Nov 13-07

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2007: November: Nov 13-07
Endangered Species    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Paul Roberts

Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 05:35 am:

It's my privilege each morning to be the first to see the Pasty Cam, as Mary Drew prepares the shot-of-the-day the night before. This morning Mary pointed out a rare sighting in Paulding (even more rare than the "Paulding Light") as reported by Paul Roberts (along with some pictures of his brand new niece :o). As these booths have been phased out - not only in the U.P. but everywhere - Mary wondered how Clark Kent changes into Superman these days?

We've got some super news from Michigan's northern-most county this morning... Yesterday afternoon our friends at the phone company flipped the switch to activate DSL for the first time ever in parts of Keweenaw County! (You may have heard that DSL was promised for phones virtually everywhere in 22 states as part of the last telcom mega-merger In recent weeks Pasty.NET has been accepting pre-orders for dozens of residents all around the 906 area code, and submitting service requests for DSL on phones basically "out in the middle of nowhere". Each day we check the system - like fishermen checking their nets - to see if DSL has been turned up. Bingo! Yesterday a big YES appeared for a bunch of Pasty.NET members eagerly awaiting DSL near Agate Harbor. It's an area we've had difficulty reaching with Pasty.NET wireless broadband.

For those who have pre-registered over on Pasty.NET, watch for an email update in the next couple of days to find out the status of DSL in your area.

By Donald Kilpela (Commodore) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 05:47 am:

Good news, Charlie. We await service in Copper Harbor as well.

By Cindy, New Baltimore, MI (Cindy) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 05:51 am:

This sounds like a silly question, but how do you use one of those? I can't remember how many years it has been since I actually used a pay phone. Do you still put coins in or is it strictly a debit/credit card? Inquiring minds want to know...

By Brent in UPstate NY (Brent) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 05:59 am:

We've been using DieSeL powered internet around here for years. Nothing special. And all smoke when you start it up. HAHAHA!

Seriously though, I wouldn't give up my high speed internet for anything. If you have signed up for broadband do so at your earliest convenience.

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 06:09 am:

Well, Cindy, as one who uses these old style phones whenever I
get a chance ( I prefer the reception on land lines), I have used
coins (50 cents these days) and a Bell card. I have owned a cell
phone, but it rarely worked in the middle of nowhere and I don't
like to talk and drive.

BTW, Cindy in New Baltimore, I thought of you teaching your
class about Michigan history as I passed by New Baltimore on
Saturday. I teach Ontario history but sneak in Michigan history
(especially about the UP) whenever I get a chance. My class
really enjoyed learning about the Edmund Fitzgerald (I had help
from a Pasty Cammer who actually shipped out on her back in
1958) and the wall outside of my classroom is awash in pictures
of the Fitz and the mammoth waves of the Big Lake.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 06:49 am:

That is a rare sight indeed! When I used to go skating in Lake Linden as a child and if I got too cold, I'd stop and use the one in front of the City Hall to call home and get a ride. What with cell phones, don't know if I'd even remember how to use one anymore.

By Marsha, Genesee/Aura (Marsha) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 07:09 am:

Paulding is indeed the place to go for rare sightings! Kosk: You sure put the miles on your car!

By Cindy, New Baltimore, MI (Cindy) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 07:15 am:

Thanks for the info on the pay phones. I can certainly agree on the reception of land lines when you are in the middle of nowhere.

I think kids of all ages love learning about the Great Lakes and stories about ships. My class was very lucky to attend a presentation last Friday about the "Mystery of November Storms" given by a man named Ric Mixter. He is a PBS producer who has wonderful stories to tell about many of the shipwrecks on the lakes. He especially focused on the Edmund Fitzgerald, and shared information, stories, and pictures of his experiences. He is also a diver, so his stories clearly showed his enthusiasm. I wish I had known you were coming through town, Kosk. I could have recommended the "Great Lakes, Great Stories" program that is going on through Dec. 2nd at the Macomb Cultural Center.

By David Soumis (Davesou) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 07:22 am:

one of the advantages of broadband is the ability to use VOIP for your phone service.
I have used it since 2004.
Pay 21.99/ long distance or any fees. UNLIMITED calling anywhere in North America.
The sound is crystal clear, much better than landline.
The only negatives...if your power goes phone. If your internet goes out, no phone. BUT in those 3 years, we've only lost phone twice, and for just a short while.
And how much do you need to talk anyway?

By Margaret, Amarillo TX (Margaret) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 07:34 am:

Welcome to the 21st century.

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 08:00 am:

Cindy--Sounds like it would be an excellent exhibit. I'm sure your
class enjoyed that special event.

David--I will look into the broadband situation. Thanks.

By k j (Kathiscc) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 08:09 am:

Morning. Don't see a phone book in there.

By Kathyrn Laughlin (Kathyl) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 08:14 am:

I'm a primitive when it comes to computers...& cell phones. I have a cell phone for emergencies & to use for long distance instead of my employer's phone during the day. Would VOIP (dunno what that stands for) be useful for remote cell-phone use?

Speaking of old payphones, when I worked in small town in West Michigan the payphones were not Michigan Bell but some other outfit. If you put in your money & nobody answered, the money was not returned. So the drill was to frantically shove in dimes as soon as you heard a voice and hope they didn't get impatient and hang up, since they couldn't hear you until the money was in.

On the other hand, you could call a recording of what movies were playing and listen for free.

By F.F. (Flipflop) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 08:38 am:

Voice Over Internet Protocal - Alot of business systems are now using VOIP. One nifty feature is you can actually take your phone from your work desk and re-connect anywhere that has Internet access, and conduct your business remotely, just as if you were sitting at your desk - same EXT number, PVT number.. and so on.
I imagine there are still a few rotary phones used in the North ??

By Dan Kemp (Payooper) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 08:57 am:

In Calumet and I would guess everyone north of Hancock went straight from waiting for the operator to push button phones. We were still waiting for the operator in the 60's. One of my friends number was 7. The Calumet Armory was 1. Our number was 2219. If you had a letter after the number, it was a party line.

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 09:06 am:

When I was a junior in high school, the senior class crambed as many of the kids in a phone booth, they got 25 out of the 400+ in there. A lot of phone booths were victims on Halloween nites.

By k j (Kathiscc) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 09:20 am:

Yeah, I remember party lines. I still remember our number was 1324r1 (ring once). So if the phone rang twice, it wasn't for us. And you always had to listen if you wanted to make a call because someone else might be on it. (Of course some people would just listen anyway).

We have broadband, but I doubt we would go to voip as our electricity goes out frequently and the internet has gone out for 3-4 hours at a time (darn trees jumping in front of the dish). LOL

By Matt Karhu (Matt_k) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 09:37 am:

The picture of the rarely seen telephone booth reminded me that I still have my 30 year old white "Trimline" (Bell) dial telephone. It is in mint condition and still works, I use it as a door stop.

High wattage Ultra High Frequency-radio frequency energy is used to perform surgery, low wattage UHF-RF is used for cell phone communications. A theory about "beam" or "parabolic" antenna directed converging RF energy is being developed with respect to damage to animal and plant tissue. Anyone have thoughts about this?

By Millard Johnson (Amjohn) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 10:03 am:

Please no more e-mail

Millard: Those E-Mails should be stopped for you now, as I went ahead and removed the checkmarks that were there in your profile requesting the E-Mails be sent to you.

For those of you that are receiving emails whenever someone posts a new message on Various Topics, like Millard here, the following information from FRNash, will help you to STOP the E-mails:

You simply need to turn off those emails, by following the steps here below:

1. Go to the PastyCam Profile Editor page.
2. At the top of that page, in Profile Editor Options,
click on the E-mail Notification link.
3. Once there, see if any of the following options are checked:
[ ] Cam Notes - 2007
[ ] Cam Notes - 2006
[ ] Cam Notes - 2005
[ ] Cam Notes - 2004
[ ] Various Topics
[ ] notes in prior version

and a bit further down the page:
[ ] Replies to my posts

and still further down the page:
[ ] My own posts

3. Then simply click on those check boxes that show a checkmark. Verify that the each checkmark vanishes.
4. Scroll down to find the next button as reads:
[Save this information]
5. Click on that button.

6. Close your browser window.

You will not get any further emails generated by from this site due to any messages posted in any of the various forums.

Thanks to FRNash for the detailed instructions!

By Roy Beauchene (Royb) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 10:08 am:

We still have a rotary analog telephone up at our cottage in Keweenaw and it works. A few years back we tried to get it converted over to touch tone. Computers don't work well on a analog phone line. The system was run by Ameritech then and they didn't know how to convert it in their computer system because we still have a party line. They never heard of a party line.

By Uncle Chuck @ Little Betsy (Unclechuck) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 10:44 am:

Charlie, is DSL available on the south shore, like at Little Betsy?

By Ray Laakaniemi (Rlaakan) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 10:45 am:

This is 466W3 wondering how the phone company recycles the telephone booths when they are no longer used.

By Erica - Florida Keys (Erica) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 10:47 am:

David,we used VOIP for our phone service while we were in Iron Mountain this summer. Sure beat the use of cellphone service(which was spotty,to say the least)and ,as you pointed out,the ld calls were free. We use VOIP here in the Keys ,too. It is a great service.

By Paul Roberts (Grizzlyadams) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 10:53 am:

Not to break the line of communication (ha! bad pun!) but I wanted to tell you that I am an uncle. Charlie eluded to it in his daily post. However, I wanted to let you know (for those who have not read the WhatsUP page)that I have posted pictures of her in my gallery. Her name is Ellie Grace Mark. She was born Friday, Nov 9 and was 8lbs and 19.1 inches. Mom and baby are doing well and in fact are home now. Here is a link to my gallery:

My other niece is Anna and she is about 2 in a half. Then of course my sister Sarah and her husband Josh are also pictured. Enjoy! I sure did! :-)

By Paul Roberts (Grizzlyadams) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 10:57 am:


Clark Kent changes into Superman now using the little cubicles they have in airports, linraries etc., for laptop users. SO if he is near a pasty hot spot he can easily step aside and do his thing. Even better, if he's in Kearsarge he can stop off at The Hut and change really quick because of the high speed access point! Plus he can get pasties to go! :-)

By Brooke (Lovethekeweenaw) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 11:36 am:

Last few times I used a payphone it ate my money and still didn't work. Made me swear. My Aunt & Uncle had a party line well into the 90's in the eastern UP, we got a kick out of it. I remember when Houghton could dial just the last 5 #'s to call out locally.

By Musicteacher (Musicteacher) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 11:37 am:

Here in Calumet the phone company has not yet
caught up with time. We have 3 phones in the house.
One is cordless, one is a touchtone and the 3rd is
actually an old rotor dial where you put your finger in
the holes and turn the wheel. Funny thing--they all
work! My cell phone will get a good signal in the
kitchen, but doesn't work in other parts of the house--
and I live right here in town!

By 4WDGreg (4wdgreg) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 01:00 pm:

...aaah payphones. I remember driving around looking for one in my pre-cell phone days. Seems there were two payphones out of order, for every one that worked. What a pain those days were! If there's one good thing I can say about my area in the lower peninsula, it's that most areas have good cell phone coverage. I also remember our old rotary phone we used back in the 60's. The receiver weighed about 4 pounds if I remember correctly! That's one way to keep phone calls to a minimum!

By bill d-howellmi (Billdolkey) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 01:06 pm:

My Grandmother's number in Bumbletown was 2221J.
She thought the rotary phone was a step backward
because it was much easier for her to pick up the phone and just ask for a number instead of trying to dial with poor eyes and arthritic fingers. when I moved to Howell, I asked for no
"touch tone" because it was a little cheaper at my old address with rotary. (Idon't use the phone much), but they didn't offer it any longer.
I was surprised when I put my old rotary (pulse)
phone on the wall - and it STILL WORKED. You can't get the pulse rate but the system still works with pulse phones.

By maija in Commerce Township (Maija) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 01:39 pm:

Please excuse my ignorance, but I have tv and internet through cable. People are mentioning 'broadband' and DSL. Are they two different things? What are they? What do I have?

By Marianne Y (Marianne) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 02:01 pm:

Maija, that's not ignorance. The terms have been used rather loosely. If you have both TV and Internet through cable, then you have a cable modem, and most refer to that as broadband, when they refer to broadband. it has to do with data transfer rates. On the other hand, most DSL is now at broadband speeds, although, at least in our area, the DSL speeds have lagged the cable speeds available. Also, cable modems usually come with the service, for a very small monthly fee. On the other hand, the last I knew, you had to buy your own DSL modem, up front, and that was a relatively expensive outlay. The last time I priced it, which was in April, 2007, cable allowed significantly higher speeds for the same money, as DSL, and cable could supply faster top speeds, if you were paying for that tier, than any DSL, at least in our area.

That being said, if you can't get cable, then DSL is definitely the best way to go to get faster data transfer rates, much better than satellite. :-)

By Dale Beitz (Dbeitz) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 02:02 pm:

Maija: Any sort of high-speed internet can be called broadband. Cable is one source. DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) is another. Satellite is yet another. A standard two-wire phone line (what is typically found in most homes) has an upper limit of 64K, but due to overhead on the line the actual bandwidth is 56K, hence the speed listed on most modems. Broadband connections usually start around 256K and go up from there. I think most cable connections are in the 1.5MB (same as 1500K) range, but they do go faster if you're willing to pay.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 02:07 pm:

maija in Commerce Township (Maija)
"… 'broadband' and DSL. … What are they?"

1. Click ® Broadband FAQ, DSL101
2. Click ® Cable Users FAQ
3. Click ® Pasty,net's 'Wireless DSL' Not to be confused with telco based 'DSL', see note below.


"Wireless DSL = Direct Stationary Link. PastyNET high-speed Internet service is not a Digital Subscriber line, but a combination of 802.11b and a proprietary method of broadband delivery by means of low-power microwave transceivers. It is not a mobile service, but intended for reception at a fixed point (homes, offices, etc.)"

FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 02:41 pm:

Marianne Y (Marianne):
"… cable modems usually come with the service, for a very small monthly fee."

Well that's true, of course, but it's like the old days, when Ma Bell refused to sell you the phone, but forced you to 'rent' your phone, month after month after month, for how many years?

You may be able to save yourself a bit of money in the long term by buying your own cable modem up front. Check with your cable supplier for compatible modems.

(I know, they're all DOCSIS standard compliant, but some cable modems just seem to work better with some cable systems.)

FYI re speed: I'm getting upwards of 12MBps, to near 15MBps on COX Cable in Phoenix — for $40.00/month. (MB = MegaBytes)

In the way of comparison, I've heard some folks refer to telco based DSL as "Darn Slow Line", kind of like the nickname for the old telco ISDN: "It Still Does Nothing".

Of course if DSL is all that's available in your neighbord, there ya go!

The most serious limitation with DSL is the distance limitation: DSL Distance Limitation (the length of your line between your location and the telco office)

Heck, right here in beautiful Phoenix, AZ, my telco CO is three miles away (and that's straight line distance, never mind the actual wire length) so forget DSL, the best I can get on dialup with a 56Kb modem is about 26.6 Kbps!

By Marianne Y (Marianne) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 02:50 pm:

FRNash, sure, I know that I can buy a cable modem for about $60, and rent one for $3/month. BUT, whenever one has a problem with their cable service, at least our cable company immediately blames OUR cable modem, regardless of what the problem is. SO, I have found it much simpler to buy what I consider cheap insurance in renting the cable modem. Then, if they want to blame the cable modem, they have to replace it, outright. And, ours has been replaced 3 times, I believe it is. So, for us, it has actually not only been cheaper to rent the modem over time, but we don't have to deal with the grief in extra trouble shooting and going out to buy a new one ourselves, especially since this way has been cheaper for us, anyway.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 04:42 pm:

FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash): Said above:
"FYI re speed: I'm getting upwards of 12MBps, to near 15MBps on COX Cable in Phoenix for $40.00/month. (MB = MegaBytes)"

Ooops, I can't let that wee bit of mis-information stand without correction! That should have read:

"FYI re speed: I'm getting upwards of 12Mbps, to near 15Mbps on COX Cable in Phoenix for $40.00/month. (Mbps = Megabits per second)."

By David Soumis (Davesou) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 05:13 pm:

i skipped a bunch of messages, but did you know that you can hold a tone generator up to any phone, incuding rotary, and dial the phone number on the keypad of the tone generator, and it will dial the phone just as if you had digital pushbutton?
Its pretty cool :)

By Matt Karhu (Matt_k) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 05:15 pm:

One good thing about a slow, dial-up internet connection is that us old folks who aren't in a hurry for much of anything anymore can cook, wash dishes, put bird seed in the feeder, and many other things while waiting for the connection to be completed, browser pages to come on, etc. The additional money we would spend on a high speed connection sure looks nice in our bank accounts.

By David Soumis (Davesou) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 05:31 pm:

we get 5Mbps with Charter, although, I doubt you will find many sites that deliver that much to you anyway, usually the download is around 300k, except for maybe Microsoft, which seems to blast pretty fast.

VOIP ... It actually doesn;t work all that well with regular DSL...its limited like FRNash said by distance you are from the switching station...there is a test that can be run by the phine company or VOIP provider to see if you qualify.

It works real well on cable. We talk and do web stuff at the same time all the time. Never any problems.

PHONE BOOTHS ... the pay phone was a great deal in its time.
We had a booth next to the Co-op store in Chassell when I lived there..high school, etc. That was the local hangout...we all gathered , waiting for someone to call. Also a great windbreak in the winter, except the windows used to get all iced up so you couldn't see out anymore. And of course, there was always someone that had to tie old muskrat guts on the phone and stuff :)

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 06:00 pm:

Right On Matt_k!!!

By Beverly, San Jose (Beverly) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 07:59 pm:

ug! me change um subject!!!
It is Cheryl Rosman's birthday today, and I would like to wish her a very Happy Birthday.

By Happy to be in the U.P. (Lahelo) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 09:00 pm:

Happy Birthday Cheryl!
Thank you for changing the subject!! Everybody is long winded today! Wow! Hope everyone had a great day. It was gorgeous in the U.P.!

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 09:48 pm:

Happy Birthday, Cotton!

By John Preisler (Jpreisler) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 10:42 pm:

...and here I thought the entire Keweenaw Peninsula was still on a party line...

I've been known to use the one payphone by the Copper Harbor docks (not the marina, but where the Isle Queen hails) and sit on the cinderblock whilst I try and tell the outside world that I'm still alive


By Michael Du Long (Mikie) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 11:36 pm:

Happy birthday Cheryl, let me see you were born when I was about 21 right? Hope you had a good day today cuz.

By Marianne Y (Marianne) on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 - 11:42 pm:

Happy Birthday, Cotton! I'm sorry it's a little bit late, but at least it's still the right date. :-) I hope you had a good day, and that you have a good year!

By Dennis Harju (Upsuomi) on Wednesday, November 14, 2007 - 10:43 am:

The day of the party line service is past. No more neighbors listening in on your conversations. Now Ma Bell provides everyone a private line. The DSL speeds are increasing every year. I live 18,000 ft from my Phone company's office and I can reach speeds of up to 7 Mbps on copper( maybe mined in the UP). As fiber optic cable replaces the F-1 copper to our neighborhoods those speed are due to increase to whatever we are willing to pay. All on a private line.
Can the cable company's say the same? Arn't they really a party line? Everyone on the same coax cable! What happens to the high speeds when everyone gets online at the same time? Remember those neighbors who used to listen in on the old party line.
Also remember the Bay area quakes in the 80's! The power was out everywhere but the phones still worked! I hate to imagine what the future would be like without those old land lines. Bell labs has already disappeared and with it we have lost a national treasure.
I am happy the local phone company is doing what it can to provide access to the WWW.

By John Preisler (Jpreisler) on Wednesday, November 14, 2007 - 10:57 am:

Yes, I'm aware that they do. The rest of us pay for it. It is a line item the phone bill called the "Universal Access Fee"

I was being facetious. I guess the one smiley wasn't enough :) :) :) :)

By WishingIWasInDaUP (Sur5er) on Wednesday, November 14, 2007 - 02:29 pm:

Happy, Happy, belated birthday Cheryl. Hanging my head in shame that I overlooked your birthday. Hope you have a wonderful day!



By william r linn (Mrbill3oaks) on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 - 06:22 am:

That phone booth is outside of Settler's Co-op in Bruce Crossing. I have used several times over the years while in the area hunting. Wish I was there now.

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