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The Black Hole Passes September 8, 2012

Posted by bobv451 in business, conventions, death, hobby, movies & TV, New Mexico, nostalgia, science, sense of wonder.
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No, that’s not a typo. I’m not referring to Campbell’s The Black Star Passes but to the Black Hole surplus store in Los Alamos. The Black Hole was a compendium of junk and history, useable tech equipment and stuff I’m not sure anyone knew what it did.

The owner, Ed Grothus, died some time ago and was mostly anti-nuke, pro who knows what, who bought lots of surplus equipment at the Los Alamos lab and sold them. On one trip there, Gordon Garb laughingly asked for a 50kw oil bath capacitor–they had 3 on the shelf. I had less luck hunting for keyboards with the function keys down the left side–all their IBM keyboards predated fn keys. Stacks of Beta tapes (including the entire Prisoner series!). Dual trace oscilloscopes, miles of wire and coax, gadgets nobody knew what they were good for other than asking, “What’s that thing? It looks awesome, but…”

Entropy sets in, even in such backwaters of New Mexico. Alas, Hawking was right and black holes do evaporate.

A bit of irony is the closing coincides with a mini-Maker Fair here in Abq. Gordon is maybe going to come for that, which is A Good Thing since he missed Bubonicon this year.

I have been busy tidying up a lot of writing chores. More on them later. Got a short story to do ASAP, then…lots more stuff. But some of it is actually seeing the light of day this year. (And there are still prizes for the trivia contest available…hurry hurry hurry, time’s almost up!)

I leave you with the establishing shot for The Black Hole.

The Black Hole

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Comments»

1. Stephen Smoogen - September 8, 2012

Ah man.. that is sad… though I would say Entropy lived there when Ed was alive.. I guess it decided with him gone it was time to find some new place to live. I wonder if they will tear down the church and such.

In standard news, the LA monitor seems to have no news about this closing with the last article being http://www.lamonitor.com/content/ufo-crashes-black-holes-fence

bobv451 - September 8, 2012

I suppose Lost Almost is more worried about the lab closing–and they should be.

2. Charles Vane - September 9, 2012

I never knew Ed, but his daughter Barbara has been a very good friend of ours for years. Sharon and I will be up there for the sale weekend, to say goodbye to the store (and of course to BUY COOL STUFF)!

The Santa Fe New Mexican has a story on it: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Local%20News/090612blackhole

Sad to see it go.

bobv451 - September 9, 2012

Cool stuff indeed. I’m not sure if it’s the history or the feel of sf-ness about the store that appealed to me so. (and your link is a repeat of the links I’d put into the blog–both of them, both in text and on the picture).

3. Charles Vane - September 9, 2012

Oops, didn’t click ‘n check.


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