THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley


Tuesday Thunder

Nobody is stealing my thunder today. I have a vacation day from work so that time sucker won’t be in the picture. At least that is the hope. My partner returns from vacation today and I hope his plane isn’t delayed because of the weather. I told him I was home in case of emergency but I hope to hell I don’t have to work tonight.

I had a wonderful time today with my daughter and my better half. It was a short visit and lunch but a great feeling and time together. We ate at an old favorite place we hadn’t been to in a while in Westminster Maryland called RockSalt Grille.

It didn’t disappoint at all. Good food, good prices, good service. I had the Rocksalt Oysters (broiled with parmesan cheese and bacon) and Mahi Mahi tacos. My better half had the Scallops and my daughter the Shrimp Salad sandwich. They shared what looked to be a piece of lemon cake. I was in a food coma so I wasn’t paying close attention for fear I might order something.

Photos by Mike Hartley

Thank you notes – I saw a long discussion on if a verbal thank you was enough acknowledgment of giving a gift I believe it was for a High School graduate and not a thank you card. Some answers were a strong yes, a thank you card was needed but a lot of people acknowledged that it might be a generational thing for some of us who were older. I remember doing thank you cards. My better half still sends them out today.

But for the generations after us, I think it’s more optional and even becoming the exception instead of the rule. I was surprised about one thing in the discussion. Everyone seemed fixated on a thank you card as the solution. I remember my Mom telling me that it’s more important to follow up with the gift giver personally (by phone or in person) on how you used the money or gift in your life and how special it was or what it meant to you. I believe those personal interactions are far more important than any piece of paper. Even though it’s still nice to get the occasional thank you note. And we do get them from our kids. So maybe the tradition will live on beyond my generation.

A free night – I’m like a giddy kid this evening. Normally I’d be sitting behind another computer at this time beginning my usual 11-12 hour shift. I will probably stay up late and work on my hobbies but just the thought of when I get tired I can lay down and go to sleep is so much of a stress relief. Because it’s a vacation night. No having to power through the body and mind’s overwhelming desire to get horizontal and shut the eyes.

Working an overnight shift is just too hard on my body and mind anymore. I’ll power through the next several months of it on a full-time basis but the days are numbered. But tonight is a GOOD NIGHT.

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • A special birthday for a special family member today.
  • Eating like a king can break the kingdom.
  • Think I’ll finish reading that book tonight.
  • Waiting for that rain to pass before I go get some night shots.

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Small Business Saturday

I’m a big believer in small businesses. I can’t stand the Walmart’s of the world. So today, my better half and I are going to Ellicott City to celebrate the season and stores that have opened. Hope to snap some interesting shots around town.  Purchase some items and help the local economy.

Also hope to get some good hiking in. I need the exercise apparently. I tried to open the fridge this morning and a voice spoke from it saying I had exceeded the number of permitted openings in a 24 hour period and access is denied. I’m glad she at least left off the electric shock option.

Oh and being its Small Business Saturday, it reminds me to post something about a former teacher at Waverly Woods Elementary who is now a small business owner in Sykesville at a shop called Revive and Company. My wife and I we’re visiting that town a few weeks ago and went in this store and the owner Mary Ann Vaccarino and my wife recognized each other.

Mary Ann Vaccarino at Revive and Company. Photo by Mike Hartley

Mary Ann Vaccarino at Revive and Company.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Anyway that is a wonderful store and she seemed very happy in her work. It’s right next to E.W. Becks Pub. And it’s well worth the stop if you want to make your better half happy and even maybe find a few things yourself that are cool if you have daughters to shop for. And it did have a few pieces of furniture that caught my eyes. So to help this small business along I thought today was a good day to finally post about it with a shot I took of a proud small business owner in her shop.

Mary Ann Vaccarino at Revive and Company. Photo by Mike Hartley

Mary Ann Vaccarino at Revive and Company.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Much luck and success to all small business owners in this coming holiday season and into 2017. It’s a monumental struggle and effort that is put in by these people. It is part of the backbone of our society. It is freedom of expression, design, invention and innovation.

I was never happier professionally than when I was my own boss. Of course I was never poorer either during that time. But not every business is successful on its first try or even right away. So hats off to those that keep plugging away at it every day.

Also remember that success isn’t always measured in dollars.

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Beautiful morning

Just a few shots from yesterday before I head out for some fresh images. Went to a small town (Sykesville) yesterday. I like rural areas. The pace of life seems more natural, people talk and acknowledge one another. Yet they may be strangers. Had a quick-lunch at Big Belly Deli, my first visit there and the Philly Cheese-steak is a winner in my mind. Reminded me of the ones that Festival Carry out made in old St Johns Plaza. That place was great.

Natures canopy. Photo by Mike Hartley

Natures canopy.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I will also be doing my working man impression like this guy below today. For there is much prep needed for the winter season. It makes one think about how much longer I can keep up with the home and property maintenance. Well, hopefully I have a fair number of years to contemplate the changes needed. But the body tells me that day is coming so I had better stop ignoring that reality.

I like Natures palate better. Photo by Mike Hartley

I like Natures palate better.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Oh, and the most important thing to get out about the town is the event its holding today. Its Chili and Beer Festival from noon to 5pm on Main Street.

Yep its today and you still have time to get there. Photo by Mike Hartley

Yep its today and you still have time to get there.
Photo by Mike Hartley

So stop by this small town and have a beer and bowl of chili today.

Stop on by. Photo by Mike Hartley

Stop on by.
Photo by Mike Hartley

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First of many trips to the town of Westminster

With my daughter and her husband now living in Westminster Maryland I’m sure you will be seeing some images from this town more often. This place is huge compared to what I remembered. The college has changed its name from when I grew up but Main Street looks like I remembered but in better shape.

That is a cloud behind the Sherwood Distillery Smokestack Photo by Mike Hartley

That is a cloud behind the Sherwood Distillery Smokestack
Photo by Mike Hartley

We dined at a wonderful spot called Rafaels and had a great lunch last week. We walked out saying how good our service was in addition to the food. I wish I had gotten our waitress name so I could compliment her.

Westminster MD Photo by Mike Hartley

Westminster MD
Photo by Mike Hartley

So time to create a new tag and category. Or I guess I could just add it to the Maryland file. Hopefully I’ll have some random thoughts later to share. Haven’t been feeling myself the last 2 days. Probably the heat.

Just in case you forgot where you were. Photo by Mike Hartley

Just in case you forgot where you were.
Photo by Mike Hartley