Saturday, July 12, 2008


Abundance is a good thing to have. I can't say that we are wealthy, but we have enough. Luckily, thanks to our savings and the generosity of state-sponsored benefits, we have enough to survive as a family in relative comfort for a few more years, without worrying too much about when and how much income. It is a luxury for which, though I think we are worthy of it, I am truly grateful.

What it gives us is an abundance of time. It's ours to choose how that time is spent. I'm plugging away at my business plans and research. I've realized that while I've been placing a priority on developing the materials for a patent application, what I really need is to develop some proofs-of-concept. These are complementary enterprises, so I'm not too concerned. It's just good to keep priorities in mind.

Time. To some extent, time is on my side. I'm in no rush. There is little to be gained from rushing through a patent application. Without the proofs-of-concept no one is going to take me and my technology seriously. That's an advantage as I see it. The only real threat is if there is some maverick or outsider like me out there who either gets whiff of what I'm doing (not terribly likely) or who is developing such things concurrently and happens to reduce to practice before I do. For now, I'm discounting that possibility as rather unlikely, since I think it takes an odd and eclectic background and interest (as well as the means to spend a great deal of time on the project) to get where I am and where I'm going.

I'm planning to keep up with my schedule this summer. I've actually worked out a fuller and more detailed plan in the past week (which incidentally includes this book chapter I agreed to write--a promise is a promise). I've been playing with Gantt charts (which I first used in my recent grant proposal). But I'm also planning to keep my life in perspective. I'm moving ahead my plans to get a workstation dedicated to the research and software development. I might go for it in the next few weeks. I'm planning to run a flavor of Linux (any recommendations or cautions... I'm leaning toward SuSE at the moment), and pick up some powerful (possibly expensive) industry-strength software for prototyping and algorithm development. It's time to get serious in that regard.

It's not all work though. Today, I cleared out much of the garage, enough to park our car in there alongside our minivan. We've been here three months, and this is the first time. This morning, I finished putting up the ceiling tiles in the basement family room. All that remains is staining and putting in the baseboards and the doors, getting an area rug or ordering carpeting, then organizing and cleaning up. I also consolidated my books and papers in the office onto one large bookshelf, and moved the second large bookshelf into the living room, to store games and toys. It's a big improvement for both rooms, and gives the office more space which will be needed especially when I get the second workstation. More cleaning and organizing tomorrow, and I've committed to keeping the home projects end up, even if it eats into some of my workweek hours. In the end, I'm sure my work time will be more productive (and my life more fulfilled).

As soon as the family room is finished, I can set up the exercise room. I'm feeling my age (or worse). I'm 40. Too many people die young. I think of Tony Snow. No fan of his, I assure you. But no one should die at 53! I think of Douglas Adams. I am a fan of his. My wife and I heard him speak about a week before he died in 2001, at the age of 49! My dad was 69 when he died of prostate cancer. Give me 30 more years, that's all I ask. But it's a tall order I know. It's best I do my part, meaning exercise for one.

1 comment:

Lilian said...

I'm glad you're in this position and I hope we can begin to feel settled in a few years. I know that you're not really "settled," but you can stay put for now and work on your projects.

I'm going to put up some photos of the home renovations in a Picasa album and I'll email you the link if you're interested.

As for thinking about health and, why not, death, I think it's important to try to do our part to staying healthy. I do not exercise at all and I feel bad about it. I know I have to do something. Well, I'm 3 years behind you, but I should still be careful. :-)