Wednesday, September 30, 2009


A little piece of my latest excel data entry session.

The annual meeting for the American Academy of Ophthalmology is coming up in a month. Every year, around 15,000 ophthalmologist from all over the world descend on a city to learn from the luminaries in the field and to show that same city how to really party. You can't swing a stick without hitting a man in a tweed coat telling a hilarious story about his latest antics involving ocular coherence tomography interpretation. "So I said...what of it? Why don't we just reverse the polarity if she can't keep her forehead against the headrest!!!" (huge guffaws from all around)

The AAO meeting has different meaning for me this year. Dr. Durrie (the man I moved here to work with) is one of those luminaries that people are coming to hear. It means that for six days, he will not stop giving presentations, holding meetings, or presiding over board meetings. It also means that for the last few weeks, I have been filling in excel spreadsheets, creating power point presentations, and coordinating with meeting, well, coordinators. It is hundreds of hours of work. It is tedious to the extreme. But it is part of the process.

I've got to take a moment to sit back and enjoy the fact that I get the privilege of creating power points and compiling analyses that people are flying half way around the world to see. I was one of those people two years ago. It is really easy for me to get downcast when I'm not actively in surgery or with patients in clinic, but this is all part of the process. There is a lot of tedium on the way to doing great things. Everyone I've ever talked to that did anything worthwhile says the same thing. And I bet they all thought their work was pretty uninspiring at the time, too.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Trying to get up early like Pop does

This is me this early. It is not attractive.

Up at 5 a.m. this morning. I've made at least a dozen tries to get in the habit of getting up at 5 in order to make the day a little longer, and to get a little more done. That means that I've failed to make it a habit that many times. Mark Twain used to say that giving up smoking was the easiest thing in the world, and he knew it because he'd done it thousands of times. That's how I am with deciding that I will start getting up at 5.

I've spent the majority of my adult life trying to improve my self discipline by emulating my father in different ways. I don't know if I can remember a time that I ever woke up before Pop when I was growing up. Even morning when I would get up at 4:30 for a fishing trip, Pop was already making coffee, or was upstairs spending quiet time with God. It has been inspiring to watch him my whole life. Almost all the pressure I feel to do great things is from watching him live a life of discipline and realized potential, and not from him saying it directly.

I think I'm really serious when I wake up this early in the morning. I guess morning is a somber time for me. I'll end by saying this weekend was fun. Went to a Royals game, post op clinic Saturday morning, zoo Saturday afternoon, Blues festival on Saturday night. We saw the Blind Boys of Alabama sing. Lizzy got their signatures on a CD afterward.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Growing Out (and up)

This is what I look like now

I realize that our profile picture is a bit deceiving. I am no longer shaped like I was in that photograph. I have evolved into some sort of more geometric figure with the semblance of legs and arms. We are now 18 days away from young Luke Hunter's arrival and I have been becoming increasingly anxious about parenthood. It is a very sobering thought to know that in a matter of weeks, we will be solely responsible for a human life outside of our own.

At one time I had found solace in the fact that I have kept our dog alive for seven years but I hear that babies are very different from canines. For one, they have thumbs. And there are a couple more that I can think of but won't bore you with. My confidence however is waning after yesterday I forgot to feed our dog completely. She is still alive though so that's good. And I have heard that babies are more vocal about being hungry. That is another difference from our dog who just stares at us which, in my defense, could mean many things.

As under prepared as I feel, I'm so excited to meet this young man who has been simmering away for the past 8.75 months. Right now it is hard to imagine what it will be like to see him face to face. I think he will be very handsome and burly. I also think that he will be very good at math. He will be born knowing formulas like 4/3 (pi)(r) cubed. Ironically, that is also the formula to find the volume of my current body type.

I am so thankful for this little one that God has given us. And I am equally thankful for a husband that will be an amazing father and will probably leave "Don't forget to feed the Luke" notes around the house to help me. I am so blessed to get to join him on this roller coaster called parenthood whether or not I feel like I meet the height requirement. Those are rough estimations anyway.


3rd inning.

Lizzy and I went to a baseball game last night. The Kansas City Royals were playing the Minnesota Twins. It was my first professional baseball game and it was a great time. I realized once again that I lack some sort of natural sports competition drive that most men have. People behind us started singing that "here we go, (name of batter), here we go!" for one guy and then the guy in front of us starting yelling "strike out!" whenever there was a beat pause in their chant. I looked at Lizzy and said, "I'm uncomfortable." But apparently I have a low threshold for conflict because I was the only one who thought it would escalate, and I'm glad because we were right in between them and I'm pretty sure it would have ended with beer getting dumped on us.

We had to leave a little early because I have Saturday clinic this morning. I just looked up the score and the Twins won. Probably an advantage with twins always knowing what the other one is thinking without having to say anything. That is a special bond.

Friday, September 25, 2009

If blogs were logs, I'd be a blumber jack.

With almost all the people I care about now blogging, I was inspired to get back into the swing of things and fire up the old blog again. It took me five minutes to remember our (our being Lizzy and me) account name and password. Then I spent 15 minutes trying to change our settings so that our blog would look attractive (I feel like Gollum saying "our" so much). The only theme that it uses is "old man learning to use a computer black font on white background theme." Then I tried to create links to other people's blogs, but couldn't figure out how to do it. Then I realized it didn't matter because the web address for our blog doesn't work anymore. And all this for the low price of $8.95 per month. So I looked at what Josh is using for his blog and joined it. Lizzy and I are blogspot people now, I just have to let her know that our new thing is that we really hate typepad.

The point of all this is that with Luke here in 19 days, and a free 30 minutes at lunch, it seemed like starting a new blog with Lizzy would be the right thing to do. I've got to get back to work. And later I have to tell Lizzy that we have a new blog and that we hate now.