re finding good things to do while you’re staying in.

“Baker Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

Looking for Lost Apples

Looking for Lost Apples

Did you know that there was a group of dedicated botanists and nature nuts who spend a lot of time scouring the American northwest looking for lost apples?

Well, I didn’t either!

But there is and I just found out about these folks and the work of the Lost Apple Project by reading an article I found in a friend’s tweet.

It’s by far the most interesting thing I’ve found while web-surfing for quite a while.

It was from reading that article that I learned that North America once had around 17,000 named varieties of apples and that botanists believed that all but around 4,500 had disappeared.

And folks who work with the non-profit Lost Apple Project have been trying to find, identify and preserve as many of those lost varieties as possible.

It came as very welcome news that they’ve had quite a bit of success this year; the article mentioned that they’ve come across at least ten varieties this season that were previously thought to have been lost.

Being the ardent nature-lover that I am, it was such a good thing to hear that the L.A.P. has been very successful of late. You might say that 2020 has been a very fruitful year for the folks at the Project!

To read the article in its entirety, follow this link.

And here’s a link to the Facebook page for the Lost Apple Project.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

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

It’s World Health Day

It’s World Health Day

The 7th of April is World Health Day each year. It’s always a good time to show appreciation to our health care professionals but it seems all the more appropriate now that COVID-19 is ravaging our world.

Nurses have been there for me in a big way the four times I’ve been hospitalized. One of those involved major surgery and — although that was a very big deal — the care I received from nurses, doctors and techs made a tough situation bearable.

I’m thinking that most of the folks who may read this could say something similar.

I know that many of us have been watching more news than usual while we’re in the middle of this crisis. I certainly have.

It’s striking to me that many in the field — nurses especially — are literally laying their lives on the line to care for their patients.

If you know a nurse — or anyone in the health care field — now would be a good time to show your appreciation for all they do.

A good time to tell them of your appreciation.

A good time to possibly bring over a meal, to watch some children while Mom or Dad is putting in insane hours to care for us.

Especially if they’re living apart from family members now in order to lower the risk of inadvertently passing along a dreaded virus.

There are so many in that work dealing with a lot of really, really big challenges right now.

I’m so grateful today for our health care professionals. And I’m most certainly going to make it a point to speak those words of appreciation whenever I can.

Ben Lawrence Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Header Photo from DailyNurse.com

Serenity is a Full Moon

Serenity is a Full Moon

Like all of you, I’ve been a bit stressed in the last month or so. And I was really looking for something that would help me banish the stress-monster for a moment or two.

About 30 minutes ago, I noticed that a beautiful full moon had just popped over the neighbor’s house. So I grabbed my trusty Canon and took the pic that’s now living at the top of this post.

I hope you’re feeling alright on this lovely night. I’m not exactly a paragon of serenity, but I’m feeling better than I was a little while ago.

And there’s nothing wrong with that!

“Moondog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

You Can’t Go to the Zoo Today

You Can’t Go to the Zoo Today

Going to zoos is — without a doubt — one of my most favorite ways to spend an afternoon.

But, as you know well, it’s something we just can’t do today.

Fortunately, I’ve been to zoos many, many times and have some good photos of those visits.

Today’s banner photo is a pic from a 2017 trip to the Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Florida. It’s a pic I like a lot.

I’m delighted to be able to say that I went on four different outdoor adventures in the last three months, while we could do such things without fear of compromising our own or others’ health.

And, yes, I’ve got plenty of photos!

So I will be posting about said adventures soon.

So the fine foto of my feathered friend above is the latest pic from one of my nature excursions.

And it most certainly will not be the last even if it takes me a while to escape the confines of my home!

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

Heroes Are on Their Way

Heroes Are on Their Way

There’s no doubt that the healthcare catastrophe the world is facing now generates almost unlimited bad news.

Like so many of us, when I read or hear good news, it’s a real ray of sunshine piercing through what seems like an impenetrably dark cloud.

I read a story yesterday that provided one of those occasional bright moments and I’m passing the story along today. I’m hopeful that it might provide a bit of relief to you while we’re dealing with this dark, unfolding tragedy.

As you most likely know, New York has been hard hit by the coronavirus. New York governor Andrew Cuomo is holding daily press briefings while his state and her medical professionals are straining to deal with the crisis.

He’s repeatedly appealed for more Doctors, Nurses and other professionals in the healthcare field to come to the aid of his beleaguered state.

A band of dedicated, compassionate professionals from Georgia heard those appeals and boarded a flight for New York yesterday.

I have no doubt that what these dedicated and selfless folks did yesterday made a lot of their hard-pressed colleagues smile.

If only for a few precious moments.

And it most definitely inspired me and brightened my day. At a time when I truly needed it.

I hope there are some moments of budding happiness for you and your loved ones today.

As I read and hear more about the crisis we’re facing, I look for those rays of sunshine.

I’m grateful that I’ve found a few.

And very grateful that we have people of compassion — like the ones who boarded that flight yesterday — while we endure this dreadful scourge together.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo courtesy of Southwest Airlines