THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley


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Profound sadness

Profound sadness is what I’m feeling watching part of your hometown wash away. Friends, merchants, landmarks, people’s homes or apartments, cars, personal effects, artworks, valuables. All lost again. Hopefully nobody has lost their lives this time.

This is the town my wife grew up in. This is a town I worked in many years. It’s a town I love to go to eat, walk, photograph and shop. And now its devastated again.

A beautiful sunny day yesterday followed with flood devastation today.
Photo by Mike Hartley

No more farmers markets for a while again. And probably no town again for many months and maybe years. Already seen a video of one vendor who rebuilt after the last flood but sounded done after this one. And I would suspect that more had that thought already.

The Farmers Market might have to relocate or take a vacation from Main Street.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I hope it pulls itself up out of the mud and muck again. But I’m really wondering what the future is for this great town.


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Saturday afternoon

Oh no, I just saw them go into another store says the pair of gentlemen below. And this was my thought today as we walked down to Ellicott City from my in-laws home. The ladies stopped at the top of the street on the way back and decided to hit some stores. So instead of waiting in the heat we hoofed it home. And like good gentlemen we called them when we got there and offered to come pick them up but they passed on the offer for some more exercise.

This was my thought today.
Photo by Mike Hartley

All I know is it was a lot more pleasant at 7am than it was at noon. Of course nature always adapts better than us humans. Like these guys catching the cool water and rays.

Chilling on the rocks.
Photo by MIke Hartley

Wasn’t the most friendly day I’ve experienced in this town but a few people acknowledged a good morning or good afternoon. I took a few shots of bike riders (both motorized and not) and boy when I look at the faces I just see these scowl’s on them. Ge’ez, if I could ride one of those nice bikes and where the bright colors and have a thin fit body, or be kicked back on a custom cruiser I’d be grinning from ear to ear.  Maybe they don’t realize how good they have it.

Disgruntled biker.
Photo by Mike Hartley

But it was great getting some exercise and being out on a sunny day in May. Felt like August though.

Even the bunting was sweating.
Photo by Mike Hartley

The last two shots I took with each in mind. I had just seen and shot this older Miata. You see I kind of like these cars now being I own one. So when I saw this red roadster I just had to snap a shot. I bet he takes it racing because he had a roll bar in it. The damn thing looks like its smiling.

Classic Miata.
Photo by Mike Hartley

And as I walked up the street thinking about getting back to my car and slinging the top down again I saw this sign and it kind of drove home the kind of enjoyment I get in tooling around in one of these.

The sign says it all.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Oh yeah, suggestion for EC – get rid of the garbage cans under the bridge, it stinks and everyone smells it because everyone walks down to the water.


Random Thoughts of the Day

I’ve discovered an additional benefit of my old tee shirts. They have extra air conditioning vents (holes).

It felt good to have a basketball back in my hands after a long absence. Now if I could find where I left my shot?

Back to the season of multiple shower days.

Working holidays SUCKS. I have a number of other thoughts and words for it, but I’ll spare you.


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Yes it is

I know what you were thinking, Yes it is a wonderful day. Well at least some of you might have been thinking that and I’m with you today. My hands feel like they have been unlocked again and we are flying at a number task that require dexterity. Amazing all the things you find that are affected when appendages are not working normally.

A cloudy start this morning.
Photo by Mike Hartley

A busy holiday weekend ahead. But one to enjoy and remember what it is for. Lots of brave people stepped forward to protect our freedom. Lets not forget or waste that effort.

A simple porch along Rt 99 this morning by Sand Hill Rd.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Already been out for one walk today. Well truth be told it was more ride with the top down than a walk but I did get out a few times for a few shots. Going to try to do a second walk also with the family today.

This guy joined me for the early morning walk, he was only about 4 foot long. 
Photo by Mike Hartley

So the reminder of the morning is. Always look closely before you put your toes in the water.


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A bump in the road

Yeah, its been a few of those days. No rest, long hours, tons of chores. Isn’t it great to be alive and have that stuff. Hey, it’s a victory any day that I’m up and about. That is lucky or blessed for fortunate or whatever you want to call it but it’s not to be taken for granted. So today I’m glad that its been a healthy day.

I’m so looking forward to the coming weekend. I would say holiday weekend, but our team works a lot of holidays. I might try to visit Arlington one of these coming days. Always nice to visit on Memorial Day weekend, or there about.

A bump in the road.
Photo by MIke Hartley

Hopefully I’ve got the drive to crawl out of this rut of slackness on creativity and effort. I’m looking forward to getting that positive mindset back and the relaxed vibes that bring contentment in task and life. So here’s to another fresh start. It beats giving up.


Random Thoughts of the Day

Not often you see the Warriors lose composure like they did tonight. Well you can’t win them all at home.

Not many things beat a job where you can work from home. Well a lot of things do but in terms of jobs, it would be sweet.

We are at a turning point. Either we will continue to devolve into madness or we will turn massive problems around and come out stronger.

Looking forward to seeing a best friend who lives far away who will be in town. Can’t wait to give him a big hug and laugh together.


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The 3 C’s

Chillin, chicken and charcoal. Well not actually, something else will be on the grill today. For our long-lost sunshine is back and that means cooking out. Yeah I occasionally grill out in some less than desirable weather but this last stretch was a no go. This was from last Monday which may have been the last time the sun made an appearance.

Chicken Breast
Photo by Mike Hartley

Today’s special was burgers and dogs. I’m thinking that something new is in order for Memorial Day weekend. Maybe some ribs or seafood. I love doing salmon on the grill.

I feel blessed to be able to have enough food each day not to go hungry. So many don’t. Think I’ll share this week.

And no I didn’t get out shooting today. Found too many chores waiting for me after the long days of rain. So I’m going to try again this morning. Because its going to be a work from home week for the rest of the schedule.


Random Thoughts of the Day

If you have a job where you don’t have to work holidays, be thankful.

If life offers you a choice make the difficult ones.

Tell your friends and family how important they are.


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Look for them, do them

With all the strife in the world, working constantly, sapping every bit of my positive energy and outlook, I’ve found something that I’m going to try to use to turn each day around. I don’t think I’ll ever be at a time where I can’t find any of these because they really do surround us. But one common trait is, unless it’s captured by someone else, it is done in relative silence and obscurity.

And most people who do this, aren’t looking for attention or reward or recognition, they do it because it uplifts them by uplifting others. And that is a reward you can’t measure. These acts are almost magic. The people who perform them are selfless in most cases and cruise under the radar. They are your neighbor and friend who always seem so busy with the normal things in life, like jobs and their own families, that you wonder how they would squeeze in another minute of the day to do anything else. Many are performed for years without knowledge of friend or family.

We all see them every day. The ramdon acts of kindness, people volunteering, caregivers, sharing a meal or funds for one for someone in need, maybe blood or an organ. Whatever it is, it goes on every day. Many people are involved in these and many more positive and uplifting task every day. Some people not only extend their kindness and compassion to humans but also animals. I have a sister in-law who does cat rescues.

People do these things in their every day jobs. Supporting someone who is struggling. Having some more patience with someone who has run out of theirs. Slipping a few dollars to the homeless man or woman you walk or drive past each day. Sharing a smile or kind word to someone who needs it. Holding a door or elevator. Offering to carry a bag, Picking something dropped up and returning it.

So I’m inspired today by both my friends and family who do so much for others. Who’s compassion seems boundless. And the thought that I can do better each day if I worry less about myself.


Yeah its wet outside. Just think though, at least it’s not cold and wet.

Liquid in a less desirable state.
Photo by Mike Hartley


Random Thoughts of the Day

Even at 60 years old I’m still making mistakes. That means I’m still trying though.

The balance between rest and wanting to live every minute is difficult to manage.

Relaxed is when the body doesn’t hurt.

I’m going to start a countdown calendar.

If I don’t get out and shoot on Sunday I’m going to be so pissed off at myself. I just looked and they might be a peak of sun through some morning clouds so maybe I’ll try to catch a sunrise. That would be a great way to start the morning.


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Good morning – Back in Blue

Good morning all – Saw this guy sleeping in my back yard. He is a regular around the homestead. Must be some good hunting grounds because we have a hawk that likes to  cruise my back yard and treeline also. He’s always quicker than these old hands and eyes but one day I’ll capture a series of him.

The click of the camera got his attention but only enough to get up stretch and lay back down. I’m beginning to think he knows me a bit. We have crossed paths many times. Actually been within 10-15 feet of him once when he was perched on the hill outside my back door overlooking the lower back yard and I opened it to stretch my arms late one night.

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Back and Blue. Well guess I should start by explaining that. I’m back after a layoff due to the job that pays the bills and the medical profession and contractors. And I’m blue in the face after dealing with all 3. A complete different set of circumstances but still blue in the face from dealing with all of it.

Yeah I passed the red face (lava stage) a while back and now I’m burning a bright blue flame. All for various reasons and circumstances but none the less, frustrating as hell.

But now I’m home and the work week is over. And hopefully, I can spend a few hours on my own work and some fun time with family and friends. That always allows for the right perspective on life to come back into play.


Random Thoughts of the Day

Usually I do this at the end of the day so I’ve had a chance to sort through a few thoughts, but what the hell, lets see what falls off the top.

A day with a hidden sunrise is an incomplete day.

Today I’m reminded of a famous quote “into each life some rain must fall” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, I have the following reply. YEAH WE GOT THE MESSAGE, TURN OFF THE FAUCET.

Interesting blend of sounds this morning outside.

Some people remind me to get more active, by how inactive they are.

Going to be a few damp hats at the Preakness tomorrow.

It bothers me sometimes how aggressive some organizations are after you have donated to them in the past. Makes me rethink how much in the future I want to deal with them.

I hope you like WET. Because that is all we have in the great state of Maryland today.