Saturday Tweets: Mini Boats!

115 Inventing a New Word: Apisoir

Wine writer Micheal Alberty was thinking of a way to promote the “terroir” of local honey so, naturally, he coined a new word, “apisoir.” Find out what happened when he tried to get this word into Wikipedia as well as the reasons he thinks we should support local honey. You heard it first on Root Simple! During the podcast Michael mentions:

You can reach Michael via his Facebook page and his email is [email protected] Apisoir, apisoir, apisoir!

If you’d like to leave a question for the Root Simple Podcast please call (213) 537-2591 or send an email to [email protected]. You can subscribe to our podcast in the iTunes store and on Stitcher. Closing theme music by Dr. Frankenstein. A downloadable version of this podcast is here.

My Fellow Californians, Please Water Your Trees

The “new normal” here in the Golden State seems to be more along the plot lines of Dune than Baywatch. This winter it hasn’t rained or snowed much at all.

I predict that when summer heat and smog returns, our local potentates will call for water conservation. They won’t, of course, say anything about the use of water by big agricultural interests, but will, instead, focus on the tiny amount of water that goes to maintaining urban and suburban landscapes and parks. In 2015, Donald R. Hodel and Dennis R. Pittenger of UC Riverside published a white paper, “9% The California Drought and Water Use,” challenging this sort of knee jerk water conservation. They said,

Water the trees. Trees form the infrastructure of our landscapes and urban forest, and are their permanent or, at least, most long-lived and valuable components around which the other plants intermesh, if not depend. Mature trees are among the most valuable and difficult-to-replace plants in urban areas. Their loss would be devastating. Trees can be likened to the steel framework of a building; how could the building exist without it. So, keep the trees watered.

Not watering the trees results in an arid cityscape, trees that fall over and kill people and big bills from your arborist. Of course, as Pittenger and Hodeln note, we should plant trees that use less water and make our landscape watering practices more efficient. But we should also consider the ongoing value of trees and landscapes planted in the pre–Dune era.

Towards that end I’m going to take a close look at our own drip irrigation system this week, repair leaks and extend the lines to better water our growing trees. I also need to make a much overdue revue of the programs I’ve set on our “smart” timer. But I’m also going to buy a pair of earplugs to use specifically for when our mayor (future president?) begins talking about municipal water conservation.

Saturday Tweets: Toilets, Energy and Deep Old Age

Bernard Maybeck Mystery Solved

Many thanks to Root Simple reader JE for identifying that strange Bernard Maybeck building that I posted about last week. It turns out to have been a temporary Panama-Pacific Fair building constructed in 1915 for the Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo, a sort of goofy fraternal order for the lumber industry. Here’s what the membership of the order looked like:

The order’s origin can be traced to a group of lumber salesman amusing themselves during a seven hour train delay on January 21, 1892, in Gurdon, Arkansas. From the Hoo-Hoo website:

Full of this idea, the group set about to mold the initial tenets of the new order; it was to be a war on conventionality; there would be no lodge rooms with forced attendance; no marching in the streets in protest; no “bothering” anybody; no uniforms or flashy regalia. There would be one single aim: to foster the health, happiness, and long life of its members . . . The word “Hoo-Hoo” had been coined by Johnson himself only one month earlier at Kansas City in describing a most peculiar tuft of hair, greased and twisted to a point, atop the otherwise bald head of Charles McCarer, of Chicago. The name Hoo-Hoo became a catch phrase among the lumbermen in various areas to describe anything unusual or out of the ordinary. A good poker hand was a “Hoo-Hoo hand.” A strange hat was a “Hoo-Hoo hat”. The breakfast which was prepared by the old lady mentioned above was a “Hoo-Hoo breakfast” because the lady’s fingerprints remained on both sides of the pones even after they were cooked. Thus, Hoo-Hoo well described this new order, and since the word “concatenate” means “to unite,” it was decided the two words made a perfect marriage.

Here they are in the mid-twentieth century promoting wooden toilet seats, something I just can’t get behind (so to speak):

After the fair the Maybeck Hoo-Hoo building was put on a barge and shipped to Cupertino where it burned down in 1926.

A digression–the log columns on Maybeck’s building remind me of Ian Hamilton Finlay’s charming goose hut:

For those of you with evenings to fill and ties to the forestry industry, it appears that the Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo is still around and still rocking the same fantastic black cat logo. They also went co-ed. Just don’t tell Alex Jones about the order and those wooden toilet seats or the fun will be over.

More info on the order and the fate of the Maybeck building here.