This is what Shawn Morton would look like if he had been made of LEGO sMoRTy71.com -- the personal website of Shawn Morton
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
My XBOX 360 is on its way back
Just called XBOX customer support, which has added a new annoying voice-activated system since I called last week, and found out that my repaired (or replaced) XBOX 360 is on its way back.

Unlike the first replacement process, this one isn't shipping back overnight. I should have it in a couple of days, though. That will put the total time for the repair process at about 9 days (3 for shipping, 2 for repair, 4 for return shipping).
Need some baby names
Amy and I are expecting our fourth child this Spring. Although the date is months away, we've started the process of trying to come up with names. All of our kids first and middle names start with "M" (Mahlon Maximillian, Miles Montgomery and Mira Millicent) and we'd like to keep that going.

So far, I think we have the name worked out if its a girl -- Macy Magnolia.

However, we're nowhere close to getting a boy's name figured out. I tend to go for outrageous/ridiculous names. For example, I really like names like "Manley" or "Marvelous." You can't tell me "Manley Marvelous" wouldn't be a kick-ass name! Amy, on the other hand, tends to like names that don't make us look like we were insane.

So please throw out some suggestions for a boy's name (first, middle) that starts with "M." And if you have a great girl's name, too, go ahead and throw that one in.
FFL: sMoRTy71 94, Pizza Delivery Boyz 81
Got a big win this week against one of the division leaders in our league. I have to thank Larry Johnson for getting 41 fantasy points.

Now, I'm 5-3 and lead my division. This week, though, I have 5 players on a bye, so I will be scrambling to field a good team against the 6-2 Lyndon Llamas who have the #1 power rating and the best record in the league.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Update on Profilactic
Wow, yesterday was quite a day. For those who aren't also reading my Building Profilactic blog, let me recap:

1. Michael Zhang wrote an article about the Profilactic beta Friday evening
2. Saturday morning, one of the top 20 Digg users submitted Michael's story
3. Around 7PM last night, the story made the Digg home page
4. Beta sign-ups, Diggs and Digg comments went crazy for about 5 hours
5. This morning, we have almost 200 beta sign-ups, 130 Diggs and 35 comments (most of them positive)

This is more than I could have ever hopped for at this stage in the project. I think it has definitely lit a fire under us to get it finished and to make sure it kicks ass.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Profilactic taking beta sign-ups
About a year ago or so, I got the idea for a site that would allow me to keep up with all of the various "Web 2.0" and "social networking" sites that I had joined. I had accounts with Flickr, del.icio.us, Blogger, YouTube, Vimeo, Digg, MySpace, Spout, la la, Instructables, LinkedIn, Yahoo!, GameSpot, TV.com, AVS Forum, 43 Things... you get the idea. Trying to keep up with all of the sites, profiles and the content I was producing was getting out of hand really quickly.

I thought it would be cool to create a site that allows you to pull together all of the your online profiles from across the web *and* all of the content that you have created on all of those sites into one place. So, if you are actively participating on sites like Blogger, Flickr, Digg, del.icio.us, YouTube, Vimeo, Zooomr (or *any* site with a URL or RSS), you can bring together the links to all of your profiles as well as a mashup of all of your content from each of those sites.

For the past 6 months or so, a few friends and I have been building Profilactic.com. It's been a pretty slow-moving process mainly because we all have day jobs and families (4 wives and 11 kids between us) that we'd like to keep. Basically, we've been working on it in the evenings and on weekends and meeting for lunch a couple of times per week. It's a hobby and we've been treating it that way.

Lately, we've made quite a bit of progress, so I am trying to recruit some guinea pigs to help us kick the tires around on it in a few weeks.

Sign up for the beta.

I am also blogging about the process of building Profilactic. I am hoping it will be an interesting read for anyone who is thinking about building their own site.

Check out the Building Profilactic blog.

Also, in a shameless act of self-promotion, I've submitted this to Digg. If you wanna Digg it, go here.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
I shipped my XBOX 360 back (again)
I shipped my XBOX 360 back to the mothership this morning. Now I know why they don't pay shipping anymore. For me to get it to them by Friday, I had to shell out $27.50! That sucks.

Based on the timeline given by customer support, I should have my 360 back by the end of next week.

Hopefully, the third one will be the charm. And if not, I'll have a Wii soon enough.
FFL: sMoRTy71 97, Woodchucks 93
Woo hoo! My losing streak is over! After 3 pitiful losses, I was able to squeak out a win against the Woodlawn Woodchucks. My division rival, Suicide Kings, also lost. So now, I am tied for the best record in the division (and I hold a tie-breaker over the Kings).
Sunday, October 22, 2006
My second XBOX 360 is dying
Wow. It's hard to be an XBOX 360 fan right now. My current 360, which is a replacement for the first one I bought, seems to be dying.

I've tried to play it a few times over the weekend and each time the unit would lock up (screen freezes with checkboard pattern on it and audio gives a quick burst of static before going silent). This occurs browsing the dashboard, in offline play of a demo and online play of a game disc.

Of course, after the last one died, I picked up the extended MSFT warranty; however, since this unit was manufactured in 2005, they are repairing it for free.

The only thing that makes this whole thing worse is the recent policy change that requires the customer to pay for return shipping. My last one was shipped both ways free via DHL overnight. Not this time. So I am looking at probably $10-$15 due to the weight of the console.

I am going to the miss the 360 most as a Media Center Extender (since Gears of War isn't out yet). There are a ton of pretty good network shows this season that I am recording in HD on one of my Media Center PCs. I usually stream those to the 360 in the evenings.

BTW, as I've been writing this post, the 360 has crashed twice while I've been downloading Tony Hawk's Project 8 demo.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
NY Times covers Phil Phister
The NY Times has a really great article about Phil Phister, World's Strongest Man and former classmate. Lots of interesting info like the fact that he is *not* using performance-enhancing drugs (I didn't think he was; however, that seems to be everyone's first assumption).



My favorite part has to be the following:

"'One day we were driving with another couple and we got a flat tire,' recalled Pfister's wife, Michelle. 'Somehow, the jack didn't work. So Phil picked up the rear of the car and the other guy changed the tire. Phil was the jack. Other drivers on the road passed by and they couldn't believe their eyes.'"

Other ridiculous feats of strength listed in the article. Remind me *not* to invite Phil to our next Festivus celebration.
FFL: Taste O' Bitchsmack 93; sMoRTy71 86
Never trust a Chicago Bear. That's all I can say. Going into last night's game, I had the choice of using Anquan Boldin (versus the #1 defense in the NFL) or Bernard Berrian (versus the crumby Arizona Cardinals). Everyone kept talking up the Bears and how they were the greatest thing since, well, the '85 Bears. And Berrian had been their big play receiver all year. Boldin, on the other hand, had struggled a bit, plus he was working with a rookie QB in his 2nd NFL start.

Considering the matchup, I chose Berrian over Boldin. That mistake cost me the game. Boldin went off for over 150 yards and a TD. Berrian did next to nothing thanks to his QB Rex Grossman's 4 INTs and 2 fumbles.

So now, my team is a lousy 3-3 and in second place in my division (although I have the best division record). Hopefully, I can break this losing streak next week again the Woodlawn Woodchucks.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Wii preorder experience
A co-worker and I ducked out of the office for about 15 minutes this morning to see what was up with the EB Games/Gamestop Wii preorders. The EB and Gamestop near our office are actually in the same shopping plaza, so we were able to get the scoop on both stores from people in line.

First of all, Gamestop had 17 Wiis for preorder. We showed up at 10:05am as chumps #18 and #19. According those in the GS line, the EB and Gamestop had a combine 30 units that could be preordered. That was a lot more than I was expecting (and there were a lot fewer people than I expected).

I really think that getting a Wii is going to be so much easier than getting an XBOX 360 was (considering Nintendo is promising 2 million launch units). Of course, one jackass at Gamestop wasn't so sure. He showed up at 2:30am to get in line. I will be thinking of him when I walk into a retailer in the weeks leading up to Christmas and just pick one up off the shelf. And considering how badly EB and GS screwed up the XBOX 360 preorders, I don't know if that guy can feel all that confident sitting there for those 7 1/2 hours waiting for the store to open.

I think my plan on the 19th will be to swing by the new Costco that is opening less than a mile from my house a couple of hours before they open. The crowd should be much smaller there than at Best Buy considering that a membership is required. If there are a ton of people waiting, I'll just head back to bed and wait a week or so.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
FFL: SSC 88, sMoRTy71 76
Another tough week for the home team. Recent acquisition Steve McNair, who had been averaging over 13 points per game, choked and scored 1 point. Not to mention the Steelers' previously tough defense getting owned by the Chargers and only putting up 8 points.

After this loss to ScatterSmotheredCovered, I am 3-2. I am now tied for the division lead with Suicide Kings (although I have the tiebreaker of a better division record).

Next week, I face my archnemesis Taste O' BitchSmack. The trashtalk will get ugly before the week is over.
Friday, October 6, 2006
Preview "I Pity the Fool" on Yahoo!
Yahoo! TV is offering an exclusive preview of the first full episode of Mr. T's new TV Land series "I Pity the Fool." Check it out.
Phil Phister on Letterman last night
World's Strongest Man and former high school classmate Phil Phister was featured on Late Night with David Letterman last night. Phil, who was shown throughout the show out on 53rd Street, was there to flip over a 1995 Pontiac Sunfire (twice!). Phil also tried to play along with Dave; however, it was clear that Dave is the only one allowed to be funny (is he still funny?).

I am hoping to get the video onto YouTube this weekend. I'll post a link if/when I do.
Target has made room for Wii
Target has made room for Wii
Target has reserved a big section of its gaming aisle to the Nintendo Wii a full 6 weeks prior to its release.
Tuesday, October 3, 2006
Idea for Burger King's gaming efforts
Burger King has announced that on November 19th they will be offering 3 exclusive XBOX/XBOX 360 games for $3.99 with the purchase of a value meal. The games, of course, will have a Burger King theme. There's Big Bumpin' (not what you're thinking, you perv!), Sneak King and Pocket Bike Racer.

While this is an interesting promotion, I have an idea that I think would be much cooler.

You know all of those NFL commercials where they show an old NFL instant replay and substitute the Burger King for one of the players? Well, what if they did some sort of patch for Madden 07 where you could substitute the King during one of your own instant replays? Now, that, by itself, isn't all that interesting; however, using XBOX Live, they could allow people to create, save and upload their best Burger King-injected replay for a chance to win prizes and have that replay used in a BK commercial.

They did a similar thing in Fight Night Round 3 where the King showed up as your trainer. It doesn't seem like it would be that tough to add him as a skin in Madden.

Considering that everyone and their kid brother would be making videos and uploading them to YouTube, it seems like a small price to pay for tons of viral marketing.

BTW, cover shot above from Major Nelson. See more images in his Flickerstream.
FFL: Bombers 76, sMoRTy71 70
I knew Week 4 could be a tough one. I had 4 of my players on a bye week. However, I was facing the lowly 1-2 Big Blue Bombers who had been limping along scoring in the 60s and 70s.

The game was completely within reach as I entered Monday Night Football last night. All of the Bombers' players had played and I still had my star RB Brian Westbrook to play (and he averages 23 points per game). No problem, right? Wrong. At the last minute, Westbrook was scratched from the line-up and didn't play.

I should be humiliated to lose to such a sad team; however, I can take comfort in the fact that I almost beat the Bombers by starting only 7 players.

So now, I am 3-1 with about 4 other teams. Next week, I face the 2-2 Scattered Smothered and Covered with my full lineup (no byes).

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.