Signs! Signs! We Finally Got Our Signs!

Who would ever think it would be so much trouble to get signs? I started working on getting signs for the office after we got everyone moved in at the beginning of June. We had three different sign makers come out and give us estimates, and after a few backs and forth about letting, cost, etc. they all disappeared. They wouldn’t answer emails or their phones. Nothing. I asked the locksmith I had working on the locks if he knew any reliable sign makers. He suggested the Sign and Image Factory. I called them, sent them mock-ups, and they worked with us to finally get the vinyl letting on the glass and the letters on the curved wall in the foyer shown in the photo above. They did a great job and were reasonably priced.

We also needed a monument sign, but the Sign and Image Factory doesn’t make monument signs. Two of the three sign makers that disappeared were going to do the monument sign, also, but they fell off the face of the earth. We contacted three metal crafters. They were either 1) backed up, 2) would not give me an estimate because they couldn’t get firm prices on the cost of materials, or 3) they were very expensive when and if they could make the sign. The monument sign is large at 44 inches wide by 38 inches high.

We really needed the monument sign. For some reason our building in the center of the plaza is invisible. Contractors, UPS, FedEx, and Amazon drivers, clients, and visitors were all having trouble finding the building for the first time. As far as UPS, FedEx, and Amazon drivers are concerned, every new driver has trouble finding the building. Since we were getting nowhere with the monument sign, I started thinking that maybe I could get a temporary sign made until we could find someone to make a permanent sign.

I started looking online and after checking a few online sign makers, I found I got on a chat session with one of their agents, and she suggested I order an aluminum sign for the size I wanted, and she directed me to the page on their site where I could custom order an aluminum sign. I put in the dimensions, uploaded the artwork, entered the color codes, selected paint type and UV protection, and gave them instructions for the space at the bottom of the sign for the mounting bracket. The total price came out to $150 with shipping. Wow! That was a far cry from the $1800 to $4000 we got from the locals. I added the sign to the shopping cart, and when I went to check out I got a 20% discount for being a first-time customer. So the sign ended up costing $120, with free shipping.

As it turned out the sign was made in India. They shipped the sign a week after we finalized the proofs. It took four days to reach the FedEx hub in Memphis, TN, and then it sat for almost three weeks in Memphis before customs released it to be delivered to the office. The sign is perfect as you can see from the photos. Since the aluminum is only 1/16 inch thick. I mounted the sign on all-weather plywood that I painted the primer color of the mounting bracket. The sign maker who installed the letters went out and looked closely at the sign. He said he could see it had quality paint and a good UV coating on it. It should last a while in under out intense sunshine.

Goods and services have become very difficult to get in Albuquerque. I am still waiting for a gate I order for the patio in August. I have the hinges and the sprung latch I had to order from an artisan in Canada because I could not find the type of latch I wanted anywhere in the USA. I asked the alarm company that provides security for the office for an estimate on access control. They wouldn’t give me an estimate because they can’t find enough skilled labor. They said possibly in six months. We were locked out of the current access control system, and I had been trying to get Isonas (the system we had on the office downtown) installed since before we moved in. The Isonus people have become unresponsive. I finally found a tech that got into the access control system. I can now program the system, and I got new proximity cards and finally gave all of our staff card access. That only took nine months. Getting things done has become a slow, cumbersome and frustrating process.

The monument sing at night.

Colors at dawn this morning.

Turnip The Volume* & Groove To The Beet

Dolores and I finished cleaning up our old office space in Downtown Albuquerque this morning. The lease ends on Thursday. While the restaurant space below our office was vacant for the last five months of 2020 and the first 5 months of 2021, the ACRE • Comfort Vegetarian • restaurant started remodeling the space below our offices as we were moving the remainder of our staff out of the office in June. This is the second location for the ACRE. Owner Sean Weed planned to open in August, but the City dragged its feet on approving all the permits until last week. We saw Sean as we were getting ready to leave, and he told us he’s opening tomorrow morning, Monday, September 20, 2021. He invited us inside to see the restaurant. If you live or work in or near Downtown Albuquerque, the ACRE looks like it has excellent vegetarian and vegan dishes. If you look at their website, not only will you see clever puns like “Turnip The Volume”, “Flex Your Brussels”, and “Lettuce Serve You”, you will see creative and appetizing dishes listed on their menus at reasonable prices.

*One of the clever puns on the ACRE’s • Comfort Vegetarian • website:

Guitars On The Wall

I hung a couple of art guitars I made on the the walls above my desk instead of photos. I found some really nice acrylic hangers that use the strap buttons to hang the guitars so the hangers are hardly noticeable.

Super Chief PRS-style Guitar

Resa’s One-Eyed Beauty RGX-style Guitar

The desk I built for our graphic artist

Trees in bloom in the patio at the new office building.

The conference room looking east through the single door. The walls are curved.

Conference room looking west through the double doors.

Sunset looking east.

Sunset looking west.

Makes Sense

The old Kress building that has been available for lease for at least 30 years got all its beautiful curved glass windows broken in last summer’s riots and was boarded up until recently. The boards were taken down, new glass installed, some of the artwork that was painted on the boards put in the windows, and the City of Albuquerque post a substandard unsafe to occupy sign on the door. Makes a lot of sense.

The new glass looks great.

The unsafe interior of the ground floor. Bruce and I think that space would make a great place for ballroom dance.

Travel Photo Challenge Day 6 “GOAL!” 8 Days in Paris

The neighbor’s cow was itching to get into the spirit of football…

Day 6 of the Travel Photo Challenge takes us to Paris, France in 2018. We were in Paris for 8 days in July 2018.  Laurie gave a paper at the 2018 Internation Conference on Construction Grammar. Laurie and I were both going to present papers at the 2020 Internation Conference on Construction Grammar in Antwerp, Belgium last August, but it was postponed to August 2021 because of COVID.

We did a lot of exploring, including meeting up with a fellow blogger, Anne, who hasn’t posted in a couple of years, and she gave us a long walking tour of the 10th and 19th Arrondissements. We arrived in Paris the day France played and won the World Cup by defeating Croatia 4-2. The Parisians were celebrating in the streets.

We stayed in a hotel inside the roof of a hospital that was rebuilt in 1380 and then remodeled in 1801 to remove the church-like façade. The hospital is catercorner to Notre Dame. The hospital is a labyrinth and it was very difficult to find the hotel when we first arrived. After 8:00 pm security had to ring us in through a side door, and we often had a heavily armed military unit follow us into the passage. One day when the military unit was making its rounds through the hospital, one of the men broke guard, stopped me, and asked me about my cameras and lenses. He was into photography and we chatted for a few minutes then we rejoined the unit.

There are 79 photos broken up into the World Cup celebration, Fashion Wheels, Where we stayed, On the town, Château of Vincennes, and Notre Dame. We were there the year before Notre Dame burned. We got up in the bell towers on our last day in Paris. We are very fortunate to have been able to go to Paris in 2018 and stayed so near Notre Dame.

Moon through the clouds. December 27, 2020.

Jupiter, a few of Jupiter’s moons and Saturn on the lower right. December 27, 2020.

The photographer of the day is Inge David at I don’t know where Inge lives, but it’s somewhere in northern Europe. She is an excellent photographer and loves cars, architecture, and nature.

GOAL! France won the World Cup in 2018.

…She painted herself like a Frenchman.

People were sitting in the streets all over the neighborhood we were in watching the game.

Fashion Wheels

This family, each on their own wheels were adorable, and the young woman on the right was very fashionable.

Where we stayed.

We had a small, comfortable, modern room with our own bathroom and air-conditioning. Not bad for a 640-year-old building.

We were in the last room in the third wing on the right.

On the town

Graveyard cats

Château of Vincennes
We walked five miles east to Château of Vincennes, which is outside of Paris proper. You can learn more about it in my post A Long Walk into the Past at

Notre Dame