A new thing: Tweets of the week

Welp, in order to add more relevant ‘content’ to the blog, and get me to do more stuff on it, I’m going to post some of my posts from Twitter (you can see my Twitter ‘feed’ at the top right of the blog page) as well as a brief backstory or further comment on the ‘Tweet’.

If you don’t know, Twitter is a micro-blogging sort of site, where you can post links to various things (pictures, articles, videos) and use it however you like. I tend to use it as a sort of expanded Facebook status update and link to articles & videos that are funny or politically interesting.

So like I said doing this will add some stuff to the blog and maybe get some comments or whatever. I’ll start with some from the past few weeks/months to get going, and every week or two add a few of the latest tweets.

Dec 16th: RT @annie170768: @alandavies1 have you seen the X-Factor does RATM? very funny http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2AYUqVNSsY
…Basically, a lot of people think the X Factor (a vapid attempt at a reality/talent show) sucks and is a waste of time, doesn’t bring any actual ‘talent’ to the public attention span and is completely ridiculous. The YouTube link is for a video done by a group of people that want to make Rage Against the Machine’s ‘Killing in the Name of’ song the Christmas #1 song, which for some reason captures a significant percentage of the pop culture attention. This is direct competition for the X Factor’s endeavour for the Christmas #1 song, done by the winner of the X Factor show. Simon Cowell (the straight-talking Brit guy) says this is a stupid thing to do, but I’m sure it’s getting more idiots to buy the X Factor song anyway, so he’s still making money no matter what he says.

Dec 11th: sign spotted yesterday on drive home (in English Midlands, mind you): ‘Mexican X-Mas Sale –>’ ….so many things wrong with that
…Most Brits have the same idea of Mexicans that Americans have of…possibly every ethnic group/country outside the US. So when I imagine the British version of Mexican Christmas stuff, I kind of shudder. And the abbreviation ‘X-Mas’ just annoys me, even though I’m atheist.

Dec 11th: why you shouldn’t waste money on health & fitness magazines http://bit.ly/8DmjHV look at the past few year’s of January issues!
…usually in January I buy Men’s Fitness because there’s always some ‘get in shape for the new year’ article, but it’s ridiculous how they feed on this kind of thing. They’re worse than gyms that get people to sign up in January for a whole year. At least with the magazines you can turn the page and ignore the omnipresent ads for cologne and faddy fitness shite.

Dec 8th: researcher has possibly learned the language of Campbell’s monkeys…wow http://bit.ly/59Irgr
…stick that up your ass, creationists.

Dec 8th: but seriously, why is this news? RT @BreakingNews Hospital update on Tiger Woods’ mother-in-law – live video: http://bit.ly/EvUVF
…I don’t follow celebrity gossip and I’m not a MASSIVE HUGE fan of Tiger Woods, but come on folks. First of all, he’s a pro athlete. Women are going to literally throw themselves at him. Didn’t anyone go to high school and see this happening with the sports team? Second of all, this is private business between Tiger and his wife and all the women claiming to be his mistress(es). The whole ‘hey I can sell my story to the papers’ mentality/industry needs a real turnaround.

Dec 4th: RT @Oatmeal: How Twilight works: http://twurl.nl/jen73b
Dec 4th:
wtf, local cinema not showing ‘The Informant’, showing 3 screens of Twilight shite instead
Dec 3rd:
The 10 Most Depressing ‘My Life is Twighlight’ Entries http://bit.ly/75dewz ZOMG are people really this stup- oh wait it’s the internet…
Nov 26th: pssst: Twilight is shit http://bit.ly/5cRysL http://imgur.com/cB5Ce http://imgur.com/m1jBf
…holy snaps I hate Twilight. I haven’t read the books or seen the movie, but I have read the plot summaries and other stuff. Basically, anyone who’s a 13-year old girl, or still thinks like a 13-year old girl, will possibly like these stories. If you were still reading the Babysiter’s Club books in college…this might be for you. The mere fact that the author of these books is making hordes of money with this crap is beyond belief. Worse, it’s begun a whole new, expanded trend for vampy/goth/emo shit that sees no end! Remember when Interview with the Vampire came out and Brad and Tom were superhot and all the women were crazy about them?

Dec 2nd: RT @EFF: Google, Yahoo, eBay and Facebook make stand against UK’s Digital Economy bill: http://eff.org/r.2dx
This bill is bullshit. Why aren’t big media and the record/movie industry trying to work with new media, instead of trying to quash it? Old money doesn’t transfer into new understanding very well, if at all.

Nov 26th: Glen Beck needs to be drafted and dropped into combat.
The guy is a moron. He uses fear and religion to drum up hatred from his pulpit on Faux News. If he’s so patriotic, join the fuck up and request front-line combat duty, asshole!  Jon Stewart recently pointed out that he tells people, on his own show, that gold is the only answer to savings in the recession, and he’s s spokeman for a company that sells gold! I mean, morals, conflict of interest, anything, anybody?! Also, I realize now I’d spelled his name wrong, but I don’t care. He should have his name forcibly changed to Complete Douchebag.

Nov 25th: RT @engadget: iPhone to be sold by Tesco in the UK, hemorrhages cachet http://bit.ly/4TlP4h
…Well this just nibbles away at the cool factor of the iPhone IMO. If I had the money and didn’t have to fix my clutch in January (among other things) I’d be in line for the new Google Nexus One phone.


Making friends on the bus (but mostly pissing off the drivers)

So…yeah it’s been a while since I updated ye olde blogge. At this point I don’t even know when I last updated.

Long story short, things are going OK, I’m eating much more healthy lately in an attempt to yet again lose weight, I’m exercising regularly (except for the past week and a half, I’ve tweaked my back a little) and I found out last night I have to get a new clutch in my car so I started taking the bus to work today.

So this morning I woke up a little before 6, showered and dressed and realized that I would have time to drive (carefully) to the nearby supermarket to get to the cash machine, since I didn’t have enough money to get on the bus. Parked up in front of the house and had to grind the gears to get into reverse so I can parallel park on the narrow road…so that’s the last time it’s being driven until the new year, then.

Walked to the bus stop a few minutes away and the first person I annoyed was a random bus driver that stopped because I was right next to the curb (kerb) and looking at my watch as he came up. I tried to wave him off but he was stopping and opening the door anyway, but eventually he closed the door and drove off.

I only had to make one change, in the town centre of the town near my work, so I paid my fare and got on. Noticed there was a fare special if you buy 10 trips at once, alrighty, sounds like a deal, I just paid £2.30 for one trip and I can get 10 trips for £14, that’s £1.40 each, saving 90p each time. Score. I waited until the bus was stopped and asked the driver if I could buy the 10-trip ticket on the bus, he said sure and started printing up the ticket as he was driving. At the next stoplight I gave him a £20 note and he said, ‘I don’t have change, mate, I just started.’

OK, slight hiccup, so I found £4 in coins and handed him £24, expecting he’d at least have 2 £5 notes or a single £10 note…’I just started, I don’t have a ten-pound note mate.’

This is where I started to think he wasn’t really thinking of me as a mate, and using ‘mate’ in this instance would be akin to a west coast Dude-type saying, ‘man’ or a New Yorker saying, ‘you asshole’.

Well. What to do.

He was stuck because he didn’t have the cash to give me change, and said he’d take the £20 note and I take the ticket and hope for other people that get on and pay with coins, otherwise I could get my change at the depot. I said that’s fine and sat down.

The possibility of getting change from other passengers wasn’t looking likely, and proved correct as no one else got on until the village bus station, and those who did get on just flashed bus passes. The poor bus driver was already counting off change as I approached his window, and I told him I’d be happy to go there, but there were the angrily-counted-off coins, £6 (I think, I didn’t count it) and he was huffing, ‘You don’t need to go to the bus station, I just won’t have change for other passengers.’

Now this is where I think he went a bit wrong. I *did* offer to take up his suggestion of going to the bus depot, which would almost certainly be closed by the time I got there at about 6 in the evening. Or maybe writing up a receipt and explaining the situation to his route manager (or whatever they’re called in the bus trade) would be more hassle than dealing with the possibility of not having enough change for passengers in the short term.

Anyway, it was a mildly interesting first day commuting by bus.


Bus vs car commuting cost analysis…just for kicks

If it weren’t for the fact it takes more than twice as long to take the bus as it does to drive, I would seriously consider it as the main way to get to work. I use up about half a tank of fuel per week getting to and from work by car, which is about £30-35.

For bus travel, the daily prices are £4.60 round trip for the first bus from Derby to Burton, and another £4.60 for the local bus from Burton to the town I work in, but weekly prices are about £20 for the first bus (I think) and £14 for the second, which roughly equals the spend for car fuel. I’d have to check out what monthly fares work out to, if they’re available.

The ultimate solution is to move closer to work so I can bike in regularly. I’d do it more often now but 16 miles one way is sometimes a bit too much, but the bus takes about as long and I’d get even more exercise on the bike.