Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

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Upcoming Summer Events

Great Plains Communications was excited to be a part of the Custer County Bull Riding Classic this past Monday in Broken Bow, NE! We loved getting to hand out our new summer t-shirts showing the Forward Thinking design of our recently redesigned website, as well as koozies to keep the drinks cold. You can also watch for us at the following upcoming events:

Saturday, August 5: Street Car Days in Red Cloud, NE

Sunday, August 6: Dodge County Fair in Dodge, NE

Thursday, August 10: Knox County Fair Bull-A-Rama in Bloomfield, NE

Saturday, August 12: Old Settlers Day in Indianola, NE

Friday and Saturday, August 18 & 19: Chase County Fair in Imperial, NE

Saturday, August 26: Friendly Festival in Hay Springs, NE

Saturday, September 23: McCook Heritage Days in McCook, NE

Congrats to Our Shark Week Giveaway Winner!

Help us in congratulating our Shark Week Giveaway winner, Malia Nemecek of Scribner, NE! As part of our cable channel, Discovery’s famous Shark Week, Great Plains Communications decided to join in the fun with our own giveaway. By liking our Facebook page, Facebook post, and commenting their favorite shark, viewers could enter to win a Shark Navigator® Lift-Away® Pro Vacuum.

Malia commented that her favorite shark is the Tiger Shark.

 

Here are some interesting facts from Discovery about some of the top picks:

Great white sharks are picky eaters and can determine after one bite whether or not the meal will satisfy their nutritional needs.

In native Hawaiian mythology, tiger shark eyeballs are considered to have magic powers.

Hammerhead sharks’ oddly shaped heads, called cephalofoils, are equipped with electrical sensors, making them superior hunters.

The goblin shark lives along outer continental shelves and underwater mountain ranges.

 

Again, we would like to congratulate Malia Nemecek and thank everyone who entered our Shark Week Giveaway!

Facebook Tips You Might Have Missed

As you have probably noticed, social media sites are constantly updating with new features and layouts. This can be great, but it can also lead to users missing out on certain features, due to not even knowing they were added. Great Plains Communications wants to highlight a couple Facebook tips to look out for next time you are browsing through your newsfeed.

 

Following a Post

Have you ever come across a post in your newsfeed or swap group, that you want to keep track of? There is no need to comment, “following” or really comment anything at all. All you need to do is go to the small arrow in the top right corner of the post and choose the option “Turn on notifications for this post”. From there, you will get a notification each time somebody comments on the post, or if the original creator changes something. To later turn off notifications for the post, you will follow the same steps, however it will read “Turn off notifications for this post.”

 

Checking Your Apps

We have all taken the quiz to find out what flavor ice cream we are or clicked the article heading that Facebook clearly targeted to our interests. If not that, you have probably logged-in to something and when asked if you wanted to log-in using your Facebook, you were grateful for the convenience. While these types of things are just that, convenient, they can also be risky. By not reading the pop-ups as you click through these posts, you can miss things like allowing them to “access your contacts and information.” This can lead to giving a company or even scammers access to your Facebook page or personal information. To check who you have given access to, you can check your App Settings. To do this, follow the directions below:

 

Go to Settings from the drop-down arrow in the top right.

 

Go to Apps in the column on the left.

 

You will find all the Apps you have given access to. Delete any that are unnecessary or are not familiar.

2017 Shark Week on Discovery


It’s Shark Week on Discovery! The week was kicked-off by Michael Phelps racing a CGI shark, losing by just a couple seconds. From there, the excitement was on. Tonight, you can catch Great White Serial Killer Lives: Sharkopedia Edition at 7 PM as “Researchers try to unravel the mysterious reasons behind great white shark attacks happening in the same place, every two years.” Find the full schedule here on Discovery’s website.

 

Interesting Shark Facts:

  • Sharks’ sightlines span nearly 360 degrees.
  • Over 400 shark species are in the world’s oceans today. They vary in shape, but share similar characteristics.
  • 6 years before Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, Burt Reynolds starred in Shark. Real sharks were used in filming, and a stuntman was killed.
  • Pygmy sharks can make their own light.
  • Sharks can heat their eyes using a special organ next to a muscle in their eye socket, allowing them to continue hunting in frigid waters.

 

Great Plains Communications wants to take part in the Shark Week fun, and to do that we have created a Facebook giveaway! From July 24-July 30, you can go to our Facebook page and find the post with the graphic above. There you will need to like our Facebook page, like the post and comment your favorite shark species to be entered to win a Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Vacuum! The winner will be notified Monday, July 31.

FREE HBO Preview Weekend Starting Tomorrow!

Are you ready for the FREE HBO Package Preview Weekend? This Friday, July 21 through Monday, July 24, 2017 Great Plains Communications will be providing access to chart topping entertainment, such as the second episode of the new Game of Thrones Season 7 and Deadpool.

While the content on the channels are fan favorite shows/movies, we understand that some things may not be suitable for younger members of the household. That’s why Great Plains Communications provides parental controls. This is an easy way to make sure kids aren’t exposed to mature programming, or even the titles. When a program or channel is blocked, the user must enter a 4-digit pin to access the channel. That way, you can still enjoy all programming, but securely.

 

These controls are set up right through your remote and are very easy to configure. Blocks can be set by channel, rating, or even specific show titles. The control is in your hands.

Here are the steps to setting up parental controls:

  • Press the Menu key on your remote
  • Select the Home Icon
  • Select Setup
  • Then select Locks Setup
    • Once you are in the Locks Setup screen, you will be asked to choose a 4-digit pin.
    • Once your pin has been selected, you will be given the following options:
      • TV Rating – Blocking by TV Rating. *Note that you must block every rating you wish to control. This means if you block an R rating, you will also need to block “adult” programming.
      • Movie Rating – This only affects movie channels such as STARZ, Cinemax, and HBO.
      • Channel Locks – This will allow you to block specific channels.
      • Master Lock – Allows you to remove locks, bypass a lock, or change your pin.
      • Adult Titles – This removes titles from adult video programs. The guide will only display the words “adult movie.”

 

Just a few steps ensures your family’s safe viewing habits. We do want to point out that your pin is exclusive to you and we do not keep a record of your entry. If you do forget your pin, we can reset your settings, but you would have to reprogram your preferences. We suggest keeping your number in a safe spot so that you don’t forget it.

If you have any additional questions about the parental controls, you can call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Don’t Get Caught in a Scam this Summer

While you may be ready to get away and relax this summer, credit card thieves are still working diligently to create convincing scams. Great Plains Communications wants to be sure that you enjoy your vacation to the fullest, without having to worry about scammers.

Pop-Ups

As you search through a multitude of websites, mapping out the best vacation for your family, beware of pop-ups. Some may look like they are from a recognizable source, with statements such as “Update Flash Player” or “Your AppleCare® needs updating” and “Call the number below.” DO NOT call a phone number on any pop-up. Be wary of any tech support unexpectedly contacting you, as many scammers will try to offer a “free security scan” – attempting to gain access to your computer by convincing you it is infected. If you are worried about the software on your computer, contact the company directly by opening a new window and going to their technical support. This way you will truly know you are speaking to someone from the company.

Email Scams

You have booked the hotels, picked your excursions, and now you wait for the confirmation emails. Your inbox feels overloaded with the price quotes that didn’t make the trip and hotels without a pool. This is the time to be extra careful when clicking through emails. We have included five steps to avoid taking the bait of a phishing scam, below.

Game of Thrones Watch Party Recipes

This Sunday marks the premiere of Season 7 of the hit HBO series, Game of Thrones. With much anticipation from many of our employees, Great Plains Communications has found some inspired recipes from our cable channel, Food Network to help you celebrate this weekend.

“A leg of lamb would be nice…Perhaps a dish of peas and onions, some fresh baked bread with butter, and a flagon of mulled wine to wash it down. Or beer, if that’s easier. I try not to be overly particular.” – Tyrion Lannister, Game of Thrones.

 

Appetizer: Roasted Grapes with Ginger and Moscato

What better to accent your cheese board, than the sweet and earthy notes of these herb kissed roasted grapes. Find the recipe here.

 

Entrée: Braised Lamb Shank

Don’t stress if you can’t find a lamb shank at your local grocery store, pork shoulder or chuck roast would break down just as well in this beautiful braise. You will still get the hearty taste of the meat which would pair very well with accompanied potatoes to make a meal fit for cold nights at Castle Black.

 

Side Dish: Buttered Peas and Pearl Onions

Just as Tyrion Lannister said, a dish of peas and onions would go quite well with a hearty meat entrée. Find the recipe here.

 

Dessert: Lemon Blossoms – Inspired by Sansa’s Lemon Cakes

“Sansa was so stuffed that she could not manage more than two little lemon cakes, as much as she loved them.” – Game of Thrones Find the recipe here.

 

Cocktail: Bonfire

Winter is here, so make a bonfire. This refreshing drink combines the light notes of lime and mezcal (similar to tequila) with the warm flavors of the cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the froth of the egg white and this drink will have you watching for White Walkers. Find the full recipe here.

 

If you would like to sign up for the HBO package, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Newest Survey Winners!

Help us in congratulating our newest quarterly survey winners, Jeremy Cleveland of Wisner, NE, Greg and Elaine Worthing of Venango, NE, and Elizabeth Elliott of Arnold, NE!

Jeremy Cleveland of Wisner, NE receives his $100 Visa gift card from Great Plains Communications Broadband Technician, Layne Matthes.

The survey provides feedback on how customers feel about Great Plains Communications products and services. This information is helpful to track how technology is advancing the communities we serve and provides information to help strengthen our business as a whole.

Greg and Elaine Worthing of Venango, NE receive their $100 Visa gift card from Great Plains Communications Broadband Technician, Brandon Wood.

We are always eager to get better insights from our customers and we know having as many responses as possible helps with this goal. We also understand that our survey takes time, so we created a coinciding drawing to thank our participating customers. As you can see in the pictures, our winners, Jeremy, Greg and Elaine, and Elizabeth received $100 gift cards.

Elizabeth Elliott of Arnold, NE receives her $100 Visa gift card from Great Plains Communications Broadband Technicians, Josh Flint and Mitch Geiser.

We always want to hear unbiased feedback, so it doesn’t matter how someone rates us, it just matters that they complete the survey. So be on the lookout for your chance to win a great prize!

2017 Fourth of July Safety Tips

Soon picnic baskets and coolers will be overflowing, colorful smoke bombs will be used as bug repellent and family gatherings will be color-coded with the red, white and blue. Fourth of July weekend is a time to celebrate the United States of America with family and friends through good food, fireworks and sunshine. While there is much fun to be had, the holiday weekend comes with some risk of harm and Great Plains Communications has a few tips to keep in mind so that everyone can enjoy a happy and safe time.

 

Keep Child Use of Fireworks Supervised at All Times

Fireworks come in all shapes, sizes, and power levels. They also come with different degrees of injury potential. This is why adult fireworks are not safe when handled by children. One way to help supervise the situation is to keep child appropriate fireworks in a separate place from any that could cause them harm, and always have a supervising adult present when any kind of fireworks are nearby.

 

Use Alcohol Responsibly

Alcohol is often a factor in many Fourth of July festivities, and can be a dangerous combination with fireworks. Use cautiously and be sure to have a designated driver to bring partygoers home after the event ends.

 

Be Cautious of Food and Beverages Being Left Outdoors

Leaving food and some beverages in summer outdoor temperatures can cause food-borne illness. According to the U.S. FDA, you should never leave food out for more than one hour when temperatures reach above 90 F and no more than two hours for lower summer temperatures. Not only dairy and eggs can cause food poisoning, but any food has the potential to become contaminated.

 

Pet Safety

Pets often become scared from fireworks, which could result in them running away, having an accident indoors, or destroying property. Be sure to protect your pets by not taking them to firework displays, not leaving them in a car alone, and keeping them in a safe place indoors.

 

With these tips in mind, Great Plains Communications would like to wish everyone a safe and wonderful holiday weekend!

Fourth of July Recipes with Food Network

The holiday weekend is quickly approaching and what do you think of when you think of celebrating Fourth of July? Fireworks and grilling is what Great Plains Communications thinks of. We have found some of our favorite recipes from Food Network to help get your menu started.

 

Foil-Packed Grilled Chicken Wings

This recipe combines sweet and spicy with the brown sugar, chili powder, and chipotle powder. The foil packets make it easy to create portions for a party and no plates needed with the handy foil packets.

 

Party-Smart Grilling Tips

If you have a lot of people coming over and only one grill to get all the protein cooked, it can take a long time to get everything done and can lead to eating in shifts. Check out these time-saving grilling tips that you can take care of before your guests arrive.

 

Flag Cake

Looking for the perfect patriotic dessert to celebrate the holiday? Ina’s sponge cake is not only delicious with the vanilla cake and buttercream frosting playing off the tartness of the fresh berries, but it is sure to be the centerpiece of your table with the adorable flag design.

 

Watch for our blog on firework safety, Thursday, June 29.

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