This is what Shawn Morton would look like if he had been made of LEGO sMoRTy71.com -- the personal website of Shawn Morton
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Off the grid for a while
Heading out for a vacation to Florida tomorrow, so I won't be blogging or responding to any e-mails during that time. 10 days of the trip will be spent at DisneyWorld and Universal Studios. The rest of the time with be split between Sarasota (where my grandfather lives) and Fort Walton Beach (where some of Amy's family lives).

Look for lots of photos when I return.
No 32-bit HD playback in Vista
Stumbled across this article over on TechMeme. It claims that MSFT has pulled HD-DVD support out of the 32-bit versions of Vista. So if you want to play HD-DVD content, you'll need a 64-bit machine and a 64-bit version of the OS. That is really kind of lame. Sure, 64-bit machines will be more common by the time the OS finally shifts; however, to make it a requirement will just lead to more confusion around HD-DVD.
Friday, August 18, 2006
Happy Birthday, Mahlon!
Mahlon turns 9 today. Because he already had his "official" birthday party, he already has most of his gifts from friends and relatives (and the DS Lite that we got for him and Miles). This morning, he opened the rest of his gifts from us which included an MP3 player, a gift card to download music for his MP3 player, "Cars" for the Gamecube and The Simpsons version of The Game of Life.

This afternoon, we are all going to the Newport Aquarium in Cincinnati and then out for dinner.

Here is a video of him trying out the guitar and amp that he bought with his birthday cash. He loves the tremelo bar, BTW.

Loving Writely's E-mail In feature
Google finally released Writely as a public beta today, so I've been kicking it around this morning. My first impression is that it is a very full-featured web app and could definitely suffice as my only word processing app (I don't use Word very often outside of work).

The coolest feature, though, is E-mail In. Writely gives you an e-mail address where you can send messages that Writely will turn into a new document. I forwarded an e-mail that my boss had sent me and Writely converted it to a new doc. The best part was that all of the text formatting (colors, fonts, URLs) from his signature was still intact.

As with all new web apps, I'll kick it around for a few days. However, I will refrain from declaring it a "Word killer" or anything like that. If I'm still using it in a month, then I will make some grand declaration of how it will change the world forever.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
We helped bring IKEA to Ohio?
OK, more details coming out about the upcoming IKEA outside Cincinnati. The best one is that its scheduled to open in the fall of 2007.

According to a quote from this article, we (and 99,998 others) have helped bring IKEA to the area.

"Ikea says it has tracked 100,000 customers within two hours' drive of the West Chester location who have visited their other stores."

I don't think I am nutty enough to camp out for their opening day craziness; however, we will definitely be there the first weekend they open. A 1 1/2 drive to Cincinnati sure beats the 5 hour drive to Chicago.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
No fees for Wii online gaming
Reggie Fil-Aime, president of Nintendo of America, has confirmed to USA Today that the Wii's online gaming feature will be absolutely free.

"Q: You're not pursuing a subscription model?

A: We view online gaming as essentially an enhanced way to enjoy the gaming experience and drive more sales of hardware and software.
"

So for $250 (or less), Nintendo will provide everything you need (minus the games) to get online and play. Sweet!
Sunday, August 13, 2006
I rollerskated to Hilary Duff
We had the boys' joint birthday party at the local roller rink on Saturday. I figured that would be a great time to lace up the skates for the first time in 25 years.

After a few minutes of wobbly legs, I found that skating is like riding a bike. Apparently you never forget how to do it. I also quickly remembered that I never really learned how to stop. So I used the ol' run into something and try to catch yourself before you break something technique. It still works!

The kids had a lot of fun and got lots of cool gifts. I did remember to snap a couple of photos in between couple skate and shooting the duck. You can check those out here.
Friday, August 11, 2006
I'm in love with a router
I know that sounds kind of creepy, especially since routers aren't usually very loveable; however, this ASUS WL-700gE is really cool.

In addition to being a wireless router, it also has a built in 160GB HDD (with USB ports for additional storage), a built-in iTunes client, a built-in BitTorrent client, FTP server, web server and UPnP support for digital media adapters. Best of all, it is only $250.

This may have to be my Christmas gift to myself. I would love to move all of my media files (at least all of my music) to the router. I guess I could also pull a couple of my 300GB drives from my media center PC and attach those directly to the ASUS.

Here are more details.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Fantasy Football 2006 has begun
Hello, I'm Shawn and I'm a Fantasy Football addict ("Hi Shawn!").

Our FFL draft was held on August 6th, so now I am officially consumed with my fantasy team. I will be pretty much worthless all day Sunday and on Monday nights from September through February.
3 days caffeine-free
I am in my third full day without caffeine and I feel surprisingly good. Last time I kicked the habit (which lasted for 3 years), I had a headache for several days. Of course, back then, I was consuming much more caffeine than I was a few days ago.

There was no real reason for quitting this time. I just generally feel better (both physically and mentally) when I'm not consuming caffeine. Hopefully I can stick to it.
Tuesday, August 8, 2006
Dvorak doesn't understand community
In his latest column, John Dvorak claims that there are no real online communities out there and questions if there ever can be.

He picks 5 sites (MetaFilter, Slashdot, LinkedIn, Flickr, and AVforums.com) that he is going to "deconstruct" and then spends two whole paragraphs deconstructing them. My favorite quote is about Flickr. "I don't think many people actually care about the community aspect of Flickr at all."

I also like his unsubstantiated claims like "I would argue that within some communities the number is higher than 50 percent."

Online communities do face real challenges, especially as they experience rapid growth. Unfortunately, Dvorak's column doesn't shed any light into why this happens or how to minimize it.

He close with the hopeless question "Is there any way to establish and maintain an online community with no fakes and vandals ruining it for everyone? Or is the problem just a reflection of society that we must live with?"
Sunday, August 6, 2006
The KISS Army invades Cleveland
and not just to say, "Hello."

Over 200 KISS fans protested outside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to demand that the band, which has been eligible since the 90s, be inducted.

What do you think? Is KISS worthy? After all, they let the Sex Pistols in, right?
Friday, August 4, 2006
Interesting links - August 4, 2006
I just paid $3.28 /gallon of gas
OK, right after the last gas price hike, which they claimed (with a straight face) was due to the Korean missle tests, NPR reported that this should be the summer high for gas prices.

Well, yesterday, gas prices here in Louisville went from $2.95 per gallon to $3.19 per gallon. Because my car requires the middle grade gas, I paid $3.28 this morning. WTF? I am waiting for the latest excuse. I am betting it will have something to do with the conflict between Israel and Lebanon.

With an 1,800 mile roundtrip drive to Florida planned for the end of this month, $3.19 per gallon is going to suck!

BTW, I *am* aware that gas prices in other parts of the world are much higher than in the US and that, as an American, I am perceived as a big ol' whiner. So please save those comments for someone else. Thanks.
Thursday, August 3, 2006
Little Miss Sunshine is super!
I just got back from a free promo screening of Little Miss Sunshine at Baxter Avenue Theater. It was really, really good. I don't think I've laughed so much at a movie in a very long time.

There are 2 other free screenings coming up in Louisville on August 10 and August 17. Check one of them out if you can. You can also check the Fox Searchlight site for free screenings in your area.

Check out the trailer here if you haven't seen it already.
Have the guts to hand out SHHH cards?
Coudal Partners, a design firm in Chicago, has a PDF that contains a set of SHHH (Society for HandHeld Hushing) cards that you can cut out and give to obnoxious cellphone users.

One says:
"DEAR CELL PHONE USER
We are aware that your ongoing conversation with _______________
is very important to you, but we thought you’d like to know
that it doesn’t interest us in the least. In fact, your babbling
disregard for others is more than a little annoying."

I would love to have the nerve to hand these out, especially when somebody is being waited on (at the dry cleaner or Starbucks or wherever) while still talking on the phone.

Get SHHH cards here.
Tuesday, August 1, 2006
Interesting links - August 1, 2006

About Shawn Morton

Married father of 6; VP of Social Media at JPMorgan Chase; gluten-free; gadget enthusiast; hair metal aficionado; #Movember man View more on LinkedIn.