THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

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Other way guys

The fish are the other way guys. Right behind you, the Chesapeake Bay.

That grass doesn’t look too deep Fred. Photo by Mike Hartley

Another start to the workweek. Can’t wait till that phrase is in the rearview mirror. But then again I’d better be careful what I wish for with all the changes going on at the job that pays the bills. All I know is that I’m frustrated with the job. And that isn’t a good mindset. I’ll work on snapping out of that later.

But that is a small part of life and there is so much more to be thankful for. Waking up this morning is always a good start, even though it was earlier in the day than I had hoped for.

The first thing I did was go check on a baby bird I almost ran over with the riding mower yesterday. The thing moved just a second before it disappeared under the mower. I slammed on the brake and looked under and I was about an inch before hitting it with the mower deck. I backed up and turned it off.

I managed to get it to the garden because I think it had fallen from the next or tried to fly and failed. It didn’t seem hurt. The wings sometimes extended and it would occasionally hop. I never touched it but managed to put a small dish of water next to it. I saw it change spots a few times. And I saw the parents with another baby helping it to fly later in the day. I’m hoping the same happened for this one because he was gone this morning.

I guess nature took its course one way or another. I’ve almost hit turtles a few times but thankfully have seen them at the last seconds. I had a cottonmouth try to strike the mower once as I was cutting along the woods. Natures retribution. I’ll stop and move frogs and praying mantis when I see them.

We have a place up the street called Friskies that does wildlife rehabilitation. I’ve never had to take an animal there but I hear they do good work.

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • I’m meeting with a financial planner because I hear fools and their money are soon parted.
  • A warm breeze is refreshing. A cold breeze incites cursing.
  • Trying not to forget to throw in some good events each day.
  • I just don’t get Mike Pence. It’s obvious he doesn’t want to offend the Maga base but he is going nowhere anyway so what is the purpose of running and not confronting Trump? Even if 45 is denied from running both sides agree on one thing. Pence is gutless.
  • Logic is in the eye of each person. Sometimes there is very little overlap between people.

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Time to take some time

I looked at the date and was alarmed that I haven’t scheduled some more time off. Well, the cure for that is on its way today. I’ll start by scheduling a few extended weekends next month and maybe a full week off in August and another week in September.

Surf fishing after mother nature took the beach out to sea. Photo by Mike Hartley

Now the question is what to do with that time off. Planning it might maximize the results I hope for. But it’s always good to leave some flexibility. That day you planned on maybe catching up with some home projects turns into a beautiful weather day and you say to hell with it and point the car East till you hit the beach.

I’m not much of a fisherman in terms of times I’ve been but I do enjoy it a lot. Photo by Mike Hartley

The opposite also holds true, that day you planned to hit the shore looks sketchy and you cancel and finish off the power washing project. I do know I want to do some local travel with my better half. So let me finish here and share some ideas with her.

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • When music moves me to dance like it did today, I realized I always have a smile on my face. Maybe I should dance through the day.
  • The battle between management wanting the workforce back in the office and the workforce who no longer desires to be at the office is about to take place.
  • If rain could get its act together and come when I’m sleeping I’d be a lot happier.
  • Someone is going to try to defend the indefensible.
  • I love saying things with actions instead of words.

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Pineapple on board and Friday thoughs

I know the rules about banana’s on a boat being bad luck. But how do pineapples rank? Saw this one sitting on the dash above the wheel and wondered what the protocol is? Maybe its part of a fresh Pina Colada? Maybe just back from a trip to Hawaii. Of course from Maryland in this size boat that isn’t likely. Maybe a new good luck charm. Regardless its about time we start planning the next trip for the Allview Yank’em and Crank’em Fishing Team. I’ve seen our favorite charter boat “Wound Tight” has been pulling in some nice catches.

Pineapple cruise.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I wish our crew had stumbled on fishing earlier and I wish we all had the time to go out often but those weren’t the breaks. But as they say better late than never and the few we have been on here in the waters of Maryland and off the coast of Florida have been great. A day without phones, chores or work. Just fishing, fun, laughter and memories. Maybe that is why it’s so popular.

This is a fine day to start the weekend with. So let’s get stepping Maryland and make it one to remember. Each day is an opportunity not to be lost. Yesterday was fun and we just powered through some issues. I’m looking forward to many special times this weekend. Each little thing I can do, each moment with my better half, children and friends.

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

If the truth doesn’t win out, our country is doomed. And we all must be open to the truth. We have serious problems in the country and world to address and what were doing now isn’t meeting those challenges. We need to get to the truth, practice the truth, respect the truth, and start moving forward.

Asking some people “if they think” is a waste of time because they don’t have the answer.

Oh crap, just remembered today is lawn cutting day.

If the pace of events doesn’t slow its going to put fiction books out of business because reality is really stranger than fiction.

I must practice giving back this weekend. That is if I can overcome this back pain. Have a great day all.


Nothing like a sunny day, a boat and fishing.

Talk about your relaxing Saturdays. Friends, fishing and fun. A wonderful day on the Chesapeake Bay. Well the cookout afterwards with fresh rock-fish and crabmeat was outstanding. What a way to close out the season. Well there is some fishing season left but for our group this was the Fall classic and we will again hit the waters in Spring.

What chill in the air.  Photo by Mike Hartlley

What chill in the air.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Now comes the task of editing lots of photos for friends and getting them in their hands today. Also have the real world coming back to hit me in the face with the work week starting way to soon again. But I’ll have some nice memories of this weekend to enjoy all week-long.

Can you dig it.  Photo by Mike Hartley

Can you dig it.
Photo by Mike Hartley

A box full of Rocks. Caught our limit and some nice ones including the Master Caster Mark’s fish on top there of 34 1/2 inches. We will be eating well for a bit. But last nights meal doesn’t get any fresher than this. If your looking for a good time and a great Capt and boat may I recommend Wound Tight Sportfishing. Capt Shawn Gibson out of Chesapeake Beach. We have been going with him for years and always have a great time and catch our limit.

Box of Rocks. Photo by Mike Hartley

Box of Rocks.
Photo by Mike Hartley

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A simple Saturday

I love the water but don’t spend much time on it. Yes I go to the beach a few times a year. Yes there is plenty of water around this area, but I don’t make the proper use of it. The air smells so clean on the water. The views kind of etched in the memory banks. The quiet and no cell phone bring a calm. The feeling of mother nature being in control. The sport of catching a fish. Watching might ships navigate the waters.

Saturday morning on the Chesapeake Bay. Photo by Mike Hartley

Saturday morning on the Chesapeake Bay.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Yes those were some of my feelings yesterday as we pulled out for some fishing with wonderful friends and their families yesterday. Above is our first mate Scoot preparing for the days catch. It was fairly windy but we didn’t care. After last years surfing with a 46′ Markly this trip was a breeze. Speaking of which there were a few sailboats out also taking advantage of the wind.

20+ mph winds kept these guys moving. Photo by Mike Hartley

20+ mph winds kept these guys moving.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I’m guessing a lot of people have pulled their boats from the water already in preparation for winter. I didn’t see the volume of boat traffic I expected for a pretty sunny day overall. Of course out in the middle of the bay it was pretty choppy.

Whipping along. Photo by Mike Hartley

Whipping along.
Photo by Mike Hartley

And yes we also caught some fish. Which was our intended mission. And boy were they good the same night off the grill. Of course I can’t claim the title (Master Caster) this year because one of my best friends Kim, laid claim with this catch. I usually don’t put pictures of friends and family in this blog, especially without their approval but I think he might like this one time. Congrats my brother.

Yeah Buddy, the big one of the day. Photo by Mike Hartley

Yeah Buddy, the big one of the day.
Photo by Mike Hartley

So I have been blessed with another great day on the water. Surrounded by my best friends. Time never to be taken for granted, especially when we get to the number of years on our calendars. And when some live far away it always makes it special when we can say we have an officially full sanctioned event.

So as we gather for our last evening together tonight, till the next trip, I think about what these special people mean to me. 3 of them are brothers. And while we are not blood brothers we may be stronger in some ways. It is a relationship with each that I feel I’ve been so lucky to have had and have. We are part of each others family and always will be.

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Friday yard work, but thoughts of fishing

Cloudy Morning Photo by Mike Hartley

Cloudy Morning
Photo by Mike Hartley

Haven’t been to Florida in a while and I miss visiting that state. Beautiful inter-coastal waterways and the Atlantic and Gulf Coast. What is not to love. Oh yeah, gators and python’s. There is one more thing but I can’t recall it at this moment.

But the fishing is great. And I have one of my best friends there. And I love warm weather. And if I’m there I’m on vacation enjoying life.

So the seed is planted and the planning begins for the Spring TUNA run. That was some fishing. Pulling those beast aboard is a fight you won’t forget. I know all I could do is stagger back about 10 steps and fall back in the cabin on the floor to try to regain my breath and feeling in my arms. Yeah, I’m not in the best shape but not a wimp either.

Atlantic Ocean Photo by Mike Hartley

Atlantic Ocean
Photo by Mike Hartley

I think I’ll take a few extra days the next time I go down and do some photography around the state. But until then you will have to settle for a few older shots from a previous visit.

And the reason for that is I was playing laborer today in my yard. So shooting time will be later tonight but I’m trying to do a few post a day and get more of my images up.

Sometimes I’m glad I go back through shootings and find some things I hadn’t thought of the first edit. I do that quite often actually. Which indicates I need to get out and shoot more fresh stuff so I don’t have to go to the back of the rack.

Heading out at daybreak, they are late. Photo by Mike Hartley

Heading out at daybreak, they are late.
Photo by Mike Hartley

So to all the fisherman thinking about heading out to the Atlantic on Saturday morning as the sun breaks, may you have a safe day of boating and leave the big ones for me if you don’t mind.

Oh yeah, I remembered the other problem with the great state of Florida. And it was a shot of a restaurant sign posted below that reminded me of it. And I won’t jinx the run of good fortune that is upon us by mentioning the name here.

A local place near Port St Lucie. Photo by Mike Hartley

A local place near Port St Lucie.
Photo by Mike Hartley

So let me find something more local to post here again before I lose that local flavor completely to my blog.

Lets see, what can we get into here. Oh yeah, what is this just outside my front door? Another one of the wonderful flower my green thumb other half plants. And if the deer don’t get them they are a delight to see bloom in bunches.

I’m going to have to go back and make sure I’m not posting too many flower pictures. Then again it is summer and snow is a bit rare this time of year.

So here is the obligatory flower shot of the post.

From our garden. Photo by Mike Hartley

From our garden.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Baltimore – A nice place to visit. Not sure I would live there. Actually that is a cruel statement. I’m sure it has many wonderful homes and neighborhood filled with some hard-working and upstanding people. It is also filled with violence. I wish I had a solution to the situation. Its going to take a lot of people a long time for it to change but it can be done.

Baltimore Visitors Center Photo by Mike Hartley

Baltimore Visitors Center
Photo by Mike Hartley

I have regained my strength after surgery. It feels good to work out in the yard again. To not have to ask for help. Well for the most part. I’m on a mission to clear out some old trees before it cools down. I’ve always taken great pride in my yard. Now its nice to have looking good and its a good workout, but imagine the time we spend on maintaining them when we could be out doing other things. The change of seasons are becoming very special. I used to look up at the leaves coming down and think about the raking. Now I appreciate the beauty of them falling like music.

Wednesday evening recap:

It had been almost a year since the last concert I went to with my best friends. And it was some classic musicians on the card at Pier 6. We went to dinner before the show at James Joyce, so I’m not sure who the first act was but Greg Allman was the second performer and he and his band can still belt out some good music. The headline act was the Doobie Brothers and of course they played a lot of favorites that connected with the singing crowd . Boy what a relaxing evening. Just what I needed, slept like a rock.

Yep its time to bring back: drum roll please:

Random Thoughts for Friday September 4th 2015

  • Its been a while since I shared a random thought here.
  • It’s not like I didn’t have any random thoughts.
  • Sometimes random thought is all I think I have.
  • I guess I was too lazy or busy to write them down.
  • And being I’m old and have caught CRAFT, the memory of them is gone.
  • So all you get today is a random rambling about random thoughts.



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A random day

Route 40 looking west in the fall. Nothing better than the next 40 miles of asphalt. Photo by Mike Hartley

Route 40 looking west in the fall. Nothing better than the next 40 miles of asphalt.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I yearn to be out in a sports car or bike looking on a stretch of open highway and enjoying the many sensations of driving. I’ve loved it from the time I first got behind the wheel. All I know is I long to be out of the SUV I’m in now and return to a driving machine so roads like this become ribbons in my mind again. I also yearn to have a stick again. I drove a stick all my life till this last SUV. Yes it has been nice in traffic. And where I drive traffic is a way of life. But those times when I escape the limitations of the city and hit the roads where intersections aren’t included and exits are double-digit miles apart is living for sure.

Last week was incredibly difficult. But I’m on the other side of that now so onward and upward. Sometimes some tough times steel you for the future. And what the hell, I have a vacation day this week so life is sweet.

Can I get a Hell YEAH. Photo by Mike Hartley

Can I get a Hell YEAH.
Photo by Mike Hartley

And of course the banter has begun back and forth about the next fishing trip and the Master Caster Award for the biggest fish. I finally got lucky last trip and got one. So I have been talking all kinds of crap about never giving the title up. I think I’ll suggest making it like the Vince Lombardi trophy. Now what to call it. Judge Fish Slayer? Doctor of the DEEP? Mike and Moby? Admiral Angler? So many choices, I’ll have to run the new idea by the guys. I’m sure it will be met with mass dissension and ridicule.

All I know is I’m looking forward to that day on the water with best friends this fall and showing them how to fish once again and talking crap the whole way back in. And then on the deck as we grill the rockfish up. And then after when everyone bellies up. I’ll give them a break while we eat. Maybe.

I guess I should tread a bit lightly because that will be a blowout weekend I’m sure. And of course all of them have far more fishing experience than I do. But I’m lucky at some things and got a good feeling about being the Back to Back Master Caster.

Can't wait to get some fresh fish on the grill. Photo by Mike Hartley

Can’t wait to get some fresh fish on the grill.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I’m going to begin my weekend early because like so many other unfortunate souls, I have to work the holiday weekend. No problem though, good to be employed and healthy today.

My goal on Wednesday is to snap a few hundred frames, play some hoops, do some home chores and enjoy an evening with friends. What a day it will be. Life is good and I’m still playing.



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If I could start every day like this

Oh to have the time to stand on the shore and cast my line.  I think I’m having fishing withdraw. We (fishing buddies) are overdue getting out on the ocean to land Moby again. Fishing first thing in the morning is very relaxing. I wish I did it more than 2x a year myself. So the next best thing is catching people fishing at sunrise with my camera. Hell, catching anything at sunrise with the camera or fishing pole is a treat.

Fishing at sunrise in OC. Photo by Mike Hartley

Fishing at sunrise in OC.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Random thoughts for Wednesday June 17th.

  • I’m adding playing basketball with my kids again in my driveway to my bucket list.
  • A bad day at work still beats a good day in the hospital.
  • This next election just might succeed in one thing, dividing this country further.
  • Donald Trump, and people make fun of Joe Biden. Think of all the entertainment value you would get out of Trump in office.
  • I wonder if Newspaper clippings will become collectible items in the future?
  • Living in Howard County has been a beautiful thing. But it’s crossed the line of being too crowded for me.
  • I’m so proud of my family.



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A few years back my best friends and I decided that every year we would gather for a weekend fishing trips. Once out of Florida and once out on the Chesapeake Bay. We have been good at keeping this up despite the recent loss of one of our brothers. They are some of the best weekends of the year. They refresh me and the time with the guys can’t be beat. And I can’t wait for the next one.

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Fishing – The Bay

There are few things as relaxing and fun as pulling Rockfish from the bay. Being out on the water with a good Captain and your best friends without your electronic devices is a treat. We like using Capt. Shawn Gibson of Wound Tight Charters. Always have a great time with him and the catch is top-notch. And no I don’t get anything from the plug other than hoping he stays in business so we can go out a few times a year with him every year in the future.

As our friend Capt Dan would say. Yeah Buddy. Photo by Mike Hartley

As our friend Capt Dan would say. Yeah Buddy.
Photo by Mike Hartley

So get your behind down to the water, grab a reel because someone is going to be yelling “FISH ON”.

Ready to Catch Photo by Mike Hartley

Ready to Catch
Photo by Mike Hartley