Google Leaves Phoenix

It was a big deal when Google opened an office in Phoenix in 2006. I remember a lot of competition between the various cities in the Phoenix metro area to get Google to open an office and it eventually went into the Phoenix downtown area. I thought there was some attempt to get Google to open it in Albuquerque but I can’t find any links to that.

Today, Google announced that they can’t get their engineering act together so they are closing the office down altogether.

We opened our Phoenix office in 2006 and hoped that it would develop to support many of our internal engineering projects, the systems that make Google, well, Google. But we’ve found that despite everyone’s best efforts, the projects our engineers have been working on in Arizona have been, and remain, highly fragmented. So after a lot of soul searching we have decided to incorporate work on these projects into teams elsewhere at Google. We will therefore be closing our Arizona office on November 21, 2008.

Araneus Gemmoides Or The Cat Faced Spider

Araneus Gemmoides - cat faced spider

A few weeks ago I walked through my friends porch and destroyed this large round spider web. Later that night the creator of the web came out and we found it was a beautiful large orange spider that we have never seen before.

I have since discovered that it’s a Araneus Gemmoides also called a Monkey-face, Cat-face or Jewel Spider. The Royal Albert Museum has the best description of them:

As previously mentioned, this spider has adapted to building its webs on or near houses. It is therefore most often found in urban centres, although farm houses will often have a population. These spiders thrive when the web is built near a light. When the light is turned on at night, it attracts a large number of insects that become potential food for the spider. In this situation the spider may have an abundance of food and may get all it needs in the early part of the night. As a result the web is often in tatters by morning. The spider will rest during the day in a retreat, often under the eaves, and only come out to repair or replace the web in the evening.

This is exactly where this spider sits, under a porch near the porch light. It comes out at night and sits in the middle of it’s web. Some might see this large creature and want to destroy it but we will be very careful not to disturb it.

Phoenix's Movie Style Dust Storm


I arrived in Phoenix on Friday night and just missed the huge dust storm that came through the city. It looks like something from a movie, the movie Stargate had a similar scene. We don’t get walls of dust like this in Albuquerque instead we get days of blowing dust.

Unfortunately I cannot find a way to embed their videos nor can I find a version on youtube so you will have to click through to their site to see the video.

Val Kilmer For Governor Of New Mexico

Could Val Kilmer be running for Governor?

There’s a rumor beginning to circulate that Val Kilmer wants to run for governor of New Mexico in 2010.

Kilmer was in the news last week when he was supposed to join Ralph Nader in Denver for a rally, alongside Sean Penn. Now calls are being made, cameras are being positioned.

We asked a few D.C. insiders their take on the rumor, and of course they asked to remain anonymous. (What if they want him as a client someday?)

Val Kilmer use to own the Pecos River Ranch in northern New Mexico and has lived in the state for 20 years. Thanks New Mexico FBIHOP.

Before Val Kilmer does anything, he better make the sequel to Real Genius.