Originally uploaded by kayekilla.

I discovered The Black Hole in a Frommer's guide from the mid-nineties. I had a hard time finding references to The Black Hole online but I knew it was a place I needed to see. It's a surplus store with every kind of everything imaginable for the aspiring nuclear scientist and/or weapons engineer. Its a tourist attraction for a special kind of tourist.

A violent thunderstorm rolled in seconds after I arrived. So I hung out in my parked car for a few minutes before deciding that it was worth the risk of getting soaked and struck by lightning. The downside was that much of the machinery in the outdoor lot was covered by tarps. I didn't feel like hanging out in the rain too much anyway.

The inside of the store did not disappoint. I have never seen so many different incarnations of the periodic table. The inside is stacked and piled and crammed with all kinds of electrical gear. It's organized by categories like "wires" and "theoretical design." The gentleman that work there are first and foremost, inventors, they have interesting stories about playing soccer with the Oppenheimer kids and working at "The Lab." It appears to be the kind of place where you just show up and start inventing stuff and the owner lets you handle a couple cash transactions. Before you know it, you've been working at The Black Hole for twelve years.

I'll have more pics and info on The Biggest Butte come launch day.


Originally uploaded by kayekilla.

The Omega Peace Institute is located right next door to The Black Hole. As you can see, they have an excellent broken bomb sculpture. It is a symbol of unbomb worship. I was there on a Friday so I missed the critical mass. I'd go back.

Bridge View Near LA Lab

Originally uploaded by kayekilla.

I had to go through security near the national laboratory just to walk over a bridge nearby. It was worth it - look at this New Mexican view. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the famous "Prom" tagger had been there before me.

National Lab

Originally uploaded by kayekilla.


Its a Rental

Originally uploaded by kayekilla.

The rental car place at Sunport Airport in Albuquerque is a real low-key grab it yourself kind of place. I got in late and was glad when the chap at the counter told me to go out to the back lot and pick whichever car I wanted in spaces 91-113. My reservation was for a compact (not economy, those are just uncivilized) but like always they didn’t have anything left but midsize.

The average public may not know this but PT Cruisers are considered midsize. I thought they were in a class all their own, albeit the babyboomerbarfclass but nonetheless a class of their own. Spaces 91-113 had only five white PT Cruisers, the only car on the lot that I would refuse to drive. I was peeping out a Dodge Caravan in space 126 when I saw my last option in space 111: The Chevy HHR. Color: ORANGE. An orange hearse. Perfect.

The vehicle got more attention than anything I have ever driven. I didn’t think it was for any other reason than its shaped like a futuristic speakeasy shuttle and painted bright orange. I was a little wrong. Apparently the word is out that these babys get decent gas mileage and if there is anything some New Mexican old dudes like rapping about, its gas mileage. I love talking to strangers about sports and gas mileage. Gas mileage especially because the older guys really seem to take pleasure in knowing that I am bopping around the country getting nearly thirty-three miles per gallon. It is satisfying to know that someone is driving around a deal.


Originally uploaded by kayekilla.

Originally uploaded by kayekilla.

I took the Turquoise Trail (Route 14) from Albuquerque to Santa Fe. It added on an additional 3-4 hours to what would have been an hour and a half drive up to Los Alamos but it was worth it.

New Mexico is essentially what you wish Arizona was and maybe would be without all the barfamansions. New Mexico means: Adobe shacks, dream catchers, insane yet fast-moving weather patterns, rivers, and lush desolation. They call it the Land Of Enchantment. What other state has a spooky slogan like that? Nebraska? Living the Good Life? Michigan? Good Times, Great Lakes. Well sure, Michigan's slogan is genius but doesn't dip into otherworld realms like New Mexico's.

I'll be posting some more photos and enchanting tales throughout the day. Stand by.

Oh and I did a quick search after going on my state slogan tangent and I found this site that has license plate slogans. It is very interesting to a great patriot like myself. I especially like Alaska's North to the Future. Dang thats good.

Lil Adobes

Originally uploaded by kayekilla.

New Mexico Fence

Originally uploaded by kayekilla.


Atomic Age

Originally uploaded by kayekilla.

I am back from New Mexico. I have a lot to say about the place, the first being that Virginia should move over as being the "place for lovers." You know what I am saying? Yeah. Because I am in love with Los Alamos.


Originally uploaded by kayekilla.

Ladies and gents. Im off to gather important information about our nation's atomic history. I'll be back to blog about it by Memorial day.



Originally uploaded by kayekilla.

Since I took Em to Long Beach last weekend I thought that I would show her another worthwhile side of SoCal - the Inland Empire.

Right across the street from a UHaul rental place on Foothill Blvd (old Route 66) in Rialto is the Wigwam Hotel. It is one of the best places to catch some Z's the old fashioned TeePee way.

The wigwams used to be painted with authentic colorful Native American like zigzags but the new owner told us that his family had bought the place just a few years ago and started renovations by repainting them all light brown. I appreciated the symmetry but I think the zags would really set the place apart from the Uhaul joint and strip mall across the street.

One thing is for sure, the walls of these teepees are as thin as the originals at the turn of the century. The Wigwam Hotel gets a lot of traffic from dump trucks and visitors of what I suspect to be permanent residents of a couple of the wams. After just one night in the teepee we had a bunch more questions for the owner like, why does it smell a little bit like pee inside? Why are the ceilings so low? Where are the dream catchers and buckskin and genuine Indian artifacts? Luck for us he was happy to answer. Apparently there is no good reason for the low ceilings and the tops of the teepees are full of nothing but the spirit of the old wild west.

We didn't ask him about the pee smell. I wanted to keep it light because even though we didn't sleep a full night with all the smells and the racket, thats just how it is when you sleep in a teepee. If you can't take the heat, stay at the W.

side notes: Emmas dad called the next day and informed her that her grandparents, Lefty and
Lois, had actually lived in one of the wigwams at the wigwam hotel for one year with their infant child back in the 50s. I thought she seemed very comfortable in our wigwam.

FYI: A wigwam is actually a domed structure and a teepee is the triangular shaped situation you see in the pic and at all wigwam motels.


Update: The second printing of Dealing With Difficult People is underway.

Jury duty update: Kurt Russel was spotted in the building today. Apparently even actors from "Big Trouble in Little China" have to serve jury duty.

As if hanging out in a criminal court building for the past couple days isn't unsettling enough (being surrounded by murder charges freaks you out) I have to come home to the violent and emotional debacle that was formerly known as the NBA playoffs. Is anyone else watching this? Ultimate fighting championships IMHO. The poor Golden State Scrappers couldn't get a break. They didn't have a fighting chance in that arena full of dedicated, 3.2-beer-drinking Utahns.

I'm too tired to compose it tonight, but I will be sending a concerned letter to David J. Stern.


Originally uploaded by kayekilla.

Perfect day for ballin. P got us dope seats for the Dodgers game yesterday. I have some footage of these two jokers (it will be up on vimeo soon) yelling at the Reds saying stuff like, "your pastrami curtains are showing". Gross.


Steevadors, Longshoreman, Soccer Teams

Originally uploaded by kayekilla.

So Emma is here. Well, she is actually in Torrance for work. She came in last night and I told her I would wait out the rush hour traffic and then come by and take her to the most magical place in the south bay area: The Port of Long Beach. Its a super beefy machinery boaty cargo-y place that looks like a parking lot for Millenium Falcons at night. I was so happy that she dug it. You never know if people like truly proper shit. But Ems liked it so much that she made up a chant, "its like trains on boats, trains on boats!"

I took her back to her homebase hotel early because I was sympathetic to the east-to-west-coast jetlag. I thought it would be a great idea to get a glass of wine at the hotel bar, like two classy adult ladies. Seeing giant machinery move cargo from around the world can be overwhelming and exhausting, so you need something to help you wind down. We only wanted some peace and quiet and a good view of a group of comely gentleman from a college soccer team that were prancing around the lobby waiting for their equally attractive coach to check them in. And just when they started to wrestle with each other we were interrupted by some other people from her work that were already four drinks deep from the bar. Oh well. That is what she is here for anyway. Until next week anyhow - then its all play and no work in LA for Ems.

In the meantime, know that I have been serving jury duty. The best part is how much you learn about yourself and I tell you it's been true for me - I think I have found something that I can look forward to when I am retired. I wondered what I would fill my days up with after I turn 70. I mean I know my weekends will be for bridge and casseroles but what are you supposed to do during the week? Jury duty is flipping perfect because its time consuming yet socially important. You make anonymous descions that will have no personal or career consequences. I hope when you are old you can volunteer for it more than twice a year.

Emmas Here

Originally uploaded by kayekilla.