Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Me Not Healthy: Always Tired (Part 4)

This is a continuation of my quest to figure out why I've been constantly tired for the last few years. If you're new and not sure what's going on, here's part 1, part 2 and part 3.

This must be a pain to read from the beginning.

So I finally get to see this specialist. I fill out a few forms and as the guy is looking through the papers he stops and goes, "That's interesting, you grind your teeth at night? That might explain a few things".

Remember how I mentioned how one of the potential causes for my sleep apnea could be my jaw causing my throat to close up? Turns out, grinding your teeth at night is sometimes your body's way of forcing your jaw off so you can breathe again.

I get to chose between breathing or maintaining my awesome smile.

I've had the teeth grinding problem for (surprise surprise) years as well. I got a mouth guard to wear at night so I don't destroy my teeth in my sleep. So the next step is to go get a specially made mouth guard that not only prevents the teeth grinding BUT also stops my jaw from crushing things.

Oh! And you know what else the specialist told me? "You might have a special case for sleep apnea. We only see this kind of thing in tall and thin Asian males".



I also wonder what other surprises my genes have in store for me.

Unfortunately, I guess the earliest I can see the orthodontics guy is in February. Which means there won't be an update to this until then.

In the meantime, I'll be using my Abnormal Psychology's professor's audio lectures to help me fall asleep.

If his voice can make me sleep in class, it can make me fall asleep anywhere.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Blogging Tips

A lot of people were surprised in my last post that I have managed to make any form of profit off my blog, especially seeing how my blog is still relatively new. I mean, this thing isn't even 4 months old and I've already made enough in that time span to cash out. I must be doing something right.

I deserve a gold star!

So here are four things that I've done that I think have helped my blog be marginally successful, maybe they'll help some of you too?

Regular posting schedules
    This is probably one of the biggest issues I've seen with a lot of blogs. Inconsistent posting and giant unannounced hiatuses. People generally don't like that and are less likely to visit. Find a schedule that works for you, and stick with it. If you can post everyday like Mark, good for you. If you can only post once a week, that's good too, just be consistent.

    And don't feel bad if you think you need to tweek things. I used to post every other day but when I realized I couldn't keep it up I changed to every third day. No big deal. And when things get hectic I'm prepared. I have posts made in advanced (usually things like Youtube videos)

    Like so.

    Content of Posts

    Ok, so you're posting regularly, that's good. Content of your posts is important too. And by that I mean watch what you say.

    Nothing offensive, try to be as neutral as possible, pretend that you're in front of a bunch of impressionable 5 year olds or this is the first time meeting the parents of your significant other. This isn't because "Oh no, a follower might get offended and stop reading my blog" this is because the banhammer of certain privileges strikes hard and fast.

    And the Google Overlords are always watching...

    Better safe than sorry.


    Unless your blog is amazing and goes viral in a few days you're going to have to work at getting followers and comments. People visiting your blog is key to making any financial gains and often the fastest way to do this for a new blog is other bloggers.

    The easiest way is to find a blog that's already successful and then comment on their blog. And then you go down the list and comment on everyone that's commented on that blog. And then you keep going until you think you've hit enough blogs. I started out with D4's blog actually and eventually that led to all of your blogs.

    Small world.

    Afterwards I only come back if you return the favor. This helps me determine whose blog is still alive and if you actually read my comment. Because I do try my best to say something that isn't "LOLOL GOOD POST".

    New Followers

    Alright, so now you have your following. You get a fair number of comments on your blog but eventually you notice that your view counts are dropping and you're getting less comments despite commenting back on all the blogs you've found above.

    People are going to stop blogging for whatever reason and that means less views for you. You're going to need new followers if you want to keep people coming to your blog. It's a simple but vital step I've seen a lot of people neglect.

    It's as simple as going to a recent post, going through the comments, and commenting on all the blogs that have commented on your commenters. I generally like to clear my history and cookies before I do this, allows me to start fresh and as I go along, the blogs I've visited will be marked.

    I've come across a lot of "interesting" blogs in the past.

    Hope this helps. This is what I've done and it's worked for me. Hope it answers some questions but if it didn't, ask in a comment and I'll respond as soon as possible.

      Thursday, 24 November 2011

      Early Christmas Shopping

      With about a month left until Christmas most people begin to start shopping (and panicking) right about now if not later. Me? I started shopping back in October. Thanks to the glory of being able to order things online I can just buy and forget, receiving a package in the mail a few weeks later.

      Makes me wonder why more people don't do this.

      For my girlfriend I've got things still on their way. There are rumors that Problem Sleuth Volume 3 and Homestuck Volume 1 are coming out near the end of the month so I'm hoping to order both for my sister. Anyone else read the Inheritance series? The 4th book came out so I grabbed that for my Mom and my brother wants computer parts so I'll get those whenever.

      For a lot of friends it's as easy as going onto Steam during a Steam sale and buying things to gift to them later. No seriously, I just bought Portal 1 and 2 for less than $12 yesterday and I'm just waiting for other games to go on sale for other friends. I also bought a ton of Minecraft giftcodes to give away just before the game came out of Beta.

      That was easy.

      But there are two people I'm having trouble thinking of gifts for. My Dad and my cousin. Mom should be on this list too but I lucked out this year with the book. Dad is hard to buy for because I sadly don't know my Dad that well. We're both usually busy, we don't have a lot in common, etc. etc..

      I know he likes chocolates and I've heard that some of the best places to get chocolates are from online stores. Unfortunately, I have no idea where that particular issue of Consumer Reports has disappeared to so I'll keep hunting.

      The cousin is also someone I don't really talk to as much. I guess I could just get him a random PS3 game or One Piece related (are there any One Piece games for the PS3?). I already have something in mind for his brother so that makes me look bad if I don't get both of them gifts.

      Why couldn't he have a Steam account instead of a PS3...

      But I still have one month left so I'm not panicking too hard. This blog is actually helping to pay for some of the gifts so I'm grateful for that. Never thought I could ever successfully make money off what is largely considered online leisure activity.

      Never been more glad to be wrong.

      Monday, 21 November 2011

      Where I'm at Now

      Long time readers will know I started this blog way back in August because I had no idea what I was doing with myself or my degree. And to be honest, I still don't really have a clear idea of what I'm going to do.

      Remember when I tried to get a job? Yeah, that didn't work out too well. So much for delaying things for another year to buy me more time to figure out what to do. So, clearly the smart thing to do would be to try and find another job right away at the first opportunity.


      Hear me out. See, there's a Psychology Internship program that my University offers that would be awesome if I could get in. For one year, you'd work with other psychologists, get valuable field experience AND get paid at the same time.

      Plus it be a really good break after so many non-stop years of classes. Jobs range anywhere from research to medical to judicial. Each year the co-coordinator contacts a ton of interested organizations and then students contact them and arrange for interviews.

      What could possibly go wrong?


      Well for starters, I'm a 4th year student, this is a program for 3rd year people. No problem, no problem, they make exceptions.

      To people who have not exceeded the course credit limit.

      I exceeded that limit last term.

      BUT if you can make a compelling case they sometimes will even make an exception for people in this category as well. I talked to a few people and thanks to my multiple interview failures I am now "more experienced in interviews" and I've done more research so more "research experience" is also a good thing to tell them.

      If only it were like this.

      Sadly, I won't be able to know the department will make an exception for me or not until January. Also, if I decide to do the internship I can't graduate in April. Also, also, I need to start talking with other co-coordinators to figure out my Winter schedule to improve my chances.

      If I can get this internship I have a chance at getting a job somewhere that I've always dreamed of. But no comment on that yet, don't want to jinx myself. Let's see if I can even get accepted for the internship program to start with.

      Friday, 18 November 2011

      Research Symposiums are Time Consuming

      Some of you may have noticed my lack of comments this week and I apologize for that. I've been busy preparing for a research symposium that was held today. Basically, I had to polish and refine a poster that boils down all the research I've done and present it to anyone interested.

      And pray I won't be like this the entire time.

      I won't go into the details of my research. It's not the most amazing or interesting stuff in the world. Just investigation into how a particular memory technique might work. What is more interesting (in my mind) is the work that went into the poster.

      I ran into a few complications such as graphs that didn't work properly, Powerpoint being a pain in the butt and not working properly, being tired and my brain not working properly, you get the idea. All this leads to me being forced to submit my poster for printing on the night before and then having to run out in freezing weather to pick it up.

      Had I sent the poster even one day earlier, I could have saved my hands and face from our harsh Canadian winters.

      Forgive me exposed flesh.

      And then when I get around to setting up my poster, there are a few graphical errors. Not sure how my prof, supervisors and myself missed that, I suspect it may have been due to a cropping issue when they printed my poster but no time to fix it.

      Did I mention that there would be judges? Yeah, judges came around to talk to you about your posters, assign you a grade so hopefully you'd win an award later that afternoon. 15 minutes after I notice the poster errors I get my first judge.

      And already I'm stuttering and explaining things in a confusing manner.

      Seriously, this isn't the first time I've discussed this material, it shouldn't be this difficult. Fortunately, things get better and I'm somewhat more coherent with my other two judges.

      Unfortunately however, I didn't win anything (I blame this on the first judge). My friend Adrian however got $250 for having the best poster in physics for his work on string theory. Ah well, at least I presented something. These types of events are always good to tack onto a resume.

      Tuesday, 15 November 2011

      Scrambled Eggs and Microwave Brownies

      I like cooking, I just never get around to doing it as often as I can and when I do it usually results in disaster. Such as the carbonara that became like fried rice or setting butter on fire in the microwave.

      Nothing to see here, move along.

      But I found two things that I wanted to try out. Gordon Ramsey's way of cooking scrambled eggs, and 3 minute brownies made from scratch. Don't worry Lizzy, I made proper brownies too, my experience with those will go in another post.

      I was always taught to make scrambled eggs by first, whisking eggs together in a small bowl, pouring the mixture into a frying pan, folding the mixture and viola, dry and crumbly eggs. So then I decided to follow this video.

      I'm just going to say this now, I love Ramsey.

      He cooks it in a pot, breaks the eggs in said pot and the eggs look moist. Completely different from how I've been taught to make scrambled eggs. My turn, I don't go all fancy with the mascarpone cheese, chives or smoked salmon. My eggs look like this:

      Ok, certainly not as visually appealing as Ramsey's (I suck at plating) but my eggs were nice and moist this time. Maybe too moist? Next time I think I'll cook them for a bit longer. I didn't get food poisoning so that's always a plus.

      Ok, that's one success, let's be adventurous and try this next:

      I've seen this and variations all over the place. I've heard inconsistent reports of decent brownies and goopy monstrosities. It's my turn to try it out. and here's what I got:

      Yeah... It kind of deflated but tastewise it was a bit bland. My suggestion to anyone else wanting to try the above recipe to throw in things like chocolate chips to make it taste better. Other than that, it was easy, extremely moist and it actually worked. Keep in mind that not all microwaves are the same.

      I'm actually kind of proud of myself. Maybe there is some hope for me in the kitchen after all.

      Saturday, 12 November 2011

      Me Not Healthy: Always Tired (Part 3)

      It's been a while but I've finally been able to go see my doctor and discuss a few things with him. Anyone who isn't sure what I'm talking about can catch up by reading Part 2 and/or Part 1.

      First things first, we go over the data that was given with the new CPAP mask. The good news was that I had a significant reduction in apneas. I was waking up maybe like, 3 times a night or something at the very best which is a huge improvement over 15 times at worst.

      The bad news was that even with the apnea reductions I was still waking up tired.

      Sometimes even too tired to finish a blog post.

      So my doctor recommends that I stop using it. I'm not seeing any visible improvements, I haven't got used to the thing even after a month of trying it, it's just not working out. I mean, the most sleep I ever get with the thing is maybe 5 hours? And it's usually because I wake up and tear it off my face so I can sleep more comfortably.

      The CPAP was helping to reduce apneas but wasn't addressing the actual cause of them. The next logical thing was to check the most likely offenders; my thyroid, my tonsils, or my jaw. If my thyroid was enlarged it could be pressing down on my windpipe, causing me to choke and wake up in my sleep. Same thing applies to my tonsils except if they could be closing off my throat. Lastly, my jaw could be falling back and crushing something.

      It's like my own body wants to kill me.

      So, Doctor touches the side of my neck. Nope. No enlarged thyroids.

      Doctor looks down my throat with a light. Nope. No enlarged tonsils.

      And then he tells me that I'd need to see my dentist to verify if there are any jaw problems.

      So, we still don't know what's wrong with me.

      Back where we started...

      It's not all bad though. He booked an appointment for me to go see a sleep specialist in a few weeks and we got more x-rays because I think there might be something wrong with my lungs again. But we'll see, I don't think I'll be falling over dead any time soon.

      Unless it turns out I have gastrointestinal problems too...

      Link to Part 4.

      Wednesday, 9 November 2011

      Midterm Week Post 4

      We're in the final stretch of things here! One last exam and I'm free to goof and be a useless waste of space again.

      Computer games all day long here I come.

      Only three videos again today but the last one is another song so I think that it'll make up for it. First up we have something almost as derpy as me.

      A hurr durr.

      I used to have a better video showing this but crows and ravens are crazy. I'll never get over how human this guy sounds.

      . . . .

      For those unaware, I'm really picky with my music selection. I add maybe 1 song to my library every other month. What I do like are instrumentals and especially piano. Those who were unfortunate enough to see my Homestuck rant know that I'm a fan of the comic but I also really enjoy the music too.

      This is a percussion cover that another fan did and I love it. Have a listen.

      Normal posting resumes Saturday! See you then!

      Sunday, 6 November 2011

      Midterm Week Post 3

      Yep. Here's another automated post. Developmental psychology may be done but that still leaves us with Abnormal psychology to study for.

      And by study I mean listen.

      As usual, I'm dumping Youtube videos for you guys to watch. If you have preferences let me know or if you want something else. I haven't made a post for Wednesday yet so I'm still flexible in what I can do.

      Cats have been known to boost page views...

      Insert obligatory Episode 3 comment here.

      And instead of 4 videos today, let's have 3 and add the extra time to the last one. I'm not sure what to classify it under but I think D4 would be a better person to ask.

      I never get tired of watching this.

      Back to studying for me. I still have a few hours of audio to listen to and several dozen powerpoint slides to review.

      Don't worry, after these midterms are done you can hear all about my life again, such as the brownies I tried to make or what the doctor has told me.

      Thursday, 3 November 2011

      Midterm Week Post 2

      If you're reading this it means I made this post in advance in anticipation for a midterm. Yay.

      I think this is being posted up on a Thursday which is when I have my Developmental psychology midterm. Did you know for the first midterm I almost ended up studying with the wrong textbook? Well, not so much wrong textbook as wrong edition of the stupid thing.

      Damian doesn't know how to read textbook lists properly either.

      So like the first midterm post here are some Youtube videos that I enjoyed. I have a third midterm week post being prepared for when my Abnormal psychology midterms are happening but I assure you that once they are done I'll resume normal posting.

      Getting in the mood for Movember

      I hear he's still single for any interested ladies out there.

      Still not too late to join the TF2 Halloween Event.

      And for anyone still watching, here's something from the Onion. For those unaware, they're a satirical news group and while none of their news reports are real, they look quite convincing. I have no idea how they do this with a straight face, they're that good.

      And sometimes, you wish they were true.

      I'll see you guys on Sunday. Thanks for supporting my blog even as I cram my face into a textbook.