Sunday, January 20, 2013

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - January 20, 2013

It's Sunday once again -- time for my weekly off television topic reflection of the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken. My apologies for not getting up the Survivor cast posts yet. I have no real excuse but tired. I'm not ill. But every evening I'm coming home from work exhausted and I keep falling asleep while watching television. The next thing I know, it's time to start another day!

I suppose it could be the winter doldrums. Although we really haven't had any snow to speak of -- an inch or so now and then -- it still indeed is winter. The days are short. Everything outside is dirty and dead. The daylight is fleeting. For a good part of this week, we didn't see the sun at all. Yes, the temperatures were high for January. But all was foggy, misty and grey. I think the weather and time of year are taking a toll on me this month. There's little new and exciting around the corner to photograph. 

While tomorrow is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and a holiday for many, it won't be for me. I even have a meeting well before the holiday scheduled trains will run. So, I'll actually have junk food. Y'see, I never eat at McDonalds or Burger King. Not only is it mostly unhealthy, they're overpriced and not in my pedestrian ways walks. Supposedly inner-city and poor folks tend to inhabit the unhealthy fast food joints, but I'd have to walk out of my way for a number of blocks to get to one. Tomorrow, due to the holiday train schedule, I'll take a bus to work. I'm going to get off at the Burger King and have a breakfast croissandwich and hash browns -- something I haven't eaten in years. Then a co-worker will pick me up there and take me the mile or so to work.

Well ... that was boring, wasn't it? I tell ya ... it's winter doldrums! Onto the photos (which reflect the doldrums, too). 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.

NJ Transit
Here comes the train

Not to worry -- I'm farther away from the tracks than it looks in this shot. I took this while "up" on the platform at the Bridgewater Train Station. Unlike Plainfield's high platform, in Bridgewater the platform is equivalent to a high curbed sidewalk. You have to take steep steps up into or out of the train. On high platforms, they drop a plate over the steps and you just walk directly in. I'd personally vote for all high platform stations. But they don't let me decide these things.

Of course, I wouldn't have decided to leave the train cars parked in a flooding zone during a hurricane. But maybe that's just me. The vast majority of train cars I'm riding are brand new due to that decision. They're nice. However, I see rate hikes down the road. Or, more precisely ... down the tracks.

New Cowboy
New cowboy in town

Where have all the cowboys gone? Well, to New Jersey, but of course! We have many shops catering to western gear in town. And, while a couple of decades back, cowboy hats and cowboy boots wouldn't have meshed well with the bow-tied suited black men handing out leaflets, today the local Muslim population has changed away from the bow-ties and there are cowboys all over the place.

I'd kind of like a pony, please. (By the way -- it was nowhere near warm enough for short sleeves!)


Protesting 40 years ago today

It was forty years ago today that I went to Washington to protest Nixon's second inauguration. Although I was only seventeen and not old enough to vote, I was in college and we had thirteen buses going down there for the protest from SUNYA (State University of New York at Albany). Once we got there, it looked like every college in the country had thirteen buses headed in! This particular demonstration was the largest ever at an inauguration and became the last huge anti-war protest of the Vietnam era.

It was a relatively peaceful protest. I personally didn't see any tear gas or outright skirmishes between the protestors and the riot-geared police. I know some folks got arrested for throwing rocks at the motorcade. My crowd and I purchased tomatoes. But a cop yelled at us blocks away that we better not be planning on throwing them. Oops. There was a lot of tomato eating going on for a bit! We square danced in front of the White House fence just to irk the cops, chanted and explored the city. Well, as much as you could explore when it's full of inauguration crowds and several hundred thousand protestors.

Alas, I didn't carry a camera back then. But I do still have my Impeach Nixon, McGovern/Shriver, Viva McGovern and my January 20th dove pins (as pictured above). 

Sandy reminders
Sandy reminders

When the church next door to next door to my apartment repaired their roof from the "Superstorm" Sandy damage, the new shingles don't match. Until the roof has to be entirely replaced, the ghost of Sandy is haunting the eaves. The local FEMA office has closed shop. I'm still seeing lots of blue tarp on roofs all around.

Lighted 'hood
Early in the evening

Dusk has hit the Jersey 'hood. I'm not sure why that apartment complex has green-tinted lights.

Let there be light

Much of the week was overcast and foggy. Once it turned frigid, the sun came out. This is one of the lamps at the Bridgewater Train Station. Its sensors flipped it on at about 3:30 in the afternoon even though sunset wouldn't come for more than an hour and a half. Not that we saw the sun, mind you.

They must be plotting

I just know they're talking about silly humans. I know it.

The elusive cardinal couple

I've been trying to get decent shots of this cardinal couple for more than a few weeks, both together and apart. Every time I get my camera out, they fly away. Grr. Bridgewater Train Station.

Fungi taking over even more

With a good week of above normal temperatures, the fungi on the trees (both fallen and upright) is thriving. I can't help but wonder if it's due to whatever was in the Hurricane Irene waters from the toxic supersite area which covered this property for almost three months. I'm sure that weakened and killed many of the trees, thus making them go boom during Sandy. But I'm not seeing this sort of fungus activity anywhere else locally. You can see where the growth is actually splitting the bark on the upright tree. Bridgewater, NJ.

Frames in fog

By the end of the week, almost all of these frames had some or most of the solar panels in place. Bridgewater Train Station.

Eww! Eww!

HEY FOOL ... FEET OFF SEATS!! This is a good reason they should get rid of all the four seater sections on NJ Transit trains. Look at her pants ... she's dripping wet! And her nasty crackhead filthy dagger-pointed toenail feet and mud are all over the seat! Argh.

Thankfully, this particular woman isn't a regular on the train. She's probably not regular at anything but drug, drink and panhandling. I first noticed her at the Plainfield Train Station yelling for anyone to give her a dollar or a cigarette. No one did. When the train arrived, she pushed her way right in through the folks trying to get off the train. You're supposed to let the people get out, then you go in. Then she put her feet all over the seat and was mumbling loudly yet incoherently to herself. The woman in the seat in front of her tried shushing her and our eyes met. We rolled our eyes.

I was sure she wouldn't have a ticket or money ($5 surcharge to buy tickets on the train these days), but she did. I assume someone gave her a ticket to get her out of town. 

Mouse alert
A cat and his mouse

Vincent has a gazillion cat toys. Yet he'll play forever with a dropped coin or wrapped cough drop. And, as you see from this photo, he's the longest darn cat in the town! Thankfully his legs are longer than they appear to be in this photo or he'd look like a wiener cat.


Sally said...

Your comments about the activism back in the Nixon/McGovern days brought back memories. I was a fresh-out-of-college McGovernite trying to start a career in a very conservative office setting. Interesting times.

Love the photo of Vincent. Cats have a way of looking graceful in any pose.

We're having the coldest weather we've had in about four years, but at least it's sunny!

Anonymous said...

Jackie, I'm wondering if you're going to watch the new show on Monday night with kevin bacon called "The Following" It looks like it's gonna be good.

Cal in Indy

Jackie said...

Thanks, Sally. They say the cold is heading this way. Joy, joy.

Cal - Yes, I plan to check it out. It looks interesting!

Becky said...

Oh, Vincent, what a handsome young man Jackie has living with her.

Jackie, love the pictures and comments. I shuddered at the feet on the seat.