Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Try and try again

Over the past couple of months I’ve been doing a fair bit of travel for conferences, short course, and writing workshop. Each meeting has been inspirational; each has resulted in additions to the list of things I want to accomplish in terms of research, data analysis, and writing papers for publication. However, the time I spend out of town for each of these meetings, combined with sight-seeing and exploring each new city ± time spent with friends at each location has meant that despite my inclination towards these tasks, the actual number of hours spent engaged in accomplishing them is distressingly low.

This is partially due to the amount of time it takes to arrange the logistics of travel—booking flights, arranging accommodation, packing, etc. and to the amount of time the travel itself takes up. Alas, my computer does not lend itself to in-flight use which so many fellow travelers accomplish—my computer has a battery which holds a charge long enough to properly shut down in case of a power-failure, but not for long enough to be worth turning the computer on unless I have somewhere I can obtain a steady stream of fresh electricity to keep the computer happy. For those of us flying budget airlines, this is not yet an option on flights. Likewise, returning home from a week spent elsewhere results in many urgent small tasks that need doing promptly after my return, all of which add up to not much progress being made on the above mentioned tasks inspired by the meetings.

Fortunately, other than one short trip during the week next week to finally meet in person the people with whom I collaborated on a paper a few years back, I’ve no trips planed until the end of the month. Therefore I state publicly here before you all that my goal is to not only get my next experiment downloaded, polished and ready for my scheduled microprobe analysis next week, but to also finish up at least one of the papers in progress and send it off to my erstwhile advisor for comment before submitting it. Readers who have been following my posts for a while might feel compelled to point out that I’ve stated that particular goal hitherto, but then gotten distracted preparing for upcoming talks on my current research. It is time to try again!

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