A Summer Time Trip Up The Sandia Peak Tram

Albuquerque, like many cites, has a number of attractions that locals consider tourist traps and therefore never go to. I don’t consider the Sandia Peak Tram to be a tourist trap and yet I’ve only rode the tram one other time in my 15 years living here.

The Tram was built in the 1960’s by the Swiss company Bell Engineering. At 14,657 feet long, it is known as the longest tram in the world. During the winter the Tram can be used to for skiing the Sandia Peak Ski area. It’s a convenience when Sandia Peak has good snow, it often does not. The 2009-2010 Ski season had some of the best snow in a decade and I threatened many times to take to Tram for skiing but never did.

During this trip I dined at High Finance Restaurant at the top of the peak. High Finance is not the cheapest restaurant in town, but certainly not the most expensive I’ve ever dined at. Understanding that getting supplies to the top of the mountain is probably more expensive than getting them in town, I have to wonder if the name of the restaurant has anything to do with the cost of the meals. In any case the food was excellent.

The most impressive part of this trip was the storms that appeared to the west of the city (and later that night made it into town). With the sunset behind the storms there was a spectacular show of orange rain that looked like fire falling from the sky. the storms highlighted the multiple mountain ranges, Mount Taylor, Cabezon, etc, where you could see them in layers. I had a tough time coaxing my Sony DSC-HX5V to focusing that far out and yet managed to get quite a few good pictures. Had I known I would be treated to such a show I would have brought my SLR.

Do Not Want: Red Light Speed Cameras In Rio Rancho

On April 20th, The Mayor Of Rio Rancho Tom Swisstack::

Swisstack has spoken publicly against red-light cameras, saying he doesn’t think residents should be fined in order to support police and firefighters. He said he remains reluctant on the cameras but said if the primary reason for them is public safety and not revenue — then he’s open to discuss the issue. “The cameras have to be for public safety — this has to be about enhancing public safety because right now we can’t hire the number of cops we need,” he said.

As part of his campaign, he also said he was against red light cameras. Then on April 26th, he apparently was for them.

Swisstack advocated for additional red-light cameras and more city fees, but no pool closures.

The City of Rio Rancho is facing a negative budget and City Manager James Jimenez recommended red light cameras as a way to increase income for the city. Tonight the City Council will vote on implementing red light cameras and other city budget items and I have no doubt that they will vote to install them.

You might think that Mayor Swisstack or the City Council might want to wait for the results of the UNM study on red light cameras, the study that will determine if the Mayor of Albuquerque will shut them down. Or they might consider that the State of New Mexico has shut down a few cameras in Albuquerque that were on state roads. Or that the State of Arizona has shut down speed cameras. When you have a budget shortfall and you decide to implement red light cameras, the cameras have nothing to do with safety. Instead it’s a way to fleece the residents with a tax without calling it a tax.

No doubt RedFlex is salivating. They will be the likely benefactor as they will probably make a profit off every ticket issued.

There’s a lot I like about living in Rio Rancho. After visiting the Phoenix area being without red light and speed cameras is one of them. Tonight the City of Rio Rancho will likely vote to implement them. I suppose there is a chance they won’t but I’m not optimistic.

Update: Red Light cameras have passed. Councilman Timothy Crum:

“The intention behind the red light camera is certainly to reduce crime, reduce traffic citations and protect the community,”

Bullshit.

Intel Cancels Larrabee

An Intel blog updates on Intel’s graphic’s chip program and says Larabee is no longer. Anandtech has a good analysis of the blog.

Intel cancelled plans for a discrete Larrabee graphics card because it could not produce one that was competitive with existing GPUs from AMD and NVIDIA in current games. Why Intel lacked the foresight to stop from even getting to this point is tough to say. The company may have been too optimistic or genuinely lacked the experience in building discrete GPUs, something it hadn’t done in more than a decade. Maybe it truly was Pat Gelsinger’s baby.

I don’t know why Intel can’t make Larrabee happen but I am disappointed that Intel can’t be competitive with AMD and Nvidia.

Marijuana and fMRI Study

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Found on Albuquerque’s Craigslist: Marijuana and fMRI Study.

Marijuana and fMRI Study. This study will involve answering questions over the phone and in the laboratory (2 hours) in addition to a brain scanning (MRI) session. (3 hours). Participants will be compensated for their time. Must be a CURRENT MARIJUANA smoker. 18-50 Years of Age & Right Handed. No non-removable metal in body. The MIND Research Network is located on North Campus. Please call 272-5143 or email 07225@mrn.org. Mention “Marijuana Study”. HRRC#: 07-225. Version: 03/07/2008.

Suicide Off The Grand Canyon

What a way to go.

Park officials received a report of someone over the edge near Mather Point on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park at about 5:40 a.m. Friday. Responding rangers spotted a body between 400 and 600 feet below the rim, and witnesses told them that they saw the man run up to and over the edge.

Filmed In New Mexico: Cowboys & Aliens

cowboys & aliens

A film named Cowboys & Aliens needs to be filmed in New Mexico.

An extraterrestrial species lands in Arizona in the mid-1800s. The aliens plan to squash the Wild West and enslave humanity, but the cowboys and native Apache have other plans.

Ok so the story might be filmed in Arizona, but if you filmed it in Arizona the aliens would be arrested. There are pleanty of Auditions for the film.