The featured picture is a photo from a very old gas station sign along Route 66, left over81355151_2444562289144111_6231688433404739584_n from the early 60s. Look at the prices!

The 60s were the heyday of the Great Ameican Road Trip. Back then Motel 6 was actually only $6 a night and for a couple hundred dollars, you could buy a used car that would last for years. In CA they didn’t rust out like they did back east and you could do any maintenance you needed to do (short of an engine overhaul) on your own with minimal skill and a small selection of tools.

“Ethyl” referred to tetraethyl lead, a compound that offered enhanced power but caused increased levels of lead in plants and animals (including people) near busy roadways. It started being phased out in 1974 and was finally totally banned in 1996.

 

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For Hanukah, my son gave me this bit of manga. Unfortunately, he didn’t give me a new set of eyes to read it with. So I’m looking at the panels through a magnifying glass.

 

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This is a dying and bleached out brown widow spider on the underside of a plastic tray mounted on a folding ladder. To the left, you see its egg sac. Despite being the end of the year when it was taken, the spider is still barely alive. If you messed with its egg sac, it still responded very slowly with faint leg motions and slow movement. This late in the game it doesn’t pose much of a threat but the motion would attract a predator’s attention, distract from the egg sac and provide a better meal than a stationary silk ball.

There were several dying widows on the underside, each guarding its own little box and egg sac.

 

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Oliver and Avery
Live together in perfect harmony
Side by side on my sofa pillows
Oh Lord, why can’t we?

 

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My daughter’s new chameleon.

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Dogs and cats sleeping together in peace. A sign of the end times?