The On Ramp

The Blue Mountain Internet Customer Newsletter

 Issue # 47 September 2007 
Greetings from the Editor  by Carol Hall Chatting with Cheryl  by Carol Hall
BMI 4 Business  by Ruben Bybee Crossword  by Tami Rochelle
The Endless Question  by Rochelle Helms Picturefind  by BMI Staff
What if your computer co ...  by Cheryl Hooker Not Too Far A Reach  by Jon Alexander
What If I Moved to Seatt ...  by Mike Rochelle What if I want to change ...  by Matt Stephens
Top 10 Highest Paid Athl ...  by Victor Luna What if your computer co ...  by Colin Miller
What If You Couldn't See ...  by Gena Bybee Wordfind  by Carol Hall
Kudos  by Matt Stephens
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Greetings from the Editor
by Carol Hall

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     Greetings all of you! September is here, and along with that I have put together a lot of "What ifs"! From What if I lived in space, to What if I couldn't see what I was eating...and lots of What ifs in between.  

     One What If you will never need to worry about, however is What if BMI wasn't around? Not to worry...BMI has been here for over 12 years, and we have many more years to go!  Better yet....BMI is not only here...but we are HERE FOR YOU! You are not only our customer, you are the reason we are here!

     I hope you enjoy this edition of The On Ramp and spend some time clicking on the links and exploring!

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

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Chatting with Cheryl
by Carol Hall

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Cheryl joined the BMI Team almost a year ago, and we are very lucky to have her.  She is an outstanding customer advocate, and works as a Customer Service Representative to help you with your sales, technical or billing needs.  Always friendly and willing to help!  Here is a little 'glimpse" of Cheryl in a recent chat I had with her:

Editor: Where were you born, and where did you grow up?
Cheryl:   I was born in Seattle, WA, and grew up mostly in Eugene, Oregon.

Editor: What was your FIRST paying job?
Cheryl:   Baby sitting when I was 11, and then moving up to Herfy's when I was 14.

Editor: What was the "worst" or "most difficult" job you have ever done?
Cheryl:   The most difficult job I have ever done is driving combine while harvesting rye grass.  It was hot, the hours were long and the pay was low.

Editor: What "historical event" has had the biggest impact on you?
Cheryl:   September 11 - Without a doubt!

Editor: If you could play any musical instrument, what would it be?
Cheryl:   I would play the drums, or maybe the flute.

Editor: If you could write a book about anything at all...what would the title be?
Cheryl:   The title would be "How to be Humble".

Editor: Who is your favorite fictional character and why?
Cheryl:   Tweety, he is smart and quick-witted.

Editor: What was your very first car?
Cheryl:   A 1971 two-tone green Ford Torino.

Editor: Where is the one place you have never been, that you would like to visit?
Cheryl:   Australia

Editor: If you could only eat one food, for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Cheryl:   Lobster!

Editor: Close your eyes and imagine you are in a place called "Perfect" Where are you?
Cheryl:   Heaven

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BMI 4 Business
by Ruben Bybee

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BMI 4 Biz is a custom tailored package of business services including Internet connectivity, email, hosting, telephone, collaboration tools & more. Its leveraging hosted technologies to get the best out of your business.

In the past it was multiple applications and vendors that all fell short of your total needs. Now, with BMI 4 Biz, it is a comprehensive solution from one provider.

Tell us about your business today and we will amaze you with new ideas, new products and new solutions.

BMI 4 Business Advantages
 · One vendor, ala-carte menu
Hosted applications - less expense, more features
Significantly reduce IT costs, phone, hosting and more
 · Gain immediate access to the latest innovations
 · Platform & OS independant (ie Microsoft, Macintosh, Linux)
 · Increase functionality inside/outside of the office
 · No software to upgrade, maintain or patch
 · Totally scalable - unlimited user

 Want something you don't see? Just ask us.

Click Here To Visit BMI4Biz Web Site Now.

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by Tami Rochelle

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Congratulations to Barbara C. of Florence, OR for winning the drawing for the August 2007 Crossword! Barbara received a $25.00 credit on her BMI account! Please visit our September 2007 What If Crossword Puzzle.
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The Endless Question
by Rochelle Helms

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"What if "Microsoft made cars?
   *Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason.
   *You would have to pull over to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue.
   *For some reason you would simply accept this.
To see more on What if Microsoft Made Cars click here: Microsoft vs General Motors

"What if" I shot my television?
Have you ever seen the bumper sticker that says, "Shoot your Television!"? Have you ever wondered what would happen if you actually tried it? Would it explode? What would you find inside? Well, here's your chance to find out! (Rochelle's disclaimer: this is NOT a suggestion to blow up your T.V. It's a link to watch the How Stuff Works video of someone shooting the T.V. to see what if...). How Stuff Works

"What if" kids ruled the world?
CBS has a reality show asking just that. "40 children, 40 days, no adults" eager to prove they can build a better world for tomorrow in the new reality series KID NATION. Kid Nation

Now for the gamers: "What if" games never grew old?
What if instead of turning into pixilated oddities of the past, games like Zelda, Star Craft, and King's Quest automatically became better looking as they grew older? Procedural Synthesis. What if it turned out to be the gaming equivalent of the Fountain of Youth?  To read more click here:

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Picturefind by BMI Staff
Congratulations to Frances C. of Santfield, OR for winning the drawing for the August 2007 Picturefind! Fraces received a $25.00 credit on his BMI account!
Visit the Sept. 2007 PictureFind Now.
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What if your computer could...
by Cheryl Hooker

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What if your computer could tell if you are boring or irritating

There is a hand-held computer that can pick up on people's emotions. It is being developed to help people with autism relate to those around them. If the wearer fails to generate the listener's interest in his conversation, the computer vibrates. This would alert the autistic user, as the person they are conversing with starts showing signs of getting bored or annoyed. An autistic person lacks the ability to pick up on social cues.

Rana El Kaliouby of the Media Lab at the MIT says that these types of people fail to notice that they are boring and confusing, their listeners which could turnout to be very damaging. "It's sad because people then avoid having conversations with them," he said. El Kaliouby is constructing the device along with MIT colleagues Rosalind Picard and Alea Teeters.

The device consists of a camera small enough to be housed to the side of a pair of glasses, connected to a hand-held computer running image recognition software plus software that can read the emotions these images show. If the wearer seems to be failing to engage his or her listener, the software makes the hand-held computer vibrate. The device demonstrated could detect whether someone is agreeing, disagreeing, concentrating, thinking, unsure or interested, just from a few seconds of video footage.

Previous computer programs have only detected the six more basic emotional states of happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise and disgust. El Kaliouby's is designed to convey results in a sequence of movements rather than a single expression. The software picks out movements of the eyebrows, lips and nose, and tracks head movements such as tilting, nodding and shaking, which it then associates with the emotion the actor was showing. The team will present the device next week at the Body Sensor Network conference at MIT.

People with autism are not the only ones who stand to benefit. Timothy Bickmore of Northeastern University in Boston, who studies ways in which computers can be made to engage with people's emotions, says the device would be a great teaching aid. This could be considered both a bad and a good thing, though we all want our listeners to take interest in what we are saying, would this cause us to be so overly cautious that we would have trouble finishing a conversation in an attempt to adapt to our listeners moods and forget the topic all together?

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Not Too Far A Reach
by Jon Alexander

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 Bigelow Aerospace

What if you lived a hundred years ago and wanted to buy a horse that would carry your entire family, travel at 70 miles per hour for 400 miles without needing to be fed more than once a day. And then, get up and do the same thing again for days on end while playing your favorite music in surround sound?

To someone in 1905 that was using a mule team to harvest crops such an animal would probably seem beyond good reason. They wouldn't have knowledge of an interstate highway system much less a production line automobile. Yet today such a minivan is common place.

We have come a long way in the last century. Where are we headed next and what can be built to take us there?

Currently Virgin Galactic, one of the leading potential space tourism groups, is planning to have passenger service on its first spaceship, the VSS Enterprise, with the inaugural launch in 2008 and main flights beginning in 2009. The spaceships used will go 360,000 feet (109.73 km, or 68.18 miles) high; this goes beyond the height of 100 km, which is the internationally defined boundary between Earth and space. Space flights will last 2.5 hours, carry 6 passengers, and reach a speed of Mach 3. Think of a minivan built around a rocket engine. This may sound like something new. To me though it isn't as much of a reach as trying to convince someone in 1910 that in just 59 years the US would send someone to our moon and then safely return them to Earth.

After getting your family to space however, where would you stay? Bigelow Aerospace is a space technology company that is pioneering work on expandable space station modules. An expandable module is a space structure that has a flexible outer shell, allowing conservation of diameter for launch and weight overall. Once in orbit, the module is inflated to allow for greater work, play and living area for astronauts. Expandable modules initially were proposed and designed by the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) under the Transhab program. After cancellation of the Transhab program by NASA, Bigelow Aerospace entered into three Space Act agreements whereby Bigelow Aerospace is the sole commercializer of several of NASA's key expandable module technologies. I wonder what the hotel would be called though; the Ritz Trampolinium?

Currently most of the research into personal space flight is sub-orbital or near-orbital in design so you wouldn't be able to travel to the moon...yet. But there are several private companies that are working on the issue. Someday you may be able to describe to your grandchildren what is was like the first time you saw the curvature of the Earth from space only to have them roll their eyes and explain they did that last year on a Earth Scouts trip.

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What If I Moved to Seattle....
by Mike Rochelle

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What if ... I moved to Seattle?  What could I do? Where could I go? Seattle is a wonder of adventure and destinations of endless beauty. You just need to know where to look and where to go.

Boeing was founded in 1917, the Space Needle was built in 1962 and Microsoft was founded in 1975. There is also Pike Place Market open their doors in 1907. You can spend a good half a day at the market! If you like animals, Try the Woodland Park Zoo. Always a wonder to see.

Anything and everything can be found in the Seattle Metro area and "if' you move there, you will spend a lifetime exploring the vast Pacific Northwest The Waterfront is a mile and a half stretch along Alaskan Way between Main Street and Broad Street. The piers, built at the turn of the century, are full of restaurants featuring fresh Northwest seafood, souvenir shops packed full of treasures, and many attractions. Tour boats, the Washington State ferries, and the Victorian Clipper docks are located along here.

For more information on Seattle go to:
Seattle Pacific University

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What if I want to change my homepage
by Matt Stephens

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Good day to the whole BMI family. I don't know what the weather is like in your neck of the woods, but around here I think we've made it past the hot part of the summer. Either I'm getting older and the heat doesn't bother me like it used to, or this has been an unusually mild summer. Only a handful of days in the triple digits.

 Anyway, on to the tech question of the month. It's been a pretty quiet month around here, but there was a question that seemed to be a little troubling for some out there. The question is this: What if I want to change my home page? Another question some people ask is: Why would I want to change my home page?

Well, from time to time you may find that you use a certain web site more than others. Maybe you are researching your family tree. You could change your home page to an ancestry web site. Maybe you are going to school online. You could change it to your school's website. There are many different reasons for wanting to change your home page, and when you find that you want to do it, wouldn't it be nice to know how? I think so, so I'm going to teach you! 

 First, just get online like you normally would. Make sure you have Internet Explorer open.
Click on Tools at the top of the window
A drop down menu will appear. Select Internet Options from that menu
When the window opens for your internet properties, you'll see a box near the top that says Home Page and there will be a box that you can type in (called a text box). All you have to do is clear everything out of that box, and type the web page you want to change it to.

Let\'s say for instance that you want to change your home page to the BMI home page. You would clear everything out and type
Once you have that typed, just click Apply and then click OK.

You have now changed your home page.  The next time you open Internet Explorer, the selected page will open first.  See, it wasn't all that hard; and the more you do it, the better you will get at it.

Feel free to let us know if you have any troubles with doing this yourself. We'll be glad to help you with it, or anything else.

Have a great month everyone! We'll talk again.

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Top 10 Highest Paid Athletes
by Victor Luna

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Ever wonder what if I would have become a pro athlete, I know a lot of us do. The money and glory, well here are top 10 highest paid athletes for 2007, starting off with number 10.

10.  Dale Earnhardt Jr. professional car racer earned an approximate $27,111,735.
 9.   Alex Rodriguez from the NY Yankees this professional Baseball player earned $28,000,000.
8.    Derek Jeter from the Yankees earned  $29,000,000.
7.    Kevin Garnett from the Minnesota Timberwolves this professional basketball player earned a little bit over $29,000,000.
6.    Another Basketball player that made it to the finals this year was LeBron James from the Cleveland Cavaliers, with earnings of $30,828,089.
5.    Not far ahead was LA Lakers Kobe Bryant with an estimated $33,718,750
4.    Kobe's old team mate came in at number Miami's 7'ft 1" Shaquille O'Neal with an estimated $35,000,000.
3.    Pro golfer Phil Mickelson with an estimated $51,256,505.
2.    Oscar De La Hoya, this boxing legend and promoter earned approximately $55,000,000 in 2007.
1.     The highest paid athlete of 2007 comes at no surprise with estimated earnings of $111,941,827 for 2007 was Pro golfer Tiger Woods.

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What if your computer could learn
by Colin Miller

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What if......computers could learn instead of just respond to commands or programming as they do now? Well, it's not so far fetched.

Movies have shown examples of computers doing things out of their normal behavior. For example, WarGames in the early 1980s. One of the characters was a computer named W.O.P.R. and it showed a propensity for learning. So much so that World War III was nearly started because the W.O.P.R. thought it was playing a game with a human character.

 In the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, a main character is a computer, dubbed HAL 9000 by the human characters. HAL is very evil and he could make you think twice about computers. Regardless of that, the movie is one of the best movies of all time, so I highly recommend it.

For years, scientists have been working on making computers smarter and easier to use for humans. As a result, some breakthroughs have been made, although we still don't have a computer that learns in the normal sense like we do. Someday?

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What If You Couldn't See Your food?
by Gena Bybee

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What if you couldn't see your food?  Mystery Food Adventure Research shows that exposure to foods at an early age is crucial for acceptance of a wide variety of foods. Further, it has been shown that with increased number of exposure to foods, children will accept up to 98% of all foods introduced.

This activity is a great opener for a food tasting experience for young children. The following suggestion has been tried in Manitoba and is a favorite of several Community Nutritionists. Materials: " Large clean empty container with an opening large enough for children to place their hand through (e.g. milk carton) " Sock with the toe portion cut off " Glue or masking tape " Enough mystery food so that everyone can have a taste I
1. If necessary, cut top off the chosen container to allow children's hands to fit comfortably into the container.
2. Fit one end of the sock over the outside rim of the container. Use glue or masking tape to hold in place. This allows the contents to remain hidden, when children slip their hands through the sock into the container.
3. Decorate the container with colorful pictures

Procedure for activity:
1. Place food in container.
2. Explain to children that they will be identifying the food in the mystery container by touching it, smelling it and listening to the sound that it makes.
3. Tell them that they will have a chance to taste the food after solving the mystery.
4. Begin by using familiar foods and progress to less familiar ones.

Suggested Mystery Foods: " Apple " Broccoli " Bagel " Kiwi " Grapes You may want to start "Tasting Journals" for the children to record their food experiences.

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by Carol Hall

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Congratulations Cherylann Z. of Astoria, OR for winning the drawing for the August 2007 Wordfind! Cherylann received a $25.00 credit on her BMI account! Visit the Sept 2007 Word Find Now.
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by Matt Stephens

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"Just a note to let you know how much I appreciate all your help over there. Today Tony and KJ got me out of all my problems and were super nice about. Thanks again for all the help you have been over the years." - Joan A. Dixie, WA

"I'd like you to know why my husband and I are staying with BMI. First of all, there is no commitment; requiring continued performance on your part. Second of all, when there are issues, I can speak with someone who speaks my language without having to wade through the standard computer phone receptionists and technicians with various levels or lack thereof of expertise. Thirdly, you guys are nice. A bigger company might have more financial incentives or ways of paying the customer back for lost time or performance, but you guys make it worth it. Thanks. - Emilie H. West Valley City, UT

"Dear Cheryl, Just after I talked to you yesterday, I started to do as you instructed and my computer froze up! I was so frustrated! I left it for about 10 minutes--I couldn't get off line, but came back to find a blurb from Norton that worm protection had detected and blocked an intrusion attempt. So I left it again for some time more with no improvement, so I shut down and rebooted. When I got back to outlook express, I started over again with the test and got an immediate answer from my friend in Portugal. HOORAY! I also pulled up my addresses and was able to retrieve my notes, so I just forwarded them, and they went. So, GIRL, you did a great job, whatever it was! Eternal thanks to you" -. Jacki M. Mount Angel, OR

"You people at BMI are truly wonderful. Thank you for taking your time in directing me on how to use my computer. You are incredible to take so much of your time on a computer novice such as myself. Sometimes, I don't even know how to turn on the computer! Just kidding! I have never had such great customer service. It seems to be unheard of these days." - Patricia P. Touchet, WA

To submit a kudos message, email us at

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

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