Come see the new Mifflin County Wireless offices for yourself!
A few weeks ago, Mifflin County Wireless and GBTCloud moved to their new home in downtown Lewistown. These two businesses share resources under one roof and can now be found at 101 East Market Street in Lewistown.
They welcome the public to stop in to say hello for a ribbon-cutting and open house on Friday, December 3rd during the Festival of Ice and First Friday in Downtown Lewistown. The ribbon-cutting will be at 5:30 pm, followed by an open house until 7:00 pm. There will be pretzel dogs, soft pretzels, and whoopie pies from The Square Cafe & Bakery and milk and hot chocolate from The Reedsville Creamery. Attendees will also have the opportunity to win a Google Nest IQ Wi-Fi camera.
For more information visit...
Last week I took a 330+ mile journey on two wheels biking from Pittsburgh, PA to Washington, DC, with my longtime friend, which oversees the day-to-day operations at One-Stop Communications. Not only did we have a great time completing this adventure together, but I feel it strengthened our personal and professional relationship. Everyone needs a break from the daily grind. We returned renewed and ready to tackle the world again!
Today David Fisher and I started a seven day 330+ mile journey on two wheels from Pittsburgh to Washington DC traveling the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Towpath. We started at Point State Park in Pittsburgh and covered over 60 miles to Connellsville. I've been looking forward to this trip for months. I'm thrilled Dave could join me for this adventure. We have been friends since high school and have worked together for over 26 years
Today was a short 30+ mile ride from Connellsville to Confluence. We welcomed the short ride for a little break and to take in the scenery between these two towns leading right through the Ohiopyle State Park. Plus, we had to wait for some nasty thunderstorms to roll through the area this morning before hitting the trail. We are by no means roughing it at night. Tonight we are staying at the Hanna House Bed & Breakfast located on a 100-acre working farm. This farmhouse was built in 1872 and has retained much of its architectural integrity.
We reached the end of the Great Allegheny Passage today after covering over 60 miles from Confluence, PA to Cumberland, MD. At 2,392 feet above sea level, we crossed the Eastern Continental Divide and finally started to descend downhill for the first time, which made for some easy pedaling for the second half of the day. The terrain and scenery is starting to transform and we look forward to starting the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Trail tomorrow.
Day 4 -- Today, our travels started on the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal towpath trail which will end in Washington DC. We covered 43+ miles in Maryland from Cumberland to Little Orleans. The terrain on the towpath is much more level compared to the last few days on the old railroad beds of the Great Allegheny Passage, except for a section of the towpath that was closed due to landslides at the end of the Paw Paw Tunnel. The detour for this closure is over the mountain which the tunnel cuts through.
Most of the day was spent on the towpath sandwiched between the Potomac River and the remnants of the once-thriving C&O Canal. It amazes me the amount of work that would have gone into designing and building this canal. It is hard to imagine what it must have been like in the heyday of its operation.
This morning, we woke up at the Town Hill B&B located on the top of the mountain above Little Orleans, MD. Not only was the sunrise incredible overlooking the valley from there, but they served one fantastic breakfast. I would go back to this place just to eat breakfast again!
We traveled 43+ miles to Williamsport, MD and the hardest part was not stopping every mile or so to take in the scenery. The weather has been perfect making this trek so enjoyable. Parts of the C&O Canal towpath take you right up to the edge of the Potomac River and there are plenty of areas worth stopping to explore.
This was our last day on C&O Canal Towpath. Our original plan was to cross the Potomac River into Leesburg using Whites Ferry to spend the night and then use the ferry to return to the trail the next day. Unfortunately, this ferry has suspended service. We made it to Leesburg, but to keep from backtracking we will follow the Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) Railroad trail into Washington DC.
Our last 43+ miles on the C&O did not disappoint. Dam 4 was built in 1856 that created a pool reaching 13 miles upriver. Because of the rocky cliffs that reached down to the water's edge, canal boats entered the river, and the towpath was cut into the rocks, making for a spectacular trail to bike today.
Mile marker 0 of the C&O Canal in Georgetown ended our two-wheel journey from Pittsburgh to Washington DC yesterday afternoon. What an incredible way to explore this part of our country. The last leg was a short urban crawl covering just a little over 43 miles. After spending several days in some pretty remote areas, it was definitely a change pedaling into DC. We saw more people yesterday morning than we have seen in a week.
There was a sense of excitement completing this trip and making it to the end followed by sadness that it was over. Looking back it felt like it only lasted a few days. The best part was the unique experience of exploring a new part of the trails each day. It sure was good to get back home last night with my family and sleep in my own bed!
Incredible colors in the sky!
I couldn't resist the urge to fly the drone and take a few photos last night on a quick run to take care of recyclables. The colors in the sky looked incredible!
Direct Lightning Strike
I am grateful for those that worked last night and this morning to complete repairs as needed! I love watching lightning storms, but they make me cringe when it comes to electronics. It is clear the tower in McVeytown took a direct hit last night. The light at the top of the tower was blown to pieces, and it fried the equipment for multiple service providers. It is not easy fixing equipment 300 feet off the ground. Fortunately, we get to work with some pretty incredible people!
Valley View Retirement Community
I've had the pleasure of working with Valley View on several different projects over the years. Plus, several family members and people I care about have either lived there or used their services.
This organization is well run by some exceptional people. We are fortunate to have them in Big Valley!
Highlighting Mifflin County
A few weeks ago, my son and I started taking drone photos and videos highlighting Mifflin County and local businesses.
Not only are we having a blast doing this, but capturing our community from a different perspective is a great reminder of how special the area, businesses, and people are!
You can find some of these photos and videos at www.onestop.biz/news or www.facebook.com/onestopcomm. And, there is more to come!
You will find many different things in this video and post that I am passionate about!
I would like to thank Cody Wian and his team at Mifflin County Wireless and GBT Cloud for jumping in to make this project happen. Being involved and supporting the local community and events should be part of every business model. This is just one way to make the communities we call home better!
The views after a storm...
When you are involved with an internet service provider you never want to see an outage for your customers. Unfortunately, mother nature can cause issues pretty darn quick that are totally unexpected.
I feel fortunate to be working with Cody Wian at Mifflin County Wireless. He understands the importance of addressing the unexpected promptly to minimize the impact of any service outage for everyone that uses our internet.
Last night the two of us ended up on Jacks Mountain making a repair to the Belleville tower to restore service. I would prefer to avoid these outages altogether, but it sure was beautiful up there last evening after the storms cleared out!
One of the projects keeping me busy this year, but I must admit there are those working much harder than me to make this happen. Seeing this partnership come together and the expansion of internet service in Mifflin County has been incredible! I am grateful for all those working behind the scenes to make this happen! -Mike
High-Speed Internet Expansion for Mifflin County
The year 2021 has been a busy one for tower crews in Mifflin County. Mifflin County Wireless and One-Stop Communications partnered earlier this year, and since then, they have more than tripled the areas in the county that have access to high-speed internet.
This week, a new tower was commissioned on top of Jacks Mountain, overlooking Belleville and Ferguson Valley and providing high-speed internet to many homes and businesses that previously did not have access to reliable internet service.
This will make the sixth new tower that was brought into operation this year. With the new tower on Jacks Mountain, Mifflin County Wireless now has eight towers servicing the county with reliable high-speed internet, and a ninth tower is currently under construction in Decatur Township.
Towers currently in operation are located in Belleville, Havice Valley, Lewistown North, Lewistown South, McClure, McVeytown East, McVeytown West, and Reedsville. Service from Mifflin County Wireless uses a fixed wireless technology which requires a clear line of sight to one of their towers. If you can see one of their towers from your home or business, your location has access to reliable high-speed internet service. For a map of the tower locations, visit https://www.onestop.biz/mifflin-county-wireless.html.
Mifflin County Wireless was born out of the need for high-speed internet in areas where traditional internet providers do not offer service, providing users with an affordable alternative. They have been on a mission to expand coverage throughout the area, giving their customers access to fast, reliable, and affordable internet with unlimited plans starting at $40 per month.
One-Stop Communications is assisting Mifflin County Wireless with installation, sales, and network expansion support to increase the number of homes and businesses in the area that can access their high-speed internet. “It is exciting to be involved with the expansion of Mifflin County Wireless and helping our communities gain access to better internet,” says Michael Buffington, President of One-Stop Communications. "We continue to explore ways help even more people stay connected to the world."
“We are excited to launch another expansion in Mifflin County,” says Cody Wian, President of Mifflin County Wireless. “Our focus is to provide reliable and affordable high-speed internet access throughout the area. Our newest Belleville tower enables us to do just that in areas that have previously had poor internet. We’ve already put our first customers live on the tower, and we are excited to service many more.”
One-Stop Communications is an award-winning local retailer and service provider that has been delivering central Pennsylvania with personal and business communication products for over 26 years. Originally founded to bring wireless and satellite services to the area, One-Stop continues adapting to current consumer and technology demands to help others stay connected to the world and to provide exceptional service. www.onestop.biz
Mifflin County Wireless is a local fixed wireless Internet Service Provider (ISP). Founded in 2020, their network has been rapidly expanding in Mifflin County, and they serve their customers with a local, friendly approach. Their internet service requires installing a small antenna on your home or business and running an ethernet cable into your home to a power supply and wireless router. Customers of Mifflin County Wireless are able to choose affordable unlimited plans starting at $40 per month. They are locally owned and operated. In many cases, they are able to work with customers, neighbors, and landowners to find solutions to provide many communities with high-speed internet, communities that have previously been unserviceable. www.mifflincountywireless.com
What happens when two businesses and their founders have similar missions to help keep the world connected and create value for others? They partner to work together!
Mifflin County Wireless and One-Stop Communications Partner to Bring High-Speed Internet to Mifflin County
Two local companies have come together to provide Mifflin County residents and businesses with a new high-speed internet solution. A partnership has been created between Mifflin County Wireless and One-Stop Communications to expand access to fixed high-speed internet in the area.
Mifflin County Wireless was born out of the need for high-speed internet in areas where traditional internet providers do not offer service providing users with an affordable alternative. They have been on a mission to expand coverage throughout the area, giving their customers access to fast, reliable, and affordable internet with unlimited plans starting at $40 per month.
Under the new partnership, One-Stop Communications will be assisting Mifflin County Wireless with installation, sales, and network expansion support to increase the number of homes and businesses in the area that can access their high-speed internet. “We are extremely excited about helping our communities gain access to fast broadband internet,” says Michael Buffington, President of One-Stop Communications. "So many parts of our county currently don't have access to reliable and affordable internet when it is needed more than ever. Our partnership with Mifflin County Wireless was a natural fit, and we look forward to growing with them."
“We are very excited to work with Mike and everyone from One-Stop Communications,” says Cody Wian, owner of Mifflin County Wireless. “We wanted to partner with someone just as excited about this adventure as we are, and we believe we found that with them. We are here to help the people of Mifflin County be able to afford reliable high-speed internet. It's something this county has needed for a long time.”
One-Stop Communications is an award-winning local retailer and service provider that has been delivering central Pennsylvania with personal and business communication products for over 26 years. Originally founded to bring wireless and satellite services to the area, One-Stop adapts to current consumer and technology demands to help others stay connected to the world and to provide exceptional service. www.onestop.biz
Mifflin County Wireless is a local fixed wireless Internet Service Provider (ISP). Founded in 2020, their network has been rapidly expanding in Mifflin County, and they serve their customers with a local and friendly approach. Their internet service requires installing a small antenna on your home or business and running an ethernet cable into your home to a power supply and wireless router. Customers of Mifflin County Wireless are able to choose affordable packages that provide up to 100 Mbps download speeds in most areas. They are locally owned and operated. In many cases they are able to work with customers, neighbors, and landowners to find solutions to provide many communities with high-speed internet that have previously been unserviceable. www.mifflincountywireless.com
Change is the one constant
After more than 26 years, there is one thing I know for sure about managing a business: it is going to change. Change is the one constant that I have come to accept and embrace in order to survive and thrive. I have realized that the best opportunities and successes have almost always come after some major change in any business or organization I am involved with.
At the end of last year, I was faced with a major change for One-Stop Communications once again, and we have decided to step away from the wireless phone industry. All of our Cricket Wireless stores were acquired by Gryllidae Wireless. For various reasons, this transition happened extremely fast and was something that hit me with mixed emotions. Anyone who knows me well knows the wireless phone business is almost part of my DNA.
One of the hardest aspects of this shift was telling the staff from all our wireless stores that there would be a change in ownership and that I would no longer be involved in the day-to-day operations of these locations. Over the last five years, our stores attracted some of the best people I have ever worked with. I will miss them, and I thank them for everything they have done!
It was also extremely difficult to leave the Cricket Wireless family as an authorized retailer. Many of the people I worked with at Cricket Wireless became friends, and I will miss interacting with them on a regular basis. The people involved with this company understand the importance of creating value in the market and supporting their retailers. It was truly an honor being involved with the growth of this company.
I am very grateful to all my friends and family who decided to join us as Cricket customers. Without you, this journey wouldn't have been possible. Even though I will no longer be involved with the everyday operations in the wireless phone world, I am happy to help in any way I can, and I will continue to support the growth of our former stores.
In Lewistown, Gryllidae Wireless will continue operating their Cricket Wireless store under the same roof as One-Stop Communications for now. We are happy to continue this co-location agreement with them until arrangements can be made to separate our operations.
Many ask what I am going to do with all my free time now, but truth be told, not much has changed. One...our wireless stores ran without me, and this is due to all the great people in the stores making them tick. They will continue doing what they do best. Two...this is by no means the end of One-Stop Communications. Our company is still going strong with all the other products and services we offer. Plus, we have some new stuff in the works that we are extremely excited about.
Fortunately, I have no shortage of things to do. Not only are there plenty of activities going on at One-Stop, but I also have several other projects that continue to build momentum and have been keeping me busy.
I will cherish the relationships and experiences from the last five-year journey in the wireless phone business!
Leaving Tracks in Two States
It has been over a month since I've had a chance to ride my bike. Today's adventure crossed a state line leaving tracks in North Carolina and Virginia. I definitely plan to bike some more at False Cape State Park in Virginia.
We will miss you, Captain!
John Kirk II started working at One-Stop Communications almost 15 years ago. To be honest, I had my reservations about how long he would last at our company when we hired him, but it quickly became apparent he had a special gift that does not always come easy for others. When you walked in the door of our store, he had a unique way to make you feel welcomed and comfortable that just came naturally to him, even when life was throwing him curveballs.
It also became apparent that not only did Kirk have a unique way of dealing with customers, but he also found a special place in my heart. Like all of us, he would make mistakes, but he had no problem owning up to them and taking responsibility. I trusted him and would often seek out his help taking care of unusual situations that needed a little extra attention. I always knew he would make every effort to help our customers.
Over the years, Kirk became a friend and mentor to many of the new hires at our Lewistown store. With his ability to make others comfortable, solve problems and create value, he was always one of our top-performing sales reps, but he had no problem sharing his formula with others. When I would see him teaching others what it took to be successful in our stores, it only reinforced he had a heart of gold. It was clear he wanted everyone around him to succeed.
If you visited our Lewistown Cricket store over the last five years, you most likely had the pleasure of working and laughing with John Kirk. Our hearts are heavy, and we are at a loss for words with his passing. He will be missed, and there will be a void that will be impossible to fill without his presence.
Kirk loved riding motorcycles, especially with his dad, who had passed away years ago, and he missed every day. Today I am positive he is on his motorcycle riding around with his dad making others smile and laugh.
We will miss you, Captain!
This photo represents the end of 2020 for me in so many different ways!
Sometimes we get to pick which direction we go, and other times we may be forced in a direction that was not planned. Either way, I am determined to enjoy the journey and find beauty and opportunity no matter what direction I end up going.
Usually, I find the unknown paths lead to some of the most rewarding destinations.
For the last couple of weeks, I have been decompressing from the world. After having an unusual and somewhat hectic end to 2020, I must admit I was ready for a change of pace.
I have limited my social and mainstream media intake to focus on enjoying time with my family, spending time outside, reflecting on the year, and planning for the future.
I wish all my friends and family success, happiness, and joy in 2021!
Greenwood Furnace State Park
Happy Belated Thanksgiving!
This year has been one crazy year, and I certainly wish some things were different. Although the craziness of 2020 has only made me more thankful and grateful for everyone in my life, even if I haven't been able to see or spend much time with you.
I am incredibly grateful for the additional time I have spent with my wife and son. These two have been there to entertain and take care of me as life went into hyper gear dealing with everything in the outside world.
Everyone I work with regularly has been extraordinary. We have and continue to battle uncertainty every day. This year, every week seems to create new challenges, and those around me continue to step up and tackle those challenges as a way of life.
My friends and family have been there even when we haven't spent time together as usual. There has been no shortage of support and willingness to help when needed.
As I reflect on the year, I feel extremely fortunate, even as difficult as some things have been. In the end, I am most grateful for everyone that touches my life in some way. For those I haven't seen much of this year, please know I miss you, and once things slow down and this pandemic is over, I look forward to spending time with you!
Happy Veterans Day, and thank you to all those who have served and those who continue to serve!
Happy Veterans Day, and thank you to all those who have served and those who continue to serve! I am grateful for your service!
Did you know the monument in downtown Lewistown, PA was rededicated in 1969 to become a memorial to all service people from Mifflin County who fought and died for the country?
Want to learn more about Monument Square? Check out www.monumentsquarecenter.com/square.html
The only stone ever removed from Lincoln’s tomb can be found at the base of this monument.
It always looks a little different
100 Years Old Today
Fall Colors of Central Pennsylvania.
Since I was a kid, I have always been fascinated and curious about anything that flies. Everything from birds, planes, helicopters, kites, rockets, butterflies, you name it...if it is in the air, I will stop and look at it.
If I hear a plane, I will stop and look up. My office sits near a helipad, and as soon as I hear the distinct sound of a helicopter, I stop whatever I am doing to watch it come or go. Birds soaring high in the sky can distract me just about anytime or anywhere.
I love being a pilot, and the feeling you get every time the wheels of the plane leave the ground. Being in a hot air balloon floating above the ground is peaceful to me. It is fun to dangle your legs in the air when parasailing. Skydiving out of an airplane is exhilarating to me!
Flying a kite makes me feel like a kid. Throwing a frisbee is relaxing. Flying a model plane or helicopter brings me joy. I am excited to launch model rockets.
What are you fascinated and curious about?
-- WARNING --
Most of these blog posts have not been edited or proofread by an editor. You may find words misspelled, improper grammar, and incorrect punctuation. Sometimes the words may not even make sense. When I post something here, I am merely expressing my feelings. If you don't know my story, you must know I have a learning disability, and I don't always see and hear words the same as most.