THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

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Midweek mayhem

A very uncomfortable morning impeded my progress but there are ways to overcome that. So let’s crank up the engine and see what we can come out with today.

I read #1 regret of retirees was starting with a vague financial plan. So I’m doing my best to avoid that one with some effort. I’m a person who likes knowns. I can plan with knowns. Therefore I can also plan for unknowns as best possible at a point in time.

Typical photo crew argument – Which one is going to carry that heavy tripod back to the van? Photo by Mike Hartley

Sports Commentary

Hey hey hey, get your Cotton Candy here. I’ll be getting to the ballpark sometime in the next few series to catch the Baltimore Orioles. That is a special team they are building. Fun exciting baseball with young talent that is meshing together nicely and very quickly. Good manager who they stuck with as they rebuilt.

I’ll have to remember to pick up one of these for the granddaughter. Photo by Mike Hartley

Most preseason predictions had them in 3rd, 4th, and 5th. Here they are in 1st place 101 games into the season. And my team, the Yankees in last place. That is OK, I expect they will make a charge yet. But it’s really nice to see this area excited again living right outside of Baltimore.

Only time will tell if this season turns into something special. This will be the 40th year since they have won a World Series title. There was a special young talent (Cal Ripkin) on that team, but there were a number of veterans also. Pitching seems to be a common thread with these two teams also.

This area would go insane if they won it this year.

Movie Review – Oppenheimer – First of all it’s a good movie to go see. Very well done and a good cast. But the story itself is the driver. For we are still dealing with the ramifications of this event today. And probably for man’s foreseeable future.

The age range in the theater was interesting. There might have been a few people in there that were alive when the atomic bomb was developed and used. There were also young teenagers in there. Actually, all age groups were represented. I thought I saw what might have been a 3 generation set of guys. One elderly grandfather, one guy just a bit younger than me, and what looked like his grown son.

I’m wondering if the young people knew the history and story before this. Maybe they saw the NBC documentary a short while back. I’m finding myself wondering what thoughts people have on this period and events in history.

Man has been developing weapons since the beginning of time. We just got very good at it and now can kill everyone if we so choose. Or if a few people choose which is unfortunately the reality of it all now.

It’s also a good example of science getting ahead of man’s ability to put the Jeannie back in the bottle. We might be looking at something similar today without realizing it. Could artificial intelligence be our next atom bomb?

It also reminded me that things need to be put in perspective because of timeframes. Decisions these scientists made were done when the world was at war. They were smart and knew they were working on a devastating weapon.

The ethical/morality issues along the way are handled interestingly in the film. As was what happens when the wrong people in governments are in charge. Also a good example of how revenge can go wrong and a number of other interesting lessons along the way.

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • Your editing the moment you look through the lens.
  • There are a few degrees between hot and uncomfortably hot.
  • I didn’t get out and photograph last night as I hoped. But I did get some much-needed rest.
  • Trust can create great things. Lack of trust destroys all.

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Friday follies

I had a great night with my best friends Thursday evening. What a crew we are. I owe a lot of my happiness in life to those guys. And again as has been a tradition for decades being today was opening day, they wore their Orioles tee shirts and I had on my Yankee jacket.

The Old Captain above. Aaron Judge was a fine choice to replace him. Photo by Mike Hartley

Opening day in Baltimore. A day for the city to be seen in a positive light. There is a lot of work to be done in this state and this city is going to be a fair indication of success or failure.

But this team may have the horses and along with a fine coach might take them far this season. Optimism is in the air. And with the home opening day victory, they are off to a good start.

Don’t worry, the grass is starting to green up fella. Photo by Mike Hartley

Change of schedule

Wow, a free Friday. Well somewhat free. The downside, I miss my granddaughter greatly, who we usually watch today. On the upside, I got some time to work on my hobbies. So in essence I’ll still be doing something for her because she has wanted me to make her a horse. So I’m busy figuring out one that will keep her happy while I begin work on a nice one. Her idea of how long it takes to make something hasn’t fully formed yet. But she is a smart one for 4 years old.

She does appreciate it. I love giving things to kids, you get a very honest opinion and they won’t hesitate to tell you about flaws in it. So they help you improve without you taking offense. Because it’s impossible to be upset with a child telling the truth. I usually go the other way and thank them for being so observant. And the best gift is a hug when you give it to them.

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • I’ll be loving life more when it’s one long unending weekend.
  • Life is short, make it sweet.
  • There is a time for everything said no one.
  • The less drama, the better the life.

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March Madness

March Madness – It used to be about College Basketball. I guess it could be easily applied to Major Leagues Baseball this year also. So the lockout is over, I guess a lot of people care and I’m glad the people that work at the stadiums and surrounding communities thrive from it again. But I’ve lost a lot of interest personally.

I don’t even care who’s at fault. All I know is that by not caring the next time they do this I won’t be surprised or affected. So good luck MLB, this fan is on hiatus.

Their back. Photo by Mike Hartley

Maybe the players and owners should swap positions for a season with the common man who earns next to nothing working the same place they do. Let them work concessions and seating and janitorial for next to nothing and see what hard work is about. Maybe waitress at one of the local bars and see how it feels to be stiffed on tips. Oh yeah, park a few miles from the stadium and still pay an arm and leg and hoof it to the stadium like the rest of us. Or maybe better yet stand out in the cold and rain some evening directing people where to park for several hours in the stadium lots.

They say perspective does a person well. And I believe many parties in this sport have lost perspective.

Setback – I’ve had just about every vaccine possible over my lifetime. Never questioned them before Covid so don’t mistrust them now. But I did have my first negative reaction to one. My first shingles vaccine had me down a bit for 24 hours. Fever, body aches, and headaches. But they have passed and if that is the worst reaction I ever have then we are good. Still have a second shot to go I’m told. I won’t schedule that on a worknight next time.

Utilizing those moments. My better half was telling me the activities she had planned with our granddaughter tomorrow. I find myself thinking ahead also. How can I teach her important things in life? So many opportunities to do that every time we are together. I love it, but the window to do those things is tight before she is off to school. The first 3 years of her life have already gone by so quickly.

Before you know it those opportunities have passed. They need a lot of coaching before other influences get involved in their little lives. They need confidence in themselves. They need to know right from wrong. They need to know kindness to others. They need to know honesty and many more important lessons.

It takes a whole family and more to pass on good values, respect and confidence. Of course, love is one of the most important ingredients.

So let me get some rest so I’m all smiles for her in the morning.

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • If you want to learn how to start a day watch a 3 year old wake up and start their adventure.
  • I don’t think I would ever say this but I found a place where snowfall isn’t pretty. Ukraine. Snow falling on bombed out landscapes is UGLY.
  • With gas prices increasing the Work From Home jobs just got even more attractive.
  • March without Terps mens basketball playing is very strange.

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Howdy sports fans

A wonderful day to get outside. I apologize in advance for today’s rant. See what happens when I don’t get enough sleep. Anyway, the first thing I see today is the news about MLB canceling what looks to be the first week of the regular season and I guess that means all of the spring training.

It’s not the size of the fan its the size of the spirit in the fan. Photo by Mike Hartley

Support your little leagues

Instead of going to Major League Baseball games (oh you can’t anyway) why not check out your local ballfields. I bet you will find the concession stands a lot more reasonable. You will see people enjoying the game and cheering for their team much harder than at The Yard. You will see the players enjoying a GAME and respecting the GAME and playing by the RULES of the GAME. You won’t have owners treating their employees like crap and disrespecting them in order to get richer yet. You will have the best seat you ever had for a ballgame. The seat won’t be cramped (bring your own chair or blanket, we do not cover grass stains). You can easily catch a foul ball or chase one through the parking lot. Yeah, you might lose a windshield once in a lifetime at these events but you will have the souvenir of the baseball still in it as opposed to your car stolen or vandalized downtown. Plus next week you can walk up and have the kid sign the ball.

The level of play might not be the best but you will see the same effort. The same joy of victory and agony of defeat and maybe even more pronounced than you have ever seen at the major leagues. As Its players learn about life and the ups and downs for the first time.

You are less likely to get in a fight or be trampled over by others fighting. The chances of having a beer spilled on you are pretty nill. The walk to the parking lot to your seat is easy even if you are an old man. It’s likely you might see someone from your neighborhood or community or maybe better yet someone you knew when you were younger and their kids are on the field.

Angles player signing balls and flipping back to a fan. Photo by Mike Hartley

MLB is proof in life that a few can F it up for everyone. I’m pissed, yeah that is right because I like the game. I liked playing it. I liked coaching it. I like watching it. I like going to it. I like my team and follow it. And now I can’t, AGAIN.

And people wonder why there are unions around. It’s because greedy people do exist. Greedy people do get in power. Greedy people know no bounds. Greedy people don’t care if it collapses.

What bothers me also is how unfair this is to someone who lived and grew up next door to me. His father and he were out at a very early age with a baseball and uniform and practicing all the time. He played little league, he played high school, he played college and got drafted, he played in the minors for a few seasons and last year he caught on and played for the Baltimore Orioles his home team. He is being robbed of his lifelong passion and dream. He is missing opportunities on the field in his prime. He is missing out on the earnings he has worked hard for. He is being shown the sometimes ugly realities of how people run businesses.

Well, the only way I’m going back to a stadium is if the owners are willing to meet me at the gate and allow me to bitch slap then each without pressing charges and then be verbally abused for about an hour or so like they have never been before and not like this easy stuff above. And while I’m doing that arrange to have their spouses donate 95% of their wealth to charities because the only thing they have pain from is losing money.

So many innocent people was what I was going to say next. But maybe we all are at fault. The money we spend to allow them to get so arrogant. The false worship of humans who make the same mistakes many of us in society make. Showing our children unbalanced importance on a GAME. I remember coaching and teaching players how to deal with disappointment was always made harder by parents. Not all of them but a lot of them. Winning isn’t everything and some people believe it is. Yes, it’s the object of the game. But if you did your best, left it all on the field, your teammates did the same. Your coaches encouraged and improve your game. You experienced the excitement of playing the game. I’ve had that, I’ve felt great about it. And I’ve lost and still maintained a love and passion for the GAME. And I learned lessons from losing, that winning doesn’t teach you. And you don’t win at everything in life.

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A great night

My Son got us tickets to the ballgame last night in Baltimore for my birthday a while back. There is no better present than your children wanting to spend time with you. We were both noting how slow baseball is and he made a good point of how they need to speed the game up if they want to attract the younger crowd. At that point, the game was almost 4 hours long and it was in the 8th inning. And he is right but I sat there in the back of my mind thinking how great a game it is where we have time to catch up, talk about important stuff, fatherly advice, and back seat driving and he can’t escape.

But I listen more than I talk now and keep up with what is important to him and what changes in life he is dealing with both personally and professionally. And that is more important than sharing all my old advice. So to me, a long ballgame was a blessing and a real treat. Because it was the time together that was important.

You could hear those O’s bats last night. Photo by Mike Hartley

Well, it’s the last Friday of the summer of 2021. Went by fast this year so I guess I had a good time. And while there are some nice days still ahead, I’m beginning to worry about my least favorite time of year, winter.

I see Gov Hogan is having flags at half-mast today for observation of the 10,000 Marylanders who have died from Covid19. Even though there are some that haven’t died directly of covid but the ramifications from it so I know for a fact that total is higher by at least 2. And I suspect much more experienced hardship that may have lead to their demise. I pause and pray for all those who have departed early.

Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • Every Friday morning I get this recharge of energy when I hear my granddaughters voice coming in the front door. But for some strange reason I’m exshausted at the end of the day when she leaves.
  • My best friends are going to be away next week. I had better warn my better half that I’ll be around more.
  • Music can mend my sole.
  • Preparing for the worst never used to include stocking up on ammo.
  • I pray, but it doesn’t go via the Cathlic church anymore.
  • Nurses and bus drivers are the first of many underpaid professionals that they can’t fill enough positions for and probably won’t for the forseable future.

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Sunday at the ballpark

Went to Camden Yards to celebrate a friends 60th birthday Sunday. What a wonderful time and day it was. First time at the ballpark in maybe 2 seasons. The O’s took the lead for good on a 2 run shot by Chris Davis who was greeted at home by Mark Trumbo. All I know is the organization is on the right direction again towards becoming a top franchise.

Chris Davis crosses home after a 2 run shot in the 4th. Photo by Mike Hartley

Chris Davis crosses home after a 2 run shot in the 4th.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Ate well and enjoyed the action on the field. Also enjoyed the fans in the stands. So many kids. Wish more could afford it.

Out at second. Photo by Mike Hartley

Out at second.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I love afternoon ballgames.

Angles player signing balls and flipping back to fan. Photo by Mike Hartley

Angles player signing balls and flipping back to fan.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I’ve never eaten there but I think I’ll add it to the list of things to do before a game next time.

The Wall Photo by Mike Hartley

The Wall
Photo by Mike Hartley

And leading the charge….

Leading today grounds crew. Photo by Mike Hartley

Leading today grounds crew.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Lets get WET.

My yard could use some support if your not busy. Photo by Mike Hartley

My yard could use some support if you’re not busy.
Photo by Mike Hartley

So another great day enjoying the grand old game. Too bad its lost its translation to the younger generation.

Da Bird Photo by Mike Hartley

Da Bird
Photo by Mike Hartley


Baseball – Chuck Conners & Don Newcombe as youngsters

Ah the beginning of baseball season. I saw the news report of Spring Training opening up with pitchers and catchers reporting. And soon to be followed by many with dreams of playing professional baseball. I always remember my Mom and her spirits increasing with the thought of the baseball flying again. She religiously followed two teams. The Yankees and the Dodgers. She was a big Brooklyn fan when she was young and told me of games there. She said she was so proud to see Jackie Robinson play the game and how horrified she would feel about things people would yell at him.

Montreal Baseball Club International League 1948.

Montreal Baseball Club International League 1948.

This made me think about some baseball memorabilia she had left me, tickets she had of the Brooklyn Dodgers whom she knew a couple of the players. And also a photo of the Dodgers triple A team Montreal Royals. Both are from 1948. The tickets were in an envelope that she had penned a few details. They were Opening Day 4/23/1948 Tickets at Ebbets Field courtesy of pitcher Bud Podbielan. I believe Mom was a close friend to him and his wife. I know I heard her mention that family a few times. I see a clip of their wedding in the same envelope.


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There are a few famous faces in this photo that she pointed out to me. One is the actor Chuck Connors. Yep the Rifleman was a baseball player. Look in the back row for the tallest player and that is Chuck Conners. He actually played 1 game the next season for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

The other person who went on to become an accomplished major league player was Don Newcombe. Till recently he was the only baseball player to have won Rookie of the year, MVP and Cy Young awards in his career. He is in the back row also and the last player standing on the right. This is the year before he went to the big leagues also.


The other piece of history she left me with of the Dodgers was tickets to Ebbits field on opening day in 1948. There are two of them that are identical. You know why. You sat in a box, you had no seat number. The ones that were open were yours? At least that is what I’m guessing. How bout that ticket price of $2.08. That $.42 cent tax seems a bit high?

Anyway at one time a few years ago I took this along with a few old baseball cards I have of some value to a couple of places to see their worth. At the time those prices were quiet a bit lower than I had seen in the past for the cards and I decided to continue to hold onto them. I was given a few names that would be interested in these pictures/tickets but I never pursued it and I’m glad. I think I’m going to hold onto them, maybe even frame them and pass them along to the kids someday. Kind of like a family baseball history thing. Sometimes things no matter their worth are sometimes worth more because of the history and meaning to some.

My apologies for the absence again. Health and work were both out of control and I’m working on sleeping right which really cuts into the hours of the day. But I’m climbing back on the horse and trying to get productive here and a few other spots again.