The engagement story

The news of my engagement should really not come as a surprise to those who know me. I have been contemplating asking my dear Lena for at least a few months, although I could never be sure it was the right thing to do. I also did not want to make the engagement trivial, nor did I want to partake in the request in any typical format. I devised pieces of a plan long ago in an attempt to be both surprising and unique, and I'm proud to admit now that I succeeded in these tasks.

Book review: "Crazy '08" by Cait Murphy

I wouldn't imagine a non-baseball fan would actually pick up a baseball book and read it from cover to cover. If there was a book I would recommend to a person who was interested in history but not a huge baseball buff, it's "Crazy '08" by Cait Murphy. And for a baseball fan, this is one book you wouldn't want to be without.

'The Developers' flying off the shelves!

I haven't quite made the New York Times best-seller list just yet, but copies of "The Developers" are getting their places in the sky. I've secretly placed a few books on Southwest airplanes, so if you are flying Southwest anytime soon, make sure to check the seat pocket in front of you. Sorry, I didn't include any drink coupons!

New U.S. government 'transparent' sites

Where do your tax dollars go? What data is being collected in this country anyway? Previously, these were difficult questions to answer, but the new administration appears to be making headway toward real answers.

Community website (like .comU) purchased by AOL

I found out the other day through an internal company email that AOL has recently purchased two companies as part of its local strategy initiative. I was immensely surprised when checking out one of them, Patch, which is essentially a community-based website geared toward providing info with a small-town flavor.

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Random News

Computers + charities + recycling = ???

As I begin scheduling stops on my summer book tour, I'm working on putting together a simple program that involves computers, charitable organizations and recycling. No, I don't have a cute name for the program, nor do I have any idea how it will even work. But I'm going to give it a try.

Recycling computers easy with Apple

If your old computers are starting to stack up in the basement at a rapid pace, there's good news for Apple users.

Apple recently announced that users will receive free shipping and envionmentally friendly disposal of their old machine with a purchase of a new one through the Apple Store or Apple's retail stores. The press release says the program expansion will begin in June.

First book excerpt available

As you may or may not know, I'm in the process of writing a book. It was fun, but I'd like to finish it, get it published, sign some books and start working on the next one.

In the meantime, I'm going to provide you a few excerpts so you can see what I'm working on.

To set the stage for the first one, one of the book's main characters is meeting a blind date who happens to closely resemble her favorite celebrity.

Read the excerpt

First 2009 book stop: Baltimore CityLit Festival

In 2007, I had my first taste of the Baltimore book scene at the CityLit Festival. Last year, I was a part of the event, so I figured I might as well join in again! The festival takes place 10 a.m.-4 p.m. April 18 at the downtown branch of the Enoch Pratt library. I'll be there with colleagues Sean O'Connor and Brad Samuelson.

JFK learns how to build HTML tables

Those of you who have mastered the art of building a Web site have probably encountered the most important tool known to designers: the protractor.

Coming in second would have to be tables, the backbone to many pages you have visited in your lifetime, or at least within the last three weeks. Tables are the most primitive of the HTML tags because people like to have things in nice readable fashion, excluding tabloid magazines. Most people prefer tabloids that look similar to newspapers more than 40 years ago, which contained at least 343 headlines on each page.

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