9-30-11 Construction Begins

Construction is underway! Miles of conduit piping for fiber optic cabling (below) has been delivered by the truckloads. Construction crews will begin burying the fiber next week.

fiber cables

Socket Casino Night - You Bet We Had a Good Time!

Socket employees enjoy poker and other casino games at a recent partyWe recently rounded up the Socket gang (along with friends and family) for an evening of big blinds, bluffing and blackjack.
Dozens of Socketeers joined our Texas Hold 'Em tournament, battling fiercely for the title of Socket Poker Champion.
In the end, Lonnie (one of our service delivery specialists) ousted account executive Dave Giles at the final table to claim the title.
As for those Socketeers who didn't dig the poker scene (or got knocked out in 5 minutes), there was also blackjack, craps and roulette to enjoy.
And lots of good food and fun. Which we consider a win for everyone (even Dave).

Fighting the Flu with...the Internet?

Fall is here. Lovely things will soon be floating through the air. Beautifully colored leaves. The scent of pumpkin pie. The flu virus.
Ewwwww. We hate the flu. Don't you? As fun as it is to watch Seinfeld reruns while wrapped up in 14 layers of clothes and blankets, we'd rather spend our days here at Socket.
So we unleash the power of our favorite secret weapon. The Internet. 
The Web is a great resource for educating and protecting yourself so you can steer clear of the flu. There are all kinds of informative websites and resources available to keep you healthy, so take advantage of them!
For starters, check out the websites of local pharmacies to find out where and when you can get a flu shot. Many pharmacies accept walk-in requests for the vaccine, but others conduct clinics on specific dates.
If you forget your flu shot (or if you're one of those stubborn people who think they don't need one), you should be aware of flu symptoms. Read up on WebMD or Flu Facts so you'll be able to identify possible flu symptoms and distinguish them from the common cold or other viruses.
The Web can also provide a quick refresher course on flu prevention tips. Check out this list from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a good overview of the basics.
And if the unthinkable happens and you do get the flu, understand the limitations of the Web. Even though a wealth of health information is available online, there is no substitute for a personal relationship with your doctor.
Use websites to evaluate minor symptoms and educate yourself on some things you might want to discuss with your doctor. But don't diagnose yourself or evaluate serious symptoms with a computer.
Stay healthy this flu season!

Cleanin' Up Clark

Fast food trash...gum wrapper...beer can...SNAKE?!?!Socket employees clean up trash on Clark Lane in Columbia, MO
That's how it goes when you're picking up trash on Clark Lane in Columbia. You never know what you'll find!
Luckily, 9 brave Socketeers put their phobias aside and went out this week to clear the litter from our Adopt-a-Spot stretch of roadway.
23 bags of trash
to be exact.
They even found a possum in a bag!
At least our volunteers got to enjoy some lovely fall weather. And hopefully by our next cleanup, the critters will all be hibernating for the winter.
Learn more about Columbia's Adopt-a-Spot and other beautification programs.

Ever Seen a Pink Tiger?

A young visitor gets a pink tiger painted on her face at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Mid-Missouri in Columbia.Well, neither had we, until the Susan G. Komen Mid-Missouri Race for the Cure this past weekend in Columbia.
But our masterful face painter made it happen, decorating racers' cheeks with pink ribbons, inspirational sayings and more. Pink was plentiful!
It was the least we could do as a sponsor of the event to support the thousands of Missouri runners and walkers who came out to raise money for breast cancer research, screening and education.
We were really inspired by all the participants, who showed up in the wee morning hours to take on the 5K race. Especially the survivors, who proved that by working together, we really can battle this terrible disease and win.Survivors at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Columbia
Congratulations to all the racers at this year's event!
Be sure to check out Socket's Facebook Page for more great photos from the event.
Learn more about Susan. G. Komen for the Cure Mid-Missouri.

Race for the Cure in Columbia, MO

Socket is proud to be a sponsor at this weekend's Susan G. Komen Mid-Missouri Race for the Cure.
Thousands of runners and walkers will participate in this 5K race in Columbia to support breast cancer research, screening and education.
The race takes place Sunday, September 18 at 8:30 a.m. but come by early for health information, giveaways and contests from national and local sponsors. 
We'll be hanging out in Sponsor Village - come have your face painted with pink ribbons or an inspirational phrase. We'll also have balloons for young visitors (with pretty pink ribbons).
When the start gun fires and the motorcycles take off, followed by a seemingly endless stream of racers...well, let's just say you'll be inspired and glad you got up early to support the event.
To learn more about Komen Race for the Cure Mid-Missouri, visit www.komenmidmissouri.org/komen-race-for-the-cure.

What's on Your Fridge?

Socket's fridge is filling up with emails from our customers.We're filling ours with nice emails from our customers.
They make for a nice little pick-me-up at lunchtime.
Like this one from Peter in Columbia, MO:
To say I am technically challenged puts it mildly. Mike patiently spent over an hour on the phone with me, first trying to analyze what had gone wrong, and then leading me through many steps and searches on my computer to eventually solve the problem. He was always calm, polite and reassuring (even when I wasn't at times). I just want to say thank you, Mike, for all the help and patience. (And the &%$#@ red light is finally off and the modem is online!)
And this one from David and Lorraine in Pleasant Hill, MO:
Bryan spent something in excess of two hours with us on the phone. It was frustrating to say the least--at least for him. We do thank you for the time spent, the resolution of the problem and the courteous manner in which all of this went down. This is the reason we have been with Socket as our ISP ever since we secured Internet service. We never have to talk with someone off-shore. Everyone is pleasant--even when things get a little "touchy." Thanks again.
Help us fill up our fridge! Send an email to kudos@socket.net, or complete our customer survey at www.socket.net/survey.
We'll think of you and smile every time we go for the ketchup.

Spot and Stop Hoax Emails

Our inboxes are flooded with emails these days.
And we've all got that one person in our address book who sends us completely useless (and often untrue) chain emails, forwards and jokes.
Don't wait for one of your recipients to hit "reply all" and tell all your friends how wrong you were. Learn to sort fact from fiction when it comes to email forwards.
Hoaxes continue to spread because many recipients aren't sure whether they're true or not. They pass them along "just in case" and the cycle continues.
Before you hit that forward button, run the content through a site like Snopes (www.snopes.com) or Truth or Fiction (www.truthorfiction.com). Search for a particular hoax using keywords or browse through common categories of hoaxes.
There are also a few general rules to keep in mind when deciding whether or not an email message is legit:

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Emails promising money, gift certificates or other incentives just for forwarding the message are almost always false.
  • Messages that seem excessively urgent or desperate are most likely untrue.
  • Hoax emails usually don't include credible references for the claims they make. Even if a name is listed, check it out before passing the message along.
  • Unusual photos can also be checked for accuracy on the Web.

Make sure your recipients aren't rolling their eyes when your next email arrives in their inbox. Use a little common sense and take a few minutes to verify accuracy before you pass a message along.
Everyone in your address book will thank you.

Meet Jason Vander Veen, Technical Support Supervisor

Every month, Socket employees nominate and vote on a co-worker who best exemplifies our Core Values and BeliefsJason Vander Veen.
This month, we picked Jason Vander Veen, technical support supervisor.
He joined the Socket team earlier this year and rapidly started to take on more responsibilities. When the department needed a new leader a few months ago, Jason fit the bill.
His team members say he's "like a duck, calm and cool on the surface, but paddling like heck underneath."
Jason is originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, but moved to Missouri and graduated from Jefferson City High School. He and his wife, Kim, have a four-year-old boy, Gavin, and a seven-month-old girl, Adilyn. In his free time, he likes to fish, golf and cook (word on the street is that he makes a mean spaghetti).
We like spaghetti. And ducks. And Jason.
Read about other You-Make-the-Difference-Award winners. 

Trace Your Genealogy on the Web

Wouldn't it be neat to know if your great-great-great grandfather was a painter, a farmer or a jazz musician?
Welcome to the age of the Internet. You can find tons of cool info about your ancestors online.
Before you get started, look through your paperwork for all the documents you can find. Wills, death certificates, birth certificates, family Bibles - they'll all give you an idea of names, dates and other important facts.

If you're looking to do some free online research, try www.interment.net to gather information on birth and death dates. Then enter them into www.rootsweb.com or www.familysearch.org to find out more. (Hint- when using the free sites, you will have to sift through some advertisements - that's why they're free!)
You can also use plain old search engines like Google to dig up information. Search for names in quotation marks, like "John Doe" and provide additional information when available to narrow your search, such as "John Doe, Moberly, MO."
If you're serious about your quest, consider an online subscription to sites like www.ancestry.com or www.genealogy.com. Services that require payment do a lot of the work for you and make the search easier and more accurate.
Subscriptions typically range from $10 to $30 per month. Be sure you know what you're agreeing to, since sites have varying subscription lengths (such as monthly or annually).

As with any online research, verify the information you find is credible. Look for sources, or stick with reputable websites and consider a paid service if accuracy is a priority.
Finally, understand the limits of your online research. Genealogy websites won't tell you about your relatives' personalities, what their hopes and dreams were or other personal information.
So don't forget to step away from the computer and go visit older relatives if possible. Bring your research along to help jog their memories. Ask them to tell you stories.
Now that you know how start digging into your past, what are you waiting for??



Who is Socket

Founded in 1994, Socket is a Missouri-based telephone and Internet service provider with the largest service area in the state.

Socket is a privately held company that provides families and businesses a choice for local and long-distance phone and Internet service. We combine the highest quality customer service with in-depth technical knowledge.

Our network serves more than 20,000 residents and businesses in more than 400 Missouri cities, and our customers enjoy simple billing and quick, friendly service.

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