Sunday, January 10, 2010

Off Topic - That Was The Week It Was - 01/10/10

How quickly the weeks go by! It's Sunday, time to take a look back at the past week in words and photographs I've taken. To be honest, with the exception of a Y2K kind of computer program meltdown at my workplace when 01/01/10 arrived, I've had an extremely uneventful week. It's been too cold to be eventful. I realize our weather here in the New York City Greater Metropolitan Area of New Jersey hasn't been as bad as some places ... but the cold, the wind! Ack.

I personally think there should be no reason for wind during the winter. I understand in the summer, spring, and fall that the wind plays a vital role in spreading seeds, spores, and stuff. But there's no reason for it now. Make it stop.

Television's new shows quasi-returned this past week. I'll get up a Bachelor discussion post for you before the next show. I don't watch that one, so I didn't realize it was starting up until it already did. I watched the two-hour Heroes. I just can't blog that one anymore. I'm too easily confused. I watched the People's Choice Awards and was so pleased that The Big Bang Theory won even if Jim Parsons didn't win. I'm not too happy that they're moving Heroes up against TBBT. I write up TBBT for CliqueClack TV, so I need to watch it live. I guess I'll be recording Heroes. Grr.

In other TV news, did you know it's Shoprite's CanCan sale? I swear this has been going on most of my life and now the song is stuck in my head once again. Oh ... and Jay Leno failed, eh? I figured he would. It doesn't matter to me -- I'm a devoted Letterman fan. But I think Conan O'Brien is getting the raw end of the deal if they put Leno back at 11:35 PM. I'll admit it was nice to have one less consideration of what to watch at 10 PM. I'll live, though.

So, as you can tell ... my life has been uneventful this week. I even had to make a photo op for myself because this week it was so uneventful. You'll see. Without further ado, here are the photos (clicking on an image will open it larger in a new window):

Still steamy windows ...

At Danny's Bakery on the corner of Watchung and North in Plainfield, NJ. This was taken pre-dawn and I edited it to have the windows in color, the rest in B&W. Baby, it's cold outside.

You woke me up for that silly camera?

Vincent, in black and white. He's been here for nearly four months now. He still has to leap on my shoulder, does his boneless cat droop over it, and purrs each time I come home from work.

Like ships that pass in the night

Two trains at the Bridgewater NJ Transit Station. (The one on the left is the one I was catching.) In the background is the TD Bank Stadium where the Somerset Patriots play baseball. But the boys of summer are long gone. As for the trains, since I commute on them, the old math problems in which two trains set out at a certain time heading towards each other, when do they ... crash? EEK!

I actually like the visual of NYC subway trains passing each other more than NJ Transit trains. On the subway in the dark, the trains go slower and are sometimes at different heights -- it makes the passengers look like they're from a different world or disembodied or suspended in time ... or something. NJ Transit goes by too fast, it's just a rumbling whoosh.

Westfield kale

The kale I photographed last year on East Front Street in Plainfield was replaced by icky bushes, half-dead now. I took this over by the Westfield Train Station.

Here, train! I'm waiting!

Plainfield Train Station. Yes, I messed with this. I first had him in color, the rest in black and white. Then I messed with the "posterize" setting (GIMP) which eliminates shades, then I changed the hue.

For those who don't know what that "bridge plate" thing is he's standing near, it's a plate they put over the gap so wheelchairs can board or get off the train. It can only be done on a raised train platform like we have in Plainfield. At the Bridgewater station, I have to climb in and out of the train. I was shocked last night when, for the first time, a conductor (one I've never seen before) asked if I wanted him to carry my bags up the stairs. I had done some shopping and was a bit weighed down.

Poison ivy in the winter

Trust me, you don't want to burn it. Inhaling burning dormant poison ivy can do a job on you. Bridgewater, NJ.

In which Jackie makes a photo op

I really wasn't getting any great photos this week. So I decided to ignore the fact that birds are conspiring to overthrow humans and fed the seagulls some crumbled Ritz crackers.


Help me! Help me! The birds are surrounding me!
Just walk through them.
But, but ... they're planning to take over the world.

Polly demands a cracker

Okay, okay ... everything sits better on a Ritz!

In the air

As I was feeding the gulls and snapping shots on the ground, I was occasionally just pointing the camera up without paying attention -- the joys of digital over film. Seagulls in flight on a sunny day always look pretty.

EEK! That is NO seagull!

I didn't even see this guy until I was going through my shots several hours later. As I mentioned, I was taking random sky shots as I fed the seagulls. Apparently a hawk wanted to see what was up with all of the seagulls. Well, either a hawk or a turkey vulture. The way it was silhouetted in the sun makes it hard to tell. Both types of birds are always flying around Bridgewater. It was big. And it was no seagull.

The ghost of Christmas past

East Front Street, Plainfield. No, it's not mine. I didn't put mine up this year. It stayed in its box. Yes, mine is artificial when I decide to put it up. I've never had a real one in my apartment.

Conspiring, I tell ya

I wonder if the four on their own wire think they're special or something. Bridgewater, NJ.

Spanish lesson for the day

Gratis tome uno -- free take one. I was hoping the box would be full of $100 bills. Alas, just newspapers.


Plainfield put in benches all over the city a while back. Well, not at many bus stops, but that's beside the point. Many of the benches have been vandalized or perhaps in a design flaw, the lowest slat has gone missing, exposing a rusty nasty metal piece. On some benches, the top slat of the seatback is missing and the same metal piece is exposed there, too.

Anyway, in the pre-dawn dark on Monday morning I set my tote bag down on this bench outside of Danny's Bakery on North Street to change my not-an-iPod battery. When I picked up my bag and turned to walk away, the metal piece snagged me good. OUCH.

The damage done

Thankfully, although there's an abrasion, it didn't rip my slacks. So I didn't run off to catch up my tetanus shots or anything. It wasn't metal ripping my skin directly. But, geez. Plainfield needs to fix those benches! I took this the day after. It's still pretty colors.

Bad for New Jersey

He won, time to get down the de-layering billboards, please. East Second Street, Plainfield, NJ


Another hawk nearby Roofus the Cat's old hangout on North Street across from the Plainfield Train Station. Although Roofus might not be able to get on the roofs anymore, the pigeons still hang out in the sun. Now, birds tend to all of a sudden all fly off for no reason -- maybe they're playing musical chairs or something. Maybe one says to another, "Let's all fly in a circle and land in different spots here just to confuse the humans!"

So, when they all flew yesterday when I was waiting for the train, it was no big deal. That is, until I noticed the guy on the railing looking up where the pigeons sit. Earlier this week local Plainfield blogger Bernice also photographed a hawk (and its leftovers). I believe it's a Cooper's hawk.

Guard dog

This is the guard dog from the gas station on the corner of Church and East Second Street in Plainfield. It's the first time I've seen him out of his regular abode in the five or so years I've "known" him. At night they lock him in the station with the appropriate "Dog bites first, asks questions later" sign posted. In the daytime, he has his own little outdoor fenced run (and barks at passerby) with a trailer he can go in and out of for shelter. But yesterday he was out in the larger fenced lot playing with one of the attendants. He actually wagged his tail at me. But, of course, there was a fence between us.

Mainly for any local readers

Is the Business District Police Sub-Station moving to the Monarch? These are in the windows of one of the offices there. If so, the police won't like everyone looking in. They always keep the blinds closed at the location down the street. East Front Street, Plainfield.


I did this to a friend's car at the Bridgewater Train Station the other day when we had some overnight snow. She works overnight in Manhattan, so her car was still in the lot when I arrived to work in the morning.

Winter hits businesses hard

This was early the same morning as the smiley face. Now, every other season the Mi Ranchito does a thriving business with all of the early rising day laborers, landscapers, and such. Usually there isn't a parking spot in front of the restaurant to be had. The last few weeks, this has been the norm -- a car or two. Yes, I edited to do the B&W/color bit. East Front Street, Plainfield, NJ.

How was your week?


Sally said...

Your Sunday blog never disappoints, Jackie. Thanks for another interesting visit.

The photo of that poison ivy surprised me--I never would have identified it. All the poison ivy I've seen was close to the ground with small stems, nothing like the sturdy stalks in the photo. Guess I should be more aware.

You're building up a lot of photographic evidence to support your bird conspircy theory. I had a friend who used to say that all the birds were actually electric replicas which had to sit on the power lines to recharge.

Vincent looks regal, your bruise looks nasty, the hawk in flight is impressive, but the hawk by Roofus' roof is scary, and I feel sorry for the dog who spends each night alone at the gas station.

And I love the fact that Vincent jumps on your neck each time you come home. I've never had a cat welcome me like that!

Becky said...

Another great photo week (may have had to make a few of your own photo ops, but they were enjoyable). The big black bird (among the seagulls) was a picture showing you that the Black Bird of Poop is real and looking for a place to nest. Thank you for confirming to all the non-believers that it does exist! LOLOLOL (sometimes I crack myself up) Have a great week, Jackie.

Sizzie said...

Bad Bench ! I hope some of your local readers will take care of the problem. Jackie, you are really something ! You are out in the snow, pre dawn and taking pictures and drawing happy faces. Thanks for letting us in on it. : )

meb said...

Jackie, really enjoyed the pictures, especially the smiley face. It looked so symmetrical, I thought you were going to tell us that you watched someone do it. Drawing a circle is real talent... and I'm serious.

I love the fact that Vincent drapes over you 'boneless'. That sounds so neat. My 60 pound dog has tried to do that, but thankfully he hasn't mastered it yet. I'm kidding, but he does still try to get in my lap.

I'm geared up to tape a few of shows you listed. I did get to see Bachelor. I hope he doesn't get into too many crying jags. I don't mind a man showing emotion, but I don't like cry babies. Oh my, I'm so mean.

Thanks for the sidebars when you get them up (you may have already, I came directly here from reading your post). Anyway, thanks.

Margo said...

Hey Jackie-
We need a new Project Runway discussion area. It starts on the 14th.

Anyone want to be in a Project Runway Pool?

NC in GA said...

Thanks for another great week in commentary and photos! That Vincent is very handsome! Some people say that cats have no personality and they don't care when you come home. Mine will welcome me at the door and are happy to see me, however not quite like your Vincent. He's a real sweetie!

cha cha said...

Jackie, loving the photos and Sunday blogs.
I know I haven't commented in a while. Just really busy with work and the kids..Miss talking with yall and can't wait for BB to start again...

joy n said...

Love the birds in flight, the happy face and that still cozy looking bakery. Didn't like seeing that hawk in Roofus' territory.

That is an ouchy-looking bruise you've got there.

That poison ivy "bush" looks eerily human in a way. Think I'd cross the road to pass it.

On the other hand, what a beautiful sight to see that kale bloom in the middle of winter!

Vincent looking as handsome and healthy as ever.

Rochelle said...

The Kale is BACK!!! in a different spot, and a totally different kale plant apparently, but it's our KALE!

And Jackie, once again I am wowed by you... this time your ability to draw a near perfect smiley face circle (without making any other imprint in the snow to boot)! That's impressive! :-)

SYDNEY said...

I am AMAZED that they are favoring Leno if his show is not working by booting Conan back ... what a nightmare for him. I never liked Conan much or his show, even though I've taken clients there on many occasions and did some photo shoots with him too. But he doesn't deserve this. Can you imagine how he's worked toward the dream job all this life, and was awarded it but made to wait 5 years, then gets it, the dough, the LA lifstyle for his wife and kids, and the PRIME SPOT on night tv talk. And then the older guy pushes you back?

Maybe Leno is not working as much as Conan is not?

I love it that Vincent is so happy and loves you so much. That's just such a great story.