THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

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How many

How many? How many opportunities will you have for really important things in your lifetime? I’m trying to look at each event, each gathering, each day as something special now. Yeah I still deal with the realities of day-to-day and forget that principle but I’m learning to come back to it almost immediately. I’ve learned that having respect for each moment of the day is the way to live. Appreciation for the little things. Appreciation for how lucky I am and to have those that surround me.

Glad my teeth are still up to the challenge.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I’m looking forward to taking a big bite of life tomorrow. Having the day filled with special moments and sweet memories. I’ll elaborate on the next post.

I’m charging the camera batteries now. And when I do that it charges me up. And tomorrow we won’t be having any of the downpours as of late.

Afternoon showers bring light to some looking for it.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

I was very pleased with the quick and detailed reply I got from BG&E today to my inquiry on multiple power outages.

RESPECT to Miss Franklin

Two people controlling the country’s attention, that at best should be a back page offbeat entertainment section, a few clicks below semi professional wrestling.

Some days its very disappointing to be Catholic. That’s why I think its more important to practice doing the right things instead of just listening to people preach about good things.

I need to find the website of the ethical and honest everything.

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Managing Mondays

We’re blessed with these wonderful ears and jaw and lips that flap endlessly but man’s communication is still the poorly practiced in so many areas of life, both professional and personal that it’s a crying shame.

We have all these wonderful tools to help us communicate and we still can’t get it done. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve got a great number of communication failures in my history, but when I compare myself to my professional and personal groups, I do fairly well.

What set this tirade off is the fact that something important wasn’t communicated again at work. I must still care because it pisses me off when it happens still. Such is life. Well, I’m going to go cool off with a fine beverage and hope for the best tomorrow.

Photo by Mike Hartley

I’m sitting here trying to figure out how to communicate and get answers from my power company BG&E. I’ve tried over the phone today and got nowhere. So I just wrote them and lets see where that gets me. What spurred this on was losing power for the 3rd time in 5 days without a weather related event any of those times. I’m hoping to get a reply because when I’m disrespected it tends to push the A-hole buttons I try to keep hidden.

I don’t know why they wouldn’t communicate with a customer on a rash of outages with the exception of telling me when the latest one is expected to be restored.

Random Thoughts of the Day

Sorry about the cranky Post. Still not feeling my best.

It saddens me that the University of Maryland is going through another issue with sports. It saddens me much more that it took a young mans life to maybe bring things into the light. I sincerely hope some of the things I’ve been hearing aren’t true, but like our current leaders, where there is smoke, there is fire.

I started out to work today with the top up and in a rain storm. Half way in it was sunny and dry so I put the top down. So all I need now is some sun in the morning and I’ll be a happy camper.

I saw some of those dreaded school buses out doing test runs I guess. Pretty soon traffic is going to explode.

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Feeling it

I took this shot yesterday in the middle of the rain storm where the sun was out here at the same time. It kind of symbolizes how I feel today. I’m up and blooming but my body is raining on the parade. I’m trying to keep a sunny outlook but as the work week looms and pressures again mount I’m not starting out the way I would hope to get out of the gate with.

Sunflowers in rain
Photo by Mike Hartley

Such is life. Battle through. Focus on the positive possibilities. Like today’s post. I came with nothing to the keyboard, realized I hadn’t downloaded a few shots from yesterday. This one just summed up how I feel. The mind is positive, but the body is sick. It’s possible I picked up a sinus infection and the body aches from a few days of yard work.

Regardless I’m on a roll this month and haven’t missed a day of posting and I’m trying to pick up the camera more. So I’m not going to let this stop me at all. Maybe slow me down yes. Maybe make it a bit more difficult, certainly while also trying to work the job that pays the bills. But it does help make me feel better.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I’m of the belief that the media made more of this march in DC today for Unite the Right than was needed. I mean how few of the kkk even showed. Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t it end even before it was scheduled to start?

My body just made me promise to get the proper rest needed tomorrow.

I can’t wait to see my children again.

Even though some people won’t do what they need to do to help themselves, its hard not to feel for them if they are close.

I’m really pulling for Shaquem Griffin (one-handed NFL player) to make the Seahawks. He might just end up being a star with that motor he has. That would be a great inspiration for so many people.

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What are you looking for

What are you looking for? Well I asked myself that recently and had as many answers as the number of days it ran across my mind. One day I was looking for window to get to the beach. One day I was looking for a way to squeeze in several hours of work into a few minutes. Another day I was looking for a town to visit on my father/daughter day next week.

On patrol, in the bus lane.
Photo by Mike Hartley

One afternoon I was looking for solutions for the worlds issues. Another afternoon I was looking for a place to take a friend to lunch. One evening I found myself looking for the day I didn’t have to commute to DC. One evening before bed I was wishing I could sleep in a hammock.

Just now I was looking for a photo for today’s post.

No matter what you are looking for, it means you are living. Consider being so sick that you just look forward to pain to just go away. Or not have your day consumed by doctors, treatments or in a hospital. As I think about it, those are the people I should be looking for to make their lives a bit easier. Think of how lucky we all are to be looking for life.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I’m on a roll. That explains the growth of my mid section.

Squeezing in some basketball between the rain this week.

I used to worry about the number of words I wrote. Now I’m trying the right words.

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The Yard

Amateur landscapers is what we are. I’ve always taken pride in a nice looking property. I don’t go overboard, I just like to keep my mixture of grass and weeds cut regularly. My better half brings the beauty, but again, understated. We will never be near a Home and Garden magazine cover and we don’t strive for it.

I’m the maintenance part and my better half is the decorator. Well she does the maintenance on the gardens to be fair. As usual she does a wonderful job. I’m slow to change existing stuff. I liked the old bushes in front of our patio. She finally got me to remove those and has a wonderful garden in front of that area in front of the sidewalk.

So change is good as she always shows me it is. I’ve had a few good ideas along the way but she always has been the better decorator. But we rarely work on the yard together. Kind of weird in a way. But we both take a bit of pride in the property.

The point I want to make though about landscaping which is really just property maintenance is to the degree everyone does it so differently. I guess that is why some people like community management groups. I’ve never seen the need to live in that type of community but I’m learning some of the reasons people want them. Right now the tree below doesn’t bother me, except snakes like that long grass that has grown up under all that lumber.

Neighbors tree.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Our new neighbor has had a tree down in their yard for several months now. A large pine tree that had very large branches. It sat that way for a few months in the spring. I believe in early July they cut a few branches to make it less visible from the road but left it all there. Obviously you can’t mow there so the grass is very tall not having been cut this year.

In fairness to them I believe they have been doing and intensive remodel on the inside for many months now so the yard might not be their priority. No problem, doesn’t bother me because it’s not on my property. I’m not trying to sell my house. But the guy across the street just sold his and there is another neighbor there who has neglected his residence for a few decades now. I’m sure that lowered the value of the home.

No I’m not moving so I don’t really care much if they take care of it or not. My bet was over a year anyway. Now you might ask, rightly so that I should offer some help. Well we have a communication problem because the one time I’ve met them in the first year of their ownership I learned they don’t speak English and I’m not fluent in what Asian dialect they may speak. And that still might not stop me from offering to help if I saw them trying to take care of it.

I mean I try to be nice to everyone. I’ve mowed several lawns in this neighborhood with some on vacation or their mower broke for a bit or just as a good jester. I’ve helped neighbors clean up after storms.

And don’t get me wrong, I don’t hold anyone to any kind of schedule. I’ve had some big branches down for a while waiting for winter weather to change/melt. I have a tree down in the woods behind my home. But that is in the woods so it’s really not hurting anyone’s look.

But its strange how long some people will go before cutting their yard. I think the thing I enjoy and laugh at the most is that when it does get cut it looks like a graveyard of grass headstones.

Well all I know is I got mine cut today before the next 3 days of rain comes in. Still have about 3 months of cutting to go so there is still much effort to put forth.

The only thought I have when I see this is a cherry ice cream soda. This is my go to ice cream place at the ocean. I believe they have a device that automatically turns my car into their lot.

Great ice cream.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day 

Football is back. Now if 45 can just keep his yap shut and let them play a game. He can go ahead at the end of the year and pick the winner of the Super Bowl if he wants but that’s all I want to hear from him on that sport.

My John Deere still runs like one. For the first 10 years I thought I might have overpaid for a tractor. Now at 20 years I think I got a fairly good bargain. Just think another 10 years down the road you can watch me mow the yard laughing my head off because I’ll be driving it like it was a steal.

It’s good to spend one on one time with your children, as well as family time.

If I could only stop eating like I did when I exercised.

I was every impressed and moved by the Jim Kelly acceptance speech at the ESPY’s Yes that was a very old random thought that I found on a draft I started a while back.

I thought I was going to make it an entire post without complaining about pain. Well, I’ve failed again. Tomorrow will be better.

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Jumping Jack Flash

No idea why I picked that as the title for today’s post other than I was listening to a version of that song by Peter Frampton this morning. And a good morning it was even though I really have to get over this feeling that I’m wasting life if I get a good nights sleep. I sometimes feel guilt that I’m lazy and either don’t want to take advantage of the time I have left or lack the proper motivation I demand of myself.

But on the other hand sometimes both the body and brain feel much better, the stress level is down a bit. I can think better and with more options and ideas. And I kind of like that start to the day instead of pain and fog that comes with burning the candle at both ends all the time.

Grill’in and chill’in.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I fired up my own Weber grill this afternoon and cooked a couple of burgers. Thought about what I can add to them to make them masterpieces. Of course some bacon, grilled onions. Of course cheese. And a little of that sweet BBQ sauce.

I took care of my perspective problem today. Spent some me time and a great happy hour with friends. Which is going to leave me fresh for tomorrow I hope. Maybe an early start before dawn. Both cameras are charged up and its going to be a nice day.

The problem with Winter is there is no color. So I had better make good use of the sun on Friday. I think we must be near hitting the midway point in Summer. Seasons come and go so quickly. I’m glad I recognize time moving so quickly and make use of it. Yeah I got a little guilt from slacking off today, but I’ll make up for it tomorrow and feel good for doing both.

Clouds imitating Sunflowers.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

Nature can be quiet loud in the evenings.

A wise man can acknowledge mistakes. A smart man learns from them and make new ones instead of the same ones.

I might have to get two snowballs on Friday being I missed having one today.

I always wondered what a magnifying glass was for. And then I got to be my parents age when I remembered seeing them use them.

Give yourself a break from news once in a while. Just like most other things SOSDD.

I have lots of goals for Friday. I’m going to be real happy if I get them all in.

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Hey, how are you?

You should ask people, especially those close to you, “How are you?” Its a really tough question for anyone to answer and at the same time it holds lots of issues for the asking. Most the time you get, “fine, how are you?”  Or maybe a “note to bad, but things could be better.” That middle ground answer is tough because how you respond is now in question. Do you stop and reply, “is there anything I could help with” Or just a, “hope things improve” and keep walking?

How are you doing?
Photo by Mike Hartley

And then there is the cry for help. When you ask “how are you” and the reply ranges from “horrible”, “life sucks or is over or I can’t cope with it”, “my (parents, job, spouse, boss, kids, other drivers) are crazy”,  “I’m sick and I have this illness” or “someone close is sick”. Those separate us all. I’ve responded to these in many ways. I try to think that I’m a compassionate person, more so than most I hope. But I have regrets about some of my reactions as we all have had.

Sometimes I’ve misread the next reply as its private and they don’t want to talk, when in reality they have wanted to. Sometimes its my own uncomfortable position that mutes my reply. Most of the time I believe I do the right thing. Like listening to people. Like helping offer solutions or ideas. Sometimes helping them refocus or weigh whats bothering them with a more objective scale. It could be putting a few dollars in their hands.

I know I can’t save the world, or at least that is what the head of HR told me as a manager a long time ago when I had the complex that everyone was good and that I could turn them around if they weren’t good. For people whose life is constant drama because of the decisions they make, are not going to drag me into a mess. I wish them the best. I will even help if I can. But it gets lower on the priority list.

But when it’s not those people and those genuine souls that need assistance, what to do. And it’s not even that. The decision to help or not can go both ways for the closest friends and family to total strangers. That time I stopped at 3am to ask a couple of bikers sporting colors, stopped on a country road, if they need help, hoping they are nice guys. And they were, I think I surprised them by just stopping my car and asking if they were ok or needed help.

Hell, it doesn’t take much to ask a stranger that. Especially when you see people struggling. I’ve learned that in just passing people in the streets or in day-to-day life that a simple smile can turn around someones day. It has mine. Sometime just a few minutes listening to someone explain how tired they are or what the kids did can make a difference.

Sometimes its going to be an ongoing commitment when you ask that question. Things like illnesses. Or deep financial issues. Or loves that are lost. Things that one conversation don’t turn around. But that first step is a simple “Hey, how are you?”

Random Thoughts of the Day

I had two or three good random thoughts and then I heard the refrigerator calling me and by the time I got back downstairs they were gone.

Brown sugar and Old Bay on Grilled salmon. I can eat that all day.

I hope I don’t realize the importance of sleep too late in life.

Help someone feel loved each day. Even if its yourself.

I bet if I did these when I wasn’t so tired, they would probably make sense.