Monday, 30 November 2015

Bloggers Blog Party - October 2015

A new selection of pictures for October 2015's Secret Life of Bloggers Blog Party post:

Sunday 4th October: This was the afternoon when I made a quick trip to Hucknall and back. This is one of the bays at the Victoria Centre bus station.

Friday 9th October: A morning filled with shining clouds occurred on this day.

Also on this day, the class learnt about plagiarism, although most people in the class were already familiar with the concept and that engaging in it is a bad idea.

Sunday 11 October: This is a rear-facing seat on a Calverton Connection bus. I'm not a fan of rear-facing seats and only sit in them if there are no other seats available on a bus.

Tuesday 13th October: The London skyline, taken during the class trip to the capital. The London Eye is on the left, 30 St Mary Axe (the Gherkin) is in the distant middle and the Shard is on the centre-right.

Thursday 15th October: Something I photographed and posted here before: The Rushcliffe Civic Centre, taken in the late evening.

Saturday 17th October: This is a street in the town of Kimberley, which is near to the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire border. Within minutes of my taking this photograph, the clouds darkened the landscape for the rest of the afternoon.

Monday 19th October: Chocolate foods from the college canteen! A couple of my classmates asked if I had purchased enough chocolate treats.

Friday 23rd October: I don't usually photograph garbage but I made an exception in this case because it looked like Michigan, which is, to be fair, an insult to Michigan given that the state is not garbage.

Thursday 29th October: Mum cooked an "early birthday dinner" for me during the half-term break, given that she and my brother would not be with me on my actual birthday.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Party and reunion

What was intended as both a re-union of students from my first college course and a gathering for my English teacher this afternoon morphed into a celebration of my birthday. My classmates and teachers had gifts, cards and even a homemade cake for me, none of which I expected but all of which I deeply appreciated, nevertheless. I enjoyed a lovely time with my classmates, former and present, and everyone else enjoyed the occasion, too. I could not have asked for a better party.

This was the meal I ordered: An "All-American Burger", which consisted of cheese, pulled pork and a burger patty between a Krispy Kreme doughnut. Delicious!

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Deep science knowledge

Last night, I was linked to the following video:

In the video, on The Ellen DeGeneres Show three-year-old Brielle showcases her knowledge of the periodic table, as well as what she knows about US Presidents and foreign countries. Her recollection, understanding and way of explaining is impressive for someone of her age.

Future scientist? I certainly hope so.

Friday, 27 November 2015

"Better Together" - Jack Johnson (x3)

Back in the summer, I stumbled upon the "Jondai remix" of Jack Johnson's "Better Together":

I love this song. As bizarre as it sounds, I associate the "Jondai remix" with my bus trip to Mansfield back in September; that journey was the first time I recall listening to the track through my earbuds and now when I listen to it I think of that adventure.

I like two other versions of "Better Together":

This is the "Hawaiian Version". It's the shortest of three I've linked to here and, as indicated by the name, it has a light Hawaiian feel to it. Finally... this link is the original. I thought this version would be the sort of music my grandfather would enjoy; when he listened to it, he indeed liked it and thanked me for recommending it to him. He thought it was gentle and relaxing.

As for Jack Johnson himself, while "Better Together" is the only song of his that I recall hearing, from what I have read much of his music is acoustic and soft rock. "Better Together" comes from his third album, In Between Dreams. Johnson has been active in the music industry since at least 1999.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

I spent my Thanksgiving in the college library working and talking to classmates/friends, followed by talking to friends in the college canteen. Thanksgiving isn't celebrated here but I still follow it; I am thankful for my supportive friends, awesome college and fantastic family.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

The charity night lady

Back in February, my class held a charity night as a part of our Employability subject. I spent the day at my college itself, even though I didn't have to. On the way back home from college that evening to change before heading out to my event, I sat next to a lady on the bus whom I spoke to as we travelled down a narrow part of the route, which was made narrower when the bus had to squeeze between two cars. We spoke again when I was unsure at which stop I was to depart, as I had taken a slightly different route to the one I usually took at the time; she advised me where I'd be able to leave.

My contact with her for much of the year has been sparse but I've seen her much more since September, mainly because we frequently ride the 4:45 bus together thanks to the bus route changes. In the past couple of weeks, we have talked a little but this evening, we talked from where our route began to where I had to depart, which meant that we were talking for over half an hour. We then exchanged names at the end and mutually felt good for chatting.

I would like to think that I have made a new friend. People on the bus have occasionally spoken to me but she's one of a handful of people I've had a conversation with that's lasted the whole route and one of a smaller group with whom I've had in-depth discussions while travelling. There is a running joke between us about half the ceiling lights on the bus turning off for no reason down the same narrow route where the cars were.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

"It's My Party" - Lesley Gore

This song or rather, the line "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to", recently crossed my mind:

"It's My Party" by Lesley Gore was released in 1963 and is from Gore's debut album, I'll Cry If I Want To. Numerous artists have performed the song but Gore's is the most known of them all. I'm not familiar with much of her work outside "It's My Party", even though I have known of Gore since at least 2007.

Gore died this year in February at the age of 68. She released her final studio album, Ever Since, in 2005.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Rick Astley in the Old Market Square

Rick Astley was in the Old Market Square this evening:

Well, actually, he really wasn't but a holiday remix of his most famous hit, "Never Gonna Give You Up", was playing. It was almost a Rickroll in progress!

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Farewell, Ruddington Connection

Back in September, I visited Ruddington, a village to the southwest of Nottingham. The bus route I used to travel there was the Ruddington Connection; unfortunately, that bus route came to its end today.

Trentbarton cites the expansion of tramlines for the loss of passengers on board the Ruddington Connection. It's a shame, as the "Ruddy" line was a pretty route on which to travel.

Farewell, Ruddington Connection.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Liveland History: 21st November 2012

Three years ago, I wrote a post called "Politics and friendship":

The inspiration behind the post came from when I read the comments of someone who was enraged that President Barack Obama had been re-elected. Rather than follow in the footsteps of Kid Rock with his good sportsmanship, this person chose to lash out at everyone, most specifically, friends who disagreed with them. I think the post from three years ago holds true now, especially given how politics seems to divide people more than ever.

(I should note, however, that the post referred to mere difference of opinion - I certainly wasn't suggesting that people shouldn't unfriend obvious hateful bigots.)

Friday, 20 November 2015

On-and-off at the weekend

My East of England relatives are here for the weekend, although they were will be here on-and-off because they will be visiting some of their other relatives. I, meanwhile, will be completing a History assignment that I need to hand in by Monday morning. I have quite a bit of work to do but I will have it done on time.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Rep meeting

I mentioned awhile ago that I am the Class Rep for my college course this year. Well, the other day I attended my first rep meeting of the course. I think the meeting went well - there were at least ten other reps there, one of whom was somebody I've observed often around the college, and I plenty to contribute to the forum, which consisted of points raised by my class and a well-put of how to describe the role of Class Rep when the organiser asked what we understood about the position. I enjoyed the meeting and I thought I handled myself well there. I look forward to the next rep forum.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Lara Croft Way

This road name in Derby exists:

Here is the history behind the name:

When I saw Lara Croft Way appear on the map on my phone I had to investigate. I think it's great that a public vote to name a new road was respected and the name the public chose was something non-traditional yet fitting.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Red Arrow route review

So, just prior to last month's half-term break I encountered the unveiling of Trentbarton's improved Red Arrow bus fleet. I noted in my post from then that I had yet to travel on a Red Arrow; well, I have since rectified that problem.
The first thing I noticed when I boarded one of the new Red Arrows was the presence of a "new car" smell. Prior to stepping on board I had never experienced such a smell on a bus before; while I'm not particularly enamoured with the scent of a new vehicle, I nonetheless found it impressive on a bus. Secondly, I noticed air-conditioning. On the other bus routes I'm used to having the windows open for cool air, including on the routes that are significantly longer than Red Arrow.

As for the seats, I found them to be comfortable. They were firm but gave just the right amount of give for a comfy ride. In addition, they were equipped with belts, which I think is excellent, as I think seat belts on buses is a great idea, especially since buses frequently come to sudden halts or sharp turns. However, despite the notification advising passengers to wear the seat belts, I appeared to be the only one who heeded the advice.

With regards to the journey itself, it was a stable ride with no obvious bumps. The Red Arrows are a fast route between Nottingham and Derby, so the Queen's Medical Centre is the final stop within Nottingham; after that, the remainder of the route is non-stop to Derby's bus station. The journey took a little over half an hour, although that time can vary depending on traffic.

Overall, I found Red Arrow to be a worthy route and I was beyond satisfied with my ride. For anyone seeking a fast and comfortable bus journey between Nottingham and Derby, Red Arrow is my recommendation and choice.

Monday, 16 November 2015

The upcoming review

Do you remember the Red Arrow buses from last month? Well, I have since ridden the route and tomorrow I shall be writing a review on the Red Arrows. I'm looking forward to writing it - I was going to write it tonight but I had some other tasks to finish first.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Last Friday...morning

On my walk to the bus Friday morning, this was the sight in the sky as I crossed the bridge over the railway lines:

A few minutes earlier or later and I would have missed this view.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

The university open day (2)

I attended the open day at Nottingham Trent University ahead of time, although people were free to appear at any time provided they registered. I went to three talks: one about the Journalism courses, another about student life and the other about university fees. I also went on a tour of a nearby news studio, as a part of the Journalism tour.

All were worthwhile. The fees talk mostly reinforced what I already knew about paying for university and the student life talk provided insight into what life would be like on campus. I am certainly glad I chose to attend the Journalism talk and tour; the speakers gave a detailed taster of what the two courses would be like and I found the tour of the news studio fascinating. Until today, I had never been in a newsroom before so it was interesting to see the set and equipment. The staff and lecturers/tutors were friendly, helpful and informative.

The only two pictures I took during the event were of a slideshow and that was only when the speaker purposely paused the slides to allow the audience to take photographs.

Friday, 13 November 2015

The university open day

Tomorrow, I shall be attending at Nottingham Trent University what is known as an "open day". Open days are when educational institutions allow uided tours of their facilities and grounds. This will be, as far as I can recall, my first visit to a university; while I have walked past NTU on my walks to Hucknall and on other occasions, I never entered the campus.

Should be an interesting day!

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Blue font error

For some bizarre reason, the text under the link featured in yesterday's post is in blue. I tried three times last night after posting to switch it back to black but every time I changed it and saved the post, it remained blue. I'm not bothered by the blue text; in fact, my piece about Gwen Stefani's "Rich Girl" can almost be known as the "blue post".

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

"Rich Girl" - Gwen Stefani featuring Eve

I recently added this song to the music collection in my phone:

It's "Rich Girl" by Gwen Stefani featuring Eve, from the former's debut studio album, Love. Angel. Music. Baby. (2004). "Rich Girl" was released in late 2004 but the majority of its success occurred in 2005. Stefani enjoyed prior success with her band No Doubt but with her solo debut and then her second album, The Sweet Escape (2006), she proved to be even more formidable in her own right. Stefani has not released any more solo albums since The Sweet Escape, although with No Doubt she released the album Push and Shove in 2012.

I remember the days when "Rich Girl" was a hit on the radio but they feel as though they happened a lifetime ago.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Case or no case?

I've written several posts about phones and their accessories, a recent example being this one from July about my phone's armour. I think it's now time for another, presented in the form of a question:

Do you have a case on your phone?

Opinion is divided on the issues of phone cases. Some people dislike them because they add "bulkiness" to their devices but other, such as myself, consider a moderately bulky case with extra grip and protection to be preferable to a damaged phone.

Monday, 9 November 2015

"Don't Look At The Comments" - CollegeHumor

While this CollegeHumor video presents a tame version of Internet comments sections, it sufficiently summarizes why looking at such sections is a bad idea:

Sometimes comments sections can give useful insight commentary into the subject of the article to which they are attached but they can be, more often than not, cesspools of trolling. Also...

...the above-linked article, also from CollegeHumor, pokes fun at the denizens of Internet comments sections.

(And just to clarify, these don't apply to people who comment on my blog!)

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Last night's problem redux

The other night when I mentioned my error with my Sociology assignment, I mentioned that I was writing a History report, too. That report is due in tomorrow and I'm pleased to say that it is ready for then. I am just hoping that I have properly met all of the relevent grading criteria - the report is eight pages in length and has taken me much of the weekend to complete!

I'm now off to have my dinner, which has been delayed both due to my work and because my grandfather and a couple of other relatives cooked a "Full English Breakfast" this morning.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Review of a new husband

(My intention had been to post this on Thursday night.)

I follow Erica Griffin on YouTube. She is a technology reviewer, primarily focused on providing in-depth testing to develop highly-detailed review videos for the latest high-end smartphones. Griffin is skilled at her work: she is technical but makes such terminology sound interesting to the average viewer and she praises technology without sounding like a childish fanboy (quite a few technology viewers seem to be fanboys). When somebody asks what sort of phone they should buy, chances are I'll tell them something that I've seen in an Erica Griffin video.

Recently, Griffin married and, in her usual light-hearted manner, posted a "review" of her new husband:

I thought it was cute and wanted to share it here.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Last night's problem

The post I had intended to write last night was disrupted when I encountered a problem, which I urgently needed to fix. Over the past couple of weeks, my class and I have been writing up two assignments, one for History and one for Sociology, with the Sociology paper being due today. The word count for History is 1,000-1,500 whereas Sociology is 1500.

The trouble is, I somehow mixed up the counts and wrote significantly less than 1500 words for my Sociology project. I realised this slightly over an hour before I planned to go to bed and faced the prospect of having to spend a large portion of the night modifying my assignment to meet the count while having an early start the following day, assuming I even went to bed at all. I texted my teacher to inform her that I had spotted my mistake and was in the process of fixing it so that I would still hand it on time.

No sooner had I started my work when my teacher replied and informed me that as the assignment is a simple pass/fail and isn't worth any Merits or Distinctions, it would not be necessary for me to spend the night working. As long as I meet the overall grading criteria, which I am sure I have, my assignment will still be a pass; however, had it been an essay where Merits and Distinctions could be earned, I would have been working on my assignment throughout the night to ensure I achieved those grades. I was lucky for both that and for being able to text my teacher, something students couldn't do in years past.

I was embarrassed that I had made such an avoidable mistake as this. I usually triple- or quadruple-check or more my assignment details, so to have mixed up the word counts for these two shows that I didn't check carefully enough. The positive to this is that I won't make this mistake again - I'll be more vigilant with following the rules of my assignments than I was before. As for my History assignment, it is unaffected by my error and is due next week.

By the end of the morning, my teacher and I were laughing about what happened. I am fortunate that she is an incredibly reasonable person!

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Correcting an error

I had something interesting to post tonight but it turns out that I have real-world problem to fix. I'll write about the problem later once I have fixed it.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015


A couple of nights ago, I officially joined Instagram. I decided it was time to create an account over there, seeing as how I post quite a few pictures here and some to Facebook; however, so I'm not posting the same things all over the place, the pictures I post to Instagram will be different to those I post elsewhere.

If you would like to follow me over on Instagram, please let me know and I'll e-mail you my account name.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

"Oh no!" I declared in despair after I awakened

I narrowly avoided a calamity this morning. On all mornings when I have to attend college, I have several alarms set on both of my phones so that if I sleep through one, there are several more that will ring. Well, today I somehow slept through between five and ten alarms. It was only when my grandmother called me that I awoke.

Once I was awake, I realised it was 10:50...forty minutes before the start of my first lesson. There was no time for me to eat breakfast, drink coffee and shower; instead, I donned my day clothing (over my pajamas), college bag and badges, and then bolted down at Peregrine falcon velocity to my bus stop a mile away. Unsurprisingly, I was shattered once I reached my stop, even though the run was downhill.

I caught the 11:12 bus, which gave me eighteen minutes to arrive at college. To my pleasant surprise, my bus made few stops, faced a mostly traffic-free route and the lights were friendly. The only part of the trip where I was delayed was after my bus drove past Nottingham's train station, where something in progress near the Broadmarsh caused a traffic jam, delaying my arrival at college by five more minutes.

When I made it to class at 11:35, I was not handed a late slip because (1) I messaged ahead to my friends to inform my teacher that I was delayed but on my way, (2) because the lesson hadn't quite started, so I was lucky, and (3) because I was within the "minutes after the start" limit for every class. Even so, I felt terrible that I had grossly overslept and was slightly late; during my first college course I was never late and even for this course I've, other than on this occasion, either been early or exactly on time. Being late, even just this once, is embarrassing and I apologised to my teacher, who was understanding, appreciated my messaging ahead and told me not to worry.

To prevent this from happening again, I will change the alarm sound on one of my phones and put the device closer to my bed. Promising to not sleep deeply again isn't a promise I can keep, so the best I can do is improve my existing alarm system. I am fortunate that this happened on a day when my first class is in the late morning - I would have missed a lesson had this occurred on an early start day and since I want to achieve 100% for the second year in a row, something like this must not happen again. I can laugh about this morning and learn from it as well.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Nottingham fog

Yesterday was foggy in Nottingham but today's fog made it look like a clear day by comparison:

It's been a while since I last saw fog this thick; the camera on my phone doesn't quite convey just how foggy the day was.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Post-first half-term

The half-term break is over. I'm back in Nottingham and tomorrow I return to college. I still have my two assignments to finish but I will certainly have them handed in before their respective deadlines. Overall, the break has been worthwhile. Now, back to work!