I was on a staycation this week and enjoyed every minute of it. The beginning of the week was super-hot, so I rejoiced in air conditioning. Then, the latter part of the week turned to the kind of summer temperatures I enjoy -- highs in the 80s, low humidity. I'd prefer temps in the 70s, but I suppose that's not really summer.
In addition to watching a lot of the BB live feeds and writing reports on them for the blog, reviewing the show for TV Squad and all that stuff, I caught up on some movies I bought on DVD and did some reading. A certain attention-monger cat got his just due of attention, too.
The biggest thing happening this week is my purchase of a new camera. A real fancy-schmancy SLR is out of my budget, but I took a step up with a new Canon PowerShot SX120 IS. It has a much better zoom and, although I'm familiar with a lot of it as my most recent digital camera was a Canon, lots of nifty settings which I will have to experiment with down the road. Like my other Canon and the Pentax before that, it takes AA batteries. They might make it a bit heavier, but it's so much better than a proprietary battery. If my batteries die, I can pick them up anywhere!
Onto this week's photos (with the new camera!) ... clicking on an image will open it larger in a new window:
A rare white-breasted squirrel checks out my new technology. Okay. I lied. I think most squirrels have white chests.
Pants on the ground
Lookin' like a fool
With your pants
On the ground
Thank you, American Idol! This is at the Plainfield Train Station. I had to stop by to buy my monthly pass. It's either that or get it last minute on the other side of the station ultra-early Monday morning.
Somewhere off Park Avenue in Plainfield.
They're finally doing something with the old Miron Furniture Warehouse building on East Second Street in Plainfield. Now, instead of gaping holes in the roof, there is a new roof covering. I won't be able to take photos of pigeons sitting in the window frames anymore as they've finished almost two floors worth of windows. It's being turned into apartments. I'd be curious to see what the apartments will look like.
He looks worried, but he's just watching traffic as he's going to jaywalk. East Second Street by the Miron building.
No loitering in this area, eh? They're just having a harmless chat and the building is closed for business (Saturday). I edited the photo to leave the people and sign in color. Watchung Avenue, Plainfield.
You never know what's going to drive by you when you sit on a bench on Park Avenue in Plainfield. I have no clue whether it's a kit car or the real thing. I'm sure the real thing didn't come with the orange wheels!
So, I went across Watchung Avenue and found it it's their Uptown, a fruity iced tea beverage. I took a free sample. I'm not an iced tea fan, but this was great! While I was out there sipping at my sample, one of the folks I regularly greet on my commute came out of the restaurant. It turns out that he works in the kitchen. He started telling me of all the dishes ... and I hadn't eaten lunch yet, so ...
I raised my Uptown towards the building and headed inside. Now, you might think I'm pale for soul food. Not so! Soul food, to me, is basically good down home cooking, with an emphasis on Southern dishes. Blackberry's also has foods with a Jamaican influence -- jerk chicken and such.
I'm too lazy to get up and I already ate some of the chicken. This was my $4.99 lunch special. Baked chicken, seasoned rice, green beans and a salad. I couldn't have gotten that much at a fast food place for the price. Not only that, but the woman working there (the mother of the owner) was such a dear -- friendly, helpful and just a very pleasant lady. Plus, the food was delicious, like a real home-cooked meal!
Clean and neat with a cool theme of vinyl albums, album covers, 45 RPM records, memorabilia and African art. Some of the records were ones I have in my own collection. Creative and different!
I didn't strike up a conversation with him. Watchung Avenue
I stopped by Mindowaskin Park in Westfield on Thursday. I wanted to do a Trader Joe's run and the park is right nearby. I have to say I'm very disappointed with the lack of upkeep in the park on this visit. Algae all but covered the lake and no one seems to be picking up after dogs. It was never in this shape during previous visits. Of course, that didn't stop me from taking photos. This is a dragonfly on a rock at the water's edge.
This is the same dragonfly closer up. Unfortunately, the sun was bright and the shadows kind of obscure the actual wings.
Patterned after Central Park in Manhattan, I find this bridge for the walkway mesmerizing in its potential for photos -- the shape, the reflections in the water, etc.
Maybe someone told him to duck! Alright, he does have a neck, he's just walking around pretending to be short or something.
A mother duck with her ducklings.
The two ducklings settle down for a rest by the water's edge. The algae-covered water's edge ... grr.
This one seems to be a blue dasher.
He was nice enough to fly back and pose on the walk for me.
Ignore the goose butt in the lower left corner.
It's classified as a "skimmer" in the dragonfly um ... genus? (I'm forgetting all the science I once learned.)
This is the first photo I took with the new camera. I no sooner loaded the batteries and memory card, turned it on ... and there was Vincent peering into the lens. What a Nosy Parker!
How was your week?