THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

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Only a Day

It’s never “only a day.” It’s a series of events that you try to make as positive and cherished as possible. I never used to look for these as part of the day. I was just cruising through life not taking the true appreciation for each day, or focused on the wrong things. I’ve been doing better all the time but still slip and waste some time here and there.

Photo by Mike Hartley

Don’t get me wrong, for instance, I took a nap with this baby the other day and that was the most restful hour or two of sleep I’ve had. I put my hand on her back and she would occasionally move up closer to me. Even though that was the middle of the afternoon it was a great use of time. It brought us both joy.

Of course, she had to have a treat when we woke. With retirement in sight within the next decade, I kind of dream of days where I don’t beat myself up for taking a nap. Days that allow for a more relaxed day where I can appreciate more small things. The more I look within for my own happiness, the more I’m pleased with my life.

And being surrounded by such good family and friends, I don’t need to travel the world, I don’t need expensive toys, I don’t need to eat at the best restaurant’s, I just need their company and companionship and life is great.

I think I’ll take the camera out tomorrow night. Been meaning to do a book on night photography. I should get moving on that. I’m not getting any younger.

Night Sunrise
Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

At what point do senseless slaughters provoke action?

I’ve decided to spare you from the poor spelling and grammar I use. I’ve installed Grammarly.

To sleep during this beautiful afternoon felt like a waste.

Finding words is kind of fun. It reaches deep into you to describe your feelings.

I had a long wait at the doctor’s office today. I spent the time observing people. I noticed that older people are more friendly.

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Nothing like a vacation day

Yes, its that time of year again. When I start to sprinkle months with some time off of the job that pays the bills. And I can’t tell you how good that feels. Some days I start to feel my age and its nice to have a break. Today was one of them and it was a fine one with family.

I was fishing for a good time today and I had one.
Photo by Mike Hartley

All I can do with the remaining few minutes of the day is thank those close to me for a wonderful day and life.

Random Thoughts of the Day

Weather is a great thing on a sunny day.

That GSW team is a special one.

Feeling proud is a wonderful feeling.

As you can tell, I’ve neglected the blog again today. Looking forward to changing that tomorrow.

Time for a good night’s sleep.

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Riding the mist

Well I’ve floated through the day myself. Some work and some relaxing. I guess that is balance. I should have gotten more done but what the hell, its summertime and I’ve shifted priorities. I do have to pay my respects to Mother Nature for today. I guess she is trying to balance out that rash of storms recently.

Photo by Mike Hartley

Tonight is out last night babysitting our grand dog. The house is going to be so quiet when she goes home. I’d like to get a pet again someday. Hoping to get out and do some shooting Sunday and Monday. I’ve charged the batteries, not I just have to go press that shutter release to recharge mine.

So its going to be an early night to bed for a change of pace. I know its going to be a late night tomorrow with that late NBA game I’m going to try to watch. I’m also planning a very early morning car wash and ride around sunrise. Yeah I know its going to rain later. I don’t care. Its still getting a bath.

Random Thoughts of the Day

You can’t help but wonder what a dog is thinking when they stare deep into your eyes.

Today is the birthday of an old friend who passed recently. Remembering you today Big Pete.

My back starts to seize up at the sight of the string trimmer.

If you have had a good day, got out and enjoyed the weather, a healthy day, think of someone who can’t get outside and doesn’t have their health and it becomes even more special.

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Day with the Dog

I’m watching my Son’s dog today. Well not just any dog. Our grand dog. Our first grand dog. She is so sweet and loving. It is a joy every time she comes to our home. I love animals and have been a cat person most of my life. Dogs are much more interactive and they really need that constant love and attention. Cats are laid back and want some of their own time. With dogs, your time is their time.

I’d have a horrible guilt complex if I had a dog. I’d have a hell of a time doing much else besides being the dogs best friend. That is one of the special things about pets. A lot of them become one of your best friends. They are a good example of what friends should be. Loyal is one important quality. Being there for you is another. Good friends will warn you about suspicious characters, just like your dog will.

Rolling along.
Photo by Mike Hartley

A friend won’t let you sit around all day doing nothing. A friend is appreciative and dogs are very appreciative. There are many find qualities in friends. The one fine quality though that I have a problem with is she is quick to beat me to my spot in the bed. So be it. With all that love she shared with me today, she can have my spot.

Random Thoughts of the Day

Feeling good about the start to the weekend.

Sunshine on my Shoulders, makes me happy, so the song goes. Sunshine on my shoulders makes me warm.

I’m learning how to go to bed before I pass out.

Learning to listen. It helps reduce the stupid crap I might have said.

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An eye on the sky and then calm

Some interesting weather out and about. Looking forward to something a bit calmer the next few days. Seems like you barely finish cleaning up from the previous storm and the next one is putting a new coating of trees on the grass. As long as everyone stays safe, its a win.

Painting with the camera.
Photo by Mike Hartley

The end of the work week has wiped me out. Glad its a long weekend. I’ll recover tonight and come back strong tomorrow.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I think GSW will win the NBA Finals. And I can’t believe hoop season is almost over. Starting panic attacks now.

I spend more exercise thinking about working out than I do working out.

My riding mower RIDES AGAIN.  Life is good.

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Some Days

Some days are just a notch above others. I was going to say today wasn’t anything special but that would be wrong. All days are special and to be cherished. Can’t believe how much I accomplished and did, with far less than 100% cooperation from the body. I did get good news from a friend which made my day special.

Leaf me alone.
Photo by Mike Hartley

As you age you will be surprised how much time you spend thinking about others facing serious issues. Actually that is the second piece of good news about health issues some are facing recently. So I’m in good spirits because there is an ever increasing number of people who need my positive energy.

Random Thoughts of the Day

This thought might be a little late but that tax bill bent me over this year. So I guess the rich did get richer. And I am not a happy camper.

Any day that starts with cooking some bacon is a great day. And so it was today.

I get to dog sit for a few days. I’m as excited as a puppy.

Having thoughtful children is a gift in itself.

Please and thank you are becoming lost phrases.

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All strung out

Good day all. Hope its a wonderful one for you. I pushed it a little too hard and paying the price. Mother Nature is winning this May and we are in the somewhat lucky area of the country. Even though we did have a tornado down the road last week. To see and hear the pain in the voices of the people who have lost their homes and businesses in the mid section of this country is gut wrenching.

Green health.
Photo by Mike Hartley

And I was reminded of this by the Red Cross asking for donations for these disasters. I think I’ll have to go loosen the wallet and make one. I should have done that with the two Mega Millions tickets I got the other day.

All strung out.
Photo by Mike Hartley

We need to remember the pictures of the flooding and destruction are people.

Random Thoughts of the Day

Thank you for all you did for me Mom.

If someone hands you a vegan hot dog, just add chili.

Its nice to see Mackenzie Bezos donate half of her fortune to charity.

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Its OK

This morning I was faced with a dilemma. And that lead to a second dilemma. Normally I wouldn’t elaborate on either because they are rather personal. But upon reflection of the day, I can say I felt the right choices were made. I normally go to Arlington cemetery on Memorial Day to pay my respects to my parents. But my Daughter called the night before and invited us over for the afternoon and we accepted.

I had planned to go over to the cemetery in the morning after work today but postponed that visit. I asked their forgiveness in this last night and told them the reason. I vowed to be over soon. But I still felt conflicted. That was till I got to my Daughter and Son in laws home and got to hold the baby again.

We were there a bit and she was laying on me, but she was tired. I lifted her to give her to my daughter for changing. She was a little cranky but I leaned over close to her and she calmed. She was looking at me intently and I whispered to her that Great Grandma Shirley and Grandpa Jim said hello. She smiled as I said each of their names which completed my answer.

It might have been just that I look funny or she could just like the sound of my voice then, she is still very young. But the timing of their names and her smile just for that second or two were them saying hello and it was ok. I had made the correct call. While its right to honor and show respect for those past, its always important to keep them living in the present.

Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

Happiness and contentment.

Exhaustion and calm.

Hungry and watch out kitchen, here I come.


For Dad

Dad, I miss you. I love you. Thank you for the freedom I have today.

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Utilizing Time

We all accomplish it to varying levels of success. The management and utilization of time is a tricky slope and always needs attention or it will quickly get away from you. Sometimes that can be a good thing. Like a day spent relaxing on a beach listening to waves and children laughing and feeling a cool breeze.

Sometimes though our choices need evaluation and refinement. I’ve been trying to find more time for things I enjoy and want to get done for others. I’m trying to change some habits that are time drains. TV is one of those time drains. So is work. Well I can’t totally get rid of that one now can I. But I can work smarter.

Don’t let the holiday weekend slip away.
Photo by Mike Hartley

For instance spending less time commuting and more work from home. That will allow a good number of hours to be recouped. Also with my work schedule establishing a routine is a difficult thing. But I’m going to try to take advantage of a few hours I wasn’t as productive as I could be.

I told you 13 was unlucky. (Leg)
Photo by Mike Hartley

Those hours are usually in the morning so lets see if I can get the party rolling earlier each day.

Random Thoughts of the Day

Are mosquitoes getting larger or is just my imagination?

Congrats to the Lady Terps Lacrosse team. National Champs.

Am I pissed about working another holiday weekend?

I’ve had the camera in my hands the last two days and its feeling good.

Music is saving me again this evening.

I had a difficult decision to make today and I hope all the parties are happy with it.

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What a Saturday. Beautiful day, beautiful friends and family. I have nothing left so I’m going to slither into Sunday.

Slip Sliding into Sunday
Photo by Mike Hartley

I’ll find some energy tomorrow to take flight and catch some new images like these guys catch the catch of the day.

Man’s encroachment on Nature.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

I’m emotionally drained. Time for a good mental rest.

I like small towns on Memorial Day weekends.

To prioritize is to select carefully in life.

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A simple day

Sunshine in the morning – Lawn mower in hand.

The back is holding up, but not for long. I need my rider fixed before I’m gone.

A riding mower can make your yard seem small. With a push mower I feel I’ll be cutting till fall.

It was a beautiful day. One full of sun and a nice breeze. That back yard was as tall as trees.

It was nice being outside all day. No phones or computers or tv’s to distract. Just the beauty of nature which is a FACT.

Rock and Stroll.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

Hope to get back on the photography horse this weekend. A craft neglected is a waste when it provides so much fun.

The physical effort today felt good. I’m reserving judgement though for tomorrow morning when I get out of bed.

I wonder if those soda stream machines are any good?

My tan is back and I feel Marvelous.

I’ve got a good plan for next week.

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Shades open, shades closed

Like this photo I feel unfocused and kind of grey. No problem, we are on the doorstep of Friday and that can’t be all bad. My priorities seem to be changing. The more my grandchild responds to her nut of a grandpa, the more I’m drawn into her world. I’ve noticed when I visit or spend time I often leave my phone in the car. I don’t think about having tv or music on. Well my better half or I singing is about the extent of music.

I forgot how sweet she sounds singing to a baby in her arms. I was reminded of it today and it kind of gave me pause. I wish every child could have all the love they all need. Its strange how issues at work disappear when she is passed to my arms. Its my mind racing on all the things we can learn together. Or how many times I can make her smile, laugh or look in wonder.

I’m beginning to think the joy that is a grandchild, is almost being reborn ourselves. With wisdom and patience we lacked when we became parents. The calm and multitude of techniques or tricks or faces to keep them happy. But at the same time being able to sleep which isn’t part of the deal when you are the parent.

Kind of hazy.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Here I am on the brink of summer and I feel so busy that I can see it slipping away quickly. So got to lay in plans to maximize what time I can spare for some selfish time. Day trips to the beach, a couple of photo outings, maybe a day of nothing but writing. Or maybe setting up the workbench outside and putting a few of those ideas I just wrote down earlier into stone. Maybe an afternoon in the hammock.

Random Thoughts of the Day

Tomorrow I start to eat a bit healthier. Well that is my intention. No really. Stop laughing. OK get off the floor. Stop rolling around like a fish out of water. No seriously, stop laughing.

As you can tell by my blog, I’m not the most organized person in the world, country, state, county, street, person living in this house.

My highlight of the day was making my grand daughter smile and laugh.

Its late, another day in the books. A smile on my face, at least until I try to move again.

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Yeah, I almost made some good progress today. Yeah it was almost a sunny day. Yeah the temp almost got to a normal level. It was almost a lot of things. But like any day it was good to be alive. Good to try to find opportunities. Good to have a few minutes to create. Good to have time to email a sick friend.

There are a lot of almost in every day. When I first thought of “almost” I had this negative connotation to it. But almost means you were trying. Nobody reaches the pinnacle every day. No baseball player goes 4 for 4 every day. Tomorrow I will try harder and maybe turn a few almost, into something complete.

Almost a sunny day.
Photo by Mike Hartley

We got our A/C serviced today and we are ready for the man above. Go ahead and crank it up. The house will be a refuge for my better half while I’ll be outside in the hammock. That reminds me, I have to set that up on Friday because I wouldn’t mind taking my first nap of the season in it this weekend.

Everyone should own a hammock. Looking at the leaves on the tree blow in the wind. The clouds in the sky forming different shapes and moving a different speeds. The feeling that you are floating. The gentle swinging motion. The occasional bee buzzing overhead. And as I mentioned its a good nap machine.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I’m struggling over a letter to a friend who is under the weather.

I wished I could have joined my friends who were gathering for a beer after work today.

I couldn’t get my mind off my Daughter today. I’m trying to funnel strength to her.

Another anniversary this coming week. A tough one that breaks my heart.

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Step outside and take a bow

Some days when you step outside and the temp is about 70 degrees, sunny with a few high clouds, you just take that moment to pause and feel the perfect match of time and nature. I used the 70 degree point because that seems to be the norm for pleasant in the circle of people I run with.

Take a bow
Photo by Mike Hartley

Personally I’m into the 80’s and 90’s myself before I’m comfortable. Always been that way, I kind of like the warm weather. Guess with climate change I’ll have an easier time adapting. But as usual I focus on myself and not on my children or now their children. I’ve got to stop being selfish and do my part to lesson my footprint on this planet.

I did do my part a few years ago. I almost bought the huge horsepower, fossil fuel sucking beast that I’ve always dreamed about but instead got a little roadster. I really try not to be wasteful or careless or selfish in my daily activities. I recycle well and do my best to always respect nature.

I was cruising the library of images I have from my old Nikon. I have no idea why I kept this image but I think I remember now. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m no Mariner but to me this is one of the ugliest ships I think I recall seeing.

Functional yes, Pretty no.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

When I was a teenager cutting the yard I would dream about the day I would no longer have to cut grass. Now that I’m in my 60’s I’m scared of the day I’m no longer able to cut grass.

I grew up in an amazing generation of music. So much of it moves me still today. Everything from reminders of love to tunes with the energy to run through a wall.

My tolerance for stupid is diminishing.

I’ve got to get to work on something special for a special person. Actually I’m backed up in all the special things I’d like to do for special people. So let me get my ass moving.

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The warmth was on and now we get a brief respite before it cranks up again later this week. Was nice riding this morning with the top down. That felt like the last free second of the day I had. Do you ever have those days where time seems to just evaporate before your eyes. I’m making better use of my time every day and I still seem to have little left to accomplish things I’d like to do.

Too warm for some.
Photo by Mike Hartley

In some ways I wished I had recognized how many free hours I used to give the job earlier in my career and changed that. Yeah it was smart to work hard and longer in hopes of creating opportunities for myself and teammates. And it worked out a bit for me. But I didn’t look at it like a business arrangement and that is all it is. Such is life, learning from my mistakes as I go.

Sometimes I think about things as I look back and for a moment wish I had changed something. But then I think about how everything now is so special and I wouldn’t want to change that at.

Random Thoughts of the Day

Sometimes I’m just too cooperative.

I’m glad I got people around me not afraid to correct me.

The hair on my neck still stands up when I watch videos of the original Lynyrd Skynyrd band. Takes me back and they still sound as good as when I heard them the first time and at concerts.

There is a picture of my Dad holding me when I was young. He looked very happy. I wish he lived long enough to tell me that.

It takes a special person to work in a behind the scenes role, one that isn’t visible or appreciated much. That is a lot of us.

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Sunday Sunburn

Too much time out in the sun today. Got a bit toasty. And while I’m not as red as the bricks or boards in the windows, I’m a little warm. I sense a rough start to the week already. A little tired and sore but not going to let that stop me today. Can’t because I’m working alone tonight. Such is life.

Not the type of window treatments I would have chosen.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I am looking forward to the week ahead though. Its going to be packed but hopefully with things that are rewarding. And maybe I’ll pick up the cameras again and get busy. I’m missing the full moon tonight but that is unavoidable.

Its time to visit my parents again. Going to Arlington on Memorial Day weekend is a special time. The flags on the graves. The extra people paying their respects. Of course I could do with less tourist but that is also something that makes that weekend special. I’ll probably pay a visit first thing that morning when they open and beat the crowds and the President if he comes out of his cave. I actually have a problem with him stepping on those grounds. But that is a personal bias.

It’s a visit that is kind of upbeat. Same for the Christmas time visits with all the wreaths on the graves. I took them a shot of my grand daughter on my last visit. I so wish they could have had the pleasure of holding her.

I owe so much to my parents. I try to remember to be a better person each day because of them. I think one of the most important lessons my Mom taught me is something I do today as often as I can. I tell my children that I love them. I work hard to show them that there is effort and commitment behind those words.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I used to cut my yard with a push mower a few decades ago. I did it this weekend with a push mower. My yard size has grown significantly since those old days.

It is now grilling season. Everyone to the BBQ.

It’s vacation season and I can’t wait. Its my favorite benefit.

Some days I feel my age. I just don’t act like it.

Health is priceless.

Yesterday I missed posting. I think it was the first day I missed in 8 or 9 months. Time for a new streak.

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Today I listened. Not in the typical way. I listened to my body today. Usually I ignore it as much as possible because it can be limiting some days. But today I listened and gave it a bit of rest along with a little exercise. That part of my life is out of balance. As I told my manager last week I’ve been working through times when most would take off sick. I’ve been doing it for decades at my own cost.

Well today I have a new mindset for both work and outside it. Not because of any event. Not because I’m jealous of others taking time. I’m doing it for myself. I’m giving myself permission to be selfish with my own health.

Building bridges to better health.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Which reminds me I have to schedule a few appointments with the guys who are the experts in the field of health. Well at least my experts and they have done pretty well so far. But its time for me to help them out. Hope I’m not starting too late but as the saying goes, its never too late getting moving in the right direction.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I take full responsibility for the rain this evening. I went out and washed my better half’s and my car a few hours ago.

You know I want my children to know that I’m the luckiest father in the world to have them. I thank them both for all they do for me.

I treated myself to a mid day nap and now I’m feeling better for it. Hint to self, take a few more.

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A peach of a Friday

Well I’m not the mechanic I once was. Struggled with the lawn tractor today and never got it running. Electrical or starter issue. So I switched tracks and did the trimming first and some landscaping. Going to plan B tomorrow. And B is for backup, which I have none so I’m heading out to get a small push mower.

Feeling peachy.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Wow, just realized it’s been a few decades since mowing the yard with a push mower. Not that this body doesn’t need the exercise. Not that I don’t need a push mower for some of the hills I have. I’m just glad its not mid summer heat time yet. It will also give me the week or two I need to get the tractor fixed.

Also felt great to have a day without rain. Maybe we can pull off two in a row. That would be sweet because I do have a ton of work to do tomorrow outside also.

Given the feeling of my back and neck I may have gotten a little too much sun today. But I can cope with that because if that is more noticeable than the back pain, that is a good thing.

Well its time to get some doctors appointments scheduled again. One of my least favorite things to do. The good thing is these guys look hard to find things wrong. The bad thing is they sometimes find some bad things wrong. So I’m a bit gun shy of doctors.

Random Thoughts of the Day

Feels good to spend a day working. Wish I had more to show for it. Maybe more progress tomorrow.

I see the Orioles are setting new standards for fielding in the American League. It was so bad they might make Shaqtin a Fool.

Tomorrow we test out the surgically repaired shoulder with the golf swing.

Its a good night when you can look forward to seeing the crack of dawn.

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As the flag says

Feels good to be back in a positive vibe. Had a great day with my better half and friends. The mental well being that provides is priceless. The appreciation for that is endless. That is why I try to repeat it often. Lots of things can work against happiness. We just have to keep them at bay and keep functioning at the highest level.

Keep plugging away.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Really looking forward to a productive Friday. Only time will tell but I’m feeling good about it.

Random Thoughts of the Day

Getting a haircut always makes my day feel better.

Sorry about being lazy with the blog of late. Time has been getting away from me.

The level of NBA playoff basketball is something else.

Its time to detail the ride.

About to get antiquated with the medical profession again. Who thought I’d still be taking test at this age.

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I’m calm

Yesterday was a setback. Today I’m good again and on the right track. First off because I got my priorities right. I started my day with my daughter and her new baby. What a great way to calm down and focus on what is important. Looking into a child’s eyes and making them happy is the charm that filled me with joy.

Get out and enjoy the weekend.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Next I got some things off my chest and felt they were heard so were back to working together instead of against one another. Next I managed to keep my cool despite several people behaving badly on the road.

I’m not even stressed about my huge list of things to do on Thursday. My back isn’t looking forward to the work but mentally I’m fresh and ready to go over the weekend.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I’m so happy my children are happy.

When my top is down in my car, life is GOOD.

The more music I listen to each day the happier I am.

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Tuesday Tirade

I try to stay under control but I do slip. And today is one of those days. And tomorrow might be one as well. I’m livid about a few things and I’ve got myself wound up tight. So I’ve got to work on calming myself down so I don’t let it waste important time. I’ve got to get it in check again and focus on things that are really important and not on people who aren’t.

I’ve got to remember that I shouldn’t care about what people say, who I don’t have respect for, in the first place. I’ve got to learn better techniques to keep them from even triggering the rage I feel right now. I’ve got to make some further changes that will protect me from bull that doesn’t do me any good and safeguards if some does creep into my life that it can be expelled immediately.

But decades of practicing handling rage in the wrong ways are hard to break. I recognize it earlier now. I know its bad for me. I try to make myself calm and focus on what I want life to be. But I find myself walking a fast pace around the house cursing out loud if nobody is at home and to myself if I’m not alone. I might do my best Mohammad Ali impression of his fight with Sonny Liston. I might test the springs on my keyboard. I might do a burnout when I get in the car. I might snap at someone.

Part of it is my nature. When I feel like I’m being attacked I get aggressive and defensive at the same time. When I feel I’m being wronged I fly into rage mode. At least I’ve dropped the revenge part of life. But I still struggle in the moment. Its kind of funny, I can keep very good control in very stressful emergency situations but try to treat me unfairly and that is a serious issue.

So let me go water some positive vibes, take some deep breaths, maybe lean back and shut my eyes for 2-3 minutes, block out all noise. And go find that book I wanted to read called “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*CK.

Going to water some positive thoughts in my own way.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

Sometimes I’m not a bad cook.

Somehow I can understand people who have been beaten down and have given up. At the same time I try to never give up despite being beaten down.

Oh yeah, we are killing this planet we live on.

I’m irritated with the voice menu system at medical systems and doctors offices. Oh yeah and insurance companies and and business that use one. Yeah it saves you money but you got a pissed off customer when a real person answers. Which isn’t often.

It’s Mental Health Awareness week. If I had some, I wish I was aware of it. So much of it alludes me.

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Damp and down

Very tired today. Barely a minute to pull something together. Had to go through the archive and see what I might have missed using. I hate repeating any photos I’ve used before. I hate not getting out and doing something fresh. But one does what one can. So today we get a few old photos I’ve passed over posting before

Photo by Mike Hartley

Today I’m kind of at peace with myself but not the world. I’ll see if I can get in better harmony this evening. Then again, there is little harmony in the world, we are divided. Not surprising but it used to be secondary to moving forward ahead together. We forgot what it took for people to pull together and work together. Now we just hurl insults at each other.

Green Water
Photo by Mike Hartley

Well no insults today. Just hope that enough will realize before its too late and we revert back to the 1860’s.

Random Thoughts of the Day.

Have friends, but rely on family. But also realize some friends can become family.

I really miss a lot of old co-workers. Life professionally has changed so much.

I wonder if my random thoughts that I list here are much differnt than the content I create above them?

The new flood plan in HoCo is 140 Million I hear on the news. Excuse me, but how much are you counting on from me?

I wonder if I should switch to this new block editor in WP? I guess I could be way behind the times again. But I do what I can. Maybe this week.

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Well a happy Mothers Day again to all. It was a wonderful day. It was a wet day. So wet even this guy didn’t want to be on the ground. I’m not a big fan of wet weather. I’m not a fan of cold and both are with us today here in the great state of Maryland. And it looks as if this mess will continue a while longer. Good for the grass and flowers. Bad for us that cut the grass.

To wet even for frogs.
Photo by Mike Hartley

A day where the reality of work smacks me in the face again. Such is life. Good to have a paycheck hit the bank so I won’t complain too much. But mentally Sunday nights are draining on the mind. Once I get past that I’m good to go but that start of the work week is tough for me for some reason.

One of my Moms favorites.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I guess the more time you put in, the more you appreciate and respect the time away. Actually work cut my weekend short this week and I wasn’t all that thrilled with it. So I’m not starting the week on a positive note professionally. Just more incentive to concentrate and have fun on my personal work. And I’ll try to make that happen starting on Monday.

That is the crux of life. Keeping that balance between profession, social and personal life in order is a tough measure. Its even tougher when you forget you’re in charge.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I was going to say much respect for Moms. Really its Ultimate Respect for Moms.

My mind was stuck on cranky. Maybe its the weather.

The weekend is only a few minutes from ending. That sucks.

My heart is at peace. I know my children will always take care of my better half well.

Is it strange to have conversations with those that have passed?

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It was a Rose of a Day

The joy of grandchildren. We got to babysit for the first time today. What a throwback of memories. I don’t even like calling it babysitting when its your own grandchild. Its more like life sharing. And I had a great day with her but it certainly was a team effort with my better half also. Were a good pair.

It was pretty much the first time my daughter and her had been apart so it was rough for her also. But both were real troopers and a great time was had by both.

It was a rose of a day with the flower of my life.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I thought  back and I remember the day I had to return to work myself after my children were born. I struggled with it. As I know she will when the time comes. Having children is a wonderful event. Taking good care of them is hard work. But its a labor of love.

Tomorrow is Mothers day. Our children will be coming by to honor their Mom. I’ll be paying my respects to mine in a couple of weeks. I miss her so. Even thought some years have passed it still hurts badly. Life changes when your parents are gone. I have huge family support but its different.

I miss her smells. I miss her unyielding support. I miss her phone calls just to check in. I miss stopping by to see her. I miss our home. I miss her special meals. I miss her love of everyone and kindness for all. I miss her innocence and trust, while also being wise. I admire her hard work and never give up attitude. I could go on forever on things I miss. Some even funny. And I’m glad I can remember a lot of her.

I even remember those disapproving looks when I would screw up. Even though she is not here I try not to screw up because I don’t want her to be disappointed.

This month is hard though. It’s the month she passed.

I’d like to thank the Mother of our children for all she has and still does. I know my children are very thankful for such a special person and the love she has. I’m going to take her to dinner this week and celebrate all she does for us.

Random Thoughts of the Day

When you are scanning channels and come across an old classic movie that you’ve seen many time don’t you just find it impossible not to watch it again?

Is it just me or are there a lot more ants around than there used to be?

I find myself a lot happier when I look at how to best use the time I have. And I’m making improvements (maybe small) every day.

I’m getting my mojo back. Pain reduction=Better attitude.

Who gives a flying F what is tweeted or re-tweeted. I’m sick of the news carrying that crap. Giving that more coverage doesn’t do anyone any good. If people want to follow that on Twitter they can. I don’t and I don’t want a daily recap of it in the news.

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Weeding out

I was feeling a little frazzled today. Good thing my better half can relate to me. Made some progress before the rain today. Took care of a stressful situation at the job. And then my mower died right before I went to put it into the shed before the skies opened. I’ll have to figure out that one tomorrow. As they say, the lower 40 needs cutting.

2 of a kind.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Had a quick meal at Glory Days. A nice relaxing end to the day outside. I like going there. The service is always great and the food is pretty good. They have a ton of big screens with sports playing. But they always have one playing cartoons. The old classics. Today was Tom and Jerry. The last time it was the Road Runner and Coyote. Those bring a smile to my face and I end up watching that more than the sports.

I feel like a little kid sitting there eating and laughing between conversation. Made me feel young. I might have to check a few out on Saturday morning. Remember doing that when you were young?

Did manage to snap a few frame of flowers earlier. I hope to shoot a good bit tomorrow before and during and between the scheduled items.

Random Thoughts of the Day

At what point did people stop getting mad and upset if their coffee was cold and started liking it that way? Please tell me, I’m not a coffee drinker but I remember people near the coffee machines or stands and if it was cold there could have been a fight at any moment.

I don’t have to test my smoke alarms. They get a workout through the year. Remember that I cook sometimes.

When your busy living each day you have far less time to sweat the small stuff.

Working beyond my will but that isn’t really a bad thing.

You know as I’ve aged I realized most people haven’t really changed in how they really are from a young age.

Whomever is doing that rain dance, you can STOP NOW.

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That is about it. Where you can say “present” at the beginning of class as the teacher called role. And that is the contribution for the day.That is about all I’m able to eek out this fine Thursday. I accomplished a few of my goals and missed a few. Felt unfocused like these pictures. So we are going for a Focused Friday. I’m learning that a tripod will help my old behind become a better photographer.

Unfocused Day
Photo by Mike Hartley

I’m also going to focus on a few task and knock them out of the park. I just thought of another thing I’d like to do this weekend. Maybe write a little something about Mothers. For I have much respect for that role. I had a great one. My better half is a great one. And now my daughter is becoming a great one.

The Mother Stroll
Photo by Mike Hartley

Yeah, maybe for Mothers Day. I’ll have to give that a shot.

Random Thoughts of the Day

Crap, I just remembered I’m going to have to interface with the Maryland Department of Motor Vehicles. Lets see if that transaction can take place without me writing a manifesto after the visit.

Friends can sure turn a difficult day into a good one.

I was telling one of my friends that I’ve put OJ back in my morning routine and he made a wise crack “what no coke”. And I said yes. I chase the Orange Juice with a Coke. I guess that is a old guys version of the morning Red Bull or whatever power drink that is the rage. And yes he thought that was disgusting also. But its me.

It felt good to take a very stressful situation at the job in stride and not let it affect me like it used to. The power of remembering who is in control.

Eat right, well its a thought. Why does all the stuff that taste the best, the worst for you?

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Where is the hot air

OK, I don’t mean to rush the summer season along too fast but I personally could use a little more hot air. I’ve already got my summer shorts out and put some of the sweat suits away. And whomever is in charge of the rain faucet, I’m crying Uncle. Turn that thing off will ya?

Well enough complaining about the weather. Well one more. It was too cool to have the top down on the short ride I took for lunch.

In need of more hot air.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Time to make the best of the few days I have off regardless of the weather. I’m so excited about feeling a little better that I should be cautious of going full speed right out of the gate. I want to, my mind is telling me I fell behind for a few days. Its telling me to take the time to do something well.

There is life.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I should concentrate on one or two things but as usual my mind and time at any one thing will be limited. Hell, just the chores and obligations I have would be a full weekend. Let alone to do some shooting or carving or writing. I can barely scratch out a few minutes to keep this going daily most days.

Almost there.
Photo by Mike Hartley

But I do enjoy the hell out of it. It helps me be more positive (yes despite all my complaining) and it does start to scratch my creative itch’s. It’s challenging to come up with something each day. Well nothing can be something. Jerry Seinfeld proved that.

OK, I’m up. Lets roll.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Now that I’m upright again, I think I’ll go for a flight this weekend.

Random Thoughts of the Day

Some days of the year, just bring a tear or two to your eyes. Happy birthday JFH

Was listening to the song Nothing Else Matters and I thought of my new grandchild.

What happens if countdowns are cut short?

Frosted Flakes should be a food group.

Sometimes I see most clearly by what I hear.

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Trying to focus

Seemed like a good title (trying to focus) for today’s post. As I was squinting through an old pair of glasses I thought about my eyesight, and whats left of it. At least the eye doctor said it hadn’t gotten worse in my last visit. But I’m having trouble focusing and writing the last few days. Maybe I just need to clean the glasses.

When buildings come alive.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Today another school shooting depressed me. There are a lot of sick people with access to guns and I see no end because people want their guns and will fight to their deaths to keep them. So if we can’t take away the guns, how do we identify these people? And I don’t mean after the fact. It seems like this is just another thing in a huge pile that we can’t even discuss. And it scares me to death.

Maryland and Main 2015
Photo by Mike Hartley

I’m also having trouble focusing because of several things of concern that are working on my mind. Been a while since having those feelings and thoughts. Ain’t life grand?

City Beach
Photo by Mike Hartley

Maybe I’ve just worked to long without a break. I should focus on some good things going on and let that carry me.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I’ve got news burnout again.

Advice to young people – Start doing what is your passion at an early age and you will have less regret.

Do you ever feel so far behind, that you can kiss your own ass.

What do I want to spend my time doing is a good question to ask yourself each day.

Wow, if only I could focus. I’d do a few hundred more words.

Kind of interesting when tools like spell check disappear. Maybe I missed the memo WP.

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Back on track

OK, got my mental attitude adjusted towards the better. Well at least a little bit that I’m enjoying doing a post. Found a few photos I haven’t used (I guess there could be a reason) and being I didn’t do any shooting like I hoped they are what we are going with. One of my favorite towns.

Photo by Mike Hartley

I’ve been trying to keep up with the information on the flood plans for this town. What looks to be a 10s of millions to 100’s of millions of dollars or work that I see a lot of questions about where all this money is coming from. Wouldn’t it make more sense to decide how much your going to spend and then see what your options are? But then again I’m not in Government so I guess they don’t ask those questions.

I miss this thriving town.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I’ll have to share more thoughts from the peanut gallery later after I’m more misinformed. I do know I love that town. I do know it has history and much meaning for me but I’m not sure the newer residents of the county look at it like that.

Random Thoughts of the Day

Headache is not nearly enough of a descriptive term.

Some might think coming down to the wire, means you might win a race. To me its sliding in by the skin of your teeth.

Do you ever just want to feel better when you’re not sick?

Tired is not just a state of mind. I can hear my body telling me also.

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Cool things

Yesterday I was at a family function and a great number of pictures had been gathered for the event. And as they were running on the screen the person sitting next to me said that is a nice shot on a few that went by. A bit later another person was looking at a picture board someone had made and commented on the big photo in the middle and that it was a very good shot of her.

I didn’t say a thing either time but was just very glad someone thought that way of my work and that I was able to capture the beauty of the person or the moment. It got me thinking about what I like to do and what pleasure I have in leaving it behind for others to enjoy. I’ve always enjoyed shooting when I can and sharing those images. Be it a fishing trip or birthday party. A nature walk or just my daily life.

Today I spent the afternoon editing family photos and sending them off. Tomorrow I get to fire up the printer for another project.

The tools have changed. The mission hasn’t.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Tonight I hope to do a little shooting and also some Monday afternoon.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I’ve never been one to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. But as they say, “it’s never to late to start”

I didn’t smoke cigarettes for long. Only about 12 years, and that was long ago, but I wish I had the strength to never start.

This was a wonderful family week.

I’ve got to get a hold of the calendar guy or gal and speak to them about the number of Mondays.

When you get the feeling people don’t care, its hard to keep the proper spirit.

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I was wishing I had more time today. But then I realized the time I did have, had been wonderfully spent. And even though I’m trying to figure out what today’s post will be about and contain, I’m content and not frustrated. I don’t like starting post without an idea or image to kind of get me going so today is a little different.

My sister in-law does wonderful work.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Today was a special family event. One that will be cherished along with many other memories. A celebration and remembrance of many great times and more ahead. One where many sincere and loving words were exchanged. Hugs with warmth and meaning. Sometimes hugs can say more than words.

All I can say is always have respect, appreciation and regard for your parents. Always cherish the time you have with them. Always let them know your feelings. Always listen to their wisdom. Always remember to celebrate not just the milestones but every day in between.

Looking back and wishing you had spent more time or that more of an effort was made, is not the way you want to live. Say the things you mean. Express the feelings you have. Take some time out of that busy schedule.

I’m wishing you all a wonderful Sunday ahead.

Random Thoughts of the Day

Lighting a fire under yourself is good motivation. Just don’t burn yourself.

I’m getting a little tired of this rain. But the yard looks nice.

Pro basketball is just amazing to watch. But I still like the excitement of college more.

You ever have a pain that scared you.

As some work gets old, its good to have new work that is exciting and enjoying.

I was hoping to grill out tomorrow but that looks like a wash. Excuse me, washout.

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Carry On

Why do babies bring out such love in Everyone? Why does that love disappear as we age. The devotion for every human being that is there at the beginning of life. Why is it lost? I guess it’s the loss of innocence. If we all looked at each other as infants we all might just get along better instead of behaving like them.

Anyway I was going through some images of some family shots today and noticed how fast children grow. My own children are grown but my grandchild is only 2 months now, but that span has brought about many changes.

Carry on.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Raising children never stops. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. We go from carrying them on our shoulders to carrying their spirit and love with us as they grow into adults. We carry the memories of their youth. We see their actions and looks and mannerisms in their children eventually.

Children can really make life beautiful. The energy it gives me. The desire to help them grow and learn and love and play and laugh. It takes a family to raise a child. So often we just look at the parents. It’s a family effort really. And the more family and friends supporting the parents the better it is for the child.

Being there and support of a family is good for not only the child but the parents. It’s got to be one of the most stressful times in a families in your life. The wisdom, and experience and help of aunts, uncles, grandparents, great grandparents and close friends goes a long way in successful lives.

I can’t help but think of what a very close friend would tell me before the birth of my grandchild. He would touch every facet of the wonderment of children. The softness, the expressions and hundreds more. He said the time would even go twice as fast as it did for our own children. I wondered about his excitement and look of sheer joy from his experiences with his grandchildren. But I’m knowing it first hand and I’m just as excited and floating on cloud 9 as he is. And I can relate now to his intensity in those wonderment’s.

Random Thoughts of the Day

To hell with the phrase “no pain, no gain.”  I’m replacing it with “no pain, good day.” And today was not a good day.

A successful shooting session is an image I’m happy with.

I’ve got to get a game plan for this month. But I’ll settle for a good list for tomorrow.

It’s easier to prioritize when you get older. It’s easier to sort out the important stuff and your memory is so bad the other stuff drops off the list quickly.

I had intended to do a lot more here today but the battle with the body took its toll on my creative plans.

I hear a raging storm just about to overcome our area so I’m going to post this before my power goes out.

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Thursdays go by fast

Thursdays kind of fly by for me. Usually I try to get the first decent nights sleep of the week. Then there is the weekly meeting with a couple of my best friends. In between I sandwich a few chores and try to relax and clear the head.

I’ve got to admit my work weeks aren’t as stressful now as they once were. And I kind of like that. Part of it is how I look at it and handle the stress I do have. Part of it is reduced pressure of the position. That is just fine with me. I was growing old of those 60+ hour work weeks. With lots of emphasis on the +.

I think the reasons Thursdays fly by is because it’s the start of my weekend. Yeah that has to be it. And what a wonderful weekend it will be. A celebration, out-of-town guest, good food, hopefully some laughter and emotions shared with loved ones.

Today is a milestone for the family. One that I hope sets a trend. I’m sorry I can’t share it right now but lets say its a step in the transition to a new focus in our lives. And one that I know will help spread happiness.

Some blue skies today and some very dark blue ones also.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

Afternoon thunderstorms, feels like summer. Isn’t it great.

Much respect to that hero in North Carolina who gave his life to protect others.

Can you believe I used to enjoy political discussions at one time. Ah the old days where we could talk to one another.

I almost didn’t get home in time tonight to make this post.

My bank closed my local branch and this customer is not happy.

I read where our local police department is studying the use of drone to help with a variety of situation. I wonder if one of those situations is when residents start shooting them out of the sky?

I promise to do something better tomorrow.

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Time to fire out

What better reward in life than to be given the gift of time. I think about that when I get to see my grand-daughter. I want to be part of her life so therefore each visit, each word or funny face I get to make with her is a blessing. I think of that when I see my own children. I think of that when I see my better half. I think of that when I see my friends.

Fire out,
It’s the weekend.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Those are the things I cherish. But I’m even starting to appreciate the moments between those events, certainly not as much but enjoying the living moment to moment. Something like a simply journey to the store, cutting the yard, working at the job that pays the bills. It can all be fun if put in the right perspective.

And I’m also learning to take some me time. Something like listening to music more. Maybe a bit more writing. Maybe spending time thinking before I write. I know I haven’t made much use of that practice, but I think it would help me to be a better communicator.

So here’s to a good attitude and appreciation. I’m finding life easier with those two directions.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I love the way some songs make your mind reflect. I also like the ones that sometimes make me think I can run through a wall.

OK, the cameras come back out tomorrow with some fresh shooting.

When there is a baby over your shoulder there is always a warm feeling. Thank goodness for diapers and throw up cloths.

No really, that warm feeling from a child against your chest is life itself. And when that infant leans her head back and looks at you with those eyes, it’s a wondrous time.

I always wondered what my father would have liked for his birthday if he had lived longer. And then I think to myself that is the best birthday present I get each year. To be with my children. And I bet he would have liked that also.

I will finish that project I started last weekend.

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Tuesday Tunnel

Well sort of, a vertical tunnel. 44 stories of it I believe I read somewhere. A good contrast to go along with all the trouble this city (Baltimore) seems encounter. Sort of like two worlds. I guess a lot of cities are like this. Even in the suburbs you have the contrast. Just more trees between them.

414 Light Street.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I’ve been in this tunnel of thought today. And while all thought is good, I’m having trouble with solutions. Well I guess they are some tough problems. I think I may have over thought them and probably should just rely common sense. I over think a lot of things. Well not a lot anymore because I realized that just caused inaction.

I’m still cautious, but I move ahead now. Yeah maybe slowly sometimes, but there is movement. And where there is movement there is living and a chance at enlightenment and enjoyment. So get the cover off, get the oars out and start rowing.

Whatever floats your boat.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

Boy I like that song from the Foo Fighters “The Sky Is A Neighborhood.” I might have to check them out live. Their energy and sound reminds me of my youth and the bands I saw back in the early 70’s

Some people’s solution to everything is to sue everyone.

Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where you don’t feel the need to be armed.

I think I’ll try to finish with a positive thought here each day. And today’s thought is “thank God for manual transmissions.”

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No crane needed

Took a shot of a guy in a canoe in the Baltimore Harbor with the cranes in the background. Seemed a nice contrast and sign of change downtown. We all commented on how clean the water was looking compared to history. Don’t get me wrong, there is a long way to go but at least it appears steps taken are in the right direction.

But it could easily swing the other way and despite our Governors stand on the environment the Federal view seems to have changed and not for the better. I wonder how long it would be before all those luxury Condos and homes along the waterfront now would be up in arms if it reverted back to the cesspool it was a short time ago.

No crane needed.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I think I’ll make a donation to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. And I think I’ll make it in the name of an old friend (deceased) who enjoyed the waters of the Bay more than any of us.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I had so many good random thoughts earlier and didn’t write them down. Now they are lost again.

I finally agree there is no such thing as catching up on sleep.

There is such a thing as too much technical documentation to read. I remember (back in the day) you would kill to get the technical info you would need.

If rain weren’t in the forecast for a good number of days ahead, I’d put up my hammock tomorrow.

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I was kind of glad to see the rain this morning. It removed any temptation to go out and do some yard work before breakfast. And that allowed me to completely enjoy the breakfast buffet for one of my best friends birthday. It’s kind of an annual event now which I look forward to.

It’s also satisfying to know that my mental outlook is good again to start another work week. Always goes easier if the right mindset is in gear to start the journey. Better than starting the week all strung out.

I’m having trouble stringing my guitar.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I was thinking today how much time I’ve wasted in my life being angry. Kind of disappointed in myself actually. I should be working on kindness and love. Instead I allow anger and frustration to take away valuable time that could be spent making things better. At least I recognize this now and can work towards being better at life.

There are some special events coming up in May. Some of them celebrations. Some of them remembrances. Some difficult ones in fact. It’s interesting how events become ingrained in your mind forever. I can remember the day, time and my exact location when I got the call of my Mom having a major stroke. I can remember the temperature, the song that was on the radio. I can remember that sinking feeling and heading to the hospital. I can remember where I parked, walking into the emergency room. I can remember a lot about the following days before she passed. I think I’ll go look at some old photos and try to remember some good days also.

This week I also have to get in touch with a few people fighting some serious issues and give them some moral support. This is overdue and won’t be postponed again.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I hope to never lose the joy in how much fun it is to eat.

Keeping up with technology is nice. But it’s not the most important thing. Finding the right technology and the right benefits for you is when it works.

I’m finding minutes in the day and making better use of them.

The biggest disappointment is the lack of good leadership in so many places, when the need is so great.

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Swinging Saturday

Well swinging might be a little misleading. More like falling out of bed and into the yard work cloths. I fired out strong, but the first stop to fill up the gas can should have warned me of things to come. The station at Waverly was out-of-order. That place is so expensive that I never go there unless I have to fill up the mower can and that is all I get there. I’m talking about 30-40 cents a gallon more.

Da Hawk and his cousin WIND have come to town.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Threw down several bags of mulch and then decided to give the back a break at mow the front and upper back yards. All went well with that but then the string trimmer decided to yank my chain. After about 40 minutes of tinkering it is running again. And it reminded me what a strain on the back that chore is. I have a lot of trimming with this yard.

But funny thing is at the end of a full day outside, I kind of feel like I did as a youth after a full day of hoops. Tired and a little stiff but nothing serious. Its nice. I wonder what the morning will bring though.

I also did something I haven’t done in a while. I put the weed and feed down. Being on a well, I really don’t like putting chemicals on the ground.

Random Thoughts of the Day

When you get older you forget how tough it is to be young.

How the hell did we get to the end of April already?

I missed seeing my Son today. I missed Springfest in Ellicott City. I really have to clone myself.

I know someone besides me must find it ironic that the First Lady who is heading a campaign against online bullying. I mean she can’t even control the child right next to her. What kind of example is that?

I have to go look at pictures of my grandchild again. Sorry its a real habit if I’m not with her.

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A Few Friday Frames

Got out for a few minutes today. I heard they opened Ellicott Mills drive to Ellicott City today. Been quite some time since that route has been available. The light was working at that corner of Main Street again so be careful. For a few minutes that I was there, the sun was still peaking through the gathering clouds.

Photo by Mike Hartley

But it didn’t last long. The sun that is. But just long enough for a few shots before it started to get very dark and rain.

Always proud.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Something draws me to this town. Maybe having worked there a few years. Maybe it’s because its my better half’s home town. Maybe because I’ve always felt so comfortable there.

Enjoying the change of seasons.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I guess it could be the charm of watching the water just roll down the river.

It’s easy to find something new if you’re looking.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Or appreciating the history.

1931. That’s Old.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Maybe the tunnel under the bridge.

Photo by Mike Hartley

I was going to walk the whole town but the skies didn’t look promising so I had many 20 minutes on the lower end. Got back to my car at the lot near the Trolley Stop, just as it started to drizzle.

I never tire of standing on this bridge. Makes me think of some close friends. 
Photo by Mike Hartley

Before I got to town and the storm came up I stopped by a few trees that were raining blooms.

Spring Snow.
Photo by Mike Hartley

So maybe I’ll get a few minutes tomorrow and grab a few more frames of new images to share. Welcome to the weekend.

Easter Water.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

Stress is an interesting bedfellow. But I will not let it into my heart.

I think only when you’re older, that you can see how many things are interconnected. Well I guess there are a few smart young people. Then again maybe I’m just a slow learner?

I’m more at peace with myself now than at any other point in my life so far.

Tomorrow is going to be a back breaker. I just hope it’s not going to be mine.

Life is short. Even if you live to be a happy old person.

Think I’ll do some traveling. Like up to the kitchen to get myself some dinner.

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You know what is nice? I can step on a basketball court and fantasize about a pro players move I saw last night and try to imitate it just as I did as when I was a child and enjoy it just as much. It’s nice to know some things never change. Well I do have to be more careful now. Hitting the ground or landing wrong can be a lot more painful now. And I’m sure it looks a lot funnier looking now than the fluid coordination I once had.

I’d like to see more kids outside playing like we used to. You find a lot of skills developed playing sports at a young age. Hell we were organized before we started league or school ball teams. Competition, teamwork, communication, fairness (we were our own refs), skill building, body building and mind expanding. And a lot of laughter and smack talk.

You learned a lot of lessons playing baseball, basketball and football. Mix in some tennis and volleyball and probably any other sport we could play. Hell we were skateboarding decades before that was a sport.

You know what else is nice? The start of the weekend. That first hour or two that you wake and relaxation is just oozing out of every pore. The mind is at rest, the heart rate is down. It’s like you caught this really nice wave and you’re an expert surfer grinning ear to ear. And then the phone rings or you open one of the many to do list or work calls.

But I’m not going to lose that positive karma of the moment today. Got a great friends birthday to celebrate. That might turn up the volume a few levels to what is usually a comical Thursday evening with the boys. So let me FIRE out of here. Everyone aboard the good ship celebration. Now if I could lose the sore throat I might be able to lead the group in song tonight. That is if I can stay awake after just a few hours sleep.

Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

I don’t think of myself as an author but I do write every day. I guess it has to make sense to claim the author title.

Music has inspired me again today.

It’s good to remind yourself its time to move on. And I don’t mean that in a negative way at all.

The more good people in your life the better life is. Seek them. Appreciate them. Cherish them.

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Feeling the warmth

Warmth can come from many things. Love keeps me warm. The sun keeps me warm. The thought of finishing up a hard days work makes me feel warm. Helping someone less fortunate makes me warm. Giving flowers to my better half and seeing the smile makes me warm. Holding my grandchild makes me warm.

Talking to an old friend gives warmth. The engine on the motorcycle warms me as I rode. The purr of a cat warms me. The seat warmer in my car warms me. Seeing a text message from my children warms me. A note in my lunch warms me. A photo that turned out good warms me. Visiting my parents grave on a Memorial Day weekend warms me.

Seeing my best friends each week warms me. Looking into a dogs eyes warms me. Putting the top down on a hot summer day warms me. Helping older people makes me feel warm.

There are many things that keep me warm throughout the year. Many more than I could list today. Just felt like talking about it because I’m feeling the love today. Well some at least and if you have some you always can hope for more which is a warm thought.

Changing of the Guard.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

Take time one day to just focus on your breathing. Its something we take for granted. Each breath is a wonderful thing.

I used to worry about what to write about.

Can you dig it? Good come help me move a big pile of dirt.

Don’t let yourself get comfortable competing against the easy people.

I’ve got to do something tomorrow for someone. If you can have that thought each day its going to be a good day.

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Access Issues

I’m having trouble accessing comfort today. Well the last two days. I feel about as successful as these guys trying to get the fish in this device but I’m hoping to turn it around tomorrow. What a beautiful day out today. Of course the heat haters came out because the temps got into the 80’s. My better half hates the heat.

Well they get a reprieve tomorrow but soon it will be baking again. In honor of the warmth I washed my 4 wheel pride and joy. Mother Nature didn’t let it even start to dry before I could see a fresh coat of pollen dust on it. Such is life. She always wins.

Random Thoughts of the Day

Sleep, I need sleep.

I can only work at being better a day at a time.

Headaches really bother me. I don’t get many at all and maybe that is why I’m bad at dealing with them.

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Hard to remember

Sometimes I find great difficulty in remembering that I’m in charge of me. Most often I struggle with it at work. Over time a great number of people have pissed the hell out of me. And I have had trouble getting past it and letting go of it or having it negatively affect my day. Happened again today and I got pissed off but I’m not going to let it ruin my day.

I long for this sight.
Photo by Mike Hartley

So I’ll turn my thoughts to my pleasant things. Like the day I see the shore for the first time this year. It won’t be long. Not going to wait for the rush of the summer masses. Will probably take a day trip to the shore in May. That is the good thing about the beach, it’s always open and when it isn’t you really wouldn’t want to be there anyway.

Random Thoughts of the Day

Earth Day. Maybe we can make the rest of the year earth day also instead of just respecting it one day a year.

Remembering that it’s just a job.

Monday and me just don’t get along. Unless I’m on vacation.

Working an Easter Sunday without holiday pay doesn’t seem fair.

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Going Green

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter Sunday. I did and it leaves me going into the week on a nice running start. Well I don’t know about running but my mental attitude is very good. There are very few things as good in life as family time. Well at least for my family.

Classic Mustang GTA
Photo by Mike Hartley

Everything outside is turning green it seems. Even the muscle cars. Saw this beast when I was gassing up on Saturday. But back to the green. I love it. One it returns my home to some more privacy because I can no longer see the homes in the distance through the woods. I also love the sound wind makes through leaves.

I love the shade it provides from the hot summer sun when laying in my hammock. I love the birds that come back to dart in and out of the trees. Yeah its a grand time of year. Well there are a few people suffering with the pollen explosion. My sympathies are with them. Fortunately I’ve mostly outgrown those issues.

So what is on tap for the week? I got the cameras out today and did some family shots. Tomorrow I’m going to try to continue picking up the cameras and get a few new shots to use this week.

I’m also going to spend some time in the workroom with the wood and stone projects I’ve been slow on moving forward with. Also got to finish getting some prints made for my neighbors.

Oh no, just glanced at the to do list and they are getting out of hand. Got to start knocking some more items out each week.

Random Thoughts of the Day

There are two things wrong with the NBA game. They allow players to palm the ball which isn’t in the rules. And they allow traveling.

That pollen and wind has taken its toll on my ride. I believe a bath is in order for it tomorrow.

My basketball is pumped up again. Now lets see if I can get my behind out to the driveway.

There are few greater joys than holding an infant and having them smile at you.

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What a beautiful day here in the state of Maryland. Wish I had taken a little bit more advantage of it. But I’m happy with what we did do and that is all that matters. No I didn’t go fishing. But it’s not a bad idea.

Pack it in. Another day in the books.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Looking forward to a wonderful Sunday ahead.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I seem to hear more sirens than in the past around my home. More people, more traffic, more accidents and crime.

I think I’ve decided that spring is my second favorite season. But there is no challenging Summer.

You can’t always get what you want. (said a wise man).

I believe that the authorities have already lost control of the zoo. They can’t admit it or there would be total chaos.

Time can’t get away from you if your on the ride.

When you look inside yourself and the tank is full, you are living a good life.

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Go with the flow

I was sitting here thinking that I’ve changed my flow of writing and I didn’t even pick up on it till now. It used to be I’d always come up with a title of the post to start with. Now I find myself doing that well after I’ve written some thoughts. Sometimes going back and changing the title a few times.

There are a number of things I’ve done to go with the flow that I didn’t realize I’ve changed. For instance in the last few years I’ve stopped being personally invested with the work I do. Don’t get me wrong, I work very hard. I still aspire to succeed well in whatever task I have in front of me. I take pride in what I do and try to set the bar in the group. I just don’t think of it as my company anymore. Of course they never were, but when you worked with people who also looked at it like that it was easy. No matter who I’ve worked for, I’ve always thought and put forth ideas and solutions that I think would improve the whole company or my specific area. No more for a wide variety of reasons.

Who said fisherman can’t walk on water?
Photo by Mike Hartley

They changed the rules and benefits along the way so I adapt. If I have any grand ideas I’ll use them for my own gains. And today’s grand idea is to work hard. And work hard I did. Well until the weather moved in. But my body was starting to send me signals anyway that it was time to rest. And as long as I listen to it we get along fine. It’s when I get boneheaded and ignore the warning signs. Again I’ve changed my flow.

I’m loving the time I spend reading now. I’ve been a pretty avid reader. Mostly technical and news and hobbies how to’s. But the last 5 years of blogging I’m reading more all the time now. Some mental health stuff has been helpful. People with interesting and positive outlooks. This has helped my flow.

And of course there is my grandchild which has lit a happy fire under me. Something to wake up and wonder and think about. More positive flow.

Sometimes going with the flow is the easy way or obvious choice. Sometimes making your own direction and choosing the right flow to ride is critical in enjoying life. Which reminds me, I need to get the ladder out and make sure the flow in the gutters is good.

Not another one till May 18th. I think I’ll make this a monthly ritual, weather permitting.

April 2019 Full Moon
Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

Only you, know yourself. But don’t underestimate what others know about you also.

There is so much to look forward to if you have a lot of good ideas.

Manual labor is good for the body and mind. My body sometime counters that argument.

When you work holidays, there is no such thing as holiday weekends. So says my bad attitude.

I see the NBA discovered defense again. Oh yeah, it’s the playoffs.

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Thursday Cuts

Decided to try to make this day a bit special. No other reason than making the best of every day. Got a lot of task but hope to enjoy each to its fullest. It’s a day of cuts. Hope to start off with an early haircut. Then its cutting the yard and cutting with the trimmer. Then I hope to cut up with some friends in the evening.

A dozen or so other things to cram in between those items. So that is why I’m getting an early start on this. Yep before daybreak. I thought I’d mix it up a bit. Who knows, maybe something better will come out at this hour? Plus I can tell I’m only going to have a few minutes here and there through the day to contribute to it.

Reached the top.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Well the few minutes I hoped to spend are quickly winding down as is the duration of this day. I liked the days physical work. I powered through a few issues with the mower and the yard is done. I even just took the camera out and hope to do a few shots this evening. Also hope to do a few more power uploads to the photo site.

Random Thoughts of the Day

When people aren’t acting responsible, consider your own failings at that same thing.

I was a mulch moving mule today.

Cutting grass is a type of therapy.

They play the games because sometimes the unexpected happens.

Progress improves my attitude. So would some dinner.

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Power Posting

Sometimes I’m so pumped when I finally get time to create a post that I’m bouncing in the chair to the music I have in the background. It’s like a part of the day I take some pride in doing what I would like. As you can probably tell by the content, my minutes are limited to devote to it but we move on and forward.

Photo by Mike Hartley

Got to spend some time with my daughter and grand-daughter today. I used to be a bit skeptical of three very good friends and how excited and transfixed they were about grandchildren. I now understand that energy. I understand the reward. And it gives me another very important thing in life to appreciate.

This weekend I hope to change my pattern to a much more productive one. I’ve had 3 days in a row now of feeling fairly well so its time to test some limits. That walk today even felt OK. I’m hoping to put more images in my post again. These single ones along with the rambling I do creates too much grey. Time to break that up. And pictures usually inspire some more thoughtful words from me.

Random Thoughts of the Day

This has gotten to be one crowded state.

I was glad to see the DOJ’s work on finally taking some pill mills and doctors pushing out opioids out.

Change is coming to Ellicott City. It’s bound not to make everyone happy. Regardless of the plan chosen it’s got to be better than the limbo the town has been in for some time now.

I don’t have time to work on artificial intelligence. I have a hard enough time working on my own.

I’d purchase a Fitbit if it would lose weight for me.

I could hear Mother Nature laughing as I stepped out the door today. I’m looking around and wondering what she is busting a gut over and then I see my car that used to be red and now is a shade of orange. I suspect it may be yellow by tomorrow morning. Very funny.

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Dog house

I don’t see many dog houses anymore. Most of the animals in this area have our home as their home. Remember when people would let their dogs roam the neighborhoods. It was a common thing. Some taught boundaries but a lot didn’t either. Even if a dog was on a leash, people didn’t carry around plastic bags with them. Times change.

Dog House
Photo by Mike Hartley

Seems like I was in the dog house a bit as a youth. Who knows how many times I’ve been in it through almost 4 decades of marriage? I’m kind of glad they are going away, but I wonder what new term will replace the phrase “Being in the dog house” when referring to being in trouble?

I missed my walk I wanted to do today and I’m kind of disappointed in myself. The hours in the day just get lost at times. Seems like these last few weeks have been busier for some reason. And as soon as I correct for one thing like rest, something else gets cut short. Maybe I’m looking at it wrong. Maybe I don’t have to mix everything up in the same day?

I wonder if a schedule would help? Then again I have so many schedules for so many things I think that might just be a waste of time. As Nike says “Just Do It”.

Which leads me to Hump Days objective. Photos of my grand-daughter and maybe a few outdoor shots on the way home.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I think you can physically feel the pain when history is destroyed.

I’m still stunned by some of the stupid driving I see. And with the volume of it out there you would think it wouldn’t be as shocking. I had two people going at it behind me this morning and I thought I was going to hear gunfire because these two were playing chicken with each other, driving into oncoming traffic lanes and in and out between parked cars. And after that it makes it especially satisfying to work from home today.

Utz makes a very good potato chip.

Isn’t it exciting to cook something really good?

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It’s Green Again

The drive to work today was special because there is a day during each year that you can really notice the transition from grey and brown tones to a bright green. It’s a wonderful site and has made my day. There are so many positive things that I love about this time of year. I know my car will be a bright yellow for a few weeks. Yeah I know the grass will need cutting each week, especially with all the rain we keep getting.

Breeze in the treeze.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Summer and spring are my favorite seasons. It’s going to feel good to get back outside regularly again. I think I’ll get out for a walk tomorrow. I’ve felt good today and maybe I’ll string another day together with that.

One of natures Greens
Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

I’ve driven a stick shift for so many decades I think I have clutch foot.

Realizing how special some people are is a true blessing.

Telling someone they have to change and helping them change are two different things.

So its tax day. Like Mondays aren’t depressing enough.

6 hours sleep in 2 days, not good. I sense a restful Tuesday.

You ever have those days where there just isn’t enough time. Today is one of those for me.

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Sunday forecast

So its raining. So what. The forecast it bright as far as I’m concerned. Started off the day paying respects to my parents. Had company this time. One of my best friends wife’s parents are also interned at Arlington and my better half came along also. It was a nice visit. A little misting rain but nothing bothersome.

Took the time to have a nice breakfast out with my better half also on the way home. We are so looking forward in our lives to be able to do this as the rule instead of the exception.

My forecast feels bright.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Well its back to work before I can spend anymore time in thought about retirement. Hard to ignore when people around you are doing it. Had two friends this weekend tell us that one had retired and the other was only a year off. I’m not jealous, it just takes my mind a little longer to refocus on the task of starting another work week.

Look ahead but live in the moment. Something I’ve not done often enough. Some time wasted thinking about what I could change that had already transpired. Other times I’d be looking so far ahead of myself that I wouldn’t take the time to make the connection to get there. Each day I look at now for some accomplishments.

They might be simple things to most but can be very special. Lots of people including myself take for granted that time we spend with your significant other. A meal together, a walk, whatever it can be special if your thinking that way. Simple things like a call from your children. Those are huge to me.

So this week is more of a focus on living in the moment.

Random Thoughts of the Day

My yard is green and growing, I guess the season has started. The battery goes in the mower tomorrow. Please let it crank over fine.

Sometimes those you do for don’t appreciate it but that isn’t the reason you do it.

I have a feeling this is going to be a good week. And if not I’ll make it one.

It was exciting to see Tiger win again. I know there are a good number of people who don’t like him. But he is good for the game. And its nice to see an old man succeed against much younger competition.

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Satisfying Saturday

Ah, that warm soft sand of the early morning sunrise on the Atlantic coast. Only cooled by the incoming wave. Found this picture and thought about contentment. And I’m very content this evening. Had a wonderful dinner with some lifelong friends. Talked for hours about the transitions we are all making in life. Most are great, some are tough, but we are loving life for the most part.

Give me a sunset or sunrise.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I feel very lucky and fortunate enough to say that. That I’m loving life. I’ve slowly been overcoming a fairly negative attitude about various aspects of life for a long time. And I’m going to keep that change going because it improves the quality of my life so much. Oh I slip, don’t get me wrong. There may be a few things I never get over. But I’m trying.

Life can be tough. It really is sometimes, but most of the time its easy. I’ve stopped taking the simple things for granted. I’m appreciating the wonderful things I do have and not wanting for something else. Well I do look forward to retirement some day from one career at least. It’s funny that I can’t seem to wait for that retirement day to come. But that means I’ll be a good bit older than I am now and that I’ll be giving up something I’ve loved for decades. It will be a tough transition in some ways. But in the mean time I’m going about enjoying each day before then, as well.

A very good friend at work once told me “Make it work for you”. He was talking about the job at the time but its a good way to look at life. Don’t wait for others to make it perfect. Get busy yourself.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I’m looking forward to a special visit to a special place tomorrow.

I’ve got to give this blog more of a commitment each day and improve the quality of the content.

It’s not staying up late with your immersed in something you love.

I wonder who I can help tomorrow besides myself?

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Time to Return

It’s the season to migrate to the shore again. Found some images I hadn’t posted from a few years ago at Bethany Beach that inspired that thought. Maybe some sunshine tomorrow would help motivate me.

Random Thoughts of the Day

Mother nature 1 – Me 0 – I think she spotted my progress and rained on me before I could accomplish more.

I always used to wonder why my Mom had so many magnifying glasses around. I wonder no more.

Think I’ll try going to bed before midnight and see how it feels.

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With a little help from my friends

The day goes by much easier with friends. I think I’ll get out and spend some time with some this weekend. Its been a long week of just work and chores so far and I need to lighten up a bit. And don’t forget about those 4 legged friends. They sometimes are the best ones. Loyal and think the world of you. What more can you want?

Getting by with a little help from my friends. Just happened to be listening to Joe Cocker version of that when I came across this image.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Hope its a good start for your day as it is mine. Multitasking and making progress. I’m preparing the tools of war with mother nature. She has many advantages but I have JD. Yep an old John Deere that just keeps on keeping on. I have to look up when I got that but its got to be 20 years old.

Yeah its got a tire I have to pump up once or twice a month. But it still runs well. Of course I’ve probably just jinxed myself and it won’t kick over this year. We will see later today if the rain holds off. I hope its ready because we are back to full-time cutting this year. Due to some health issues a few summers I had to hire a service. The last couple years I’ve been doing it every other week and having the service (and I use that word service very loosely) do it every other week. Well we parted ways last year and I’m the YARD MULE again.

I’m kind of looking forward to it. There is some solace on sitting on a tractor for a few hours mindlessly chopping grass and thinking about life or just leaning back and looking at the sky or feeling a breeze. No cell phone, no email, no having to keep an ear peeled for the better half.

Of course you have those scorcher of triple digit days but I still love the heat. But we won’t worry about that for another few months. Next week will probably be the first week it needs cutting. That will give me a few days to get some weed and feed on the ground. I haven’t used that in years because we have well water out here and I worry about putting those chemicals on the ground. But then I see a tanker truck of chemicals pull across the street and with a fire hose they start the full yard treatment. That is seeping down in the same water I’m drinking.

And being the yard is looking a little wild again I think I’ll do the front and sides. The back is a lost cause being against the woods line. I just cut it and don’t worry about weeds. I don’t obsess about the yard like I once did. It is what it is. I put half the effort I used to and it still looks good. Not the best but it isn’t a competition.

Well only 2 hours or so of dryness left so let me get my behind out of this chair and back to work. But first a bit of perspective.

I remember sitting at the window recovering and thinking about how good it would feel to be able to be out and cut the grass again. To be strong and healthy enough to do it for many years ahead despite my increasing senior status is what I yearn for now. It used to be a chore. Now its kind of symbol of being back to myself.

No, I didn’t forget about adding my Random Thoughts. I’m going to do another post later.

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Pizza for breakfast

Pizza for breakfast. Why not, I like pizza. And what really is breakfast? Just kidding, I love breakfast food but was too lazy this morning and threw a pizza in the oven for breakfast. OK, I’ll make up for it, I know it wasn’t the wise choice. Neither was the Coke I washed it down with but what the hell, it was tasty.

Was going to go out and shoot today, but it was pretty cloudy. And I’m a bit from 100% so maybe some studio work. I did lift the camera above the windshield yesterday and grabbed a sunny shot leaving Westminster MD yesterday.

Main Street Westminster.
Photo by Mike Hartley

And sometimes when you look along the road you might find a something interesting looking back at you like an Easter Island head with bunny ears attached. Sorry its blurry, was doing about 40 mph at the time.

Sign of the season.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I have a lot of competing priorities. So many that it makes me feel like I have that ADD. Who knows, maybe I do. I kind of hop from one thing to another. Almost like I do each day from post to post. No plan just going with the days flow.

My drafts folder is a good indication. I think the count is up over 200 now. Time to do some house cleaning and finish off a few ideas. I’m going to try some thing a little different this quarter. I’m going to see if I can complete 2 post a day and have a few dozen I could use when time is short.

The daily question on Pointless Overthinking today was – Which are the Top 5 things you love about your daily life? My answer below.

Just waking up, interacting with family and friends, appreciating the days I’m feeling good, enjoying the arts (reading, music, photography) and finding some humor in each day.

They only asked for 5 but I really wanted to add catching a second gear here an there.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I liked the days when I used to worry about something being wrong and nothing was. I’ve learned you can’t always count on that.

Trust and honesty seem to be in short supply now. Wish I could bottle and market them.

Its going to be a late one tonight.

Music sometimes saves me from the negative attitudes.

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Find your path

If your lucky, you run across people who inspire you. I’ve been fortunate enough to run into many. Sometimes it’s just a simple jester, to recognize an event or occasion. Others its taking time to help people with significant things. But it can also be just a gift of time and support. Of course there are those that also help with their wallets. Helping total strangers as well as friends and family.

Take those steps.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I like to think of myself as someone who helps, gives time and money. Who takes time to listen and try to assist. I’m far from perfect at it, but I try as often as I can. And when I do, I forget about my issues of maybe not feeling my best or not having all the retirement options or the bills to be paid this month. It allows me to feel good and not totally wrapped up in myself.

I’m going for a visit here on Sunday.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Its going to be a good weekend. I don’t care if its going to rain a bit. I just want the opportunity to do something for others and myself also. Balance is good.

Random Thoughts of the Day

Looking into the eyes of a baby is the definition of innocence.

The few bad drivers ruin it for the rest of us.

Two class acts D Wade and Dirk retired from the NBA this year. Lots good players retire. But good people like these go on and by their actions mean more to the game than all the points they scored, which are many.

Keeping up with what is going on in our country just takes the life out of you some days.


Work through it

What ever it is, just keep working through it. It’s when you stop that you lose momentum. I had to pause yesterday and this morning and I didn’t like it. Getting this mind working in the right direction again is my goal today. So I’m back to work, I’m back in slightly better spirits and I’m going to power through.

Blooming with ideas.
Photo by Mike Hartley

This was not always my mode of operation. I’ve let things slow or stop me far too many times. But now I’m of the proper mindset to just keep moving forward. Its kind of fun. It’s a mental state of mind. The more I get focused on getting back to work or enjoying things the better my life is.

Feeling bright on a morning afternoon.
Photo by Mike Hartley

All I know is I want to get to the weekend so I can concentrate on my own work again. While I’m happy with the effort of the first quarter, I know I can do a lot more. So here’s to getting in gear this quarter.

Random Thoughts of the Day

First ride into work with the top down this year. Looking forward to many more.

The last 2 days here in the great state of Maryland have been wonderful weather wise.

I’m having college basketball withdraw already.

Happiness is having enough to eat.

There is nothing more important tomorrow than seeing my daughter and grand-daughter.

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This day

No words of wisdom today. Just grunts of discomfort till meds kick in.

Turn my thoughts to something tasty.
Photo by Mike Hartley

The trials and tribulations of the day whirl by. I certainly don’t feel good enough to fly.

Having a seat on the sidelines from work today.
Photo by Mike Hartley

So time is short and sleep is near, tomorrow comes another day so I have no fear.

Random Thoughts of the Day

To many organized thoughts pushed out all room for random thoughts.

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Living for a smile

Today was watching my children and grandchild smile. It doesn’t get better than that. Well yeah it does. I forgot to include my grand-dog who was visiting also. I think I saw a smile when I slipped her a little ice cream.

Give us warmth.
Photo by Mike Hartley

What the next wonderful things the next day will bring? I hope it brings a little relief from pain. Was rough trying to get some rest this weekend.

Sun does wonders.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Keeping a positive though, entering the new work week but its tough. Got to look beyond and concentrate on the part of life I’ve been getting so much enjoyment from.

Time to move on from one job to another, like I do each day.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

I could get used to retirement if weekends are any indication of it.

Sometimes I feel like I’m on my own.

If tired were a race I’d be winning.

I don’t like having a pain that makes you wonder.

The to do list is getting unmanageable. Guess I’ll fold it in half to make it manageable.

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Lots of goals today. Not sure time is there for everything and that is why I’m getting a jump here just after midnight and starting the Saturday post. Might as well, it’s an hour of the day just like noon is. Perspective and sleep cycles are the only thing that make it different. Well light of course, but it’s not like those of us up after midnight sit in the dark. Or maybe we do!

Time for being outdoors again.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Maybe we can get a little of Spring rolling today. For yesterday was wet and cold and not my idea of April. I’m up for it.

Random Thoughts of the Day

Remember seeing people at the bank cashing paychecks?

Its Final Four weekend – life is good.

Stress = taxes.

Funny to have to think about when, who and how you can hug if you listen to the news. Because I’ve always just thought of it as a hug. Then again I’m only hugging family and friends, not strangers. So I got no worries. Verbal hugs to all though.

The yard is starting to GREEN. I think that was the warning shot across the bow of my mower which doesn’t have the battery in it yet. Which reminds me, excuse me, I have to go plug-in the charger.

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Friday Feelings in Orange and Yellow

You know what a good day is? When going through it you feel like the most fortunate person in the world. I’ve learned to have better days by thinking and looking for the things that make me feel like that. And I’m glad most of those things aren’t material in nature. Or if they are they might be of little value to others but special to me in some way.

Orange and Yellow, too bad the guy entering the picture with his face buried in the smart phone won’t see it.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Let simple things make you feel better. Taking a pain-free day for granted is something I used to do without a thought. Now its the exception so its special. Find those things that make you feel great. Sometimes I get pissed at myself if I miss the opportunity to think about how fortunate just waking up each day is.

Random Thoughts of the Day

Another power outage today. I wonder if were on the same grid with Venezuelan people. No, I shouldn’t complain. Its only the third one of the year. And thankfully they have only been short ones 15-30 minutes to a few hours.

Time to make some progress. Well for a few more hours at least.

Remember when we used to complain about the news being boring and the same old dull stuff?

I’m glad I grew up in the era I did, in the place I did.

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Loving me some Thursday

Well, I start off the day by learning its National Burrito Day. Yes I resisted the urge. But I’m not sure I can hold off much longer for some good Mexican food. Thursday’s are one of my favorite days of the week. In a way its sort of My Day. My better half works. I have part of the day off and start to return to normal. Well by normal I mean a non nocturnal person. I flip back and forth with that each week. Not easy at my age but I do my best.

Thursdays are nights the boys gather to kick off the weekend right. Thursday night is always a good sleep after getting in late. Well when it’s not marred by back pain. Thursday’s are my relaxed day. A day I can take the time for something worthwhile or nothing at all.

Love some Thursday mornings.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Today was an especially mind freeing day. Time to think and reason. Time to plan and envision. Time to laugh and see things that are absurd and still find a lighter side. Time to not feel so pressured to make every minute productive. Time to enjoy a Yankee victory, well a few innings at least over the hometown O’s. Time to update my FB photo which I hadn’t done since I joined that long ago.

Time to let myself appreciate the moment and be at peace with myself. The time to share a meal. The time to contemplate the future. Time to talk about past. Ain’t life great.

Well I guess I am in a good mood. I got my car back from the shop today. I’m mobile again. I feel as free as the blowing wind. Not a bad way to start a weekend.

Random Thoughts of the Day

It’s either late or early. When you can’t tell, you have crossed over to my village.

I wonder why some things generate so much attention?

As I look around my office, some of the most important things to me besides the photos, are little trinkets of my history.

I’m coming in under the wire on another project. I love completing things on time.

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Drive when I want to

I used to really love driving. I still do, till I’m forced to co-exist with the masses. The stuff I see going on takes the enjoyment from it so. The solution is to drive in the off hours and I’m able to do that fairly well. Our area, the DMV  or District, Maryland and Virginia is just overpopulated and it really shows when we all have to get somewhere at the same times.

I look at the TV news traffic report and the road system looks more like a picture of the circulatory system of a human. Everything is RED inside. And it looks like the patient has some serious issues with blockages and the volume of flow. Too much volume in fact with arteries and veins that are too small. Hell most we are just doing the stop and go accordion.

But those times when the volume is heavy but everyone is still moving at speed is when it gets hairy. That’s the magic moments where some are in a hurry and think it should be moving faster and there might be an opening or two. Then there is the other extreme which is getting nervous and paranoid and scared and slowing down.

If your courteous, people will walk all over you.
Photo by Mike Hartley

But unlike our blood, all the cells/cars don’t get along and can’t travel without issues. So we have the increasing madness on the roads. I’m going to do my best to minimize this but I know my family and friends all can’t do this and therefore I can’t ignore the problem. So I’ve got to figure out what I can do to improve it. I know I’ll put the military on it? Nah.

Dodge WC-51 Series Cargo Truck 3/4 ton 4×4 US Army WW II Vintage trolling through Ellicott City.
Photo by Mike Hartley

They couldn’t catch anyone in this. I wonder why we don’t use technology more to catch this crap. Hell it seems like everyone and their mother has a dash cam now. Of course posting video’s of people doing really stupid stuff is going to come back and haunt someone. But why can’t these go to the police? For the really insane people a personal visit with some video evidence of reckless driving might be needed.

The police already have cameras up and down major highways now. I’m certain someone is monitoring those. Why aren’t we sending the law after the fools who take the most risk day after day.

I’m not talking about the individual who accidentally cuts you off once. I’m talking about the person who drives with no regards for anyone’s life, constantly cutting in and out of traffic to get a car length ahead before you both stop at the next light. The guys who blow by stopped school buses with their lights on. The guys repeatedly blowing through red lights. The person who couldn’t stay in their lane even if you took the smart phone from the front of their faces. The a-holes who pass on shoulders or exit/entrance ramps. The morons making u-turns in the middle of the street unannounced.

I’m talking about the egregious stuff. The stuff all of us see every day. Its got to stop before we all start putting the gun in the car like we put on a shirt in the morning. And no I don’t travel with a gun in the car. Even though I think a shotgun mounted on my roll bars between the driver and passenger seats might deter people from tailgating my small car so much.

No really the only thing that I think will cure it is for each of us to be more responsible and for law enforcement to really sit on the worst offenders. But you have to catch them and apparently takes a different effort than what we have today.

Random Thoughts of the Day. 

It’s good to reflect on how lucky we are each day were here.

Making it work or me today.

I can’t image how lonely life is without love. I can see how some don’t survive without it.

Wonders await me tomorrow. I just have to have the right attitude to find them.

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Life happens

Had a piss poor day. Not enough rest and things didn’t go right in a few areas but that is life sometimes. Kind of glad I get to spend a few minutes here just to calm down and reflect on the good stuff that happens. Simple things like being glad I woke up and could get around and had food to eat and roof over my head.

Actually things started to turn around after my better half showed me a picture of the grand baby this evening. It’s a good thing I can use those events to keep the day going in the right direction. Used to be I’d use a few negative events ruin my day or week. I’m getting better at letting go of the negative stuff.

Through the haze.
Photo by Mike Hartley

One time in my life I used the bottle to deal with negatives. That equation is over thankfully. But that was just a bad choice I made. I could have dealt with it like I am now but I guess I wasn’t mature or smart enough.

Sometimes solutions are right in front of our faces and so hard to grasp at the same time.

Random Thoughts of the Day

This is a chilly start to April and I’m not pleased with it.

My mind is in need of a walk. Wonder if the body will comply tomorrow.

Working is fun, if you have the ability to make it that way. Like the old experienced veterans would tell me, “make it work for you.”

You know I usually don’t take the time to fill out survey’s but they kept sending me email reminders and I was so upset with Verizon, I took their survey. Will it amount to anything changing no. Will it fix the issues I have with service or cut back the rate increase they tacked on, NO. So Verizon, you got my opinion. And when the contract is up you will know this long-term customer won’t be back.

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Status quo

With all the new neighbors in the neighborhood, status quo has been interrupted. Changes are coming fast and furious. From the age to the changing homes and landscape. On neighbor demolished their home to build a new bigger one I’m guessing. I’ve had one next door remodeling now for over 2 years and I don’t believe they have moved in yet permanently.

My status quo of my personal barber was broken because mine retired last month. I was at my dentist today and I can see the writing on the wall that I will need a new one in the coming years. We all age. We all change. We all adapt.

Well some of us better than others at adapting. The older I get the less I feel like adapting. Maybe it’s because I’ve been adapting all my life and I’m tired of it. Maybe I’m getting selfish or lazy or intolerant. I hope those aren’t the reasons.

I know the status quo on traffic has exceeded my tolerance. And the status quo at the job went off the charts with change the last 5-10 years. Maybe its just the volume of changed getting forced down my throat that I struggle with.

I guess I should go think of all the great things that come out of breaking the status quo. And then there are all those new and wonderful things that I’ve incorporated into my new status quo. So I guess the status can be a good or bad quo.

Rock On.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

Just hearing a few minutes of the movie Animal House makes me smile and laugh.

I get my car back tomorrow. I’m mobile again. Just in time for some warmer weather.

In looking at young people I see and remember the incredible pressures there are at that stage of life.

I had my worst finish ever this year in terms of my brackets picks for college basketball.

You ever get so tired you feel drunk without having had a thing to drink? I’m going to need some rest on Tuesday.

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Giving thanks to March

This has been a wonderful month. I went into it with high expectation and they have been exceeded. Our first grandchild has come and that has changed so much for me. I find myself and my family changed, all for the better. I’m seeing my daughter and her husband becoming parents. I see my better half beaming again like I saw decades ago.

I’d like to give thanks to a number of things. To having the best children a father could be bestowed. I feel like one of those fathers in the stands at the March Madness watching their sons and daughters succeed. I feel more at peace with myself. Of course I give thanks to skilled doctors and technicians who brought my first grandchild into the world.

Amateur photographer (me) photographing what appears to be professional photographer. At least I got rid of my spare tire. Maybe that’s what I need for better photos. 
Photo by Mike Hartley

I give thanks for having a job that pays the bills and a review that indicates they like what I do. I give thanks for no more blood test every 3 months. This would have been one of them. Now I got another 3 months before I fret. I’m thankful for the weather starting to change. And even though I’m in pain I’m thankful for the body and will that still allows me to take care of my own place.

I’m thankful for the ability and time to pursue some of my creative interest. Its come to a point where this is pure joy, a pleasure to sit and ramble on and share a few photos.

A couple of very close friends told me how much having a grandchild would change my feelings. They were right. Guess I had a lot of love and baby sounds buried deep in me.

I can’t believe the first quarter of the year is behind us.

Random Thoughts of the Day

My goal for April is to shoot something fresh each day of the month and post it.

My profession is slowly dying. Maybe I can reinvent it in retirement a few years down the road.

I have a dentist appointment I wish I could avoid but, I’ll go anyway.

I’m starting to be less afraid to say whats on my mind. You never know how many days you have left to express yourself.

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No pain No gain

Well that one (No Pain, No Gain) is holding true. I have pain and I see gain. Yep the battle with mother nature has begun again. Well battle is the wrong word. I love nature. But I do enjoy a good-looking yard and decks. Worked outside most of the day. Grilled out some sausages and salmon for dinner and now settling in for the hoop games.

Life is good today. Temps in the low 70’s with a breeze after a long winter is cause for a pause. Well, I didn’t just want to sit around all day and a large mulch delivery is coming next weekend so I had to de-leaf and de-branch all the areas getting mulch. The weeds got too much of a head start but we did battle with them today also.

Over the bay.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Good thing it’s supposed to rain this evening and tomorrow morning. The body needs a day of rest. It’s kind of a double edge sword. I know I need the exercise and activity. But the body isn’t as strong as it once was. I did pretty good in moderating today and its a good thing I did because I’d be horizontal now if I wasn’t. Right now I’m just a basket of minor aches and pains.

Random Thoughts of the Day

It’s good to step away from the computers and smartphones and tv’s.

Thinking of my parents today. I should go pay my respects soon.

I’m glad I have friends who are about having fun.

I love a little brown sugar over salmon and of course on the grill.

Many brackets are going boom. Nothing but net. I love that phrase.

I’ve got to remember to tell my son to bring his basketball pump the next time down.

I’m going to get back to reading blogs actively again this week. And hopefully some fresh shooting.

Amazing college basketball games tonight.

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Hot summer nights

Hot summer nights, I can sense them. Won’t be long coming now. And I’m dreaming about them daily. Tonight really triggered that impulse. I actually had shorts on this evening. Tomorrow we get a taste of the 70’s and pretty soon we are going to be heating up where this will be the place to be. Well maybe not the boardwalk but the beach at night is nice also.

Summer night walks.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I can feel it now. The warmth of the breeze. The smell of salt in the air. Or is that the smell of caramel corn. I always feel younger at the beach. The body usually feels better at the beach. The mind is clearer at the beach. And now that I wrote this I ask myself what I’m doing here. But then I think back to earlier today when my grand-daughter was in my arms, and say oh yeah, that’s why.

No matter how good sand feels between my toes. No matter how much I love the beach. I’d never move away from my children or grandchildren if they decided to stay local.

Friends – I got together with two of my best friends this evening. It was a grand time. As usual filled with laughter and abuse heaped on each other. Had some grand steak and cheese subs (home-made) by one of our master chefs. Some play with the 3 dogs. Some horseplay ourselves.

If you are lucky enough to be selected and or select really good friends, your life can something special. Because life can take a lot of support to get through from time to time.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I think I’ll see what I can do with my photography to make the world a better place.

Did you hear who is going to pay for the new healthcare plan?  Mexico.

I’ve got to get over and spend more time with my in-laws. They are a special couple. I hope I’m lucky enough to have their longevity and health.

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Cover off

Decided to take the cover off the deck furniture today. Made me feel good doing that. Hope we can have a few meals and get together’s out there this summer. I love going out and just looking into the woods behind my home from the deck. It’s a nice vantage point. If I leave some seed on the railing its gone in no time. And this guy still cruises the woods and back yard looking for prey.

This guy loves my back yard.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Speaking of Birds and taking the cover off. Baseball and the O’s kicked off the new season today against my favorite team. It’s not how I like to see the Yankees get a win. The O’s are just over matched badly. Baltimore is a great baseball town. I hope they can turn it around. Its much more fun beating them when it matters in the standings. Well I guess it does today, both or 0-0 before the game and now we have a one game lead.

The question is how many fans will the bird be listening to for a reply.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I’d really like to see baseball have a revitalization. It’s a good game.

I’m going to say my vows this evening to a weekend commitment to my own crafts. Been a while since committing some time.

Think I’ll marry my work this evening. I’ve been looking forward to it all week long.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

It’s not a good sign when you try a new restaurant and they mess up your first carry out order.

When people use the word “never” I tend to have a better understanding of them.

We have all these wonderful communication tools and either we don’t use them or aren’t clear when we do.

I’m getting better at spending less time being pissed off. If I can just get rid of it all together life would be grand.


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I went up to have lunch with my daughter and was able to hold her new daughter for a while today. It’s been a long time since I looked in someones eyes and got lost. Maybe since my own children, which has been a while. Holding a child makes you appreciate life. If you hold a child and are indifferent then you need to find your way again.

I long to get lost in my grand daughters eyes as much as I can. It’s a wonderful experience.

On the way home I was reminded civil courtesy has been lost. Drive any road in this state for a little bit and you will see what I mean.

We may have lost our way forward together as a country.

I’m lost on what project to start on this weekend.

I’m guessing that Powerball ticket I got is going to be a lost cause.

Sometimes I feel lost in a company I’ve worked decades in.

I’ve lost interest in trying to please some people.

I lost my patience with someone today.

I lost my incentive to get on the treadmill.

I lost an opportunity to grab a few frames today.

I’d like to be lost and then find myself on the deck in Ocean City watching a sunset.

Sunset 2
Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

The weekend is almost here. Sorry, once I had this random thought its the only one that stuck with me today.

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NOPE, Not going to let it happen. Almost forgot I was in control and that things that weren’t going right professionally or personally were NOT going to get me down.

I’m not going to go ballistic at the crater in the middle of the road that bent 2 of my rims on Monday morning or the bill that comes with that and new tires. I’m going to be positive and do something I’ve never had to do and file a claim to the state for the damages.

Of course I could complain about the cooler than normal temps but I won’t because I think I saw that its going to be in the 70’s on Saturday. So I will look forward to that day.

The fact that the funding for the Chesapeake Bay by the federal government to states is to be cut by 90% by the big cheeto is pissing me off. So I’ll get involved in making sure this doesn’t happen in the future.

I was rewarded and blessed with a call from a couple of old work mates who were attending a party and my name came up. So they all rang me up. A really nice feeling.

My daughter sent me the best picture of my grandchild today. Life is good and getting better. I think I’ll print it out and put on the family wall.

Days fly by, I want to feel something special about each one. I’m stressed and really trying to accomplish a lot but feeling on edge. I guess this all means I’m just living well and being challenged.

I see they moved up the peak viewing to April 1st. Should be a nice season. It’s a few mile walk down and a few miles back but I think I’ll take that journey and try to grab a few frames this year.

Views like this don’t begin to do it justice. You must attend.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Who knows, maybe a cab ride. I can’t remember ever taking one in DC before.

Washington Monument in the background of the blossoms.
Photo by Mike Hartley

But I know I need the exercise so I’ll at least hump my way down to the Tidal Basin. This time I’ll take my good camera.

More buds.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

I wonder if I can still skateboard. I used to be pretty good back in the day. And by that I mean thin flat boards, thin wheels and no fear.

I miss normal.

I’m finding that finding time is a nice hobby.

I used to wonder what the world would be like in the future. But as you age and you see what we do to it, I wonder less because its painful to think about. We have taken many things for granted for far too long.

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Mish Mash Monday

Well first thing on the agenda is to recognize that its Maryland Day. Not a huge thing to most but I love the state and its resources and most of its people. I love the weather, most of the time. I love the beauty it provides and opportunities to explore. And it’s where home is. And therefore I’ll wave the flag and be proud of it today.

Just some sun and the two most important flags to me.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Some feel compelled to travel the country. I feel compelled to travel the state. No its far from huge and I’ve lived here a long time and Lord knows I’ve burned a lot of fossil fuels cruising its highways and back roads. But I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface.

Flags at attention today.
Photo by Mike Hartley

When I started this blog I thought I’d be doing better documenting it beauties, but life has interjected and delayed me a bit from my goals. But I will not be deterred.

Random Thoughts of the Day

A pothole has injured my daily commuter. I guess its one of the benefits of living here also.

I’m thinking of withdrawing from conversations about politics because they aren’t conversations any longer.

Tomorrow better be a better day.

Nothing like trying to sleep through running chain saws.

It’s only a matter of time till we are going to see gunfire between cars.

It’s amazing how unprofessional some people in professional positions can be. I’m talking from my personal experiences in business.

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All of us are conscious of crime. We take some degree of precautions. We are certainly treated to a healthy dose of it on the news. And that is not the news fault, there is just a hell of a lot of serious crime going on outside our doors. And it’s not going away, our society is built on haves and have not’s. And that disparity is getting greater.

We have lost the family units so young people are not brought in line when the minor things happen and then they just move onto serious crimes. We have lost the ability to instill in every individual that life is precious and not to be threatened or taken in an instant without a thought.

Brush off the small stuff.
Photo by Mike Hartley

We have a huge mental illness problem going on where people are wandering around our country who need serious help and have no way of getting it.

We have become careless with our guns and the responsibility that ownership entails. Just look at the number of children accidentally shooting themselves or a family member or friends each year.

We have failed to come to some common sense approach the country can agree on. You have the no guns position, to no gun laws at all position, and everything in between. It’s a hard question because so much is out of control now. The rabbit is already out of the hat in a sense that there are so many guns already out in circulation and ownership now. You’re not going to take away these guns. Well you can try but I’m not going up marching on front doors for that purpose.

I’m not sure but the traffic in illegal guns must be bustling also and that is a sure way to get guns in the hands of the wrong people.

Well what spurred this post was an armed carjacking just down the road from us. An intersection I pass every day a few times at least. One it tells me that I can’t and shouldn’t ignore it till it hits me or my family or my friends. Its got me thinking about ways to help. Its something I won’t brush off now.

Random Thoughts of the Day

You just have to love March.

The problem with a grandchild is you can’t be with them all the time.

I thought my sisters surgery was this week, it was last. I blew that one. Will have to take her something special.

You are a lucky person if you can count on your friends.

This is going to be a productive week. At least I hope so.

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Wasting time

That was my assessment of the day. I did manage to get a few chores and things crossed off the list but I didn’t feel like it was a real productive day. Headaches and a few other aches don’t help but I usually don’t let those hold me back, like I let them today. The older I get the more I hate having wasted time.

Bring on summer.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I should have been out fishing or exercising or working on something. I should have taken the day or part of it to go for a ride with my better half. Tomorrow I hope not to waste many minutes. Because before I blink my eyes the work week will be upon me and that just sucks the time out of the day like a tick.

So the plan is to get up before daybreak and maybe go snap some early morning images.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I’m running short of inspiration this evening. I might try a good nights sleep and see what tomorrow brings.

Sometimes I feel like the less I say, the better off I am some days. I’ll have to work on that.

I spend a lot of time in thought thinking about my children and grandchildren when I’m not with them.

Some people like to sleep in on Sundays. I’m not one of them.



Hope is an interesting thing. I was thinking about a question of the day I recently read on depression. I know when I was depressed I saw no hope. On my best day I’m thinking there is great hope for a huge number of things. Almost whatever comes across my mind or plate that day.

But most days are tempered with a bit of doubt mixed in with some hope. And the experiences of the day push it one way or the other at times. I find when I think about creating something my overall hope level goes up. And it seems to multiply either in more creative ideas or positive thoughts in other areas.

I hope its a long time before I’d have to go through those doors again.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Sometimes I can see hope where others see none. Sometimes I see none even though there is always some there. I remember thinking a lot about hope sitting outside these doors a few years ago waiting to be called back for the days radiation treatment. Usually I would start to hope that others were getting better because I felt like at least on the outside that I was the healthiest one in the waiting area.

I could see hope on family members faces who would come with them. Sometimes I had to wait for hope from the patients. Maybe it was their names being called or when they were walking out after a treatment. Maybe a goodbye wave and a smile when someone on the way out would say have a good day.

Some you might have to wait a few days before you saw that hope peeking out. Hope is so easy to have and so hard to have at the same time. You look around in traffic once in a while and you will find it hard to spot someone with hope of getting home on time. But I remember a few days after surgeries where I knew I could drive for weeks that I was hoping to be stuck in traffic again.

When I’m calm, I seems easy to have hope. It’s hard to have hope when your tense. You can. For instance I had hope when the Terps were down in yesterdays game that they would come back and they did.

I know I hope every day for the health and safety of friends and family. I know I hope for peace in the world and respect for each other. I hope for simple things like a smooth day at the job. I hope for a good nights sleep. I could go on, but then I might waste something good to hope for on another day.

I’m not sure what this weather event was today but it came and went in no time. If I had to name it I would say it was snowballs. Very interesting few minutes this afternoon.

I guess mother nature was trying to tell me this wasn’t the weekend to put fresh mulch down.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I wasn’t sleet, rain or snow.

Snowballs on the 22nd of March. This just isn’t right.
Photo by Mike Hartley

They weren’t hail.

Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

I wish my back had a backup.

There is no such thing as too much basketball.

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I’m pumped

I’m pumped. Game day is upon us. By the end of the day I will feel like I’ve played in a few of them. 3 weekends of fun in a row ahead. Drama at every game. Kids will and devotion to the task worn on their chest. Its great.

Looks like two wet days ahead. Which is good because I hate watching tv all day and night and wasting a good day outside also. So no guilt will be there for the next 2 and I can watch as many games as the mind and body will absorb.

Photo by Mike Hartley

You know, this is life. You got to let go and focus on something for yourself once in a while. Yeah I’ll spend a day soon doing something called taxes. And in the next 3 weeks I’ll have to get the outside chores going again. And I’ll go to work. And as a parent I’ll always be concerned about the health and safety of my children and worry about that and a host of other things.

But the time to catch a ton of basketball in the next few weeks is one selfish pleasure I take each year. It’s good for my mental health. It’s a ton of fun watching with my best friends. It’s a ritual enjoyed by our group. So off we go to prepare the day 1 provisions for the troops.

I could claw my way through a few of these.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I only do 1 BRACKET. Matches the drama of the tourney. One and done.

I hope everyone can find their sweet spot in life. Its taken me a good while. I always wondered if I would find it. And over the last few decades its come about. And it’s not about money or things. It’s not about your job title. It’s not about your home or car. It’s about love, health and good people and sharing that time together.

OK soapbox completed. Go Terps – kick some ass.

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Holding a child

Today, I was able to hold my grandchild for a good while. She is very new to this world and I love watching her movements and expressions. I love seeing what she reacts to in my voice and motion and hold. I love the warmth of her hand trying to hold my finger. I’m in love with her period. It’s a wonderful thing to have my sole focus on this child while I hold her.

My mind is calmed and clearer with her on my chest. The worries about petty people like a president who can’t let a dead man rest in peace aren’t even on my radar. All I think of is to care for her every movement and expression and sound. To protect her from anything and anyone. To show love and patience. To share knowledge and experience, well we will get to that later on. I have to let her be a child first.

I’m in love with my grandchild. A number of people told me what a changing experience it is and I was excited about their excitement and joy in it. But starting to experience it, is great.

Later this year
Photo by Mike Hartley

I found a shot I took at the beach a while back. My beard isn’t as white as this guys yet, but I can imagine myself carrying and playing with my grandchild at the beach for years to come. Its been a good day. I’m so proud of my daughter.

Random Thoughts of the Day

The Madness is under way. Go Terps

One couple that will probably skip asking each other how their day was today. George and Kellyanne Conway

It’s good to be at peace with yourself. But you should start by sitting at the negotiating table first and working out some issues.

You know the thoughts of life you thought about when you’re young. You see other older people, married couples, parents and even really old people like grandparents and you wondered what it’s going to be like. And then you’re a grandparent, you don’t feel that old or think like you’re old. It doesn’t feel like a great deal of time has passed. If you’re lucky, you look back to that 20-year-old boy and say wow, that was a long and great journey.

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Guilt and action

I’ve been neglect on catching up with some of my favorite bloggers. I’ve been neglect on giving my car a bath. I’ve been neglect on my carving. I’ve been neglect on getting my office cleaned and organized. I’ve been neglect on setting up my stereo system. Well time to get those and many more things off the list and completed.

It’s not like I haven’t been busy. And what I’ve been busy with will always be the priority, but I’ve got to get better at fitting all the other wishes in at the same time. Isn’t life grand. I’d rather have too much on my plate than be bored.

My kind of ride, 2 seats no roof.
Photo by Mike Hartley

But I find guilt creeping back into my mind. Why can’t I do more. Did I really give it my best effort. Even when I do sometimes I feel like my best effort should be more. And worst of all I think I’ve passed a bit of this trait to my children. Its taken me decades to kind of be alright with myself. I hope they don’t fight that battle and know they are alright now and every day.

And that brings me to the action part. The more action I take each day the less guilt has time to enter into my mind. The more I feel that best effort was all that could be done. The more I feel and can look at accomplishment. So here’s to action.

I did have some accomplishments today and it’s not over till it’s over, so back to work.

Random Thoughts of the Day

If you like your car, washing it is not a chore, it’s a joy.

A special day ahead for a special person to me.

Most of the time, I work very well under pressure. But there are moments when the stress of it wins out.

My hair is turning white, my necks always been red and my collars still blue. Love me some Skynyrd. Billy Powell could tickle those ivory’s.

Getting a lot of email can be a good thing also.

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Brain freeze

I was given some news today that worried me greatly, so I haven’t been my usual jovial self. But I must press onward because I remembered my mindset to make the most of every day. So instead of spiraling downwards I’m going to think positive.

You can spiral up or down. A lot of times its our own choice.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Speaking of brain freeze, it’s almost time for the local snowball stand to open. I can’t wait to get that painful vise like feeling between my eyes. Thankfully its fleeting and a good reminder for me to slow down and enjoy it.

Can’t wait till the real snowballs are dished out.
Photo by Mike Hartley

OK, I couldn’t resist. I know it doesn’t make sense. I know the odds are as long as can be. I know logic has been thrown out the window. But when I saw the possible match ups for the University of Maryland mens basketball team I couldn’t resist because it would be like a dream come true. They are in the east bracket and if they get past the first two games and make it to the Sweet 16 they would probably run into Michigan State. Would be nice to beat the Big 10 champ and prove who is the cream of the crop. And the next game would probably be against the #1 seed and Maryland nemesis DUKE. Boy that would take me back to the ACC days where we would enjoy very much beating a #1 Duke team. Next up would most likely be Gonzaga which has been a #1 team most of the season. Lets say we get lucky and knock off 2 #1 teams. We then could have a possible match up with North Carolina in a final.

Can you image that. Knocking off that run of teams for the National Championship. Just the thought of this possibility sealed the fate of the office pool entry I made today. But one can dream. And I believe in being a supportive fan. Maybe a delusional one, but devoted.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I believe and practice on treating people the same. Be they a janitor or executive.

I hate being so busy that I don’t even have time to download the previous days shooting. Look like I’ll double up tomorrow.

I wonder how long it will be before the mob gets to that guy who killed one of the bosses?

Now why would someone recommend reading the manifesto of the New Zealand masque shooter? Oh it was Kelly AC. That explains it.

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Preparation complete

Well I’ve watched my full of college basketball for this point. Of course this was just a tune up for the big dance. This is one wide open tournament about to take place. And I’ll join the masses later tonight or tomorrow in filling out my brackets. Ah, I can feel spring in the air and the song “One shining moment” in a few weeks. Go Terps

MD vs Duke maybe one more?
Photo by Mike Hartley

Back to reality of the work cycle beginning again. Certainly seems to come around much faster and more often than weekends do. If I could find out whom to speak to about this I’d give them a piece of my mind. Of course I better be careful, not much there to start with.

It can’t be Monday already
Photo by Mike Hartley

Anyway its going to be a great week for a number of reasons. I refuse to let this wonderful week ahead turn into the crapper. I’m going to get inspired. I already have done a few things to get started and feeling good about doing some planning ahead. Like scheduling a day of vacation to spend quality time with family.

Also got the batteries charged up for the cameras. Going to get the mop on the top of the head cut. Got to work on finding a barber. Yeah there are lots of them out there, but haven’t found one to replace the one I had for almost 3 decades that I like so far. But the main thing is my mind is charged even though sleep has been a little erratic.

I was glad to see the stepped up enforcement on Rt 29 in Howard County. Hope they keep it up and do so in the morning rush also. I think they got some new unmarked vehicles. For a change of pace I got downtown today with not one person cutting me off or tailgating me badly or running a red light or unable to stay in lane.

Random Thoughts of the Day

Dumplings, need I say more. OK, beef stew. Now is that good enough?

It’s easier to be at peace with the world when you’re at peace with yourself.

While I always hold out hope for people, some seem bent on making that a useless dream.

I’ve got to get reading about the important choices ahead of us so I can pull the right lever. Oh that’s right, they don’t use levers anymore.

I’d like to see if the job of “Mayhem” is open for those State Farm commercials when I retire from this gig.


Little and big treasures

It was family day and what a wonderful time. My better half took the mug that her parents had gotten us when we had our first child. Also a girl and filled it with flowers as they had and gave it to our daughter today. I think she was very touched. It was a grand time. We all got to hold the baby and have a relaxed lunch together at her home.

An old gift refreshed and passed on to the next generation.
Photo by Mike Hartley

It made my weekend to spend time with family and friends again. I make every opportunity I can available to the people I love. Sometimes its tough to concentrate on other things after a great weekend like this. I know when it nears its end it certainly doesn’t seem fair.

But work beckons and bills come and you know the routine. A kind of routine I was hoping to adjust as I age but with the way things are going I might just have to work a bit longer than I hoped for. That’s OK though, if it does positive things for those loved ones I’ll do it as long as the body and mind hold out.

For there is no sacrifice to great when the precious things in your life are concerned. I wished more people would look at their families and friends that way. And if you can’t, find someone you can, because it’s a wonderful thing.

Random Thoughts of the Day

So tomorrow is the wearing of the Green. Never really got into St Patrick’s day celebrations. Maybe it was that green beer I had as a youth that ruined it for me.

It felt good to do a little shooting and editing this weekend. Now if I can just keep picking up the camera each day, I’ll have more of a feeling of success.

I just made the executive decision to make this a short work week. Ain’t it great being in charge. Well at least having some vacation time stored up when you aren’t.

I love natural lighting.

Refreshing your surroundings can refresh your attitude.

If they are going to charge me more for gas it shouldn’t also take longer to pump.

I’ve been moving things on my to do list around. Not a healthy thing to do.

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Days that give pause

Today my heart was again paused with holding my grandchild. There are few things more innocent than a child a couple of days old. The essentials mater. Warmth, food and love is all that is needed. That is all there is really.

I’m reading on the carnage that was inflicted by hate this day and again I’m paused. I wonder how we all go on after these events. We go on because life goes on and we aren’t brave enough to step in and do something about it.

As I stepped outside to check the temp again today I was paused by the beauty of the though of putting on shorts for the second day in a row. A short stretch of beautiful weather has emboldened me to return to the great outdoors. Even though it’s on its way out, it gave me the foundation of hope that more will return soon.

The older I get the less inclined I am to fly.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Seems like there have been a lot of tough moments this week. The airline crash, the massacre, cheating, bomb storms and many other tragedies. But our family is trying to do its part by keeping a loving spirit going, focusing on life and love. Yeah its hard when people try to kill you on the road back and forth to spreading that love but we move on.

And even though I will spend my remaining days trying to love and respect, I worry that one day before I go I’ll be walking out the door each day strapped, just for protection. A sad thought to be leaving our next generation with. One that a majority doesn’t want. But then again the radicals on both ends are starting to account for a lot of weight.

I always will remember the feeling of pulling the bike out on the first warm days of the year. Man was that great. I settle for putting the top down on the car now but I will never forget the joys of riding. I’m thankful to be here after 3 decades of 2 wheel fun. For those of you still in the saddle, be careful.

Nice classic on a Friday afternoon.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

OK, I’ve done a proper warm up for next weeks beginning of March Madness. Now if I can just figure a way to sleep from the end of the selection show on Sunday night to the tip-off on Thursday at noon and then stay up for 4 days straight.

You could set a million dollars in front of me and I wouldn’t bend over to pick up a cent if I had my grand-daughter in my arms.

You know some games leave you nobody to cheer for. Example today’s Duke and North Carolina match up. Oh yeah I dislike both greatly, but I would never miss it. And it was again another college basketball classic.

I wonder if that big fire in Boston at a casket company is sending us all a message to go with cremation?

Well another day in the blogging books.

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A warm and coal Thursday

I was rudely woken early today by a friend today. Despite this transgression we decided to meet for lunch and it turned into a long event which was great for the fun side of me but the taskmaster side of me isn’t happy. So I promised to get some things done this evening despite wanting to hit the rack.

Can you smell what I am cooking?
Photo by Mike Hartley

Actually we did get an entertainment center moved from one level to another, which was something that I’ve had on the list for a while just waiting for another set of hands. Really I had a great day overall. Got to put the top down and enjoy some sunshine.

Had some great old bay wings and pizza at Ledo in Normandy. New menu. Went with the old standbys though which were very good.

But as I look at my to do list and realize I haven’t shot a frame I feel like a bit of a failure today. But really it did me and another friend of mine some good.

We met another friend and went tape delay on the Maryland game which killed the good vibe of the day. Yes they laid an egg. But such is life, live to play another day which they have in the real dance.

I’m glad I’m finally comfortable with myself to take a day and relax a bit and not beat myself up over it. And there is time still to knock out a few quick chores. So I’m finding the balance.

It was great to utilize the weather today. Bike riders, runners and people out in their yards. Lots of other convertibles with the tops back also. I’m sure the construction guys working on a few projects near me were loving life today.

I think I’ll challenge myself to really shoot tomorrow despite the sloppy weather prediction. It’s good to practice in all kinds of situations.

I’m cooking again. I got real slack on this over the past few months. I need to give my better half a break. So I’m on a mission to try new things this year and get that grill rolling again. Made some honey garlic boneless pork chops the other night. Going to see what I can whip up tonight.

Sea Food – Eat Food
Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

Boy that Maryland loss was hard to watch. Bounce back young’ins. You can do it.

Thankful for the healthy feeling today.

The power to feel like you can change something should always be yours. Even if the only thing you can change is yourself.

I’m about to burst in anticipation of seeing my grandchild again.

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Lets Rock, it’s Hump Day

Despite the grey look outside now, I’m in much better spirits. Feeling better and about to get a period where I can work on some of my interest again. Think I’ll try for an early start on Thursday. Being I’ll be up all night tonight that shouldn’t be too hard to pull off, but the effort might only be a few hours till I crash for a bit.

I think I’ll surprise my better half with her favorite items from Dunkin Doughnuts in the morning. She has been a trooper lately.

I was going to go all Foghorn Leghorn on the Lamar Jackson video of him driving with a few issues, but then I remembered I was young once and liked speed in a car. But I always wore a seat-belt. Even before there were seat-belt laws. Just like I always wore a helmet even before there were helmet laws in Maryland when I road a motorcycle. And as far as I can remember when I was in triple digit speeds I had both hands on the wheel and I was paying attention to what I was doing and not filming. Of course there was no filming back when I was growing up.

Traffic, I’ve had it with it. Well let me correct myself. People behaving badly in traffic. I think I’m more accustomed to deal with the traffic like below.

Excuse me, coming through.
Photo by Mike Hartley

There are a couple of things I haven’t done in a great while that I have put off and put off. Well this might be the weekend to correct a few of them. I’ll let you know as I go.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I could never live in a city.

The river of goodwill is getting low.

Relationships are about adjustments.

There is nothing like working from home if you have the commute from HELL.

Just because I’m having a good time, does it have to go so fast?

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Tuesday – get spinning

March is National Kidney Month. I’m into kidney’s because I’m a kidney cancer survivor. I salute all those with kidney issues and hope you healthy ones take care of that part of the body. Its important.

The Madness has begun with the conference tournaments under way. This is a great time. Pressure and excitement is off the charts. Its game time and its unpredictable as its ever been. And next week I’ll be completing my bracket as usual. I participate in an office pool contest. Its great. I’ve become somewhat of an item in that I always pick Maryland to win it all.

Not as nice as yesterday but sunny so I won’t bash the weather to start with. So lets begin on a positive note. We are alive, I was going to say alive and kicking but not this kid. Today is a continuation of a good bit of discomfort. Trying to overcome it again without the meds. I feel like I’ve injured the back again. Certainly not the first time so I do have some experience with that feeling.