Sunday, May 29, 2011

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was - May 29, 2011

Happy Sunday! My apologies for getting this up later than usual today. But, since it is Sunday, it's time for my weekly reflection on the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken. I've had the past week off from work but not from my camera!

For a week off, I've definitely had enough to do. While I didn't travel anywhere, this was my week to "get stuff done." The verdict? Well, I got a lot of stuff done but not everything I planned. Isn't that always how it goes?

Most of the stuff I wanted to get done ties in with my anticipated knee replacement surgery. I know I'm not going to want to do any extensive housekeeping for a few weeks, so all floor waxing and strenuous stuff needs to be done before the surgery. That's stuff which still needs to be worked on!

I did get other things accomplished such as financial stuff. I paid off the few hundred remaining on an older 401K loan so that, if need be, I can take another one out if money gets tight while out on short term disability. That's my best route to finance help -- I don't (won't) pay any penalties as I won't be leaving my job for retirement until after I pay it back. Just a bit out of my paycheck every week and no hassles. Yeah, I know the 401K is for retirement, but I enjoy having it now, too.

I also got Vincent all squared away with his current shots and check-up. The vet and assistant said he was beautiful and so well behaved! He got a clean bill of health, some gunk in his ears tested negative for mites. Now I know I'm going to have to occasionally swab his ears. I was so proud of how good he was there! It's amazing how well behaved he is out and about in public. In cars (and his one train trip), he's quiet and even purrs when petted. And, in public places, he's a bit curious but not really scared. I've always had cats who were terrified and cried in public. What a change!

After his shots, he was a bit lethargic for about a day. But he's back to his old Vincent self now. He doesn't know he's going to be boarded in a few weeks while I have the surgery, but he's all set for it. I'm going to board him at Best Friends, the same place he went while I was on vacation last year.

While they seem to favor dogs, the cats have their own place with individual 3-story cat condos away from the noise of dogs. They let each cat out to play in the big glass-enclosed cat room and email photos of the cat to his owner daily. They have vets on call if needed, cost no more than boarding at a veterinarian and seem to be a better environment for cats than boarding at a vet. I was very happy with them last year and Vincent didn't seem too upset either.

I also got the photos for the upcoming library summer photo exhibition (not to be confused with the contest) all squared away. All I have yet to do is write a brief bio of me (which I will get done today Jeff, if you're reading this). I'm pleased with the selection and will make it to the opening, even on crutches! Since the date of my knee operation is later than I had planned when initially discussing this, I'll likely be on pain meds and crutches. More on the show as I know more ...

Work on my vacation was necessary this week as I had to go in one day to do pre-work on a new software program. I coincided the work with a conference call I wasn't going to take otherwise. It went well although I wasn't really keen on going in on my vacation. I felt like some sort of work-a-holic and I'm not! But I will be away all summer. Now is the time for them to need me to do these things as I know I won't be able to do work things for at least two or three months ... or longer!

If you TV fans haven't been checking the blog, I have a So You Think You Can Dance season premiere post up. I hope to be following that show through the summer but might have to juggle it against the Big Brother schedule as far as posting. It might end up getting recorded. I don't watch Dancing With the Stars, but I'm always hooked on SYTYCD. You're all invited!

Since my summer plans are basically rest, elevate, ice, do my exercises, go to physical therapy ... I will have plenty of time for TV watching and posting! Of course, after this summer, I'll be out of knees to do this on every three years.

I received a letter from my health insurance company. They're approving hospitalization for my knee replacement surgery. That's probably more advisable than the "do it at home" approach, right? Of course, they will be consulting more with my doctor to make sure it's medically necessary. Sheesh, if they actually knew me, they'd know that I don't want to be in the hospital any longer than needed. The hospital part the last time was when I was most miserable of the other knee replacement.

Enough! Onto the photos! Clicking on an image will open it larger in a new window, then just hit your browser's back button to return to the blog.

Arches to summer

We went pretty much from winter to summer with just a rainy cold spring separating them. I took this shot at the Plainfield Train Station, editing it to leave just the greenery at the end. I love the angles and shots I can get at train stations and Plainfield is always giving me new fodder.

Ready to be born

This will be a stunning iris soon. Berckman Street, Plainfield.

On your mark, get set ...

A squirrel poses for me on an East Front Street sidewalk.

Nature is so fantastic, isn't it?

Is there anything more glorious than this iris on Berckman Street?

Or these?

Also on Berckman Street amongst the neglected grass at a recently vacated home.

Not irises, but still works of wonder.

Also on Berckman Street in Plainfield.

New beetle this year.

In photographs I've taken of this one, it's obvious it has a clear covering over it. By eye only, it seems to be purely a shiny gold beetle. Perhaps, since under the clear cover, it looks like a stink bug, that might be what it is -- baby stink bug. It's smaller than a lady bug and they seem to be doing a lot of greenery eating at the Bridgewater Train Station.

Not a trusting soul?

Heh, wallet in hand, it looks like the one man is concerned about the other coming up behind him. But that's not really the case. He had his wallet out as he bought tickets at the Plainfield Train Station. And, the man coming up behind him is only Omar.

I've long contended that, although some folks are leery of him, Omar is not trouble at the station. I found out NJ Transit workers feel the same way about him. On this particular day, not only was Omar helping people at the machines, he was telling everyone that the trains were running on the opposite track due to track work. At one point the clerk working inside came out and checked on him to make sure he was directing people to the right track! No, he's not a New Jersey Transit employee. Yes, he is a fixture at the station.


I'm not sure why so many of the Latino bodegas in town refer to themselves as "supermarkets." To me, the mere word "super" in there indicates a vast space with never-ending aisles ... a Stop and Shop, a Wegmans, something on that order. These ones in town are bodegas or convenience stores, not supermarkets! Twin City and Supremo are supermarkets in town. I also can't help but wonder if these small markets all got together and invested in bright yellow paint. Park Avenue, Plainfield.

Vintage neon

There is no longer a liquor store at this location on Watchung Avenue, yet the old neon sign remains. There is a lot of working neon in town, but I love seeing these old school signs. Oh, not to worry ... there are liquor stores down the block either way from this sign without a store.

Some people go both ways.

I like the illusion that these one way signs are sending out a contradictory message. I took this shot from near the library looking towards West Eighth Street as the little street behind the library emptied into it.

The lamps of Library Park

They seem to be leading folks to the historical home but I don't think the folks who live there want us to stop by. The homes surrounding Library Park are fantastic and most are very well-kept. Plainfield, NJ.

The sneakers of Library Park

Alas, the urban sneak(er)s in ...

All it needs is eyes and apples to throw!

I must be on a Wizard of Oz kick this week! Doesn't this tree look like one of the ones ruled by the Wicked Witch? I found it at the Plainfield Public Library.

Hog in da 'hood, hog in da 'hood!

For just being down the block from the sign which touts the start of the Plainfield Business District, we have a lot of critters in my neighborhood. Raccoons, ground hogs, opossum, occasional deer, geese, hawks, woodpeckers ... you name it. The huge lawns and nearby Green Brook seem to offer cover.

I'm CUTER than that ol' groundhog!

Yes, yes you are. East Front Street, Plainfield.

Against all odds

Nature wins over mankind every day. East Third Street in Plainfield just up from the train station.

Who's this on the sidewalk?

Why, it's Vincent in his sport carrier awaiting a ride home from the vet! That carrier is great -- it weighs practically nothing and has a shoulder strap. While it's too small for a long haul, it's perfect for short trips and he enjoys it. It also collapses so you can put it in a purse.

He was great in this as dogs and people passed by. Yet when a chipmunk ran by the carrier, Vincent actually tipped it over! The chipmunk was too fast for me to take a shot.

What have I done to deserve this?

Vincent on the table in the vet's office. I put another photo up on Facebook -- I hope this link works for that. He was so good! We watched another cat get all toweled up just to have his nails clipped. That cat screamed like they were killing him. Now, Vincent's not thrilled when I clip his claws and I rarely get them done all in one sitting, but he doesn't fuss like that! He just wants to get down by the time I get the first paw done. Wait until the first time I swab his ears now that I know his ears get gunky!

Update: The link to the Vincent photo doesn't work, but the link to all of the wall photos I've put on FB is this one. The Vincent shot is near the end of the photos.

I hope everyone is having a great Memorial Day Weekend. Please take some time to reflect on the meaning behind the day. My own father was a veteran, as was my grandfather. I salute all who have served our country!

1 comment:

meb said...

Well I just wrote a nice long response to your TWTWIW and immediately lost it. So I'll just say that I enjoyed it, the pictures, the stories about Vincent and you. Hope you're enjoying your long weekend and yes, we must remember the reason we're off. Remember to honor those who gave of their lives for our freedom.

I'm going to try to post this again.