This is what Shawn Morton would look like if he had been made of LEGO sMoRTy71.com -- the personal website of Shawn Morton
Monday, January 21, 2008
Two local events this week
Just wanted to post a reminder about two fun (and free) events that are coming up this week in Louisville that I'll be attending.

On Tuesday night, we have the first meeting of the Social Media Club's Louisville Chapter. The Louisville Chapter was founded by Todd Earwood and Jason Falls. You can get more details on their Facebook page.

On Thursday night, Ben Thomas will be hosting the 4th Louisville Geek Dinner at the Fox & Hound Pub & Grille. I attended the last event and it was a great time. Met a lot of interesting people. So far, there are over 50 "geeks" who have RSVPed, so it could be the largest Geek Dinner yet. If you want to attend, sign up here or just show up on Thursday night.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Back from Vegas & Memphis
It's been quite a week. I spent January 5th through the 9th in Las Vegas covering CES for CNET (See my blog posts and Flickr photos). I had a great time and got to hang out with people like Jeremy Toeman, Dave Zatz (both of whom I have known online for years, but had never met in person), Mehrshad Mansouri, Robert Scoble, Doc Searls and Marc Canter. I also spotted a handful of celebrities including Dr. Dre, Suge Knight, Michael Douglas, David Caruso and David Ortiz. Of course, I also got to see a lot of great products including the SlingCatcher, Bug Labs' upcoming modules and Netgear's All-Access Home products.


View from my hotel room at the Palms

Upon returning from Vegas, I learned that Amy's grandmother, who has been battling leukemia for years, was in very serious condition and wasn't expected to pull through. She was in septic shock, her kidneys had shut down and her blood pressure was bottoming out. The doctors encouraged family members to come to Memphis if they wanted to see her before she passed away.


Amy with her mom and grandmother in 2004

So, we packed the kids in the van and made the 7-hour drive to Memphis (about 16 hours after getting off the plane from Vegas).

After the family began arriving, Amy's grandmother made what her nurses described as a miraculous turnaround. Her kidneys began functioning again and her blood pressure stabilized. Of course, she was still in the ICU, so she wasn't completely out of danger.

Because the kids aren't allowed in the ICU, Amy went to the hospital twice per day (for a couple of hours each time) and I stayed with the kids. We were able to go to the Children's Museum, the Pink Palace Museum and explore downtown. We also spent way too much time in our hotel room.

With Amy's grandmother stable for now, we decided to head back to Louisville today. We arrived home tonight at around 9pm. We're all wiped out. I've got to get unpacked from both Vegas and Memphis and get ready to head back to work tomorrow. With holidays and CES, I've only spent 3 days in the office over the past 30 days, so I've got a lot of things to catch up on. So if I owe you an e-mail or a phone call, I'll be in touch this week (hopefully).
Monday, January 7, 2008
Sunday CES recap
My first full day in Vegas was fun and hectic.

The day started at 8am with a ton of press events. I went to events with LG, Netgear, Toshiba, Samsung, Monster Cable and Philips. Got a lot of great info, a free Blu-ray disc and photos of Dr. Dre.

Around 4:00p, Jason Hiner and I headed over to the Bellagio to check out Seagate and PodTech's BlogHaus. I had a really great time there. I was able to meet my friend Jeremy Toeman in person for the first time. He was introduced me to Doc Searls, Peter Semmelhack of Bug Labs and Robert Scoble.

I also met Marc Canter who founded Macromedia (and who once blogged about how much he disliked the name Profilactic) and Elaine Fiolet from ubergizmo.com.

I stuck around the BlogHaus long enough to drink a beer and watch about 3/4 of the Bill Gates keynote.

At around 7:30p, I walked from the Bellagio over to Caesar's for Digital Experience. I talked with reps from Netgear, VUDU, Logitech, and Sling Media. I was able to meet Dave Zatz from Sling who I've known online for a couple of years. He hooked me up with Matt Feinstein who gave me a demo of the SlingCatcher which was unveiled for the first time tonight. The SlingCatcher is definitely the coolest product I've seen so far.

SlingCatcher is awesome!

Jason, Bill and I called it a night at around 10:30p and grabbed a cab back to the Palms. Once I got back to the room, I finished up 3 or 4 blog posts that I had started earlier in the day.

It's now 12:15 PST and my alarm is set for 5:30. Ugh!
Sunday, January 6, 2008
First night in Vegas
I am in Vegas for CES this week. I'm covering the event for CNET.

I arrived last night at around 6pm, got checked in the Palms around 7pm, then meet a couple of colleagues for a late dinner (it was 10:30 EST) at NOVE. Before calling it a night, we shot a couple of pre-show videos that should be live this morning.

I'll be posting details on Practical Gadgetry, Twitter and this blog throughout the event.
Friday, January 4, 2008
Avoid Prospect Pediatrics! [updated]
OK, those of you who keep up with the blog know that our kids had a really, really rough December. Maddox, who is 7 months old, had RSV and another nasty virus (in addition to other longer term issues we were sorting out) and the other 3 kids had strep throat and the aforementioned nasty virus. We were at Prospect Pediatrics many, many times last month.

Rewind to last week. I took Mahlon in for a severely sore throat. Dr. Massey at Prospect Pediatrics said that he had strep throat, gave him antibiotics and told us he should be feeling better in 24-48 hours.

After a couple of days on antibiotics, Mahlon (and Mira and Miles who also had strep and were on antibiotics) were all feeling much worse. In addition to the sore throat, they were having a dry cough and labored breathing at night. We called Dr. Massey and she said to bring the kids in the next day as this wasn't normal with strep throat.

So after another rough night with the kids, we awoke early the next morning and waited for the office to open to make our appointment. When we called at 8:30am, we were told by the answering service that the office was closed for New Year's Eve. Our options were a pediatric acute care office across town that didn't open until 1pm or the emergency room.

Considering neither of those preferable options, we called a friend and asked who they used for a pediatrician and called them for an appointment.

We were able to get into Oldham County Pediatrics that morning and the kids were diagnosed with a virus that affects their airway. The doctor gave them all an oral steroid and said they should be fine in a couple of days (which they were).

Fast forward to this afternoon. My wife gets a call from the receptionist at Prospect Pediatrics to tell her that they would no longer honor Maddox's standing appointment to receive a flu shot. The reason? We saw another pediatrician.

Of course, we were dumbfounded and absolutely livid. How was seeing another pediatrician different than seeing an ER doctor (which they recommended) or the acute care doctor (which they recommended)? And let's not forget that we wouldn't have had to see anyone else had Dr. Massey not advised us to wait to see them the next day (when they were closed!).

So now, we're stuck calling around trying to find a preservative-free flu shot for our 7 month old son, who has had two respiratory-related viruses in the past month, because Prospect Pediatrics refuses to give him one.

If you are looking for a pediatrician to take care of your children, I would avoid Prospect Pediatrics. Anyone who would put petty nonsense before the care of their patients doesn't deserve to be in business.

[UPDATE] After Amy and I each called and complained to the office manager's voicemail, Amy finally heard back from Prospect Pediatrics. Amy said that she wanted the doctor's name who was denying the shot and the office manager said that they would still allow him to get his shot. So it all worked out; however, it is still a crappy way to treat your patients, especially ones who have been there as much as we have recently.
Thursday, January 3, 2008
Louisville Tech Entrepreneurs Meetup tonight
First, let me say that sMoRTy71.com has not turned into an events blog. It just so happens that there is a lot going on around Louisville over the next few weeks that I'm excited about (plus, I didn't have anything else to post, so this makes me look like less of a blog slacker).

Tonight, Rob May is hosting the next Louisville Tech Entrepreneurs Meetup at Jenicca's on Market Street.

I've attended the last two (see posts here and here for details) and have had a great time. It's a casual event where about 15 or 20 of us interested in business and technology get together, have a drink and talk about what's new with our startups (or just about any other topic that might come up).

DATE: Thursday, Jan 3rd, 2008
TIME: 5:30-7:00pm
LOCATION: Jenicca's Wine Bar
STREET: 636 East Market Street
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Social Media Club kickoff is Jan. 22, 2008
Just a couple of hours after getting Ben Thomas' invite for the Louisville Geek Dinner, I got an invite from Jason Falls for the inaugural meeting of the Louisville Chapter of the Social Media Club.

The Social Media Club is a national organization that bills itself as a community for the champions of social media and those seeking to learn. SMC wants to begin a local conversation about the practice of social media that will foster discussion, sharing and learning for all involved.

Here are the details:

Date: Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: Greater Louisville, Inc. (Chamber of Commerce)
Street: 614 West Main Street

Jason has created a page for the event in Facebook, so sign up.
Louisville Geek Dinner v.0.4 is Jan. 24, 2008
Just got an e-mail from Ben Thomas, founder of the Louisville Geek Dinner, that v.0.4 of the event will be held January 24, 2008 at the Fox and Hound Pub & Grille.

I attended the last Geek Dinner and had a great time. Met a lot of interesting people, including Todd Earwood and Rob May, and got to tell a lot of people about Profilactic. Plus, I got to drink beer while doing it. Can't ask for much more than that.

Here are the details for v.0.4.

WHAT: A social networking event for people who love technology.
WHEN: Thursday January 24th 2008 @ 6:00pm EST
WHERE: Fox and Hound Pub and Grille (Near Oxmoor)
COST: FREE + Whatever you choose to spend on food.

Sign up (or check out the attendee list) here.

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.