THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley


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Embarrassment

I had my Son bring his pump over a few weeks back and I got my basketball back to the right pressure. It has been sitting for many months now doing nothing but collecting dust in the closet. Well yesterday was beautiful and I walked past the hoop getting mail and said why not. I need to get in shape beside the one resembling the basketball itself. So I bring the mail in, grab the ball and dribble out to the driveway feeling like Earl the Pearl. The shoulder that got cut on feels pretty good. Range of motion is good and dribbling presents no pain.

So I take my first shot and of course its off the mark from 3 feet. I catch the long rebound and from about 12 feet I swish the second shot. Elation, jubilation, laughter, confidence, thoughts of some skills from my youth returning all vanish before the ball goes through the net. Now your probably thinking injury here with that description. No, the ball actually never left the net. You see its been so long since I’ve been out there the bottom of the net had contracted a good bit and the ball was stuck in it.

Well my first jump was pitiful. Barely got my hand on the net. I used to be able to put my hand over the rim above my wrist. Then again I was carrying a lot less weight. My second attempt is better but not enough to punch the ball back up through. So I’m left with the though of trying to jump up and grab the net with my hands, hang on and get the ball through and stretch the net. Then I thought about falling and the wife finding me in the driveway and the opportunity it would give her to call me a dumb ass, so I passed on that idea.

When things aren’t falling your way.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Now I walk sheepishly back inside the house. I bring out the step stool and reach up and pull the ball through and stretch the net. How the mighty have fallen. Embarrassing having to get a stool out for that. I didn’t see any around but I’m sure if a neighbor kids have seen this, I’ll be the shame of the old sports guys. To add insult to injury I stayed out and shot around for the next 30 minutes till I felt a heart attack coming on. Yeah I’m that out of shape. Hate to admit it but yeah.

So I’m going to attack this in a safe way and work at it each day. I’m going back out with that ball every day till I feel better. Then I’m going to add some more activity to that and keep it up till I’ve lost about 15-20 lbs and can handle exercise without feeling like I’m going to drop dead. And then I’m going to keep that up and add some strength training to it. Just to keep a good tone in my 60’s. At least that is the plan today.

Don’t worry, that driveway widens a good bit and allows for at least 25 footers from straight away. The picture cuts all of that out.


My thoughts and heart are with one of my best friends who landed back in the hospital.

You know all those conspiracy theory people who have for decades said our government is corrupt. Well, after the last 6 months I finally am coming around to that school of thought.

I have to give a very good and old work friend a call today and schedule a breakfast meeting together next week. It has been far to long.

I feel like I haven’t told my kids half of what I think they should know. They probably think that after all that talking already, he can’t have anything more to say.

No time like the present for a nap. So off I go.


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Labor, Laughter, Love, Life

Just thought of 4 L’s looking at this shot. Labor, Laughter, Love, Life. And by labor I mean birth. Well I guess I should do my job to see both sides of the coin. That might be Lonely, Lovelorn, Lost, Lifeless. Now that we have the positive and negative balanced out we can move on to the next topic. For Thursday the L will mean Lakers to me and some friends. Yep the NBA draft and return hopefully of showtime.

the 4 L’s
Photo by Mike Hartley


Wasn’t it a great day today? Well at least the weather in the northeast was wonderful. Well over central Maryland it was.

I regret the wasted time in my life. Had I known it would fly by so fast I’d been more careful how I used it.

It’s never to late to revive friendships. Because true friends pick right up no mater the time in between.

It’s sad that the Donald is so lacking on love and compassion. I wouldn’t trade my happiness for all his money if that were the price.

Well, its late and Hump Day is almost upon us. A day for capturing some new images.


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Nose to tail

Top to bottom, In and out. Those words invoke inspection, review, grades and judgement. The airline industry certainly has been getting an inspection lately but isn’t it really a reflection of what happens in the rest of life each day. With the crowds you see at the airport, do you think there are less a-holes than you see driving on the highway perhaps? Or that you see fighting at a mall or on the streets. I think not.

Airplanes are no different from the highway.
Photo by Mike Hartley

It’s all about entitlement. It’s all about people thinking they are owed something. Yes I realize the policy United Airlines and probably others had on over booking and then removing passengers was flawed. But most of the things you see on planes are issues that are started by the passengers, not the airline. People drinking too much, not respecting others space, blaring a radio or computer or just being rude. Sometimes people let that stuff go. And then again sometimes not and that is when you hear Michael Buffer stand up and say “Lets get ready to rumble.”

Actually I think were going to see more of this. Hell our leaders are exhibiting this type of behavior. Not that that’s right either. More and more common people are having to step in where law enforcement is needed. Why because the number of a-holes outnumbers law enforcement vastly. Suddenly people are thrust into situations where they have to play peacemakers or lawman.

Luckily most are disarmed at security so it’s just a fist fight most of the time but its only a matter of time till someone is killed in an airline incident. I’m surprised it hasn’t happened to a couple of nuts who have tried to get in the cockpits of airlines. To me that is a life or death situation and if someone trying it dies then so be it and the persons who stop them should be given a medal not charged with a crime.

Actually we are really heading back to the wild west times very quickly. Our law enforcement is to few and far between. And by that I don’t mean they aren’t doing their jobs. It’s just they are vastly outnumbered. You could spend every hour of every day with every law enforcement official in the country and you couldn’t stop all the people using their phone while driving let alone other crimes.

People are doing things that put others lives in jeopardy. Some are taking others lives. Not to mention all the injuries of those who aren’t killed but maimed.

Change starts with each one of us. I wish that the tide quickly changes direction, but the more I see it swinging the other way the more I’m interested in a shotgun mount for my convertible. Bet that might cut down on the tailgating at least.


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Dads

I wish I had a chance to know my Dad better. I wish I could have heard stories of his youth and life first hand. I wish we could have gone to a ballgame together. I wish he could have seen me play a ballgame. I wish that I could have made him proud with personal, work and career choices. I wish I had examples of how to be a Dad to draw from as I became one. I wish that he would have had the chance to have been a proud grandparent. I wish him a happy Fathers Day.

Funny how when you lose your Dad young, that you look at all those people with issues with their Dads and you wish for that or any opportunity to have your Dad back. Because even with tough times usually comes some good ones.

I think I could have been a much better Dad as I look back. Yeah being there is important. But it’s how you use the time and what you share and teach and the examples you set and leave. And I’m sure I’m far from the best father but I gave it a good go. Part of being a good father is to continue to be one no matter what stage of life you’re in because you are always a Dad, here or not.

Actually I’m the luckiest Dad there is this day. I’ve been blessed with two wonderful children, despite my many flaws as a father, and they have made me the happiest man on earth.

I hope my children have learned from the few good qualities I have. You always hope to do your best and always be able to protect them and be there anytime they need you. But it doesn’t work out that way for every family. So look at each other often, and tell your family you love them every day.

And a happy Fathers day to all those Fathers making that effort every day.


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Fly away

Was reading when I heard a ping and then another one from my back door. I opened the door and looked but nothing was there. But then I looked down. This guy looked stunned. I guess he flew into the door twice. He had about a 4″ wingspan. Wish I had time to set the tripod but I saw him flex once or twice, I grabbed the camera, and then he was gone.

Morning visitor
Photo by Mike Hartley

Think I’ll get out and shoot a bit this weekend and put that tripod to use. Might try some night work and try some timed exposures.

Nature builds the best wings. But the bi plane design on this one might need an update.
Photo by Mike Hartley


I find it amazing that one man has been able to stir up so much hatred. Then again it must have been within all of us simmering before this.

The more I think about the need to lose a few pounds, the hungrier I get.

Felt good to take my sister to lunch yesterday.

Another childhood friend left the world too early yesterday. Reminds me to focus on priorities.

Well, I hear my better half stirring. And I would disappoint her if I didn’t appear soon, so off I go. May everyone have a great morning.

I feel a creative streak coming on. Now it’s what I do with it that’s important. Don’t want to waste it.


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Keep’em cool today

Take your pet to the Bar day. Yep take care of those 4 legged friends in this heat. And don’t worry, they don’t mind using the same glass. A good day to all this warm June morning. I love it, top down weather. When you sweat, you can reward yourself with a snowball. I know I’m headed outside to enjoy some sun and warm temps.

Keep those dishes filled and fresh.
Photo by Mike Hartley

So if your going for a walk with the boys. Put on a fur coat, that will remind you when everyone is thirsty.

Whom is walking whom?
Photo by Mike Hartley


It’s a full-time job keeping up with current events. And staying totally educated about them is like trying to get your masters at the same time while working full job.

We get what we get by the effort that is put into it. Unless you have the winning Powerball ticket this week.

I’m still conflicted about state sponsored casinos. It’s not like we don’t have enough addictions out there. Even though I enjoy it occasionally and responsibly.

Well teachers of the country. Almost time for that song “Schools out for Summer” to be broadcast. My hats off to you all. A very difficult job and one that is under appreciated and valued.

It’s good to challenge yourself. I find I enjoy life more when I do.


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The heat is on

This week is when you know if your A/C is going to be up to the season or not. Those warm days where it runs most of the time. Now this young lady made the most of my working A/C this morning. And yes our grand dog sitting responsibilities are finished for the weekend and we miss her greatly. We have been a family that has always had a pet. We decided to take a break after our last one passed. So these visits are always special to us.

Comfort
Photo by Mike Hartley

You grow to love them like a member of the family. And that time passes so fast. Of course everyone loves every minute of it. Even when something valuable gets broke. Or the vet bill seems more than your own checkup. Or that extra mouth or mouths to feed shows up on the credit card. It’s all worth it. Even when you slip and bust your behind from stepping on a pet toy.

Pets, one of the many joys of life. Now I live through my kids pets. But I think I’ll hit the shelter and sponsor a few so they can get a loving family also.

A Gift
Photo by Mike Hartley

Just had to include a shot of a gift our daughter got us a while back. Each year it blooms I send her a shot. Little things in life can be very special if you allow for them. Like laying in the hammock today watching clouds being torn apart by winds against a powder blue sky. Leaves blowing and moving the sunlight around my body. The sounds and occasional birds flying by or landing in the branches in the tree above me.


Do you believe its the evening and my body doesn’t hurt yet. Well not bad. Well not as bad as it has. I think I should stop thinking about that before it gets worse.

My flex hose sprung a leak.

How fast can I make it to the next weekend? I don’t know but I’ve thought about thinking as the work week as the weekend and then maybe it will fly by?

Nothing like a warm summer day.