Sunday, April 10, 2016

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - April 10, 2016

Good morning! Since it's Sunday morning, 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. If you're a fan of either Survivor or The Amazing Race (or both), please stop by on show nights as they air East Coast time for live blogging and blog parties in the comments area. It makes the show even more fun to watch when you watch it with friends!

Our weather here this past week has been more like winter than spring. I'm so tired of putting away my winter jacket thinking it's all over only to get it out once again ... or shiver in my fleece. Although we've had the threat of snow more than a few times this week, I only saw some flurries once. Nonetheless, I'm tired of it. We need spring!

My downstairs neighbor passed away in either a hospital or a hospice (not here in the building) a few weeks ago. I didn't realize it until some men were emptying out his apartment and bringing most of his stuff to the dumpsters and stacking furniture around the dumpsters. Most of his stuff was either fiberboard type furniture or incredibly worn stuff that might have been nice 30 years ago. The men cleaning out the apartment took the nicer pieces and I noticed some things seemed to disappear to scavengers overnight. It's very sad that that represented a man's life. He was my downstairs neighbor for about twelve years, my source for building gossip and he'd often offer me a ride home if he saw me downtown on foot. He didn't make a lot of noise and, if he did, I always felt free to go down and say something to him. But, I never had to do so. Rest in peace, Lee.

Meanwhile, my upstairs neighbor of about a year and a half is growing more annoying. He's extremely quiet on weekdays. But, on weekends he turns into some sort of party animal with a horribly loud thumping bass stereo. I've lived in this apartment for 16 years. There's been about six different tenants upstairs from me during that time. With all of them, I could only hear conversation if they were shouting at each other. I rarely heard more that a hint of music from upstairs.

None of them had carpet -- he does. I hear him shouting in "normal conversation" over the "music." I can't really call it music as all I hear is the bass thumping. I know some other people, perhaps his neighbors on either side, have called the police on him. I've been tempted to do so. The noise hasn't started up yet as I get this posted. But the landlord will get a call tomorrow if it does. I have to work on Saturdays and don't get home until around 8pm. I don't want to hear, nor should I hear, a constant thump of bass which sounds like a mallet pounding on my ceiling. Nor should my one day off on Sunday be noise from early in the morning until midnight. Grr.

I finally figured out how to use the now free Google NIK photo editor I downloaded a few weeks ago. I couldn't see where it went in my computer! All I could read online had it used as plug-ins for Photoshop or other expensive photo editing software programs I don't own. I discovered I can open photos with the various six programs of NIK. But then I couldn't tell the system where to save them and found they were being saved under documents. Now I have it all under control. I think.

Work has been totally exhausting. But, what else is new?

Onto this week's photos! Clicking on an image will bring up a larger version.

My ride home from work

It's too bad it doesn't take me right to my door! But I do prefer to hear train whistles from blocks away rather than right outside my window. I edited this shot of my train arriving at the Bridgewater Train Station. It's nice to leave when there's some daylight. Now it it could just warm up a bit!

Welcome, Love, Justice, Peace

Banners were flying yesterday at the Friends (Quakers) Meeting House on Watchung Avenue in Plainfield. By the time I noticed them to take photographs, I was up on the westbound platform of the Plainfield Train Station. So, Justice is a bit obscured ... as it sometimes can be in real life.

It's a cold, cold rain

No, we didn't get the snow they predicted. But, man, that rain was COLD. This is a shot of my arrival home from work last night at the Plainfield Train Station.



Azalea buds!

The bushes in front of the TD Bank Ball Park near the Bridgewater Train Station are struggling to come to life.

Bridgewater Train Station shelter

Thankfully, the homeless dude who lived there for nearly two months has been moved along. Unlike Plainfield with its actual building and sheltered area on the westbound side -- NJT thinks only the passengers heading to NYC/Newark deserve shelter -- Bridgewater has a horrible little shelter on the eastbound side and absolutely no cover on the westbound side. This shelter's front is totally open, so the wind blows through. There are overhead heaters over the benches. But they only heat the top of your head if you stand on the benches. And, since so many people do indeed stand on the benches, you can't sit on the benches because they're all dirty footprints. 

Filming a movie?

On Monday, some guys were filming something at the train station. Not only were these two at the foot of the stairs with a camera on a tripod, there was another on the platform with a fancy-schmancy video camera. I heard them calling direction to their "star" telling him where to come down the stairs after he acted like he got off the arriving train. When my train arrived, the video dude filmed it and caught me boarding it. I hope I can get royalties!

Ohhh! Croissant crumbs!

I had fun feeding birds croissant crumbs at the Plainfield Train Station one morning.

Any croissant crumbs for me?

Yes, I ended up giving him some. After all, he begged so convincingly!

One white daffodil remained

Earlier in the week, only one daffodil didn't droop in the row of daffodils on Berckman Street. The overnight freezes are murder. While a killing frost can't really kill a horse named Wildfire, it certainly does the job to spring flowers.

What's going on with your hair, kid?

Don't you think you're tall enough? You need two more inches hair height? For some reason, tall hair and Mohawks are in again with some of the younger generation in towns.

Red buds

One of the few trees they left up in the Nature Massacre at the Bridgewater Train Station. The chopped down almost every plant I tend to photograph through the seasons. I don't know why. It's sad.

I gave him a peanut

It was fun to watch this squirrel running around, finding stuff, burying it in various places, then patting down the soil to hide his stash.

The early bird gets the worm

Apple blossoms downtown

Alas, many of the petals are coming off prematurely in the winter spring this season.

Hang in there, tulips!

The cold weather is taking a toll on spring in general. Grr. This tulips patch is outside of a home on East Second Street in Plainfield.

Early morning sunshine on the bridge

It looks like the bridge on Watchung Avenue might actually be opened for good. I've seen some workers atop the bridge and, from what I see, there are some slightly dangling wires to the lighting under the bridge which should be secured. But, hopefully, the road closures are history.

I looked back at some older photos I've taken and messed with them with the Google NIK editing software ...

Chinatown celebrating Lunar New Year

I don't think I ever posted this shot. It was a bit lackluster. However, it made for great playing with the Google NIK photo editor fodder. I took the shot a few years back when I went to Chinatown to watch the big Chinese New Year parade in Manhattan. I will never do that again. I was almost squished to death in the crowds and I didn't get any great photos of the dragons and such in the parade -- part of my goal in going there!

The Skulls Door

This is one of the shots I took the first day I owned my first digital camera back in 2003. I had bought the camera, a Pentax, at the now closed TriState Camera Store on West 27th Street in Manhattan. That camera definitely changed my life. In the hours after I bought it, I wandered all around the West Village shooting whatever caught my fancy without worrying about film or development costs. In my travels, on some side street, I saw this rather decrepit door with skull chimes. I shot it. And, now I've edited it to make it even more decrepit.

The old single level NJT train

Those old brown soft cushioned seats (when not broken) were so comfy! Everything is only slightly padded and plastic in the new cars.

Historic bank turned nightclub

Although I've never frequented the nightclub -- it's just not my sort of place -- I always thought this conversion was rather cool. I need to take a more recent photo as the green panels are blue these days. There's a proposal to build apartments on the upper floors. I personally don't think that's a good idea. I know I certainly wouldn't want to live over a very loud busy bar!


This is what goes on ...

... as I get ready for work. Vincent puts on this whole "bereft without you, how can you leave an adorable cat like me home alone without you" act. He probably then sleeps all day while I'm at work. I'd get him a companion, but he doesn't really like other cats, nor does he play well with them. Vincent likes people. I don't know where I went wrong with him!


Palmaltas said...

Love the old edited photos, Jackie. As for the azalea buds, our azaleas are in full bloom now.

Jackie said...

Thank you, Pat! If we don't get actual spring weather, ours might never bloom!