The On Ramp

The Blue Mountain Internet Customer Newsletter

 Issue # 68 June 2009 
INSIDE THIS EDITION
Greetings from the Editor  by Carol Hall Internet Safety  by Mike Rochelle
Camping  by Rochelle Helms Summer is Here  by Rochelle Helms
Summer Vacation is Here!  by Rebecca Sheridan Crossword  by BMI Staff
Summer Time Safety  by Rochelle Helms Call waiting  by Tyler Brown
WordFind  by BMI Staff Break Out The Grill  by
Summer  by Michelle Mook Summer Crafts  by Gena Bybee
Picture Find  by BMI Staff FAQ  by Matt Stephens
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Greetings from the Editor
by Carol Hall


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Greetings to all of you! I hope you enjoy this edition "The On Ramp"! The theme for this month is Summer.  It includes articles on traveling, summer safety, outdoor cooking and more. 

One of my favorite "summer time traditions" is making home-made popsicles.  I picked up a set of Popsicle Molds and can keep the freezer full of my favorite frozen delights all summer long!  I chose this style of popsicle mold because it uses regular wooden popsicle sticks that you can purchase very inexpensively and not worry about losing them.  Some popsicle molds require you to use the same plastic holder over and over...and once you lose that...you are sunk.

My very favorite is to take Vanilla Yogurt and put it in the blender with fresh berries...they make the most wonderful (and healthy) popsicles for a quick cool snack.  A quart of chocolate milk is perfect for fudgesicles.  Are you a tea lover?  Make a strong batch of your favorite iced tea and freeze it into pops for a very refreshing treat (Mint is awesome).  For more popsicle recipes, please visit: 

32 Home Popsicle recipes and Ideas
Popsicle Recipes
Cocktail Pops for the Grown-ups

The possibilities are endless.  You are limited only by your imagination!

If you have any suggestions, comments or questions, please email me at:  editor@bmi.net.

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Internet Safety
by Mike Rochelle


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I was wandering around the net looking for places to recommend to you on safe surfing. Then I thought what about safe computing?

We have all had accidents with losing files, and complete computer meltdowns. None of which are fun to deal with. Here are some internet sites and common sense practices:

1. Always backup your data. You are 4 times more likely to lose a file than to be in an auto accident. Online backups and external hard drives are the best bet for reducing your data loss.

KeePass is a free program to secure your usernames and passwords on a portable flash drive. If your computer grows legs or won't boot, you will have a backup of your critical account info and none of it is stored on the hard drive.

Foxmarks is an online "favorites/usernames/password storage" and syncing program that remembers your settings and can make every computer your own look alike in terms of your saved favorites/usernames and passwords.

Here are some great places to go for safe surfing and info on how to stay safe:
Safe Internet Sites
One Key
Kid Grid

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Camping
by Rochelle Helms


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One of the first things I think of when someone says summer is camping. I loved camping when I was young. With vacations coming up, maybe camping is a great idea. Taking the kids along can be a challenge of its own. I found this link for some tips on camping with kids: Love The Outdoors

There are campgrounds everywhere. To find a campground try this link: Campground SearchJust enter the location and search for suggestions.

National parks are a great destination for a vacation and camping. You can search by different criteria; by name, location, activity and/or topic. If you are looking a National Park with hiking and caves in Utah enter it in here. Find Parks

Has it been a while or are you new to camping? Not to fear, I have a great link for you. This Camping 101 site is full of fun and useful information:   Camping.

Camping food was always a favorite. Maybe because it's cooked on an open fire or maybe because it's the one time we had graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate all in one sugar-sweet sandwich called S'mores.

There is more to camp food then S'mores, hard to imagine I know. But I did find a link for camping recipes:  Camping food for Kids.

Anything involving leaving the comfort of our homes and venturing out into the great outdoors, means it's time to think about safety. So, of course, I found a link for you to research before you head out: Outdoor Safety.

Be safe and have a good summer!

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Summer is Here
by Rochelle Helms


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Summer is here. The kids will be home and the chorus of "I'm bored" will, no doubt, begin soon. Why not head it off before it starts?  Summer begins in your backyard! I found a link that does the thinking for you. Each day a new idea and plenty of suggestions for some backyard summer fun: Summer.

Summer also means "Summer Camp". I only went one year. I remember how much fun it was being around kids my age and what a sense of independence I felt. Now there is a camp for all kinds of things. Camps range from sports to theatre. Special needs to special interests; you can find whatever your child is interested in by going to this site. Kids Camps

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Summer Vacation is Here!
by Rebecca Sheridan


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Time to get out the beach towels and boats because summer is here! Throughout the summer people will be soaking up the sun in a number of places. Where will you go this year? According to hot spot surveys Orlando, FL is the most popular place to visit in the summer. Check out the other hot spots here:
Hot Spots

Summer brings great weather and with great weather comes fun events. I personally love to go to concerts in the summer time. An outdoor concert or event is a great experience. Here are the top 10 summer festivals and events: Top 10 Summer Events.

For those of you that are truly looking for a summer vacation thrill: sky diving and bungee jumping are quite often on the list. Most thrill seekers are always looking for new ideas on how they can get that thrill and for you I have this link:  Thrills

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Crossword
by BMI Staff


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April 2009 Crossword! She received a $25.00 credit on her BMI account! Please visit our June 2009 crossword.
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Summer Time Safety
by Rochelle Helms


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I know that summertime equals "fun time" to kids. But let us not forget about safety. We all need to remember we are not invincible. Start with the basics: Summer Safety.

I came across a site that will narrow the tips down by related activities. So if you're planning on going swimming either in the backyard pool or in the open waters - follow the links found on this site: Keep Kids Healthy.

Summer also brings bugs. My daughter is allergic to mosquitoes and I have always had a dilemma putting insecticides on my children's skin. So I was searching around for some alternatives. I found a site that suggested and explained some alternatives to chemical pesticides like Soybean Oil. Mosquito Repellents

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Call waiting
by Tyler Brown


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I've recently received some questions from customers wanting to know whether or not they can receive calls while dialed up to the Internet. While technically you can't have a conversation while connected via a dial up connection to the Internet, there are some options. 

There are some programs out there that can alert you to an incoming call. These services will give you the option to reply by text, or allow the caller to leave you a message via voicemail. This is great for many people! It will save you from installing a second phone line dedicated just for their Internet.

Most of them offer a 30day trial so you can try it.  Take a look: Call Wave

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WordFind
by BMI Staff


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Congratulations to Debby S. of Burbank, WA for winning the drawing for the May 2009 Wordfind! Sue received a $25.00 credit on her BMI account!

Please visit our June 2009 wordfind.
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Break Out The Grill
by


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As we approach summer and the weather is hotter - it's time to break out the grill and do your cooking outside! I have already fired my grill up a few times this year and will continue to do so as much as possible throughout the summer. What could be better than friends, family and great food? Here is a link that will help you plan an awesome BBQ:   Summer Barbeque

So get out your grill and get cooking

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Summer
by Michelle Mook


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Since I could not for the life of me think of anything to write for June's newsletter, I decided to simply enter the theme - summer - into a search engine to see what I got.

The first response of interest (to me, at any rate) was the summer tag at Flickr. Tons of amateur and professional images tagged with the word "summer" are really fun to page through. Some of the images really embody summer. I particularly resonated with the one of a tanned face with bleached eyelashes. 3

The second was the Wikipedia article on summer. Even though I know that Wikipedia is trying to cover the whole of human knowledge, it never occurred to me that there might be an entire article for something as basic as summer! An interesting read, actually. (A great way to amuse and educate yourself is to read Wikipedia's article of the day. There's so much to know!)

Third to catch my eye was an article over at Science World about summer solstice. I enjoy the exercise of putting things into perspective; it's easy to forget that our planet is whirling madly around the sun while our entire solar system spins through the vacuum of space when all you're really thinking about is finding time to do your laundry!

Summer's officially here, so even though the Internet is a wonderful and fascinating place, we should probably all go play outside for awhile!

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Summer Crafts
by Gena Bybee


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Parents may need to assist with use of safety pins and scissors but please feel free to use Projects and Patterns for Kids from the mycraftbook site. MyCraftbook

For summer fun go here: Summer Crafts for Kids

And here: Fathers Day Craft Gifts

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Picture Find
by BMI Staff


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Congratulations to Tami K. of College Place, WA for winning the drawing for the May 2009 Picturefind! She received a $25.00 credit on her BMI account! Please visit our June 2009 picturefind.
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FAQ
by Matt Stephens


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Hello to everyone again! How has your spring been? Ours has been wet, windy and mostly cold. Pretty much like our winter was, only not as cold. I've actually been able to wear shorts from time to time and I was also able to pull off two bar-b-ques so far. Not bad considering (as of this writing) it's the middle of May!

Anyway, with all the rain, and wind and heating and cooling that spring and early summer present, we get a significant increase in calls about connectivity issues. People with dialup, and DSL are having increased problems connecting and staying connected. Well, I hate to say it, but the most common cause for frequent disconnects is line noise. Wait...wait...where are you going? Don't roll your eyes and move on. I have more, and I have help.

First, there are a whole bunch of different causes of line noise on your phone lines. The most common of those are: " Dampness and moisture" in the phone lines themselves - The Weather! But other causes are:

 -  Old, or low quality phone lines
 - Cordless phones (on the same line) may cause some interference
 - Phone cords longer than 12 feet
 - Phone cords that get stepped on or crimped in doors, under or behind furniture, or across doorways
 - Phone cords that are wound or coiled in a bundle can act like an antenna causing static on the lines
 - Phone cords next to power supplies, radios, speakers, or other sources of electrical interference
 - Splitters and phone line surge protectors can add to line noise.

Keep in mind that there are times when line noise is worse than other times. Like in the spring, early summer and fall. Because of the temperature differences from day to night, and one day to next day for that matter. And all the moisture in the air. Not to mention all the abuse the lines receive during all seasons. One thing to note in this is that some line noise is beyond the range of human hearing. Just because you can't hear it, doesn't mean you don't have it.

Other than the first two of the above issues, you should be able to check your situation to make sure that you don't have any issues from the above.

(But what about the first two? How do you check for that? I THOUGHT YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO HELP US MATT!!! Hold on there tiger, I'm not done yet.)

There is a test you can run to find out if you have line noise. Once you run the test, if you find you have line noise you can call your local telephone provider and let them know that you have tested the lines and see if they will be able to repair them for you. The test does vary a little depending on the kind of modem you have in your computer. To find out, follow these instructions:
Click on start
Click on Control Panel
Double click on Phone and Modem Options
Click on the modem tab

You will see in here what kind of modem you have. Now just go to the following website, and print out the instructions for your specific modem. Line Noise Modem Help

Don't see your modem? Go to google and type line noise test followed by your specific modem and search. You will find very similar instructions on another website.

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

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