Sunday, November 21, 2010

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was - November 21, 2010

Another Sunday, once again time for my off television topic reflection on the week gone by in words and photographs I've taken. We're into the kind of weather I really enjoy here -- a chill in the air, perhaps a touch of frost in the overnight hours. I'd definitely take this over the heat and high humidity levels of the summertime. I like sweaters. Yet we don't have to worry about snow and ice yet.

Once again, my week was basically routine. Work, home, eat, give Vincent his quality time with me, television, reading and then do it all over again the next day. Work has been extremely hectic and once again I'm running around putting out fires when my preferred approach is to prevent the fires in the first place. Er, no. I'm not a fireman. I was speaking figuratively. I'd rather be proactive than reactive. My stress level works so much better that way.

Here in town, they arrested two people for the murder of the 17-year-old I mentioned last week. I find it interesting that the victim keeps getting reported as a "boy" while the suspects, only a year older, are said to be "men." To me, they're all kids. That one year doesn't make a real difference. Most young children know right from wrong and realize murder is wrong.

I have no solutions. Is it society? The parenting? I just don't know. There are conflicting reports and rumors about the victim. He was either an angel or a problem depending on who's doing the talking. I didn't know him, so I can't say. Almost all of the shootings in the city are either drug or gang related ... or both. The fact that witnesses won't speak up either due to a silly "no snitching" code or a real fear of retaliation doesn't help matters.

Something has to be done about the gangs. Parents definitely need to take more interest in the lives of their children -- who they're with, where they are, what they're doing. I grew up without that scrutiny in my childhood. However, we had woods, lakes, places to explore although we didn't have structured "places to go" or activities. It was a different world then. We had some rough kids with leather jackets and switchblades, bullies and such. But they weren't organized gangs.

In other news, I saw someone tagged a blank church sign in my neighborhood with MS13. We still have old "GF" graffiti on mailboxes from several years back when a drug-dealing gang calling themselves "Goodfellaz" did their business here. They're still in jail six years after being rounded up. If arrests and jail are what needs to be done, so be it. But the young kids need parental supervision! It all goes back to my theory of being proactive rather than reactive. Alas, right now there are fires which need to be put out.


Anyway, it's Thanksgiving week upon us. I have a four day work week instead of five. YES! I expect tonight's The Amazing Race will be delayed due to football. However, I'll get a blog party post up for it at 8 PM ET. I hope to see you then!

Okay, onto the photos I've taken this week. Clicking on an image will open it larger in a new window ...

Framed by Fall

Several trees are still either colorful or just hanging onto their leaves. This is looking at the house on the corner of East Front and Richmond Streets in Plainfield. When enlarged, you can see the start of the Christmas decorations going up, including the candy cane porch pillars. She has the most beautiful flowers all summer and decorates for every holiday.

NJ Transit, "The Way to Go"

The way to go late, that is! On Thursday morning, trains in both directions were held up for over a half-hour. This (apparent) business man was heading towards the city. At least the delay gave me photo fodder! Plainfield Train Station.

You get up every morning
From your alarm clock’s warning
Take the 8:15 into the city
There’s a whistle up above
And people pushin’, people shovin’
And the girls who try to look pretty
And if your train’s on time
You can get to work by nine.
-- "Takin' Care of Business" by Bachman-Turner Overdrive

Suits, Jeans, Short and Tall ... we all waited.

Same morning, same Plainfield Train Station.

I see the train a'comin' ...

Er, no you don't. What you see are TWO trains just sitting there not moving. And, one moved first just passing through not picking up anyone. It was ten minutes later that the next one came through and stopped.

Supposedly the delays were due to a disabled train in the next town over. When that happens, they have to remove the passengers and then they go down to one track ... kind of like that old math problem about two trains heading towards each other. The delays continue as trains are held back to let one pass through at a time. As there are only so many places a train can cross to the other track, thus more delays.

The man in the gabardine suit is a spy
His bow-tie is really a camera.
--"America" by Simon and Garfunkel

A Little Off the Top

With dark coming so much earlier, I enjoying playing with night shots. I don't like to use the flash, but it takes a very steady hand to get clear images. I hold my breath while shooting. A barbershop on East Front Street in Plainfield.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

The decorations in Plainfield went up this week. This is Watchung Avenue looking towards East Front Street.

Autumn Canopy

Church Street, Plainfield. The Heard Building is on the right with the Quaker Cemetery just beyond it.

Putting out fires

It's the real firemen. There was no fire, though. An alarm was coming from the little restaurant on the corner. Since the woman who works there was standing looking confused, I believe it was a false alarm. The corner of Church and East Second Streets, Plainfield.

More trucks arrive

There is still no fire.

Sad Scene

This is the tree which sports the bird feeder I often photograph. I also shot it and its man decorating it for Christmas one year. I mentioned that I thought the tree was dead this spring when there were no blossoms ... then no leaves. Sigh. We had extremely heavy winds on Wednesday and they did it in. If you look, you'll see the bird feeder sitting atop the child's play jungle (or whatever that is). East Front Street, Plainfield.

In which I play with a photo editor

A bike rack at the Bridgewater (NJ) Train Station.

Uh-oh! They've taken over the tree!

The birds rally at a tree nearby the Plainfield Train Station. Next, they'll take over the world.

Talkin' Trash?

Nah, they're just standing by a trash can. Early morning working dudes at the corner of North and Watchung Avenues, Plainfield.

Watching the early morning world

A man on the second floor of the Chotola building watches over North Avenue as folks head off to work. I edited this to leave him in color, the rest in B&W.

Ahem, NJT. What's up with this?

Bricks are coming apart by the stairway leading to Track One. It's better than when the stairs themselves fell apart at the Bridgewater Station, but it needs attention. Plainfield Train Station.

The Dark, Shadows and Light

Although it's not pitch-black on my early Mondays since the time change, with overcast skies this past Monday, it was indeed dark-ish. The corner of Church Street and East Front in Plainfield.

Now they've taken over the Chotola

Pigeons hang out on the decorative doohickey-thingee atop the Chotola apartment building on North Avenue, Plainfield. I wonder how their hierarchy works with which pigeon getting what spot. Did the top pigeon bully the others or are they just respecting him for being a fine bird?

This one only conquered a branch

I don't think sparrows will lead the battle cry.

The Bays Beckon

Playing again with night/light shots. This is a garage on East Fourth Street, Plainfield.

Gliding, Soaring and ... Hunting

I hope he's not hunting for humans! A hawk in flight. Bridgewater, NJ.

Nap Time!

It's often nap time for Vincent. This is his favorite spot when I don't want him draped across my shoulder or on my lap while I'm at the computer. Since he has to be near me, I brought him his own chair so he can be next to me. He doesn't think it's as good as being ON me, but he suffers through it okay.

How was your week?


RJM in SC said...

great pictures. the gangs seem to be poppig up everywhere now. Even the small townas are being effected. Hope all have a great Thanksgiving.

Delee said...

MS13 aka Mara Salvatrucha is a horrible gang and growing all over the world. Saw something about them on A & E and it really made me want to steer clear of them. So be very careful, Jackie!

The Autumn Canopy is my favorite of the week!

Sally said...

The "Framed by Fall" photo is really nice--it would probably be fun to decorate a house like that for various seasons. And I like your photos of people waiting for the train.

Hope the MS13 tagger in your neighborhood was a wanna-be instead of the real thing. They seem to be a particularly ruthless group.

It's a dark and dreary day here--foggy, rainy and cold. I think Vincent has the right idea!

Donna in AL said...

I am not so sure it is the parents not being involved. I have two sons, raised the same, one stayed on the straight and narrow road, the other took the drug side. I know it's not the same as gangs but my sons are total opposites. They are now both on the straight and narrow... thank you Jesus!

I love your pictures Jackie! Vincent sounds like my Fluffy... "I just want to be near you mommy"

Laurie said...

Thank you once again for sharing autumn with us, Jackie.

I never heard of this gang but will now read more about it. Such a sad culture.

Vincent told me he needs a pillow or a blanket on his chair. It's just not at comfy as your shoulders or lap.