Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Day 67: DONE!

Day 67 of #100DaysofHannah and #100DaystoOffload - I'm. Done.

Well, y'all. Today was my last day of residency.
Not gonna lie, it feels really weird.

And COVID probably doesn't make it any more normal..
Because instead of seeing patients and saying goodbyes to other residents and giving hugs to the people who I have become closest to over the past year, it just...ended.

I'm not much of an emotions person, so I suppose it makes sense for me to feel all that much in response to the ending of this time.   There were no tears. I felt little relief.  If I'm honest, it doesn't really feel real yet.

I guess I'll give that time.

A couple of days with nothing booked will surely drive me crazy in no time.

But, I guess it'll also give me a chance to write, music, and work out more - which I'll never complain about.

Here's to the next chapter and figuring out what in the world I'm doing with this crazy life.

Til tomorrow,

Question of the Day: Why don't I feel things when they end?
Challenge of the Day: Play a game.
Photo of the day:

Monday, June 29, 2020

Day 66: Tired

It's Day 66 of #100DaysofHannah and #100DaystoOffload and guess what?!

Yeah, I don't feel like blogging once again.

So, I guess I'll just link to a new youtuber I found this evening.

Til Tomorrow,

Question of the Day: How do you find time to do everything that needs done?
Challenge of the Day: Organize something
Photo of the Day:

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Day 65: Project One - DONE!

Day 65 of #100DaysofHannah and #100DaystoOffload brought to you by...

(Nope... not excited at all.)

I'm not saying I'm a huge procrastinator, but considering I turned in the first 10 pages of my draft four months ago, well, you get the picture.

It's not that I haven't been working on it.
It's just that this paper didn't necessarily take priority over the other day to day responsibilities of residency.

And so, despite my best intentions, it didn't get done.

Until today.
25 pages, 9,266 words, 62,724 characters.

Not gonna lie - it feels good.

Now to just find someone to proof it before turning in the final copy on Tuesday...

'Til tomorrow,

Question of the Day: What did you accomplish today?
Challenge of the Day: Finish a project!
Photo of the Day: (Check out that Saharan sand haze!)

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Day 64: Decisions

Today's post, for day 64 of #100daystooffload and #100DaysofHannah is brought to you by decisions.

Guys. I don't like making decisions.
At all.
Mainly because I don't want my decisions to hurt the people that matter most to me. 

Which makes it hard. 

People often tell me that I should stop worrying about everything else and do what's right for me. 
But, most often, it feels like what's best for others is best for me.

Some days though, it's not. 

I've been stuck in trying to make a relatively important decision for somewhere around 3 weeks now. My every intention was to take the option that was most beneficial for the most people.

But after 3 weeks of limbo, over the last few days, I began to question if what I felt was best for everyone else could actually be harmful to me. Stressed, anxious, and distracted, I began to feel like there was no way out of the situation - as every outcome could hurt someone I valued.

Thankfully, as the situation culminated today, there were people in my life who could speak into the chaos, reminding me that it would be okay, regardless of the decision.

As the evening draws to a close, it's still easy to question if I made the right decision.
But, at last, a decision is made.
And that? That feels good. 

Til tomorrow, 

Question of the Day: How do you know you made the right decision?
Challenge of the Day: Make a decision
Photo of the Day - because my mom takes awesome photos! 

Friday, June 26, 2020

Day 63: Frustrated

It's Day 63 of #100daystooffload and #100DaysofHannah, and y'all - I'm frustrated.

I feel like I generally hold up decently well under stress, but this week has been something else. 

Deadlines and last minute schedule changes, misinformation, and poor communication have plagued my days, leaving me exhausted with little else to show.

On days like these, I admittedly am sometimes tempted to quit. 
Throw in the towel. 
Say enough is enough.
Just run away from it all. 

Thank God I don't do everything I'm tempted to do. 

Til tomorrow 

Question of the Day : what keeps you from quitting?
Challenge of the Day : keep going
Photo of the Day :

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Day 62: Thankful

Day 62 of #100DaysofHannah and #100DaystoOffload...

Today is another, "but I don't want to blog" post.

I was planning on writing this post earlier in the evening, but plans change.

And I think topics will too, considering I just wrote one out and then wasn't sure how to finish it.
So, instead, I'll just type out a couple of things that I'm thankful for today:

-conversations with family to get me out of my head
-friends to do this weird life thing with
-uncertainty to force me back to the arms of the Father

Til tomorrow,

Question of the Day: How do you get out of your head?
Challenge of the Day: list 3 things you're thankful for
Photo of the Day: I really didn't get out today, so we'll skip the daily pic for now

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Day 61: Perspective

It's Day 61 (I think) of #100DaysofHannah and #100DaystoOffload

I think the worst part of trying to blog for 100 days straight is when you get to the end of the day, are completely exhausted and just want to sleep - only to remember: I still have to blog.

With that in mind, I have a feeling that in 40 days, I won't continue this daily blogging bit.
Maybe I'll try to aim for 3 days a week.
Who knows.
It'd just be nice to have some flexibility.

Right now, I honestly feel like I don't have much flexibility in life.
Which I'm super frustrated by.
Few answers.
Lots of questions.
An endless limbo (which, by the way, used to be a funeral dance - fun fact of the day)

Which really means I really just need to sit back and get a healthy dose of perspective.

I listened to a sermon from Bethel this morning (instead of going on my usual walk/run, because it was pouring), talking about the perspective achieved by being seated in heavenly realms.  Seeing life from the point of view of eternity.

I'll admit. That's hard for me.

I'm a live in the moment person.
Which isn't to say that I don't get in my head - I can, and I do.
I just function better when I'm engaged in the moment

But when you're engrossed in the moment, it's real easy to hone in on the little things
Like weight
And jobs
And emails
And deadlines

And miss the big picture:
Life, friends, family, community, eternity

Which isn't to say that the little things don't matter
Because they're definitely important too.

But in the strife for perfection in the little things
Let us not lose sight of what matters most

'Til tomorrow,

Question of the Day: Does any of this matter?
Challenge of the Day: Take a step back and try to see the big picture
Photo of the Day: Old pic, courtesy of Justin

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Day 60: Haiku

Happy day 60 of #100DaysofHannah and #100daystooffload!

For today, let's Haiku! 

It is getting late. 
I have been working all day. 
When will this be done? 

Til tomorrow, 

Question of the Day: why is there always more work?
Challenge of the Day: be happy!
Photo of the Day: 

Monday, June 22, 2020

Day 59: Undeserved

Day 59 of #100DaysofHannah and #100DaystoOffload brought to you by thoughts and rain.

First things first though:
1) For those paying attention to my numbering, it may look like I skipped a day (from 56 to 58).  Well, I did and I didn't. Yesterday afternoon I realized when looking at my posts that I repeated day 51.  Oops.

2) I was going to explain this (and write more) in yesterday's post, but I was super tired early in the evening, and ended up passing out for a few hours. Only to wake up somewhere near 11p and realize that I had yet to blog. So I pried my eyes open, pulled out my phone, wrote... 15 words or less?, removed my contacts, and passed out until morning.

Okay, now we can move on.

This afternoon, I heard someone say "everyone deserves to be loved."

And while I fully understand what was meant by the words, I can't help but disagree, because everyone, in fact, does not deserve to be loved.

On the contrary, I would argue that no one deserves to be loved.

*I'll give everyone who wants to stop reading now a moment to do so*

I'll say it again - no one deserves to be loved.

But, Hannah, you may be thinking.
I deserve to be loved - I'm a good person.

But, do you? Can you honestly say that you've never hurt someone? Can you honestly say that you've never made a mistake that, intentionally or not, has caused pain to someone else?

I know I can't.

But, maybe if not adults - what about children?

Y'all. I love kids - I really do.
But what has a baby done to deserve love? They eat, sleep, cry, puke, poop, and pee.  Are you telling me that these animalistic behaviors call for merit?

And older children - can any amount of cuteness, any cuddles, any sweet comments erase their many painful mistakes and truly earn love?

From my perspective anyway, no, it can't.

Primarily because love is a gift.
Not a merit.

Love is freely given.
Not earned.


For, love that is earned is simply a token for the winner
Love that is freely given mirrors and defines the giver.

Which can be really hard for me to accept.
I so often want the love I receive to be a reflection of me.
Something I have earned.
Something I deserve.

But when I look to those who love me best, I am forced to see the scene differently.

I do not deserve my parents' love.
And yet they love me.

I do not deserve my friends' love.
And yet they forgive me.

I could never deserve the Father's love.
And yet He calls me His own.

May I daily learn to live and love has He has


How great is the love that the Father has lavished upon us that we should be called children of God - 1 John 3:1

'Til tomorrow,

Question of the Day: How do you minimize distractions?
Challenge of the Day: Sing, sing a song...
Photo of the Day:

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Day 58: Restless

Question of the Day: what makes sleep restless?
Challenge of the Day: Do 25 lunges
Photo of the Day: 

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Day 56: Year One

Happy Day 56 of #100DaysofHannah and #100DaystoOffload.

As of today, I have been a Texan for a full year... which is crazy to think about.

A lot has happened since I journeyed from Ohio a year ago...
I struggled to find a house
Finally found one on essentially the last day possible
Moved in at 9 so Dad could fly out at 1p and I could be on another plane by evening
Spent a fantastic weekend with two of my favorite people
Got back at 11p on a Sunday night - just in time to get a few hours of sleep before starting my first day of residency 
Where I met my co-residents...

From there, there was making my house a home
Discovering the beach
Making friends with the people I was paired with most every day
Hours upon hours of patient care
Countless failed plans
A few successful trips
My first major holidays away from home...

Joining a new community
A pandemic with months of quarantine.
Solitude in isolation.

And so much more.

While this past year was nothing like what I anticipated, I’m so grateful for all the people who have made this past year everything that it was.

Life will undoubtedly be changing again soon.  Though, how, God only knows.
It’s easy for me to want to fight those changes - I’m not a fan of good things coming to an end.

For tonight though, I think a quote from Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium is most fitting:
“All stories, even the ones we love, must eventually come to an end, and when they do, its only an opportunity for another story to begin.”

Here’s to writing your story - one day at a time.

‘Til tomorrow,

Question of the Day: Do you like the beginning or end of books better?
Challenge of the Day: Be willing to let go and embrace change
Photo of the Day: Double rainbow... Right before getting drenched! 

Friday, June 19, 2020

Day 55: Phone

Day 55 of #100DaysofHannah and #100daystooffload brought to you from my phone.

This is definitely not the device for blogging, but it's late and I'm tried. 

And I mostly forgot that I hadn't blogged today. Oops. 

Again, sign of a good day. 
And a need for sleep. 

Til tomorrow,

Question of the Day: What's your favorite board game?
Challenge of the Day: Blog from your phone
Photo of the Day: 

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Day 54: Tech Support

Well y'all - it's official.  After nearly 3 hours of trying to install plug-ins in Ardour to allow for increased instrumentation (more than the synth that came with the program) - I have a working midi controller that actually sounds like a piano!

And am tired of being on the computer.

Happy Day 54 of #100DaysofHannah and #100DaystoOffload.

Here's to hoping that I make up for tonight's utter lack of work-related productivity... sometime soon.

'Til tomorrow,

Question of the Day: How long can you really go without getting groceries?
Challenge of the Day: Say no.
Photo of the Day:

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Day 53: Time

Day 53 of #100DaysofHannah and #100DaysofHannah

This post brought to you by yet another long day of work, an evening walk, and super sore feet.

Well guys, I finally worked on that dreaded paper today.
You know, the one that I've been saying that I would write for the last... month or so?

I wish I could say that it's done, but it's far from it.
Somehow, I'm nearly 20 pages in, and STILL NOT FINISHED.
Which is probably why it's been so easy to put it off.

Well, that and there are other projects that always take precedence.
Most of them, at least when it comes to work, are because they have to come first.
Papers have to be graded. Charts finished. Presentations prepared.
And if there's extra time, then there's this other paper looming in the background.

But, now there's not much time.
And if I want to enjoy any of the next two weeks, it would probably behoove me to get to writing.

Thinking back to the beginning of quarantine, it's absolutely crazy how much time I had.

I mean, I was listening to something like 4 optional lectures per day.
Which was awesome... but how in the world did I have so much time?!

How was I able to go on walks (while listening to lectures) and work out (while listening to lectures) multiple times a day?!
How did I have time to binge watch 5 seasons of a show in a matter of weeks?
When now, I've started getting up earlier and going to bed later to try to make more time to do what feels like less.


In any case, I have a workout to finish before bed, and I'm getting tired.

'Til tomorrow,

Question of the Day: Have you noticed a massive schedule change since the beginning of COVID?
Challenge of the Day: Do hard things
Photo of the Day:This adorable pup joined me on my evening walk and ended up following me for over 30 minutes. I don't know if he/she's lost or what, and I didn't bring him/her into the house, but this is the second night seeing him/her around, so if anyone has details, let me know!

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Day 52: (No) Free Lunch

Day 52 of #100DaysofHannah and #100DaystoOffload

It's getting late y'all!

Admittedly, I got pretty distracted this evening.  It's been a couple of days since I got to mess with music, and so, after a full day of work and an hour of CE this evening, though I planned on a successful evening of grading, I got caught up harmonizing instead.


I have a feeling this is going to become a frequent problem...

However, I realized early in the evening that I haven't even contemplated going back to the TV show I was in the middle of binging for something like 2 weeks - I'm gonna call that a win.

The trade-offs in life are always interesting to look at.

In high-school, I remember my economics teacher frequently telling us that there's no such thing as a free lunch.  There is always a cost, even if it isn't immediately apparent.

I find this to be most true in relation to time. Every moment that I choose to spend engaged in one activity is time that I cannot dedicate to another.

Which sort of really sucks when you're someone who wants to do everything
(Okay, maybe that's not entirely accurate, considering how much of an introverted home-body I am...)

Recently, I've often been feeling like I don't have enough time - to work out, to spend time with God, to mess with music, to finish other projects, to spend time (primarily virtually) with others, to work out (yes, this repetition is intentional).  It's long been said though, that you will always make time for what you value.

And so, I'm forced to go back and look at how I'm allocating my time.
Does it mirror what I claim to value?
Or does it show the disparity between my idealistic values and my true priorities?
And if disparity exists, what can I do to bring these two concepts into alignment?

I don't have all the answers, but I feel like it's going to come down to margin.

Which may be a conversation for a different day. Who knows.

'Til tomorrow,

Podcast of the Day: Sibling Summit - Episode 9
Song of the Day: My Eyes - because this seems like a remarkably fitting depiction of society at the present
Question of the Day: What does your time allocation show you about your priorities?
Challenge of the Day: Sing!
Photo of the Day:

Monday, June 15, 2020

Day 51: Long(er)

Day 51 of #100DaysofHannah and #100DaystoOffload gets to be another short post.

Question of the day is: what is it about physically being at work that makes a day so much more exhausting?

Today, as normal, the work day started at 7a with rounds.  However, unlike most days, I left the house immediately after their completion to get to work just in time to meet my patient at the front door. And the day continued from there, until I got home around 4:30.

But, for whatever reason, despite these hours not being all that unusual, I was exhausted by the time I returned to the safety of my lil house.

Maybe it was the uncertainty of knowing how many patients I would have?
Maybe it was the lack of food?
Maybe it was the significant increase in social interaction?

I really don't know what the cause was.  All I know is that past 4 hours have been WAYYY more unproductive than normal, and I don't like that.

But, like it or not, c'est la vie...

'Til tomorrow,

Song of the Day: Ixtapa - Rodrigo y Gabriela
Challenge of the Day: Accept reality. Don't fight it.
Photo of the Day:

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Day 51: Super short

It's Day 51 of #100daystooffload and #100DaysofHannah.

I'm tired - let's keep this short.

Question of the Day: Is it ever too late for an on-call call?
Challenge of the Day: let go of your plans
Photo of the day:

And now to try again tomorrow.


Saturday, June 13, 2020

Day 50: You can tech if you want to... (Part 3)

It's Day 50 of #100DaysofHannah and #100DaystoOffload, y'all!

Which is sort of crazy to think about.
We're halfway done with this insane challenge.  Then the question will be - do I continue blogging after the 100 days are up and try to go for a year of contiguous blogging? Who knows.

In any case, today was a pretty tech heavy day, so I guess that's the direction that this post will aim.

This post is a continuation of the thread: You can tech if you want to... (Part 1 and  Part 2)

A couple of days ago, my current set-up expanded once again, with the introduction of a cheap cam and an audio interface.  Admittedly, I was thrilled for the addition, as the combination would allow for use of my mic, as well as improved video conference capabilities. However, before today, I hadn't really had time to try them out.  That changed all changed though, thanks to our latest recording session for Sibling Summit this morning.

Over the last 2ish months, Justin and I have been using Zoom as the platform for podcast audio recording, as it allows for a joint audio/video connection that promotes easy integration of other family members, and was readily available for use on my iPad.  We continued with this process today.

Upon joining the meeting, Justin immediately noticed a problem with my sound quality.  After several minutes of trying to troubleshoot through system and zoom settings, it was discovered that the problem was with my USB connection (until 2 days ago, I had no idea that the USB color made a difference...) I had plugged the interface into a 2.0 rather than a 3.1.  Switching this made all the difference.

The second problem was my video. I'd literally just put the cam on top of my computer - it never occurred to me that it would need individually focused (duh, Hannah. Don't you work with optics every day?!)  Easy fix.  However, through the course of recording, it was decided that I probably should invest in some form lighting (which, was poor, secondary to my aversion to lights). For today, this was managed by pulling up our show notes out of dark mode, but I'll probably look for something better in the future.

Discovery three was how closely dynamic/directional mics need to be to pick up sounds.   Which was mildly problematic, considering that my current set up and mic stand would require me to be approximately 6 inches from the screen to have my mouth close enough to the mic. For today, I chose to simply hold the mic throughout the recording session.  I may stick with this for a while, but someday, I'm sure I'll switch to either an arm, or simply a taller stand for improved functionality.

After podcasting, I decided to attempt a few recordings of my own.  However, every time I tried to create a recording session in Ardour6, the program crashed.  Per Justin's suggestion, I switched to Audacity.  I was able to lay down a couple of tracks, but I was quickly frustrated by the effort that it took to overlay the two (though, I didn't read directions so, it's probably something simple that I was just missing..)  Post NTT, I decided to go back to Ardour.

First, I tried Ardour5.  While it never crashed, I couldn't get the system to accept separate input/outputs (which I currently need, as I don't have the adapter to use my headphones w/the audio interface). Back to Ardour6.  More crashes.  Finally, I decided to switch to an empty template for recording, rather than a recording session.  It opened fine! Two recorded tracks later (with substantial editing yet to go), I decided to call it quits with music for the night.

Long story short, it's probably obvious that I have a lot to learn about - well, everything tech related. And that I should really learn to read directions/listen to instructions/use tutorials.

But that's a discussion for another day.

'Til tomorrow,

Question of the Day: What's your favorite DAW?
Challenge: Figure something out without directions!
Photo of the Day:

Friday, June 12, 2020

Day 49: Fail

Day 49 of #100DaysofHannah and #100DaystoOffload gets to be another early blogging day - woot!

This post brought to you by an... interesting... day of work.

First off - background.

I am an optometrist, currently finishing out my neuro-optometric rehab residency at an academic institution. Being a resident during COVID has admittedly been an interesting experience.  (Though, let's be real, being alive in general during COVID has been an interesting experience.) Rather than being in clinic on a daily basis, my residency took a sharp didactic turn back in mid/late March when we switched from routine to essential and finally urgent/emergent care.  This meant that most of my days were spent listening to lectures, writing papers, preparing/giving presentations, or aiding in student instruction (to the best of my ability). However, all remaining patient care was also left to my six co-residents and I.

With one caveat: we were supposed to severely limit our time at the school/office - coming in to only see true urgencies/emergencies.

Enter telemedicine.

So, I should just get it out of the way now, and say that I am a huge proponent for the advancement of telemedicine, especially as it relates to optometry.  Admittedly, that's historically been a pretty unpopular opinion to have.  In my mind though, telemedicine is the way of the future - especially in light of the changes COVID has induced - simply because virtual is the reality of the future.* So, why not embrace the change rather than cling to the status quo?

What does telemedicine look like? Honestly, I think that right now that varies a lot by provider.  Currently, I use it primarily as a method of triage to determine which patients really need chair time, and from there can use it as a diagnostic tool in simple, relatively benign diagnoses.

Which, let's be real, most docs have been doing for years, just on a lesser scale.  I don't remember a get together that I've been to since starting optometry school where I didn't provide some sort of optometric consult, and I am frequently sent pictures or questions by friends and family members for advice and potential treatment options.  Right now, it's the same thing - just on a larger scale.

And what's not to love about it? I provide advice and diagnosis from the comfort of my home, and you receive the same advice without the hassle of the drive, wait, and exam.

(Note: this is not to say that I think we have the capabilities currently to allow telemedicine to replace in-person yearly comprehensive health exams - we don't.  Will we some day? Maybe. It's just to advocate for increased usage of virtual means to assess, diagnose, and treat relatively benign conditions in an effort to reduce unnecessary expenditures and appointments, therein ensuring availability for those who have a greater need for in-person services.)

However, some days, like today, telemedicine fails - though not in the way many would expect.

I believe I stated in my post last evening that I had been working to manage an after hours call.  Due to multiple factors, it was elected that this management continue to today, where, by 3p I had put in probably four hours, something like seven phone calls, and a ridiculous number of texts. By this point, I was running out of options, and so contacted the other residents to try to find a few more points of contact.  Within a minute or so, I got a message back from one of the other residents saying that she had some contact information, but that she had literally just got off the phone with them with a presentation that sounded oddly familiar...

A few private messages later confirmed what I suspected: we were both working to treat the same patient!

I couldn't believe it.
Neither could she.
Or the other docs that I had been consulting with.

How the patient decided that this was irrelevant information for both of us, I will probably never understand.  However, thankfully, after hours of individually working towards management, we were able to combine our efforts and (hopefully) successfully bring a treatment plan to fruition.

Telemedicine fail.

'Til tomorrow,

Question of the Day: Have you had any experiences with telemedicine?
Challenge of the Day: Do something you hate, but know you need to do (like making 7 phone calls when you'd rather never make one)
Photo of the Day:

*At least until someone, for fun or for power, decides to wreak havoc by use of EMP.  No, I'm not a conspiracy theorist - it's just the next plausible step as the world continues towards virtual societies.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Day 48: Never Enough

Day 48 of #100DaysofHannah and #100DaystoOffload...

Where. Did. Today. Go.

The days hasn't felt particularly short, but nevertheless, it feels like I've accomplished relatively little.  In reality though, I've probably done more than it feels like.

In fact, I know I have.
Like spending 1.5 hours in neuro rounds
And another 1+ submitting/grading papers
With another 1+ working on random work-related projects
Followed by an hour of journal club (which I may have gotten distracted during due to the arrival of my audio interface... :)
And 3+ hours of lecture
After which I got back to troubleshooting my newest tech for another hour.
(Audio interface, mic, headphones, and cam are all functional - just in time for another Sibling Summit recording session tomorrow! So. Excited. Now just counting down the days 'til the midi arrives to complete the gig!)
Just in time to head into work to take care of 8 projects (2 more hours down!)
And pick up the next part of my flute surgery kit (aka cling wrap)
And troubleshoot an after hours patient call
And attempt Day 3 of minor flute surgery

Which brings me to now.

So why do I feel so unaccomplished?
Honestly, it's because I haven't done a solid workout or gone for a second or third walk/run today.
And, admittedly, it's sort of killing me.

Recently, it's been easy to fall back into the mindset of "it's never enough."
No matter how much I workout, how many steps I get, what I (don't) eat - it's never enough.

And while I'd love to blame it on COVID and quarantine, anyone who knows me well knows that this is really nothing new.  Could the hours by myself and increased temptation to eat and the previous time for excessive exercise probably play a role in this exacerbation? Sure.

But exacerbations can only occur in the context of pre-existing disease.

A disease of which self love, acceptance, and forgiveness are the only cure.

It sounds so simple.
No formulas. No equations. No numbers.
Just three words...

You. Are. Enough.

'Til tomorrow,

Song of the Day: Never Enough
Question of the Day: What would you do if you knew you wouldn't fail?
Challenge of the Day: Believe you are enough.
Photo of the Day:

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Day 47: You can tech if you want to... (Part 2)

This post is a continuation of You can tech if you want to... (Part 1)

Day 47 of #100DaysofHannah and #100DaystoOffload... What to talk about today?

I've been super indecisive this evening, after a relatively productive day.
I was going to work out, but my shoulders are already incredibly tight from the 2 hours that I got to spend playing piano this late afternoon/early evening (because when it's been 3 months since you got to touch the keys you've got to take advantage of it!).
I was going to go for a walk, but I got distracted, and now feel like if I put off blogging it will be yet another short post (which is fine, but I'm still super enjoying being able to type on a real keyboard!)


So, I think I'll make this another tech-related post.  Again, apologies in advance for my likely incorrect technical terms.

First off, shout out to my older brother for his Fosstodon plug of yesterday's post!
He's mentioned that there may be an in-depth discussion of the build coming in his feed, so be sure to keep an eye on his #100DaystoBlog page here.

From there, I wanted to dive into my decision to finally embrace a non-portable set-up. So, here goes.

Historically, I have been 100% against desktops. For the last...9? years, permanence and stability were nowhere on my radar - first during undergrad, then during grad school.  Rather, I wanted something sleek and portable.  During undergrad, I relied on a Dell laptop (don't ask me the specs, I don't know them). It worked well, but it wasn't the sleek device that I relished carrying to classes or taking on trips.

Enter the iPad.

I'm not positive when I got my first iPad - though I'm thinking it was with the start of Optometry school.  We were informed early on that all of our testing would be online, and that the program was most compatible with Apple devices.  I remember there being a substantial argument between Justin and I as to what device I would need.  I argued that an iPad would be much more convenient to walk the mile to class with everyday, and that it would provide everything I needed.  He argued that a laptop would have significantly greater capabilities.  While he was undoubtedly right, it was my life, so I won.

Admittedly, I was perfectly happy with this minimalistic set-up for the entirety of grad school.  The iPad was an aesthetically pleasing, small, fully portable unit that met all of my non-phone needs.

And then came residency.

I think the initial thought of a permanent set-up started back in early March, about a month after Justin and I started recording our podcast, Sibling Summit. Up until this point, I had been getting along with my iPad as well as always.  It wasn't ideal for long writing sessions (my bluetooth keyboard has a habit of turning off mid-sentence and then taking a while to reconnect), but I had a dual monitor desktop at the office to work on with a work laptop to use besides.  However, as recordings continued, it became obvious that my simple iPad with $10 wired mic/headphone combo was not going to be enough.

First, we tired sidestepping the headphone/mic problem with a reasonable external mic and iPad adapter - but the mic adamantly refused to connect.

Idea two was a laptop. We (well, Justin), actually had the specs picked out, and we were literally sitting down to make the purchase when the idea of a desktop was thrown out again.

Justin priced out the preferred specs.
For roughly the same price, I could go with a desktop with significantly greater capabilities and a likely longer lifespan (secondary to fewer moving parts and, well, less physical movement).  Yes, it would involve more additional purchases (desk, monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc, etc, etc), but the end product should be better.  In the end though, it had to be my decision.

**Edit: I understood Justin's argument as, "desktops have fewer moving parts and will last longer." His true argument was, "when cramming everything into such a small footprint, there are trade-offs on power vs power consumption and speed, and to reduce the amount of heat, you end up paying more for a less powerful machine.  Also, the parts are not user replaceable, so if anything goes bad, you either have to return it, or completely replace the machine."**

So why did I finally cave?
  1. My life doesn't have to be portable anymore.  I'm sure I'll move again in the next 1-3 years, but that's not 3-6 months, and I've come to accept that my life will probably never again be able to fit solely in the back of my car.
  2. More options. In the weeks leading up to the decision, Justin introduced me to Hugo, which I'm interested in exploring more.  Additionally, with this set-up, especially with the combo of mic, audio interface, and midi controller, I have the opportunity to embrace the arts - from podcasting, to messing with music, to potential vlogging.
  3. More stability. As Justin put it - there are a lot of moving parts in a laptop.  In a desktop, you get rid of that, which increases the life expectancy of the device.
  4. It felt like a better deal.  After the price of all the additional gear is taken into account, that may not be the case, but on a basis of sheer computing power, the desktop wins, hands down.
Annnd with that, I think it's time to sleep.

Good night, y'all!
'Til tomorrow,


Question of the Day: Why is it so hard to be motivated after a productive day?
Challenge of the Day: Fold the laundry.
Photo of the Day: Literally the only picture I took all day...

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Day 46: You can tech if you want to...

This early evening post brought to you from my new (and first ever) build!

Happy Day 46 of #100DaysofHannah and #100DaystoOffload!

Okay, so I might be just a little excited about the new build.  This is my first time embracing a non-mobile unit and a Linux based OS, and I'm really enjoying exploring its functionality.  Because, why not?

Admittedly, I'm only a few hours in, but thus far I love it.

Experience thus far:
  • The interface is aesthetically appealing, and as a whole, easy to navigate (though it may help that my older brother is well-versed in the open source community and so can walk me through any difficulties I encounter..)
  • The PC itself is gorgeous.  I am incredibly impressed with System-76's work... which may have been documented in an unboxing photoshoot..
  • The open-source apps and add-ons that I've explored thus far are pretty solid.  My most recent install was Ardour, which I plan on using for all my recording needs.  I'm still missing the audio-interface and midi-controller to complete my set up, but I'm highly tempted to record a simple vocal project this evening to test out the basics of the system (and FINALLY put my mic to good use!)
Other build related thoughts:
  • In a blog a few weeks back, I mentioned making a decision regarding my desk - the first step in this quest towards permanence.  I landed on a simple L-shaped design with a metal frame and a faux-wood surface.  As with the build, I'm pleased with its aesthetics, and have been happy with its performance thus far.
  • Being Hannah, of course a simple desk was not compatible with my preference for at least standing, if not running in place, while working.  As such, I ordered a standing desk converter. Today is my first day truly using it, but its 32" frame is plenty large to house my monitor and keyboard.  Its height ranges from an additional 4" to nearly 20" above my desk, and is adjusted by a pneumatic spring lift.  The keyboard extension is admittedly a little shaky while running in place, but I suppose that's to be expected.  Nevertheless, I'm please with the addition.
  • I still have yet to figure out how to better arrange my setup.  Previously, I worked primarily with my work laptop and my iPad, which I would sit on various household items to get them to the proper height. The iPad likely will still end up on my desk converter, with the bluetooth keyboard next to my wired one for dual functionality.  However, my preferred standing desk height is not compatible with laptop use.  For the time being, I guess it will just remain on the crate that it's lived on for the past two weeks.
Non-build related thoughts:
  • In other news, today I completed minor flute surgery to adjust the key placement and allow for better pad contact (there may be a technical term for this... I don't know what it is), rather than sending it out for a general tune-up (which it probably needs, but I don't have time for before a tentative recording session). Thus far, it seems to be working significantly better - hopefully the change sticks!
  • I realized this evening how much I miss musical gigs, and just how long its been since I did one.  In undergrad, between jazz combos, solo performances, and pit orchestras, they were relatively frequent. But now, I guess it's been at least 5 years since my last (unless you count music for family funerals and a friend's wedding).  That is definitely a downfall of living in the city - there are thousands of people WAYYY more talented than I am in the surrounding area who can fill any musical need available.  Oh well - c'est la vie!
  • This is just a random discovery, but humming can help your sinuses!
Okay, that's enough for now.

'Til tomorrow,

Question of the Day: What are your favorite open source apps to improve quality of life?
Challenge of the Day: Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, HAVE FUN!
Photo of the Day:

PS: My apologies for any wording inaccuracies in this post - tech is NOT my primary (or even secondary language).
Links to any/all of the products (vaguely) referenced here available upon request!
(I think I've been doing too many case presentations recently...)

You can see the continuation of this discussion in my next post You can tech if you want to... (Part 2)

Monday, June 8, 2020

Day 45: Struggle

It’s Day 45 of #100DaysofHannah and #100DaystoOffload, and I really don’t want to be blogging, but I set out to do this thing, and so, by golly, I will type.

My posts as of late have been pretty lackluster.
But I guess maybe that’s life too.

I feel like I haven’t had any substantial insight in days.
More often than not, I’m simply trying to make it through the hours in the day to get to bed on the other side.
Which, I sort of hate.
But, most days I don’t know what else to do.
It can feel like I’m putting in so much effort just to keep my head above water.  How am I supposed to be swimming laps too?

I’ve seen posts saying that “we’re in the middle of a pandemic - it’s okay to be struggling,” but I still find that hard to accept.
Especially when things were rolling along so smoothly.

But somewhere I hit a snag.
A snag of headaches, and dizziness, and fatigue, and anxiety.
And I feel like I should know how to keep pushing through this, considering how often these events happen, but, I don’t.

If anyone else was in this position, I think I’d cut them some slack.
Why is it so hard to do that for me?

In any case, my ears are killing me.  Hopefully some day this will be cured by sleep.

‘Til tomorrow,

Question of the Day: How do you keep going when you don’t feel like it?
Challenge of the Day: Hum! It’s supposed to be good for your sinuses.
Photo of the Day:

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Day 44: Escape

Day 44 of #100DaysofHannah and #100DaystoOffload.  My brain is still fighting meaningful thoughts, so I guess we’ll go with a bit of a recap instead.

Today, admittedly, has felt super unproductive.
I had goals this morning of doing more - maybe trying to finish the paper that has been looming over me for months, or simply catch up on some documentation that I’ve been putting off.
I accomplished NONE of them.

Which isn’t to say that I didn’t do anything today.. I just didn’t do that.

Instead, for the first time since the beginning of quarantine, I left my immediate sphere of home, work, and groceries to venture out into nature.

I had been contemplating the excursion for several days, but finally, after a few hours of debate, decided to pull the trigger

Why all the contemplation?
I was afraid.
Afraid of COVID?  Not so much.
No, I was afraid of the possibility of crowds, paralyzing anxiety, my body giving out on me during the trip.

All the unknowns.

Which is what we’re always afraid of, right?
That’s the nature of fear - looking into the unknown and not being sure what come next.
Being concerned that the future will be dangerous or uncomfortable rather than trusting the one who holds the future (and the past).

For me, fear is easy.

And fighting fears?
That’s hard.

For today, facing my fears meant leaving the comfort of my house and embracing the adventure - come what may.

And you know what?  It was okay.

Yes, there were times of panic.
Yes, there were people.
No, the trip didn’t go as planned.
Yes, I spent the remainder of the day recovering from the exhaustion of heat, humidity, and dehydration.

But I made it through and am able to blog on the other side.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need more sleep.

‘Til tomorrow,

Question of the Day: Where would you escape to?
Challenge of the Day: Find a fear and face it!
Photo of the Day:

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Day 43: Autopilot

It’s sort of crazy that it’s been 43 days of #100DaysofHannah and #100DaystoOffload, and even crazier to think that in a week we’ll be halfway done.

As an aside, sorry for those who may be seeing the equivalent of two back-to-back posts.. my older bother alerted me about an hour to an hour and a half ago that I neglected to publish my post from yesterday... Oops!

In any case..
I feel like it’s been harder to write than normal recently.
Maybe that’s due to an uptick at work. Maybe it’s from excessive exhaustion at the end of the day.
Or maybe it’s because it’s been easier to turn my brain off and actively process life.

Just sort of flying on autopilot.

If I’m honest, I hate when I’m on autopilot.  Life loses its meaning and every day is just a repeat of the one before.
But it’s still easy fo me to go there.
Living life trying to recreate the past rather than embrace the future.
Or trying to escape the discomfort of the moment and find at least distraction in some other place.

Which does... nothing.

But I’m too tired to create real thoughts. So I guess I’ll try again tomorrow.

‘Til then,

Podcast of the Day: Jesus Culture Podcast - This episode was incredible.  I’ve got a lot to learn, but so grateful for Dr. Efrem Smith being willing to share his heart and his story with Banning all those willing to listen.
Question of the Day: How often do you fall into autopilot?
Challenge of the Day: Do something that makes you uncomfortable
Photo of the Day: 

Friday, June 5, 2020

Day 42: Random (Round 2)

Day 42 of #100DaysofHannah and #100DaystoOffload... what to talk about today?

Hmm... I think it’ll be fun to do a bulleted list of random topics/thoughts.  Enjoy!

  • It’s Friday.  Which, when working from home has significantly less.. significance.  But in any case, the technical end of the work week is here. Huzzah!
  • Organization is really hard. Well, sort of.  As a kid, I loved to organize things - clothes at the store, CDs/DVDs in a bin, my friends’ rooms, my closet.. all the normal stuff.  I think I still, somewhat, like to organize.  But finding a suitable system for continued organization is much harder.  If y’all have suggestions, I’m open to hearing them.  Because my current “organize half of my life every other month”  schedule is sub-optimal.
  • I think I’ve had too much caffeine.  At this point it’s really not an energy thing.  It’s more of a - I can’t focus, my body is fighting everything I do, and my anxiety is spiking - thing, paired with the knowledge that I’m drinking ~12 cups/day.  Because it tastes good.  Guess it’s time to cut back again...
  • It’s bedtime. Because I’m tired of fighting for functionality today... and, supposedly, early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.  And all of those things sound lovely
‘Night y’all.


Question of the Day: How do you stay organized (if you are organized)?
Challenge of the Day: Go through a pile - I’m sure you have at least one - and get rid of some of the stuff. Or, at least put it where it’s supposed to go!
Photo of the Day:

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Day 41: Lights

Huzzah - Day 41 of #100DaysofHannah and #100DaystoOffoad.

I was gonna write a serious post tonight, but there’s a lot of (necessary) seriousness in the world right now, and I’m not a serious person (well, at least not socially), so light-hearted it is.

This post brought to you by another one of Hannah’s quirks: lights.

I don’t like lights.
I know, it’s sort of weird.
It’s not that I can’t see with lights (hemeralopia) or that I’m overly sensitive to lights (photophobia) - I just don’t like them.

And, that’s been the case, well, ever since I stopped being afraid of the dark probably around the age of five or six.

I was reminded of my distaste for lights while coming in from an evening walk (which was cut short by the presence of... other walkers. The horror.)
Yes, first there was the strong desire to avoid lights - you can see so much more and be seen so much less in the dark! But... it also probably looks sketchy, so I had modulate this one.
As I got closer to the house though, I was amused by all the lights in all the houses that I walked by, and the contrasting darkness of my own home.

No lights.
No signs of life.
Just empty darkness.
just how I like it.

It’s something that I often forget about in every day life, as I try to keep all of my environments at minimal light levels - my office (when I was at work), my exam room, and of course, my house.

Which, admittedly, can cause problems - especially with patient care... like at the VA, when I was reprimanded daily for 1) the temperature of my room and 2) my exceptionally low lighting conditions (which were not optimal for the potentially low vision patients I was seeking).

Other sub-optimal situations include when visitors come over (which is thankfully rare) and during zoom calls.

However, it means I also have an excuse to use Christmas lights year round, a mild decrease my electricity bill, and little trouble with any form of dark adaptation.

I’d say that’s a win.

‘Til tomorrow,

Question of the Day: Do dogs have gain control to decrease the wind noise while they stick their heads out the window when riding in a car?
Challenge of the Day: Turn off the lights!
Photo of the Day: 

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Day 40: Bleh?

Day 40 of #100DaysofHannah and #100DaystoOffload - only 60 more to go!

Keepin it short tonight - primarily because I am much too sleep deprived to put a lot of thought into writing meaningful words.


I’ve just sat here for 5 minutes and literally not come up with a single thing to say.

Which says enough.

Good night y’all. We’ll try this gig again tomorrow...


Question of the Day: Bartering goods and services - is it still a thing?
Challenge of the Day: Learn a new song
Photo of the Day: 

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Day 39: Home

It’s late, and I really should probably be going to bed in an attempt to catch up on some much needed sleep... but it’s Day 39 of #100DaystoOffload and #100DaysofHannah, so blog I must.

Especially because today is my favorite day of the year.

This past year has been one of many firsts for me, and as I begin this new revolution around the sun, I suppose it was fitting for yet another first to come - my first time spending my favorite day away from home.

I won’t lie, it’s felt a little weird.

With the passing of this day though, it feels fitting to finally discuss a topic that is close to my heart - home.

Growing up, I thought that home was simply the place where I had grown up - the fields, the barns, our house.
I loved home.
And, as such, was often afraid to leave, for fear that something would happen to the place I so dearly loved.

I don’t rightfully remember how long that lasted, or what happened to change my view of home, but over the years, home has come to mean so much more.

Home is my family - our laughter, our jokes, our love.
Home is the safety of friends who know and love me, no matter who or where I am.
Home is the language of the adopted families who so graciously let me in.
Home is sunsets at waters edge, a warm summer’s breeze, the night song of nature..
Home is siting in silence, alone with my savior.

And so, though thousands of miles away from the buildings that I love on this second day of June, today, and every day, I am home.

‘Til tomorrow,

Song of the Day: More to Me
Question of the Day: where are you home?
Challenge of the Day: Go. To. Bed.
Photo of the Day: I have pictures, but, for today, they will wait.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Day 38: Grateful

I am thoroughly convinced that super late posts (that I will hopefully be able to finish off before midnight) are the indicator of an amazing day.

And if they are not, they should be.

Because it’s definitely true today.

The day didn’t necessarily start out spectacular - it was cloudy and muggy and filled with grading papers.

But the second half? I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

With that in mind, tonight, I am exceptionally grateful for the people who have helped to make this crazy city my home.

‘Til tomorrow,

Song of the Day: Small World
Question of the Day: What does home mean to you?
Challenge of the Day: Do something you said you would do - even if it’s late
Photo of the Day: May update later.. It’s 5 til midnight and I should sleep
(Updated photo... over a month later.. :)

Day 1: Mornings

This post brought to you while sitting outside, sipping coffee, and watching the sun rise. For those of you who don’t know me, I have a ...