This is what Shawn Morton would look like if he had been made of LEGO -- the personal website of Shawn Morton
Monday, November 24, 2008
My first Ohio State football game
Fresh off of the tour of Ohio Stadium earlier in the week, I was invited to attend the Ohio State v. Michigan game with some co-workers and one of our agency partners.


The day started early at around 9AM with tailgating in the lot just outside the stadium. Had chili and beer for breakfast for the first time. Not bad, especially when it is in the low 30's outside.

We got to our seats just before kickoff and spent the next three hours or so screaming, cheering and high-fiving for the Buckeyes.

Pryor getting ready to throw a TD pass

The game was never really close, but it was still fun to see Michigan get dismantled 42-7.

Scoreboard check

I was able to get lots of great photos and a few videos. I definitely look forward to checking out more games next season.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Cleaning house Twitter style
Over the past couple of weeks, I've noticed that I am unable to keep up with the stream of tweets coming in from the 600+ people I was following. I had people that I knew personally say things like "You didn't respond to my tweet..." or "Didn't you see my tweet...?"

Social media is about maintaining relationships and I wasn't keeping up my end of the bargain because I was following too many people that I didn't know which was causing me to miss tweets from people I do know (at least that was my hypothesis).

So last night (after a full day of tailgating and OSU football), I decided to prune my list of followers based on some very loose criteria. Do I know them personally? Do we exchange a lot of @replies? Do we share an interest like gaming or gadgets (I excluded social media since everyone seems to be into that)? Are they in the Columbus area?

The goal was to get close to Dunbar's number (seemed like a good idea at the time) and see if I could do a better job of keeping up.

After about 15 minutes, I had gone from 600+ to about 330-ish.

When I woke up this morning, I found something interesting (thanks to Qwitter). Several of the people that I unfollowed had unfollowed me back. While I don't take an unfollowing personally, I did find it interesting that someone would choose to unfollow me simply because I unfollowed them. If I posted stuff that isn't interesting to you, then an unfollow makes sense. However, to unfollow just because I didn't make a lot of sense.

I decided to write this post to explain that the goal of the unfollow wasn't personal. It was a way for me to be more efficient and effective in my use of Twitter. I think we've all been guilty of following people just because they follow us. After over 2 years on Twitter, it was time for me to clean things up. No offense intended.

BTW, I've stopped using Qwitter, so you can unfollow me anonymously if you want to :)
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Faith restored in America's youth [updated]
I think we're all aware of the statistics that show American students failing behind in key subjects like math and science internationally.

And if you've ever played a first-person shooter like Halo 3 on XBOX Live, you know that many (many!) of America's youth are complete nitwits.

However, after seeing the video below, I say, "Screw math and science and focus on Guitar Hero!"

The amount of creativity, planning and innovation needed to pull that video off is amazing. I didn't even notice that the lights on the handlebars were playing along with the notes on the ground until the second viewing.

Fortunately for us, Mahlon is an A student at school *and* at Guitar Hero. In fact, he finally got around to beating GHIII on Expert last night.

[UPDATE: Apparently we were all *slightly* duped with this video. Turns out an ad agency did this video. However, as this article questions, does it matter? It's still an awesome video, right?

I agree. The fact that an agency did it doesn't really make it less cool. It just means that all of the great things I said about the youth of America can be completely ignored :) ]
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
November 2008 Columbus Tweetup recap
Since moving to Columbus this summer, I have been lucky enough to have several awesome experiences including a trip to L.A., an all-access pass to a NASCAR race in Charlotte and Mahlon's first concert.

Today, I was able to add another one thanks to the Columbus Tweetup (which is a meetup of Twitter users for those not familiar with the term). This month's event featured a 2-hour tour of Ohio Stadium.

On the field

Although I have only been a Buckeyes fan for 122 days, it was very, very cool. We started in the rotunda outside the stadium and worked our way through the Varsity O Club, the luxury suites, the press box, the University Suite, the football recruitment center and the band center.

The highlight for me was actually getting to go down on the field.

Our tour guide, who has worked at the stadium for 33 years, had lots of great stories and details about the stadium that really added to the tour.

Of course, it was also nice to see some familiar faces, like Scott Peacock and Irene Alvarez from Experience Columbus, from the local social media community.

I've posted tons of photos and video from the tour on Flickr.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
FFL 08: Battling for a playoff spot
This fantasy football season has flown by. The first half of the season had me under .500 (which is why you won't find any blog posts about the first half of the season); however, I have won my last 4 games and am in good shape to either win my division or get the lone wild card spot.

As with previous seasons, I have ended up in the only competitive division in the league. If you check out the standings below, you'll see that each of the other two divisions only have one team with a winning record.

Our division has 3 of our 4 teams at 6-4 or better.

See larger version

For the last 3 games of the season, we return to division play. That means the whole division champ and wild card issue will work itself out. For example, our current division leaders, who are tied, will face each other in the final 3 games. So if I get a win in 2 of those 3 final games, I should be in the playoffs. Without 2 wins, I will need some help to make it.

I'll post an update... if I do well. Otherwise, I will delete all references to fantasy football 2008 and deny it every happen.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Recap of Metallica live in Columbus
On Sunday night, I took Mahlon to see Metallica at the Schottenstein Center here in Columbus. This was his first concert and he was super excited.

For me, it was my third time seeing Metallica; however, I hadn't really listened to their music in over 15 years.

Metallica in Columbus

I saw my first Metallica show when they opened for Ozzy Osbourne on his Ultimate Sin tour in 1986 in Charleston, WV. They were supporting their "Master of Puppets" album. The show is memorable for me because Cliff Burton was still alive and James Hetfield performed with a cast on his arm (a roadie played his guitar parts offstage) after a skateboard injury.

When I saw them for the second time, they were headlining their "black album" tour in 1992 in Charleston, WV. I actually was able to go backstage after the show. I almost met Jason Newstead, who gave me "the hand" when I tried to meet him, and did meet James Hetfield, who belched at me while signing my half-heartedly signing my autograph "Jaymz."

I had sworn them off completely after that experience; however, Mahlon, who is 11, caught Metallica fever thanks to Guitar Hero and Rock Band. In an effort to be the cool dad, I picked up two pre-sale ticket packs which included the new "Death Magnetic" CD and a digital download of the Columbus show.

Mahlon listened to the new CD quite a bit, played through the new album in Guitar Hero III and listened to my older albums in preparation for the show, so by the time the lights went out last night, he was ready.

Mahlon ready for Metallica
Mahlon before we left for the Schottenstein Center

We ended up with pretty good seats for the show. We were about 10 rows up from the floor in the lower level. Plus, the stage was set up in the middle of the arena, so that helped, too.

Metallica in Columbus

The stage show itself was pretty simple. There were large metal coffins above the stage that moved around some. There were also a few lasers and the occasional burst of flames. However, for most of the show, it was just the band cranking out a mix of classic songs (from "Kill 'Em All," "Ride the Lightning," "Master of Puppets" and "...And Justice for All") and new songs from "Death Magnetic."

Here is the full setlist:
That Was Just Your Life
The End Of The Line
Creeping Death
Ride The Lightning
Broken, Beat And Scarred
Sad But True
Wherever I May Roam
Leper Messiah
The Day That Never Comes
Master Of Puppets
Nothing Else Matters
Enter Sandman

Die, Die My Darling
Jump In the Fire
Seek and Destroy

Surprisingly, the new songs were just as well received as the older ones. They opened the show with the first two tracks from the new album and played three more throughout the rest of the set. That was the most from any album.

In addition to the five from "Death Magnetic," they played four tracks from the "black album," three from "Master of Puppets," two each from "Ride the Lightning" and "Kill 'Em All" and one (aptly "One") from "...And Justice for All." They also played a cover of the Misfits' "Die, Die My Darling."

Highlights for me were "Creeping Death," "Cyanide," "Battery" and Kirk Hammett's guitar playing. He nailed every solo and run throughout the show. It was pretty impressive.

The show ended with an encore of "Seek and Destroy." The band turned the house lights on before the song so that they could see the crowd. They also dropped dozens of giant, black, Metallica beach balls that the crowd batted around for awhile before realizing that they would make cool souvenirs. After that, you could see dozens of guys awkwardly trying to hold on to the balls while watching the rest of the song.

Metallica in Columbus
See the video here

Overall, they put on a great show. They definitely didn't sound like a group of 40-somethings who have been playing many of these songs for 25 years.

Mahlon summed it up much more succinctly than I have here. He said it was "awesome!"

You can check out more photos and videos here.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
I voted early
We headed back to Louisville for a long weekend. The kids wanted to trick-or-treat with their friends in our old neighborhood and, more importantly, Amy and I needed to vote.

Because we didn't get registered in time here in Ohio, we had to vote in Kentucky which always feels a bit like throwing our vote away. Kentucky has been a "red state" in the past two elections and, according the polls, is going to go that way this year. Would have much preferred to cast our votes in Ohio where there is much more at stake.

We were able to get in about out of the polling place in under 20 minutes. Not bad considering all of the horror stories we had heard about 2-hour waits.

Both eager and anxious to see how the election plays out.

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.