June 5th, 2009

Sepia, RB Office

Food at ABQ and other airports.

The next time I fly in or out of The Albuquerque International Sunport (a.k.a. ABQ), it looks like we may have some different food choices.

According to this article (registration or payed subscription may be required) in the Albuquerque Journal, the Garduño's has been closed, but will be replaced with an El Pinto. They will also be opening a branch of The Range past security.

I've not been to the original El Pinto for years -- as they expanded the service got to be a problem even if the food didn't, so my parents started going to the Garduño's not that much further from their house (but in the opposite direction on 4th Street) -- but it was one of my favorites for years growing up. I've also enjoyed going to The Range in Bernalillo when I've visited. Now, if we are flying out of Albuquerque at the right time, and get there with the right amount of advanced time, we'll have our choice of two really good, local, restaurants.

For comparison, at San Diego (SAN), we have an overpriced Starbucks and a bar past security (at least at the United/Alaska/??? terminal I've dealt with most of the time since moving back), and in Chicago (ORD) we have a bunch of food courts with national chains or airport only places, and a couple of cut down Chili's. There is a food court before security at San Diego in Terminal 1, but I don't recall seeing much local flavor there the last time (they Rubio's had closed).

At other airports I've been in recently, I do recall that there was an Ivar's at SeaTac and a I ate at the Legal Sea Foods at the Boston Airport, so there are some other places with local restaurants and chains in their airport. I seem to recall that DFW and PHX were very similar to O'Hare -- allthough there may have been something local at PHX, but I think it was shops not restaurants. There wasn't really any restaurant of worth at the old Bangalore airport, and I don't know what was local and what wasn't at Frankfurt, and those are the remaining airports I've been in in the last 2 or 3 years.

Sepia, RB Office

Also from The Albuquerque Journal: El Niño May Be Coming

In another article in this morning's Albuquerque Journal.

While neither the forecasters, nor I, expect much impact until next winter, I think that an El Niño would be welcome in Southern California and New Mexico -- and I'm guessing Arizona since it is in between.

I suspect that it would take a couple of years to really break the drought and replenish the water supplies -- and an El Niño might actually reduce the snow pack in The Sierras and The Central and Northern Rockies which actually feed the rivers that are used for a lot of California's drinking and agricultural water. But I'm sure it would still be welcome.

At least as long as we don't have something similar to what happened in 1998, when the heavy winter rains led into a fairly dry summer with lots of dry spring growth ready to catch fire.

And who'd have thought that I'd have to type up two posts with a lot of "ñ" (ñ) codes in them in one day :-).
Sepia, RB Office

The Dowside of Working a con from across the country

It is time for the DucKon badges to be printed. In the past, this was often accomplished by me taking aeto's printer to my house and doing the printing. (In earlier years, this part was subcontracted to vorsalaba, who did the whole job and gave us blank badges for at-con use).

However, this year with me living in San Diego, and Aeto living in Seattle (presumably with his printer), a new plan was needed. To avoid shipping printers far and wide, dave_ifversen acquired a badge printer or two to use. So today he is trying to print the badges, and not getting very far.

In all likely hood we have a problem with some upgrade that has been made to a Java library which is causing the version on his computers (and the version we had on the computers at con last year) to send the information to the printer driver incorrectly.

Now this might or might not be an easily solvable problem if either I had the equipment (worst case, we use my computer as the server and see if it solves the problem like it did in the past) or could easily get to where the equipment is.

Instead, I have to do remote debugging -- a process hampered by the fact that I'm at work (without any tasks that need my action and a team leader who is out of the office for the day) -- and only have limited resources to look at the problem and make fixes.

At least I know what my plans for the evening have become:
1: Try to bundle up as much of the java libraries that are used by this program on my computer as I can find into a single zip file and try to set up a batch file that will point exclusively to them.

2: Try to rework the badge so that the printer thinks that it hangs the other way (will may my previews harder to read, but otherwise should be doable)

3: Work on other alternative ways to print the badge.

So much for my relaxing evening.