THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley


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Course adjustment

Haven’t had one of these days in a while. Just woke in a bad mood. TV disgusted me. Work is irritating me. I’m behind on my chores and that has me stressed. Its dark out and cold, an a winter mess in the forecast. Wasted an hour or two stewing like this. And was having thoughts that this might continue through the day. I think the thing that set it off was getting my referral for blood work in email.

I don’t see any power steering here.
Photo by Mike Hartley

And then I spoke to my better half. And life turned. She always gets me back on course. Sometimes it’s just hearing her voice, sometimes the advice or words of encouragement. And then I decided to listen to some tunes and the first one that came on was Wond’ring Aloud from an old favorite band of mine. And I thought of how she has given me so much in life.

I had to go look up the lyrics and saw beauty. The last lines of “And it’s only the giving, That makes you what you are” is so true.

“Wond’ring Aloud”

Wond’ring aloud
How we feel today
Last night sipped the sunset
My hand in her hair
We are our own saviours
As we start both our hearts beating life
Into each other Wond’ring aloud
Will the years treat us well?
As she floats in the kitchen
I’m tasting the smell
Of toast as the butter runs
Then she comes, spilling crumbs on the bed
And I shake my head
And it’s only the giving
That makes you what you are

Random Thoughts of the Day

Do I want to go out in the cold and wet for the first snow pictures of the season tomorrow morning?

You know when I think of the word retirement. I think about becoming so busy with stuff I want to do all day instead of someone else’s stuff.


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So you CAN

As the old saying goes “can’t see the forest for the trees” So you can see the forest through the trees (see below). It’s all how you look at it. Just like this post. I had nothing, zero, zilch, nada. Brain cells were not engaging. Panic was starting to peak around the corner. Will this be the day you break your posting streak? Will you do such a lame post your too embarrassed to push the Publish button? Or worse will you not see how bad it is and push the Publish button but regret it when you look at it later?

So I started to look through and do some housekeeping on images for the trash. I ran across this and thought of that old saying. And a post was born again.

Can you see the forest through the trees?
Photo by Mike Hartley

So here we go, where will the spirit within combine with the external inputs take us today. Will I make the choice to go with the flow or set my own path? It’s a nice question to ask yourself each day because the flow is the easy and default choice on many days for too many of us. I used to take it because it was easy. I still do some days for a change of pace.

But I’m trying to take control slowly of this unit and do something productive with my life in my senior years. I can’t believe I’m a senior. Well I’ve been a senior in high school. I’ve been a senior Unix system administrator. My friends have been making fun of me for being old as Dirt. I’m only senior in that regards with my closest friends by a month.

I look at my father in-law and see a man in his young 90’s still in good shape mentally and physically for that age and I hope that I have that much time, because I think I’ll need every minute of it to accomplish some thoughts and goals. But I worry greatly every time another cancer check rolls around.

So it reminds me often to live each day well. It’s good to have that long-term outlook and wishes, plans, goals but remember to have some fun along the way, tell others you love them each day, do something your kids would be proud of. Do something for yourself and then pass it on by doing something for others.


Random Thoughts of the Day

I feel like Mother Nature has put us in a dunk tank and gets great joy out of being a dead eye in hitting the target.

You can fix stupid, but its a lot of effort.

The commute to DC is getting to be more and more like the movie death race each day.

Pain will open your eyes. Pain will get your attention. Pain can break your concentration. But it won’t control my attitude.


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Not the start I was looking for

I’m off to the races on one leg. Got a bum right ankle to start the week. So I didn’t make as much progress as I had hoped. I wanted to do a little shooting this morning but after a haircut I had nothing left from a long first day at work except pain.

Beautifully twisted.
Photo by Mike Hartley

This Bonsai tree was at a coworkers desk. It’s a nice one and I thank them for the peace it gives me when I walk by it.

Blooms
Photo by Mike Hartley

I’m trying to find things each day that make me feel better when I can’t be with family and friends.


Random Thoughts of the Day

They don’t have to tell me this is a record year for rainfall. That new fault that opened in my lower back yard proves that.

I wonder if any of the high school kids from Wisconsin throwing the Nazi salute had grandparents who fought a war over it? And I wonder how they felt if they saw it.

Some days I wish I had a battery backup system for me.

Watching California burn is very depressing.

Holy crap, the winter holidays have sneaked up on me.

Ah, a return to the days of my youth from sprained ankles on the court. Ice, heat, repeat.

Holy crap 2, my barber is thinking about retiring in another year. When I started going to Sal’s, he was a young buck. How the hell did he get so old.


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Hey!! WHAT’S THIS LYIN’ AROUND S**T

Saw this photo as I was doing some editing and almost threw it out but thought of that line in the movie Animal House uttered so emphatically by Bluto. “HEY!! WHAT’S THIS LYIN’ AROUND S**T. So another Post is born.

Hey, it’s a Sunday.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Its kind of what I’ve been doing the first half of the day. But it’s about to gear up I feel. I’m still working on purging some old computers, cleaning the workroom. I’m a pack rat. I think they use the term hoarders now but I don’t feel that bad. I do keep some things around longer than I need.

What spurred the cleanup – A few things. I mentioned earlier I wouldn’t want someone to have to sort through the mess and wonder what was important and what was trash. So I’m trying to clear the trash. I remember having to clean my Mothers home out, what to put in storage at my home and what was trash. It took forever.

Plus it feels like a fresh start. Something new. Something less cluttered. Not a completely clean slate but dust free again and more room. Oh yeah, the real reason, we have company coming for Thanksgiving.


Life is full of ups and downs. And just like this photo, the future isn’t in good focus. I’ve found it more beneficial to just live more in the moment. And Monday I hope to do some good living. I think I’ll start it off with a haircut at daybreak. Yeah, my barber starts early in the day.

No this isn’t Rolling Road but it could be.
Photo by Mike Hartley


Random Thoughts of the Day

One of the parts about hosting family during the holidays is not having to get in the cold car afterwards and drive home.

I wonder why they call them benefits when they are so expensive?

I don’t tweet. I don’t read tweets unless they are read over the news and I wish they would stop that.

Another work week ahead, are you in the starting gate?

I can’t wait to get to my priorities.

I haven’t seen my ankle so discolored since I was a youth.


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Veterans Day Respect

I am very grateful and thankful for the freedom you veterans and active duty service members provide me and my family. I wish more were appreciative of the service you provide. I’m very disappointed at the same people so willing to send you in harm’s way and then not help you in your time of need. Days like today remind me to share, donate, support and respect this day and all veterans throughout the year.

Photo by Mike Hartley

I spent a lot of time at Bethesda Naval Hospital when I was young. It was the last station for my father when he was active duty I believe. Also as a dependent it was our medical facility. I remember vividly the years as a young boy and teenager going there and seeing war injuries of kids from Vietnam. Mainly loss of limbs and other disfiguring injuries. I remember trying to make eye contact and giving a smile to them as we would pass. I didn’t want them to feel different.

I remember my mother saying to me as we saw these men rehabilitating or waiting or recovering from multiple surgeries. She would say to me to never forget, that there is someone always far worse off than you. Be thankful of your health. Be thankful for your father and those who fight for us.

Moms are Moms for a reason. They know whats right.

So my salute and respects on this Veterans Day.


Random Thoughts of the Day

It’s not that I didn’t have any random thoughts yesterday, I just thought I’d have time for a second post and thought wrong.

I got a great idea for Xmas, wonder if I can pull it off.

Feels good to be alive this fine Sunday morning. Of course that could be the meds talking.

Either this is going to be a day of rest or a day of chores. And the battle begins.


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Great morning

Any morning you wake up and can be up and about, is a great morning. So this is going to be a great one because I’m heading out. What I could do without is the wind and cold temps. These strong breezes are going to play havoc with what leaves are left on the trees. Could be a baron look on the commute next week.

Good morning all.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I’m starting to break down the day into smaller increments. What opportunities can I find while doing other things. You know, the stuff that isn’t inescapable. You know, stuff like work and commuting to and from. I’m going to see what I can capture while running some errands today.

This is a renewed effort to really do more of the work I love and would like to share. It’s not going to get done wishing or thinking about it. I’m tired of making excuses that there is too much in the way. I’m tired of wasting time on unimportant things. So off I go.


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Filling Friday

Actually I’m still full from Thursday. It was BBQ day for this guy. Had some pulled pork, beef brisket and ribs. Along with some mac and cheese to fill in the gaps. Maybe I’ll try a healthier approach to the diet today. But that sure was some good eating. I’m blessed to be able to eat well. It was nice to share that with someone less well off yesterday.

Brisket. Forgot how many hours (est 12hrs) it was smoked. Photo by Mike Hartley

These guys on TV have nothing on a few of my best friends. The ribs my brother smoked for 6 hours and his dry rub was a feast last night. I’m going to get into cooking more when I have the time.


Sorry about yesterdays rant. I was troubled by that event/shooting. Today is a new day and I’m thinking positively again. Actually made some progress upgrading my basement office and workroom. I got to spend a few minutes with my better half and my daughter called so it was a great day.

Ah, there is that warm feeling on a rainy Friday. Just had to look internally.
Photo by Mike Hartley

You know when you have your health you really are in control of your life. And I mean both physical and mental health. I feel like I’ve made it through some tough times with both and probably should have gotten help, but somehow I’ve come through it. And a lot of it is my mental outlook. I’ve never felt more at peace with myself. I’ve never been more comfortable personally and professionally.

And while the end of my professional career in newspapers is in its last decade or maybe less, it’s always their call, I’m relaxed for a change of pace about the job. Funny how it works. I’ve always been scared of keeping my job throughout my career when most said it was never an issue. Now that I’m near the end and not worried about it, I probably should be, but won’t.

I love being able to string a bunch of good days together now.


Random Thoughts of the Day

The more I read blogs, the more enlightened I am.

If you can hear the rain before you open the door, its one of those days to stay inside.

Going to make a few donations tomorrow.

I made two doctors appointments today that I hate making. Because that means test. And I hate waiting for results of test.

Get your winter coat out and hold on to your hat tomorrow.