Sunday, August 22, 2010

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was - August 22, 2010

Ah, yes. It's Sunday morning, time to relax and reflect on the week gone by. If you're looking for the latest Big Brother live feeds report, check out the post previous to this one. I'll be posting more on that a bit later. Right now it's time for me to sip my coffee and take a look back on the past week in words and photos I've taken.

It's still a very hot summer here in New Jersey. We saw some of the humidity levels drop which was nice. But hot is hot. I don't care if it's a "dry" heat. It's overcast with light rain showers as a write this, with heavier rains expected throughout the day. We really need the rain and I find it refreshing. Plus, I have no real outdoor plans today.

Let's see ... what happened this week? Well, to show what a small world it is or what a long reach this blog has, I received an email from blog reader Gayle last week. She's been a regular reader and commenter since BB6. It turns out that she and her husband are visiting from Trinidad and Tobago and staying with her aunt in Plainfield. Oh my -- she was staying right down the street from me!

On Wednesday, Gayle and her husband met me for lunch downtown at Blackberry's. Such delightful people! I had such a nice time and we talked and talked. I didn't realize that their cable television carries networks like CBS to them in decent time -- just whatever the time difference is. I learned a lot about Trinidad and Tobago and had a fine afternoon. It's amazing the people this blog brings together.

Um ... that was my highlight of the week. In "waiting for the bus" news, I met a woman who was carrying a paper grocery bag and wearing no shoe laces. She showed me a release paper from the Plainfield Police Department (right across the street). "They told me the bus driver won't need money if I show her this. Are they right?" Well, gee. I really don't know. After telling me that she had been locked up for two days, I asked her what she did. "I punched a police officer by mistake when I was trying to punch my sister." That will do it! She didn't seem dangerous. I was a bit surprised that they give them two frozen meals upon release. What if they're homeless and have no oven or microwave?

I shouted back and forth to fellow blogger Dan Damon as he sat at the red light. Dan covers Plainfield news and also runs the CLIPS blog which lists links of local interest daily. I also got a chance to see the people who gather to be bused to the violence-ridden area of town. Once there, they pass out fliers. I don't know if that's the best approach to gang violence in the west end of town.

It reminds me of a big embezzlement at my workplace (in which I was a suspect due to access) and the first step the local police did was to questionnaire us. Eventually they worked their way up to lie detectors with the state police. But the questionnaires were laughable ... pretty much as I see this flier effort. By the way, at work they caught the person. It wasn't me. But I knew that.

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

What I always wanted!

Pet crabs? I guess not as this is attached to the outside of Pete's Fish Market on East Second Street in Plainfield. Just thinking about a live bushel of crabs makes me think of all of the barrels of eels and live frogs on the streets of Chinatown. Shouldn't it be "Bushel of live crabs" instead of a live bushel?

Plainfield Train Station

It was overcast as I returned home from work last night. That made it seem darker. But the days are indeed getting shorter. Good. I want autumn!

It's like he's looking back at me!

This moth was kind enough to pose for me in Bridgewater near the train station. I have no clue what kind of moth it is, but I find it way cool. He wasn't really large -- perhaps 3 inches across with his wings extended. A friend told me the wings reminded him of the skull butterfly in The Silence of the Lambs. EEK! Wait, no skull. Phew!

Waning sunflowers

The sunflowers on East Front Street in Plainfield are looking mighty different these days. The ones with the huge centers and shorter petals have given way to these. Still very pretty, but not anywhere near as magnificent as the dinner plate sized ones.

Used Stuff

I always enjoy looking over used stuff. However, in this case, the used stuff was mostly industrial kitchen stuff. My teensy kitchen is big enough for a table of two to accompany the appliances, counters, etc. This shot was edited (naturally) to keep the sign in color. I took it as I peeked into an open overhead door at E&A Hotel and Restaurant Supplies on East Fifth Street in Plainfield.


Once again, the graffiti wall in back of the Plainfield YMCA building has changed. Although not quite as artsy as the original comic characters, this is better than simple tagging and a world away from gang graffiti. Perhaps it's my inner wild child, but I actually like street art done well and not offensive or vulgar. I guess this person hearts PattyBoo.

Don't eat the berries!

I have no clue what they are, but they're growing mixed in with the poison ivy on the fence in Bridgewater, NJ. If they're not poisonous, they've mingled amongst the poison. But they sat still for my camera. That's all I wanted.

A grasshopper poses

This little guy was on a wall. Prime victim of my camera! I told him that his name alone implies he should be in grass, not on concrete. Did he listen? No.

"We're here for you!"

Don't do this, don't do that ... can't you read the sign? *Thank you to the Five Man Electrical Band for the song "Signs." I understand that they might not want these things going on at this Babies R Us location in Bridgewater. But this glaring sign is a bit off-putting, isn't it? No photos? Hey, I had to practice civil disobedience and take a shot of the sign.

The YMCA owl

I spotted an owl I never noticed before in the window of the Plainfield YMCA. It's there to keep pigeons away. This owl is accompanied by spikes. Oh yes, it's a fake owl. I forgot to mention that. Watchung Avenue, Plainfield.

So, how's that working out?

Well, the pigeon just goes to the next window!

The stuff of nightmares

This is detail from City Hall on Watchung Avenue. While it's definitely cool, who comes up with these things? Body of a monkey ... large cat ... I don't know what, head of an eagle. They're a bit like the flying monkeys gone avian.

Dental Care

Oh, probably not. It looks abandoned to me. The back of a building on Watchung Avenue in Plainfield.

A man and his guitar

This doesn't really look too comfortable, does it? I guess a wailing song and a good guitar exhausted him. Cleveland Avenue, Plainfield.

Upside-down Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

See! I know what this one is! One of his "tails" has gone missing, though. Bridgewater, NJ.

Right side up

A new career idea!

I could drive a "courtesy car" golf cart around selling hot dogs! Y'think? E&E Restaurant Supplies, East 5th Street, Plainfield.

You're going to work again?

No, Vincent. I have the day off just to spend it with you.


ML said...

Vincent you little doll. Precious!

RyzandShyn said...

Good Morning!
Well, that was a nice visit you had. Fun stuff. Love the picture of he train station, although I hate the dark creeping in earlier.
Yesterday my neighbor knocked on my door. She's 89. At first I thought she was saying that her phone wasn't working, but quickly realized that what she was saying was that she couldn't use the phone or speak into it...I think she was having a stroke. Jumped into 911 mode, called her friend on the block and got her son's number, called him, and got her off to the hospital. She held my hand so tight. I was glad I was home for her.
It did me in for the day...thank goodness for health, family, and community.

RyzandShyn said...

I wanted to add...
IF that woman was involved in a family dispute and IF the police were called to intervene and IF she wasn't complying to the point where she was still throwing punches at her sister close enough to the police officer that he/she got hit, then YES, she's dangerous.

Jackie said...

In the midst of the fight, I'm sure she was a bit dangerous (although she looked 80 pounds soaking wet). But subdued after two days of lock up and talking to a stranger, she wasn't dangerous.

Delee said...

Your blog invites a wonderful group and I am thrilled that you had lunch with Gayle and her hubby. The world just keeps getting smaller for all!

Train station shot is neato (lol). Butterflies always a fav. Amanda and I toured the Live Butterfly exhibit at the Natural History Museum in DC.

We also have had rain overnight and it was most welcome. More please!

RyzandShyn said...

I hear you, Jackie, I was just thinking in terms of someone who can't/won't stop being physically aggressive in the presence of the police as someone with a potentially dangerous lack of control.

joyn said...

Jackie, so nice to hear that your lunch was so enjoyable. It is amazing that your blog reaches so many.

RyzandShyn, How wonderful that you were at home to help that neighbor.

You never know when it's your turn to be a good samaritan.

Great shots this week, as always!

Sally said...

There's a "talk to the animals" vibe in your blog today. You got the moth to pose for you, reminded the grasshopper where he should be and answered Vincent's question about your schedule. Jackie Dolittle!

How nice that you got to spend time with part of your international audience! The internet really can shrink distances and remove boundaries.

Seems odd that people being released from jail are given frozen TV dinners but not bus fare or their shoe laces. Perhaps there's some hidden logic there.

RyzandShyn, you did good!

meb said...

Awwwe... beautiful picture of Vincent. Beautiful pictures of butterfly's and the moth. Can't believe I can say a moth is beautiful, but it was.

Shout out to Gayle. How great that you got to meet her and her hubby and neat to know they read you in Trinidad... who knew.

The stuff of nightmares... I saw an owl... not so much a cat??

Love your Off Topic Jackie. Thanks for taking me along.

meb said...

RyzandShyn... what a scary, but great thing you did for your neighbor lady. She must have been terrified and you obviously comforted her as well as did all the things needed to get her to the hospital and have her son there with her.

Great Job! I love stories like this!

Sydney said...

Say What?? Gayle from the Chicago area?! Congratulations!!! How great that you all got to meet! thanks for sharing all of this with us Jackie. Hope Gayle reads this....

Sydney said...

(which would mean she'd moved to Trinidad, btw...._

Jackie said...

Not that Gayle. This is Gayle FROM Trinidad, nothing to do with Chicago.

And, in response to another -- her shoelaces were in a sealed evidence plastic bag which held her possessions.

Laurie said...

Great read as usual, Jackie. You do see interesting things in interesting ways. The berries looked like legs and feet of some strange bug to me. No, I'm not drinking!

R&S, great job taking care of your neighbor and doing what needed to be done. I do hope she is okay now.

Vincent, I love you!

Brent McKee said...

It's a Griffin: body of a lion, head and wings of an eagle. Admittedly, in this case it looked like the wings of a bat, but it's supposed to be an eagle.

Sunday said...

Just a clarification - the skull butterfly... is actually a moth - and they look really cool (I got curious an found examples on Wiki - yeah for Wiki!)

gaylos said...

Jackie and all the commenters, I know I'm late with this comment, but I only got back home on Sunday and its been hectic since then.

May I say once again how wonderful it was to have met Jackie... you guys have no idea what a treasure she is. She does such wonderful work on this blog and I would love to read more of her work elsewhere (other than TV Squad).

The pic of the man sleeping with his legs over his guitar is priceless, and Jackie knows its special cause she showed it to us (along with others) over lunch. Meb, I recall you being one of two other blog readers who would enquire about me (I was pregnant at the start of last year's BB). I haven't had a chance to post this year at all, but all the best to you all. I'll pop by every now and then to comment... rest assured I'm always reading!