Mountain View, Calif., boasts Google Inc.'s world headquarters, NASA supercomputers and Castro Street's nightlife. Add Denny North's bathroom to the list.
The home improvement cable network HGTV has dubbed North's bathroom one of America's ugliest.
While lots of people read magazines in the john, North dreams up ways to make his bathroom even more colorful and complex with K'NEX toy building sets.
Toy rods, connectors and gears climb the walls, encircle the shower and frame a mirror and window. North, 37, an artist and former computer support specialist, has also made bathroom shelving, shower caddies, a plant potter, a toilet paper holder and a magazine rack from the snap-together plastic toys.
The project cost him more than $500 and took four years. And it has helped him and his bathroom on a Home & Garden Television show -- not for being creative, cute or fun. But for being ugly.
The bathroom was featured on HGTV's "Bad Baths USA."
"It should be entertaining, to say the least, a little embarrassing at worst," North wrote in an e-mail to friends and neighbors inviting them to come over to watch the show.
He said his fiancee-to-be Sarah Davis doesn't mind the toys, which rank up there with his potting plants in a computer monitor, golf bag, cowboy hat and barbecue pit.
"She said it's one of the least embarrassing things I've done," North said.
North, who has a degree in sculpture from Louisiana State University, used toys like Legos and Lincoln Logs as a child to build toy cars and hamster mazes. He's hoping the idea will catch on with local pediatricians and dentists who want to brighten the dreary offices children dread visiting.