Saturday, August 15, 2009

Arrival in NJ

I managed to do a lot yesterday, but the amplifier is still not complete! Everything requiring a drill press on a table saw is done. Sawing 1/16 inch stainless steel sheet metal with a metal-cutting blade on a table saw is a pretty impressive sight. Lots of sparks! As far I can tell, the blade for this purpose is some kind of high-tech fiber with diamonds in it. Very cool. someday I would like to replace the stainless steel sheet with brass, but brass is a lot more expensive and difficult to find. I was frustrated that I didn't have enough time to finish the project, but I'll able to do that when I get home.

The final interview is done. I now have plenty of footage to put together some fantastic content. If I end up needing anything more, I can simply ask one of the monks to record it with their camera and send it to me. Several of the monks are interested in photography and I'm sure some stuff will come out of it.

Two of the monks and I met about the website I introduced them to the first, very basic iteration of the PHP-based content management tool I've been building. At this stage it's really just a web-based HTML editor. Not the most user-friendly thing on earth! I've been working on creating PHP functions that "read" (actually, "parse") the HTML content and present the data in a more friendly way, but it's pretty tedious work!

Still, at least the monks will be able to change the content without my help! I can refine the tools as we go along.

Packing up was a challenge. The monks gave me about six boxes of books for the ARC back in Toronto (the library I'm helping to found). These books were left over from Br. Michael Stonebreaker, a monk who passed away last year. Incidentally, someone else promised to give me a few boxes of books as well, at some point, so our library is already starting to grow! When I get back to Toronto I need to make an effort to get that project going again.

Between the boxes of books and all my stuff the car was nearly full and I was totally exhausted. I was a little worried about driving in such a tired condition--but three red-bulls and a CD with Mickey Avalon was enough to keep my awake! I arrived and had a pleasant supper with my sister's family and my mom. Sipping Grand Marnier in my grandpa's old chair by the hearthy, I started nodding off until my mom suggested I might just want to go to bed! Eleven hours of excellent sleep the same room I had in high school.

Today we are having a party. We all seem to be alternating between preparing for the party and playing with my nephew Charlie! He's such a wonderful, happy kid. It makes me hopeful that our child might turn out okay!


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