Mr. Gator Hangin’ Around at the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands in Brevard County

Mr. Gator Hangin’ Around at the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands in Brevard County

Saw this gator playing peek-a-boo among some aquatic plants. Had my trusty camera at the ready, so I got off a shot or three. I’m liking ’em and thought I’d pass some of them along.

Before too long I had a chance to get Mr. Gator up close and personal as we used to say. Here’s one that I think fits into this post quite well.



And, of course, when I say “up close and personal”, I’m talking about the magic of my zoom feature and NOT about me creeping through the wetlands hoping to get much closer to my scaled, reptilian friend…

I got quite a few shots today at this cool spot and some of them are totally blog worthy. I’ll be posting later with more of those.

One of the things that made this trip especially fun is that I wasn’t trying to get to this “new” spot at all. (Of course, by that I mean new to me.) I just happened to stumble across it while cruising on a stretch of Wickham Road which was unfamiliar to me.

Ol’ Bulldog is so set in his ways that he rarely does things in that fashion; but he liked the way it all turned out, so he’s all about spontaneous fun now! Well, okay, he’ll try to do a bit more of that, at least…

I hope you’re doing some outdoor stuff. Here in the Sunshine State, it’s pretty damn hot, but there are still plenty of cool things to do all up and down this state. You just have to make sure you bring along the goofy straw hat, sun block, shades and something to drink. Yeah, that’s the formula!

And, of course, be sure to bring along your camera!


“Bulldog Ben” back home in Orlando


Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile


It’s June 1st and I Have No Idea How We Got Here

It’s June 1st and I Have No Idea How We Got Here

It’s a given that the farther we are along life’s path, the more time appears to accelerate. I’m thinking that most of this is a matter of perception. But it still blows ol’ Bulldog’s mind that June 1st is here.

How did we get here so quickly? How is it that 2017 is hurtling by at warp speed? Where does the time go? Where has my life gone?

I know I’m not the lone ranger here; lots of folks who, like me, have survived for six decades or better get into this psychological space with regularity. But still, my head is whirling around and it truly seems like something is terribly wrong in the universe.

I’ll get over it. I’ll most likely be in this space again, though, as we get close to the end of this year. When those year-in-review things begin, I always feel like I’m on some inner precipice, staring into the abyss of time and feeling like I’ll fall over the edge at any moment.

I suppose one strategy to deal with this is to live one’s life in such a way as to make the most of each fleeting moment. And to prioritize our lives so that we spend the most of those finite moments doing the things that matter most. I get it. Doing that each day does not come easily for me, but that is the goal.

Meanwhile, I’d be so grateful if the Chronos and his minions would please, please, oh please just slow the whole damn thing down just a wee bit. Please!

Red Nose Day is Tomorrow! Better Get Your Nose!

Red Nose Day is Tomorrow! Better Get Your Nose!

It’s just about here. Tomorrow, May 24th is indeed Red Nose Day and remember it’s all to benefit kids.

Many different businesses and people are participating in the very cool fundraising event. Here in Central Florida, folks often associate the well-known pharmacy chain Walgreens with Red Nose Day as they’re doing some great publicity for it and their stores are the easiest way for folks to get their nose.

Some may not be clear on exactly where the funds raised are going. The answer is Save The Children and that’s an org I support without reservation. The specific objective for this promotion is to end child poverty. Yeah, I know; that’s a tall order. All the more reason to support this event.

I first came to support Save the Children from a door to door solicitor. Although I had reservations about whether S.T.C. would raise money that way, they do, and I’m glad I chipped in. (By the way, I don’t know if they still do, but they did in 2014.)

If you’re in Central Florida and you’d like to participate, go to any Walgreens and get your nose on. Literally.

I didn’t realize that they’ve been doing R.N.D. for 25 years now. If  you want to know more about this very worthy event, just follow this link.

I’ll see you tomorrow! And if I do, we both should be looking a bit like my friend Alli from Slow and Low Barbecue in Cocoa Beach!




“Bulldog Ben” Basile


Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile


Fave Fotos: Crow with Attitude at The Brevard Zoo

Fave Fotos: Crow with Attitude at The Brevard Zoo

And speaking of the Brevard Zoo! That Fave Foto is a pic I love from my trip to the Brevard Zoo three or four weeks ago that I think is well worth a look. This dude has a ‘tude, wouldn’t you say?

That was a very fun and productive trip; the critters — for the most part — were very cooperative, the weather was perfect and I saw some new things I couldn’t have seen in previous trips. What’s not to like? (Well, the zip line damn near killed me, but it was still fun!)

I hope your hump day is going well. I’ll be posting again before long. I just might have more to say about that totally exhausting but totally fun zip line adventure…


“Bulldog Ben” Basile


Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile


Bulldog Really, Really Loves the Brevard Zoo

Bulldog Really, Really Loves the Brevard Zoo

I really love going to the zoo. I’ve been to four zoological parks in the last couple of years. And even though I can say I liked them all, I must add that the Brevard Zoo in Melboure is definitely my favorite.

One advantage they have over some other parks is that it was well-planned right from the very beginning. Some parks expand gradually and that’s a whole ‘nother thing, as the saying goes. So the B.Z. offers more than many of the others and each area or attraction flows naturally into the next one.

There are two different boat rides where visitors can get a different perspective on each area and the featured critters. Many zoos have one, having two here is very cool. And the train ride is lots of fun. Below is the rider’s view from the front train car. Because this visit was in late October of 2015, close to Halloween, they called it “the boo-choo train!” How cute is that?!


A highlight at any zoo is seeing the primates; the monkeys, orang-utans, chimps and so forth; the Brevard Zoo is the only one I’ve visited that features the Siamang. This species looks to this layman something like a scaled down gorilla and I find them terribly interesting. They’re a type of gibbon and are native to Malaysia, Thailand, and Sumatra. They’re deathly afraid of water and can’t swim at all, so in that particular exhibit, zoo-goers are pretty close to the animals as the not-so-large moat is all that separates you from a siamang; there is no high fence.

There is an exhibit that features animals — and even botanical specimens — from the Caribbean and it’s no surprise that the zoo folk who designed this part of the park chose to wrap a pirate theme around it. I can’t remember any of the critters feature there, but here’s a couple of shots of mine that I like especially from the part of the park.


If you have small children, there is a splash pad here, right behind the pizza place. All zoos seem to have these, and it’s something parents of small kids like. They have a challenge course with very good and very high zip lines; that’s a fine addition, I must say. It is a separate business with a separate admission charge. You can do the zoo and not the zip lines or vice-versa. It’s a very full day if you or the kids opt for both. I did the zips and lived to tell the tale! They are NOT for the faint of heart! I just had to buy the tee shirt that says I got through the course!

One thing to add: I’m an annual pass holder and think it’s a very good value. If you’ve never gone that route, please know this: if you hold an annual pass to any accredited zoo, you receive half off when you visit any other one! I love that; it’s just one more reason to patronize a zoo in your neck of the woods.


Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile


Knights Knocked Out of AAC Softball Championship Tourney by Lowly East Carolina

Knights Knocked Out of AAC Softball Championship Tourney by Lowly East Carolina

Last Thursday the softball squad from East Carolina eliminated our UCF Knights on day one of the conference championship tourney. I love and support the Knights but that was a huge disappointment for me. UCF was the no. 3 seed; E.C. was in the AAC cellar before the tournament. Perhaps being the host team helped the Pirates kick it up a notch or two.

The Knights finished with a 29-23 record for the 2017 campaign; it was not a bad season considering how young the squad is and that one has to consider it to have been a rebuilding year.

Yes, die-hard fans like me can look forward to the next few years now that the team has more maturity. There certainly is no lack of talent. And coach Rene Luers-Gillispie and her staff are very good at what they do. But the quick exits from the American Athletic Conference the last two years have dampened this dog’s enthusiasm just a bit.

Damn, what a whiner I am! #ChargeOn, Knights fans!


Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile


Supreme Court won’t review decision that found N.C. voting law discriminates against African Americans – The Washington Post

<Ben says>

This is a follow up to my posting back on Sept 6th of last year looking into efforts by North Carolina’s Republican legislature to suppress the minority vote. Because the Supreme Court will NOT review the lower court’s decision, this clearly racist and undemocratic act is officially dead. We can breathe a sigh of relief now. But know that even though Rethuglicans have lost the governorship in NC, they still control both houses of the legislature and they are not going to stop trying to keep minorities from showing up at the polls.


Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. cited the state’s changed political scene in the order and noted the justices’ did not address the merits of the case.

Source: Supreme Court won’t review decision that found N.C. voting law discriminates against African Americans – The Washington Post