Sunday, December 16, 2012

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - December 16, 2012

It's Sunday morning. That means it's time for my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken. Later on tonight, it will be time for the Survivor three-hour season finale and reunion party. Hopefully we'll have a great blog party for that one right here!

Unfortunately, this past week took a tragic twist. While I'm not a parent and I couldn't fathom what it would be like to lose a very young child in those circumstances, the school shooting hit close to home for me. Before I was transferred to New Jersey by my workplace, I lived for nearly two decades in Danbury, CT. My workplace was located on Newtown Road in that town. Newtown is adjacent to Danbury.

Many of my co-workers there were from Newtown. Many folks in the Danbury Ski Club were from Newtown. Friends of mine have children and grandchildren in the school district there. No one I know seems to have been directly involved. But still ... very close to home.  I personally know the school. I personally know the town. I'm still in shock.

If someone were to ask me what Newtown would ever be famous for, I'd have two answers. Olympic swimmer Bruce Jenner graduated from Newtown High School. And, years ago, the general store (which still exists since 1847) was the backdrop for a Breyer's ice cream television commercial. Now, it will forever be linked with tragedy. Newtown doesn't deserve that. Honestly, no town, village or city deserves such a horrific act. But, Newtown. It's a sleepy, spread-out almost rural-ish in some areas, picture perfect New England small town. A good place to raise your children. Sigh.

Anyway ... onto this week's photos. Clicking on an image will open it in a Photobucket window, clicking again will make it larger. To return to the blog, just close out the Photobucket window.

Sunset 2
Lamps at sunset

As you'll see, I took advantage of this sunset this week. We've had so much icky weather that, when I see beauty, I must take action! Plainfield Train Station, early Friday evening.

Catnip rolling
Rolling in catnip

Vincent is a silly cat!

Squirrel with orange
I gots an ORANGE!

From my apartment window, I watched this squirrel struggle up the tree carrying an orange in his mouth. He's a good thirty feet up -- I'm shooting from the second floor with a zoom lens. Unfortunately, I still have Sandy storm dirt on the outside of my windows or the photo would be more clear. Before he could get through the orange peel, the orange plummeted to the ground where another squirrel snagged it and took it out of sight behind the neighbor's garage.


Sunflower doll's ghoulfriend?

While the sunflower scarecrow doll stuck in the bush admires the Christmas boxes and lights, a ghoul lurks in the background. Yes, that was part of their Halloween decorations blown awry by Sandy. I hadn't noticed he was lurking there upside-down. Berckman Street, Plainfield.

Sunset 5
Can't get enough of this sunset

Sunset 4
Lamps and sunset, great together!

Sunset 3
Sunset, lamps and a train, too!

Sunset 1
The sun sets in Bridgewater

This is the same sunset just starting as I left Bridgewater for Plainfield.

End of long day
The end of a long day

This was Thursday evening, a totally different story. It was totally dark upon my arrival that evening. Plainfield Train Station.

Bridgewater after sunset on Thursday

The sun had already set by the time I left work on Thursday. Why? Read on.

Stranded and abandoned by NJ Transit

Grr. Okay, the NJ Transit Raritan Valley Line has been on a "modified schedule" since Hurricane Sandy. No, we haven't paid "modified" ticket prices since then. I've been a half-hour late to work since November 5th. My employer has been more understanding than I have been about it. I'm sure some folks have lost their jobs over this modified schedule bit.

On Thursday, I was an hour and a half late. You heard me. I had stayed up late the night before to watch the big benefit concert which ended around 1:30am. I set THREE alarm clocks so I wouldn't miss my train. I made it to the station my usual eight minutes early. There was an announcement that the train going the other direction (towards Newark) was canceled due to mechanical problems. My train came on time. We boarded, got settled in. The train didn't move.

Then they made an announcement that we all had to get off (including all the folks who had gotten on the train at Newark and all stops in between there and Plainfield). Say what? The train had to go back to Newark? WHAT? Our working on time train was going to deadhead its way back to Newark leaving us stranded as well as the folks on the other platform whose train was canceled? Why, that makes as much sense as putting all the rail cars and locomotives in flooding zones for the Hurricane Sandy storm surge! Well, duh. It is New Jersey Transit, after all! Nothing like this has happened in the seven or eight years I've been taking the train.

Thus, it was totally dark when I got home as I stayed at work longer while working dead tired as I thought I was young enough to stay up half the night watching a rock concert.

Union rat
Big inflatable rat sighting

On Monday morning, this is what greeted me at the Bridgewater Train Station. The least they could do is hang some holiday decorations on the inflatable rat.

Veni Vidi Vici
Veni vidi vici

This Caterpillar belongs to some of the construction workers they're protesting against. I got a kick out of Veni Vidi Vici -- I came, I saw, I conquered -- on the CAT. I guess some folks out there are as bizarre as I am.

Droplets with flash used

This didn't quite come out as well as I had hoped. I used a flash and, while I like some of the drops, it's a bit fuzzy and off color. But you see what I was going for!

Laundry rain
Rainy laundromat

The overnight rain was just starting to end as I walked to the train station on Tuesday morning. I took this looking down Roosevelt Avenue at the laundromat on the corner of East Second Street.

Laundry fog
Foggy laundromat

Same laundromat in Monday morning fog.

Foggy too
Foggy Richmond Towers

East Front Street on Monday morning.

Walking in the early morning fog

Also East Front Street on Monday morning.


Yep, another double Vincent week! Obviously, I took this one the same day. I'm an enabler, not only with the catnip, but with Temptations cat treats. 


~~Silk said...

Newtown is also famous for the 1986 woodchipper murder, which inspired the scene in the movie "Fargo".

Jackie said...

D'oh! How could I forget that one? I was living there (well, Danbury) at the time and it was huge news.

Ed in Ohio said...

I've seen & experienced a lot over the years but I must admit I shed a tear or two for all those little ones in the Newtown school shooting. Words cannot describe the emotions of this horrific act.

Great pics as always Jackie!

Hope to join in the Pool Party tonight but will probably be jumping in late.

monty924 said...

Wonderful pictures as always. Like so many others, I am just stunned by the Newtown tragedy. RIP to all those innocent babies. Heaven has 27 more angels.

I'll be late to the pool party tonight. Hope someone saves me a spot.

Palmaltas said...

Although I have lived briefly in CT, I could still feel the pain of losing those children. My two youngest grandchildren were in a lockdown (in Florida) on Wednesday because some crazy person posted on FB that he was going to kill someone.

Your pictures are lovely, especially the sunsets. And I even felt for the squirrel who lost the orange.

Becky said...

A real treat week. Two of Vincent!

I loved the sunset pictures. Why did they have to take an empty train away, did they say?

My heart breaks for the family's of those taken.