THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley


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A weekend and a lifetime in Maryland

Hey its mid summer, what do we do in Maryland? We eat crabs and lots of them. One of my favorites meals prepared many ways, all of which are satisfying. From sitting at a picnic table with newspapers as the tablecloth and a pile of fresh crustaceans in front of you to maybe a crab imperial or crabcake or stuffed shrimp or maybe a crab scampi. Of course don’t forget the soft shell options.

 

Crabs everywhere, even 8 foot ones on walls.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Well of course that cost money, and that is why we work. But my work week is done and I’m feeling better after getting dehydrated in the sun this afternoon. I think a late night drive might be in order. Maybe some attempts at night shots. I did take the tripod upstairs earlier.

I read today where Maryland is ranked the 48 worst state to retire in by this site. Well here are my short feelings about that. Yeah cost of living is through the roof. Yeah its on the wrong side of crime on average. The highest ranking we got in any category was in weather and that was ranked 20th.

I almost painted a 4 on one butt cheek and a 8 on the other to take a picture and send to them, but then paused and calmed down. Lived here all my life and I love it. I will most likely pass here if my children and friends are still here. And those two look like pretty strong bets. You get all 4 seasons here but not usually extremes at any. If you live mid state (and its a small one if you haven’t looked at a map) you can be at the ocean or mountains in less than 3 hours. You have the Chesapeake Bay (one of the most beautiful waterways in the world). You have cities and rural areas.

You have one of the best Atlantic beaches. Lakes and waterways. Hunting and fishing in any direction. You’re a stones throw from the Nations Capital and all the wonderful sights there. Or maybe the Civil war battlefields at Antietam or just across the state line in Gettysburg.

You have some of the best schools in the country along with some of the worst ones. Work is plentiful if you want it. Or if you don’t you can snow ski or water ski in the same state. Lets see you pull that off Florida.

Yes it has changed. It used to be a much more friendly state. It used to be more of a blue-collar state but government and tech have boomed here so it’s a lot more white-collar now. It’s also far more diverse than it used to be and you see people struggle with it.

The worst plague on it seems to be the explosion of people and endless development. Infrastructure isn’t keeping pace and never really did in the last 5 decades I’ve been observing it. The endless traffic causes a lot of hostility. But then on the flip side if you’re not opposed to some late night rides you have some of the best roads around.

It’s a great sports state. Tons of very good college and pro teams within a short drive to support. Culture galore (obviously I haven’t explored that too well). I do know there is a fairly high degree of intelligent people here. There are also no shortage of selfish self focused folk also. But I meet far better than worse.

I love the Maryland flag. But all that stuff, except for the part about family and friends being here is the only one that matters. Yeah I could sell my home for a nice profit, I can take my very small pension and miniscule savings and social security to another state when its time to retire and make things stretch further. But then I would be dead from sadness in short order.

I know nothing in my own family and friends will ever stay exactly the same. But I kind of hope it does in terms of our locations. And that is here in Maryland and I’ll be glad to retire here. I mean once I don’t have to drive in and out of DC each day life will be a piece of cake. As in crabcakes with OLD BAY. To everyone else. I’m sorry, we would be #1 if we were including seafood in the rankings. But its always #1 in this household.


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No day, for props up

Some days you just have to say #&@%*!$  it and go for it. Today was one of those days. A ride with the top down to St Michael’s and my better half making my passenger seat happy. Everything was perfect, the weather, the food, the town, the ride down, the people, the ice cream, the pet store gifts and of course my company. One of those days that recharge your batteries. Yeah it was just a quick visit but its great to have the ability to be out and about and just enjoying a simple day with the simple pleasures of life and the beauty nature and people provide.

Put those props in the water.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Either this guy doesn’t have a flexible job or gas money because if those were my trio of power I think they would be getting some exercise today. You don’t get many better days weather wise. Of course the winds were up later in the day and the white caps were out on the bay on the return trip. We had a wonderful lunch at The Lighthouse and our server Kim was great.

Great meal, great service.
Photo by Mike Hartley

A view of the Lighthouse restaurant across the harbor. I would have taken a picture of the lobster tempura or the crab cake but I inhaled and they were gone. And no I don’t treat myself like that all the time. But its a special weekend.

We ate under those outside umbrellas today.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Nothing like being near a body of water when mother nature is happy. Just a wonderful sight. And for those who work the water its a fine day indeed between the tough ones that they still work in.

Cleaning up from a days work on the water.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Well, better get moving. The fun of the day was had. Time for some chores. On second thought, on with the fun.

Nice spirit.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Take the wheel Scotty, I’m going for a slice of pizza.

Nice Wood
Photo by Mike Hartley


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Sizzling Saturday

As I sat and watched the morning news about the heat index being between 110-115 degrees I wondered how long the troops (family) would hold up today. Hell I should be worried about myself. The heat really seems to be getting to me like never before. I’ve always handled hot weather really well. So I’m going to summon that old spirit and even carry around that monster camera and try to get some good shots today.

The flag over the USS Constellation in the Inner Harbor Baltimore. Photo by Mike Hartley

The flag over the USS Constellation in the Inner Harbor Baltimore.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I think the key today is not staying out in it for prolonged periods. If we keep watered and ducking in and out of shops we will be fine. Sweaty but fine. So let the adventure begin. Its our summer family outing before our two teachers return to work next week. As you can see some opted for a different strategy.

Father and son in the fountain. Photo by Mike Hartley

Father and son twirling in the fountain.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Actually we fared very well with the exception of having our IMAX movie plans thwarted. We walked through the A/C of Harbor place’s. Had a Great lunch at Rusty Scupper and then a trip up to the 27th floor of the World Trade Center “top of the world” observation level. Of course Ice Cream was needed after this and then some more shopping.

It was a wise move to take breaks today. Photo by Mike Hartley

It was a wise move to take breaks today.
Photo by Mike Hartley

All I know is that it was a wonderful day with my children. I’m sorry my Son in-law couldn’t make it due to illness. We missed you. But as the summer season nears it’s close, my Daughter reminded me what a wonderful one its been. And it has been great. One that I will cherish and remember. And it’s not over yet so we have some time to crank up some more good memories.

Sweating with the oldies. Well the young were perspiring also. Photo by Mike Hartley

Sweating with the oldies. Well the young were perspiring also.
Photo by Mike Hartley

But first some photo editing of the rest of the day’s shooting and then out to practice some night shots this evening if sleep doesn’t get in the way. Here’s hoping your Saturday was a great one like ours.

I'm always 100% behind my family. Photo by Mike Hartley

I’m always 100% behind my family.
Photo by Mike Hartley

 

  • randomthoughts9-5 – warm, warmer, warmest.
  • I hate wasting time on sleep but it’s so needed.
  • Rainbow sherbert on a hot day.
  • I will rise early on Sunday. At least that is the plan now.
  • I have to remember I’m not using film and click away.
  • Funny how some days turn out.


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First of many trips to the town of Westminster

With my daughter and her husband now living in Westminster Maryland I’m sure you will be seeing some images from this town more often. This place is huge compared to what I remembered. The college has changed its name from when I grew up but Main Street looks like I remembered but in better shape.

That is a cloud behind the Sherwood Distillery Smokestack Photo by Mike Hartley

That is a cloud behind the Sherwood Distillery Smokestack
Photo by Mike Hartley

We dined at a wonderful spot called Rafaels and had a great lunch last week. We walked out saying how good our service was in addition to the food. I wish I had gotten our waitress name so I could compliment her.

Westminster MD Photo by Mike Hartley

Westminster MD
Photo by Mike Hartley

So time to create a new tag and category. Or I guess I could just add it to the Maryland file. Hopefully I’ll have some random thoughts later to share. Haven’t been feeling myself the last 2 days. Probably the heat.

Just in case you forgot where you were. Photo by Mike Hartley

Just in case you forgot where you were.
Photo by Mike Hartley


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A/C or outside seating

We choose A/C, as this couple did yesterday to eat and drink. And it was the right choice even though the tables had umbrella’s and the shade had come over the dockside dining at Pusser’s, it was still hot as hell out there. Of course there were more than a few hearty soles outside. It was good to put in a few miles walking around town with my daughter. In and out of shops and down to the Market House for Storm Bros for Icee’s and Ice Cream.

Main Street Annapolis. Photo by Mike Hartley

Main Street Annapolis.
Photo by Mike Hartley

By the way it was a fine meal at Pusser’s. I will be out and about trying to squeeze in some more photos today because it’s a real treat for me to try my hand at this art. I’m so pissed at myself for not starting earlier in life.

Looking down Main St in Annapolis. Photo by Mike Hartley

Looking down Main St in Annapolis.
Photo by Mike Hartley

One would think it was cooler by the water. Only because of the breeze but it wasn’t enough. But nothing mattered to me because nothing can touch a day with your children.

Along Main Street. Photo by Mike Hartley

Along Main Street.
Photo by Mike Hartley

My sweet tooth was itching something bad but I resisted. I find myself regretting that decision today. Next opportunity I’ll utter that phrase “Resistance is FUTILE” to myself.

Sweets Photo by Mike Hartley

Sweets
Photo by Mike Hartley

For those about to BAKE.

About to be dough. Photo by Mike Hartley

About to be dough.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I used to love candy apples when I was younger.

I love these but I like keeping my teeth a bit longer. Photo by Mike Hartley

I love these but I like keeping my teeth a bit longer.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I can hear some 5-year-old yelling MOM when they see these.

The sign says it for me. Photo by Mike Hartley

The sign says it for me.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Nothing like a good sky and the flag.

Good to see the disabled enjoying our state capital. Photo by Mike Hartley

Good to see the disabled enjoying our state capital.
Photo by Mike Hartley

An old staple of town.

Awning at Midleton Tavern. Photo by Mike Hartley

Awning at Middleton Tavern.
Photo by Mike Hartley

As the summer sails away.

Mast Photo by Mike Hartley

Mast
Photo by Mike Hartley

Young and in love it appeared.

Hearts beating Photo by Mike Hartley

Hearts beating
Photo by Mike Hartley

Nice toys.

Just a little to big for me. Photo by Mike Hartley

Just a little to big for me.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I promise more side street shots the next visit.

Love the color in this town. Photo by Mike Hartley

Love the color in this town.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Maybe next time I’ll eat outside.

Save me a seat. Photo by Mike Hartley

Save me a seat.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Thanks for a wonderful day.


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Fog

Actually I think they call it “marine fog”, anyway it rolled into Ocean City yesterday morning just after sunrise. I had gone out to take a few shots and suddenly it was soup. I did enjoy the ride with the top down and tunes on just slowly tooling around town. Dreaming a bit of owning a beach place someday by checking homes for sale as I cruised. Watching out for birds on the bay which seem to be all hunkered down with the limited flight distance.

Sun has been up for an hour but its difficult to see from one light to the next. Photo by Mike Hartley

Sun has been up for an hour but its difficult to see from one light to the next.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Watching joggers or bike riders, the occasional Dude crossing the street with surfboard in his hand. I love beach towns. I worry greatly about them if sea level predictions are correct. And I’ve been going along with the other millions of visitors that hit the Maryland and Delaware shores each year enjoying this life. It would be a tragic loss.

Which way to the fish? Photo by Mike Hartley

Which way to the fish?
Photo by Mike Hartley

There is nothing like the beach. To me climbing a mountain is nuts. Yeah you got a view I can’t get, but how long you going to stay there? But the journey and cool temps and thin air and most importantly, lack of lodging makes it something that will never cross my list. Yes I get the accomplishment thing. But give me the sun/sand a good hotel or beach house to rent and I’m in heaven.

Bird activity has been grounded this morning. Photo by Mike Hartley

Bird activity has been grounded this morning.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I bet this Sunday morning it was great down there. A beautiful sunrise, low humidity and breeze to keep it clear and brisk. But I learned on Saturday morning that there was much to appreciate. I wish I lifted my camera a bit more that morning but was doing some mental refreshing also.


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Lunch view

I think I still may be relaxed from this lunch and view on Friday. The company of my better half, the outside dining, the view and comfortable temperatures made it a wonderful experience. We were heading to the Chart House to treat ourselves for some reason or another but that wasn’t open for lunch.

View from Carroll Creek Cafe in Annapolis. Photo by Mike Hartley

View from Carroll Creek Cafe in Annapolis.
Photo by Mike Hartley

So as we drove down we saw another restaurant as we crossed the bridge called Carrol’s Creek Cafe. So we backtracked from the Chart House parking lot to a pay lot (they will stamp your ticket 2 1/2 hrs) so do park there. It was a beautiful day and we wanted to sit outside where everyone else was. Sure enough a table for two right on the railing with a great view.

I need a boat to walk to. Photo by Mike Hartley

I need a boat to walk to.
Photo by Mike Hartley

We are very lucky and blessed to be able to do this once in a while. Yes its a lot of hard work and has been for decades but it is worth every bit of sweat when we can have a nice lunch and a day walking around town. Yeah we shopped but I think we got a coke and an iced coffee.

6th Street and Comprimize Ave. Photo by Mike Hartley

6th Street and Compromise Ave.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Don’t get me wrong. There is a ton of things I would buy in this town. There are stores I even like to go in and me and the word stores are like oil and water. They don’t mix well. And I’m dying to stay a night or two at that new Westin Hotel. I might save that for an off-season visit being they have an indoor heated pool.

Ready for sail class along Spa Creek. Photo by Mike Hartley

Ready for a sail class along Spa Creek.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Whenever I’m in this town I find something new to shoot. Even spots I have shot before seem to be fresh each time I go. Maybe its a reflection or shadow or the constant change of people. Maybe the change of season. But I find it endless when it comes to a great place to photograph.

As the sign says. Photo by Mike Hartley

As the sign says.
Photo by Mike Hartley

So what will be my adventure this coming week? Maybe a trip across the bridge. Or should I head West. I’ve been thinking of visiting the Antietam Area and that Civil War battlefield. And as I see by visiting that website that its our National Parks Service 100th Birthday this year. So get out an celebrate our National Treasures.

With the weather in the 80's this coming week I'm sure you will see more of these with sails up than docked. Photo by Mike Hartley

With the weather in the 80’s this coming week I’m sure you will see more of these with sails up than docked.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Well, another weekend down. Time to prepare for the next one.