Sunday, March 15, 2015

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - March 15, 2015

Good morning! It's Sunday morning. You know what that means. It's time for my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photos I've taken along the way. Today is the Ides of March. Beware. You've been warned.

After a big blast of winter last week, we finally got a touch of spring this week! I wasn't necessarily pleased with all the rain we got, but it's better than snow. It was nice to be able to crack the windows open on the warmer days and to not have to wear my big coat ... not even once!

I also got to play more with the new camera as my fingers weren't freezing and I wasn't shivering. I still long for time spent in the park or in the city (NYC) photostomping, yet this past week's weather was certainly more conducive for taking photos.

I'm still having some headaches and dizziness and I fear that might never stop. But I have been going to work. I'm counting the years to retirement. I wish it could be counting the days, but that would be unrealistic. Sigh. I'd love to have the time to pursue pursuits I enjoy rather than come home exhausted every day just to have it all happen again the next day. But, for the meantime, I need to keep the roof over my head and the company health insurance.

Without further ado, it's on to the photographs from the week. If you click on an image, you can see a larger version.

I see the silhouetto of a bird ...

Gotta fly, gotta fly.
I'm just a poor bird, nobody loves me.
He's just a poor bird from a poor family.
Spare him his life from this monstrosity!
-- My apologies to Queen

Zoo York

I bet some of the kids who use downtown Plainfield as a skateboarding mecca would love the meet this guy. He skateboards for Zoo City, a company based in Manhattan which makes fancy skateboards, hip-hop skateboard clothes and accessories as well as putting on shows and exhibitions which you can find on YouTube. He was on the train last night on my way home from work and I had to ask him about the skateboards. He was kind enough to balance a few for a photo for me.


Fish-eye mode circus

The Big Apple Circus, currently in Bridgewater, should be dismantling the big top tomorrow. Before it comes down, I just had to play with the fish-eye mode on the new camera.

Another camera mode

The camera has a setting that rapidly shoots off five photos with different effects. I had tried it on a Vincent shot, but wasn't pleased with the results. However, I like this one shot (out of the five) I took while sitting at the train station in the rain yesterday.

The I see dead people saga goes on

I should have taken the shot after he started drooling, but that was just a bit too disgusting. He had to be awakened to get off a stop after the stop he was supposed to make. The conductors are not babysitters. 

Dirty snow, go away!

Our three snowstorms during the first week of March are pretty much decimated in most areas due to warmer temperatures and lots of rain this week. Good. 

What's happening?

All kinds of stuff! New blinking red traffic lights at the corners of East Third Street and North Avenue where they intersect with Watchung Avenue. Plus, they're working on the removal/replacement of the railroad overpass there. Now if we could just get people to fill in potholes ...!

Cherry-picker dude

Don't touch the wrong wire! On a side note: check out that huge nest! I'm thinking squirrel ... but it's WAY HUGE.

Hey! Turn around!

Sure, on a day when it's pouring rain and I'm juggling an open umbrella and some bags from Target, a hawk lands on a tree near me! By the time I got my camera out, he was looking the other way.

Now, that's even worse!

And then he flew away. Grr.

Winter/spring attire

It is hard to figure out what to wear with chilly mornings and the temperatures reaching around 50 degrees in the afternoon. Some end up going for a mix.

The 59

This is the bus I'd take (free with my train pass) to get closer to home from the Plainfield Train Station. That is, if I were going home. Alas, I was heading to work when I took this shot from the Plainfield Train Station. I've never gone to Newark on the bus, only as far as Elizabeth. And, I only went there because I had jury duty.

Without zoom

I took this shot at normal settings with the new camera. Where that crudely drawn arrow points are homes atop the Watchung Mountains (HILLS) ridge about a mile or more away.

After zoom

This isn't even totally zoomed -- I wanted to get the three houses instead of one closer up. I love my zoom!

One starling

Two starlings

This ...!

THIS is why my train couldn't pull in on its regular track! THIS does NOT belong on NJ Transit train tracks. Amongst the gazillion spring construction projects which have sprung up, those guys are putting supports under the pedestrian walkway. This is at the Bridgewater Train Station.

What are they trying to say?

Most likely anyone who would be breaking into this place near Park Avenue and North Avenue in Plainfield isn't going to bother reading signs. 

Plainfield isn't Queens

I kind of don't want to order Chinese food from the restaurants this truck visits. The driver was out dumpster diving. Ew. The truck can go back to Flushing.


In many places along the Raritan Valley Line of NJ Transit, there are old unused tracks which run by long gone factories and businesses. I'm surprised that, with the epidemic of junk steel thefts, the metal tracks are still there.

The pigeon boys

Three pigeons sit atop the Chotola apartment building on North Avenue in Plainfield. They're probably discussing how the starlings have moved in and are taking over some of their turf.

While stuck outside Bound Brook

Trains have been single-tracking due to laying down new tracks and mine keeps stopping just short of the Bound Brook Station to wait for the eastbound train to pass. (Yeah, the NYC-bound trains are always more important!) Now, they could have stopped before this point so I could shoot a deer (with my camera). Noooo ... they stopped near a graffiti wall.

Getting ready to take out the bridge

Supposedly the transfer of new bridges in place of the old on either side of the Plainfield Train Station will only take one day once all the prep work is done. We'll see. And, it better not be a day I have to work!

Man on a bench

Enjoying the sun's rays and the above 40 degree temperatures! The corner of North and Watchung Avenues, Plainfield.

Fish-eye mode Vincent



lynn1 said...

Jackie your new camera in your hands with your artistic eye are going to give all of us fantastic photos to look forward to as the weather improves. Your zoom is remarkable.

Palmaltas said...

Loved all of the photos today!

Laurie said...

So glad to see the end of snow for you! Soon you will have all the pretty birds and flowers and bees and butterflies. Spring is on its lovely way for you!