Category Archives: My Life

Recently I tweeted about Ruby Tuesday and expressed my dissatisfaction for the service I received. For a company this large not to have a presence on twitter is a missed opportunity. Companies large and small should be using search.twitter.com to crawl twitter for mentions about their business. When someone is dissatisfied about their product or service and tweets about it, they should respond via twitter reply or direct message.

Let’s see how easy it is find dissatisfaction with Ruby Tuesday on Twitter – I searched ‘Ruby Tuesday service’ at search.twitter.com and found a few tweets – here and here. Why can’t Ruby Tuesday be on twitter and reply to them about what they can do to make amends?

This isn’t too difficult to do.

Godaddy.com does it.

Vistaprint.com does it.

Starbucks does it.

It’s no iPhone, but it’s still pretty awesome. Of course, my last phone was a flip phone with absolutely no internet access.

This is the first phone US Cellular is selling that has Google’s new Android OS. Being from Google, it integrates really well with any of your google accounts – gmail, youtube, voice, talk, etc.

The sheer awesomeness of the various apps is keeping me pretty intrigued! A few of my favorite apps –

  • The obvious – facebook, twidroid (twitter), email, youtube
  • Voice Search – simply say a search term and it searches google for what you said.
  • Your Navigator Deluxe – get directions, maps, traffic updates. You can say the city you are traveling to and it gets directions
  • CityID – find out where that unknown caller is calling from.
  • Air Horn – plays various loud air horns – perfect for when your coworker comes in to your office and farts (as happens to me daily)
  • Google Goggles – take a picture of anything and it searches google for it.
  • Google Sky Map – aim phone at the sky to identify, search and find various planets, constellations and stars!
  • Pandora – stream music as you can on pandora.com
  • WordPress – post to your blog
  • gStrings – tune any musical instrument
  • Solo lite – find guitar chords, and play an interactive guitar from your phone
  • Barcode Scanner – aim at any barcode and google search that item – whether it is to learn more about it or to compare prices online
  • Of course the phone also takes photos and video with a 3.2 MP camera. I can even post pictures/videos straight to this blog or facebook/twitter/etc

And now for a few photos:

Left: one of three home screens. Right: full list of all apps, available from the bottom slider arrow (seen on the left photo)

Has a full QUERTY keyboard along with a 3.2 inch screen

Left: Solo lite app that allows you to find guitar chords and play them on the interactive guitar

I’ve been listening to some old music that I performed in various bands in high school and college and came across this one.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

It was performed in 2003 at the MO-IL Bi-State Band with Lt. Col. Lowell Graham directing the band. He was the former Air Force Band director. This song was dedicated to him and written by Ira Hearshen.

Performing that song under Graham’s direction has to be the greatest musical experience I’ve ever had. The final note of the song during our performance felt like it blew the roof off the place…it was that loud/balanced/glorious and this recording doesn’t do that justice at all.

YouTube-copy

I’ve been crazy busy at ATSU designing new websites and doing daily web updates for everyone and their brother. I discovered that schools get special privileges as far as branding their channel. This got me excited to design this channel. It only took about three hours and it was so easy to implement.

There are a  few new websites that will be going live soon and I can’t wait to share them with you. One is for Still Magazine, ATSU’s Alumni Magazine produced by Marketing and also for the Student Government Association (SGA). I even got to design a logo for SGA. I gave you a sneak peak at the SGA logo a few months ago.

In other news, I’m currently applying to istockphoto.com in order to start selling photography and illustrations – wish me luck!

I got an email today from someone named Armin Vit. I was hovering over ‘mark as spam’ until I read the subject line.

Brand New Mystery Product

Now, for some reason this caught my attention as not being exactly spam (don’t ask me why). So I opened it.

If I have contacted you it means that we have included your quote (in our mystery product).

I almost forgot that a few weeks ago I contributed to a discussion on Brand New’s website. The discussion simply asked ‘Why do you sketch logos?’ and can be found here.

This is what I said:

I sketch on paper rather than the computer because when I use a computer to generate ideas, even the bad comps look good since they are in a polished, clean state. I get a false-sense of completeness when I jump to the computer too quickly. Sketching your ideas on paper removes any false sense that that particular idea is good simply because it’s kerned nicely.

They have created a ‘mystery product’ which includes a select 16-24 folks’ comments on why they sketch logos. I was chosen out of the more than 200 contributers.

The email also said that they are sending me a compliment ‘mystery product’. My guess is that it’s a small book or a poster of some sort. I’ll post a picture of the mystery product when I receive it!

I was recently browsing a few of my past Visual Communication professor’s websites. I found my work highlighted in their ‘student work’ section. Check them out here.

http://bethsteffel.com/html/studentweb5.html (live site here)
http://bethsteffel.com/html/studentweb6.html (live site here)
Beth now teaches in San Bernardino, CA at California State University

I also found my ‘yes we can’ Obama video on Gary’s website.

http://www.garyrozanc.com/index.php?id=403 (see the whole series here and here)
Gary just started at Truman last Fall and is probably best Viscom professor I’ve ever had.

It’s humbling to see your professors highlighting your work on their website. Always a nice surprise when I randomly come across it.

I’ve spent the last four months working on starting my own freelance business known as Creative Improv. It is a unique collaboration between myself and Michael, but also might include more folks in the future depending on the specific project (photographers & programmers). Michael and I would always tell each other, “you know we should start a design business”. Well that’s what we’re doing. I’m the designer while Michael is the creative director. Check out our website so far: http://creativeimprov.com – not much yet, but more is coming.

Creative Improv’s thought process is centered on the idea of simplicity that Jazz Bassist, Charles Mingus puts forth:

Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.

Speaking of simplicity: This is one of the first concepts for the Creative Improv website.

click to view it larger!

Be sure to ‘follow’ creativeimprov on Twitter.com to keep up to date on the website progress and new projects we are doing!

from left - Home Storage Solutions magazine cover, 'Stack Your Storage' magazine spread, Table of Contents

from left – Home Storage Solutions magazine cover, ‘Stack Your Storage’ magazine spread, Table of Contents

A few days ago I received a package in the mail. The package was from Dave Stone at Workbench Magazine. It contained the magazine that I spent all summer conceptualizing, branding, designing and redesigning. I had so much anticipation during the past 4 months about what it would be like to finally get the printed copy of the magazine. If you are a designer, you know the feeling of getting to see your design work finished and printed.

From the beginning of the summer, I sometimes doubted my ability to take on such a large project. After all, it was 100 pages and I was charged with the task of designing and redesigning every article in it. Beyond that I got to come up with an overall brand and style that could be used throughout.

I got to work with the amazing Doug Appleby. He’s an assistant art director at Workbench and a pretty awesome photographer as well. He challenged me to never settle for less. This usually meant designing 15-20 versions of a single magazine spread. I must have learned something, because by the last week of work, when we were putting together the table of contents, it only took about 5 versions – with a few tweaks.

If you want to see a preview of the magazine, check out http://www.woodsmithstore.com/w0901a.html

Check out this blog post – “An Amazing Summer So Far“. It was when I first started my internship at August Home Publishing.

I have been excited about my chance to vote in this election. I visited McCain and Obama’s website almost every day along with watching numerous CNN news videos and reading stories to keep on the campaigns. I was ready to vote.

I registered in Adair County on October 8. I filled out my registration form with help from voteforchange.com. I had printed the form and was walking from the library on campus to the County Clerk’s office downtown. On my way there I saw a table on the quad that had people registering students to vote and they said they would be turning in all the forms.  Keyword being ‘all’. So I turned in my form to them. I haven’t thought much about registering since October 8 because I assumed I was registered. I had no idea that they usually send a voter ID card, so I wasn’t expecting one. November 4th at around 1:30pm I drove across town to the ‘Moose Lodge’ to cast my vote. I wasn’t on the list or in their palm pilot of registered voters in Adair County. I then drove to the County Clerk’s office to see if they had my form just laying around. No such luck.

The County Clerk told me that there have been many problems with getting registration cards back from the organizations on campus that asked for blank ones. She even said that a group that registered people at HyVee hadn’t turned in even one registration card.

I turned to leave only to run into two more Truman students who were there for the same exact reason.

I spent the rest of the day letting various media outlets know what injustice had just occurred. I wrote a letter to the editor in the INDEX, e-mailed the professor in charge of the INDEX who said they would a story on it (found here). I also sent a news tip to the TV Station in town – KTVO. I was promptly contacted to be interviewed on camara by them. KTVO told my story on the 5:00 news, 6:00 news and the 10:00 news. They showed different video clips of my interview  on each newscast. The 10:00 clip was the best, because it showed how excited I was to vote.

I even tried casting a provisional ballot, but was told by the County Clerk that even if I did, my vote would not be counted since I didn’t have a registration card filled out.

Lesson learned: When it comes to college organizations, don’t rely on them for anything that is remotely important to you.

I’ve sent my résumé to twenty places. Five have told me they aren’t hiring. Two have told me I don’t have enough experience. The rest haven’t responded to any correspondences I’ve initiated.

You might be wondering why I’ve titled this post ‘Great Opportunities’. Here’s why:

This week I was contacted by a place I didn’t even apply to (because I didn’t know there was an opening). They would like to interview me for a web developer position. I had a phone interview Friday and will soon have a video conference interview.

Also this week, I was called by Jeff at StandPoint Communication. He heard about me from Todd, a guy I used to work for at Web Services. He would like to partner with my new company (more on that very soon!) to offer graphic/web design services to his clients. But the real kicker, his clients are people like previous Miss USA’s or celebrities who are now motivational speakers. He mentioned, “If say Miss America 1975 calls me and wants a website, I will say ‘hey, call stephen’.” And so there I am talking to Miss America 1975… and that’s where my new company comes in. I won’t say any more about it at this point.

and… my birthday is coming up. These are great birthday presents. ha!

Exciting times.