Sunday, April 17, 2011

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was - April 17, 2011

Is it Sunday already? Why, yes it is! That means it's time for my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photographs. Although we only had a few days of really nice spring weather here, at least I have more photo fodder as things come to life after the long and heavy-duty winter.

Work is still very hectic, something I find a bit perturbing as this isn't the usual time of year for hectic. I'm usually fine-tuning things, cleaning out files and such this time of year. Oh, not this year. Gah.

I shouldn't fuss, though. I'll be having the entire summer off. I made the plunge and set up the date for my right knee replacement. My left knee will be three years old on May 14. My right knee, as it is now, will be history on June 16. I'm using the same surgeon, same hospital and the same physical therapist. Heck, with the exception of the DVT, I was very satisfied. Hopefully there will be no DVT this time around and I'll heal well enough to mosey the beaches of the Outer Banks in late September!

Even if it's still a bit rough, I'm going to take that vacation. I'm committed. I have bought tickets for the flights. Swimming is great for a knee replacement and there's a pool. I'm going and I'm going to have a fantastic time with friends I've met right here through this blog. Woohoo! I'm not overly keen on facing the TSA with two knee replacements, but I'll do it.

In other news, I finally did my taxes this week. With the writing income, it's not as simple as things used to be. At my day job I have extra monies taken out weekly to cover no taxes taken out on my 1099s. While my return is more than enough to pay for the above airline tickets, I can't help but wonder what a $3,000 tax return is like. I keep hearing that's the average. It must not be the average for a single person with no dependents unless they're earning huge bucks or have way too much taken out in the first place!

My upstairs neighbors have their grandchild again for the weekend. They don't do it often, but I definitely know it when they do. Nothing like a child above my head running and stomping on hardwood floors. Vincent is irked, too. The couple who live up there, despite always wearing shoes or hard-soled slippers, generally walk fairly lightly. So, I can't really complain. Oops. I already complained.

I tend to kick off my shoes the moment I come in the door and, even though I'm not a light-weight, I walk quietly. My downstairs neighbor sometimes thinks I've moved because he doesn't hear me. I'd love an upstairs neighbor like that! That said, the current couple upstairs (who have lived there maybe six years or so) are the quietest that have been up there since I moved here. So, that's good.

Well, onto the photos I've taken this week. Clicking on an image will open it larger in a new window. Then just go back to the blog using your browser's "back" function.

A rainy night in Plainfield

This is last night on Watchung Avenue as the rain came down. What a dismal day we had! Heavy rain, gusty winds and flood warnings. Lots of areas in town had their streets flooded. I was fine here. While we had some lightning and thunder, the storms didn't hit us anywhere near as bad as other areas of the country. But it was enough to have some businesses close their doors and the streets were practically deserted as I returned home from work.

Standing guard

A bird outpost has been set up in Bridgewater, NJ, as the birds plan their takeover of the planet.

Stuff is growing

Remember the snow wall?

Yep, this is the same bench which had the 15-foot mountain of snow behind it for most of the winter! Church Street (Plainfield), early morning on our sunny day this week.

Almost open

The holiday decorated yard at East Front and Richmond in Plainfield has traded in Santa for flowers.

Now the fire hydrant looks silly again.

But when the snow was shoulder-high on the corner, it wasn't looking silly. Um, I think it was buried even though it's raised anyway. Watchung Avenue and East Fourth Street, Plainfield.

More stuff growing.

Hindi summer camp!

Now I know what I'll do with myself for the summer! I know how to say thank you, hello, good night and goodbye in Hindi. But don't ask me how to spell them. It comes from working in Edison, NJ for a few years.

More stuff growing!

Exit to street

This was taken from the westbound platform of the Plainfield Train Station. A sad note is that the Xpress Mart convenience store shut down over the winter. I thought it was business-related due to sales. I know that although I liked the convenience to the station and the folks who worked there, the prices were extremely high, the service tended to be slow and they weren't dependable as far as being open their posted hours.

An ex-worker told me they closed due to issues amongst the owners/workers. Sigh. I try to patronize local small businesses as I know it's not easy for them to survive.


Several hawks were circling over North Avenue in Plainfield on Saturday morning. I only caught a few of them in this shot (on the left), but there were a good half-dozen. Something must have caught their attention.

Church Street in its spring glory

The trees lining this street are beautiful this time of year!

Oh my

I believe this is my find for the week. This head on the porch railing can be found on East Fifth Street near the corner of Richmond (unless Saturday's winds blew it down). I saw no signs of petechial hemorrhaging, so it's doubtful it was strangulation. Wait, I've watching too many C.S.I. shows! I have no idea what the head is all about. But it's kind of creepy!


Looking down on a flower on Berckman Street in Plainfield.

The scourge of summer is back

No, not the Berckman Street crew o' kids. I'm talking that ice cream truck! They've outlawed "Turkey in the Straw" here. So they've got an even more annoying tune playing LOUDLY, then it stops and a voice shouts out LOUDLY, "Hello! HELLO! HELLO!" Then the music starts all over once again. This was our one really nice day this week. No, I didn't buy ice cream. If I buy ice cream, it will be decent stuff ... like Godiva!


No, you can't kill the poison ivy by chopping at it over the winter! Kind of like a starfish regenerating a lost limb (point? whatever!), the poison ivy recreates itself. Bridgewater, NJ.

Looking up

Looking at the tree blossoms on Church Street. Obviously, not yesterday!

Da 'hood is budding

Quite a difference from the last time I posted this scene, eh?

Masonic Temple

Back in the day, they used to do things all fancy-like. 105 East Seventh Street (naturally), Plainfield.

Pretty in pink

Looking at West Eighth Street from the Plainfield Library steps.

These sandals were made for ...

... um, sticking in rails? Plainfield Train Station.


A closer look at the blossoms on the Church Street trees. I'm not really sure what they are. Dogwood? Oh, Bernice ... what are they?

Square within a violet

Not the best focus, but I found the square pretty cool. East Front Street, Plainfield.

Into the belly of the beast

Dandelion extreme.

Foggy morning

Tuesday morning was extremely foggy, then it rained. Such is spring. But, sheesh, it would be nice to have a run of GOOD days, wouldn't it? Bridgewater Train Station.

I'm too sexy for my whiskers

Okay, Vincent. You do realize you're not "sexy" at all, don't you?

By the way, in case you missed it -- I posted on Survivor's Seven Most Outlandish Characters the other day. Let me know your thoughts!
How was your week?


meb said...

Good morning Jackie... Love all the pictures, but of course the best one is Vincent...

The buildings across from the "Exit to Street' picture remind me of a renovated "Roofus" building. Has anyone see him recently?

Color is pouring out all over here too, with all the azaleas in full bloom.. The storms here in NC last night really gave them a beating. Needed the rain, just not so much or so hard.

Luckily the tornadoes stayed away from my immediate neighborhood, but there were a lot of areas hit hard 'right around the corner' so to speak.

Didn't know you were getting the knee surgery before going to the OBX. Get some good rehab prior... of course walking in the sand will be good too as long as you are careful.

Thanks for Off Topic... it was interesting as usual.

Jackie said...

That is the Roofus building. The last I knew, he was still hanging out with another cat in the old Budget Rental Car building.

Yes, the knee has to be done before OBX. No matter what shape it is in then, it will be better than not having it done!

Bernice said...

Hi Jackie,
I ran into the former owner of Budget Rent-a-Car and informed him that he had a world-famous cat on the premises. He disputed the notion that the cat he came to feed is Roofus, as, he said, the cat has never been outside the building in five years. Checking old clips, I see that Roofus is black and white, while his cat is gray and white. So Roofus is still a mystery!

~~Silk said...

Mystery tree blossom - probably apple.

Blue flower with square - probably vinca minor.

Delee said...

I agree that is not dogwood, but maybe crabapple. The dogwood was blooming in WV and KY, love the pink ones. It was amazing with a slight jog south how much was green and blooming. I came hope with great hopes but nada. Your locale is more advanced then mine.

Can not wait for OBX and being meeting all of you finally1

meb said...

Jackie.. I totally agree... get that knee repaired... and I'm glad it's before the OBX... you'll need two good knees... I remember your jaunts where we all wondered where you disappeared, but remembering your camera, we didn't worry. :)

Bernice, since that cat is gray and white, I'm going with: Roofus was a pet and his owners moved from the area and he's an inside cat now, enjoying all the luxeries of life. YES!!

Anonymous said...

Jackie, only you can make a dandelion look so beautiful! :)