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Monday, 03 December 2012


Your health must come first, I am glad to hear you're feeling a little better tonight.

Take care of #1 first, Mike. The rest of us will be just fine.

If you didn't go in when you were sick, you wouldn't infect the rest of the staff, you know! :-)

Sorry to hear you're feeling poopy Mike.

I recommend a daily dose of Vita Meta Vegamin in the evening, and a teaspoon of Geritol in the morning ;-)

Feel better!

Personnel is dated terminology. We're sposed to call it Human Resources now. Get better fast!

Hang in there man. Hopefully the Dr. can sort things out for you.

Feel better.

Mike - rest up, and take care of your staff - they're priceless! Hope that you are feeling better soon, and I guess I'll actually have to do something photo related instead of read about it for a while!

Hope everyone is well again soon :P

Hope you are feeling better soon Mike! Take care of yourself.

Mike, I was getting worried about you before you posted your "Get It Done" essay. It was quiet. Too quiet.

I think photography can occasionally take a back seat once in while.

Take a break and come back refreshed!

Get well quickly!
Miss you already.

auguri! From italy

Hallo Mike,
Invest a bit of time in your recovery! The only people who want three posts a day from your sickbed are the readers you don't want to be readers, if you see what I mean.

Get well soon, and seasons greetings and so on.

Excellent staff members are worth twice their weight in Leicas and Zeisses. Please do what it takes to get better.

Did you get your flu shot?

Get well soon, Mike, forget about us for a couple of days. Best, Giovanni

All the best. Feel better.

Hope you get to feeling closer to normal soon Mike.

Mike I'm starting to get alarmed that you are not looking after your health properly,make sure you get good medical advice and most importantly be sure and follow the advice.

Hope you are back to fighting form pretty quickly,not easy to replace entire staff at TOP!!!
Take care.

I hope you are feeling better. I saw this today, a service call "eyeist" that you are probably aware of. Hell, I'd happily pay you $100 to look at 30 of my photos for 30 minutes with audio commentary. Five or eight people a week would really contribute to the old budget. I bet you could sign up quite a few folks for this service.

Well, at least the boss is sick too, instead of grouching at you for not getting stuff done. Get well soon, Mike!

Hi Mike,
first, I hope for your quick recovery. Also, would you consider giving us ideas for photo books to wish as christmas gifts? Your tips earlier years have been excellent.
thanks in ahead

...get well soon!

Mike, best wishes for a speedy recovery.
(Did that sound selfish?!)
Seriously take good care.

Norfolk UK

Although I enjoy this blog a lot, I don't see the need for three or more posts a day. If giving advice to someone older than me doesn't make me sound like an accomplished moron, I believe you should make it easy on yourself by publishing less and taking the spare time to rest, exercise (it's important, you know) and, of course, photograph more.
Take good care.

Yes, wishing you a speedy recovery. You may want to give yourself some annual leave over the festive season . We will miss you but will return!

Take care of yourself.

You're not getting any younger. in case you haven't noticed...

Mike, please look after yourself. Once you get well enough to work again, allow yourself to recuperate for a few days. This doesn't have to mean sitting and doing nothing, but just easing back in to things and giving yourself time to become fully fit.

You don't want to be bobbing along just under the fit and healthy mark for ages, at risk of another illness.

Get well soon, Mike. First things first. - Ben

I hope you feel better soon, Mike.

And stop approving comments!

Wishing you a quick recovery from London Mike.

Hi Mike,

It may be time to give the whole crew at T.O.P. their weekend off!

Take care. You are part of our life now.

Get well soon and DO NOT push yourself.

hey Mike, you make a difference in Photography from the number of people who follow this site. You make people want to take pictures. No higher compliment than this.
Your sentiment, "Take Pictures While You Can", suggests a significant change in your health. I sincerely hope you get through this. You are one of those people who make a difference,, from way back in the Camera and Darkroom days, to now.
take care,

I had a classic anxiety attack, way back in medical school. I was sure I was having a heart attack. Chest pain, sweating, trouble breathing...the whole nine yards. Got checked out by the ER doctor, who recognized it in about three seconds. "Any stress in your life?" he asked. Well, I didn't really think so. I mean, it was the evening between the first and second days of the National Board Exam, a grueling 18 hour long test, passage of which is required to graduate. And my wife had come home that night with a positive pregnancy test, unplanned & unexpected. But stress? Naaaaah. I was coping just fine. Right doc?

ER doc: "You're an idiot".

If you can get your hands on it - long out of print - I suggest from personal experience that you read 'Relief without drugs" by Dr Ainslie Meares.

..."classic anxiety attack"...

Not unusual. The amount you spent on the D800 finally filtered through to your conscious mind...

(Glad you're feeling better, and that you know the cause. And now you know why I can't go into crowded stores. Or streets. Or stadiums. Or and or and or.)



If you are anxious about whether we care about you and if we'll be back to the site tomorrow and the next day, I think you can rest assured. If it's about whether you bought the right camera and lens combo, well that's another matter and you'll have to suffer through it like the rest of us.


You need to step away from that keyboard. An hour a day doing something different. Sing in a choir, do volunteer photography for an amateur theatre group, go play with the dog, anything really.

Listen to Taj Mahal sing Take a Giant Step.

Feel better, Mike. There's only one of you, so take care of yourself.

Hmm, well, that's interesting. Doctor's verdict: "classic anxiety attack." Times two.

(P.S. John Camp called this, by the way. Good call.)

I've gone through Xanax withdrawal, twice.

Take a week to ten days off. We'll run the blog for you! That should give you some anxiety!!!!!!

Just need 10ccs of Lucy making chocolates should do the job; or Groucho cooing at Mrs. Upjohn "Dumont (kittenish after Groucho steals a peck): You make me think of my youth. Groucho: Really? He must be a big boy by now."

Get well soon, Mike. I have a bit of anxiety problem too, so maybe I can relate with you at some level.
That said, I suppose it would be very reassuring for your regular readers to see a one-line update on your health while you take time off to recover. Not a lengthy post, just a word, just to feel 'connected'. :-)
Best Wishes!

"...classic anxiety attack."

Glad to hear that's all it was.
This would be a good time to kick back and check out a copy of "The Sopranos".

Been there. It sucks. Good luck.

I hope you are feeling better, this a great blog, you do good work!

Advice from someone who has also experienced an anxiety attack, and happens to have an MD degree: lay low on the coffee (I know that hurts) and tea, and make sure that you are not hyperthyroid.
And do not feel bad. A professional baseball player this past summer went through one, and had the courage to make it public.


With the whole ritual - radical. But it takes a little time.

Add a good period of return to basics, away of the pixels: LF, as you have a so lovely camera!

And we're all here, dear Mike! Cheers.

You definitely need a break or to find another rhythm. And perhaps cut back a little on the coffee. I remember in high school, all of a sudden I had killer migraines from nowhere. The family doctor sent me to have a CAT scan -- nothing. He then asked me, how many hours a night I was sleeping. (About 4.) He prescribed a little rest (and some migraine meds, which actually sent me to sleep, i.e. forced rest).

From then on, as soon as I got a migraine I knew exactly what it meant. Having your body tell you to slow down is frustrating as all hell as you realise you can't physically keep up with your ambition, but unfortunately we all have limits.

Good luck, reposez-vous bien!


Attn: TOP default Director of Personnel

How about reprising TOP's "Greatest Hits" to launch automatically at breakfast time (EST) each day. This will take care of the first shift of TOP's usual 3-shift day. No Comments. (Just the opening paragraph or photo with a "Read more" link.)


"Around the Web" links.


An I will not comment today option which will automatically be published provided the reader signs in as usual. (This is actually a "roll call" or "present" feedback button.)

Mike, you can always come in with your "standard" blogpost anytime (day, night, or red-eye shift).

Best wishes to you

My family's general advice if things have got you down to the point of such an attack is to go out for a long walk, with or without a camera. It works quite well.

But anyway you should know that you can rely on a huge community for support which is hardly going to go away.

Ah yes, anxiety attacks. I felt kinda stupid when the doctor told me that. I had these several times and still haven't learned, it seems.

Make sure you take the time for this, and drop anything that is not urgent or important to you. Good luck!



I had anxiety attacks while recovering from neck surgery five years ago. Not fun at all. It was during this same period that I cashed in some Savings Bonds and bought my first DSLR. My wife still thinks I bought the camera under the influence of Lortab and Xanax.

Take care of yourself, Mike.

Hi Mike,

We're all on your side here. Glad to hear you are okay.

That earlier post, where I talked about how dreadful making yourself have a "sense of urgency" is? This is it: this is how I learned that is a problem! Great personal cost indeed.

Anyway, I'll keep buying things through your links, wishing you well, and perhaps I'll comment a little less often.


Hmm, well, that's interesting. Doctor's verdict: "classic anxiety attack." Times two.

Interesting in a positive sense, I think. That's a relief! Keep well and enjoy life.

Hope you feel better soon Mike, please do take it easy for as long as you can manage, we'll all be here when you come back!

Chill out, we aren't going anyplace.

Classic anxiety??? And that kept you from work? What a wimp!

Just kidding, really. I've suffered from anxiety for years and I know how debilitating that can be. Hang in there, dude. But you better come back with pearls of wisdom.

All the best for a speedy recovery. Take it easy.


Don't worry about it.

(tongue firmly in cheek)


Get well in your own good time, Mike.

(In the meantime, I'll still be dropping by to click on the Amazon link.)


I have had a couple full blown anxiety attacks myself. The last one put me in the state of breathing into a paper bag trying not to pass out. So, as people like to say, " I feel your pain" and I would add the fear that goes with it. Just know that you are beloved by all that come to the TOP.


No advice. Just a hug.

Get well soon, Mike.

Hope you get well soon, Mike! I know several people who have had anxiety attacks, and it seems that it can take a bit of time and some changes in lifestyle and attitude to get well.

Que te mejores.

Get Well Soon Mike.

Cheers! Jay

Rest up Mike and get better in your own time.

Mike, you are a global treasure. The John Lennon of the photographic community. You are loved and respected more than you could know. Peter

Now, now. No need to be sarcastic. [g]


Take a rest and look again at that beautiful Steidl edition of August Sander, that should help.

Get well Mike

Anxiety attacks are better than the alternative diagnosis but, from personal experience, they are no fun and, in some cases, can take a while to "recover" from, if that's the rigth word. Pay attention to your body and how you're feeling, and reach out for professional help if needed!

Here's something to calm you down: I get more from your blog, than the enthusiast magazines.

I just thought you should know.

Take care Mike.

Best wishes.

I hope you get better soon. I suffered from severe anxiety after being successfully treated for cancer. Deep breathing helped me get through it. That and reading TOP every morning.

"Take a week to ten days off. We'll run the blog for you! That should give you some anxiety!!!!!!"

That's actually not a crazy idea. There must be some way that the crowd here could entertain ourselves for a week or so when Mike needs to take some time off. Perhaps lining up a weeks worth of guest posts with guest moderators, or something similar. Not that crazy at all.

I second all the best wishes, and third the recipes for recovery: more Marx Bros, less coffee, more exercise, more dog, more photography, fewer posts - and we will all click back from here till xmas and beyond every day so your clicks stay up, without fresh posts. Your body is speaking, so listen. And more Marx Bros. Honk! Give us a Xmas photo essay on Waukesha - home of Les Paul! - rather than write. I'd like to see that.
Best PB

Get well soon and take care!

When the symptoms start to appear:

1) Tell your wife or loved one you are having a panic attack.
2) Open the window in your domicile that gets the freshest breeze, and stick your head out as comfortably as possible (open the screen if you want to) and fully respire the fresh air for as few as ten or as many as fifteen minutes, or until you realize that the worst is over and that you WILL go back to "normal".

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