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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Half Staff

When and how

A Proclamation by the President: Death of Coretta Scott King

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

As a mark of respect for the memory of Coretta Scott King, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, that on February 7, 2006, the day of her interment, the flag of the United States shall be flown at half staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset on such day. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same period at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirtieth.

Issued 2/6/06

Free notification of Official orders to fly the flag at half staff. Contact

You will be notified when orders are released.


Veterans Administration:
Guidelines for Display of the Flag


Flag Etiquette

Washington State flag

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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Date an Octothorpe

Some more of those things I'm sure I used to know

The keyboard combination of Alt+Shift+D inserts the current date in MS Word and PowerPoint. Ctrl+; (semicolon) does it in Excel and Access.

If you do not like the date's format, select a different one with Insert>Date and Time and, if you would like to make that permanent, click on the Default button in the lower left corner of the dialog box (in PowerPoint it's in the lower right corner).

In Excel, Ctrl+Shift +# formats the entry as day-month-year. Ctrl+1 will display the "Format cells" dialog box.

BTW, the "hash, pound or number" sign # is also called an "octothorpe".

The person who named it combined Octo for the eight points and Thorpe for James Thorpe.

"Bell Labs engineer, Don Macpherson, went to instruct their first client, the Mayo Clinic, in the use of the new touch tone phone system. He felt the need for a fresh and unambiguous name for the # symbol. His reasoning that led to the new word was roughly that it had eight points, so ought to start with octo-. He was apparently at that time active in a group that was trying to get the Olympic medals of the athlete Jim Thorpe returned from Sweden, so he decided to add thorpe to the end."

While we're at it, the "backwards P, Enter mark" is actually named a "pilcrow".

The pilcrow was used in medieval times to mark a new train of thought, before the convention of using paragraphs was commonplace.

Also see:
Geek-speak names for punctuation marks


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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

That's the Way I Believe It's Sppelled

Wrong list

Spelling feels more like art than science. Here's a site that shows 100 (actually 250) words that are often misspelled.

It also gives you reasons and memory tricks to get it right.

Not all pens and pencils come with spellcheckers.

The "i-before-e" rule has more exceptions than words it applies to.

Dr. Language has provided a one-stop cure for all your spelling ills. Here are the 100 words most often misspelled ("misspell" is one of them). Each word has a mnemonic pill with it and, if you swallow it, it will help you to remember how to spell the word. Master the orthography of the words on this page and reduce the time you spend searching dictionaries by 50%.

100 Most Misspelled
Most Mispronounced
(You mean it's not "pronounciation"?
That's what happens when you have Old-timer's disease.)

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Thursday, January 07, 2016

Just Say No to Be

To be, or no to be

E-Prime aims to eliminate all forms of the verb "to be". (Try that with your next report.)

"E-Prime comprises standard English with all forms of the verb 'TO BE' deleted; its use prevents forms of the verb 'TO BE' creating erroneous and irrational generalizations in language and thought."
  • John is lethargic and unhappy.
  • John is bright and cheerful.

  • John appears lethargic and unhappy in the office.
  • John appears bright and cheerful on holiday at the beach.

The result may appear wishy washy, but more accurate.
Also see:
E-Prime Tutorial 
A Laymen's View

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Friday, January 01, 2016

Nite Tide


Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys
Hightone Records August 15, 2000

Nite Tide
About the Artist
"Hailing from Anaheim, California, Big Sandy (neƩ Robert Williams) draws from a number of influences--country, western swing, rockabilly, doo wop, R & B, and jump blues. The best Big Sandy songs are the sexy ones about seduction, innocent on the surface and a little dirty underneath. The retro appeal of the band is equivalent to a Model T or Vargas bombshell"

Recording Description
Groovin', jumpin', hot rods, Rock-a-billy.
One of the cuts -- When Sleep Won't Come (Blues for Spade) -- refers to the uxoricidal "Spade" Cooley.

Also see:
The Old Corral, b-westerns, Inc

  1. Night Tide - Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys
  2. Between Darkness and Dawn
  3. Tequila Calling
  4. When Sleep Won't Come (Blues for Spade)
  5. If You Only Knew - Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys
  6. Give Your Loving to Me
  7. In the Steel of the Night
  8. Man Like Me
  9. Hey Lowdown!
  10. My Time Will Come Someday
  11. I Think of You
  12. Nothing to Lose
  13. South Bay Stomp
  14. Let Her Know

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