And the Dust Settles

This week and the week before had slightly fewer assignments going around than previous weeks, so it was slightly more challenging finding good posts to comment on. Nonetheless, given my schedule, how things (random ranting+complaining that the average reader would care less about)…I am trying to stay a little more on top of things. Normally, I save commenting for the very end, after all assignments have been completed and written up, but this time decided to complete and writeup a bit earlier.

This weeks comments include:

Reminiscing about Gamestop

Letting anything go

Vacationing to Greece

Seeing how radio shows went over

Multiple times

Reminiscing about the 90’s

Following a plant

Going to Germany


Tongue Twisters

Overall, there are a lot of neat things out there. People take interesting twists on the assignments, and can be very creative with the more open ended ones. One difficulty I am facing going into this is the realization that a lot of different people are taking the class. UMW students tend to be the most active, but sometimes it seems that I hit a blogger from outside the school in my wanderings. In these cases, commenting is more difficult because there is a lesser degree of similar experiences between myself and the author. I try to get as personal as appropriate when communicating. I hope I did not weird anyone out…

On a final note, I will mention that I was a little late approving some comments last week on my own blog (terrible of me since I have voiced that very concern here in the past), so if someone’s comment links to here were broken in the past, that may have been the reason.

Wandering Around the Internet

(A man in suit and fedora stands before you. Looking closer, you see his cane is actually an axe)

Good evening.

While I was wandering around the internet, my landlord asked me to drop off a few comments, and summarize them below. If this keeps up much longer, I may have to ask him to renegotiate our housing contract.

So, rather than he commenting on posts, I took left my own words on various topics. Some people may have found it…odd to see a stranger wandering around.

Jim Post

On Halloween

More design blitzes

The beach


More Commercials

Emergency Calls

Character Collaboration

Mixed Drinks

Radio Shows

Overall, I would say the presence of the project….brought out the best in people. There were many good posts lying around this week, and a few older gems I …stumbled upon (Mixed drinks). The other characters are also getting quite a bit of use, which is good. I could use the…company.







Reflections on 3rd Millennium Horror

To reflect, I listened to 3rd Millenium Horror. From the beginning, it appears that this group also worked towards a modular construction, with each member contributing. I liked the consistency of the hosts, each talked about the movies opening weekend and real world reception. Since I am writing this as I am listening, I must keep the comments straight and to the point. Some of the remarks may be a little less refined than I prefer, but I will avoid editing to keep the authenticity of my reactions.

The first anonymous host had a very well rehearsed. My one gripe is that it was very well rehearsed. For flavorful hosts, I would prefer a more extemporaneous style. The background music in the second part added quite a bit though. The logic for the second part was also impeccable.

Wow, a movie I have actually seen! That is rare indeed. I also enjoyed the movie as a mental thriller. I think I could have done without the FULL trailer, but the content is good, so I cannot complain. The bumpers overall are very well made. Again, there is great use of background music.

For the third host, there were some difficulties with the volume dial. I use of effects was a nice touch, though their difference in volume led to some unfortunate headphone incidents (specifically the bone crushing). John has a very understandable voice, with good pacing, etc. I only wish he had ripped into the last film a little harder.

For the fourth host, we have some good observations. I would have liked a little more detail, but there is only so much time in a day. Again, the bumpers are very nice.

The content of the radio show was very good. The hosts were generally concise, and gave great points. However, I did not get a great insight into the characters personalities. I am not sure whether or not the hosts made an appearance at all, since the reviews all sound like normal people (are they?). Overall, the radio show flowed very well.

Bumper Cars!!! errr… sounds

Since our radio group is having an interesting time finding common free time, it was important that some time be spent for the more modular portions of the broadcast. As someone who is terrible with pictorial representations, this meant an audio blurb, which meant a bumper.

Going in, I knew that our show would be called “Horrible Hosts”. The nice thing about a name like that is that it doesn’t put too much pressure on you to get a very particular emotion from the bumper, it just has to be recognizable and, if all goes well, memorable. The only other rule for the bumper was that it would have to be short.

Fortunately, I had a little theme in my pocket that I had been waiting to pull out for an occasion such as this one. All I needed to do was find proper instrumentation, and find a way to incorporate the show name into the bumper. The result follows:

I wanted an instrument that would be sufficiently haunting for the theme. Chime bells are my go to choice for an echoing/haunting sound (as I think about it, it is kind of scary how ready I was for creating this before even knowing I would have to do it). I came up with a little play on words to crescendo with the tune. I originally tried doing it in various voices, but decided that the words would be better relegated to a neutral, background sound. The raspiness was unintentional, but I liked the result, again to keep the haunting sound in.

The tune was created with an online program called MuseScore. It is a score editing program, similar to Finale notepad if you are familiar with it. I have found it ever so slightly easier to use however. Once I had the instrumentation in, I exported it as a Wave file, hen reimported it into audacity. In audacity, I recorded the voice, and put the two together.

Horrible Hosts update

I will say, our team is off to a rather slow start. It was rather difficult for all of us to get into contact with each other. It would seem that most of us have a twitter account specifically for this class, and don’t have one otherwise (like me) or perhaps simply don;t check it as often as a “primary” account. Our lack of tweeting was compounded by a difficulty in getting into contact via e-mail, since those have to be requested/dug for (in the future, it may be helpful if these are distributed through some other means…).

At the very least, we seem to have agreed upon a name (Horrible Hosts) and have agreed to take the show in a somewhat lighthearted way. The coming of Fall Break is going to hurt us a lot, since it will be difficult to coordinate during that time (for example, I will not have access to a stable internet connection for much of the time). At this rate, much of the show will have to be assembled modularly.

On the topic of modularly, we haven’t really discussed how any of our hosts will make an appearance. Fortunately, my own character has made a habit of living in electronic devices, so he can practically appear whenever convenient, even during a commercial break.

We will have to see what happens over break.

Wandering Around the Interweb

As part of my continuing effort to get more into the community, I pushed forwards on the commenting on other people’s work and thoughts. Before I get into specifics, I will note a few things. I used the random post link on the ds106 feed page to find content to look at. The blog list is out of date, so the link is nice to insure that I see fresh content. Over the course of my wanderings, the link gave me samples from the same blogs. There were some really good things, but I worked to try to comment on different blogs for each of the ten comments. Finally, for some strange reason, I cannot listen to any embedded audio cloud links. I will be investigating this in the future. I simply hope all my comments get approved in time, which is why I made sure to not wait until Friday to do these.

I commented on a wide variety of posts, from daily creates to 4-star assignments to reflections on classwork. The comments fell primarily into 3 categories. The first tpe is that which tries to further conversation. These were mostly on comments on assignments I looked at. No matter how much depth or detail a person has, two people can go deeper.

The second category of comments were ones I connected with, either because I had experience with something they utilized, or because I ompleted the same assignment. When it comes to things such as video games and trading cards, I tend to be more utilitarian, so it is nice to see other implementations of these concepts. I will also note that my experience with these things lets me make more specific and ‘gentler’ suggestions.

The final category of comments are the things I had little to no experience with. I evaluated the work as best I could, but my inexperience really shows with these comments.

Commenting for me is hard work. I am a very theoretical man, and I know exactly what I like to see. If I see something I don;t like, I have to check myself from going into a tirade (especially with my own work, since my standards and abilities are far removed from each other) of things I think could be improved, if but for maintaining a positive atmosphere. The other part of balance is comment length. I have read the commenting guide, and have tried to keep to the tenets of it, although I sometimes only did two or three of the tenets because no one wants to read a comment as long as this post. For some posts, this has been easier than for others. In general, if I like a post more, I will usually say more about it, because it is easier to let the words flow without having to check myself.