Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The near-cloudless sky

I posted this to Facebook earlier tonight:

"Today's near-cloudless sky has been astoundingly beautiful. Thanks to all this time I've spent outside performing yard work recently, I'm starting to look quite golden; no spray-on tans are necessary for me!"

Weather-wise, today has honestly been lovely. It's been our hottest day of the year so far but there has been a light breeze present throughout much of the day to help counter the heat. I spent much of today outside working in the yard.

And yes, I don't need any silly spray-on tans or tanning beds: I tan just fine in the Sun.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Bloggers Blog Party - May 2015

May 2015's pictures for the Secret Life of Bloggers Blog Party are insanely late, as April's were, but here they are:

Friday 1st May: This sheet of paper contains the questions that were asked during the January 2011 English exam. My classmates and I used these questions and some from other years as preparation for our own exam.

Sunday, 3rd May: I photographed this large and obnoxious political support sign along a major road; my picture was merely to keep a record of the huge sign - which was the biggest I observed during the election season - not to endorse any political party. Still, I took the picture from this odd angle because the sign was on a busy road and I thought it might have looked strange me photographing it!

Also on this day, I photographed Nottingham Castle from a lower-ground level; I don't ever recall seeing the castle from this angle prior to this day.

Saturday, 9th May: This is a cheese bap from a Co-operative store bakery. It was delicious, as the cheese baps always are. Definitely recommended!

Tuesday, 12th May: I rested briefly near this fishing lake on one of my long walks.

Saturday, 16th May: During "Hucknall, mach 4", I stopped off at a burger stand in Bulwell, a major Nottingham sector. The lady who cooked the burger apologised for running out of bacon.

Monday, 18th May: See that building in the distance, the Britannia Hotel? That was where two of my classmates and I had our first Mathematics exam, as the main college campus was too full to accommodate all the students undertaking the exam.

Friday, 22nd May: These are the vending machines in my college's canteen. I have occasionally purchased food from them.

Friday, 29th May: Mum heated a chorizo in the microwave; she was surprised by all the fat the microwave extracted from the sausage, hence this mess!

Saturday, 30th May: This is the first picture I took in Nottinghamshire after I returned for the second segment of my third term. It's a supermarket parking lot in a town called Cotgrave.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Overdue blog party again

I recently realised that I haven't yet posted May's pictures for the Secret Life of Bloggers Blog Party. Not to worry; I'll start the post for it shortly and will publish it tomorrow. Sorry for the delay.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

The 1500

I wrote my 1500th post three days ago: "The stairwell view". I had intended to note earlier that Air Nice-to-Livelands had reached its 1500th post but there were other events worthy for me to write about instead.

As ever, thank you to everyone who reads my blog.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Supreme Court marriage equality decision

In a 5-4 result, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down the nation's gay marriage bans, under the Obergefell v. Hodges case:

My response to this? Good. No one has anything to fear from same-sex marriage: the rights of a few groups of people have been expanded while everyone else's existing rights remain the same. No losses have been incurred; only gains. As a result, the world is a more equal place than it was yesterday; there is still more work to go, of course, but this ruling is a major victory for equal rights.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Cramp, headache and warm

My waking up this morning was, to put it mildly-yet-bluntly, unpleasant. I was rudely awoken to massive cramp in my right leg, which caused me to hop out of bed and down the hall in agony. If that wasn't enough, both my feet developed cramp, too.

The end of my morning tribulations? Not at all. I was experiencing a headache, possibly brought on by yesterday's heat and my going to bed incredibly late. On top of my cramps and headache, I was hot and sweating, which was likely caused by my headache.

The result? The various discomforts forced me to sleep in for an extra three hours this morning. As I've said a few times before, I loathe being in bed during daylight hours, so my confinement to my bed with a headache, cramp and heat was, again, unpleasant.

Fortunately, the additional rest meant that I was able to fight off the headache and the heat, although the pain in my leg from the cramp has moderately persisted throughout the day. Eh...I should probably go to bed - my head is still somewhat dazed from the headache.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

The stairwell view

We had an absolutely beautiful morning here in Nottingham today. Here is a picture I took towards the city centre from one of my college's stairwells:

In the afternoon, a friend and I walked around the city for a bit, both to shop a little and to enjoy the sunshine.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

The outer cinema

I went to the cinema today; here is a picture of a portion of the complex on which the cinema is located:

My grandfather, aunt, uncle and cousin all took me to see Jurassic World, which, until this afternoon, was not a film I had any idea existed. It was pleasant enough; I don't recall ever seeing a dinosaur film in its entirety until today.

I used the term "outer cinema" in the title because this cinema is on the outskirts of Nottingham, unlike the other one I've been to here, which is in the city centre.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Blue sky and clouds June 2015

I recall saying long ago that blue sky and clouds is one of my favourite types of sky. This is mainly clouds with some blue sky but it's still worthwhile; regular picture and Snapseed HDR:

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Father's Day 2015

"Cherish the people closest to you while you can. There will come a time when they are no longer around - the days of being able to talk to and laugh with them will be gone, never to return. When that day comes, regret over missing moments is not a feeling with which one wants to be consumed. Build as many great times as possible and remember them forever.

Happy Father's Day."

Saturday, 20 June 2015

"Smile" harassment

I posted this to Facebook earlier:

"I encountered a group of seven "men" earlier who, as I walked past them, all told me I should 'smile' and be 'happy' while they attempted to block my way. While I shouldn't have fed the trolls - especially given their superior numbers - I ended up being infuriated just enough to grant them a rude (by my standards) vocal reply.

While I've never told anyone to smile and have never had the desire to, the experience did provide me with insight into how annoying and/or threatening having a random person giving you orders can be."

This is the first time anything like this - street harassment - has happened to me; I was fortunate that none of them attempted to grab me although the incident occurred during broad daylight.

As little as three years ago, I had no idea that the problem existed of people telling other people (usually men telling women but other combinations do exist) to smile. I thought it was a bizarre thing for anyone to do. It must be a sort of power game that some people try to play over others.

As for the "rude vocal reply", well, as I said, it was rude by my standards; by most other people's standards it was probably still quite polite given the circumstances. If memory serves me right, this is both the first time I've been deliberately rude and not harboured any regrets afterwards. A part of me even feels a little pleased with myself for my response although one should be careful in case it causes bullies to become more belligerent.

Friday, 19 June 2015

The fabric softener

I spent the afternoon helping my grandfather with cleaning the garage. While in there, I accidentally broke open a bottle of fabric softener when moving a cabinet. As a result, half the bottle's contents spilled out over the floor.

While there was a large puddle of fabric softener about, an overpoweringly sweet smell encompassed the garage. Even after the mess was cleaned up, the aroma remained and I had to take a break from working in the garage because there was a risk that the smell could have given me a headache. I am still a little light-headed now.

Yes, half a bottle of fabric softener has been wasted but part of the garage floor is super clean!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Painting gate and fences

I spent a large portion of the day painting my grandparents' fences and one of their side gates. The fences, while numerous, were fairly easy to paint once I'd prepared the vicinity As for the gate...well, I had always wondered when I'd heard and read about people who said it had taken them an hour to paint a gate - I now know why!

All the various crossbeams and angled beams in the gate impeded me on several occasions and it took me over half an hour to paint it. What I thought was going to me a ten-minute job turned out to be something much more time consuming than I had expected.

Still, painting is fun!

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

The unexplored path

When I was out on a walk yesterday evening, I explored this footpath:

It led to a neighbourhood that I hadn't visited before; when I emerged from the footpath, it took me a few minutes before I walked to a familiar area: the main road.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Charity reflection

I am in the process of writing a reflection piece to hand in for Employability tomorrow. One of our assignments was to write about the charity events we organised early this year and about what we had learned from them.

Last week, I handed in a reflection piece about my experiences during my course and how I am a different person now as to when I started. My Employability teacher loved last week's piece and I hope she'll be satisfied with this one, too.

Monday, 15 June 2015

The broken door

When out walking today, I found tis broken door by the side of the road:

Believe it or not, I have before seen a broken (and even an intact) door by the road; it was probably back in Oregon. I wonder how this one received all its damage!

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Nottingham when shopping

Here is a picture of Nottingham's city centre when I shopped on Friday:

 And here is that same picture modified using the Retrolux filter of the Snapseed app:

Gives it the appearance of a photograph that was taken decades ago!

Saturday, 13 June 2015

The new pouch

This is the money pouch I bought yesterday:

I bought this from the women's section of a clothing store. In recent weeks I have become fed up with constantly checking my pockets in case my coins have fallen out and my wallet is not an effective place in which to store coins because they fall out of it. A zippable pouch, like the one above, resolves these problems.

I don't think it's silly for men to own pouches like the one above; after all, which is sillier: A man owning an item marketed to women as a place in which to keep his coins or losing his coins because they fell out of his pocket? Pockets and wallets are, by comparison, inadequate places to store change and I'm happy to have made this purchase.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Post-exam shopping

I popped into college late this morning to return some more items to my English teacher, to hand in a feedback form and to give a card to our assistance teacher. Afterwards, a friend and I spent the day shopping for clothes for me. I needed some new "going out" shirts, a new pair of shoes and a zippable pouch for coins.

The result? Almost completely successful; the only issue was that I was only able to purchase one shirt. The store from which I purchase it only had one shirt available of the type I liked; I'll have to return there sometime next week but that's not a problem.

I thought the day was a fun way to cool off after the heavy exam season.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Five down, none to go

With Calculator Mathematics out of the way, all of my exams are complete. All that remains of my course is some Employability work, although I intend to drop into college a few times to return some documents and, if possible, chat to my teachers. I will also need to attend college for matters related to my next course.

As for my performance, this was my least satisfying exam. I entered the exam with a great mood and never succumbed to any nerves while answering questions but I was unable to answer several high-mark questions and I am concerned about what affect that will have on my grade. I felt I performed more strongly on last week's paper. Still, it's over now; no more exams for the time being.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Mathematics exam, part 2

During tomorrow afternoon, my class and I will undergo our fifth and final exam: Calculator Mathematics. Last week was the last four-day college week (although I successfully snuck in a fifth) and at the conclusion of this exam it will be the end of college weeks lasting three days or longer, for this course.

As I wrote last week, do not be fooled by the name: Calculator Mathematics permits the use of a calculator because it features more complicated forms of mathematics. There is little point in using calculator to work out 1+1. This will be a difficult test and I've usually scored higher on non-calculator papers.

Again, once this exam is complete, only scattered Employability work will remain.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Liveland History: 9 June 2012

Three years ago today, I wrote about how my brother and I play Run Off using the 2010 United States Census rather than the board game's default setting of the 1990 census:

The vast majority of our Run Off games since that post have been played on the 2010 census and the last time we played it was before I came to college.

Monday, 8 June 2015

The Mathematics lessons conclude

Today's Mathematics lesson was the last one of the course; the sole remaining Mathematics aspect of the course is the exam, which will occur on Thursday. After that, all the exams will be finished although there will still be Employability work to complete.

Besides the exam, Mathematics is concluded for this course.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

The bottle

Usually when I'm out, such as at college or on my walks, I carry a bottle of water with me. The bottle that I've had for much of my course was destroyed during the half-term break. After I drained two smaller bottles during my recent Wollaton walk, I bought this:

It's a two-litre bottle of water, which is double the size of the two smaller bottles combined. Now, whenever I'm embarking on one of my long walks it will be more difficult for me to run out of water; I drained my original bottle on my most recent Hucknall hike.

And here is the bottle through the HDR filter of the Snapseed app.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Walk to Wallaton Hall

Remember this place?

It's Wollaton Park and in the distance is Wollaton Hall. Prior to yesterday, I last visited here in the summer of 2013, when I was with my Nottingham aunt, uncle and cousins. When I visited yesterday, I walked all the way there; it's not quite as far as Hucknall but it's still a worthy walk.

Friday, 5 June 2015

The five days of college

While there was not a requirement for me to attend college today, I was there for around twenty minutes. I went because 1. I went for a long walk in the morning and afternoon, as I haven't walked much recently; my college is on my route, and 2. because I wanted to return some documents to my English teacher.

My presence at college today means that I was there for every school day of this week, which is the first time this has happened. Coincidentally, it occurs during my last official four-day week at college, given that English and Sociology have finished for this course.

In addition to returning documents to my English teacher, I also encountered both the assistant my class has in its English and Mathematics lessons and my Mathematics teacher himself; both asked about how my exam went yesterday. They were pleased that I thought I performed better in the actual exam compared to mock tests.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Four down, one to go

I awakened early this morning to attend my fourth exam: Non-Calculator Mathematics. Three people in my class - myself included - underwent our exam at a hotel up the road from our college; we weren't the only ones up there, though, as there were at least fifty - possibly a hundred - other students with us.

Our exam room was the conference centre of the hotel. The hotel itself was shoddy but the conference room was grand; as far as I am aware, we are supposed to be having next week's exam up there, too. As for this week's exam, I think I handled myself fairly well; unfortunately, there were a few questions that I was unable to answer but I am mostly confident that of the questions I did answer, nearly all were correct.

The final exam is next Thursday: Calculator Mathematics. Sounds easy, right? Don't be fooled by the name: the calculator test features harder problems to solve, hence why the use of a calculator is permitted.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Mathematics exam, part 1

Tomorrow morning is when my classmates and I will undergo our fourth exam: Non-Calculator Mathematics. How will I perform in this exam? Hard to say; I'm not sure if I've conducted enough revision but at the same time, I haven't performed poorly in mock non-calculator tests in the past. As the saying goes, I'll just do my best.

Interestingly enough, two of my classmates and I will be having our exam at a hotel up the road from our college rather than on the campus itself. This is because the campus is not large enough to accommodate all the students undertaking the mathematics exam. Should be fun!

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Three down, two to go

My English exam, which took place in the morning, is complete. The majority of people taking the English GCSE at my college underwent the exam in the gym, which, to my knowledge, is the largest room on the campus (although the canteen might be bigger but I'm not sure).

How I did perform? I think I handled myself okay. I answered all six questions; the first three questions involved analysing documents, the fourth involved comparing document three with document one or two, the fifth was to write about a place I visited and what effect it had on me and the sixth was to argue my opinion on a statement. The only question I had problems with was the "comparing" one but I am sure I obtained at least half the marks for my answer.

I'm hoping that my handwriting won't have a negative effect on my overall grade. As I wrote several months ago, my handwriting isn't brilliant and my English teacher expressed concern that I could lose marks if examiners can't read my work. I should be okay.

I won't learn my results until mid-late August but I am confident that I earned a C at the minumum; I will be shocked if I haven't. Evidently, I want an A* ("A star") or A grade but I'd be comfortable with a B.

Monday, 1 June 2015

The English exam

The English exam is tomorrow. Unlike the Sociology and Mathematics exams, there is only one for English; from what I understand, every student has 15 minutes to read three documents associated with the exam and two hours in which to write. The first three questions are worth 8 marks each, four and five are 16 marks each and question six is 24 marks.

Once tomorrow's exam is complete, the English segment of my course will be over. Only Employability and Mathematics will remain.