The ramblings of a dweeb who lives life like it's 2005

Category: Life

Seedy’s MVPs of 2021

Well, another year is almost out. This year, we focused on trying to clean up the faeces that came out of the butt hole of last year, but we just wound up smearing it everywhere and making the situation 10 times worse.
However, amongst the heaping pile of hot garbage, there were some cool people that really stood out, ready and able to fill our lives with joy, happiness and entertainment, with the goal of making us feel good about life and keeping our spirits high in this royally screwed up world we live in.
At the end of last year, I listed my Most Valued People (MVPs) of 2020. Not all of these people have necessarily played a supportive role in my personal life, but they’ve been there to provide me, and others, the happiness and good vibes we so desperately needed, especially with this deadly disease wiping out thousands of people every day! So, without further ado, I present to you… Seedy’s MVPs of 2021!
As you can probably imagine, it’s very hard to condense a list of so many cool people down to just 15 places. Therefore, it’s only natural that more than 1 person can take a single place, and some people are struck off, despite how badly you want them to be on. Sorry guys, it’s just how countdowns work. 🙁

Privacy Notice

This countdown mentions people in my personal life. Therefore, I’ve taken a number of steps to make sure that everyone’s privacy is protected as much as possible.

  • All those in my personal life who are featured in this countdown were notified beforehand, and I was granted their express permission to feature them.
  • Unless a person’s real name is public knowledge, only their full first name and the first letter of their surname will be shown. If someone has a common online username or nick name that they use in place of their real name, said username/nickname will be shown instead.
  • No places of work or residence, including building/apartment numbers, street/town names etc, will be mentioned anywhere in this countdown.

A Final Word

If you personally dislike one or more people featured in this countdown, please don’t publicly shout your feelings out in the comments. WordPress has an approval system for comments posted on an article, so if you’re gonna start drama, your comment(s) will simply be rejected and won’t show up on this post at all.

The Bottom of the Pile

15. Chris Wright

Chris Wright has been making content on YouTube for about a decade now. I first came across him when his channel was named Blindgamer95. However, he has since changed the name of his channel to his real name.
Chris, who, like me, is without any eyesight, makes many types of content include audio game demonstrations and text to speech (TTS) skits featuring many computer voices like Microsoft Sam, Mike and Mary, and the LH (Lernout & Hauspie) voices.
I only got talking to this guy personally a few weeks ago. However, I can honestly say that he is one of the funniest guys I’ve ever had the pleasure of getting in contact with. Plus, he’s taking time out of his busy life to record, edit and upload these audio game demos, shedding light on something that very few people know about, and we take for granted every day as blind people.
If you wish to check out Chris Wright’s content for yourself, you can visit his YouTube channel by clicking here.

14. Michael MJD

Climbing up a place to number 14 is the master of insane technology experiments himself, Michael MJD! I’ve yet to find out what MJD actually stands for, but anyway, Michael saw his 11th year on YouTube this year, with his channel now weighing in at a massive 240 thousand subscribers! That’s about 6 times less than the minimum amount he actually deserves, however.
Michael is the guy who takes a device that’s primarily meant for listening to your favourite jogging tracks and turns it into so much more. Windows XP on an iPod? Come on! He’s the guy who gives a whole new meaning to the idea of nested virtualization, taking it to a whole new level of madness. Hell, he’s the guy that goes out and buys a nigh on hundred pound pint of Microsoft OS branded ice cream!
You can find out all the crazy stuff that happens over at MJD Studios by Checking out Michael’s YouTube channel.

13. The Nostalgia Mall (Billy Core) and the Flying Scotsman (Jay Wakefield)

Also stepping up a place on the ladder this year are Billy Core and Jay Wakefield, also known as the Nostalgia Mall and the Flying Scotsman respectively.
I’ve enjoyed Billy and Jay’s content for many years, and this year was no exception. Specializing in content regarding vintage hardware and software from many brands including Compaq, Packard Bell and Toshiba, these guys’ channels are a must-watch if you pine for the days when computers actually worked out of the box, before digital downloads, subscription models and endless software update cycles took over our lives. When plug and play actually meant plug and play, not plug and sit on your ass for 3 hours while 50GB of software files and updates download and install.
Out of the 2, Jay has taken more notable steps this year, such as venturing slightly away from physical hardware and focusing on virtualization and emulation, using tools such as PCem and 86Box. Jay also revived his website earlier this year. I’m not sure how the website looked in its previous life; it had died long before I discovered both him and Billy. However, in its current form, the site functions as Jay’s personal blog, much like Fireseed Inside is my personal blog.

12. LogicProXGaming

It’s a new entry at number 12. Logic has been a blind video game accessibility activist for many years, especially when it comes to the wildly popular building/survival game of Minecraft. He also specializes in the Logic music production software for MacOS, hence the LogicPro part of his handle.
Logic uses his YouTube account, Twitter timeline and other communication platforms to raise awareness of how video games can be, and are being, made playable by the blind by highlighting the accessibility features that are present in Minecraft, either through in-game means or the use of external, third party modifications to the Minecraft software. His YouTube channel contains tutorial videos and live streams that show him demonstrating Minecraft’s built-in accessibility features and external mods in action. Speaking of tutorials, Logic is currently working on a tutorial series called the Blind Craft Survival Guide, a reference to the Minecraft Survival Guide series by Pixlriffs. This series will show aspiring Minecrafters how they can set up the game on their computers and enjoy all of its many exciting features. Sighted people can follow along with the tutorial, but it’s mostly targeted at blind gamers who rely on assistive technologies such as screen readers.
Huge kudos to this guy for taking time out of his busy office job to show the world that 100% functional eyesight is not required to experience the fun and excitement that video games like Minecraft can bring!

  • Check out LogicProXGaming on YouTube
  • Follow LogicProXGaming on Twitter
  • 11. Sarah Sbaughn, AKA Sbaughn006

    From very late 2020 to very early 2021, Typerspeed 2, the reboot of my Typerspeed game, was buggy, unstable and relying on speech synthesis and artificial intelligence algorithms for its voicing. With no hope in sight, Typerspeed 2 was quickly heading towards the same fate as its original iteration in 2018, a big, heavy axe to the head! That was until Sarah (Sbaughn006), out of the goodness of her heart, sat down and recorded some voice lines for the game and allowed me to use them on a permanent basis, at absolutely no cost to me. The game finally had an actual, real life, human voice, and I finally had a reason to keep the project alive! She is just one of many kind supporters who has helped Typerspeed develop into the challenging, fast-paced, high-intensity PC typer it is today.

    The Top Ten

    10. Brandon Cole and Misty Rayburn

    Flying up 3 places to number 10 is none other than everyone’s favourite video game accessibility activist, Brandon Cole! His wife, Misty, is also joining him this year. Together, Brandon (Super Blindman) and Misty drive the Break Down Walls movement, an initiative that aims to smash the barriers between video game developers, gamers with disabilities and their target audiences, be it through live streaming or general interaction. The Break Down Walls website also includes a dedicated guides section, which contains video game accessibility guides written by both Brandon himself and the wider disabled gaming community.
    Alone, Brandon fights for video game accessibility for all gamers who are visually impaired/blind. He raises awareness of features that are, and can be, made available in video games to assist the blind, including menu and in-game narration via text to speech or human voicing, visual colour/contrast adjustments, and adapting font/text sizes.
    Why not check out Brandon’s Twitch channel. It features many fun and exciting video game streams, including, most notably this year, game play of Blizzard Entertainment’s Hearthstone, made possible by the Hearthstone Access mod. There are also many interviews that Brandon has taken part in, with the primary goal of raising awareness of his work, why he does it and what he hopes to achieve from it.
    The thing that earns Brandon and Misty a place on this countdown is their endless fighting spirit and give ’em hell attitude. When people around them try to push them back, they push 10 times harder. Together, they work tirelessly to crate a better, more accepting and inclusive environment for disabled gamers the world over.

    9. The King Cobra and Braille0109

    Climbing up to 9th position, and joining Braille0109 from last year, is Angel, also known as King Cobra. It’s always a laugh with these 2 guys. This year hasn’t been a easy ride for me personally, however, these 2 have always been there for me when my smile wasn’t working.
    Braille himself has helped me through some rough seas over the years as well, most notably the Data Wipe 2019 incident, in which 500GB of my personal data was tragically lost, never to be seen again. That was such a stressful period in my digital life that almost resulted in me quitting IT forever. However, Braille kept giving me good advice, pointing me in the right direction towards restoring my PC to life and slowly rebuilding my infrastructure. Now, almost 3 years later, I’m in a better position now than I ever was! I have a PC, a Mac, A 1TB external hard disk drive, SD cards, cloud storage services, and my own virtual private server! Oh, and I’m also developing software again!

    8. Destructatron and Supremekiller

    Note: Supremekiller changed his handle recently, however this new name hasn’t propagated across all his platforms yet, so the old one is being used here.
    Up 2 positions from last year are the ever-helpful empath Supremekiller, and the quick-witted tech nerd Destructatron. The main reason for Supremekiller’s rise through the ranks this year is the fact that for most of this year, and some of last year, he has provided me with a fast, reliable and stable means to host my cloud infrastructure, my websites, my radio station, the Fireseed Forums message board etc. Before then, I was relying on free web hosting services with extremely limited features. If I wasn’t provided with such generous offerings from SK, the Fireseed Network would have probably died along with everything else in 2020. It’s because of him that the Fireseed Network is even a network in the first place!
    Destructatron, on the other hand, has always been there to help when problems with said cloud infrastructure have come up, be it my stupid mail server refusing connections from clients because of misconfigured SSL/TLS settings, or the IRC server that would refuse to even start because the configuration file was missing a single god damn semicolon! Conceded, he hasn’t always been able to successfully solve a problem, but he’s always given it his best shot, and that’s all I ask at the end of the day. Destructatron is also just a good friend to have around. If you’re having a horrible time right now, he’ll most likely be there to help you out.

    7. Jade H

    Even though Jade is no longer in my life anymore, I still think about her and miss her a lot every day. She was one of the many people who supported me through the draconian COVID19 lockdowns last year. I know she’s just an email away, but sending an email is nowhere near the same thing as actually being in face-to-face contact with someone. Even when you can’t physically see someone, you can mentally see them by hearing the sound of their voice and feeling their presence.

    6. Leanne E

    Rising up 2 places to 6th position is the woman who has supported me through thick annd thin non-stop for 4 straight years! From when I took my first big steps into college back in 2017, to the cold, dark days of 2020 during the COVID19 lockdown, she was always a shoulder to cry on no matter what. Thank you for continuing to support not just me, but countless other people as well. I’ve no idea where we’d be without you!

    High Fives

    5. Helen T

    Although I haven’t really seen much of Helen this year, she is not moved down or disqualified from this countdown because she has played a hugely supportive role in the past. When we were all stuck inside our houses, working from home and staying 6 feet away from each-other, it was getting to the point where it wasn’t just my mental health that was becoming a problem, but my physical health as well. In this moment, I reached out to Helen (virtually, of course), and she gave me the boost I needed to tell my daemons to beat it! Thank you for keeping me strong throughout the years.

    4. Aly T

    For most of 2020, My stress and anxiety levels were so high that I couldn’t even boot up my computer, let alone log into my email client or use any other part of the internet; COVID19 and its impacts were everywhere! Throughout 2020 and 2021, Aly has tought me that it’s perfectly fine to slow down once in a while, and that all I can do is try my best, even if I fail.

    3. Jonathan Kay, AKA Trekie, AKA the Messenger Geek

    Sliding down 2 places from the top spot is the Messenger geek himself, Jonathan Kay.
    I don’t give a monkey’s backside what you have to say about Jonathan. Again, your attacks will just get rejected by WordPress’s review system upon my request, so don’t even try. He’s a special friend to me, and he’ll always have a place in my heart.
    An MVP for Microsoft’s MSN/Windows Live Messenger service for over a decade, he ran a support site that provided many helpful articles highlighting MSN Messenger (pre-2005)’s many exciting features, how to use them, and how to resolve MSN Messenger related problems. He is also the creator of the now defunct Messenger Reviver software, which kept the awesomeness that was MSN/Windows Messenger alive while Microsoft was relentlessly forcing people over to the ever-rotting crap pile that is Skype. Jonathan also inspired the creation of Escargot Chat, a Python-based project that aims to revive MSN/Windows Live Messenger and other dead instant messenger clients.
    On a more personal level, Jonathan further stoked the fire that is my nostalgia for the 2000s. If it wasn’t for him, I’d never have discovered Escargot, and 5 years of devistation and frustration over the death of MSN/Windows Live Messenger would not have been reversed.

    2. Garry W

    Since 2017, this guy has been nothing to me but an absolute legend! He has held my hand through every single problem I’ve faced since then. College stresses, my introduction to PTSD in 2018 and everything else that came before and after it that year, and everything in between. He introduced me to the world of virtualization and emulation, showing me that there is indeed an escape route from what we call modern life. He has supported every single one of my personal projects since the word go. He’s the ultimate inspiration for projects I’m most proud of, such as the House of Fireseed and Typerspeed, from version 1.0 of the game way back in 2018 through to Sepia, the game’s current iteration. Gary has not only kept me strong over the past 4 years, he’s kept me happy, mentally grounded, and, dare I say it, alive.

    Number One!

    And so, here we are, the moment you’ve all been waiting for! Who will seize the top spot and be Seedy’s ultimate MVP of 2021? Well, we shall see!
    The winner, and Seedy’s ultimate MVP of 2021, is…

    1. Richie W and Nathan Smith of Nathan Tech

    I haven’t known Richie as long as I have Garry, but none the less, he deserves the same legendary status. He’s kind, supportive, geeky, nerdy… him and I just click with everything. He’s into pretty much all the movies, TV shows, video games etc as I am, and much like Gary, is always ready and able to be your friend and support you come hell or high water. His wacky, off-the-wall humour is enough to make the whole world smile. For these reasons, and so much more, Richie flies right up from his number 3 position in 2020 to stand tall and proud in first place in 2021!
    Joining Richie at the top of the tree is Nathan Smith of Nathan Tech. Nathan is nothing more than an altruist who puts the health and happiness of others well above his own, even if it means starving himself to death in the process. He’s a software developer, an audio content creator and the owner of a sci-fi MUD (multi-user dungeon) game known as
    Cosmic Rage. Being without any functional eyesight, Nathan is highly devoted to making his software, and that of other developers, accessible to all, no matter the disability. In fact, I’m using one of Nathan’s software programs, Sunrise Waterfall, to write this countdown!
    Below is a list of links to some of Nathan Tech’s work.

    Conclusion

    Well done to everyone who made the list this year, especially our joint first placers, Richie W and Nathan Smith.
    Since I don’t have actual golden trophies to give you guys, here are 2 virtual ones instead. Around the outside of the trophies, bold letters read:

    You are Seedy’s MVP of 2021!

Seedy’s MVPs of 2020

Well, here we are at the backside of another year. To say this year has been a tough one would be the understatement to end all understatements. 2020 has been a year of outsized devastation, loss, pain and suffering for all. We’ve all had to play a supportive role in each-other’s lives more than ever this year, and I feel it is vitally important that we recognize those who took the time out of their lives to keep us living ours as happily and freely as possible. Hence why this year, I’ve decided to try something new in the form of a countdown of 15 people who have been the most awesome to me over the past 12 months. Not all of these 15 people have necessarily played a supportive role in my life, but they have just been cool people in general with the content they’ve provided, the things they’ve said or done etc.
It was very hard to squeeze this list down to just 15 people. So many more people deserve to be on this list. However, TLDR is not what I aim for here. Also, perhaps inevitably, not everyone took just 1 position on the list; there were ties.

Privacy Notice

Because this list features people in my personal life, not just those I know online, I’ve taken a number of steps to ensure that everyone’s privacy is protected as much as possible.

  • First, I requested the prior permission of all offline (real life) friends featured in this list before featuring them, which they all granted.
  • In the case of real names, only the first letter of a person’s surname will be shown. If someone has a common online handle or nick name, that will be used instead. Only if a feature uses their real name in public will it be mentioned here.
  • No references to places of work or residence will be mentioned.
  • Final Notice

    I honestly don’t care about your feelings towards the people featured on this list. If you personally dislike someone mentioned on this countdown, don’t go spouting off in here. Remember, WordPress uses an approval system for comments, meaning comments haved to be accepted by the site owner (me in this case) before they can show up on posts. Any negative or hurtful comments towards anyone mentioned here will be rejected without a second thought. Now, without any further ado, let’s proceed!

    The bottom of the pile

    15. MichaelMJD

    Why so many people haven’t heard of this guy, I’ll never know. If you like crazy tech experiments, retrospectives, hardware and software overviews and demos, history lessons… basically anything tech related, MJD’s your guy! The downside, however, is that he only seems to accept business related communication one-to-one. If this wasn’t the case, I would have placed him considerably higher. He still qualifies for this list none the less. To experience this technological craziness for yourself, check out his YouTube channel.

    14. The Nostalgia Mall and the Flying Scotsman

    The Nostalgia Mall and the Flying Scotsman, otherwise known as Billy Core and Jay Wakefield respectively, are 2 YouTubers with a target audience of retro hardware and software lovers and nostalgia freaks. Those who know me well will know that I’m a sucker for the old school stuff. Billy and Jay are both retro tech collectors and have been on the scene for a good while. Long time viewers might remember Billy as “Road Geek” and Jay as “VideosSansFrontier”, which is french for “Videos Without Boarders”.
    Like MJD, however, they are kind of hard to communicate with outside of their main platforms, which knocks them down a place or 2. In my view, any kind of communication is key, regardless of how it’s done or what it’s for. Billy and Jay’s YouTube accounts are listed below.

    13. Brandon Cole

    Brandon Cole, also known as Super Blindman, is the closest to an activist you can get, especially when it comes to accessibility in video games. He has expressed excitement for many video game titles that were made accessible this year, with one notable example being The Last of Us: Part 2. He even copilots the Break Down Walls movement with his wife Misty Rayburn. After you’re finished reading this, why not check out Brandon’s website and Twitch channel.

    12. Andre Louis

    Andre is another one of those guys who is more unheard of than he really should be. He is a blind musician from the UK and has been highlighted many times in the media, including the BBC’s The world wide web’s a stage article. He even has his own YouTube channel. Oh, and he’s also a Friday Night Dinner fan. Can’t beat the classics, eh?

    11. The King Cobra (AKA Angel)

    If you need someone to talk to when you’re feeling low, or someone to brighten up your day when you lose your smile, Angel is the one to turn to. I’ve had many a conversation with him during the lockdown period and have always felt better as a result. He knows how you’re feeling and understands what you’re going through.

    The Top Ten

    10. Destructatron and Supremekiller

    Despite the latter’s handle, these people are both really nice in their own way. Like Angel, SK is nothing but an empath who is always willing to help you out no matter what. Destructatron, meanwhile, is your funny, quick-witted tech support guy. He also knows how the community feels when some tech illiterate newbie doesn’t know what the hell’s going on and freaks the hell out at the sight of a terminal when they fly over to Linux. Remember guys, Linux is for code crackers and server admins, not people who don’t know what a god damn power button is!

    9. Braille0109

    I’ve known this guy for a couple years now. He’s the one for you if you want someone in your life who is strong willed and doesn’t take any crap from anyone. He’s also a good online gamer. I’ve been severely beaten in pretty much every game I’ve played with him. I predict many more years of severe in-game beatings.

    8. Leanne E

    Leanne has helped me a great deal during the dark and depressing lockdown months. She was always an email away, and always ready to dish up some witty reply to brighten the mood. I get along more with people who have a dry sense of humour than those who take things to heart and are angry all the time. Why so damn serious, dude! Hypersensitivity gets you nowhere in life.

    7. Jade H

    How could anyone possibly say anything negative about this person? Her sense of humour is better than mine, and that’s saying something. I’ve only known her for 5 minutes and she’s already in the top 10 of my MVP list? Wow, she must be good! She’s the type of person that makes you see that you’re not alone in your stresses in life. She sees more good in you than you think you have.

    6. Lauren H

    While not as technically minded as me, Lauren is quite the retro game console fan. She was also there for me a lot during the lockdown. Her sense of humour is also second to none.

    High Fives

    5. Helen T

    I always feel at home when she’s around. During the early part of lockdown when COVID19 was all over the news and my stress levels were through the ceiling, she was the one who pulled me back from the edge, replying pretty much instantly to any cyberspace message that came her way. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without this woman in my life. This year probably would have ended up like 2013 if it wasn’t for her.

    4. Aly T

    The fact that Aly is a huge fan of both the IT Crowd and Friday Night dinner because of me is not why she’s number 4 on this list. The real reason is that she was one of my first points of contact during those times of social isolation and quarantine, when the situation was starting to affect my physical health as well as my mental. She made me see that it’s perfectly OK to breathe easy and that health is much more important than work.

    3. Richie W

    You can’t get any more geeky and off-the-wall than this guy. He literally ticks all my boxes. Nerdy? Check. Loves the Simpsons and Futurama? Check. Loves sci-fi? Check. Wants every PC in the world to run Windows XP? Check. Would sooner consume content on CD or DVD than wait 6 weeks for a digital download? Check, check and check!

    2. Gary W

    There are a number of reasons why this man is the runner up at number 2.

    • He has supported me and held my hand through every major breakdown I’ve had over the last 3 years, including before my PTSD started in 2018.
    • He was the one who single-handedly ignited my passion for retro gaming and emulation.
    • He inspired me to fight for digital accessibility for everyone, playing a part in the events that lead to the launch of the House of Fireseed.
    • He is receptive to everyone’s thoughts, opinions and feelings and is willing to go out of his way to fight your corner.
    • Number One!

      And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for! Drum roll, please!

      1: Jonathan Kay

      Seizing the top spot this year is the guy who has ultimately become one of my all time favourite people in the short time I’m known him. It’s the Messenger Geek himself, Jonathan Kay! An ex Microsoft MVP, Kay provided support for MSN and Windows Live messenger for many years. Of course, that was up until Microsoft decided to purchase Skype and turn it into a clunky, laggy, inaccessible mess that’s more bloated than Homer Simpson after his obesity mission back in season 7. Thank you for feeding my nostalgic fires and bringing me back to my childhood roots before everything went to hell in a handbasket. We need more Trekies in the world, just like we need pre-2010 Microsoft back. Check out Jonathan’s website and blog.

      Conclusion

      And there it is, my top 15 most awesome people of 2020. Once again, well done to Jonathan Kay for bagging the top spot and becoming my official MVP of 2020. Apologies to everyone I had in mind who didn’t make this list. Who knows, you could be in the list next year. Here’s hoping 2021 is a better year for all of us!

The Seedy FAQ: 20 Wacky and Wild Questions about Seedy!

I’ve been wanting to do this for a short while now. The idea actually came to my mind after someone on a Discord server I’m on suggested it.
Do you want to know me, but you’re too afraid to ask questions or just don’t have the time? Well, here’s a little quick fire Q-n-A post that will hopefully answer some of those burning questions you might have.

1: Who are you?

I am known as SeedyThreeSixty or Seedy. You can just call me Seedy; it’s easier.
I am without any eyesight. I see nothing. No colour, no light, no shadows… nothing! Pure blackness!
I am a hobbyist software programmer, web developer and, of course, blogger. I love anything to do with computers, especially old school tech. Video games are my life! I love fighting games like Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Tekken, Virtua Fighter etc.

2: Were you born blind?

Yes. I have been blind since the day I was born, though it hasn’t affected my life in any way. I can do exactly the same things as a sighted person, just in a slightly different way.

3: What’s your favourite fighting game?

Street Fighter! All the way! Even though I suck hard at the games, I love pretty much every Street Fighter game in the series. The Alpha series, the EX line of titles from 1996, 1998 and 2000, even the original Street Fighter from 1987!

4: What’s your favourite video game console?

The Playstation 2 and Xbox 360 will always be my favourites! Always! I played the hell out of those consoles as a child. I still play the hell out of them now thanks to the power of emulation! I still play on my physical Xbox 360, but I use the awesome PCSX2 emulator to get my Playstation 2 fix.

5: What’s your favourite operating system?

My 5 favourite operating systems are Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows 7. I used those systems a lot as a child, and I still do today thanks to virtualization. I’d die to be reunited with my old house-built PC again so I can experience that selfsame childhood joy with real hardware and not have to put up with laggy virtual machines!

6: Why are you stuck in the past?

OK, forgive me for being a little harsh with this one, but it’s the only way I can get this point across.
The 2000s were full of happy moments. From visiting theme parks with my family, to playing games on my custom-built Windows XP desktop, to sitting around the dinner table with the family and watching The Simpsons and/or Futurama on Sky 1 every night at 6. As soon as the 2000s went, everything else went with it. My family, my PC, the games I played, a lot of close friends from school and the like, the Sky package, the happiness and love for life I once had… everything!
The nostalgia I have is down to my burning passion and desire to keep those memories alive. At the end of the day, memories are all I have now! I’m proud to be a 2000s kid. I’m proud to be nostalgic. I’m proud to be a part of the retro community. My nostalgia will only grow more powerful. If you don’t like it, get out of my life! You can’t criticize me for being me!

7: What’s your soul purpose in life?

My reason for living, if I’m completely honest, is making people smile. Helping others out and making them feel happy makes me feel happy. I hate to see people struggling and feeling sad. A friend in need is a friend indeed. If I end up flat broke and on the streets, at least I can say I took some time out of my life to help someone out with their problems.

8: How do you play video games when you’re blind?

See A Guide to playing Video Games Without Sight.

9: How do you use a computer when you’re blind?

See A Guide to Using Computers Without Sight.

10: Would you say you had OCD?

Definitely! Especially when it comes to dates, numbers etc. It angers me to no end, and can make me feel uneasy. I hate it when people get dates wrong, such as the release date of a song or the date of a historic event. I also hate it when people abbreviate years. It’s not twenty twenty, it’s two thousand twenty! You wouldn’t say “I have twenty ten pounds in the bank”, would you? I get that one thousand nine hundred forty-five is harder to say than nineteen forty-five, but if the second digit in a 4 digit number is a 0, like in 2010 or 1066, don’t abbreviate it! That’s what twenty-four hour time is for!

11: What’s your favourite day of the year?

At time of writing, one of my favourite days of the year is only 12 days away! I call it Windows 95 day. It falls on 24th August, the date of Windows 95’s release. Windows 95 brought many awesome features to Windows, such as the start menu, 32-bit app support, the ability for devices to be instantly recognized by the OS through the power of plug-n-play, and so much more! It’s a bloody good operating system, so why not celebrate it? That’s my opinion anyway. I also see Windows 95 day as a day to celebrate the simpler times and to remember the many, many happy days of yesteryear.
My other favourite day, and I think this one applies to all mathematics/science nerds out there, is 14th March, also known as… Pi Day! I won’t get too geeky here, but you can find out more about Pi Day, and Pi itself, on the Pi Day website.

12: How do you dream if you’re blind?

My dreams are almost entirely auditory, meaning they are mostly filled with sound. On the occasion that I do see in the subconscious world, my sight is generated from descriptions that other people have given me in the conscious world, such as those of forests, mountains, famous buildings etc. Isn’t the brain a wonderful thing?

13: What’s your favourite alcoholic drink?

I am a cider drinker. I drinks it all of the day. I am a cider drinker. It soothes all me troubles away.

14: What programming languages do you know?

I know Python a lot more than any other programming language. The only other languages I know are just markup languages like HTML and Markdown. I don’t know C/C Plus Plus, PHP, Java, JavaScript, or any other real programming or scripting language.

15: What type of music do you listen to?

I like to listen to a lot of rock music. I like songs from the likes of Five Finger Death Punch, System of a Down, Divide the Day, Papa Roach etc. I also like a bit of pop, hip hop and EDM. After all, house time is any time, and any time is house time!

16: What food do you like?

Pizza, pizza, pizza, and more pizza! I also like anything that’s super hot and spicy. Gimme dat supa hot fiyya!

17: Your favourite TV show is?

I am a hard core Simpsons and Futurama fan. If you don’t like it, you can bite my shiny metal ass!
There is a lot of stuff I can’t watch, such as TV episodes or films with explosions, loud bangs, jump scares etc due to my PTSD and misophonia. You can find out more about these here.

18: What’s the best prank you’ve ever pulled?

This one time, someone (I won’t say who) tried to get access to my computer. Unbeknownst to them, however, I had a permanent lockout policy set up on my user account. By typing in the wrong password 3 times, this person had triggered the lockout. Of course, with the person being computer illiterate, they didn’t have a clue what the error message on screen meant or why they couldn’t log into the system. They called me and told me what was wrong. I convinced them that the computer was broken and that the only way to fix it was to reset the entire operating system! However, I had a secret weapon in my pocket. I booted into a talking Windows Preinstallation Environment (PE) and fired up a little tool called NTPW Edit. This allowed me to break into the security account manager (SAM) and restore access to my local user account. No system reinstall needed! Even after I’d fixed the problem, the person still thought my entire computer was broken and was none the wiser. Tee hee!

19: What’s your favourite number?

I have a few lucky numbers. One of them is 4,294,967,296, or 2 to the 32nd power. Of course, I’m a computer nerd, so this really is no surprise. Other ones include 5, 9, 50, 60, 95, 98, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and all the powers of 2.

20: What’s your computer related pet peeve?

I absolutely cannot stand the term 4k. Read my lips: 4k. does not. exist! A 4k display has a resolution of 3840×2160, twice that of a HD display, 1920×1080. 3840 / 1000 is 3.84. Therefore it’s 3.84k, not god damn 4k! 4k is just a marketing ploy to make the display tech sound better than it really is. Don’t fall for it! At least the term 1080P is correct, though.
You can find 7 more computer related things I absolutely despise here.

Conclusion

There you have it. 20 weird, crazy questions and answers about me! I hope I was able to bring you a step closer to solving the highly complex enigma that is… me.

How anxiety impacts me socially

If you know me well, you’ll know that I love hanging out and talking to people. However, with my anxiety comes a whole lot of things that make something as enjoyable as socialising with people very difficult. In this blog post, I will describe some of the things that fire off bad feelings when I’m hanging out and socialising. The below points apply mainly to online communication, though some of them can apply to communication in the physical world also. Call me petty and weak if you want, but my mind is wired differently to yours, and you can’t judge me or think any less of me for it.

The sound of silence

When I’m in a voice chat with someone, or physically talking to someone who I don’t know very well, I will often sound quiet or not speak at all for a while. I often think that people will make fun of the way I talk, my accent, the way my voice sounds etc, or that they will simply not be able to understand what I’m trying to say. This makes me very sad, as it means that I may have lost a potential good friend. We all need friends in our lives, and feeling like you’re losing someone new who you have the potential to form a really close bond with is the worst feeling in the world.
I’ll discuss more about goodbyes and how I deal with loss in a future post.

Was it something I said?

I could be having a conversation with someone, and the person I’m chatting with could just stop replying out of the blue. It’s a two-stage process at that point. First, the anxiety kicks in. Many thoughts run through my mind, such as:

  • Did I say something wrong? Did a reference I make, a question I ask or a view I put across cause offense or anger towards me?
  • Am I being too annoying by asking too many questions, talking too much etc or does the person think I’m generally just a pain in the rear?
  • Does the person simply hate me and not want to talk to me?

Then, the depression starts. I get very sad and begin to feel isolated and alone, I feel guilty because I feel I’ve done wrong by that person, and I start to hate myself more and more.

Out of the loop

I could be with a group of people, and they could be discussing a topic that is completely alien to me. As a result, I will often feel as though I’m completely out of the loop, and not really a part of the group at all because I have nothing useful or understandable to contribute to the conversation with. I often find it hard to express my feelings to others, and as a direct result, they all get bottled up and I start to feel sad, lonely and left out.

Somebody help me, now!

I am often too afraid to ask people for help and support with things, especially tech support, because in the past, people have snapped at me for asking too many questions and I was once accused of “harassing” someone via email. While I do look things up online, often the articles I read will contain terrible grammar which annoys and frustrates me to no end. Also, you can’t always believe what you hear or see online. I just think that talking to someone about your problem is the best support method. I often get very anxious when asking a question or asking for help in general because I feel I have to word it perfectly so as to not sound stupid or anything else. This anxiety ultimately stops me from doing it, and I’m just left alone to figure things out. It’s an awful feeling when you’ve tried every possible solution you can think of and nothing has worked, or you just don’t know how to solve a problem and you feel you have nobody to turn to because you’re so anxious and scared that someone will react badly to your request for help.

Conclusion

I hope this post has taught you some things and help shed some light on the thoughts and feelings that I often experience when I communicate with people both in cyberspace and in the physical world of planet Earth. I bet I’m not the only one who experiences these feelings. Be sure to let me know down in the comments if you have any similar experiences to me and how certain social situations make you feel inside.

How the Corona Virus pandemic is affecting my mental health

I’m sure we all agree that the many impacts of the outbreak of COVID19, such as having to stay at home, having to remain 6 feet apart from one another, having to work and communicate virtually etc, is causing people to go insane. I am no exception to this rule. I already have a myriad of mental health complications, but all this stuff that’s going on right now is magnifying and amplifying these complications to no end. Here are just some examples of how the Corona Virus outbreak is impacting me mentally.

Working Remotely

I have an amazing support network at my college. They listen to my problems, they keep me calm, they are a shoulder to cry on, and they always know how to lift me up when I’m feeling down. Because I am having to work remotely, I feel I have lost this support network. Working remotely is the thing that is affecting me the most. Ever since the college closed, my depression has got a lot worse, my stress and anxiety levels are much higher, I’ve started losing more sleep, I want to cry all the time, I’m mentally and emotionally drained, work is constantly stressing me out, and I’m even too scared to check my emails in case teachers start asking for work that I either haven’t completed or made a complete mess of. I already feel like a failure, failing a college course will only make things a whole lot worse and people will think of me more as a disappointment and a letdown than they clearly already do. What do I do? Do I stress myself out and force myself to complete work to a perfect standard, bringing myself back to the same crisis point I was at in 2013, or do I take the risk of failing the course and having everybody I know and love openly despise me, probably also bringing me back to that 2013 crisis point? It’s a catch 22 scenario!

Television News Channels and the Internet

The television is constantly on during the day at my house and tuned into a news channel. I may be in my bedroom upstairs with the door closed, but sound travels and I can still hear it from downstairs. All these news channels are talking about is the damn Corona Virus! Nothing positive is happening in the news these days it seems! It’s gotten to a point now where my mind can’t tune it out anymore. The internet and social media doesn’t help either, but I can’t just stop using social media; it’s my primary method of contacting people. I’d just feel even more isolated than I feel now if I withdrew from the internet. The more I hear about CV, the less hope I have of this whole thing ever coming to an end.

Concerns about Family Members

I have external family members, both very young and very old, that I worry about on a daily basis because of Corona Virus. Keep in mind that I haven’t been allowed to see these family members for almost a decade, and a lot of things have probably changed since the last time I saw them. For all I know, half my family could be dead now. I made a lot of happy memories with these people; it’d be devastating if it turned out that some of them had left this world. It’s a constant fear that is pushing my depression and anxiety ever higher.

Conclusion

Those are 3 things that are really messing me up at the moment because of the whole COVID19 thing. Hopefully this madness will end soon! Stay safe and stay alive!

How I deal with my mental struggles

In my last blog post, I detailed the mental health struggles I face and how they affect me in daily life. In this post, I will describe some ways I help myself, and you can help me, deal with these struggles.

Won’t you hold my hand?

We all need a hand to hold once in a while. I am no exception. My typical positions are:

  • I place my thumb on the back of your hand and my figures on the palms, or the other way round.
  • I rest my hand on the back of yours. Use this if you’re uncomfortable with position 1.

This provides a sense of peace and relief in periods of depression, stress or anxiety.

Take a walk, just a little walk

I’m sure we all agree that a bit of fresh air now and then allows us to escape from what’s going on around us and breathe free and easy. The sensory overload of too much loud noise, the stress of a fast-paced work environment, the anxiety of overcrowded places, they can all be fixed with a breath of fresh air.

The sound of music

It is scientifically proven that the music we listen to influences our mood. Upbeat music makes us feel happy, slow violin music makes us feel sad. Music is a great way for me to escape from my feelings and enter another world. I like many different types of music from rock to hiphop to rap. Music can also sometimes defeat a misophonia attack.

Conclusion

These are just some of the ways in which I deal with my daily mental health struggles. We all have different ways of dealing with things. Let me know down in the comments how you deal with issues in your daily life, be it emotional or physical. Let’s start a community!

Inside an ill mind: my mental struggles and how they affect me

For years now, I have been struggling with my mental health. I have trates of depression, anxiety, misophonia and PTSD. In this post, I will try to describe what is going on inside my mind and how it affects my day to day life.

What goes up must come down

One minute, I can be calm, happy and generally in a good mood. Then the depression starts. This presents itself in many ways, from a low mood to a full blown fit of crying, tiredness, lack of mental and physical energy and even a loss of apatite in some cases. These episodes can last from a couple of minutes to a few hours.

Anxiety, sane and insane rivalry

This affected me massively during the summer of this year… or let’s call it Family Feud Season. I would often have it for days on end. I’d be feeling restless, constantly shaking and moving around, my heart rate would be through the ceiling and sweat would pore out of my body like a very high powered tap. Both my mind and body goes into hyperdrive. I feel there is no way out. I feel isolated and lonely, like I have nobody to turn to, no shielding or protection. In the best case scenario, this will only last for a few minutes.

What’s that sound?

Misophonia is where certain sounds can trigger emotional responses such as sadness, fear, anxiety, anger or frustration. I can’t deal with sounds that rise and fall an octave, or sounds with certain echo or reverb effects, especially if there’s a lot of tail in the reverb. I get very freaked out and it can be an anxiety trigger. I once had to miss 5 minutes of a college lesson because of it. Even after those 5 minutes had passed, however, the attack continued. It was well after an hour when the episode finally ended and the symptoms receded.

The voices! The voices!

I like to separate these episodes into 2 types.

Classic attacks

I’ve had these attacks for as long as I can remember. Sometimes, I hear weird voices and sounds in my head, as if there’s an audio editor in there applying weird cutting, mixing and splicing effects to the sounds. It’s so weird that it’s quite hard to describe.
Some triggers for these attacks include the following.

  • prolonged silences, such as when a music track suddenly pauses or fades out, especially if the fade is very sharp and tight.
  • Sudden sounds, such as PA system announcements, and unexpected airline announcements.
  • Certain types of music, especially music tracks with a low-pitched voice mixed in, such as a telephone hold service or those old Disney feature presentation logos.

New/Misophonia-based attacks

In recent times, in the last 5 years or so, I’ve had attacks where I feel a presence, as if someone is in the area with me. Sometimes they can be floating around and sometimes they remain in one position, suspended and frozen in mid air. I also can’t touch anything during these attacks as I’m simply too freaked out to do so. This presence is often accompanied by breathy moaning/sighing noises. Think of the old Skype login and logout sounds, but more creepy and horrifying. This type of attack can be brought on by my misophonia, hence why I refer to it as a misophonia-based attack.
Listening to something quiet or on low volume can sometimes stop both types of episodes, but sometimes, I just have to ride them out as nothing I do will stop them.
<3>Oh god, it’s happening again!

I once witnessed my mother have 2 Grand Mal seizures, one in her bedroom and another right beside me in a hotel bathroom. The hotel bathroom one was the most terrifying, as I pretty much witnessed the whole scene, from her body crashing to the ground, to the moaning and crying sounds she made as the seizure progressed. Thankfully, she survived the whole thing and is doing really well now.
As a result of this, I now have PTSD traits. These attacks often come in the form of repeating, repeating, repeating, repeating flashbacks of those horrifying nights, or some other scene/event, either related or unrelated. They can occur randomly, though nowhere as near as often as they used to. More often now-a-days, they are brought on by certain events that happen in movies, TV shows or real life. These include the following.

  • Loud bangs, explosions, gunshots etc.
  • Brutal torture/murder scenes, such as the famous shower scene from the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock movie Psycho.
  • Scenes of intense emotional and/or physical distress.
  • Scenes of physical abuse/violence.

8/16-bit, cartoon and sci-fi sounds are not seen as PTSD attack triggers. This means that 8-bit sounding gunshots, cartoony punching sounds and lasers are completely fine.

Shutdowns

Sometimes, if I feel high stress or anxiety, I will go into shutdown mode. Mind and body simply stop working. I am perfectly awake and aware of what is happening around me, I just can’t speak, move or do anything. It’s kind of like when too many people visit a website at once and the server becomes unresponsive for a while because it has too many requests to process and can’t handle them all, or when there is a surge of electricity and the trip switch flips, knocking out the power to your house to protect your appliances. These shutdowns are a protection mechanism. If I didn’t shut down, I’d most likely have an anxiety attack, much like if there was no trip switch to go off in a power surge, there’d most likely be a fire. Shutdowns vary in length; the longest shutdown I had was about 11 minutes long. Also, one or more of the above can be happening during a shutdown. I may or may not feel tired or develop a headache after a shutdown; tiredness is more common. Take this into account if you ever see me still and quiet for a long time or I seem out of it.

Conclusion

I hope I have explained myself clearly and that you can understand the things I have to battle with on a day to day basis. Mental health is something I feel very passionate about. I feel we should all be able to talk about it. It’s OK not to be OK.

© 2024 Seedy Spews

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑