Evil Plot


  • kid
  • hose
  • sprinkler
  • yard
  • wife who doesn’t want to get wet

step 1
take the kid outside to play in the sprinkler
step 2
immediately get wet with the water that’s still in the hose and warmed from the sun
step 3
get the kid soaked
step 4
take the sprinkler off of hose
step 5
show kid how to drink out of hose, hand him hose. Make sure to hold onto a length for crimping
step 6
tell him to go share with momma
step 7
enjoy the show

in the event of retribution
step 8
Crimp hose
step 9
take hose away and spray until wife is soaked


Whew, it’s been a busy year. Back in 2005 I wrote a list of things I’d like to do eventually that I’d be able to do if I had the time and resources that winning the lotto would provide. I’ve made a positive step towards realizing a couple of those.


The big change this year was the addition of Ian. We didn’t get off too well in the beginning, but we’re doing pretty good now. He’s just now to the point where he’s taking his first steps. He’s a smart kid, very inquisitive, but stubborn. Within a few years he’ll be learning how to read and write- I’m guessing it won’t be long until I’m teaching him how to program. He’s got an eye for any type of electronics, but goes nutty for my blackberry or laptop. Yeah, he’s a geek in training.

Jackie’s been doing fairly well, all things considered. She’s been staying home with Ian rather than going back to work, and it’s driving her a little stir crazy. To help ease the cabin fever, she got a laptop for christmas- Ian wasn’t letting her stay in the office, so now she has a way to keep in contact with people from the living room.


This was the year of the wedding… Brad and Erin, Jordan and Beth, Matt and Carrie, William and Charleen, Jackie’s friend Joslyn, Jackie’s sister Lori, and Paul and Kristen. I only made it to 4 of the weddings, but I was standing up in two of them. The ones we went to were all in Grand Rapids, so we had the joy of driving back and forth 155 miles each way, with the added bonus of dropping Ian off somewhere along the way


Work started off pretty rough. I have a habit of reflecting the attitudes of those around me, and my supervisor at the beginning of the year was pretty negative. That coupled with Ian’s birth and all the associated expenses turned me into a pretty miserable person. Fortunately the supervisor left and was replaced with a cautious optimist. Things got better- so much so that I just passed the 1 year mark at my current place and still find it interesting and entertaining.


I’ve played with many new technologies this year- Jboss, Netscaler and CentOS being the three foremost. I’ve dug back into ruby with a couple of new projects, as well as LDAP and a plethora of new utilities. I even picked up a bit of python. This trend doesn’t look like it’s gonna let up, so the job should be exciting and interesting for some time to come.


This year saw me move away from music and go back towards software (although I have been playing harmonica in the car at stoplights on the way to work). I joined the Luma team as head cheerleader and started the QT4 branch. After becoming frustrated with the python, qt3->qt4 transition and the codebase in general, I started an unofficial sister project, Ruma. I still sit in the Luma channel and help when I can, but I’m gonna sit back and wait until we’re ready for QT4- hopefully we’ll scrap the entire codebase and start fresh.

Right now I have two other developers “working” for me on Ruma, Lars and Hiro. They’ve put a lot of effort into bringing this bad boy to life, and I’m thankful I’ve had their help. For those of you not aware, Luma and Ruma are LDAP administration tools. As a System Administrator, I use LDAP a lot, so having specialized tools can be helpful.

Another project I started this year was competing in National Novel Writing Month. I finished the rough draft for my first book, Sinblade, a week early. It’s only 150 pages or so, but not a bad start all things considered. Jackie’s (sorta) working on revising it, and once she’s done I’ll open it up for others to start giving me feedback. I’m excited and nervous about it. If it takes off and people like it, I have 6 or so more books that I’m interested in writing.

The money situation is still pretty tight, but it’s getting better. Hopefully next year will be as much of an improvement over this year as this was over last year.


So I just realized that I’ve become uber busy as of late. My current side projects look like this:
– Warhammer Army builder for ChrisP written in Ruby (on Rails)
– reviving radio.morgajel.com and rebuilding my stream (RoR, again)
– SecretWord module and Logging for Ziggy (Perl + Po::Co::IRC)
– ImportLDIF plugin for Luma

This isn’t including the miniature painting, work, or Ian. The weird part is it feels nice to be busy- but only when it’s busy on my terms 🙂


Ian is here

So Ian was born at 5:02am on monday (Fed 26, 2007). 7lbs, 15oz, 20.5 inches long.

He is already carrying on the fine Morgan tradition of being an asshole.

Good Guy or Bad Guy?

So I was in a Gamestop yesterday buying an extra nunchuck for the Wii (I plan on getting Wii Play which comes with a remote), and I overheard this conversation:

[GSEmployee] Ma’am, you do realize that Call of Duty 3 is Rated T?
[Lady] I don’t know, is that appropriate for a 13 year old boy? Is it violent?

as a side note here, this lady was completely clueless that call of duty was a WAR gam, about WAR, where you SHOOT people. Now, I don’t play the Xbox 360, and haven’t really ever seen Call of Duty, but I could figure out from the pictures PICTURE OF A GUY SHOOTING A GUN ON THE FRONT OF THE BOX STANDING IN FRONT OF A WARZONE that yeah, maybe it was a little violent.

[GSEmployee] Well, you have a chainsaw on the end of your gun that you can use to slice open the enemy and you’ll see their entrail rendered in 3d.
[Lady] Is that bad?

…I shit you not, she said that. That’s where I broke in. I wanted her not to get it at this point simply because she’s stupid enough to be shocked when she sees the kid playing it 3 months later that it has blood and then sue the store or something retarded.

[me] Excuse me ma’am, to help you put it in context, think of it as an R rated movie.
(side note, a PG-13 movie would be a better comparison, but she probably wouldn’t comprehend.)

[lady] I don’t know- is that bad? some [r-rated] movies are different…

At this point I’m flustered because she’s just NOT getting it. either she doesn’t want her son exposed to this kind of violence, or she does, but she doesn’t appear to have the mental capacity to infer what a violent R rated movie would be, so I come up with the best example as I can on the spot.

[me] Think of it like this- would you let your son watch The Predator?

[lady] well I wouldn’t even watch that….

(Then get a fucking clue!)

[lady] So it’s violent?

(I give up)

[me] Yes [turning to the kid to apologize] Sorry bud, [turning to the clerk] I hate to bust you guys on a sale, but yeah, the game is probably too violent.

[GSEmployee] hey, that’s cool- I’d rather not have it sold than deal with mad parents

[lady] ok Georgie, lets not get Call of Duty, ok?… [acting excited] how about Open Season instead instead!

The son, the GSEmployee and myself all hang our heads in defeat of this clueless mom who pretty much proved she had no idea what her 13 year old son liked or wanted.

My parents were pretty good about video games, and as I raise Ian, I’m gonna try to put in that extra effort to pay attention to what my son likes. Growing up as a gamer and dealing with the stigma has had an effect on me, and I don’t want to end up like this clueless idiot lady.


Doing another annual recap this year like I did last year.

2006 was a pretty rough year- move from DC Metro back to Grand Rapids, got a crappy job, found out jackie was pregnant, got laid off from crappy job, spent 3 months unemployed, and at the end of November was offered an awesome new job in Troy, MI (the other side of the state). Other than Ian, and the new job, the best good news is we finally have a decent couch- two of them, actually.


I enjoyed working at CSX a lot, but Virginia started getting to me- a guy threw himself in front of the orange line and it was on the news down there, and I realized I could sorta understand why he did it… that was my hint that I needed to get out of there. The result was taking the first job that could get me back to Michigan.

I ended up taking a contract-to-hire job back in Grand Rapids that paid poorly, treated me like crap, and generally made me come home and curl up in the fetal position. Part of the agreement to even get close to the payrange I was looking for was I had to work 55 hours a week. The problem was I spent all 55 hours each week for 3 months putting out fires and stressed myself so badly that the doctor told me I had to cut back. Five months(August) into the 3 month contract (oh, it was open ended, didn’t you know that?) I was laid off. No severance, just a boot out the door. I wasn’t the only one laid off since the company is apparently not doing as well as they thought they were, but there’s still a lot of bitterness there.

The recruiter flat out lied when he said the Grand Rapids job market had improved- the unemployment rate is still 7% and companies are closing down left and right. I spent 3 months searching for a job in the area when our friend Chris P. offered to hand my resume off to a friend of his who was looking for a linux admin. Three interviews later, they offered me the job for a decent amount of money and benefits. The down side was it’s in Troy, so we’re moving again. This place seems great tho, and I don’t have any of the doubts or negative feelings I had initially about the job in GR.


In July, Jackie and I found out we were going to have a child. It’s a boy, and he’s due on March 10th. We’ve decided on Ian Hawthorn for a name. We’re really excited about it, but to be honest it didn’t help the stress level when I was laid off a month after finding out. We’re looking forward to it, but the new job is complicating issues like lamaz classes and doctor changes.

My brother Jamie is off being a park ranger/professional bum, Brian is still in school, parents are doing good, inlaws are good, grandparents are all doing well and the cats still haven’t been set on fire- can’t ask for more than that.


I finally finished my chainmail shirt. The age difference between rings resulted in some bad discoloration which I tried to fix by treating with vinegar- Unfortunately that completely removed the zinc coating on some resulting in rusting- once I get the cash I plan on rolling it in a bucket of sand to remove the rust, oiling it, and then putting it in a tupperware container.

I played with my guitar quite a bit early in the year, but slacked off later on. I also realized that learning to play the keyboard is going to require more than 25 keys, so I’ve put it off until I have the time and money to get a real keyboard and take lessons. I did manage to pick up a trumpet and restring my violin- I can play a scale on the violin (barely) and can annoy the neighbors with the trumpet. I also bought some new reeds for Jackie’s clarinet and learned how to play a scale.

I got back into ruby and finally checked out this whole rails thing- it’s very cool. I wish I would have kept up with ruby way back when and ignored the nay-sayers.

I’ve also taken up walking- yes, walking. I’ve been walking about 3 miles every other day since we moved back to Grand Rapids- once around the block. Now that we’ve moved, that’ll probably go by the wayside due to the lack of walking partners and Jackie’s general roundness (from Ian).

Hopefully 2007 will see us getting back to where we were last year this time.

The Baby’s Site

Jackie and I finally agreed on a name a week or three ago- “Ian Hawthorn Morgan”. We also bought the domain IanHawthorn.com for him- figured it was something he could take over when he’s old enough- it’s also gonna serve as a news center for family and friends. Jackie’s already set up a wordpress theme and started posting emails we’ve received and other such details.

I’ve revised my categories on this site and added one for ian when I mention him.

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