This is what Shawn Morton would look like if he had been made of LEGO sMoRTy71.com -- the personal website of Shawn Morton
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Maddox' first baseball game
We took all of the kids, plus one of the kids who live behind us, to a Louisville Riverbats game last night. It was Maddox' first time to a ball game and he seemed to have a good time (BTW, not crying = good time). There were a lot of new things for him to see.

The rest of the kids enjoyed the cotton candy, pretzels and soda (the ballpark ran out of root beer *and* Sierra Mist, so they all got jacked up on caffeine) more than the ball game, I think.

After the snacks ran out at the end of the sixth inning, the kids decided it was time to go. Not being a big baseball fan anymore, I couldn't disagree with them.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Mira gets down
Yesterday, Amy and I took the kids to a Radio Disney event. It was put on by our pediatricians office (Prospect Pediatrics) and was held at the Harrod's Creek Fire Department.

Anyway, the kids had a great time playing games and checking out all of the fire department's equipment. They also won a ton of stuff including 6 passes to laser tag (which Mahlon loves), a Pokemon action figure, an autographed High School Musical 2 poster (which Miles gave to a girl he knows), buttons, a frisbee, etc.

Mahlon even got to throw a wet sponge covered with whipped cream at one of his doctors (probably not the best idea...). It got him right on the forehead.

One of the highlights of the event was the "Crazy Dance Contest" in which Mira participated and made it to the finals.



Believe it or not, this performance was only good enough for second place.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Morton Family Reunion 2007
Today, Amy, the kids and I made the 3-hour drive from Louisville to Hurricane, WV for the Morton Family Reunion. We have a reunion every summer; however, this is the first one we've been to in a few years.

No one on my Dad's side of the family had met Maddox yet. He was a big hit. I think we held him for about 10 minutes. The rest of the time he was being passed from relative to relative. He liked some people more than others based on the photo below with my brother's girlfriend. Check out his hand. He's smooth like his old man.

I taught Maddox this move

Mahlon, Miles and I slipped away for about an hour to take a tour of my cousin Dale's studio where he makes mascot costumes. He does amazing work for clients all over the country. It was really interesting to learn about the process of making one.

Some sample heads

There are more photos of the reunion here.

Check out more photos of Dale's studio here or visit his website.
Friday, July 20, 2007
8 years
I just realized that, this week, I passed my 8-year anniversary at work. 8 years! And they said this internet thing wouldn't last.

On one hand, it doesn't seem like I've been here that long; but, on the other hand, it *totally* does. Will be interesting to see how long I ultimately last.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Profilactic Version 2 launches tomorrow
We soft launched Version 2 of Profilactic over the weekend. Tomorrow, we will start telling the world about it. So if you're a Profilactic member, you'll be getting an e-mail announcement in the morning (or you could just check it out now).

If you're not a Profilactic member, well... I've got nothing to say to you... No, really, we're through... Don't let the home page hit you in the ass on the way out.

Of course, you could just sign up and make this awkwardness between us disappear.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
My 3rd XBOX 360 is dead
More info on Practical Gadgetry (since a squeaky wheel on TechRepublic is much louder than one here).

Here is a video of the console after I took off the hard drive (which XBOX customer support suggested as a potential fix).



Kind of reminds me of Christmas. Not because of the red flashing lights, but because my first XBOX 360 failed just before Christmas in 2005 (the second in October of 2006).
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Practical Gadgetry is live
My blog on TechRepublic went live earlier this week. You can check it out here. My first post is titled "Two weeks with the Upstage from Samsung -- Double your frustration."
Monday, July 9, 2007
Best & Worst of Live Earth
I spent a lot of Saturday watching Live Earth on various channels (Bravo, NBC and Universal HD). Overall, it was an event made to be TiVoed. A handful of really good performances scattered with about 23 hours of mediocre ones.

The best performance that I saw was from The Foo Fighters in London. They were the only band that seemed genuinely happy to perform and brought any real energy to their performance. They were also one of the few bands that sounds really good live.



Others I enjoyed were The Beastie Boys, Spinal Tap doing "Stonehenge" and Duran Duran doing "Girls on Film."

The worst performance I saw was the horrendous duet with the Police and Kayne West. Who's idea was that? Other than the verse that Kayne threw in, he was generally lost onstage, occasionally grunting and asking people to put their hands up.

Here is a clip of the ridiculous ending of "Message in a Bottle".



I really wish one of the networks would have just dedicated a channel to a couple of the bigger venues. London had the best line-up. I would have liked to just watch the London feed live.

YouTube has a bunch of other performances here.
IFRAMEs and BASE HREFs
I was disappointed with how long it was taking the Twitter and Flickr badges to load on the home page of sMoRTy71.com, so I decided to go back in internet time and dust off a couple of old HTML friends: the IFRAME and the BASE HREF.

By putting both the Twitter and Flickr badges in separate IFRAMEs, the page will load and then wait for the content of the IFRAMEs to load. Before, the page would hang until both of the badges loaded.

Unfortunately, the Flickr badge wasn't as simple as just sticking the badge code in an IFRAME. Because all of the URLs are served via a script, I couldn't apply link targets to them. This meant that if you clicked on one of the photos in the badge, the Flickr page would load within the IFRAME. Not what I wanted.

After scratching my head for a bit, I remembered the BASE HREF and the fact that you can set a TARGET there. So I added the following code to the HEAD of the Flickr IFRAME HTML:

base href="" target="_parent"

This causes all links within the Flickr IFRAME to load within the parent window.

Now, the home page loads completely regardless of any issues with the badges. Not the most elegant solution, but it works.
Friday, July 6, 2007
Our broadband is back
The Insight technician came by today to fix our broadband connection that died on Monday. Turns out the problem *might* have been related to the new flower bed that we dug right next to where the cable comes into the house. Oops!
Update on new TechRepublic gadget blog
Just wanted to give a quick update on the blog I am going to be writing for TechRepublic.

We didn't get the blog launched at the end of June as we were hoping. My parental leave coupled with our inability to come up with a name that we all loved pushed the launch into July.

For now, we are going to launch with the title as "Practical Gadgetry." It seems to fit considering we plan to provide real-world, "living-with-it" reviews of new products and tips for getting the most out of the products you already own. We won't do a lot of pre-launch hype for gadgets or post gadget porn photos of things you won't be able to buy for 6 months.

Already have a bunch of posts ready (or just about ready) including stuff on the Upstage from Samsung and tips for XBOX 360, iPod, Windows Home Server and the Nintendo Wii.

I am currently using the Nokia N95 as my primary cellphone and plan to do a review on that in a couple of weeks.

Also, now that I have a Drobo (I'll go ahead and spoil my review and say that I love it), I plan to do a series of posts on setting it up, replacing drives and other tips.

So, sorry for the delay. I'll post more here once it goes live.
Thursday, July 5, 2007
The Drobo is here!
The Drobo arrived today. It is so awesome! I've already set it up and snapped a few photos here at the office.

Drobo is now protecting my data

I will be digging into it more later tonight. Look for a more in-depth post(s) about it here and on the soon-to-be-launched blog I will be writing over at TechRepublic.
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
No broadband until Friday
Last night, I came home from the office to find our cable modem was not connecting to the internet. After a couple of reboots and a call to Insight customer service, it looks like my modem may be dead.

After assuring me that Insight "knows how frustrating it can be to be without internet service," I was told that the earliest we could get someone to come out and get a new modem is Friday.

So for the next few evenings, I will be going through withdrawal from twitter, blogging, e-mail and XBOX Live. If you see me, you may want to avoid me. I won't be well. You've been warned.
Monday, July 2, 2007
Back to work
Today will be by first day back in the office since May 30th (the day before Maddox was born). Not looking forward to the 1,000s of e-mails waiting in my inbox.

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.