Friday, 21 July 2017

Farewell to the Rushcliffe Villager 2

Today, I rode what I expect to be my last journey on the Rushcliffe Villager 2. Despite existing for under two years, the service will be cancelled as of this weekend. While Cotgrave will still have the Cotgrave Connection for bus access to Nottingham, it will no longer have the RV2 route to Bingham and villages such as Aslockton and Cropwell Bishop will have to rely on county-operated buses for the time being.

Understandably, there has been some criticism for the cut. Areas of Cotgrave that aren't serviced by the Cotgrave Connection will lose out as will the outer villages around Bingham. Many older people use the RV2 but the company's defence is that the numbers are low and that the service is operating at a loss.

A bit of scenery from the RV2 route appears in this post of mine from late 2015. It is a beautiful route and travels around a large portion of Rushcliffe.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

A bowling evening

A couple of days ago, a college friend organised a bowling evening between himself, me and two other friends from Access. The agreed day was today and so we met at the Victoria Centre and walked a short way to the nearby bowling alley.

It was a great evening. We weren't really playing to win - as with any good bowling game, we were there for the fun of it and for the social intereaction. We received an extra game free because our original bowling lane was experiencing problems with the pin cleanup, as did our follow-up second lane; as compensation, we were allowed a change to a third lane and given then given another game.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

"Low-Fat Foods Are Making You Fatter" - a clip from 'Adam Ruins Everything'

Here is a good reason to not buy low-fat foods:


Low fat = more sugar or other sweeteners. Best to stick to regular fat foods but just eat less and exercise more!

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Let it fail...

The Republicans' second attempt at repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or "Obamacare") is failing. As such, the current president wants the PPACA to "fail" if his party can't repeal it:


He smugly declares "I'm not going to own it" and "I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it.", but if the PPACA fails, it will be the fault of him and his party. They're the ones in charge, not President Obama and the Democrats; if Republicans poorly handle the government that they're running, the buck stops with them.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Letter from university - recognition

Recently, I received my results from Year 1 and a Gold accreditation for my work as an academic rep for 2016-2017. On Saturday, I received another piece of good news from university - there was a letter for me from my course leader, which discussed how the exam board had noted how "exceptional [my] academic performance had been over the course of the year" and that I was among a "small handful" of students who achieved a grade mark of 65% or more.

Recognition like this is additional incentive to continue and to continue doing a good job with my work. Again, on to Year 2!

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Liveland History: 16th July 2017

Three years ago, my blog post consisted of pictures from a day trip to Nottingham:


It was of Holme Pierrepont as well as consisted of a test of an image editing app. A brief post about the day itself is here. Yes, I remember it well - my Hong Kong uncle and I had a long chat about my then-upcoming college adventure.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

The 80th

My grandparents here in Nottingham are both turning 80 years old this year; my grandfather reached that milestone earlier in the year and my grandmother will do so later. Rather than hold two separate celebrations, my grandparents instead opted to hold a joint 80 birthday party today.

Besides my grandparents and me, others in attendance consisted of my Nottingham aunt and uncle, plus their children and the boyfriends of two of said children; my East of England aunt and uncle were there with their children and the girlfriend of one of them; finally, my Hong Kong uncle was also present. I arrived at 12:30pm before my Nottingham aunt and uncle returned me to Clifton in the evening.

As a present, I bought my grandparents some chocolate from Hotel Chocalat. I usually buy them some chocolate smiley faces but this time they had some chocolate hearts with a hummingbird and flower pattern on them, so I bought those instead, which they loved.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Another one of those strange coincidences

A few days ago, one of my housemates needed to attend a house viewing; she also wanted someone to accompany her and asked me, so I did. On our way there, I informed her about a few stories involving other friends of mine who had gone into private student housing; one such story was how a fellow mature student had been cheated out of his money by a conniving housemate.

When my housemate and I made it to the housing, we met someone who worked for and represented the landlord. As we entered the house, the man mentioned the name of a tenant who was staying there; this tenant had the same name as the aforementioned mature student and...as if on cue, it was the same mature student! I couldn't believe it! Not only had my housemate picked somewhere that was home to someone I knew but also of someone I'd been talking about 15 minutes prior. He even recounted the same story I told.

It's hilarious - as well as somewhat disconcerting - moments like this that make life all the more interesting!

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Gate painting

For the first time in over two years, I painted at my grandparents' house. Whereas in 2015 I was painting fences, today I was painting one of the gates in their back yard. It's an old gate and was in serious need of a new coat of paint.

In a few weeks' time, I'll be doing some more painting for them - this time being the new gate at the front of their house and the new one to the side. The other reason for my painting the old gate was so that I'd have some practice before painting the new two.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

It still isn't a form of racism

A few weeks ago, I wrote that trolls have been twisting the narrative to somehow argue that challenging racism is a form of racism in itself:


Recently, I saw on Facebook somebody claim that bigotry and calling out bigotry are both "two cheeks of the same arse" (a cruder version of "opposite sides of the same coin"). This person was talking nonsense, for opposing bigotry is not at all the same as being a bigot. I don't know how this "you're intolerant for not tolerating my intolerance!" hogwash is spreading - it is not a form of discrimination to oppose those whose aim is to discriminate against others. No one can choose their ethnic group, sex, sexual orientation, etc.; people can, however, choose whether to be or whether not to be jerks towards others.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Advancing to Year 2

I recently received the result of my sole exam for the recent academic year; while the grade was slightly lower than I'd hoped, it was nevertheless a clear pass and I will be advancing to Year 2 of university. My best result was in my American literature module, where I received a 1st.

And while it doesn't count towards this year's grade, I also received a Gold accreditation for my work as an academic rep. My expectation had been that I would only receive a Silver accreditation, which would still have been a good piece of recognition for my rep work. I shall be running again for a rep position in Year 2.

On to Year 2!

Monday, 10 July 2017

"All I Ever Wanted" - Michael Brun featuring Louie

Not too long ago, I came across this awesome track:


It's "All I Ever Wanted" by Michael Brun, a Haitian DJ. The song is from XOXO, a film that, according to Wikipedia, is a Netflix original. I know next to nothing about the creators of the song but "All I Ever Wanted" is an amazing track!

Sunday, 9 July 2017

"Star Trek Generations" - a Jack in the Box commercial

I was recently made aware of the existence of this:


Star Trek Generations is my favourite Star Trek film and Jack in the Box was one of the few fast food places we visited on several occasions while in the US, besides Wendy's and a couple of others. I wasn't expecting to see a ST:Generations/JitB mix as seen here!

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Skylink Derby

Using one of the tickets I was given at the Trentbarton focus group last month, I rode Skylink Derby. As this Trentbarton line is joint-operated between them and Kinchbus, the MANGO cards are not used on this service and so it has not been, until today, a route I had explored.

Skylink Derby begins in Derby (obviously), goes to East Midlands Airport as Skylinks Nottingham and Express do, through Loughborough and all the way to Leicester. I travelled all the way to Leicester and walked around the centre there for a short time. This marked the first time I can recall of my stepping foot in Leicester during the daytime, rather than past midnight. Most of my experience with Leicester comes via travelling through it rather than walking around it.

As for Skylink Derby, it's a fun route; it's long and there's plenty of scenery to observe while riding it. Also, as a result of riding Skylink Derby and using it to travel to Leicester, I have visited all of the outer regions of the Trentbarton network, as viewed here (map is outdated as it shows the defunct Radcliffe Line and Ruddington Connection and doesn't show Skylink Express but nevertheless shows the distant points of the network).

Friday, 7 July 2017

The fly in the room

Flies are experts at entering houses via small openings, such as a crack in the wall or a barely-open window. When it comes to getting out, however, flies seem to be incompetent at this, even when you open a door for them.

At the moment, there is a fly in my room, who has been buzzing around for the past two hours. While my door is open and the window it came in from is also open, it can't or won't fly out despite it wanting to leave. It has this odd obsession with flying around the light as though it's a moth.

I'm not sure how to persuade the fly to go in the direction of the window or the door; I don't particularly want it flying around all night keeping me awake nor do I want it to become meal for one of the spiders who lives in my room.