The On Ramp

The Blue Mountain Internet Customer Newsletter

 Issue # 45 July 2007 
Greetings from the Editor  by Carol Hall All American Food  by Gena Bybee
Crossword  by Tami Rochelle Stock Investing Anyone?  by Pam Robison
Freedom Writers Movie Re ...  by KJ Newby Wordfind  by Carol Hall
Airfare  by Cheryl Hooker FAQ  by Matt Stephens
National Bird  by Colin Miller Good News!  by Jon Alexander
Route 66  by mike Rochelle The All American Game  by Victor Luna
PictureFind  by BMI Staff Kudos  by Matt Stephens
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Greetings from the Editor
by Carol Hall

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Greetings to each and every one of you! July is the month for showing our American Pride, so that is the theme of this month's newsletter. As you prepare to have those tasty summer BBQ's and "Fun in the Sun" activities, take a moment to read through this edition of for some great recipes and trivia. Don't forget to solve and submit the may be the next winner of a $25.00 credit on your BMI account! Enjoy, and be safe!

I welcome your comments and additions to the newsletter! Please email me at

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All American Food
by Gena Bybee

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American-Style Potato Salad

1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
10 to 12 small waxy-style potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 stalks celery (with leaves), chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons pickle relish
1 tablespoon French's mustard
1/2 lemon, juiced
Freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl soak the onions in cold water for 15 minutes. Drain. In a medium saucepan cover the potatoes and 2 tablespoons salt with cold water by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until fork tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain, transfer potatoes to a large bowl, and mix with the onions and celery. Set aside to cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, mayonnaise, parsley, relish, mustard, and lemon juice. When the potatoes have cooled, carefully fold them with the mayonnaise mixture. Season with pepper, to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

Wrigley Field Chicago-Style Grill Cart Hot Dog

Hot dogs and Buns:
All beef hot dogs, as needed Poppy seed buns, as needed

Wrigley-Style Toppings:
Grilled sliced onions, as needed
Diced tomatoes, as needed
Mild banana peppers, as needed
Sweet relish, as needed
Catsup, as needed
Mustard, as needed
Celery salt, as needed

Grill the hot dogs until well browned and hot. Transfer the hot dogs to buns and top with the toppings of your choice.

And what would American Pride be the all American Apple Pie?

Apple Pie Dough
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
14 tablespoons cold butter, diced
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons cold water

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 pounds baking apples like Golden Delicious, Cortland, or Mutsu
2/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling on the pie
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Generous pinch of ground nutmeg
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Make the dough by hand. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles yellow corn meal mixed with bean sized bits of butter. (If the flour/butter mixture gets warm, refrigerate it for 10 minutes before proceeding.) Add the egg and stir the dough together with a fork or by hand in the bowl. If the dough is dry, sprinkle up to a tablespoon more of cold water over the mixture.

Make the dough in a food processor. With the machine fitted with the metal blade, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles yellow corn meal mixed with bean size bits of butter, about 10 times. Add the egg and pulse 1 to 2 times; don't let the dough form into a ball in the machine. (If the dough is very dry add up to a tablespoon more of cold water.) Remove the bowl from the machine, remove the blade, and bring the dough together by hand. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.

Make the filling. Put the lemon juice in a medium bowl. Peel, halve, and core the apples. Cut each half into 4 wedges. Toss the apple with the lemon juice. Add the sugar and toss to combine evenly. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the apples, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to simmer, about 2 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until the apples soften and release most of their juices, about 7 minutes. Strain the apples in a colander over a medium bowl to catch all the juice. Shake the colander to get as much liquid as possible. Return the juices to the skillet, and simmer over medium heat until thickened and lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, toss the apples with the reduced juice and spices. Set aside to cool completely. (This filling can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated or frozen for up to 6 months.)
Cut the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half of dough into a disc about 11 to 12 inches wide. Layer the dough between pieces of parchment or wax paper on a baking sheet, and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.
Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan with one of the discs of dough, and trim it so it lays about 1/2 inch beyond the edge of the pan. Put the apple filling in the pan and mound it slightly in the center. Brush the top edges of the dough with the egg.
Place the second disc of dough over the top. Fold the top layer of dough under the edge of the bottom layer and press the edges together to form a seal. Flute the edge as desired. Brush the surface of the dough with egg and then sprinkle with sugar. Pierce the top of the dough in several places to allow steam to escape while baking. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
Bake the pie on a baking sheet until the crust is golden, about 50 minutes. Cool on a rack before serving.
The pie keeps well at room temperature (covered) for 24 hours, or refrigerated for up to 4 days.

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by Tami Rochelle

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Congratulations to Mel B. of Walla Walla, WA for winning the drawing for the June 2007 Crossword! Mel received a $25.00 credit on his BMI account! Go To American Crossword.
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Stock Investing Anyone?
by Pam Robison

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Carol asked me to write an article on stock investing. She must think I know something about it. Actually, I know from personal experience more about what not to do (that means I've lost money) so my first inclination was to pass; then I remembered the 25% cash machine. The web site is Cash machine. It's a subscription newsletter written by Bryan Perry. I've followed it from its early 2006 inception and was impressed enough to make some investments.

Here is an excerpt from Bryan. "Double-Digit Income Investing involves investing in a detailed portfolio of high-yield strategies that generate a 10% to 12% stream of income from dividends and interest, while aiming for an additional 15% capital appreciation over time. This is your income portfolio "something that you should build and keep for the rest of your life. We will not get 25% every year on our money, but over time, this approach will look to generate 25% annual "total return."

Now, here are some reasons why I like it.
1. I'm nearing retirement and I want something that's easy to follow and implement.
2. It's not volatile or high risk.
3. Bryan appears to be in the right place at the right time.
4. It works! I receive a solid stream of dividends plus capital appreciation.
5. It invests in areas I've found difficult to research and understand i.e. business development companies.
6. Bryan also teaches what many of us have learned as we've become wiser "don't chase stocks, have some fun, craft the portfolio.

Bryan recommends taking a 3% position in each stock. This is very important to follow as it reduces risk. Let's say you have $50,000 to invest "3% of $50,000 is $1500. If the stock is $50, you buy 30 shares (1500 divided by 50). If the stock is $20, you buy 75 shares. You don't overload on any one stock because it looks hot. Over time, most all the stocks will have their hot and warm times.

More excerpts from Bryan. "If there were a mission statement for Double-Digit Income Investing, it would be to show the income investor in the next five, 10 or 20 years a way to beat the historical returns of the major averages and get at least twice the dividend stream on income assets compared to what the banks and traditional blue chip stocks are paying."

"Double-Digit Income Investing seeks to position capital into high-income securities in the sectors that have the strongest fundamental one-year outlook. This approach holds many attributes that today's income investors are looking for -- in fact, they are willing to take on some risk in order to accomplish certain objectives. Double-Digit Income Investing is defined by: "It is highly diversified. "It is a flexible strategy. " It pays a dividend yield twice that of conventional investments. " It is highly liquid." It offers upside appreciation with less volatility than common stocks. " Business Development Companies (BDCs) " Canadian Business Trusts " Canadian Royalty Trusts (CanRoys) " Closed-End Funds " Convertible Securities " Corporate Bonds " Enhanced Income Securities (EISs) " Income Deposit Securities (IDSs) " Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) " Preferred Stocks " Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) " Oil/Shipping Tanker Stocks".

To reduce your expenses, find an online investing site that lets you trade large or small numbers of shares for under $15.00. Pick a well known, reputable one. Bryan just published The 25% Cash Machine as a book. You can find it at all major bookstores.

BTW, I am not affiliated with Bryan Perry in any capacity and I do not receive any benefit or gain from this recommendation. This article is only my opinion and not the opinion of BMI.

Sincerely, Pam

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Freedom Writers Movie Review
by KJ Newby

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Freedom Writers

Freedom Writers, based on the best-selling book The Freedom Writers Diary is the true story of a Long Beach, California high school teacher, Erin Gruwell (played by two-time Academy Award Winner Hilary Swank) who, through her creativity and dedication, succeeds in changing the lives of her "unteachable, at-risk, and racially-divided" students by breaking down their racial walls, infusing in them a hope in the future, and helping them see the value of their high school education.

I have watched this movie twice now and both times I was seriously impressed and moved by the story. I must say that this is one of the best new-releases I have seen in a long time.

So do yourself a favor, rent this movie and enjoy!

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by Carol Hall

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Congratulations Bonnie W of Florence OR for winning the drawing for the June 2007 Wordfind! Bonnie received a $25.00 credit on her BMI account! Go To Famous Americans Wordfind.
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by Cheryl Hooker

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 The Travel Insider

To find the very best possible fare, it is necessary to do the same things that a travel agent would do. Here are fourteen different things to consider when finding the lowest fare. A travel agent can, should, and, depending on the preferences of their client, usually does evaluate all of these things in determining your travel needs. It only takes them a few short minutes. If you want to be your own travel agent, then here are some of the things you need to consider in order to feel confident that the airline tickets/fares you are buying are likely to be good (if not best) value and most suitable for you. 

1. Different airline for entire itinerary
2. Different airlines for different parts of the itinerary
3. Different time of day
4. Different day of week outbound and/or inbound
5. Different length of stay
6. Positioning Flights
7. Completely different travel dates
8. Different Airports
9. Different routing
10. Different sequence of stops if multiple stop itinerary
11. Split Ticketing
12. Back to back and hidden city ticket loopholes
13. Unpublished fares
14. Too Low a Fare This information was obtained through this very informative website.

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by Matt Stephens

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My connection drops when I check my mail?!?!

Well, are you all enjoying this wonderful nice weather yet? Not too hot, not too cold, just right. Summer is upon us now and as it gets warmer I would imagine some of you might be heading back inside for the air conditioning and the computer.

Maybe you're even having the same trouble that a couple of others were having in the last month, but you were busy outside and didn't call in. Well, this month, one of the Frequently Asked Questions has been about email.

It would seem that when some of you check your email, the connection drops. This can be very frustrating, especially when you want to reply to a message. However, it's one that is very easy to fix.

Just follow these simple steps:

Open Outlook Express
Click on Tools
Click on Options
Click on the Connections Tab
Make sure that "Ask before switching dialup connections" has a check in the box next to it
Make sure that "hang up after sending and receiving" does not have a check in the box next to it
Then, just click apply and ok.

And your trouble should be over.

 As with any other issue, I'm sure there will be strange cases where this may not take care of it. Should that be you, feel free to call us at 800-485-5006 and we'll be happy to help you get things straightened out.

Have a great month, and take care everyone.

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National Bird
by Colin Miller

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Bald Eagle Info

The Bald Eagle has been the American National Bird since 1782 and is found only in North America. Ranging in length up to 40 inches with wingspans up to 8 feet (female bald eagles are larger in this species), they are efficient predators living mainly on fish, but will sometimes scavenge on dead animals.

Wild eagles typically live until about 30 years of age, but eagles in captivity can reach 60 years of age. One of the most amazing traits of bald eagles is seen during mating. A male and female will lock talons while flying. They will cartwheel down toward the ground and release just before impact. It is breathtaking to see, even on a nature television program.

Sadly, during the 1950's only 412 nesting pairs of birds were known to exist in the contiguous 48 states. This decline in population was mainly attributed to the use of DDT. The pesticide led to thin walls in the eagle's eggs or in some cases, making them completely sterile.

Luckily, steps were taken and the bald eagle made an amazing comeback. On June 29th, it was removed from the threatened list where it has been listed as "Least Concern" since 1999.

Anytime you get a chance to view one of these magnificent creatures, take some extra time and consider our national history at the same time.

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Good News!
by Jon Alexander

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Instead of the normal news, how would you like some blurbs about the good things the US and private companies are doing around the world?

Land O Lakes : Since 1981, Land O'Lakes has applied an integrated approach to international economic development that capitalizes on our company's 85-year history as a leading farm-to-market agribusiness. We use our practical experience and in-depth knowledge to develop market-driven agribusiness systems that generate economic growth and alleviate poverty.

Chemonics Scholarship : At the recent AgFair in Kabul, the Afghan agriculture sector took another step toward sustainability and Chemonics solidified its commitment to the country's development through the establishment of a scholarship fund.

Padco Pakistan: Pakistan Karachi Master Plan 2020 PADCO is helping Engineering Consultants International Ltd., a Pakistani engineering firm, prepare the Karachi Master Plan 2020 on behalf of the city/district government of Karachi. This work continues PADCO's long history of urban planning in Karachi: In 1973 and again in 1990, PADCO prepared urban development plans for Karachi local governments.

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Route 66
by mike Rochelle

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"Life doesn't happen along the interstates. It's against the law."  - William Least Heat Moon, Blue Highways

Legends of America

"The Mother Road as people named it, inspires in many of us our nostalgic side.

While some may see Route 66 as a link to our parents and  grandparents, others perhaps feel the sense of freedom that the road  provided to those early travelers. And then, for those of us that live  continuously in the nostalgic past, the Mother Road is, but yet, the  next adventure beyond the Santa Fe Trail.

Whatever the reason, the  Mother Road is an experience, a feeling, a perception, a taste of sight  and sound, and a mystery that can only be resolved by driving the  pavement itself.  The super-highway, as it was thought of in 1926, represented  unprecedented freedom to travel across the American West. While other  East/West highways existed at the time, most followed a linear course,  leaving out the rural communities, dependent upon transportation for  farm products and other goods. 

Almost immediately, the tourist industry began to grow, giving rise to  countless tourist courts, motels, service stations, garages and diners.  However, the excessive truck travel during World War II and the ever  expanding automobile industry had left the Highway in appalling  conditions, with narrow pavements and poor road conditions. 

In the mid 1950s public lobby was demanding a federal sponsorship for a  system of divided highways and in 1956, the Federal Aid Highway Act was  passed for a national interstate highway program. With the passing of  the Interstate Highway Act, Route 66 would soon be doomed. 

Obviously, the route today is not what it was in the past. The sights  and sounds of the Mother Road change daily with the emergence of new  businesses and development along the old highway. You will want to take  a lot of pictures, because what is here today might be very well gone  tomorrow.'

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The All American Game
by Victor Luna

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Baseball is a sport played between two teams, each consisting of nine players. It is a bat and ball game, where the pitcher throws a ball towards a batter of the opposing team and he attempts to hit the ball with a bat.

Baseball is popular in North America Central America and South America, also parts of the Caribbean and East Asia.

The U.S. developed the modern version of the game in the 18th century and by the 19th Century it was recognized as the National game or National pastime.

Here are a few websites for all you baseball fans that like to keep stats on your teams and players.

The Baseball Cube
Society for American Baseball Research
Baseball Almanac

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by BMI Staff

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Congratulations to Cheri M. of LaGrande, OR for winning the drawing for the June 2007 Picture Find puzzle! Cheri received a $25.00 credit on her BMI account! Go To July 2007 PictureFind.
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by Matt Stephens

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FAQs Kudos by matt URLs In Newsletter

"Thanks again to KJ! He consistently delivers top notch customer service. This issue took a few days trouble shooting including a conference call with Quest. KJ explored every possible reason for our slow upload issues. He is friendly, patient and explains procedures in a way that does not make me feel technologically stupid. I am very happy with your tech support and customer service. We have been faithful customers for about ten years now. Occasionally others call, write to suggest switching to their ISP. I wouldn't think of leaving BMI. Thanks again and Kudos to KJ! until the next glitch"
- Sheldon M., Adams, OR

"I would like to express my appreciation to K.J. for his patience and help solving my recent problem. I was having trouble connecting to the internet and he patiently waited while my old, slow computer shut down and restarted, then he walked me through all the settings we needed to check. When we were finished, I was able to successfully connect to the internet. I have been very pleased and satisfied with your customer service every time I have needed help. Keep up the good work!"
Elaine C, Joseph, OR

"I would just like to again commend Cheryl on all of the help she gave me on 5/31/2007. Talk about driven, to help resolve an issue. If everyone's internet service provider were this attentive to customers needs, WOW. From what I have found there is only one and that is BMI."
Bruce S., Helena, MT

"Dear Bmi staff especially tech support- Thanks again for you patient, knowledgeable support and help. That is why I return to you for your on line connection. A satisfied customer"
Judy D ,Walla Walla, WA

"Colin has always been able to answer my questions without overwhelming me with techie-talk that I wouldn't understand. We couldn't solve the problem this time (on someone else's end), but now I know what the problem is and how to get it fixed. Thank you, Colin!"
Patti R, Eugene, OR

"Hi Cheryl, Thanks for the call today. I am ''so'' happy getting rid of dial up & having this DSL service. It's like night & day. My job search is so much faster & so less frustrating (no more waiting & dropping the line). Should have done this months ago (course then I didnt know you!). Thanks also for all your help w/Windows Vista. What a pain that was. Thanks also to KJ & John & a few more techs I've talked with. Maybe everyone by now!. You are so dedicated. Thanks again,"
Linda B., Tempe, AZ

"I just wanted to thank you for your help in resolving my problems! I finally got the Email from my friend. Thank you for the info on the Norman. Someday maybe I'll get better at this! HA! You all are so helpful and I DO appreciate it!!"
Margaret M, Grangeville, ID

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The On Ramp is a monthly publication of Blue Mountain Internet.

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