Sunday, November 01, 2009

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was 11/01/09

It's Sunday morning and time to ramble through the past week in words and photos I've taken. Although it was a rather uneventful week in my life I certainly took a slew of photos I want to post here this week. Mind you, I don't think all that many are truly works of art or anything. A lot of them I just want to share with you.

The weather has been iffy once again this week with lots of rain amongst a few days of sunshine. In observing nature around me, all I can think is Dorothy's line from The Wizard of Oz once she was in the Emerald Castle ... something about things happening so fast there. Well, that's how nature is. One day the trees have glorious colorful leaves, the next day they're barren.

I saw Vincent intent on looking out the window the other day. A gang of squirrels were building a nest. Now, I've seen squirrel nests in trees before, but I've never seen them being built. It was amazing. The squirrels (about four of them) were taking death-defying leaps grabbing onto loose leaved twigs and forcing them off the tree with the weight of their little bodies. Then the squirrels would actually fall to a lower branch with their prize nest fodder, scurry back up to the nest site, and stamp the new material into their nest. Alas, none of the pictures turned out. But once the leaves are off the tree, I should be able to capture the nest.

Other than that, life goes on. Vincent is doing well. However, what I thought was a real sleepy and somewhat lethargic cat in the beginning is really a ball of energy in disguise. I'm wondering if he might be younger than the estimated five years from the shelter. His favorite toy of all is the collar from the shelter which I cut off of him weeks back. He carries it around in his mouth, throws it in the air, chases it ... and I keep finding it in his food dish. I do NOT put it there!

Work is work. Halloween came and went, wet and murky. Since I was at work, I didn't see any children. I didn't even buy any candy for them this year knowing that since it would be a Saturday I wouldn't be home until after 8 PM. I wouldn't answer the door that late here since I've never had any trick or treaters in the earlier hours.

Onto the photos from this week, clicking on them will open them larger in a new window:


I did my layering, black and white with a color bit to this photo. His nose is really pink, not a light grey. But the nose didn't turn out right, so I kept the color to his magnificent green eye(s).

Ohh ... a TV camera!

This is on Watchung Avenue across from the Plainfield police station earlier in the week. My camera wants to grow up to be a TV camera. I told it to dream a bit lower.

So this is it?

It was for some Spanish language station and, from my limited understanding of Spanish, something about New Jersey towns with large Hispanic populations. Yes, Plainfield ranks.

Danny's Bakery, Plainfield (edited)

Yeah, I did all kinds of messing with this photo and my photo editor. And, yes, it was raining again, or still.

Plainfield Train Station View

Yes, I edited this shot, too. I made the background black and white focusing on the leaves, neon window and its reflection, in color. I should have done the fallen leaves in color, but that was way too much work. The tree was barren the next day.

Serenading Sombrero Man

He was playing guitar and singing at Danny's Bakery at Watchung and North in Plainfield last night. Just to himself, no audience (they were ready to close). Nor was it for Halloween. It's just one of those cook perks which come with having a diverse town.

Radioactive Icicles

These icicles are some sort of corrosion effect in railroads and subways. The icicles and patches of ice where they've dripped on the ground exist year 'round, even when the temperatures are in the 90s. Very weird and I won't stand under dripping ones! I took this last night at the Bridgewater Train Station (NJ) and you can see the rain in the background. No wonder the World Series game three was so delayed!

My Cool Office Watercooler

TBS sent me this neat little George Lopez Tonight show promotion -- "watercooler talk" -- in anticipation of the new show. To be honest, my 11 PM TV viewing is kind of set, news and then Letterman. But the water cooler has been PERFECT for my office at work which isn't really close to a water or refrigeration source. I've been freezing about a third of the bottle each night, retrieving it in the morning, and adding fresh water. Yay, cold water in my office!

Look what that bike did!

Er, no. That tree has always been at that angle. Once again, outside of Danny's Bakery in Plainfield.

Who let the cat out of the bag?

Um, INTO the bag. That's my little bottle and can recycling bin with a fresh Trader Joe's grocery bag insert ... and a Vincent. I had to give him a Trader Joe's bag of his own for a fort.

The Kale Season Returns

Over at the Westfield (NJ) Train Station, they've planted a wide variety of kale plants. It's that time of year again!

More Kale

Even More Kale

Yet More Kale

One Giant Step

They must really be tiny steps if they're counting 75 of them. The sign is across one lane in the parking lot from Cheeburger Cheeburger. I don't care much from them because they glare at me for ordering Hamburger Hamburger. Westfield NJ Train Station.

Brilliant Colors of Autumn

Field Lights and Gathering Birds

I tell you, those birds are planning to overthrow the human race. The ball stadium lights at the TD Bank Stadium, home of the champion Somerset Patriots, in Bridgewater, NJ.

They Will Be Led By a Seagull

Beware. Remember, I warned you.

In the spirit of the World Series

Remember, you can't sue. At least not in New Jersey. Again, at the Somerset Patriots field where they play teams like the Newark Bears. Da Bearss.

The Numbers Increase

Run for your lives while you can!

Man On a Train

Don't sleep near me on the train or you might end up photo fodder. NJ Transit Raritan Valley Line.

Tim Burton Exhibit at MoMA!

Oh, I must go. How come they advertise Broadway shows and other NYC happenings at the Dunellen Train Station and not in Plainfield? We have a much cooler station! For those not familiar with it, MoMA is the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan.

Watchung Avenue in Plainfield

A Plainfield Police Department Harley is parked in front of Rosalina's where a small sign reads "We do doobies!" Hmmm, that had an entirely different meaning for me as a child of the 60s and 70s. It's a hairstyle.

Union County College Plainfield Campus

Red leaves lined the way earlier this week.

Droplets on a web

Ignore the small ladybug carcass. I didn't see the spider, it's possible he was evicted for poor housekeeping.

Steeple at Sunset

The Methodist Church steeple in the waning light of day. East Front Street, Plainfield, NJ.

An Autumn Afternoon in Plainfield

Taken from the 4th Street side of the Plainfield Train Station when it wasn't raining one day.

Fall Leaves and a Streetlight

Predawn one morning -- East Front Street in Plainfield near the YWCA.

Supremo Before the Dawn

A lone figure walks in front of the Supremo Supermarket in the predawn hours. Plainfield, NJ

Boulevard of Broken Dreams

My predawn walk to the train station takes me past the silliness which is the Monarch Luxury Condominium building in Plainfield. Talk about a project which was poorly planned, there you go. Well, it's better than walking by the vacant field for so long and I do like the sidewalk with its benches.

Jackie's 'hood at sunset

The building on the right, a senior citizen mid-rise, has its own generator for when there's a power outage. On the left is the lower two-story Norwood Gardens apartments. East Front Street in Plainfield. I live in neither place, but nearby.

How does this keep happening?

I've posted before about really horrible off the road crashes in my neighborhood. I just don't understand why this keeps happening. Here you see the tracks narrowly missed a tree and did indeed kill the NJ Transit Bus Stop sign. This is at one corner of my East Front Street block in Plainfield.

Some people go both ways.

As said the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz. East Front Street, Plainfield, NJ way close to home.

Not too much Halloween this year

I noticed far fewer homes all decked out this year. The economy? I don't know. This home on East Second Street in Plainfield usually has the entire yard done up. Not so this year. Yes, I used layers for the B&W with some color effect.

The other end of my block

I live on a really long block.

When the white eagle of the North is flying overhead
The browns, reds and golds of autumn lie in the gutter, dead.
Remember then, that summer birds with wings of fire flaying
Came to witness spring's new hope, born of leaves decaying.
Just as new life will come from death, love will come at leisure.
Love of love, love of life and giving without measure
Gives in return a wondrous yearn of a promise almost seen.
Live hand-in-hand and together we'll stand on the threshold of a dream.
- "The Dream" from "On the Threshold of a Dream" by the Moody Blues

Cloudy Morning Lights

The Plainfield Train Station has the kewlest lamps in town.

How was your week?


joy n said...

36 pictures! You've been busy. Love the leaves, the kale, the sunrises, setting suns. We have seagulls out here in the country and I'm always wondering why they come so far inland. We have Lake Ontario just north of us. Must be a food issue.

Alas, mostly all the leaves are gone around here, too.

Love that web pic, too. I think webs are magical. Don't like the creatures that make them so much, but they do create beauty. RIP, ladybug.

Can't wait to see some shots of that squirrel's nest. Plenty of them around here but they're always to high to get a glimpse of.

Vincent gets more handsome as time goes by. Absolutely agree about his green eyes. Sounds like he is enjoying his life with you to the max!

With the time change, hope you will be able to catch a glimpse of Roofus for us. Worry about him.

Your town looks glorious. And homey. Love the sombrero man.

We had very few trick-or-treaters this year. Kind of sad. Most kids around here seem to go to parties instead. Safer, and understandable. Times, they are a-changing.

Jackie, thanks again for the Sunday morning pick-up!

Jackie said...

Joy - Seagulls are scavengers. Although we're perhaps 10 or 12 miles from the nearest shore point here, I recall seagulls at the dump near Albany when I was young. I think their name is a misnomer.

My town, Plainfield, has a reputation for being a rather rough city dating back to the race riots of the 60s. To this day it's known for being a bit city gritty with urban gangs and violence. But I've lived here for eight years and enjoy the city, its history, and the people who live here. Folks who only think they know Plainfield from the news would be surprised to know what a friendly and interesting town it is.

joy n said...

Jackie, thanks for the info on the gulls and they are remininscent (sp?)of The Birds at times. I'll keep my eye on them. LOL!

We had race riots in Rochester in the 60's, too. I was 16 and scared to death at the time.

Thanks to you, we're all learning how much of a friendly, interesting and beautiful little town Plainfield, NJ is.

Laurie said...

I love the pictures, as usual, and I'm so glad to see the return of the kale.

Love the Vincent photos and I'm glad to hear he is perking up and being playful. He loves his new home, doesn't he? He is so handsome yet so humble.

We don't have a real fall here, just longer shadows, shorter days and chilly nights. Thank you for sharing the fall pictures.

See you later for TAR!

Sizzie said...

Beautiful Vincent with the green eyes. You are bringing out the best in him, Jackie, making him into a frisky kitty again. I love all your photos and still wonder at the layering and how to do it.

monty924 said...

Beautiful pictures once again. Your Sunday blog is always a treat. My favorites are the Kale, random people (seranading sombrero man), the autumn leaves and, of course, Vincent. My kitty will hop, or crawl, into any open box or bag whether they are empty or not. I think she just likes the noise that bags make.

Well, I've come down with what so many on here have had this cold/flu season. I had to go to the Urgent Care yesterday because the congestion was just getting worse despite taking all the right meds. Luckily x-rays didn't indicate pneumonia but just a really bad case of bronchitis and dehydration. Now two shots, three new prescriptions, and a ton of fluids later, I feel a little better. Steroids work wonders when you have the kind of chest tightness that I was experiencing yesterday.

The cough is what I dread. I have complete appreciation for Becky's description of her cough on the last Survivor post.

Looking forward to TAR this evening since I've been a couch potato all day anyway.

~~Silk said...

The "icicles" are actually stalactites (and stalagmites at the bottom of the drip), exactly the same as those you'd find in a cave. They are composed of dissolved stone leached out of the construction materials (usually mostly limestone from the cement and mortar or from the stones used in construction). You also see them under the arch of overpasses on the Taconic Parkway. Acid rain contributes to their growth.

What photo editor do you use?

Jackie said...

Silk - Thanks for the info. As for the photo editor, I usually use ArcSoft PhotoStudio which came free with my scanner years back or GIMP, free on the web. Most of my photos aren't edited except perhaps a bump in contrast or sharpening a bit as I often resize my photos smaller for posting.

Sallly said...

I'm with Joy: really enjoy the photos of the sunrises, sunsets, leaves and kale.

Love that first photo of Vincent. It looks like it could be a promotional or advertising shot. Glad to hear that he's become so energetic and playful. Who needs to buy cat toys when there are old collars and empty grocery bags around, and squirrels right outside the window that need close supervision?

Your photo of the spider web is captivating and surreal. If you hadn't explained what it was, it would've taken me a while to figure it out.

Your train station's street lights really are nice--much more aesthetic than the norm.

Sizzie said...

We have a family cat, Jackie, who loves elastic pony tail holders. They are a circle of really firm elastic not more than 2 inches around. The cat does just what Vincent does with the collar and always leaves it in the water bowl. Either she prefers it wet or loves her water bowl. Not sure which.

Becky said...

Oh, Jackie, it is so good to see your pictures. Some great shots this week -- well every week.

Becky said...

Monty, I am going to the doctor tomorrow. Drugs, I want drugs. I spent most of the day in bed.

Hope you feel better soon.

Sue said...

I live in Buckeye country in the middle of Ohio, about as far from the ocean as anywhere else in the world. We occasionly see seagulls in our supermarket parking lots, particularly in the winter.

RJM in SC said...


Taiwan Brown said...

Radioactive Icicles look like mold :(

I remember when Plainfield Plaza said Macy's...

Taiwan Brown said...

Radioactive Icicles look like mold :(

I remember when Plainfield Plaza said Macy's...

meb said...

Taking forever to get over here Jackie. So much to do, so little time you know.

I love the whole bevy of photos. You really should publish a book. I bet it would sell. You are so creative.

Love Vincent in the bag. Did you color his eyes greener in that one or are they really that green? Beautiful.

Kale is back... YAY... That means lots of pictures of that too.

Jackie said...

Taiwan - That was before my time in town, the Macy's bit. I hear downtown used to be a shopping mecca.

meb - His eyes are that green in natural light. With a flash (as in the bag), they look more yellow-green.

Maureen Greenbaum said...

I was looking for a image of Union County College Plainfield and Google image search found your beautiful picture of the building with the trees blazing red
"Union County College Plainfield Campus-Red leaves lined the way earlier this week."
so I visited the page on your blogwhere there are so many wonderful photograph. Added your photo to Google maps

Maureen Greenbaum said...

I was looking for a image of Union County College Plainfield and Google image search found your beautiful picture of the building with the trees blazing red
"Union County College Plainfield Campus-Red leaves lined the way earlier this week."
so I visited the page on your blogwhere there are so many wonderful photograph.