Sunday, March 20, 2016

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - March 20, 2016

Good morning! It's Sunday! That means (a.) I have a day off from work and (b.) it's time for my weekly off television topic reflection of the week gone by in both words and photos I've taken along the way. If you're a Survivor fan, stop on back Wednesday evening during the East Coast airing of the show for my live blogging and blog party in the comments area! If you're an Amazing Race fan, you'll have to wait until the next show on April 1. We're going two weeks without that one due to March Madness college basketball.

Even though spring arrives today (yay!), we have the threat of at least a coating of snow later today and tonight. Thankfully, the storm is moving more out to sea and won't live up to the dire predictions of a nor'easter we had earlier in the week. It's unfortunate for more coastal areas of New England, for fortunate for us! We're only predicted to get a dusting or up to two inches. I'm so over it. I want spring to be spring!

Other random notes:
  • Although the NJ Transit rail workers strike was averted, three of the five trains to work I took this week were late and one going home was late. It's a good thing I deliberately build in a time cushion for my to work commute. If I'm not early, I consider myself late. So, even though the trains were late, I made it to work on time. 
  • Speaking of NJ Transit -- true, they opened the Watchung Avenue rail bridge to street traffic once again. But now they've shut down the Park Avenue street traffic at the bridge on the other side of the Plainfield Train Station once again. They've milked these bridge projects for 13 months now. Yeah, they were using the marvelous new doings which placed the bridge sections in over a weekend. Otherwise, I could see the projects lasting five years!
  • A drunk woman riding a bicycle on the sidewalk annoyed me yesterday morning. She could barely keep upright. I have a personal policy that I do not move for bikes on the sidewalk -- they're supposed to be on the street by law. THEY need to alter their path, not me the pedestrian. Since she almost fell over, I did move. But I was nasty to her and she quickly (as slowly as her quick was) moved out into the street. I have little tolerance for adults riding bicycles on the sidewalks, nor for drunks.
  • There was also a very drunk guy dressed in summer shorts and a tank top (when I dragged my winter jacket back out for yesterday) on the train. The conductors had given the two-buzz signal that the doors were closed and the engineer could move the train when the man started yelling he had to get out. Usually the train will just keep going, but they did stop again and let him stumble out. They probably preferred he get off the train.
  • Train etiquette deems that you should be out of your seat and ready to exit by the time you get to your stop. First off, the departing passengers need to get off before the new passengers board the train. Second, the train will leave and you're stuck until the next stop ... usually.
  • Why did I see two drunk people before 10am on a Saturday morning? What's up with that?
  • While I will drink alcohol, I don't believe I've been actually drunk since about 1976 or so. I don't like the feeling. I get sick to my stomach and I really hate stumbling around or falling over. I learned my lesson way back then!
Enough of all of that. It's onto the photos for the week! Clicking on an image will bring up a larger version. Have a good week, folks ... and Happy Spring to y'all! (Even though it's a last hurrah of winter here tonight!)

Are you looking at me?

Are YOU looking at ME?!?! There's no one else here. Are you looking at ME? -- said in my best DiNiro impression. If the pigeon pulls out a gun, run for the hills.

No strike, yay!

Yet this train seems to be dirty and running dirty. While that locomotive is a dual diesel/electric powered one, it's diesel until it goes into the tunnels into Manhattan. Diesel isn't allowed in the tunnels. I find the diesel trains much more reliable in bad weather than the electric ones. NJ Transit, unlike the MTA, uses overhead wires instead of the third rail system for electric trains. Since the line I take (Raritan Valley Line) used to be all diesel until they bought the dual-powered locomotive engines, we used to have to transfer trains in Newark to go into Manhattan. Now, with the new locomotives, there are many trains that are one-seat rides into the city. But, not all of them.

Yellow and white daffodils make me happy

Well, at least when I'm looking at them.

I'm still waiting for good blossoms!

The magnolia tree across the street decided to blossom right at the beginning of a cold snap! The blossoms haven't really opened wide as of yet. Or, if they have, it's been during times I've been at work. Today's prediction of cold and possible snow covering isn't going to help them any. 


They're kind of open way up there!

But not closer to the ground where I can get good photos!

On Wednesday, there was some action

This is the magnolia tree across the street from me. Tuesday, there was nothing. Wednesday, I saw this. Since black skies and violent thunder and lightning was threatening, I didn't go across the street for closer photos at the time.

It must be spring!

The daffodils came to bloom early this week on Berckman Street in Plainfield.

The squirrels enjoy foraging ...

... on non-frozen ground! They can dig in for acorns or whatever it is they want without the ground being as solid as a rock.

Despite cold weather ...

The hardy daffodils of spring are determined to do their thing!

The forsythia has started to come to life

Men on the corner

It seems, as an observer of life and peoples, that many "working men" spend an inordinate amount of time standing around and talking. That or sitting on the benches drinking coffee and talking. The women, for the most part, seem to be going somewhere and don't have the idle time to stand around and chat each morning.

Time to get the nest comfy!

This squirrel was going back and forth on the bridge at the Bridgewater Train Station retrieving and delivering mouthfuls of straw and twigs. Obviously, an esteemed architect at work!

The pansies have been planted

Replacing the eucalyptus and berries in the planters by my workplace, we now have pansies. I hope they're tough pansies as the weather has been more winter-like since the day they were planted. Sigh.


Blue braids on the bus

That's what I was going for with this shot. Because I didn't want to take the time to really focus in on them, you get the crutch dude more than the bright beautiful blue braids. Taking photos on the bus unnoticed is hard. I'd sit at the back of the bus and do it, but all the riff-raff and kids (not necessarily riff-raff kids, just kids) sit back there.

Fly like an eagle; run like a starling!

Observing birds, I can see where "survival of the fittest" comes into play. With starlings, seagulls and even sparrows, you can see one bird find something to eat and the others chasing after him to steal it away. This starling was running after another who found a bit of something. The only birds I've noticed that are fairly communal in their food findings seem to be pigeons. Perhaps it's because a lot of people actually feed them and they aren't always scrounging about for bits of food. Maybe it's just their nature.

Leaning into the turn ...

Yes, that's one of the rules for riding a motorcycle! Perhaps the bus driver is daydreaming about driving a Harley. I don't know.

Counter for one, please

While I'm not big on the many Central and South American restaurants in town because I'm just such a bland eater, I do enjoy many of the bakeries. My only real complaint is that most aren't all that into chocolate! We need an All Things Chocolate Bakery and Eatery in Plainfield. Yep, that's right!

Are you hungry yet?

The trucks which deliver foodstuffs to the Chinese restaurants in the area are just about always graffiti-laden. Most come from Brooklyn or the Chinatown area in lower Manhattan. At least the trucks are refrigerated models! Hopefully, the inside of the truck is cleaner than the outsides! Whenever I see trucks with graffiti like this, I know they're not from Plainfield. While the city has some graffiti, the ones doing it generally leave working vehicles alone.

Until next year 

Here on Monday, gone on Tuesday

The Big Apple Circus finished its month in Bridgewater on Sunday. The big parking lot full of the circus people and their vehicles was an empty lot by Tuesday as they moved on to another location. They apparently took their wonder, cheer and laughter with them. (Plus their dogs and ponies.)

Goes up slow, comes down fast

Disassembling the Big Top

It takes them a good three weeks to set up the Big Top and some accompanying smaller tents each year. After all, they need to run heat and electricity through all of it. It's not like camping out in the backyard. But, taking it down only takes about a day!


Looking through the past

While this old fire call box is quite dismantled, it's one of the few still mostly there in Plainfield. When I moved here, there were police and fire call boxes practically on every block and fairly intact. Over the years they vanished -- probably people stealing them, selling them on eBay or for scrap metal. I'm surprised as much of this one is left as it's in a well-traveled area, by the railroad overpass on Watchung Avenue. In this shot, I was looking up East 3rd Street through the open door.

Let there be worms

Growing up in mostly country kind of areas, going fishing, being somewhat a tomboy and such ... I never quite understood the reaction worms get from many people. Regular old earthworms don't bite, they can't chase after you, they don't even get into garbage or nasty roadkill. Their presence is good for soil. Now, I'm not recommending keeping one as a pet. But they are good for the environment and can't hurt anyone.

Oh, Vincent, you're such a cat!

At times, when he's on the couch like this and suddenly realizes I'm there and he's not WITH me, he comes bounding to me and leaps on me out of nowhere. I should always expect a cat. But sometimes he's so stealthy in his attention attack that it gives me a start!


RSchnoop said...

Ah, SPRING! Beautiful flowers, a pigeon who cares not for the company of a photographer, squirrels doing whatever it is that they really do...
About the bicycle rider on the sidewalk... in my case, at about 215 pounds, if they are stupid enough to run into me, it will hurt them more than me and may mess up their bike a bit...

Palmaltas said...

Since I'm not a "bland eater", I would probably enjoy those Central and South American eateries. However, I'm supposed to stay away from spicy foods these days so it's probably a good thing we don't have them here to tempt me.