THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

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Transition Days

As the weather transitions from one season to the next, rather abruptly I might add, a number of transitions are always happening. The people in and out of your life. The work week ending or starting. Mornings to evenings. Watching my career ramp down while watching my children grow in theirs.

Watching my neighborhood change and the surrounding areas of civilization grow around us. The transition of having to watch what I eat instead of eating anything I wanted. The body’s change of less physical strength and stamina. The change of how we grow or regress as a society or individual.

Kayak and Canoe’s. Becoming my future choice of transportation.
Photo by Mike Hartley

The change from a motorcycle speed and corners to maybe a kayak or canoe on a lake. The transition from self-doubt to confidence. The change from balls to the wall to enjoying the ride.

The change of spirit and mindset I’ve had. (wish I had done it earlier in life). The transitions of what is important and what isn’t anymore. Or the ability to recognize what always was, and wasn’t.

I feel like I’m at this great time in my life but that I know in my heart I’ve wasted a lot of good time also. But as long as there is this day and a next day to try to make up for it then life is great.

Random Thoughts of the Day

Eggs on a Sunday morning is a great start. When they are made for you, it’s a blessing.

I really enjoyed Paul Simon’s performance on SNL last night.

I’m going to fire up the grill today and do some sausages as a protest about the cool temps here in Maryland.

I’m going into this work week in better spirits than I have in the last several. Might as well enjoy it. Hell week (elections) are coming soon.

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I have done nothing and everything

I have done nothing and everything. Today I didn’t snap an image. Today I didn’t do a chore. Today I didn’t work. I have nothing to show for today.

I have done everything though. Today was a simple lunch and celebration for my in-laws 65th Anniversary. They are a wonderful example of staying power and love. I love the ability to listen to stories and look at the pictures with them. Also of course, enjoying a slice of cake and toast to them.

They are simple people. They are wonderful people. They are happy people. They are a couple who shows love. And its right for them to get it in return.

A birthday number is something that is done alone. Well with an assist from Mom on the first one. An anniversary number is something that is done together throughout life. It takes two to accomplish. We all know sometimes the journeys aren’t always smooth. We all know that sometimes love has both high and low tides.

But I hope I’m as fortunate to spend as many years with my better half as happy as they are.

OK, this sudden removal of summertime temperatures is not playing well with my body already. I feel stiff, I feel pain. I had to put on a pair of sweat pants for the first time in ages. Where did my transition of seasons go. We went from the 70’s at night to the 40’s. I guess the top down days are numbered so I should enjoy them before we see this nonsense below.

Not this cold yet but won’t be long now.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I walk by this quote on the wall each morning at work. And I try to remember it throughout the day.

Words for thought.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

I wonder if I would appreciate weekends as much if I didn’t work so hard during the week?

I think I’m part bear. The only thing I want to do in the fall and winter is stay in bed.

I’m finally at the point in life where the number of weeks left to work now number in the low hundreds. If I’m fortunate.

I can always tell when the seasons change. My basement goes from being the cool spot in the summer to the warm one in the winter.

Well its the end of the day, maybe I’ll catch a little SNL for a laugh before bed. Laughter helps one rest easy.


Working through it

The body has not be cooperating with the positive attitude of the mind the last two days. No problem, not letting it stop me or change the mood. It has slowed me, but tomorrow I’ll be better. Of course that is what I told myself today and I’m only a little bit.

Photo by Mike Hartley

Funny how I’m on the last several years of my career and I’m feeling far less excited about it than I thought I would be. I think it’s mainly because most of the people I worked with for decades have retired. I knew being the young buck around all the old timers this might happen someday but man is it different. Yeah I have some younger friends now and work is still challenging but the strong long-term relationships are all external to the job now. So the fun isn’t the daily event it used to be.

I’ve been neglect on using a nice tool I got for myself a while back which is a nice Cannon photo printer. Well I can’t say I’ve neglected it today. And I can’t tell you how excited I am about looking at prints again. I can’t wait to give some away and make more.

I forgot how a print is always there in a frame or wall or desk or ceiling or door. To be totally honest a few years back I put up a few photos with push pins on my office walls. Its possible now I have thousands of push-pin holes on these walls behind photos even though I try to use the same holes when I put up new photos. I’d have one hell of a spackle job to do if my wife gets her way and we redo the basement.

And it’s that time again to get some new images up on the walls.

Random Thoughts of the Day

When I look in my pets eyes, I see love. I feel love and I try to return the favor.

When I mow the yard it is not a chore anymore. For its one of the things I said I would never not enjoy doing again as long as I lived if I survived my cancers. As I rode the tractor today I thought about being healthy again and enjoyed every circle I made as much as a NASCAR driver enjoys making a great lap.

I so enjoy having adult conversations with my children now. But I also enjoy seeing that youthful excitement in them is still there.

I so miss the sound of the wind trying to make it through the huge pine trees I had on the side of my home. But I don’t miss the fear I had about one of them dropping through the house.

We have a cake from Sugar Bakers to enjoy tomorrow. If you live in this area or are visiting central Maryland (Catonsville) you have to try one.

It’s a learning weekend. Only because my mind is open to it.

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Hello, as in answering the phone

Do you remember the days when every phone call was from someone you knew or was for a family member but you still knew them? Now its gotten to the point where not even half the calls are ones you want to hear from.

I’m no longer even polite with all the strangers that call. If someone doesn’t answer hello in about a second, maybe two, I hang up. If it is a recording I hang up. If it’s a survey, I hang up.

Now you might say you’re not using your technology. Well I don’t sit in front of my TV to see who is calling on caller ID, when I am I manage it that way. Some of my phones are old and don’t have a display of who is calling. I don’t always have my reading glasses handy to even see it even if I do have a display of caller ID.

So in the hopes of not missing a call from someone important to me I answer it a lot just walking but it ringing. I used to get mad along the way for a number of years in dealing with this. I used to mess with telemarketers. I used to be kind and respectful of people trying to help worthwhile groups like fire and police. Also organizations like Red Cross and Cancer Societies. That was till they developed the pestering and laying the guilt trip or maybe not taking “no I’m sorry I can’t help at this time” for an answer.

You might ask why I even have a land line and basically it’s what I grew up with. Yes I’ve had a cell/smart phone for ages. But the number of older people who still only can remember that one old number who still use it are important to us. So we will have it for a bit longer.

Now with number spoofing you really never know who is calling. Yeah you can block numbers but what the hell, that isn’t what I want to spend my day doing.

And in my work I get calls from people who aren’t in my directory even on my cell phone and now with the number of spam calls coming on that its starting to feel like my land line. I’m imagining there are services or apps now to help surf this madness of people abusing the devices for Cons, Marketing, Surveys and whatever else you can imagine.

But back to my original thought, the phone has become such an abused item by people who have only their interest at heart versus someone who you know who is calling you to see how you are and your best interest, not their own.

I know a number of people who have given up their land line. Might be on my agenda someday in the future. But there is at least one important reason I like keeping it. When the children do call and both my wife and I pick up a line at the same time from different areas of the house and express our joy at hearing their voices, I think it makes them happy.

Just like it does when our parents call us and they both are on the line at the same time to just say hello or happy birthday or happy anniversary or what time are we coming over. I hope this isn’t lost forever on the next generation but I fear it will be.

Goodbye 80’s. No not in the 1980’s. But in the 80 degree temps. This is actually quiet depressing to me. I don’t deal with the cold temperatures and winter weather very well. My body certainly doesn’t like it. My mind is totally against it. Visually I have trouble finding the beauty in it.

The beach will still be there but its different with no people on it.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Last year I tried to adapt, I wasn’t too successful. I guess I’ll give it another go this year. But be prepared for cursing along the way.

Random Thoughts of the Day

How can one see the images of the storm devastation and not be moved to help. Think I’ll make a Red Cross donation after this post.

West Wing Weirdness

Tragedy brings people together.

Comedy brings people together and enlightens their understanding of differences and likes.

Did you ever have a pain that takes your breath away?

Was today the last day for the A/C to run here in Maryland in 2018?

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A hump for your Wednesday

Every day is a big day. Who knows what will blow your way. What new perspective it will bring. Opportunities or dead ends. New skills and knowledge. Of course with the good comes the bad.

A Hump for Wednesday.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I should have gotten out today in the nice weather. Tomorrow looks like a wash out. But circumstances like the job that pays the bills and chores got in the way. Well maybe its a signal that I need some practice at foul weather shooting. We will see. If I don’t melt stepping into the rain I’ll try capturing a few frames.

And being it’s going to be a sloppy day outside I think I’ll crank up the Dremel tool after I get soaked.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I like EGGS. I like Chicken. I wonder which one my Mom fed me first?

Amazing images of the strength of Mother Nature down south today.

Well my baseball season is over. I might watch some playoffs but probably not much.

Really happy for my sister who is on a cruise with a friend.

Not the way I’d like to feel at the end of the day. Not good physically or mentally.

I always find it mind-boggling how people can loot and rob after these severe storms.

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I find myself searching for words, but few come to mind, and those that do, I won’t share.  Life sometimes gives you pause. Today was one of those days. Such is life, we live and learn.

Turbulent Times
Photo by Mike Hartley

So what else can I bring into focus tonight. Actually a lot of things have come become clearer just sitting here thinking about them myself, as I’m getting some work done. Time to get used to a few changes. No problem, I can adapt. Been doing it all my life professionally and personally. Haven’t always done it with the grace I had hoped. Haven’t always enjoyed the journey. Haven’t always appreciated what successes I’ve had.

Looking forward to a few things this week. Some of them simple like a haircut tomorrow. Some of them happy like lunch for in-laws celebrating wedding anniversary. Some fun like happy hour with best friends. Some sad like maybe paying respects to parents. Some physical like a lot of yard work.

Random Thoughts of the Day

Reminding myself time is important and not to waste it.

Today was flu shot day. I got the shot last year and I got the flu.

Hopefully I picked the right lucky Yankee shirt to wear for tonight’s game after that mess last night.

It’s much tougher to write when your mind isn’t right.

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Stepping up

I’m lucky to have friends and family that Step Up. Well most of them. It sure makes life easier. I’m not one to put the bite on them often at all. I like having some banked credits. Then again, I’m not keeping score either because family and friends to keep count. Well most of them.

Going up or down.?
Photo by Mike Hartley

Today I don’t know if I’m going up or down. A brutal beginning to the week. I’m feeling like I’ve worked a week and only day 1 is in the books. The thought of looming cooler temperatures has led me to go top down on the car the last few days. Getting the last of the warm temps in my bones.

Feeling stressed out on the job again for some reason. Just not the best of times. But certainly not the worst either. I’ll feel much better soon when I know the direction of the future better. Predictability is always nice. I’ve always been good at asking the tough questions. Getting the answers I need to make the right moves.

Can’t wait for this work week to be over though. Almost election time so its going to get real interesting here again soon so I’ll have all the excitement I can stand shortly.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I see I have a hurricane named after me now. Very cool, except for the people in its path. My thoughts to my friends down south in Fla.

I learned a few new things today. Life is good. No that wasn’t one of them, it was just a comment.

I’m so glad I finally saw all the love that was beside me for so long.

I’m so tired of the drive into and out of DC. I’m glad I’ll be retired and no longer making that journey in another 5-10 years. Because somewhere in that period people are going to start opening fire on each other.