THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley


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The weekend has set

Well it has set for most of us. Those with the pretty standard work week. For instance I know a team where there weekend begins on Sunday afternoon. At one time in my life I had a Wednesday to Saturday night schedule. With Sunday, Monday and Tuesday off. That was strange and I never got used to it. Worked that shift for almost 4 years and I’m glad I’m off it.

On the other hand it was one of the most exciting 4 years of my career. The first transition was from a weekly chain of newspapers to a daily one. I had been working with deadlines for 23 years by that time. And even though they were weekly publications some hit on different days. But not every day. And that is something entirely different. Every day. No weekend breaks. No Holiday breaks.

And truthfully its a minute by minute operation now days. But that daily mindset creates a lot more pressure. There is no break. There is no peace of mind. Its like I went to work in an emergency room. On call, different locations, any one of the 24 hours of the day, any day of the year. And that is further complicated by the staffing shortages on weekends and evenings.

You get used to it after a while. It actually becomes routine. You look at work email every day. You have to because coming back to hundreds of unread messages just takes up too much time and you need to come in ready to hit the ground running. If you don’t know what happened over the last 2-3 days your way out of the loop.

There have been levels of significant changes going from a print to adding digital operations on top of just my migration from weekly to daily product. All have been exciting and I’ve rolled with the changes. But sleep has suffered. I’m wondering if I’ll ever go back to a normal schedule of rest. I hope so but its a long way off.


Random Thoughts of the Day

I don’t care what Monday has in store for me. I’m ready for the opportunity.

I’m sure there will be people thrilled to hear “truth isn’t truth.” But personally I’m very disappointed.

I don’t feel refreshed or recharged. Good thing its a short work week for me.

I saw a headline that “the Catholic sex scandal leaves the Pennsylvania church grappling with sense of betrayal. ” I think its far more reaching than the state of Pennsylvania.


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Showers

My wife and daughter attended a bridal shower this afternoon. I didn’t take a shower till mid afternoon after a few chores. I see the weather service is predicting an evening shower. The trifecta of showers.

OK maybe I’m a little tired to start this. Well maybe I’m real tired to be doing this as I sit here yawning away. Hopefully a good nights sleep ahead for a change of pace. Sleep is more like a series of naps. Sometimes I don’t think there isn’t a part of the day that I don’t see. If not one day then the next. You see I flip schedules around for the work and work and personal life. So sometimes I’m up all night. Sometimes I’m up all day. There is usually one day a week I’m up all day and night. Those are taking a toll at my age though. Used to be I could do that without feeling it.

Sunset exit stage right.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I’ve got to keep telling myself I better land in bed more before I land in a hospital. I’ve experienced a few things lately from lack of sleep. When it gets bad the inability to concentrate. Almost like a drunk state of mind. Motivation fades, frustration or depression set in. I’ve put on weight. Sometimes I feel like I have ADHD.  So here is to getting some good rest. I’ve done a little better this weekend. My better half said take it easy and I did pretty much.

So here is to a fresh start this coming week. Do you hear that BODY. Lets get our act together and go with the positive vibes from the brain.


Dropped my nephew this note below, because he will be patrolling the street of Maryland soon.
Uncle Mike’s rules:
Be safe
Be smart
Be compassionate when it’s called for
Be unforgiving when it’s called for.
Be yourself.
Be a good partner.
Be a leader.
Don’t forgot to be a good husband because that job can be very demanding.
And be safe again.

Random Thoughts of the Day

I missed a meeting of friends today. I will make that up to them.

The string of Summer Fridays my wife and daughter spend together are over. I’m kind of sad for them both, but also glad I can share my better half again on Fridays.

I’m disappointed with the reply of the news from PA and the Catholic church. I saw a post the other day asking if that were 300 Imam’s who harmed over 1000 children? Half this country would probably demand the Muslim religion be banished in this country. And another thing. Can the church just come clean overall and not do a state by state roll out?

I’m always nervous when any of my family are traveling.

I can’t wait to challenge myself tomorrow.

Was that a streak of nice weather on the news tonight for next week? The kind of days that yell BEACH BEACH BEACH with the same enthusiasm that Bluto yelled Toga Toga Toga.


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Friday fun

Floating lakes, puddles in the sky, rogue waves in the air.

Pastel blues, cotton whites, pearl grays.

Day dreams, wishes being cast, prayers to those that have passed.

And then I go and ruin it with a border around it.

Yeah
Photo by Mike Hartley

Well, another day slipped by but there were a few accomplishments along the way and a few of them made my better half happy, so life is good as my tee shirts say. And I cleared the workroom and table for myself and hopefully tomorrow will yield some production of images and shapes and words that will get me on track to produce more content and art each day.

I was unable to wrench this body into shape today actually and had to rely on modern medicine to power through. But I kept my mind right and focused and feel good that I made efforts to finish up a few projects. In other words I didn’t allow myself to be a couch potato on an off day from the job that pays the bills.

And yes you can’t help but have a Fun Friday that isn’t filled with responsibilities.


Random Thoughts of the Day

How a man could kill his pregnant wife and two young children is beyond my comprehension. But my mind keeps repeating the question.

If I spent less time explaining why I can’t do things in life than figuring out how to do them, I’d have a lot more to show for it. But if I’m lucky enough to have some more years I’m going to do my damnedest to catch up.

Was stunned today by the ignorance of someone I thought I knew.

If pain is relative, that means it lives with you.

I think its time for some late night tacos. No I’m not going to Taco Bell. I have my own upstairs. Even though I do have to admit I have a hankering for some Taco Bell.


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Taking Time, no Making Time

After typing that phrase “Taking Time” I laughed and realized I had made a mistake. At first that seemed like a normal phrase, but when used in the context of what I was thinking it was wrong. Because to me taking time means you were taking/stealing from something else. That taking time somehow makes what you we’re doing more important that you had to take time or steal it to spend it otherwise. And you know what, I would never want my daughter or son or better half to think that I’m ever taking time for them. I “make time” for them because they are my priority.

Going with the flow.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I could certainly understand them feeling that way though, that I have been taking time to spend with them. I’ve mistakenly made work and other things a priority at times. I feel guilt to this day that I allowed myself to focus on my career or my fun time and miss a few things when they we’re growing up. I’m no absentee father. But if I missed one or two or more things that were important to them, with each of them, that is one or two too many.

If I were to give advice to younger parents its to find that proper balance. Yes its important to provide for your family. It’s also important to have your children know your always going to be there for them first. And that should never change, even when they are adults and have their own partners.

Get your cream on.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Yesterday I MADE TIME to spend a day with my daughter. Its something we do each summer that I really look forward to. A day trip somewhere when we just walk and talk. Eat and relax. Enjoy some sites and have an ice cream together.

Usually a day, a few weeks before she returns to teaching the youth of today. And it always seems to be a sunny day for us, now that I reflect back on previous years trips. Sunny and HOT. It’s a good thing we are usually at a spot near water in our travels. Places like St Michael’s, Annapolis, Baltimore, Chesapeake City and Washington.

And yesterday matched that sunny and hot weather pattern exactly. So hot that we rode in the car with the A/C instead of the top down. But just walking Old Town Alexandria took it out of us both. Yep we had bottles of water, even me. You could feel that heat though just radiating off the concrete. We ducked into many wonderful stores but that still didn’t give enough of a recharge.

It was a good thing the service at lunch was slow because sitting in the AC was the balance you needed to get back outside mid afternoon.

As we walked through the Torpedo Factory complex of artist I was a kid in a candy store, as well as terrified again. I saw lots of beautiful work and tremendous talent. And I’m inspired and having ideas of my own, expanding concepts that could be combined, and then something snaps.

Doubt creeps in. Can I ever get close to doing something beautiful? Something that others would find pleasure and value in. Something that I could maybe even sell. I was telling my daughter how much I want to get into carving and engraving. I’ve tinkered around a bit but that is an art that takes a lot of practice to perfect.

I’ll try to summon some backbone and change those doubts and fears as I’ve been trying to do with my words and photos so far. Yes I still get embarrassed about how basic this site is in its writing and art. But I love the practice and the hope for creating that piece or image or idea or laugh that touches people.

Many things I saw had great craftsmanship. You know what, even if I can’t get to the level of those artist, I’m going to try to make it a fun journey getting there. And that means overcoming that doubt and beginning that road. Because one shop I wandered into I got talking about various pieces and she pointed at one I was looking at and said the artist did that when they were 92 years old. It was a large piece and I could tell had taken a great deal of time and work. And it gave me hope.

My daughter helped me again yesterday. She mentioned that I was to hard on myself on a lot of things. I used that mindset a long time to make myself better. Recognizing there is always someone better that I can learn from. It’s not that I’m not proud or satisfied all the time. I’m guess I’m just always looking for what could have been done or said differently and better. Maybe its the extra effort that I didn’t take. Or maybe the lack of writing down a simple idea to come back to and flush out. I’m trying to limit these lost opportunities now.

I’m learning from my children now that they are adults. Well to be honest I was learning from them as children. I learned about compassion and love. About responsibility and commitment. And many other wonderful things. Like worrying about others happiness and less on my own. Because the reward in the end is so great.

If there wasn’t a sign saying “don’t jump in the fountain”, I would have jumped in the fountain.
Photo by Mike Hartley


Random Thoughts of the Day

I road with the top down today, and it was hotter than hot. I’ll use today and remember how hot I felt when on a cool morning with the top down in hopes they will balance each other out.

Well I missed posting yesterday. Broke my streak of several days in a row. You know what, after the day with my daughter, it was worth missing it, a zillion times over. And I really enjoy this stuff.

I’m looking forward to doing some shooting tomorrow. Hope I handle the sun better than I did today.

I have to stop writing when I’m so tired.


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How many

How many? How many opportunities will you have for really important things in your lifetime? I’m trying to look at each event, each gathering, each day as something special now. Yeah I still deal with the realities of day-to-day and forget that principle but I’m learning to come back to it almost immediately. I’ve learned that having respect for each moment of the day is the way to live. Appreciation for the little things. Appreciation for how lucky I am and to have those that surround me.

Glad my teeth are still up to the challenge.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I’m looking forward to taking a big bite of life tomorrow. Having the day filled with special moments and sweet memories. I’ll elaborate on the next post.

I’m charging the camera batteries now. And when I do that it charges me up. And tomorrow we won’t be having any of the downpours as of late.

Afternoon showers bring light to some looking for it.
Photo by Mike Hartley


Random Thoughts of the Day

I was very pleased with the quick and detailed reply I got from BG&E today to my inquiry on multiple power outages.

RESPECT to Miss Franklin

Two people controlling the country’s attention, that at best should be a back page offbeat entertainment section, a few clicks below semi professional wrestling.

Some days its very disappointing to be Catholic. That’s why I think its more important to practice doing the right things instead of just listening to people preach about good things.

I need to find the website of the ethical and honest everything.


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Managing Mondays

We’re blessed with these wonderful ears and jaw and lips that flap endlessly but man’s communication is still the poorly practiced in so many areas of life, both professional and personal that it’s a crying shame.

We have all these wonderful tools to help us communicate and we still can’t get it done. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve got a great number of communication failures in my history, but when I compare myself to my professional and personal groups, I do fairly well.

What set this tirade off is the fact that something important wasn’t communicated again at work. I must still care because it pisses me off when it happens still. Such is life. Well, I’m going to go cool off with a fine beverage and hope for the best tomorrow.

Photo by Mike Hartley


I’m sitting here trying to figure out how to communicate and get answers from my power company BG&E. I’ve tried over the phone today and got nowhere. So I just wrote them and lets see where that gets me. What spurred this on was losing power for the 3rd time in 5 days without a weather related event any of those times. I’m hoping to get a reply because when I’m disrespected it tends to push the A-hole buttons I try to keep hidden.

I don’t know why they wouldn’t communicate with a customer on a rash of outages with the exception of telling me when the latest one is expected to be restored.


Random Thoughts of the Day

Sorry about the cranky Post. Still not feeling my best.

It saddens me that the University of Maryland is going through another issue with sports. It saddens me much more that it took a young mans life to maybe bring things into the light. I sincerely hope some of the things I’ve been hearing aren’t true, but like our current leaders, where there is smoke, there is fire.

I started out to work today with the top up and in a rain storm. Half way in it was sunny and dry so I put the top down. So all I need now is some sun in the morning and I’ll be a happy camper.

I saw some of those dreaded school buses out doing test runs I guess. Pretty soon traffic is going to explode.


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Feeling it

I took this shot yesterday in the middle of the rain storm where the sun was out here at the same time. It kind of symbolizes how I feel today. I’m up and blooming but my body is raining on the parade. I’m trying to keep a sunny outlook but as the work week looms and pressures again mount I’m not starting out the way I would hope to get out of the gate with.

Sunflowers in rain
Photo by Mike Hartley

Such is life. Battle through. Focus on the positive possibilities. Like today’s post. I came with nothing to the keyboard, realized I hadn’t downloaded a few shots from yesterday. This one just summed up how I feel. The mind is positive, but the body is sick. It’s possible I picked up a sinus infection and the body aches from a few days of yard work.

Regardless I’m on a roll this month and haven’t missed a day of posting and I’m trying to pick up the camera more. So I’m not going to let this stop me at all. Maybe slow me down yes. Maybe make it a bit more difficult, certainly while also trying to work the job that pays the bills. But it does help make me feel better.


Random Thoughts of the Day

I’m of the belief that the media made more of this march in DC today for Unite the Right than was needed. I mean how few of the kkk even showed. Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t it end even before it was scheduled to start?

My body just made me promise to get the proper rest needed tomorrow.

I can’t wait to see my children again.

Even though some people won’t do what they need to do to help themselves, its hard not to feel for them if they are close.

I’m really pulling for Shaquem Griffin (one-handed NFL player) to make the Seahawks. He might just end up being a star with that motor he has. That would be a great inspiration for so many people.