THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley


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Rain

Today I learned who wrote “Into each life, some rain must fall” and that was Henry Wadsworth Longfellow from the poem “The Rainy Day”. I was thinking of that line for two reasons. It was raining all Friday night and morning. It’s raining again today. It’s going to rain tomorrow and maybe on Wednesday.

I’m also thinking of some people I’ve been talking to that are fighting cancer. Some holding their own and some not. That is the kind of rain I believe he is speaking of. Something bad and difficult happens to everyone in life. It might not seem like it but that is pretty much the rule I’m thinking.

Uncle – I’ve had enough rain. Photo by Mike Hartley

So I went in search of rain photos I had and I’m woefully out of stock of personal images. The only ones I found that I liked were above at a gas station and below shot of my neighbor’s sunflower patch. So what an opportunity to reverse this limited selection and see what this inspiration and coming days of wetness can bring.

Sunflowers in rain Photo by Mike Hartley

So I got busy thinking of how to illustrate rain. The good old umbrella images I guess. People running with them or rain bouncing off of them. If it were summer I could find a spiderweb with raindrops on it. Maybe droplets in a puddle? Or road spray from cars and trucks. Rain rolling off gutters or running down cars exteriors. Maybe someones pet with a raincoat out for a walk or boots in a puddle.

But these seem so obvious and probably done better than I can so I’m trying to think of something different to represent rain. I’m not sure what it is or if I’ll accomplish it but there will be time to practice it this week it appears. Here is my first shot from this Saturday morning below attempting to do something different. Then again, all of my work seems to have holes in it. Ha Ha.

The patio table reflecting the woods behind the home during Saturdays morning rain. Photo by Mike Hartley

More Random Thoughts of the Day

  • I kind of like rain. Don’t get me wrong. I love sunshine and warm temps but I’m not into desert conditions.
  • I think I hear the grass in the yard starting to wake up.
  • I’m going to have to write a book of expressions related to trying to stand up or sit down some days.
  • My new bookcase looks good. Now my goal is to read everything in it.


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Please clean your ice off

Yesterday my Daughter and family were on their way to our home when a sheet full of ice flew off the SUV in front of them and crashed through the windshield. Thankfully they weren’t hurt. It was lucky she was in the back seat with the baby because there is where it hit hardest, shattered and caved in the window on the passenger side. My Son in law was hit with glass but is good. Thankfully he maintained control and didn’t crash.

Yes, there is no law in this state (Maryland) that mandates you clean your roof off, but just like masks have the common courtesy for others and clean your car or truck or SUV off before heading out, please. I know it’s a pain in the butt. I know it’s difficult to reach. Stop thinking about it and just make it part of your routine in cleaning the vehicle. I’ve sat here today feeling so blessed that didn’t turn out worse and I will probably think about that for days. Maybe everyone needs to have a loved one’s windshield shattered while driving to get this done. Nah, we’ve already proven there are a lot of people in this world who just don’t give a damn about anyone else but themselves. A nasty and sad element of our society.

Just a little ice on my trees. Photo by Mike Hartley

Feeling better this fine Sunday so life is good. Of course, that is also true when I’m feeling bad. Like yesterday when I got to see my children but was still in a bit of pain from Friday’s battle with a few inches of frozen tundra. My children and their children are an easy fix for whatever ails me. But what about when I can’t see them and improve my feelings?

I’m doing better at finding those things. The more I do the better I feel. Made them a couple of nice prints and framed them. I started a few other pieces that I need to finish up and give to them and get going on some others. I’ve got a long list of people I’d like to make something for. So I had better get busy and keep at it. Time to do those things are precious so do them right.

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • I’m really trying to be smarter about eating but knowing now it takes thought and discipline. But it’s a worthwhile goal.
  • One of my best friends got a new Ford pickup. Now I have a second that can carry my Miata in their truck beds if I need.
  • I rise too early in the day when I have to work all night.
  • It feels good to do some reading. I’ve been catching up on some blogs and a book.


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Spirits are up

I like the days I wake and it just seems like it’s going to be a good day. Mentally refreshed from some good sleep, rising without pain, knowing I don’t have to work today at the job that pays the bills, and having a day with nothing on the schedule except some chores. And after a day of helping watch my granddaughter where I danced, I played, I sang, I teased, I fed, I cleaned and then I picked up. I couldn’t be more relaxed and happy. Nothing like being a kid for a day.

Of course, that cold really makes the thought of stepping outside the front door rather bleak but I can hear my friend now in my ear “embrace the cold” he will utter and chuckle knowing full well how I loath the season of Winter. He also sent me a picture of him firing up his snowblower knowing I have a shovel to use. He is going to get a penalty shot the next time we are together.

From Tequila Mockingbird in OC. Photo by Mike Hartley

In this PostWhat’s going on – a short thought on a mind of a 2-year-old and mask | Time to Shovel – a short number of options for the next few days of snow. | Random Thoughts of the Day

What’s going on – You know the Marvin Gaye tune “What’s Going On.” Shoot I might be dating myself. That was released in 1971. Anyway, I was kind of thinking that the song title must be going on inside my granddaughter’s mind. She is a March baby so the first year of her life 2019-20 was pretty normal. The only mask she saw was in the hospital after being born. Since her birth, nobody wore a mask. Then last March of 2020 and you have everyone wearing a mask.

What’s going on must be the thought racing through her mind this last year.

Is it a fashion statement? Is it because they don’t want to kiss me? Where did PaPa’s beard go? Is everyone a bank robber now? Are we playing doctor or nurse? Is this some kind of new Peke a boo game? Did you just go to the dentist? Are we playing Cowboys and Indians and robbing the stagecoach? Did Tic Tak’s go out of business and everyone has bad breath? Are you hiding a Hitler mustache? Are you sticking out your tongue as I do behind that mask and you just don’t want me to see it? Are you eating something and don’t want to share it with me? I don’t like that I can hear you talk but not see your mouth move. I don’t like this game. Can we go back to before land?

Time to Shovel – I can’t complain too loudly, it’s been almost 2 years since any significant snowfall came. Of course, Mother Nature doesn’t believe in letting my back work into a shoveling session with just a few inches. She is going to throw us a major task. As of this morning 4-8 inches on Sunday and then another 4-8 inches on Monday. With that amount of snow and cold, it’s going to need some planning, pacing myself, and preparation.

This is only half my driveway. Photo by Mike Hartley

Option 1 – wait for it all to melt and admire the beauty in it. Never done that except for dustings. But really I have nothing to go out for the next few days. Groceries were got by my better half last night and there is heat in the house so what more could we want for? – But this is the least likely to happen.

Option 2 – wait for it to finish snowing and then do it all at once. This is the hardest option on the body because you have to shovel it as you would dirt. Only what fits on the shovel and you have to throw it. On the good side, you aren’t out while it’s still snowing. It’s when you see the most neighbors doing the same thing. It’s also the most dangerous and hardest I believe. Especially if it does start to melt and get heavy. This is not an option because my back is already bad and I don’t want a heart attack.

Option 3 – Incremental clearing. Anything in the range of 8-16 inches they are predicting, this is mandatory if you are using a shovel. One it allows the snowplow option. I can walk behind and push and only lift and throw a lot less. I also enjoy this method for a few other reasons. If you’re ever outside when it’s snowing hard it’s the most beautiful sound of almost nothing you have ever heard. You can hear it snow and nothing else. Typically you might find yourself the only one out shoveling in the middle of a blizzard. You look left, you look right, nobody in sight. The 60+-year-old body jumps into the snow and does a snow angel. You lay looking at the sky, catching a snowflake on your tongue. You check to make sure you haven’t broken anything, you get up and start snowplow operations again with a smile. I’m thinking of getting my back brace out for more support and I’m going to remember to bend and lift with the knees because they are still strong. So this is my current plan of action.

Option 3 – Wait for a friend who teases me with pictures of his snowblower to come do my driveway. Fat chance, he traded in his nice big pickup for a fancy SUV. That is another 2 shots for him when I see him next.

Option 4 – Wait for the family to come and help. Well when it snows that much here, nobody much moves and not the distance that they would have to travel. I know they would help in a flash if I asked but they have their own homes to worry about. When we get older I’ll wait for them. Till then I’m the mule.

Option 5 – Sit here and blog and pray it rains instead.

Random Thoughts of the Day

  • Any day you think you have a rough day at work, think about the nurses and doctors seeing people pass each day and the effect of that on them. It kind of makes everything else pale in comparison, doesn’t it?
  • It always amazes me how fast an hour goes by, and then a week, and then a month, and so on.
  • Sometimes I think we are our own worst enemy.
  • The more I sort through what is important, the thing that comes up most is memories. Old ones and creating new ones.


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Almost

It was a long night of work. I saw the clouds had moved in and I contemplated just hitting the sack for some zzz’s. I almost said the hell with it. But then I thought, I’ll take a short drive even if there isn’t a good sunrise.

I take a few steps out of my door and wham. A beautiful rainbow. And for a few seconds a double. What a way to start the day. It only lasted a few minutes and I was lucky to grab these before a neighbor saw me and I didn’t want to be rude so I chatted for a bit. But only after a few minutes it was gone.

Photos by Mike Hartley

I did take that ride and it was fun. It’s nice when you can go down the country roads early in the mornings instead of the major highways in and out of the city.


Random Thoughts of the Morning

  • Time to call an old friend today.
  • Today was a good reminder to get that camera in my hands.
  • If it’s raining when I open my eyes in a few hours I’m going back to sleep. Unless I smell bacon cooking.


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Snow flurry Sunday morning

Ah, the first hint of snow for the season this morning. I like the sound of it hitting the trees. Must be cool because all the paved surfaces are covered. Very pretty actually when it was coming down. I wonder if I can reach down this year and capture some of that joy I had when I was young when it would snow. I hope so, because my attitude towards it hasn’t been that kind as I’ve aged.

I guess it happened when I traded in a sled for a car. So instead of making a path with my feet to the highest elevation,  I shovel and then go skidding around for many miles with many dangerous people. Kind of makes that huge hill we went down, that you had to crash off your sled fast at the bottom to prevent going into a creek as a youth seem kind of safe.

Well its nothing really, not even a dusting. Not a real good snow. Those are yet to come I’m sure. I’m hoping I can look forward to the season with more of that youthful anticipation.

First flakes of the season. Photo by Mike Hartley

First flakes of the season.
Photo by Mike Hartley


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Agnes 40 years ago

I was digging around an old box and ran across these B&W images (hey, I was a teenager and couldn’t always afford color film) and realized it was 40 years ago that these were taken. That was a bad year. Huge impact on the area and economy with hurricane Agnes. Things didn’t get back to normal for many months and in some cases years for some homes and businesses. One of the worst/costliest storms that I can remember. And it was the rain that wouldn’t stop. I know I have more and if I remember I think I did shoot a roll of color. Now where did I put that?

ELLICOTT CITY

Flooded Main Street Ellicott City from Agnes. Photo by Mike Hartley

Flooded Main Street Ellicott City from Agnes.
Photo by Mike Hartley

And the crowds came to see what nature can do.  Photo by Mike Hartley

And the crowds came to see what nature can do.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Water eye view of water where it shouldn't be.  Photo by Mike Hartley

Water eye view of water where it shouldn’t be.
Photo by Mike Hartley

COLUMBIA

Lakefront bell tower, nobody was swimming out to ring that.  Photo by Mike Hartley

Lakefront bell tower, nobody was swimming out to ring that.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Lake Kittamaqundi reaching out of its banks. Photo by Mike Hartley

Lake Kittamaqundi reaching out of its banks.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Wilde Lake had a new falls.  Photo by Mike Hartley

Wilde Lake had a new falls.
Photo by Mike Hartley

29 south along South Entrance Road. Photo by Mike Hartley

29 south along South Entrance Road.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Surfing on Southbound Rt 29.  Photo by Mike Hartley

Surfing on Southbound Rt 29.
Photo by Mike Hartley

South Entrance with Columbia Tennis barn in the background if I remember correctly.  Photo by Mike Hartley

South Entrance with Columbia Tennis barn in the background if I remember correctly.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Line on Rt 29 south trying to inch past Columbia.  Photo by Mike Hartley

Line on Rt 29 south trying to inch past Columbia.
Photo by Mike Hartley

LAUREL

The Homoco gas station off Rt 1 in Laurel. Photo by Mike Hartley

The Homoco gas station off Rt 1 in Laurel. I think those are new cars floating also from the Dodge dealer.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Entrance road to Laurel Racetrack.  Photo by Mike Hartley

Entrance road to Laurel Racetrack.
Photo by Mike Hartley

And here I thought it was all water under the bridge. Photo by Mike Hartley

And here I thought it was all water under the bridge.
Photo by Mike Hartley

At the PG HoCo line on southbound Rt 1. Photo by Mike Hartley

At the PG HoCo line on southbound Rt 1.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Random Thoughts for Sunday July 26th 2015

  • I hope I can share many more Sundays like this one with my children.
  • I’ve got a good bit of sleep to make up for on Monday.
  • I can tell losing another 10-15 lbs is going to be a fight.


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When what freezes over?

I thought the line went “When hell freezes over”

I have two things to be thankful for this morning. I didn’t have to go out and travel and those who did had slippery conditions but nothing like this.

I've heard of hell freezing over but this could be a problem.  Photo by Mike Hartley

I’ve heard of hell freezing over but this could be a problem.
Photo by Mike Hartley


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Superstition

One year I put my tree out early after the New Year and look, see what happened. Now it stays in the house till there is more green on the carpet than the tree.


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Winter – It’s Here

Snow Photo by Mike Hartley

Snow
Photo by Mike Hartley

The northeast and the state of Maryland are wonderful for the change of seasons. You really get a nice mix of each. Yeah sometimes spring or fall is a little short sometimes. But you always get a winter and summer of decent length. The fall and spring are both beautiful times of year visually and emotionally. And I LOVE SUMMER.

Therein lies my problem. I really dislike winter. Yeah there is nothing like being outside in a fresh snow and watching you kids when they were young or old playing in it is something that will warm your heart. But I dislike being cold. I don’t like having to sit and warm up my car. I don’t like having to wear a ton of cloths. I don’t like having to drive with millions of @(%&%$ over long distances to work when most of them have trouble driving in dry weather.

Then there are the holiday drivers. Which is a majority of the population which check their brains at the door before going out but shove a half-dozen extra doses of bad attitude in their coats in place of good judgement and common courtesy. It is the true strength of human character to maintain patience, kindness, openness and cheer in this area sometime. 

Then the New Year comes and all of a sudden everyone in January is depressed spending too much and from gaining so much weight the last 2 months they spend all kinds of money they no longer have on gyms and weight loss programs that last for a few times to a few months but ultimately fail.

Yeah, the schedule tries to pick us up with a few meaningless holidays and occasions like Presidents day and Valentines day but they aren’t crap. The only good thing about February is that its short and if you’re in New Orleans for Mardi Gras for Fat Tuesday. Other than that its a frozen wasteland.

March is a transition month that teases you with a nice day and then freezes your ass off the next.

So forgive me when I go off on my winter observations, it will begin a period where I may slip from my normal positive messages to some outright rants about the season of dread, winter.

May it be a mild one and everyone be safe and happy as possible.


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Winter Weather is Coming

I have to learn to embrace this season. It is far from one of my favorites. And as a famous quote goes (My Favorite Winter Activity, is going back INSIDE). It’s like a monochrome season. I dread travel in it and I hate being cold and the body aches that come with it. But this season will be different in one way. My daughter was pretty insistent that I get a snow blower. Hell, I’m not even 60 yet and they think I need more power tools. But given the demise of one of our best friends this past winter it’s the SMART move. Don’t be too proud to admit that you’re not the young person you once were. And even if you are young, take it easy with the shoveling this winter.

Took these on Rt 15 north of Frederick MD on my way to see my daughter who was in college at the time.

Ice Farm Photo by Mike Hartley

Ice Farm
Photo by Mike Hartley

Mist behind Trees Photo by Mike Hartley

Mist behind Trees
Photo by Mike Hartley

 


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Howard County Maryland – Weather

In Contrast to today’s Wonderful Skies, I found ones that weren’t so beautiful one summer here in Howard County.

Some weather shots up by the Howard County fairgrounds. Put these in sequence. I’ve got to do more storm photos. Nature is so impressive. Sorry about the slight shake on the 7th photo down. That boomer was very close and the shock wave got me. Should have had a tripod set up. Live and learn.

Waves of coulds Photo by Mike Hartley

Waves of could’s
Photo by Mike Hartley

Waves cresting Photo by Mike Hartley

Waves cresting
Photo by Mike Hartley

What is that opening? Photo by Mike Hartley

What is that opening?
Photo by Mike Hartley

Powerful lightening stroke. Photo by Mike Hartley

Powerful lightning stroke.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Seems like the waves are back. Photo by Mike Hartley

Seems like the waves are back and what is that opening up in the right corner?
Photo by Mike Hartley

Yeah, that looks like clearing, maybe it moving away. Photo by Mike Hartley

Yeah, that looks like clearing, maybe it moving away.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Wow now that was impressive. Almost like the sky opened up for that stroke. Photo by Mike Hartley

Wow now that was impressive. Almost like the sky opened up for that stroke.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Oh, back to the ominous look.  Photo by Mike Hartley

Oh, back to the ominous look.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Time to flee before another strike on my head. Plus, I'm getting wet.  Photo by Mike Hartley

Time to flee before another strike on my head. Plus, I’m getting wet.
Photo by Mike Hartley


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Howard County Maryland

OK, how bout a big hand for all those men and women out in this mess cutting trees, restoring power, directing traffic, attending to accidents and towing your car to the garage. To those making the deliveries like food to your stores and your daily paper in your driveway at the worst part of the storm. At least mine was there fairly bright and early. So if you were outside you must have been moving because anything that wasn’t, wasn’t.

Man and nature become one.

Man and nature become one.
Photo by Mike Hartley
© Threw Mikes Eyez

Wish I had a full day to shoot instead of just a few minutes. Enjoyed the ice, didn’t break anything on the slipping and sliding. But man, I’m sure Howard County General was hopping today with broken this and sprained that and busted butts. Also hats off to those people staffing our doctors offices (my wife included) who are there to treat our wounded behinds.

Just a little ice on my trees

Just a little ice on my trees
Photo by Mike Hartley
© Threw Mikes Eyez

Schools closed again. The young’ins will be going to class all summer. For the most part this morning people were driving respectfully. But as the traction got better on the main roads people were ready to bogie where some were still being very conservative.

Birds won't be getting these berries today.

Birds won’t be getting these berries today.
Photo by Mike Hartley
© Threw Mikes Eyez

Hats off to BG&E for keeping my power on. Well except for one 3-5 minute period early this morning. Take the time to send those guys a note of thanks. Better yet, when you see one in your neighborhood or around it fixing things offer them a warm or cold beverage depending on the season.

Off Rt 99 just before Marriotsville Road

Off Rt 99 just before Marriotsville Road
Photo by Mike Hartley
© Threw Mikes Eyez

I was really looking forward to this Friday because I had the day off my regular job and was going to really pound away at improving this site and working with my new camera. But with the number of limbs down outside I think I’ll be firing up the chainsaw.

Entombed branch

Entombed branch
Photo by Mike Hartley
© Threw Mikes Eyez

I went outside this morning, when I guess the ice was the heaviest. It sounded as some Goliath type creature was walking through the woods behind us. Limbs and whole trees were falling at what seemed to be a huge rate.

Not going to find a meal down there today.

Not going to find a meal down there today.
Photo by Mike Hartley
© Threw Mikes Eyez

Later today I’ll try to post some warmer images to see if we can turn this winter around and be done with it despite what the groundhog said the other day.

No farming today

No farming today
Photo by Mike Hartley
© Threw Mikes Eyez

Well, were back on track, I missed a post on Super Bowl Sunday so now were 5 for 5. Will try not to let that happen again.