THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

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My mushroom cloud

Lots of mean talk between two tough guys who couldn’t whip their own way out of a paper bag. Well lets hope for humanity sake that this is the only type of mushroom cloud we all see soon. I just wish we didn’t have someone so impulsive in charge. I’m hoping for a better Thursday ahead and the early start of great weekend.

Flower bomb.
Photo by Mike Hartley

My apologies for missing yesterday. Just life getting in the way of some creative time. But now I’m back and with some time I hope crank up the camera again.

Like stepped up law enforcement is going to fix the opioid issues. Note to those in charge, that drug isn’t coming into the country illegally, its made right here for the most part. And repeating failed policies of the past changes nothing in the future.

If it rains this weekend I’m going to work on my sleep.

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Monday marsh

A little wet today in the great state of Maryland. Such is life. I’ll continue to stroll through the wetness as my friend below. Funny how weather can make you feel like your living. Today I just stood outside as the rain started early this morning. I just looked up into the darkness and let it hit me in the face for a bit. Yesterday I was laying in the hammock and watching beautiful cloud formations just rolling by for about an hour. That was so relaxing.

Photo by Mike Hartley

I love the feel of wind at my back or walking into a stiff breeze. I love the feel of sun on my back while cutting the yard, but more so on the beach. The feeling when I fall backwards into a fresh pile of snow is like being 6 years old instead of 60. Sliding on ice like I’m surfing. Well that was long ago, now I just fall on my ass so we will leave ice out of my favorites of Mother Nature.

Anyway, get outside, connect with nature. But also don’t forget to connect with each other. Get those GD cell phones out of your face and look someone in the eye, exchange a pleasant greeting, listen to someone TALK. Have a CONVERSATION.

I find that the use of “thank you” is a disappearing phrase. Very sad indeed. I try to use it often and every day. It builds teamwork and relationships in my mind.

Won’t take much to trigger a civil war in this country. We’re all armed. We’re getting more divided every day. We have a leader that is continuing to divide us into us and them when it’s really all of us.

That reminds me, I need to visit the range soon this month. One can never have too much practice. I wish I had a lot of land where I could practice skeet shooting again. I loved that in my youth. And no I don’t like shooting living things. ¬†Well maybe an overly aggressive large snake once or twice. Most I’ll throw back in the woods with a rake or by the tail.

I tell you, it’s a mixed up world. I hate leaving this mess to my kids.

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Kiss it goodbye

Time to kiss that weekend goodbye again. Probably the lowest point of the week for me. At least that is what it feels like in terms of my attitude. Sunday nights are the worst. It’s the point where most relaxed meets most anxious. Sort of like two tides meeting head on. Well the work week has to start sometime. Its a double whammy really, I don’t get much time to shoot or write here. The frustration of the long commute begins again which just feels like wasted time. The stress of working for someone else and doing something that is less rewarding than previous positions.

Kiss the weekend goodbye.
Photo by Mike Hartley

But if I didn’t have that I wouldn’t be able to appreciate the time I do have off. And all I have to do is think about the time I was sick and dreaming of getting back to work and being free of doctors and assorted treatments. So I’ve just turned that frown around, now its just thinking about how I can incorporate more creative time and results for my own passions while maintaining the other professional life.

Today is Friendship day I read. Seems kind of strange, isn’t every day friendship day?

If I’m old school Howard County, I had better make it to the fair this week.

I wonder how some people get to be such a-holes.


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Get your line in the water

Come on folks, the sun is about up and its time to get your line in the water. For me today, that means taking a casual spin in the convertible, after I dry off the morning dew on it. You see I just gave the beast a bath last night and would like it without water spots this morning. Might seem excessive for some of you, pampering a car that is. But this is the first car in over 3 decades that I really like, enjoy and sort of prize in ways.

Fishing between the goal post.
Photo by Mike Hartley

So I keep it clean and shining as best I can. Yeah it’s also my daily commuter, so that is rough on it but that is life. But back to putting your line in the water. Whatever it is that floats your boat, get up, get out and get at it. The only work I’m doing today is putting that mower back in the shed and locking it up. Other than that it should be a day of enjoyment to lead me into the work week.

Something that when I’m sitting there mid-week, and about to lose my mojo, that I can draw from and say ahhhhh, that is why I do this. And after 3 days of yard and home work and chores, I’ve earned a day of rest. And like the gentleman with the fishing pole in his hands in photo, I’m looking for contentment. And fishing is an excellent way to find that but today its going to be on the back roads, maybe snapping a few images along the way, a warm embrace for my better half, a phone call to the kids, touching base with my best friends who are away (no distance can divide us), and finally planting my behind in the hammock at the end of the day for a nap.

The hard part will be staying away from this computer. I’ve had several creative ideas for post just sitting here this morning and I’ve decided to write them down and not let such a beautiful day outside go to waste. Not that I don’t love blogging, I really do. The more I write each day the more I think about missing the opportunity I had for decades to do it. Just lacked any confidence and will to do it. But now I’m just like a kid in a candy store.

I’m ready to move to the next step, and not just share the daily rant that races across my mind. Or the random topic inspired by a photo I’ve taken, which make up about 99% of my post. I read so many gifted people, post that just flow with thought, emotion, drama, life, laughter and sometime just cause you to pause and think. Short stories or longer pieces, it’s the quality of the words. Sometimes its just a few lines that can stick with you or inspire you.

Ah what the hell, who am I kidding. That kind of step takes time, patience, research, thought, many drafts and most of all talent/skill. And I still lack the time for that so what the hell. I’ll continue to plug along and practice till I find my talent under a yet un-turned stone or stumble on it by accident. So have a good day all and best of health to everyone.

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I’m tired

What a day. I feel like this gal below. Once I finish this post I’ll be doing the same. Working outside for the third day in a row has left me both tired and fulfilled. It’s nice enjoying the sun, working on the tan while cutting the yard, trimming trees, cleaning gutters and assorted other task. It also saps the energy of a 60-year-old much quicker than it used to. Remembering growing up there was no too hot or too humid, it was just that the daylight was too short. Days where we only left the court to take on water or lunch.

Good resting spot.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Times of laughter and fun, but also times of dead seriousness and full effort. Great games with great people. Think I’ll start to detail some of those memories because some of the participants are no longer with us and before any more slip away, its time to write those down for our kids. Funny how much we took for granted along the way.

Then again, its funny how much I still take for granted each day now. There is so much to be thankful for and sometimes I fail to recognize it all properly. Like my health for instance and how incredibly lucky I am. One of my best friends for instance just told me today is his 40th day straight in the hospital. I can’t even imagine that. He’s a strong individual with that burden. His spirits seem positive and he is looking forward to the day he can get back home. And I hope that day comes as soon as it can for him.

Anytime I’m feeling bad I remind myself it can be much worse. So I get though most things without having to complain or get down about them. Of course anything starting with a part of the body followed by the word Cancer can change that perspective but I hope I’m done with those issues.

So after a good nights rest I plan to sail into Sunday with my better half before the work week starts. A nice drive with the top down, maybe a long walk together. Something to relax us before that time to report.

Coasting into a Sunday morning.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I’ve always liked to eat. Recently I’ve discovered cooking and grilling shows on TV. Those things are becoming like crack for me and I’m starting to gain weight.

I need to schedule another day of vacation soon. No sense letting my favorite season pass by.

Well, people tell me sleep is important, so let me go give it a whirl.

People who garden well, are gifted people.

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Summer beauties

My neighbor has a nice garden and during the summer months it can attract some wonderful butterflies. So in between cutting a few yards yesterday, I caught a few frames. There must have been 10-20 of them over there on some colorful flowers as I was mowing. So I took a break and as I walked over it appeared they all had gone. All except for this one. With nature, the adage (timing is everything) holds true most of the time.

Get out and enjoy the weekend.
Photo by Mike Hartley

So its back outside to do battle with Mother Nature. She’s an unrelenting foe. Power tools help but there is no victory, just a balance. At the end of my labors I can say “that looks nice.” I turn around, close the shed and head inside for a shower and Mother Nature will say yuck, let me fix this. And you know what, Mother Nature has a much better track record for beauty than I do.

One of natures many paintings.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Going to the dump on a Saturday is like watching a ballet of trash.

I wonder if I’m ever going to be in great shape again?

I feel better when I have a tan. But the top of my feet itch so I may have overdone it there.

When they say life is full of surprises, it means be prepared.

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Peanut-butter and Jellies

Found these older shots of jellyfish, don’t think I’ve used them before here. If I have I apologize. So hard to keep organized. Well not hard, just a bit time-consuming and time is limited so I do the best I can. Beautiful start to my day and I hope yours also. Nice having time to do a few post. I was stymied by Nature this morning trying to do some bird photography. That requires patience and good timing. A little luck is always helpful. None of that seemed to be with me. We will give it another college type try later today because first I have to level the grass again.

I’ve got 7 suggestions for my daughter for planning our summer day together. I hope she likes them. I try to find someplace new to visit or go now. Of course we love the tried and true things like wandering the streets of Annapolis or St Michael’s and grabbing a fine meal where ever we go. I’m so glad we still live rather close to be able to do things together when we can.

Photo by Mike Hartley

Now I’m thinking I’d like to see more of this wonderful state. Some small towns, maybe some lighthouses, the wild ponies on Assateague State Park and many other places. So all we have to do is pick our date together and we will be off. I look forward to this each summer. Being she teaches its hard to get in a day during the school year so we do dinners sometime. But that full summer day with her is one that always helps carry me along the cool seasons.

Photo by Mike Hartley

There are many bad shots between the few good ones I get. So the more I shoot, the more good ones I should get. So you all better hope I shoot allot because I post a good bit.

Oh yeah, the post title for this was Peanut-butter and Jellies. Well I took care of the Jellies above. What made me think of the title was that I have recently switched to chunky peanut-butter instead of the smooth. I just thought everyone should know. Yeah I’m a sick puppy but there is logic behind the madness.

One of the great pleasures of life is being able to make people laugh. It can also one of the greatest burdens for some who are very talented at it.

Just when you think you have heard it all, you turn on the news and something more amazing has happened. I wouldn’t mind returning to the days where I had heard it all.

Get outside, get some rays, stash it away for a cold winter day.

Oh yeah, a reminder for all you local yocals. The Howard County Fair starts this Saturday August 5th. I need to get there and do some fresh fair shots.

Ferris Bueller.
Photo by Mike Hartley