Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Theme tune to the 'Good Ending' of "Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus"

This is an excellent piece of music from the theme tune to the 'Good Ending' of Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus:

The first twenty seconds of deep sadness as the clip shows the Mudokons who are still trapped and enslaved, then the melody changes and the remaining thirty seconds signify Abe and his fellow Mudokon's determination to find their missing brethren. It truly is fantastic game music.

The 'Good Ending' is achieved when the player saves 150 - or half - the Mudokons in the game. If the player fails to save at least this many, Abe is executed. Save the Mudokons!

Monday, 21 August 2017

Tinned fish and salad

I've become hooked on a dish that I should have eaten more at the beginning of my university year: Tinned fish and salad. Last night, I had two bags of salad and some tinned tuna, which I combined and also mixed with Worcestershire sauce. The result? A super tasty meal that's also easy to prepare and healthful for me, as well as cheap.

People often complain that salad is bland on its own and so they add salad dressing to it; the trouble is, salad dressing is fattening because of its sugar content. Fish and Worcestershire sauce have little to no sugar or artificial sweeteners in them and are thus better for a person than salad dressing.

This evening, I had tinned mackerel with salad and Worcestershire sauce. I can lose weight with this!

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Holme Pierrepont August 2017 (2)

While I last visited there under two weeks ago, I went to Holme Pierrepont this afternoon. I specifically wanted to test out the 11C bus, which runs on Sundays to the water sports centre. The bus stops just outside the park, at the entrance where my grandfather, father, brother and I walked into it back in December 2010.

This was a better visit to Holme Pierrepont compared to the previous. There were more people around and I had zero feelings of loneliness. Since I got that first visit since Dad's death out of the way, the second was much easier. I walked around the main water once before taking the 11C back to the city centre.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

The cleaning week

For my last week at my accommodation for this contract, I'll be helping to clean the house. Fortunately, since only two people have lived here for the past month, it's not that dirty. Besides vacuuming and kitchen work, the main cleaning that needs to be done is the bathtub as it is draining slowly; I'll be on that tomorrow, as I'll be going out in the morning to purchase some drain cleaner.

It's funny to think that as of tomorrow, I'll only have a week left here before I'll be at my mother's and brother's house, only to be back in less than a month.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Accommodation move-out 2017, Phase 1

Phase 1 of my move out is complete. The vast majority of my belongings are now at my mother's and brother's house; my East of England uncle and one of my cousins came to transport my stuff for me. Now, at my accommodation I have few of my belongings left here; mostly clothes, some kitchen items and last-minute miscellany.

All that's left here can be carried by hand back to my mother's and brother's place. It might take me two or three runs to take it all but I'll do it...it'll be great exercise!

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Finding from packing

I'm still in the process of packing and will continue to work through the night until I'm either tired or there's not much left to pack. While I've been packing, I came across a few items I thought had gone missing; in this case, clothing.

While searching through my wardrobe, I discovered a 'new' blue shirt that I had completely forgotten about, as it was buried under socks and other clothing. I call it 'new' because I've barely worn it. There are a few other items of clothing that were buring alongisde it; I'll have to ensure these are hung up in the wardrobe when I'm back in my accommodation, rather than waiting on the shelves.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Swinging crane fly

A crane fly got itself caught in a web this evening. This wasn't noteworthy by itself, as the spiders here often catch crane flies, but what made this catch funny was that the end of the web the crane fly was caught in wasn't attached to anything; as a result, the crane fly swung on the web as though it were a pendulum.

Fortunately for the crane fly, the spider who built the web was nowhere to be found. I used the time to cut the web and free the crane fly, who promptly started buzzing around the nearest light source. The crane fly will be safe provided that it doesn't fly into another web.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

To obtain an extra box redux

Good news! I was able to obtain not one but three new boxes for my temporary move out of my accommodation. My grandparents had some spare suitcases that they have kindly given to me. My belongings here will take up less room at my mother's house as a result, in addition to being easier to transport.

One of my uncles will be coming on Friday to help me move the majority of my items but I'll still be in my accommodation until next weekend.

Monday, 14 August 2017

To obtain an extra box

This afternoon, I re-assembled the cardboard boxes I brought with me when I moved into my current accommodation; however, as I have since acquired a few more belonings, I need an extra box. First, I shall contact my mother and brother to see if they have a box to spare but if not, I'll look at a place in the city centre for one.

Ideally, I hope my mother has one. I don't particularly want to waste valuable time packing on searching for one more box. I don't have that much more stuff but it's enough to need another place it pack it in.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Just say no to Nazis

As a result of the recent neo-Nazi protect in Virginia, there have been people saying that perhaps Nazis need to be reasoned with, talked to...given a platform to present their views so that they can be debated and refuted. Treated with respect!

Just one...no, two...problems with that - we already know what Nazi views are and they've already been refuted. Need proof? Look up World War II and Nazi Germany; for anyone who wants to hear Nazis "give their side of the story", those two subjects will provide all the information needed.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Gardening then packing

I spent the day at my grandparents' house to complete another batch of garden work for them; the next time I do any work for them, however, won't be until the week after next, for this next week I shall be packing up my belongings in my accommodation in preparation for my temporary move to my mother and brother's house.

Since I left my parents' house in August 2014, this stretch from September 2016 - August 2017 has been longest time living in one place, given that I've not been travelling anywhere during the breaks.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Holme Pierrepont August 2017

For the first time in years - likely the first time since I wrote this post - I visited the water sports centre at Holme Pierrepont. I recently learnt that the 11 bus travels through West Bridgford to a stop a short walk from the centre and the 11C travels directly to the centre, albeit only on Sundays and bank holiday Mondays.

This became my strangest visit to Holme Pierrepont. In the past, I went with family - the last time I went with my grandfather but another common person I went there with was Dad. Evidently, Dad is no longer around to go to Holme Pierrepont with but not only that but there were hardly any people about; it felt quite lonely being without company and with few other people around.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Bakewell August 2017

I visited Bakewell for the first time since July of last year except that on this occasion, a friend came with me. I invited said friend to come with me after he'd been fascinated by my first Bakewell trip when I told him about it.

In Bakewell, we walked around, walked to some of the surrounding paths, climbed one of the small mountains and walked by the river for several hours before returning to Derby and then no Nottingham. This was a much better trip to Bakewell compared to my one last year, where I only spent an hour there, of which half of spent finding a toilet and the other half finding how to return to Derby.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

"Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee"

Some nineteen or twenty years ago, Dad downloaded the demo for Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee (full version released in September 1997). While Dad's reasons for downloading the game are unknown, it nevertheless became a popular game within the family and with some of our friends. The plot of Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee involved a worker (Abe) saving his people from the corporation at which they worked, as it was going to turn them into food:

We soon bought the full version of the game as well as its sequel, Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus. While there have been more sequels and also a remake of Oddysee, called Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty!, we never pursued any of them because they went back to gaming consoles and we used the PC. Still, the two Oddworld games we have have provided countless hours of fun and run on our modern computers.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Festival of Learning certificate

A few months ago, I was nominated for a Festival of Learning award, in the category for mature students. A few weeks ago, I was informed that I had not won the award but would be receiving a certificate of achievement instead and that it would be sent to Central.

This afternoon, I paid a short visit to Central (actually, it's now officially the Maid Marian Way campus of Nottingham College) to pick up this certificate. I had a short conversation with one of the receptionists - the one I've known since when she worked at the West Bridgford campus - and then I left.

I expect this to be the last of my accreditations from the Access era. That was academic year 2015-16 and now we're headed for 2017-18; I think I was fortunate to have even have been nominated for Central's internal award over a year ago - to still be receiving any sort of certificate at all this late is staggering.

Monday, 7 August 2017

"The Love I Lost (Moulton Remix)" - Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes

A song I've been listening to quite a bit recently has been this one:

It's the Moulton Remix of "The Love I Lost" by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. I remember the original version that was briefly played in the film The Last Days of Disco as well as was listening to the 1990s version by Sybil.

Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes released the original "The Lost I Lost" in 1973, from their second studio album, Black & Blue.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Back from Cambridge

My bus back from Cambridge was via National Express, which set off from there at 1:15 this morning. The return to Nottingham took two and a half hours and once I arrived here, I walked back to Clifton. I walked back via a well-lit route, which was mostly deserted; until I made it to Clifton, much of the traffic consisted of taxis.

What an amazing 48 hours it was, from when I left on Friday to when I returned this morning. It was an honour to attend my friend's wedding and I wish her and her new husband all the best.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Married friend

My friend is a married woman! The ceremony took place between 2:00 and 3:00pm, followed by a brief interlude before the main meal. After that, the day has been spent partying and talking to various new people.

Other than a rainstorm this morning, the day has been a gigantic success and I wish the happy new couple all the best.

Friday, 4 August 2017

At the hotel in Cambridge

I'm here, I'm in Cambridge, in my hotel and checked in. I arrived here awhile ago and will now be doing some exploring; I need to find the venue for my friend's wedding tomorrow, as well as the bus stops for when I return to Nottingham. After that, I'll have to look for a Tesco or someplace similar to purchase something for my dinner tonight; I didn't bother with a hotel meal because it was expensive.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

To Cambridge

Tomorrow, for the first time in many years, I'll be in Cambridge. I'll be down there to attend on Saturday the wedding of the friend of mine with whom I went to the Carrie Underwood concerts. She invited me last year and finally, the day is nearly here.

I'll be travelling down on the 19 bus from Nottingham to Peterborough and then a bus from Peterborough to Cambridge. From what I can tell, this will involve five hours of bus riding, which will be easy enough. I'll be staying in a hotel on Friday, be active all day Saturday and then travelling back via National Express on a bus that leaves Cambridge at 1:15am on Sunday.

I have not attended a proper wedding for 21 years, unless the reception party I attended last month is counted. For this wedding, however, I'll be there from start until the finish.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Preparing for a temporary move out

I now have less than a month left on my accommodation's contract. As such, I am in the process of packing my belongings for a temporary move to my mother and brother's house, where I'll be for under a month before moving back into my university accommodation again.

It will be a weird "move" since it will be so short but it's necessary since I can't stay in the accommodation for a whole year at a time. Maybe for Year 3 I will look elsewhere, depending on my circumstances at the time.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Liveland History: 1st August 2014

Three years ago, I helped my oldest younger cousin move from one accommodation in Lincoln to another:

That was her second of three residences in Lincoln and took place before her second year began. I met some of her then-housemates but only briefly.

This took place during the week of my first visit to Central College Nottingham's Maid Marian Way campus, where I'd be for the subsequent two years; I was interviewed about which Pre-Access course I wanted and I met a future classmate in the session.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Wollaton Park July 2017

My closest college friend and I visited Wollaton Park this afternoon. We arranged to visit there today since the weather forecast predicted a cloudy but otherwise dry day. Ha ha - no.

We were sat on a bench talking when a massive rainstorm was unleashed upon us; the two of us had to hide under a tree to prevent ourselves from being soaked, as I didn't have a raincoat on me and my friend's was barely enough to shield her from the water. It took about fifteen minutes for the rain to pass.

After that, we walked around the pond section of the park before heading to the village area, where we had to hide from a second rainstorm that materialised. We had a longer wait but it wasn't so bad since there was proper shelter rather than a tree, which dripped on us the wetter it became.

This is the first time since 2013 that I've had company while visiting Wollaton Park.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Continued garden work

I've been working in my grandparents' garden for part of most weeks this summer. Doing so has been good for losing weight and easy money; I'm progressing well with weight loss while also earning back the money I'll be spending when travelling down to a wedding next weekend.

Today was one of those days when I went to my grandparents' to work; next week I won't be as I'll be busy all week but I'll be back at theirs the week after. It's fun work!

Saturday, 29 July 2017

"Breaking the Habit" - Linkin Park

After "Numb/Encore" and "Numb", amongst the first Linkin Park songs I heard were "In the End" and this one, "Breaking the Habit":

"Breaking the Habit" is the fifth and final single from Meteora, Linkin Park's second studio album. I cannot remember if I heard this track or "In the End" first but in either case, I would have heard them in 2005, sometime after "Numb/Encore".

Friday, 28 July 2017

The move outs redux

After today's move outs, there are only three people I know of still living in my student village: A housemate, someone in a house next door and me. There might be one or two others living around here but I'd be surprised if there are, as I've seen no evidence of anyone else.

My housemate and I have contracts that last until the end of August but the person next door leaves in two weeks.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

The move outs

One of my housemates left over a month ago and another left today; tomorrow, another one will leave. Then, it will only be one housemate and me in my house and one other person in my student village, maybe two. Those who didn't extend their contracts are required to leave by tomorrow's end, as it's the end of the accommodation contract.

I'll be in the house for another month and I'm the only person I know who has extended for a whole month more. Then, I'll be at my mother's and brother's house before returning to the student village in mid-September.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Transgenders in the military

He's at it again, now going after trans-people who serve in the United States military:

Oh, what can I say - those of us who were paying attention knew that the current president isn't pro-LGBT and it's doubtful that many of his supporters would have backed him for his pro-LGBT stances. The excuse for barring transgender people - that they cost too much - is utter nonsense; scaling back involvement in conflicts abroad would reduce the military budget far more than kicking out transgender people.

If any of the people cheering this ban were to find themselves in the position of needing help from a member of the military, they'd still take the help even if said member were transgender.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

The Cotgrave and the Keyworth

I recently wrote about how the Rushcliffe Villager 2 bus route has now been discontinued. The RV2 is not the only Rushcliffe-based bus that has received some major changes; the Rushcliffe Villager 1 has been shortened, in that it now travels directly into Bingham after the villages rather than around the housing estate. In addition, in Radcliffe on Trent, there were a small handful of stops that the bus went past but now doesn't; the result is that these stops are no longer serviced.

The Cotgrave Connection and Keyworth Connection are the other two. Unlike RV1 and 2, they haven't received any sort of cut; rather, both routes have been equipped with new buses and have been renamed to The Cotgrave and The Keyworth, respectively. Both routes now appear to have the same class of bus as Indigo does but rather than the buses being indigo, they are aqua (The Cotgrave) and pink (The Keyworth).

The Rushcliffe Mainline is also supposed to be receiving new buses; both the RM and the RV1/2 routes inherited the buses from the now-defunct Rushcliffe Greens line. I'd be surprised if RV1 receives any new buses, however; I expect any used from RV2 will be transferred to it.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Accommodation extension

Under the normal contract, I would be leaving my accommodation before the end of the week; however, since I paid for an extension and have the receipt for it, I won't be leaving until the end of August instead. I'll then be moving to my mother's and brother's house for about a month before I return to my accommodation in mid-September.

As for Year 3, at this point I haven't decided whether I'll be in university accommodation or a house somewhere in Clifton. That decision won't come around until next year.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

"Numb/Encore" - Linkin Park and Jay-Z

As a follow up to yesterday's post, here is a live version of "Numb/Encore":

A mashup of Linkin Park's "Numb" and Jay-Z's  "Encore", "Numb/Encore" was released in December 2004 from Collision Course, the mashup album between the two musical artists. "Numb/Encore" was my brother's and my introduction to both Linkin Park and Jay-Z.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Chester Bennington

Back on Thursday, it was reported that Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park, had died; the cause was suicide via hanging:

Soon afterwards, there was a huge outpouring of grief on social media. Many people, including a large number of my friends, had been touched by the music Bennington had sang with Linkin Park; the band's music frequently contained references to depression and personal pain, as influenced by Bennington's own experiences. As such, Linkin Park's music was highly relatable for many and helped people with their own troubles.

In my case, Linkin Park were among the musical acts I first heard when I started listening to the radio back in late 2004, as that was when "Numb/Encore", from the Linkin Park/Jay-Z mashup album Collision Course, was released. My brother has Linkin Park in his music collection but we both like the band.

The BBC has an obituary about Bennington, which can be found here.

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.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Monster rainstorm

This evening, I again had to return from my grandparents' house via Bingham; unlike last night, however, there were no angry people on board the bus. Phew!

There was something else to contend with, instead. As the Rushcliffe Mainline returned to Nottingham; this was not problematic at first but once the bus made it to the last stop, it was clear a storm was incoming. I ran to the stop for South Notts 1 in time because once I did, a torrential downpour occurred, backed up with lightning and thunder. Yep, a full storm!

There was a twenty minute wait for South Notts 1; once it arrived and returned me to Clifton, the rain had stopped and I was able to walk back to my accommodation without being soaked. So, no angry people but the bus rides back tonight were nevertheless an adventure!

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

The misogynistic woman

I was at my grandparents' house today doing some work for them. The day progressed as normal until the evening, when the Rushcliffe Mainline wasn't running through the area where they live because of nearby roadworks; as a result, I was required to take a Trentbarton-supplied shuttle bus to Bingham, which would take me to an RM bus for Nottingham. This involved a longer trip back to Clifton but was otherwise no big deal.

In Bingham, a woman in her 50s or 60s, who appeared to be annoyed, boarded. When the bus took its detour, she asked me if the bus was bound for Nottingham; I confirmed that it was, just that it was taking a longer route back. She appeared to accept this but then asked the woman in front of her the same thing and received the same answer; she then appeared to ask the driver it and, again, received the same answer. At this point, she sat back down after she'd been standing to question the driver.

The woman muttered to herself from then on but otherwise appeared to not be bothering anyone; however, once the bus was in Nottingham and we were coming up to the last few stops, another woman who looked as though she was in her 50s then boarded. Then, the angry woman launched a misogynistic tirade against this new woman, calling her all sorts of anti-woman terms on the basis that she was "dressed like a prostitute" (yes, those were her words); this tirade continued until the new woman left at the second-to-last stop and even after that, the angry woman continued her rant.

As for why the driver didn't do anything, he was concentrating on evening driving but also, this bizarre behaviour occurred in the last five minutes of the journey; it likely would have been more of a hassle for everyone if he'd told her off. When the bus came to the end, her angry woman got off whereas the driver, as well as an NCT driver who was also on boarded, talked about the weird rant by the woman.

I hope the angry woman has since calmed down and that the new woman wasn't heavily hurt by the incident.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

US Independence Day 2017

In the past, I've written a small post on this day to commemorate the United States' Independence Day. To be honest, this year it's hard to celebrate the day seriously when the current president and those around him are in the process of restricting freedoms for the everyday person, enriching their corporatist friends and generally making a mockery of the United States itself in the eyes of the world.

Worse yet, supporters of this current administration still don't care about any of this provided that it hurts other people and not them. For them, it's about vindictively undoing everything that President Obama achieved and getting revenge on the people who elected him. The slogan to "Make America Great Again" has always been nothing more than a rallying cry said revenge - it's a shame the president's supporters don't see that or don't care to see it.

Still, Happy Independence Day. May the values that truly make America great make a speedy return to the White House.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Liveland History: 3rd July 2014

It's been three years since we saw the Avro Vulcan XH558, The Spirit Of Great Britain, flew over our house when we lived in Northamptonshire:

XH558 was the last of its class to remain airworthy; sadly, in October of 2015 its flights came to a halt. The three major companies that helped the Vulcan to the Sky Trust to maintain the aircraft all withdrew their support and the plane lost its certification to fly. For now, the XH558 is retired.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

The tram

For the first time ever, I rode the Nottingham tram network, from the city centre to Hucknall:

A college friend and I travelled to Hucknall because he was being featured as a musical act at a pub up there. This was another first for me: Attending a friend's musical gig.

I'd never ridden the tram until now because I'd always found my way around Nottingham via foot, bus or the occasional lift.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

July wedding

I have a wedding to attend this evening. After my English exam back in May, a friend from my course invited to her wedding me and another friend from my course. That wedding will require a ride on the i4 bus to reach it, as it is it Derbyshire. I do not expect to take any pictures, as it is a private function.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Return to Central

I spent some 2 1/2 hours at Central this afternoon. My reason for being there? Because come September, it will no longer be Central College Nottingham - by then it and New College Nottingham will form Nottingham College. As a matter of fact, they have already merged but are going through a transitional period.

My old campus on Maid Marian Way will be used for science classes; as a result, my Sociology and Psychology teachers will be moving elsewhere - to what is currently the NCN Adams campus. The canteen staff, librarians and receptionists will remain for now but it is unknown if this arrangement will last for the long-term.

Even though I finished at Central nearly a year ago, there were still plenty of staff and a small amount of students who knew me and were eager to talk if they had time to do so. I'm unsure how many will remain by September but if there are a few, I'll visit again.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Master or mister

Yesterday, I was booking a hotel (a story for another post) and on the form when it asked for my preferred form of address, for male terms it featured "Master" in addition to just "Mr.". This is significant because I've always known "Master" to mean a young man in the place of "Mr." but prior to yesterday afternoon, I'd never seen it used anywhere.

"Master" is a cool-sounding title; it would be awesome if it gained traction in the place of "Mr." to refer to a young man.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Global opinion of the United States, June 2017

Unsurprisingly, the world as a whole has zero confidence in the current President of the United States compared to his predecessor and positive world opinion of America has been shattered by him, his behavior and his policies:

The question is, though, do his supporters even care that the goodwill the US generated towards itself under President Obama has evaporated? Probably not.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

The mouldy egg

Scotch eggs are hard-boiled eggs wrapped in sausage meat and breadcrumbs. The first time I recall having one was when my family and I were living with my grandparents' in 2010; ever since then, I have liked them - well, "ever since" until today.

I bought a pack of Scotch eggs this afternoon. When I opened the breaded shell of one of them, the egg inside was partially covered with mould. I had no choice but to throw the egg away, as it wasn't safe for consumption. Fortunately, the other eggs were all okay but it took me awhile to eat them, as I had little appetite for them after seeing the mouldy egg.

Needless to say, after this incident it will be awhile before I have Scotch eggs again! That might not be a bad thing, however, as it means it's one less fatty food for me to eat.

Monday, 26 June 2017

"We'll Be Alright" - Travie McCoy

Ah...good ol' Travie McCoy:

This is "We'll Be Alright" by the aforementioned Mr. McCoy and it samples "Alright", a song by Supergrass, a British rock band from the 1990s. "We'll Be Alright" is the third single from Lazarus, his third studio album, and was released back in late 2010. "Billionaire", however, is the most known single from his album.

Travie McCoy himself is best known for being the lead singer of Gym Class Heroes, who are still an active band even with his solo career.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Badgers and fox

Between 2:00am and 3:00am today, I spotted these animals in the backyard:

A fox and two badgers! I've seen the fox sniff and snack around the back a few times but this is the first occasion I can recall seeing a British badger (discounting those I've seen as roadkill). The badgers sniffed and snacked through the grass, too.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Liveland History: 24th June 2012

Five years ago, I posted some of the pictures I'd taken of Carrie Underwood's concert at the Royal Albert Hall, which occurred a few days earlier on the 21st:

That was the first concert I ever attended as well as my first time in London since moving back to the United Kingdom. There's not much to add here other than it was an all-around good evening and it was a pleasure to come across this old post again when seeing what I'd written on this day in past years.

The post from the day of the concer is here.

Friday, 23 June 2017

The referendum...a year on

It has officially been a year since the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in the in/our referendum the country held last year. While the leave proceedings were activated back in March, negotiations to leave only began this week.

I still don't see what positives are going to come from leaving the European Union. The EU will want to protect itself from other countries trying to leave and so it will likely make an example of this country during the negotiations. Then there's the fact the recent election produced a hung parliament, so the current Prime Minister has less of a mandate than she did before. Beyond that, we still don't know how the country will fare once it is "out".

There were so many unknowns, as was noted often during the referendum campaign. Where this road goes...no one knows.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

For abs and arms

During one of the recent days at my grandparents' house, my grandfather and I sorted out their garage. While doing so, I came across a medium-sized device that looked like motorbike handles attached to a pump.

My grandfather said it was an exercise device for the torso and arms. While I walk lots, I haven't done much in the way of improving my arm strength and reducing excess stomach fat. As my grandfather no longer uses the device and didn't want to throw it away, he gave it to me.

So now I have my own exercise pump! Even a few minutes use of it per day will work wonders; the key now is to ensure I use it each day. The motivation? Keeping fit and healthy!

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

"Depressed" - DHT

This is the second to last track on my copy of Listen to Your Heart by Belgian band DHT:

It's "Depressed". As I wrote in a post of mine from over five years ago, when I first heard the track it was unlike anything I'd ever heard before in my music collection; it felt weird possessing such a song within it. Even today, "Depressed" sounds radically different from all my other music.

DHT were also briefly mentioned here. And despite my still not hearing anything new from them since either post linked here, DHT are nevertheless still an active band.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

The little spam that was

This absurdity somehow made it through the spam filter and into the pending comments:

"Good day! I could have sworn I've been to this website before but after browsing through a few of the posts I realized it's new to me. Regardless, I'm definitely delighted I came across it and I'll be bookmarking it and checking back often! Feel free to visit my web-site"

It's more of the same nonsense my blog has received over the years: Someone "just (re-)discovers" blog, is ecstatic they found it, intend to follow me aaaaaaannnnddddd...they spam me with their site. Cool story, bro.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Last gardening for now

This afternoon, I finished my fourth and final day of the existing garden work my grandparents had for me. While it was my shortest work day, it was also my most intense because while I was finishing off the hedge cutting, I did so during the hottest part of the hottest day. Regardless, I completed all my outstanding tasks.

There is more work for me to do at their house but not for a couple of weeks. There will be grass to cut again, two hedges to trim and a gate to paint. The hedge I was already trimming might have grown back by then, which would give me some extra work to do. It doesn't matter - I'll be happy to do it!

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Baking hot June 2017

The past week or so has seen the hottest weather I've experienced here in a while. While at my grandparents' house, I had to have my large bottle of water with me so that I would keep hydrated - more so than usual. It has honestly been that hot and it's very difficult to cool down.

Even now, it's about 11:00pm and it's still boiling outside. Usually the temperature has cooled down by now but not this evening; tomorrow, I'll be going to my grandparents' again to do some more work and I hope it won't be baking hot out. If it is, however, I'll have my water and I'll borrow a hat from my grandfather.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

"Your Body" - Christina Aguilera

I've been humming this song lately:

It's "Your Body" by Christina Aguilera and comes from Lotus, her seventh and most recent studio album. Both "Your Body" and Lotus were released nearly five years ago and this song is the newest Aguilera single I have heard on the radio. While the song itself received mixed reviews, the music video for "Your Body" has been hailed as one of Aguilera's best.

Friday, 16 June 2017

What decade is he living in?

So, the current President of the United States has now begun work to dismantle President Obama's work in making Cuba a friend:

One of his quotes when announcing this rollback was, ""We will not be silenced in the face of communist oppression any longer". Er...what communist oppression has ever silenced the United States? This reckless, illogical action is nothing more than this president continuing to undo the legacy of his predecessor. There is little to suggest why the United States moving towards its former position on Cuba would be a benefit to anyone.

The current president is talking about communism and Cuba as though they are pressing threats. If this were the 1960s, perhaps he'd be right, but it's 2017 and he's talking nonsense.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

The chicken...no, it wasn't

While I was working at my grandparents' house again today, there were no chickens to assist me. About the only animal that came anywhere close to me was a low-flying pigeon, which thankfully kept flying rather than...unleashed itself below.

I'll be going to my grandparents' again tomorrow to finish off what I didn't complete today. If there is any additional work for me to do, I can always return on Monday, if my grandparents are open to that.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

The chicken

I visited my grandparents today to do some garden work for them. One task consisted of me trimming the hedge at the back of their property; while said hedge faces their neighbours' house, the hedge nevertheless belongs to my grandparents.

While I trimmed the hedge, I had "help" from one of the neighbours' chickens. As the leaves from the hedge fell to the ground, the chicken rummaged through it looking for snails to eat. She had previously looked through the rest of the yard for food but decided that her newfound leaves were far more worthy of a forage for food than anywhere else.

I'll be back at my grandparents' house tomorrow and Friday to do more work at theirs.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Sunny London June 2017

This was the weather last Saturday in London:

It was like this all day in London; the only time it was overcast at all was in Clifton at the start of the day. What added to the sunshine was the constant pleasant breeze.

This is only the second image that I've uploaded to my blog this year.

Monday, 12 June 2017

University year 1 - end of academic year

Last Friday, the 9th, marked the official end to this academic year at Nottingham Trent University. While the academic year is over, accommodation contracts don't end until late July and the campus libraries will remain open all summer, albeit at a reduced level compared to term time.

There we have it. My first year at university is complete. I now have the summer to enjoy before year 2 begins in October.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

London 2017 - National Express

My chosen method of travelling to and from London yesterday was via National Express - a coach company. While coaches take longer to reach London than trains do, they are significantly cheaper. Once I knew when I'd be travelling to London, I booked a month and a half in advance and paid a low fare for my tickets; the other trade-off besides the journey taking longer is that I was restricted to taking the buses at the specified booking times. For example, my bus from Nottingham was only the one at 6:05am and my return from London was at 9:30pm; if I'd missed them I'd have to have bought a new ticket for another bus and it would have been more expensive.

The route down was fun. While much of it took place on the M1 (the UK's main motorway from the south to the north), there was a brief stop in Milton Keynes and the route through London to the Victoria coach station took the bus through the Royal Borough of Kensington, which I'd never seen in person before. For the route back, it again stopped briefly in Milton Keynes but also went through downtown Leicester, which makes it the second time I've seen Leicester between 12:00am and 2:00am.

Will I travel via National Express again. Most certainly, yes!

Saturday, 10 June 2017

London trip June 2017

I'm off to London today! I'm currently on a National Express bus bound for the city. My reason reason for travelling to London today is to finally meet, after nine years of knowing her, an online/Skype friend. Should be fun!

Hmm...I haven't posted any pictures for a while now, have I? I'll see what I can do while I'm there, provided the rain doesn't prevent me.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Results of the United Kingdom general election of 2017

All results for the general election are through. Despite expectations that they would increase their majority - possibly drastically - the Conservatives instead lost several seats and with it, their majority in Parliament. As a result, in order to govern, the Prime Minister has had to make a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party, a party in Northern Ireland, who have enough seats to support the Conservatives and give them a small majority.

The Labour Party, which had long been expected to losses masses of seats to the Conservatives, instead gained 30 seats. Labour was able to seize long-term Tory seats such as Canterbury and Kensington, both of which (and other seats) were attributed to heavy turnout of the under-25s, which is estimated to have been over 72% this election. While Labour did lose a handful of seats through a combination of them being in Brexit-voting areas or the UKIP vote went to the Conservatives, Labour otherwise weathered the Brexit vote and also increased its margins in many Remain areas, taking out Tories in the process.

The Scottish National Party lost nearly half of its seats but nevertheless remain the largest party in Scotland and the third-biggest in Scotland. Their losses can be attributed to them overplaying their hand at another independence referendum; Scots mostly consider the matter settled and are likely tired of voting, seeing as they've had more national referendums to vote on when the AV from from 2011 is included.

The Liberal Democrats increased their numbers from 8 to 12 but had their margins reduced in some seats and their former leader, Nick Clegg, was defeated in Sheffield Hallam; his loss marked the first time that Labour has won that seat. Despite taking a heavily pro-Remain stance, Liberal Democrat gains were fairly minor/

The United Kingdom Independence Party/UKIP again failed to win any seats and its share of the vote severely collapsed, in both number and percentage. Many UKIP voters returned to the Tories although there were a large number who returned to Labour, too.

It is hard to predict where British poltics will go from here. Some are expecting another election in the fall but that will depend on how well the Tories can govern with their DUP-backed minority administration. It also depends on if any political infighting takes place within any of the parties; while Jeremy Corbyn appears to have emerged from this election unscathed thanks to his strong campaign and achieving the first Labour seat increase since 1997, many on the Tory side are annoyed with their leader for calling an election which they were supposed to win and, instead, ended up losing.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

2017 election night

I'm at my mother and brother's house, in my brother's room (with him) awaiting the results of the general election. Our intent is to stay up all night or stay up to a point when the result is obvious. The full result won't be known until about 5:00am but a current exit poll points to a hung Parliament, with the Tories and Scottish National Party losing seat and Labour and the Liberal Democrats gaining. Should be interesting.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Jacket luck

I had a bout of good luck yesterday afternoon. As it was raining outside, I wore my thin coat over my fleece; however, by the time I made it to my bus it had stopped raining, was warm and I was sweating. I tied both my fleece and my coat around my waist before I boarded the 48 to the city centre.

When I arrived in the centre, without noticing it my jacket slipped off me. It was only when I was in Bulwell that I realised it had come off; at first, I thought I'd lost the coat but then I remembered, assuming it had come off on either the 48 or the 17 (my bus to Bulwell), there was a chance it would be in Nottingham City Transport's lost and found collection. After I'd finished in Bulwell I returned to the city centre on the 68 line.

On that bus back I realised there were other places it could have come off. When I was in the Victoria Centre, for example, although there was a chance I could get it back in there, too; but there were other places, like Bulwell bus station and the entire stretch from the 48 to the 17. I had conceded that the coat was lost but I hoped that someone in need would pick it up, such as a homeless person.

As luck would have it, when I returned to the bus stops back to Clifton, the jacket was next to a bin; it was dirty from being trodden on but it was there! I picked it up in relief and couldn't believe my luck in retrieving what I thought was a lost coat.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

My vote for the United Kingdom's 2017 general election

The general election is nearly upon us. So how is it that the United Kingdom is facing a general election now, after holding one two years ago? The answer is that Parliament voted to hold one three years early, the reason being that the Prime Minister wanted to seek a mandate for her vision of Brexit whereas the leading figures of the opposition have been eager to challenge her, both to claim a mandate for their own Brexit visions and to take the country in a different direction to where it has been travelling for the past seven years.

The two primary figures of this election are Theresa May, who is the current Prime Minister and the leader of the Conservative Party, and Jeremy Corbyn, who's the Leader of the Opposition and the Labour Party leader. Minor figures include Nicola Sturgeon of the Scottish National Party, Tim Farron of the Liberal Democrats, Caroline Lucas of the Greens and Paul Nuttall of the United Kingdom Independence Party.

With all that in mind, for whom shall I be voting? For once, it's an easy decision: My vote this year will given to Corbyn's Labour and it will be the first time I've ever voted for the Labour Party. In the past, I've voted for smaller parties (not UKIP) because I long considered Labour, Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats to be three slightly different versions of the same party. Not anymore. With Jeremy Corbyn, a staunch progressive, in charge of Labour, we at last have a clear difference between our two main parties. Instead of proposing more austerity, more tax cuts for billionaires and more war, Corbyn is instead promising to re-invest in the country, such as reversing cuts that have been made to essential services like the National Health Service and the police. Other key policies will be to scrap student tuition fees, to re-nationalise several privatised services and to protect childcare and pensioner benefits, as well as to expand them where possible.While Corbyn's Labour will still be carrying out Brexit, they have promised to do so in a fair manner that benefits Britain, rather than a "Hard Brexit" (or "Brutality Brexit") that leaves the country with nothing, including stripping away human rights that citizens are afforded under European Union law.

For the 2015 election, while Ed Miliband was a leader I could respect, he was regularly sabotaged by his own cabinet, as he was unable to select whom he wanted and was forced to accept was the Parliamentary Labour Party chose for him. As such, whenever he tried to break away from the image of Labour being seen as a second Conservative Party, he was held back and the party's message was clouded; thus, I was not able to vote for Miliband Labour. By contrast, Corbyn has been able to choose his own cabinet and despite a rebellion to overthrow him last year, he has endured and the party message is from him.

Corbyn is regularly dismissed by his critics as an "idealist" with policies that are "unaffordable" and/or "unworkable". My response to that is why are people like Corbyn, who genuinely want to re-invest in this country and its people again, viewed in such a manner whereas nationalists, warmongers and austerity-pushers are all seen as "common sense"? In 1945, after World War II, the United Kingdom was in ruins and what was left of the British Empire was seeking independence; despite this, the Labour government that came into power under Clement Attlee that year established the support system that still exists today, despite erosion from neo-liberal (pro-corporate) policies. If 1945 Britain could do it, why not 2017 Britain? I’ve noticed that the "We are British! We can do anything!" attitude always seems to evaporate when it comes to, say, re-investing in our schools, redeveloping our roads or funding our National Health Service.

And Corbyn isn't someone who is promising a load of "nice things", only to follow up with the opposite once elected; he became an MP in 1983 - the same year as former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown - and his voting record supports his message. This is a man who was arrested for protesting apartheid and was called a "loony lefty" for supporting gay marriage at a time when it was politically unpopular to do so. He has flaws, of course - he is a person, after all - but for the first time in British politics, there is someone I can believe in and trust, similar to how I felt about Barack Obama in 2008. Only this time, however, I can vote - and I shall do so.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Upcoming 2017 general election post

I have started work on a post that will explain my voting intentions for Thursday's general election. I shall be writing it from the perspective of why I think my preferred candidate is qualified, rather than a rant about how much the other side sucks. It's an explanation with possible gentle persuasion, not an attack piece.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

One Love Manchester

This evening, I was at my mother and brother's house, where I watched with them the One Love Manchester concert, headed by Ariana Grande after her concert was bombed over two weeks ago. As a way to support the victims and the city of Manchester, she arranged this benefit concert for them and hosted a range of other musicians, such as Take That, Robbie Williams, the Black Eyed Peas, Miley Cyrus, Pharrell, Little Mix and Liam Gallagher, among many others.

The theme of the concert was love and unity, which were emphasised throughout, as was the power of music. The power of music...reminds me of what I said in a very early blog post of mine:

Given what's been happening in the world as of late, I think we all need more love and unity.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

"Gypsy Woman" - Crystal Waters

A song from when I used to listen regularly to the Heart radio network:

It's "Gypsy Woman", also known as "Gypsy Woman (She's Homeless)" and as "Gypsy Woman (La da dee la da da)", by Crystal Waters, from her debut album, Surprise. This is only one of two songs I know of from Crystal Waters, the other being "100% Pure Love" from her follow-up album, Storyteller, but I heard it on a 1990s dance compilation album named Pulse.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Trentbarton HQ

This afternoon, I travelled to Heanor, Derbyshire, on Trentbarton's Rapid One route to visit the company's headquaters there; however, it was not merely a social call. No, I was there to attend a focus group for how Trentbarton can incentivise more younger people into using their buses.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I attended but the meeting was set out as a chat situated upon comfortable furniture, with a tin of Fox's biscuits on the coffee table; in addition to the two ladies running the group, there were two customers like me who were also in attendance. It was mostly a Q&A session about the services, such as friendliness of the drivers and state of the buses, as well as about fares and methods of pay, such as the MANGO cards.

Overall, I thought it was an enjoyable session. It was a relaxed setting and the ladies who ran the meeting were highly pleasant. Given the amount of times I've travelled on Trentbarton buses, going to their headquarters was something of an honour.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Paris climate agreement redux

So, it happened:

The US President announced that America would indeed be withdrawing from the Paris Agreement. His official reason is that it protects American jobs and workers and prevents the country from becoming a laughingstock but his election made it a laughingstock.

The world - and even Americans in general - does not really care about the protection of coal mining jobs in Kentucky and West Virginia nor about the profits of the president's corporate cronies, which is the real reason he's carried out his "promise" to withdraw. That, and because he wants to undo everything President Obama achieved.

This childish and vindictive administration really needs to be reigned in and removed; unfortunately, while his party controls Congress and lives in its own reality, that's not likely for now. His supporters are still no better, thinking that the US withdrawing from the Paris Agreement is a victory against "global elites" (it isn't).

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Paris climate agreement

So while the current President of the United States seems set to pull the country out of the Paris Agreement, which is about reducing the world's greenhouse gas emissions and overall pollution, China and the European Union will be issuing a joint statement to stress the importance of the deal:

If the United States were to withdraw, it would only serve to further undermine its credibility, more so coming off the back of the president's disastrous meeting with NATO. Then again, the goal of this president seems to be to undo everything the former president did and to permanently trash the United States' reputation.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Sixth blogging anniversary

I forgot to mention four days ago that it was my sixth anniversary of blogging. Yep, six years of blogging. Despite my early concerns that I'd reguarly miss days, I've yet to even miss one day of posting, although I have come close several times and many of my posts are very short. Long pieces are rare nowadays.

But yeah, six years of blogging!

Monday, 29 May 2017

For the very short term...

For the last day of my three-day bus ticket, I travelled my old favourite route of Nottingham - Mansfield - Derby. It wasn't exactly a pretty day out, as it rained all morning and afternoon, but it was still worthwhile and a good way to celebrate the end of my university work for this academic year.

My goal over the next few years, before the academic year ends (doesn't end officially until the 9th), I want finish at least a couple of books I still have borrowed from the library and then I will return them all. While I could keep them over the summer and hand them back in October, I'd rather return them now so that I'm not worrying about them later.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

The invalid ticket

At Derby bus station this afternoon, a lady ahead of me in the queue to board Indigo back to Nottingham presented her ticket to the driver. The driver let her through after glancing at the ticket but after a second he called her back and said that her ticket was invalid in Derby. This came as a shock to the woman, who said she had specifically asked, when purchasing the ticket from another driver, if the ticket could be used in Derby; that driver informed her that she would be able to.

Fortunately, the driver on board Indigo was reasonable about it; he let the lady on without having to buy another ticket and said for future reference the ticket she possessed was not valid in Derby. I think this is a far more measured response than, say, stopping a bus suddenly, beckoning a passenger like a dog and making them leave.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Three-day bank holiday ticket

On some bank holidays, Trentbarton has on offer tickets that last three days and allow anyone who purchases them access to travel on any Trentbarton line, minus any bus routes it operates with another company, such as Pronto with Stagecoach.

Today, as a treat to myself for my completing my first year at university, I purchased one of these tickets and used it to explore some routes I'd not travelled on before; one of these routes took me to Burton on Trent, which is not a place I had been to before today.

Tomorrow, I'll see if the weather is decent enough for me to visit Calverton. I've not been there since the end of Access and I do miss it.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Hello, President Obama!

President Obama has been here in the United Kingdom!

He was here to attend a charity event, not just to golf but if he did come here to play, so what? He's a former president, he served his two terms and is no longer a government official. There's nothing for anyone to criticize here.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Over before midday - another academic year finished

At 9:15, my exam for my main English moduled started and at 11:15, it came to an end. As a result, I have finished all my work for this academic year; my first year at university is done and dusted.

While I think I performed well enough to pass the exam, it will be a while before I find out but in the meantime, I can enjoy a long break between my first year at university and my second. In the meantime, however, I need some well-deserved rest!

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Last all-nighter (sort of) for now

I spent this afternoon sleeping because I'll once again be spending the night in the library, this time in preparation for the exam at 9:15 tomorrow morning. I realised over the past few days that I had more energy and better productivity for thinking of ideas when I'd been in the library overnight; rather than lose that momentum by changing my current temporary sleeping pattern, I thought I'd keep it up for another night.

Also, if I've been awake a few hours I'm more productive than if I'd been awake for one or two. I don't want to wake at 7:30 or 8:00 tomorrow and still be sluggish in the exam. At least by my chosen way, I'll be active.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

That wasn't an excuse for more hate

As we all know by this point, there was a bombing at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester last night. Twenty-two people are confirmed dead, dozens for injured and the perpetrator has been identified.

Yes...the perpetrator has been identified - as a British-born person of Libyan origin; however, long before details of the perpetrator emerged, the ugly voice of the far-right took to the Internet to immediately blame all Muslims and "people of Muslim origin" (the Middle East, North Africa, etc.) for the incident. Rather than offer support to the victims and their families or to rescue efforts in the area, the trolls instead called for all Muslims in the West to be deported and/or killed. The usual hateful nonsense.

Violent acts like those seen in Manchester are not the fault of Muslims in general, the same way that all the white males who go on mass shooting sprees are not the fault of all white men. In fact, when a traditional Westerner commits an atrocity, we never blame the whole West or the whole of an element of it - we only hold the actions of the individual responsible. So why are Muslims held to a difference standard?

The way to address hateful people - who can be from any demographic group - is to encourage dialogue, love, kindness, understanding...responding with more hate will never bring the victims back and is more likely to cause others to be killed, too. Don't get sucked into more hate.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Voter registration deadline, May 2017

The deadline to register for June's general election is today at 23:59. If there is a rush of people who are registering last minute, it might be extended for a day or two but otherwise, if someone doesn't register before midnight, they will not be able to vote.

I'm already registered, as are my brother and mother. We registered not long after they both moved up here to Clifton as part of changing addresses and all that. Unlike in some states in the US, where registering to vote has been made difficult by the Republicans, registering to vote here is easy as is the process of voting in itself, although we do have our share of trolls who think that voter fraud is rampant and that strict laws are needed to counter it (it isn't and they're not needed).

Sunday, 21 May 2017

No, it isn't a form of racism

Imagine this exchange:

Person A: *says something racist*

Person B: "What you've just said is racist because xyz. Please withdraw your comment and apologise."

Person A: "I said nothing racist...you're the racist for calling me racist!"

Somehow, the trolls have secured the narrative that if you accuse a person of being racist, you're the racist, not them, the argument being that calling out racism is a form of racism in itself. This is how racists are justifying their racism - that it doesn't matter what they say...anyone who calls them out is the problem. It's a deflection and a derailment tactic both in one package.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Hassan Rouhani: Re-elected

Four years ago, Hassan Rouhani won the first round of the Iranian presidential election of that year; as he secured more than 50% of the vote, he won the election outright and no run-off was required. As Iranian presidents have four-year terms, 2017 has been Rouhani's re-election; thankfully, he won:

Not only did Rouhani win re-election but he did so with an increased mandate, with both a larger amount of votes and an increased vote percentage. This is excellent news, as it means that Iranian moderates continue to control the presidency while all the hardline candidates were defeated. It is especially important for people like Rouhani to remain in charge of Iran; given who is currently President of the United States, it would be - unproductive, to say the least - for a loudmouthed and reckless hardliner to lead Iran at this time (or any time, for that matter, but least of all now).

Friday, 19 May 2017

Going to Google

How do you get to Google? Do you type something in the address bar at the top of your browser and it takes you to your search automatically or do you type "Google" in the address bar and it takes you to the Google front page, where you then do your search?

I ask because sometime during Access my Psychology teacher mentioned that her husband is prone to doing the latter. I only thought about it recently because I, too, put "Google" in my browser's address bar rather than put an actual search topic in.

What do you do?

Thursday, 18 May 2017

A move out

In a little over two months' time, I will temporarily be moving out of my accommodation for the end of July, all of August and much of September, as the contract runs from September to July. As such, I have slowly been taking stuff out of here for storage at my mother and brother's house.

My unneeded and less-used items are those that have been going first. I think one of the next items will be my crock pot/slow cooker; sadly, while it would have been a great money saver, using it is next to impossible given that there is no space in the kitchen for it and using it in my bedroom is impractical. A shame, really; I doubt I'll be bringing it back next academic year.

I will be living in on-campus accommodation again from 2017-2018. I booked my place months ago.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Two inactive days and a card

Yesterday and today have been disappointments in that I'd been hoping to go out and catch up on exercise that I'd missed prior to my assignment deadlines but instead, I've mostly been indoors doing other things since it's just been raining all day for both days. Oh, well. Fortunately, my exam is a week tomorrow so there is time for me to exercise a little before then, in between revising.

On a minor but happier note, I used my new Morrisons More card; a few weeks ago, I applied for one online and it arrived last week. All a More card does is collect points every time I spend at Morrisons and over time, enough points will amass to win me vouchers and other items.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

"Paper Planes" - M.I.A

A song by M.I.A., a British rapper, played during an advert I saw yesterday at the cinema. It's been a while since I last heard or thought about M.I.A.; I became aware of her in 2008/2009 when this song of hers played on American radio:

It's "Paper Planes", which is from Kala - her second studio album. "Paper Planes" is one of the songs that I associate so much with the summer of 2008 and with the great music of 2009.

As for the M.I.A. song I heard at the cinema, it was "Only 1 U" from Matangi, her fourth studio album:

Monday, 15 May 2017

Avril Lavigne conspiracy theory

Tin-foil hat-wearing conspiracy imbeciles are back, this time re-peddling the absurdity that Avril Lavigne has been dead since 2003 and that an impersonator has been her ever since:

The trolls cite "evidence" such as changes in her appearance and handwriting as proof that post-2003 Avril Lavigne is an impersonator. Evidently, the trolls have never heard of make-up, ageing or handwriting practice.

To any sensible person, this conspiracy theory is utter nonsense but, as with other conspiracy theories, there are those willing to believe it.