Sunday, January 08, 2012

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was - January 8, 2012

It's Sunday morning, time for my off television topic reflection of the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken. Of course, since we've been in television doldrums, I haven't had any real television posts lately. I did set up a discussion post for The Bachelor, but can't comment much because I don't watch the show. I have a few posts planned this week for SouthLAnd and The Celebrity Apprentice. We're slowly coming out of repeat season!

The big happening this week is that I received my new (used) DSLR! It's not top of the line or anything, but I don't really have a thousand or two laying around to pay for a camera. I'm still in the process of learning how to use it. And, thanks to an Amazon gift card from my brother and his wife, I've ordered a camera case, spare batteries, cheap macro extension tubes (gotta have 'em for my summer bug pics!), an inexpensive wide angle lens, etc. This is going to be fun! One drawback ... it's definitely not like sticking my old point and shoot in my pocket.

With both my knee and the weather faring well, I walked around town for a couple of hours on Friday. I had the day off as my New Year's holiday although I actually had New Year's Day as my paid holiday. Since that was a Sunday and it was a four day work week, Friday ended up being my other day off.

Well, I ended up off Saturday, too. But that wasn't scheduled. I don't know if it's some chicken I ate while I was out photo stomping on Friday or a stomach bug. Whatever it is/was, it hit me hard on Saturday. I'm feeling a bit better now. That said, I'm still in awe that I walked all over downtown and back and my knee didn't hurt, not even the next day!

The weather here continues to be bizarre, to say the least. We had a frigid cold (normal) period for a few days. Then on Friday and Saturday, the temperatures were over 60 again. While I don't want the snows of last year, I think we need some kind of winter. It makes for boring photos when everything is just dead! At least snow gives me fresh fodder. I suppose we're not going to escape the elements for the whole winter.

Enough blather, onto the photos! 


This was the first photo I took with my DSLR. I took it at lunch during my workday on Thursday. I had the camera shipped to my workplace as I hate playing package delivery tag at home. I also worry that the post office might actually LEAVE a package when I'm not home. That would be an EEK! 

Anyway, a whole group of seagulls were hovering in the wind as if I was going to give them food. I had nothing to give them. He's looking at me! Eek!

Lost holiday cheer

Yes, I heavily edited this photo for effect. This is the scene of the "Bull Durham Building" fire, the almost untouched restaurant on the first floor ... the only occupied part of the building. I suppose the interior of the restaurant must have extensive damage as the building is so gone. However, the windows still speak of holiday cheer before tragedy.

Fix those lamps!

The lamps I love to photograph at the Plainfield Train Station are in sad shape as of late. Specifically, the eastbound track has several lamps out and they've been out for a matter of weeks. While it's not really a safety issue as there is plenty of light, it's an aesthetic issue for me. Get on the ball, NJ Transit!


Seagull in flight

Another seagull shot from my lunch hour with the new camera.

Squirrel in flight

Yes ... he flies! Check it out! While not a work of art, I need to point out the ornamental kale in the background. I see photo fodder for me in the future! East Front Street, Plainfield.

No snow makes for a happy goose

Some of the Canada geese remained last year despite the heavy snow cover. I bet they're happier this season so far. The geese have returned to the "field of geese" in now what I know is the pollution-laden toxic superfund site near the Bridgewater Train Station. In the evenings as I leave work, I can hear the ducks quacking in the pond at the back of the field. I'm still not seeing the rabbits, groundhogs or chipmunks who populated the area before the Irene flooding.

Still standing, still guarded

Okay, all of us local folks know that the city moved too swiftly on the demolition of an historic building on North Avenue last year. But this is such a waste of money. Contractors have bids in. Take it down! We're spending a small fortune on police guarding the fire scene. More bricks seem to have fallen from the top of the structure. The roof is all but gone. Local businesses and traffic are being affected with the block shut down to traffic. And, I have enough photos.

Open door policy at City Hall?

Yeah, right. I know some of the folks in local government are fine upstanding folks. But don't get me going on the Mayor! This photo will start the watch to when the wreaths end up being removed. If memory serves, it was almost springtime last year. I'm a bit dismayed at the rust discoloring on the steps. In the past few years, they rehabbed City Hall and that's a bit of an eyesore.

I met a horse, er ... dog

I talked to this dog from across the street. He was HUGE. I believe, although dogs aren't my area of expertise, he's some kind of Great Dane mix. He pretty much ignored me, showing much more interest in a man passing by on the corner. Either training or prejudiced against men, maybe. This was at the corner of East Sixth Street and Roosevelt Avenue.

Squirrel on his post

Oh my, it looks like they need to power wash that siding! East Front Street, Plainfield.

B-U-I-S-N-E-S-S?  Really?

For as many years as I've lived in town, this business has sported the sign of a previous business. So now they finally have their own sign up. I mean. Really? It's B-U-S-I-N-E-S-S. I'm sure they paid a pretty penny for the sign. They need to get it replaced for free. It's very possible that English isn't the first language of the proprietor or that he has poor spelling skills himself and hasn't noticed the misspelling. I have never been inside as check cashing stores aren't the sort of places I frequent. But, since the sign is in English, it should be spelled right!

I took the shot in the pre-dawn hours heading to work along East Front Street. The darkest hour is just before the dawn and all that, y'know.


These berries were growing along Roosevelt Avenue near the train overpass. It was nice to see some kind of color out there!

Police phone for public use

Most of these have been stolen throughout the city. When I got my first digital camera and used to roam about taking photos, I took shots of over a dozen of these defunct call boxes. I've noticed them vanish over the years. (Alas, my photos of them are trapped in an old hard drive which someday I'll get fixed.) I guess they're selling them for the metal. But, you know me ... I miss the history. The ones on either side of my own block have been stolen, as well as many downtown. This one still stands at the corner of East Fifth Street and Roosevelt Avenue.

Goosed, oh deer!

Even though the holiday season is over, many lawns in town are still adorned for the holidays. This year they can't use the excuse that the snow is too deep to go out to remove them! East Front Street, Plainfield.

Whoa, dude!

Here I am having fun with the photo editing software! Wheeeeee!

The reality

This is the old Miron warehouse. It was going to be luxury condos, then was abandoned funding-wise (I think), sat around and got condemned. Then someone else took over with the idea of making it into apartments. They got as far as installing new windows and now the progress has been idle for months on end. The building itself looks unstable in parts and I think parts of the roof are still down. But, hey ... it's got new expensive windows! East Second Street, Plainfield.

Buen pollo frito Chinese style

Since ALL of the Chinese restaurants now also cater to Spanish speaking patrons, I can only guess how many Spanish misspellings or just wrong phrases are on the menus. I've never seen them do the English perfectly! I've passed by this one often enough as it's but a short walk away from me, but I've never bought food there. While they do have a couple of tables, it's mainly take out service. If I'm going to have Chinese take out, I want it delivered! I'm spoiled like that. East Front Street, Plainfield.

Remnants of Christmas

The site of the other pre-Christmas fire, the 4th Street Portuguese B.B.Q. building, still adorned with a burnt holiday wreath. As I was shooting the building, I noticed the fully decorated Christmas tree on the fire escape of the nearby building and shot this to include both. I don't know. It's poignant ... or something. East Fourth Street, Plainfield.

Golden oro gold

There are also apartments for rent in the building. While someplace like this would be very convenient for me (a stone's throw from the train station and all), I think I'd be leery living downtown. Maybe I'm just an Uptown Girl! Or, East Side Girl but there's no song about that. The building itself looks in good shape. I wonder what the apartments look like. Park Avenue, Plainfield.

A break at Everybody's

This man is actually selling something from that cart you see. I was across the street, so I can't tell you exactly what he was selling. Not drugs ... a good thing. It looked like some kind of baked goods. People were coming up to him and he was bagging whatever it is. Probably as illegal as heck, but people seemed to be seeking him out. Perhaps it's like the free bread guy who sets up Saturday morning on Church Street giving away baked goods. Well, except this one seemed to be taking money. Oh, well. Everybody's itself is a whole 'nuther story. I like their selection of ginger beer! East Front Street, Plainfield.

A comfy Vincent

Vincent was very pleased that I spent most of Saturday in bed. I think that's his favorite place to be with me. If I go to bed and he's not there, it's less than a minute before he joins me. Sure, he pretty much has to be wherever I am in the apartment, but the bed is the most cozy!

How was your week?


Delee said...

Hope this day starts with you feeling better.

I understand about the package situation. Best Buy was out of the GPS I wanted so they ordered it for me. This was in store not online. When I returned home from Amanda's on the 30th, guess what was outside by my front door. A small damp box. I was never told it would come to the house, thought it would be store pick-up. Lesson learned!

The police call boxes make me think of when I see a pay phone on our travels. Make you look twice and say, "Wow there are some still around"!

Hope everyone has a wonderful week and moderate weather this week!

Sally said...

You're going to have a lot of fun with that new camera! And we're going to be treated to a lot of creatively taken and edited photos. I look forward to it.

Good to hear that your knee is doing so well. Love the photo of Vincent, demonstrating that feline knack for stiking elegrant and comfortable poses.

We've having strange weather too--no snow on the ground and temps in the 30s and 40s. Hardly typical of January in Wisconsin, but I'm sure we'll get back to normal soon enough.

Brent McKee said...

You're right to be concerned about packages being left at the door.When my Kindle was delivered at the end of October, the UPS driver rang my doorbell. By the time I got to the door he was back in the truck just about to leave and my Kindle was on the doorstep. I can't imagine what might have happened if I hadn't been at home; it was Halloween after all.

Oddly enough, I've never had that sort of thing happen with Canada Post. They leave a card in my mailbox.

Weird weather here too. Saskatoon normally gets high temperatures of -16C this ime of the year. Right now the temperature is +6C - that's about 42F as opposed to 3F in normal years.

Becky said...

Great pictures, Jackie.... but they always are terrific.

Our weather has been strange this year too.

Anonymous said...

Your seagull pics are awesome, can't wait to see what else you will do with your new toy. I'm still not used to using the GIMP, have been pricing Adobe Photoshop Elements but I understand those are now complicated too (mine were OLD!), not to mention expensive, so I think I may have to give GIMP more of a chance. If it's good enough for you it should be more than sufficent for me!
Enjoy your new camera. Don't go wishing for snow pics! LISA (can't get in w/AOL again)