Sunday, June 11, 2017

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - June 11, 2017

Good morning! Welcome to my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photos I took along the way. I have a bit of a blogging rest before Big Brother starts up. The premiere for that is slated for June 28, but the cast information and such should start coming out a week before that. I'll be watching for news. Stay tuned right here!

Until the last few days, we had more rain and more cool temperatures. As of yesterday, that's all changed. We're facing what should be the first day of a heat wave, the second one this year. Temperatures are supposed to be in the 90s starting today and lasting through Tuesday. I'd actually prefer the cooler temps. I hate the heat!

Every five years in New Jersey, multi-family dwellings get inspected by the state. This past week we had our inspection in my apartment building. It's a big pain, but I do understand that these inspections can catch fire and safety issues and neglect by landlords. The first time I went through this here, they came up with tons of violations resulting in new power outlets in the kitchen and bathroom, scraping down and painting all of the fire escapes and more. This time it didn't seem like much at all. We have new windows, the fire escapes remain in good shape, etc. The main thing the inspector seemed to be concerned about was working smoke/CO detectors.

Earlier in the week, the super (who is no longer Mario ... sniffle) came through testing to make sure the apartment doors self-close, have the privacy chain locks and testing the smoke alarms. Mine is working although my door likes to self-close rather slowly. The inspector never actually checked my door. If I have to run from a fire, I'll make sure it closes! That, or I'll buy a tiny can of oil and oil it. I think that's all it needs.

Vincent is tired of hearing the smoke alarm tests! (So am I.)

Joe's place across the hall apparently had a broken chain lock. Hmm. I would guess someone forced it at some time or another. Mine is always in use yet vintage to the building.

Both times of the visits -- the super's initial sweep and the actual inspection -- my neighbor next door fought with them refusing to open the door for the longest time. Now, I don't answer my door usually, either. But I could hear it was the super and he even yelled, "It's the super! I'd like to check your smoke detector! We have a state inspection coming!" I let him in.  Technically, other than an emergency, we're supposed to have (I think) 48 hours notice for them to enter. But it wasn't a huge deal. He tested the door, the smoke alarm and made sure my chain worked. 

The neighbor finally let the inspector in for the inspection -- we did have two weeks notice and then a 48 hour reminder the inspection was coming. But there was a whole lot of yelling goin' on. Sheesh. Well, maybe it made the inspector inspect less on me because he was so bad! I didn't want to move furniture to show them outlets and such aren't overloaded. He didn't ask that -- the whole inspection took about a minute. He didn't even look under my sinks for leaks, just asked me. (And, no, I have no leaks under my sinks.) He never even turned lights on in the bathroom, kitchen and dining room (built-in fixtures they tested last time) or flush my toilet to make sure it works and doesn't leak. Of course, my toilet is only a few months old and still looks brand new, so maybe that's why he didn't check that. 

The last five-year inspection was a huge headache with the inspector going through everything with a fine-tooth comb, wanting to look at every electrical outlet, check all possibilities of leaks and more. This time, quick and easy -- test smoke/CO detector, glance about in kitchen and bathroom, check access to the fire escape in the bedroom. Now, since the last inspection, I do have a new bathroom vanity and sink, toilet, new windows, new refrigerator (my own, but my last used one looked horrible; this one still looks brand new), new kitchen floor and more. So, maybe the apartment just looks like there are fewer problems and he didn't feel the need to inspect as much.

The neighbor also gave the exterminator a lot of grief early in the week. I don't know what's going on there. The inspector was in his apartment a lot longer than in mine. He better not have safety or bug-causing issues going on there! When Carlos left that place about 18 months ago, it was a showplace in beautiful condition with an updated kitchen, gorgeous hardwood floors and all. Mine has beat-up hardwood never refinished before I moved in 17 years ago and original building kitchen cabinets.

Oh, well. It's over for the next five years now.

Onto the photos from the week -- clicking on an image will open up a larger version.

The flower of an hour has sprung!

Last fall Bernice gave me some seeds to grow these. I tossed them across the ground in an area adjacent to the parking lot at my apartment building. It's on the neighbor's property, but a small strip between our fence and their garage. They seem to neglect that rocky strip in their lawn maintenance, so I didn't think they'd mind flowers. There's no good place on the grounds of my building to plant them. They took root!

Yay, it's bee season!

Although I've an allergy to bee stings, these little guys are a vital part of nature. And, for the most part, bees tend to be non-aggressive. Yellow jackets and other wasps are a bit different. 

Caught at the right time!

These "flower of an hour" blossoms come to life in the vicinity of 9am. They're closed up for most of the day and night.


Repenting crow?

Nah, I don't think so. I think he might be just looking down for more victims. This crow kept dive-bombing pigeons, starlings and sparrows who were innocently poking around in the grass at the Plainfield Train Station. It was like he was terrorizing them! He kept swooping in to scatter them. Hmm.

Snake in the grass?

Nope! It's a starling in the grass! Some people would say, "Same thing!"

The only love I'd seek on the train

Yes, the love of reading or audiobooks. My commute on the NJ Transit train has me developing many long term friendships, but I'm not looking for love there. An ad poster on the NJT Raritan Valley line.

Nature is just that cool

Back in the Dark Ages when I was a teenager, a friend convinced her mother that her marijuana plant was a marigold plant. It all started rather innocently -- well, as innocently as growing a marijuana plant could be, that is. Her mother asked what that was growing in her bedroom window. My friend started to automatically say "marijuana" but caught her self after the "mari ..." -- "Mari ... golds." And, thus it was. Her mother often asked why no flowers ever blossomed.

More marigolds

Let there be petunias!

A lawn on Berckman Street in Plainfield was spruced up with planted petunias this past week. If I had some outdoor space of my own, I might try planting something. They frown on fire escape flowers, though.

Pretty Pink Petunias

When I was a child, I used to be fascinated by pulling out the blossoms after they passed. It's the little things, y'see.

Huge 'shrooms

Due to all of the rain the past few months, huge mushrooms grew on the shady parts of the grounds at the Plainfield Train Station. 

Rockin' the vote

I voted in the NJ Primary on Tuesday. The local mayoral primary was the most contentious I think I've ever seen -- worse than Trump/Clinton. I voted for the person (in the Mayor primary) I thought best represented ALL the people, not one segment of the town's population. Two of the candidates seemed to want to focus on one segment, those born and raised in the town, and seemed to think that no one else lives here or deserves to care about the city. I've lived here nearly 20 years. To them, I would be an outsider. Under the incumbent (my choice), I've seen improvements throughout the town. Oh, wait ... he's an "outsider" like I am! Sorry, folks who feel they're losing control of their city, times they are a'changin'. Plainfield has grown very diverse over the past 20 years -- it's time to move forward. There isn't just ONE segment of the population to be represented. 

Oh, Vincent!

Vincent, when not on me, likes to sleep with his head drooping down. Here he is on his chair nearby my computer chair. Yes, everywhere I sit, he has a place to be next to me. Otherwise, if he had his druthers, he'd be ON me all the time.

1 comment:

monica said...

It's hard to believe that it's almost time for Big Brother. Wow!
I lived in an apt. for 15+ years and loved it for the most part.
The inspections are a pain in the a$$ but necessary for sure.
I use to get crazy the days before and it never was a big deal really.
And what a relief when they are gone. Good bye!
The heat is moving into the east coast but I hope it doesn't stay.
I dread the humidity the most. Give me winter. I hate the ice but
everything else is cool.
I hope your leg is feeling much better. Give Vincent a hug.
Take care,