Thank You

This message is coming later than I'd intended, as I've been rather busy lately!

I'm pleased to say that I placed 9th for Canada at WorldSkills Calgary 2009, and my high score earned me a Medallion of Excellence. What an amazing experience it was! Thanks so much to everyone who has helped me along the way, particularly the fantastic people at Skills/Comp├ętences Canada, Susan Gwin, and Paul Drye from 1-on-1, who helped me prepare for competition.

The opportunities I've had along the way have been incredible. Over the past year, I've received letters and e-mails of support from numerous organizations, software and equipment from sponsors, speaking engagements at various events, and a bit of media attention (which has been pretty neat!).

Last, but certainly not least, I'd like to thank my friends and family who put up with my stressed out self for the past year - I couldn't have done this without their constant support.

Congratulations to Team Canada for bringing back 8 medals and 12 medallions of excellence! To anyone out there who's considering a career in a skilled trade or technology - go for it! It's amazing how far a pile of hard work will get you.

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Word: Non-Breaking Hyphens and Spaces

Ever type something like a phone number in Word with hyphens, and get irritated when the phone number gets broken up on two separate lines like this?:

You can contact me any time you like! My phone number is 555-555-

Sometimes you'd prefer the number to stay together in one piece, like this:

You can contact me any time you like! My phone number is

In instances like this, most users would just press the Enter key before the phone number to make sure it's on its own line. But that's kind of sloppy, because you might add text later that makes it unnecessary for it to be the start of a line. It would be best to use what's called a "non-breaking hyphen". It's a way of putting in a hyphen and telling Word to make the ends "sticky" (so to speak) and keep everything next to it together.

How? Instead of just pressing the '-' key like you normally would, hold down 'Control', 'Shift', and '-'. This will insert a non-breaking hyphen.

You can also make a "non-breaking space" using the same technique. Just hold down 'Ctrl', 'Shift', then press the space bar. This is pretty useful for things like legal documents where an entire name needs to stay together on one line. You can put a non-breaking space in between the parts of the name to make sure they'll stay together.
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