Sunday, August 01, 2010

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was - August 1, 2010

It's Sunday morning ... kind of sort of. It's actually really really late on Saturday night. Anyway, it's time for my weekly off television topic look back at the past week in words and photographs I've taken. If you're looking for the latest Big Brother live feeds update, that will be up later in the morning.

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:

Whazzat? A new camera? Paparazzi?

A rare white-breasted squirrel checks out my new technology. Okay. I lied. I think most squirrels have white chests.

Pants on the ground
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.

Oh, rats.

Somewhere off Park Avenue in Plainfield.

Workman at work

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.

Whoa! Check it out!

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!

Mmm ... Blackberry's ... what kind of beverage is that?

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 ...

Soul food, here I come!

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.

Why I'm not a food photographer ...

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!

Blackberry's interior

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!

Back out on the street

I didn't strike up a conversation with him. Watchung Avenue

Off to the park!

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.

The goose has no neck!

Maybe someone told him to duck! Alright, he does have a neck, he's just walking around pretending to be short or something.

Did someone say duck?

A mother duck with her ducklings.

Ducklings at rest

The two ducklings settle down for a rest by the water's edge. The algae-covered water's edge ... grr.

Another dragonfly

This one seems to be a blue dasher.

Common whitetail skimmer

He was nice enough to fly back and pose on the walk for me.

No one will notice me if I hide in the grass.

Oh, that bridge!

Ignore the goose butt in the lower left corner.

Did you call me a goose butt?

What's going on over there?

I think it's paparazzi!

Day lily

Can't a goose sleep in peace?

The blue dasher from another angle.

It's classified as a "skimmer" in the dragonfly um ... genus? (I'm forgetting all the science I once learned.)

Whazzat? A new camera?

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?


RJM in SC said...

Congrats on the new camera. Great pictures. enjoyed them all.

Delee said...

Wow a new camera, can not wait to see the shots we will be priviledged to view each week.

Vincent will wonder where you have gone this coming work week.

Even without enlarging the Pants on the Ground Dude you can see his (_|_) crack! Ugh!

The soul food meal made my mouth water...wish I lived near by to have a $4.99 lunch like that!

meb said...

Jackie, fantastic pictures! Don't know if it's the new camera or your ability... probably both... but they really catch the eye... it's like, you don't miss much of what's going on in the background.

I love the new restaurant and especially love the price. I'd have to eat there every day. Would probably be cheaper than buying groceries.

Dragonflys are gorgeous. I get them to land on my finger. Usually if you're in a pool and nothing around to scare them.. you can wet your hand, hold up a pointed finger and wait and they'll land. Guess they like the water. Great way to get a really good look at them.

I agree with delee on Pants on the Ground.. Ewwww!

And of course, nosey Vincent! Adorable.

QuixoticElf said...

Jackie~ Once again, amazing pictures! And Blackberrys looks amazing!

RyzandShyn said...

Good Morning!
Well, if you're going to have a staycation then getting yourself a present (said camera) is the logical thing to do. I hope you have fun with all it offers.
I had a staycation this past week too, only the "stay" part was a few days stay down the shore at the house of a friend who wasn't using it right then. There were shark sightings and a shark actually beached itself! photos here:
The shark actually turned around and went back into the ocean.
This week my staycation continues only this time I'll stay home and cool at the local pool. So nice to have a break from the grind, isn't it?

Becky said...

Finally having a chance to check out TWTW. Beautiful pictures... as usual. I loved the restaurant pictures. At that price I would be stopping for supper there regularly. You can't eat that cheaply at home.... plus, you don't have to do the cooking OR dishes afterward!

Jackie, I was wondering what you did so badly to receive the punishment of having to watch the BB feeds! It's all I can do to get through the show.

Becky said...

Okay, I have a question.... the pants on the ground reminded me of something I have been wondering.... how do they know what size pants to buy? I mean pants that are worn at the waist like they should be are size 34, 36 or whatever. Do they measure around the butt? I am not being ugly by asking. Inquiring minds want to know.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jackie, I have been reading your BB blogs since Season 6. When you started posting your pictures from Plainfield, NJ, I was intrigued and have always wanted to comment. I was born in Plainfield in the 1950s. We lived in Stephenville but moved to Florida when I was 3 and I have never been back. So to see pictures of Plainfield is really cool and you do such a good job. Love your blogs too. Thanks.

Sharon S said...

Love the pics! Glad you had a great week off. :)

Sally said...

Great photos, Jackie, and clever captions too. Those squirrel photos are really cute and the cardinal is beautiful. Bet that charming bridge is a frequest location for wedding, prom and graduation photos.

Vincent looks like he's very good at his job as chief inspector of new items. Glad you enjoyed your week off.

RyzandShyn said...

The boys in my class..younguns from the hood, ages 9-12,
are pants on the ground types. When the conversation turns to sizes they always tell me they wear what I consider 2 or so sizes too they say size 16 when I think they should be in a 10or a 12. They tell me the right ones feel too tight and they can't "sag" (sagging is the word for pants on the ground). They wear belts to school since sagging isn't allowed, making a noisy mess at the metal detector as they come and go each day. In fact someone stands at the metal detector to collect belts. It's quite the sight to watch them trying to keep the pants up and get the belt back on while making a mad dash to the bus in the afternoon since they can't have the belts in their hands on the bus....can only imagine what that would be like.
So, as near as I can figure it, they all buy 2 sizes up so they can sag and trip over the hems. Some brands, like South Pole, have the sag built in with a boxy construction. They come in unusual sizes too like a 36 waist with a 32length..just right for a good adult sag.

RyzandShyn said...

PS. Now that's it's summer they are wearing shorts to school and their shorts are almost to their ankles...kinda look like capris, peddle-pushers, flood length pants.

RBennie said...

Great pics as always Jackie.

monty924 said...

Beautiful pictures as always Jackie! Especially the Vincent snap... I can hear him saying, "Mr. Demille (sp?), I'm ready for my close-up!".

Wasn't that from Sunset Blvd. ? :)

Lars said...

Great photo's

Jennasmom said...

Always love the Sunday photos! Great job!

Anonymous said...

dragonflies do like water. they start out as waterbugs.

beautiful photos jackie! -jeannemarie