It's official, the dog days of summer are here. Back in Roman times, the dog days of summer were between July 24 and August 24. The Old Farmer's Almanac now refers to the dog days of summer as the 40 days between July 3rd and ending August 11th which coincides with the heliacal rising of the Dog Star, Sirius. Typically this period results in the least amount of rain in the Northern Hemisphere. I don't think that's true this year.
Speaking of dogs, which city's hot dog has the most toppings?
. New York
. San Francisco
Drum roll...The Chicago Dog wins with yellow mustard, dark green relish, chopped raw onion and tomato slices. Portillo's anyone? Enjoy the Dog Days of Summer, before we know it the kids will be getting ready for school, Friday night football and there will be a slight chill in the air. And for those of you who like to get started early on your back-to-school shopping, we have everything you need at www.twistop.com
July is the month we celebrate America, and while you may think you know all
about our history, you probably don't know these thirty tidbits. Read on to
discover some little-known fun facts.
Washington's teeth were never made of wood. Human and animal teeth, even ivory,
but never wood.
2. Theodore Roosevelt was a speed reader with a
photographic memory. He could read an entire page in the time it took someone
else to read a sentence.
3. Gerald Ford was the only President whose two
assassination attempts were made by women and the only one who modeled for
4. As a young man, Andrew Johnson was indentured to a tailor.
He also made all his own clothes.
5. Lyndon Johnson started out as was a
teacher at a small school in Texas.
6. James Garfield was the only president
who was a minister.
7. Harry S. Truman's middle initial isn't short for
anything. His parents could not decide which grandfather to name him after ?
Shippe or Solomon, so the initial honors them both.
8. Among Thomas
Jefferson's many inventions were the pedometer, the lazy Susan, and the swivel
9. At a mere five-foot-four and weighing just one hundred pounds,
James Madison was our most diminutive President.
10. Andrew Jackson fought
in over one hundred duels and married his wife Rachel before she was divorced
from her first husband. (They legally married later.)
11. Zachary Taylor's
wife taught him to read and write.
12. James Garfield could write Latin
with one hand and Greek with the other... at the same time.
13. Jimmy Carter
was the first President to be born in a hospital.
14. Herbert Hoover made
"The Star Spangled Banner" our national anthem.
15. The "largest" city in the U.S. is not L.A. or New York. It's Juneau, Alaska
which covers about 3,000 square miles, roughly the size of Delaware.
16. Martin Luther King Jr's name was originally Michael, like his father's. Dad
changed both their names when young "Martin" was five.
17. Maine is the
only state in the lower 48 to have no poisonous snakes and to border only one
18. While many movies romanticize immigrants standing on the
ship deck awestruck by the Statue of Liberty, the reality is most were below
deck with little or no view.
19. Los Angeles is not known for its
skyscrapers for a reason. Before 1957 there was a law against building more than
13 stories due to fear of earthquakes.
20. We have 140 towns and cities
with the word Christmas in their names.
21. The crookedest street in the
world is not in San Francisco but is actually found in the Midwest. "Snake
Alley" is in Burlington, Iowa.
22. In an attempt to increase tea sales in
the U.S., a British businessman was the first to serve iced tea in the U.S. at
the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair.
23. Virginia has more Civil War
battlegrounds than any other state.
24. Despite what we all learned in
school, our longest river is not the Mississippi at 2,348 miles, but the
Missouri at 2,466 miles. The Mississippi is considered the longest because it is
the longest continuous river whereas the Missouri is not continuous.
25. Roger Sherman was the only shoemaker to sign the Declaration of
26. The current version of our flag was
designed by an 18-year old high school student who only received a B- for his
27. Six U.S. flags are on the moon put up by Apollo 11, 12, 14,
15, 16 and 17.
28. When folded properly, the U.S. flag is shaped like a
triangle with only the stars showing. For those who are precise, it usually
takes 13 folds, the same number of original colonies.
29. Early American
flags tell the story of their struggles with the environment. That's why they
put beavers, pine trees, and snakes on many of them.
30. While the most
common form of a star is the six-point, Betsy Ross objected to it because it was
often used in England and she wanted something different for our new nation. She
insisted on the five-point, which she could also make with a single scissor
Now you can impress family, friends, and co-workers with your
newfound knowledge of U.S. history. And, you can demonstrate your patriotic
spirit every day with Americana products, flags and more. Twist OP can set you up with "Made in America" products. Check us out at www.twistop.com
I am an addict. That's the first step right? Admitting you have a problem? I've actually been an addict since Kindergarten. Yes, that long. I even knew back then that I had a problem. Each year in early August my parents would take me school supply shopping. The brand new pencils, crayons, notebooks and pencil cases were better than Christmas. That's when you know as a six year old that you have a problem - the new school supplies were more exciting than Christmas gifts. Over the years, I've learned to control my addiction. Then I decided to get a job in the office supply industry. I've never been the same.
My home office is cluttered with samples. My addiction to new, cool office supplies prevents me from donating them (I may need those ten different sizes of Post-Its at some point in time!) The number of pens in my house would amaze you. There is, however, one pen that has captured my heard and my hand.
In my very organized (really) pile of samples, the one I dig into most is the pen pile. I mean, why not use a different pen every day? That was until I was introduced to the Schneider Slider Memo XB. This is the pen for people who love to write. I don't mean the people who love to write via a keyboard, but those who actually like to feel the words flow from their brain to their hand and then through the ink that hits the page. Sounds a bit overboard? Not for me. I'm not sure how Schneider created what the call "Viscoglide-Technology", but I LOVE it. With it's bold ink, this is by far the smoothest writing pen I have ever used. Needless to say, the rest of my collection is starting to gather dust. My recommendation to you, try this pen. Then, put the rest of your pens in your cup or on your desk for coworkers to borrow (or steal) and hide this one inside your desk drawer. Until next time, when I tell you about my addiction to the Ampad Versa...just need to get my hands on this little organizational miracle notebook.
The Twisted Pencil is proud to announce Jennifer Freeman from S.P. Richards Co. as our first guest blogger. She is so talented and puts such a twist on her love (and addiction) for office supplies. Thanks Jennifer.
There will be a full moon tonight, but not just any full moon. Tonight’s Super Moon is being called a Bucks Moon and a Thunder Moon. I’m sure everyone understands how it could be called a Thunder Moon – just think of all the summer thunderstorms. The Bucks Moon is named because the male deer – a buck – begins to sprout their antlers. The moon tonight will 99.4 percent full. The whole world will be able to see it as long as the cloud cover stays away. Be sure to look outside between 8:00 and 8:30 tonight depending on your time zone. The moon will appear 12 percent larger and 20 percent brighter than regular full moons. While last months super moon was the closet the moon was to earth all year, tonight’s is promising some beautiful colors based on the sunset. Think pink, purple or orange. We love those colors. Check out our promo on pens, highlighters and markers – available in all the colors of tonight’s Super Moon at www.twistop.com
It’s official – we are in the midst of a heat wave. Three consecutive days over 90 degrees is making the Midwest and Eastern states hazy, hot and humid. What’s the single most important thing to do? Stay inside with air-conditioning. No air? Libraries and malls are the next best thing. Second most important thing – stay hydrated – water is best. Skip that second cup of coffee and avoid alcohol because too much caffeine or alcohol will only dehydrate you more. Don’t leave pets or kids in cars – even with the air on – the temperatures can get over 120 degrees in a matter of minutes if the air fails. Try to avoid being outside if at all possible, the evening hours will bring a bit of relief but not much. If you must be outside, bring along a wet cool towel to drape over your neck or mist yourself with water every half hour. Do not turn on your stove – grill if possible or a nice cold salad or sandwich will keep you full and your house cool. Laundry? Try running big appliances during off-peak hours. The good news? Storms should pop up Friday and Saturday which will end this heat wave. Stay cool from your friends at www.twistop.com
Getting organized after a move, personal or business, is at best trying. You may think you were organized before the boxes got packed, but let me tell you that once you start unpacking, you may wonder why you even put certain items in the box and paid to have them moved. The busiest time to move is now. May 15-September 15 accounts for the busiest time of the year for moving companies as well as rental trucks for the DIY’s.
I am unpacking boxes as I write and after three weeks I am wondering when it will end. Last week, I lost a few important receipts and I knew it was time to get organized. I received a Idea Collective Mini Hardbound Journal from TOPS Products for free a few months ago. It got packed and unpacked and as I desperately tried to find my lost receipts an idea was born. Use the journal to help me get organized. Write down my never-ending to-do list. Put receipts in the expanding envelope in the back of the journal. Write down thoughts for future house projects. Record what got broken in the move. Things are looking up. I still never found one of the receipts but I know I won’t lose another. I am getting organized.
The Idea Collective Mini Hardbound Journal is great for capturing thoughts, quick notes or anything that inspires you. Designed with the creative person in mind, these products feature all the premium details you’d expect in a high-end notebook. The durable covers feel luxurious and the smooth writing paper makes it easy to get carried away. Includes an expanding envelope with attractive yellow gusset to hold odds and ends. Wide ruled acid-free fine cream paper and roomy lines make writing more enjoyable. Check out www.bit.ly/NewProduct-Idea for more info on this great product.
Thanks TOPS, you saved the day. Now, back to unpacking. Only 7 days left before my 30 day self-imposed deadline of being box free. Wish me luck!
DESKTOP ORGANIZATION: FINGERTIP FILES HELP FIND IT FASTER!
When working on your desktop organization system not all of your paper should be stuck away in a file drawer. Those items that are accessed regularly must be kept handy. With this in mind you don’t want a disorganized stack just sitting on your desktop or counter. How do you go about your desktop organization project with a sense of balance? What you need is a fingertip file!
What is a Fingertip File?
A fingertip file is exactly what it sounds like - a place to store papers that you want to keep right at your fingertips. You know the kinds of documents I’m talking about - those things that you tend to need at a moments notice (possibly even several times a day):
. Phone and contact lists
. Printed schedules and calendars
. Directories and rosters
. Cheat sheets and important memos
. Pricing, product, and vendor lists
. Blank forms you use all the time
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a mom trying to keep track of your kid’s classmates, soccer schedule, and PTA activities; or if you’re struggling to stay on top of your company’s products, vendors, customers, and staff. You need a desktop organization system for it all! Fortunately, you have several options:
Keep Items in Sight
If you’re one of those people who likes to have things in plain view, consider keeping important pages in translucent poly project jackets tacked to a bulletin board or placed in a tiered wire rack on your desk. Another option is the new Smead Stadium® File. The 12-pocket Stadium® File is ideal for clearing clutter from your workspace or countertop. You can turn piles into files with this tiered expanding file that lets you see everything at a glance.
Color-code your paperwork by using a different colored jacket for each item (ex: price list in green, department directory in yellow, vendor contacts in pink) to make it easier to locate information quickly.
Organizing Everything in One Folder
If you prefer to store your reference sheets out of sight when you don’t need them, you may consider a flip style document organizer. Just get a sturdy pressboard classification folder with fasteners at the top of each divider, and attach each page to a divider (one front and one back). For more reference files you might also try the Smead Project Organizer Expanding File for optimal organization. Keep track of project process, contacts and notes with 10 expanding pockets.
Binding it all Together
You can also accomplish the same goal with a ring-binder and poly translucent slash jackets or project jackets. Just slip each reference item into a different colored jacket. You should be able to easily access any piece of information in seconds.
Creating Reference Categories
What if your fingertip file doesn’t contain a collection of loose pages, but a number of larger documents? The answer is simple, set up an expanding file or set of hanging folders in a file rack, and assign a category to each section.
You can organize your paper by the area of your life it relates to (ex: extracurricular activities, upcoming events, accounts payable), or the specific document being stored (ex: order forms, phone lists, memos). Again, color coding and labeling each section takes the guesswork out of locating a specific document.
Sometimes the fingertip items you need to store are too large to fit in a file. Examples include product catalogs, professional journals, magazines, etc. You can either store these in magazine holders that sit upright on a bookshelf (one holder for each title). You could also consider using box bottom hanging folders to store your publications spine-up in a file drawer.
The trick to desktop organization is creating the perfect fingertip file. By paying attention to what documents you use most you can easily accomplish this. For the next few days, every time you touch a reference item, put a small dot or a sticker on the back of the sheet. Those items with a large number of marks should be included in your fingertip file. Then all you have to do is choose the system that best matches your work style and the type of paper you are organizing. You now have your desktop organization done and it was easy as pie!
Strictly Made in the USA
Summer brings out the patriot in us with fireworks, parades, and community celebrations. We eat apple pie, sing the national anthem at baseball games, and visit historic spots like Gettysburg and the Statue of Liberty. While you learned the basics of American history in high school, there are plenty of fascinating facts not covered in typical textbooks. Here are just a few?
1. Due to painful dentures, George Washington gave the shortest inaugural address in history. With only one real tooth left at the time of his second inauguration, his 135-word speech lasted only 90 seconds.
2. What object do Americans choke on most often? A toothpick!
3.About 20 percent of the garbage in the world is generated by Americans.
4. The state with all or part of the ten largest American Indian reservations is Arizona.
5. Virginia extends farther west than West Virginia.
6. There have been no Democrat U.S. Presidents with a beard.
7. Harry Truman was the last President with no college degree.
8. Honolulu is the only place in the U.S. with a royal palace.
9. The first U.S. President to be born in a hospital was Jimmy Carter.
10. Due to sediment deposits from the Mississippi River, Louisiana is the only state that actually increases in land area every year.
11. In addition to its mainland, Louisiana consists of 2,482 islands.
12. Missouri and Kansas each have a Kansas City.
13. More than 10 percent of the world’s salt is used to de-ice American roads.
14. No President was an only child.
15. Q is the only letter in the alphabet that does not appear in any name of a state.
16. Thomas Jefferson was known to greet White House guests in his robe and slippers.
17. A little over 1 percent of Americans share the most common last name in the United States ? Smith.
18. The last time American Green Cards were actually green was 1964.
19. Florida is bigger than England.
20. The U.S. has more bagpipe bands than Scotland.
21. The U.S. motto, ?In God We Trust,? was not adopted as the national slogan until 1956.
22. The seven rays on the crown of the Statue of Liberty represent the seven continents. Each measures up to 9 feet in length and weighs as much as 150 pounds.
23. The United States consumes 25 percent of the world’s energy.
24. There are ten towns named Hollywood in the United States.
25. There are three towns in the United States that have the name ?Santa Claus.?
26. There are 365 steps on the front of the U.S. Capitol Building – one for every day of the year.
27. Alaska has a longer coastline than all of the other 49 U.S. states put together.
28. Abraham Lincoln was also a licensed bartender.
Show your patriotism and knowledge by sharing a few of these fun facts at your next family barbecue. And, if you want to buy American products, be sure to read labels carefully, consult websites, or contact a manufacturer directly. As always, your local Twist OP can be a helpful resource as well. Stop or call today.
How Much Do You Really Know About Independence Day?
Test Your Knowledge! If you think the Fourth of July celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence, you’d be wrong – along with most other Americans. July 4th is actually the day the document was adopted by the Second Continental Congress. Delve into our history and you’ll find all kinds of interesting facts and trivia you can use to impress guests at your next summer barbecue. See how much you know. Scoring’s at the bottom.
1. Independence Day was first observed in what year? a. 1776 b. 1826 c. 1903
2. The completion of the signing of the Declaration of Independence occurred in which month? a. July b. August c. September
3. Independence Day officially became a federal holiday in what year? a. 1776 b. 1870 c. 1941
4. How many signatures are on the Declaration of Independence? a. 43 b. 56 c. 68
5. The first public reading of the Declaration occurred in which city? a. Philadelphia b. Boston c. Washington, D.C.
6. Both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, signers of the document, died on Independence Day, July 4, 1826. a. True b. False
7. Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird. a. True b. False
8. Who was the first person to sign the Declaration? a. Thomas Jefferson b. John Adams c. John Hancock
9. What was the estimated population of the United States in 1776? a. 8.5 million b. 5.5 million c. 2.5 million
10. From which country was the United States seeking independence? a. France b. Great Britain c. Spain
So, how did you do?
Answers: 1a, 2b, 3c, 4b, 5a, 6a, 7a, 8c, 9c, 10b
Scoring 10+ – You need to be writing history books! 8-9 - Solid knowledge. 6-7 – Room for improvement. 5 or less – Time to crack open your old high school textbook.
Capture memories of this Independence Day with state-of-the-art cameras, printers, and storage devices. Check out our catalog for products to help capture those memories.
No matter where your office happens to be – in your vehicle, in a hotel room or in your home – it is important to stay organized. But it can be difficult to maintain some sense of order and organization when you are working out of a briefcase! Do you have a strategy to keep yourself organized no matter where you are working? If your current system involves stuffing your briefcase full of expense receipts, phone messages, meeting notes, business cards and research materials, you would greatly benefit from a slightly different approach. Here are four tips for staying organized, even when you are out of the office
1. Create a Mobile System The stuffed briefcase method can be a disaster when you return to the office. That pile of paper is just waiting to eat up even more of your valuable time! Create files that mirror the permanent files in your office, and store them in your briefcase, a small file box or a file pocket. At the end of each day take a few moments to review and file all the materials you have received. Categorize the information in a way that makes sense to you, discard what is not needed, and make notes while the ideas are fresh in your mind. Once you get back to the office, transfer the papers from the mobile file to the permanent file and you’re done!
2. Write Everything Down! It may be old-fashioned, but a pad of paper and a pen works very well. Every time you think of something that needs to get done, write it down! If you let all of those to-do’s pile up in your head, you won’t be able to concentrate on the matter at hand. Set aside time each day to prioritize the list and enter ?action? reminders on your calendar.
3. Keep All Receipts in the Same Spot Use separate credit cards for business and personal purchases, and keep all of your receipts in one place. List your expenses as you go noting items purchased, the date, and the amount. If you have a smart phone with a camera, take a picture of the receipt and email it to yourself as a back-up. This is much easier than relying on your memory.
4. Check Email Two or Three Time a Day This can be a very big time saver for some people. Checking email constantly can distract you from what you should really be doing! Checking email in the morning, after lunch and again at the end of the day allows you to spend more time concentrating on other things, thus being more productive.
Using these tips to stay organized on the road will allow you to minimize stress and maximize productivity.
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