THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

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Are you ready?

Could be a rough winter ahead. The cold temps started early. At least this snow and ice is south of our state today. Well at least my part of it. I hope that we actually have some rude weather. Much more likely I can work from home that way. And working from home and taking two and half hours out of the car is a nice thought. Oh that two and a half hours is a smooth commute.

Not driving in this.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I’m not letting the anticipation of the coming work week get me down today. Just going to power through it. I do have a couple of wonderful things planned. Like a dinner with my daughter. Some holiday shopping. I’m also going to try to make some time to start doing some holiday light pictures around the county. Did a few this weekend but kind of experimenting so far.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I need to touch base with some friends I haven’t heard from in a while.

Sometimes its possible to send strong messages with Silence.

I’ve been putting off going to the animal shelter too long. Time to make a donation this week.

Heated seats are the best. But I’m upset that I froze my behind off for decades without them.

You know when you put some things off, that you really think need doing, you find out if they were really important to rush being done in the first place.

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Honoring Service

I support Wreaths Across America. They will be laying wreaths at Arlington Cemetery next Saturday Dec 15th at 8am. This holiday season and Memorial Day weekend, these grounds seem to look so special and to me the most beautiful besides the fall when the trees provide color to the vast rolling hills. But they are very different. Memorial Day invokes a great sense of pride and almost a smile. Christmas evokes the loss of family, very special memories and tears.

A week from today.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Maybe one of these years I’ll get down and help with the laying of the wreaths. I thank the many who volunteer on these cold December days.

More Random Thoughts of the Day

Working my hardest, on relaxing.

I think my cell phone is more charged than I.

My children are teaching me. Of course they have been since birth. I’m just so glad I’m open to learning from them.

I’m already anticipating Sunday breakfast. Think I’ll have a glass of OJ before bed to quell the cravings.

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Its that time of year again – Go Navy

Yep its the ARMY / NAVY game. No need to say more.

Go Navy
Photo by Mike Hartley

Hope to catch the game today as I add some decorations to the house. Two traditions continue.

Random Thoughts of the Morning

Time to get back in the habit of daily walks.

The first Coke of the day is the best one. But the second one isn’t bad either. Of course the mid day Coke is refreshing. Well on reflection that after dinner Coke is real sweet.

Temps in the teens are titillating.

When my old water heater broke recently I decided to get a slightly larger one. No not because I’m starting a family again. Too late for that. Its my back that needs that extra 10 gallons.

I’ll be bock.

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Being the temps are starting to sink in the fine state of Maryland, I was thinking of things to start photographing in my non-existent indoor studio and I ran across a box of old sea shells my Mom had collected at one time. So the idea was born. I’ll shoot some sea shells. And below is my first example.

Shooting shells.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Actually two things came to light yesterday in my photography. I had to take a portrait of myself for the upcoming 20 year club announcement at work. The first mentioned above, I have no studio and even if I did I’m poor at lighting and other basics of portraiture. And I’m really fairly weak at a lot of areas of photography.

So, I’m looking at this in a great way. It just means I have a lot more to learn along the way. I love photography, but it really has been just a hobby as I wandered through life so far. I do take some pride in it no matter though because its something I create. That’s why, when I’m sorting through some older images like this one, I don’t just trash it because of its technical flaws.

It might have been a good idea. It might just be poorly executed. But even that is totally in the eye of the beholder. I love when I’m surprised by an image or words I use sometime that others think might be good and I’m thinking I’ve done far better work and that seems to go without comment sometimes.

I’ve realized that is due to the various taste and even what group of people might even see it that day that responses to work can vary wildly. And you know what, that doesn’t frustrate me at all now. At one time I’d maybe let that change my impression of my work and what works and what I like. No more.

I’m not trying to be arrogant with that last statement, but I’m happy with what makes me happy in creating my work and it’s not dependent on others view of worth or worthlessness. And as I’ve said from the beginning. If I just make one person or my family or a few friends who might read along happy or brighten a day, then its a success to me.

So I’m thinking I had better get busy practicing and taking advantage of these colder temps to do some better work on lighting and studio ideas. Lets see if I can accomplish anything on this weekend.

Random Thoughts of the Day

Hats off to my Uncle Frank Horton who was on the USS West Virginia at Pearl Harbor on this anniversary of December 7th. He survived that attack. A bomb blew him off the deck into the water. Don’t let your families forget history. Many of the important things we value were fought hard for and many paid a heavy price. War is not a video game.

Wow, just realized that next month will be the 5 year anniversary of starting this. I’m going to have to do one of those cheesy anniversary articles.

Think I’ll try some holiday light photography this year. Been wanting to do that for a bit. I have good intentions of doing it each year, but life has its own time frame. At least I got a list of this stuff so I don’t forget to try.

Great time with my Son this afternoon. Looking forward to time with my Daughter next week.

Ain’t life interesting.

Now I know why he supports the coal industry so well. That is what he wants for Christmas, a lump of coal.

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Its all in a days laughter

Laughed very hard with my best friends this evening. Feeling about as relaxed as I would be after a day of fishing. Don’t have much left though but I’ll try to say something insightful. Well upon light of that last statement, I must be tired. Recovering from the work week which I’ve allowed to drain me. For some reason the drive took its toll this week. Such is life. I’ll work at not letting that get to me next week.

Photo by Mike Hartley

Being in the proper frame of mind makes this blog writing easy and a pleasure. For it focuses me on where priorities should be. Reading blogs helps me grow and develop. It also gives me joy to see what people create with various art forms. It gives me a mission each day.

Now I have to take advantage of the opportunities I’ve been given and run with them. Well actually its time to put the artificial tree in the basement together and put the lights on it. Might even run another string or two outside if I have the energy and think I can curse quietly enough in the cold as to not wake my better half or the neighbors.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I wonder if I’ll ever draw a complete blank for random thoughts?

Life changes fast at every stage. So always be happy with yourself.

It’s interesting how people are so private in some ways and so public in others.

I wonder if I can make a dent in that to do list I have?

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Endless summer

My mind is already wandering to the beach and its only December. Well truth be told, I got this reminder of renewing our time slot for next summer. Some warm temps, hot sand, cool breeze and where formal attire is flip-flops, gym shorts or bathing suit. I’m just not compatible with late fall, winter or early spring at all. It changes my whole outlook some days. For instance in the summer there is nothing like pulling on a pair of shorts and opening the front door and taking in some fresh air. Listening to the birds and other wildlife, slowly stretching out and letting a calm come over me. I walk back in positive spirits and ready to live.

Take a walk on the wild side.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Let me tell you what happens when I went outside today. I pulled on a sweat suit. I touched the front door handle which was freezing and my body tightened. I open the door and I’m hit with that cold in the face and my teeth clinch, my shoulders hunch tight. I take a first step off the porch and I’m now cursing up a storm and thinking of how to penalize my friends who like winter. Or as they say “Embrace the Hawk”. I’m in a bad mood, I come back inside and my attitude is raging thinking that I have to go back out in that nonsense.

I’m going to make like a bear and hibernate.

Sorry, I have these uncontrollable rants about cold weather. I know its part of the small stuff that I shouldn’t worry about. Something I have no control over unless I move, which isn’t going to happen.  So it may seem like an exercise in frustration to hear my periodic rants about the cold, but it is kind of therapeutic for this patient.

One it steels me for fighting the cold off for a few months. It’s like a battle for a few months. How can I stay warm and inside. You see I also have this aversion to wearing a ton of cloths. Big coats, multiple layers gloves, hats, you all know the drill about going outside in the winter.

So I’m refusing the turn off the lights on Summer.

Keep the lights burning. I’ll be back.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

No man is perfect. But I admire greatly to those who constantly strive. And 41 was one of those. A man who seemed to have his priorities of life worn on his sleeve.

I’m so burned out on the job this week. Glad the work week is near the end. Well that statement isn’t totally accurate. I’m more burned out on people.

Moral or Money leadership. It’s our choice.

Just seeing Christmas lights as I drive around gives me a sense of peace.

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Thought and Action

Today was limited on both Thought and Action. Rest was needed to recover from that 24 day yesterday. Staying up long periods is sometimes needed with the strange hours of my work and flipping schedules from family to job. But the difference from months ago is, I still do something here every day.

Time for thought.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I like that I’m a daily posting routine now. Seems almost like part of the day now. I wake, thinking about what I might write about or what image to use. I feel more positive doing this daily and it helps get me going looking/reading other blogs. Then reality sets in and I struggle with the few free moments I have to pull something together.

But each day I have the thought to work on this blog. Each day I take action to work on this blog. And that is the secret, keep plugging away each day. It might not be the best work. It might not be what I had hoped to do. It might not be as timely as I hoped. But its something that I can build on.

It’s always fun to look back at projects I’ve started and take some pride on how it develops.

Random Thoughts of the Day

Apparently, its Clapper and Chia Pet season.

Well this burst of cold air is certainly unwelcome in my opinion. If it keeps up doing a positive blog is going to be difficult.

Do you ever wonder how some people seem to get away with everything? No I’m not talking about Trump.

If we are home, my wife and I always stay by the front door and say goodbye to each other as we drive off. I like that.

Can’t wait for the weekend so I’m going to start tomorrow.