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April 24, 2007

Bellingham Mayors’ Arts Award

On April 19, 2007, Mayor Tim Douglas and the Bellingham Arts Commission presented awards honoring people and organizations who have contributed significantly to the arts and cultural environment of Bellingham, Washington.

The newly formed Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest was one of the organizations honored this year and they asked my mother, Ethel Crook (96) to stand because she was the daughter of Sue C. Boynton. This picture shows her at the event. But there's more to the story!

Here’s information about the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest and Poetry Walk

And here’s a recap of the Bellingham Mayors’ Art Awards

April 28, 1995

Here's part of a letter sent to Mom regarding another Mayor's Award:

Dear Ms. Crook:

The Mayor and the Bellingham Municipal Arts Commission are pleased to announce arts awards to individuals and organizations which have made exceptional contributions to the fine and performing arts.

You are being recognized for your lifelong commitment to the arts in Whatcom County. As a musician and teacher for over 60 years, you have enriched the lives of many, through private lessons and in the public schools; as choir director and organist for the Advent Christian Church, and as an instrumental force behind the creation of the Bicentennial Orchestra.

Your association with the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra and your participation in obtaining scholarships, music benefits, and special concerts to support students are just some of the works for which you are being recognized.

No need to say how proud the Crook "kids" and their families are of their exceptional mother and grandmother!

April 22, 2007

Web content is a business asset

"The Web," says Gerry McGovern, "has changed the role of content. Content can now make the sale, deliver the service and build the brand. Slowly, organizations are beginning to realize that content is a business asset."

In The Problem of Dirty Data, McGovern explains how most organizations are only "beginning to realize the fabulous potential that content has."

Want a more focused, efficient website? Read the article. And bookmark his blog. He's a keeper.

April 03, 2007

Permitted and Prohibited Items When Flying

Need to know the latest rules and regulations for carry-on items on flights in the U.S.? TSA (Transportation Security Administration) amended its rules for carry-on items, and this page has a wealth of information to help travelers prepare properly for their trips.

On Tuesday, September 26, 2006, TSA adjusted the ban on liquids, gels, and aerosols...

Air travelers may now carry liquids, gels and aerosols in their carry-on bag when going through security checkpoints.

With certain exceptions for prescription and over-the-counter medicines, baby formula and breast milk, and other essential liquids, gels, and aerosols, the following rules apply to all liquids, gels, and aerosols you want to carry through a security checkpoint.

1. All liquids, gels and aerosols must be in three-ounce or smaller containers. Larger containers that are half-full or toothpaste tubes rolled up are not allowed. Each container must be three ounces or smaller.
2. All liquids, gels and aerosols must be placed in a single, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag. Gallon size bags or bags that are not zip-top such as fold-over sandwich bags are not allowed. Each traveler can use only one, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag.
3. Each traveler must remove their quart-sized plastic, zip-top bag from their carry-on and place it in a bin or on the conveyor belt for X-ray screening. X-raying separately will allow TSA security officers to more easily examine the declared items.

Server Snooper

Want to generate a short report of information about the web page header lines of the server where a domain is being hosted? You may discover things you never knew.

Will Bontrager says that for people who use Mac, Linux, or other non-Windows operating systems, or who prefer not to install WebBug, the Server Snooper can provide the headers. At warp speed, you can discover what's in the hidden information that a server sends to a browser.

It amazes people, sometimes, to know how much data about their choice of server and web page is publicly available; "public" includes yourself, crackers, and competitors. The information is sent to every browser requesting a web page.

Here's a link to the Server Snooper page where you can type in a URL and view the header information, and where you can grab some code and put the link on your site.

And don't forget to visit Bontrager's FlowTo.com site and discover how easy it is to protect your email address on your website. No CGI. Just simple coding does the trick.

April 02, 2007

Congratulations on Your Nomination, TK!

Longtime colleague and my project editor Terence Kierans is a finalist in the prestigious Thomas Leonard International Virtual Assistant of Distinction.

This award is to honor a Virtual Assistant who has been in business for at least 2 years and who has contributed to the industry in such a way that she/he has provided a positive impact on many others and helped them to build a successful business.

Kierans is a guru in the area of using Microsoft products, as well as being a superb technical editor. Here's the way to discover his website, Cyberspace Virtual Services:

Terence Kierans
Cyberspace Virtual Services

April 01, 2007

Words that Often Obfuscate

What do I mean by words that obfuscate?

In fact, what does "obfuscate" mean?

It's a word that rarely finds a home in a normal business letter.

Let's analyze just a few words that don't belong in most business documents. I'll also offer better (I hope!) choices for everyday usage.

Means: to make something unclear, difficult to understand.
Try: confuse, alter, change, and modify.

Means: Outrageously bad. Ridiculous to an extraordinary degree.
Try: flagrant, blatant, absurd, bizarre, grotesque, gross, and glaring.

OB·SE·QUI·OUS: ahb-SEE-kwee-us
Means: too eager to please or obey
Try: fawning, flattering, toadying, submissive, fawning, groveling, unctuous, smarmy.

Avoid using ostentatious words that obfuscate their unembellished significance. Also, avoid being either egregious or obsequious, and you will do satisfactorily.