Monday, 31 August 2015

Course, one week to go

At this time next Monday, I will have completed my first day of my second college course. I will have been at college since before 9:00am and will not have left until at least 4:00pm, for my course will contain full days rather than half-days as was the case with my first year.

I am eager to return to college; I'm happy my application for my second course proceeded smoothly to a positive result.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Changes to the Rushcliffe Greens

I occasionally check the website for the bus operator I ride on the most, Trentbarton. Yesterday, I read this article about changes to the Rushcliffe Greens, which came into effect today:

As I mentioned in this post, all but two of my Trentbarton bus rides took place on the Rushcliffe Greens route. When I return to Nottingham next month, it will be interesting to see what the new routes are like and how often I'll be able to ride them.

Saturday, 29 August 2015


I promised to not write another blog view count-based post until Air Nice-to-Livelands reached 100,000 hits. I have kept that promise, for my blog is now indeed at 100,000 views. This is not a milestone I expected to reach when I started blogging.

Once again, thank you so much to my friends, family and anybody else who reads my blog. I've been blogging now for well over four years and I appreciate it when someone takes the time to read my work; I appreciate it further when someone also comments. I'm happy to hear opinions!

Friday, 28 August 2015

"Moon, clouds, streetlight"

I photographed the full Moon and clouds this evening; I used my phone:

At the bottom of the image there is a local streetlight. The streets of most neighbourhoods I've encountered are well-equipped with such lights.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

"Medicine" - The 1975

Now here's something I haven't done for a long time: written a music post and highlighted a song (yesterday's Rick Astley/Rita Ora post doesn't count, as I wasn't specifically writing about their music). So what song have I chosen today? It's "Medicine":

"Medicine" was composed by The 1975, a Manchester-based band. I first heard of The 1975 a couple of years ago when I heard another one of their songs, "Chocolate", playing on the radio. When I started attending college, my close friend there told me early on in our course that The 1975 were a band she enjoyed listening to. A month later, I heard "Medicine" play on the radio during, of all things, an anti-bullying/anti-suicide segment hosted by Tulisa Contostavlos, a singer.

However, when "Medicine" played, I was unaware it was by The 1975 but I liked the song and so I listened carefully to the lyrics and Googled them. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was by one of my good friend's favourite bands and it just so happens that "Medicine" is, by far, my favourite The 1975 song. It's a beautiful piece and often when I am feeling down, I play it because it improves my mood and helps me to cope with whatever is affecting me.

Please enjoy "Medicine". I intentionally repeat myself when I say that it's beautiful; I'm not convinced my post truly captures and adequately promotes the beauty and feelings of this song.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Rick and Rita

I posted this meme to Facebook at around the start of my third term at college:

The meme ending is a play on Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" and Rita Ora's "I Will Never Let You Down". I like both songs and do find "Rickrolling" amusing, although I am more fond of Ora's music and wrote about her here.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Second enrolment

It is all done: I am now officially enrolled for my second course at college. I travelled up to Nottingham this morning on the train, underwent the enrolment process (some form filling, handing those forms in and then being issued a new student ID) and, voila! That was it. My Sociology teacher, the curriculum manager, my English teacher and soon-to-be Psychology teacher all congratulated me on my results from the past academic year.

After enrolment, I met up with one of my college friends to have lunch and then for a drink together to celebrate our results and completion of our previous course. We last saw each other a third the way into July, so it was great to have an afternoon-based catchup.

I am delighted to have successfully been enrolled again into my college. I look forward to the next academic year there. My course begins on the 7th of September.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Clouds and blue above houses (2)

Here are the Snapseed-enhanced versions of yesterday's image:

The usual - HDR mode! Just strengthens all of the colours.

Drama mode gives more shine to all the content; I rarely use this filter in favour of HDR.

An old favourite, Retrolux.

Here is the picture in Black-and-white.

Noir is another mode that I rarely use, instead favouring Black-and-white. This is the first time I've been satisfied with both filters on one picture.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Clouds and blue above houses

I photographed these clouds and blue "slash" over a neighbourhood this afternoon; earlier on in the day, they had been raining on my brother and me:

I want to post some Snapseed-enhanced pictures of them. Is there any interest is seeing such images?

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Faded red rose

Here is a now-faded red rose, from this afternoon in the front yard:

No strong scent was present here, likely because of the age of the flower. Still pretty, though!

Friday, 21 August 2015

A local party

I can hear loud music playing in a neighbour's house, which I am assuming is coming from a party. Given that yesterday was results day, I am also assuming that it is someone who is celebrating their results.

This is the first occasion in a long time when I've heard music play from a neighbouring house. There's nothing to complain about, however: such an event is normally rare and if someone is indeed celebrating their results, I think they've earned a party!

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Exam results are in

My exam results are in; I collected them this morning and then three of my friends and I all opened our letters together:

English - B
Sociology - C
Mathematics - C

In my opinion, I underperformed in English and Sociology because I'd hoped for an A and B in them, respectively; however, I still passed both subjects and for that I am pleased.

The massive shock is Mathematics: after my abysmal performance in that second/final exam, I conceded that I'd failed the subject and was looking at an E or D grade, as well as needing to re-take it - my certainty of this was 100% based on sheer amount of questions I left blank. To obtain a C and pass the subject is a pleasant surprise.

The only result I have left to receive is Employability; I had been informed that the class was supposed to have received them in late July but so far no one has heard anything. I'm sure we'll be sent them in due course. I'm relieved that my "results nerves" are over.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Incoming results

I am staying in Nottingham overnight because I have to collect my results for English,  Mathematics and Sociology tomorrow morning. I arrived here on the train and walked over seven miles to my grandparents' home.

As for how I am feeling, at the moment I am tired but I expect to become nervous in the morning.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

A somewhat-justified douchey way of breaking up

Well, how about that: my second "douchebag breakup" post in less than a week after a year and a half's rest. So what am I complaining about this time? Ghosting:

To cut a long story short, "ghosting" is when somebody "goes silent" and ignores all attempts at contact from a particular person. Ghosting can be performed on anyone, be it a friend, family member or relationship. I am mostly against this behaviour but there are times when it is warranted.

On one hand, I consider ghosting to be extraordinarily rude. I hate it when someone ignores a good-faith message and I know from talking to some of my friends that I'm not the only one who holds this opinion. A lady in the aforementioned article dated a man for eight months and invited him to a wedding, only for him to start ignoring her and date another woman. This man should be ashamed of himself but that sort of person doesn't care about the feelings of others; rather than choose to end the relationship person-to-person, he opted for the coward's way out and ended communication. Unacceptable. If you want to end a relationship or friendship, have the courage to tell the other person rather than chicken out and run away.

On the other hand, I see no problem with ghosting someone who is abusive, a creep or a run-of-the-mill jerk (or something similar). None of these types of people deserve an explanation as to why someone is cutting off contact with them and the ghoster is correct to protect themselves if they feel threatened. I can also see ghosting being acceptable if a major and devastating event has taken place in one's life and dealing with the fallout from that takes priority over a relationship, to the disappointment of the ghostee.

I confess that I have ghosted someone once but I feel justified in doing so. A few years ago, I was in e-mail contact with someone for a few months and we had (sort of) become online friends; however, one day this person said something that caused me to severely doubt who they said they were. As such, I ceased talking to them and ignored a "where are you?" e-mail, for I no longer felt comfortable.

To summarise, overall I am opposed to ghosting but I do believe that there are situations in which it is justified and I have used it myself. It depends on the context.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Bloggers Blog Party - July 2015

July 2015's Secret Life of Bloggers Blog Party post. Thanks to the large amount of pictures I took last month, I had a healthy selection from which to choose:

Wednesday 1st July: This is a view from one of my college's classrooms. The rest of the class and I, along with our Sociology teacher, were once forced to use this room for a lesson when noisy maintenance took place outside our usual room. Last month, however, I was merely patiently waiting in here.

Thursday 2nd July: This is a hi-rise building at my bus stop in Nottingham. I didn't see it much during the winter months because I used the stop in the Broadmarsh in that time. When the days lengthened, I returned to this stop to maximise my bus ride.

Friday 3rd July: A few college friends and I went to T.G.I. Friday's for dinner, where I ate this succulent Warrior Burger. My grandmother had joked to "eat a burger for [her]"; as the Warrior Burger is almost two burgers, I did as she asked! My friends and I enjoyed our evening.

Wednesday 8th July: While out walking I noticed this poster for a Jess Glynne concert. I was annoyed because the concert occurred after my summer return to Northamptonshire and it would have been awesome to have seen Jess Glynne perform live - she's one of my favourite artists at the moment.

Friday 10th July: I wrote here about the repairs my grandfather made to my headphones. Sadly, since that post, the speaker that he didn't have to repair stopped working for some bizarre reason and I ended up disposing of my headphones.

Friday 17th July: I found this abandoned cucumber on a wall. No, I did not pick the cucumber up and take it with me.

Also on this day, I photographed this memorial plaque dedicated to Diana, Princess of Wales.

Saturday 18th July: My mother has taken up gardening; this is one of her peppers. She has also been growing tomatoes, of which she has a plethora.

Sunday 19th July: Remember the terrapin? It can be seen near the centre of this image when zoomed in. Speaking of "zoomed in", this was taken with my phone on maximum digital zoom. Not bad for maximum digital zoom!

Thursday 30th July: I performed some camera close-up tests with my phone; as such, I photographed my bed quilt.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Pre-party post for July

My intent tonight had been to post July's pictures for the Secret Life of Bloggers Blog Party; however, I ended up being caught up in something else and the circumstances prevented me from breaking away from that event. Not to worry; I'll work on the party post before I go to bed.

Saturday, 15 August 2015


What's that you say? A rude title? Hmm...well, merely drawing attention to this bizarre mishap on a poster for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2:

I find it difficult to believe that nobody on the design team for the poster noticed the blatant appearance of an inappropriate word in the overlapping texts, so this is either an epic fail or epic trolling. Seriously? How could it not have been noticed? This does, however, bring more publicity to the film - not that it needs it.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Yet another douchebag-infused breakup

It's been well over a year and a half since I last posted about "douchey breakups"; as such, the time is ripe for my fifth post on this subject. The other day, I was watching a video by comedian and YouTuber IISuperwomanII:

At about 6:03, IISuperwomanII reads out the following question: "My boyfriend broke up with me today over a text message that said, 'Wanna see a magic trick? Poof! You're single.' What should I do now?"

As detestable as that text message was, I ended up laughing out loud at the absurdity of it even though I knew it was wrong to do so. Seriously...a magic trick? IISuperwomanII's advice was akin to, "don't bother with him" and she referred to the guy as a "joke"; I agree with her! It is a douchey manner in which to terminate a romantic relationship.

While this method is merely the "Text Message Breakup", the ridiculousness of the person conducting the breakup warranted a blog post. My other blog posts about this matter are here: (1), (2), (3), (4).

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Jimmy Carter and cancer

Former US President Jimmy Carter revealed yesterday that he has cancer, which has spread around his body:

I am upset by this and not just because Jimmy Carter is someone for whom I hold great admiration and respect. Carter is a fundamentally good human being, who has performed an abundance of humanitarian work since he left office. For cancer to afflict such a kind and gentle person as him is deeply saddening and frustrating.

I have mentioned Carter in several of my other blog posts: (1), (2), (3), (4). In the case of that last post, it's hard to believe that less than a year has passed since I wrote about Carter's 90th birthday.

May President Carter defeat cancer and be allowed to continue his excellent work or enjoy a relaxing retirement.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Cadbury "Jelly Popping Candy"

Until the past six months, I'd never eaten this variety of Cadbury Dairy Milk - the "Marvellous Creations Jelly Popping Candy":

Note that "Marvellous Creations" feature a cobblestone-like appearance, rather than the usual square pieces found on other Cadbury Dairy Mils bars and yes, they do pop in the mouth, albeit at a low level. Other than the jelly candy and the cosmetic difference, they taste identical to regular Cadbury Dairy Milk bars.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Melissa Gilbert's Congressional run

Actress and former President of the Screen Actors Guild Melissa Gilbert is running for Congress is Michigan's 8th District. She moved to Howell - a town in the district - in 2013 after she married her current husband. Her reasons for running can be summarized as, "wanting to help others".

What are Gilbert's chances of winning? The media has described the seat as "solidly Republican" and, to be fair, the seat has been held by that party since 2001. That being said, it's certainly not impossible for Gilbert to emerge victorious: it's a swing area on the presidential level (Clinton x2, Bush x2, Obama, Romney) and its current incumbent was first elected in 2014 with 54.6% of the vote to the Democrats' 42.1%. Before the main election, though, she still needs to pass the primary.

Why am I writing about Gilbert? To the general public she is known for her prominent role as Laura Ingalls Wilder in 1970/80s TV series Little House on the Prairie and for her work with the Screen Actors Guild; however, I saw her in some episodes of the 1990s science fiction show Babylon 5, in which she performed with one of her former husbands, Bruce Boxleitner. I remember being disappointed when that marriage concluded.

All I can do with her run is watch what happens. I'll be sure to post about Gilbert again once she's undergone the primary and - if she succeeds in the former - the main election.

Monday, 10 August 2015

A year since Wikimania

I posted this on Facebook earlier:

"Wow! It's hard to believe that it's been exactly one year since I attended the final day of Wikimania 2014. Met several amazing people that day, including some I'd known online for many years."

I covered Wikimania in this post and this one. I enjoyed the event and enjoyed meeting in person some people whom I have known online for years. While my life was rapidly changing back then, August 2014 is a completely different world from my current reality.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Review of the August 6th, 2015, Republican debate

Before I finished watching the debate last night I'd already made up my mind to write a little about it. To start with, anyone who has been following my blog for a long time will know that I think all the Republican candidates are blatantly unsuitable for the position of President of the United States; still, I shall endeavor to be fair(ish).

So, business tycoon and The Apprentice host Donald Trump - what to say about him? Well, I thought Trump's explanations for his donating to candidates on all sides of the political spectrum were interesting, stating that it's a problem with the system that someone like him can buy out politicians and have them perform favors for him. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul noted near the beginning that Trump "buys and sells" politicians. Regardless of Trump's other rhetoric, surely the "buying and selling" of politicians is an issue worth investigating and discussing?

All of the candidates appeared to be anti-choice, which I thought was extremely inappropriate since they were all men and no consideration was afforded whatsoever to women's views on the subject; I think the obsession with trying to curtail women's reproductive rights needs to stop. In addition, I question anyone who claims to be "pro-life" yet places military action ahead of diplomacy.

Speaking of military action, most of the candidates appeared to be against any sort of deal with Iran, although Paul noted that he didn't "discount" negotiations and Trump pointed out that he had been against the Iraq War from twelve years ago. Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan - both Republicans - made deals with far more intimidating opponents than Iran. Why single out President Obama? Why do they think that the world's problems can be solved through war?

Out of all the candidates, the one who seemed the most reasonable at face value was John Kasich, the current Governor of Ohio. I say this because of his embracing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in his state and his answer to how he'd explain his marriage equality stance (against it) to his daughters. Of course, I oppose his opposition but I did find his wanting to respect anyone, regardless of who they are, commendable. Kasich showed a far more tolerant attitude towards members of the LGBT community than most of his fellow candidates did, especially former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee, who stopped short of saying he was against transgendered people serving in the military.

There was a question that bothered me, which came from a Facebook user, namely the one that asked the candidates if they'd received "any word from God on what they should do and take care of first". While all of the Republican candidates are religious, this question both excluded people of non-Christian faiths/no faith and heavily implied that the candidates should carry out actions as president "because God told them to" rather than in the best interests of the nation. Those who answered the question avoided any specifics, however, possibly to not want to give the question too much legitimacy and end up alienating voters.

Some other points: as this was a Republican debate, I heard the terms along the lines of "tax cuts", "balanced budgets" and "job creation" on a multitude of occasions. Also, I heard the term "Obama-Clinton" mentioned several times, as though the candidates believed they were running against an existing Clinton presidency. Oh, and the argument between Paul and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was entertaining, too.

The post-debate polls declared Trump the winner of the debate while pundits downplayed his performance in favor of the other candidates. The long-term effects of this debate and its aftermath have yet to be revealed.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

August 6th, 2015, Republican debate

As of this writing, I have watched half of the Republican presidential candidate debate, which occurred two days ago. I'm debating whether or not to write up a brief review about it or rather, about one or two or so of the candidates. I'll wait until it's over and if I've written an opinion piece tomorrow, you'll know what I decided!

Friday, 7 August 2015

Liveland History: 7 August 2012

On the 7th of August 2012, several members of my family and I had an active day:

I wrote about the day in detail here. What I didn't write in either post was that after my bowling ball jammed the barrier, I put absolutely no effort into remainder of the game and felt down and defeated for the rest of the day until I had a chat with my aunt and uncle. I learnt a little bit of piano playing that night but, as of now, I have yet to follow it up.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

My Android versions

Seeing that I have written about Android on four occasions so far (here, here, here and here), I thought it was time to write about which versions of the mobile software I've used since owning smartphones.

My first smartphone, the one I purchased in late 2012, runs on 2.3.6 Gingerbread. The second, which is the one my Hong Kong uncle gave me, uses 4.1.2 Jelly Bean while my current phone features 5.0.1 Lollipop. I have never owned a pre-Gingerbread or Honeycomb (3.0–3.2.6) phone and while I haven't used 4.0–4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich or 4.4–4.4.4 KitKat, my gift phone and current phone were on those versions, respectively.

The next version is currently using the working name of "Android M"; the proper dessert name will most likely be revealed when Google releases it later this year. My phone model was released last year and it is possible that it will receive an update to Android M.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

The field of the crater

This is a view of the area of the field in which the crater from yesterday's post is located:

That spire in the background is the town church.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Field crater

When walking across a field this afternoon I encountered this:

I'm unsure how this depression came to develop. It could have been a meteor hit or the result of an extended sit by a small elephant. A mystery of life, perhaps?

Monday, 3 August 2015

Broken button

A button on one of my trouser pairs broke yesterday:

A supporting piece in the centre of the button is missing and is the part of the button onto which the thread held. As this is the second time this particular pair of trousers has broken a button, I think I'll find a stronger button for them.

On the bright side, my phone can take good close-up shots, such as the one above.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Garlic circles/flats

We had these for lunch today:

I can't remember what they were called exactly but they were a sort of garlic flatbread, presented in a circular shape. They were delicious and featured a soft texture - so soft that I could cut them with scissors rather than pizza cutter. They were super-cheap, too: £1.50 for two!

Saturday, 1 August 2015

The small event

I walked to a neighbouring town this morning, where I encountered this small event:

I don't know what the event was, although I could see a tea stand and hear live music. I took two pictures and walked on.