The holidays aren't always a great time for me on a personal basis. My parents died decades ago, my brothers and I are spread across the country and I have no family (as defined) here. My workplace is always extremely busy this time of year and I don't have any extended time off to go anywhere. I've grown used to all of that. I have my own little things I do on the day and consider my cat Vincent a member of my family! However, it can still be a bit rough as everyone's talking about spending the holiday with their families and, what little family I have left, is scattered far and wide.
But that's not the cause of the sadness. I'm still reacting to the shootings in Newtown. I tear up just thinking of those children and their surviving families. I'm still in shock every time I hear the town name "Newtown" so casually added in with places I don't personally know such as Columbine. I know Newtown. I lived near it for years. I have old friends in Newtown.
Then there's all of the controversy what should be done to stop events like this from happening again. I don't think you can stop anyone determined to "go out with a bang." I recall the horror of Charles Whitman way back in 1966. Gun laws or not, it will keep happening. And, that indeed is a sad thing. It's not the gun laws per se (although we seriously need to clamp down drastically on those assault rifles -- no hunter or person protecting their property or life needs that amount of firepower), it's not necessarily mental illness (if every person with a mental illness went around shooting people, there would be few folks left on Earth), it's not the fact that prayer isn't allowed in schools, it's certainly not Asperger's Syndrome. I've grown tired of zealots on each issue arguing. Arguments tend to make my head hurt. Make it stop.
So, those things have been bothering me as we head into Christmas. The weather this week hasn't helped any. It's been warmer than usual, then cold blasts, then monsoon rains and wind. Now that the trains are finally back on their normal schedule, it's dark when I go to work and it's dark when I come home. It's been overcast (or raining) every morning except one on my way to work. I only saw the start of one actual sunrise this week once I arrived at work.
Speaking of trains back on schedule, lots of folks are probably complaining. My morning train, the first westbound train of the day, has arrived and left the station five or so minutes early each day. That's a no-no. It hasn't affected me as I always plan to get to the station ten minutes early. However, all of those folks who always have to run to make it on time when the train is on time or late ... well, they're missing the boat. Er, train.
As a result of the weather and the darkness, my photos this week are severely lacking. My apologies.
Pigeons hunker down in the winds on Saturday, one of the few days I saw daylight. This is the Chotola apartment building on North Avenue in Plainfield, where the long gone Roofus the Cat used to bask on the ledges.
Kind of says it all for the week, eh? I managed to kill one of my best umbrellas battling the wind and rain on Friday morning. Just as I decided I was soaked and it wasn't doing me any good so I might as well close it, the wind ripped it inside out and damaged the framing (spokes? whatever). This is not my umbrella. Mine was better. Wah.
|I know you're not there|
I don't think parking this empty Community Patrol (COPS) van all around the Plainfield Train Station will stop the ne'er-do-wells who inhabit the benches. I realize it's popular to park an empty decoy police car around trouble areas to give the illusion there's a cop nearby. But not for days at a time!
The one start of a sunrise I witnessed this week.
The house at the corner of Richmond and East Front in Plainfield.
I used GIMP photo editor's illusion filter on this shot of dripping branches lighted up by a street lamp.
|Apartment door wreath|
My neighbor's door wreath. It sheds little stars each time the door opens or closes.
|Santa, I've been a good cat all year!|
Well, for the most part. I seem to recall some toilet tissue incidents and attacks on my bare feet. But, yeah. You're a great cat, Vincent, although you're not always perfectly behaved.