Curses! Foiled Again!

News today is that Google decided to make Kansas City the site of its next-generation superfast Internet demonstration project.

Sure, there was a lot of competition for the honor. Lovely Greenville, SC, threw its hat in the ring (see "Hi Google!" in my March, 2010, post). It would have been perfect! With Greenville County being the densest (population-wise! No smirks!) concentration of engineers in the nation, we have the need and the want.  And as Greenville is on so many Top 10 lists of Places to Live, Places to Retire To, etc., there would be some extra cachet for Google if they built here first.

So where did their decision come from?? Was it a consolation prize for VCU kicking Kansas' butt in the Elite Eight?  WHAT WERE THEY THINKING???!!


Googling Myself

Every now and then, it's instructive to discover what the Web knows about you.

After having preached to the kids that employers and other decision-makers will regularly check online for additional information about them, I decided to google myself.

When I was yet a teen, I realized that "Mark Smith" would be a name I shared with many others (and there were twelve others in the phone book, when I lived in Charlotte, NC!), and I decided then to use my middle initial to narrow down the field.  Even "Mark F. Smith" isn't descriptive enough these days, with 310 million Americans.

I found the expected links to my audiobook narration. I found a link to this blog. I'm pleased I did not find links to a serial murderer or a scandal-ridden politician. There is a fairly good PhD out there with the name and there was an important executive in a nonprofit who is being missed.  A list of "Mark F. Smith patents" went back only a few years and so did not uncover the two I was granted in the 80's.

But what moved me to write this post, is that there is someone on Facebook with the name, AND IT IS NOT I.  So don't post to him, thinking you're reaching me! I have resisted the Facebook craze so far. Maybe later...


Suicide Casanova Comes Out

The book's been done since January, but Iambik.com has orchestrated a full collection of crime thrillers that were simultaneously released today.

We narrators who contributed to the collection have been advised to yell, dance, jump up and down, post, and generally call attention to our offering!  You'll find it here:

I don't mind saying that Suicide Casanova was a difficult book for me to narrate. The language and the topics are raw; still, if you have a stomach for the seamy side of life, you'll find it entertaining. I got choked up at the conclusion, which resolved the issues in a manner I could not foresee.


Cats in Hats!

The annual Ready4Reading event in Greenville, which promotes early literacy, is structured around The Cat in the Hat.

All the (local) TechSmiths were present for duty at the Make-a-Book station March 5, where we helped hundreds of kids make their own 6-page books, using markers, crayons, pictures clipped from magazines, and stickers.