Sunday, June 19, 2016

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - June 19, 2016

Good morning! Happy Fathers Day! My own father passed away decades ago and I still miss him. I wonder what he would think of the world today. He was a good father, hard-working and he passed much too young.

Since it's Sunday, this is my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photos I took along the way. If you're interested in my latest posts on Big Brother 18, hit this link to see them all! A very important TV note -- the blog pool is open for BB18 -- if you want in, the cut-off is Tuesday at 3pm ET and you need to sign up on this linked post ONLY. Please don't sign up on this here post or any of the other BB18 posts as your request might be missed!

After I posted last week's off topic photo post, I learned of the horrible events in Orlando. It's still bringing tears to my eyes even though I didn't know any of the 49 victims. The presence of such evil in our world is incredibly sad. I have no answers. I know from early childhood, mass murderers exist. I recall the guy on the watchtower in Dallas in the 60s. But I fear some people are fueling the fire of such evil with homophobic, racist and even Islamophobic ways. Perhaps I'm naive, but can't we just stop all this hate and exist together in the world? Sigh.

This past Friday evening, the city of Plainfield (NJ) where I live held a candlelight vigil for Orlando's victims. I was in attendance. Many of the photos beyond the jump are of the ceremony. Plainfield is a city of diversity; this area of New Jersey is a true melting pot of all cultures, religions, colors and more. I'm proud to live here. It enriches my own life to know and be friends with so many diverse folks. I honestly think many folks who direct hate on generalizations don't personally know any individuals in the groupings they hate so much.

Onto this week's photos -- clicking on an image will bring it up in a larger version:

Nature's glory

Teeny bee

Or, perhaps it's a mimic fly. As seen on Berckman Street in Plainfield.

Mayor Mapp speaks

Mayor Adrian Mapp speaks to the Candlelight Vigil for Orlando crowd at Plainfield City Hall on Friday evening.

I see Dan; he doesn't see me

We need to change the world

Did you know that more hate crimes are committed against the LGBT community than any other group? For the life of me and based on my own life experiences, I cannot understand why. I just don't get the anger directed at people being gay. All I know is that I'm glad I was raised to accept people for who they are no matter religion, gender identity, color, culture ... and on and on. After all, I certainly expect people to accept me for who I am. I don't expect everyone to like me, but I don't expect anyone to hate me for no good reason! I don't like everybody in the world. But that's based on a personal traits level, not a wide-sweeping generalization. I don't direct violence at people I dislike. If folks aren't doing you any personal harm, don't do them harm. That should be easy. But, apparently in the world today, it's not. It's sad.


As I approached City Hall

Love is Love

One of the banners at the candlelight vigil.

Plainfield City Hall

As the Mayor spoke to the crowd.

This guy ...!

I don't know this man. But I find him precious. I could spend an hour reading all the buttons on his vest and he was so nice when I asked him for the photo! 

Well-attended, great folks

Religious leaders

Father Gideon of Grace Episcopal Church and Rev. Damaris Ortega of United Church of Christ Congregational. Both spoke during the ceremony. I was raised rather standard old-school Methodist in my upbringing and, while I consider myself a spiritual and decent sort of person most of the time, I haven't attended any established church in decades. These two make it a bit tempting to attend their services sometime to check 'em out! I'm rather intrigued.

Look! It's Rebecca!

I find it rather creepy that, when I posted this shot on Facebook, Facebook knew who she is and tagged her automatically. It must be facial recognition. I hope Facebook never recognizes ME! I wonder if it recognizes Vincent. Back to Rebecca, I'm so relieved that she won in the latest local election. The alternative was scary and has done little other than use the council position as her personal pulpit (speaking of religion).

Siddeeq El-Amin and Faheemah El-Amin

A retired captain from the Plainfield Police Department and his wife spoke as representatives of the local Islamic community. I happen to believe everything they said is spot on -- you cannot blame all of the Muslim folks for the actions of zealots no more than you can Christian churches for the actions of their religious fanatics or, to drive another point home, white people for the actions of a Timothy McVeigh. That's roughly what's happening with the Islamophobia going on these days.

Unfortunately, truly evil people exist in our world. And, they come in every color, from every religion, etc. It's up to the good people to try to improve the world whether due to gun control or mental health sanctions for such. After all, what regular citizen NEEDS to own assault rifles/machine guns? You don't need those to hunt. You don't need those killing machines to practice at the target range. The Second Amendment was written for muskets, not the kind of assault weapons available today. It's time it was updated to real life. 

I'm so proud of Plainfield!

A stirring ceremony

The crowd listens to the speakers

We are Orlando

Friday evening's moon

Mellow Yellow

They call me mellow yellow, that's right ... er, I'm dating myself now.


The bums hanging out on the North Avenue side of the Plainfield Train Station now have an abandoned recliner chair, milk crates and their own huge trash bags (which they don't always use). Why don't we just build a hut for them? It doesn't seem like either NJ Transit Police or the Plainfield Police Department do anything about them. There are usually eight to fifteen guys hanging out there on a regular basis and NJ Transit customers have to walk through them to access the Park Avenue entrance. Plus, the apartments on North Avenue have been rehabbed and cost a pretty penny to live in these days. Yet they have a bunch of drinking, littering and annoying dudes hanging out right outside their windows. Something needs to be done!

Pink roses on East Front Street

Getting around

I love these self-balancing unicycles (sans seats)! I want one. This father and son were riding up North Avenue by the Plainfield Train Station.

And here they come

Right up the accessible walk to the Plainfield Train Station outbound platform. 

And, a hoverboard

This guy also went to the Plainfield Train Station. He put his hoverboard in a bag and carried it onto the train. I know that's outlawed in NYC due to the hoverboards spontaneously combustion issues. I thought it was illegal on NJ Transit as well. But there were no fires. 

Finally, one house down

They finally demolished the remains of one of the burnt two homes on East Second Street near me. I kept looking at the building that's now gone thinking it would only take a strong wind to knock over what little was left of it. I have no clue why they didn't just take down the one on the right, too. Perhaps the front and the right side don't look too bad, but it's missing a good portion of its roof and probably it would be cheaper to rebuild than to salvage it.

Hangin' in there

Let the sun shine in!

Framed beauty

A rose sits on a wrought iron fence on East Second Street in Plainfield.

A patch of day lilies

Day Lily

Pink blossoms

Lovin' the lavender ...


Vincent wouldn't look up at the camera for his weekly photo shoot, so I whistled. He doesn't like whistling. Heehee. Obviously, I'm an abusive pet owner. (Not that he can be OWNED, mind you!)


Palmaltas said...

Lovely photos among a very thoughtful post. As the sister of a wonderful gay man, I deeply appreciated your blog today.

Russ said...

I love your post this week, documenting the good that humans can show when confronted by an evil and tragic event...
Also, please keep in mind that Vincent owns you, not the other way around...

Anonymous said...

I don't know you [follow your blogging] Many in Plainfield know me!!I drove through the "RIOTS" taught at Clinton School in Plainfield, lived in Plainfield and our people [family and friends] owned businesses on Front St etc etc
Due to my strong faith and religion, I couldn't see myself walking through a "Hysterical" mob No way!!! Never again!! Kind brilliant rich, poor the common man marched into death traps and were burned!! NEVER AGAIN! I was born and bred in N Y C
You have soul and great intelligence!! Keep it up! RBG

Sharon N said...

A well-thought out post and I agree Jackie... on every single talking point!
Everyone tends to have strong opinions, but before voicing those opinions, they should be equally honest and ask themselves, "exactly how does another person's life-choices affect MY personal life?" Unfortunately, the flames tend to be fanned by those who "should" know better, but apparently couldn't care less about the damage they've wrought.

Following such sadness, the beautiful flowers you always post... helps to bring back the light.

Bob said...

Thank you, Jackie. I'm glad you could make it. I think everyone was moved and I'm glad most speakers kept on topic and made their remarks short and sweet so we all had time to reflect. Thank you for your service to the community.

Bob Bolmer