The On Ramp

The Blue Mountain Internet Customer Newsletter

 Issue # 61 November 2008 
INSIDE THIS EDITION
Greetings From the Editor  by Carol Hall Cooking!  by Gena Bybee
Crossword  by BMI Staff Bento Boxes  by Michelle Mook
Shopping online  by Rochelle Helms Wordfind  by BMI Staff
FAQ  by Matt Stephens Save money using Netflix  by KJ Newby
Online School  by Rebecca Sheridan Winter Preparedness  by Mike Rochelle
Saving your hard earned ...  by James Morgan Picture find  by BMI Staff
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Greetings From the Editor
by Carol Hall


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Greetings to all and I hope you have a warm and delicious Thanksgiving! It is time to gear up for the holiday season, when our friends an family come together to enjoy each other.  That will involve shopping, cooking, entertainment, travel and much more. 

Thinking about the cost of all of that?  Perhaps that is where the "stressful" part of the holidays got their fame.  Not to worry, using today's Internet can assist you with keeping the costs down and save you time as a bonus.

This month The On Ramp features a theme of Virtually Saving Money.  Included are tips for shopping, cooking, traveling, entertainment and more that will save you both time and money.  So relax, enjoy the holidays and let the Internet assist you!

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 editor@bmi.net

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Cooking!
by Gena Bybee


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We all love a great meal!  That is a common thread among us!  Going out to a restaurant, however, can add up in dollars very fast.  How about making that award winning meal right in your own kitchen?  It is not as difficult as you think, and with so many online sites providing the recipes, it is EASY!!  Give this a try:

Smoked Turkey and White Bean Casserole with Herbed Crumb Topping

Ever crave those great foods from your favorite restaurant chains?  Here is a link to the recipes  (This will download in a PDF format - Portable Document File, so be patient, it may take a minute or two....but it is worth it):

Top Secret Insider's Recipes Master Edition

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Crossword
by BMI Staff


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Congratulations to Ray O. of Walla Walla, WA for winning the drawing for the October 2008 Crossword! He received a $25.00 credit on his BMI account!

. Please visit the November 2008 BMI Crossword.
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Bento Boxes
by Michelle Mook


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With the economy in the state it's in, we're all trying to find ways to make ends meet. Even little things, like packing our lunches for work and school, can help us save money. Luckily a packed lunch doesn't have to be a sandwich and chips. It can be a fun, beautiful, edible work of art!

I've always been fascinated by the Japanese lunch box tradition known as bento. The word bento translates as "lunch box," but the tradition is much more than merely packing a lunch. Japanese mothers shape foods into animal shapes and decorate them, cut vegetables into flowers, hot dogs into sea creatures, and often create themes with their children's lunch foods. These creative meals are then packed into clever, multi-compartmented boxes with logos or other art on them. Such a fun and exciting meal definitely beats a brown bag lunch!

Bentos often contain small, cute containers, themed plastic toothpicks, and tiny little condiment bottles. A well-made bento is both nutritious and visually appealing. Even if you don't bother with the complicated bento boxes, just taking some of bento's sensibilities and applying them to our own lunches can go a long way toward making saving money much more fun.

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Shopping online
by Rochelle Helms


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 As we all are very much aware, the purse strings are a little tighter. There are all kinds of ways to save money by using the internet. Why not make the "net" work for you?     Making money
Finding free stuff
Trading the traditional commute for a virtual commute (such as, working from home or shopping online)  Take a look:   Save money and get Freebies

Most of us know that you can shop online and save the gas while having the goods delivered to your front door. I admit that I was slow to try shopping online. But now that I have: I am hooked. Especially, with the holidays coming...(I don't know about the rest of you, but I do not enjoy the shopping crowds) so buying things online in the comfort of my den, is exactly the shopping experience I prefer. And I save gas! 

Here is an article that has a plethora of online department stores. Best Buy Deals

You can also find information on how to save money in other ways on the Internet:
66 Ways 

And what about the cost of college text books? I recently, read this article that I thought was great for sharing:
Textbooks

If you are like me, you are trying to find creative ways to cut costs at home. Before you think about getting rid of the internet because of cost, think about all the ways your internet service can save you money and virtually pay for itself:
Make and Save Money With Your Computer

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Wordfind
by BMI Staff


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Congratulations Blanche D.. of Kamiah, ID for winning the drawing for the October 2008 Wordfind! Blanche received a $25.00 credit on her BMI account! Please visit our November 2008 Wordfind.
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FAQ
by Matt Stephens


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 Hello and happy November to everyone. I love November. Not only was I born in the month of November but it's the Thanksgiving month and I love turkey. I'm also a big fan of winter weather and all that comes with it, so November is an entry into a great time of year for me.

Carol tells me this month's theme is about saving money. With gas prices this summer, falling stocks in the late summer and early fall, times are hard. And times are hard across the board. It doesn't matter if you invest a lot, or not at all, everyone is going to feel something economically during this rough patch in our soon to be history. So it is important to save as much on the things you want and need as you can.

How many of you have an Anti-Virus program on your computer?
How many of you have an adware and spyware removal program on your computer? How many of you have a Trojan remover on your computer?


I'd be willing to bet that most of you have Anti virus software. That being said, I'd bet my winnings that a majority of you stopped there.

Do you know how much it costs to have adware or spyware removed from your computer? Let's say a conservative shop rate of $45 an hour if you bring your computer to them. Multiply that by at least 2 hours. You could have easily paid for some prevention with that much money.

One of our employees ran across a really great program a while back. Its call StopZilla. It's available at http://www.stopzilla.com and it only costs $39.99 a year. It will detect, block and or quarantine spyware and adware. It will update automatically. It has a built in pop up ad blocker. It will stop hijackers, and other malicious attempts against you and your computer. It even blocks phishing attacks. Seems pretty cheap considering the shop time involved to repair these issues if you neglect them.

Personally, I swear by this product. I have seen the good it can do and it's really not expensive at all. But the point of this article is not to sell you one specific product. It's to let you know that spending a little extra money on prevention, in the end will be worth twice as much (or more) when you don't have to pay for repairs.

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Save money using Netflix by KJ Newby
Have you ever spent money renting a movie at the local rental shop, then forgot to return it in the allotted time? After the late fees were paid, you wondered if you would have been better off to simply BUY the movie? I am sure you have, we ALL have. There is a better way however:

Save time and money using Netflix.  The days of renting movies locally are basically over. You can now rent all the movie you want and have them delivered right to your door and never have to worry about late fees again.

Try Netflix! Here's the skinny about Netflix:
Netflix is the world's largest online DVD rental service. In 2007, Netflix began offering members the ability to watch movies instantly on their PCs. Each month, Netflix provides movie entertainment to more than 8 million satisfied customers. Netflix Delivers DVD rentals directly to you at your home.

You can rent as many DVDs as you want or watch movies instantly on your PC for one low price. There are no late fees and no due dates, and DVD shipping is free both ways.

Plans start at $4.99 plus applicable tax. With their most popular plan, you can rent as many DVDs as you want (3 DVDs at-a-time) and watch unlimited hours of movies instantly on your PC for just $16.99 a month plus applicable tax. There are no additional charges.

All you need to do is signup for the account level you want, select your DVDs online and they should arrive in your mailbox in about 1 business day via U.S. mail. When you finish watching a movie, simply put it in its prepaid return envelope (provided) and mail it back. When they receive your returned DVD, they send the next available DVD from your list. You can keep the movies as long as you want, with no late fees.

You can also instantly watch movies and TV episodes on your PC for no additional charge!

It really is a great service for you movie buffs.  All you need to do to keep the movies coming is remember to return the ones you watched.  Simple, easy affordable and FUN!

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Online School
by Rebecca Sheridan


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The days of trying to juggle work, school, and your home life are over!!! Finally we have the ability to attend school at home whenever we can. No more scheduled classes to try to work around.

With online classes a person can work full time and go to school full time without sacrificing important family time. I cannot tell you how much time I save not driving to class or trying to make the schedule. As a parent in today's world work is a must. Many of us do not have the option to either go to work or school. I give thanks to online college for giving me the opportunity to further my education while still providing for my family.

The amount of money I save on babysitters and gas is a blessing. I can literally go to class whenever I want. Since I can go whenever I want I can still make money at work! I am not wasting money eating on the run because I can make dinner while going to class. No running to the vending machine between classes wasting money on over priced snacks.

Take it from me, if you want to save time and money while furthering your education take online classes. Below are a couple of links to help you get started:

Axia Phoenix

Online Colleges and Degrees

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Winter Preparedness
by Mike Rochelle


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We are now coming into the winter driving season and its time to remind you of where to get the weather, special weather statements and road reports.

When grandma's house is over the river and though the woods, we need to know we can get there safely and in time for the festivities. This can be hard as quite a few of our customers are in areas where snow abounds and driving to the store can be an all day event.

Personally, I live in the middle of nowhere and have been snowbound for days at a time. We heat with propane and keep a generator close by. My favorite website for all my weather needs is: Wunderground.com.  This site has the reports from the National Weather Service, but also has personal weather stations that you can view the weather along the way. This is a neat feature as most of these are updated every few moments.

 Another place to go is Google.  In the search area, type in your state and pass conditions like, Washington pass reports This should be a good starting place for information.

Be safe and also, be prepared

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Saving your hard earned money by James Morgan

There are a number of ways to save your hard earned cash monies by using the internet for everyday tasks. For instance, you can rent movies online way cheaper that you can buy them, use a Free 411 service to find a number, buy used items instead of new ones, and even listen to your favorite tunes for free! 

The Internet is no longer just for entertainment and business.  It is an essential ingredient in saving you time and money!

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Picture find
by BMI Staff


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Congratulations to Lonny H. of Stites, ID for winning the drawing for the October 2008 Picturefind! Lonny received a $25.00 credit on her BMI account! Please visit our November 2008 Picturefind.
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Please send your comments or requests to info@bmi.net

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