doc prescribes cure for Charter Internet ills

By Jim Stanford on February 16, 2014

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Earlier this week my Internet service was bogging so badly that it felt like dial-up, or worse. Unable to get any work done, and tired of waiting on hold, I posted a complaint on Charter Communications’ Facebook page. While the company did nothing, a friend happened to spot the post and offered a solution.

For anyone not in our circles still having trouble with Charter (née Optimum, née Bresnan) Internet, the problem is with the company’s domain name servers, or DNS. I’ll let the friend explain:

These are servers that translate (or “resolve”) a domain name like google.com into an Internet address like 123.456.789.123. It is like a phone book for the Internet. Charter/Optimum/Bresnan has used their own DNS servers for years. Something went badly wrong with their recent changeover to Charter and those servers are not working well. When you go to a website like nbc.com, you may actually need to “resolve” more than a hundred domain names in order to display that page. Every ad, every video, every link on the page may use a different domain name. A properly functioning DNS server can do that in milliseconds. But Charter’s DNS servers were taking a LONG time (up to 20-30 seconds) to resolve the domain names.

Here is the prescription (for Mac users): Go to System Preferences > Network > Advanced > DNS > click + and type 8.8.8.8 or 8.8.4.4 into the window. Those are Google’s servers. If using a wireless network, you also can change these settings on your router (Airport Utility for Mac users).

For those not wanting to use Google, other options are 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220 from Open DNS.

Many thanks to Jim Little Jr. for his assistance. By spreading the word so widely, it was like the St. John’s Hospital physician had inoculated half of Jackson from a measles outbreak.

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Nora’s switches to good coffee

By Jim Stanford on January 17, 2014

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Nora’s is creating a bigger buzz.

In one of the most noteworthy developments to occur in Wilson in years, Nora’s Fish Creek Inn has begun serving customers a real cup of coffee.

The landmark eatery switched this week from its longstanding brand, Farmer Brothers, to the local java by Snake River Roasting Co.

Given the refined palates of West Bankers, I’ve often wondered why Nora’s stuck with Farmer Bros. for so long. While sampling a cup of the new coffee with a plate of huevos Thursday, I asked owner Kathryn Tygum Taylor if people ever complained.

“They’ve been complaining about it for 32 years,” she said.

The family-run, James Beard Award-winning restaurant is serving Kirby’s First Tram, a flavor named for ski patrolman Kirby Williams, but Tygum said she plans to experiment and come up with her own blend.

Wilsonites are advised to watch out for Denny Emory, a Nora’s regular who because of the switch is at risk of being overcaffeinated.

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Shades Cafe to close

By Jenni Lake on December 11, 2013

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Located in a cozy, historic cabin on King Street, Shades is known for its warm atmosphere, shaded deck and dishes like eggs tomavo.

Another sad evolution for the town of Jackson: The iconic Shades Cafe will be closing its doors at the end of December.

Owner Lisa Miller said the cafe has been losing money for about two years, and neither she nor other investors have the resources to continue putting money into the business. Competition from big chains like Starbucks and other coffee shops with deeper pockets has impacted Shades’ business.

An emotional Miller said the loss of Shades might serve as an example to people in town that it does matter where you spend your money — even if it’s just for a cup of coffee and muffin.

Jim Mitchell opened the cafe in 1986. Miller worked for him, then bought the cafe in 1992 and has run it as a family business. Customers nearly always see Miller or her daughter, Abbie, at the counter, and the duo also makes the cafe’s signature baked goods like wheat bran muffins and gourmet coffee cakes.

Shades was the first cafe to start serving espresso in town.

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Jackson Hole to offer day of free skiing

By Jim Stanford on November 26, 2013

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Tram worker Mark Hannon captured this image on Oct. 29, when Jackson Hole Mountain Resort already was looking pretty wintry. Click to enlarge.

After sweeping up accolades from national publications, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort will give back to the community with a Free Ski Day on Friday.

Yes, free skiing and snowboarding at the Teton Village resort.

Teewinot, Apres Vous, Casper and Marmot chairs will be running. Guests are asked to make a donation of $1 or more, which will be given to Teton Adaptive Sports and Friends of Pathways. The resort will match donations up to $5,000.

The START bus will run to the village for free, parking in the Ranch Lot is free, there will be free clinics for adults and kids, and various eateries will offer $1 food and beverages. Jackson Hole Sports will wax boards for $1.

The promotion hearkens back to the time, as late as the 1990s, when the resort used to offer a nonprofit benefit day at the start of each season.

Enjoy the free amenities while you can. The price of a single-day lift ticket will be as high as $117 this winter.

(Photo via JHMR)

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classic Barker-Ewing logo revived

By Jim Stanford on August 13, 2013

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Vintage cap from Dick Barker’s collection. With help from Rachel Stevens and Dedicate, we have managed to replicate the artwork and bring it back to life.

How cool were scenic rafting trips in the late 1970s and early ’80s?

Wayyy cool.

And they still are — when floating the Snake in Grand Teton National Park.

After the passing of co-founder Dick Barker last summer, his family unearthed a few gems while cleaning out some 50 years of rafting memorabilia in his office. Among the salvaged treasures were a pair of caps bearing the above logo.

The graphic is so eye catching that it begged to be brought back. And thanks to the help of designer Rachel Stevens and Dedicate hatmaker Tommie Williams, the crew at Barker-Ewing Scenic Trips in Moose has done just that.

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