The On Ramp

The Blue Mountain Internet Customer Newsletter

 Issue # 59 Sept 2008 
Greetings from the Editor  by Carol Hall Free books  by Michelle Morgan
FAQ  by Matt Stephens Buying Books Online  by Ruben Bybee
School lunches  by Gena Bybee Back to School Crossword  by BMI Staff
A little Humor  by Carol Hall Back to School Kids  by Rochelle Helms
Back to school prep  by Victor Luna PictureFind  by BMI Staff
The Hardest Part of Goin ...  by Erich Nuefeld Online Dictionaries  by Gena Bybee
Spokane WA  by Mike Rochelle WordFind Puzzle  by BMI Staff
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Greetings from the Editor
by Carol Hall

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Greetings to all of you! This month The On Ramp contains articles about getting ready for and helpful information about "Back To School".  I love this time of year!  Although I no longer have young school age children, I still enjoy the thrill of all the back to school supplies available in the stores.  AND....I especially enjoy the mountains of "mini-candy bars" they put out to encourage parents to put treats in their kids sack lunches.  I stock up on my own stash!  Those little candy bars will be readily available through Back to School....and past Halloween.  Then....they just change the wrappings into Christmas colors...then Valentine colors...then Easter colors.  So, I guess it is only the summer months that they are not readily available.  In any case....I enjoy them!

    I hope you enjoy this edition of The On Ramp, and as always, I welcome your comments and additions to the newsletter! Please email me at

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Free books
by Michelle Morgan

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It's back-to-school season, which reminds us of kids and books. As an avid reader of sci-fi, I'm always interested in getting my nieces and nephews interested in the genre.

One of my favorite science fiction imprints, Baen Books, has posted BAEN BOOKS SUITABLE FOR YOUNG ADULTS, a great list of YA (young adult) books. The best part of the list is that a great many of the books listed are available for free through Baen's ground-breaking Free Library.

-The Telzey Amberdon series by James H. Schmitz is a fun read about a young girl who happens to be a telepath.
-Harry Turtledove's Alternate Generals is great for young adult readers who have an interest in the military. It's a wonderful introduction to the sub-genre known as alternate history.
-For those interested in fantasy, Mercedes Lackey's books are always a treat.

These books are available online in HTML format, or in downloadable formats that can be read on the computer or with Pocket PCs or other portable devices. (And if the kids are too busy with school work to read for pleasure, there's nothing wrong with reading them yourself!)

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by Matt Stephens

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Hello again everyone, it's that time again!  Can you believe how fast this year is flying by? It's crazy. I turned 30 last year and it seems like every year since I turned 27 has been going by faster and faster and faster.

This past month I have seen a few calls from our customers that are along the same lines, and I figured I would share with you the cause, and steps to resolve this particular issue:

I am being told by some customers that they are checking their email, and the mail that is coming in from certain people is going into their deleted items folder, rather than their inbox.

I have to admit, the first time I heard this I thought Outlook Express had gone completely hay-wire. But after awhile searching and testing I finally found the cause. The reason this happens is that when checking your email, you have accidentally placed the person being dropped into the deleted items folder on your blocked senders list. Outlook Express can't just block the email from coming in, but it will instead forward it directly into your deleted items folder.

Here's how to fix it:

Open your email program-Outlook Express

Click on Tools, and then click on Message Rules, and then click on Blocked Senders List.

This will open a small window and you will see the email addresses of those people that are currently on your Outlook Express blocked senders list.

If it's empty, you haven't placed anyone on your list, but if you are experiencing this problem, their address is there. Simply single click on the email address you wish to remove from the blocked list and then click the Remove button to the right of the window.

Once you have all the email addresses deleted that you want to get mail from, click OK at the bottom of the page.

It couldn't be simpler!

I truly hope everyone has enjoyed their summer as much as I have. I'm looking forward to a bit cooler weather and a few more bar-b-ques before the start of winter though. Have a great month everyone and we'll talk again later.

By the way, if you have any ideas for me, or something small that have been bugging you that you just didn't want to call about, feel free to email it to me at Put in the subject line that it's an FAQ idea and I'll see if I can figure it out for you. Thanks to all of those that have contributed in the past!

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Buying Books Online
by Ruben Bybee

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Buying books online is a great way to save cash on your back to school purchases. My daughter, has been using Amazon for the past several years and she has consistently saved anywhere from 50% to 75% off the prices she would have paid at the college book stores.

But, be careful to pick the exact same titles and versions and be sure they include and meet all the requirements for the class you are taking. On one occasion, I remember her ordering a book with the exact same title but a different version and it was not accepted by her instructor. She had to send it back and find another one.
Here are some good resources for finding books online.
  • Ebay
  • Powells
  • Search 40 sites
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    School lunches
    by Gena Bybee

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    Here are a couple of New Twists on packed lunches for school

    Take-To-School Taco Bar If your kid loves taco night, surprise them with a do-it-yourself taco bar that fits neatly into their lunch box.

    Veggie-Stack Pita Pockets Beans are packed with lean protein and make a versatile spread for all kinds of sandwiches.

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    Back to School Crossword
    by BMI Staff

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    Visit our Back to School Crossword now.
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    A little Humor
    by Carol Hall

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    School Humor
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    Back to School Kids
    by Rochelle Helms

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    Back to school time has arrived. Some kids will be excited and some, not so much. My mission, this month, is to find activities and sites that make school fun. This site makes getting to class a game. It works with a high speed connection best. Not too worry, I have something for everyone! ProKids

    First, I would like to have a moment with the parents. Do you remember what it was like going back to school? Some of us were excited some anxious. Our kids have those same feelings. I found an article that just reinforces the need for us to talk to our kids about any feelings they have on the upcoming return. NewsWise

    Is this their first year at school? If so chances are, it is going to be harder for you than your child. My daughter has such a sense of pride in being a kindergartner. No denying it, she is growing up. So now it's my job to help her along. Here's some added pre-school help at home. Kaboose

    Do you have kids that don't like school lunch? Here are some ways to keep the lunch box from becoming boring and redundant: Bag Lunches

    We know where the kids are and what they are doing during school hours but what about after school? Kids need something to do or somewhere to go. Join a Club

     Need more ideas for after school. Scholastic

    And finally, we know we want to keep them busy, the question is how. I hope this provides some answers or suggestions for you. This site has lots of links to other sites to provide you with many ideas. Family Education

    I actually used to do this one. Although, I didn't sing The Jonas Brothers, it was Dolly Parton's 9 to 5. But I still remember singing in the garage and still smile when I think of it. Family Education - What Works

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    Back to school prep
    by Victor Luna

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    Prepare your kids for back to school. I made a list of some websites with helpful hints to prepare your kids for school. Everything from spending time to get their school supplies to teaching your kids about safety:

    Back to School
    Preparing for Back to School

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    by BMI Staff

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    Congratulations to Janet T. of Pendleton, OR for winning the drawing for the August 2008 Picturefind! She received a $25.00 credit on her BMI account! Visit our Sept 2008 PictureFind now.
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    The Hardest Part of Going to School
    by Erich Nuefeld

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    I've reached a conclusion that the hardest part of going to school just that, actually going. It's easy to pay the money (if you have it), sign up for classes and have it set in your mind that you're now "in school".  But actually having the will to make it the #1 priority is tough.

    When I started back to classes after High School,  I showed up for each class everyday... but after a few weeks...not so much. I found more important things to take up my time. The first of which was money. For instance I would tell myself  "Well I don't need to be there every day of the week" and so I would ask for more hours at work as I didn't like to see my paychecks so low. With that attitude my will to keep going, quickly deteriorated. It started with one day a week then two, before I knew it I was working full time again and not even able to attend the classes I had paid for.

    I had lost the direction I once had. This loss of direction would lead me to actually stop going all together. A decision made mostly out of, what I call, "40 hour syndrome". I simply had got back in the rut of working 5 days a week and lost my desire to learn.  I almost felt trapped. Well a few years later and a few lessons learned, I'm going to accomplish what I started.

    Initially my desire to go to school was to make more money.  That is the reason, I had been taught. Upon deciding to return, I now realize the real drive to go to school should come from a persons thirst to learn.  

    To avoid the stress and time of driving to school, driving to lunch, driving back to school, driving to work, and then driving home.  I realized "Hey I have the Internet, the worlds largest resource of knowledge, why do I have to show up to classes?"

    So I looked into it and realized my own local Community College offers many classes online. And most of those classes aren't just Q&A, they actually have software that comes| with the book you buy to help you learn.  I also found most of the "in-school classes" I have taken do not accept paper assignments,(The professors have you EMAIL your assignments to them)  In addition, I discovered that most teachers are willing to tell you the days that are most important to come to class, which ones you can  miss and what curriculum would be covered that day

    Now, I've been able to re-enroll with the confidence that I will be able to learn what is necessary to understand the subject as well as still feel I have the freedom to do the things that I would otherwise not have the time for.  The Internet has changed "Going To School" as we knew it.

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    Online Dictionaries
    by Gena Bybee

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    Online dictionaries have many links to a lot of cool learning tools, a word of the day, crossword puzzles as well as other word games. Some even have online translators and yet others have spell checkers. There are many different dictionaries available, each with their own set of features and tools.

    The online dictionaries let you search by typing a word in a search bar. So, the age old question is "If I don't know how to spell it, how can I find it?" Not to worry... if you spell it wrong they will give you suggestions of words similar to the one you typed in. You just click on one, and it gives you the definition so you can see if it is the right one. Some dictionaries even let you search by word definition.

    Merriam Webster:
    This is my favorite:
    It features a free online dictionary and thesaurus, word games, a word of the day, and many other English language and vocabulary reference tools. It has a fun link for kids (a tab at the top) called Word Central that has lot of cool learning tools. You can build your own dictionary, or look up words in a student dictionary. It also has a "daily Buzzword" that allows you to click on it for an audio pronunciation of it.

    The Free Dictionary:
    This is a free online dictionary and thesaurus, with an encyclopedia link. This is the one that allows you to search by word definition. In addition, this site has a "Word of the Day" and a "Quote of the Day" and an "Article of the day". This features a free online Dictionary, Thesaurus, Crossword Puzzle, Word Games, a Word of the Day and an Online Translator.

    Online dictionary and thesaurus. You have to "register" first, before you can do anything, even the crossword puzzle helper, so it is not one of my favorites.

    This is a rhyming dictionary and has link to a thesaurus too. It features a search for rhyming words, has reference tools, and a spell checker.

    All of these sites are not only helpful to a student, but just plain entertaining to the "word-minded". Have some fun and take a look!

    A Word of Caution: all these sites have advertisements.
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    Spokane WA
    by Mike Rochelle

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    Spokane Falls was a gathering place for the area's indigenous people due to the abundance of salmon in the Spokane River.

    The first European settlement at Spokane Falls was a fur trading post operated by the British North West Company and, later, the Hudson's Bay Company. Known as "Spokane House", or just "Spokane", and located just below Spokane Falls, it was in operation from 1810-1826.

    After the North West Company was absorbed into the Hudson's Bay Company the operations at Spokane House were shifted to Fort Colville, although the Company remained active in the Spokane region.

    The first American settlers came in 1871. They were two squatters named James J. Downing and Seth Scranton who built a small sawmill on a claim located near the south bank of the Spokane Falls. James N. Glover and Jasper Matheney, two Oregonians who were passing through the region recognized the value of the Spokane River and its falls.

    Glover and Matheney also knew that the Northern Pacific Railroad Company had received a government charter to build a main line across this northern route and in 1873 they purchased the sawmill and the claim from Downing and Scranton.

    In 1876 Glover bought out his partner Matheney and opened Spokane's first bank. Glover is considered the founding father of Spokane and later became one of its first mayors as well.

    Camp Spokane was established by the U.S. Army at a location 56 miles northwest of Spokane on October 21, 1880 to protect the construction of the Northern Pacific Railway, and to secure the location for U.S. settlement. By 1881, the Northern Pacific Railway was completed at this point, bringing European settlement.

    The city of Spokan Falls (without an 'e'; the 'e' was added in 1883) was officially incorporated on November 29, 1881. In 1891, the name was changed to Spokane. Spokane hosted the first environmentally themed World's Fair in Expo '74, becoming the then-smallest city to ever host a World's Fair. This event transformed Spokane's downtown, removing a century of railroad industry that built the city and reinventing the urban core.

    The famous spokane clock tower was part of a train station. You can see where bricks were added on and where the roof used to be. Many of the structures built for the World's Fair are still standing and in use. The United States Pavilion sits next to an IMAX theater, and the Washington State Pavilion became the INB Performing Arts Center. The Expo site itself became the 100 acre Riverfront Park, containing, among other features, the U.S. Pavilion, the turn-of-the-20th-century Looff Carousel, and the Great Northern Railway clock tower, the last remnant of the vast rail depot that was demolished for Expo '74. The U.S. Pavilion and the clock tower are prominently featured in the park's logo.

    Spokane is a wonderful place to live and play. Within 2 hours of Spokane are forests, deserts mountains and wondrous places like Grand Coulee Dam, Hanford Nuclear site and several indian cultural sites reservations.

    For more information, please visit:

    Spokane WorldWeb

    Spokane City History

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    WordFind Puzzle
    by BMI Staff

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    Congratulations Dodie W. of Central City, IA for winning the drawing for the August 2008 Wordfind! She received a $25.00 credit on her BMI account! Visit our Sept 2008 Wordfind now.
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    The On Ramp is a monthly publication of Blue Mountain Internet.

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