The San Antonio Oxbow wetland and the Sandia Mountains, seen from the bluff near the Poole property in Albuquerque, NM. Photo credit: Bob Eggers, Condensed Light LLC.

On June 29, just before dusk, I stood in a crowd of about 130 people on a bluff overlooking the San Antonio Oxbow wetland in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Below us, 40 acres of marshland stretched east to the Rio Grande. On the horizon, the Sandia Mountains glowed pink in the fading light.

A little earlier in the season, huge flocks of red-winged blackbirds would have been gathering at this time of day, chattering and swirling over the Oxbow before settling down to roost for the night. But on that warm evening in late June, the place was surprisingly quiet.


Big piece of chocolate cake!
Big piece of chocolate cake!
Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

When I walk into my favorite local restaurant, I’m not just another sale. I’ve been eating there several times a month for more than ten years. I’m what every business wants: a repeat customer. A regular.

So why would my favorite eatery ever do anything to jeopardize our long, happy relationship?

Suddenly one day, my beloved restaurant wanted someone new, younger, hipper. (Yes, only an old customer would use the word “hipper.”)

It’s a popular restaurant with several locations. It’s known for its tempting bakery case, local ingredients, dog-friendly patios, and the excellent policy of serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner…

Image credit: Bob Eggers,

When you have important information to communicate, graphics can be invaluable. A good graphic can make even complex data easier to understand.

That’s because the human brain is exceptionally good at processing visual information. A team of neuroscientists from MIT recently established that the brain needs only 13 milliseconds to process an entire image. Compared to words, which are digested in a linear way using short-term memory, pictures are gulped down all at once and go directly into long-term memory.

So images win! But wait: the ice is slippery… Remember that your graphics should serve the information being presented. …

Does your company or department have a style guide? It can be as simple as a list of terms or as substantial as a book, but a good style guide can improve your organization’s efficiency, enhance its image, and even increase its profits.

Consistency in a company’s written materials is part of its branding.

What is a style guide?

A style manual, or style guide, describes the rules an organization has decided to follow in preparing its documents. Whether written for employees, clients, or the public, a company’s documentation is part of its identity. That’s one reason Apple has a style guide. …

The Dog House restaurant in Albuquerque, NM, is now a stop on the “Breaking Bad” tour. [Photo credit:
PerryPlanet (public domain)]

At a Twisters restaurant in Albuquerque, Breaking Bad fans can have their picture taken next to the Los Pollos Hermanos logo that still adorns one wall. The building played the part of drug kingpin Gus Fring’s chicken joint in the AMC series, and as a result, the restaurant has become famous — as have numerous other spots throughout the New Mexico city where the show was both set and filmed.

Many of those filming locations are now stops on ABQ Trolley Co.’s popular four-hour, 38-mile BaD Tour, which takes fans past residences and businesses that appeared in the show, including…

Ellen Barber

Freelance writer, editor, contributor, business ghostwriter, half of

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