Today was the first day since I have been back that I did not have to go to a meeting; there has been the usual Practice Committee and Senior Staff, and then yesterday I went to Green Gulch for the Environmental Committee. Naturally I went by bike, even though it meant I would miss afternoon zazen, to the apparent consternation of some of the regulars. So today I tried to catch up with a few things, and principally what I did was get eight dharma talks onto the website.
I thought I would be able to get through them all in the morning, but it did not turn out like that. For City Center talks, the process is relatively straightforward: I 'top and tail', as we used to say at the BBC, making sure the beginning and end are cleanly edited. Sometimes I take out any stumbles or microphone fiddling in the first minute, just so the talk begins smoothly. I don't usually do any 'de-umming', which was a staple job in news audio, removing hesitations and, well, ums. Sometimes if the speaker pauses for a long time - thirty seconds or more is not uncommon - I will shorten that a little, as it always seems much longer if you are not in the room with them. If there are questions and answers, as there were with Michael's talk this week, I usually boost the volume of the questioner so that they are audible, which can be tricky if they are speaking from the other end of the room and are not very loud to begin with. Compared to talks from Green Gulch and Tassajara, though, these are all fairly quick and simple things to deal with. For those talks, I usually take out a bit of the background noise, and will often adjust the overall volume, and perhaps do a little EQ. These are operations that take time for the computer to process, likewise the exporting to the network drive, which is why doing eight talks took me most of the day.
Once that is done, I have to write up the tags for the mp3 files - having converted the City Center talks from wavs beforehand - send them to the multimedia drive by FTP, and then write the web page and podcast details using Spider Edit, and of course check that the links on the site do actually work.
I just finished entering the last details at five o'clock, so I went upstairs to put on my robes for zazen, and came back to the office to find Greg at the computer downloading a fresh batch of talks from Tassajara, so it looks like more of the same on Monday...