THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

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Late Drive

If only I had developed a higher drive for my own work earlier in life. No time though for wondering what might have been, just time to get going on today’s work. So today’s title really stands for two things. The passion and late drive I find myself with now and the late drive I plan on taking at night this weekend to capture some images for a book I hope to do.

How can you not like a nose like this? Photo by Mike Hartley

I’m guessing the car show at Mikey and Mels this Saturday is going to be a rainout. I’ve enjoyed going to a few more this year. No problem though because I’ll be seeing my children and grandchildren this weekend.

I’m so fortunate to be part of their lives now. I cherish every moment with them. This year with my granddaughter is special because she will be starting school next year, leading to a bit of separation. Of course, we will go to her activities and anything we can but they begin to get their own circle of friends which is normal.

I have a young grandson, so many days of young ones marching through my home are on the agenda for a while.

Hoping everyone had a great day.

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • Find the things that motivate you. Embrace them, even if they are difficult.
  • Time to batten down the hatches here in the mid-Atlantic.
  • Watching a child discover will always induce a smile.
  • Finding new ways to love each day, can you imagine if everyone had that thought each day?
  • I thought my days of working on cars were over. I’m starting to get the bug again.
  • Pain is an unusual motivator.

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It’s good to try to do something. Even when there is time to do nothing. Or the inspiration doesn’t come. Or the body is in pain or the mind is troubled. Do something.


I love the pushbutton radio installed sideways in the console. Given the year if it’s original it’s probably AM only. And yes that is a hand crank for the window. Photo by Mike Hartley
All I need is the stick, clutch, gas, brake, and steering wheel. Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • Isn’t it strange how busy just happens to you each day?
  • Everyone has their limits. It’s good to know them before stumbling over them.
  • I thought I said I was tired of rain as I sat here and listened to the thunder and rain pounding on the side of the house.
  • Hats off to the person who invented the hammock.

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Head or tails

A busy traffic day for the deer. A group of 6 this morning and another 3 this afternoon including an 8-point and 6-point bucks. It’s the only shooting I did today with the exception of a few shots of my granddaughter.

So I really feel I should go out after the rains and do some night shooting but I’m pretty tired from short sleep nights this week. I think I’ll flip a coin.

Well, it’s tails, And the tail on this BLK ROSE car below wins. I wish I could have captured the paint on this better. I’ll have to figure out angles to capture the various colors they throw off in different lights. But back to head and tails.

Low and lower. Photo by Mike Hartley

It’s that day that we usually give a choice. We had our 4-year-old granddaughter today and the day is about choice. What to eat, what to play, where to go, what to drink, what to draw, what fantasy with the doll house, and towards the end of the day “what time will Mommy be home?”

Chrome. Photo by Mike Hartley

And at the end of the day, two worn-out grandparents who will probably crash early on a Friday night.

To the piece of crap that did the bomb threat to Arlington National Cemetery today. May Karma visit you in getting caught and again at trial and especially in prison.

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • I remembered how to play hopscotch today with my granddaughter.
  • I don’t mind being outside in this weather.
  • Tommy Tuberville, senator of Alabama, should be removed as a threat to national security.
  • At one time in history, people fact-checked themselves.
  • It felt great to spend a few minutes in the hammock today. A real treat.

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M Meet

I joined an online group of people who own Miata’s in Maryland. They have regular monthly hookups and trips and I finally got to my first meeting yesterday at the parking lot outside Neo Pizza and Taphouse. What a nice group of people who enjoy the roadster experience and fixing up their rides.

I’m looking forward to meeting more of them and fixing up my own ride. Thought I’d share a few photos I posted to the group today here also.

Photos by Mike Hartley

I love the maps they have provided for scenic routes and landmarks with other tips. I can’t wait to take a few of those this fall when the colors change. And provide you pictures of these cars in their element.

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • I’ve worked in the same industry for just about 5 decades, and I’ve never been more uncertain about its future than I am now and what my role would be in it. So there is no better time to reinvent myself.
  • This is the LAST Labor Day Holiday I will be working for someone else.
  • There are some serious issues between labor and management in many industries that are coming to a head.
  • Again my salute to all who labor who don’t get the financial rewards or appreciation they deserve. Fire and police, teachers and medical, transportation to sanitation, farmers to senior care, food prep to childcare. To those at the lower end in retail and service industries that get treated like crap. I salute you all.

Top Ten reasons to retire

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A time and place

I’ve heard there is a time and place for everything. Boy would I like to see that in my lifetime. Then again, I can’t complain, my life has been pretty full. And today’s another day to help fill the list out. A day of vacation so it’s not my normal dreaded Sunday night.

Come to Papa. Photo by Mike Hartley

I’ll be able to grill out later and be able to rest after dinner instead of jumping into the hot seat at the job. I could try to get a good night’s sleep or just stay up and work on my hobbies. Oh, the day can’t come quick enough where every day is vacation.

I had better get back to the job that is only half complete, moving a cord of wood on a warm sunny day. With this humidity, I’m guessing some rain can’t be far off.

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • There are times in life when it’s about what others want. Other times are for what the others want that you missed the first go-round.
  • It’s amazing how many times in a day I can be very happy and very unhappy on the same day.
  • I’ve really changed my sports viewing habits this last decade. I haven’t watched NASCAR since Junior retired. I haven’t watched golf since Tiger stopped playing. I’ve watched more baseball this year because the game got quicker. I always watch a ton of college basketball but the pro game has less viewing time each year. I still can’t get into soccer that much. My pro football interest is less and for college, it’s just following the local team. A lot of pro sports are getting out of the range of a lot of people to see in person.
  • The number of people bitching about what is wrong has exceeded the number trying to fix what’s wrong by such a margin that I’m not sure we can recover from it.

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You can start slowly. You can start like a ball of fire. You can start late or on time. You can start today. You can start tomorrow. As long as you start, things will get better.

Yesterday my intention was to get out early. I was up before sunrise and wanted to get out and do some shooting. Finally, I got my behind in gear and out the door at 8 a.m. I was going to a car show down in Fulton but that didn’t start till 10 am so I went cruising and on my way home I cut through Turf Valley.

Aflame. Photo by Mike Hartley

And low and behold a car show in their parking lot. So I spent a few minutes wandering through and grabbing a few images I’ll bore you with from time to time.

The day after that was a blur. Some time with my son’s family and then a long drive home, a few minor chores and I was done. So done in fact I laid down and passed out for the evening without publishing something. Such is life. Now here I am in the middle of the night finishing up a piece I started yesterday thinking about taking a very early morning ride and maybe a few photo ops.

The Bird is the Word. Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • I love 3 a.m. in the morning. It’s so quiet outside. But only when I take these headphones off.
  • I think I’ll put the ping-pong table back up when I retire.
  • Infants are the most honest people I know. They have no problem telling you how they feel.
  • Time to fire up that engine and put the top down. Later I’ll fire up the grill and put the top on.

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I have the scoop

There are few things better than waking up and realizing you’re starting a week of vacation. And while it’s not the best weather forecast for the first day it will be a good day regardless.

Who’s got the scoop today? Photo by Mike Hartley

There is some fun planned in between many important tasks. Actually, I hope to squeeze in a ton of fun. Some quality time with my better half. A few happy hours with friends. Maybe a few road trips or just some aimless cruising on a sunny afternoon. Better yet a 3 am cruise when nobody is out on the roads and enjoy the wonderful highways most people just inch along on.

I’m so thankful my children live within a drive where we can be part of their lives and help with the grandchildren when needed. Those times are so precious but it also reminds me how fast life moves. But vacations allow me some more opportunities which we always take advantage of.

Kids grow faster than the weeds in my yard, and that is saying something. The time to be part of their lives and support system is so short. I think I’ll try to complete a few projects I’ve been working on for them this week.

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • Time to cut loose. I love manual transmissions.
  • Everybody wants a piece of somebody.
  • Sometimes you have to look a little deeper for the good in people.
  • It’s funny how in business, if you got 3 out of 10 questions right your days of employment are numbered. But if you play baseball and are successful 3 out of 10 times at the plate you are a superstar.
  • I worry about some foundations that I thought were very solid.
  • I really like this version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps.

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Why not

Usually, I can find all kinds of reasons not to play, just looking at the to-do list will squash those thoughts. But lately, even after I got that immediate list of reasons not to play, I’m starting to ask myself, why not. I think that is because I’m in the later stages of life and priorities have shifted.

Like today for instance. So what if the lower backyard by the woods needs cutting? The only person it used to bother or maybe ever bothered was me. Doesn’t bother me today so I’d rather go for a ride in my nice clean Miata than push a mower and swing around a string trimmer.

Photos by Mike Hartley

When faced with alternatives or just remembering that I do have alternatives now that I didn’t before is kind of enlightening. Kind of freeing also in a way that a change of pace includes my priorities and wishes. And after taking that afternoon ride I know I made the right decision. Even though it was 90 degrees and humid the top was down, shame on you convertible owners with the top up and A/C on.

And now that it’s cooled off I’ll throw the cover on it before the storms this evening and tomorrow.

Why not clean out? It feels good to do it. You get more of your home back. We are still working our way through family items. Yeah I know, it’s taken years. We recently just pulled a lot of things out of the attic. My better half took some to the church this afternoon for their sale this summer.

Next on the list is a big chest of items. Photo by Mike Hartley

I started with a file cabinet and now have a huge pile to shred but a pile went in recycling and some to trash. Tonight I’m going to work on cleaning out the office a bit.

I asked myself why not at least try. Why not Paint? Why not Skulpt? Why not Carve? So I will.


The Howard County Fair is underway. If I’m lucky I’ll get there on Tuesday – Senior Day and take some new fair images.

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • It’s possible these are the best of times. So have fun today and tomorrow.
  • My better half makes killer Sunday dinners.
  • Today is the best I’ve felt in a week and I’d say I feel about 50%. But there is tomorrow.
  • My creative thoughts that had been squashed recently are beginning to return.

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Smooth Sunday

We checked out a car show thrown by Mikey and Mel’s Famos Deli this morning after a great breakfast there. I think we will go back and check out lunch someday soon also. Great service and food. I’m not sure if it was just the first show of the season or if the word is spreading but this seems to be getting bigger and bigger each year.

Photos by Mike Hartley

A relaxed afternoon was had. I was thinking about a nap before dinner but that time has passed. After chow, an all-nighter at work again as a new week at the job that pays the bills begins. These weekends are gone in a blink of an eye. I think I’m getting worn down and need a break. I really haven’t taken any time off this year so far. I think one sick day. But that is my normal pattern, I love to take off when the weather is better.

It’s my hope that this smooth start to the Sunday continues through the week ahead. I need to get back to some daily shooting again and no better time than the present. Can’t believe it’s the last week of March. I’ve got to set some milestones to get more accomplished.

I did get busy trying some stone etchings. I’m starting to get a feel for it. And I probably uploaded a few dozen images to the photo site and finished a 5-page list of thoughts, ideas, suggestions, feelings, and realities for someone our parents would want us to look out for.

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • I really like having meals out with my better half.
  • Warning – anyone with stock in Coke (soft drink) I’m on a mission to reduce my sugar intake so a drastic cutback in this product will certainly affect market price in the future.
  • It’s a busy medical month ahead. Looking for good news at every step.
  • It looks like Winter and I have come to a good understanding of what is expected. No snow and warmer-than-average temperatures.

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I’m glad I made it to the Coffee and Cars this morning sponsored by Mikey and Mel’s Famous Deli I believe. I like going down here because it’s close and it’s usually a fairly good show. And the only one that I know of in Howard County. Please enlighten me if I’m missing out.

An old Belair. Photo by Mike Hartley

It looked like a good turnout of both cars and spectators. My award goes to the gentleman who owned the green late 60s Camaro. As people would come up and if they had young children he would offer to let them sit behind the wheel. I didn’t get a shot of his car other than his hood.

Hat’s off to the owner of this car sharing it with the youth of tomorrow. Photo by Mike Hartley

There is something for everyone there and I’ll try to share a few more photos at the bottom of the coming posts this weekend. My granddaughter is here, a favor for a friend is needed and chores will take most of the remainder of the day.

Blue Bell of the Ball. Photo by Mike Hartley

I like car people. They are a nice friendly lot. Like most bikers are. I should have spent some more time there but there will be more shows. It’s got me thinking about the show in Ocean City in early October.

Just a little more color for the show. Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • No matter how upset my granddaughter may be in when she has to leave, I can always cheer her up and get a smile by running alongside the car for a few seconds pretending I’m going to beat them home as they leave.
  • There is always something more you can do.
  • Any morning that starts out with a clogged drain is not a good morning but working to turn it around. With the help of “liquid plumber” and a car show.

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Youth Returned

When I was young I liked going straight fast. Now with some age I like going into turns fast. Well, not to fast of course. Well within our laws for those of you who are in law enforcement reading this. It’s actually the most fun driving experience I’ve had in a car. Having ridden a motorcycle for a few decades it’s the only thing on 4 wheels that compares to it. And the convertible gives it that view of a motorcycle. Plus I don’t have to wear a helmet with this vehicle.

Route 40 heading home. Photo by Mike Hartley

Route 40 heading home.
Photo by Mike Hartley

This is my first convertible and if I’m lucky enough to outlive this car my next one will be a convertible. Yes with the top up is noisier than a hardtop. But that is a small sacrifice. This car puts a smile on my face like my first muscle car. Well it wasn’t really a muscle car. It looked like one. It sounded like one. Just didn’t run like one. That small 350 wasn’t enough for that heavy 74 Camero frame.

Maryland has some great roads. Photo by Mike Hartley.

Maryland has some great roads.
Photo by Mike Hartley.

I can’t wait till my shoulder feels better and the temps warm, the trees start to green. Those hard tires which seem to lose traction in this cool weather begin to stick again. So with the temps in the 60’s this weekend I hope to get an early wash and wax on the daily commuter and weekend sports car (one in the same) and be ready to style when winter is over. Being I’m down to one arm, maybe I can get that good one hurting equally with the one already in pain.

Looking forward to a great hump day ahead, and maybe some afternoon shooting.

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Keep on Truckin

Most all my friends own pickups. Kind of scary when you think about it. I’ve never owned one myself. I’d be worried, but I’m more redneck than any of them and I’m the one without the pick’em up truck. I like the new trucks. They are marvels of engineering. But give me the durability of a 60’s or early 70’s Ford truck with 3 on the tree and I’ll show you a truck that could take ABUSE and keep on going.

I should have spent some time on this one but didn't want to start the day off with my better half wrong. Photo by Mike Hartley

I should have spent some time on this one but didn’t want to start the day off with my better half wrong.
Photo by Mike Hartley

My two friends who are brothers tried to each kill that truck. Either it had unlimited lives or was possessed. The new styles are very good-looking indeed but there is something about old classic trucks that draws my attention much more like the one above.

Well being its such a nice day I should go give my baby a bath and take a ride. We will see, lots of chores in progress.

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Rear Profiling

I’m like a small child when it comes to cars. Historic to modern-day. Anything with style, performance, color, chrome, sound. It’s just great to catch them out on the road. Because there is what the car and owner both need. It can be that open road or interstate. It can be that country road or “the strip”.  Yeah there are showroom pieces but to me a car must be driven. So here’s to driving and being behind the wheel. Sorry I don’t have more to share. Lack of sleep and not feeling my best today. But tomorrow will be better

Cruising Rt 140 on Thursday. Photo by Mike Hartley

Cruising Rt 140 on Thursday.
Photo by Mike Hartley

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Classic lines

I love automobiles, always have, always will. The sight or sound of a nice one can stop me in my tracks. I think I first realized it when I got my first V8, sat in it and grabbed that T handled Hurst 4 speed, fired it up with those Hooker headers and side pipes, and all of a sudden I was alive, I was one with the vehicle. I haven’t had that feeling in a very long time. Well with the exception of my best friend letting me drive his new Grand Sport Vette recently.

The designs and lines. The colors and shapes. The sweet sound and smells of a finely tuned system. The era they represent. They are magic to me. It’s hard to explain the feeling a great car can give and that one of the great enjoyments in life is to have your butt cheeks grab the car seat like a great white shark grabs a sea-lion. Your driving then. Not this crap sitting for hours in traffic, that’s torture. Something with 400+ horsepower and some open road, is what I need and long for.

I haven’t had a nice car since the 70’s but thinking about changing that while I still have the coordination to drive something powerful again because riding a bike again is out according to my better half. I did manage to squeeze in 30 years of 2 wheel driving. Well, sometimes one wheel if that mysterious twist in my wrist would happen.

Probably just a distant dream at this time, unless I suddenly become selfish, but getting a muscle car still on my bucket list if I get lucky. It also reminded me to add the Car Show in Ocean City to my list of events to photograph in Maryland this year. It gives me an excuse to get to the beach and that is a wonderful though when the temperature outside this morning was 1 degree and a minus 15 wind chill temp.

So like my favorite car commercial from Dodge shows. I still might have a few years before I get that Challenger.

So you have been warned, there will be more car pictures in the future but I will do my best suppress the urge to post every tire burning shot I might capture in OC.