Sunday, September 07, 2014

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - September 7, 2014

Good morning! It's Sunday morning and I'm late, I'm late! This is my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photos I've taken along the way. It's a weekly year 'round staple of this blog -- if you want my Big Brother television show/live feeds blog posts, head to this link right here.

Have I mentioned that I really really need a vacation? Not a go away type one, a staycation for rest and relaxation. That's what I need! And, I will be getting one. It's right over there on the horizon! Yes, this coming Saturday starts my staycation. Woot! Woot! I have a four day work week leading into it which is actually a three day actual working week as I'll be in a meeting in Parsippany (NJ) all day one day. I don't really count that as working although it is indeed work.

This week for me was just about as boring as the hamsters in the Big Brother house ... work, home, rain, sleep, heat, work, humidity, eat ... you get the picture. I swear the only thing relatively interesting that happened is that I got bit by a dog this week. Yep, I was attacked by a Chihuahua. The owner was walking two of them, one dog stopped and was wagging his tail at me. I looked down and said, "Aw, you're a cute doggie."

The owner: "He just wants to be petted. He doesn't bite."
Me: "Okay." I reach down, let the dog sniff the back of my hand, he wags his tail more. I turn my hand over to pet him on the head and WHAM! Bite! The guy who owns the dog actually reacted more than I did! To be honest, it didn't break the skin and was more of a violent nip than a bite. But the owner was in shock and all kinds of apologetic. (As he should be!) I assured him I was fine, no damage done, not even really a mark other than indents on my finger. Not even a scrape or anything. I did advise him not to encourage people to pet his dog, though!

Now, I can encourage people to pet Vincent. The worst he'll do is purr all over and get white cat fur on them.

Onto the photos for the week -- clicking on an image will open the image in my Photobucket where you can make it larger twice by clicking on the magnifying glass you see at the bottom right of the photo. To return to the blog, just X out of the Photobucket page.

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Early morning at the Plainfield Train Station

The darkness hangs on longer these mornings as I head off to work on the early train. When it's overcast, it seems a bit like night. However, if not overcast, the sun is rising as I walk to the train station. This shot is looking to the west from the westbound platform.

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Early evening at the Plainfield Train Station

The sun was down when I arrived to the train station last night. That's a bit of a shame because it had just shown itself after a day with torrential rain and thunderstorms. Thankfully, the second wave of thunderstorms waited for me to be nice and comfy inside. As long as my power stays on, I love a good thunderstorm! This one is looking to the west from the eastbound platform.


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Last night looking east from the eastbound platform, Plainfield Train Station.

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Early one overcast morning looking east from the westbound platform.

Are ya dizzy yet? ;-)

The weather this past week -- mostly hot and humid -- certainly wasn't conducive for me to make any special effort to get flower shots. Add in another week in which I've been running on empty despite a four-day work week and you have lots of photos of flowers growing wild on the back fence of my apartment building! The morning glories (both pink and white) and the rather surprising late season honeysuckle are from the fence. The remaining flowers are from yards and planters mainly in Plainfield, a few from Bridgewater. It looks like something is eating a lot of the leaves, but the flowers are still pretty! Click on the diagonal arrow on the bottom right of the slideshow to go full screen with it.

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Plainfield Train Station

A bit of the train station detail. I rarely go into the building itself. The ticket agent in there only works from around 5am until 1pm (or so). Those hours are basically to catch folks commuting to the city (NYC). I travel the other way in the morning. So, I go by the building when it's closed upon my return home from work. It's easier for me to buy my monthly train pass from the vending machine on the eastbound platform on the last day of the month.

They don't have either a ticket agent or ticket vending machines on westbound platforms. Heck, the Bridgewater Train Station doesn't even have an overhang to protect people from the rain on the westbound platform! NJ Transit thinks that people heading west just get off the trains and jump in their cars. They don't stop and think that not everyone works to the east (Newark/NYC). Some of us, and a growing amount every year, take the train westbound for our commute to work and must wait on the westbound platforms. The bus stops often work the same -- catering to the people heading towards the city with benches and shelters, often nothing more than a sign heading westbound.

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My scenic commute

On Saturday morning NJ Transit was doing track work and our train had to stop to let the (all important) eastbound train pass as they were down to one track. For obvious reasons, two trains can't go opposite directions on one track! Our train had to switch to the other track and I got a giggle when a friend, in remote control heading to work, waited at the door facing the wrong way to get out! At least I had realized we had switched tracks and were getting off on the other side. I took this shot of some of the graffiti I see on my commute as the train waited out the signal/train passing.

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Not to be confused with the union rat

It looks like they managed to have last night's game in between storms. But I noticed the crowds were way down as I walked by the TD Ball Park adjacent to the Bridgewater Train Station last night. Usually I'm walking through there at a bit after 7pm and their Saturday evening ball games start at 7:05pm. I feel like a salmon trying to swim upstream to spawn as I make my way to the train station against the traffic of all the ball game attendees.

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See something, say something

At the Plainfield Train Station, Friday morning. I didn't say anything. I peeked, though, since someone else had already opened it. Some small child is going to be upset that she lost her backpack on the first day of school. It was too early for it to be where it was from Friday. So it had to have been left on Thursday -- the first day of school here in town.

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Rabbit by flash

Overcast and a bit night-like one morning as I headed in, I saw this HUGE rabbit on the grounds of the Richmond Towers complex on East Front Street in Plainfield. He was Vincent-sized! Most of the rabbits I've seen in the 'hood have been small (or young) this summer. I read that the population of rabbits is declining in CT due to people developing the land. Huh. The rabbits must like urban development here in NJ much better. I saw them years ago infiltrating the Newark (Liberty - EWR) Airport grounds and now they're all over Plainfield. I've even seen a few downtown near the train station. They seem to be thriving.

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Westbound platform

Another grey overcast morning as I head for the early train at the Plainfield Train Station.

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'I see dead people' saga continues

Shouldn't sleep near me! I have a camera; I will use it! Raritan Valley Line, NJ Transit.

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All tired out

Vincent is all tuckered out from a day of napping, snacking, playing with toys, scratching his new cat scratch thingee, imbibing catnip and just being a cat. Life is so rough for him, eh?


Delee said...

The different views of the train area always have something different in them. Like seeing them for the first time.

Even though no skin broken, I hope you asked if the dog has had it rabies shot. Can never be too careful.

I hope the coming week shakes BB up a bit, at least it will be worth watching.

Jackie said...

The dog had its license and rabies tag on its collar. I think the guy just felt terrible because he encourage me to pet him. After the bite, he said the dog usually likes people and only doesn't like cats. I think that maybe he sensed Vincent!

David said...

I have always noticed that the public transportation in the city near me caters only to the 9-5 crowd with concentration on downtown. If you work a few hours earlier or later you can have a hard time getting home if you don't live near a few main streets through town. So people don't/can't use the bus system and are forced to drive. I guess the sidewalks are suposed to be rolled up and put away for the night after the politicians go home.
Same thing with the freeways. When they rebuilt the interchange they made a nice 3 lane ramp heading towards downtown but if you are heading the other way they only made a single lane ramp heading that direction. That lane is always backed-up into the freeway with traffic almost stopped.

People have asked to pet my dog because he acts so friendly and is, but with the breed he is I can't take the chance and always tell them no. I don't want him to get in trouble because of someone elses action. He lightly bites me all the time playing and someone could take it the wrong way.

Jackie said...

David - Since this is commuting territory into Manhattan, the public transportation is fairly plentiful. It is slanted schedule-wise more towards weekday morning commutes into the city and evening ones out of the city, though. More trains and buses run for those peak trips than on weekends or a reverse pattern.

In the evening the buses coming from Manhattan stop every 20 minutes across from my apartment. Yet if I want to go to Manhattan in the afternoon or evening, it's generally two hours in between buses -- the morning, 20 minutes.

I decided to go carless because I live in walking distance from two train stations, one bus line (Manhattan - Dunellen) is practically at my building, another (Newark - Dunellen) is a five minute walk, another (Manhattan - Bridgewater) is ten minute walk and there are a good four or more other bus routes within a ten-fifteen minute walk.

This is the first place I've ever lived that walking and ample public transportation (and grocery delivery!) make living without a car possible and financially so much better!

Jackie said...

Oh ... and I generally never go to pet a dog I don't know. Dogs generally like me, though (as do most animals). The ONLY reason I went to pet this one was because the guy said he wanted to be petted! What was I going to say? "No! I don't want to pet your rat dog!" Of course, he was concerned that I was okay. But I think he was more worried I'd report a dog bite from his dog. It was more of a nip anyway, nothing to be that concerned about ... enough to put him on warning not to tell people his dog wants to be petted, though!

Nickelpeed said...

Typical Chi reaction. They get a bit nippy a lot of times. My daughter has one though, who loves everyone!

Glad you weren't hurt bad.

Becky said...

Jackie, another good week of pictures. You are so talented.

We took in Momma's dog Little Bit, a "dachwawa" (better than calling him a mix breed). He was very protective of Momma and would snap at anyone except my husband or I who approached her. I would never encourage anyone to pet him because of his history. My beagle would beat you to death with her tail. Talk about a needy dog. Our cat tolerates me, love DH and hates everyone else. The girls at the vet call him "The Cat From Hell".

Laurie said...

I think that was the chocolate Easter Bunny checking things out for spring!

David said...

Yes Jackie, you should have said I don't want to pet your rat dog. LOL Just kidding. But you are right that he will probably not do that again. My dog loves to go riding and that is where people ask me about him when stopped at stores or post office.

When I lived in the city near me I would have used public transportation but because I had to be at work at 5am it was not an option. All the buses stop running outside of the few main streets after 8pm and don't start until 6-7 am. If they would have at least run a limited schedule it would be an option if necessary.
Where I am now I have no other option but drive. The price of living in the sticks. 5 miles to the nearest store and 15 to the nearest big store. But I have lots of privacy and my own 5 acres for the dog to run free on. =)