Own Part Of The Hilton Hotel On Route 66

The Albuquerque Hilton (La Posada de Albuquerque) Hotel’s reception desk is on Craigslist for the bargain price of $5000. I don’t know that it’s considered vintage, be built in the 1980’s. Being huge and being built out of oak, I’d like to have it if I had the money and place for it.

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Greedy Phone Company To Pay Up

I hate wired phone companies, which is why I don’t have a wired phone line. I’m very happy to hear that Qwest will have to pay up the money they were suppose to spend in the first place.

Gov. Bill Richardson, Attorney General Patricia Madrid and Qwest officials announced Wednesday that they have reached a settlement that would require the company to spend $265 million on New Mexico’s telecommunications system over a 42-month period.The settlement is the result of a long dispute between Qwest and the state Public Regulation Commission over a 2001 agreement that required the company to spend $788 million on the telecommunications system over five years.But the company’s spending came up about $220 million short, and the commission ordered it to spend the full amount by March 2006 or refund the money to its customers. The company sued, saying the commission did not have the authority to make the order, but the state Supreme Court sided with the PRC last month.

No. 56

Rio Rancho rises on list of best places to live

Rio Rancho ranks No. 56 on Money magazine’s list of the 100 best small cities to live.The Sandoval County city improved on its ranking of No. 83 in 2005.Money magazine’s Web site said it was looking for small, livable cities with a mix of good jobs and schools, low crime, open space and “rational home prices.”Rio Rancho’s median annual family income is $57,562 and its median home price is $150,024, the magazine said. It ranked the city’s property crime risk as 33 and its personal crime risk at 50 out of national averages of 100.The rankings released Monday gave the top spot to Fort Collins, Colo.

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Kitchen Stage One Complete

Stage 1 completeIt’s been a few months since I moved in and started working on the kitchen remodel so I’m glad to report that Stage 1 is complete. Stage 1 is what you see here, with half of the upper cabinets installed including the appliances. Every bit of it built by me. Stage 2 will complete the kitchen with the rest of the cabinets, paint and tiling.

When I first made the offer on the house I wasn’t initially planning to remodel the kitchen. But after spending a few hours in it, it was clear that I was not going to be happy with the wear and tear that had been put on it for 20+ years. I used Home Depot’s design service to do the design, which turned out to be a good deal. It’s costs $100 for them to come out and do the measurements and plug everything into the computer. They give $100 off materials if you buy from them.

When choosing the materials for the cabinets I looked at both the lowest cost and highest cost cabinets. I’m pretty disappointed at the amount of particle board used in the construction of both version. The lowest cost is totally made of particle board except for the doors and are complete do-it-yourself. Where as the more expensive ones are about 50% particle board and are installed by someone else. I went with Mills Pride cabinets that Home Depot keeps on stock because of their much lower costs, significant in some cases. Despite the fact that they are made of particle board they are of pretty good quality and very easy to assemble. Well worth it for the money I saved. I would say it cost around $1000 for this section of cabinets (the maple doors were as much as the cost of the cabinet boxes, that’s the real expense).

Stage 2 will involve taking down the wall on the right and putting in a cabinets along the bottom (this is where the refrigerator originally was). This will open it up to the living room more. I’ve never pulled down a wall before (just as I never did any of this kitchen work before). I will also probably pull out the original tile back spash and put different tile up. I will finish it up with paint, trim and what ever else will be needed. I figure it will cost about $2000 to finish it up (doing it all myself of course) but don’t know when I will start it. In the mean time check out my Flickr photo set showing the stages of the remodel.

Natural Gas Prices Going Up, Up, Up

I guess high prices aren’t just going to be hitting the gas tank. PNM is going to raise prices of Natural gas to the highest ever at “91.24 cents per therm”, much higher than the last max price of 76 cents.

As the article points out, PNM is not allowed to make money on natural gas, only on electricity. I can imagine what the price of it would be if they were making a profit. Still, the cost of adding energy efficient widows and adding other energy efficient items to the house comes down in relation to energy prices.

Tax Free Holiday

This weekend marked the first New Mexico tax fee holiday. At first I was excited about the prospects, however the limitations will not be of much help for me. It’s designed to help the back to school shopper with a $100 limit on individual clothing items and $1000 limitation on a computer and only back to school type items.

Any computer I purchase will cost well over a $1000, so I can pretty much forget about that. However all the clothing stores were further adding to the savings by having sales so I went out on friday, the first day of the holiday, and purchased some clothing, figuring that Friday would be less busy than Saturday or Sunday, I went out on lunch time only to be surprised to find quite a crowd. I hate shopping with crowds so it’s better that I did try Friday because the malls were packed over the weekend.

I didn’t save that much from the lack of sales taxes. New Mexico’s tax rate is only about 6% and I only spent about $100 on clothes. Where I did save significant money was on the sales themselves and I don’t think there would have been as many of them all at once if it wasn’t for the holiday. I figure I saved about $200. Those people with kids who have to spend hundreds of dollars of clothes and school supplies will really make out. I also heard that retailers are saying that it’s been as good as Christmas.

Local Channels Out

For subscribers of DirecTV in the Albuquerque area (and perhaps elsewhere) local channels are out. Would it be too much to ask to put their outage information on their website? I had to call the 1800 number and all it said were the locals were out, no status or anything.

Actually they have been pretty reliable, this is the first real outage I can think of them ever having. Still, I pay them a lot of money every month so there should be no outages. At the very least the could give me more info on when it’s coming back.