Sunday, February 09, 2014

Off Topic - That Was the Week It Was - February 9, 2013

Yes, it's Sunday and I'm returning with my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken. I want to thank folks for the condolences and prayers expressed in the past week. They meant a lot to me in a really bad time. Thank you.

A few notes:
  • Today marks 50 years since The Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan. It's scary that I remember watching that. I'm not that old! I remember saying they'd never be as big as Elvis. Later, I decided Paul was the cute Beatle.
  • My bank finally sent me a new card after my account was compromised with the Target store hack. Good. I was tired of watching my online account a dozen times a day!
  • My sciatica has improved a great deal. I'm still having some problems standing for any period of time and sitting for long periods. Oh, well. It's definitely better than it was!
Since I'm really photo-heavy this week, I don't have a heck of a lot to say at the start here. Might as well get on with it ...

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Icicles at the Plainfield Train Station

I took this shot last night at the train station. At night, when it's as cold as it was, they present no danger. They're not going anywhere. But in the daytime sun even if the temperatures are below freezing ... danger, Will Robinson!

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Chubby spring robin

I've seen four robins hanging around my workplace in Bridgewater. While they normally are ground feeders looking for worms and such, they're here way too early. They're subsiding on the berries in the planters. None of the other birds in the area this time of year -- seagulls, crows, sparrows -- have any interest in the berries.

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Stunning beauty

But so will be spring blossoms! C'mon, winter, give us a break! Yes, we're due for more snow later today. Wah. Outside my window on Tuesday.

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Hawk alert!

Bridgewater, NJ.


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The needle and the damage done

I actually took this photo a few weeks ago. I've seen more than a few of these (after not seeing any for years) on the streets of Plainfield lately. The death of Academy Award winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has brought the heroin resurgence to the forefront of the news. Once again, I have no answers. I've known some addicts over the years and it's a sad, often futile, situation. Alas, it's like the song says ... "every junkie is like the settin' sun." Unless they want to get help, they'll be setting like the sun long before their time. Heroin and its buddy crack cocaine take over their lives. That is, until lives are lost.

On a lighter note --
The Neil Young song "Needle and the Damage Done" was the only song I could ever play decently on my guitar back in my college days. My roommate second year taught me by rote.

Years ago, back up in Connecticut, I had boxes of this same type syringe given to me as I had to give my ailing cat daily shots. When I moved to NJ, I found that I had the remainder of a box of them amongst my stuff -- we're talking two cats and one state later! Ack! I wrapped them in a throwaway t-shirt and smashed them with a hammer, then disposed of them. Ack!

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On Monday it snowed all day. It added up being only around ten inches. It was a wet snow, unlike many this winter. It was a good snowman or snowball snow as opposed to the fluffy dry stuff we've been having due to low temperatures. I took photos out of my window, but remained inside.

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East Front Street, Plainfield

Tuesday's blue skies made the snow look even more beautiful ...

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Looking out my window Tuesday

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Lots of beauty out there

But, spring is going to be very welcomed from me this year!

On Wednesday, a snowstorm turned to ice ...

I didn't go out. I took the following group of shots looking out my window.

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Grocery delivery! Yay!

Despite the snow, freezing rain and sleet coming down, my Peapod grocery delivery arrived! The driver went so far as to return in his private vehicle on his way home to deliver a case of water which wasn't on the truck. They rock! He rocks more than they do, even! I put in a good word about him for going above and beyond. He even insisted on bringing the case of water up to my apartment. I'm still in awe of his work ethic and dedication.

For those not familiar with the service -- no, that's not a refrigerated truck (although in this weather it wouldn't need it). The perishable groceries are packed in plastic totes with dry ice. I've never had a delivery with melted ice cream.

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It was berry icy out there

Thursday at Bridgewater, NJ.

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Ice, ice, baby

Bridgewater on Thursday.

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Respect the snow, fear the ice

Outside my window Wednesday.

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I ran

I ran so far away. Yes, it's a flock of seagulls! Bridgewater, NJ.

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Field of squirrels

The squirrels on the lawn of a church on East Front Street in Plainfield are adapting to the frozen tundra. They're not heavy enough to break through the crust of ice atop the snow. But they can dig through it to gather acorns.

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Goodbye, old trains

While there are some customer-friendly things on the older one level trains that the double-deckers don't have -- seats which can flip direction comes to mind -- they're much dirtier and noisier than the newer trains. The heat is more iffy, the cars are much longer if your destination is a platform where only certain doors will open. They're smellier, too! The windows are also more scratched for your viewing pleasure (or lack thereof). The seats are dirty and ripped in places. We got the cars with both the maroon and blue seats which I remember considering new after the ones with the fluffy brown seats. At least the brown seat trains used to have a water cooler!

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Newer trains are back!

By Friday, all the trains I saw on the Raritan Valley Line that had been loaned for Stupor Ball use seem to have been returned. I noticed little things like stickers stuck on seat backs. But, overall, the crowds didn't seem to have messed them up too much.

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Such a fat little guy!

This robin was in one of the planters, saw me taking out my camera and then flew up to the roof. He kept changing position, peeking down at me, obviously irked that I was near his food source.

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A robin in the bush ...

He THINKS I can't see him! Bridgewater, NJ

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Yay, double-deckers are back!

Definitely much cleaner and quieter! This is my train approaching the Plainfield Train Station yesterday morning.

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Sunset at Bridgewater

I worked later than usual on Friday. This is the sunset I saw. I'd say it makes it all worthwhile to be outside, but ...!

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NJ Transit ignores snow removal

Every year NJ Transit ignores a section of their walkway at the Bridgewater Train Station -- note the "All Trains" sign. The TD Ball Park (which is closed for the season) takes care of their section of the walk as evidenced by the photo. NJ Transit only shovels from the stairs under the bridge to the other platform. Dangerous! I'll be posting this shot on their Facebook page. That seems to be a tool for getting wrongs righted these days. That stamped down path is sheer ice. Then there's a little snowbank on the end of the path where they shoveled snow towards it like insult upon injury.

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Horrible job on downtown sidewalks

Many of the downtown Plainfield sidewalks are not safe for pedestrians. Some are basically stamped down snow covered with ice. Several intersections don't have adequate crosswalk clearing. I don't know how anyone in a wheelchair could get around at all downtown when it's risky on foot. At least on foot, we CAN climb over crusty dangerous snowbanks.

Maybe it's time for the ADA to look into access issues when it comes to following local ordinances for snow removal. This shot is the corner of Watchung and East 4th Street across from the police station. Their corner is just as bad. Hey, Adrian Mapp ... you listening? Something needs to be done!

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Vincent is still roughing the elements

What a cat!


Petals said...

Beautiful pictures, as always. The needle - yikes. "I Ran" - good one :)

I was about 10yrs too late to remember (first-hand) the Beatles on Sullivan, but my mom was a huge fan and I have loved them since I was in utero. To this day, they are my #1, period. They are in my heart & soul.
Don't forget to set your DVRs tonight on CBS for the Beatles special.

Ed in Ohio said...

Very nice pics! Winter does make for very lovely pictures but I've had my fill of snow & ice this year...bring on the Spring thaw!!

As for the Beatles I was in grade school at the tine but I do remember how all the girls were just 'ga-ga' over them & most of us boys were a little jealous.:(

SueGee said...

Beautiful pictures (as usual) but I got a sudden chill in my bones remembering that kind of weather. Brrr. I haven't been in it for a long time and hope not to be in it anytime soon!

I am old enough to remember the Beatles on TV that Sunday night. We were actually at Church for the teen evening get together and someone brought a TV. (No screaming allowed)

On a warmer note - counting down the days until the start of Survivor and TAR!!