Sunday, March 13, 2016

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - March 13, 2016

Good morning! I hope you remembered to Spring Forward! I personally feel like an hour of my life has just been yanked from me. Oh, well. Maybe I'll find it in the fall. Welcome to my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photographs I've taken along the way. If you're a fan of either Survivor or The Amazing Race, please stop back on show nights for live blogging blog parties!

The biggest news around here this past week is that the uncertainty of an NJ Transit railroad workers strike is over. That's something that has been worrying me for months as I depend on the trains for my work commute. I even requested yesterday off as a paid vacation day over a month ago as I read rumors there might be a "soft strike" that day leading into the midnight strike. Finally, on Friday evening, a deal was made and the strike was averted. Phew!

So, I had/have an actual whole weekend off. And, what have I done? Um. Well. I caught up on un-watched television shows. I made my corned beef and cabbage meal. I napped. Even though it was a nice day out, I stayed indoors and just had a mellow quiet kind of day. Maybe I'll venture out into the world today. 

Random thoughts on the week:
  • I saw my first robin of the season, but the photograph I took wasn't good. So, you won't see it. Other years I've seen them come back during very wintry weather. But I haven't seen one since early December (when it was still unseasonably warm here).
  • I also saw my first mosquito of the year. Grr.
  • Along those same lines, the gnats are swarming the Bridgewater Train Station as they do each spring.
  • The homeless dude hanging out at the Bridgewater Train Station needs to move along. I was told he was kicked out of the Somerville Train Station, the next stop west. He's becoming annoying and more aggressively panhandling each day.
  • Someone, perhaps the homeless dude, moved a Platform Closed sign and construction barrel down to the street under the railroad bridges at Bridgewater. It took me several minutes to convince an Asian woman with only a very basic knowledge of English that the platform was open, that's not how NJ Transit closes a platform, they put the signs on the platform itself and that it was a prank. "That's not funny," she said when she finally believed me.
  • Vincent liked the open windows this week. So did I. Well, until the motorcycles and brakes on the buses from NYC got too loud.

That's about all I have for you this week ... other than the photos. Clicking on an image will bring up a larger version.

As the crow flies

I'm not sure why that saying exists. I've watched crows fly. They definitely rarely fly in a straight line!

The Sunset Express

My train home from the Bridgewater Train Station coincided with the sunset this past week.

Where's the beach, dude?

You're in a parking lot, you silly seagull.

Looking north on Watchung Avenue

I won't get the opportunity to take this shot again if the bridge opened on Friday night as I was told it would. I took it standing in front of the barricade fencing at the closed railroad bridge. Those are the Watchung "Mountains" in the distance. When I first moved here to the area, I was amazed about the flatness of it all. And, then they showed me the Watchung Mountain Range. Bwahahaha!


Planned obsolescence?

Or busy work paid by the hour? The end-pieces of the railroad bridge on Watchung Avenue had perfectly painted lettering welcoming folks to the train station and to Plainfield, The Queen City. Then workers painted gray boxes over rivets ruining said perfect lettering. Then workers on ladders had to hand-paint (and not all that professionally) replacement letter bottoms. What the heck is up with that?

Rushing to open

As you can see, the lettering repainting job is rather haphazard -- they apparently don't even have the right colors to touch up the NJ Transit logo! With the strike looming, a construction foreman told me they were rushing to finish the bridge so it could open Friday night before the midnight Saturday strike time. The railroad bridge crews are one of the unions in the midst of the issues. I don't know if it opened as I haven't been by it. I'll find out tomorrow.

Body language?

Hey! Is the crow on the higher branch berating that poor crow on the lower branch?!?! What a meanie!

Downtown Plainfield

Since the cold weather is waning, I'm more into walking around a bit.


More like gull-stepping.

New bulbs please?

The burnt-out bulbs and missing lamps are ruining the symmetry of my photos. Plainfield Train Station.

Sure plays a mean pinball

Very odd find in Bridgewater, NJ. Some pinball wizard wants machines, I guess. What's odd is the Pennsylvania phone number. Bridgewater is probably an hour from the nearest state border. I smudged part of the phone number as I'm putting this out on the internet.

Sign of spring!

Sister's food stand has returned to the Bridgewater Train Station.

Comings and goings at the train station

The train in the distance is actually coming while the closer one on the other track is leaving. The locomotive is pushing the closer train while the locomotive engine is pulling the arriving train. I personally prefer to call it Push Me - Pull You technology. Of course, that could be just me. The departing train is one of the few I see these days that's a single level. None of the ones I regularly ride are single levels. Plainfield Train Station.

A small murder?

Crows gather in a ginkgo tree nearby the Plainfield Train Station. I edited this photo with the Threshold filter on GIMP editing. No crows were harmed during the edit.

Spring is in the air

A family walks downtown as the temperatures soared around 80 for two days in a row. I'm talking the temperatures, that is. If the family walked around for two days in a row, I just don't know about that. Although it's meteorological spring, it's still astronomical winter until March 20th. I've seen April snows around here.

Golden tracks

Although things will change with Daylight Saving Time this coming week, this past week was perfect for the sunset as I waited for my train home. This is another shot of the train in the photo near the beginning of this entry.

Eek! And, there it is!

Time to put away the camera.

Men on a bench

It's nice to not have to bundle up to be outside. North and Watchung Avenues in front of Danny's Bakery.

Sunset through the trees

As seen at the Bridgewater Train Station.


It looks like the rehabbed apartment above the relocated Maria's Restaurant on North Avenue finally has a resident. A resident with at least two well-used irons in the window.

Helpless catnip addict

Vincent, you first need to admit you have a problem. What? Me? An enabler?


David said...

Cool photo's this week Jackie. =)

You did remind me about what I did not like about living on the east coast, the BUGS. I was born in Virginia but left in '89 for work out West. I have been back a few times for family business and visits. What strikes me the most is the way the humidity smacks you in the face when you walk off the plane, especially in summer. Going from 0-10% to 90-100% humidity instantly is really shocking. =)

Jackie said...

I'm not looking forward to summer. Spring and autumn are my favorite seasons. And, as for bugs, I like the kind I can photograph. But mosquitoes and gnats can vanish. We need more bats around here to eat them up!