The On Ramp

The Blue Mountain Internet Customer Newsletter

 Issue # 63 January 2009 
Greetings from the Editor  by Carol Hall FAQ  by Matt Stephens
Crossword  by Mike Rochelle Keeping Kids Busy  by Rochelle Helms
Veggie Stack Pita  by Gena Bybee Keyboard shortcuts  by Victor Luna
Picturefind  by BMI Staff Online Tools  by Michelle Mook
Instant Messaging  by Rebecca Sheridan Tools for Movie Lovers  by KJ Newby
Wordfind  by BMI Staff Helena MT  by Mike Rochelle
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Greetings from the Editor
by Carol Hall

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Greetings and Happy 2009to all of you! The theme of "The On Ramp" this month is "The Toolbox"! While this may seem like an odd theme for and Internet newsletter....actually...THAT is what the Internet really is:  A Toolbox.

The Internet is an endless resource for 

Money Saving

The list is truly endless.  Whether you are researching a college to attend, or attending can be done via the Internet.  Banking, recipes, communicating with friends and family, settling a bet on who's right, paying bills, fixing a thermostat, checking whether the schools or roads are closed, planning a vacation, looking for and buying the perfect gift, training your cat to stay off the table, checking the headlines, looking for a quilt pattern, and the list goes on.  What the Internet is to you is as unique as YOU.

I have included articles written by our staff regarding their favorite Internet Tools and how they use them.  I hope you find this information helpful and enlightening.  I welcome your comments and additions to the newsletter! Please email me at

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by Matt Stephens

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Holy Cow! 2008 is already over. Can you believe it? What seems like a couple of weeks turned out to be an entire year. I really hope that 2008 was as good for all of you and your families as it was for me and mine. I truly am appreciative of all I have and those I have to share it with.

The theme for this month's newsletter is "The Toolbox". I know in this office that conjured up images of rusty old boxes filled with misfit tools hidden away in a closet somewhere. For me, along with those images I also see the Internet.

You see, on many calls from our customers, as a technician I have to use tools that you can't find in stores. Tools called help documents, forums, and online technical support. You, as an internet subscriber, have the same tools right at your fingertips. What some of you may lack however is the training or practice needed to use those tools. Something I tell all of my new hires is that Google is your best friend.

You can find just about anything you need or want to find on Google. For instance: let's say that your faucet is leaking. You can find step by step instructions for fixing it by simply searching for leaky faucet repair on Google. I use Google daily. Many times a day in fact. I use it to find solutions to issues that our customers are having, as well as solutions to issues I have of my own. The great thing about this toolbox, it's free and you'll never have to pay anything but time to find the answer you need.

Google is not, by any means, the only tool out there. There are search engines all over the web. There is MSN, Yahoo, Google, Dog pile, Alta Vista, and many others. You can try them out and see which one works best for you. You can even do a search from any of them to find other search engines. The tools you can find on the internet to help you resolve any issue you may face are endless.

The next time you have a job you want to tackle, but need help; search it out on the internet. Most likely you will find help in doing it.

Happy New Year everyone. I hope that this year is better than the last, even if you think it couldn't possibly be!

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by Mike Rochelle

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Please visit the January 2009 BMI crossword puzzle.
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Keeping Kids Busy
by Rochelle Helms

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So, it's wintertime and in many parts of the country, we have snow and really cold temperatures. Sometimes, too cold to play outside. I know if my kids are in the house for more then about one hour I hear a chorus of "I'm bored". So I have a few ideas to keep them occupied.

These sites have lots of links to different activities and printable pages. As a bonus, at the bottom of the page, there are games:
Winter Activities
Winter Activities for Children

For the crafty side of things and for treasures to decorate the house with next year: Try this site:
Enchanted Learning 

A cute winter word search to play on the computer can be found here:
Winter Word Find

A site that has so many links, they won't be bored until spring:
Winter Sites

What if you want to play outside? I found a great site full outside winter games:
Outdoor Activities

I just want to say, don't forget your four legged family gets cold too. Here's some tips on keeping your pets warm:
Best Friends Pet Care

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Veggie Stack Pita
by Gena Bybee

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Here is a sandwich that would be a delight for any toolbox, lunch box or just a brown paper bag. Help them eat healthy:
Veggie-Stack Pita Pockets 

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Keyboard shortcuts
by Victor Luna

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Did you know that you can save time and keystrokes by using some "shortcuts" that require no installation or software?  That's right:  YOU ALREADY HAVE THEM!

Press the  for the following results (when 2 keys are shown, press them simultaneously):

 F1 for HELP
CTRL+ESC to Open the Start menu
ALT+TAB to switch between open programs
ALT+F4 to quit a program
SHIFT+DELETE to delete an item permanently
CTRL+c to copy
CTRL+x to cut
CTRL+v to paste
CTRL+z to undo
CTRL+b to bold
CTRL+u to underline
CTRL+i to italicize
SHIFT+DELETE to delete a selection immediately, (without moving the item to the recycle bin)
ALT+ENTER to open the properties for the selected object

Check out more at: 
Microsoft Support
Apple Support
Mozilla Keyboard Shortcuts

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by BMI Staff

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Please visit the January 2009 BMI picturefind puzzle.
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Online Tools
by Michelle Mook

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Here are a few fun tools built in to the Google search engine that I use regularly:

 define: If you want to know the meaning of a word like nadir, type "define: nadir" into a Google search box. You'll get results with the word's definition in them.

convert Want to convert mililitres to ounces? Type "convert 240ml to ounces" into a Google search box, and you'll get the conversion in your search results.

Scholar Need to search scholarly texts? Try Google Scholar.

Try this one:  Useful Google tools You Have Never Heard Of

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Instant Messaging
by Rebecca Sheridan

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There are hundreds of amazing internet tools that are available to you instantly and most are free!! My personal favorite is Instant Messaging which allows you to send messages back and forth instantly from your PC. There are a lot of fun sounds and icons you can add that make your message stand out.

You can even see when your friends, family and co-workers are online!! This is an amazing way to communicate with anyone, anywhere, in another country, or at the desk next to you at work.  Not only can you use Instant Message for fun, but you can use it for work as well. Instant messaging in the office cuts out a lot of time spent on opening and closing emails.

Check out these Instant Message programs and find out which one works best for you:

Cerulean Studios
Google Talk
Mecca Messenger

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Tools for Movie Lovers by KJ Newby

If you are a movie buff, and enjoy knowing more than just "plot and cast", this is the place for you!

The IMDb (Internet Movie DataBase) website consists of one of the largest accumulations of information about films, television programs, direct-to-video products, and video games, reaching back to each medium's respective beginning. In many cases, the information goes beyond simple title or press credits to include:

*Complete cast and crew credits
*Uncredited personnel
*Production and distribution companies
*Plot summaries
*Memorable quotes
*Box office performance
*Filming locations
*Technical specs
*Promotional content
*Links to official and other websites.

Furthermore, the IMDb tracks titles in production, including major announced projects still in development. The database also houses filmographies for all persons, cast and crew, identified in listed titles. Filmographies include biographical details, awards listings, external links, and information about other professional work not covered by title entries in the database such as theatrical and commercial advertising appearances.

The IMDb offers ancillary material such as daily movie and TV news, weekly box office reports, TV listings, cinema show times, user polls and ratings, and special features about various movie events such as the Academy Awards.

The website also has an active message board system. There are message boards for each database entry, found at the bottom of each respective page, as well as general discussion boards on various topics. All of the basic database information is available without registration and without providing any personal information. However, to submit information, to use the message boards, to search for information about adult movies or to use some other of the site's features requires registration.

Some advanced features require verification which can sometimes require some personal financial information such as credit card details. IMDb has 57 million visitors, 17 million of which are registered users, as of October 10, 2007

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by BMI Staff

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b>Congratulations Chirley T. of Townsend, MT for winning the drawing for the December 2008 Wordfind! Shirley received a $25.00 credit on her BMI account! Please visit the January 2009 BMI wordfind puzzle.
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Helena MT
by Mike Rochelle

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Helena is the capital city of the state of Montana and the county seat of Lewis and Clark County. The population was 25,780 at the 2000 census, and had been estimated to rise to 27,885 by 2006. The local daily newspaper is the Independent Record. The local weekly (and independent) newspaper is the Queen City News. The Helena Brewers minor league baseball team call the city home. The city is served by Helena Regional Airport.

The town was established on October 30, 1864, following the discovery of gold along Last Chance Creek by the "Four Georgians". Helena's main street is named Last Chance Gulch and follows the winding path of the original creek through the historic downtown district.

By 1888, about 50 millionaires lived in Helena, more millionaires per capita than any city in the world. About $3.6 billion (in today's dollars) of gold was taken from Last Chance Gulch over a 20-year period. The Last Chance Placer is one of the most famous placers in the western United States. Most of the production occurred before 1868. Much of the placer is now under the streets and buildings of Helena (but even as late as the 1970s, when repairs were being made to a Bank, a vein of placer gold was found under the Bank's foundation). This large concentration of wealth made for a large amount of culture, much of which still exists and is also evidenced in the varied architecture of the city and its Victorian neighborhoods.

In 1889, railroad magnate Charles Arthur Broadwater opened his fabled Hotel Broadwater and Natatorium west of Helena. The Natatorium was home to the world's first indoor swimming pool. Damaged in the earthquake of 1935, it was closed in 1941. The many buildings on the property were demolished in 1976. Today, the Broadwater Fitness Center stands just west of the Hotel & Natatorium's original location, complete with an outdoor pool heated by natural spring water running underneath it.

Being the state capital, a large number of Helenans work for the state government. When in Helena, most people visit the local walking mall (built in the early 1980s after Urban Renewal and the Model Cities Program in the early 1970s had virtually gutted the downtown district, leaving little more than unpaved parking lots and unfinished projects behind for over a decade), a three block long strip of stores following the original Last Chance Gulch. There is a stream in a concrete bed running the length of the walking mall, simulating Last Chance Creek.

The Archie Bray Foundation, an internationally-renowned ceramics center founded in 1952, is located just northwest of Helena, near Spring Meadow Lake.

Helena also has a local ski area, Great Divide Ski Area, northwest of town near the ghost town of Marysville, Montana.
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The On Ramp is a monthly publication of Blue Mountain Internet.

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