Sunday, October 18, 2009

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was 10/18/09

Yes, it's Sunday morning and an off topic look back at the week in photos I've taken and in words. Once again, I have no "I'm thrilled by this" photographs. The weather has been icky this week here. Right now we're in our second nor'easter in a row. For those of you on the left coast, that's a storm with heavy northeast winds and rain (or snow) heading up the coast and socking the area with a huge punch. It's rain here, but a wicked cold rain as the temperatures are in the low 40s. Thankfully I'm in for the day. Between all the rain and dark morning commutes, I haven't had much fodder for fotos.

CBS Sunday Morning has a segment on nerds being the In Crowd these days. Hey, where was that popularity back in high school when it would have meant something to me? I so wanted to be in with the in crowd back then. Now, it doesn't really matter anymore. I've gotta be me; I've grown accustomed to being me. It would have been nice to be me with Mega Millions, but that didn't happen. I lost two bucks! (You must understand I'm never a big gambler.)

On the home front, my Bernie Madoff in NJ and PA real estate "investment company" wannabe landlord hasn't paid the water bill for my apartment building. A notice was posted (now gone) on the front door Friday when I got home from work. The water for the building will go off on November 3 if payment isn't made. Of course, the trash people might stop, too. I pay what bills I'm responsible for -- rent, electric, cable TV, phone, Internet ... I don't have the money to pay his bills. At least the heat finally came on. ARGH! I want my old landlord Fred Tedesco back! I also want the front door of the building fixed so I don't have to call the police because a homeless person is sleeping on the back staircase. Well, sleeping or dead. I didn't investigate. I had to go to work so I can pay my bills.

Healthwise this week, my cough still wants to bother me from the bout with bronchitis. Bless Riccola. My knee replacement knee is doing great, but the other one has been painful with all the rain and cold. I've postponed the knee replacement for the time being, though. I really have to have more of a nest egg gathered.

Local Plainfield blogger Bernice, the wonder that she is, found my bug from last week -- it's a crane fly. I was right that it doesn't bite but I counted its legs wrong.

Onto the photos for the week -- clicking on them will open them larger in a new window --

Where have all the squirrels gone?

Vincent, just about a half hour ago, watching the rain and wind from his perch. As you see, I don't have much color in the leaves here yet. You can also see why he loves the window -- for him, it's like TV for cats. Some of the local autumn reds are showing here, red maple I believe. But none of those are in my window view. Whatever kind of trees those are at the parking lot edge and in the neighbor's back yard only turn yellow each year. The leaves on them turn late in the autumn and bloom late in the spring.

North Street in Plainfield at night

Yes, I messed with editing this one. I take most of my night images without a flash. The key is to hold your breath so whatever lights in the photo don't blur a lot or show motion. I took this last night waiting for a bus by the train station as I returned home from work. It was between rain storms. The (still gray) building on the right is a mosque. The changes around Plainfield are interesting to observe. When I first moved to the area, there were the bow-tied Black Muslim men handing out pamphlets on the streets. Now, it's more Moslem than Muslim. I haven't seen the bow-tie guys in a long time. But I do see a lot of burqas and men with long flowing garments (along with high-top sneakers which look a bit incongruous, but if they're good with it, so am I).

More catnip please

This is what happens when you use a flash on a (mostly) white cat. This is Vincent's little catnipped cardboard chaise lounge. He loves it, but I'm sweeping up cardboard multiple times daily.

Plainfield NJ Transit Train Station

As I was getting off the train ... and a momentary respite from rain! The conductor in the shot is Scotty. He's a kindred spirit -- we both growl about NJ Devils fans on the train.

Let's get Mikey!

Mikey will eat anything! Berries of some sort growing near the Bridgewater (NJ) Train Station. Not even the birds or deer are eating these.

Autumn poison ivy colors

The urushiol veins really show in the poison ivy right now. If you were to rip the leaf, the black poison inside is still there. You do not want to rip the leaf. You do not want to eat the leaf. The advent of the poison ivy leaf gall mite has done a job on many of the plants this season.

More autumn poison ivy

I'm weird for liking this plant, eh?

Squirrel on a wire

Downtown Plainfield near the East 4th entrance to the train station.

Don't do it!

He kept wanting to make the leap to the point of making false starts. His goal was a nearby tree. Finally he climbed down and then ran up the tree. Wise choice, little squirrel.

Sunrise via billboards in Bridgewater

The sun is rising even later and, on my early mornings, it's just coming up as I hit Bridgewater, NJ. I tried to remove the billboards with my non-Photoshop program but it didn't look right. I don't have those mad Photoshop skillz. So, the billboards over the highway remain.

Why I'm not seeing Roofus

It's DARK when I get to the Plainfield Train Station a few mornings a week when I must go in early. And, this week, it's been raining on the days I get there in the daylight.

Predawn at the Plainfield Train Station

Remember, hold your breath and take the shot without a flash. ;-)

It lies

It is NOT open. But I had a nice talk with the scarecrow anyway. A business on Watchung Avenue in Plainfield in the predawn hours.

Hey, more predawn!

This is a section of East Front Street near the YWCA (not to be confused with the YMCA on Watchung Avenue). I actually enjoy the walk at this hour. Any denizens of the night are off the streets and what few people are around are heading to work.

Mums the word

A little more blurry than I like, plus there are pesky raindrops.

I do NOT like sharing my train with these people!

Yes, I said "these people." I'm talking NJ Devils fans. No normal human being outside of Halloween appears wearing little devil horns and creating a ruckus on the trains! The only thing worse than drunken loud NJ Devils fans going to the games are more drunken louder NJ Devils fans coming home from the games. Some of us are just plain commuters coming home after a long day of work. These devils should be isolated to their own cars on the trains.

A study of North Street in Plainfield

I used layers to keep the neon window and its glow on the wet street in color while making the rest black and white. This is the view from the westbound platform of the Plainfield Train Station. And, gee ... it's raining.

Newark-bound doubledecker

This car is empty as it's a closed car. Once they hit Westfield, I'm sure it will be open and filled. NJ Transit at the Plainfield Train Station.

Friend or F.O.E.

The old Fraternal Order of Elks building on Church Street in Plainfield. I love the sign and am glad they didn't remove it. Right now the building houses not only the Investors Mutual, but a banquet hall, too.

We needed ...

... a new Chinese restaurant less than six buildings away from another Chinese restaurant. Hmm ... not sure what's up with that. Neither Chinese place delivers. So, even though this is on the next (long) block away from where I live, I probably won't be frequenting them. For me, the joy of Chinese food at home is the delivery. Even though they don't deliver, somehow their menu ended up under my door. Remember, anyone can get in the building through the unlocked front door. They don't have shrimp toast. Now I can see no reason to go there at all! I would have preferred a Five Guys burger place in that spot. I took this shot fairly early in the morning when only the laundromat and Mi Ranchito restaurant were open.

How was your week?


Delee said...

My guess would be the trees that color late and leaf-out late are oaks. Here the oak leaves seem to stay on until late Nov/early Dec. That's right after you have everything else raked comes more.

The pic of Vincent scanning his world is it.

You have a steadier hand than I do...I would need a tripod for a longer shutter speed to get those shots.

As usual your photos make my week I truly enjoy your week in photos.

joy n said...

It's been cold and rainy here in upstate NY, too, and it seems to make any sickness just drag on and on, doesn't it?

Maybe you could get with the other tenants and start a rent strike or something. It's unfathomable that a landlord could do what yours is doing. To be without heat even for awhile, the possibility of being without water and garbage building up and to have a faulty front door that could endanger yours and your fellow tenants safety, is so irresponsible. I do hope somehow that those problems will be resolved for you soon. And as if all that isn't enough, you have to delay your knee surgery. You certainly have a lot on your plate these days, Jackie.

Vincent looks like a very happy and contented cat and is likely counting his blessings to be out of this cold dampness and spending his time being all cozy with you.

As much as I avoid poison ivy, I have enjoyed your pix of them immensely. There is much beauty there combined with that poisonous danger. Wonder if that's where the phrase "look but don't touch" came from.

The rest of your pix are fascinating, love all those dark of night shots. Like Delee, I could never hold a camera still long enough to capture those shots. When I take a picture I cross my fingers that I don't end up with "red eyes" of relatives.

Hope that Roofus is doing well. In that weather, he's probably in a dry spot somewhere doing his napping.

Thanks again, Jackie, for your Sunday OT post. Can't tell you enough how much I enjoy it.

Laurie said...

I wonder when you will be seeing fall for real. Soon, I would guess. I had to laugh at your rabid fan. People like that frighten me, too.

Good to see Vincent at his window. What a perfect spot for a Sunday!

I have no idea what to do about your building but I hate that you have to deal with it.

Sally said...

Enjoyed the weekly visit to Plainfield, and your take on the flora, fauna and folks of the city.

Your landlord situation must be infuriating! Maybe the tenants should get together and make arrangements to send some of their rent money directly to the water, heating and garbage-collection providers. And to hire a lock-smith too.

Good to see Vincent again, looking so happy and healthy. My cats love those corrugated cardboard/catnip scratching surfaces too--the shredded bits of cardboard get all over.

The dreary, damp, dark weather must be widespread, as we've been having it too, without the heavy rains. Bring on October's bright blue skies and crisp sunny days.

Becky said...

Hey, Jackie! I missed seeing the pictures last Sunday because we were in San Antonio celebrating my birthday.

I did go back today and check out last weeks pictures.

Thank you for giving us our Sunday dessert.

sizzie said...

Thank you, Jackie. I always look forward to your 'that was the week it was' post. Loved seeing Vincent seeing his world. He is feeling right at home.

I checked in the football game and can only imagine how late it is going to make TAR.

Anonymous said...

Oh my, Jets still in OT. Wonder if they'll show 60 minutes lst. Probably. Off to watch my taped UGLY BETTY...

Lars Eller said...

Hi Jackie
I don't like those Devil fans myself!
Jackie I was thinking about you and Mega Millions,
Never know, there are other ways you might receive a hefty sum.
Jackie did you keep all the e-mails we sent last year?
I know there were other people who'd respond to us in erratic manners, but it was your blog that eventually helped us from a horrific situation.
Last year people were getting ill with the flu, it was very different for us, I will say for one individual whom rarely gets sick, in fact we made several comments that we felt as if we were in a wild movie like the virus one, I will never forget the look in certain individuals eyes, they were in so much pain, I now know why the mix-up happened, one of the Royal's is still in San Marcos TX, I was told a 15 yr-old boy died last Thursday in San Marcos from H1N1, I just need to write about this.

I enjoy viewing your photos.

Jennasmom said...

Great photos, Jackie! I especially liked "A study of North Street in Plainfield." Love the color neon with everything else B&W.

I'm living on Halls Eucalyptus. They were out of Ricola. Had my cough the end of August & still hanging on at times. Hope yours (& mine) disappear soon. Haven't had much time to check in on TAR & Survivor. By the time I get around to watching everything, I'm too late to comment on stuff. I do always read your recaps, & then try to skim thru the comments. Miss everyone!

meb said...

Didn't get to comment Sunday Jackie, but love this post every week. I really enjoy all the pix...the Mums are beautiful and Vincent is Regal. I've said it before and I'll probably say it again; he is just Regal... see I said it again.

What happens if he doesn't pay the water bill...are you out of water? Is that legal? And that front door lock broken. This is so wrong on so many levels.

Our trip starts Saturday!!! YAY!

Alcohol people... get the Wintergreen kind... $1 per bottle. Wipe down everything you're gonna touch, especially phones other people use, and if you can't, then get your hands Prelled! I know, no such word but seriously... I wipe my work station down everyday with alcohol and I use Prell every time I have to touch something, including money. I've been "cold/flu" free for two winters now and this is going to be a third.

Loved everything in the post Jackie. Thanks.

Buzzmaam said...

I have been reading your blog for several years, primarily during the Big Brother seasons. I greatly enjoy your humor, and that of the posters, as well as the peek you give us each week of your world. Thanks for an enjoyable please to come and relax!