Sunday, July 18, 2010

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was - July 18, 2010

It's Sunday morning, time for my weekly off topic look back at the week gone by in words and in photos I've taken. I'll be posting the late night/overnight hijinks of those lovable (cough) Big Brother hamsters a bit later this morning.

This week, like so many this summer, found us in yet another heat wave. While I have air conditioning I can adjust to my suiting (as long as I'm willing and able to pay the bill) at home, my office at work leaves a bit to be desired. The commute, especially in the afternoons going home, has been horrendous.

I don't like being sweaty just walking out the door. The latest heat wave is expected to last well into the week. Then it will drop down to 89 and not be classified as a heat wave. In my mind, it's a heat wave until I stop being miserable in the weather!

I don't know if it's the weather or what, but I took many odd photos this week, nothing artsy. I seemed to be running too late or sweating too much to really be energetic about the camera. Work and the BB coverage added to the weather seems to be taking a toll on me. Onto the photos -- clicking on an image will open it larger in a new window.

Can I get a witness?

Yep, I've been summoned. In a way, I'm looking forward to it -- things like jury duty can be interesting for someone like me who likes to observe and write. Plus, it will give me a chance to roam around Elizabeth (NJ), camera in hand. For BB fans -- Elizabeth, the county seat, is adjacent to Bayonne (where Enzo's from) and Staten Island, a borough of NYC. It's one of the cities/surroundings used in the opening of The Sopranos. I've been through it, but never explored it. This will give me a reason to explore.

On a quasi-related lawyer related note -- I saw that Robert Shapiro, the attorney who represented OJ Simpson in his murder case, is now representing Lindsay Lohan. Did you know he's from Plainfield, NJ? Born here, currently elsewhere.

Resting damselfly

I'm not seeing my regular amount of bugs in this weather. However, the blue damselflies are darting all about in Bridgewater, NJ.

One day of rain and ...

We got ourselves some fungi (other than stinkhorns).

In which I defy authority

Yes, that's my foot. I turned the image upside down so the tape was right-side up, if you follow that! And, no. I'm not being defiant. There's been a long piece of police tape tied at one end and drifting all over the sidewalk at the TD Ball Park near the Bridgewater Train Station for weeks now. The crime? Um ... no crime. I think it was used to channel a queue and never taken away.

A bumblebee enjoys the sunflower

My flash went off accidentally while I was taking this. The sky isn't usually really that color, although that was a cloudy grey morning. East Front Street, Plainfield.

Skinnier stalks and smaller blooms this year

I blame the weather -- the excessive heat and lack of rain. While any sunflower is impressive, other years the blooms have been the size of dinner plates here. East Front Street, Plainfield.

'shroom in dry grass

This grass is in a shady area. Much of the grass around here looks like the kindling you use to start a fire.

When men on the chessboard
Get up and tell you where to go
And you've just had some kind of mushroom
And your mind is moving slow
Go ask Alice
I think she'll know - "White Rabbit" by The Jefferson Airplane

No, don't eat the mushroom! I don't know my poisonous ones from the safe ones. But since I don't really care for any mushrooms, it's not a problem. Photographing them is always safe.

Explosion of the stinkhorns

Surely you don't want to eat these mushrooms! They're popping up (heh) overnight and deflating by evening. Bridgewater, NJ

Surrounded by Jesus People

I witnessed an ambush in front of Danny's Bakery at the corner of Watchung Avenue and North in Plainfield. Four, count 'em, four Hispanic Jehovah's Witness street patrol people snagged this single dude coming out of the bakery.

When you walk through the garden
You gotta watch your back
Well, I beg your pardon
Walk the straight and narrow track
If you walk with Jesus
He's gonna save your soul
You gotta keep the devil
Way down in the hole - "Way Down in the Hole" by Tom Waits

Two dead soldiers still stand guard

As I mentioned, the yellow jackets have taken over this prime piece of real estate. They've grown more ornery with the heat, so no close-ups this week! I can't afford to get stung.

But I can see where the nest is

No, I'm not opening that door. Maybe in February I will. Sheesh, and they wonder why the housing market is down. The yellow jackets have taken it over!

These vagabond shoes ...

... are longing to stray
Right through the very heart of it,
New York, New York. - "New York, New York" as popularized by Frank Sinatra

A pair of shoes waits at the Plainfield Train Station, probably heading to the city. Frank Sinatra was a Jersey boy, of course. But not from Plainfield.

Mmm ... DONUTS!

If you travel through Plainfield, you NEED to stop at the Plainfield Donut Shop on Watchung Avenue. Nowhere near the cost of those chain donut shops, these are fresh from the ovens and served with a smile by Maria and her husband Tom. They have a full breakfast and lunch menu, too. Originally from Greece, they've made the donut shop an institution in town.

How much is gas in your area?

In NJ, all service is full service as it's against the law to pump your own gas. But since our state tax itself is low on it, our prices are the cheapest in the tri-state (NY, NJ, CT) area. Note that this shop still offers "break" work and "alingments." I'm not talking one sign, I'm talking two with the same misspellings on FOUR sides.

Since NJ dropped the safety inspection on cars (WHAT? WHY? Isn't that going to lead to even more moving wrecks?), a lot of these some guys are probably going to be hurting. They charge $75 for that service, pass or fail. Church St and East Second in Plainfield.

Even the flag is wilted

You can almost see the humidity in the air in this shot of Richmond Towers on East Front Street.

Another blue damselfly

We're all Bozos on this bus

Tell me where that line's from or who is involved! I took this shot Saturday with my cell phone camera, then edited it to bring out the clown. I don't know why there was an excessively tall clown shopping in the store. It's not Halloween. It's way too hot for clown make-up and clown clothes. Maybe he's related to Pennywise the Clown.

"We all float down here" - Stephen King, It

Eep, another one

Forget the birds! Forget the Russians! The clowns are coming, the clowns are coming!

But where are the clowns?
Quick, send in the clowns.
Don't bother, they're here.

Isn't it rich?
Isn't it queer,
Losing my timing this late
In my career?
And where are the clowns?
There ought to be clowns.
Well, maybe next year. - "Send in the Clowns" by Judy Collins

And Vincent yawns at it all

Leading the life of luxury on his own chair, he doesn't even know there's a heat wave.

How was your week?


Laurie said...

Nice work with the musical interlude, Jackie. Many of your comments had me laughing out loud. What is with the clowns, I wonder?

Anonymous said...

I wish gas was that cheap where I live. It's at $2.69 for regular, sown from $2.75 at the beginning of the week.

Delee said...

I cheated from Wikipedia:

I Think We're All Bozos on This Bus is the fourth comedy recording made by The Firesign Theatre for Columbia Records. It was released in 1971 and is the last of a tetralogy, comprising their first four albums.

Gas here is $2.65, lots of taxes and we pump! Love to get Jersey gas when I am there!

Vincent is just taking it all in and decides it is boring, while we swelter!

RJM in SC said...

Gtreat Pictures Jackie,
Gas in SC is 2.39 for regular. guess that's not too bad when I see the cost for others.

Jackie said...

I have no idea about the clowns. They were just leisurely shopping. There was also a busload of Japanese tourists with cameras in the store just before the clowns arrived. Very odd, but it's New Jersey.

Delee -- You're right. I have all of the Firesign Theatre on vinyl hailing back to a different time in my life. Don't crush that dwarf, hand me the pliers.

Nana from the NW said...

ML--to answer your question on the previous post....yes, BB provides condoms for the HG. There is usually some in the bathroom area. They were used quite regularly with Chelsea and James(the winter season of BB)

Thanks for the pics. Jackie. How brave of you to get that close to the yellow jacket nest....I would have ran the other way! I can do spiders and bugs but not bees.

Gas in the Seattle, Wa. area is $2.89 and you pump your own. A few months ago it was $3.09. I do alot of driving of the grandkids so have to fill up the van about every 10 days(that costs over $40.00).

Took my grandson to see Sorcerer's Apprentice last night. It was really good...lots of action and wizardry.

Off to get some chores done and then going to line dancing...."see" you all tonight.

Laurie said...

Forgot about the gas price. Friday when I was driving home regular was at $3.12. It was $3.09 on Wed when I filled my tank. It generally creeps up for the weekends.

We are mostly self-serve here in San Diego, although some name brand stations have one full-service pump for those who can afford it.

Not sure full-service even means what it used to mean back in the "check your oil, check your tires, wash your windshield, give you stamps and a free glass" days!

Sally said...

Ah, Vincent. I know that feeling.

I filled up my car at $2.69 yesterday. That price has held fairly steady all summer here in Wisconsin.

Hard to believe anyone's short of rain, as we've had record-settings amounts this summer. We got more than 3" of rain on Wednesday alone, and had another line of storms come through this morning. Time to mow the grass. Again.

Hope you get to actually serve on a jury--you'd make an excellent jury forewoman. I've always thought being on a jury would be interesting. I was on-call for jury duty once, but never even had to report to the courthouse. Guess there just aren't many jury trials around here.

joyn said...

The birds and the bees AND the clowns taking over? We may be in BIG trouble. Who knows what kind of alien beings are under that makeup and those costumes? I keep hearing Twilight Zone music in my head now.

Gas here in our area is $2.83 and car inspections are $21. which I have to get done before the end of the month.

My oldest sister used to live in Bayonne in the early-mid 60's when her husband was stationed there during his Navy days. Said she loved it there.

Loved your comments on the stinkhorns. Sounds like one or two men I'd known in my early 20's.

Vincent definitely has it made in the shade!

PDX Granny said...

I'm in one of the other states where it's against the law to pump your own gas. However, our's isn't as low as your's, Jackie! It's anywhere from $2.75 - $2.89 for regular unleaded. My neighbohood station is at $2.79, up from $2.71.

Anonymous said...

buffalo, ny. regular @2.84/gal

Donna in AL said...

Great pics Jackie!!

Gas here is $2.47, it takes $36.00 to fill up my vehicle and I fill her up three times a week!!

Jackie said...

Donna - Your weekly gas is well over what my monthly train pass costs -- $75 a month, unlimited trips, and includes local buses.

Diane said...

Jackie -

I am so glad you posted these. I was born in Summit and we lived in Scotch Plains. I have been following your blog for years and never realized you were from Plainfield. Great work - and funny as always.

Thanks for sharing.