Dear Carson: We want to honor our astronauts in the wake of the space shuttle Columbia tragedy. My question regards flying the U.S. flag at half-staff . Is there a predetermined length of time that the flag is to be flown? Are there specific rules and regulations about this? -- Flag Findings
Dear Flag: I do not know of any specific length of time. However, if a flag is flown at half staff, it must be raised before it is lowered and it must be brought inside at night. Perhaps one of our readers with a military background can answer the question of duration.
Dear Carson: I asked one of the neighbor kids to come over at a particular time and have some birthday cake and ice cream with my child. The other child came over about an hour and a half after the specified time. He brought a container and a lid with him and said, "My mom said for me to get some cake and ice cream to take home." I filled his container and he immediately went home. Is it just me, or was that an act of rudeness? I don't blame the child, only the mother. Also, did I do the right thing by filling the container, or should I have told him that the cake and ice cream was all eaten? -- Nice Mother/Rude Neighbor
Dear Nice: This was not only rude, but greedy. Rather than lie to the child I might have said, "I'm so sorry you couldn't make it in time to join the rest of us. However, we do have enough for you to have a dish, but we have plans for the rest of the ice cream."
Dear Carson: I am hosting a bridal shower and was wondering about the proper way to address the envelopes. The shower guest list mainly consists of married women and their daughters. Could you please help so I do this with the proper etiquette? -- Invitee Etiquette
Dear Invitee: I suggest writing the mother's name, i.e. "Mrs. John E. Doe" on the first line and on the second line, write, "Miss Mary Jane Doe".
Dear Carson: I work at a manufacturing plant that has a monthly meeting of all our associates and we usually order 10 to 15 pizzas. Should we call ahead to get a price so we can have a check cut on the day of delivery? Is it proper etiquette to tip the driver or should we include the tip in the check? -- Pizza Delivery Puzzlement
Dear Pizza: By all means call ahead for the price of the pizzas, but tip separately. Why not take a few dollars from your petty cash fund rather than cause confusion over the tip? Better yet, when you call ahead, ask the order-taker which they would prefer.