Sunday, December 15, 2013

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - December 15, 2013

Yes, it's Sunday once again. While tonight will be the huge LONG Survivor finale blog party starting at 8pm ET, this here post is my weekly off television topic photo post. In it, I reflect on the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken along the way.


It hasn't been a great week for me. First off, I ended up working six days due to circumstance. I had to go in for about three hours last Sunday on what was one of my two days off. Thankfully, I don't have to go in today. I think I'd refuse -- it's a mess out there today!

More often than not, this area has little to no snow in December. Usually there is no white Christmas. This week, we had three storms in the space of less than a week. Eek!

Sunday evening into Monday morning, we had an inch or two of snow followed by ice. Since the WCBS 2 (Manhattan) weather lab was set up in the Plainfield Train Station parking lot that morning, I made the decision to call a taxi instead of walking on the icy sidewalks.

Then there was a daytime snowstorm on Tuesday. It started after I arrived to work and ended before I went home. It was about three to four inches. It was a pretty sticky snow, good for snowballs and sticking to trees.

Then, on Saturday (yesterday), we went from a winter storm watch to a winter storm warning before I left for work. As I left my apartment, it was snowing heavy in Plainfield and sticking. I should have turned around and headed home. But, by the time I got to work, it was only heavy flurries there.

Alas, it changed to heavy snow. Although I left a couple of hours early, I still had problems getting home. While walking down hill on the untreated walk near the Bridgewater Train Station, I slipped and fell on my butt. Grr. While I wasn't hurt, it was a struggle to get up. Once I hit Plainfield, I took a taxi home. First off, they (illegally?) overcharged for the ride. Second, a car slid through an intersection and hit the cab. My shoulder banged into the door and is bruised and sore this morning. Then, the cabbie headed to East Seventh Street instead of my street; he had forgotten where he was going! Sheesh! Since there had been a lot of talking on his radio in Spanish, I thought he might be picking up another passenger. But, no. We were taking the scenic route and he had forgotten where I was going. Grr. (Although, I must say, all the Christmas lights on the homes were very pretty in the snow.)

Then the snow turned to ice in the late evening hours. Then it turned to rain. Now, as I write this up, it's below freezing out there. So, everything is frozen again. The landlord's crew hasn't been by to do the lot or walks yet. I don't care. I'm not going out until work tomorrow morning. My Sunday hardcopy newspaper, the only day I get so I can have full access to the online versions (that's the way to go, Doc, if you're reading this), was very late. I've been going down every half-hour since 6am looking for it. Finally it was there at 8am. I refuse to get really dressed. I've been going down in my leopard print pajama pants and a hoodie. On my last trip down, someone was heading down to a car outside to clear it off, but he didn't see me. I could also smell breakfast cooking smells in the hallway on that trip. Mmm.

Onto this week's photos ...

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Tuesday approaching sunset

Tuesday's storm left three or four inches on the ground, all coming down during my workday hours. Then the sun came out. I liked how it played out on the lines, angles and lamps at the Plainfield Train Station.

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Saturday morning train

The snow was coming down steady by the time I made it to the Plainfield Train Station for my morning commute on Saturday. Thankfully they had salted the platform. Later on, that won't make a difference.

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Tuesday afternoon train home

After the snow stopped, the sun came out. This is my train approaching the Bridgewater Train Station. You can see that, in this direction, the engineer (driver) is working with the diesel locomotive engine pushing the train, much in the fashion of the engineer in that horrid train crash at Spuyten Duyvil a few weeks back. In the previous photo, the locomotive engine is pulling the train.


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Before storms berries

I like to take shots of these every winter. I have no clue what they are. They start out yellow, then shed their little berry jackets to reveal red. They grow along the fence by the cemetery behind the Friends (Quakers) Meeting House, Church Street, Plainfield.

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Prepping for the storm(s)

As I mentioned, I went into work for a few hours on Sunday. Coming home on the train, I saw these dudes salting the walks of the Bound Brook Train Station in anticipation of snow and ice overnight into Monday. I still can't believe that people don't steal the bags of salt from the train stations where it's left unlocked. I'm not sure if Plainfield's train salt is locked these days or not. It was unlocked for years, then locked up. Of course, I have no personal need for salt -- other than Morton's, sea salt and my latest new favorite, smoked sea salt -- I have a staff to salt my walks at home. I'm just that darned wealthy.

Er, okay. I'm not wealthy. I live in a big apartment building and the landlord has a staff who take care of the walks and parking lot.

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Ice, ice, baby

Yes, I'm quoting that rip-off of Under Pressure, Vanilla Ice's Ice Ice Baby. I forgot how bad that song was. Ice lined the trees at the Plainfield Train Station on Monday morning pre-dawn. The CBS 2 Weather Lab was on the other side of the station in the parking lot. But I didn't bother heading over even though I could have done the journey in the tunnel and elevator where there was no icy covering.

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Icy 'hood

As I mentioned, I broke down and called a taxi heading into work Monday morning. While it looks like the sidewalks were just wet, that's black ice on most of them. My landlord had salted, so where I was waiting for a cab was indeed just wet. However, the majority of sidewalks I would have had to walk weren't treated until later on ... if at all.


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Ah, red berries in snow, perfect!

These are in huge planters in Bridgewater. I have no clue what they are, but they are definitely real. Yes, I squished one. Shhh ... don't tell anybody!

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Christmas colors!

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More berries in snow

Yes, I got a bit fixated on them. But they looked so pretty with the snow covering them!

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Almost synchronized birds

Birds on a wire at the Bridgewater Train Station.

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Tuesday's snow was sticky and pretty

I took this shot in Bridgewater.

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The sun came out ...

... not long before it would be time for it to set. Bridgewater Train Station, still Tuesday.

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My Tuesday ride home approaches

Those stacks are concrete (of some sort) railroad ties. They're slowly replacing all of the old wooden ties with them. They won't catch fire from sparks or tossed cigarettes, a good thing. Bridgewater Train Station.

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On home turf Tuesday

Yay, almost home! Plainfield Train Station.

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Pretty sunset coming

I put this photo on NJ Transit's Facebook page and NJ Transit itself stuck it on their main page. A lot of people put their photos of the trains on that FB page, but more for the trains themselves instead of the aesthetics. I look for the pulchritude in life (as a guidance counselor in high school long ago advised me to do). Plainfield Train Station.

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And then the lamps came on

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One last Tuesday shot

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Not partridges, not a pear tree

Possibly the closest I'll get to shooting partridges in a pear tree, though. Bridgewater.

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Not quite synchronized geese

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In the hallway

Okay, about a week or two ago, there was a sink in the hallway. Then, as my grocery order was being delivered, a sofa and recliner were being delivered to Joe's apartment across the hall from mine. On Thursday, I got home from work to find this scene. Now it's Sunday -- the packaging from the new table is gone, but the old table itself remains. I'm tempted to snag it. It's not in bad condition at all. But it's bigger than it seems in this photo and is very heavy. I'd have to rearrange things to fit it in. I think Joe must be waiting for someone to help lug it out by the dumpsters. It's tempting, but no. It is really not in bad condition unless it sits uneven on the floor or something. But no.


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Also abandoned and tempting

Someone must have dropped these out of their grocery bags or cart. Obviously fresh bought in their produce bag. I was tempted but I was on my way to work. I didn't feel like lugging them. I set them up on a concrete ledge doohickey by Pete's Fish Market on East Second Street in Plainfield. I'm sure someone took them!

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Squirrel in the snow

The snow isn't so deep on Saturday morning that the squirrels can't find goodies to eat. East Front Street, Plainfield.

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If you're going to pretend ...

... that a city cop is there all the time ... at least clean off the snow between storms. The snow on the windshield remains from Tuesday while this is Saturday snow coming down. East Front Street, Plainfield.

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Conditions deteriorating

The sidewalks and the roads were in horrible condition as I got home last night. This is a shot of the Plainfield Train Station.

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Salt ain't workin'

The platform at the Plainfield Train Station last night was super slick despite them salting it during the daylight hours.

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Vincent doesn't care about snow

He's always warm and cozy! I'm so tempted to open the window and stick his feet in the snow on the fire escape!


Palmaltas said...

Love the photos! Hope your shoulder is better. Has Vincent never been out in the snow?

Jackie said...

Vincent hasn't been out in the snow for the four years he's been with me. It's possible he was out in it as a New York City stray before coming into my life, though.

David said...

I can just see Vincent doing the four paw high step in the snow and looking back at you asking what is your malfunction. ;-)

The snow from those storms is finally starting to melt here. I can actually see some ground again. It is suposed to get up to a whopping 43 here today and only 9 tonight instead of negative numbers at night.

Becky said...

Wonderful pictures. I love the red berries and white snow.

Stay in and stay warm.

Sharon N said...

Jackie, you have such a talent for photography! Especially enjoyed the train station and berry/snow pictures.

IMO, snow is best enjoyed whilst looking out the windows from inside your home! lol