Code Orange in Alameda

Two kinds of orange in Alameda.
Two kinds of orange in Alameda.
The basic blue retro license plate boldly complements the orangeness of the truck.
The basic blue retro license plate boldly complements the orangeness of the truck.

Did you know that orange didn’t exist until the 1500s?

Well, that’s not exactly true, that’s just when the word became part of the English language. “Orange” originally described the fruit, not the color, by the way. It came to England along a linguistic path that originated in Sanskrit as the word “naranga,” then went through Persian, Arabic, Spanish, and French before being adapted by the English as “orange.”

From Sanskrit right up through Spanish, the word was “naranja”. Now if you’re a 1500s Englishmen and you’re beholding a specimen of this citrus fruit you’d call it “a naranja,” which would eventually become streamlined to your English-speaking ears as “an aranja,” or “an orange.” So that’s why “orange” didn’t exist until the 1500s, and why nothing rhymes with it.

Well then, did this color even exist on the English palette before then?

Yes it did. The color was called, quite imaginatively, “yellow-red.”

An Edsel In a Strip Mall Parking Lot

I was in Greater Cleveland over the past weekend visiting family, and I saw something I’d never seen before.

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It’s 1957’s car of the future, the Ford Edsel.

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I am not certain what year or model this car is, but it has to be over a half-century old. Though I kept a respectful distance while taking these photographs, from where I stood the car didn’t appear to be restored in any particular way. It had modern Tennessee plates and seemed to just be parked there, rather than stranded or on display.

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Closeup of the EDSEL lettering.

It’s an Edsel alright.

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The front grill stares you down with a fierce expression, while the rear taillights gaze at you softly.

If you look long enough, it will wink at you.
If you stare long enough, it will wink.

IMG_1564The car as it first appeared to me, in the rear of the parking lot, with its tail end facing out at the street.

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Nature’s Might Comes in Small Packages

The Bay Area welcomed autumn with the year’s first rain on Saturday. When I looked out at my front porch the following day, I noticed a tendril of the morning glory my former housemate planted along the sidewalk earlier this spring had reached up into the mailbox. Happy to see it growing, I tried to gently prod it free of the post box with my fingertip. But it wouldn’t budge.

The view on Sunday, one day after the rain.
The view on Sunday, one day after the rain.
Closeup of the tendril.
Closeup of the tendril. Notice how narrow the opening between the mailbox and its locked lid is.

Today (Monday), I opened the mailbox and found the plant’s tendril had not only wormed its way through the tight crack beneath the lid, but had extended itself a good two inches into the pitch black of the letter box and wrapped itself around the lock cylinder.

The nightshade tendril as it looked when the mailbox was opened.
The morning glory tendril as it looked when the mailbox was opened.