I'm In A Cell Phone Signal Black Hole

AT& T Coverage Map

Well, I’m close to being in a black hole. I checked out AT&T’s coverage map for my house (which I blurred to protect my privacy) and you can see that just around my house, the signal strength is “moderate”. Which to me means almost none since moderate is the highest level just above No Coverage. I can’t even get my K750i to roam on Cingular/AT&T’s network.

Even T-Mobile’s coverage map shows less than optimal coverage at my house.

Boo Who. No iPhone for me till this is better. At least I have Transformers to look forward to.

Good To Be Back Home

Haven’t been in the blogging mode the last several weeks. My company sent me to Arizona for an assignment, which pretty much sucked

Normally I would have jumped at a chance to go to Arizona for free. But its hot and miserable in Arizona this time of year. Then I caught a cold and was sick for the first two weeks. How does someone catch a cold in 100+ heat? Someone broke into my rental car. Thankfully it wasn’t my own car and I didn’t leave anything in the car. It was still a hassle and lost most of a day dealing with it

Anyway it’s good to be back home.

80 Year Contract Over At Carslbad Caverns

IMG_3148

The company that has supplied concession services at Carlsbad Caverns National Park for nearly 80 years has lost the contract. Cavern Supply Co. will be replaced next year by Carlsbad Cavern Trading, owned by Santa Fe-based businessman Armand Ortega, to supply food, drinks, retail, kennel and vending services at the park. The new vendor was chosen after competitive bids, said Michael Snyder, National Park Service Intermountain regional director. Five companies bid. Carlsbad Cavern Trading will begin operations once a project to renovate the park’s visitor center is completed, expected next March. Cavern Supply president Frank Hodnett said it was a shock when the National Park Service chose another vendor. His Carlsbad company was specifically incorporated in 1927 to provide concession services at the park, he said. “We have no other business except the concession,” Hodnett said. “There is a very good possibility that we will close, but at this time, I can’t say for sure.” Cavern Supply sold its first meal in the cavern’s famed underground lunch room in 1927 and opened a surface restaurant the next year.

National Park Service is trying to choose service contracts based on merit and not senority. A good thing in my opinion.

I was at carlsbad caverns several years ago (pre digital cameras). The food was pre prepared sandwiches that came in boxes. The boxes looked like they were from 1927.

The Evil Plague Of Summertime Insects

camel cricket

Last year it started with spiders. Big scarry looking spiders. All harmless. Then I had Scorpions. 7 to be exact. I had big gaping holes between the door jamb and wall leading out to the garage. I filled those gaps with expanding foam. I also weather sealed the front door. I’ve had no further problems spiders or scorpions since then, but that was near the end of summer.

This summer I’ve only had a few spiders, nothing like last year and so far no scorpions. But I have had crickets and crickets and more crickets. My weapon of choice is the Dyson. For several nights in a row, I vacuumed up around 6 crickets at a time.

The thing about crickets, they seem to hang out where they came into the house. I was finding most of them coming from one area of the living room. After a few days, I started looking around and found a big crack between the fireplace and the wall. There were even crickets in it. I filled all the cracks around the fire place with expanding foam. This has blocked off the main cricket highway.

Now I’m finding a few in the hallway. I’m finding at least two a night under the refrigerator. The other thing about crickets is the male makes the chirping noise to attract the female. Whenever a male is chirping, there’s almost always a female nearby.

The Grass Is Always Browner, Los Almos Labs Pending Lay offs

los alamos, national laboratories

Though I don’t like writing about where I work on my blog, I will mention that I work at Intel in Rio Rancho. I am part of that group (my department specifically) that could be laid off. It’s bad times right now and the worse is yet to come. Then, I read what’s going on in Los Alamos. The national lab town north of Albuquerque and are reminded how much worse it could be.

The Los Alamos Labs are probably going to be having their own lay offs of a similar size to Intels. Yes they have a much smaller town and it will be difficult for them to absorb all the out of work people. This article in the Los Alamos Monitor highlights several issue with the new management that makes is sound even more bleak.

“LANS management isn’t vested in local community/most live elsewhere”; “they aren’t seen in local stores or restaurants”; “too many Bechtel employees brought in – leaving LANL employees without enough work”; “an ever-looming threat of layoffs is killing local business”; “LANS officials have bloated salaries;” “management arrogance”; “LANS is sucking the community dry”; and “it’s all about profits now.”

This is via the Los Alamos Blog (with a freaking long name) which also has this disclaimer

To put this story into a bit of perspective, the Los Alamos Monitor is the local company town rag. The editor of the paper, Ralph Damiani has traditionally been a complete toady when it came to publishing stories that even hinted at a point of view less than totally complementary towards LANL. He would spike any story that did not deliver glowing positive things to say about LANL and its management. That fact that this story ran is an indication of how complete the unhappiness with LANS is at Los Alamos.

Yay! Indiana Jones Picture From Indy 4

Harrison Ford as Indy

Picture from Flickr of Harrison Ford in the Indiana Jones 4 movie. It’s being filmed in Deming, New Mexico. From the picture page:

FIrst glimpse of Indy since 1989.

Photo shot on set by Stephen Spielberg. uploaded to flicr for use in a danish langauge blog post 🙂 More info about the shot here: indianajones.com/community/news/news20070621.html