Sunday, September 05, 2010

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was - Sept. 5, 2010

It's Sunday morning, time to take an off television topic look back at the week in words and photographs I've taken. I've tried "artsy" for some of my photos, others are just to share a bit of what I've seen in my daily travels. If you're looking for Big Brother live feeds, check out the previous posts and a new one will be up a bit later this morning.

We had another heatwave here in the New Jersey area this past week. I was so over those after the first one this summer. I believe the latest was the sixth heatwave of the season. I don't like sweating. If I'm sweating, I should be working out and losing weight or something ... not just standing there. This summer I didn't perspire, I didn't glow. I sweated. Ack.

Between my full time job, this summer's extreme heat, the blogging gig, and Big Brother my summer's been relatively limited as far as going out of my way anywhere or doing a lot. I guess that will change on Tuesday morning when I venture into Elizabeth for jury duty. My juror number is well within those who must show up at 8 AM.

I've been poking around Elizabeth via the Google Earth Street View to check out the courthouse and the neighborhood around it. There's a lot of history in the area, dating back to the Revolutionary War and even before it. The courthouse itself is supposed haunted and the television series Ghost Hunters once did a segment on it. There are also peregrine falcons nesting there. With interesting architecture, a cemetery dating back to the 1600s, urban street characters ... I should have a field day with my camera during my travels to and from the courthouse and my lunch time. Of course, if I get selected for a trial, I wouldn't be able to post about it while it's ongoing, nor will I be taking photos in the courtroom. But I'm thinking of this as an adventure!

It will be a nice change of pace, plus I'll be doing my civic duty. I need an excuse to get out and about somewhere other than going back and forth to work. It's only a shame that I can't take my air conditioning with me as I walk around Elizabeth. While it's beautiful weather now, Tuesday will see us near 90 degrees once again.

Without further ado, here are the photos I've taken this week -- clicking on an image will open it larger in a new window --

I look around, leaves are brown now
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter
Look around, leaves are brown
There's a patch of snow on the ground.
-- "Hazy Shade of Winter" by Simon and Garfunkel

There I was walking in 96 degree heat and I came upon a pile of snow. Huh? What? Aliens? A mirage due to being delirious from the heat? I don't know. I took a photo just to prove it really did exist. Bridgewater, NJ

A pretty morning approaching the train station

This was taken Friday morning as Earl was supposedly moving closer. Where I live is far enough inland that coastal storms don't really mean much other than lots of wind. Perhaps the closest "shore" point would be the Elizabeth area which is actually secluded from the ocean by Bayonne and Staten Island. That's probably about 12 to 15 miles away. Earl turned out to be nothing but good surfing waves. This was taken at the Plainfield Train Station.

Turn on, tune in and drop out

Timothy Leary knew nothing about modern technology. Psychedelic drugs have nothing on the zombies walking the streets so involved in their own little technological play toys that nothing else exists. We have a generation of addicts without drugs, per se. Watchung Avenue, Plainfield.

Disclaimer: I admit to being a tech addict myself to a point with my digital camera and my Not an iPod. But, my cell phone is strictly for very rare phone calls. Real calls, I do at home. And I don't want a smart phone -- I'm Internet-addicted enough without one.

Plainfield Train Station at night

I worked later again last night and it was dark by the time I got home. Even if I hadn't worked later, this would have been the time I arrived home as there was yet another suicide by train on my line. The latest was nearby the station by my workplace. Earlier this week, there was one at the Roselle Park Station.

While suicide itself is often a drastic solution to what's often temporary problems and definitely not an advisable route, having someone else do the deed is reprehensible. My heart goes out to the engineers driving these trains -- they can't stop on a dime and they have to live knowing they killed someone. I know these NJ Transit engineers and conductors. They're mostly a great bunch of folks. There's been an increase this year with people jumping in front of trains.

It's definitely sad when someone ends their own life. But to involve others in the taking of it is even worse. Like suicide by cop, suicide by train isn't the way to do it. I don't really have answers.

Linger on the sidewalk where
the neon signs are pretty
How can you lose?
The lights are much brighter there
You can forget all your troubles,
forget all your cares
So go downtown,
things'll be great
when you're downtown.
-- "Downtown" by Petula Clark

I guess I'm in a music mood this week or, at least some of the photos are lending to song lyrics. El Palacio restaurant on Watchung Avenue in Plainfield has installed brilliant blue-hue spotlights in addition to their neon signs. Yeah, it's a bit gaudy, but it's good photo fodder. When you're in the light, it's almost like a black light effect on white clothing.

Regis is for the birds?

Pigeons and other birds love to gather just over Regis' head. I took this shot at the TD (Somerset Patriots) Ballpark in Bridgewater. Regis and Kelly, spokespeople for TD Bank, adorn the side of the stadium. And, might I add, draw birds.

I messed with this one

This is Watchung Avenue and East Fourth Street in Plainfield. I like what I did with it and I don't. I should mess some more or re-mess entirely. A train is pulling into the station while car traffic flows below.

I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own
-- "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay

Heh, more music. But I couldn't resist when I saw this guy pushing a vacuum cleaner up the street on Watchung Avenue in Plainfield.

Here comes the sun

Badahdah ... uh-oh. I'm singing again. The early morning sun all but silhouettes a commuter on the Plainfield Train Station platform.

Early morning Xpress Mart

Yes, I messed with the editing of this photo. But I'm pleased with these results. It gives it an almost Rockwell sort of "feel" albeit very different fodder than he used in his paintings. North Street in Plainfield.

Clinging to old technology

Just because they're technophobes hanging onto outdated television antennas doesn't mean they aren't going to take over the world.

First day of school

A mother hugs her child while awaiting the school bus. The city schools in Plainfield actually start this coming Tuesday. But some of the parochial and other private ones started last Wednesday and Thursday. It's hard to tell anymore as Plainfield's school uniforms are just about like what these kids are wearing.

He's yelling at me

Yes, he's wildly chirping, yelling and waving his tail all about. What did I do to him? Um, well, I accidentally threw my kitchen trash on his head. How was I to know a squirrel was in my apartment building's dumpster? Sheesh! Obviously, I didn't hurt him. But he gave me what for!

Bird fence

You know, if I'm walking in one direction, flying ahead of me and stopping will mean I'm coming again. Why don't you hide behind me and then I'll be gone? East Front Street, Plainfield.

A taxi rainbow

Right here you see four differently-colored taxi companies gathered at the taxi stand at the Plainfield Train Station. The yellow cabs (which used to be neon green) are Yellow, the blue cab is United, the red is Liberty and the orange is Caribe. There are also black, white, yellow minivans (not Yellow) and the occasional purple cabs.

Call me a cab!
You're a cab.
Thank you, I'll be here all week.

Sunrise for another hot day

The sun peeks through just after dawn on Monday. Plainfield Train Station.

Early morning El Palacio

The bright lights make the sidewalk and its bench glow even in the daylight. Watchung Avenue, Plainfield.

Now he's yelling at me, too!

And I didn't even throw trash on him! Apparently he's camera shy. Up on the wires overhead on East Front Street, Plainfield.


I bought Vincent a new toy my downstairs neighbor must already hate -- a compressed catnip ball. Vincent loves it, but he likes to roll it on the hardwood floor more than on my carpeted areas. Oh, well. I can hear the chihuahua barking down there. So we're even!

How was your week? I hope everyone has a great holiday!


Delee said...

The bird fence is so unusual, also very strange.

A few years ago we were near Foxwoods on a bus and had to detour. Seems someone jumped in front of a bus headed away from the casino. I agree about letting someone else do the deed, I can only imagine the anguish person feels for years.

As always the picture are great, maybe the squirrels are joining the birds or just warning you about them! HAHA

Good luck with the jury duty thingy and looking forward to your pictures from there!

RyzandShyn said...

Good Morning!
You are right about the addictive nature of all that technology.
I have a 19 year old here that I found I need to call to wake up when he leaves me a wake-up note.
He doesn't respond anymore to me calling up the stairs, he grunts when I stand over him, but he wakes right up and answers his darn cell phone!
Downtown is one of those uplifting Broadway smaltz songs that get stuck in my head everytime I hear it, singing with gusto and dancing embellishments...thanks a bunch :).
I have one for the Sunrise on a Hot Day photo:
And I think it's gonna be all right
Yeah, the worst is over now
The morning sun is shining like a red rubber ball
1966 - The Cyrkle
Good Luck with your jury duty travels.

JOEY said...

Hi Jackie this is my first time posting here and while I have been a long time fan for years on both your site here and T.V. squad. I wanted to thank you for your hard work and reports as well.
because I am deaf, when I watch the show, the captions for the deaf is not alway working and it get confusing but when I read you, I alway enjoy and learn more from you. Thank you for all that. I enjoy your photos as well, you have a good eye for it. I also enjoy your humors as well. I will alway apreciate you and the work you do so if ever you feel down or that it not worse it to you, please know that there are some like me who take great pride in you and can alway get the real fact from you. I wish I could repay you for all the ways you are apreciated, but I hope you know, Thank you, will never be enough to let you know how much it mean to me that you do this.
Thank you and sorry for long post.

joyn said...

An especially enjoyable post this week. Your sense of humor is so welcome on a sleepy Sunday morning, er, afternoon. I slept in after staying up so late and missed my Sunday morning show. Should have thought to tape it.

Great photos! Great songs in my head for the day!

The only technology I have in my life is this computer and one little Trac Phone for emergencies. I buy a new $20. card every three months. I rarely use it and have a ton of minutes accumulated as I'm not much of a phone talker. Only time I used it a lot was when my dh was in the hospital and was glad I had it then.

For the first time in my life I experienced the aftermath of a suicide this year but he took pills and left a note. Not a fun experience but I also am grateful that he involved no one else in helping him succeed.

Always particularly love your bird and animal pix. This was not your week for squirrels, was it? Maybe that 2nd one was a friend of the first and was letting you know that word had gotten around. LOL!

Vincent looks wonderful and happy. What a great unintentional payback for that chihuahua downstairs.

Sally said...

Hi Joey! What a lovely tribute to Jackie's work. Her efforts affect people in some unexpected ways.

I especially like the train station photos this week: interesting skies and lighting, and those lovely light posts.

I've never heard of a compressed catnip ball, but it sounds like something my cats would like. I'll have to look for one next time I'm "Downtown, where all the lights are bright..." That song likely will be with me all day.

Hope the ghosts at the courthouse are the friendly type. Maybe you'll have strange new photos to post next week.

Jackie said...

Thank you for the kind comments, everyone ... Joey in particular! Welcome aboard and your comments touched my heart!

Sally - The compressed catnip ball (got it at Target) smells like intense catnip, is about the size of a pool ball and is very hard. But he loves it!

Anonymous said...

Really nice photos this week. Interesting perspective.