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Online kaywhyn

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kaywhyn's Blog
« on: January 06, 2021, 10:54:45 PM »
All rightie, I'm doing it. Joining some of the others here who already have blogs. Actually, I did at one point maintain a blog on Wordpress, but as I have left it untouched for the last several years, I'm pretty much deprecating it. Also, my very first forum post for 2021 :P

To start off, my family trip to Vietnam last year from February 2020 to March 2020. I stayed for 3.5 weeks, almost a month long. As you may or may not remember, in my introduction post I mentioned that I was born to Vietnamese parents, but I was born here in the USA, since they moved here almost 10 years before I was born in the 1980s. Thus, this makes me Vietnamese-American. This was the very first time I have ever gone to my parents' former native home land. So glad that I finally got to go after almost 31 years. Because I loved my stay, I would definitely love to come back to visit again sometime in the future.

I finally got to visit some never-met-before relatives of mine. Before this trip, I had corresponded with some of them via Facebook. However, I haven't met most of them in person until this trip. Even with 3.5 weeks in Vietnam, there's still many I have yet to meet. I have a lot of family still in Vietnam, although I have many here in California as well. In particular, one of my uncles on my dad's side that I finally got to meet in Vietnam is the only one who still hasn't visited the USA. I have an aunt on my dad's side whose husband lost his struggle with cancer and passed over the summer. I have never met him before this trip, but I'm so glad I finally got to meet him, even if my total meeting time with him was only 15-20 minutes before we parted. It's even more romantic with how he was one of my dad's high school friends who ended up marrying my dad's sister. This means he eventually became my dad's brother-in-law. Aww. 

Regarding the climate, every day it was 90+ degrees in Saigon, Vietnam, This is in February 2020. Way too hot for my liking. Even worse, it's super humid, so you're constantly sweating. There was some comfort from the heat at nighttime, but not much. So, I feel the next time I come back to visit Vietnam that I would visit some other time, just not February. Then again, had we gone to the north, I heard it was raining a lot and nowhere near as hot. Unfortunately, due to Covid and time, we couldn't visit Hanoi this time. 

The crazy thing is that my family and I went at just the right time during the midst of the Covid pandemic. Had we gone a week later, we would had been stuck in the country for who knows how long and not been able to return back home to the USA. In particular, my dad returned home 2 days before everything shut down on March 18, 2020. In this case, he was very fortunate to have returned home safely. During our vacation, we were unfortunate that some of the places we wanted to visit were shut down due to Covid, but I think we still did a fairly great job of being able to see plenty. We weren't able to go visit the north this time, but hopefully we'll get to the next time we come back in the future. I was really looking forward to visiting Hanoi. In particular, I wanted to see Ha Long Bay, which is pretty much a very highly recommended place to visit if you're ever in Vietnam. I have seen pictures of it online and in some online videos, and the place looks extremely nice.
     
All rightie, now the photos themselves, as well as short descriptions. I stayed in Saigon the entire time I was in Vietnam. These first several photos of the city at nighttime is my very first night in Vietnam. And yes, that is a picture of me holding my milk tea drink. Photo credit goes to my brother. Thus, everyone now knows what I look like. Don't let my youthful appearance fool you, though. I'm apparently older than a lot of the registered forum members here. Or, if you're subscribed to my Youtube channel, my profile pic is a picture of me from back in either 2008 or 2009, when I was in my early years of college. Not sure if any of my YT subscribers figured that's me in the picture.

My brother and I also explored the night market in Ben Thanh. As you can see, plenty of things are in English, which is fortunate for the both of us, since we don't know how to speak the Vietnamese language too well. Or, at least not as well as we used to. We lost a lot of the language growing up, as we learned English and switched to it completely. Even then, a lot of the people in Vietnam know English as well, so if you ever go visit, don't be afraid to speak in English. They're quite friendly for the most part, although watch out for pickpockets.

February 10, 2020: First day in Vietnam/Saigon 


















You can think of these next two photos as like the city hall of Saigon. Quite lovely at night. Both dated 2-11-2020.






This is Bui Vien street in the city of Saigon. It's pretty much the go-to place for the nightlife in the city, where plenty of tourists/visitors go to hang out and live music entertainment. The second photo is of a bar on Bui Vien street where some of my cousins took me to hang out. Great and fun night, although I definitely had too much to drink that night, as I was quite hammered :crylaugh: First photo dated 2-10-2020, while the second one is dated 2-18-2020.






February 23, 2020

These photos were from during our tour of Saigon. This is our first night in the city of Hoi An. In case you're wondering about the lanterns, that's because at the time we came it wasn't too far off the Vietnamese New Year, Tet, for 2020. Hence, why the place is still highly decorated at that time of year. Even then, it was still a great time when we came, as it's just so lovely at night. I got to go on a boat ride in the river where we released the lanterns in it. I think what I would like to do at some point is to visit Vietnam during the actual Vietnamese New Year, so that I can compare how different it is in the country than from how my family celebrates it in the USA. It's only 3 days long in the USA, but in Vietnam it goes on for at least a week. Also, students are generally off during the holiday, but no such thing in the USA. They still go to school during Tet.








February 24, 2020

These last set of photos are in the city of Da Nang/Ba Na Hills. This is where the Golden Bridge is located, which is the bridge that looks like it's held up by the marble hand.








Later in the day, back in the city of Hoi An, we met our tour guide and had a nice ride on a basket boat. I believe the photos of me were taken by our tour guide. The tour guide and I rode in the same boat. Regarding my shirt, UCLA is the name of the 4-year university that I attended in southern California for college from 2007-2011. It is part of the UC system and is an extremely prestigious university. It is currently ranked #1 among public schools in US News and World Report magazine. It wasn't always #1, though. My school has only recently achieved the top spot in the last 3-4 years. Before that, it was second, behind UC Berkeley. 








Well, hope everyone enjoys the photos. Definitely go visit sometime. I of course will be posting about other stuff or whatever I would like to reflect on from time to time here. Keep checking this space.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2021, 09:56:58 PM by kaywhyn »
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Offline Simon

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Re: kaywhyn's Blog
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2021, 04:16:01 AM »
Hi,

quality timing for the long-awaited visit, to still catch all the night life. Interesting that February is so hot, Thailand Vietnam is still north of the equator.

The following images will not load: Final picture of 2020-02-10, and all subsequent pictures. Happens to me in Firefox and Chromium, thus doesn't appear to come from my script blocking.

Consider slash (/) instead of dash (-) as a separator in the US date format mm/dd/yyyy for clarity that you mean the US format, or write the year at the front (yyyy-mm-dd). Dash was chosen in yyyy-mm-dd for clarity because it isn't used in any other format.

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« Last Edit: January 07, 2021, 07:32:28 PM by Simon »

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Re: kaywhyn's Blog
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2021, 08:12:52 PM »
Interesting that February is so hot, Thailand Vietnam is still north of the equator.

Vietnam is an interesting case. There's only 2 seasons, a rainy and sunny season. From what I remember, it only rained on 2 separate days the entire time I was there. However, it was 90+ degrees every single day. Combined that with being extremely humid, and we had to leave the AC on all the time.

Quote
The following images will not load: Final picture of 2020-02-10, and all subsequent pictures. Happens to me in Firefox and Chromium, thus doesn't appear to come from my script blocking.

Strange. I'm using Firefox and I can see all of the images just fine. I don't know if this is related, but are you using the new forum appearance? I'm not sure if it has anything to do with that.

Can anyone else see the photos just fine?

Quote
Consider slash (/) instead of dash (-) as a separator in the US date format mm/dd/yyyy for clarity that you mean the US format, or write the year at the front (yyyy-mm-dd). Dash was chosen in yyyy-mm-dd for clarity because it isn't used in any other format.

That's really interesting. I never thought about the possibility of confusion arising from using solely dashes or slashes in the date. However, I don't think the slash is exclusively a USA thing. I think it's more of a personal stylistic preference. I think when filling out applications here in the USA it's the same thing. Sometimes, they use dashes, other times they use slashes. Generally, I try to be consistent whenever possible, but unfortunately, I think I interchange the two a lot. I of course write the date using only dashes or using only slashes, never a mix of both. Therefore, I'm not consistent in using only slashes or only dashes in the date. I think I have always used the slashes more, but on occasion I will switch between the two. In the same way, the standard way of writing the date in the USA is MM/DD/YYYY, so no possibility of writing the year first from me :P So, I'm not much help there in preventing confusion for you lot, and you'll just have to get used to my style/format. Since I switch between slashes or dashes at will, if anyone starts using the other, I will perfectly understand what is meant by the date.

What will take me time, though, is getting used to the date and then month order. So, for example March 2, 2020 I would write as 3/2/2020, since that's the USA way, but in most other places (probably everywhere else) you guys would write the same date March 2, 2020 as 2/3/2020, which to me means February 3, 2020, not March 2, 2020. The only time this wouldn't cause any confusion is if the date is greater than 12, since there's 12 months. So, 12/15/2020 vs 15/12/2020 are understood to both mean December 15, 2020. However, I can always write out the date fully in words like I did before every set of images above, eg, February 27, 2020. In this way, there's no confusion that can arise when writing the date shorthand and deciding between either dashes or slashes, as well as what can happen when one encounters a different order of writing the date shorthand from what one is used to.

My parents originally grew up in Vietnam, and there they format the date the same way you guys do in Europe, where the date comes first and then the month. So, when they moved to the USA in the 1980s, they were initially confused with the way Americans write the date, where the month comes first and then the date. Since I've grown up in the USA my entire life, I of course am familiar with the month first and then date format, and so when I visited Vietnam last year I had trouble adjusting to the different way of writing the date their way.
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Re: kaywhyn's Blog
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2021, 06:51:09 AM »
Logically I think the best date format is to put the year first, then month, then day. That way, when times are written out, the largest unit goes in front, and the remaining stuff goes in descending order of size and everything sorts nicely if you pad with zeroes, or if your string sort can handle numeric substrings well (Windows 10, for example, properly recognizes that a folder called "Day 10" goes after "Day 2" even though a simple string sort would generally place "Day 10" before "Day 2" because 1 comes before 2 and it's sorting primarily by alphabetical order, not numeric value).

About half of the photos are visible on Firefox for me. For the ones that are not, an error symbol is shown, i.e. there's a placeholder for an image; it's not just missing. I suspect the cause might be related to permissions.

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Re: kaywhyn's Blog
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2021, 10:14:21 AM »
I've reinserted the images starting from the final photo of February 10, 2020 and the ones after in the OP. Everyone should be able to view them now without problems. Indeed, I think the problem was the images were set to private when I uploaded them to my Google Photos. I have fixed that...hopefully! Let me know if you still can't see them.

Logically I think the best date format is to put the year first, then month, then day. That way, when times are written out, the largest unit goes in front, and the remaining stuff goes in descending order of size and everything sorts nicely if you pad with zeroes, or if your string sort can handle numeric substrings well (Windows 10, for example, properly recognizes that a folder called "Day 10" goes after "Day 2" even though a simple string sort would generally place "Day 10" before "Day 2" because 1 comes before 2 and it's sorting primarily by alphabetical order, not numeric value).

I definitely see your logic in the YYYY/MM/DD format. Indeed, there's really no wrong order for writing out the date, especially since not every part of the world uses the same order for shorthand writing dates. I personally prefer the MM/DD/YYYY not just because I grew up with this format, but rather this order feels more natural to me, especially since this is the way one would write out the date in words, eg, March 7, 2009.

As for why Day 10 would come after Day 2, that's because the word "day" matches both, so therefore alphabetical order is no good in ordering them. Instead, the computer has to look at the numbers and order it that way. You're absolutely correct in that Windows sorts by alphabetical order, but the thing is numbers aren't letters. With numbers, sorting is based on how many digits there are. Numbers with less digits will come before those numbers that have more. If the number of digits is the same, then they're ordered based on the first position where the digits differ. 1 comes before 2. However, 10 is a two digit number, whereas 2 is a one-digit number. Thus, the 1 is not in the same place value as the 2. If it was simply a 1, then yes, Day 1 would come before Day 2. It's simply due to how 1 and 10 aren't the same number. Here, the 0 is a placeholder, but by adding a 0, the 1 is shifted into the tens place value, so the 1 is no longer in the ones place value.

Of course, if it's preferred, one can simply sort it in descending order as well, which is easily done in Windows by clicking on the "name" column.   
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1-8-2021: Final Alex Trebek Jeopardy Episode Today
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2021, 04:27:50 AM »
The final Jeopardy episode with Alex Trebek as host just finished airing in my location half an hour ago. Tis a very sad day for longtime Jeopardy fans. Having been a longtime fan of the show, I've watched it almost every day for the last 10-12 years. I remember when I first watched this show in my early years of elementary I had absolutely no clue what was going on. I didn't watch it every day at the time, although it was pretty much an on and off thing, probably only watched one day a week for some time before I stopped watching for years. 

Many years later, during the summer before my sophomore year of high school, my interest in the show came back. It all started during a family summer vacation to Redlands, when one evening we were watching TV in our motel and a commercial came on talking about a dude named Ken Jennings, who was currently on a super megastreak on the show. I think he had won almost 20 times on Jeopardy at the time. Once we got back home from our vacation about a day later or so, I pretty much tuned in to the remainder of his winning streak daily. Even after he finally lost on his 75th show, I still tuned in to the show daily. He was pretty much my idol for intelligence, and I've pretty much rooted him to win every tournament in his future appearances. That wasn't to be the case, although he ended up winning last year's GOAT (Greatest of All Time) tournament. Congrats, Ken!

Early in my sophomore year of high school, my brother convinced me to join our high school's quiz bowl team. He was a senior in high school, so this was our second year going to high school together. He and his friends dominated and swept the competition in pretty much every tournament. I don't think we won every tournament, but we won several throughout the school year.

Even after my brother graduated from high school, I became the new captain of our high school's quiz bowl team in my final two years of high school. We didn't win any tournaments during my tenure as captain, but we got quite far before we were defeated. I remember in one match, it all came down to the tiebreaker question. It asked who was the character that Tybalt killed in Romeo and Juliet was. I buzzed in and answered correctly with

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

During my college years, I continued to watch the show daily, or at least did my best to. 3 of my years I didn't have a TV. However, I bought myself a TV tuner, which allowed me to watch or record the episode in case I wasn't able to watch at the time it airs. So really, I don't think I watched it every day in my final two years of high school, but it continued in college. Even after graduating from college, I continued to watch every day while in grad school and my post-baccalaureate finishing up my teaching credential.

Because I think it's fun to test your knowledge, I aspire to be on Jeopardy one of these days. Unfortunately, it won't ever be with Alex Trebek due to his passing two months ago. I don't know when I'll audition, although there is now a process where you can take the online test at any time now instead of select days each year. I've taken the online test twice already in the last 3-5 years. I didn't do so hot the first time, but the second time I gotten maybe close to 30 or so out of 50 correct. I have to suspect that out of the 3 days of the online test that the day I took the test I lucked out with an easy one. I'm pretty sure the answers/questions are different for each of the 3 days. It wouldn't make much sense for all of them to be the same.

With this, RIP Alex Trebek. You will be missed, but I will continue watching the show for years to come. The show will not be the same without him. You can pretty much say that Alex Trebek IS Jeopardy. No matter who the new permanent replacement is, that person will not be able to replace Trebek completely. He's one-of-a-kind. I'm still in disbelief that he's gone from this world and having watched him on TV every day for the last 10-12 years when Jeopardy aired. 
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Offline LemSteven

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Re: kaywhyn's Blog
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2021, 10:46:20 PM »
Thanks for sharing your love of one of the greatest quiz shows of all time.  I know several forum members here live across the pond and aren't quite as familiar with American television, but Alex Trebek was a game show icon for more than 40 years.  Even though I knew he was suffering from stage 4 pancreatic cancer, I was still shocked to hear of his passing.  He said he would continue to host the show as long as he was physically able, and that's exactly what he did -- he taped his last week of shows less than two weeks before his death.  That's what I call dedication!

Jeopardy will be featuring a series of interim hosts for the next few weeks until they can find a permanent replacement.  The first interim host will be the GOAT himself, Ken Jennings.

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Re: kaywhyn's Blog
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2021, 10:59:27 AM »
Hey LemSteven, thanks for your reply! :thumbsup: Indeed, I love trivia and would like to one day try out for Jeopardy. Just need to find a time to make the drive down to LA. I actually lived in LA during my four years of college. On a day without traffic, it's a good 40-45 minute drive to LA from my place. The one thing that I wished that I had done while living in LA was attend a live taping of Jeopardy. I could still do it, especially if I'm willing to make the almost hour drive down to LA, but too bad it won't be with Trebek as host. I also have a lot I need to brush up on! So, it'll likely to be several years from now, when I'm likely to have a stable job and possibly even my own family. 

I'll never forget the morning I found out of Trebek's passing. My phone had an Apple News headline and when I unlocked my phone, it said that Trebek had passed. My instant reaction was complete shock. He was doing quite well, too, so for him to all of a sudden pass was very shocking. I don't know too much about the international versions of Jeopardy, but I'm sure there are several, so I think the show's still well-known in the likes of places like Europe and Asia.

I'm definitely excited to be seeing Ken Jennings temporarily host the show starting on Monday. He's going to be a great one. He's currently a consulting producer on the show. I hear that Katie Couric will be the second interim host after Jennings.
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kaywhyn's Blog: Waking Up After Only 1-3 Hours Daily For Last Several Months
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2021, 07:33:07 PM »
Let's face it. Does anyone really sleep these days? Not sure what's going on here, but every day for the last several months I've only been able to sleep for about 1-3 hours at a time before waking up. Pretty much started around June or July last year. I wonder if it's due to how my body is so accustomed to being out of work for so long? I've been out of a job since the shutdown due to Covid back in March, and so I've been going off of unemployment benefits. I think another contributing factor is how I've been napping a lot so that by the time I do go to bed for the night it's easier to wake up in the middle of the night. I'm not sure if there's any sleep scientists here in this community. I did contemplate getting some melatonin, but I'm quite skeptical when it comes to taking any kind of medication. I have a friend who used to take it to aid in getting shuteye, but he told me it had a placebo effect on him. All the more reason why I'm hesitant to get it just for sleep. It might not even work, and there's always some kind of risk and side effects when taking something like melatonin.

So really, I'm simply trying to look for ways to be able to sleep through the night without waking up without resorting to medication, as I don't even need to take anything for health reasons. Anyone got suggestions/tips? 
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Offline Dullstar

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Re: kaywhyn's Blog
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2021, 12:21:41 AM »
If you're concerned about it, it wouldn't hurt to talk to a doctor just in case there might be a medical reason for it... well, except for the cost if you're in the US.

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Re: kaywhyn's Blog
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2021, 03:56:54 AM »
From writing the dissertation, I remember this kind of mental block that prevents one from sleeping. Basic ideas:
  • No caffeine a few hours before sleep; also reduce caffeine if you're on unholy amounts like 3 liters of Pepsi Max Lemon per day. (Complete caffeine abstinence is also possible, but might be not even necessary.)
  • Physical exercise during the day, or in the hours before bed. There is no day job to get you tired yet, so replace it with some exercise. It needn't be much.
  • Some recommend no electronics half an hour before bedtime, but I never stuck to this.
  • Once the rhythm is roughly where you want it, add routine, and rise every day at the same time.
Fixing a rhythm is hard, at least you have no pressure to fix it within N days, but can fix it gradually.

Naps are fine and will recude the duration of the core sleep. It's your choice if you want that.

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Re: kaywhyn's Blog
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2021, 05:28:32 AM »
If you're concerned about it, it wouldn't hurt to talk to a doctor just in case there might be a medical reason for it... well, except for the cost if you're in the US.

It's not too concerning, as I simply wonder why I haven't been able to sleep through the night without waking up. I doubt it's any medical condition that I might have, although I'll keep this in mind for the next time I get a check up. At least I'm not aware of anything that I might be suffering from that would cause all these sleep disruptions. Better to be safe than sorry, though. You'll see when you get to my age how things quickly change :P For example, I tire out far more easily than I did 5-7 years ago.

From writing the dissertation, I remember this kind of mental block that prevents one from sleeping. Basic ideas:
  • No caffeine a few hours before sleep; also reduce caffeine if you're on unholy amounts like 3 liters of Pepsi Max Lemon per day. (Complete caffeine abstinence is also possible, but might be not even necessary.)
  • Physical exercise during the day, or in the hours before bed. There is no day job to get you tired yet, so replace it with some exercise. It needn't be much.
  • Some recommend no electronics half an hour before bedtime, but I never stuck to this.
  • Once the rhythm is roughly where you want it, add routine, and rise every day at the same time.
Fixing a rhythm is hard, at least you have no pressure to fix it within N days, but can fix it gradually.

Naps are fine and will recude the duration of the core sleep. It's your choice if you want that.

-- Simon

I don't drink caffeine, so that's out. The only thing that could interfere with that is alcohol, which I occasionally do, mostly the weekends only in the evenings. I could definitely get more exercise in, as I'm constantly at my desk/laptop throughout the entire day. Unfortunately, my local gym is closed, and I've been patiently waiting for it to reopen. So, the best I've done here is by taking walks with my mom. I'm the same way as you in regards to electronics, so I don't see me breaking away from it half an hour before bed anytime soon.

Regarding naps, I think I've fought the urge to not nap during the day a few times, and it seems to not work so well, as I still end up waking during the middle of the night. I might just have to hit the hay earlier, although it's extremely difficult to do, especially since I've been so bad with being on my phone for a long time at night while lying in bed. Really this bad habit of mine is far too developed :XD: Hence it makes me wonder if anyone really ever sleeps these days :crylaugh:
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Re: kaywhyn's Blog
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2021, 06:32:20 PM »
Quote
I don't drink caffeine, so that's out. The only thing that could interfere with that is alcohol, which I occasionally do, mostly the weekends only in the evenings.

Alcohol is not likely to be the problem, unless we're talking really, really large quantities (and even then, I'd be inclined to suspect it's not the issue if you're only consuming it on weekends). I've even heard of people who say a drink (just one, not heaps) before bed helps them sleep - you could certainly try this, assuming you have no medical reasons to avoid alcohol altogether (and I'm assuming you don't since you say you drink on the weekend sometimes).

Not sure what the laws on it are like in your state, but if medicinal cannabis (or just outright walking into a store and buying some) is legal where you are, I'd definitely suggest giving that a go too. Just a small dose before you go to bed - take it about an hour beforehand if using edibles / drinks; while right before you go to bed is fine if smoking or vaping it. (Of course, smoking is bad for your health. Doing it once to see if this helps, should not do any long-term harm, but if you find it does help and want to do it regularly, it's worth looking into a solution other than smoking.) Speaking from experience on this one. ;)
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Re: kaywhyn's Blog
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2021, 06:19:17 AM »
Not sure what the laws on it are like in your state, but if medicinal cannabis (or just outright walking into a store and buying some) is legal where you are, I'd definitely suggest giving that a go too. Just a small dose before you go to bed - take it about an hour beforehand if using edibles / drinks; while right before you go to bed is fine if smoking or vaping it. (Of course, smoking is bad for your health. Doing it once to see if this helps, should not do any long-term harm, but if you find it does help and want to do it regularly, it's worth looking into a solution other than smoking.) Speaking from experience on this one. ;)

At first, I was amused that you, of all people, suggest cannabis to help with sleep. At the same time, I realized that you wouldn't had offered the suggestion if you weren't a cannabais user yourself. You also acknowledged that smoking isn't good for your health. Even if it doesn't cause any long-term harm by doing it once, I've already told you that the farthest I will go with drugs is drinking alcohol. Therefore, any kind of smoking, whether medicinal or for kicks, is out of the question for me :P

I will definitely try fighting the urge to nap during the day and seeing if that helps. I'll have to make sure that I sleep earlier at night, though. If it doesn't resolve my waking up in the middle of the night after an hour or so, I'll likely try getting myself checked up and seeing what the doctor recommends.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPMqwuqZ206rBWJrUC6wkrA - My YouTube channel and you can also find my playlists of Lemmings level packs that I have LPed
kaywhyn's blog: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=5363.0

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Re: kaywhyn's Blog
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2021, 05:11:53 AM »
Is your main issue trouble falling asleep, or waking up after a few hours? I mostly have experience with the former (though this night -- right now in fact as I'm writing this post -- I woke up randomly in the middle of the night, so maybe that's an indication what I'm writing might hold more generally considering I was working on something exciting the previous evening that kept occupying my mind).

I think the most important thing is having a somewhat consistent schedule and a wind down routine. I do take a 25 minute nap every day after lunch and often I manage to fall asleep within 2 minutes as its so consistent every day. Still I can sleep for a 9 hours per night if I want to. (So I don't think napping per se is an issue, but if you feel the need to nap, maybe fix a time and duration every day rather than doing it ad hoc when you're feeling tired/bored.) Now, falling asleep at night in the first place is trickier for me than after lunch as I'm less consistent in what I do before going to bed. If I can't fall asleep it's mostly because I'm excited about something and I can't get my mind off it. That's where a wind down routine should be helpful, as once you do it regularly you can just follow it without having to make a conscious decision to do it, and (if it's long enough) take your mind off whatever you were thinking about. That could e.g. be taking a shower, brushing your teeth, then reading a few pages of a book while in bed. Or maybe even watching an episode of some series (though some might advise against that).

I once took this self-guided course (https://www.sleepio.com/) when I had free access to it; while I don't want to unequivocally promote it, it seemed very sensible to me (and a good portion of what I'm writing is also suggested there).
Generally, it is advised to avoid screen time before going to bed. It doesn't seem strictly necessary to me (because I'm bad at it and often I still manage to fall asleep), but if you're having severe troubles it might be. A low effort variant (though the effectiveness is disputed) is to use some software (e.g. https://justgetflux.com/) to shift your screen to a more red tone in the evening, based on the claim that it's mostly the blue wavelengths that prevent you from sleeping.

Another thing suggested in the course was that you should unconsciously associate your bed with sleep, so don't use it for anything else (which might dispute my earlier suggestion of reading a book in bed, so you could do that in a comfy chair instead). But more importantly that also means if you don't manage to fall asleep, you should give up after a little while (say 15 minutes), do something else and then try again, lest you unconsciously start associating your bed with the struggle to fall asleep and all the bad thoughts that accompany that. (That's why I got up to write this post rather than stay in bed.)

Then of course there's going outside and/or having some physical exercise (remark: the course advises not to work out close before bed time), which quite obviously helps too. I remember when travelling and being out all day I could fall asleep at 9 pm no problem, and you've probably had a similar experience, reading your first post. :)

A colleague of mine has had sleeping issues of a similar severity as you describe (can't sleep more than 2 hrs a night). She improved on it by being very strict about cutting screen time after (I think) 7:30 pm or so, and as far as I understand having a very clear evening routine from then until bed time. It's tough and takes a lot of discipline (and I'm not nearly there myself, but then I have less incentive as my troubles aren't as severe), but in severe cases it might be what is needed?


Talking about drugs, as far as I'm aware the legal classification (and social perception) of drugs is mostly unscientific bogus that doesn't follow any clear criteria. So if you're fine with alcohol, you're already taking one of the more serious drugs with respect to e.g. associated health risks, and the line you draw isn't really much of a line along some spectrum. (That said, I've never taken any to help me with sleep, so I can't advise on that.)

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Re: kaywhyn's Blog
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2021, 02:33:45 AM »
Matthew Walker (scientist) on sleep: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwaWilO_Pig

for myself; when I get up early and/or work hard (physically or mentally) I usually get to sleep quickly and have a good night's rest, assuming I go to bed early or at a reasonable hour [I define reasonable hour as at least a couple of hours before midnight].
If I sleep in or don't do much during the day I have a much harder time getting to sleep.
Simply put; the more energy you expend, the more sleep you need. And visa versa. The only time this is really a problem is if you want to prepare for the next day by getting a lot of sleep and can't because you didn't do much the day before.

There are times (rarely these days, more so when I didn't have a job) when I didn't go anywhere or do much during the day and stayed up until 1-2 AM and got maybe 4 hours of sleep but felt fin the next day, and didn't do much that day either.
But if I went two days like that and tried to do a lot of physical or mental activity I'd likely have lots of problems.

I often wake up at least once per night, get up and go to the bathroom or drink some water. I usually go right back to sleep. Occasionally not returning to sleep or not getting to sleep in the first place I think is fairly common. If its like every single night then you should start looking into it.

Flux was a nice program but gave me a bad side-effect; stronger than usual hypnogogic hallucinations in bed.

A very powerful tool you might want to look into is meditation. If nothing else this could help you get to know how your body handles/deals with sleepiness better or exactly how sleepy/how much sleep you need.
If you're running on adrenaline/keyed up; meditating properly will release you from that spell and reveal how tired you really are. It could help you get to sleep if doing it before bed. But this is something that requires experimenting. I rarely meditate before bed, I usually do it in the morning or after work (afternoon). If you do I highly recommend "Shinzen Young"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUQFw2jNf7s

I used to lay in bed for an hour or more every night. Now I usually get to sleep within a half hour. But still it depends on a lot of factors.

Twice I've fallen asleep and began dreaming without losing consciousness. These were some of the weirdest experiences of my entire life. I wish it could happen again but I'm also too chicken to try it now. I believe its very possible to sleep deeply on demand and without losing awareness. Thought this is a feat few have achieved.
everything by me: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=5982.msg96035#msg96035

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First Covid Vaccine Dose Experience: March 10, 2021 (3/10/21)
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2021, 07:42:24 PM »
Has it really almost been 2 months since I last posted here? Well, time to revive it :crylaugh:

This post describes my experience with getting the first Covid vaccine dose. The state of California recently opened up more eligible groups for vaccination. The first group was anyone 65 years and older, or Tier 1A. It's now currently in Tier 1B, which means more groups of people are eligible to get vaccinated. These groups include healthcare workers, educators/teachers, etc. I'm a teacher myself, and hence I'm in the Tier 1B group.

However, the way the appointment system works is quite wack and chaotic. We were told that the Othena app is the way to sign up and register to get an appointment for the vaccine. It was especially bad in the first several weeks the app was released back in January of this year, as people were left wondering if they were even doing the process correctly or if the app kept bugging out and crashing and not working properly. The app developers promised a load of fixes but these didn't make it in until several weeks later with multiple updates. It's a lot better now, but even then I have not had any success with being able to book an appointment with the Othena app.

A couple of weeks later after the Othena app was released, MyTurn was made, which is a website that Californians can go to that allows you to register and get notified when you're eligible to get the vaccine. I did that, although the really strange thing is that I received a text message on my phone telling me that I successfully signed up on the site a week or so later. Even when teachers were now eligible to get vaccinated, when I go to sign into my Othena account or MyTurn, it would say that I'm not eligible for the vaccine yet. In short, this Covid vaccination appointment system is crap.

Eligibility for teachers was recently opened up about a week or so ago. Around that time, there was one phone number that I kept calling over and over but I never had any success in reaching anyone, as I would always get the message "I'm sorry. Nobody is available to take your call. Please try again later. Goodbye." This happened everytime after 2-3 minutes.

Then, I saw a FB post from a teacher friend of mine with another phone number to call, so I gave that a try. I had to wait on the phone for almost an hour, but I was able to talk to someone. I was told that appointments were available Wednesday - Friday of this week, and I decided to get the vaccine on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. So, I booked an appointment 6 days in advance.

On the day of my appointment two days ago (currently Friday, March 12, 2021 as of this writing), I arrive about 10 minutes ahead of my appointment time. On arrival, I was giving a slip to fill out my info to put on my dashboard. There was a security officer going around in the parking lot and will know which cars were here for the vaccine, as we were given a marker that was put on top of the car. Once parked, thus began the long wait to get the phone call telling me that I could come in for the vaccine. An hour after arriving, I get the phone call.

Once I get to the front of the building, I had to wait in line for another 25-30 minutes. When I did get to the front of the line, the workers were letting other people from a separate line in first, and I wondered what was up with that. I guess they were honoring those with medical/doctor appontments first. Altamed is a health provider. It was a really good thing that it wasn't raining at the time, since the line is outside, although it was windy and very chilly. It was also raining on the way to my appointment.

Once inside the building, I was given a short questionnaire to fill out that we give to the receptionist. This was another 5 minute wait. Once I get to the window, I gave the worker the questionnaire, and I was told to show my ID and proof of employment with my employer. These were my driver's license and substitute teacher badge, respectively. I guess it's fine even though I've been out of work for a little over a year due to the pandemic, as I still have my employee badge. I think all that's important is that the worker sees that I'm a worker in the eligibility group for vaccination. Also, I'm not insured with Altamed, but it doesn't matter, as getting vaccinated is free, and you can be insured with another provider and it'll still be fine.

After confirming everything, another 5 minute wait to get inside to the vaccination area. Very quick and painless. After getting the vaccine, I had to stay for another 15 minutes because they want to make sure you don't have an allergic reaction or anything to the vaccine. After the 15 minutes is up, my name was called. I come up and I was asked how I was feeling, to which I said I felt perfectly fine. With this, finally all done. This was a total of about 2.5 - 3 hours.

Just minutes before receiving the vaccine, I was warned that I may feel sore after getting the shot. Indeed, almost 24 hours after being vaccinated, on the morning of my birthday around this time yesterday, I woke up with my arm sore. It was nearly like the experience of coming back to work out at the gym for the first time in a very long time (gyms are still currently closed down and has been since November of last year). As of now, fortunately my arm is not sore anymore. I was more worried about getting fever-like symptoms, but luckily I didn't get any of that. So, I guess the soreness took me by complete surprise even though I was technically warned of it ahead of time by the staff.

I come back for my second dose on April 7, 2021. I received the Moderna dose, which is 4 weeks instead of 3, like it is with the Pfizer dose.


Regarding the sleep problem, I appreciate the responses, Dullstar, geo, and mobius. I'm still having the problem of waking up after about an hour or 2 every night, although I think there were a couple of times where I got 4 hours in before waking up. This is an improvement, but definitely not that much better than getting through the entire night without waking. Guess my body is accustomed to being at home since I've been out of work for so long. Not to mention that I haven't been able to expend more energy by doing physical workouts due to the gym still being closed.

Is your main issue trouble falling asleep, or waking up after a few hours?

The latter. Since it's still an ongoing thing, I definitely should go get it checked out. At the same time, I haven't really done anything to make me extremely tired throughout the day, such as a vigorous workout or anything, as I haven't been out anywhere in weeks. 

Quote
Talking about drugs, as far as I'm aware the legal classification (and social perception) of drugs is mostly unscientific bogus that doesn't follow any clear criteria. So if you're fine with alcohol, you're already taking one of the more serious drugs with respect to e.g. associated health risks, and the line you draw isn't really much of a line along some spectrum. (That said, I've never taken any to help me with sleep, so I can't advise on that.)

You're right, of course, since I'm still doing drugs by drinking alcohol, although I do it in small to moderate amounts. Plus I only do it at home and probably about once a week with my father, where it's generally over a nice evening talk with each other. Fortunately, I'm also a heavyweight when it comes to drinking, as I have quite a high tolerance and don't get inebriated easily :crylaugh:     
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPMqwuqZ206rBWJrUC6wkrA - My YouTube channel and you can also find my playlists of Lemmings level packs that I have LPed
kaywhyn's blog: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=5363.0

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12-31-21 - The Year 2021 In Reivew
« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2022, 07:22:10 AM »
As is typical with me on New Year's Eve, I generally do one giant post reflecting back on the year in the final hours before ringing in the new year. So, let's see, where to start? With respect to Lemmings Forums activity throughout 2021, a lot of it was spent LPing various level packs. I find it very hard to believe that I've been LPing for the past 14 months! This year alone, I managed to complete 24/25 LPs of level packs, though one of them was started last year and was the first LP done at the start of this year, SEB Lems for New Formats. This is probably way more and beyond than what the typical average person can solve in an entire year. I guess a large part of it is how I've been willing to LP packs of any difficulty, with the exception of packs that I solved or played too much of it long before I made the personal decision to get into LPing. Not to mention that I was not working for much of 2021, meaning I had a lot of time to LP during all of that. The speed at which I got through LPs slowed considerably once I did start working at the end of September, but it seemed that I still managed to keep a steady pace with them and pump out videos at a higher than usual rate :P

My Youtube channel doesn't just have playlists of LPs of level packs. I also LPed LDC (Lemmings Design Contest) levels, as well as did some "level solving commentary video series" on a few packs, which are just a series where I show off my solutions via loading the replay for the level, and explain the solution and what my thought processes were while I was solving them. For the latter, I've done 3 4 such series: one on Lemmings Open Air, one on Lemmings Reunion, one on Lemmings Stampede (New Formats), and finally one on Gigalem's Resident Gigalems ghost pack (this last one I just remembered, I'm a dummy, I can't even remember what packs I did this series on :XD:). This actually first started with one I did on Lemmings United, and as that has proven to be a huge success with Icho, I decided to do some more such series on select packs that I especially like, such as the ones I listed. The one I did on Lemmings Reunion was also a big hit with Icho, and I know that pack authors love it when they see something done with their level packs via video.

All the links to my LPs of level packs can be found here: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=5180.msg86787#msg86787

Additionally, all the playlists on various Lemmings level packs on my Youtube channel can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/user/kaywhyn/playlists.

Consider subbing to my channel if you like what you see ;) On that note, thank you to all the LF members here who are already on my Youtube followers/subs list :)

Regarding my YT, I believe when I finally started uploading videos to my channel near the end of last year, according to analytics I had 15 subs at the start of 2021, and by the end of the year it now stands at 34. I honestly have no idea how that happened all in the span of a year. Must be all those LPs I've done :laugh: Once again, I must emphasize that no one asked if I ever considered getting into LPing. Instead, I made the personal decision to get into it, as I thought it would be fun. It all started when I got the idea of doing a video series on Icho's Lemmings United, and from that point on I thought I try LPing out. Indeed, ever since I got into it, it has proven to be so much fun for me, and I still enjoy doing them to this day, all for you ladies' and gents' viewing pleasure. Needless to say, I guess I kind of became a full-time Youtuber/LPer during much of 2021 when I wasn't working, though since I kind of cemented myself with it and due to the huge positive reception they've been receiving, I will continue to do more of them in 2022, so stay tuned and be on the lookout for them! :)

2021 also marked the year that I made my Lemmings level making debut, because LDC #22 was the very first one I participated both as a level designer and level solver. I was busying LPing SEB Lems at the time, but I managed to get it done early enough to start making levels and submit/PM them before the submission phase deadline. As you may or may not remember, the very first Lemmings level I have ever made is my R1 "Bubble Trouble" (level attached). Most were kind enough to tell me that this level still proved to be difficult for some, but this one proved to be a hit with the community, where in the grouping it was in, it was the second most popular level, after rtw's "Warmth." It didn't advance any further than the rule voteoffs, but I was still pleasantly surprised to see the very first level I have ever made get past one round of voting. My R2 also made it past the rule voteoff, although IIRC it was saved by tying with at least a few others for 3rd most amount of votes in order to advance.

I later found out that for my R1 there's a level with the same title in Deceit's Lemmings, though it was more that I completely have forgotten that, as I had already played through the entire pack years before I LPed it earlier this year.

I have participated and made levels for the next 2 contests as well, and I believe I have had only a level in each one make it past the first round of voting. For LDC #23, honestly I was surprised my R3 was the most popular of my 3 levels in that one. I think I can understand why that wasn't the case for my R1 and R2, with the former being backrouted so many times and resulting in somewhat of a visual mess, while the latter it was simply a huge cluttered visual mess. Finally, for LDC #24, since my level has already been eliminated, I can go ahead and talk about it a bit. Another one of my R1's proved to be the most popular, but unlike LDC #22, my R1 was the most popular in the rule voteoff, having edged out the second most popular level by just 1 vote. In a way, I kind of had a feeling it would do well, especially since it's one that I'm most proud of out of all levels I have ever made, but I didn't think it would do THAT well! So once again, it was a pleasant surprise to see it do well, even if just for a round of voting.

Just to let everyone know, though I'm sure you all know already anyway, I still prefer to solve levels than make them, but let me just put it out there: I haven't exactly ruled it out, but a future level pack from me is still a possibility ;) If it does come to fruition, don't expect me to go easy on the difficulty :P Before I got into level designing, I always had this thought that I was no good at making hard levels, but I've been proven wrong by the contest levels I have made. Granted, they're not quite at Icho, Armani, and Nepster difficulty, but apparently still up there in difficulty. I may or may not ever reach their level of difficulty, but I'm probably not leagues away either. For the time being, I'll say that I'm still far from reaching it.

Other accomplishments of mine on the Lemmings front in 2021 include two Superlemmini conversions, Deceit's Lemmings and Oskar's PSP Lemmings, as well as a conversion of builletride's Lemmings Stampede to New Formats NL.

On the non-Lemmings front, 2021 also saw me getting into other games that I haven't played in a while. Before this, I had played nothing but Lemmings daily for the past 10 months or so. Yea, I know, that's way too excessive, and I would certainly understand not playing it for that long and getting into other games in the meantime :XD:

The first such instance was when I got stuck bad on a particular Rapture level in SEB Lems at the beginning of the year. I got back into Age of Empires at the time, though in my case I had bought the Definitive Edition a while back but haven't played it since purchasing it. It was great to play a game that I've known from childhood again despite how I was not so good at it (and I'm still not, but I kept using cheat codes back then :laugh:). I also played it on the hardest difficulty, which likely sped up my return to Lemmings after only about a week because of how very frustrating and brutal the AI was, as well as how there was a very bad bug where units constantly got stuck on one another and it was a huge pain to get them freed. I haven't returned to the game since, and I'm not sure if I will due to the bad bugs.

The next time was when I got stuck in the second rank of LemRunner, but this one was a major break from the game of Lemmings. For about 1-1.5 months, I played through the Blizzard games I grew up with. In particular, I played through Starcraft and its expansion, as well as all the Starcraft 2 games. Only single-player though, as I'm not much into multi-player. Others include Warcraft 3 and its expansion, and Diablo 2's expansion. After playing through these, I returned to the Lemmings level I got stuck on and was able to get myself unblocked. I went on to smash through the rest of the pack in about 1-1.5 weeks.

It's also been fun bonding and playing JB with various members on Discord throughout 2021. I joined every session when they took place, and I must say they really helped me become more comfortable with this community, especially since I'm not much of a chatter on social media. Though I'm not too good at and didn't win many of the games, I still had a lot of fun, and I will take the few victories I did manage to snag up with pride, but winning isn't the most important to me. Yes, I tend to be competitive, but the most important thing was just having fun regardless of the outcome.

Otherwise, not much went on with me in 2021, especially since we were stuck in lockdown due to Covid. Thus, I wasn't out much or working for most of 2021. Generally, the only time I was out was just to work out at my local gym. Otherwise, I was at home taking care of my folks.

I got my first Covid shot the day before my birthday, and the second shot 1 month after (because Moderna is 1 month between shots). The first one fortunately didn't give me any bad side effects than the injection site being very sore. The second shot had me feel very dizzy and light-headed and very bad cold chills in the arms/legs. My booster shot also gave me the same thing, though I was fortunate to have gotten it shortly after I became eligible to get it due to how I'm in a field (educator) that is considered high-at-risk to exposure. I received it near the end of October. So, I'm fully vaxed + booster for the winter season, though I got the flu shot a few weeks before getting the booster.

From January to around May/June, I was still collecting unemployment benefits. It wasn't as much as when I was collecting them for 2020, but it was still more than enough to get me by until I could find a job again. After I exhausted my benefits, I wasn't collecting any for about 3 months, which is pretty much the same situation when I'm not working during the summer months because teachers get those off, save for meetings and what not. I finally returned to the workforce at the end of September after 1.5 years of being shut out of a job, all thanks to my cousin who is friends with a teacher, who was desperately searching for a Vietnamese teacher. She thought of me, as she remembers that I work in the education field, and hence she got me in touch with her teacher friend. I was told what I needed to do to apply, and after submitting the application, the next day I got the email that I was accepted into the subbing position. However, it was about another few weeks before I would start working due to paperwork and not being able to get a doctor's appointment to get a physical and get a form signed by my physician.

It was quite a good feeling to be working again, as I'm one of those who would rather be at work than be stuck at home not working a job. From the time I first started working again, I went on to work every day up until my winter break, which started almost two weeks ago and will be ending in a few days. It felt wonderful to be getting and seeing actual paychecks in my bank account on payday :) During the 1.5 years I wasn't working, I was quite miserable. Yes, I was collecting unemployment during much of that time, but honestly there's no satisfaction in that vs making actual income. My parents know how hardworking I am, so they understood my misery of not working a job.

So yes, I believe I covered everything for all of 2021, so that's pretty much a review of my 2021 for you all. 40 minutes to go before I leave 2021 behind and ring in 2022. With this, I will see you all around the Forums and Discord in 2022! :) I've almost been posting publicly to the site for two years, but I want to thank everyone here for being quite a welcoming and supportive group. It's been great getting to know each of you, and I hope that continues for years to come, both old and newcomers.     
« Last Edit: January 02, 2022, 04:54:15 AM by kaywhyn »
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPMqwuqZ206rBWJrUC6wkrA - My YouTube channel and you can also find my playlists of Lemmings level packs that I have LPed
kaywhyn's blog: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=5363.0

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kaywhyn's Blog - Special Video for Lemmings Forums (January 2, 2023)
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2023, 10:23:52 AM »
Hi,

Did I really go the entire year of 2022, let alone a year and a day, without posting anything here? Wow, not good :( I wonder why I even made this topic then if I'm not going to be maintaining any such blog of my own and posting to it from time to time.

Anyway, I'm just posting to share a video that I made specifically to say thanks to the Lemmings Forums:

Kaywhyn's Special Thanks to the Lemmings Forums Video and Shoutouts to Various Members of the Site.

As for the shoutouts, you'll just have to watch it to see if you got one from me :P After I finished recording, there were some members who I indeed forgot to individually make a shoutout to, so I apologize for that, but let's say that the general shoutout to the Lemmings Forums that I did before the individual shoutouts in the video means all of you who are members of this site are included and credited :)

I had originally planned it to be an end of 2022 special video after I finished my planned LP before the end of 2022, which is RotL v4.0 for New Formats NL. I almost succeeded, but I unfortunately fell short due to the final level, which I wasn't able to solve before New Year's Eve ended :( So much for that. Oh well. So, just so I don't forget later and while it was still New Year's Day at my location and not so many days after it, I wanted to at least get this video recorded. Yes, some shoutouts were missed, but to be honest I was recording when I've been quite sleep deprived and haven't been going on much sleep the last several weeks. Not to mention that I didn't have anything to go by, such as anything written down on paper and simply if and when I could remember names. Yea, the video's more disorganized than it needs to be, but honestly I was too lazy to write some names down as a reminder for myself. Too many names, let's say :laugh:

Anyway, hope you all enjoy it, and just know that I'm very happy to be part of a community full of awesome members who, like me, shares their love for this awesome puzzle game that was released back in 1991. It's been great being able to discuss Lemmings, or anything for that matter, and getting to know all of you during my time here. Later this year will be my 6th year as a registered member (wow, I can't believe it's been that long already!). Honestly, sometimes I feel I haven't done or contributed much ever since I started posting publicly to the site back in 2020, but it seems that my LPs and feedback, both audio and written, are far more than enough. Of course, I've done a bit more than just feedback to level pack authors/designers, but the feedback seems to be my biggest contribution :laugh: I'm happy to hear from many authors it's been very helpful even if they're quite a handful to read due to how I'm very detail-oriented! :thumbsup:

Here's to 2023 and that it'll be a much better year than the crap we've been through in the last 3 years due to the covid pandemic which is still going on and other changes we needed to adapt to. Keep being the awesome people you all are! :thumbsup:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPMqwuqZ206rBWJrUC6wkrA - My YouTube channel and you can also find my playlists of Lemmings level packs that I have LPed
kaywhyn's blog: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=5363.0

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Re: kaywhyn's Blog
« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2023, 03:08:49 AM »
wow amazing job completing (or nearly completing) such an immense pack in such a short amount of time! Far more than I can do that's for sure.

Did you manage to solve the last level after all?
everything by me: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=5982.msg96035#msg96035

"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."
-Hakuin Ekaku

"I have seen a heap of trouble in my life, and most of it has never come to pass" - Mark Twain


Online kaywhyn

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Re: kaywhyn's Blog
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2023, 05:51:55 AM »
wow amazing job completing (or nearly completing) such an immense pack in such a short amount of time! Far more than I can do that's for sure.

Did you manage to solve the last level after all?

Thanks for the kind words, mobius! :thumbsup: I've been busy with family from out of state/abroad visiting this week the day before and was out all day yesterday, and so I haven't had much of a chance to revisit the final level lately and see if I can get it solved. Hopefully I'll be able to in about an hour or so. I feel I'm on the right track, it's likely just fine-tuning some tiny details to make it a working solution. I've played the level before, from Turrican's Remix Pack for SuperLemmini, but I was able to backroute it there thanks to a tiny crucial difference with the digger mechanic between SL and NL. I've only seen the solution to it for SL back when I played through Turrican's pack, but even though I've already seen the solution for the SL version, I don't quite recall every detail of it, as that was several months ago, and I would like to avoid spoiling myself by taking a look at it again. I certainly will not be viewing the NL replay until I get the level solved, though it wouldn't surprise me if the solutions to the level on both engines are the same.

That being said, interesting choice to end the pack on a geoo level, even if it's nowhere near the hardest of the pack :laugh:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPMqwuqZ206rBWJrUC6wkrA - My YouTube channel and you can also find my playlists of Lemmings level packs that I have LPed
kaywhyn's blog: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=5363.0

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Re: kaywhyn's Blog
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2023, 06:34:57 AM »
Hey this is actually great shoutout video :thumbsup:
Thanks for mentioning me in this video. :laugh:
I think what I've done isn't much comapred to other people, but it's still very nice to hear all these kind words. :thumbsup:
Also thanks for all your passion for this forum and the game.
We all are keeping this epic game alive and in that regard you are among the top in my mind. :laugh:

I'm probably going to get more time to have fun with this game in 2023. :laugh:
Well I always have been meaning to do so but i got around to it recently.
I rather prefer to make instead of solve levels but hopefully I can find more time to play some packs :laugh:
My newest Neolemmix level pack : Lemmings Halloween 2023 :D 8-)

About Armani: Armani's Blog
My NL level packs(in chronological order):
  Lemmings Uncharted [Medium~Extreme]
  Xmas Lemmings 2021 [Easy~Very Hard]
  Lemmings Halloween 2023 [Easy-Very Hard]

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Re: kaywhyn's Blog
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2023, 11:53:28 PM »
Hey this is actually great shoutout video :thumbsup:
Thanks for mentioning me in this video. :laugh:
I think what I've done isn't much comapred to other people, but it's still very nice to hear all these kind words. :thumbsup:

You're welcome :)

Quote
Also thanks for all your passion for this forum and the game.
We all are keeping this epic game alive and in that regard you are among the top in my mind. :laugh:

Wow, I'm pleasantly surprised to read this from you! :thumbsup: I personally haven't done that much either in the time I've been active on the Forums, except for maybe I'm likely known as "that guy who gives so much detailed feedback on nearly every level." :laugh: Also, I don't think I come anywhere near both you and Icho and a few others in terms of solving ability, but well, if you and the community think I'm up there, then I can't argue with the group opinion on that. I still find it pretty funny that most consider me up there as one of the greatest solvers of the game, though, when I myself get stumped by levels all the time :laugh:

Same with level designing. I don't think I'll ever top either of you, or anyone for that matter, in terms of making my content look pretty, considering that I've never been an artist, and I still am not :laugh: However, once again I've been told by you and others that my visuals are slowly improving over time :thumbsup:

Quote
I rather prefer to make instead of solve levels but hopefully I can find more time to play some packs :laugh:

I'm the complete opposite as you know, but now that I've been doing level designing for several contests now, the more I've actually come to enjoy it :D Who knows, a future level pack by me is still a possibility ;)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPMqwuqZ206rBWJrUC6wkrA - My YouTube channel and you can also find my playlists of Lemmings level packs that I have LPed
kaywhyn's blog: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=5363.0

Online kaywhyn

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Yea, I definitely need to post more in this topic of mine, otherwise why did I even do it :XD:

Today's topic of discussion: The infamous (at least to me) and currently my biggest nemesis in the Lemmings scene, the level Black Hole 1 - "Thin Layers" from Nepsterlems (level image below). I would post in the level pack topic itself, but I do not want to clog up Nepster's topic that isn't my own. That's what my own topics like kaywhyn's blog are for :P



Black Hole 1 - Thin Layers. 1-of-everything skillset in the classic 8 skills. Save 7/10

As you may or may not be aware, so far I've been able to completely solve all level packs that I've played, some of which are the hardest ones currently available (I have played so many in the last several years), including Lemmings United, Lemmings Uncharted, Lemmings Plus Omega 2, and Lemmings Plus Alpha. Yes, I've even finally recently finished Revenge of the Lemmings v4.0 for New Formats, even though it was left incomplete due to being stuck on the final level there for 4 months. Except for a few vague hints for a few United levels (thanks again Icho for not giving any of the solution away! :thumbsup:), I've been able to solve these packs without hints, and I intend to do so for every level pack I play.

This pretty much means the only really hard level pack that I have yet to finish is Nepsterlems, all courtesy of one level that I've been stuck on for almost 3 years now, Black Hole 1. From discussions I remember from Discord, Icho really had to convince Nepster to move this level to the Black Hole rank, as I believe previously it was either in the Sun or the Neutron Star rank (3rd to last and 2nd to last rank, respectively, of Nepsterlems). The reason being of course that the level is just too hard for even those two ranks. Granted, there have been plenty of really hard levels before this one, but they aren't anything like Black Hole 1. The skillset is 1-of-everything in the classic 8 skills, as the pack only uses the classic 8.

I know what you're thinking. How is it possible that kaywhyn has been able to solve all the other really hard packs except for Nepsterlems? Well, even though I have yet to play any other level in the Black Hole rank, the thing is I'm certain I be able to complete the rest of the level pack after I get Black Hole 1 solved. I don't doubt that at all, but as I don't like skipping around, that's why I haven't made any further progress ever since I reached Black Hole 1 from way back in 2020.

I've been trying to take onboard some of the tips that I've received on Discord from Icho and Armani for Black Hole 1, such as mapping out where the lemmings are able to go in the level, as well as think about why the save requirement is the way it is. Indeed, I can only see the climber being able to traverse the left side of the level by himself and going all the way to the top of the level that would enable him to die to the deadly ceiling, while the rest of the crowd appears to need to go up the right side. However, all of these are things that I've been stuck on for a while, and all these possibilities I can think of and keep being stuck on keeps leaving me a destructive skill short. I've found a possibility where to get around the at least 5 obstacles in the way, I just haven't found a way to do so or am not sure if it even is possible to get it to work.

Of course, this isn't a call from me to get hints on this level in any way, as I don't intend for this level to beat me! Just a rant because of how this level is really driving me up the wall as I'm nearing almost 3 years being stuck on this level. I've been coming back to this level a lot in the last several days/weeks, hoping I'll finally see something that would help me clear the level, but alas still no dice. For a somewhat very minimal layout, it really doesn't look that hard of a level, but it is! Ugh! >:( I really want to see the rest of the pack, but because I don't skip around, I won't be able to until I get Black Hole 1 solved :(
« Last Edit: May 08, 2023, 11:50:48 PM by kaywhyn »
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPMqwuqZ206rBWJrUC6wkrA - My YouTube channel and you can also find my playlists of Lemmings level packs that I have LPed
kaywhyn's blog: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=5363.0

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Re: kaywhyn's Blog: 5/26/23 - NepsterLems 100% Solved After 3 Years
« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2023, 11:26:34 AM »
In case you haven't heard, at the very end of April I was finally able to get the final level of Revenge of the Lemmings for New Formats NL solved after being stuck on it for 4 months. geoo's Stroke At Retirement Age is a very worthy level to finish off the pack despite it not being anywhere near the hardest level of the pack, though it's certainly one of the hardest.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

However, that's not the greatest news. About a few weeks after finishing up RotL for New Formats NL, earlier this month, I was finally able to get Black Hole 1 solved from NepsterLems last week on Tuesday (May 16, 2023, level image in above post). I proceeded to solve the rest of the level pack in just two days after that. So, it might had taken me 3 years, but I finally have solved all of NepsterLems :thumbsup:

As for BH1 itself, there is a spoiler contained which shows the part I missed in the nearly 3 years I was stuck on this level circled in red, so don't open if you plan to play the level yourself! I seriously can't believe I didn't see that critical spot in the almost 3 years the level stumped me :forehead:

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

After announcing on the Discord that I finally solved all of NepsterLems after 3 years, I received messages of congratulations from several of the Forums members. I have copied/pasted them here.

kieranmillar — 05/18/2023 2:01 PM
Well done! Your dedication, persistence, and also discipline in not looking up a solution in 3 years, is very impressive.

Will — 05/18/2023 5:16 PM
@kaywhyn Congratulations on solving Nepsterlems!

SQron — 05/19/2023 3:17 AM
@kaywhyn You solved all the Nepsterlems levels? That is an achievement not to be underestimated!

Pooty — 05/19/2023 4:27 AM
That must feel so damn good. (Referring to how I said that I have solved all the really hard level packs, such as Lemmings United, Lemmings Plus Omega 2, Lemmings Plus Alpha, and finally NepsterLems)

Armani — 05/20/2023 12:09 AM
Hey congratulation for finishing the pack!   You escaped the nightmare of blackholes and no lemmings level can stop you now!

Then there's this from me:

it might have taken 3 years, but nepsterlems is finally all solved!

The message of mine above received a lem:thumbsup reaction from mobius, kieran, and armani.

Therefore, thank you to mobius, kieran, armani, WillLem, SQRon188, and Pooty for their congratulations :thumbsup: However, somehow I don't feel all 100% happy about this achievement, and I don't know why. It might likely be due to how I was stuck on BH1 for almost 3 years, when everyone else who had solved the level needed at most only 1-2 hours. Not me apparently. I needed almost 3 years! :(

Thus, this kind of made me wondered why I received all these congratulations and whether I truly deserved them. Was it because of the fact it took me 3 years to solve all of the level pack? The fact it's one of the hardest packs? Maybe both? Don't get me wrong, I'm very thankful and grateful to those who showered me with praise on my achievement of solving all of the pack. Maybe how I'm not completely happy about it is just simply another case of me being too hard on myself. I did, after all, solve all of a really hard pack that not many would be able to. And I did it all without hints too! Yes, that includes BH1 even though I got very desperate and nearly wanted to throw in the towel several times. Nevertheless, I held back, and I especially would never ever forgive myself if I did look up a spoiler for the level, especially one that is in only the classic 8 skills.

I'll be honest, and that is it was really kieran who gave me the push to get BH1 solved, as he was the most recent one to solve it after I posted my rant about the level (the post immediately above this one) in this topic. By this, I mean the frequency I kept coming back to the level hoping I would finally see something that would help me get the level solved increased significantly. So, thank you kieran for giving me the motivation there! I assured him there was no need for his apology that he got the level solved before me, as there's bound to be levels like that that just stump me far longer than they should. BH1 happened to be one of them, all due to my "blindness" and failure to see anything else besides the ways that I kept being stuck on and trying to make work.

Needless to say, know that it's no one's fault I feel this way, as there are times when I feel and get all down about myself and wonder why I'm not good enough. However, sometimes I just need a reminder from others that I am worth it and am not completely worthless. 
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPMqwuqZ206rBWJrUC6wkrA - My YouTube channel and you can also find my playlists of Lemmings level packs that I have LPed
kaywhyn's blog: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=5363.0

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Re: kaywhyn's Blog: 6/8/24 - Sajak's Retirement as Wheel of Fortune Host
« Reply #25 on: June 09, 2024, 05:33:52 AM »
Back near the end of 2020, I blogged about Jeopardy host Alex Trebek and his untimely passing to pancreatic cancer:

https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=5363.msg89374#msg89374

This post will be about Pat Sajak and his recent retirement from hosting duties. For those who aren't aware, Pat Sajak is known as being the host of the American game show Wheel of Fortune. This game is essentially like Hangman but with some cash and other prizes and goodies thrown in. In this game, 3 contestants are pitted against each other as indicated by colors: red, yellow, and blue. They spin a wheel with various slots and call out a letter they think might be in the puzzle. Vanna White, the co-host of Wheel of Fortune, reveals those letters on any squares that are highlighted. In earlier seasons of the show, Vanna White would physically turn them over to reveal the letters, but in later versions the squares simply turn blue, and I believe what happens here is that she just touches the bottom right corner of it to reveal the letters, or maybe all that's needed is just for her hand to be close by to the square for them to be revealed. I think it's been the latter for a long time.

The contestant with the most money at the end of the show does a final round where first any instances of R, S, T, L, N, and E are revealed before Sajak needs the contestant to give 3 more consonants and a vowel. After that, the contestant has 10 seconds to guess what they think the puzzle is with any of the letters that were revealed. If they succeed, they get whatever prize was revealed with the card that got selected. They range from prizes like extra money, a trip to another country, etc. If they don't succeed, then they don't get the prize that is opened behind the letter card that got selected.

There's a bit more than what I described above regarding the show, but you can always read about the game show on Wikipedia. Of course, if you've seen the show, then you likely already know how it works in general ;)

Anyway, yesterday was Sajak's final Wheel of Fortune episode as host. In contrast to Alex Trebek's final Jeopardy episode as host before his death, I didn't get to watch the episode, as I was out with my dad when the episode was on TV. I did however watch some Youtube videos on his retirement. Not sure where I can watch the actual episode itself, though.

Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune were the two game shows I watched a lot as a kid, though the latter more than the former due to being too young and not really understanding how Jeopardy worked. This continued for some time until I lost interest and didn't really watch either one as I was growing up. My revived interest in Jeopardy came back the summer of 2004, before my sophomore year of high school, when Ken Jennings was in the midst of his amazing mega winning streak on Jeopardy. This was the first season in which the 5-day win limit was removed and contestants can now keep winning indefinitely. Before Jennings, Tom Walsh was the first contestant to win more than 5 games after the limit was removed, 7 I believe. From that point on, I pretty much watched Jeopardy daily for about the next 19 years or so, while not really watching Wheel of Fortune at all.

As for why I haven't been watching Jeopardy for the last several months, I honestly think I simply lost interest. Ironic, considering that Jennings is like my trivia idol and therefore you would think that I would keep watching because he's now permanent host of Jeopardy. I'm still a fan of trivia, but perhaps another thing that factors in is just how Jennings was pretty much point on in his first episode as host, where he states that "no one can really replace Trebek." I have to agree with him there. It definitely was a pretty rude awakening to all of a sudden watch Jeopardy without Trebek as host, something that I very used to for the last several years when he was and I tuned into the show daily. Kind of reminds me of Simpsons, where I did watch it daily for years until I finally lost interest in it near the end of high school, I believe. Still, it surprises me that it's still going. The show is pretty much my age!

Well, to Sajak, happy retirement and best of luck with your future endeavors! At least we got to see him retire, which the same unfortunately can't be said about Trebek, as he ended up passing before he could. Sajak did need to get surgery about a year or two before he retired yesterday, but he made it through that. Also, I haven't yet read up on why he decided to retire, so I'll need to get on that! :laugh:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPMqwuqZ206rBWJrUC6wkrA - My YouTube channel and you can also find my playlists of Lemmings level packs that I have LPed
kaywhyn's blog: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=5363.0