Sunday, August 29, 2010

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was - August 29, 2010

Sunday morning ... lots of time with nothing to do, lots of time to spend with you, on Sunday, Sunday morning. -- Spanky and Our Gang, "Sunday Morning"

Well, I don't know about the "nothing to do" part of that. But it is Sunday morning and that means it's time for my weekly off television photo post reflecting on the week gone by. Sometimes my photography is decent, other times I'm just showing you a bit of what I've seen in my day to day life. I think this week is more leaning towards the latter.

I believe I'm wearing down. The early part of the week was rainy and, in the latter part, I seemed to be running late, not seeing anything which really struck me as photo fodder for "the picture of the week" or I had my hands full. Sometimes it was a combination of all three things. I had a great hawk opportunity, but he just wouldn't fly still! He was so close that he kept flying out of my camera's path much too quickly. Hmm ... why was a hawk circling ME?

Sigh. As much as I enjoy the blog community and all the fun, Big Brother tends to really tire me out by about this time every year. (Note -- a new BB12 live feeds report will be posted a bit later. We're talking puppets and punishments.) Something odd or traumatic usually happens during the blogging of the summer in the BB house, too.

The first year I attempted blogging it, the cartilage in my left knee had inexplicably shredded as I was merely walking along. I spent the summer awaiting surgery that, when it happened, the knee never recovered from. One year I had shingles. One year I deliberately scheduled knee replacement surgery during the BB season so I wouldn't be working full time and covering the feeds. Of course, it's the knee which didn't recover before and I had a DVT atop the surgery just to make things more interesting. Last year, my 17-year-old cat died a few weeks into the season.

This year? Hmm ... it's been relatively trauma free and we only have a few weeks left. (Everyone knock on wood, please.) About the only thing out of the norm going on is that I have jury duty scheduled the day after Labor Day. I've had jury duty before and it usually ends up being a whole lot of people watching, reading, sketching ... and boredom. I've never even made it to the voir dire. At least I'll get to photo stomp around Elizabeth, NJ ... a city I haven't had a reason to wander around since I moved to the state.

Although I'm in a busier crime county than the last time I was summoned (Union County versus Somerset County), I don't think it will mean anything other than the usual. At least my workplace pays me the difference between jury pay and my normal pay. Otherwise, I'd earn a whopping $5 a day for being on jury duty!

Other than that, it's been the same old stuff here -- BB live feeds, BB show reviews, work, eat, sleep and pay attention to a certain cat. Onto the photos for the week (clicking on an image will open it larger in a new window, clicking again will make it even larger) --

Ghost train at night

The almost empty train looks a bit eerie as it sits at the Bridgewater Train Station last night after dark. This is the train heading west, away from Newark and New York City. Apparently everyone is having too good a time to head home this early. I'm actually waiting for the train to go towards Newark and NYC, but getting off in Plainfield.

Ballpark lights at night

I worked later than usual last night and it was dark as I waited for my train adjacent to the TD Ballpark in Bridgewater -- home of the Somerset Patriots, a minor league ball team. It's usually light as I pass through there when ball games are on. At least it gave me a chance to shoot the lights. The small white flecks are bugs attracted by them.

Tuesday night's full moon

I keep trying to get a decent full moon shot -- one in which the moon isn't so glaring white as to obscure the details. This is my best attempt so far. I need to keep trying! (Or get a better camera which is out of the question.)

Morning moon over Presbyterian

Wednesday morning as the sun shined in the east, this was to my west. Note the leafless branches on the left. So many of the trees have suffered here this summer. It was dry for so long accompanied by record heat waves. Earlier this past week when it rained for three of four days straight, many big branches and entire trees came down, unable to continue on. East Front Street, Plainfield.

Rainy train day

My apologies for all of the train station shots this week. Alas, that seemed to be the only time I could (a) be out of the rain or (b) actually had time to shoot photos. I liked this one because of the reflection of the station lights on the train windows -- practically a light a window. Plainfield Train Station.

Same Day, the Other Way

Now I feel I'm cheating with the photos. I turned around and shot the other way. But the lights aren't reflecting in unison with the train windows. Note the platform difference between Plainfield and the photo of the Bridgewater Station.

Plainfield is a raised platform which makes it level with the entrance. Once in the train, there is a handicapped/bike/bathroom area, then you can go either upstairs or downstairs to sit. At stations without raised platforms, it's a climb into or a steep descent out of the train. Me? I prefer a raised platform, please ... even if it means you see feet when sitting on the lower level.

Let there be a mushroom

Yes, the stinkhorns are still around for photo fodder if I want to go that route. But I decided a cute little mushroom in wet grass instead. Notice how the stem is nearly translucent. It's so delicate. So I stomped on it!

Er, no. I didn't.

I made the stomp part up.

Looky! More Plainfield Train Station!

This time in sepia.

Even MORE Plainfield Train Station!

This one I edited to leave the "Plainfield" sign in color, the rest in black and white.

Train station, but different

There was a huge dark bank of clouds obscuring the sunrise early Monday morning. It made it look almost like we have mountains in the distance. We don't have mountains here. In the other direction from this shot, there are the Watchung Mountains. But they really are no more than hills. When I first moved here, I was shocked over how flat everything is. I was used to the Adirondacks and then the Berkshires and Catskills. Or, in my skiing days, I loved the Rocky Mountains.

Panda King

A new Chinese restaurant replaced the old one on Watchung Avenue in Plainfield. I deliberately obscured the phone number on the sign just so they don't get any crank phone calls. But I'm not here to talk about the new Chinese restaurant. I want to talk about the color scheme. Who does this? Melon, orange and lavender mixed with the original red and tan mosaic tile on the front of one of the buildings. Drugs, anyone? At least the orange Caribe taxi fits in well with the color scheme.

I don't think it's New York

I think it's more like China, Malaysia, etc. When I lived in New York (remember, I'm originally from NY), I don't recall seeing any "New Jersey Furniture and Linens." East Front Street, Plainfield.

I NEED to be on your shoulder!

Vincent droops himself over the edge of a chair. I've never known such a drooper of a cat. This is pretty much his pose when he's draped over my shoulder. What an odd kitty I have in my life. But I wouldn't give him up for the world!

How was your week?


RJM said...

great week of pictures, as always

RyzandShyn said...

Good Morning!
What a nice change our weekend weather is, isn't it? I thought I was going moldy this week with all the rain.
I see you captured the dark creeping in earlier at the train station. I hate it (the dark part, not the photo).
I knocked on wood for you. Glad you seem to be getting through the season in good shape.
I once was called to regular jury duty, but it was on my due date for one of my children, and the doctor wrote a note. I did do grand jury duty. That was interesting. It was once a week for 12 weeks (10 maybe? I forget) We listen to evidence and decided whether there was enough to go forward with an indictment.
My son has a dog, Sage, that comes for extended stays when he's away.
Sage is a hanger-offer too. I guess it's kinda like when I like to hang my feet off the end of the mattress :)

Anonymous said...

hi, just wanted to let you know i appreciate your pictures soooo much. but this time i had to write, because i live in a small country town in michigan and never been to a train station. that was like a minny vacation to me. your pictures, as is your blog, is totally awesome. i dont think you realize how important you are to so many people. thanks for just being you...

Anne said...

I want to echo Anonymous' comment. Being from the Midwest, I don't get to see a lot of the sights you offer on your blog. So NEVER think the photos are boring or repeditive! I always look forward to your Sunday "Off Topic" blog. Oh! AND your BB news! So thank you Jackie! Please continue your great work. It is very much appreciated & enjoyed!!!

meb said...

Jackie... Vincent is too adorable. I still wish you'd take a mirror picture of Vincent on your shoulders. I want to see the drape!

Your best picture this week is the tiny mushroom cause it startled me... my first thought was that you were going porn... it looks like a tiny booby on a stem. Sorry, I sees what I sees.

I know it's getting to that point of difficult to keep up with the blog Jackie.. you must be so tired... so I have to thank you over and over for staying with it and all for us. You're the winner of this BB in my book.

Nana from the NW said...

Good Sunday Morning to all....this the day of rest...I wish I could but have painting to do and sewing.
Instead I am watching "Say Yes to the Dress" and getting a slideshow of life on the other side of the country. Jackie, I always love your pics. it makes me see simple everyday things in a new light. Some comments about your pics:

Ghost train-really looks like it filled with ghosts. The back of the seats on the train look like ghosts!
Ballpark lights-My first thought was Yay, football season! I spent many years at high school football games and that's how we would find the out-of-town stadiums...look for the lights!
Full Moon-my niece who lives in Brooklyn just had her first baby on the night of that full moon. It was her first baby and there was a pool on what day she would be born. My money was on the 23rd and she was born at 12:08am on the 24th....I think I won because it was only 9:08pm on the west coast! BTW--she was named Luna(after the full moon).
same train, other way--as soon as I read this I thought of the song lyrics, "second verse same as the first"....what song is that from?? and bonus points for who sang it!
Roofus-I haven't seen pics. or heard of him in awhile....did he find a new roof to hang out on?

Jackie--can't imagine how draining it must be to keep up with BB and work in the summer. The heat alone would drain the life out of me! We do all appreciate it and I am knocking on wood for the rest of the season to be uneventful for you on a personal level.

Delee said...

The little rain drops sticking to the grass and the tiny mushroom are beautiful.

Be glad it was a hawk circling above you and not a buzzard! HAHA

I never grow tired of your train photos. MORE!

Agree no more BB hijinks for you. The season is almost over.

My house is so cool I have a long sleeved t-shirt on, when I stepped out with Starry said aloud, "Wow, it is warm out here". AC not on!
I saw we are back to the 90's this week, darn!

Delee said...

Second verse same as the first was from a Herman's Hermits song...Henry the 8th I am I am!!! LOL 1965

I'm Henry the eighth I am,
Henry the eighth I am I am,
I got married to the widow next door,
She's been married seven times before,
And everyone was a Henry (Henry),
She wouldn't have a Willie or a Sam (no sam)
I'm her eighth old man, I'm Henry,
Henry the eighth I am

monty924 said...

Like reading the last chapter first, I always scroll down to the end to see Vincent then go back and read the post. He's always adorable.

I also echo everyone's comments about the train station and the trains. I've never been on a train, so I'm fascinated by your photos every week.

Thanks for a great week in pictures! :)

Jackie said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone! I'm glad you all enjoy trains. I actually like commuting on them myself.

As for Roofus, he seems long gone now. I haven't any idea what happened. For the longest time, he couldn't access the roofs due to the building crumbling. Now the building is gone. He was holed up with another cat in the old Budget car rental place and someone was feeding them. They seemed to be able to get in and out of the building. The last few months when I've peeked in the building I didn't see either cat.

Sally said...

I'm with the readers who enjoy all the train photos and getting a glimpse of being a commuter. I've never lived anywhere that had mass transit other than a few city buses and taxis. Besides, I love the light standards near your train station--very picturesque.

Seeing Vincent's photo each week always makes me smile. And here's hoping Roofus and his friend have found haven in safer surroundings with ample food sources.

SlinkyJ said...

I love your photography and the fact that you can find so much artistic beauty in our city. Keep it up - you help to make Plainfield a more livable place for us all!