The weekend Apache/MySQL/PHP crash course is turning into a week long or longer crash course, and actually that is a good thing.
Given the issues with the book being out of date, I have decided to slow down the pace with this course of study, but keep at it. I am not moving it to the back burner, but instead turning down the heat. I have a new book on order: Head First PHP & MySQL. This book is due in mid-September, and I should have the first book done by then and what I learned will help move forward with the new book. I should have read the reviews on Amazon before diving into the first book. If I had I would have started my studies with HTML a lot sooner.
Having said that, I now plan to refocus my efforts on learning HTML, XHTML, and CSS with the Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML from O'Reilly. This is where I should have started in the first place, but as they say - "you live and learn".
I thought that diving into PHP and MySQL with a crash course book would be give me some additional momentum towards my end goal, but unfortunately there were some issues. Fortunately the issues I encountered I was able to turn into good learning experiences.