Del Taco in Barstow, California

Out & About — Just where DID Del Taco start?

Out & About The World

When I was in Barstow, California, the last two days of July, just down the block from the cute little Route 66 motel that I stayed in was a Del Taco.

Del Taco in Barstow, California

I have not eaten at a Del Taco since I left Texas in April 1993, possibly because I used to eat at the one in College Station, Texas, virtually every day. Since I was trying to escape the Great Nation of Texas, eating at Del Taco would remind me too much of that state.

I was on my way down to the historic Barstow railroad yard but there were a lot of homeless people in the area. One of them asked me if I had any change. I did not, but I had a credit card and offered to buy him supper. He accepted. I told him he could order anything he wanted, but I don’t think he did. I think he was simply grateful for a meal. While he was ordering and waiting, I walked to the seating area because there was a large mural on the wall. Looked like this:

Del Taco in Barstow, California

After reading the mural, I logged onto Wikipedia to read all about Del Taco. According to Wikipedia, the first Del Taco was opened in Yermo, twelve miles east of Barstow, on September 16, 1964. Its success led to the opening of two restaurants in Barstow. That left me dissatisfied with this location claiming that “it all started in Barstow.” Apparently it did not; it all started in Yermo. City rivalry perhaps?

The mural says that Del Taco started in 1961 as Taco Tia.

I could find no verification for that. The only Taco Tia I could find was Taco-Tia, an early name for Taco Bell, Del Taco’s rival. In fact, the 1961 verbiage on the mural is identical to the 1964 verbiage on Del Taco’s current web site.

From the mural in the restaurant:
From the mural in the restaurant

From Del Taco’s web site:
From Del Taco's web site

Considering the location of this Del Taco in Barstow, 401 N. First Avenue, I suspect that it is, indeed, the first Del Taco in Barstow, so probably the second Del Taco overall.

A Google search brought up three videos about the first Del Taco in Yermo, and the first one I watched gave me an address: 38434 Yermo Road. The video, uploaded to YouTube on January 21, 2018, says that there currently is a restaurant there called Burger Den. In this still, taken from a YouTube video uploaded on July 21, 2017, you can see the Burger Den sign and an old Del Taco sign:

Del Taco/Burger Den

I’m going to go with the Yermo location being the very first Del Taco and the Barstow location simply practicing a little sibling rivalry.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

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Exhibiting cacti & succulents at the Palomar Cactus & Succulent Show

I live in my own little world

My last post was on October 21. It’s been a long three weeks, most of it having to do with gardening.

The big event was October 27-29. I was getting ready for the Fall Show & Sale for the Palomar Cactus & Succulent Society.

These shows are heavy on succulents and short on cacti. The main reason for that is because cacti are difficult to move with all their spines & thorns pointing every which way. Not paying attention, not being careful, can result in some serious and painful skin punctures.

My intent was to exhibit a lot of cacti to make sure that the cactus side of the show room was full. I spent the month leading up to the event cleaning and repotting show-worthy cacti.

I was hoping to enter 50 cactus specimens. Ultimately, I only entered 44 exhibits – 31 were in the Cactus category, twelve in the Succulent category, and one in the Dish Garden category. My Dish Garden, though, had five thorny cacti in it; of the twelve in the Succulent category, six had spines; and of the 31 in the Cactus category, one did not have spines. So it’s not always about those pokey pokey things. My intent, though, was to fill up the Cactus category, and I definitely helped do that.

I exhibit in the Advanced class now, and won….
     12 first places,
          9 second places, and
               13 thirds.

Ten of my plants weren’t appreciated by the judges. Sad and depressed those plants are.

My Mammillaria parkinsonii, below, received one of the two Judge’s Choice awards, and tied for second for the People’s Choice award.

Mammillaria parkinsonii, Judge's Choice & People's Choice second place

…..was awarded the Granddaddy of them all, BEST IN SHOW, my Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’.

Crassula ovata 'Gollum' Best In Show

I created a video of all the plants I exhibited in the show, although I didn’t find out about the second place People’s Choice until recently, so although it’s in the video with its Judge’s Choice award, it’s not in the video with its People’s Choice second place.

Here’s the video:

Russel’s 44 exhibits 

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

SNIPPETS (10-21-18)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

It’s political season. I’m a permanent California mail voter. I voted yesterday. All done.

2018 Winter Gardens ballot

For the first time in my life, I voted a straight Democratic ticket, including the Democrat recommendations for propositions, utility districts, judicial courts, etc. 100% no-questions-asked Blue ballot, albeit we don’t get to vote on a lot of stuff out here in the East San Diego County Boondocks. I did get to vote FOR Ammar Campa-Najjar, so that was exciting. I don’t expect him to win simply because of the territory (I live in a very red area in this very blue state), his name, and his opponent’s advertising attacking his name.

Sadly, the Democrats did not make a recommendation or endorsement on everything on the ballot. When that happened, I checked the Republican recommendations and endorsements because they do seem to have an opinion about everything; then I voted the opposite

Delivery to the Registrar’s office will occur on 10/22.

SNIPPET 2

Men have been effin up the nations and world for thousands of years. I’m wanting to see a complete takeover by women. They can’t possibly do worse.

SNIPPET 3

Sad and depressed, I am. I no longer living in the Earthquake State….

Oklahoma is the new earthquake state

SNIPPET 4

I have always been a sucker for injured plants (and animals), so I bought this last-one-on-the-table injured golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii). Notice what’s happening all around the injury, though. Lots of little pups! I will enjoy watching this one grow.

Echinocactus grusonii (golden barrel cactus)

SNIPPET 5

I love PB&J sandwiches. I love bacon. On these four items, though, I’m thinking No, No, No & No. Seen at BevMo.

Drinks

SNIPPET 6

Zoey the Cool Cat has comfy beds to sleep on, nice carpeted floors with sun spots, chairs, a love seat…………. and yet this is her choice.

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

SNIPPET 7

They don’t look happy to see me. Maybe it’s my red car. Dash cam video.

Border Patrol

SNIPPET 8

Finally found that fish out of water.

Fish out of water

SNIPPET 9

Poor bird. Lost on a desert island with no music to listen to.

Bird on a desert island

SNIPPET 10

A couple of weeks ago I stopped by Green Thumb Nursery Super Garden Center in San Marcos CA. I had never been there. Doesn’t look big from the street, but it is huge.

As far as a complete nursery, it tops the list. You name it, they have it. Lots of plants, lots of pots, tools, soil, fertilizer. Lots of interesting garden sculptures that I had never seen at a nursery before.

Garden sculptures

Garden sculptures

Garden sculptures

Garden sculptures

Garden sculptures

Garden sculptures

Garden sculptures

SNIPPET 11

Zoey the Cool Cat, what do you think of President Pinocchio?

Zoey the Cool Cat

SNIPPET 12

If this is the type of car that student drivers get to learn in, I’m thinking about becoming a student driver again. I bet I could pass parallel parking this time!

Student driver Mustang

SNIPPET 13

My best sunrise/sunset picture from the past week. East San Diego County Boondocks. October 16, 2018 sunrise.

Sunrise in the East San Diego County boondocks

SNIPPET 14

I saw two new (to me) cactus species last week! So excited.

Cactus camera equipment

SNIPPET 15

When I was in Fresno back in July, I saw a wild Fresno State Bulldog on the street. I kind of feel sorry for any little child walking past this thing.

Fresno State Bulldog

SNIPPET 16

“Look! Over there! It’s the sun!”

There's the sun!

SNIPPET 17

One of my favorite plants is Stapelia gigantea. It has huge, star-shaped, hairy flowers that can get up to 14 inches in diameter. They also are smelly flowers, smelling somewhat like rotting flesh. Hence their common name: Carrion plant. Their smell draws billions of flies, which then pollinate the flower. Nature is wonderful….

I have learned the signs of when they are going to pop open, so when my largest plant had 21 buds on it, I decided to practice time lapse photography. Following is my best time lapse video of one of these flowers popping open, created with 1,471 pictures taken every 5 seconds over the course of 4 hours and 11 minutes.

SNIPPET 18

I was an abused child after my father committed suicide. My mom remarried, and she and my stepfather, both alcoholics and drunk every day, regularly hit my oldest stepsister and me. My mom even picked me up one time and threw me threw the sliding glass door. Still have the scars on my legs from that one.

I found the following poem on Facebook. Author unknown.

MONSTERS ARE REAL

On Monday, Billy didn’t have his homework
And when the teacher asked him why
He said, “Because a monster ripped it up,
After I told him a lie.”

“You know monsters don’t exist,
And if you don’t turn in your homework
No recess you will get.”

On Tuesday, Billy had a stomachache
And when the teacher asked him why
He said, “A monster took away my dinner,
even my cherry pie.”

“Billy, I’ve told you once before,
Monsters are not real.
You’ll have to wait till lunchtime
Before you get a meal.”

On Wednesday, Billy had a bandage,
Which covered his right eye.
When the teacher asked him how it happened,
This was his reply:

“A monster was running after me
When I ran into the door.”
“Billy please,” the teacher said,
“I don’t want to hear any more.”

On Thursday, Billy refused to sit down,
And when the teacher asked him why,
Billy said, “A monster whipped my bottom,
Because I started to cry.”

“Billy,” said the teacher,
“this is getting out of hand,
And if you continue with these stories,
In the corner you will stand.”

On Friday, Billy didn’t come to school,
And when the teacher found out why,
She said a little prayer to God
In hopes Billy would survive.

For a monster had beaten Billy
and threatened him with a knife.
Now Billy lay in a hospital bed,
Fighting for his life.

So teachers please remember,
That monsters are for real.
Listen closely to kids’ stories,
A wounded heart, you may heal.

SNIPPET 19

It’s a good thing I had lots of practice in my youth in coloring, drawing pictures, and building things because I sure as eff don’t know Chinese.

Instructions in Chinese

SNIPPET 20

They say it’s expensive to live in San Diego. Some apparently call it the “San Diego Package”………

San Diego Package

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Super volunteer is sad & depressed

I live in my own little world

Sad & depressed I am.

Super volunteer Russel Ray just isn’t wanted anywhere. Seems I give a good name to bad volunteers, so I’m not wanted.

Apparently when I started volunteering at Friends of Cats, they thought, “Yeah, another volunteer. Whatever.” Then they discovered that I’m not like other volunteers. I actually like to do things, especially if no one else likes to do them.

Unfortunately, non-profits have paid staff, people who are paid to do things, so when a super volunteer comes along, paid staff get anxious about, perhaps, losing their jobs.

I’ve done the city animal shelter, Second Chance Dog Rescue, San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society, and now Friends of Cats. If they have paid staff, they just don’t want regular, consistent, good volunteers.

I was doing whatever the various staff asked me to do. First and foremost was laundry, which I kind of enjoyed doing. While washers and dryers were running, I would socialize with the cats. Sometimes I would get asked to help feed, empty trash, pick up and clean empty food dishes, scoop poop, whatever. Always willing to help wherever I could. Someone apparently took issue with my help. I think it’s the only three people who had never asked me to help them with something.

So…. On to my next volunteer adventure.

I have been accepted at San Diego Oasis. I will be helping K-6 students who have been identified as lagging behind their peers in reading. Reading Tutor training is October 16 & 17, and I think actually tutoring the students begins in late October or early November.

I also will be implementing a chess club at one of the Oasis locations, possibly both of them. And I have been approved for teaching a class on “Taking & Making Great Pictures.” Chess and photography won’t start until February 2019, though.

Meanwhile, here’s my last two picture from Friends of Cats:

Black cats

Black cats

Remember that if you have a black cat that spends time outdoors, bring the little one in for Halloween night and the several nights leading up to Halloween. There are cruel, mean, nasty people in the world who like to abuse black cats at this time of year.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Old Barstow train station

Re-purposing historic buildings: Barstow, California

Halls of History

I have been a history buff since the Cub Scouts introduced me to philately, which they called “stamp collecting.” That was in 1963. I used to research the subjects of postage stamps, finding them quite interesting.

I always like it when cities save their historic buildings, even if it means re-purposing them, which it often does.

The original train station in Barstow CA has been re-purposed into the bus station with a few billion stores and restaurants being located in historic rail cars that also have been saved and re-purposed.

The rail cars in the second picture are painted a specific color, including that unique golden arch, which should tell you that they are being used as McDonald’s seating areas; the order/pick up area is at the left, just out of the picture. Pretty cool.

Old Barstow train station

Old Barstow train station

Old Barstow train station

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Friends of Cats

“The Hunger Games” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” come to life

Cats

On August 9, 1974, when Nixon resigned the presidency of the United States, I watched the peaceful transition of power from Nixon to Ford. Of course, they were of the same political parties, so peaceful was expected, notwithstanding the Watergate mess and Ford’s pardon of Nixon.

After each presidential election where the new president was of a different political party than the preceding president, I watched a peaceful transition of power, even when it was pretty obvious that the two people pretty much disliked each other. Something about the rule of law….

Whenever a presidential administration moves to far in either direction, left or right, the midterm election usually offers a correction – Clinton in 1994 with gays in the military, Bush in 2002 with weapons of mass destruction, and Obama in 2010 with health insurance.

I’m predicting an explosive correction on November 6, 2018, led by

  • women watching the Kavanaugh confirmation;
  • the young who have experienced mass death and destruction at their schools, movie theaters, and concerts;
  • minorities of all types, including LGBTQ like me;
  • and middle class (is there still a middle class?) people who have lost their health insurance due to actions of the current president (I call him Twitler because, to me, he is an incarnation of Hitler using Twitter as his main means of dividing the populace), lost their livelihood or a significant portion of it due to Twitler’s trade wars.
  • Sure, there will be Republicans (hereafter, “Regressives”) who win, but they will be in areas that have a supermajority of Regressive supporters. I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that even in those areas, the spread will be much lower than usual, and you might even see some moderate Democrats or Independents elected in those areas where the lack of health insurance and income has hit particularly hard.

In today’s world, watching Twitler and his core supporters leads me to believe that there will be no peaceful transition of power this time. They don’t seem to care about anything Twitler does, as long as the blame is placed squarely on Democrats, women, non-Christians, immigrants, blacks, gays, and anyone else who is not straight, white, and Christian. They are violent, as seen in Charlottesville a year ago. They are violent as seen in mass shootings where the shooter always seems to be a “church-going Christian.”

The period between 2018 and 2020 will decide on whether or not there is a peaceful transition of power when Twitler is removed from office in 2020, possibly earlier through impeachment. I really think that Twitler and his ilk will not give up power through peaceful election results. I think there is going to be a Civil War, or at least a very bloody period to rival any war in our past history.

With the Twitler wannabe in Ontario, Canada; Putin and his social media army; and ultra right-wing regressives throughout the world finding a core group of people who hate everyone else, I think we are seeing “The Hunger Games” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” come to life.

With that depressing dissertation, I leave you with cats to help with the depression that I have caused. Starting and ending with, of course, Zoey the Cool Cat; all the other pictures are of cats at Friends of Cats where I volunteer for 1½ hours each day, Sunday through Thursday.

Zoey the Cool Cat welcoming me home
after I had been gone for three hours.
“Welcome home! Now rub my tummy!”
Zoey the Cool Cat

This little one crawled up on my lap, put his head on my chest,
rested his paws on my chest, and stayed that way for 20 minutes.
Friends of Cats

I love pictures of animals with their mouths wide open
because then I can anthropomorphize them.
Friends of Cats

What can be better than being welcomed by a black cat on a white pedestal?
Friends of Cats

One of the office cats, this one ready to answer the phone.
Friends of Cats

Cat yoga.
Friends of Cats

This little one is blind, yet still finds a box.
Friends of Cats

This little gal is in hospice care. She has scratched her neck so badly
that it is raw and bloody. She loves to be petted but it’s difficult to do
because of her condition. Poor little girl.
Friends of Cats

More cat yoga.
When you’re good enough, you can reach out and touch,
uh, Russel’s shoe!
Friends of Cats

Coco welcomes me to her house each day.
Friends of Cats

Anyone know what breed this cat is?
Friends of Cats

I often get up with sunrise intent on going outside and work in my gardens.
Sometimes, Zoey the Cool Cat has blocked my exit, forcing me to call
emergency personnel to rescue me. The only good thing is that I get to
go back to bed while waiting on first responders to arrive. And don’t tell me that I can get out through the windows. They are locked!
Zoey the Cool Cat

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

 

Sending thoughts and prayers….

I live in my own little world

I almost feel bad today.

I went to Walmart at 6:00 this morning to get some cat litter for Zoey the Cool Cat. When I checked out, the machine asked me if I wanted to donate to disaster relief. For the first time in my life, I said no.

The only disaster that everyone is collecting for is Hurricane Florence and the floods.

Well, Twitler has shown me that I need to look out for myself because he’s trying to destroy people like me, as well as other people typically called “minorities, people of color, women, etc.”

Since red states like North Carolina already get way more money from the government than they contribute, money which comes from blue states like California, where I live, I just decided to keep my money, especially since my tax burden under the Twitler tax giveaway to the rich is going to increase significantly for 2018.

Good luck over there on the East Coast. Sending thoughts and prayers…..

(Yeah, I’m cynical under Dictator Twitler and his regime.)

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post