I suspect my method of shorting out 5v/gnd is not a good method for switching on/off?
Data sheets...cool never thought of that or knew i had access to that information-thanks.
On page 11 of the data sheet the closest help I found is the line that reads "Display ON/OFF control" - I don't think that shuts off the device though...plus I don't know what "1 D C B" means.
What you are switching is just the backlight (pins 15-16). The logic and LCD drive circuits are still powered and active.
I'm removing ground completely, that's what's so confounding...you can yank out either the ground or the 5v directly on the arduino itself and it still doesn't power off completely.