Friday, February 26, 2010

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was - 2/28/10

"Sunday morning, lots of time with nothing to do, lots of time to spend with you." - "Sunday Morning" by Spanky and Our Gang. Hmmm ... wonder whatever happened to them. I liked that group. I know -- I'm dating myself a bit.

But it is Sunday morning and it's time for my off TV topic look back on the past week in words and photos I've taken. It's been quite a week. I started it off with a bit of a stomach bug earlier in the week. Grr. Early in the week we also had a tremendous time with rain. Then we had Snowzilla (whatever!), yet another major winter storm. This one didn't hit us with as much snow as the previous one (whose snow was finally gone to piles and big patches). But the problem with the latest one was duration. It came down, along with wind, sleet and snow, for two days straight.

My work schedule this week was changed. Instead of my usual Wednesday off, I had Thursday off as my relief person is on vacation. I actually called in sick on Tuesday with my stomach bug. I worked Wednesday, scheduled off Thursday for the start of Snowzilla, called work around dawn on Friday when Snowzilla was going strong canceling NJ Transit buses and delaying trains, and took that day off. I worked yesterday. Bless paid time off benefits! Had I been losing pay, well ... I probably would have gone into work sick and stressed out from the commute.

Before Snowzilla hit, I was loving the fact that my (jaywalking a bit) shortcuts were actually clear enough to cut down on my walk time both in Plainfield and in Bridgewater near my workplace. Yesterday I had to add ten minutes back on my walk leaving home to deal with icy sidewalks and snow pile barriers. Plus, going home, once again the entire sidewalk is both blocked and not shoveled near the Bridgewater Train Station forcing me to walk in the street, then scramble over a snowbank, then negotiate about 20 feet of not shoveled walkway. Oh yeah, that's great with one knee replacement already and a second one which needs doing!

Let's see ... what else happened this week? Hmm ... during my every Monday morning pre-dawn work journey, I bumped into local blogger Dan Damon (of Plainfield Today and CLIPS) at the Plainfield Donut Shop. Or, rather, he bumped into me as he was the one who noticed me first!

I don't really have much else to report on this week. My replacement for both my day off and my call outs did a horrendous job. I so don't like messy workers who think fast equals good work in my office. I had to spend about an hour finishing undone things, cleaning, and trying to figure out what he actually did.

We're due yet another winter storm this week. If the timing is on schedule, it should be coming down on my day off -- Tuesday night into Wednesday. I've really had enough. No one enjoys a good storm more than I do, but the aftermath is such a pain! I'm tired of having to be so careful not to fall each and every step. I want to just WALK.

Onto this week's photos --

Berckman Street Bunny is thriving

As I walked home last night, I heard a noise. Now, there have been issues with robberies and muggings throughout the city lately. I looked to my right, expecting pretty much anything except a giant rabbit! Whoa! It's the Berckman Street Bunny of Plainfield, still huge and healthy! It's been more than a couple of months since I first saw him. He's still a good fifteen pounds and larger than most cats.

Walk right in, sit right down

Walk right in, sit right down
Baby, let your hair hang down
Walk right in, sit right down
Baby, let your hair hang down
Everybody's talkin' 'bout a new way of walkin'
Do you want to lose your mind?
Walk right in, sit right down
Baby, let your hair hang down -- The Rooftop Singers

Yeah, everybody's talkin' about a new way of walking, indeed. It's called fear for your life on ice and snow! They just got these benches cleared from the last big storm and now they're like this again. Oh, sit right down, please. Watchung Avenue across from the police station in Plainfield.

The boys of summer are hibernating

The TD Ballpark in Bridgewater (NJ) is wintry white. It won't be long until the boys of summer return.


This SO ticks me off. There, to the right, where you see the nearly fifteen-feet high snowbank, is supposed to be a SIDEWALK leading to the Bridgewater Train Station. TD Ballpark/Somerset Sports Rehab shovels the snow to this point and stops. NJ Transit only shovels the snow down the stairs and directly under the rail overpasses leaving a 500 foot section of sidewalk untended. Going down stairs is still an issue with my knees. Dozens of people come from the same direction I do and face the same dilemma. Shame on the idiots with the snowblowers and mini-plows from the ball park who do this to pedestrians heading to the train station! Shame on NJ Transit for not stepping up and getting this taken care of. I don't care if it's a dispute over who's responsible. Trust me, if there is an accident, someone will be responsible!

I think it's a movement

These smiley face balloons were tied outside of Hugo's at the corner of East Front and Church Streets in downtown Plainfield. There's three, so it must be a movement. No, I don't think I'll smile until spring. I edited this to keep the balloons in color, the background black and white.

Work to do at the Y

This was Saturday morning looking at the YWCA on East Front Street -- still not shoveled, nor were any of the sidewalks around it. I love slipping and sliding, don't you? Heck, even my landlord had our walk shoveled before Saturday morning!

Richmond Towers shoveled the bench!

A rarity this season -- a cleared bench for pedestrians. Not that I really want to sit on a very cold bench, but ...! East Front Street in front of Richmond Towers on Saturday morning.

In da 'hood after Snowzilla

Looking between houses on East Front Street over to East Second Street in the early morning on Saturday. It's hard to tell how much snow we had as the wind blew a lot of it into drifts. I noticed on one sidewalk that there was a large path shoveled, then a narrower path down to actual pavement. There was a good inch of packed ice you could see where the narrower path was chipped away.

Eat your heart out, Gene Simmons

Vincent does his best KISS tongue impression. Gene Simmons can't put his tongue over the top of his nose! All Vincent needs is some make-up.

When the skies cleared ...

... all the birds came out. This was Friday after it stopped snowing. It was weird -- the trees outside my window were set upon by bluejays and woodpeckers. I rarely see bluejays right here. One bluejay went into the squirrels nest! Even more amazing was the sight of a good half-dozen red-bellied woodpeckers. I don't recall seeing any woodpeckers in these trees before this winter, now they're regulars.

Silhouette of a bird

From the terrace as Snowzilla started

This was from the recessed terrace of my building as the storm started on Thursday morning -- big moisture-laden snowflakes, a freakin' winter wonderland.


East Second Street in Plainfield on Thursday morning.

Pink tutu?

A young women with leggings and what really looks like a pink tutu walks by the old Lincoln School building on Berckman and East Second Streets in Plainfield. I think that the school's now the Barack Obama Academy, an alternative high school, these days. But don't quote me on that. My education days, at least those in a classroom, are long ago and far away, and I don't have children. So, I'm not all that much up on the schools here. Thursday morning.

Emergency on Berckman Street!

Emergency! Emergency! Oh ... just another snow emergency. Never mind. Move along, nothing to see here. Berckman Street looking towards East Front Street, Plainfield. Edited to leave the sign in color, the rest black and white.

Pedestrian crossing

Um, okay. Y'see how dirty the snow was before the storm? Bridgewater, NJ.

Yellow line

The Plainfield Train Station just after the rain early in the week. I edited it to leave "yellow line" on the sign and the actual yellow line in color. It didn't turn out as good as I had hoped.


Do not cross tracks! Well, I had no intention of doing so, thank you very much. Plainfield Train Station before the snow hit again.

Rainy morning street bench

By Union College, East Second and Church Streets, Plainfield. Before the snow, naturally.

Westfield kale

In dirty snow Monday ... pre-Snowzilla. Yeah, I guess we needed fresh clean snow, right? At the Westfield NJ Train Station.

What the heck was I thinking?

I spotted this robin (and a bunch of his friends) Monday late afternoon in Bridgewater. They're probably regretting the decision to return now!

Pre-dawn weiners

Texas Weiners on Watchung Avenue in Plainfield on Monday morning pre-dawn. I edited it with GIMP's "posterization" and a heightened contrast to make the colors a bit more dramatic and to cover for a lack of focus with a more grainy quality. ;-)

Just down the block from Texas Weiners #1

We have Pharoah's Texas Weiners. Now, not being from here, I never heard of a Texas Weiner before I came here. But mention Hot Dog Charlie's and I'm in nostalgic heaven.

Thu-Thu Night!

Obviously not a photo of mine. This was the image for the storm we had on Thu Thu Night.

How was your week?


lynn1 said...

Great photos again this week.
I surely don't miss the snow. (I have lived where there was snow from Dec. til May.)
We have been grousing down here in Louisiana because it is has been in the 40's during the day.
I hope Spring comes soon for all of us.

Margo said...

Hey Jackie -
SO we made it to another Sunday. Great photos as always. Do you want us all to write letters to the transit authority about clearing the sidewalks. Maybe we could start an email campaign. Maybe someone in your internet community is a lawyer or law maker and can write an official looking letter.

Mom seems to be doing well in rehab. She is learning how to stand and pivot on one leg without using the broken one at all. SHe has an appointment on Friday to get her cast so maybe she will be more mobile? She thinks she is coming home after getting her cast - I don't. She needs therapy to strengthen her good leg and her arms so she can move herself around.
Til tonight and TAR. I will be around after the show since Mom has no WIFI in her room.


joy n said...

We had 18 inches of snow from the last storm and got a couple more over last night. I'm so sick of it all too. I can hear it falling off the trees onto our roof as I sit here. The one good thing about living in the country is you generally only have to walk to the driveway to get in your car. Our neighbor is still shoveling for us, including a path to the bird feeders, and I took him a bunch of homemade sugar cookies yesterday. I still want springtime now!

Loved poring over your photos as always. What do those bunnies in NJ eat?

You're right, Vincent could give Gene a run for his money with that licker!

Suzanne said...

Thanks Jackie for the photos and the write up. I stop by every week to read about your week. You amaze me, you know that? !

Becky said...

Jackie, I have a question -- what is a Texas Weiner? Never heard of it.

Enjoyed the pictures and comments as usual. I am sick of winter and can just imagine how old it is up there. I live in South Texas and we are having typical January weather here.

Me thinks that Vincent is letting you know that he is lucky. He gets to lay around a nice cozy apartment while you trudge through the elements to earn cat food.

mammaroos said...

Jackie i just love reading you sunday blog make me loving the west coast even more this month lol... Love the picture of Vincent hee hee is adorable..
Sorry about the crappy weather it is difinatley looking like spring out here in oregon we actually got to mow our lawn last week i know you havent seen grass ina while.. anyway again thanks for the great stories along with your pictures Can't wait for the Bachlor tomorrow night GO TENLEY
(((hugs))))) to you

Sally said...

I'm impressed! You keep getting the cutest photos of Vincent. I've tried at times to get a good photo of one of my cats mid-yawn or mid-lick, without much luck. Yet you do it again and again.

Why does the city let that sidewalk be buried by huge piles of snow? What an inconvenience and hazard. There oughta be a law!

I'd never heard of Texas wieners either. According to Wikipedia: a hot dog covered with brown mustard, onions and chili sauce.

Margo--glad your Mom is doing well!

Jackie said...

Thanks for the compliments on the photos!

Margo - My heart goes out to you and your mother. I know how having a leg tied up can tie you down!

JoyN - They eat Soylent Green ... it's people, it's PEOPLE! Er. Um. They eat vegetation, I guess. I know the Berckman Street bunny has folks in the neighborhood leaving him carrots and stuff.

Becky - As a plain hot dog eater, I haven't a clue. I don't like mustard and can only eat limited amounts of anything with tomatoes due to an allergy. Sally said they have brown mustard and a chili sauce. Not for me!

joy n said...

Jackie, maybe those bunnies are in cahoots with the birds. LOL!

I am about jumping for joy this minute. I fixed the sound on my computer! Three days without sound was driving me crazy. It took some sleuthing and turned out to be a default thingy. Me, who knows nothing about this technology, fixed it. No more virus and beautiful sound. I have my pute back and it's a beautiful thing!

Margo said...

Thanks a lot Jackie now I'm gonna have nightmares. I have not thought of that movie in like 30 years at least. =O


Laurie said...

Thanks for putting that song in my head. I couldn't have told you who sang it but I sure do remember the tune and how happy it is!

When I saw Vincent's pic this week I thought he was licking his chops with the joy of being inside a cozy home instead of outside in that white stuff!

I eat plain hot dogs, too. Not many of us like that, unless they are under 5 years old.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and your views. I so enjoy Sunday thoughts ... even when I wait until Monday to read them.

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