Sunday, July 25, 2010

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was - July 25, 2010

It's Sunday morning (well, actually really really late Saturday night) and it's time for my regular off topic glance back at the week gone by in words and photographs I've taken. Big Brother live feeds coverage will return later this morning.

This summer is SO not a good one for me in the weather department. I'm one of those people who can take the cold much better than the heat. With heat wave after heat wave and 35 days so far this summer being over 90 degrees (usually coupled with high humidity levels), it's beyond horrible. Thankfully I do have air conditioning at home, as well as enough means to pay the bill to stay relatively comfortable indoors. Alas, I do have to go outdoors daily. Case in point, I should be a hermit or a recluse ... something to that effect.

I won't be going out heading work this week because I'm on STAYCATION! Of course, I'll be doing writing work with the BB season on. But, it's different if I WANT to go out to the store, etc. I can choose the time I go, like early in the morning or in the early evening.

Let's see ... what else was there besides work and heat this past week?

I feel compelled to mention in my town's (Plainfield, NJ) budget crisis, they sent the animal control folks packing. I have a police scanner and heard a heart-wrenching call earlier this week. A puppy had been hit by a car. A police officer called in that the dog was in bad shape and he had the juvenile (16 years old) puppy owner with him. The teen's parents weren't available.

When the officer requested animal control, he was advised that they'd come from Newark with an estimated time of an hour and a fee of $100. The officer requested they try something closer -- Newark is about 18 miles away and it was rush hour with NYC commuter traffic. He was told the town only has a contract with Newark. The officer started flagging cars down trying to get someone to bring the dog to the local animal hospital (about a ten minute drive). No one would do it. The officer requested permission to take the juvenile and dog there himself. Denied. Someone must have stepped in because the officer, after a phone call, did just that.

This had to be a nightmare for the officer, the puppy and its owner. I would think there had to be other fat which could have been lopped off the budget leaving the two part-time animal control people in place. There have been, though not recently, situations with rabid animals in town. There's a proliferation of tough dogs in town, many who seem to run free. Deer wander into town. Newark ain't gonna cut it, contract or not. Our ambulance situation is even worse. Sigh.

Onto this week's photos -- clicking on an image will open it larger in a new window:

I keep seeing dead people

Scarf lady has a new friend. I read in the paper that NJ Transit is experimenting with quiet cars on one train line. Those would be rail cars where cell phones, screaming kids, loud talkers, etc., aren't welcome. I want that on my line. In the mornings it's not too bad, but sometimes the cell phone idiots (who do you talk LOUDLY to at 7:00 AM?) drive me up the wall.

Coming home is another matter. The sports fans are usually obnoxious and NJ Transit feeds into it by allowing them to drink alcohol on the trains. The other evening there was a woman in front of me LOUDLY talking on a cell phone in Hindi, a man behind me LOUDLY talking on a cell phone in Spanish, across the aisle another man yelled at his cell phone in English, two seats away someone was watching a soap opera on some sort of device with no headphones, a child old enough to be able to behave in public wasn't and his mother was ignoring him, I could also hear someone's iPod and know they'll be deaf in another few years if I can hear it six seats away.

I end up putting on my own not-an-iPod just to drown out all the noise around me. No, my not-an-iPod can't be heard by anyone but me. PLEASE, NJT -- quiet cars on all the lines! No, not all the cars are quiet, just a few on each train.

Uh-oh. Am I the only one left in the world?

It's like the old Twilight Zone episode in which the man wanted to be alone and got his wish. This is my early (Monday) walk to the train. Once I round the corner, there will be people again ... I think. East Front and Church Street, Plainfield.

Kind of, sort of

I went from blogging to um ... well ... a blogging job. AOL/TV Squad hired me due to my earlier blogging days.


I'm going to document the epic fail of this house number. I edited this shot to leave some in color, some in black & white. North Street.

Here comes the sun(flower)

A sunflower is ready to burst through on East Front Street.

It's the bee's knees!

Or, the yellow jackets' domain. As this nest gets bigger, it's going to be interesting to watch it from the back. Bridgewater, NJ.

New Jersey Transit, "The Way to Go"

Two very different NJT buses stop near the NJT Railroad overpass. The first bus is the style which makes Manhattan runs. The seats are fairly comfy with more legroom than on Greyhound (or its ilk) buses. The second bus is one which makes small local runs like to the Metuchen train station and such. It rattles and the seats aren't lush like the first bus.

At five o'clock it's much too crowded
Much too crowded, so crowded - "Expressway to Your Heart" by The Soul Survivors

You aren't in Kansas anymore

To be more exact, you aren't in Roselle. Why was a fire engine from three towns away going lights and siren through Plainfield? A Fanwood (adjacent town) one also went screaming through, but my camera wasn't ready for that one. This was Tuesday early evening, corner of Watchung and East 4th. When I got home, I turned on the scanner and heard there was some sort of fire scene on North Avenue, but it never hit the local papers or local bloggers. Our ambulances are cut, but the fire department is still manned pretty well. What's up?

Do not disturb any further

I can't believe it! Someone actually tried to load the yellow jacket nest honor box with papers! That must have been quite the surprise for them, eh? It dislodged the two dead soldiers stuck in the plexiglass flap a bit, but the nest seems to be still in action. Now they're mad. I didn't get real close.

Vroom Vroom

No, it's not that brand of car. But it sounds like that! I had a Vroom for my bicycle when I was young -- a thing which made engine noises. It was better than attaching playing cards with a clothespin to hit the wheel spokes. Anyone remember the Vroom? East Fourth Street, Plainfield, outside of Custom Underground, edited for the black and white/color effect.

Bat without a belfry

Yes, it's a bat sleeping way up high in Bridgewater, NJ. There used to be a lot of bats, but the population has taken an incredible hit with white nose syndrome. I'm always happy to see these little guys ... unless one is in my apartment, that is. They're fascinating creatures and kill bugs which annoy me a lot more than bats!

Chicory thrives

Due to the lack of rain, the grass looks more like kindling than grass in most places and even the leaves on trees are turning brown and falling. But the chicory grows wild all around the Plainfield Train Station.

A tri-shroom!

I noticed this growing in front of the main post office in Plainfield. It's HUGE.

Baked by the next morning

This is the very next day. They're bigger in diameter, but flattened.

I can't seem to find a sunflower without a bumblebee attached

East Front Street, Plainfield.

It's a sunflower jungle

Other parts of town might be an asphalt jungle, but it's sunny here. The walkway at my sunflower site. They're as tall as previous years, but the flowers aren't as big and the plants themselves are less lush. I blame the heat and lack of rain.

Storm clouds move in

This was at the corner of Watchung Avenue and East Fourth. It only sprinkled a bit, though. Many heavy-duty storms hit north of us, but very little rain right here.

Life is bare, gloom and misery everywhere
Stormy weather, just can't get my poor old self together
I'm weary all the time, the time, so weary all of the time
- "Stormy Weather" as sung by Ella Fitzgerald or Billie Holiday (take your pick)

Early morning skies

And it's hot once again. Taken from the Plainfield Train Station at about 6:30 AM Monday.

I will close my eyes each time you take a shot

Vincent didn't want to cooperate with the camera. He's not asleep. He's just closing his eyes every time I hit the button on my camera. Silly kitty.

How was your week?


peggy said...


Long time lurker and huge fan of your blog. Love the reality tv coverage but REALLY look forward to your Sunday am Off Topic shots and commentary about real life.

Just wanted to pass along to you and Vincent that your story inspired me to adopt two shelter kitties of my own this past January.

Brothers, Charlie and Justin, were found both horribly neglected and undersocialized with untreated eye infections that led to each of them losing an eye.

They have fast become my little pirate companions and seem to enjoy sharing my addiction to television, the 24 hour feeds and anything else we can accomplish from our cozy bed each night.

Thank you for your wit and insight and for opening a door into your world and sharing it with all of us.

"Meow Meow" from the three of us...

RJM said...

Great weeks pics. what a nice policeman that was to try so hard.

Delee said...

Sad story about the puppy. Why is it that they cut services like this first instead of the freebies that do-nothings receive? Sick of it!

A quiet car would be wonderful, too bad they can not do that on an airplane.

I agree this heat is miserable, I did not want to go anywhere yesterday but got roped into it. I wanted to stay indoors unless Starry needed to do her business. In and out of AC is miserable, just makes outside seem hotter. Hope it breaks soon or summer will be over without the joys of it.

Delee said...

Since this is off-topic area have a new show that starts Tues. "The Colony", if society fell apart what would happen. Seems a biological disaster happens and the people have to rebuild a society. On Discovery at 10p E. Will at least check it out! Think it will be like the one done a few years ago with the biosphere.

SueGee said...

Just coming off my own "staycation", although I had out of town visitors and had to play tourist with them. We here on the left coast are setting records for one of the coolest summers on record. I am really loving the cool fog of the night/morning and then the temps during the day staying in the mid 70's (or lower) I really had to laugh at my visitors putting jackets on because they were "cold" when it got to 60 degrees.

Thanks for getting me caught up on BB. Don't think I missed too much last week. Load up on some ice cream and frozen lemonade-type stuff and enjoy your week off!


Jackie said...

Peggy - Thank you for the kind words and what a great cat adoption story! I hope you three have happiness for years and years to come. Adopting a pet who needs a home from an animal shelter is the way to go. I love the "pirate" bit!

Delee - I have never seen anything like this heat around here before. Plus, because I'm in a very densely populated urban area, the pollution makes it even tougher. I really should have scheduled my second knee replacement for this summer! I'll have to check out the show you mentioned. It sounds like it could be interesting.

Laurie said...

Peggy, congrats to your two kitties for finding the perfect home with you. I love that you followed Jackie's joy with Vincent to your own happiness with Charlie and Justin. Shelter animals make great pets, don't they?

Jackie, great pictures again. Bees do love those sunflowers, don't they? I think a quiet zone is a good idea in all kinds of places, train included.

Here's hoping the weather cools down a bit for you and everyone who has been suffering from it these past few weeks.

Jackie said...

SueGee - Hey! That's MY kind of weather you're having! I'm an autumn and spring kind of person.

Anonymous said...

i know what you mean about the heat! i don't do well in it either! luckily i'm off for the summer so i've been spending a lot of time inside. it's even too hot to go in the pool!

always enjoy you 'week that was' blog! you definitively have an eye with the camera and a way with words.

not sure if i missed this in an earlier blog, what happened to roofus? i haven't seen him mentioned for a while. sorry if this has already be answered.

meb said...

Peggy... good for YOU! Two ways! You adopted two kittens who will never know more neglect, only unconditional love from you... and you will receive that unconditional love from them. We have 4 cats we adopted from the local shelter and each has it's own personality. So much joy to watch and love.

Jackie... Vincent is really gorgeous. You two are so lucky to have each other.

We're having the same weather. I'm enjoying it. I know... I'm weird...

Thanks for the off-topic.

monty924 said...

Enjoy your staycation and get as much rest and "ME" time as possible. Sir Vincent is as handsome with his eyes shut as open.

What a wonderful story. "meow meow" from me and my kitty! :)

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