Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Clean Slate

I am not by nature a particularly neat and organized person. At least, I'm not organized in a neat fashion. My wife would assure you that the picture of my desk above is a rather tame condition for the wilds I normally inhabit. (The walls are still a might bit dark for my taste, but that will have to await completion of the basement improvements).
My desk, in its state of disorganization, patiently awaited my return from a holiday. We arrived at the Lake House a week ago. Shortly after arriving, I took off my watch, as I readied to hit the water. I didn't put it back on until the drive home on Sunday.

I spent a good deal of time on the water, in the row boat or canoe. It's not a big lake. About 10-15 minutes is enough for a full circuit in a boat. There are about 8 houses surrounding it (two of which are for sale!). But the family Lake House is at our disposal, so there's little need for us to purchase our own plot any time soon. Good to know it's there for our use as we wish. We might get a small sailboat (say 14-18') sometime to supplement the rowboat and canoe there. It'd be a nice place to practice.
It was overall a peaceful and refreshing break. Our visit to the Lake House last year in fact was a major factor in our deciding to move to these parts. Our requirements were simple: affordable, near family, near the water. Many places would have fit the bill. But the peacefulness of nature at the Lake House was a reminder of what we wanted to capture.

There was little cause for my initial concern over spending five days away from home. I've sometimes felt a fish out of water during family vacations. I just let go this time. It helps of course, that there were others (mostly the inlaws) to entertain the boys much of the time, freeing me up to boat, or to read or just sit when the weather dictated.
In the end however, I find my slate has been wiped clean. I checked off the remaining two tasks on my to-do list this morning. I've spent much of the past couple days dealing with some technical issues regarding my websites and email servers.

I've been reading up on some of the engineering side of the research I'm involved in. Before me lies the patent preparations. Immediately, my plan is to develop my "technology narrative," sort of a white paper to explain what I'm doing, its relevance, the procedures, the market. This will be the basis for the patent description, and also for future grant and funding proposals.

Even though I've got this goal, it's dauntingly open. At the moment, I have no hard deadlines. A soft one I've self-imposed of the end of the summer to have the patent materials completed. It's soft because I'm not certain whether I'll file a provisional or full utility patent, or whether I might put off the patent filing for a time once I've gone through the process. There may be reasons to delay, so I'm open to the prospect (as long as I'm poised to file with everything prepared).

Will I get the grant I submitted last month? No telling. It'd be nice, but it won't really change my plans one way or the other. The next round of deadlines for grants and such is October-December, so that won't occupy me this summer. It feels good to be where we are. But things have slowed down a bit. I just want to keep up the momentum, even while I'm enjoying a bit of coasting.


What Now? said...

A vacation is good for the soul (and sadly, I don't think D and I are going to get one this summer) -- I'm glad you all had a rejuvenating time away.

Lilian said...

Well, I'm glad you had such a refreshing vacation. I don't know if you had time to catch up reading my blog, but we have taken some new and momentous decisions, some of which are still in the making. I wrote about having a positive attitude, and even mentioned you in that post (read in order, it will make more sense), but I have to make a concerted effort to stay positive, that's for sure!