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Thursday, 22 March 2018


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Of course you will see all of us back next week - and don't exert yourself moderating this or any other comment before that time. Walk the dog(s) and take your rest. In the end, resting halfheartedly will cost you much more time than resting (your arm) one hundred percent for a week. All the best!

"We don't know what's going on" is not what you want to hear from your medical professionals, although it's far from the worst thing you can hear from them.

Given the choice of:
a) I have no idea when you will die or why.
b) I know exactly why you are going to die and when.

I would rather hear a thank you very much.

Go.....rest....read....eat....enjoy the quiet. I cannot think of any of your readers who would desert you after one week of R&R. We need to heal. On the day you return, I will go in for a pacemaker. I have atrial flutter, bradycardia and a resting heart rate of 35. All of this will be addressed by the pacemaker. I am looking forward to the increased energy. I too will have three weeks of forced quiet/limited motion, just as my garden demands my attention..sigh. We will both be fine.

There are worse things to lose than a few followers. Get well, Mike. That's all we followers ask of you.

Hope you get well soon! As the young people say "No Worries". We will be here when you get back.

As one who has gone through what you are experiencing PLEASE learn to dictate. Save your hand, save your arm. I had to and once you are on to it, it is not that bad.

Do not worry Mike about your followers. Looking forward reading from you, but only when you will feel ok for an healthy comeback.

Mike, stop worrying about us and care for yourself. Medical staff give you direction for a reason. Follow it. We will be here when you get back. Promise. TOP is worth the wait.

Whether forced, or self-inflicted, I've found that a change in my routine almost always results in a new door opening or a new insight that changes my world a bit. I hope your "vacation" is good for you and I wish you a speedy recovery.

You will not lose this follower, take the time you need to heal. Really, I doubt that many of your followers are so fickle that they would leave knowing your situation.
But I will say, I am going to have to alter my daily routine. You are probably are aware that Kirk Tuck has taken a sabbatical. Maybe I could quit drinking coffee too. Withdraw from all addictions at once.

Be patient, we'll do the same. Don't worry and get well as fast as possible but not faster. I am sure we readers are all with you - a virtual hug from all around the world.

You are doing the right thing. Take the rest that is prescribed, and what you need. Do whatever that nurse says too.

Upon your return, we will all be here for you.

Take care, and best wishes for the ultrasound, and a prescription of rest and recovery.

All the best, Mike. Have you considered guest posters?

Just rest and be well!

Maybe post pictures with a sound commentary then you wouldn’t feel you were dictating. I think you should try dictating without corrections and just be relaxed about the “typos”.

Happy to hear it's not heart related. Hopefully your arm/wrist issues will get better by taking a break.
A few years ago I got Dragon Naturally Speaking to dictate a bunch of text that needed inputting from old reports to computer files. It worked surprisingly well and I recommend it. I used it for straight input, but supposedly it works for navigation and editing as well. Might be worth a try.

We'll be here when you come back. Take as long as you can manage! Hope you feel better soon.

Being forced to do our thing in another completely unexpected way, will put us in a situation where we will be exposed to a different mindset and open new possibilities up. Maybe like being forced to use a wide angle lens when you only use a telephoto.

. . . the big worry is losing followers.

I wouldn't be overly concerned about that: I suspect we'll all be back here when you return.

Although you and Kirk Tuck announcing a hiatus in the same week admittedly is somewhat unsettling. Maybe you could talk him into providing a guest post on making portraits to help fill in the gap. There are only so many lens reviews we can read before our minds turn into mush.

Mike - please go and rest for as long as you need, and try to enjoy it! I, and I'm sure many others, will be waiting patiently for your return.

Having had a recent injury that required complete non use of the affected area I was advised that one day of assiduous non use would give the same benefit as a week of light or intermittent use.
So Mike no cheating, rest up we will all be here when you get back.

I'll be with you, Mike. Take as long as you need.


Take a short break and come back for a long time. I've hugely enjoyed this blog for years, including "off topic" posts. Looking forward to future posts when you are healthy.


Gah, it sucks when doctors have no answers when you're ill (I've been there for 11 years and counting...) I hope the ultrasound offers some suggestions of what to do next.

Rest up, we'll still be here when you're ready.

Get well first. Will continue to support you. Will always be here.

Hey Mike,
We're not that easy to get rid of, don't worry and feel better!

Godspeed. My best wishes. --Tom

Health first. We want you back. And Dragon Dictate is great for dictation.

As I've said before, the only constant is change.

As I've grown older my interests have changed . So I've been spending a lot of time perusing my future, , and it seems to have arrived. Using iOS, the internet, Skype along with a mic, it looks like I can do podcasts from anywhere.

Mike, I hope you can make the future work for you.

Well, I’ll be waiting out with you. I’ve learned too much from this blog to give up now, and besides, if I get bored, I can just dig through the archives. Get well soon.

We’ll wait. Take your time and let your arm heal. All the best.

Take it easy, Mike. Whatever happens, your health MUST come first. As an a-fibber of 10+ years, i can sympathize with you that these things never come at a convenient time. Once they track down the cause of your continuing arm pain, you will be back in the saddle. You have been through the scariest part already!
Best wishes.

Take care of yourself Mike. We'll be waiting.

Quit worrying about the blog, and heal.

Take care if yourself. We will all be here when you get better. In the meantime, talk to Kirk Tuck and either come back together or work out an alternate posting schedule to keep us (me) happy.

Dear Mike, I am a long time reader of your site and admirer of your writing, photography and general outlook on life. I have never commented here before as I am happy to let others to the talking (writing). However, I just wanted to send positive thoughts and best wishes your way in this time of medical travails. You really should take all the time you need to take care of yourself and recover. Really. Don’t risk messing up your hand. Your readers understand and we shall await your return, however long it takes. With kindest regards.

Oh, you probably know you demographic pretty well, Mike. None of us moves too fast. We'll be here when you return. We'd rather have you well for the long haul, for sure. Try to enjoy the down time.

Take your time. Look after yourself Mike. We'll still be here and eager for more when you are fully recovered.

Colin Dixon

Feel better Mike. That is what's important.

Take it easy and get well. I'll still be here on your blog whenever you are ready to return. You've written enough material that I haven't read yet to keep me going!

Take care.

Don’t worry about us Mike, take proper care of yourself. We’ll still be here. We need your scribbling!


Sorry to hear that you're having problems, Mike, and hope they improve quickly. But one symptom of ageing is that things take longer.

I once knew someone who had an operation to fix a problem on his knee. It didn't, or at not not fully. After the operation one of the first things his surgeon asked him was "what were hoping this procedure would achieve?". That was the moment he knew he wouldn't be playing rugby again...

Take care of yourself Mike. My guess is that your regular visitors are very sticky, but never tacky. The same goes for Kirk Tuck's following. Maybe you can keep each other company while you focus on your own needs for once :)

Everyone has periods in their life when they get ill and have to take time to recover. I hope that you have someone to help you through this. I am sure that your readers and supporters will not desert you as you have probably the most intelligent and interesting photo blog on the planet and we will all be looking forward to your next post whenever that is. Concentrate on getting well.


Have a well deserved rest.

Its what the doctor ordered!

Hang in there Mike. We’ll still be here.

Take your time Mike. In the meantime we will remember you in our prayers. If things get worse please let us know, so we will sacrifice a goat.

Milton there, demonstrating how important it is to back up your work.

Get well soon.

Churchill dictated. So you're following a respectable tradition.

Your presented picture (Mihály Munkácsy, John Milton Dictating 'Paradise Lost' to his Daughters) is so wonderfull to see and to contemplate about it. This was a valueable impulse for me to read more about J. Milton, his life and work,- I want to thank you very much for this impulse and all the many other ones concerning photography.

I do not think anybody who values your knowledge and humour you put into your blog, will leave. Just relax and enjoy the break, we will be waiting on your return..good wishes.


Please do not be afraid about losing followers. Looking after yourself is currently of paramount importance.

If followers leave because you are not well, then they are of the fair weathered breed who will never stand by you through thick and thin.

But I think you have more of the other kind. So hang in there. Take care, my friend.

Dan K.

Take it easy, mate, and be good to yourself. Yer 'elth is yer 'elth.
I wouldn't imagine that your readers are so fickle as to abandon ship, knowing that you are unwell.
Best wishes.

Hi Mike,
Hope the recovery accelerates. Maybe it is fortuitous that you recently started to experiment with podcasts....?


PS I slightly increased my Patreon pledge and hope that your drop in readers is negligible

Dude! Rest up. We'll wait very patiently.

All the best ... recuperate, revive and return!

Both TOP and VSL gone at the same time -- what am I going to read?

We'll miss you! Kirk is also taking a hiatus, so my two favorite "check in every day" photo sites are down. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

Dear Mike,
Be good - Go away, come back in May (or the 29th of March).

Your health is very important to me for purely egoistical reasons: Then you will keep on typing as long as possible. And I will keep on reading as long as possible.

Take care of yourself - I can wait, we can all wait! Therefore, get well, keep well, and then, when all is well: Type well.

I will be waiting.


A little rest is just what the doctor ordered. The question is, will you listen? Perhaps you should leave a right handed winter glove lying on your keyboard. You can't type in one of those. Oh, by the way, no sequin gloves are allowed Mr. MJ.

Hi, Mike,

Get better soon. Take a very well-deserved break from the typing and moderating. And rest up. No excuses!

Take care and take it easy,

Greg Clements

"...not what you want to hear from your medical professionals..."

Yesterday they told me "there's something in your lung that doesn't belong there"

Not good...

Get well soon, Michael.

It's time you join the current century. Speech recognition software has come of age. Try Dragon Speech Recognition software. You talk, it does the typing.
Near 100 percent correct, you can correct when needed.

"Maybe I can just post pictures."

Do you have the "it must be color" juried? Maybe that would work? Would give folks a lot to look at while you get feeling better.

Take it easy! And don't post any comments!

You won't lose this follower if you don't post for a month—or six, if that's what it takes for you to get well! Just get well.

Mike, we are most concerned for you and we’ll be here when you get back.
Do we need to raise some money for your medical expenses. Years of information, education, erudition and entertainment means we owe you, so don’t hesitate to shout for help - when you’re back.

Wishing you a speedy recovery


I personally believe all your loyal readers will still be here when you've had the necessary time to recover and are ready to return to typing with both hands, BUT as you've mentioned, a lot of the affiliate links depend on ongoing traffic visiting TOP.

Therefore, I submit the following suggestion:

You've had a lot of guest posts in the past, and in celebration of your recent birthday and to help out during your recuperation, put out a post inviting: Ken Tanaka, Jim Huges Gordon Lewis, Geoff Wittig, Eamon Hickey and any others to submit a post or two for TOP.

You don't need to edit or even type to post them, and they can keep the blog from appearing to have gone dark.

In the mean time, we will all use those affiliate links to keep your spirits up and the cash trickling in.

Just rest up, Mike. We will all still be here. You are too good for us not to be.

take your time, have a break and do only care for your health. Wd will wait.

Best of luck with the recovery, also is now a good time to mention I was surprised at how much I liked the podcast ?

Aloha Mike,
Don't know if this helps or hurts, but I think your anxiety about missing days is somewhat misplaced. While I'm sure you have many readers who turn to you daily, I believe there are many others who read you like I do - once in a while. When I want something intelligent, interesting and pleasant to peruse, I will turn to your blog, put up my feet, and with a cup of coffee in hand, scroll back and catch up on the posts I have missed. An explanatory note such as you have written is all I need to understand why there are missing days - it distresses me not at all (except in this case, where there is some concern for your health). It certainly wouldn't even occur to me to abandon you because you weren't there on a daily basis. And in the other circumstance, your daily readers, why they are your most ardent admirers, obviously, and I'm sure wouldn't consider leaving because you missed some posts.
I guess there might be some sort of reader who would quit a blog if it weren't there every day like clockwork, but I can't imagine what sort of person that would be and I'm sure there aren't many of them.
And as for a blogger only being as good as his most recent post, nonsense - it's a body of work and a history of excellent writing easily overcomes the occasional sub-par or less engaging item - not that you ever have such ;).
Anyway, please rest, take care of yourself and be well! Stephen

Best Wishes Mike, hope it just turns out to be bad discipline on your part and a week (or more if necessary) brings about a full cure. I got RSI once and it took almost 2 weeks to get the full use of my fingers and wrist back. Never had a problem since I retired though!

No need to worry about your followers going away, Mike. This is simply the best blog in the photographic world! Concentrate on getting well.

Have you considered an 'Audio' Blog in the interim.

A series of podcasts might work. An audio diary might be of help anyway.

Good luck with your recovery.

Hope to be reading you again soon.

Mike, wishing you a speedy recovery and well deserved rest. With you taking a break for physical health and Kirk taking one for mental well being I feel quite light on the reading this week! But seriously, take care of yourself, your readers understand and will be here waiting when you're feeling better.

Mike (private or not, it is up to you)
You are thinking about "going away like this". (Why not write "pass"?) There is no good or bad or appropriate time for anything. Trying to take control of life (or anything) is only an illusion of us, which might - I am sure it is - very well be wrong. Of course we try, but we should mot take it too sternly. Self-pity does not help, it is not constructive. It is as it is. We are not that important in the whole context of things. Just think of The Sun (not Sunny 16 only ;-))
Before, I never understood when somebody said to me "live now!". Since I have seen some things happen, I think I am beginning to understand. It is only a beginning, but at least it is a beginning.
You are not a blogger. Certainly not only that. Although I suspected for some time already that this blog is about something different, not at all photography only, your sentence about being a blogger, made me think, you might try to redirect your self esteem (positively taken, not self esteem of an prominent, self indulging Person) to YOU as a whole, not only to parts of yourself. Your medical problems seem solvable, possibly curable, more so than e.g. cancer.
So do the right thing and take care.

I was thinking long should I write to you one more time after being rather uncomfortable with some of your posts lately. You wrote once, that I do not need to read it. In the end I decided to write you once more, although I do not know you. Publishing on the Net means, that you are a Kind of public person with rights and obligations even if you think you are not subject to them (I'm only saying is not strong enough). Well, just try it.

Sounds like you've being forced into audioblog mode! Speech to text is not my thing at all, enunciating punctuation marks is too weird for my 61yo mind.

Just relax and pretend we're not holding our collective breath for your next post, get well and solidly so!

Feel better and get better; so appreciate your blog. Miss reading it every day.

You are in a unique position to ponder the sound of one hand clapping. Keep us posted.

"we don't know what's going on" is a lot better from your doctor than hearing "oops"

hmmm... you and Kirk going silent. Maybe this interweb thing isn't all it's cracked up to be.

rest up, get well...

Get well soon, Mike.
And don't worry about us, we care for your health more so than we do your posts. As much as we love the latter. And believe you me, we do love your posts. But your good health must come first. Take care!

Wishing you a speedy return to good health, Mike.

It occurred to me that you could possibly probe your audience for the medical professionals among them (us) for insight into your malady, such as when you mentioned earlier that one reader, who was a doctor and knew about your procedure. The power of the internet can be used to your advantage, as in the past when your readers responded to your questions about photography, equipment, et al. I don't think there would be anything gregarious in an an effort to gather information from the group you've given so much to. Just an idea... no return note needed. Recuperate.
-Bob G.

Hi Mike, long time reader and Patreon supporter, first time commenter. Don't worry too much about your audience, I think we've hung around this long we can allow you some time off for self-care! Hope the docs get things figured out and the recovery goes well.

In the meantime, I just purchased that closeout priced "old" GX85 + 2 lens bundle through your Adorama affiliate link.

Not a comment to publish, but simply a quick "Get well" note. Mike, take care of your health first, and your readers will be happy knowing that you are doing better - we all hope you do.

Hi Mike, I wish you well and hope things are getting better with the arm. I feel conflicted about writing to you. I feel you have enough on your plate and I do not want to add to the "noise" that you must be bombarded with but then again you may appreciate well wishes from a loyal reader. I make sure to come to your site several times a day so that you web traffic numbers stay up and have used your Amazon links to buy a couple of purchases to do my part to keep the income flowing.
I hope you have taken this time to recharge and will come back stronger than ever. A suggestion for the future, perhaps you could get some of your fans to prepare articles to run when you are unable... just a suggestion but I suppose you have thought of that yourself.
I look forward to you being back.

I hope you have a full and speedy recovery!

Missed you..happy that you have recovered enough to be back! All the best...

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