911 emergency! I don’t have shorts.

I find picking the assignments from the bank can be fun and interesting if you go a few pages into the list. This time I found one for doing a mock 911 call and recording it.

But in the spirit of the layering ideas the professor wants us to do. I decided to add in sound effects to make it more polished.

The story is me in Chicago with only pants and the weather decides to get up to 75 degrees. So this 911 call is me wanting someone to fix this problem and get me some shorts, Stat! The EMS voice is showing how they find me when they finally arrive and I am getting angry.

The image file is my photo of downtown Chicago showing clear skies with the temperature only starting to rise as I realize I only have pants.

Voices: I do both speaking parts using my iphone to record the voice files. I created two to help me layer. Those file types were not supported so I just recorded directly into the audacity software.
Telephone call file: http://freesound.org/people/Razzvio/sounds/79568/
EMS voice: http://freesound.org/people/nnus/sounds/127331/
Software used to compile: Audacity
Overall I really liked this assignment and found it fun to come up with a story and piece it together. I hope you enjoy!


Tell me a story about Chicago, Mr River.

For my next thought on something in the real world that could use a story I was reminded how fun it is to have a friend play tour guide when you are in a city. This past week I was in Chicago and a friend was taking me around the Magnificent Mile telling me about all the rich history. The sad thing was the lack of posts around the river that would explain exactly what she was telling me. So what if we took the river and buildings around it and made a story about it? This one would be biographical and tell the story of Chicago from the point of view of the river. You could take a bunch of different routes with this from either beginning of time to present, just the industrial revolution to now, or just present day, etc. All these would allow for you to tell what is around you that you are seeing and some history. The full story could be in a book and/or divided up among the river on posts so folks can read about it.
I even found a video on youtube that looks like an advertisement for the area already. So folks can see the value in marketing this and just giving it a different twist with my story.

Making sounds is hard!

Write a blog post that includes an embedded version of your foley recording. Include your list of brainstormed sounds and the objects or methods used to create the sounds. What was the experience like?

So this assignment really sounds fun to create the sound effects for a film. I have actually done this one other time but with music at the Museum of Moving Image in NYC where you got to dub over a movie with a different soundtrack to show the difference music makes in movies. If you have never been it is amazing and one of my favorite museums in the world.

Back to this assignment, I got a lot of good insights from the clips the professor provided and realized with the objects I had in my hotel room this was going to be a little harder than if I was back in my house. Not only that but doing it all in one take was crazy sounding. Since my birthday is in July I got the first 30 seconds of the movie. I copied down the following list of actions that would need sounds and the ideas I thought of to create them:


Actions/Objects needing sound Used to generate sound
Charlie running Me running in place with shoes on.
Charlie and horse running Me running in place and also hitting a wood door at same time with both hands alternating to make it sound like a horse
Charlie running up wooden stairs and horse running past Used door wood again.
Opening door and closing Opened and closed closet door
Steps in cage Walked on floor with shoes
Sleeping lion sound Breathed like I was asleep
Charlie Tip-toeing away Tip-toed on floor with shoes
Charlie touching door and pushing Touched the wood door to bathroom
Wooden latch falling Dropped an object on counter top
Sleeping lion Breathed like I was asleep


Here is my final clip:

As you can see it wasn’t exactly spot on but I feel this is the best I can do with the limits of a hotel room and only one take where you can’t mix different sounds later. It is a lot harder than I thought, even when practicing. Overall, it all worked minus the door slamming didn’t get picked up by my microphone but that is as best I could do since all the rest of the objects were around my bathroom. After all that work I want to say I now think the folks that do Foley should get a lot of credit. It is exhausting to think what is next and how to do it and well be creative. They are great at what they do and should get lots of love.

The lake is calling me

Create a story made only of sound effects, the Sound Effects Story assignment — a story told in five or more different sounds.

This assignment will be interesting to think through a story without dialogue but the other examples worked well so I think I can do it. I like the alien one for sure but it did have a little bit of voices. So keeping with my theme of escaping, visiting Chicago, and excited about the weather I came up with my idea pretty fast. It helped the window was open in my friend’s apartment and he lives by the huge lake! So here is my story of hearing the sounds of spring calling you outside and the lake tempting you to come out and play. The story spine would go something like this:

Once upon a time there was a city that had long been frozen in a back winter. Every day, they saw nothing but white snow and wanted to spring to arrive! Until one day, spring finally arrived and everything thawed! Because of that, the birds came out and he was able to go on the lake and enjoy the nice weather. All is good with the world when he gets away and sits on the end of pier.

Here is my final file on leaving the house and going to the lake dock.

The files I used to construct it are below:
Birds chirping sound file: http://freesound.org/people/keweldog/sounds/184870/
Door closing sound file: http://freesound.org/people/JarredGibb/sounds/219481/
Cars: http://freesound.org/people/FreqMan/sounds/20049/
Lake waves: http://freesound.org/people/Benboncan/sounds/67884/
Footsteps on a dock: http://freesound.org/people/joedeshon/sounds/78368/

The image is my own that I took of the lake in Chicago outside my friends house that inspired my idea.

I thought the tool was a little confusing at first but it worked well once I figured out you had to shift the sound files around and the layering. Here is my image of me having the files ready and starting to edit in Audacity. Not bad software and free!

Editing Sounds

Editing Sounds

No clouds here just nice sound weather to report

Create your own account on SoundCloud.com, write a blog post that embeds your audio directly into the post.

I was glad to see this week we could use soundcloud.com for our assignments. I have known about this site for years and used it to hear my favorite dj remixes or other random songs. However, I was always a consumer and never a creator on this site so looked forward to flipping my role. I do have to say that I never did provide someone a comment but have seen others do it. So I will be interested to see how that works out.
Okay I went ahead and created a username that would go with my other items of Claytondc because I like to have my name and city front and center. DC represent! The setup was straight forward and I was ready for my first sound file. After thinking a while I decided to do a weather report since I am in Chicago for work (escaping a little with friends for fun) and it is nice out. So here is my weather report and first sound file I uploaded to soundcloud. The image I got from facebook that someone posted with text on top of a scene from the movie “Office Space”. So here it is below:

Hope you enjoyed it and glad I figured out all the little items to make it work.

A week of fun, friends, photos, and NC!

I was glad I looked early in the week for what was required for assignments because I knew I had a trip to see my family in NC so I needed to be smart about what I could do now and when I was in NC. The photo assignments made the trip to NC a fresh look on items I could include beyond typical DC scenes. I used flashback safari as my title for the design elements we were supposed to find in the world. It fit since I took photos in New Bern and Raleigh, NC which were flashback to my youth. Oh I almost forgot the TED talk with the record and other elements of design was amazing and shows me how creative folks can be with materials and rethinking new concepts for old things. Also the video of symmetry was great and well produced. I could see myself thinking something like that up. The design document on google was a little over the top but I think it served its purpose. I would suggest making more graphical to break up the text that made you click to find the full information.
Okay back to my work. The Motivational Poster was fun to do and I chose a hike to the top of Kilimanjaro as my inspiration. It was fun to put together the concept in Photoshop and play around but again I am not as good in that program at all. I will practice in summer when I have more time. The second item was the six word memoir which I might print out and keep in my house. It was fun to think about on my life and be very simple. I used powerpoint for that assignment because I knew exactly how I would do it there and did not feel like fumbling around in Adobe.
A sheet of paper I leave out for guests reminded me that setting alarms can be scary and maybe a good story. Not sure I love that idea but seems like something that people could benefit from.
There were a lot of items to comment on and reflect on comments received by others. I personally saw a good story idea (http://bcodelson.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/139/comment-page-1/#comment-60) but got me thinking that some of our stories may never get seen if they are not easy to locate for people to read. I was reminded IKEA and how it can drive you wild but there may be hope. (http://cbedross1.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/storifying-take-4/) I was reminded that I am not always as good as I think on putting images to words. (http://lrosinskblog.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/one-of-my-all-time-favorites/comment-page-1/#comment-37) The pain of DMV is universal it seems and always a good story. I liked the idea of a story for DMV process http://chronicwnderlst.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/storify-this-va-dmv/comment-page-1/#comment-53 but was left wondering what the characters would be in the story.
The comments I received showed I was on the right track with how I was doing my stories and also I need to consider how the stories will be accessed by folks or characters. I made sure I used that thought when I looked at some others I commented on, beyond being careful with my thoughts on story. I was also reminded it is important to give a url or site name for places I find images, that is easy to forget when blogging.
Overall, I was good this week on looking ahead, thinking things through, and using life events to my advantage to do my homework and not take away from personal life. It worked out well and was fun to know a photo I was taking for life would also double for school. I can tell I need to get better at photoshop because Friday was a little bit of a struggle to get going with my ideas on poster but I got it down finally.

And as a bonus here is a photo of my niece (Britni) and me infront of Tryon Palace with my friends and mom in the background. She is 11 years old going on 20. Haha.

Britni and Uncle Clayton

Britni and Uncle Clayton

I have an alarming story to tell you

Write another blog post summarizing what you found that might or might not work for something that could use a story approach to make it more effective. Explain why you chose it. Even if you are not sure if it will work, keep the ideas going.

I was thinking about what my next story would be and saw the piece of paper under my alarm system that I left out for a guest that stayed last week. I have the basic instructions for how to set the alarm and commands. That got me to thinking how I might change the instructions into a story to make it more memorable. Right now when folks come to stay with me they are so nervous and keep that paper around for the whole time. But if I was to make the instructions into a story it could help people remember maybe and not get confused. I think I could make it a story told from the viewpoint of the alarm system as if they are welcoming a guest and are like the door man, letting them in and out of the building.

A quick search of youtube shows you that I am not alone. My alarm has stay and away which can confuse. Here is an example to see what it can be like to try to remember.

Six words are enough after all

For this week you should complete two ds106 design assignments, each should be posted to your blog, appropriately tagged and categorized.

For my second design assignment I decided to do the Six word memoir idea and really thought long and hard on how I would tell my life’s story if I only had six words. And I decided I would use the following words:
Life = journey. Choose happiness and positivity.
This perfectly sums up how I have lived my life and try to do every day. No one is perfect but it is how I choose to go about every day. I had some other words but kept these. I cheated a little with the equal sign but it counts! I thought about having those words with a person at a fork in the road.

Six Word Memoir

Six Word Memoir

Now here is how that concept came out in an image with text. Unlike the first assignment I knew I wanted to use PowerPoint to create my idea since I am so much more comfortable with it and could do what I had in mind. I blame this on being a consultant and having so much time spent in PowerPoint. I got the text with shadow effect done first. I thought it kind of spoke the reflection of my words on a life time. Also how life mirrors what you think. Next I was starting to create some arrows to show different paths but peeked at the clip art and found something even better with the man and path image. So I went about putting them together and had the text layer on front and the image on back. I like it!


For this week you should complete two ds106 design assignments, each should be posted to your blog, appropriately tagged and categorized.

For my first design assignment I decided to do the Motivational Poster with one of my old photos I had from my trip Africa. I remember how determined I was to not only raise the money for the charity event but also climb to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Everything about that trip was life changing and just amazing. I was so glad I did it for my 30th birthday and glad to share it with you now. So here is my motivation poster titled “Determination”.

Motivational Poster - Determinaton

Motivational Poster – Determinaton

The photo was taken at the top of the mountain after hiking for six days through different types of terrain and getting ever higher in altitude. I basically broke down into tears after this photo was taken from the exhaustion and joy of being done. After all the camping, hiking, and just physical/mental endurance it was so great to be done. And truth be told we were at 19,000+ feet (pay attention the next time you fly when you reach that allitude if you have a video screen that tells you) so you are tired from lack of oxygen.
I used photoshop to create this poster and used four layers. I had the black background layer, the image layer, and two layers for the title text and the sentence. I tried to keep with the spirit of the motivational posters you normally see and think it came out well. I think the hardest part for me was the black background (picking color and getting it right) and finding the center tool.

If you ever want to do a life changing event combined with some adventure travel check out Charity Challenge who made it all happen!

Flashback Safari

Write a blog post that embeds at least three photos of different design elements you were able to identify. Include a summary of the elements and what makes them effective, or what may have made them better. Sometimes we can learn just as much from badly designs as we can from good ones! So feel free to include bad design implementations as examples to avoid.

This past weekend I went to New Bern, NC to see my niece for her birthday and knew I would have time to take some shots of NC to represent some of the design elements. So I printed out the topics and made sure I had it handy when I saw something that caught my eye. I took two friends with me so we end up going to Tryon Palace. As luck would have it the gardens were open and free to the public so here is my choice for symmetry.

Front of Tryon Palace

Front of Tryon Palace

Notice the main building of the palace is balanced but also the two wings (stables) that are on either side of the building also match with the white covered walk ways that connect to main building. So you have a perfectly balanced (minus the tree in the way) structure that is balanced on either side. It is really hits the mark in the windows, structures, and landscape being balanced, even the same number of chimney.

Next, I thought I the back of the building really had “minimalism & use of space” represented. The large open yard contrasts with the grand entrance. It is very minimal and not a lot of structures to speak of from the back. The yard just opens up and stretches all the way to the water. It is just very simple and would be great for events etc.

Back of Tryon Palace

Back of Tryon Palace

The last design element is typography but this came from my trip to Raleigh on Saturday night and Sunday. I took my friends to the Krispy Kreme I always went to in college 15 years ago.

Krispy Kreme Building in Raleigh

Krispy Kreme Building in Raleigh

The logo on the building caught my eye and actually shows a lot of other design items but first and foremost it is the font they choose. It is very stylized and strong but placed inside a simple graphical representation of their hat. The use of the K for Krispy and Kreme also adds to the great marketing and font use. The long sweeping line that carries from the K draws your eye across the rest of the words and makes it seem very symmetric. Also the other design element is the simple colors they use and minimal clutter. So right there that is like three or four I counted and this is an instantly recognizable logo/font/sign win for them. Not to mention I love their donuts and they have a cult following.

I hope you all enjoy the safari as much as I did. Oh! Before I go this was my fourth choice for an image but went with the other three. This one would be for balance and symetry again. Just for fun here it is photo from my trip but composed by the bars and garden in the background.

Garden Tryon Palace

Garden Tryon Palace