Bleary eyed, stacks of chocolate muffins obscuring the “healthy snacking” sign, kids on heelers. Yes, I’m in the airport at stupid-o-clock on saturday morning. I’m heading out to Philadelphia for an OBI meeting. It’s an important meeting; OBI has been a long time in gestation, but this should constitute the 1.0 release; it’s going to be a mass tidy up session.

I’m quite looking forward to it, in some ways. I quite like Philadelphia, at least if my memory serves me well; I’ve only been there once, for the SOFG conference many, many moons ago, certainly in my pre-blog days. I remember it as a pleasant town, with a water-front, only slightly scarred by the enormous roads that make US cities less livable than European. I’m also hoping to catch up with Robin McEntire, who was one of the co-chairs of Bio-Ontologies at ISMB, and is local.

I’m rather unprepared for the meeting. There has been a lot of activity on the mailing list recently, some of it concerned with paper preparation. But I’ve been trying to get the rest of my teaching preparation finished (nearly done now) which has left me very busy over the last few weeks; I haven’t even had time to look at the paper; I’ve hardly read even the mailing list subject lines. Still, the next week is entirely given over to OBI, which will have to be enough. Travel at this time of year messes with my life to an extent that I’m certainly not going to feel guilty about it.

The flip side of being busy, is that I am now in the process of writing about 5 papers, with the next 2 in my head. After the confusion of moving to Newcastle, working out what research to do and learning to teach, my research was getting a bit stuck; I was running out of ideas for the simple reason of not having time to think. Having an enormous backlog of nearly finished, half-finished, and hardly started good ideas (most of which will, in time, turn out not to be) for papers makes me feel like a proper academic again.