THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

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In my hands again

Stopped to take a few images yesterday morning. A bit chilly and time was very limited but that is always the case so made the best of it. I’ve told myself I’d like to shoot more kids sports this summer. All activities really but I’ve wanted to do some baseball. And being today is Opening Day for HCYP I thought I’d go take a look at the fields.

Houston, we have a problem. Could I get someone to shovel the batting cage please.

Shovels to the batting cage please.
Photo by Mike Hartley

And we also might want to consider changing the color of the ball because if someone hits a grounder, we are going to have the first inside the infield home run. But don’t fret. Mother Nature will be taking care of these fields soon and the crack of the bat and snap of the glove and the joy of the kids playing will return. Remember parents, keep it under control. I know its hard, but your kids will be learning a good lesson on and off the field.

Plows to the field please. Well I guess its best to wait for mother nature.
Photo by Mike Hartley

So maybe you’re considering jetting south away from the snow. I know as I looked up at this plane streaking across the sky in a southward direction I seriously thought that this might be in the plans for the next winter season. Because I’m having summer withdrawal symptoms and I need some SUN and WARMTH. Its been far to long without them.

Snow on the trees, Grab a flight south.
Photo by Mike Hartley

But then if I’m down south in sunny Florida I’d be missing peaceful scenes like this on a snow-covered morning so I guess I’ll hang in Maryland another winter season.

Just past the neighborhood of Allenford on Rt 99.
Photo by Mike Hartley

All I know is that it felt good to have the camera in my hands again. But boy am I rusty. Got to get the mojo back. And half of that battle is attitude and mindset. The ability to open my eyes wide and keep the head on a swivel. Well enough of that. Got a guy coming to give me an estimate to take down several large trees. That is going to set me back.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I ended my day with a dentist appointment yesterday and started today off with one. Isn’t life just great? I can’t complain in that area though. Had very few problems with the choppers.

A person who needs advisors who only believe and support your position aren’t advisors, they are lap dogs.

I would go look at what the liar and chief has been up to, but I don’t want to get depressed.

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The Driveway is MINE

Yep, still able to get out with the shovel and clear the snow from the sidewalk and driveway. Also as usual, the first one done yesterday, even without a snow blower. Just a simple shovel and some labor. Timing was also perfect as snow ended about 10 minutes after I finished. I was kind of down yesterday. First time I didn’t see my daughter on her birthday. But in talking and trying FaceTime with her for the first time, it was ok.

Peace and quiet.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Well I played most of the weekend and didn’t really apply myself here or much at the homestead. You know what, I loved it. If you can’t enjoy life here and there, what is the point. But I did pick up the camera today for a few minutes and that felt good. I need that each day to get back in the swing again. And now that my work week is at its end. I can see what one might accomplish if one puts their mind and behind to it. Some have told me both of those are in the same place for me.

Random Thoughts of the Day

You know when you pour a coke over fresh ice it sounds like a wave rolling against the shore in Ocean city.

Snow on the first day of spring and the day after. Real nice.

I was disappointed my wife lumped me in with all men on my listening and remembering capabilities. I’ve clearly demonstrated I’m much better than average on some days and much worse than average on other days.

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Recovery Day

Spent the last two days (Thur/Fri) watching 24 hours of basketball with the boys. Great times, excitement with unexpected victories and crushing defeats filled the day and night. Ouch my head hurts,  and I don’t want to see any more food, are a few thoughts that leap to the space that used to be between my ears. Would like nothing more than to watch another batch of games today and tomorrow but life calls. But that two days with the guys is a real blast. So relaxing and fun. Lots of laughter, jumping out of the chair moments and a food orgy to go along with the duration of the events.

Life is just good sometimes. I enjoy the hell out of college basketball. Hope the rest of the tourney is as exciting as the first few days.

Well, it’s the wearing of the GREEN today. Happy St Patty’s day.

Luck in Writing
Photo by Mike Hartley

Actually today has been very productive. Got some vacation time with the family planned. One of the most important things of the year. The ability to spend some quality time with your children. This year we couldn’t time it with the rest of the in-laws but those things happen when you have so many people and schedules to work around but the core of this family is intact and scheduled.

Also got the some outdoor task done and a few things indoors so I didn’t waste the day away. And I do hope to make good use of the evening ahead with some creative efforts.

Random Thoughts of the Day

Someone close to Hillary should tell her to shut up, fade away into her senior years with Bill and only talk politics when they are taking walks alone in the woods. Otherwise I don’t want to hear it and neither do the people who are ready to move on from you and Daffy D. Two piss poor choices if there we’re ever a pair.

UMBC beats UVA.  You know that S__t happens is really true once in a while.

I have it. Someone call Loren Michaels now. The new Economic Advisor Trump has chosen Larry Kudlow looks like a dead ringer for Chevy Chase to play.

Always feels good to reserve the family vacation spot for a week.

For some reason I’m not looking forward to the coming work week.

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Rest and Time and Peace of Mind

I’m really trying to get my proper rest but its difficult at best and impossible on some days. Kind of always been that way for me. When I was younger it was fun and work. Middle age was kids and work. Now its pain and work. You know, looking back I could have had a lot more fun, seen my kids grow up and be in a lot less pain if I just dropped that work part.

But then, I wouldn’t have had the pleasure of meeting and working with so many brilliant and wonderful people, many of whom are good and best friends today because of decades of effort together professionally and now personally. I wouldn’t have been able to help my children have a normal upbringing and the opportunity to go to college and get a decent start in life. I wouldn’t have the roof over our heads today and a few crumbs to live on into our senior years if not for the work part.

Formation in fog.
Photo by Mike Hartley

So maybe I did what was needed. I know what I did in the first 3 decades of work was some physical stuff and that has part has a bit to do with the pain. For any hard work, takes a toll on the human body. But Companies are not sports franchises where the players/workers get treatments and have days off in between and off seasons and personal trainers. You come in every day no matter how you feel. You work hurt. You work in situations where you push beyond 100% and don’t have the rest cycle needed to recover and you do that every day of every month of every year.  I have one very close friend who has been at it (very physical work) for almost 5 decades and his body is a shell of the hardened steel beast it once was. The mind and knowledge and desire and signals to move and do are given but the reply from Scotty in engineering is “Captain, She canna take any more, captain.  She’s gonna blow!

The same can be said for the mental part of some of the jobs. Pressure, stress, deadlines, the bosses guarantee that something bad will NEVER happen. And then there are the positions where you are not only responsible for a team or group or a division or a branch but a VP or owner and responsible for many lives because they rely on your leadership, drive and knowledge. I know one well and I can tell you the mental part can be just as draining and dangerous and tough to recover from as the highly physical job.

Having two examples like that close to me and many more variations, combined with my own ways and history has taught me balance is what you strive for but seldom achieve along the way but if your lucky to live a long life and learn when you have put in your hard time and can start to appreciate other things besides a long day at the job, then that is the reward for the many decades of dedication. And if you haven’t screwed up too bad along the way getting there you might be blessed to still have your family and friends by your side.

I’ve never been one to sleep long periods anyway. In some ways I always felt like I was coming up short and had to do more to just stay even. Probably because I never applied myself in school and had to buck up along the way. Regardless, there might be a few things I change along the way. I needed to put more effort into my marriage. I needed to do more with my children. And I needed to do more for others.

Time isn’t managed, it’s what you make of it. Some days I do well, some not so much. Guess it all depends on how you look at it. Because what might be important depends on the perspective. For instance being a good father and husband is always job 1. Some days though, I’ve got so busy at work that I do nothing towards that end. Now my job might think that’s great, that I have good initiative and effort.

It all boils down to choices. I used to work my behind off. 60-80 hours weeks were the norm. Those days are behind me. I don’t even want those hours, even if I was getting paid for each one. It just isn’t my priority. Yes I like my job. Yes I like my paycheck. I just like life more. Kind of a dangerous thing to say out loud. You never know when someone might take the exception to that type of attitude.

But what the hell, its how I feel, and last time I checked I can express that freely. And I guess they can fire me freely also.

So its time to really turn up the volume on those things that I now find important.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I miss the original members of Lynyrd Skynyrd.  The sweet sound of Billy Powell’s keyboards. That hard voice of Ronnie and those guitars of Steve and Alan.

Brackets, so many choices, so much fun. You got to love it.

I finally found something I agree with Trump on. I also think Rex will be much happier now. And I also agree with Rex, that Trump is a moron.

Can you imagine getting fired by Twitter. I would make sure to still have a face to face with the gutless boss. That is one bridge worth setting ablaze.

I’ve got to spend more time organizing a post or keeping it to one topic or thought instead of these long run on rants.

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You ever get the time to just spend a few hours talking or working with your children? I didn’t realize how hard that would be as they got older and married and their own careers. But today I had a few hours with my Son and I feel recharged. It feels so nice to reconnect with your children. To talk about life and opportunities.

To share common interest like our love for college basketball. To share a lunch and not feel rushed. To accept his offer for help for some of the heavy work around the home. I loved it and of course it ended too early. But I’ll take what I can and be very happy about it like I am this evening.

I also have a special birthday coming up for my daughter next week so life is good. Because that will be another chance to gather the family and leave me smiling for a few days afterwards.

Cool, animals.
Photo by Mike Hartley

It makes me think back to when they were with us all the time. Like this shot when they were young (mine are the two on the left). I long for those days again but now they are cherished memories. But watching them grow as adults is just as special and enjoyable. The trouble is I miss some things because we are apart. And I guess that is the way it should be. Them making their own paths and successes. I’m so proud of them.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I didn’t plan well and had to write a hurried post. Good thing I had a special day to write about.

So the camera is yelling to snap away so this is the week I start to fill up another hard drive.

Wow, the Terps didn’t even get an NIT bid. Fitting end to the season. Hopefully a better season ahead.

You know I actually feel bad I took such a break from Posting here. I missed you guys and gals. I’m going to spend part of the week catching up with some of the blogs I love that I haven’t had a chance to keep up with.

How do some people live with themselves? Oh yeah, no sole.

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Felt good working outside a bit yesterday and today. Got to keep this 60-year-old frame moving and active. But the mindset is important. I can no longer pretend the body is 20 or 30. I can do most of what the 40-year-old body could just not for the sustained period or strength. I’m pretty good for the 50-year-old comparison, minus a couple of surgeries and radiation.

So this storm cleanup and early spring start for the outdoor tools is challenging but fun in some ways. I mean how much longer will I want or be able to do the more physical aspects. Well if my neighbor was any indicator he could and would get out into his late 80’s and lived into his 90’s. So there is one example, an extreme one maybe. He had been a contractor/builder all his life. So maybe there is some positive effects from keeping active and doing some regular physical work.

Maybe the last dusting of the season last week from earlier this week.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I’m just trying to do it smarter now. What took 1 day as a 20/30-year-old now takes a few. I take breaks, and try to listen to the body. I try to work smart and let the tools do the work. I’ll accept help with the really heavy stuff instead of powering through and hurting myself. And the couple really big jobs like big tree removal I’ll hire it done.

But this past storm also got me thinking I’d like to burn more wood and less oil. And that would be good exercise in hauling and splitting some wood throughout the year. There are lots of things like this that can keep me healthy. I just need to get to them.

It saddens me that my children won’t get the experience of taking their kids to a Toys R Us store. I can still remember them up and down every isle. I would even spend time looking at the rows of bikes and skateboards imagining having the time ride them all day.

Somehow, buying toys online takes a lot of fun out of the experience. What you see in a picture isn’t aways what it feels like when you pick up the box. Seeing a child pick something up they thought they wanted and seeing them gravitate to the thing they really want is lost.

Ah the times be a changing.

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I remember writing a post a while back on how much I loved the sound the wind makes as its brushes through the big pine trees on the side of my home. Well I learned a new sound and tune the other day they played. Sounded a lot like Pat Travers “Crash and Burn.” So outside I go today to do some cleanup. At least that is one of a hundred things I have on my to do list. A list that has grown so long its tough to even look at. Almost to the point of causing inaction on my part because it’s depressing.

Pine tree deck party.
Photo by Mike Hartley

If someone offered me a penny for my thoughts they would probably ask for change.

Looking for inspiration. Having to generate some internally today. Most of the time a lot of it comes from those around me. That is not the case today. Even a night out with the boys didn’t correct this attitude of mine. Maybe next weekend will be better.

You ever look forward to sleep so much you can’t? That has happened to me twice this week.

Hoping for the sun to peek out, I need something like that today to raise my spirits.

Random Thoughts of the Day

Some days I realize all I have are random thoughts.

Most days random thoughts are fun, make me think and feel good. Then there are days like today.